WEEK OF FEBRUARY 23 THROUGH FEBRUARY 29
FOJ Comments on the Passion of The Christ
Feb. 27….(FOJ) Today’s headline in Israel says that Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has called upon Pope John Paul II to reaffirm his position that the Jews are not responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. The Chief Rabbi of Israel fears that the movie The Passion of the Christ may rekindle beliefs among some that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus. Many in Israel are calling for the movie to be banned in Israel. It seems that nothing ca stir up as much controversy as does Jesus. He is still provocative even today! Is it not ironic to see that Jesus, Israel, the Jews, and Rome are so much in the news today, just as they were 2000 years ago! But there is one new player—The Pope.
I went to see Mel Gibson’s movie yesterday and offer the following comments:
1) The movie portrayal of Jesus agony and suffering through the scourging and Crucifixion were adequately represented, and truly conveyed a deep sense of “passion.” I think the physical, emotional, and personal trauma that Jesus actually endured however cannot possibly be depicted in film. Jesus actually died of a broken heart!
2) The movie subtly carried a continual undertone of Marianism. The Pope-Vatican is considering mandating that Mary was actually the Co-Redemptrix in Christ’s Passion, and I think this movie will promote that agenda. Mary was shown throughout the movie as being more than a loving-caring Mother. She was depicted as being a cooperating partner-participant in the Passion. She is often referred to as “Mother” by Peter, John, and all those who were close to Christ. She is shown as being constantly on the scene throughout the scourging, the trial, the Via Dolorosa, and the crucifixion lending a spiritual hand to Jesus, with Jesus seemingly relying on her. At the end, Jesus words, “Behold thy Mother” were subliminally meant to inspire people to revere the Church of Rome. This is not the Biblical account. (Mel Gibson is a devout Catholic and adheres to strict Catholic doctrine) However, Vatican Rome is flat wrong!
3) In one scene in the scourging courtyard, there is a dramatic view of Satan dressed in a black cape carrying a small child. The child turns to the camera and wryly smiles an ugly smile. The scene may have been intended to be a flashback to Jesus birth and the slaughter of the innocents. However, I gained a sense of it being a flash ahead in time. (seed of the serpent) Roman Catholic eschatology forecasts a coming time of Great Chastisement for the Church. It is the period of time that we as pre-millennial, pre-tribulationists interpret as the Great Tribulation. Rome does not adhere to the event known as the Rapture for the Church. Therefore, the scene enables Rome to forecast the coming Antichrist as the Christ. In a tragic case of role-reversal in prophecy, this aspect of the movie could lend itself to being a valuable tool in enabling the False Prophet to deceive the public a bout the true Christ when he comes back in the near future. But most people will not pick up on this detail.
4) The Passion of Christ’s suffering (movie) focuses on blood and gore. It appeals to the emotions of the viewer.
I can easily see it bringing about an emotional bond between denominations and religions. Considering that we are indeed in the Last Days, I was able to see where the theme of the movie (Mary, passion) could be used for religious unity. Afterall, nothing brings people together like a doting-loving comPASSIONate Mother. Seeing as how this movie was so filled with blood, it is Ironic that the Roman Catholic Church offers an unbloody sacrifice of Christ on a continual basis. Mary is shown sopping up Christ’s blood as if she now is a participant in the sacrifice.
5) The Passion of the Christ movie offered a respite from Rome to avoid anti-Semitism. The movie complies with the Pontifical Council of Inter-religious Dialogue and Harmony. The Vatican has gone to great lengths under Pope John Paul II to reach out to Jews and establish a link of tolerance and acceptance. Such a move should be anticipated in the religious arena before the Antichrist appears on the stage.
Over seven hundred years before Jesus was even born, the prophet Isaiah prophesied of Jesus scourging and Crucifixion. Crucifixion didn’t even exist when Isaiah forecast the evil torture that Christ would be subjected to.
Isaiah 53:1-12 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Hebrews 9:24-28 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Jesus allowed himself to endure THE PASSION and the Crucifixion ONE TIME. His single act of self sacrifice is all the price he needed to pay for ALL sin. Have you accepted his payment? If not you need to be reminded that HE is returning the Second Time to destroy the seed of the Serpent!
IDF Seizes NIS 39 Million in Ramallah Bank Raid
Feb. 26….(Jerusalem Post) Over 39 million shekels intended to fund
Palestinian terror were confiscated by the IDF, police, and Shin Bet in an
unprecedented raid on banks in Ramallah and El-Bireh. Israeli officials pored
over hundreds of bank accounts and seized money sent from Europe, the US, Iran,
Syria, and Jordan intended to fund Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas.
Major-Gen. Yusef Mishlav, coordinator of government activities in the
territories, will begin looking into possible Palestinian humanitarian causes
amongst which the confiscated money was to be distributed. The US urged
Israel to avoid raids on Palestinian banks, saying they could destabilize
the Palestinian banking system. We have in the past and continue to urge the
Israeli government to work closely with the Palestinian financial authorities to
address the issues of transparency and of making sure that money doesn't reach
any terrorist groups through these banks," State Department spokesman Richard
Boucher said. "These actions risk destabilizing the Palestinian banking system.
And so we'd prefer to see Israeli coordination with Palestinian financial
authorities in order to stem the flow of funds to terrorist groups. (like that
would really happen) Vast sums of money had been sent from charities abroad to
people affiliated with Hizbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. The money seized was
in different currencies, including dollars, dinars, and euros, officials said.
In Tulkarm, soldiers from the Nachshon battalion sealed the offices of an
outlawed charity affiliated with Hamas, after confiscating computers and other
equipment. They entered the office of Zakat, an Islamic charity which receives
funds from Hamas abroad and gives out money to families of Hamas terrorists. The
organization was declared illegal in 2002, but continued operating unhampered.
According to seized documents, the organization's main goal was to assist the
families of suicide bombers. Security forces found application forms to be
signed by the families of "martyrs" seeking assistance and forms asking the
public to submit the names of families of terrorists who need financial
assistance. According to an IDF statement, the purpose of the operations was to
hamper the channeling of funds "that fuel terror attacks against Israelis."
Palestinian Authority officials harshly condemned the operation.
Bush Rejects Military Pressure On Syria
Feb. 25….(Middle East New Line) The Bush administration has rejected a proposal by the U.S. military for increased freedom of action along the Iraqi-Syrian border in an attempt to halt the flow of Muslim fighters into Iraq. U.S. officials said the White House rejected a plan by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff that would permit U.S. forces that operate along the Iraqi-Syrian border to pursue Al Qaida-aligned fighters into Syria and attack insurgency way-stations inside Syrian territory. They said the plan identified Iran and Syria as the leading sources of Muslim volunteers who seek to enter Iraq and join the insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition. The military plan was endorsed by the Defense Department, officials said. The Pentagon warned the White House that without U.S. military pressure Damascus would continue to facilitate the flow of Muslim volunteers into Iraq. They said Syrian officials have been bribed to allow the insurgents to cross the border. Officials said the Pentagon concluded that the flow of Islamic insurgents from Syria has become a key difficulty in stabilizing Iraq. They said Syria has been used by Islamic insurgents to infiltrate Iraq and join Al Qaida suicide squads.
Arabs Plan to take its Terror Over the Fence
Feb. 25….(JNEWSWIRE) Whether Israel keeps the security fence in place, or folds before enormous international pressure and takes it down, the Palestinian Arabs remain determined to inflict terror and death on the Jewish people in whatever way they can. According to Israel's Internal Security Services (Shin Bet) director, Avi Dichter, the "Palestinians" are working hard to develop artillery and other weaponry to fire over the combination wall-fence barrier. The security fence, being erected as a desperate measure by a nation that has seen hundreds of its people murdered by Muslim "suicide" bombers in the last three-and-a-half years, may actually spur "Palestinians" to improve or develop new methods of terrorism. Dichter warned that the successful "Palestinian" deployment of artillery that can reach Israeli population centers would probably necessitate a major IDF operation into the Gaza Strip. Apart from all this he stressed that the security fence had already proven to be truly effective. Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Dichter said the Palestinian Arabs were working to introduce chemical agents into their bombs, something that could dramatically increase the number of casualties in future terror attacks. The Arabs were also trying to produce an artillery piece that could fire shells over the wall into Israeli cities and towns, similar to the way Qassam rockets and mortars were being launched from the Gaza Strip against Jewish targets in the south. Dichter lauded Israel's internationally criticized security fence, rolling out statistics to show how, where it has been completed, the barrier has brought "suicide" attacks screeching to a halt. But while the finished fence up north had almost completely stopped terror from Samaria, further south, specifically around Jerusalem, where a lot of the fence has yet to be put up, efforts to infiltrate bombers have trebled. It is important to complete the fence around Jerusalem as quickly as possible, Dichter stressed
President Bush Supports Banning Gay Marriage
Feb. 24….(MSNBC) The controversy over gay and lesbian
marriage has simmered on the edges of the political spectrum for more than a
decade, and that was where many politicians hoped it would stay. But the battle
over the legal union and marriage benefits for same-sex couples has burst onto
center stage in recent months, propelled by recent court rulings and
election-year politics. It is suddenly in a place where mainstream America can
hardly ignore it. Jumping into a volatile election-year debate on same-sex
weddings, President Bush on Tuesday backed a constitutional amendment banning
gay marriage, a move he said was needed to stop judges from changing the
definition of the “most enduring human institution.” “After more than two
centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few
judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental
institution of civilization,” the president said. “Their action has created
confusion on an issue that requires clarity." "Unless action is taken, we can
expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law
by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty," he said. Citing what he
said was an "overwhelming consensus" that marriage should be only between a man
and a woman, Bush criticized city officials in San Francisco, a county clerk in
New Mexico and the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which has ruled that it is
unconstitutional to bar gay couples from marriage, clearing the way for same-sex
weddings to begin there in May. A few judges and local authorities are
presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," Bush
said in a White House announcement.
Bush also said that allowing jurisdictions to continue to issue same-sex
marriage licenses could require other states and localities to recognize them.
