Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Hebrews 10:31 KJV
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Reported: 22:17 PM - Jun/30/09
(IsraelNN.com) The Center for American Progress, an American think tank which has served as a source for several of the Obama administration’s policies, issued a report recommending that control of Jerusalem be taken away from Israel. Operating with the premise that the Old City of Jerusalem is the central problem in the peace process, the report discusses various options for a third-party entity that would replace Israel as its administrator.
A liberal political policy research and advocacy organization, the Center for American Progress’s reports have frequently stated the thinking of the Obama Administration, according to One Jerusalem. Recent articles from the center predicted Obama’s Cairo speech to the Muslim world and attempts to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
However, I was finally led to these words from Isaiah for their assurance, its power, its promise...and it's the Word of God!
God spoke to my heart. May He do the same for you.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
What an awesome God we serve!!!
Psalm 121 (KJV)
1. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
*At the end of the day and after all the speeches, the Palestinian state - and with it the State of Israel - will rise or fall on Jerusalem, the most legitimate and greatest Israeli settlement ever. This is the field where the battle should be conducted. This is where our chances are good of explaining our right and its implementation, from King David's time to 1948 and the Six-Day War, without stammering and without apologizing.
When it comes to Jerusalem, there is no need to mention either natural growth or natural development; what is at stake is nature itself, the nature of our connection to this city and the realization of the right that is rooted in our religion, our history, and 2,000 years of memory and longing, during which the Jewish presence in Jerusalem never ceased to exist.
Half the work has been done for us in recent months by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian media, which no longer have any sense of the absurd extent to which they have magnified their false claims about Jerusalem. It is possible, Palestinian television reported not long ago, that there will be an artificial earthquake that will cause the Al-Aqsa Mosque to collapse because the Israelis were considering carrying out a nuclear test in the Dead Sea. The mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, is sticking with conventional theories concerning "the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque," - whether by "explosives, dropping bombs from the air or from a distance," or "by means of the tunnels." Sheikh Jamal Mohammed Bawatneh, the Palestinian minister of Waqf, is also convinced that the occupation regime is seeking excuses to invade the mosque.
But it isn't only the "Al-Aqsa is in danger" scare campaign that is underway. The Jewish presence in Jerusalem is perceived these days as a desecration of the Muslim character of the city, so the Palestinian narrative is presented in response, with Dr. Marwan Abu Khalaf, the director of the Institute of Islamic Archeology at Al-Quds University, saying that "under every stone and in every corner, on every street and at every bend in Jerusalem there are remains that say: 'We are Arab, we are Muslim.'"
Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Authority minister of agriculture and social affairs, has made it clear for the umpteenth time that the Temple was not located in the Holy City at all, while researcher Dr. Hasan Sanallah has gone back to the days of the 1929 riots, related to disputes over access to the Western Wall, and expresses criticism of the use of the term "Wailing Wall." According to him, "The occupation is falsifying the facts, and it has no right to the Walls of Al-Aqsa."
With such a narrative, it is no wonder that the Palestinian Authority - and not just Hamas - is defining Jerusalem as ribat land, meaning that Muslims are religiously mandated to fight for it and hold on to it, liberating the land for the sake of Islam. This, of course, comes on top of the Palestinians' denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and their revision of the city's history.
It is not difficult to undermine these lies. Indeed, according to many interpretations, the Al-Aqsa Mosque mentioned in the Koran - which many say appeared to Mohammed in a dream - was originally in the seventh heaven of Mecca and Medina, and not terrestrial. Suffice it to say that Al-Aqsa is not mentioned at all in the verses from the Koran that adorn the interior walls of the Dome of the Rock, that Muslims' journey to Jerusalem is always considered a visit rather than a pilgrimage, and that Jerusalem was never the capital of this land in the days of Muslim rule.
