WEEK OF OCTOBER 26 THROUGH OCTOBER 31
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry Note
Oct. 31….(Darrell) For all of you that read FOJ on a regular basis, this day is a day I have dreaded for a long time. My precious and beloved Father passed over Jordan’s stormy tide, and then on into the Promised Land today at 12:12pm est. He passed away quietly and peacefully in his sleep, while my Mom and I held his hands.
I often dreaded that such a moment would crush me to death, but as I held his hand, his hand seemed to inject me with a transfusion of immense pride and courage. Dad always taught me how to live, (in God’s way) and today he taught me how to die!
Dad, you were one of God’s many wonderful disciples. Enjoy your new home! We’ll tag-along later!
Obama is Backstabbing Israel: Obama Official Slanders Netanyahu
Oct. 31….(The Examiner) United States Israel relations have gone downhill fast. At the beginning of the month, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a friendly meeting at the White House, but in four weeks, the fragile personal relationship has all collapsed. Now a crisis and break between the two countries is possible after a senior Obama Administration official resorted to school yard name-calling, where he called the Israeli prime minister "chickenshit" and a "coward". There is now a "full-blown crisis" between the two supposed and long-time allies. the Obama administration senior official refused to be named, but had some explicit choice words for Netanyahu, and openly stated the animosity Obama has tried to hide throughout his presidency for his Israeli counter-part. The official revealed the Obama administration has a "red-hot anger" against Netanyahu and Israel's government for continuing to build in the West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem, and they put the blame entirely on Israel for the peace talks collapsing. The official stated the administration thinks that everything Netanyahu does is politically motivated and meant to ensure he can be reelected. The relationship between the two leaders has never been good or even stable; these new remarks take it to a new level. Obama has also made his distain and annoyance Netanyahu known,.
The senior Obama official called Netanyahu "chickenshit" based on the way he is handling the peace process, and called him a coward from threatening, but not actually launching a war with Iran. Continuing the official asserted, "The thing about Bibi is, he's a chickenshit. The good thing about Netanyahu is that he's scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won't do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. Obama does not believe Netanyahu would ever attack Iran. A White House official recounted that the "Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. It's too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement defending Netanyahu and denouncing the remarks, saying, "The United States administration is planning to throw Israel under the bus. Continuing Bennett listed all the Middle East leaders that Obama and his administration should be attacking instead; "The leader of Syria who slaughtered 150,000 people was not awarded the name 'chickenshit', Neither was the leader of Saudi Arabia who stones women and homosexuals or the leader of Iran who murders freedom protesters. If what appears in the press is true, then it seems that the current US administration is throwing Israel under the bus." Bennett demanded the administration "immediately reject these gross comments."
In the US, Speaker Boehner in his terse censure of the president and the White House focused on the "profane" language, disrespect and "belittling" of important allies and delusions about the nation's enemies. Boehner noted that the "Obama administration has repeatedly chased after adversaries at the expense of core US national security interests and the security, confidence, and trust of our allies. Nowhere is the fundamental failure more apparent than in the disrespectful rhetoric used time and again by this administration with respect to the special relationship the United States has with the state of Israel." Continuing Boehner highlighted Obama's general distain disrespect especially for Israel.
The whole world over routinely blames Israel, for the troubles in the Middle East, all while defending the "poor" Palestinians completing ignoring, that in the global fight against terrorism, the Palestinians regularly practice and promote terrorism against Israel. This mindset is the force behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, that even Kerry was threatening Israel with if they did not comply with the peace agreement the US desired. This anti-Israel sentiment has rightfully been labeled the new anti-Semitism, a new excuse to espouse hatred against the Jews. Instead of trying to alienate Israel, Obama should realize how much he needs the only democracy in the fragile Middle East and do everything to nurture rather than alienate that political relationship, rather than pander to America's enemies.
The Pope's Embrace Of Evolution Brings Us One Step Closer To A One World Religion
Oct. 31….(Right Side News) If you wanted to create a religion that almost everyone would love, how would you do it? Perhaps you would change your faith to make it more appealing to a modern world that is changing at blinding speed. Perhaps you would indicate that you are willing to become more “mainstream” on hot button issues such as gay rights. Perhaps you would invite leaders of other religions from all over the planet to come visit you and make it clear that you consider all of those religions to be valid as well. And all of that “unscientific stuff” about God creating the world in six days and creating mankind out of the dust of the Earth? Well, all of that is just going to have to be thrown out. If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, that is because this is exactly what Pope Francis has been doing.
To say that Pope Francis is an extremely popular pontiff would be a massive understatement. He was showered with praise by media outlets all over the globe when he responded to a question about homosexuality with the following phrase: “Who am I to judge?” From the earliest days of his papacy, he has been visited by an endless stream of religious dignitaries from all over the planet, and they all seem to have nothing but good things to say about him. At this point, even most Muslims seem to love this Pope. Earlier this year, Pope Francis took the unprecedented step of authorizing “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever. This Pope seems to have a sixth sense for making the right public relations moves, and he appears to be destined to become one of the most loved popes ever.
This week, Pope Francis is making headlines all over the world for publicly embracing the Big Bang and the theory of evolution. The following are some of the Pope’s statements that are popping up in newspapers worldwide… “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.” -“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.”
-“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
And not only has the Catholic Church eagerly embraced these theories, there are also several prominent Catholic theologians that are now fully condemning the idea of a “young Earth” and the idea that God created man in a single day. In fact, the head of the Vatican Observatory says that such notions are “almost blasphemous theology”… As previously reported, earlier this month, Guy Consolmagno with the Vatican Observatory told Australia’s Fairfax Media that young earth creation beliefs are nearly tantamount to blasphemy. “It’s almost blasphemous theology,” Consolmagno alleged, according to the Brisbane Times. “It’s certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is.” Really?
Consolmagno is quite an interesting character. He also says that he is looking forward to the day when extraterrestrials show up, and he would be quite willing to baptize them if that is what they want. Consolmagno, who is the keeper of the Pope’s meteorite collection, said he would be happy to baptize extraterrestrial creatures if they wanted the blessing. He added the presence of extraterrestrial life, “does not disprove the existence of God”.
In a 2010 statement, Consolmagno said that “all entities, despite how many tentacles they might have, have a soul”. In the booklet, Consolmagno tries also to answer important questions, such as, “Should the Church send out missionaries to alien planets?”, “What’s going to happen when the world ends?” and “Do extraterrestrials have their own version of Jesus?”
Right now, the Catholic Church is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The changes that this new Pope is making seem to be drawing in lots of new people. But there is one group that Pope Francis does not seem to care for very much at all, and that is Christian fundamentalists. It is not just creation that he disagrees with them about. He disagrees with them about a whole host of issues, and he says that there is not any room for “fundamentalism” in Christianity. Following his first visit to the Middle East as pope last month, the pontiff criticized fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism as a form of violence. “A fundamentalist group, even if it kills no one, even it strikes no one, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.” But precisely what is “fundamentalism”? The following is the definition that you get when you do a Google search… “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.” So does the Pope actually have a problem with people that believe that the Bible is literally true? Perhaps someone should ask him that question. And it is obvious that the Pope does not believe what the Bible literally says about how the world was created and about how humanity came to be.
Temple-rebuilding activist shot in Jerusalem
Oct. 30….(WND) One of Israeli’s most well-known activist rabbis who pushed for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount was shot multiple times in the chest Wednesday night and is fighting for his life in a Jerusalem hospital. Rabbi Yehuda Glick, chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, appeared in the new documentary released by WND Films, “End Times Eyewitness: Islam and the Unfolding Signs of the Messiah’s Return,” which was directed by Joel Richardson. Glick had just left the Menachem Begin Heritage Center where he was one of the speakers for a conference titled “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount.” He was putting some posters from the conference into his car when a man reportedly drove up on a motorcycle and asked Glick to identify himself. When he said he was Yehuda Glick, the man pulled a gun and shot him three times at point-blank range before speeding off, according to witnesses.
According to police, the shooting took place at approximately 10:30 p.m. Israel time outside the memorial center, located near the Temple Mount. The shooter is still at large. A city official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the attack, said the victim is believed to be Glick, who has a long history of advocating for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount. “It was an assassination attempt,” the official said. “This is very serious.”.”.”.”.”.”.”.”.”.”.”
Following the shooting, Police Chief Yohanan Danino ordered the police readiness level raised to the second highest level in every district nationwide. The Times of Israel is reporting that Israel has closed off the Temple Mount following the shooting to both Muslims and Jews “until further notice.”
The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation is an umbrella organization of several Temple Mount groups and Glick has been actively involved for at least 25 years, Richardson told WND. “He’s been going up to the Temple Mount and letting the people know the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jews,” Richardson said. “What’s real sad is all the headlines will say ‘right-wing rabbi’ and make him sound like a zealot, but he is one of the sweetest, kindest, almost silly at times, just fun, yet passionate guys you will ever meet. You know my heart is just broken. I know he has a family.”
In the interview with Richardson for “End Times Eyewitness,” Glick spoke passionately about the prospects for rebuilding the Temple. He said it was even possible that the existing Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine could be incorporated into the rebuilt Temple, but only one ingredient was missing, an Islamic faith that would be tolerant of Christians and Jews and willing to live in peace. Glick said that because Islam worshiped one God, he could see a time when all three monotheistic religions could worship together in the same Temple, as long as there was an understanding of tolerance and peace. “One house for all of those who are out to say ‘God is one, his name is one,’” Glick told Richardson in the documentary film. “This is the dream. The Dome of the Rock has a strong potential to be that because it’s in the right location, it represents a religion faithful to one God. It only needs one more thing: agree to religious tolerance and peace among faithful people.”
Radical Muslims do not like Jews going up to the Temple Mount to pray, so any high-profile rabbi such as Glick, who encouraged Jewish prayer on the Mount, would have been in constant danger. “The irony of that is there’s actually a few verses in the Quran that affirm Allah gave the land to the Jews, but despite that there’s just such a vehement anti-Semitism, they don’t want any Jews going to the Temple Mount,” Richardson said.
Bayit Yehudi Minister Uri Ariel said following the shooting, “I am praying for the full recovery of Yehuda Glick. The bullets fired at him tonight were directed at all the Jews that want to exercise their Jewish and moral right to visit the most holy place to the Jewish people and to pray at the Temple Mount. “I call on the prime minister to immediately allow every Jew to freely go to the Temple Mount and to act with an iron fist against the criminals responsible for this deed.”
Netanyahu Goes toe-to-toe with Obama & EU Over Jerusalem Construction
Oct. 30….(Jerusalem Post) The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday over tensions in Jerusalem, at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going toe-to-toe with the US and the EU over their condemnations of Israeli building in the capital beyond the Green Line. It is not the building in the city that is making peace more distant, but rather the condemnation of that construction, Netanyahu said in a combative response to the US and EU for their censure of Israel’s announcement on Monday about moving forward plans to build 660 units in Ramat Shlomo in the northern part of the city, and 400 in the southern neighborhood of Har Homa. The prime minister, at a ground-breaking ceremony for a port in Ashdod, said that Israel would continue to build new ports, pave roads, lay railroad tracks and “continue to build in our eternal capital.” “I heard the claim that our building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant, but it is the criticism itself that makes peace more distant,” he said, adding that it is “detached from reality” and feeds false Palestinian hopes. “The vast majority of Jerusalem’s residents, more than 300,000 people, live in these neighborhoods, in Gilo, Ramot, Pisgat Ze’ev, Har Homa.
Does someone think they will not live there under a peace agreement?” The State Department said Tuesday that it heard the criticism of its statements, but spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US will continue to express its opinion on the issue of building in Jerusalem. Any unilateral steps by one of the sides make peace harder to achieve, she added. Psaki on Monday slammed the plans for the new projects in Jerusalem, saying they were “incompatible with the pursuit of peace.” Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the move “once again” called into question Israel’s commitment “to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians.” She warned that “the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on its engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”
Netanyahu hit back at what he said was the world’s double standard on Israel,
saying that the international community remains quiet when Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas “incites to the murder of Jews in Jerusalem,” but
strongly condemns Israel when it builds in Jerusalem. “I don’t accept that
double standard, it is not right or just, and is against any policy of peace,”
he said. Asked about the friction during an interview with Galei Israel, a radio
station believed to have a wide listening audience in the settlements and on the
right wing, Netanyahu said that disagreements between Israel and the US were
legitimate. “It is legitimate that our friends the Americans will have a
different opinion, but it is also legitimate that we will stand firm on our
positions regarding things that are vital.”
In New York, Jordan’s mission to the United Nations announced on Tuesday that it had called for a Security Council session to take place Wednesday to address a letter sent by the Palestinian mission to the UN to the Security Council and to the UN secretary-general over the construction plans. The letter cited “dangerously escalating tensions” in east Jerusalem. The Security Council holds monthly debates about the “Question of Palestine,” after which little is done.
