UPDATED MONDAY MORNING: The Supreme Leader of Iran has spoken. It’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a “landslide.” This means a major, cataclysmic war is the most likely outcome of the Iranian “elections.” And the battle lines are clear. It’s Netanyahu vs. Ahmadinejad — Bibi vs. Mahmoud — and the big question is: Who will strike first?
This weekend’s events in Iran tell us a lot.
First, the results prove that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei firmly, completely and whole-heartedly supports Ahmadinejad’s End Times beliefs. Khamenei also fully supports Ahmadinejad’s commitment to build nuclear weapons and long-range, high-speed ballistic missiles. What’s more, the Supreme Leader supports Ahmadinejad’s public commitment to destroy Israel and the U.S. to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. There is no daylight between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad on this Radical “eschatology,” or End Times theology, as some analysts and commentators have suggested. These two men are who I have said all along they are – members of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult. They are kindred spirits. They are two peas in a pod. They are absolutely committed to their cause. They believe the wind is at their backs, that Allah is on their side, and they believe they will soon see complete victory. That’s what makes them so dangerous.
Second, the results prove that the people of Iran never had a real choice. This wasn’t a real election. It was totally and completely rigged by a Radical Muslim mafia, a police state without justice or compassion for those enslaved. The aftermath became, as one Iranian noted over the weekend, a Tehran Tiananmen. Protesters and dissidents were beaten, arrested and tortured. Text messaging was turned off. Facebook was shut down. The internet was down or slowed for vast stretches. All this prevents ordinary citizens from mobilizing their opposition to the government. That said, however, the massive turnout at the polls – and the street demonstrations and violence in Iran over the weekend — showed that even though Iranians didn’t have real Reformer candidates to choose from, the vast Iranians are deeply disgusted with the current regime. They long for true freedom and true democracy. They desperately wanted the elections to be real. They are ABA — anybody but Ahmadinejad. They don’t buy into the regime’s End Times theology. They desperately want someone to liberate them. I feel for them. I want them to be free. Now more than ever. [MOST BIZARRE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Iran’s supreme leader orders probe of vote fraud]
Third, the results prove that the Obama administration’s belief that you can sit down and have a rational discussion with such Radicals — or trust an agreement even if one could be negotiated with them – is absolutely nonsensical. How could we possibly trust the Iranian leadership to keep a promise to stop building nuclear weapons (if such a promise were made), when they steal elections and beat and torture dissidents in front of the whole world? The Obama administration should treat Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as pariahs now. The White House should praise the young people of Iran, the pro-democracy forces in Iran, the forces of freedom in Iran. And the President should condemn the Iranian government has totalitarian theocratic thugs, not offer to engage them. Not offer them concessions. Not reward such evil behavior. Why has the President been silent? Vice President Biden on Meet the Press yesterday at least challenged the legitimacy of the elections. That’s something. But why didn’t he say the weekend’s events in Iran just prove the leadership in Tehran are part of the axis of evil?
Fourth, as for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, he is right: Iran is the real threat to the region and the world, not Israel’s refusal to make more land for missiles concessions to the Palestinian leadership. Bibi’s assessment of the current Iranian regime is spot on, while the White House’s assessment has been exactly wrong. The real, existential threat to peace in the epicenter is Iran’s death cult leadership and their feverish pursuit of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu was right to smoke out the real intentions of the Palestinian leadership and the Muslim leadership as a whole in the region. By agreeing that there could be a Palestinian state and then defining one that would truly be peaceful, Netanyahu shrewdly shifted the terms of the debate. He provoked a firestorm of criticism from the Arab and Muslim world, who are denouncing the speech in the harshest of terms. Which makes things crystal clear: Israel’s enemies don’t really want peace with Israel at this time. They don’t really want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Thus they don’t really believe in “two states for two peoples.” What’s more, they don’t believe the putative Palestinian state should be demilitarized. Thus, they believe in a Palestinian state that would threaten the very existence of Israel. Why should Israel say “yes” to that? Israel gave land for peace in 2000 — withdrawing from southern Lebanon. What did it get? More than 4,000 rockets and missiles from the Iran-backed Hezbollah. Israel gave land for peace in 2005 — withdrawing from all of Gaza. What did it get? More than 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars from the Iran-backed Hamas. Israel even offered in 2000 to divide Jerusalem and give the Palestinians about 93% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. What did Israel get in exchange? Arafat’s utter rejection of the offer and a wave of suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks. Upon what basis, then, would Israel be able to trust another land for peace deal in the near future?
Fifth, we need to pray for peace, but prepare for war. Our Joshua Fund board met over the weekend for several days of strategic prayer and planning meetings. At this point, we see our mandate clearly: Do everything we can to educate, awaken and mobilize the followers of Jesus Christ to pray for peace, and do everything we can prepare for war in case the Lord allows a cataclysmic battle ensue between Israel and Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. We are working on building the organizational and financial infrastructure to eventually provide $100 million worth of food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to Israel, and another $20 million to Israel’s immediate neighbors. This will take time and much effort. It’s not clear how quickly we can achieve this goal, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. We’ve expanded our budget this year (In 2006, TJF’s budget was $160,000. This year, it is about $5.7 million.) We’ve increased the size of our staff (from 1 in 2006 to 4 full time employees today). We are actively recruiting several new staff positions. We’re working with our financial services provider to expand their capacity for receiving and processing donations. We’re working to improve our communications to our donors so we can do a still-better job at briefing them on the projects we’re doing and how we’re investing the resources they’ve entrusted to us. We’re recruiting more prayer partners. We’re building more government and civilian allies in Israel and the region. We’re working to build more allies among evangelical pastors and ministry leaders in North America and beyond. We’re also taking up to 300 evangelical leaders and lay people to Israel in November for a “prayer & vision trip.” And, as the Lord gives us grace, strength and resources, we will do more to help followers of Christ “learn, pray, give and go.” This is a critical moment. The threat is real. The time is short. We would be grateful for your continued prayers and support in the weeks and months ahead. God bless you.
We are living in a critical time in Israel’s history.