But while all this is correct, it is ultimately of negligible importance. The main thing is to tell the Jewish story of Jerusalem again and again - a story that is unequalled, and without which the Jewish people would not have undergone a revival here, in the Land of Israel - to tell it without tiring, without blinking and without getting confused, either by those among us who are mistaken or who mislead others, or by those who pose an external threat.
Friday, June 19, 2009
(Obadiah 15, 17)
For the day of the LORD upon all of the nations is near;
As you have done it shall be done to you…
But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,
And there shall be holiness;
The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
May it be a prayer for Israel in these perilous times, and a comfort for all who trust in the Lord. As you read the words, please dwell on them and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the message of each verse. You will be richly blessed.
Psalm 139 NKJV
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Don left this as a comment on the other post, but I think they are wonderful verses to contemplate in light of the world's opinion of Israel and the direction the leaders of our government are taking with regards to Jerusalem. Jeremiah puts it in definite terms: if the sun and moon cease to be, then so will Israel cease to be a nation... can't spiritualize that away or say it was fulfilled in the past and doesn't mean anything today!!!!
As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.
Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The LORD of hosts is His name):
“If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the LORD,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By Jan Markell
You may think that headline is a strong statement so let me defend it. We have now entered the most serious “perilous times” (II Timothy 3:1) in history. President Obama’s speech in Cairo was a total surrender to Islam and a drastic turn against one of our best allies, Israel.
Because of this one-two punch, America and the rest of the world will never be what it once was. Why? Because Obama is the acknowledged leader of the free world as all American presidents are. And he sent the world of Islam a dramatic message that America wants to be their friend and that America respects Islam—even though they continue to be at war with us.
In his speech in early June in Cairo, there was not a single word about Islam’s well known and checkered past of conquering by the sword. There was no reference to the indoctrination by Islam of her youth to steer them toward violence. There was no reference to the fact that Islamic suicide bombers are blowing themselves up around the world and beheading innocent people. No mention of the “honor killings” against family members who prove to be an embarrassment. And he gave a pass for Muslims to keep stoning their women for various offenses. He also signaled the world that we could go back to a 9/10 mentality.
As Bill Koenig states in his weekly e-newsletter, “Obama complimented them (Islam) for their religion. Both moderates and radicals heard the speech through the lens of Islam and they will use it for their benefit to further their religion throughout the world.” The speech sent a message to the world that Islam should be respected even though as he was speaking, radicals were likely planning evil deeds.
The president stated that Israel has no business attacking Iran. This stretches credulity when you think about it. Who do we think we are to dictate policy that involves Israel’s survival? But this foreign policy statement signaled to the radical Islamic world that they need not fear America! It also emboldened North Korea to continue its escalation of nuclear weapons and to ignore all the West’s warnings, as we’re now paper tigers. So while America fiddles, these evil powers are planning a full-scale nuclear showdown with the West perhaps sooner than we imagine.
It was clear from the Cairo speech that America has taken a new direction with one of its best allies, Israel. The president would rather focus on his Islamic-friendly agenda. Israel is obviously an inconvenience and again, shouldn’t even think about striking Iran who wants her to be history just as Hitler did. Obama went on to rewrite history, suggesting there was a Muslim connection to Jerusalem (and the president will no doubt try like crazy to divide it.)
He then showed his disconnect with reality by equating Holocaust horror with Palestinian rights and alleged mistreatment. He did not chastise the corrupt Palestinian leadership as the root of Palestinian suffering.
Concerning the endless “peace process” in the Middle East, there was no mention of Israel’s efforts via “land for peace.” There was no mention that her Arab/Muslim neighbors tried to wipe her off the face of the map in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006, and 2008. In that speech, the president made it clear that America will stand with the Muslim world and craft policies that will lead to Israel’s destruction—although God will not allow that.
Obama signaled to Israel that she is on her own now. She got the message that her welfare is no longer a priority to American leadership. What matters is holding hands with the Arab/Muslim world—the new focus of American foreign policy.
