Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2004 9:34 AM
Subject: A dangerous place? (part 2)
Since sending that last email, in which I assured you all that Jerusalem is about as safe as Eastbourne, we have had another suicide bus bomb. It was a Palestinian policeman from Bethlehem this time. There were 11 dead and many injured. At least two of the staff at the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) were on the bus.
Iri Savola, an ICEJ staff member from Finland, was two blocks away when she heard the bomb and smelled the carnage. She raced to the scene where she saw another ICEJ volunteer, Rita Krais- also from Finland. Rita had just stepped off the bus when it exploded. She was hit in the back of the head by glass from the windows. She is now recovering in hospital.
(We) later had a phone call that Riitta, from Finland, had been injured and we all desperately tried to remember when we had last seen our Riitta (the one I once drove to the airport with her two daughters) Our Riitta was OK- Riitta is a common name in Finland- and she did go to see the injured one in hospital.)
While Rita had left the bus moments before the explosion she knew that another ICEJ volunteer, Svetlana, was still on the bus. She also knew, from the state of the bus afterwards, that Svetlana was dead. She wasn't dead, in fact, but had left the bus a little later with cuts to her face. People had died in front of her and behind her but she had got away with scratches....
Another ICEJ worker and his wife were in their flat about 150 yards from the blast and he ran to help and found Svetlana staggering around and was able to help her.
Two of our staff, Rafi and Beverley, were both driving to work and both their cars had just passed the scene when it went off a little behind them. Both are fine.
So, is Jerusalem as safe as Eastbourne or are we living in a fool's paradise?
Those of us, who live and work here, are perfectly aware of what is going on. We do see examples of hatred and- very occasionally- of violence but we tend to find other things to talk about. The attitude of many here to the hatred and the violence is very similar to the British attitude to sex. We are aware that it goes on but nice people don't talk about it. Nice people here prefer to talk about Arsenal, Manchester United or the next ballet performance. We seldom mention the hatred and violence, but there is a lot of it about and- from time to time- we are effected.
Not long after I got here, for example, we had a minor incident. Every night at 11 pm one of our men- occasionally me- goes around the compound, checks there is nobody about and locks up. If he finds someone, he politely asks him/ her to leave. No problem- usually. One night, however, the duty kicker-outer encountered a very aggressive Moslem male who proceeded to curse him as he left and, in heavily Arab-accented Hebrew, (Most of us heard him) told him, "Ein shalom! (No peace!) Milhama! (War!)" We all knew that, of course, but thought it decent of him to remind us.
Only a few days ago I witnessed another incident. I was walking home from the centre of town and was following the city wall south towards Jaffa Gate. Walking in front of me was a young Orthodox Jewish man- with the side curls etc- and his young son, who also had the side curls. Maybe the boy was ten or so. Coming towards us was an Arab. Suddenly, and surreptitiously, the Arab reached out his hand and yanked one of the boy's curls as he passed. The boy was startled and he spun round but the father did not notice and the man was gone before he could have done anything. I do remember the mixture of loathing and satisfaction on his face.
About a day later three Moslem men came into the coffee shop and asked to use the toilets. It is unusual for Moslems to come in at all but Riitta (who was on duty) agreed. Later she checked to find that they had deliberately smeared excrement everywhere in both the ladies and the gents.
The next day a group of Moslems started a performance outside our gates and began yelling. Very soon after that they were all pounced on by policemen and whisked away. I saw none of this as I was dealing with another gentleman at the time- this one a fairly harmless local tramp- who keeps joining the line of guests in the breakfast queue.
Some of us seem to feel when something is about to happen. One member of our congregation described something like an evil spirit that woke him up. He tried to pray but couldn't. Some of us are more in tune spiritually than others and they can sense something big about to happen.... Some of us, for one reason or another, just tend to know. It is a gift God seems to have given them.
I don't have this gift. Discernment-wise I am as thick as the average brick and am happy to remain so. Usually I feel nothing unusual whatsoever although, this time I did. I remember saying to someone that I felt something was about to happen. About an hour later we had our latest bomb.
