WEEK OF DECEMBER 26 THROUGH JANUARY 1
Pakistan Makes Two Nuclear Weapons Available to Saudi Arabia
Dec. 31….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) With an eye on the nuclear arms race led by its neighbor Iran, Saudi Arabia has arranged to have available for its use two Pakistani nuclear bombs or guided missile warheads, Debkafile's military and intelligence sources reveal. They are most probably held in Pakistan's nuclear air base at Kamra in the northern district of Attock. Pakistan has already sent the desert kingdom its latest version of the Ghauri-II missile after extending its range to 2,300 kilometers. Those missiles are tucked away in silos built in the underground city of Al-Sulaiyil, south of the capital Riyadh. At least two giant Saudi transport planes sporting civilian colors and no insignia are parked permanently at Pakistan's Kamra base with air crews on standby. They will fly the nuclear weapons home upon receipt of a double coded signal from King Abdullah and the Director of General Intelligence Prince Muqrin bin Abdel Aziz. A single signal would not be enough. Our military sources have found only sketchy information about the procedures for transferring the weapons from Pakistani storage to the air transports. It is not clear whether Riyadh must inform Pakistan's army chiefs that it is ready to take possession of its nuclear property, or whether a series of preset codes will provide access to the air base's nuclear stores. The only detail known to our Gulf sources is that the Saudi bombs are lodged in separate heavily-guarded stores apart from the rest of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. This secret was partially blown by Riyadh itself. In recent weeks, Saudi officials close to their intelligence establishment have been going around security forums in the West and dropping word that the kingdom no longer needs to build its own nuclear arsenal because it has acquired a source of readymade arms to be available on demand. This broad hint was clearly put about under guidelines from the highest levels of the monarchy. Partial nuclear transparency was approved by Riyadh as part of a campaign to impress on the outside world that Saudi Arabia was in control of its affairs: The succession struggle had been brought under control; the Saudi regime had set its feet on a clearly defined political and military path; and the hawks of the royal house had gained the hand and were now setting the pace.
Israeli Population Stands at 7,695,000 at End of 2010
Dec. 30….(Ha Aretz) There are 7,695,000 people currently residing in Israel, according to a study by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, released to mark the end of the first decade of the third millennium. Of that number, 5,802,000 (75.4%) are Jewish, 1,573,000 (20.4%) are Arab and 320,000 (4.2%) are of other ethnicity. The statistics show that the population in Israel has grown by 143,000 (1.9%) in 2010, a similar growth rate to the rest of the decade. This year, Israel has absorbed some 16,000 immigrants, including some 6,000 who were born abroad to Israeli parents and moved to Israel for the first time. Another 4,000 people moved to Israel as part of a family reunification. Another 11,000 Israelis who have been living abroad for more than 12 months were deducted from the total population.
The Jewish Agency handles immigration to Israel. It said in a statement Tuesday that about 7,700 immigrants came from the former Soviet Union. About half that many came from North America. Others came from France, Ethiopia and elsewhere. Their average age was 29. The oldest was 99. Israel grants citizenship to any Jew who applies under the law of return. The law's intention was to welcome Jews facing persecution abroad, though Jews now immigrate for many different reasons. 2010 was the second year of increase after a long decline since immigration from the former Soviet Union peaked in the 1990s.
Palestinian Terrorism Begins in the Schools
Dec. 30….(Israel Today) Among most nations or people groups engaged in conflict, a small group of mostly male adults will take up arms while everyone else, especially children, are kept as safely behind friendly lines as possible. Not so with the Palestinian Arabs.
By now it is no secret that Palestinian Arab children are encouraged from the youngest ages to engage in acts of violence against Israeli Jews, and to see death in “battle” with the Jews as a glorious accomplishment to aim for. What perhaps is less known is that this encouragement toward violence, this indoctrination of death is for most young Palestinian Arabs first presented at their schools. A host on government-controlled Palestinian Authority TV acknowledged as much during a December 21 broadcast: “The teachers were the main agitators for the Intifada (terrorist uprising), for Palestinian nationalism and for awareness of Palestinian identity. Therefore it is our duty to honor them more.” These are the same schools and teachers funded by American and European financial aid (which comes from your taxes). The equivalent would be if your taxes were to be used to finance warlords in sub-Saharan Africa who indoctrinate, train and arm local children to participate in brutal campaigns against their neighbors. In the case of the Africans, such behavior is condemned. In the case of the Palestinians, it is ignored, and money is poured in to ensure the child abuse continues
How Same-sex Marriage Points to End Times
Dec. 29….(WND) What do May 17, 2004, and May 15, 2008, have in common? One judge and a redefinition of marriage against the will of the people. Both the Massachusetts Superior Court and the California Supreme Court by a one-judge margin redefined what marriage has always been in every culture and every religion for more than 5,000 years of recorded history. Why does this matter? As I wrote about in my book, "The Criminalization of Christianity," Jeffrey Satinover, who holds an MD from Princeton and doctorates from Yale, MIT and Harvard, was on my radio program one day and I asked him about where we are in history. He explained that according to the "Babylonian Talmud," the book of rabbis' interpretation of the scriptures 1,000 years before Christ, there was only one time in history that reflects where we are right now. There was only one time in history, according to these writings, where men were given in marriage to men, and women given in marriage to women. Want to venture a guess as to when? No, it wasn't in Sodom and Gomorrah, although that was my guess. Homosexuality was rampant there, of course, but according to the Talmud, not homosexual "marriage." What about ancient Greece? Rome? No. Babylon? No again. The one time in history when homosexual "marriage" was practiced was during the days of Noah. And according to Satinover, that's what the "Babylonian Talmud" attributes as the final straw that led to the Flood. On my Faith2Action radio program on Thursday, Rabbi Aryeh Spero verified this to be true. Rabbi Spero spoke of God's compassion before the Flood, in hopes people would repent and turn back to His ways. He showed patience for hundreds of years. But, he said, the Talmud's writings reveal that "before the Flood people started to write marriage contracts between men, in other words, homosexual 'marriage,' which is more than homosexual activity, it's giving an official state stamp of approval, a sanctification of homosexual partnership." In fact, he said, "the writings indicated that it wasn't even so much the 'straw that broke the camel's back,' but that the sin in and of itself is so contrary to why God created the world, so contrary to the order of God's nature, that God said then and there 'I have to start all over to annihilate the world and start from the beginning." Rabbi Spero went on to say, "Even in ancient Greece they did not write marriage contracts between men. There was homosexuality, and it was wrong, but there was not an official 'blessed' policy. Marriage is 'sanctification' (not simply a partnership)." He said to confer the title of sanctification and holiness upon this behavior is "probably one of the greatest sins of all that one does against God's plan for this world." The one time it happened was: "During the days of Noah." When I first heard this, my mind immediately went to a verse I've heard many times but never with such relevance. The verse is found in Matthew 24:37. It reads: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Mathew 24:37 (NIV)
I used to read this verse and think: It was bad at lots of points in history; it doesn't necessarily mean now, but if these Jewish writings are true, we are uniquely like the "days of Noah" right now, and only right now. But it can't be yet, you say. You have a lot going on in your life? You're getting married? Here's how the New Living Translation describes that very sentiment in Luke:
When the Son of Man returns, the world will be like the people were in Noah's day. In those days before the Flood, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat, and the flood came to destroy them all. (Luke 17:26-27)
Happily going about as if everything was fine was what they did, too. You don't like this possibility? Don't even believe in the Flood? Doesn't matter. Some things are true whether you believe them or not. How can you be sure? There's a way. Did you know that about one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy? A quarter of the Bible is a lot, it's a big book. And did you know God's standard? Perfection. That means that if even one of those prophecies is wrong, you can discount the whole thing. Kind of like a prophet who makes a false prediction, that made him a false prophet and a candidate for stoning. Did you know that 4,000 prophecies in that Bible have already come true down to the last detail? That leaves about 1,000 left to be fulfilled, those are the ones regarding the last days before the return of Christ, which are being checked off the list right now. If 4,000 out of 5,000 prophecies have already occurred exactly as the Bible predicted they would, you might want to pay attention to the rest.
If Christians Were Treated Like Muslims
Dec. 28….(Gary Bauer) Few Americans would deny that Judeo-Christian beliefs and values informed the Founding of this country and that they continue to shape much of American life today. Nor would many of us deny that Americans who embrace Islamic values are a distinct minority here. I raise these two facts because of an emerging reality: that, in a variety of contexts, American Muslims are treated better than American Christians. That might seem like a bizarre assertion, so think about it in another way: What if the Christians were treated like Muslims in America, and Muslims like Christians? If Muslims were treated like Christians in America, Muslims would have to tolerate the defamation of their holiest images in our national museums, acts which would be called "artwork," and, if particularly provocative, even given taxpayer-funded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. They would also have to accept Korans being burned and thrown into toilets, which instead of inciting worldwide outrage and retribution would provoke a collective shrug of the shoulders. If Muslims were treated like Christians, Muslims would be mocked by late night TV talk show hosts and lampooned in crude cartoon parodies. If Christians were treated like Muslims, conspicuous Christianity would be celebrated by our elites as a sign of our diversity and open-mindedness, not disparaged as an embarrassment, a nuisance and a breach of the law. If Christianity were treated like Islam, our students would be taught a white-washed version of Christian history, with the troubling bits miscast or omitted from textbooks and lesson plans. If Christianity were treated like Islam, if an evangelical Christian committed an evil act in the name of his faith, he would be portrayed in the media as a deviation from, not a personification of, the Gospel message. Meanwhile, our political and media elites would hasten to assure the public that evangelical Christianity is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of evangelical Christians do not support terrorism.
If Christianity were treated like Islam in America, our president, a professed Christian, would proudly attend Christian-themed dinners and events while skipping Ramadan dinners, not vice versa. And Muslim politicians would go out of their way to assure people that their faith would not affect their policy-making. If Christianity were treated like Islam, Christmas and Easter would be publicly celebrated for what they are, the signature events of Christianity, marking the birth and the death and Resurrection of Christ, not stripped of all their theological meaning and transformed into secular holidays devoted to crass consumerism. If Christians were treated like Muslims, NASA would be tasked with reaching out to Christians and recognizing their faith's profound achievements and contributions to science, math and engineering, instead of being told to make Muslims feel good about their rather meager scientific accomplishments. If Christians were treated like Muslims, the Catholic Church's stances on sex, contraception and human life would be revered as welcome departures from our over-sexed, self-obsessed culture, not condemned as a cause of disease and death in the less-developed world. And if Muslims were treated like Christians, the application of Sharia law around the world would be met not with stony silence but with the outrage it deserves. If Christians were treated like Muslims in America, amusement parks would celebrate "Christian Family Day," (Six Flags recently celebrated "Muslim Family Day"), and Christians would be asked to embrace, not set aside, their religious convictions at the door when they entered the public square. Meanwhile, Muslim imams, not Christian pastors, would fear hate crimes lawsuits for preaching orthodox views of sexuality and sin. The notion that American Muslims face discrimination, even to the point of violence, is often posited by America's elites. But that idea evaporates under scrutiny. Remarkably few hate crimes are reported against Muslims. What's more, Muslim immigration to America has risen sharply since September 11, 2001, and Muslims thrive, economically and educationally, once they arrive. In fact, it is Christians, not Muslims, who increasingly encounter cultural elites who are hostile to their beliefs and values. Sadly, Christians will never be treated like Muslims by America's elites. Why? Because Christianity can be attacked without fear of retribution. The Christian response to insult and attack, "to turn the other cheek," contradicts the knee-jerk call to violence of many Islamists. It's also because left-wing elites and radical Islamists are united in the common cause of upending the Judeo-Christian culture and roots of American society. I’m not in favor of burning the Koran, and I don’t think insulting or defaming symbols of any religion constitutes art. At a time of the year when intolerance for public displays of Christianity is most acute, it is my Christmas wish that Muslims and Christians would be treated equally.
Whole World Anxious To Recognize Palestinian State
Dec. 28….(Israel Today) Israel was shocked to learn on Monday that Britain is seriously considering upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority delegation in London to that of an official diplomatic mission, putting it basically on par with the delegations of sovereign states. The news, which was first reported by Israel’s Ynet news portal, was especially surprising considering that Britain’s current conservative government is viewed as generally pro-Israel. Britain is not the first European country to recognize Palestinian delegations as diplomatic missions. France, Spain and Portugal have all already done so. Israel fears that the next step for the Europeans is to officially recognize “Palestine” as an independent state outside the framework of an Israeli-Palestinian final status peace agreement. Most of South America has already gone so far as to officially recognize “Palestine.” The Palestinian Authority is playing off this worrying trend and is threatening to seek official UN recognition for a unilateral declaration of independence if Israel does not meet all its demands. If European Union powerhouses like Britain and France recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are likely to have all the backing they need in the UN, forcing the hands of both Israel and the US, which is currently still opposed to the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian state. The situation has reached this point because the Palestinians have managed to successfully reverse reality and paint Israel as a non-compliant peace partner. With the international community so anxious to conclude a final status peace deal (even if it doesn’t lead to genuine peace), it is ready to give the Palestinians what they want, with or without Israel.