The world is a far more dangerous place because of that speech. The radicals will plot even more, knowing they will not be held accountable. America will look the other way just like we did when a soldier was killed at a recruiting office in Arkansas a few weeks ago. The killer was a man who had converted to Islam. The press and the Obama administration ignored the story.
What happens when Islam strikes terror on America again? The delusional state of our current leadership thinks that such an incident will never happen now that we are friends with Islam. And now that we’ve turned on Israel, will God remain our Homeland Security Director?
Fasten your seat belt. Extremely perilous times are ahead. Evil was given a green light to go in Cairo. Now would be a very good time to go out and win the lost for Jesus Christ while there is still time. When more than just the economy crumbles around us, hearts will be much more open!
Story link here
There are those who teach that Israel, and Jerusalem, it's eternal capital, are not of importance to the Lord this side of Calvary. They believe that since Israel rejected their Messiah, Yeshua, they are no longer eligible to receive God's blessings. Using Romans 2: 28,29 and Romans 10:11, they teach that spiritual Israel- believers in Jesus Christ-have replaced the Jews, and the only important Jerusalem is the spiritual one mentioned in Revelation. If you have heard these teachings, please search your Bibles and do a study about Jerusalem on your own. Here are just a couple of important passages I have been shown by the Holy Spirit through God's Word.
You cannot read these verses in Zechariah and spiritualize them or say they have already been fulfilled. And these are just two places in the Scriptures!! I have listed a few more for you to look up on your own. Do not be deceived in these last days. Many will seek to dismiss what is going on in Israel, especially as it pertains to Jerusalem, as immaterial to the believer...but nothing could be farther from the truth.
1 This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.'
6 "On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
7 "The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem's inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
11 On that day the weeping in will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
Zechariah 8 is the same way:
1 Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her." 3 This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."
7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. 8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."
22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him." 23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.' "Zechariah 14 is a powerful chapter about Jerusalem in the last days. the Lord says He will gather all nations against Jerusalem. He will fight against those nations and shall be King over all the earth... ONE LORD. Those who are left of those nations will come to Jerusalem to worship Him!
Isaiah has mention of Israel's redemption and Jerusalem's importance to the Lord, for good and bad, in nearly every chapter.
The Psalms are full of verses about Jerusalem.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Israeli military circles are reported by DEBKAfile to be acutely troubled that Mahmoud Abbas may be tempted to accept the advice of his aides. This would mean a revival of the deadly format Arafat devised for PA security forces' members, to act as serving officers a few hours a day and as terror activists the rest of the time. Their new American training and weaponry would certainly enhance their performance in their second capacity. Read the entire article here: DEBKA
Saturday, June 13, 2009
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be going before his nation, and before the world, to deliver his much anticipated foreign policy speech.
The two issues he is certain to focus on are Iran’s nuclear threat and Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs
As he prepares to lay out his vision, this man is under unimaginable pressure to succumb to the will of the entire international community, of many Israelis, and even of his own defense minister, Ehud Barak.
(Barak is the man who, as prime minister in 2000, offered Yasser Arafat everything he wanted, including “east” Jerusalem and the Temple Mount-Israel’s most sacred site Netanyahu gave him the defense portfolio because he is a good soldier, but he is overstepping his brief by dabbling in the diplomatic process. His sights are believed to be set on returning to the prime minister’s chair.)
What the world wants, what left wing Israelis want, what Egypt and all the other Arab and Muslim states want, is for “Bibi” to agree to the two-state-solution: the creation of an Arab state called Palestine on the biblical and historical land of the Jews.
The creation of this, 23rd, Arab state would pose a direct existential threat to the State of Israel. This is not theory or speculation - its a cold, solid, and amply proven fact.
Once they have got Netanyahu to “OK” this as a solution, the way will be open for the nations to implement it, and Israel’s demise (projected by the CIA last month as being no more than 20 years away) will be that much closer.
We know from history that this prime minister is not strong enough to withstand and resist this pressure on his own. And his inability - thanks to Barak - to present his government’s united front to oppose it, makes for some rather grim expectations.
