DAVID DOLAN FROM JERUSALEM
Shalom From Israel!
Although this is a rather long letter from Israel, I believe it is the most important report that I have ever sent out. So I hope that you will take the time to read it through to the end and maybe send it to your friends.
I have been visiting this unique country that I called home for almost 33 years since the beginning of March, enjoying every day of it. Among many other things, I stopped by my former apartment in the center of Jerusalem with its magnificent view of the Temple Mount and the nearby Mount of Olives. There I happily learned that the young Israeli couple who bought it from me had triplets, two boys and a girl, just ten months after I returned to America in May 2013! I told their mother that I see this as a Divine blessing on my former home.
I’m planning to fly back to the United States just two days before Passover begins the first week of April. It’s been a wonderful time for me here in the Lord’s special land, visiting with many longtime friends including my now elderly “spiritual mentor” Lance Lambert, who is miraculously still alive and kicking at his home in Jerusalem after a serious illness nearly took his life late last year while visiting Greece. I spent my first week in Jerusalem, where I lived since 1984 after residing several years in the verdant northern Galilee region, and plan to spend my last few days of this trip in the Holy City as well, including sharing a Shabbat meal at Lance’s home.
I arrived on the festival of Purim just one day before a Palestinian terrorist deliberately crashed his car into a group of Border Policewomen in the northern part of the city. Welcome to Jerusalem! Currently I’m staying in the coastal city of Ashkelon at the vacation home of American friends.
Among the highlights of my visit so far was hearing some of the courageous army experiences of the sons of two Israeli couples who’ve been friends for many years. One of the young men, still a ponytailed teenage boy when I last saw him, ended his three year mandatory service earlier this month. We celebrated his exit at a Shabbat meal in the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Naturally both soldiers were very involved in last summer’s intense rocket war with Hamas militia forces in the nearby Gaza Strip. Of course, like most Israeli former fulltime military servicemen (along with some servicewomen), they are liable to be drafted for reserve duty at virtually any time if the government deems such a call up necessary. As I write, a noisy Israeli military drill is taking place along the nearby Gaza Strip’s northern border and in the skies above the area. Earlier I wondered if an actual new conflict had broken out until I happily heard on Army Radio that it was just a planned large scale exercise! Not to worry, they said.
Last week, I spoke to a new Israeli immigrant from America who moved here with her young teenage daughter early last summer, initially living in the same Ashkelon home where I’m currently staying. She told me her husband will soon follow after completing a work project in Texas. She described how her daughter reacted to the frequent air raid sirens that were sounded whenever Hamas rockets were aimed at the area. She said the girl became weary of rushing down almost every night to the basement bomb shelter with her, to the point that she actually moved her mattress down to what became her new bedroom! Welcome to Israel!
Still, she told me they were both glad they had moved to the world’s only Jewish State, especially in light of escalating Muslim terrorist attacks upon Jews in Europe and other parts of the world, and increasing signs of growing animosity towards Israel from the current American government.
We spoke only one day after Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party did unexpectedly well in last week’s national elections. The new Israeli voter informed me that, like many others, she had decided at the last minute to cast her ballot for his party. She had earlier planned to vote for a more rightwing party (Jewish Home) out of concern that the veteran leader’s center-right party might need to be “kept from giving in” to international pressure—particularly from the Obama Administration—to agree to the creation of a Palestinian state in Judaism’s biblical heartland just miles from Israel’s main international airport and major coastal cities, with part of Jerusalem as its capital.
As all must know by now, Netanyahu replied to a reporter’s unsolicited question about such a state on the eve of the election, stating it would not arise under his watch. This prompted the new immigrant to change her mind and cast her ballot for his Likud party. Israeli political pundits agree his short, unplanned answer was the main reason why his party surged way past pre-election surveys that it would capture only 22 to 24 Knesset seats. In the end, the Likud garnered 30 seats, fully one fourth of the legislative body, passing the left-center Zionist Union (basically just a clever new name for the once dominant Labor party) which captured 24 seats. Nineteen of the newly elected legislators are women, a record number. Women can’t even vote in some neighboring Arab countries, and are barely staying alive (or not) with their families to the north in Syria and parts of Iraq.