The conservative wing of his party has been anxious for Bush to follow up his
rhetoric on the issue with action. In recent weeks, Bush has repeatedly said he
was “troubled” by the Massachusetts court decision and the gay marriages in San
Francisco, but stopped short of endorsing a constitutional amendment. Senator
John Kerry, Bush’s likely Democratic opponent in this year’s election, says he
opposes gay marriages. But he also opposes a federal constitutional amendment to
ban them, because he says it is an issue for the states to decide, spokeswoman
Stephanie Cutter said Tuesday. Kerry says he prefers civil unions and rejects
any federal or state legislation that could be used to eliminate equal
protections for homosexuals or other forms of recognition like civil unions.
President Bush called on Congress to move quickly to pass
legislation that can then be sent to the states for ratification. At least 38
states and the federal government have approved laws or amendments barring the
recognition of gay marriage.
Shimon Peres: Dismantling Settlements Brings Peace
Feb. 24….(AP) Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who
won a Nobel Peace Prize for Mid-east peacemaking efforts, took his campaign for
dismantling Jewish settlements to the highest reaches of the Bush administration
on Monday. Peres, at a news conference between meetings with Secretary of State
Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, repeated his
long-standing belief that the Palestinians want peace with Israel and should be
encouraged with territorial concessions on Israel's part. In fact, he said "good
news" was emerging all over the world, with Libya pledging to end its nuclear
weapons program and Cyprus on a path to settle the island nation's 30-year
division. Peres said he was cheered by the proposals of his longtime political
foe, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to withdraw from Gaza and from part of
the West Bank without any reciprocal moves by Palestinian leaders. Palestinians
are leery of the unilateral Israeli actions, and also believe that a security
barrier Israel is building could become a land grab by Israel of Palestinian
territory. The pullback by Israel cannot stop at Sharon's proposals, Peres said.
"Before long it will become a plan" for a deeper withdrawal from land Israel has
occupied since a 1967 war, he said. Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in
1994 jointly with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and then-Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin for the Oslo accords that gave the Palestinians wider control of
their lives and of parts of the West Bank and Gaza. Six years later, the accord
crumbled amid violence, and Peres became a focus of criticism. Over 80, Peres
continues to push for far-reaching Israeli concessions as a pathway to a
Palestinian state that he and President Bush say can live in peace with Israel.
Even with peacemaking virtually nonexistent now, Peres said there is "a new
reality in the Middle East and Sharon has to face it like everyone else." "We
shouldn't be blind," he said of Israelis who remain skeptical of Israel giving
up land and the Palestinians setting up a state on it. Most Palestinians want to live in peace with Israel, he said.
Yasser Arafat and His Killing Machine
Feb. 23….(FOJ) One day after he sent one of his young Al Aqsa suicide bombers, a Bethlehem youth to commit a heinous bombing in Jerusalem that killed 8 Israeli’s, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat appeared on PA television during a televised speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah to rail against Israel’s security wall. Arafat hates the wall simply because it obstructs his capacity to kill Israeli’s. Arafat urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule against Israel's West Bank barrier for the sake of peace.
Arafat called Israel’s security wall an “apartheid wall,” trying to insinuate that by constructing the barrier that Israel was practicing racism. Arafat said, “this apartheid wall aims to deprive our people of their land and to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, in conformity with international resolutions. ”In Abu Dis, Arafat’s puppet Prime Minister Qorei addressed several thousand protestors by the eight-meter (25-foot) high concrete wall cutting off the town from neighboring Arab east Jerusalem. Mr. Quorei said, “to all those who want peace in Israel, we say that the wall has not been built for security purposes but to steal our land and shut in 250,000 Palestinians. "We will never accept it," added the premier, often interrupted by anti-barrier slogans shouted by the crowd. Other protests were held in Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, and in Bethlehem and Hebron in the south of the territory.
US Calls on Syria to Shed WMD
Feb. 23….(Middle East News Line) The United States has urged Damascus to follow Libya and dismantle Syria's weapons of mass destruction programs. In the most direct appeal, the Bush administration called specifically on Syria to allow international inspections of suspected WMD facilities as well as dismantle weaponry. The administration said Syria's WMD program has become a major obstacle toward better relations with the United States. "We hope other governments, too, like Syria, will realize that chemical weapons and other WMD programs won't make their countries safer," Secretary of State Colin Powell told an audience at Princeton University on Friday, "their people more prosperous, or their own hold on power more secure. To the contrary. It goes in the other direction." Officials said Powell's warning was part of the administration's effort to revise Syria's policy before President George Bush reports to Congress on compliance by Damascus to the Syria Accountability Act. The bill, signed into law in December 2003, warns of a virtual U.S. trade embargo on Syria unless it withdraws troops from Lebanon, ends support for groups termed terrorist and dismantles its WMD. Bush is expected to report to Congress by May.
Israel's Security Wall and the World Court
Feb. 23….(FOJ) In an ironic turn of events, the
international trial against Israel's self-defense against Palestinian terrorism
began today, precisely as Israeli families continue to bury their dead from the
latest PLO suicide attack. The PLO opened its case against Israel's West Bank
barrier in the world court today, a landmark hearing that brings Israel's policy
of building a security fence before an international tribunal. It is shaping up
to be a very contentious international stage show. It reminds me of the General
Assembly resolution of 1975, which declared Zionism a form of racism. That
resolution was revoked in 1991 for the opening of peace talks in Madrid, just to
entice Israel into negotiating with terrorists. Israel is boycotting the
hearings on the grounds that it is all a propaganda exercise, and of course
that’s exactly what it is. The ICJ is the court of the United Nations and is
based in The Hague. The ICJ was asked by the UN to give its advisory opinion bon
Israel’s security wall. The UN request was proposed by a bloc of mainly Arab and
Muslim countries. The UN resolution asks the ICJ to urgently render an advisory
opinion on the following question: "What are the legal consequences arising from
the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as
described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and
principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949,
and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?" The
Palestinians want a ruling that the "wall" is illegal where it crosses into
occupied land in the West Bank. The Israelis say that the "fence" is a vital
measure of self-defense. The Palestinians also argue that all the land captured
by Israel in the 1967 war is occupied territory which cannot be annexed under
the terms of the 1907 Hague regulations on the Laws and Customs of War. Nasser
Al-Kidwa, chief of the Palestinian delegation, the first to address the
tribunal, argued against the barrier and in favor of the court's authority to
render an opinion on its legality. "This wall is not about security. It is about
entrenching the occupation and the de facto annexation of large areas of the
Palestinian land," Al-Kidwa told the tribunal. The 15-judge International Court
of Justice planned three days of hearings into the barrier starting Monday, with
all of the participants expected to harshly criticize the fence. The Palestinian
Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei described the barrier as an "apartheid wall" that
would "put the Palestinians in cantons". He says that it endangers "the
two-state solution and the creation of an independent Palestinian state". Israel
rejects the claim that the land it captured in 1967 is occupied territory. As
for the barrier itself, Israel says that it is a self-defense device, which has
no political significance because it could be moved in the event of a political
settlement. At his West Bank headquarters, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
urged his people "to make their voices heard" against the barrier, by ordering
thousands of Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas today to
head towards various sections of the partition fence, as part of their
commemoration of today's "Day of Rage."
The Passion of the Christ
Feb. 23….(FOJ) Like many of you out there, I will be going to see the new Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” I have purposely hesitated from commenting on this movie because I intend to withhold judgment on it until I actually see it. I have noted however that it is being released on Ash Wednesday, to be coincided with the Catholic Lenten season, and I have read some very disturbing quotations from Mr. Gibson. But, we will wait and see what we shall see. I would point out that although Jesus was put to a most horrifying death, that it wasn’t the suffering of Jesus that saves a person. Afterall, the two thieves hanging beside Jesus also suffered terribly as well. Jesus submitted himself to the Cross willingly, as a LAMB, as the cross was actually part of the reason that he came into the world. Jesus was a Jew, and he loved the Jewish people, as they were his heritage. But Jesus died for the sins of ALL mankind, regardless of their background. While Rome and the Jews conspired together to put Jesus to death, it was actually sin (evil) that compelled Jesus to come and take his (our) place on the ole rugged cross. (John 3:16-17For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.) Jesus was God’s only son, or God manifested in the human flesh. (I John 4:9-10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Muslim Killer Slaughters 7 on Jerusalem Bus
Feb. 22….(JNEWSWIRE) A Muslim "Palestinian" slaughtered seven people and wounded more than 60 others when he blew himself up on a crowded public bus during rush hour near downtown Jerusalem Sunday morning. The attack took place one day before the International Court of Justice in The Hague is to open hearings on the "legality" or otherwise of the security fence Israel is building to try prevent "suicide" bombings. The Sharon government said the bombing was further proof Israel needed to build the barrier. Yasser Arafat's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed credit for the massacre. A member of Yasser Arafat's Al-Aqsa martyrs Brigades blew himself up on a public bus near downtown Jerusalem during Sunday morning rush hour, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 60 others. Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service listed 11 of the wounded in serious to critical condition; another 14 were moderately hurt. The targeted bus number 14 was waiting at a traffic light across from a gas station near the capital's Liberty Bell Park, not far from the popular Emek Refaim area. "I heard a huge explosion and saw people running around and I just started crying," German tourist Anne Reichart, who was on a nearby bus, was quoted as saying. An attendant at the gas station told The Jerusalem Post the blast had felt like an earthquake and the place around him had been "filled with shattered glass and pieces of flesh." Corpses, shredded flesh and other pieces of what minutes before had been warm, living human beings littered the bus floor and the cold ground immediately around about, permeating the air with the smell of freshly butchered bodies. It was the 29th "suicide" bombing carried out by the "Palestinian" Arabs in Jerusalem over the past three-and-a-half years, Israel's Foreign Ministry pointed out. 'We need a fence' …The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement shortly after the attack, saying this most recent atrocity again showed why Israel needed the security fence it is currently constructing through parts of the Israeli capital. The attack "proves without a shadow of a doubt the need for Israel's security fence. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding himself," government spokesman David Baker told the press. The International Court of Justice in The Hague is scheduled to open a three-day hearing on the legality of Israel's security fence on Monday. The entire Muslim world, represented by the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, has been invited to provide testimony against the fence. The families of Israeli victims of Arab terrorism have been denied the opportunity to participate. Israel, the United States and several European nations have decided to boycott the hearing, arguing that by referring the issue to the ICJ the Islamic bloc and Non-Aligned nations at the UN were endeavoring to politicize the court. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday Israel would build the fence regardless of the court's findings.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 16 THROUGH FEBRUARY 22
Russia Develops Anti-Defense Shield Missile
Feb. 20….(Reuters) Russia has developed ballistic missile
technology that can outwit any defensive system, a top Russian general said on
Thursday, in a clear challenge to the United States' planned $50 billion
anti-missile shield. The declaration came a day after President Vladimir
Putin promised to equip his armed forces with a new generation of long-range
weapons matching those of the United States. Russia’s First Deputy Chief of
Staff Colonel-General Yury Baluyevsky said that during large-scale military
exercises on Wednesday, Russia had test-launched a missile system that could
maneuver in mid-flight, allowing it to dodge defenses. "The test carried out
yesterday confirmed that we can build weapons which will render any
anti-missile system defenseless against an attack by Russia's strategic forces,"
he told a news conference. "It's part of our unilateral response to the creation
or future creation of a missile defense system by any state or bloc of states,"
he said. Moscow and Washington agreed not to develop large-scale missile
defenses during the Cold War, but President Bush pulled out of that treaty in
2002, saying the United States has to ward off threats from terrorists and
"rogue states." The U.S. defensive shield remains in its early stages. The
initial system, being built by Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Orbital
Sciences, is designed only to protect against a limited attack. Critics of the
U.S. effort, budgeted at $50 billion over the next five years, worry it could
trigger an international arms race to overwhelm anti-missile defenses. They also
say it faces an impossible task, likened to "hitting a bullet with a bullet."