...If you believe in the God of Israel and have faith in His Word, then please join me and pray - between now and Sunday (June 14) - for Him to pour unyielding iron into Netanyahu’s spine and/or that the Lord will generate circumstances and events that will deflect or ameliorate the pressures on the prime minister, enabling him to keep to the path he knows is the correct and best way for his people.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Feeling the squeeze between the US Administration, which wants a moratorium on settlement growth and a commitment to a Palestinian state, and his national-religious coalition, which favours neither, the Israeli Prime Minister appears likely to try to steer a middle course.
Israeli newspapers were full of speculation about what Mr Netanyahu — who has so far refused openly to back a Palestinian state alongside Israel — might offer to deflect pressure from Washington. Ehud Barak, his Defence Minister, urged him this week to recognise a Palestinian state, but members of Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party have cautioned him against the move.
Haaretz, the centre-left newspaper, said that the Prime Minister was likely to mention a two-state solution and pledge to adhere to the “road map” — a US-brokered document that calls for an end to Israeli settlement building and a clampdown on militant groups by the Palestinian Authority. The road map was adopted in 2003 but both sides have accused each other of failing to meet their obligations.
The Israeli media have predicted that when he speaks at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv on Sunday night, Mr Netanyahu will recommend an immediate resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but will also set out some demands, including that the Palestinians should recognise the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
While accepting the road map Mr Netanyahu is not thought to be planning to mention an explicit freeze on settlements, as demanded by President Obama in his keynote speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week.
In conceding to a two-state solution, he may even try to ask the US to relax its demands that all settlement expansions should be stopped — a move that is vehemently opposed by Mr Netanyahu’s national-religious constituency.
Such a compromise would in effect take the peace process back to where it was under the previous centre-left Government of Ehud Olmert, whose resignation amid repeated corruption allegations eventually brought the Israeli Right to power this year. Mr Olmert had pledged to take action against settlements but opponents said that the Jewish communities built on land conquered by Israel in the 1967 war still enjoyed an unprecedented growth spurt while he was in office.
The dilemma faced by Mr Netanyahu will raise uncomfortable memories of his first stint as Prime Minister in the late 1990s, when his fractious right-wing coalition toppled him after he yielded to American pressure to hand over tracts of the West Bank to the control of the Palestinian Authority as part of the now defunct Oslo peace accords.
Analysts noted that Mr Netanyahu appeared to have been taken by surprise by the strength of Mr Obama’s resolve to thwart the growth of settlements.
Members of the ruling coalition, wary of their leader caving in, have cautioned the Prime Minister against giving too much away before negotiations have even resumed. “The US pressure is mainly psychological. One should not forget that the President is not the only one in the United States. There’s the Congress and the Senate, which support Israel,” Miri Regev, a Likud MP, said.
Another powerful member of Mr Netanyahu’s party, Benny Begin, the son of Israel’s first right-wing Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, said that “if the only solution is two states for two peoples, then there is no solution”.
Mr Netanyahu has in the past opposed the creation of an independent Palestinian state, arguing that such an entity would soon fall under the control of the Iranian-backed Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip.
Article source here
My opinion: According to Scripture, the present Middle East confict will not end in a peace agreement, but in war. Any effort by Obama to force a peace treaty will not work. There are major issues that will never be agreed upon by all parties. This conflict has no lasting solution. I believe the Psalm 83/Isaiah 17/Obadiah/Jeremiah 49 prophecies are right around the corner.
By JOHN R. BOLTON from the Wall Street Journal online
Whatever the outcome of Iran's presidential election tomorrow, negotiations will not soon -- if ever -- put an end to its nuclear threat. And given Iran's determination to achieve deliverable nuclear weapons, speculation about a possible Israeli attack on its nuclear program will not only persist but grow.
