Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Israel v. Hamas

Jonathan Bernis - Israel v. Hamas

Jonathan Bernis - Israel v. Hamas
TOPICS: Israel, Terrorism

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice. I wanna thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined, once again, by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. On October 7th of 2023, the world was shocked as Hamas butchered over 1,200 civilians in the worst attack against Jews since the holocaust. Unspeakable atrocities. Rape, murder of women, killing parents in front of their children, children in front of their parents. People were burned alive. Babies were beheaded in their cribs. Children and elderly were dragged away on motorcycles as hostages. Since then, the war has raged on and become a global concern. The Middle East crisis is complicated and it's both a physical and spiritual battle with prophetic implications. Israel and the Jewish people are at the heart of this ministry and we wanna educate and equip you to understand what's happening and what you can do to help. So, Ezra, this is very complicated.

Ezra Benjamin: It is.

Jonathan Bernis: And there's two narratives. There's the media narrative and there is the truth. The narrative that...

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. And within the media narrative, depending on what channel you're watching, you're gonna get a different spin and it's in the months since October 7th, Jonathan, the war rages on. And what we hoped might be a swift decisive military action has only become more complicated. And with the complications come the speculation, and the accusation, and the condemnation. And if you're like many of our viewers you're going, "I wanna stand with Israel. I think I'm supposed to stand with Israel, but how do I continue standing with Israel and what does that even mean"?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, let's sort it out because every time I turn on the news, and it really doesn't matter if it's CNN, if it's Fox News, if it's BBC, which is probably even worse, but the narrative is that Israel is the aggressor now killing hundred or even thousands of innocent Palestinians and the world's demanding a cease fire. The UN and most of the world is demanding a cease fire. That's the picture. Israel the aggressor, which has been the narrative for decades.

Ezra Benjamin: For decades.

Jonathan Bernis: But it's intensified again.

Ezra Benjamin: Not only demanding a cease fire but condemning Israel for the action that's been taken already. And, Jonathan, I'm remembering on the evening of October 7th, you know, we woke here in the us, and it was actually supposed to be one of the most joyous days on the Jewish calendar, it is by tradition.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, explain that.

Ezra Benjamin: What I mean is, it's the end, the last, we can say the last and greatest day of the feast to use New Testament language. But it's the end of this eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles called Sukkot. And this last and greatest day is also known in the Jewish community as Simchat Torah or the joy of the Word of God. And so, not only in Israel, but in Jewish communities around the world, this is to be at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles truly a day of rejoicing before the Lord, a day of picnics, a day of dancing, celebration, reading the Bible, rolling the scroll back from the end of Deuteronomy.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, for those that are familiar with the portion of the week, this is the rolling back of the scrolls to the beginning of Genesis again and starting it over.

Ezra Benjamin: And this was what was supposed to happen on October 7, which not only was Simchat Torah, the joy of the Word of God, and not only the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles, but it was also a Saturday, a shabbat on the Jewish calendar which is a day of rest. And so, on a day of joy and rest we woke up here in the United States to news, my wife is from Israel. So, we woke up, Jonathan, to texts and voice notes from my wife's mother saying, "We're locked in our house," they live in the south in the Negev closer to the Gaza border, "And the government has told us don't open your windows. Don't answer the door. People may be trying to kill you". And we were shocked.

Jonathan Bernis: Same here. Absolutely shocked.

Ezra Benjamin: And that evening, U.S. time, the international spokesperson for the Israel defense force, the IDF, posted something that would be seen by the entire world, and he said, "In the weeks and months that are to come, this is gonna get more complicated and more confusing, but I want you to remember why it started". Which profound in hindsight what he's saying.

Jonathan Bernis: Let me use October 7th, which was just a horrific day, actually, the worst atrocities since the holocaust.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The greatest loss of Jewish life maybe in any single day outside of the labor camps, the death camps. There's something called "moral equivalency" and that is that you have two warring factions. You have Israel and the Palestinians, the Israelis and the Palestinians and they're both fighting for their cause, and Israel is the Goliath with all the weaponry. But it's kind of this equal, this battle of equivalence where Israel is striking, and Hamas is, or Hamas or the Palestinians are striking, and there's this moral equivalence.

Ezra Benjamin: Quid pro quo.

