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Here are some stories from or about Israel that I feel may have prophetic significance. It is for each of you to read and pray about these things. Learn more about Israel here.

I have begun to use a different site to share the Watchman Newsletter from December 2008 and on. Some stories will be archived there, but for the most part anything from November 2008 and before will remain here.

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Lebanon recognizes 'state of Palestine' The Jerusalem Post (November 30, 2008) - The Lebanese government has approved forming full diplomatic relations with what it calls the "state of Palestine," and is elevating the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut to the status of an embassy. No date has been set to carry out the decision, which was announced by Lebanese Information Minister Tariq Mitri.

The PLO is regarded by the Arab League as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The organization is currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who is also president of the Palestinian Authority. Hilal Khashan, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, said he thought the move showed the government in Beirut was trying to show support for 'Abbas' administration. "He is facing tough times. There is a split in the Fatah movement and there's a running battle between Fatah and the Hamas in Gaza," Khashan told The Media Line.

In addition, the Lebanese army is posted outside the 'Ein Al-Hilweh refugee camp and is contemplating military action if Palestinians in the camp do not surrender six members of the Islamist Fatah Al-Islam organization seeking refuge there. "I believe the Lebanese government wants to give the impression that it is not anti-Palestinian and it is welcoming diplomatic relations with the state of Palestine, which has not been declared yet," Khashan said. He added that the implementation of the decision requires a validating cabinet decision, so at the moment it "amounts to nothing."

Lebanon accommodates nearly 400,000 Palestinian refugees who say they are discriminated against by the government. Khashan said the decision to upgrade relations with the PLO will not affect this situation, explaining that anti-Palestinian sentiments are deeply rooted in Lebanon. "What is needed is a change in a series of Lebanese laws that bar Palestinians from employment in Lebanon. They are not allowed to work in significant professions beyond manual labor. This is what lies at the heart of the problem," he said. "The Palestinians are treated as non entities in Lebanon and have no rights whatsoever. I believe there is a deliberate effort by the Lebanese government to keep their situation sub-human so they will never contemplate seeking permanent residency in the country."
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Iran, Lebanon sign 5-year security pact The Jerusalem Post (November 27, 2008) - Iran and Lebanon have signed a security agreement, according to which Iran will supply the Lebanese army with weapons and equipment over the next five years, the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. The agreement between the two nations was signed during Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's two-day visit to Teheran, which ended on Tuesday.

The visit focused on security and defense cooperation, as well as on regional and international matters of mutual concern, an Iranian source revealed to the paper. "Iran announced its readiness to supply Lebanon with defensive weapons, to be agreed upon in the framework of a defensive strategic system the Lebanese will formulate," a Lebanese source said. The two sides agreed to conduct ministerial visits to Teheran and Beirut in the near future. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also promised to visit Beirut soon, added the Lebanese source.

During his visit, Suleiman was accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, labor, economy and trade, industry, and expatriates. Each of the ministers met with his Iranian counterpart to discuss mutual interests. By supplying the Lebanese army with weapons, Iran will thus be responsible for arming Lebanon's two major armed forces: the national army, and Hizbullah, The Media Line's analysts indicate.

Since the summer war of 2006 between Israel and Hizbullah, the Lebanese Islamic resistance movement has tripled its force, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week. Hizbullah now holds 42,000 missiles and rockets, which it received from Iran, some of which can reach Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona, almost 300 kilometers south of the Israeli-Lebanese border, Barak said.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran Urges Lebanese to Unite Against Israel FOCUS News Agency (November 26, 2008) - Iran, a main backer of Lebanon's Shi'ite group Hezbollah, urged the Lebanese people Tuesday to unite to confront Israel, the Islamic Republic's arch foe, Reuters informed. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments to Lebanese President Michel Suleiman during a visit to Iran that included touring an exhibition by the Defense Ministry, Iranian media reported. "Iran believes the capability of all Lebanese groups should be at the service of (Lebanon's) power and unity to confront the danger of the Zionist regime," Khamenei told Suleiman, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian officials often call Israel the Zionist regime. Suleiman, a Maronite Christian, was elected president in a May parliamentary vote after an 18-month standoff between the U.S.-backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition. Under Lebanon's power-sharing system the presidency is held by a Christian while other top posts are taken by Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and members of the Druze sect. "Holding talks among different Lebanese groups that are now led by the president is considered positive because Lebanon's bright future depends on national unity," Khamenei said.

Suleiman, a former army chief, was elected as part of an agreement brokered by Qatar in May to defuse the political crisis that had pushed Lebanon to the brink of civil war. Tehran has often praised Hezbollah, which has formidable guerrilla army, for fighting Israel in a 34-day war in 2006. Israel has accused Iran of supplying weapons to Hezbollah but Iran insists it only provides moral and political support. "Lebanon as a friendly and brotherly country in the region will always enjoy Iran's spiritual support," Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani told Suleiman, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

Suleiman's trip included touring an exhibition showing off the Defense Ministry's capabilities, ISNA also said. Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Iran's readiness to "deepen and expand defensive ties between two states in line with the strengthening of Lebanon's security and increasing Lebanon's national and defensive capabilities." ISNA reported that Suleiman "expressed interest in expanding defensive cooperation and emphasized the need to strengthen the Lebanese army's defensive power in confronting any kind of threat, foreign aggression and terrorism." Khamenei said Iran would "always be on Lebanon's side" and said he hoped talks during the visit would strengthen ties. Suleiman, who left Tuesday, also met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his two-day visit.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

PM: Peace deal with Palestinians soon The Jerusalem Post (November 26, 2008) - It will soon be possible to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday, the morning after a farewell visit with US President George W. Bush and other administration officials who conceded a deal was not likely to materialize in the short term. "In principle there is nothing to prevent us from reaching an agreement on the core issues in the near future," Olmert said during a briefing with Israeli reporters. "I believe it is possible. I believe it is timely. A declaration is needed. I am ready to make it. I hope the other side is."

He also stressed the US had not tied Israel's hands when it came to military operations in the waning days of the Bush administration, despite media reports to the contrary. "I don't remember that anyone in the administration, including the last couple of days, advised me or any of my official representatives not to take any action which we will deem necessary for the fundamental security of Israel, and that includes Iran," he said, in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post. He pointed to conversations with Bush and his deputies who are "so open, so candid, so personal, that they can say to me anything they feel, and they do... This was not one of the things they said."

Speaking generally about his meetings with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others, Olmert also said, "There is a deep, basic understanding between us about the Iranian threat and the need to act in order to remove that threat." There has been speculation that if Israel were going to attack Iran's nuclear sites it would do so before President-elect Barack Obama takes office on January 20. Time magazine also reported that the US had told Israel to refrain from a major invasion of Gaza, despite renewed rocket fire from the Strip, so as not to disrupt peace talks.

But when it came to the Palestinians, during the briefing and in remarks before his meeting with Bush, Olmert focused on the possibility of reaching an agreement rather than on the renewed violence. The prime minister said there wouldn't be any written declaration of principles or other document spelling out the intermediate steps taken and agreements reached to date to prepare for a new American administration, because he was looking for a comprehensive peace deal. "You don't need months to make a decision," he said, noting the two years of intensive meetings with the Palestinians that he's overseen. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Iran, Syria tauten grip on Lebanon, Tehran woos Christian president DEBKAfile (November 22, 2008) - Tehran and Damascus are going all out to get their hooks into Lebanon’s Christian politicians and wean them away from their’ traditional ties with the West. President Michel Suleiman this week accepted an Iranian invitation to visit Tehran this month, while another Lebanese Christian leader, Hizballah’s ally Gen. Michel Aoun, arranged to visit Damascus.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the Iranians are forging ahead with a campaign to bind the region’s Christian minorities to their Shiite wagon for challenging Sunni domination. Their first quarry is Lebanon’s powerful community. Arrangements were finalized Monday with the Iranian ambassador in Beirut Reza Shibani for president Suleiman to spend two days in Tehran on Nov. 24-25. Aoun will visit Damascus at the same time. Their country is meanwhile encircled by Syrian military forces, a factual pointer to Bashar Assad’s real intentions regarding peace.

Although these developments bode ill for Israel too, they were left out of the sweeping 2009 prognosis which the Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj. Amos Yadlin delivered in Tel Aviv Monday, Nov. 17. Neither did he look ahead to the likelihood that Iran would be able to assemble a nuclear weapon next year, notwithstanding more than a decade of international diplomacy and sanctions.

Senior Israeli intelligence circles commented that the evaluations heard from Yadlin Monday were less attuned to reality than to the estimated positions of the incoming US president Barack Obama’s Middle East team and Olmert-Livni policies. Like them, he omitted to address the agendas which Tehran and Damascus are actively pursuing. Tehran launched its pursuit of Christian minorities by inviting the Lebanese Maronite leader Aoun to Tehran on Oct. 13, through Hizballah’s good offices.

The gambit worked: The Lebanese leader returned home proclaiming Iran the strongest world power between the Persian Gulf and China and predicting that his trip would bear fruit in six months. In the first week of November, Tehran heaped full honors on the Lebanon’s ex-president, the pro-Syrian Christian Emil Lahoud, when he arrived with a 60-man retinue. Michel Sleiman can expect no less.

The assumption in Israeli ruling circles that Syria as peace partner will deliver a “Lebanese dowry” is therefore fallacious. Assad plans to squeeze whatever he can from Israel and the new US administration in the coin of territory and backing for his regime, while not giving up an iota of his schemes with Tehran. For now, no one is paying attention to the Syrian-Iranian jaws snapping shut on Lebanon.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Security forces brace as settlers arrive in droves to Hebron YNet News (November 21, 2008) - Security forces deployed throughout Hebron on Thursday evening in anticipation of another night of public disturbances in the West Bank city by extreme-right activists. Although the High Court's ruling on the evacuation of the disputed house near the Tomb of the Patriarchs has not yet been carried out, tensions between Jewish settlers and law enforcement are at a boiling point.

The IDF, Border Guard and the police have all reinforced their men on the ground in preparation for the arrival of some 20,000 people to Hebron ahead of the reading of the 'Chayei Sarah' weekly portion (lit. 'The Life of Sarah,' Genesis 23:1-25:18).

The army spread out in advance following the events of Wednesday night. Throughout the day several isolated incidents were noted, and in the evening settlers claimed a policeman had assaulted a boy in the Givat Avot neighborhood after charging the latter was in violation of a house arrest. Police confirmed a youth was detained for questioning after he insulted a policeman.

Business as usual?

But despite the apparent tensions Noam Arnon, a spokesman for Hebron's Jewish community, said there was hope the night would progress calmly. The Shabbat of 'Chayei Sarah' is one of ten days in the Jewish year when Jews are allowed into Isaac's Hall, the largest and most important chamber of those comprising the Tomb of the Patriarchs. For most of the year Jews are forbidden to enter it. Due to the rarity of the occasion, the city often sees an influx of tens of thousands during this time. "We expect about 20,000 people to come to Hebron, and we're preparing of that as we do every year. Every family will host several dozen guests and the schools and public institutions will also be filled with guests, and there are public mess halls and hostels that open up," said Arnon.

Although most of those who come to Hebron to pray will leave with the conclusion of the Sabbath, Arnon realizes that some, mostly teenagers, will choose to stay and join numerous others at the disputed house in an attempt to prevent its evacuation. Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter pledged on Thursday that the High Court's ruling on the matter of the disputed house would be carried precisely as it was written. Dichter told Ynet that, as determined in the ruling, the house "will be evacuated within 30 days' time and guardianship of the property would be assumed by the state."

Rioting caught on video

A video sent to Ynet of the events of Wednesday night showcases just how far the situation has deteriorated, with extreme-right activists attacking military vehicles and rioting in the streets.

An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the mob assault, after he was doused with turpentine near the disputed house. In the video, shot with a video provided by the B'Tselem human rights organization, right-wing activists are seen swarming military cars and clashing with soldiers. Several military and police vehicles sustained varying degrees of damage.

Thursday saw IDF soldiers spending several long hours painting over graffiti, hate slogans aimed at Muslims, from the walls of a local mosque. Settlers also desecrated a Muslim graveyard on Wednesday evening. Security officials issued a harsh condemnation of the events, and pledged they would throw the book at the perpetrators. However no suspects have been arrested thus far.

Earlier this week the High Court of Justice upheld the state's decision to evacuate the four-storey building near the Tomb of the Patriarchs until the dispute over its ownership clears up. Settlers claim they lawfully purchased the property, but the state says it suspects the documents of being forged. Meanwhile right-wing activists continue to pour into the house, and have vowed to make their stand there.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Secret 'peace talks' exposed WorldNet Daily (November 20, 2008) - Despite media reports painting a dismal picture of negotiation prospects, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are still quietly working to conclude a major agreement before President Bush leaves office in January, informed Israeli and Palestinian sources told WND. The sources, including a senior Palestinian negotiator, said the aim is to reach a series of understandings to be guaranteed by the U.S. that would result in an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the vast majority of the West Bank. The understandings would also grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem but would postpone talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments are installed next year.

The original plan, initiated at last November's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit, was to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, by January. The summit launched talks aimed at concluding a final status agreement on all core issues – borders, the status of Jerusalem and the future of so-called Palestinian refugees.

But a final agreement has been hampered by several recent events here, most notably Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to resign amid corruption charges, leading to general elections scheduled for February that will see a new prime minister elected. The candidate for office from Olmert's Kadima party, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, is said to oppose reaching a deal on Jerusalem or refugees ahead of elections, fearing it will harm her prospects among center-right voters. Livni is Olmert's chief negotiator with the Palestinians.

In spite of the upcoming elections and the Israeli government's subsequent political instability, teams of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been quietly meeting regularly the past few weeks in hope of concluding a series of understandings on key issues. Informed sources said any understandings reached will be backed up by Bush in an official letter. It is unclear how much weight such a letter will carry under a new U.S. administration.

According to the sources, neither side expects to conclude any deal on the status of Jerusalem or Palestinian "refugees" before January, putting aside those issues for future talks. Instead, negotiations are focused on reaching an agreement emphasizing borders, particularly a pledged Israeli evacuation of the vast majority of the strategic West Bank, which borders central Israeli population centers. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Peres Says Peace Is Made by Closing the Eyes Israel National News (November 17, 2008) - President Shimon Peres told Diaspora Jewish leaders Monday, "You have to close your eyes" to make peace. He also reasoned that a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority will encourage Sunni Muslims against Ahmadinejad.

Speaking at the annual General Assembly of the United Jewish Committees, he said that "making peace is a little bit like marriage [and] you have to close your eyes and accept what is possible to accept." His audience laughed and applauded.

He also explained his reasoning why surrendering Judea and Samaria to the PA and establishing a new Arab state in their place would have a domino effect on peace in the Middle East.

Iran is the only regional country that wants to control the Middle East, President Peres stated. He reasoned that a peace pact with the PA would show Sunni Muslims it does not have to accept Shi'ite dominance by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's faction.

He wants "to run the Middle East, in the name of religion", the octogenarian president continued. "The Persians in Iran are, all told, 35 million people. The Iranians are 70 million, half of them minorities, and half are Persians. And it is the Persians who are the producers of the ayatollahs and the fanatic people. They want to control 350 million people [of the Middle East], 90 percent of whom are Sunni."
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Has the U.N. Found the Smoking Gun in the Syrian ‘Nuclear’ Incident? The Media Line (November 11, 2008) - There are widespread reports in the international media that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspectors found traces of weapons-grade uranium at a site in Syria, which Israel is believed to have destroyed in an air strike a year ago. The reports suggest the uranium was discovered in June, but the story has only just been leaked to the media. Confirmation is expected to come from the IAEA’s head Muhammad Al-Barade’i when the United Nations’ watchdog meets at the end of this month. Since the bombing, Syria has insisted the site was used for agricultural purposes, but media reports have persisted about North Korean involvement, as well as links to Iran’s nuclear program.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Iran Challenges Obama by Hiking Tensions on Israel’s Borders DEBKAfile (November 8, 2008) - The strategy the Islamic regime has charted for the new US president hinges on fanning tensions on Israel’s northern and southern borders while putting a damper on the various Middle East peace initiatives. Syria was therefore discouraged from returning to its indirect peace track with Israel and Hamas ordered to boycott Egypt’s bid to patch up the quarrel between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Tehran’s object is to show Barack Obama who holds the whip hand in the Middle East and force him to seek urgent talks to defuse rising tensions.

At his first news conference as president elect, Obama said Friday, Nov. 7, that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was “unacceptable” and its support for terrorist organizations “must cease.” He ducked a reporter’s question about whether he had read the letter of congratulation sent him by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and when he would answer. But Iran had already laid out its strategy for the incoming president, jumping in the day before the US presidential election.

Foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Damascus on Nov. 3 with a briefing for Syrian president Bashar Assad. According to our Middle East sources, Mottaki said Tehran would enter into dialogue with the new US president only from a position of political and military strength and did not propose to await Obama’s convenience until he took office in the White House on Jan. 20.

Iran’s rulers want to force the new US president to seek them out for a back-door channel of communications, in the same way as Ronald Reagan did while Jimmy Carter was still president to solve the 1980 hostage crisis in Tehran. They plan to make him come to them by raising tensions to crisis level.

While avoiding an explicit order to halt the Syrian-Israel talks, Mottaki gave Assad to understand that he must keep Tehran in the picture on their progress and goals. Better they should lead nowhere. This would fit in with Iran’s intention of putting on the table an impressive crisis package including Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians and so force the new US administration to accept the Islamic republic as the prime power in the region.

To drive this home, they are stirring the pot wherever they can.

DEBKAfile’s Exclusive military sources disclose that Iranian agents, aided by Hizballah, are enlisting Palestinian militias in the big Lebanese Ain Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon and other camps for terrorist missions on Israel’s northern border.

The Israeli government has watched what was going on but done nothing. But US military and intelligence were concerned enough to warn Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he had better act fast before his Fatah faction lost Ain Hilwa. This happened shortly before US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice departed for the Middle East Quartet’s Sharm el-Sheikh meeting Sunday, Nov. 9.

Abbas reacted by sacking Sultan Abu Al Aynayn, the veteran Fatah chief for all the refugee camps in Lebanon, and appointing the Palestinian general Kemal Midhath in his stead. But our counter-terror sources strongly doubt that the new man can stem the defections of Palestinian militias from Fatah and halt Iran’s and Hizballah’s takeover of the Ain Hilwa camp – especially since, according to the latest US intelligence information, Col. Al Aynayn had already been bought.

In Gaza, Israeli forces last week pre-empted in the nick of time a Hamas cross-border kidnap operation by means of a tunnel leading under the border fence. Hizballah’s abduction of two Israeli soldiers, the late Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2006 triggered a full-scale war with Israel. The tunnel was destroyed but Hamas and Jihad Islami have maintained a four-day missile barrage against Israel.

In the diplomatic arena, Saturday, Nov. 8, Hamas suddenly announced a boycott of the oft-postponed Egyptian bid. It had been finally scheduled to take place in Cairo Monday, Nov. 9, to bring Hamas and Fatah together in Cairo for a power-sharing deal to bury the hatchet after three years.

This event was also intended to demonstrate to the Middle East Quartet that Egypt was back at center stage in the Middle East and had succeeded in drawing Hamas out of the radical Iranian orbit to embrace Palestinian unity and give the Quartet’s peace effort a major boost.

But Tehran was ahead of Cairo. Last Tuesday, Hamas leaders, including Khaled Meshaal, were given their orders from the Iranian foreign minister to boycott the Cairo talks. Following his script, a smiling Meshaal told a Sky interviewer: “If the new US president wants a role in the Middle East, he has no choice but to talk to us because we are the real force on the ground.”

By Saturday, Nov. 8, therefore, with missiles already flying from Gaza, Tehran had managed to spoil the last Middle East journey to be undertaken by Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, and tip over Egypt’s Palestinian mediation bid and the prospects of Syrian-Israel talks. Still to come is a Lebanese-Israeli border flare-up - for which Tehran has already enlisted Hizballah and Lebanese Palestinian militias.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | America |

Netanyahu offers new peace vision YNet News (November 7, 2008) - Wooing centrist voters: Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu told United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday that he intends to adopt a new peace model should he be elected as Israel's next prime minister.

Netanyahu told Rice his model will combine diplomatic peace with economic peace, coupled with "accelerated development." He stressed that the peace model will be premised on improvement on the grassroots level and that would then move up to the leadership level.

The Likud chairman was referring to economic and trade ties between Israel and its neighbors that would ultimately prompt peace on the diplomatic front as well. His meeting with Rice in Jerusalem lasted 45 minutes.

During the meeting, the opposition chairman also expressed his gratitude to the Bush Administration, and specifically to the secretary of the state, for the American efforts to advance the Middle Eastern peace process. The two figures also discussed the Iranian threat.

Earlier Friday, the Iranian nuclear threat was also addressed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who said that Israel is convinced that Tehran is still pursuing nuclear weapons, while simultaneously deceiving the world via negotiations.

Speaking after his own meeting with Rice, Barak said he believed that the leaders of the free world are aware of these developments, which must be taken into account in any future decision. "As for Israel, we have said before that all options are open," he said.
| Israel |

Syria moves more tank-artillery forces south to Israel border Debkafile (November 5, 2008) - Lebanese sources and eye witnesses report Syrian tanks, artillery and commando units have taken up battle positions in four villages around Hasbaya opposite Mt. Hermon and northern Israel. According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, Syrian tanks and artillery units continued to move into their new positions Sunday and Monday, Nov. 2-3, so completing their deployment the full length of the Syrian-Lebanese border. Elements of the Syrian 10th, 12th and 14th Divisions and the 3rd Army - withdrawn last week from the 600-km long Syrian-Iraq border - are now poised opposite Israeli positions holding the disputed Shebaa Farms enclave on Mt. Hermon.

Military sources say that whereas opposite the northeastern Tripoli region, Syrian forces are strung out in small clusters of 2 to 3 tanks one or more kilometers apart, their tank units are massed tightly opposite Mt. Hermon and northern Israel. There are other differences: Heavy Syrian armor is positioned well back from the front-line infantry and commando troops in the north, whereas tanks, artillery and special forces are deployed right up to the border opposite South Lebanon and Israel.

Western and Lebanese military observers relate Syria’s military movements to Damascus’ threats, growing more strident Sunday, of “painful punishment” for the US Oct. 26 raid in northern Syria unless Washington apologizes, clarifies its action and pays compensation. These observers stress that Damascus has no real expectation of a US apology or clarification, because Syria knows as well as the US that the target was its own forward military base for terrorist strikes in Iraq. While insisting that an innocent farm was attacked and the 8 people killed were all civilians, the Syrians are taking advantage of the Bush administration’s silence to argue that Damascus has the same right as Washington to carry out cross-border attacks against “terrorist targets” i.e. in Lebanon and Israel. Damascus is winding the tensions up to a pitch where some military action against a US Middle East target or ally in Lebanon or Israel is becoming hard to avoid.

Senior IDF officers and some Western military sources are perplexed by the Israeli government’s failure to pursue deterrent action against the Syrian tanks poised in battle array on its border. Instead, the outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert is busy trying to reviving indirect talks with Syria before he quits, while defense minister Ehud Barak and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni appear unconcerned.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

More than 35 Qassams, mortars fired at Israel YNet News (November 5, 2008) - More than 35 Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired at the western Negev communities early Wednesday, following an Israel Defense Forces operation in the Gaza Strip aimed at thwarting a terror attack. Two soldiers were moderately injured and four sustained light injuries after a mortar shell was fired at an IDF force during a raid in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night. Six Hamas operatives were killed in the operation, which concluded on Wednesday morning.

At least one rocket landed in central Ashkelon, and two others landed near the city. The Color Red alert system was activated moments before the fall. Two women and a 13-year-old girl suffered from shock and were evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in the city. There were no reports of damage. At first, reports spoke of six rockets and several mortars fired at the Eshkol Regional Council, but later reports confirmed massive rocket fire.

The resumption of the rocket fire caused great panic among parents in Ashkelon, who rushed to take out their children from the unfortified schools. "The parents are right, because we are simply abandoning our children who are exposed to missile fire," said the chairman of the parents committee in one of the schools. "I left my workplace and took my daughter home," one parent said. "I won't have her stay here one more minute, at least until she calms down."

On Tueday, the local security officers of the Gaza vicinity communities were informed that a resumption of the rocket fire from Gaza should be expected. Six mortar shells were fired at the Kissufim crossing during an IDF operation in the area, but no injuries or damage were reported in the incident.

Following a meeting of the Home Front Command to evaluate the situation it was decided not to call off the school day in Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities. It was also agreed that the emergency procedures practiced by the civilian population in case of a rocket alert should be reviewed. Meanwhile, the Magen David Adom emergency services in the region have gone on high alert and will be operating in full capacity. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Obama Tells Abbas: I Support Dividing Jerusalem Israel National News (November 4, 2008) - Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama privately expressed his support for a new Arab state within Israel's current borders, including eastern Jerusalem, during his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this summer.

According to a report published Tuesday in the Lebanese newspaper al-Ahbar, Obama told Abbas that he supports a PA state, and Arab "rights to east Jerusalem" as well. The sources said Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad "heard the best things they ever heard from an American president" during the meeting. However, said sources quoted in the report, the candidate asked them to keep his declaration a secret.

PA spokesman Nimar Hamad said he had no comment on the remarks, other than to describe the briefing Abbas and Fayyad had given to the presidential hopeful. Later official PA reaction to the report categorically denied that Obama had made the statements attributed to him.

"The Palestinian Authority views the American elections as an internal matter and does not favor one person over another," he said in an official statement. "The PA hopes that the next American president will fulfill his commitment towards the Palestinians and pressure Israel."

Abbas, Fayyad and the rest of the Arab world are clearly hoping for an Obama victory, however. Hamas sources quoted in the article said that Arabs fear new wars would break out in the Middle East if Republican candidate Senator John McCain wins, but they believe there will be an official peace agreement with an Obama White House.

Mixed Messages in Gaza

PA Arabs who live in Gaza were reportedly celebrating in the streets with impromptu demonstrations, waving Hamas flags in anticipation of an Obama win, according to Voice of Israel government radio. But officials for the terrorist group that controls the region were skeptical that a change in the White House would lead to a change in facts on the ground. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum was quoted by Voice of Israel as saying that voters who would have to choose between Obama and McCain were being presented with two "awful" options.

The group's Damascus-based political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, softened the statement by saying the group is prepared to work with any U.S. president and would welcome any change in American policy, especially if it corrected what he referred to as a "bias" toward the Jewish State.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Summary of remarks by Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the CFSP, at the Ministerial Meeting of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean Council of the European Union (November 4, 2008) - On Tuesday, the plenary session was focussed on the concrete project areas on which the partners will work in priority: de-pollution of the Mediterranean, maritime and land highways, civil protection, alternative energies and the Mediterranean Solar Plan, higher education and research, the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative. During the working lunch, the Ministers discussed regional issues, including the Middle East Peace Process.

The High Representative said: "Today we have made an important step forward. The world in which we live today is a globalized world in which we need global solutions for the common challenges we are facing. The Union for the Mediterranean will contribute to solve important issues.

The qualitative change we have made today is very important and significant. We have six good project areas. We have now the responsibility to work quickly and efficiently. We will be judged on how we progress on those projects. It is very important to have adequate mechanisms that allow 43 countries to adopt decisions swiftly."

Marseille, 3-4 November 2008

The Paris Summit of the ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’ (Paris, 13 July 2008) injected a renewed political momentum into Euro–Mediterranean relations. In Paris, the Heads of State and Government agreed to build on and reinforce the successful elements of the Barcelona Process by upgrading their relations, incorporating more co-ownership in their multilateral cooperation framework and delivering concrete benefits for the citizens of the region. This first Summit marked an important step forward for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership while also highlighting the EU and Mediterranean partners’ unwavering commitment and common political will to make the goals of the Barcelona Declaration – the creation of an area of peace, stability, security and shared prosperity, as well as full respect of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and promotion of understanding between cultures and civilizations in the Euro-Mediterranean region – a reality. It was decided to launch and/or to reinforce a number of key initiatives: De-pollution of the Mediterranean, Maritime and Land Highways, Civil Protection, Alternative Energies: Mediterranean Solar Plan, Higher Education and Research, Euro-Mediterranean University and the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative.

Ministers propose that as from Marseille the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’’ should be called “Union for the Mediterranean”.

Ministers decide that the League of Arab States shall participate in all meetings at all levels of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean, therefore contributing positively to the objectives of the process, namely the achievement of peace, prosperity and stability in the Mediterranean region.

Ministers reaffirm their commitment to achieve a just, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, consistent with the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and its principles, including land for peace, and based on the relevant U SC resolutions and the Road Map. Ministers also stress the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and underline their support for efforts to promote progress on all tracks of the Middle East Peace Process.

Ministers stress that the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean is not intended to replace the other initiatives undertaken in the interests of the peace, stability and development of the region, but that it will contribute to their success.

Ministers welcome the positive role played by the EU in the Middle East Peace Process, notably in the framework of the Quartet. They reaffirm their commitment to support the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outsanding issues, including all core issues without exceptions, as specified in previous agreements. They welcome the commitment of both parties to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continous negotiations making every effort to conclude a peace agreement based on the Annapolis process, as agreed in November 2007. They also encourage the parties to intensify their efforts on the path of direct dialogue and negotiation in the fulfilment of the two states solution: a safe and secure Israel, and a viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian State, living side by side in peace and security. Final status issues have to be agreed upon by the parties. ...

Ministers welcome and support the indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria under the auspices of Turkey and encourage all efforts deployed to achieve stability, peace and security in the region.

Ministers welcome the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon.

Ministers reiterate their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of the perpetrators, and their determination to eradicate it and to combat its sponsors and reaffirm their commitment to fully implement the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism adopted in the Barcelona Summit on 28th ovember 2005 in order to enhance the security of all citizens within a framework that ensures respect for the rule of law and human rights, particularly through more effective counterterrorism policies and deeper cooperation to dismantle all terrorist activities, to protect potential targets and to manage the consequences of attacks. They also reiterate the complete rejection of attempts to associate any religion, civilization or culture with terrorism and confirm their commitment to do their utmost effort with a view to resolving conflict, ending occupation, confronting oppression, reducing poverty, promoting human rights and good governance, improving intercultural understanding and ensuring respect for all religions and beliefs.

Ministers reaffirm their common aspiration to achieve peace as well as regional security according to the Barcelona Declaration of 1995, which, inter alia, promotes regional security by acting in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological nonproliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional non-proliferation regimes and arms control and disarmament agreements such as NPT, CWC, BWC, CTBT and/or regional arrangements such as weapons-free zones, including their verification regimes, as well as by fulfilling in good faith their commitments under arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation conventions.

The parties shall pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. Furthermore the parties will consider practical steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as excessive accumulation of conventional arms; refrain from developing military capacity beyond their legitimate defence requirements, at the same time reaffirming their resolve to achieve the same degree of security and mutual confidence with the lowest possible levels of troops and weaponry and adherence to CCW; promote conditions likely to develop good-neighbourly relations among themselves and support processes aimed at stability, security, prosperity and regional and sub-regional cooperation; consider any confidence and security-building measures that could be taken between the parties with a view to the creation of an "area of peace and stability in the Mediterranean", including the long term possibility of establishing a Euro-Mediterranean pact to that end. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN
/ 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder | 1st Seal |

There is much travailing over the bringing about of "peace and security" in the Middle East and indeed the whole world is focused on that area as the Bible said they would be. Zechariah 12:1-3 A couple of thoughts regarding this meeting to further support and bring about the goals of the Barcelona Process. I find it interesting that they want to rename it and that its headquarters will be in Barcelona.

The mention of Turkey's involvement in the attempts to foster a relationship between Israel and Syria brings to mind Zechariah 14:1-3 and the idea that the world would be coming against Israel. How is this all connected? In the midst of this push for peace, what would happen if Israel reacted to intelligence that Syria was up to something big and they struck preemptively with great force like that described in Isaiah 17 on Damascus? We know how Iran, Russia and other Islamic nations would react, but would Turkey's involvement in the negotiations between Israel and Syria and its primarily Muslim population bring it into a counter-attack with Iran, Russia, Libya and others as the Bible foretells? Sounds plausible to me and with Europe's push for non-proliferation, if Israel were to use something big enough to make Damascus "a ruinous heap," would there not be an animosity against Israel that ran deep, even if the push for peace continued? It may also be that the weapons capable of destroying Damascus will not be Israel's, but rather that Israel finds out they are being stored there and does something that causes them to go off. I'm honestly guessing on that

I think the world will be temporarily stunned by God's intervention on the attack on Israel enough that all sides will accept the terms of peace, including the dividing of Israel. Keep watching!

Mediterranean Union agrees on HQ, Arab-Israeli role AFP (November 4, 2008) - Foreign ministers from the new Mediterranean Union struck a deal Tuesday for Barcelona to host the forum's headquarters and for Israel and the Arab League to take part side-by-side. The Union's 43 member states held two days of talks in the port of Marseille to end a four-month deadlock on the two contentious issues, which threatened to hamstring the fledgling organisation. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, whose countries currently co-chair the forum, announced the breakthrough at a joint news conference in the southern French city. "It wasn't supposed to work, and yet it did," said Kouchner, adding: "The essential points were accepted completely and without reservation by all 43 states" in the Union for the Mediterranean.

Ministers from the Mediterranean's mainly-Arab southern rim agreed to back the Spanish city of Barcelona's candidacy to host the Union in exchange for the post of secretary-general going to a southern member. They also clinched a deal on granting the Arab League a full-time seat at the forum -- a key demand of Arab members, strongly opposed by Israel which feared the pan-Arab group would try to block its involvement. "The Arabic participation will take place in every meeting with the right to speak at all levels," said Abul Gheit, although it will have no right to vote. Israel agreed to the Arab League's role in exchange for one of five deputy secretary-general posts for an initial three-year period, possibly renewable. The deputy posts will rotate between three European members and two southern ones, and will initially be held by the Palestinian Authority, Greece, Malta and Italy, alongside Israel, according to the final declaration. The text -- with likely technical amendments -- still has to be formally ratified however by the two co-presidents of the Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak.

Launched at a Paris summit in July, the new union brings together EU members with states from north Africa, the Balkans, the Arab world and Israel in a bid to foster cooperation in one of the world's most volatile regions.

An Israeli diplomat said it agreed to the Arab League "compromise" on the basis it would be able to play a front-seat role in setting up the fledgling Union, and hopefully build bridges around the Mediterranean. But she warned "the Barcelona Process can never replace direct bilateral negotiations" to resolve Israel's conflicts with Arab nations. A spokesman for the Arab League also warned that its participation would not lead to normalisation with Israel, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was "delighted" by the accord on Barcelona, while EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner called it a "logical choice." The Mediterranean capital of Spain's Catalonia region, Barcelona lent its name to the 13-year-old Barcelona Process, a previous EU regional initiative that stalled in part over Arab-Israeli disputes. In exchange for hosting its headquarters, Spain also agreed to drop the tag "Barcelona Process" from the name of the new forum.

France, which championed the Union, hoped that by basing it on modest regional projects, such as cleaning up pollution in the Mediterranean, it would be able to sidestep the trap of regional disputes. Priorities set out in the declaration include fighting pollution in the Mediterranean, solar energy, building land and sea highways and cooperation on higher education and research.

The Marseille accord, clinched after months of tough negotiations, rescues the forum from the threat of looming deadlock, but it also amounts to formally recognising tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And the highly-political compromise to create five deputies to the secretary-general is a far cry from the slimmed-down, nimble governing structure at first envisaged for the Union.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder | 1st Seal |

Time for Israel to appoint a king, scholar says Israel Today (November 2, 2008) - Renowned Israeli biblical scholar and historian David Solomon last week said that conditions in Israel today are ripe for replacing democracy with theocratic monarchy and appointing a king. Speaking to Israel National Radio, Solomon said that the leadership and religious crises currently facing Israel mirror those during the time of the Prophet Samuel. Millennia ago, the people of Israel turned to Samuel to help them replace their form of government with a monarchy in order to alleviate the nation's problems. Just as then, many Israelis today might view a theocratic monarchy as a viable answer to Israel's "disastrous absence of genuine political and spiritual and religious leadership," said Solomon.
| Israel |

This is along the lines of the kind of spiritual and political shift I believe the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38,39 could bring about in addition to the building of the third temple beside the Dome of the Rock. Keep watching!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis: Prepare for the Coming of Messiah Israel National News (October 27, 2008) - Internationally renowned Jewish inspirational speaker Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis warns that we are feeling the "birth pangs of the Mashiach," with limited time to save ourselves from dark prophecies surrounding his arrival.

In an exclusive interview on Israel National Radio's popular new show Mah Nishma with host Gavriel Sanders, Rebbetzin Jungreis, who is the founder of the successful 'Hineni' Jewish outreach organization and author of many books including the recently published 'Life is a Test: How to Handle Life's Challenges Successfully', addressed the fear that people feel as turbulent global events begin to make their mark on Jews and their allies around the world.

The birthpangs of the Messiah

"Anyone who has been just looking around and has his or her eyes open must be frightened. Things are happening that just don't make sense. Overnight, our cherished institutions, our icons, have collapsed. We don't understand it. People blame this one and that one. It's not just in the United States, it's all over the world, and we have so many natural disasters, and so much illness. What is happening?"

Rebbetzin Jungreis says G-d is bringing the world closer to redemption in a process called "chevlei Mashiach" – the labor pains of the arrival of the Messiah. "Now labor pains, you know, could be very, very painful…as the birth becomes more imminent, the pain becomes more intense, to the point where the mother can not bear it anymore, and just when she thinks she can not bear it, it's 'Mazal Tov!', and the baby is born."

'The generation of the dog'

Based on the writings of ancient Jewish sages, Jungreis concludes that this generation is replete with the signs that are prophesied to hail the coming of the Messiah, including endemic impudence, followership, idol worship, disasters, and war. "All our [sages] agree…they do not want to be present for the chevlei Mashiach, the birth pangs, because the birth pangs are going to be very painful… It's going to be a generation that will abound in chutzpah [audacity]. Chutzpah will be colossal. Families will be fragmented. Children will turn against parents, parents against children. The elderly will not be respected. Youth will be worshipped.

"… The generation will be like the generation of the dog.  What does that mean? The dog runs ahead but always looks back to see if the master is behind him. Similarly, people don't have their own opinions today. What is the media saying? The media is controlling the world…"

According to Rebbetzin Jungreis, the greatest idol worship of this generation is money, an obsession which causes the Western world to ignore the lurking danger posed by Islamist terror against Israel and the United States. "We have been very blessed, perhaps there was never in history such a wealthy Jewish generation as ours was. But there was no Hakaras HaTov, no credit to Hashem. "My strength did all this". We became arrogant, we became chutzpahdik, we forgot Hashem… Imach shemam [their names be obliterated], the sons of Ishmael, every minute it's "Allah". The sons of Esav, "the Lord," every minute. Their leadership is always speaking the name of G-d. Am Yisrael … they heard the word of Hashem panim el panim, face to face - has forgotten its G-d."

The propensity of the world to worship money is so great, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, that the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, Iran's effort to attain a nuclear weapon, and the rise of fascist and anti-Western powers can be attributed to it. "[Following the US stock market crash in 1929] America was so absorbed, Hitler had the playground of the world at his disposal, and no one stopped him," she says. "Too late did America and the world wake up. Early thirties – no one intervened with Hitler. They were all absorbed in a financial crisis.

"Fast forward. We have a financial crisis now. Ahmadinejad has the entire world at his disposal, came to New York, made the most toxic, poisonous accusations… if you had made those accusations against Muslims they would have burned down New York City, everyone would have been apologizing. Jews? No problem. He says it, and nobody even looks up, no one looks up. And in addition to him, all the rogue nations, all the demagogues, all the new Hitlers got into the act. Russia woke up again, back to its old tricks, making treaties with Chavez of Venezuela, right here in our own hemisphere. And of course, there is always North Korea. And America is worried about the stock market."

Ahmadinejad, Islamist terror - all part of prophecy

Islamist terror, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, is also predicted in the 9th century (Gregorian calendar) Jewish work, ' Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer,' which prophesied that before the coming of Messiah in the end of days, Ishmael – who is described as a brutal, wild man – will rule the world. Rebbetzin Jungreis attributes Arab terror in Israel, the Islamization of Europe, and the welcoming of Iranian President and vocal anti-Zionist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York to the ancient prophetic writing.

"Ahmadinejad comes to New York, and he has the audacity, the chutzpah to proclaim … in public, at the UN, that it's Zionist Jews who are responsible for the financial crisis in the world, that they are manipulating the world, they're controlling the world… And guess what: The entire world is silent, no outcry, no outrage, no one says anything, and he – just for good measure – he adds that Israel is this cesspool that has to be destroyed, annihilated. No outcry, not a word."

Ahmadinejad himself has a role in the unfolding arrival of the Messiah, says Jungreis, and was also predicted to wield lethal power during the end of days. "You know it says in Yalkut Shimoni that right before Mashiach will come, during Chevlei Mashiach, the king of Persia, now what is Persia? Persia is today's Iran. The king of Persia is going to have a weapon that is going to terrorize the entire world."

'Hashem is hiding'

The current low spiritual state of the Jewish People has caused G-d to hide His face from them, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, who says this concealment is meant to provoke the Jewish People to search for Him.

"In parshas Vayelech… Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu that in the future, there will come a generation who will forget Hashem, and terrible sufferings will come upon them. And finally they will say 'you know why this is happening? Ein Eloka, G-d is not with us. G-d is not in our midst.' And then it says … " I will continue to hide My face." Dichotomous. If we admit that G-d is not with us, then why is G-d hiding? … That puts the onus of responsibility upon G-d – it's Your fault. You are not with us. We have to say 'We are not with Hashem! We are not with our Torah! We are not with our Mitzvot! We are responsible."'

Rebbetzin Jungreis says G-d's concealment is a crucial element in developing the proper relationship with Him, with the key to understanding it being found in the biblical story of Adam and Chava [Eve].

"What was the first sin of Adam and Chava?. We say that we ate from a fruit that was forbidden? No! Hashem was ready to negotiate that. The first sin was scapegoating!. 'The woman who You gave to be with me, it's her fault, she made me do it.' Not only was Adam scapegoating, he was an ingrate. And Chava, what did she say? 'It was the serpent.' And that's when Hashem said 'That's it. That's it. Out! Gan Eden is over.' And that is what we are doing. But listen to the chesed [kindness] Hashem said. 'I will hide My face.'

"When a mother goes with her toddler to the supermarket, let's say, and the toddler has a temper tantrum, and he doesn't want to go out unless he gets candy, what does the mother do? She says 'Okay, I'm leaving, you will have to stay here by yourself," and she goes away. Is she really going away? Of course not. She is keeping an eye on her baby, but she pretends to go away so the child should seek her out and run after her. So Hashem says 'I'm hiding' but if you're hiding, you want somebody to find you. There's a beautiful mashal [parable] from a Rebbe who was walking on the street and he sees a little boy crying, and he says 'why are you crying my little child?' 'I'm crying because I'm playing hide-and-seek and nobody's looking for me.'… Hashem is hiding, but He wants us to find Him. And we are not looking for Him, so what are we doing? Whose fault was it?" For part two of the article, click here.
Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | America | Economic Crisis |

Getting the World to Hate Israel Israel National News (August 25, 2008) - As part of evaluating the competitive landscape of the popularity of nations, in a process referred to in marketing circles as "place branding", Israel, to no one's great surprise, comes up short in brand likeability, ranking last out of 35 nations included in an August 2006 survey conducted by nation-branding expert Simon Anholt; even less attractive to respondents than Indonesia, Estonia and Turkey.

How could this have happened to a country that is the Middle East's only thriving democracy and that enjoys a remarkably robust economy which has spawned some 1,000 startup high-tech companies, for example, second only to the US? How, in short, would you go about making the world hate Israel? This is how you would accomplish that objective if you were an enemy of Israel:

Even after 60 years of its existence, you question the fundamental right of Israel to even exist and regularly, though falsely, condemn it for being created "illegally" - through the "theft" of Palestinian lands and property - and thus decide, because of its original sin, that it has no "right to exist" and is merely a Zionist "regime."

You make 'Palestinianism' into a virtual cult whose members offer a world-wide reverence for the Palestinian cause and repeat without end that their nationalistic striving is inviolable, a basic human right. Of all the 100 million refugees who were dispersed around the globe and were re-assimilated since World War II, you chose only the Palestinians to languish, as if in amber, in barbaric refugee camps where their lives are used as political fodder to denounce the existence of an Israel that supposedly has deprived them of a home.

You have the United Nations set up an agency, the UNRWA, whose sole function is to make sure that this one group of refugees in the whole world are coddled, advocated for, and repeat, mantra-like, that a human "right of return" has been sanctified and assured by international law for the Palestinians. Give only this group of refugees a collective, as opposed to individual, right of return, and not only to those refugees who supposedly lived in and left what is now Israel, but all of their descendants, as well.

You use the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to repeatedly demonize and delegitimize Israel, making it a pariah in the world community and issuing an edict that equates Zionism with racism. In 2006-07, if you are the Human Rights Council, you pass one hundred percent of your condemnatory resolutions against Israel.

You inculcate Palestinian children, nearly from birth, with seething, blind, unrelenting and obsessive hatred of Jews and the "Zionist regime," so that kindergarteners graduate with blood-soaked hands while toting plastic AK-47s and dedicate their lives to jihad, while older children are recruited to hide explosives on their bodies to transform themselves into shahids - a new generation of kindling for radical Islam's cult of death.

When Israel launches a military strike against nests of terrorists or in response to ceaseless rocket barrages, you term their response "disproportionate," another escalation in the "cycle of violence," a violation of human rights, aggressive, militaristic, with Apache gunships "pounding" terrorist neighborhoods.

If you are the Palestinian media, and members of the world media who are either intentionally biased or willing to be duped by anti-Israel propaganda, you repeatedly report on supposed Israeli human rights violations, such as an alleged "massacre of the 21st century," a horrible war crime and example of "genocide" committed by Israel against Palestinians in the village of Jenin.

You talk about the Israeli security barrier as an "apartheid wall" and describe it as a massive, soaring, unbroken division through Palestinian neighborhoods and communities, overlooking the fact that the wall is towering and solid concrete only in those regions that have been repeatedly assaulted by terrorism, and that 90 percent of the hundreds of miles of barrier is comprised merely of wire fence.

You use the "apartheid wall" image to create a broader misconception about the Palestinians living under a South African-style apartheid regime, disingenuously equating race restrictions that blacks lived under in Soweto with the open society of Israel, in which Israeli Arabs have more rights than in any Arab state and are asked only not to murder Jews in their midst.

On campuses where a coddled and insulated professoriate often express antipathy for the perceived ills of capitalism, the usurpation of "Palestine" by Israel, and the denial of the civil and economic rights of the Palestinians, you contend that Israel's very existence is not at all about self-determination (something you deem appropriate only for the Palestinians) and all about greed, globalism, colonialism, exploitation, and undeserved political and economic might.

You fund Middle Eastern Studies centers on university campuses and use them as anti-Israel, anti-American "think tanks" where scholarship is tainted with ideology and singularly focused on the Palestinian cause. You fund the active and vocal Muslim Students Association on campuses across the US that hold "Israel Apartheid Week" and "Holocaust in the Holy Land" festivals at which propaganda, Jew-hatred, apologies for terrorism and further demonizing of Israel take place.

In the Arab world, you play fast and loose with history in your attempt to create a historical narrative conforming to your own political agenda, erasing any link between Palestine and the Jews. Though Jerusalem is mentioned not once in the Koran and over 669 times in the Jewish Bible, you claim that Jerusalem is now the "third holiest site to Muslims," that, as Yasser Arafat announced at Camp David in 2000, the Temple Mount was never a Jewish site, that Jews now "occupy" Muslim lands.

If you are in the Muslim world or the netherworld of Jew-haters, you question the actual extent and truthfulness of the Holocaust, first complaining that the Palestinians should not have been made to suffer the loss of their homeland because of the German's extermination of European Jewry - leading in some part to the creation of Israel - and then at other times questioning whether the Holocaust even occurred and accusing Zionists of using the fictitious event as a way to falsely extract sympathy from the world community and force them into giving Palestine away to the Jews.

You write academic books questioning the strength of the "Israel Lobby," and wonder out loud if Jewish influence and wealth forces us to lose credibility and threatens America's national security on behalf of Israel.

You do all of these things as part of a concerted effort and also as random, independent efforts on the part of Israel's enemies, and you do it for the 60 years of Israel's existence, and then you are shocked - shocked! - when Israel is shown to rank unfavorably in surveys which measure the public perception of nations and how they compare to one another in the world community. But you are pleased, because you know that if Israel cannot be annihilated with armaments and rockets, perhaps you can make it cease to exist simply by making the entire world loathe it for being what it is.
| Israel |

Syria reportedly boosts troop deployment near Lebanese border The Jerusalem Post (October 31, 2008) - Syria has boosted its troop deployment near the Lebanese border up to the Beka valley region, the Lebanese As-Safir newspaper said Friday. Some 3,000 heavily armed troops were reportedly deployed in the area. A Lebanese army official was quoted as saying that Syria was deploying its troops along the border with eastern Lebanon "like it did in September on the northern border." However, he said the increased troop presence was aimed at stopping smuggling and apprehending fugitives along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Solana’s speech to Institute for Security Studies Consilium Europa (October 30, 2008) - Dear friends, Let me start our "tour d'horizon" with the financial crisis. It has been the emblematic event of 2008, putting all else into the background. It is worth analysing, especially for its consequences for foreign policy. Allow me to make some observations:

First, the diagnosis. This crisis has confirmed that globalisation remains the dominant force shaping our world. This really is a global crisis. It has spread at incredible speed. Functionally, from sub-prime mortgages to credit markets to the real economy. And geographically from the US to Europe to emerging markets. Not everyone is affected equally; but no one is immune.

In its wake, the balance between markets, states and individuals will have to be adjusted. But globalisation itself - that is the global spread of goods, people, ideas and technology - will not stop. The crisis has highlighted globalisation's central dilemma. Today's big problems are global in nature. But the main resources and legitimacy are located at the national level. In a way, European integration is an attempt to resolve this core dilemma.

Regarding, the policy response, the crisis has demonstrated - once more - the need for stronger global institutions. With goodwill and creativity a lot can and has been achieved. Through ad-hoc crisis management among political leaders, central bankers and others. But if we are honest we must admit that the existing architecture is not up to the task - neither in Europe, nor globally.

I have been convinced, for some time, and I have underlined that in different fora, that the current international system is inadequate. Now the case for deep reform has become overwhelming. This must start with the international financial institutions. But we need to go further.

From the UN and the G8 to the regimes and institutions dealing with the big issues of our time: nonproliferation, energy and climate change, migration. Hopefully, the obvious need to deepen cooperation in the area of finance will act as a catalyst for these necessary wider reforms.

In any case, this effort cannot be handed by the US plus Europe alone. Even the talk of us "leading" is misleading. Apart from changing formats, the mindset needs changing too. We better not see this as the Western powers inviting the others for coffee after our discussions. We need all relevant players "present at the creation" of the new system, to use Acheson's famous phrase. And we need to be ready to engage them seriously. Read the full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal | America | Economic Crisis |

Egyptian War Games Cause For Concern in Israel, Lawmaker Says CNS News (October 29, 2008) - Israel is upset over Egyptian military exercises in which the simulated “enemy” is Israel, and some are calling on the U.S. to reconsider its aid to Egypt because of it. Israel and Egypt – two U.S. regional allies – signed a U.S.-sponsored peace treaty in 1979 – Israel’s first with an Arab nation.

The Egyptian navy reportedly carried out the largest exercise in its history last week. Dubbed Victory 41, the military maneuvers marked the Egyptian sinking of the Israeli Naval vessel Eilat 41 years ago, in which 47 Israeli sailors were killed and 91 wounded. According to the daily Ha’aretz, Oct. 20 was set aside as a holiday marking the sinking of the Israeli vessel for the Egyptian naval forces. The paper also quoted the Egyptian Navy commander in chief Vice Admiral Mohad Mamish in an interview with the Arabic newspaper Al Ahram, saying that the Egyptian Naval vessels were outfitted with advanced missiles and the Navy had supply contracts with Germany, Russia and the U.S.

“Unfortunately now for more than 10 years most of the big [Egyptian] exercises are simulating war against Israel,” said Dr. Yuval Steinitz, member of the Israeli Knesset’s influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The first time was in 1996 when they imitated a war against “a little country that is bordering Egypt on the northeast,” Steinitz told on Wednesday. Looking on the map, it’s clear who they were simulating the war against, he said. The only new thing this time is that it has been leaked to the press, said Steinitz.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to apologize for comments made by a right-wing Knesset member, who noted that Mubarak has never come on a state visit to Israel. Olmert told Mubarak that Israel considered him to be “a strategic partner and a close friend.”

But there are signs of other strains in relations. The Hebrew daily Maariv reported on Tuesday that on a recent trip to Egypt, the director of the military/political and policy bureau of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, told Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi that Israel was concerned about Egypt carrying out of Egyptian army exercises "that are directed against an Israeli threat and that relate to it [Israel] as an enemy.” (A translation was provided by the Independent Media Review and Analysis.)

Israel also is concerned that it has become the central focus for Egyptian officers in building their forces and by the lack of “any relations of any kind” between the Israeli and Egyptian armies, Gilad was quoted as saying. According to the paper, Tantawi said relations between the armies could improve in the future in tandem with progress in regional peace. He also said that security challenges obligate Egypt to build an effective deterrent force.

Steinitz said the military exercises, combined with massive Egyptian force building plus indoctrination of the military against Israel, was “something to be concerned about.” He also said that despite the peace agreement between the two countries, Egypt is anti-Israel in most international bodies and is also educating the public “for hatred and not for peace.”

Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that its analysts had found the Egyptian press to be “a leading propagator of anti-Semitic images” for many years and that that trend was now spreading to other newspapers in the region.

Egypt is considered one of America’s allies in the region and has been a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It is currently mediating reconciliation talks between the military Hamas group and the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | NewWorldOrder | America |

It seems to me that America has her hands pretty deep into the Middle East mess and that we've easily given away our money for peace. But I think we are just being taken for our money, and now that this is diminishing in global influence, someone has to step in. Actually Europe has been stepping into that role and indeed Javier Solana was one of the authors of the roadmap to peace according to him. But then money is being given from Europe as well in the name of peace and security while it seems that the "chaos" from which peace is supposed to arrive could be just around the corner.

According to Bible prophecy, Islam will be coming against Israel time and again in these end times and a certain alliance of them will gather their forces and attack Israel from the North at which time God will destroy those invaders in the mountains of Israel and protect His people for His namesake. Israel has a role in the end times as made clear in the study of Bible prophecy. Ultimately this is what the HIStory, Our Future Bible studies lay out, Israel's central place in the completion of God's plans to bring a remnant of His people Israel through the fire to accept Yeshua as the Messiah prompting His return in glory.

One of these foreshadows is the rebuilding of the temple, a feat that seems impossible now. I posit that God's intervention in such a manner on Israel's behalf would not only silence the radical Islamic nations for a time, but I think it would also embolden the nation of Israel and cause a fundamental spiritual shift that would not only bring many more Jews to the Holy Land, but also bring the nation together and united under the authority of scripture, which to them includes the rebuilding of the temple and the resumption of the daily sacrifice while excluding the first coming of the Messiah. They will therefore very much desire to have the temple and according to scripture, they rebuild it.

I believe this action would also bring Israel's enemies from all around the world to be more focused on her and united together, giving the appearance of global unity - but under whom?

As we see this and other collusions such as Syria-Russia and the Russian navy enlarging Syrian ports for her ships. (Syrian ports lie to the North of Israel) Or large Russian war games and Hezbollah takeovers of Lebanon, (see also) also just to the North of Israel. Could all these activities of military forces as described in Ezekiel 38,39 be buildup to a planned attack in the future that God will stop?

As US forces make an attack inside Syria while our economy is weakened and we are increasingly viewed as the "big Satan" and Israel the "little Satan," a view of weakness in Israel's primary "friend" and something to spark the tensions, like say a possible Iranian underground nuclear test, could all be leading to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 in a preemptive strike on Damascus. This could be the straw that brings the currently forming allies to utilize their prepared military forces in a sudden attack on Israel justified to the world in Israel's actions on Damascus. Would Turkey turn on Israel if the peace they were dealing with between Israel and Syria were seen as thrown away by an aggressive nation?

Perhaps I'm just imagining things. If not, time is short.

Mideast: Putting the 'Peace Puzzle' Together CBN News (October 28, 2008) - As U.S. presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama begin the last week of campaigning before next Tuesday's election, events shaping up in Israel, Syria and the Palestinian Authority will no doubt factor into the winning candidate's challenges in the White House.

Syrian officials continue to express their outrage over a U.S. military attack on Sunday, which killed eight people. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, who accused America of "terrorist aggression," said his country has a right to respond in kind against the U.S. "The Americans did it in the daylight," Moallem said during a visit to London Monday. "This means it is not a mistake. Therefore, we are treating the matter as a crime and a terrorist act," he said.

While Syria claims the raid targeted civilians at a building construction site near the border with Iraq, the U.S. said the helicopter attack targeted the home of Abu Ghadiyah, the known head of a terrorist network funneling gunmen, weapons and cash across the border to bolster the insurgency against the Iraqi government. According to U.S. intelligence sources, Abu Ghadiyah is one of four senior al-Qaeda officials in Iraq who makes his home in Syria. The successful raid will have a "debilitating impact" on the terror group's smuggling network, one U.S. official said. It was the first U.S. military attack on Syrian soil since 2003, when U.S. troops invaded Iraq, evidence that the Syrian border remains a battleground. "We're taking matters into our own hands," one U.S. government official said, alluding to Syria turning a blind eye to terrorist activity.