So what would such an attack look like? Obviously, Israel would need to consider many factors -- such as its timing and scope, Iran's increasing air defenses, the dispersion and hardening of its nuclear facilities, the potential international political costs, and Iran's "unpredictability." While not as menacingly irrational as North Korea, Iran's politico-military logic hardly compares to our NATO allies. Central to any Israeli decision is Iran's possible response.
[John R. Bolton] David Klein
Israel's alternative is that Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs reach fruition, leaving its very existence at the whim of its staunchest adversary. Israel has not previously accepted such risks. It destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981 and a Syrian reactor being built by North Koreans in 2007. One major new element in Israel's calculus is the Obama administration's growing distance (especially in contrast to its predecessor).
Consider the most-often mentioned Iranian responses to a possible Israeli strike:
1) Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. Often cited as Tehran's knee-jerk answer -- along with projections of astronomic oil-price spikes because of the disruption of supplies from Persian Gulf producers -- this option is neither feasible nor advisable for Iran. The U.S. would quickly overwhelm any effort to close the Strait, and Iran would be risking U.S. attacks on its land-based military. Direct military conflict with Washington would turn a bad situation for Iran -- disruption of its nuclear program -- into a potential catastrophe for the regime. Prudent hedging by oil traders and consuming countries (though not their strong suit, historically) would minimize any price spike.
2) Iran cuts its own oil exports to raise world prices. An Iranian embargo of its own oil exports would complete the ruin of Iran's domestic economy by depriving the country of hard currency. This is roughly equivalent to Thomas Jefferson's 1807 embargo on American exports to protect U.S. shipping from British and French interference. That harmed the U.S. far more than the Europeans. Even Iran's mullahs can see that. Another gambit with no legs.
3) Iran attacks U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some Tehran hard-liners might advocate this approach, or even attacks on U.S. bases or Arab targets in the Gulf -- but doing so would risk direct U.S. retaliation against Iran, as many U.S. commanders in Iraq earlier recommended. Increased violence in Iraq or Afghanistan might actually prolong the U.S. military presence in Iraq, despite President Barack Obama's current plans for withdrawal. Moreover, taking on the U.S. military, even in an initially limited way, carries enormous risks for Iran. Tehran may believe the Obama administration's generally apologetic international posture will protect it from U.S. escalation, but it would be highly dangerous for Iran to gamble on more weakness in the face of increased U.S. casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan.
4) Iran increases support for global terrorism. This Iranian option, especially stepping up world-wide attacks against U.S. targets, is always open. Assuming, however, that Mr. Obama does not further degrade our intelligence capabilities and that our watchfulness remains high, the terrorism option outside of the Middle East is extremely risky for Iran. If Washington uncovered evidence of direct or indirect Iranian terrorist activities in America, for example, even the Obama administration would have to consider direct retaliation inside Iran. While Iran enjoys rhetorical conflict with the U.S., operationally it prefers picking on targets its own size or smaller.
5) Iran launches missile attacks on Israel. Because all the foregoing options risk more direct U.S. involvement, Tehran will most likely decide to retaliate against the actual attacker, Israel. Using its missile and perhaps air force capabilities, Iran could do substantial damage in Israel, especially to civilian targets. Of course, one can only imagine what Iran might do once it has nuclear weapons, and this is part of the cost-benefit analysis Israel must make before launching attacks in the first place. Direct Iranian military action against Israel, however, would provoke an even broader Israeli counterstrike, which at some point might well involve Israel's own nuclear capability. Accordingly, Iran's Revolutionary Guards would have to think long and hard before unleashing its own capabilities against Israel.
6) Iran unleashes Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. By process of elimination, but also because of strategic logic, Iran's most likely option is retaliating through Hamas and Hezbollah. Increased terrorist attacks inside Israel, military incursions by Hezbollah across the Blue Line, and, most significantly, salvoes of missiles from both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are all possibilities. In plain violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, Iran has not only completely re-equipped Hezbollah since the 2006 war with Israel, but the longer reach of Hezbollah's rockets now endangers Israel's entire civilian population. Moreover, Hamas's rocket capabilities could easily be substantially enhanced to provide greater range and payload to strike throughout Israel, creating a two-front challenge.
