WEEK OF OCTOBER 24 THROUGH OCTOBER 30
Israel Must be Wiped Out of Existence
Thousands take to streets in support of Islamic Jihad, leader backs 'wiping Israel out of existence'
Oct. 29….(Ha Aretz) Tens of thousands of supporters of the militant Islamic Jihad movement rallied in the streets of Gaza on Friday, chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." Young men and boys wearing white T-shirts with a slogan in the shape of a rifle carried portraits of militants killed in combat, under the black flags of Islamic Jihad. Ramadan Shallah, the group's exiled chief, currently residing in Damascus, sent a recorded message marking the anniversary of the assassination of the group's leader Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta in 1995, by presumed Israeli secret agents. "Israel will not bring peace to the region, it will only bring war and destruction and therefore, the slogan of all should be that Israel must be wiped out of existence," said Shallah, who is on a United States wanted list. Senior leaders of the ruling Islamist group, Hamas, joined the open-air gathering, the largest for years in honor of Islamic Jihad with up to 100,000 attending according to its organizers. Hamas allowed the group to use city terrain it usually reserves exclusively for its own rallies, and Hamas forces provided security for the parade by its smaller rival. Islamic Jihad carried out a series of stabbing attacks in the 1980s against Israeli citizens who used to visit the Gaza Strip to purchase cheap goods and later turned to suicide bombings inside Israel. Its militants continue to harass southern Israel with sporadic rocket and mortar fire from inside Gaza, frequently paying with their lives in swift retaliatory strikes by the Israeli air force. Islamic Jihad officials said Friday's turnout was a "referendum by the Palestinian people rejecting peace-making with Israel." Negotiations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have faltered after Israel's 10-month freeze of settlemement construction expired on September 26. "The choice of negotiation has reached deadlock, and we are wondering why is there such an insistence by the Palestinian Authority on negotiation with the enemy," said Shallah. He urged an end to peace talks and fresh efforts to heal the rift between Abbas's Fatah movement and the Islamist militants. Raising hopes that the three-year-old split may be coming to an end, Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya said it was time for unity in the face of Israel. "There is only the choice of Jihad and nothing else. There is no more room to make bets, on the Americans or anyone else," said Hayya.
UN Declares Rachel's Tomb is an Islamic Mosque
Oct. 29….(Arutz) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted recently to officially declare Rachel's Tomb to be a mosque. UNESCO director Irena Bokova had previously stated “concern” at Israel's decision to treat the tomb as a heritage site. The vote called for Rachel's Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the burial site of the other Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, to be removed from Israel's National Heritage list. The Palestinian Authority has claimed that Rachel's Tomb is holy to Muslims as the site of a mosque called the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque. The PA demands control over both the tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron, as well as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. UNESCO appeared to support the PA demand for the Temple Mount as well, asking that Muslim officials be allowed to examine the Mughrabi Gate near the Western Wall (Kotel). Muslim leaders have accused Israel of attempting to damage the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount under the guise of repairs to the Mugrabi Gate. Israeli officials have warned that if the gate is not repaired, it could collapse, putting worshipers at the Western Wall at risk. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, Rabbi of the Western Wall, termed the decision “outrageous.” “They have never said in the past that this was a Muslim holy site. The UN organization responsible for heritage has turned heritage into politics.” Israel should think carefully about whether or not to cooperate with UNESCO in the future, he said. Israel's Foreign Ministry denounced the UNESCO ruling. Tens of thousands of Jews recently visited Rachel's Tomb to mark the biblical matriarch's Yartzheit (anniversary of death). The tomb is located within Bethlehem city limits, but remained under Israeli control when the rest of Bethlehem was transferred to Palestinian Authority control. Journalist Nadav Shragai, writing for Yisrael Hayom, noted that Muslims living in the land of Israel have historically referred to Rachel's Tomb as “Kubat Rahel,” the Arabic term for “Rachel's Tomb.” Under Ottoman rule, Rachel's Tomb was a Jewish site. Only in 1996 did the PA begin to call the site the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, he said.
Prime Minster Netanyahu issued a statement that read, "It is unfortunate that an organization that was established with the goal of promoting the cultural preservation of historical sites around the world, is attempting due to political reasons to uproot the connection between the nation of Israel and its cultural heritage."
Fundamentally Freund: What Bible is the Vatican Reading?
Oct. 29….(Olive Tree) Bishops in Rome tossed theological equivalent of hand grenade, threatening to blow up decades of efforts to improve Catholic-Jewish relations. This past Saturday, a synod of bishops in Rome tossed the theological equivalent of a hand grenade, threatening to blow up decades of efforts to improve Catholic-Jewish relations. In a press conference at the Vatican, Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, a Greek Melkite archbishop from Boston and president of the Church’s Commission for the Message, launched a blistering attack against the very foundation of Jewish belief. “The Holy Scriptures,” Bustros declared, “cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.” Not stopping there, he went on to state that “we Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people.” And so, in one fell swoop, a senior Church official sought to deny the unique, covenantal relationship between God and the Jews, rejecting the divine promise to restore the people of Israel to their Land. One cannot help but wonder: What Bible is the Vatican reading? Whichever one it is, it must be missing a few pages, as even a cursory glance at the Scriptures makes clear that the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel is indisputably ordained. Take, for example, Isaiah 14:1-2: “The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land.” Or how about Jeremiah 11:5, where God says: “I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey...” And then there’s Ezekiel 34: 11-13. And Hosea 3:4-5. And Amos 9:14-15. And Obadiah 1:17, Zephaniah 3:19-20 and Zechariah 8:7-8.
You get the point. But it doesn’t seem that the Catholic Church does. After the Lebanese-born Bustros’s remarks caused a furor, the Vatican spokesman waited two days before issuing a mealy-mouthed statement which did little to calm the storm. “If one wants a summary of the synod’s position, attention must currently be paid to the ‘Message,’ which is the only written text approved by the synod in the last few days,” the Vatican’s Father Federico Lombardi said. “There is also a great richness and variety in the contributions made by the fathers, but which as such should not all be considered as the voice of the synod as a whole.” Lombardi’s efforts to contain the fallout won’t fool anyone. There is no getting around the fact that this convocation of bishops was called by the pope himself. Moreover, the perception around the world was that the Vatican had officially delegitimized Israel while assaulting Judaism itself. As Catholic writer William Doino Jr. noted: “In a statement meant to be fully and intensely Christian, Israel was singled out for blame and criticism. That’s not fair, much less Christian.” Indeed, this entire episode is little more than a cheap bit of politics wrapping itself in the robes of religion. Bustros and his colleagues clearly have a political ax to grind with the Jewish state, and they shamefully do not hesitate to invoke the sacred for this most profane of goals.
My Christian friends tell me that the words “Palestine” and “Palestinians” do not even appear in the New Testament. So the learned bishops could not have come up with the idea of the “occupation of Palestine” while attending Sunday school. Furthermore, by Bustros’s own definition, the founder of Christianity would also have to be considered an “occupier” and a “settler,” for according to Christian belief, Jesus the Jew was born and raised in Bethlehem. That is the very same Bethlehem that Bustros would now like to see become part of a Palestinian state. No matter how one looks at it, the synod’s unbridled insult to Israel and the Jewish people cannot be allowed to stand. If it is not denounced and corrected forthwith, it will quickly be exploited by Israel’s enemies to stir up still more hatred. In a letter to Cardinal-elect Kurt Koch, the newly-appointed head of the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, the Anti-Defamation League rightly singled out Bustros’s remarks as “the worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism.”It called on Koch to “swiftly and publicly correct Archbishop Bustros’s shocking and damaging statements,” and to clarify whether his “interpretation of the synod’s final report reflects the intention of the synod on these profound theological matters.” I would take it one step further. Given the Catholic Church’s long and dark history of anti-Jewish persecution, it is only fitting that the Pope himself speak out loudly and clearly on this issue. It is incumbent upon Pope Benedict to transform this turn of events into a profound opportunity to atone for what the Church has done to the Jewish people through the centuries. Ironically, it was 45 years ago today, on October 28, 1965, that the Second Vatican Council approved a document known as Nostra Aetate, which heralded a sea change in the Church’s position toward Jews. In its wake, much has been accomplished in enhancing relations. But Bustros and his hate-filled rhetoric now threaten to undermine nearly half a century of dialogue and progress. What a terrible shame that would be. For while the Church may pride itself on preaching love and tolerance, when it comes to its attitude toward the Jews, it still has a long way to go.
Palestinians Want State Under Sharia Law
Oct. 29….(Arutz) A newly published public opinion poll shows that young Palestinian Arabs think their corruption-ridden government is doing just fine, but would prefer to see it transformed into an Islamic dictatorship. Conducted by the Palestinian Center for Research and Cultural Dialogue, the poll asked 1,000 Palestinian Arabs between the ages of 18 and 30 to rate the performance of the Palestinian democracy, such as it is. Seventy-one percent evaluated Palestinian democracy as either “good” or “average,” and an equal number said they were satisfied with the human rights situation in Palestinian-controlled areas. Most of the liberal Israeli and international media stopped there with their coverage. What they left out is the following:
* 62 percent of Palestinian youth believe bribery and corruption are prevalent in their society and see those practices as an effective way of getting what they want;
* Less than half (47.2 percent) said they want the Palestinian Authority to remain a democracy;
* 45.3 percent said they want the Palestinian Authority to become an Islamic regime of one form or another;
* 73 percent said that whatever form the Palestinian government takes, it should be either wholly or partially ruled by Sharia Law. Only 22.9 percent voted for a purely civil law;
* The nation chosen as the best ally to the Palestinians with 18.7 percent of the vote was Iran. Only 2.3 percent said the US is the Palestinians’ best ally;
* 59 percent said they are in favor of Iran possessing nuclear weapons;
* A 34.7 percent plurality want to see all of Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza become an Islamic state.
Considering the age range of the respondents, the survey’s results are further evidence that the Palestinian Authority has utterly failed to honor its commitment to educate its population for peaceful coexistence with Israel and to become a free, civil and openly democratic society. Instead, the ill-advised “Oslo” peace process has actually created an increase in the number of young Palestinian Arabs who are becoming radicalized Muslims. The poll also gives the lie to Western efforts to paint the Palestinians as a progressive society not easily swayed by populist religious rhetoric. Most Israelis feel that a true and lasting peace is simply not achievable any time soon. They also have long viewed with suspicion the motives and integrity of the international community as a peace broker. The results of this poll again show why that is the case.
Palestinians Will Declare Statehood in 2011
Oct. 29….(In the Days) Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said plans are under way to declare an independent Palestinian state next year. Fayyad made the comments in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera Thursday, The Jerusalem Post said. “The deadline is next summer, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must end,” Fayyad told the newspaper. “In 2011 we will celebrate 66 years of the United Nations and the United Nations will celebrate the birth of our nation,” he was quoted as saying. Fayyad stressed the importance of forming national institutions in the West Bank ahead of statehood. He said he envisions the Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza unifying for the national cause, despite the differences. He told the newspaper that next week he plans to visit Gaza. “The people of Gaza must be involved in our national project,” he said, noting, “There are gaps between us, it’s true, but the real gap is the wall that closes off the Strip.”
One EMP Burst and Electricity is Gone
Oct. 28….(USA Today) The sky erupts. Citiesa darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses. End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America's future? There is talk of catastrophe ahead, depending on whom you believe, because of the threat of an electromagnetic pulse triggered by either a supersized solar storm or terrorist A-bomb, both capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern life. Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines. The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender. "We are not today hardened against this," he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. "It is an enormous catastrophic threat." Meanwhile, in Congress, a "Grid Act" bill aimed at the threat awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives. Fear is evident. With the sun's 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios. "We're taking this seriously," says Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, which represents utilities. He points to a North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) report in June, conducted with the Energy Department, that found pulse threats to the grid "may be much greater than anticipated." There are "some important reasons for concern," says physicist Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. "But there is also a lot of fluff." At risk are the more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines that cross North America, supplying 1,800 utilities the power for TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners in homes, and for the businesses, hospitals and police stations that take care of us all. "The electric grid's vulnerability to cyber and to other attacks is one of the single greatest threats to our national security," Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in June as he introduced the bill to the House of Representatives. Markey and others point to the August 2003 blackout that struck states from Michigan to Massachusetts, and southeastern Canada, as a sign of the grid's vulnerability. Triggered by high-voltage lines stretched by heat until they sagged onto overgrown tree branches, the two-day blackout shut down 100 power plants, cut juice to about 55 million people and cost $6 billion, says the 2004 US-Canada Power System Outage Task Force. Despite the costs, most of them from lost work, a National Center for Environmental Health report in 2005 found "minimal" death or injuries tied directly to the 2003 blackout, a few people died in carbon monoxide poisonings as a result of generators running in their homes or from fires started from candles. But the effects were pervasive: Television and radio stations went off the air in Detroit, traffic lights and train lines stopped running in New York, turning Manhattan into the world's largest pedestrian mall, and water had to be boiled after water mains lost pressure in Cleveland.
The electromagnetic pulse threat is a function of simple physics: Electromagnetic pulses and geomagnetic storms can alter Earth's magnetic field. Changing magnetic fields in the atmosphere, in turn, can trigger surging currents in power lines. "It is a well-understood phenomenon," says Butt, who this year reviewed geomagnetic and nuke blast worries in The Space Review. Two historic incidents often figure in the discussion: :
• On July 9, 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense Atomic Support Agency detonated the Starfish Prime, a 1.4-megaton H-bomb test at an altitude of 250 miles, some 900 miles southwest of Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean. The pulse shorted out streetlights in Oahu.
• On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The "coronal mass ejection" struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced currents in Quebec's power grid that knocked out power for 6 million people in Canada and the USA for at least nine hours.
A lot of the questions are what steps does it make sense to take," Legge says. "We could effectively gold-plate every component in the system, but the cost would mean that people can't afford the rates that would result to pay for it." "The high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold our society seriously at risk," concluded a 2008 EMP Commission report headed by William Graham, a former science adviser to President Reagan.
The terror effect
In the nuclear scenario, the detonation of an atomic bomb anywhere from 25 to 500 miles high electrifies, or ionizes, the atmosphere about 25 miles up, triggering a series of electromagnetic pulses. The pulse's reach varies with the size of the bomb, the height of its blast and design. Gingrich last year cited the EMP Commission report in warning, "One weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States."
Christian Pastor in Iran To Be Executed This Weekend.
Oct. 28….(Worthy News) Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was convicted of apostasy, a crime that carries the death sentence in the Islamic state of Iran, while his wife was sentenced to life in prison. Nadarkhani led one of the largest Christian communities in Iran; he was singled-out by authoritiies for helping Muslims turn to Christ; he was finally arrested last October after protesting against the enforced reading of the Qu'ran to Christian children. Rights activists are petitioning for the release of both Nadarkhani and his wife.
(FOJ Note: Where is President Obama or Secretary Clinton on dialoguing with Iran over this matter?)
Oct. 28….(Voice of Martyrs) Christians in Iran are reporting that Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani has been sentenced to death for what is called a “thought crime.” VOM contacts confirm that the pastor’s trial was held in recent weeks in the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan, but a formal verdict has not yet been delivered by the court. Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel “Church of Iran” network, is one of several members of his church who have been imprisoned. The Iranian government has also threatened his wife with life imprisonment and has threatened to take away their two children, who are currently being cared for by relatives. Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Quran. Media reports suggest that Pastor Youcef was transferred to Lakan prison, which is supervised by the Political Police of the Islamic Republic. If a death sentence is officially handed down by the court and Pastor Youcef is executed, his would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades. This arrest is the latest in a series of arrests of believers in Iran in the past year. Eighty-three Christians are known to have been arrested in Iran since the beginning of 2010. Of those, 65 were subsequently released, but 18 are still believed to be in custody. The Voice of the Martyrs stands with and supports persecuted believers in Iran. VOM encourages you to pray for Pastor Youcef, his family and other believers in prison. Ask God to protect them and to embolden them to proclaim his name in the face of great persecution.
'Syria Helped Hezbollah Amass 40,000 Missiles'
Oct. 27….(YNET) Hezbolah, Lebanon's Iran and Syria-backed guerilla organization that became a key player in the Beirut govermnent, has amassed some 40,000 missiles, the French daily Le Figaro reported Monday, saying that Damascus had a major role in replenishing the group's arsenal after its 2006 war with Israel. The report also shed new light on the structure of Hezbollah's military wing. Le Figaro cited the United States as having observed that alliance in January, when its radar spotted 26 missiles M-6002 in the area between Damascus and Syria's border with Lebanon. According to Le Figaro, Hezbollah has to date more than 10,000 fighters, and that its weapons transport system is divided into three units: Unit 108 is responsible for transferring weapons and ammunition from Damascus to Hezbollah bases on the Lebanon border and near the Syrian airport; next comes Unit 112, which transports the weapons from those bases into Lebanon; third is Unit 100, which deals with deployment and training. Satellite photos taken in March of last year and caught earlier this month show that the Syrian army has a Scud missile base near Damascus. While the images also suggest that Hezbollah activists are being trained in the Scuds' use at the base, Syria denies reports that it has supplied the militant group with those weapons. The photos can be seen by any web surfer on Google Earth. They show extensive construction at several military bases throughout Syria, including at one of the country's three largest missile bases, located 25 kilometers northeast of Damascus, near the city of Adra. The base is in a deep valley surrounded by 400-meter-high mountains. Concrete tunnels lead from the base into the mountains, where the Scuds are apparently stored. The photos show five 11-meter-long missiles (the length of both the Scud B and the Scud C) at the Adra base. Three are on trucks in a parking lot. Two others are in a training area where 20 to 25 people can be made out along with about 20 vehicles. One of the two missiles appears to be mounted on a mobile launcher; another is on the ground.
A Christian Response to Synod Declaration on the Chosen People
Oct. 27….(by Pastor Ken Garrison) Recently a Catholic synod led by Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros declared that the promise made by G-d to Abraham and his descendants to give them the land of Israel was abolished by Jesus. Almost 2000 years after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, behold, the Jewish people are still with us...and have...become a vibrant nation state. his descendants to give them the land of Israel was abolished by Jesus. Specifically, Archbishop Bustros declared that “For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people. There is no longer a favored people, a chosen people; all men and women of every country have become the chosen people,.” Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, “Catholic Cleric; Jesus Cancelled Biblical ‘Chosen People’, Arutz Sheva, October 24, 2010. This position affirmed by Archbishop Bustros is a simple restatement of the ancient Catholic Church position of replacement theology which is a faulty interpretation of the Bible and it has been demonstrated to be historically incorrect. When God initiated the beginning of redemptive covenants with Abraham, He promised Abraham (i) blessing; (ii) global ministry and (iii) the land of Israel (God made Abraham and his descendants special stewards of the land). These promises were eternal.“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and to your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:7) It is difficult to understand how Archbishop Bustros could misinterpret such simple words as "descendants" and "everlasting". Later the Jewish people had sinned so grievously that God was about to allow the Babylonians to drive them out of the land of Israel. Even under such circumstances God declared the eternal nature of His relationship with the Jewish people. “Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name; If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the Lord, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Thus says the Lord, “If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares the L-rd. (Jeremiah 31:35-37) Beyond these references, we have bold affirmation of the same thing made in the New Testament by none other than the Apostle Paul and, believe it or not, written to the mother church which Archbishop Bustros serves. “I say than, G-d has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (Romans 11:1) Lest we mistake who Paul is talking about, later in the same dissertation, he identifies his subject as those who are seen as “enemies of the gospel” so we know that he was not speaking of Christians as descendants of Abraham. “From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of G-d’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of G-d are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:28-29) Therefore we declare that the position advanced by Archbishop Bustros is Biblically inaccurate. Historically speaking, the statement is equally absurd. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD/CE, when the doctrine of replacement theology was advanced by the so-called “Church Fathers” like Tertullian and Origen, any observer might think that the descendants of Abraham were being eliminated from the human community, at least, as a national entity. We now live almost 2000 years after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the partial exile of the Jewish people living in the land at that time. Behold, the Jewish people are still with us and even more amazing is the fact that they have, once again, become a national state, indeed a vibrant one. Their continued existence and the ingathering leading to statehood in 1948 is one of the most astounding miracles of our age. One of the surest signs of a religious system in “rigor mortis” is its inability or unwillingness to recognize error in its system of thought and to make corrections in accordance with obvious Biblical and/or historical reality. The Roman Catholic Church as reflected in the statement of Archbishop Bustros is demonstrating this sad characteristic. Finally, Archbishop Bustros declared that “all men and women of every country have become the chosen people.” From a Christian perspective, this “state of being chosen” may be considered correct if we think in terms of individuals being reconciled to God. Chritianity, however, focused on the Kingdom of God which is God’s means of providing reconciliation to the nations of the human community. In this ministry, the nation of Israel stands at the center of the process. God’s election of Israel stands. Their right to the Land of Israel stands. Indeed, there is no real hope for peace within the human community until the Kingdom is realized and this will not occur unless and until the Jewish people live in and control Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the surrounding areas. They serve the human community by being the gatekeepers of the Kingdom (Remember God’s promise to Abraham that he would become a blessing to all the families of the earth). This is why God made Abraham and his descendants stewards of the land in the first place. They have been the “chosen people” since the time of Abraham: they are now the “chosen people” and they will always be the “chosen people”.
