Jerusalem on knife’s edge

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.’ Psalm 122:6 NIV

201510 - IDF Chart - Post-Sukkot attacks
Chart of attacks on Israeli civilians from October 7-10, compiled by the Israel Defense Forces. Click to see larger.

A week ago I started a blog post titled “Murders mar Sukkot holiday”.  I never finished it. I could give all sorts of excuses: tired, distracted, news exhaustion, lack of clarity.

Part of me hoped it would all pass. Instead the tension has increased as lone-wolf knife attacks have continued daily.

It started when Muslims started stockpiling rocks and fireworks in the al-Aqsa mosque with which to “greet” Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Police raided the mount to clear the threat. This preemptive action was reported by Arab media as an assault and desecration of a Muslim holy place.

The first per-emptive raid was Sept. 13, the day before the Jewish New Year. The second one was Sept. 28, the morning after the blood moon eclipse and the first day of Sukkot. That clash I heard from the Mount of Olives, where I’d been photographing the eclipse. I was about to descend the mount when I heard the pop-pop-pop of fireworks and stun grenades.

These efforts to keep the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary safe for tourists have been reported in Muslim media as Israeli attempts to take back the site. This coupled with photos and videos of Israeli police manhandling unruly Muslims, including women, has motivated angry individuals to attack outwardly religious Jews and Israeli security officers with knives. Some have posted their intent on social media and have cited defending al-Aqsa (the mosque on the mount) as their motivation.

Media sources report that there seems to be no particular terrorist organization behind the attacks. While Hamas and others are praising and encouraging the attacks, the wave seems to be a grassroots movement.

The whole affair makes me angry. Some of the attackers have been teenage boys and women. The first deadly knife attack was committed by a 19-year-old law student. One of the attacks Sunday was by a 16-year-old boy.

Avi Issacharoff of the Times of Israel writes: “The events of the last few days show a deeply alarming trend: Three or more Palestinians, mostly East Jerusalemites, are daily attacking Israelis — knowing that they are likely to die in the attempt. These are a kind of suicide attacks. They are far less devastating than the bus and restaurant and market bombings of the Second Intifada, but they are motivated by the assailants’ desire to become martyrs.”

We would call them suicide-by-cop.

It would be so easy to cynically say that these murder-suicides, if you will, are orchestrated to make Israel look bad. There are photos and videos of nearly all the attacks because of cell phones and security cameras.

Two things. There is a hopelessness that drives people to do mad things. I’m not here to debate whether the Israeli or the Palestinian leadership is to blame for the current state of affairs.  I’m saying people are hurting.

A 19-year-old law students decides taking a knife and killing a Jewish family going to pray is the way to go? Really? I ache with anger and frustration.

Also, we can never discount the spiritual. Islam values death over life. A year of ISIS’ march through Iraq and Syria should have taught the world that by now.

It’s not just hopelessness that drives these attacks but a spirit of hate. It is a spirit that says “Death is the only way out of this conflict, and it’s either you or me. Heck let’s make it both.”

And so we’re back to Paul’s exhortation:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

So please pray that the chains of the Deceiver would be broken off of these young people. They do not see that they are fighting a battle for the Father of Lies.

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14 NIV

And pray for all the peoples trying to live in peace – Jew, Christian, Muslim, everybody in between. Most people are trying to just live their lives. It’s hard in an atmosphere where suddenly police are running in your direction and you’re not sure why. (Video by Bridges for Peace.)

As I close this, there are reports of rockets in the south. Earlier in the day some people from Gaza made a run at the border. Sometimes it feels like we’re on the brink of chaos

The following articles should give you direction on how to pray.

7 thoughts on “Jerusalem on knife’s edge

  1. Thank you so much for this update and how to pray. You manage to brings things into perspective and what it is all about. Know that we are praying for you, your colleagues and for the Peace of Jerusalem.

  2. My dear friend, Carino,
    Your update at this strategic time from Yerushalayim is so valued and appreciated; I too add my voice of thanks unto our Almighty God for your faithfulness in portraying so accurately what is tragically taking place. May I encourage you, Carino and others with a Holy Scripture (taken from Intercessors for Israel; October, 9th, 2015) and it is : under the Point : “We prayed for God to protect His people from the spirit of fear that Satan is trying to import.”
    Hebrews 2 : 14-15 – “Therefore, since the children share a common physical nature as human beings, he became like them and shared that same human nature; so that by his death he might render ineffective the one who had power over death (that is, the Adversary) and thus set free those who had been in bondage all their lives because of their fear of death.”
    We are praying also (as sent out by a fellowship in Yisrael) for : safety for all Israelis; for the Military and Police forces, that God would give them wisdom and insight into catching terrorists and thwarting their plots, bringing a swift end to all of the hatred and violence and that God would move mightily in the hearts of all Israelis, Jewish and Arab alike, bringing them all to salvation; AMEYN !! AMEYN !!
    Blessings and may The Lord God of Yisrael watch over and protect you at all times, my precious sister. May He give you SHALOM !!

    Brian and Anne Nelson in His Love, ALWAYS

  3. May GOD’s Grace be upon You. May GOD continue to Bless You with Believing Friends.

    Remember Jeremiah15:21 “I will Deliver You Out of the Hand of the Wicked, and Redeem You From the Grasp of the Ruthless.”

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