Risks to its civilian population will weigh heavily in any Israeli decision to use force, and might well argue for simultaneous, pre-emptive attacks on Hezbollah and Hamas in conjunction with a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Obviously, Israel will have to measure the current risks to its safety and survival against the longer-term threat to its very existence once Iran acquires nuclear weapons.
This brief survey demonstrates why Israel's military option against Iran's nuclear program is so unattractive, but also why failing to act is even worse. All these scenarios become infinitely more dangerous once Iran has deliverable nuclear weapons. So does daily life in Israel, elsewhere in the region and globally.
Many argue that Israeli military action will cause Iranians to rally in support of the mullahs' regime and plunge the region into political chaos. To the contrary, a strike accompanied by effective public diplomacy could well turn Iran's diverse population against an oppressive regime. Most of the Arab world's leaders would welcome Israel solving the Iran nuclear problem, although they certainly won't say so publicly and will rhetorically embrace Iran if Israel strikes. But rhetoric from its Arab neighbors is the only quantum of solace Iran will get.
On the other hand, the Obama administration's increased pressure on Israel concerning the "two-state solution" and West Bank settlements demonstrates Israel's growing distance from Washington. Although there is no profit now in complaining that Israel should have struck during the Bush years, the missed opportunity is palpable. For the remainder of Mr. Obama's term, uncertainty about his administration's support for Israel will continue to dog Israeli governments and complicate their calculations. Iran will see that as well, and play it for all it's worth. This is yet another reason why Israel's risks and dilemmas, difficult as they are, only increase with time.
Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad" (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Obama Asks Clinton to Assess Israel’s Military
U.S. President Barack Obama issued a directive to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday to reassess Israel’s military strength. The purpose of the assessment is to determine which weapons the U.S. can sell to Israel’s neighbors. The directive reads, “The President shall carry out an empirical and qualitative assessment on an ongoing basis of the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel.” The U.S. provides Egypt with significant quantities of arms each year.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Interior Minister Eli Yishai has begun to make good on a pledge to exploit all the resources of his ministry, "its branches and its influences over local government" to expand settlements in the territories.
Yishai, who is also chairman of Shas, made the promise last Thursday to the heads of the Yesha Council of settlements. His party is concerned by the freeze on construction that has been in effect since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office, which Yishai said is "drying out" the settlements.
Haaretz has learned that Yishai has instructed officials at the Interior Ministry to come up with ways to help the settlers, by allowing continued construction within the major West Bank settlement blocs where building has stopped as a result of American pressure.
“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess, says the Lord”.
— Jeremiah 30:3
Yishai wants to include additional built-up areas within the city limits of towns in the major settlement blocs, effectively expanding those cities' boundaries. Adjustment of the city limits, which is within the purview of the Interior Ministry, can mean the addition of several square kilometers to a locale's jurisdiction - or the subtraction of said amount of land.
Yishai thus plans to ensure that city limits will be calculated in as liberal a way as possible, so that construction can eventually take place in the few additional square kilometers, to accommodate the "natural increase" of the population.
In addition, Yishai is hoping to allocate funding from the "interior minister's reserves" to benefit settlements in the West Bank. These funds, amounting to several tens of millions of shekels, are distributed at the discretion of the minister without having to meet certain usual criteria.
The heads of the Yesha Council said they had the impression from their meeting with Yishai that the minister intended to allocate funding to the settlements from the ministerial reserves to "correct the existing distortion."
Yishai also plans to change the law mandating special funding for outlying communities, which at present discriminates against the West Bank settlements, in his view. He said he wants to ensure that the law will help the peripheral areas, but will also be altered so as not to be biased.
