Netanyahu: Israel Helps Because We are a Light Unto the Nations

During a ceremony welcoming Christian media representatives to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked why Israel goes so far out of its way to provide aid to disaster victims around the world.

From Haiti to Nepal to Japan to Mexico, Israel is almost always the first on the scene following major catastrophe, and more often than not sends one of the largest and best-equipped delegations, despite being so much smaller than many of the other nations responding.

In response to the question, Netanyahu cited the Bible:

Because we're a light unto the nations. That's the great fulfillment of that great prophecy, and in fact what Israel is doing. ...And the people say, well, what do you do? What is it that you get out of it? And the answer is we're not getting out of it anything, we're fulfilling our deepest values – Israel is a light unto the nations.

 

Death Penalty: Life vs. Anti-Life

The killing of three family members from Halamish settlement last July reignited the debate over the death penalty for terrorists.

Likud party MK Navah Boker took up the task of amending the existing death penalty law, that was never exercised apart from the execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1962. Boker was encouraged by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liebermann, who both expressed their wish that the Halamish terrorist be executed.

Defending her legislation proposal, Boker said, "I have no doubt that the death penalty for terrorists, along with other measures, is a real deterrent that helps Israel defeat terror. It is time to stop our sycophantic behavior toward terror and toward our enemies. It is important that the terrorist's family that sends its son to murder will know that he will receive the most severe penalty, instead of spending years in four-star hotel Israeli prisons, only to be released in some kind of a deal to return and murder innocent civilians."

Boker refers to the intolerable reality where hundreds of terrorists are released in controversial deals for the return of one Israeli soldier, dead or alive. Many of these terrorists, got a free education in prison and hero status in Palestinian society, immediately go back to killing Israelis.

Israel complains bitterly of the Palestinian "revolving door" policy, whereby it locks up Palestinian terrorists only to release them later. And yet, Israel ends up doing the exact same thing.

Considering itself as an "enlightened" democracy, Israel sees the death penalty as contradicting the value of human dignity. A leading ethics professor, Assa Kasher, expounded: "A democratic country is allowed to kill enemies in war or in terror acts only when it has no other choice." Kasher concluded that as a matter of principle, democratic countries should not execute convicted terrorists, or anybody else for that matter, so that the idea of human dignity is guarded under any given circumstance. He added that research from around the world has shown that the deterrent factor of the death penalty is negligible, particularly when considering the desire of Muslims to die for Islam's sake.

Likud MK David Bitan supports the death penalty because he, too, resents the anomaly of terrorists receiving deluxe prison conditions that encourage others to kill Israelis, rather than deter them. "Sentencing terrorists to death," he says, "is not only a necessity – it is also a moral demand." The death penalty, he continues, is first of all a punishment, one that can deter potential murderers and could stop the cycle kidnapping soldiers as bargaining chips for jailed prisoners.

Bitan puts his finger on the moral divide characterizing Israeli society. As things stand today, most Israelis still go along with Kasher's assumptions. Like him, they believe that the death penalty is immoral. This position contradicts the age-old Jewish moral code, which states, "If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first." This admonishment applies not only to a person actively trying to kill another, but also to one who has already killed, and will kill again.

Tragically, however, the enlightened moral code that prohibits the death penalty only serves to increase bloodshed, simply because when eliminating the "anti-life" element for the sake of the living is considered immoral, anti-life abounds.

 

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FULL TEXT: Netanyahu's Remarks to Christian Media in Jerusalem

I want to welcome you all to Jerusalem, the eternal united capital of the Jewish people.

You know, you are joining us as we celebrate 50 years since the Holy City was liberated and united; 50 years of religious freedom for all. You know that because you walk around, you go to the holy sites, you go to the churches, others go to the mosques, and you know this is a free city.

I want you also to join us in looking forward to the day when the embassies of all your countries move to Jerusalem.

Israel has no better friends – I mean that – no better friends in the world than the Christian communities around the world. And Israel is the one country in a vast region where Christians not only survive, they thrive.

You know the truth about Israel's history and the truth about our commitment to freedom. Freedom is under a challenge all the time, and I think it scored a big victory the other day. I want to thank President Trump for his courageous speech outlining a new course against Iran, the enemy of our free civilization.

Iran is a threat to the entire world, but today I want to focus on Iran's war against Christians. As you all know, Christians are brutally persecuted in the Islamic Republic. Pastors are jailed for no reason, no reason other than for being Christian leaders. Christians have been lashed. You hear this? Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services; Christians have been brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.

Now, some world leaders are willing to ignore this repression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them.

I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors. So today I have a simple request for the media outlets in this room: Dedicate this week to highlighting the plight of the countless Christians suffering under Iran; Profile the brave Christian leaders jailed for practicing their faith; Sit with the families of the school teachers jailed for years merely for converting to Christianity; Call out the lie and the lies of President Rouhani, who promised in 2013 that all religions would, quote, feel justice in Iran, while so many Christians live there in constant terror.

And I want to thank you for what you're doing, taking your part and doing your part to stand up for religious freedom. Thank you for highlighting the danger of the terrorist regime in Iran. Thank you for telling the truth about Israel's pluralistic democracy. Thank you for standing with Israel. We all are deeply grateful. Thank you.

Q: Good to see you, my friend. The influence of this Christian media group is much greater than ABC, NBC and CBS combined, and there's no fake news here. The question I want to ask you is concerning Iran. Tell us the influence that they're having with the terror, with Hamas, with Hezbollah, and in Syria, in light of the President's courageous stand.

Well, I think there are two issues that the President was concerned with and we're all concerned with, and coincidentally, on this Israel and the leading Arab states see eye to eye. And I said today in interviews on American television, I said, you know, when Israel and the main Arab countries see eye to eye, you should pay attention, because something important is happening. We're here. We know what we see. Here's what we see: We see two great dangers emanating from Iran. The first danger is the danger of a nuclear armed Iran, which is virtually guaranteed if this agreement is not changed or scrapped. Because that's where it's leading. It's leading not merely to Iran's capability to have an atomic weapon, one bomb. It virtually opens up the field so they can have within a decade 100 bombs, a vast nuclear arsenal. And this is Iran, which is, its economy is 30 times the size of North Korea. So you can imagine the world's foremost terrorist regime armed with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Is that going to produce peace? Is that going to produce progress? Because people said, well, if Iran signs this deal, two years ago, three years ago, when they were negotiating this deal and they were arguing for it. They said, once Iran signs this deal, then, they said, it would join the community of nations.

So Iran received the first installment of about 50 billion dollars coming in to its coffers, and what did they do? They didn't join the community of nations. They're devouring the nations one after the other. They're in Yemen firing rockets deep into Saudi Arabia; they're in Iraq killing people, now squeezing the Kurds; they're in Syria, colonizing Syria and the intent to turn Syria into a military base for their war of destruction against Israel.

Well, clearly we will not tolerate it, and we will act against any threats to our security and I think people understand that we back this up with words, with these words, with deeds. I think people know that. But I think the fact the President Trump focused the world's attention on Iran's dual threat – the nuclear threat of a deal that unless challenged would lead to a nuclear Iran, and the conventional threat of an Iran, an aggressive Iran that is spreading terrorism and aggression throughout this region. And I think that the resoluteness with which he put forward this case yesterday made a big impression. I tell you on who it made a big impression. It made a big impression on America's allies here and it made a big impression on Iran. They should be worried. Justly so.

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, Chris Mitchell, Bureau Chief for CBN News. And I know I speak for the Christian media here, thank you for making this summit possible.

As a follow up to Iran, I just came back from Kurdistan and many people I saw firsthand the growing influence of the Shiite militias and the growing influence of Iran. And they're concerned about a Shiite arc going from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean. Can you address their concerns? The decision by the Trump Administration to decertify the Iranian nuclear deal and the referendum for independence that was just a few weeks ago.

And one follow-up question, Mr. Prime Minister, many people may not know that Israel sends relief teams, search and rescue teams to earthquake places like Mexico, the hurricanes in Houston and Florida. With all the problems facing Israel, why does Israel feel obligated to reach out with humanitarian aid to the nations?

Because we're a light unto the nations. That's the great fulfillment of that great prophecy, and in fact what Israel is doing. It's doing it in places like Haiti or in the Philippines or in Mexico. I mean, you should hear what the people in Mexico said about Israel. I recently spoke to President Peña Nieto from Mexico, he called me up, and he said I want you to know how grateful the people of Mexico are. And you saw that in the Mexican media, they just love Israel.

I was there between two earthquakes, just in the stitch of time, a few days, and I saw how receptive and how warm the people of Mexico were to Israel before the earthquake. And then you know they saw this mission that came, taking some risk, considerable risk, and going through the rubble, and trying their best to salvage whatever could be salvaged, and the people really warmed up to that.

And you see that elsewhere, in many places around the world. You see it in Tibet, the same thing. Our mission in Mexico was the last, the first to come and the last to leave. Our mission in Nepal was the second largest mission in the world. The first was India – it's closer, and, you know, bigger. But ours was the second largest in the world. And the people say, well, what do you do? What is it that you get out of it? And the answer is we're not getting out of it anything, we're fulfilling our deepest values – Israel is a light unto the nations.

Now you talk about those who want to extinguish that light. Iran. Yes it wants to build a Shiite arc, to create – it's working on it, you know – which is Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. I said in the UN a few weeks ago that what they want from Tehran to Tartus, from Iran to the Mediterranean, they want this Shiite arc, to colonize it and control it, and everyone is concerned. All the countries, except Assad I think, everybody is really concerned and wants to stop it, because this is an act of unadulterated aggression.

They're trying to import… get this, they're trying to import Shiite militias that are now trying to choke the Kurds in Kirkuk, Shiite militias – Afghans, Pakistanis under Iranian command, and they want to bring them also right next to the Golan Heights. Well, this is colonization of the worst kind. And this is intimidation and subjugation of the worst kind. But that's what Iran is about, so obviously we all sympathize with the Kurds, we understand this, and we are absolutely determined to defend ourselves against this aggression.

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, it's on the books now that I'll see you on Tuesday for your interview with Mike Huckabee that's there at the Knesset, but he's going to ask you about the moving of the…

Are you giving me a promo?

