WEEK OF APRIL 2 THROUGH MAY 2
Netanyahu issues further orders to stave off spread of swine flu
April 30….(Jerusalem Post) After holding a discussion with senior government officials in Jerusalem on Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued further orders to stave off the spread of swine flu in Israel. Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i and other senior officials also took part in the deliberations, and after the discussion Netanyahu decided that at this stage, the Health Ministry will continue to be responsible for the issue. Also, all persons entering Israel will be asked to declare whether they were in Mexico in the past week. Those responding in the affirmative will be examined on the spot. The Health Ministry was instructed to dispatch doctors to border crossings and entry points into Israel, especially Ben-Gurion International Airport. The Health Ministry will continue to monitor examinees who were in Mexico in the past week; they will be requested to remain at home. The Health Ministry will increase medicine stocks for the disease without budgetary limitation. The vaccine-to-population ratio is to be much higher than both the global average and the World Health Organization recommendations so that Israel will become one of the five leading countries in the world vis-a-vis medicine-to-population ratio. Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to stop the departure of Israeli delegations to Mexico. Travel warnings calling upon Israelis to refrain from visiting Mexico at this time will be issued. The Foreign Ministry will also contact Mexican authorities and ask them not to send delegations and tourists to Israel. Relevant officials were instructed to be in continuous contact with the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt in order to ensure cooperation cooperation on the issue. The prime minister will chair a daily meeting to monitor the containment of the disease; all relevant officials will be asked to monitor developments, be updated and prepare themselves for any additional measures as deemed necessary. The Health Ministry will also begin an information campaign to instruct the public on how to reduce the chances of becoming infected with the disease and to prevent its spread. On Thursday a 75-year-old woman was hospitalized in Laniado Hospital in Netanya after she become suspicious that she may have been contaminated with the virus. She has recently returned from a trip to Mexico.
Israel wary of Turkish-Syrian joint military exercise
(Ankara also boosting trade with Iran)
April 29….(ICEJ) Faced with news that Turkey and Syria have been holding a rare joint military exercise along their common border, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday described it as "definitely a disturbing development,” but added he did not expect the drill to derail Jerusalem’s close ties with Ankara.Israel’s close military and economic alliance with Turkey came under tremendous strain during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in January, and the joint exercises between Turkish and Syrian military forces has renewed concerns in Jerusalem of a shift to the East by Turkey. Israeli analysts are assessing that the unusual military cooperation with Syria is being forced on the fiercely secular Turkish army by the ruling Islamic AKP party which currently runs Turkey’s government and wants the country to become friendlier with fellow Muslim regimes.According to Prof. Efraim Inbar of Bar-Ilan University, the move did not sit well with many Turkish generals. "The Turkish military is not happy about this. It does not like Syria, and views it as a problematic state," said Prof. Inbar , who addes that he is in contact with several Turkish officers.The Turkish Army is seen as the guardian of the secular nature of the state, and in the last few months over 200 people, including several senior army officers, have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government, something the Army has done in the past. Last week, four more officers were arrested, as tensions continue to mount. The joint exercise with Syrian forces is seen as an attempt by the government to get closer to Syria, and Prof. Inbar was inclined to think that it would not push the Army to intervene in the government just yet. But the drill raised eyebrows in Israel and at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, because as Prof Inbar explained; "Syria is an ally of Iran. Its army is armed by the Russians." In another sign of a Turkish shift towards the Muslim world, Turkey signed a protocol with Iran on Monday which outlines the means to boost trade between the two neighboring countries to $20 billion yearly within a five-year time period, Turkish media reported. The initiatives include preferential trade tariffs, an agreement to allow the free movement of goods, the merger of customs services and the establishment of a free trade zone. Currently, Turkish exports to Iran are valued at $1.87 billion, while Iranian exports to Turkey are estimated at $7.84 billion.The majority of Iranian exports are made up of natural gas, which Turkey imports to cover its energy needs. Turkey is considered a hub for transporting oil and gas supplies to Europe and the West from the area of southern Russia and Iran, and the latest deal may be connected to the huge competition over the routes of supply pipelines, which some experts say that struggle is so heated that it triggered last year’s Russia-Georgia war.
Venezuela establishes ties with ‘Palestine’
April 29….(ICEJ) Just months after breaking relations with Israel, Venezuela established formal diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority and opened an Embassy of Palestine in Caracas on Monday. Relations between the South American country and the PA have flourished as Venezuela's brash socialist president, Hugo Chavez, has sought to forge closer relations between Latin American countries and the Arab/Muslim world, and in particular with Iran. Venezuela-Israel ties, on the other hand, have beensevered since the radically leftist Chavez expelled Israeli diplomats in January to protest the IDF’s offensive against Hamas terror in Gaza. Israel later responded by kicking out Venezuelan envoys. Speaking during Monday's opening ceremony, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki praised Chavez as "the most popular leader in the Arab world," in part for his staunch support of Palestinians. "We also hope to open more Palestinian embassies all over the continent because for us it's a great priority... to focus on this continent due to the political importance it has," al-Malki went on to say.
Israel taking precautions for ‘swine flu’
April 28….(ICEJ) The outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City and the possibility of a flu pandemic is being taken very seriously by Israeli officials, who have put emergency procedures into effect and ordered hospitals and health services to be on alert. The Israeli embassy in Mexico City has cancelled a reception to mark Israeli Independence Day, and the health and foreign ministries have dispatched a team to Mexico City to monitor developments there. They have also advised Israelis traveling in Mexico to be careful about avoiding densely populated areas and maintaining high standards of personal hygiene, but as yet there has been no travel advisory issued for Mexico. Two Israelis have been quarantined with the suspected disease after returning separately from Mexico with complaints of flu-like symptoms. Health Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said that for now the Health Ministry was in charge of handling Israel’s response to the crisis but would hand off responsibility to the Defense Department if world health authorities declared an emergency. The Defense Ministry has procedures in place to distribute medicines and equipment to the public in the event of an epidemic or biological attack on the country. The Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona has an international reputation for being a leader in the field, and formulated defenses against a biological attack and other biological hazards during Saddam Hussein’s Scud missile strikes on Israel in the 1991 Gulf War.
Israel to mark 61st Independence Day
April 28….(ICEJ) Israel on Monday evening begins marking two days of observances that take the nation from a mood of solemnity to one of celebration, with the annual passage from Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers to its 61st Independence Day. The day preceding Yom Hatzmaut (Independence Day) is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives to win and defend the country's freedom. Yom Hazikaron ceremonies nationwide will honor fallen soldiers as well as terror victims dating back to 1860, currently totaling some 22,570 men and women. Over the past year, 133 members of the Israeli police and security forces have been killed in the service of the state. The last soldier to have died in the line of duty was Capt. Yehonatan Netanel, a deputy company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade, who was killed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in January. On Tuesday evening, the mood quickly shifts to one of jubilation as the nation marks 61 years since its modern founding in 1948. On the eve of Independence Day, Israel's population stands at 7,411,000, a rise of approximately 125,000 or 1.8% since last year at this time, according to data released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics. About 75.5 percent, or 5,593,000, of Israel's residents are Jews, while 1,498,000 are Arabs (20.2%), and 320,000 (4.3%) are designated “Others.”
Watch Out for Economic War
April 27….(Fox News Business) Fought with currencies, embargoes and hackers, economic warfare may lack the “shock and awe” of conventional battles but it could still pose a threat to the US, especially in these troubling economic times. Picture this hypothetical dreamed up by a national security expert obsessed with economic catastrophe: Angry that US policies aimed at boosting the economy have devalued their $2 trillion of currency reserves, the Chinese decide to stop buying Treasurys just as America tries to finance its massive spending plans. In response, the US imposes trade sanctions against China, which in turn pushes for a global currency. From there, the US accuses China of manipulating its own currency and things escalate further. Without a shot being fired, those actions represent a type of unfriendly economic competition that some are very worried about.
“I think it’s very likely the participants wouldn’t call it a war. Each side would say they are acting in their best interest. But this could lead to an unstable escalation,” said James Rickards, co-head of threat finance and market intelligence at consulting firm Omnis. The struggling US economy and scary financial crisis could make such an escalation more likely and more damaging. “On the one hand, you could say it would have less of an impact because we’re already in a more defensive posture due to the recession,” said Dan Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization. “On the other hand, we’re closer to the edge so we have fewer resources.” Rickards was more unequivocal, saying flatly, “It definitely raises the stakes which could play out in some financial warfare scenarios.” To be sure, despite the worries from some experts, there is little to indicate an all-out economic war is in the offing, especially given shows of solidarity like at the recent G-20 meeting in London. “They are all trying to go through this by working together and with coordinated fiscal stimulus. This is not something where there’s any talk of warfare, except potentially the Chinese situation,” said Ernest Preeg, a former American ambassador to Haiti and a former White House economic official.
A Dry Run for Economic Warfare
Still, the Pentagon is apparently concerned enough to hold its first ever war game focused on economic warfare, according to a person familiar with the event. “There was good news and bad news. The good news was the game worked successfully. The bad news is China won,” the person told FOX Business. The Pentagon is planning similar war games in the future, the person said, underscoring worries about US vulnerability during the current crisis. “Even though this was a Bush Administration initiative, I think it resonated kind of well with the Obama Administration because they are a little bit more forward thinking” in terms of linking the economy with geopolitics, the person said. The existence of the war game was first disclosed by Politico.
China: A Formidable Opponent
It’s not surprising China won the war game, as the country is thought to be the most worrisome potential opponent. In fact, Chinese officials wrote a book in 1999 called “Unrestricted Warfare,” focusing on non-traditional modes of conflict such as economic war. “If we’re doing our first war game in 2009 and they wrote the book 10 years ago, we’re a decade behind,” said Goure. Like many military engagements, an economic war might have murky beginnings. “I don’t think a country will wake up and say, 'I am declaring economic war on the United States.' I think it will be tit for tat and misreading of intentions. It just escalates,” said Rickards. Such an economic engagement can take various forms, including everything from currency dumping and cyber attacks on critical infrastructure to oil blockades and economic sanctions. The form that seems most likely, China dumping its holdings of US Treasury’s, is actually probably the most far-fetched. “In peacetime, that idea has very little plausibility because it will do much more damage to them than us,” said Goure, citing the loss of value of their investments. Instead, China, which held 24.07% of foreign-owned Treasury securities as of January, could decide to stop buying US debt, though the intentions behind such a move could be debated. “It’s hard to say if that’s economic warfare or just good business practice,” said Goure, half-joking. An economic war between the US and another adversary would hardly be the world’s first. Countries have resorted to such measures in the forms of trade embargoes, blockades and protectionism for centuries. To take one recent example, the US has considered economic sanctions to punish Iran for its nuclear programs. In response, Iran has said it could hold the world’s oil supply hostage by blocking the Persian Gulf’s export routes, a move that would likely damage the global economy. “In a globalized world, the ability of one country to impact the economy of another, and hence affect it strategically, has grown exponentially from what it was before,” said Goure.
Just Say no To Two State Solution
April 27….(YNET) With the American leadership intensifying its demand that
Israel accept the “two-state solution,” the slogan “just say no” used by former
first lady Nancy Reagan as part of the 1980s campaign against adolescent drug
abuse keeps popping into my head. Although perhaps overly simplistic, many argue
that her words went a long way in raising awareness to the problem. At this
time, our present leadership would do well to adopt the same slogan. Thus, the
next time the Americans demand that Israel accept the two-state solution, just
say “no.” Don't ignore their demands, don't try to evade answering them and
don't present conditions for eventually accepting their demands; rather, just
say “no.” Kindly explain to them that although we understand the difficulties
America is currently facing, as well as its need to appease various leaders in
our region as a prelude to dealing with its own problems, a two-state solution
is not in Israel’s best interest. Surely America, which like any sovereign state
worries first and foremost about what is in its best interest, can appreciate
another sovereign state doing the same. Kindly remind the Americans that after
removing our soldiers from Lebanon, missiles eventually fell in Haifa. Then,
just a few years later, after dismantling thriving Jewish communities in Gaza
and removing every last citizen, missiles eventually landed in Beersheva.
Moreover, please explain to them that it is nearly 100% certain that a
Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria will eventually bring missiles to Tel
Aviv and Jerusalem. Equally important, make it clear to them that this is a
prediction based upon Middle Eastern reality and not some sort of “scare tactic”
or “right-wing analysis.”
Pope to Visit Bethlehem Refugee Camp to Draw Attention to Refugee Issue
(Latin patriarch says al-Aida camp symbolizes right of return, holds message of peace and justice)
April 27….(Arutz) The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem said Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI, who is scheduled to visit Israel soon, will tour and preach at "the al-Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, which symbolizes the right of return for Palestinians to Israel proper, and holds a message of peace, brotherhood, and justice". Fouad Twal, who is considered the second most important Catholic figure says the preparations for the holy visit have nearly been completed, and called on members of the Christian faith to follow his holiness to Israel. The pope is scheduled to arrive on May 11 for a tour that includes Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem as well as the nearby refugee camp, al-Aida. According to prior agreements the stage hosting the pope at al-Aida was intended to be built in a schoolyard, but Ynet has discovered that the Palestinians violated these agreements by constructing it near the separation fence. A demolition warrant was subsequently issued by the Civil Administration, and the stage must be relocated. "The camp is a camp that symbolizes the refugees' suffering and their right of return," Twal said. "The fence will be seen from the location of the pope's seat, and in any case he will enter and exit the district of Bethlehem through the fence."
