WEEK OF AUGUST 30 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5
Is Your House Built Upon The Rock?
Sept. 3….(FOJ) Speaking from atop a mountain overlooking the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, (the sermon on the mount) Jesus concluded his sermon to a multitude of spellbound listeners by turning his attention to false prophets and the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Day of Judgment. His closing remarks struck a serious tone of warning, and his listeners were awestruck with attention because he spoke with absolute authority. Read these remarks carefully again:
(Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Jesus warns us in these remarks that many false prophets are out there in the world parading around in sheep’s clothing, under the pretense that they are shepherds of the sheep, when in truth, they have never discovered the basis of Christ’s coming. Jesus asked Peter who he thought that he was. It took Peter three times to sense Christ’s purpose in asking that question, but finally Peter confirmed what everyone who wishes to enter the Kingdom of Heaven must confirm. Peter acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Later Peter realized too that Jesus came to submit himself as the propitiation for our sins. Jesus called this faith of Peter a rock. (the foundation for salvation) He didn’t infer that Peter was the rock, but rather that it was Peter’s faith in Christ-the-solid rock, the chief cornerstone of our faith, that was the rock. In the sermon on the mount Jesus reveals that many people will build their hopes for the Kingdom of Heaven upon the shifting sands of religion, and not upon the rock of God. (Psalms 62:1-2 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.) Thus Jesus cautioned everyone that the world offers a vast avenue of deceptive pathways, but in truth there is only one way to heaven. (John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) This quote by Jesus to Thomas supports the statement that Jesus concluded his mountain top sermon with, because it presents the fact of the case, that Jesus is the only way into Heaven. (Matthew 7:13-25 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.) Jesus took great care to explain this fact to the multitude because he wanted them to be able to discern the truth about how to enter into Heaven. But unfortunately, the wolves in sheep’s clothing still today take offense at Christ’s claim to be the narrow opening into heaven. Because of their lack of faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, Jesus becomes a rock-of-offence to them. (I Peter 2:7-8 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense)
We as Christians are Pilgrims in this World
Sept. 3….(FOJ) The Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom, and the liberty to worship God as dictated by God’s Holy Word. The success of the Pilgrims became the foundation of the American Republic and the cornerstone of America’s spirit that still shines around the world. The greatness of America’s Christian Pilgrims spirit is not our success in the world but always will rest upon our continued service to our Lord, and the sharing of the Gospel. Whether we are seen to be wining or losing, we must persist to witness to the world that the way of truth is still the way of the Lord. As Christians, we don't own the world’s culture, and we certainly don't rule it. Yet, we must strive always with a brokenhearted joy and longsuffering mercy, for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ, even when the wiles of Satan seem to be gaining ground in our culture. Today, on too many fronts in American culture, Satan is subtly legitimizing evil and marginalizing the old standards of what the Pilgrim spirit established as Godly. But, even in America, with all the blessings that we have known, and the tradition of a Judeo-Christian ethic for a foundation, today we see that the tide of unrighteousness is beginning to prevail. But alas, this world, including grand old America is not our real home. Presently, yes, we are in the world (indigenous) but we are not a part of it (pilgrims). As Christians we have a difficult task. The world calls us crazy. They think we as Christians are out of step with modern thought and have fallen behind the times because we continue to care about things like modesty, holiness, salt and light, and the law of God. But it is only by God's grace that any of us avoid Satan's subtle seductions and enticements. We are indigenous (in the world) and we are pilgrims (not of it), and we continue to confront wickedness. (John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.) And, so life in this present world, even in America isn't easy. Being Christian pilgrims in American culture today does not mean that we allow ourselves to be sidelined, and give up our influence. Rather, we need to be as persistent as salt in preserving our heritage. And we needn’t get frustrated when evil seems to be triumphing for a season. We need to recall these words from Proverbs. (Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.) As Christians, we must understand that we are living in a world that hates our Father, but because we are his only ambassadors in this world, we must fight on, with the realization that being his witness is all that matters. There is nothing new under the sun. The early Christians were profoundly out of step with their culture too, and yet they fought on, and their efforts paved the way for the testimony of Christ down through the centuries. Jesus said, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against his Church, and that promise should inspire us even in these darkening days. Oh yes, we as Christians may endure hardship for the night, but joy comes in the morning! This world is not my home, I am just passing through. My treasures are all laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The culture wars of today may change my country, but by the grace of God, they will not change me. My pilgrim spirit beckons me onward!
Christians Are Suffering Around the World
Sept. 3….(FOJ) Christians are being persecuted all over the world today. In fact there is more persecution for Christians today in our world than there ever has been in the history of the Church Age. The Voice of the Martyrs sent me this special segment on three Christians that are imprisoned simply because they are Christians who defy the threats of persecution to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Voice of the Martyrs has a free monthly newsletter that you can obtain by visiting the Voice of the Martyrs web-site via the link that is provided by Focus on Jerusalem on its links page. In some cases, you can even correspond with imprisoned Christians, to offer prayers and encouragement. (Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)
Ms. Li Ying is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for her work with an "unofficial" Christian magazine in China. She cannot have a Bible in prison and is forced to work 15 hours a day on goods for export. She has been in prison since April 2001.
Rhanja Masih is serving a life sentence after being accused of throwing a rock at an Islamic sign in Pakistan. Rhanja, is a Christian in a very Muslim nation and says the claims are untrue. Under Pakistani law, he could be facing the death penalty! He has been in prison since May 1998.
Sung Seo Pao is an evangelist to his Hmong people in Vietnam. He was arrested in 1990 and released after eight months with a warning not to preach the gospel. Sung obeyed God rather than man. He was re-arrested in May of 1995 and is serving an 11-year sentence. He hasn't seen his wife or children (he has 6) in almost two years.
These are just three examples of our Christian brothers and sisters facing horrific persecution for their love for Jesus Christ. Each one could avoid the pain if they simply denied Christ. They refuse. In fact many feel it is an honor to suffer for Christ and have taken opportunities to share with their fellow inmates.
Report Released on EU Funding of Terrorism
Sept. 3….(Israel Insider) The Funding for Peace Coalition
has released a new study, based primarily on Palestinian and Arab sources --
documenting "a compelling connection between European funding and ongoing
Palestinian corruption and terrorism." The Funding for Peace Coalition
represents European citizens concerned that the EU is continuing to fund
Palestinian terrorism. As the World Bank noted recently: "donor disbursements to
the Palestinians are one of the highest per capita rates in the history of
foreign assistance." Yet despite the massive investment, many segments of
Palestinian society remain poor. So where has all the European money gone? Some
highlights from the report: The Funding for Peace Coalition (FPC) report
documents dozens of recent disclosures, many from Arab sources little reported
in Europe and the West. The new report detailing the diversion of unprecedented
sums of financial aid from the Palestinian people towards corruption and
violence. The FPC report is entitled "Managing European Taxpayers' Money:
Supporting The Palestinian Arabs/ A Study In Transparency". It publishes
evidence, which substantiates a compelling connection between European funding
and the ongoing Palestinian corruption and terrorism. It also highlights the
utter failure of European organizations to monitor where these funds have been
directed. The report details theft, nepotism, and embezzlement on the part of
the PA, supported by incompetence and apathy on the part of European agencies.
Since 1993, the European Union has contributed over 2 billion Euros directly
and indirectly to the Palestinian Authority (PA). EU Member states have
donated a further 2 Euro billion in the same period. FPC's work raises the
following major issues, each of which strike at the very sprit and letter of the
European Union's Constitution:
General Franks: Bush the 'Real Thing'
Sept. 3….(Fox News) The former commander of the war in Iraq, retired General Tommy Franks on Thursday called his commander in chief "the real thing," a man who has the "courage and consistency" needed to lead America in the fight against terrorism. Citizens and friends, I've been with this president in tough, uncertain times," Franks, former commander of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, said at the Republican National Convention. "George W. Bush is the real thing. He is the real thing." Franks said he's seen "courage and consistency" in Bush's eyes: "The courage to stand up to terrorists and the consistency necessary to beat them." "Terrorism against our country started long before 9/11," Franks said. "Terrorists have been killing Americans for more than two decades. I am proud that this president has chosen to make a stand." Along with Franks, more than a dozen other retired generals and admirals also appeared to endorse Bush as the crowd waved "We Support Our Troops" and "A Nation of Courage" signs. "Each of us on this platform, along with countless others, including more than 250 retired admirals and generals, whose names you see on the screen behind me, stand united," said retired Gen. P.X. Kelley, former commandant of the US Marine Corps. "United under the firm conviction that the best way to defend America today is to stand united behind our resolute commander in chief, and re-elect President George W. Bush." Although he never directly names Democratic challenger John Kerry or the Democrats who have attacked Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Franks said: "Some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. Some say we should fight a less aggressive war, that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope the terrorists don't attack us again." "I choose George W. Bush because he is a leader we can depend on to make the tough decision: the right decision," Franks said. "I choose George W. Bush because his vision to take the fight to the terrorists is the best way to protect our country. " Less than a month ago, Franks hadn't decided to endorse Bush, calling himself "a fiercely independent kind of guy and rather proud of it." But he said he now has made up his mind. "Here I stand tonight, endorsing George W. Bush to be the next president of the United States," he told the convention. Franks has raised his public profile as he promotes his just-published memoirs, "American Soldier." In the book, he talked about his first meeting with Bush at the White House. "I was pleased on that night to have a man of faith in the White House," Franks said. "And throughout the critical years of American history that followed, my opinion never changed."
Remember, Iran (not Iraq) Was Part of Bush’s Axis of Evil
Sept. 3….(FOJ) Middle East Strategic analyst Steven Daskal recently offered a reminder of the gathering peril posed by Iran: "While the Islamic Republic of Iran as a state is technically not at war with the US, Ayatollah Khomeini's old Islamic fatwa calling for total war by all Shi'ites, regardless of citizenship, against the 'Great Satan America' remains in effect, it has never been rescinded, and in fact was expanded to include killing Americans as being a necessary part of a defensive jihad to expel the great Satan from the lands of Islam, and to offset America’s support for Israel in the geo-political struggle between Israel and the Palestinians over Jerusalem. Khomeini's fundamentalist political-pseudo-theology was later picked up by Sunni extremists, such as Osama bin Laden. Khomeini and his successors in Iran have translated that fatwa into a twenty-five-year-long war against the United States, waged asymmetrically, both directly (for example, in attacks against US embassies and personnel) and indirectly (through terrorist proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq and Shi'ite warlords in Afghanistan). Taheri correctly observes that "the Khomeinist revolution defines itself in opposition to a vision of the world that it regards as an American imposition. (Bush’s vision of democracy in the Middle East) With or without nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic, in its present shape, represents a clear and present threat to the kind of Middle East that President Bush says he wants to shape." Therefore, for the United States, stopping the Islamist government in Tehran before it obtains the means to carry out threats to attack Americans forces in Iraq and elsewhere should be an urgent priority. For Israel, however, denying the ruling Iranian mullahs nuclear arms is literally a matter of national life and death. Recently Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards said a Kerry administration would offer the Iranians a "great bargain": They could keep their nuclear energy program and obtain for it Western supplies of enriched uranium fuel, provided the regime in Tehran promised to foreswear nuclear weapons. According to Senator Edwards, if Iran did not accept this "bargain," everyone, including our European allies, would recognize the true, military purpose of this program and would "stand with us" in levying on Iran what are described as "very heavy sanctions." If for whatever reason the United States fails to prevent the Iranian Bomb from coming to fruition, its Israeli ally will likely feel compelled to act unilaterally, just as it did with the 1981 raid that neutralized Saddam Hussein's nuclear infrastructure. It may have been side part of the Bush Doctrine’s Middle East strategy to go into Iraq and liquidate Saddam for the express purpose of encircling Iran and cutting off its direct links to Syria and the Hezbullah in Lebanon. In essence the US has driven a wedge between those two countries in the event that economic sanctions do not alter their terrorist and WMD programs. It is apparent to me that Iran and Syria will never accommodate the democracy push into the Middle East that President Bush is hoping to infuse into the region.
IAEA undercutting U.S. on Iran nukes
Sept. 3….(GeoStrategy Direct Intelligence) The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, is complicating US efforts to pressure Iran into giving up its covert nuclear weapons program, according to US officials. Last week, John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Iran's "large-scale, covert, nuclear weapons program" poses a "fundamental" challenge to the world. El Baradei, an Egyptian Muslim, has been director general of the Geneva-based IAEA since 1997. Officials said his sympathies with Islam have interfered with his ability to deal honestly with the Iranian nuclear program, which some officials say is reaching crisis proportions. Several European nations, including Britain, France and Germany, also have taken a soft policy toward the Iranian nuclear program, which undermines US government efforts to press Tehran into halting uranium enrichment. El Baradei has watered down the findings of several inspection teams that surveyed the Iranian facilities in an apparent effort to prevent the issue from being referred to the UN Security Council. "We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle East, or beyond," Bolton said. "Without serious, concerted, immediate intervention by the international community, Iran will be well on the road to doing so." Bolton said Iran wants to make enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear arms and could build nuclear weapons in three years. "The costly infrastructure Iran is building goes well beyond any conceivable peaceful nuclear program," he said. "The time to report this issue to the United Nations Security Council is long overdue. To fail to do so would risk sending a signal to would-be proliferators that there are not serious consequences for pursuing secret nuclear weapons programs." The IAEA is set to meet in September and could decide to send the matter to the Security Council.
Kerry and EU Will Offer Iran a Nuclear Deal
Sept. 3….(FOJ) Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry has revealed that he will work in cooperation with the EU to offer a deal with Iran that would allow the Islamic Republic to retain its nuclear facilities in return for an Iranian pledge to return all its imported nuclear fuel that is presently stockpiled in Bushehr. The Kerry position has long been favored by the US State Department, and Mr. Kerry and the EU diplomats warn that a sanctions confrontation proposed by President Bush with Iran over nuclear weapons is unwise and counter productive. My concern is this: Will Mr. Kerry and his EU comrades work to support the President’s vision of democracy in the Middle East and to disarm Iran, or will they resort to political subterfuge to weaken America’s present geo-political position in the region just to elevate the EU’s position? It is very apparent that Mr. Kerry and some of the EU leaders (Kerry said the EU leaders wanted Bush Gone!) have long been discussing these matters and are engaged in a strategy that is more suited to the development and security of the European Union than to American sovereignty and defense.
US Wants UN Sanctions Against Iran
Sept. 2….(AP) Secretary of State Colin Powell said the
United States wants UN sanctions imposed on Iran after the Bush Administration
concluded the country is on the verge of enriching enough uranium for four
Zell Miller Indicts Democratic Party
The Full Text of Speech by Democratic Senator Zell Miller Telling it Like it is!
Since I last stood in this spot, a
whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great
grandchildren. Along with all the other members of our close-knit family, they
are my and Shirley's most precious possessions. And I know that's how you feel
about your family also. Like you, I think of their future, the promises and the
perils they will face. Like you, I believe that the next four years will
determine what kind of world they will grow up in. And like you, I ask which
leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the backbone to
best protect my family? The clear answer to that question has placed me in this
hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party. There is
but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's name is
George Bush. In the summer of 1940, I was an 8-year-old boy living in a remote
little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but even we children
knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they
could. President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all private
plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public
danger." In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee. And there is no
better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He
gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an
unpopular idea at the time. And he made it clear that he would rather lose the
election than make national security a partisan
campaign issue. Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a
friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here
lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom," he would
prefer the latter. Where are such statesmen today? Where is the bipartisanship
in this country when we need it most? Now, while young Americans are dying in
the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn
apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down
our Commander in Chief. What has happened to the party I've spent my life
working in? I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of
America to fight for freedom over tyranny. It was Democratic President Harry
Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when
Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of
West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city. Time after time in our
history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together
to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today. Motivated more by
partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see
America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder
than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators. Tell that
to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army
of liberators, not
occupiers. Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free
because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers. Tell
that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the
Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a
military of liberators, not occupiers. Never in the history of the world has any
soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the
American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they
preserve it for us here at home. For it has been said so truthfully that it is
the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is
the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
US Calls on Syria to Withdraw from Lebanon!
Sept. 2….(Maariv) The United States, together with France, has begun to circulate a draft resolution in the UN Security Council calling for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. Washington decided to press for a resolution after what many saw as a Syrian-engineered move to change the constitution to extend Lebanese President Emil Lahoud's term. The resolution calls on the council "to consider additional measures," which are not specified, if the Syrians and Lebanese don't comply. Lebanon accused the United States and France Tuesday of trying to "blackmail" it and Syria, and create trouble between Beirut and Damascus. US Deputy Ambassador Anne Patterson said the United States wants the Security Council to vote on the draft resolution "hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday." But the draft is almost certain to face opposition from Algeria, the only Arab nation on the council, and probably from Russia and China, which traditionally oppose council interference in a country's internal affairs. In Washington, the Bush administration sharply criticized Syria for meddling in Lebanon's politics, and a senior US diplomat was likely to go to Damascus for high-level talks.
Israel to strike Syria?
FOJ-Syria Going Nuclear…Beware!
