John Hagee The Battle For Jerusalem

ISBN 13: 9780785265887

The Battle For Jerusalem

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9780785265887: The Battle For Jerusalem

On September 28, 2000, retired Israeli General Ariel Sharon visited Jerusalem's historic Temple Mount under a cloud of tension. As he left, more than 200 Arab protesters surged forward, throwing stones and finally forcing Israeli police to fire upon the crowd. The incident launched a series of bloody battles that mirror conflicts between Arabs and Jews through the ages. Written in Pastor Hagee's no-holds-barred style, The Battle for Jerusalem explores the heart of the current conflict, the history behind the antagonism between Arabs and Jews, and the powerful significance of the thirty-five-acre parcel that is the most fiercely-contested real estate on the planet. He also discusses the most recent American election, and explains why President Bush will not be able to reach a peace accord in the Middle East. Must-reading for every concerned Christian and all who struggle to understand the unique and continually unresolved conflict in Israel, The Battle for Jerusalem takes a hard look at Israel, Arafat, and the United States... and illustrates how they fit into God's plan for the ages.

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About the Author:

John Hagee, author of the bestsellers Jerusalem Countdown, The Battle for Jerusalem, From Daniel to Doomsday, Life Lessons to Live By, and The Financial Armageddon, is the founder and pastor of the 19,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and president of Global Evangelism Television.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


The Heart of the Current Battle

Jerusalem today is a detonating device with no fail-safe, a loaded pistol at a poker dispute, a driverless coach careening toward a blind curve. No other item on the entire Middle East peace agenda forebodes such potential mayhem as the city's future status.

-John L. Lyons, "Jerusalem: Besieged by the Sacred"

Jerusalem is the very soul which unites and fortifies the nation [of Israel] in its entirety.

-Natan Sharansky, Israeli diplomat

 

An ancient text records a debate of Jewish sages about why Cain murdered his brother, Abel. By identifying what drove Cain to kill, the sages hoped to discover the root of human violence on earth.

According to one sage, a twin sister was born with Abel, so the two brothers fought over a woman. Another sage said the brothers agreed to divide everything in the world, so one promptly claimed the clothes on his brother's back and ordered him to disrobe, while the other claimed the ground beneath his brother's feet and ordered him to fly.

A third sage agreed the brothers must have decided to split the world. But then, he said, one claimed the land where the temple would be built, the other insisted the place was his, so Cain rose up and killed his brother.

The history of murder began, said the rabbi, in an argument over who would own Jerusalem. Specifically it began with an argument over the Temple Mount.

 

The Timeline

In mid-July 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat came together at the presidential cabin in the Catoctin Mountain retreat at Camp David. American President Bill Clinton had invited them to the meeting, and before both men was a copy of a peace agreement that had been years in the making.

The Israelis had made remarkable concessions. They would relinquish nearly all of the West Bank occupied in the 1967 war, including the highly strategic Jordan Valley. They would set up joint patrols with Palestinian security forces. They would recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the "State of Palestine" and accept a number of refugees into Israel.

In return, the Palestinians would "demilitarize" their land. They would allow the Israelis to maintain three reinforced battalions and other forces on the West Bank within military compounds. The Israelis would also operate three early-warning stations and three air-defense units on the West Bank until May 2007, or until peace agreements had been achieved between Israel and other Arab foes.

Then President Clinton addressed a thorny question: What about Jerusalem?

Barak was willing to make concessions never before considered by an Israeli prime minister. Though he did not want to divide the city, he was willing to consider the idea of a neighborhood swap-exchanging Palestinian neighborhoods for Israeli ones.

When Clinton took the idea to Arafat, the Palestinian leader became enraged. Furthermore, he and his delegation became incensed over a casual suggestion Barak had made: in exchange for giving the Palestinians de facto control over the Temple Mount, the Israelis could build a small synagogue on the northeast corner of the holy site.

Arafat, an international terrorist whose hands are stained with a river of blood from the veins of innocent women and children, a thug so repugnant that he was not permitted to enter the U.S. until recently, glared at Clinton and said, "These arguments are explosives and will set off massive fires in the region . . . Do you want me to throw the region into a new age of religious conflict?"

Arafat's words proved prophetic-but only because he lit the fuse that ignited tensions into violence.

 

Tempers Grow Short in Autumn

In late September 2000, Ariel Sharon, the seventy-two-year-old retired Israeli general and military hero, planned to visit Har Habayit (the Hebrew term for the Temple Mount), the holiest site in Israel. Before arranging this trip on the day prior to Rosh Hashanah, Sharon spoke with the police and Israeli security services. They approved his visit. Shlomo Ben-Ami, the minister of foreign affairs, then talked with Jibril Rajub, the head of Palestinian security, who promised there would be "no problem" with Sharon's visit to the holy site, currently administered by Muslims.6 Rajub also told Ben-Ami that as long as Sharon did not enter the mosques, there would be "no reason for concern."

