News for July 16, 2006

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Zechariah 12
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

Why do I open this news with this passage? Because we may just see this prophecy fulfilled very soon. Israel is a nation again and it is a burdensome stone to everyone and God will defend her. Ezekiel 38, 39

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Israel is at War, Says Israeli Ambassador (July 13, 2006) - Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, was hit by 2 long range missiles, launched from Lebanon on Thursday, in a “major escalation” in the Middle East. According to a report on FOXNews, Israel retaliated against Hezbollah by blasting the runways and fuel tanks of Beirut’s International Airport, for a second time on Thursday, after two long range missiles hit the city of Haifa, Israel. “Israel’s objective is to win this war,” said Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. President Bush told reporters he was concerned, but that Israel has the right to defend itself. “The soldiers need to be returned,” the President added, in reference to the kidnapped Israeli reservists. “It’s really sad where people are willing to take innocent life in order to stop that progress (for peace). As a matter of fact, it’s pathetic.” (Photo: missiles hit Nahariya.) For more information on this volatile situation, follow the link below. more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Israel believes they are at war. Their very survival as a nation is at stake in their eyes because they don’t have faith in God’s promises. Zechariah 12 Iran is imbedded in the attempt to wipe out Israel and Russia is supplying arms to the Islamic nations to fight Israel. The stage is set for Gog/Magog. Mark 13:37

The state of Islam in Britain (July 12, 2006) - The London transport bombings of July 2005 prompted no less than eight surveys of Muslim opinion in the United Kingdom within the year. When added to two surveys from 2004, they provide in the aggregate a unique insight into the thinking of the nearly 2 million Muslims in “Londonistan.” The hostile mentality they portray is especially alarming when one recalls that London’s police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, recently said that the threat of terrorism “is very grim” because there are, “as we speak, people in the UK planning further atrocities.” The 7/7 attacks: About one in 20 British Muslims has voiced overt sympathy for the bombings a year ago. Separate polls find that between 2 and 6 percent endorse the attacks, 4 percent refuse to condemn them, 5 percent believe the Koran justifies them, and 6 percent say that the suicide bombers were acting in accord with the principles of Islam. Without endorsing the attacks, far larger numbers show an understanding for them: 13 percent say the 7/7 suicide bombers should be regarded as “martyrs,” 16 percent say the attacks were wrong but the cause was right, while 20 percent feel sympathy for the “feelings and motives” of the attackers. A whopping 56 percent can see “why some people behave in that way.” Help the police? A worrisome number of Muslims would not help the police if they suspected a fellow Muslim was planning a terrorist attack, ranging in different surveys from 5 to 14 to 18 percent. more...
| Islam |

Islam is spreading fast all over the world. What better group to utilize to control the world under one man who they worship as a god? They’re awaiting their 12th Mahdi, who will convert all to Islam throughout the world.

Will Europe will be Islamic by the end of this century? (July 12, 2006) - Al Fath Mosque is in a scruffy immigrant neighborhood not far from the neon-lit kitsch of Pigalle. On Friday afternoons the mosque is jammed, and the overflow of worshipers - all men - spills into the streets. Tourists who stumble on the scene reflexively reach for their cameras, struck by this unusual public manifestation of religiosity in a country where Christian belief has become passe. In France and in almost every other European country, Christianity appears to be in a free fall. Although up to 88 percent of the French identify themselves as Roman Catholic, only about 5 percent go to church on most Sundays; 60 percent say they “never” or “practically never” go. But Islam is a thriving force. The 12 million to 15 million Muslims who live in Europe make up less than 5 percent of the total population, but the vitality of their faith has led some experts to predict that Islam will become the continent’s dominant faith. Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis, the dean of American Middle East scholars, flatly predicts that Europe will be Islamic by the end of this century “at the very latest.” more...
| Islam |

I believe it just might be Islamic a lot sooner than that.