I'm going to give you a heads up on what he is going to ask you. But it's no secret that your relationship with our former president Obama was a bit different. How is it going with Trump now? That's what we're concerned about. How is your relationship with Donald Trump going now?

Our relationship is fine, it's excellent actually, and there's, I think, a sense of warmth and an instinctive understanding on many important things. Now mind you, I want you to put this also in perspective. Yes I had some differences , like on Iran and a few other things, with President Obama, but it didn't really alter the solidity of the American-Israeli alliance. We also signed an MoU that I appreciate, I don't forget, it was important. So I think there is a basic alliance there that transcends differences that we may have over particular issues.

But the issue of Iran wasn't just another issue. The issue of Iran is existential for us. And I felt compelled to take our case to the American Congress because that deal, so-called deal, was a direct threat to our future, to our existence. I think there's been a change with regard to this central issue, because, because I think President Trump correctly identifies that Iran is not the solution but perhaps the problem in the Middle East. The problem. The source of so much aggression, so much terror and so much misery. 

And he wants to… He took a very courageous step yesterday, because what he did was, he could have kicked the can forward, he could have said, well it's not going to happen on my watch, so why should I deal with it. You know, Iran will become a nuclear power with a nuclear arsenal, if we just let the deal go through but it won't happen on my watch. But he said, no, it's the duty of leaders, and it's perhaps the most difficult duty of leaders, to ward off danger before it becomes apparent to everyone, because when it becomes apparent to everyone, it may be too late.

So I really appreciate what he did yesterday on this point, which is obviously very important for Israel, but also I think very important for the United States and for the future of the world. The relationship is good. I want to thank you all for your continued support for the State of Israel. I think when you and your readers and viewers and listeners, when they look at the Middle East and they see the forces that are aligned against the values we hold dear, you see a beacon of light, a towering beacon of light. Israel is not that big a country, you know that. It's a small country, but it's a gigantic country, because we stand on the shoulders of giants: the giants of the bible, the giants of Jewish history, the people who gave us our deepest values, which we share and which we cherish.

I want to thank you for your support.

Thank you very much. Thank you all.

 

Netanyahu: Most World Leaders Ignore Plight of Christians. I'm Not One of Them

Further dispelling the myth that Israel is hostile toward it's Christian population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Christian media representative to Jerusalem.

But he did more than just invite foreign Christians to see how their brothers and sisters in Messiah live in the Holy Land.

Netanyahu openly decried the mistreatment Christians in nearly every other part of the Middle East, and the world's indifference to their suffering.

Said the prime minister:

"Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services, brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith. Some world leaders are willing to ignore this oppression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them."

He took particular issue with Iran's treatment of Christians, referencing the imprisonment of pastors and those who dare to convert from Islam to Christianity.

"I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors," Netanyahu said.


 

Israel and Arabs Agree: Trump Right to Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right in noting that "when Israel and the Arab states agree on something, then you should pay attention."

Netanyahu was so right, that he repeated the phrase several times, to different audiences on Sunday.

Responding to US President Donald Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal under its current, grossly-violated conditions, and to classify the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, Netanyahu told American media:

"I commend the president for taking a historic and bold decision to avert this danger in time.

"He could have kicked the can down the road. He could have said ‘this isn’t going to happen on my watch, so I’ll just let it go,’ but he didn’t. He faced up to this danger and I think he gave an opportunity for all of us in the Middle East and beyond to fix this deal. Fix it or nix it. Because it could be very very dangerous if it just went through."


Netanyahu used the exact same words when he welcomed Christian media representatives to Jerusalem on Sunday evening.

The Israeli leader was not alone in hailing Trump for taking the first step in reversing Barack Obama's Iran policies.

Saudi King Salman phoned Trump to praise "his visionary new Iran strategy and pledged to support American leadership," according to a White House readout of the conversation.

Similar statements were released by the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states.

Which prompted Netanyahu to state: "When Israel and the Arab states agree on something then you should pay attention."

 

The Shame of Appeasement

Alarming reports are circulating that the British Foreign Office is behind a plot to ‘re-educate’ the church with teaching that suits the LGBTI+ agenda.

And most significantly, this coincides with a shocking rise of sexual assaults by children on other children as encouragement of promiscuity, aided and abetted by an Education Secretary determined to push the LGBT agenda, robs a new generation of its youth.

‘Re-education’, a policy apparently adopted both by the Foreign Office and Education Department, was the sinister tactic used for the promotion of Communism by the notorious Khmer Rouge as they went about their killing spree in Cambodia in the 1970s. It also bears the hallmark of China’s so-called Cultural Revolution of that period.

But in both cases, far from carrying out the Marxist aim of destroying the church, they only succeeded in making it stronger.

Today’s China boasts an estimated 100 million Christians, underpinning that vast country’s new prosperity, while Cambodian believers are also flourishing despite the brutal massacres of a generation ago.

Now a Foreign Office ‘think tank’, made up of specially selected advisors, is suggesting that sacred texts be ‘reinterpreted’ in order to conform to the sexual revolution, the ‘re-definition’ of marriage and the celebration of homosexual lifestyles.

A report produced by FO agency Wilton Park argues that this ‘theology’ should be required teaching in all churches (just as sexual promiscuity is becoming required teaching in schools). Wilton Park’s Advisory Council is chosen by the Foreign Secretary himself (currently Boris Johnson) from leading experts and academics. And its findings help determine Foreign Office policy around the globe.

Calling for an inquiry, Christian charity Barnabas Fund has expressed serious concern at the implications for the future freedom of religion of the Foreign Office’s involvement in pushing this ideological agenda.

Entitled Opportunities and challenges: the intersection of faith and human rights of LGBTI+ persons, the report is clearly about promoting LGBT while at the same time isolating those holding to traditional biblical teaching.

According to Heart newspaper, which circulates widely among churches in the South of England, mystery remains over what Mr Johnson knows of the report and how far he intends to implement its findings.

Over 26,000 have signed a petition launched by Christian campaigners Voice for Justice UK which was delivered to the Foreign Office on 21 September. But Rev Lynda Rose of VFJUK is quoted as saying there has been a ‘resounding silence’ from Mr Johnson’s office.

In a desperate bid to appease the strident gay sex lobby, these so-called thinkers are willing to pervert the truths of the word of God, hitherto unchanged for millennia. Prime Minister Theresa May, a vicar’s daughter, doesn’t need persuading, however, proclaiming same-sex marriage as one of her party’s proudest achievements while attacking traditional marriage supporters as ‘lacking compassion’.

Appeasing the gay sex lobby by all major parties has led to the appointment of lesbians to leading positions in Government, most notably Education Secretary Justine Greening, which has serious implications for the welfare of our children.

Tragically, appeasement has marked a succession of British Government initiatives over the years which has in turn led to disaster and brought great shame on our nation.

Neville Chamberlain tried it with Hitler in an effort to win ‘peace in our time’ but instead helped spark off a war in which 50 million people perished including six million Jews, many of whom could have been saved if we had acted sooner to rescue them from the death camps.

But the modern State of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust even without our help – despite having promised to do all we could to facilitate their return to the Holy Land through the Balfour Declaration issued 100 years ago next month. We reneged on our pledge in order to appease the Arabs who had no claim to the land and were not even looking after it until the Jews began returning in significant numbers.

Riots and massacres followed as Arabs determined to prevent the re-establishment of a Jewish national presence in their midst. Firm leadership from Britain in backing Jewish aspirations was needed (they ruled the region at the time), but appeasement signalled weakness on our part which has been constantly exploited ever since by those who wish to stir up trouble in the Middle East.

The current crisis is, in part, a legacy of our lack of godly leadership in failing to do the right thing. We even sat on the fence when the United Nations voted to recognise the re-born Jewish state 70 years ago next month shortly after the disagraceful act of turning back Holocaust survivors seeking refuge there.

This was followed, soon afterwards, by the shameful episode involving the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) in southern Africa. When the Tswana people’s heir-apparent Seretse Khama fell in love with Ruth Williams, a white Englishwoman, the Foreign Office did all they could to derail the marriage.

Why? Because they wanted to appease the South African government of D F Malan, which was in the process of building the apartheid structure separating the races by law. Inter-marriage involving the leader of a neighbouring state was hugely embarrassing, and our government – both Labour and Conservative – were more interested in the maintenance of economic and other ties with apartheid South Africa than with doing the right thing.

It all worked out in the end, but not before Seretse was forcibly exiled and thus separated from his young wife and new baby in a most undignifying manner for the son of a king. It was under (Sir) Seretse’s leadership, however, that Botswana emerged as a newly independent nation in 1966. And it has flourished ever since as a beacon of light among African nations, with the discovery of diamonds certainly adding a sparkle to the scene.

The story of Seretse and Ruth is beautifully told in the movie United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike and filmed on location in Botswana. An absorbing, sensitive and wonderfully romantic tale set against an intriguing political background, it is described as “the true story of a love that shook an empire”.

It’s time our Foreign Office (and Government as a whole) re-tuned its spiritual antennae to the voice of reason and wisdom through which God has spoken down the ages. Otherwise we will only repeat embarrassing mistakes of the past.

The Bible says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1.7) And the New Testament adds: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 1.25a)

In the context of current Tory infighting, Proverbs 28.2 puts it well: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”

One hundred years ago David Lloyd George’s War Cabinet was mostly made up of evangelical Christians who believed the Bible. That’s why they agreed to the Balfour Declaration – because they saw clearly that the Word of God spoke of the Jews being restored to their ancient land from the far corners of the earth, and that as far as Gentile believers were concerned, the right thing to do was to help them get there.

Now it seems that the Cabinet is mostly made up of those who seek to tamper with the Scriptures – and this is a very dangerous exercise. For the Bible ends with dire warnings of judgment from Jesus against anyone who either adds or takes away from his words – specifically in the Book of Revelation pertaining to the period leading up to his return. (Rev 22.18f)

But I conclude on a more positive note from a prominent member of today’s Cabinet, who has stood up foursquare for the Jews just as his forebears did 100 years ago.

Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event in Manchester, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said there was no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

And referring to the Balfour Declaration centenary, he said: “At a time when people are casual, cruel and callous towards the fate of the Jewish people, it is time for all of us to say that over the last 100 years, if we have learned anything, it is that when there is prejudice and hatred directed towards the Jewish people, darker times will follow. And it is our moral duty to say that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. We stand with Israel. We stand with the Jewish community.

Taking the Bible at its word is the only way to find that elusive peace, prosperity and social cohesion for which most of us long.

PHOTO: British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Flash90)


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

Netanyahu Announces New Settlement Construction

In a move that is certain to draw international criticism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of new housing units for Jewish settlements in the so-called "West Bank."

Some 3,800 homes will soon be built in disputed areas like the Jewish sectors of Hebron. The approval was granted subject to consultation with the US government.

An understanding between Netanyahu and President Trump whereby Israel seeks American approval for any new settlement construction is expected to bring an end to the routine condemnation that flowed from the Obama Administration.

As part of the understanding, the Americans will no longer differentiate between large settlement blocs and smaller, more isolated Jewish communities. For instance, the small Jewish neighborhood in the heart of Hebron is expected to gain approval for 30 new housing units, a major breakthrough for the Jewish residents of Judaism's second holiest city.

PHOTO: Construction site in Efrat (Gershon Elinson / Flash90)

 

Report: America Considers Buying Israeli Weapons

The United States Department of Defense is considering acquiring Israel's vaunted "Iron Dome" missile defense system, according the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot.

The report suggested the US could use the Iron Dome to defend assets both in North America and in Eastern Europe.

To date, the US military has no comparable system to counter short-range missiles and mortars.


The Americans also said they would be purchasing the Israeli-developed "Windbreaker" tank armor. The system has been used for years to protect Israel's Merkava main battle tanks from shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles.

PHOTO: Iron Dome defense system (Photo: Flash90)

 

Did Trump Say That Netanyahu is the Main Obstacle to Mideast Peace?

A worrying report suggests that US President Donald Trump has quickly adopted the position of his predecessor, Barack Obama, in singling out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Now, this initially struck Israelis as odd, given the extraordinarily warm relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, which has been on public display at least three times since the controversial real estate mogul took the White House.

Still, even allies have a way of eventually turning their backs on the Jewish state, so trepidation began to creep in.

Of course, the report came from Israel's most left-leaning news outlet, Ha'aretz, a publication that harbors no love for either Netanyahu or Trump, and was based on little more than hearsay from an anonymous source who wasn't even at the meeting where Trump allegedly made the troubling remarks.

Actually, the Ha'aretz report didn't even claim that Trump said Netanyahu was a problem when he spoke semi-privately with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, only that the "context" of his remarks suggested as much.

So, yeah, little more than left-wing conjecture.

And the Trump White House was quick to say the same, slamming Ha'aretz for wholly misrepresenting the president's words.

What this episode reveals far more than any possible new antagonism from the Trump White House is that the mainstream media is just as susceptible to "fake news" as any personal blog or conspiracy website.

 

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POLL: Arabs Prefer to Live in Israel

It's becoming increasingly difficult to describe Israel as an "apartheid state" when a firm majority of Arabs say they actually prefer life in the Jewish state.

And the Arab respondents in yet another survey on the matter are saying just that.

Conducted by the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation Center at Tel-Aviv University’s Dayan Center, and Kivun, a research, strategy and communications company, the survey asked local Arab residents how they personally view the State of Israel.

A firm 60 percent majority of Arabs overall said they hold a favorable view Israel, while only 37 percent described their view as unfavorable.

Among Arab Muslims, the view was 49%-48% in favor, and among Christian Arabs the view was 61%-33% in favor. Nearly all Druze (94 percent) said they view the State of Israel favorably.

It was notable that 47 percent of Arab respondents overall said they "felt unequally treated" compared to the country's Jewish population. Still, an overwhelming 63 percent majority said Israel is a good place for Arabs to live.

Michael Borchard, Israel director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, said that the results once again demonstrated that among local Arabs "there is more identification with Israel than with a possible Palestinian state."

 

Jerusalem Municipality Fires Security Guard For Disrespecting Jesus

The City of Jerusalem has taken harsh punitive action against one of its municipal city guards after he disrespected Jesus.

Tour guide Eran Tzidkiyahu posted on Facebook that he was walking through Safra Square in front of the Jerusalem Municipality when he spotted a security guard using white-out in a vain attempt to conceal the name of Jesus on a commemorative plaque.

"What you just did is a hate crime, and an act of vandalism," Tzidkiyahu told the guard. "I'm giving you an opportunity to clean it up now, in front of me, and I'll forget all about it. Otherwise, I'm going to the authorities."

The guard became belligerent, so Tzidkiyahu called over two police officers, noting that the whiteout on the plaque was still wet and insisting that they search the guard.

Realizing the trouble he could be in, the guard produced the bottle of whiteout, and after being scolded by the officers - one Jewish and the other Arab - he promised to clean the plaque.

While the Arab officer later told Tzidkiyahu that the guard had in fact cleaned the plaque, that wasn't good enough for the Jerusalem Municipality.

Seeing Tzidkiyahu's Facebook post, Municipal officials responded that they had conducted a brief investigation, concluded that the guard's treatment of the name of Jesus was "unworthy," and fired him.

 

Get Cooking With Dead Sea Salts

The Dead Sea is well known as a repository of healing minerals, a source of health and beauty and unique gifts of nature. There is more to the Dead Sea than just its cosmetic products.

Now there is a brand new range of salts that are flavorsome and healthy! Add these gourmet salts and flavors to your kitchen and transform it into an oasis of health and wellness!

 

Media Censures Mid-East Truth

A shaft of fresh revelation dawned on me after watching the extraordinary YouTube clip featuring former terrorist Mosab Hassan Yousef berating Palestinian delegates at the UN for betraying their own people and fanning the flames of the conflict with Israel.

I can see now that British and other Western media – by censoring what is not on their agenda – are partly responsible for the continuing violence in the Middle East. Let me explain.

Yousef, son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, switched allegiance to Israel’s Shin Bet security service after witnessing the torture of fellow prisoners by their own (Arab-Muslim) people. He discovered, to his great surprise, that his Israeli interrogators were friendly and caring.

And later, in the midst of working undercover on their behalf, and saving many lives in the process by tipping off police about planned atrocities, he had a ‘Damascus Road’ experience in which met and came to love the Jewish Messiah after taking up an invitation to study the Bible at Jerusalem’s iconic YMCA – the invitation was handed to him outside the famous Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the walled Old City.

But his life was now in double jeopardy – as if being a spy for Israel wasn’t dangerous enough, he was also forsaking his Islamic faith to follow Jesus. He was eventually forced to flee to America, where he is now courageously campaigning to spread the truth about Israel to a world media all too keen to swallow the ongoing propaganda denying Jewish connection to the territory.

And so it was that he found himself as guest speaker for UN Watch as he addressed delegates to the UN Human Rights Council last week. As the Palestinian Authority delegation reacted with shock and irritation, he accused them of committing human rights abuses against their own people, describing the PA as “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people”, adding: “If Israel did not exist, you would have no-one to blame.”

Before Yousef spoke, country after country spewed attacks against Israel, accusing them of being a genocidal, apartheid state. But Yousef silenced them all when he accused the Palestinian leadership of being hypocrites

“Where does your legitimacy come from?” he asked them. “The Palestinian people did not elect you and they did not appoint you to represent them. Your accountability is not to your own people. This is evidenced by your own total violation of their human rights. You kidnap Palestinian students from campus and torture them in your jails. You torture your political rivals. The suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of your selfish political interests.”

And they used Israel as a scapegoat, he added.

Yousef has found peace with the Jews, and with all men, through his relationship with Christ, having been reconciled both to God and man through his death on the cross (see Ephesians 2.14). His best-selling book, Son of Hamas, is still available in bookstores, and I have written widely about men like him who have come to love and honour the Jews, not through a political peace process involving endless negotiations and compromises, but through what Jesus did for all men as he took their sins and nailed them to the cross, thereby bringing an end to their enmity with one another – especially between Jew and Arab, descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham.

After attending a conference at Christ Church, Jerusalem, I wrote all about it in my book, Peace in Jerusalem, and continue to write about this precious subject as it lies at the very heart of the gospel which brings reconciliation between God and man and between Jew and Gentile.

With my own eyes, I witnessed Jew and Arab embracing one another as they shared communion representing the body and blood of the Lord who brought them together through his mercy and grace. In doing so, I also witnessed the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “For to us…a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called…Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9.6)

As a journalist of more than 40 years, I can spot a good story – and this, I reckoned, was the best story that has never been told; the answer to peace in the Middle East, and indeed the world. Over a two-week period, I offered my daily copy (free) to mainstream (Fleet Street) newspapers in the UK, but didn’t even receive the courtesy of a single reply to my emails.

Nevertheless, the inspiring stories were widely circulated to news outlets on four continents. So that’s why I say that the British media are partly responsible for the lack of progress in the Middle East, which has got considerably more violent since that 2014 gathering.

But it was so refreshing that historian A N Wilson tackled the ridiculous lengths to which political correctness has been taken in last Saturday’s Daily Mail, describing it as reflecting a ‘new dark age of intolerance’. Though not claiming to be a believer himself, he spoke up for those Christians who are treated with incredulity for believing, for instance, that abortion and sexual promiscuity are wrong.

Yet it is still very non-PC for our media to take an uncompromising stand on the Christian faith that underpins our nation with thousands of years of history, justice, innovation, education and care, spelling out in no uncertain terms the total relevance to our world of the Lord Jesus Christ, who made it absolutely clear that he was not one of many options for guiding us to heaven’s domain when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14.6)


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

The Forgotten Feast

There has been much speculation during the past couple of years about the culmination of the end of times due to certain signs in the sun, moon, and stars: ranging from the recent cycle of the four “Blood Moons” to the alignment of the stars on September 23, 2017. Various prophets of doom have used the Bible along with science and astrology to try to prove their theories but have only shown once again that man is incapable of predicting the date and time of the end of the world.