Assad: US Causes Chaos Everywhere
Oct. 27….(Jerusalem Post) Syria's president has accused the United States of sowing chaos overseas, snubbing Washington's efforts to improve ties with Damascus. Syrian President Bashar Assad told Al-Hayat newspaper in an interview published Tuesday that the US "created chaos in every place it entered." "Is Afghanistan stable? Is Somalia stable? Did they bring stability to Lebanon in 1983?" Assad asked, referring to US intervention in Lebanon's 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. In Washington, the State Department issued a strong rebuttal. Spokesman PJ Crowley charged that Syria is destabilizing Lebanon by supplying arms to militants and issuing arrest warrants for Lebanese officials. "These activities by Syria directly undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and directly undermine Syria's stated commitments to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence," Crowley said. "We believe we're playing a constructive role in the region, and we believe that Syria is not." The tough retort appeared to run counter to US efforts to improve ties with Syria. US President Barack Obama has made repeated overtures to Damascus this year, nominating the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005 and sending top diplomats to meet with Assad. Obama is trying to lure Damascus away from its alliance with Iran and groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. But Syria has continued to strengthen ties with outspoken critics of Washington, such as Iran and Venezuela. In Tuesday's interview, Assad also warned that expected indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could destroy Lebanon. Assad said Lebanon is "divided on a sectarian basis" and that indictments in the case could rip the country apart. "Any clash at any time between any group will sabotage Lebanon and destroy it," he said. A massive truck bombing in Beirut killed Hariri and 22 others on February 14, 2005. A United Nations tribunal is investigating the case but has not indicted anyone. Immediately after the killing, suspicion fell on neighboring Syria because Hariri had sought to weaken its domination of Lebanon. Syria has denied any role in the murder. The killing galvanized opposition to Damascus and sparked huge street demonstrations that helped end Syria's 29-year military presence in Lebanon. This paved the way for pro-Western parties to head the government in subsequent elections. Many expect the tribunal to indict members of Hezbollah, the Syrian-backed Shiite militia that now shares power in a fragile unity government with a Western-backed coalition. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has said he expects the tribunal to indict members of his group. He vows not to hand them over for prosecution. Many fear that indictments of Hezbollah members could trigger violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. In 2008, sectarian clashes killed 81 people and nearly plunged Lebanon into another civil war.
Saudi King: Global Unity Needed for Peace and Security
Oct. 26….(Arab News) Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday called for joint global efforts to establish peace and justice. He also emphasized the need to safeguard the interests of humanity. "Saudi Arabia stands for the whole world. Our religion is Islam and we believe that other religions are revealed from God. We spread the teachings of God for the benefit of humanity," the king said, while speaking to newly accredited ambassadors. King Abdullah wished the new ambassadors success in their new careers and a happy stay in their "second home." The new envoys presented their credentials to the king. They included Syed Muhammad Javad Rasooli of Iran, Talmiz Ahmed of India, Ahmed Aflal Jawad of Sri Lanka, Ahmed Al-Bousaeedi of Oman, Ahmed Mukhtar Gun of Turkey, Pablo Bravo of Spain, Hasan Moulaye of Niger, Yekaterina Mayering-Mikadze of Georgia and Gatot Abdullah Mansour of Indonesia. Other ambassadors who presented their credentials include Oleg Ozerov of Russia, Ablah Hard Omar of Tanzania, Frank Galea of Malta, Ahmed Ould Abah of Mauritania, Valentino Simonetti of Italy, Rod Harris of New Zealand, Jarno Syrjälä of Finland, Tom Phillips of the UK, Kim Jong-yong of South Korea, Sergio Cerda of Argentina and Peter Reinhardt of Switzerland. Sri Lankan Ambassador Jawad spoke on behalf of the ambassadors and commended King Abdullah’s efforts to boost the Kingdom’s development in education and other vital sectors. He said he was impressed by Saudi Arabia’s remarkable progress under the leadership of King Abdullah. He referred to the establishment of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal near Jeddah and Princess Nourah University in Riyadh. “I and my fellow diplomats are confident that Saudi Arabia is moving in the right direction. We are overwhelmed by the king’s call for dialogue between the followers of different faiths and cultures in this difficult time of history,” he said and wished every success for the king’s interfaith dialogue initiative. King Abdullah also received new Saudi ambassadors, including Abdul Baqi Ajlan in Ethiopia, Bandar Mahmoud in Tajikistan, Jamal Rafah in Uganda, Talal Sabri in Myanmar and Nahid Al-Harbi in Mali, who took the oath of office in front of the king. King Abdullah advised the new ambassadors to work for strengthening Saudi Arabia’s relations with other countries and represent their country, people and religion in the best possible way. The ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, intelligence chief Prince Muqrin and other senior officials.
Turning America’s Churches Against Israel
Oct. 26….(FrontPage Magazine) “With God on Our Side,” the new anti-Israel movie produced by an evangelical pastor and aimed at evangelical audiences, is touring America this month, with anti-Israel British Anglican priest Stephen Sizer in tow. The Evangelical Left is anxious to neutralize evangelicals as America’s typically most pro-Israel demographic, especially by focusing on the plight of Palestinian Christians, who are portrayed as victims exclusively of Israeli oppression. “With God on Our Side,” predictably, portrays pro-Israel Christians as mindless zealots indifferent to Palestinian suffering and exploiting Israeli Jews as merely tools for precipitating the Second Coming. Hapless quotes from Christian Zionists are contrasted with thoughtful articulations from Palestinian Christians and other pro-Palestinian advocates. Anglican priest Stephen Sizer, prominently featured in the film, bewails Christian Zionism on his website: “Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.” Rev. Sizer essentially advocates a Helen Thomas sort of theology. His blog even acclaimed Thomas for exclaiming that Jews need to “get out of Palestine” and go back to Poland or wherever. “Bring it on,” Sizer enthused in response to Thomas’s promise to keep speaking out. He has further explained: “With God on our Side” is a direct challenge to the foolish idea that Christian Zionism has any biblical or moral foundation. It is an oxymoron, as absurd as to suggest that biblical Christianity and apartheid are in any way compatible. The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa tried and failed and eventually repented. Would that Christian Zionists did the same.” Sizer is incredulous that Christians would “justify on theological grounds the theft of land, the demolition of homes, the destruction of property, the creation of ghettos and the denial of fundamental human rights, in order to create what is increasingly becoming a racist state.” He insists in his blog that Christian support for Israel challenges “our understanding of the gospel, the centrality of the cross, the role of the church, and the nature of our missionary mandate, not least, to the beloved Jewish people.” And he deplores Christian Zionism as a “heresy conclusively refuted by the New Testament.” Sizer and “With God on our Side” are unwilling to accept that many evangelicals and other Christians have substantive reasons for supporting Israel other than a grimacing expectation of the End Times. Israel’s democracy, pro-Western stance, and resistance to Islamist terror are just a few reasons that many Americans, Christian or not, affirm Israel against its many enemies. But Sizer and his film are largely uninterested in the transgressions, and inferior human rights records, of Israel’s primary foes. Nor are they usually willing to critique radical Islam. “With God on our Side,” with Sizer and producer Porter Speakman of Colorado as the chief promoters, is gaining an audience among some evangelicals. They screened their film at prestigious evangelical Wheaton College earlier this year. And “Christianity Today,” a flagship evangelical magazine, favorably reviewed the film this Summer. “A Christian pastor, Speakman asks such Zionists to reevaluate their absolute support of Israel,” the review observed. “He presents historical context, theological perspective, and on-the-ground impressions.” Agreeing with the film that “Palestinians’ claims to the land cannot be easily dismissed,” the reviewer uncritically accepted the film’s premise that “ordinary Palestinians, including fellow Christians, are being hurt by Israel’s policies,” without examining other more potent threats to Palestinian Christians. Admitting that “some” might see the film as “slanted,” the reviewer defended the film for ostensibly “telling a story” that its “intended audience has not heard.” That audience is supposedly naïve and mindless evangelicals who have been insulated from any criticism of Israel until exposed to “With God on our Side.” It’s not clear what caves or compounds those pious fools live in. But this film, no less propagandistic and vapid than it alleges its Christian Zionist targets to be, offers a simplistic counter narrative that portrays Israel as the moral equivalent of apartheid South Africa. The tiny percentage of Palestinians who are Christian are useful props for this film and its advocates who, like much of the Evangelical Left, are not typically interested in persecuted Christians unless Israel is the villain. Anti-Israel activists often especially fault US evangelicals for America’s pro-Israel tilt. But polls usually show that pro-Israel sentiment in America includes not just evangelicals but also Mainline Protestants, Catholics and Jews. End times scenarios do not motivate the pro-Israel beliefs of most Americans or even most evangelicals. But “With God on our Side” constructed a cheap straw man based on stereotypes, maybe because it could not proffer more substantive arguments.
* The Following news stories concerning the Vatican’s announced position that the “Promised Land” of Old Testament historical prominence, land which plays the pivotal climactic geo-political component in Last Days eschatology, reveals that the UN, the Vatican, and the Arab League are all complicity harmonized against the plan of God concerning Israel. God’s covenant regarding the “Promised Land” is irrevocable because God cannot lie. Replacement theology, being espoused by Rome, and much of modern Christianity is an ideology which serves the interest of the Antichrist, and not Jesus Christ!
Catholic Church: Christ Nullified God's Promises to the Jews
Oct. 25….(Israel Today) A Roman Catholic synod called at the Vatican to address the rising persecution of Christian in the Middle East wrapped up on Saturday with a joint statement that focused a lot of attention on demanding Israel end its “occupation” of Arab lands. The gathering was meant to address the various acts of persecution, intimidation and discrimination that are resulting in a severe dwindling of Christian communities across the region. But the bulk of the two-week meeting was spent discussing how Israel is the root cause of all the Middle East’s woes, including those faced by its Christians. The final statement reflected that position. It listed the “occupation” of Arab lands, the building of Israel’s security barrier, military checkpoints, the jailing of terrorists (defined in the statement as “political prisoners”) and the general disruption of Palestinian life as some of the main reasons behind the exodus of Palestinian Christians and Muslim attacks on the Jewish state. Cyril Salim Bustros, the Lebanon-born Greek archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston, Massachusetts was responsible for delivering the final statement. In clarifying remarks, he stated that “the Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.” He then escalated the situation by declaring that the original promises made by God to the children of Israel “were nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people.” Bustros rejected the idea of Israel as “the Jewish State,” and insisted that eventually all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” must return to the land, a sure recipe for the demographic destruction of the world’s only Jewish nation-state. Mordechai Levi, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican, decried Bustros’ comments and the damage they had done to strengthening ties between Israel and the Church. The Roman Catholic Church has for years been trying to repair its image as an institution steeped in anti-Semitism. But Bustros’ remarks make fairly clear that the Vatican remains as dedicated as ever to replacement theologym that teaching that says God has tossed aside the Jews, despite his irrevocable promises to them, and that “the Church” has instead inherited those promises.
*FOJ Note: Rome has it all backwards! Jehovah God has begun the physical restoration of the Jews to the land of Israel, and He will likewise judge the nations and religions that oppose his providence for his people and His Land!
Vatican Asks UN to 'End Israeli Occupation'
Oct. 25….(Arutz) Israel cannot use the Biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify new "settlements" in Jerusalem or territorial claims, a Vatican synod on the Middle East said on Saturday. In its concluding message after two weeks of meetings, the synod of bishops from the Middle East also said it hoped a two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be lifted from dream to reality and called for peaceful conditions that would stop a Christian exodus from the region. US-brokered peace talks have stalled since Israel rejected appeals to extend a temporary moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank that expired last month. Since the freeze expired, Israel has announced plans to build another 238 homes in two east Jerusalem neighborhoods, drawing the condemnation of Palestinians and world leaders. In a separate part of the document, a section on cooperation with Jews, the synod fathers also took issue with Jews who use the Bible to justify settlements in the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967. "Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable," the document said. Many Jewish settlers and right-wing Israelis claim a biblical birthright to the West Bank, which they call Judea and Samaria and regard as a part of historical, ancient Israel given to the Jews by God. Asked about the passage at a news conference, Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, said: "We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. "The concept of the Promised Land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians," he added. "The justification of Israel's occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures." The synod's concluding message repeated a Vatican call for Jerusalem to have a special status "which respects its particular character" as a city sacred to the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Jerusalem remains a key issue of dispute. Palestinians want east Jerusalem for capital of a future state. Israel has annexed the area, a move never recognized internationally, and has declared Jerusalem to be its "united and eternal" capital. Israel did not include east Jerusalem as part of its 10-month building freeze, though most plans there were put on hold in March, when the US protested reports of a new housing project leaked during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden. While recognizing "the suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live" and the need for Israel to enjoy peace within internationally recognized borders, the document was much more expansive and detailed on the situation of Palestinians. It said Palestinians "are suffering the consequences of the Israeli occupation: the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees." It urged Christians in the region not to sell their homes and properties. "It is a vital aspect of the lives of those who remain there and for those who one day will return there." It condemned terrorism "from wherever it may proceed" as well as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and discrimination against Christians. "We have meditated on the situation of the holy city of Jerusalem. We are anxious about the unilateral initiatives that threaten its composition and risk to change its demographic balance," the message said.
Vatican Synod Calls for End to Israel’s ‘Occupation’
Oct. 25….(Jerusalem Post) Catholic Bishops from the Middle East who were summoned to Rome by the pope demanded on Saturday that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an end to its “occupation” of Arab lands. In a final joint communique, the bishops also told Israel it shouldn’t use the Bible to justify “injustices” against the Palestinians. The bishops issued the statement at the close of their two-week meeting, called by Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East amid a major exodus of the faithful from the region. The Catholic Church has long been a minority in the largely Muslim region but its presence is shrinking further as a result of war, conflict, discrimination and economic problems. “The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston, Massachusetts, and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference. “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘Promised Land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people, all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. “Even if the head of the Israeli state is Jewish, the future is based on democracy. The Palestinian refugees will eventually come back and this problem will have to be solved,” the Lebanese-born Bustros said. Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, told The Jerusalem Post that Bustros, in saying that Jesus nullified God’s covenant with the Jewish people, was “returning to successionist theology, contradicting Second Vatican Council teaching and Pope Benedict himself, who has welcomed the return of Jews to their ancient homeland.” “Also,” added the ambassador, “by inviting all Palestinian refugees to return and denying Israel’s right to define itself a Jewish state, the only such in the world, he is regressing to hard-line positions that deny Israel’s right to exist.” During the meeting, several bishops blamed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for spurring the flight of Christians from the Middle East, a position echoed in their final paper. While the bishops condemned terrorism and anti-Semitism, they laid much of the blame for the conflict squarely on Israel. They listed the “occupation” of Palestinian lands, Israel’s West Bank security barrier, its military checkpoints, “political prisoners,” demolition of homes and disturbance of Palestinians’ social and economic activities for making life increasingly difficult for Palestinians. They said they had “reflected” on the suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live and on the status of Jerusalem, a city holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims. “We are anxious about the unilateral initiatives that threaten its composition and risk to change its demographic balance,” the bishops said in a joint statement. They called on the international community to apply UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 1967, which called on Israel to withdraw from Arab land conquered in the Six Day War that year. “The Palestinian people will thus have an independent and sovereign homeland where they can live with dignity and security, while Israel will be able to enjoy peace and security,” they said. In their “Appeal to the International Community” the bishops expressed “hopes that the two-state solution becomes a reality and not only a dream.” The document calls for “taking the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories” as well as “an end to the consequences of the deadly war in Iraq” and promotion of “basic public freedoms” and “sovereignty" in Lebanon. Violence, terrorism, religious extremism, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Christianism and Islamophobia are all condemned, while “the religions” are called upon “to assume their responsibility to promote dialogue between cultures and civilizations in our region and in the entire world.”
Palestinians Threaten to Break Treaty They Have Never Honored
Oct. 25….(Israel Today) The Palestinian Authority on Saturday warned that if Israel did not start meeting its peace demands, then the Palestinians would break the so-called “Oslo Accord” that started the whole peace process. Most in Israel responded to the news by rolling their eyes, fully aware that the Palestinians have never truly honored the Oslo Accord anyway. “Most probably, we will abandon the Palestinian obligations that resulted from these accords because Israel is denying all agreements and keeping violating them,” declared Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member of the Palestinian Authority, told China’s Xinhua news agency. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top advisor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, added in remarks to the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, “We can’t remain committed to the agreements that were signed with Israel forever.” Of course, since the “Oslo Accord” was signed some 15 years ago, the Palestinians have honored very few, if any, of their primary commitments. According to the document, the Palestinian Authority was supposed to dismantle the Arab terrorist network in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, end all incitement against Israel and the Jews, and generally foster an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence. In reality, terrorism rose to new heights under the PA, incitement in the official PA media and state-run schools continues to worsen, and Palestinian leaders themselves often encourage hatred of and even violence against Israel. Meanwhile, Israel has surrendered huge swaths of land to the PA, nearly all of the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza today lives under the control of the PA, and Israeli schools have even gone so far as to teach the Palestinian perspective of the conflict. Israel’s land concessions only slowed and eventually ceased when it became clear there was no reciprocity.
Saudi Arabia Prince Blasts US for not ‘Curbing’ Israel
Oct. 25….(Jerusalem Post) Two days after the United States unveiled an arms deal with Saudi Arabia estimated at $60 billion, one of Riyadh’s leading figures blasted the US for not living up to its commitments in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and not doing more to rein in Israel. “It has failed to curb the brutal Israeli policy of collective punishment, arbitrary arrests and killings,” charged Prince Turki al- Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the US and ex-director of Saudi intelligence. He also criticized American officials for not standing up to Israel, maintaining, “It is these officials who propose that the Netanyahu government should be rewarded for its intransigence rather than sanctioned.” He said that Riyadh and other Arab countries had agreed to back the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations “under the United States-negotiated partial colony freeze,” whereby America had pushed Israel to impose a settlement freeze before talks started. That freeze expired on September 26, and Palestinians with the support of the Arab League have been unwilling to continue talks until the freeze is resumed. “The United States failed to stick to its assurances, and to add insult to injury, offered the Netanyahu government more money, arms, protection from UN sanctions and, shamefully, the stationing of Israeli troops on Palestinian territory as if the territory were part of American sovereign lands,” Turki said of reported US proposals to get Israel to renew the freeze. Speaking to the annual conference of the National Council for US-Arab Relations, Turki also lambasted the Israel lobby, saying that “There has grown over the years a web of very tight and strong strings that bind the US to her client state, Israel.” He led off his address, which followed a presentation on how Sesame Street uses muppets in children’s television across the Middle East to foster tolerance and respect, by saying that puppets don’t only appear on TV screens. “There are live human muppets in Washington here who are run by AIPAC, and unfortunately what they bring is war and suffering,” he said. He also noted at the beginning of his remarks that some friends who had seen his speech suggested he be “princely,” but that he had opted to go with “genuineness.” In a talk dedicated to US-Saudi relations, he did praise America at times for its pursuit of peace and the good relations it has enjoyed with Riyadh. “Saudi Arabia’s will and determination to continue its strong and fruitful relations with the United States comes not only because it is America which has shown the capability to bring Israeli craven ambitions to heel,” he said, “but also because the United States has been a beacon of goodwill and progress to the rest of humanity and will continue to be so.” Turki mentioned Iran as part of his appeal for a Middle East free from nuclear weapons, though he spent more time on Israel’s nuclear program and his disappointment with the Obama administration for altering aspects of its nuclear-free policy as a result. Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal, however, proceeded Turki at the conference and spoke more directly of Saudi concerns about Iran’s nuclear efforts. “The Arab countries of the Gulf are deeply concerned about Iranian nuclear intentions and their direct threat to regional security and stability we believe current Iranian policy represents,” he said.
King Abdullah, Abbas Weigh Mideast Options
Oct. 25….(Arab News) Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his palace in Riyadh Friday afternoon. They discussed the latest developments in Palestine, including efforts to bring stalled peace talks back on track and stressed the need for the global community to renew its commitment to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Chief of General Intelligence Prince Muqrin and Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs Prince Miteb bin Abdullah received Abbas on his arrival at the Riyadh Air Base. Palestine’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jamal Al-Shubaki told Arab News that during the three-hour summit, King Abdullah offered his full support to the Palestinians and said the issue was central to Saudi foreign policy. "The president explained to the king the situation in Palestinian territories and the present status of peace efforts. The two leaders also stressed the significance of joint Arab efforts in the face of Israel’s stubbornness.” Al-Shubaki added that discussions also explored other options such as going to the UN Security Council to find a just solution to the Palestinian issue. Abbas was accompanied by Secretary to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Yasser Abed Rabbo, chief Palestinian negotiator and member of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat and media adviser to the president Nabil Abu Rudainah. The last visit by Abbas to the Kingdom was in August, before direct talks between Palestinians and Israel began. Direct US-brokered peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel began Sept. 2, but the Palestinians suspended talks after a 10-month Israeli moratorium on housing in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank expired Sept. 26. The Kingdom supports Arab and international efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive Middle East peace, which would ensure the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. The Saudi Council of Ministers urged the United Nations on Oct. 4 to force Israel to abide by international law and Security Council Resolutions and restore the usurped rights of the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia has also stressed the need for national unity between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. Relations between Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Fatah-controlled West Bank were severed after Hamas routed and ousted pro-Abbas forces in deadly fighting in Gaza in 2007. The latest meeting scheduled to patch up differences between Hamas and Fatah factions in Damascus on Wednesday was postponed.
Pope: Mideast Peace is Possible Only If Israel Acts
(Benedict XVI says freedom of religion 'one of the fundamental human rights,' should be subject of dialogue with Muslims)
Oct. 25….(Israel News) Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday called for greater religious freedom in the Middle East and said that peace there is possible, urgently needed and the best remedy to the exodus of Christians from the region. Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday to mark the end of a two-week meeting of Mideast bishops, called to discuss the future of embattled Christians in the largely Muslim region. In final statement of two-week conference, bishops' synod says Biblical concept of 'Promised Land' cannot be used to justify settlements. He called freedom of religion "one of the fundamental human rights, which each state should always respect" and said the issue should be the subject of dialogue with Muslims. The pontiff said that, while freedom of worship exists in many Mideast countries, the space given to the actual freedom to practice "is many times very limited." Expanding this space, he said, is necessary to guarantee "true freedom to live and profess one's faith." The exodus of the faithful from the birthplace of Christianity has been a major theme of the meeting, which gathered about 185 bishops from Latin and Eastern rite Catholic churches across the region and from the Diaspora. In addition, two imams and a rabbi were invited to address the synod. The Catholic church has long been a minority in the Middle East but its presence is shrinking further as a result of conflict, discrimination and economic problems. Pope Benedict said many Christians living in the Middle East are in discomfort either because of poor economic conditions or because of the "discouragement, the state of tension and sometimes of fear" they live in. "Peace is possible. Peace is urgent," Benedict said in his homily. "Peace is also the best remedy to avoid the emigration from the Middle East."