Erdogan affirms Turkey’s meeting with Hamas in Syria (July 12, 2006) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan confirmed Wednesday that his advisor, Ahmet Davutoglu, met with head of Hamas Politburo Khaled Mishaal in Syria last week. Erdogan’s confirmation came in an interview with NTV television, conflicting with the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Erdogan’s spokesperson, who both denied that Davutoglu met with the Hamas official in Damascus. “I sent my special envoy (Davutoglu) to Damascus to meet with the Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad,” said Erdogan. Syrian officials affirmed during meetings with Davutoglu that the abducted Israeli soldier was not in Syria and that they had no knowledge of the operation, said Erdogan. “We, then, understood that the issue is at the hands of the Palestinian government, Hamas,” Erdogan explained. He said that US President George Bush and Israeli premier Ehud Olmert recommended Turkey’s meeting with Khaled Mishaal of Hamas and as a result Turkey has been in contact with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Olmert.
| Gog/Magog | Islam |

Turkey is one of the last named players in the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel.

Non-Addictive Painkiller Derived from Pacific Snail, 1,000 Times More Potent than Morphine - Now Available in Great Britain (July 11, 2006) - Baldomera Olivera, a scientist and professor at the University of Utah, has been working over 20 years to find a new painkiller and the fruits of his labor are now coming to pass. Available this week in Great Britain, Prialt -- or ziconotide -- is a non-addictive painkiller derived from the venom of Conus magus, a two-inch snail found in Pacific coral reefs, and it is reportedly 1,000 times more potent than morphine. According to a report in the Times UK, it is the first non-opioid painkiller using this method of administration to be approved in Europe.(Photo- Magicians’s Cone snail - Times UK) Professor Olivera, who was born in the Philippines is said to have collected the shells of the snails as a boy, then went on to study them. The venom itself was discovered by a teenager, Michael McIntosh, who started to help with the research soon after leaving school. Now, says reporter Nigel Hawkes, 25 years later, he is a research psychiatrist at the University of Utah and still works with Professor Olivera. more...
| Technology |

First Veto of Bush Presidency Expected if Senate Passes Embryonic Stem-Cell Research Funding (July 11, 2006) - As reported on the Drudge Report, according to Karl Rove, President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. “The president is emphatic about this,” Rove is quoted as saying in a meeting with the editorial board of The DENVER POST. more...

Two Meteorites Hit Norway in One Month, Scientists Call Recent Incident “Sensational” (July 11, 2006) - A report from Norway’s Aftenposten begins: “A meteorite weighing around two kilos landed right in the yard outside Bjørn Herigstad’s home in coastal Jæren, western Norway, over the weekend. It’s the second meteorite-landing in Norway in a month, and experts are calling the incident sensational.” Herigstad says that when he went outside Sunday morning, he found a crater on his property, about 25 centimeters deep. “I couldn't understand why there was such a hole and just started filling it in,” he said, adding that he found an “unusual stone” a few meters from the crater. Per Amund Amundsen of the Stavanger Astronomy Society said, “This is a bit of a sensation. It’s not unusual that a meteorite of this size would have created such a hole. This is incredibly exciting.” Knut Jørgen Ødegaard, an astronomer at the University of Oslo, agreed that the meteor at Jæren over the weekend “is very special. What’s sensational is that it fell so close to a house. That’s extremely unusual.” Herigstad, notes reporter Nina Berglund, isn’t sure what he’ll do with the meteorite, which a “quick check on the Internet” revealed prices listed as more than $100,000. “We had just been wondering whether a cabin we’re building is getting too expensive, then this falls out of the sky,” he said with a laugh. more...

Turkey pledges $1 million to Palestinians, says donations will help create state (July 10, 2006) - Turkey signed an agreement Monday to give $1 million to Palestinians for business development, saying such donations were intended to help them create their own state and fund its government. The donation comes amid a push by Turkey to use international pressure to end Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, which began after the capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas-linked Palestinians militants. On Sunday, some 20,000 Turks loudly backed the Turkish government’s indignant protests, staging a massive anti-Israel demonstration in Istanbul. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has called the killings of Palestinians as part of the Gaza military offensive “horrifying,” and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on Israel to end attacks and release “kidnapped” Palestinian officials. more...
| Gog/Magog | Islam |

