Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PA Minister Threatens War over Jerusalem

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The Palestinian Authority religious affairs minster, a week before peace talks in Washington, warned of war if Jerusalem is not “returned” to “its owners. And we are its owners."

With PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the audience, Mahmoud Al-Habbash declared in his Friday sermon, "Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars,” according to a translation supplied by Palestinian Media Watch.

Unless Jerusalem "becomes the capital of the Palestinian people, there is no peace," he warned. "The term 'war' will not be erased from the lexicon...as long as Jerusalem is occupied.

“If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war.

"Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace…. Unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem.”

U.S. President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abbas this week, has gradually changed his position on Jerusalem. During his 2008 election campaign, he stated that the city is the "undivided” capital of Israel, but he backtracked the next day after Arab protests.

He explained that it was up to the PA and Israel to decide the borders of the city and later stated that he meant the city should not be divided by barbed wire, as it was during the Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.

In his “reaching out Muslims’ speech in Cairo in June 2008, President Obama said he foresees the United Nations flag flying over the city.

Story source here

So...They are once again warning of a war over Jerusalem if it is not turned over to them? Well, guess what? It will happen soon, and they will be rather unhappy with the results, too. Jerusalem already belongs to its rightful owners, and it always will.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Danger: 3rd Major Earthquake to Iran in 6 Weeks!

This has been a theory of mine for sometime about Iran...that God will cause the destruction of the nuclear facilities and get the glory...of course, Israel will be blamed by the world, but what's new?!  Mid

by Hillel Fendel
A third earthquake in less than six weeks has hit Iran, killing at least three people and injuring 21. The 5.9-magnitude quake hit the city of Damghan in northern Iran, 175 miles east of Tehran, late Friday night. Fifteen villages were reportedly damaged.
Earthquake-prone Iran suffered a 5.7-quake on July 30. Some 300 people in northeastern Iran were injured at the time. Ten days earlier, a 5.8-earthquake hit the south of the country, killing at least one and injuring 32. Hundreds of homes were damaged in both.
Experts have warned that Iran’s propensity for earthquakes, its non-strict building codes, and the fact that several of its nuclear facilities are situated near densely-populated urban areas could have catastrophic consequences for Iran, its neighbors, and world oil prices. Experts estimate that an average of one serious tremor hits the country every day.
Seven years ago, 26,000 people were killed by a 6.6-magnitude quake in the historic city of Bam in southeastern Iran.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Israel's History in Maps!!

It couldn't be any clearer...those who hold to the truth will not be swayed by Arab lies and manipulation...they will put their faith and trust in the Lord God, who promised the Holy Land to the Jews...

The Maps of Israel from maozisrael on Vimeo.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stones ARE Weapons...

Read the Psalms to find out what God thinks of Israel's enemies: Psalm 54 is a good example... Mid
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Arabs launching the first Intifada in the late 1980s and early 1990s won sympathy from foreign media by using rocks and boulders to stone cars, putting the IDF in the position of being charged with using “disproportional force” if soldiers used rifle fire to quell the riots.

The army eventually developed a four-wheeled machine that shot rocks back at the Arabs, who quickly escalated the war with stabbings, sniper fire, suicide bombs and kidnappings that often resulted in death.

Monday’s massive attack, which was ignored by almost all of the Hebrew and English media except for Israel National News, took place on Highway 60, between Hevron-Kiryat Arba and the Gush Etzion junction. It is the only direct highway linking it and Be’er Sheva via the southern Hevron Hills.