Al-Qaeda is not the only Islamic terrorist group with ties to Syria. For years, Syria has facilitated Iranian weapons transfers to Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists across its border.

Syria's Ties with Hezbollah

On Sunday, Israeli Military Intelligence chief Major General Amos Yadlin briefed Cabinet ministers on Syria's ties with Hezbollah. "Assad currently trusts Hezbollah more than his own army," Yadlin said. "Hezbollah operatives are working from within Syria. The Syrians are loosing all restraints, Hezbollah access to almost all of their strategic capabilities," he said. "Currently, Assad is continuing to open up its warehouses to Hezbollah," Yadlin said, "turning into the arms granary" for the terror group.

According to Yadlin, Syria and Lebanon's recently renewed diplomatic ties are a cover up for a future takeover of the country. "Syria and Iran are buying the regime in Lebanon," he said. " are pouring substantial money into buying parliamentary representatives and into conducting dubious business deals," he said. "The Iranian offer to assist in the building of the Lebanese army is an and Hezbollah guise to take control of Lebanon," he said.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Meanwhile, despite Israeli President Shimon Peres' claim that Israel has never been closer to peace with its Arab neighbors, a look below the surface at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict tells a different story. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that Egyptian efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas are bearing fruit.

Abbas plans to travel to Saudi Arabia soon to relay his most recent discussions with Egyptian President Hosni Murbarak. "We have agreed with our Egyptian brothers on a program for national reconciliation," Abbas said. "Our brothers in Egypt will later publish the details. I want to stress that all the PLO factions have accepted the Egyptian program, which we fully support," he said.

Abbas also expressed pleasure with Peres' public support for the Saudi peace initiative, which he called an Islamic proposal - rather than an Arab proposal - because it is endorsed by so many Islamic countries. The plan calls for Israel to retreat to pre-1967 borders in exchange for "normalization" with Arab League member nations.

Hamas was less enthusiastic with Abbas's announcement. "President Abbas must reach an agreement with Hamas, not with the Egyptians," Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel said. "Egypt is not a party to the conflict but a mediator. Abbas's confrontation is with Hamas. If he wants to end the conflict, he must reach an agreement with Hamas," he said.

"We don't believe that Abbas will have the courage to talk with Hamas because of Israeli and American pressure," Bardaweel said. "He is also surrounded by some advisors who won't even permit him to mention the name Hamas. That's why he's talking about agreement with Egypt and not Hamas," he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas said Israel's going to early elections shows that the peace process has failed. "Now the Israelis will use the elections as an excuse not to make any concessions to Mahmoud Abbas," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "They will claim they are too busy with the elections over the next few months." "This proves that Hamas was right when it said that the so-called peace process was a waste of time and that there's no point in negotiating with the occupation ," he said.

Despite claims by outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and others of like ilk, a closer look at Syrian, Palestinian and Arab League member nations shows that peace between Israel and her neighbors remains illusory. With Iran arming Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria to the hilt, genuine peace is far from reality on the ground.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

U.S. attacks inside Syria WorldNet Daily (October 26, 2008) - The U.S. Army today confirmed it carried out a raid inside a Syrian village near the Iraqi border, killing at least eight. Today's operation is the first in which American forces so openly attacked militants on Syrian soil, clearly broadening the scope of the U.S. military campaign in Iraq.

The U.S. has long accused Damascus of failing to stop insurgents from crossing from Syria into Iraq, where they purportedly attack coalition troops and return to safety zones inside Syria. An official Syrian spokesman confirmed earlier reports by the country's SANA state-run television, which reported U.S. helicopters were involved in an attack in Al-Sukkariya, some five miles from the Iraqi border.

Eyewitnesses told reporters they saw four helicopters hover overhead and then at least eight soldiers disembark, where they engaged a number of men at a civilian construction site. SANA reported: "Four American helicopters violated Syrian airspace around 16:45 local time (13:45 GMT) on Sunday." It claimed "American soldiers" who had emerged from helicopters "attacked a civilian building under construction and fired at workmen inside, causing eight deaths." "The helicopters then left Syrian territory towards Iraqi territory," reported SANA.

The reported incident took place near the Iraqi border city of Qaim, which the U.S. has labeled as a major crossing point for insurgents, weapons and money. A U.S. official confirmed the attack targeted what he said were elements of arobust foreign fighter logistics network operating in Syria and that due to Syrian inaction the U.S. was now "taking matters into our own hands."

There have been unconfirmed reports in the past of U.S. forces operating along the Syrian-Iraqi boarder and even entering hundreds of feet into Syria in pursuit of insurgents, but today's reported operation would be the largest yet.

Israeli security officials said the Jewish state was not involved in the operation. They said it was likely the U.S. attacked insurgent or al-Qaida elements that ran inside Syria. They said the operation, if confirmed, likely was to send a signal to Damascus that it is not immune from retaliation if it continues to allow insurgents to utilize the country.

Already Syria has summoned the U.S. and Iraqi envoys to Damascus to protest against what it called a U.S. military attack on its soil. According to Syrian sources speaking to WND, Syria conveyed a message to the U.S. claiming Syria does not support the insurgency and opposes any insurgent or al-Qaida elements operating on Syrian soil. Syria told the U.S. they were not upset America had attacked insurgents or al-Qaida elements, if indeed that was the target, but that their protest was against the U.S. operating on Syrian soil without prior permission.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Russia blasts off back to the future Scotland on Sunday (October 26, 2008) - As they tracked Russian military maneuvers last week, the US government's Kremlin-watchers might have been forgiven for wondering if they were seeing recycled newsreels. A huge exercise, Stability 2008, spread tens of thousands of troops, thousands of vehicles and scores of combat aircraft across nearly all 11 time zones of Russian territory in the largest war game since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was no specified enemy, but the Russian forces appeared to be enacting a nationwide effort to quell unrest along Russia's southern border – and to repulse a US-led attack by Nato forces, according to experts in Moscow and Washington.

In a grim finale, commanders launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles, the type that can carry multiple nuclear warheads. It was a clear signal of the drastic endgame the Kremlin might consider should its conventional forces not hold. One of the missiles flew more than 7,100 miles, allowing Russian officials to claim they had set a distance record.

If these images of Russian power projection appeared drawn from the dark decades of Dr Strangelove, the response from Washington was anything but. Defence secretary Robert Gates and admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, provided the same sanguine reply, echoed down through the ranks of government analysts who have spent years reading Russian military journals and scrutinising classified satellite photographs.

The Russian military fell to Third World standards from neglect and budget cuts in the turbulent years when Boris Yeltsin was president, they say. The new Kremlin leadership is working to create a force that can actually defend the nation's interests.

The military has embarked upon a programme to buy modern weapons, improve training and healthcare for troops, trim a bloated officer corps and create the first professional class of sergeant-level, small-unit leaders since the Second World War.

That is not to say that the US will stop judging Russian behaviour in light of what it considers a clumsy, ill-advised invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Yet policymakers also say the Kremlin's efforts at military modernisation should not prevent co-operation on mutual concerns, including countering terrorism and halting nuclear proliferation.

Even a high-profile speech last month by President Dmitry Medvedev, ordering a military modernisation programme and the largest increases in defence spending since the death of the old USSR, was viewed in Washington as short on substance and designed more for a domestic political agenda. Medvedev declared that, by 2020, Russia would construct new types of warships and an unspecified air and space defence system. Military spending, he said, will leap 26% next year, bringing it to 1.3 trillion rubles (about £30bn), its highest level since the collapse of the Soviet Union – but still a fraction of US military spending.

American experts were unimpressed. "Russia is prone to make fairly grandiose announcements about its military," said a defence department official. "These programmes have long been in the works. They are not new plans."

Even so, analysts of Russian military affairs acknowledge that a military renaissance would allow the Moscow leadership to increase political pressure on former Soviet republics, as well as former Warsaw Pact allies that embraced Nato after the collapse of communism. "What the Russian leadership has discovered is proof of an old maxim: that a foreign policy without a credible military is no foreign policy," said Dale Herspring, a scholar on Russian military affairs at Kansas State University. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Security & Defense: 'We're in the midst of preparing the home front for war' The Jerusalem Post (October 16, 2008) - According to Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, the country is in one of the most complicated and dangerous periods of its history. And though he does not believe that Israel can be "wiped off the map," in spite of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats, he is increasingly concerned about the current political instability here, which he blames for delays in projects he deems essential, such as the revamping of the Home Front.

This week, as Israel marked the 35th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War - reviewing lessons learned from it - Vilnai gave The Jerusalem Post a lengthy interview, during which he covered a wide range of topics, from Labor's coalition talks with Kadima, to how Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is a target, to the danger of holding public demonstrations calling for the release of Gilad Schalit.

The former deputy chief of General Staff and deputy commander of the elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal, says that the IDF is at a most critical juncture. It is the only military in the world, he explains, that needs to be ready at any given moment to fight a guerrilla war in Lebanon, a terror war in the West Bank and a conventional war with Syria, and confront a possible existential threat from Iran.

Since taking up his post just over a year ago, Vilnai, 64, has been immersed in establishing the National Emergency Administration (NEA), which he founded to coordinate among all of the various emergency services, in the event of a missile onslaught. This is necessary, he says, because one of the problems encountered during the Second Lebanon War was that the cabinet had to meet several times to discuss how to get food to shelters in the North. But "the cabinet needs to run the war."

How do you view Israel's current strategic position in the Middle East?
There are existential threats today coming from farther away. The additional complication when dealing with Islamic radical terror is that the war is not just against terrorists, but against a population. In Gaza, you can hit Hamas, but it does not hurt Hamas, since the people there support Hamas. This is the same in Lebanon, where the civilian population supports Hizbullah. This makes the conflict much more complicated. As a result, what is needed is a combined military-diplomatic solution, as well as alliances with other countries.

Is there still a conventional threat?
It exists, and we need to prepare for it, so we can retain capabilities required for war with Syria, like on Yom Kippur exactly 35 years ago. We also need to retain the ability to fight Hizbullah and Iran over the horizon. Today, we need to know how to do different things [simultaneously], and this is difficult challenge. I can't remember such a complicated period in my 40 years in the defense establishment.

What poses the greatest threat?
The state of Israel. Establishing a new government is necessary for stability. The fact that the government changes every two years weakens us. A ministry that starts everything from scratch every two years cannot get anything done.

Are there ongoing processes in the Defense Ministry that will be harmed in the event that general elections are held now?
The change in regime harms and weakens us, and I believe it is of the utmost importance to continue with the same government today.

We are in the midst of preparing the home front for war and this is something that the government has spoken about for decades, but never dealt with or regulated properly. If we change the leadership of the Defense Ministry, I don't know what will happen. If we don't continue what we have been doing here for another two years, it will all go to waste.

What, for example?
The NEA and the annual home front exercises we started. I fear that if we aren't here, everything will go back to the way it was in the beginning. We need continuity.

What is the concept behind the NEA?
The responsibility for the home front has always been in the hands of the municipalities or the local and regional councils, but for years they shirked this responsibility. The concept behind the NEA is for the government offices and services to assist them. The IDF, Israel Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Magen David Adom, the Interior, Welfare and Health ministries will all work for the mayors and regional council heads to make sure that life continues, even during wartime.

The cabinet does not need to meet to discuss food distribution to bomb shelters. A mayor with the right assistance can do this on his or her own.

What will the next war look like?
The home front will be the main front of the war, whether it is missiles from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran.

Can there really be peace with Syria?
We need to break the axis of evil. It can be broken militarily, but the talks with Syria are meant to do this as well. Syria needs to cut off its ties with Iran. This is our condition, and this is the most important element. But it is not something that will happen immediately.

We saw other Syrian intentions with the nuclear facility that the air force destroyed last September.
I don't know what type of facility you are taking about, but that is why I said we need both elements - military and diplomatic. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

A Syrian Takeover of Lebanon? Gather (October 2, 2008) - The Middle East Times reported October 2 that Syria has been moving military forces to its border with Lebanon for nearly a week now, raising the question of whether or not Syria intends to once again overtly exercise control over its neighbor. Syria has long exercised influence over Lebanon, and only reluctantly withdrew its forces under international pressure in the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria is suspected by many of being responsible for the Hariri assassination. As noted by the Times, Syrian President Bashar Assad said at the time of Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon that the move did not mean Syria was done exercising its influence. The Times says, and most observers and analysts agree, that Syria continues to station thousands of covert intelligence personnel within Lebanon.

Lebanon is a problem for the entire region. Hezbollah operates freely from Lebanon, and Israel routinely violates Lebanese territory and airspace in an attempt to keep Hezbollah in check. The summer 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel inflicted massive damage on Lebanon in a conflict that seemed to diminish some of the mystique surrounding Israeli military might in the region. A significant portion of the Lebanese Army is sympathetic to Hezbollah, and the Lebanese government is fragmented and, for all intents and purposes, dysfunctional. United Nations peacekeepers are present in southern Lebanon, and Iran exercises some influence as well.

Syria has been attempting in recent months to improve its standing in the region and in the eyes of the international community. Syria's alignment with Iran has been strained at times recently, and negotiations with Israel have not played very well with hard liners within the Syrian intelligence and military establishments. The key to much of Syria's power and wealth is its influence in Lebanon, as well as its degree of control over Lebanon, and it would not be far fetched to believe that Syria would move its military forces across the border.

If Syria did act, there would probably few repercussions, and any condemnations would be largely symbolic. Israel would not intervene, and probably could not if it wanted to. Politically, Israel is just too fragile at the moment. The United States is preoccupied with Afghanistan, Iraq, and a financial crisis at home, and the United Nations force in southern Lebanon is more for show than anything else. There is a window of opportunity right now for Syria to reestablish control over Lebanon. That window could close suddenly, and Syria may well be positioning itself to act before time runs out.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel Haaretz (October 22, 2008) - Senior Tehran officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear reactors, a senior Islamic Republic official told foreign diplomats two weeks ago in London. The official, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, said recent threats by Israeli authorities strengthened this position, but that as of yet, a preemptive strike has not been integrated into Iranian policy.

Safavi is head of the Research Institute of Strategic Studies in Tehran, and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The institute is directly affiliated with Khamenei's office and with the Revolutionary Guards, and advises both on foreign policy issues. Safavi is also the brother of Yahya Rahim Safavi, who was the head of the Revolutionary Guards until a year ago and now is an adviser to Khamenei, and holds significant influence on security matters in the Iranian government.

An Israeli political official said senior Jerusalem officials were shown Safavi's remarks, which are considered highly sensitive. The source said the briefing in London dealt with a number of issues, primarily a potential Israeli attack on an Iranian reactor.

Safavi said a small, experienced group of officials is lobbying for a preemptive strike against Israel. "The recent Israeli declarations and harsh rhetoric on a strike against Iran put ammunition in these individuals' hands," he said. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said in June that Israel would be forced to strike the Iranian nuclear reactor if Tehran continues to pursue its uranium enrichment program.

Safavi said Tehran recently drafted a new policy for responding to an Israeli or American attack on its nuclear facilities. While the previous policy called for attacks against Israel and American interests in the Middle East and beyond, the new policy is to target Israel alone. He added that many Revolutionary Guard leaders want to respond to a U.S. attack on Iranian soil by striking Israel, as they believe Israel would be partner to any U.S. action.

Safavi said that Iran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes only, and that Khamenei recently released a fatwa against the use of weapons of mass destruction, though the contents of that religious ruling have not yet been publicized. Regarding dialogue with the United States and the West, Safavi said Iran's decision would be influenced by the results of the U.S. presidential elections next month, as well as by the Iranian presidential elections in June and the economic situation in the Islamic Republic.

Safavi also said that a victory by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama would pave the way for dialogue with Washington, while a John McCain presidency would bolster Iran's extreme right, which opposes dialogue. If conditions are favorable following the U.S. election, he said, Iran could draw back from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that "the nuclear case is closed," and put it back on the agenda.

Safavi said he believed that U.S. sanctions on Iran have run their course, and that there would be no point in strengthening them. Tehran would therefore demand "firm and significant" U.S. measures in return for stopping uranium enrichment. He also said Ahmadinejad is not guaranteed victory in the June 2009 elections, particularly given the dire economic situation in Iran. Still, Iranian experts believe his only real competition is former president Mohammad Khatami, who has not yet joined the race.

Safavi said the inflation rate in Iran is similar to that before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but that unrest among civilians today is not as strong. This is because the current government uses oil revenues to help the poor, he said.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | America |

Obama's expected victory in US election could signal bad times for Israel YNet News (October 22, 2008) - Unless we see a dramatic and unexpected development, in about two weeks we shall have a new president in the United States: Barak Obama. Did I say “we”? Yes, we. The identity of the man who will be entering the White House and staying there in the coming years is more important for us and for our lives here than one could imagine. Seven million Israeli citizens go about their daily lives while having no clue as to how much their lives and wellbeing depend on the US, and first and foremost on the person who sits in the Oval Office.

As not to argue with the faithful amongst us, certainly not right after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we shall only say that some of the prayers we recently uttered would do well to make it to Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. Our life hinges on the desire, or heaven forbid lack of desire, declarations, and deeds of the president – and apparently it will be Barack Obama.

To be honest, Obama doesn’t make us sleep well at night. We are about to see a president who has nothing to do with Judaism, Jews, and the State of Israel. He doesn’t know Malcolm Hoenlein (executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents), he is not scared of Abe Foxman (head of the Anti-Defamation League,) he has not delivered speeches on behalf of the Israel Bonds, and he has not traveled as the guest of the Jewish National Fund. His familiarity with the Middle East is minimal, and on top of that, right now he has a global economic crisis to resolve before he can drink tea with Tzipi Livni and coffee with Mahmoud Abbas.

The way things look now, with an emphasis on “for the time being,” the State of Israel won’t be overjoyed as a result of this development. Obama is not Bush Sr. (who was so-so in his attitude to Israel,) he is not Bill Clinton (who was like a member of the Jewish Federation,) and he is not Bush Jr. (who was like a former fighter in Ariel Sharon’s unit.) Meanwhile, we have several minor problems that require a solution, such as the Iranian nuke threat, Islamic terrorism, Hamas, Syria, and the economy.

For generations, we heard legends around here about the power of the Jewish “lobby” in Washington: AIPAC – now, its members are facing a test. However, here too we have a problem: American Jewry is not what it used to be when it comes to its attachment to Israel, and the generation of the children and grandchildren no longer blindly follows Israel’s leadership, its speeches and demands. Therefore, prepare for the arrival of the Obama. Apparently, although let’s hope this won’t happen, soon we shall go back to the biblical verse we love so much: “A people dwelling alone."
| Israel | America |

Post-'excellent' speech euphoria at the UN The Jerusalem Post (October 22, 2008) - Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, the 75-year-old Nicaraguan Catholic priest, winner of the International Lenin Peace Prize and newly elected president since September 16 of the UN General Assembly for the current session, is not just a "fan of plain words," he is also a fan of heroic deeds. On September 23, we were witnesses to a 21st-century chamber of horrors at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, when he said: "On behalf of the General Assembly, I wish to thank his excellency the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and request the representatives to remain seated while I greet the president."

Brockmann, who personally thanked "his excellency," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his "excellent" speech, which was dripping with anti-Zionism and hate, interrupted the session and rushed down the stairs to warmly, even enthusiastically, hug and kiss Ahmadinejad. Everyone in the hall clapped and cheered - and here in Europe and everywhere there is dead silence about it.

The Rheinische Post reported on it, days later, on September 27: "Steinmeier chastizes Iran," according to which the German foreign minister accused the Iranian president of "pure anti-Semitism" because of his speech. But not a word was uttered about the behavior of the "wannabe humanist," the president of the UN General Assembly on September 23.

Once you look more closely into the personal background of Brockmann, you aren't at all surprised at such heroism. As the "son of a wealthy career diplomat who served during the Somoza dictatorship," he is a Nicaraguan socialist with US citizenship. He wandered since his birth in Los Angeles back and forth "between luxury and revolution," and "as one of the few remaining companions he is still a close friend, political consultant and father confessor to [Sandinista leader Daniel] Ortega."

So he developed an enormous need for altruism and charity, which he demonstrated on September 23, 2008 in New York. That is why he is also working to reform the UN Security Council. Brockmann is pushing for a "democratization" of the organization, a kind of "Durban 2," the conference that will meet in Geneva on April 4, 2009 to install another 21st-century chamber of horrors. Read full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Police Arrest Temple Institute Director Israel National News (October 19, 2008) - While waiting in line to visit the Temple Mount early Sunday afternoon, Temple Institute Director Yehuda Glick was suddenly singled out and arrested. A police spokesman said he would look into the incident. Glick was standing together with hundreds of others, many of whom had been denied entry in the first round of Temple Mount visiting hours on Sunday morning and were told to return at 12:30 PM. The Moslem Waqf [Islamic Trust] is very strict about enforcing the Mount's visiting hours for Jews, and closes the gates sharply at 10 AM, opens them again at 12:30 PM, and closes them for the day an hour later.

Around 1 PM, Glick, who stands out in a crowd with his full shock-red beard, was suddenly approached by policemen, who told him they wanted to question him about his acts of "instigation and provocation," and then promptly arrested him and led him to a paddywagon. In court later this afternoon, the police asked the judge to distance him from the Temple Mount area for six months, for having prayed on the Mount.

Finally, Sunday evening, he was brought before a judge, who ordered his immediate release. The judge stated emphatically that Jews' right to pray on the Temple Mount is legally guaranteed by the State of Israel to all Jews.

Earlier Sunday morning, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, hundreds of Jews were permitted by police to ascend to the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site - but only in groups of 20. Many were thus left waiting on line for hours. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Temple Mount |

Swords and Shields: Russia shields Syria Space War (October 16, 2008) - Until Russia can revitalize its naval forces to a much larger degree, its deployments to the Mediterranean contribute more to symbolic and diplomatic activity than being a viable military counterweight to NATO in the region. Yet the Black Sea Fleet in the Med is a significant show of force and a diplomatic irritant and a potential threat to shipping in the Suez Canal and to America's ally Israel. The increased Russian naval presence in the region means that the Kremlin is seeking to cultivate Syria as a close regional ally, and is looking to secure additional bases for the Black Sea Fleet besides its current base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.
In addition, Russia would also be able to deploy electronic intelligence-gathering ships that could then improve its monitoring capabilities against NATO forces and Syria's ability to monitor NATO and Israeli transmissions, expanding the previous naval intelligence engagement during the Balkan wars. Finally, Russian naval forces could deter or disrupt Israeli naval or air assets deployed in wartime against Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Syria is pursuing new arms deals with Russia, including the purchase of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 M2, MiG-31, the latest Sukhoi Su-30 version -- Flanker, Tor-M1 air defense systems, AT-14 antitank missiles, upgrades for Syria's aging T-62, T-72 and T-80 Main Battle Tanks, SA-5 Gammon anti-aircraft missile systems, and upgrading Syria's existing S-125 Air Defense systems to the Pechora-2A.

Iran is also involved in supporting Damascus. In 2007 alone Iran reportedly financed Syrian purchases of Russian arms to the tune of $1 billion. Iran and Syria, which have had a mutual defense treaty since 2004, train and equip Hezbollah, the biggest terrorist organization in the Middle East. Russia is cultivating both states as allies and as customers for Russian arms. What is particularly disturbing is that the Russian layered air defenses, both short-range TOR and long-range S-300 anti-aircraft systems, are capable of providing the defensive envelope to the mysterious Syrian nuclear research activities, as well as to the significant chemical weapons arsenal deliverable by Damascus' short-range ballistic missiles, such as Syrian-produced SCUD-C and SCUD-D and, potentially, Russian-made Iskander-E -- NATO designation SS-X-26.

Damascus has also acquired Pantsir-C1 air defense systems, which represent the current state of the art in Russian military air defense technology, but no deal has yet been reached. According to sources in Moscow, Russia is likely to equip Syria's Tartus naval base with S-300PMU-2 Favorit ballistic missiles and a radar system more sophisticated than Syria's current capabilities.

During the Cold War era, the Soviet Union boasted a global naval power projection capability with yearly naval maneuvers in the Caribbean and the North Fleet naval brigade in Conakry, Guinea, and Luanda, Angola. The 8th Operational Squadron of the Pacific Fleet had supply bases in Aden and Socotra in Yemen and Dahlak in Eritrea, and in Berbera in Somalia. After the five-day Aug. 8-Aug. 12 war in the former Soviet republic of Georgia in the Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is planning to deploy in Abkhazia, at the ports of Ochamchira and Sukhumi. For Moscow today, Tartus is only the first step in the long road to a renewed global naval presence.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

From Syrian fishing port to naval power base: Russia moves into the Mediterranean Guardian UK (October 8, 2008) - Military foothold part of closer ties with Damascus. Move could deter Israel from attacks on Syria. During balmy evenings in the sleepy Syrian port of Tartous locals promenade along the seafront or suck on hookahs discussing the two great pillars of their society: business and family.

Politics, such as it is in the tightly controlled one-party state, rarely gets a mention, and certainly not in public. But few could fail to wonder about the foreign sailors dockside and the grey warship dominating a harbour that was once a trading hub of the Phoenician empire and is now the centre of a new projection of power, this time by Syria's old ally Russia.

Tartous is being dredged and renovated to provide a permanent facility for the Russian navy, giving Moscow a key military foothold in the Mediterranean at a time when Russia's invasion of Georgia has led to fears of a new cold war.

The bolstering of military ties between Russia and Syria has also worried Israel, whose prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was in Moscow yesterday seeking to persuade the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, to stop Russian arms sales to Syria and Iran. Mr Olmert later said he had received assurances that Russia would not allow Israel's security to be threatened, but offered no indication he won any concrete promises on Russian arms sales.

Igor Belyaev, Russia's charge d'affaires in Damascus, recently told reporters that his country would increase its presence in the Mediterranean and that "Russian vessels will be visiting Syria and other friendly ports more frequently".

That announcement followed a meeting between Medvedev and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, at the Black sea port of Sochi in the immediate aftermath of Russia's victory over Georgian forces and its recognition of the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - actions Assad supported.

Now, with Ukraine threatening to expel Russia's Black sea fleet from its base in Sebastopol, the only route for the Russian navy into the Mediterranean, military cooperation between Moscow and Damascus appears to have taken on a new zeal.

"Israel and the US supported Georgia against Russia, and Syria thus saw a chance to capitalise on Russian anger by advancing its long-standing relations with Moscow," said Taha Abdel Wahed, a Syrian expert on Russian affairs. "Syria has a very important geographical position for the Russians. Relations between Damascus and Moscow may not yet be strategic, but they are advancing rapidly."

Tartous was once a re-supplying point for the Soviet navy at a time when Moscow sold Syria billions of dollars worth of arms. "Tartous is of great geopolitical significance considering that it is the only such Russian facility abroad," a former Russian navy deputy commander, Igor Kasatonov, said, following a meeting on September 12 in Moscow between the naval leaders from Russia and Syria.

Syrian-Russian relations cooled after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But they have taken on a new dynamic since Assad succeeded his father in 2000. After a state visit to Russia in 2005, he persuaded Moscow to wipe three-quarters off a £7.6bn debt Syria owed, mainly from arms sales.

Since then the two countries have been in talks about upgrading Syria's missile defences with Russia's advanced Strelets system, provoking condemnation from Israel, whose fighter jets in September 2007 flew unchallenged into north-east Syria to bomb a suspected nuclear site.

Last month Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Moscow would consider selling Damascus new weapons that "have a defensive character and that do not in any way interfere with the strategic balance in the region". Though no defence pact has been signed between the two, as it has between Syria and Iran, observers suggest the very presence of Russian warships in Tartous would bolster Damascus's military standing in the region. "Israel would think twice about attacking Syria again with Russian ships stationed in Tartous," said Abdel Wahed, an analyst.

A senior Israeli colonel has also accused Russia of passing intelligence about Israel to Syria and indirectly to Hizbullah. Describing electronic eavesdropping stations on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights believed to be operated by Russian technicians, Ram Dor, information security chief for the armed forces, told an Israeli newspaper: "My assessment is that their facilities cover most of the state of Israel's territory. The Syrians share the intelligence that they gather with Hizbullah, and the other way around."

During the 2006 July war Hizbullah fighters used advanced Russian tank-buster missiles to cripple at least 40 of Israel's Merkava tanks, a key tipping point in a war that Israel later admitted it lost. The Russian embassy in Damascus could not be reached for comment.

| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Hamas plotting West Bank takeover in early 2009 World Tribune (September 24, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority has opted for a holding pattern rather than developing a strategy to block the opposition Hamas movement from seizing power in the West Bank. PA security sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to respond to appeals by senior officers to implement a range of measures to protect the Fatah-aligned regime from Hamas threats.

"Abu Mazen [Abbas] is scared of Hamas," a senior source said. "He does not want to provoke Hamas." The PA has assessed that Hamas could not topple the Abbas regime. Senior officials said that unlike the Gaza Strip, Hamas does not have sufficient forces to sustain a rebellion in the West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Hamas does not have real power in the West Bank and Israel is exaggerating its strength," PA National Security Force commander Maj. Gen. Diyab Al Ali said. "We are ready to control the West Bank cities and maintain security if Israel withdraws from them and this will make it easier for us to obtain our demands from Israel."

But security sources said Hamas could destabilize the PA to the point where senior officials either flee the West Bank or stay home. The sources said this could include Abbas, who has often threatened to quit. The sources said Hamas has been working with Iran and Syria in a campaign to undermine the Abbas regime in 2009. They said the Hamas effort was being planned in the Gaza Strip by military chief Ahmed Jaabari.

In 2008, the PA arrested about 400 Hamas members in the West Bank and closed four Hamas charities. All but about 120 have been released. On Sept. 22, PA forces raided the Hebron office of a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, identified as Samira Al Halayka,. Hebron has been the latest target of a PA crackdown on Hamas. The sources said Hamas was believed to have organized assassination and sabotage squads that could attack the PA after January 2009, when Abbas's term was scheduled to end. Abbas was said to have agreed to a U.S. request to remain in power after January.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Syria poised to invade Lebanon WorldNet Daily (September 24, 2008) - New concerns are being raised by the possibility that Syria may launch troops into Lebanon by using a pretext of concern over assaults on a Lebanese faction sympathetic to the Syrian leadership, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. Confirmed reports reveal that there are some 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the northern border of Lebanon. A small Alawite faction near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, has been in repeated gun fights with Sunni militants. The area's majority population is Sunni. The Alawites are of the same tribe as Syrian President Bashar Assad. Most of Syria's top security and military officials also are Alawite.

The concern is that Syria forcibly would annex the northern part of Lebanon to protect the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam which is associated closely with the Syrian-supported Shiite Hezbollah. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been fighting the Sunnis in support of the Alawite minority in northern Lebanon. The Alawites in Lebanon became influential while Syrian troops occupied Lebanon until 2005. The Syrian troops left following the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Syrian opposition, led by Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, places the blame of the father's assassination on the Syrian regime. The investigation to determine responsibility for Hariri's assassination still is under way. Saad Hariri heads the Sunni group that is fighting with the Alawites in Tripoli. In early September, Hariri, who heads the Sunni Future Movement in Lebanon, recently held talks with the head of the Alawite faction, Ali Eid. Eid is pro-Syrian while Hariri's Future Movement heads the anti-Syrian movement in Lebanon.

Tensions in Tripoli, however, have precluded any return to political stability in Lebanon despite efforts last May by Qatar to end a long power struggle between Hariri's anti-Syrian coalition and the pro-Syrian Hezbollah. The 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the Syrian-Lebanese border are in positions on the northern Lebanese border in the hills overlooking the El-Kabir River, which forms the northern boundary of the two countries.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Ten Russian warships have docked at Syrian port DEBKAfile (September 19, 2008) - Israeli military and naval commanders were taken by surprise by Rear Adm. Andrei Baranov's disclosure that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Moscow and Damascus have worked fast to put in place the agreement reached in Moscow on Sept. 12 by Russian navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Wysotsky and Syrian naval commander Gen. Taleb al-Barri to provide the Russian fleet with a long-term base at Syrian ports. Israel was not aware that this many vessels were involved in the deal.

What most worries Israeli military leaders is an earlier announcement by Adm. Wysotsky that Russia’s Mediterranean assets would subjected to its Black Sea fleet command, thereby placing Russia’s warships near Israel’s shores at the service of Moscow’s contest against the US and NATO in the Caucasian. It is feared that Israel will be dragged into another cold war. Rear Adm. Baranov disclosed that the warships in Tartus had brought engineering crews to widen and dredge the harbor to accommodate additional, fleet vessels. The crews were also working on expanding Latakia, another Syrian port, possibly for aircraft carriers or guided missile cruisers. The Russians are making no secret of their intention of using their naval presence in Syrian ports as a deterrent to a possible Israeli air strike against Syria.
| Israel | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Syrian Tripwire For WWIII Op Ed News - Lord Stirling (September 19, 2008) - Russian Rear Admiral Andrei Baranov has disclosed that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus. Russian engineering crews are widening and dredging the port to accommodate additional Russian warships. The Russians are making clear their intentions of using the large Russian naval presence in Tartus as a deterrent to Israeli air strikes against Syria using the powerful anti-air missiles on-board the Russian naval warships. These missile systems can sweep the sky over most of Syria and knock down Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters.

This changes the balance of power in the air over Syria. This also places a tripwire for World War III in place in the Middle East. Any attack on Iran will also involve a war with Syria and Lebanon. This will now involve Russian military forces in direct support of the Iranian/Syrian alliance. Russia is a major nuclear power with the power to destroy every American and NATO city. George Bush has just agreed to sell Israel 1,000 very advanced American bunker buster bombs for use in the coming war with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Could these Russian warships assist in getting men and materiel from the North through Lebanon into the mountains of Israel? They certainly seem to be preparing for plenty of Russian ships to be there for something. What Lord Stirling calls WWIII, I believe will be cut short when God destroys the attackers in the mountains of Israel. This doesn't mean that elsewhere around the world there won't be issues. Remember that the second seal is men killing each other and the third is an apparent economic collapse. If you've just joined the newsletter, you can see where I think this is leading here and here. We could be seeing the unfolding of events that will lead to Israel rebuilding the temple and the coming abomination of desolation.

Israel: Tzipi Livni prepares to take over as prime minister Telegraph UK (September 18, 2008) - Tzipi Livni, the 50-year-old Israeli foreign minister and mother of two, is poised to become the Jewish state's second woman prime minister after being voted leader of the ruling Kadima Party. Miss Livni who has declared victory after a surprisingly tight race to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as head of Israel's governing party, and said she would immediately turn to the task of trying to cobble together a new government.

Official results showed Miss Livni, a political moderate, winning by a 1.1 percentage point margin in the Kadima Party primary elections — a far narrower victory than the double-digit victory polls had predicted. She barely edged out Shaul Mofaz, a former defense minister, in a contest that could have far-reaching implications for peacemaking with the Palestinians and Syria. "The national responsibility (bestowed) by the public brings me to approach this job with great awe," Livni said, shortly after official results were announced. She will become the first woman to lead Israel since Golda Meir in the 1970s.

The Right-wing orthodox party, Shas, which was once happy to sit in Mr Olmert's government is less likely to agree to work with Miss Livni because of her key role in peace talks with the Palestinians. Miss Livni's attempt to broker an agreement will not be helped by the imminent Jewish holiday season, including New Year and Yom Kippur, which normally lead to a freeze in most political activity. Under Israeli election law, if she fails to create a coalition commanding a parliamentary majority within 42 days a general election will be called.

The election of Miss Livni is a boost for the current Israeli-Palestinian peace process as she is one of Israel's strongest supporters of attempts to reach a negotiated agreement with moderate Palestinians. Read full story...

| Israel | Dividing the Land |

Bush Agrees to War on Iran Op Ed News - Lord Stirling (September 17, 2008) - The United States has agreed to sell to Israel 1,000 of the very advanced bunker buster GBU-39 bombs. This is a major development as the Bush Administration had denied previous recent Israeli requests for large numbers of this weapon system. The GBU-39 has a stand off range of 110 km and uses pop-out wings with extremely accurate fire and forget technology. It is capable of penetrating 90 cm of steel reinforced concrete. This indicates that the Israeli Government has succeeded in its request that America allow it to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The GBU-39s will be used extensively in attacks on Iranian targets, as well as on Syrian and Hezbollah high value targets in both Syria and Lebanon.

The Israeli political landscape is about to change. I have been expecting former Israeli Prime Minister, and super war hawk, Benyamin Netanyahu to make a well timed major move. Current Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is about to resign due to his ongoing criminal troubles. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz are in a tight battle to win the vote on Wednesday as Kadima Party Chairman, with the right to attempt to form a new government. However, it appears that Bibi Netanyahu has put together a deal with Labor Party leader, former PM and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and the ultra-religious Shas Party to form a government with Bibi as Prime Minister in a few days time. Count on Bibi Netanyahu lighting a blowtorch in the dry kindling that is the Middle East.

There is a real technical question if the GBU-39 can destroy all of the key known or suspected Iranian nuclear sites, as well as key military sites in Lebanon and Syria. The hardest sites are very well protected. Some experts think that several dozen to a hundred plus GBU-39s targeted at the same spot can take out even the deepest/most harden site; others say that a micro or mini nuke will be required.

The Israeli and American war planners may be counting on all sides refraining from the use of WMD. Rather like Saddam held back his 29 WMD armed (chemical and anthrax) Scud-type guided missiles during the First Gulf War and like Hezbollah did during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. If this is the strategy it is one very, very, massive risk to all involved. Read full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Financial Crisis in America Threatens Israel's Stability Israel National News (September 15, 2008) - The venerated securities firm of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. announced early Monday morning on its website it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, stunning Wall Street and rattling financial markets around the world. Not least among them was the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which opened with sharp losses as it echoed the news.

Lehman was one of the first international investment banks to open its doors in the State of Israel, and businesses across the country are going to be affected by what is taking place on Wall Street. Lehman has invested in numerous institutions in Israel, among them Bank Leumi, Psagot, the Clal group, Menorah and Harel Financial Services. All told, Lehman Brothers Inc. has invested more than NIS 850 million in Israeli institutions.

The company’s stock, which provides investment banking services to corporations, institutions, high-net worth individuals, municipalities and governments around the world, dropped by 93.88 percent since the beginning of this year, trading at $3.65 per share at the end of the day on Friday. Although one of the smallest of Wall Street’s major players, with only 25,000 employees, Lehman Brothers has been a heavy hitter in the mortgage market. The renowned investment bank began its most recent descent in the morass of the mortgage market crisis in the summer of 2007. Lehman Brothers reported in June a second-quarter loss of $2.8 billion, far greater than had been expected by analysts and the harbinger of a general malaise in the market.

In September, the US government announced its takeover of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage finance companies, and two days later, Lehman Brothers announced its next expected loss of $3.9 billion. It said it spinning off its commercial real estate holdings into a new public company.

Not far behind Monday’s morning’s blues was the gloom predicted by financial experts who eyed the next possible crash, that of major US insurance company, American International Group A.I.G. The New York Times reported Monday that the insurance giant has asked for a $40 billion loan from the Federal Reserve to pull it through the current crisis; without that crucial support, the newspaper reports, the company might not survive. A.I.G. provides insurance products – including general and life insurance as well as retirement services, financial services and asset management to individuals and businesses throughout the United States and abroad. Read full story...

| Israel | America | Economic Crisis |

See also: How the Masters of the Universe ran amok and cost us the earth The Scotsman (September 16, 2008)

IDF intelligence: Syria strengthening ties with radical axis YNet News (September 15, 2008) - Head of Military Intelligence research division tells Knesset committee Damascus simultaneously boosting ties with West, radical countries. Adds: Hamas establishing bona fide country in Gaza. "Syria is moving forward along the path of peace and openness toward the West while simultaneously strengthening its ties to the radical axis," the head of the research division of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday.

Addressing the Iranian nuclear program, Baidatz said "the most optimistic scenario as far as the Iranians are concerned is that they will have obtained nuclear capabilities by 2010," but added that such a scenario was "not likely". According to the intelligence official, Iran is continuing to advance technologically while the international community is not showing any signs of trying to stall the Islamic Republic's progress.

'Weapons smuggling continues'

Baidatz told the MKs that Hamas is continuing to arm itself with Qassam rockets and is obtaining capabilities that may threaten Israel's home front. "Hamas is also improving its defense capabilities in case of an Israeli operation (in Gaza)," he said. "The Islamist group is turning Gaza into a bona fide state. Hamas is the clear and decisive ruler there."  According to Baidatz, the smuggling of weapons and goods into the Strip through the Rafah crossing continues despite the Egyptians' efforts to prevent it.

As for Israel's northern border, Baidatz said Hizbullah may attempt to shoot down any Israeli aircraft that enters Lebanese airspace, adding that the Shiite group's armament was also continuing "north and south of the Litani River". He said the transfer of arms to Hizbullah from Iran and Syria is continuing in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Solana: political pressure an option for EU to push forward Mideast peace process China View (September 14, 2008) - Visiting EU senior official Javier Solana said here that the European Union would use the political pressure to achieve what can be achieved in the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the official news agency Petra reported on Sunday.

The international community and the EU should help maintaining the continuity of negotiations, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and EU's Secretary-General of the Council Solana said on a press conference in Amman following a two-day visit. Negotiations, he affirmed, must have a timetable. Despite of the U.S. and Israeli elections, there is still hope to reach a tangible development before the end of 2008, he added. "Momentum of the negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis will continue until next year, if nothing was achieved this year," Solana said.

Asked about the EU's role in ending the Israeli blockade on Gaza Strip, Solana said that "our policies and goal is to open border crossings before people and goods, but opening these crossings is not our responsibility." Earlier, Solana met with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Nadir Al Dahabi and Foreign Minister Salaheddin Al Bashir for talks on the peace process and relations between regional countries and the EU. Solana has concluded a regional tour that took him to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank, Israel and Jordan.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Olmert: Forget Greater Israel Israel National News (September 14, 2008) - "The notion of a Greater Israel no longer exists, and anyone who still believes in it is deluding themselves," said Ehud Olmert, in what is likely to be his last cabinet meeting as Prime Minister. "Forty years after the Six Day War ended, we keep finding excuses not to act. This isn't doing Israel any good,” said Olmert to the members of his cabinet.

Olmert warned that unless Israel gives up more land, it will face pressure from overseas to grant all PA Arabs citizenship in a single state of two nationalities. “The international community in starting to view Israel as a future binational state. We can prove that we have been more creative than the other side through the years, and that they have been more obstinate, but as usual, we will win the debate by not losing sight of what's really important.” The Prime Minister warned that “time is not on Israel’s side, not because our cause isn’t just, but because time has its own repercussions.” Olmert did not specify what those repercussions were, nor did he explain why he believed that Israel was incapable of dealing with them.

Olmert was once known as a hawkish politician reluctant to give up land. "I admit – this hasn’t always been my position. In the past I've said that what he agreed to in Camp David was wrong.” Olmert he confessed in the meeting that he used to believe in a Greater Israel. "I used to believe that everything from the Jordan Riverbank to the Mediterranean Sea was ours. After all, dig anywhere and you'll find Jewish history. But eventually, after great internal conflict, I've realized we have to share this land with the people who dwell here – that is if we don’t want to be a binational state," said Olmert. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Putin's Unholy Land Grab: Red Square In Jerusalem The Jewish Press (September 3, 2008) - Last month it took two tank divisions and a diversion of Olympian proportions for Vladimir Putin to subdue Georgia's fledgling democracy and seize two of its territorial regions. This month we may see Russia's new emperor claiming a prime slice of downtown Jerusalem for the KGB without even firing a shot.

I refer to a shady transfer to Putin of what is known as the Russian Compound - a 17-acre site between Jaffa and Hanevi'im roads, close to the Old City walls. According to a Foreign Ministry letter that has come into this writer's possession, the deal was agreed on between the two governments on December 12, 2007. The transaction could not be completed, however, until the land was transferred from Israel's Custodian General of land and property to the government itself.

According to the same Ministry letter, this final clearance was ratified by a Jerusalem court on August 27. Like so many other concessions on outposts and the security fence, this is yet another surrender concocted between the executive and the judiciary, without any parliamentary involvement or oversight.

According to the Israel Policy Forum, the Jewish state's judiciary is the most activist in the democratic world and dominates the elected branches of government, the legislative and the executive. The ultimate check on the judicial branch of government is the power of appointing judges, which is retained by the elected branches of government in the overwhelming majority of democracies. This enables the people's representatives to ensure that no judges with extreme views (including extreme views of their own political prerogatives) are appointed.

In Israel, such a check is nonexistent. Judges in Israel are appointed by a small committee controlled by the judges of the Supreme Court and their close allies in the Israeli bar. The process is secretive and subject to manipulation and abuse. It has led to the domination of the court by judges with strongly liberal views who have succeeded in alienating large segments of Israel's population.

Given Russia's close association with Iran and Syria, the prospect of its establishing an enclave in the heart of the Jewish capital is daunting indeed. It conjures up images of Arab terrorists fleeing into the compound and Israeli security personnel unable to pursue them without precipitating an international crisis. In many respects it would be tantamount to inviting a Russian spy ship to permanently dock right in the middle of an Israeli naval base.

The Russian Compound's commanding position made it the perfect staging ground for numerous conquests of Jerusalem from the Assyrians to Titus's Roman legions. From a Turkish cavalry parade ground in the Ottoman period it was developed in 1860 by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society to cater for large numbers of Russian pilgrims to the holy city. Read full story...

| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Gog/Magog |

Thanks Geno, for forwarding the story to me. It seems to me that while Israel is dwelling in the land, everyone around her wants it for themselves. This is one of the primary reasons I'm not worried about an Iranian nuclear missile strike on Israel. Could it happen? I suppose, but according to Bible prophecy Israel is the center of what is going to happen and it seems that everyone wants to take it for themselves as a spoil, not totally destroy it for everyone. And we know, at least in the case of Jerusalem, that the man of sin will declare himself to be God there and the city will be taken over by his followers. So while a nuclear Iran is all the buzz in much of the news, my concern is more for other enemies of Iran than Israel, and regarding the nuclear issue I know what side Russia is on and they have plenty as well as other nations that I'm sure have given Iran what it needs under the table. Whatever happens, don't fear - these things must come to pass and in the end God will be glorified in it.

Ezekiel 38:10-16
Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations,
[Israel] which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Ministers okay Moscow's property claim The Jerusalem Post (October 5, 2008) - The cabinet on Sunday voted to transfer ownership of Sergei's Courtyard in downtown Jerusalem's Russian Compound to the Russian government. The move is the culmination of four years of negotiations, after then-Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is currently his country's prime minister, laid claim to the site on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church. Sergei's Courtyard currently houses offices of the Agriculture Ministry and the Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, and the Jerusalem branch of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will begin a two-day trip to Moscow. Israeli officials expect the Russians to raise the question of the transfer of Russian church property in Jerusalem. Olmert had planned to visit Russia last month but the trip was put on hold due to the political uncertainty here. Israeli officials rejected assertions that an outgoing prime minister should not be making such a trip, saying it was approved by both Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Iran's nuclear program and Israeli concerns over the sale of advanced Russian weapons to Syria are expected to top the talks' agenda.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel had said it would petition the High Court of Justice if the current caretaker government approves the transfer of Sergei's Courtyard. The group cited the decision by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch two weeks ago preventing the appointment of Supreme Court justices until a new government is formed. In a letter sent on Friday to the prime minister, Cabinet Secretary Ovad Yehezkel and Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, the forum wrote: "A caretaker government is not entitled to take important and irreversible decisions that the incoming government will have to deal with."

The transfer of "important property in the center of Jerusalem to a powerful foreign state with interests in this region and imperial designs" was no less important than the appointment of Supreme Court justices, the forum wrote. Some Israeli officials had expressed concern that such a transfer could set a precedent for other property in the capital owned by the Russian, Greek and Roman Catholic churches. The Knesset and the Prime Minister's Office stand on land originally owned by the Greek Orthodox Church.

The site was built in 1890 to accommodate Russian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and was named after Tsar Alexander II's son, Sergei Alexandrovich. Israel acquired some 90 percent of the Russian Compound in 1964, paying the former Soviet Union $3.5 million. The purchase was dubbed the Orange Deal because Israel, lacking hard currency, paid the Russians in citrus fruit. Sergei's Courtyard, however, was part of the remaining 10% not covered in the deal.
| Israel | Gog/Magog |

'Abbas to meet with Assad in Damascus' The Jerusalem Post (October 3, 2008) - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to visit Damascus in a week and a half, Army Radio reported Friday. According to a senior official in the PA, Abbas is expected to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The two are slated to discuss recent indirect talks between Syria and Israel, as well as a possible rapprochement with Hamas. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Meanwhile, MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) told the Reuters news agency that Abbas is already holding secret talks with Assad, and that the two leaders were working to coordinate policies on diplomatic issues. Abbas is scheduled to finish his term as president on January 9, and in the absence of new elections - due to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip - Abbas, according to the PA constitution, will be replaced by the speaker of the PA parliament, Abdel Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas official currently in an Israeli prison. Abbas, however, is not expected to step down from his post and is looking for ways to extend his term. Both the IDF and the PA are concerned that Abbas's refusal to hand over the reins could set off violent clashes in the West Bank between Fatah and Hamas.
| Israel | Islam |

Palestinians accept Olmert peace offer Israel Today (October 2, 2008) - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said that the recent peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is enough to get a final status agreement signed, but recognized that the outgoing Israeli leader does not have the ability to implement the proposal. "We could have peace in two days" if Olmert's offer could be implemented, Abbas told a group of Muslim clerics at the tail end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Olmert made his offer in a Rosh Hashanah interview with Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot. In the interview, Olmert said he was ready to withdraw from 93 percent of Judea and Samaria, including nearly all of eastern Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Olmert offered to make up the difference by giving the Palestinians 5.5 percent of sovereign Israeli land. The proposed deal also included a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Abbas said he hopes that Olmert's proposal will form the foundation of peace talks with his successor. The Palestinian leader said he would like to view Olmert's offer as a peace "deposit." The international community tried to make sure that will be the case when the Middle East Quartet last week insisted that all Israeli offers, no matter how tentative, be made binding.

Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated in a holiday interview with Israel National News that the nation does not have a viable Palestinian peace partner with whom to make a deal. In another holiday interview with Israeli Internet portal Walla!, Netanyahu said that if he regains the prime minister's chair he will actually increase Jewish settlement activity and shelf all talk of a peace deal leading to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. There is no hope of a viable final status peace deal at this point, said Netanyahu, so the best thing to do is forge an economic arrangement with the Arabs of Judea and Samaria. Polls conducted over the past year consistently show that Netanyahu will win the next national election by a healthy margin.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Ahmadinejad: Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel Haaretz (September 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse of Israel." The Iranian news agency Khabar quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime." In a phone conversation between the two leaders, the Iranian president said that the continued Hamas resistance against Israel and the group's achievements would always be "a source of pride for all Muslims." Iran does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel and vowed to support Hamas until what Ahmadinejad calls "deliverance from Zionists (Israel)." Haniyeh, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, was elected Palestinian prime minister in 2006, but was dismissed in June 2007 by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip from Abbas' Palestinian Authority.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Nasrallah: No peace in Middle East as long as Israel exists Haaretz (September 11, 2008) - The Hezbollah leader went on to say that his Lebanon-based guerilla group is stronger than ever and is prepared for its next confrontation with Israel. "Any Israeli attack on Lebanon, Iran, Syria or Gaza will be met with a fierce response," Nasrallah said. He added that Hezbollah has grown logistically and militarily stronger, claiming that all of Lebanon has united against a common enemy - Israel. One subject Nasrallah did not broach in the interview is the assassination last February of the group's second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh. Nasrallah did not discuss how or when his group would avenge the killing. Recent Israeli intelligence reports, however, have suggested that Hezbollah is planning to abduct Israelis abroad as revenge for Mughniyeh's assassination.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

U.S. to guarantee Palestinian state WorldNet Daily (September 11, 2008) - The U.S. is planning to issue a letter guaranteeing the country will back agreements reached during current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state before President Bush leaves office in January, WND has learned. The move is intended to ensure any agreements reached by the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, and spelled out in a joint document, will be recognized by the next U.S. administration and binding for Israel and the PA. The information comes as Jacob Walles, the U.S. consul-general, stated in an interview with a major Palestinian newspaper yesterday that Israel and the PA agreed to negotiate Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley area leading to the Dead Sea. In response to the report, the State Department issued a statement claiming the U.S. government has not taken a position on the borders of a future Palestinian state and denying Jerusalem is being discussed. But Israeli and Palestinian sources intimately familiar with the current talks tell WND Jerusalem is being negotiated, with Palestinian officials claiming the talks are in advance stages. The sources also said the U.S. recently floated a plan to divide Jerusalem. According to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources, officials from the State Department this year presented both negotiating sides with several proposals for consideration regarding the future status of Jerusalem. It was unclear whether the U.S. proposals were accepted. One U.S. plan for Jerusalem obtained by WND was divided into timed phases and, among other things, called for Israel eventually to consider forfeiting parts of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. According to the first stage of the U.S. proposal, Israel initially would give the PA some municipal and security sovereignty over key Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. The PA would be allowed to open some official institutions in Jerusalem, could elect a mayor for the Palestinian side of the city and would deploy some kind of so-called basic security force to maintain law and order. The specifics of the force were not detailed in the plan. The initial stage also calls for the PA to operate Jerusalem municipal institutions, such as offices to oversee trash collection and maintenance of roads. After five years, if both sides keep specific commitments called for in a larger principal agreement, according to the U.S. plan, the PA would be given full sovereignty over agreed-upon eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and discussions would be held regarding an arrangement for the Temple Mount. The plan doesn't specify which parts of the Temple Mount could be forfeited to the Palestinians or whether an international force may be involved. The PA also could deploy official security forces in Jerusalem separate from a non-defined basic force after the five-year period and also could open major governmental institutions, such as a president's office, and offices for the finance and foreign ministries. The U.S. plan leaves Israel and the PA to negotiate which Jerusalem neighborhoods would become Palestinian. According to top diplomatic sources, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who visited the region last month, pressed Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would include Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli team rather would conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND. The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem. Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Rabbi Tendler to Rabbis: Permit Temple Mount Visits! Israel National News (September 10, 2008) - Rabbi Moshe David Tendler, a prominent Torah scholar and lecturer in Yeshiva University in New York, and a Ph.D. in microbiology, says that the recent renewal by top rabbis of a ban on entry to the Temple Mount is either based on wrong information or guided by the government's political considerations. "The citation of Jewish Law that is being spouted to prohibit Jewish entry to the Temple Mount is sometimes embarrassing," Rabbi Tendler told IsraelNationalRadio's Yishai Fleisher this week. He said the Chief Rabbinate must exercise its authority for the sake of the entire Nation of Israel. Hear the interview (starts at 2:25 minutes) Listen Now or Download Three Sages Ask for Renewed Ban Last month, Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, and former Sephardic chief rabbi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef - all renowned rabbis of the hareidi non-nationalist religious sector - sent a letter asking that the ban on Jewish entry to the Temple Mount be re-issued.  The letter was sent to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, the Rabbi of the Holy Sites on behalf of the government of Israel. The rabbis' letter is based on the grave Biblical prohibition on setting foot, while in the present impure state, on certain parts of the Temple Mount - and the lack of clarity as to where those parts might be.  "As time passed," the letter states, "we have lost knowledge of the precise location of the Temple, and anyone entering the Temple Mount is liable to unwittingly enter the area of the Temple and the Holy of Holies. Entrance to the Temple Mount, and the defilement of the Holy of Holies, is more severe than any of the violations in the Torah." more...
| Israel | Temple Mount |

Swastika Epidemic in the United States Israel National News (September 10, 2008) - An epidemic of swastikas has spread in the United States in recent days. Police are scrambling to find suspects as Nazi symbols and other anti-Semitic graffiti have appeared on storefronts, synagogues and other locations in dozens of locations across the country. Many incidents occurred over the Labor Day holiday. Rewards have been offered for the finding of the culprits. In Arizona, graffiti “artists” spray-painted swastikas on several buildings, including a Family Dollar store. Some of the swastikas were accompanied by a painted circle with an “x” running through it and the words “Say No” appearing in the middle. Police are looking for the culprits of these attacks and others in the area, including the painting of swastikas and other anti-Semitic messages on a traffic sign, a garage door and several mailboxes. On Sunday, near Boston, Massachusetts, a swastika was found scratched into the door of a Reform temple. Suspects have yet to be found after Rabbi Benjamin Lefkowitz found the Nazi symbol on the door of Temple Beth Sholom in the town of Hull, according to the local newspaper The Patriot Ledger. Jewish institutions in Georgia and California also became the repeated targets of swastika tagging over the weekend. The same Sunday of the Hull, Mass. attack, the Atlanta Jounal-Constitution reported that in the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Sandy Springs, a swastika was found painted on a stop sign near a Jewish day school. It was the second time in a month that the area near the Epstein School has been targeted with swastikas. Sandy Springs police announced Tuesday that they were doubling the reward offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrators, from $2,500 to $5,000. Over the weekend, vandals painted a swastika on a Conservative synagogue northeast of San Diego, California. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department reported that it was the third time since April that Temple Ner Tamid in Poway was targeted with anti-Semitic graffiti. Local authorities reported that the synagogue, serving some 120 families, was targeted in May with “white-supremacist letters, numbers and signs”, including symbols that apparently meant “Heil Hitler.” more...
| Israel | America |

Israel considers paying settlers to leave West Bank VOA News (September 7, 2008) - In a sign of progress in Middle East peace talks, Israel is considering a plan to lure Jewish settlers away from the occupied West Bank. Robert Berger reports from the VOA bureau in Jerusalem. For the first time, Israel's Cabinet discussed a plan to compensate Jewish settlers in the West Bank if they leave their homes voluntarily. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel is engaged in ongoing, serious peace talks with the Palestinians, and it is clear that settlements will be dismantled under an emerging agreement. Therefore, he said, Israel must be prepared to take the necessary steps to provide alternative housing for the settlers. Israel has reportedly offered the Palestinians about 93 percent of the West Bank, which means that dozens of isolated settlements would be evacuated. Under the compensation offer, each settler family would receive about $280,000 to move back to Israel. The Cabinet did not vote on the plan and some ministers expressed opposition. Cabinet Minister Rafi Eitan said settlers should not be removed from their homes until a peace deal is final, and proposing it now weakens Israel's position in negotiations. Settlement leaders are furious, saying the government has not learned the lessons of the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip three years ago, when 21 Jewish communities were dismantled. Israel Meidad lives in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. "It is impossible for the people who want to achieve peace and security for Israel to see how that can be done with the current situation of withdrawal, yielding up and surrendering of territory," said Meidad. Since the withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinians there have fired thousands of rockets at Israel. And the settlers say the same thing will happen in the West Bank, if Israel pulls out.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Syria makes peace proposal to Israel Associated Press (September 4, 2008) - Syria's leader said Thursday he offered a proposal for peace with Israel but also refused to break off ties with Hezbollah and militant Palestinians — a key Israeli demand. President Bashar Assad also said indirect negotiations with Israel were on hold until that country chooses a new prime minister and that direct talks would have to wait until a new U.S. president takes office. Assad's comments came after meetings with France's leader and regional mediators in talks focusing on Mideast peace and Iran's nuclear program. France hopes that warmer relations with Syria, Iran's ally, could help the West in its efforts to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program. Assad said his proposal for Israel was intended to serve as a basis for direct talks. He said he would wait for a similar document laying out Israel's positions before any face-to-face talks. So far, negotiations between the two foes have been held indirectly through Turkish mediators. Although Assad didn't divulge details of his proposal, the move reflected a desire to break with Syria's past policies. The quest was given a boost by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, who visited Damascus on Wednesday and Thursday, becoming the first Western leader in several years to come to Syria. Sarkozy has encouraged face-to-face Syria-Israel negotiations and offered to sponsor such talks in the future. The French president has been trying to forge better relations with both Syria and Libya, a longtime international pariah that has significantly improved ties with the West. Assad and Sarkozy were joined Thursday in a four-way summit by Turkey's prime minister and the leader of Qatar, a key broker in inter-Arab disputes, to discuss Mideast stability and peace. Washington made clear it expects more from Syria before any warming of ties. "Overall what we'd like to see out of Syria is for it to play a much more productive role in the region. It hasn't until now. We'd like to see it not meddle in the affairs of the sovereign government of Lebanon," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said. He said the U.S. "would like to see" Syria reach a peace with Israel and establish diplomatic relations. In an interview with French television, Assad ruled out any recognition of Israel before a peace deal. But "when there is a peace accord, of course there will be reciprocal recognition. This is natural," he said. Syria and Israel have held four rounds of indirect talks through Turkish mediation in the last year. Assad said at the summit that in the peace proposal, given to Turkish mediators, Syria outlined six points on the issue of the "withdrawal line" — a reference to the extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. In Israel, an official said contacts were already being made to set up more talks. He said Israel has a "genuine intention to reach an agreement." The official declined to be identified because the diplomatic efforts are ongoing. Israeli officials have insisted that Syria also must end its support for militant groups opposed to Israel, namely Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. But Assad on Thursday sought to reassure the groups that he would continue to back what he described as the "resistance" against Israeli occupation. "We don't see any interest in abandoning the resistance," he told Hezbollah's Al-Manar television. "Our position has always been clear. Our position toward the resistance against any occupation in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine is firm and has not changed." more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Syria warns of 'catastrophic' effect of any Israeli strike on Iran (September 2, 2008) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Tuesday that an attack by Israel on Iran would have catastrophic consequences for the entire world. "We think that Israel could try to launch attacks against Iran, even against Lebanon or Syria," he said in an interview with France 3 television. "Any attack by Israel or by anyone else will have catastrophic results not only on the region but on the whole world," he said. In recent months several Israeli politicians have talked of the possibility of a preemptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to avoid any possibility of Tehran acquiring an atomic weapon. Iran has responded by threatening retaliatory strikes with its Shahab-3 missiles which have a nominal range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) -- enough to reach Israel.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Israel foils 5 attempted abductions by Hizbullah YNet News (September 2, 2008) - Defense establishment, with assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, successfully hinders attempts to kidnap Israeli businessmen in Europe, West Africa, US, South America and Asia. The Israeli defense establishment has been able to foil five attempted kidnappings of Israeli businessmen, operating aboard, by Hizbullah, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. A senior security source told the paper that "this was a concentrated effort by Hizbullah, backed by Iran, to carry out kidnappings in retaliation for the assassination of top Hizbullah operative Imad Mugniyah. "Hizbullah," he said, "is scouring for prey, and it's going country by county." Israel has reportedly been able to intercept such attempts in Europe, West Africa, the US, South America and Asia, where Hizbullah relies on local Shiite communities for assistance. All the attempted were foiled with the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, who are acutely aware of Hizbullah and Iran's declared vendetta. The defense establishment has apparently cautioned several prominent businessmen, who travel extensively, of such attempts. "We're working under the assumption that there may be an attempt to kidnap them, but there very well may be an attempt on their lives. We're monitoring this situation very closely," said the security source. "Several businessmen owe their lives and their freedom to this emergency operation; which was largely facilitated thanks to the cooperation we received from various foreign intelligence agencies." The American media reported recently of several attempts made by Hizbullah sleeper-cells in the US to target Jewish institutions in the US and Canada. The Foreign Ministry and the Shin Bet have also recalled several Israeli emissaries from countries deemed to have a volatile security situation. Security sources told Yedioth Ahronoth that Israel is equally concerned about known Hamas' intentions to abduct soldiers, in at attempt to shift the balance of power in any future negotiation for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Hamas operates under the assumption that kidnapping more Israeli soldiers would enable it to double, if not triple, the price for the release if kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, leaving Israel virtually powerless to refuse. The Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a rare, worldwide travel advisory for Israelis recently, warning of possible attempts by Hizbullah to kidnap or harm Israelis abroad.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Israeli-Syrian peace talks postponed The Jerusalem Post (September 1, 2008) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to visit Damascus on Wednesday, a trip Israel had an indirect role in making possible because of its indirect talks with Syria, at a time when - ironically - the Israel-Syria track seems frozen. Turkish sources said Monday that there was no new date scheduled for the fifth round of indirect talks in Turkey between Syrian and Israeli negotiating teams, a round that was originally scheduled for last week, then postponed until this week, and now tentatively set for next week. Turkish sources told The Jerusalem Post last week that it was likely that the talks would be postponed until after Sarkozy's two-day trip to Damascus. The Syrians have expressed interest in US and French co-sponsorship of the talks, something which Sarkozy would like to see. In a speech to French ambassadors last week, Sarkozy said it was because Syria knew that France had excellent relations with Israel and the US that "Damascus wanted France to shoulder this unprecedented responsibility in due time." He said this would be discussed during his visit. The US, meanwhile, has shown no interest in involvement. Sarkozy's visit will be the first by a French leader to Damascus since former president Jacques Chirac cut ties with Syria following the assassination in February 2005 of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, a close friend of Chirac. Diplomatic officials have said that Israel's decision to hold indirect talks with Syria gave a certain degree of "diplomatic cover" for Sarkozy to make overtures to Assad, with the argument being that if it was okay for Jerusalem to talk with the Syrians, then it was also okay for France. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also scheduled to visit Damascus this week, expected to visit there on Thursday, the day that Sarkozy leaves. This has led to speculation that Erdogan wants to ensure that Turkey maintains its central role in the Israel-Syria talks. Turkish sources, however, said that the hastily scheduled Erdogan visit was likely connected more to the Russian-Georgian crisis, than to the Israeli-Syrian track. Turkey's decision to allow US warships through the Bosporus Straits to the Black Sea was slammed by Russia, and Moscow's displeasure was translated into long delays for Turkish exporters at the Russian border. Turkey hit back Monday, subjecting Russian imports into Turkey to additional searches. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to arrive in Istanbul on Tuesday for a meeting that will focus on the rising tensions, and Erdogan's visit to Damascus - which is supporting Russia in its conflict with Georgia - is expected to focus on that issue. more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

The Third Temple Israel National News (August 31, 2008) - Rabbi Shlomo Riskin appeared so elated it seemed as if he would jump from his stationary standing position and sing praise to the Almighty right then and there. And all for the seemingly simple act of being fitted by a... tailor. Yet, the "tailor" wasn't just any tailor, but Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Ariel and his colleagues carefully took the measurements of Rabbi Riskin and several other rabbis, all kohanim, to eventually outfit them with the priestly garments according to the exact specifications in the Torah. Yehuda Glick, the Temple Institute's Director, beamed, "Today, in this room, kohanim are being measured for the first time in 2,000 years for the type of garments they will be wearing in a rebuilt Temple."

The Third Temple of the Third Jewish Commonwealth. This was the latest endeavor that the rabbis and yeshiva students of the Temple Institute have been working towards for years. Not if, but when (as they delight in proclaiming) the Third Temple is finally dedicated and construction has begun, they'll be ready to supervise the holy project down to every possible specification spelled out in the Torah. And they're quite serious about it. If tomorrow the Temple should suddenly appear by Divine intervention, they'll be ready to head in and begin their work. They've been ready for years. They've devoted their lives to creating the Third Temple. In the meantime they'll make all the necessary preparations, even to the point of taking clothing measurements of distinguished rabbis chosen from among the kohanim, so that when the day finally arrives they'll have the proper priestly attire to move into the Temple and initiate the rituals described in the Bible.

It's easy to dismiss such rabbis as merely tilting at windmills, preparing for a distant time when there might be a Third Temple. To the student of history, or perhaps even to the chosen rabbis themselves, the physical reality of the Third Temple may seem distant, but it still appears a lot closer than it was a hundred years ago. A century ago there was no State of Israel. It was only a dream. The Jewish presence in the land was minimal, the country was desolate, the inhabitants hostile. And yet a small group of idealists decided to begin working towards the goal of a Jewish return and Jewish statehood at a time when few thought it was possible.

"If you will it, it is no dream." Theodor Herzl internalized that ethos, then devoted his life to seeing it through. Everything he did towards the goal of creating a Jewish state, however small, insignificant or even utterly ridiculous it appeared at the time, ultimately mattered in the end. Herzl and his followers created what others had for centuries deemed impossible, a Jewish state in the ancient Jewish homeland. They weren't satisfied with simply waiting and praying and hoping, they worked and prepared for the Jewish state that they knew they could create. "The Maccabeans will rise again," declared Herzl in the last paragraph of his book The Jewish State. He didn't speculate or theorize. He used the phrase "will rise again" as a point of fact. And so it was.

Yet, in retrospect, there were very few in the early 20th Century who would have seriously thought that a powerful affluent Jewish state, feared and respected by its neighbors, would become a reality in the decades to come. But Herzl believed it. He predicted it. He willed it. "In fifty years time everyone will know it," said Herzl of the future Jewish state. And now we have rabbis and yeshiva devotees working diligently to prepare for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. They see time as a sequence of events on their side - the Jews return to the Promised Land, the Jewish state is reborn; surrounding hostile nations try to destroy Israel, the Jewish people reclaim Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Those are the obvious events. Less obvious are the more subtle realities that add up - the rebuilding of the Jewish Quarter; Jews steadily moving into the Old City; even the Temple Mount tunnel excavations.

But alas, those big mosques are still situated on the Temple Mount. For now. So in the meantime, they pray and wait - and prepare for that inevitable day when the Third Temple will be rebuilt. They know. They've learned from history. If you will it, it is no dream.
| Israel | Islam | Temple Mount |

U.N. Confirms: Hizbullah Importing Weapons From Syria Israel National News (August 30, 2008) - A United Nations task force assigned to report on weapons smuggling in Lebanon said Monday that Hizbullah has been bringing arms across the Syrian-Lebanese border. This confirms Israeli allegations that the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group has been steadily rearming with Syrian assistance and Lebanese collusion. Last month, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that "the number of missiles in the hands of Hizbullah has doubled, if not tripled, and that the range of the missiles has been extended. And this has been accomplished with the close assistance of the Syrians." In March, an anonymous source told the Associated Press that Hizbullah held new Iranian rockets capable of striking as far south as Dimona, Israel's nuclear facility in the Negev. According to the task force report, submitted to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, neither Lebanese nor Syrian officials have done anything to end weapons transfers to Hizbullah. The task force, which has seen no improvement in the situation since it started its work in 2007, noted that weapons flow easily across the Syrian-Lebanese frontier due to lax or non-existent inspections. Even the air and sea ports into Lebanon, the report says, have been used for weapons smuggling. Earlier this month, Lebanon's cabinet voted to allow Hizbullah to maintain its weapons arsenal. The government decision specifically approves Hizbullah activities aimed at Israel. In Violation of U.N. Resolutions Weapons transfers to the Hizbullah such as those cited in the task force report are in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War two years ago. However, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrols in southern Lebanon, far from the weapons transfer routes. Furthermore, UNIFIL has stated outright that it would not enforce Res. 1701 conditions calling for the disarming of Hizbullah. In March 2008, Hizbullah terrorists threatened and chased off UNIFIL forces after the armed international soldiers found a truck carrying illicit arms and ammunition. The incident was mentioned in a semi-yearly report submitted to the U.N. Security Council by Ban Ki-moon. In an earlier report to the U.N. Security Council, in February 2008, Ki-moon noted, "Hizbullah, by admission of its leaders on several occasions, has replenished its military capacity since the 2006 war with Israel. I therefore remain concerned that this border remains vulnerable to such [weapons transfers], which would represent serious violations of the resolution and constitute a significant threat to the stability and security of Lebanon."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks, taken in light of other stories of Russia and Syria as well as Turkey and Syria... Keep watching

Hamas reportedly ups ante for Schalit The Jerusalem Post (August 29, 2008) - Hamas has upped the ante for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, and is now demanded that Israel free over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including some with very long jail terms, all women, and all children, the London-based newspaper A-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Saturday. "The list includes over 1,000 prisoners," a spokesperson for Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Kassam, told the paper. He added that whether or not Israel approves on Sunday a set of relaxed criteria regarding which Palestinians are eligible for release did not matter. "From a fundamental point of view, we are not willing to discuss any list which the occupation presents, and it is [Israel's responsibility] to implement our list," the spokesperson said. On Thursday, a source in the Gaza Strip told the Jerusalem Post that the results of a recent election held for one of Hamas's key decision-making bodies were likely to hinder efforts to free Schalit. The secret ballot was held about 12 days ago for the Shura (Consultative) Council, which is made up of Hamas's senior political and religious leadership and is tasked with discussing all important issues. The names of the Shura Council members are kept secret, although it is believed that some of them are based in a number of Arab countries. The sources told the Post the vote resulted in a major victory for representatives of the "young guard" in Hamas, most of whom are affiliated with the movement's armed wing, Izzadin Kassam. The sources described the victory as a "coup," pointing out that the newly-elected members were far more radical than those who were ousted from the council. "The Shura Council of Hamas is now dominated by warlords, thugs and militiamen," one source said. "The new members are not as educated as their predecessors. Another source described the vote as a "turning point" in the history of the Islamist organization. "From now on, the armed wing of Hamas is expected to play a bigger role in the decision-making process, he said. "The political leadership of Hamas has definitely been weakened." Given the fact that Schalit is being held by members of Izzadin Kassam, some of whom are now represented in the Shura Council, Hamas is unlikely to soften its position in the talks on a prisoner exchange agreement. more...
| Israel | Islam |

'Israel reaches strategic decision not to let Iran go nuclear' The Jerusalem Post (August 29, 2008) - Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and if time begins to run out, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion. According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike. So far, Israel has not received American authorization to use US-controlled Iraqi airspace, nor has the defense establishment been successful in securing the purchase of advanced US-made warplanes which could facilitate an Israeli strike. The Americans have offered Israel permission to use a global early warning radar system, implying that the US is pushing Israel to settle for defensive measures only. Because of Israel's lack of strategic depth, Jerusalem has consistently warned in recent years that it will not settle for a 'wait and see' approach, merely retaliating to an attack, but will rather use preemption to prevent any risk of being hit in the first place. Ephraim Sneh a veteran Labor MK who has recently left the party, has reportedly sent a document to both US presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. The eight-point document states that "there is no government in Jerusalem that would ever reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. When it is clear Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, an Israeli military strike to prevent this will be seriously considered." According to Ma'ariv, Sneh offered the two candidates the "sane, cheap and the only option that does not necessitate bloodshed." To prevent Iran's nuclear aspirations, Sneh wrote, "real" sanctions applied by the US and Europe were necessary. A total embargo in spare parts for the oil industry and a total boycott of Iranian banks would promptly put an end to the regime, which is already pressured by a sloping economy and would be toppled by the Iranian people if they have outside assistance, he said. The window of opportunity Sneh suggests is a year and a half to two years, until 2010. Sneh also visited Switzerland and Austria last week in an attempt to lobby them against the Iranian threat. Both countries have announced massive long-term investments in Iranian gas and oil fields for the next decade. "Talk of the Jewish Holocaust and Israel's security doesn't impress these guys," Sneh said wryly. Hearing his hosts speak of their future investments, Sneh replied quietly "it's a shame, because Ido will light all this up." He was referring to Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, the recently appointed IAF commander and the man most likely to be the one to orchestrate Israel's attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, should this become a necessity. "Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told his Austrian hosts, "is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment." The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale. In related news, a top official said Friday that Iran had increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000. Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who visited the Natanz plant last week, said that Iran was preparing to install even more centrifuges, though he did not offer a timeframe. "Right now, nearly 4,000 centrifuges are operating at Natanz," Attar told the state news agency IRNA. "Currently, 3,000 other centrifuges are being installed." Meanwhile, the pan-Arabic Al Kuds al Arabi reported Friday that Iran had equipped Hizbullah with longer range missiles than those it possessed before the Second Lebanon War and had also improved the guerrilla group's targeting capabilities. According to the report, which The Jerusalem Post could not verify independently, Hizbullah was planning a massive rocket onslaught on targets reaching deep into Israel's civilian underbelly in case Israel launches an attack on Iran.
| Iran | Israel |

Condi pulls a Solomon: Split Jerusalem in 2 WorldNet Daily (August 28, 2008) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing a visit to the region today, has been pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks. The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND. The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem. Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years. The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the U.S. supports the conclusions of the document. Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before Bush leaves office. One Palestinian negotiator speaking to WND described as "crazy" the intensity and frequency of Israeli-Palestinian talks in recent weeks, saying both sides have been meeting on a daily basis, usually at the highest levels. The negotiator said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Ahmed Queri have been leading the talks. The negotiator said Jerusalem is being discussed by both sides and that the two teams are "closer than ever" on coming to an agreement on the status of the city. This claim was verified to WND by other diplomatic sources involved in the negotiations. The Palestinian negotiator said Jerusalem would be divided along the framework of the 2000 U.S.-brokered Camp David accords. He said the general philosophy for dividing Jerusalem would be "Arab for Arab and Jew for Jew," meaning that most Arab-majority eastern sections of Jerusalem would be granted to the Palestinian Authority while Israel would retain Western, Jewish-majority sections. Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians have claimed eastern Jerusalem as a future capital. About 244,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern neighborhoods. Jerusalem has an estimated total population of 724,000, the majority Jewish. A number of Arab-majority eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods widely regarded as slated for a Palestinian state include large numbers of Arabs who live on Jewish-owned land illegally. The Jewish National Fund, a U.S.-based nonprofit, owns hundred of acres of eastern Jerusalem land in which tens of thousands of Arabs illegally constructed homes the past few decades. Arabs are now the majority on the Jewish-owned land in question. Asked by WND whether Jerusalem is currently being negotiated, Mark Regev, Olmert's spokesman, simply stated, "No." Olmert has several times denied Jerusalem is being negotiated. Members of his government coalition have promised to bolt his government and precipitate new elections if Jerusalem is discussed in talks. Olmert, facing several criminal investigations described as "serious," recently announced he will resign after his Kadima party holds primaries next month to chose a new leader. That leader is widely expected to continue Israeli-Palestinian talks, especially if frontrunner Livni takes Olmert's place. The diplomatic situation in Israel is such that many commentators believe Olmert has an interest in concluding some sort of agreement quickly. Many believe he would like his input in an Israeli-Palestinian agreement to be among his final "achievements." WND first exclusively reported Aug. 1 that Olmert told the PA he intends to accelerate negotiations to reach some understanding on paper as soon as September. Over the weekend, the Israeli media quoted officials close to Olmert stating the prime minister is working for an interim document as soon as next month to be presented to the United Nations. The document likely will not be the conclusion of negotiations but an outline of some of the breakthroughs regarding the West Bank and Gaza. One PA negotiator told WND of the planned paper: "Papers are very important. It puts limits on the new prime minister. For example, the weak point of Israeli-Syrian negotiations are papers signed by former prime ministers that now must be abided during current negotiations." Regarding the division of Jerusalem, top diplomatic sources said both sides are close to agreements on specific issues. One PA negotiator claimed the U.S. has guaranteed the Palestinians that sensitive areas in eastern Jerusalem in which what he termed "extremist Jews" are purchasing real estate would be handed to the Palestinians. "The Israelis had no problem with this," the PA negotiator claimed. "We were also told not to worry too much about scattered Jewish properties in Arab neighborhoods, or yeshivas (Jewish seminaries) in the Old City." The PA negotiator's claim could not be verified by sources in Jerusalem. The initial stage also calls for the PA to operate Jerusalem municipal institutions, such as offices to oversee trash collection and maintenance of roads. After five years, if both sides keep specific commitments called for in a larger principal agreement, according to the U.S. plan the PA would be given full sovereignty over agreed upon eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and discussions would be held regarding an arrangement for the Temple Mount. The plan doesn't specify which parts of the Temple Mount could be forfeited to the Palestinians or whether an international force may be involved. The PA also could deploy official security forces in Jerusalem separate from a non-defined basic force after the five year period and could also open major governmental institutions, such as a president's office, and offices for the finance and foreign ministries. The U.S. plan leaves Israel and the PA to negotiate which Jerusalem neighborhoods would become Palestinian. According to diplomatic sources familiar with the plan, while specific neighborhoods were not officially listed, American officials recommended sections of Jerusalem's Old City as well as certain largely Arab Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Jabal mukabar, Beit Hanina, Abu Dis, and Abu Tur become part of the Palestinian side. Also recommended were the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shoafat, Kfar Akev and Qalandiya. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Temple Mount | America |

Remember the evacuation of Gaza in 2005, just over three years ago on the 9th of Av? This similar potential situation brings this to mind...

Zechariah 14:1,2
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Will we see civil unrest when Jews are once again wrested from their homes to be given to the PA? It looks like the division of Israel is into two pieces, meaning two parties and perhaps Jews will only be moved from half of the city.

Abbas-Olmert Meeting Sunday Amid Signs of Secret Deal Israel National News (August 28, 2008) - Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet on Sunday amid growing signs that the Israeli leader is trying to complete the outline for a new Arab state before he leaves office. PA sources said they will discuss the status of Jerusalem and the PA "right of return" demand that involves allowing millions of foreign Arabs to immigrate. Water resources also will be discussed. American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hinted a deal is in the works during her visit to Israel this week. At her meeting with Abbas in Ramallah, she "proposed new ideas related to the peace process," Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdneh said. "The coming weeks will be very decisive," he added. Prime Minister Olmert is taking advantage of the summer vacation, when most Israelis are vacationing, the Knesset is out of session and he is free to act without worrying about keeping his coalition government together. The Prime Minister already has said he will step down from office after the Kadima party chooses a new leader in primary elections next month. He recently said that negotiations with the PA must be kept secret and not in the eye of the media. The editor of a leading PA newspaper believes that Secretary Rice, Prime Minister Olmert and Abbas are cooking up a surprise to satisfy President Bush's desire to reach a final agreement before he leaves office in January. Hafith Barghouthi, the chief editor of the daily Hayat Al-Jadidah, wrote on Wednesday, "It seems a political 'meal' is being cooked on fire behind the scenes…. The fact that Rice met with both negotiation teams separately, then together proves what she said in the press conference about both sides abstaining from negotiating in front of the media. All this indicates that the negotiations are serious," he wrote. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Europe into the breach International Herald Tribune (August 26, 2008) - Some diplomatic movement has returned to the Middle East. Under American supervision, Israelis and Palestinians have been negotiating again since the end of 2007. Syria and Israel have begun an indirect negotiation process with Turkey as a mediator. In Lebanon, a new government including all relevant political factions has finally been formed. This would not have been possible without a green light from Syria. And this green light would not have come had Damascus not been convinced that its own negotiations with Israel could, in the medium term at least, lead to a bilateral agreement and also bring about an improvement of Syrian-American relations. Individual European Union states have already honored this constructive about-turn of Syrian policies. For all those engaged in Middle East diplomacy - this goes for the Arab-Israeli fold as well as for the Iranian nuclear file - the U.S. political calendar is always present: No one expects the current U.S. administration to settle any of the conflicts in the region or to bring any of the ongoing diplomatic processes there to a conclusion during the rest of its term. This is explicitly so for the Syrian-Israeli negotiations: Syria has already declared that it would not move from indirect to direct talks before the inauguration of a new American administration ready to actively engage with such a process. Implicitly, however, the same applies to the Annapolis process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. President Bush has repeatedly said that he wants the two sides to reach an agreement while he is still in office. Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who lead the talks, are both aware of the contours of a possible, mutually acceptable agreement, and they seem to have come closer with regard to some of the particularly difficult so-called final-status issues. Nonetheless, even under the most positive scenario, the best one could expect is a further narrowing of the gaps. A comprehensive agreement that would sort out such complex issues as the future of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, future borders between Israel and Palestine, or infrastructural links between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, will not be reached within only a couple of months. And neither Israel's prime minister nor the Palestinian president would today have the authority and the necessary majorities to ratify, let alone to implement a peace agreement. All this does not speak against the process, only against exaggerated expectations. The process is extremely fragile, and it could easily break down - particularly in the absence of sustained external "care," of guidance and support from a third party both able and prepared to drive the process forward and encourage the negotiating parties to continue their efforts even in the face of domestic opposition. The current U.S. administration will cease to play its role after the November elections; many of its representatives will by then be looking for new jobs. The new U.S. president will first have to get his senior officials confirmed by Congress, and a foreign policy review, before he begins any major policy initiative. As a result, we should expect a time-out for any active American involvement in the Middle East peace process between the end of this year and at least March or April 2009. Herein lays Europe's challenge. As an active partner in the so-called Middle East Quartet with the United States, Russia and the United Nations, the EU has helped to bring about the current talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The EU and several of its member states are contributing to the process through the support of state- and institution-building in the Palestinian territories, particularly in the security and justice sectors. But beyond that, the EU must now prepare itself to keep the process alive from the end of this year through to next spring. Considering such a task we also have to be aware of the particular structures of the Union. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has already announced a more active support for the Middle East peace process. But the French presidency ends in December 2008, and the Czech government, which takes over in January 2009, is unlikely to summon the same energy and resources for the Middle East. The EU's special representative for the Middle East, the Belgian diplomat Marc Otte, does not have enough political weight to assume a role that so far has been played by the U.S. secretary of state. Individual EU states like France, Germany or Spain would have the resources and diplomatic skills and could even be interested in temporarily guiding the process until a new American administration resumes this function. In practice, however, jealousy among EU states would make it impossible for any one of them to act for Europe in this or any other important foreign-policy field, unless this country happens to hold the EU presidency. EU states that want to promote a consensual and common European approach would therefore not even try to assume this role; others that might want to take it on would not be able to fill it. This does not make the EU incapable of acting. [Who ya gonna call?] The Union, through its Council of Foreign Ministers, should as soon as possible give a mandate to Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, to make himself available, with the approval of Israel, the Palestinians, and the current U.S. administration, as a temporary mediator for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from the end of the year. Solana would not take such an initiative on his own, but he can do so with a mandate from the Council. His staff is familiar with the subject matter and his diplomatic skills are beyond doubt. Any coalition of willing EU states could support him by delegating some of their own experienced diplomats to his office for the task. Solana and the EU would not be expected to make peace or to bring the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to a conclusion and to dispel any opposition to an agreement. This cannot be done by the EU, simply because, compared to the United States, it has less influence over Israel and cannot give security guarantees to either Israel or the Palestinians. The EU, however, can act as a temporary trustee for the process, thereby preventing it from breaking down and, given its knowledge of the regional situation, help the parties to find practical solutions for some of the most complicated final-status questions - for example, the political division of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states - only to hand back the process and the role of external guidance to Washington once the new administration there is ready for it. As an active trustee in this sense, the EU could not only show that it lives up to its own claim of contributing to crisis management through preventive diplomacy, it would also demonstrate to the new U.S. administration how high a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ranges on the European list of priorities, and how useful it can be for the United States to cooperate on this with its trans-Atlantic partners.
| Signs of the Times | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder | 1st Seal | America |

I agree with Fulfilled Prophecy regarding the must-read nature of this story and thank them for their watching of the many things I would miss were it not for their diligence. I wonder what would happen if some kind of Middle East war were to break out and through it all, a particular person who helped author part of the roadmap were to actually bring the peace agreement to fruition and divide Israel? I believe he could be seen as an incredibly good diplomat and give further credibility to give him more power to bring peace in the world. Keep watching...

Hizbullah-Iran-Syria-Lebanon Axis Tightens Israel National News (August 24, 2008) - Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Sunday his terrorist army is much stronger than before the Second Lebanon War and can destroy Israel. He issued the threat at a Boy Scout ceremony as a response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remark last week that "if Lebanon becomes a Hizbullah state, then we won't have any restrictions" in striking the country. The Prime Minister claimed that during the last war, Israel did not use all of its firepower because the enemy was Hizbullah and not its host country Lebanon. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has sent United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon a letter protesting Olmert's remarks. Siniora, at a meeting with his Cabinet, accused Israel of "once again… threatening to launch a new attack on Lebanon, forgetting that the [Israeli] occupation was the core of the problem for Lebanon and the region." The flurry of threats and warnings came two days after a report in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that three Hizbullah leaders visited Russia in July to clinch a deal involving the purchase of anti-tank missiles and air-defense systems. Israel disclosed evidence during the Second Lebanon War that Hizbullah used advanced Russian anti-tank missiles smuggled from Syria, in violation of previous international agreements. Nasrallah said, in a speech televised by the Hizbullah-backed Al Manar satellite network, that his arsenal of weapons is so great that "the Zionists will think not one thousand times but tens of thousands of times before they attack Lebanon." The prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran's growing nuclear threat also played a hand in Hizbullah's latest threats. Mohammed Raad, the head of the terrorist party's political bloc in the Lebanese government, warned, "The first shot fired from the Zionist entity toward Iran will be met by a response of 11,000 rockets in the direction of the Zionist entity. This is what military leaders in the Islamic Republic [Iran] have confirmed." Hizbullah has become a stronger political force in Lebanon since the end of the war two summers ago, winning enough representation in the Cabinet to veto any major decisions.  Syria, which aided Hizbullah in the Second Lebanon War, last week established diplomatic relations with Lebanon for the first time in history, providing Syrian President Bashar Assad with a stronger political base in Beirut's affairs after having withdrawn its military from Lebanon before the 2006 war. Syria has dominated Lebanese affairs for 30 years, and the West has joined Lebanese opponents of Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs in accusing Damascus of being behind the the 2005 assassination of anti-Syrian former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The new Lebanese government that gives Hizbullah more power assures Syria that it still can influence affairs in Lebanon, with the naming of Michel Suleiman as president. He is close to Syria and was the Lebanese army chief for 10 years during the Syrian army's control of the country. "It's a win-win situation," said Patrick Seale, a British expert on Syria told the Associated Press. "The Lebanese get diplomatic recognition and the Syrians get recognition of vital interests in Lebanon."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ahmadinejad in New Verbal Attack on Israel AFP (August 23, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad renewed his verbal attacks on arch-foe Israel on Saturday, accusing it of dragging the world into turmoil and predicting its demise. "About 2,000 organised Zionists and 7,000 to 8,000 agents of Zionism have dragged the world into turmoil," Ahmadinejad told a rally in the central Iranian city of Arak carried live on state television. He said that if the West does not restrain Zionism, "the powerful hand of the nations will clean these sources of corruption from the face of the earth," without specifying which nations. Iran does not recognise the Jewish state and Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by repeatedly saying since his election in 2005 that Israel is doomed to disappear. Last month Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie triggered controversy and calls for his resignation when he said Iranians are "friends with Israelis." Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, accuses Iran of seeking atomic weapons and wants tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic to make it halt its controversial nuclear programme. Iran insists that its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful and aimed at meeting the country's growing energy needs.
| Iran | Israel |

I guess at least he's honest about his intentions.

Beirut to petition UN on Jerusalem threats The Jerusalem Post (August 22, 2008) - Lebanon's unity cabinet on Friday approved a decision to formally complain to the United Nations about what it perceived as recent Israeli threats against Lebanon. "To hear what Israeli officials say, one would think Israel was showering Lebanon with roses during its last aggression," Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said of the Second Lebanon War. Saniora was apparently referring to comments this week by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who warned that Israel would hit back harder than before if Hizbullah attacked again. Olmert said Israel did not use all its means to respond then, but "if Lebanon becomes a Hizbullah state, then we won't have any restrictions in this regard." Lebanon's new national unity government has given Hizbullah and their allies veto power over all major decisions and also upheld Hizbullah's right to retain its weapons. Also Friday, the Lebanese cabinet formally approved diplomatic ties with Syria and the opening of a Lebanese embassy in Damascus. Information Minister Tarek Mitri said following a Cabinet meeting late Thursday that Lebanon's foreign minister has been entrusted with following up on the mechanism to set up the embassy. He did not set a time frame. The move was yet another step in ending the long chill between the two estranged neighbors, who earlier this month agreed to establish full diplomatic ties for the first time since they gained their independence from France in the 1940s. The agreement on diplomatic ties came during a landmark visit last week by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. It was the first visit by a Lebanese head of state in three years. During the visit, the two countries also agreed to negotiate the demarcation of their border, a standing Lebanese demand from its longtime dominant larger neighbor. Syria controlled Lebanon for nearly 30 years until its direct hold was broken in 2005.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

We'll soon avenge Mughniyeh's death The Jerusalem Post (August 22, 2008) - Hizbullah warned Friday that revenge for the death of the group's terror chief Imad Mughniyeh was not far off. "Hizbullah will soon avenge the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh," said Sheikh Ahmad Morad, a member of the Hizbullah leadership in southern Lebanon. "The revenge will be shocking and huge surprises are in store," he added. "We will not allow Israel and its generals to enjoy stability." Morad was speaking at a Hizbullah rally in southern Lebanon. Mughniyeh was killed in February in a car bomb in the heart of Damascus. Israel has denied involvement. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office issued a renewed warning to Israelis abroad regarding Hizbullah's intent to attack and possibly abduct Israeli citizens around the world. As part of its recommendations for Israelis, the PMO urged them to be wary of "unusual events," to turn down any tempting offers relating to business or pleasure, to avoid letting suspicious people or unknown visitors into their hotel rooms or apartments, to avoid staying in remote locations - especially after dark, to be accompanied by reliable companions during business meetings and recreational activities, and to avoid a regular pattern of activity during lengthy stays. Nevertheless, Sheikh Na'im Kassem, Hizbullah's deputy secretary-general, gave a speech in Beirut at the start of August during a conference attended by Lebanese emigrants, in which he called on Hizbullah supporters living abroad to respect the laws of their host countries and not to fight Israel on their soil.
| Israel | Islam |

Hamas leader: We'll retrieve Jerusalem only by way of jihad YNet News (August 21, 2008) - 'Jerusalem will be returned to the Palestinians not by way of negotiations or hugging and kissing the enemy, but through blood, shahids and resistance,' Haniyeh says, adding 'Muslims must protect Al-Aqsa Mosque.' Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that the Islamist group will not accept any future peace agreement that does not include the return of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to Palestinians hands and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in Israel. Speaking at a ceremony marking 39 years since the fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, Haniyeh said "no one can cede Jerusalem, the city from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens. "Jerusalem will be retrieved to the Palestinians not through negotiations or by hugging and kissing the enemy, but by way of jihad, blood, shahids and resistance. With Allah's help, Jerusalem will be returned," he said. The Hamas leader added that "the Israeli-Arabs are safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque; it is as if they are inside the belly of a whale. They represent the Islamic nation. We send them our regards, especially to Sheikh Raed Salah (founder of Islamic Movement in Israel)." Haniyeh said that "according to most all reports on secret peace talks or agreements, Israel is refusing to relinquish Jerusalem and the West Bank, refuses to accept the right of return of Palestinian refugees, refuses to dismantle the settlements and deems the Jordan Valley vital to its security." On behalf of the Palestinian nation and Muslims everywhere, I say that we will not accept any such agreements," he said. The Hamas chief continued to say that Israel is looking to damage Al-Aqsa and called on all Muslims to "protect Jerusalem".
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Fear of new Mid East 'Cold War' as Syria strengthens military alliance with Russia Times Online (August 21, 2008) - Syria raised the prospect yesterday of having Russian missiles on its soil, sparking fears of a new Cold War in the Middle East. President Assad said as he arrived in Moscow to clinch a series of military agreements: “We are ready to co-operate with Russia in any project that can strengthen its security.” The Syrian leader told Russian newspapers: “I think Russia really has to think of the response it will make when it finds itself closed in a circle.” Mr Assad said that he would be discussing the deployment of Russian missiles on his territory. The Syrians are also interested in buying Russian weapons. In return Moscow is expected to propose a revival of its Cold War era naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus, which would give the Russian Navy its first foothold in the Mediterranean for two decades. Damascus and Moscow were close allies during the Cold War but the Kremlin’s influence in the region waned after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yesterday’s rapprochement raised the possibility that Moscow intends to re-create a global anti-Western alliance with former Soviet bloc allies. Many in Israel fear that the Middle East could once again become a theatre for the two great powers to exert their spheres of influence, militarily and politically. And with Israel and the US providing military backing to Georgia, Russia appears set to respond in kind by supporting Syria. Already, Israeli observers worry that the chaos in the Caucasus may disrupt gas supplies to Europe and Turkey from the Caspian Sea region, creating a greater energy reliance on Iran and its vast reserves. The crisis could in turn allow Tehran to exploit splits in the international community and use Russia as a backer to advance its nuclear programme. Russia has wooed Syria in recent years, as it has tried to increase its influence in the Middle East and increase arms sales. Syria and Israel recently confirmed they had been holding indirect talks to reach a peace deal after decades of hostility. Part of Syria’s motivation was to break the international isolation it has suffered for its strategic alliance with Tehran. A closer alliance with a resurgent Russia could afford Mr Assad a way out of any binding commitment. Some Israeli analysts even fear that it could encourage Syria to try to take back the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in 1967, by force. The Georgia conflict sparked a mocking speech with Cold War rhetoric by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, over the performance of Israeli-trained Georgian troops. One of the Israeli military advisers there was reserve Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch, who commanded a division in Israel’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah in 2006, and who resigned his commission afterwards. “Gal Hirsch, who was defeated in Lebanon, went to Georgia and they too lost because of him,” the Shia leader taunted. “Relying on Israeli experts and weapons, Georgia learnt why the Israeli generals failed. “What happened in Georgia is a message to all those the Americans are seeking to entangle in dangerous adventures.”
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

What are the chances of this Syrian-Russian alliance and fear in Israel that the growing instability for their nation because of the energy crisis and threats against her could lead to a pre-emptive attack on Damascus? And what are the chances that Russia and Iran would retaliate? Considering Turkey's recent attempts to reconcile Syria and Israel, would they consider Israel's action against Damascus worth declaring war against her with Russia and Turkey as prophesied? Keep watching.

Israeli missile defense system detects Syrian tests World Tribune (August 19, 2008) - Israeli officials said the Syrian military conducted tests of both ballistic missiles and tactical rockets in the spring and summer of 2008. "It was the kind of test that Iran conducted earlier this year and meant to show that Syria could fire missiles simultaneously from a range of batteries in the southern and central parts of the country," an official said. The Syrian tests were detected by Israel's Arrow-2 missile defense system. The Arrow's Green Pine early-warning radar was said to have a range of more than 800 kilometers, which covers most of Syria, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the Syrian tests included that of the Scud D ballistic missile, with a range of 700 kilometers and which can contain a chemical warhead. They said North Korea has helped Syria develop a two-stage Scud D meant to frustrate Israel's missile defense system. They said the launches appeared to test Syria's command and control network required to sustain a missile attack on Israel. Syria was also said to have fired the Soviet-origin SS-21 rocket during the exercise. The single-stage SS-21 has a range of more than 70 kilometers and was said to be capable of striking Israeli strategic facilities. Officials said Syria has about 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, including the Scud B and Scud C. They said Iran and North Korea have been helping Syria integrate a range of missile and rocket batteries into a nationwide network. Israel responded to the Syrian missile launches with a missile defense exercise in August. Officials acknowledged that neither Israel's Arrow-2 nor the U.S.-origin Patriot systems could intercept most of Syria's missiles and rockets. Israel's Channel 2 television disclosed the Syrian missile and rocket exercise on Aug. 18, the eve of a visit by President Bashar Assad to Russia. Assad was expected to discuss with his Russian hosts the prospect of purchasing the Iskander-E rocket, with a range of 280 kilometers.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Need I add anything concerning a pre-emptive attack on Damascus?

Report warns of global fallout from invasion of Georgia, faults U.S. intelligence World Tribune (August 19, 2008) - Russia's invasion of Georgia demonstrated Moscow's growing power and is making waves in the Middle East, a report by a leading U.S. analyst said. The report by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs asserted that Iran would be emboldened by Moscow's successful military campaign. "The long-term outcomes of the current Russian-Georgian war will be felt far and wide, from Afghanistan to Iran, and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean," the report, titled "The Russian-Georgian War: Implications for the Middle East," said. "The war is a mid-sized earthquake which indicates that the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting, and nations in the Middle East, including Israel, need to take notice." Authored by Ariel Cohen, the report said Russia's strategic goals included increasing control of energy pipelines to Turkey. Cohen also warned Israel not to provoke Moscow or rely on U.S. support against Iran, Middle East Newsline reported. "U.S. expressions of support of the kind provided to Georgia — short of an explicit mutual defense pact — may or may not result in military assistance if/when Israel is under attack, especially when the attacker has an effective deterrent, such as nuclear arms deliverable against U.S. targets," the report said. "In the future, such an attacker could be Iran or an Arab country armed with atomic weapons. Israel can and should rely on its own deterrent — a massive survivable second-strike capability." The report criticized the U.S. intelligence community, which failed to detect Russian efforts to annex Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Cohen, who warned that Ukraine was Moscow's next target, said the Bush administration did not prepare the Georgian military for a Russian attack. "This is something to remember when looking at recent American intelligence assessments of the Iranian nuclear threat or the unsuccessful training of Palestinian Authority security forces against Hamas," Cohen said. Cohen said a pro-Russian regime in Georgia would result in Moscow's full control of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, both of which reach Turkey. Israel has been receiving some of its oil from Ceyhan and has a "stake in the smooth flow of oil from the Caspian." The report said Russia financed and armed the Russian ethnic community in Georgia to foment unrest. Cohen compared this to Iran's use of proxies to attack Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. "This use of small, ethnically-based proxies is similar to Iran's use of Hizbullah and Hamas to continuously attack Israel," the report said. "Tbilisi tried for years to deal with these militias by offering a negotiated solution, including full autonomy within Georgia." Cohen, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said Russia plans to extend its influence throughout the Middle East. He cited Russian Navy bases in the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartous and plans to establish a presence in Libya. "Clearly, with the renewal of East-West tensions as a result of Russia's moves against Georgia, it will be much more difficult to obtain Moscow's agreement to enhance sanctions and international pressures on Iran," the report said. "The struggle to diplomatically halt its [Iran's] nuclear program will become far more difficult."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

This article really touches on several of the aspects of the sequence of events I believe will unfold according to Bible prophecy. The intelligence community failed to detect Russia's intentions/actions until they were unfolding and the "global community" didn't do anything but condemn the use of force, which sends a signal that Russia and others can get away with actions like this. Furthermore, Israel is told they would pretty much be on their own. Then it also says Israel should rely on its own deterrent, a massive second-strike capability. Is it too far-fetched to believe that Israel could make a pre-emptive strike given the very vocal intentions to run Israel into the sea?

Top Russian general names Israel as Georgian arms supplier The Jerusalem Post (August 19, 2008) - Russia's deputy army chief, Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, accused Israel on Tuesday of arming the Georgian military with mines, explosive charges, special explosives for clearing minefields and eight kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles. "In 2007, Israeli experts trained Georgian commandos in Georgia and there were plans to supply heavy weaponry, electronic weapons, tanks and other arms at a later date, but the deal didn't work out," Nogovitsyn told a Moscow press conference. Nogovitsyn also said that the Russian soldiers had detained 20 mercenaries near the Georgian city of Poti, including three Arabs, all wearing Georgian army uniforms. Nogovitsyn also said that Israeli troops in 2007 had trained Georgian commando troops. He added that Russia had begun pulling its troops out of Georgia on Monday, in accordance with the French-brokered ceasefire. Georgia's Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia said that Georgian corporals and sergeants train with German alpine units, the navy work with French instructors and special operations and urban warfare troops are taught by Israelis. An Israeli defense official told The Jerusalem Post recently that Israel had rejected frequent requests for arms from Georgia in the months leading up to the outbreak of hostilities with Russia. "Several months ago, we carried out an evaluation of the situation in Georgia and realized that Georgia and Russia were on a collision course. We have good relations with both, and don't want to back either in this conflict," the official said. "We therefore made a decision to drastically minimize sales of weapons to Georgia." Some of the Israeli sales with Georgia in the past included night-vision equipment, rifles and unmanned drones for gathering intelligence. Israel did not agree, however, to upgrade the drones to those that possess high intelligence-gathering capabilities, the defense officials said. Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew, and is said to have contributed to military cooperation.
| Israel | Gog/Magog |

Israelis: War With Hezbollah Inevitable Newsmax (August 18, 2008) - The Israeli army says Hezbollah has re-armed with 40,000 rockets — triple the number it had at the start of the Lebanon War two years ago. Therefore, many Israelis believe another war with Hezbollah is inevitable. "The war set the stage for a more comprehensive Middle East conflict," said Israeli analyst Michael Oren. "It set into motion a dynamic in the Arab world, where much of the Arab street believes that Hezbollah won that war, and there is tremendous expectation on Hezbollah to continue the struggle." Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets into Israel during the 34-day conflict. But a massive Israeli air and ground assault failed to deal a knockout blow to 5,000 Hezbollah guerrillas in South Lebanon, prompting an official Israeli inquiry to describe the government's and army's handling of the war as a failure. Oren says there were failures, but also achievements. "Israel wreaked tremendous havoc in Lebanon in 2006," Oren said. "We destroyed all of Hezbollah's infrastructure, much of its civilian headquarters, we killed about a quarter of their fighters, that is a prohibitive number of casualties for any modern fighting force, and yet perception is everything in the Middle East and the perception was, in the Arab world at least, that Israel was bested in that conflict." Under the U.N. ceasefire resolution that ended the war, about 13,000 international peacekeepers have deployed in South Lebanon. But Israel charges that they have failed to fulfill their mandate of preventing weapons smuggling to Hezbollah from Syria and Iran. With a bristling new arsenal of rockets, Oren believes a Hezbollah attack on Israel is just a matter of time. "Israel would then have to reply into Lebanon, possibly drawing in the Syrians and ultimately the Iranians," Oren said. And with the possible involvement of regional superpowers, the next war could be much worse than the last one.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Remember the news story regarding Israel's warning that they would hold Damascus responsible for Hezbollah's actions? Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks

Is Temple Mount God's time bomb? WorldNet Daily (August 14, 2008) - Was the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem more than a place of worship? Was it, indeed, a roadmap to future events – a kind of prophetic landmark whose significance is only now revealed through the development of satellite imagery? That is the contention of an explosive new book, "Temple at the Center of Time: Newton's Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012," by David Flynn, a book that has risen dramatically to No. 1 among unexplained mysteries, No. 1 in world history and 73 overall on The book asserts it has "deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than 'the unified field theory' of Bible prophecy." Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure. According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology. "The description of Jerusalem as a terrestrial center point, situated in the center of the world, is found in Philo's Legatio and Gaium," Flynn notes. "The world is like a human eyeball. The white of the eye is the ocean surrounding the world, the iris is this continent, the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the Holy Temple." To make his case, Flynn starts by illustrating what the reader soon learns is the first of numerous extraordinary time-distance anomalies. The prisca sapentia framework of Newton suggests that the distance between the temple of Jerusalem and the capital city of any nation historically effecting the chronicles of Jerusalem would be supernaturally connected. This relationship would be significant with respect to units of time, expressing meaning in line with God's divine plan as recorded in the word of his prophets. For instance, if a measurement is made from the point of the temple of Jerusalem's foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar – the political center of Babylon and the exact location where the writing on the wall occurred – the distance should relate to the period in which Babylon most influenced Jerusalem. Such a relationship exists and is the important distance of 539.86 statute miles. What makes this measurement unusual is that Babylon, which played such a significant role in Hebrew antiquity, was measured and numbered in its relationship to Jewish history in Daniel chapter five during the famous handwriting on the wall. When the prophet interpreted the manifestation, he proclaimed in verses 25-28:

Daniel 5:25-28
And this is the writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night King Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Mede became king. Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians on the 16th day of Tishri of the Jewish calendar, which correlates to Oct. 12, 539 B.C. Curiously, the number 539 is also the distance in statute miles between the temple of Jerusalem's foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar, as confirmed by modern satellite measurement. more...
| Israel | Temple Mount |

I haven't had the opportunity to read this book yet, but I'm interested to see what kinds of time frames he presents regarding the seeming correlation between the Temple Mount and various cities and their historical connection to Israel as well as prophetic in some cases. There are aspects of this book that could be misinterpretations, for instance the idea of the next temple being that of Ezekiel 40 (I believe Ezekiel 40-48 are speaking of the millennial temple, the fourth temple), but I'm still curious about the data itself.

Ahmadinejad in new Israel tirade before Turkey trip Reuters (August 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh verbal attack on Israel on Wednesday on the eve of a visit to Israel's close ally Turkey, saying Western countries should not support the Jewish state. The comments highlight the difficult path which Turkey, a member of NATO, must follow during the two-day visit which reflects its desire to remain on good terms with its neighbor and secure future energy needs. "Western countries should not support them (Israel) so much. The life of this regime has come to an end," Ahmadinejad said in comments translated into Turkish in a live interview broadcast by Turkey's NTV and CNN Turk channels. "Our position is clear on this issue. A referendum should take place in Palestine. If they withdraw from invaded lands it would be a good step," he said. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have come under criticism at home and abroad for inviting Ahmadinejad. Ankara has said his visit was necessary given a standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear enrichment program, but analysts said the visit was more about ensuring centuries-old ties during a period of global tensions. Ahmadinejad said the talks on Iran's nuclear program were on a "good path".
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

I wonder just how close of an ally Turkey is with Israel, outside of the mainstream's presentation of their relationship. Considering what the Bible says, Turkey will be part of the attack on Israel. The implication is that they are brought with hooks in their jaws to the mountains of Israel. If my understanding of the sequence of events from Bible prophecy is accurate, could it be that Israel's attack of Damascus will be seen by Turkey as a betrayal considering Turkey's public image of trying to mediate a relationship between Israel and Syria? Would that be enough to draw the primarily Muslim nation of Turkey against Israel with Iran and Russia from the North through Lebanon? Keep watching.

PA: Reported peace offer unacceptable The Jerusalem Post (August 12, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday it would reject an Israeli peace proposal published in the Hebrew press a day earlier which included withdrawal from most of the West Bank. They said such a plan, which they did not confirm receiving, would be unacceptable because it did not call for the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Under the proposal, which was published in Haaretz, Israel would withdraw from 93 percent of the West Bank, in addition to all of the Gaza Strip, after the PA regains control over the Gaza Strip. Olmert had presented PA President Mahmoud Abbas with the proposal as part of an agreement in principle on borders, refugees and security arrangements between Israel and a future Palestinian state, the report claimed. In exchange for West Bank land that Israel would keep, Olmert proposed a 5.5% land swap giving the Palestinians a desert territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians were unaware of the existence of such a proposal. "At no time were the Palestinians presented with a detailed set of proposals by [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert or any Israeli official," he said. "All the details mentioned in this report are either completely untrue or are not linked to reality." The Prime Minister's Office neither confirmed nor denied the Haaretz report. Its spokesman Mark Regev said that progress had been made in the negotiations, including with respect to borders, but that in other areas there was still important work that had to be done. Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for Abbas said "the Israeli proposal [in Haaretz] is not acceptable" and called it a "waste of time." He added that "the Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity, with Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on the June 4, 1967 boundaries." Abu Rudaineh said the proposal showed that Israel was "not serious" about reaching peace with the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution. Erekat said the Palestinians would not accept any solution that excludes the issues of Jerusalem and the "right of return" for the Palestinian refugees. "The era of partial agreements and phased tactics has gone," Erekat added. "The talks [with Israel] are continuing despite the wide gap between the two sides." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

After the events of the Magog invasion depicted in Ezekiel 38,39 - I wonder if the attitude will change bringing about an agreement that will divide Israel, but also allow the rebuilding of the temple by the Jews? From what I understand of Bible prophecy, this is exactly what will happen. Is that time fast approaching? Keep watching...

'Syria and Hizbullah gaining strength' The Jerusalem Post (August 12, 2008) - Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday that "it is not a coincidence that the IDF is holding intensive drills in the Golan Heights," adding that UNSC Resolution 1701 was not accomplishing what it set out to do. "Hizbullah has gained significant strength in the last couple of years," said Barak during an IDF Armored Corps drill in the North. "We are closely following a possible violation [of the resolution] caused by the transfer of advanced weapons systems from Syria to Hizbullah. The necessary preparations have been made, and regarding all the rest - I always prefer not to talk, rather to take action when the time comes." Barak expressed optimism with regards to the IDF's capabilities. "The army is regaining its strength, and coming back to the right morals, carrying out the right exercises and it is our obligation as the government to ensure that the proper means are available to carry out such drills in a correct and intensive manner." Referring to a proposed budget cut to the Defense Ministry, Barak said: "We live in a country where security and defense consist not just of tanks and planes, but also of fostering excellence and caring for the population through education and social welfare." Nonetheless, Barak emphasized that "security and defense take precedence over quality of life and in a country such as ours, we do not have the luxury of cutting the defense budget." The defense minister also addressed the Gaza ceasefire and the strengthening of the group. "So far, the ceasefire has proved promising," he said. "There have been ten instances where rockets were launched in the past 6 weeks, compared to the hundreds of attacks that occurred in the past. Every week that passes with the ceasefire in place enables us to gain strength and to maximize the possibility or the probability of bringing about the right conditions for the release of [captured IDF soldier] Gilad Schalit. Barak added that "in the meantime, the government must care for the social and economic infrastructure as well as the preparation of the home front in the Gaza periphery and the surrounding areas. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Exclusive: Hizbollah 'stronger than before' and ready to strike Israel  Telegraph UK (August 2, 2008) - Hezbollah has significantly built up its military arsenal on the Israeli border and is ready to respond with force to any provocation, its senior commander has told the Telegraph. The political and military group's senior commander in southern Lebanon said in a rare interview that Hezbollah was far stronger now than when it fought the Israeli army in a conflict in 2006. Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, who leads Hezbollah's forces on Lebanon's border with Israel - the crucial battlefront of any future war, was speaking in the port city of Tyre. "The resistance is now stronger than before and this keeps the option of war awake. If we were weak, Israel would not hesitate to start another war," he said. "We are stronger than before and when Hezbollah is strong, our strength stops Israel from starting a new war... We don't seek war, but we must be ready." Hezbollah, whose missiles killed 43 Israeli civilians during the war of 2006, is considered a terrorist organisation by the US and Britain. Other sources say Hezbollah has trebled its arsenal in the last two years – from 10,000 missiles to about 30,000. These new weapons have longer ranges and heavier warheads. They include the Zelzal missile, which could strike as far south as Tel Aviv, and the C802 anti-shipping missile, capable of sinking Israeli warships. Any American strike on Iran, for example, could be the trigger for a Hezbollah attack on Israel. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's overall leader, started the 2006 conflict with the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers whose corpses were recently returned to Israel. Mr Kaouk did not deny that Hezbollah was reliant on Iran for military hardware and support. "We are proud of our friendship with Iran and with Syria and every country which helps us to gain our rights," he said. His remarks will be examined closely in Washington as Iran presses ahead with its nuclear programme. Iran is currently weighing its response to the West’s latest offer of incentives to suspend the enrichment of uranium but has signaled that for now it is not about to change its stance. Asked where Hezbollah's weapons came from, Mr Kaouk said: "All parties in Lebanon are getting weapons. No one asks from where." Iran is Hezbollah's supplier and paymaster. Tehran's regime and Hezbollah are fellow Shias and their alliance is a crucial power factor in the Middle East. Iran delivers the missiles to southern Lebanon through Syria. Meanwhile, Hezbollah fighters travel to Iran for military training. If the US attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, Hezbollah could retaliate by firing its missiles into Israel. Hence Iran possesses a vital interest in building this arsenal. Asked how Hezbollah would respond to an attack on Iran, Mr Kaouk replied: "I doubt that Israel will attack Iran because they know the consequences." Mr Kaouk said the 2006 war, which claimed 1,100 Lebanese lives, had been a success. "Israel didn't achieve any of its goals. The known goal of Israel is 'death to Hezbollah'. Hezbollah is still here."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

'Hizbullah received advanced launchers' The Jerusalem Post (August 10, 2008) - The senior aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad who was assassinated last weekend had been in charge of supplying Hizbullah with advanced anti-aircraft weaponry, the Sunday Times reported. According to the report, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Suleiman had provided the guerrilla group with advanced Syrian SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles, Middle Eastern sources told the paper. Such missiles could potentially challenge the IAF reconnaissance flights which are currently conducted unhindered over Lebanon. Last week, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which could secure Hizbullah's existence as an armed organization and guarantee its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands." "The Cabinet unanimously approved the draft," Information Minister Tarek Mitri told reporters after the five-hour meeting at the presidential palace in a Beirut suburb last Monday. Government sources in Jerusalem said the decision would make the government in Beirut an accomplice to any Hizbullah aggression and give Israel the right to hold it responsible. During the Second Lebanon War, Israel came under international pressure not to harm Lebanon's infrastructure because it was Hizbullah, not the Lebanese government, that killed several IDF soldiers and kidnapped reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in the July 2006 cross border raid which sparked the conflict.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Not only does this kind of activity seem like something that Israel may react to with force, but also that could help preserve the forces coming from the North following Israel's response to continued arms buildup in clear continued preparation to fulfill the promised destruction of the state of Israel from her enemies. We know God's plans however and while Israel will be severely diminished in the future time of Jacob's trouble, there is a remnant that will come to see Yeshua as the Messiah they have been longing for.

