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MA#35 – February 2008.  “DIVING GOD’S LAND”  



(Jeremiah 25:31)



“Yahweh has a controversy with the nations.”

“I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Yehoshafat (in Jerusalem). There I will enter into judgment against them on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.”  (Joel 3:2)





ON December 20, 2004, President George W Bush predicted that he would bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians during his second term in office.

“I want you to know that I am going to invest a lot of time and a lot of creative thinking so that there will finally be peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth.  “I am convinced that, during this term, I will manage to bring peace.”

Over the past year, 2007, Mr Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, have been seeking to make good on that promise.

The Annapolis summit in Maryland sponsored by the US last November, brought together leaders from some 40 nations to propel the “peace process” forward.

In January (08), during his 8-day trip to Israel, Ramallah, and five Arab states, Mr Bush confidently proclaimed ...


On Jan. 8th, the day Bush left DC to head for his first stop, Israel, there was a once-in-50-years freak mid- winter Tornado outbreak in the USA. One of the tornados ripped through an obscure town in Arkansas called Jerusalem, destroying the main church in the town.

On 10 Jan, when Bush was scheduled to take a 15-minute helicopter ride to Ramallah, the whole area was covered with thick fog. So the Americans had to put together a 45-car convoy to accompany Bush to the Palestinian “capital” to meet Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.                                 

Near the end of the trip in which he actively promoted his (and the Saudi) plan to divide God’s Land, President Bush visited Saudi Arabia. There he announced a $US 20 billion arms deal with the Saudi government.

That arms deal was made, at least in part, to bolster the faltering US economy, and to keep the Saudis on side.  But the LORD can wipe out any such gains in a moment. In fact, the day he returned from the Middle East, Bush faced a nightmare on Wall St. Two US banks (Citibank and Merrill Lynch) were forced to increase their emergency funding lifeline to $US 21 billion after Citibank had posted a loss of $US 9.83 billion for the last quarter .

(For my Indian readers, $9.83 billion is equivalent to around Rs. 380,00,00,00,000 - Rs 380 billion - or thirty-eight thousand crore rupees! That is Citibank’s loss for 3 months!)

Foreign investors in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have come to the US rescue by agreeing to pump $US19 billion into the US banks.



(Jeremiah 25:31)

“They have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2)

President Bush, like President Clinton and others before them, is doomed to fail in his rationalistic and self-serving “peace plans” for God’s Land! And the 7-year covenant Antichrist arbitrates will also be a failure.

There will no true peace in the Middle East, or the world in general, until the Prince of Peace, Y’shua the Messiah, returns and establishes the Kingdom of God.

Until then, the nations will go on hoping, striving, and warring. But when they say ...

“‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)



On December 31, 07, Palestinian President Abbas proclaimed …


“We are filled with hope that this new year will be our year of victory and independence, that we will see the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

Mahmoud Abba called on Israel to resolve “core issues” that are obstructing the way to peace, while still maintaining the PA will never cede a single inch of ground on Jerusalem in negotiations.

Speaking at a celebration marking a Fatah anniversary in Ramallah, Abbas also extended a new conciliatory hand to the rival Hamas faction. The president called for ‘‘a new page,” and offered a credible agreement based on partnership, on life, on our homeland, and on our struggle to liberate it.’’

At the same time Abbas maintained his position that Hamas must restore power in Gaza to an elected government. But he urged reconciliation and called for new elections in an effort to end the suffering that Palestinian people have endured as a result of the takeover. ‘‘I renew my offer for early elections here, as a way out of the hell that was imposed on us,’’ he said.

Many observers remember that just a year ago, Mr Abbas was telling Palestinians militants …




                  THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION”

“Shooting at your brother is forbidden. Raising rifles against the occupation is our legitimate right, but raising guns against each other is forbidden. We should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation,” Abbas said.

His statements about using rifles against Israel came after the US and Ehud Olmert, provided 7000 assault rifles, and more than 1 million rounds of ammunition, to militias associated with Abbas’ Fatah party.

At the same time Abbas used Koranic verses to claim Jews are corrupting the world. “The sons of Israel are mentioned as those who are corrupting humanity on earth,” he said during a portion of his speech in which he criticized recent Israeli anti-terror raids in Samaria.

His anti-Semitic remarks and call to arms against the Jewish state were not quoted in hundreds of English-language articles reporting the Abbas speech.


Two days after Abbas told Arabs to “raise your rifles” only against Israel, Condoleezza Rice said the US will prevent a repeat of previous attacks on Israel with arms supplied to PA forces.