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry Note
Oct. 29…. (DY) Focus on Jerusalem postings may be scant and or late in posting for the next few days. My Father (Stanley H. Young) is in the final moments of his life, due to the progressive effects of acute leukemia. Dad has had a long battle this summer, and the end of his earthly life is now at hand, but his wonderful eternal life in Heaven is about to begin. My Dad was a Baptist preacher/pastor/evangelist for 59 years. He has pastored about 15 different churches, and held revivals in over 150. He was a hands-on “people’s pastor”, often using his own vehicles to collect kids and the elderly for rides to church. My Dad’s greatest thrill was seeing people saved, and baptizing them! My Dad was a gift from God to me!
Netanyahu: Israel in Danger of Having ISIS-run State on its Borders
Oct. 28….(In The Days) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session on Monday, saying that Israel’s soldiers had prevented a multi-pronged attack against Israel during Operation Protective Edge. He touted Israel’s success in destroying Hamas terror infrastructure during the 50-day conflict and thanked the IDF soldiers for their sacrifices during the conflict. “Last time I stood here it was before Protective Edge, an operation against a criminal terrorist attack,” Netanyahu stated. “Hamas shot thousands of rockets at Israel’s cities, planned attacks from the air and underground. We stopped most of them. We killed hundreds of terrorists and collapsed the towers of terror,” he added. “We did not give into the dictates of Hamas that would have endangered Israel,” the prime minister said. “The Palestinians are demanding a state without peace and without security, they want 1967 borders and the right of return. They won’t take the basic step in making peace, mutual recognition. They demand we recognize them but they won’t recognize us,” Netanyahu charged. “Israel won’t agree to a Palestinian state without a real peace treaty that will recognize Israel as a nation of Jewish people and include security arrangements,” the prime minister vowed.
What’s the point of drawing a border if you don’t know what state you’ll have on the other side of it? Netanyahu asked, saying that Israel was in danger of having a state run by ISIS (Islamic State) on its borders. Every inch of territory that we have evacuated has been taken over by extremists, Netanyahu said. “We don’t want a bi-national state, but we also don’t want another Iranian satellite on our borders,” he said. Peace cannot be built on lies and illusions, Netanyahu said. He rejected claims that Israel was attempting to change the status quo at the Temple Mount and said Israel has the right to build in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu: World Powers Letting Iran off Hook
Oct. 28….(Worthy News) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about the direction the world's negotiations with Iran are going, and warned of the danger of the Islamic Republic becoming a nuclear threshold state, the Jerusalem Post reported. "We are standing before the danger of an agreement between the world powers and Iran that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, with thousands of centrifuges through which Iran can manufacture the material for a nuclear bomb within a short period of time," he said. "This is a threat to the entire world, first and foremost to Israel, and it is much worse than the threat of Islamic State," he said. His comments come against the backdrop of reports reaching Jerusalem that the US was willing to accept an agreement with Iran that, would allow it to retain some 5,000 centrifuges.
Is Islam a Religion of Peace?
Oct. 28….(excerpt from Darrow Miller) The debate still rages: Two US presidents have repeatedly called Islam a “religion of peace,” but is it surprising that an entity calling itself the Islamic State confuses decapitation with diplomacy?
To Muslims the world can be divided between those who are faithful to Allah and those who do not know him. Sayyid Qutb (1906–66), author, poet and intellectual father of modern Muslim militancy, identifies two kinds of societies: Islamic and jahil (ignorant). Stated another way, the world is divided between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, the House of Islam and the House of War. The House of Islam is governed by Muslims under sharia (Islamic law). Most faithful Muslims share one mission: to bring the whole world into a system of governance marked by the religious-political authority and uniformity of Islam. Some Muslims seek to accomplish this through persuasion, while others employ tyranny.
All people not living by Sharia are jahiliyya (the ignorant) and as such comprise Dar al-Harb, the House of War. Whole nations, those such as the United States and England and moderate Muslim countries such as Morocco and Jordan, are jahiliyya. Therefore, they are in a perpetual state of war with Dar al-Islam until they either submit to Islamic faith or are conquered by the sword.
The House of War is engaged in a battle with only one acceptable end. The war will be fought until every person and nation joins the House of Islam and the ignorant proclaim the Shahadah: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” (English translation).
Based on Muhammad’s life, Sayyid Qutb speaks of several stages of Islamic war: “a peaceful time of preparation, a migration, the creation of an Islamic state, and finally open warfare.” Throughout history, civilizations have sought to restrain war’s most heinous practices. The Geneva Convention, developed after the atrocities of World War II, was a major modern attempt to “humanize” warfare. So, too, Muslims have set boundaries. As Mary Habeck points out, “Islamic jurisprudents used the Qur’an, hadith, and life of Muhammad to determine the Islamically correct way to conduct war. The majority determined that noncombatant women, children, and monks or nuns could not be killed; the captives should not be slaughtered outright; and that even animals and trees had certain rights.”
Jihadists, however, reject such restrictions, whether proposed by international communities or by moderate fellow Muslims. To jihadists, sharia takes precedence over international law. They advocate terrorizing both civilians and nations into submission. Their war is a no-holds-barred conflict.
The Meaning of Jihad
The word jihad occurs throughout the Qur’an and means “to strive, to struggle, to strive in the way of Allah.” Jihad has three traditional understandings, two of which reflect the Mecca texts and one of which reflects the Medina texts of the Qur’an. Almost a hundred percent of the time, jihad refers to violent conflict and is understood as such, not simply by extremists but by the vast majority of all Muslims. The tiny minority of Sufi, the mystical impulse within Islam, understands jihad as an inner striving for perfection. Reformers and other moderates see jihad, their “sixth pillar of Islam,” as persuading non-Muslims of the veracity of their faith.
The West stumbles when she fails to note these distinctions. Sufis and reformers may interpret jihad as something other than violence, but these groups are seen as infidels and are not taken seriously by the jihadists and other fundamentalists who understand jihad as violence and fighting for the true religion.
In 1981 extremist Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini called Muslims to war against infidels: “Muslims have no alternative if they wish to enforce those in power to conform to the laws and principles of Islam. Holy war means the conquest of all non-Muslim territories, and this war is the duty of all Muslims.” Holy War is declared against the kuffar, people or states that do not recognize Allah or Muhammad, the prophet of Allah. Kuffar (singular kafir) comes from the Arabic root meaning “to cover” and refers to those who cover up truth. There are two types of kuffar. The first is all non-Muslims, including people of other faiths, atheists, and pagans. The second is Muslims who become apostate. The action of one Muslim declaring another Muslim apostate is called takfir, and for jihadists it is right to kill apostates. Muslims may be declared apostate if they become too closely aligned with the West. Often the declaration of takfir is followed by a fatwa (usually the ruling of a mufti, an Islamic scholar of law). Such an injunction amounts to putting out a contract on a person’s life, allowing jihadists to kill with impunity. wo Jihadist Visions
While jihadists are attacking the West and moderate Muslims, it is important to understand that they also attack each other. This is the result of the historical division between Shia Islam and Sunni Islam (see chapter 2). The division between Shia and Sunni has resulted in bloodshed at various times throughout history. The Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) is a tragic example of this feud, in this case between secular Sunnis of Iraq (who ruled over a majority Shiite population) and religious Shiites of Iran.
Two jihadist visions have sprung from the division between Sunni and Shia Islam. While both Sunni and Shiite jihadists want to see Islam rule the world, Sunni jihadists strive to fulfill their vision by violent purification of the world, whereas Shiite jihadists seek to begin a global military conflict. Both visions stand in contrast to more moderate Muslims who seek to spread Islam through nonviolent means. Of the various Sunni jihadist groups, perhaps the most well known is al-Qaeda, led by the late Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Their goal is “to establish the truth, get rid of evil, and establish an Islamic nation.”
The Shiite front of jihad is led by the spiritual Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and the radical Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Their goal is world domination, as expressed by Ayatollah Khamenei: “We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry ‘Allah Akbar’ resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle. There will be Ji’had. Islam is the religion of militant individuals. … Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Koran will prevail all over the world.”
The Culture of Death
The Judeo-Christian worldview promotes a culture of life. Because humans are made in the image of God, every individual has intrinsic worth and a God-given right to life. All human life, from conception to natural death, at any level of society, is sacred. I firmly believe that living things are hardwired for life and instinctively regard death as an enemy. A single human life is of absolute significance. This is the message of Stephen Spielberg’s 1998 award-winning film, based on a true story, Saving Private Ryan. During the allied invasion of Normandy in World War II, a small group of US soldiers was sent to rescue Private Ryan, whose three brothers had already been killed in the war. These young men put their own lives in extreme jeopardy to save the life of one man, the last living son of his family.
Jihadists are raised in a culture of death. They are trained to deny their natural hardwiring in favor of death. As bin Laden said in his “Declaration of War”: “These youths [the jihadists] love death as you love life.” The widespread practice of suicide bombing reveals that jihadists hate moderate Muslims, Israel, and the West more than they love life.
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir captured with unforgettable clarity this culture of death in a 1957 statement to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us,” she said, implying that many Palestinian mothers hate Israel more than they love their own children. A dozen years later at a London Press conference Meir said, “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim “theologian of terror,” has stated, “The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation.” Middle East expert Walid Phares writes that jihadists “praise death as a weapon to bring about victory, but they also worship the concept of killing for the sake of ideology. ‘Naashaq’ul maout kama taashaqun al hayat’ (‘we are in love with death’).” The Hamas website proclaims: “With Allah’s grace, we have raised an ideological generation that loves death as much as our enemies love life.” Jihad’s symbol is the sword: conquering the world for Allah. The symbol of Christianity is the cross: sacrificing self that others may live. Jihad calls her sons to kill for Allah to achieve salvation. Christianity’s God sent his only Son to die for our salvation. Jihad achieves righteousness by works: entering paradise by killing infidels. Christianity teaches righteousness by grace: salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 19 THROUGH OCTOBER 25
Jordan's King Seeks to Prevent Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount
(Jordan's King Abdullah II equates radical ideology of Islamic State group with "Zionist extremism"
Oct. 23….(Israel Hayom) In a meeting with Jordanian lawmakers earlier this week, Jordan's King Abdullah II equated Islamic radicalism, manifested in the ideology of the Islamic State group, with "Zionist extremism." "There is Zionist extremism; stakeholders should acknowledge there is extremism in all camps," Abdullah was quoted as saying. At the same time, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported on Tuesday that Abdullah and other Jordanian government officials were working to ensure that the Israeli Knesset does not pass a bill that would permit Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.
In a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende earlier this week, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh warned that "Israeli violations" in Jerusalem were undermining the peace process. "Such flagrant and aggressive attacks will drag the region into a religious conflict that will subvert the peace prospects and fuel extremism, terrorism and violence in the region," Judeh was quoted as saying by Jordan's Petra news agency.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued an order to toughen the punishment for Palestinians who sell land to outsiders. From now on, a sentence of hard labor for life will be imposed on "anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an enemy state or one of its subjects." The previous punishment was "temporary hard labor."
Hamas Operative Rams Car into Crowd in Jerusalem Terror Attack
Vehicle driven by Hamas member careens into people at light rail station
Oct. 23….(Times of Israel) A three-month-old girl was killed Wednesday afternoon and eight others were injured when a car crashed into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem in what officials said was a terrorist attack. The suspect, identified by an Israeli official as a member of terror group Hamas, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot and badly hurt by police, a police spokesperson said.“A private car which arrived from the direction of the French Hill junction hit a number of pedestrians who were on the pavement and injured nine of them,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement. “Initial indications suggest this is a hit-and-run terror attack,” Samri said.
The baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, died at the nearby Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus a few hours after the incident. A spokesperson for Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom said a 60-year-old woman and seven other people, including the baby’s parents, were also lightly and moderately wounded in the attack.
The alleged attacker is Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, a former Palestinian prisoner from the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan. A few hours after the suspected attack, dozens of masked Palestinian youths blocked roads in Silwan, set tires alight and fired off firecrackers. Clashes were reported with police forces in Silwan and Issawiya. One police officer was reported injured by a firebomb in Silwan. A Hamas spokesperson said in response to the reports that the terrorist attack was a natural response to Israel’s actions in Jerusalem, particularly Jewish incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel Radio reported.
Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, the terrorist who perpetrated the horrific attack in Jerusalem, was active in social networks on the Internet, where his hatred of Israel was no secret. The day before his terror attack he expressed his desire to participate in a terrorist attack. He also shared a video of the Al Aqsa Brigades and expressed his admiration for suicide bombers.
Israeli Institute Prepares Priests for Jerusalem’s Third Temple
Oct. 23….(In The Days) On April 10, at 5 p.m., hundreds of Jews will gather at the Maimonides rabbinical institution plaza in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem and start learning the Jewish laws of Passover. Rabbis and experts, including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the head of the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, the leading body preparing for the establishment of the third temple, will teach the audience the laws of the Passover sacrifice. Alongside Ariel, the ritual slaughterer (shohet) Rabbi Yehudah Giatt will teach the audience about the unique elements of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifice. After the lessons, the real thing will start: the simulation of the Passover sacrifice.
The timing of the gathering isn’t coincidental: This was the date on which the people of Israel were commanded to take a lamb and sacrifice it, before the exodus from Egypt. The ceremony on Thursday will be, in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) lingo, “practice with live fire.” Slaughtering lambs, sprinkling their blood on the altar by priests dressed in kosher priestly garments and roasting the lambs, with their heads, legs and innards. Just as God intended.