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said last month the system being built would be
able to defend all 50 states against a limited ballistic missile attack by the
end of 2004.
Hague to Consider Israeli Security Fence
Feb. 20….(FOJ) At the urging of the Palestinians, the UN
General Assembly has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague
to rule on Israel's construction of its controversial security barrier through
Palestinian territory. The Hague will listen to two and a half days of arguments
on the legality of the fence next week. The International Court of Justice's
decisions are non-binding, thus Israel wouldn't have to remove one centimeter of
the wall if the court rules against it. However, the hearings will set the stage
for a very vocal and visible circus of international maneuvering. Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat has denounced the security wall as "a horrible aggression"
reflecting Israel’s "Zionist racism". The Pope has also denounced the wall,
saying it is an obstruction to peace. In the meantime the political implications
are far-reaching. Officially, the barrier is only a "security fence" but its
construction comes against the background of a lively debate in Israel about the
"unilateral separation" from the Palestinians. After the failure of the Oslo
peace process, some leading politicians in and outside the Labour Party as well
as some former Army officers concluded that Israel should unilaterally separate
from the Palestinians and impose a border that roughly follows the 1967 lines.
The Israeli government says its barrier around the West Bank, in some places a
high concrete wall, elsewhere an alarmed fence (95% is fence) is simply a
security device to keep suicide bombers out of Israel.
John Kerry's Anti-War Speeches Hurt POWs
Feb. 20….(Newsmax) A former Vietnam POW is alleging that his Hanoi captors specifically cited Sen. John Kerry's 1971 anti-war testimony to Congress as they brutally tortured him to get him to turn on his fellow GIs. One-time Navy pilot Paul Galanti was shot down over North Vietnam in 1966 and spent seven years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that he learned of Kerry's April 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while being tortured by his Hanoi Hilton guards. According to the Times, "during torture sessions, Galanti said, his captors cited the antiwar speeches as an example of why we should cross over to their side. In his account to the Senate, John Kerry accused U.S. soldiers of routinely committing rapes, beheadings, mutilations and all manner of atrocities against the Vietnamese people. Galanti told the Times that Kerry's decision to publicly allege that U.S. soldiers were war criminals "jeopardized those still in battle or in the hands of the enemy." Because he did, Galanti said, "John Kerry was a traitor to the men he served with." "The Viet Cong didn't think they had to win the war on the battlefield," the ex-POW said, "because thanks to the protesters believed they were going to win it on the streets of San Francisco and Washington." Although Galanti's fellow POW, Senator John McCain, has been silent in recent years about the damage Sen. Kerry caused as a leader of the radical group Vietnam Veterans Against the War, in 1973 McCain told U.S. News & World Report that throughout his imprisonment, his North Vietnamese captors were "bombarding us with anti-war quotes from people in high places back in Washington." "This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us," the Arizona Republican explained. But Galanti is the first POW to say that his Hanoi Hilton guards expressly invoked Sen. Kerry's words during their brutal torture sessions. In his comments to the Times, he accused the Democratic presidential front-runner of having blood on his hands, contending, "The Vietnam memorial has thousands of additional names due to John Kerry and others like him." In a follow-up interview with Fox News Channel's John Gibson, Galanti said he'll take his story directly to the American people if the press fails to expose the truth about candidate Kerry. "Let me tell you one thing. It looks like John Kerry is going to get the nomination," he told Gibson. "If he does, I'm going to come out of the woodwork, and there's a whole bunch of us who feel the same way."
Israeli Knessett Reviewing PA Assistance
Feb. 19….(FOJ) The following information is disturbing. The Oslo Peace Process set in motion the responsibility for Israel to assist the proposed new State of Palestine with its budget and public services. Israel provides water, electricity, sewers, and so forth to the PA for which it is never reimbursed. Israel uses its tax agencies to collect taxes and distribute the revenue to the PA. In reality, Israel is not only being subjected to the constant threat of terrorism as directed by Arafat, but Israel is actually in the idiotic compromising position of helping Yasser Arafat to finance his terrorist machine. Israel has repeatedly moved to oust Arafat from the West Bank because of his unabashed terror operations from his post in Ramallah, but each time Israel ends up caving in to Western demands to leave Arafat alone. Why? Does it have something to do with money? Arafat rakes in millions of dollars every month from foreign assistance in Europe and elsewhere. And get this, according to data presented earlier this month by Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad, Israel itself transfers approximately 200 million shekels ($45.5 million) to the Palestinian Authority every month from tax revenues collected from areas that are in the so-called occupied territory. Knessett member Eldad recently reintroduced a bill in parliament that would forbid further transfers of funds to the PA, which Israel has characterized as a "terror-supporting entity". Furthermore, based on information from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Israeli transfers to the PA include $7 million (30.8 million shekels) every month into a bank account under the direct personal control of PLO leader Yasser Arafat. (84 million dollars/year to Arafat) Am I missing something? Why is it that Israel actually feels compelled upon through the guidelines of the peace process to pay the notorious and ruthless terrorist mastermind Yasser Arafat 7 million dollars a month to continue his terrorist activities? It is like paying somebody to infect you with cancer. Truly, it is a crazy world.
Laws Be Damned
Feb. 19….(excerpt by Al Rantel) There is a new political
development in America that should frighten every law-abiding citizen in this
country. That is the growing disregard for people who follow the law and play by
the rules, and the rewarding of those who do not. One such case involves the
mayor of San Francisco, who, though sworn to uphold the laws and the
constitution of California in his just-taken oath of office, now allows and
instructs city government to break those laws. Under California’s penal code, he
is actually committing a felony. Mayor Newsome has decided that he doesn’t like
California’s law that says marriage is only between one man and one woman and so
he orders marriage licenses to be issued to hundreds of gay couples waiting in
line at City Hall. The public and the law be damned, the mayor will do what he
wants. Meantime, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a “no comment” for the media
when asked about it, and the state’s attorney general musters a statement that
no one has asked him to issue a legal opinion. What will happen to our society
when people begin to ask what law they can break that they don’t like? Just
think, in the nation’s most populous state today, you can get an illegal
marriage license. Not only will public officials not stop you, but they will
even help you to break the law. America has never been on such a morally
ambiguous path, and no intelligent person can really believe all of this can
make our country better, safer or stronger as a nation.
Arafat: "They`re After Me and My Money!"
Feb. 19….(DEBKA) Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia
(Abu Ala) has been engaged in a last ditch attempt to rescue the European aid
program to the Palestinians from total cutoff. The Palestinian Authority's
coffers, which depend on foreign handouts for 60 percent of their revenues,
(why is the world financially propping up a terrorist regime in the first
place?) are depleted. American aid is already lost, since Washington vowed
not to give the Palestinians a red cent until they hand over the killers of
three CIA security men murdered in a roadside explosion in the Gaza Strip on
October 15. Now, the Americans are pushing hard for Europe to follow suit.
Nevertheless the European Union is continuing to pay the salaries of about
100,000 Palestinian Authority officials and security officers. Bu the EU has
posed a key proviso: donations will no longer be handed over in cash to the PA,
an invitation to the corrupt practices besetting Palestinian government, but
will be transferred directly into the individual payees’ bank accounts.
Ironically, Israel has to continue making regular remittances to the PA, (and
providing free utilities-public services) a leftover from its undertakings
under the defunct Oslo peace accords. Yasser Arafat and the heads of his Fatah
faction and Tanzim militia predictably turned down the European proviso, and no
wonder: (a) To open an account and draw funds from the bank, Palestinian
security men will have to show identification; (b) they can no longer be
forced by their commanders and Arafat to engage in terrorists activities in
order to feed their families. As PA officers, they will receive their
paychecks directly from the EU. The Europeans’ tough act, which puts the lid on
many of Arafat’s financial abuses, is intended to meet one of Washington’s key
demands and to test the chances of being allowed in on the Bush Administration’s
coming moves in Iraq and the Middle East. "They're gunning for me and they're
after my money," Arafat spat out to his PA cronies. “And if we let them get
away with it, they’ll finish me off along with the entire Palestinian resistance
President Bush Troubled by San Francisco
Feb. 19….(AP) President Bush said yesterday that he was
troubled by the gay weddings in San Francisco and by legal decisions in
Massachusetts that could clear the way for same-sex marriage. He declined to say
whether he was close to backing a constitutional ban. "I have watched carefully
what's happening in San Francisco, where gay marriage licenses are being issued,
even though the law states otherwise," Bush said. "I have consistently stated
that I'll support law to protect marriage between a man and a woman. Obviously
these events are influencing my decision." He didn't answer directly when asked
whether he is any closer to endorsing a constitutional ban on same-sex
marriages. "I strongly believe marriage should be defined as between a man and a
woman," Bush said during an Oval Office session. "I am troubled by activist
judges who are redefining marriage." "People need to be involved in this
decision," Bush said. "Marriage ought to be defined by the people not by the
courts. And I'm watching it carefully." White House spokesman Scott McClellan
said Bush recognized that gay marriage is a divisive topic. But, he said, "This
is an issue where he believes it is important for people to stand up on
principle." Gay and lesbian couples from Europe and more than 20 states have
lined up outside the ornate San Francisco City Hall since city officials decided
to begin marrying same-sex couples six days ago. City officials said 172 couples
were married Tuesday, a pace that would bring the total number who have taken
vows promising to be "spouses for life" to over 3,000 by Friday.