War in Georgia: The Israeli connection YNet News (August 10, 2008) - For past seven years, Israeli companies have been helping Gerogian army to preparer for war against Russia through arms deals, training of infantry units and security advice. The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia has brought Israel's intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia and the training of the Georgian army's infantry forces. The Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in policy has been announced as of yet. "The subject is closely monitored," said sources in the Defense Ministry. "We are not operating in any way which may counter Israeli interests. We have turned down many requests involving arms sales to Georgia; and the ones which have been approves have been duly scrutinized. So far, we have placed no limitations on the sale of protective measures." Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople. "They contacted defense industry officials and arms dealers and told them that Georgia had relatively large budgets and could be interested in purchasing Israeli weapons," says a source involved in arms exports. The military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The fact that Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation. "His door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his country arms systems made in Israel," the source said. "Compared to countries in Eastern Europe, the deals in this country were conducted fast, mainly due to the defense minister's personal involvement." Israelis' activity in Georgia and the deals they struck there were all authorized by the Defense Ministry. Israel viewed Georgia as a friendly state to which there is no reason not to sell arms systems similar to those Israel exports to other countries in the world. As the tension between Russia and Georgia grew, however, increasing voices were heard in Israel – particularly in the Foreign Ministry – calling on the Defense Ministry to be more selective in the approval of the deals with Georgia for fear that they would anger Russia. "It was clear that too many unmistakable Israeli systems in the possesion of the Georgian army would be like a red cloth in the face of a raging bull as far as Russia is concerned," explained a source in the defense establishment. For inctance, the Russians viewed the operation of the Elbit System's RPVs as a real provocation. "It was clear that the Russians were angry," says a defense establishment source, "and that the interception of three of these RPVs in the past three months was an expression of this anger. Not everyone in Israel understood the sensitive nerve Israel touched when it supplied such an advanced arms system to a country whose relations with Russia are highly tense." more...
| Israel | Gog/Magog |

Another reason Russia would want to join with her military allies to attack Israel from the North when the time comes? Keep watching! See also: Georgian Jews Flee from Russian Border, Expecting Invasion See Also: 'Oil, Israel and Iran' Among Factors that Led to Georgia War

Siniora: We must regain occupied land YNet News (August 9, 2008) - The Lebanese people have fought hard to liberate their land and now must "regain the land that has remained occupied," Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Friday, referring to areas currently under Israeli control. The Lebanese leader made the remarks during a festive session where the new Lebanese government sought the endorsement of parliament. This included clause 24 of the new government platform that maintains the right to liberate occupied land, meaning that Hizbullah would be able to continue its struggle against Israel. "We view the establishment of this government as a new stage in the joint work of the Lebanese people on behalf of their homeland and country, and for the sake of the future of Lebanon's democratic regime," Siniora said. The Lebanese unity government approved earlier this week a platform that grants Hizbullah the right to use all means possible in order to liberate "occupied Lebanese land." The clause was a source of disagreement between the rival camps in Lebanon, yet Hizbullah's demands were ultimately full accepted. The proposal was approved unanimously on Monday, despite the reservations expressed by four ministers.
| Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Syria turned down IAEA inspection request, diplomats say Newsday (August 9, 2008) - Syria has blocked a new visit by International Atomic Energy Agency experts seeking to follow up on intelligence that Damascus built a secret nuclear program built with the help of North Korea, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday. The diplomats also said Washington was circulating a note among members of the IAEA board opposing a Syrian push for a seat on the 35-nation board. The board normally works by consensus and a seat held by Damascus could thus hamper any investigation into its alleged nuclear activities. Syria fears a massive atomic agency investigation similar to the probe Iran has been subjected to more than five years. "Syria's election to the board while under investigation for secretly ... building an undeclared nuclear reactor not suited for peaceful purposes would make a mockery" of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, said the note, as read to the AP. Syria rejected the IAEA request for a visit late last month, the diplomats said. The visit would have been a follow up to an initial trip by IAEA inspectors in June. "The Syrians said that a visit at this time was inopportune," said a senior diplomat, who, like two others agreeing to discuss the issue, demanded anonymity because their information was confidential. That appeared to leave open the possibility of a later visit. But one of the other diplomats said members of the Syrian mission to the IAEA were spreading the word among other missions that further trips beyond the one in June were unlikely. If so, that could cripple international efforts to probe U.S. allegations that a site in a remote part of the Syrian desert, which Israel destroyed last year, was a near-finished plutonium-producing reactor built with North Korean help, and that Damascus continues to hide linked facilities. IAEA experts came back June 25 from a four-day visit, carrying environmental samples from the Al Kibar site hit by Israel in September. Those are now being evaluated. But the results might fall short of providing a conclusive results. A traditional method at suspected nuclear sites — taking swipes in the search for radioactive traces — was unlikely to have been of use at Al Kibar. That's because none had been introduced into the alleged reactor before it was struck by Israel, according to intelligence given to the agency by the U.S., Israel and a third country the diplomats declined to identify. more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Gaza Terrorists Warn Truce May End in Three Weeks Israel National News (August 8, 2008) - The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Gaza warned Thursday that the temporary ceasefire may end in three weeks, when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins. The month is frequently marked by an increase in terrorism. PRC official Abu Mujahed charged that Israel is violating the agreement by not making progress in freeing terrorists and prisoners or opening up the border at Rafiah. He also said Israel must allow free movement at Gaza crossings. Israeli security sources said they have relaxed examinations of goods and merchandise passing through Gaza crossings as the temporary ceasefire enters its eighth week, although one rocket was fired on Israel this week. PRC terrorists allowed several journalists to film a training exercise in which bombs were exploded and live fire was used in a raid on a mock Israeli army base built on the grounds of former Jewish communities that Israel destroyed three years ago. Abu Mujahed told Reuters that "politicians will stop talking and military men will act" if Israel does not show progress in freeing hundreds of Arab terrorists and prisoners and allowing free movement of good at Gaza crossings. "The Zionist occupation has not yet agreed to the demand to release our prisoners, so our fighters are preparing for the next round in which we will try to abduct more Israeli soldiers to swap them for our hero prisoners," a PRC spokesman told Reuters. Abu Mujahed said that the PRC and other terrorist groups had agreed to abide by the truce, which began in mid-June, for 10 weeks, when Ramadan begins. He did not say whether Hamas also was looking towards Ramadan as a possible date for renewal of attacks on Israel. The ceasefire officially calls for a halt in terrorist attacks and Israel counterterrorist actions in Gaza for several months, when it may be extended to Judea and Samaria. Hamas has demanded that Israel allow Egypt and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to re-open the border at Rafiah, where the international boundary runs through the city. Israel and Hamas differ on the conditions of the ceasefire, Hamas claiming that the border must be re-opened before talks can advance on freeing kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel has said that the agreement calls for the border to be opened up after Shalit is returned home.
| Israel | Islam |

Biometric ID bill comes under fire The Jerusalem Post (August 3, 2008) - The Association for Civil Rights in Israel came out on Sunday in opposition to the government bill that aims to establish a national biometric data bank with the fingerprints and facial lines of all citizens and residents to nearly eliminate the risk of counterfeit identity cards. The bill, initiated by the Interior and Defense Ministries, was approved by the cabinet earlier in the day. ACRI claimed that such a database would be "a dangerous step" because of the sensitivity of such information, and that there was no use of such a technology anywhere else among Western democracies, even among those that issue chip-embedded "smart" identity cards. Still, the Interior Security Ministry brushed off those concerns, saying the step was necessary for the security of Israel's citizens. "Any information in any database could potentially be dangerous," said Udi Shalvy, a spokesman for the Interior Security Ministry. "But the danger of not having the information outweighs the risks of what might happen to it," he said. "This information will be protected by the Interior Security Ministry unlike any other database," he added. But in January of 2007, Vital Population Registry information was leaked and posted on the Internet, prompting the Interior Ministry to demand an investigation into the incident. The Jerusalem Post reported then, that those data files, compiled by the Interior Ministry on all Israeli citizens, contained personal information that could potentially be used without authorization by Internet marketers and cyber-criminals. On top of the potential financial harm poised to everyday citizens as a result of that leak, the downloadable data also included particularly sensitive information, such as the addresses of senior government and security officials. The Interior Ministry, which was entrusted to protect that information issued a statement at the time, saying it had passed the data on to the political parties running for the Knesset in the last election in accordance with the law, and only then did the information show up in file sharing sites on-line. The current bill declares that the production of fake passports and identity cards is a growing phenomenon that increases illegal immigration and criminal and economic crimes and poses a serious security risk. Ordinary identity cards and passports, it says, are easy to counterfeit, and many groups are interested in such fake documents. Each phony identity card or passport sells for a few hundred to a few thousand shekels, while original cards and passports sell for much more. The Interior Ministry said that in 2007, more than 155,000 Israeli identity cards were reported stolen, lost or destroyed - more than during the previous year. Almost 59,000 residents asked twice for a new identity card to replace their old card between 2003 and 2007, while almost 8,000 asked for a replacement three times and 1,500 asked for a replacement four times during that period. Biometric markers on the face and fingerprints can bring an end to this risk, the government said, as these identification markers don't change over time, except in a few rare cases.
| Israel | Technology |

It is my belief that around the world the reasoning of security will be used to continue the advancement of the idea of some kind of database that will be accessed progressively by different technologies leading to the final one implied in scripture where nobody can buy or sell without a mark on their hand or forehead. If you've been reading the newsletter over the past few months I have mentioned the technology I see ultimately fulfilling that role being the RFID tattoo ink currently being used to track cattle, which is somewhat ironic if true as I'm sure we are little more than cattle to our common spiritual enemy. Are we at a place technologically where RFID could be implemented globally to buy and sell? I know in the West it is a reality and as time goes on technology becomes cheaper. Already  businesses, through credit card companies using technology like PayPass, are installing RFID readers for point of sale. Keep watching!

Lebanese gov't: Hizbullah can use force to 'liberate' territory The Jerusalem Post (August 1, 2008) - In a display of Hizbullah's extended involvement in conflicts throughout the Middle East, Coalition Special Forces captured two members of the group during a raid over the weekend in eastern Baghdad. According to the Multinational Force Iraq, the raid targeted the home of an individual suspected of serving as a member of a Hizbullah cell - called "Kata'ib Hizbullah" or "Hizbullah Brigades" - suspected of making videos of attacks on coalition forces. The videos are then used to raise funds and resources for additional attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces. According to media reports, the Hizbullah Brigades have been active for over a year in Iraq and like Hizbullah in Lebanon, the group is trained and financed by Iran, likely via the Hizbullah's Al Kuds force, which was commanded by its chief operations officer Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated in Damascus in February. "The Hizbullah Brigades receive support from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command for financing, weapons, training and guidance," the Multi-National Force in Iraq said in a statement in response to a Jerusalem Post inquiry. "They have claimed responsibility for attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi Security Forces as early as late 2005." On videos that it has posted on the Internet, the Hizbullah Brigades group uses a logo very similar to the Lebanese Hizbullah flag, showing a raised arm holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle, although coalition forces said they were not sure of the nature of the relationship with the Lebanese Hizbullah. This is not the first time that Hizbullah operatives have been captured in Iraq. In July 2007, coalition forces apprehended Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Hizbullah leader and explosives expert, in Basra where he was reportedly training forces and even participated in several deadly attacks against US troops. Daqduq, a veteran of the Al-Kuds Force, was reportedly in Iraq to train and evaluate the performance of anti-US Shi'ite militias. Also Friday, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, Hizbullah military commander in Southern Lebanon, told the Daily Telegraph that the group was stronger today than before the Second Lebanon War and was prepared for conflict with Israel. "The resistance is now stronger than before and this keeps the option of war awake," he told the paper. "If we were weak, Israel would not hesitate to start another war... We are stronger than before and when Hizbullah is strong, our strength stops Israel from starting a new war... We don't seek war, but we must be ready." Israel has claimed that since the war Hizbullah has tripled its missile arsenal and today has more than 30,000 rockets, some of which are capable of reaching almost anywhere within Israel and as far south as Dimona. Last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and warned him that Security Council Resolution 1701 had collapsed and that UNIFIL was not effective in curbing Hizbullah's military build-up. "To our disappointment we are witnessing that over the past two years the number of missiles in Hizbullah's hands has doubled and maybe even tripled," Barak told Ban. "The ranges of the missiles have been extended and this is mainly due to close Syrian assistance."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Official: Olmert to give Palestinians state before quitting WorldNet Daily (August 1, 2008) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Palestinian Authority he intends to accelerate negotiations the next few weeks to reach a deal on paper outlining a Palestinian state before he steps down from office next month, a top PA negotiator told WND. "Papers are very important. It puts limits on the new prime minister. For example, the weak point of Israeli-Syrian negotiations are papers signed by former prime ministers that now must be abided during current negotiations," said the PA negotiator, speaking to WND on condition of anonymity. "Olmert told us his goal is to reach an agreement on paper," the negotiator said. He said the agreement will likely encompass understandings regarding the transfer of much of the West Bank to the Palestinians. He said he "hopes" the issue of Jerusalem is broached but that it might not be mentioned on paper beyond a declaration of agreement to negotiate further. Sending political shockwaves through the country, Olmert yesterday announced he will resign from office after his Kadima party holds internal elections next month to choose a new leader. He said he is stepping down due to a criminal investigation, described by police officials as "serious," in which he is accused of corruption and financial improprieties. But Olmert officials have been telling reporters here the prime minister intends to continue negotiating with the PA as long as he remains in office. One Olmert official told the Haaretz daily newspaper the prime minister intends to "reach an agreement with the Palestinians during the time he has left." "Any agreement he reaches with the Palestinians won't be a personal agreement, and he will make sure that the (new) Kadima leadership is briefed and on board," the official added. For his part, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' announced he would negotiate with any Israeli leader and that Olmert's departure shouldn't affect negotiations started at last November's U.S.-backed Annapolis conference, which seek to create a Palestinian state by January. Not everyone in Olmert's party was happy with the continued talks. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, considered a frontrunner for the Kadima leadership primary, said it would be wrong to reach agreements with the Palestinians on the core issues of the conflict while Olmert's government is teetering. "At this time of change in the government, we must not reach agreements on the core issues in negotiations with the Palestinians," Mofaz said. "Anything that is decided now is very problematic, because it is happening before the change in the government and against the background of instability on the Palestinian side."
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Sarkozy: no Mideast peace without sharing Jerusalem Arab News (June 23, 2008) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis is possible, tomorrow, and that agreement would allow the two peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security. During their meeting on diplomatic affairs, Sarkozy stressed that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should progress. "Those who will make peace in the end will be Israelis and Palestinians," the French president said. At the start of a three-day visit to Israel, Sarkozy said it is important for the Palestinians to establish a state of their own. Referring to the settlements, Sarkozy said that it must be said loudly the decision to build settlements in East Jerusalem is not good for Israel. "I believe that the path to peace lies there before us, that the path to peace is not blocked. I have come to bring my support and that of France and the European Union, your partners in the negotiations." Meantime, Sarkozy said according to the The Washington Post today that "there could be no Mideast peace unless Israel drops its refusal to cede sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians." This coincides with a report of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) that said that the total Palestinian refugeed is more than six million. According to UN organization UNRWA, Palestinian registered refugees totaled to 4.56 million at end of 2007, of whom about 41.7% in Jordan, 9.9% in Syria and 9.1% in Lebanon. About 1.5 million Palestinians refugee are estimated to be non-registered refugees.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Israeli prime minister to resign in September Associated Press (July 30, 2008) - Facing burgeoning corruption allegations and plummeting popularity, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday he will resign in September, throwing Israel into political turmoil and raising doubts about prospects for peace with the Palestinians and Syria. Olmert said he would not run in his party's primary election Sept. 17 and would step down afterward to allow his successor to form a government. But because of Israel's political system, he could serve until well into next year. His decision will end a long public career that has been clouded by allegations of corruption that have battered him in recent months. Olmert's popularity dropped below 20 percent at one point after his bloody but inconclusive war in Lebanon in 2006. Political analysts had been predicting his resignation for weeks as details of the latest allegations against him dominated the news. The most damaging inquiry focuses on Morris Talansky, a 76-year-old American Jewish businessman who testified that he handed envelopes stuffed with tens of thousands of dollars to Olmert before he became prime minister, in part financing a luxurious lifestyle of expensive hotels and fat cigars. Olmert's brief address from his official Jerusalem residence included harsh criticism of the police investigations. He said he was choosing the public good over personal justice. Although he has consistently denied wrongdoing, he had pledged to resign if indicted. "I was forced to defend myself against relentless attacks from self-appointed 'fighters for justice' who sought to depose me from my position, when the ends sanctified all the means," Olmert said, appearing angry and reading from a text. He did not answer questions from reporters gathered in his courtyard. more...
| Israel |

Hamas Uses Truce to Stock Missiles, Explosives, and Weapons Bridges For Peace (July 28, 2008) - Four tons of explosives, 50 anti aircraft missiles, and large amounts of weapons as well as ingredients required to manufacture rockets have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip by Hamas since the recent tahdiya or so called truce with Israel went into effect, Yuval Diskin head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) told the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. Hamas, he said, is also in control of the vast network of tunnels in Gaza used to smuggle the goods into the narrow strip of land, and the truckloads of cement Israel permitted to be transferred to Gaza, [which] have been used to build bunkers, he said. Diskin also expressed concern that the recent swap between Hizbullah and Israel may have a reverse effect, and encourage terror organizations to increase their efforts to abduct Israeli soldiers or civilians. Commenting on the situation in Gaza, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared the situation must be monitored in order to ensure that five years down the line, Israel will not find itself in the position of asking how the situation got out of hand. Defense Minister Ehud Barak noted that the truce has also provided Israel time to prepare for any eventuality, a situation it should take advantage of. Barak admitted that Hamas was doing far more than expected to prevent truce violations, and supported Israel’s lack of response to Hamas violations. Barak warned however that Israel’s lack of response does not mean that it will be prevented from taking action when the time arises. Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni however shared a different opinion and declared that Israel should respond every time Hamas violates the truce. “Israel's response needs to give the message that we won't accept fire, regardless of which organization it comes from," Livni declared. Diskin also expressed concern that the recent swap between Hizbullah and Israel may have a reverse effect, and encourage terror organizations to increase their efforts to abduct Israeli soldiers or civilians. During the same meeting, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke of the shaky Gaza cease-fire, telling the cabinet that "Israel needs to respond to truce violations, fire against fire." "Israel's response needs to give the message that we won't accept fire, regardless of which organization it comes from," she said. Livni also declared that the border crossings used to transfer goods into Gaza should remain closed until a deal concerning the release of Gilad Shalit is sealed.
| Israel | Islam |

Uzi Dayan joins Likud, says Netanyahu incorrupted YNet News (July 28, 2008) - Uzi Dayan announced Monday that he was joining the Likud party and planning to run for a seat in the Knesset. He praised Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu's war on corruption, saying that he found the Likud to be a suitable partner in fighting this disease. Netanyahu said that the former general was an enterprising and talented person. "Dayan has revealed his original outlook and Zionist commitment. He brings these two characteristics to the Likud and the State. Uzi is also a brother in arms." Following his release from the army, Dayan formed the political party and social movement Tafnit (turnaround). Dayan announced at the time that the party would place in the top of its platform the struggle against the "public corruption", but it failed to gain any Knesset seats in the 2006 general elections. Dayan said during the press conference, "Six years ago I took the public road, a long and uneasy road. I dealt with many issues voluntarily. The Tafnit party has decided to join the Likud, and the main thing is an agenda, and the agenda is a Zionist and Democratic Jewish state, restoring security, a strong and growing economy and education, and a clean and worthy governmental system." He added that he had realized it would be impossible to act as part of a small and independent party, and that in order to make a change he must join the Likud, because the party headed by Netanyahu has the power to do it. "Benjamin Netanyahu ran the country and the Finance Ministry with amazing incorruptibility," Dayan said. As for the war on corruption, the retired general noted that "Tafnit waved the flag of the war on corruption. We are all victims of corruption, and Netanyahu too has led a move inside the Likud to clean the ranks, indicating his intentions. I feel that the Likud people are fighting with me shoulder-to-shoulder." more...
| Israel |

Israel to build new settlement in West Bank Associated Press (July 24, 2008) - A key committee has approved construction of the first new Jewish settlement in the West Bank in a decade, an Israeli official said Thursday. The news infuriated Palestinians, who said the decision could cripple peace efforts. The only hurdle that remains is Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who plans to approve the Maskiot settlement within weeks, the official said. Barak had signaled to the national planning committee that it should authorize the plan, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Defense Ministry did not officially announce the settlement would be built in the Jordan Valley Rift, an arid north-south strip that forms Israel's eastern flank with Jordan. Asked why Israel was moving ahead with the politically charged plan, the official said that it has been in the pipeline for years. Israel originally announced in 2006 that it would build Maskiot, then froze the plan after international outcry. But earlier this year, nine Israeli families settled in mobile homes at the site, which Palestinians claim as part of a future state. A number of Israeli politicians however, have said Israel needs to retain control of the Jordan Valley as a buffer between a future Palestinian state and Jordan. The issue remains to be resolved in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Settlers say around two dozen more families are waiting to join them. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of undermining U.S.-backed peace talks. "This is destroying the process of a two-state solution," Erekat said. "I hope the Americans will make the Israelis revoke the decision. I think they can make the Israelis do this." The U.S. Embassy had no comment. But on her last visit to the region in June, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said settlement building "has the potential to harm the negotiations."
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

IDF MI chief: Hamas, Hizbullah May be Planning Imminent Attack The Jerusalem Post (July 20, 2008) - Head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin warned on Sunday of a possible terror attack by Hamas or Hizbullah in the near future along the Gaza Strip and Lebanon borders, respectively. Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Yadlin said Hizbullah still had many outstanding issues with Israel which could be used to justify such an attack, such as the Shaba Farms, the village of Ghajar, IAF flights over Lebanon and Imad Mughniyeh's assassination in February - for which the group has blamed Israel. Of Gaza, Yadlin said some organizations which have not signed on to the cease-fire are planning a major attack. However, Yadlin said Hamas was succeeding in enforcing the cease-fire on the Palestinian side but assessed that the fact that border crossings were not open "according to Hamas's expectations, constitutes a potential for eroding the cease-fire." While weapons smuggling continued, Egyptian activity in Sinai "diminishes the amount of arms smuggling, but quality weaponry still finds its way into the Gaza Strip." Yadlin also said that Israel's enemies were continuing to arm themselves. But he added those enemies were worried of the possibility of a "hot summer" and did not intend to initiate a war with Israel during US President George W. Bush's remaining time in office, or before they had armed themselves sufficiently.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Hizbullah moves into 'every town' The Jerusalem Post (July 17, 2008) - Hizbullah is bolstering its presence in south Lebanon villages with non-Shi'ite majorities by buying land and using it to build military positions and store missiles and launchers, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The decision to build infrastructure in non-Shi'ite villages - where Hizbullah has less support - is part of the group's post-war strategy under which it has mostly abandoned the "nature reserves," forested areas in southern Lebanon where it kept most of its Katyusha rocket launchers before the Second Lebanon War. Behind the change is the mandate given to UNIFIL by the United Nations after the war in 2006. According to the mandate, the peacekeeping force can patrol freely throughout southern Lebanon but cannot enter villages or cities without being accompanied by soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces, which regularly tips off Hizbullah ahead of the raids. News of the change in Hizbullah strategy came as Israel is trying to persuade the UN to strengthen UNIFIL's mandate to give it the right to patrol the villages freely. "Hizbullah is moving into every town that it can," a senior defense official told the Post. "This is in order to evade UNIFIL detection." On Thursday, Lebanese complained they were receiving recorded phone messages from Israel promising "harsh retaliation" for any future Hizbullah attack. The automated messages also warn against allowing Hizbullah to form "a state within a state" in the country. The phone messages end with the words: "The State of Israel." There was no immediate confirmation from Israel, though similar reports surfaced of Israeli phone campaigns during the 2006 war trying to persuade Lebanese not to support Hizbullah. Lebanon's official National News Agency said residents in the country's south and east, as well as in Beirut reporting receiving the calls. It said Telecommunications Minister Jibran Bassil contacted the United Nations to complain, calling it a "flagrant aggression against Lebanese sovereignty." Also Thursday, defense officials warned that with the prisoner swap completed, Hizbullah would no longer need to restrain itself and might decide to avenge the assassination of the group's operations chief, Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed by a car bomb in Damascus last February. As a result, the IDF has slightly increased its level of alert along the border, based on the assessment that even if a retaliatory attack took place abroad the violence would spread to the Israeli-Lebanese border.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

We only get one strike The Jerusalem Post (July 16, 2008) - An Israeli attack on Iran seems inevitable. If it succeeds, it will return to Israel its deterrent power and send a clear message to the saber-rattling jihadists that they were too early in beginning the countdown for the disappearance of the Jewish state. If it fails, or fails to achieve the majority of its objectives, it could amount to an act of national suicide. Fanatical Muslims on every side will be encouraged by the failure and outcome of an Iranian retaliation which would cause heavy damage to the whole center of our country. Iran would unquestionably be joined by its proxies on our borders, Hizbullah and Syria on the north and Hamas on the south, the PLO jihad brigades under various names, and the Arabs of Israel. The latter have already shown their ability to block major traffic arteries and demonstrated that their loyalties rest with their Arab brethren, not with the Jewish state. The repeated declarations of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the aim of Iran is to wipe Israel off the world map should not be taken as the empty, fiery words of a fanatical Muslim dictator, but as a plan of action. True, Iran does not need a pretext, but an Israeli attack on any nuclear installation in Iran, or just an invasion of Iranian air space could be used as an excellent reason for mounting an all-out missile attack. Since the late ninth century, the Shi'ites have been expecting the emergence of the hidden imam-mahdi, armed with divine power and followed by thousands of martyrdom-seeking warriors. He is expected to conquer the world and establish Shi'ism as its supreme religion and system of rule. His appearance would involve terrible war and unusual bloodshed. Ahmadinejad, as mayor of Teheran, built a spectacular boulevard through which the mahdi would enter into the capital. There is no question that Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen to be the herald of the mahdi. Shi'ite Islam differs from Sunni Islam regarding the identity of the mahdi. The Sunni mahdi is essentially an anonymous figure; the Shi'ite mahdi is a divinely inspired person with a real identity. However both Shi'ites and Sunnis share one particular detail about "the coming of the hour" and the dawning of messianic times: The Jews must all suffer a violent death, to the last one. Both Shi'ites and Sunnis quote the famous hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: The last hour will not come unless the Muslims fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and the stone or the tree would say: "Muslim! Servant of Allah! Here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!" Not one Friday passes without this hadith being quoted in sermons from one side of the Islamic world to the other. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

If it weren't for my study of Bible prophecy, I would probably expect Israel to attack Iran. I could very well be wrong and nothing I say should be taken without personal study and prayer, but I'm continually brought back to Isaiah 17 and the destruction of Damascus apparently by the "children of Israel." This opinion piece brings home the possible reality of this a little more. I think Israel realizes the seriousness of their current situation and if they are going to make a show of force, it will be big. After the loss in Lebanon during the summer 2006 engagement, Israel can't afford to appear insincere about her existence. If the elections in Israel change leadership to someone like Netanyahu, we could see a government more willing to make their intentions to remain more clear. Could it lead to the destruction of Damascus? I can't say, but I'm watching and will keep sharing what I see with you so you can decide for yourself and share with those who have ears to hear.

Ahmadinejad: We'll sever enemies' hands The Jerusalem Post (July 13, 2008) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened on Sunday to "cut off the hands" of any would-be attackers of the Islamic Republic. "Before the enemies touch the trigger, the armed forces will cut off their hands," the state-run IRNA news agency quoted the leader as saying. Ahmadinejad said that missile tests conducted last week exhibited "only a small part" of Iran's defense capabilities, and that, if necessary, further capabilities would be revealed. Ahmadinejad's statement comes amid a report that US President George W. Bush has given Israel the "amber light" to carry out an attack on Iran if diplomatic efforts are unsuccessful in causing the Islamic Republic to back down and relinquish its nuclear program. According to a senior Pentagon official quoted by the British Sunday Times on Sunday morning, Bush has given Israel free rein to attack Iran's nuclear sites if sanctions fail in spite of opposition from US generals and regardless of the possible economic and political repercussions of such a strike. "Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you're ready," the official said, adding however, that Israel had been told that it could not count on the US to lend it military support. Contradicting recent reports to the contrary, he also said that the IAF would not be permitted to take off from American military bases in Iraq. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Ahmadinejad's aggressive statements contrasted strikingly with a report on Iranian state TV Sunday, which quoted him as saying that Iran would welcome the idea of setting up a US diplomatic office in Teheran. The report quoted the firebrand Iranian leader as saying he would consider an American request to set up an interests section in Iran. He said he "welcomes any move to expand ties." But Ahmadinejad said his government hasn't received any official request for such an office. Last month, US officials floated the idea but no formal requests were made. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

43 nations creating Mediterranean union Associated Press (July 13, 2008) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the disparate and conflicted countries around the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday to make peace as European rivals did in the 20th century, as he launched an unprecedented Union for the Mediterranean. Yet the summit did not mask all the divisions that crisscross the region: Syria's President Bashar Assad left the enormous table before Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave his speech to the more than 40 leaders seated around it, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. It was the first time the two men had sat at the same table. "The European and the Mediterranean dreams are inseparable," Sarkozy told leaders from more than 40 nations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. "We will succeed together; we will fail together." The union Sarkozy championed as a pillar of his presidency brought together around one table for the first time dignitaries such rival nations as Israel and Syria, Algeria and Morocco, Turkey and Greece. Coping with age-old enmities involving their peoples and others along the Mediterranean shores will be a central challenge to the new union encompassing some 800 million people. "We will build peace in the Mediterranean together, like yesterday we built peace in Europe," Sarkozy said. He insisted the new body would not be "north against south, not Europe against the rest ... but united." Sarkozy went to special efforts to bring Syria into the international fold for the summit: Assad met Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, separately, both for the first time. And he met Sarkozy, after years of chill between their countries. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, co-presiding the summit with Sarkozy, said: "We are linked by a common destiny." He said the union has better chances of success than a previous cooperation process launched in Barcelona in 1995 because the new body focuses on practical projects parallel to efforts toward Mideast peace. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN
/ 4th Kingdom |

'We'll Take Land By Force if Talks Fail' The Jerusalem Post (July 12, 2008) - Should diplomacy fail to return "Israeli-occupied land" to Lebanon, the Lebanese army (LAF) will take it by force, Lebanese President Gen. Michel Sueleiman said on Sunday. Suleiman was speaking at a press conference after meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad on the sidelines of the Mediterranean conference in Paris. The Lebanese president stressed, however, that the military option was the last resort. Assad said Lebanon had an important role to play in the Middle East peace process and that any progress in future Israel-Lebanon negotiations would be made in coordination with Syria. Meanwhile, in what is being interpreted in Israel as a declaration of ownership, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has built a road and set up a military position in the Shaba Farms/ Mount Dov area for the first time since Israel's withdrawal from that part of Lebanon in 2000. Israeli defense officials confirmed the move, which was first reported in the Lebanese media, but would not comment on its significance.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

It seems the alliances are continuing together and the idea of Israel stealing land is uniting those alliances against Israel further. The attack on Israel that is prophesied to take place comes from the North parts and they are decimated in the mountains of Israel. Lebanon is immediately to the North and Syria also borders Israel to the North, both in agreement against Israel and if Israel is responsible for the destruction of Damascus, I'm sure they will allow armies to come through there to the North of Israel and the mountains there.

Ezekiel 39:2
And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:

Also see map of mountains

Hezbollah movement triples number of rockets - report Russian News & Information Agency (July 9, 2008) - Israel's state-controlled radio claimed Wednesday that Islamic Hezbollah has increased its rocket arsenal threefold since the start of an armed conflict with Israel two years ago. Kol Israel radio made the claims citing Israel intelligence sources and said that Hezbollah now has 40,000 rockets capable of reaching Israel. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a cabinet meeting Wednesday that the increase in weapons by Shiite Hezbollah was in violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 34-day war in 2006. The UN resolution called for the disarming of all militias and the prevention of gun-running and smuggling operations in Lebanon. Over the past few days, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has raised the issue with foreign ministers from France, Germany and Italy. According to Kol Israel, he indicated that Israel would not tolerate violations of peace agreements, which could damage "the fragile balance on the Israeli border."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Recall a previous news story, Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks.

Hezbollah uprising exposed it as Iran's puppet in Lebanon Ya Libnan (June 9, 2008) - Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Shiite mullahs executing Khomeini's will to export the "Islamic revolution" remain on their self-assigned mission to slay the "Great Satan," the U.S. They were finding their campaign stumbling in all the pertinent places throughout the Sunni-dominated Mideast. This forced the Iranians to concentrate on multi-religious Lebanon in order to compensate for the major grounds lost lately in Iraq. The projection of Iranian power comes mainly in the form of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's most recent pretext to disrupt and dominate the nation was simple decisions of sovereignty by the Lebanese government on May7, including extending control over the Hezbollah communications network. Hezbollah refused. The group launched an armed revolt in Beirut, conquering districts, trashing government buildings, burning TV stations, and looting the city at will. But six days of violent confrontations between the well-armed and trained Hezbollah fighters and untrained individual Lebanese did not lead to the fall of the government or plunge the country in complete chaos as it was intended. Lebanese citizens improvised strategies to defend their neighborhoods. Hezbollah fighters lacked necessary logistical support in order to remain in the areas they invaded. So Hezbollah had to hand over the zones back to the Lebanese army. The Arabs, realizing the gravity of the Iranian assault, started an initiative culminating in a summit in Qatar. Ultimately, the factional and governmental representatives left with the Doha Accord. Pacification returned to the smoldering streets of Beirut. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Defense officials: UN Resolution 1701 on the verge of collapse The Jerusalem Post (July 9, 2008) - United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, passed to stop the Second Lebanon War, is on the verge of collapse as Syria continues to rearm Hizbullah, senior defense officials warned Tuesday night ahead of a scheduled security cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene the cabinet to discuss the rearmament of Hizbullah since the Second Lebanon War and to discuss ways to curb the flow of weapons from Syria to the guerrilla group. During the meeting, the ministers will be briefed by Military Intelligence on Hizbullah's rehabilitation and preparation for another round of violence with Israel. Defense officials said Israel's only course of action at present was to attempt to place pressure on diplomatic officials from European countries that contribute to UNIFIL. "Syria is rearming Hizbullah at a rapid pace and this is proof that 1701 has completely failed," one official said. The peacekeeping force's mandate will be up for renewal next month and Israel is looking to see if it will be possible to make changes that will give the force more freedom to prevent Hizbullah's rearmament.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Javier Solana: What Kind of Palestine? Middle East Times (July 4, 2008) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have now been talking to each other for more than six months, since the peace process was re-launched at Annapolis in November 2007, with the stated aim of reaching agreement on a Palestinian state before this year is out. The final status issues of borders, Jerusalem and refugees are back on the agenda, and the outlines of a two-state solution are visible. There have recently been some encouraging signals: Egypt has mediated a truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza; there are signs of inter-Palestinian dialogue; and there appears to be movement on the Israeli-Syrian track. We have to grasp the opportunity for peace. Comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic goal of the European Union, and resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict on the basis of a two-state solution is the key to achieving this. Europe wants, and needs, to see the creation of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel. For this, the foundations and the structures of a Palestinian state have to be created, which is where the European Union is playing a distinctive role. It is leading international efforts to assist the Palestinians with their state-building efforts under a major strategy adopted by the EU last year. An important part of this strategy is devoted to developing security and the rule of law, which are the cornerstones of the fledgling Palestinian state and the theme of a large international conference of foreign ministers hosted in Berlin on June 24. The EU is making a tangible difference on the ground. It is helping the Palestinians strengthen their civilian security capabilities not just with words or money but also with people. Our police mission, EUPOL COPPS, has been active in the Palestinian territories since November 2005, advising and mentoring the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to build up a civil police force and establish law and order. Canada, Norway and Switzerland are supporting the mission and we are working in close coordination with our U.S. partners. We are now about to increase the mission in size and expand its scope to the broader rule of law sector, embracing in particular the penal and judiciary systems. A democratic Palestinian state needs a properly equipped, trained and disciplined civil police and it needs functioning law courts and prisons. The EUPOL COPPS is not the only EU security mission in the Middle East. Our border assistance mission, EUBAM Rafah, established at the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza in 2005, is currently on standby and ready to deploy as soon as circumstances permit and EU member states form the backbone of the United Nations force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Our efforts are bearing fruit and are helping to make a real difference on the ground. In the past year alone, the EU mission has trained 800 civil police officers in public order, refurbished police stations and contributed to the communications network of the civil police. The Palestinian Authority has begun to deploy forces in major urban areas such as Nablus and is gradually taking over responsibility for security in the West Bank. Palestinian and Israeli security forces are cooperating and this cooperation must continue and increase. These measures in the area of security and rule of law are part of a wider effort to improve conditions for the Palestinian people and revive the economy. For democracy to take root, the people must see that their lives are improving. Roadblocks must come down, trucks must be able to transport goods freely, people must be able to travel to work, to school and to hospitals unhindered, farmers must be able to grow and sell produce, investors must be encouraged to come with foreign capital, and businesses must be set up. And, of course, it is not only the Palestinians who gain from this. Israel's security interests can only stand to gain from a peaceful, democratic, and ultimately prosperous Palestinian state. In truth, the entire region will be stabilized if the Israelis and Palestinians resolve their 60-year-old conflict. The EU is doing everything it can to help with this.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal |

Crossfire War - Israel Estimates Iran-Syria to Fire 250-300 Long Range Missiles News Blaze (July 3, 2008) - "How Many Missiles will be Fired from Iran-Syria-Lebanon Against Israel in the Next War?" was the subject of a lecture given by Major-General (res.) Eitan Ben Eliahu at the Israel Missile Defense Association (IMDA) ( a new link with Crossfire War. Haaretz reports General Eliahu headed the Israel Air Force (IAF) from 1996-2000 and in his lecture earlier this week he estimated Syria-Iran will launch 250-300 long range Shahab-Scud missiles at Israel in the next war. Eliahu estimated Hezbollah in Lebanon will be able to launch 5,000 short range missiles, an increase from the 4,200 they fired in 2006. Hezbollah does possess some longer range missiles which can hit Tel Aviv and no doubt they will be used as quickly as possible since the IAF will make destroying the longer range missiles their top priority whether they are fired from Lebanon-Syria-Iran. Eliahu expects the full scale fighting to last 20 days. [HAARETZ] In the course of his discussion General Eliahu mentioned Israel operates under a security doctrine that does allow for An Initiated War (preventive strike) as in 1967 which was so successful the war lasted only six days and Israel was able to take the strategic Golan Heights, a Syrian obsession ever since and Damascus' main motive for entering the war this year. He then said if an Initiated War is not possible then the doctrine provides for a Pre-Emptive Attack to disrupt the enemy's preparation. The IAF attack on the Syrian nuclear base last September was an example. Eliahu then mentioned if war does result then Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must conduct a holding operation during which they must achieve Aerial Superiority. He probably realizes if/when Israel does conduct a pre-emptive attack on Iran, for disruptive purposes, it would mean full scale war, beyond the serious flare ups of the past two years which did not yet lead to Israel's offensive into Gaza. Eliahu stated Israel should expect the next war to require action on one to three fronts and in order to achieve victory the IDF must crush the enemy on one of the fronts, which would be either Hezbollah in Lebanon or Syria. Since the ground area to cover is smaller in Lebanon Israel's offensive there should not take as long as in the case with Syria. Jerusalem may also prefer a quick victory against the hated Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah even if it means using nuclear weapons. Concerning Palestinian units in Gaza Eliahu recommends a war of containment which would include a ground offensive. Against Iran he recommended long range attacks should be continued. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Israel in Jerusalem dilemma after bulldozer attack Reuters (July 3, 2008) - A deadly rampage in a bulldozer by a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem left Israel grappling on Thursday with the dilemma of how to maintain security in the city along with the premise it is undivided. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it along with nearby villages in a move that is not recognized internationally, granting Palestinian residents Israeli identity cards that gave them wide freedom of movement. In issuing the same documents used by Jews, Israel was sending a signal that East Jerusalem -- which Palestinians want as the capital of a future state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- was part of the "indivisible capital" of the Jewish state. But Wednesday's attack on Jerusalem's busy Jaffa Road in which three Israelis died and a shooting spree, also in Jewish west Jerusalem, which killed eight Israelis in a religious seminary in March have combined to raise particular concern. Both attacks were carried out by Palestinians from areas Israel regards as part of East Jerusalem. Unlike Palestinians from the West Bank, where Israel has built a controversial barrier, the two men could work and travel in all of Jerusalem. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed after Wednesday's incident the demolition of the homes of Arab East Jerusalem residents who carry out attacks against Israelis. "I think we need to be tougher in some of the means we use against perpetrators of terror," Olmert told an economic conference in the southern port city of Eilat. "If we have to destroy houses, then we must do so, and if we have to stop their social benefits, then we must do so. There cannot be a case where they massacre us and at the same time they get all the privileges that our society provides," he said. But demolition notices would likely draw legal countermoves by Palestinians from East Jerusalem in Israeli courts, as well as international protests that destroying a home the attacker shared with other family members was collective punishment. "Demolishing the home is not the answer. This is punishment for the family, which had nothing to do with this," Imad Muna, a 44-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, said in Hebrew, noting the bulldozer driver was shot dead during the attack. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Israel authorities warn hospitals to prepare for earthquake (June 30, 2008) - A strong earthquake could soon rock Lebanon and parts of Israel, authorities said on Monday, urging health officials in northern Israel to make preparations for such an event. "The probability of an earthquake of a magnitude of up to six on the Richter scale, originating in Lebanon and being felt in Israel has increased," the health ministry said in a letter sent to medical officials in northern Israel. Since February, abnormal seismic activity has been noted in southern Lebanon, which had suffered some 500 minor earthquakes in a three-month period, health ministry director-general Avi Yisraeli said in the letter. "In May, the tremors have become more intense and were felt in northern Israel," he said adding that "should an earthquake of such magnitude hit northern Israel, it may cause substantial infrastructural damage in the area. "All medical facilities and organisations must do everything they can to enhance the level of readiness," Yisraeli said in the letter published by the ministry on Monday. Similar concern was issued by Lebanon's national scientific research centre. The secretary general of the centre, Moueen Hamz, told AFP in Beirut that 800 tremors ranging in magnitude from 2.3-5.1 degrees on the Richter scale had shaken the south Lebanon regions of Tyre and Nabatiyeh since February 12. "The tremors increased significantly in May and June," he said, urging the Lebanese authorities to take "serious prevention measures." Experts in Lebanon expect a quake of between five and six degrees on the Richter scale to strike, like the tremor that shook Lebanon in 1956 killing 136 people and destroying 6,000 houses, Hamze said. Some seismologists in Israel say that quakes have historically rocked the region every eight decades, and the last one was nearly 81 years ago. About 300 people were killed in Jerusalem and nearby Jericho by the July 11, 1927 temblor. A similar quake measuring seven on the Richter scale and with an epicentre in the Hula Valley, today in northern Israel, devastated the town of Safed and killed some 4,000 people in 1837.
| Israel | Earth Changes |

Hamas says it will not police truce with Israel Associated Press (June 25, 2008) - The militant group Hamas said it remains committed to a cease-fire with Israel, but will not act as Israel's "police force" in confronting militants who breach the truce. The comments by Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya came shortly after Gaza militants fired three rockets into southern Israel Tuesday, lightly wounding two Israelis. It was the first attack since the truce took effect last Thursday. Israel responded by closing Gaza's border crossings, which are used to deliver food and basic supplies into the area. Hamas said it was exerting pressure on Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for the attack, to stop the rocket fire and demanded that Israel open the crossings. But al-Haya said its forces would not confront rocket launching squads on the ground. "Even if there is a violation by some factions, Hamas emphasizes its commitment to the calm and is working to implement the calm," al-Haya said. "But Hamas is not going to be a police securing the border of the occupation," he added. "No one will enjoy a happy moment seeing Hamas holding a rifle in the face of a resistance fighter." Israel called the rocket attack a "gross violation" of the Egypt-mediated truce. As part of the cease-fire, Israel had on Sunday begun incrementally increasing the amount of goods entering Gaza. On Wednesday, all cargo crossings were closed, though a pedestrian passage was kept open. Hamas government spokesman Taher Nunu said the closure was a "clear violation of the calm" and called on Egypt, which mediated the truce, to intervene. "We will not accept leaving our people hostages to this policy," he said. Islamic Jihad said the rocket attack was a response to an Israeli raid on the West Bank that killed an Islamic Jihad commander. The West Bank is not included in the truce. Islamic Jihad and other Gaza factions reluctantly agreed to the truce but were angered that the deal didn't include an Israeli cessation of West Bank operations. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Israeli politicians avert elections Associated Press (June 25, 2008) - Israel stepped back from the brink of political turmoil Wednesday after the two main parties in the ruling coalition hammered out a last-minute compromise to prevent the passage of a bill calling an election. This gives Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a few more months to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians and to try to win release of three captured soldiers. But the price was agreeing to a primary election in September that is likely to end his reign. Olmert's main coalition partner, Labor, was poised to vote in favor of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call elections Wednesday. Labor's support would have guaranteed approval, mostly symbolic at this stage because the bill would have needed to pass three more parliamentary votes to become law. Olmert had threatened to fire Labor Cabinet ministers if they voted for the election bill. That would have removed his parliamentary majority and made elections inevitable. An election campaign would put peace efforts far onto the back burner. Instead, Olmert agreed to a Labor demand for primaries in his Kadima Party by Sept. 25 in exchange for Labor's dropping its support of the election bill. Olmert has lost most of his public support because of an inconclusive war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in 2006 and several corruption investigations against him. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, the defense minister, has repeatedly called for Olmert's ouster, only to back away from taking decisive action. The compromise allowed both Olmert and Barak to save face. Olmert can remain in office and keep his coalition intact, while Barak can tell supporters that he is forcing Kadima to replace its leader. Polls indicate that the hardline Likud, led by ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu, would win an election now. Likud sponsored the election bill, and bitterness came quickly to the surface in the parliament after Labor withdrew its support, forcing Likud to withdraw the measure. Another Likud leader, Gideon Saar, called Labor lawmakers "wimps" from the podium, setting off an angry exchange with the parliament speaker, Dalia Itzik of Kadima. When Olmert got up to speak, the hardliners from Likud tried to shout him down. Olmert retorted, "You call any effort toward peace 'surrender' because you don't want peace." Olmert announced that his Cabinet will vote Sunday on a proposed prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, which is holding two Israeli soldiers it captured two years ago, setting off the 34-day war. The exchange is said to include freedom for Samir Kantar, a Lebanese serving multiple life terms for a 1979 attack in which four Israelis were killed. more...
| Israel |

Russia Warns Israel Against Tehran Attack The Nation (June 24, 2008) - Russia, one of the world's major powers, has warned of "disasterous consequences" if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities. "If things happen like threats of force and unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the [UN] Security Council, it is distracting from the negotiating process," Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, said when asked to comment on a newspaper report about a large military exercise carried out by Israel this month as a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran. On Saturday, The Washington Post said senior U.S. officials confirmed that Israel had held a massive operation that involved the types of warplanes, distances and maneuvers required for airstrikes on Iran, a story which was first reported by The New York Times. "A military move would have devastating consequences for the prospect of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, for the region and internationally," the Russian ambassador added. The Post said, "The mock (Israeli) operation reflected a growing policy schism over Iran among major international players at a time when U.S. politics may freeze major decisions until a new administration is in place, its officials are confirmed and a policy review is complete." more...
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Israel on the Iran Brink Wall Street Journal (June 23, 2008) - Israel isn't famous for welcoming public scrutiny of its most sensitive military plans. But we doubt Jerusalem officials were dismayed to see news of their recent air force exercises splashed over the front pages of the Western press. Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack. The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium. It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat. As for the U.S., December's publication of a misleading National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran had halted nuclear weaponization signaled America's own lack of seriousness toward Iranian ambitions. Barack Obama is leading in the Presidential polls and portrays as a virtue his promise to negotiate with Iran "without precondition" – i.e., without insisting that Tehran stop enriching uranium. All the while Iran continues to enrich, installing thousands of additional centrifuges of increasingly more sophisticated design while it buries key facilities underground. No wonder Israel is concluding that it will have to act on its own to prevent a nuclear Iran. Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former army chief of staff, warned that "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack." Other officials distanced themselves from those remarks, but September's one-shot raid on Syria's nuclear reactor ought to be proof of Israel's determination. An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites would of course look nothing like the Syrian operation. The distances are greater; the targets are hardened, defended and dispersed; hundreds of sorties and several days would be required. Iran would retaliate, with the help of Hezbollah and Hamas, possibly sparking a regional conflict as large as the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Mr. ElBaradei predicted this weekend that such an attack would turn the Middle East into a "ball of fire," yet his own apologies for Iran and the West's diplomatic failures are responsible for bringing the region to this pass. They have convinced the mullahs that the powers responsible for maintaining world order lack the will to stop Iran. Israelis surely don't welcome a war in which they will suffer. Yet they have no choice but to defend themselves against an enemy that vows to obliterate them if Iran acquires the weapon to do so. The tragic paradox of the past six years is that the diplomatic and intelligence evasions offered in the name of avoiding war with Iran have done the most to bring us close to this brink. Appeasement that ends in war is a familiar theme of history.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran and Syria sign missile pact Gulf In The Media (June 2, 2008) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps has created an independent missile command to be integrated with a Syrian missile program, military sources said. The DEBKAfile news agency reported Sunday that the joint command was formalized in a treaty signed by the Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani in Tehran last week. Under the agreement, Syria's missile units would come under the new Iranian missile section and their operations would be fully coordinated with Tehran. Iranian officers are to be attached to Syrian units, while Syrian officers are posted to the Iranian command. Military sources told DEBKAfile that Iran's control of four hostile missile fronts would virtually neutralize the American and Israeli anti-missile defense systems in the region.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

'Unavoidable' attack on Iran looms, says Israeli minister Guardian UK (June 6, 2008) - An Israeli minister has said an attack on Iran's nuclear sites will be "unavoidable" if Tehran refuses to halt its alleged weapons programme. In the most explicit threat yet by a member of Ehud Olmert's government, Shaul Mofaz, a deputy prime minister, said the hardline Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "would disappear before Israel does". "If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Mofaz, who is also Israel's transport minister, said in comments published today by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "Attacking Iran in order to stop its nuclear plans will be unavoidable." Iranian-born Mofaz is a former army chief and defence minister. He is a member of Olmert's security cabinet and leads regular strategic coordination talks with the US state department. Iran denies trying to build nuclear weapons and has defied western pressure to abandon uranium enrichment. The leadership in Tehran has threatened that if attacked the country will retaliate against Israel - believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal - and American targets in the region. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map since becoming president. On Monday, he said Israel was "about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene". Olmert met the US president, George Bush, on Wednesday to discuss concerns over Iran. The Israeli prime minister, who is being pressured to resign over a corruption scandal, has said that Iran's nuclear threat "must be stopped by all possible means". Israeli planes bombed Syria in September, destroying what the US administration said was a partly built nuclear reactor using North Korean help. Syria denied having any such facility. UN inspectors announced this week that they would be visiting Syria to investigate the American claim.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Interesting having just watched I Will Turn Thee Back: Turkey At A Crossroads by Avi Lipkin...

Links Between Daniel 9:27, the 70th Week and the ENP Natural News (June 5, 2008) - I want to thank Ted Montgomery for allowing me to publish this excellent article. Like him I also do agree that the warning must get out at all cost. This article can be downloaded as an easy to print Word document HERE. And for those of you who wonder; my views is 100% the same as Ted’s. Here’s ted:

The esteemed Israeli prophet Daniel was visited more than once by the angel Gabriel, who provided Daniel with prophecies about the distant future, from Daniel’s perspective in time. One of these prophecies is, perhaps, the most significant prophecy in the Bible pertaining to the future of Daniel’s people, Israel:

24Seventy “sevens” are decreed for your people [Israel] and your holy city [Jerusalem] to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. 25Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem [Nehemiah 2:1-9; Ezra 1:1-11] until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes [Luke 19:28-44], there will be seven “sevens,” and sixty-two “sevens” [= 69 × 7 years = 483 years]. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26After the sixty-two “sevens,” the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27He will confirm a covenant with many for one “seven,” but in the middle of that “seven” he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes desolation will place abominations on a wing of the temple until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. (Daniel 9:24-27)Most Bible scholars agree that Daniel 9:27 foretells the final seven years of this age, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ back to earth. The “he” in the prophecy generally is acknowledged to be the Antichrist, to arise near the end of the age. It was prophesied that this man would confirm or strengthen a previous covenant or agreement “with many” for one seven-year period—the 70th Week—thus commencing the final seven years. Israel never has engaged in a seven-year accord with anyone—until relatively recently. more...

| Israel | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Temple Mount |

Defense sources: Syria arming Hezbollah, despite Israel talks Haaretz (June 4, 2008) - Syria is continuing to supply the Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization with large amounts of weapons, missiles and rockets even as it conducts indirect negotiations with Israel, defense officials in Jerusalem told Army Radio on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday in a series of interviews that resumed peace talks with Israel hinge on the current cabinet remaining in power in Jerusalem. In interviews he gave to newspaper editors in the United Arab Emirates, Assad said: "The success of the talks depend on the Israeli side and is tied to the Israeli government's ability and how stable it is." According to one report, Assad said direct talks would begin only next year, though Syria is not opposed in principle. "We explained our vision for peace, and we are waiting for the Israeli response. However, our previous attempt to negotiate with Israel was not encouraging, and what we are doing now is to verify that Israel is ready for peace," he said. Defense Minister Ehud Barak referred to the indirect talks with Syria while touring the northern border Tuesday. "With the Syrians, feelers are being put out to check whether there is a possibility of opening direct negotiations and discussing in that framework all of the topics about which we will have to make tough decisions and make concessions, but it cuts both ways. These will be tough decisions from Assad's perspective and also ours," Barak said. Referring to Syria's "intimate" cooperation with Hezbollah, including helping to arm it," Barak said "the supreme responsibility in our view falls on Hezbollah, on the one hand, and Syria and Iran, on the other."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Ahmadinejad says Israel will soon disappear (June 2, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot "satanic powers" and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported. "I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene," he said. "Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started." Since taking the presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly provoked international outrage by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear. "I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed," he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Ahmadinejad also again expressed his apocalyptic vision that tyranny in the world be abolished by the return to earth of the Mahdi, the 12th imam of Shiite Islam, alongside great religious figures including Jesus Christ. "With the appearance of the promised saviour... and his companions such as Jesus Christ, tyranny will be soon be eradicated in the world." Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee of the Mahdi, who Shiites believe disappeared more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony. His emphasis on the Mahdi has been a cause of controversy inside Iran with critics saying he would be better solving bread-and-butter domestic problems rather than talking about Iran's divine responsibility.
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Exclusive: Limited US attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases in sight DEBKAfile (June 2, 2008) - Our Washington sources report that president George W. Bush is closer than ever before to ordering a limited missile-air bombardment of the IRGC-al Qods Brigade’s installations in Iran. It is planned to target training camps and the munitions factories pumping fighters, missiles and roadside bombs to the Iraqi insurgency, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. Iran is geared up for counteraction. US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel. DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington. Two days ago, Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar warned: “Iran’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to counter any military attack with any intensity and to make the enemy regret initiating any such incursions.” According to DEBKAfile’s Iranian and military sources, the IRGC had by mid-May completed their preparations for a US missile, air or commando assault on their command centers and bases in reprisal for Iranian intervention in Iraq. These preparations encompass al Qods’ arms, most of them undercover, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan. At home, the Revolutionary Guards have evacuated their key bases together with manpower and equipment to regular army sites or temporary quarters in villages located in remote corners of eastern and northern Iran. Their main headquarters and central training center at the Imam Ali University in northern Tehran are deserted except for sentries on the gates. Indoctrination seminaries and dormitories hosting fighting strength in the holy town of Qom are empty, as is the Manzariyah training center east of the capital. Deserted too is the main training camp near Isfahan for insurgents and terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It is here that they take courses from friendly al Qods training staff on how to sabotage strategic targets such as routes, bridges and military installations, and the activation of the extra-powerful roadside bombs (EFPs) which have had such a deadly effect on American troops in Iraq.
| Iran | Israel | America |

If we are indeed facing the soon fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 & 39, it is more likely that Israel would be the aggressor as it seems that all the Russian, Turkish and Iranian forces are focused on Israel. Of course there could be other areas not covered in prophecy as well that could include the reason why America isn't a clear part of prophecy as well. Time will tell and I'm still watching...