Muslims: Jesus was 1st 'Palestinian Martyr'
(Yasser Arafat seen as figure who followed in Christ's footsteps)
Dec. 27….(WND) Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr while the Virgin Mary was a Palestinian "par excellence," according to Palestinian Authority television. The television network, run by PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, also implied the late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat followed in the footsteps of Jesus. "The shahid (martyr) President Yasser Arafat used to say: 'Jesus was the first Palestinian shahid.' I heard him say that sentence many times," stated Samih Ghanadreh, an author who was being interviewed on Fatah television earlier this month. Jesus "was a Palestinian; no one denies that," replied the Fatah host. Jesus "was the first Palestinian shahid. [Arafat] attributed this martyrdom to Palestine, as well," stated Ghanadreh. The word shahid, or martyr, is routinely used to describe suicide bombers or those who die while carrying out jihad. A report by Palestinian Media Watch, which translated the Fatah program, stated, "One of the ways the Palestinian Authority attempts to create a Palestinian history is to deny the Judean/Jewish nationality of Jesus and misrepresent him as a 'Palestinian.'" The organization documented other recent instances in which Jesus and Mary were described as Palestinian by Fatah television. Also, earlier this year the Fatah Communications and Education Authority issued a statement on the official Fatah website claiming Mary was "of the nation of Palestine." "If we are proud of the holiness of our land, then we are proud and pride ourselves that the first and most important holy woman among the nations and peoples is from the holy land: The Virgin Mary – the woman of love and peace – is of the nation of Palestine." Last May, in a televised speech, PA religious leader Muhammad Hussein declared, "Jesus was born in this land; he took his first steps in this land and spread his teachings (of Islam) in this land. He and his mother, we may say, were Palestinians par excellence." Fatah officials routinely claim Jesus was a prophet for Islam. In a previous WND exclusive interview, Taysir Tamimi, chief Palestinian Justice and one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Israel, argued the Jewish Temples never existed, the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad's horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 19 THROUGH DECEMBER 25
(For God so loved the world…..)
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord
himself shall give you a sign;
Luke 1:30-33 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Most Evangelicals Believe Good People are Heaven-Bound
Dec. 23….(Christian Post) The vast majority of Protestants and evangelicals believe that good people and people of other religions can go to heaven, according to author David Campbell. Campbell, who co-wrote American Grace, How Religion Divides and Unites Us, contends that surveys of 3,000 Americans, used to write the book, show that American people of faith, though devout, are very tolerant. So much so that most believers also believe that good people, despite their religious affiliation, can go to heaven. Among the faiths, 83 percent of evangelical Protestants agreed that good people of other religions can go to heaven. Ninety percent of black Protestants also believe good people can go to heaven. When prodded further, more than half, 54 percent, of evangelical Protestants said yes, people of religions other than Christianity can go to heaven. Sixty-two percent of black Protestants agreed with the statement.
Notably, the author mentioned that there may be some in the evangelical category that don't belong. Campbell, an expert of religion, politics and public policy, explained at a Thursday discussion of his book that the numbers can be explained with the “Aunt Susan” theory. Aunt Susan, he said, is the nice family member who is well-loved and is an all around do-gooder. “You know that if anyone is destined to go to heaven, it’s Aunt Susan,” described Campbell. However, Aunt Susan is of another religion. Rather than condemn that person to a lost eternity, Campbell said, most American believers choose instead to believe that that person is heaven-bound. He also shared that knowing an Aunt Susan opens believers up to other faiths. “You become warmer not only to people of that group, but to people of other groups,” Campbell contended. Simply put, interlocking social networks allows believers to accept tenants of other faiths. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, works with leaders of many faiths on issues such as stopping pornography, abortion and religious persecution. “That doesn’t mean that I’m going to abandon the New Testament teaching,” he stated. Those who do so to accommodate other beliefs “aren’t very good evangelicals,” in his view. Land lamented that more evangelicals are being taught the doctrine of universalism. “It’s emphasized from the pulpit; it’s emphasized in the seminaries,” he decried.
Universalism is the theological doctrine that all people will eventually be saved despite a relationship with Christ. He said this is especially true of youths because the messages from the pulpit have changed. “I think the doctrine ‘In Christ alone’ was emphasized more 25 years ago than it is today so young people are hearing about it a lot less,” he revealed. While Land said it is possible for Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and even Catholics to follow the tenants of their faiths and have salvation in Jesus Christ, he stated that the same is not true for Buddhists, Muslims and Mormons. “It is impossible to believe what Mormons believe and be a Christian. It is impossible to believe what Muslims believe and be a Christian,” he said. Likewise, he acknowledged that there may be unsaved believers among Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Catholics. Salvation, the biblical requirement for heaven, is an individual and personal choice, he told The Christian Post. Land said he quotes the Bible’s New Testament which states that there is one mediator between God and men and that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life to all those who ask about heaven. If missionary work and evangelism is to continue on into the future, other Protestants must do the same, he asserted. “If the price of respecting your faith is to deny mine, then that price is too high,” declared Land.
FOJ Note: Universalism is a doctrine of demons. Jesus point-of-emphasis stated that he was “the door” for entry into Heaven. He further stated that there was no other name, path, religion, door, or record that could warrant any individual the reward of eternal life, except through his own sacrifice on the Cross as the Lamb of God. (John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) (Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.)
The promulgation of any other teaching is a teaching that promotes the spirit of the Antichrist in these days. (I John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.)
Is it any wonder that Christmas should be under a sinister cultural attack across America today? It is part and parcel of the broad demonic assault on the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. If the blood of Christ should be considered to be unnecessary for salvation, then what would be the big deal about his birth? In these Last Days Satan is seeking the destruction of Israel and True Christianity. In his conspiratorial designs to be worshipped “as God” during the Tribulation era, he is today working to unite all religions under a broad umbrella of tolerance and universality!
Therefore let every Christian proudly proclaim Merry Christmas!
Army Chaplain Warns About Repeal of DADT
Dec. 22….(Culture) Now that the Senate has voted to repeal the 17-year-old ban against homosexuals serving openly in the US military, a number of groups have issued warnings over the consequences of Saturday's decision. Eight Republican senators joined with Democrats on Saturday to put an end to forcing homosexuals in the military to keep their sexual preference to themselves, a policy which became known as "don't ask don't tell." (Final roll call vote: 65-31) A former Army chaplain who now recruits military chaplains says by repealing the ban, Congress has redefined morality, with uncertain consequences. Retired Brig. Gen. Doug Lee tells The Associated Press that chaplains from the churches he represents could be forced to choose between their career and their calling to teach and counsel what the Bible says about homosexuality. Lee notes that the Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." President Barack Obama is expected to sign the repeal into law this week, although changes to military policy probably won't take effect for several months. Under the bill, the president and his top military advisers must first certify that lifting the ban won't hurt military cohesion, recruitment or retention. Repeal would mean that, for the first time in US history, homosexual men and women would be openly accepted by the armed forces and could acknowledge their sexual orientation without fear of being kicked out. Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness says history will note that the outgoing 111th Congress acted with needless haste allowing no time for substantive hearings to examine findings and controversial recommendations in the Pentagon's Comprehensive Review Working Group Report. Homosexuals in Military (compliments of CMR)She says liberals in Congress knew that the report could not withstand informed scrutiny, so "Senator Susan Collins [R-Maine] persuaded others to join her in breaking their word on legislative priorities, a betrayal that belied previous statements calling for full and open debate." In a statement released on Sunday, Donnelly outlined several issues in the Pentagon's Working Group report which now must be dealt with:
• A mandate to “prohibit the creation of separate bathroom and shower facilities based on sexual orientation”. Such a policy, tantamount to forced cohabitation of men with military women, would disregard normal dynamics of human sexuality. Local commanders dealing with unprecedented problems would be, essentially, on their own.
• Mandatory “three-tiered” education program, focusing on resistant combat troops, to change attitudes and opinions on LGBT issues. The plan does not suggest ways to get personnel accustomed to routine personal exposure to others who may be sexually attracted to them, in conditions of “forced intimacy” offering little or no privacy.
• Punishments for “resistance, zero tolerance of anyone who disagrees for any reason, including “moral or religious beliefs”. Senate testimony confirmed that an undetermined number of chaplains having moral conflicts with LGBT policies would be lost to the service. The report concedes that on the issue of religious freedom for chaplains, “boundaries are not always clearly defined”. Litigation is guaranteed, but Congress has surrendered decision-making power to unelected bureaucrats or federal courts.
• Repeal of certain personal conduct provisions in the UCMJ, eliminating or lowering some standards to accommodate consensual homosexual conduct. Congress has just voted to repeal statutory findings that rules of conduct apply both on- and off-base.
• Unresolved issues involving marital status, including disparities in benefits and access to family medical care in states that do not recognize same-sex "marriages," plus access to military family housing for opposite, and same-sex unmarried couples. Again, the courts will likely decide, at the behest of administration who will cite LGBT Law in the military to accomplish repeal of the DOMA.
• Unresolved questions about morale and costs related to the retention of HIV+ personnel, who must be retained in non-deployable status under current regulations.
Meanwhile, the conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund, issued a statement after the vote saying" "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members." ADF itigation counsel Daniel Blomberg went on to say "no Americans, and especially not our troops, should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs." ADF says it stands ready to defend Service members if they are ever unconstitutionally required to choose between "serving their country or obeying their God as a result of this damaging policy decision."
Brazil: There Won't be Mideast Peace as Long as US is 'Guardian'
Dec. 22….(Ha Aretz) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday demanded the end of what he called US "guardianship" of the Middle East. "There will not be peace in the Middle East as long as the United States is the guardian of peace. It is necessary to involve other countries in negotiations (between Israel and the Palestinians)," he said. Brazil has long volunteered to play such a role. Earlier this month it recognized Palestine as a sovereign, independent state within its borders prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. Lula also slammed economic sanctions imposed on Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear program, and emphasized that they could have been avoided if the United States had accepted a deal brokered with Iran by Brazil and Turkey. Iran says its uranium-enrichment program is purely meant for energy generation, but much of the West fears it is designed to build a nuclear bomb. The United Nations Security Council has hit Iran with several rounds of sanctions over the issue. Turkey and Brazil have not only supported Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear projects, but also were the only two countries that voted against the latest Security Council resolution on Iranian sanctions. Lula recalled that before he travelled to Iran in May he got a letter from President Barack Obama with US "conditions" so that Tehran could avoid sanctions. Lula said these conditions were accepted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, so sanctions were not in order."The conditions that Ahmadinejad accepted were exactly the same as those proposed by Obama. In spite of that, countries on the UN Security Council decided to punish Iran. It was necessary to punish Iran because Brazil and Turkey got into ground that was not apt for emerging countries but was only reserved for the Security Council," Lula said. Still, he was sure Brazil had acted appropriately. "Brazil does not have to ask permission to do what it thinks must be done," he said.
Generals, Diplomats Warn About New START Treaty
Dec. 22….(Newsmax) The proposed New START agreement would handcuff the United States while giving the Russians free rein, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely tells Newsmax.TV. The Senate should reject the treaty because, “In reality, the Russians don’t have to do anything,” Vallely said in the exclusive interview. “We’re the only ones that would be limited and cut back,” said Vallely, a Vietnam veteran who retired from the Army in 1993 as deputy commanding general in the Pacific Command. “We have to realize that Russia really is not our friend. The more we are lessening our power in the United States, the more power the likes of Russian and China begin to rise,” he said. Vallely was among more than 30 former defense officials and diplomats who issued an open letter to the Senate Monday expressing their “professional judgment” that New START, “is not consistent with the national security interests of the United States,” and “should be rejected by the US Senate,” which is considering it now. Russia easily could cheat secretly to our detriment, they maintain, and it would restrict deployment of new US anti-missile defenses. They also believe that Russia would reduce the survivability and flexibility of our strategic forces, which could be militarily destabilizing. The letter was issued as Democrats, confident they had enough Republican votes to ratify the treaty, moved to cut off debate on New START Tuesday. In discussing START provisions that would limit the deployment of a US missile shield in Europe, Vallely said it is “important for Europe to really start looking out for itself and to figure out how they are going to defend from incoming missiles from the likes of a rogue nation like Iran. The other nations of Europe have to stand tall.”