The Bible is an amazing book that contains truths about the past, present, and future, however, we as human beings must continually be careful to not put ourselves in God’s place and attempt to assign dates to God’s timetable. While many Christians around the world are quickly drawn into the latest sign in the stars they often miss the more practical timetable that God has given us through the prophet Moses: “The Appointed Times of the LORD” (Lev. 23).

Sukkot - The Feast of Booths

On Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017, the Jewish people, together with Gentiles around the world, will celebrate one of the Appointed Times of the LORD, the Feast of Booths or its Hebrew name “Sukkot.” 

The Feast of Booths is unique among the seven Appointed Times of the LORD as the one feast which will certainly be celebrated during the reign of the Messiah on earth:

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. - Zech. 14:16

The Bible speaks about the past of the Feast of Booths and about its future. It seems wise for the people of God to know, understand, and celebrate this biblical Feast with a prophetic future.

The Significance of The Appointed Times of the LORD

We read in the pages of the New Testament that when Yeshua came to this earth 2000 years ago, He clearly fulfilled the Appointed Times of the LORD which fall in the spring season: Passover (1 Cor. 5:7-8), First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:20), and The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). It is commonly believed amongst many evangelicals today, that just as Yeshua fulfilled the spring Appointed Times in His first coming, He will fulfill the fall Appointed Times at His second coming. 

Although God does use signs in the sun, moon, and stars to speak to those of us living on earth (Luke 21:25-28), He has also given us His Appointed Times (Lev. 23) which are continual reminders of who God is in relation to His people. These Appointed Times also help us to keep in step with the Creator of the universe as we observe these specific days.

The Forgotten Feast

The Appointed Times of the LORD, as found in Leviticus 23, are generally classified into the spring and fall Feasts, however, this only includes six of the seven Appointed Times. Unfortunately, there is one Appointed Time which is generally overlooked and forgotten by many evangelical Bible readers. This forgotten Appointed Time is called the Sabbath!

The irony of the Sabbath being the “forgotten Feast” is that it is actually the first Appointed Time mentioned in the list of seven (Lev. 23:1-3). The God of the Bible gave preeminence to the Sabbath in His list of Appointed Times for a reason. I believe that one of the reasons that God put the Sabbath first in His list of seven was in order to provide a basis to understand all of His Appointed Times. 

The Preeminence of the Sabbath

The Appointed Times of the LORD are specific days that God has commanded His people to remember and observe in order to properly worship Him. A fundamental practice of these days demands a cessation from work and the practice of a day of rest. This is the very essence of the weekly Sabbath practice.

Without becoming legalistic or putting ourselves under the Law, it would behoove each one of us to consider afresh the Appointed Times of the LORD, beginning with the Sabbath day. 

Learn more about Daniel Goldstein's teaching on the Sabbath by clicking here:
https://www.jewelsofjudaism.com/sample-page/the-sabbath-experience/

 

Abbas Admits Palestinian State Won't Happen Any Time Soon

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas admitted on Monday that an independent Palestinian state wouldn't be established any time soon.

He then predictably blamed Israel for that situation, just after he had all but acknowledged that the Palestinians and their chaotic, violent society were holding up the process.

Just hours before his own Palestinian Authority government was to convene with the Hamas rulers of Gaza in an effort at Palestinian unity, Abbas told Egypt's CBC News that failure to reconcile for so many years had precluded the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"Without Palestinian unity, there is no Palestinian state," said Abbas.

Israel has repeatedly noted that it can't make peace with only one half of the Palestinian population.

Abbas went on to hint that while his government and Hamas appeared to making strides toward reconciliation, some fairly insurmountable obstacles remained in the way.

Chief among those is Hamas' refusal to dismantle its sizable military force.

Even if the two Palestinian factions reconciled, a separate Hamas army would be seen by Israel as unacceptable under any final status agreement.

Abbas, too, demands that Hamas disarm, saying he "won't accept the reproduction of the Hezbollah experience in Lebanon."

Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, but maintains its own large military force that effectively controls portions of the country.

For its part, Hamas has repeatedly rejected all calls for it to turn over its weapons. Indeed, the Islamist group's primary claim to fame is its history of armed violence against Israel.

 

Israeli Soldiers Defy Media Stereotype, Help Save Palestinian Life

Officers with Israel's Border Police this week provided emergency medical assistance to a Palestinian man who collapsed during prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The Israelis responded immediately after learning the Arab man had lost consciousness, possibly due to dehydration.

Paramedics with the Border Police unit on duty administered first aid while a Red Crescent ambulance made its way to the scene. The Israelis managed to stabilize the man before transferring him to the ambulance for further treatment.

"It's not the first time that our soldiers and paramedics have provided medical assistance to Palestinian Arabs," said a spokesman for the Border Police. "And we will continue to provide such assistance to every person, regardless of gender, race or religion."

PHOTO: A Border Police officer gives first aid to a Palestinian Arab. (Photo: Israel Border Police)

 

Freely Choosing Jewish Identity

Jewish existence is an enigma for more than one reason. Anyone with even a shallow familiarity with Jewish history knows that, in times of great trouble, Jews traditionally preferred suffering and even death over the convenience of conversion, be it to the enlightened culture of the time, Christianity or Islam.

It seemed as if the more Jews were persecuted, the more they held on to their heritage; "the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew."

The opposite can be said about Jews living in tolerant societies. The more a given society is tolerant, the more Jews are willing to let go of their heritage. When the Greeks, the enlightened of the time, ruled Israel, Jews were Hellenizing themselves en masse. After years of such sinful behavior, Mattathias in 167 BC ignited the Maccabean revolt by killing a Jew who obeyed Antiochus Epiphanes' decree to offer sacrifice to the Greek gods. Mattathias and his followers were a small minority who refused the good life that assimilated Jews had enjoyed for many decades.

This anomaly can be seen today, perhaps like never before. In America, the land of the free, more Jews are assimilating than those who aren't. It is in a land where Jews can live out a full Jewish life without the slightest disturbance that they choose to identify with the "enlightened" culture around them rather than with Judaism.

In the one-and-only Jewish state in the world, most Jews are secular, and many complain bitterly over the religious restrictions in our country, such as the lack of entertainment on Yom Kippur (the Day of Attornment). It is almost an axiom that the freer a Jew is, the more likely he or she will be willing to abandon Jewish identity.

As strange as it may sound, it seems to be more difficult to choose Jewish identity in a free society than it is in an oppressive one. This difficulty was actually recognized long ago by the Jewish sages who praised the Jews of Persia in the time of Ahasuerus (often identified with Xerxes) because they, for the first time in Jewish history, chose freely to submit themselves to the Law of Moses.

Choosing to be a Jew is nothing short of a wonder. Well remembered is Tevye's funny, yet profound monologue with God: "I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?" This is why there is nothing obvious about Mark Zuckerberg's post this week, which, in essence, is a statement of commitment to his Jewish heritage. Zuckerberg, who owes nothing to anyone in this regard, chose, and not for the first time, to highlight his Jewish identity. "Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes … For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness," he wrote on his personal Facebook profile.

At the same time, Israeli tennis champion Dudi Sela was taking a very similar stand. Sela is not religious by any means. But, when the Day of Atonement crept up on him in the middle of China's Shenzhen Tournament, Sela had to make a decision about what was more important to him, tennis or his Jewish values. Sela chose the latter, which cost him tens of thousands of dollars. For his choice, Sela was highly praised by Israel Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, who wrote: "I was moved by your decision to cut your game short because of the Day of Atonement … May God bless you and stand by your side as you continue to peruse your career."

Sela, it should be emphasized, wasn't competing in a private capacity. He was representing Israel, and all it stands for.

Today's spiritual valor, wrote journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir, comes from one's inner being, rather than from external pressures. The valor of Zuckerberg and Sela is just as praiseworthy as the valor expressed under duress.

 

Our Mini Sukkot catalog is online now!

This Wednesday evening, our joyful Feast of Tabernacles begins. As the Day of Atonement ended last Saturday night, the night air was filled with an eager hammering as Israelis were consumed with the construction of their Sukkot.

The whole country is already abuzz and a holiday the atmosphere has filled the country!

In honor of Sukkot we are offering holiday prices on selected products and have added more new products to our inventory. We invite you to celebrate the feast together with us.



 

Killing of the Innocents

As the earth is ravaged by an unprecedented series of natural disasters, accompanied with threats of war and terror, world leaders have been presented with a heavenly vision.

In challenging the “fake history” of those who deny Jewish links with Israel’s holiest sites, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu has sounded a clarion call for the United Nations to acknowledge the divine authority of the world’s greatest book – the Bible.

Three times he referenced the Bible in a powerful speech to the UN in which he claimed that Israel’s right to exist and prosper as a nation rooted in God’s Word.

Referring to July’s declaration of Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian World Heritage site, he said you won’t read the true facts of its history in the latest UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report.

“But you can read about it in a somewhat weightier publication – it’s called the Bible,” he mocked, adding that it was “a great read”, that he read it every week, and that they could purchase it from Amazon.

How refreshing that at least one nation’s leader takes his stand on the Bible, though it is entirely appropriate as Bibi leads the people who gave it to us! As well as a sacred book written by divine authority, it is also an historical record which validates Israel’s claim to the Promised Land they now occupy.

But in making such a divine claim for the territory, Bibi must also seek to apply the Law – that is, the Lord’s teaching on ethical matters – to his domain.

He is right in saying that the words of the prophet Isaiah – that God called Israel to be a light to the nations – is being fulfilled as the tiny Jewish state becomes a rising power. But their call “to bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49.6) must mean more than hi-tech innovation and being good neighbours through their search-and-rescue teams sent to disaster areas and medics tending to wounded Syrians on their northern border, though we praise God for all that.

Israel is nevertheless rife with immorality – and I am thinking particularly about abortion, a killing of innocents that echoes previous turning points in Israel’s (and the world’s) history at the time of Moses and of Jesus. I appreciate that its practice in modern Israel is less prevalent than in most parts of the West, but some 650,000 childrenhave nevertheless been denied life in a country that gave God’s law to the world, including the commandment ‘Thou shall not kill’.