Arabs threw the rocks during a funeral for a 17-year-old youth who died Sunday night from wounds suffered in a clash with soldiers last March, who acted after 17 firebombings, roadside explosions and rock-throwing attacks on Jewish vehicles.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Direct Talks For Only One Day

Reporters were scratching their heads Monday as they tried to break through non-answers and flowery talk about the trumpeted “direct talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The discussions apparently will last a total of a few hours in Washington next Thursday.
The United States has billed the talks as the beginning of a process that will end in an agreement on “final issues" such as the borders of a proposed new Arab state headed by the PA, the status of Jerusalem and Arab demands to allow several million Arabs from foreign countries to immigrate to Israel on the basis of ancestral residence in Israel.
A readout of the transcript of the daily State Department briefing reads like a wild goose chase as reporters tried to read through a smokescreen of diplomatic semantics that did not address their questions.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dramatically announced last Friday that the direct talks will take place—after weeks of "indirect talks” that never got off the ground. Instead of dealing with substantive issues, U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell shuttled back and forth between Israel and PA officials to try overcome the issue of the 10-month building freeze on Jewish buildings in Judea and Samaria. 
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded the freeze be extended as a condition for direct talks, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted that good faith would be shown by sitting down without ultimatums. Reporters discovered that the “direct talks” actually will focus on the same freeze issue that was an obstacle to indirect talks.
One reporter asked U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, "What specifically are you doing about this issue, which seems to be the prime issue for the Palestinians? This is the one [issue] that is going to break the negotiations down before anything else."
Crowley answered, "We’re very mindful of the importance the issue is within the negotiation. That’s why we want to get in the negotiation. None of these issues can be resolved outside of this negotiation."
But will the freeze be extended? Crowley hedged his bets and replied, “The direct negotiation begins on September 2, and you can rest assured that this will be among the topics discussed early on."
The frustrated reporter wondered how the talks will result in anything concrete. “You’ve had five – you’ve had a year and a half of absolutely nothing, or a year and three months of nothing, and then five – and then several months of indirect negotiations, during which presumably we all thought that this was the kind of issue that were going to be discussed. Now you’re saying that basically this is not – this hasn’t been discussed at all?”
However, Crowley would not be pinned down on what will happen if Israel does not agree to the PA demand. “We are very mindful of the Palestinian position and once we’re now into direct negotiations, we expect that both parties will do everything within their power to create an environment for those negotiations to continue constructively,” he stated.
"And what happens after September 2?” asked another reporter. “Right now, we’re just focused on the meetings on the 2nd of September,” Crowley explained. “I can’t rule out that they would continue, but I wouldn’t project that based on what we know now. Right now, we’re only projecting a one-day meeting.”
Virtually all foreign media, from China to the United States, have reported the direct talks as face-saving move for U.S. President Barack Obama. He plans to meet separately with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abbas next Wednesday before they sit down together the following day.
The president’s direct intervention makes it more likely “he going to be called upon sooner rather than later to earn his Nobel Peace Prize," Aaron David Miller, an adviser to six former secretaries of State, told USA Today.
David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the news magazine, "When they reach an impasse, and they will, the expectation will be that the president has to come in and fix these things," says Miller, now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "Does he really understand what he's getting himself into?"
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Modest Win for Bibi...for Now

After a year and a half of political stagnation and Israel's increasing international isolation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can claim his first diplomatic achievement - even if it is a modest one.

Direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which are set to re-launch on September 2 in Washington, will begin in accordance with the conditions on which Netanyahu insisted. However, the talks themselves will be Netanyahu's real challenge, when he will be required to make decisions regarding core issues.

Netanyahu's big achievement of the past few months has been his ability to re-direct American pressure: After more than a year of President Barack Obama leveraging heavy pressure on Netanyahu, the U.S. president has begun to apply pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to submit to direct peace talks.

With the help of this pressure from Obama, who has been desperate to achieve a diplomatic victory in the Middle East, Netanyahu got his wish – an American declaration of direct talks with no preconditions. This declaration, as announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, put an end to the Palestinian demand that negotiations be conducted on the condition that a Palestinian state would be established with 1967 borders.

Senior officials in Jerusalem said Netanyahu had clarified to the Americans that his demand for negotiations without preconditions wasn’t only a political stance; it was also a political necessity that would enable him to keep his coalition government intact. Netanyahu had previously agreed with his partners on the right – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as well as Minister Benny Begin and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon – that negotiations would restart with no preconditions. Netanyahu even reiterated this stance in the decision from the forum of seven senior cabinet ministers earlier this week regarding the resumption of peace talks.