Taliban Executes Two Christians Who Reject Islam
(Believers were protesting demand they accept Islam)
April 27….(WND) Taliban Islamic radicals have attacked a community of Christians, executing two of them following a rally that protested Muslim graffiti in their neighborhood that ordered them to accept Islam or die, according to an international Christian organization. The attack in Pakistan follows only by days an expansion of the territory occupied by the Islamic Taliban members. The report from International Christian Concern said it happened in Taseer Town in Karachi. The organization, which reaches out to persecuted Christians around the world, said it was told by Asif Stephen, a Christian politician, that the Christians protesting the Islamic slogans say: "We were protesting peacefully and all of sudden, a few militants carrying the latest weapons rushed in. Some of the attackers entered homes and pillaged money and jewelry and abused the women and burned their properties. The elderly were injured and one child fell to the ground and died in my friend's arms." ICC said it got reports that Taliban militants went door to door, breaking into Christian homes and dragging the elderly and the women out into the street by their hair. "The Taliban leaders shouted, 'You infidels have to convert to Islam or die. Why did you wash up warnings inscribed on walls of church and home doors? How dare you to take out procession against Taliban?'" The terrorists used clubs, iron rods and whips in their attacks, and set homes on fire, ICC said. "When two Christians resisted, the militants killed them execution-style directly in front of their families. The identity of those killed has not yet been confirmed," ICC said. "The Pakistani government has created an opening for terrorists to attack Christians indiscriminately by acceding to their demands in the Swat Valley," said Jeremy Sewall, ICC's director for advocacy. "Formerly, Christians in the major cities of Pakistan experienced discrimination, but up till now they had not had to fear threats of forced conversion or execution on a wide scale. This attack is a harbinger of worse to come if the Pakistani government continues to cower in the face of Muslim radicals," he said. The Christians had been protesting because on Monday residents of Taseer Town in Karachi awakened to find pro-Taliban messages chalked onto the walls of two churches. The message included, "Long Live the Taliban," "Talibanization is our goal" and "Embrace Islam or Prepare to Die." The Christians staged a protest to try to attract the attention of local government officials, but they did not respond, leaving the door open to the physical attack and executions, AsiaNews reported. According to a report in the Christian Post, Taliban members also burned shops and churches, leaving dozens more injured. More than 100 masked Taliban intruded in Taseer Colony and attacked Christians with heavy machine guns," the report said. "The attackers said, 'You infidels have to convert to Islam or die. How you dare to take out procession against Taliban?" The report said the Pakistan Christian Congress already was seeking help from the United Nations in New York.
Israel’s Control of Mt. Zion in Danger
April 27….(IsraelNN.com) Ten-year-long negotiations between Israel and the Vatican appear to be drawing to a close, with concerns rising that Israel will cede control of the building housing King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem. The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission, a team of negotiators representing Israel and the Vatican, released an upbeat press release at the end of last week, speaking of "meaningful progress," "great cordiality," and a mutual commitment to reaching a final agreement "as soon as possible.” Tellingly, a plenary meeting has been announced for this Thursday, April 30, at the Foreign Ministry. The meeting will be chaired by the two states’ deputy foreign ministers, Danny Ayalon and Monsignor Pietro Parolin. It is widely believed that the agreement will be signed then.
Church Demands Parts of Mt. Zion
The two states have been negotiating a treaty since March 1999 on matters having to do with Church-owned or Church-claimed property in Israel. Among the most significant issue under negotiations is the Vatican’s demand for the Last Supper room, located on the second floor of the ancient Mt. Zion building that also houses the tombs of Kings David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. In addition, the Vatican is claiming areas around Lake Kinneret, as well as in Caesaria and Jerusalem. Hints and implications in the Vatican and Catholic press have long indicated that the negotiations are expected to end successfully, from the Catholic vantage point, in time for Pope Benedict’s visit to Israel two weeks from now. “This is a shame and a disgrace of unequalled proportions,” said Daisy J. Stern, M.D., who has been leading an information campaign on the topic. “Giving away these important areas has no Halakhic [Jewish legal] validity, of course, but signing it away will definitely make it very difficult to ever reclaim them.”
Mt. Zion - International Center for Catholics?
At present, since shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, the Diaspora Yeshiva has run the Mt. Zion compound, on which it is located, and warns of the catastrophic implications for Israel and the Jewish People if the deal goes through. The director of the yeshiva explained that if the Catholic Church receives control of the area, just a few hundred yards from the Temple Mount and adjacent to the Old City walls, it will turn it into "the international center for Catholics all around the world, and if the pope just gives the word, Christians will be flocking over here en masse." "This is an enormous issue that is being pushed through without any public debate whatsoever," he said.
Vatican Signs Agreement with Arab League
Dr. Stern notes that though there had been reports that an agreement might be signed last week, “nothing happened, except that while the Vatican representatives were talking with Israel, they signed an agreement with the Arab League. This is very worrisome. There are no details on the agreement with the Arab League, except that it aims to promote ‘peace, security and stability.’ Who knows what that really means? Are they dividing up the spoils of the future Vatican agreement with Israel, or perhaps they are preparing for the next Arab war with Israel? We don’t know.” “This new agreement with the Arab League renders the Vatican, most gravely, an interested party in the Israeli-Arab dispute,” said Prof. Hillel Weiss of Bar Ilan University, who has been closely following the issue. Of further concern is the fact that Israel is investing some 6 million shekels in improvements and renovations to various sites in preparation for the Papal visit. Work at the Last Supper room has been underway for some time.
Blueprint of an Agreement
A Foreign Ministry official confirmed in 2005 that a “blueprint of a possible agreement with the Vatican has been received.” The proposed contract, as Arutz-7 reported at the time, read as follows: "The State of Israel hands over to the Holy See the use of the Cenacle [the room of the event known as the Last Supper, above King David's tomb, ed.], of the access path to it, and of the spaces adjacent to it... It is the Holy See's intention to inform the Bishops, and through them the world's Priests, that the Catholic Church has been given the use of the Cenacle, inviting them to visit the Holy Place together with their faithful. The Holy See hands over this use of the Cenacle to the Custody of the Holy Land, which acts on behalf of the Holy See, which will keep the Cenacle open from 6 AM to 8 AM for the celebration of the Holy Mass. Official liturgical celebrations of non-Catholic Churches can take place only upon prior written permission by the Custody of the Holy Land." The proposed agreement also stipulated that the Holy See will preserve the historic character of the site and keep it open to pilgrims and tourists, and that Israel will provide for the safety of the site. The Foreign Ministry official said at the time that “Israel is not prepared to relinquish its jurisdiction over this area.” The world will find out later this week whether this position is still valid. Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein, who founded and still runs the Diaspora Yeshiva, officially known as Yeshiva Toras Yisrael, told Arutz-7 in the past that "according to their bible, the Land is to return to the Christians, and 144,000 Jews are to return to Mt. Zion. Their plan is for them to take control of the site, and then to announce that they are holding a mass reenactment of the Last Supper, with [all types of religious rituals], and to invite millions of Christians to come to Jerusalem and celebrate." Rabbi Goldstein said that this means much tourism money for Israel, and that someone in the Israeli government is apparently very interested in making this happen. The King David's Tomb complex, some 100,000 square feet, is "certainly one of the holiest spots in the Land of Israel," a yeshiva source said. "David, Solomon and others kings of Judea are said to be buried here. We've already given away the Temple Mount and the Machpelah Cave, except for here and there when we're allowed in; now they want to give Mt. Zion away as well? For thousands of years, this area was almost always totally closed off to Jews. G-d gave it back to us in 1948, but parts of it were still in range and sight of Jordanian snipers and were not in full use. After 1967, Rabbi Goldstein founded the Diaspora Yeshiva here, and it became an island of holiness, the first yeshiva for baalei teshuvah [newly religious] in Israel; we were there day and night learning Torah. Rabbi Goldstein was almost prophetic in establishing this yeshiva at that time at that spot; destiny from above intertwined him with Mt. Zion."
WEEK OF APRIL 19 THROUGH APRIL 25
Netanyahu to Offer US Three-part Plan for Peace Talks
April 23….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is developing a "laundry list" that he will present to US President Barack Obama when they meet next month in Washington. The Israeli premier will present Obama with a three-part plan involving halting Iran's nuclear program, closer relations with moderate Arab states and dealing with the Palestinian issue through several channels. Netanyahu will tell Obama that he will not recognize a nation-state providing Palestinian self-determination if the Palestinians don't recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. From the standpoint of the Israeli prime minister, the requirement that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a fundamental demand in any negotiations on a final settlement. It is not a precondition to conducting negotiations, but rather necessary to progress towards an agreement. During the course of negotiations to form his coalition government, Netanyahu revealed that the Olmert government demanded recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in its talks with the Palestinians, but withdrew that demand within just 24 hours because of opposition from the Palestinian negotiators. Netanyahu intends to stop the erosion of the fundamental Israeli positions, as was his position during his prior term as prime minister following the Oslo Accords. Why is Netanyahu insistent on Palestinian recognition of Israel as "the nation-state of the Jewish people," rejecting critics who see the demand as a means to scuttle negotiations? There are a few explanations for his position. First of all, Netanyahu wants to present an Israeli demand for recognition of national rights as a counterweight to the demand that Israel recognize "Palestinian rights." Second, he is concerned that if the Palestinians evade such recognition in political negotiations, they will also refrain from telling their constituency that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and will continue to pursue the conflict even after a settlement is reached. Third, recognition of a Jewish state will neutralize the Palestinian demand for the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees. The prime minister also has political considerations, however. To mobilize support from the Israeli public and from the US Congress for his positions in the face of possible pressure from Obama, Netanyahu needs to build a common denominator across party and factional lines. The principle of the "Jewish state" enjoys wide support among relevant sectors of the public, and it is much easier to mobilize support for this than a policy opposing withdrawal from territories and evacuation of settlements. Netanyahu is also seeking to come to an agreement with the United States defining "limitations on sovereignty" to be imposed on a future Palestinian entity. This includes prohibiting it from maintaining an army or forging military agreements or alliances, and Israel continuing to monitor its external borders, airspace and electromagnetic spectrum. The prime minister's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, unsuccessfully tried to secure such guarantees from the Bush administration, despite having proposed a withdrawal from almost all of the West Bank. Netanyahu accords great importance to security guarantees from the Americans, and thinks he will be more successful in securing them than Olmert had been. In deliberations Netanyahu is conducting to develop his peace plan, there will also be consideration of gestures which Israel will make to the Palestinians, as well as Israel's response to the demand to freeze construction in the settlements, vacate outposts and remove roadblocks. The prime minister intends to bring the issue of the settlements to a decision by the cabinet, and it is assumed he will only present his position right before his trip to the White House. Netanyahu believes the Iranian threat provides Israel with an unprecedented opportunity in that, for the first time since 1920, moderate Arab states share the same strategic assessment. In fact, Iran will be central to the plans Netanyahu will present to Obama. He will explain to the American president that the existence of Israel is the guarantor of the continued existence of the Jewish people following the Holocaust and that nuclear weapons cannot fall into the hands of those who deny the existence of the Jewish state. Netanyahu would prefer that the U.S. deal with the Iranian threat and, if Obama asks what Israel would be willing to give in return, the Israeli premier would show great interest in the subject.
Sec. Clinton Says Israel Risks Losing Support on Iran
April 23….(Reuters) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautioned Israel's right-wing government on Thursday that it risked losing Arab support for fighting any threats from Iran if it shuns Palestinian peace talks. Signaling US impatience with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reticence over peace talks, Clinton said Arab nations had made clear to her that Israel must be committed to the Palestinian peace process if it wants help countering Iran. "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it is looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. They go hand in hand," she told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. Israel sees a nuclear-armed threat as a mortal threat. "The Arab countries believe that Israel's willingness to re-enter into discussions with the Palestinian Authority strengthens them in being able to deal with Iran," she added. Since coming into power last month, Netanyahu and his right-leaning coalition have avoided recognizing the Palestinians' right to an independent state as his predecessor Ehud Olmert did. The United States is committed to pushing for a two-state solution, with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side, and would like to revive stalled talks. Netanyahu is set to visit Washington early next month. Clinton said she was not going to prejudge the Israeli position until there had been face-to-face talks with him. "The prime minister will be coming to Washington in May, and we think that it is important not to prejudge what their view is and how that can best be approached," she said. Lawmakers put pressure on Clinton over a funding request for the Palestinians, saying there must be strong assurances that none of the money would go to the militant group Hamas if it were included in a future unity government under discussion. Clinton said the State Department would carefully track assistance and additional steps being taken to ensure that no US taxpayer money goes to Hamas. "No aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by Hamas," she added. But New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, who has previously put holds on money earmarked for the Palestinians, questioned what she said was some "flexibility" in the Obama administration's approach. Clinton reiterated that the Obama administration expected any new government that included Hamas to meet three conditions, to recognize Israel, renounce violence and sign on to previous Palestinian peace accords. But Clinton hinted that some flexibility might be needed, pointing to US funding for Lebanon, whose government includes the militant group Hezbollah. "We are doing that because we think, on balance, it is in the interest of the United States," she said.
'World Leaders Should Drop 'Land for Peace' Slogans, Stop Iran'
April 23….(Jerusalem Post) The international community has to "stop speaking in slogans" if it really wants to help the new Israeli government work toward a solution to the Palestinian conflict and help bring stability to the Middle East, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, in his first interview with an Israeli newspaper since taking the job. "Over the last two weeks I've had many conversations with my colleagues around the world," he said. "Just today, I saw the political adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Chinese foreign minister and the Czech prime minister. And everybody, you know, speaks with you like you're in a campaign: Occupation, settlements, settlers..." Slogans like these, and others Lieberman cited, such as "land for peace" and "two-state solution," were both overly simplistic and ignored the root causes of the ongoing conflict, he said. The fact was, said the Israel Beiteinu leader, that the Palestinian issue was "deadlocked" despite the best efforts of a series of dovish Israeli governments. "Israel has proved its good intentions, our desire for peace," he said. The foreign minister spoke as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel on Thursday that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem's commitment to the peace process. Lieberman said the new government would have no dealings with Hamas, which needed to be "suffocated," and that the international community also had to maintain the long-standing Quartet preconditions for dealing with the Islamist group. The real reason for the deadlock with the Palestinians, said Lieberman, "is not occupation, not settlements and not settlers. This conflict is really a very deep conflict. It started like other national conflicts. [But] today it's a more religious conflict. Today you have the influence of some nonrational players, like al-Qaida." And the biggest obstacle to any comprehensive solution, he said, "is not Israel. It is not the Palestinians. It's the Iranians." Lieberman said the prime responsibility for thwarting Iran's march to a nuclear capability lay with the international community, not Israel, and especially the five permanent members of the Security Council. He was confident that stringent economic sanctions could yet achieve the desired result, and said he did not even "want to think about the consequences of a crazy nuclear arms race in the region." He said it would be "impossible to resolve any problem in our region without resolving the Iranian problem." This, he said, related to Lebanon, Syria and problems with Islamic extremist terror in Egypt, the Gaza Strip and Iraq.