'Let he who has never sinned cast the fist stone'
In their final communique issued Saturday, the bishops demanded that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an end to its "occupation" of Arab lands, and told Israel it shouldn't use the Bible to justify "injustices" against the Palestinians. While the bishops condemned terrorism and anti-Semitism, they laid much of the blame for the conflict squarely on Israel. They listed the "occupation" of Palestinian lands, Israel's separation barrier with the West Bank, its military checkpoints, political prisoners, demolition of homes and disturbance of Palestinians' socio-economic lives as factors that have made life increasingly difficult for Palestinians.The Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized the bishops' statement that Israel shouldn't use the Bible to justify "injustices" against the Palestinians. "This has never been a policy of any government in Israel so this position sounds particularly hollow," Yigal Palmor said Sunday. "Let he who has never sinned cast the fist stone." Palmor also said Israel is the only Mideast country whose Christian population is growing, and called on Christians not to flee the region. "Israel views their presence in the Middle East as a blessing and regrets their decline in Arab countries," he said.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 17 THROUGH OCTOBER 23
First Ever Joint Saudi-Egyptian Maneuver Geared to Iranian Threat
Oct. 23….(DEBKA) Egypt and Saudi Arabia secretly carried out their first ever joint exercise this week with the participation of their special operations, marine, armored, missile, air and naval forces, Debkafile's military sources reveal. Exercise Tabuk-2 was programmed to repulse a potential Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia by taking the battle over to Islamic Republican territory. Our sources note that a new chapter was written in Middle East military history this week: The two largest Arab nations deployed their military strength in position for combating the Iranian army and its Revolutionary Guards Corps and showed they were willing to counter Iranian belligerence by invading the aggressor. Tabuk-2, which Riyadh and Cairo took care to keep under wraps, took place from Sunday, Oct. 17 to Wednesday Oct.21 under the command of Acting Saudi Defense and Aviation Minister, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, son of Crown Prince Sultan. Khaled's military record goes back to 1991 when he led the Saudi contingents taking part in the American invasion of Kuwait for ending the Iraqi takeover. In 2009, he commanded the Saudi expedition force, which fought Iran-backed and funded Huthi rebels in northern Yemen. This week's joint exercise was conducted in Egypt's northern desert up to its Mediterranean shoreline, an area whose terrain is similar to conditions on the Persian Gulf coast of eastern Saudi Arabia. Although Iran was not named, the two armies practiced responses to "enemy landings" in the kingdom's eastern regions, where its oil fields, facilities and ports are situated. The script provided for Egyptian forces to be rushed to the area under attack and join up with the Saudis to throw the invaders back while at the same time a joint Saudi-Egyptian commando force standing by in the northwest would make for the western coast of Iran and launch a counter-attack on Revolutionary Guards bases. In the weeks leading up to Tabuk-2, large-scale Saudi marine, air force, tanks and artillery forces arrived in Egypt, their first landing on Egyptian soil. According to military sources, this was the first maneuver in a series planned for the coming months in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Persian Gulf arenas. Riyadh and Cairo are firmly resolved to have their armies at peak war readiness at all times for going into battle in any security contingency that might arise. Egypt gave Israel advance notice of the maneuver and met with its approval
Chavez Israel Must Give Up Golan
(FOJ Note: Former US President Jimmy Carter would agree with Chavez)
Oct. 22….(Jerusalem Post) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on today that Israel "does not have the desire to give anything for the sake of peace." Assad made the comments during a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Syria. Chavez reiterated that Caracas supports Syria's right to win the return of the Golan Heights and said "I hope the day comes when I when visit the Golan after it is liberated. Chavez said that he and his Syrian counterpart are "on the offensive" against Western imperialism. In Damascus, Chavez said that he and Syrian President Bashar Assad are building ties "to accelerate the fall of US imperialist hegemony and the birth of the new world of equilibrium and peace." "We're on the offensive," Chavez said. "We're building an alternative." The two also discussed a proposed oil project and signed several economic agreements. Chavez arrived in Syria on Wednesday from Teheran, where he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said they are united in efforts to establish a "new world order" that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.
Meanwhile, former US President Jimmy Carter, during a visit to Damascus today, called for Israel to lift completely its blockade on the Gaza Strip. Carter also met with Syrian President Assad and Hamas terror politburo chief Meshal while in Damascus. Despite the fact that the US and the European Union labels Hamas as a terrorist organization, he still met with exiled Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshal, as he has done during previous regional visits.
Ahmadinejad Cracking Down on Spread of Christianity in Iran
Oct. 22….(Worthy News) A well-known Iranian pastor faces execution after two judges agreed to make him "liable to capital punishment," as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June along with his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran for the crime of spreading Christianity. A senior pastor of the Church of Iran movement, which includes house churches across the country, told Worthy News that Muslim judges had "already signed" an Islamic order that would potentially allow a death sentence for Nadarkhani, pending further investigations.
Yesterday, Fatemeh Passandideh, the wife of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, was released by a court in Gilan province, in northern Iran. The release of Fatemeh Passandideh comes ten days after the announcement of the death sentence for her husband Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Pastor Nadarkhani was charged with apostasy and leaving Islam, last month by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of the province of Gilan. Christians have expressed concerns about the case as the couple has two young sons. It comes amid reports of growing pressure on the Church of Iran, a Protestant movement which includes several underground house churches in the strict Islamic nation. The church says it has been "the subject of a campaign of persecution, unprecedented since the advent of the Islamic revolution" in 1979, which saw the overthrow of Iran's monarchy and its replacement with an Islamic republic under revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "Several members of the movement have been arrested since October 2009 among them pastor Behrouz Khandjani, who is still in isolation in the sinister “plate 100” (prison) of Shiraz." Christian observers have said the "elimination of religious minorities" has become a national priority in Iran. The pressure on the Church of Iran comes at a time of violent attacks against Christians, according to church groups.
Elam Ministries, a major mission group of Iranian church leaders, said it knows of at least one young Iranian Christian from a Muslim background who has died in recent weeks of injuries sustained when he was severely beaten by relatives. The relatives allegedly took exception to the "commitment to Jesus" of the man, who activists say leaves behind a wife and two young children. His name was not released. Middle East Concern (MEC), a rights group with follows reports of Christian persecution, told BosNewsLife that other Christians also face persecution as at least three of 15 Christians detained in July in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city, remain detained and are "under pressure to recant their faith but are refusing to do so." Additionally in Ahvaz, the capital of Iran's Khuzestan province, an assistant pastor remains in custody after having been arrested during a raid on his home on July 24, MEC said. "His wife and young daughter were arrested with him and detained briefly," MEC added. The names of those detained were not immediately released amid security concerns.
MEC also cited a report on Iranian state television that in early September, nine believers were detained in Hamedan, the capital of Hamadan province, on charges of evangelism, which potentially carries the death penalty under strict laws in Iran. Iran's government has reportedly expressed concern about the spread of Christianity among Muslims. Elam Ministries said in 1979, there were less than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. "Today the most conservative estimate is that there are at least 100,000 believers in the nation."
US Deploys 2nd Air Carrier in Persian Gulf with 60 Warplanes
Oct. 21….(DEBKAfile Special Report ) The United States has posted a second aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, in the Persian Gulf and northern Arabian Sea. The announcement came from the Pentagon Tuesday, Oct. 19, two days after the vessel put into port at Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain. Debkafile's sources note that this is the first time in two years that Washington had deployed two aircraft carriers at same time, not just one, in waters opposite Iran and Afghanistan. Facing Iran at the moment therefore is the USS Harry S. Truman which has four squadrons of Hornet and Super Hornet fighter-bombers plus Squadron 116 of early warning, surveillance and command craft, Squadron 131 of electronic warfare craft, two more squadrons of helicopters and one of transports. The Abraham Lincoln's arrival has raised the number of US fighter-bombers in Iran's neighborhood to 120. The carrier was accompanied by the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George. The Pentagon announcement was careful to avoid mentioning Iran: US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved the presence of a second carrier, to provide surge support for coalition forces in Afghanistan "and to support existing maritime security operations." But the significance of two massive American naval-aerial strike forces opposite Iranian shores was not lost on Tehran, our sources report. Wednesday, Oct. 20, Brig. Gen. Hussein Salami, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, came out with this statement: "The enemies of Iran should know the Islamic establishment's red lines and not trespass them."
New Survey Indicates Large Oil Field Buried Under Negev
Oct. 21….(Arutz) A new preliminary geological survey indicates 26 million barrels of recoverable oil, worth $2 billion, may be sitting underneath the sandy soil in the area of two kibbutzim in the Western Negev, near Gaza. Energtek announced it has received a geological survey on the Nir-am, Sa'ad block, “identifying the potential for exploitable oil and natural gas reserves.” Its subsidiary Energtek Products has the exclusive license to explore and exploit the resources in the area. The firm added, “Current estimates will need to be confirmed by additional studies. Additional seismic analysis, modeling and further verifications are required to compile more accurate data on the fields and to provide more accurate reports on actual recoverable reserves.” Besides the estimates of oil at a depth of 2,000 meters, or approximately a mile and a quarter, the preliminary survey also reports an additional estimate of 12 million barrels of recoverable oil at depths of up to 4,000 meters, worth $900 at current prices. The area is adjacent to the small Heletz oil field, which so far has produced more than 16 million barrels of oil. If the new field is drilled, it will be the first deep-well drilling in the area in decades. The announcement of the possible new field comes one day after Israel entered a new era with the beginning of drilling of the huge Leviathan natural gas and oil field off the northern Mediterranean Coast. Drilling and exploration over the next five months will cost $150 million, according to Delek Energy, the parent of Delek Drilling and partner Avner Oil. American-based Noble is also part of the consortium. “The drilling is intended to examine the potential of the Levantine basin,” according to Delek chief executive officer Gideon Tadmor, chief executive officer. “If this drilling project turns out to be a success, it will significantly strengthen Israel’s energy independence.” Noble also operates the nearby Tamar gas field, which it said may hold twice the reserves of reserves in Britain and can supply Israel with enough gas for decades.
Netanyahu: We Won't Allow an Iranian State in the West Bankk
Oct. 21….(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke strongly about Israel's position on the peace process Wednesday, during a Knesset session commemorating the anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Quoting a 1995 speech made by the slain prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Netanyahu said, "Building communities in Judea and Samaria is not inconsistent with the pursuit of a peace agreement." Speaking for himself, he added,"We don't want to take away the Palestinians' right to self-determination." He continued, "However, we left Lebanon and now Iran approaches the border fence. We left Gaza and now Iran approaches the border fence. Now we face a third time. We will not allow Iran to approach the border again."
Chavez and Ahmadinejad Seek to Change World Order
Oct. 21….(Reuters) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Venezuelan counterpart on Wednesday they would defeat their common foes, the latest defiant salvo against Western countries that he says are failing in their attempts to isolate Iran. At the end of a two-day visit, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned military threats against Iran which the United States and Israel have said they could strike to prevent it getting a nuclear bomb. The visit by Iran's long time ally comes a week after Ahmadinejad received a warm reception in Lebanon, home to the militant Shi'ite group Hezbollah. Both diplomatic events are partly aimed to show Washington that Iran still has friends around the world who are willing to confront US interests. "I should use the opportunity to condemn those military threats that are being made against Iran," Chavez told a news conference in which the two leaders called each other "brother." "We know that they will never be able to restrict the Islamic revolution in whatever way ... We will always stand together, we will not only resist we will also stand victorious beside one another." The countries have more than their dislike of the United States in common; they are also OPEC members whose valuable oil exports allow them a certain diplomatic muscle despite being viewed with suspicion in the West. Chavez said they signed several new agreements aimed at boosting industrial cooperation.
In words which showed his ambition to represent developing countries that feel oppressed by the West, Ahmadinejad said Iran and Venezuela was part of a revolutionary front from Latin America "stretching all the way to East Asia." "My brother Mr. Chavez and I and a few other people were once alone in the world, today we have a long line of revolutionary officials and people standing alongside each other," he said. "The enemies of our nations will go one day. This is the promise of God and the promise of God will definitely be fulfilled," said Ahmadinejad in a comment likely to be seen by Israel as a threat from someone who has often said the Jewish state will one day cease to exist. Washington led a push for tougher sanctions against Iran to pressure it the over nuclear activities it fears are aimed at making a bomb. Iran says it merely seeks peaceful nuclear technology and accuses its foes of trying to stop it progress. Following in Iran's footsteps, before coming to Tehran, Chavez secured a deal with Russia to help build Venezuela's first nuclear power plant.
FOJ Note: Mr. Ahmadinejad’s continuing threat concerning his god’s intent to destroy Israel belies the identity of his god. His god is the great red dragon of Revelation chapter12, which of course is not the same God of the Holy Bible.
US Announces Massive Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia
Oct. 21….(CNN) The Obama administration has notified Congress of plans for a multiyear, multibillion-dollar weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, a State Department official said Wednesday. The sale is meant to further align the Saudi military relationship with the United States and enhance the ability of the kingdom to defer and defend threats to it and its oil structure, which "is critical to our economic interests," said Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary for political and military affairs, at a State Department news conference. The deal, worth up to $60 billion over 20 years, will include the sale of 84 F-15 aircraft, the upgrade of 70 older-model F-15 aircraft and almost 200 helicopters. Congress has 30 days to raise any objections to the deal.
Astronomers Claim Discovery of Farthest Galaxy
Oct. 21….(MSNBC) Astronomers have confirmed that an incredibly faint galaxy in the constellation Fornax is the most distant known object in the universe, shining more than 13 billion light-years away and reflecting an era when stars were just beginning to emerge from a cosmic fog. The galaxy, known as UDFy-38135539, is one of several super-distant objects picked out from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the most sensitive snapshot ever taken of deep space. In time, astronomers may well spot objects that are even farther away, but this particular galaxy was the first of its type to go through the arduous process of having its measurements checked. Astronomers routinely check the spectral signatures of thousands of faint objects in the cosmos, looking for the telltale signs of extreme redshift, that is, a shift in the spectrum that is linked to how far away an object is in our expanding universe. This galaxy therefore is receding away more rapidly than other nearer galaxies.
FOJ Note: In several passages, God the Creator specified that he “stretched” out the heavens, a fact that even the cosmologists have inadvertently verified with their expanding universe and big bang approaches to the cosmos. (Isaiah 45:12, Jeremiah 51:15) (Jeremiah 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.) Even the red-shifting of light verifies this reality, as the stretching effect continues.
Chavez Embraces Ahmadinejad & Nukes
Oct. 20….(Breitbart) Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez visited Iran on Tuesday to boost energy and trade ties, days after clinching a deal with Russia to build his country's first nuclear power plant. Iranian state television showed footage of Chavez being welcomed by his counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the president's office in what was his ninth visit to the Islamic republic. The two leaders later went into a meeting. "We hope this visit will have the desired result in the expansion of relations," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters. Chavez's visit is part of an international tour aimed at strengthening Venezuela's trade ties with eastern Europe and the Middle East. He arrived in Tehran from Moscow where he clinched a raft of deals, including the accord to build Venezuela's first nuclear power plant.
UN Misrepresents International Law in Criticism of Israel
Oct. 20….(Israel Today) Oscar Fernandez Taranco, assistant UN secretary general for political affairs on Monday repeated the propagandist assertion that the building of homes for Jews in areas claimed by the Palestinian areas is a violation of international law. Taranco was responding to Israel’s approval of a mere 240 apartments in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev. Calling such construction a violation of international law has for the past few decades been a favorite tactic of Israel’s detractors. In effect, it paints Israel as an international criminal, thereby excusing or justifying any wrong-doing by the other side, and putting permanent blame on Israel for the shortcomings of the peace process. As a criminal, Israel is by necessity always painted as the primary, if not the sole, obstacle to peace. But is Taranco’s assertion accurate? Is Israel really violating written-in-stone laws by letting Jews build homes in areas claimed by the Palestinian Arabs? The reality is that no law has ever been passed by the UN or anyone else prohibiting Israel to build homes for Jews in Judea, Samaria, Gaza or the eastern half of Jerusalem. Sure, the UN has on numerous occasions complained about and demanded that Israel stop building such homes, but those complaints and demands do not constitute law. The Arabs like to hold up UN Security Council Resolution 242 as justification for claims that Israel is breaking the law. But 242, written in the wake of the 1967 Six Day War, recognized that Israel was the one that had been attacked, and called on the Jewish state to give up some of the territories, not all of the territories, it had taken in the war for the sake of peace. Lord Caradon, Britain’s delegate to the UN in the 1960s and one of the authors of 242, stated after the fact, “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ‘67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say ‘all’ the territories deliberately.” In fact, Lord Caradon said that it would be “insanity” for Israel to ever give up the entirety of what is commonly known as the “West Bank.” During the late 1960s and the subsequent decade or two that was the prevailing international attitude, that it would be prudent for Israel to make certain land concessions for a lasting peace, but that it certainly was not illegal for Israel to be in or build in Judea and Samaria. It should be noted that most Israelis are in favor of giving the Palestinians the bulk of Judea and Samaria for a state, and just want to keep those parts where Jewish towns now exist, which amount to a mere 1.7 percent of the territory. Since the 242 argument clearly doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny, the Arabs and Israel’s other detractors like to fall back on the Fourth Geneva Convention, penned after World War II to govern the treatment of occupied populations in future conflicts. Article 49 of the convention, the one cited by Israel’s aforementioned critics, prohibits the “mass forcible transfer” of protected civilian populations. It also prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s own citizens into occupied territories. Morris Abram, former US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, who was present at the Nuremberg trials when the Fourth Geneva Convention was being hammered out and insists he is well familiar with the “legislative intent” of the document, says it applies to forcible transfers in sovereign territory, and therefore cannot be applied to Israeli settlements. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Judea and Samaria were never anyone’s sovereign territory. But there was a law on the books that recognized someone’s sovereign claim to those territories, and that law remains legally enforceable. The 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, the basis of which was first formulated by the League of Nations two years earlier in San Remo, clearly recognizes the Jewish claim to sovereignty over these territories. That document was and still is legally binding. And it was again ratified when the League of Nations morphed into the United Nations. So, it is a law that has been twice affirmed by the international community. In other words, it is international law. And it has never been overturned. The fact of the matter is that Taranco and others are actually violating international law by denying Jews the right to build in these areas.
The Almighty, Liberals and Liberty
*FOJ Note (This is an excellent article on the modern crisis in American politics)
Oct. 20….(Dennis Prager) In a recent column, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote: "It's sometimes easy to lose sight of just how anomalous our (America's) religiosity is in the world. A Gallup report issued on today underscored just how out of line we are." Given Blow's leftwing politics and his point was that all rich countries except for the United States are secular and that all poor countries are religious, he was obviously not making this point in order to celebrate America's "anomalous" religiosity. He should have. America's anomalous religiosity is very much worth celebrating, not because it leads to affluence, but because it is indispensible to liberty. Had Blow made a liberty chart rather than an affluence chart, he might have noted that the freest country in the world, for 234 years, the United States of America, has also been the most God-centered. Yes, I know that the Islamic world has also been God-based, but it has not been free. But that is because Allah is not regarded as the source of liberty, as the America's Judeo-Christian God has been, but as the object of submission ("Islam" means "submission"). Since the inception of the United States (and, indeed, before it in colonial America), liberty, i.e., personal freedom, has been linked to God.
America was founded on the belief that God is the source of liberty. That is why the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 25): "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The Declaration of Independence also asserts this link: All men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Because the Creator of the world is the source of our freedom, no state, no human being, no government may take it away. If the state were the source of liberty, then obviously the state could take it away. Both reason and American values therefore make these claims:
1. The more important the state is, the less the liberty.
2. The more important God is, the smaller the state.
3. Therefore, the more important God is, the more liberty there is.
A proof of the validity of these assertions is that as this country, the country, not the government, becomes more secular, it becomes less free, just as has happened in other Western countries. We have far more laws governing human conduct than ever before in America's history. And Western Europe has even more, including limitations on as basic a liberty as free speech. So, too, every totalitarian state except Muslim ones (because a religious government is the Muslim ideal) seeks to abolish religion. Stalin, for example, murdered virtually every member of the clergy, and came close to destroying all religion, in the Soviet Union. He understood that a totalitarian state cannot allow a competing allegiance. And in democratic Western Europe, the ever-expanding state is inevitably accompanied by an ever shrinking God and religion.
This is largely what the current culture war, actually a non-violent civil war, is all about. The left seeks an ever-expanding state with, by definition, ever-expanding powers. And a fundamental aspect of that program is the removal of God and religion from as much of American life as possible. This is pursued under the noble-sounding goal of ensuring "separation of church and state." But whatever the avowed aim, the result is the same: secularize as much of society as possible, its institutions and, most importantly, its values. Over time, much of America has belatedly awakened to the realization that two counter-revolutionary trends were occurring at a breakneck pace: God was being replaced by the state as the source of liberty, and liberty was eroding.
To use a Civil War simile, the secular Fort Sumter took place in 1962, when the United States Supreme Court (Engel v. Vitale) overthrew the decision of the highest court of New York State, and ruled that the following prayer, said in New York State schools, violated the Constitution: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country."
Few rational, let alone religious, Americans believed that this non-denominational prayer, which no school child had to recite, violated the American Constitution. The purpose of the ruling was to impose secularism on America. Since then, the leftwing attack on religion in America has proceeded at a rapid unabated clip.
Today, the Bible, the basis of American values instruction for most of American history, is not taught at virtually any non-religious school in America. Examples are too numerous to list. And now, commensurate with the removal of God from American society, the most leftwing government in American history is expanding state powers to an unprecedented degree. Our leftwing party has passed, more accurately imposed, since it did so without a single vote from the opposition party, legislation that will massively expand state powers. And it is preparing to govern more and more of Americans' lives without passing any legislation. From its inception, the political left has regarded God and religion (especially the Judeo-Christian varieties) as impediments to its goals: "Trust in Us (Leftwing intellectuals)" has supplanted "In God We Trust." And so, God-based liberty has given way to state-based controls, and a more Socialistic state.