SYRIA: Israeli hopes for a Tehran-Damascus rift collapse Los Angeles Times (May 2008) - Iranian and Syrian officials poured a bucket of ice water this week on Israeli hopes for a rupture in the long-standing Tehran-Damascus relationship. Israeli officials had demanded Syria break ties with Iran in exchange for returning the occupied Golan Heights to Syria. Instead, Syria this week appeared to strengthen its ties with Iran, signing a defense cooperation pact in a showy Tehran photo-op on Tuesday. That same day, Syrian President Bashar Assad told a visiting delegation of British lawmakers that Damascus' relationship with Tehran was not up for negotiation. In reality, despite a lot of media attention, there was never really much chance of a peace deal between Syria and Israel or a break in ties between Damascus and Tehran. At least not anytime soon. Israeli and Syrian leaders admitted this month that the two countries were engaged in peace talks mediated by Turkey. Almost immediately, the Israeli foreign minister said Syria would have to cut ties with Iran, and its allies Hezbollah and Hamas, before Israel would consider making peace and handing back the Golan Heights. A Western diplomat in Damascus closely tracking the indirect Syria-Israel talks bluntly called any hopes of dangling the Golan Heights (a hilly plateau about the size of Los Angeles County) to drive a wedge between Damascus and Tehran "a non-starter." A more realistic strategy might be to try to persuade Syria to temper the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah, which both fight Israel. "The Syrians won't want to lose Hezbollah, but can moderate Hezbollah," said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Syrians don't have control over Hamas and Hezbollah, but they have influence. Syria might have veto power." In any case, few insiders believed a breakthrough between Israel and Syria was imminent. The diplomat  said Assad doesn't anticipate any new deals before summer 2009, after President Bush is out of office. "Bashar has been clear that he didn't really want to negotiate. He's preparing everything for the next American administration. If the next American administration is ready to guarantee a deal, then they'll be ready." But Israel may also be part of the problem. A majority of Israelis are reluctant to give up the Golan Heights, which has become a 463-square-mile resort destination as well as a strategic buffer, even for a peace deal with Damascus. Over 41 years of occupation, they've grown to love the Golan Heights.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

US: Iranian warhead blueprint 'alarming' The Jerusalem Post (May 29, 2008) - A ranking International Atomic Energy Agency official called Teheran's possession of a drawing showing how to make part of an atomic warhead "alarming" Thursday and said the onus is on Iran to prove it had not tried to develop nuclear arms, said diplomats attending a closed briefing. The US said the evidence detailed by IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen increased concerns that Teheran had tried to make such weapons. "Today's briefing showed ... strong reasons to suspect that Iran was working covertly and deceitfully at least until recently to build a bomb," Gregory L. Schulte, the chief US delegate to the agency, told reporters. Rejecting the allegation, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Schulte's Iranian counterpart, again dismissed the evidence as "baseless and fabricated documents and papers." Separately, a senior diplomat suggested the agency was not accepting as fact US intelligence estimates that the Islamic Republic stopped active pursuit of nuclear weapons five years ago. Queried on documents in the agency's possession possibly linked to research in such weapons and bearing dates into early 2004, he told The Associated Press that the IAEA was reserving its judgment on whether they indicated nuclear weapons work past 2003 until it finished its own investigations. The documents, outlined in an IAEA report forwarded Monday to the UN Security Council and agency board members, are part of evidence provided by board member nations to the agency for its investigation into allegations that Iran used the cover of peaceful nuclear activities to conduct research and testing on a nuclear arms program. more…
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Fearing Olmert collapse, Palestinians rush for deal WorldNet Daily (May 29, 2008) - Fearing the collapse of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government, the Palestinian Authority asked the U.S. government for backing to rush a deal regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, WND has learned. According to a top PA negotiator, the Palestinians expect Olmert will be forced from office before the end of the year. They fear some of the negotiations led by Olmert's government will be fruitless unless an understanding is reached before the Israeli leader vacates office. "What we are seeking is to quickly reach certain understandings, put those understandings on paper and have them guaranteed by the U.S. so the understandings can be used as a starting point in negotiations with the next Israeli prime minister," the top PA negotiator told WND. Olmert's government has been conducting intense negotiations with the PA started at last November's U.S.-backed Annapolis summit, which sought to create a Palestinian state before Bush leaves office in January. Israel is highly expected to offer the Palestinians most of the West Bank and sections of Jerusalem. Olmert faces a bribery and corruption investigation that has been described by police officials here as "very serious." The Israeli leader has said he would resign if he is indicted. Earlier this week, Morris Talansky, a U.S. businessman, testified in court he provided about $150,000 in cash to Olmert over the years and that he didn't know exactly what the Israeli leader did with the money. According to sources close to the investigation, the charges against Olmert extend far beyond possible cash transfers by Talansky and involve other foreign businessmen allegedly passing on money in exchange for political and business favors. In a major blow to Olmert's future leadership, his defense minister and senior coalition partner, Ehud Barak, yesterday called on him to step down. "I do not think the prime minister can simultaneously run the government and deal with his own personal affair," Barak said at a nationally televised news conference after conferring with other members of his Labor party. Barak maintained his position today, telling the Knesset that early elections appear inevitable in light of the corruption probe. Olmert, though, continues to insist he will not resign unless he is indicted. He told the Knesset he was certain that once his side of the story is aired, no charges would be brought against him. "I have been done an injustice, and it is illogical that a prime minister should be brought down because of something like this," Olmert said. "Some people think that every investigation requires a resignation. I do not agree, and I do not intend to resign," Olmert said. The prime minister has faced five previous investigations into accusations of corruption or accepting bribes. Immediately after Barak's statements yesterday, three members of his party, which is in a governing coalition with Olmert's Kadima party, submitted motions to the Knesset to dissolve the Olmert government. By Israeli law, if the majority of the Knesset votes for the downfall of the prime minister, new elections must be held within 90 days. Barak has made no secret of his desire to become prime minister. But his calls for Olmert to step down were also echoed across the political spectrum. Legally, Olmert can remain in office until 2010 unless he is either convicted or the Knesset votes for new elections. If he resigns, Olmert could appoint a member of his Kadima party as prime minister to avoid early elections and ensure his party remains in power. He could also take a 90-day leave of absence during which time his deputy prime minister, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, would temporarily govern. Olmert, though, is said to oppose placing Livni is power. According to top political sources in Jerusalem, Olmert is attempting to coordinate the future leadership of Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former defense minister and close Olmert confidant.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Turkey In Between: Syria-Israel & Georgia-Russia Poli Gazette (May 27, 2008) - Adding to its much coveted resume as “Europe’s bridge to the Middle East”, Turkey has now been officially recognized as the facilitator of talks between Israel and Syria. Whether or not the Israeli media agrees with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s motivations for publicizing the existence of talks, Turkey can at least shine in the warm spotlight of international recognition for a few weeks. While most Turkish diplomatic activity in the Arab Middle East other than with Iraq follows a mechanical approach, Turkey’s role as a mediator between Israel and Syria is uncharacteristically complex. There exists a very clear logic behind Turkey’s effort to mingle in the affairs of these two countries. Compared to its relationship with neighbor Iran, Turkey’s rapport with Syria is relatively underdeveloped. Perhaps the most significant reason for this is the incredible backwardness of Syria’s Baathist state-controlled economy, which is also responsible for the incredible backwardness of Syria’s regional foreign policy. Syria’s problematic approach last affected Turkey in a dramatic way in 1998. Syria gave refuge to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, much to the disgrace of Turkish public opinion that had designated Ocalan as a terrorist. Syria would ultimately harbor the Kurdish leader in Damascus until the threat of a Turkish invasion successfully forced his eviction. In comparison, Turkey’s rapport with Israel has proved quite dynamic. Successive Turkish governments and the Turkish military have pursued a symbiotic relationship with Israel despite the risk of alienating Turkey even further in the eyes of the Arab World. Both countries, similarly focused on linking themselves with the West, have cooperated through military exchanges and natural resource transfers. In addition, Turkey hopes to court the sympathy of the Israeli lobby in Washington as a means of counter-balancing the influence of the Armenian lobby on American foreign policy. While no observer could claim that Turkey’s efforts will actually make a significant difference in solving the issues that separate Israel and Syria, Turkey’s actions will help it acquire some additional credibility with pundits who influence EU opinion. This alone could be reason for Turkey to exert its diplomatic energy. The highly involved nature of Turkey’s interest in affairs south of its border stands in tremendous contrast with its attitudes concerning the tumultuous political situation to its north-east. Turkey has chosen a relatively silent course as Georgia struggles to deal with breakaway Abkhazia and omnipresent Russia. (On Monday, the UN announced that a Russian jet did indeed shoot down a Georgian unmanned surveillance drone patrolling over Abkhazia.) Other than its relations with Armenia, which are “very well” defined, Turkey’s diplomatic intentions in the greater Caucasus region and Central Asia have been unclear ever since the failure of its Pan-Turkism initiative in the 1990s. While Turkish construction companies and textile producers have been keen to acquire contracts and conduct foreign direct investment projects, Turkey’s main interest in the region has been its role as a conduit for Central Asian energy exports to Europe and beyond. Turkey’s energy interests in Central Asia have understandably run counter to those of Russia, which are monopolistic by nature. more…
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ahmadinejad wants closer Syria defence ties Reuters (May 26, 2008) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Monday for closer defence ties with Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported, a few days after Israel urged Damascus to distance itself from Tehran. "So far Iran's and Syria's joint and mutual relations in various fields have been of utmost usefulness and defence relations must expand to the extent possible," he told visiting Syrian Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani. The IRNA report gave no further details on military cooperation between the two Middle East countries, which the United States accuses of sponsoring terrorism. Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar described Syria on Sunday as a strategic ally. Pieter Wezeman, a researcher on conventional arms transfers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said Syria and Iran had military relations but their secretive nature made it difficult to say how substantial they were. He said Iran was believed to supply Syria mainly with ammunition but there were reports of other kinds of military cooperation. "It is extremely difficult to find any reliable information," Wezeman said by telephone from Stockholm. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Ahmadinejad sure Syria will press struggle against Israel AFP (May 26, 2008) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that he remains confident Iran's close ally Syria will keep up the struggle against Israel despite its announcement of renewed peace negotiations. "I am sure that the Syrian leadership will manage the situation with wisdom and will not abandon the front line until the complete removal of the Zionist threats," Ahmadinejad told visiting Syrian Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani. "So far the cooperation between Iran and Syria in different areas has been beneficial for both sides and our defence ties should be expanded as far as possible," the official IRNA news agency quoted the president as saying. Turkmani's visit is the first to Iran by a Syrian official since Syria and Israel announced last Wednesday that they had resumed indirect peace negotiations through Turkish mediators, ending an eight-year freeze. Turkmani held talks on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, during which the Iranian side underlined the importance of "collective security". Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran would continue its longstanding policy of supporting "the oppressed Palestinian people." "Supporting the Palestinian people means supporting regional security, as the Palestinians are in the front line of the Zionists' aggression," he said. Iran does not recognise Israel and has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by calling for the Jewish state to be wiped from the map. On Saturday, Syria rejected any preconditions to the new peace negotiations with Israel involving either breaking its three-decade alliance with Iran or ending its support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups. Israeli officials have in the past conditioned any peace deal with Syria on its agreement to end both. Iranian analysts saw in Turkmani's visit proof that the three-decade-old alliance between Tehran and Damascus remained intact despite the renewed peace negotiations. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

The September War WorldNet Daily (May 23, 2008) - According to a number of sources, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to bring his first reactor on line sometime in September 2008, which is just about in line with what the Israeli Mossad had estimated back in 2003 when the full extent of Iran's secret nuclear program became known. The Iranian announcement came on the heels of a surprise announcement by the government of Israel confirming it had entered into third-party peace talks with Syria's Bashar Assad. The surprising confirmation on Wednesday was the first acknowledged contact between the two parties in eight years, which will be mediated by Turkey. Equally surprising was a statement from the United States saying it had no objection to the talks. Previously, the U.S. had rejected any peace overtures toward Syria as long as it was sponsoring Hezbollah and Hamas. In fact, President Bush seemed to have been blindsided by the news. According to transcripts of an interview he granted to the Jerusalem Post, Bush responded to the news by stammering; "I expect an explanation, but I'm – he made a decision that he made – or no decisions have been made, except the idea of trying to get some dialogue moving, which is – and I know him well, and know that he is as concerned about Israeli security as any other person that's ever been the prime minister of Israel. And so I presume the decision is made." Despite the White House's official welcome of the news, privately, officials were furious. The New York Times quoted an "anonymous" (of course) "administration official" who called Israel's unilateral move "a slap in the face." While Damascus and Jerusalem talk peace, Iranian-backed Hezbollah consolidated the gains it made in fighting against government forces in the streets of Beirut and elsewhere. After six days of mediation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, Hezbollah emerged a clear winner in a settlement agreement in which Hezbollah was granted veto rights over the government, affirming its stature as "the preponderant military actor and the super political power in Lebanon," according to political scientist Hilal Khashan of the American University of Beirut. Khashan told the AFP that "it was an excellent deal for the Hezbollah-led opposition and a major defeat for the U.S.-backed government." The deal was brokered by the Qatari government. The Arab League played a major part in securing the deal, with both Syria and Iran declaring their support for Hezbollah's victory. Under the arrangement, Parliament will elect as president the current head of the Lebanese Army, Gen. Michel Suleiman. Gen. Suleiman will then appoint a new government – one in which Hezbollah holds enough seats to veto any decisions it doesn't like – such as disarming Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Israeli military sources say that Iran is continuing to ship weapons and ammunition, via Hezbollah, to the Hamas-occupied Gaza Strip, including rockets, missiles and rocket launchers. According to the Mossad, these shipments have been stepped up in recent months, reaching a peak in March-April. Using fishing boats, Iran has successfully smuggled Iranian-made 120 mm mortars with a range of up to six miles. The Mossad says that the smuggling operation is overseen by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard using Syrian ports and Hezbollah operatives. Meanwhile, back in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is fighting desperately to keep his job while he is under investigation by police on charges of obtaining money by fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses, according to Haartez. And fears are rampant within Israeli circles that Olmert may be considering trading the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace deal he can trumpet to deflect attention away from his legal problems.

If one sits down and connects the dots, one ends up with a very different picture than the one being presented by the mainstream media suggesting the Syrian-Israeli talks are representative of a major breakthrough. It is worth remembering that it was the Persians who invented chess, and Ahmadinejad seems to be controlling all the pieces. In the first place, Ahmadinejad knows that Israel will attack its reactor the moment that they take it on line. He's been arming and training Hamas to serve as its proxy in the event of war, to harass the IDF on its flanks. To the north in Lebanon, Ahmadinejad has succeeded in rearming and re-equipping Hezbollah since the Lebanon War in 2006. The Mossad estimates Hezbollah is stronger now than it was before Israel invaded. Hezbollah has succeeded, for all intents and purposes, in taking over the Lebanese government. Hamas controls all of the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority barely has a handle on the West Bank – and in any event, would turn on Israel the second the opportunity presented itself. Syria's insistence on the return of the Golan Heights as a precondition for peace is a Trojan Horse – particularly considering the timing. It was only last September that Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor that was only weeks from being operational. Syria has built one of the most formidable arsenals of missiles and rockets in the region, all of them aimed at Israel. From the Golan Heights, Syria would control much of northern Israel, as it did prior to losing the Golan to Israel in the Six Days War. Israel is therefore surrounded with Hezbollah and Syria to the north, Hamas on both flanks, with al-Qaida sympathizers flooding in through Egypt and Jordan. Everything is in place for war except the pretext to start things off. Starting up a nuclear reactor will do nicely.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Let's also not forget... Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks

Syrian military delegation arrives in Moscow RIA Novosti (May 19, 2008) - A group of Syrian military officials arrived in Moscow on Monday to discuss prospects for bilateral military and technical cooperation, a Russian Air Force spokesman said. During the five-day visit, the delegation led by Syrian Air Force and Air Defense Commander Gen. Akhmad Al Ratyb will meet with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials, visit several military units and defense industry plants, Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said. Russia's Kommersant newspaper earlier wrote that Moscow and Damascus had agreed on deliveries of the latest Russian MiG-29SMT fighter. Syria also bought 36 Pantsir S1E air-defense systems from Russia, and hopes to receive Strelets short-range air defense systems, Iskander tactical missile systems, Yak-130 aircraft, and two Amur-1650 submarines. Israel and the U.S. are sensitive about Russian-Syrian military and technical cooperation, fearing not only a reinforcement of Syria's Armed Forces, but also the possibility that modern weapons could fall into the hands of Hezbollah fighters and Iran, in violation of the existing international embargo.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

ANALYSIS / Price of quiet in Lebanon is Hezbollah in power Haaretz (May 26, 2008) - The smiles, handshakes and congratulations that followed the election of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman yesterday were unable to erase questions and fears over what Hezbollah has in store for the country, and the region as a whole. That is because the lovely principle of "no victor, no vanquished," as the emir of Qatar described the deal reached in Doha that allowed for Suleiman's election, does not reflect reality. Lebanon did manage to engage the emergency brake before spiraling into civil war, and can even look forward to a period of relative quiet. But the price is liable to be Hezbollah's long-term de facto control of Lebanon. Suleiman's election is not the product of a democratic compromise between a majority and an opposition; it is the product of threats and violence. The fancy swearing-in ceremony yesterday could not have taken place without the agreement of Hezbollah, which delayed the selection of a president by seven months. Hezbollah conditioned its acceptance on the establishment of a national unity government in which it and its partners will have 11 ministers. This grants Hezbollah veto power over key government decisions, since the Lebanese constitution requires important decisions to be approved by a two-thirds majority. Hezbollah also won a change in the elections law, which gives its supporters a much greater chance of getting their candidates into parliament in the election planned for next year. In addition, the question of Hezbollah's right to function as an autonomous militia has been removed from the agenda, replaced by a declaration that Hezbollah's guns will never again be aimed at fellow Lebanese. And without the agreement of the Lebanese government, any international attempt to disarm Hezbollah will be seen as illegitimate. Suleiman thanked Arab leaders, especially the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani. But without the agreements reached between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, Suleiman would not have been elected president. Hezbollah also determined the most convenient place for negotiations - not Saudi Arabia or Egypt, which are allies of the Lebanese government, but Qatar, whose emir was the first Arab leader to visit a Shi'ite neighborhood in Beirut that had been bombed by Israel, and who donated a lot of money to rebuild it. Hezbollah could have celebrated twice yesterday - once to mark eight years since the Israel Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon, and a second time over having laid the cornerstone of its political domination of the country. Syria is not dissatisfied with this victory, but understands that Hezbollah is not a Syrian organization. Damascus may yet miss the days when it controlled Lebanon directly, without having to rely on a group whose loyalty depends on its own interests rather than being driven by ideology. Now, after Hezbollah's great political victory, it is no longer clear who depends on whom. In the Saudi-Iranian struggle over regional hegemony, Tehran can chalk up another victory.
| Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

It seems to me that if the Magog invasion comes from the North, that Lebanon is the key to funneling the troops that God will destroy in the mountains of Israel into Israel. Keep watching events with Syria as well as Russia, Libya, Turkey and Iran this summer.

Palestinians reject Israeli offer to hand over 91.5% of W. Bank Haaretz (May 26, 2008) - Palestinian officials close to peace talks said Sunday that Israel has offered a West Bank withdrawal map that leaves about 8.5 percent of the territory in Israeli hands, less than a previous plan but still more than the Palestinians are ready to accept. Also Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as telling backers that the negotiations have achieved no progress since they were restarted last November with a pledge to U.S. President George W. Bush to try for a full peace treaty by the end of the year. The Palestinian officials said Israel presented its new map three days ago in a negotiating session. The last map Israel offered had 12 percent of the West Bank remaining in Israel. Israel wants to keep West Bank land with its main settlement blocs, offering land inside Israel in exchange. The land would be between Hebron in the southern West Bank and Gaza - at least part of a route through Israel to link the two territories. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are being conducted behind closed doors, said Palestinians were ready to trade only 1.8 percent of the West Bank for Israeli land. Israeli officials refused to comment. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that progress has been made in several areas, but he refused to give details out of concern for harming the negotiations. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

'Iran to give Hamas more arms, funds' The Jerusalem Post (May 25, 2008) - Iran has promised Hamas new rockets and more funds, an expression of the Islamic Republic's displeasure with recent news of renewed Israeli-Syrian peace talks, the London-based newspaper, Asharq Alawsat reported on Sunday. According to the report, Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who held a press conference in Teheran with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday, expressed his concern over statements issued simultaneously by Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara last Wednesday in which a renewal of talks between Syria and Israel under Turkish mediation was declared. Mashaal reportedly told his Iranian hosts that despite commitments he was given by Damascus that peace with Israel would not come at the expense of Syria's ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas, he was still aware of the fact that Syria would have to make some concessions. He emphasized that he understood that Syria could not sign a peace agreement with Israel, exchange ambassadors, end the state of war and make the Golan Heights demilitarized and at the same time continue to allow Iran to use its territory to transfer weapons to Hizbullah, train Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists and help in the financing of those groups. An Iranian source told the paper that in light of Mashaal's fears, Iranian regime officials promised the head of Hamas's political bureau that Iran would continue supporting Hamas financially, materially and morally, even if Syria would turn its back on the organization for the sake of an agreement with Israel. According to the source, the Iranians had even elaborated what that support would be: Newer, upgraded rockets and an increase in the budget allotted to Hamas to $150 million in the second half of 2008. A source in the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Mashaal was promised that Iran would supply every support his organization might need, be it weapons, finance, or military training. Iran's defense minister also expressed confidence on Sunday that negotiations would not hamper the strong alliance between Teheran and Damascus, the Iranian FARS news agency reported. Labeling Syria a strategic ally of Iran, Defense Minister Mustafa Mohammed Nejad called on "Islamic states to strengthen their relations in order to defend themselves against the dangers which threaten the region."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Olmert: We're facing a historic agreement with Syria The question is, will Syria go against their Islamic roots and diplomatic and defensive ties with Iran? Or could this be a ploy to take advantage of a perceived weakness in Israeli leadership looking for some kind of political progress? Could Israel discovering true intentions lead to the destruction of Damascus and that trigger the coalitions to defend Syria?

Iran tells Syria must regain control of Golan YNet News (May 24, 2008) - Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani arrived in Tehran on Saturday evening as part of Damascus' bid to reassure its Iranian ally after resuming peace negotiations with Israel. General Turkmani is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mustafa Mohammad-Najjar, and additional key figures in Tehran. A possible meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet been confirmed. In a meeting he held earlier on Saturday with Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki publically addressed the renewed talks for the first time. "The Golan belongs to Syria and must be returned to its control. The Zionist regime must withdraw from the Golan, and we support Syrian efforts to repossess the Heights." The Syrian defense minister's visit to Tehran follow reports of Ahmadinejad's outrage over the contact between Israel and Syria. Sources close to the Iranian president told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily that Ahmadinejad has made his discontent over the clandestine negotiations well known. He described the talks as a "flagrant violation" of the mutual commitments between Syria and Iran. Meanwhile, Damascus as reiterated its rejection of Israel's demand that it sever ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas as a key condition of any peace agreement. During a joint press conference Mashaal held with Mottaki after their meeting, the exiled Hamas leader was careful not to criticize the negotiations. He did say however that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lacks the political might to make the moves necessary for peace with Syria. "There is great skepticism concerning (Israel's) seriousness to return the Golan," Mashaal said. "It's maneuvering and playing all the (negotiation) tracks – this is a well known game and besides, Olmert's weakness will not allow him to take this step." He was referring to the current ongoing investigation against Olmert, who has recently been suspected of receiving money unlawfully. Mashaal said he was sure the renewed talks would not come at the expense of the Palestinian track.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Related News: Syria refuses to sever ties with Iran

Israel: Russia may be selling Syria arms The Jerusalem Post (May 21, 2008) - Fearing that Damascus is acquiring advanced military platforms, Israel is closely following meetings being held in Moscow this week between a high-level Syrian military delegation and Russian Defense Ministry officials. Senior government officials in Jerusalem said they have been aware for several days of the Syrians' upcoming visit to the Russian capital but that it was not yet clear which military platforms Damascus was requesting. According to reports in the Russian media, the delegation, led by Syrian Air Force commander Gen. Akhmad al-Ratyb, will be in Moscow for five days and meet with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials, as well as visit several military bases and units. According to the reports, the talks will focus on arms sales - including submarines, anti-aircraft missiles, the latest model MiG fighter jets and advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. Israel is particularly concerned with a Syrian request for long-range S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could threaten IAF jets flying on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. The S-300 is one of the best multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world and reportedly can track 100 targets simultaneously while engaging 12 at the same time. Syria recently received 36 Pantsir S1E air-defense systems from Russia. Iran is believed to have already procured several S-300 systems to protect its nuclear facilities. Israeli defense officials expressed grave concern over the possibility that Syria would obtain these new military platforms. Damascus, the officials said, had dramatically increased defense spending recently. In the past three years, Syria has spent more than $3 billion on weapons, up from less than $100 million in 2002. Officials said that Israel was working diplomatically with Moscow to prevent the sales, but that for the right amount of money, Russia would likely approve the sales in any case. Israel is also extremely concerned about a possible sale of the Iskander surface-to-surface missile system. The Iskander, Israeli weapons experts said Tuesday, was the heir to the Scud and was far superior to the ballistic missiles currently in Syria's arsenal. The Iskander is propelled by solid fuel and has a range of 300 kilometers, with accuracy of about 20 meters. "This would without a doubt be a major threat to Israel," one Israeli expert said. Lastly, Syria is also reportedly interested in buying two Amur-1650 submarines from Russia. The Amur 1650 is a diesel-electric operated vessel and reportedly can strike salvo missile blows at multiple targets simultaneously. Syria has a navy but does not have operational submarines. more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Keep watching!

Israel firm on refugees after Bush dismays Arabs Reuters UK (May 16, 2008) - Israel ruled out all debate on letting Palestinian refugees return in any peace deal, as U.S. President George W. Bush ended a visit on Friday that left Arabs dismayed by his outspoken support for Israel's "chosen people". As Bush flew out after three days of celebrations of Israel's 60th anniversary, an Israeli government spokesman said Palestinian insistence on the right of return for 4.5 million refugees and their descendants was "the ultimate deal breaker". Six months into negotiations sponsored by Bush in the hope of a deal before he leaves the White House, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman used some of the toughest Israeli language yet to insist that President Mahmoud Abbas abandon 60-year-old refugee claims if he wants to establish a Palestinian state. "This demand, which does not exist under international law, for right of return, is the ultimate deal breaker. You cannot have peace and this demand at the same time," Mark Regev said. Some 700,000 people, half the Arab population of Palestine in May 1948, fled or were driven from their homes when Israel was created. Letting them and their families live in Israel now would undermine its nature as a Jewish state, Israel argues. It also disputes the legal basis of the right of the return first set out in a United Nations resolution of December 1948. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters: "He should have told the Israelis that, 1 mile from where he was speaking, there is a nation that has lived in disaster for 60 years. He should have told the Israelis no one can be free at the expense of others. He missed this opportunity and we are disappointed." Bush called Israel a homeland for God's "chosen people" and pledged Washington would remain its "best friend in the world". As Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and in camps abroad held protests on the 60th anniversary of their exile from cities and farmlands that are now in Israel, Bush spoke of European Jews in 1948 "arriving here in the desert". In the Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam, columnist Samih Shabib wrote: "Bush is blind to the right of return. "The U.S. administration's attitude towards Israel inherently promotes hostility and deepens hatred towards the United States and its policy. Is this hostility, and its consequences, in America's interest? I don't think so." Olmert's spokesman Regev acknowledged the suffering of Palestinian refugees but insisted Abbas must abandon their claims if he wanted a Palestinian state, 60 years after Arabs rejected a U.N. plan to partition Palestine into two states. "We are not insensitive to suffering that the Palestinians or the Arabs have gone through," he told reporters. But he added: "The so-called right of return is antithetical to a two-state solution ... I would question someone's commitment to peace and reconciliation if they believe that the so-called right of return must be implemented." more...
| Israel | Islam | America |

Some thoughts upon reading this article. The Palestinians are further disenchanted with the prospect of peace as Israel denies the right of return. With further conflict possibilities coming from Syria and Iran through Hezbollah and continued rocket attacks, a pre-emptive attack on Damascus could trigger the spite building and bring Russia, Turkey, Iran and Libya against Israel through Lebanon. Considering this Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks, could we be heading to a retaliation on Syria for the continued aggression from Hezbollah and Hamas? The question is also if the strong stance being taken now against any peace with the right of return as a part of it, which won’t help the peace process, is meant to provoke a reaction. Iran’s president Ahmadinejad has made statements that Israel’s time is coming to an end and the perception is that Israel is weakened currently. Could this contribute to an attack being planned for this summer? And would Israel’s catching wind of this plan trigger their attack on Damascus? I believe this would then trigger the response foretold in Ezekiel 38,39.

If that is the case, then following the destruction of those attackers with fire and brimstone from heaven in the mountains of Israel, the more radical elements will be temporarily quieted and Israel’s morale and confidence will go through the roof as they turn to the ways of their fathers.

The more subdued part of Islam that does not participate in the attack will still have the destruction of Israel in mind, but will also be working for integration into the West too. In the end, Islam must participate with the final kingdom just like everyone else and I believe the false prophet may be the key. I would expect the 12th Mahdi to surface sometime soon after this failed attack to unite Sunni and Shia Islam.

The gathering storm, and beyond The Jerusalem Post (May 15, 2008) - The incendiary hate language emanating from Ahmadinejad's Iran - in which Israel is referred to as "filthy bacteria" and a "cancerous tumor" and Jews are characterized as "a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians" - is only the head wind of the gathering storm confronting Israel on its 60th anniversary. Indeed, we are witnessing, and have been for some time, a series of mega-events, political earthquakes that have been impacting not only upon Israel and world Jewry but upon the human condition as a whole. These include:

  • state-sanctioned incitement to genocide in Ahmadinejad's Iran (and I use that term to distinguish it from the many publics and peoples in Iran who are themselves the object of massive state repression) dramatized by the parading of a Shihab-3 missile in the streets of Teheran draped with the emblem "Wipe Israel off the map";
  • symmetrical terrorist militias confronting Israel, in particular Hamas in the south and Hizbullah in the north. These are not simply - though that would be threatening enough - terrorist in their instrumentality, but genocidal in their purpose as they openly and avowedly seek the destruction of Israel and anti-Jewish in their ideology. Both, by their own acknowledgement, demonize Judaism and Jews, not just Israel and the Israeli, as "the sons of monkeys and pigs" and "defilers of Islam";
  • the globalization of a totalitarian, radical Islam that threatens not only Jews and Israel but international peace and security, while warning Muslims who seek peace with Israel that they will "burn in the Umma of Islam";
  • the fragility, even erosion, of the Lebanon-Hizbullah divides, aided and abetted by the Iranian-Syrian pincer movements and further exacerbated in the present Lebanese-Hizbullah warfare;
  • the phenomenon of radicalized home-grown extremism, fuelled by Internet incitement, threatening the security of Jewish communities in the Diaspora;
  • exploding energy prices, with oil at $120 a barrel - six times what it was just six years ago - with the windfall billions of petrodollars encouraging and financing rogue states like Iran. Every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil represents millions more in the coffers of Iran;
  • the ugly canard of double loyalty, where the Jewish and Israeli lobbies are accused of acting in a matter inimical to the American and European national interest, as if it is somehow "un-American" or "un-European" to petition government for redress of grievances, an Orwellian politics of intimidation that chills free speech and public advocacy;
  • the trahison des clercs - betrayal of the elites - of which the UK is a case study, exemplified in the calls for academic, trade union, journalist, medical and intellectual boycotts of Israeli and Jewish nationals;
  • the singling out of Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena, as when the UN Human Rights Council,, the repository for human rights standards-setting, adopted 10 resolutions of condemnation against one member state of the international community, Israel, in its first year of operation alone; while the major human rights violators - Iran, Sudan, China - enjoyed exculpatory immunity; and
  • the emergence of a new, escalating, global, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.

WITH ISRAEL'S 60th anniversary, these mega-events have not only intensified but congealed into what might be called a "gathering storm," finding expression in the two theses that underpin this article. First, that this gathering storm appears to be without parallel or precedent since 1938, suggesting thereby that 2008 is reflective and reminiscent of 1938. The second thesis, which reflects my own position and is not inconsistent with the previous notion, is that whatever 2008 may be, it is not 1938. Simply put, there is a Jewish state today that is an antidote to the vulnerabilities of 1938. There is a Jewish people with untold moral, intellectual, economic and political resources. There are non-Jews prepared to join the Jewish people in common cause, seeing the cause of Israel not simply as a Jewish cause, but - with all its imperfections - as a just cause. Nor is Israel is isolated or alone. It has important friends and allies: for example, the United States, Canada, Germany and France, to name a few; and it has diplomatic relations with the two emerging superpowers, China and India. There are peace treaties, however imperfect, with Egypt and Jordan. In a word, if one looks at Israel at 60 in this global configuration, 2008 is, even with an admittedly gathering storm not unlike 1938, nonetheless very different from the Thirties. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN
/ 4th Kingdom | America |

Deal seeks to end Lebanon strife BBC (May 15, 2008) - Arab League mediators in Lebanon say they have clinched an agreement to end the recent fighting, which raised fears of a second civil war breaking out. They said the opposition would end sit-in protests in Beirut and allow the city's airport and port to reopen. Fighting between pro-government groups and the Hezbollah-led opposition broke out last week leaving at least 65 dead. The breakthrough came a day after the Lebanese government withdrew plans aimed at curbing Hezbollah. In what correspondents called a climb-down, ministers rescinded decisions to shut down of Hezbollah's private phone system and to remove a head of airport security. These moves last week triggered the worst violence since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. The head of the Arab League delegation, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Hamad al-Thani, announced a breakthrough on Thursday after two days of peace talks in Beirut. The mediators said the rival parties would go to Qatar on Friday to try to elect a president - Lebanon has had no president since November - and form a national unity government. The two sides have already agreed to appoint Lebanese army commander Gen Michel Suleiman as president, but must resolve the other issues first. Lebanon has been suspended in political crisis since late 2006 when the Hezbollah-led opposition left a national unity coalition cabinet, demanding more power and a veto over government decisions. As news of a deal broke, mechanical diggers began removing roadblocks set up last week by militants on the route to Beirut's international airport, paving the way for the first commercial flight to land in a week. Naim Qassam, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, a mainly Shia political and militant movement, earlier pledged it would return the situation in Lebanon back "to normal". The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the Lebanese know that issues like the make-up of a new government have defied all previous efforts to reach agreement. But they will cautiously welcome the improved situation on the ground, while keeping their fingers crossed that the dialogue will produce a stable political situation, he says. Lebanon's Western-backed governing coalition said last week's violence was a coup attempt by Hezbollah aimed at restoring the influence of the two regional powers, Syria and Iran.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

PMW: Hatred of US a Pillar of PA Ideology Israel National News (May 14, 2008) - The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog group has released a report warning that hatred of the United States is a pillar of the Palestinian Authority’s ideology. As US President George W. Bush lavished praise this week on Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the latter broadcast on the TV station which he controls a stinging message: the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.” --Palestinian Legislative Council Member Najat Abu-Bakr (Fatah), PA TV, March 3, 2008. The full 30-page PMW report examines statements made in the PA media over the past several years regarding the PA’s affinity for countries such as North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, which are all openly anti-American. “Significantly,” the report warns, “the affinity that is felt for such geographically distant non-Muslim countries... is precisely because these states publicly challenge and express loathing for the US.” The report also examined statements showing PA officials’ loathing for the United States, such as a Fatah legislator’s recent claim that the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.” PMW staff found that the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 was a frequent theme of anti-American cartoons in PA newspapers. Each year, the papers print cartoons, often on or shortly before September 11, depicting the Muslim world, particularly Iraq and “Palestine,” as the true victims of the attacks. America is depicted as the aggressor. One frequent subject of praise in the Fatah-controlled media was former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Following Hussein’s execution PA papers referred to him as “the general Shahid [Martyr] leader, Saddam Hussein,” and the Fatah group that currently rules the PA dedicated a terrorist cell to his memory. Schools, streets, and sporting events were named after him, including the main road in the village of Yaabid, which was paid for by USAID. PA papers and television reports praise terrorist groups fighting the US in Iraq and Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who until his death was wanted by the United States for the murder of hundreds of US citizens. Researchers found frequent praise for Syria and Iran as well. Among the statements quoted in the report:

“Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.” --Ahmed Bahar, speaker of the PA legislative council, on PA TV in April 2007.

“The U.S. and Britain [forces]… stormed Iraqi cities with the participation of military forces from different countries and Baghdad fell. The Iraqis did not surrender to this occupation but succeeded in organizing themselves and a brave resistance to liberate Iraq began.” --Grade 12 textbook used in PA schools.

“To Bush, the Pharaoh, the despot, the terrorist of this period... [we say] that victory is for Islam.” ---Announcer on PA TV, June 2006.

“No Arab land is safe from the grand American conspiracy, and there is no Arab nation that is not threatened either internally or externally with slaughter…” --Al-Hayyat al-Jedidah, November, 2006.

The report also found much hatred of US President George Bush, who was referred to in PA media outlets as “racist,” “terrorist,” “devil from Hell,” and “worse than the German Fuhrer.” “In the past,” the report warns, “US support has not been able to prompt changes in deeply-ingrained hate ideology.” In Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, providing support for groups resisting the ruling power did not win their loyalty to the US, researchers said. “In the case of Abbas's Palestinian Authority, this is even more striking. Palestinian alliances with these states, and enmity of the US, are deep, explicit and declared throughout the PA’s Arabic discourse... Judging by the tone and scope of the Palestinian Authority’s anti-American hate promotion documented in the report, this hatred by Palestinian Fatah and its closeness to these enemies of the US are not a result of any specific US policy, but are reflective of a deep and sincere ideological affinity to those enemies of the US,” the report concludes. more...
| Israel | Islam | America |

Egyptian culture minister: I would burn Israeli books myself YNet News (May 14, 2008) - Diplomatic tensions have arised between Israel and Egypt due to a harsh statement made recently by Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni. In a conference that took place in the Egyptian Parliament last week, the minister said that he “would burn Israeli books himself if found in Egyptian libraries.” Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Shalom Cohen defined this statement in a classified report that he submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem as “harsh and especially blunt, in a way which makes it impossible for Israel and for the international community to continue a regular agenda with Egypt.” The anger in Israel over Hosni’s statement is especially emphasized due to the fact that the Hosni is Egypt’s candidate for the UNESCO position, as the United Nations’ education, science and cultural organization secretary-general, and he has good chances of being chosen. Israel is weighing the option of bringing the case to the attention of the international community and thus harming his chances of receiving the position. Hosni is considered one of the strongest opposition leaders in the Egyptian government to stand against normalization with Israel. In the past, he accused Israel of trying to steal Egyptian culture, and he adamantly opposes any cooperation with Israel. Moreover, he opposed an initiative presented by the American-Jewish Committee to establish a museum of Jewish antiquity and culture in Cairo. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Hamas says rejection of truce will lead to blow-out YNet News (May 12, 2008) - Senior official from Islamist Palestinian group accuses Israeli defense minister of 'trying to prove he is a bigger hero than his predecessors,' says Israel will end up 'counting casualties' if it does not accept deal. “If Israel rejects the agreement it will carry the burden of compromising its citizens’ security,” said a senior Hamas official to Ynet, referring to the message relayed to the Egyptian Chief of Intelligence Omar Suleiman in Israel. Gaza is threatening that if Israel rejects the agreement presented by the factions for a calm an escalation in the clashes will be unavoidable. The Hamas senior official claimed that “Barak wants to prove that he is a bigger hero than the defense ministers who preceded him, but he will also fail and will be compelled to count the Israeli casualties when we reveal the strength prevalent in the Palestinian resistance.” According to him, Hamas demands that each agreement will include the opening of crossings: “An agreement that doesn’t contend with this issue is not an agreement and as far as we are concerned will not be carried out at all or in part. The significance is that we are able to use all our cards, or part of the ones at our disposal. Rejection of the initiative will bring Shalit a lot of playmates from the ‘army of occupation’” The same Hamas official also expressed a fear that the recent affairs concerning Prime Minister Olmert will contribute to the escalation. “According to reports from the Zionist media, Olmert is in distress. "History has proven that every time a Zionist leader is placed in internal distress, he tries to avert the fire in the Palestinian’s direction and to change the public’s point of focus. Rejecting the agreement, in our estimation, is a sign of preparations for an all-inclusive clash in which Israelis will raise militancy levels,” he said. Even threats on the lives of the movement’s leaders don’t affect Hamas’ tone. A senior official said that “if one hair falls off the head of one of our leaders, the gates of hell will open for the Zionists and I am not only referring to Sderot and the surrounding areas. All of Palestine will be under fire and filled with our martyrs.” In the meantime, Hamas is preparing to flood the Gaza crossings with Palestinians protesting the blocks. Most of the effort will be directed toward the Rafah and Erez crossings, in a plea to break the siege on the Gaza Strip. On Monday, a senior Hamas official Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar said that “the siege on the Gaza Strip is failing and will continue to fail.”
| Israel | Islam |

Hezbollah 'redrawing' Mideast map Washington Times (May 12, 2008) - Hezbollah's dramatic gains in Lebanon last week are just part of a regional process that began last year in the Gaza Strip and will continue in Jordan and Egypt, a Hamas official in the West Bank told The Washington Times. Sheik Yazeeb Khader, a Ramallah-based Hamas political activist and editor, said militant groups across the Middle East are gaining power at the expense of U.S.-backed regimes, just as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "What happened in Gaza in 2007 is an achievement; now it is happening in 2008 in Lebanon. It's going to happen in 2009 in Jordan and it's going to happen in 2010 in Egypt," Sheik Khader said in an interview. "We are seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East where the forces of resistance and steadfastness are the ones moving the things on the ground." His remarks highlight how a growing alliance linking Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah straddles the Shi'ite-Sunni rift. The notion of new countries falling under Islamist influence reflects a goal of Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, of replacing secular Arab regimes with Islamist governments. In the same way that Hamas' victory over the Palestinian Authority security forces in Gaza fighting last June profoundly disturbed neighboring Arab states, fighting in Lebanon yesterday and last week has sent shock waves throughout the Middle East and spurred an emergency meeting of the Arab League. The Arab League is sending Secretary-General Amr Moussa to mediate among the Lebanese government, Hezbollah and Sunni supporters of the government. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, took a different approach to the standoff in Lebanon by saying that the fighting primarily served Israel. Mr. Abu Zuhri called on each side to engage in dialogue instead of fighting. But several supporters of Hamas in Gaza were comparing Hezbollah's advances into Sunni neighborhoods of Beirut to Hamas' overrunning of security forces loyal to Mr. Abbas. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | America |

Ahmadinejad: Israel to be 'swept away soon' The Earth Times (May 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Israel would "be soon swept away" from the Palestinian Territories by the Palestinians. It is the second time within less than three years that the Iranian president predicted the eradication of the Jewish state. The first time was in 2005 when Ahmadinejad hoped that Israel would be eradicated from the Middle East map. "This terrorist and criminal state is backed by foreign powers, but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians," Ahmadinejad said in a press conference in Tehran. Referring to worldwide celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation, he said that "it would be futile to hold a birthday ceremony for something which is already dead." "As far as the regional countries are concerned, this regime does not exist," Ahmadinejad added. The Iranian president said last week that the anniversary feasts could not save this "rotten and stinking corpse." Ahmadinejad caused international outrage in the past by hoping for the eradication of Israel, the relocation of the Jewish state to Europe or Alaska and questioning the historic dimensions of the Holocaust.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ambassador to Syria says Israel in worst ever condition Mathaba (May 13, 2008) - President's Advisor and IRI Ambassador in Syria said here Monday occupying regime of Holy Qods is currently in its worst ever condition, getting weaker with passage of each day, and moving towards extinction. According to IRNA correspondent in Syria, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Moussavi made the comment here on Monday night at the opening ceremony of a conference titled "Repatriation, A Sacred And Legitimate Right", sponsored by Damascus based Arab Writers Union. Moussavi added, "Israel has ever since its establishment been serving the colonialist, and later on neo-colonialist Western powers as a tool for strengthening their hegemony in this sensitive region." The Iranian diplomat added, "The US President assumes that the entire nations in this region are waiting for him to issue commands and obey them, but the Americans are today beginning to realize that not only that has been a simple minded assumption, but also the US and Israeli plots for the region are facing humiliating defeats in the region one after the other." Referring to the existence of numerous conflicts and difficulties within the Islamic and Arab worlds, he said, "Despite all those problems and challenges, the root cause of most of which is US and Israeli plots, the victory of Muslims in the long run is easy to predict." The Islamic Republic of Iran's ambassador to Syria emphasized that freedom and liberation cannot be achieved without tolerating the hardships of Jihad (sacred defensive war), resistance, and unity. He added, "In order to achieve independence, freedom, and competence in facing the ever increasing challenges in today's world, the world Muslims need to get acquainted with the culture of resistance, and to keep alight the light of hope for embracing final victory in their hearts." Hojjatoleslam Moussavi who was addressing the audience at the conference on the verge of the 60th wretched anniversary of Israel's illegitimate establishment meanwhile warned the Muslims to beware of the incessant cultural onslaught of the West. He added, "The main objective of this onslaught is annihilation of the Islamic and indigenous values of our nations, as well as braking the bonds of unity within the Islamic and Arab societies." The Zionists occupied the major part of Palestine's lands on May 15th, 1948 and in 1967 seized the entire territory of that oppressed nation. The Palestinians refer to the latter day, when they lost their lands, became homeless, and were broadly massacred by the Zionists as "Yaum ul-Nikba" (The Wretched Day), remembering it as the most catastrophic day in their history, but the illegitimate Zionist state celebrates the same day annually. Mousavi then referred to the occupation of Palestine initially by the British forces, and then handing it to the agents of the International Zionism, who facilitated for the three waves of the world Jews' migration to that holy land as the most perilous plot hatched n the West against the Islamic World. He emphasized, "Accusing the world Muslims of nurturing terrorists and of having terrorist tendencies today, is a stage in continuation of the same nasty plot." Mousavi said, "The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (P) considered defending the Palestinian nation, and their ideals a top priority of Iran's foreign policy. Iran's ambassador to Damascus added, "A couple of signs of remaining faithful to that policy is his announcement of the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan as the International Qods Day, closure f Israel's embassy in Tehran, and establishment of Palestine's Embassy in its place soon after the victory of the Islamic Revolution." The two-day conference is held in the presence of a large number of Iranian and Arab Alims and thinkers. Among the prominent Arab personalities at the conference there are the head of the Arab Writers Union, Hussain Jum'ah, Deputy Secretary General of Palestine's Islamic Jihad Movement, Amal, and head of Iran-Arab Friendship Committee, Adnan Abu-Nasser.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Blair unveils new 'West Bank package' The Jerusalem Post (May 13, 2008) - Quartet envoy Tony Blair on Tuesday unveiled a package of steps designed to allow greater movement in the West Bank, and help the Palestinian economy grow in a way in which he said would be consistent with protecting Israeli security. Blair, speaking a day before the arrival of US President George Bush, said that the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, after weeks of negotiations, have agreed on the steps which he said could begin to change the reality on the ground. "For Palestinian statehood to be possible in the eyes of Palestinians there must be hope that occupations will, over time, be lifted," Blair said. "For Palestinian statehood to be possible in the eyes of Israelis, there must be hope, over time, that the security of Israel will be improved and not harmed by the way the Palestinians run their territory." Blair, at a press conference at his headquarters in the American Colony Hotel, said that the centerpiece of the package is an area in and around Jenin which is greater in land mass than the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinians will be given increased security authority and a number of economic and social projects will begin there. In addition, Blair said that the Israelis had agreed to remove four checkpoints throughout the West Bank, upgrade seven others, and move one.
| Israel | Islam |

Ahmadinejad: Israel a 'stinking corpse' facing annihilation The Jerusalem Post (May 9, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that the state of Israel is a "stinking corpse" that is destined to disappear, the French news agency AFP reported. "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as having said. "Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned and this regime is on its way to annihilation." Ahmadinejad further stated that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese" - referring to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Given Bible prophecy's stance on Iran's future actions in Ezekiel 38,39 I would take his rhetoric seriously. However, Israel was already a pile of bones, but God brought them back together again just a few chapters prior to the foretelling of Iran's attack on Israel.

Ezekiel 37:1-6; 11-14
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD...
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

And God has made it clear that just as the bones coming together again was a sign to the world that God is who He says He is and means what He says, so too will the destruction of the Magog invaders in the mountains of Israel be a witness to the world that He is God.

Ezekiel 39:6-8
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

While the future does look bleak at times for Israel even after God intervenes on her behalf, in the end the promise that Israel will never again be removed from the Promised Land will be true, just like the rest of God's Word is. It is those that come against the Lord who will be the "stinking corpses" and will not receive the promise of eternal life through faith in Yeshua the Christ. Faith is not blind, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. May your faith be strengthened in these increasingly deceptive times as you see God's Word come to pass in this generation.

Israel's Olmert admits taking cash but won't quit Reuters (May 8, 2008) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admitted on Thursday taking cash from a U.S. businessman but resisted calls to resign over a police investigation into alleged hefty bribes over almost a decade. As Israelis enjoyed festivities marking Independence Day and the 60th anniversary of the founding of their state, police lifted a week-old media gag order and announced details of accusations that sparked opposition calls for Olmert to quit. He said he would resign only if he were formally indicted. Whether he goes or not, doubt over his future is likely to upset his faltering, U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations with the Palestinians and will cast a heavy cloud over next week's celebratory visit to Israel by U.S. President George W. Bush. The White House said Bush still intended to make the trip. Olmert, in a late-night televised address to the nation, said: "I look each and every one of you in the eye and say, 'I never took bribes. I never took a penny for myself'." His allies say there is a right-wing campaign to wreck the peace process, but it was unclear if his fragile coalition would rally behind a man who last year said he was "indestructible". Israelis are no strangers to tales of corruption at the top in the Middle East's most feted democracy and the latest case may fuel calls for an overhaul of political funding rules. Olmert, who was questioned by police for an hour last Friday, has weathered a string of investigations since he succeeded Ariel Sharon as prime minister in 2006. Sharon's son is in jail for campaign funding misdeeds on his father's behalf. On Thursday, Olmert said all the cash he received -- put at hundreds of thousands of dollars by one judicial source -- was legitimate support from New York financier Morris Talansky to fund various election campaigns over nearly a decade from 1993. more...
| Israel | Dividing the Land |

State of Israel turns 60 YNet News (May 7, 2008) - Israel's 60th anniversary commenced Wednesday evening with a formal torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. The celebrations were held under tight security, due to warnings received on terror organizations' plans to carry out attacks. Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik said during the ceremony, "The nation of Israel will never be able to pay off its debt to its fallen soldiers. "The State of Israel is an extraordinary success story; a wonder by any historical measure," she said. "We built this magnificent enterprise with our own hands. There are countries that are wealthier and certainly more peaceful, but there is no other country like the State of Israel. There are flaws and we still have things to do, but behind these flaws is a great country." Addressing the Palestinian terror organizations, Itzik said, "As long as Israel has one Asher Tuito (eight-year-old boy who was seriously wounded in a Qassam attack on Sderot) – you do not stand a chance. We want peace not only for our children but for yours as well; however, you must realize that we will know how to fight if needed." According to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on the eve of Independence Day, 7,282,000 people live in Israel today. About 75.5% of them are Jews, some 1,461,000 are Arabs, and 322,000 are defined as "others". According to forecasts, Israel's population will include some 10 million people in the year 2030. more...
| Israel |

Secret documents detail post-WWII debacle OneNewsNow (May 7, 2008) - A messianic Jewish ministry leader says recent documents released by the British government have confirmed a long-held belief. Jan Markell has long believed that God judged Britain for its treatment of the Jews. She notes that 400 pages of formerly secret documents -- recently made public by the British National Archives -- reveal how the British government tried to send thousands of Holy Land-bound Jewish Holocaust survivors back to post-war Germany without inflaming world opinion. But despite the best efforts of early spin-doctors to portray the move in a most sympathetic light, the decision to turn away more than 4,500 Jewish refugees on board the Exodus refugee ship turned into a humanitarian and public relations debacle for Great Britain. Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, believes Britain has paid a steep price for betraying the Jews in 1947. "At one time [Britain] had so many nations and colonies that the sun never set on [the British Empire]," she recalls. "Today [Britain] is a broken and fractured empire, and I believe it is partly because of the way that she dealt with the Jews ... during the Holocaust and post-Holocaust," says Markell. And the pro-Israel advocate warns this story ought to serve as reminder to supporters of Israel today. "It should remind us that the world to this day continues to hate the Jewish people," she continues, "because they still are God's chosen people no matter what the Muslim world wants to do to annihilate them. [The Jews] will not go away." Markell argues the United States should take special heed to this story, considering its continual efforts to force the Jewish people to turn over their covenant land in order to create a Palestinian "state."
| Israel | Dividing the Land | America |

Troubling turnaround at Olmert-Abbas meeting Jerusalem Newswire (May 5, 2008) - After initial reports indicated a negative outcome, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PLO chief terrorist Mahmoud Abbas reportedly held an unexpectedly successful meeting in Jerusalem Monday morning, with officials saying they had suddenly made "considerable progress." Maps depicting the areas of Israel's historic lands being demanded by the Palestinian Arabs for their state were brought to the meeting, which was held at Olmert's official residence shortly after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ended a two-day visit to the land. According to The Jerusalem Post, after "warmly" embracing Abbas, a man responsible for the deaths and wounding of untold numbers of Israeli Jews - Olmert told him Israel now realized the need to make "tangible" changes in Samaria and Judea because it was necessary that the months of peace talks be accompanied by actions on the ground. Abbas' aides said earlier the PA chairman was contemplating resigning within a few months unless noticeable progress was made towards the creation of "Palestine." Palestine is the name intended for the Arab state the international community is working to establish in the biblical heartland of the Jewish people. Ha'aretz reported that a senior Israeli official had told Army Radio that during the meeting, Olmert and Abbas made "significant progress on the borders issue" - the issue of where the borders of the new "Palestine" would lie in relation to what would be left of Israel. Abbas' authority is also being challenged by Hamas, which violently wrested control of Gaza from the PLO last year and is spreading its influence across Samaria and Judea. Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said "these were the most serious talks the sides have ever conducted," according to Ynetnews. Commentators wondered whether Olmert was trying to bolster Abbas in the face of the opposition against him, or whether the Israeli leader had perhaps been spurred to make sudden concessions because his own position is threatened in a new police investigation.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks YNet News (May 1, 2008) - Israel recently conveyed a warning to Syria through a third party that it would hold Damascus accountable if Hezbollah launched attacks on the Jewish state, Israeli and European sources said on Friday. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the warning stemmed largely from Israeli concerns that Hezbollah would launch salvoes of cross-border rockets to coincide with any major Israeli offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The sources said the message was conveyed in February through at least one European intermediary following the assassination of a top Hezbollah commander and before this month's five-day Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. After the group's senior commander, Imad Mugniyah, was killed in a bombing in Damascus, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah threatened Israel with "open war." A European source familiar with the matter noted that the message conveyed to Damascus said Syria could be targeted by Israel even if Hezbollah's attack emanated from Lebanese soil. An Israeli source with knowledge of government affairs said: "The message was passed around late February, before the last round of fighting in Gaza." "It has become clear to us Syria has to understand there is a price for its use of proxy terrorism, especially as Damascus is itself a proxy - the long-arm of Iran," the source said. Another senior Israeli government official with knowledge of defence affairs declined comment on whether a message was sent to Damascus, but told Reuters: "This is sound strategy. Syria has significantly deepened its involvement with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon since the war." Asked about the risk of an Israeli attack on Syria in response to a Hezbollah attack, a British official said: "There is always a danger that a turn of events here could prompt something on the northern border, which would be a disaster."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Isaiah 17:1,2; 9
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid... In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

Keep watching!