This isn’t the first time that the “Association of Temple Organizations” will hold this activity, but this year the practice drill and re-enactment of the Passover sacrifice will be carried out by the students of the school for priests, Nezer Ha-kodesh, which started operating this year. The priest school intends to train the hundreds of priests that would be needed to work at the third temple; many Jews endeavor for its establishment in Israel today.
There are a great many laws for the temple, some of which have been forgotten and faded over the years: how to use incense, how to light the holy menorah, how to sanctify hands and feet, and of course, how to sacrifice. “The priests themselves come with requests to learn one topic or another. We are also learning as we go how the course should look. The students are very practical and focused,” explains Friedman.
At the Temple Institute, researchers are working hard to relearn the laws as well as study the architecture, location and necessary tools. “One of the unique elements of the course,” says Friedman, “is the actual practice. In my course, they learned how to sacrifice birds, so we brought stuffed doves, so that the priests would learn how to hold them, how to execute the specific moves. We work on standing in front of the altar to demonstrate the action, so that it’ll become natural to them.” For the temple people, the priests’ course is an advanced stage that follows the completion of quite a few steps. First of all is the level of consciousness. For many years, say those working to establish the third temple, religious Zionism and the State of Israel worked to focus Jewish longing on the Western Wall. “The Western Wall isn’t a holy place,” declares Arnon Segal, a journalist who devotedly follows the preparations for the establishment of the temple. “It was meant to remove the Temple Mount from the Jewish mind. Opium for the masses.”
The Jewish presence on the Temple Mount is gaining ground in Jewish-Israeli discourse, members of the Knesset and rabbis are ascending to the Temple Mount more frequently and today a third of the Israeli public believes that when the day comes the temple should be erected. This number is only growing. “This notion isn’t foreign to most Israelis,” says Segal. “They’re traditional and attached to the texts of the prayers and study of Judaism, which is full of the desire to re-establish the temple. The gap between consciousness and realization isn’t great.”
According to a study undertaken by journalist and social activist Yizhar Beer a year ago for the Ir Amim organization, about 12 official groups are working in Israel today to establish the temple. Some of them receive funding amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels from the State of Israel. One of the main groups is the Temple Institute.
Thousands of people visit the Temple Institute every year, and it holds various training sessions meant to educate and raise consciousness. But they also work on the pragmatic level: The institute has the holy menorah, a modular altar that could quickly be taken apart and reassembled at the temple, the bronze basin, the shewbread (consecrated unleavened bread) table and no less than 40 sets of kosher priestly garments, which will be the prototype for the thousands of sets to be sewn in the future. The rabbis detailed 93 different tools that were used in the temple, and the Temple Institute also deals with them. “It’s based on very in-depth research done at various places,” explains Segal, “For instance, the garments of the high priest, identifying the stones in the breastplate, the whole issue of blue, purple and scarlet (particular colors mentioned in Exodus 28:6) and their recreation. It’s an entire research project of the past 20 years.”
There’s also an architectural plan. “I compare it to a late model car and a car from a hundred years ago,” explains Friedman, “there’s parts you can’t do without and there’s parts that change. A hundred years ago they also had an engine and wheels, but a lot of things change around it. The third temple will mostly look like the Second Temple, and there’s an organized plan for the Chamber of Hewn Stone, the seat of the Sanhedrin [the ancient high court assembly]. We know clearly that there will be a menorah, an altar, a shewbread table, the Holy of Holies. But we know that there will be no entryway in the sanctuary, what’s called a hall. It did exist in the First and Second Temples. The basin changed a lot over the generations and the Talmud notes that 12 spigots were added to it. It’s unknown how many they had before that.”
Friedman further explains that the modern era will also have a place in the planned temple. “Every judge will have a computer with a database and law decisions available. Fruit and grain sacrifices, which were kneaded by hand in the past to make a mixture for the sacrifice, could now be mixed in a mixer. I wrote a suggestion to build an electric oven to roast the Passover sacrifice, for the sake of the modern generation who don’t necessarily know how to roast a whole lamb,” he says. But he notes that modern advances could also create some difficulties: “The temple subsisted on the half-shekel tax. This money became sanctified when it was transferred to the temple. Today, when payments are made by direct deposit, they will only be numbers in bank accounts and there’s no actual sacred currency. It’s a nuance that needs to be considered.”
Secular Jews wouldn’t be opposed to paying these taxes when the day will come, he’s sure of it. “Just as the ultra-Orthodox pay taxes that go to the army,” he says. One thing is certain: The third temple will have cameras that will transmit what’s happening there to the whole world. The simulated sacrifice this Thursday can also be viewed online on the Temple Institute website. Everything is ready, then, except two additional, small matters. The easy one, you’d be surprised, is the Ark of the Covenant. “The Second Temple didn’t have an ark, either,” Segel reminds me, and Friedman adds, “There are 10 studies about the location of the Ark of the Covenant. We read them and studied all of them, and reached the conclusion that the right answer is that it’s buried in the tunnels under the Temple Mount. When the day comes, we will get to it.”
The more problematic issue is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, which slightly impedes the architectural plans. “The temple will not be built through private acts and blowing up mosques,” emphasizes Segal. “That’s not the direction. The direction is changing consciousness. The preparations are mental more than anything.” One of the people involved in preparations, who requested anonymity, explains, “If not for the problem of the Dome of the Rock, they would build the temple today, and the temple would be built there. The third temple will be built by the government of Israel, not by private individuals. No one will do what shouldn’t be done, like an underground action to blow up the Dome of the Rock. The people who are committed to establishing the temple are normative and rational people, and just like we established the State of Israel, the day will come when we will build the temple, in an orderly, state-sanctioned manner.”
Segel notes that it can all start small: “The location of the altar where sacrifices are allowed on the Temple Mount is not within the bounds of Al-Aqsa,” he says, “so at least they should let us sacrifice on the Temple Mount.” But before any sacrifices take place there, much may have to change: Currently, the State of Israel doesn’t often authorize Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount, much less pray there.
Canada Gunman Was Islam Convert
Oct. 23….(Newsmax) The gunman involved in a shootout in Canada's legislature Wednesday was a native-born Canadian with a history of drug and robbery charges who had recently converted to Islam.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, has been identified as the man who shot and killed a soldier standing guard at an Ottawa war memorial, according to a US law enforcement official who spoke on condition he not be identified. After shooting the soldier, identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau made his way into the country’s main legislature across the street, where he was shot dead by security officials. Witnesses said they heard at least a dozen shots in the building. Zehaf-Bibeau was known to authorities and had his passport seized because he was considered a high-risk traveler, according to the Globe and Mail.
Zehaf-Bibeau had been born Michael Joseph Hall but had changed his name, Reuters has reported. Sherley Goodgie, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, declined to comment on the identity of the suspect. "Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a televised address to the nation. "This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world."
The incident marks the second killing this week of a Canadian soldier. Earlier, two Canadian armed forces members were hit by a car in a mall parking lot near Montreal by someone who authorities say had been a native born Canadian who had become "radicalized, and converted to Islam." Martin Rouleau, 25, the suspect in that killing, was shot dead by police after a car chase.
Hamas: Haniyeh Praises Jerusalem Terrorist for Killing a Baby
(One week after Hamas leader's daughter received medical treatment in Israel, group's top official in Gaza praises 'martyr' who killed infant in Jerusalem)
Oct. 23….(YNET) Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised Wednesday the "martyr" Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, a resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, who carried out the attack on Jerusalem's light rail that killed 3-month-old baby Haya Zissel Braun. Earlier this week, reports emerged that one of Ismail Haniyeh's 13 children had received medical treatment in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital and had been hospitalized for a week. In the past, Haniyeh's sister and granddaughter were also admitted for medical treatment in Israel.
In a speech at Gaza's Islamic University, Haniyeh commented on the terror attack, saying: "A murder for a murder, a conflict for a conflict, and a run-over attack for a run-over attack." Hamas spokesman praised the "act of heroism", as they termed it, carried out by a-Shaludi, claiming that his actions were a natural response to the "crimes" conducted by Israel, particularly in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Palestinian Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh responded to Prime Minister Netanyahu's statements that Abbas bore responsibility for the escalation of violence and attacks on the capital, saying, "Israel's escalation in voiloence, incitement and continuation of the occupation are the true reason for Palestinian aggression in Palestine and the region." He continued, "The continuation of the occupation, the Judaization of Jerusalem, and incitement against the holy places for Islam and Christianity combined with the continuing provactions against the Palestinian Authority and especially against President Abbas create an explosive atmosphere in the Palestinian arena and in the region in general." Palestinian Authority officials did not rush to condemn the attack. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said that he laments the death of a-Shaludi, and explained that the Palestinian leadership operates within legal, diplomatic and political frameworks in its battle over Jerusalem
Viral posters announcing the death of a-Shaludi, the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, a master bomb maker for Hamas who was killed in 1988, were distributed within social networks affiliated with Hamas.
Pastor in Baghdad: Obama Wasted America’s Blood in Iraq
Oct. 22….(Christian Post) Canon Andrew White, the Anglican pastor who's known as the Vicar of Baghdad, says that after US troops left Iraq in 2011, the country has been facing "total devastation," even worse than under Saddam Hussein. White also described what Christians are facing as one of the worst persecutions in history. "It was total devastation, it was the most horrendous thing," White told The News Tribune in Takoma, Washington, Sunday when speaking about the persecution Christians have endured in Iraq since the US pulled its troops out in 2011. "The terrible thing that the Americans have to realize is that all of their intervention, everything they tried to do, has totally been wasted. Nothing has been achieved by this at all." He continued, "Are we worse now than under Sadam? A million times worse."
Speaking to an audience at the Life Center church in Takoma, White was critical of Obama's decision to pull troops out of the country in 2011, instead of leaving over 10,000 soldiers, which the Iraqi government had requested. "The reason we have this tragedy now is because you came in and you left us too soon," he emphasized. "We weren't ready to be left. Your military gave their lives, they worked to save our country, and then they left us. And I said, within three month, we will have terrorism, and we did."
Idaho Pastors Face Jail, Fines for Refusing to Officiate Gay Weddings
Oct. 22….(Christian Headlines) Two Christian pastors in Idaho have filed a lawsuit and asked the courts to temporarily restrain city officials from making them perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Donald Knapp and wife, Evelyn, operate Hitching Post Wedding Chapel and have been required by city officials to perform same-sex marriages or else be jailed or fined.
The Christian Post reports that Knapp’s penalty could be up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000 per day that they refuse to officiate the weddings. After one week, that would amount to three years in prison and $7,000 in fines. The city of Coeur d’Alene says its non-discrimination ordinance requires the couple to perform the wedding ceremonies. "The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines," ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement. "Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that's what is happening here, and it's happened this quickly," Tedesco added. "The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple's freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended."
Pakistan Issues Death Sentence for Christian Woman Accused of Insulting Islam
Oct. 22….(Fox News) Asia Bibi was harvesting berries in Pakistan five years ago when she took the drink of water that could cost her, her life. A Christian in the Muslim-dominated and increasingly intolerant nation, the mother of five was quickly assailed by the other women working the field in a tiny village in the Punjab province. First they said they would not drink from the same water bucket as a Christian. Later, they told police Bibi had insulted the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. The crime, blasphemy, is punishable by death.
Bibi, who denies insulting Mohammad and maintains her co-workers falsely accused her, was convicted in 2010. Last week, despite an international outcry, a court in Lahore upheld the verdict and affirmed the sentence that Bibi be hanged. The 50-year-old has 30 days to appeal to the nation's highest court. “This is a grave injustice,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s deputy Asia Pacific director. “Asia Bibi should never have been convicted in the first place, still less sentenced to death, and the fact that she could pay with her life for an argument is sickening.” Griffiths said the blasphemy laws being used to prosecute Bibi violate international law.
Christians make up less than 2 percent of Pakistan's 180 million population, and they have been persecuted at an alarming rate in recent years as the Taliban and other Islamist groups have become more powerful. Qanta Ahmed, a British-born Pakistani human rights activist and author of "In the Land of Invisible Women," said those accused of blasphemy are usually dealt with by mobs and not the justice system. "The vast majority of those being accused of blasphemy don't even make it to execution," Ahmed said. "They are usually lynched or murdered in custody."
To date, hundreds of Christians have been accused of blasphemy, and at least 12 were given the death penalty for insulting the Prophet, according to Amnesty International. This is in addition to the systematic genocidal killing of Christians by the Pakistani Taliban, including 75 Christians killed in a suicide attack at a historic Pakistani church in Peshawar one year ago. Bibi’s case has garnered international attention, including from Pope Benedict XVI, who publicly called for the charges against her to be dismissed, as well as US lawmakers, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and many international Christian and religious freedom advocacy groups. In Pakistan, two advocates for Bibi,Christian minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti and politician Salmaan Taseerwere, were killed for speaking up for her. Bibi's family has gone into hiding due to receiving death threats and believes she would be killed if she were to be released from prison. "Unless there is outside intervention, this woman will lose her life," Ahmed said. "The international community and the UN as well, empowers Pakistan. Any criticism of these practices is seen as Islamophobia. "I don't think it's about the Christians or Christian beliefs," Ahmed continued. "This is about the majority, the ferocious Islamists who are enormously intolerant and when you're intolerant who do you target? The vulnerable, disenfranchised, oppressed members of society."