Terrorists Want America to Vote Kerry
Sept. 2….(Hal Lindsay) An editorial in the Syria Times in August urged Arab-Americans not to make "the very mistake they made in the past when they gave their votes to Bush the Junior" in the 2000 presidential election. Instead, suggested the government-run paper, a vote for Kerry this time would prove to be "a wise one." On July 27, the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda ran a political cartoon depicting an American soldier bleeding to death in Iraq, with his final words being, "Don't Vote Bush." A June 17 article in the English-language Tehran Times entitled "Pity the Next US president" compared Bush and his neo-conservative advisers to "neo-Nazis" who have created a "stinking heap of a mess" throughout the world. "Kerry," the paper asserts, "is exactly what the US needs right now." Israel's military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi Farkash, told a Cabinet meeting just over a month ago that "Arafat is waiting for November in the hope that George Bush will lose the election to John Kerry." And a July 9 tracking poll conducted by Zogby International to monitor the voting trends of 500 Arab-Americans had Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry leading with 51 percent, Bush at 24 percent and Independent candidate Ralph Nader at 13 percent. Twelve percent were still undecided. Abed Hammoud, president of the Arab-American Political Action Committee and assistant prosecuting attorney of Wayne County, Mich., voted for Bush in 2000, but may be leaning toward Kerry on Nov. 2. "It breaks my heart to see not only our American soldiers die every day in Iraq, but to also see our fellow brothers and sisters dying in Iraq and Palestine; it's something that needs to be changed right away," he told Aljazeera. The Iranian press has been particularly active in monitoring the elections. The editor of the Egyptian Al-Gil newspaper, Nagi Al Shihabi, was interviewed by the Iranian Al-Alam TV on June 13 and said, "The US wants to eradicate our religious and Islamic identity. Bush declared a Crusader war following the events of 9-11. The US established its country over the body parts of 120 million Indians. We must first define the enemy. The No. 1 enemy of the Arab and Islamic peoples is the US and not only Israel. Bush, Allah willing, will go to hell in this coming November." During his Friday sermon in the city of Qom, broadcast by Iran's Channel 2 on June 19, preacher Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli called on Americans to vote against President Bush, saying, "We advise the people of America not to continue to tolerate this oppressing, ignorant, pillaging, criminal, and discriminating administration. In the future, do not vote for Bush and his ilk." In an article in Al-Ahram weekly on April 18, an Arab-Israeli member of Knesset, Azmi Bishara, called on Arab-Americans to "rethink their alliance with Bush" and "shift their votes from Bush to Kerry." Three polls conducted by the Washington Post this year asked Kerry supporters if they were planning to vote for John Kerry because they wanted him to be president, or if they planned to vote for Kerry in order to defeat George Bush. The first poll, conducted on March 7, found that 61 percent of voters who planned to vote for Kerry were doing so simply because of their opposition to George Bush. A second poll, conducted in mid-May, asked the same question and found that number unchanged at 61 percent. By June, those who opposed Bush more than they supported Kerry dropped to 55 percent. Not wanting their pro-Kerry bias to show too broadly, the Post also put the same question to Bush supporters. Only 13 percent, 11 percent and 16 percent of Bush supporters, respectively, said they were going to vote primarily to prevent Kerry from winning the election. What these results indicate is that most Kerry supporters would vote for any candidate other than Bush, regardless of his/her policy positions, political record or personal history. And most of America's enemies feel the same way.
Focus on Jerusalem Questions/Answers
Sept. 1….(FOJ) Focus on Jerusalem is constantly receiving questions about Bible Prophecy and current events. On my regular speaking engagements, people seem to love to ask questions, and I have really been tested to search for answers sometimes. Many people tell me that they enjoy the FOJ question/answer section more than anything else on the FOJ web-site. If you have never visited the Q/A section, you might want to check it out. Responses are logged into the Q/A room in the order that they are received and completed. Here are 3 new questions FOJ has received this week. You might think about them as you visit throughout FOJ, and comeback to see the responses to these questions as they are posted in the coming days.
(a.) I have been reading about theses news statements coming out of Iran by some of their leaders where they have threatened to ‘wipe Israel off the globe’ if Israel were to try and attack Iran’s nuclear program. My question is, Will God ever allow Israel to be completely destroyed?
(b.) There is a verse somewhere in the Bible about old men dreaming dreams and young men having visions. I have always wondered what that verse meant, and if it has anything to do with the Last Days. I have often wondered if it meant that people in the Last Days would be specially gifted to envision or foretell the things about that terrible time. Can you help me understand what this verse means?
(c.) I read in the book of Revelation that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and that the new earth will have no sea. This statement really bothers me, as I have always loved the sea and especially the beach. The beach is one of the most heavenly places on the earth, and I don’t understand why God would do away with the sea and its beaches. What is your opinion about this? Am I wrong for wanting a heavenly beach? The beach is my bit of heaven on earth.
West Bank Legally Belongs To Israel
Sept. 1….(JNEWSWIRE) Judea and Samaria (West Bank) legally belong to Israel and the Jewish people under international law, and to suggest otherwise endangers Israel’s claim to any other part of its biblical homeland, International Law Prof. Talia Einhorn told Arutz 7 Tuesday. Einhorn said that Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are all incorrectly categorized by the world community as “occupied,” when in reality they are “disputed” territories, because prior to Israel’s liberation of those areas in 1967, no sovereign power legally controlled them. Even the label “disputed” is dubious, explained Einhorn, noting that the UN’s original British Mandate for Palestine designated those areas as part of the Jewish national home. She attacked Israel’s Attorney General Baruch Mazuz’s recommendation this week that the Sharon government officially apply the Geneva Convention to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, saying that doing so would mark the end of the Jews’ claim to these areas. "According to international law, Israel has full right to try to populate the entire Land of Israel with dense Jewish settlement, and thus actualize the principles set by the League of Nations in the original Mandate Charter of San Remo in 1920,” wrote Einhorn. The mandate’s introduction clearly identifies it as being “based on the international recognition of the historic ties between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.” Einhorn noted, “Clause II of that mandate charges Britain with 'ensuring the existence of political, administrative, and economic conditions that will guarantee the establishment of the Jewish national home in the Land of Israel.” Even the 1947 UN Partition Resolution does not necessitate the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan River, Einhorn explained, pointing out the often overlooked fact that the “resolution states specifically that it is merely a "recommendation" and nothing more.” The Arab states’ rejection of the resolution voids the recommendation on any legal basis. Between 1948 and 1967, Judea and Samaria were illegally held by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Gaza fell under Egyptian control. “In 1967, after the Six Day War, these territories, which were originally meant for the Jewish Nation's National Home according to the Mandate Charter, returned to Israeli control.” "From the standpoint of international law, there is no essential difference between the areas on the two sides of the Green Line," says Einhorn. She further explained that UN resolutions 242 and 338, which make up the cornerstone of efforts to create “Palestinian” state, fall under Chapter VI of the world body’s charter, meaning they too are mere “recommendations.” The last legally binding document to be adopted regarding the areas in question remains the 1920 San Remo resolution, which deeds full sovereignty to the Jewish people. The Jewish people further trace their right to the land to the Bible, which records Israel’s original settlement of the area in ca. 1500 BC under God’s direction. In the pages of what is known as the Torah, the Almighty promises all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as a perpetual possession. Overwhelming archeological evidence attests to millennia of Jewish sovereignty in what is now Israel, the “West Bank”, Gaza and much of Jordan and southern Lebanon. Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority recently aired an “educational” television program claiming the biblical Hebrews were actually Arabs, that the land was dominated by Islam in biblical times, and that “Canaanite Arabs” built Solomon’s Temple. The motivation for Einhorn’s written legal argument was Israeli Attorney General Baruch Mazuz’s recommendation this week that the Sharon government officially apply the Geneva Convention to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. While Israel has always taken pains to fulfill the humanitarian obligations outlined in the convention, officially applying it would mean recognizing those areas as occupied and forfeiting the Jews’ legal and biblical claim. The Geneva Convention regulates the actions of an occupying power in administering territories over which it has no legal right to sovereignty. But according to international law, Israel has a right to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Implementing Mazuz’s recommendation would have far-reaching implications, paving the way for the international community to negate Israel’s claim over much of Jerusalem, Einhorn explained.
Muslim Attackers Seize Hostages at Russian School
Sept. 1….(MSNBC) Attackers wearing suicide-bomb belts seized a school in a Russian region bordering Chechnya on Wednesday and were holding at least 120 hostages, many of them children. News reports said that eight people had died in the takeover. The assault by the heavily armed gang of up to 17 men and women came a day after a suicide bomber killed 10 people in Moscow. The hostage-takers, suspected to be Chechen rebels, were threatening to kill 50 children for every one of their number killed by security forces, the region’s interior minister said. The seizure began after a ceremony marking the first day of the Russian school year, reports said, when it was likely that many parents had accompanied their children to class. The attackers warned they would blow up the school if police tried to storm it and forced children to stand at the windows, said Alexei Polyansky, a police spokesman for southern Russia. Both the school attack and the Moscow bombing appeared to be the work of Chechen rebels or their sympathizers, but there was no evidence of any direct link. The two strikes came just a week after two Russian planes carrying 90 people crashed almost simultaneously in what officials also say were terrorist bombings. “In essence, war has been declared on us, where the enemy is unseen and there is no front,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. The latest violence also appears to be timed around Sunday’s presidential elections in Chechnya, a Kremlin-backed move aimed at undermining support for the insurgents by establishing a modicum of civil order in the war-shattered republic. The previous Chechen president, Akhmad Kadyrov, was killed along with more than 20 others in a bombing on May 9. The attack was the latest in a string of violence that has tormented Russians and plagued Putin's government. Putin came to power in 2000 vowing to crush the Chechen rebels but has been largely unable to do so. Terrorism fears in Russia had risen markedly following the plane crashes and the suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway station on Tuesday night that killed 10 people and wounded more than 50. A militant Muslim web site published a statement claiming responsibility for the bombing on behalf of the “Islambouli Brigades,” a group that also claimed responsibility for the airliner crashes. The veracity of the statements could not immediately be confirmed. The statement said Tuesday’s bombing was a blow against Putin, “who slaughtered Muslims time and again.” Putin has refused to negotiate with rebels in predominantly Muslim Chechnya who have fought Russian forces for most of the past decade, saying they must be wiped out.
Twin Bus Blasts in Beersheba Kill 12
Aug. 31….(AP) Two buses exploded almost simultaneously in southern Israel today killing at least 12 people and wounding 44, rescue officials said. It was the first successful major Palestinian attack inside Israel in nearly six months, as Israel has succeeded in intercepting all previous suicide attack attempts. Israeli Two television reported that the blasts were carried out by Palestinian suicide bombers. TV reports said two mangled bodies were found, presumably those of the bombers. The twin bus blasts came hours after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented to his Likud party the most detailed timetable yet for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and warned party rebels the plan "will be implemented, period." The buses burst into flames in the center of Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, 25 miles west of Gaza City. Israel TV showed the two burned-out buses, flames shooting through the roof of one of them. At least two bodies, covered in white sheets, lay on the ground. Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service gave the casualty toll and said 20 of the wounded were in serious condition. It was not clear whether the 12 dead included the suicide bombers. The rescue service initially said 11 people were killed. Hezbollah's al-Manar television station in Lebanon quoted Palestinian sources as saying they had carried out "martyrdom operations," a phrase used to describe suicide bombings. Israeli officials accuse the Lebanese guerrilla group of aiding Palestinian militants. In the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon, gunmen fired shots into the air to celebrate the attacks, a Palestinian official said. Palestinian militants haven't been able to carry out a major attack inside Israel since March 14, when 11 people were killed in the port of Ashdod. That attack prompted Israel to assassinate the spiritual leader of the Hamas militant group in the Gaza. Israel has said the lull was due to its success in fighting terrorists, and not a lack of effort by the terror groups. Israel has arrested or killed dozens of militants in recent months. Israel also says its contentious West Bank barrier has prevented numerous attacks. The barrier, about one-quarter complete, has not reached the area near Hebron, the closest Palestinian city to Beersheba.
Israel Prepares to Reward Hamas With Gaza
Aug. 31….(FOJ) The Israeli Knessett is hotly debating
Ariel Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan. One Sharon ally in the Cabinet said the
evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza could begin by the end of the year, or
several months ahead of schedule. The initial plan called for a withdrawal from
Gaza and four small West Bank settlements in four stages, to be completed by
September 2005. Each phase was to be presented to the Cabinet for approval. With
opposition mounting in the Likud Party and in the Cabinet, Ariel Sharon is
pushing for a swifter withdrawal. He also hopes to weaken settler resistance by
making early advance payments on compensation that would encourage many of the
8,000 Gaza settlers to leave voluntarily, according to Sharon officials. The
Prime Minister opened Tuesday's meeting with Likud legislators with a warning
not to sabotage the withdrawal. " The disengagement plan will be implemented,
period," he said. The first key date in Sharon's timetable is September 14, when
the Cabinet is to approve the principles of compensating and evacuating
settlers. Sharon has already lost two Likud battles over his pullout plan, a
non-binding referendum by party members and a convention vote. At least half of
the 40 Likud members of parliament oppose the pullout. Saeeb Erekat, the
Palestinian cabinet minister, said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority is
ready to take responsibility in all of Gaza; it currently controls two-thirds,
with Israeli troops deployed in the remaining territory. "The withdrawal from
Gaza must be part of the road map and not an alternative to it," Mr. Erekat
said, referring to the US-backed peace plan that envisions a Palestinian State
in areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia
is to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday to discuss the Gaza
situation. Egypt is leading an effort for a smooth hand-over of Gaza, where
about 8,000 Israeli settlers live along with some 1.2 million Palestinians.
European Security Depends on Peace in the Middle East
Aug. 30….(EU Observer) German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has underlined the importance of a European Union role, alongside that of the United States, in working out solutions to conflicts in the Middle East. Mr. Fischer is currently on a five-nation Middle East tour taking him to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. Speaking at a news conference in Amman with Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher, the German Foreign Minister said: "When we talk of our security as Europeans, we are talking about the future of our neighbors in the Middle East." "If things are going badly wrong in the region, it will hurt our interests immediately and security immediately", he told reporters. Mr. Fischer also warned on Sunday against any Iranian nuclear arms build-up. He said an Iranian nuclear challenge only adds to the Middle East problems that include bringing security and stability to post-war Iraq, resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict and introducing democratic reforms. "It would be a nightmare for the region, if there'd be the beginning of an arms race, a nuclear arms race, in the region", he said and called on Iran to work closely with the European Union to resolve its impasse with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Mr. Fischer is scheduled to visit Jerusalem for talks with Israeli officials and then he will head to Egypt. Ahead of his visit to Israel, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmad Qurei, stressed the need for the European Union to take a clear cut firm stance "towards the Israeli settlement expansion". The Palestinians are also hoping for German assistance in stopping Israel from constructing its security wall in and through the West Bank, the Palestine News Agency reported. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom has appealed to Europe not to support any eventual Palestinian UN resolution aimed at sanctions or boycotts against the Jewish State over its security barrier.
Clinton’s Talk Politics Before RNC
Aug. 30….(World Net Daily) Former President Clinton, quoting scripture from a church pulpit, sought to frame the 2004 election in moral terms on Sunday and said President Bush's Christianity doesn't keep him from seeing things "through a glass darkly." Hillary Rodham Clinton said Bush's re-election "would be a disaster." A day before the Republicans opened their convention, the Clintons spent the day reminding the GOP that New York City is still a Democratic town. Before joining her husband at church, Sen. Clinton, D-N.Y., made the rounds of TV talk shows. When asked if she agreed with Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's call for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign, she said, "I'm hoping the entire administration is fired on Nov. 2." Her husband, the former president, speaking at Riverside Church in upper Manhattan, said, "Politics and political involvement dictated by faith is not the exclusive province of the right wing." The Democrats, Clinton argued, need to show their policies are also rooted in faith. "The religious right has tried to turn us all, in disagreeing with them, into two-dimensional cartoons," he said. Speaking of Bush's religious beliefs, he said, "I believe President Bush is a good Christian. I believe that his faith in Jesus saved him. I believe it gave him new purpose and direction to his life. "But that doesn't mean that he doesn't see through a glass darkly," Clinton said, quoting a biblical phrase for not seeing clearly. "It doesn't mean that you can have a bunch of people acting on your behalf and pretending like you don't know them, to say that the seven people who were on John Kerry's Swift boat don't know what they're talking about when they say he deserves the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts," Clinton said. The Bush campaign has said it had nothing to do with TV ads questioning Kerry's war record. "It's astonishing that anyone would use a church pulpit to launch a baseless attack containing nothing but false accusations," Bush-Cheney spokesman Kevin Madden said. Sen. Clinton, speaking in TV interviews rather than in church, framed her criticism of the Republican president in more conventional political terms. "Whether we're talking about important domestic issues or critical life-and-death issues abroad, this president may be consistent, I'll give him that, but he's been consistently wrong. And he's put our country on the wrong track." That quote was from her appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," but she made an almost identical comment on CNN's "Late Edition." A recent poll found that a majority of people believe Republicans have stronger ties to organized religion. Some 52 percent of those surveyed viewed Republicans as "generally friendly to religion," while 40 percent viewed the Democrats as religion friendly.
Why Should Israel Have to do it?
