Defending Israel – Israel is Vulnerable to Attack

Defending Israel is a Necessity
Israel’s Arab Enemies want to Eliminate Her

Since the birth of modern Israel in 1948, successive Middle East wars have tried to ‘eliminate’ Israel. This fundamental objective is stated in the original Hamas Charter:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it [Hamas Charter, 1988]

Israel’s Insecurity – Radical Islam

To date, no Hamas representative has ever renounced the charter and their objective remains to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic caliphate, link. The Revised Hamas Charter (2017) appears to soften the Hamas approach to Israel, hinting at a two-state solution and addressing the antisemitic language contained in the 1988 charter. But the underlying objective remains the same, link, link. To quote the revised charter:

There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. (Hamas) rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. (Hamas) reaffirms Hamas’s approval of armed conflict with Israel

So what’s new? As Israel says:

This is a war between jihadist Islam and Western civilization; a war between radical Islam and all those who refuse to surrender to its values and political demands [Ron Ben Ishai, Israeli military analyst, 2015]

So the struggle intensifies, and when Israel is attacked the whole world risks instability due to the threat of nuclear war as she defends herself. Even informed secular observers are forced to admit that Israel is now the vortex of the Middle East, as she is threatened on all sides by aggressive neighbours. The video graphically illustrates how vulnerable Israel is to attack, and underscores her need for hi-tech defense.

The June 1967 War

The most significant attack todate is the Six-Day War. In June 1967, the Israeli government ordered the Israel Air Force to destroy the Egyptian Air Force and airfields, initiating a preemptive strike in order to prevent the alliance of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq from carrying out a potentially devastating attack on Israel. Six days later, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had won comprehensive land and air victories against the Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian forces, despite overwhelming odds.

Israel under fire from Hamas in Gaza

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), since 2001 more than 15,200 rockets and mortars (an average of over 3 rocket attacks every single day) have targeted Israel, link. Hamas in Gaza has been responsible for most of these attacks. Even exchanging ‘land for peace’ does not work. Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel, and over 5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks. Some say Hamas leaders must be tried for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, claiming that Hamas permits indiscriminate fire at Israel’s civilian population; firing from within their own civilians, schools and hospitals. Hamas forces its civilians including children to stand on rooftops and other spots of great danger, using them as human shields, link. Yet the UN has done little to stop this!

Israel under fire from Hezbollah in Lebanon

In 2017, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his rockets can reach Israel’s nuclear reactor in the southern city of Dimona in the Negev desert. He said he would turn Israel’s reported nuclear arsenal against it, link. Should this ever happen, Israel has threatened to retaliate against Lebanon. Nasrallah has previously threatened to target an ammonia tank in Haifa. Hamas fired rockets at Dimona in 2014, link.

Israel under fire from ISIS in Sinai

defending Israel

Fig.1: The Levant. Image: CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

In 2017 a branch of ISIS in Egypt’s Sinai claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel, link. Several Grad rockets were fired at Israel’s southern resort city of Eilat [Um al-Rashrash]. Most were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The Wider ISIS Threat: When politicians refer to the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’ or ‘Daesh’ in Arabic) they may be referring to ISIS, meaning “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Syria)”. But when they refer to ‘ISIL’, they effectively rewrite the map of the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Egypt. ISIL means “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, where Levant embraces all of Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and areas of southern Turkey, link. See Fig.1 and also Levant. Clearly, this ISIL objective embraces the latest Hamas end game – elimination of the Jewish state.

Israel’s worst threat is from the North – Iran

The threat of war from Israel’s northern border is “many times greater” than the threat from Gaza [Major General Yair Golan, 2015]. The threat comes from Hezbollah (‘the party of Allah’) which has built an arsenal of more than 65,000 missiles to use against Israel. Some of these missiles have may have sophisticated guidance systems designed to thwart Israel’s Iron Dome.

The video explains the reason for Israel’s stance against such aggression and encourages the media to give the facts!

Bible prophecy in Ezekiel 38 suggests an invasion of Israel prior to the last battle – Armageddon, and that this invasion involves mainly those Arab-Islamic nations surrounding Israel – including Iran, link. Why is Iran so important here? In 2011 the IAEA released a comprehensive and damning report on Iran’s nuclear program, stating that Iran is engaged in “activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device”, link. And in 2015 the IAEA concluded that it was “not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities”, link. As Benjamin Netanyahu has stressed, a nuclear Iran would pose a severe threat to Israel. In a speech to the UN, he warned that “a nuclear Iran is a bigger threat to the world than Islamic State (IS) militants.”

