Israel Secretly Negotiating at Behest of Quartet

Jan. 3….(Ha Aretz)
Israel is reportedly secretly negotiating with the top deputy of Yasser Arafat, and has discussed the creation of a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank. Emissaries of Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat deputy Abu Mazen are believed to have discussed the outlines of a peace accord, with President Bush has been kept abreast of their progress. The Saudi report said Sharon was willing to accept a Palestinian state on 53 percent of the West Bank, and a substantial portion of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli land turnover would be phased in over 10 years, according to the report. The Palestinians were seeking a temporary state on 65 percent of the West Bank and Gaza territory. Abu Mazen also proposed that parts of Jerusalem, including the bitterly contested Temple Mount, which is holy to Muslims, be transferred to joint control of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Sharon was said to be opposing any concessions in Jerusalem. Abu Mazen, the second-highest ranking PLO official, has long been viewed in the Mid-east as a potential successor to Arafat. Meanwhile, The United States has rejected virtually all of Israel's reservations regarding an international plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Israeli diplomatic sources said the latest draft of the so-called roadmap for a Palestinian state does not include any of Israel's proposed revisions. The sources said the United States and its partners rejected Israeli objections concerning the extent of an Israeli withdrawal, immediate negotiations on the future of Jerusalem and the evacuation of Jewish settlements. The Quartet Peace Roadmap demands that Israel must discuss the future of Jerusalem at an early stage of the negotiations.

President Bush: We Will Liberate Iraq!

Jan. 3….(AP)
US President George W Bush rallied US troops on Friday, telling them that a war in Iraq would be "not to conquer but to liberate". President Bush told cheering soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas - the largest US Army base - that America was winning its war on terror around the world. He said terrorists were "nothing but a bunch of cold blooded killers and that's the way we are going to treat them". Terrorists will not be stopped by mercy or by conscience, but they will be stopped," he said. "They will be stopped by the will and might of the United States." He said America was confronting the threat of "outlaw regimes" that sought weapons of mass destruction.

Arafat: Ghost of War Overshadows Us

Jan. 2….(Reuters)
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said Tuesday he feared Israel might exploit a possible U.S. war on Iraq to escalate its own military attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Speaking at a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah to mark the 1965 founding of his Fatah faction, Arafat also said Palestinians "extended a hand for peace" with Israel and welcomed a recent call by international mediators for a truce. "The ghost of war that overshadows the Middle East represents today an open chance for the government of Israel and its occupation army to pursue its destructive war against our Palestinian people and against our holy Islamic and Christian places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem," Arafat said. Raanan Gissin, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, denied Israel's steps to combat the uprising were tied to the situation in Iraq. "It has to do with a deliberate strategy of terror he (Arafat) adopted," he told Reuters. "He is not a partner to peace and keeps repeating the same slogans."

Iraq urges Arabs to follow N. Korea

Jan. 2….(Washington Times)
Iraq urged the Arab world yesterday to take inspiration from fellow "axis of evil" member North Korea, as the U.S. military ordered more than 11,000 desert-trained troops to begin heading to the Persian Gulf. "We Arabs need to revise our behavior towards the United States, as North Korea has done. "Arabs need to learn the lesson from the Korean example to mobilize in order to stop an attack on Iraq and prevent a U.S.-Zionist crusade in the Arab world," the Iraqi spokeman said

Islamic Ruling Calls for Nuclear Weapon Armament

Jan. 2….(Arutz)
The Islamic Ruling Committee in Al-Azhar is considered to be the highest religious ruling authority for Sunni Muslims. On 23 Dec. 2002, the committee determined that the Islamic nation must acquire nuclear weaponry. "The acquirement of modern nuclear weaponry is a religious obligation." According to a member of the Islamic Ruling Committee, Sheikh Ala A-Shanawi "The Islamic nation has to recognize the enemy, and to prepare itself accordingly." In answer to a question sent to Sheikh Ala A-Shanawi, he wrote, "Allah's messenger the prophet Muhammed would have prepared himself with all the resources possible in order to deal with the enemy. Therefore, if the Islamic nation is not equipped with the desired weaponry needed, it will be forced to suffer the consequences, and will be blamed for negligence." Sheikh Ala A-Shanawi emphasized, "All Islamic nations are required to seize nuclear weaponry!”

Pope: End 'Senseless' Mideast Conflict

Jan. 1...(AP)
Pope John Paul II opened the new year Wednesday by pleading for an end to the "fratricidal and senseless" conflict in the Middle East as the church celebrated its World Day of Peace. "Despite the serious and repeated attacks to the serene and joint cohabitation of peoples, peace is possible and right," the pope said, to rare applause interrupting his homily during a New Year's Day Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. "Indeed, peace is the most precious good to invoke from God and to build with every effort." On Wednesday, the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace, the pope turned his attention to the 2-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the latest of several urgent appeals he has made for peace in the region. "Bethlehem! The Holy Land! The dramatic and persistent tensions that the Middle East region finds itself in makes all the more urgent the search for a positive solution to the fratricidal and senseless conflict, which for too long has bloodied it," the pope said in his homily. "There must be cooperation of all who believe in God, knowing that authentic religiousness, far from placing individuals and peoples in conflict with one another, rather pushes them to together build a world of peace."

Syria and Iraq Equiping Hezbullah for Israeli Strike

Dec. 31..(Middle East News Line)
Iraq has transferred several shipments of long-range rockets to the Syrian border over the past month. Israeli intelligence sources said the rockets are intended for Hizbullah in Lebanon as part of preparations for a massive strike against Israel. The sources said the regime of President Saddam Hussein relayed rockets with a range of 150 kilometers to Syria, which controls the flow of weapons to the Iranian-backed Hizbullah. Iraq has been holding contacts with Hizbullah in an effort to persuade the Lebanese-based organization to launch a massive attack on the eve of any U.S.-led war against Baghdad. Damascus has imported a range of weapons components and attempted to find medium-range Scud missiles for the Saddam regime.

Prayers To Destroy U.S. Echo Across Mideast

Dec. 31..(Ha Aretz)
In Friday sermons across the Middle East last week, Islamic leaders denounced American "plots" against Muslims and called on Allah to destroy Jews, the United States and its allies. On Yemen television, from the Grand Mosque in Sanaa, Sheik Akram Abd-al-Razzaq al-Ruqeihi prayed: "O God, destroy the United States and its allies and let them suffer, particularly tyrant and arrogant Americans. O God, destroy the Jews, for they are within your power." Yesterday, in Yemen, a gunman killed three American missionaries at a Southern Baptist hospital.

Annan: No Reason Now for Attacking Iraq

Dec. 31..(AP)
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday that he did not yet see any justification for a military strike against Iraq now since Baghdad had not hampered U.N. weapons inspectors operating in the country. Obviously the inspectors are carrying out their work and in the meantime Iraq is cooperating and they are able to do their work in an unimpeded manner," Annan said. "Therefore I don't see an argument for a military action now." United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also added that while he did not see the need for a military strike on Iraq, he hoped that Baghdad would not send missiles against Israel should such a situation arise, nor could he see any reason for it to do so.

U.S. expects Iraq to hit Israel Hard

Dec. 30….(World Net)
During the early stages of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq, Israeli population centers in Tel Aviv and elsewhere are expected to be targeted by Iraq's missiles – some of which are likely to be armed with chemical, biological or even nuclear warheads, say World Net Daily's U.S. military and intelligence sources. Unlike the first Persian Gulf War, however, the U.S. is not demanding that Israel sit back and take the blows. Instead, the U.S. is fully anticipating an Israeli response to any attack that results in massive civilian casualties. The missile attacks on Israel are expected during the air-war phase of the Iraq attack, before U.S. troops can occupy much of the country and secure or destroy hidden missile bases. Israel has perhaps the most advanced missile defense system in the world, but it is not expected to be 100 percent effective against a barrage assault. A growing number of U.S. military intelligence analysts believe Hussein has at least limited nuclear capabilities. "When he is certain his time has come," said one, "he will launch his doomsday weapon. He wants to go down in history as the man who destroyed Israel." U.S. military planners believe Iraq will target Israel early – before U.S. forces have a chance to destroy the regime's missiles. The order to attack Iraq is not expected to come before the end of January to provide U.N. weapons inspectors the time they need to gather data and make a report, say World Net Daily's sources. Some military analysts are predicting that the war will commence in late February, as the pentagon has already begun deploying battleships to the Persian Gulf region.

Three American Missionaries Killed in Yemen

Dec. 30….(Reuters)
An Islamic terrorist shot dead an American doctor and two of her American colleagues at a Baptist mission hospital in Yemen Monday in what Yemeni officials called an "Islamic extremist" attack. Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel, 30, was arrested and named as the killer by the Interior Ministry. Officials said he had posed as a patient and hoped the killings would bring him closer to God. The Southern Baptist International Mission Board named them as physician Martha Myers, 57, of Montgomery, Alabama, hospital administrator William Koehn, 60, of Arlington, Texas, and Kathleen Gariety, 53, from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a purchasing agent. Wounded pharmacist Donald Caswell, 49, of Levelland, Texas, was recovering after an operation to remove two bullets. A Yemeni official said Kamel told police he shot them because he believed they were Christian missionaries and he wanted to "cleanse his religion and get closer to God." "The gunman confessed to being a member of the Islamic Jihad group and said he shot the Americans because they were preaching Christianity!"


North Korea: Building Nuclear Bombs!

Dec. 27….(WND)
The North Korean government said Friday it will expel U.N. inspectors and reactivate a nuclear lab, only hours after the communist nation warned that the United States was rushing toward conflict. Estimates indicate that North Korea could build as many as 55 nuclear weapons a year if Pyongyang decided to power up and operate all three of its frozen nuclear reactors. American officials were alarmed by North Korea's admission in October that Pyongyang had engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons development program in violation of a 1994 agreement freezing nuclear development. In exchange for halting the program, the U.S. agreed to provide North Korea with heavy oil for power and industry, while South Korea and Japan agreed to build a pair of nuclear facilities using technology that made it difficult to harvest weapons-grade plutonium. After Pyongyang announced it had proceeded with its program anyway, the Bush administration retaliated in November by halting oil shipments. In response, Pyongyang dismantled United Nations surveillance and monitoring equipment at the Yongbyon facility last week and has begun procedures to restart the facility. U.S. intelligence believes North Korea already has one or two nuclear devices. Reports today also said Pakistan told U.S. officials two years ago that scientific and military elements within the Islamic country conspired to provide North Korea with technical assistance in developing Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. The Washington Times reported last month that North Korea is continuing to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could eventually threaten all its Asian neighbors, Europe and parts of the U.S.

Catholic Patriarch Slams Israel in Christmas Message

Dec. 27….(Arutz)
Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch issued a strong appeal in a Christmas Midnight Mass for an end to strife and freedom for Palestinians from Israeli occupation. Speaking to a packed congregation in the Roman Catholic Saint Catherine's church, adjoining the Church of the Nativity, Patriarch Michel Sabbah told Israelis: "Blood has been flowing in your cities and streets, but the key to solving this conflict is in your hands. By your actions so far, you have crushed the Palestinian people but you still have not achieved peace." The chair Sabbah reserved for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was empty, as Israel for the second consecutive year prevented him from traveling to Bethlehem at Christmas. Sabbah, himself a Palestinian, and the Vatican's senior representative in the Holy Land, addressed the empty chair which Arafat, although a Muslim, has occupied since his return to the territories in 1994. "We wish you (Arafat) were with us tonight, and we call on God to give you the wisdom and the power under this siege to continue your mission toward peace and justice," Sabbah said. On the chair was a sign in English reading: "His Excellency Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine," framed by a drawing of the Palestinian flag.

Russia, Iran Reach N-Plant Deal

Dec. 27….(CNN)
Shrugging off strong U.S. concerns, Russia has agreed to speed up construction of a nuclear reactor in Iran and consider building another. Moscow also has agreed to provide fuel for the Bushehr plant for 10 years in southern Iran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The United States has strongly urged Moscow to abandon the $800 million project, saying Iran is part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea. The Bush administration strongly opposes Iran's nuclear program, alleging the Islamic Republic is working to develop weapons of mass destruction. But Russia and Iran say the Bushehr project is for peaceful, civilian use only and would remain under international control. Washington, however, questions why Iran, OPEC's second biggest oil producer, with the world's second biggest gas reserves needs nuclear power.

N. Korea Threatens 'Fight to the End' With U.S.

Dec. 27….(Washington Post)
As North Korea pressed forward with plans to resuscitate a nuclear reactor that the Bush administration has said could produce weapons of mass destruction, the leading military official in the isolated Communist country today threatened a "fight to the end" against the United States. "If they, ignorant of their rival, dare provoke a nuclear war, the army and people of North Korea led by Kim Jong Il, the invincible commander, will rise up to mete out determined and merciless punishment to the U.S. imperialist aggressors with the might of single-hearted unity more powerful than an A-bomb," said Defense Minister Kim Il Chol. Kim's fiery words came a day after his U.S. counterpart, Donald H. Rumsfeld, pledged that the Bush administration would not be deterred from attacking North Korea by preoccupation with preparations for war in Iraq.