With the help of American pressure, Netanyahu also succeeded in rendering essentially meaningless the announcement Friday from the Quartet, which reaffirmed its support for the resolution of all final-status issues. The Palestinians had hoped the European Union, the UN and Russia would be able to hand them a victory by calling for a complete Israeli settlement freeze, but that also did not happen in the end.

The Americans vetoed that demand and clarified that such an announcement would back Netanyahu into a corner and torpedo the negotiations. In the end, the Quartet announcement turned into another international document that lacked bite.

Netanyahu agreed to compromise on one issue – the timetable for negotiations – which also gave the Palestinians something of an achievement. They had demanded a certain timetable in order to bridge their lack of trust regarding Netanyahu's intentions for the peace process. The Israeli premier, who for a year and a half has been trying to prove to the international community that he is a partner for peace, himself recently told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that he believes peace can be achieved within one year. As such, Netanyahu had no problem compromising on the timetable.

Netanyahu's diplomatic victory, however, is a temporary one. U.S. envoy George Mitchell acquiesced to another of Netanyahu's requests – that talks take place with no American mediator in the room – but the administration plans to be especially active in the process. If Mitchell sees that talks stagnating or foot-dragging on Netanyahu's part, he won't hesitate to put American proposals on the table.

In addition, after the celebratory ceremony in Washington, when the essential and Sisyphean talks begin, Netanyahu will be forced to present his first stances on such issues as borders for a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and the future of the settlements. Until now, no Likud prime minister has conducted peace talks to reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinian Authority and has, therefore, never been required to seriously deal with these issues. When this moment arrives, the internal differences of opinion, in all their might, and the tension with the American administration will bubble up to the surface and may even intensify. That moment will be Netanyahu's true test.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jesus Lives on in Jerusalem (YNET news)

                             Inexplicably optimistic (Photo: Guy Assayag)
Some 15,000 Messianic Jews currently live in Israel, but if you saw one on the street you would almost certainly fail to recognize any difference. They honor Jewish circumcision, bar-mitzvah, and wedding ceremonies, but believe Jesus is the messiah.

The small community of Yad Hashmona, near Jerusalem, is home to a number of Messianic-Jewish families. They believe in Jesus – or Yeshua, as they call him – and in the teachings of the New Testament as well as the old. They are Jews in every sense, but for the most part keep this side of their faith to themselves. When these families gather for the Shabbat meal, however, Jesus is the guest star at their table.

Around 350,000 Messianic Jews live in the US, and one would be just as hard-pressed to recognize them there as in Israel. Some are Orthodox, and dress as the haredim do, while others are traditional and wear a yarmulke or no religious symbol at all. They are for the most part Zionists, and see IDF service as a top priority. In the army they serve as pilots, commanders, and elite unit members, but usually make sure to keep their messianic beliefs under wraps.

The fact that Jesus was Jewish is generally agreed upon, but what happened after his death is subject to rancorous theological debate. History books tend to recall the first century as a time of rebellion and prophets in Jewish antiquity, and this was also Christianity's first chapter, bringing about pre-historic inter-religious quarreling and anti-Semitism.

But in separating between Jews and Christians, history largely ignores the story of those Jewish people who believed Christ was the messiah and continued this tradition well after his death – the ancestors of the Messianic-Jewish faith in modern times.

Jonathan Bar-David is a 30-year old Messianic Jew. He attended secular Israeli schools, served as a paratrooper in the IDF, and then went on to travel before settling down to study engineering at the Technion in Haifa. But before all this, he was educated on the teachings of Christ in Yad Hashmona.

"When I was little only my closest friends knew I was a believer," he says. "But in high school, when I was ready, I revealed it to my entire class."

Bar-David married a non-Jewish member of his community, so according to the halacha his children are not Jewish. He says that if he could he would have them converted, "but the rabbinate will never agree".