Aug. 30….(The Golden Report) As deadly serious as the al-Qaida
Islamic Terrorist threat is to the civilized world, it’s pale in comparison to
what we are faced with in Iran. In fact, what may be hard for many to understand
is that 9/11 and all the other horrific acts of Islamic terror will be small
stuff in comparison to what Iran has in store for the Christian and Jewish
world, or for that matter the entire non-Moslem world. I’ve noticed, as I am
sure you have that over the past few weeks the language between Iran and Israel
has heated up. Iran is saying that they will destroy Israel if they attack their
nuclear reactor in Bushehr or any of the others ones being constructed with
Russia’s help. In the mean time the US is saying they will not allow Iran to
become a nuclear power and will use anything at their disposal to prevent them
from producing nuclear weapons. But words will not stop these Islamic fanatics.
What everyone knows is Iran would not hesitate to sacrifice millions to destroy
Israel or the United States. What the world is not willing to deal with and slow
at come to grips with is these Islamic Arabs have a totally different mindset
and life has little meaning to them. They wrap bombs around themselves and their
children to please their god Allah. We are dealing with an evil that the average
Christian cannot imagine in their wildest dreams. Iran’s main missile is the
Shihab 3 it has a 1,3000 kilometer range, now able to reach most of Europe and
all of Israel, but at that range they can only be armed with 700 kilogram
warheads. With the help of Russia and North Korea they are developing the
Shihab 4 & 5 with a range of up to 6,000 kilometers, putting the US in their
sights as well. They are not very accurate and not a good weapon to attack
military targets. Iran only has around 24 of the Shihabs 3’s and Israel could
take most of them out with the Arrow 2 anti missile. (FOJ Note: The US
and Israel just conducted an anti-missile Arrow system over the Pacific this
weekend) So the obvious conclusion is these Shihab missiles are being
developed to carry nuclear warheads not conventional warheads, and you can
believe Israel is getting a little more than a little nervous. All of Europe is
now in Iran’s range and if anyone that believes they have to wait to build their
own bombs before they will have any is very naïve, the old USSR had been selling
them to the highest bidder for years now and Iran has plenty of oil money. And
now that oil is around $50 a barrel they have even more of your money to buy
them with. To make things worse the Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said
the other day that Iran reserves the right to hit Israel with a pre-emptive
strike in order to prevent an attack on its nuclear reactors. That is a very
serious war drum and it puts Israel in a precarious position of having to think
of the pre-emptive card itself.
WEEK OF AUGUST 16 THROUGH AUGUST 22
Aug. 20….(World Net Daily) The Iranian Revolutionary
Guard Corps last week demonstrated the integration of a system that turns the
Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile from a flying metal tube into a
deadly weapon against Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States, reports
Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
Iran Is Openly Talking of an Attack on America
Aug. 20….(Jewish World Review)There are growing indications that Iran may be planning an attack on American soil. These indicators are not secret, they appear in speeches, newspaper articles, TV programs, and sermons in Iran by figures linked to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other government officials, all discussing potential Iranian attacks on America, which will subsequently lead to its destruction. A report on May 28 in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called "The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening." The paper claimed that it had obtained a tape with a speech by Hassan Abbassi, a Revolutionary Guards intelligence theoretician who teaches at Al-Hussein University. In the tape, Mr. Abbassi spoke of Tehran's secret plans, which include "a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization." In order to accomplish this, he explained, "There are 29 sensitive sites in the US and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them." It was reported that America expelled two Iranian security guards employed by Tehran's UN offices on June 29, after the mission was repeatedly warned against allowing its guards to videotape bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and New York's subway system. This was the third time the Iranians have been caught in such activities, which could be connected to the sites mentioned in potential plans to attack America. Mr. Abbassi's speech further detailed that Iran's missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader [Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations." In fact over the past few months, Mr. Khamenei has been vocal about the impending "destruction of the US" In May, he was quoted in the Iranian paper Jomhouri-Ye Eslami as saying that "the world will witness the annihilation of this arrogant regime." On July 5, in front of a crowd chanting, "Woe to the enemy if Khamenei commands me to wage jihad," Mr. Khamenei said, "If someone harms our people and invades our country, we will endanger his interests anywhere in the world." Other Iranian religious leaders have also called for the destruction of America. The secretary general of the Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, appeared on Iran's Channel 1 TV on June 4 and said, "Every Muslim and every honorable man who is not a Muslim must stand against the Americans, English, and Israelis, and endanger their interests wherever they may be." When he added "They must not have security," thousands in the audience repeated chants of "Islam is victorious, America will be annihilated." The following week Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani delivered the Friday sermon live on Channel 1, saying America will collapse like Genghis Khan's empire, "I say to you the American people, you will collapse, America will collapse." "Time bombs within America" is how Iranian lawmaker Hamid-Reza Katoziyan described Muslims within America, who could be behind future terrorist attacks here. Speaking on Iranian TV channel Jaam-E-Jam 2 on July 27, Mr. Katoziyan warned: "The whole group of people belonging to the Arab community, and Muslims living in the US are currently, in my opinion, in a special situation. Perhaps they do not walk the streets with weapons in their hands or attach bombs to themselves in order to carry out a suicide operation, but the thought is there." Just as statements from Iranian religious and political leaders, as well as TV programs, have focused on attacking America, so has the printed press. An editorial in the July 6 edition of the Iranian daily Kayhan, the conservative paper affiliated with Mr. Khamenei, issued another warning for the future: "the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of hell that will burn to ashes. That very day, those who resist Iran will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly dictated by the hand of Iran." The report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States asks: "September 11 was a day of unprecedented shock. The nation was unprepared, how can we avoid such tragedy again? "First of all we need to be taking seriously Iran's threatening words and actions is an important first step.
Iraq’s WMD is in Syria! Al Qaeda Planned an Attack on Jordan
Aug. 20….(Larry Elder) Jordan recently seized 20 tons of chemicals trucked in by confessed al-Qaeda members who brought the stuff in from Syria. The chemicals included VX, Sarin and 70 others. But the media seems curiously incurious about whether one could reasonably trace this stuff back to Iraq. Had the terrorists released a "toxic cloud," Jordanian officials say 80,000 would have died! So, I interviewed terrorism expert John Loftus, who once held some of the highest security clearances in the world. Loftus, a former Army officer, served as a Justice Department prosecutor. He investigated CIA cases of Nazi war criminals for the US attorney general. Author of several books, Loftus once received a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
John Loftus: There's a lot of reason to think that the source of the captured chemicals might be Iraq. We captured Iraqi members of al-Qaeda, who've been trained in Iraq, planned for the mission in Iraq, and now they're in Jordan with nerve gas. That's not the kind of thing you buy in a grocery store. You have to have obtained it from someplace.
Larry Elder: They couldn't have obtained it from Syria?
Loftus: Syria does have the ability to produce certain kinds of nerve gasses, but in small quantities. The large stockpiles were known to be in Iraq. The best US and allied intelligence say that in the 10 weeks before the Iraq war, Saddam's Russian adviser told him to get rid of all the nerve gas. It would be useless against US troops; the rubber suits were immune to it. So they shipped it across the border to Syria and Lebanon and buried it. Now, in the last few weeks, there's a controversy that Syria has been trying to get rid of this stuff. They're selling it to al-Qaeda is one supposition. We know the Sudanese government demanded that the Syrian government empty its warehouse in Khartoum where they've been hiding illegal missiles along with components of Weapons of Mass Destruction. But there's no doubt these guys confessed on Jordanian television that they received the training for this mission in Iraq. From the description it appears this is the form of nerve gas known as VX. It's very rare, and very tough to manufacture, and its one of the most destructive chemical mass-production weapons that you can use. They wanted to build three clouds, a mile across, of toxic gas. A whole witch's brew of nasty chemicals that were going to go into this poison cloud, and this would have gone over shopping malls, hospitals, etc.
Elder: You said that the Russians told Saddam, "There is going to be an invasion. Get rid of your chemical and biological weapons."
Loftus: Sure. It would only bring the United Nations down on their heads if they were shown to really have Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's not generally known, but the CIA has found 41 different material breaches where Saddam did have a weapons of mass destruction program of various types. It was completely illegal. But no one could find the stockpiles. And the liberal press seems to be focusing on that.
Elder: It seems to me that this is a huge, huge story.
Loftus: It's embarrassing to the (press). They've staked their reputations that this stuff wasn't there. And now all of a sudden we have al Qaeda agents from Iraq showing up with Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Elder: David Kay said, in an interim report, that there was a possibility that WMD components were shipped to Syria.
Loftus: A possibility? We had a Syrian journalist who defected to Paris in January. The guy is dying of cancer, and he said, "Look, my friends in Syrian intelligence told me exactly where the stuff is buried." He named three sites in Syria, and the Israelis have confirmed the three sites. They know where the stuff is, but the problem is that the United States can't just go around invading Arab countries. We know from Israeli and defectors' intelligence that the son of the Syrian defense minister was paid 50 million bucks to bring the stuff across the border and bury it.
Elder: Why would al-Qaeda attack Jordan?
Loftus: Jordan is an ally of the United States. It's at peace with Israel. And Jordan has a long history of trying to prosecute terrorists. There are a lot of reasons. They want to make an example of them. They want to terrorize as many of the Arab states as possible. This is sort of a political dream for the president. The worst nightmare is al-Qaeda gets Weapons of Mass Destruction from Iraq.
Western Energy Firms Alarmed by Saudi Deals with China, Russia
Aug. 19….(excerpt from World Tribune) Western defense and energy majors plan to continue to operate in Saudi Arabia despite the Al Qaida insurgency campaign in the kingdom. The United States has been the largest beneficiary of the Saudi effort to improve security. US diplomats and industry sources said the FBI and CIA have established a joint counter-insurgency command and control center with Saudi security and intelligence personnel to monitor Al Qaida and respond to threats. The enhanced Saudi cooperation was launched to stem the exodus of Americans from the kingdom over the last three months. Industry sources said the exodus resulted in the departure of small US companies and consultants which threatened to deplete manpower levels at US defense and energy majors. As a result, Saudi Arabia has sought to ease its dependence on Western companies. In May, the Saudi Oil Ministry, in an unprecedented move, chose oil majors from China and Russia for a multi-billion dollar program to explore and develop natural gas reserves in the Eastern Province. Russia has also offered to provide Saudi Arabia with a range of military platforms, weapons and other services, Middle East Newsline reported. The Saudi agreements with China and Russia were said to have alarmed Western majors. However, Saudi and industry sources said Western defense and oil companies have reaffirmed their intention to remain in the kingdom and complete their projects. At the same time, the sources said, Western majors have sought to operate with fewer British and US personnel and establish a support network in neighboring Bahrain.
China Emerging as a Major Energy Player
Aug. 19….(UPI) China is emerging as a major energy consumer and producer of oil and gas. Following the United States, China has become the world's biggest oil importer and consumer. With 1.3 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, China is forging deals with the world's major energy players. China has now overtaken Japan as the second largest oil consumer in the world and has been increasingly looking overseas for oil needed to maintain its booming economy. Its oil consumption was 252.3 million tons in 2003 and the figure is expected to reach 308 million tons this year, according to the US International Energy Agency. Imports to China are increasing rapidly. The country's crude oil import is expected to reach 110 million tons in 2004, up 21 percent year-on-year, according to China's Ministry of Commerce figures. In 2003, China crude imports stood at 91.12 million tons valued at $19.81 billion. Refined oil import is projected to increase approximately 40 percent to 40 million tons this year compared to 28.24 million tons valued at $5.86 billion in 2003. More than one third of China's oil supply now comes from imports. China has massive oil and gas deals with Russia. Russia's trade envoy to Beijing Sergei says their value reached almost 30 percent of the whole of Russian exports (to China). In fact, an amount equal to all exports in 2003, 5.2 million tons has been exported in the first six months of 2004." Russia has become the fourth largest supplier of oil to China, after Iran, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The two countries also intend to construct a new Sino-Russian oil pipeline from eastern Siberia to Nakhodka with a branch to Daging in China. Moreover, China and South Korea may become among the largest purchasers of oil and gas discovered on Russia's Sakhalin shelf. China would purchase approximately 25 billion cubic yards of gas over the next two or three years and take part in constructing Sakhalin shelf infrastructure, according to Governor of the Sakhalin Region Ivan Malakhov. Sakhalin currently supplies China and South Korea with crude, produced both on sea shelf and on land deposits. In the meantime, Yukos (Russian oil company) will continue to supply oil to China by rail in 2004 despite the company's troubles. Yukos is the major supplier of Russian oil to China and the government has taken steps to ensure oil supplies continue to China. Sinopec subsidiary Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau announced that it has clinched the three-plus-one-year $25.42 million contract for oil well reparation in Saudi Arabia from Saudi Arabia's oil giant Saudi Aramco. (Aramco is the former Arab-American oil comglomerate that developed the Saudi oil fields) Sinopec also secured a joint venture with Saudi Aramco in March to conduct gas exploration in a 23,612 square mile block in the Rub Alkhali Basin in the southern part of Saudi Arabia. The oil fields produce 2,800 barrels per day from five wells. The production platform and sub sea pipeline will help China's offshore production and allow it to take advantage of the current oil prices. Iran, another major energy player, sees opportunities in a deal with China. Iran is now a major and the largest supplier of crude oil to China with an annual export of 10-12 million tons. Export of liquefied natural gas to China in a period of 25 to 30 years will turn the country into one of the major importers of Iranian energy. China has started investing in drilling, seismological and exploration sectors of Iran's oil industry and is interested in being involved in offshore and onshore as well as the upstream and downstream development projects in Iran. China and Kazakhstan signed a joint venture in late July to construct the Atasu (Kazakhstan)-Alashankou (western China) 621-mile long oil pipeline with an annual capacity of 10 million tons. The parties expect to complete the pipeline by 2005. China also has a deal with Syria. The two countries signed their first joint oil venture on July 26 to develop an old oil field in the northeast of Syria. The Sino-Syrian Kawkab Oil Company and the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation won the rebuilding project of the Gbeibe oil field in 2001 after competitive bidding with companies from United States, Canada and Russia. The two companies hold a 50-50 percent share of the joint venture. Syria has an oil reserve and production capacity of 500,000 barrels per day. Turkmenistan also has interests in China. Turkmengas and the China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation have signed a $14.5 million contract to supply equipment for repairs of gas wells in Turkmenistan. Twelve of 20 Turkmen projects involving Chinese companies are being implemented in the oil and gas industry. The company is also reconstructing oil wells on the Turkmen shelf. China meanwhile has expressed an interest in Kyrgyzstan. According to the Kyrgyz Ambassador to China Erlan Abdyldayev, Sinopec subsidiary China's Shenli Oil Company will participate in developing Kyrgyzstan's oil fields. Japan and China dispute gas-rich waters. Fearing China could steal its energy resources, Japan launched a controversial survey for natural gas near a group of disputed islands also claimed by China and Taiwan. The $27.5 million survey, which has come under fire from Beijing, will last until October. The Japanese exploration site is near the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which lie between Taiwan and Japan. The Chinese government also has massive domestic projects under way to produce oil and gas. On August 4, China announced the completion of the 2,486-mile long pipeline project to pump natural gas from western to the eastern province of Gansu. The pipeline is expected to supply 15.7 billion cubic yards annually. A China National Petroleum Corporation spokesperson told Xinhua on August 4, "The project aims to turn the energy resources of China's vast western regions to economic advantages and to supply gas for the economic developed eastern region, which is in dire need of it." China's Sinopec signed a partnership in early June with Brazil's Petrobus for oil exploration in China. This is the onset of new commercial and political relations between the two countries. Sinopec became the first Asian company to sign a deal with Petrobus. Brazil's Planning Minister Guido Mantega said Chinese companies would also invest $5 billion in Brazil's energy sector, its infrastructure and logistics. China's oil consumption has entered a fast growing period with a widening supply shortage as a major barrier to the country's economic growth. Officials are worried as the country projects a 250million ton annual crude oil shortage by 2020. Thus China is looking to the Middle East for more oil.
Iran Uneasy Over U.S. Presence
Aug. 19….(Fox News) Iran's defense minister expressed his government's disquiet about the US troop presence in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, and hinted that some Iranian generals believe they should strike first if they sense an imminent US threat. In an interview with pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Ali Shamkhani was asked how Iran would respond if America were to attack its nuclear facilities. "We will not sit to wait for what others will do to us," he said. "There are differences of opinion among military commanders (in Iran). Some commanders believe preventive operations is not a model created by Americans, or is not limited to Americans. Any nation, if it feels threatened, can resort to that." President Bush has labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" along with North Korea and prewar Iraq, but US officials have said recently they are sticking to diplomacy, not force, to try to end what they call Iran's drive for nuclear weapons. Iran, which says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, has become more defensive about a US campaign to get UN Security Council sanctions on Iran for its nuclear activities. "The moment the great Satan (America) decides to take military action against us, that moment will be the end of all our nuclear obligations," Shamkhani said, referring to Iran's cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog. On Tuesday, the deputy chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard said Iran would destroy Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor if the Jewish state were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Israel has not threatened to attack, but it has said it will not allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb. In 1981 Israeli fighters destroyed a nuclear reactor under construction outside Baghdad because it feared Iraq would acquire a nuclear weapon. In his interview with Al-Jazeera, Shamkhani also spoke of Israel. "It's certain to us that Israel won't carry out any military action without a green light from America," he said. "So, you can't separate the two." The nuclear issue is only one of many on which Iran and the United States are at odds. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the US-backed shah of Iran. Iran opposed the US-led war in Iraq and now fears the United States is cementing its influence in Iraq. It also fears US influence in Afghanistan, where another US-led campaign ousted the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks. "I say the presence of Americans is not a sign of strength. Americans are a hostage to their own presence," Defense Minister Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera. The United States fears Iran wants to establish a fundamentalist Shiite regime in its own image in Iraq.
