(Jerusalem, Israel) — I have accepted an invitation to address the Jerusalem Leaders Summit, and am very much looking forward to it. The Summit takes place today and tomorrow here in the Israeli capital.
You can learn more about it — and watch via live-stream — by clicking here.
The event is drawing government, business and religious leaders from Israel, Europe and the United States to discuss some of the most pressing economic, political and security issues in the region.
Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom
Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post
Brigadier General (Res.) Yossi Kupperwasser, former Chief of the Research Division in IDF Military Intelligence and former Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs
Members of the European Parliament
Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
And numerous others.
On Wednesday, I have been asked to participate in a panel on regional security issues, as well as address a private dinner.
If you’re interested in tracking the conference as it unfolds, I will be live Tweeting. Later this week, I hope to post more on this blog about what I see and hear at the conference, as well as a summary of my remarks.
Some of The Joshua Fund tour group on the Golan Heights, visiting the Syrian-Israeli border.
(Jerusalem, Israel) — It’s been a very challenging Fall here. We’re experiencing a wave of terrorism that’s been encouraged and incited by Palestinian leaders. It’s making big headlines and raising concerns that a “Third Intifada” may be erupting.
Since then, at least 153 Israelis have been wounded, and 11 Israelis have been killed.
Yet, remarkably, Evangelical Christians from all over the world are continuing to come to tour the country and bless Israel, and for this I am deeply grateful.
Nearly 200 Evangelicals just spent nearly two weeks here in the Land with The Joshua Fund on our “Prayer & Vision Tour,” and we only had a handful of cancellations, despite the violence. [Please scroll through our “Epicenter Team” page on Facebookor through my Twitter account over the past two weeks to see lots of pictures from our tour.]
Nearly 150 Evangelicals are here right now with Tony Perkins and Gen. Jerry Boykin on the Family Research Council’s first-ever tour of Israel. Indeed, I’ve had the joy of spending the last several days touring with them, addressing these folks on the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount and on the Mount of Olives, and answering their many questions.
Today and tomorrow, Tony and I will join Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) and a group of high-ranking Israeli and European government and business leaders for the Jerusalem Leaders Summit.
It’s been enormously encouraging to the Israeli people, the tourism industry, and government leaders to see Christians continuing to come to show our love and solidarity. As the world increasingly turns against Israel at the U.N. and in other international forums, Israelis often feel very much alone. But the steadfast love of Bible-believing Christians is very moving and unexpected here. Especially now.
Thank you — all of you — for your faithful prayers for restored calm and security. Please keep praying.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Pray for the Lord to comfort and heal all those who have been wounded.
Pray for what the Bible calls “peace that passes all comprehension” for the families and friends of those who have been killed.
Pray for the Lord to comfort and heal the deep emotional wounds of Palestinian families whose loved ones have turned into terrorists have been captured or killed as they have attacked Israeli citizens.
Pray for security forces to have favor and success in stopping terror attacks and restoring the rule of law. The good news is that Israeli security forces have learned over the years how to stop terrorist suicide bombing attacks. They have also created the Iron Dome system to neutralize the impact of rocket attacks by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza. The bad news is that the terrorists have resorted to using kitchen knives, meat cleavers, broken bottles and cars to attack Israeli civilians, police officers and border guards.
Pray that the Lord restrains those who want to do evil, thwarts their plots, and brings them to justice — and that the Lord would dramatically change the hearts of Palestinian leaders who are inciting young people to attack and kill Jews.
Pray for wisdom for Israeli leaders to know exactly how to handle the situation, while also showing compassion towards Israeli Arabs who are citizens of the Jewish State, and compassion on Palestinian Arabs who are not terrorists and are suffering even further because of the actions of evil doers.
Pray that the Lord would knit together the hearts of Jewish and Arab followers of Jesus Christ, that we would not let the current violence and tensions divide us, but rather unite us in love, in prayer for the nation and region, and in humble service towards one another.
Pray above all that the Holy Spirit would dramatically and supernaturally open the eyes of the lost and the spiritually blind to the truth that Jesus is the Christ foretold in the ancient Biblical prophecies and that only by faith in His death and resurrection can any of us have true divine forgiveness of our sins, peace with God, and hope in this increasingly dark world.
In the days ahead, I hope to share with you more about the Joshua Fund tour. It was a very special time of Bible teaching, prayer, worship, caring for the poor, meeting with Jewish and Arab pastors and ministry leaders, and seeing amazing Biblical sites.
In the days ahead, I also plan to share with you more about the roots of the current violence, about the rumors sweeping through the Palestinian community that Israel is about to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the Third Temple, and the pattern of incitement to violence that we are seeing among far too many Palestinian political and religious leaders.
But for now, I just want to reiterate my heartfelt thanks to all the Christians who are continuing to come to Israel to show the Lord Jesus’ love for Jews and Arabs, thank Christians around the world who are praying for us here, and to ask you all to keep praying. That’s the most important thing you can do, and Lord knows we need your prayers as much as we ever did. It’s not just a physical war underway in this region, it’s a white-hot spiritual war, as well. So thank you, and God bless you.
The New York Times best-selling novel is now out in paperback.
When I first began the research for The Third Target in 2013, I had never heard of the Islamic State. It’s still hard to process how many people ISIS has killed and what a huge global story they have become since then.
I knew I wanted to write a story about the threat Radical Islam poses not only to the U.S., Israel and the West but also to our moderate Arab/Muslim allies in the Middle East, and to Arab Christians in the region. I knew I wanted my main character to be a New York Times foreign correspondent who sees a grave new threat coming up over the horizon. I also knew I wanted to write about a serious and believable enemy. I just didn’t know which one it should be.
To determine that, as I began to sketch out my outline in early, 2013 I posed several questions:
What if Radical Islamic extremists were able to seize control of a cache of chemical weapons in Syria that were overlooked or not reported to the U.N. disarmament teams?
Which terrorist group would be in a position to do that?
What would they do with such weapons of mass destruction once they grabbed hold of them?
Who might they use such weapons against?
And how might the powers in the region and the international community respond?
As part of the research process I undertook for this novel, I had the opportunity to sit down with two former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency; the current Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister of Jordan; a former head of the Mossad in Israel; and other political, military and intelligence officials and Mideast experts.
One by one, they pointed me to the real and rising threat posed by a group once known as “Al Qaeda In Iraq” (AQI), that was morphing into “ISIS,” and has more recently become known as the “Islamic State” (IS).
This is why I made ISIS — and their apocalyptic, genocidal ambitions — the central focus on the novel.
As the novel has now released in North America in paperback, I want to say a special word of thanks to everyone who made time for me and shared with me their perspective as I did research for this book. Not everyone I met and spoke with will agree with what I have written in The Third Target. Nevertheless, I am enormously grateful for their insights, wisdom and kindness, and I hope the book is far more interesting for what I learned from them.
Among those to whom I would like to express my deep gratitude:
His Excellency Abdullah Ensour, Jordan’s Prime Minister
His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, senior advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah II
H.E. Nasser Judeh, Jordan’s Foreign Minister
H.E. Hussein Hazza’ Al-Majali, Jordan’s Interior Minister
H.E. Nidal Qatamin, Jordan’s Minister of Labor & Tourism
H.E. Alia Bouran, Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S.
James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Porter Goss, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Danny Yatom, former director of the Mossad
Hon. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Yechiel Horev, former Israeli director of security of the Defense Establishment
Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
I’m also deeply grateful for the aides, advisors and colleagues of those mentioned above who were so generous with their time and insights. There are others who were enormously helpful that I am not able to mention publicly. To them, as well, I say thank you.