Obama Hosts Jordan’s King Abdullah, Invites Netanyahu and Abbas
April 22….(IsraelNN.com) US President Barack Obama launched his personal Middle East initiative Tuesday by hosting Jordanian King Abdullah II, who separately met with Christian, Muslim and Reform Jewish leaders for support for a Palestinian Authority state. President Obama told King Abdullah that Israel and the PA “cannot talk forever” and demanded that both sides show “goodwill.” He specifically said that Netanyahu government leaders are “going to have to solidify their position." While saying that both sides must show “gestures of good faith,” the president did not specify want he expected from the PA. He officially invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for separate talks in the next few weeks. Continuing another American attempt to create a "New Middle East," a term coined by former President Bill Clinton, he stated that both Israel and the PA “must step back from the abyss.” The president made it clear that the 18-year-long dispute will be his administration’s priority. The US was instrumental in pressuring Israel to attend the Madrid Conference in 1991, which was the first diplomatic forum in which the PA and the Jewish state engaged each other. Jordan was the first Arab country to be hosted by President Obama, who two weeks ago visited Turkey, where he stated, "The United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”
Obama to Press Israel for Peace Talks Based on Arab League Peace Plan
April 22….(DEBKA) DEBKAfile's exclusive Washington sources disclose that their meeting ended with the US president accepting the extended Arab League Middle East peace plan initiated by Saudi Arabia. This confirmed the statement by his special Middle East envoy George Mitchell on his visit to Jerusalem last week that the Arab peace plan had been incorporated in the Obama Middle East peace plan based on the creation of a Palestinian state. The new version simply spells out some of the clauses in the original, such as what the Arab governments mean by "normal relations" with Israel. The Jordanian king left with the president a document listing the deal the Arab states are ready to offer Israel for withdrawing to the pre-1967 war lines, i.e. evacuating the West Bank, Golan Heights and historic Jerusalem, and accepting the foundation of a Palestinian state. The two leaders agreed the document would not be published before Obama presents it to Netanyahu at the White House in June. He will ask the Israeli prime minister for an immediate answer and urge him to accept the Arab peace plan as the basis for direct negotiations with the Palestinians and Syria in which the United States will be actively engaged. Our sources add that the US president is seriously considering making a televised speech before Netanyahu's arrival to play up the Arab proposals on offer provided Israel is ready to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians and Syria.
Iran Could Produce First Nuke in 60 Days
April 22….(DEBKA) DEBKAfile's military sources cite some Western intelligence and nuclear weapons experts as predicting that Iran could turn out nuclear weapons some time in the next 12 months. This estimate is based on Tehran's announcement that 7,000 centrifuges are in operation to enrich uranium. If all those machines were to work at top speed day and night, seven days a week, they could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a bomb in 60 days, say some intelligence sources. According to American experts, given the current rate of the program's development, Iran will be in a position to manufacture as many as 60 nuclear bombs and warheads in 12 to 18 months. This judgment was confirmed by Israel's military intelligence (AMAN) chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin in his latest briefing to the cabinet Monday, April 20. He reported that Iran is going all-out for enriched uranium from overseas to shorten the process. Japanese sources recently reported that a North Korean boat shipped a large quantity to Iran earlier this year. According to the big-circulation The Nikkei, the North Korean vessel's hold carried a secret cargo of uranium highly-enriched to 50-60 percent. The ship set out for Iran in December, moving moved at a leisurely pace so as not to call attention from Western spy satellites, surveillance vessels and warships. Earlier this year, the illegal consignment was dropped at an Iranian port for transport to a facility near Tehran, according to the Japanese paper. Yadlin noted that extreme economic crisis has not delayed Tehran's headlong nuclear progress or curtailed its designs on other Middle East countries, Hizballah's subversive activities in Egypt are not a lone instance. Inflation is officially put at 30 percent but is probably closer to 50 percent, while unemployment is deepening, yet Tehran upped the 2009 appropriation for its nuclear program by 15 percent. Rather than translating the crisis into leverage for persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear objectives, the Israeli intelligence chief noted that the Obama administration has opened the door to dialogue with all the extremists of the Middle East, including Iran, albeit "with open eyes." Iran, for its part, is accelerating its nuclear program, taking full advantage of the undercover communications with Washington which are aimed at gaining Tehran's cooperation for the US war effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Ahmadinejad Attacks Israel, US at UN Racism Conference
April 21….(Fox News) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unleashed a blistering attack Monday against Israel and the United States, calling the Jewish state "racist" and lashing out at Americans for their support. Ahmadinejad called Israel the "most cruel and racist regime." He followed by blaming the United States, Europe and Israel for the world's financial crisis, but shrugged off a question later about whether the US not attending the conference would further hurt relations between the two countries. "We should listen to all and choose the best of the ideas," Ahmadinejad said at a news conference after his speech. Protesters stormed the stage when Ahmadinejad began speaking and several Western delegates walked out of the room after the Iranian president said Israel was created on the "pretext of Jewish suffering" from World War II. Among the diplomats seen leaving the room were envoys from Britain, France and Canada, who had all previously threatened to stand up and leave if the Iranian president made anti-Semitic statements, the Times of London reported. President Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs called Ahmadinejad's remarks, "hateful rhetoric." Later, other protesters shouted down from the balcony as the Iranian president, who has often called for Israel to be wiped from the map, carried on his speech. "We did it because it's all a farce," Joelle Jakubowicz, a protester who represented the union of Jewish Students in France, told the Guardian. "You can't fight racism if you are racist yourself." Ahmadinejad said just because a country has nuclear technology, it doesn't mean they are going to use to build a nuclear bomb. Instead, he insisted it should be used to create clean energy, and protect the environment. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world Monday to rally against the threat that intolerance could rise as a result of the economic crisis, saying "the time is now" to stamp out racism. Ban, opening the global body's first racism conference in eight years, said racism including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia needed to be tackled. "I fear that today's economic crisis, if not handled properly, could evolve into a full-scale political crisis marked by social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost faith in their leaders and their own future," the UN chief said. "In such circumstances, the consequences for communities already victimized by prejudice or exclusion could be frightening." He also said he regretted the absence of the United States and eight other Western nations that have pulled out because of fears Muslim nations will dominate the conference with calls for to denounce Israel and for a global ban on criticizing Islam. "There comes a time to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of us all," Ban told the gathering of thousands of ministers, diplomats and dignitaries at the UN's European headquarters in Geneva. President Obama's administration announced Saturday it would boycott the weeklong meeting because it makes reference to a declaration made in 2001 at the global body's first racism conference in Durban, South Africa. That document was agreed after the United States and Israel walked out over attempts to liken Zionism, the movement to establish a Jewish state in the Holy Land, to racism.
Jews Will be Exterminated, Promises Palestinian Cleric
April 21….(Israel Today) In a recent Friday sermon broadcast on Hamas television to all Palestinian Arabs, a Hamas-aligned cleric promised that very soon all Jews, including young children, will be violently removed from the face of the earth. Speaking to Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Gaza, Imam Ziad Abu Alhaj declared: "The time will come, by Allah's will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth." As justification for this brutal annihilation, Alhaj preached that all Jews, and especially Israelis, seek world domination and are the mortal enemies of Islam. In 2006, Alhaj participated in the Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, which issued a statement condemning "any incitement against a faith or people, let alone any call for their elimination." Observers noted that Alhaj's two-faced approach to Israel and the Jews, calling for peace in front of the rest of the world, while preaching Israel's destruction in Arabic to fellow Arabs, is characteristic of most who call themselves Israel's "peace partners."
Hate Crimes Bill is Bad News For Christians
April 21….(In the Days) A vote is looming this week in Congress on a bill that one conservative activist warns would not only silence Christian opposition to homosexuality, but also would legitimize deviant forms of “sexual orientation.” markup vote is expected Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee on the Local Law Enforcement and Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. House Democrats only have to give 24 hours’ notice before the vote. The measure (HR 1913) sponsored by Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) would add homosexuals and transgender people to the list of classes federally protected from so-called “hate crimes.” Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, says the bill is a serious threat to religious freedom. “Your pastor could be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a hate crime if it passes and become law,” she warns. “This so-called ‘hate crimes’ bill will be used to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute, and persecute pastors, business owners, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth pastors, you name it, or anyone else whose actions are based upon and reflect the truth found in the Bible.” TVC says HR 1913 broadly defines “intimidation,” and offers up this example: “A pastor’s sermon could be considered ‘hate speech’ under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on ’sexual orientation.’” Under those circumstances, says the group, the pastor could be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit a hate crime.” The legislation has another “serious problem,” the pro-family group says, because Congress has failed to define the term “sexual orientation.” Consequently, says TVC, 30 sexual orientations (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association) will “arguably be protected” under the legislation. “Those 30 sexual orientations include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states or can result in death,” notes the group’s website. In addition, TVC argues the bill is based on a fraudulent premise: that there is an epidemic of so-called “hate crimes” against “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender” persons that needs federal involvement for local law enforcement officials. Lafferty says unless Christians in America act, the hate crimes bill could be on President Obama’s desk in three to four weeks at the most.
Netanyahu Says He Won't Allow Second Holocaust
April 21….(Newsmax) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday not to allow Holocaust deniers to carry out a second Holocaust against the Jewish people. Speaking at the ceremony marking Israel's annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed by Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, Netanyahu also described a UN anti-racism conference under way in Geneva as an anti-Israel event. The hawkish prime minister, who took office about three weeks ago, criticized the president of Switzerland for meeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the conference. Netanyahu called Ahmadinejad a Holocaust denier who wants to perpetrate another massacre of Jews. "We will not allow the Holocaust deniers to carry out another Holocaust against the Jewish people. This is the supreme duty of the state of Israel. This is my supreme duty as prime minister of Israel," Netanyahu said. The ceremony was clearly influenced by the gathering in Geneva, perceived in Israel as a meeting of anti-Semites trying to blacken Israel's name. The convening of the conference on the eve of the annual Holocaust memorial day featured in public remarks by officials as well as comments in Israeli media. In his address, President Shimon Peres criticized the anti-racism conference for hosting Ahmadinejad, whom Peres called a Holocaust denier. "It's an absolute disgrace," Peres said. Earlier Monday at the conference, the hard-line Iranian president took aim at Israel, accusing the Jewish state of being the "most cruel and repressive racist regime." The memorial day, which began after sunset, continues Tuesday with the sounding of air-raid sirens for a nationwide minute of silence in memory of the victims, followed by an official wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem.
Teaching Homosexuality, No Parents Needed
(School district launches website promoting 'gay' pride in classrooms)
April 21….(WND) Under the stated intent of making schools "safer" for all students, the San Francisco school district, provides resources designed to "meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth" in its schools. "April is Gay Pride Celebration!" touts the website's home page. "Check out some of the event options in our 'Host an Activity' section." In addition to the "Host an Activity" section, loaded with suggestions on how teachers can celebrate Gay Pride Month in their classrooms, the website includes dozens of resources, including district policies on sexual expression and discrimination issues, curriculum for teaching on LDBTQ issues, a list of district-approved speakers and presentations, studies, and testimonials from school officials on how they're making their schools more friendly to LGBTQ students. Susan, a school nurse from Burton High School, for example, explains the steps her school is taking: "Probably the most fun activity that we've organized and I think the most informative for the students is what we call the Rainbow Café," writes Susan. "One week during Gay Pride Month we have a room that's set aside and there are snacks. The Gay-Straight Alliance has usually chosen a topic, and each day at lunch there's a speaker on a different topic. So Monday might be gays in the military, Tuesday might be gay parents, the next day might be gays and religion, and then it might be legislating civil rights for gays. We usually culminate the week with a Day of Silence. We've asked teachers to give extra credit to allow kids to come who wouldn't normally come. But because they get extra credit, kids who wouldn't be exposed to this kind of programming will be taught to think about it. "Another fun activity we do at the high school level," Susan continues, "is we bring the New Conservatory Theater every year to perform 'The Other Side of the Closet.' Students then have an opportunity to hold a discussion afterward. It's fabulous."
US: Palestinians Don't Have to Recognize 'Jewish State'
April 20….(Israel Today) The US State Department at the weekend issued a statement rejecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel's status as "the Jewish state" as a condition for renewing peace talks. Netanyahu's demand was a response to American and European pressure that he publicly commit to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian Arab state as the outcome of the peace process. Netanyahu wants to ensure that if he bows to that pressure, the world understands and acknowledges that the other state west of the Jordan River is first and foremost the homeland of the Jews. Netanyahu presented the demand when he met last Thursday with US envoy George Mitchell. But it was immediately rejected when Mitchell visited Ramallah on Friday to meet with the regime of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The international community has become accustomed to the Arabs rejecting all Israeli conditions for peace, while Israel routinely caves to pressure that it meet Arab demands. Netanyahu hopes to change that perception during his term, and thus reintroduce reciprocity to the peace process.