'Chinese Firms Helping Iran Develop Nuclear Weapons'
Oct. 19….(Jerusalem Post) The United States has asked Beijing to do more to stop Chinese companies from providing assistance and expertise to Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons and more powerful missiles, The Washington Post reported Sunday. According to the newspaper, the Obama administration believes several Chinese companies are violating United Nations sanctions against Iran. An anonymous US official told the paper that Robert Einhorn, the State Department official who oversees the enforcement of sanctions against Iran, gave a "significant list" of such companies and banks to Chinese officials last month. A Chinese Embassy spokesman said his country would investigate the US charges. The US official did not name any of the Chinese companies or say how many were on the list. But he told the Post that US intelligence believes several Chinese companies and banks were involved in providing restricted technology to Iran, mostly for its missile program. A second official, also speaking anonymously, told the Post that Chinese companies had been discovered selling Iran material that could be used to make better centrifuges. Those are used to enrich uranium that could be used in a nuclear device. In June, the UN imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday endorsed the idea of new talks with the international community over his country's nuclear program, but warned that negotiations would fail if the West does not clearly come out against Israel's suspected nuclear arsenal.
End Times Prophecy: Watching Israel, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon
Oct. 19….(Bill Wilson) News events of late point to an acceleration toward end time prophecies. For example, there have been many, many stories about major nations seeking a global currency. There have been steps taken by the largest nations to coordinate their economies during this recent economic collapse. The United Nations has continued to advocate global governance and even documents presented by the United States government are calling for more and more global governance. As we see technology advance and more economic calamity, there is an acceleration toward that Revelation 13:17, “That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Indeed, we know that there will be wars and rumors of wars as prophesied by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24. We also know that unlike any time since the crucifixion of Christ, the Jewish nation of Israel has been reestablished and is entering its 62 year, closer each day to the day of the Lord as described in Matthew 24 and the Matthew 24:32-34 parable of the fig tree where Christ says, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” As we look at certain news stories of the day, the prophesy of Isaiah 17:1 comes to mind: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported October 8 that Google Earth photographs show extensive construction of several military bases throughout Syria and long range Scud missiles located about 20 miles northeast of Damascus. According to the report, the Iranian-backed Hezbullah terrorist group is in charge of the bases and the missiles. Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad boosted Hezbullah with a two-day tour of Lebanon’s border region with Israel. Ahmadinejad again threatened the existence of Israel, saying, “Pay attention. This hollow Zionism feels it has reached a dead end, and may stage new treacherous acts to rescue its existence and to create opportunities for itself. I announce here and now that any new treacherous act will merely shorten this fabricated regime's disgraceful life.'' Persia, modern day Iran, is one of the nations mentioned in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy of the Gog/Magog war where God destroys the enemies of Israel in a colossal end time battle. Iran is currently making a large play in the Middle East in unifying Turkey (once thought to be an ally of Israel), Syria, and Lebanon against Israel. The prophesy clock is moving forward.
The Undeniable Jewish State
Oct. 19….(JWR) Is Israel a Jewish state? Is the pope Catholic? Nothing about Israel could be more self-evident than its Jewishness. As Poland is the national state of the Polish people and Japan is the national state of the Japanese people, so Israel is the national state of the Jewish people. The UN's 1947 resolution on partitioning Palestine contains no fewer than 30 references to the "Jewish state" whose creation it was authorizing; 25 years earlier, the League of Nations had been similarly straightforward in mandating "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." When Israel came into existence on May 15, 1948, its Jewish identity was the first detail reported. The New York Times's front-page story began: "The Jewish state, the world's newest sovereignty, to be known as the State of Israel, came into being in Palestine at midnight upon termination of the British mandate." Today, half the planet's Jews live in that state, many of them refugees from anti-Semitic repression and violence elsewhere. In a world with more than 20 Arab states and 55 Muslim countries, the existence of a single small Jewish state should be unobjectionable. "Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people," President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly last month. By now that should be a truism, no more controversial than calling Italy the sovereign homeland of the Italian people. And yet to Israel's enemies, Jewish sovereignty is as intolerable today as it was in 1948, when five Arab armies invaded the newborn Jewish state, vowing "a war of extermination and a momentous massacre." Endless rounds of talks and countless invocations of the "peace process" have not changed the underlying reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is not about settlements or borders or Jerusalem or the rights of Palestinians. The root of the hostility is the refusal to recognize the immutable right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state in its historic homeland. Until that changes, no lasting peace is possible. That is why the Israeli government is correct to insist that the Palestinian Authority publicly recognize Israel as the Jewish state. It is the critical litmus test. "Palestinian nationalism was based on driving all Israelis out," Edward Said told an interviewer in 1999, and the best evidence that most Palestinians are still intent on eliminating Israel is the vehemence with which even supposed "moderates" like Mahmoud Abbas will not -- or dare not -- acknowledge Israel's Jewishness as a legitimate fact of life. "What is a 'Jewish state?'" Abbas ranted on Palestinian TV. "You can call yourselves whatever you want, but I will not accept it. . . . You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic]. Call it whatever you like. I don't care."
There are those who argue that Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a democracy. When Israel's parliament decided last week to require new non-Jewish citizens to take an oath of allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic" state, some people bristled. "The phrase itself is an oxymoron," one reader wrote to the Boston Globe. "How can a state openly favor one ethnic group over all others and declare itself to be democratic?"
But there is no conflict at all between Israel's Jewish identity and its democratic values. Indeed, the UN's 1947 partition resolution not only called for subdividing Palestine into "independent Arab and Jewish states," it explicitly required each of them to "draft a democratic constitution" and to elect a government "by universal suffrage and by secret ballot." The Jews complied. The Arabs launched a war. Many of the world's democracies have official state religions. Think of Britain, whose monarch is the supreme governor of the Church of England; or of Greece, whose constitution singles out the Eastern Orthodox Church as the country's "prevailing religion." The linking of national character with religion is a commonplace. Israel stands out only because its religion is Judaism, not Christianity, Islam, or Hinduism. Nor is democracy incompatible with ethnic or national distinctiveness. Ireland waives its usual citizenship requirements for applicants of Irish descent. Bulgaria's constitution grants the right to "acquire Bulgarian citizenship through a facilitated procedure" to any "person of Bulgarian origin." It is not oxymoronic to describe Ireland as "Irish and democratic" or Bulgaria as "Bulgarian and democratic." Israel's flourishing little Jewish democracy is no oxymoron either. It is something different: a beacon of decency in a dangerous and hate-filled neighborhood. If the enemies of the Jewish state could only shed their malice, what an Eden that neighborhood could become.
Mountain View: 3-D Map of Yesha, Tel Aviv
Oct. 19….(Arutz) The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria has published a new, colorful, 3-D map of Israel, topographically depicting the dangers of a Palestinian state overlooking Tel Aviv. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the feeling at the Yesha Council is that a 3-D map is worth a million words, and can explain with a glance how Judea and Samaria tower above the Gush Dan (Tel Aviv) area of Israel, in which live millions of Israelis. Similarly, the Golan Heights are clearly shown towering above the Galilee, just as the mountains of Jordan stand much higher than the Jordan Valley. The surrounding of Jerusalem on three sides by PA-controlled areas is also plainly depicted. The flip-side of the map contains the following 11 points that the Yesha Council feels must be emphasized:
1. The area of Judea and Samaria comprises 23% of the State of Israel.
2. The area is full of cities and sites from various periods in Jewish history, including Hevron, the Herodion, Beit El, Shilo, Shechem, etc.
3. Some 330,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria, divided approximately equally among hareidim, religious-Zionist, and secular.
4. Only 3% of the area of Judea and Samaria is built up or cultivated, so there is plenty of room.
5. Areas of Judea and Samaria surround Jerusalem on three sides.
6. 43% of Judea and Samaria are under either full Palestinian Authority control or administrative PA control.
7. Over 90% of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria live under PA control and vote for the PA parliament.
8. The mountains of Judea and Samaria are the central mountain range of the Land of Israel, running 140 kilometers from the Jezreel Valley in the north to the Arad Valley in the Negev.
9. The width of the Judea and Samaria mountains is 55 kilometers, and the width of Israel’s coastal plane near Tel Aviv is only 16 kilometers.
10. Yesha’s main north-south route, Highway 60, is also the national watershed line, and runs mostly along the same route taken by the Patriarchs in the Bible.
11. The mountain aquifer, which supplies half of Israel’s water, is in Judea and Samaria
Abbas Weighs Opening West Bank to Hamas Terror Units
Oct. 19….(DEBKA) Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is seriously weighing a secret plan for bringing a fresh influx of Hamas fighting and intelligence forces into the West Bank at points opposite Israel. At the same time, he tells the world that the only impediment to Middle East peace is Israel's refusal to halt Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that this secret plan is at the top of the agenda of the second round of reconciliation talks between Abbas' Fatah and Hamas representatives opening in Damascus Wednesday, Oct. 20. The plan would be a trade-off: Fatah fighting and intelligence units would also regain a foothold in the Gaza Strip for the first time since they were thrown out in Hamas' 2007 putsch. Our sources report that this swap would be part of a plan dubbed "Reform of Palestinian Security and Intelligence Services." It is the touchiest point in the negotiations led by Fatah's Ahmad al-Azzam and Hamas' political bureau chief Mussa Abu Marzuk which the rival factions have embarked on to bury the hatchet and cut a power-sharing deal. The two parties see the plan as giving each of the two parties reciprocal guarantees sheathed in steel for the other to stand by any accord reached in the talks. It would go forward in three incremental steps:
1. An exchange of territory. The internal security bodies of the two Palestinian organizations would take up position in predefined areas - Hamas on the West Bank and Fatah in the Gaza Strip. Each will take charge of security in those patches - while also guaranteeing the good faith of its opposite number.
2. If this stage goes through without hitches, Fatah and Hamas will then swap fighting forces in their respective territories. Debkafile's military sources report that this stage would bring six American-trained Palestinian Authority special forces over to the Gaza Strip and a corresponding number of Hamas Ezz-e Din Al-Qassam units trained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah into the West Bank.
3. Mahmoud Abbas will undertake to persuade the Obama administration to coerce Israel into accepting the deal for the sake of resolving the Palestinian internal feud and reuniting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
According to our sources, Hamas representatives, who put the plan to American and European parties in informal contacts, gained the impression that Washington might be brought around to buying it and even lean on the Netanyahu government to accept this formula in return for quiet Palestinian forbearance in the face of limited Israeli construction for the settlements and Jerusalem. However, our political sources report that when word of this evolving scenario reached Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak hit the ceiling. They sent word to Washington that if it went through, Israel would take four steps: First, break off the two-year old US-sponsored military cooperation with the Palestinian Authority in the war on terror; Second, redeploy Israeli forces in all the West Bank areas and towns evacuated over that period; Third, restore the dozens of counter-terror roadblocks and checkpoints removed from West Bank roads as a concession to meet demands for easing Palestinian movement; Fourth, Israel would use force to keep Hamas armed units and security elements out of the West Bank - even if they were routed through Jordan. Awareness of the Palestinian leader's double dealings with Hamas and their scheme for deploying Iran-backed fighting extremists to the West Bank has prompted Netanyahu's frequent assertions of late that any accommodation with the Palestinians must include a guarantee that the West Bank will never become a missile launching-pad against Israel. All the same, before they left for Damascus, Abbas instructed his representatives to continue discussing the euphemistic "Reform of Palestinian Security and Intelligence Services" with Hamas.
Fatah Considering 'Stone Intifada' in Jerusalem
Oct. 18….(YNET) Will the failure of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians spark a new wave of violence in the region? A Fatah source told Ynet on Sunday that following the resumption of settlement construction and the stalemate in the direct negotiations with Israel, many organization activists believe it is time to renew the violent struggle in the form of a "stone intifada." On the backdrop of the explosive political situation, Fatah's leadership has been weighing its alternatives in the past few weeks. According to the source, the movement will consider returning to a struggle in some of Fatah's districts, including Jerusalem. Movement officials fear that the political stalemate has damaged Fatah's image, particularly in light of the fact that there are no signs of an increase in the "popular struggle" against Israel as was decided in the movement's conference and adopted as a policy by its leaders. The source said that in light of recent developments, Fatah is portrayed as being too passive and as a movement who settles for issuing statements to the media. He stressed, however, that the internal discourse on the matter did not necessarily entail an immediate return to the path of terror, due to what he defined as "additional considerations," many members' reliance on the Salam Fayyad government, which strongly objects to any violent struggle, including stone throwing. The source noted that there was a dispute among the movement's members as to the Palestinian people's readiness for another round of conflict with Israel. "At this stage we are directing our thoughts towards the Jerusalem area, where the situation is critical," he explained. "I don't know what developments took place when the negotiations reached a dead end while the settlers continued running wild all over."
Muslims: World Must End 'Israeli Arrogance'
(57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference condemns Israel for settlement construction in East Jerusalem)
Oct. 18….(Ha Aretz) The Organization of the Islamic Conference condemned Israel on Saturday for renewing settlement construction in East Jerusalem and urged the international community to put an end to what it called "Israeli arrogance." According to Israel Radio, the 57-nation OIC, the world's largest pan-Islamic grouping based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said that Israel's approval of nearly 240 new housing units in East Jerusalem is a provocative step intended to sabotage the peace process. The OIC's secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in a statement that Israel's behavior requires action by the international community to put a halt to Israel's arrogance. Earlier Saturday, Egypt said that Israel's building permits for 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem are a sign that direct peace talks could collapse. On Friday, the Arab League said it may ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel goes ahead with building settlements. The United States on Friday also expressed 'disappointment' by Israel's approval of new settlement construction, saying, "it is contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties."
Israel Brushes off Criticism of Building in Jerusalem
Oct. 18….(Israel Today) Israel’s Housing Minister on Saturday brushed off weekend criticism of Israel’s decision to allow the building of 240 new apartments in Jewish neighborhoods on the eastern side of Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim eastern Jerusalem as their future capital, and insist that peace talks cannot move forward unless Jewish construction there comes to a full halt. Playing to the Palestinian position, France expressed “deep disappointment” at the approval of new building in the Ramot and Pisgat Zeev neighborhoods. “France calls on Israel to reconsider this decision,” said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “The Israeli government’s plans are perceived with extreme concern and disappointment in Moscow. They contradict international efforts aimed at the resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.” Even US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley laid into Israel, saying that the Obama Administration was “disappointed by the announcement of new building tenders,” calling the renewed construction “contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties.” Israeli Housing Minister Ariel Atias cautioned that international leaders were giving the Palestinians precisely the excuse they were looking for to scuttle peace talks. “Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is hanging on to straw in order not to return to the talks,” Atias told Israel’s Ynet news portal, adding, “We must not get the Palestinians and the world used to having Jerusalem under a freeze, even in a passive acceptance. This is Israel’s capital and a matter of consensus to the Israeli public.” Atias noted, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has numerous times, that Jewish building in Jerusalem never prevented peace negotiations in the past, and that the Palestinians are now making it a sticking point is evidence that their intentions are not genuine. Israel did find some international backing. US Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), chairman of the congressional Subcommittee on the Middle East and Asia, declared, “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It is not a settlement. As such, the resumption of construction in Jerusalem is not a justification for a crisis, a showdown, a meltdown or even a hissy fit.”
America’s Modern Adults Do Not Attend Church
Oct. 18….(In The Days) Since 1991, the adult population in the United States has grown by 15%. During that same period the number of adults who do not attend church has nearly doubled, rising from 39 million to 75 million, a 92% increase! These startling statistics come from the most recent tracking study of religious behavior conducted by The Barna Group, a company that follows trends related to faith, culture and leadership in America. The latest study shows that the percentage of adults that is unchurched, defined as not having attended a Christian church service, other than for a holiday service, such as Christmas or Easter, or for special events such as a wedding or funeral, at any time in the past six months, has risen from 21% in 1991 to 34% today.
An examination of a dozen demographic attributes showed that unchurched adults differ from the churched population in at least four dimensions. As might be expected, men dominate the ranks of the unchurched. Although they comprise slightly less than half of the national population, men constitute 55% of the unchurched. They represent only 38% of the born again public, indicating an even wider disparity between those who are most devoted to their faith and those who are least interested in such matters. The unchurched are also younger than the norm. The median age of US adults is 43, but it is just 38 among the unchurched. Born again Christian adults are substantially older than either group (median: 46). Corresponding to their younger age, the survey also found that unchurched people are more likely than other to be single and to never have been married. Whereas one-quarter of American adults (26%) are single-never-married, nearly two-fifths of the unchurched fit that definition (37%). The unchurched are also attracted to the coastal regions of the nation. Although just four out of ten adults (42%) live in the Northeast or West, more than half of the unchurched (51%) live there. In fact, the two largest states in the nation, California and New York, contain 18% of the nation’s residents, but one-quarter of its unchurched adults (23%).
A study of 18 different religious factors, nine behaviors and nine beliefs, found that the unchurched are different from the national average on every one. The gap is even bigger on 16 of the 18 factors between the unchurched and the born again public. In a typical week, unchurched people are less likely than all adults to read the Bible (19% compared to 44%) and to pray (63% versus 83%), and they are less likely to have embraced Jesus Christ as their savior. One of the more surprising outcomes, however, is that while about half of the churched population has accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, one out of every six unchurched adults (17%) has done so, as well. Interestingly, if the minority of unchurched adults who are born again were connected to a church, the resulting increase would be nearly 13 million new people, more than have joined the nation’s churches in the past decade combined. Among the theological differences uncovered were that unchurched adults are less likely than others to believe the Bible is accurate, that Jesus was sinless, that Satan is real, that salvation is through the grace of God, and that God is the creator and present-day ruler of the universe.
Upon examining the data, the director of the study, author and researcher George Barna, concluded that unchurched adults are notable for three unique behavioral patterns. “The unchurched are more likely than others to be somewhat isolated from the mainstream activities of the society in which they live,” he explained. “They see themselves as outsiders and often take refuge in that status. Evidence of this arms-length approach to life, beyond their refusal to participate in church life, includes lower levels of voter registration, less money donated to non-profit organizations, fewer non-profits supported, lower levels of media usage, and less engagement in community service activities.” The second distinguishing characteristic was what Barna called their non-committal nature. “You can see this emotional and intellectual distancing of themselves through their more moderate ideology, their more ambiguous theological perspectives, a lower likelihood of embracing terms used to describe oneself (such as “generous,” “friendly” and “deeply spiritual”), a substantially lower level of self-professed commitment to their faith of choice, and their rejection of the idea of responsibility for nurturing other people’s faith.” Barna also noted that the high proportion of atheists and agnostics among the unchurched fits this pattern of distaste for finite or irrevocable choices. The final attribute is the independence of the unchurched. In addition to having the highest likelihood of registering to vote but refusing to align with a political party, the data show the unchurched to be less likely to marry, less likely to have children (even when married) and being less loyal to organizations and products.
Challenges for the Faithful
Barna noted that to unchurched people embracing church life is “both counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.” Reaching out to unchurched people is difficult for born again Christians because the two groups have such different viewpoints and lifestyles. “Born again adults are more excited about a church’s strengths and more forgiving of its weaknesses, more disposed to spiritual growth, and less skeptical of theological and biblical claims. They neither see nor understand the obstacles that impede the unchurched. Addressing the reticence of the unchurched takes more than prayer and hard work: it requires a lot of deep reflection to see the world and the local church from a completely different angle. “Unchurched people are not just lazy or uniformed,” the researcher continued. “They are wholly disinterested in church life, often passionately so. Stirring worship music won’t attract them because worship isn’t even on their radar screen. More comfortable pews cannot compete with the easy chair or the bed that already serve the unchurched person well. Church events cannot effectively compete with what the world has to offer. The only thing the Church can provide that no one else has is a life-changing, practical encounter, and on-going relationship, with the living God and with people transformed by similar encounters. Until such a connection is made, focusing on features, programs and benefits other than such a life-shaping encounter is more likely to lose ground than to gain it.” Barna noted that the millions of young unchurched have no understanding of or interest in a church, even if it is “contemporary” in style. “Millions of young adults are more interested in truth, authenticity, experiences, relationships and spirituality than they are in laws, traditions, events, disciplines, institutions and religion. The confluence of preconceived notions, past experiences and evolving lifestyles and values means that existing churches simply cannot reach millions of today’s unchurched people. The rapidly swelling numbers of unchurched people may be forcing existing churches to reinvent their core spiritual practices while holding tightly to their core spiritual beliefs. It will take radically new settings and experiences to effectively introduce unchurched individuals to biblical principles and practices.”
The data for the annual tracking survey on church attendance by The Barna Group is based upon telephone interviews with a nationwide random sample of 1014 adults conducted in late January and early February of 2004. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All non-institutionalized adults in the 48 continental states were eligible to be interviewed and the distribution of respondents coincided with the geographic dispersion of the US adult population. The data were subjected to slight statistical weighting procedures to calibrate the survey base to national ethnic and gender proportions. Households selected for inclusion in the survey sample received multiple callbacks to increase the probability of obtaining a representative distribution of adults.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 10 THROUGH OCTOBER 16
UN: US is $1.2 Billion in Arrears at UN
Oct. 16….(UN News) The United States owes $1.2 billion to the United Nations, more than a quarter of the payments owed the world body by all member states, a senior UN official said on Thursday. UN Undersecretary-General for Management Angela Kane told reporters that only 13 of the United Nations' 192 member states had paid in full as of Wednesday. The total arrears amounted to some $4.1 billion, up from $2.2 billion at the end of 2009, Kane said. "It has been a difficult year in many ways for many member states because of the economic recession," she said. The administration of President Barack Obama repaid all the money the United States owed the United Nations last year. US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters on Thursday that Washington pays its UN dues "in full and on time." She said there was an issue of "contested arrears," debts that Washington does not agree it owes the United Nations. "They must be counting contested arrears if it gets to a figure which gets close to anything like that," she said in reference to the $1.2 billion figure cited by Kane. As the United Nations' single biggest contributor, Washington is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the UN peacekeeping budget and slightly less than a quarter of the separate UN regular budget. The United States has had a history of being reluctant to pay its UN dues, with critics of the world body charging it has a bloated and sometimes corrupt bureaucracy. UN supporters say the dues are cheap at the price. Last December, the UN General Assembly approved a UN budget of $5.16 billion for 2010 and 2011. That did not include peacekeeping, currently running at some $8 billion a year and approved in separate negotiations, or the costs of several major UN agencies that have separate budgets.