Speaking of Iran, Vallely said attack plans are drawn up targeting sites there and in southern Lebanon in case it becomes necessary to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “The plans have been developed for all the targets in Iran, as well as in southern Lebanon, because the Israelis cannot strike Iran today without striking the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in southern Lebanon that has thousand s of rockets and missiles aimed at Israel,” said Vallely, who is a senior military analyst for Fox News. “Someone has got to take the step because Iran is on a rampage,” Vallely said, adding that appeasement and negotiations with rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea don’t’ work.
The Big Lie: ‘1967 Borders’ is a Fallacy
Dec. 22….(Arutz) The term “1967 borders,” the Arab world’s mantra for the borders of a PA state, never existed, says former Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker in a research paper for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Ever since neighboring Arab countries attacked Israel in 1948 as it became an independent country for the first time in 2,000 years, there were no borders, only temporary military lines defined by the 1949 “Armistice Lines” that ended, at least formally, the War for Independence. However, the Arab world has repeated the term “1967 borders” so much that it has been adopted as fact by mainstream media and most international leaders. The term refers to the 1949 ceasefire line from which Israel military forces advanced at the beginning of the Six-Day War on June 4, 1967 and should be called "pre-1967 War Armistice Lines" or "1949 Armistice Lines." Even Brazil, which recently decided to “recognize” the Palestinian Authority based on the supposed 1967 borders, stated during a United Nation debate on Resolution 242 in 1967 calling for negotiations for boundaries, “Its acceptance does not imply that borderlines cannot be rectified as a result of an agreement freely concluded among the interested States. We keep constantly in mind that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East has necessarily to be based on secure permanent boundaries freely agreed upon and negotiated by the neighboring States." Baker noted that Jordan, which also has adopted the fallacy of “1967 borders,” said in the same debate, "There is an Armistice Agreement. The Agreement did not fix boundaries; it fixed a demarcation line. The Agreement did not pass judgment on rights political, military or otherwise. Thus I know of no territory; I know of no boundary; I know of a situation frozen by an Armistice Agreement." Although the “1967 borders” denote lines of separation, they have no basis in history, law, or fact,” Baker explained. “The 1949 armistice agreements specifically stated that such lines have no political or legal significance and do not prejudice future negotiations on boundaries,” he continued. “There are no provisions in any of the agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians that require withdrawal to the ‘1967 borders.’ There were never any geographic imperatives that sanctify the 1967 lines." The "Armistice Lines” of 1949 were determined in agreements signed by Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. They were not borders, Baker pointed out. “The armistice demarcation line represented nothing more than the forward lines of deployment of the forces on the day a cease-fire was declared. The line was demarcated on the map attached to the armistice agreement with a green marker pen and hence received the name ‘Green Line.’ “The Security Council in its resolution stressed the temporary nature of the armistice lines that were to be maintained ‘during the transition to permanent peace in Palestine.'" The Armistice Agreement stated, “The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move. The provisions of this article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement. "The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." Baker quoted Judge Steven Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice, who stated in 1994, "The armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them." The current Arab campaign for recognizing the Palestinian Authority according to the supposed “1967 borders” ironically is often based on the oft-quoted UN Resolution 242. This is the resolution which Baker noted emphasizes in its very first paragraph the “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." The Palestinian Authority has accepted in previous agreements the concept that borders will be negotiated, but the Arab world’s “diplomatic war of attrition” has virtually erased this perception in the media and in the international community. A 1993 agreement signed by Arafat states that there are, "remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest." The PA in the past several months has called for “negotiations” but in reality has demanded that Israel accept the so-called “1967 borders” without negotiation, lines which Baker’s research paper shows havs no legal or historical foundation as borders.
Report Ready on Israeli Sovereignty on the Temple Mount
Dec. 21….(Arutz) State Comptroller Michal Lindenstrauss has prepared a report on Israel’s approach to Waqf excavations on the Temple Mount and on Israeli sovereignty there in general. Only a small portion will be made public, at a date of the Comptroller's choosing. A subcommittee of the Knesset Control Committee, named the Audit Committee of the Security Establishment re: Foreign Affairs, has reviewed the report and determined which sections can be published. Subcommittee chairman MK Otniel Shneller (Kadima), a religious Jew who lives in Samaria, discussed the issue on Arutz Sheva’s newsmagazine. The facts are straightforward, Shneller said: “As of a few months ago, the Islamic Waqf [the religious Islamic body that oversees the Temple Mount – ed.] conducted a dig at the Solomon’s Stables area of the Temple Mount, in the south-eastern part of the Mount. It removed truckloads of dirt in order to build a large mosque there, causing mortal harm to historic remnants of the Jewish People. This mosque now functions today.” The Temple Mount, the location of the two Holy Temples, is Judaism's holiest site, and is considered Islam's third-holiest site.
Situation Has Totally Changed for the Better
“A week ago,” Shneller said, “our committee approved a very few parts of the report for publication. It is a very sensitive issue, so I will just review here what will be made public: A report on the large digs at Solomon’s Stables, and maintenance work under the Al-Aqsa mosque, and the like. The report mainly deals with how we, Israel, actualize our sovereignty on the Temple Mount. It notes the problems, what can be done, and what has been done. And the conclusion is as follows: Many improvements have been made over the past few months, and everything is now done there in full coordination with the police, the Israel Israel Antiquities Authority, the Attorney-General’s office, the relevant ministerial committee, and the Jerusalem municipality. The situation has totally changed.” Arutz Sheva’s Shimon Cohen said, “What you’re saying is that the public will never learn what all the problems were, but we should rest assured that everything is now OK.” Shneller did not deny this, but said, “The issue is tremendously sensitive. Other countries such as Jordan and Morocco are also involved; we want to make sure that we don’t lose our hold on the Temple Mount. We don’t want to make grand declarations and then lose on the ground.” Cohen said, “For instance, the new mosque at Solomon’s Stables- what about the very fact that there is another mosque on the Temple Mount, and Muslims come to pray there regularly in massive numbers? Is that something that should be allowed to continue?” Shneller responded, “The report does not deal with prayer arrangements on the Temple Mount. I can just say that there are currently no digs taking place at all there, but rather only very defined and approved maintenance works.”
Iranian Christians Arrested During Home Bible Study Meeting
Dec. 21….(Christians Today) Ten members of an Iranian home fellowship who had gathered together to worship and study the Word of God were arrested by security officers who entered the house, seizing every member of the church. According to reports from Mohabat news, an Iranian Christian news agency, security officers of the city of Varamin - Pakdasht, entered the meeting as it was being held in a home on November 17, arresting all the worshippers there. As stated in the report, security officers entered the residence of Mohammad Mohammadi and arrested every local Christian worshipping and studying the Bible as a group. Based on this report, those arrested included Mr Mohammadi, his wife and children, and some Christian friends who were also present. Mohabat News says that after entering the home, the security officers started searching every room. They confiscated and took away a few Bibles, Christian literature, and a personal computer belonging to Mohammadi. The security officers first took all the arrested who were Persian-speaking Christians to the intelligence office in Pakdasht, where they were "interrogated severely" for several hours. Next, they were transferred to the local justice ministry, where they spent the next few days with no decision being made on their status. The news service says that two of these believers were named as Mohammad Mohammadi, aged 32, and Ali Keshavarz aged 27, who were arrested and sent to Khorin prison. Mr Mohammadi's wife, together with her 7-year-old son, after the guarantee of her mother, was immediately set free. The other six were released after several days incarceration. The news service went on to say the fate of Mohammad Mohammadi and Ali Keshavarz, with no identified accusation being made against them, is still unknown and they are believed to still be held at Khorin. They are also prohibited to leave the country and are not allowed to contact their family by telephone. Families of the arrested have been warned of dire consequences should news of their arrest leak out, and they are being actively discouraged from contacting international news agencies.
Congress Overturns Military Ban of Gays Serving Openly
Dec. 20….(Fox News) In a landmark vote, the Senate on Saturday ended the Clinton-era ban on gays serving openly in the military, marking a major triumph for President Obama, liberals and the gay community. The final vote to end the Pentagon's 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy was 65-31, drawing support from eight Republicans. The bill now goes to the White House for Obama's signature. He is expected to sign the bill into law next week, a senior White House aide told Fox News. "It is time to close this chapter in our history," Obama said in a statement after a test vote cleared the way for final action. "It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed." Once the law is repealed, gays will be openly accepted by the military for the first time in US history, and can acknowledge their sexual orientation without fear of being kicked out. More than 13,500 service members have been dismissed under the 1993 law. After two failed attempts this year to repeal the policy, the third time proved to be the charm for Congress. The bill passed the House this week in a 250-175 vote, and cleared a final Senate hurdle earlier Saturday in a 63-33 vote, clearing the way for final passage.
Supporters of repealing the ban applauded the repeal. "Today's vote is the critical strike against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and toward creating a path that could end in lesbian, gay and bisexual people being able to serve openly, honestly, and to great benefit of our country," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We celebrate this important victory and thank all the senators who supported fairness today. We are on the brink of making history." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote "closes the door on a fundamental unfairness in our nation." "When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will begin opening the doors of our armed forces to all patriotic Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation," she said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he welcomed repeal of the policy and added that the Pentagon "will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully." Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was pleased to see Congress repeal the policy. "More critically, it is the right thing to do," he said. "No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so. We will be a better military as a result." Secretary Hillary Clinton, who was first lady when "don't ask, don't tell" was first enacted, issued a statement cheering its repeal. "This is historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values," she said. "As the president and I have repeatedly said, we are committed to universal standards abroad and here at home. Our progress on equality here strengthens our advocacy for human dignity everywhere." The passage delivers a resounding victory to Obama, who made repeal of the 17-year-old law a campaign promise in 2008. It also is a win for congressional Democrats who have struggled in the final hours of the lame-duck session to overcome Republican objections, and for gay rights groups who said Saturday's vote was their best shot at changing the law because a new GOP-dominated Congress will take control in January. Under the bill, the president and his top military advisers, the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are required to certify to Congress that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' ability to fight. After that, 60 days must pass before any changes go into effect. A small but vocal group of Republicans led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona said the law shouldn't be changed during wartime. "We send these young people into combat," said McCain. "We think they're mature enough to fight and die. I think they're mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness." But the Democratic push for repeal was strengthened by the release of a major Pentagon study that concluded gays could serve openly without affecting combat effectiveness. The assessment found that two-thirds of troops predicted little impact if the law is repealed.
Fewer Americans Hold to Creationist Views
(The percentage of Creationists is steadily declining from a 1999 high of 47 percent)
Dec. 20….(MSNBC) If you're in a room of 100 people, odds are likely about 40 think God created humans about 10,000 years ago, part of a philosophy called creationism, according to a Gallup poll reported Friday (Dec. 17). That number is slightly lower than in years past and down from a high of 47 percent in both 1993 and 1999. And 38 percent of Americans, the poll estimates, believe God guided the process that brought humans from "cavemen" to today's incarnation over millions of years, while 16 percent think humans evolved over millions of years, without any divine intervention. This secular view, while a relatively small number, is up from 9 percent in 1982, according to Gallup. Like most American attitudes, Gallup wrote, views on human origins have political consequences. For instance, debates and clashes over which explanations for human origins should be included in school textbooks have persisted for decades. And with 40 percent of Americans continuing to hold to an anti-evolutionary belief about the origin of humans, it is highly likely that these types of debates will continue, according to Gallup. Americans' views on human origins varied significantly by level of education and religion, the poll found. Those with less education were more likely to hold a creationist view that God created life thousands of years ago, while college graduates were more likely to hold one of the two viewpoints involving evolution. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Americans who attend church frequently were most likely to accept explanations for the origin of humans that involve God. Still, the creationist viewpoint, which was held by 60 percent of weekly churchgoers, wasn't universal even among the most highly religious group. Also, about a fourth of those who seldom or never attend church choose the creationist view. A significantly higher percentage of Republicans indicated a creationist view of human origins, which Gallup experts say reflects in part the strong relationship between religion and politics in contemporary America. Republicans are also significantly more likely to attend church weekly than are others. Democrats and Independents showed similar views on human origins:
* Republicans: 36 percent think humans evolved through a God-guided process; 8 percent say God had no part in the process; and 52 percent held the creationist view.
* Democrats: 40 percent agree with evolution through a God-guided process; 20 percent say God had no part in the process; and 34 percent held the creationist view.
* Independents: 39 percent agree with evolution through a God-guided process; 21 percent say God had no part in the process; and 34 percent held the creationist view.
Gallup officials wrote that it's not surprising some 80 percent of Americans hold a view of human origins that involves God, since most Americans believe in God and about 85 percent identify with a religion.
God Permits Temptation
Dec. 20….(Crosswalk) "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned From Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil" (Luke 4:1-2). Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost, and yet He was tempted. Temptation often comes upon a man with its strongest power when he is nearest to God. As someone has said, "The devil aims high." He got one apostle to say he did not even know Christ.
