Anti-Israel protesters in London Palestinians in London protest Israel's defensive airstrikes in response to Palestinian rocket fire initiated last week from Gaza. Operation Protective Edge, July 2014

Israel’s defense of itself from Palestinian attacks has sparked anti-Israel protests around the world. Protesters in London, Berlin, Paris, Australia, India, and elsewhere have taken to the streets in objection to Israel’s attempts to stop Gazan rocket assaults on Israel. The Israel-Gaza protests go beyond this current confrontation as many believe Israel has no right to the Gaza land and say Palestinians have been displaced for decades, though surrounding Arab nations have refused since 1948 to assimilate them into their own vast lands.

Hundreds trapped in Jewish synagogue

In Paris, what started out as a peaceful march turned violent when, according to The Times of Israel, protesters hurled “projectiles” into a stand of police officers who were then obliged to respond with tear gas. During the violence, hundreds of Jewish People in a nearby synagogue were trapped, fearing for their lives if they left its shelter. Rioters threw stones and bricks at the building. Those inside were able to leave safely around 9:00 p.m. although two of them along with six police officers were slightly injured. Another synagogue was also attacked.

French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls spoke harshly against the “attempted synagogue stormings.”  He said, “Such acts targeting places of worship are unacceptable.”

“I am profoundly shocked and revolted,” said Joel Mergei, president of the Israelite Central Consistory of France. “This aggression towards the Jewish community has taken an absolutely unacceptable turn.”

In Berlin , a demonstration of mostly Palestinians dissolved into violence with rock throwing and an attempt to forcefully enter a location where tens of thousands of soccer fans have been gathering to watch the World Cup in recent weeks.

Demonstrating a lie

A demonstration in Frankfurt also turned violent and police allowed a protester to use their megaphone because he had offered to calm the situation. He lied. Instead, he shouted anti-Israel slogans, praised Allah, and most probably further charged the crowd. (See yesterday's post for the Islamic concept of taqiyya.)

One pro-Israel demonstration was noted to have taken place in Berlin under a banner reading “Fight Terror, Support Israel.”

Sydney, Indonesia, and Hong Kong are other sites where protests against Israel have taken place. The common theme seems to center around Israel’s power and the Palestinian death toll compared to Israel’s. Claims of disproportionate response and civilian deaths are stirring up support for Gaza and anti-Israel sentiments.

Israel is responding

It’s true. Israel has more power than Hamas. And while Hamas and other terrorist organizations are extremely dangerous, well-organized, well-armed, and have infiltrated nearly every country on earth, Israel is a nation, with a government, an army, and sophisticated military power. While Islamist terror organizations and Jihadists ceaselessly assault Israel, year after year, Israel is much better equipped to fight a war. Their responses to attacks are going to be powerful. The defense of a nation must be so.

When people don’t understand who initiated a fight, it is easy to hate the more powerful. The world forgets that Israel is responding not initiating. When civilians on the Palestinian side are injured or lose their lives in greater numbers than on the Israeli side, the world forgets that Palestinian militants are deliberately putting their own civilians in harm’s way and then blaming Israel for the casualties. Israel is defending her people. The Palestinians are sacrificing theirs.

A call to prayerPray for Israel

Let this be a call to prayer for Israel and Gaza alike. And for the world that forgets who has been the victim for decades in this Middle East conflict. God has promised that He will bless those that bless Israel, and curse those that curse her (Genesis 12:3). Supporting or not supporting Israel is serious business to God. Please join us in praying for true peace in the Middle East, and for righteousness to prevail in the land and in the hearts of all involved.

And now Syria?

In other Operation Protective Edge news, the Israel Defense Force reported that at 11:15 p.m. Sunday evening (1:15 p.m. PDT and 4:15 p.m. EST) “a rocket fired from Syria hit Israel, likely intentionally. The IDF responded with artillery toward Syrian military posts. Hits were confirmed.”

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