French Foreign Minister Warns Israel
Oct. 16….(One Jerusalem) As Israel bends over backward to please the Obama Administration by participating in negotiations that can only benefit Israel's enemies, France's Foreign Minister Kouchner has told an Arab newspaper that if these negotiations do not create a Palestinian State (with 1967 borders and a divided Jerusalem) then France and the international community may recognize a Palestinian State without a negotiated agreement with Israel. In other words, the United Nations will bestow legal status on the Palestinian thugs who supposedly represent the Palestinian people. Kouchner is reported as saying,"The international community cannot be satisfied with a prolonged deadlock. I therefore believe that one cannot rule out in principle the Security Council option." Meanwhile an official Palestinian negotiator said that the Palestinians are discussing whether they should seek international recognition for a State without reaching a deal with Israel.
Abbas: We'll Never Recognize Israel as a Jewish State
('PA recognized Israel's existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders)
Oct. 16….(Ha Aretz) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that under no circumstances would the PA sign an agreement with Israel which required the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or a land swap. "The PA recognized Israel's existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders," Abbas said during a meeting in Ramallah with Knesset members from the left-wing party Hadash. Abbas clarified that the PA would exhibit flexibility regarding the nature of the negotiations, but added that they would not negotiate on issues the Palestinian people consider principal matters. "If we showed flexibility on these issues the peace agreement would have been signed a long time ago," Abbas said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Monday to halt settlement construction if the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but the Palestinian leadership was prompt to reject the proposal. "If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension," Netanyahu said while speaking at the opening of the third session of the 18th Knesset. "Just as the Palestinians expect us to recognize their state, we expect reciprocal treatment," said Netanyahu. "This is not a condition but a trust-building step, which would create wide-ranging trust among the Israeli people, who have lost trust in the Palestinian will for peace over the last 10 years." Hadash Chairman Mohammed Barakeh, who participated in the meeting with Abbas, said that the timing of the meeting was not coincidental and was purposely set up in light of the recent discussions regarding Netanyahu's offer. "We came to Abu Mazen [Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority officials in order to hear a clear and official stance regarding the stalled negotiations, and we made it clear that we would not be a herd of sheep during the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," Barakeh said
Lebanon Has Become An Iranian Satellite State
Oct. 15….(YNET) As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon draws to an end, Israel remain wary of the latter's strengthening ties with Tehran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that,"Unfortunately, Lebanon is rapidly turning into a satellite of the ayatollahs' regime. This is tragic for Lebanon, but Israel will know how to defend itself against such developments." Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon included several public speeches, in which he vehemently attacked Israel, saying that "Zionists are the enemies of humanity," and promising that the "Zionist regime will not last long." "the world should know that eventually the Zionists will be forced to go and will not last long. They are enemies of humanity and will have no choice but to surrender. Palestine will be liberated through the force of faith," Ahmadinejad said, speaking before masses gathered in the southern Lebanese city of Bint Jbeil Thursday afternoon. "We've heard cursing and abomination from the Lebanon border today," Netanyahu said. "The best answer to these blasphemies was given here 62 years ago. We shall continue building and creating our country and will be prepared to defend it," he added. Meanwhile, A Hamas official in Gaza, Dr. Khalil Abu Layla told Iranian news agency Fars that the Hamas government hoped Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Gaza, just as he visited Lebanon. "We hope Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad visits Gaza, but we must remain logical because such a step would involve a series of dangers," he said.
Ahmadinejad: Zionists Will Not Last Long
Oct. 15….(YNET) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in the southern Lebanon city of Bint Jbeil Thursday, where he attended a mass rally held in honor. Thousands awaited the Iranian leader for an event marking the height of his second day in Lebanon. Ahmadinejad began his speech by hailing the Lebanese people as "the defenders of human dignity": "The Lord blesses the people of Lebanon, its young sons devoted to Jihad and you – who seek justice and truth. You stood in the forefront of the battle against the aggressors and occupiers and defended Lebanon's security," he said. The Iranian president said that "Lebanon, in its resistance sets an example for all nations in the region. Resistance is the key to the victory of Lebanese people and other nations." Ahmadinejad further added, "All the people of Lebanon, members of various religions and factions, fight the same campaign against enemies who are terrified of Lebanon's resistance and unity." He also addressed the Second Lebanon War and battles fought in Bint Jbeil. "Bint Jbeil is the capital of freedom, resistance and victory. The Zionists invaded here in an attempt to break resistance, but they are no longer here, and Bint Jbeil is alive and well and will continue to stand tall in the face of enemies." As for Israel's future, Ahmadinejad stated that "the world should know that eventually the Zionists will be forced to go and will not last long. They are enemies of humanity and will have no choice but to surrender. Palestine will be liberated through the force of faith," he said.
High Military Alert as Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah Call for Israel's Destruction
Oct. 15….(DEBKA) debkafile's military and Iranian sources report: Towards the end of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first day in Lebanon Wednesday Oct. 13, a high alert was declared in the Israeli, Syrian, Lebanese armies, the Hizballah militia and the UN peacekeeping force. The visitor was expected to further sharpen his tone and fire seriously belligerent rhetoric at Israel from the sites he is touring Thursday along the Lebanese-Israeli border. A sign of this came in the harsh tone of the speech he delivered Wednesday night from the Al-Raya Stadium in the Shiite district Dahya district of Beirut: Ahmadinejad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared their common goal was Israel's destruction. The IDF, the Lebanese army and UNIFIL raised their war alert further when it was discovered that Nasrallah was not standing beside the Iranian president but had relayed his speech by videotape. Although Ahmadinejad spent the day meeting Lebanese leaders, he was not seen to have met Nasrallah. However, our sources report that they did get together secretly in the early afternoon and coordinated their movements and actions for the next part of the Iranian leader's visit. They talked again without publicity Wednesday evening shortly before their speeches at the stadium. The Hizballah leaders physical absence from the platform alongside the Iranian president, as though his life is in greater danger than that of his guest, is interpreted by Western intelligence circles in Beirut as pointing to Nasrallah reserving a piece of high drama up his sleeve, alarming enough to justify a demonstration of strength by Hizballah in Beirut or in South Lebanon. That is why he preferred to keep his head down Wednesday. The maneuver was almost certainly approved or even cooked up with the Iranian president. Ahmadinejad went on to denigrate "the Zionist entity as the embodiment of the deception of the capitalist world order and the materialistic ideas." He spoke of major change awaiting the world starting from "our region" and explained: "A resistance front has been formed by the peoples of Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and all the region." Israel's only response to the vicious attacks showered on its head from Lebanon came from an official in the bureau of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said: The President of Iran's Lebanon visit is like that of a commander reviewing his troops - the terrorists of Hizballah who act as Iran's military arm in the region. Anyone who cares about peace and freedom must be filled with alarm by the Iranian provocation. Lebanon deserves calm and prosperity instead of which it has become the servant of Iranian aggression spearheaded by Hizballah." The official gave no indication of any Israeli plans to combat Iran's domination of Lebanon. Washington's response was still milder. The White House commented that the Ahmadinejad visit to Lebanon marked his provocative behavior, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it would lead to greater regional instability.
By its Inaction, Israel Inadvertently Permits Iran's Annexation of Lebanon
After conquering Lebanon, Israel is purportedly next……….
Oct. 15….(DEBKA) Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and all of Israel's leaders chose silence in the face of the imperialist Shiite energy Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exuded in his all-conquering visit to Lebanon. On his first day in Beirut, Wednesday, Oct. 13, he walked off with four major accomplishments:
1. He demonstrated that Tehran calls the shots in Beirut, not the lawful Lebanese government which is crumbling under Iranian pressure, not the divided Christian or Sunni Muslim communities and not even Syria. Every last Lebanese leader, including those who made a show of protesting his visit, paid homage to Ahmadinejad in Beirut and praised his "moderation."
2. The Iranian president's tour Thursday plants an Iranian flag on Israel's northern border with Lebanon and that's just for starters. The flag, already present in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, is heading for the West Bank and eventually Jerusalem. Addressing tens of thousands of cheering Lebanese Shiites in the Hizballah stronghold of Dahya in Beirut Wednesday night, Ahmadinejad and his puppet, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, pledged to make Israel "disappear" and declared nothing and no one can stop this happening. How and when is up to Tehran.
3. He also announced the formation of a new Islamic bloc, a revival of the old Eastern Front, composed of Iran, Syria, Turkey, the Palestinians, Lebanon and Iraq. It would be dedicated to fighting not only Israel but also America. For the Iranian ruler, Israel is small change compared with the task of destroying America's Middle East presence and usurping its big power role. In the course of his triumphal tour of Beirut, an abject Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came to Syrian president Bashar Assad cap in hand to beg for him to intercede with his Iranian ally for support.
4. Ahmadinejad gave the entire Arab Middle East an object lesson in how much ground the Islamic Republic and its president are capable of swallowing up, even without a nuclear weapon. They were warned by the way Lebanon fell at his feet that they stood no chance against their new hegemony as a nuclear power.
In every country's life, there comes a moment for decisive action as the only sensible course for self-preservation. This moment has come for Israel and it finds its leaders gripped by extreme paralysis, lethargic instead of proactive. They would impress a stranger as being mesmerized by the phenomenon at large on northern border. In fact, Netanyahu and Barak are bound hand and foot by their (unpublished) pledge to US President Barack Obama to refrain from attacking Iran for a year. Not only have they been struck dumb in the face of the most brutal threat of extinction Israel has ever faced, they are squandering national energies on courting a failed Palestinian leader and a divisive argument over whether or not to extend the freeze on settlement construction for a few more weeks. The Israeli government would have been fully entitled to stand up and warn Ahmadinejad that the morning after he and his puppet, Hassan Nasrallah, made a public oath to make Israel "disappear" forever, they had better not show their faces on the Lebanese border. Checking out their prey at close quarters could be dangerously premature for them both and lead to serious repercussions. Instead, they sent the defense ministry's political coordinator Amos Gilead, an expert in shilly-shallying, to deliver a noncommittal remark or two in a radio interview. He explained there was no need for Israel to take any action for now, but to trust the "forces of anti-Iranian resistance" in Lebanon. He seemed to have forgotten that even the Obama administration no longer believes these forces are capable of standing up to the peril besetting their country. Debkafile's sources find a strong, unfortunate analogy between Israeli passivity today and British appeasement on the even of World War II: the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain went down in history for signing away the Sudeteland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany at Munich in 1938, opening the door to Germany's conquest of Europe and the war, and the Netanyahu government's silence as power-hungry Iran annexes Lebanon on its doorstep.
Mine Rescue Completed; Pastor & Miners Share Gospel
Oct. 14….(Baptist Press) Joy and relief are resounding in Chile upon the successful emergence of the 33 miners who have been trapped 2,300 feet below the surface of the earth in the coastal Atacama desert for more than two months. When the last man reached the surface, it ended a national crisis that began when 700,000 tons of rock collapsed Aug. 5, sealing the miners in the lower reaches of the copper and gold mine. But the traumatic ordeal has forged many new friendships, perhaps none more important than the ones between the miners and those ministering to them and their families. Marcelo Leiva, a Baptist pastor, and José Henríquez, one of the miners, had never met before the mine collapse. Instead, they have communicated in handwritten letters and in a single, brief phone conversation. A half-mile of rock has separated them. But despite the physical distance, the two Chilean evangelicals developed a special friendship. Henríquez has been an encouragement to his co-workers as they struggled to stay positive during their confinement. An evangelical Christian, he held daily Bible studies for the miners as rescue efforts developed on the surface. When Henríquez requested an evangelical pastor to aid the miners and their families at the site, Leiva, of Vallenar Baptist Church in Vallenar, Chile, was contacted. The pastor arrived at Camp Esperanza (Hope) about two weeks ago. Now that the rescue operation is in full swing, Leiva and Henríquez hope to meet in person. As crews planned the imminent rescue, Leiva read from Henríquez's last letter to him Oct. 6: "Dear Pastor Marcelo, "I thank you for each and every one of your words of encouragement directed to the 33. Tomorrow I will be reading your letter, which will certainly be a blessing. Thank you for writing in hopes that the Lord fulfills His purpose in us, as well as in you on the outside. "Well, pastor, may God continue to bless you. We will be seeing each other soon. Until soon, please excuse my handwriting, Jose Henríquez." Leiva sent his final handwritten response to Henríquez Oct. 11 in the paloma, the name given to the device that transports small objects between the mine chamber and the surface. (Paloma means "pigeon" or "dove" in Spanish.) "I encouraged him for remaining days of confinement," Leiva said, recalling what he wrote. "That he would remember the promises of the Lord, to have hope and confidence, and that he would also convey to the other 32 miners the message that the same God who has guarded them is the One who is going to guide them in the rescue. And so the anxiety can be dissipated with prayer and confidence in God." Leiva closed his letter to Henríquez with Firmes, adelantes, huestes de la fe ("Be strong and go forward, Hosts of the Faith"), a line from the Spanish adaptation of the hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers."
Ahmadinejad in Beirut: Keep Waging War on Zionist Enemy
Oct. 14….(Ha Aretz) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was welcomed on Wednesday by thousands of Lebanese, mostly Hezbollah supporters, in a visit that underscores the deep divisions between the Shiite militant group and the country's pro-Western factions. During a news conference with Lebanese President Michael Suleiman, Ahmadinejad said he was a friend of all Lebanese, and emphasized the need to fight Israel. "We seek a unified, modern Lebanon, and we stand by the Lebanese government and people," he said. He said both Lebanon and Iran oppose the occupation and aggression and the crimes committed by the "Zionist enemy" and those who support it. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Ahmadinejad visit is intentionally provocative. "It is quite clear that he is the bearer of a violent message. He comes to a highly volatile region with the intention to play with fire," he said. "It emphasizes that a state within a state has emerged in Lebanon over the last few years, referring obviously to the Hezbollah state," he added. "It seems that after he stole votes in Tehran, he is now coming here to steal the whole country." Representatives from Hezbollah and several pro-US factions attended as Suleiman welcomed Ahmadinejad at the presidential palace. The outspoken leader is expected to meet with a number of public figures and dignitaries during his visit, including Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Thousands of Lebanese lined the main highway into the capital from Beirut's airport, where Ahmadinejad arrived Wednesday. Many waved Lebanese and Iranian flags, and giant posters of Ahmadinejad towered over the road, while loudspeakers blasted anthems and women in the crowd sold Hezbollah flags and balloons to onlookers. The crowd broke into cheers and threw sweets as the motorcade slowly passed, and Ahmadinejad stood and waved from the sunroof of his SUV. Ahmadinejad will tour the Shi'ite Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut and is expected to visit southern Lebanon. He is also due to give a speech in Bint Jbail, the site of one of the most well-known battles waged between Israel and Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. Israeli defense officials said they believe Ahmadinejad will use his visit to Lebanon to demonstrate support for Hezbollah and hurl insults at Israel, but that the trip is not intended to ignite another round of violence in the region. In the build-up to Ahmadinejad's arrival, signs and banners both for and against the visit have been hoisted across the country. Pictures of Ahmadinejad with a large X superimposed over his face can be seen in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, indicating he is not welcome there. In Shi'ite-dominated areas, however, photos of the Iranian president as well as spiritual leaders in Tehran have been disseminated. The roadways connecting Beirut's international airport with the city center, and major highways in the south, have been adorned with Iranian flags. Samir Geagea, a prominent Christian political leader known for his anti-Hezbollah stance, said Ahmadinejad would be welcome in Lebanon if he came as the president of Iran, and not as the president of parts of Lebanon. During Ahmadinejad's visit, Lebanese authorities are banning the screening of a documentary produced by an Iranian filmmaker that chronicles Iran's opposition movement. The tension surrounding the visit is compounded by concerns about the ramifications of the release of the final report to be issued by the UN-appointed tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the slain leader's son, made a lightning trip to Cairo on Monday for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In light of the hostile relations between Tehran and Cairo, the move was seen as part of Hariri's effort to challenge Iran and Hezbollah. After the Hariri-Mubarak talks, a spokesperson for the Egyptian leader said Cairo supports the tribunal investigating the assassination.
Rome Blames Israeli-Palestinian Conflict for Flight of Christians in Middle East
Oct. 14….(Ha Aretz) Roman Catholic Bishops summoned to the Vatican to discuss the flight of Christians from the Middle East have blamed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for spurring much of the exodus and warned that the consequences could be devastating for the birthplace of Christianity. Some bishops have singled out the emergence of fanatical Islam for the flight. But others have directly or indirectly accused Israel of discriminating against Arab Christians and impeding solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, the working document of the two-week synod accused the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories for creating difficulties in everyday life for Palestinian Christians, including their religious life since their access to holy sites is dependent on Israeli military permission. Pope Benedict XVI called the two-week synod, which continued Wednesday, to try to encourage Christians in the largely Muslim region, where the Catholic Church has long been a minority and is shrinking as a result of war, conflict, discrimination and economic problems. In Iraq alone, Catholics represented 2.89 percent of the population in 1980; by 2008 they were just .89 percent. In Israel, home to important Christian holy sites, Catholics made up 3.8 percent of the population in 1980; by 2008 they were just 1.82 percent. Some 185 bishops are taking part in the synod from Latin and Eastern rite Catholic churches across the region and from the diaspora. In addition, two Muslim imams and a rabbi will address the synod. Patriarch Gregory III, archbishop of the Greek-Melkites in Damascus, Syria, said fundamentalist movements such as Hamas or Hezbollah had been borne from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warned Tuesday that the resulting flight of Christians would make a society with only one color: only Muslim. "Should this happen, should the East be emptied of its Christians, this would mean that any occasion would be propitious for a new clash of cultures, of civilizations and even of religions, a destructive clash between the Muslim Arab East and the Christian West," he said. American Cardinal John Foley, a longtime Vatican official who now raises money to support Christian sites in the Holy Land, also said the conflict had contributed to the growth of Islamic fundamentalism but blamed Israeli policies specifically. "While many including the Holy See have suggested a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the more time passes, the more difficult such a solution becomes, as the building of Israeli settlements and Israeli-controlled infrastructure in East Jerusalem and in other parts of the West Bank make increasingly difficult the development of a viable and integral Palestinian state," he told the gathering. Rabbi David Rosen, head of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, said he expected some degree of blame would be voiced against Israel during the synod, which he was to address later Wednesday. But he said he thought the Vatican had done a responsible job in containing it and trying to ensure that the synod is not totally politically hijacked by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He insisted that Christians in Israel fared comparatively well compared to Christian communities in other countries in the region, noting that their private school matriculation rates were higher than even among Jewish schools. He acknowledged that one issue, the recent decision by Israel to require new citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to a Jewish and democratic state, had ruffled some feathers and said he personally regretted it. But he said it had been misunderstood by the Coptic Catholic patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, Antonios Naguib, who is running the synod. During a first-day news conference, Naguib called the decision a flagrant contradiction since Israel claims to be the only democratic state in the region. Rosen said Naguib did not understand the difference between 'Jewish' as an ethnic collective and 'Jewish' as a religious expression, which is not what most Israelis understand the meaning to be of a Jewish state.
Ahmadinejad in Lebanon, Vows to Fight 'Zionist Enemy'
Oct. 14….(YNET) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triumphantly arrived in Lebanon Wednesday morning and immediately met expectations, saying he feels” at home” in the country and vows to continue to fight the “Zionist enemy” and its supporters. he media highlight of his visit will come on Thursday, when he plans to speak at Bint Jbil, the village near Israel’s northern border where a fierce battle was fought during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Ahmadinejad has backed down from his bravado that he would throw stones at the border, but if he changes his mind and does so, “He cannot be allowed to return home alive,” said National Union Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad. Hizbullah-backed Shi’ite Muslims in Lebanon gave Ahmadinejad a hero’s welcome, signaling increasing Iranian influence over Beirut. However, hours before Ahmadinejad left Iran, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah called him in a rare telephone conversation. Details were not revealed, but Saudi Arabia is highly concerned over Iran’s interference in the stalemated Iraqi government as well as in Lebanon. Ahmadinejad thoroughly enjoyed the reception from thousands of supporters, who tossed rice and flowers at his heavily armored motorcade from the airport in Beirut to the residence of Lebanese President Michel Sleiman. TIME magazine noted Wednesday, “Weakened leadership in Washington and in Tehran, and scores of potential flashpoints stretching from Kabul to Jerusalem, have created a dangerous, unstable moment in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad may have backed down from throwing stones, perhaps in deference to Hizbullah's delicate position, but his trip is a signal that Iran won't be backing down from its confrontation with the US, a confrontation that may yet play out once again on Lebanese soil.” Israel and the United States are deeply worried over the new Syrian-Iranian-Hizbullah-Hamas axis, which also has attracted Turkey, once considered a friend of Israel. US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said last week that Iran is trying to undermine Lebanese sovereignty by aiding Hizbullah. The visit is timely for Hizbullah, which is the subject of a United Nations investigation into the assassination of former anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafik Hariri several years ago. Hizbullah is a minority member of the Lebanese coalition government but holds a grip on legislation through its veto power in the national cabinet. Hizbullah, which is financed by Iran, has gained wide support on southern Lebanon, where it created a state within a state following the hasty departure of Israeli troops in 2000, ordered by then-Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Six years later, Hizbullah has built a stockpile of 20,000 missiles and constructed a maze of underground bunkers across from the Israeli border, enabling it to inflict heavy damage and casualties on Israel in the 34-day Second Lebanon War. "He stood by us during Lebanon's troubles, and the 2006 aggression. It's not much to stand here to welcome him, even if we had to stand for two whole days," 50-year-old Mahmoud Darwish told Reuters as he waited with his son to welcome Ahmadinejad. "He helped us rebuild Lebanon. If he hadn't, our houses would still be destroyed and we would still be living in tents." Since the war ended with a ceasefire, negotiated by then-foreign minister MK Tzippy Livni (head of today's opposition Kadima party), that has failed in its stated aim of demilitarizing foreign armies in Lebanon, Hizbullah has amassed tens of thousands of missiles, many with a longer range and which can strike central and southern Israel.