“This is a train-and-equip program that is going to move over time, so it is not as if you simply arm the Palestinians on Day One and then have no input or control over what happens from then on,” she said. “I think as a result you can maintain some control on what is being done.”

The US has been supplying the PA chairman’s personal militia with weapons to give him a military edge over the rival Hamas militia. Terrorists, however, have vowed that the weapons will be used against Israel, as they were in the 1990s when the Israeli government, headed by then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, gave the PA security forces thousands of rifles.

                   But Dr Rice said:

“We continue to work on how to help Mahmoud Abbas and how to help the Palestinian people create governing structures and security forces that can actually secure the Palestinian people.”

But Fatah Force 17 security officer Abu Yousef said that other terrorist groups will use the weapons. He added that many of the members of Abbas’ personal militia also are members of other terrorist organizations, including Hamas.

A leader in Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades said, weapons procured as a result of the US shipment, will be used against Israel. “The more the Americans give Abbas weapons, the more weapons we will have in the future to use against the Israelis, because it incites the different organizations to intensify their own supply of weapons.”

Another Hamas spokesman, Abu Oubaida, also said that his terror group will obtain any American weapons transferred to Fatah militias or purchased by Fatah. “I can confirm 100% that this money and purchased weapons will find its way to Hamas.”



Mr Bush arrived in Israel on 9th Jan to a lavish welcome ceremony, at which he described Israel as the USA’s “strongest and most trusted ally.”

At Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli leaders and digni­taries turned out in force to pay their respects to the man regarded as the country’s most powerful supporter.

Bush received no less respectful a reception when he travelled to the West Bank to be greeted by Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian leadership.

In his welcoming comments, Abbas told Bush, the Palestinian Arabs “know that you are the first president guaranteeing our right to live in an independent state which will live in peace alongside its neighbours.

“Your visit is historic and gives our people real hope,” continued Mahmoud Abbas who has fought in the vanguard of the PLO since its beginning.

With the outward sign of goodwill, Bush may have been tempted to believe that peace could finally be at hand in this tortured land. And immediately he began to nudge the Israelis and Palestinians towards a comprehensive peace deal

Mr Bush said he was sure both Olmert and Abbas “understand the importance of two states living side by side in peace. President Abbas and PM Olmert have to come together and make tough choices ...  And I believe it is possible - not only possible, I believe it’s going to happen - that there will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office”-  this time next year. To achieve this, he added, both sides would have to honour their commitments under the “road map.”

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert told Mr Bush in a joint news conference that “there will be no peace” unless attacks are halted from all parts of the Palestinian territories, including those not controlled by his negotiating partners in the Palestinian leadership. But, he said,  both sides “are very seriously trying to move forward” on a peace agreement.

“Israel does not tolerate and will not tolerate the continuation of these vicious attacks,” Olmert said, after 2˝ hours of talks with Bush. “We will not hesitate to take all the necessary measures. There will be no peace unless terror is stopped. And terror will have to be stopped everywhere.”


bush welcomed in ramallah

In Ramallah, Mr Abbas welcomed Mr Bush’s “commitment to the peace process,” which he said the Palestinian people would not forget.

He claimed the Palestinian people are “committed to peace, want to move freely in their country, with no roadblocks, [separation] fence or settlements. We want to see a different future, without thousands of prisoners in jail and innocent deaths. We want to stop the closure.” He said he wanted “a different future” for the Palestinians instead of the present reality of “hospitals full of innocent victims,” checkpoints, and “humiliation under siege.”

Abbas said the two sides had begun discussions on the core issues that divide them, and said he wanted a resolution before the end of the year. “Peace in the world starts from here, the sacred land.” He underscored the PA position that there can be no peace without lifting (the Israeli) security restrictions, and ultimately, the creation of a PA state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Mr Bush tried to exhibit a spirit of optimism at a joint news conference with Abbas in Ramallah, but he did not hide his concern about the deep divide between the positions of Israel and the PA.

Bush noted that little could be accomplished while Israel is forced to maintain a constant state of alert against terrorism emanating from PA territories. “The Israelis,” he said bluntly, “don’t want a state on their border from which attacks can be launched. I can understand that. The checkpoints create a sense of security for Israel but they create frustration for Palestinians.”

“Tough choices” must be made in order to reach a settlement between Israel and the PA, he said, adding that he believed the two leaders are committed to the process. The clock is ticking, however. “I’m on a timetable,” Bush told reporters. “I’ve got 12 months.”