Jonathan Bernis: Quid pro quo. But that's not actually the case. Explain that...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: About October 7th.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Here's the thing. And what we need to understand, if you're watching the news only you may not understand this, by its definition, the Israel defense force, the key word there is defense. The IDF exists not to be an aggressor in the region, but to defend the borders and the people of Israel, the Jewish state, reborn in 1948 against those who would seek to destroy her. So, their purpose is to defend. Hamas' purpose, and it's interesting. Hamas in Hebrew means violence, believe it or not, but in Arabic it doesn't mean that. Hamas in Arabic means the resistance. Well, what are they resisting? It's that same narrative you just talked about. This idea that Israel is an aggressor in the region. And so, Hamas' charter document, if you don't believe us, look it up. You're gonna find it in black and white in the words of the charter document is the annihilation of the Jewish state and the extermination of Jewish people in that land and in the surrounding region.

Jonathan Bernis: And they've never retracted it.

Ezra Benjamin: They haven't.

Jonathan Bernis: It's never been retracted.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. So, you have one group who's existing to defend its own national borders and its people. And, by the way, you may not know, there's millions of Israelis who are not Jewish men and women, they're arab, and the state of Israel defends those people as well. And then, you have this Islamic Jihadist terrorist regime, more on what that means in a moment, whose very purpose by its nature is to exterminate the Jewish people. It is not equivalent.

Jonathan Bernis: So, Ezra, the point I want people to understand is October 7th was not a military attack. It wasn't an attack against the Israeli military. It was attack against civilians, an attack against women, children, grandparents. Just atrocities.

Ezra Benjamin: People who were not even Israeli citizens living and working in the land of Israel were cut down. They were murdered alongside the Jewish.

Jonathan Bernis: It was just a mass murder effort.

Ezra Benjamin: And so, the question then in the media is, "Well, if it's quid pro quo, right, well, then Hamas had this right to attack innocent civilians because Israel's been attacking the Palestinians, been attacking the Arab people". But that's another clarification we need to make because you're not, probably, gonna find it in the news. This is not a battle, Jonathan, between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people, or the Arab states, or Arab peoples as a whole. This is a specific war that, really, Hamas declared but then Israel made it official on the evening of October 7th, when Netanyahu said, "This is war between a state trying to defend its own people, Jewish and arab, within it's borders and an Islamic Jihadist terrorist regime".

Jonathan Bernis: This is a hugely important point. This is not Israelis against Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: Correct.

Jonathan Bernis: This was a terrorist attack...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Just horrific terrorist attack against men, women, and children, indiscriminate attack to destroy life.

Ezra Benjamin: Correct.

Jonathan Bernis: And Israel is not against the Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: Correct.

Jonathan Bernis: They're trying to eradicate a terrorist organization that puts every citizen of Israel and visitor in jeopardy.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. That's right. And what do we mean by Islamic Jihadist terrorist regime? Jihad is holy war in Islamic thought. And the idea is that you conquer anyone who's resistant to Islam by forcing them to convert to become muslim or eliminating them. That's jihad. That's holy war. And so, this group called Hamas, the resistance that, by the way, does not represent the Arab or all Palestinian people. They are a very specific group within it. And, in fact, some of the Palestinian authority community members despise Hamas. If they were in the same place, they'd kill him.

Jonathan Bernis: And we have to acknowledge that sadly, many, many innocent Palestinians have died.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: In this war and it's horrific.

Ezra Benjamin: And we're gonna talk about that more in...

Jonathan Bernis: But there's a reason that that's happening.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: And it's not Israel's fault.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. We'll unpack that in a few seconds. But Hamas is using its own people as human shields.

Jonathan Bernis: We need to take a short break, but we want to show you how we're helping on the ground in Israel and how you can partner with us. Watch now.

Jonathan Bernis: Before we go any further, I wanna say thank you on behalf of all of these Israeli ministries and everyone at Jewish Voice for your partnership. We couldn't give this kind of help without your support, so we're grateful for your partnership. Ezra, I wanna go back to this moral equivalency issue.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: That the media is painting this picture of Israel, the Goliath, butchering thousands of innocent Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And it's sad that so many are dying, but there's a reason for it. I wanna dig into that.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, and here is the false narrative, the carrot that's being dangled, right now, to try to pull people away from any kind of support for Israel is to say, "If you stand with the Jewish state, if you stand with Israel then you are condoning the murder of thousands, tens of thousands of innocence Gazans," right, this is the narrative out there. It's this false choice. But we have to go back and remember why it started, like the IDF spokesman said, right, on October 7th, like, hours after this whole thing.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the UN narrative also.