Many Israeli analysts say when President Obama and his cronies rushed to condemn Netanyahu’s supposed “sudden abandonment” of the vaulted, if surely presently unworkable, “two state solution” to the nearly 70 year old Jewish-Arab regional conflict, they displayed their growing antagonism toward the Jewish State’s democratically elected leaders and contempt of their supporters. The media is reporting that Obama and company will now at least partially withdraw “vital” US government political support for Israel at the United Nations, where it earlier vetoed the Palestinian attempt to unilaterally establish such a state. This news sent many Israelis into an immediate tizzy. Still, most recognize that the Republican-controlled Congress is not about to abandon its strong support for Israel, including many members of Obama’s own Democratic party.
Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to counter the Jewish Israeli apprehensions by quickly telling NBC News that he was only stating what is completely obvious to most Israelis, according to various opinion polls: There is NO CHANCE AT ALL of forging a final peace accord in the coming months or years with the Palestinian Authority while extremist anti-Israeli Islamic violence and rhetoric is exploding in the tumultuous Middle East. It does not matter if annihilationist hatred of Israel emanates from the clerical leaders of Shiite Muslim Iran and their various allies (who are currently taking over Yemen, to the deep chagrin of Saudi Arabia’s oil rich leaders due north of Yemen), or the mushrooming Sunni Muslim “Islamic State” army and its various Muslim cohorts who are currently wreaking havoc from central Africa to the Persian Gulf. This includes Hamas, headquartered just five miles south of where I write.
Let’s not forget, as a majority of Israeli voters apparently did not, that the Hamas terrorist group, which lobbed thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian centers just a few months ago, is now an official part of the “moderate” Palestinian Authority government led by Mahmoud Abbas that Israel is supposed to make a final peace deal with. Speaking of democracy, Abbas has “postponed” presidential elections several times since 2009 due to his well deserved conviction that Hamas would probably emerge victorious in them, as it did in the only Palestinian leadership contest held so far in 2006. Why would Netanyahu possibly allow a state, ruled at least partially by Hamas, to rise up next to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv?
During my current visit, several Israelis have told me they are fully convinced that President Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, are only pretending to be true friends of Israel (and not doing a very good job of it, then opined). They maintain their actions belie their words. They blame the Obama Administration’s untimely, if not inexplicable, efforts to finally “resolve” the long and bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict at this time for sparking off last summer’s frightening war.
Many Israeli commentators say it was obvious from the dawn of the Obama-backed “Arab Spring” Islamic fundamentalist resurgence in 2010 that no far reaching final peace deal was possible under the current Palestinian and regional realities, even though PM Netanyahu expressed his willingness several years ago to agree to the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state next door to Israel. I found it more than ironic that just one day after Netanyahu’s latest electoral triumph, three Muslim terrorist shot dead around 20 foreign tourists in the heart of the government center in Tunis, where the “Arab Spring” began.
WOE TO AMERICA!
As an American now living back in my homeland, I sadly agree with the above Israeli assessments. More than that, I also sadly say WOE TO AMERICA if the Obama Administration continues to back away from the country’s traditional bipartisan, and I believe God-given, role of helping to protect the small Jewish State from its far more numerous regional and world enemies. The prophet Joel warned (3:1) that the nations will be judged in the last days for “dividing” up the land that God restored to the formally scattered Jewish people.
Many Israeli voters were incensed to learn that the State Department had been using American tax dollars to indirectly fund a campaign apparently aimed at ousting Netanyahu from power. I was incensed as well to learn that a portion of my taxes had earlier been channeled by John Kerry and his comrades to the One Voice NGO group, which states that its goal is to nonviolently “end the Israeli occupation” of Judea and Samaria. Let’s not forget that the “occupation” came about in the midst of a multi-country Arab war of annihilation launched against tiny Israel in 1967, leading instead to the fulfillment of various biblical prophecies that the Jewish people would return to all of Jerusalem and the hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria in the last days (Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 32, 33).