Bar-David explains how he is able to maintain his faith while living in secular Israeli society. "We don't exactly have secular and religious people (in our community)," he says. "Faith in Yeshua is personal. If you decide to be secular, that's a very significant statement. It's a disconnection. As a child growing up in a messianic family, one of the main missions is to understand that Yeshua is the messiah who came into being according to prophecies in the Torah. We are Jews. The Torah is a basic principle for us."

Nevertheless, he says, there are many daily tasks required by the messianic religion. "There are a lot of prayers – before a meal, before traveling, before bed," he explains. "A messianic family has some ten prayers thanking Yeshua the messiah."

The Jewish rites, or mitzvahs, Bar-David performs are also plentiful, and do not always conform to those of religious Jews. He doesn't work on Saturday, but can light a fire. He attends prayers at his community and even teaches the Bible to younger members. He fasts on Yom Kippur, but doesn't keep kosher.

"Yeshua says human beings need to pay more attention to what comes out of their mouths than what goes in," he explains. "There are those who want to maintain Jewish identity through symbols, but I, like many Israelis, don't feel the need. I am a Jew who lives here, rejoices and laments Jewish and Israeli occurrences. I don't need any proof."

Despite his faith, Bar-David adamantly rejects the label of a missionary. But, he says, "Just as God wanted others to know of his glory, I want to tell others about my faith. There is controversy among Messianic Jews about the spreading of our religion, but many do not like the idea of missionaries."

'Faith is more important than religion' Lihi Einav is a 52-year old student of Second Temple Literature at Bar-Ilan. Until the age of 35 she was totally uninterested in religion, and busied herself with the healing profession. But then she met a British couple who gave her a copy of the New Testament, and she was immediately captivated by Christ's powers as a healer. Later she became interested in the Old Testament as well, and her path to Messianic-Judaism became clear.

Einav immediately came face-to-face with the lack of female leadership in her newly-acquired faith. But she visits one of the community's centers in Jerusalem once every two weeks.

"Faith is more important than religion," says Asher Interter, a 57-year old messianic rabbi in Jerusalem. Interter grew up in a haredi family in Washington, and studied Asian philosophy and religion at Harvard.

When he came of age in the '70s, Interter decided to delve into every religion he could think of, "aside from Christianity, which didn't interest me," he says. He finally decided Messianic-Judaism was most suitable for him.

Now he performs all of the Jewish Orthodox rites but, he says, as he sees them. Interter perceives Messianic Jews as the followers of first-century Jews who dispersed after the destruction of the second temple, and Christianity as the erroneous development of the messianic faith among non-Jews. "They were wrong and we must now lead the movement to fix this mistake," he says. "It is our global mission."

Interter describes a growing population conforming to these values in Israel, with 120 new community members and counting. "The new members are secular people looking for God without the need for rites, or members of the religious population who want to be free but still maintain God's presence in their lives," he says.

In Interter's eyes, the prophecy of the messiah came true in 1967, with the Jewish conquering of Jerusalem. "The New Testament talks about the destruction of the temple, a long exile, and finally the return to Zion, and that is exactly what happened," he explains. This may seem a political view to some, but Interter rejects this. "We have no political view," he says. "But we read the Bible and see Jerusalem as our sacred city." This perception leads inevitably to Zionism, and Interter's sons are products of this, having all served in elite army units.

For a community living under the perpetual wrath of the haredim, who for the most part alienate and discriminate against them, Messianic Jews remain inexplicably optimistic. Perhaps it is because they still follow in the footsteps of that Galilee-born Jew who wandered into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, the one who believed in turning the other cheek.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Monday, August 16, 2010