Iraqi Rockets Sent to Syria

Dec. 26....(Ha Aretz)
Some of the equipment transferred from Iraq to Syria in recent weeks was apparently earmarked for Hezbollah in Lebanon, to be used in opening a northern front against Israel in the event of an American offensive in Iraq. The shipments contained Iraqi rockets with a range of 100 to 150 kilometers, and possibly also various items that Iraq wanted to hide in Lebanon. In an interview with Channel Two television on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke of the possibility that Saddam Hussein had had chemical and biological weapons smuggled to Syria in order to hide them from United Nations weapons inspectors. Hezbollah has received rockets from Syria before. But the previous shipments contained Fatah and Tsumud rockets, whose range is no greater than 70 kilometers. Iraq's efforts to hide weapons are focused primarily on weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons. The discovery of such weapons in Iraq would provide the United States with a justification for military action and toppling Saddam Hussein's regime. But at the same time that it is hiding its unconventional weapons, there are reports that Iraq has been trying to increase the number of Scud missiles at its disposal. It is known, for instance, that the missile cargo captured two weeks ago on a ship bound for Yemen from North Korea was in fact destined for Iraq. The Americans released the ship after Yemen promised to keep the missiles itself, apparently to ensure Yemen's cooperation in the struggle against Al-Qaida. In addition, the Syrians at one point tried to find Scud missiles for Iraq. Given the Scuds' range, they were obviously meant to be used against Israel in case of war, rather than against other states in the region like Saudi Arabia. The Syrian aid to Iraq - in making military purchases and apparently also in hiding equipment - raises questions regarding President Bashar Assad's willingness to jeopardize his relations with the United States. On one hand, Damascus is making an effort to help Washington with information about Al-Qaida, but on the other, Baghdad is exerting economic pressure on it. In addition to helping Iraq, Assad also takes a risk by sheltering and aiding terrorist organizations like Islamic Jihad and Hamas, hiding behind the claim that they only operate information offices in his country.

Christmas: Jesus Came Once and is Returning

Dec. 23….(FOJ)
Christians around the world are preparing for the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago in the Judean town of Bethlehem. But Bethlehem is not nearly as quiet as it was in Jesus' day. Instead, the little town finds itself caught in the crossfire of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since the beginning of the Palestinian Intifada more than a year ago, Bethlehem has become a battlefield. Before Yasser Arafat's henchman commandeered the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem was a hub of tourism, but now some areas of Bethlehem resemble a war zone. The intense fighting between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli Defense Forces has had a devastating impact on the economy. Christmas means that God Himself became flesh, as is mentioned in John 1:14, and manifest himself among the human race by being born in the little town of Bethlehem. And that is the “good news” of the Gospel, that a Savior was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Manger Square, which has seen a lot of tension in recent months rests in the heart of Bethlehem. In most years, the square would be filled with tourists from around the world in anticipation of Christmas. But today empty, because Yasser Arafat has canceled Christmas in Bethlehem. Yet in the midst of the difficulties here in Bethlehem, some say there are signs of revival in the town where Jesus Christ was born. Christmas is a time not only to remember the first coming of Jesus Christ, but also to remember that today's turmoil in the Middle East holds the promise of his Second Coming. I believe with all my heart that Jesus is coming soon, especially considering all that is happening in the Middle East area and also around world, signs are signaling that it is time to wake us up as Christians and to look for the second coming of Jesus Christ!

Quartet's Mideast Road Map '99.5 Percent' Done

President Bush and Vice President Cheney meet in the White House with diplomats from the United Nations, the European Union and Russia to discuss the Mid-east Peace Roadmap. In a written statement, the quartet said that "based upon a common understanding on the content and goals of this process," it had "made substantial progress toward finalizing a road map for presentation to the parties in the near future."

Dec. 23….(CNN) Amid word that the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations are "very close" to agreeing on a plan for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian settlement, the four issued a statement Friday calling for "an immediate, comprehensive cease-fire" in the region. Delegates from the four, known as the Middle East quartet, met Friday, first at the State Department and then at the White House with President Bush, to discuss a U.S.-sponsored "road map" that Bush described as "a way forward" after months of spiraling violence. "It is more or less complete now," a senior quartet diplomat said after the State Department meeting. "We've agreed to 99.5 percent of the road map." A recent draft of the road map is described as a "performance-based and goal-driven" plan. It details a two-step peace process. The first would require Palestinians to "immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence" and call for "supportive measures" by Israel. The second step is described as a transition phase lasting from June to December of 2003. It would create an independent Palestinian state under the "consensus judgment of the quartet." A final phase described as "permanent status agreement" is also de tailed in the draft.

Russians Angered by Iraq's Oil Deal

Dec. 23….(Telegraph)
A bitter squabble between Baghdad and Russia's largest oil company is threatening to sour relations just as the Kremlin must decide whether to back an American-led war to topple Saddam Hussein that seems increasingly inevitable. The row broke out last week when Iraq declared "null and void" a £200 billion deal with Lukoil to develop the West Qurna oil field. Russia's energy and foreign ministries reacted furiously to the news. Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister, said the cancellation was to punish Lukoil for negotiating with America over its future interests in the region. Given Iraq's record, the cancellation of the deal may be a crude attempt to blackmail Moscow into offering greater diplomatic support in the crucial coming weeks. Igor Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister, called for talks on the deal. If America offered Moscow the guarantees it is seeking for Lukoil, it might even encourage Russia to accept that Saddam's downfall would be to its economic advantage.

Quarter Of Clergy Deny Virgin Birth

Dec. 23….(Telegraph)
More than a quarter of Church of England clergy do not believe in the virgin birth of Christ, according to a survey carried out by The Telegraph. A poll of 500 clerics found that 27 per cent privately reject the traditional story of Jesus birth, which forms a vital part of the Nativity. The view of a Hampshire vicar was typical. "There was nothing special about his birth or childhood, it was his adult life that was extraordinary," he said. Many of the skeptics who took part in the survey, one of the biggest ever conducted by a newspaper, said that the story of the virgin birth was a product of poor biblical translations and literary tradition rather than divine intervention. One vicar added: "Writers at the time used to stress a person's importance by making up stories about their early life. I think that is exactly what has happened here." A colleague added: "I do not believe in the virgin birth but I would not argue for that point of view in a sermon because I simply don't believe it is that important an issue." The Gospel according to St Luke recounts how Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told she would give birth to the son of God. When Mary questioned how this could be because she had no husband, she was told: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." John Roberts, an evangelical preacher who heads The Lord's Day Observance Society, said: "If you take away the virgin birth you might as well take away the entire Christian message. The miracle of the Christian faith is that God came down to us. If you lose that miracle you lose the resurrection and everything else."

FOJ Note: If the Virgin Birth is taken away, then Jesus could not be the Son of God. He would have just been the mere son of a man. The Virgin birth is a fundamental doctrine of true Christianity. Jesus was born of the “seed of woman,” and not through the seed of man. The Holy Spirit conceptualized the birth.


U.S. Urges U.N. to Authorize War in Iraq

Dec. 20….(Washington Post)
The Bush administration, concluding that Saddam Hussein is not serious about disarmament, has turned to convincing the U.N. Security Council that it should declare Iraq in violation of world demands and authorize war. The Bush administration has set the last week in January as the make-or-break point in the long standoff with Iraq, and is increasingly confident that by then it will have marshaled the evidence to convince the U.N. Security Council that Iraq is in violation of a U.N. resolution passed last month and to call for the use of force, officials said yesterday. In disclosing their plans, administration officials offered the clearest timetable to date of how they would like to see the inspections process brought to a head. They are pointing to Jan. 27, when Blix is scheduled to make his first substantive report to the Security Council on Iraq's weapons declaration. That date falls within the late January to early February window U.S. military planners have said is the optimum moment to launch an invasion of Iraq.

Secretary Powell: Iraq Has LiedM

Dec. 20….(CNN)
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, after rejecting the weapons declaration Iraq submitted to the U.N. Security Council as "a new lie," laid out the path Thursday for the United States as it continues to increase pressure on Iraq to disarm. "First, we must continue to audit and examine the Iraqi declaration to understand the full extent of Iraq's failure to meet its disclosure obligations," he said after dismissing the document as "a catalog of recycled information and systematic omissions." Powell said the Iraqi declaration falls way short of meeting the directives of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 and "fails totally to move us in the direction of a peaceful solution." Powell's remarks came after a meeting of the Security Council at which top weapons inspectors provided their first report on Iraq's written declaration. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Thursday that Iraq had failed to provide evidence in its declaration to prove that it no longer has weapons of mass destruction.

Christmas has Become an Offensive Word

Dec. 20….(Washington Post)
An increasing number of public schools nationwide are becoming no-Christmas zones this year in an effort by school officials to accommodate different cultures and not offend non-Christians. Last week, several elementary teachers in Sacramento, Calif., said they had been banned from using the word "Christmas" in class, and a mother in San Diego was barred from reading a Christmas story to a fourth-grade class. In New York, some school administrators asked teachers to limit holiday decorations to generic messages, such as "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings," and some city schools barred Nativity displays.

European Leaders Condemn Israel

Dec. 20….(Jerusalem Post)
EU leaders meeting in Copenhagen for a summit on the Middle East blamed Israel for the recent suicide bombings. Israel, the European ministers alleged, is responsible for Palestinian terrorism because it dares to allow Jews to live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. By daring to allow Jews to live in these areas, the EU said, Israel "violates international law, inflames an already volatile situation, and reinforces the fear of Palestinians that Israel is not genuinely committed to end the occupation." British Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to even meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hosting the terrorist supplier, cheerleader and enabler; the occupier of Lebanon; but had no problem meeting with the weapons of mass destruction proliferator and human-rights abuser, Syrian President Bashar Assad. With Tony Blair standing beside him, the Syrian dictator described the terrorist headquarters he happily houses in Damascus as "press centers." He extolled suicide bombers. He defended his friend Saddam Hussein. He condemned the United States. And of course, he condemned Israel over and over.

US Has Reason to Build Missile Defense

Dec. 19….(Worthy News)
The Pentagon is planning to build a second missile-defense interceptor system near the East Coast or in Europe to counter missile threats from the Middle East, Bush Administration officials said yesterday. President Bush announced Tuesday that the Pentagon will build a limited missile-defense system by 2004, situated in the West and primarily aimed at defending the United States against long-range missile attacks from North Korea or China. Iran has the Shahab-3 medium-range missile that can reach Europe, but not the United States. U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians also are working on an intercontinental-range missile, which the Tehran government has denied. Defense officials said the West Coast system to be deployed by 2005 could protect most of the United States, with the exception of southern Florida, from missiles launched from East Asia. FOJ Note: The US has numerous reasons to build a missile defense system. Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and North Korea with help from China and Russia are all rapidly building ballistic missile systems that can reach the US. These nations leave no doubt as to whom they are targeting, and both Russia and China vociferously object to the US building a missile defense. Why?

Hamas Supporters Arrested in Texas

Dec. 19….(Reuters)
A leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, his wife and five employees of a Texas computer company have been charged with breaking U.S. laws that ban dealing in terrorist funds. A 33-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas named Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas political leader who was deported from the United States in 1997 and is believed to be in the Middle East. The vice president of InfoCom Corp. and four of his brothers, all employees of the private firm based in Richardson, Texas, were also charged. Marzook is alleged to have conspired with InfoCom to hide his financial transactions with the company. In 1995, the U.S. government designated Marzook as a "terrorist" whose actions threatened the Middle East peace process, a designation that made it illegal for any U.S. person or entity to conduct transactions with him.

The Exclusivity of Jesus

Dec. 19….(Baptist Press)
A lively televised debate about gospel exclusivity aired December 17th on MSNBC's Phil Donahue program. The debate resulted in a sharp contrast between traditional Christianity and liberal Protestantism.Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr defended the orthodox Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Mohler was called a "spiritual racist" by Jewish Rabbi Boteach in the opening segment. The debate with a self-professed Christian later in the show resulted in the most spirited exchange. Rev. Mohler made it clear he believed that "Jesus is the only way" and on several occasions quoted John 14:6. But another guest, Union Theological Seminary (N.Y.) President Joseph Hough, took exception to evangelicals' beliefs, even saying that God could possibly be a "she." "The basic problem I think here is that their God is too small," Hough said of evangelicals. "For me, I'm passionately Christian. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus as the one who showed me the way. But I would be the last person to be so arrogant as to assert that my God has so little imagination that she or he could not reach out to other people in other cultures and other ways."Host Phil Donahue followed by telling Hough, "You speak for me. "Hough also said that "those who claim that they know who is going to be saved" have scandalized Christ's name. "I think God knows who is going to be saved. I'm happy to leave it in God's hands," he said. Mohler, trying to put the entire panel's debate in perspective a few segments later, said his views parallel the beliefs of the church since its inception. "This is what Christianity has represented throughout the centuries," Mohler said. "That's just an historical fact. Liberal Protestants, like Dr. Hough, have moved away from a doctrine of biblical authority. "With Hough responding, "That's not true," Mohler posed a question: "Do you believe that Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me?" "I don't know whether Jesus said that or whether John wrote it," Hough responded. Said Mohler: "But it was written in the Word." "Don't you know about historical criticism?" Hough asked Mohler. " Then you should read a little bit of that. If you did, then you would know that that book was written in the second century." Comments such as Hough's reflect historical critics' suspicion of the Bible's truthfulness by insisting it includes historical inaccuracies. Mohler responded, "You take the Jesus of your scholarly imagination, and I'll take the Jesus of the gospel. " Hough, pointing to a Bible Mohler had brought, asked, "Do you believe that Bible literally?" "Yes, I do," Mohler answered.