From time to time things do happen- such as that bus bomb. When they do happen, we look up for moment, check the lists of dead and injured, pray for those effected- and some of them are deeply effected and some will be effected for the rest of their lives. We do pray for them and for those, who will have to care for them. Having done that, however, we then have to let it go and carry on with what we are doing. If we stayed depressed or started to get morbid about it we wouldn't be able to function. Most of us feel that we are in God's hands and we are not tense about life. If we were, we would all be somewhere else.
The fact is, however, that there is a situation in Jerusalem and it is slowly building up one notch at a time. In some ways those of us in Jerusalem are sitting on top of a volcano, which could go up at any time. Unfortunately it is not just those in Israel who are in danger. A volcano can kill people many miles away with the laver, fumes and the ash. Without knowing it, many millions of people around the world are facing precisely the same risks and dangers that they believe we face here.
The fact is that the whole world is at war- and is likely to be actively involved fairly shortly. Military analysts are starting to say that we are in the early stages of World War Four.
World War 1 was easy to recognise. We all know it lasted from 1914 to1918.
World War 2 started when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 (actually it started earlier than that but few recognised we were at war until then. (More on that later) That war ended in 1945.
Some military analysts now say that we have already had World War 3, although we never referred to it as such. Instead, we called it the "Cold War". That was between the Soviet Union and the West and it lasted most of the time from 1945 until 1990. That war is now over.
There are those who say that World War 4 started when the airliners hit the twin towers on September the 11th. That was the "Pearl Harbour" that woke us up to some of the danger. World War 4 has been fought in one theatre or another ever since- Afghanistan, Iraq...Syria?....
In my book there are many direct quotes from senior Moslem clerics about this war that they are waging. They quote Islamic prophecies about Europe coming under Islam soon and others that speak of the whole world coming under Islam.
As most of you already know, Islam divides the world into two areas. Dar el Islam, the House of Submission, is the area of the world ruled by Islam. Dar el Harb, the House of the Sword, is the area not yet under Islam. No area, which has been Dar el Islam can be given back to Dar el Harb. The area now occupied by Israel was once Dar el Islam which means that it is the duty of all Moslems to help to reclaim this land for Islam. Any truce made with the Israelis has to be a temporary truce until the Moslems can build up the strength to obliterate the state of Israel.
Taking it further, Dar el Harb is the area not yet under under Islam. Once the land, now known as Israel, is again under Islam then it is the duty of all Moslems to bring the rest of the world under Islam one bit at a time. As Joseph Farrah, a Christian Arab-American journalist put it, "We are not at war with Islam but Islam is certainly at war with us."
It took a long time for the world to recognise Hitler and Nazism for what it was and to take a stand against it- which resulted in WW2. It took a long time for the world to recognise that Stalin was not one of the good guys and that Communism was not God's Kingdom on Earth, but we finally did and that led to the Cold War (WW3). In the same way, it is taking the world a long time to recognise that we are now in World War 4 against militant Islam.
Where does this leave all the Moslems, who are living in our country? Personally, I have a very great deal of affection for them. The great majority of them are hard-working, friendly, sincere and a credit to any religion. Most of them, if they are totally honest, want to be left alone to make a living and to care for their families. Most of them are quite happy living in England and they are really not interested in militant Islam or in Jihad and we need to pray fervently that they will stick to that attitude and will stay out of it.
Unfortunately, however, those who do take Jihad seriously are slowly gaining the upper hand and are gradually putting more and more pressure on the "lukewarm" to take part in the war. For goodness' sake, don't regard all Moslems in England as potential fifth columnists. Pray for them, that they will stand up to the bullying, intimidation and indoctrination that they will face from some of their own leaders and that they will recognise common sense and will not turn on us.
Where each one of us stands in this war is his or her business and that is another matter. Whether we wish to take part in this war or to stay well out of it is another matter. Who we consider the good guys and who we consider the bad guys is another matter. Our attitude to this war is one thing. Whether we welcome the war or curse it for the suffering and death it is going to bring is another matter still but none of these questions takes away from the fact that the world is now definitely at war- just as no amount of hand-wringing could change the fact that the world was at war in 1914 and again in 1939.