Obama's Coddles Radical Rulers and Abandons Israel to Iranian Threat
April 20….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) The new US president's dramatic global policy steps have easily dwarfed the knotty Israeli-Palestinian peace issue handed down from one US president to the next over decades. Barack Obama's outstretched hand to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Iran's best friend in the Americas, on April 17, at the summit of American leaders in Port of Prince, made the talk surrounding Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell's mission to Jerusalem and Ramallah this week sound eerily like voices from the past. After talking to Mitchell, Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak tried the usual bromides: They protested that Jerusalem's ties with Washington and Jerusalem were as strong as ever and they would work together toward an agreed solution for the Palestinian problem. But those words were lost in the black Iranian cloud hanging over the relations. Barack Obama has set his sights and heart on friendship with the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and their radical allies. The name and policies of the occupant of the prime minister's office in Jerusalem do not matter, any more than Tehran's determination to complete its nuclear weapons program in defiance of the world, or even its first A-bomb test in a year or two, for which intelligence sources report Tehran is already getting set. Obama's Washington believes America can live with a nuclear-armed Iran, a decision probably taken first under the Bush presidency. But Israel cannot, and may have no option but to part ways with the Obama administration on this point. As a nuclear power, Iran will be able to bend Jerusalem to the will of its enemies, make it unconditionally give Syria the Golan plus extra pieces of territory, tamely accept a Hamas-dominated Palestinian West Bank lurking over its heartland and let the Lebanese Hizballah terrorize Galilee in the north at will. All three would make hay under Iran's nuclear shield, while Tehran lords it over the region in the role of regional power conferred by Obama's grace and favor. In no time, Israel would be stripped of most of its defenses. Israel is not the only nervous country in the region. But Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is the only Middle East leader brave enough to stick his neck out, albeit with Saudi backing, and stand up to the Iranian peril, direct and through Hizballah. He has also outspokenly criticized Washington's courtship of the revolutionary Islamic republic. Cairo's Al Ahram Saturday, April 18, accused Iran, Syria, Qatar, Hizballah, Hamas, al Jazeera TV of a conspiracy to overthrow Egyptian government. But the US president is not daunted by the radicalism or enmity of his new friends or the loss of old ones. At the Summit of All Americas, Obama greeted Hugo Chavez 24 hours after the Venezuelan ruler said: "The United States Empire is on its way down and will be finished in the near future, inshallah!" Using the Muslim blessing to underline the wish for America's downfall was no bar to the smile and handshake; neither was Venezuela's recent severance of its ties with Israel for no provocation or its willingness to host a delegation of Hizballah (internationally branded a terrorist organization) in Caracas. What is relevant to Obama is Hugo Chavez's role as co-architect of the joint Russian-Iranian campaign to displace American influence in the southern hemisphere. The US president has opted for winning America's enemies over with smiles and embraces rather than punishing them like George W. Bush. Obama continues to woo Bashar Assad apace despite his blunt refusal to loosen his strategic ties with Tehran or stop supporting the Lebanese Shiite group with arms because Hizballah is dedicated to fighting Israel, as he is quoted as saying in the pro-Hizballah Lebanese publication al Akhbar on April 17. For the first time in years, the administration this week sent a high-ranking delegation to Syria's independence day celebrations at Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, headed by Jeffrey Feltman, former ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs. The thaw in relations has gone so far that some Washington wags are calling Assad's capital "Syria on the Potomac." The American storm besetting the Middle East leaves Israel's most vital interests way behind. The condition Netanyahu put before Mitchell for progress in peacemaking, that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, which was instantly rejected by Palestinian Authority leaders, aroused scant attention in Washington or anywhere else. As Netanyahu will find when he meets Obama in Washington early next month, Israel is no longer a prime factor in US global policy, because America has fundamentally reshuffled its Middle East allegiances and alliances. Even Tzipi Livni at the helm in Jerusalem would not divert Obama from his détente with Ahmadinejad, Assad and Chavez. To gain points with his new friends, Obama's White House is not above nudging Israel to please them. This week, his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told Jewish leaders whom he met in Washington that if Israel wants America's help for thwarting Iran's nuclear program, it must first start evacuating West Bank settlements. This was of course cynical claptrap. Even if every single settlement were to be removed and Israel lined up with Obama's quest for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the US president would not drop Tehran or help Israel strike Iran's nuclear facilities. He has already ceded Tehran's uranium enrichment program (and therefore its drive for nuclear arms), and would forcefully oppose any Israeli military action. US defense secretary Robert Gates indicated as much this week when he went to almost absurd lengths to play down the Iranian nuclear threat and Israel's ability to handle it. So what options are left to Israel at this juncture?
1. To bow under the Obama tempest until it blows over in keeping with the old proverb which says that trees bowing in the wind remain standing. This would entail going along with US acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power. The question is will Israel's trees still be standing when the storm has passed and, if so, in what strategic environment?
2. To follow the example set by Likud's first prime minister Menahem Begin in 1981. He stood up to Ronald Reagan's fierce objections and sent the Israeli Air force to smash the Iraqi nuclear reactor before it was operational. Saddam Hussein never rebuilt the facility. By following in Begin's footsteps before it is too late, Netanyahu would change the rules of the game regionally and globally.
(The London Times reported from Jerusalem Saturday that the Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government. Two civil defense drills have been scheduled to prepare the population for missiles that could fall on any part of the country without warning.)
3. Israel could go for a more modest target, one of Iran's faithful surrogates – Syria or Hizballah – to warn Washington that a larger operation is in store for their boss. If the Gaza offensive against Hamas last January was meant to send this message, it failed. Hamas is still the dominant Palestinian power and Barack Obama was not swayed from forging ahead with his policies of rapprochement with Iran and other radical world leaders.
WEEK OF APRIL 12 THROUGH APRIL 18
Netanyahu to Mitchell: We Won't Accept Another Hamastan
(Israeli Prime minister Netanyahu meets with visiting US special envoy George Mitchell, says Israel has no desire to rule the Palestinians but must ensure that political process does not result in another Hamas-controlled entity that could threaten Jerusalem)
April 17….(YNET) It appears the coveted assurance from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States that the Israeli government will back the two state solution has failed to materialize. The prime minister met on Thursday evening with US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Netanyahu told Mitchell that while Israel has no desire to rule over the Palestinians, it must maintain its security interests. Prior to the meeting a senior official in Netanyahu's office said that the prime minister would stress to Mitchell that Israel "expects the Palestinians to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people." He also emphasized the importance of furthering the West's cooperation with other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, as these nations have a better understanding of the Iranian threat.
George Mitchell: Push for Two-States Begins Now
April 17….(YNET) After struggling to find common ground with new Foreign Minister Avignor Lieberman, and before his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, special US envoy George Mitchell sat down with opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Thursday afternoon. Mitchell said his goal was to convince the Israeli leadership of the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state. Speaking to reporters before his meeting with Livni, Mitchell said that America's national interest is to see a viable peace in the Middle East, one that included a Palestinian state alongside Israel as the solution to the conflict. The former US senator said that this would be the focus of his efforts in the coming months. Mitchell, US President Barack Obama's personal envoy to the region, stressed: "As I have said in the past, the president is deeply and personally committed to achieving peace in the Middle East based on the solution of two states for two peoples." This is the second meeting for Mitchell and Livni. The two met several months ago when Livni was still the minister of foreign affairs. Mitchell spoke of her new role as opposition leader, noting that he himself that experienced lawmaking as both the majority and the minority. A democracy required a patriotic, value-driven leadership as well as a patriotic and value-driven opposition, he said, adding that he was confident Livni would live up to just that as opposition chairwoman.
Israeli Ministers tell US Envoy Mitchell 'NO' to Palestinian State
April 17….(YNET) US envoy George Mitchell kicked off a fresh round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy on Thursday with a somewhat tense meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In response to Lieberman's earlier declarations that Israel is not bound by previous land-for-peace understandings that the Palestinians have consistently violated, Mitchell insisted that the final outcome of the Middle East peace process must be a sovereign Palestinian Arab state. The Foreign Ministry released a statement reporting that Lieberman reminded Mitchell that the land-for-peace process has been going on for 15 years, under numerous Israeli governments prepared to surrender most of the demanded territories. Lieberman concluded: "Thus far, the traditional approach has not brought any results or solutions." Mitchell also met with Israeli President Shimon Peres who, while less direct than Lieberman, told the American that Israeli is ready for peace, but not at the expense of its own security. In remarks to the press, other Israeli ministers took Lieberman's arguments one step further. Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio that with the Palestinians having proven that they would use an independent state to threaten Israel, that option must be taken off the table. Instead, Israel should follow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's previously stated plan to focus on boosting the Palestinian economy, while indefinitely putting land concessions on hold.
PA to Mitchell: 'Pressure Israel, or Peace Process is Over'
(Abbas tells US special envoy Mitchell must push Israel to adhere to two-state solution. 'We want the Americans to guarantee a genuine political process that will lead towards a permanent agreement)
April 17….(JPOST) The Palestinian Authority is betting on George Mitchell. The PA sees the current round of talks held by the US special envoy to the Middle East as crucial to salvaging the peace process. Mitchell met with Israel's leadership over the course of the past two days, including President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader, Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni. He also met with IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The former senator is scheduled to visit Ramallah on Friday. The Palestinians warned that unless the international community "massively pressures" the new Israeli government, "the Palestinian public will understand that the peace process is nothing more than a big joke." A PA official told Ynet that the Palestinian public was loosing what is left of its faith in the peace process. Immediate action must be taken to demand of Israel that it honor its commitments, he said. "We will make it clear to Mitchell that we are committed to the Road Map, to Annapolis, to the Arab peace initiative, and that the Americans must make sure that the Israelis uphold their commitments; first and foremost the cessation of all settlement activity, especially in Jerusalem," he said, adding that Israel must also stop building its security barrier. According to the Palestinians, they will work with Mitchell to explore the possibility of establishing an international body that would be charged with overseeing the process and monitoring the commitments of both sides. "We’ll make it clear that we want the Americans to guarantee a genuine political process that will lead towards a permanent agreement," the official said, adding that Mitchell will be told that "whether the government in Israel is right-wing, centrist, or left-wing, it isn't relevant to the political process and the commitments that the UN, the Quartet, and the entire international community back." The Palestinians are concerned by reports that Washington will only focus on a permanent agreement in several years time. "We will tell the Americans that for years there has been talk of an agreement within years, so we expect of them to timetable the entire peace process, to make it clear to both sides that the Americans guarantee the realization of each of the steps and each one of the commitments." The Palestinian Authority rejects the economic peace model proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying it would be the final nail in the coffin of the stagnated peace process. "There is no economy without peace, and no economic stability without genuine negotiations. Another 500 laborers working in Israel will not make the Palestinians give up their demands and will not get us to accept never-ending negotiations where the Israelis continue to do what they have done over the past years, stall for time," the official.
Netanyahu: Palestinians Must Accept Israel as a Jewish State
(Palestinian recognition that Israel is a Jewish state is a fundamental element for any talks between the two parties, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting US envoy George Mitchell)
April 17….(Jerusalem Post) Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomes US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. The two-hour meeting in Jerusalem was Netanyahu's first long face-to-face conversation as Prime Minister with a top-level Obama administration official. It took place amid media reports of growing tensions between Israel and the US over the best path for peace with the Palestinians. But sources close to Netanyahu were quick to dismiss these reports, describing the meeting as a very positive one in which both Israel and the US promised to cooperate fully on regional matters. During the conversation, Netanyahu assured Mitchell that Israel wanted to move forward to create a sustainable peace with the Palestinians, but that this peace had to take into account Israel's vital security interests. Netanyahu stressed that it was important to learn from past mistakes and that no one wanted to see a situation where Israel ceded more territory only to have it taken over by extremist elements, the source said. "No one wants to see a Hamastan in the West Bank," the source said. Looking beyond the Palestinians, Netanyahu said that countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia should be part of the peace process. He said he thought it was possible because today, these regional actors understood the dangers posed by Iran and its extremist proxies, the source said. The two men also discussed Iran and Syria, but the source did not elaborate on those conversations.
Mitchell began his day of meetings with President Shimon Peres, telling him, according to Peres's office, that "the opening point of American foreign policy is an absolute and strong commitment to the security of the State of Israel and its people. We are committed to two states for two peoples living alongside each other in security and peace, and we shall act accordingly." Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomes US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Peres told Mitchell that despite general pessimism in the region, "there is an opening point for promoting the political process. No door to peace has been closed, and I believe that this year is a decisive year in the Middle East. We do not have time to waste." Peres's office said the two had discussed the Arab Peace Initiative at length, with Peres saying that "the positive attitude toward the Arab initiative results from the fact that I am convinced that many Arab countries do not want Iran to take over the Middle East and Hamas to take over the Palestinian Authority."
Obama's Plan for Mideast Peace: Strip Israel Bare
(Obama Initiative leaves Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders)
April 17….(WND) The Obama administration has decided to base its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on an Arab "peace" initiative, according to a source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Defenders of Israel warn the so-called "Arab Peace Initiative" in its full form would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and could threaten Israel's Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs. Earlier today, Netanyahu held a meeting with Obama's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to outline the prime minister's approach to Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu reportedly told Mitchell he would condition future talks with the Palestinians on Palestinian leaders' first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, a step that would be difficult should Hamas join a unity government. The Israeli Ynetnews website quoted Netanyahu telling Mitchell of fears that any Israeli withdrawal from strategic territory would leave a terrorist hornet's nest in its wake. "Israel must make sure that the political process does not result in the creation of a second 'Hamastan' (in the West Bank) that would threaten Jerusalem and the coastline," Netanyahu reportedly said. Regarding Syria, Netanyahu told Mitchell he is willing to approach talks with Damascus if the country would curb its alliance with Iran and backing of Palestinian terrorism, according to a source in the Netanyahu government speaking to WND. The source said Mitchell conveyed to Netanyahu that Obama seeks to create a Palestinian state in hopes of normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab world in line with the "Arab Peace Initiative." The source told WND Mitchell relayed that Obama's Mideast strategy would be based on the concept of the "Initiative" but with security guarantees for Israel. Following scores of denials he would trumpet the plan, Obama has hailed the Arab League plan, which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions. In an interview with an Arab television network, his first formal interview as president, Obama stated: "Well, here's what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace. I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what's happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan." The Arab Initiative, originally proposed by King Abdullah in 2002 and later adopted by the Arab League, states that Israel would receive "normal relations" with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount. The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and was twice used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state. The Arab plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding UN resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the "earliest practicable date." Palestinians have long demanded the "right of return" for millions of "refugees," a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel's destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics. When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel's borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution. While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 UN-run camps that do not seek to settle the Arabs elsewhere. There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the UN, including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs, Arabs living full-time in Jordan, and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.