FOJ Note: Several Donahue Show attendees expressed outrage at Christianity's claim of uniqueness. One said the panel's evangelicals "are more fanatical than half of the people who are causing problems in Israel and around the Arab world. Some even concluded that those who espouse Jesus exclusive claim for salvation (John 14:6) are bigots and hate-mongers.

Israel's Return on Oslo

Dec. 18….(FOJ)
There have been 166 Palestinian suicide bombers that have blown themselves up during the current Al Aqsa Intifada. Out of the 166 suicide bombers, 95 detonated themselves in separate terrorist attacks, killing over 500 Israeli's. Between the year 1993 (the beginning of the Oslo Peace Process) up until December 16, 2002, there have been 227 suicide bombers. Oslo has only served to bring the Arafat-Hezbullah horrors of Lebanon and Beirut to Israel's inner doorstep.

Donahue: “Jesus-His Way or No Way”!

Dec. 18….(FOJ)
Last night, MSNBC aired a Phil Donahue show that highlighted the topic; “Jesus-Only way to Heaven?” Talk show host Phil Donahue disputes that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, and brought the issue before Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Rev. Albert Mohler, (SBC) Dr. Hough, (Union Theological Seminary-New York) and Michael Brown on his show. (INC Ministries-Messianic Jew) The consensus of Donahue-Dr. Hough-Rabbi Boteach was that any one claiming that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven is a bigot and a hate-monger. Their assertion was that fundamental Christianity is intolerant and promotes hatred. The debate centered around the scripture attributed to Jesus that is recorded in John 14:6. (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) FOJ Note: Through the cultural philosophy of tolerance and pluralism, the world is quickly uniting under a religious banner that excludes the doctrine of Jesus Christ being the only means of Salvation.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. I John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

The world is repudiating the idea that God would send anybody to Hell just because they do not accept Jesus Christ. Such a narrow minded religious view has been targeted by the worlds religious unity movement as being too dogmatic and absolute! Little do people realize that the world is already condemned, and Jesus was sent by God to offer salvation to them.

John 3:17-18 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus Christ: The Only Way
(Excerpt from Aug. 20 Donahue Show)

Dec. 18….(Baptist Press)
Christians have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel to all people, including Jews, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said during a spirited debate on MSNBC's "Donahue" Aug. 20. Mohler joined a Messianic Jew, a rabbi and host Phil Donahue in debating the issue of Jewish evangelism, a subject that came to the national forefront when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement rejecting the need for Jewish people to embrace Jesus as the Messiah. Donahue, a Roman Catholic, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach hotly contested any contention that Jews should be evangelized. Donahue called such thinking "intolerant" and "arrogant," while Boteach went one step further in calling Mohler a "spiritual Neanderthal." But Mohler and Michael Brown, a Messianic Jew, grounded their answers in Scripture. Donahue began the show by joking that "all we have to do is convince the Southern Baptists" to follow the Catholics' lead. In fact, the first few minutes were a mini-debate between Donahue and Mohler. Donahue began by asking Mohler if the Southern Baptist Convention's 16 million members believe that Jews can go to heaven. "Southern Baptists, along with other Christians, believe that all persons can go to heaven who come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Mohler said, "There's no discrimination on the basis of ethnic or racial or national issues." Donahue then asked, "So a good Jew is not going to heaven?" "All persons are sinners in need of a savior," Mohler responded. "Jesus Christ is the sole mediator. The gospel, we are told by the apostle Paul, comes first to the Jews and then to gentiles. Salvation is found in his name and in his name alone through faith in Christ, and through that faith alone." Not satisfied with the answer, Donahue asked another question: Who's more likely to go to heaven, a Nazi or a "good Jew" killed in a concentration camp? "The gospel is not just for the worst of us, the gospel is for all of us," Mohler said. "The Scripture tells us the hard truth that all have sinned. That Nazi guard is going to be punished for his sin and it will be judged as sin. His only hope would be the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The profound truth of the gospel is that the salvation that can come to any person who comes to faith in Christ can come to that Jew who was killed and to that guard who does the killing. That's the radical nature of the gospel."

Donahue responded that while Southern Baptists have "many wonderful members," Mohler's views are full of anti-Semitism and prejudice. "If the church had just come up with this in the 20th century as a novel idea, perhaps it should be subjected to such a critique," Mohler said. "But this is a gospel that has been received from the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who said he came first of all for the people and children of Israel and then also for the gentiles. He himself declared that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no man cometh to the Father but through him. He spoke as a man born of the Jewish race, but he was also the Son of God." Brown, who was a drug user until becoming a Christian as a teenager, agreed. "My goal is not to convert Jews to Christianity," said Brown, president of ICN Ministries, a Pensacola, Fla.,-based evangelistic outreach with a focus on "Israel, the Church and the Nations."

"My goal is to get Jews and gentiles to recognize who the Savior is. ... Jesus came as a Jew to fulfill what was written in Moses and the Prophets. If he did it, Jews should believe in him. If not, throw the whole thing out. If Jesus is not for Jews, he's not for anybody." Boteach, a radio host and author of "Judaism for Everyone," strongly disagreed with both Mohler and Brown. "Rev. Mohler, however intelligent of a scholar he may be, he is a spiritual Neanderthal with repulsive, revolting views," Boteach said. "... This is the modern equivalent of spiritual terrorism. You would think that we would have progressed to some sort of racial harmony and tolerance, especially after Sept. 11."

Boteach later asserted that, "If Jesus were alive today I think he would take Rev. Mohler and Dr. Brown to court for character assassination. They took the Prince of Peace and made him into the torturer-in-chief." Donahue took Mohler to task again, saying that he has made God into an "egomaniac" who tells people, "You better pray to me or I'll show you what trouble really is." Mohler, though, responded by saying his views are founded in both the Old and New Testaments. "God declared this to Moses in the covenant at Sinai," Mohler said. "He spoke very much about the fact that there was an order to have no gods before him. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that law." Donahue asserted that Mohler's views were arrogant, arguing that the Crusades began with similar beliefs. But Mohler said he has a duty to proclaim the gospel message. "It would be arrogant if this was our message," Mohler answered. "But if that is what the Son of God said himself, if that is the truth, then it would be hateful and it would be intolerant not to tell you what we believe to be the truth. I cannot compel any person to believe in Christ, but I do have the responsibility with gladness and joy to share the good news of the gospel, knowing that all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved whether Jew or gentile." Boteach, obviously upset at Mohler's answer, then asked a series of questions. Rev. Mohler, are you allowed to think?" Boteach asked. "Because you sound like a broken record. You have been repeating this mantra since the show started. Does your religion allow for independent thought? Are you allowed to have a heart? Can you feel for people? Do you know that Jews have been turned into lampshades and bars of soap and ashes? ... You are a liability to Christianity." However, Mohler said that his beliefs are the bedrock of orthodox Christianity and that the Jewish people have a special place in God's plan. "I am fully aware that neither the Roman Catholic bishops nor the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have any power to send any soul to heaven or to hell," he said to Boteach. "The question comes down to what the gospel really is. What you assaulted in your language there is classical Christianity as taught by the apostles and handed down by the church. "I believe that God has a distinctive purpose for the Jewish people and that Christians are called to be friends to all, and especially to the Jewish people with a sense of indebtedness. At the same time, we are to bear witness to the gospel, believing that God is going to do a remarkable thing in bringing many, many Jewish persons to faith in Christ."

Bush: “Iraq Has Failed to Comply”

Dec. 18….(MSNBC)
President Bush is poised to declare that Iraq has, in the view of the United States, fallen far short of its requirement to provide a complete and accurate accounting of its weapons programs to the United Nations. Bush will hold a regularly scheduled meeting of the National Security Council on Wednesday and the lead item on the agenda will be to settle on an official response to Iraq's declaration to the UN. The president's national security team is recommending that the United States declare that Iraq has violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 by failing to fully account for its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. "They have failed the test and we will make it plain that they have done so," said a Bush spokesman. U.N. resolution 1441, calling for Iraq to give a "currently accurate, full, and complete declaration" of its weapons programs, was unanimously passed by the Security Council on November 8.

US Will Deploy Missile Shield

Dec. 18….(Reuters)
President Bush announced plans Tuesday to deploy within two years the first phase of a limited system designed to protect the United States against a ballistic missile attack. “Throughout my administration, I have made clear the United States will take every measure necessary to protect our citizens against what is perhaps the greatest danger of all. And that is the catastrophic harm that may result from hostile states or terrorist groups armed with weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them," Bush said. The initial system will consist of ground-based interceptor missiles based at Fort Greeley, Alaska. The interceptors are designed to destroy any long-range missiles fired at the United States or conceivably at a U.S. ally. Officials say the plan calls for the first battery of interceptors to be deployed by 2004, with an additional battery scheduled to be in place within a year or two of that. In addition, a system designed to destroy short-range and medium-range missiles would be deployed aboard Navy ships equipped with the advanced Aegis radar system.

Israel's Labor Party: Give Up the Temple Mount

Dec. 17….(Ha Aretz)
The Labor Party will reportedly propose in its election platform that Israel give up control of the Temple Mount. This emerges from a draft of the party platform to be presented to the Labor bureau for approval on Thursday. The proposal talks of a "special regime" in the Old City of Jerusalem and in the "holy basin" that will reflect the unique nature of the place for the three mono-theisitic religions, according to Yigal Tsehor who headed the platform committee. This differs, however, from the text adopted by the party convention in July that spoke of an "international supervisory council." Sources in Labor said the new phrasing was intended to soften the effect of the concession, which, at the time, caused a furor in the party. The original text was brought to the convention by then-party leader Benjamin Ben-Eliezer who believed Labor should abide by the Clinton blueprint for peace discussed at Camp David in the summer of 2000 and incorporate some of the Saudi peace plan into its platform. While heading Labor in the 2001 elections, Ehud Barak also spoke of commitment to the Clinton plan.

Ten Commandments Under Siege in USA

Dec. 17….(World Net)
Some 400 veterans and other enthusiastic backers of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore rallied on the steps of the Alabama Capitol today in support of his fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument in the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building, as the deadline for its court-ordered removal looms. U. S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson found "Roy's Rock," as it's nicknamed, violates the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Moore defiantly said he has "no intentions" of removing the display and filed notice last week in federal court he will appeal the ruling. "Federal district courts have no jurisdiction or authority to prohibit the acknowledgment of God that is specifically recognized in the Constitution of Alabama," Moore said in a statement announcing the appeal. "Anytime you deny the acknowledgement of God you are undermining the entire basis for which our country exists," Moore said. "Rights come from God, not from government. If government can give you rights, government can take them away from you. If God gives you rights, no man and no government can take them away from you. That was the premise of the organic law of this country, which is the Declaration of Independence. Because, if there is no God, then man's power is the controlling aspect, and therefore power will be centralized," he said.