EU Defense Ministers Aiming at Global Force
Aug. 19….(EU Observer) The 25 EU member states have
committed themselves to be able to respond to crises throughout the world by
2010. "The European Union is a global actor, and ready to share in the
responsibility for global security", reade the first words in an ambitious plan
entitled, "Headline Goal 2010", adopted by EU defense ministers in Brussels on
17 May. Under the plan, the 25 EU member states vow to committing themselves to
be able by 2010 to respond to crises throughout the world. These include
humanitarian and rescue tasks, crisis-management, peace-keeping and joint
disarmament operations. There is already agreement on the so-called Battle
Groups concept, which is a key instrument in the new EU military planning.
Member states are to start contributing to these multinational "high readiness
joint packages" at the beginning of the second semester of 2004. These
rapidly deployable Global Battle Groups are supposed to be completed in 2007.
It’s a Showdown in Najaf Aug. 18….(MSNBC) Iraq’s defense minister today gave
Shiite militiamen in the holy city of Najaf a notice of hours to surrender,
warning that Iraqi troops were preparing for a major assault to “teach them a
lesson they will never forget.” Explosions and gunfire echoed through the
streets as US forces battled Mahdi militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr, whose two-week-old uprising has given Iraq’s interim government its
biggest challenge to date. Sadr’s fighters are taking shelter in the Imam Ali
shrine, hoping their opponents will not dare to attack one of the holiest sites
for Iraq’s majority Shiites. But Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan said time for a
negotiated settlement was rapidly drawing to a close. “They have a chance, in
the next few hours they have to surrender themselves and their weapons,” Shaalan
said in the city after meeting local officials. “We are in the process of
completing all our military preparations, or else we will teach them a lesson
they will never forget.” US Marines and soldiers have been doing most of the
fighting in Najaf, but Shaalan said Iraqi forces had been training to storm the
shrine complex and could complete such an operation within hours. It will be
Iraqis who enter the shrine, and there will be no American role in this, except
giving air protection and protecting some roads leading to the shrine. But the
entry (of the shrine) will be 100 percent Iraqi,” Shaalan told Al Arabiya, a
pan-Arab television channel, in Najaf. Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued
a statement accusing Sadr’s men of laying mines around the shrine. Sadr’s
uprising has fuelled clashes in other Shiite cities in southern Iraq and divided
a national conference in Baghdad intended to advance Iraq’s progress toward
democracy. Sadr refused to even meet with a peace-negotiating team sent by
President Allawi yesterday. them. The delegation’s peace initiative demanded
that al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia disarm, leave the Imam Ali shrine and become a
political group in exchange for amnesty. Presbyterian Overture Opposes Christian Zionism FOJ Note
It’s a Showdown in Najaf
Aug. 18….(MSNBC) Iraq’s defense minister today gave Shiite militiamen in the holy city of Najaf a notice of hours to surrender, warning that Iraqi troops were preparing for a major assault to “teach them a lesson they will never forget.” Explosions and gunfire echoed through the streets as US forces battled Mahdi militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose two-week-old uprising has given Iraq’s interim government its biggest challenge to date. Sadr’s fighters are taking shelter in the Imam Ali shrine, hoping their opponents will not dare to attack one of the holiest sites for Iraq’s majority Shiites. But Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan said time for a negotiated settlement was rapidly drawing to a close. “They have a chance, in the next few hours they have to surrender themselves and their weapons,” Shaalan said in the city after meeting local officials. “We are in the process of completing all our military preparations, or else we will teach them a lesson they will never forget.” US Marines and soldiers have been doing most of the fighting in Najaf, but Shaalan said Iraqi forces had been training to storm the shrine complex and could complete such an operation within hours. It will be Iraqis who enter the shrine, and there will be no American role in this, except giving air protection and protecting some roads leading to the shrine. But the entry (of the shrine) will be 100 percent Iraqi,” Shaalan told Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab television channel, in Najaf. Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued a statement accusing Sadr’s men of laying mines around the shrine. Sadr’s uprising has fuelled clashes in other Shiite cities in southern Iraq and divided a national conference in Baghdad intended to advance Iraq’s progress toward democracy. Sadr refused to even meet with a peace-negotiating team sent by President Allawi yesterday. them. The delegation’s peace initiative demanded that al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia disarm, leave the Imam Ali shrine and become a political group in exchange for amnesty.
Presbyterian Overture Opposes Christian Zionism
FOJ Note: The Chicago Presbytery has it all wrong. Christian Zionism is merely the Christian spirit of recognizing the fact that God’s word concerning the last days (for the Church and for a re-gathered Israel) are in fact coming to pass in this world, and that the persistent birthpangs of Israel’s re-gathering portend that the ominous time of trouble (Jacob’s Trouble) lies just ahead. Taken in context of Biblical prophecy, and with the clear teachings of Christ, they signify that God is preparing to confront the world’s willful King, by removing his true bride from this world and returning his glory to Jerusalem! The Presbyterian Church has fallen victim to seducing spirits that is conducive to the teaching of the doctrines of demons, and therefore can’t even recognize the season of the times in which we now live. Jesus admonished the ecclesiastical hierarchy of his day for their failure to recognize the “time of his first visitation”, (Luke 19:39-44) and that blindness is paramount in many of today’s denominational hierarchy. They are blind guides, (Matthew 23) refusing the word of Jesus own prophecy, (The Revelation and the Olivet Discourse) while leading the sheep astray. Oh, yes, there are many Palestinian Christians (and others) that need and deserve our prayers and help, but if America doesn’t want to fall victim to the judgement of God through the evil actions of our enemies, then the American Church desperately needs to be better informed on prophetic scripture concerning God’s miraculous 20th century assembling of the outcasts of Israel. The teachings of the Chicago Presbytery is diametrically opposite God’s will for Zion, and as Christians we need to know God’s designs for Zion! Christian Zionism is completely compliant with God’s providence for this Christ rejecting evil world. Everything in this bulletin from the Chicago Presbytery about Christian Zionism is exactly backwards, and its teaching lends itself to the purpose of the Antichrist himself. I am sure they do not realize that fact, because they are blind to the very heart of God’s prophetic word.
Aug. 18….(The Layman) The 216th Presbyterian General Assembly will be asked to oppose Christian Zionism, a movement that says Biblical prophecy teaches Christians to support the continued existence of the state of Israel. That request is part of Overture 04-34 from the Presbytery of Chicago, which calls on its General Assembly "to actively oppose Christian Zionism and to develop a plan to communicate theological and political ramifications it engenders within our denomination, in the mass media, and among US government officials." Christian Zionism is anchored in a belief that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1947 was the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. It views Israel as being the focal point for a number of events leading up to the last days, including the second coming of Christ and a worldwide battle at a site known as Har Meggido in Hebrew and Armagedden in its transliterated form. Christian Zionism also supports the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem on land currently being used by Islam's Dome of the Mosque. (FOJ Note: This point by the Presbyterians is not true, for the Antichrist will be instrumental in building Israel’s 3rd temple) (Jesus will build the 4th temple) The Chicago overture, which is titled "On Confronting Christian Zionism," says: The Presbytery of Chicago respectfully overtures the 216th General Assembly of the PC (USA) 2004 to actively oppose Christian Zionism. We are called by scripture to love God and all our neighbors. Christian Zionism promotes a theology that justifies grievous violations of basic rights of people who are also made in the image of God and is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its teachings invite contempt for fellow Christians in the Middle East, and foreclose decent human relations with many Evangelical Christians in our own American society and in our churches. The term, "Christian Zionism," is used to refer to the use of passages of Biblical prophecy out of context to influence political and religious leaders to accept the State of Israel as a necessary condition of the return of Jesus Christ and the eschatological end of time (Armageddon), when Jews and others will be given the option to either convert or perish. Christian Zionism fails to relate to or defend Palestinian Christians who are fleeing their homeland because of Israeli occupation, economic closures, continuing confiscation of land and settlement construction, military aggression and now the "Wall." Christian Zionism is actually anti-evangelical in that it undermines the presence and witness of the indigenous Middle East Christians, whether in the Holy Land itself or throughout the Middle East. Christian Zionism creates a false image of Christianity, one that is militant, western, and Zionist; and the repercussions often affect the continuity of indigenous Middle East Christians. Christian Zionism has become a divisive voice in American churches that turn prophetic texts of the Bible into apocalyptic scenarios for the end times in a predictive and reductionist form of prophecy. Finally, pre-millennialist interpretations that underlie Christian Zionism ultimately exclude any validity of the continuity of efficacy of God's covenant with the Jewish people themselves, and ultimately are anti-Semitic. Jesus rejected efforts to speculate on the future by saying it was not for them to know the "times or the seasons" that God has chosen [Acts 1:6-11]. Christian Zionism is contrary to the reformed principles of interpreting scripture which call us to read scripture in light of the gospel; and to interpret scripture in light of the one commandment of God that summarizes all other commandments, love for God and for all our neighbors. Our denomination is part of a coalition of Christian organizations called Churches for Middle East Peace. Our "Theological Reflection #1" describes the effect of the Zionist claim as the active dispossession of Palestinians of their land.
Syria is Playing A Deadly Game in Iraq
Aug. 17….(Prophecy Update) Last week, Syrian political
intelligence chief, General Muhammed Nasif invited himself to Washington. On the
pretext of a medical check-up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, he called on some
old friends at the National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency and
handed in an unofficial communication from President Bashar Assad. DEBKA reports
that the Assad message began with a complaint. The Syrian leader senses that
when he talks to Washington, he is talking to the wall. He has tried to open up
a dialogue through one intermediary after another, through Egypt's president
Hosni Mubarak, Iraq’s new prime minister Iyad Allawi, Saudi princes, Eurocrats,
all to no avail. America isn’t listening to Assad! Washington has told all
messengers from Syria to forget about talks until Syria takes some tangible step
on the ground to satisfy American demands for Syria to act against terrorist
organizations headquartered in Damascus. America’s charge sheet against Assad
was further substantiated last week by the capture for the first time of a
senior Hizballah "special operations" terror unit in one of the US-Sadrist
militia battle zones in southern Iraq. Munah al-Abdullah was caught on his way
to one of the Sunni Triangle towns, Fallujah or Samarra, where Baathist
insurgents and al Qaeda fighters are concentrated most heavily. The American
interrogation of al-Abdullah led to two discoveries: (1) His mission was to
persuade Sunni guerrillas to open up a second front against US forces so as to
ease America's military stranglehold on Moqtada Sadr's militia in Najaf.
The US thus gained proof that the Damascus-sponsored Lebanese terrorist group
was up to its ears in the planning and execution of the war against US forces in
Iraq. (2) The Hizballah officer arrived in Iraq three months ago through
Damascus, revealing that Sadr's Mehdi Army armed revolt was planned well in
advance of its eruption this month and that the Lebanese Shiite terror group was
deeply involved. So, it is clear that Assad and Syria is still holding the
door wide open for Hizballah, Arab and al Qaeda fighters to enter Iraq and join
the war against US forces. If Assad were serious about breaking the
political ice with Washington, simply arresting al-Abdullah in Damascus to
prevent him reaching Iraq at a time when the US military faced heavy going there
would have bought him some credibility in Washington for showing good will.
However, American doors stay shut to dialogue because the Syrian ruler's actions
tell a completely different story from the messages he keeps on sending, and not
only in the instance of the Hizballah officer in Iraq. His close military and
intelligence ties with Tehran are another big black mark, as are his hosting and
support of Palestinian terrorist groups in Israel.
Arafat is Looking to Damascus for Survival
Aug. 17….(Debka) In the last week, a special emissary from Arafat's Ramallah headquarters on the West Bank has arrived in Damascus, according to DEBKAfile's Palestinian sources. Muhammed Ismail, a member of Arafat's circle, was chosen for the mission because he happens to be one of the last surviving members of the Palestinian Baath, an almost dead branch of the Iraqi party that was headed by Saddam Hussein and still rules Syria. The Baath, which started out as a secular, socialist party dedicated to pan-Arab unity and nationalism, came to power in Baghdad and Damascus in 1963. For many years, a deep rift divided them. Since the Iraqi Baath party, the largest in the Arab world, was ousted, some of the Syrian Baathists are casting an eye on the lead role of the pan-Arab Baath and to the domination of the Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian parties. This course is opposed as a high-risk adventure by some of the party faithful in Damascus. Arafat's emissary to Syria was an attempt to gain Syrian support for Fatah in exchange for Arafat’s assistance in swaying the Jordanian Palestinian Baath loyalists to come around to the Syrian lead. Arafat claims considerable influence in the Jordanian party because its membership is largely Palestinian. Its recognition of the Syrian Baath's primacy would boost Assad's authority as pan-Arab Baath leader and also strengthen his influence in Jordanian politics. Arafat has asked the Syrian ruler to grant him two wishes for his service: an invitation to Damascus which Assad has consistently withheld, following the example of his father who despised Arafat, and a "more equitable" distribution of Syrian largesse to Palestinian terrorist organizations in funds, weapons and explosives, meaning Fatah would receive equal shares with the Hamas and Jihad Islamic. Bashar Assad therefore has the unique opportunity to have virtual central control of Iraqi, Palestinian and Hizbollah terrorist organizations.
PA Silently Supports Kerry in US Election
Aug. 17….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian officials are quietly pinning their hopes on Democratic candidate John Kerry winning the US presidential election. Former US Middle East envoy Denis Ross is likely to be reappointed should Kerry win the American elections, a Palestinian Authority source said. Mr. Ross has contacted with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and other Palestinian officials during recent visits to the region. He unofficially briefed the Palestinians on the potential new administration's Middle East plans, the source said. Palestinians expect Kerry's Middle East policy to be closer to that of former US president Bill Clinton. During the 2000 presidential election, senior Palestinian officials openly endorsed George W. Bush against Al Gore. The same PA officials who were outraged when Clinton placed the blame for the failure of the Camp David peace talks on PA Chairman Yasser Arafat now admit they have been disappointed and say any other administration "can only serve their interests better." "We don't want to repeat the same mistake so let's wait and see who will win the elections and how they will deal with the Middle East," a PA Foreign Ministry official said. "I do not believe Kerry wants to publicize any plans for the Middle East or any contacts with the Palestinians so as not to hurt his election campaign," the official added.. Kerry might appoint former national security adviser Sandy Berger as secretary of state, in which case Ross is likely to be appointed Middle East envoy, another PA source confirmed. "We believe the [pro-Palestinian Authority] State Department will play the major role again, instead of the national security adviser and Secretary of Defense," as it does in the Bush Administration another source reported.
When “Enlightenment” Refers To Something Very Dark
Aug. (Jan Markell/Olive Tree Ministries) I have been interviewed on a few radio stations lately because some rather famous people are pursuing something that to them is “enlightenment.” Among the celebrities falling for it are Madonna, Britney Spears, Roseanne Barr, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Mick Jagger, Rosie O’Donnell, Barbra Streisand, and Monica Lewinsky. Who wouldn’t be intrigued when Madonna, who has changed her name to the Jewish “Esther,” gives $22 million to a “religious cause.” What they all have in common, other than dysfunctional lives, is their new love for “Kabbalah.” It’s Jewish mysticism, or more to the point, the “Jewish occult.” And you don’t have to be Jewish to be a fan and a disciple! Isn’t it strange how some of these folks think a mystical experience is going to put their life back together? It won’t because they are chasing after an “angel of light” and not the “light of the world.” Kabbalah is the latest brand of “pop theology” or “spirituality” to hit our shores, and the world. It’s very Jewish and dates back to the 1200’s in Spain. Followers read from the “Zohar” which means “enlightenment.” The “Zohar” is a commentary on the Torah just like the Hadith is a commentary on the Koran. It’s very man-made, very seductive, and very dangerous. I believe two things motivate people to chase after such darkness: A love for the supernatural, and a love for the experiential. When the Bible talks about people chasing after “the doctrine of demons” in the last days, we should take it very literally. Kabbalah will tell you that every single person is a divine spark in the world and we have “divine energy.” That sounds terrific, but it goes back to the old lie in the Garden where the serpent told Eve she could be like God. That longing has only increased over time. It’s going on in Christianity as well. Catholics, as well as Mainline Protestant and Evangelical Protestant churches today are following mystical experiences. It’s that old “death of discernment” issue I refer to very often. Churches that used to stay far away from mystical and “New Age”-type experience are now promoting them from the pulpit. All mysticism is an attempt to get closer to God by using means that are not biblical and that are ungodly. To better understand what I am referring to, please visit my Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org, then go to “Spiritual Deception.” You will find a wealth of information on the many “deceiving spirits” at play today.