Ezra Benjamin: Totally.

Jonathan Bernis: Constantly sanctioning Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. But here is the thing, I would say and we wanna, we wanna argue and appeal to you that it is possible to defend Israel's right to defend herself, condemn Jihadist terrorist violence by Hamas, and, also, grieve the loss of innocent life that's happening on both sides of the border, especially in the Gaza strip in these last few months.

Jonathan Bernis: It is grievous, but why are so many Palestinians dying? And the answer is that Hamas is putting these innocent people front and center as shields.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. And they've done it before in other military escalation with Israel, and they're doing it now, and they'll continue to do it. Because remember, the ultimate goal in the Hamas world view, in the Hamas charter is by any means necessary exterminate the Jewish people in that region, destroy the Jewish state, we've heard the language, drive them into the sea for the sake of the glory of Allah. So, by any means necessary. If we have to use innocent people in our area to do so, well, we're going after what we would say is the greater good.

Jonathan Bernis: So shocking. They're willing to sacrifice their own people for this, for this hatred. And this ultimate goal of pushing the Jewish people into the Mediterranean sea.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. And, again, that's why the idea of moral equivalency needs to go in the trash bin right now because there's not a fair fight happening here. Israel's trying to defend itself. Hamas is hiding behind innocent civilians to protect itself.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, why do you think the media is so slanted and the UN is so, is so biased against Israel?

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. You know, each member of the UN might have their own reason. They're representing the political views of their nation. They might be representing a religious world view. But I think ultimately, Jonathan, something that we need to remember here, and I wanna challenge you listening at home to remember is that beneath what we're seeing in the natural is actually a spiritual battle. And you may be listening going, "Okay, don't over spiritualize". But let me remind us of something. Genesis 17:8, God says to Abraham, "I will give this land to you and your descendants as an everlasting possession". You don't believe me? Check it out. It's in there. Everlasting, the last time I check in the dictionary, means everlasting. So, right away, God's made a promise that this land is going to be given and then restored despite our unfaithfulness in being scattered as a people, right? God would restore the land to us, and he'd restore us to the land. And he promised that Yeshua would come back when Israel cries out from Jerusalem, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". So, the enemy, who hates the plans and purposes of God necessarily hates two things. He hates the Jewish people and wants them exterminated, and he hates that God is a promise keeper who brought the Jewish people back to the land. So, in its very nature, Jonathan, we have a spiritual battle going on.

Jonathan Bernis: There's no question. Ephesians 6, "We're not wrestling against flesh and blood but principalities and powers, spiritual hierarchies," that are actually influencing the lives of not just people but nations.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: People groups.

Ezra Benjamin: That's exactly what's going on. And groups or terrorist regimes like Hamas and they're not the only ones, by the way. Hezbollah, we haven't even spoken about yet, but enter Hezbollah right on the northern border between...

Jonathan Bernis: We'll have to sort that out in the next program.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Right. But interestingly, did you know what Hezbollah means in arabic? It means, "The people of Allah". So, remember Hamas, the resistance against the Jewish occupiers, and Hezbollah, the people of Allah. How can we deny that this is in fact a spiritual religiously motivated...

Jonathan Bernis: I found it very telltale that the leaders of Hamas not only said that, "We want to destroy Israel," but encouraged the world to attack the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. Exactly. And the days after October 7th, we couldn't believe what had happened in Israel, but then leaders in Iran who funded a lot of this, and leaders in turkey, leaders in Lebanon and Syria came together and said, "Now is the time, brothers", what they called in arabic, to flood Jerusalem. Well, what's going on there? It's this idea that Jerusalem, the most hotly contested few acres of land on the face of the earth needs to be taken for Allah. And we say, "No, no, no, it's not a religious, it's not a spiritual battle". Come on, look at the fact.

Jonathan Bernis: This is spiritual, and it answers the question of what you can do to make a difference. You can pray and you can proclaim. You can pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which goes beyond just praying for a cessation of war but praying for God's plan to be fulfilled. And that means transform lives with Jew and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian, and members of Hamas. They can be transformed by the power of living God. And you can change their life through prayer and proclamation of the good news.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, our viewers may be listening to all of this saying, "I really feel lost in the details. I feel lost in the rhetoric and propaganda. I'm very confused by what I see on the news".