But even before Sharon got into his vehicle that breezy day in late September, Islamic violence cast its threatening shadow over the proposed outing. Earlier in the month, Israeli security officials had noted a sharp increase in violent attacks by Palestinians against Israeli security forces and civilians in the area of Netzarim.

 

Wednesday, September 27

On Wednesday, an Israeli soldier was killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb detonated by remote control at the Netzarim Junction. According to Voice of Israel radio, Palestinian police did not assist their Israeli counterparts in pursuing the three attackers, but neither did they prevent Israeli security forces from pursuing.

On this same day, youth activists from Fatah, the first guerrilla/terrorist movement, called upon supporters from Jerusalem and Yesha to come to Jerusalem to participate in a demonstration to block Sharon's procession from reaching the Temple Mount. The Fatah organization, one of the most disciplined and loyal groups aligned with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat, spent the day before Sharon's proposed visit distributing flyers that called upon the masses to protest the visit by Sharon and other Likud Knesset members.

 

Thursday, September 28

Nerves tightened. On Thursday a Palestinian police officer participating in a joint security patrol on the West Bank suddenly shouted "Allahu Akbar!" (God is greater!) and opened fire at point-blank range on his Israeli partner, Yossi Tabaja, who died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Joint Israeli-Palestinian security patrols, which had been considered an important part of the peace process, were suspended as a result.

Also on Thursday, as planned, Israeli Knesset member Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount with a six-member Likud Knesset delegation, including Moshe Arens, Reuven Rivlin, Naomi Blumenthal, Joshua Matza, Gideon Ezra, and Ayoub Kara. Because security forces were concerned about disruptions, one thousand police officers escorted the group as they walked to the entrance of the Temple Mount at the Mughrabi, or Western, Gate. At no time did Sharon or any members of the entourage enter the mosques.

At the time of Sharon's entry to the Temple Mount, approximately 150 Muslims were praying in the mosques, including members of the Palestinian Authority's Legislative Council and Arab Knesset members. At first the Arab Knesset members walked alongside the Likud delegation, talking and even joking with them. The images were captured by Israel Television's Channel 2. According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, however, as soon as the Arab Knesset members saw the television cameras, "they began hurling abuse at Sharon."

The delegation stopped at the area called Solomon's Stables, where they were provided a briefing on the site. Demonstrators tried to approach but were pushed back by police. One Palestinian boy was slightly injured and given medical attention.

While Sharon and the others made their way back to the Western Gate, dozens of Palestinians began to run after them in an apparent attempt to break the police line. As they departed, a crowd of one thousand Palestinians threw stones at the police. Sharon's delegation left the site after only an hour's visit, and thirty policemen and four Palestinians were slightly wounded in the ensuing scuffle.

The serious violence spread throughout the country twenty-four hours later, following the broadcast of inflammatory statements by official Palestinian radio and television stations. Four hours after Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, at noon, the Voice of Palestine radio broadcast a statement by Yasser Arafat declaring the visit to be "a serious step against Muslim holy places." Arafat called upon the Arab and Islamic world to "move immediately to stop these aggressions and Israeli practices against holy Jerusalem."

By four o'clock that afternoon, Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Ahmad Qurei had taken to the airwaves, asserting on Voice of Palestine radio that the visit "defiled" the mosques and was "a clear and flagrant expression of the Israeli schemes" against Muslim holy places. In the same broadcast, Palestinian Culture and Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo declared that Israelis from both ends of the political spectrum have a goal of "Judaizing" or controlling Jerusalem.

 

Friday, September 29

During Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, A'akramah Sabri, the Palestinian Authority's officially appointed mufti of Jerusalem, called for a jihad, or holy war, "to eliminate the Jews from Palestine." At 1:00 p.m., immediately after the conclusion of prayers in the mosques on the Temple Mount, hundreds of Palestinians attempted to overpower Israeli border guards at the Mughrabi Gate leading to the Western Wall Plaza (the Wailing Wall), where Jewish worshipers were engaged in prayer prior to the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Many of them threw rocks from the platform of the mosque onto Jewish worshipers in the plaza below. When rioters broke through the gate that leads into the plaza, Israeli border guards entered the Temple Mount and opened fire with rubber bullets.