Israel Might be Forced to Reconsider Presence in Jordan Valley
Oct. 14….(Yahoo) Israel's insistence on maintaining a presence on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state could be reviewed over time, a government spokesman said Wednesday. Israel's demand for such a presence is one of the potential obstacles to a Mideast peace deal. The Palestinians say they will not accept any Israeli deployment in their future state, arguing that the presence of international forces during a transition period, an idea they support, should be sufficient to address Israeli security concerns. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, restarted by the Obama administration in September, are currently on hold because of disagreement over Israeli settlement building. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants a Palestinian state to be demilitarized, but fears weapons and militants can be smuggled in through the West Bank's eastern border with Jordan. He has said he wants a continued Israeli presence on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state, as part of any peace deal. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev would not say what kind of presence Israel seeks on the border of a future Palestine, but suggested Israel could be flexible if conditions permit. "That presence can be reviewed over time, and in accordance with performance," he said. "But initially it will be required in any peace agreement." In Israeli-Palestinian talks a decade ago, negotiators had reached tentative agreement on the establishment of Israeli-manned early warning stations in the Jordan Valley on the West Bank's eastern edge, said former Israeli negotiator Shaul Arieli. However, those talks broke down without agreement. An Israeli official says Netanyahu wants Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley, as part of a peace deal. In recent weeks, Netanyahu raised the issue of an Israeli troop presence with US officials, who were trying to persuade him to extend a 10-month-old curb on West Bank settlement construction, the Israeli official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Regev said Israel insists on security arrangements to prevent a repeat of history. In the aftermath of unilateral Israeli withdrawals from south Lebanon in 2000 and the Gaza Strip in 2005, militants taking control of those territories fired thousands of rockets at Israel. Netanyahu told Israel's parliament on Monday that "any peace agreement between the Palestinians and us must be based on strong security arrangements in the field." The Jordan Valley would be an essential part of a future Palestinian state. The fertile valley makes up a quarter of the West Bank and would be one of the few largely undeveloped territories of the crowded future state, a place to build new cities and settle refugees.
Fatah: Two-State Solution is Over
(Israel's racist policies meant to undermine talks; US State Department spokesman says wants to achieve clear path allowing Israel, Palestinians to continue peace process)
Oct. 13….(Jerusalem Post) The Palestinian Authority has concluded that the peace process based on a two-state solution has failed, a senior Fatah official said on Tuesday. His statement came as PA officials repeated their rejection of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's proposal to extend the settlement construction moratorium if the Palestinian leadership recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. But the US sought desperately to keep talks going, and called on the Palestinians to present their own counter-proposal to keep things on track. Mahmoud Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that "Israel's racist policies were meant to undermine the peace process." "The Palestinian Authority made every effort to avoid reaching this conclusion, but Israeli racist policies led to the failure of the peace process," he added. Aloul accused the US Administration of failing to exert pressure on Israel to alter its policies and halt settlement construction. "The Americans left us no choice but to stop the peace negotiations," he said. The Palestinian leadership has briefed the Arab leaders on the difficult situation and we have asked them to start taking real measures on the ground. PLO negotiators Saeb Erekat and Nabil Shaath also reiterated their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Another PLO official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, accused Netanyahu of seeking to destroy the image of President Barack Obama in the Middle East by raising such a demand.
In Washington, however, the State Department continued to urge the sides to come to a compromise and called for Palestinians to make clear what would be acceptable to them in lieu of a declaration that Israel is a Jewish state. “We want to see both of them stake the process. We want to see both of them offer their thinking about what needs to be, you know, advanced and agreed to that allows both sides to stay in these negotiations,” State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley said Tuesday. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered his thoughts on both what he's willing to contribute to the process, what he thinks he needs for his people out of the process, we would hope that the Palestinians would do the same thing.” Crowley called on “both parties to continue to create conditions for the direct negotiations to continue.” The US has made certain proposals to Israel, widely understood to include additional military assistance and diplomatic support, in exchange for a two or three month extension of the settlement moratorium. But Crowley said it’s ultimately up to the two sides to figure out what terms would work. “It's not for us to say, ‘This is a pretty good deal; you ought to take it.’” He described the current impasse as a “pause in the action” while issues connected to the settlement moratorium are worked through.” A senior State Department official, Jeffrey Feltman, is on his way to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco in part to try to advance the peace process. In contrast to the tough words from the Palestinian, an Israeli official said Tuesday that the "ball is still in play, this is still a work in process." "If the Palestinians are willing to engage seriously in a process of give and take, Israel is willing to show flexibility," the official said. "But it has to be a process of give and take, not demand and take." The official said the whole moratorium matter is an "artificial issue." The vast majority of construction is in large settlement blocs that Israel, according to various proposals that have been discussed over the years, would retain in any agreement, the official said. The amount to be built outside the major settlement blocs is minuscule and not going to change anything, he added. "No settlement growth in the coming year would influence the final map of peace, so for that reason this is an artificial issue," he explained. But Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said resuming settlement construction has "already foiled the peace talks."Netanyahu's new demand is an obstacle to the resumption of the peace talks," he said. He also accused Netanyahu of thwarting US and EU efforts to achieve peace in the region. "Netanyahu knows in advance that the Palestinians won't accept this demand," the spokesman said. This new condition is aimed at abolishing the right of return for the refugees and expelling the more than one million Palestinians living in Israel. He added that if this was the price that Israel was demanding in return for freezing construction in the settlements, ½what price would it ask for in return for removing the settlements and withdrawing from the occupied territories? One Washington source suggested that Netanyahu’s move had not worked well with American officials, as it hadn’t come across as a sincere bid to resolve the issue given that the Palestinians were sure to reject it. “It just looks like he doesn’t want to do it [extend the freeze], and he just wants to put it on the other side,” he said of Netanyahu apparently trying to shift responsibility, and blame, to the Palestinians. “I don’t think it plays well here,” he said of Netanyahu’s gesture, “but I don’t think anybody wants to criticize it.”
PA Will Never Recognize Israel as Jewish State
Oct. 13….(Ha Aretz) The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, senior Palestinian officials said on Tuesday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed to freeze settlement construction in exchange for that condition. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that demand could never be accepted, while his colleague Nabil Sha'ath added that the government in Ramallah would not tolerate a partial construction freeze and that the moratorium must also be applied in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership was prompt to reject Netanyahu's proposal when he offered it on Monday. Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said a return to US-backed peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel and emphasized that: "The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter." In his proposal, Netanyahu stressed that Israel was willing to make concessions and that a peace deal and a Palestinian state could be achieved if the Palestinians would be willing to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. "If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension," Netanyahu said while speaking at the opening of the third session of the 18th Knesset. "The Palestinians wasted 10 months and now they demand to continue the [settlement] freeze. I hope their demand isn't a ploy to avoid the concessions that must be made in order to achieve a peace deal," he said.
China Stakes A Claim on Texas Oil
Oct. 13….(In The Days) State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into US energy reserves. With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent. It also might pick up some American know-how about tapping the hard-to-get deposits trapped in dense shale rock formations, analysts said. As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in US energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border. CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs. The deal represents China’s second try at making a big move into the US oil and gas market, following a failed bid five years ago to buy California-based Unocal Corp.
Also underlying the move is China’s need to find new energy sources and the technology to develop them to feed its expansive economic growth. Energy consumption in the world’s most populous nation has doubled in less than a decade, and the International Energy Agency reported in July that China surpassed the US in total energy used in 2009. China has increasingly been looking to the Americas for raw materials it needs to sustain the boom. As private investment dwindled with the global financial crisis, the cash-flush Chinese went on a regional shopping spree. China has poured some $20 billion in loans and direct investments into Brazil’s offshore oil exploration and production, for example. And last spring, the Chinese government loaned $20 billion to Venezuela to develop oil fields in its Orinoco River basin, with much of the work awarded to Chinese companies.
US Backs Netanyahu: Israel is Jewish State
(State Department spokesman says region must 'accept existence of Israel as homeland of Jewish people' after Netanyahu tells Knesset he is willing to extend settlement freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish)
Oct. 13….(YNET) The US State Department said Tuesday it supports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "I'm not making any news here," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told a press conference. "It is a state for the Jewish people. It is a state for other citizens of other faiths as well." Netanyahu said Monday that Israel would agree to extend a freeze in West Bank settlement construction if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. "What Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday is, in essence a core demand of the Israeli government, which we support," Crowley said. "The recognition that Israel is a part of the region, acceptance by the region of the existence of the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, is what they want to see through this negotiation." Crowley stressed that the US was encouraging the continuation of direct talks. "This is not a one-way street. It is a two-way street. The prime minister is offering something and asking for something. It is perfectly within the rights of the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas to say there's something I need and there's something I'm willing to give," he said. "We would hope that the Palestinians would do the same thing and, through this ongoing dialogue, we'll gain the commitment on both sides to continue and to resume in these negotiations."
Chinese Warplanes Make Mid East Debut in Turkey and Iran
Oct. 13….(DEBKA) The arrival of a new Middle East player startled Washington and Jerusalem: debkafile's military sources disclose that when Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan met Syrian president Bashar Assad in Damascus Monday, Oct. 11, they talked less about the Kurdish question and more about the role China is willing to play in the military-intelligence alliance binding Syria, Iran and Turkey. Erdogan took the credit for China's unfolding involvement in the alliance in the role of big-power backer. Two recent events illustrate Beijing's intent:
1. From Sept. 20 to Oct. 6, the Turkish Air Force conducted its regular annual Anatolian Eagle exercise, this time without US and Israeli participation. Israel was not invited and America opted out. However, their place was taken by Chinese Sukhoi Su-27 and Mig-29 warplanes making their first appearance in Turkish skies. Our military sources report that the Chinese warplanes began touching down at the big Konya air base in central Turkey in mid-September for their debut performance in the Middle East and Europe.
Konya has served NATO and the United States for decades as one of their most important air bases.
2. Our sources add that the Chinese planes refueled only once on their journey to Turkey in… Iran. When they touched down at the Gayem al-Mohammad air base in central Iran, their crews were made welcome by the Iranian air force commander Gen. Ahmad Migani.
It was the first time Chinese fighter-bombers are known to have visited the Islamic Republic. The Gayem al-Mohammed facility, located near the town of Birjand in South Khorasan, is situated directly opposite the big American base of East Afghanistan near the Afghan-Iranian border town of Herat. The Turkish prime minister painted the military alliance binding Tehran, Ankara and Damascus in rosy colors for Assad's benefit as more central to the region and more powerful than Israel's armed forces after overcoming the IDF's military edge.
Preparation for Spiritual Warfare
Oct. 12….(Charles Stanley) Believers are caught in a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, but the Lord has provided everything we need to stand firm against the forces of evil. Why, then, do Christians fail so often and give in to temptation and sin? I think there are a number of reasons. We are unaware of the battle. Even if we know about spiritual warfare, during everyday life, it’s easy to forget an invisible war is raging around us. Our inattention makes us prime candidates for an attack. We are ignorant about the Enemy. Satan is free to bombard us with one scheme after another when we don’t recognize his tactics or understand his goals. We are untrained for warfare. Believers are soldiers whether they want to be or not. God’s Word is the training manual that gives instruction for discerning deception, resisting temptation, standing firm in faith, and walking in integrity. We allow Satan a foothold. The primary battleground for Christians is the mind. If we begin to listen to the Tempter and consider the benefits of his suggestions, he will gain a foothold into our thoughts, feelings, and desires. Left unchecked, the foothold will become a stronghold, and we’ll soon find ourselves mired in sin. The time to prepare for warfare is now. You cannot afford to be complacent and unaware of your Enemy, or you will quickly become his victim. Begin filling your mind with God’s Word, and obediently listen to the Spirit’s inner warnings. That’s the way to experience the joy of victory in Christ.
Ahmadinejad Visit to Lebanon Evidence of Iranian Domination
Oct. 12….(In The Days) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Lebanon this week on a trip which underlines the growing power of Iran’s Shi’ite ally Hezbollah and which is expected to take him within a couple of miles of arch-foe Israel. Ahmadinejad’s visit has raised concern in Washington, which seeks to isolate Iran over its nuclear program and says Iran’s support for Hezbollah militants undermines Lebanese sovereignty. It has also alarmed pro-Western politicians in Lebanon’s fragile unity government, who protested that Ahmadinejad treats their country like “an Iranian base on the Mediterranean.” But the Iranian president is guaranteed a warm welcome on Wednesday from the two main Shi’ite parties, Hezbollah and Amal, who have called for crowds to gather at the airport road, lined with posters of Ahmadinejad and Iranian and Lebanese flags. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Lebanon should thank Iran for supporting “resistance movements in the region, especially at the time of the July war in Lebanon,” referring to a 2006 conflict when Hezbollah fought Israel to a standstill. In a speech on Saturday he said Iran had helped rebuild Beirut’s southern suburbs and funded post-war reconstruction in south Lebanon, both Hezbollah strongholds. “Where did this money come from? From donations? No, frankly from Iran.” Officials close to Hezbollah say they have spent about $1 billion of Iranian money since 2006 on aid and rebuilding. The West accuses Iran of supplying arms to Hezbollah, which says it has an arsenal of more than 30,000 rockets. In a sign that Tehran is seeking to reinforce its influence, it has offered to help Lebanon boost its inadequate electricity network, support water projects, and replace US weapons supplies held up by political objections in Congress. Ahmadinejad is expected to sign an agreement for a $450 million loan to fund electricity and water projects, as well as an accord on energy cooperation. Lebanon hopes to issue licenses next year to explore for gas off its Mediterranean coast. Iran offered in August to step in and support Lebanon’s army after a cross-border clash between Lebanon and Israel prompted US lawmakers to block funding to the Lebanese military. But diplomats say that any weapons sent to Lebanon from Iran would violate United Nations sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear program, which Western powers say could be used to make atomic bombs. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful. Ahmadinejad is due to address a rally in southern Beirut at which Nasrallah will also speak, possibly by video link, and Lebanese officials say he will go to south Lebanon after concluding the formal state visit. He is expected to visit the towns of Qana and Bint Jbeil, a Hezbollah bastion just 4 km (2.5 miles) from the Israeli border which was heavily bombed by Israel during the 2006 war. Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and said last month that any attack by Israel on Iran would lead to the destruction of the state of Israel as a political entity.
Iran Says US Gave Nuclear Aid to Israel
(Tehran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says Islamic Republic has tangible evidence the Washington gave Israel enriched nuclear material)
Oct. 12….(YNET) Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Monday that Tehran is to reveal proof of how nuclear material enriched by United States was delivered to the Islamic republic's arch-foe Israel. "We will soon publish documents on how America enriched nuclear material was provided and transported to the Zionist regime," Jalili said, quoted on state television's website. Iranian Defense Minister blames Russia for giving into West's pressure by negating on Tehran-Moscow missile defense systems deal; says Russia's claim that deal violated UN Security Council sanctions false, since it was signed in 2007. Jalili said the key question in the Muslim world was "how the Zionist regime acquired these nuclear weapons?" "The Zionist regime and those who gave these weapons to the regime should answer for this." Israel, widely believed to be the sole but undeclared nuclear weapons power in the Middle East, has not ruled out a military strike against Iran's atomic facilities in a bid to stop Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Iran, which denies Israeli and Western suspicions it is making nuclear arms, has repeatedly called for Israel to be questioned over its reported atomic arsenal and to be pressured to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Abbas Rejects Calling Israel ‘Jewish’ in Return for Settlement Freeze
Oct. 12….(Arutz) The Palestinian Authority Monday swiftly turned down Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s offer for a renewal building freeze if PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas were to recognize Israel as Jewish. Both Abbas’ spokesman and his chief negotiators told foreign news agencies that Prime Minister Netanyahu can forget about his proposal. Spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah told Reuters, "The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter.” PA negotiator Saeb Erekat told the French news agency AFP, "This order has nothing to do with the peace process or with the obligations that Israel has not implemented. This is completely rejected.” Prime Minister Netanyahu’s challenge, made in his speech marking the opening of the winter session of the Knesset, effectively put the ball back into the court of Abbas and may take the limelight off the United States. The Arab League on Saturday gave the Obama administration 30 days to pressure Israel into reviewing the recently-expired 10-month building freeze as a condition for the return to direct talks on establishing the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign state on land restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s preparedness to renew the building freeze is the clearest evidence to date that the United States offered Israel several guarantees if it were to renew the freeze. The Obama administration reportedly promised that the freeze would last for 60 days and would be the final opportunity for both Israel and the PA to agree on borders of the proposed new Arab state. The US government also promised not to support any United Nations resolutions dealing with the PA and Israel for a period of one year, the deadline US President Barack Obama has set for a peace agreement. His government also offered several security guarantees.
Jewish Palestine is the Land of Israel
Oct. 11….(Myths and Facts) The "Mandate for Palestine," an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law. The "Mandate for Palestine" was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. 51 member countries-the entire League of Nations-unanimously declared on July 24, 1922: "Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." It is important to point out that political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates-in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq, and later Trans- Jordan [The British Mandate]. Before the Zionist movement assumed concrete form, among the first to express approval of the return of the Jews to Palestine was John Adams, the second President of the United States, who wrote to Maj. Mordecai Manuel Noah, the first American Zionist, as follows: "I really wish the Jews again in Judea, an independent nation; as I believe, the most enlightened men of it have participated in the amelioration of the philosophy of the ages; once restored to an independent government, and no longer persecuted, they would soon wear a way some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character. I wish your nation may be admitted to all the privileges of citizens in every part of the world. This country (America) has done much; I wish it may do more and annul every narrow idea in religion, government, and commerce" (1819). Any attempt to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine-Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations is a serious infringement of international law.
Arab League Supports Abbas's Decision to Halt Talks
Oct. 11….(Jerusalem Post) Foreign ministers meeting in Libya back PA president's decision to stop negotiations as long as Israeli building in settlements continues. The Arab League announced on Friday that it supports Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to stop peace talks with Israel following Israel's refusal to halt building in West Bank settlements, Reuters reported. The Arab League was meeting in Libya to discuss the peace talks which began early in September but have stalled following Israel's decision not to extend a moratorium on settlement building which ended after 10 months on September 26. League representatives added that they are hopeful the US will continue to pressure Israel to agree to a renewal of the construction freeze. Earlier on Friday, AFP quoted a diplomat at the Arab League meeting as saying that Arab countries planned to give the US one month to find a compromise which could save the peace talks. Other diplomats attending the meetings said that some Arab countries were proposing that Abbas return to indirect negotiations to avoid a total breakdown of Mideast peace talks. Arab League head Amr Moussa stated that Israel's negative stance was responsible for stalling negotiations. He added that the Arab Foreign ministers at the meeting did not intend to tell Abbas what to do. He said that they would attempt to find alternative suggestions to the current peace process which is failing to "bear fruit." Abbas arrived in Libya on Thursday to seek Arab League backing for his decision to quit direct talks with Israel until the settlement construction moratorium is renewed, amid no signs that the US and Israel have a formula in hand to break the impasse. Although Ambassador to the US Michael Oren on Thursday was the first Israeli or American official to acknowledge that Washington had offered Jerusalem inducements to extend the freeze, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in public statements he made later in the day, sounded more like someone trying to shift the blame for failure onto the other side, rather than someone on the verge of announcing a breakthrough. “We honored the government decision and took upon ourselves a commitment to the international community and the US to start the peace talks,” Netanyahu said of the 10- month moratorium that ended nearly two weeks ago. “The Palestinians waited over nine months and, immediately at the onset of the talks, set a precondition even though they had promised that there would be no preconditions.” The prime minister said that just as his government honored its commitment regarding the settlement moratorium, “we very much hope that the Palestinians will stay in the peace talks.” Meanwhile, Abbas has returned to his old habit of threatening to resign if Israel does not comply with his demands, making his latest threat during a meeting in Jordan on Wednesday night with members of the Palestine National Council, the PLO’s parliament-in-exile.
Double-Talking on Israel: US Aids Palestinians?
(Obama demands Jews stop construction while building PA foothold in same areas)
Oct. 11….(WND) Despite its history of friendly relations with Israel, the US has been aiding Palestinian Authority construction in areas where the work could tilt the outcome of Mideast negotiations in favor of the Palestinians. By aiding Palestinian construction of infrastructure in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, the US has effectively been helping the PA create facts on the ground that could push disputed neighborhoods toward becoming part of a Palestinian state, including areas where the land in question is wholly owned by Jews. While the Obama administration has been demanding a complete halt to all Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, the US Agency for International Development, or USAID, has been financing Palestinian infrastructure projects in those same territories. Some of the projects include the construction of PA municipal buildings as well as roads and other infrastructure. Case and point are multiple towns in the West Bank in what is known as Area C, neighborhoods controlled by Israel. Last month the State Department inaugurated a USAID-funded Palestinian school in Beit Ijza, a West Bank neighborhood about five miles northwest of Jerusalem. The US has also been aiding in multiple other West Bank areas with the construction of roads and municipal facilities. Some of the US-funded construction has been carried out by a company owned by the son of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. While the US assistance to the PA has been stepped up in recent months, USAID has been helping the Palestinians develop sections of Jerusalem for several years now, including on property owned by Jews. The situation has been unfolding in the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis, which are close to the Jewish neighborhoods of Neve Yaacov and Pisgat Zeev in Israel's capital. Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis are located entirely within the Jerusalem municipality. Over 100,000 Arabs live in those neighborhoods. Jews lived in Kfar Akeb, Qalandiya and Samir Amis years before the establishment of Israel in 1948, but they were violently expelled during deadly Arab riots in 1929. Jordan, together with other Arab countries, attacked Israel after its founding in 1948 and administered the three Jerusalem neighborhoods as well as all of eastern Jerusalem following an armistice agreement. In 1967, Jordan attacked again, and Israel liberated the entire city of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. During the period of Jordanian control, some new construction took place, including in areas previously purchased by Jews. A WND tour of the three Jerusalem neighborhoods found some surprising developments. Official PA logos and placards abound, including one glaring red street sign at the entrance to the neighborhoods warning Israelis to keep out. Another official sign, in Kfar Akeb in Jerusalem, reads in English, "Ramallah-Jerusalem Road. This project is a gift form the American people to the Palestinian people in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and PECDAR. 2007." The sign bears the emblems of the American and PA governments and of the US Agency for International Development, or USAID. USAID provides the PA funds for road and infrastructure projects.