Abbas Toughens Law Against Palestinians Selling Land to Jews
(Abbas and PA ups penalty to hard labor for life for selling to Jews)
Oct. 22….(Times of Israel) Reacting to a number of high profile sales of Palestinian homes to Jewish organizations in East Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has toughened the penalty for citizens selling property to Israelis. Abbas on Monday imposed a sentence of hard labor for life on “anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an enemy state or one of its subjects.” Jordan’s penal code number 16 article 114, applicable in the Palestinian territories, previously subscribed “temporary hard labor” to perpetrators of the crime.
Palestinian government and civil society reacted angrily to the recent acquisition of 26 apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by Elad, an Israeli foundation dedicated to the settlement of Jews in the historic City of David. On Sunday night, Jews entered 10 apartments in two buildings bought by another Israeli nonprofit, Ateret Kohanim, in a different part of the neighborhood. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported the buildings were sold by their owners to a man named Shams al-Din al-Qawasmi, who sold them to Jewish groups. An Ateret Kohanim spokesperson said the nonprofit facilitated the purchase on behalf of an overseas company called Kudram. Haaretz reported the purchases were made through a straw man.
In the closing statement of a conference Monday night, Fatah’s Revolutionary Council accused Palestinians who sold their Jerusalem Palestinian properties of “high treason,” calling on the government and legal system to “take the necessary steps to deter them.” The movement also called on the public to “boycott and humiliate them on all popular levels.” Abbas’s decision was issued immediately afterward. “Those whose sick souls allowed them to sell their land or homes, or enable such sales to the enemies of the Palestinian people, are a gang of traitors to their nation and religion,” said Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi in a statement published by Wafa. “They have brought shame and scorn upon themselves in this world and in the afterlife.” “One would rather die than sell his honor and betray the most sacred land in the world, saturated with the blood of prophets and martyrs throughout history,” he added. “Those traitors are destined to die a humiliating death.” Indeed, the PLO’s Revolutionary Penal Code (1979) applies the death penalty to those accused of “transferring positions to the enemy.” Since the late 1990s, Palestinian courts have been dealing out death sentences to convicted land dealers, though Abbas has not authorized the implementation of executions since his election in 2004. But details of the suspected property salesmen of Silwan have been disseminated on Palestinian social media Monday.
While Palestinian law does not apply in East Jerusalem, Bassem Eid, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian civil rights activist, says he has followed cases of Jerusalemites kidnapped in the city and tortured to death in Ramallah by the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Agency.
In 1997, Farid Bashiti, an Israeli citizen, was enticed to Ramallah and murdered for his involvement in property sales. An Israeli court recognized Bashiti as a terror victim in February 2000. Another person, once a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Eid recalled, was abducted from Damascus Gate in the Old City and died of torture in a Ramallah prison. “I didn’t see Israel raise hell over the arrest of these men,” Eid noted. “If a Jew were kidnapped in Ramallah, I presume Netanyahu would shut the city down.” According to Eid, the Palestinian Authority takes advantage of Israel’s complacency about Jerusalem residents to intimidate and persecute those suspected of property soliciting. But the new law will do little to stop the phenomenon, he said. “Those who want to sell land don’t go consulting Abbas,” Eid said. “The PA only finds out about them when they leave the country and go live abroad.”
Saudis Sound Alarm on Obama 'Caving' Into Iran’s Nuke Program
(Warns Obama wants agreement 'at any price')
Oct. 22….(WND) The US and Western powers currently negotiating with Iran on its nuclear capability are willing to reach an agreement with Tehran at any price, warns a paper prepared by Saudi Arabia’s intelligence organizations. The document, the contents of which were obtained by WND, was presented by the Saudis this week to all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, an umbrella made up of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. The council consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
According to the Saudi intelligence document, the P5+1 powers of the US, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia attempting to reach a deal with Iran ahead of next month’s deadline have conceded Iran can maintain a civilian nuclear infrastructure, as had been widely assumed. However, the document warns the red lines of the Western nations will still allow Iran enough nuclear material to assemble weapons within months if Tehran decides to abrogate the agreement at any time.
On the eve of midterm elections in the US, the Saudis advised members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to try to influence Congress to not approve an agreement that allows Iran to retain any kind of nuclear facility, even for civilian purposes, according to sources within the council.
The Saudis argued that Iran cannot be trusted, alleging that for years Tehran has cheated the community, perpetually hiding aspects of its program from the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. The Saudi concern comes as the IAEA this week released a monthly report documenting Iran has been complying with an interim nuclear agreement with the six world powers.
The IAEA inspectors reportedly certified that in keeping with its interim commitments, Iran has diluted more than 4,100 kg of uranium enriched to a fissile concentration of up to 2 percent down to the level of natural uranium.
The Saudi plan to influence Congress may not be very effective, if a recent New York Times expose is accurate. The Times on Monday reported the Obama administration is seeking ways to cut Congress out of any nuclear deal with Iran by relieving sanctions via White House executive order. The Times reported the Treasury Department already has determined Obama has the executive authority to “suspend” most sanctions on Iran without any congressional vote.
Can Israel Still Count on America at UN Security Council?
Oct. 20….(Israel Today) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been loudly threatening to unilaterally petition the international community to recognize the State of Palestine and force an Israeli withdrawal, and upcoming changes on the UN Security Council might afford him the best opportunity in decades to do so. Abbas wants the United Nations to officially recognize Palestinian sovereignty and independence outside the framework of a bilateral peace agreement with Israel, which looks to be increasingly out of reach. He also wants the UN Security Council, the only UN body able to pass legally-binding decisions, to set a firm date for an Israeli withdrawal from all of Judea, Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem.
Until now, getting the Security Council to make such far-reaching moves has been virtually impossible. Of the five permanent council members, only Russia and China could be counted upon to support the Palestinian motion, and only to embarrass the Americans, who could traditionally be counted upon to veto any such proposal. But now, Israeli analysts aren’t so sure Washington would have the Jewish state’s back.
In January, the Security Council will be joined by five new non-permanent members, New Zealand, Spain, Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela. Of those, Malaysia and Venezuela would almost certainly support the Palestinian motion, and news over the weekend was that Spain had been successfully lobbied to do the same if and when the time comes. New Zealand and Angola remained undecided on the issue, but neither nation has a track record of diplomat support for Israel vis-a-vis its conflict with the Arabs.
Usually, none of that would matter, because either the US, Britain or France, the other three permanent council members along with Russia and China, would simply veto any motion that posed a threat to Israel or regional stability. But Britain’s parliament last week held a non-binding vote in which is supported recognition of a State of Palestine, and if mid-term congressional elections go badly for the Democrats in America, there is growing speculation that the Obama White House might seek some retribution against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by withholding the US veto on the Security Council. That would leave only Paris to thwart the Palestinian scheme, which Israel could by no means count on considering France’s burgeoning and increasingly violent Muslim minority.
Even if this somewhat extreme scenario weren’t to play out, it is widely believed in Israel that the Obama Administration wouldn’t hesitate to use the threat of such a narrative to diplomatically strong-arm Jerusalem back to the negotiating table on Arab terms.
Pope Francis Says God is Okay With Evolving Views
Oct. 20….(Reuters) Pope Francis on Sunday beatified Pope Paul VI, calling on the church to adapt to the "changing conditions of society," a day after bishops rejected a landmark change in its rigid stance on homosexuality and divorce. "God is not afraid of new things," Francis pointedly said during the beatification Mass, which came after the two-week conference, or synod, of bishops ended.
FOJ Note: Funny, my Bible informs me that God is a god that does not change with the times. In fact, he has no need to change, because he is already Perfect in his ways, and He has stipulated in his word that conformity with popular evolving ideas (such as gay marriage/lifestyle alternatives) will never be considered by him!
Francis, who has said he wants a more merciful and less rigid Church, made his comments in a sermon to some 70,000 people in St. Peter's Square for the ceremonial closing of a two-week assembly, known as a synod. "God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways," the pope said. He said the Church had "to respond courageously to whatever new challenges come our way". He spoke about courage a day after telling the bishops at their last working session to beware of "hostile rigidity" by doctrinal conservatives.
Hamas Leader's Daughter Received Medical Treatment in Israel
Oct. 20….(Newsmax) A daughter of the leader of Hamas in Gaza was admitted to an Israeli hospital for emergency medical treatment this month after she suffered complications from a routine procedure, two sources familiar with the case said.
Ismail Haniyeh's daughter's week-long admission to a hospital in Tel Aviv, which Israeli and Palestinian officials declined to confirm or deny, shows humanitarian coordination between the sides continues just weeks after the Gaza war ended. Haniyeh, who has 13 children, is the leader of the Islamist group in Gaza and one of its most senior figures overall, serving as a deputy to Khaled Meshaal, who lives in exile.
Two sources, one Palestinian and the other a foreign diplomat with knowledge of the case, declined to name the daughter and, out of respect for her privacy, asked that details of her condition not be published. Like many Hamas officials, Haniyeh spent the seven-week-long war largely in hiding. His home in the northern part of the Gaza Strip was destroyed by an Israeli air strike.
An Israeli official said he could not discuss specific medical admissions from Gaza. But he said that in most cases a request by a Palestinian doctor to allow a patient across the border for urgent treatment was sufficient, indicating Haniyeh may not have been personally involved in his daughter's application. During the war and since it ended in late August, dozens of patients from Gaza have been brought to hospitals in Israel, where the resources and technology for advanced treatment and complicated operations are vastly better.
Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction but has voiced openness to a long-term truce and a measure of cooperation with Israel which, along with neighboring Egypt, controls access to the coastal enclave, home to 1.8 million Palestinians.
FOJ Note: Can you imagine an Israeli citizen receiving such hospital treatment in the hands of any Arab country?
Lebanon Being Pulled into War with Islamic State Group
(Hezbollah faces near daily attacks launched from the Syria border by IS and Nusra Front)
Oct. 20….(Ynet) With all eyes on the Islamic State group's onslaught in Iraq and Syria, a less conspicuous but potentially just as explosive front line with the extremists is emerging in Lebanon, where Lebanese soldiers and Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas are increasingly pulled into deadly fighting with the Sunni militants along the country's border with Syria. The US has been speeding up delivery of small ammunition to shore up Lebanon's army, but recent cross-border attacks and beheading of Lebanese soldiers by Islamic State fighters, and the defection of four others to the extremists, has sent shockwaves across this Mediterranean country, eliciting fear of a potential slide into the kind of militant, sectarian violence afflicting both Syria and Iraq, and increasingly prompting minorities to take up arms.
For a long while, Lebanon managed to miraculously avoid the all-out chaos gripping neighboring countries, despite sporadic street clashes and car bombings, and despite being awash with weapons and taking in an endless stream of refugees from Syria who now constitute a staggering one third of its population of 4.5 million people. Unlike in Syria or Iraq, the al-Qaeda-breakaway Islamic State group does not hold territory in Lebanon. But along with Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front, it has established footholds in remote mountains along Lebanon's remote eastern border, from where it launches almost daily incursions further afield.
Jihadi recruitment in impoverished Sunni areas of northern Lebanon is on the rise, and black Islamic State group flags fly freely in some areas, reflecting pockets of growing support for the radical group. "Lebanon is in the eye of the storm," said Fadia Kiwan, a political science professor at Beirut's St. Joseph University.
The Lebanese are bitterly divided over Syria's civil war. Hezbollah fighters have gone to join Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in their battle against Sunni rebels, drawing anger at home from Lebanon's Sunnis and stoking Sunni-Shiite tensions. This in turn led to tit-for-tat suicide bombings and several rounds of street clashes in Lebanon in the past year.
The Islamic State group threat first came to Lebanon in August, two months after the group's summer blitz in which it seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. In a surprise attack, Islamic State group and Nusra Front militants crossed over from Syria and overran the predominantly Sunni Lebanese border town of Arsal, hitting Lebanese army positions and killing nearly 20 soldiers. After weeklong clashes, the militants pulled back to mountain caves near Syria's border.
Analysts agree that in Lebanon, the Islamic State group fighters also see an opportunity to strike at Hezbollah's patron, the Shiite powerhouse Iran but that they are not too eager to immediately embark on yet another war. "The territory of Lebanon is a longer-term goal," said David Schenker, director of the program on Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Lebanon is still recovering from a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Again Threatens WWIII with Nukes
Oct. 20….(AP) Putin has raised the specter of nuclear war for the third time in the past two months as he and Western countries such as the United States clash over the Ukraine conflict, which has been bringing to light other deep-seated animosity. Putin made his latest comments while en route to the annual Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan, a summit of 50 nations. “We hope that our partners will realize the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, and will remember the risks that a spat between major nuclear powers means for strategic stability,” Putin told Serbian newspaper Politika.