US stresses Palestinian state
In public comments today, Mitchell stated Obama remained committed to creating a Palestinian state, in contrast to comments by some Israeli politicians that Israel was not bound by the two-state solution but would instead stress the US Road Map, which calls for the Palestinians to dismantle terrorism before talks to create a state. "The US policy favors a two-state solution, which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel," said Mitchell after a meeting with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "We had a good, full and candid discussion covering both the history of the peace process, going back to the 1990s, and continuing to the present, and also looking into the future on what can be done to achieve our common objectives," Mitchell said. Lieberman's office had earlier released a statement that the politician told Mitchell that "thus far, the traditional approach has not brought any results or solutions." Lieberman reportedly explained to Mitchell that the Jewish state has previously agreed to "far-reaching concessions" but that "the diplomatic process is at a dead end."
Russia Will Never 'Double-cross' Iran for US
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Kremlin would never double-cross Iran for better relations with the US.
April 17….(Press News) Moscow says it would gladly hit the reset button on relations with Washington, but warns that it would never double-cross Tehran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood firm on Moscow's relations with Tehran on Saturday, asserting that it would never agree to increase pressure on Iran. "It's our neighbor, it's a country which can play a very important role in solving a number of acute international issues, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and different aspects of Mideast peace settlement," Lavrov in a speech to a group of political strategists. Lavrov waved aside recent US attempts to use a controversial missile shield as a means to buy Moscow's support for tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic. "Any trade-offs would be unprincipled and unrealistic," he explained. "They would undermine trust in our diplomacy, and we cherish that trust no less than others." The Bush administration had tabled a motion to station 10 silo-based missiles in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic, allegedly to defend its allies against missile threats from countries like Iran. Russia has inveighed against the US ballistic missile defense (BMD) plan, suggesting that Washington seeks to weaken Moscow's position in its traditional region of influence. US President Barack Obama has said that he may slow down the BMD plan, if Russia agrees to adopt a hard line on Iran's nuclear activities. Senior Russian officials have repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a trade-off between Moscow-Tehran ties and a missile program. "If we are talking about any "swap" Iran for missile defense, this is not how the question is being put. This would not be productive," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had said on March 3. "No one is linking these issues to some kind of trade-offs, particularly on the Iranian issue."
Saudi Arabia Putting Pressure On Israel, US Regarding A Palestinian State
April 17….(David Bedein, Middle East Correspondent/Philadelphia Bulletin) The Saudi government’s official state news agency, the Saudi Press Agency, has reported the Saudi Cabinet issued a strong directive Monday calling for “swift action” to be taken to establish an “independent vibrant Palestinian state.” The Saudi Cabinet summed up statements made by Minister of Culture and Information, Abdul-Aziz Khoja, calling on the United States to “put pressure on Israel” to implement a March 2002 Saudi initiative. The measure would require Israel to expel Jews from East Jerusalem and other areas captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War to make room for an independent Palestinian state. The 2002 initiative also called for Israel to recognize a December 1949 UN resolution that calls for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants to return to Arab villages abandoned during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Saudi Arabia has remained in an active state of war with Israel since 1948 and is the only Arab nation state contiguous to Israel that has never signed a peace agreement or even an armistice deal with Israel. The Arab League declared war to decimate the nascent Jewish state in 1948. That state of war still exists, and Saudi Arabia exercises a leadership role within the Arab League. Since 1948, Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel, and Syria and Lebanon have signed armistice accords with Israel. In the context of its war with Israel, Saudi Arabia continues to provide funding for Damascus-based Palestinian terrorist organizations that rejected the peace process with Israel.
Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?
April 16….(Perspectives) As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the US Navy, that's still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent twice, how dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance." My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president. Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable. Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of "arrogant Americans." Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership." But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush. If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man, even if he is the president, will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor. When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them. This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores. This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges. Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes, a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country. As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes, plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.
EU’s Moratinos: We Won't Let Netanyahu Evade Peace Process
(Ahead of Israel visit, Spanish foreign minister meets with former Minister Yossi Beilin, says 'our goal is to demand that the Israeli government commits to the decisions made by its predecessors')
April 15…..(YNET) Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos met Tuesday with former Minister Yossi Beilin in Madrid and told him that "Europe will not accept a situation in which the Netanyahu government evades its predecessors' decisions in regards to the peace process." Moratinos, who is about to visit Israel after being invited by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government, said that the goal of his visit was "to prevent the collapse of the peace process, demand that the government commits to past decisions and clarify that Europe will not accept a situation in which a democratically Israeli elected government renounces the peace process." Beilin told Moratinos that while the new American administration gives hope to the peace process, the right-wing Israeli government is more exposed to the international demands to resume the process. The coming weeks are expected to bring an international diplomatic attack on Israel in a bid to reignite the peace process. US President Barack Obama's special envoy, George Mitchell, is expected to arrive in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Mitchell's visit will be held on the backdrop of a verbal dispute between Washington and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem following Minister Avigdor Lieberman's statement that the Anapolis process is no longer valid. Israel is also being pressured by the European Union, and particularly by the European Commission in Brussels. Lieberman is expected to meet Friday with the Russian foreign minister, who wishes to hold an international conference on the peace process in Moscow.
New Totalitarian Consensus: Christianity is Over
April 13….(World Tribune) While speaking in Ankara, President Barack Obama made an astonishing proclamation. He claimed, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation." Instead, he said, "We are a nation of citizens", essentially assigning fealty to 'the state' over fealty to God. The world listened, and nodded. Back home in the US, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham welcomed The End of Christian America: "The decline and fall of the modern religious right's notion of a Christian America creates a calmer political environment and, for many believers, may help open the way for a more theologically serious religious life." I guess its settled. God is now outdated, at least among our political and media elite. In their world view, what they sneeringly call the religious right is now merely a fringe group. America itself has evolved to a higher plane. A more progressive plane, if you will. The overwhelming majority of Americans who profess faith in God are being told that the times have changed. Christianity, our ruling elite inform us, is only one of many religions, all of which are equal. In case we don't get it, President Obama, while abroad, expressed a deep appreciation for the Islamic faith while, here at home, he appointed a gay-rights activist to the federal government’s faith-based initiative. Said activist described Pope Benedict XVI and certain Catholic bishops as “discredited leaders.” Get it? The election of Barack Obama has ushered in a new era in the war for hearts and minds in America. Obama, representing the left, believes that man, not God, is omnipotent, thus paving the way for man (Obama) to take control of every facet of life in America. Obama and the socialist government know best. They are now in charge. President Obama is asking for your blind faith, the faith usually reserved for God. Without any record of achievement, he asks that you believe in him, that you follow his dictates. That you allow him to lead us from the wilderness. What Obama is doing has been done before. Successfully. In the former Soviet Union, churches operated only with permission of the state. In China, the crackdown continues on underground churches. The 'state' knows it must have supremacy over God in order to effectively subjugate its citizens. Pol Pot knew this. Lenin knew this. Mao Tse Tung knew this. Any dictator who conquers a country through force knows this. And Obama knows this. In order for the state to be supreme, fealty to God, and allegiance to family and to communities, must be replaced with fealty to the state. This strategy is now being implemented in America, with increasing success. The traditional family, the backbone of our nation, is being redefined as we speak. The institution of marriage is being undermined by the creeping acceptance of gay marriage. Faith in God is being replaced with faith in Mother Earth. It's no mistake that the Obama administration is jumping aboard the environmental bandwagon. They recognize the basic human desire to believe in a cause or ideal greater than ourselves. By making the environment the new religion, all those higher feelings may be directed and manipulated by the state. And all that money, formerly called tithing, may now be directed towards supposed efforts by the government to 'save the planet.' In other words, God can't save the planet, only man can. Guilt may now be assuaged by advocating for environmental controls. Best of all, total redemption is available for those who care enough to become 'carbon neutral.' In order for this to work, government has to get God out of the way. And they're doing a bang-up job. The ACLU has terrorized cities across the country with threats of lawsuits for allowing the barest hint of religion into state policy. The secularist media portrays anything smacking of Christianity as totally beyond the pale. Newspapers, magazines and television are of one mind, depicting any show of faith in God as a fringe mentality, as unseemly as picking one's nose in public. God is now passe, at least according to those elites who set the agenda in our country. Environmentalism is the new religion for all right thinking people. And if you don't agree, well, it doesn't matter. Obama won, haven't you heard? He has claimed a mandate, and, so far, no one is challenging it. We voted for it. We got it.
The Promise of The Lord’s Coming
(FOJ) The subject of Jesus Christ’s return in not debatable, nor is it a topic to be mocked. Bible prophecy has never been about making predictions, but rather it is about promises made by God. Jesus is coming, and that is a “promise” made by God himself; and he is one who cannot lie.
(II Peter 3:1-4) This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
The “mockers” alluded to in the above verse pertain to those inside the Church who scoff at the literal promise, and the signs pertaining to the second coming of the Lord. They are willingly “ignorant” about the season for the Lord’s coming!
Israel Prepares For War With Largest Ever Military Drill
April 13…. (Worthy News) Israel says it will hold the largest military exercise in its history, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Jewish state may have to prepare for war with Iran and other rogue states. Netanyahu declared dealing with Iran's threats "a top priority" of his administration within a week of taking office. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has triggered outrage in the West by saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map", although he denies Iran is a threat. Israel's government disagrees. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) confirmed that it will be preparing to hold "the largest exercise ever" in Israeli history to prepare the nation for the possibility of war breaking out. The exercise is scheduled to take place in roughly two months, Worthy News learned. The head of Israel's Department for Population at the Home Front Command, Col. Hilik Sofer, told Israeli daily Ha'aretz that "we need to train for a reality in which, during war, missiles can fall on any part of the country without warning." The aim of the nationwide exercise "is to transform the population from a passive to an active one. We want the citizens to understand that war can happen tomorrow morning," Sofer added. The drills are expected to last an entire week and prepare the nation for a series of scenarios that include missile strikes with conventional and non-conventional warheads, fired by militant group Hezbollah, Syria or Hamas, military officials said. The reaction time to prepare for impact of a rocket attack in Israel is roughly two minutes or less. The Home Front Command and IDF said they want drills to encourage people to prepare for the possibility of war.
WEEK OF APRIL 5 THROUGH APRIL 11
Former Bush Aides Warn Obama to Beware of Russia's Pledge in Iran Nuclear Issue
(The warnings came after FOX News reported on Thursday that top Obama aides believe Russia will be willing to sign on to "much more severe" sanctions against Iran if the Islamic republic refuses to halt its uranium enrichment activity by 2010)
April 10….(Fox News) Former aides to President Bush and Vice President Cheney are warning their successors in the Obama administration to be wary of Russian pledges of cooperation in the multilateral campaign to rein in Iran's nuclear program. The warnings came after Fox News reported on Thursday that top Obama aides believe Russia will be willing to sign on to "much more severe" sanctions against Iran if the Islamic republic refuses to halt its uranium enrichment activity by 2010. A senior US official serving under Obama told Fox News Moscow's new openness to tough sanctions stems from an admission by the Kremlin that American intelligence estimates on the pace of the Iranian nuclear program have been more accurate than Russia's own. During their G-20 summit meeting in London earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Obama, according to the US official, that "your assessments have been more right than ours." But former Bush administration aides said Russia is playing a familiar tune. "We have been there before," said David Wurmser, a former Middle East adviser to Cheney and founder of the Delphi Global Analysis Group, a private consulting firm in Washington. "At several key moments from 2003 until 2006, Russia displayed irritation at Iran and evinced to us such exasperation at Tehran's behavior that they not only threatened tough action, but even somewhat delivered," he said. "The problem was, however, that it was never truly decisive, nor genuinely biting against Tehran." (FOJ: In fact Russia protected Iran at every level) Wurmser said Russia and China, two countries that wield veto power at the United Nations Security Council, which has imposed relatively mild economic sanctions against Iran three times since 2006, knew the evidence of Iranian nuclear progress was compelling. But the American-led invasion of Iraq complicated the Bush administration's efforts to persuade other countries to take aggressive action to contain Iran's nuclear threat. The Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union all operated from "roughly the same set of facts, with only some differences in the granularity of the information" about Iran, Wurmser said in an e-mail to Fox News. "The differences in policy emerged in the different political calculations we all had," Wurmser added. "Hard information showed American officials that the primary aim for the EU and Russia in 2003 to 2006 was to avoid giving the US a pretext to attack Iran. No matter what information ever came to light, they were terrified we would use it to justify a strike on Tehran. "Every time in this period I landed in a European capital at UN Ambassador John Bolton's request to discuss Iran, the first thing I got was: 'What is your end game here; are you going to use the information to pull another Iraq? Tell us where you are going with this before we tell you how much we will admit Iran is going down the path to a bomb in the UN' When I failed to give them a guarantee that we will not strike Iran, they stalled on moving ahead with acknowledging or using the evidence in public which in private they accepted." Russia, he added, "was like the EU on hormones in this regard." Bolton, who served as the Bush administration's top arms control official at the State Department before being appointed ambassador to the UN, and who now serves as a Fox News analyst on international affairs, agreed the ouster of Saddam Hussein soured US efforts to collaborate with Russia on Iranian nuclear diplomacy. "Before the Iraq war, I thought we were breaking through to the Russians," Bolton said in a telephone interview Friday. "Since 2003, they have been very resistant to the idea that Iran was a proliferation threat." But this stand by Moscow, Bolton said, was never based on the evidence. "They didn't disagree with what we said Iran was doing; they just wouldn't cooperate with us because Russia had so many competing commercial interests in Iran and they were upset that we had gotten rid of their good buddy, Saddam Hussein," he said.