FOJ Note: Leviticus 26:15-17 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

Yasser Arafat: His true History

Dec. 17….(Emanuel Winston)
Yasir Arafat claims that he was born in Jerusalem, but he was actually born in Cairo, Egypt. Arafat is a congenital liar. But there's more to it than that: his lies are all designed to create an aura of romance around himself and the Palestinian people. Arafat is the most bizarre political leader in the world today, in that he has obliterated all considerations of ordinary living and has fused himself completely with his cause. He's never had anything like a regular home life. He has no interest in comforts, possessions, or normal pleasures. He has no interest in social issues, books, or cultural matters. His father was a small-scale textile trader who spent much of his life obsessed by a tortuous and ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit to reclaim some land in Egypt that had been in his family 150 years before. His father, Abd al Ra'uf Arafat Al-Qadwa, was the son of a well-known family from Gaza and nearby Khan-Yunis, who had married Zahava Abu-Sa'ud from Jerusalem. In 1927, the couple had emigrated from Palestine and settled in Egypt. 2 years later their son Yasser was born there in Cairo. When Yasser was 3-4 years old, his mother died and his father who was not close to him, sent him to spend some time with his mother's family in Jerusalem. After his father remarried, his family sent him back to Cairo, where he spent the rest of his youth. Arafat later changed his name (his given name is Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al Qudua al Husseini) {aka Muhammad Abd ar-Ra'uf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husayni} . When his father died, Arafat, remarkably, in view of Arab custom, did not bother to attend the funeral. From the Arab defeat in the 1948 war Arafat drew the conclusion that has been at the heart of his political success ever since: Palestinians should not rely on Arab governments for help but should control the fight against Israel themselves. Arafat's first such battle was against the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was set up in 1964 by various Arab countries to coordinate Palestinian activities. Arafat regarded the group as a puppet organization and thus aligned Fatah, the movement he had started, with more-radical circles,with Algerian revolutionaries, with Che Guevara, with the Vietnamese Communists. In order to upstage the PLO, Arafat launched a series of raids into Israel. Arafat, through Fatah, became the head of the PLO and has since been the undisputed leader of the Palestinian cause. Arafat does not seem to care what sort of Palestinian state he creates, whether it is Marxist, democratic, or fundamentalist. He has no political ideology, but just simply hates Israel. He and his army have brought disorder wherever they have settled. In 1969 they based themselves in Jordan, where they soon began terrorizing the local people, running extortion rackets against businesses, and undermining the Jordanian regime. Black September followed in 1970: Jordan's King Hussein launched a huge and bloody war against the Palestinians, killing thousands and leading to the expulsion of Arafat and his army. The same sort of thing happened in Lebanon a decade later, with Palestinian thugs looting banks and destroying the local government. The Syrians finally came in to restore order, in what became known as Black June. Arafat has somehow survived his many crises—battles with the Jordanians, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Lebanese Christians, and, of course, the Israelis. And each time, instead of being held even partly responsible for the widespread suffering his actions have caused his people, he has been lionized as the figure who will someday bring deliverance from Israel, who he blames for everything! *Let us consider Yassir Arafat, so carefully cleaned up by the West, particularly by the Clintons, from a well-documented terrorist into a diplomat and world statesman. Yassir Arafat also claimed to be born in Jerusalem but was actually born in Cairo, in August 1929, with a whole different name. Nor as he has claimed, is he related to the late Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Amin al-Husseini) or Faisel Husseini or any other Husseini clan of Jerusalem. There are 4 Husseini clans in the Land of Israel, none related. The Grand Mufti spent World War II in Berlin, urging Hitler to bring his killing machine to kill the Palestinian Jews to cleanse the land of Jews for the Arab people and Islam. Arafat learned with the Mufti about the politics of Arab nationalism in Palestine during that brief period. Clearly, Arafat desperately wanted to emulate the Grand Mufti and so invented his lineage, completing the fabrication.

Arafat: Bin Laden Can't hide behind Palestinian Cause

Dec. 16….(Jerusalem Post)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has denounced Osama bin Ladin and warned him not to hitch his wagon to the Palestinian cause. "I'm telling him directly not to hide behind the Palestinian cause," Arafat said in a London interview. “Why is bin Ladin talking about Palestine now? Bin Laden never not ever stressed this issue. He never helped us. He was working in another, completely different area and against our interests." He said he believes bin Ladin is exploiting the Palestinian cause in to expand his support in the Islamic world. In a recently released tape recording, bin Ladin's spokesman, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, declared that "liberation of our holy places, led by Palestine, is our central issue." He said the "Crusader-Zionist alliance" an apparent reference to the US and Israel faces further attacks by "the young men of Islam who are eager to kill you and spill your blood as you spill the blood of Muslims in Palestine and other Islamic lands." In the interview, Arafat was also bitterly critical of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for linking Palestinian violence to the American war on terrorism. Arafat made it clear that he would not leave Palestinian land for exile. And, the interviewer noted: "He did not need to look at the submachine gun on the floor behind him to emphasize the point."

Al-Qaida Purchased 20 Russian Suitcase Nukes?

Dec. 16….(World Net)
A new book by an FBI consultant on international terrorism suggests that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million. The book,”Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror” by Paul L. Williams, also says this deal was one of at least three in the last decade in which al-Qaida purchased small nuclear weapons or weapons-grade nuclear uranium. Williams says bin Laden's search for nuclear weapons began in 1988 when he hired a team of five nuclear scientists from Turkmenistan. These were former employees at the atomic reactor in Iraq before it was destroyed by Israel. By 1990 bin Laden had hired hundreds of atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union for $2,000 a month, an amount far greater that their wages in the former Soviet republics." According to Williams, bin Laden succeeded in buying the 20 suitcase nukes from Chechen Mafia figures, including former KGB agents. After the devices were obtained, they were placed in the hands of Arab nuclear scientists who, federal sources say, 'were probably trained at American universities,'" says Williams. Though the devices were designed only to be operated by Soviet Spetznaz personnel, or special forces, al-Qaida scientists came up with a way of hot-wiring the bombs to the bodies of would-be suicide martyrs! Suitcase nukes are not really suitcases at all, but suitcase-size nuclear devices. The weapons can be fired from grenade or rocket launchers or detonated by timers. A bomb placed in the center of a metropolitan area would be capable of instantly killing hundreds of thousands and exposing millions of others to lethal radiation. Yossef Bodansky, the author of “Bin Laden:, The Man who Declared War on America,” and the U.S. Congress' top terrorism expert, concurs that bin Laden has already succeeded in purchasing suitcase nukes. Former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed also testified to Congress that 40 nuclear suitcases disappeared from the Russian arsenal after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Williams quotes an anonymous federal official as saying: "The question isn't whether bin Laden has nuclear weapons, it's when he will try to use them." In addition to the suitcase nukes, Williams reports that al-Qaida has also obtained chemical weapons from North Korea and Iraq. Williams says the FBI confirmed to him that Saddam Hussein provided bin Laden with a "gift" of anthrax spores.

North Korea and Iran Coordinated Nuclear Development

Dec. 16….(Debka)
North Korea recently admitted that it has nuclear weapons. The methodology of that development comes from an Iranian-North Korean nuclear weapons cooperating program. Two Nuclear bombs were smuggled to North Korea from Iran last September. They were the property of North Korea, however, they were manufactured and assembled in Iran under the secret Tehran-Pyongyang contract of last July. North Korea secretly transferred its nuclear manufacturing facilities to the Islamic Republic while the US was focusing on the North Korean nuclear prograam. Specifically, the North Korean plant for the production of all the essential components of the North Korean bombs, including equipment for uranium enrichment, was shifted lock, stock and barrel to Iran, where production has been taking place at two secret sites, both supervised by the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. This state body is controlled by the National Security Council that defers only to Iran's radical spiritual leader Ali Khamenei. The most important site, where nuclear fuel (enriched uranium) is produced, is located at Natanz, 100 miles north of Isfahan on the old Natanz-Kashan highway. A huge facility, big enough to employ hundreds of workers, it is buried many feet underground and set in layers of concrete. Washington sources add that the Bush Administration is considering placing this information before Russian president Vladimir Putin as leverage to persuade him to come aboard, should the US decide on military action against Iran, during or after the Iraq campaign. After all, it would now appear that the Iranians used the Russian-assisted Bushehr project as a cover-up for their secret deal with North Korea, camouflage to obscure their progress towards a nuke of their own.

Russian President Putin has denied assisting the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Iran is now equipped to manufacture nuclear bombs unaided, whether by Russia or anyone else. Satellite photo of secret Iranian nuclear installation at Natanz

Russia Helped Iran in Nuclear Arms Effort

Dec. 16….(New York Times)
American intelligence and defense officials have concluded that Russia supplied Iran with much of the equipment and expertise it used to build two new facilities that appear to American intelligence agencies to be part of a nuclear weapons program. Iran has historically denied that it is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, and Russia insists that all of its help has been for energy-related development. "We are in the uncomfortable position where we have allies that do not see these proliferation dangers the same way we do," one senior administration official said today. "But every week, that is getting more and more obvious, that there is an international network of nuclear development." When President Bush visited Russia earlier this year, he was assured by Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, that Moscow was only aiding Iran in the production of nuclear power plants for peaceful purposes. Mr. Bush disputed that view, and their differences on Russia's contracts to aid Iran's nuclear program remain a major source of contention in relations between the United States and Russia.

North Korea Delivers Subs to Iran

Dec. 16….(Washington Times)
Lost in the news surrounding the interception of scud missiles from North Korea to Yemen last week is more disturbing news about North Korea. North Korea has delivered 15 submersible gunboats to Iran. The gunboats included several special forces craft called semi-submersibles, vessels that move just below the surface of the water. The gunboat deliveries traced by U.S. intelligence, highlights North Korea's role as a major weapons supplier to rogue states. President Bush has branded both North Korea and Iran part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq. The gunboats were identified as six Peykaap coastal patrol boats, two Tir gunboats and five Taedong underwater vessels. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was in the Middle East last week, said North Korea is a major exporter of missiles and military technology to dangerous regions. "And they are putting into the hands of many countries technologies and capabilities which have the potential for killing tens and hundreds of thousands of people. U.S. intelligence officials believe Iran could use the gunboat and torpedo craft to threaten U.S. ships in the region. The U.S. military is building up its forces in Southwest Asia in preparation for potential military operations against Iraq. Iran's naval forces have stepped up submarine patrols near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iran has three Russian-made Kilo submarines and scores of coastal patrol boats. Military intelligence officials view the submersibles as a serious worry. Adm. Thomas Fargo, currently commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, stated in 1998 that the Iranian submarine threat in the Persian Gulf was a "significant concern." "Submarines are offensive weapons, not defensive ones, and any torpedo capability would obviously give Iran the ability to interdict shipping through the Straits of Hormuz. The Straits control the shipment of Oil through the Persian Gulf.

What does Christmas mean to Muslims?

Dec. 16….(CBN)
In the Muslim world, Christmas is not celebrated publicly, except in the minority Christian communities of the Middle East. Muslims are ignorant of Christmas. Their understanding of it often leaves something to be desired, however. In North Africa, for example, it is commonly viewed as a "European" holiday. Based on what they have observed, to many it represents a big party, with feasting, drinking (getting drunk), and similar behavior, very much like the pagan festival it started out to be back in ancient Rome. Significantly, the story of the birth of Christ is actually related in the Qur'an, in Sura 19:16-35. Some of the facts are the same, but, what is most important, the story is given a very different slant. The virgin Mary is told by an angel that she will give birth to a "pure" son, "as a sign unto men and a mercy from us." She withdraws to a desert place to give birth, alone, under a palm-tree, then returns with the infant to her people. When they chide her, supposing she has been unchaste, Jesus speaks up from the cradle in her defense, announcing himself to be a prophet. The passage concludes by denouncing the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, misinterpreted in gross polytheistic terms: "Such is Jesus, son of Mary, the statement of truth about which they dispute. It is not befitting for God to father a Son! Thus, although Muslims acknowledge Christ's miraculous birth of a virgin, they do not celebrate Christmas because the Qur'an misinterprets the Incarnation. The hope of salvation which the Incarnate Christ alone brings us is what Muslims, however. Perhaps this message would get through better if we as Christians would forgo the more superficial trappings of Christmas, innocent though they may seem, to make Christmas more an occasion to worship and praise God for this "inexpressible gift."

Saddam Hussein Cancels Russian Oil Deal

Dec. 16….(Middle East News Line)
Iran has cancelled an oil exploration and development project with Russia valued at up to $40 billion. The Moscow-based LukOil reported that it received formal notification from the regime of President Saddam Hussein that an agreement for the development of Iraq's southern-based oil and natural gas fields was being shelved. The contract, formally cancelled on Dec. 9, called for Russian investment of $3.7 billion for the development of the fields. But industry sources said the cancellation of the 1997 award is believed to stem from Russia's support of a United Nations Security Council resolution that renewed inspections of suspected Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities. The sources said Iraqi leaders have been increasingly dismayed by Russia's failure to limit the UN inspections and warn the United States against any war with Baghdad. The Iraqi-Russian oil project had been regarded as a priority by Moscow as a way to recoup Iraq's $10 billion debt to Russia. But Russian officials and strategists had warned over the last few months that the Saddam regime was preparing to cancel the deal.

FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem reported in recent months that Russian-French, and American officials met in September to discuss the future of Iraqi oil. A “Gentleman's agreement” was reached by the parties before the UN Security Council voted on its Resolution 1441, requiring Iraq to comply with weapons inspections. (See Iraq Oil at Center of Gathering Firestorm, and See Russia: US Gave us Oil Deal on Iraq?; from November newsroom series.)


Europe Becoming United as “One”!

Dec. 13….(BBC)
The European Union has reached a financial deal with 10 candidate members, paving the way for the largest enlargement in the Western club's history. “For the first time in history Europe will become one because unification is the free will of its people," said Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission. "Accession of 10 new member states will bring an end to the divisions in Europe." “Europe will be ONE”, Prodi proudly proclaimed!

FOJ Note: Can the rise and the dramatic sudden emergence of the Antichrist be too far beyond the unification of Europe? The Antichrist will likely lead a United European/Rome Peace initiative in the Middle East, resulting in a Jerusalem-Temple Mount solution between Israel and the Arabs.

Jimmy Carter Offers his Peace-Services

Dec. 13….(AP)
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has announced that he is willing to mediate peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but only if they and the U.S. government asks him to. Mr. Carter said that the escalating tension between Israelis and Palestinians hasn't been stemmed and asserted that President Bush was not impartial about the issue. "Until President Bush, or any President plays a balancing role as a trusted mediator," he said, nothing can be accomplished. Carter stated, "it seems obvious to me that the present administration in Washington is completely compatible with the Israeli government and they have completely ignored the Palestinian Authority.