On The Brink

By Jan Markell

August 16, 2010
Something major is in the works and it is very likely not good. So many have said Iran will be "ready to go" within days as it concerns her nuclear capability that it has become a bit like crying wolf. Few pay attention anymore.
Well, you'd better listen up. 
The Jerusalem Post reports that Russia will start loading uranium fuel into the nuclear reactor of the Bushehr nuclear power station in Iran on August 21. This is the crucial step in outfitting Iran with nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Russia says the latest U.N. sanctions against Iran will not affect the Bushehr project. This project was slated to happen in late September but now we are just days away from the point of no return. Israel must decide what she will do, and quickly.  
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News that, "Once the fuel rods are loaded it makes it essentially immune from attack by Israel. Because once the rods are in the reactor, an attack on the reactor risks spreading radiation in the air, and perhaps into the water of the Persian Gulf."
The story immediately became front-page news in Israel, which has laid precise plans to carry out an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Bolton made it clear that it is widely assumed that any Israeli attack on the Bushehr reactor must take place before the reactor is loaded with fuel rods. If that is the case, Israel must act before August 21.
I often hear Yoni the Israeli blogger on the Hugh Hewitt program. In a recent blog, he suggested war is imminent for the following reasons:
1) Hizbullah has dug tunnels into northern Israel. Hizbullah also has 60,000 rockets, many with chemical warheads. Israel has delivered letters to the U.N., Lebanon, and USA, showing where Hizbullah has hidden rockets in civilian areas.
2) Israeli satellite has captured photos of submarines off-loading weapons to Hizbullah in northern Lebanon. Intelligence later showed these weapons were special chemical weapons engineered to eat through protective equipment. This agent may now be loaded onto Hizbullah rockets.
3) The Israel Air Force (IAF) is training in long- range missions, jets, and helicopters, which would suggest commando raids a long way from home. Additionally, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) reserves have been called up and are being trained at an abnormal pace.
4) Israeli subs are sitting off Iran and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has an airbase in Saudi Arabia.

5) Israeli intelligence has captured data showing that Hizullah will preemptively attack Israel at month's end.  The objective is to take out IAF bases so Israeli planes cannot hit Iran.
While at first glance Americans think this will not affect them all that much, I am taking some thoughts from my frequent radio guest, Bill Salus, who has written the book Israelestine. Salus states, "Iran's apocalyptic-minded president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has publicly threatened the closing of Hormuz in retaliation for an Israeli or American strike upon his country.
"Additionally, two significant correlating events made the news in May, 2010. First, the Islamic Republic of Iran warned that it would launch terrorist attacks and suicide strikes inside of America in the event of a strike upon Iranian soil. Second, the Iranian Navy conducted a massive war exercise in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, called 'Judgment Day.' This drill reportedly demonstrated Iran's sole and sovereign ability to control those strategic bodies of water."

Salus continues, "Regarding the possibility of Iran playing the 'oil card' against America, on September 15, 2009 The Wall Street Journal published a Bret Stephens article entitled Obama Is Pushing Israel Towards War. In the article Stephens suggested that a Middle East War could push the price of oil up to $300 per barrel. Lately, on average, that precious black gold has been closing between $70 to $80 per barrel. Stephen's estimate suggests an oil-dependent world could be about to experience a spike at the pump of about four times the present amount. Iran still ranks number two behind Saudi Arabia in the OPEC oil cartel, which is responsible for two-thirds of the world's oil supply."

Are Americans, Chinese, Europeans, and others ready for such a steep increase? Americans could expect to feel pain in the waiting lines at the pump and in their pocket books, as increased transportation costs would certainly be reflected in the price of goods sold over the retail counters across the country.
When this strike actually happens, tomorrow or next year, the world will react -- as it did after Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak facility in 1981 -- with universal condemnation. Israel can do nothing right -- including take out a major de-stablizer of the world -- Iran's nuclear capability.
And just where will America be in this scenario? Would she participate with Israel? Even Saudi Arabia is participating, by allowing Israel to use a Saudi air base.  But don't count on our current White House or State Department to do anything but join the condemning chorus.  As George Will says, "Will Israel do what the world won't? If it attacks Iran, the world was warned. If not, the world may regret it."

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Russia: Iran's nuclear plant to start next week

Aug 13, 7:08 AM (ET)


MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's nuclear agency said Friday that it will load fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant next week, defying U.S. calls to hold off the start of the launch.

Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov said Friday that uranium fuel shipped by Russia will be loaded into the Bushehr reactor on Aug. 21, beginning the startup process.