At what stage are we in this war against Islam? If you want a comparison with the past, we are now looking at Czechoslovakia in 1938. We are looking at Neville Chamberlain sitting down with Hitler to thrash out a peace treaty, which would be acceptable to both sides.
We need to take a look at Neville Chanberlain and people like him. We, of course, in our day, have absolute 20/20 vision when we look backwards at the years leading up to 1939 and we regard people like Chamberlain as irresponsible fools, giving in to terror. None of those men had the benefit of this hindsight. They had to deal with the situation they found themselves in at the time as best they could with the experience that they had at the time.
Remember, these men had just been through arguably the most appalling slaughter in human history. Multiple millions on both sides had been blown to bits for nothing. On the British side about half the aristocracy- the best, bravest half- had died. The best and bravest of the farming stock and the best and the bravest of the working classes had died in the mud.Not only that, but the professional soldiers and sailors that had made up the pre-war fighting forces had mainly perished. Practically every member of the British government of that time had either fought in that war himself, or had close relatives who had fought in it. All of them had brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and close friends who had died in that "War to end all wars".
Let us look at the figures which were in Neville Chamberlain’s mind:
Britain had lost about 1,000,000 men;
France had lost 1,300,000 men;
The USA had lost 115,000 men;
2,000,000 Germans had not come home;
A total of 10,000,000 servicemen had been killed in that war.
On top of that, 20,000,000 people had died of the influenza- double the number killed in action!
A total of 30,000,000 people had died in that war- over half the present population of Britain!
No, men like Chamberlain were not fools. They were decent, honourable men who were thoroughly traumatised by the Great War and who were totally determined never to let anything like that happen again. They were determined to keep the peace in Europe whatever the cost.
"I believe that in 1938 and 1939 he (Neville Chamberlain) genuinely felt that God had sent him into this world to obtain peace. That he failed may or may not be due to the inevitable ambition of Hitler to dominate the world, but there can be little doubt that in his mental attitude Chamberlain went the wrong way about it. He decided in the early stages of his discussions to treat Hitler as a normal human being and an important human being at that..." Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography (1960)
They could see that maybe the Germans did have grievances and it was only natural that they should want a solution. Maybe...just maybe, if the Czechs would just hand over the Sudetenland to Hitler, that would be the end. Hitler would not need to expand any further. There would be peace in Europe. There would be no need for bloodshed.
What happened? The Czechs at the time had a large, well trained, highly motivated army and they had excellent defences. At that time they would probably have been able to stand up to the German army (which was not at that stage the super-organised machine that it was to become) As soon as Hitler had the Sudetenland he marched on and took the rest of the country- I mean, what could the Czechs do with no defences and a lot of their army gone?
We must not think too harshly of Chamberlain. He believed in peace and pursued it to the end (Until it became patently obvious that he had been wrong and he backed Churchill) and our leaders are doing the same today. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair believe that if they pressure the Israelis into giving up their main defences there will be peace. Unfortunately they are doing this, knowing full well that the goal of the Palestinian leadership is a Palestine "from the River (Jordan) to the (Mediterranean) Sea". Their aim is to liberate all of Palestine- Tel Aviv, Haifa, Acco and all the rest. (There are many quotes to that effect in my book) How is God going to judge them- and us- for that?
We are living through the early stages of what history might well refer to as World War 4 and Jerusalem might well be the spark that sets it off.
We do live in "interesting times".
Regards to all,
Brian, Christian Voluntary Worker, Jerusalem, January 10th, 2004.
A CRY FROM THE HEART.
CAN ISLAM MAKE PEACE WITH ISRAEL?
WHY DID YASSER ARAFAT SIGN THE OSLO ACCORD?
DID THE PALESTINIANS REVOKE THEIR CHARTER ?
A DANGEROUS PLACE ?
PALESTINIAN HOLOCAUST DENIAL.
THE GAZA DISENGAGEMENT.
For further, more detailed information click on www.adespicabletruce.org.uk