Iran Says: If Israel Attacks, We'll Blow up Dimona
Aug. 16….(FOJ) Dimona is the site of Israel’s infamous nuclear facility. Iran is threatening to blow up the site if Israel attacks Iran’s developing nuclear facility located near Buseher. The entire Zionist territory, including its nuclear facilities and atomic arsenal, are currently within range of Iran's advanced missiles," a senior Iranian official said yesterday. He warned that his country would strike at Israel if either "the Zionist regime or America will carry out its threats" against Iran. Israel plans additional tests for its Arrow missile interceptor, to boost the system's efficiency against a possible Iranian attack. Last week, Iran said it carried out a successful test firing of an upgraded version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, reportedly capable of striking anywhere in Israel or at US bases in the Persian Gulf. Iran has stepped up its missile program in recent weeks in response to some media reports suggesting that Israel and/or the United States may attempt to stage a pre-emptive strike to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran has threatened a harsh military response to any such attack. Military experts believe an air strike similar to Israel's strike against Iraq's nuclear facility in Osirak in 1986 would be ineffective because many of Iran's nuclear facilities are spread out and built underground. Meanwhile, Israeli defense officials are planning a new test of the Arrow-2 missile interceptor, to boost its speed and accuracy against a possible ballistic attack from Iran. FOJ has also documented that Russia has persistently aided Iran in the development of their nuclear capability. Why would Russia want an immediate border state to possess nuclear capabilities? It would seem to be an illogical strategy to help a terrorist-fomenting neighbor (Chechyna, etc) to acquire nuclear weapons systems. But Bible prophecy reveals that God will put “hooks-into-the-jaws of Russia” and will cause Russia to come down against Israel in the Last Days. Iran has not been secretive about its intentions regarding its nuclear weapons! The Mullah’s of Iran have sworn to annihilate Israel, and one would think that Russia would have well noted that possible scenario. The Russo-Persia alliance is probably a late-Tribulation event, but I believe that the world is quickly and definitely moving towards the Armageddon scenario, and that the Rapture event is close at hand. The timing of the Russian invasion comes at a point after Israel has already entered into its false peace-covenant relationship with the Antichrist. God gives Russia-Iran advance warning! (Ezekiel 38:7-8 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, (Russia) thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, (Israel) against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. (false safety of the Antichrist) But before the Great Russian alliance invasion upon Israel, something will likely happen in Syria, and perhaps involving the US, Iraq, and a WMD terrorist exchange.
Saddam Placed Agents on Syrian Border to Hide WMD Transfer
Aug. 16….(Washington Times) Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards on the Syrian border and replaced them with his own intelligence agents who supervised the movement of banned materials between the two countries, US investigators have discovered. The recent discovery by the Bush Administration's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) is fueling speculation, but is not proof, that the Iraqi dictator moved prohibited weapons of mass destruction (WMD) into Syria before the March 2003 invasion by a US-led coalition. (FOJ has carried this info since the beginning of the Iraq war) Two defense sources told The Washington Times that the ISG has interviewed Iraqis who told of Saddam's system of dispatching his trusted Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) to the border, where they would send border inspectors away. The shift was followed by the movement of trucks in and out of Syria suspected of carrying materials banned by UN sanctions. Once the shipments were made, the agents would leave and the regular border guards would resume their posts. "If you leave it to border guards, then the border guards could stop the trucks and extract their 10 percent, just like the mob would do," said a Pentagon official who asked not to be named. "Saddam's family was controlling the black market, and it was a good opportunity for them to make money." Sources said Saddam and his family grew rich from this black market and personally dispatched his dreaded intelligence service to the border to make sure the shipments got through. The ISG is a 1,400-member team organized by the Pentagon and CIA to hunt for Saddam's suspected stockpiles of WMD, such as chemical and biological agents. So far, the search has failed to find such stockpiles, which were the main reason for President Bush ordering the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam. But there is evidence of unusually heavy truck traffic into Syria in the days before the attack, and with it, speculation that some of the trucks contained the banned weapons. "Of course, it's always suspicious," the Pentagon official said. The source said the ISG has confirmed the practice of IIS agents going to the border. Investigators also have heard from Iraqi sources that this maneuver was done days before the war at a time of brisk cross-border movements. That particular part of the disclosures has not been positively confirmed, the officials said, although it dovetails with Saddam's system of switching guards at a time when contraband was shipped. The United States spotted the heavy truck traffic via satellite imagery before the war. But spy cameras cannot look through truck canopies, and the ISG has not been able to determine whether any weapons were sent to Syria for hiding. In an interview in October, retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., who heads the US agency that processes and analyzes satellite imagery, said he thinks that Saddam's underlings hid banned weapons of mass destruction before the war. "I think personally that those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to some extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence," said Gen. Clapper, who heads the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. He added, "I think probably in the few months running up prior to the onset of combat that I think there was probably an intensive effort to disperse or move documentation and materials out of the country. I think there are any number of things that they would have done." Of activity on the Syrian border, Gen. Clapper said, "There is no question that there was a lot of traffic, increase in traffic up to the immediate onset of combat and certainly during Iraqi Freedom. The obvious conclusion one draws is the sudden upturn in traffic which may have been people leaving the scene, fleeing Iraq and unquestionably, I'm sure, material as well." He also said, "Based on what we saw prior to the onset of hostilities, we certainly felt there were indications of WMD activity. Actually knowing what is going on inside a building is quite a different thing than, say, this facility may well be a place where there may be WMD." The Iraq Survey Group, which periodically briefs senior officials and Congress, is due to deliver its next report in September. In addition to interviewing hundreds of Iraqis, the ISG has collected and cataloged millions of pages of documents, not all of which have been fully examined. Although Syria and Iraq competed for influence in the region, they shared the same Ba'athist socialist ideology and maintained close ties at certain government levels. The United States accused Syria during the war of harboring some of Saddam's inner circle.
WEEK OF AUGUST 9 THROUGH AUGUST 15
California High Court Invalidates SF’s Gay Marriages
Aug. 13….(AP) The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that San Francisco's mayor overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licenses this spring. The court also voided all the marriages of gay and lesbian couples sanctioned by the city. The court said the city violated the law when it issued the certificates and performed the marriage ceremonies in a month-long wedding march that began Feb. 12, since both legislation and a voter-approved measure defined marriage as a union between a man and woman. The court, however, did not resolve whether the California Constitution would permit a same-sex marriage, ruling instead on the narrow issue of whether local officials could bypass California's judicial and legislative branches. Chief Justice Ronald George noted that the ruling doesn't address "the substantive legal rights of same sex couples. In actuality, the legal issue before us implicates the interest of all individuals in ensuring that public officials execute their official duties in a manner that respects the limits of the authorities granted to them as officeholders." The justices also decided with a 5-2 vote to nullify the nearly 4,000 marriages performed before the court halted the weddings on March 11. Their legality, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote, must wait until "the constitutionality of California laws restricting marriages to opposite-sex couples has been authoritatively resolved through judicial proceedings now pending in the courts of California." The same-sex marriages had virtually no legal value, but powerful symbolic value. The justices agreed to resolve the legality of the weddings sanctioned by Mayor Gavin Newsom after emergency petitions were filed by a conservative group and the state's top law enforcement official, Attorney General Bill Lockyer. San Francisco's gay weddings, which followed a landmark ruling by Massachusetts' top court allowing gay marriage, prompted President Bush to push for changing the federal constitution to ban same-sex marriage, an effort that has become campaign fodder this election year. The California court sided with Lockyer's arguments, ruling that Newsom's actions would foment legal anarchy and sanction local officials to legislate state law from city halls or county government centers. When the justices agreed in March to hear the case lead other local officials to sanction "polygamy." Newsom's defiance of state law created huge lines at City Hall by gays and lesbians waiting to be married, and ignited a firestorm engulfing statehouses and ballot boxes nationwide. Missouri voters this month endorsed a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a move designed to prevent that state's judiciary from agreeing with the arguments Newsom is making in California. A state constitutional challenge by gays in Massachusetts prompted that state's highest court to endorse the gay marriages that began there in May. A judge in Washington State this month also ruled in favor of gay marriage, pending a resolution from that state's top court. Louisiana residents are to vote on the same issue Sept. 18. Then Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah are to vote Nov. 2. Initiatives are pending in Michigan, North Dakota and Ohio. Four states, Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada, already have similar amendments in their constitutions.
Iran Stuns Europe With Nuclear Demands
Aug. 13….(Jerusalem Post) Iranian officials, under pressure to freeze their nuclear program, have stunned European diplomats at crisis talks in Paris this month by demanding advanced nuclear technology, conventional weapons, and a security guarantee against a nuclear attack by Israel. The diplomats, from Britain, France, and Germany, were meeting the Iranians in an attempt to defuse the escalating crisis over Teheran's nuclear program. The Europeans were said to have been stunned by the demand and, said the Iranians' demands had sharply raised the nuclear stakes in the Mid-east. The Iranians produced their letter as the European diplomats sought to convince them to honor an earlier agreement to suspend work on their controversial uranium enrichment program, which could be used to produce material for nuclear power stations, but also to make nuclear weapons. According to the report, the Iranian officials refused point-blank to comply, saying they had every right under international law to pursue "peaceful" nuclear technology. They then shocked the Europeans by turning the tables with their own set of demands, which were contained in the letter. First, they demanded that the European trio support Iran's quest for "advanced nuclear technology, including those with dual use." Second, they demanded that the Europeans "remove impediments" to Iran acquiring such technology, and remain committed to this position, even if faced with "legal or political limitations," a reference to possible US pressure or future international sanctions against Iran. Third, and considered even more astonishing, they demanded that the Europeans meet their conventional weapons needs and "provide security assurances" against a nuclear attack on Iran. This is thought to refer to Israel's nuclear capabilities and its long-range delivery systems. The European trio are reported to be still considering their response, but British officials were quoted as saying the Iranian letter was "extremely surprising, given the delicate state of the process." The Europeans, whose engagement with Iran aims to draw the Islamic republic back into the international mainstream, were seeking to avoid a full-scale confrontation between the United States and Iran over Iran's nuclear program. Washington is insisting that the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which meets next month, refers the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, where Iran would face possible sanctions.
Jordan In Control of Temple Mount
Aug. 13….(CNS) For the first time in years, Jordan is in
control of the administration of the Islamic religious authority on Jerusalem's
Temple Mount instead of the Palestinian Authority, signaling a weakening of the
PLO and a shift in Jordan's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a new
NJ Governor Resigns, Admits Gay Affair
Aug. 13….(AP) Gov. James E. McGreevey, a one-time rising
Democratic star and twice-married father, announced his resignation with the
startling disclosure that he is gay and had an extramarital affair with a man
that he said threatened to undermine his "ability to govern." My truth is that I
am a gay American," McGreevey said Thursday at a news conference with his second
wife by his side. He described decades of sexual confusion that dogged him
through two marriages and ultimately led him to an act he called "wrong, foolish
and inexcusable." "Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely
impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course
of action is to resign," he said, without elaborating on what the circumstances
were. McGreevey, 47, refused to answer questions. He said, "it makes little
difference that as governor I am gay," but added that staying in office and
keeping the affair and his sexual orientation secret will leave the governor's
office "vulnerable to rumors, false allegations and threats of disclosure." Gay
rights groups expressed support and compassion for McGreevey, but their
reactions were tinged with sorrow because McGreevey announced his resignation
just as he became the nation's first openly gay governor. "It is a very sad to
thing to watch. It is kind of stunning, sad to me that in 2004 people are still
having to struggle because of homophobia in society to come to terms with who
they are," said Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal.
Iran is Behind Insurency in Iraq
Aug. 13….(Guardian) Security officials in Baghdad last night
were urgently investigating the background of 30 Iranians who were caught
fighting for a rebel Shiite cleric in Iraq, amid mounting concern over the
involvement of the Tehran regime in the Najaf uprising. The Guardian has learned
that the most senior members of the Iraqi government were briefed about the
capture of the men yesterday, and also told of other evidence that fighters and
equipment have been crossing the border from Iran.
The source said members of Iraq's national security
committee had yesterday been presented "with revealing information about the
extent of Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs", which was being taken
seriously at the "highest echelons of government". Relations between Iran and
Iraq, who fought a ruinous war from 1980-88, have plummeted in recent weeks.
Iran yesterday summoned Iraq's top envoy in Tehran over the alleged arrest in
Iraq of several reporters from Iran's state news agency and the fate of a
kidnapped Iranian diplomat. Iran also denounced the assault by US marines and
Iraqi forces in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf as "inhumane and horrible". Foreign
diplomatic observers in Baghdad have been alarmed by the "stoking up of tension"
between the two neighbors. One senior diplomat said the Iranians were pursuing
their activities in Iraq "more aggressively than anybody ever dared think that
Kerry Playing it Coy on Gay Marriage Issue
Aug. 13….(World Net Daily) Though Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry says he opposes legalizing same-sex marriage, critics are pointing to the candidate's radical statements and writings in favor of homosexual marriage and claim this is one more divisive issue on which Kerry is attempting to play to both sides in an election year. Kerry was one of just a few senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which then-President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. In a 1996 column for the homosexual publication the Advocate, Kerry slammed the act, known as DOMA, calling it "as unconstitutional and unnecessary as it is mean-spirited and malicious." DOMA, which passed with the support of 85 senators, says states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. "Marriage" is defined in the law as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." In his column, Kerry cites the Constitution's "Full Faith and Credit" clause, saying Congress does not have the authority to let states off the hook. Wrote Kerry: "Imagine the confusion if we didn't have such a clause: A child-custody decision in California could be ignored by Illinois; a divorce concluded in Nevada could be rejected in New York. DOMA does violence to the spirit and letter of the Constitution by allowing the states to divide." Kerry claimed DOMA created a "caste system" in the United States. "It seems no coincidence that every election year a few politicians gang together for some legislative gay bashing," he wrote. "This behavior panders to the basest instincts of the human condition, scape-goating and ostracizing. "But we are a better nation than that. Echoing the ignorance and bigotry that peppered the discussion of interracial marriage a generation ago, the proponents of DOMA call for a caste system for marriage." The senator praised homosexuals for their contribution to society. "I have long believed that gay people have a role in all public policy. Each gay man and lesbian in urban centers and small towns across this country brings a wealth of experience to the discussion of civil rights and discrimination." Though supporting state bans on same-sex marriage, Kerry has strongly supported "civil unions" for homosexuals. By saying that he favors civil unions, Kerry is hoping to skirt the gay-marriage-fence and make both sides think that he favors their views on gay marriage. In reality, Kerry favors gay-marriage, as evidenced by his wife Tereesa’s strong stand for gay marriage. Kerry is imply trying to pull the wool over the eyes of voters who support traditional American values on this issue.
AOL Poll: Bush Wining in Landslide
Aug. 12…. (World Net Daily) In what some political
observers might view as shocking news, a poll of America Online members is
currently forecasting a landslide victory for President Bush, who collects 48 of
the 50 states in this year's electoral race. The unscientific survey, whose
results change in real time as more people vote, reveals with more than 34,000
participants, Bush takes a whopping 58 percent of the popular vote compared to
40 percent for Sen. John Kerry and 2 percent for Ralph Nader. According to AOL’s
electoral map of the US, there's a massive sea of red marked in favor of the
Republican president, while only two states, Connecticut and Vermont, along with
the District of Columbia are marked in blue for the Democrat from Massachusetts.
That's a total of just 13 electoral votes for Kerry, compared to 525 for Bush.
The magic number of electoral votes to win the White House is 270. During this
year's political season, professional pollsters using scientific methodology
have shown a close race between Bush and Kerry. A Gallup survey following the
recent Democratic convention had Bush receiving 50 percent support among likely
voters, and Kerry with 47 percent.
European Group to Monitor US Election
Aug. 12….(Worthy News) The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will monitor the US election on 2 November. It will be the first time such a team has been present for a US presidential election. Thirteen Democratic members of the House of Representatives had requested UN monitors for this year's presidential elections in an effort to avoid possible voting irregularities that plagued the 2000 election, the closest in US history. (FOJ Note: an election that Al Gore claims was stolen from him.) In a letter to the 13 Democrats, Assistant Secretary of State Paul Kelly did not mention the Democrats request for UN observers but said the United States had already invited the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to observe the 2004 presidential elections. The OSCE, based in Vienna, Austria, has sent more than 10,000 personnel to monitor more than 150 elections and referenda in more than 30 countries during the past decade, The OSCE is the largest regional security organization in the world with 55 participating States from Europe, Central Asia and North America. OSCE members, including the United States, agreed in 1990 in Copenhagen to allow fellow members to observe elections in one another's countries.
Palestinian Panel Puts Blame on PA
Aug. 12….(Washington Times) A scathing report by a Palestinian legislative committee lays the blame for the anarchy and drift within Palestinian society squarely on the Palestinian Authority and by implication on the man who leads it, Yasser Arafat. "The main reason for the failure of the Palestinian security forces in restoring law and order is the total lack of a clear political decision and no definition of their roles, either for the long term or short," the report says. A five-member panel of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) drew up the report after hearing testimony last month from dozens of witnesses ranging from Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and security officials to street activists and journalists. Panel members included both Arafat loyalists and critics. The report is remarkable in its frankness and its willingness to accept Palestinian responsibility for the failures of Palestinian society rather than pointing a finger only at Israel. Although the report does not focus on Mr. Arafat, it is clear from its contents that the failures of the Palestinian Authority stem from its leadership. The report calls for a halt to the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, a tactic it said had brought ruinous retaliation from Israel. "Those who fire the rockets do not represent the people and nation," it said. "They are doing it without thinking about the general interest and public opinion in the world and Israel. There is no vision or purpose to the rockets." The report also called for the resignation of Mr. Qureia's government and new elections. In testimony revealed by the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, to which a copy of the report had been leaked, Interior Minister Hakim Balawi laid responsibility for the chaos in the Palestinian streets directly upon the leadership, although he did not mention Mr. Arafat by name. "We lost control because of hesitation in the decision-making process and because we did not speak to the street about what we wanted and about the political situation," he said. "There is readiness on the part of the security forces, but there are no clear decisions and the political plan is not defined." The implication of the report is that uncontrolled actions by militant groups such as Hamas and the failure of the Palestinian Authority to exercise control have stood in the way of a political process leading to achievement of the Palestinian national goals, particularly the establishment of a state. "If this continues, it will send difficult messages to our people, to the Israelis who claim there is no Palestinian partner and to the international community, that we don't deserve a state."