Speaking at the press conference in Ramallah, Bush said he believes Israel and the Palestinians will sign a peace treaty enabling the creation of “Palestine” on the historical land of Israel by the end of his term in the White House, within one year from now.

Pressed on the problems posed for Palestinians by the many Israeli checkpoints, he said the checkpoints create massive frustration for the Palestinians. “After driving through the checkpoints, I can understand Palestinian resentment; but I also understand Israel’s need for security and non-acceptance of a state from which missiles are fired. And,” he added, “no part of your territories can be ‘a safe haven for terrorists’.”

On a tone of reproof to Israel, Bush said: “Israelis should help and not hinder the formation of the effectiveness of the Palestinian security forces. To the extent that the Israeli military undermines the Authority - that is something we do not agree with.”

The US president outlined his objective as being “a state that can defend itself internally and give confidence to its neighbors that checkpoints won’t be needed. The objective is continuous territory. Abbas can’t be assured of a future without contiguous territory. There should be no checkpoints in the Palestinian state-to-be.”

For the US president, stopping the missile and mortar attacks on Sderot seemed less important than removing the checkpoints in the Palestinian state-to-be, “so that a state can emerge.”

The Palestinians had to decide whether they wanted “a state, or the status quo” he said. “One vision is represented by Mr Abbas’ Fatah movement, the other, by rival Palestinian group Hamas, who had “created chaos.”


JAN 7, 08. Quoting from an internal document of the Israeli military, Debkafile reported that Fatah’s al Aqsa Brigades is responsible for 32% of the Qassam missiles fired against Israeli communities from Gaza, and for more than 40% of the mortar rounds.

Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Gaza Strip takes its orders directly from the movement’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

PA security agencies own at least 40% of the explosives and materials for making missiles smuggled into Gaza via Sinai. Fatah agents buy explosives from smugglers in Sinai and rent space in smuggling tunnels.

Fatah’s regression to full-scale terrorism appears to be motivated by fear of losing to Hamas, all credibility on the Palestinian street.

So as not to derail the talks, the Israeli government is hushing up this information. The hush extends to Shin Bet’s findings on the truth about the PA’s purported “campaign to suppress terror on the West Bank.” Spinning the revolving door, Palestinian security agencies round up Hamas terrorist suspects and political figures only to release them two or three days later.



The Israel news service, Arutz Sheva, has reported that Hamas has taken over the estimated 150 smuggling-tunnels from Egypt into Gaza, and charges the owners $3,000 each per day. 

Five tunnels were blown up by Hamas because their owners didn’t agree to pay the fee.  The other diggers/owners quickly agreed to pay the requested fee, enabling Hamas to attain a monopoly on the tunnels.

While the 150 tunnels bring in a total of some $150 million annually, the value of men, weapons and other merchandise smuggled in each year total more than three times that amount - close to a half-billion dollars. 

Some of the tunnels specialize in weapons, cash, food, medicine and computer equipment, while others carry dangerous drugs. Of late, Hamas military commanders are using the tunnels to return to Gaza. 

In a paper he wrote recently for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a former IDF Maj.-Gen. said: “The Palestinians have brought into Gaza more than 30,000 rifles during the past two years, more than six million rounds of ammunition, more than 230 tons of explosives, and scores of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. These are the weapons Israel will face next time. The next round in Gaza will look more like Lebanon than what Israel faced in Operation Defensive Shield in Judea and Samaria in 2002.




MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), a former Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, has warned of the development of a “large, Iranian-backed Hamas army, just like Hizbullah, while Egypt turns a blind eye and even gives aid to some extent.”

“This army,” he said, “is being built just 30 km from Ashdod and 60 km from Tel Aviv.”


Palestinian anger has mounted over Israeli plans to build new housing in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Those areas, which constitute the Biblical Judea and Samaria, were captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, “The West Bank” is the name given to the area when it was annexed by Jordan after the war of 1948-49.

The Palestinians claim the West Bank and Gaza for their future state.

Ms Rice said that Israeli construction in Palestinian-claimed east Jerusalem constitutes settlement activity and is opposed by the U.S.  Her comments, published in The Jerusalem Post, marked the US administration’s strongest criticism yet of Israeli policies in disputed east Jerusalem. Treading carefully, Bush didn’t go as far as Rice, but said unauthorized and “illegal” Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank must go.


Some 270,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, many of them in the major settlement blocs of Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and Etzion.