FOJ Note: The former President would prescribe rewarding Yasser Arafat for his evil ways, reward him for his murders, reward him for his lies, and reward him for his hatred of Israel. Heck, you just shouldn't show favoritism, even if you're dealing with terrorists and thugs!

U.S. Has Photos of Secret Iran Nuclear Sites

Dec. 13….(CNN)
The United States has evidence that Iran has secretly been constructing large nuclear facilities, sites that are being used to make nuclear weapons, say senior U.S. officials. Commercial satellite photographs taken in September show a nuclear facility near the town of Natanz and another one near Arak, the officials said. "It's disturbing news. We don't need another nuclear power, not with Iran sponsoring terrorism as it has in the past," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, the Vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "The fact that they are pursuing an avenue to build nuclear weapons should be disturbing to everybody," he said. Iranian dissidents have long contended that Iran has been working on nuclear capabilities. But the new satellite photographs and the conclusions drawn by them by nuclear experts are the first time there has been any evidence to support such claims. Iran has deepened its influence in the territories, creating contact with the armed wings of the Fatah in the West Bank, and becoming involved in issuing instructions for attacks.

Iran Involved in West Bank Terror!

Decc. 13….(FOJ)
In the past, Iran only gave money to Islamic groups - the Hamas and particularly the Islamic Jihad. But in recent months, close ties have developed between the Iranians and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is affiliated with Fatah, a supposedly secular movement. The instructions arrive via the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Hezbollah and Fatah elements in Lebanon, and are transferred to the Tanzim, particularly in the Nablus area. But the connection between Fatah and Islamic groups is not limited to the links between Nablus Tanzim and Iran and Hezbollah. Lately, Al-Qaida has been sending messages from Lebanon to Gaza, and some are reaching the popular committees, local factions of Fatah in Gaza.

Palestinian TV: 'Proud' Of Our 'Martyrs'

Dec. 13…..(Ha Aretz)
Palestinian television broadcast an interview with a mother who prayed during a pilgrimage to Mecca that her son would die fighting against Israel. The mother also launched into a warning to Israelis, expressing her desire to become a shahid, or "martyr," herself. "I have one wish for all Israeli mothers, for all Israelis," she said. "They should not relax, they should not sleep peacefully, they should always have nightmares, night and day." The mother vowed that Palestinians will blow up Israelis "day and night, wherever they go." "If I see an Israeli, I will blow up among them," she said. The Palestinian television presenter ended the interview with the comment: "Of course, we are always very proud of all of our Shahids."

Powell Pledges to Promote Democracy in Middle East

Dec. 13…..(Ha Aretz)
Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged today to intensify U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East. In a long-awaited speech that outlined the Bush Administration's most comprehensive thinking on the issue, Powell announced a U.S.-funded initiative to stimulate political, economic and education reforms in the Middle East. We are pledging our energy, our ability and our idealism to bring hope to all of God's children," Powell said. For the past few decades, the United States has been accused of turning a blind eye to undemocratic practices by its Middle East allies, while criticizing those of hostile governments. Many Arabs also blame the United States for siding too much with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Washington is perceived as having damaged its image in the Arab world this year by saying the Palestinians must choose new leaders, despite the fact that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was elected. Powell said the United States would not impose a rigid formula for political change but work with individual countries to fashion their own representative systems. The program to help modernize Arab society offers an initial contribution of $29 million and pledges to seek more from Congress and rich Arab countries. In the process, the administration hopes to deflect radicalism and terrorism.

School Bans the Word 'Christmas'

Dec. 13….(World Net)
At a time when Americans of many faiths, and even no faith gear up to celebrate Christmas this year, a first-grade teacher in Sacramento Co., Calif., says she's been ordered by her principal not to utter the word "Christmas" at school. The 24-year education veteran, who wishes to keep her name and the school anonymous at this time, claims she and two fellow instructors were told that use of the word "Christmas" in the classroom or in written materials is now prohibited. Karen Holgate of the Capitol Resource Institute , a pro-family public-policy center based in Sacramento, relates that this is the first instance where the word Christmas has come under attack.

US Has Evidence of Al Qaeda-Iraq WMD Exchange

Dec. 12….(Washington Post)
The Bush administration has received a credible report that Islamic extremists affiliated with Al-Qaida took possession of a chemical weapon in Iraq last month or late in October. Government analysts suspect that the transaction involved the nerve agent VX and that a courier managed to smuggle it overland through Turkey. It also would be the most concrete evidence to support the charge, made for months by President Bush, and his advisers, that Al-Qaida terrorists receive material assistance in Iraq. Among the uncertainties about the suspected weapon transfer in Iraq is the precise relationship of the Islamic operatives to Al-Qaida. One official said the transaction involved Asbat al-Ansar, a Lebanon-based Sunni extremist group that recently established an enclave in northern Iraq. Asbat al-Ansar is affiliated with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization and receives funding from it. Earlier reports released this week by various sources indicate that the Iraq-Al Qaeda alliance dates back to 1992. The initiative for the alliance came from Palestinian Islamists based in Lebanon and Syria, according to Yosef Bodansky, the U.S. Congress' top terrorism adviser.

Israel Sends Damascus an Ultimatum

Dec. 12….(Arabic News)
The Kuwaiti daily al-Seyasah said that the Israeli ambassador in Washingtonvia the US Department Of State has delivered an Israeli warning to Syria calling in it to withdraw all sorts of anti-armored vehicles and other equipment missiles and weapons which it had given to the Hizbullah party, otherwise Syria will be responsible for the Israeli reactions over using these weapons against Israel. The paper quoted a German diplomat as saying that the last warning to Syria came, giving a certain period of time for compliance for the first time in the history of the Israeli warnings to Syria. A matter which gives the impression that Israel will carry out a large scale military operation on its northern borders amid the atmospheres of the American preparations to attack Iraq and not after that. Meantwhile, European diplomatic sources expressed their conviction that Sharon's recent threats might not be for "consumption," rather constituting a base for a large scale land and air attack that will target Lebanon and certain Syrian areas, noting that the land attack will be only stopped at the border of al-Leitani river and that the security belt which Israel will attack will end by ending its mission, namely expelling members of the Hizbullah party and organizations to Syria and Iran, under international agreements.

U.S.: We Will Use Nuclear Weapons in Response to WMD

Dec. 11….(Ha Aretz)
The United States is declaring that it will pull out all the stops and use any means necessary — including nuclear weapons — against Iraq or other hostile countries in response to a chemical or biological attack. The threat to use "overwhelming force" if the U.S. or its allies are attacked is included in the White House's six-page "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction," to be delivered to Congress on Wednesday. The United States reminded Iraq and other countries yesterday that it was prepared to use nuclear weapons if necessary to respond to an attack from weapons of mass destruction. The warning, which underscored longstanding U.S. policy leaving open the use of nuclear weapons if needed, was contained in a statement of U.S. strategy against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the first update since 1993. The six-page strategy document says deterring attacks with the threat of "overwhelming force" is an essential element in protecting America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction, also known as WMD. "The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force, including through resort to all our options, to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies," the strategy report said. "In addition to our conventional and nuclear response and defense capabilities, our overall deterrent posture against WMD threats is reinforced by effective intelligence, surveillance, interdiction and domestic law enforcement capabilities.”

FOJ Note: Israel has also stated its official policy against WMD attacks will be to respond with overwhelming/nuclear force!

U.S. “Scuds Found on Ship Off Yemen”

Dec. 11….(CNN)
Pentagon officials report that U.S. military weapons specialists have found at least a dozen Scud missiles aboard a ship stopped en route from North Korea several hundred miles off the coast southeast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean. Scuds are the type of ballistic missiles that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein used to attack both Saudi Arabia and Israel during the Persian Gulf War. Yemen has indicated the scud missiles were intended for Yemen, and have demanded their release.

FOJ Note: North Korea was among the countries categorized as the “axis of evil”. North Korea has admitted that it has nuclear weapons.

EU Continues To Back Palestinian Authority

Dec. 11….(Jerusalem Post)
European Union leaders are expected to urge Israel and the Palestinians to end their fighting and reiterate their support for the creation of a Palestinian State at a two-day summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week, officials said Tuesday. The 15 EU leaders were also to reiterate their financial backing of the beleaguered Palestinian Authority under leader Yasser Arafat. "There will be a strong endorsement to our continued strong assistance to the Palestinian Authority," said EU spokesman Gunnar Wiegand. EU foreign ministers discussed the continuing Mid-east crisis at a pre-summit meeting Tuesday at which they were drafting a statement to be issued by the EU leaders. That statement will pledge continued support for a "strong road map" to Middle East peace that the EU, the United States, Russia and the United Nations plan to put together in Washington next week, Wiegand said. "The international community will send a strong signal that translates the vision of a second Palestinian State alongside Israel by 2005," he added.

FOJ Note: Why does the EU continue to support Yasser Arafat, who has been exposed as a liar, a terrorist sponsor, and a violator of all previous agreements with Israel.

Pope Entrusts World Peace to Virgin Mary

Dec. 10….(Zenit)
During a traditional homage for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, John Paul II entrusted to Mary's hands the peace of the world. "Pray, O Mother, for all of us. Pray for humanity that suffers poverty and injustice, violence and hatred, terror and war," the Pope said in a strong voice when he delivered the meditation he composed for today's occasion. Before the 30-meter-high (100 foot) bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, the Holy Father, wearing his red cape, continued praying to the Virgin: "Help us to contemplate with the holy rosary the mysteries of him who 'is our peace,' so that we will all feel involved, in a specific effort of service for peace." The Pontiff then prayed for the Middle East. "Look with special attention upon the land in which you gave birth to Jesus, a land that you loved together and that is still so tried today." "Pray for us, Mother of hope! Later, the Pope made a brief private visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, to venerate the ancient icon of the Blessed Virgin, "Salvation of the Roman People," protectress of the Eternal City. The Dec. 8 homage in the Roman piazza is a tradition started by Pope Pius XII in 1957. The statue of the Virgin was placed there in 1857 by Pope Pius IX to commemorate the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which he proclaimed three years earlier. At his Angelus address earlier in the day at the Vatican, John Paul II summed up the sense of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this way: "The humble maiden of Nazareth, who with her 'yes' to the angel changed the course of history, was preserved from her conception from every stain of sin."

FOJ Note: Prayers to Mary, or any other person can do absolutely no good. In fact they are blasphemy to the “only one” that can intercede-answer prayer. (Jesus Christ)

US State Dept: PA Doesn't Recognize Israel

Dec. 10….(IMRA)
The latest semi-annual State Department report on the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization explicitly states - for the first time ever - that the PA's failure to rein in terror raises questions about the Palestinians' recognition of the state of Israel's right to exist. Based on this report, President George W. Bush determined last week that the PA is not meeting its commitment to fight terror. The PA has not taken sufficient steps to prevent violence by PA personnel," the report states, adding that "available evidence is that elements with varying degree of affiliation with the PLO and PA, specifically the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Tanzim and members of PA security forces, were frequently involved in acts of TERRORISM against Israelis."

FOJ Note: What took you so long? It has been evident for decades.

Carter Warns Against 'Catastrophic' War

Dec. 10….(World Net)
Former US president Jimmy Carter has warned of potentially "catastrophic consequences" of a “pre-emptive” US war on Iraq. Mr. Carter did not mention the US or Iraq by name, but said: "For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventative war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences." The Bush Administration has changed US defense doctrine since the September 11th attacks to one of taking pre-emptive action before threats materialize. The former President also added that he believes that Iraq is complying with UN Security Council Resolutions to divulge information on its weapons programs.

Hezbollah: A Real Threat as US aims at Iraq!

Dec. 10….(FOJ)
Hezbollah boss Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, whose organization has more American blood on its hands than any terrorist group, last week called for exporting suicide terrorism to the US. His rhetoric should not go unheeded. Speaking in Lebanon last week, he vowed to a crowd of 10,000 gun-waving Hezbollah operatives and several hundred "suicide commandos" in southern Lebanon, that if anything happens to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Muslims will "act everywhere around the world" in order to take revenge. This may have been his declaration to join Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, that hide in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East to target America, as it readies itself to dismantle Saddam Hussein from Iraq. Hezbollah is already known to be responsible for the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (which killed 63 persons), the October 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon (241 American Marines died) and the 1984 bombing of the annex to the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon (killing 14 Americans). In 1985, Hezbollah also staged the hijacking of TWA Flight 847. Hezbollah was also behind the June 1996 bombing of a military housing complex, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials believe that virtually all of these attacks are the handiwork of Imad Mugniyeh, Hezbollah's former security boss, who has since developed a working relationship with Yasser Arafat. Early last year, Arafat sent a representative to meet with leaders of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups at meetings held in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut, where they vowed to wage a jihad against Israel and denounced the United States as "a second Israel."