Abbas to Quartet: Israel Must Commit To 2 States
(Palestinian president says Jerusalem must accept agreement signed at Annapolis, freeze settlement activities 'in order to have political negotiations.' Western diplomats: Unlikely scenario)
April 10….(YNET) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made peace talks with Israel's new government conditional on it committing to previous agreements and freezing Jewish settlement growth, Abbas aides said on Friday. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas conveyed that message directly to the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators, the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. "It was conveyed to the Quartet that Israel must accept the two-state solution and agreements signed, including Anapolis, and freeze settlement activities, in order to have political negotiations. You cannot have political negotiations without that," Erekat said. If Israel made such a commitment, Erekat added, Abbas could agree to resume the negotiations immediately. Israel's new Foreign Minister Avignor Lieberman, has declared invalid statehood talks launched at a US-sponsored conference in Annapolis, Maryland in November 2007. He says peace efforts with the Palestinians have reached a "dead end" and that Israel should focus on other matters. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been more vague, saying his priority was to focus on economic and security issues instead of negotiating statehood borders, and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. That could put Netanyahu on a collision course with the administration of US President Barack Obama, who called this week for a Palestinian state alongside Israel as outlined in Annapolis, and said both sides needed to make compromises. The Quartet's special envoy, Tony Blair, has urged Netanyahu to resume statehood talks in parallel with a push to boost the West Bank economy and to let Palestinians control more of their territory.
Defense Expert's Report: Israel Cannot Leave Golan
April 10….(IsraelNN.com) While Syria continues to condition indirect talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government on Israel’s consent to quit the entire Golan Heights, a new report by a respected IDF general shows that Israel cannot afford to do so.
The report was written by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Eiland chaired Israel’s National Security Council from 2004 to 2006, and served as head of the IDF’s Operations Branch and its Planning Directorate, where he was responsible for designing and implementing the IDF’s operational and strategic policies. Eiland explains that ever since 1967, when Israel captured the Golan after years of Syrian attacks from the Golan plateau upon Israeli towns below, it has been a matter of consensus that the Golan provides strategic depth and other advantages that would effectively forestall a Syrian attack on Israel.
Solution in 2000 is Even More Dangerous Now
In the year 2000, however, Israeli and Syrian negotiators reached a near-total agreement for a total Israeli withdrawal, based on the assumption of a military solution that would compensate Israel for the loss of the Golan. Eiland writes that such a solution was not only “implausible at the time, but changing circumstances, both strategic and operative, have rendered Israel’s forfeiture of the Golan today an even more reckless act.” Eiland explains that in order to defend itself from a sudden Syrian attack, Israel knows it cannot begin from the Hula Valley, below the Golan, but rather at the line where it is presently stationed, in the Golan Heights. However, a proposal was detailed for an Israeli withdrawal that would include “creating a situation that would guarantee that in case of war, IDF forces could return to the place where they are currently stationed.” The proposal stipulated a totally demilitarized Golan, with Syrian divisions moved back into Syria, and Israel’s retention of an early warning intelligence base on Mt. Hermon, which towers over the entire region. “On the basis of this security concept,” Eiland writes, “as soon as the IDF would comprehend that Syria intended to go to war, or the moment that the movement of Syrian forces westward was identified, IDF forces could move rapidly eastward onto the demilitarized Golan Heights. Since IDF forces would be stationed in the Hula Valley (and south of the Sea of Galilee), about 20 km. from the current border, whereas the Syrian forces would be at a distance of 60-80 km. from that line, the IDF was expected to reach its optimal defensive line before the Syrians arrived. In such a manner, the encounter between IDF forces and Syrian forces would take place in the region of the present border.”
Five Dangerous Assumptions
Gen. Eiland outlines five dangerous assumptions on which the solution is based, in addition to three additional problems for which this security arrangements solution provides no answers. The five problematic assumptions can be summed up as follows:
1. “When the war erupts, it will begin with a situation in which both sides are located where they are obligated to be.” In fact, it is almost impossible to verify the location of anti-tank missiles, certain types of anti-aircraft missiles, and small rockets.
2. “The warning will be issued in real time.” The plan gives Israel only one warning station on Mt. Hermon, which will certainly be restricted in various ways, as opposed to its current two large stations on Mt. Hermon and an additional three stations along the entire length of the Golan Heights.
3. “A correct interpretation will be made with regard to any Syrian violation.” Prior to the Yom Kippur War, for instance, Israeli intelligence correctly identified the Egyptian military concentration in the Suez Canal, but it was thought to be only a military exercise. The Syrians have many options for subterfuge, for example, dispatching the army under the pretext of responding to civilian riots.
4. “The Israeli government will react speedily and vigorously to any serious violation.” Even if a warning is correctly provided and interpreted, the Israeli government will still have to decide, in a matter of hours, whether to dispatch forces into the Golan, which will be within sovereign Syrian territory, thus effectively declaring war.
5. “The IDF will fulfill its plan by outracing the Syrian force,” even though the Golan will likely be filled with new Syrian cities and towns around the principal transportation arteries, and possibly with anti-tank obstacles and the like.
Three additional problems, Eiland states, are these:
1. The increased effectiveness of advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.
2. The expected urbanization of the Golan Heights, including many “policemen” who can be expected, together with many other “civilians,” to operate thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles that will be stored in those cities, thus impeding the advancement of Israeli forces.
3. The Syrian strategic threat. More than Syrian ground forces, the major Syrian threat involves ground-to-ground missiles and large quantities of chemical weapons. In the discussions that took place in 1999-2000, no attempt was made to reduce the presence of these two capabilities
Finally, Eiland argues, “a dangerous tendency has been created in recent years by fostering the belief that a peace agreement with Syria would have positive repercussions in seven additional areas,” but these are either far from guaranteed or not very important, or both. The seven beliefs are:
1. “An Israeli-Syrian peace agreement will drive a wedge between Syria and Iran.”
2. “A peace agreement between Syria and Israel will weaken Hizbullah.”
3. “An Israeli-Syrian peace agreement will prevent Hizbullah from arming.”
4. “A peace agreement with Syria will assist the Israeli-Palestinian track.”
5. “A peace agreement between Syria and Israel will compel Syria to banish Hamas headquarters from Damascus.”
6. “The agreement will improve Israel’s relations with the Arab world.”
7. “The peace agreement with Syria would enhance international support for Israel.”
After explaining why these are wrong or of negligible importance, Eiland concludes: “The present border line is the only one affording plausible defense for the State of Israel. It creates strategic depth, albeit minimal, and, in addition, this line exerts eastward control deep into Syrian territory.”
Obama Apologizes for our America's Judeo-Christian Roots
April 10….(WND) President Barack Obama said in Turkey: "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens (secular or humanist) who are bound by ideals and a set of values." Well, I don't know what "we" consider "ourselves," but I do think we ought to examine that statement and why Obama felt compelled to make it a part of his world apology tour. Can you imagine the Saudi king coming to America and bragging that his nation is not Muslim? I assure you that he's not ashamed of the Islamic character of his nation, even though his nation is demonstrably less tolerant of other religions. So is (or was) America a Christian nation? If by that we mean that America is a Christian theocracy, that our government should give Christians preferential treatment, or that members of other faiths aren't welcome, the answer is an emphatic "no." But if we are talking about the ideals that led to the very colonization of this land, our Declaration of Independence from Britain, and the formulation of our Constitution, then the answer is certainly "yes." In the words of professor John Eidsmoe, "If by the term Christian nation one means a nation that was founded on biblical values that were brought to the nation by mostly professing Christians, then in that sense the United States may truly be called a Christian nation." Why does this matter? Simply because our dominant secular culture delights in demonizing Christianity, distorting its character, conflating it with less tolerant faiths and associating it with all our societal woes. History revisionists have convinced many that we mainly owe our liberties to secular humanist ideals and those borrowed from the Greeks, Romans and the French Enlightenment. To the contrary, our freedom tradition can be traced to our predominantly Judeo-Christian roots.
Our nation’s declaration's affirmation that "all Men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" could not have come from the polytheistic Greeks or Romans, because "Creator" is singular. And, as Amos observed, the Greeks didn't believe the universe or man was created, but that it "emanated from an impersonal divine force that permeates the universe. There was no room in Greek philosophy or religion for the notion of endowment because creatures and divinity were never separated." The Greeks "could not conceive of rights that were god given." They "believed that rights were a product of society and state." Sounds hauntingly familiar, doesn't it? The concept of unalienable rights inheres in the Judeo-Christian precept that an all-loving God created man in his image, thus entitling him to dignity, freedom and rights that cannot be divested by the state. Our constitutional framework of government can only be understood in the context of the framers' predominantly Christian worldview. While they believed in man's dignity, they also believed in his depravity and that only if they imposed limitations on government would it be possible to establish a scheme of individual liberties. Much of our Bill of Rights is biblically based, as well, and the Ten Commandments and further laws set out in the book of Exodus form the basis of our Western law. Indeed, English legal giants Sir William Blackstone and Sir Edward Coke both believed the common law was based on Scripture. Though we often hear there were no references to the God of the Bible in the Constitution, the document closes by citing the date with "in the Year of our Lord." Our ruling class today is dominated by those who no longer believe that our rights are God-given or that our liberties depend on effective limitations on the state. They are so divorced from true history and American statecraft that they fail to see the irony in their dissociation with and apologies for our Judeo-Christian heritage, which is responsible for making this the freest and most prosperous nation on earth for people of all races, ethnicities and religions.
Does Obama Think We Are Really that Dumb?
(Hal Lindsey rips Obama for claiming he didn't bow to King Abdullah)
April 10….(By Hal Lindsey) There needs to be a quaint colloquialism Americans can use to describe when a politician looks you square in the eye and tells you an obvious lie. At least, one fit for polite company. Like when our American president bows down low before a foreign potentate and then denies it. Once the picture hit the American media, the White House scrambled to explain that Obama had to bend over to his waist level in order to grasp King Abdullah by both hands when greeting him last week at the G-20 meeting. So what you saw wasn't what you really saw. It was just a recorded figment of your imagination. The camera angles showing our American president bending at the knee wasn't what it looked like, at all. And so we must assume that our American president bowed low enough to put his head below shoulder level of the foreign potentate, was because King Abdullah is short, and has unusually long arms so that he couldn't elevate his hands high enough for Obama to reach without bending over. Who can forget when President George W. Bush took Abdullah by the hand like a couple of dating teenagers as he gave the Saudi king a tour of his ranch? Though this is somewhat shocking to Americans, it is a culturally acceptable tradition in the Middle East. But for an American government official to bow down in obeisance to a foreign royal is an entirely different matter. And it is astonishing for an American president to do so. Which is why nobody was particularly shocked when President Obama didn't bow before Queen Elizabeth of England. We really didn't expect him to. Americans are not subject to British royalty and therefore bowing before British royalty would be an insult to American sovereignty. Your average American tourist would be too proud of his country and too independent to bow himself low before the British crown. American officials do not bow themselves low or curtsy before a foreign monarch because such a gesture symbolizes recognition of that foreign monarch's authority and power over the government they represent. When the president met with Queen Elizabeth, Obama scandalized British royal protocol by taking both her hands and giving them a hearty shake. British protocol, (a subject in which we assume the Obamas were instructed) forbids one from taking the Queen's proffered hand, instead expecting one to simply brush the royal digits and withdraw. OK, so Obama practically yanked both her arms off. So what? We're Americans. She's queen of England, not queen of America. Despite the White House denials, President Obama offered King Abdullah a deep, subservient bow of the kind offered by a subject before his king. I don't think I am reading too much into this. Whatever President Obama thinks Abdullah deserves in the way of subservient fealty, we Americans believe it lowers our sovereign prestige. Frankly, I am not too much concerned whether President Obama showed the queen of England a small dose of American disrespect out of what could be construed as a temporary lapse of protocol. But I am greatly concerned, that the president showed King Abdullah far too much respect, given the Muslim Saudi's open hatred of all things Christian or Jewish, Saudi Arabia's legendary disrespect for human rights and religious liberty, or even its institutionalized misogyny. It is important to remember that the Quran commands Muslims to seek the subjection of all other nations to Islam. And an act such as this gives the Muslims the idea that our leader is stepping in that direction. It is clear from the video that Barack Hussein Obama was not just bending down to take Abdullah's hands. Abdullah isn't three feet tall, and Obama's arms are not 18 inches long. Obama is not the tallest man in America, he is only slightly above average height. Abdullah is not the shortest man in the Middle East, he's only slightly below average height. And Americans are not the dumbest people on seven continents, most of them have shaken hands with shorter people. It was not a necessary action for him to bow nearly to the knee in order to grasp the king's hands in both of his. Any human being who has ever taken Grandma's hand knows that. So, why did he lie? It was clearly a lie. It was as obvious a lie as when Bill Clinton tried to hang his veracity on the meaning of the word "is." What bothers me on an equal level to the president's act of subservience to a Muslim king is the ease with which he lied to the American people about it, and the willingness of the mainstream media to pretend that they believe it. And more than that, how little respect it shows for his own people. How dumb does he think we are?
FOJ Note: Apparently, too many Americans are just this dumb. What should we have expected from a person that refuses to disclose his birth records? The founding fathers of our nation and the framers of our Constitution were gravely concerned about the prospect of electing leaders that might have “foreign allegiances,” so they required proof that the presidency only be occupied by native born Americans. Otherwise foreign intrigues and powers could easily manipulate the presidency to subject our nation to the dictates of kings from abroad. (ala King George) It is all too obvious from Obama’s braggadocio that America is not a Christian nation that he has allegiances to King Abdullah, and retains an inner feeling for Islam!