Palestinian factions agree to truce with Israel: MENA Reuters (April 30, 2008) - Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo for talks with Egyptian security officials have agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a truce with Israel starting in the Gaza Strip, state news agency MENA said on Wednesday. But a number of factions were equivocal in their support for the truce, and some said they reserved the right to retaliate against Israeli attacks. "All the Palestinian factions have agreed to the Egyptian proposal on a truce with Israel," MENA said, citing an unnamed high-level Egyptian official. The official said the proposal included a "comprehensive, reciprocal and simultaneous truce, implemented in a graduated framework starting in the Gaza Strip and then subsequently moving to the West Bank," MENA added. MENA said the proposal was part of a broader plan eventually leading to the lifting of the blockade which Israel, with Egyptian help, has imposed on Gaza since last June. The plan includes attempts to reconcile the two biggest Palestinian factions -- the Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip and the Fatah group which controls the Palestinian Authority from its base in the West Bank.
| Israel | Islam |

EU Condemns Israel, Hamas Israel National News (April 28, 2008) - The European Union condemned Israel on Sunday for restricting the supply of fuel delivered to Hamas-controlled Gaza. In a response to rumors of a critical fuel shortage, the EU’s message called on Israel to partially re-open Gaza crossings and resume regular deliveries of fuel. Regular deliveries have been stopped due to frequent terrorist attacks on the crossings, but emergency fuel supplies have been let through. The EU also condemned Hamas, saying terrorist groups in Gaza “have their share in aggravating the humanitarian situation” by their attacks on Israeli crossings, “which only lead to further suffering of the population.” Foreign Ministry officials expressed satisfaction with the message, pointing out that the EU rarely criticizes Hamas by name. The message shows that the EU took terrorist attacks into consideration when distributing blame for Gaza’s problems, they said.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Israel: UNIFIL is hiding information about Hezbollah from Security Council Haaretz (April 28, 2008) - The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is intentionally concealing information about Hezbollah activities south of the Litani River in Lebanon to avoid conflict with the group, senior sources in Jerusalem have said. In the last six months there have been at least four cases in which UNIFIL soldiers identified armed Hezbollah operatives, but did nothing and did not submit full reports on the incidents to the UN Security Council. The Israel Defense Forces and the Foreign Ministry are reportedly very angry about UNIFIL's actions in recent months, especially about the fact that its commander, Major General Claudio Graziano, is said to be leniently interpreting his mission, as assigned by Security Council Resolution 1701, passed at the end of the Second Lebanon War. Senior IDF officials said recently behind closed doors that Graziano is "presenting half-truths so as to avoid embarrassment and conflict with Hezbollah," and that Resolution 1701 has been increasingly eroded in recent months. A senior government source in Jerusalem said that, "There is an attempt by various factors in the UN to mislead the Security Council and whitewash everything having to do with the strengthening of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon." The source also said, "The policy of cover-ups and whitewashing will not last long and, hopefully, now that the concealing of information has been revealed, things will change." Israeli anger reached boiling point over a week ago after the release of a new report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with regard to another Lebanon-related Security Council resolution, 1559. The report briefly mentioned an incident at the beginning of March in which UNIFIL soldiers encountered unidentified armed men, and included no additional details. Officials in Israel, familiar with the incident, reportedly were aware that the Security Council had not been apprised of numerous details of the incident. A day after the release of the report, Haaretz revealed that the incident described in the report had actually been a clash between UNIFIL and armed Hezbollah activists. The latter, driving a truck full of explosives, threatened the Italian UNIFIL battalion with weapons. Instead of using force as required by their mandate, the UN soldiers abandoned the site. A diplomatic source at the UN told Haaretz that senior officials in UNIFIL and in the UN Secretariat brought heavy pressure to bear to have the incident erased from the report or at least to blur it. When the incident was made public, UNIFIL was forced to admit that it had indeed occurred and to request Lebanon's assistance in investigating it. UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said that during the incident, which took place near the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, five armed men had threatened UNIFIL troops. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Report: Hezbollah man says new attack on Israel is question of 'when, not if' Haaretz (April 27, 2008) - Two years after the Second Lebanon War, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization has bolstered its recruitment efforts at an unprecedented rate in preparation for a fresh war with Israel, The Guardian reported Sunday. The report quoted an unnamed Hezbollah fighter as saying: "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah chief] commands us" to attack. According to the report, the Islamist group has of late been sending "hundreds, if not thousands" of recruits to training camps in Lebanon, Syria and Iran in ancticipation of conflict with Israel. "The villages in the south are empty of men," an international official was quoted as saying. "They are all gone, training in Bekaa, Syria and Iran." Israel and the Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in the summer of 2006, sparked by the militant group's cross-border raid and abduction of two Israel Defense Forces reservists. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Bush backs peace deal as Hamas offers truce Euro News (April 25, 2008) - With the clock ticking down on his administration, President Bush says he remains committed to securing a Middle East peace deal. He's held talks with his Palestinian counterpart in Washington ahead of his trip to the region in mid-May. Negotiations have stalled since Bush pledged to achieve an agreement by the end of this year. Bush said: "I assured [President Abbas] that a Palestinian state's a high priority, for me and my adminsitration, a viable state, a state that doesn't look like Swiss cheese, a state that provides hope." But one of the biggest holes in the plan has been the rise of Abbas's political rivals Hamas, who captured the Gaza strip last June. They too are pushing for peace - at least temporarily. Former foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar offered Israel a six-month truce in Gaza with an option to extend it to the West bank. In return they want end to the Israeli blockade of the territory. Israel's UN ambassador dismissed the deal. Menawhile Gaza is at breaking point. The UN has had to suspend its aid operations in the Strip after an emergency fuel shipment was blocked by petrol-hungry farmers. Israel says it has cut shipments of fuel and other supplies in response to cross border rocket attacks by Hamas militants. The EU sent a shipment of diesel to Gaza's only power station after engineers warned it was about to shut down. They say the generators will grind to a halt on Sunday if no more fuel is allowed through.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Hamas Offers Israel Six-Months ''Calm'' Bridges For Peace (April 25, 2008) - “The movement agrees to a truce in the Gaza Strip…fixed at six months, during which period Egypt will work to extend the truce to the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], said former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar reading from a prepared Hamas statement. Speaking from Cairo after meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman he insisted the truce bring an end to the Israeli blockade of the coastal strip. “The truce must be mutual and simultaneous and the blockade must be lifted and the crossing points opened, including the Rafah crossing point (between Gaza and Egypt),” he demanded. A meeting will be called on April 29–30 with terrorist groups including the Islamic Jihad to ensure Palestinian consensus to the proposal. Suleiman will host those meetings before making a formal proposal of peace to Israel. While Israel would appreciate peace on the border, officials are wary of the Hamas proposal. Spokesman for the Prime Minister, Mark Regev said, “We can’t have a period of quiet that will just be the quiet before the storm.” Israeli officials said they are not negotiating a truce with Hamas but there would be no reason to take military action into the Palestinian territories if violence from the region ceased. Meanwhile Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] is in Washington meeting with President George W. Bush. He is telling the President that all efforts must be made to establish the proposed Palestinian state before his presidential term ends in eight months. Abbas, whose popularity within the West Bank has deteriorated dramatically, will warn the President that if the peace agreement does not proceed rapidly, the situation in the region will “deteriorate.”
| Israel | Islam |

Israeli envoy to UN calls Carter 'a bigot' for meeting Meshal Haaretz (April 25, 2008) - Israel's ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called former President Jimmy Carter "a bigot" for meeting with the leader of the militant Hamas movement in Syria. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, "went to the region with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands after shaking the hand of Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas," Ambassador Dan Gillerman told a luncheon briefing for reporters. The diplomat was questioned about problems facing his country during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters lasting more than an hour. The briefing was sponsored by The Israel Project, a Washington-based, media-oriented advocacy group. The ambassador's harsh words for Carter came days after the ex-president met with Meshal for seven hours in Damascus to negotiate a cease-fire with Gaza's Hamas rulers. Carter then called Meshal on Monday to try to get him to agree to a one-month truce without conditions, but the Hamas leader rejected the idea. The ambassador called last weekend's encounter "a very sad episode in American history." He said it was "a shame" to see Carter, who had done "good things" as a former president, "turn into what I believe to be a bigot." Reacting to the ambassador's comments, former Meretz chairman MK Yossi Beilin on Friday urged the state to recall Gillerman from his post. Telephone calls by The Associated Press to two Atlanta numbers for Carter were not immediately returned Thursday. During Carter's visit, Gillerman said, Hamas "was shelling our cities and maiming and injuring and wounding Israeli babies and Israeli children." The ambassador noted that Hamas is armed and trained by Iran, whose president once called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." "The real danger, the real problem is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the real threat is Iran," he said. ... Gillerman called Syria a "destabilizing influence" in the Middle East. "You see Syria's hosting, very hospitably and warmly, over 10 terror organizations in Damascus," the ambassador said, adding that the country also supports Hezbollah, an anti-Israeli Shiite group in Lebanon with close ties to Iran and Syria. "Basically, Syria and Iran, together with Hamas and Hezbollah, are the main axes of terror and evil in the world," the Israeli ambassador said. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

If Israeli intelligence warns of a serious threat from those 10 terror organizations in Damascus, and Syria's nuclear reactor ambitions are laid bare, more here and here, could this lead to Israel preemptively attacking Damascus as stated in Isaiah 17? Keep in mind that Israel's existence is at stake as far as the secular state is concerned. Many of their neighbors are vying for their destruction, will she react? Keep watching.

The Story Of Our Generation The Jewish Press (April 23, 2008) - We are in the month of Nissan, the month of Redemption. How we yearn for the geulah. As our Exile becomes more painful and our hearts ache with sorrow, grief and fear, many of us find ourselves crying out to our Father in Heaven:

"Tati, we can't take it any more. We cannot cry another tear. We have none left. We're willing to give up all the toys of Exile: the cars, the cell phones, the entertainment, the 'good life' we have learned to pursue ... all of it! Just bring us back to our Holy Land in peace and harmony. Let us immerse ourselves in Your Holy Torah. That's all we want. It is enough!"

Nissan is the month in which Redemption becomes reality. But how do we bring it about? What can we do? On April 8, 2009, a little less than a year from now, we will recite Birkas haChama, the Blessing on the Sun. Our rabbis have instituted this prayer to be said every twenty-eight years when the sun returns to the exact position it occupied relative to the earth at the moment of original Creation. But that's not all. Occasionally, a few times throughout history, Birkas haChama has fallen on the 14th of Nissan, the day before Passover. One of those times was directly before Yetzias Mitzraim, the Exodus from Egypt. Another time was directly before the original miracle of Purim. The next time will be ... next year.

According to the Kadosh Elyon, the Ostrovster Admor, this will be the very last time in history that Birkas haChama can fall on the day before Passover and that, "shortly afterward, the Redemption must come." That's right - the cosmic event that preceded the two greatest Salvations in the history of the world will take place again next year.

We know the Children of Israel are chosen by God to be His emissaries in the world, to live by His Torah in the Holy Land. Why is it that we are universally hated, reviled, cursed and attacked? Why are we the universal scapegoat? Why is the entire world shooting words, bullets and missiles at us? Why? Because the world's peoples are trying to kill God Himself, trying to free themselves from moral restraints in order to carry on their depraved lifestyles. They can't reach God, however, so they attack His emissaries.

But we seem so helpless, so weak, so powerless. What can we do? Look at the events of Passover. The Children of Israel were subjugated and enslaved, victims of the "superpower" Egypt. No one could challenge the "mighty" Pharaoh. Then came a man named Moses, a servant of the Almighty. God ruled that Egypt must fall, and Egypt came down like a pile of matchsticks or a house constructed of playing cards. The mighty nation disintegrated before anyone knew what was happening. What had seemed the ultimate power, a civilization that would never end, blew away like a puff of smoke.

We must not be blind to the signs that are before our eyes. Did we not see the World Trade Center topple in seconds? Did we not witness the mighty economic structure of Bear Stearns falling apart before our eyes? Did not the powerful governor of one of our great states fall in the blink of an eye? These were mighty structures and mighty men.

I am not casting aspersions on any man nor making any moral judgments. There but for the grace of God go any of us. Yet we must know that to assume the invincibility of anything but Almighty God and His Torah is to depend upon straw. Egypt became a shambles and its great army drowned in the Red Sea. The nations of the world who strut in today's sunlight are ephemeral creations in the Eternity of God's Reality.

We must know that God is preparing great acts that, with His mercy, we will see in our lifetime. Cosmic events greater than the power of any man to control are unfolding. We cannot stop them, but, if we stick like glue to God and His Torah, we will live through them and enter a new existence so great as to be the stuff of our dreams.

Psalm 126
When God will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers. Then our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with glad song. Then they will declare among the nations, "God has done greatly with these."

Not even the mightiest of men could stop the collapse of the mighty fortress of Egypt, and no one can stop this process. When God desires to liberate His children, no man or nation can stand in the way. Whoever believes the Muslim or Western nations are strong is incorrect. They are twigs that will soon blow away in the mighty wind God is preparing.

Psalm 48
For behold, the kings assembled, they came together. They saw and they were astounded. They were confounded and hastily fled. Trembling gripped them there, convulsions like a woman in birth travail. With an east wind you smashed the ships of Tarshish.

When the Blessing on the Sun occurs on the 14th of Nissan, not only does the sun return to its original position relative to the earth; in addition, the moon is full. Both Great Lights are in the position they occupied at the very moment of their Creation.

Every month we say the following Kiddush Levana prayer: "May it be Your will, my God and the God of my forefathers, to fill the flaw of the moon that there be no diminution in it. May the light of the moon be like the light of the sun and like the light of the seven days of creation, as it was before it was diminished, as it is said, 'The two great luminaries.' And may there be fulfilled upon us the verse that is written: They shall seek God, their God and David, their king. Amen."

When the blessing of the sun occurs on the 14th of Nissan, the universe is in exactly the same alignment as at the moment when God created this world. Then the earth was new and pure, untouched by corruption, a world of perfect sanctity, perfect law, perfect alignment between man and his Creator. This was the moment of original redemption, when God created perfect order out of chaos.

Nations of the world that dare to torture God 's chosen emissaries and challenge our eternal right to dwell in our Holy Land in peace, beware - the fate of Egypt will be yours. Soon we will see the invincible power and the salvations of God. The story of Egypt is the story of our generation.
| Israel |

Europe's role in the Middle East: Model or mediator? The Jerusalem Post (April 23, 2008) - Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, is the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Secretary-General of both the Council of the European Union (EU) and the Western European Union (WEU). He was named Secretary General of the 10 permanent members of the Western European Union in November 1999. Solana is a physicist who later became a politician, serving as a minister in Spain for 13 years under Felipe González before serving as Secretary General of NATO from 1995 to 1999. Since October 1999, Javier Solana has served as the EU's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. In 2004, Solana had been designated to become the EU's Minister for Foreign Affairs for when the European Constitution was to come into force in 2009, but it was not ratified and his position has been renamed under the Treaty of Lisbon. Here are Solana's e-mail responses to questions sent to him by this columnist:

The EU (in its early version as a common market) came about as an attempt to bring a halt to hostilities among European countries, especially France and Germany. [Note how the free-trade process is now working for a North American Union] How relevant is this experience for the current Middle East situation, and what role could the EU play in facilitating similar developments?

It is true that the driving force behind European integration from its very beginning was a clear desire of the then European leaders to overcome old differences and assure a peaceful development of Europe for future generations of our continent. This idea of peace is still very much relevant today - but not only for us, Europeans - it represents a condition sine qua non for the development and a successful future of all the peoples of the Middle Eastern region.

As The High Representative of the European Union for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, both in my EU capacity and within the framework of the international Quartet, I strongly and consistently keep advocating a comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict in general and Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. It is indeed a strategic priority for the European Union. I continue to be convinced that despite all difficulties we can achieve the goals set most recently at the Annapolis meeting and the Paris donors' conference organized at the end of 2007.

How could the EU help Israeli and Arab companies pursue business joint ventures through the auspices of the European Union?

Any effort, any initiative to promote economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and conducive to building trust between them is to be supported. But we cannot forget that peace and security are fundamental for economic development and in order to create the conditions for such initiatives to be viable. I think that it is evident to everybody that economic normalization goes hand-in-hand with desirable normalization of political relations.

The EU will continue relentlessly to help Israelis and Palestinians in finding a lasting solution to their conflict - through political and diplomatic efforts but also through economic cooperation. Within this context, I recognize the crucial role that Arab states play in support of the Middle East peace process and I stress in this respect the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.

We also hope very much that the access and movement agreement will be implemented without delay since this will allow Palestinians to rebuild their economy and be an important step on the path of normalization. Overcoming old antagonisms and resolving current disputes is necessary to confront the new challenges we are all facing today.

Do you believe there is interest from Arab business sectors in different countries to strengthen economic ties with Israel?

I strongly believe that not only the business community, but all people in the Middle East are tired of a decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict, and deserve to have normal relations including, of course, ever stronger and mutually profitable economic relations.

Do you as EU High Representative see it as part of your agenda to promote a Free Trade Area or other economic cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors?

It was our own European experience which led us to launching the Barcelona process in 1995 and offering our Mediterranean partners, including Israel, a much needed multilateral approach. The European Neighborhood Policy was designed later to develop the Barcelona process and assists us further in this effort. I can just confirm that Israel plays a very important role in this Partnership, where our main objective is to create a common area of peace, stability and prosperity, including the creation of a Free Trade Area by 2010.

The EU could afford to concentrate on first economic matters and then deeper integration thanks to the defense umbrella provided by the US during the cold war. Could the EU play a similar role today for the Middle East?

In my view, any historical comparison or simplification is very risky. The situation in Europe after the Second World War was very complex and definitely influenced by the antagonism of the two major superpowers. Today we are trying to build a new world, where a multilateral approach to our common problems and challenges would be predominant.

It is absolutely clear that Europe should play a significant role in this process and match its major economic potential with an adequate political role. We can witness that the European Union is taking this responsibility seriously, for instance through our many European Security and Defense Policy missions, of which the first two operate in the Middle East.

| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal |

Zechariah 12:1-3 speaks to the whole world being gathered against Jerusalem and it being a burdensome stone for the world. Today, the conflicts of the world seem to center in the Middle East and the effort to solve this problem in the name of peace and security is the desire of most of the world. There are some who thrive on the chaos, but the problems of the Middle East have affected lives around the world. I find it interesting that Europe has taken the lead in this effort to bring peace and security given the prophetic role of the revived Roman Empire in scripture of being the fourth kingdom that will rule the earth during the time of great tribulation. Even more interesting is that following WWII, it was the economic integration of the nations that brought about a common currency and a common foreign and security policy, the same kind of harmonization that is happening today with America, Canada and Mexico. And it is the promise of free trade and economic cooperation that is being used to try and bring peace in the Middle East. And yet even more interesting is that it is being done through a seven-year (week) policy that is a confirmation of a previous foreign policy. It seems the New World Order is centered in Europe and is working with the rest of the world's Western powers, mainly America, to divide Israel for peace and keep running into problems and issues. Are all these things coming together mere coincidence, or could it be that the Bible really has foretold the end and we are in it? I think you know where I stand, but keep watching and decide for yourself.

Al Qaeda No. 2: Attacks on Western nations in works CNN (April 22, 2008) - Al Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden's chief deputy warns in an audiotape released Tuesday to answer questions posed by followers. The voice in the lengthy file posted on an Islamic Web site could not be immediately confirmed as al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's. But it sounded like past audiotapes from the terror leader, and the posting bore the logo of As-Sahab, al Qaeda's official media arm. The two-hour message is billed as the second installment of al-Zawahiri's answers to more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al Qaeda supporters, critics and journalists in December. Responding to a question of whether the terror group had plans to attack Western countries that participated in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent war, al-Zawahiri said, "My answer is, yes. We think that any country that joined aggression on Muslims must be deterred." Al-Zawahiri also denied a conspiracy theory that Israel carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., and he blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al Qaeda's achievement. Al-Zawahiri accused Hezbollah's al-Manar television of starting the rumor. "The purpose of this lie is clear -- (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it," he said. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. Iran cooperated with the United States in the 2001 U.S. assault on Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban, an al Qaeda ally. The comments reflected al-Zawahiri's increasing criticism of Iran, which al-Zawahiri has accused in recent messages of seeking to extend its power in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and through its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. Until recent months, he had not often mentioned the Islamic republic. Al Qaeda has previously claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. The anti-Iranian rhetoric could reflect an attempt to exploit majority Sunnis' fears of Shiite Iran's influence in the region and depict al Qaeda as the main force opposing it. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

I would like to add regarding September 11, 2001 that I have some valid suspicions that more than Al Qaeda was involved and the question arises from what we all saw that day. Thousands of man-hours go into preparing buildings to be brought straight down within their own footprint, with precisely placed and timed charges in strategic areas so that the buildings don't topple into their surrounding neighbors. How is it that three buildings in the course of one day all fell with that same precision without all the man-hours necessary to bring other buildings down with that kind of precision?

Keeping in mind that we don't fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, and given the result of the attacks on that day in taking freedoms in the name of peace and security and intensified global harmonization of laws toward that same end, could it be that those pushing for a global control have players on both sides of the field, creating the chaos then providing the answers to that chaos through government? For Al Qaeda, it is in their best interest to claim responsibility and those who had to put the time into the precise bringing down of those three buildings have it in their best interest to let them take responsibility for it. There is some questions I still have as to their connection to the CIA. And the history of the CIA in things like the Iran-Contra affair seems to have been involved in much of the foundation of current conflicts. The Bible says that in the end times there would be a global government headed by the man of sin centered in Europe. We are marching toward that legal control right now through the war on terror and other things such as free-trade through NAFTA and the WTO. America is ceding sovereignty to Europe while Canada and the US have signed an agreement so that in the event of an emergency, Canadian military forces can be deployed in America and visa-versa. Part of the design of the current system is to unite military and civilian authorities in the event of an emergency.

I don't like what I'm seeing and while I don't think there is anything we can do, we are told to watch and so as a watchman I share with you what I'm seeing, pretty or not. I have no political agenda as I trust few of them and even then cannot be sure. I try to judge by the fruits of their labors. BTW, I'm not saying our whole government is corrupt, but I am saying that there are elements with great power within government that know the ropes and how to remain hidden in the shadows of government. Government is necessary according to the Bible, but in the end times, that system will be handed to and headed by a dictator who will have the destruction of mankind in mind. These are just more signs leading to the end prophesied, now seen in greater detail as they unfold around us. We're still in the stages that can be dismissed by many, but I believe that will soon change. This Biblical foundation separate from all the conspiracy information, in combination with what is happening today, leads me to speak up about it and encourage you to keep watching! There is hope for them that love God, I encourage you to get to know Him if you don't already! While we watch events unfold, remember that Yeshua is our true focus, the rest are just signs of the times for our awareness.

Hamas’ new strategy YNet News (April 21, 2008) - It’s already clear by now – Hamas has changed its combat strategy. In recent weeks the organization diverted its main effort from “statistical” rocket terrorism, aimed at indiscriminately hurting Israeli civilians both physically and mentally, to what can be characterized as focused and complex “guerilla operations” mostly targeting IDF forces operating along the fence. The organization’s strategic objectives have remained unchanged: First, to force Israel, through military and propaganda pressure, to lift the economic siege on the Strip. The siege threatens Hamas’ survivability in power. The second objective is to squeeze out of Jerusalem a lull in the fighting under terms that would enable Hamas to grow stronger militarily and politically and to prepare for a large-scale round of fighting in the future. The reason for the change in combat strategy is the fact that the organization’s leadership recently reached the conclusion that the statistical terror directed at civilians – rockets, mortar shells, and machinegun fire – does not result in the required political and psychological “yield.” It even damages Hamas when it comes to international and Palestinian public opinion and grants Israel legitimacy to hit the group and its leaders, and even to embark on a large-scale operation in the Strip. Hamas wants to prevent this as well, and therefore the group decided to focus its efforts on “high quality” operations against the IDF. The greatest aspiration of group leaders, who prefer guerilla operations against the IDF, is the abduction of an Israeli soldier or soldiers. The Hizbullah experience and their own experience taught them that more abducted soldiers would not only significantly boost the organization’s bargaining power in the negotiations on securing the release of prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, but would also provide them with a powerful pressure lever. Should Hamas possess several IDF captives, the Israeli government would carefully weigh an order to assassinate Hamas leaders in the Strip or instruct the IDF to embark on a large-scale operation – for fear of Hamas revenge. Even in cases where Hamas men are unable to abduct soldiers, but can cause many casualties among IDF troops, the group benefits. We saw an example of this last week, when almost half of a Givati force was hurt in an ambush laid by Hamas men. Three soldiers were killed and four were wounded. The Israeli media rushed to slam the force’s conduct and did not fail to note Hamas’ ability to kill eight Israelis in the current year, as opposed to only three last year. Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus who are carefully, if not passionately, following Israeli media reports apparently concluded, just like Hizbullah realized in the Second Lebanon War, that the Israeli public is sensitive to casualties among troops more than it is sensitive to moral and physical damage caused to civilians as a result of the Qassams and Grads in Sderot and Ashkelon. Such successful guerilla attack initiated by Hamas also grants it more points and broad support on the Palestinian street. Therefore, this is the channel where efforts should be directed at, both in order to negotiate a lull from a position of strength and to boost Hamas’ political power and prestige. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Iran: We'll 'eliminate Israel' if it launches attack The Jerusalem Post (April 15, 2008) - Iran will eliminate Israel if it attacks the Islamic Republic, Iran's deputy army chief warned Tuesday in words conjuring up Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats to wipe Israel off the map. "Should Israel take any action against Iran, we will eliminate Israel from the scene of the universe," Gen. Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said in Teheran on Tuesday. Ashtiani's statement followed Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's comment last week warning Iran that any attack on Israel would result in the "destruction of the Iranian nation." Ashtiani claimed Israel was "very vulnerable" and dismissed allegations that Iran was worried about Israeli maneuvers. "Due to its special conditions, Israel is very vulnerable in the region," he said. "The aggressors will face a crushing response." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev responded by saying "these hateful and extreme statements from the Iranian leadership are unfortunately routine. The sad reality is that these statements expose the mind set and political agenda of the leadership in Teheran. Unfortunately these hateful words are backed up by very dangerous actions." Foreign Ministry spokesman Aryeh Mekel said that these comments illustrate the need for the international community to "work with more determination" and take steps to keep Iran, which is threatening to destroy another UN member state, from obtaining nuclear weapons. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

I believe Iran will follow through on this threat. However, I also believe God will follow through with His promised intervention when it takes place as well.

'Hamas will lose its ability to hit us' The Jerusalem Post (April 10, 2008) - A day after three Israelis were killed by terrorists in the South, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert upgraded his threats against Hamas and vowed to take action that would incapacitate the Islamist organization. Speaking at a pre-Pessah toast for Kadima activists at the party's Petah Tikva headquarters, Olmert said Hamas would be held accountable for every infiltration, shooting and rocket attack in the South, no matter which terrorist organization claimed responsibility. It was "inevitable" that Hamas would pay the price for its terror attacks, he said. "I promise you that the response to Hamas will be such that Hamas will no longer be able to continue to take action against the citizens of Israel," Olmert told the crowd. "I don't want to say more than that. But what I am saying will obligate Israel [to act], and I promise you that it will be properly implemented." In a toast with Labor activists at his party's Tel Aviv headquarters, Defense Minister Ehud Barak also pledged to fight Hamas. "We will restore security to Sderot and the Gaza periphery," he said. Olmert recounted an emotional meeting on Wednesday night with the father of St.-Sgt. Sayef Bisan at the family's home in the Druse village of Jatt, near Acre. He praised the bravery of Bisan, who served in the Golani Brigade's Egoz reconnaissance unit and was killed in action in Gaza early that morning. While the prime minister said he believed an agreement could be reached with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this year, he said that due to the situation in the PA and Hamas's control of Gaza, no such deal could be implemented any time soon. "I don't see any chance of implementing an agreement in the near future," Olmert said. "When we reach an understanding, we will insist on all their obligations in the road map being met, especially stopping terror, as a condition for implementing the agreement." Ynet reported from Palestinian sources Thursday that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and PA negotiator Ahmed Qurei were considering a proposal whereby the final-status negotiations on the issues of Jerusalem and refugees would be postponed for five years. According to the report, the deal would be a temporary one, valid for five years, during which the PA would be granted some municipal sovereignty in the capital and would be allowed to provide certain services to the Palestinian residents of the city. Olmert's and Livni's spokespeople declined to respond to the report, but Olmert defended himself when politicians on the Right blasted him on the Jerusalem issue. more...
| Israel | Islam |

A Mystery in the Middle East Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (April 8, 2008) - The Arab-Israeli region of the Middle East is filled with rumors of war. That is about as unusual as the rising of the sun, so normally it would not be worth mentioning. But like the proverbial broken clock that is right twice a day, such rumors occasionally will be true. In this case, we don’t know that they are true, and certainly it’s not the rumors that are driving us. But other things — minor and readily explicable individually — have drawn our attention to the possibility that something is happening. The first thing that drew our attention was a minor, routine matter. Back in February, the United States started purchasing oil for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is a reserve of crude oil stored in underground salt domes. Back in February, it stood at 96.2 percent of capacity, which is pretty full as far as we are concerned. But the U.S. Department of Energy decided to increase its capacity. This move came in spite of record-high oil prices and the fact that the purchase would not help matters. It also came despite potential political fallout, since during times like these there is generally pressure to release reserves. Part of the step could have been the bureaucracy cranking away, and part of it could have been the feeling that the step didn’t make much difference. But part of it could have been based on real fears of a disruption in oil supplies. By itself, the move meant nothing. But it did cause us to become thoughtful. Also in February, someone assassinated Imad Mughniyah, a leader of Hezbollah, in a car bomb explosion in Syria. It was assumed the Israelis had killed him, although there were some suspicions the Syrians might have had him killed for their own arcane reasons. In any case, Hezbollah publicly claimed the Israelis killed Mughniyah, and therefore it was expected the militant Shiite group would take revenge. In the past, Hezbollah responded not by attacking Israel but by attacking Jewish targets elsewhere, as in the Buenos Aires attacks of 1992 and 1994. In March, the United States decided to dispatch the USS Cole, then under Sixth Fleet command, to Lebanese coastal waters. Washington later replaced it with two escorts from the Nassau (LHA-4) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), reportedly maintaining a minor naval presence in the area. (Most of the ESG, on a regularly scheduled deployment, is no more than a few days sail from the coast, as it remains in the Mediterranean Sea.) The reason given for the American naval presence was to serve as a warning to the Syrians not to involve themselves in Lebanese affairs. The exact mission of the naval presence off the Levantine coast — and the exact deterrent function it served — was not clear, but there they were. The Sixth Fleet has gone out of its way to park and maintain U.S. warships off the Lebanese coast. Hezbollah leaders being killed by the Israelis and the presence of American ships off the shores of Mediterranean countries are not news in and of themselves. These things happen. The killing of Mughniyah is notable only to point out that as much as Israel might have wanted him dead, the Israelis knew this fight would escalate. But anyone would have known this. So all we know is that whoever killed Mughniyah wanted to trigger a conflict. The U.S. naval presence off the Levantine coast is notable in that Washington, rather busy with matters elsewhere, found the bandwidth to get involved here as well. With the situation becoming tense, the Israelis announced in March that they would carry out an exercise in April called Turning Point 2. Once again, an Israeli military exercise is hardly interesting news. But the Syrians apparently got quite interested. After the announcement, the Syrians deployed three divisions — two armored, one mechanized — to the Lebanese-Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley, the western part of which is Hezbollah’s stronghold. The Syrians didn’t appear to be aggressive. Rather, they deployed these forces in a defensive posture, in a way walling off their part of the valley. The Syrians are well aware that in the event of a conventional war with Israel, they would experience a short but exciting life, as they say. They thus are hardly going to attack Israel. The deployment therefore seemed intended to keep the Israelis on the Lebanese side of the border — on the apparent assumption the Israelis were going into the Bekaa Valley. Despite Israeli and Syrian denials of the Syrian troop buildup along the border, Stratfor sources maintain that the buildup in fact happened. Normally, Israel would be jumping at the chance to trumpet Syrian aggression in response to these troop movements, but, instead, the Israelis downplayed the buildup. When the Israelis kicked off Turning Point 2, which we regard as a pretty interesting name, it turned out to be the largest exercise in Israeli history. It involved the entire country, and was designed to test civil defenses and the ability of the national command authority to continue to function in the event of an attack with unconventional weapons — chemical and nuclear, we would assume. This was a costly exercise. It also involved calling up reserves, some of them for the exercise, and, by some reports, others for deployment to the north against Syria. Israel does not call up reserves casually. Reserve call-ups are expensive and disrupt the civilian economy. These appear small, but in the environment of Turning Point 2, it would not be difficult to mobilize larger forces without being noticed. The Syrians already were deeply concerned by the Israeli exercise. Eventually, the Lebanese government got worried, too, and started to evacuate some civilians from the South. Hezbollah, which still hadn’t retaliated for the Mughniyah assassination, also claimed the Israelis were about to attack it, and reportedly went on alert and mobilized its forces. The Americans, who normally issue warnings and cautions to everyone, said nothing to try to calm the situation. They just sat offshore on their ships. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Israeli intel projects a one-month war with Syria World Tribune (April 8, 2008) - Israel's intelligence community has concluded that the next war would involve missiles and Hizbullah, last at least a month and include Syria. The intelligence community has drafted a series of scenarios for Israel's emergency services to prepare for future war. The scenarios envisioned the next war as including massive missile and rocket salvos, some of them containing chemical weapons, on Israeli cities. "The scenarios are based on Arab military capability rather than intentions," an Israeli government source said. "The war in Lebanon was also seen as a taste of what a full-scale war would bring." Officials said Israel's military, police and emergency services have been on high alert for an attack by Hizbullah, Syria or Iran, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the current alert would last throughout April and did not rule out a continuation of high combat-readiness for the rest of 2008. Under the scenarios, hundreds of Israelis would be killed and thousands injured in missile strikes on Tel Aviv. The enemy missiles would target strategic facilities, including Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport. Syria was also expected to be a participant in the next war against Israel. The intelligence community envisioned Hizbullah, Iran and Syria coordinating strikes on northern and central Israel. The Hamas regime and the Palestinian Authority would also fire rockets from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In one scenario, Iran would also attack the Jewish state. The intelligence community did not expect Iran to fire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, but said such an attack could stem from Syria. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Israel, Palestinian talks raise hope for 2008 accord: Solana EU Business (April 8, 2008) - EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed hope Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians could reach a peace settlement this year, after their leaders met for the first time in almost two months. "Politically, an important meeting took place yesterday," he told members of the European Parliament, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas held direct talks in Jerusalem. "I do think that we have still a chance to move the process to a settlement before the end of year 2008," Solana said, underlining: "I don't want to sound too optimistic, I want to sound realistic." He said that "the situation in Gaza is more relaxed than it used to be" and that he hoped a "period of quietness" would descend on Gaza, with the help notably of Egypt. Israel has sealed off Gaza from all but vital goods since Hamas seized power last June, in a bid to halt rocket attacks from the territory and to put pressure on the Islamist-run government. But Solana said the future would become clearer in the summer. If "we are not able to move the process in a dynamic manner by this period of time, maybe we'll have to begin to think that the possibility of an agreement in the year 2008 will be further away," he said. Olmert and Abbas agreed Monday "to continue with the goal of reaching an historic agreement by the end of the year," an Israeli spokesman said, despite accusing each other of failing to meet commitments under a peace roadmap.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Insider leaks plans for Palestinian state WorldNet Daily (April 7, 2008) - U.S.-backed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are expected to generate an agreement by the end of the year that would set up a Palestinian state in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, according to a source who has participated in the talks. In one of the first media glimpses into the current negotiations, a source who takes part in the regular meetings outlined for WND the main objectives of the secretive negotiations. Since last November's Israeli-Palestinian Annapolis summit, which set as a goal the creation of a Palestinian state before 2009, negotiating teams including Israeli Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia have been meeting weekly while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been meeting biweekly. Unlike previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in which both sides attended with about a dozen advisers each, the teams working with Livni and Qureia are small, usually consisting at most of five people each. Also unlike previous talks, in which the contents of many meetings were leaked quickly to the media, the current negotiations have resulted in few press leaks. According to the source who has been playing a role in the meetings, the two sides are drafting an agreement, to be signed by the end of the year, requiring Israel to evacuate most of the West Bank and certain eastern sections of Jerusalem. The source said Israeli community blocks in the zones of Gush Etzion, Maale Adumin and Ariel would remain Israeli while most of the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem will be slated for a Palestinian state. In contradiction to statements by Olmert, the status of sections of Jerusalem is being negotiated but the specifics of any agreed-upon Israeli withdrawal is as yet unclear, said the source. "It is understood [Jerusalem] Arab neighborhoods would become part of a Palestinian state," the source said. The source told WND both sides agreed Israel would retain Jerusalem's Pisgat Zeev neighborhood, which is located near large Arab communities. Many of those Arab towns were constructed illegally on property owned by the Jewish National Fund, a Jewish nonprofit that purchases property using Jewish donors funds for the stated purpose of Jewish settlement. The source said the U.S. pledged advanced training for thousands of PA security officers who would take over security in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem and operate in those territories instead of the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli police. The U.S. previously has trained thousands of Palestinian security officers, including units in which known members of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group serve. Scores of those security forces have carried out terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, including recent deadly shootings in the West Bank. But the source claimed the planned U.S. training is different: "This training is unlike anything before. The PA, Israel and the U.S. are working very closely to vet the forces. All sides are approving the training candidates. The training is more advanced than ever. It will create a very serious Palestinian army," said the source. The source said as part of the negotiations, Abbas has agreed to hold early PA elections in the West Bank by 2009, including presidential elections that could replace the Palestinian leader... A U.S. security report last month concluded the PA is failing to fight terrorism. The report was compiled by Gen. William Fraser, who was deployed to the region to monitor implementation of agreements pledged by Israel and the PA at Annapolis. Fraser's report slammed the PA for failing to arrest, interrogate and place terrorist suspects on trial. The report said the PA occasionally carries out arrests of suspected terrorists, but usually only following pressure from Israel or the U.S. The arrested terrorists, the report said, are rarely interrogated or tried but instead are briefly detained. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |
America |

Olmert, Abbas to meet again after seven weeks (April 7, 2008) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas meet on Monday for the first time in six weeks as Middle East peace talks get back on track under heavy US pressure. Abbas, who suspended his bi-weekly meetings with Olmert at the beginning of March after an Israeli military operation in Gaza killed more than 130 people, said on Sunday that he would not accept a peace deal at any price. "We are negotiating seriously and we are striving to arrive at a solution for all the final-status issues, but it will not come at any price," Abbas told a meeting of local officials in the West Bank political capital of Ramallah. The talks were given new impetus after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during a visit to the region last week, managed to secure an Israeli commitment to ease hardships on West Bank Palestinians and convince Abbas to resume his meetings with Olmert. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Abbas and Olmert would discuss a mutual ceasefire, lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and the implementation of the 2003 Middle East roadmap agreement. The international roadmap peace blueprint urges Israel to freeze Jewish settlement construction and calls on the Palestinians to improve security in their territories. But the latest peace talks have made little progress since they were launched at a US-sponsored conference in Annapolis outside Washington in November, with each side accusing the other of neglecting its obligations. Israel has "not implemented a single one of its obligations as specified in the roadmap. It has not halted the (growth of) settlements or freed prisoners or removed checkpoints," negotiator Erakat told AFP. An Israeli official said Olmert, who last met with Abbas on February 19, was "looking forward to the renewal of talks." "We want the Annapolis process to succeed and the meetings between the leaders will continue focusing on the crucial elements of the peace talks," the official said on condition of anonymity. The two leaders are expected to discuss several of the core issues at the heart of the conflict, but the sides remain divided on many issues. Olmert said last month that he does not envisage the possibility of anything more than an outline agreement by 2009, despite the US target of a peace deal by the end of 2008, and that settlement expansion on Palestinian land would continue. Abbas has in turn accused Israel of splitting the Palestinian territories into isolated cantons as a means to prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

PM, Abbas aim for deal by end of '08 The Jerusalem Post (April 7, 2008) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet every two weeks until the November deadline for striking a deal, regardless of developments on the ground, Olmert and Abbas decided in a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office Monday. The two men pledged at the Annapolis summit in November 2007 to meet every two weeks in an effort to reach a deal by the November 4, 2008 deadline. But they had not met since February 19 due to Abbas's protests of IDF activity in the Gaza Strip during Operation Hot Winter. From now on, they intend to take the same approach as the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qurei, who meet regularly regardless of the day's news. For instance, Livni and Qurei met the day of the suicide bombing in Dimona in January. In their sixth meeting since the Annapolis summit, Olmert and Abbas met for some three hours, including one hour in which they met alone, without their negotiating teams. The next steps in the process include Abbas's forthcoming visit to Washington, next week's visit to Israel by US National Security Adviser Steve Hadley and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returning to Israel after Pessah. Olmert and Livni complained that the Palestinians were not doing enough to fight terror in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But much of the meeting focused on what steps Israel could take to ease conditions for the Palestinians. "We discussed what we could do to improve the lives of the Palestinians so they would see that it was in their best interests to make a strategic choice in favor of the moderates against the extremists," a participant in the meeting said. Officials on both sides indicated that as in the past, the talks deteriorated into mutual accusations that each side was not doing its part under the road map diplomatic plan that is the basis of the negotiations. Hamas control of the Gaza Strip, Israeli settlement construction, West Bank checkpoints, terrorist violence and frequent armed clashes remained serious obstacles in the way of success for the talks. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said much of the meeting focused on the settlements. Abbas showed Olmert "documents and maps" in emphasizing the need to stop the construction. "Settlement expansion undermines the credibility of the peace process," Abbas told Olmert, according to Erekat. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Syria on Alert 'Because Hizbullah Revenge Attack is Near' Israel National News (April 6, 2008) - Syria has raised the state of alert of its armed forces because it knows Hizbullah's revenge attack against Israel for the killing of Imad Mughniyeh is near, according to Israel's Channel 2 TV. Soon after Mughniyeh's death, Israel warned Syria that it would hold it responsible for any revenge attack launched by Hizbullah for the killing of Mughniyeh, its operations officer. Syria is due to release its official findings in the probe into Mughniyeh's death. He was killed in an explosion in Damascus in February. The paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which is published in London, reported that since Mughniyeh's death, Syria has arrested dozens of suspects, including "Palestinians and senior Syrian army officers." Sources in Damascus told the paper that the investigation established that foreigners were behind the murder of Mughniyeh. Syria has accused Israel of being behind the assassination. 'Assassination planned in Syria' Meanwhile, former Syrian vice president Abdel Khalim Khaddam is accusing Syria of killing Muyghniyeh. Interviewed by a Lebanese newspaper, Khaddam said that the head of Syrian intelligence was replaced because the investigation he conducted showed that those who planned the assassination came from within Syria. Khaddam was forced into exile and took up residence in Europe after he criticized the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Hizbullah's Deputy Director Sheikh Naeem Kassem said Sunday that the Israeli Home Front exercise is a preparation for war and part of "Israel's aggressive character." Kassem said the exercise had three purposes: first, to boost the morale of the Israeli people, which has been low since the Second Lebanon War; second, to convince the Israelis that the army has overcome the failure and is ready and has drawn all the lessons from the war; and third, he explained, "it is part of the preparations for war, because Israel is always on a war footing." The Al-Arabiyah television network reported Sunday that the Lebanese military ordered residents of southern villages to move away from the border with Israel. According to the report, the Lebanese Army set up dirt roadblocks and inspection towers along the border with Israel to prevent Lebanese civilians from getting too close to the fence. Tension between Israel and Syria has been high recently, and there were reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak cancelled his planned visit to Germany this week because of it. Defense Ministry advisor Amos Gilad denied this report and said that the Defense Minister changed his schedule because of a heavy workload. However, he also made what reporters saw as a hinted threat at Syria, following reports that Syrian forces were on a heightened state of alert. "Anyone who tries to strike Israel should keep in mind that Israel is the strongest country in the region and that its response will be hard and painful. We are always alert and ready," Harel warned. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Jewish group to slaughter lamb in Passover sacrifice rehearsal Israel Today (April 6, 2008) - A Bible-adherent Jewish group on Sunday ritually slaughtered a young lamb in what is called a "rehearsal" for the renewal of the Passover sacrifice once the Jerusalem temple is rebuilt. The Temple Movement won approval to carry out the practice sacrifice from Israel's High Court on Friday after animal rights groups asserted that the lamb would be put through inhumane suffering. In its legal response, the Temple Movement explained that the slaughter would be carried out according to biblical standards, which is the same method used to slaughter lambs at kosher slaughterhouses around the country. The sacrifice and accompanying religious ceremonies were performed at a prominent yeshiva overlooking Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which is still occupied by several Muslim shrines.
| Israel | Temple Mount |

Combining the European Union's animal rights stance (EU Animal Welfare Program to be fully implemented by 2010) and the reaction of animal rights activists in this case could explain why the daily sacrifice is stopped at the abomination of desolation that starts the time of Jacob's trouble. Keep watching!

'Warning to Assad sparked tension' The Jerusalem Post (April 6, 2008) - Sources close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert confirmed a Channel 2 report Sunday that the reason for the tension with Syria was a message Israel sent Damascus warning that Bashar Assad's regime would be held responsible if Jews around the world were harmed in retaliation for the killing of Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyeh. Israel has not claimed credit for the killing, but Syria and Hizbullah hold Israel responsible for Mugniyeh's death. Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to take revenge against Jews abroad, and Syria drafted reserve soldiers last week as tensions escalated. In a move likely to further enhance the tension with Syria, Olmert reportedly approved an American request to allow congressional hearings to reveal details of the strike on an alleged Syrian nuclear installation that foreign sources have attributed to Israel. Officials in US President George W. Bush's administration asked to reveal the information in order to use it against North Korea. Olmert agreed to the request, despite opposition from Israeli intelligence officials. His advisers, Yoram Turbowitz and Shalom Turgeman, went to Washington last week to speak about the issue with US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and other top American officials. Olmert downplayed the tension with Syria at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting and stressed that there was no connection between the current security situation with Syria and Monday's drill in the Home Front Command. "I want to emphasize that this is only a drill, with nothing hiding behind it," Olmert told the cabinet. "All the reports about heightened tension in the North are exaggerated. We have no secret plans. This drill is not part of anything else. It seems to me that the Syrians know this as well and they have no reason to analyze this drill differently. "I would like to make it unequivocally clear that this is a routine drill. The State of Israel is not intent on any violent confrontation in the North. On the contrary, we have said more than once that we have an interest in holding peace negotiations with Syria." more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

So what if Jews around the world are harmed and Israel follows through in holding Bashar Assad's regime responsible? Keep watching!

‘Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007’ Progress Report Israel Fulfilled Prophecy: Commission of the European Communities (April 3, 2008) - Israel and the European Community first established contractual relations in 1975 by signing a Cooperation Agreement. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership inaugurated at the 1995 Barcelona Conference established a policy with ambitious long-term objectives. The Association Agreement with Israel which entered into force in 2000 sets out in more detail the specific areas in which the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership can be developed bilaterally. On this basis, the EU-Israel Action Plan was adopted in April 2005, for a period of three years. A first ENP progress report was adopted in December 2006. Intense institutional cooperation through the EU–Israel Association Council, the EU–Israel Association committee and 10 sub-committees has enabled both sides to progress with the implementation of the Association Agreement and more recently the Action Plan. In the framework of the EU-Israel Reflection Group, work is ongoing to identify areas to upgrade the future of EU-Israel relations. This document reports on overall progress made on the implementation of the EU – Israel Action Plan between 1 November 2006 and 31 December 2007, although developments outside this period are also considered when deemed relevant. It is not a general review of the political and economic situation in Israel. Israel has been an active partner in the framework of the ENP, as demonstrated by the progress made in implementing a large number of priorities of the Action Plan. Sound macroeconomic policies associated to a buoyant external demand have allowed the Israeli economy to expand for a fourth consecutive year. The ENP has clearly enhanced the pace of cooperation between the EU and Israel in a large number of fields: from enhanced EU-Israel political dialogue to Israel's involvement in a number of European initiatives. Having agreed a framework protocol with the EC, Israel is the front-runner in making use of the new possibilities for ENP partner countries’ participation in Community programmes. It has also sought closer cooperation with EC and EU agencies. In October 2007 Israel agreed to start bilateral negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement on the liberalisation of services and establishment, at the beginning of 2008. more...
| Israel | EU/UN
/ 4th Kingdom |

Exclusive: Barak calls off German trip next week as Damascus raises war alarm DEBKAfile (April 2, 2008) - Israel’s security cabinet convened Wednesday, April 2, to examine the homeland’s preparedness for war. It decided to redistribute the bio/chemical warfare masks a few months after they were called in. DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose intelligence data indicating the possibility that Syria may transfer to Hizballah chemical or biological warheads known to have been developed for its war arsenal. A few hours earlier, the London-based al Quds al-Arabi quoted Damascus officials as claiming that Israel is preparing a big attack on Syria and Hizballah. Syria was said to have ordered a partial call-up of its military reserves. DEBKAfile reports that Damascus has placed its missile units on the alert after last week deploying two armored brigades on the Beirut-Damascus highway under the command of President Bashar Assad’s young brother Maher Assad, chief of the presidential guard. They were posted there to block the road in case Israeli armored columns attempted to reach Damascus through Lebanon. Our sources also note Syria plans to release the findings of its inquiry into the death of Hizballah leader Imad Mughniyeh in February. Sources close to Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak report he called off his trip to Germany next week because he expects Damascus to use those findings to put Hizballah on the spot where it can no longer duck exacting revenge for his death from Israel, which is held responsible for his death. IDF sources report Iran has sent Syria state of the art equipment for surveillance and eavesdropping on Israeli military command centers and bases. Israel’s home defense command scheduled April 6-10 a nationwide exercise to improve the home front’s readiness for emergencies. Warning sirens will be tested on April 8. Tuesday, Barak toured Israel’s northern border and reported “a great deal of activity on the other side.” He added: “…we are learning the lessons of the last war, Israel is the strongest country in the region and I would not advise anyone on the other side to test us.” In their briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday morning, IDF intelligence officers confirmed intense Hizballah activity, much of it in South Lebanon by operatives in civilian disguise. The officers referred to the Lebanese Shiite terror group’s rearmament with more powerful and longer-range rockets. On March 22, DEBKAfile first revealed that Hizballah had more than trebled its pre-war rocket arsenal. “Some of their 40,000 rockets of Syrian and Iranian manufacture can hit Israeli targets as far south as Beersheba, 350 km. away. Not only has Tel Aviv come within range, but Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza can between them now cover most of Israel up to its southernmost tip at Eilat. The possibility is now under consideration that these rockets may be armed with Syrian non-conventional warheads. Damascus has also shipped to Hizballah quantities of anti-air weapons, including shoulder-borne rockets and scores of Russian-made anti-aircraft ZSU-100 automatic 14.4 mm caliber cannon, which are most effective against low-flying aircraft, helicopters and drones.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Could a pre-emptive attack be a logical move considering Israel's vulnerability and self-preservation in light of chemical and/or biological warheads within range of its major cities? Could this escalation lead to Israel destroying Damascus because of some information of an imminent attack? These kinds of escalations have happened before and nothing came of them, but keep watching!

Rice Wins Concessions From Israel, Paving the Way Towards Peace Agreement Fox News (March 30, 2008) - Israel and the Palestinians agreed Sunday to a series of "concrete steps" aimed at paving the way for a final peace agreement later this year, beginning with Israel's pledge to remove some West Bank roadblocks. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting the region for the second time this month in hopes of energize faltering talks, said the moves "constitute a very good start to improving" a Palestinian economy crippled by the Israeli restrictions. Under the plan that Rice announced, Israel will remove about 50 roadblocks, upgrade checkpoints to speed up the movement of Palestinians through the West Bank and give Palestinians more security responsibility in the town of Jenin with an eye toward looking at "other areas in turn." The Israelis also pledged to increase the number of travel and work permits it gives Palestinians and to support economic projects in Palestinian towns. In return, the Palestinians promised to improve policing of Jenin "to provide law and order, and work to prevent terror," according to a State Department statement released shortly before Rice spoke. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad consented to the steps at a joint meeting with Rice earlier Sunday. They agreed to pursue the measures with "special, immediate emphasis and work," the statement said. "We've been told that this is going to start and, hopefully even be completed in a relatively short period of time," Rice told reporters. "I am expecting it to happen very, very soon." "We will be monitoring and verifying," she added. The agreement includes:

  • removing 50 travel barriers in and around Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya and Ramallah.
  • dismantling of one permanent roadblock.
  • deploying 700 Jordanian-trained Palestinian police in Jenin and allowing them to take delivery of armored vehicles.
  • raising the the number of Palestinian businessmen allowed into Israel to 1,500 from 1,000.
  • increasing the number of work permits for Palestinian laborers by 5,000 from its current number of 18,500.
  • building new housing for Palestinians in 25 villages.
  • connecting Palestinian villages to the Israeli power grid.
  • Israeli support for large-scale economic development programs and encouragement of foreign investment.

Neither Barak nor Fayyad commented on the developments when they appeared at a brief photo opportunity with Rice after their meeting. One Palestinian official said he welcomed any improvement, but that Israel's moves were "too little, too late." "We want Israel to move quickly in removing these obstacles that make no sense and make the lives of the Palestinians difficult," said Samir Abdullah, the Palestinian planning minister. Israel maintains hundreds of checkpoints, roadblocks and other travel restrictions in the West Bank, and says they are needed to stop suicide bombers. The Palestinians say the restrictions are excessive and have stifled their economy. They have made removal of the checkpoints a priority as the two sides, with U.S. backing, try to negotiate a peace agreement by year's end. Rice had said she was looking for "meaningful" steps to put in place the stalled U.S.-supported plan that envisions the creation of an independent Palestinian state through concessions on both sides. "There has not been enough momentum," she said. "This is a start in terms of delivering on some of those obligations."
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | 1st Seal | America |

Report: Iranian, Syrian missiles to pound Israel in next war YNet News (March 24, 2008) - Hundreds of dead, thousands of injured, missile barrages on central Israel, full paralysis at Ben-Gurion Airport, constantly bombed roads, nationwide power outages that last for long hours, and whole regions' water supply being cut off – this is what the next war could look like. A secret report recently distributed among government ministries and local municipalities details various wartime scenarios. The report deals with very harsh possibilities, including some that are downright horrifying, formulated as part of the lessons drawn in the wake of the Second Lebanon War. Notably, the document does not aim to predict future developments with certainty, but rather, only aims to serve as a guideline for civilian war preparations. The above assessment is characterized as a "severe reasonable scenario" – that is, it is not the gravest scenario, but also not the most favorable. According to this scenario, the war will last for about a month and will include the participation of Syria (military operations on the Golan Heights front and the firing of many Scud missiles at the home front,) Lebanon (the firing of thousands of Hizbullah rockets at the Galilee and Haifa as well long-range missiles at central Israel,) and the Palestinian Authority (relatively limited conflict that would include short-range rockets fired from Gaza and the West Bank as well as terror attacks such as suicide bombings within Israel.) According to this scenario, Iran will also get involved in the war, but will only fire a limited number of missiles rather than non-conventional weapons. In addition to missile barrages, the scenario includes aerial strikes on military and strategic targets, attacks on infrastructure facilities, and attempted abductions of civilians and soldiers. Such hypothetical war, according to the assessment, will leave 100-230 civilians dead, and 1,900-3,200 Israelis wounded. However, should Israel be attacked with chemical weapons, the number of killed and wounded Israelis would skyrocket to 16,000. Under such circumstances, as a result of missile damage, chemical contamination, and the razing of homes the State would have to evacuate as many as 227,000 Israelis from their homes. According to the assessment, about 100,000 people would seek to leave the country should such scenario materialize.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

IDF increases Gaza ground ops in face of heavier rocket fire Haaretz (March 30, 2008) - The Israel Defense Forces has been broadening its ground operations in Gaza in response to the increase in rocket fire on Israel since Wednesday. During the past three days, two Palestinian gunmen were killed in IDF operations in the Strip, and at least 10 Qassam rockets and 25 mortars were fired at Israel. On Friday, a rocket struck a kibbutz in the western Negev, and the shrapnel hit a kindergarten. No one was injured because the kindergarten teacher rushed the children into the reinforced area when the Color Red missile warning siren sounded. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of rockets fired since Wednesday. Most were fired by Islamic Jihad, but smaller groups, like the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, are also involved. Hamas is not believed to be involved. Defense sources say there are several reasons for Islamic Jihad's increased aggression. This includes pressure from within the group, whose militants have seen no action for several weeks. This also serves Islamic Jihad in maintaining its claim to being at the forefront of the "resistance" against Israel, while Hamas is urging calm. Over the past week, the IDF resumed small-scale ground operations in Gaza - up to battalion-level operations, normally in areas that are no more than one or two kilometers from the border fence. On Thursday night, after the Palestinians fired light weapons several times at farmers in the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, a ground force entered the area, and a Hamas gunman was killed in the exchange of fire. There were no Israeli casualties. On Friday night, an armed Palestinian was identified in northern Gaza, and a unit went into the Strip, engaged the gunman and killed him. Security sources said that the policy of restraint is a political decision and the focus of the operations is to intercept gunmen or militants firing rockets.
| Israel | Islam |

No Lebanon Breakthrough for Arabs BBC News (March 30, 2008) - An annual summit of the Arab League has ended in Syria's capital Damascus with a call for an end to the political crisis in Lebanon. But correspondents say there were no specific proposals to solve the crisis, which has seen Lebanon without a president since November. Only 11 heads of states from the 22-member organisation were present, as key pro-Western leaders stayed away. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan sent low-level delegations. They blame Syria for the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon - a charge denied by the government in Damascus. The Lebanese government boycotted the summit completely. In a final statement, the League called for a compromise candidate to be elected president, and a national unity cabinet formed, AFP news agency reported. But the BBC's Heba Saleh in Damascus says there were no breakthroughs. Opening the meeting, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied his country was meddling in Lebanon. He was responding to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who had accused Syria of preventing the election of a consensus president in Beirut. Mr Assad said his country was willing to join "Arab or non-Arab efforts" to end Lebanon's political crisis "on condition that they are based on Lebanese national consensus". But our correspondent says it will take more than words to convince his critics, and Syria risks further isolation if there is no immediate resolution to the Lebanon crisis. In Riyadh, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, suggested Syria had not abided by the Arab consensus on Lebanon. "The problem is that what was decided unanimously in the Arab League, including by Syria, is not being carried out," he said. The foreign minister called for ''counter-measures". Syria had billed the summit as a golden opportunity for regional unity but there is little sign of this, BBC Middle East correspondent Katya Adler reports from Damascus. She says the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon are all staying at home because they view Syria as a trouble-maker, too close to Iran and a destructive force in Lebanon. Syria has accused them in the past of being subservient to the US and Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has blamed Washington for trying to "divide the Arab world". "They [the US] did their best to prevent the summit but they failed," Mr Moualem said on the eve of the summit.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

It's interesting to see the lines being drawn in alliances that God foretold in scripture come to pass. Syria is viewed as a troublemaker which may explain why Damascus is destroyed while a group of Muslim nations remains distant from them and are not mentioned in the list of Magog attackers. Lebanon is still teetering, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned once Damascus is destroyed to act as a staging ground for a Northern attack on Israel. Time will tell if these are the developing stages or not, as for me I'm going to keep watching.