Very few men have such conflicts with the devil as Martin Luther had. Why? Because Martin Luther was going to shake the very kingdom of hell. Oh, what conflicts John Bunyan had! If a man has much of the Spirit of God, he will have great conflicts with the tempter. God permits temptation because it does for us what the storms do for the oaks, it roots us; and what the fire does for the paintings on the porcelain, it makes them permanent.
You never know that you have a grip on Christ, or that He has a grip on you, as well as when the devil is using all his force to attract you from Him; then you feel the pull of Christ's right hand.
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. God hath many sharp-cutting instruments, and rough files for the polishing of His jewels; and those He especially loves, and means to make the most resplendent, He hath oftenest His tools upon. --Archbishop Leighton
I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most. CH Spurgeon
WEEK OF DECEMBER 12 THROUGH DECEMBER 18
Israel Facing Arson Intifada
Dec. 17….(Israel Today) The massive wildfire that consumed much of the Carmel forest reserve earlier this month may have been started on accident, but the dozens of other fires that the authorities and media purposely kept quiet were part of what some are calling a new “arson uprising” against Israel. While nearly all of Israel’s firefighters were battling the Carmel blaze, no fewer than 25 fires were purposely set in forested areas ranging from the northern town of Kiryat Shemonah to Jerusalem. The “Peace Forest” outside Jerusalem was targeted by arsonists at least 18 times over the past month. Police officials told a reporter for Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper that the acts of arson were purposely kept quiet “so as not to prompt into action more potential terrorists.” There was great fear that Israeli Arab elements sympathetic to the “Palestinian cause” would take advantage of the Carmel fire to overwhelm the country’s security and rescue forces. The Ma’ariv reporter declared the situation “a true intifada (uprising)” and lamented that it had not been reported to the nation. He suggested that the true reason the media kept the Arab arson offensive quiet “is that the Israeli press treats the Arabs of Israel as if they were spoiled children. They can inflict pain, hurl rocks and torch property, but no matter what, press rooms will still act as if insulting the Arabs is not politically correct.” Fortunately, the heavy rain from last week and the rainfall expected this coming weekend will make arson a no-go for the time being. But this is a problem Israel will continue to face for the foreseeable future.
The Coming Islamic Tsunami
Dec. 17….(In The Days) Is an Islamic tidal wave coming? “There is a plan to take over Western civilization,” warns David Rubin, “and we need to recognize it for what it is.” Mr. Rubin is a native New Yorker who served as mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh. He spoke to The Washington Times about his new book, “The Islamic Tsunami: Israel and America in the Age of Obama.” According to Mr. Rubin, the first wave of the tsunami is Islamic terrorism, which he says is “a strategy intended to intimidate people so they won’t speak out when the second wave hits.” Rubin has firsthand experience with terrorist violence; he and his 3-year-old son, “Ruby” Rubin, were wounded in a Dec. 18, 2001, terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Afterward, he established the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund dedicated to helping relieve the trauma suffered by child victims of terrorism. The second and more threatening wave is the creeping takeover of Western political and social institutions, something Rubin calls the “silent tsunami.” The spearhead of this movement is “collusion between Islamic ideologues and the far left to promote the idea of moral relativism,” he said, “that all values and ideologies are equal. But they are not. Americans have never believed this.” One dangerous manifestation of this viewpoint is the fashionable intellectual movement to infiltrate Shariah law interpretations into American jurisprudence, something for which there is no need and no precedent and which is antithetical to American norms and traditions. The notion of creating a “Shariah compliant” US Constitution is really a way of ending the American ideal. Confronting the growing threat to Western civilization first involves admitting the problem exists, something President Obama not only refuses to do but strongly denies. The administration has censored any discussion of the problem in these terms within the government, preferring to focus on ill-defined “violent extremism” when the real extremist threat is only partly violent and wholly Islamicist. Rubin notes that Mr. Obama’s vaunted outreach effort to the world’s Muslims has been “a total failure in generating respect for the Judeo-Christian world.” The president keeps reaching out, but Islam is not reaching back. Instead of pandering to Islam in hopes that somehow the threat will go away, Rubin says the United States needs to rediscover its roots. “The United States is a country built on Biblical foundations,” he said. “The United States needs to cease apologizing for what it is and where it comes from.” That America is a pluralistic nation in which people from many cultures may live, work and flourish doesn’t overshadow the fact that the country was founded on a specific set of ideals that enabled this pluralistic culture to take root. Islamism constitutes a mortal threat to those ideals, just as fascism and communism did for previous generations. Despite what moral relativists believe, all belief systems are not created equal. A moral defense of the American ideal is possible and increasingly necessary. Rubin believes Americans “do not have to be ashamed” of the religious basis of the country’s founding. “America is built on freedom of worship, but of a particular religious root,” he says. The United States has to reclaim and defend the civilization on which it is based or risk declining into second-rate status and being overwhelmed by the tsunami steadily building on the horizon.
The Persecution of Christians in the ‘Muslim World’
Dec. 17….(Christian Views) The New York Times this week ran a front-page article on Christian persecution in Iraq, noting, “A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to northern Iraq or abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country’s security forces are unable or, more ominously, unwilling to protect them.” The Times goes on to inform us that “more than half of Iraq’s Christian community, estimated to number 800,000 to 1.4 million before the American-led invasion in 2003, have already left the country.” What is the Obama administration doing to put pressure on the al-Maliki government in Baghdad to stop these murders of Christians? We have heard endlessly of this administration’s “outreach to the Muslim world.” That term, “Muslim world,” may itself be part of the problem. By telling Shia and Sunni Muslims that the Middle East is their world, are we not saying that Middle Eastern Christians and Jews don’t belong there? The Christian community in Iraq has been there since the beginnings of the Church. Bible readers will recognize Nineveh Province, one of the regions in modern-day Iraq. Didn’t some biblical character named Jonah have a rendezvous with destiny there? The Chaldean Assyrian Christians, note their Bible name, speak Aramaic, which is the language scholars tell us Jesus spoke. Yet these people, too, are being driven away. The Wall Street Journal also has taken up the cause of Christian persecution and has done so eloquently: “With the rise of radical Islam, this tradition of peaceful and productive coexistence has been displaced by a practice of religious cleansing. It is estimated that of the 100,000 Christians who once lived in Mosul, Iraq, only some 5,000 are still there. In Egypt, Coptic Christians have been brutalized. Assaults on churches increase around Easter or Christmas, as worshipers attempt to observe holy days.” Where is the US State Department on all of this? Where is the White House press office? By constantly bowing to the idea of a “Muslim world,” the Obama administration undercuts its own professed desire for peace in the region. When was the last time we heard anyone speak of “Christendom”? President Obama recently compared his Republican opponents on Capitol Hill to “hostage takers.” Are they Shia? Sunni? Could he list the number of non-Muslim hostage takers the world has witnessed in the past 40 years? Both Iraq and Afghanistan have constitutions that the United States helped them craft following the US-led invasions of their countries. Our own State Department advisers insisted on including in these post-Saddam and post-Taliban constitutions something strange called “repugnancy clauses.” These repugnancy clauses say, in sum, that notwithstanding anything else in this constitution, nothing may be done by this government that is repugnant to Islam. Who gets to determine what is repugnant to Islam? Who has historically determined repugnancy? Is it not the mullahs? And which mullahs might that be? Why, the mullahs with more guns, of course. By insisting on these repugnancy clauses, our own State Department advisers have constitutionalized ethnic and religious strife. Our State Department also ignored our own American contribution to religious liberty. Thomas Jefferson was our first secretary of State. His closest friend, James Madison, served as secretary of State for eight years in President Jefferson’s Cabinet. They knew something about diplomacy, as well as being among America’s greatest advocates for religious freedom. When they collaborated on the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, they laid the foundation for civil liberty in a constitutional republic. It is axiomatic that if you murder your neighbor because he worships differently than you do, you will never enjoy democracy. Why don’t our State Department functionaries understand this? It does not matter how many millions of purple-fingered voters approved these fatally flawed constitutions. If those same voters go to the polls and elect politicians who refuse to protect the very lives of Christians in their midst, it is all for naught. If Christians must flee their historic homeland, what does this say about our enterprise in Iraq? Wasn’t there something we read in dispatches from our Pentagon about “Operation Iraqi Freedom?” What freedom is this? Freedom to flee? Why have Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama been deaf to the cries of persecuted Christians? Why don’t they seem to care about Christians in the Middle East?
Israel and Hezbollah Deadlocked in Doomsday Scenario
Dec. 16….(Reuters) Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah in a direct engagement and the Lebanese guerrilla group would inflict heavy damage on the Israeli home front if war broke out, a former Israeli national security adviser said Thursday. Though outnumbered and outgunned, Hezbollah held off Israel's advanced armed forces in a 2006 war and fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli territory. The group has a domestic political base and has since bolstered an arsenal that Israel describes as a strategic threat. Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah's Iranian and Syrian backers have stoked expectations of renewed violence in Lebanon. "Israel does not know how to beat Hezbollah," said Giora Eiland, an army ex-general who served as national security adviser to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. "Therefore a war waged only as Israel-versus-Hezbollah might yield better damage on Hezbollah, but Hezbollah would inflict far worse damage on the Israeli home-front than it did 4-1/2 years ago," he told Israel Radio. Echoing serving Israeli officials, Eiland said: "Our only way of preventing the next war, and of winning if it happens anyway, is for it to be clear to everyone, that another war between us and Hezbollah will be a war between Israel and the state of Lebanon and will wreak destruction on the state of Lebanon. "And as no one, including Hezbollah, the Syrians or the Iranians, is interested in this, this is the best way of creating effective deterrence." Except for a deadly August skirmish between Israeli forces and the regular Lebanese army, the border has been mostly quiet. But Israelis have been watching for signs that Hezbollah, should it be named in an impending UN indictment over the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, will push back by consolidating power in Beirut. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has argued that Hezbollah's role in governing Lebanon would make the country fair game in any future war involving the Shiite militia. Eiland said such a scenario would have "the entire world crying out for a ceasefire within two days," which would be more in the Israeli interest "than having to deal directly with every one of (Hezbollah's estimated) 40,000 rockets."
Iraq: Al Qaeda Planning Holiday Attacks in West
(Iraqi Authorities Say Two Captured Insurgents Admit to Planned Suicide Attacks in US, Europe during Christmas Season)
Dec. 16….(CBS News) Iraqi authorities have obtained confessions from captured insurgents who claim al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the United States and Europe during the Christmas season, two senior officials said Wednesday. Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani told The Associated Press that the botched bombing in central Stockholm last weekend was among the alleged plots the insurgents revealed. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, in a telephone interview from New York, called the claims "a critical threat." Both al-Bolani and Zebari said Iraq has informed Interpol of the alleged plots, and alerted authorities in the US and European countries of the possible danger. Neither official specified which country or countries in Europe are alleged targets. There was no way to verify the insurgents' claims. But Western counter-terrorism officials generally are on high alert during the holiday season, especially since last year's failed attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. Al-Bolani said several insurgents claimed to be part of a cell that took its orders directly from al Qaeda's central leadership. He said at least one of the captured suspects was a foreign fighter from Tunisia. The confessions were the result of recent operations by Iraqi security forces that have netted at least 73 suspected operatives in the last two weeks, al-Bolani said. Links between al Qaeda's central leadership, which is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, and the terror organization's front group in Iraq are tenuous as the local branch in recent years has been run by local insurgents. But al-Bolani said the claims; if true; show al Qaeda remains a presence in Iraq. "Several members of this terrorist group have direct links with the central leaders of the al Qaeda organization," al-Bolani said. "Those captured represent the main structure of the al Qaeda organization in Iraq." Zebari, who is in New York for a meeting of the US Security Council, said he informed "the countries concerned." He mentioned the US but would not specify which countries in Europe. Al-Bolani said the suspects claimed that last Saturday's suicide bombing in Stockholm, carried out by an Iraqi-born Swede on Saturday, was among the plots. He said the suspects made the claim after the bombing happened.
Obama Admin Flailing in Search for Mideast Peace Formula
Dec. 16….(Israel Today) US Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday concluded a short tour of the region by meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on how to move the once-again flatlining Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. Mitchell met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders earlier in the week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was pleased that the US was finally determined to deal with core peace issues from the start, instead of wasting time on gestures like Jewish building freezes. But the Palestinians remain intransigent. In their meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reiterated to Mitchell that for the Arabs, it’s all or nothing, that they are not willing to compromise for peace with Israel. The Palestinians said Mitchell put forward some unofficial US offers regarding the peace process, but did not elaborate. Top Palestinian officials told reporters after the meeting that they are sticking to their demand that all Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem must stop before they will even sit at the negotiating table with Israel. The Palestinians also insist that the first topic of discussion be final borders, and that the only acceptable outcome is for Israel to fully withdraw to the pre-1967 armistice lines. Israel wants borders to be discussed last, since making massive land concessions at the start would deprive Israel of all its cards and release the Palestinians of all incentives to compromise on other issues. In particular, the Palestinians are still refusing to recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jews, and still wants to flood Israel with millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees.” The Palestinians are currently approaching the US diplomacy with skepticism, which is putting further pressure on Washington to quickly come up with a formula that is acceptable to the Arabs. Many in Israel fear that will translate into enormous pressure on Jerusalem to accept unfavorable negotiating conditions. If things do not go their way, the Palestinians are still working to secure European and UN recognition for a unilateral declaration of statehood in all of Judea and Samaria wth the eastern half of Jerusalem as their capital.