Global Government, “The Most Chilling Words Since 'New World Order'
April 10….(WND) On March 6, 1991, President George Herbert Walker Bush, at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, uttered some words that shivered down the spines of Americans who appreciated their country as an independent, sovereign experiment in constitutional self-government. "Now, we can see a new world coming into view, a world in which there is the very real prospect of a New World Order," he said. He went on to expand on this idea, explaining that he envisioned the United Nations freed "to fulfill the historic vision of its founders." In 1991, that was scary talk. It sounded like Bush had forgotten what America represented in the world, a nation founded on the principles of independence, the rule of law and accountability to the people, rather than just one of many states responsible to a global community that didn't share its ideals. Last weekend, speaking in Prague, Barack Obama took the New World Order rhetoric to soaring new heights. "All nations must come together to build a stronger, Global Regime," he said. While Bush's earlier phrase set off alarms in some circles, it was ambiguous enough to allow for plausible deniability that he actually intended to work toward some sort of "world government." Obama's choice of words leaves little doubt about what he means. Though few have so far questioned his desire "to build a stronger, global regime," the words are clear. Let's consult the Random House dictionary for the definition of "regime."
1. a mode or system of rule or government: a dictatorial regime.
2. a ruling or prevailing system.
3. a government in power.
4. the period during which a particular government or ruling system is in power.
How about the American Heritage dictionary?
1. a form of government: a fascist regime.
2. a government in power; administration: suffered under the new regime.
3. the period during which a particular administration or system prevails.
Not only are the definitions clear, so are the connotations. They are uniformly negative for those who support liberty, accountability, limited government and the will of the people operating under the rule of law. Few freedom-minded people would choose to live under any kind of "regime." In America, we are supposed to live under a decentralized form of government in which most powers are reserved to the states. We are supposed to be a self-governing people, not only free from the shackles of government oppression and dictates, but actually the masters of our own governments. We are supposed to be sovereign individuals with our interests protected by the rule of law. And we are supposed to be independent of foreign interests and rules. So why would any American seek to be a part of building "a stronger, global regime"? The very idea should be anathema to all of us. Yet, the notion is being championed by none other than the President of the United States. Worse yet, the idea is receiving little scrutiny and even less criticism. What has become of Americans? Are we just too fat, lazy and stupid to recognize the threats to our most cherished and basic freedoms? Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? Do we not recognize what has made America great and different from all other nations in the world? Are we really ready to give up our liberty so easily? For what did our forefathers sacrifice? Why were they willing to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for independence and liberty? Why are we ready to give up our independence and liberty for nothing?
FOJ Note: (And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. Revelation 17:12-13) Ten Kings are working to build a Global Government in the world presently, even using the worldwide economic crisis to form a new world order. One day they will agree to empower the Antichrist!
Obama Team Readying for Confrontation With Netanyahu
April 10….(Ha Aretz) In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution. The Obama administration is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In recent weeks, American officials have briefed senior Democratic congressmen and prepared the ground for the possibility of disagreements with Israel over the peace process, according to information recently received. The administration's efforts are focused on President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, which now holds a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The preemptive briefing is meant to foil the possibility that Netanyahu may try to bypass the administration by rallying support in the US Congress. The message that administration officials have relayed to the congressmen is that President Obama is committed to the security of Israel and intends to continue the military assistance agreement that was signed by his predecessor, George W. Bush. However, Obama considers the two-state solution central to his Middle East policy, as he reiterated during a speech in Turkey on Monday, and he intends to ask that Netanyahu fulfill all the commitments made by previous governments in Israel: accepting the principle of a Palestinian state; freezing settlement activity; evacuating illegal outposts; and providing economic and security assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Administration officials made it clear to congressmen that the Palestinians will also be required to fulfill their obligations in line with the road map and the Annapolis process. According to the reports received in Israel, the US administration is not concerned about recent statements by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling for a rejection of the Annapolis process or overtures made by Netanyahu during the election campaign. US officials say they will wait and hear Netanyahu's position from the prime minister himself when he meets Obama in Washington next month.
The Obama administration is also not opposed to the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria but will insist that the Syrian track not be used in Jerusalem as a way of evading obligations undertaken by Israel as part of the Annapolis process. Obama is in no hurry to bring the US in as lead mediator between Israel and Syria. American involvement, which both Israel and Syria consider essential for substantive progress, will remain conditional on progress in the dialogue between Washington and Damascus. Regarding Iran, the Obama administration is preparing the ground for a policy distinguishing between Iran's right to have nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment done under international supervision, and the actual building of a nuclear weapon.
Christian College in Texas Begins Homosexual Housing
(What is this world coming to, when even Christian colleges promote Homosexuality)
April 9….(WorldNetDaily) The church-affiliated Texas Christian University has announced plans to allocate apartment housing on its Fort Worth campus for homosexual students and their supporters. According to a report in the city's Star-Telegram newspaper, the school plans to open a section of the Tom Brown-Pete Wright apartments for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students and allies." The school also will have two living groups that are designated "Christian-based" and others for fine arts and other themes, the report said. "It's a chance for students to be part of a unique experience," David Cooper, associate chief of residential life, told the newspaper. Shelly Newkirk, a TCU sophomore who applied to create the homosexual residence lifestyle, told the newspaper her vision is that homosexuals and straight students will interact and hang out. Cooper said the university opened its "living-learning communities" to student ideas. Others coming up include the "Leadership and Strengths Community" for those who want to lead, environmentalists who are collecting in the "Green House" and the Health and Wellness Community. "I think it's wonderful that TCU is offering this," Nancy Tubbs of the LGBT Resource Center at the University of California-Riverside told the paper. "Some of you will no doubt be shocked to learn that 'Christian' does not necessarily mean 'anti-gay.' TCU is affiliated with the Christain (sic) Church (Disciples of Christ), a denomination that does not have anti-gay policies. I'm just glad that some are trying to turn 'Christian' back into a term for love rather than the curse word that so many of you have caused it to be," said another.
FOJ Note: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Rom 1:26-28)
The Double Minded Leader Claiming Islam Shaped America for the Better
April 8….(Bill Wilson, KIN Senior Analyst) Some of the most double minded sayings of this new century are: “I support the troops, but not the war”; “I am against abortion, but for the woman’s right to choose an abortion”; “I believe that Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same god”; and “the United States is not at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.” The man who now occupies the Oval Office has uttered all of these and the last one is a direct quote before the Parliament of Turkey. Facts are: The leaders of radical Islam have called for the complete destruction of America and Israel; they have declared war on America and Israel. The man who now occupies the Oval Office went on to say, “We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, bridge misunderstanding, and seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. And we will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans.” We must ask: Can there be mutual interest and common ground with those who seek to destroy you? How can the so-called Islamic faith be appreciated when it foments death wherever it takes root? But worse, how can an American president ever claim that the so-called Islamic faith shaped the United States for the better? This is sheer disillusionment. Were the Founding Fathers born from or converted of Islam? Did Islam stop capturing Africans and selling them into slavery? Did Islam advance health and medicine in America? Was Islam the driving spirit behind entrepreneurship and free enterprise? Did Islam suffer the rights of women to vote? Did Islam stand for a free and independent Israel? Did Islam spread in our prisons and contribute to crime against Americans? Did Islam perpetrate terrorist attacks killing innocent Americans? Where did Islam shape America for the better? It is one thing to try to improve relations that have been damaged over the years. It is yet another to make statements that not even those who are hearing them believe to be true. But the same concepts with this man hold consistent. This is the man who believes America can spend its way out of debt. He believes that free enterprise can be saved by nationalization of industry. And he believes that Islam, who kills the innocent, enslaves women and children, and sells drugs to fund the spreading of its religion, shaped America for the better. James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” And Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”
The Message of the Cross
April 8….(Charles Stanley) Unbelievers cannot make sense of the cross as a symbol of God’s love. How could affection motivate a Father to sacrifice His Son? Many decide to ignore such “foolishness.” Instead, they expect to enter heaven because of their strong character and decent acts. According to the Bible, that belief is truly unwise. But the prevalence of a “good works gospel” reveals that the church needs a stronger voice in delivering its message of truth to the world. We must explain holy justice in tandem with divine care: God does love the world, but He cannot overlook mankind’s sin. He is righteous, which means He is perfect. No taint of wrongdoing can enter His pure presence. A person cannot show up at heaven’s gate hauling a lifetime of sin baggage and demand to be allowed in. God does not excuse sin; however, He provides a way to deal with it. There are three fundamental facts undergirding His plan to make sinful people righteous. First, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Next, the soul that sins shall die. Finally, a perfect sacrifice offered on behalf of a sinner pays his or her debt. God satisfied His own justice by placing our sin upon Jesus and allowing Him to die in our place. We humans oftentimes try to simplify God’s character, but the truth is, all of His attributes make up one perfect Father. Realize that the cross symbolizes more than His love; it also represents His wisdom in creating a plan to maintain His holiness without diminishing His perfect justice.
Obama May Visit Israel In June, Press Israel For Concessions
April 8….(Israel Today) US President Barack Obama will visit Israel in June, according to diplomatic sources cited by Ha'aretz, and many Israelis fear he will bring heavy pressure for the immediately creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Speaking in Istanbul on Tuesday, Obama said that his administration is firmly committed to seeing through the land-for-peace process during his term, and is prepared to press both sides to make the compromises needed to get there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu issued a statement praising Obama's commitment to peace. But many still expect Obama and Netanyahu to clash, as the latter is insistent that peace is only possible once the Palestinians start honoring their agreements. Netanyahu ran on a platform of slowing down the peace process until such a time that the Palestinians demonstrate some reciprocity. An up and coming figure in Netanyahu's Likud Party, Knesset Member Gilad Erdan, issued a more fiery response, telling reporters that "Israel does not take orders from Obama." America is a very important ally for Israel, but "in voting for Netanyahu the Israeli public has decided not to become the 51st US state," Erdan stated. Also playing off Obama's speech, the Palestinian Authority has set three conditions on its further participation in the peace process, according to Palestinian sources quoted by Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv. The PA said that the Netanyahu government must outlaw the building of homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, must recognize all past signed agreements (even those the PA has failed to fulfill), and must formally commit to the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian Arab state. In his determination to move forward the peace process, Obama is expected to press Israel to meet the Palestinian conditions.
Israel’s Lieberman: World Shouldn't Force Us To Surrender
April 8….(JPOST) One day after US President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to the Annapolis process and the road map peace plan, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that the new government will formulate a diplomatic program compatible with the wishes of the electorate. But the world "should not stand over us with a stopwatch," he added in an address at an Israel Beiteinu forum in Jerusalem. Saying that after 16 years of a diplomatic "dead end" in the peace process, the world must be ready to listen to new ideas, Lieberman declared that "we intend to work with determination on the diplomatic plane and formulate a detailed and up-to-date assessment. This will not happen overnight, and they should not stand over us with a stopwatch in hand. We will formulate the policy compatible with our world view and as the voters wanted in the elections." Lieberman said those who criticized him for rejecting Annapolis were "trying to build a 'Galut state' instead of a Jewish state, that would give up the national interest and national honor." Lieberman asserted that "the biggest problem isn't the Palestinians, but the Iranians. From their ballistic missiles, nonconventional weapons and nuclear program, to their involvement in Lebanon and Gaza, Iran poses a much graver threat to Israel than the Palestinians do, and the focus should be moved from the Palestinians over to Iran." Concluding his speech on a humorous note, Lieberman said to raucous laughter, "Don't you see? Now that I'm the foreign minister, I choose my words much more carefully." The State Department responded swiftly to Lieberman's careful words when spokesman Robert Wood reiterated on Tuesday afternoon the importance of a two-state solution to the Obama administration. "The important objective for us is to get this process back on track so that we can get to this two-state solution that we think is in the best interests of not only the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the United States and the rest of the world," he said, confirming that special US Middle East envoy George Mitchell would be visiting the region in the near future to "continue discussions with how we can move back to a very positive track" toward a two-state solution. Lieberman's comments contrasted with statements made by officials in the Prime Minister's Office Tuesday after Obama addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue for the second day in a row, saying in Turkey that the Muslim world must not blame everything on Israel and that Jews must see things through the Palestinians' perspective.
Saudis Dismayed by Obama's Tolerance of Nuclear Iran
April 8….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) President Barack Obama's declaration in the Turkish parliament Monday, April 6, that the US is not at war with Islam provided cold comfort in Riyadh and Cairo, where his drastic policy shift of détente with Tehran, first revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly last month, is causing jitters. The Financial Times' prediction that the US "may cede to Iran's nuclear ambition" only added to the unease in the Middle East at large. On the sidelines of the G20 summit in London, Saudi King Abdullah made his views known in a face-to-face interview with the US president on April 2. The White House communiqué reported blandly: Obama and Abdullah discussed international cooperation regarding the global economy, regional political and security issues, and cooperation against terrorism. Iran was not mentioned. However, according to DEBKAfile's Middle East sources, Abdullah took the US president sternly to task over his emerging policy on Iran, Syria and Iraq, accusing him to giving the Islamic Republic free rein for its nuclear, expansionist and terrorism-sponsoring Middle East policies. Both parties tried to keep their abrasive encounter away from the public eye and their media, although the photo attached betrays its chilly atmosphere. The Financial Times was the first Western mainstream publication to pick up on the new pro-Iran policy trend dominating Obama's Washington: "US officials are considering whether to accept Iran's pursuit of uranium enrichment… discussing whether the US will eventually have to accept Iran's insistence on carrying out the process." The newspaper quoted Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council as warning: "The US may still have zero as its opening position [in its dialogue with Iran], while recognizing it may not be where things stand at the end of a potential agreement." DEBKAfile's military sources fear that Tehran has been given a free run to perfect its ability to make bombs and warheads in the shortest possible time from the moment of decision. Our sources report that the US president's two-day stay in Ankara and his words of peace towards the Muslim world were seen in Riyadh and Cairo as ignoring the most pressing concerns of the leading Muslim Arab powers of the region. Israeli leaders have been less reticent about their concerns. President Shimon Peres pointed out to visiting US congressmen in Jerusalem Monday that Iran has hoodwinked the entire world in its drive for a nuclear bomb whose main target would be the Jewish state; Israel's population is short of adequate means of self-defense. Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would shield Middle East terror groups, so magnifying the threat to Israel manifold. But, he added, the IDF was fully capable of backing up any government decision to tackle this existential threat. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu diplomatically praised President Obama for his renewed commitment to Israeli security, omitting mention of Iran in the same way as he ignored the US president's demand for a Palestinian state to rise alongside Israel in his speech to parliament in Ankara. Netanyahu commented that his new government is in the process of formulating its policies. This left him an opening to dispute administration polices when he arrives in Washington on May 3.