At immediate issue are several Israeli projects, including a new tender for 307 housing units in Har Homa, in Jerusalem’s southeast corner, and a new project in northern Jerusalem near the old Atarot airport. 

Har Homa is just north of Bethlehem, and is home to 8,500 people. It is part of a ring of Jewish neighbourhoods around east Jerusalem where about 180,000 Israelis live.

Har Homa is considered the latest bastion of Zionism, having three religious youth groups, two synagogues, many daily prayer services, two religious schools, Talmudei Torah, nurseries, and an abundance of Torah classes.  And two more religious schools plan to relocate to Har Homa.


Olmert told Mahmoud Abbas; “Israel will not take any new steps that will have ramifications on that which is being done on the ground.” 

Israeli Army Radio reported that as a result of the US government’s demands, PM Ehud Olmert declared a halt to new construction work in West Bank settlements. But he has not totally called off plans to build hundreds of homes in Har Homa.

Olmert’s office responded to the Army Radio report by saying that no decision had been made regarding a construction freeze and that Israel is obligated to act in accordance with the Road Map.  The Road Map stipulates, in addition to a halt to Israeli settlement  activity, the PA must “declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.”  This is interpreted to mean that while Palestinian violence continued, Israel is not obliged to freeze construction.

Even though terrorism has continued nearly unabated - including not only by Hamas and Islamic Jihad but also by the Abbas-led Fatah - Israel now, apparently, has agreed to stop all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as in many of the outlying neighbourhoods of its capital city.

The Army Radio report noted that Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had tried to explain at last month’s Annapolis conference that Har Homa should not be included in the construction ban, as it is an integral part of Jerusalem.  However, the Americans and the PA did not accept this stance.

Israel maintains the right to build within the existing limits of major West Bank settlements to account for natural growth. And during his meeting with Bush, Olmert reiterated pledges not to build any new settlements or expand existing settlements beyond their current borders.

Olmert’s new orders to halt construction in east Jerusalem has made him “politically uncomfortable,” as he fears the rightward-leaning Shas will follow the lead of the Yisrael Beiteinu party and quit the government. Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu leaders have said that their demand for full Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is unconditional.


Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu told President Bush that “Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain undivided under Jewish sovereignty forever.”

Netanyahu said earlier in the week, “It would be right if the president would take the time to listen to someone who represents more than half the people in Israel, who oppose the Annapolis process.”


MK Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party called for civil disobedience, following PM Olmert’s declaration that no construction be carried out in eastern Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria without his approval. He said citizens should build freely throughout the Land of Israel.

“Two days ago,” Eldad told the audience, “Olmert sent a letter to the Ministers of Defence, Housing and Agriculture determining that no one can build a house, expand a community or apartment, or even plan expansions [in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria] without his permission! Prime Minister Olmert is doing something that wasn’t even done in the time of the British Mandate!  Olmert wants a family with eight kids living in an apartment to ask him permission to expand a balcony – and he will say no!”

“My precious Jews,” Eldad said, “thanks to Olmert we now have an opportunity to practice civil disobedience – we WILL build – we will build everywhere – rooms, apartments, houses, synagogues, Yeshivas, and schools! We will build everywhere… He thinks he’ll apprehend several criminals? 250,000 Jews will declare: We are criminals – our crime is the building of the land of Israel! We’ll see what he’ll do with 250,000 criminals!”




                      CONSTRUCTION IN JERUSALEM

At the end of their meetings, Ehud Olmert told Mr Bush that Israel will not halt building plans in east Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods and in the settlement blocs, despite American objections.

Israel is seeking to hold onto its constructions in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs after a permanent agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

“Not everyone likes what we have to say about this, but we made it clear that Jerusalem’s status is different than that of the settlements,” said Olmert.

Olmert clarified that Israel has never tried to hide what was taking place in the area. “We shall not hide them; we shall discuss them. I reiterate that nothing has happened there that is not known. We clarified what we did, what we can do and what we plan to do. We will discuss all these issues as part of negotiations.”

During meetings, Olmert reiterated Israel’s commitment to the Road Map. His earlier commitment included halting the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing ones, if the Palestinians implemented their commitment to fight terror.

But now Olmert and Abbas have agreed, it is reported, to skip the first step of the Road Map, and move ahead to a discussion of final status issues. An official said:

“We will discuss the Palestinian demands as the negotiations continue. In the meantime, the prime minister has instructed his ministers to receive his approval for any actions in the settlements.”

Bush chose not to confront his host on the construction issue, but focused on “outposts, and criticized the Olmert government’s policy, saying that “four years have passed since we discussed this. The agreement must include the evacuation of the illegal outposts. They must be evacuated.”



