Happy Birthday Israel!
Happy Birthday Israel
by Sarah Ann Haves
Israel’s achievements over the past 64 years are remarkable,
but its continued struggle to remain the sovereign homeland of the Jewish
people keeps its leaders from being able to fully enter into the joy of independent
The relative peace that Israelis have experienced in recent
years is being tested, now, by threats to Israel’s security and stability. Terrorist
attacks along its southern border; land breaches; and deteriorating diplomatic
relations with neighboring countries that want to isolate Israel, are some of
the challenges the Jewish State faces.
The discovery of huge gas reserves off the Mediterranean Coast
will make Israel energy-independent in the years to come. Economically, Israel
will thrive as one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas. But, today,
hostile neighboring countries such as Turkey and Lebanon have threatened
Israel’s commercial gas explorations with Cyprus. Israel is developing a search-and-rescue pact with Cyprus
which will lead to air and naval maneuvers in the eastern Mediterranean
Sea. Part of this is seen as a way
of Israel providing security for itself and Cyprus as both nations explore
national gas fields off their coasts.
While Israel waits to profit from its own natural gas finds,
Egypt has recently cut off all supplies of natural gas to Israel, in defiance
of its peace treaty with the Jewish State. The Israeli government has had to dramatically increase
electricity prices to the general public, and has warned of shortages this
summer due to the reduction of natural gas imports.
Israel’s ability to ride the natural gas “storm” with its
hostile neighbors, while developing its own natural gas resources, along with
its new partnership with Cyprus, will be an economic and security challenge for
the Jewish State over the next few years.
…the Sinai continues to be a haven for Al-Qaeda sympathizers.
RELATIONS WITH EGYPT
New rocket attacks and ambushes against Israeli cities have
been conducted by terrorists operating out of the Sinai. This has created
mounting tensions between Israel and Egypt’s ruling military power.
Despite Egypt’s attempts to crackdown on terrorists and arms
smuggling, the Sinai continues to be a haven for Al-Qaeda sympathizers. In
addition, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and radical Palestinian groups are receiving
vast amounts of weapons and missiles, being transported from Iran and Libya
through the Sinai to the Gaza Strip.
The Sinai Peninsula will continue to be a hot spot for the
IDF, which is a worrying development for Israel’s leaders. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Israeli engineers to build a large fence along
Israel’s porous border with Egypt, hoping it will keep terrorists from
infiltrating into Israeli southern cities, such as Eilat.
Meanwhile, all candidates running for the Egyptian
presidency have issued anti-Israel statements, and the new Egyptian Parliament
is loaded with a majority of Islamists who have spoken negatively towards the
Prospects for a continued peace with Egypt may look
promising in the near future, but in the long-run, the Israeli government
believes that the peace treaty will be challenged. Therefore, the IDF is
preparing its Southern Command for a future military conflict with Egyptian
forces along Israel’s southern border.
Israel’s advances in its partnerships with NATO countries have
been marred by Turkey’s attempt to block Israel’s greater involvement with NATO. When Israel wants to participate in
military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey continues to try to prevent
Israel’s inclusion, in an effort to isolate the Jewish state. Deteriorating
relations with Turkey have caused Israeli leaders to scramble for new European
and Middle East partnerships. Israel is looking to forge diplomatic relations
with countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania in order to offset
the damage caused by the Turkish government towards Israel.
WALLS AND FENCES
Not only is Israel building a fence along its porous border
with Egypt, it is also building a two kilometer concrete wall along its border
with Lebanon. And, it is building another fence along its border with Syria.
Israel is intent on keeping infiltrators from breaching its borders.
Last year, during Nakba Day in May, 100 Palestinian
demonstrators managed to infiltrate Israel. The protestors ran to a Druse
village on the Golan and put a stake in the ground with the Palestinian flag
raised. This year, Israel is preparing for more demonstrations along its
borders, training IDF soldiers to stop protestors from entering Israel. Border
clashes are expected to increase as Israel’s hostile neighbors try to take land
from the Jewish State without a peace agreement.
Already, Iran has
THE GREATEST THREAT
TO ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY AND STABILITY
Netanyahu has managed to get the international community to
put Iran on its foreign policy agenda. U.S. and EU mediators are attempting to convince the Persian State to stop pursuing nuclear military capability. So far, sanctions have had some
effect, but Iran continues to try and build a bomb that they have threatened to
use against Israel.
Already, Iran has five tons of low enriched uranium on-hand.
It has enriched 100 kilograms to 20%. This means that Iran now has enough
fission material to create several nuclear weapons. It’s just a matter of time
before Iran reaches the “breakout” point where it can quickly advance to
military nuclear capability. Israel is concerned that Iran is hiding much of
its operations underground, so that IDF forces will not be able to easily
detect or destroy Iran’s nuclear military facilities in the future.
Israel still talks of war, but is sitting and waiting for
the international community to dialogue with Iran in hopes that sanctions and
threats will cause the Iranian leadership to stop pursuing its nuclear military
ambitions…an unlikely prospect.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Despite the lack of security and stability that Israelis
face in the future, the freedom of having a nation of their own gives them a strong
cause for celebration. Those who
grew up in Israel, as well as those who have immigrated to the land of their
forefathers, understand that they are all part of an amazing tapestry that has
been woven together to form the world’s only Jewish State. Nothing can take
that joy away from them as they, collectively, join together in remembering 64
years of independence.
“Your eyes shall see, and you shall say, ‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’” Malachi 1:5
Ms. Haves is a news analyst, reporting on political, diplomatic, military and spiritual issues in Israel and the nations.
(c) 2012 Messianic Vision all rights reserved. This article is not reproducible except with permisson from Messianic Vision.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.