Hamas: We Won't Ever Recognize Israel
(Speaking at mass rally in Gaza to celebrate Hamas' 23rd anniversary, Haniyeh says group won't recognize Israel but will accept state within '67 borders. US envoy meets Abbas, says America committed to creation of Palestinian state)
Dec. 15….(YNET) Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters gathered in the Gaza Strip Tuesday to celebrate the organization's 23rd anniversary. During the rally, Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh addressed the crowds and declared: "We will not recognize Israel." Haniyeh urged the Palestinian Authority to put an end to all negotiations and security cooperation with the Jewish state. He added the group would accept "a Palestinian state with full sovereignty in the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital." Meanwhile, US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell met in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and presented him with American proposals for advancing the talks with Israel. Mitchell reiterated the US Administration's commitment to the peace process and said that America's goal was to reach an agreement that includes Syria and Lebanon. He is scheduled to return for another round of talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming days. In reference to the Israeli moratorium, Mitchell said he expected to face many obstacles, but added that the US Administration is determined to achieve its goal, an independent Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel.
PA says 'Israel undermining peace'
After meeting Mitchell, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians expressed their demand to "end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital." Erekat placed full responsibility for the deadlocked talks on Israel, accusing it of undermining the peace process. "When the Israeli government was asked to choose between peace and settlements it clearly chose the settlements, and therefore the steps it has taken have sabotaged the peace process," he said. According to Erekat, Israel's settlement policies and unilateral steps in Jerusalem destroyed the two-state solution.
Abbas to Mitchell: Israel Must Accept All PA Demands
Dec. 15….(Arutz) The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday rebuffed the latest American effort to convince it to sit down with Israel to negotiate the establishment of a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided not to follow Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s act of pleasantries and public optimism and instead continued to place his demands on the line: a guarantee from the United States that Israel will recognize it as a country based on the 1949 Armistice Line that marked the laying down of arms at the end of Israel's War of Independence. The line was erased in the Six-Day War in 1967, when Jerusalem was reunited and Judea and Samaria was restored to Israel after more than 2,000 years. Both wars were initiated by the Arabs. Although Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly stated on Monday that the Obama administration has realized its failure in trying to use a building freeze against Jewish homes as a tool to lure Abbas into talks, chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat stated after US Middle East envoy George Mitchell's meeting in Ramallah, "Any negotiations or talks require an end to settlement activities." Mitchell suggested “new” ideas for resuming talks with Israel, but chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the suggestions were nothing more than what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a speech last Friday. PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina also said that Abbas, as in the past, would seek advice from the Arab League while waiting for a more specific Israeli response to Mitchell’s overtures. Israel National News reported Monday that Mitchell's visit may be setting up Prime Minister Netanyanu for a trap that will force him to accept Abbas's demands as they are, without negotiations, as underscored by the PA's response to Mitchell Monday. Although PA leaders refer to “negotiations” with Israel, Abbas made it clear to Mitchell that his demands are for a final agreement based on its conditions without any compromise. Secretary Clinton told the Saban Forum in Washington last Friday that she is abandoning the “freeze" track and is going back to the two-year-old idea of tackling "core issues" that the PA said on Monday must be resolved in its favor. The French news agency AFP reported that Arab leaders sent a letter to Washington demanding Israel halt all building in areas where it claims sovereignty as well as insisting on Israeli recognition of the former borders. Mitchell is leaving Israel for task in Cairo on Wednesday, while the Palestinian Authority continues to try to drum up international support for a United Nations resolution accepting PA demands. The European Union stated Monday that it in effect backs the idea but that the timing is not right from a diplomatic standpoint because it would harm the ”diplomatic process.” “The EU recalls that peace in the Middle East should be comprehensive and reiterates the importance of negotiations on the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon tracks,” the Council of the European Union said in a statement. “Peace should lead to the full integration of Israel in its regional environment, along the lines set out in the Arab Peace Initiative.”
More on the Collusion Between Nazism and Islam
Dec. 15….(Jerusalem Post) A newly released report by the US National Archives details the close collaborative relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, indicating that Nazi authorities planned to use Husseini as their leader after their conquest of Palestine. Husseini was paid handsomely by the Nazis for his efforts, recruited Muslims for the SS and was promised that he would be made Palestine’s leader after its Jewish population of 350,000 had been murdered. Husseini, who died in Beirut in 1974, was apparently paid 50,000 marks per month, and 80,000 additional marks a month for living expenses, according to a contract with the Germans. This was a time when a German field officer typically earned 25,000 marks a year. According to the report, on November 28, 1941, Adolf Hitler told Husseini that the Afrika Korps would “liberate” Arabs in the Middle East and that “Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.” “SS leaders and Husseini both claimed that Nazism and Islam had common values as well as common enemies, above all, the Jews,” the report states. In fall 1943, it says, Husseini went to the Croatia, a German ally, to recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. “During that trip he told the troops of the newly formed Bosnian-Muslim 13th Mountain Waffen-SS division that the entire Muslim world ought to follow their example,” the report states. Husseini also organized a 1944 mission in which Palestine Arabs and Germans would carry out sabotage and propaganda after German planes dropped them into Palestine by parachute. “Husseini insisted that the Arabs take command after they landed and direct their fight against the Jews of Palestine, not the British authorities,” according to the report. As late as 1945, the German Foreign Office rewrote its contracts with Husseini. At that point, the outcome of the war was no longer in question, and therefore the contracts are significant as indications of Nazi intentions to work with the mufti in future political-ideological campaigns in Arab lands.
Obama's Peace Timeline has Ticked Away in the Mideast
Dec. 15….(Washington Times) Four months after President Obama announced a yearlong timeline for Mideast peace, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton admitted initial defeat. In a Friday speech, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged permanent breakdown in direct negotiations the Obama administration had predicted would lead to an agreement by September 2011. "Unfortunately, as we have learned," she said, "the parties in this conflict have often not been ready to take the necessary steps." This only comes as a surprise to the Obama team. The Obama administration began its quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with "proximity" talks, which were followed by the much heralded "direct" talks, which collapsed in three weeks. Now the two sides have retreated to "parallel" talks, which is one step from no talks at all. The new approach was made necessary by the failure of the old approach, which broke down when Israel reached the agreed-upon end of its moratorium on new construction in areas claimed by Palestinians. Mrs. Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for seven hours last month trying to agree on terms for a three-month extension, which included giving Israel 20 F-35 stealth fighters worth $2.7 billion. These aircraft don't exist yet, and the deal wasn't in writing, facts that undermined the attractiveness of the bargain. It wasn't such a great deal from the US perspective, either, because it would only buy a three-month extension at $30 million a day with no guarantee the two parties wouldn't be back at square one at the end of it. Under the new framework, the Obama administration will pressure both sides to come to grips with their core differences over water, refugees, the border issue and Jerusalem. Washington has said any agreement must contain "internationally recognized borders that protect Israel's security," which is code for saying Israel won't be bound by the 1967 border. This is a deal breaker for Palestinians. The notion of dividing Jerusalem was mentioned favorably by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, appearing at the same event as Mrs. Clinton, but was swiftly disavowed by Mr. Netanyahu as a deal breaker for Israel. "When one way is blocked, we will seek another," Mrs. Clinton gamely promised, though she offered no ideas that haven't failed already. Last week, the Palestinian Authority was emboldened by gaining diplomatic recognition from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay; 104 states now recognize the PA. The ruling Fatah Party is reportedly planning to end all security cooperation with Israel and abrogate all commitments under the mid-1990s Oslo Accords, undoing President Clinton's signal achievements. Meanwhile, there is a growing movement in the European Union and the United Nations to impose a peace deal that would favor Palestinians. In a bizarre twist, Mutawakel Taha of the PA's Ministry of Information said last week that the Western or "Wailing" Wall on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem actually was built by Muslims and has no connection to King Solomon or Judaism. If the two sides cannot even agree on the basic nature of reality, Obama will be lucky to reach September 2011 without open warfare, much less with a permanent Mideast peace agreement
Wikileaks: Israeli Attack on Iran Would Lead to Nuclear War
Dec. 14….(Jerusalem Post) US diplomatic cables reveal Australian intelligence concerns over conflict between Israel and Iran as "greatest challenge to stability" in Middle East. Australian intelligence agencies feared that Israel will attack Iran, leading to nuclear war, according to US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks on Monday. "The Australian Intelligence Community's leading concerns with respect to Iran's nuclear ambitions center on understanding the timeframe of a possible weapons capability, and working with the United States to prevent Israel from independently launching uncoordinated military strikes against Iran," the cable reads. Australians raised the issue of Israel possibly attacking Iran several times. According to the cables, released exclusively to Australian paper The Age, "they are immediately concerned that Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities would lead to a conventional war, or even nuclear exchange, in the Middle East involving the United States that would draw Australia into a conflict." A cable from July 2008 showed that then-Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd was "deeply worried" that "Israel may feel forced to use 'non-diplomatic' means" to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. In December 2008, Peter Varghese, then chief of Australian intelligence agency ONA, met with Randall Fort, then head of the State Department's bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). The embassy report on the meeting said that ONA "were particularly interested in A/S Fort and INR's assessments on Israeli 'red lines' on Iran's nuclear program and the likelihood of an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities." The cable added that Varghese said that the possibility of conflict between Israel and Iran "clearly represented the greatest challenge to stability" in the Middle East. Varghese also said that ''it's a mistake to think of Iran as a 'rogue state.' 'ONA analysts assessed that Teheran 'knows' about its lack of certain capabilities, but plays 'beyond its hand' very skilfully. ONA judged that Iran's activities in Iraq, both overt and covert, represented an extreme manifestation of Iranian strategic calculus, designed to 'outflank' the US in the region.'' The ONA ''asserted that, the most effective means by which Teheran could ensure its national security would be a strategic relationship with the US via some 'grand bargain'.'' In March 2009, the US embassy in Canberra wrote that the Australian government was ''more broadly concerned about the potential for renewed nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, driving south-east Asian states to abandon the [nuclear non-proliferation treaty] and pursue their own nuclear capabilities, which could introduce a direct threat to the Australian homeland."
Nazi’s Collaborated with Arab Mufti to Destroy Jews
Dec. 14….(In The Days) After World War II, American counterintelligence recruited former Gestapo officers, SS veterans and Nazi collaborators to an even greater extent than had been previously disclosed and helped many of them avoid prosecution or looked the other way when they escaped, according to thousands of newly declassified documents. With the Soviet Union muscling in on Eastern Europe, “settling scores with Germans or German collaborators seemed less pressing; in some cases, it even appeared counterproductive,” said a government report published Friday by the National Archives. When the Klaus Barbie story broke, about his escaping with American help to Bolivia, we thought there weren’t any more stories like that, that Barbie was an exception,” said Norman J. W. Goda, a University of Florida professor and co-author of the report with Professor Richard Breitman of American University. “What we found in the record is that there were a fair number, and that it seems more systematic.”
In chilling detail, the report also elaborates on the close working relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. In fact, the report says, the Muslim leader was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year). It also said he energetically recruited Muslims for the SS, the Nazi Party’s elite military command, and was promised that he would be installed as the leader of Palestine after German troops drove out the British and exterminated more than 350,000 Jews there.
On Nov. 28, 1941, the authors say, Hitler told Mr. Husseini that the Afrika Corps and German troops deployed from the Caucasus region would liberate Arabs in the Middle East and that “Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.” The report details how Mr. Husseini himself was allowed to flee after the war to Syria, he was in the custody of the French, who did not want to alienate Middle East regimes, and how high-ranking Nazis escaped from Germany to become advisers to anti-Israeli Arab leaders and “were able to carry on and transmit to others Nazi racial-ideological anti-Semitism.”