Collapse Highlights Temple Mount Instability
Feb. 18….(JNEWSWIRE) Israel's Temple Mount, the most hotly contested place on earth, and believed by many to be a potential trigger for World War Three is in the spotlight again after a moderate earthquake and subsequent snowstorm caused the collapse of an adjacent stone embankment Saturday. The cave in, which sent large rocks crashing down into the women's prayer section in front of the Western Wall, but caused no injuries highlighted again the precarious overall condition of Judaism's holiest site, a site the Islamic world is working vigorously to usurp. According to the Bible, a Temple to the God of Israel will again be built on the Temple Mount prior to the final coming of Messiah. Bible believers understand that, for this to happen, the Muslim mosques now straddling God's holy hill would have to somehow be removed. Since Saturday, Israeli archeologists, whose previous recommendations have been largely ignored by the government, have reiterated warnings that unchecked Muslim construction on the Mount was weakening its support structure. Illegal Waqf (Islamic Trust) renovations at the site are believed responsible for a major bulge in the Temple Mount's southern retaining wall, a situation that could lead to a serious disaster, archeologist Eilat Mazar has cautioned. Palestinian terrorists blamed Israel for Saturday's collapse, vowing to "take revenge" on the Jews.
Hizbullah Suspected Of Joining Sunni Insurgents
Feb. 18….(Middle East News Line) The Iranian-sponsored
Hizbullah is suspected of having joined forces with Sunni insurgents in the
campaign to expel U.S. troops from Iraq. Iraqi security sources said they have
collected unspecified evidence that Ansar Al Islam, the Al Qaida-aligned
insurgency group, has acquired the services of the Hizbullah terrorist
organization to help attack U.S. forces in parts of the Sunni Triangle. The
sources said Hizbullah combatants were believed to have provided training and
guidance in coordinated attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security positions. Few of the
Hizbullah operatives participated in the actual attacks. More than 500 Hizbullah
combatants arrived in Iraq from Lebanon during 2003, the sources said. Most of
them have resettled in Shi'ite cities in central and southern Iraq. But over the
last two months, the sources said, scores of Hizbullah fighters were believed to
have crossed into northern Iraq to join Ansar. They said Ansar has benefited
from Iranian weaponry, logistics support and safe haven and Teheran might have
approved or encouraged the services of Hizbullah for Ansar.
President Bush Still Adamant on PA Statehood
Feb. 18….(JNEWSWIRE) The American administration has demanded that an Israeli plan to unilaterally disengage from the Palestinian Arabs not threaten President George W. Bush's vision of a Palestinian state existing side-by-side with Israel. According to reports from Washington, the Bush Administration is willing to support the unilateral uprooting of Jews from the Gaza Strip, it has forbidden Israel from resettling these people in Judea and Samaria. (West Bank) America is also demanding that Israel not build a second security fence between the PA-controlled areas and the Jordan Valley, whose Jews also face removal in the outworking of the White House's proposed final solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict. And the State Department is stressing the message that America will go along with plans to remove Jews from their homes provided such evictions help bring about the creation of a Palestinian State. President Bush has championed the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since June 2002, when he became the first US president to make this his official policy. Reportedly against the advice of at least some in his inner circle, President Bush has resolved to follow through with the decision to oversee the birth of a "State of Palestine living alongside Israel. (supposedly with peace and security) The White House believes the "Road Map" peace plan drawn up by the international community of nations represented by the Quartet is the best way to divide the land between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs.
Jewish Rabbis Declare: Land Can not be Given Away
Feb. 18….(Arutz) Over 200 rabbis from all over Israel
arrived in the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem yesterday for what was
termed an emergency session of the Union of Rabbis in light of the threat to the
integrity of the Land of Israel. Speaker after speaker expressed objections on
every possible grounds to the Prime Minister's plan to withdraw Israeli control
from Gaza and expel close to 8,000 Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel.
Presiding over the conference was Rabbi Avraham Shapira, who served as Israel's
Chief Rabbi from 1983-1993, and who heads the Central Universal Yeshiva (Merkaz
HaRav) in Jerusalem. "The events have shown all of us that, Heaven forbid,
whoever harms the Land of Israel, whoever thinks thoughts in this direction,
loses his seat and his regime," Rabbi Shapira said. "We are expressing not a
political opinion, but the opinion of Torah; whoever wants to hear it, will hear
it. The Torah says that the entire land is ours and we must not give it away,
and especially when it is liable to lead to loss of life." "We come in the name of the Torah to
strengthen and be strengthened," Rabbi Shapira continued. "The entire public,
our rabbis and their students, will cry out and will act, even if we have to
instruct the public to gather in Gaza, in Gush Katif, we will do that, with
God's help, with might and valor and greatness, to double and triple the number
of Jews there, and not allow the evacuation and uprooting of a Jewish town. It
is against Torah law and simple morality, and the government must not even
discuss it!" Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who served as Rishon LeTzion (Chief
Sephardic Rabbi) alongside Rabbi Shapira, said that no one has the right to
give away parts of the Land of Israel. "Let no one think that just because
he was elected, this means that the Land of Israel is his." He said that
Israel's economic and religious situation is bound up with the strength of our
connection with the Land. "The dismantling of communities is a crime against the
Jewish nation throughout the generations, one that cannot be forgiven. A
position paper distributed at the conference read as follows: The right and
obligation of the Nation of Israel towards the Land of Israel is an eternal
right to the entire land and throughout all the generations. The plan to uproot
flourishing communities from their land is in total opposition to the Torah of
Catastrophic Attack Possible: Bush
Feb. 17….(Telegraph) The United States still faced the threat of catastrophic attack by nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, President George W. Bush said today. "The possibility of secret and sudden attack with weapons of mass destruction is the greatest threat before humanity today," he said as he highlighted his security credentials in a weekly radio address geared to his campaign for this year's election. "Terrorists and terrorist states are in a race for weapons of mass murder, a race they must lose. "They are resourceful; we must be more resourceful. They are determined; we must be more determined." The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States showed what hijackers "could inflict upon our country, armed with box cutters, mace and 19 airline tickets", he added.
China 'Transferred Nuclear Weapon Designs to Pakistan'
Feb. 16….(Washington Times) China has been identified as the original source of nuclear weapons designs found in Libya in the latest disclosure about the global spread of nuclear technology. American and European experts revealed that documents handed over by Libya had yielded "dramatic evidence" of Beijing's role in transferring nuclear technology and designs to Pakistan in the 1980s. The Chinese designs were later sold to Libya by the Pakistan based network that is now at the center of an international investigation of nuclear proliferation. The papers, which included text in Chinese, had comprehensive details on how to build a nuclear bomb to fit on top of a ballistic missile. "It tells you what torque to use on the bolts and what glue to use on the parts," one weapons expert told the newspaper. Intelligence officials long ago concluded that China gave early help to Pakistan in building its first nuclear weapon. But this appears to be the hardest evidence yet of the link. American officials took charge of the documents last November after Col. Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, renounced weapons of mass destruction and opened his laboratories to international inspection. The blueprints were flown to Washington last month and analyzed by experts from America, Britain and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Israel is Satanic Offspring
Feb. 16….(PATV) A top Palestinian Authority official insists that Israel has no right to exist because it is "Satan's offspring," founded on theft and racism. In an interview broadcast Feb. 6 on PATV, (Palestine Authority TV) Ahmad Nasser, Secretary of the Palestinian Legislative Council, asserts that Israel cannot exist "among human beings" because it was "founded on the basis of robbery, terror, killing, torture, assassination, death, stealing land and killing people." His comments reflect the PA's continuing campaign to challenge and deny Israel's right to exist. The interview also cites The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous Russian forgery that was presented as the Jews' secret plan to rule the world, as the basis for the recent exchange of 400 Arab prisoners for one Israeli and the bodies of three soldiers. Nasser says the prisoner exchange is part of Israel's plan to show that a Jewish life is worth more than an Arab life, and proves that Israel is a "racist country" that "hates all the goyim, all the foreigners."