So today this prophecy looks like becoming reality as Iran repeatedly threatens Israel, link. For example:

The Army of Iran can by itself destroy Israel
[Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi, Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, 2013]

Defending Israel: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

defending Israel

The Jewish community’s primary defense force – the Haganah – became a full-scale defense force following the 1936-1939 Arab revolt. The Haganah (and other Jewish fighting forces) helped fight for Israel’s independence leading up to the British withdrawal on May 13, 1948.

On May 31, 1948, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officially began operations to protect the new State of Israel. By the end of the 1949 War of Independence the IDF had defeated five invading Arab armies. By July 1949, the IDF had beaten back every invading Arab army and armistice agreements were signed between Israel and its major opponents – effectively ending the fighting and securing the existence of the State of Israel.

Humanitarian Missions

In 2015, the IDF opened a 60-bed field hospital in Nepal following the devastating earthquake. This involved some 120 IDF medical personnel (doctors, nurses and paramedics) and approximately 95 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies from Israel, link. See video.

During the Gaza war of 2014 large swaths of Gaza were put in darkness after Hamas rockets hit high voltage power lines feeding Gaza from Israel. Under instructions from Israel’s politicians, and under the authorization and protection of the IDF, the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) worked near the border of Gaza to repair the power grids. Power was restored to those firing rockets into Israel!

In 2010, the IDF sent a humanitarian mission to Haiti. This comprised a medical and rescue team following a major earthquake. The delegation was made up of 236 members who ran a field hospital and rescued people from the rubble. During its stay in Haiti, the delegation treated more than 1,110 patients, conducted 319 successful surgeries, delivered 16 babies, including three caesarian sections, and rescued survivors from the collapsed buildings. They left 30 tons of medical equipment for use in the ongoing aid effort.

2014 Operation Protective Edge

Following incessant rocket fire from Gaza at Israel, the IDF initiated Operation Protective Edge. During the conflict some 4,700 missiles, rockets and mortars (some supplied by Iran) were fired by Hamas and affiliated terrorist organizations from Gaza into Israel’s cities and towns, link. But during this war it is claimed that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 80-90% of rockets fired at population centers in Israel, and marked 1,000 missile hits since it was first implemented in 2011 [Ynetnews], link. Another objective of the operation was to destroy Hamas attack tunnels, and over the 50 day conflict the IDF uncovered and destroyed 32 tunnels.

In 2015, an international high-level military assessment of the 2014 Gaza conflict found that Israel not only abided by the laws of armed conflict, but far surpassed their requirements, despite damning and premature reports by the UN, link, link.

 

2012 Operation Pillar of Defense

On November 14, in response to incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, the IDF launched a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza. The operation had two main goals: cripple terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and defend Israelis living under fire. During the next eight days, the IDF targeted more than 1,500 terror sites across the Gaza Strip. The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months. These included 980 underground rocket launchers, 66 tunnels and 26 weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.

The IDF Today

The mission of the IDF is to defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State of Israel. That is, to protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten daily life. Israel’s military draws upon some 3 million available personnel, nearly 4,000 tanks, some 10,000 armoured fighting vehicles, 700 aircraft and a naval strength of over 100 vessels.

defending Israel

Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System. Image: IDF and Nehemiya Gershoni Flickr, CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Israeli Air Force is universally recognized as one of the world’s most powerful aerial fighting forces. The Navy protects Israel from all threats emanating from the sea. It also warns of impending warfare and plays a crucial role in preventing the smuggling of weapons to terrorist organizations. The IDF’s Ground Forces have played a key role in all of Israel’s wars, acting as the last line of defense for the home front and entering deep into neighbouring territory to battle enemy forces. The Intelligence Corps supplies the government with key information during wartime and closely tracks terrorists and other enemies seeking to harm Israel.

Military Technology

The IDF uses several technologies developed in Israel. For example, the Merkava (‘chariot’) battle tank has been used successfully in every battle since 1982, and today the Merkava Mk-IV has been described as “the most modern in the world”. Its cutting edge technology includes the ‘Trophy‘ protection system against anti-tank missiles. The Trophy active protection system is suitable for multiple platforms. IDF technology also includes Galil and Tavor assault rifles, the Achzarit armoured personnel carrier, the Iron Dome missile defense system, and Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missiles .