Gingrich: We Need to Recognize That America is in World War III (July 16, 2006) - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president. “We need to have the militancy that says ‘We’re not going to lose a city,’” Gingrich said. He talks about the need to recognize World War III as important for military strategy and political strategy. Gingrich said he is “very worried” about Republican’s facing fall elections and says the party must have the “nerve” to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush’s record. Gingrich says that as of now Republicans “are sailing into the wind” in congressional campaigns. He said that’s in part because of the Iraq war, adding, “Iraq is hard and painful and we do not explain it very well.” But some of it is due to Republicans’ congressional agenda. He said House and Senate Republicans “forgot the core principle” of the party and embraced Congressional pork. “Some of the guys,” he said, have come down with a case of “incumbentitis.” Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly, and to the Administration, about the need to recognize that America is in World War III. He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week’s bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and “connect all the dots” for Americans. He said the reluctance to put those pieces together and see one global conflict is hurting America’s interests. He said people, including some in the Bush Administration, who urge a restrained response from Israel are wrong “because they haven’t crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war.” “This is World War III,” Gingrich said. And once that’s accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away: more...
| America | Islam |

We’d better recognize it and stop throwing our money away. I honestly think it’s too late and not part of prophecy anyways. According to scripture, the beast will overcome the saints during his time.

Javier Solana As Antichrist Candidate? (July 16, 2006) - What conclusions can we reach concerning the persona and appearance of the Antichrist, based on Bible prophecy? The prophesied Antichrist:

  • will be an intellectual capable of speaking great words (Daniel 7:20, Revelation 13:5)
  • will look more stout (or great) than his fellows (Daniel 7:20, Daniel 8:23)
  • will be a military genius (Daniel 8:24, Revelation 13:7)
  • will be an economic genius (Daniel 8:25)
  • will be a tactful diplomat capable of gathering many people to unite in action alongside him (Daniel 9:27)
  • will, ironically, be seen as a peacemaker initially (Daniel 8:25, Daniel 9:27)
  • will be exceedingly arrogant and self-worshipping, whether it seems so initially or not (Daniel 8:25, 2 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • will despise both Jews and Christians, which will not, in all likelihood, be apparent initially (Revelation 13:7, Zechariah 13:8-9, Revelation 12:17).

Now, concerning the person of Javier Solana, could he, in theory, meet the criteria to be revealed as the Antichrist in the prophetic future? Or Juan Carlos. Sure! Solana is a former head of NATO and current head of the European Union’s ten-nation military alliance, an intellectual who holds a doctorate in solid-state physics, an economics genius as demonstrated by his contributions to the World Economic Forum and numerous trade agreements he's played a prominent role in implementing on behalf of the EU, as well as a foreign policy expert in acting out his current role as the EU’s High Representative. And what of Solana’s personal diplomatic and communication skills? They’re amazing, as I'm about to demonstrate. more...
| EU/UN |

This is something Herb Peters has been following and reporting on for years. Read his free online e-book Recommendation 666. I am leaning this way too, but again we won't know for sure until the abomination of desolation.

EU’s Javier Solana on His Way to Beirut (July 16, 2006) - European Union Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana is being transported to Beirut for talks over the dramatic escalation in Middle East violence, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Sunday. Solana is being flown from a base in Cyprus to Lebanon by British military helicopter, but defense officials said they were not aware who the official was due to meet for discussions.
| EU/UN | Islam | Israel |

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a de-escalation as he works some political magic between Israel and the surrounding Muslim nations. He’s the head of the 10-voting member body of nations that is currently planning the confirmation of the 1995 Euro-Med agreement between Israel and the many nations of the EU. The time period is 7 years from January 1, 2007 to January 1, 2013. Daniel 9:27

Crisis Deepens: Witnesses: Israel Attacks Hit Central Beirut (July 15, 2006) - Israeli warplanes hit central Beirut for the first time and smashed the Hezbollah leadership’s main strongholds, as strikes killed at least 18 Lebanese fleeing the onslaught. Hezbollah rockets continued to pour into Israel, where officials warned citizens that Tel Aviv could be hit. Following the attacks, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called for an immediate cease-fire, saying Israeli attacks had turned Lebanon into a disaster area in need of international aid. “We call for an immediate ceasefire backed by the United Nations,” Siniora told a news conference in Beirut. “I declare today that Lebanon is a disaster zone in need of a comprehensive and speedy Arab plan ... and (it) pleads to its friends in the world to rush to its aid.” The deadly barrages came as Israel charged that Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have 100 troops in Lebanon providing Hezbollah key support — including helping fire a missile Friday that badly damaged an Israeli warship. Hezbollah denied it. Neither side showed signs of backing down from the conflict, which erupted Wednesday when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. As civilian deaths mounted, diplomatic efforts to end the crisis had yet to get off the ground. more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Report: Israel Gives Syria Ultimatum (July 15, 2006) - The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday that “Washington has information according to which Israel gave Damascus 72 hours to stop Hezbollah’s activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and bring about the release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers or it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences.” The report said “a senior Pentagon source warned that should the Arab world and international community fail in the efforts to convince Syria to pressure Hizbullah into releasing the soldiers and halt the current escalation Israel may attack targets in the country.” Al-Hayat quoted the source as saying that “the US cannot rule out the possibility of an Israeli strike in Syria,” this despite the fact that the Bush administration has asked Israel to “refrain from any military activity that may result in civilian casualties.” more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Reminder of the Bible prophecy on Damascus and the possible meaning of the “hooks in the jaws” that bring the Gog/Magog invasion to the mountains of Israel.