Al Qaeda Entrenched South-of-Border
Feb. 16….(World Net Daily) Pentagon officials have confirmed human smuggling rings in Latin America are attempting to sneak al-Qaida operatives into the U.S. In a Defense Department briefing Friday about National Guardsman Ryan Anderson, suspected of trying to give al-Qaida information about U.S. capabilities and weaponry, reporters were also told to expect Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide details on two other subjects: Guantanamo Bay prisoners freed only to rejoin al-Qaida and Taliban cells in Afghanistan and al-Qaida's Latin America connection. Before the U.S.-led coalition attacked Iraq last year, the U.S. State Department offered congressional testimony that both al-Qaida and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah are taking a firm hold in "America's backyard." Mark F. Wong, the State Department's acting coordinator for counter-terrorism, told the House International Relations Committee about the threat posed by both groups in Latin America. Yet, then the matter seems to have been dropped, perhaps for diplomatic reasons, or perhaps for political reasons. Paraguay continues to see the arrival of a growing number of visitors carrying European passports, but are undoubtedly Middle Eastern. The triple border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet has been described as a lawless area, and has become nicknamed by intelligence agents as "The Muslim Triangle meeting zone." Intelligence experts have been warning since the late 1990s they had noticed a tendency among Islamic terrorists to operate from Paraguay, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, and with geographic extremes perfect for hiding illegal activities. Information surrounding such activities arrived in the U.S. before 9/11 but failed to sound any alarms. Since 9/11 and America’s partial success in the war against terrorism, mainly in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Central Asia, the Jihadi pendulum has tilted more and more toward South America and the Mexican border with the US. The reason terrorist cells in Paraguay, whether active or dormant, can continue to grow and flourish, is because of widespread corruption in South America. Immigration is easy. There is a long tradition of harboring criminals. The lawlessness and disorder in Paraguay, enables operatives of such terrorist groups as al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas to feel safe. These organizations have turned Paraguay into a logistical base for future operations against the US. At this stage the growing danger is that of militant Islam penetrating Mexico, a country with an increasing Muslim community, including Muslim converts. Some of them have ties to the Mexican community and to illegal immigrants' smugglers operating in American states bordering Mexico, especially those with connections in the greater Los Angeles area and other major cities. Anti-terrorism experts say extremist cells tied to Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida network are operating in Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay. Although cooperation between al-Qaida and Hezbollah has been known for some time, the two groups have formed a much closer relationship since al-Qaida was evicted from its base in Afghanistan. The suspected activities of these groups include counterfeiting U.S. currency and drug smuggling, with the area in which they function described as a "haven for Islamic extremists" by the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson, in testimony before the House International Relations Committee. Of growing concern to some U.S. officials is how terrorists south of the border might use lax immigration standards to slip into the U.S. Some 6 million people of Muslim descent live in Latin America and there are reports that many indigenous people are converting to Islam.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 9 THROUGH FEBRUARY 15
Mrs. Yasser Arafat Under Investigation
Feb. 13….(Fox News)While Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
is toughing it out on the West Bank, his wife is leading a comfortable life in
Paris. But her life could become more complicated because of a money-laundering
probe. For the past couple of years, Suha Arafat and her daughter have been
residents of the city. She keeps a low profile but reportedly leads a high-style
life with the help of a monthly allowance of $100,000 that comes from
Palestinian sources. The preliminary inquiry, opened by the Paris prosecutor's
office in October, is looking into the alleged transfer of $11.4 million to Suha
Arafat's accounts at the Arab Bank and at French bank BNP between July 2002 and
September 2003, French judicial officials have said.
European Aid to P.A. Used For Terrorism
Feb. 13….(Arutz) A secret report prepared by the European
Union's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) concludes that tens of millions of dollars in
humanitarian aid donated by the EU to the Palestinian Authority were actually
used for terrorism against Israel. Remarkably, the conclusions are based on
papers that Israel discovered almost two full years ago, during Operation
Defensive Shield, and which it presented to the world immediately afterwards.
The German weekly Die Welt reported this week that OLAF has finally accepted the
Israeli claims that PA terror organs are using millions of EU aid dollars to
subsidize terror by Fatah-Tanzim and even Hamas. OLAF representatives recently
visited Israel to personally verify the authenticity of PA documents found by
Israeli forces during the IDF's month-long anti-terror offensive of April 2002.
The documents, put on display in Jerusalem way back on April 11, 2002, include
some with Arafat's signature approving expenses to cover terror activities for
11 different terrorist leaders. Also among them are documents showing that the
Orient House, PLO headquarters in Jerusalem served as a center for terrorist
activities. The documents were presented to EU Commissioner Chris Patten last
year, but he did not accept the Israeli conclusions. Recently, however, in
response to increasing pressure from EU Parliament Members, he ordered OLAF to
investigate the accusations and they found that the documents are in fact
genuine and truly prove that the humanitarian aid was diverted to terror
organizations. In May 2002, the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, sued the
European Union for the sum of 100 million shekels in the name of the
terrorism-stricken Bloomberg family of Karnei Shomron. Attorney Nitsana
Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin and the family's legal counsel for the
suit, explains that the EU closed its eyes to the true use of the money it
supplied to the PA, knowing that it was being used for terrorism. The suit makes
clear that Israel warned the EU more than once that its money was being misused.
The total amount of EU money to the PA since 1994 surpasses $1.5 billion. If not
for the reckless EU funding to the PA, hundreds of Israeli victims would still
be alive, and thousands more would not have had to suffer their wounds. The
European taxpayers must know and recognize that they (EU) sponsored Palestinian
The Beginning of The End For America
Feb. 12….(excerpt-Rebecca Hagelin) To redefine marriage, the very core of what we have traditionally known as the family is to wreak havoc on every other institution that holds our country together. From the legal system, to interstate commerce, to health care, to your neighborhood, everything would eventually fall apart. Why? Because the nuclear family starting with the marriage of one man and one woman is the very foundation of the entire human race and every single civil society since God made man and woman. Societies must produce physically, emotionally and morally healthy children. And, as literally millennia of experience have proven, and your own God-given common sense tells you that the best way to do this is through traditional marriage. When four activist judges in Massachusetts decided that to uphold traditional marriage creates a "discriminatory status for same-sex couples" they unlocked a Pandora's box that if opened will result in unending grotesque distortions of the institution of traditional marriage. To "discriminate" against same-sex couples means that society cannot use morality as a reason to deny any "groupings" of people the right to marry. Following that logic, if society can't "discriminate" by disallowing two men to marry, then it can't discriminate against three men who want to marry each other. What about two men and a woman? Or several adults and a child? The fact is, to redefine marriage to accommodate anything other than the divine design that has withstood the test of time is to make a mockery and a farce out of an institution that was created by God. And, of course, that's really the point, isn't it? (they just want to do what God advises not to do, and what Satan wants) The goal isn't for everyone to be able to enjoy any type of marriage they choose, the goal is to destroy it. If America cannot protect her families, then what can we protect? It seems that in 2004, we have reached a crossroads in history, that we've come to the point where we must make the decisions that determine whether we grow stronger and continue to prosper or weaken and die as a nation. So what do we do? Do we endorse cultural decadence in the name of "equality" and "diversity"? Do we ignore the importance that strong families have played in our development? Do we defy the very reason God created both male and female and brought them together in the first marriage? Or do we preserve what we know is right, and in so doing, preserve our nation? The strength of this nation rests on certain fundamental “pillars of civilization,” marriage, the family, and religious congregations, that government cannot replicate or replace. Marriage is the fundamental social institution, deeply rooted in all societies. We need to uphold and defend the institution of marriage in the law as the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is the cornerstone of family. Children are safest and have the best life prospects when they are born and raised in a household with a married mother and father. The family unit prepares young people to make healthy decisions about their own sexual behavior and family formation, and to perpetuate the institution of marriage and family. The demise of traditional marriage may mark the beginning of the end for America.
UN Chief: World is Headed for Destruction
Feb. 12….(Reuters) The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog stated yesterday that the world could be headed for destruction if it does not stop the spread of atomic weapons technology, which has become widely accessible. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Mohamed ElBaradei wrote that nuclear technology, once virtually unobtainable, is now obtainable through "a sophisticated worldwide network able to deliver systems for producing material usable in weapons." Above all ElBaradei echoed President Bush's call in a speech on Wednesday for states to tighten up the control of their companies' nuclear exports to proliferators. ElBaradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general, said the world must act quickly because inaction would create a proliferation disaster. "The supply network will grow, making it easier to acquire nuclear weapon expertise and materials. Eventually, inevitably, terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology, if not actual weapons," he wrote. "If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction," ElBaradei said. The father of Pakistan's atom bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted last week that he and scientists from his Khan Research Laboratory in Pakistan leaked nuclear secrets. They are believed to have been part of a global nuclear black market organized to help countries under embargo such as Iran, North Korea and Libya skirt international sanctions and obtain nuclear technology that could be used to make weapons. The massive illicit network has touched on at least 15 countries around the world. ElBaradei said the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the global pact aimed at stopping the spread of atomic weapons, needed to be revisited and toughened to bring it in line with the demands of the 21st century. ElBaradei said that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 40-nation group of countries that work together to prevent the export of peaceful nuclear technology to countries that might want weapons, needed to be transformed into a binding treaty. The current system relies on a gentlemen's agreement that is not only non-binding, but also limited in its membership: it does not include many countries with growing industrial capacity," he wrote. "And even some members fail to control the exports of companies unaffiliated with government enterprise," he added. ElBaradei called for the production of fissile material for weapons to be halted and enrichment technology restricted. He said people who assist proliferators should be treated as criminals and states should eradicate loopholes that enable sensitive exports to slip past regulators. He also called on the atomic weapons states who signed the NPT, the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France to move toward disarmament as called for in the pact. In a clear jab at the United States, which plans to forge ahead with research into the so-called mini nukes, ElBaradei said the world must drop the idea that nuclear weapons are fine in the hands of some countries and bad in the hands of others. "We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security.
America 'Seeing Face of Armageddon'
Feb. 12….(Charles Krauthammer) One of America’s leading journalistic foreign policy analysts warns that, as in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, America in the post-9/11 world “once again sees the face of Armageddon.” However, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer says the biggest difference is that unlike the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago, “this time the enemy does not draw back.” Only “the use of American power,” he asserts, “evens up the odds” for our survival.” Krauthammer ridicules the “fortress America” isolationists as well as the multilateral liberal internationalists. The former peddle a world outlook that is bankrupt, obsolete and inappropriate in today’s world, he opined. The latter, the columnist stated, view America’s assertion of power for its own safety and saving lives as somehow “selfish.” That rationale, he told his audience, is something he would leave to trained psychiatrists. These are people whose reaction to life-threatening crises, such as the war in Iraq, is to “call a committee," usually of the U.N., consisting of “your worst enemies,” which is “a good way to delay appropriate action for 12 years.” Democrat presidential hopeful John Kerry was mentioned as an advocate of this approach. December 26, 1991, the date the Soviet Union was formally dissolved, was a “staggering” event in modern world history, Krauthammer said to his cheering audience. The defining moments of the 20th century since World War II, were the Truman Doctrine of 1947 of aid to nations struggling to fend off the advance of Soviet communism, John Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address vowing to sacrifice to meet any foe that threatened our freedom, and Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech, directly challenging the Soviet Union in 1983. Earlier in that century, Krauthammer said, there was Woodrow Wilson’s utopianism, in trying to get the U.S. to join the League of Nations. Krauthammer said that in 1918, there was no way to know how corrupt an international organization can be. However, eight decades later, the League’s successor (the United Nations) has shown how unrealistic that idea was. He said that even without having yet discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strike when danger lurks on the international scene is essential to America’s safety. And he noted Libya and Iran had (to different degrees) softened their hard-edged threats to world stability after seeing what happened in Iraq. Libya especially saw that threatening the world by seeking weapons of mass destruction “carries a cost, a high cost.” “We are defenseless if we abjure the option of pre-emption,” he contended. “If you wait until the threat is imminent or is carried out, then it’s too late.” If the U.S. is to protect the safety of its people, Krauthammer added, this nation must be prepared to act unilaterally if necessary, and pre-emptively if it must. Such civility and stability as does exist in the world “is owed to the power of the United States. America maintains the global balance between civilization and barbarianism.” But liberal internationalists, (many in American politics) with plenty of help from the hopelessly unrealistic U.N. globalists want to tie America down and subject it to Armageddon.