U.S. Military Nearly Set to Start Attack

Dec. 9….(New York Times)
The United States will soon have enough heavy tanks, warships, aircraft, bombs and troops in the Persian Gulf region to enable it to begin an attack against Iraq sometime in January, senior military officials say. About 60,000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, as well as about 200 warplanes, are in or near the region. The Army alone has 9,000 soldiers, 24 Apache helicopter gun-ships and heavy equipment for two armored brigades in Kuwait. Equipment for a third brigade is steadily arriving on ships usually based in the Indian Ocean, and some matérial will be stored at a new $200 million logistics base, Camp Arifjan, south of Kuwait City.

UN Security Council Curveball

Dec. 9….(Washington Times)
A furious argument has broken out within the U.N. Security Council over a ruling by Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, that denies the United States and Britain full access to Iraq's 11,807-page weapons declaration. White House officials complained that they had been "blindsided" by Mr. Blix's decision, which he revealed behind closed doors late Friday, to provide only what one U.N. official called a "sanitized version" of the declaration to the 15 members of the Security Council. American officials were furious, having been led to believe Thursday that they would receive the declaration at around 10 p.m. Saturday. They had expected their larger translation team to finish its job more quickly than the United Nations. A White House official privately accused Mr. Blix of throwing a last-minute "curveball." The Bush administration said it would wait until Mr. Blix makes an expected report to the United States and other Security Council members early this week before making its feelings known. Mr. Blix, the head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission said his team would edit the declaration before it is passed on because of the risk that details of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs could be used as a "cookbook" by other states or terrorists trying to build their own weapons.

Iraq Defies US: Collision Imminent

Dec. 9….(Guardian)
Iraq has apparently placed itself on a collision course with the US over the weekend by flatly denying it has possessed any biological, chemical or nuclear-related weapons for at least 10 years. General Amir al-Sadi, an adviser to President Saddam Hussein, admitted at a press conference in Baghdad that Iraq had come "close" to developing a nuclear bomb but that program had long been abandoned. He insisted there had been no production of chemical or biological weapons since the Gulf war. The US, which claims to have intelligence that Iraq does retain banned weapons, will hotly dispute Iraq's declaration. Baghdad's stance came as UN weapons inspectors began sifting through 12,000 pages of documents it handed over on Saturday, as required by a UN resolution. Any failure to provide a full declaration about its alleged weapons of mass destruction could provide the catalyst for a US-led attack. US President, George Bush, appeared willing to be patient rather than embark on a headlong rush to war. "We will judge the declaration's honesty and completeness only after we have thoroughly examined it, and that will take some time," he said. The bulk of the documentation, about 10,000 pages, was flown to the New York headquarters of the UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission, which is carrying out the hunt for biological and chemical weapons. The remainder went to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is leading the search for nuclear-related weapons, in Vienna. Russia, one of the UN security council members most sympathetic to Iraq, said yesterday the fact Baghdad had met the security council deadline for handing over the documents a day early showed it was complying with the UN resolution to disarm.

Saddam and UN Inspectors both being Deceptive!

Dec. 9….(Debka)
Running circles around the UN arms inspection headed by Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, the Iraqi government dropped a massive pile of documents, its reply to the UN Security Council demand for a full accounting of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, in the laps of the international media Saturday, December 7, before allowing Inspector Blix a peek. The presentation was accompanied by yet another formal denial that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's demonstration of openness is in fact another exercise in obfuscation. It will take the world media and the world body days to digest the forbidding mass, particularly when parts are in Arabic and sections are historic and will need to be matched up. It also makes sly fun of Blix's solemn pledge to hold back sensitive nuclear, chemical and biological data that might be used as recipes for the proliferation of such weapons, even from Security Council members, including the United States. Washington in any case has no expectation of substance from the UN inspectors. However, a secret, independent inspection project was launched by the United States well before the UN Security Council sent its inspectors to Iraq. This project is in the hands of a special multinational task force made up of special elite units and armed with combat helicopters and aircraft, spy-planes and satellites. Unlike the Blix UN outfit, which is based in Baghdad, the alternative investigators are fanned out across the country. One well-placed source disclosed: “Our men in the field know where 90 percent of Saddam's missiles and unconventional weapons systems are located, even the mobile ones that are moved from place to place every hour. We are keeping them under tight, on-site observation because when the war begins we want to be there before Saddam orders his men to hit the triggers.” According to sources, this highly sensitive, elaborate and secret inspection project has been going for more than three months, providing the US with data to target in its attacks in the no-fly zones. Its success could pre-determine the course of the war before it begins. Its members are drawn from the United States, Britain, Jordan and Turkey and possibly Israel. They operate under the Special Forces command at Al Udeid in Qatar and its sub-command in the Jordanian base of Mafraq. The White House is therefore able to call on General Tommy Franks, commander of the Iraqi sector, to produce the evidence needed to prove Iraq's mountainous declaration false. All the President needs do is to order the elite unit guarding any one of the Iraqi sites to seize a weapons system, possibly with its entire Iraqi crew.

Israel, Barak and the "Holy of Holies”!
*prophetic news behind the news

Dec. 9….(Ha Aretz)
In early September 2000, about two months after Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat returned empty-handed from the failed summit at Camp David, a series of clandestine contacts was held in Jerusalem between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Most of the meetings took place in an isolated private home in the western Jerusalem suburb of Ein Karem, and were meant to find a formula that would resolve the harsh dispute that broke out at the summit around the future of the Temple Mount.

Dr. Moshe Amirav: "Give the Temple Mount as a gift, not to Arafat, but to the leaders of the countries of Islam." “Then, there can be World Peace!

The talks were held at the home of Dr. Moshe Amirav, the man who was appointed the day after the Camp David debacle as the Prime Minister's adviser on the issue of a permanent settlement in Jerusalem. In these conversations, the Palestinians were represented by the late Faisal Husseini, who headed the Palestinian negotiating team on Jerusalem. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis agreed to leave intact the arrangements that had been in place since the Six-Day War, in accordance with which the site is administered by the Muslim Waqf [Moslem religious trust] without Israeli intervention. The crux of the dispute centered on sovereignty, and nothing else. While Arafat demanded that the entire Temple Mount , Haram al-Sharif in the Arab terminology, would be under full and exclusive sovereignty of the Palestinians, Barak demanded that partial sovereignty over the site, which, to the disbelief of several of his colleagues in the Israeli delegation, he suddenly began to call "The Holy of Holies," would remain in Israel's possession. Amirav and Husseini, whose Ein Karem conversations took place with Barak and Arafat's knowledge, worked out a formula that both men believed would be able to circumvent this difference of opinion. According to the proposal they drafted, the United Nations would establish a "commonwealth of states," in whose hands the Temple Mount would be entrusted. This commonwealth of nations would have 11 member states: the five permanent members of the UN Security Council; Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian state that would be established as part of the peace treaty, and Israel. Ongoing administration of the Mount, stated the document, would remain in the Waqf's domain, and Yasser Arafat "could be the guardian of the sites holy to Islam." The failure of Camp David basically enabled the Palestinians to become the main player in the struggle over the future of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is what prevented the sides from reaching agreement. "The Camp David summit," became a `Jerusalem summit,' perhaps even a `Temple Mount summit.'" The three leaders who took part, Barak, Arafat and their host, U.S. President Bill Clinton, devoted, "hundreds of hours" to discussions on Jerusalem in general and the Temple Mount in particular. "It may be hard to believe," says Amirav, "but Clinton himself spent hours poring over maps with Barak and Arafat. It was Arafat's and Barak's stubborn insistence on sovereignty that prevented an agreement. Arafat insisted on full and exclusive Palestinian sovereignty "both because he wanted to go down in history as having liberated the Temple Mount and because he wanted the Temple Mount to provide a pan-Muslim counterweight to the little State of Palestine." Barak insisted on it "because he wanted to go down in history as having achieved for Israel that which it does not now have, sovereignty over part of the Temple Mount." Barak became the first Zionist leader to insist on the Temple Mount. He referred to the “Holy of Holies,' a term that denotes the four square meters which the High Priest would enter on Yom Kippur. Barak applied this term to the entire plaza, including the mosques, and brought an end to the whole negotiations over this issue." "The Palestinians," writes Amirav, "agreed to concede exclusive sovereignty (on the Temple Mount) and replace it with joint sovereignty arrangements with the Islamic states, the Arab League and even international bodies." But as soon as the talks at Camp David began, Arafat abandoned this position and in its place issued a rigid, uncompromising demand to receive full sovereignty over the site. Amirav feels the shift had to do with the United States' aligning itself with Barak, who demanded that part of the compound be under Israeli sovereignty. "The U.S.'s willingness to enable Israel partial sovereignty on the Mount or under the mosques," writes Amirav, " seemed (to Arafat) as its co-option to the Israeli scheme to minimize the status of the Palestinians in the mosques. There were even those who viewed it as an opening to the possibility that the Israelis might someday demand to build the Temple next to the mosques or even in their place." "The day that Clinton issued his proposal, according to which the Palestinians would have sovereignty over the mosque plaza and Israel would have sovereignty over the territory underneath the plaza," "Arafat was boiling mad, really went nuts. He started to yell at Clinton, and asked him if he would ever agree for someone else to be sovereign over territory beneath the streets of Washington”! Barak wanted to go down in Jewish history as the man who gave Israel sovereignty, if only partial, over the Temple Mount. In exchange for conceding the Temple Mount, Israel could have received, the recognition of the entire world, including the Arab and Muslim world, both of its sovereign existence and Jerusalem as its capital. Sooner or later, he says, Israel will be forced to "get rid of the Temple Mount." He proposes that Israel "give the Temple Mount as a gift, not to Arafat, but to the leaders of the countries of Islam." If it does so, he believes that Israel will receive the recognition of the entire Muslim world, and indeed the whole world!


President Bush Attends Muslim Mosque

Dec. 6….(Washington Times)
President Bush yesterday removed his shoes, entered a mosque and praised Islam for inspiring "countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality." For the second time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the President yesterday visited Washington's oldest mosque, the Islamic Center, where Muslims from 75 nations gather to worship. Mr. Bush marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by praising Islam as a hopeful religion of mercy and tolerance. "Islam affirms God's justice and insists on man's moral responsibility," said the President, flanked by a half-dozen Imams. "Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind." The director of the Islamic Center, Abdullah Khouj, praised the President's visit and told him that it demonstrated "the value of human tolerance, a virtue taught by Islam and practiced here in America." The President's visit came one day after a Pew Foundation poll found widespread anti-Americanism in some Muslim nations. With the United States preparing for war with Iraq, the Administration is eager to mitigate rising tensions on the "Arab street." White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Mr. Bush "acknowledged the United States has a job to do and we have to bring people together between the United States and the Muslim world." To that end, Mr. Bush praised American Muslims for "upholding our nation's ideals of liberty and justice in a world at peace." "Millions of our fellow Americans practice the Muslim faith," said Mr. Bush, a born-again Christian. "They lead lives of honesty and justice and compassion." Pat Robertson refused to back down from his assessment of the President's view of Islam. "It ignores history," he said. "Any student of history knows that it's not a peaceful religion." "It's violent at its core," he said. "There is absolute virulent hatred of Jews, and the idea that every Jew has got to be killed before the culmination of the age. That's what Islam teaches, and I think that's violent." Other conservative religious figures have spoken out in recent months against Mr. Bush's frequent statements about the peaceful nature of Islam, including the Rev. Franklin Graham and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the latter of whom called Islam's prophet Muhammad a "terrorist." Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan disagreed. "The president believes that America is a nation that welcomes people of all faiths — Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and many others," he told The Times. "He's made it very clear that the war on terrorism is not a war about religion. It's a war about good vs. evil." Mr. Bush is not the only Administration official making overtures to Muslims in recent weeks. Others who have participated in Ramadan events include National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans and Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill.

White House Document Blames Palestinians for Mid-east Violence

Dec. 6….(Jerusalem Post)
A White House document obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, in effect, blames the Palestinians for Mideast violence now moving into a third year, charging that the Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the PLO have not taken steps to stop terrorists. The failure to stop terrorists has thrown into question the Palestinian Authority's acceptance of Israel, the 12-page report says. Still, U.S. President George W. Bush has decided not to impose sanctions, which could have included the downgrading or closing of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. A memorandum that prefaces the report, dated Nov. 29 and signed by Bush, waives sanctions, saying they would be against U.S. security interests and that the United States "must maintain contacts with all sides." The memorandum was made public in Washington on Monday, but the remainder of the report was not. The AP in Jerusalem obtained it. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat told the AP that he had seen excerpts of the document. He called it "unfair and unacceptable." The Palestinians blame Israel's military crackdown for fueling the violence. They also say Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have decimated the Palestinian security forces and left them unable to stop terrorists. Though the Palestinians have not rescinded their recognition of Israel, the report claims that their "failure to take action against terror groups ... has called into question their commitment of recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace and security." The report blamed the Palestinian leadership for a "failure to take action against, and in some cases the provision of support for terrorist groups and others engaged in violence."