"From that moment the Bushehr plant will be officially considered a nuclear-energy installation," he told The Associated Press.

The United States has called for Russia to delay the startup until Iran proves that it's not developing nuclear weapons. Russian officials said that the latest U.N. sanctions against Iran won't affect the Bushehr project.

Russia signed a $1 billion contract in 1995 for building the Bushehr plant, but it has dragged its feet on completing the project for years.

Moscow has cited technical reasons for the delays, but analysts say Moscow has used the project to press Iran to ease its defiance over its nuclear program.

Novikov said that Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko will travel to Bushehr in southern Iran for the Aug. 21 ceremony, which will also be attended by the Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in March that the Bushehr plant would begin operating this summer. Some Iranian lawmakers have accused Russia of delaying the project under the Western pressure.

Story source here

Israel has said they would not allow that to happen. Since it would appear that Iran has now reached the point of no return, Israel must destroy Iran's new nuclear plant within the next seven days - unless they have had a change in strategy.

The clock is moving forward...tick...tock...tick...tock.

We all need to be in prayer for Bibi and Israel.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bibi Stands His Ground on Peace Talk Agreements

Boy, do we need to pray wisdom for Bibi right now!!!
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday rejected a Palestinian demand that direct negotiations be based on a statement by the Quartet confirming its position that the future Palestinian state will be based on the 1967 borders.

Meeting in Jerusalem with U.S. envoy George Mitchell, Netanyahu repeated his demand for the renewal of direct talks without preconditions. Mitchell briefed Netanyahu on his meeting on Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and gave the prime minister the Palestinian proposal.

According to Palestinian sources, Mitchell did not dismiss Abbas' proposal. Abbas is demanding a clear framework for the direct talks and an Israeli commitment to cease construction activity in the settlement during the negotiations.

The Quartet - the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia - issued the statement after a meeting in Moscow on March 19. It calls for 24 months of talks between Israel and the PA that would result in an agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The statement said that the founding of the Palestinian state would end the occupation that began in 1967. It also called on Israel to institute a total freeze of construction in West Bank settlements and to refrain from home demolitions in East Jerusalem. The declaration even went so far as to mention that the international community does not recognize Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem.

Senior officials in Jerusalem who are involved in the efforts to renew direct peace talks said yesterday that Abbas' latest formula was unacceptable to Netanyahu because it sought to impose preconditions that the Israeli public would oppose.

Mitchell told Netanyahu that Washington has not taken a position on the proposal yet, noting that his job was simply to present Abbas' offer to Israeli. The U.S. envoy told Netanyahu that Abbas indicated to him that if Israel were to accept the offer, he would be ready to enter direct talks immediately.

After Netanyahu's rejection, it appears that Mitchell's latest visit to the region has ended in failure.

According to Palestinian sources, the United States rejected two earlier proposals put forth by Abbas to jump-start direct talks. One called for U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials to meet in order to reach agreement on a framework for direct talks. The other called for U.S. President Barack Obama to issue a statement spelling out the terms of the framework.

Palestinian journalists who met with Abbas this week said they came away with the impression that he is determined to move forward in negotiations with Israel but will not back down on long-established Palestinian positions. Despite international criticism of his refusal to begin negotiations, Abbas is insistent on an agreed framework for discussions prior to the start of direct talks.

An editorial in yesterday's New York Times urged Abbas to renew talks with Israel, warning him to avoid a clash with Obama, who is keen to see the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

In his meeting with Palestinian journalists Abbas urged them to meet with their Israeli colleagues, after the main journalists' union in the West Bank failed in its campaign to boycott all contacts with Israeli reporters. Abbas told the Palestinian reporters it was important for them to continue their dialogue with Israeli journalists.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Penetrating Hamas...Repercussions for Traitors

News stories about bodies found at sea are occasionally published by Gaza newspapers. The number of such bodies isn't huge, yet not all those drowning victims chose to go swimming voluntarily. The Gazans who found their death at sea include mid-level officials at sensitive government ministries, the Interior Ministry for example, alongside police and security officers.