Arafat & Hamas Vow All Out War!
Feb. 12….(JNEWSWIRE) Yasser Arafat convened an emergency conference in Ramallah of all his security and terrorist chiefs today after yesterdays IDF raids against Hamas terrorist strongholds in the Gaza Strip. He gave an unusually direct order to each and every Palestinian terror group, faction and organization to launch instant large-scale terrorist attacks against Israeli targets on the scale of the March 2002 massacres which precipitated Israel’s comprehensive West Bank Operation Defensive Shield campaign. In conjunction, the Hamas Palestinian terrorist organization has vowed to unleash a "huge" wave of "suicide" bomb attacks against Israelis following a successful IDF raid on the group's infrastructure in Gaza City Wednesday morning. IDF troops killed 12 armed Palestinians and destroyed a family home used to stockpile and manufacture weapons, in an operation designed to curb rocket and mortar attacks on nearby Jewish communities. Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi said the Israelis would be made to "weep blood" for carrying out the raid. His group called on all its cells to immediately launch "huge martyrdom operations." Israel responded by placing its security forces on high alert this morning, instructing public transport security personnel to especially be on their guard.
Pope: Israel’s Fence is Wrong
Feb. 12….(Jerusalem Post) Pope John Paul II received Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei on Today, and repeatedly condemned the Israeli security fence. "No one must yield to the temptation of discouragement, let alone to hatred or retaliation. It is reconciliation that the Holy Land needs: We need forgiveness not revenge, bridges not walls," said the Pope in a brief address to the Palestinian delegation, following a five-minute private audience with Qurei. Israel protested when John Paul raised the issue in November, but the pope reiterated his criticism of Israel today while receiving the Palestinian Prime Minister. The pope said "the sad situation in the Holy Land is cause of suffering for all." John Paul urged all leaders in the region to follow, with the help of the international community, "the path of dialogue and negotiation which leads to lasting peace."
The Doctrine of Replacement Theology
Feb. 11….(excerpt Jack Kinsella-Omega Letter) The Doctrine of Replacement
Theology rests on five main pillars:
President Bush to Back Marriage Amendment
Feb. 11….(MSNBC) President Bush plans to endorse a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman in response to a Massachusetts court decision requiring legal recognition of gay marriages in that state, key advisers said yesterday. Bush plans to endorse language introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colorado) that backers contend would ban gay marriage but not prevent state legislatures from allowing the kind of civil unions and same-sex partnership arrangements that exist in Vermont and California. President Bush has moved incrementally over seven months toward embracing a ban on gay marriage, and his advisers say he will clarify his position with a public statement shortly. President Bush's move will likely catapult cultural issues on gay marriage at the forefront of an election year that had been dominated by economic and national-security issues. Rep. Musgrave's proposal, called the Federal Marriage Amendment, states: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. For months, conservative Christian leaders have complained about Bush's hesitation to flatly endorse a constitutional amendment on marriage.
Secretary Rumsfeld On Israel’s Nukes
Feb. 11….(FOJ) Everyone knows that the reason Israel has nuclear weapons is to protect itself from being thrown into the Mediterranean Sea. United States' Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, speaking with reporters in Munich yesterday, was asked why the United States doesn’t complain about Israel having more nuclear arms than any other nation in the world, when it is so concerned about Iraq and other countries having them. Rumsfeld said, "You know the answer yourself, and the whole world knows the answer. Israel is a small country with a small population. It is a democracy, but exists among many neighbors who want to see her in the cast into the sea. Israel has made it clear that she will not allow her enemies to throw her in the sea, and as a result, over several decades, Israel has developed the weapons so as not to be thrown into the sea."
Temple Faithful Demand Pope Return Menorah
Feb. 10….(FOJ) The Temple Mount Faithful Movement has sent a letter to Pope John Paul II demanding the immediate return to Israel of the Temple menorah, vessels and other treasure taken from the ancient Jewish Temple in 70AD. It was in 70 AD that the Romans occupied the City of G-d, Yerushalaim, and the Land of Israel and destroyed the Holy Temple of the G-d of Israel in Yerushalaim. They took away with them to Rome the holy Seven-Branch Menorah from the Temple and many other holy Temple vessels and treasures used by the Jews in the worship in the Temple. The Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Temple and burned it, built his Triumphal Arch in Rome on which is depicted the Menorah and other vessels carried by Jewish captives. Since this terrible event in the history of Israel, Jews have long suspected that the Menorah, the vessels and the treasures that were taken to Rome have remained in the vaults of the Vatican. Travelers and visitors to the Vatican throughout history have reported seeing them. Today, the Land of Israel Faithful says to Rome that this is the time to return these articles to Israel.
Thus far the Vatican has ignored (3 weeks) the demand by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful to return the ancient Temple vessels. The Arch of Titus was built 81 A.D. after the death of Titus. It is the oldest triumphal arch in Rome. The Arch of Titus is shown in the picture with the great Roman Coliseum in the background. The Temple Mount Faithful are anticipating that the vessels need to be regathered in order for the Messiah to rebuild their fallen Temple. The Bible indicates that the future Antichrist will accommodate the Jews in permitting them to rebuild a future Temple, but that he will utilize that newly built Temple to proclaim himself as Lord. (the act of abomination of desolation that was referred to by Daniel and Jesus) (II Thessalonians 2:4)
Al-Qaida Has Obtained Tactical Nukes
Feb. 9….(Ha Aretz) Al-Qaida have possessed tactical nuclear weapons for
about six years, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported Sunday. The Arabic
daily reported that sources close to Al-Qaida said Osama bin Laden's group
bought the nuclear weapons from Ukrainian scientists who were visiting Kandahar,
Afghanistan, in 1998.
CBS 60 Minutes Derides “Christian Rapture”
Feb. 9….(CBS excerpt) Evangelical Christians form one of the most potent forces in American politics and society. They are people who place their faith, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, above everything else in their lives and hope to spread that Gospel to the world. An estimated 70 million Americans call themselves evangelicals, and their beliefs have already reshaped American politics. In the last election, 40 percent of the votes for George W. Bush came from their ranks, and now those beliefs are beginning to reshape the culture as well, thanks to a group of best-selling novels known as the “Left Behind” series. The “Left Behind” sagas begin with a mysterious event. It’s an event that evangelicals call the Rapture, where every true-believing Christian vanishes in an instant to a better place. All others will face the Tribulation. “It could happen at any moment,” says Thomas Ice, who might be called a professor emeritus of the Rapture. That's what happens to believers. But the rest of humanity is condemned to suffering. “That's what the Bible teaches, says Ice. There are gonna be many Southern Baptists, for example, or many Presbyterians, or many Catholics, or people who are a part of Christendom,” says Ice. “But if they haven't personally trusted Jesus Christ as their savior, even if they are lifelong member of a church, then they will be damned.” At the Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Rev. Todd Wagner tells his flock that the books may be fiction, but they are based on hard facts. Non-believers are doomed. CBS Morley Safer asked Wagner who would be “Left Behind”: “What would be my fate?” “Folks like yourself that are gonna be here, are gonna go through all the events that Christ outlined in Mark:13 and Matthew:24 some of which are quite horrific,” says Wagner. “It would be the time of trouble like we’ve never seen before.” For evangelicals, the Rapture and what follows are factual history, history of the future, or prophecy. It’s such a concrete reality that the publishers of the “Left Behind” books can even market a videotape for those who don't make the celestial cut, says Safer. People who believe in the Rapture believe the Bible, word for literal word. “The Bible says what it means, and means what it says,” says Don McWhinney, an oil executive from Dallas. 60 Minutes discussed the “Left Behind” books with him and three other evangelicals. And for these readers, the characters in these novels are quite real. “Will they just take the body and leave the clothes? Will the whole body be taken? I don't know,” says McWhinney. “But all I know is that God is in control of it. And I have to accept that and believe it. Or I begin to reject it, then it begins to work on my faith in the wrong direction. It would lead to doubt. Doubt is not even an option.” All four evangelical Christians, however, agree that they feel confident that they won’t be “Left Behind”. But do evangelicals think they will live to see the Rapture? “My thinking is I sure hope so,” says Ice. Rev. Peter Gomes, a Baptist theologian at Harvard University, is one of this country's preeminent Christian thinkers. He says that the chief source for such belief is a highly controversial book of the Bible: Revelation. “One of the things we know about this book is that it is written in a period of intense persecution of the church. And so the theme that runs through it is what happens to the faithful if they stand up for their faith,” says Gomes. “Terrible things will happen to them in the short term. But in the long run, they will triumph, and those who persecute them will be destroyed.” Gomes believes that this provides some kind of solace and encouragement to believers in today’s society: "The events of September 11 gave an even greater urgency to believers, and some non-believers." “I think 9/11 was a wake-up call to America. Suddenly, our false sense of security was shaken. And we're vulnerable. And that fear can lead many people to Christ,” says LaHaye, who takes that message around the country. ”When Jesus shouts from heaven, there are going to be millions of people taken to heaven, and there will be millions of people who are “Left Behind.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2 THROUGH FEBRUARY 8
Saddam's WMD In Syria--David Dolan
(FOJ Note: David Dolan is a highly experienced and professional author and newsman based in Jerusalem. His views from the Middle East are most enlightening and written with a keen Biblical expertise.) (I can highly recommend his material and views on the Middle East, and I have reached the same conclusion on the subject of Iraq’s WMD)