In the UK, shockingly, nine million babies have been murdered in the 50 years since the passing of the Abortion Act, originally designed to prevent backstreet abortions and meant to apply only where a mother’s life was threatened. Now it is virtually a case of abortion on demand as further calls are made for relaxing the law. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Lesley Regan believes terminations should be the same as any other medical procedure, requiring consent from only one doctor, just as if they were having a bunion removed. But the fact that 650 doctors have signed a petition against it is very encouraging.

Paradoxically, the killing of innocents has accompanied the greatest rescues mankind has witnessed. Moses survived the edict of the Egyptian Pharaoh calling for the slaughter of all Hebrew babies to lead his people out of slavery to the Promised Land. Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, survived King Herod’s massacre of infants – ironically by fleeing with his family to Egypt in response to God’s warning – to bring salvation to the world through his sacrificial death on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem.

Moses also received the Law of God; now Jesus writes the Law on our hearts (Ezekiel 36.26, Jeremiah 31.33). Moses was hidden among the bulrushes of the Nile and became the saviour of his people; Jesus was raised in the backwaters of Nazareth but became the Saviour of the world as he brought true freedom to all who would trust in his redeeming blood (John 8.36).

My colleague, Clifford Denton, tells me of a conference held in Israel in 1996 at which Messianic leaders gathered to discuss the Jewish roots of Christianity. “Unknown to me until afterwards,” he said, “it turned out that the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) was voting on an abortion law at the very same time that we were discussing Torah (the Law of Moses). In fact the Knesset was struck by lightning at that very time.”

With innocents around the world being butchered as never before, the Messiah is about to be revealed to the nations. Jesus indicated that his coming again would be as in the days of Noah (Luke 17.26) when the world was full of violence (Genesis 6.13). Terrorism stalks the planet as unbelievable cruelty mars even supposedly enlightened societies while nuclear holocausts have become a distinct possibility, with both North Korea and Iran making ominous noises. And all this while nations reel under the ferocious effects of earthquakes and hurricanes – also spoken of as signs of the Messiah’s imminent return (Luke 21.25-28), especially when they follow in rapid succession and increasing severity, as on a woman with labour pains. (Matthew 24.8)

Of the three major Jewish feasts, Jesus has fulfilled both Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost). Many Bible commentators believe he will soon fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles (shortly to be celebrated throughout the Jewish world) when he returns to reign from Jerusalem. The One who protects his people, and provides for them, as he did in the wilderness so long ago, will finally bring in the harvest of those who believe in him as he comes to ‘tabernacle’ (or live/make his dwelling) among us. (See John 1.14)

The day is coming – very soon, it seems – when the killing of the innocents will give way to the glorious return of the Son of Man “coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21.27) to avenge every wrong as he passes judgment on a cruel world.

Israel – you are truly called to be a light to the nations, and indeed you have impressed so far with many marvellous inventions. But the brightest light is the fulfillment of the Law through Yeshua HaMashiach, who brings hope, not despair; and life, not death. 

 

Trump Admin Rebuffs US Ambassador for Legitimizing Jewish Settlements

In another worrying sign that US President Donald Trump might not be as wholly on Israel's side as some might have hoped, the Trump State Department on Thursday rebuffed its own ambassador to Israel for legitimizing Jewish settlements.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Israel's resettlement of the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, US Ambassador David Friedman told the Walla news portal that the "settlements are part of Israel."

Friedman explained that the various UN resolutions upon which the peace process is based never required Israel to surrender the entirety of the territory it liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967.

The Trump State Department's reaction was both swift and harsh.

"I just want to be clear that our policy has not changed," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, stressing that Friedman's remarks represent his views along, and should "not be read as a shift in US policy."

 

Israel Celebrates 50 Years of Resettling the Biblical Heartland

It was 50 years ago that Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordanian occupation and began resettling the biblical heartland in accordance with both the Word of God and the original League of Nations decisions.

At a ceremony marking the occasion on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

"Settlement is important to you in the same way that it is important to me, so I say very clearly: There will be no further uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.

"The way to make peace is not through uprooting — not of Jews and not of Arabs. We did not get peace when we uprooted settlements, we got terror and missiles and we will not do that again.

"Any territory that falls into the hands of radical Islam becomes the basis for violence, murder and death, and so we will not abandon our national home to danger. Instead we will strengthen our home with this momentum."

While Netanyahu ran all of his past election campaigns on a platform of strengthening the Jewish communities in the disputed territories, he has come under harsh criticism for repeatedly bowing to international pressure by implementing construction freezes.

One of Netanyahu's most outspoken critics in this regard has been Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who told Wednesday's gathering in the Etzion Bloc of settlements south of Jerusalem:

"I don’t take such a step lightly, in order to implement sovereignty, it takes timing and courage. There is no better time than now, as it is clear that we are here by right and not by grace.

"There is no better time that this, even if world resists, we shall overcome it. The world also understands what the Israeli public understands, the Land of Israel will never again be divided!"

 

WATCH Former Terrorist Stuns the UN by Calling Out Palestinian Leadership

 

Trump Jabs Israel Over Settlement Boasting, Suggests Doing It More Subtly

As expected, and hoped, US President Donald Trump did not join the rest of the international community in condemning Israel's settlement enterprise.

But he did signal that the Jewish state should be more subtle in executing its long-term vision for this land.

Typically, and inexplicably, Israel publicly announces every time it is about to embark on a major settlement building campaign.

In remarks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chief of staff, unnamed Trump Administration officials reportedly urged Israel to be less "piggish" in its settlement building.

“It’s okay to be a pig but not to be a hazer,” Netanyahu said, relaying a message he said his chief of staff was given and using the Yiddish word for pig.

 

2 IDF Soldiers Killed, 4 Wounded in Artillery Tragedy in Golan Heights

Israel woke to news of tragedy on Wednesday after a training accident in the Golan Heights left two IDF soldiers dead, and another four wounded.

An army spokesman later reported that a self-propelled artillery gun had flipped over after firing and crushed six soldiers.

Of those who later succumbed to their injuries and died was the platoon commander.

"This was a very serious and painful incident," IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

The army has opened multiple investigations into this and other fatal training accidents of late.

 

WATCH: IDF Raids Home of Har Adar Terrorist

 

Israel's Palestinian "Peace Partners" Honor Terrorist Who Murdered Three

Less than a day after three Israelis were murdered while guarding the Jerusalem suburb of Har Adar, the Palestinian Authority was honoring their killer as a "holy martyr."

The attack was carried out by Nimer Mahmoud Ahmed Aljamal, a 38-year-old Palestinian father of four who worked as a cleaner in Har Adar.

He was known both to local security and residents, and therefore aroused no suspicion before he mercilessly opened fire on Tuesday morning.

Aljamal managed to kill a Border Police officer and two civilian security guards, but was himself shot dead before he could enter the Jewish town.

In response to the attack, the official Facebook page of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party featured a graphic praising Aljamal as a holy martyr.

The caption under Aljamal's photo reads: "In the name of the Fatah movement, we share the sorrow of the family of the shaheed (holy martyr) Nimer Mahmoud Ahmed Aljamal, who was killed in the operation today."

 

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Terrorist Exploits Coexistence to Murder 3 Israelis

Three Israeli security officers were shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist at the entrance to the Jerusalem suburb of Har Adar on Tuesday morning.

One victim was identified as St.-Sgt. Solomon Gavria, a 20-year-old member of the Border Police, who had started his mandatory military service only 18 months ago. Gavria leaves behind his parents and three siblings.

The second victim publicly identified was civilian security guard Youssef Ottman, a resident of the neighboring Arab village of Abu Ghosh.

The identity of the third fatality had not yet been published by press time. A fourth Israeli victim was listed in seriously condition following the attack.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours, when a large number of Palestinian laborers show up at the crossing point hoping to find work in the Israeli towns and villages the dot the hills to the west of Jerusalem. The terrorist exploited this normally peaceful crossing.

Identified as a 37-year-old father of four from the Palestinian village of Beit Surik, the terrorist had never before engaged in violence against Israel. As he approached the crossing point, he pulled out a pistol and shot at the Israeli guards. The terrorist himself was quickly shot and killed, but not before claiming multiple victims.

Har Adar, which sits adjacent to the Green Line, and the surrounding towns and villages were noted for years of peaceful coexistence with neighboring Arabs, even during times of widespread terrorism elsewhere in the country.

But this morning's attack could change all that, many fear. Israeli authorities will now be far more strict in checking Arab workers, inevitably leading to greater frustration, tension and opportunity for violent confrontations.

 

What are Trump and Netanyahu’s Options To 'Fix or Nix' the Iran Nuclear Deal?

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a forceful case against Iran’s behavior in the Middle East and the merits of the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to “rip up” the “disastrous” deal. Yet his administration has not taken any concrete steps to either renegotiate or pull the U.S. out. However, a key deadline looms in mid-October that has led to a flurry of speculation whether the Trump administration may make a major shift in strategy regarding the deal.

“The Iran deal is one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into to,” Trump declared to the international body filled with world leaders. “Frankly, that deal was an embarrassment to the U.S.”

The president took Iran to task for its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East, saying that Tehran “speaks openly of mass murder, death to America and the destruction of Israel,” while also exporting “violence, bloodshed and chaos” throughout the region.

Drawing on Trump’s muscular speech, in his own address to the world body, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has derided the agreement for years, said the Islamic Republic could become the next North Korea if the nuclear deal isn’t “fixed or nixed.”

"There are those who still defend the dangerous [Iranian nuclear] deal, arguing that it will block Iran's path to the bomb. That's exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out. If nothing changes, this deal with turn out exactly the same way," Netanyahu warned.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior Iran analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS.org that Netanyahu “laid out the situation on Iran pretty well for his call to ‘fix it or nix it.’”

“There is a way to fix the Iran deal, and the way to do it is actually use the U.N. system and use Iran’s track record of bad behavior under the deal,” he said. “It’s the track record of being a maligned player in the region, which Trump and Netanyahu both referred to, to get this leverage with the Europeans to renegotiate it.”

Trump administration strategy

Last week, the Trump administration extended sanctions relief for Iran, but left open the possibility that it may not certify Iran’s compliance with the deal at the mid-October deadline.

However, administration officials, and even Trump on Twitter, has discussed the decertification of the Iran nuclear deal as an option. Under U.S. law, the president must certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the deal. If the president does not certify their compliance, Congress could reimpose sanctions that were originally lifted, effectively ending the U.S.’s participation in the agreement.