Al Qaeda Plotting Attack on Israel

Dec. 6….(Washington Post)
Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda Islamic terror network plans to launch suicide attacks against Israel, according to a Web site that U.S. officials believe speaks for the organization, the Washington Post reported in its Friday edition. Intelligence officials believe the Web site ( provides further proof of al Qaeda's determination to target Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Thursday that al Qaeda had established a presence in the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip and in Lebanon and that Israel was a target for al Qaeda attacks. The Arabic-language Web site announced the formation of a new al Qaeda branch, the Islamic al Qaeda Organization in Palestine, which it says will work to undermine any talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Al Qaeda: America-Your Gift is Coming

Dec. 5….(World Watch)
The end of Ramadan has stirred renewed concerns over the threat of a terrorist attack against U.S. citizens and the nation's allies. Earlier this week, an al Qaeda statement posted to the Internet threatened a strike to coincide with the end of the Muslim holy season which is December 5 and 6. The statement said, "You have not learned your lesson." "You did not understand the reasons for the raids of Washington and New York," said the al Qaeda statement. "Oh American people, you are the victim of your leaders, but you are also a partner in the war on us. The gift for the holiday is on its way," the statement continued. U.S. intelligence officials said they were "mindful" of such threats and "not dismissive" of them. Titled an "end of Ramadan statement," the letter said America and its allies were spreading destruction and would face more "hostility, chaos and destruction."

Russian Plans Iraq Coup, Stop US Occupation of Iraq?

Dec. 5….(World Net)
The specter of a U.S. attack on Iraq has Russian officials concerned about the nation's oil contracts with Saddam Hussein, causing talk that a Russian-led coup may be the only way to protect Moscow's interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that he will stand up for the interests of Russian oil producers in Iraq. Russian oil giant LUKOIL's contract for the development of Iraqi oil deposits is estimated to be worth $20 billion. The extraction of oil cannot begin until the U.N. sanctions are lifted, but the company has already invested a great deal of money in the development of the deposit. The president of LUKOIL, Vagit Alekperov, has discussed with Putin the issue of his company's controlling stock in the Iraqi oil project. LUKOIL Vice President Leonid Fedun earlier stated that if the new Iraqi regime is not friendly to Russia, it might ruin the plans of the company. "We do not hear any statements from the American government about the execution of the current contracts. Consequently, there are reports in Russia that a Russian coupe will be carried out at the hands of persons which are very close to the Iraqi President and have access to him. The Russian national security council has taken a decision to topple Saddam Hussein in order to protect and ensure the Russian interests in Iraq and the region.

Kofi Annan to Bush: Iraq is Complying

Dec. 5….(AP)
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday challenged the Bush Administration's poor assessment of the first week of weapons inspections in Iraq, saying cooperation by Iraq seemed to be going pretty good. Mr. Annan said it was too early to make a conclusive judgment on Iraq's commitment to disarm, but he was pleased the inspectors had had no trouble gaining access to the sites they targeted, including one presidential palace compound they visited on Tuesday. He urged the government of President Saddam Hussein to continue to cooperate with the inspection teams. "It's only been a week and obviously the cooperation seems to be good, but they have to sustain the cooperation and the effort and perform," Mr. Annan said. The Secretary-General's comments posed a stark contrast to statements by President George Bush and other senior US officials. They have offered a much more pessimistic assessment of the inspections so far and pointed to a growing tug of war between the Bush Administration and the UN over how to assess Iraqi compliance with UN disarmament demands in the run-up to this weekend's deadline for an Iraqi declaration on its weapons and missile development programs. On Tuesday, Mr. Bush expressed mounting skepticism about the likelihood that the inspections would stave off US military action, twice telling audiences in Louisiana that he wouldn't wait out a prolonged game of "hide and seek".

US To Promote Democracy in Arab World

Dec. 5….(World Net)
The United States, moving on another front in its war against terror, announced on Wednesday plans to greatly intensify its promotion of democracy throughout the Muslim world. Richard Haass, a senior State Department official, outlined the policy in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations that aides said amounted to the most comprehensive vision of U.S. thinking on the issue to date. Haass said Washington would not impose a rigid formula for political change but would work with individual countries to fashion their own unique representative systems from the authoritarian structures that he said now existed. While firmly committing the United States to be "more actively engaged in supporting democratic trends in the Muslim world than ever before," he sought to avoid alarming leaders who might be threatened by such developments, stressing that such change would not be revolutionary but would come gradually. Haass, the department's policy planning director, acknowledged the United States had erred in not making the push for democracy a sufficient priority over the years. "At times, the United States has avoided scrutinizing the internal workings of countries in the interests of ensuring a steady flow of oil, containing Soviet, Iraqi and Iranian expansion, addressing issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, resisting communism in East Asia or securing basing rights for our military," he said. As a result, "we missed an opportunity to help these (Muslim) countries become more stable, more prosperous, more peaceful and more adaptable to the stresses of a globalizing world," he said. Henceforth, "the United States will work more energetically to promote democracy in partnership with the peoples and governments of the Muslim world," said Haass.

Hezbollah: Lets Export Suicide Bombings

Dec. 4….(Washington Times)
The leader of the Lebanese Muslim group Hezbollah is urging a global suicide bombing campaign, increasing the prospect that the regional conflict between Arabs and Israelis will expand to mimic or even merge with al Qaeda's war against the West.(America) Two recent speeches by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, have raised the specter of attacks outside the region by a powerful and well-organized military force, a force that successfully pushed the Israeli army out of southern Lebanon two years ago. "By Allah, if they touch Al Aqsa we will act everywhere around the world," Sheik Nasrallah told an estimated 10,000 gun-toting, bearded fighters in southern Lebanon on Friday. Several hundred "suicide commandos" also took part. Al Aqsa refers to a sacred Muslim site in Jerusalem that, although under Israeli military control, is in practice administered by Palestinian Muslim authorities. The site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, is a flash point for tension and outbreaks of violence. Martyrdom operations, suicide bombings should be exported outside Palestine," he said. "I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Hezbollah enjoys strong financial backing from its mentor Iran, and has been permitted and encouraged to operate, within certain confines, by Syria, which controls Lebanon. Its military prowess has been seen as a model by Palestinian leaders, who had hoped that by initiating a second uprising against Israel in September 2000, they too could force a similar withdrawal by Israeli forces from the West Bank and Gaza.

UN Approves 6 Resolutions Criticizing Israel

Dec. 4….(Ha Aretz)
Over U.S. and Israeli objections, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved Tuesday six resolutions criticizing Israeli policies and calling for stepped-up efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. In an annual ritual, the 191-member world body ended a three-day Mideast debate Tuesday with lopsided votes demanding a speedy resumption of the peace process, a final settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians and an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. The key resolution called on the parties and major international players, including the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia to exert greater efforts to halt the deteriorating situation between Israel and the Palestinians, reverse all measures taken on the ground since the latest violence began in September 2000 and push for a peace agreement. It was approved by a vote of 160-4 with 3 abstentions, the highest "yes" vote of the half-dozen resolutions. In addition to the United States and Israel, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia voted "no." For the past two years, the United States abstained on a resolution objecting to Israel's administration of Jerusalem because the city's final status is subject to negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. But this year Washington voted "no" on the resolution, which was approved 154-5 with 6 abstentions. Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian UN observer, said he was pleased with the results of the voting, but "shocked" at the U.S. "no" vote on the Jerusalem resolution, which he called "a slap in the face" to all Arabs, all Muslims and Christian believers.

USA Vetoes UN Jerusalem Law!

For the first time ever the United States voted against a UN decision calling on Israel to repeal the Jerusalem Law. In previous years the US has abstained when this issue has been raised. The Jerusalem Law says that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and allows for the annexation of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war, into Israel. The United Nations still views the 1947 partition plan that called for Jerusalem to be an international city as valid.

Saudis Rally Arabs Against Democracy

Dec. 4….World Tribune)
Saudi Arabia is working to form an Arab coalition to oppose any U.S. drive to impose democracy on the Middle East. Arab diplomatic sources said the kingdom has been consulting with Egypt, Syria and the Gulf States regarding the ramifications of post-Saddam reforms in Iraq. The sources said Saudi Arabia is concerned that it will be the next target of the Bush Administration. "The Saudi efforts want to ensure that no major Arab country will plot against Riyad or any other regime targeted by the United States," a diplomatic source said. "While Washington opposed Iraq on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, the Saudis are worried that Washington will use the banner of democracy to spread reforms throughout the region.”

White House Worried UN will Clear Iraq

Dec. 4….(FOJ)
Saddam Hussein began a new round of brinkmanship yesterday when his lieutenants said they would tell the United Nations on Saturday that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. British and American officials believe privately that Iraq will try to divide the international community by issuing a detailed and ambiguous declaration. US President Bush told Saddam on Monday that he would be inviting war if he did not provide a complete list of his weapons of mass destruction. UN Security Council resolution 1441 demands that Iraq should provide by Sunday a complete declaration of its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, as well as ballistic missiles. The White House is concerned that an incomplete declaration could enable Iraq to be hailed a WMD free State in the UN if weapons inspectors find no evidence of weapons of mass destruction during the current inspections. Thus the Bush Administration has urged chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix to substitute his methodical approach for a more intensive multi-pronged operation that would "stress" the Iraqi system and make it harder for President Saddam Hussein to conceal his weapons capabilities. At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Iraq might choose any number of responses, ranging from an unqualified denial of weapons programs to saying most of such work had been destroyed by previous U.N. inspections and what little remained would be surrendered. He said he saw little hope for a successful U.N. inspection process unless the Iraqis decided to cooperate.

Cheney: “Great Evil Is Stirring”

Dec. 3….(FOJ)
In a speech before the Air National Guard Senior Leadership Conference in Denver, Vice President Dick Cheney said America has been fighting an "unprecedented kind of war" and that "a great evil is stirring in the world." Future presidents, he said, will have to understand that the new century requires the nation to guarantee security in new ways. The danger posed during the Cold War came from a rival superpower that was handled with summits, treaties and deterrence. With terrorists, the solution is more complicated. "In the terrorists, we have enemies who have nothing, no territory or homeland to defend. A group like al-Qaeda cannot be deterred or placated or reasoned with at a conference table. For this reason, the war against terror will not end in a treaty," Cheney said. "There will be no summit meeting or negotiations with terrorists. Cheney, like Bush, said the conflict would end only with the "complete and utter destruction" of terrorists.

FOJ Note: Great Evil is stirring. The mere words, in connection to the terrorists war against Israel and America echoes the sound of the horse hoof-beats of the Apocalypse.

Bush to Iraq: Comply by Sunday or it's War!

Dec. 3….(London Telegraph)
Saddam Hussein's failure to provide a "complete and credible" list of his weaponry by Sunday would justify war against Iraq, President George W Bush said last night. In his strongest comments since United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 was passed over a month ago, Mr Bush said in a speech at the Pentagon that the early signs that Saddam might comply with its terms were "not encouraging". The President's comments threatened to drive a wedge between the United States and European allies who have welcomed Saddam's acceptance of a new inspections process as a sign that he is bowing to the UN's will. On or before Dec 8, Iraq must provide a full and accurate declaration of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes," Mr Bush said. "That declaration must be credible and complete - or the Iraqi dictator will have demonstrated to the world once again that he has chosen not to change his behavior." The use of the term "credible" differed subtly from resolution 1441, which states that the list should be "accurate, full, and complete", and introduced an element of subjective judgment of Saddam's actions.

World Jewish Population Drops to 12.9 Million

Dec. 3….(Ha Aretz)
The number of Jews in the world is declining with a net loss of 300,000 American Jews in the last decade, according to a new study following a preliminary examination of the recent census of American Jewry, according to the Jewish Agency's Institute for Jewish People Policy Planning. According to the institute, which convened an emergency session to deal with what it called the "demographic crisis," there are now some 12.9 million Jews in the world. Earlier this year, estimates put the number at 13.2 million. The main reason for the decline appears in the data from the census of Jewish communities in the U.S., which showed that there has been a decline of 300,000 in American Jewry, from 5.5 million in 1990 to 5.2 million in 2002. Experts say that some 300,000 Jews emigrated to the U.S. during the 1990s, but nonetheless, the community lost some 50,000 Jews a year, mostly to natural attrition. The French Jewish community has declined from 535,000 in 1980 to some 500,000, while the number of Jews in the former Soviet Union has fallen from 1.45 million in 1989, to some 437,000 now. Most of those Jews moved to Israel during the 1990s.

