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Saturday, September 28, 2013

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES


"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a universally popular story by Hans Christian Andersen. It is tale about two swindlers who promise to weave an emperor a new suit of clothes that is “invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.”  The swindlers pretend to dress the Emperor, and though no one can actually see the clothing, everyone including the Emperor pretends that they can.  No one, it seems, was willing to be “unfit for their positions, stupid or incompetent.” When the Emperor marched in procession before his subjects in his new clothes, only a child had the honesty to cry out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

The modern world now needs the clarity and honesty of such a child in dealing with the Nation of Israel.

The constant mantra from world leaders, the media and primary world institutions is that “The West Bank” must be given to the Palestinian Authority for the formation of a Palestinian State. It is said so often and with such matter of fact tone that it seems a foregone conclusion. Anyone who questions this smug determination is simply considered unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.

So, just what is the West Bank? The West Bank contains roughly all of biblical Samaria and Judea. It covers most of the land associated with the Bible for Jews and Christians alike. Samaria and Judea combined is the heartland of Judaism and early Christianity.

The term “Jew” originates in the Hebrew word Yehudi which means: “from the Tribe of Judah.” Judah of course is one of the sons of Jacob (Israel) and became the name of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Yehudi occurs 74 times in the Hebrew Bible. Examples would include 2 Kings 16:6 and 2 Chronicles 32:18 in which the plural, Yehudim, appears. In Jeremiah 34:9 the singular usage of the word Yehudi, (“Jew”) is used. There can be no legitimate dispute that there is a biblical and historic record of the connection between Jews and Judea.

Is it any wonder that the Palestinians, the Arab World, the United Nations and the Worldwide Media continually refer to Samaria and Judea as “The West Bank.” This is a blatant, poorly veiled attempt to ignore reality by separating the connections between Jews, Israel and Judea.

To describe territory as “occupied” by the very people from which the territory received its name is patently ridiculous, but such is the circumstance of the Jews today.

In the modern “pretend world” of international arbitrators and swindlers there is also a new “pretend language”. The Holy City of Jerusalem becomes “West Jerusalem” and “East Jerusalem” and Judea and Samaria become “The West Bank.” The world goes on pretending that separating Judea from Israel, the national Jewish Homeland makes sense,

Now more than ever it is time for those who see the truth to be as bold that little lad in Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale and declare “Judea is Israel, now and forever.”

Pray for the nearly 400,00 so-called Jewish settlers living in communities in Samaria and Judea. Pray that the falsehoods regarding these territories will be fully exposed.

And especially, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SAY WHAT??



SAY WHAT??

Kudos to Ann Curry of NBC for conducting an interview with Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani. I watched with great interest, especially when it came to questions that pertain to Israel.

Curry later stated: "It was less bombastic, more conciliatory and it was also clear that President Rouhani and his team see that his trip to the United Nations in New York next week will be a major opportunity for improving relations with the west." 

Perhaps so, but Mr. Rouhani’s answers were clearly intended to put a better face on the Iranian Regime before his speech at the United Nations next week. Instead, they gave us another fresh peek behind the Iranian diplomatic mask.

For instance, when asked about whether he believed that the Holocaust actually happened, he ignored the question and went back to his purpose for the interview; to influence the West with a softer, gentler voice of reason prior to coming negotiations regarding its nuclear program.

In answer to Curry’s straightforward question about pushing “Israel into the sea” (stated by Rouhani’s predecessor), again he simply obfuscated his own view by going back to the “new face.” He never answered her question.

A recent statement of the Supreme Leader of Iran, the true power behind the Iranian regime, is very telling: “A wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons, but he does not forget about his opponent nor about his main objective.”  

Who are his opponents? What is their main objective? The Iranian regime has a very long history of hatred for America, Israel and the West in general. This interview with Ms. Curry changes nothing of substance.

Earlier this week White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration continues to “hope that this new Iranian government will engage substantively to achieve a diplomatic solution” and that the United States “remains ready to engage with the Rouhani government on the basis of mutual respect to achieve a peaceful resolution.” Does that “mutual respect” include the need for truth? Can deniers of the Holocaust be capable of mutual respect?

The Jerusalem Post reports: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded Tuesday to what Jerusalem views as Iran’s “charm offensive” by laying down four stiff criteria for determining whether Tehran has indeed abandoned its nuclear program. “The way to stop Iran’s nuclear program requires four steps: Halting all uranium enrichment; removing all enriched uranium; closing [the uranium enrichment facility at] Qom; and stopping the plutonium track,” Netanyahu told the cabinet. “Only a combination of these four steps will constitute an actual stopping of the nuclear program, and until all four of these measures are achieved, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased”’ he added.