The End of Christian America
April 7….(Newsmax) The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now, and what, as a nation, we are about to become. It was a small detail, a point of comparison buried in the fifth paragraph on the 17th page of a 24-page summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey. But as R. Albert Mohler Jr. President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest on earth, read over the document after its release in March, he was struck by a single sentence. For a believer like Mohler, a starched, unflinchingly conservative Christian, steeped in the theology of his particular province of the faith, devoted to producing ministers who will preach the inerrancy of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life, the central news of the survey was troubling enough: the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, "this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified." As Mohler saw it, the historic foundation of America's religious culture was cracking. "That really hit me hard," he told me last week. "The Northwest was never as religious, never as congregationalized as the Northeast, which was the foundation, the home base, of American Christian religion. To lose New England struck me as momentous." Turning the report over in his mind, Mohler posted a despairing online column on the eve of Holy Week lamenting the decline, and, by implication, the imminent fall, an America shaped and suffused by Christianity. "A remarkable culture-shift has taken place around us," Mohler wrote. "The most basic contours of American culture have been radically altered. The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our culture." When Mohler and I spoke in the days after he wrote this, he had grown even gloomier. "Clearly, there is a new narrative, a post-Christian narrative, that is animating large portions of this society," he said from his office on campus in Louisville, Ky. There it was, an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory. To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population. According to the American Religious Identification Survey that got Mohler's attention, the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent. The Jewish population is 1.2 percent; the Muslim, 0.6 percent. A separate Pew Forum poll echoed the ARIS finding, reporting that the percentage of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith has doubled in recent years, to 16 percent; in terms of voting, this group grew from 5 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2008, roughly the same percentage of the electorate as African-Americans. (Seventy-five percent of unaffiliated voters chose Barack Obama, a self-called Christian.) Meanwhile, the number of people willing to describe themselves as atheist or agnostic has increased about fourfold from 1990 to 2009, from 1 million to about 3.6 million. While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago. The decline and fall of the modern religious right's thrust for a revived Christian America has died away. With rising numbers of Hispanic immigrants bolstering the Roman Catholic Church in America, Catholicism seems to be the only growing church in America. Fewer people now think of the United States as a "Christian nation," as President Obama stated today in Turkey. Many conservative Christians believe they have lost the battles over issues such as abortion, school prayer and even same-sex marriage, and that the country has now entered a post-Christian phase. Evangelical Christians have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles. For more than 40 years, the debate that began with the Supreme Court's decision to end mandatory school prayer in 1962 (and accelerated with the Roe v. Wade ruling 11 years later) may not have been novel, but it has been ferocious. Fearing the coming of a Europe-like secular state, the right longed to engineer a return to what it believed was a Christian America of yore. But the socialist trend evident in American politics reflects the less than Christian make-up of the nation today.
Obama: US Strongly Supports 2-State Solution
April 7….(YNET) "In the Middle East, we share the goal of a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors," Obama said during a special address to the Turkish parliament. "Let me be clear: the United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security." "That is a goal shared by Palestinians, Israelis, and people of good will around the world," President Obama said. "That is a goal that that the parties agreed to in the Roadmap and at Annapolis. And that is a goal that I will actively pursue as president." Obama told the Turkish parliament that the US committed to Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, security; Both Israelis, Palestinians must adhere to Roadmap, Annapolis understandings. In a clear message to Israel's new rightist government and to the Palestinians, American President Barack Obama demanded that both sides adhere to their Road Map and Anapolis Conference obligations. "In the Middle East, we share the goal of a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors," Obama said during a special address to the Turkish parliament. "Let me be clear: the United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security." That is a goal shared by Palestinians, Israelis, and people of good will around the world," the president said. "That is a goal that that the parties agreed to in the Roadmap and at Annapolis. And that is a goal that I will actively pursue as president." The comments marked Obama's first response to belligerent statements made by incoming Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his induction speech. Obama, who is currently visiting Turkey for the first time as president, said he expects the road ahead to be difficult, and added that "both Israelis and Palestinians must take the steps that are necessary to build confidence." He did not, however, outline any specific steps that must be adopted at this time. "Both must live up to the commitments they have made. Both must overcome longstanding passions and the politics of the moment to make progress toward a secure and lasting peace," he said. The president added that both the US and Turkey can help the Palestinians and Israelis achieve peace. "Like the United States, Turkey has been a friend and partner in Israel’s quest for security," he said. "We must reject the use of terror, and recognize that Israel’s security concerns are legitimate."
'Israel Not Taking Orders From Obama'
April 7….(Jerusalem Post) "Israel does not take orders from Barack Obama," Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said on Monday, responding to an earlier statement by the US president in which he reaffirmed his administration's commitment to all previous understandings between Israel and the Palestinians, including the process launched at Annapolis, Maryland, in 2007. Erdan, who is also the liaison between the cabinet and the Knesset, praised Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu), who only last week said Israel was not bound by the Annapolis talks because it had never been approved by the cabinet or the Knesset. "In voting for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the citizens of Israel have decided that they will not become the US's 51st state," said Erdan, who was representing the coalition in a Knesset discussion of Lieberman's controversial statements. He added, however, that "Obama is a friend of Israel and the United States is an important ally, and everything between us will be the result of communication." The Prime Minister's Office responded to Obama's comments in Turkey by saying, "Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment to Israel's security and to the pursuit of peace." "The government of Israel is committed to both of these goals and will formulate its policies in the near future so as to work closely with the United States toward achieving these common objectives," the statement read, while not addressing Obama's comments on the Annapolis process and the two-state solution. Minutes before Obama mentioned Annapolis in Turkey, Lieberman's deputy minister, Danny Ayalon (Israel Beiteinu), heckled Kadima MK Haim Ramon's speech about Annapolis in the Knesset plenum. "When did you ever hear Obama talk about Annapolis?" the normally mild-mannered Ayalon asked Ramon, interrupting his speech. Ramon accused Lieberman of harming Israel's relationship with the US by rejecting the American-initiated Annapolis process. "The entire world is in favor of Annapolis," Ramon said. "If we don't accept two states for two peoples, the world will talk to Hamas. What you are doing is isolating Israel by removing us from the consensus. In December 2008, the UN endorsed the Annapolis process. Foreign ministers of the entire world fought to get to the conference, which was run by the US. If that's not an international obligation, what is?"
Obama Tells Turks that US is not at War With Islam
April 7….(AP) Barack Obama, making his first visit to a Muslim nation as president, declared Monday the United States "is not and will never be at war with Islam." Urging a greater partnership with the Islamic world in an address to the Turkish parliament, Obama called the country an important US ally in many areas, including the fight against terrorism. He devoted much of his speech to urging a greater bond between Americans and Muslims, portraying terrorist groups such as al Qaida as extremists who do not represent the vast majority of Muslims. "Let me say this as clearly as I can," Obama said. "The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical, in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject." The president is trying to mend fences with a Muslim world that felt it had been blamed by America for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At a news conference earlier with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Obama dealt gingerly with the issue of alleged genocide committed by Turks against Armenians during World War I. He urged Turks and Armenians to continue a process "that works through the past in a way that is honest, open and constructive." Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyia, two of the biggest Arabic satellite channels, carried Obama's speech live. "America's relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaida," the president said. "We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect." "We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country," Obama said.
Obama Urges EU to Accept Turkey but France Says No
April 7….(AP) US President Barack Obama urged the European Union on Sunday to accept Turkey as a full member of the 27-nation bloc, a move immediately rejected by France's Nicolas Sarkozy. The disagreement was a rare outward sign of divergence at an EU-US summit stage-managed to relaunch trans-atlantic ties that were strained under the Bush administration and which both sides are now eager to mend. “The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbors and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence, forging a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interests,” Obama told the summit. “Moving forward towards Turkish membership in the EU would be an important signal of your EU commitment to this agenda and ensure that we continue to anchor Turkey firmly in Europe,” he told EU leaders. Turkey has long been seeking to join the bloc, and Obama's comments were a reaffirmation of US support for that goal. But there is resistance among EU states such as Germany and France to its membership, including among ruling conservatives. Sarkozy said it was up to the EU member states to decide on Turkish entry and reiterated his opposition. “I have always been opposed to this entry,” he told France's TF1 television. “I still am and I think I can say that the immense majority of member states shares the position of France,” he said. “Turkey is a very great country, an ally of Europe, an ally of the United States. It will stay a privileged partner. My position hasn't changed and it won't change,” he said. Turkish entry talks with the EU have been held up by European concerns over human rights, a perceived lack of progress on reforms, and by a long territorial dispute with EU member Cyprus.
Russian Analyst says Putin to Become Prince of Post-Soviet Space
April 6….(Novosti) An outspoken Russian political analyst, known for his apocalyptic predictions on the US, has said global events suggest that a new alliance could form in Eurasia, with Vladimir Putin at its helm. Professor Igor Panarin, who grabbed headlines last November with his prediction that the United States would disintegrate, told the Izvestia newspaper that numerous factors, including last year's war with Georgia and the weakness of the global financial system, suggest that a new union will emerge around Russia. The new bloc, a result of step-by-step economic integration, would "not be formed on the model of the Soviet Union, but on the model of the European Union. In describing the leader of such a union, I would use the word that Machiavelli liked to use, a prince," Panarin told the paper. "The Prince of the post-Soviet space would be Vladimir Putin. His main asset is that, firstly, he has authority among the national elites of the post-Soviet republics, and secondly, has produced effective results in the eight years he has led Russia. Our country is centralized and stable, and last August passed a test of its strength." He called the August conflict between Russia and Georgia a turning point in Eurasian integration, as "Russia was then seen by the eyes of the world." The Americans and the Chinese decided not to interfere in the conflict, with the result that they lost all influence in the Caucasus region, he said. The conflict also had wider-reaching repercussions, he added. "We can see now that countries have essentially stopped hurling allegations at us, continual attacks. A few days ago the EU admitted that Georgia was wrong in its actions." Russia did not only succeed in ending the genocide in South Ossetia, but also "signed deals on placing military bases," setting the right political and military conditions for "processes of integration in the post-Soviet space." Under the world system envisaged by Panarin, there will be three centers of power, China, the European Union, and the Russia-led "EU-2." The first to join Russia's union will be Belarus and Kazakhstan, whose president Nursultan Nazarbayev recently proposed a single currency for the region; the rest of the ex-Soviet republics, including eventually the Baltic States, will join later, he said. He noted China's support for Russia's idea of a new global reserve currency. "China should conduct integration in the Pacific region, and Russia in the post-Soviet space, based on their national currencies. The ruble and the yuan could become centers of gravity for the two countries, the basis of the new world super-currency." Panarin said that with the challenges facing the world amid the financial crisis, the process of integration in Eurasia can already be seen. "The global economic and political system is on the verge of colossal changes. Now is the right time to think about the future of the global architecture. and its contours can already be seen." "A unique situation is developing. Until recently there were many factors holding back the integration process in the post-Soviet space, but today the logic of the financial crisis demands new actions, which must succeed. In literally the past few days, several breakthrough foreign policy meetings have been held. An agreement was signed in Moscow on integration between Moldova and Transdnestr - the first breakthrough in 10 years. The unprecedentedly long talks between the presidents of Russia and Belarus, this is also no coincidence." He suggested 2012 as a likely date for the process of forming a new union to be complete, with Putin initially elected for a five-year term.
The Lord is Your Strength
April 6….(Charles Stanley) The world does not offer much hope for those in despair, but God does. Yesterday we saw that after hitting rock bottom, David “strengthened himself in the Lord”. Though Scripture is not specific about what changed during his moment of surrender, I believe he underwent a five-step spiritual process.
David’s trust in the Lord was rewarded. In response to his faith, God gave him the strength he desperately needed. If you surrender to God in moments of despair, He will provide what you need, as He did for David.
Newsmax Magazine Asks: Is it Time For Jesus Return? Churches Never Discuss the Subject
April 6….(FOJ) In these deeply troubled times, the question rises to the fore: Is Jesus Christ about to come back? Is the Second Coming real or myth? What does this mean for America? These questions were posed by the magazine’s promotional advertisers, and yet today’s modern Churches never contemplate the subject. The one thing today’s church has a problem with is Bible prophecy and the subject of eschatology. The church will tolerate anything except the study of Christ’s prophesied return. The denial and refutation of Christ’s return is a hallmark of the apostasy foretold of the Last Days Church, otherwise known as the Laodicean type church. II Peter chapter three describes the attitude, not of the secular world, but of the church membership in the Last Days. (II Peter 3:2-4 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?) Mockers of Bible prophecy today within the church don’t just simply disagree with the subject of the Lord’s return, they viciously attack anyone that teaches the imminent aspect second coming of Jesus. That’s unquestionably because the church of today loves this world, and not the one they are supposedly charged to watch for!