“You have an actual contract between officials of the Nazi Foreign Ministry with Arab leaders, including Husseini, extending after the war because they saw a cause they believed in,” Dr. Breitman said. “And after the war, you have real Nazi war criminals, Wilhelm Beisner, Franz Rademacher and Alois Brunner, who were quite influential in Arab countries.” In October 1945, the report says, the British head of Palestine’s Criminal Investigation Division told the assistant American military attaché in Cairo that the mufti might be the only force able to unite the Palestine Arabs and “cool off the Zionists. Of course, we can’t do it, but it might not be such a damn bad idea at that.” “We have more detailed scholarly accounts today of Husseini’s wartime activities, but Husseini’s CIA file indicates that wartime Allied intelligence organizations gathered a healthy portion of this incriminating evidence,” the report says. “This evidence is significant in light of Husseini’s lenient postwar treatment.” He died in Beirut in 1974.
EU Keeps up Pressure for Israeli Settlement Freeze
Dec. 14….(YNET) The European Union pressed the Israeli government on Monday to freeze settlement building, offered the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip more aid and urged Israel to open Gaza's border crossings more fully to increase trade. EU foreign ministers "noted with regret" Israel's failure to extend a moratorium on construction of Jewish settlements, and took a stand at odds with the decision by the United States to drop efforts to persuade Israel to freeze settlement building. "Our views on settlements, including in east Jerusalem, are clear: they are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace," the ministers said in a statement after a meeting in Brussels. Despite earlier reports, the statement did not address the Palestinian call for the EU's recognition of a Palestinian state. Israel has hailed Washington's policy shift, but Palestinian officials have been highly critical, saying Israeli settlement building on land they want for an independent state cripples the peace process. Senior EU figures, including half a dozen former leaders, sent a letter last week urging the bloc to take a firmer approach with Israel over the Middle East peace process. The EU has struggled to carve out an influential role in the Middle East peace process and has tried mainly to help the Palestinians strengthen their economy, particularly in the blockaded Gaza Strip. The EU is the Palestinians' largest international donor, giving hundreds of millions of euros in economic assistance.
US Drops Palestinian-Israeli Track, Formulates New Turkey-Iran Deal
Dec. 13….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the thankless task of writing finis on the Obama administration's intense two-year effort to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to discuss peace. Her speech to the Saban Forum early Saturday, Dec. 11 was much awaited as Washington's first comment on the deadlock caused by Israel's refusal to meet the Palestinian demand for a second freeze on new settlement construction as their precondition for direct talks. The Secretary took care not to blame either side for the breakdown. "Palestinians must appreciate Israel's legitimate security concerns. And Israelis must accept the legitimate territorial aspirations of the Palestinians," she said. "We will not lose hope," she said. "Mr Obama has identified continued US engagement in peace talks as a key political goal." But she omitted the oft-repeated statement of the president's determination to achieve an accord within a year. Without setting out time tables or modes of action, she stressed it was time to "grapple with the core issues of this conflict" which she listed as borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem. "The land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea was finite," she said "and the people who live there need a clear border to map out their futures." Clinton did not wait for analysts to define the scale of Washington's setback. She admitted frankly: "Like many of you, I am frustrated that we have not gotten farther, faster." Obama clearly appreciates that like the presidents before him, Bill Clinton, who failed dramatically, and George W. Bush, who soon dropped out of US Middle East peacemaking, he had bitten off more than he can chew. It was time to pack up and abandon his ambitious bid to crack the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by direct action. But Hillary Clinton's most intriguing comments was this: "The status quo is untenable. And we will redouble our regional diplomacy. When one way is blocked, we will seek another. " Debkafile's Washington sources disclose that what she had in mind was an alternative path which still remains to be marked out: It would move Middle East peacemaking out of the deadlocked US-Palestinian-Israeli track and introduce a new set of prime movers with the long-term goal of a regional peace settlement. Washington has taken the first step of trying to resolve the Turkish-Israeli dispute over Ankara's maritime bid to bust the Gaza blockade in order to open the door to restoring the old dialogue and strategic relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem.
In a parallel step, the US has acted to bring Turkey into active mediation on the Iranian nuclear controversy. Washington will approve the talks with Iran the Six Powers (US, Russia, France, China, UK and Germany) embarked on this week ending in a deal for an enriched uranium swap to take place on Turkish soil under international supervision. Tehran has in the past demanded that this swap take place in Turkey. The Americans want to make sure that at no time, Iran holds enough enriched uranium for producing a nuclear bomb. Once that accord goes through, the Erdogan government will be free to return to its interrupted role of 2007-2008 under the Olmert government as peace broker between Israel and Syria. An accommodation on that track, if achieved, would pave the way for Ankara taking over revived Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 5 THROUGH DECEMBER 11
Palestinians Threaten Non-Compliance with Peace Agreements
Dec. 11….(Israel Today) Ever since signing the so-called “Oslo” accords with Israel 15 years ago, the Palestinians have failed to fulfill even their most basic peace obligations, and in most cases have openly violated their commitments. Now the Palestinian Authority is threatening to make its non-compliance official by abrogating the entire peace process. Palestinian official Khana Amira told the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al-Arabi that the Palestinian Authority will respond to Washington’s announcement that its current peace efforts have failed by canceling all security cooperation with Israel. Amira said Yasser Abed Rabbo, top advisor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, was to convene the PLO and Fatah central committees, the parties that rule the Palestinian Authority, to discuss completely abrogating the Oslo Accords and all subsequent agreements signed with Israel. The new plan would be to unilaterally declare statehood with the backing of the international community, since, as Abed Rabbo claimed a couple of months ago, Israel is not interested in reaching a bilateral peace deal. “One party can’t remain committed while the other party has violated the agreements and even canceled them,” said Abed Rabbo at the time. It would appear the Palestinians already most of the backing they need for such a move, as the UN and European Union on Thursday agreed with Abbas and Abed Rabbo that Israel was to blame for the recent breakdown of peace talks. UN and EU officials blasted Israel for being unwilling to extend a Jewish building freeze in Judea and Samaria. The truth is that Israel was ready to do so, but the Palestinians tried to expand the freeze to include Jerusalem and to not be limited to 90 days, conditions they knew would be unacceptable to Israel, thereby giving the PA the excuse it needed to stop negotiating. Contrary to the accusations of Abbas and his crew and the picture painted by the international community, Israel has fulfilled a number of major peace commitments over the years, including:
1. Allowing the entry into the region and of Yasser Arafat’s PLO and even arming his troops with American weapons;
2. Surrendering control over 90 percent of the Palestinian Arab population to the Palestinian Authority, the government controlled by the PLO;
3. Fully withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, giving the Palestinian Authority an opportunity to prove its state-building ability and peaceful intentions; and
4. Repeatedly releasing hundreds and even thousands of jailed Palestinian terrorists in gestures of goodwill.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has refused to keep its commitments to:
1. Effectively and genuinely combat the anti-Israel terrorism practiced by its “citizens”;
2. To put an end to anti-Israel incitement and propaganda in its official media organs; and
3. To build the foundations for a successful and stable independent state.
In fact, the Palestinian Authority has done quite the opposite.
1. The terrorist infrastructure under the Palestinian Authority is far broader and more powerful than it was before 1995, and at various times even the official PA armed forces have participated in or facilitated attacks on Israelis;
2. Not only do Palestinian newspapers, television and mosques continue to demonize Israel and the Jews, but Palestinian Authority schools are raising a whole new generation of local Arabs to view the Jewish state as an usurper that must and will be conquered militarily.
3. Despite being the recipients of far more foreign financial aid per capita than any other people group on earth, the corruption-riddled Palestinian Authority has utterly failed to create the foundations for an independent state. Any Palestinian state established today would quickly become a welfare state, wholly dependent on Israel and the international community for its existence.
With that kind of track record, it would appear there is no longer any point trying to hide the obvious. Unfortunately, considering the international community’s track record for ignoring the obvious, this latest Palestinian stunt is likely to bode ill for Israel, and not the other way around.
Abbas Lays Groundwork for Unilateral Declaration of PA State
Dec. 11….(Arutz) Arab media is reporting that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has told his aides to ask the United Nations Security Council to recognize the PA as a new Arab country, to be called “Palestine.” According to a report published Thursday in the London-based Arabic-language daily A-Sharq al-Awsat, the PA is now prepared to ask the UN to recognize a unilaterally-declared new PA state. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit allegedly tried to intervene by asking PA officials to wait for the Obama administration to make another attempt at negotiating a two-state solution with Israel, according to the report. Gheit also allegedly warned that the US must apply further pressure on Israel. Abbas met in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday and held firm on his refusal to engage in direct final status talks with Israel unless a complete freeze is in place on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and much of Jerusalem. “Our stance is clear and we have announced it to the Americans,” Abbas told reporters. “We will not agree to negotiate as long as settlement building continues.” Abbas, who met Wednesday with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, said there is no flexibility on the issue of forming a PA state along the 1949 armistice line, referred to by some as the “1967 borders.” He also said that any exchange of land would require similar quantity and quality. The Fatah Revolutionary Council that is led by Abbas, and which leads the PA, last month issued a proclamation rejecting all proposals for peace, including land swaps, and refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. US Special Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected to arrive in the region before the weekend, while former chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat is scheduled to fly to Washington to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but their specific plans are unclear.
Playing the Diplomatic Angle
Abbas has spent the past year flying around the world on a diplomatic mission to build support for a unilateral declaration of statehood. The efforts have paid off in South America, possibly with the assistance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who likewise tightened ties there this year. As a result, several nations have announced their willingness to recognize the PA as a country. Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman announced Monday that President Cristina Fernandez had written to Abbas, informing him of her government’s decision to recognize the PA as “Palestine,” calling it a “free and independent state” within the pre-1967 borders. Uruguay also announced Monday that it would move to recognize the PA as a new country next year. Deputy Foreign Minister Roberto Conde told the AFP news service, “We are working towards opening a diplomatic representation in Palestine, most likely in Ramallah.” Last week Brazil was the first to announce its formal recognition of the PA as a new country. PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki has told AFP that he expects Bolivia and Ecuador to follow with similar announcements shortly.
No Further Interest in Negotiations
Abbas has repeatedly turned away attempts by the US and Israel to woo him back to the negotiating table after rejecting a final proposal for a two-state solution offered former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just before he left office two years ago. A year ago, he said he would participate in direct talks, with the condition that Israel would freeze Jewish construction in areas demanded by the PA for its hoped-for state. Nine months after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu risked his coalition by forcing through an unpopular freeze on Jewish building in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, Abbas participated in a much-ballyhooed summit at the White House on September 2. But after two more meetings, he abandoned the talks as soon as the freeze ended as scheduled on September 26.
Iran Placing Medium Range Missiles in Venezuela
Dec. 11….(In The Days) Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources, according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit o Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles. At a moment when NATO members found an agreement, in the recent Lisbon summit (19-20 November 2010), to develop a Missile Defence capability to protect NATO’s populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks from the East (namely, Iran), Iran’s counter-move consists in establishing a strategic base in the South American continent, in the United States’s soft underbelly.
According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an “emergency”. In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for “national needs,” radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers. Venezuela has also become the country through which Iran intends to bypass UN sanctions. Following a new round of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic, for example, Russia decided not to sell five battalions of S-300PMU-1 air defense systems to Iran. These weapons, along with a number of other weapons, were part of a deal, signed in 2007, worth $800 million. Now that these weapons cannot be delivered to Iran, Russia is looking for new customers; according to the Russian press agency Novosti, it found one: Venezuela. Novosti reports the words of Igor Korotchenko, head of a Moscow-based think tank on international arms trade, saying that if the S-300 deal with Venezuela goes through, Caracas should pay cash for the missiles, rather than take another loan from Russia. “The S-300 is a very good product and Venezuela should pay the full amount in cash, as the country’s budget has enough funds to cover the deal,” Korotchenko said. Moscow has already provided Caracas with several loans to buy Russian-made weaponry, including a recent $2.2-mln loan on the purchase of 92 T-72M1M tanks, the Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems and other military equipment. If Iran, therefore, cannot get the S-300 missiles directly from Russia, it can still have them through its proxy, Venezuela, and deploy them against its staunchest enemy, the US. But that is not all. According to Reuters, Iran has developed a version of the Russian S-300 missile and will test-fire it soon, as declared by the official news agency IRNA, two months after Moscow cancelled the delivery to comply with United Nations sanctions. Iran, in fact, has its own capabilities for constructing missiles that could carry atomic warheads. According to a study recently released by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, Iran is presently aiming to perfect the already existing solid-fuel, medium-range missile that can carry a nuke to hit regional targets, such as Israel. If a missile base can be opened in Venezuela, many US cities will be able to be reached from there even with short-medium range missiles. The situation that is unfolding in Venezuela has some resemblance to the Cuba crisis of 1962. At that time, Cuba was acting on behalf of the USSR; now Venezuela is acting on behalf of Iran. At present, the geopolitical situation is very different: the world is no longer ruled by two superpowers; new nations, often with questionable leaders and the ambition of acquiring global status, are appearing on the international scene. Their danger to the free world will be greater if the process of nuclear proliferation is not stopped. Among the nations that aspire to become world powers, Iran has certainly the best capabilities of posing a challenge to the West. Back in the 1962, thanks to the stern stance adopted by the then Kennedy administration, the crisis was defused. Nowadays, however, we do not see the same firmness from the present administration. On the contrary, we see a lax attitude, both in language and in deeds, that results in extending hands when our adversaries have no intention of shaking hands with us. Iran is soon going to have a nuclear weapon, and there are no signs that UN sanctions will in any way deter the Ayatollah’s regime from completing its nuclear program. We know that Iran already has missiles that can carry an atomic warhead over Israel and over the Arabian Peninsula. Now we learn that Iran is planning to build a missile base close to the US borders. How longer do we have to wait before the Obama administration begins to understand threats?