BBC Caught Red-Handed on Anti-Israel, False Coverage Israel National News (March 24, 2008) - A media monitoring organization and a British citizen forced the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to apologize for blatant anti-Israel news coverage. They caught the network “red-handed,” reporting falsely. The BBC has frequently been accused of biased coverage slanted against Israel; Israeli government officials have summoned the BBC to explain itself in the past. The "red-handed" false report in question was caught by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). CAMERA revealed that BBC used an old file photo to depict the alleged bulldozing of the home of the terrorist who slaughtered eight young yeshiva boys in Jerusalem this month. “Hours after the attack, Israeli bulldozers destroyed his family home,” reported the BBC – but it was untrue. The home of Ala Abu Dheim continued to stand unharmed, as did the mourning tent in which his family greets people who come to console and congratulate them on his achievement and subsequent ”martyrdom.” That, despite the fact that the Hashemite Kingdom refused to allow the Jordanian branch of the terrorist’s family to erect such a tent or otherwise hold public mourning events for the murderer in their village near Amman. Jordanian officials explained that public mourning in this case would encourage violence, which would in turn constitute a threat to national security. Another well-documented false and biased BBC report, detected by a Jewish resident of Manchester, England, quoted United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as condemning Israeli attacks on Gazan civilians. The BBC used the quote several weeks later, out of context, to tie it to a specific IDF attack on Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza. The news report in question stated that Israel had deliberately attacked Gaza civilians. In the report, BBC refrained from reporting the intensified attacks on Israeli civilians, in some weeks more than 100 rockets were fired at western Negev communities by terrorists hiding among women and children in Gaza. Israel's counterterrorism operation “Warm Winter” in Gaza came after an eight-year-old Sderot boy lost his left leg in a Kassam attack that almost cost him his life, as well as that of his 19-year-old brother, who was also seriously wounded by the rocket. The collateral damage to civilians in Gaza, noted Israel, was caused by the terrorists who chose to launch their attacks from playgrounds and areas between residential buildings in densely populated civilian areas. The BBC did issue an official statement of apology for both incidents in which the organization had been caught.
| Israel | Islam | Media Bias |

Your Tax Dollars at Work in Gaza Jewish World Review (March 24, 2008) - Last week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that American officials are again pressing Congress to open up the U.S. aid pipeline to the Palestinian Authority. If the plea sounds familiar, it ought to. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Americans have been subsidizing the activities of the P.A. to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Today, as in the past, the arguments in favor of this policy are urgent. We are told by both administration officials who are friends of Israel and by some Israelis that unless we help fund the training and the payment of Palestinian security forces, the P.A. will have no way to cope with terrorists who want to sink any chance of a two-state solution which would enable Israel to live side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian partner. THE ONLY OPTION? With Hamas in control of Gaza, the P.A., under the current leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is, we are informed, the only address for creating a moderate force that will work for peace. Given the alternative of the Iranian-backed Hamas or the equally unpalatable choices of either Israel reoccupying the territories or an international peacekeeping force doing so, reinforcing the P.A. seems to make sense.  But does it really? Doubts about the wisdom of the policy have led Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-N.Y.) — respectively, the chair and the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee — to place a hold on a request of another $150 million in direct assistance to the P.A. Thwarted on that front, the administration now wants the committee to okay an additional $25 million in indirect funding for the military training program. Both Lowey and Ros-Lehtinen rightly worry about the commitment of Abbas and his Fatah Party to peace. They cite recent statements by Abbas in which he would not rule out a return to "armed resistance" against Israel. The support by the P.A. media for attacks against Israelis, such as the slaughter of eight students at a Jerusalem yeshiva this month, as well as the ongoing blitz of southern Israel by Hamas missiles, is also reason to doubt the P.A.'s sincerity. The P.A. also continues to honor the memory of slain terrorists as "martyrs" and, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, plans to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by having Arab refugees to rush Israel's borders to promote a "right of return," which is synonymous with the destruction of the Jewish State. Supporters of aid respond that these statements do not reflect Abbas' real goals. Yet, they ignore the fact that what the P.A. has done for the past 15 years is to legitimize a Palestinian culture in which political plaudits are won only by killing Jews. Indeed, via its control of broadcast outlets, newspapers and the schools, the P.A. has solidified a mindset of hate. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Syria Deploys Three Military Divisions on the Border with Lebanon Naharet (March 23, 2008) - Syria has deployed three military divisions along the borders with Lebanon amidst mounting tension in the region, press reports said Sunday. The leading daily an-Nahar attributed the report to well informed sources, noting that the deployment backs a similar massing of fighters by pro-Syrian Palestinian factions in the Bekaa valley, especially Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the Qoussayah area. The development followed Hezbollah's open war declaration against Israel after the Feb. 12 assassination in Damascus of the party's Imad Mughniyeh by a bomb explosion. Hezbollah is sponsoring a major rally in south Beirut's suburb of Rweis on Monday to commemorate Mughniyeh, labeled commander of the "two victories" in reference to the Liberation of south Lebanon from Israeli occupation in May 2000 and the 34-day war against Israel in the summer of 2006. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has pledged that "thousands of Imad Mughniyehs would confront the Zionist enemy if it invades Lebanon." Israel has ordered its troops on alert to confront a possible attack by Hezbollah operatives when the party marks Mughniyeh's memorial rally on Monday, 40 days after his assassination.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Livni: Jerusalem on the Table Israel National News (March 22, 2008) - Despite assurances by her boss, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to the contrary, Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni said in a weekend interview with Channel Two that Jerusalem would indeed be a subject for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. “All core issues are up for negotiations,” she said in the interview – regardless of what Shas was told or believes. The Likud reiterated its demand that Shas withdraw from the government, adding that the Olmert government was “dangerous for Israel.”
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

McCain Believes Abbas YNet News (March 19, 2008) - Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate for president of the United States visited the West Wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning and met with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. A person who visits the Western Wall and has been to Yad Vashem understands the Jewish people's deep connection to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, McCain said, adding that history provided different aspects in terms of the Jewish people's conflict. Accompanied by two other senators, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham, McCain was briefed on the deterioration in the security situation. I believe that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants to advance the diplomatic process and does not support what is taking place in the Gaza Strip, McCain told Livni, adding that the American government was committed to stop the violence. Senator Lieberman said, "Today we are the target of those radical Islamic elements, and together we can overcome them." Senator Graham of South Carolina warned that within one year the Iraqi people would unite to reject al-Qaeda. "They are advancing politically and economically in order to build a new Iraq. I hope we can create this momentum here as well." In the Middle East if you don’t move forward you take a step backwards, Senator Graham added. "Below the surface Hamas is becoming stronger," Livni told her guests, clarifying that "a so-called calm on the short run, which will increase the danger in the future, is unacceptable." more...
| Israel | Islam |
America |

I believe Abbas too, but he has more than one opinion and other goals than peace it would seem... Abbas Says Terrorist Path is Impractical - "Now" Israel National News (February 28, 2008)

'Israel threatened Syria with strike if Hizbullah attacks' The Jerusalem Post (March 15, 2008) - Israel has secretly warned Syria that it may strike the country if Hizbullah attacks the Jewish state, Reuters reported on Friday. In early February Hizbullah threatened Israel with revenge following the assassination of the group's chief of operations, Imad Mughniyeh. Israel has denied involvement in his death. According to senior Israeli and European officials quoted by the news agency, later that month Israel secretly conveyed a message to Damascus through a third party that it would hold it accountable for any Hizbullah assault. "The message was passed around late February, before the last round of fighting in Gaza," an Israeli official said. "It has become clear to us [that] Syria has to understand there is a price for its use of proxy terrorism, especially as Damascus is itself a proxy - the long-arm of Iran." A European source said the message made it clear that Syria could be targeted, even if Hizbullah attacked from Lebanese soil. The sources said Israel was mainly concerned that the terror organization would barrage the north with rockets in the event of a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile an unnamed British official told the news agency that any flare-up in the north would be "a disaster." "The death of Mughniyeh [and] the threatened Hizbullah retaliation does leave a specter of a wider regional conflict," he said, adding that Israeli-Syrian peace talks under the circumstances were unlikely. "There's an interest on both sides but I think it's very difficult to move forward on it."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Israel in cross-hairs of summer war? World Net Daily (March 13, 2008) - Britain's Secret Intelligence Service says Iran's Revolutionary Guards are training hundreds of Hamas fighters to prepare for an all-out war this summer against Israel, according to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. The Gaza-based organization's elite Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade will form the southern front of an attack against the Jewish state while Hezbollah will launch its simultaneous assault from southern Lebanon, according to MI6. Analysts with the organization believe the attack will come in the rundown of the Bush administration and closing months of the bitter Democratic campaign. "With the Bush White House virtually a spent force and both the Democrats and Republicans looking inward to their conventions, there is mounting evidence that Tehran will seize the opportunity to attack Israel through its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah," said a senior intelligence source in London. MI6 analysts have confirmed tortuous negotiations in which Egypt acted as an intermediary between Hamas and Israel are now increasingly fragile. Hamas, which is pledged to destroy Israel, is officially excluded by Israel from direct negotiations with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government. But with the mounting threat of a simultaneous attack on Israel from two fronts, several members of the Israeli security services have begun to urge Olmert to meet with Hamas leaders. However, hardliners like the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, and Yuval Diskin, the director-general of Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, are opposed to any negotiations. Dagan has told Olmert: "To talk to Hamas is a waste of time. Gaza is a noxious mixture of our oxidized hopes." And Diskin added last week: "While we would be talking, Hamas would be sending still more of its fighters to Iran to be trained." MI6 undercover agents in Tehran – operating out of a secret base on the country's border with Iraq – have established there are three training camps.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Over 20 Kassams pound western Negev, shattering calm The Jerusalem Post (March 13, 2008) - Approximately 25 Kassam rockets hit the western Negev on Thursday, shattering a period of relative calm during which the IDF refrained from conducting operations in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian gunmen largely kept from launching attacks against Israel. Three of the rockets landed in Sderot, one hitting a warehouse and sending a woman into shock. The other rockets landed in open areas nearby. After the start of the rocket barrage, the IAF launched pinpoint air strikes against Kassam rocket launchers in northern Gaza. It was not immediately known if anybody was wounded in the attacks. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the latest round of attacks, saying that it was in retaliation for IDF operations in the West Bank Wednesday which killed the senior-most Islamic Jihad commander in Bethlehem, as well as four other Jihad operatives. Meanwhile, following the operations, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades also declared that it would no longer abide by an unofficial truce with Israel.
| Israel | Islam |

Israel to Hizbullah: Revenge Attack Could Mean War Israel National News (March 12, 2008) - Israel has recently warned Hizbullah that it will not hesitate to retaliate with war for a large scale attack on its citizens, Channel 10 – Nana news reported Wednesday. The Hizbullah attack is expected in revenge for the killing of its operations officer Imad Mughniyeh. Iranian TV vowed that Israel would face its "third destruction" on the 40th day after Mughniyeh's death, which will occur next Saturday. Israeli intelligence is picking up extensive "chatter" between Hizbullah and Iran but still has not located specific intentions to carry out a terror attack. Israeli military attachés worldwide have been instructed to change their routine movements and retired military persons were warned to exercise caution in their travels.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Could this threat of retaliation trigger an Israeli pre-emptive attack? I don't know, keep watching. There is also supposed to be a two-day Arab summit in Damascus starting March 29. There's currently some question as to whether Egypt or Saudi Arabia will be present there.

Allies of Syria and Iran Ready to Confront Israel Naharet (March 10, 2008) - Political factions backed by Syria and Iran on Monday said they are prepared to confront any Israeli attack on Lebanon and declared support for the killing of eight students at a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem. The self-labeled Lebanese Parties issued a statement after their regular meeting at the offices in Sidon of Ousama Saad's Popular Nasserite Organization claiming the United States has dispatched naval vessels to the Mediterranean to "support the ruling majority." The statement said the groups are "fully prepared and perfectly ready to confront any Zionist aggression that leaders of the Zionist entity's criminal terror could launch." It praised as "heroic" the killing of Jewish religious students in Jerusalem, saying it was the "real and factual response to Fascist-Zionist practices carried out by the enemy's army in Gaza."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Syria 'intensely' arming itself World Net Daily (March 9, 2008) - Syria is in the midst of "intensely" arming itself, placing into position rockets and missiles capable of striking the entire Jewish state, according to an assessment presented to the Knesset today by multiple Israeli security agencies. The announcement follows a WND exclusive report last month quoting security officials stating Syria, aided by Russia and Iran, has been furiously acquiring rockets and missiles, including projectiles capable of hitting any point in Israel. The officials listed anti-tank, anti-aircraft and ballistic missiles as some of the arms procured by Syria. Yesterday, Israel's Mossad and Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence chiefs presented an annual security report to the Knesset warning of Syria's armament program. The chiefs also warned of a possible flare-up at Israel's northern border with the Hezbollah terror group and said in their assessment Iran could cross the technological threshold enabling it to assemble a nuclear bomb by the end of next year. The assessment came after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last week negotiations between the Jewish state and Syria should be seriously considered it if would bring an end to Syrian-sponsored terrorism and Damascus' "involvement in the axis of evil." The negotiations would aim for some sort of Israeli evacuation from the Golan Heights strategic, mountainous territory looking down on Israeli and Syrian population centers twice used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into the Jewish state. Syria openly provides refuge to Palestinian terror leaders, including the chiefs of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and has been accused of shipping weapons to Hezbollah. Damascus is also accused of supporting the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq. more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Olmert Offers Judea, Samaria, Divides Jerusalem in Draft Accord Israel National News (March 7, 2008) - Israel's government has agreed, in writing, to hand over 6,250 square kilometers of land – the equivalent of its entire biblical and strategic heartland - to an Arab terror state. So reports Dr. Guy Bechor, a leading expert on Arab affairs, who also supplies some of the details of the negotiations. Bechor reports, based on "leaks from the Palestinian side," that Israel has, in the past few days, presented Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas at least one draft of an "agreement of principles."

  • The agreement calls for a state named Palestine to be established alongside Israel, and have a territory of 6,250 square kilometers: the equivalent of all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
  • "Palestine" will be demilitarized.
  • Most of the Jewish communities built in Judea and Samaria over the past 40 years are to demolished and their inhabitants expelled, according to the plan. The remaining communities are to be concentrated in small salients for which the Arab state will be compensated with additional territory elsewhere in present-day Israel.
  • A passage of some sort will connect Gaza and Judea and Samaria. It will be under Jewish sovereignty and Palestinian administration.
  • Israel agrees to re-divide Jerusalem. Arab neighborhoods will be under Arab sovereignty and Jewish ones under Jewish sovereignty. Mention is made of "religious areas," but further details are not known as of yet. Each side will recognize the other's spiritual needs.
  • The "refugee" question is not mentioned at all, and Bechor reports that this is the main sticking point. Abbas is insisting that Arabs descended from those who fled Israel in 1948 be allowed to return to Israel, at least in principle.

Bechor says that Abbas and his men have gone over the draft and are not pleased; they know how to negotiate, he notes. In a recent interview with PA TV, Abbas said that "declarations of principles are a waste of time" and "useless." What the PA wants, he said, is a clear timetable for establishing Palestine, as well as an Israeli pullback, demolition of Jewish communities and "return of refugees" (i.e., the flooding of Israel with Arab citizens). The Arabs are hoping Israel will become more pliable in November, when an international diplomatic conference, sponsored by the US, is to be held in an attempt to hammer out an accord. An official close to Mahmoud Abbas, Mustafa Bargouti, said that the idea of a conference is "an Israeli trap" and that nothing will come of it.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Attack will be seen in Messianic terms The Jerusalem Post (March 7, 2008) - While defense establishment officials sitting in the Kiriya military headquarters in Tel-Aviv ponder the diplomatic-security implications of last night's attack, a totally different analysis will be taking place this weekend around Shabbat dinner tables across Jerusalem and most West Bank settlements. The people directly affected by the deadly terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva are not just the students, their relatives and friends, but the much wider larger segment of the religious Zionist public. This segment of the population, already seething with anger, which started with the Disengagement in 2005, the Amona pullout, the government promises to America remove illegal outposts, the continued diplomatic process launched at Annapolis and its emphasis to talk about all topics, including Jerusalem, is going to be extremely unhappy about this attack. Together with the grief and sorrow, there is going to be a lot of angry talk about good and evil, about a religious war over the Holy Land. This attack was aimed specifically for the religious Zionist and settler population, and the terrorists knew that by speaking in this language, to these people, their message could only be interpreted in one way. This will be seen in terms of Ishmael and Isaac. Being messianic religious people, the religious Zionists are going to see this attack through the prism of messianic prophecy. Already I am hearing on religious Zionist radio stations people talking about the attack in prophetic terms, such as Isaiah 59 verse 20: And a redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. Settler radio talk- show hosts are interpreting this prophecy by saying that if the Jews don't stop Hamas, the Palestinians, Hizbullah and any other Islamic fundamentalists God will force the Jews to do it. The talk-show hosts blame Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and President Shimon Peres, and several callers into the broadcasts are unanimous in their condemnation of the Israeli government and calling on its removal. The fact that the Foreign Ministry has already come out with a formal statement saying the attack won't derail the talks with the Palestinian Authority will only fuel the anger of the settler population this weekend. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the Knesset from Sunday and the implications on the coalition. Shas will come under immense pressure to bolt the government. At the funeral procession speeches Friday at the Yeshiva, Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar began his comments with the Psalm for Assaf: "They have spilled blood like water around Jerusalem." Many of the top leadership of the religious Zionist movement, speaking at the funerals, spoke of revenge of the blood. The fact that the Jewish students were killed in a house of God touched the most basic nerve of many Israelis, and especially of the religious Zionist public. The rabbis called on the students not to carry out acts of revenge, saying that judgment is in God's realm. "God's vengeance will come swiftly," Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's secretary cried out in his rabbi's name. The eulogists also praised the deceased for their studiousness and deep connection to Torah and entreated those in attendance not to falter in their study of the sacred writ. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Now imagine the attitude of Israel once the Ezekiel 38,39 prophecy comes to pass and God destroys the armies with fire and brimstone from heaven in the mountains of Israel. Imagine the spiritual shift from the largely secular society that Israel is now to recognition of God's Truth in His Word. I believe this will invigorate them and rebuilding the temple will become their focus regardless of consequences, believing God is on their side. However they are still missing their Messiah, being blinded, and the worst is yet to come, the time of Jacob's trouble. See » The Coming Times: 2008 and Beyond

EU's Solana condemns Jerusalem attack European Jewish Press (March 6, 2008) - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana condemned Thursday night a deadly attack on a yeshiva or Jewish religious school in Jerusalem. "Javier Solana spoke tonight with the Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to condemn the terrorist that killed at least eight students and injured many more, " a statement from the EU Council said. Solana, who had talks in Israel earlier this week, sent to Livni his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Israeli authorities. A Palestinian terrorist entered the building of the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva religious school in Jerusalem late Thursday and started shooting, killing eight students and wounding 35. Security services in Israel have been on alert for the past three weeks since Israel was blamed by Hezbollah for the assassination in Baghdad of one of its top commanders, Imad Mughniye. France also condemned the attack. "France condemns in the strongest terms the horrible attack this evening in a Talmudic school in west Jerusalem which has caused the death of numerous civilians," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement. Kouchner called for "talks aimed at the creation of a Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel".
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Olmert, Abbas to resume talks despite massacres The Daily Star (March 6, 2008)

Hamas In Gaza Ask Children To Stand On Rooftops To Prevent IAF Attacks (March 4, 2008) - It is sad and traumatic to see images of women and especially children, wounded, maimed or killed in war. Regardless of their creed or origin. In the recent bout of violence between Israel and Palestinian terrorists, such images have been broadcasted worldwide several times a day, not only by the Palestinian and Arab networks, but also by the European and American ones. While the United Nations and Europe at large has condemned Israel for using excessive force in the Gaza Strip, almost all of the foreign networks have focused their broadcasts on the images of Palestinian children in Gaza who were wounded in the IAF strikes or killed. The same networks have refrained from showing images of children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot who were maimed for life after losing limbs in Kassam rocket barrages and others who have been traumatized for life, having to endure seven years of rocket barrages on their homes. Children in Sderot were also among the growing list of Israeli fatalities in recent years who fell victims to the Palestinian terror. The world at large has also failed to address the fact that Hamas and terror organizations in Gaza take advantage of the children and manipulate them to serve their cause. In a number of air strikes conducted by the IAF in recent days, leaflets were dropped calling on locals to evacuate their homes warning them. Hamas taking advantage of the situation encouraged children to stand on the rooftops in an effort to avert such strikes. Senior military officials told Yediot Aharonoth in a recent report, that a number of air strikes were called off at the last minute after the children were spotted at the site to be targeted. In the massive Hamas rallies held in Gaza, children are often dressed up in army fatigues, pose as would be suicide bombers wearing mock bomb belts. In the schools and kindergartens of Gaza, children are taught to seek Israel's destruction, and aspire to martyrdom. Palestinian media reports claim that women and children were among the 100 fatalities killed in the recent bout of violence in Gaza. Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi however declared on Monday that of the 100 killed 90 were armed terrorists. While the world is busy condemning Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has asked Israel's leading judicial authorities to examine the possibility of moving Palestinian civilians out of harms way prior to air strikes. The idea would give the IDF greater room to maneuver and target rocket crews. Barak also asked the officials to examine cutting fuel supplies to Gaza, firing single artillery shells against rocket fire. These are just a few examples but they also prove that Israel does its utmost to ensure that the civilian casualties are kept at a minimum. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the other side, who purposely choose to target Israeli civilian population centers. The terrorists choose to launch their attacks at Israel from Palestinian civilian areas, knowing that Israel will think twice before targeting a residential area. Suicide bombs and Kassam rockets kill. It is about time the world sees Hamas for what they really are, a murderous terror organization who seeks Israel's destruction.
| Israel | Islam |

U.S. Jews give Palestinian state endorsement World Net Daily (March 3, 2008) - The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, a coalition of major mainstream U.S. Jewish organizations, has for the first time given endorsement to a Palestinian state. But the firestorm of nationalist Jewish outrage on the Internet has targeted the Orthodox Union, or O.U., one of the largest U.S. Orthodox Jewish organizations representing hundreds of Orthodox synagogues, which abstained and did not vote against a successful resolution calling for a "two state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Surveys have consistently demonstrated American Orthodox Jews oppose a Palestinian state. "It is an outrage Jewish organizations would support a Palestinian state and it's a shock the O.U .would abstain," Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told WND. "When the Palestinian Authority refuses to arrest terrorists, engages in and glorifies murder against Jews, and puts out maps showing all of Israel is Palestine surrounded by rifles, it becomes clear any Palestinian state will be a terrorist state which will greatly harm Israel," Klein said. At a vote last week during its annual meetings, the JCPA resolved "the organized American Jewish community should affirm its support for two independent, democratic and economically viable states – the Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine – living side-by-side in peace and security." The resolution recognized American Jewry's "diverse views about current and future policies of the Israeli government towards settlements," and blamed the standstill in the peace process on Palestinian intransigence. The Council is an umbrella of 14 major national Jewish groups and 125 local Jewish community relations councils. Among the groups represented by the council are such giants as the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League , National Council of Bnai Brith, Hadassah, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and Hillel, the largest Jewish university outreach group. The O.U. was recipient of the most criticism for abstaining during the vote in which all other groups voted in favor. According to a source at the organization, e-mails have been pouring in from outraged Orthodox Jews. In a widely circulated e-mail, Pessach Aceman, a Canadian immigrant to Israel and a diarist for the BBC website, lambasted the Orthodox group as a "terror supporting organization through your silence." "What total hypocrisy this is," wrote Acement. "What this goes to show is that politics and funding rule the airwaves which makes your efforts totally hypocritical." Ted Belman, who runs the Israpundit blog, posted, "To my mind this resolution is very detrimental as it makes it harder for alternates to be forwarded. By endorsing this resolution are the O.U. and the others saying they support a two state solution regardless if it necessitates the division of Jerusalem?" In an official clarification, the O.U. released a statement that while it abstained from the final vote endorsing a Palestinian state, the group still managed to insert into the resolution's text a statement explaining Israel's repeated offers to establish a Palestinian state "have been met, time after time, by violence, incitement and terror.” The organization also successfully vetoed a clause that would have stated the American Jewish community views the establishment or expansion of Israeli communities in the West Bank as an "impediment to peace." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |
America |

Gaza: EU Slovenian presidency condemns ‘disproportionate use of force’ by Israel European Jewish Press (March 2, 2008) - The European Union has condemned on Sunday what it called the “disproportionate use of force" by Israel in the Gaza Strip as the EU’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana is arriving in the region. In a statement, the EU’s Slovenian presidency said: "The presidency condemns the recent disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) against Palestinian population in Gaza and urges Israel to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from all activities that endanger civilians." It added: "Such activities are contrary to international law. The Presidency at the same time reiterates condemnation of continued firing of rockets into Israeli territory and calls for its immediate end." The statement was issued after intense fighting in the Gaza Strip over the weekend in which fifty-four Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed. Senior Israeli political and military leaders have been mulling a major ground operation in the Gaza Strip for months, as Hamas militants launched daily rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel. The EU presidency said "it rejects collective punishment of the people of Gaza." "We are deeply worried about the suffering of the civilian population on Israeli and Palestinian side. We have stated too many times that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace and security,” the statement said... Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, has started on Sunday a 3-day visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. In Israel, Solana will meet on Monday with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak. On Tuesday, the EU official will travel to the Palestinian territories for meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei, chairman of the Palestinian negotiating team, and Saeb Erekat, head of the negotiations affairs department. According to his cabinet, Solana will stress the importance of keeping the Annapolis peace process on track and underline the EU's commitment to this process and its support for the parties. He will also stress the EU's readiness to help bring about and implement a solution to the situation in Gaza. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN
/ 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal |

Abbas Says Terrorist Path is Impractical - "Now" Israel National News (February 28, 2008) - Mahmoud Abbas - Israel's partner in peace talks and the head of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority - enjoys a reputation as a "moderate," largely in light of his juxtaposition with the arch-terrorists of his rivals/allies in Hamas. However, he now says that terrorism and violence against Israel are actually the preferred approach, and certainly need not be ruled out in the future. "At present," Abbas told the Jordanian newspaper A-Doustour, "I am against an armed struggle against Israel because we can't do it, but in the coming stages, things may change." "I do not rule out a return to the way of armed struggle against Israel," he said in the Wednesday night interview. Seventeen Arabs, mostly terrorists, have been killed in six Israel Air Force counter-terrorism actions in Gaza since Wednesday morning. One of the dead was the son of a top Hamas official. Abbas took pride in the fact that he was the first terrorist in the struggle against Israel. "I had the honor of firing, in 1965, the first bullet of the 'resistance', he boasted. He added that it was his Fatah organization that taught Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations in the world how to run terrorist campaigns. Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, said that he does not demand that Hamas - the terrorist movement that violently wrested control of Gaza from Fatah last year - recognize Israel at present. "I wanted to establish a unity government with Hamas that would negotiate with Israel," he said. "Syria's Bashar Assad supported me... I am not the only one who wants recognition of Israel; the Arab initiative, which is a matter of consensus in the Arab and Islamic worlds, also says this." Abbas was happy about rejecting the notion of Israel as a "Jewish state." He said that in the Annapolis Summit of last November, "they wanted us to agree to a summation saying that Israel is a Jewish state, and we objected strongly. The summit almost blew up because of this."
| Israel | Islam |

Part of Jerusalem Officially Labeled PA Territory Israel National News (February 27, 2008) - Israeli authorities have placed several signs near the Atarot area in northern Jerusalem recently warning travelers, “You are entering territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Israelis are absolutely forbidden to enter!” Approximately 25,000 residents of Jerusalem, some of them Israeli citizens, live in the areas now designated as PA territory. Jerusalem Forum chairman Aryeh King said Wednesday that approximately 1,200 dunams of property owned by Jews were located beyond the signs. The government violated laws regarding Jerusalem by putting up the signs, King said. The signs prove the government is acting to make its policy of splitting Jerusalem a reality, he said. King said he plans to lead a tour on Thursday in areas that fall within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem but are in practice controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The tour will begin at the Kalandia checkpoint at 12 p.m. and end in the biblical village of Mitzpa.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Alarmed rabbis: Prime minister dividing Jerusalem WorldNet Daily (February 26, 2008) - A group of hundreds of prominent Israeli rabbis this week urged a religious partner of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government to immediately bolt the Israeli leader's coalition amid rampant media reports Jerusalem is up for negotiations. The rabbis warned that if the Orthodox Shas party remains in Olmert's government, they will urge Jews against supporting Shas. If the party bolts, Olmert's coalition government could fall apart, precipitating new elections. "We are seriously considering issuing a statement signed by the hundreds of rabbis of the organization declaring it is absolutely forbidden for any observant Jew to vote for a party that lent its support to a government that negotiated the division of Jerusalem, a move that will place the entire population in Israel in mortal danger," Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, director general of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, told WND. The Congress is a coalition of more than 350 Israeli rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis. Olmert repeatedly has insisted Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are not dealing with the status of Jerusalem, while Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abba, and many Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, stated in recent weeks negotiations are covering all core issues, including Jerusalem. The Israeli Shas party has stated it would bolt the prime minister's coalition if it becomes clear the Israeli government is negotiating the ceding of any part of Jerusalem. Shas' departure could collapse Olmert's government. Olmert must maintain a majority of the Knesset's 120 seats to continue ruling. He currently rules with a slight plurality. If Shas, with its 12 seats, bolts the government, Olmert would be forced to forge a new coalition or face new elections. Most analysts here believe if Shas does bolt, Olmert could only stay in power if he invites Arab parties to his government, a move that would be considered highly controversial. Shas denies Jerusalem is being discussed during weekly Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which commenced after last November's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit. "Nobody is talking about Jerusalem. The moment Jerusalem is being discussed, Shas will leave the government – period," Shas Spokesman Roi Lachmanovitch told Israel National News. A Rabbinical Congress for Peace statement issued after an emergency meeting yesterday countered: "Every novice journalist and anyone listening to the news in Israel knows that giving up large chunks of Jerusalem has been on the negotiating table for quite some time and is in its advanced stages. Only the representatives of Shas are burying their heads in the ground and pretend they know of nothing." "They are lying to themselves and deceiving their electorate. The Shas ministers know that Olmert and Abbas have agreed not to make public any agreement on Jerusalem until after the final signature in order to keep Shas in the government," said the RCP statement. The statement was signed by scores of prominent rabbinic leaders here. Since the Annapolis summit, which aimed to create a Palestinian state before the end of the year, senior negotiating teams including Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia have been meeting weekly while Olmert and Abbas meet biweekly. Unlike previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in which both sides attended with about a dozen advisors each, Livni's and Quereai's teams are small, usually consisting at most of five people each. Media leaks from the current negotiations have been rare. Some momentum is highly expected before a visit Bush has scheduled to Israel in May, his second trip since Annapolis. Olmert's government has hinted a number of times it will divide Jerusalem and reportedly has halted all Jewish construction permits for eastern sections of the city. In December, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said the country "must" give up sections of Jerusalem for a future Palestinian state, even conceding the Palestinians can rename Jerusalem "to whatever they want." "We must come today and say, friends, the Jewish neighborhoods, including Har Homa, will remain under Israeli sovereignty, and the Arab neighborhoods will be the Palestinian capital, which they will call Jerusalem or whatever they want," said Ramon during an interview. Positions held by Ramon, a ranking member of Olmert's Kadima party, are largely considered to be reflective of Israeli government policy. Olmert himself recently questioned whether it was "really necessary" to retain Arab-majority eastern sections of Jerusalem. Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians have claimed eastern Jerusalem as a future capital; the area has large Arab neighborhoods, a significant Jewish population and sites holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. About 231,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern neighborhoods, and many reside in illegally constructed complexes. The city has an estimated total population of 724,000. Ramon listed population statistics as the reason Olmert's government finds it necessary to split Jerusalem. But WND broke the story that according to Jerusalem municipal employees, during 10 years as mayor of Jerusalem, Olmert instructed city workers not to take action against hundreds of illicit Arab building projects throughout eastern sections of Jerusalem housing over 100,000 Arabs squatting in the city illegally. The workers and some former employees claim Olmert even instructed city officials to delete files documenting illegal Arab construction of housing units in eastern Jerusalem. Olmert was Jerusalem mayor from 1993 to 2003. As mayor, he made repeated public statements calling Jerusalem the "eternal and undivided capital" of Israel. Jerusalem municipal employees and former workers, though, paint a starkly contrasting picture of the prime minister. "He did nothing about rampant illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem while the government cracked down on illegal Jewish construction in the West Bank," said one municipal employee who worked under Olmert. She spoke on condition of anonymity, because she still works for the municipality. One former municipal worker during Olmert's mayoral tenure told WND he was moved in 1999 to a new government posting after he tried to highlight the illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem. He also spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his current job. Aryeh King, chairman of the Jerusalem Forum, which promotes Jewish construction in Jerusalem, told WND an investigation by his group found Olmert's city hall deleted files documenting hundreds of illegal Arab building projects throughout eastern sections of Jerusalem. He said he forwarded his findings to Israel's state comptroller for investigation. King also claims Olmert told senior municipal workers not to enforce a ban on illegal Arab buildings. "Ehud Olmert gave the order not to deal with the problem and not to put Israeli security forces to the duty of taking down the illegal Arab complexes," said King. "Senior municipal workers told me Olmert said not to bother with the illegal Arab homes, because eventually eastern Jerusalem would be given to the Palestinian Authority." King's report alleges Jerusalem municipal officials erased the files, which detail over 300 cases of Arab construction in eastern Jerusalem deemed illegal starting from 1999. The illegal buildings reportedly were constructed without permits and are still standing. According to law, they must be demolished. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Kuwaiti Paper: Mega-Attack on Israel in March Israel National News (February 26, 2008) - The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan quoted "top Western sources" Monday saying that, "according to reliable intelligence information, Hizbullah has begun planning a large-scale attack on Israel in retaliation for its [alleged] assassination of senior Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyah." According to the report, translated by MEMRI, the attack is being planned in coordination with Syria and Iran, and is to take place before the Arab summit next month. It was also reported that there would be a simultaneous terrorist escalation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other PA groups in Gaza.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Holy land in escrow YNet News (February 25, 2008) - After years in which various Jewish associations have bought up scopes of land in east Jerusalem, with the declared intention of maintaining the city's Jewish nature – they now find themselves bidding against various Muslim and Christian associations wishing to get a hold of land in the city's east. As reported in Yedioth Ahronoth Monday, wealthy West Bank-based Palestinians, funded by Persian Gulf benefactors, have been attempting to buy as much land as possible in east Jerusalem, concentrating their efforts in the Old City, in order to push out the Jewish associations – doing exactly the same. Backed by private millionaires, Muslim foundations, Arab banks, the PLO's Orient House's Housing Division and even several affiliates linked to Hamas, these Arab associations offer twice, even three times, the property value compared to their Jewish counterparts. Many Arab associations offer mortgages in favorable rates to any Muslim buying property in Jerusalem. Arab associations, said the report, have bought 12 apartments in the Old City in the last four months alone, with four more apartments in the Muslim Quarter in escrow. These associations have also bid on property located in Jerusalem's Shoafat and Beit Hanina neighborhoods, on the Mount of Olives; and have recently purchased a five-acre stretch of land in south Jerusalem, with the intention of building a new Palestinian neighborhood. Palestinian sources claim Turkey has also become involved in the land venture, aiding Arab associations by denying the Jewish ones access to Ottoman land records – which may prove historical Jewish ownership of the land. The various Christian associations found in the mix have reportedly been concentrating their efforts in buying land near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Jerusalem's Christian Quarter. Right-wing activist Arieh King, funded by Jewish billionaire Irwin Moscovitch, has recently formed the Israel Land Foundation, in an attempt to stop Arab associations from acquiring any more land in Jerusalem, by outbidding them. "If the Jewish National Fund would have done its job and buy these lands for the Jewish people, my work would be redundant," said King, "but the Palestinian associations are pouring tens of millions of dollars on lands in east Jerusalem, while not even one of our efforts is government funded." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Most New Olim in Jerusalem From Western Countries YNet News (February 25, 2008) - Some 68% of the new immigrants who arrived in Jerusalem in the last four years came from western countries, data presented by the Immigration Absorption Ministry revealed on the evening of February 24. In recent years, the capital has become an attraction for olim [immigrants to Israel] from France and North America, who also had a significant effect on the real estate market in Jerusalem. In the last two years, about half of the apartments in upscale neighborhoods in the capital were purchased by French and North American immigrants. According to the ministry's statistics, most of these new olim [immigrants to Israel] define themselves as religious. Some 25% of the immigrants from France define themselves as haredim, 65% as religious and about 10% as observant or secular. Among those who emigrated from North America, 17% define themselves as haredim, 72% as religious, and 11% as secular. Miriam and Philippe Gondin made Aliyah [immigration to Israel] from France last July and settled in Jerusalem. The two have since managed to find employment, Philippe as a teacher in a school for children with special needs, and Miriam as coordinator for the French community in the city. In a conversation with Ynet, the couple said that they had decided to immigrate due to the rising anti-Semitism in France and the growing feeling that they no longer belonged in the country. "It was difficult at first, also in terms of the language, but we're not sorry, because thanks to the relatives who are here and our friends in the community, we have found our place…we only wish that our children become assimilated as well and turn into genuine Israelis," they said.
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Abbas: Peace in 2008 or never The Jerusalem Post (February 25, 2008) - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged the US on Monday to make good on its promise to work for a Middle East peace settlement by the end of the year, warning that there would not be any future chances. Abbas spoke following a closed door meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in the Jordanian capital of Amman and warned that if the Bush administration didn't make good on its pledge to "make 2008 the year to broker peace, then there will never be any future chances to achieve this goal." The Palestinians and Israelis are negotiating a final peace settlement, which the Bush administration hopes would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state later this year. The US "must understand it is to play an active role, not just as a supervisor, by intervening directly to help make peace," Abbas told reporters. He also urged Israel "to stop escalating the situation in the Palestinian territories and stop all attacks in the Gaza Strip, including firing missiles there." For his part, Abdullah expressed dismay over the rapidly deteriorating living conditions in Gaza and called for end to the economic blockade imposed there, according to a royal palace statement. The king emphasized that Jordan refused any partial solution or unilateral actions on the Palestinian issue which would create "real obstacles to achieving tangible progress in the peace process," the statement said. Gaza's battered economy has nearly collapsed under the weight of the closure and basic services to 1.4 million Palestinians - such as water, sewerage, medical care and education - have been crippled. "Gaza is on the edge of an explosion," Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, warned Monday. A separate palace statement announced that Abdullah and his Palestinian-born wife Queen Rania will visit the United States later this month for meetings with President George W. Bush and other administration officials on Mideast peacemaking. The statement did not give a specific date for the meeting with Bush, but said the visit would start Feb. 28.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | 1st Seal |

Foreign Ministry: Peace talks on the right track The Jerusalem Post (February 24, 2008) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed to set up three committees to deal with civil affairs issues: water and the environment; legal matters; and economic subjects. The move came as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held another round of talks Sunday with the head of the Palestinian final status negotiating team, former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qurei. The regular negotiating teams were joined by 20 experts - 10 from each side - who will make up the core of the three new committees. Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel hailed the move as an indication that the negotiations were on the right track. "It's definitely a sign of progress," Mekel told The Jerusalem Post. "An indication that the negotiations are moving forward." The idea is that the new panels will meet regularly, in parallel with the main negotiating teams, which will stick to the core issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The Israeli representatives on the new committees include the directors-general of a number of ministries who met with Livni last week to draw up the government's position on a variety of the technical issues. The Palestinian experts include five former PA ministers. Up till now it has been difficult to assess the state of the final status talks, which were launched in the wake of November's Annapolis gathering, as both sides observed a policy of discretion fearing any publicity could damage the chances of success. Both parties seem to have backtracked over recent weeks from the initial goal of clinching a peace agreement this year, before the next US administration takes over. Both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad spoke publicly of a declaration of principles as being a more realistic prospect for 2008 than a fully-fledged peace deal. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that what was decided on Sunday was that when experts are needed they will be brought in by the parties.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | 1st Seal |

Damascus Seizes on Mughniyeh Killing for Lebanon Comeback DEBKAfile (February 18, 2008) - Syria is not waiting for its official investigation to wind up and expose the party responsible for killing Hizballah commander and Tehran’s terror tactician in Damascus on Feb. 13 - any more than Hizballah, when its leaders accuse Israel. Tehran, Syria and Hizballah have all threatened revenge against Israel within or outside its borders. However, Bashar Assad’s strategists are not losing a moment to cash in on the abundant conspiracy theories surrounding the death, to plant one of its own: Mughniyeh, they say, was killed in their capital by their Lebanese enemies. Therefore, it is feared in Washington and Jerusalem that, while plotting revenge on Israel, Hizballah, backed by the Syrian commando units, will launch attacks on Lebanese national intelligence and Druze targets in Beirut and Mt. Lebanon – they point a finger at Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. Their immediate goal would be to overthrow the pro-Western, anti-Syrian government headed by Fouad Siniora and stir up a new civil war. The door would then re-open for Syria to make a comeback to the troubled country and move troops in for the first time since they were thrown out in 2005, in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions. Syria’s machinations give substance to Director of US National Intelligence Mike McConnell’s assertion to Fox TV Sunday, Feb. 17, that, while Hizballah is blaming Israel, “…there's some evidence that it may have been internal Hezbollah. It may have been Syria. We don't know yet, and we're trying to sort that out.” “It is a serious threat, and it's primarily against Israel,” said the US intelligence director. “But …let me just mention about Mughniyeh… (He was) responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden. So this man over time had lots of enemies. Remember, he's a Shia, and oftentimes his targets could be Sunni as well as against Israel.” Last week, the FBI placed counter-terror squads on alert in the US against attacks on synagogues and other potential Jewish targets. In July 2007, McConnell referred to Hezbollah sleeper cells in the United States waiting for orders to spring into action. Our sources report they are part of the trans-continental network which Mughniyeh himself established on behalf of Hizballah and Tehran. Meanwhile, in Beirut, DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report sporadic clashes already erupting in Beirut in the last few days between pro-government and pro-Hizballah adherents. Sunday, Feb. 17, unidentified gunmen shot up a Lebanese army unit near the Sabra district in south Beirut, killing one person and injuring others. Barricades and manned positions have gone up ominously in the Lebanese capital and no-go zones set up between flashpoint districts. Syrian sources promise the results of their finished inquiry will cause an earthquake in the Arab world and Middle East when they are published Saturday, Feb. 22. Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has scheduled another of his broadcast speeches for the same day - this one to mark the anniversary of his predecessor Abbas Musawi’s death in 1992, which was also attributed to Israel. The two events are feared by US and Israeli officials to have been coordinated on the same day to flash the signal for the Syrian-Hizballah plan to start unfolding. DEBKAfile outlines the case Syria has begun putting together to incriminate its Lebanese enemies:

1. A large Mossad spy-cum-terror ring was allegedly uncovered in Damascus and Beirut. Its mission was to keep tabs on Syrian commanders, Hizballah heads and Palestinian leaders before liquidating them.

2. The ring comprised Lebanese members as well as collaborators from a key Arab intelligence body, possibly Saudi or Jordanian. DEBKAfile sources report that Damascus, increasingly isolated in the mainstream Arab world over Lebanon and its ties with Tehran, has no qualms about confronting Saudi Arabia and Jordan and accusing their intelligence agencies of being in league with Israel to destroy the “Arab resistance movement.” Saudi Arabia has indicated that its chair will be empty at the forthcoming Arab League summit in Damascus at the end of March.

3. Syria claims to have found evidence that two Lebanese intelligence agencies are involved in the Mossad ring. One is the research branch of the Lebanese General Security Service, whose director, Capt. Wissam Eid, was murdered in a car bomb attack in Beirut on Jan. 25. Capt. Eid was deeply involved in gathering evidence for the Hariri assassination case and uncovering The Syrian leadership’s criminal involvement. Our intelligence sources note that success by a Syrian undercover team in immobilizing this service would not only deprive the Fouad government of its primary security shield, but also bring the investigation into the three-year old assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister to a halt – just when the international tribunal is preparing to start work in the Netherlands. The second clandestine Lebanese agency which Syria stigmatizes as part of the Mossad network is the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s private intelligence service. Syria claims to have exposed the personal involvement of its director, Hisham Nasser e-Din. This charge would justify the targeting of the Druze leader and his domain on Mt. Lebanon. Jumblatt, whose father was assassinated on orders of Bashar Assad’s father, is marked as the Syrian president’s most implacable Lebanese foe.

4. The Syrian investigators are seeking to prove that Mughniyeh was killed while walking on foot from the house where he was staying in Damascus to the Mitsubishi SUV and that the vehicle was in fact rigged as a bomb car which detonated on his approach. They further claim that more explosive devices were planted along his path in case the first one missed its mark. This is important to support the Syrian case, because they claim to have tracked down the vehicle’s Lebanese owner and fixed the time when he entered Syria.

5. They say the explosive was laced with 3,000 steel nails, which killed the targeted Hizballah commander and pockmarked surrounding buildings.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Syria, Iran foresee large clash with Israel Haaretz (February 17, 2008) - Syrian and Iranian officials believe there will be a serious military confrontation with Israel in the near future, according to Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese daily affiliated with Hezbollah. Hezbollah's response to the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, the organization's operations chief, will force Israel to make a "difficult decision," the newspaper stated in an editorial. Hezbollah blames Israel for Mughniyah's assassination in Damascus last week. Ibrahim al-Amin, Al-Akhbar's editor, said in a televised interview that Hezbollah does not intend to accept Mughniyah's assassination quietly. Hezbollah's response "will force Israel to make a big decision," he said. However, he insisted that Hezbollah was not interested in a war with Israel. Meanwhile, the defense establishment is bracing for a response from Hezbollah. It is concerned the group may use an explosives-laden unmanned aerial vehicle to attack a civilian or military target in northern or central Israel. The Israel Air Force is on alert for this. To date, Hezbollah has dispatched five Iranian-made drones against Israel, three of them during the Second Lebanon War in August 2006. Two were shot down by the air force, and one crashed. The drones were loaded with dozens of kilograms of high-grade explosives and apparently had been intended to crash in the heavily populated Dan region. The IDF also has bolstered its forces along the northern border, anticipating Hezbollah may launch a massive rocket attack on the area. However, the army has no specific information about the group's intentions in this regard. Meanwhile, the Lebanese media announced that Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has appointed a successor to Mughniyah, but his identity has not been revealed. Israeli sources said Mughniyah's successor is one of three persons: Ibrahim Akil, who is in charge of southern Lebanon; Fuad Sukur, a senior militia figure; or Talal Hamiyah, who was Mughniyah's deputy. Meanwhile, the Lebanese media said none of these men are being considered. The Lebanese daily Al-Safir reported yesterday that Hezbollah has gone on high alert in southern Lebanon and evacuated all of its local headquarters, fearing Israeli air strikes. According to the report, the organization has mobilized 50,000 militiamen. Meanwhile, in Syria, the investigation into Mughniyah's assassination continues. "The investigation is being carried out with complete secrecy because of Mughniyah's sensitive location before the ambush," Al-Akhbar reported yesterday. Mughniyah had emerged from a meeting shortly before he was killed. He was killed near the offices of the chief of Syrian intelligence, Asif Shuwekat, who is President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law. Several Palestinians were arrested for suspected involvement in the killing, the newspaper reported.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Isaiah 17:9, "In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation." Could Israel's big decision end up being a pre-emptive attack on the plotters in Damascus that results in its destruction? And given Syria's defense agreement with Iran, could we see Iran and friends (Russia, Turkey, Libya, etc.) come to Israel with "hooks in their jaws?" I don't believe the time is right just yet because Israel is not dwelling in safety as rockets continue to rain down. However, it is this very kind of building conflict that I believe will ultimately lead to Bible prophecy once again being fulfilled 100%. Keep watching!

Israel, US discuss deploying NATO troops in West Bank Jerusalem Post (February 20, 2008) - The United States is reviewing the feasibility of deploying a NATO force in the West Bank as a way to ease IDF security concerns and facilitate an Israeli withdrawal from the area within the coming years, defense officials have told The Jerusalem Post. The plan, which is being spearheaded by US Special Envoy to the region Gen. James Jones, is being floated among European countries, which could be asked to contribute troops to a West Bank multinational force. Jones, a former commander of NATO, was sent to Israel in November to help the Israelis and Palestinians frame some of the security mechanics necessary for a broader peace agreement. As first reported in the Post last month, Jones's plan calls for stationing third-party troops in the West Bank to secure the area in the interim period following an Israeli withdrawal and before the Palestinian Authority can take over full security control. "The deployment of such a force has come up in talks, and Jones is known to be working on it," a senior defense official said Tuesday. "At the moment, it's just an idea and has yet to be accepted or adopted by Israel." Defense Minister Ehud Barak has met with Jones and been briefed on the plan, but has yet to finalize his position. An official close to Barak said the deployment of a multinational force in the West Bank could create operational challenges for the IDF if it decided to respond to Palestinian terror attacks following the withdrawal. One of the issues that most concerns Israel is whether under such a withdrawal, the IDF would retain its operational freedom in the West Bank despite the presence of the multinational force. "If they fire a Kassam rocket into Israel, will we be able to respond, or will we need to rely on the foreign troops stationed there?" one defense official asked. On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones hinted at the possibility of deploying an international force for the period following a withdrawal and until the PA could ensure security in the West Bank. Speaking at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jones also predicted that it would take several years before any such plan was implemented. "This is going to be a long, hard slog," he said. "But once a mutually accepted vision is accepted, both sides will accept the reality and encourage each side to work towards goals set out by the road map." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

'Syria and Iran anticipating serious military clash with Israel' Jerusalem Newswire (February 17, 2008) - Damascus and Tehran expect to soon be caught up in a military confrontation with Israel. According to a report in Al-Ahkbar, a Lebanese newspaper said to be affiliated with Hizb'allah, the Syrian and Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization does not intend to let last week's execution of top terrorist Amad Mugniyah be left unanswered. The concensus in the region is that Israel was behind the blowing up of Mugniyah's car, and Hizb'allah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to make Israel pay in "open war." Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the cabinet in Jerusalem Sunday he has put the Israeli Air Force on alert for a possible Hizb'allah attack against Jewish communities in the north. Barak said Israel was prepared for the possibility that an explosives-laden pilotless drone could be sent to explode inside an Israeli community.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Earthquake Damages Temple Mount and Shechem Unsealed Prophecy (February 17, 2008) - An earthquake shook Israel at 12:37 PM Friday. The only damage reported in Israel was on the Temple Mount and near Shechem (Nablus).The earthquake measured 5.3 on the Richter scale; its epicenter was located in northeastern Lebanon. Earlier last week an earthquake measuring 4.1 was felt in northern Israel, also originating from Lebanon, near its northern city of Tyre.A large hole opened up on the Temple Mount during Friday’s earthquake, which was soon covered by officials from the Wakf Islamic Authority that administers the mosques built atop Judaism’s holiest site. The only other reported damage in the Holy Land was incurred between Palestinian Authority-controlled Shechem (Nablus) and Jenin, where an old home collapsed, blocking the main road to the village of Khufin. The village is not far from the site of the Biblical Joseph’s Tomb, which was set ablaze by Muslim vandals last week. At least five people were injured and two homes were destroyed in southern Lebanon as a result of Friday’s quake. Wakf officials tried to blame Israel for the 6-foot by 5-foot hole, which is about three feet deep, claiming it was caused by Israel, which it accuses of tunneling beneath the Temple Mount. They demanded an end to all Israeli excavations in the area. Though several excavation projects are taking place around the Western Wall Plaza, none of them entail tunneling past the wall itself and beneath the mount. The Wakf’s official position is that there was never a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount and has gone to great efforts to erase archaeological evidence of Judaism’s historical ties to the site. Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz issued a statement rejecting the Muslim claims. “These are mendacious reports without a grain of truth,” he said, adding that work in the Temple Mount compound would be contrary to Jewish law. “Such claims are a desecration and cause hatred and incitement for no reason whatsoever,” Rabbi Rabinowitz said. He stressed that work on the Rambam (Mughrabi) Gate ramp to the Temple Mount is vital for the safety of those who visit the Western Wall and called on the authorities to finish the work speedily.
| Israel | Islam | Temple Mount | Earth Changes |

Barkat: Secret agreement to divide Jerusalem reached YNet News (February 13, 2008) - Jerusalem municipal opposition leader accuses Prime Minister Olmert, Vice Premier Ramon of 'deceiving Israeli citizens'. Ramon aide: This is nonsense. Israeli and Palestinian representatives have reached an agreement to divide Jerusalem, the capital's municipal opposition leader Nir Barkat said Wednesday. "(Vice Premier) Haim Ramon and the prime minister are deceiving Israel's citizens," Barkat added after exchanging letters with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the negotiations with the Palestinians. Barkat based his accusations on information from "senior sources" which he refused to reveal, claiming that Ramon and Palestinian tycoon Muhammad Rashid had agreed in secret talks on Jerusalem's division. "Livni refuses to reveal the fundamental information she has, according to which there is a secret channel which is not being led by the Foreign Ministry. Knowing this makes her an accomplice in this political deceit, which is really aimed at dividing Jerusalem behind Israeli citizens' backs," said Barkat. In his letter to Livni, Barkat wrote, "I was amazed to learn that a senior and official Palestinian source was quoted as saying that 'we can say that Israel is ready to pullout of all the Arab villages and neighborhoods in Jerusalem.'" He went on to demand that "the secret agreements" be revealed or that denied. "I would like to remind you that if this is true, it constitutes a complete deviation from Kadima's basic principles, a blatant violation of Basic Law: Jerusalem, a breach of the voter's trust and an undermining of the Knesset's sovereignty," he wrote. The foreign minister replied in a letter, "In Annapolis (peace conference) it was decided that Israel and the Palestinians would hold negotiations in which all the core issues would be discussed, with no exception," confirming that negotiations are being held on the Jerusalem issue, contrary to Prime Minister Ehud Olmer's remarks in Berlin that the Jerusalem issue would be postponed to the end of the process. Livni noted in her letter that "the negotiations are being conducted according to an agreement between the parties, which states that until everything is agreed upon there will be no agreement, and that the contents will not be made public." An official at Ramon's office said in response, "This is nonsense. These remarks are unfounded and nothing of this kind took place." Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said in response to Barkat's claims, "This is a groundless conspiracy theory. The prime minister and the Palestinian president meet face to face and do not need anyone's mediation. "The negotiations are being held in a responsible manner by the prime minister opposite the Palestinian Authority. There is no need for a secret channel, and therefore all attempts to invent secret chancels are doomed to fail." Barkat's remarks joined voices from the coalition by members of the Shas faction, who threatened to quit the government once negotiations on Jerusalem are launched. Last week, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai called on the government to cease the negotiations with the Palestinians following the terror attack in Dimona.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Dividing the Land |

While I don't know if these "secret talks" are real or not, I do believe the Bible says that Jerusalem will be divided. Indeed this push for peace in the Middle East is centered around creating a Palestinian state on current Israeli lands. There is a time when half the city will go into captivity and the other half will remain, the question is when it will happen. With the touchiness of this subject, I wouldn't be surprised if sneakiness is involved in bringing the peace in the hopes that once there is a Palestinian state and Israelis can live in peace that they will deem the loss of land worth the peace.