Putting flesh to its stated goal, the American One Voice group was in turn funding the local “V15” political organization tutored by Jeremy Bird, Obama’s former campaign director, who media reports say flew to Israel from Chicago for the Israeli election campaign. Talk about hutzpa!
“Bibi” Netanyahu complained in an afternoon Election Day tweet to his registered supporters that the American group was paying to bus Arab voters to the polls in droves in a transparent last minute attempt to bring a leftwing government to power. Arab votes would apparently be used to prop up a Zionist Union-led leftwing government in the Knesset, even if the new “Join Arab List” party would probably not be asked to formally join any government coalition led by Isaac Herzog (I noted the irony that his grandfather was the widely respected Chief Rabbi of Northern Ireland some decades ago, and that the election was held here on St Patrick’s Day…guess his grandson missed the luck of the Irish!). Indeed, with Obama’s indirect help, the Arab party emerged as the third largest in the new Knesset with 13 seats.
While condemned as a “racist” tweet by President Obama’s spokesman, many Israelis viewed Netanyahu’s short missive as a justified and understandable attempt by him to rally his own voters to head to the polls in light of the opposition’s gregarious American-aided efforts to do the same. By the way, the new Joint Arab List that most Arab Israeli voters choose on Election Day includes several politicians who openly call for an Islamic state to replace Israel, and others who demand that all Jews leave any Palestinian state created next to Israel—a racist demand if ever there was one.
I wrote in my previous communication from Mexico late last month that I increasingly sense that the United States superpower giant that I once again call home may be facing imminent Divine Judgment. I am of course not alone in this ominous perception, with many pointing out that an obviously growing number of American and other world citizens have been idolatrously abandoning themselves over the past few decades to an inordinate love of money, commerce, gluttony, sexual immorality (leading in many cases to abortions and sexually transmitted diseases) and many other biblically proscribed things. Particularly in formerly majority “Christian” nations, these things have become their preferred “gods” instead of the God of Israel.
Divorce, for almost any reason or none at all, is rampant in America with nearly one out of two marriages now breaking up. Shockingly, numbers are almost as high among those who profess to be Christians (in Israel, one quarter of all marriages end in divorce). While the US Supreme Court gets ready to rule later this year on forcing all 50 states to allow same-sex marriage, straight couples are avoiding getting hitched in record numbers. Christian media outlets have been reporting that a national survey of American churches conducted over the past five years reveals that some 68% of church going men, including half of all pastors and priests, regularly view pornography, mostly via the internet (the actual numbers are probably higher since some would undoubtedly not admit this sin to a pollster). Does the One who created their eyes not know what they are watching?
Indeed, many citizens of contemporary Israel engage in similar unbiblical practices, and the small Jewish State would obviously suffer as well if its longtime main ally and benefactor goes down. America’s other friends and the entire world would also experience the effects. Still, if I was legally eligible to stay here in Israel, or to move back here, I would probably do so. I again urge all Jews living abroad who can do so to consider this option very prayerfully and urgently.
As I’ve stated many times before in my public speaking and writings, it would only take one or two relatively small “suitcase” or “backpack” nuclear bombs to quickly and severely alter life in America. Even if just lower Manhattan were obliterated—and it is after all just a small island abutting the Atlantic Ocean, and still undoubtedly Ground Zero to our enemies—all economic and political life in the wealthy United States and the world would be instantly altered, and obviously not for the good. The 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington were a Divine warning of further and more severe terrorist or military actions potentially ahead, I and many others believe. The American government and people would do well to heed the vows of self-declared enemy states like North Korea, Iran, and Sunni Muslim groups like Al Qaida and Islamic State, that the mighty United States will one day soon be attacked and destroyed.