Ahmadinejad's Target Audience
Oct. 11….(JWR) By Iranian and Hizbullah accounts, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon next week will be a splendid affair. The man who stole his office and then killed his countrymen to protect his crime will be greeted as a conquering hero. Billboards bidding him welcome and Iranian flags will line the roads from the Beirut airport down to the border with Israel. Ahmadinejad's visit to southern Lebanon will be the highlight of his two-day visit. In preparation for his arrival, in the border town of Maroun A-Ras, Hizbullah has built a replica of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem festooned with an Iranian flag. Ahmadinejad is scheduled to stand outside the structure and throw stones at IDF forces patrolling what he has reportedly referred to as "Iran's border with Israel." Many Israelis are rattled by Ahmadinejad's trip to our neck of the woods. It is unsettling that the man who personifies the Islamist goal of eradicating the Jewish people will be literally standing at our doorstep, provoking us. Before we lose our composure it is far from clear that Israel is Ahmadinejad's primary audience. By throwing stones at Israel Ahmadinejad will not be telling us anything we don't already know about his sentiments towards the Jews and our state. He won't be signaling anything we don't already know about his proxy force Hizbullah's capacity to make war on us. So what new message is Ahmadinejad bringing with him? Who is he communicating with? Ahmadinejad's visit must be seen within the regional context that it is taking place. Specifically, it must be seen against the backdrop of Lebanese politics. It must also be seen in the context of waning US power and influence in the region. Finally it should be evaluated in terms of Iranian domestic affairs and Ahmadinejad's ongoing struggle with his people who reject his leadership. While Iran's ill-intentions towards Israel remain static, all of the other developments in the region are dynamic. One aspect of Ahmadinejad's visit is abundantly clear. It is the diplomatic equivalent of a victory lap. Iran's ruler is using his trip as an opportunity to flaunt his position as the colonial overlord of Lebanon.
That means that Iran now believes it is in its interest to expose that Lebanon today is nothing more than an Iranian colony. Lebanon's independence is a mirage that Iran no longer believes it is in its interest to maintain. Moreover, not only does Ahmadinejad's triumphalist visit show that Lebanon has lost its independence and serves as an Iranian vassal state. Over the past week, many regional commentators and officials have warned that Ahmadinejad's visit may be the prelude to the consolidation of Hizbullah's control of Lebanon. Recent events lend credence to these warnings. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has not had a day of peace since he bowed to Hizbullah pressure and formed a government in November 2009 in which the Iranian proxy was given veto power over all government decisions. Hariri's move put him into the unenviable position of having to bow and scrape before the Syrian and Hizbullah assassins who murdered his father, former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Syrian and Hizbullah culpability for Hariri Sr.'s murder in February 2005 has been the focal point of the UN investigative tribunal charged with investigating the crime. The latest reports indicate that the UN's investigators will name Hizbullah officers as responsible for the hit. The UN tribunal is scheduled to announce its findings in the coming weeks.
So Ahmadinejad's visit comes just before his Lebanese proxy force is set to get some serious egg on its chin. A UN pronouncement of Hizbullah culpability would diminish both Hizbullah's standing in Lebanon and its international reputation. Iran has a clear interest in neutralizing the impact of the expected announcement. To this end, Syria and Hizbullah have steadily escalated their demands that Hariri and his associates in the March 14 movement disown the UN investigation and denounce all their colleagues who implicated Syria and Hizbullah in the 2005 hit. Ratcheting up the pressure, on Monday Syria issued arrest warrants against 33 senior Lebanese officials allied with Hariri for what Damascus alleges are their false testimonies before the UN commission. Hizbullah and its underlings in Lebanese politics have followed suit, demanding that the government disown the UN tribunal and refuse to fund it. As of the end of this week, Hariri and his allies are refusing to bow to this newest round of pressure. They recognize that if they submit, it will destroy the March 14 movement as an independent political force in Lebanon.
The lack of Arab support for Hariri and his allies is a direct consequence of the US's effective abandonment of the March 14 forces. While the Bush administration arguably did the most damage when it forced Israel to seek a ceasefire in 2006 and then did nothing to defeat Hizbullah's coup in May 2008, the Obama administration has exacerbated the damage with its abject fecklessness. First there is the Obama administration's stubborn maintenance of its massive support for the Lebanese military despite overwhelming evidence that today the Lebanese army acts as a Hizbullah proxy. In order to maintain that support, the administration faced down a wave of Congressional pressure after the Lebanese military's assassination of IDF Lt. Col. Dov Harari in August. Then there is the administration's preening and scraping before Assad. The administration's obsession with the so-called peace process between Israel and its neighbors has made it impossible for Washington to take a concerted stand against Syria which it hopes to convince to negotiate with Israel. Even as Assad visited Teheran and declared his undying devotion to Iran, the administration hosted his deputy foreign minister Faisal Moqdad in Washington and cooed that Syria is "absolutely essential" for "comprehensive peace" and regional stability. The US descent into strategic imbecility has convinced Arab leaders that they should avoid getting on Iran's wrong side. With the US even standing aside as Iran paralyzes Iraq's post-election government, no one can take US guarantees seriously anymore. And if anyone had any doubts about this state of affairs, the fact that the US has no leverage with which it can compel the Lebanese government to cancel Ahmadinejad's visit reinforces the glum reality.
The last target audience for Ahmadinejad's visit is the Iranian people. As some commentators have noted, his victory lap in Bint J'Beil and Maroun A-Ras is a message to his own people. On the one hand it shows the Iranian people, who seek the overthrow of their despotic regime that Ahmadinejad is a rising star regionally. On the other hand, Hizbullah's expected violent consolidation of its control over Lebanon is a signal that the Iranian people should be very afraid. Just as its Lebanese proxy will not hesitate to murder its fellow Lebanese to advance the interests of the Iranian regime, so the Iranian regime will not hesitate to use all force necessary to quell any domestic opponents. If indeed, Ahmadinejad's target audiences are Lebanese, pan-Arab and Iranian, then should Israel be concerned about his visit? The answer to this is yes, and not because his visit, in and of itself increases the likelihood of war. With its complete control over southern Lebanon and its 40,000 missiles, Hizbullah can open a war with Israel at any time. Ahmadinejad's visit neither adds nor detracts from this grim reality.
The reason that Israelis should be concerned is because Ahmadinejad's visit can negatively impact perceptions of the likely political outcome of a war with Israel. In October 1973, Egypt knew that it did not have the wherewithal to defeat Israel militarily. Israel's strategic advantage over Egypt was clear. But events preceding that war, including Egypt's move from the Soviet to the US side of the Cold War, convinced Egyptian president Anwar Saadat that he could use a limited military victory to gain a strategic political victory against Israel. His gamble paid off as a year later, the US forced Israel to withdraw from much of the Sinai Peninsula. The insecurity of the Arab states, the rise of Iran in Lebanon and throughout the region, the waning of US regional power, and the voices of sympathy for Hizbullah in the Obama administration all form a political climate that increase the likelihood that Iran will wage another war against Israel though Hizbullah. Israel's options in this context are limited. Obviously, it must prepare for war and commit itself to defeating Hizbullah as a fighting force and delivering a paralyzing blow to Syria in the event that war breaks out. Israel must also take what political steps it can to impact the political calculations of various regional actors. Having Ahmadinejad on the border is unsettling. But to properly prepare and contend with the threat he poses, we must understand what he is doing there.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 3 THROUGH OCTOBER 9
Arab League Poised to Have Abbas Leave Talks
Oct. 8….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Libya on Thursday to seek Arab League backing for his decision to quit direct talks with Israel until the settlement construction moratorium is renewed, amid no signs that the US and Israel have a formula in hand to break the impasse. Although Ambassador to the US Michael Oren on Thursday was the first Israeli or American official to acknowledge that Washington had offered Jerusalem inducements to extend the freeze, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in public statements he made later in the day, sounded more like someone trying to shift the blame for failure onto the other side, rather than someone on the verge of announcing a breakthrough. “We honored the government decision and took upon ourselves a commitment to the international community and the US to start the peace talks,” Netanyahu said of the 10- month moratorium that ended nearly two weeks ago. “The Palestinians waited over nine months and, immediately at the onset of the talks, set a precondition even though they had promised that there would be no preconditions.” The prime minister said that just as his government honored its commitment regarding the settlement moratorium, “we very much hope that the Palestinians will stay in the peace talks.” But, said Netanyahu during a visit to Lod, “Today, the questions need to be directed to the Palestinians: Why are you abandoning the talks? Don’t turn your backs on peace; stay in the talks. This is what needs to be asked today, and not of the Israeli government.” Oren, in a video interview on The Washington Post’s website, said Netanyahu feared that since he said the moratorium would only last for 10 months, if it was extended his credibility would be “grievously damaged.” If at the beginning of the negotiating process Netanyahu’s credibility was dented, then no one would believe him at the end of the process when he would have to give his word to the country that “the two-state solution would be to their benefit,” Oren said. The US administration, Oren acknowledged, “came to Israel with a number of suggestions, incentives if you would, that would enable the government to maybe pass a limited extension of two or three months.” Oren said the Obama administration was also continuing to talk with the Palestinians and the Arab League. In Jerusalem, meanwhile, the widespread assessment was that the Arab League would back Abbas’s decision to leave the talks if Israel did not declare another settlement freeze, or did not declare that it would accept the principle of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders. The Prime Minister’s Office, meanwhile, continued to stay completely mum about the content of the negotiations, or whether it thought the ongoing contacts with the Americans would bear fruit. However, in what was perhaps a sign of low expectations in Jerusalem of any dramatic breakthrough, no meeting of the security cabinet or Netanyahu’s senior decision-making forum, the septet, had been scheduled for Friday. The Prime Minister’s Office refused to relate to media reports that as a condition for extending the moratorium by two or three months, Netanyahu was asking US President Barack Obama to sign off on a letter president George W. Bush gave prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2004, a year before the withdrawal from Gaza. In that letter, seen as instrumental in enabling Sharon to get his disengagement plan through the cabinet, Bush indicated that the US would not back the Palestinian claim for a right of refugee return to within the pre-1967 borders; would not call for a full return to those 1967 borders, something Israel took to mean that Washington would accept Israel’s holding on to the major settlement blocs; and that the US would back Jerusalem when international pressure came to bear on Israel regarding its nuclear program. The Obama administration has never reaffirmed that letter, a sore point to some inside the government who feel Sharon withdrew from Gaza on the basis of that document. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a PLO leader and close adviser to Abbas, was quoted by Agence France-Press as saying that there can be no peace as long as Netanyahu is in power. Abbas, meanwhile, has returned to his old habit of threatening to resign if Israel does not comply with his demands, making his latest threat during a meeting in Jordan on Wednesday night with members of the Palestine National Council, the PLO’s parliament- in-exile. Khaled Musmar, a PLO official, said that Abbas hinted during the meeting that he would resign from his post if the peace talks with Israel failed. Abbas described the talks with Israel as “hard and complicated because of Israeli intransigence and refusal to freeze settlement construction.”
Israel on War Alert
(Jewish state fears Iran ally will attack)
Oct. 8….(WND) Israel is on heightened alert for possible attacks by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization in Lebanon, according to a senior Israeli defense official speaking to WND. The official said the Jewish state is concerned Hezbollah might try to spark a conflict to deflect attention from an international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who died in a car bomb explosion in 2005. The probe is reportedly set to indict members of Hezbollah for the murder. The indictments may come as soon as the next few weeks, reports have claimed. Hezbollah is deeply concerned about the political fallout within Lebanon if its members are accused of murdering Hariri, the defense official said. As such, Hezbollah may try to carry out attacks against Israel similar to those that prompted the 2006 Lebanon War. During that conflict, Hezbollah fired constant rocket barrages into Israel, killing 43 Israelis and wounding more than 4,200. Hezbollah and Syria have attempted to discredit the UN probe. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has delivered television addresses claiming Israel was behind Hariri's killing and that spies working for Israel planted "false evidence" blaming Hezbollah. Earlier this week, Syria issued arrest warrants against 33 people for allegedly misleading the UN investigation. The targets include figures close to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafiq Hariri's son, including his media adviser, senior security officers and journalists working in Hariri-owned media outlets.
Lebanon Transformed: A Hizbullah Nation, Iranian Proxy
(Hizbullah flag displayed by store)
Oct. 8….(Arutz) A new Hizbullah country seems to be developing in place of the sovereign nation of Lebanon, and its population is preparing for another war with Israel. Hizbullah may be feeling particularly bold due to the impending arrival of its prime patron, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is set to arrive October 13 on his first state visit to the country since entering office in 2005. A significant faction of Hizbullah-linked legislators plays a major role in the country’s parliament, with several ministers included in the cabinet as well. More to the point, Iran’s role in the Beirut government and the country’s infrastructure, through its links with Hizbullah, should not be underestimated. Iranian money has financed reconstruction projects in Lebanon, including a set of multi-million dollar apartment complexes in a Beirut Hizbullah stronghold that was reduced to rubble during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. A network of new roads honeycombing southern Lebanon and connecting Hizbullah-linked border villages with interior communities was also designed and paid for by Iran. And although the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Army were intended to enforce a demilitarized zone between Israel’s northern border and the Litani River, ensuring Hizbullah disarmed, they did not. In fact, Hizbullah and the Lebanese Army have essentially merged into one seamless unit, with the Lebanese government asserting its support for Hizbullah’s right to bear arms, and the terrorist group asserting its right to “defend” Lebanon. Together the two combined intelligence efforts, leading to the arrest by Lebanese officials of more than 100 Lebanese citizens over the past two years accused of spying for Israel. Now the Iranian president is coming to see the results of his investment, and his protégés are eager to please him. Ahmadinejad will tour several major Hizbullah installations, and will meet with the terrorist group’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, as well as with all of Lebanon’s top officials, including the president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker. The Iranian leader has also vowed to visit Lebanon’s border with Israel and hurl rocks at IDF soldiers from across the security fence, as a gesture of defiance towards the Jewish State. Israel has asked Britain, France and the United Nations to intervene and prevent the provocation; in fact, it has requested that Lebanon cancel the visit altogether in order to prevent any possible outbreak of hostilities.
Hizbullah Honeycombs the South
The terrorist organization has infiltrated most, if not all, of the towns and villages in the southern region of the country, building a comprehensive, integrated network of weapons facilities and other military infrastructure. Hizbullah has been digging tunnels, preparing communications infrastructure and making other preparations for war since the end of the previous conflict, according to an officer in the IDF Northern Command. The group is placing its military positions, weapons and explosive charges next to schools and hospitals in order to maximize civilian casualties in any future conflict with Israel, thus creating a public relations nightmare for the Jewish State. For years, Hizbullah has stockpiled mortars, missiles and other arms in the buildings of quiet villages nestled in the hills of southern Lebanon. The IDF is aware of the strategy and has marked the targets in anticipation of any future conflict. NATO submarines spent months watching the Syrian coastline as ships smuggled weapons to the terrorist entity, including dozens of military vehicles and the high-powered Scud missiles, which can easily strike Tel Aviv from Beirut. Satellite images of one Hizbullah complex, located near the Syrian town of Adra, northwest of Damascus, allegedly revealed shelters, weapons and a fleet of trucks presumably ready to be used to transfer the ordnance. Although Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah claims his missile arsenal numbers at 40,000, a figure Israel does not dispute, other intelligence officials estimate there may be more, possibly between three or four times the 20,000 missiles the group possessed prior to the start of the 2006 Second Lebanon War. At least one Hizbullah supporter in the town of Aita al Sha’ab – from which the Second Lebanon War was launched, told a reporter from The New York Times this week that he was “expecting the war this summer. It’s late.”
Growing Ties Between Turkey, China, Iran Worry Israel and US
Oct. 8….(Ha Aretz) The United States and Israel are watching with concern the growing military cooperation among Turkey, China and Iran, especially following a joint Turkish-Chinese air-force exercise last week. Until two years ago Israel was Turkey's main partner for air combat training. In 2001 the Turkish air force inaugurated a tactical air warfare center in Konya with Israel and the United States. Until 2008 the Israel Air Force was a frequent guest in Turkey's sky and a regular participant in the country's big annual exercise, Anatolian Eagle. In the wake of Operation Cast Lead and the subsequent deterioration of bilateral relations Turkey last year revoked Israel's participation in the maneuvers. The United States decided not to take part in the exercise this year because of that decision. A number of other NATO members followed suit. Turkey replaced the Israel Air Force with its Chinese counterpart. China sent Sukhoi SU-27 fighter aircraft and pilots to train with Turkey's F-16 fighters. In the past these exercises were held in relatively openness, but last week they were held covertly, with only a brief report appearing in the Turkish media after the exercise. The West has been watching the changes in the Chinese army's structure, and especially the long-range naval and aerial exercises that indicate Beijing's intention to acquire the ability to conduct warfare far from China's borders. The Chinese are also aggressively pursuing cyber warfare capabilities, employing some 60,000 hackers at it, according to foreign intelligence reports. The Obama administration protested Turkey's military cooperation with Iran after it was reported that the Chinese fighter planes were sent to Turkey via Pakistan and Iran. The developing ties among Turkey, Iran and China are also reflected in weapons deals, with Iran buying from China mainly missile technology. The C-802 antiship missile fired by Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War at the Israel Navy's Hanit missile boat was manufactured in Iran with Chinese technology. China has also developed a surface-to-surface rocket-launching system together with Turkey. China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is due to visit Ankara this month and to sign several bilateral cooperation agreements. Turkey and China are also involved in projects to build oil pipelines from Iran. Another reason for the close relations between the two states is that China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has been in the forefront of opposition to imposing harsher sanctions on Iran in connection to the Islamic state's nuclear program.
'Iran Exporting Weapons to Over 50 Countries'
Oct. 7….(Jerusalem Post) Teheran's military chief reportedly claims Iranian defense is "at the height of its power" and totally self-sufficient in producing "defense products." Iran's top military official said the country can supply weapons to over 50 countries, Iranian news source PressTV reported on Wednesday. "At the moment the Islamic Republic is at the height of power and is able to export defense products," Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying. Vahidi said Teheran had manufactured defense products and that the country is self sufficient in military industries, producing military equipment and weapons, as well as electronic, radar and optical projects. Iran has completed a number of defense projects despite UN Security Council sanctions against Iranian military and finances, due to its nuclear program. Earlier this week, Iran blamed the West for a computer worm called "Stuxnet" found on the computers of emloyees of the country's nuclear power plant. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the worm won't make Iran "give up or stop" its nuclear activities.
The Prison of the Past
October 7….(Charles Stanley) Imagine a man named Dan who, after serving his full sentence of 20 years, has just received his prison release papers. Now, after two decades behind bars, he’s going to taste freedom again! Before leaving, he makes a strange request: “Please take this cell door off its hinges and strap it to my back.” The jailers comply, and the freed man spends the rest of his life in this condition. Dan’s story sounds ridiculous. Yet many of us carry around guilt like a prison door strapped to our back. Jesus Christ liberated us, but we have trouble leaving the old jail completely behind. The problem is that we don’t believe God has really forgiven. I’ve often counseled Christians who say, “I pray every day for the Lord to forgive me!” When I point out that God has already covered their sin, I hear, “Yes, but . . . ” There is no “but.” Either God forgives or He doesn’t. If you’ve trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you are free of sin (Col. 1:14). The Lord promises that He will not hold our wrongs against us or even remember them (Heb. 10:17). No good can come of dredging up the old failures and sinful habits that He has put behind His back (Isaiah 38:17). The Liberator has torn down the walls of your prison. So lay down your guilt and live free. When God looks upon a believer, He sees a spirit washed clean of all sin. Don’t allow guilt over past wrongdoing to hold you captive a second longer. Take God at His word, and believe that He has removed it from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12).
New US Consulate to Open in Jerusalem
Oct. 7….(Israel Today) The US Consulate in Jerusalem has announced that its new facility in the capital’s southern Arnona neighborhood will open for service next week. The site where the new consulate building sits had previously been slated for the US embassy. The new consulate is going to make life easier for all the US citizens who live on the western side of Jerusalem, as they previously had to use the cramped and inefficient facility on the capital’s eastern, Arab-dominated side. But does the opening of the new consulate signal that Washington intends to never honor the Jerusalem Embassy Act and move its official mission to the Israeli capital? In 1995, both houses of the US Congress overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act to initiative and fund the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv back to Jerusalem. The act also reaffirms Jerusalem as the undivided and recognized capital of the State of Israel. The act gave the US government until 1999 to move the embassy. However, a national security waiver included in the act has been invoked by successive presidents every six months since the motion was passed. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all argued during their respective tenures that the Jerusalem Embassy Act infringed on executive branch control of foreign affairs, and indicated that the waiver would continue to be invoked until the act is no longer relevant.
Israel Releases 1973 War Papers to Warn Syria, Hizballah About Beirut!