Hezbollah Pledges ‘Open War’ Against Israel (July 15, 2006) - Hezbollah reportedly rammed an Israeli warship with an unmanned aircraft rigged with explosives Friday, setting it ablaze after Israeli warplanes smashed Lebanon’s links to the world one by one and destroyed the headquarters and home of the Islamic guerrilla group’s leader. The attack on the warship off Beirut’s Mediterranean coast indicated Hezbollah has added a new weapon to the arsenal of rockets and mortars it has used against Israel. The Israeli army said the ship suffered severe damage and was on fire hours later as it headed home. There were no details on the ship’s crew, though Al-Jazeera TV said the Israeli military was searching for four missing sailors. “You wanted an open war, and we are ready for an open war,” Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in a taped statement. He vowed to strike even deeper into Israel with rockets. Meanwhile, Israel’s military chief said Friday that two soldiers held captive by Lebanese guerrillas and a third who was abducted by Palestinian militants were alive and in “reasonable health.” “As far as our information indicates, the three soldiers are alive and in reasonable health. I do not know more about their health than in general terms,” Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz told reporters. Meanwhile, a missile fired at an Israeli naval vessel off Lebanon hit a civilian boat, possibly from Egypt, the Israeli army said Saturday. A spokeswoman said those on board were believed to have been evacuated, adding it was unclear if there were any casualties. She added that the attack might have been part of the late Friday barrage when the Israeli warship was badly damaged. more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

URGENT - World Leaders Agree On Mideast Warfare (July 16, 2006) - World leaders, managing to resolve sharp differences over an escalating crisis between Israel and Lebanon, declared Sunday that extremist groups in the region cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos and must immediately halt their attacks. The leaders of the world’s eight industrial powers issued a strong statement condemning Hezbollah militants but also urged Israel to exercise restraint in its military actions against Lebanon. The statement said it was critical for Israel to “be mindful of the strategic and humanitarian consequences of its actions.” It called on Israel “to exercise utmost restraint” by seeking to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure. “It is a strong message with a clear political content,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters. The statement called for two captured Israeli soldiers to be freed, for the attacks on Israel by Hezbollah militants to stop and for Israel to end its military action. It also expressed support for the Lebanese government. The crisis has dominated talks among President Bush and the other leaders attending the annual G-8 summit of major industrial countries. The Group of Eight is made up of the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada. Israeli warplanes began striking Lebanon after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the border on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. The guerrillas struck back at Israeli cities, and on Sunday fired a relentless barrage of rockets into the Israeli city of Haifa, dramatically escalating the conflict. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN |

Here we see the fulfillment of Zechariah 12. Israel is a burdensome stone to the world and they don’t know what to do with her. Soon we will see how cut up those that come against her will be. Watch!