Iron Dome: The effectiveness if Iron Dome is hotly debated, but according to statistics from the Israeli Air Force, of the 600 rockets deemed dangerous in the 50-day Gaza war, over 90% were neutralized by the Iron Dome, link. Israel is also developing Iron Beam, a laser system for vaporizing short-range rockets, artillery shells, and mortar bombs with trajectories too small for Iron Dome to track, link.

Arrow 3: Following 1967, the IDF has close military relations with the United States, including development cooperation, such as the THEL laser defense system, and the Arrow missile defense system. The new Arrow-3 ballistic missile interceptor is designed to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, link. This is a crucial deterrent since it intercepts the weapons (which may have nuclear, biological or chemical warheads) close to their launch sites e.g. in Iran!

defending Israel

Israeli F16 Fighter
Image: Sergeant K. J. Gruenwald, License: Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

The Air Force uses a modified form of F16 fighter. To make the pilot’s job as easy and effective as possible, the F-16I (I stands for Israel) has been outfitted with cutting-edge weapons system hardware, a specially constructed radar system and a unique helmet technology that allows the pilot to launch weapons at an enemy aircraft using sight systems. Israel took delivery of two state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning fighter jets in December 2016. This was the first of a purchase of fifty F-35’s from the US, link.

Pilots are always concerned about GPS jamming and surface-to-air missiles. Israel’s latest solution is the SPICE 250 missile (glide bomb) that fits various aerial platforms, including the F-16’S, link.

So much for hi-tech defense. But at the end of the day the defense of Israel rests with the God of Israel, not with man. And one day Israel will lay down her defenses as Christ ushers in world-wide peace:

Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war  (Isa 2.4)

God is Defending Israel: ISIS Beware!

How do we know this? First and foremost, God’s protection of the people of Israel is promised in the Old Testament scriptures:

Whoever assails you will fall because of you … no weapon that is formed against you will prosper … I will be a wall of fire around her … he who touches you, touches the apple of His (the Lord’s) eye
(Isa 54.15,17,  Zech 2.5,8)

Sometimes this protection is through mighty angels. For example, in the book of Daniel we read that the archangel Michael protects the people of Israel (Dan 12.1). Another way is via God-given ingenuity, as in Israel’s cutting-edge weaponry used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), link.

Protection is Sometimes Conditional

Of course, when the nation of Israel walked away from their God and Protector these promises seemed not to apply and Israel was scattered throughout the nations for some 2,500 years. The scenario is similar today. Most of the 8 million inhabitants of Israel do not recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their promised Messiah. So, according to prophecy, in the near future is seems Israel will go through a time of great trouble. It will be a time of the refining of Israel until they recognize their true Messiah.

Historical Verification of Protection

There is historical verification of the biblical promises. Despite some 2,500 years of scattering and persecution the people of Israel (generically, the Jewish race) have survived. Despite furious attempts to annihilate this people they have all failed. From the Babylonians to Queen Isabella to Hitler, and now the Islamic conspiracy (Hamas, ISIL) to exterminate the Jews. Moreover, in recent years God has restored the nation of Israel and actually blessed her. It seems that, right now, Israel is once again under God’s protection so that the nations can see the God of Israel in action! As John F. Kennedy remarked:

Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.

There are recent historical examples of God’s miraculous protection. As the Jewish State was born in 1948, five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel. The Arabs had no difficulty obtaining all the arms they needed. But they were defeated by a fledgling Israeli defense force. Similarly, in the Six-Day War of June 5–10, 1967, the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel. Their goal was “to wipe Israel off the map”. Israel defeated the attack even though the Arab armies had huge superiority in armour, aircraft and troops. And in October 1973 Egypt and Syria launched another attack on Israel (the Yom Kippur War). This was at a time when Israel was “resting” in Yom Kippur. Despite the surprise and consequent losses, Israel once again defeated the attack.

Did God Protect Israel against ISIS? Early December 2016 a strange storm cloud (dust and rain) put a barrier between Israel and ISIS. Reports say the storm stopped on the border of Syria and was ‘unable’ to enter Israel’s Golan Heights area. Many believe God intervened on behalf of Israel, to prevent ISIS from entering Israel, link.

A Final Thought. At the end of this age we find confirmation of the root cause of conflicts with Israel and the root cause of the persecution of the Jews. Jesus referred to a future time of ‘great tribulation’ for Israel (Mat 24.15-28), driven by a world dictator (Dan 9.27). The point here is that this despicable person is merely the human arm of Satan: “the dragon (Satan) gave him his power” (Rev 13.2). This confirms that the root cause of conflicts with Israel is hatred from Satan. It is a spiritual war. But the politicians cannot see it!


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