Israeli Police Inspector General Yehuda Wilk noted that Israeli police never enter the Temple Mount under normal circumstances while Muslims are praying: "For all the years that I have been an officer and also when I was the Jerusalem Police Chief, I never prevented any prayers at the Temple Mount. But there cannot be a situation whereby the Muslims pray on the Mount and then attack policemen and try to stone Jewish worshippers below."

In the initial outbreak of violence, four Palestinians were killed and more than one hundred wounded in clashes with Israeli police. Over the ensuing weekend, fifty-eight Palestinians were arrested for throwing rocks and firebombs throughout Jerusalem. Sixty policemen were injured, including Jerusalem Police Commander Yair Yitzhaki, who suffered a concussion from being hit in the head by rocks. On Saturday, a Palestinian mob attacked Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, burning Jewish religious texts and destroying the building. An Israeli of American origin, Hillel Lieberman, was brutally murdered as he ran to the tomb in an effort to save the texts. The attack occurred just after Israeli troops withdrew from the site after the Palestinian Authority assured them that they would keep order in the area.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian and Israeli security forces engaged in a furious gun battle for more than an hour at the entrance to a Jewish settlement. A Palestinian policeman was killed in the exchange, and a father and son were caught in the crossfire. They clung together, twelve-year-old Mohammed Aldura and his father, Jamal, and tried to shield themselves behind a wall. "The child, the child!" the father yelled, waving his arm in the smoke.

The incident, caught on television and broadcast on Israeli television Saturday night, revealed the instant when the boy screamed in panic, then slumped in his father's arms as he was fatally struck in the abdomen. The father, also wounded, trembled with convulsions, then rolled his eyes and lost consciousness. He was later hospitalized in Gaza and was expected to recover.

His son was not so fortunate. But at a news conference in late November, Israeli General Yomtov Samia stated that an inquiry found that the boy had been hit by a volley of gunfire from a Palestinian position.

Saturday's fighting was one of the bloodiest confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians in recent history. In a blunt official statement, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Israel "is exercising maximum restraint but is determined to preserve public order and protect its citizens."

Bassem Naim, a Palestinian activist in the West Bank, said, "The battle over Jerusalem has begun. With our blood and with our souls we fight for you, Jerusalem!"

 

Aftermath

On October 7, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution stressing the importance of establishing a mechanism "for a speedy and objective inquiry" into the violence that claimed the lives of more than one hundred Palestinians over a three-week period. The United States, Israel's ally, abstained from that resolution but did not veto it, and U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke said that if the Security Council agreed to debate the issue a second time, the United States would veto any resolution on the subject.

The Israelis did not welcome the American action. The extremely one-sided resolution did nothing to quell Palestinian violence. I'm disappointed that our country did not veto the resolution. The action is nothing more than Arab propaganda designed to influence the world community against Israel, and it teaches one valuable lesson: violence pays. Stir up a little strife, charge another nation with bully tactics when it acts to stem your violence, and smile as the rest of the world chastises the stronger nation.

On October 12, two Israeli reserve soldiers were brutally murdered by an enraged Palestinian mob when the soldiers took a wrong turn and entered the West Bank city of Ramallah. There they were brutally lynched by a bloodthirsty mob. I have seen video of the incident-with my own eyes, I watched as one man's body was tossed out a window, then subjected to burning, stomping, beating, and dragging by an infuriated crowd of shouting Palestinians. I saw the blood-stained window, men lifting their arms in celebration, flags waving, and one flag in flames-the Stars and Stripes of the United States of America.

One of those murdered men was thirty-five-year-old Vadim Norzich, son of Anna and Issai, residents of Or Akiva. The Norzich family fled from Russia in the early 1990s and had been living in Israel since then.

Vadim had married his sweetheart, Irina, one week before his death. The wife pulled out wedding pictures to show a reporter, and there was Vadim-handsome and strong, wearing a white satin kipah beneath the canopy with his bride.

On that same day, Arab terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole as the ship refueled at a port in Yemen. The explosion killed seventeen sailors and injured thirty-nine. Yemen, the poorest nation on the Arabian Peninsula, has cooperated with the U.S. in the past, but the country's leaders sympathize with the Palestinians and are angered by American support for Israel. To appease his people, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh asked that the injured Cole be removed as soon as possible.

In November, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen warned that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could spin out of control and spread to other countries in the region.

 

A Media Barrage Incites Violence

Since the beginning of the Palestinian-initiated violence against the Israelis, the Palestinians have consistently broadcast extreme incitement, calling upon the Arab masses to harm Jews and Christians wherever they may be found. I have watched video of Arab children racing to assemble guns as a ...

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