Ben Taleblu said there has been a remarkable amount of consistency within the administration on not telegraphing its options on Iran.

“Despite all the talk about decertification and the October deadline, they have also done a good job at cultivating the ambiguity and uncertainty of what actually will happen,” he said.

Ben Taleblu believes the Trump administration should leverage the uncertainty over what will happen in October to get European allies on board with their future policy, while also preventing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from driving a wedge between the U.S. and Europe on the nuclear deal.

“Europe is already eager to engage with Iran on the business front. The Trump administration needs to prevent Europe from being wooed by Iran and reject the charm offensive by Rouhani,” he said.

The Trump administration, according to Ben Taleblu, needs to “prevent the transatlantic community from being split, and working within the confines of international forums like the U.N., to develop a unified interpretation of the deal, with all its problems and pitfalls, and use that to vigorously enforce the deal and eventually set a predicate to renegotiate the deal.”

‘Sunset clauses’ in the Iran deal

In an interview following Trump’s speech, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News that the so-called sunset clauses, which allow for key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to expire over time, were of particular concern.

"If we're going to stick with the Iran deal there has to be changes made to it. The sunset provisions simply is not a sensible way forward," Tillerson said. "It's just simply ... kicking the can down the road again for someone in the future to have to deal with."

Tillerson’s comments echoed that of Netanyahu’s, who slammed the sunset clauses in the nuclear deal in his U.N. speech.

Netanyahu told the world body that "when that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world, because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons."

In his address, Trump did not mention the sunset clause, but suggested concern over it.

Despite forcefully urging the U.S. to stay in the Iran deal, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed some concern over aspects of the agreement in his U.N. speech.

"Let's be stricter, but let's not unravel agreements that have already brought security,” Macron told the U.N. Tuesday.

Notably, Macron pointed out a few flaws of the deal, including the sunset clauses, which “could be an opportunity for the Trump administration to build a bridge to Europe and develop a coherent policy around those issues,” Ben Taleblu said.

“Even though Europe has been against renegotiating the deal, some comments from European leaders, such as Macron, give me some cautious optimism for the Trump administration to go about creative ways in fixing the nuclear deal.”

Reprinted with permission from JNS.org

 

North Korea Again Threatens 'Sacred' War Against Israel

North Korea has responded to Israel's siding with the United States against Pyongyang's nuclear arms program by threatening to destroy the Jewish state.

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized North Korea, the hermit regime issued the following statement:

"This is an unpardonable insult and provocation to the dignity and social system in the DPRK and the choice made by its people.

"Israel not only represents dictatorial forces for aggression that trample down the legitimate right of the Palestinian people and indiscriminately kill them but also is a rogue group that poses a nuclear threat and makes terrorist attacks on its neighboring countries with lots of nuclear weapons."

Yes, North Korea actually accused Israel of regularly attacking its neighbors with nuclear weapons.

Remember, they don't get a lot of outside news and information in North Korea, so perhaps they can be excused for being so woefully confused?

What's not a joke is the possibility of North Korea passing on weapons, technology and other resources to enemies much closer to Israel's borders.

The Syrian nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in 2007 is widely believed to have been built by North Korean engineers.

 

VIDEO: Iran Tests Missile That Can Hit All of Israel

 

A Precious Passing

They say death is the ultimate statistic – it’ll happen to us all. But there is a time to die, the Bible says (Ecclesiastes 3.2), and in the case of my dear friend Martin Hall, there was a sense in which it was perfectly timed amidst an atmosphere of profound beauty, sweetness, glory and triumph, although of course tinged with the bitterness of loss, especially for Margaret, his wife of 41 years.

I now understand what the Bible means when it says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” (Psalm 116.15) As he struggled for breath in his last moments, you got the sense that he was about to breast the tape of a marathon of discipleship, serving Christ with such wholeheartedness and humility. And that he could say with St Paul: “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4.7f)

As a devoted supporter of Israel, the sweetness of the occasion became even more appropriate for Martin when his funeral took place at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, associated as always with apples and honey.

There was never any pomp or circumstance about his endeavours for the Lord; he was just happy to mingle unnoticed with the crowd of faithful ‘joggers’, striving for that special medal. From a human perspective, you might easily have passed him off as just another runner in the field of gospel work, but you would have missed the unsung hero that he really was.

Because he never blew his own trumpet, you would not have known, for example, that he had probably saved countless Jewish lives through his generosity and support, both in prayer and finance, of projects dedicated to rescuing Jews from anti-Semitic environments in Europe and beyond by providing them with the necessary documents and safe passage to Israel.

Fred Wright, who is involved in this work, said at his funeral: “He would never let an opportunity go by without offering to help. In the last communication we had, he was asking how he could help Jewish people in Venezuela and Argentina.

“Martin was a great facilitator who embodied all the elements of what the Bible describes as a righteous man. The world is a sadder place for his absence and the kingdom has lost one of its greatest servants – a kind, gentle and humble man. Our loss is heaven’s gain.”

Martin loved the Jews because he loved Jesus, the Jew, and – though a smart high-flyer in the business world – he was sold out for the kingdom of God.

My wife Linda kept Margaret company during the long night leading up to his passing at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary. At one point she recalled a framed picture she had at home, by artist Lesley Hollingworth, of a beautiful gold-trimmed cup underscored with a verse from Isaiah 62.3, “You will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Linda picks up the story: “I went home to fetch it, removed it from its frame and tried to convey to Martin how God saw him that way: lots of bright colours, with the gold showing how precious and valuable he was.

“As soon as I finished, another friend, Ginnie White, joined me at his bedside – Margaret had gone home to change at this stage. Ginnie heads up an international dance ministry and had come straight to the hospital from the airport following a tour of Northern Ireland as she had a special song she wanted to sing over Martin. I was simply amazed as I heard her singing about a cup of many colours which, wherever it had cracked, God had filled with gold!

“Ginnie’s song; my picture,” I told him. “Such perfect symmetry… We continued singing, worshipping and reading the Scriptures (they say that hearing is the last thing to go).”

Then, some hours later as the end drew near, Margaret began to share a powerful dream she had once had of being on the cross with Jesus and seeing this wonderful view of a beautiful landscape. And just as she got to the point where Jesus urged her, “Come and join me!” Martin took his last breath. He joined the Lord Jesus at that very moment, dying peacefully amidst the tangible presence of God.

Some 36 hours earlier, when he was still managing to speak, though with great difficulty, we deciphered that he was telling us (Linda and Charles) to be family for Margaret (who no longer has any immediate blood family). It reminded us of some of Jesus’ last words – when he told John, his beloved disciple, to take his mother Mary as his own. It was a precious moment.

The haematology ward nurses, so caring and compassionate, were overcome with tears on his passing, especially on observing the couple’s devotion to one another. Yet Margaret was able to console them with the words, “It’s all about God’s love!”

And so, as at Rosh Hashanah, it is not the end for him, but a new beginning. A celebration of his life will be held at the Bessacarr Evangelical Church in Doncaster on what would have been his 70th birthday. Ironically, he didn’t want a fuss for his 70th, but he’s getting one now!

Most profoundly, Martin’s lifetime has mirrored the blossoming of Israel foretold by Jesus (Matthew 24.32), having come into the world just weeks before international recognition of the re-born Jewish state by the United Nations and then watching it bud and grow into the powerful political entity we see today. The spiritual re-birth is next, and we all await that with eager expectation.

Photo: Martin and Margaret Hall pictured at Qumran in 2013 during one of their many visits to Israel. Photo: Charles Gardner


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

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Offer valid until Sep 25, 2017



 

Netanyahu Delivers Stern Message to Iran in United Nations Speech

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled no punches during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

The focus of Netanyahu's speech was the failed nuclear agreement with Iran, which continues to deny international inspectors and violate the terms of the deal.

Iranian officials have in recent weeks boasted that they can restart a nuclear arms program at any moment, and that they remain dedicated to eradicating Israel within 25 years.

Netanyahu told them firmly and boldly that will never happen.

"I have a simple message for Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished!" insisted Netanyahu.

Photo by Amir Levy/FLASH90

 

WATCH: Trump and Netanyahu Meet on Sidelines at UN General Assembly

 

Iran Reiterates Threat to Destroy Israel in Very Near Future

A top Iranian general this week again threatened to destroy Israel, saying the Jewish state's demise would come even sooner if it didn't keep quiet about the nuclear deal Tehran signed with Barack Obama.

“Israel should stay quiet and count the days until its death. Its smallest mistake will result in its destruction,” said General Abed Al-Rahim Musawi, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency.

Three weeks ago, Musawi stated firmly that within 25 years, Israel would no longer exist.

In his latest remarks, the general sought to clarify that "this doesn't mean Israel will have the full 25 years to live."

 

Chag Sameach - Celebrate The Jewish New Year 5778 With Us!

Rosh Hashana is upon us and we wish all our readers and friends of Israel friends a blessed Jewish New Year 5778!

In honor of the festival we are offering 30% off our shop's inventory for the coming week!

We will be celebrating Rosh Hashana with our loved ones, but our Israel Today shop will remain open for you to place your online orders and earn your 30% discount 24/7!

Shana Tova!



 

Trump Vows America Will Help Israel Push Back Iran

US President Donald Trump has reportedly vowed to help Israel ensure that Iran does not bolster its power and influence in the Middle East, in particular by filling the power vacuum in Syria.

"The US will not allow Iran to take over Syria. The US will not leave Israel alone in this arena," a senior US official quoted Trump as saying in remarks to the daily newspaper Israel Hayom.

Israel has warned that it will use any means necessary to prevent Iran from establishing a foothold in Syria, and especially to deny the transfer of game-changing weaponry to Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Trump will reportedly meet privately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week when the two attend the opening of the UN General Assembly.

Netanyahu is said to be preparing an outline for significant chances to the Iran nuclear deal that he intends to present to Trump.