Feb. 6….(David Dolan) Like their American and European counterparts, Israeli intelligence officials are carefully watching the fallout from David Kay's statement that Saddam may not have possessed any pre-war mass destruction weapons after all. Meanwhile, Israeli media reports say most security officials are still convinced that the brutal Iraqi dictator did have an unknown quantity of such weapons at his disposal. They point to unpublished intelligence information that the Iraqi army trained with banned chemical agents before the American-led invasion got underway, employing cargo planes and unmanned drones in the process. Israeli leaders warned in the weeks before U.S., British and Australian forces went into action that Saddam might try to send chemical-laden drones sailing over Jordan into Israeli airspace. They apparently based these warnings on the intelligence information that most officials still believe to be valid. Why haven't we discovered the alleged WMD stockpile nearly one year after the liberation of Iraq got underway? The banned weapons were most likely moved out of Iraq into neighboring Syria, as Ariel Sharon publicly maintained in late 2002. In other words, Saddam realized by then that George Bush and Tony Blair were dedicated to destroying his dying regime. Therefore, firing chemical-tipped shells at invading soldiers, or spraying them from airplanes, would only further enrage the allied commanders, and the rest of the world as well, including some of Saddam's hoped-for Arab allies. With their political necks on the line like never before, how can Bush and Blair now prove that such weapons existed in the run-up to the war? The short answer is by sending their forces into Syria, and /or into the Lebanese Bekaa Valley, where many Israeli intel analysts suspect the illegal Iraqi weapons probably ended up. But there is a major Catch-22 to that option. The very fact that U.S. and British leaders made Saddam's alleged WMD program the centerpiece of their argument for going to war is now coming back to haunt them. Precisely because such weapons have not been discovered, constituent and international tolerance for entering another Middle East country in pursuit of them, or for most any other reason, is virtually non-existent today. This is exactly what I feared on the eve of the 2003 war. I warned then that focusing on the relatively weak Saddam risked future dealings with the far greater regional threats in the necessary war against terror: Syria and Iran. I also strongly questioned the contention that Western-style democracy would emerge in post-war Iraq, or is even desirable or workable in the shattered, faction-ridden Arab country. Pakistan's recent confirmation that the granddaddy of its nuclear weapons program, Abdel Qadeer Khan, passed on secret technology for a price to Libya, Iran and North Korea. Israeli intelligence officials doubt President Musharraf's contention that no other senior Pakistani government or military official was involved in the illicit transfers. Having publicly vowed to get revenge after his humiliating 1991 Gulf War defeat, I have always maintained that the Butcher of Baghdad probably played a significant role in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and may have helped fund al-Qaida's 1998 twin blasts at U.S. embassies in Africa. And even if he didn't know about the 9-11 atrocities in advance (which interrogators can hopefully determine), he certainly posed a clear and present danger to America. Bill Clinton admitted as much when he ordered U.S. warplanes into action against Saddam's regime in December 1998. So did John Kerry when he voted to support the pending war in late 2002. Still, one of my main pre-war concerns was that coalition forces would get bogged down in a predictable post-war hit-and-run conflict that would subvert any other necessary action in the U.S.-led war on terror. Besides Osama bin Laden and his jihad allies, the real terrorist sponsors and havens are the despotic regimes that rule Syria and Iran, aided from afar by North Korea. Not that Saddam was anybody's angel. But the threat he posed was relatively minor compared to the real axis of evil named above. All of them are indisputably hostile to America and possess WMDs, or are in the final stages of acquiring them. Bush and Blair had their political reasons for emphasizing Saddam's alleged mass destruction threat in the months before they sent their forces into action. Still, it seemed a weak basis to launch a controversial invasion to me. If they could not convince a majority of their own citizens and the world community to support their anti-terror effort for other reasons, such as the undeniable fact that mad-hatter dictator was a mass killer of his own people, let alone of many of his neighbors, then I thought it probably best to leave him alone for the time being and concentrate on the greater threats out there in terror-land. In my opinion, the prospects for peace on earth will significantly erode if Bush and Blair are quickly replaced by "peace now" leaders who are wary of adequately fighting the necessary war against terror. But both politicians are finding it increasingly difficult to counter the growing anti-war backlash, mainly due to the apparent absence of WMDs. Apart from discovering such weapons inside Iraq, about the only thing they might do to stem the tide is to find them in Baathist Syria or Lebanon, which is, ironically, now the very thing they apparently cannot do.
Pakistan and The Nuclear Supermarket
Feb. 6….(London Telegraph) Intelligence agencies and nuclear inspectors are
racing to close a vast international nuclear "supermarket" that has secretly
supplied Iran, Libya, North Korea and perhaps several other countries for more
than a decade. The extent of the Pakistan-based network became clear last night
as a leading United Nations official said there was still an urgent need to "dry
up the source". The "supermarket", run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the
Pakistani bomb, was "the most dangerous phenomenon in proliferation for many
years," said Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog. Abdul Qadeer Khan on Pakistani appeared on
Pakistani TV to apologize to the nation. Western intelligence agencies face
alarming uncertainties as a result of the nuclear supermarket. Are similar
networks in operation? What other countries have already bought Pakistani
nuclear technology? American sources said there were "suspicions" that Syria or
Saudi Arabia were clients of Khan's network. They said Iran appeared to have
bought more technology than it had declared. Mr ElBaradei said: "Mr. Khan is the
tip of the iceberg. His confession raises more questions than it answers. "A lot
of other people are involved. Items were made in one country, assembled in
others and shipped on false certificates." George Tenet, the director of the
CIA, said the credit for uncovering the network belonged to his organization
using old-fashioned espionage techniques. "First we discovered the extent of the
hidden network," he said. "We tagged the proliferators. We detected the network
stretching across four continents offering its wares to countries such as North
Korea and Iran. Despite the growing scale of the revelations, Pervaiz Musharraf,
the Pakistani president, pardoned Khan yesterday after his public confession to
"unauthorized proliferation activities".
The Roots of America’s Goodness
Feb. 6….(FOJ) The Roots of America’s Goodness has been eroded by anti-Christian secularists for years. The only reason that America was ever considered good in this world was because of its esteem for God and his Word, the Holy Bible. In 1782, the United States Congress voted unanimously for the following resolution: '"The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all of its schools."' It was the same 1782 Congress that also formed the American Bible Society, and counted within the national budget the cost of purchasing and importing more Bibles into the US because they considered the principles of Christianity to be so fundamental to the bonding of the Republic. They considered Bible teaching in the nations schools to be so important to the perpetuity of the foundations of American Christian society. They said that our government rests so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult for the Republic to stand if faith in these teachings would ever cease to be universally taught in our country. Thanks to organizations like the ACLU, America has cut all ties to the roots of its former goodness. But before we lay all the blame with the secularists, lets lay the charge where it really belongs; to American churches themselves. America would never have lost the roots of its goodness if America’s churches hadn’t first left their first love! Today, America is facing the prospect of Judgement. There is an important point to remember about judgment. (I Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?)
President Bush Remarks at National Prayer Breakfast
Feb. 5…..(White House)Laura and I are honored to join you once again for this annual prayer breakfast. This event brings us together for fellowship. I appreciate the warm welcome. I appreciate the friendship and the kindred spirit. All of us believe in the power of prayer. In prayer, we ask for wisdom and guidance. And the answers seldom come in blinding revelations. Yet prayer can bring good things: grace for the moment, and faith in the future. Americans are a prayerful people, and this past year we've offered many prayers. We have prayed for the safety of our nation and for those who defend us. We've prayed for the families of men and women killed or wounded in conflict, that in grief and trouble, God may be their refuge and their strength. We've prayed for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, that they may live in safety and in freedom. Many prayers also express our gratitude. And Americans in a time of danger have found much to be grateful for. We are thankful for the goodness and character of our fellow citizens, revealed on the morning of September the 11th, and present every day in the life of this country. We are thankful that we live in a free nation, with the strength to defend our freedom. We are thankful for the brave and decent men and women of the United States military who volunteer to defend us all. America's Armed Forces have shown great skill in battle, perseverance under extremely difficult conditions. They've also shown the best of our country in other ways, as well. The world has seen the kind of people America sends forth, from our towns and neighborhoods, who serve in freedom's cause. They are the sort of people, who when the fighting is done, are kind and compassionate toward innocent citizens. And their compassion, as much as their courage, has made this country proud. Our people in uniform understand the high calling they have answered because they see the nation and the lives they are changing. A guardsman from Utah named Paul Holton has described seeing an Iraqi girl crying and decided then and there to help that child and others like her. By enlisting aid through the Internet, Chief Warrant Officer Holton had arranged the shipment of more than 1,600 aid packages from overseas. Here's how this man defines his own mission: "It is part of our heritage that the benefits of being free, enjoyed by all Americans, were set up by God, intended for all people. Bondage is not of God, and it is not right that any man should be in bondage at any time, in any way." Everyone one in this room can say amen to that. There's another part our heritage we are showing in Iraq, and that is the great American tradition of religious tolerance. the Iraqi people are mostly Muslims, and we respect the faith they practice. Our troops in Iraq have helped to refurbish mosques, have treated Muslim clerics with deference, and are mindful of Islam's holy days. Some of our troops are Muslims themselves, because America welcomes people of every faith. Christians and Jews and Muslims have too often been divided by old suspicions, but we are called to act as what we are -- the sons and daughters of Abraham. Our work in a troubled part of the world goes on, and what we have begun, we will finish. In the years of challenge, our country will remain strong, and strong of heart. And as we meet whatever test might come, let us never be too proud to acknowledge our dependence on Providence and to take our cares to God.
Gay Marriage OK’d In Massachusetts
Feb. 5….(FOJ) The Massachusetts high court declared
yesterday that gays and lesbians are entitled to nothing less than a state
granted marriage license and that Vermont-style civil unions are not enough. The
Massachusetts ruling sets the stage America’s first legally sanctioned same-sex
wedding by the spring. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has virtually
guaranteed that the gay-marriage issue will be a wedge in this year's
presidential campaign. The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate
is seldom, if ever, equal, and it is discrimination to deny marriage to gays,
four justices wrote. "For no rational reason the marriage laws of the
commonwealth discriminate against a defined class. The civil union bill would
have the effect of maintaining and fostering a stigma of exclusion that the
Constitution prohibits. The case represents a significant milestone in a year
that has seen broad new recognition of gay rights in America, including a June
U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas ban on gay sex. The White
House called the Massachusetts ruling "deeply troubling." Just how tricky the
issue may be can be seen in the side-stepping dance President Bush and the
leading Democratic challengers have performed around the explosive subject for
the past year. President Bush has denounced same-sex marriage while resisting
demands from some conservatives that he push aggressively for a constitutional
ban. Yesterday he said, "We must do what is legally necessary to defend the
sanctity of marriage." "Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a
woman. If activist judges insist on redefining marriage by court order, the only
alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally
necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage," he said in a statement. Tony
Perkins, president of the Family Research Council which opposes same-sex
marriage, called for a change in the Constitution. "Today's decision leaves no
doubt what is at stake in Massachusetts. Either the institution of marriage will
be protected, or it will be redefined out of existence." Two months after the
first marriages are likely to occur in Massachusetts, Democrats will hold their
long-scheduled convention in Boston. The current front-runner to receive the
nomination is Massachusetts own Senator John F. Kerry.