"Settlements in Judea and Samaria have suffered for many years from various forms of discrimination and distortion. I do not intend to examine the reason or figure out who was responsible for this. I intend to correct the situation. I believe that we do not have to be on a collision course with the Americans," said Yishai. "There were understandings with previous administrations in the United States that allowed us to build in keeping with the natural increase and certainly within the limits of the settlements.
He added that, "any steps the United States intends to take in the Middle East will have to be equitable. It is not right to start to enforce the issue of construction and not to make it equitable."
Yishai was careful not to criticize Netanyahu directly. Rather, he aimed his barbs at the U.S. administration while promoting an independent ministerial policy that benefits West Bank settlement.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
In conversations with Israeli officials, senior American officials have made it clear that they want Israel to freeze all plans for expanding the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, and especially in the Holy Basin - the area adjacent to the Old City.
The regional planning and building committee for Jerusalem will discuss the plan Tuesday. It was submitted by the Jerusalem municipality, which owns the land on which the hotel is slated to be built, and the state-owned Jerusalem Development Authority, which will actually construct it. The site in question is in the wholesale market, just east of the Rockefeller Museum.
The Interior Ministry's district planning office told Haaretz that it will recommend the plan's approval.
The plan calls for a 200-room hotel that will be nine stories tall on its eastern face (where the ground is lower). It will also include a commercial building, which will be five stories tall on its eastern face, plus another three stories underground.
The plan will require the existing wholesale market to be demolished, along with a Palestinian kindergarten.
The hotel plan is only one of several proposals for expanding the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem. Another, which would involve evicting hundreds of Palestinians from King's Valley, on the outskirts of Silwan, was approved Monday by the Jerusalem municipality's planning committee despite the opposition of the city's legal advisor, Yossi Havilio.
You go Bibi!! WHO CARES what the American officials want. The US doesn't own Israel and has no right to tell them what to do!! Israel needs to tell the whole world that "Jerusalem is theirs and nobody can have any part of it - period"!
Perhaps Bibi might promise to halt construction, but only if Washington stops expanding its Virginia 5 Points Mall and the new Interstate in Texas.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Axis Of Evil: Did U.S. weakness invite North Korea's nuclear provocations? Like Tehran, Pyongyang has rejected Obama administration diplomatic overtures. Are these rogue states seizing a new opportunity?
Read More: East Asia & Pacific
One of the most jarring of Barack Obama's campaign promises was his oft-stated willingness as president to conduct direct talks with any head of state in the world, without preconditions.
Even if the other party was a brutal dictator, like Kim Jong Il, willing to starve millions of his countrymen; or a Jew-hating Islamofascist fanatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, surely sharing a nice pot of tea in the Oval Office could do no harm.
Endless talk in U.S. foreign policy may have already begun to do measurable harm. This week it was revealed that in spite of Venezuela strongman Hugo Chavez's soulful handshake with President Obama at the Summit of the Americas last month, Chavez's government has been supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program in a policy designed to undermine the U.S., according to the Israeli foreign ministry.
And Ahmadinejad this week rejected a proposal to freeze the progress of Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for there being no new economic sanctions imposed on Iran, ruling out the possibility of talks on the topic with the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, which planned to invite Iran to meet.
At the same time, in his re-election campaign, Ahmadinejad has mischievously challenged Obama to debate him "at the United Nations to discuss problems and world management for peace and participation of all for security and stable peace."
The president will now visit Saudi Arabia on top of Egypt in his trip to the Middle East and Europe next week, so he can discuss Iran's nuclear stubbornness with King Abdullah in Riyadh.
But there is nothing that the Saudis or Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak can say or do that will substitute for a good dose of U.S. realism in dealing with terrorist states.
Tehran senses a new era of blind faith in the powers of negotiation. So does Pyongyang as it undergoes a succession struggle in the wake of an apparent stroke suffered by Kim Jong Il last year.
In Foreign Affairs magazine in 2007, candidate Obama promised, "I will work to forge a more effective framework in Asia that goes beyond bilateral agreements, occasional summits and ad hoc arrangements, such as the six-party talks on North Korea."