An American Hiroshima
Aug. 12….(Omega Letter) If a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon, a
midget even smaller than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, exploded in Times
Square, the fireball would reach tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit. It
would vaporize or destroy the theater district, Madison Square Garden, the
Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall. The blast would
partly destroy a much larger area, including the United Nations. On a weekday
some 500,000 people would be killed. Could this happen?
The Anti-Christian World Will Cheer Our Absence
Aug. 12….(FOJ) Have you ever noticed how the media and the politically correct culture cops explode in sanctimonious outcries of self-righteousness any time a public figure inadvertently insults one of the protected minority groups. Yet these same self-appointed powerbrokers never ever demand an apology when a secularist celebrity demeans Christianity, the Ten Commandments, the Bible, or a person espouses the Judeo-Christian ethic that frames the foundation of the American Republic. The secular Socialists view Christianity as a cancer to the cause of world peace, and to the creation of a secular utopian state in the United States. Christians and the word of God represent an obstacle to their dreams of "humanistic progress," because we keep harping about a return to the traditional morality and Christian principles that made America the home of the brave and the land of liberty. That is largely what today's judicial and culture war is all about. The ACLU will come running to defend the rights of gays and lesbians, but it never ever defends the civil rights of Christians. During this particular political season, the face of the Christian viewpoint is painted under the name of George W. Bush. This is the reason that the left and the secularists hate him so much. And these are the roots of the reasons why the world hates America. The world is saying, “America, just throw those Bibles away, stop praying, and stop talking about and preaching about that Jesus guy, and you can be accepted in our New World Order!” And by all means, get rid of those Bible believing fundamental, prophecy-spouting fanatical Christians, and we’ll all get along! Is it any wonder that the world will throw a party and send gifts to one another when the Rapture happens! The Revelation portrays a world scene during the great Tribulation when the two witnesses for Christ are killed and left lying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3-1/2 days. (Revelation 11:9-10 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.) The world hates Christ, and therefore it hates Christians, and the coming Tribulation era under the Antichrist will witness the climactic world party that the Christ haters will throw in our absence.
Houston Judge Orders Bible Remove
Aug. 11….(FOJ) A Houston, Texas judge has ordered Harris County officials to remove a Bible from a monument outside its civil courts building. Federal Judge Sim Lake stated in his official order that the county should be exercising religious neutrality and "not be seen as endorsing Christianity." He gave county officials 10 days to remove the Bible. Judge Lake stated in his statement against the Bible display that, "The court concludes that the purpose of the Bible display is to encourage people to read the Bible. What other purpose could there be for prominently displaying an open Bible in an illuminated case tilted toward passers-by in a heavily frequented plaza in front of the main entrance to the courthouse?" The Bible case was brought before Judge Lake’s court by real estate broker and attorney Kay Staley. "It is just a wonderful day for religious freedom and religious diversity," she said after the Judges ruling. The county argued that the display originated as a private expression of free speech, with private donations being used to buy the Bible, and that the county should not be held responsible for its contents. (Oh my goodness, we just can’t have people pointed towards reading the Bible in this country, now can we? And we for a surety must not allow the perception that the governing institutions condone or that they may be responsible for the contents of the Bible!) It dawns on me that the Bible is about as welcome in America as it is in Saudi Arabia now days. What must God be thinking as He looks on from above? Do you suppose He will protect America from its terrorist enemies in light of rulings like this? I dare say that, He will not, but will allow us to continue our prodigal course, and reap the seeds of our own destruction.
Has Jordan Resumed Custody of Temple Mount?
Aug. 11….(David Parsons, International Christian Embassy
Jerusalem) Some 15,000 Muslims associated with the radical Islamic Movement
in Israel staged a provocative rally on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on
Saturday amid reports that Israel has quietly placed Jordan back in charge of
the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque. Arguably the most sensitive piece of
real estate on the planet, (ever wonder why?) the Temple Mount
compound has again become a source of major concern in recent months, as Israeli
authorities deal with bulges in the ancient retaining walls that threaten to
collapse and police warn of Jewish extremists bent on provoking an incident at
the site, either of which would convulse the Islamic world. To reduce tensions,
Israel barred non-Muslims from entering the Mount over the weekend. But the
Muslim activists showed no such sense of caution, rallying under the banner "Al-Aqsa
in Danger," the same worn-out mantra used at the annual gathering for several
years running. A large number of children were bused in for the event, while
affiliated protests were held at other sites around Israel deemed important to
Muslims. The head of the Islamic Movement's more radical northern branch, Sheikh
Raed Salah, is imprisoned on charges of funneling money to Hamas, but he made an
appearance by letter warning: "The missile that may destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque
may destroy with it many other things." His deputy, Sheikh Kamel Hatib insisted
that "the government of Israel will be responsible for any attack" on mosques in
Jerusalem. The remarks were prompted in part by the recent statements of Public
Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, that a core group of Jewish extremists might
launch an attack on the site in order to derail the disengagement plan from
Gaza. However, Israeli President Moshe Katsav described Saturday's Muslim
protest as "very irresponsible" and "a dangerous incitement that is bound to
fuel a large fire." Meanwhile, important developments concerning the Temple
Mount have been taking place under most radar screens, with a new briefing paper
out of the Jerusalem-based think-tank The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)
claiming that Israel has managed to dislodge the Palestinian Authority from its
toehold on the Mount and to restore the Jordanian royal family as custodian of
the Muslim shrines there. Citing Israel Television Channel One reports in July
and other sources, the JCPA document, entitled "The Expulsion of the Palestinian
Authority from Jerusalem and the Temple Mount," compiled by journalist Dan Diker,
traces recent behind-the-scenes efforts by Israel to end the PA's penetration of
eastern Jerusalem and its hijacking of the Muslim Waqf (trust) on the Temple
Mount, restoring Jordanian religious administration of what Muslims call the
Haram al-Sharif, or "Noble Sanctuary." The Center's paper says the expulsion of
the PA from Jerusalem is the culmination of years of activity by Israeli
security forces, which intensified in 2002 with arrests and expulsions of
Palestinian security agents in Jerusalem's Old City and the closure of Orient
House, freeing Arab residents from years of murder, kidnapping, and extortion.
Jordan (and Egypt to an extent) was then granted a very public, central role in
repairing bulges in the Temple Mount's outer walls, caused by the hasty
construction of an underground mosque by the PA-controlled Waqf and its partner
in the project, the Islamic Movement. In keeping with its 1994 peace treaty
with Jordan, Israel has restored King Abdullah II and the Hashemite dynasty,
which claims direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed, to their traditional
role as guardian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
Al Qaeda Hints at Major Assassination
Aug. 11….(Washington Times) US intelligence officials say
a high-profile political assassination, triggered by the public release of a new
message from Osama bin Laden, will lead off the next major al Qaeda terrorist
attack, The Washington Times has learned. The assassination plan is among new
details of al Qaeda plots disclosed by US officials familiar with intelligence
reports who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the killing could be
carried out against a US or foreign leader either in the United States or
abroad. The officials mentioned Saudi Arabia and Yemen, two nations that are
working with the United States in the battle against al Qaeda, as likely locales
for the opening assassination. The planning for the attacks to follow involves
"multiple targets in multiple venues" across the United States, one official
said. The new details of al Qaeda's plans were found on a laptop computer
belonging to arrested al Qaeda operative Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan of Pakistan.
Additionally, US intelligence officials said they think that several al Qaeda
terrorists already in the United States are part of the plot, although their
identities and locations are not known. The targets, in addition to the
financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J., that have been
the subject of public warnings, include such economic-related targets as oil and
gas facilities with a view toward disrupting the November election. "The goal of
the next attack is twofold: to damage the US economy and to undermine the US
election," the official said. "The view of al Qaeda is 'anybody but Bush.”
Powell: Arafat Important, But He Must Go
Aug. 11….(Worthy News) US Secretary of State Colin Powell
reiterated Tuesday the Bush Administration's pledge to work for a two-state
solution in the Middle East, acknowledging that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
had "a unique place in the minds and hearts of his people," but had failed to
work toward peace. "We believe that Israel's plan to withdraw from Gaza, and to
begin the withdrawal from the West Bank, with four settlements withdrawn from,
represents a valuable opportunity to move forward," he told members of Seeds of
Peace, a group that works with young people from the world's hotspots to build
bridges for the future. "This initiative could help to bring both sides together
to resume negotiations under the path, of the elements of the 'road map.'"
Powell told the audience the United States was trying hard to play the role of
honest broker in the region, where Washington is accused of having a markedly
pro-Israel tilt. He said the Bush Administration's success last year to get both
sides together at Aqaba, Jordan, to commit to the "road map" pointed to that
role. He added the United States was still working to ensure the Palestinian
Prime Minister received more power. The Palestinian leader (Arafat) has been
sidelined in the peace process by both Israel and the United States. Both
nations say he does not do enough to stop anti-Israel violence by militant
groups, including some affiliated to him. For more that two years, he has
been besieged by Israeli tanks and troops in his compound in the West Bank town
of Ramallah. Powell said dealing with Arafat in the past had yielded few
results and so there was no option except to ignore the Palestinian leader
and find younger leaders who were willing to talk and make peace. "We finally
came to the conclusion that we needed new leadership on the Palestinian side,
and we encouraged the Palestinians to come up with a Prime Minister position and
somebody for that position who would be empowered and would be able to represent
the Palestinian people," he said. "We know that Chairman Arafat occupies a
unique place in the minds and hearts of his people. He is the embodiment of
their desires and wishes. But we do not think he has been an effective
interlocutor toward peace, and therefore we thought the world would be
better served, the region would be better served, the Palestinians would be
better served if we can empower a prime minister who was operating with
EU Discusses Israel's Inclusion in Revived Roman Empire
Aug. 11….(FOJ) A European Union team is to hold negotiations with Foreign Ministry officials in two weeks on Israel's participation in the Wider European initiative, in what is believed to be a final push to wrap things up before a new European Commission takes office in November. The negotiations, the fifth round between Israel and the EU are slated for August 24 in Jerusalem. The Wider Europe/New Neighborhood Policy is an initiative to upgrade the EU's relations with a circle of some 14 countries bordering the enlarged EU, with the ultimate goal being to allow free access to and from the EU of goods, services, capital, and people from the countries involved in the initiative. Before admission to Wider Europe is granted, the candidate countries have to meet certain benchmark requirements on a number of political and economic issues. European officials have not hidden that Israel's involvement in the program will not be divorced from whether or not there is diplomatic progress in the Middle East. European diplomats have also openly expressed frustration at their level of involvement in the disengagement plan, with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana saying during his visit last month that the EU will be involved in the diplomatic process whether Israel likes it or not. One official said that just as Israel is interested in a more active role in the EU, which the Wider Europe initiative affords, the EU is interested in a more active role in the diplomatic process, including disengagement. Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, Tunisia, and Ukraine are in the first wave of countries, along with the Palestinian Authority, to negotiate with the EU regarding participation in the program. European officials said there is an interest in completing basic negotiations with Israel before a new commission, the EU's equivalent of a new government, comes into office in November (and perhaps a new EU Super-President?) and will begin dealing with the issues. Under the Wider Europe initiative, which Israeli officials have said would open many doors currently closed to Israel and would move Israeli-EU ties up a notch, the depth of each country's ties with the EU will be determined on a country-by-country basis. The EU has openly made clear that one of the goals of the initiative is to offer deeper economic ties in return for political dialogue and democratic reform with countries that have little chance of full EU membership.
Why So Much Suffering for the Saints?
Aug. 10….(FOJ) Have you ever felt like there seems to be a lot of suffering Christians in the world today. It seems that the whole world has turned against Christians, and especially against Biblically committed saints. The Voice of the Martyrs regularly documents the persecution of Christians all around the world, but it seems to me that even being a Christian in America is tough nowadays. Anti-Christian socialist forces are making gigantic inroads across the spectrum in the US. It seems that if anything is remotely connected to Christianity, then it has either become un-Constitutional or is considered old fashioned and out of step with modernity. (I Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.) Even religion today is saying that if you are having to suffer as a Christian then there must be something wrong with you, and that God can’t bless you because of sin in your life. But choosing God’s will, even if it means you may have to suffer, is something that Jesus advocated. No pragmatic saint ever chooses suffering; but whenever trials come, a saint will simply choose God’s will, just as Jesus did, and more often than not in today’s world, that will mean enduring suffering! It is a fact that the saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. Many people came to the knowledge of Christ as their personal Savior as a result of the empirical persecutions inflicted upon the early Saints by Rome. Christians do not need sympathy. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as he can possibly be, and knows that Christ also suffered, and suffered far more. God is not the power causing our suffering, but He often allows some of it. Jesus had ample opportunity to feel sorry for himself because of the personal suffering he had to endure. He endured more suffering than any other being, and yet He was God. But he chose to endure the world’s harshest treatment; because He realized that He was in a hostile alien world, to save the world. Why does God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places, and to endure suffering? God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be. (I Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.) We simply need to learn to be content with God’s plan, and to be contented with godliness in our lives. In so doing you will come to the wisdom expressed by Peter. (I Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.) This world is not our home, and we will not find a welcome here, until Jesus comes to conquer this world!
Why is Russia Helping to Make Iran a Nuke Power?
Aug. 10….(FOJ) Russia has announced that it has helped Iran to complete more than 90 percent of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran. Russian officials said Moscow has accelerated work on the Bushehr power reactor. They said 1,500 Russian nationals and personnel from the former Soviet Union were sent to Iran to complete the $1 billion nuclear project. So far, officials said, Russia has completed procurement for Bushehr. They said the remaining work includes the assembly of the equipment, systems integration and preparing for operations. "By now, the first power unit of the Bushehr nuclear station is 90 percent ready," a Russian Atomic Agency official told the Moscow-based Tass news agency. Why is it that Russia is being so helpful in assisting Iran to become a nuclear power? The Bible forecasts an interesting relationship between Russia and Iran during the Tribulation era. It should be noted by Christian students of prophecy that Iran was a pro-American-West ally up until the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It is apparent to FOJ that the Persian Tiger is already preparing its claws for its prophesied alliance with Russia when it invades Israel in the very last days.