Israel's Arabs Don't Want to be Part of Palestinian State
(Saban Center survey shows 58% of Israeli-Arabs against annexation of Arab cities to future Palestinian state as part of territorial exchanges; 47% of Israel's Jews believe peace will never be achieved)
Dec. 11….(YNET) While Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman continuously discusses the possibility of territorial exchanges as part of a future peace agreement with the Palestinians, it seems that Israel's Arabs are simply not interested: A survey published by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution on Thursday indicated that 58% of Israeli-Arabs are against the annexation of Arab cities to a future Palestinian state in the framework of a peace agreement and territorial exchanges. The poll, conducted in light of the failed negotiations between the US and Israel on another settlement construction moratorium, further showed that 62% of Israeli Jews believe the government should do more to achieve peace with the Palestinians. Some 43% believe peace will be achieved within five years, while eight percent said it would take even less time. However, 47% speculated that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will never be signed. The survey showed that 40% of Israel's Jews are in favor of a peace agreement based on a return to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, while 27% are against an Israeli withdrawal and a Palestinian state. According to the poll, 63% of Israeli-Arabs do not believe peace is attainable, and two-thirds of them are not willing to forgo the "right of return" demand. Half of the Arab-Israelis polled said they would not be willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state under any circumstance. And what do Israelis think of the US' involvement in the peace process? According to the survey, 51% of Israel's Jews have a negative opinion of President Barack Obama, and 43% are not encouraged by Washington's Mideast policy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most popular foreign leader among Israeli Jews, followed by former US President Bill Clinton, the survey showed. The survey also showed that half of Israel's Jews define themselves firstly as Jewish and only secondly Israel; 75% of them support Israel's definition as a Jewish state to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees to the country ("right of return"). The survey indicated that 36% of Israeli-Arabs define themselves firstly as Arabs, as opposed to only 22% who consider themselves Palestinians first and foremost. In addition, more Arab-Israelis define themselves as Arab (34%) than Muslim (27%). A survey of the American public's attitude toward the peace process showed that two-thirds of US citizens believe a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict is one of America's five most important interests; 72% support Obama's mediation efforts.
Israel Considering Attack On Syria
Dec. 11….(Palalert Press) Syria’s fresh interference in Lebanon and its increasingly sophisticated weapons shipments to Hezbollah have alarmed American officials and prompted Israel’s military to consider a strike against a Syrian weapons depot that supplies the Lebanese militia group, US and Israeli officials say. The evidence of a resurgence by Syria and its deepening influence across the region has frustrated US officials who sought to change Syrian behavior. But the Obama administration has so far failed through its policy of engagement to persuade the country to abandon its support for Hezbollah and sever its alliance with Iran. “Syria’s behavior has not met our hopes and expectations over the past 20 months and Syria’s actions have not met its international obligations,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Lebanese daily an-Nahar on Nov. 10. “Syria can still choose another path and we hope that it does.” Israel has complained to the United Nations about long-range missiles and shorter-range rockets that are flowing freely from camps inside Syria to a transit site along the Syrian border with Lebanon and on to Hezbollah. But Israel has so far hesitated to take military action out of concern that such a strike could touch off a conflict even bloodier than the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, said an Israeli military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Why Are Christians Left Out of Middle East Policies
(Why has US war strategy ignored religious minorities in the Middle East?)
Dec. 10….(World Magazine) Three years ago I attended a meeting outside Washington with a NATO adviser recently returned from briefings with commanders of the war in Iraq. The question had been posed to them: If there should be a targeted massacre of Christians in Iraq (the word actually used was genocide), would the US military respond?
The answer from the commanders: No. It was December 2007. Gen. David Petraeus had arrived in Baghdad ten months earlier bearing orders to carry out his new counterinsurgency strategy with a thrust of 20,000 additional troops throughout the city. Until then, US forces were bogged down in Iraq's sectarian warfare, with civilian and military casualties sometimes topping 100 a day. That year US casualties hit their all-time high, 904, but fell steadily after Petraeus' arrival to a low of 59 in 2010. Decades from now historians will study Petraeus-style warfare launched in 2007 and how it catapulted the US military from its post-Vietnam malaise. So it's always been curious to me that the successful strategy to stamp out sectarian violence somehow did not extend to protecting Iraq's minorities, particularly a Christian population that stretched back nearly 2 millennia and numbered up to 1.5 million under Saddam Hussein. By December 2007, church leaders estimated, that population had been halved through death and displacement to somewhere under 700,000. Leaving Christians out of the counterinsurgency equation has itself proved decisive. And the result of US military and civilian leaders' unwillingness to take a vocal and visible stand against targeted violence toward Christian minorities continues to unfold, not only in Iraq but across the region.
Consider recent attacks in Iraq: the Oct. 31 assault on a church in Baghdad that killed 58; the Nov. 9 bombing of Christian homes in western Baghdad; Nov. 10 Islamic hits to more than a dozen homes with mortar fire and bombs, leaving four Christians dead and dozens wounded. Some of the homes were singled out because they belonged to mourners who attended funeral services for the Oct. 31 victims. On Nov. 15 in Mosul militants stormed two adjacent homes belonging to Christians, killing two men, then bombed others. On Nov. 16 a Christian father and his 6-year-old daughter were killed by a car bomb. As Elizabeth Kendal, writing for the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, pointed out, "This terror has led to a surge in Christians fleeing Iraq. They will join the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians struggling to survive as refugees in Syria, Turkey and Jordan. They no longer see any reason to risk their lives for a state where, even if they survive, they will be condemned to live as second class citizens (dhimmis)."
We see similar terror unfolding with the arrests of Christians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gen. Petraeus is belatedly taking up that cause. But the failure of the military to leave a legacy of equal protection for all is part of a larger US failure to address forcefully the authoritarian repression residing within Islam. It will no doubt resound to other minorities and to Muslims who stand against it. Today the Christian population in Iraq is about half what it was in 2007. It may have been spared actual genocide, but to go in one decade from 1.5 million to under 400,000 is extermination by any other name.
Militaristic Syria Alarms US and Israel
Dec. 10….(In The Days) Syria’s fresh interference in Lebanon and its increasingly sophisticated weapons shipments to Hezbollah have alarmed American officials and prompted Israel’s military to consider a strike against a Syrian weapons depot that supplies the Lebanese militia group, US and Israeli officials say. The evidence of a resurgence by Syria and its deepening influence across the region has frustrated US officials who sought to change Syrian behavior. But the Obama administration has so far failed through its policy of engagement to persuade the country to abandon its support for Hezbollah and sever its alliance with Iran. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Lebanese daily an-Nahar that “Syria can still choose another path and we hope that it does.” Israel has complained to the United Nations about long-range missiles and shorter-range rockets that are flowing freely from camps inside Syria to a transit site along the Syrian border with Lebanon and on to Hezbollah. But Israel has so far hesitated to take military action out of concern that such a strike could touch off a conflict even bloodier than the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, said an Israeli military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. In the past, US interest in Syria was mostly limited to coaxing it to make peace with Israel and to end its rule in Lebanon. But now it is increasingly clear that Syria, with its pivotal alliance with Iran and its strategic borders with Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, has the ability to shape regional developments on a broader scale.
Unsuccessful US efforts
The Obama administration’s efforts at “dialogue” with Syria have done little to stop the flow of weapons, end Syria’s practice of sheltering Palestinian leaders of militant groups, or counter Syria’s interference in Lebanon, which has undermined the US effort to promote Lebanese independence from external actors. Although President Obama has named a new ambassador to Syria, his appointment is being held up on Capitol Hill by senators who say they do not want to send a new envoy to Damascus until the United States better articulates how having an ambassador there would help achieve its goals. Without a permanent top diplomat in the Syrian capital, US envoys, including Middle East peace mediator George J. Mitchell, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman, and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) have flown to Damascus to try to persuade Syrian leaders to take steps to improve relations with the United States, which hit a low point in 2005.
That year, President George W. Bush, in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s ouster in Iraq, warned Syria to stop the flow of foreign fighters across its border into Iraq, prompting fears in Damascus of a US effort to topple Syria’s leadership. Massive anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Syria’s relations with regional allies soured. Today, there are clear signs that the country has emerged stronger than before. While the United States maintains sanctions against Syria, American allies such as India and Turkey have inked trade deals with Damascus in recent months that undercut the American effort. Syria plays a role in Iraq. In September, a parade of Iraqi politicians flocked to Damascus seeking advice on forming a government. And Syria’s alliance with Iran remains strong, to the dismay of US officials who, as the WikiLeaks cables show, had hoped to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, in part to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah. But Syria’s support of Hezbollah remains robust.
Flow of weapons
Israeli surveillance tracks the nighttime missile shipments as Syrian personnel escort them from clandestine bases in Syria to the Lebanese border. At the swap area, the weapons are transferred to Lebanese trucks and driven into southern Lebanon and to Beirut, the Israeli military official said. Asked about the likelihood of Israel striking at the border transfer area or one of the camps inside Syria, the military official said, “This is definitely one of the options Israel has. Of course any attack like this could lead to an escalation.” Persuading Syria to break its alliance with Hezbollah’s chief patron, Iran, would be a key step toward ending the shipments. But it is in Lebanon that Syria’s regional resurgence has been felt most profoundly. Abdul Hadi Mahfouz, a Lebanese government official and writer, says Syria is more effectively managing Lebanese affairs from afar than when it had 15,000 troops inside the country. Wiam Wahab, a pro-Syrian Druze politician and former Lebanese cabinet minister, says Washington must resolve its differences with Syria if the United States wants to stymie Iran’s influence. Many Lebanese, especially those in the Christian and Sunni communities, still oppose any Syrian role in Lebanese affairs.
Lebanon’s top security positions, the head of military intelligence and director of general security, are controlled by Syrian-approved appointees. The government can’t make many major decisions without first consulting with Damascus. Lebanon’s top leaders, including Prime Minister Saad Hariri, toe a pro-Syrian line. But the clearest example of Syria’s restored influence may be Walid Jumblatt. Five years ago, Jumblatt, a well-known Druze politician whose party holds swing votes in Lebanon’s coalition government, marched with the pro-democracy March 14 movement against Syria’s occupation. He now describes that period as a momentary lapse of sanity. “I feel much more comfortable now. I’m back to my roots,” Jumblatt said last month. Jumblatt credits Syria with reestablishing order after the Lebanese civil war and suggests that Syria’s military may need to take over again if Hezbollah is indicted by an international tribunal investigating the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri and sectarian strife arises. “It seems that, well, we cannot govern ourselves by ourselves,” Jumblatt said. “Lebanon is not a nation. It’s a bunch of tribes.”
Syria to Iran: We Won’t Attack Israel in Retaliatory Strike
Dec. 9….(Jerusalem Post) Damascus claims Israeli jets will fly over Syria to bomb Islamic Regime; claims IAF drones already scouting out radar bases. The Syrian leadership in Damascus told a senior Iranian delegation to Damascus last year that it would not assist Iran in retaliating to an Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities, according to an American diplomatic cable published on Wednesday by Wikileaks. Written by the United States Embassy in Damascus, the cable dated Dec. 20, 2009, summed up the visits earlier that month of Iranian National Security Advisor Saeed Jalili, Vice President and head of the Environmental Department Mahammed-Javad Mahamadzideh and Defense Minister Ahmad Ali Vahidi to Damascus. The cable cited an unnamed Syrian official who claimed that in the talks the Syrians told the Iranians that they would not participate in an Iranian retaliation to an potential Israeli strike. “We told them Iran is strong enough on its own to develop a nuclear program and to fight Israel,” the Syrian official was quoted as saying in the cable. “We’re too weak.” According to the cable, Syria resisted Iranian entreaties to commit to joining Iran if fighting broke out between Iran, Hizbullah and Israel. The unnamed source told the embassy officials that the Iranian delegation came to Syria “to round up allies” in anticipation of an Israeli military strike. “It [an Israeli strike on Iran] is not a matter of if, but when,” the source was quoted as having heard from the Iranians. The cable noted with interest that Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Al Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the force responsible for supporting Iranian proxies throughout the region, had accompanied the Iranian national security adviser Jalili on his visit to Damascus. According to the cable, Jalili and Soleimani met with Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Muallem, as well as unspecified members of Hizbullah. “Suleimani represents the business end of the resistance,” the source said. Suleimani is reported to have played a key role in recent years in arming Hizbullah and Hamas with long-range rockets and missiles. The source went on to tell the embassy officials that the Syrian military predicted that Israel would fly over Syria on its way to attack Iran and was conducting surveillance of Syrian radar stations with drones ahead of such an operation. “Military officials tell me they have noticed Israeli drones snooping around our sites,” the source was quoted in the cable, adding that some Syrian officials saw Israeli reconnaissance as an indication that Israel might seek to disable anti-air radar stations as part of a plan to fly bombers over Syrian territory en route to Iran. “We expect to wake up one morning soon and learn the Israeli strike took place. Then we expect an Iranian response,” the source said.