Iran Heaps Praise On Hezbollah Fight Against ‘Tumour’ Israel (July 16, 2006) - Iran has rallied behind allies Hezbollah and Syria, praising the Lebanese Shiite militant movement's battle against “infected tumour” Israel and warning the Jewish state against widening the conflict. In a speech carried on state television Sunday, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei branded “Zionists” as “an evil and cancerous being and an infected tumour”. “The Zionists wanted Lebanon to be the meat between their teeth. The powerful limbs of Hezbollah have prevented the Zionists’ dream of trouble from being realised,” Khamenei said. His comments, on the fifth day of an Israeli onslaught against its northern neighbour following Hezbollah’s capture of two soldiers, prompted chants of “Hezbollah will win, Israel will be destroyed”. Khamenei replied: “Yes, that is what we say”. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Iran gave Hizbullah 11,500 missiles and rockets (July 16, 2006) - An Iranian military source told the Arab daily Asharq Alawsat Sunday that between 1992 and 2005 Iran has transferred some 11,500 missiles and rockets to Hizbullah. According to the report, Hizbullah has in its arsenal four types of advanced surface-to-surface missiles. He named the Fajaar missile, which has a range of 100 kilometers; the Iran 130, which has a 90-110 km. range; the Shahin, which has a range of up to 150 kms; and a 355 mm. Rocket with a range of up to 150 kms. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Syria Vows Harsh Response If Israel Attacks (July 16, 2006) - Syria vowed on Sunday a “harsh and direct” response if it is attacked by Israel, showing no sign of bowing to U.S. pressure to abandon support for Hizbollah. “Any aggression against Syria will have a firm and direct response not limited in time or means,” Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said in a statement. “The resistance (Hizbollah) will win and the Israeli aggression will fail,” Bilal said. “The resistance has hit deep inside Israel and the enemy did not expect this.” Syria is a main backer of Hizbollah, whose fighters captured Israeli soldiers in a cross-border operation on Wednesday, sparking Israeli reprisals that have so far killed more than 100 civilians in Lebanon. The United States, Israel’s chief ally, has said Syria must lean on Hizbollah to release the two soldiers and stop fighting. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

They, like Iran, don’t realize they’re up against the God of Israel.

Iran Warns Israel Of ‘Unimaginable Losses’ If Syria Hit (July 16, 2006) - Iran warned its arch-enemy Israel of “unimaginable losses” if it attacks Syria and vowed that it was standing by the Syrian people. “We hope the Zionist regime does not make the mistake of attacking Syria, because extending the front would definitely make the Zionist regime face unimaginable losses,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. “Iran is standing by the Syrian people,” he said of the Islamic republic’s sole regional ally. “We have offered and will offer Syria and Lebanon spiritual and humanitarian support,” Asefi insisted, reiterating Iran’s denial that it is providing military and financial assistance to the Hezbollah movement. The Israeli army has said Hezbollah militants had used an Iranian-built radar-guided anti-ship missile in an attack on Friday on an Israeli warship off Lebanon’s coast. The attack marked the Lebanese militia’s first successful strike on an Israeli warship, dealing an unprecedented blow to the Jewish state’s military. One Israeli sailor was killed and three more were missing, feared dead. An Israeli military intelligence official has also alleged that around 100 members of Iran’s powerful ideological army the elite Revolutionary Guards were in Lebanon, acting as military advisors to Hezbollah. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Since Iran (Persia) is one of the main nations mentioned by name in the Gog/Magog invasion and they have a defense agreement with Syria, I'm not too surprised that they say this. It will be a great blow to their pride when it fails. I imagine that helps give the hatred teeth at the abomination of desolation when they are loosed to kill 2/3 of Israel. Zechariah 13:8,9

Syria says fully backs Hizbullah against Israel (July 15, 2006) - Syria will support Hizbullah and Lebanon against Israel’s attacks on the country, the ruling Baath Party said on Friday, defying Israel and its chief ally Washington. “The Syrian people are ready to extend full support to the Lebanese people and their heroic resistance to remain steadfast and confront the barbaric Israeli aggression and its crimes,” said a communique from the party’s national command issued after a meeting. It said Israel and the United States “are trying to wipe out Arab resistance in every land under occupation” and that President Bashar al-Assad was aware of the seriousness of the situation in the region. The national command is the highest echelon of the Baath Party, which has been in power since 1963. Assad, who is shaped by his late father’s lifetime of struggle with Israel, was not at the meeting. He has resisted Israeli and American pressure to abandon support for Hizbullah. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

US ‘could be going bankrupt’ (July 14, 2006) - The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary paper published by one of the key members of the country’s central bank. A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare time bomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve. Prof Kotlikoff said that, by some measures, the US is already bankrupt. “To paraphrase the Oxford English Dictionary, is the United States at the end of its resources, exhausted, stripped bare, destitute, bereft, wanting in property, or wrecked in consequence of failure to pay its creditors,” he asked. According to his central analysis, “the US government is, indeed, bankrupt, insofar as it will be unable to pay its creditors, who, in this context, are current and future generations to whom it has explicitly or implicitly promised future net payments of various kinds”. more...
| America |