Ehud Olmert, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post in early January, said that while the road map called for a freeze to settlement activity, including natural growth, “if everything began and ended with that, then that’s what we have to do according to our commitment. But as you know well, America sponsored the road map, and President Bush, on April 14, 2004, sent a letter that said one can’t ignore the demographic (population) reality unfolding in the territories and that this will certainly need to be given expression in the agreements between us and the Palestinians. And this, I would say, renders flexible to a degree, the significance of what is written in the road map.”


JAN 10, 08. U.S. President George Bush summed up his three-day visit to Israel by saying that a new Palestinian state, together with financial compensation, would be the solution to the refugee problem. (The implication was that the refugees need not enter Israel.) 

“There must be an end to Israel’s occupation that began in 1967,” Bush said. “Palestine must serve as a national home for the Palestinians, and Israel - for the Jews.”

But Olmert has gone further than Bush. Channel Ten reported that Olmert and Abbas have agreed that in the final-status agreement, Israel would withdraw from 92% of Judea and Samaria, including all the non-Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. It was also agreed that 50,000 “refugees from 1948” would be allowed to enter and live in the State of Israel. 

Lebanon’s PM Fouad Seniora does not accept Bush’s position on the refugees. Seniora said that money alone is not enough, and that his country will continue to refuse to grant citizenship to the 400,000 “Palestinian refugees” living within its borders. The number of Arabs who left Israel in 1948 has been estimated to be roughly a half-million, but several million now claim the ‘right to return.’

Hamas, too, refuses to accept any solution other than the “return” to Israel of the millions of Arabs who claim that they themselves, or their ancestors, were forced to leave Israel in 1948. The Hamas PM in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said that Bush will soon leave the political arena, while the Hamas demands will remain forever: “A Palestinian state in the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, the destruction of all the settlements, the release of all the Palestinian prisoners, the ‘right of return’ of all Palestinian refugees, and continued adherence to the strategy of not giving up on even one inch of all Palestine.”   -


Mideast analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, Steven Cook, called the President’s trip “mostly a wash,” and predicted that any momentum in the talks will falter after Bush goes home.  “Neither Olmert nor Abbas want to embarrass the president while he is in the region, thus the positive talks,” he said.

But neither Israel nor its Arab neighbors assured Bush that they will do what the US asks on issues ranging from democratic reform and unauthorized Israeli housing expansion to high gas prices.

Although pleased that Bush has given personal attention to peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, Arab leaders are skeptical that either side is ready or willing to make concessions.

And Bush didn’t seem to win any converts among Arab states that dislike or resent Iran’s growing influence but fear warfare more. Some Gulf states and Saudi Arabia have recently hosted Iran’s hardline President Ahmadinejad, and are trading with the oil giant (Iran) — hardly the diplomatic and economic isolation that Bush urged.

“To the extent that containing Iran was the centerpiece of his trip, not much seems to have been accomplished,” said James Dobbins, a Rand Corp. international security analyst. “The president’s major address on that subject undoubtedly played better with American and Israeli listeners than his ostensible audience in the Arab Gulf.”


JAN 14, 08.  Israel and the PA have begun negotiations over the “core issues” of their conflict. The chief negotiators, Israeli FM Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei, launched the talks in a Jerusalem hotel.

PM Olmert and President Abbas have authorised the start of the final-status talks. But the leaders remain at odds over the scope of a deal.

Israeli officials said Olmert was seeking a deal that would outline a “framework” for a future Palestinian state with implementation delayed until the Palestinians can ensure Israel’s security. Abbas wants a final peace treaty enabling him to declare a state by the end of the year.

The talks are revolving around six issues: “Jerusalem, the settlements, the Palestinian refugees, borders, security and water sources.” Mahmoud Abbas said: “If we reach agreement on these issues, you could say we have an agreement.”

PM Olmert said last week that the Israeli negotiation team would deal with all of the “core issues” and will not hesitate to make decisions that involve “painful compromises.”

Those “core issues” that have already defeated scores of negotiators and mediators over the past decades are: the status of Jerusalem, the future borders of a Palestinian state and Israel, the presence of Jewish communities on the West Bank, the status of 1948 Palestinian refugees, Israeli security in the face of Palestinian terror and the shared scanty water sources.

On mere marginal questions, 22 meetings between Olmert and Abbas failed to achieve a single point of accord before, during and after the Annapolis conference.