Unlike some, I do not believe that my native country—which has often acted as a beacon of light, but also increasingly as an exporter of the fruits of a morally decaying culture—is going to completely disappear. I think any attacks or economic disasters allowed to take place by the Almighty God will mainly be designed for remedial purposes, to bring the people literally to their knees in search of Him. But I do suspect the United States of America may at least partially disintegrate as a unified functioning nation, with martial law, widespread violence and other negative things a likely outcome of any economic collapse, and/or massive terrorist or military attack, and/or a major natural disaster.
Let’s not forget that the former Soviet Union unexpectedly lost its superpower status and many of its component countries in an amazingly short period of time just over two decades ago, mainly due to economic implosion (there is after all no free lunch). I suspect the same thing could soon rock debt infested America, especially given the many negative things that have taken place in the country during previous “Shemitah” years. The US stock market is ridiculously high at present, I believe, with the recent drastic fall in world oil prices producing a temporary financial bubble for America’s consumer driven economy; unlike most of the rest of the world, which is either bordering on, or already in, recession. Many economists warn that American banks will probably never get back the huge sums they loaned to “start up” and existing oil companies as the price of oil soared over the past five years to record levels, which is eerily similar to what took place during the housing bubble that crashed during the last Shemitah year in 2008.
Only true national repentance could deflect pending Divine judgment upon America, I believe, with sadly little sign so far that this is on the horizon, although there is always reason to hope and pray.
LISTEN TO THE LORD
Believe it or not in this now overly connected world, I have not had access over the past two months to television while staying in a beachfront thatched roof cabana hut in eastern Mexico, and later at a Christian Guest House in Jerusalem, and then here in Ashkelon. Frankly I haven’t missed it much, although I do check out the latest news at least once a day via the internet or radio.
Instead, I have had lots of time to pray and meditate on God’s Word, and more importantly, to LISTEN to the gentle voice of the Lord. I believe I am issuing this warning of possible pending judgment via His commission, although I am not any less a flesh and blood sinner than anyone else, as the Apostle Paul frequently pointed out was true of himself. I do so with humbleness and hope that it might help to prepare everyone who reads my words, both spiritually and physically, for what seems to me to lie just up ahead, although of course only time will tell and prayer can and does change things.
As many Christians believe, the Lord may snatch ALL of His committed disciples away from this earth at any moment. Death could also take any one of us away with little or no notice. I would not complain if either was the case for me, a man now 60 years young (someone here wished me the traditional Hebrew blessing of “until 120” when they heard my 60th birthday was last month, which, given the realities of the contemporary human aging process, I frankly consider to be a curse!). I would personally not complain if my body were to perish, or better yet to be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, before the biblically prophesied end of this age turmoil engulfs the world (as I’ve mentioned before, I believe the Scriptures reveal that the Rapture will take place just before the Lord judges the coming Antichrist and his empire at the end of his rule, but would be glad to be proven wrong!).
BLOOD MOONS AHEAD
After completing the above report late yesterday afternoon, I went out to a balcony here in Ashkelon that overlooks the nearby Mediterranean Sea to watch the sunset. It had been a mostly cloudy and windy day, and the setting sun was partially shielded by a thin layer of cloud out over the water, producing a beautiful red face as the sun seemingly sank into the sea. Moments later, a cloud higher up in the sky moved away to reveal a thin sliver of light at the bottom of the mostly dark moon above the western horizon. I then recalled that this cycle of waxing moon would climax on Passover, April 3rd and 4th, with the third of four “Tetrad” moon eclipses, visible in many parts of the globe as a “blood red” moon. The fourth eclipse is due on September 28th at the start of the annual Feast of Succot, just two weeks after the Shemitah year comes to an end on Rosh Ha Shana. The last business day of this Jewish year will be Friday, September 11th.