Focus on Jerusalem Q/A Section
Dec. 9….(FOJ) Focus on Jerusalem prophecy ministry receives many questions relative to end-time events and general eschatological topics. The most recent questioner inquired about events involving very serious current events in Lebanon and Syria. If you have never visited the Q/A Room, you might want to check it out here.
Question # 330….(12-8-2010) You mention Syria not being in the Ezekiel 38 war. Is there a coming Obadiah-Psalm 83 war previous to the Ezekiel war relative to the 2 State solution as these other nations also not mentioned in Ezekiel 38. Is this when Damascus becomes a heap of rubble and that could be very soon?
Answer…..Yes, you are quite right in your analysis. Syria is not included in the Ezekiel 38 scenario because Bible prophecy indicates that they have befallen a previous event, and that event is probably the burden of Damascus. (Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.) (Jeremiah 49:24-25 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!)
The only unanswered question is how the tragic Damascus event comes about and who perpetrates it. Many scholars quickly point to Israel (or America) as the mover in this event, and that may be true, but it is also possible that Iran could trigger an attack on Damascus. (Ezekiel 38 mentions that Persia may be the link to the “hooks-in-the-jaws” analogy implicating Magog [Russia] in an attack on Israel.) Israel does possess the capability to destroy any enemy, but I can’t imagine Israel would use nukes against Syria unless likewise threatened. Iran, through its new nuclear terror proxies could react against Damascus in the event that the West/EU prevails in Lebanon and coerces Syria away from the Teheran Axis. This scenario is possible in light of Bible Prophecy when one considers that the covenant of “peace and safety” that the Antichrist arranges between Israel and the Arab world would have to include Syria. (For more on this subject see questions # 326 and 327 under the topical heading of Psalms 83)
American Help for Lebanon in Limbo
(Military aid challenged because of nation's links to Iran, Syria)
Dec. 9….(WND) American help for Lebanon has been put in limbo because of that nation's recent moves taking it closer to Iran and Syria, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. That word comes from the next chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, who has declared that Lebanese Prime Minister Raad Hariri essentially has turned over Lebanon to Iran and Syria, given his consultation with both countries in making decisions. So Congress now must review further funding for the Lebanese armed forces. "Hezbollah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively re-arming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said. G2Bulletin just reported that Hariri had concluded a three-day visit to Iran where he agreed with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that he would "consolidate relations" with the country's main resistance group, Hezbollah. Hariri also received an offer from Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi to assist the Lebanese army. The United States, which backs Hariri's government, was not pleased with his trip to Iran. "The line between the Lebanese armed forces and Hezbollah is gradually being erased," Ros-Lehtinen said.
In Iran, Another Christian Pastor Faces Death Sentence
Dec. 9….(CNN) A Christan pastor in Iran has been sentenced to death for allegedly renouncing his Muslim religion and another faces a possible indictment on the same charge of apostasy, according to a prominent activist group working for human rights in Iran. Youcef Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old member of the Church of Iran ministry and pastor of an approximately 400-person congregation in the northern city of Rasht, faces death, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. In the southern city of Shiraz, another Christian pastor, Behrouz Sadegh-Khanjani, 35, is facing a possible indictment for apostasy. "This is part of a greater trend of persecution against Christians," said Firouz Sadegh-Khanjani, brother of Behrouz and member of the Church of Iran's Executive Council. Christians are feeling the heat in other parts of the Muslim world as well. In Iraq, Christians have been attacked and many have fled their homes for other lands. In Pakistan, a Christian woman faces a death sentence for blasphemy for allegedly defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed.
Wikileaks: Saudis Urge Force to Destroy Hezbollah
(Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal The Saudi proposal was dismissed as unfeasible and unlikely to get UN backing)
Dec. 9….(BBC) Saudi Arabia proposed an Arab-led military force to destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon two years ago, a US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks suggests. Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal presented a senior US diplomat with a plan for a force backed by US and Nato air and sea power. The US responded by expressing scepticism about the military feasibility of the plan. Hezbollah is a Shia paramilitary group and political movement. While Syria and Iran are Hezbollah's main regional allies, Saudi Arabia has strong ties with the country's Sunni community and the current Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the murdered ex-prime minister. The cable is describes a meeting in May 2008 between David Satterfield, a senior US State Department official, and Prince Saud al-Faisal. At the meeting the prince "argued for an 'Arab force' to create and maintain order in and around Beirut. The US and Nato would need to provide transport and logistical support, as well as 'naval and air cover'. Saud said that a Hezbollah victory in Beirut would mean the end of the Siniora government and the 'Iranian takeover' of Lebanon". The cable came days after armed Hezbollah members took over parts of central Beirut threatening to overthrow the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. According to the cable, the Saudi foreign minister argued that a Hezbollah victory against the Siniora government "combined with Iranian actions in Iraq and on the Palestinian front would be a disaster for the US and the entire region". He argued that the situation called for an "Arab force drawn from Arab 'periphery' states to deploy to Beirut under the 'cover of the UN'". Saud al-Faisal said Mr Siniora strongly backed the idea. Over the past two weeks, Wikileaks has released thousands of classified messages from US envoys around the world. Washington has called their publication "irresponsible" and an "attack on the international community".
Rebuilding Our Nation's Foundations
Dec. 7….(WND/Dr. Ted Baeher) Joseph Stalin once said, "America's resistance is three fold: its patriotism, morality and spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within." By the time I entered NYU School of Law in the early 1970s, I was a product of this campaign to undermine patriotism, morality and spiritual life that had captured the hearts and minds of the cultural Marxists and their fellow travelers, who were (as the Marxists intoned) useful idiots. My parents were actors. My father was a Hollywood cowboy star in the 1930s. He won the box office in 1936. They were wonderful people, but not people of Christian faith. They dabbled in different philosophies, religions and metaphysics. Dartmouth, Cambridge and finally NYU School of Law convinced me that the traditional Christian faith of the Founding Fathers was illusory and drove me into the arms of the hard left. My Constitutional Law professor was Norman Dorsen, who for many years headed the vile, left-wing ACLU.
Even so, I thought both Norman and the ACLU were too conservative, so I joined the Communist-linked National Lawyers Guild while studying at NYU. This prestigious law school and the other top 10 had unwittingly bought into the cultural Marxist mindset, so no one would sink so low as to read the actual US Constitution. Relativistic case law would trump any of the dead white males who had founded the country. Then, after working at the US attorney's office and putting together the funding for five feature films, a friend challenged me to read the Bible. Halfway through the Gospel of Matthew, God called me to Christ. He opened my eyes. I became very patriotic. Morality became liberating. My spiritual life became paramount. Thus, Jesus Christ turned me from anti-faith and values to the Good News of His Kingdom, including the value of patriotism, morality and Christian faith. So, to counteract the "Agenda" of the Stalinist left now trying to run the United States, we must rebuild the foundations of patriotism, morality and spiritual life. The foundation of the United States Constitution is the Declaration of Independence. Its foundation, as it says clearly, is that we are "endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It stipulates that civil governments are instituted only by the consent of the governed to protect those God-given rights.
Thus, the foundation of our government is not the will of King George, nor the whim of the mob; rather it is the unalienable rights given by our Creator. Without the Creator, our rights are not unalienable, and if we forget the Creator, the government moves quickly and inexorably to lord it over us and our children and grandchildren. It is a story as old as time: Power corrupts.
In 1 Kings of the Hebrew Bible, Ahab and Jezebel look over their castle wall and lust after a little piece of land that belonged to poor humble Naboth. When they steal his land, however, they face the consequences of violating God's law. Marx and his Communist buddy Engels didn't understand that "thou shall not steal" actually protects the little guy against those who have the troops and the power. The United States Constitution, which we would not read at my prestigious law school, recognizes this. It points out that we own the land, not the government. We do not lease property and money from the government. The government does not have the right to interfere with our private ownership. The Constitution recognizes freedom of religion, speech, assembly, the right to bear arms, the right to life, the right to a speedy trial and much more, as part of the unalienable rights granted by our Creator. When our administration and civil government get uppity, it charges us to change, rearrange and rebuild them. It is time for us to rebuild the foundations: patriotism that enables us to live in peace and prosperity, by reading and rereading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; morality that frees us from theft, murder, sickness and impoverishment at the hands of feudal lords who are the government bureaucrats, by knowing the foundation of the one true faith, the Bible; and our spiritual life by getting to know Him who granted us our unalienable rights, so we can be free to be His children, the heirs to His Kingdom. Once upon a time, President Teddy Roosevelt told his generals to "grab yourself a Bible to find out what He wants us to do." Today is the day to ask, "What does He want us to do?"
The Two-State Solution: A Roadmap to Conquest
Dec. 7….(Frontpage) A recent poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) found that “[a] majority of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza view the two-state solution as a precursor to one state, a Palestinian state.” According to the poll, which was conducted by Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan & Rosner Research, “Palestinians have not reconciled themselves to the long term existence of the Jewish State.” The poll points out that “although 23% accept the statement that ‘Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people,’ two-thirds agreed with the statement, ‘over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian State.’” Sixty percent of the Palestinians were surprisingly honest with the interviewers, making it clear to the pollsters that “the real goal should be to start with two-states but then move it to all being one Palestinian State.” Anyone who was more honest and realistic than President Obama and his clique, the Israeli political Left, and most of the European Union officials, would discern the strong irredentist tendencies among the Arabs and the Islamists. For the so-called Palestinian “secularist” of the Fatah variety as much as for the Islamist Hamas, virtually all the land now controlled by Israel belongs to the Waqf, the Muslim religious endowment. In addition, lands that Islam has lost (such as Israel and Spain) must be reconquered. The duty of the faithful is to regain control of lost lands and establish Sharia (Islamic law) as the law of the land. Furthermore, the Islamic ummah (nation) must continually expand. According to Islamic teachings, the earth belongs to Allah, and any part of the earth that does not presently follow Sharia, must be made to do so, by force if necessary. President Obama, the State Department, and a large segment of academia and the media, refuse to see the Arab-Israel conflict as a religious one. They fail to recognize a fundamental reality, which is that in the Muslim world, there is no separation between mosque and state. Most of the Arab world adheres to Sharia law, which, in addition to setting the path for how a Muslim lives on a daily basis, also proscribes accommodation with non-Muslims and non-Arab political entities. This is one of the reasons why the 40 million largely Muslim but non-Arab Kurds do not have an independent political state, and why Israel as a Jewish state is not accepted as legitimate in the Arab Middle East. This is a reality the progressives in the West refuse to accept. German Nazism and Italian Fascism of the 1920s and 1930s were racist ideologies that attracted and inspired the Arabs. The Baath party that would take root in Syria and Iraq was spawned from these totalitarian systems. Baathists were drawn to the repressiveness of Nazism and Fascism rather than to the Western democracies of the US, Britain, and France. The Arab political elites, including those in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, aligned themselves with these extremist worldviews and, during WW II, worked with Nazi Germany. Yaser Arafat, who founded Fatah in 1959 in Cairo, was heavily influenced by the nationalist and Islamist teachings of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Arafat drew inspiration from Hitler’s incremental conquest of Europe. Arafat agreed to sign on to the Oslo Accords, which he regarded as a “trojan horse,” because he saw Oslo as an opportunity to take advantage of the West’s appeasement tendencies. As the Nazis gained the Sudetenland, so Arafat hoped to gain Israel – piece by piece.
Remembering Pearl Harbor and 9-11
Dec. 7….(FOJ) Satan is still targeting the United States of America for destruction. He not only uses foreign forces of darkness to subject America to threats, he also uses sinister forces of deception right here inside our borders to undermine our liberty, and to thwart the spiritual power of God’s light and salt remaining in our proud nation. It is a sad thing to recognize that God’s long hand of protection has not only been lifted from our national physical safety, (aka 9/11) but since our nation has decades ago abandoned the God of our forefathers, he has left our nation also vulnerable on the cultural and domestic front. We need to pray for America’s spiritual renewal today like never before!