Saudi Royal Family Facing Troubles
Aug. 10….(Fox News) Behind a façade of control, the ruling family of Saudi Arabia is in tough shape and teetering on the brink of collapse, a victim of its own corruption and a violent Islamic insurgency at its door, some US experts warn. "It is a pretty fragile royal family, it's pretty corrupt and it's sitting on some pretty weak legs," Enders Winbush, director of the Center for Future Security Strategies with the Hudson Institute, told FOX News. "The question is, can it do enough soon enough to put off what I suspect will be the inevitable, that at some point it will come apart," he said. "Anyone who knows anything about the area knows it's not a question of ‘if,' but of ‘when,'" said Bill Lind, a military analyst with the Free Congress Foundation. "We (US) need to delay it as much as possible, and think of what to do when it does happen." Saudi Arabia's record has left open room for concern. Since a series of car bombs in May 2003, militant violence has escalated in the kingdom. This past May, a weekend rampage at two compounds housing offices and homes of expatriates in the city of Khobar left 22 people dead. In June, American contractor Paul Johnson was very publicly executed by militants in the country. Al Qaeda operatives claimed that Saudi security forces sympathetic to their cause aided in Johnson's abduction, which the government denied. Law enforcement authorities later discovered Johnson's head in a Riyadh home belonging to a suspected high-level terrorist. Nonetheless, last month's release of the Sept. 11 commission report vindicated the Saudi government of any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States. A day before, in a statement distributed by the White House, President Bush used Saudi Arabia as an example of positive progress in the War on Terror. "[The Saudi government] is working hard to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism," read a White House statement from July 21. "Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger and joined the war on terror, the American people are safer," the release added. Aware of the pressures on it, the Saudi government has tried to take proactive measures. Last week Saudi security forces arrested Faris al-Zahrani, who is on a list of 26 top wanted militants with suspected links to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda group. In an overnight raid in June, Saudi forces killed the kingdom's top Al Qaeda leader Abid al-Aziz al-Muqran and three other terrorists. Despite Washington's historically close ties with the ruling royal House of Saud as well as the official White House line, the country, which holds the world's largest oil reserves, is a mess and desperately needs change that will benefit the Saudi people, say the experts who spoke with FOXNews.com. "We can wish this away all we want, but the reality is getting harder and harder to ignore," wrote former CIA Agent Robert Baer in 2003's "Sleeping with the Devil," which explores the US relationship with the House of Saud and the destructive trajectory the ruling family is on today. Baer said the billions of dollars spent each year by some 30,000 members of the family, combined with the corruption, debauchery and sporadic funding of Islamic extremist terror groups and mosques in and outside the country, have created a volatile beast that is racing back at them with a vengeance. "The terrorists who were created by the royal family as a political weapon to control the population and the Islamic world are trying to pull the kingdom backward," (drive a wedge between the US and the Saudi kingdom) said Stephen Schwartz, author of "The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role In Terrorism (2003)." "Saudi Arabia is at a fork in the road of its history," Schwartz said. Schwartz said he does not buy into the theory that the government's fall is imminent, but he does call the situation there "a crisis." He said a large middle class is repressed by the strictest of religious law, which bars women from an education and gives them no rights; men are whipped publicly if they don't get to daily prayers on time and people accused of crimes are beheaded in the public square. The middle class is becoming increasingly restless with the environment in the country, said Schwartz. "It has happened again and again in history, the business class and the elements of the ruling elite get together and merge a transition to normalcy and stability on the road to democratic reform." But others have said Schwartz's view is too rosy. A large percentage of the ulama, or religious leadership espouses incendiary anti-Western, anti-royal family rhetoric in schools and mosques across the oppressed country. That leadership has been bolstered by the war and subsequent instability in Iraq, said Lind. The rhetoric continues to be a tool of Saudi-born Usama bin Laden, who remains at large after his orchestration of the Sept. 11 attacks. "This is all one war," to purify the royal family and the Middle East of the "evil" Western influence, said Lind, who sees the violence in Saudi Arabia as part of a global Islamic insurgency. "When we do a thing like invade Iraq, we are going to have problems on the other parts of the single battlefield our opponents see." Saudi Arabia's state religious doctrine follows Wahhabite Islamic law, which is the ideology driving the fundamentalist militancy of the Al Qaeda network, according to experts. Baer and others say Saudi princes have often thrown money at religious leaders, extremists and otherwise, as a way to control them. "They retain remarkable tools of persuasion," said Jon Alterman, Middle East Program director for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It's a government walking around with a whole lot of money and they can co-opt a whole lot of people." Jim Phillips, Middle East expert at the Heritage Foundation, said the enormous amount of wealth owned by the royal family could help the government fend off an attempted overthrow. "They are in a position to forcefully block a coup or a revolt," he said. "There is a rising disenchantment with the royal family, but the Saudis have shown themselves to be more stable than it appears." Some experts suggest that if the government did implode, the extremists would rush in to fill the vacuum and the United States might have to move in to protect the oil supply in order to keep the world market in balance. Almost all agree, however, that Iraq, which sits on the kingdom's border, could shift behavior and attitudes in Saudi Arabia. Last month, the two nations re-established diplomatic relations after a 14-year hiatus. "If Iraq stabilizes, I see some hopeful signs," said Winbush, as the change would provide an attractive democratic model, and economic opportunities for the Saudi people living in poverty and fear across the border. "The other wild card of course, is if Iraq goes the other way and it descends into chaos," he said. "Then I think then you could see the Saudi regime being replaced by what I call 'The Nasties.'"
Rice: Iran's Nuclear Intentions Worrisome
Aug. 9….(AP) With Iran stepping up its nuclear program, a
top White House aide said Sunday the world finally is "worried and suspicious"
over the Iranians' intentions and is determined not to let Tehran produce a
nuclear weapon. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice also said the Bush
administration sees a new international willingness to act against Iran's
nuclear program. She credited the changed attitude to the Americans' insistence
that Iran's effort put the world in peril. She would not say whether the United
States would act alone to end the program if the administration could not win
international support. Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, announced a week
ago that his country had resumed building nuclear centrifuges. He said Iran was
retaliating for the West's failure to force the UN nuclear watchdog agency to
close its file on possible Iranian violations of nuclear nonproliferation rules.
Israel Still Faces 50 Daily Terror Warnings
Aug. 9….(JNEWSWIRE) The number of Israeli civilians killed in terror attacks in the last four years is nearly equal the number killed by terrorists in the preceding 53, Shin Bet head Avi Dichter told the cabinet Sunday. Dichter told the cabinet that from November 29, 1947, when the UN voted for partition and Jewish statehood, until the start of the current violence in September 2000, some 755 Israelis were killed in terror actions here or abroad. Some 674 Israeli civilians have been killed since September 2000. Dichter said that in 2004, 22 Israelis, or some 30 percent of the total casualties so far this year, have been killed in Hizbullah directed operations, carried out by the (Yasser Arafat’s) Tanzim-Fatah faction. The increased involvement of Hizbullah was one of the trends Dichter pointed out during his briefing. In addition to the increase of Hizbullah involvement in Palestinian terror attacks, Dichter said that there has been a substantial increase in the Palestinian use of women and children under 18 to carry out attacks. If in 2001 women and children took part in some 3% of the attacks, in 2004 they account for some 8 percent of the attacks. Dichter said this statistic reflects both the difficulty the Palestinians are having in successfully carrying out attacks involving men, and that the Palestinians are increasingly turning to "weaker and more impressionable" parts of the population for recruits. He also said that 17% of all Israelis killed since the beginning of the violence were killed in attacks involving east Jerusalem Arabs. While Dichter said Israel has had wide success in stopping suicide attacks, it is still unable to reduce the motivation to carry tem out. Dichter said that since January 2003, Israel has succeeded in foiling 70% of the attempted suicide attacks, and that since January 2004 this number has reached 77%. He said that the number of terror warnings remains steady at about 50 a day. Another sign that the Palestinians are having difficulty carrying out attacks is the increase in the use of Kassam rockets. Dichter said that in 2004 alone the Palestinians fired 168 Kassam rockets, or 40% of all the Kassam fired since they were first put into action in 2001. Dichter also said that 30% of the rockets fired this year were fired since the IDF moved in Beit Hanoun following the killing of two people by a Kassam in Sderot on June 29. Dichter informed the cabinet that in his estimation Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has managed to survive the chaotic last three weeks in the PA and calls for reform by using his 'classic techniques' such as new appointments and promises for reform. He said that even those in the PA who were opposed to these appointments have resolved themselves to the new situation. Dichter said that Yasser Arafat succeeded in diverting the Palestinian public's attention from calls for reform by focusing on perceived threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Radical Islam’s War with Christianity
Aug. 9….(CBN) All over the Muslim world, conversion to
Christianity can mean more than prison. It can be a death sentence. In countries
where Islam reigns, Christians struggle just to stay alive. But Muslims in the
United States and other western countries are protected and free to proselytize.
And Islam is thriving here in America, aggressively taking advantage of western
religious tolerance. Post-Saddam Iraq recently provided a vivid example of the
worldwide double standard that Islam enjoys. It seems some people would
rather let Iraqis suffer than see Christianity offering hope in the midst of a
Muslim population. Iraq is in desperate need of necessities like water,
food, and medical attention, and Christian charities have offered to help with
lifesaving aid. But instead of being applauded, the effort has been attacked as
a cover for Christian evangelization. It seems liberals and Muslims would
rather let Iraqis suffer than see Christianity offering hope in the midst of a
Muslim population. Iraq is in desperate need of necessities like water,
food, and medical attention, and Christian charities have offered to help with
lifesaving aid. But instead of being applauded, the effort has been attacked
as a cover for Christian evangelization. It is as if Christian groups might
share a dangerous virus in Iraq, and not a message of peace and tolerance. There
is little tolerance in the Muslim world when it comes to Christianity. Millions
of Christians have now died from persecution and war in the Muslim world.
Although Saudi Arabia is the geographical heart of Islam, less than one fifth of
the world's Muslims are Arabs. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. And Islam
continues explosive growth in Africa. By one estimate, the number of Muslims in
Africa grew from 34 million in 1900 to 300 million in 2000 [Source: The History
of Islam in Africa]. Christianity in Africa is actually growing faster, but has
not caught up. In 1900, there were 10 million Christians there, and by 2000
there were 250 million [Source: The History of Islam in Africa]. Islam dominates
above the 10th parallel, on a line that splits many nations in half. The
northern portions of countries like Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo,
Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia,
and Somalia are Muslim. Southern parts of these countries are Christian or other
WEEK OF AUGUST 2 THROUGH AUGUST 8
Russia Rebuilding its Mid-east Spy Network
Aug. 6….(GeoStrategy) Russia is rebuilding its spy
network in the Middle East with a focus on Israel and Saudi Arabia. In both
cases, Russia is seeking access to US-origin weapons technology. In Saudi
Arabia, the Russian espionage effort is backed by a diplomatic campaign to play
on Riyad's fears of Al Qaida and the unrest in the kingdom. Russian
diplomats have touted Moscow's capabilities of replacing the US in operating
Saudi oil fields and in providing advanced weapons. Meanwhile, Russian agents
are trying to infiltrate companies to obtain US technology and Saudi secrets.
The Russian effort in Israel is much bigger. In Israel, unlike Saudi Arabia,
Russian diplomats easily blend into the large immigrant population from the
former Soviet Union. Moscow is believed to have established a huge sleeper cell
in Russian immigrant communities and some of them are believed to be trying to
infiltrate government, the Foreign Ministry and the defense sector. Israel's
security agencies have been working overtime to identify and track Russian
agents. But the Russians believe in quantity, and this threatens to overwhelm
Israeli authorities. Last month, Israeli authorities expelled a Russian national
after determining that he was a spy. The Russian was identified as Konstantin
Kapitonov, who had arrived in Israel as a correspondent for the Russian
newspaper Russky Kuryer. What are the Russians looking for in Israel? Western
diplomatic sources believe the focus is Israeli and US technology, particularly
in the area of missile defense.
EU Backs Down on Syrian WMD
Aug. 6….(GeoStrategy-Direct London) The European Union
has eased its demand on Syria to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction.
That's putting it diplomatically. EU sources said Brussels has agreed to revise
a clause in an agreement with Syria that it reduce its missile and WMD arsenals.
The sources said the move came during high-level talks between EU officials and
the regime of President Bashar Assad over the last three months. The EU clause
was to be included in an association agreement with Damascus that would provide
Syria with economic and political benefits. Syria has refused to sign any
accord that committed Damascus to eliminate its ballistic missile and WMD
arsenal. (FOJ Note: Syria likely acquired Saddam’s arsenal with UN
acquiescence) Under the revised accord, Brussels no longer insists that
Syria reduce its ballistic missile arsenal. But a ban on biological, chemical
and nuclear weapons would remain in force. Syria has been the lone holdout in
the EU’s 12-member Mediterranean partnership effort. The United States,
supported by Britain, urged the EU to include a WMD and missile ban on Syria as
part of the partnership agreement. In December 2003, the EU announced that
major negotiations with Syria had been concluded. But Britain, Germany and the
Netherlands opposed Syria's entry until it pledged to eliminate its WMD program.
Syria has developed and deployed the Scud C and Scud D medium-range missiles,
which can reach distances of 550 and 700 kilometers, respectively. The CIA has
asserted that Syria has amassed the largest CW stockpile in the Middle East and
has developed CW warheads.
Al Qaida Seeks 'Hiroshima' Bomb to Attack US
Aug. 6….(Geostrategy-Direct) Al Qaida terrorists are seeking nuclear weapons and plan to carry out a Hiroshima-type attack against the United States, according to the September 11 commission report. The report states that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida have tried to acquire or make nuclear weapons for at least 10 years. "The greatest danger of another catastrophic attack in the United States will materialize if the world's most dangerous terrorists acquire the world's most dangerous weapons," states a section of the report on arms proliferation. The report, based on access to the most sensitive US intelligence on terrorism, states that in 1998 Bin Laden associates believed "their leader was intent on carrying out a 'Hiroshima.' These ambitions continue." The report states that as late as February 2004 Bin Laden and his terrorist group regarded acquiring weapons of mass destruction to be a religious obligation. (FOJ Note: Perhaps Saddam aided Bin Laden in this effort, knowing that the US was intent on finding his arsenal) Al Qaida is seeking nuclear capability and more than two dozen other terrorist groups are seeking chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. A nuclear device could be constructed using a relatively small amount of nuclear material, the report states. A trained nuclear engineer with highly enriched uranium or plutonium "about the size of a grapefruit or an orange" along with commercially available material could make a nuclear device that would fit in a rental van, such as the one used in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. "Such a bomb would level Lower Manhattan," the report states. The report recommended stepping up efforts to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Of Al Qaida's more than 10-year effort to obtain nuclear arms, the report noted, "there is no doubt the United States would be a prime target." "Preventing the proliferation of these weapons warrants a maximum effort.
US Warned: Nuclear Iran Would alter Military Balance in Mid-east
Aug. 6….(Geostrategy-Direct) The Bush administration has been warned of the consequences of an Iran possessing nuclear weapons capability. The warning came during recent testimony before the House International Relations Committee that discussed Iranian proliferation and its implication for terrorist groups. The administration was criticized for failing to prevent Iran from acquiring systems and fuel for producing nuclear weapons and delivery systems. "Iran's unconventional weapons program and its fondness for using terrorism as statecraft have made this pariah state a litmus test of President George Bush's war against terror," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia. "A nuclear Iran, combined with its deep-rooted terrorist infrastructure, is an Iran that must be stopped." [On July 27, Israel confirmed Western reports that Iran has resumed construction of gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told Israel state television that the resumption of Iran's banned nuclear activities began about "two to three weeks ago."] Officials said Iran has been pursuing a covert nuclear program for more than 20 years, including manufacturing and testing centrifuge components and developing lasers to produce highly enriched uranium. Iran also plans to purchase up to six additional nuclear power plants as well as a heavy water research reactor. The CIA has warned that even intrusive International Atomic Energy Agency inspections might not prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons, officials said. The CIA assessment was that Teheran could be using legitimate fuel production to cover up its weapons program. One thing is clear: an Iran with nuclear weapons could significantly alter the regional dynamics and lead to further proliferation in the region; both from other state-sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria, or from US allies which may feel threatened. Iranian nuclear capabilities would change perceptions of the military balance in the region, and could pose serious challenges to the US in terms of deterrence and defense." Iran could obtain plutonium required for nuclear weapons from the Bushehr light-water power reactor, scheduled for completion by 2006. Officials said Bushehr's 1,000 megawatt reactor could produce a quarter ton of plutonium per year, sufficient for at least 30 nuclear bombs. "Would a nuclear Iran sponsor nuclear terrorism?" Paul Leventhal, founding president of the Washington-based Nuclear Control Institute, asked in his testimony to the House subcommittee. "The conventional view is that Iran would not turn over nuclear weapons or the material and know-how for building them to a group it could not fully control. Yet, Iran's record of not only sponsoring terrorism but of using its own intelligence units to work directly with groups like Hizbullah and the Jerusalem Force of the Revolutionary Guard suggests surely the potential for Iran providing nuclear assets to groups it can control." Iranian opposition sources, in an assertion supported by the IAEA, said supreme leader Ali Khamenei has formed a military unit to operate a covert nuclear project parallel to the civilian program run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. The civilian program was meant to deal with IAEA inspectors, while the military project, said to employ 400 nuclear physicists, engineers and technicians, has sought to stop the leakage of nuclear secrets and pursue a weapons program. During the House hearing, Michael Eisenstadt, a leading US expert on Iran, said Teheran could build a nuclear bomb within a year if it obtained fissile material from abroad. Eisenstadt said this assessment assumed that Iran possesses plans for a viable weapon design. "If North Korea were to enter the market as a purveyor of nuclear weaponry, Iran might be able to buy a bomb even sooner," Eisenstadt said. "In the event that Iran's reactor at Bushehr is finished in 2006; as promised by the Russians; Iran could produce enough fissile material for its first bomb within 2-3 years. (FOJ Note: Why would Russia be helping Iran build a nuclear bomb? Ezekiel 38 indicates that Iran will be an ally of Russia when Russia moves into the Middle East against Israel during the late-Tribulation. Russia is seeking to displace the US as the lone superpower in the world and the Mid-east with its oil is key to that ascension to world power. Russia and Europe, as well as China all want a change in the balance of power in the region, and there is only one way to alter the balance of power. The factors that would lead to such a change would involve the diminishment of the US in the region, and an isolated Israel.)
Jesus Is Coming Back....At Any Moment!
Aug. 6….(excerpt from Bill Keller) The trumpeter is warming up. The other day I read the most accurate description of our world today I have ever seen. Let me share it with you: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Actually, this came from God Himself in Romans 1:21-32. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.) If that doesn't describe our culture today perfectly, I don't know what does. Satan, the great perverter, has told the lie enough times that people have now accepted the lie as the truth, and rejected the truth as a lie exactly as God said they would. I know there is much debate and controversy within the Body of Christ as to exactly how the events of the end times will unfold. The Bible clearly teaches that no man, only God knows the hour of Christ's return. But make no mistake, this is not a Hollywood movie, it is a very real event that will take place. One thing is certain, when Christ does return, whatever must take place will quickly unfold and this world as we know it will no longer exist. The Bible clearly tells us what the last days prior to His return will be like. My friend, you do not have to have a Doctorate in Theology to read God's Word and know that without a doubt, we are in the LAST DAYS. In Paul's second letter to his young disciple Timothy, in chapter 3 verses 1-5, he describes the last days. "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Peter also shared the signs of the last days in 2 Peter 3:3, "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires." Jesus commented as well on the signs of the last days in Matthew chapter 24. His disciples asked Him point blank what will be the sign of His return and the end of the age. Jesus answered in verses 4-14, "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. You see my friend, this is why those who know Christ as their Savior have to be busy about the work of the Kingdom. We are clearly in the last days, the night is coming and we must work while it is still light. The imminent return of Jesus Christ is a message you will not hear in the church very often because too many pastors either don't believe He is coming back, or they have lost sight of how soon it will happen. God's people need to not only be ready themselves for Christ's return, but must be busy sharing this Good News with the lost and dying world that we live in. The Bible tells us it is only God's patience that is delaying the last chapter from being played out because it is His desire that none perish and ALL come to repentance.