PHOTO: Netanyahu meets with President Trump at Ben Gurion Airport (FLASH90)

 

VIDEO: Jerusalem's Shuk Mahaneh Yehudah

 

The God of Israel Rules

The threats of the North Korean dictator are frightening indeed, and could well ignite a nuclear war, but they are part of a bigger picture of worldwide rebellion against the God of creation. On a more specific front, they’re a smokescreen for a potential Armageddon in the Middle East as Russian-backed Iran and its allies move dangerously close to Israel’s borders.

Only last week (September 7) Israel carried out a daring air strike against an Iranian-run weapons factory in the heart of Syria, severely damaging (if not destroying) the facility where chemical and biological munitions as well as medium-range missiles are being developed. Syria has in turn warned about “dangerous repercussions”.

The strike took place exactly ten years after Israel – the only country in recent years that has stood up to North Korea until now – destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor being built with the help of the rogue regime.

British politicians, while appalled by the antics of Kim Jong-un, are nevertheless shaking their fists at God in their own way as, with their atheist agenda, they question the existence of a divine order. Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, they pose the subtle question: “Did God really create man and woman to procreate?” (See Genesis 3.1)

At the centre of the earth today stands a small Jewish state. And what the world interprets as an ideological battle over a piece of land the size of Wales is in effect an Arab-Muslim challenge to the God of Israel, revealed to us through his Son Jesus Christ.

Their claim that the land does not belong to the Jews despite thousands of years of historical, archeological and biblical evidence was decisively countered by the 1947 discovery on the shores of the Dead Sea of ancient scrolls proving Jewish connection to the territory well before the emergence of Islam – and recognised as such by the United Nations that same year.

The findings in caves at Qumran included the entire original text of the Book of Isaiah, over 2,500 years old. This was found intact among hundreds of parchment scrolls hidden in the desert cliffs exactly as it is recorded in modern times – no Chinese whispers here, but God’s authentic hand.

There is no doubt that the unearthing of these scrolls – along with much more archeological evidence – fully vindicated Israel’s claim to the land, quite apart from other political and biblical factors.

At the heart of all the sabre-rattling going on now is a battle – not really over whether there is a God, but over who he is. And the Judeo-Christian position that formed the basis of Western civilization is that He is the God of Israel. When Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, threatened Jerusalem with destruction in ancient times (2 Kings 18 & 19), Judah’s King Hezekiah prayed to the ‘God of Israel’ and the result was a resounding defeat for their enemies. The emphasis of his prayer was that his Lord would demonstrate that he alone was God. (2 Kings 19.14-19)

Similar threats are heard today from those opposed to Israel. The former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, has been denied the chance “to promote dialogue and a better understanding of the Palestinian narrative” in the UK Parliament thanks, it seems, to an 18,000-strong petition. But the barefaced nerve of a man who has called for the destruction of Britain to attempt to infiltrate its parliament with his poisonous lies takes some beating.

This man represents the same ideological ethos as Islamic State. We are investing so much in the prevention of terror, yet are pathetically slow to recognise such threats to our democracy. ‘We all worship the same God,’ I hear so many naïve people say – even in church pews. But Sheikh Sabri says that when he enters the Al-Aqsa Mosque (on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount) he is “filled with rage toward the Jews”.

Contrast this with Jesus’ command to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. (Matthew 5.44) As the Sheikh makes clear, Islam is a death cult committed to the destruction of ‘infidels’. “The Muslim loves death and martyrdom,” he says.

Part of the ‘Palestinian narrative’ is that Israel is guilty of human rights violations and of being an apartheid state. But the absurdity of these accusations is underlined by the emergence of a transgender Arab Christian from Nazareth as a new secret weapon against BDS, the boycott Israel campaign. Talleen Abu Hana, winner of the first Miss Trans Israel pageant, was guest of honour at the Israeli Embassy in Washington during LGBT Pride month.

Abu declared: “I’m happy to be Israeli because being Israeli means being truly free.” And when an American journalist questioned Israel’s record on human rights, she replied: “Are you crazy? In what other country in the Middle East can I live my life openly.”

Most Christians, including myself, do not agree with her lifestyle choice, but far more distasteful is the rank hypocrisy behind much liberal thought which sets politically correct agendas that are inevitably contradictory.

In any case, Israel’s restoration – according to biblical prophecy – is not yet complete. A restoration to the land (i.e. a political rebirth) is what we are witnessing today; this will be followed by a restoration to their Lord and Messiah, which is in the process of happening but still in the early stages.

One line of theological thought sees the ‘fig tree’ (Matthew 24.32) as a symbol of political Israel while the olive tree is seen as representing a return to its original purpose as a nation under God.

The fig tree is certainly blossoming as Israel becomes a powerful nation once more, but many of its inhabitants are still in rebellion against the Almighty.

Christians are privileged to have been grafted onto the natural olive tree of Israel (Romans 11.11-24). But the day is coming when all Israel will finally turn to their Messiah (Romans 11.26).

All the hordes of hell are trying to stop that happening – hence the current battle – because it will usher in the Lord of glory who will crush the enemies of Israel and rule over the earth from Jerusalem for a thousand years of peace.

Pic: [The caves of] Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

Palestinian Incitement is a Crime Against Humanity

 

VIDEO: More Tel Aviv, From The Air!

 

Israel Warns Trump That It Will Attack Syria Again, If Necessary

Israel sent a clear message to the Trump Administration that it will not hesitate to again attack neighboring Syria if forces embroiled in a bloody civil war there cross two red lines.

Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) gathering that included a large number of senior US officials, Israel's ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, stated:

"Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been very clear about Israeli red lines in Syria, and Israel has acted to enforce those red lines."

Those red lines are the transfer of "game-changing" weapons from the Syrian regime to its Hezbollah allies, and the establishment of an Iranian "beach head" in Syria.

While it has never officially admitted to doing so, Israel has repeatedly launched aerial strikes against Syrian convoys transferring weapons to Hezbollah.

The Syrian regime has threatened serious retaliation against the Jewish state, but has never followed through on those threats.

 

VIDEO: Take a Stroll Through Tel Aviv

 

Say Hello and Goodbye to September 23

In April 2011, William Taply (pictured) published a video discussing the planetary alignment that would happen on September 23, 2017. Taply, a prophet in his own eyes, based his prediction on his own earlier "prophecies," along with a computer program called Stellarium. 

His conclusion is that the upcoming alignment of the moon, Jupiter, the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Venus and the position of the constellation Leo right on top of Virgo, are the literal manifestation of Revelation 12:1-2, which reads: "...a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth."

This composition of stars that, according to Taply, will hover over Jerusalem, will happen only on September 23, 2017. On that day, there will appear in the sky Virgo, who is the woman pregnant with a child clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. The crown of twelve stars on her head is Leo with its nine stars, plus three additional aligning "stars" in Mercury, Mars and Venus. This cluster of stars, says Taply, resembles the crown, although a bit in a Celtic shape. 

Virgo, the "woman," is giving birth to Jupiter, symbolizing Jesus. Taply believes his image is a visible heavenly sign of warning that will be followed by the great final war of Armageddon, which is supposed to break out in 2017.

Taply's prediction was further popularized by Evangelical preachers like Scott Clarke of ERF Ministries, Greg Lauer of Revelation 12 Daily, and Gary Ray of the news portal Unsealed Christian. This "prophecy" even caught the attention of media outlets like the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and CBN News.

September 23 comes just as the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah (new year) ends. Though this biblical holiday marks the beginning of 22 days – from Rosh Hashanah to the Feast of Tabernacles – during which God judges every single Jew for the previous year's deeds, the Evangelical heavenly warning sign does not appear on the Jewish radar.

The few similar end-times sensational Jewish predictions give a broader picture, though few would risk providing an exact date. www.sod1820 for one states that the prophesied War of Gog and Magog already began on August 28 2017, when North Korea launched a missile toward the territorial waters of Japan. This site brings Hurricane Irma as another clear end-time sign. By dividing the Hebrew spelling of the word Irma, a known Jewish interpretation tool, the authors of this website came up with "fear God" (yere mh'). They also see the shape of a trumpet (shofar) in Irma's path of destruction.

Rabbi Nir Ben-Artzi, another controversial but popular end-time "prophet," continues to warn Jews through his weekly "messages" that Gog and Magog is already happening in plain sight. Though he does not give precise dates, Ben-Artzi nevertheless urges all Jews to stay put in Israel, the safest place on earth for them in times of great trouble.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, another popular figure, says that everything is set for the great War of Gog and Magog. The nations are setting the stage by pushing Israel into a corner, a situation in which any little miscalculation could be the spark that will set off this great war. Israel's perceived violation of the Temple Mount's "status quo," or an Israeli attack on Syrian military targets that accidentally kills Russian soldiers, things of that nature could ignite the Gog and Magog war in an instant.

But, judging by similar predictions in the past by both Christians and Jews, the year 2017 is just as likely as not to come and go in relative peace.

 

Israel's Ex-Defense Minister Demands Netanyahu's Immediate Resignation

Israel's former minister of defense Moshe Ya'alon insists that the various corruption scandals surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compels the latter to resign immediately.

"The prime minister must resign today--immediately," Ya'alon said during a cultural event in the coastal town of Netanya.

"There is a lack of confidence in the leadership. If the considerations from above are not clean, I am not positive that there is not also an effect on IDF enlistment," he added.

Before serving as minister of defense, Ya'alon was the IDF chief of general staff. He was fired from his cabinet position in 2016 after publicly disagreeing with Netanyahu's policy decisions.

Of particular concern to Ya'alon at present is the scandal surrounding Israel's purchase of naval vessels from a German conglomerate with which several Israeli officials appear to have ties.

A number of close associates and relatives of Netanyahu have been caught up in what is known as Case 3000, though the prime minister himself is not a suspect.

Even so, Ya'alon said that "people don’t understand how much the corruption harms all of us. Think about what you could with two billion euros instead of going with a deal for naval vessels that there is no need for."

PHOTO: Former Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon speaks at the Hebrew University, on January 18, 2017. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

 

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The End of the World is Coming, Again?!

The end of the world is coming again and people wonder, “Is it true this time?”