Jonathan Bernis: Very understandable.

Ezra Benjamin: "It's no longer politically correct for me to have my, 'i stand with Israel,' sticker on my car. Should I take it off? What do," what would you recommend that our Christian viewers do? How you stand with Israel right now when she needs that help and that support most of all in practical or spiritual ways?

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. Well, I'm not gonna advocate that you put bumper stickers everywhere that boldly proclaim you're a supporter of Israel. That might not be wisest thing. But we're called to do, all of us who are lovers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is to, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". That word shalom is translated, "Peace," but it's much deeper than that. It's to bring to ultimate conclusion. It's about wellbeing. It's about completion. And so, the idea of praying for the peace of Jerusalem is to storm the heavenlies, these watchmen on the walls to bring about God's intended plan and purpose for the land and people of Israel. And we're committed to Jew and Arab alike here at Jewish Voice. We support Arab ministries. We support Palestinian ministries because we know that, ultimately, God's peace plan...

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Is through a changed heart. And that change of heart comes with the Messiah of Israel who's knocking at the doors of our heart.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Jew and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian, alike. And through your prayer and you're sharing your faith with people around you, certainly, Palestinians as well as Jews their lives will be transformed. That's God's peace plan.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. You know, Jonathan...

Jonathan Bernis: That's it.

Ezra Benjamin: In what's really become a very dark and a confusing season, we're receiving testimonies from our partners in Israel. You know, we have believing partners in the Gaza strip and the Palestinian territories, Arab-Israelis, who love the Jewish people and who love the Lord, that we're hearing two things on the Jewish side of the equation that there is gospel opportunities right now and spiritual breakthrough more than has been seen in 40 years and we're hearing testimony after testimony of Palestinians, Arabs, muslim men and women encountering Jesus in the night in dreams and waking up basically saying, "What must I do to get saved".

Jonathan Bernis: And I'll tell you why it's happening. Because of prayer. Because God's people are praying...

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: In places like, South Korea and China. They're storming the gates of heaven. And I think that is to be picked up here in the west. We've gotta get back into prayer and intercession again and we need to take this very seriously because the time is short. We want you to hear about an opportunity to partner with Jewish Voice and share the gospel with Jewish communities in Israel as well as around the world. So, stay tuned because Ezra and I will be back in a moment to pray for you and your family, as well as offer the gift of eternal life.

Jonathan Bernis: We devote time in every program to pray for your needs, the needs of your family because prayer changes things. It really does. And we wanna agree with those that are watching. And, Ezra, there's probably some people watching maybe channel surfing...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That haven't come into this relationship with the living God.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: You can today.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, Ezra, I'm just gonna turn it over to you to minister to the people watching.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. Well, let's pray together. "Lord, we thank you that you are the ultimate promise keeper. Lord, we thank you that everything you've said will come to pass. We stand upon your faithfulness. We stand up on your promises. We thank you that you're the watchman over Israel and over the Jewish people, Lord. And that you would watch and keep all those who call upon your name. And, Lord, we pray for those, right now, who are watching who stumbled onto this program, who don't have that relationship with you. We thank you, Lord, that your word says, and you've promised that, 'if we believe and if we confess with our mouths that you, Jesus, Yeshua, are Lord and we believe in our hearts that God raised you from the dead, we shall be saved'. And, Lord, we thank you that for those watching who don't know you that today, even right now in this moment, would be the day and the moment of salvation. Thank you, Lord, for breakthrough. We thank you for forgiveness of sins. We thank you for new life in you to all would just take that step of faith and call upon your name. Salvation, salvation in Yeshua's name". Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: And if you did pray, I want you to tell someone. It'll make a difference. This is a new beginning. You can become a new creation by just moving forward in whatever God's doing in your heart. And if you'd like more information about our ministry you can log onto our website. It's Jewish Voice, one word, .Tv., and you can find many helpful resources there. And if you have prayer needs, you can send your prayer request to us right on the website. I want you to know that we care about you and more importantly, God cares about you. And we will commit to pray for your needs. As we close our program today I wanna remind you, as we've talked about in the program today, to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". God has a plan for the people and the land of Israel, and that God will bless you as you pray. I wanna thank, Ezra, again for joining me today. And until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis saying shalom and God bless you.
Are you Human?:*