Islamic Group Tries to Buy Missile Launchers
Aug. 5….(Fox News) Federal agents and Albany, New York police have arrested two men being charged with trying to purchase a shoulder-fired missile. The men may have ties to terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, which has been linked to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terror network, according to law enforcement officials. That link is not noted in court documents, however. Ansar al-Islam has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, kidnappings and killings in Iraq, and has ties to the US-led coalition's most-wanted terrorist there, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The State Department has also declared the group a foreign terrorist organization. "The fact is, there are terrorists among us who want to engage in acts to attack us again and take away our freedom," Gov. George Pataki said in a news conference today. "Our government, our administration in Washington, and local officials are taking this threat to our freedom very seriously and will continue to be aggressive and proactive against those who would wish to do us harm." The arrests were in large part due to tips from the public, Pataki and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings said. Yassin Muhhiddin Aref, 34, the Imam of the mosque, and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain, the 49-year-old founder of the mosque and owner of the local Little Italy Pizzeria, were arrested early Thursday morning at their homes. The person they were allegedly trying to buy the missile from was not a terrorist but an informant participating in a sting operation; no missile ever was exchanged. The informant told the men he was associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of Mohammed), an Islamic extremist group in Pakistan that the US government considers a terrorist organization.
Missouri Voters Ban Gay Marriages
Aug. 4….(AP) Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a
constitutional amendment Tuesday to ban gay marriage, the first such vote since
the historic ruling in Massachusetts last year that legalized same-sex weddings
there. Although the gay marriage ban was widely expected to pass in conservative
Missouri, experts said the campaign served as a key barometer for which
strategies work as the gay marriage battle spreads to ballot boxes around the
nation. At least nine other states, and perhaps as many as 12, will vote on
similar amendments this year. The amendment garnered over 70 percent of the
Missouri vote. Missouri and 37 other states already have laws defining marriage
as only between a man and a woman. But amendment supporters fear a court could
toss aside the state law, and they believe the state would be on firmer legal
ground if an outright ban is part of the Constitution. Louisiana residents are
to vote on a marriage amendment Sept. 18. Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky,
Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah are to vote on the issue on
November 2nd. Initiatives are pending in Michigan, North Dakota and Ohio. Four
states already have similar amendments.
North American Jews Immigrating to Israel
Aug. 4….(AP) Hundreds of North American Jews immigrated to Israel on Wednesday, the second such single-day mass immigration in the past month. The recent arrivals mark what Israel hopes will be a revival of immigration from the West, which dropped sharply after Israeli-Palestinian violence escalated four years ago and the Israeli economy plummeted. The group was brought to Israel by the Nefesh B'Nefesh, "Jewish Souls United Group," working with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government. Offering financial support and planning, the program set a target of bringing 1,500 U.S. and Canadian Jews to Israel before the end of the summer. Three weeks ago, the same organization brought 500 immigrants from North America. It expects another planeload of immigrants next week. Separately, 200 French Jews immigrated to Israel last week, many of them complaining of rising anti-Semitism in France. American Jews have not been similarly threatened. Israeli government statistics show the number of new immigrants dropped by nearly two-thirds between the years 2000 and 2003, because of Arafat’s terror war.
Aug. 4….(Newsmax) Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak personally assured Gen. Tommy Franks that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction within two months of the US's attack, the former Centcom Commander revealed on Tuesday. "The Jordanians have reliable intelligence and sources in Iraq that say, in fact, that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons," Franks said King Abdullah told him. The Jordanian king passed the WMD intelligence on to Franks during a face-to-face meeting in Jan. 2003. The one-time top military man revealed King Abdullah's comments to ABC Radio Network host Sean Hannity, who interviewed Franks for his debut book signing at Huntington, New York's Book Revue. A warning from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was even stronger, Franks said. In his book "American Soldier," the ex-Centcom chief quotes Mubarak saying, "You've got to be very, very careful, general. We have spoken with Saddam Hussein. He is a madman. He has weapons of mass destruction, biological weapons. And he will use them against your troops." "A number of other leaders in the Mid-east told us he had them, too," Franks told Hannity, adding, "If you were president of the United States, could you avoid paying attention to that? "We don't want our kids to fight, Franks told Hannity. "But sometimes they have to fight and when they do, we have to support them," he added, before saluting two servicemen in uniform standing in the back of the room. "It doesn't take a lot of bravery for the general," Franks told the crowd, "but it takes a lot of bravery by guys like those standing right there." The Iraq war commander, who calls himself a political Independent, said he wasn't ready to announce which candidate he's backing in this year's presidential election. But he told Hannity, "I'm leaning towards George W. Bush." Asked about Sen. John Kerry, Gen. Franks responded that because of the war on terror, America now needs its military more than it has in decades. "And we just need to ask ourselves, 'Is Sen. Kerry going to be very respectful of the military of our country?'" But he took umberage at Kerry's decision to protest the Vietnam War while U.S. troops were still in harm's way. "I guess at the end of the day John Kerry will have to live with himself," the former Cent-com chief said. Gen. Franks also took issue with conspiracy filmmaker Michael Moore, who recently challenged Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly to say whether he would send his son off to "die for Fallujah." US troops, said Franks, "are not there to die for Fallujah; they're there to protect the United States of America."
Israel May be Compelled to Pre-empt
Aug. 4….(FOJ recommends this commentary by Rachel Neuwirth)
Iran is moving rapidly towards becoming a nuclear power. The Iranian mullahs have publicly promised to use nuclear weapons to exterminate Israel even if Israel were to achieve peace with the Palestinians. They also claim that Iran, with 70 million people, could absorb and survive any response from Israel while Israel, with only 5.5 million Jews, is vulnerable to devastating losses if only a few of Iran's missiles got through. Each time these Iranian threats were announced, the US administration failed to issue any statement in opposition. (When Saddam Hussein earlier vowed to "burn half of Israel" the US administration also remained silent.) The Iranian mullahs could not have failed to notice the significant American silence and to draw its own conclusions. They can also note that Israel is outside the NATO group and has no mutual defense treaty with the US. If Iran attacks Israel they need not fear any US response. All of Israel's past experiences with America and the UN underscore the reality of Israel's isolation and vulnerability. Some examples include:
These examples illustrate an ongoing pattern of UN behavior
from Israel's birth until this day. The Arabs are always free to commit
aggression and launch repeated attempts to destroy Israel without facing
punishment or even criticism. It appears that the US will always act to restrain
Israel from exercising its full right of self-defense but will never act
decisively to blunt Arab aggression. (because of international pressure)
If Israel concedes to the US pressure it could gravely endanger its security but
if it acts in legitimate self-defense it could face US punishment because of a
consistent US double standard in its foreign policy.
Christ’s Compelling Purpose
Aug. 3….(FOJ-Darrell G. Young) Jerusalem, in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, represents the place where He reached the culmination of His Father’s will, and accomplished as historical fact that God the Father indeed offers his free gift of salvation to all mankind. (All of human history points, either forward or backward to that particular event in Jerusalem) Jesus came into this world to do his Father’s will, and Jerusalem was central to his mission. In Jesus excruciating time of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed the following prayer,”(Luke 22:42-44 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ) Seeking to do his Father’s will was the one dominating concern throughout Jesus life. And whatever He encountered along the way, whether it was joy, sorrow, pain, conspiracy, success or failure, Jesus never ever deterred from his overall purpose, which was to go down into Jerusalem and submit himself to the cross. It was a mission that was foreordained before the foundation of the world So, having submitted to the Father’s Divine plan, Jesus had a date with destiny! For you and me, Jesus steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51-53 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.) The greatest thing for us as Christians today is to be “one with the Father’s purpose” in these Last Days. We talk so much today about feeling God’s presence in our lives, but we all need to be more cognizant of Christ’s compelling purpose for the world as he prepares to send Jesus back into the world, and another date with destiny in Jerusalem. And therein lies the purpose of Prophecy. Christ’s compelling purpose for going to Jerusalem 2000 years ago was to establish the rock of salvation, but his purpose for coming to Jerusalem in the near future is to establish His Kingdom. Amen! Let the world take notice.
Five Reasons Same-Sex Marriage is a Disaster
Aug. 3….(James Kennedy) The wisest man to walk the planet, someone who shaped Western civilization explained marriage some 2,000 years ago. Maybe it’s worth knowing what he said. “Have you not read,” Christ said, “that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” Here we have the short answer why marriage is always the union of a man and a woman and never the union of two men or two women. The Creator said so! And He makes the rules. He designed the different but complementary physical, emotional, and mental, characteristics of men and women that are the stuff of which marriages are made. Vive la difference! For those with ears to hear, God and our nature shout the same message about marriage: “It’s a man and a woman for life.” But for those who dismiss God and nature (not recommended) here are a few more reasons why same-sex marriage is a cultural catastrophe in the making. First, harm to children. Social science research strongly supports the common-sense observation that children do best when raised by their married mother and father. Twelve family scholars surveyed thousands of studies and reached the conclusion that “Marriage [traditional marriage] is an important social good associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike.” Children raised by their married parents are less likely to experience child poverty, commit suicide, commit crimes, suffer physical or sexual child abuse, or to divorce later in life. Three decades into America’s epidemic of fatherlessness, we know that depriving children of fathers damages them and their future. Same-sex marriage will rob children of what they need most: the love and nurture of both a mother and a father. Second, the decline and fall of marriage. Hoover Institution researcher Stanley Kurtz has documented how 10 years of same-sex marriage, or its functional equivalent, civil unions, in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden has led to far fewer marriages and rocketing illegitimacy. Kurtz reports that since legalization of same-sex marriage, 80 percent of firstborn children are born out of wedlock, and 60 percent of children born thereafter are born to unwed parents. That’s bad news for children since unmarried parents are much more likely to split up. “Marriage in Scandinavia is in deep decline, with children shouldering the burden of rising rates of family dissolution,” writes Kurtz. “And the mainspring of the decline, an increasingly sharp separation between marriage and parenthood can be linked to gay marriage.” Third, polygamy and more. Once it is established that two men have the right to marry, it will be impossible to deny that same right to others. If marriage can be redefined as any two men or two women in love, what rational principle precludes extending that logic to polygamy, or any other combination of emotionally attached men, women, or children? If emotional attachment is the only standard by which we judge fitness to marry, then no sexual arrangement is off the table. Family law theorists are pushing in this direction. Kurtz cites, among many examples, University of Michigan law professor David Chambers, who thinks homosexual marriage will help to soften society to other alternatives. “By ceasing to conceive of marriage as a partnership composed of one person of each sex,” Chambers wrote, “the state may become more receptive to units of three or more.” The ACLU, which has announced its support for removing laws against polygamy, will be glad to help. Fourth, say good-bye to free speech. It’s speak now or be forced to forever hold your peace if same-sex marriage is legalized nationwide. That sounds extreme, but the push to stifle dissent is already evident in Canada, where homosexual marriage became legal last year. In April, the Canadian parliament passed a measure criminalizing “hate speech” against homosexuals. The law has a religious exemption, but that is little comfort since a Saskatchewan court has found the Bible to be hate literature. State authorities will soon be required to arrest pastors for “hate speech against homosexuals” if they preach a sermon with biblical references against homosexuality. Forty years after the sexual revolution promised “free love,” but brought divorce, illegitimacy, STDs, fatherlessness, and abortion, the last thing our nation needs is one more misguided social experiment.
Nancy Reagan Endorses President Bush
Aug. 3….(Newsmax) In a statement made yesterday, Nancy Reagan said she was strongly endorsing President Bush's re-election and rejected a published Internet report that she was not backing his run for a second term. Joanne Drake, the chief of staff for former President Ronald Reagan’s office in Los Angeles, said in a statement on behalf of the former first lady, “Mrs. Reagan supports President Bush’s re-election 150 percent.” Published reports have suggested that Mrs. Reagan was unhappy with President Bush for his opposition to taxpayer-funded stem cell research that kills human embryos, which Mrs. Reagan has supported after her husband’s long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. Mrs. Reagan’s son Ron Reagen spoke last week at the Democratic National Convention. He indicated that his mother supported his speech and that she was unhappy with the Bush administration for its stand on embryonic stem cell research. Ron Reagan gave an implicit endorsement to the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Drake, however, noted in her statement on behalf of Mrs. Reagan, “I think everyone would understand that while she may not agree with the president on every issue, this campaign is more than just one issue, it’s about leadership, and she believes that President Bush is the right man for the job.”
NYC, Wall Street, Washington DC on High Alert
Aug. 2….(MSNBC) Five financial centers in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. were under tightened security Monday after authorities found unusually detailed information on a purported al-Qaida plot. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Sunday ordered the terror alert raised from yellow to orange in areas around these five buildings:
The new alert status is based on "new and unusually specific information," Ridge said Sunday. It marked the first time the nation's threat-warning system, devised after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been used to denote threats against specific targets. "The preferred means of attack would be car or truck bombs," he added. Ridge did not elaborate on the intelligence that prompted the change, but said it was specific to certain locations and added that officials believe al-Qaida was planning attacks in advance of the November election. With the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in the city's Madison Square Garden, the city is a high-profile target.
Iraq Insurgents Making War on Christians
Aug. 2….(World Net Daily) In the latest and most dramatic
evidence an all-out jihad has been declared against Iraq's minority Christian
population, car bombs exploded outside at least five Christian churches today,
killing more than a dozen people and wounding scores more in an apparently
coordinated attack timed to coincide with evening prayers. No one knows with
certainty how many Christians live in Iraq because they were not part of census
statistics kept by Saddam Hussein. However, estimates run as high as 10 percent
of the 25 million population. Though news reports today characterized the
attacks as the first against Christian churches in Iraq, they were not. WND has
chronicled the increasing persecution experienced by Iraqi Christians since the
country was liberated.
Kerry Nominee Supports Arafat Regime
Aug. 2….(Frontpage) Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry’s newly appointed Middle East advisor, Martin Indyk, has been working for years to garner American support for Yasser Arafat and his terrorist regime. As the Middle East Advisor to the Clinton Administration, Indyk managed to help Arafat wrest complete control over the Palestinian people through deceit and subterfuge. And now, if he gets his way, American troops may find themselves in the middle of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip-providing cover for Hamas and Palestinian Jihad. The Israeli newspaper correspondent, Natan Guttman, from Ha’Aretz, reported that Indyk has said he expected the Israeli government to pay more serious attention to John Kerry. Sources close to Indyk indicated the Kerry campaign felt miffed that the Israeli government had yet to dispatch its head of state to meet with Kerry, and that the Israeli government was simply too closely coordinated with President George W. Bush. Indyk, who, by the way, is funded by millionaire toy inventor Haim Saban, also catapulted Ehud Barak into his short term as Prime Minister of Israel. Indyk is generally looked upon as the man who planned the Oslo process that gave Yassir Arafat and the PLO armed control over most of the Palestinian Arab population. In 1994, journalist Haim Shibi of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported that in 1987, Indyk had convinced more than 150 members of the US foreign policy establishment that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from territories gained in 1967 Six Day War. Indyk oversaw every step of the disastrous Oslo process with this precise policy in mind of Israel giving up land vital to her defense. And Indyk did not hesitate to misrepresent the intentions and policies of the PLO while doing so. Particularly, the PLO has never adhered to the basic commitment it made to cancel its covenant that calls for the eradication of the Jewish State. In September 1995, with the signing of the second Olso interim agreement at the White House, the US Congress mandated that the US would only be able to provide funds to the Palestinian Authority and provide diplomatic status to Arafat if the PLO covenant was finally canceled. The Palestinians have never done it, yet the foreign aid money kept rolling in to the Palestinian Authority. On April 24, 1996, the PLO convened a special session of its Palestine National Council (PNC) to consider the subject of the PLO covenant cancellation. Our news agency dispatched a Palestinian TV crew to cover that session, which filmed the event. The film crew brought back a videotape that showed a lively discussion, the conclusion of which was to ratify Arafat’s suggestion that the PNC simply create a committee to “discuss” the subject. I rushed the video to Ambassador Indyk for comment, but he did not respond to that request. In addition, he chose to ignore the decision of the PNC and instead to issue a falsified report to President Clinton and to the US Congress that the PLO covenant had been canceled. As a result, Arafat was provided with a red carpet greeting at the White House on May 1, 1996. Thanks to the obfuscations of Martin Indyk, Arafat received the crucial diplomatic recognition and foreign aid that he needed from the US to buttress the PLO. Indyk is on record saying that: “There is no other solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict but to share the holy city." Indyk has also roundly criticized Israel for going after the PLO terrorists, and has regularly stated that the terrorists are working beyond Arafat’s control
Powered by Bravenet