Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reality vs Perceptions

Most of what we read in the MSM demonizes Israel, and the IDF is often the central target. This is largely based on the media's portrayal of Israel which isn't typically fact-based. Instead this image, as created by the media, disingenuous politicians and the usual Arab groups - is based on hyperbole or outright lies and distortions.

The article below is one of those that (dare I say this) falls into the category of a "must read". A must read because it reveals the incredible lengths that Israel goes to in order to avoid any civilian causalities. This extensive training process may be contrasted to Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah, who launch missiles into Israeli civilian areas on a daily basis. This contrast is quite stark, but you won't find this in the MSM anywhere.

This article also reveals what Israel faces on their borders every single day.

Its a long read and it is worth the time to get through it, but I'll try to find a few quotes which reveal the nature of the piece:

The Israeli Way of War

Here is the intro:

The dry forest on the Israeli-Lebanese border provided shade but little relief. Rain had not fallen for months, and the blistering season-long heat wave that would later set parts of northern Israel on fire was currently burning down forests in Russia.

An Israeli intelligence officer led me to this concealed yet sweltering viewpoint near the border fence overlooking Lebanon where Hezbollah guerrillas were busy fortifying positions for the next round of conflict, a round that will almost certainly be bloodier and more destructive for both sides than the last. A small green valley covered with Mediterranean scrub stood between us and the Party of God

It’s easy to monitor the border area from both the Lebanese and the Israeli sides, especially for those with high-tech equipment. In some places houses are built all the way up to the fence line in each country. Some Lebanese homes are even within shouting distance of Israeli homes.

Both countries are tiny. Land is scarce all around. On most days nobody shoots at anybody, and besides—not even residents of Tel Aviv and Beirut are entirely safe from the worst that can come flying at them from the other.

Hezbollah had 10,000 rockets before the war in 2006. Now it has between 40,000 and 50,000. Some are stored in warehouses. Others are hidden away a few at a time in private homes.

“What do you think about the job UNIFIL is doing?” I asked the intelligence officer. I cannot tell you her name. She never even gave me her name.

UNIFIL is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. It has been there since 1978 (so much for it being an “interim” force) to help the Lebanese government restore its sovereignty over the area, sovereignty that was taken away first by the Palestine Liberation Organization, then by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and most recently by Hezbollah. UNIFIL is supposed to keep all armed personnel, including Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters, out of the 12-mile buffer zone between the border and the Litani River.

That intro sets the tone for this article. Just a couple of more quotes below:

Israel, like the United States, uses the Law of Armed Conflict. No one else in the Middle East does, especially not the likes of Hamas or Hezbollah.

One important thing the law requires is what’s known as “distinction.”

“Distinction,” according to the law, “means discriminating between lawful combatant targets and noncombatant targets such as civilians, civilian property, POWs, and wounded personnel who are out of combat. The central idea of distinction is to only engage valid military targets. An indiscriminate attack is one that strikes military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.”

“Distinction requires defenders to separate military objects from civilian objects to the maximum extent feasible. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to locate a hospital or POW camp next to an ammunition factory.”

Hamas and Hezbollah use human shields in this way as a matter of course. I’ve interviewed residents of South Lebanon whose own front yards were used by Hezbollah as rocket launching pads during the 2006 war. Israelis, though, are strictly prohibited from doing anything of the sort, not only by international laws but by their own laws.

Again, the entire article is worth reading. The lengths that the IDF goes to for the purpose of avoiding civilian causalities is impressive. By contrast, the lengths that the surrounding terrorist groups go to in order to create civilian causalities, either for their PR purposes (when such causalities occur on their land) or in order to terrorize Israeli citizens (as evidenced by their daily missile/mortar launching into Israeli civilian areas) are equally "impressive".

The truth isn't easy to find in these last days but it is our job to discern reality from the lies that we are fed from those who have an agenda - an agenda that rarely if ever finds itself on the same side as God.

When it comes to Israel, we know from our scriptures exactly where God stands. This much is crystal clear. God has a plan for the nation of Israel, and this plan is nearing completion. The nation of Israel will soon find itself in a position in which all nations are gathered against her, and invading forces will enter Israel "advancing like a a cloud covering the land" and Israel will face imminent destruction.

But God will reveal Himself and He alone will thwart this invasion as described by the prophet Ezekiel.

" hot anger will be aroused, declares the sovereign Lord...I will execute judgement with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him (Gog) and on his troops and on the many nations with him. "

"And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations.

Then they will know that I am the Lord."
(Ezekiel 38:18-23)

As one reads the daily news from the Middle East, and attempts to discern truth from intentional lies and distortions - what is the "lens" through which to view all of this confusing information? After all, we are fed the constant message that "Israel-bad, terrorists-good. That is the central message of the MSM.

But the question must boil down to this:

How does God view the region and how does God see this conflict?

That part is easy. The scriptures reveal this clearly and unambiguously.

God states that these incursions against Israel arouse His "hot anger", His "zeal" and "fiery wrath", and will lead to the complete destruction of those attempting to destroy Israel. So where does God stand? There should be no question about that - and this fact alone should color how we view the lies and distortions fed to us daily.

God will reveal Himself. God will make things right. God will ensure that His sovereign plan is carried out. There can be no doubt about this fact.

So why does God do all of this? What is His plan, and why?

Unlike many other biblical scenarios, in this instance we aren't left to ponder or speculate. God reveals exactly why this entire scenario, as described in Ezekiel 39, is part of His plan:

21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.

25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob[a] and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

Those who are intent on the destruction of Israel should be trembling in fear. We know their fate. I would also venture that those in the media who create constant lies and distortions - all intended for the ultimate goal of seeing Israel destroyed, should also be trembling in fear. But they bask in their ignorance and arrogance during this period in which God seems "quiet", but that won't last forever:

"I will make known my holy name among the people of Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel.

It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of."

(Ezekiel 39:7-8)

Amen. Indeed - it is coming soon, exactly as God Himself declared.


Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
Heard on the One O'Clock news that the government of Lebananon is about to fall apart.


Anonymous said...

I just heard it did collapse. I'd love to hear your commentary on this and what exactly this means. Thanks!

Scott said...

Just getting to it - the situation is rapidly evolving. See next post in a few minutes!