Israel Maintains Military Superiority Over Arabs

Dec. 3….(Middle East News Line)
Israel has maintained its military superiority over the Arab states. A new study for Israel's annual strategic conference asserted that Israel has up to twice the military capability of Arab neighboring states. The military index result places Israel's military power in relation to the immediate Arab coalition at 1.31 when comparing all parameters of military power; and at 1.55 when comparing only qualitative factors of military power," the report said. The report was commissioned by the Institute of Policy and Strategy, which is hosting the conference. The comparison was between Israel's military and those of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

Russian President Putin Visits China

Dec. 3….(Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he is ready to cooperate more with NATO if it focuses on combatting terrorism, but that Russia also is prepared to act alone to defend its interests. Putin, wrapping up a two-day visit to China, said the NATO alliance created after World War II to counter the Soviet Union could be regarded by Moscow as a key partner if it shifts its emphasis to fighting terrorism and other threats to global security. "If this transformation really takes place, we may broaden our cooperation with NATO." He said that while the United States is one of Russia's most important partners in trade and the fight against terrorism, "I must say that our positions on key international questions do not always coincide. "On those questions, we will defend our interests," he said. Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin called for diplomatic solutions to two issues that threaten global security, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The declaration Monday called for a "multi-polar world," a phrase used by both governments to express dissatisfaction with U.S. global dominance. Moscow and Beijing have tried to restrain U.S. dominance by insisting the United Nations must have the last word in international affairs. "In resolving crisis situations, (we must) give priority to political methods within the framework of the U.N. Security Council," Putin said.

Israel Warns of Response to Mass Terror

Dec. 3….(Jerusalem Post)
The head of Israel's National Security Council said Monday that a "mega-terror attack" threatening Israel's existence would open options for retaliation that hitherto "were unacceptable to public opinion." In an address to the Third Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel's Security, Ephraim Halevy said Israel must examine the new reality created by last week's attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner taking off from Mombassa, Kenya. Military chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, said Monday the Israel Defense Forces have already foiled many al Qaida attacks in Israel. Al Qaida has Palestinian operatives in the occupied territories and "has declared war on infidels, making Israel one of its main targets," he said. At the Herzliya conference Halevy said, "The emergence of a mega-terror attack by the world Jihad or by another terror organization changes rules of the game, changes the national mood and creates an international dynamic that opens options that so far have been unacceptable to public opinion." One must assume that a successful mega-terror incident would "at once changes rules of conduct and behavior. The emerging threat (to Israel) is a threat of genocide, destroying a state and its institutions," he added. The new National Security Council chief said the campaign the world Jihad is waging has no boundary lines, regular forces and the attackers violate "all rules of war." No one can remain neutral, he continued. "Whoever gives the terrorists any aide whatsoever, identifies with terror. It is possible that due to temporary conditions, not all those aiding terror will be taken care of simultaneously, But it is clear that at the end of the day whoever fails to clarify his positions here and now and back them with deeds, will be marked as an accessory to terror and will pay the full price for it."

PLO in Noncompliance With Agreements

Dec. 3….(Jerusalem Post)
The Bush Administration has stated forthrightly for the first time in a yet to be publicized document that the PLO and the Palestinian Authority have not been complying with obligations outlined in accords with Israel, nor with the demands President Bush made about democratic reforms within the PA parliament. But President George W. Bush invoked a national security waiver Monday to prevent the PLO and PA from suffering US sanctions that are required by law in such circumstances. Last Friday, the administration should have submitted to Congress its semi-annual PLO-CCA report issued in accordance with the PLO Commitments Compliance Act of 1989 and covering the period from May through November 2002. According to sources familiar with its content, the report says directly for the first time that the PLO and PA "have not complied" with several key commitments.

Al Queda: We Did Kenya!

Dec. 3….(Reuters)
In a statement published in an Islamist website Monday, Al-Qaida for the first time took apparently took responsibility for the attacks in Mumbasa. "The fighters of al Qaeda return to the same place where the Crusader-Jewish coalition was hit four years ago," read the statement, in reference the bloody attacks on Dar es Salaam and Nairobi in 1998. Investigators initially believed that Al-Qaida was involved in Thursday's attacks due to the group's now trademark execution of well-planned simultaneous attacks in different locations. The authenticity of the statement, signed by the Political Office of Qaeda al-Jihad" could not be confirmed. The statement said the group's goal was to "attack the Jews and to send them a message that their sins against the Palestinians will not go unpunished.

Iraq Promises to Meet UN Deadline

Dec. 3….(Reuters)
- Iraq promised Tuesday to meet a U.N. deadline to hand over a declaration on its arms programs, but insisted it had no weapons of mass destruction to confess to. In line with Baghdad's policy of at least apparent compliance with U.N. inspections in the hope of averting a threatened U.S. attack, an Iraqi official said a statement would be provided Saturday, a day before time runs out. "We are going to deliver this declaration in the proper time on the seventh of this month and the people here, the UNMOVIC and IAEA, will take this declaration to New York and Vienna," said Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate, referring to the two arms inspection bodies. We are a country devoid of weapons of mass destruction. This fact is known to all countries including the United States of America and Britain and all those concerned." U.N. arms inspectors searched one of the Iraqi president's lavish palace compounds in Baghdad Tuesday in the biggest test of Iraqi cooperation since arms inspections resumed. Teams of inspectors entered al-Sojoud palace, one of several presidential compounds across Iraq, in central Baghdad. Inspections of presidential palaces were a source of confrontation between Iraq and U.N. inspectors in the 1990s.

FOJ Note: One must wonder what the US will do in the event that no evidence of weapons of mass destruction is discovered in Iraq. FOJ has noted throughout this developing story that Saddam Hussein may have moved/given his WMD to terrorist groups, thereby foiling the US investigation and sidetracking the American war on terror.

Gaza Strip: A Hotbed for Damascus-Hamas-Al Qaeda

Dec. 3….(FOJ)
Palestinian armed fighters attend a Islamic Jihad demonstration in the suburbs of Gaza City, Monday, Dec. 2, 2002. The supporters of the militant group Islamic Jihad burned Israeli and American flags during the rally. (routine procedure during Palestinian rallies) Israel has discovered a network of tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip into the Egyptian Sinai that serve as a weapons-terrorist smuggling channel. Egypt is fully aware of these series of tunnels, but does nothing about the massive infiltration of Arab terrorists (Damascus sponsored) passing through the region. (What a wonderful peace-partner Israel has in Egypt) You will notice the insignia on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad uniforms below depicts all of Israel as territory to be liquidated for the new State of Palestine!

Conservatives Dispute Bush on Islam

Dec. 2….(MSNBC)
President Bush finds himself in a rare disagreement with conservatives in his party over his efforts to portray Islam as a peaceful religion that is not responsible for anti-American terrorism. In a score of speeches since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush has called for tolerance of Muslims, describing Islam as “a faith based upon peace and love and compassion” and a religion committed to “morality and learning and tolerance.” But a large number of foreign policy hawks, some of them with advisory roles in the Bush administration, have joined religious conservatives in taking issue with Bush's characterizations. While most of them understand the political rationale for Bush's statements, there's no benefit in antagonizing Muslim allies such as Pakistan and Indonesia, they say the claim is dishonest and destined to fail. For Bush and for the country, the outcome of the argument is crucial. The Administration, and moderate governments in Arab and Muslim nations, are struggling to prevent the war on terrorism from becoming what Osama bin Laden wants: a war of civilization between the Judeo-Christian West and a resentful and impoverished Muslim world. (Pope John Paul II has also lamented the terrorism and violence across the world, referring to the war on terror as a "clash of civilizations that at times seems inevitable) Earlier this month, Bush distanced himself from virulent anti-Islamic remarks made by a number of U.S. religious leaders. “Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans,” the president said in the Oval Office before a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. “Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance, Mr. Secretary General, and we respect their faith and we welcome people of all faiths in America.” Last month, at a White House event promoting U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan, Bush celebrated Islam as “a vibrant faith.” “Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect their faith. We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn't follow the great traditions of Islam. They've hijacked a great religion.” Bush has delivered such speeches almost monthly since the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, beginning with an appearance at the Islamic Center of Washington on Sept. 17, 2001. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” he said. “That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Conservatives say they understand the political and even moral reasons for such pronouncements. Jeffrey Bell, a Republican operative, said there is no denying that there is a “clash between Western values and the radical Islam we've seen” but said it need not be “a war of Christianity versus Islam.” “President Bush is doing his best to minimize it,” Bell said, and so far has avoided a clash of civilizations. Adelman agreed that describing Islam as peaceful “is the right political argument, but it's a harder intellectual argument to make.” That likely won't get any easier with the intellectual ferment among American conservatives, many of whom are coming to a conclusion reached earlier this year by Norman Podhoretz in Commentary magazine. “Certainly not all Muslims are terrorists,” he wrote. “But it would be dishonest to ignore the plain truth that Islam has become an especially fertile breeding-ground of terrorism in our time. This can only mean that there is something in the religion itself that legitimizes the likes of Osama bin Laden, and indeed there is: the obligation imposed by the Koran to wage holy war, or jihad, against the 'infidels.' ”

Hezbollah Issues Al-Aqsa Mosque Warning

Dec. 2….(Harpazo)
Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel last Friday that any damage inflicted on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque would lead to a wide-scale retaliation. “Zionists and those behind them should understand that any harm caused to Al-Aqsa Mosque will ignite the entire region,” said Nasrallah during a rally held in Nabatieh to mark Jerusalem Day. Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred for Muslims. But Jewish extremists call for the mosque's destruction, claiming that it was built on the Temple Mount. “If they decided to destroy this mosque, then the nation of this mosque will destroy all of the Zionist entity with the blood of the great martyrdom attackers,” the cleric said. Nasrallah added that those willing to become martyrs “fill the homes, families, villages and cities of Lebanon and Palestine and all Arab and Islamic states.” Nasrallah spoke to about 25,000 people who flocked to the southern town of Nabatieh to attend the Jerusalem Day rally, the first time the event has been held outside Beirut.

Jerusalem Day was declared by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 following the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran. It is celebrated on every last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. The rally included a military parade in which thousands of unarmed fighters, including children as young as 5 participated.

Iraq Training Al Qaeda Sub-cells

Dec. 2….(Reuters)
An Iraqi Shi'ite Islamist opposition group accused members of an Iraqi militia of conducting joint training with al Qaeda loyalists aimed at carrying out operations against U.S. interests. The Tehran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said elements of "Saddam's Fedayeen," a militia force led by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's son Uday, were training with a group linked to al Qaeda in northern Iraq. "Sixty elements of Saddam's fedayeen militias joined the Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), which is a follower of the al Qaeda organization in Iraqi Kurdistan." A SCIRI official in Lebanon said Jund al-Islam had several hundred people in northern Iraq in the border area near Iran and Turkey, and was connected to al Qaeda, which Washington blames for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and other "terror" operations. SCIRI said the training of some militia members had already started. "These elements arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan three weeks ago, where they started getting special joint training with elements of Jund al-Islam. SCIRI, the largest Iraqi Shi'ite opposition organization, claims to have up to 8,000 fighters operating inside Iraq. It also has followers among the 500,000 Iraqi refugees living in Iran.

Damascus Influencing Palestinian Terror

Dec. 2….(Debka)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, addressing a Muslim clerical group in Cairo at an occasion marking the final prayer of the Ramadan holy month, declared that international terror is not religious; nor is it the fault of Muslims or Arabs, but their reaction to political injustices meted out by the “international community”. The Egyptian leader thus became the first Arab leader to say out loud what every Arab and Muslim ruler believes, namely that Islamic terror, including suicide homicides, is a justified means of venting their sense of injustice towards the non-Muslim world. Arafat's terror-ridden Palestinian Gaza Strip shares a border with Egyptian northern Sinai. Although the border crossing is under Israeli security control by agreement, Palestinians move easily between the two territories through a warren of tunnels they have dug to smuggle people and arms and drugs back and forth. Palestinian extremist groups dominating the 140-sq mile Gaza Strip are therefore more than doubling the area of their enclave by gradually absorbing a 160-sq. m stretch of Egyptian Sinai that curves to the southwest along the Mediterranean and centers on the desert town of el Arish. Last month, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's top strategists, his chief political adviser, Osama el-Baz, and General Omar Suleiman, the head of Egypt's intelligence services, warned him that north Sinai's creeping takeover by the radical Palestinian Muslims of the Gaza Strip posed an immediate threat to regime stability in Cairo. The decision by Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat, to hand the lead position in the confrontation with Israel over to his pretended rival, the fundamentalist Muslim terror group Hamas is an indication that terrorists have a fee hand throughout the Gaza-Sinai region. Arafat took note of the group's rising popularity in the increasingly radicalized Palestinian street, not for the local Hamas leaders and its wheelchair-bound founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and spokesman Abdelaziz al-Rantissi, but for the real power behind the Gaza center, the “external Hamas”, which is based in Damascus, headed by the implacable Khaled Mashal and Mussa Abu Marzook. According to intelligence briefings, the authority of the local Hamas leaders has been eroded by local “Irisa”, or salvation committees run from Hamas-Damascus. Similar salvation committees are strewn across the Muslim world, but only the Gaza Strip outfit has been given an international umbrella, a new Muslim organization calling itself Itlaf al Kheir – “the axis of good”. It is believed to be a pilot venture destined to be repeated at other Muslim terror centers as the Islamic fundamentalist answer to US President George W. Bush's axis of evil. Egyptian Imam Sheikh Yussef Quaradawi, the popular preacher who broadcasts his teachings around the Arab world in a regular 90-minute weekly Sunday spot on Al Jazeera satellite television's “Sharia (Muslim ritual law) and Life” is the Irisa spokesman in the Sinai.

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