Putin has referenced the warheads two other times recently. In mid-August he told members of Russia’s Duma that he soon planned to “surprise the West with our new developments in offensive nuclear weapons about which we do not talk yet.” And in September he told a group of youth: “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers. It’s best not to mess with us.” Besemeres, the Russian expert, said that “Putin’s Russia is heading towards a police state internally and a rogue state externally. It’s a very worrying combination.”
Andrew O’Neil, a professor of international relations at Griffith University with insight into Russian nuclear policy, said that there’s one key area in Australia on Russia’s target list–the United States-Australian joint facilities that monitor satellites that fly over eastern Russia.
Dr. Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician who founded the International Physicians against Nuclear War, recently told reporters in Washington, DC that a war between Russia and the US would automatically include nuclear weapons. “There is no way a war between the United States and Russia could start and not go nuclear,” she said. “The United States and Russia have enormous stockpiles of these weapons. Together they have 94 percent of all the 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world.” “We are in a very fallible, very dangerous situation operated by mere mortals,” she warned. “The nuclear weapons, are sitting there, thousands of them. They are ready to be used.” Russia surpassed the United States for the first time in number of nuclear warheads that are deployed, according to a recent report from the State Department.
Russia now has 1,643 warheads deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. The United States has 1,642, said the fact sheet, reported the Washington Times. “The warhead count for the Russians, based the Sept. 1 report required under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), shows an increase of 131 warheads since the last declaration on March 1,” it said. “The US reported a warhead increase of 57 during the same period. It is not clear why the warhead numbers increased.”
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, wrote in an op-ed in Foreign Policy in reaction to the news that Russian deception in negotiating an arms reduction treaty while building up nuclear arms “poses a direct threat to the United States.” He said that Russia violated a previous treaty while negotiating the most recent treaty, the START, with the Obama administration. “The White House was at best nave to Russian duplicity; at worst it was complicit,” he said.
Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic weapons specialist, said that the build up confirmed vows by Russian officials to increase their deployed warheads. “While so little information is released under New START that there is no way to say for sure, the Russian increases appears to reflect the arming of the two new Borey class ballistic missile submarines,” Schneider said. “All US numbers have declined since New START entry into force. The fact that this is happening reflects the ineffectiveness of the Obama administration’s approach to New START.”
WEEK OF OCTOBER 12 THROUGH OCTOBER 18
Iran, Russia Hold Joint Naval Exercises
Oct. 18….(AP) Iran's state television says two Russian warships have left a northern Iranian port after the two countries held a joint, three-day naval exercise in the Caspian Sea. Thursday's report on the TV's website quoted Iranian Adm. Afshin Rezaei Haddad, who is Iran's navy commander in the Caspian Sea, as saying that the Russian vessels departed from the northern Iranian port of Anzali on Wednesday. No further details were given.
It was the first visit in decades by a Russian fleet to an Iranian port in the Caspian Sea. In recent years Iran's navy has increased its bilateral relations with various countries, including China and Pakistan. Last year, a Russian naval group docked in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the way home from a Pacific Ocean voyage.
Deluded Kerry Links ISIS Terror to Israel & Occupied Territory
Oct. 18….(Jerusalem Post) US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday called for a resumption of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, saying the talks were vital in the fight against extremism. We need "to find a way to create two states that can live together side by side, two peoples, with both of their aspirations being respected," Kerry added. "I still believe that's possible, and I still believe we need to work towards it." He said the unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict was fueling recruitment for the Islamic State jihadist group. "There wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn't raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation," Kerry said. "People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity," he added.
Achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians is more critical than ever, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday during remarks at a White House ceremony for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. "I think that it is more critical than ever that we be fighting for peace, and I think it is more necessary than ever. As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL (Islamic State) coalition, the truth is we, there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt," Kerry said. "So what we need to do is recognize that we need to build peace through specific partnerships. One partnership is specifically the effort to try to drive towards this peace, to have a compromise, to find a way to create two states that can live together side by side, two peoples, with both of their aspirations being respected. I still believe that’s possible, and I still believe we need to work towards it," he said.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday for comments the top American diplomat made, indicating that the unresolved conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is contributing to gain made by the Islamic State group. In remarks Kerry made Thursday, he said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was thought of by various leaders as fueling violence and leading to recruitment by the jihadist organization. "Asserting that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reinforces ISIS, gives a boost to global terrorism," Bennett charged. "It turns out that even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, there will always be those who blame the Jews," Bennett said in reference to videos of recent decapitations of Western captives by an Islamic State member who speaks with an English accent.
ISIS Declares Christians As Their No. 1 Enemy
Oct. 15….(WND) In an updated version of its propaganda booklet, “Dabiq,” ISIS clearly identifies its No. 1 enemy, Christianity. The cover photo shows a black ISIS flag flying over the Vatican. The booklet describes the terrorist army’s desires to conquer Rome and “break the cross,” according to Arutz Sheva, an independent Israeli news network. According to some Islamic traditions, the Islamic prophet Muhammad predicted that the occupation of Istanbul, Jerusalem and Rome would pave the way for the Islamic messiah or Mahdi.
The declaration surfaces amid growing concern over the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East. ISIS has executed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Christians throughout Iraq and forced many to flee the country. Up to 100,000 Christians remain in the capital of Baghdad, as ISIS is now within eight miles of the city.
A joint conference between the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem was held earlier this week to discuss the dire situation for Christians. “Across the Middle East, in the last 10 years, 100,000 Christians have been murdered each year. That means every five minutes a Christian is killed because of his faith,” Father Gabriel Nadaf, who has campaigned for Christian Arab rights and for local Christians to support Israel, told the United Nations Human Rights Council in September. “Those who can escape persecution at the hands of Muslim extremists have fled. Those who remain, exist as second if not third class citizens to their Muslim rulers.”
An estimated 12 million Christians lived in the Middle East, according to a July estimate in the London Guardian. But that number has been thought to have decreased drastically since the ISIS summer takeover of nearly half of Iraq, including the city of Mosul, which had been home to Christians for 2,000 years.
As Islam jihadists have gained ground throughout the Middle East over the past three years, the Christian community has faced persecution in a number countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria. In Egypt, Coptic Christians have been targeted by violence from the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi groups. There have been reports of church burnings and killings of Christians. In Syria, al-Qaida-linked rebels have threatened to kill Christians who do not join the fight against President Bashar Al-Assad. Iran has persecuted Christians relentlessly as well, recently making headlines for burning the lips of a Christian man caught eating during the Ramadan fast.
Houston, Texas Demands Oversight of Area Pastor’s Sermons
Oct. 15….(WND) Officials with the city of Houston, Texas, who are defending a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women’s restrooms now have demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors. The recent move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications in the city’s legal defense of a “non-discrimination” measure that allows “gender-confused” people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.
A lawsuit challenging Houston’s move alleges the city violated its own charter in its adoption of the Equal Rights Ordinance, which in May designated homosexuals and transgender persons as a protected class. Critics say the measure effectively enables sexual predators who dress as women to enter female public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. A coalition of activists that includes area pastors filed suit Aug. 6 against the city and lesbian Mayor Annise Parker after officials announced a voter petition to repeal the measure didn’t have enough signatures to qualify for the election ballot. Parker, who has acknowledged the ordinance is “all about me,” was legally married to her same-sex partner in California in January.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion to quash the city’s demands to see the sermons. ADF argues the pastors are not party to the lawsuit, and the city’s strategy doesn’t meet the requirements of state law that requires such efforts “be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, not be overly broad, seek only information that is not privileged and relevant to the subject matter of the litigation, and not cause undue burden or harassment.”
ADF said city officials “are upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the city council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other’s restrooms.” ADF attorneys say the city is “illegitimately demanding that the pastors, who are not party to the lawsuit, turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city can see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city.” “City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “In this case, they have embarked upon a witch hunt, and we are asking the court to put a stop to it.” ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb said the city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is needless and unprecedented. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions. Political and social commentary is not a crime; it is protected by the First Amendment,” she said.
While the public submitted more than three times the legally required number of petition signatures to require city action, and the city secretary certified the number as sufficient, the mayor and city attorney “defied” the law and rejected the certification, ADF said. “The message is clear: oppose the decisions of city government, and drown in unwarranted, burdensome discovery requests,” said a brief in support of the motion to quash. “These requests, if allowed, will have a chilling effect on future citizens who might consider circulating referendum petitions because they are dissatisfied with ordinances passed by the city council. “Not only will the nonparty pastors be harmed if these discovery requests are allowed, but the people will suffer as well. The referendum process will become toxic and the people will be deprived of an important check on city government provided them by the charter.”
Opposition in Houston was led by a coalition including the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston, the Houston Area Pastor Council, the Houston Ministers against Crime, AME Ministers Alliance of Houston/Gulf Coast, the Northeast Ministers Alliance, the South Texas Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The coalition had submitted more than 55,000 signatures in the referendum drive. City Secretary Anna Russell confirmed in writing Aug. 1 that the petition sponsors had submitted 17,846 qualified signatures, nearly 600 above the minimum 17,269. However, City Attorney David Feldman announced 2,750 petitions were invalid because of “technical problems.”
Opponents have argued Feldman did not have the authority to step in and make the decision and that it should have been handled by the courts. Critics dubbed the Houston law the “sexual predator protection act,” claiming that by designating transgender or gender-confused persons as a protected class, women and children are threatened by predators seeking to exploit the ordinance’s ambiguous language. Political activist Steven F. Hotze said the ordinance would establish minority status for transvestites, allowing men who dress as women to enter women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. “I want to protect my wife, daughters and granddaughters from being exposed to the dangers of male sexual predators masquerading as women in women’s public bathrooms and other facilities,” he said. “This is why it has been called the Sexual Predators’ Protection Act.”
Similar cases also have erupted in Maryland, Florida and Colorado, which adopted a radical “transgender nondiscrimination” bill in 2008 that makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the “perception” of gender identity. One consequence of the law is a ruling forcing authorities to permit 6-year-old Coy Mathis, a boy who says he thinks he’s a girl, to use the girls bathroom at his elementary school. Nationwide, 17 states and the District of Columbia have embraced the transsexual agenda. Rhode Island added “gender identity and expression” to its anti-discrimination law in June with the support of Gov. Jack Markell, and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced his support in an Equality Delaware video. But other attempts to advance the transsexual agenda were defeated in Montana, Missouri, North Dakota and New York, where state Senate leaders refused to allow a vote. The Obama administration is solidly behind the move to open locker room doors to some members of the opposite sex.
President Obama recently signed the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and also the White House hosted the first-ever meeting with transgender activists, and issued a statement about the rights of transgenders and transexuals.
PA Lobbying A Compliant UN to Force Israel to Withdraw from West Bank
(proposal calls for the full withdrawal of Israel to the pre-1967 lines by November 2016)
Oct. 15….(Jerusalem Post) A senior Palestinian official said Monday that the Palestinian Authority has mustered the support of seven of nine UN Security Council members needed to bring to a vote its resolution that would force an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines by November 2016. Speaking in an interview with the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency, Sha'ath said, "We are at the stage of lobbying within the Security Council to get nine or more votes." Sha'ath said that the PA was facing opposition to the move from the US, who was not only threatening to veto the resolution should it be brought to a vote, but also was urging other Security Council members to oppose the resolution and push back a vote on the measure until after US midterm elections in November.
Abbas announced on October 1 that he had submitted the draft resolution to the Security Council. "We have submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council who started consultations a few days ago and will continue for three weeks, perhaps longer, until we receive an answer," Abbas told a PLO meeting in Ramallah. The resolution calls for "the full withdrawal of Israel from all of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified timeframe, not to exceed November 2016."
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told reporters earlier this month, "We are aware of President Abbas' plan and we continue to believe, to strongly believe, that the only way to a negotiated solution is through negotiations between the two parties." The PA has said that should the resolution fail to pass in the Security Council, they would seek to join the International Criminal Court at the Hague and pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
Kerry: US Will Provide Gaza $212 million in Reconstruction Assistance
Oct. 13….(Israel Today) The United States will immediately contribute $212 million to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State John Kerry told envoys at a donor conference in Cairo Sunday. Speaking to the meeting of leaders and envoys of countries pledging money to rehabilitate the Strip, Kerry said people in Gaza “need our help desperately, not tomorrow, not next week, but they need it now.”
Kicking off the conference earlier Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi urged Israel to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians and PA President Mahmoud Abbas said government institutions in Gaza were destroyed, as an international donor conference began in Cairo Sunday to raise funds to rebuild the Strip. In his remarks, Sissi said the reconstruction of Gaza hinged on a “permanent calm” between Hamas and Israel. He said it also required the exercise of “full authority” in the Strip by the Palestinian Authority, led by Western-backed Abbas. Egypt brokered a ceasefire in late August that ended 50 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $212 million in US aid to Gaza at a one-day donors conference on Saturday. Gazans "need our help desperately, not tomorrow, not next week, but they need it now," Kerry said in a statement reported by The Associated Press. The one-day meeting in Cairo was intended to raise billions of dollars to help Gaza rebuild following this summer's 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas estimated $4 billion would be needed to fund reconstruction of the coastal strip, and he promised Western donors that their money would funnel through the Palestinian Authority, thereby avoiding Hamas. "The (Palestinian) government will carry out the reconstruction plan with full responsibility and transparency in coordination with the UN, the donors, international financial institutions, civil society, and the private sector," Abbas said.