This year’s doom’s day prediction is scheduled for September 23rd based on an alignment of the stars called Virgo, the constellation of a woman that will be in position over the moon and under 12 stars. As with most end-time predictions, the date corresponds to this year’s Jewish calendar and believers are saying this rare alignment of stars represents the last days woman found in Revelations chapter 12 with “the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”

What are we to do? With the Jewish holidays just weeks away, we could spend our remaining days and hours (or until next year’s predictions) trying to calculate what the Bible says about the end of the world and wait to see what happens.

But the truth we so easily ignore, and which is often concealed behind these annual doom’s day predictions, is that the end of the world is coming for all of us - and it could be any day, at any hour. By September 23rd, millions around the world will die in car accidents, disease, overdose or in one of the many hurricanes and natural disasters now visiting the earth. Are you ready?

Can you get ready? The idea that we are at the end of the world can be scary, and if so for you, hold that thought for a minute, and ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” When you discover the answer, think about what changes you could make in your life, where you might better invest your time and how you can make things right with God, and with yourself. Nobody knows better than you what you need to do to get your house in order.

If you clean your house just once a year it becomes an overwhelming task to face. The time you need to clean it, and the energy you would need is so great that you probably give up before you even start. Our lives are not much different than a dirty house. If it hasn’t been cleaned for a long time it's easy to give up. It would be far better to clean regularly, take the garbage out every day, wash your clothes when they are dirty and fix things when they break. Maintain your life, correct, repair and be ready for the end of your world. It could happen any day.

These end of the world scenarios remind me of the safety exercises that are supposed to make us ready for fires, bomb attacks and earthquakes, so that when the real thing happens we won’t become confused and disorientated and get lost. In the Israeli army we use a saying from Alexander Suvorov, the greatest Russian military strategist: “Hard in training, easy in war.” Practicing to be prepared for the coming of our Messiah, or to meet him sooner than we thought, is always a good idea, even if you wonder about the sign of a 12 starred constellation.

Exercise kindness, unselfishness, sympathy, decency, good will and live an upright life before God in your daily life and perhaps the end of the world (or the end of our world) might not be so terrifying. The only way to cope with the disquieting fact of our pending mortality is to practice daily the skills of faith in God and a moral lifestyle until these become so much a part of who you are that you don’t even have to think, or worry, about it anymore because you are prepared.

The Apostle Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians (chap.13) reminds us that we prophecy in part, but faith, hope and love endure forever (not doom, gloom or red moons). One more thing. Remember Noah. The end of his world came true even as he boldly warned the people through his words and actions. How many believed and repented? How many missed that boat?

 

Africa's Climate Change

Winds of change are once more blowing across Africa. And as South Africa’s Tshego Motaung has well illustrated, it is her own country that is again resisting the phenomenon.

When British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made his famous ‘Winds of Change’ speech to the Cape Town Parliament in 1960, he was talking of the reality of national liberation sweeping the continent.

South Africa’s political elite, however, were in denial of it, resisting the inevitable for 30 years until God intervened in answer to much prayer – specifically in Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk being reconciled through their common faith in Jesus Christ.

Now there is a new movement of change, Tshego points out – a growing recognition of God’s purposes for Israel among African nations. And the irony is that the black majority government of South Africa is actually moving in the opposite direction, downgrading their ties with the Jewish state while being taken in by Palestinian propaganda.

Nevertheless, Tshego is clearly excited by the fulfillment of ancient prophecies as African nations forge closer ties with Israel. As MC for the recent Africa Israel Chamber of Commerce pre-launch event in Johannesburg, Tshego was reminded of the Isaiah 19 prophecy of a time when a highway of reconciliation would link Egypt, Israel and Assyria. (Isa 19.23-25)

And she believes that what was described at the time (700 BC) as Egypt refers to most of what we know as Africa today.

“Initiatives like the AICC are some of the tools for bringing fulfillment to these prophecies,” she wrote in a recent online article for Gateway News (South Africa). “However, it is fascinating to notice how the current South African political leaders are acting in the same way their predecessors did in 1960, when they resisted the winds of change.”

A further irony, in my opinion, is that a huge swathe of churches in South Africa are pro-Israel – and are in fact in revival because of that (as I believe the two are directly connected). The wind of the Holy Spirit is clearly blowing across the nation - what other explanation is there for nearly two million people turning up to a prayer meeting on a farmer’s field on June 22nd this year? But the political leaders are trying to avoid the spiritual climate by sinking their heads in the South African sand (of which there is plenty). Like true believers down the ages, the country’s Christians are being counter-cultural and we should pray that their courage will not fail them at this desperate hour.

It is worth remembering that the Church also led the way for change in the apartheid era. Through much prayer and witness and a determination not to back down, they eventually won the battle. If the pattern is repeated, the political leaders will succumb.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of when – not whether – the South African government repents; not only of its corruption, but of its anti-Israel stance.

Winds of change have also blown through Britain since the 1960s – and on the whole they have wreaked havoc (rather as Hurricane Harvey has done in America) as family life has been seriously undermined and the Church has remained largely silent.

As the social structure of the UK continues to collapse, my prayer is that we will cease to resist the wind of the Spirit that is willing and wanting to rebuild our shattered society. The wind that blew on the Day of Pentecost changed the world (see Acts 2.2). Jesus spoke of a blowing of the wind, and of our response to it, when referring to the need for people to be “born again” in order to enter the kingdom of God. (John 3.8) This wind also came in the form of Jesus breathing on his disciples (John 20.22).

But the blowing of wind can also be negative, as I’ve intimated with my reference to havoc-wreaking hurricanes. St Paul writes about those who are easily led being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4.14) and when Jesus summed up his amazing Sermon on the Mount, he talked of destructive winds that would topple houses of thought and ideology built on the sand of lies and propaganda. (Matthew 7.24-27)

There is a growing movement dedicated to a coming together of the Word and Spirit in our churches which I believe holds out a very precious hope of future restoration. Too many of our churches (in the UK at least) favour one over the other, concentrating on preaching the Bible on the one hand and emphasising the gifts of the Spirit on the other. But many are now recognising that the time has come to weave both streams together.

The result, certainly according to legendary early 20th century evangelist Smith Wigglesworth in an extraordinary prophecy made shortly before his death in 1947, will be spiritually explosive.

He said at the time: “When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed the world, has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores – even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe and, from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”

I was born in Cape Town just eleven years before Prime Minister Macmillan’s historic speech, and I experienced my own ‘winds of change’ not many years later in 1972 shortly after moving to the UK. As a 22-year-old, I recognised that I needed purpose and direction and, when a friend told me that Jesus had come to give us “life in all its fullness” (John 10.10), I sought this very thing and was forever changed after the Lord of glory breathed his Spirit into my soul.

I pray for a similar conversion both for the leaders of the land of my forefathers in Africa as well as for my adopted country in the northern hemisphere.


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

 

Get Your "Land of the Bible" Wall Calendars Now!

Due to popular demand we have extended our offer on these calendars until Monday, September 18th, 2017 !

No office desk should be without one of these 2017 - 2018 "Land of the Bible" Wall Calendars.

This beautiful calendar with stunning glossy photos from the Holy Land will take you to another biblical venue in Israel every month!

Visit Ashkelon's Ancient Harbour, Mount Hermon in Winter, En Gedi, Masada, Hebron and many other places!

While you are about buying one of these calendars, why not get one for a friend or family member as well. They could be an ideal gift for someone that loves Israel!



 

Days After Harassing Messianic Jews, Orthodox Sect Clashes With Secular Israelis

Israel Today reported last week on the harassment of Messianic Jewish believers in the southern city of Arad by local Orthodox Jews belonging to the fringe sect known as Gur Hassidim.

While that incident mercifully ended without any injuries or damage to property, the Gur are known for easily resorting to violence, as they did during a confrontation with the secular Israeli residents of Arad on Saturday night.

The long-running Gur campaign to take over Arad has included regular attacks on the town's mayor, Nisan Ben-Hemo. Over the weekend, one Arad man decided to hit back by hanging a large poster informing the Gur "grand rabbi" that the town is "not for sale."

Gur activists responded by hurling burning tires at the man and his wife, which resulted in mobs gathering on both sides.

The man told Israel's Ynet news portal: "We put them out, and they started coming in droves. We hung the sign because they're putting up signs against the mayor, so we paid them back in kind. We'll take down ours when they take down theirs."

The situation quickly descended into open violence after Gur activists started spitting on the secular residents and throwing stones.

There were no reports of serious injuries, but police did arrest four people for their roles in escalating the confrontation.

 

Palestinian Parents Turn In Own Son After Learning He Planned Terror Attack

If only this were the norm, rather than the exception.

A Palestinian couple last month discovered that their teenage son was planning to carry out a terrorist attack against Israeli soldiers, and rather than let him become a "martyr," they turned him in.

Israel's Tazpit News Agency reported that the parents became concerned after finding a "farewell" note written by their son, along with his cellphone.

They immediately contacted the Israeli army, which managed to find the boy near a military installation in Samaria. He was carrying a large knife.

Incessant propaganda in Palestinian schools and in the regime-controlled media seeks to encourage young Arabs to carry out spontaneous "lone-wolf" attacks against Israelis.

PHOTO: Illustration. Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian terror suspects. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90

 

REPORTS: Israeli Jets Bomb Chemical Weapons Stockpile Deep Inside Syria

A large military facility where the Syria regime was stockpiling chemical weapons and missiles was bombed in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Damascus immediately blamed Israel for the attack, and Israel did not deny the allegation.

The facility is located near Masyaf, in northwestern Syria, a region still firmly under the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces and their allies.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported:

"Israeli warplanes fired several rockets from the Lebanese airspace at 02:42 a.m. on Thursday targeting one of the Syrian military posts near Massyaf, killing two army personnel and causing material damage to the site."

Syrian military forces claimed the Israeli strike was carried out in service to ISIS and other Islamic groups trying to topple Assad.

In reality, Israel has long been concerned that non-conventional weapons being stockpiled and used by Assad's forces will also be shared with his allies in the Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah.

Israel has vowed to immediately target any Syrian arms transfers to Hezbollah to ensure the Lebanese group does not emerge from Syria's civil war more dangerous and deadly than ever.

For Hezbollah to take possession of chemical warheads would represent an unacceptable shift in the balance of power.

Israeli military officials declined to comment on the incident.

 

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