The current repressive regime in North Korea clearly has been negotiating in bad faith all along, during both the Bush and Clinton administrations, never intending to get rid of nuclear weapons. Still, for Obama to denounce the six-party talks, which included Japan, China and Russia, was to invite this week's nuclear bomb and missile tests.
The Obama administration seems to believe that offering bilateral talks involving a presidential envoy comes off as so flattering that no tin-pot dictator can resist the prestige it bestows. North Korea's obvious answer: No thanks — nukes will give us even more prestige.
Buying off North Korea with dubious bribes like multibillion-dollar light water reactors (that themselves pose a proliferation risk) and economic aid may no longer be feasible. North Korea is intent on going nuclear, and the U.S. must make missile defense a top priority — one spending program the Obama administration has not been interested in, cutting its funding by 16%.
Meanwhile, what more damage will America's new era of "tough diplomacy" cause in the coming months and years? Will Communist China, for instance, decide that now is the golden opportunity to strike Taiwan? Will North Korea make a move against South Korea? Will Russia under ex-KGB operative Vladimir Putin sense that there will never be a better time to flex its expansionist muscles against its neighboring former Soviet republics?
What, after all, could the U.S. do under any of these scenarios? We are already waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The trouble with believing too much in talk is that your enemies can conclude you don't believe in action.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Hamas West Bank Cells Ordered To Launch Terror War
*DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that Sunday night, May 31, Hamas commanders in Damascus and Gaza ordered all West Bank cells to unleash a terrorist assault on the West Bank with bomb cars, roadside bombs, snipers and missiles. They were told to set their sights on all Palestinian Authority officials including Mahmoud Abbas as well as taking aim at Israeli cities north of Tel Aviv.
Our sources quote the Hamas directive as saying: "From tonight, you must go into action without delay against every Palestinian/Israel target within reach, using all the resources prepared in recent months."
The directive continues: "There are no limits on targets, the more senior, central and important, the better."
Israel's homeland defense authority was notified of Hamas' declaration of war Sunday as it embarked on "Turning Point 3", Israel's largest civil defense exercise ever, designed to simulate simultaneous missile attacks from Iran, Syria, Hizballah from Lebanon and Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
The new Hamas directive placed Sharon towns north of Tel Aviv squarely within its sights. A number of Qassam missiles are believed to be hidden in Palestinian towns in Samaria, northern West Bank.
Hamas leaders' decision to unleash violence was triggered by three events:
1. In 48 hours, the fundamentalist Palestinian terrorists lost two top West Bank leaders in battle. Friday morning, May 29, an Israeli Border Guard counter-terror unit shot dead its Hebron commander, Abdullah Majid Dudin, when he resisted arrest.
Before dawn Sunday, May 31, a special Palestinian Authority unit killed Hamas' northern Samaria commander Muhammad Saman after a seven-hour shootout in Qalqilya.
PA troops also detained 22 members.
Hamas leaders, convinced that Israeli and Palestinian security forces acted in conjunction to liquidate their top commanders, determined not to let this go unanswered.
2. They believe that the Palestinian Authority US-trained security force directed by Gen. Keith Dayton, is not up to much and a determined Hamas offensive would blow the Fatah-led force away on the West Bank as easily as its comrades were defeated in the Gaza Strip.
3. Hamas is worried by the way the US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are cooperating, as their White House talks Thursday, May 28 indicated. Its leaders are also fiercely opposed to Obama's forthcoming address Thursday, June offering America's hand of peace to the Muslim world.
From their command centers in Damascus and the Gaza Strip, Hamas chiefs have concluded that the most effective way to scuttle the US president's Middle East projects and his diplomatic and financial backing for Abbas' Fatah-led administration in Ramallah is to set the West Bank on fire by a wholesale terror offensive against the Palestinian Authority and Israeli urban targets.
Read the article HERE