The world must heed the clarity and wisdom of Israel’s Prime Minister on this matter.

This new face given Iran by its figurehead president is merely a second face of a two-faced regime. Can they change? Yes, it is possible. We should move forward with great caution. President Reagan’s words still ring clear: “Trust, but verify.”

In a few days I will again be on the only soil on earth declared “Holy.” I will join with our Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) team, Knesset Members and Parliamentarians from many nations.

Pray for me, for our IAF staff and for the Parliamentarians, that in this time of such tension in the Middle East, Israel and its neighbors may have enduring peace.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Monday, September 2, 2013

REALITY CHECK…THE RETURN


Yesterday I wrote and posted an article about the realities Israelis must contend with as America and the rest of the world is ruminating over the situation in Syria. As I was writing, another even more ominous and personal event was unfolding in Jerusalem.

Just outside Jaffa Gate, the most popular entrance into the Old City, there is a beautiful open-air mall that was constructed with the idea of a safe and harmonious place where Jews and Arabs could work together. The Mamilla Mall features an outdoor promenade and a two-level indoor section as well as boutiques, internationally famous fashion stores and wonderful indoor and outdoor restaurants.

On Sunday, a regular work day in Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that it had arrested five Hamas terrorists from eastern Jerusalem last month who were planning to carry out an attack on the mall during Rosh Hashanah, the High Holiday season of the Jewish New Year. They intended to set off bombs. This outrageous attack by Palestinian Terrorists would have occurred sometime between September 4th and 6th when Jews, Muslims and Christians from around the world would have filled Mamilla Mall to capacity.

The “REALITY CHECK”? If Israel depended on anyone else for their internal security they would have no chance for peace. They are very vigilant and this latest attempted terrorist attack demonstrates why. It also underscores why Israel cannot depend on the United Nations or its allies such as the U.S. to protect its citizens.

I will be in Israel in about three weeks. I will walk from one end of Mamilla to the other. I will enjoy a meal at an outdoor restaurant. I will meet with my Jewish and Christian colleagues over coffee. We will strategize, catch up on one another’s life and work, we will laugh, we will swap stories and jokes…in other words, in defiance of those who hate, we will love, we will live. We will stand with the right of Israelis to have a peaceful capital city surrounded by secure national borders.

I urge you to go to Israel for a visit. Go to the Holy City. Enjoy Mamilla.

Remember to always pray and work for the peace of Jerusalem.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

REALITY CHECK



In Israel at this very moment, life and death decisions are being made. Like in America, governmental and military leaders are weighing their next steps. But in Israel mothers, teachers, cab drivers, souvenir peddlers, farmers and everyone else must make life or death decisions. Thousands of Israelis have been lining up outside gas mask distribution centers throughout the nation. Families are storing food. Synagogues, Mosques and Churches are resonating with prayers for divine intervention.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has deployed additional “Iron Dome” batteries in the north of Israel. The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells. It was very successful during the 2012 rocket attacks that were launched into Israeli territory from Gaza. The Iron Dome system shot down most of the rockets launched from Gaza that would have landed in populated areas. Additionally, Patriot and Arrow 3 missile batteries are being deployed around Israel and the IDF has issued a limited number of reservists call-ups. 

But what will happen if rockets fired from Syria or southern Lebanon contain chemical weapons? Even if successfully shot down the chemicals may still be spread over populated areas. If they are struck down before crossing into Israeli territory and chemicals are spread over innocents in Lebanon or Syria, the world community will condemn Israel. After all, they usually do, even when the Israelis are acting to protect its population, both Arabs and Jews alike.

Both Syria and the terrorist organization Hezbollah are supported and influenced by Iran. Earlier this week the Iranian army chief warned “Zionists will burn” if the U.S. attacks Syria. According to an Iranian news agency, Iran's Revolutionary Guard’s leader stated that a U.S. military attack on Syria would result in the "imminent destruction" of Israel and would prove a "second Vietnam" for America. So where is the outrage at the United Nations or in the worldwide media?

I offer these insights as a reminder that while we talk about the ins and outs of "making a point" by firing “a shot over the bow", Israel, and its citizens MUST act now with concrete steps because their very survival depends upon it.

Please pray for our government leaders. Pray for the Israeli people and their leaders. And above all, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.