Some of them were shot in the head before being sent on their swim.

There is a common denominator to these deaths: All of the victims were designated as traitors by the secret service of Hamas' military wing in charge of counter-espionage and executed as collaborators.

And these are not just simple collaborators, but rather, people who penetrated deep into Hamas' government; so deep that Hamas leaders are embarrassed to expose the failure and prefer to make these people disappear, with or without a brief court-martial.

'Kids, turn in your parents'

Gaza's streets are teeming with rumors. Stories of people who disappeared at sea or elsewhere stay on the agenda. The whole of Gaza, as if amok-stricken, takes part in the hunt. Posters urging a war on collaborators hang in the streets; the issue is discussed on the radio and during sermons at mosques. In the upcoming school year, the topic will be added to the curriculum, with Gaza children learning about the dangers inherent in collaborators. Teachers will be asked to explain what good, suspicious children do: Turn in their parents.

This huge manhunt is not a sign of strength, says a senior Israeli security official – the opposite is true. These are clear signs of distress for Hamas' regime.

The more time passes from the Turkish flotilla and easing of the blockade, the more blurred Hamas' achievements become. Despite some success stories, the list of failures is much longer: The group failed to breach the naval blockade, failed to breach the obstacle of global recognition (Hamas flirts with the Norwegians and Swiss, who make great promises without the ability to deliver,) and failed to breach the obstacle of Arab recognition. In fact, the Arab League recently permitted Mahmoud Abbas to embark on peace talks with Israel.

Indeed, Gaza residents get 30-40% more goods than they did before the flotilla and the standard of living is rising. However, they continue to live in a cage. They may have a little more food and enjoy a little more luxury, but it's still a cage. Meanwhile, the religious pressure keeps building up inside the Strip. Religious laws are becoming stricter and expand: Beardless men feel unease, while women are not allowed to smoke nargilas and must don a burqa, and so on. Gaza's streets are becoming Iran-like, to the chagrin of many Strip residents.

Old Palestinian complex

In late May, three people were publically executed after spending long months in jail and being accused of collaboration with the Shin Bet. Shortly thereafter, Hamas announced "40 days of mercy" where all collaborators were urged to turn themselves in and win a pardon. Twenty people complied with the request. During these 40 days, Hams sent thousands of text messages, urging their recipients to come clean and promising that they will be granted amnesty.

The 40 days ended on July 10th. Hamas granted the undecided another 24 hours, and immediately after that – and up until now – embarked on a major campaign of arrests and manhunts for the people blacklisted by the counter-espionage unit. This unit, which reports directly and exclusively to Ahmed Jabari and Mohammad Deif, comprises professionals who were trained not only in Syria and Iran. The Gaza "students" undergo orderly courses on espionage and counter-espionage, learning among other things about coded communication systems. For example, they are being taught about the alleged breach of Lebanese phone networks by Israel.

The manhunt for collaborators follows the lessons drawn in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. Hamas was surprised to discover how deeply it was exposed to Israel's intelligence services and decided to address the problem. Israel would do well to understand that despite what we want to think, both Hamas and Hezbollah excel at drawing lessons. For example, any cell that is nabbed and jailed by Israel undergoes a debriefing with the help of more veteran prisoners: How were we nabbed? Who screwed us over? The conclusions are disseminated once they're reached.

Collaboration with Israel or with other foreign elements is an old Palestinian complex. The number of Palestinian collaborators throughout history is immense. The sociologists within the intelligence community attribute this phenomenon to the culture of survival. The next phase in the manhunt for collaborators will be public trials, to open simultaneously to more waves of arrests

It is impossible to estimate the extent of the damage to be suffered by Israel – if at all – as result of the campaign, yet it appears that Israel contributed quite a bit to the launch of the manhunt. Following Operation Cast Lead, security officials here boasted that each IDF division commander was escorted by a Shin Bet man who provided real-time intelligence information elicited from Palestinian sources. The stories about real-time alerts regarding snipers, roadside bombs, or ambushes infuriated Hamas.