(Bashar Assad lays ground for Hizballah coup in Beirut)
Oct. 7….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to release the minutes of the deliberations on an air blitz against Damascus, held in Jerusalem before and during the Yom Kippur War 37 years ago, as a strong warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Debkafile's military and intelligence sources reveal. Then, a decision to take out Damascus to halt the Syrian offensive was overruled. This time could be different: Bashar Assad regime's own centers of power could be at risk if Syria and Hizballah go through with their plan to overpower Beirut and topple Saad Hariri's sovereign government. That is the message relayed by the October 1973 war papers released this week, which go beyond uncovering secret operational and intelligence decision-making and are unusually wide-ranging. In the hours leading up to the fateful moment on Oct. 6 1973, when the combined forces of Egypt and Syria caught Israel napping by a joint offensive (designed by their Russian sponsor), Israel's chief of staff, the late Lt. Gen. David Elazar, said to Prime Minister Golda Meir: In operational terms, we can wipe out the entire Syrian air force by 12:00 noon today. We need another 30 hours to destroy its missiles. Then, if they go on the offensive at 5 pm., our air force will be free to strike the Syrian army. To me, this is operational option is attractive. Three days later, on Oct. 9, catastrophe stared Israel in the face: The IDF was in a bad way and taking casualties in the realm of hundreds dead and thousands injured; their defense lines in Sinai and the Golan had fallen and there was nothing in the way of the Syrian army going all the way to the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias. In a closed meeting with Golda Meir, the iconic defense minister Moshe Dayan asked for permission to bomb Damascus. "Inside the city?" she asked. "Inside the city and its environs," he replied. "We have to break the Syrians," Dayan explained that he proposed to strike the Syrian General Command and infrastructure in Damascus. "We've done enough going around the fields (a reference to targets outside the Syrian capital). There are no more key targets left. Damascus is the only one. We can't promise the population won't be hurt."
Golda's permission was withheld
Debkafile's sources report that the decision to release these documents and the section relating to Syria was taken in Jerusalem after the Obama administration failed to prevent the two-day state visit to Lebanon by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taking place on Oct. 13. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not have been tough enough on this issue when she met Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem in New York Monday, Sept. 27. Damascus also inferred from the tenor of that conversation that Washington would not interfere with a Syrian-Iranian-backed Hizballah attack on Lebanon's centers of power. The 1973 war papers released in Jerusalem, revealing that Israel then was just hours away from an air blitz against Damascus, was a message to Assad that Jerusalem was not aligned with the Americans in this. The suspense ahead of the Ahmadinejad visit and its fallout continued to rise this week. Tuesday, Oct. 5, US sources told Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper: There are international and Arab concerns over a potential assassination attempt against PM Saad Hariri. That night, Damascus pressed ahead with its campaign to prepare Beirut for a Hizballah takeover by chipping away at Lebanese sovereignty and the authority of the Hariri government. Syria's chief military prosecutor issued summonses for four former Lebanese security officials to present themselves in Damascus and testify against three former officers, two Syrian and one Lebanese, who bore witness against Syria and Hizballah as complicit in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. This step followed the publication on Monday of a list of 33 Lebanese and international figures accused of conspiring in a plot to inculpate Syria for the murder.
Iran Admits It Could Pull The Nuke Trigger on US or Israel
Oct. 6….(Newsmax) For the first time since the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program was exposed in 2002, the Iranian government is dropping the pretense that it is developing nuclear technology purely for peaceful purposes. Iran has developed nuclear war plans to deter US and Israeli aggression, and even strike against them, a top adviser to Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in a strategic analysis. Defense Ministry analyst Alireza Saeidabadi’s detailed analysis examines several scenarios in which Iran could become embroiled in a shooting war with the United States or Israel. One of the scenarios Iranian military planners must consider is a strategic nuclear US strike on Iran, he writes. If that occurred, Iranian planning documents call for attacks against US interests “on the world stage,” his analysis says. The Iranian military should “prioritize its air force and ballistic missile fleet” in dealing with a conventional attack from Israel, Saeidabadi writes. But in the event Israel uses unconventional weapons against Iran, “then Iran should employ a nuclear strategy.” Similarly, if Iran and the United States get engaged in naval clashes in the Persian Gulf, Iran should “use its sea power for hit-and-run attacks, commando attacks, and use anti-shipping missiles” against US naval vessels. “But if the United States launches an unconventional attack, Iran needs to respond with a nuclear strategy,” the Iranian defense ministry analyst contends. The meaning is clear to former Revolutionary Guards officer Reza Kahlili. “He means that Iran should be prepared with the capability of nuclear weapons to respond” if an enemy were to launch a nuclear strike against Iran, says Kahlili, author of a recent memoir, “A Time to Betray.” “The use of nuclear technology for peaceful means is just a front,” Kahlili told Newsmax. “They are prepared to go to war and will not give up the bomb project, which they feel is very close to being able to arm their ballistic missiles with nuclear war heads.” This is the first time that a senior Iranian government official has made an authorized public statement acknowledging that Iran has developed the military doctrine needed to employ nuclear weapons on the battlefield. Although both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei insist that Iran has the right to enrich uranium and to develop nuclear technology, both have stated consistently that Iran has no interest in nuclear weapons, and that Islam even forbids the use of such weapons. Defense ministry officials’ talking openly about a nuclear war fighting doctrine turns on its head the long-stated public position of the Islamic Republic that Iran “couldn’t possibly want a nuclear weapon because their ideology and the religious rulings of Ayatollah Khomeini prohibited it,” says Kenneth Katzman, a former CIA analyst who is the top Iran expert at the Congressional Research Service. Many US experts have been skeptical of such Iranian disclaimers for years. But these latest Iranian statements give added weight to the view that Iranian officials say one thing in public, while doing exactly the opposite behind closed doors. Former Assistant Secretary of State Paula DeSutter, who tracked nuclear weapons proliferation and verified arms control treaties with the Russian Federation and others for the Bush administration, believes that these latest Iranian statements “can only mean that Iran would target Israeli or US nuclear facilities, or that it would employ nuclear weapons.” “This language appears to take Iran from nuclear weapons acquisition planning into nuclear weapons employment doctrine, and is therefore quite serious,” DeSutter told Newsmax. The article also states that Iran should be prepared to launch attacks against the continental United States, against economic targets, with the aim of “weakening the morale of the people,” language similar to that used by Osama bin Laden to justify the 9/11 attacks. The Defense Ministry analysis is not a fiery propaganda document, but rather a measured examination of the real-world environment, and this is why it should be taken so seriously. Regarding Israel, for example, the author refrains from polemics. The Islamic Republic authorities “need to examine more closely what war with Israel would mean,” he states. “To do so, we first need to analyze Israel’s military capabilities. Israel has an estimated 200 nuclear warheads, as well as chemical and biological weapons. So if there is a conflict, one must first determine whether it will be a conventional war, or a nuclear war.” Israel believes that Iran “threatens its existence,” and is therefore worried about Iran’s steadily improving relationships with its neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, the Iranian Defense Ministry analyst writes. To counter Iran’s regional influence, “Israel is expanding relations with Russia, Georgia, and some Central Asia states,” he writes. “Iran must keep Israel’s intentions in mind and therefore should pursue friendly cooperation with its neighbors, especially its Arab neighbors, to reduce Israel’s influence in the region.” The analyst also argues that the United States is over-extended militarily because of its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, the more the United States withdraws its forces from Iraq, the greater the chance of a military conflict with Iran.
Jerusalem Arabs Don't Want to Live in 'Palestine'
Oct. 5….(Israel Today) There is no shortage of propaganda insisting that the Arab residents of Israel are mistreated and live sub-human lives, and want nothing more than to be part of an independent Palestinian Arab state. And many Israeli Arabs, whether out of Islamic ideological fervor or just plain fear, will back up that assertion. But many more will, when being honest with themselves and others, admit that life in the Jewish state is by far preferable to being ruled by the Palestinian Authority or even Hamas. That topic has come up a number of times in the past 10 years, most recently when former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was offering to divide Jerusalem and let the eastern Arab-dominated half of the city become the capital of “Palestine.” The leader of an Arab village on the eastern side of Jerusalem spoke twice to Israel Today during Olmert’s tenure about why he was rallying Arab support to keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty: With the international community, led by US President Barack Obama, again pushing hard for the swift conclusion of a final status Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, future control of Jerusalem is up for grabs. The Palestinian leadership is trying to make sure everyone understands the division of Jerusalem is a foregone conclusion by insisting the negotiations will fail if Israel continues building homes for Jews on the city’s eastern side. Israel is only timidly fighting back, and is using bureaucracy to slow the rate of Jewish construction there so as to not upset the international community and give it cause to blame Israel for any failures in the peace talks. At the same time, that policy fuels Palestinian claims that the eastern half of Jerusalem does not actually belong to Israel. But no one is asking the Arabs of Jerusalem how they actually feel. No one is asking if they actually want to live in “Palestine,” or if they would prefer to remain Israeli. One Arab Muslim journalist has for years been bold enough to answer that question, and to ask it of any fellow Arabs brave enough to talk to him. In a paper for the Hudson Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh, a regular correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, insists that “those who think that Jerusalem can be split into two are living in an illusion and clearly do not know what they are talking about.” The journalist wonders if any of the brilliant international peace brokers have bothered to think of what such a division would do to a geographically small but overcrowded city. “Redividing Jerusalem will turn the lives of both Jews and Arabs into a nightmare, especially with regards to traffic arrangements. Every day, tens of thousands of Jews and Arabs commute between the two parts of the city freely,” writes Abu Toameh. “Redividing Jerusalem will result in the establishment of checkpoints and border crossings inside many parts of the city. Jews and Arabs will find themselves confined to their homes and neighborhoods, which will be surrounded by security barriers and checkpoints.” But more importantly, there is the issue of the political will of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem. Considering that the division of Jerusalem would affect them most, Abu Toameh is adamant their voice must be heard. “This can be done through a referendum where the Arab residents would be asked if they would like to live in a divided city under the rule of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas,” he suggests. “Most likely, a majority of the Arab residents would say that they prefer the status quo to the other options.” For a great number of reasons, Abu Toameh contends that most Jerusalem Arabs want to live under Israeli rule. As holders of Israeli ID cards, these Arabs are able to partake of Israeli medical care and other social benefits; they are also able to live in relative safety in a society that obeys the rule of law. Abu Toameh says the Arabs of Jerusalem have taken the lessons learned from Israel’s Gaza withdrawal to heart. They know exactly what happens to a territory that comes under direct Palestinian rule. “Redividing Jerusalem means bringing either the Palestinian Authority of Hamas into the city. The Arab residents of Jerusalem have seen what happened in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past 16 years and are not keen to live under a corrupt authority or a radical Islamist entity,” Toameh writes. The local Palestinian Arabs were not asked by either the international community or Israel before the signing of the so-called “Oslo Accords,” which officially put Yasser Arafat’s PLO in charge of their lives. That was a miscarriage of justice, and Abu Toameh hopes the same will not be done to Jerusalem’s Arabs.
Tehran, Damascus Plot Hizballah Grab of Beirut After Ahmadinejad's Visit
Oct. 5….(DEBKA) The presidents of Iran and Syria agreed in Tehran Saturday, Oct. 2, to support a Hizballah military takeover of Lebanon's power centers, including the capital Beirut, right after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ends his controversial two-day visit to the country on October 13-14. Ahmadinejad and Assad also decided to continue to harass Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri by de-legitimization of his government, intimidation and humiliation to force him to dissolve the Special Tribunal for Lebanon-STL which has brought charges against Hizballlah officials for the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. If this campaign disables the Hariri government, so much they better, because then Hizballah will be able to walk in and set up a transitional administration together with it allies, the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and the Christian ex-general Michel Aoun. This administration will rule the regions dominated by Hizballah gunmen and proclaim its legality as a viable alternative to the failed Hariri government. As part of this Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah master plan, President Assad Sunday, Oct. 3 released a list, referred to the former Lebanese head of internal security Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, of 33 international and Lebanese individuals against whom the Syrian prosecutor general had issued arrest warrants on charges of false testimony and perjury in the UN probe of the Hariri murder. Debkafile reports that this defiance of an internationally recognized UN court is unprecedented and tantamount to a declaration of war on Lebanon. Sources in Damascus said the list would be handed to Interpol for the execution of international warrants. Lebanese police chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi said the next day that Interpol would not execute the 33 warrants, because they were politically motivated. On that list are the first UN investigating prosecutor of the Hariri probe, Detlev Mehlis and his deputy, Gerhard Lehmann. Both turned up evidence of the complicity of high-ranking Syrian government and military officials' in the crime. Syria also wants the two Lebanese judges on the special tribunal arrested, together with most members of the Lebanese judiciary, the heads of Lebanese security and intelligence services, leaders of the anti-Assad opposition parties in Syria, especially the exiled former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam, and a string of Lebanese and Kuwaiti public figures and journalists who are opponents of the Syrian and Iranian regimes. This document was published in Damascus to scare Persian Gulf and Saudi rulers from coming to the aid of the Lebanese prime minister or interfering with its plans for bringing Hizballah to power in Beirut. To ward off the threat Hariri travelled to Riyadh and asked Saudi rulers for help, firstly, to block off the Iranian-Syrian conspiracy against his government and secondly, for money to buy arms for Lebanese Sunni and Christian militias to defend their fiefdoms against takeover by the Hizballah. Hariri is planning an emergency government session to discuss the crisis. At the same time, his energy minister Gebran Bassil, while visiting Tehran was told by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki: Stability and unity in Lebanon would foil the plots of enemies." The Lebanese minister understood this to mean that his government would enjoy stability if it united behind the master plan designed for Lebanon by Ahmadinejad and Assad. It was therefore taken as a threat rather than reassurance. "If the Zionist Regime [Israel] attacks Lebanon and Syria, all regional countries including Iran will stand behind Beirut and Damascus," Mottaki said on Monday. Israel has good reason to be deeply apprehensive of the civil war and violent carving up of Lebanon most likely to result from the Iranian-Syrian plan with serious upsets on the Lebanese-Israeli border, especially if the belligerent Hizballah decides to go for Iran's "enemies" too, namely, Israel. So far there is no sign of Israel taking any steps to prevent this happening.
Global Government Being Planned Now
Oct. 5….(WND) Do you still doubt that globalization is an agenda for global governance? If so, consult a new report just published by the US National Intelligence Council in conjunction with the European Union Institute for Securities Studies, titled "Global Governance 2025: Upon studying the 69-page document, Corsi noted the conclusion is inescapable that the US and EU intelligence apparatus is setting the stage for one-world government by 2025. The document presumes globalism is unstoppable, driven by free-trade economics, and that the United States has no choice but to compromise sovereignty to accommodate the demands of the globalism. Interdependence has been a feature of economic globalization for many years, but the rise of China, India, Brazil, and other fast-growing economies has taken economic interdependence to a new level," the document states. "The multiple links among climate change and resource issues; the economic crisis; and state fragility, 'hubs' of risks for the future, illustrate the interconnected nature of challenges on the international agenda today." "The words in bold in the above paragraph were printed in bold in the document, evidently so the reader did not lose sight of the point that we are all tied together in a common globe in which nation states are not to be taken as the primary unit of analysis," Corsi wrote. "So, in addition to free trade and a global economy, the US and EU intelligence apparatus sees virtually every other major public policy issue as a reason for global governance, not as an arena in which individual nation states bear the responsibility for solutions particular to their sovereign people." He noted that any crisis, for instance a starvation crisis in Africa, or a flu epidemic in Canada, would be taken as international catastrophe requiring a global governance solution.
World Leaders Ignore International Law
Oct. 5….(Myths and Facts) The US Administration, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia's decision to rewrite history by labeling the Territories 'Occupied Territories,' the Settlements as an 'Obstacle to Peace' and 'Not Legitimate,' thus endowing them with an aura of bogus statehood and a false history. The use of these dishonest loaded terms, empowers terrorism and incites Palestinian Arabs with the right to use all measures to expel Israel.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton became victims to the 'Occupation' mantra their own organization has repeated over and over in their propaganda campaign to legitimize the Arab position. Continuous pressure from the "Quartet" (US, the European Union, the UN and Russia) to surrender parts of the Land of Israel are contrary to international law as stated in the "Mandate for Palestine" document, that firmly call to "encourage close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes." It also requires "seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the government of any foreign power." Any attempt to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine, Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations is a serious infringement of international law.
International Law - The "Mandate for Palestine"
The "Mandate for Palestine" an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right under international law to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law. Fifty-one member countries, the entire League of Nations, unanimously declared on July 24, 1922: "Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine": "Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected."
Mitchell: Peace Still Within Reach
Oct. 4….(YNET) The direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are practically deadlocked, but Israel and the US are refusing to give up hope, maintaining cautious optimism as to the future of the peace talks instead. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday that despite the Palestinian announcement, "the door isn't closed, and efforts continue." Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alongside the US, are attempting to reach a formula that will keep the talks on track, while Jerusalem sources said some international pressure was already being felt. The pressure on Israel, they said, is likely to increase in the coming days, should the threat of a breakdown in talks loom over the coming Arab League summit. Special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, who arrived in Cairo on Saturday night, confirmed that both Israel and the Palestinians have asked the US to continue its efforts to overcome obstacles and further negotiations. "The two parties, Israelis and Palestinians have asked us to continue our discussions with them and with other governments on how best to achieve the objective of the negotiations," Mitchell told the media after meeting with Arab League Secretary General of Amr Moussa. "Peace in the region and a viable independent (Palestinian) state can be achieved, realistically, through direct negotiations between the parties," he added. Mitchell arrived in Cairo from Qatar where he met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr al-Khalifa, and briefed him on the current situation of the peace talks. Mitchell is set to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday, before heading to Jordan. Meanwhile, sources at the Palestinian Authority said Saturday that while the Americans will undoubtedly continue their efforts to formulate a solution that would prevent a deadlock in the peace talks, "We have made it clear that settlement construction like the one that went on prior to the freeze will not allow any resumption in talks." According to a senior Palestinian source, that US is trying to convince the PA that Netanyahu is seriously perusing a peace agreement, "But even so, we expect a series of gestures on his part, and first and foremost the halting settlement construction."
Ahmadinejad to Visit 'Iran's Border With Israel'
Oct. 4….(Jerusalem Post) Iranian President lays claim to Lebanon's southern border which he will visit during official tour; Lebanese official calls visit "a provocation." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to visit what he has reportedly called "Iran's border with Israel" during a trip to Lebanon later this month, referring to the Lebanese southern border. Ahmadinejad is due to spend two days holding meetings and traveling the country over the course of an official tour beginning October 13th. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP on Friday that Ahmadinejad's trip was "very worrying for anyone who is concerned about the stability of Lebanon and of the Middle East.” The Iranian president is set to meet with top Lebanese officials as well as Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah over the course of his two days in the country. According to AFP's report, some Lebanese parliamentary members have been angered by Ahmadinejad's impending visit. “His visit to the south would be a provocation, he doesn’t need to go there,” Fares Souaid, coordinator of the “March 14” alliance, said. He added that the Iranian president would be implying that Lebanon was under Iranian influence. Last week, London-based paper Al-Quds al Arabi reported that Ahmadinejad plans to throw a rock at Israel to demonstrate his hatred on his planned trip to Lebanon. One event the Iranian president is currently slated to attend is the inauguration of a garden in southern Lebanon, during which Ahmadinejad plans to throw the rock, according to Al-Quds. Hizbullah operatives are reportedly providing security for the Iranian president on his trip to Lebanon.
Russian Nuke Experts Flee Iran, Suspected of Cyber Worm Warfare
Oct. 4….(DEBKA) Debkafile's intelligence sources report from Iran that dozens of Russian nuclear engineers, technicians and contractors are hurriedly departing Iran for home since local intelligence authorities began rounding up their compatriots as suspects of planting the Stuxnet malworm into their nuclear program. Among them are the Russian personnel who built Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr which Tehran admits has been damaged by the virus. One of the Russian nuclear staffers, questioned in Moscow Sunday, Oct. 3 by Western sources, confirmed that many of his Russian colleagues had decided to leave with their families after team members were detained for questioning at the beginning of last week. He refused to give his name because he and his colleagues intend to return to Iran if the trouble blows over and the detainees are quickly released after questioning. According to our sources, these detentions were the source of the announcement Saturday, Oct. 2, by Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi that several "nuclear spies" had been captured. "The enemy had sent electronic worms through the internet to undermine Iran's nuclear activities," he said. This was the first high-level Iranian admission that the Stuxnet virus had been planted by foreign elements to sabotage their entire nuclear program - and not just the Bushehr reactor. The comprehensive scale of the damage is attested to by the detention of Russian nuclear experts also at Natanz, Isfahan and Tehran. Moslehi added: "We are always facing destructive activities by these espionage services and of course we have arrested a number of nuclear spies to block the enemy's destructive moves. This statement is expected to prompt a second wave of Russian nuclear specialists to flee Iran. The prime aim of their interrogation is to find out if Russian intelligence knowingly planted the destructive worm in Iran's nuclear facilities, possibly for under-the-counter pay, or were the unwitting carriers of equipment on order by Iran that had been previously infected. Debkafile's Western sources report that the hundreds of Russian scientists, engineers and technicians employed in Iran were responsible for installing the Siemens control systems in Iran's nuclear complex and other facilities which proved most vulnerable to the cyber attack. They were the only foreigners with access to these heavily guarded plants. At Bushehr, for instance, the Russian personnel enjoyed full access to all its systems.
Iran Gives Evidence of al-Qaida Links
(Allows top-level terror operative to return to Afghanistan)
Oct. 4….(WND) Iran has released back to Afghanistan a one-time spokesman for Osama bin Laden, providing further evidence that the Islamic republic is linked directly with al-Qaida, the terrorist entity that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. Iran released Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a Kuwait preacher who was the spokesman for bin Laden. He made a name for himself following 9/11 proclaiming that the "actions by these young men who destroyed the United States and launched the storm of planes against it have done a good deed." Ghaith has been in Iran since 2002. He, along with other members of al-Qaida, had moved to Iran following the US attack on Afghanistan following the 9/11 attack. Supposedly under "house arrest," security analysts said Ghaith was more of a guest. "House arrest is a convenient cover for high-level meetings," a US security expert said. Some defense analysts believe that bin Laden may have been one of those who escaped to Iran following the December 2001 US attack on Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Since 2002, the US Defense Intelligence Agency has acquired information to strongly point to al-Qaida training camps in east Iran, which forms part of west Baluchistan along with western Pakistan. US defense officials have indicated that US Special Forces troops have been, and may continue to be, in that region looking for al-Qaida in Iran. In April 2002, high-level policymakers in the US Department of Defense also were made aware of the high prospect of an al-Qaida presence in eastern Iran, including that of Osama bin Laden himself. The fact that he cannot be located strongly suggests he may not be in Afghanistan or even in Pakistan.