The latest conflict between Israel and Hamas left more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless. More than 2,000 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, were killed in the conflict, and another 11,000 were wounded
Iran Warns of Risk to Israel's Security if US Seek Overthrow of Assad
Oct. 13….(The Guardian) Iran’s deputy foreign minister reportedly said on Saturday that his country has exchanged messages with the US about the fight against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq. Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted by Iranian media, in what would be a rare confirmation of Iran-US discussions over Isis, as saying Iran had warned Washington that Israel would be at risk should the US and its allies seek to topple the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, while fighting the extremist group. Iran has backed Assad in Syria’s three-year civil war. The US has called for Assad to resign and rules out co-operating with his government.
The US carried out six air strikes near the Syrian town of Kobani on Saturday, targeting Isis militants besieging the town. According to a statement from US Central Command, the strikes hit an Isis fighting position and two small units, damaged a command-and-control facility and destroyed three trucks. Also on Saturday, Isis forces renewed their attack on Kobani, which is near the border with Turkey, before being repulsed by Kurdish fighters. A video posted online on Friday purported to show Isis fighters involved in street fighting in the town.
US Central Command also said US and Dutch planes had carried out three strikes against Isis targets in Iraq, near Tal Afar and Hit, on Friday and Saturday, alongside “multiple airdrops to help resupply Iraqi security forces at the request of the government of Iraq”.
Isis fighters control swathes of Syria and northern Iraq and have released videos showing the murders of international hostages. US airstrikes against Isis in Iraq began on 8 August; international strikes in Syria began on 22 September.
Debate has continued about the effectiveness of the US-led strikes, particularly in Syria. On Thursday, the White House admitted that without a viable force on the ground in Syria, drawn from anti-Assad rebels, air strikes could only have a limited effect.
Obama Strategy in Tatters as ISIS Militants March On
(American-led air attacks are failing. Jihadis are close to taking Kobani, in Syria, and in Iraq western Baghdad is now under serious threat)
Oct. 13….(WND) Obama’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad. The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.
Isis reinforcements have been rushing towards Kobani in the past few days to ensure that they win a decisive victory over the Syrian Kurdish town's remaining defenders. The group is willing to take heavy casualties in street fighting and from air attacks in order to add to the string of victories it has won in the four months since its forces captured Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on 10 June. Part of the strength of the fundamentalist movement is a sense that there is something inevitable and divinely inspired about its victories, whether it is against superior numbers in Mosul or US airpower at Kobani.
In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis's toughest opponents in Syria. "Our focus in Syria is in degrading the capacity of Isis at its core to project power, to command itself, to sustain itself, to resource itself," said US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, in a typical piece of waffle designed to mask defeat. "The tragic reality is that in the course of doing that there are going to be places like Kobani where we may or may not be able to fight effectively."
Unfortunately for the US, Kobani isn't the only place air strikes are failing to stop Isis. In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.
Today, only the city of Haditha and two bases, Al-Assad military base near Hit, and Camp Mazrah outside Fallujah, are still in Iraqi government hands. Joel Wing, in his study –"Iraq's Security Forces Collapse as The Islamic State Takes Control of Most of Anbar Province," concludes: "This was a huge victory as it gives the insurgents virtual control over Anbar and poses a serious threat to western Baghdad".
The battle for Anbar, which was at the heart of the Sunni rebellion against the US occupation after 2003, is almost over and has ended with a decisive victory for Isis. It took large parts of Anbar in January and government counter-attacks failed dismally with some 5,000 casualties in the first six months of the year. About half the province's 1.5 million population has fled and become refugees. The next Isis target may be the Sunni enclaves in western Baghdad, starting with Abu Ghraib on the outskirts but leading right to the centre of the capital.
The Iraqi government and its foreign allies are drawing comfort, there having been some advances against Isis in the centre and north of the country. But north and north-east of Baghdad the successes have not been won by the Iraqi army but by highly sectarian Shia militias which do not distinguish between Isis and the rest of the Sunni population. They speak openly of getting rid of Sunni in mixed provinces such as Diyala where they have advanced. The result is that Sunni in Iraq have no alternative but to stick with Isis or flee, if they want to survive. The same is true north-west of Mosul on the border with Syria, where Iraqi Kurdish forces, aided by US air attacks, have retaken the important border crossing of Rabia, but only one Sunni Arab remained in the town. Ethnic and sectarian cleansing has become the norm in the war in both Iraq and Syria.
The US's failure to save Kobani, if it falls, will be a political as well as military disaster. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the loss of the beleaguered town are even more significant than the inability so far of air strikes to stop Isis taking 40 per cent of it. At the start of the bombing in Syria, President Obama boasted of putting together a coalition of Sunni powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to oppose Isis, but these all have different agendas to the US in which destroying IS is not the first priority. The Sunni Arab monarchies may not like Isis, which threatens the political status quo, but, as one Iraqi observer put it, "they like the fact that Isis creates more problems for the Shia than it does for them".
Of the countries supposedly uniting against Isis, by the far most important is Turkey because it shares a 510-mile border with Syria across which rebels of all sorts, including Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, have previously passed with ease. This year the Turks have tightened border security, but since its successes in the summer Isis no longer needs sanctuary, supplies and volunteers from outside to the degree it once did. In the course of the past week it has become clear that Turkey considers the Syrian Kurd political and military organizations, the PYD and YPG, as posing a greater threat to it than the Islamic fundamentalists. Moreover, the PYD is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.
Ever since Syrian government forces withdrew from the Syrian Kurdish enclaves or cantons on the border with Turkey in July 2012, Ankara has feared the impact of self-governing Syrian Kurds on its own 15 million-strong Kurdish population. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would prefer Isis to control Kobani, not the PYD. When five PYD members, who had been fighting Isis at Kobani, were picked up by the Turkish army as they crossed the border last week they were denounced as "separatist terrorists".
Turkey is demanding a high price from the US for its co-operation in attacking Isis, such as a Turkish-controlled buffer zone inside Syria where Syrian refugees are to live and anti-Assad rebels are to be trained. Mr Erdogan would like a no-fly zone which will also be directed against the government in Damascus since Isis has no air force. If implemented the plan would mean Turkey, backed by the US, would enter the Syrian civil war on the side of the rebels, though the anti-Assad forces are dominated by Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate.
It is worth keeping in mind that Turkey's actions in Syria since 2011 have been a self-defeating blend of hubris and miscalculation. At the start of the uprising, it could have held the balance between the government and its opponents. Instead, it supported the militarization of the crisis, backed the jihadis and assumed Assad would soon be defeated. This did not happen and what had been a popular uprising became dominated by sectarian warlords who flourished in conditions created by Turkey. Erdogan is assuming he can disregard the rage of the Turkish Kurds at what they see as his complicity with Isis against the Syrian Kurds. This fury is already deep, with 33 dead, and is likely to get a great deal worse if Kobani falls.
Why doesn't Ankara worry more about the collapse of the peace process with the PKK that has maintained a ceasefire since 2013? It may believe that the PKK is too heavily involved in fighting Isis in Syria that it cannot go back to war with the government in Turkey. On the other hand, if Turkey does join the civil war in Syria against Assad, a crucial ally of Iran, then Iranian leaders have said that "Turkey will pay a price". This probably means that Iran will covertly support an armed Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. Saddam Hussein made a somewhat similar mistake to Mr. Erdogan when he invaded Iran in 1980, thus leading Iran to reignite the Kurdish rebellion that Baghdad had crushed through an agreement with the Shah in 1975. Turkish military intervention in Syria might not end the war there, but it may well spread the fighting to Turkey.
ISIS Could Hold Swath from Northern Syria to the Gates of Baghdad
Oct. 13….(CNN) ISIS fighters stand on the verge of victory on two fronts as poorly equipped local forces do their best to resist. The Islamist extremists appear set to take a key Syrian town along the Turkish border and an entire province on Baghdad's doorstep. Leaders in Iraq's Anbar province pleaded for US ground troops to halt the group's rapid, relentless assault.
On Sunday, the leader of US military efforts to fight ISIS in Iraq says the terror group came within 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of the Baghdad airport. Offering what appeared to be previously unreported details, Gen. Martin Dempsey told ABC's "This Week" that the United States had to risk bringing in low-flying attack helicopters to keep ISIS at bay. "The tool that was immediately available was the Apache (helicopter). The risk of operating in a hostile environment is there constantly," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "You're not going to wait until they're climbing over the wall," Dempsey said. "Had (ISIS forces) overrun the Iraqi unit, it was a straight shot to the Baghdad airport. So, we're not going to let that happen."
ISIS, the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" which also is referred to as ISIL, controls about 80% of the province, said Anbar Provincial Council president Sabah Al-Karhout. Reports suggest the militants have encircled Haditha, the last large town in Anbar not yet in ISIS' hands.
In a major setback, Gen. Ahmed Saddak, the police chief of Anbar province, was killed over the weekend in a roadside bomb that targeted his convoy, officials said. Should all of Anbar fall, the Sunni extremists would rule from the perimeter of Iraq's capital to Raqqa in Syria, at least, according to the provincial council's deputy head, Falleh al-Issawi. They would control a swath 350 miles (563 kilometers) long. Iraqi army forces and Anbar tribesmen fighting alongside them have threatened to abandon their weapons if the US military does not intervene, al-Issawi said.
But the Iraqi government has been adamant that it does not want US forces on the ground, and US President Barack Obama has not shown any intent to deploy any. The Iraqi government said it has not received any official request from Anbar province for US ground forces to help in the fight, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's media office said.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice echoed that comment Sunday, and said that Turkey would allow the United States and its partners to use bases and territory to train. "They have said that their facilities inside Turkey can be used by coalition forces, American and otherwise, to engage in activities inside Iraq and Syria," she told NBC's "Meet The Press." SIS is still advancing in Syria, where it emerged during the years-long civil war. Its current focus there is Kobani, a Kurdish enclave a stone's throw from Turkey. And the militants are gradually taking control of a large chunk of Kobani.
On Sunday, Kobani fell eerily silent after clashes earlier in the day, a fighter in the city told CNN. He said he fears ISIS is planning a major assault. One day earlier, ISIS fighters clashed with local troops over the official border crossing into Turkey at Mursitpinar. At least 36 ISIS militants died Saturday in various battles in Kobani against Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units, or YPG, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement Sunday. Eight Kurdish fighters were killed. Should they take it, the militants would control three official border crossings between Turkey and Syria and a stretch of the border about 60 miles (97 kilometers) long.
Meanwhile, there's fresh concern about potential attacks by homegrown terrorists and lone wolves inspired by ISIS. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a security bulletin, two law enforcement officials told CNN. It warns the FBI, other law enforcement personnel and members of the news media that they could be targeted by ISIS, the sources said. The bulletin cites increased chatter in recent weeks on social media and extremist forums for the warning. It was also based on information from recent crackdowns on alleged ISIS members and sympathizers in the United Kingdom and Australia, the sources said. The officials tell CNN the bulletin is precautionary, warning law enforcement to be extra vigilant, and is not based on any known specific threats.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 5 THROUGH OCTOBER 14
EU Prepares To Impose Crushing Sanctions on Israel
Oct. 10….(Breitbart) Even as details of the latest ISIS plot to behead innocents on the streets of London emerges, the machinery of the European Union’s massive bureaucracy is well along its plan to impose crippling economic and cultural sanctions on Israel if the Jewish state does not agree to unilaterally withdraw behind the 1949 Armistice lines.
The Times of Israel and other sources are now reporting that EU officials are preparing a far reaching list of sanctions that can be imposed against Israel whenever the EU’s political leadership decides to proceed with efforts to economically devastate the small but heavily trade-dependent Jewish state. The essence and purpose of the plan, coming just weeks after the end of Hamas’ 50 day terror war against Israel, is not only to punish Israel economically but to deprive the small but vibrant democracy of its political legitimacy; something that the international community, including the EU, extends to virtually every other country on earth, including Cuba, North Korea, and Iran.
The revelations of the latest EU plans come on the heels of Sweden’s decision earlier this week to become the first sitting member of the 28 nation EU to recognize the so-called “State of Palestine." Four Eastern European members of the EU voted to recognize “Palestine” in the 1980's when they were Warsaw Pact puppet states firmly in the orbit of the former Soviet Union.
The latest “Israeli outrage” to which the EU and others, including US President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, are taking such offense, is the announcement by the Israel Lands Authority to solicit private sector tenders for the construction of roughly 2600 apartment units slated to be built in Jerusalem’s burgeoning Givat Hamatos neighborhood. In fact, there is nothing at all new in these plans, which have long been a part of Jerusalem’s municipal development plan and were first announced more than three years ago.
In its statement accompanying its decision to recognize “Palestine,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry claims that Israel’s housing plans “represents a further highly detrimental step that undermines prospects for a two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” No mention was made in Sweden’s statement criticizing Israel of any recent Palestinian steps, such as Hamas‘ 50 day terrorist war against the Jewish state in which it launched more than 4000 rockets against civilian targets that it viewed as “detrimental steps that undermine prospects” for peace in the Middle East. Nor is there any apparent concern that stifling Israel’s economic development would first be felt by Palestinians first and most harshly, since their very growth and emergence as a people has always been inextricably linked to that of their Jewish neighbors.