In retrospect, the Israeli boastfulness came at the expense of live agents in the field. Meanwhile, these days too, when the Air Force strikes a building and kills a terror suspect, we can assume that someone pinpointed the location and the suspect. Sometimes, technology just isn't enough.

Hamas power struggle

Meanwhile, Hamas' frustration already comes with a price: The recent rockets fired at Ashkelon and Sderot were shot by Hamas' military wing, without notifying the group's political leadership. There is no doubt that this fire aimed to destroy the calm and reignite the conflict against Israel.

Hamas' military wing, headed by Ahmed Jabari, is embroiled in a dispute over the proper struggle strategy with the political leadership, headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The political, pragmatic leadership prefers a PR struggle in the international arena. The Turkish flotilla boosted this camp considerably, but two months have passed since then and the military arm is pressing for an end to the impasse, arguing that time plays in Israel favor.

The Air Force's response to the latest rocket attacks was harsh enough to make it clear to Hamas' political branch that Israel has no interest in the stories about Haniyeh's inability to contain the military wing. The Hamas leader realizes that the response to the next rocket attack would exact an even higher price. For now it appears that the message was received and that the calm shall prevail. If it doesn't, the IDF is preparing an even more painful blow.

However, Hamas suffered a greater embarrassment following the delusional rocket attack on Eilat, which ended up killing and wounding people in Jordan's Aqaba of all places. Last time Jabari and his men carried out such attack, in April, nobody claimed responsibility. It took Egypt a few days to admit the attacks originated in its territory, and now it faces a problem: How to explain to Hamas that one does not play games with Egypt or pushes it into a corner?

The immediate slap to the face was sustained by Hamas' military leadership, which seeks ways to resume its dialogue with Egypt. Mubarak will not forgive the embarrassment he suffered, and Jabari's gamble may cost Hamas dearly.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Prayer For Israel (Psalm 83)


This outstanding video uses the words of Psalm 83 along with photos and a vocal music accompaniment to illustrate the psalmist's fervent prayer for Israel's deliverance from her enemies.

The video is beautifully done. It is a "must see" not only for its historical truth, but for its prophetic significance as well.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Iran Threatens Region--Citizens Convert to Christianity

AP photo 

While I am reading the Word and seeing what has been prophesied for Iran and all nations who come against Israel, and know that an attack on Iran will most likely happen, I know there are hundreds of Muslims in that country who are coming to the truth and converting to Christianity. Please pray for them. Some were arrested just this last week. Many are being targeted for persecution. We need to uphold them with our prayers!! Mid

  Iran will make the Persian Gulf a war zone unsafe for all nations if the US attempts to attack its nuclear program, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards Yadollah Javani told the official IRNA news agency on Sunday.

"If the American make the slightest mistake, the security of the region will be endangered. Security in the Persian Gulf should be for all or none," Javani was quoted as saying to IRNA by AFP.  He added," We will defend ourselves if American or Israel resort to any hostile measures against our vital values."

Javani's statements came after the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff announced on Sunday that the US military has a plan to attack Iran, although he added that he thought a strike was probably a bad idea.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the highest-ranking US military officer, has often warned that a military strike on Iran would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same time, he said the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon was unacceptable.

Mullen would not say which risk he thought was worse. But he told NBC television program "Meet The Press" that a military strike remains an option if need be.

He added that, should it come to that, the military has a plan at hand. He didn't elaborate further.

Mullen said very directly in his February visit to Israel that he opposed Iran's acquisition of a nuclear capability. However, he also warned Israel tellingly of the “unintended consequences” of a military strike.

During a press conference at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Mullen said, “From a policy standpoint, Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon, [or] nuclear capability.”

He added, “I’ve also been clear, them getting a weapon and/or the outbreak of a conflict would be a big, big problem for all of us. And I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike, that are pretty hard to be specific about in a pretty volatile region that’s pretty hard to predict.”

Yaakov Lappin and Haviv  Rettig Gur contributed to this report.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua


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