Iran, Syria Used Hizballah As Proxy To Attack Israel, Analysts Say (July 13, 2006) - The Israeli government said it is holding the government of Lebanon responsible for attacks along its northern border, but Israeli analysts and government sources said that Iran and Syria are ultimately behind the attack. Israel bombed sites in Lebanon on Thursday and Hizballah launched dozens of Katyusha rockets at northern Israeli communities, killing at least two Israeli women and forcing residents into bomb shelters. This comes one day after Hizballah carried out a cross-border attack, killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting twoothers. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the Hizballah attack an “act of war.” But Israeli officials also said the fingerprints of Iran and Syria are all over the attack and analysts have said the timing was not a coincidence. “It’s not coincidental that we had these two attacks and they’re pretty much coordinated -- in the south with Hamas and with Hizballah in the north,” Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon said in a Fox News interview on Thursday. Both groups are supported by Teheran and Damascus, Ayalon noted. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Middle East Crisis: Backgrounder (July 14, 2006) - Israel lives with three realities: geographic, demographic and cultural. Geographically, it is at a permanent disadvantage, lacking strategic depth. It does enjoy the advantage of interior lines -- the ability to move forces rapidly from one front to another. Demographically, it is on the whole outnumbered, although it can achieve local superiority in numbers by choosing the time and place of war. Its greatest advantage is cultural. It has a far greater mastery of the technology and culture of war than its neighbors. Two of the realities cannot be changed. Nothing can be done about geography or demography. Culture can be changed. It is not inherently the case that Israel will have a technological or operational advantage over its neighbors. The great inherent fear of Israel is that the Arabs will equal or surpass Israeli prowess culturally and therefore militarily. If that were to happen, then all three realities would turn against Israel and Israel might well be at risk. That is why the capture of Israeli troops, first one in the south, then two in the north, has galvanized Israel. The kidnappings represent a level of Arab tactical prowess that previously was the Israeli domain. They also represent a level of tactical slackness on the Israeli side that was previously the Arab domain. These events hardly represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power. Nevertheless, for a country that depends on its cultural superiority, any tremor in this variable reverberates dramatically. Hamas and Hezbollah have struck the core Israeli nerve. Israel cannot ignore it. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Israel: ‘Concrete Evidence’ of Hizbullah Plan to Transfer IDF Captives to Iran (July 14, 2006) - Israeli intelligence has “concrete evidence that Hizbullah plans to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry, Gideon Meir, pointed out that Syria and Iran were major players in the military attacks by Hamas and Hizbullah in the south and north of Israel. “As a result, Israel views Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran as the main players in the axis of terror and hate that endangers not only Israel but the entire world,” he said. The IDF soldiers kidnapped in the initial attack in the north, 31 year old Ehud Goldwasser of Nahariya and 26 year old Eldad Regev of Kiryat Motzkin were alive when they were captured, according to a news correspondent for Arabic news network al-Jazeera.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Syria’s Role in the Current Israeli-Palestinian Confrontation (July 13, 2006) - Early in the morning of June 27, Israel Air Force planes broke the sound barrier as they flew over the palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad in the Asad family’s hometown of Qardaha. That action was apparently driven by a lesson learned from a similar overflight four years before, in the fall of 2002, which was intended to warn Asad against escalation of the situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border but failed to impress him because he was completely unaware of the overflight at the time and only learned about it from Israeli media reports several weeks after the event. The latest Israeli overflight came two days after Hamas activists attacked an Israeli army position on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip and managed to abduct an Israel soldier and spirit him back to Gaza. That attack was apparently carried out on the direct orders of the Hamas leadership based in Damascus, especially the Chairman of the movement’s Political Bureau, Khaled Mash’al. Thus, the IAF overflight was meant to send a clear warning to Asad that continued support of Mash’al and his comrades could cost Syria dearly. Up till now, however, the overflight has produced no discernible results and Asad has apparently chosen to ignore the Israeli signal and to persist in his course. At first, the Syrian media totally ignored the Israeli overflight; only after it was widely covered by Israeli media did the Syrians hasten to report that their air defenses had driven off Israeli warplanes that had penetrated Syria airspace. Syrian spokesmen also condemned the “Israeli aggression” and repeatedly insisted that the Hamas people living in Damascus under Syrian protection confined themselves to political and informational work and had no involvement in the military activity against Israel carried out by Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza. more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |