Operation Watchman on the Walls

Shalom,

I’m guessing you’ve been following the news of what has been happening over here in Israel. Even if you have, you, like others, probably have that feeling you’re not getting the full story – which would explain why we’ve had so many people writing us asking to share firsthand what is going on.

In one sense, I would say this is the worst I have ever seen my country – and if you know me, that’s saying something. I was three when the war with Lebanon broke out and my dad was called up to fight with the IDF. I was in the sixth grade when we sat in sealed rooms with gas masks while Saddam fired Missiles from Iraq over our house. Since then we’ve probably had a dozen operations/miniwars on our borders with Lebanon, Gaza and Syria and endured thousands of terrorist attacks along the way.

Decoration image for quotation

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this: From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me.

Psalms 129:1-2 NLT

We have seasons of rocket fire, and we have seasons of terror attacks on our streets. We have seasons of political turmoil, and we have seasons of economic struggle. But I can’t remember a time when we had all of these factors come to a head in a single week—and just when we thought 2020 would be our most challenging year until, say, Armageddon.

I could talk for an hour explaining all the nuances of what is happening, and perhaps it is that complexity that makes it so hard for Israel to know what threat they should prioritize—the thousands of rockets being fired on civilians (mostly from Gaza, but also from Lebanon), or the stunning massive civil unrest occurring in major cities in Israel.

This is News to Us

The rockets we are used to, though this is the most we’ve ever had fired on us in a single week (3,000+). On the other hand, the massive marches of Arabs walking down streets burning cars, homes and synagogues are a new sight that has Jews frightened and huddled in their homes in many areas. But it’s the stories of bands of Jews attacking random Arabs on the streets that is simply unforgivable to Israeli Jews right now.

It doesn’t matter that the secular Jews ganging up on random Arabs are bullies and criminals in their daily lives and don’t represent everyday decent Israelis. It doesn’t matter that the ultra-orthodox extremists who keep provoking sensitive Arab communities also despise Jews who aren’t like them. What matters is that these offenders are all Jews, and their actions represent the rest of the nation—a nation that is proud that we are not like the cruel and inhumane terrorists we fight.

This week was a tough one. Something broke inside my nation this week when—as Jews—we saw thousands of Arabs marching through the streets screaming about killing Zionists and fighting for Palestine with their blood. We’re used to seeing such marches abroad – but not in the one place we consider our only safe haven in the world. What would happen 20 years from now when their numbers increased?

You can’t unsee what took place this past week. And it will take time to recover the trust factor. But, the good news is that these events were just as shocking to hundreds of thousands of decent Arabs around the country. And many reacted by organizing their own mass-gatherings declaring, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Interactions between Jews and Arabs seem deliberate now in their intent to reestablish that coexistence is not only possible, but desirable. One woman posted about having a flat tire and asking an Arab cab driver to take her to a place to get a new tire. “I can just change your tire for less than I can make if I drive you in my cab, just don’t forget to make a post about it on your social media so people will know Arabs want to live here together with Jews.”

For Prayer

  • Father, You alone are God, and there is no other.
  • Many would like to claim Your land, but it will remain Yours to do with as You please.
  • We ask that all the inhabitants of Israel would honor the God of Israel.
  • We ask for emotional healing for the hundreds of thousands of children who may carry this trauma from the constant sirens and explosions for the rest of their lives.
  • When asked, a Gazan told Israeli radio most Gazans don’t want to vote for Hamas but they also don’t want to vote for the only alternative—Fatah. So, we ask for new leadership for the Arab people; someone who will love their people more than they hate Israel.
  • Grant new hearts to the fighters of Hamas who were raised to believe their destiny was to hate and kill.
  • Guard the hearts of IDF soldiers. They grew up dreaming about falling in love and raising a family. Many suffer from PTSD for years after battles.
  • We ask for help in the day after Operation Watchman on the Walls is over. The civil unrest in Israel has caused a rip in Israeli society— a rip only You can heal.
  • What glory You will receive when millions of Muslims turn to You and Israel and her cousins are reunited—bring it to pass in our day.
  • We are confident in Your ability to make a plan and bring that plan to fruition. We want to be a part! Show us the part we play in Your plan.

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