Before the first group of Jewish settlers fleeing pogromist Russia arrived in Palestine in the late 19th century, the local Arab population living inside what is today Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, was estimated at the time to be no more than 200,000 with an average lifespan of less than 40 years. Today, more than 5 million Arabs, with an average lifespan of 70.5 years, live either in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. Of course, neither the increase in Palestinians per se, nor the length and health of their lives could have been possible without the emergence and development of Israel. Every previous effort that stunted Israel’s growth or impeded its development has resulted in economic dislocations far more devastating to Palestinians than to Israelis.
While strong pro-Israel support by the US Congress and among the American people prevents President Obama from imposing sanctions similar to those being drawn up by the EU now, the Obama administration has used its executive powers to develop a series of its own stealth punishments against the Middle East’s only democracy. Just last May it was reported that with little fanfare the State Department suddenly and dramatically increase the number of Israeli tourist applications it would reject in order to prevent Israel from participating in the visa waiver program designed to expedite travel from allegedly US-friendly nations. There are currently 38 nations whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the US for short-term tourist or business travel. Until recently that list included Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.
US: Israel Must Play Role in Rebuilding Gaza
Oct. 10….(Times of Israel) Israel must play a role in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, a top US official said Wednesday ahead of key donor talks in Cairo, also pressing all sides to agree to a lasting ceasefire. US Secretary of State John Kerry will attend Sunday’s reconstruction conference being co-hosted in Cairo by Egypt and Norway and billed by the US as a “major humanitarian assistance and reconstruction effort” after the devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist terror group which runs the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian government has unveiled a 76-page reconstruction plan for Gaza, calling for $4 billion to rebuild the war-battered territory, with the largest amount going to build housing for some 100,000 left homeless.
Washington has already pledged some $118 million to help the Palestinians in Gaza and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she expected there to be “a range of countries in the international community who are going to be contributing” funds at the Cairo talks. “We do think that Israel will need to play a role in Gaza reconstruction,” Psaki stressed. “We were pleased to see that the UN, Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed on procedures aimed at expediting the passage of relief materials into Gaza, while taking into account Israel’s security needs,” Psaki told reporters. But she would not be drawn on whether US aid should be contingent on guarantees of a lasting ceasefire to ensure the money was not wasted in any future fighting. “Ideally we’d like to see an agreement on a way forward for a sustainable ceasefire that addresses the long-term issues so we don’t have the recurring conflict,” Psaki said.Kerry would likely have talks on the sidelines on the issue, “but it’s not the primary focus. They’ll have to reconvene the parties to have that discussion separately from this conference,” she added.
The Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip killed nearly 2,200 people, at least half of them combatants according to Israel, while 72 died on the Israeli side, 66 of them soldiers. Israel blames Hamas for all fatalities, since it emplaced its war machine in residential areas. Hamas fired some 4,500 rockets and projectiles at Israel and staged several attacks through tunnels dug under the border. The war ended in August with a temporary ceasefire, and indirect negotiations for a permanent truce are due to resume under Egyptian mediation later this month.
Middle East Arab States Created the ISIS Monster
Oct. 10….(YNET) Most countries in the region have a hand in the creation of "the IS monster," whether through fanatical education (Tunisia, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia), or for the purpose of battering political rivals (Turkey, Qatar), or due to hatred for the Shia (the opposition in Lebanon and Sunni tribes in Iraq), or for the purpose of taking out other Sunni opposition groups (the Syrian regime, the Iraqi regime). Those involved, however, never imagined that the organization would achieve the strength and size it has, take over oil fields and eventually pose a threat to their very security too. These countries never imagined that their hypocritical policies and ongoing support for terror would be so harshly exposed in the process too. Now, most of the countries in the region are being dragged into the struggle against the Islamic State not due to ideology but rather out of fear and no choice.
If we take a look at a map of the Middle East, it's plain to see that most of the IS volunteers who are not Iraqis or Syrians cannot get to the organization through the countries that surround it: Jordan and Israel have sealed their borders; the Syrian regime and Hezbollah are fighting the group from the west; the Iraqi regime is fighting the organization from the east; and the Saudi army is on constant high alert along the kingdom's border. In other words, the main loophole is Turkey from the north. Turkey allows thousands of jihadist volunteers from all around the world to cross its borders into the virtual Islamic Caliphate.
The unwritten agreement between the Islamic State group and Turkey includes a struggle to eradicate common enemies, like the Shiite regime in Iraq, the Alawite regime in Syria, and above all, the Kurds in these two countries. Moreover, it was revealed recently that a significant number of Turks have joined the group, including activists from IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation who participated in the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza in 2010.
The radical Islamist group was undoubtedly born out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a semi-covert Islamic organization that took control of Turkey in the first decade of the 21st century, and of Egypt and Tunisia some two years ago by means of elections and in the wake of the chaos of the Arab Spring. The Turkish-Ottoman vision of reviving the empire via a wave of Islamic revolutions faded with the military coup led by General al-Sisi in Egypt in the summer of 2013. Turkey's support for the Muslim Brotherhood has given rise to much tension between Ankara and the new Egyptian regime. In November 2013, Egypt went as far as expelling the Turkish ambassador, with Ankara responding in kind. Egypt under al-Sisi recently publicly accused Turkey of supporting terrorism in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia – the spiritual mother of ISIS
Turkey wasn't the only one who was happy to see the Islamic State group gaining in strength. Iran and Bashar Assad's regime refrained from attacking IS as long as the organization busied itself only with wiping out the Sunni rebels in Syria. Iraq's Shiite regime, too, was happy to sit back and watch the group run wild in the country's Sunni regions in the east, and thus former Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki's regime justified financial aid from the West for its army. Saudi Arabia, who now leads the support for the war on the Islamic State group, is the organization's spiritual mother. Saudi Arabia was founded on fanatical Wahhabist ideology, which offered a radical interpretation to the Hanbali school of Islam and viewed all other Muslims as heretics.
Al Arabiya political pundit Khaled al-Dakheel tried a week ago in his column to deny that Wahhabist ideology is the root of the Islamist group's violence: "IS's violence did not fall from the skies. Where does it stem from?" he wrote. "What is the difference between it and (Israel's) occupation in Palestine and the crimes committed by the United States in Iraq? Were the regimes of Saddam and Assad any less violent? The state of violence that has existed in Iraq and Syria for half a century is the backdrop for the crimes of the Islamic State group." Most countries in the region have a hand in the creation of "the IS monster," whether through fanatical education (Tunisia, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia), or for the purpose of battering political rivals (Turkey, Qatar), or due to hatred for the Shia (the opposition in Lebanon and Sunni tribes in Iraq), or for the purpose of taking out other Sunni opposition groups (the Syrian regime, the Iraqi regime). Those involved, however, never imagined that the organization would achieve the strength and size it has, take over oil fields and eventually pose a threat to their very security too. These countries never imagined that their hypocritical policies and ongoing support for terror would be so harshly exposed in the process too. Now, most of the countries in the region are being dragged into the struggle against the Islamic State not due to ideology but rather out of fear and no choice.
The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Outburst Against Israel
Oct. 10….(EMET) The irrationality and severity of the recent rebukes of Israel by Obama, encouraging other "friends" to join in the condemnation, suggests that he remains obsessively determined to force Israel to adopt his approach. And this, despite the events of recent months and his own admission in his UN speech that he had hitherto erred in asserting that the Israeli-Arab conflict was a major impediment to regional stability.
The exceptionally vicious US condemnation of Israel with regard to housing construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem is not merely misguided but also reflects irrational bias. Incidentally, this behavior also has many ominous parallels to the inhumane incarceration of Jonathan Pollard, despite pleas for his commutation from all sectors of American society. The harsh outburst relates to a 2,600-unit housing project planned as an extension of an exclusively Jewish neighborhood adjacent to the suburb of Talpiot and Kibbutz Ramat Rahel both within the Green Line. It incorporates primarily barren land on which Ethiopian and Russian immigrants had been housed temporarily in mobile homes. Highly significant, but a fact that is ignored, is that nearly half of the construction was designated to provide housing for Arabs. Construction permits were approved two years ago but it was the far left-wing group, Peace Now [Shalom Achshav], that saw fit to highlight the issue in a press release on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama in a calculated effort to embarrass the prime minister and provoke tensions.
The successive statements by both the White House and State Department spokesmen must be considered among the most bitterly prejudiced and unbalanced condemnations of Israel ever expressed by the US. They make a mockery of repeated claims by the Obama administration that it considers Israel to be a close ally. White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated, "This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere, not only with the Palestinians [sic] but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations."
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki took it even a step further and said that these construction plans would "call into question Israel's ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians." This outrageous remark will be seen as an attempt by Obama to reassure Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would still stand by the Palestinians, despite condemnation of Abbas' disgusting UN speech, which was also a slap in the face of the US. This was clearly a crafted position. The US is fully aware that the location for this construction is in the heart of Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods and will always remain under Jewish sovereignty. They also conveniently overlooked the fact that this particular project was to include Arab housing. To compound matters, the administration also condemned the legitimate purchase of seven residential homes by Jews in the Silwan Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem. In so doing the Obama administration is endorsing the PA's policy of preventing Jews from buying homes in Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem. This, despite the fact that Arabs live freely among Jews in west Jerusalem and throughout Israel. The US is therefore validating the "Judenrein" ethnic cleansing policies of Abbas, who had the gall to accuse Israel of being an apartheid state in his recent belligerent UN address.
The US statements unequivocally exhort other countries, including Israel's "closest allies," to condemn Israel over this routine municipal construction which contrary to utterly uninformed allegations, in no way undermines a two state solution. Not surprisingly, they have already been echoed by individual European countries and the European Union, which also called "into question Israel's commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement." They went so far as to convey the message to moderate Arab states that Israel is "poisoning the atmosphere," discouraging them from reciprocating Netanyahu's efforts to reach out and develop a new relationship with them.
The bitter attack on Israel for construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of its own capital is unique not only because of the disproportionate ferocity of this public condemnation of an ally but also when viewed in the broader context. Setting aside the Gaza war and the histrionic attacks against Israel by Abbas at the UN General Assembly, it is impossible to comprehend such a reaction against the backdrop of regional events. Entire countries, Iraq and Syria, are imploding; literally millions have been displaced from their homes and become refugees; over 200,000 were murdered in Syria alone; barbaric decapitations of innocent people which are publicly circulated on the Internet. Yet, it is against the background of this maelstrom that the US sees fit to condemn and isolate its most devoted ally, the sole democratic state in the region and the only place where chaos does not prevail. Why? Because two years ago, the municipality of its capital, Jerusalem, approved a housing project in a Jewish neighborhood (which would also provide housing for Arab residents).
The irrationality and severity of these rebukes of Israel, encouraging other "friends" to join in the condemnation, suggests that Obama remains obsessively determined to force Israel to adopt his approach. And this, despite the events of recent months and his own admission in his UN speech that he had hitherto erred in asserting that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a major impediment to regional stability. No responsible Israeli government could ever contemplate acquiescing to such demands. We must never apologize for building homes in Jewish Jerusalem and there is an element of insanity in the US condemning us for doing so.
Netanyahu speaks on this matter on behalf of the entire nation. This is not the approach of a particular government. It reflects the consensus, other than the extreme left-wing Meretz and marginal post-Zionist groups. This is a time for us to stand up and be counted. Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog should speak up as a genuine Labor Zionist leader and state that his party is at one with the government regarding construction in Jerusalem. Should he fail to do so, he will be turning his back on the Labor Zionist ideals of Israel's founders and his Labor party will become a discredited delusional left-wing marginal group.
The response of the American Jewish leadership is also crucial. They have until now displayed a reticence to respond publicly to biased statements on Israel expressed by Obama. But this will put them to the test. If the leaders fail to speak out against such a vicious attack which effectively encourages other countries to join in exerting pressure on Israel, it will be perceived as dramatic erosion of their political influence and their community standing. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) should now actively launch a public information campaign, speak out robustly about Israel's rights in Jerusalem and make a concerted effort to canvass support from members of Congress.
If Obama can behave in such a contemptuous manner towards Israel five weeks before congressional elections, one is left with a chilling feeling that we may see even more unfortunate initiatives during the remaining term of office of this president who seeks to distance himself from Israel as he simultaneously engages with rogue states and appears determined to rehabilitate Iran.
White House Praises OK City Mosque Where Beheader Nolen Attended
Oct. 8….(WND) An Obama administration official traveled to Oklahoma City Saturday to offer words of praise to congregants at the mosque attended by Alton Nolen, the recent Muslim convert who beheaded a co-worker last month.
David Myers, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, spoke at the Greater Islamic Society of Oklahoma City’s Eid al-Adha celebration, according to KFOR. “Your service is a powerful example of the shared roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together in shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” said Myers, reading from a letter penned by President Barack Obama.