An hour later, I settled down to read an article in the weekly Jerusalem Post magazine published last Friday. It was authored by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, a “settlement” located in the “occupied territories” south of Jerusalem. Titled “The Meaning of the Moon,” his article focused on the four blood moons of the current Tetrad cycle. He noted that the previous three occurred in the years 1492-93 (when the once flourishing Jews of Spain were expelled from that country), 1948-49 (when Israel’s first war took place and the State was created), and 1967, 68 (the Six Day War and capture of Jerusalem’s Old City, Judea, Samaria, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights). In my report on this same topic written a couple years ago, I pointed out that many Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, and many more wounded, during the previous two Tetrad cycles. Yet both also led to extremely positive outcomes overall for the Jewish people of Israel.
Was last summer’s intense conflict with Hamas a fulfillment of my written prediction that another war would probably take place during or around this current Tetrad cycle, leading to significant loss of Jewish lives but also an ultimate positive outcome? I don’t think so. I believe another, much greater, conflict is probably on the horizon. As Rabbi Riskin noted, the most obvious pending war is probably with Iran and its allies (Hamas and Hizbullah included). Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection makes this all the more likely, especially if current American-led negotiations with the Shiite clerical regime in Iran do not end later this month with an acceptable cessation of its nuclear development program, as the Prime Minister warned in his eloquent speech before Congress last month will sadly probably be the case.
By the way, the ONLY time I had access to a TV over the past two months was overnight near the airport in Cancun, where I watched his entire speech live just before my hotel shuttle departed for my flight to Newark and Israel. As I was driven to the airport, I recalled when I first met Bibi on election night at Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv in October 1988, where I was reporting for CBS radio news. I thought at the time that the newly elected Knesset member would probably emerge as a great leader of Israel one day —I had no idea how great!
Rabbi Riskin noted in his article that his longtime “special friend,” Pastor John Hagee of Texas, expects that a conflict with Iran will indeed take place “with or without American support,” and end with Israel’s “crippling Iran’s nuclear capabilities.” I agree that such a conflict and outcome is also very likely to take place, and probably very soon. Riskin then wrote that Pastor Hagee expects this “will then provoke Russia to invade Israel,” fulfilling the “Gog and Magog” prophecy found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Although “the situation will look hopeless,” God will “save Israel and our supporters” and then “Messiah will come.”
I believe that this scenario is missing some essential prophesied parts, although they may be included in Hagee’s fuller teachings. Following a likely showdown with Iran, whether right away or later on, will not be the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy in my estimation, but a coordinated attack by various regional Sunni Arab forces that are named in Psalm 83 (see my book Israel in Crisis for full details). I suspect this will follow the toppling of Jordan’s current pro-American regime, replaced by radical Muslim jihadists currently being battled by Jordan and other Sunni Arab countries as part of the international US-led alliance against further Islamic State expansion. Amman is listed as one of the Psalm 83 conspirators, along with Assyria, located where Islamic State is fighting today in parts of Syria and Iraq.
Sometime after that prophesied regional Arab onslaught against Israel takes place, or possibly preceding or coinciding with it, I expect the evil “Antichrist” ruler spoken of by the prophet Daniel and the Apostles Paul and John will arise (probably quite literally) and rule the entire planet for three and a half years. I think Scripture suggests that only at the end of this period will the prophesied Gog and Magog Russian-led invasion of Israel (involving a revenge seeking Iran) take place as part of the final Armageddon War. And then the Messiah will come (return I believe) and the rest of remaining world Jewry will move to Israel (Ezk. 39:27). Finally the surviving remnant of Israel and the world will rest in everlasting peace as Messiah’s Kingdom is fully established on earth! May He come speedily in our day!
Whatever may lie ahead for us personally or corporately this year and beyond, we will spend eternity in His wonderful presence if we have truly surrendered to His sovereign will. I sincerely pray it would be so for everyone reading these words!
“Do not fear oh land, rejoice and be glad, for the Lord has done great things” (Joel 2:21).