British and European nations now under constant threat of terror attacks should spare a thought (and prayer) for Israel.
In one of the most shocking incidents yet since the start of lone-wolf knife and gun attacks by Palestinian terrorists, a 13-year-old girl was butchered to death while asleep in her bed.
The grisly murder of Hallel Yaffa Ariel came just days after a senior adviser to PA president Mahmoud Abbas urged his people to slit the throats of Israelis rather than engage in dialogue. “If you ask me my blunt position, I would say—every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat,” Sultan Abu al-Einein, a central committee member of the ruling Fatah party, told the Palestinian website Donia al-Watan when asked about Palestinian officials participating in Israeli conferences. “Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.”
And on the day after the world woke up to news of Hallel’s tragic death, an Iranian military official boasted of having 100,000 missiles in Lebanon ready to annihilate the Jewish state.
Speaking on al-Quds Day, when Iranians mark their solidarity with Palestinians, Iranian Revolutionary Guard deputy commander Hossein Salami said: “The opportunity to destroy Israel is now better than ever because tens of thousands of long-range missiles all over the Islamic world are ready to hit Israel immediately upon receiving the order.”
Adding gross insult to these appalling injuries have been the outrageous comments of Britain’s Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn who appeared to compare Israel to Islamic State during an event designed to confront claims of anti-Semitism within his party.
Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth left the meeting in tears after saying she had been insulted by a hard-left activist using “traditional anti-Semitic slurs”, adding that Mr Corbyn’s failure to intervene was “final proof for me that he is unfit to lead and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.”
Mr Corbyn denied that he had intended to compare Israel to ISIS. A spokesman said he had been referring to states that were Islamic in character such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Iran. He actually said: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”
In any case, the Jewish people are under greater threat now than they were under the Nazis, and this time British Christians especially must avoid the shameful option of passing by on the other side of the road like the religious folk in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10.25-37). Israel has fallen “into the hands of robbers” (v30). We must take pity on them, tend to their wounds and look after them. The church dare not remain silent. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” That’s a pretty dire warning from God’s word.
But a great opportunity also lies before us, as the verse continues: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4.14)
However, if we refuse to come to their aid, we will not prosper. For, in speaking of the future glory of Zion, Isaiah declares that “no weapon forged against you will prevail”. (Isa 54.17)
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com