At the DHS center, which falls under the control of FEMA, Myers’ job is to “build, sustain and improve effective partnerships between DHS and faith-based and voluntary organizations.” According to KFOR, in the letter Obama thanked the congregation for their community service in the aftermath of a devastating tornado that wrecked havoc in Moore last year. Myers’ special trip was seemingly meant to counteract negative attention the mosque has received following Nolen’s gruesome murder of coworker Colleen Hufford.
Panetta: Benghazi Was A Terrorist Attack
Oct. 8….(PJ Media) Former Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has dropped what may be the biggest bombshell yet on his former boss. Panetta appeared on MSNBC today and explained that he knew, from the beginning, that the attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist attack. President Obama did not see it that way, and his actions that night remain a mystery. Host Andrea Mitchell asked Panetta, “You wrote in the book that you disagreed with David Petraeus and told the situation room he thought it was a spontaneous demonstration outside the consulate that night. Why did you disagree. What didn’t ring true about that?” Panetta fired: “I didn’t have any specific information, but the fact was that when you bring grenade launchers to a demonstration, something else is going on. From the very beginning I sensed that this was an attack, a terrorist attack on the compound. I remember saying look, based on the ones I see and the nature of the attack, I think this was a terrorist attack. He said look, the information we are getting from intelligence sources is that it really was a demonstration. I said you know, David, i don’t see it that way.”
Both President Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the protest point of view. For weeks after the attack both Clinton and Obama blamed the attack on an obscure YouTube video. The producer of that video was later arrested and spent a year in prison on parole violations.
Up to now, Panetta’s criticisms of Obama’s handling of foreign policy, in particular his handling of Iraq and the rise of the Islamic State, could be seen through the lens of Panetta tearing away at Obama to help his longtime friend Hillary Clinton distance herself from the unpopular president as she gears up to run for president in 2016.
But Panetta’s Benghazi comments are different. Clinton stood before the bodies of the four Americans who were killed in the Benghazi attack and blamed the protest. She reportedly told the parents of one of the slain Americans that a video was to blame, and its producer would be prosecuted. He was. During congressional hearings on Benghazi, Clinton shouted “What difference, at this point, does it make?” when she was questioned about whether the attack was a terrorist assault or grew out of a protest.
Clinton’s State Department repeatedly denied requests to improve security at the facility. After the attack, Clinton appointed the Accountability Review Board, which was designed not to ask questions of Clinton or any of her close lieutenants in the State Department. On Benghazi, Panetta and Clinton are clearly at odds on one of the most important debacles of Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.
American Held Captive (to be Beheaded) by ISIS Converts to Islam?
Oct. 8….(Mail On Line) The US hostage formerly known as Peter Kassig has converted to Islam, changed his name to Abdul-Rahman and prays five times a day, his parents have revealed - but they insist it was voluntary. Kassig, 26, started his 'journey toward Islam' in 2013 while living and working with Syrian Muslims for his own humanitarian aid company in Beirut, they said.
According to a statement tweeted by Ed and Paula Kassig last night, their son observed a month-long Ramadan fast between July and August 2013, which had a 'great impact on him'. But it was not until after he was captured by ISIS in eastern Syria on October 1, 2013 that he made his conversion to the faith while sharing a cell with a devout Muslim. Now going by the name Abdul-Rahman, which means 'slave of the merciful' in Arabic, the former US Army private prays five times a day. Details of Kassig's journey have finally been released by the family after he was named by ISIS as their next beheading victim. They had learned about his abduction and interest in Islam last October from his former colleagues but maintained a one-year silence while they waited for news.
Last night, the couple from Indianapolis tweeted part of a letter from their son describing his faith. 'In the letter,' they wrote, 'our son said he prays every day and that his situation is 'dogmatically complicated,' which we understand was a reference to his conversion. 'A former hostage says our son voluntarily converted to Islam sometime between October and December 2013, when he shared a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim. 'After converting, he took Islam's practices seriously, including praying the five daily prayers and taking on the name Abdul-Rahman. 'We see this as part of our son's long spiritual journey.' They said the letter should help the world 'understand' their son, and urged the media to adopt Peter's new name Abdul-Rahman. News of Kassig's conversion comes after friends of British hostage Alan Henning, who was beheaded by ISIS last week, claim he was planning to convert and learn Arabic.
The Quran (4:92) teaches that Muslims must not kill other Muslims unless it is an accident. The passage roughly translates as: 'Never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake, then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased's family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity.' It also says that if the killed Muslim was a prisoner of war, then the killer must release a believing slave. Many have cited the passage as evidence that hostages like Kassig may convert to save their life.
Nonetheless, an anti-terror expert told MailOnline that conversion, whether forced or not, would do nothing to help hostages save their own lives. Dr Andreas Krieg, a King's College London professor, spoke from Iraq to say: 'Conversion in the case of IS [Islamic State] would not save the individual from death. 'IS does not differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims, they differentiate between those following their ideological construct of Islam and those that do not. 'Only those that adhere to their ideology, which they call Islam, are being spared. 'In the case of Western hostages, or hostages with Western passports, neither will save them. 'The propaganda value of these beheadings is just too precious for them to spoil it on ideological considerateness.' He added that it is possible a form of Stockholm syndrome, where hostages sympathize with their captors, could have spurred on Kassig's fascination with the faith.
However, Dr Krieg said that ultimately he thinks 'Kassig’s decision to convert has probably nothing to do with his captivity' and that 'he was probably inspired by Islam during his time on tour in Iraq'. 'I could imagine that the atrocities he witnessed during the war might have changed his mindset and attitude once he returned,' Dr Krieg added.
Last week, Mr and Mrs Kassig released an appeal pleading for the US to cease its attacks on ISIS and for their son's captors to have mercy. Kassig first went to the Middle East as a US soldier in April 2007 when he was deployed to Iraq with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Hamas: Once We Get the West Bank, We'll Destroy Israel
Oct. 7….(Israel Today) For any who are still curious why Israel doesn’t simply acquiesce to Palestinian demands for an independent state and end the conflict, Hamas once again happily provided the answer in a revealing interview with Arab media last week. Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Ramallah-based Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that if his group could “transfer what it has [in Gaza] or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise [to destroy Israel] with a speed that no one can imagine.”
Recently, Western power brokers, chief among them US President Barack Obama, have tried to differentiate between Hamas and the Islamic extremists of ISIS (now known simply as the Islamic State). But al-Zahar was not shy in admitting that Hamas’ goals are largely synonymous with those of ISIS, if only on a smaller scale. “Some have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine,” said al-Zahar.
Those pushing Israel to relinquish the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) might argue that Hamas can dream all it likes, but that it is the “moderate” Palestinian Authority that would rule an independent Palestinian state. What they forget is that Hamas has already demonstrated that democracy is no obstacle to its ambitions. Hamas handily won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. And when it was denied the power due it, Hamas turned its guns on the Palestinian Authority and swiftly seized control of Gaza.
Recent polls have suggested Hamas would repeat that feat in the West Bank were Israel to withdraw its forces and uproot the Jewish settlements there. A survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research last week revealed that if elections were held today, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would become the new president of the Palestinian Authority, beating out current President Mahmoud Abbas by a margin of 55 percent-to–38 percent. The poll demonstrated that support for Hamas is high in the West Bank, giving credence to al-Zahar’s threat to transfer the groups military capabilities and more severely threaten the Jewish state’s major population centers.
Obama Funded Islamist Rebels Without Congressional Approval, Creating ISIS, 'Benghazi's' Death and Genocide of Christians
Oct. 6….(Christian Post/Bethany Blankley) Adolf Hitler said, "the great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." Sadly, this could not be truer among Americans who believe big lies about Islam and how their tax dollars fund Islamists on multiple sides of conflicts throughout the Middle East.
President Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, the CIA, among others, provided weapons and billions of dollars to Islamists who are beheading Americans, systematically committing genocide against Christians, and destroying the democratic gains once achieved in Iraq. IS, the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is a region-specific name for the Muslim Brotherhood. Similar to Hamas, Boko-Haram, and Hezbollah, IS exists because President Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood. He has supported them for many years, but not until the 2010 Arab Spring, could he do so officially.
On December 17, 2010 a policewoman slapped vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazzi in a small Tunisian town. He was so offended that he lit himself on fire in protest. His self-immolation ignited a firestorm that spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, known as the Arab Spring. What followed was the overthrow of Zine Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen.
In August 2011, Obama declared that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should "step aside," so that "democratic" and "moderate" rebels could effect political change in Syria. However, there were no such rebels in Syria, nor would there be. The CIA had already cobbled together the Sunni-backed Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council, comprised of brutal, radical, anti-democratic, Islamist mercenaries from Turkey. The overthrow of Assad was financed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
By January 2012, the CIA was shipping arms and providing "communications assistance" to these two groups. By March 2012 President Obama refused to launch air strikes in Syria despite his claim to draw a "red line" if Assad was using chemical weapons and WMDs. Instead, Obama send $1.5 billion to the Muslim Brotherhood, going around Congress, after it had halted financial aid to Egypt.
But by September 2012, just weeks before the US national election, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed by Islamists in Benghazi, Libya. The death of the "Benghazi 4" was an unintended consequence of a CIA-led weapons smuggling operation with al Qaeda, unauthorized by Congress, which the Obama Administration aggressively sought to cover up. Benghazi was never about a video, or a lack of consulate security.
Obama had created a loophole in a 1970 law to go around Congress again, in order to transport weapons from the former Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi's arsenal, to Syria, to aid the Muslim Brotherhood's fight against the deposed, yet still resistant, former Syrian president Basher al-Assad. What resulted was increased sectarian violence in Syria that spilled into northern Iraq. Sectarian groups financed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, and the US combined, forming IS. IS began annihilating Christians and beheading Americans, which caused enough public outcry to cause Obama to fight against the very groups he had helped create.
Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, hundreds of thousands of people are dead. Nearly three million Syrian refugees are still in exile. More than six million people are displaced throughout the Middle East and North Africa. According to HSBC estimates, the financial cost to these regional economies has been a loss of more than $800 billion.
Despite the colossal failure of a combined $6 trillion that America already spent on regime changes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, in July 2014, President Obama asked Congress to authorize $500 million to increase support for "moderate" and "appropriately vetted" rebels, within the context of a $1.5 billion "regional stability initiative."
By September 2014, Congress acquiesced and voted to fund these "junior league" rebels, which include IS, against whom the US and UK are now bombing. As a result, Americans are funding all sides of the barbaric Islamist conflict throughout the Middle East. The question remains: When will Americans recognize and demand answers to the big lies President Obama, Hillary Clinton and others in his administration have told about supporting terrorists who hate America?
Perhaps the answer comes from President Obama's White House Homeland Security advisor, Mohamed Elibiary, who recently tweeted, "America is an Islamic country" with an "Islamic Compliant Constitution." He predicted that, "on foreign policy front, it'll be hard at times but over next 10 years conservative movement will evolve towards Muslim majority world." Exposing the big lies that hide this truth is America's best hope against a totalitarian Islamic rule that is incomparably worse to any rule Hitler could have envisioned.
Temple Institute Raises $100K for Third Temple Plans
Oct. 6….(Worthy News) The Temple Institute raised $100,000 for modern architectural plans for the Third Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple Institute says the Third Temple will be a "house of prayer for all nations" and will usher in a "new era of universal harmony and peace" as prophesied in the Bible. The Temple Institute's Indiegogo campaign surpassed its goal of $100,000 in 60 days with nearly 900 pledges coming from more than 30 countries worldwide. The campaign says, "After millennia of yearning, only one organization is paving the way for the rebuilding of the Temple. The Temple Institute located in the Old City of Jerusalem is a research organization dedicated to the preparing for the construction of the Third Temple, including the recreation of 60 sacred Temple vessels ready for use once the Temple is rebuilt. These include the High Priest's breastplate featuring the twelve precious stones of the tribes of Israel, the half-ton golden menorah, and the musical instrument of the Levitical choir." "Now is time for one of its most ambitious projects yet: completing architectural plans for the actual construction, fusing ancient texts and modern technology. While strictly adhering to the religious requirements set forth in Biblical texts, the Third Temple will also be equipped with every modern amenity: full computerization, underground parking, temperature control, elevators, docks for public transportation, wheelchair access, and much more," the campaign statement continued. "It is not enough to wait and pray for the Third Temple. It is a Biblical obligation to build it," the campaign concluded.
However, Bible scholars say the Temple will be built by the Messiah himself as He sits as a priest and a king on His throne. They point to a passage in Zechariah where it states emphatically twice that the "Branch" will build the temple, whom New Testament scholars say is Jesus and will be fulfilled after His second coming. "Thus says the Lord of hosts, "And say to him, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. It is he who shall build the temple of the Lord and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." [Zechariah 6:12-13]
Furthermore, prophecy experts warn that the next temple to appear will be the temple of the Antichrist. As the Bible warns, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." [II Thessalonians 2:3-4]
Finally, Bible scholars remind Christians of Jesus' warning as He told his followers to watch for the sign of the 'abomination of desolation.' [Matthew 24:15] Experts warn that the 'abomination of desolation' will be a picture of the Antichrist sitting in the temple proclaiming himself as "God." Earlier this year, the Temple Institute announced the possibility of finding the red heifer, which is believed to be necessary in the event the Temple will be rebuilt.