Revising Israel's History With Google Earth WorldNet Daily (February 11, 2008) - An Israeli town is suing Internet giant Google after surprised municipal officials discovered Google Earth, the popular, user-driven satellite map, labels their city as stolen Palestinian land. "The label is simply complete nonsense," Yossi Ben-Artzi, a history professor at Israel's Haifa University told Yediot Ahronot, Israel's leading daily. "Kiryat Yam was built on sand dunes, and there wasn't any Palestinian village in the area. The lands were bought in 1939 by the Gav Yam construction company." The professor was responding to a criminal complaint filed by the northern Israeli coastal town of Kiryat Yam, which a Google Earth user mapped as stolen by Jews when Israel was founded in 1948. About 600,000 Arabs fled Israel after surrounding Arab countries warned they would destroy the Jewish state in 1948. Some Arabs also were driven out by Jewish forces while they were trying to push back invading Arab armies. At the same time, over 800,000 Jews were expelled or left Arab countries under threat after Israel was founded. The Google Earth user, identified as Palestinian physician Thameen Darby, inserted a note on the map saying Kiryat Yam was built in 1948 at the location of a former Arab town called Ghawarina. Ghawarina, though, is widely thought to be about 10 miles south of Kiryat Yat, in an Arab village currently named Jisr el-Zarka. "This is one of the Palestinian localities evacuated and destroyed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war," Darby posted above Kiryat Yam. Darby's claim is strange since Kiryat Yam was founded in the 1930s and not in 1948, when he claims Jews expelled Arabs from the site. An official Google response e-mailed to WND explained Google Earth is user driven: "Content reflects what people contribute, not what Google believes to be true. ... While we recognize that some may find the user-generated content objectionable, we are careful to balance the integrity of an open forum with the legal requirements of local governments. If an overlay does not breach our Terms and Conditions and is not in any way illegal, it is our policy not to remove it." A Google spokesman told the Associated Press Darby's posting on the map doesn't violate Google policy and that the Palestinian label would not be removed. This is not the first time Google Earth drew controversy alleging pro-Palestinian bias. WND reported last year while Jerusalem serves as Israel's capital, and the Temple Mount is located within Israeli sovereignty, Google Earth divides the city and places the Mount – Judaism's holiest site – within Palestinian territory. Interactive Google Earth maps still mark eastern sections of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as "occupied territory," set to become part of a future Palestinian state. The United Nations considers eastern sections of Jerusalem, recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, to be "disputed" and not "occupied." The Israeli Knesset officially annexed the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital in 1980. "Google Earth is reinforcing lies," Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, told WND. "The Muslims have engaged in a systemic campaign to re-write history and erase any traces of Judaism from the Temple Mount in total disregard to all actual archeological and historic evidence," he continued. "Now Google Earth has given in to this campaign." Jerusalem first was divided into eastern and western sections when Jordan invaded and occupied the city and the Temple Mount area in 1947, expelling all Jewish inhabitants. Israel originally built its capital in the western part of the city, while the eastern quarters remained under Jordanian control until Israel regained them in 1967. more...
| Israel | Islam |

'Arab view of deal close to Israel's' The Jerusalem Post (February 10, 2008) - The Arab world truly wants the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved urgently, and many Arab leaders back terms for a permanent accord "very close to what Israel is wanting," Quartet peace envoy Tony Blair told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend. "I spend a lot of time talking to the Arabs," said Blair. "I have a genuine belief, and this is not shared by everyone in Israel: The Arabs genuinely want this settled now. There were Arab leaders, I don't want to say which, talking to me recently about the type of settlement, the type of agreement which they would accept. I would say it is very close to what Israel is wanting and on some of the most sensitive questions." Although Blair preferred not to identify which leaders he was referring to, he went on to speak about leaders in "Gulf and Arab states," and especially the younger leadership generation, who "want to be on the cutting edge of globalization; they want to be 21st century economies. And they realize their politics and their culture have got to start coming into synch with their economies." Blair described the Arab world as being "in transition." The question, he said, was what it would "transition into": either this modern, globalized, cutting edge vision or the Islamists' "battle to the death" against "the West and its allies including Israel." The would-be modernizers, he said, regard solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "as an important part in making sure that their vision beats the other vision." At a time when even Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad is saying that he does not believe a permanent accord can be reached this year, Blair remained insistent that the Annapolis timetable was "doable," provided there was sufficient "urgency, focus, determination and strategy." He faulted Israel for not acting with sufficient urgency to speed up a range of economic projects that could immediately benefit Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. He also asserted that freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank could be improved without compromising Israeli security. He said he was encouraged that the West Bank economy was now showing gradual growth. "It is limited and small, but it is there." And on the matter of PA security control, he noted that limited improvements in the Nablus area meant he had now been able to visit the city (on Thursday) whereas just months ago it would have been too dangerous. "The governor of Nablus was describing to me a situation where this time last year there were armed gangs going into his predecessor's office, shooting the place up. That's not happening now." At the same time, the former British prime minister said he completely understood that Israel could not dramatically ease its own security precautions in the West Bank for fear of an immediate upsurge in violence. But "no one is asking for a dramatic easing [of security controls]. People are asking for a step-by-step easing, as the Palestinians show step-by-step capability. "Now the Palestinians have to do a lot more on this," Blair went on. The PA had to properly plan and fund a security overhaul, retrain its security forces, "pension off" those who were unfit - "in other words, to start operating like the Jordanians operate. They are a way off that, which is why I'm not sitting here saying there should be a dramatic easing. But there can be some." Obviously, Blair elaborated, Israel insisted on checkpoints for people leaving Nablus "because of what happened" - a reference to suicide bombers and other terrorist attackers dispatched from the city. But he suggested that the checkpoints could be more efficient - "a lot quicker, a lot better... particularly for people who are trying to do business." Blair said he had been speaking to businesspeople who were routinely held up for hours at checkpoints, and that this undermined any optimism about a viable diplomatic process. "At the moment, if Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] stands up in front of them and says, 'Actually guys, we're going to have a state,' they'd say, 'You must be joking.'"
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Bad News in Gaza? Look For Tehran World Jewish Congress Newsletter (February 6, 2008) -  Wherever you find bad news in Gaza or bad news in the West Bank, you will find Tehran and its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups who receive their money and marching orders from the Iranian regime and do its bidding. Take the case of the fence in Gaza. In these last weeks, the fence and border between the divided city of Rafah and Gaza was blown up by Hamas, causing a refugee flood into the Sinai for, we were told, flour and toothpaste. In fact, the cause was a deliberate, preplanned provocation. This process started about one to 3 months ago as Hamas, under the electronic gaze of the Egyptians, utilized torches to cut the base supports of the fence and cause its collapse. Sick of incessant rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, Israel was considering re-entering and re-taking the Philadephi route to stop the weapons smuggling through the tunnels. Hamas then began undermining the fence to prepare explosions to kill the Israelis who might be coming into the area. When that did not happen, they hatched this plot of fabricated fuel shortages. The Egyptians knew about this for weeks since they had the surveillance pictures but did not share the information. It is interesting to note that Mubarak and Ahmadinejad had a conversation the day before the fence fell. Also interesting is the fact that this fall coincided with a conference in Damascus of Arab rejectionists of the Annapolis peace conference. Over 300 Palestinian terrorists leaders were convened by Iran and Syria in a gathering originally slated to take place during the Annapolis meeting but which was postponed when Syria decided to actually go to Annapolis. So it was held precisely at the time of the breaking down of the wall in Gaza. The tunnels were not constructed in such a way that could convey large-sized ordinance into Gaza. But now that the wall is destroyed, we hear of large anti-aircraft weapons, katyushas and other arms being transferred uninterrupted. Not transfers of fuel - that "shortage" was an excuse manufactured to justify the breach in the wall. Hamas will now be able to increase the striking range of its katyushas and its anti-aircraft weapons. There is a new chilling possibility of Hamas hitting Ashkelon. One wonders if Egypt fully anticipated what problems might be created to its own detriment. Many of those who flooded into Egypt are going to remain there. Now that there are terrorists in the Sinai with large amounts of explosives and other weapons that could not fit into a tunnel, cities in Egypt as well as in Israel may become targets. The policy of letting Israel bleed a little in order to appease the Muslim radicals could backfire. Allowing this to go on encourages Hamas to continue its violent provocations, so that Israel is again forced to be on the defensive. Another Hamastan may be born in the Sinai, which would provide them with a base from which to operate in Egypt and expand their influence. Iran's proxies would have an even greater leg up over Abbas. With the transfer of katyusha rockets into Gaza, what we now have is a baby Bek'aa, situated four miles from Ashkelon, like the baby Hezbollahstan in the north that was created with the same technology and money coming from Iran, through Hezbollah. This is a long-term change - the whole paradigm of the Middle East changes in the region because of what happened in Gaza. Now the question is what can Israel do about it? Frankly, its options are limited. One and a half million people in Gaza are miserably abused by their leadership, the Hamas leaders, who are committed to following the orders of Tehran's leaders who make apocalyptic promises to wipe Israel off the map. Now they have established at least the possibility of a firing platform about four miles from the electric grid in Ashkelon, within easy shot of the Jewish residents living there. The international community must take notice: Gaza-Hamastan is a serious threat to the comity of the region - engineered and financed by Tehran.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

According to Bible prophecy, Isaiah 17, Damascus is destroyed and people leave the cities because of the children of Israel. We can see the divide amongst many of the Muslim nations along the very lines drawn out in the Bible. Iran and Syria have a clear relationship passing weapons through to Gaza and elsewhere while others make the appearance of wanting a dual-state solution more aligned with the West. I think the dividing of Israel is going to be viewed by the radical Muslims as a victory leading to the planning of a full-scale invasion prophesied in Ezekiel 38,39. I think Israel will catch wind of these plans resulting in the destruction of Damascus triggering the defense agreement that Syria and Iran have to bring the Magog invaders with hooks in their jaws to the mountains of Israel. These kind of stories just further lay out the alliances that lead me to the above conclusions having studied Bible prophecy.

World Leaders Gather To Roast Mahmoud Ahmadinejad The Onion **Warning sexually explicit content on link from event. (text of quotes by attendees) You will get the jist here without reading the whole article. You've been forewarned. (February 6, 2008) - In what observers are calling an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to express its grievances against Iran's controversial leader, dozens of world leaders and key U.N. delegates gathered Saturday to roast Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The event, which took place beneath U.N. headquarters in the historic Geneva Friars Club, brought together the heads of every G8 member state, as well as some of today's top foreign policy makers and peace brokers. Roastmaster and former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan kicked off the evening by welcoming President Ahmadinejad to "what [was] sure to be the first and last time Mahmoud would ever be surrounded by 72 virgins." "Ladies and gentlemen, and Tony Blair, we stand here in the presence of one of the most vicious and destructive forces in the world today—but enough about Bea Arthur," said Annan, gesturing with a tumbler of Makers Mark across the long white tables of chuckling diplomats to the former Golden Girls star. "Some people here tonight will tell you that Mahmoud refuses to engage in diplomatic talks, that he is the most ruthless stonewaller who has ever lived. Well, those people have obviously never met my first wife." The black-tie affair brought together representatives from warring nations and longtime enemies who sat in the hallowed, oak-walled dining room and patiently awaited their turn to lambaste Ahmadinejad. Some of the evening's most pressing topics included the Iranian president's insistence on developing a nuclear program, his possible involvement in the 1989 assassination of an exiled Kurdish leader, and his excessive body hair. "You know, a lot of folks have been criticizing Ahmadinejad for covering up one of the most horrifying and unspeakable crimes ever perpetrated on humankind," Russian president Vladimir Putin told the assembled guests. "But don't you listen to them, Mahmoud. I happen to like your beard." Ahmadinejad, seated in a plush red armchair just to the right of the podium, seemed in high spirits as he calmly endured countless ribs from his allies and fellow arms-race competitors. Rolling his eyes and shaking his finger in mock disapproval, he was taken to task for everything from his brutal treatment of political dissidents to his recent visit to Columbia University. more... *Be forewarned, the crudeness in the detail of the rest of the story I left out. If you want to see what passes as a comedy roast and are not offended, then read the rest. -It's really not that important anyways, I just think this gathering may have had hidden importance considering who was all there.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

I think the "spirit" of the gathering it is telling in examining their humor. Isn't that one of the reasons the fundamentalist Muslims don't like Western values? They certainly let it all out, I wonder what else these globalists all discussed outside of the show? Attendees were: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, Henry Kissinger, Israeli president Shimon Peres, President George W. Bush, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gilbert Gottfried, King Abdullah, and Margaret Thatcher among many others.

Uniquely Bizarre Gloria Center (February 5, 2008) - The Arab-Israeli conflict definitely holds the record for the most bizarrely treated issue in modern history. It is easy to forget just how strange this situation is and the extent to which it is understood and handled so totally different from other, more rationally, perceived problems. Let's take a very simple example and examine the surrealistic, bizarre way in which normally sensible people and institutions respond. On February 4, 2008, two terrorists attacked the quiet town of Dimona in southern Israel. One blew himself up near a toy store in a marketplace, killing an elderly woman and wounding forty people. The other was injured in the first blast and, before he could detonate his own bomb, was killed by a policeman. At first, some Fatah officials claimed that one of the men was theirs, from that group's al-Aqsa Brigades; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the second belonged to them. Such are the bare facts. But from here it gets far stranger. Apparently, Fatah and the PFLP did dispatch a two-man terrorist team, but they were apparently caught before crossing into Israel. At the exact same time, Hamas sent another duo, and they succeeded in reaching Dimona. Thus, through no fault of their own, Fatah and the PFLP did not actually commit the attack. But they tried and would have preferred to have carried out the terrorist assault. From here, a number of conclusions should be obvious:

  • The nature of Fatah. Why is Fatah, the organization routinely described as moderate by Western governments and media, involved in constant terrorism attempts--and sometimes successes--against Israel? The al-Aqsa Brigades are an integral part of Fatah. The Brigades' founder and leader is Marwan Barghouti who has been head of Fatah on the West Bank. Many of the Brigades' gunmen are on the Fatah payroll in various ways, often as members of security forces which are supposed to prevent...terrorism. Of course, the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and in effect Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas "condemned" the attack. That is, he said he didn't like it. But no member of Fatah has ever been expelled from the organization or fired from the security forces for involvement in terrorism. The PA's media regularly broadcasts incitement to commit terrorism. It does not transmit television, radio, and newspaper demands on its members not to attack Israeli civilians. So is Fatah a terrorist organization? Well, apparently not. Granted, Abbas personally would prefer these attacks not occur. In the Fatah spectrum he is at the moderate end. Nevertheless, he presides over a group that is terrorist and which regards itself as fighting a war against Israel whose main tactic is deliberately murdering civilians. It uses its funds for this purpose and encourages such behavior through program and propaganda. A Reuters' dispatch about the attack, when it was thought to be perpetrated by Fatah, said it was a challenge for Abbas to control "rebels within his own Fatah faction." The point, however, is that they aren't rebels at all but rather members in good standing who probably have more support in Fatah than does Abbas himself.
  • International policy toward Fatah. Therefore, if Fatah, and the PA, should not be shunned at least they should be subjected to serious international pressure, right? If only for their own good since presumably the world believes that they are better off if they abandon terrorism? Again, apparently not. Fatah is the group which is being given well about $7 billion by international donors. And there are no strings attached to that aid: no measure of whether Fatah uses or advocates terrorism whatsoever. It gets the money no matter what it does. There are good reasons for the West to work with, and even aid, the PA and Fatah but there are no good reasons for that support and aid to be unconditional. more...

| Israel | Islam |

PA's Message: In English – Coexist; In Arabic – Destroy Israel The Parliament (February 4, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) is delivering two very different messages to the Western and Arab world. The message to the West, declared in English in front of media microphones and cameras, glorifies an independent Palestinian state coexisting peacefully beside Israel. But according to documented videos of PA TV programs monitored by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA is telling its Arab audience that there will be no Israel at all, rather one large Arab Palestine will rule the entirety of Israel. In the video above, PMW Director Itamar Marcus explains that translated speeches and interviews of Palestinian leaders reveal their true intentions. Even "moderate" PA leaders have no intention of actually making peace with Israel or even recognizing its right to exist. Marcus says that hate-filled messages are rampant in PA culture and even in children's textbooks, which tell young minds that Islam demands the destruction of Israel. Video at link...
| Israel | Islam |

EU to act in Gaza if solution is reached, Solana says (Roundup) Monsters & Critics (February 3, 2008) - On a two-day-visit in Egypt, European foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the European Union (EU) is ready to take up its role in the Gaza Strip, if a political solution is agreed on, sources said on Sunday. Egyptian presidential spokesman Soliyman Awad said Solana promised President Hosny Mubarak that EU representatives would return to monitor Rafah crossing border, security sources told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa. Awad said that during their short meeting, Mubarak and Solana agreed on the fact that the current situation in Gaza is a result of the Israeli blockade of the enclave and asserted that the Palestinian sufferings should reach a swift end. A member of Solana's delegation, who requested anonymity, told dpa that Solana's meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu al-Gheit covered regional issues, including Lebanon's political crisis, and the upcoming EU-Arab Summit in Malta. Solana, who next heads to Israel, plans to meet with Israeli envoys to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip. Earlier, Hamas had rejected the US-brokered 2005 deal which allowed the Rafah monitoring post to be activated with Palestinian Authority personnel serving alongside European Union monitors. But the crossing point has been closed since June 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Strip after its gunmen routed forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas in five days of savage fighting. In late January, Hamas militants blew huge holes in the concrete and metal border fence between Gaza and Egypt, enabling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flood through the breach and mostly head for al-Arish, 50 kilometres away, to stock up with supplies made scarce by the Israeli economic blockade. The Israelis imposed the blockade as a means of pressure to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Interesting how the situation in Gaza is blamed on Israel's blockade which is done because of incessant rocket attacks.

'Palestinian state temporary ruse to destroy Israel' WorldNet Daily (January 29, 2008) - The Palestinian goal of a Palestinian state is just a temporary ruse until "all of Palestine" can be "liberated," declared a leader speaking yesterday on the official television network of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization. Saleh Raafat, a member of the executive committee of Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization, was interviewed on PA television about the death last weekend of infamous terrorist leader George Habash, who strongly opposed signing peace agreements with Israel. In comments screened by WND, Raafat told his interviewer: "Habash was a very positive Palestinian leader who used democratic tools to express opinions. He disagreed with [late PLO leader Yasser] Arafat regarding the present temporary vision of a Palestinian state, but he never used weapons to express his disagreement." Raafat said the Palestinians would accept "22 percent of Palestine" as a "temporary and not permanent" state until "all of Palestine" can be liberated. While Raafat described Habash as "democratic" and as "never" using weapons, Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has carried out scores of notorious deadly terrorist attacks. Raafat was speaking as part of a mourning series on PA television for Habash, the PFLP leader who died in Jordan at the age of 81. Habash's PFLP gained notoriety in 1970 for hijacking four Western airliners over the U.S., Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf. The aircraft were blown up in the Middle East after passengers and crews disembarked. The PFLP in 1972 then gunned down 27 people at Israel's Lod airport. The PFLP continues operating from Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. More recent attacks include scores of deadly shootings against Israelis, the 2001 assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rechavam Zeevi and suicide bombings on an Israeli highway and in Tel Aviv's well-known Karmel Market. According to Israeli security officials, the PFLP is the Palestinian terror group most proficient in carrying out successful drive-by shooting attacks. Habash also led the second-largest faction of the PLO, next to Yasser Arafat's. Habash strongly opposed interim agreements with Israel and throughout his life advocated terror attacks against the Jewish state. Arafat numerous times said peace accords signed by Israel were part of a "phased plan" for the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state.
| Israel | Islam |

Rare snowstorm hits the Middle East Associated Press (January 30, 2008) - A rare snowstorm swept the Middle East on Wednesday, blanketing parts of the Holy Land in white, shutting schools and sending excited children into the streets for snowball fights. The weather in Jerusalem topped local newscasts, eclipsing a government report on Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon. Men in long Arab robes pelted each other with snowballs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian government, came to a standstill. "I'm originally from Gaza where snow never falls," said Bothaina Smairi, 28, who was out in Ramallah taking photographs. "The white snow is covering the old world and I feel like I am in a new world where everything is white, clean, and beautiful." Jerusalem's Old City was coated in white. A few ultra-Orthodox Jews, wearing plastic bags over their hats to keep them dry, prayed at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. Snow falls in Jerusalem once or twice each winter, but temperatures rarely drop low enough for it to stick. The Israeli weather service said up to 8 inches of snow fell in the city. By late morning, the snow changed to rain, turning the city into a slushy mess. But forecasters said temperatures were expected to drop, and the snow would continue through Thursday morning. Heavy snow also was reported in the Golan Heights and the northern Israeli town of Safed, and throughout the West Bank. In Ramallah, residents were surprised to see snow when they awoke. For some, it was their first time. "I am just astonished with the snow. When I saw the snow this morning, I felt happy, my heart was laughing," said Mary Zabaro, 17. In Amman, where a foot of snow fell, children used inflatable tubes as sleds. Some roads were temporarily closed. Snow covered most mountain villages and blocked roads in Lebanon. The storm disrupted power supplies in most Lebanese towns and villages, exacerbating existing power cuts. Parts of the Beirut-Damascus highway were closed. Temperatures in Syria dipped below freezing and snow blanketed the hills overlooking the capital, Damascus.
| Israel |

Ahmadinejad tells West: Accept Israel's 'imminent collapse' Haaretz (January 30, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the West Wednesday to acknowledge Israel's "imminent collapse." Speaking to a crowd on a visit to the southern port of Bushehr, where Iran's first light-water nuclear power plant is being built by Russia, Ahmadinejad further incited his listeners to "stop supporting the Zionists, as [their] regime reached its final stage." "Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end," the Iranian president said in a televised speech. He added, "What we have right now is the last chapter [of Israeli atrocities] which the Palestinians and regional nations will confront and eventually turn in Palestine's favor." Iran does not acknowledge Israel and Ahmadinejad has in the past sparked international outcry by referring to the systematic murder of six million Jews in World War II as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Iran is currently also mediating in the crisis over the Gaza Strip, where Israel has imposed a blockade on border crossings into the coastal territory, barring the entry of supplies into the already impoverished area. Last week, Palestinian militants blew holes in the barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt, prompting hundreds of thousands of Gazans to pour into Egypt in search of supplies. Ahmadinejad also urged the Western powers to help build nuclear power plants in his country saying it will be too late if they do not decide to do so immediately. "If you will not come, this nation will build nuclear plants based on its own resources and when you come some four years later it will reject your request and not then give you any opportunity," he said. "I am addressing leaders of two or three powers; do you remember I sent you message and told you to stop be stubborn? If you think that you can block the movement of Iranian nation, you are wrong," the Iranian president continued. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Blair Wants Mideast Peace in 2008 Associated Press (January 27, 2008) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the final session of the World Economic Forum on Sunday that he wants an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and a pact on climate change by the end of 2008. Sharing the same level of ambition, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel called for China to open its doors to the Dalai Lama and for an end to the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. The final session of this year's forum seemed to shrug off any pessimism about what can be achieved in the coming months despite fears that the U.S. economic downturn could lead to a global recession. "The mood was moderately optimistic because we have many, many opportunities," said Klaus Schwab, the forum's founder. "But if we do not address the challenges, one day even the greatest opportunities will not be enough to guarantee our continuation as humankind if you look at climate change, terrorism, poverty." The five-day political and economic brainstorming session that brought nearly 2,500 of the world's movers and shakers to this Swiss ski resort was short on "glitz" this year - with the exception of rock star Bono and Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, who are both also anti-poverty campaigners. Politically, there was much talk about whether President Bush's goal of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of the year will be reached. "I would like to see an agreement that gives us the prospect of a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine because I do think that would be the greatest signal of reconciliation with which the 21st century could start," said Blair, who is now the chief envoy for the key international Mideast mediators known as the Quartet. Wiesel said he also wanted to see Mideast peace this year, and "to alleviate the suffering in Darfur which has become the capital of human suffering in the world today." "I'd like China to open its doors to the Dalai Lama so I could accompany him to go to Tibet. That would be a great, great victory," Wiesel said, as the audience burst into applause. Blair said he'd also "like to see us get the climate change deal or framework of it." PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) chief Indra Nooyi said she'd also like to see "a climate policy" and efforts to bring down rising food prices. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Earth Changes |

Coincidence, or Message From God? Israel National News (January 20, 2008) - It seems like this is just too uncanny that these are all 'coincidences'. On January 8, 2008 the day that President Bush left the USA for Israel in order to lay the framework for the establishment of a Palestinian State and the division of Jerusalem for its capital , a freak 'January' tornado swept through a city in Bush's own country. The place hit was 'Jerusalem', Arkansas. Coincidence? One church was totally destroyed in the tornado’s path. The name of it was “Mt. Zion” Community Church. Coincidence? To see video, click HERE.  Video will load and play automatically. One man was killed in the tornado.  He was a ‘Pope’ County resident.  His name, was Billy Carter. On Sunday of last week, I read out a report about this 'freak tornado' which hit Jerusalem, Arkansas. (Tovia Singer spoke about the tornado on his show after mine, on Wednesday) I was emailed by a few people last week to write on the tornado, but I didn’t have time to do it until now.  So, let’s examine some interesting ‘coincidences’ here.

1)  A tornado in the month of JANUARY?
2)  This tornado hits a city called  ‘Jerusalem’.
3)  It destroys a church called, ‘Mt. Zion’.
4)  Hits in a place called ‘Pope’ County

All this on the day Bush leaves for Israel to wage war on G-d by going against the Bible and dividing the Land of Israel. The very next day, Thursday January 9th,  another calamity strikes America.  As Israel experiences a very heavy and unusual heavy fog during Bush’s visit, central Florida gets hit with a freak heavy fog.   A mega 70 car accident takes place.  The worst highway disaster in Florida’s history.   See video by clicking HERE. (Video will play after one ad). What is interesting here is the number 70.  A neighbor of mine whom I often give a lift to, was waiting at the gas station near where Bush’s entourage passed on its way to Ramallah. The roads were closed down and he was stuck waiting and watching. He saw Bush’s entourage pass by.  He counted 70 cars. 70 cars driving with Bush to Ramallah in heavy fog, and 70 cars in a horrible accident in Florida under heavy fog.  Coincidence? Let me remind you again what I wrote in a blog on the significance of the number 70 that we keep seeing in the news these last few weeks.  The number 70 is the number of nations that met in Paris, France, to raise billions of dollars to create a viable (enemy) Palestinian State.  70 is the number that the letters Gog and Magog add up to.  Gog and Magog is the war of the Nations of the world who come against Jerusalem and Israel.  And the nations of the world, numbers 70 according to the Bible as explained in the story of the Tower of Babel where G-d mixes up the people with 70 languages, who then disperse to become 70 different nations. Is all of this JUST a coincidence?
| Israel | Dividing the Land | America |

I would recommend also reading Eye to Eye - Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel by Bill Koenig. This isn't the first time the winds have battered America on the very days we meddled with the division of Israel.

Jeremiah 30:20-24
Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

Hope for Israelis, Palestinians Associated Press (January 24, 2008) - Is it really possible that Israel and the Palestinians will reach their elusive peace treaty by the end of the year, as envisioned by President Bush? At the World Economic Forum on Thursday, leaders from both sides joined Tony Blair — now EU envoy to the Middle East — for a session that provided the familiar recriminations, underscored the almost unfathomable complexities on the ground, and ended with some hope and mutual appreciation. Israeli President Shimon Peres began on a positive note. "I believe that both sides today are convinced that war is not an option," he said. "We feel profound desire to bring an end to this conflict that served nobody and harmed everybody." And Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel sincerely wants to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. "We cannot afford a failure," said Livni, who heads the Israeli team at talks launched after the November Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md. But Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad brought the proceedings down to earth — or the tiny patch of it called Gaza. In recent days Israel cut off some fuel supplies to the strip in response to persistent rocket attacks, and what followed were widespread power outages and thousands of Gazans breaking through the border with Egypt. "Sorry I have to give you a downbeat assessment of what is going on," said Fayyad, a dapper and widely respected economist who won plaudits for imposing fiscal order and accountability to a once chaotic Palestinian Authority. "Things in my assessment did not proceed as well as was hoped for after Annapolis." He criticized Israel for continuing to tolerate Jewish settlement construction, and said it was essential that Israel allow freer travel in the West Bank and reopen its border crossings with Gaza. The crossings, a key conduit for goods and workers, have largely been closed since the militant group Hamas seized control of the territory last June. This was met with some openness by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a former military chief and Israel's prime minister from 1999-2001. "We removed some of the roadblocks and we removed very few of the checkpoints, but we can continue," Barak said. "We will look into it and consider it. ... The moment the effectiveness of the security forces of the Palestinians will be (similar) to the effect of the Jordanian security forces, we will be ready to consider a far-reaching loosening of the situation." He said Israel wanted "to make sure Palestinians will feel that the goodwill of the rest of the world is transformed into real action on the ground." Fayyad took Barak at his word. "What Ehud Barak said about the crossings in Gaza gives us all reason for some hope," he said. "I hope the consideration of this issue can be expedited." "There should be no question that we do take seriously Israel's security concern," Fayyad added. "We really mean it. We are trying to do the very best we can." Barak reciprocated the positivity. "I can tell you working with Prime Minister Fayyad gives us, and I believe the whole world, reason for hope," he said. "He is an assertive Palestinian patriot but one ... committed to honesty. "I don't want to praise him too much in order not to damage him," Barak added, drawing laughs. Blair asked what would happen if rockets stopped raining on Israel from Gaza, as has been the case for years, and especially since Israel pulled troops and settlers out of the strip in 2005. Would it have "a transforming effect" on Israel's policy, the former British prime minister asked. As Barak struggled to compose an answer Livni interjected: "Yes." "I just think that sometimes needs to be emphasized," said Blair, satisfied. more...
Israel | Islam | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

In Response to an Israeli Attack, Iran Can, With Syria's Help, Wipe Out Half of Israel MEMRI  (January 23, 2008) - Following reports on Israel's January 17, 2008 test of the Jericho III missile, which has a range of 4,500 km, the Iranian website Tabnak, which is affiliated with Iranian Expediency Council secretary and former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezai, wrote that the missile's addition to Israel's arsenal does not change the balance of power between Israel and Iran. The website stated that in the event of a conflict with Israel, Iran would use its strategic alliance with Syria to fire missiles at Israel from Syrian territory.[1] It also hinted that, in addition to assistance from Syria, any attack by Israel would also bring retaliation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah. [2] Further, in an interview on Al-Jazeera TV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the Israeli missile test, saying that "even before this missile test, the Zionist regime enjoyed this military technology, because of its support from several powers. But such measures will not improve its situation, and will not prevent its fall. The Zionist regime has lost the rationale on which its existence was based, and all nations identify it as criminal. Therefore, it will not achieve legitimacy for its existence through threats and sowing fear."[3] The following are the main points of the Tabnak article: [4]

  • "...The message to Iran from Israel's test of the new Jericho III missile is that this missile is, according to Israel, capable of travelling 4,500 km and striking any point in Iran. If these statements are true, then the Israelis have made several fundamental mistakes in sending [this] threatening message to Iran...:
  • "1. Iran's defense strategy towards any type of possible attack, by Israel or by the U.S., is based on [the assumption] that both are capable [of carrying out] a missile attack and an aerial attack on Iranian targets. Iran has never denied that Israel and the U.S. are capable [of carrying out] a missile or aerial attack on it.
  • "2. The fundamental assumption of Iran's strategy is that [even] if Israel did not have long-range missiles aimed at Iran, the U.S. would arm it with long-range strategic missiles as soon as it could.
  • "3. Any country determines, and deploys, its strategic missile launching system based on its geographical breadth. Accordingly, Israel automatically comes up against a difficult limitation: While Iran's area is 1,648,195 [square] km, the area of 'the regime that occupies Jerusalem' [i.e. Israel] is 26,323 [square] km, and if we subtract the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, [this area] shrinks to 20,150 [square km]. This means that [even] if Israel can fire 100 missiles a day at Iran, and hit 100 cities, Iran can [launch] thousands of missiles, and with them eradicate half of Israel. For this reason, the missile balance between the sides will end up in Iran's favor.
  • "4. In the event of an attack on Iran, if the Iran-Syria Joint Strategic Defense Agreement is implemented, Iran need not launch long-range missiles from its territory, [but rather] will be able to face Israel with a wave of missile attacks from [missiles with] a maximum range of 500 km, and with much higher explosive potential. At the same time, [even] if we leave out reciprocal attacks by the Islamic resistance in Lebanon [i.e. Hizbullah], Iran and Syria know very well that an attack on Iran will bring in its wake an attack on Syria, and that an attack on Syria will bring in its wake an attack on Iran - and that in both situations, the third target or the parallel [target] are the Islamic Resistance [organizations] in Lebanon and Palestine. If, prior [to such an attack], Iran employs joint defense measures, and arms itself with a missile defense system through cooperating with Syria, Israel will beyond a doubt receive a crushing response if it attacks Iran.
  • "5. [The placement of] Iran's missile sites is based on the doctrine of irregular warfare. Accordingly, neither Israel nor the U.S. can take out Iran's missile sites in a single surprise attack. For the same reason, Iran's strategic missile defense doctrine benefits from the advantage of [territorial] depth, particularly because Iran can use at least 400,000 square km of its territory as an effective area for aiming [its missiles] at Israel, since it has the benefit of mountainous topography, not a plain.
  • "6. In the past decade, Iran has focused on developing long-range missiles with a range of 3,000 km, in order to benefit from deterrent defense power in the face of any possible Israeli attack. [5] The Israelis know that because [Iran's missiles have attained] a range of 2,500 km, they are in Iran's range of fire, and [they also know that] the shorter the missile's range, the greater its explosive power. For this reason, Iran's missiles have a very great explosive power.

"Therefore, it can be explicitly said that Israel's recent missile test, on January 17, changes Iran's missile defense balance [against Israel] not one whit, and does not impinge on a single one of its defense doctrines... For this reason, this missile test does not create a new situation or [new] result, in any arena of possible confrontation between Iran and Israel...

"Thus [it appears that] the real idea behind this Israeli missile test is psychological warfare [in order to affect] public opinion in Israel, and not psychological warfare against Iran."
Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

A new peace vision Gulf Daily News (January 21, 2008) - A senior Saudi royal has offered Israel a vision of broad co-operation with the Arab world and people-to-people contacts if it signs a peace treaty and withdraws from all occupied Arab territories. In an interview, Prince Turki Al Faisal, a former ambassador to the US and Britain and adviser to King Abdullah, said Israel and the Arabs could co-operate in many areas including water, agriculture, science and education. Asked what message he wanted to send to the Israeli public, he said: "The Arab world, by the Arab peace initiative, has crossed the Rubicon from hostility towards Israel to peace with Israel and has extended the hand of peace to Israel, and we await the Israelis picking up our hand and joining us in what inevitably will be beneficial for Israel and for the Arab world." Prince Turki, who was previously head of Saudi intelligence, said that if Israel accepted the Arab League plan and signed a comprehensive peace, "one can imagine the integration of Israel into the Arab geographical entity". "One can imagine not just economic, political and diplomatic relations between Arabs and Israelis but also issues of education, scientific research, combating mutual threats to the inhabitants of this vast geographic area," he said. His comments, on the sidelines of a conference on the Middle East and Europe staged by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation think-tank, were some of the most far-reaching addressed to Israelis by a senior figure from Saudi Arabia. "Exchange visits by people of both Israel and the rest of the Arab countries would take place," Prince Turki said. "We will start thinking of Israelis as Arab Jews rather than simply as Israelis," he said, noting that many Arabs historically saw the Israeli state as a European entity imposed on Arab land after the Second World War. Prince Turki, brother of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, holds no official position now but heads the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. He said Israel could expect some benefits on the way to signing a treaty and making a full withdrawal, noting that after the 1993 Oslo interim accords with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, regional co-operation had begun and the Jewish state had achieved representation in several Arab states.
| Israel | Islam | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Israel flattens Hamas ministry in Gaza Strip Reuters (January 18, 2008) - Israel bombed the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza and closed border crossings with the strip on Friday, sharply escalating what it called a campaign to halt Palestinian rocket attacks. The four-storey ministry complex in Gaza City was empty at the time but one woman was killed and at least 30 others nearby were wounded in the air strike, medical officials said. "It felt like an earthquake," said Umm Fahmi, a woman who lives across from the blast site. "My house did not only shake, it jumped from its foundations and back down. How could they drop such a bomb in a residential area on top of people's heads?" she said, peering through the dust at the concrete and steel remains of the security complex. It was the first Israeli bombing of a Palestinian government building since Hamas Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip in June after routing secular Fatah forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas. A second Israeli air strike minutes later damaged Hamas's so-called naval headquarters in the central Gaza Strip. Israel has killed at least 33 Palestinians in Gaza this week as part of what officials describe as a stepped-up campaign to pressure Hamas to rein in militants who have fired more than 110 rockets into the Jewish state in the last three days alone. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the air strikes, calling the targets "Hamas terrorist" positions. "This is part of our response to Qassam (rocket) fire against Israel," the spokeswoman said. The Interior Ministry oversees Hamas-controlled government forces in Gaza, but not the group's armed wing. The armed wing has claimed responsibility for most rocket salvoes since Tuesday, when Israel killed 18 Palestinians, mostly Hamas militants. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Ahmadinejad: Mideast countries will erupt like a volcano YNet News (January 17, 2008) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in response to US President George W. Bush's recent visit to the Middle East that "the region's countries are about to erupt like a volcano", the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Thursday. Speaking at a mosque in Tehran Wednesday evening ahead of the Day of Ashura celebrations, the Iranian president said the region's countries would follow the Islamic Republic's lead and "stand firm in the face of (Israel's) murderous operations against the oppressed Palestinian nation and its supporters." Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said the West had failed in efforts to put pressure on the Islamic Republic over its atomic activities. The West fears Tehran is seeking an atom bomb and has imposed two sets of United Nations sanctions. Iran says it aims only to generate electricity. "Those countries who so far have been after imposing sanctions and putting pressure on Iran have not achieved any success," chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told the official IRNA news agency at the start of a visit to Beijing. "Today, global developments and Iran's logical behavior do not allow anybody to do this."
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

First Temple seal found in Jerusalem The Jerusalem Post (January 17, 2008) - A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday. The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name "Temech" engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig. According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The family was among those who later returned to Jerusalem, the Bible recounts. The seal, which was bought in Babylon and dates to 538-445 BCE, portrays a common and popular cultic scene, Mazar said. The 2.1 x 1.8-cm. elliptical seal is engraved with two bearded priests standing on either side of an incense altar with their hands raised forward in a position of worship. A crescent moon, the symbol of the chief Babylonian god Sin, appears on the top of the altar. Under this scene are three Hebrew letters spelling Temech, Mazar said. The Bible refers to the Temech family: "These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city." [Nehemiah 7:6]... "The Nethinim [7:46]"... The children of Temech." [7:55]. The fact that this cultic scene relates to the Babylonian chief god seemed not to have disturbed the Jews who used it on their own seal, she added. The seal of one of the members of the Temech family was discovered just dozens of meters away from the Opel area, where the servants of the Temple, or "Nethinim," lived in the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said. "The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the Biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible," she said. "One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the biblical source as seen by the archaeological find." more...
| Israel |

Winograd Commission member: Report could topple government YNet News (January 17, 2008) - The final report of the Winograd Commission is expected to be dramatic and decisive," a member on the commission told Ynet Thursday, ahead of the report's publication in two weeks' time. The member also stated that the report could have "drastic ramifications" for the political system, and could even lead to a toppling of the government. The commission's spokesman refused to comment on the statements at this point. Winograd's preliminary report, which was released in April 2007, strongly criticized Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, then-Defense Minister Amir Peretz, then-Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and the government as a whole for their functioning during the first five days of the campaign. The final report is set to focus on the period leading up the ceasefire agreement, signed on August 12, 2006, and also cover the years that preceded the war, since Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. The report is also expected to spotlight the last 48 hours of the fighting, which took place parallel to diplomatic efforts to finalize the UN Security Council ceasefire resolution. While the commission said it would not include individual recommendations in its conclusions, the member stated that the report would contain "difficult findings" regarding the deaths of 33 soldiers during the final operation of the war. These conclusions, he said, "will, at the very least, move up the general elections." The main issues set to be covered by the report include the decision-making process employed by the political echelon during the war; the relations between the political and military echelons throughout the campaign; the handling of the home front; and of course, the war's results. more...
| Israel | Islam |

Israel and Palestinians open talks Reuters (January 14, 2008) - Israel and the Palestinians opened their most serious peace talks in seven years on Monday, urged by President George W. Bush to reach a deal within a year despite deep public skepticism. It took nearly seven weeks to start so-called final-status talks, announced at a U.S.-sponsored conference in Annapolis, Maryland, underscoring the hurdles Bush faces in getting a Palestinian statehood deal in his final year in office. Monday's negotiations followed Bush's first presidential visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank last week, when he set the goal of signing a peace treaty in 2008 and encouraged both sides to begin talking in earnest. But it is unclear how Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, both weakened politically, can get a deal in that timeframe, let alone implement it. Abbas wields little power beyond the West Bank after Hamas Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip in June. Olmert is likely to face new calls to resign after an inquiry into the 2006 Lebanon war issues its final report on January 30. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, the chief negotiators, launched the talks that will deal with issues such as borders and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. "We started today talking about all the core issues, Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements. We talked about these issues in general. The talks were positive but the path ahead is difficult," Qurie said after the meeting in a Jerusalem hotel. Livni said before the session that upcoming talks would "take place quietly" away from the "glare of the cameras." Media attention during peace talks that ended in 2001, she said, caused negotiators to grandstand, which "raised expectations and led to disappointment and violence." Israeli officials said Livni and Qurie planned to meet regularly. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Aryeh Mekel said their discussions "will be intensive." more...
Israel | Islam1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Negotiations Over 'Core Issues' Begin Israel National News (January 14, 2008) - PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced Sunday that Israel and the PA would begin negotiations over the "core issues" of the conflict, including Jerusalem, on Monday. The talks will be held between Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and PA negotiator Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala). Official sources in Jerusalem confirmed the report. Abbas said the talks would revolve around six issues: "Jerusalem, the settlements, the Palestinian refugees, borders, security and water sources." He added: "If we reach agreement on these issues, you could say we have an agreement."

Report: Olmert Agrees to Allow in 50,000 Arab 'Refugees' Israel National News (January 14, 2008) - The issue of "Arab refugees" has long been a matter of widespread consensus in Israel, with even left-wing parties declaring that allowing them into Israel would endanger its very existence as a Jewish state.  Nevertheless, the subject does not appear to be going away.  Reports are that Prime Minister Olmert has now agreed to allow 50,000 Arabs who left Israel in 1948 - or are descendants of those who did - to enter and live in Israel. Channel Ten reported Thursday night that in a private meeting between Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen, the two agreed that in the final-status agreement, Israel would withdraw from 92% of Judea and Samaria, including all the non-Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.  It was also agreed that 50,000 "refugees from 1948" would enter and live in the State of Israel. Staffers in Olmert's office did not deny the report, and even hinted that it was at least partially accurate. Olmert Went Further than Bush U.S. President George Bush summed up his three-day visit to Israel on Friday by saying that a new Palestinian state, together with financial compensation, would be the solution to the refugee problem.  The implication is that the refugees need not enter Israel. "There must be an end to Israel's occupation [sic] that began in 1967," Bush said.  "Palestine must serve as a national home for the Palestinians, and Israel - for the Jews." Israel liberated Judea and Samaria during the Six Day War in 1967, capturing it, essentially, from no one. No country in the world, other than Great Britain and Pakistan, recognized Jordan's control over Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967. Arabs Denied Refugee Problem Oft-forgotten is the fact that the refugee problem was not caused by Israel, but by the Arab states.  "The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies," according to the Jordanian newspaper Filastin (February 19, 1949). Joan Peters, in her classic work "From Time Immemorial," quotes (on page 13) an Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies finding that "the majority" of the Arab refugees in 1948 were not expelled, and that 68% left without seeing an Israeli soldier. On April 27, 1950, the Arab National Committee of Haifa informed the Arab States: "The removal of the Arab inhabitants... was voluntary and was carried out at our request... The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries." Zuheir Muhsein, the late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council, told the Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977, "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity... Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people... to oppose Zionism." more...
Israel | Islam
 | Dividing the Land |

Netanyahu to Bush: Jerusalem to stay under Israeli control for eternity Haaretz (January 10, 2008) - Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday morning told visiting U.S. President George W. Bush that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity." Netanyahu, who is chairman of the Likud party, made the remarks at a meeting with Bush at the King David hotel in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a highly contentious issue in final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, in particular for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's right-wing coalition partners. Bush is pushing for the negotiations to conclude in a peace deal by the end of 2008. Netanyahu said he sees in the U.S. president a true friend, and expressed his esteem for Bush's role in protecting the free world against extremist Islamic terror. At the beginning of the meeting, which ran 45 minutes over the time allocated to it, Netanyahu gave Bush an ancient coin discovered in Jerusalem that dates from the third year of the great Judean revolt against the Romans in the first century CE. The coin bears Hebrew writing, signaling that the Jewish people's connection to Jerusalem has lasted thousands of years. The Likud chairman presented to Bush his program for economic peace in the Middle East as a basis for a future agreement, and voiced his support for Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair's economic initiatives. more...
Israel | Dividing the Land | America |

The Bible does say that Israel will dwell in the land forever, however there is another prophesied time yet to come that must come first, the time of Jacob's trouble and the 1260-day great tribulation. During this time the 1/3 of Israel that is not murdered, Zechariah 13:8,9, will be protected in the wilderness for 1260 days and will not be in control of Jerusalem, the antichrist will. Revelation 12:13-17 There is also the dividing of Israel I believe is prophesied in Zechariah 14:1,2 where half the city is removed and the other half remains. At no other point in history or prophesied future is only half of Israel removed. In the past the large majority of the nation was taken into Babylonian captivity and also throughout the world until the creation of Israel in 1948. At the time of great tribulation, any Jew found in Jerusalem will be killed until Christ returns in glory ending the antichrist's reign. Revelation 19:20 So Bible prophecy gives a little more clarity to the belief that Israel will forever control Jerusalem. Once Christ comes, He will control Jerusalem and all the world. At the same time, God has promised to punish those that come against Israel. Jeremiah 30:20-24 | Zechariah 12:1-3

Bush predicts Mideast peace treaty Associated Press (January 10, 2008) - President Bush, summing up meetings with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, said Thursday that a peace accord will require "painful political concessions" by each. Resolving the status of Jerusalem will be hard, he said, and he called for the end of the "occupation" of Arab land by the Israeli military. "Now is the time to make difficult choices," Bush said after a first-ever visit to the Palestinian territories, which followed separate meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem the day before. Bush is in the Mideast for eight days, trying to bolster his goal of achieving a long-elusive peace agreement by the end of his presidency in a year. Speaking at his hotel in Jerusalem, he said again that he thinks that is possible. "I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it," Bush said. Within minutes, Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley said the president would return to the Middle East "at least once and maybe more" over the next year. He wouldn't elaborate on possible destinations, but another White House official said Bush is likely to attend Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations in May. Bush gave his most detailed summation yet of what a final peace should include, including U.S. expectations for the resolution of some of the hardest issues in the violent conflict, one of the world's longest-running and most intractable. He used tough language intended to put both sides on notice that he sees no reason they cannot get down to serious business, "starting right now." In his set of U.S. bottom lines were security for Israel, a "contiguous" state for the Palestinians and the expectation that final borders will be negotiated to accommodate territorial changes since Israel's formation. He also suggested international compensation for Palestinians and their descendants who claim a right to return to land they held before Israel's formation. He made a point of using a loaded term — occupation — to describe Israeli control over land that would eventually form the bulk of an independent Palestinian state. That he did so in Jerusalem underscored that he is trying not to seem partial to Israel. On borders, Bush said any peace agreement "will require mutually agreed adjustments" to the lines drawn for Israel in the late 1940s. He was referring primarily to Israeli neighborhoods on disputed lands that Israel would keep when an independent Palestinian state is formed. Earlier in the day, Bush had said Palestinians deserve better than a "Swiss cheese" state fitted around Israeli land and security bulwarks. "The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear," he said. "There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people." White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Bush was referring to the West Bank when he spoke of occupation. more...
Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | America |

Olmert: No peace unless attacks stop Associated Press (January 9, 2008) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that "there will be no peace" unless attacks are halted from all parts of the Palestinian territories, including those not controlled by his negotiating partners in the Palestinian leadership. But he said that both sides "are very seriously trying to move forward" on a deal. "Israel does not tolerate and will not tolerate the continuation of these vicious attacks," Olmert said, after two and a half hours of talks with President Bush. "We will not hesitate to take all the necessary measures. There will be no peace unless terror is stopped. And terror will have to be stopped everywhere." On the first day of his eight-day Mideast trip aimed at pushing the Israelis and Palestinians toward an agreement, Bush declared there is a "historic moment, a historic opportunity." But he also said: "I'm under no illusions. This is going to be hard work." "America cannot dictate the terms of what a state will look like," he added. "We'll help." Earlier Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza killed two Palestinians and wounded four others, a move the Israeli army said was taken in response to Palestinian militants who had bombarded the rocket-scarred southern Israeli city of Sderot with rocket and mortar fire. Bush said he and Olmert also discussed Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions and an incident Sunday when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Beyond the dividing of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state, one of the prerequisites of the Magog invasion by Iran, Turkey, Russia and others is that Israel is living in safety. This works to bring about the false peace as well so I have a feeling that the rockets are going to soon stop and that will help spur the division of the land to create a situation of relative, temporary peace.

WiMax seen growing fast globally Reuters (January 8, 2008) - An emerging long-range, high-speed wireless technology is expected to spread quickly and be available globally within two years, a key backer of the so-called WiMax technology said on Tuesday. "In a year or two, we will see it in many metro zones and areas of heavy demand," Dan Eldar, head of Intel's (INTC.O) design center in Israel where the WiMax technology was being developed, told Reuters. "It will take time to reach a massive deployment." Sprint Nextel (S.N), the number three U.S. wireless carrier, said on Tuesday it was soft-launching its Xohm mobile Internet service for employees in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington D.C. ahead of a commercial WiMax launch later in 2008 in select U.S. cities. Sprint Nextel has said it will spend $5 billion by 2010 on a WiMax network using the new 802.16e standard. Smaller mobile carrier Clearwire (CLWR.O) is also planning a WiMax network. WiMax, which is expected to bring in higher revenues to the telecoms sector, allows for high-speed Internet connections in the tens of megabits per second -- far faster than the very popular WiFi, which users connect to networks over short distances. "It will enable the same type of (broadband Internet) on the road as you have at home," said Gaby Waisman, general manager of Europe for Alvarion (ALVR.O) (ALVR.TA), an Israeli maker of WiMax modems and equipment. WiMax can cover a stretch of as much as tens of kilometers, depending on the number of users. In New York City, for example, many base stations will be required around the city to meet the heavy demand, while a sparsely populated region will need fewer, Eldar noted. He said that in addition to the United States, mobile WiMax is close to being rolled out in some European and Asia-Pacific countries including Russia and Japan. "Estimates for the number of subscribers to WiMax ranges from the high tens of millions to more than 100 million in the next four, five years," Eldar said before a news conference to mark the start of a WiMax trial by Intel, Alvarion and 012 Smile.Communications (SMLC.O) in the southern city of Sderot. Sderot, which has been hit hard by rocket fire from Palestinian militants, will be the first test of WiMax in Israel. Further rollout in the country depends on the success of the trial and how quickly the Communications Ministry allocates licenses to telecoms providers. Intel, the world's largest microprocessor maker, has made a large bet that mobile WiMax will take off and is the developer of chipsets for WiMax. more...
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Bush sees Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in 2008: report Breitbart (January 3, 2008) - US President George W. Bush believes an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will be reached this year, according to excerpts of an interview published on Thursday ahead of his visit to the region. Bush said the two sides must clinch a deal in 2008 in order to see the creation of a Palestinian state, Israel's top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper quoted him as saying in the interview which will be published in full on Friday. The US president is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories next week in a bid to give a push to Middle East peace talks which were relaunched at an international conference in Annapolis in November. In the interview, Bush sought to ease Israeli fears that any future Palestinian state could threaten its security. "I will not allow the creation of a terrorist state on Israel's border," he said in a quote translated into Hebrew.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the LandAmerica |

Olmert says Israel must internalize divided Jerusalem The Jerusalem Post (January 2, 2008) - Israel needs to internalize that even its supportive friends on the international stage conceive of the country's future on the basis of the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem divided, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared to The Jerusalem Post. At the same time, he made clear that he did not envisage a permanent accord along the '67 lines, describing Ma'aleh Adumim as an "indivisible" part of Jerusalem and Israel. In an interview at the start of a year that he hopes will yield a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, the prime minister said many rival Israeli political parties remain "detached from the reality" that requires Israel to compromise "on parts of Eretz Yisrael" in order to maintain its Jewish, democratic nature. If Israel "will have to deal with a reality of one state for two peoples," he said, this "could bring about the end of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. That is a danger one cannot deny; it exists, and is even realistic." Indeed, his primary responsibility as prime minister, Olmert said, lay in ensuring a separation from the Palestinians. "What will be if we don't want to separate?" he asked rhetorically. "Will we live eternally in a confused reality where 50 percent of the population or more are residents but not equal citizens who have the right to vote like us? My job as prime minister, more than anything else, is to ensure that doesn't happen." The reality in which Israel was seeking an accommodation, he elaborated, includes a situation in which even "the world that is friendly to Israel... that really supports Israel, when it speaks of the future, it speaks of Israel in terms of the '67 borders. It speaks of the division of Jerusalem." What was extraordinary about US President George W. Bush, in this context, Olmert said, was that Bush, since a landmark letter he wrote to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2004, has made plain that he envisages Israel maintaining at least some territory in Judea and Samaria. Bush "has already said '67 plus," said Olmert, "and that's an amazing achievement for Israel." Thus, Olmert asserted, while the road map obligated Israel to stop all building in the settlements, including for natural growth, the Bush letter "renders flexible to a degree the significance of what is written in the road map." In comments likely to further exacerbate Palestinian protest at ongoing settlement expansion, Olmert said he considered Ma'aleh Adumim to be "an indivisible part of Jerusalem and the State of Israel. I don't think when people are talking about settlements they are talking about Ma'aleh Adumim." At the same time, the prime minister expressed considerable empathy for Palestinian concerns over settlement growth. If the only construction work undertaken since the road map was accepted had been at Ma'aleh Adumim and Har Homa, he said, "then I imagine the Palestinians, though they might not have been happy about it, would not have responded in the way that they respond when every year, all the settlements - in all the territories - continue to grow. There is a certain contradiction in this between what we're actually seeing and what we ourselves promised. We always complain about the [breached] promises of the other side. Obligations are not only to be demanded of others, but they must also be honored by ourselves." While all the final-status issues were now on the table as part of the Annapolis process, Olmert stressed that he would never accept a Palestinian "right of return" to Israel. He said he was convinced, too, that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "has made the choice in his heart" between clinging to the "myth of the 'right of return'" and the opportunity to establish a Palestinian state where all Palestinians, refugees included, would live. "My impression is that he wants peace with Israel, and accepts Israel as Israel defines itself," Olmert said. "If you ask him to say that he sees Israel as a Jewish state, he will not say that. But if you ask me whether in his soul he accepts Israel, as Israel defines itself, I think he does. That is not insignificant. It is perhaps not enough, but it is not insignificant." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Hamas averages 8.2 missiles a day in 2007, steps up Iran-Syrian-backed preparations for full-scale war DEBKAfile (January 1, 2008) - The annual report of Israel’s domestic intelligence service, ShinShin BetBet, paints a troubling picture of a Hamas-ruled government in Gaza expanding its efforts to build a war machine capable of taking on Israel in full-scale military combat, with active input from Iran and Syria. In the outgoing year, Hamas and its allies fired more than 1.300 Qassam missiles and 1,700 mortar shells from Gaza, subjecting Israeli communities in an expanding radius to a daily average of 8.2 projectiles. At the same time, the ShinShin BetBet and IDF were strikingly successful in their preventive campaign. They thwarted 29 major attacks inside Israel originating in Gaza, and the number of Israelis killed by terrorists declined from 50 in 2005 and 24 in 2006 to 13 in 2007. Nonetheless, the Palestinians mounted a total of 2,946 Palestinian terrorist attacks, 9 less than 2006, including a single suicide bombing in Eilat and another three that were intercepted in time. No let-up is expected next year. In 2007, Hamas smuggled into Gaza more than 80 tons of explosives for use in the fabrication of missiles and bombs, including roadside devices laid down against an Israeli military incursion. Al Qaeda and its Palestinian affiliates recently stepped up their participation in attacks, more conspicuously since Fatah al Islam set up operations in Gaza after being thrown out of its northern haven in Lebanon four months ago. Israeli officials said that Osama bin Laden’s threat to “liberate every inch of Palestine” is being taken seriously. The ShinShin BetBet reports that hundreds of Hamas operatives were smuggled through the Sinai tunnels out to Iran and Syria and back for special 2-6 month courses at facilities near Tehran and Damascus in commando combat and the manufacture and launching of missiles. Among them were officers and naval commandos. The ShinShin BetBet report notes that Hamas’ smuggling projects spread out from Gaza to the West Bank, where a new terror machine is taking shape. Local terrorist elements are being taught to manufacture and use Qassam missiles and high-trajectory weapons, thereby bringing Israel’s central coastal cities, including Tel Aviv, within range. Scores of West Bank Hamas activitists were also sent to Iran and Syria to study missile manufacture. During most of 2007, Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah, funded the West Bank project at the rate of the equivalent of $10 million per month. The transfers slowed in recent months. The ShinShin BetBet reports that Hizballah is diverting more funds to building its own substantial new infrastructures in SouthSouth LebanonLebanon and north of the LitaniLitani RiverRiver.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Abbas: This will be the year of our victory YNet News (January 1, 2008) - Palestinian President calls on Israel to resolve core issues obstructing way to peace, says PA will never cede ground on Jerusalem in negotiations. Speaking at Ramallah celebration marking Fatah anniversary, Abbas also extends conciliatory hand to rival faction Hamas. "We are filled with hope that this new year will be our year of victory and independence, that we will see the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. Speaking to a crowd of Fatah-loyalists assembled in Ramallah to celebrate the movement's 43rd anniversary, the president called for ''a new page, writing in its lines a credible agreement based on partnership, on life, on our homeland and our struggle to liberate it.'' Abbas also said the Palestinian Authority would not cede a single inch of ground in negotiations with Israel over the future sovereignty of Jerusalem. Abbas vowed he would bring any eventual agreement with Israel to a public referendum so that the Palestinian people would be given the chance to decide the course of their national future. "This is not the time for empty slogans," said Abbas, "it is time to resolve the core issues based on the view of the international community, time to find a solution for Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders and the Palestinian refugees."

'Israel held talks with Hamas'

Abbas also claimed on Monday that Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey revealed to him that despite Israel's stated policy that it would not speak to Hamas, representatives from both parties met for clandestine talks in Switzerland. The negotiations, held under the banner of 'The Switzerland Accords,' proposed the establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders in exchange for a 15-year ceasefire. "They spoke of a temporary state, but this is unacceptable," said Abbas.

'Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue'

Abbas also took a newly conciliatory tone toward his Hamas rivals, calling for a ''new page'' in relations between the bitter enemies. ''There is no way for any party here to be an alternative to the other, and there is no room for terms like coup or military takeover, but only for dialogue, dialogue, dialogue,'' Abbas said, referring to the Islamic militant Hamas' violent rout of his Fatah forces and takeover of the Gaza Strip in June. Abbas maintained his position that Hamas must restore power in Gaza to an elected government. But he urged reconciliation and called for new elections in an effort to end the suffering the Palestinian people have endured as a result of the takeover. ''I renew my offer for early elections here, as a way out of the hell that was imposed on us,'' Abbas said Monday. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum rejected Abbas' speech. ''It is full of incitement and words calling for divisions. There is no new initiative or practical step in this speech that can pave the road to start an immediate dialogue,'' he said.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

I think Israel is the only one that wants peace, the rest just want piece after piece of the land to the point there is no Israel. As the world pressures to concede in the name of peace and security, will the only nation that desires peace give up all that she has to appease both sides, the peace and the pieces?