The Palestinians Would Sell the Land
Feb. 5….(Arutz) A new public opinion survey taken in the Palestinian
Authority shows that fully 37% of the population would agree to leave their
so-called "homeland" in exchange for material benefits. The 705 respondents of
the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) poll were asked, "If you were
to receive a job offer, a home, and $250,000, would you be willing to emigrate
to a foreign country?" Just a tad over half said no, while 37% said yes, they
would be willing to leave under such circumstances. Of those who would leave,
not even a quarter would choose an Arab nation, while 60% would choose Europe or
an English-speaking country.
America’s Cultural Slide into Debauchery
Feb. 5….(FOJ) I can remember the days (well on tape at least) when the Ed
Sullivan Show decided that it would only allow its camera’s to show the new
(1956) rock and roll singer Elvis Presley from the waist up. It was considered
inappropriate to show the singer shaking his legs. Elvis’s gyrating leg to the
rhythm of the music was considered just a tad over the line in those days. Later
in the 60’s, Elvis would remark that he was in fact quite tame compared to the
antics of the rock-rollers that followed him. Sadly, the American musical pop
culture establishment has continued, in conjunction with the secularists to
trample on the principles of Christian ethic and mores in America to the point
where American culture has roller-coasted down a generation-to-generation slide
into outright societal debauchery. The recent Janet Jackson episode, coupled
with the Madonna-Britney Spears (MTV) incident are merely sideline agenda’s
being promoted by a culture that is enamored with sex. The Bible depicts a
culture that is overcome with perverted sex. It describes it with the word
“incontinent”, or lacking self control. (Romans7:8But sin, taking occasion by
the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without
the law sin was dead.) The word “concupiscence” means to develop a lustful
desire for that which is amoral. Thus since American culture has
descended so far as to become a culture of licentiousness and lasciviousness,
(filthy-wantonness-lustful-undisciplined) it sees a need to change its old laws
to decriminalize its new standards of immorality! Thus the reason we are
beginning to see new laws for gay marriage, and so forth. Next, we will need new
laws to protect pedophilia, beastiality, etc. America is sliding headlong down
into the pit of debauchery!
Surviving Our Present Culture
Feb. 4….(Charles Stanley) When we are called into a new life with Christ, we will encounter obstacles. One of the biggest barriers is the culture in which we live. We may not even recognize the danger we are in until we fall. Let’s look honestly at our world. First, it’s a secular culture, which means it has little interest in religious matters or in the Bible. It teaches us to trust in ourselves and in the things we can see rather than in our unseen triune God. Our world is also materialistic. Its primary interest is in receiving material things and gaining wealth, not in focusing on others and giving sacrificially. It’s an anti-Christian culture that acts in opposition to the way Jesus calls us to live. When Scripture contradicts what our society believes, people will belittle our lifestyle as narrow-minded and extreme. It’s a rebellious society that defies both the laws of God and the laws of man. Obedience is considered optional. Our culture is an immoral one with its overemphasis on sensuality, sexuality, and perversion. It rejects God’s viewpoint on intimacy and marriage in order to please self. Finally, it’s a deceived culture that believes violating the laws of God will have no consequences. Each aspect of our society poses a trap for us as Christ-followers. The key to avoiding these snares is the Word of God. When we study Scripture, the Holy Spirit will identify which of our culture’s lies we are believing and how to apply God’s truth to set us free. Are you immersed in the world’s lies or in God’s truth?
Mega-Church-Clubs Make People Feel Good
Feb. 4….(Fox News) Ask Americans what Sundays are for,
and many are likely to give you one of two answers: watching sports or going to
church. These days, a growing number of "mega-churches" satisfy both camps,
providing entertainment and an uplifting (feel-good) message to crowds so
big they rival the attendance at a major sporting event. These Super-churches
attract churchgoers by the thousands with celebratory services that tout
contemporary or alternative music, television screens and sermons that aren't
"churchy," according to the pastor of the nation's largest church. But
fundamentalist critics explain that the sin-free pep rallies don't
encourage the much needed conviction of sin and repentance, and that they don't
encourage true inner spiritual change or personal transformations, and
reflection, keystones of religion. At the biggest mega-church in the country,
Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000
people each week and sin is never on the menu. Osteen said his goal is to
"give people a boost for the week." "I think for years there's been a lot of
hellfire and damnation, that turned people off with church. You’d go to church
to figure out what you're doing wrong and you leave feeling bad like you're not
going to make it," Osteen said. "We believe in focusing on the goodness of
God." Osteen defends Lakewood's ways, saying the lively and inclusive
atmosphere is attracting a whole new generation of parishioners. "I have
parents tell me all the time that their kids will sit down and watch us on TV or
that they want to come to the service because it's simple and its something that
makes them feel good," he said. Some Lakewood qualities that appeal to a younger
set are, "the best lighting and the best sound system," a youth ministry program
that attracts hundreds, and every service kicks off with 30 minutes of upbeat
contemporary music played by a live band, instead of the old fashioned hymns
enjoyed and sung for so long. "It's not a churchy feel," Osteen, 40, said. "We
don't have crosses up there. We believe in all that, but I like to take
the barriers down that have kept people from coming. A lot of people who
come now are people that haven't been to church in 20 to 30 years." Lakewood's
attendance has grown so massive that the church recently bought the Compaq
Center, a former sports arena, which is being remodeled to hold an even larger
congregation. The old-fashioned seriousness of traditional churches for
thousands of years scared many parishioners away, Osteen said, but the warm hug
delivered by mega-churches like Lakewood is bringing them back. "I think it's a
place of life and victory," Lakewood's Osteen said. "People want to be
encouraged and uplifted."
Unleashing 400 More Terrorists
Feb. 3….(commentary by: Robert Stewart) In a major victory for terrorist organizations last Thursday, Israel released hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the return of an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three IDF soldiers. This was no easy decision for Israel, and they were certainly poorer for the trade. Sadly, though not surprisingly, Palestinian terrorists returned the favor on the morning of the release by sending a suicide bomber to kill Israeli civilians. The day's news was an odd juxtaposition of stories, yet emblematic of what is stifling the hope of stability and for a Palestinian State. No good deed, it seems, goes unpunished. No accord, no overture, no third-party negotiations are accepted without a subsequent poisoning of the well by a terrorist attack. The prisoner exchange, brokered by Germany, took place the same day that a Palestinian suicide bomber, Ali Munir Yusuf Jihara, self-immolated on an Israeli bus, killing 10 and injuring 50 others. But terrorists aren't mourning the death of the bomber, they're celebrating. And on Friday, Hamas leader sheik Ahmed Yassin announced his group would step up efforts to kidnap Israeli soldiers, more bargaining chips for future prisoner trades, no doubt. Groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and the al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which claimed "credit" for last Thursday's bombing, now have 400 replacements for Jihara. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled acknowledged the future of the prisoners: "We are releasing another 400 Palestinians with a very heavy heart, because we know that these 400 will return very quickly to the cycle of violence." Yasser Arafat's negotiator, Saeb Erekat, excused last Thursday's carnage as the result of violence visited upon Palestinians, leading to a cycle of violence. "This vicious cycle can only be broken by renewal of a meaningful peace process. Otherwise, violence will breed violence, bullets will breed bullets," he said while "condemning" the attack. A curious statement from a man employed by Arafat: Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade is a militant group close to Arafat's own Fatah movement. But it's not the "vicious cycle" that's keeping Palestinians from reaping the fruits of the peace process, it's terrorism. No amount of diplomacy, prisoner exchanges, visits by Egyptian leaders or pleas for calm can solve the problem while terrorists are able to explode themselves around children and other civilians. And the United States cannot possibly call for a Palestinian State while the blood is still drying on the sidewalks and bus stops of Jerusalem.
Powell: Syria Is Backing Palestinian Terror
Feb. 2….(JNEWSWIRE) Syria is serving as an active conduit
for weapons needed by Palestinian terrorist groups in their war against Israel's
Jews, US Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters last week. Speaking
after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul Thursday, Powell said
Syria had not, as demanded by the US, taken any steps against the numerous
terror organizations headquartered in Damascus. US Secretary of State Colin
Powell confirmed Sunday what many in Israel have said all along, Syria is an
active and important participant in the Palestinian Muslim war against Israel's
Jewish population. Powell said Syria's failure to change its stripes and get
out of the terrorism business belied dictator Bashar Assad's seriousness about
making peace with Israel and strengthening relations with the US. "Syria cannot
be serious about wanting a better relationship with Israel, the United States or
anyone else as long as it serves as any kind of a transshipment point for
weapons that are going to terrorists of the kind who kill innocent people,"
The Jerusalem Post quoted Powell as saying. "Last summer, in my meetings
with the president of Syria, I laid out some steps that I thought at that time
and still think Syria ought to take in order to change its relationship with the
United States, and then with its neighbors in the region." Those steps have not
been taken. "I hope that Syria will reflect on its position and start to take
action to eject from Damascus the leaders of terrorist groups that make it hard
for us to find a way forward between the Palestinians and Israelis."
The Bush Doctrine of Preemption is Being Challenged
Feb. 2….(FOJ) President Bush will announce this week that
he intends to sign an executive order to establish a full-blown investigation of
U.S. intelligence failures in Iraq, intelligence-gathering on weapons of mass
destruction and counter-proliferation. The investigation will look at what the
United States believed it knew before the war against Saddam Hussein's regime
and what has been determined since the invasion. Former chief weapons inspector
David Kay has concluded that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass
destruction, a chief rationale for the U.S.-led war.
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