Olmert said President Bush had assured him during his visit that the Palestinians would need to meet their security obligations under the road map before any peace deal was implemented.

But it is unclear how Olmert and Abbas can reach a deal. Since Hamas Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip last June, Abbas has wielded little power beyond the West Bank – and even the West Bank is not fully under his control.

And PM Olmert also has been weakened by the 2006 Lebanon war, and he could face new calls to resign when a commission of inquiry gives its final report on the conflict at the end of January.


JAN 16, 08. The Yisrael Beitenu party has pulled out of the Kadima coalition government in protest at the starting of peace talks on core issues with the Palestinians.

Leader Avigdor Lieberman who was the Strategic Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition, said the land-for-peace talks would lead to Israel’s destruction. “Negotiations on the basis of land for peace are a critical mistake ... and will destroy us.”

DespiteYisrael Beitenu’s departure, the Kadima coalition retains a parliamentary majority by a margin of seven. It has 67 seats out of 120.

But Olmert’s government is still vulnerable as the religious party Shas, which has 12 seats, has also threatened to leave the coalition over the issue of peace talks. It is only a matter of time. New elections may be imminent.


According to a report in The Jerusalem Post, (Jan. 8, 08), the US is preparing a plan to station third party troops in the West Bank to secure the area after an Israeli withdrawal and before the Palestinian Authority can take over full security control.

US Special Envoy for Middle East Security, James Jones, a former Marine Corps general, and NATO’s top military commander from 2003 to 2005, has been assigned the task of preparing a plan on this issue within six moths.

A number of options are being considered, including the involvement of NATO troops, or Jordanian and Egyptian forces.


At the Annapolis summit, George Bush read out an understanding that both sides agreed to “form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism, led by the US, to follow up on the implementation of the road map.” It said, “The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map.”

When told by the Al-Arabiya interviewer that the settlements were the main obstacle to peace, Mr Bush replied, “No question the settlement activity is a problem. But there’s a mechanism to deal with that, and that is the road map commission which we head, to deal with these road map issues.”

The details of this commission have not been finalized, but the plan will include US teams to monitor the compliance, and violations of treaty obligations. 


Mr Bush indicated his willingness to address Israel’s concerns with the Palestinians. Upon arrival at the airport, he lent support to Israel on one of the core issues in the conflict. “The alliance between our two nations helps guarantee Israel’s security as a Jewish state,” he said.

Bush has referred to Israel as Jewish state in the past but the reference – while here in the region - had special significance. Palestinians oppose the term, saying it rules out the right of Palestinian refugees to return to lost properties in Israel.



The small Philistine territory of Gaza has always been a pain in the side for Israel. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He told them to avoid the land of the Philistines.  Joshua did not attack them; and Judges 3:1-4 says God left the Philistines there as a means of testing Israel. And they were certainly a vexation for ancient Israel - for Samson, Saul, David, Jehoram, Uzziah, and Hezekiah.

And although the people of Gaza today are not really descendants of the Philistines – they are a hybrid people – they have proved to be a thorn in the flesh for modern Egypt and Lebanon, as well as for Israel.

Under the Egyptian occupation (before 1967), Gaza was careless and brutal. Gazians were stateless and forbidden to leave the strip.

When the Jews first came to the Gaza Strip, it consisted of sand dunes that even the Arabs who lived in the crowded Gaza City slums didn’t want. The territory barely grew anything and was generally uninhabitable.

The industrious pioneering Jews grappled with the sand, and after years of experimentation, the Land came to life. With greenhouses the size of football fields, Gaza grew organic vegetables in the sand without pesticides, and supplied Israel, Europe and America with bug-free salads, flowers, tropical fruit and vegetables.

The hard-working farmers built comfortable houses for their families as well as factories, schools, and synagogues. And many Arabs in Gaza received regular employment while also learning high tech farming.

As the Land turned green from produce and profits, Arab leaders who had never made anything productive, began to cry that the Jews had stolen their fertile Land, and then began to attack them.

Finally Ariel Sharon came to the conclusion that Israel must rid itself of the Gazan headache. Israel pulled out some 10,000 settlers and its army in August 2005. Sharon abandoned the Gaza, evidently with the expectation that the Strip would become a fledgling Palestinian state that would be expanded later by the inclusion of the West Bank, and that, with the help of Arab nations, would become a viable and peaceful state.

But the Palestinians would not declare independence on one small piece of “Palestinian territory.” Gaza remained the spanner in the works for both Israel, and the Fatah Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Although Fatah loyalists and police offices in Gaza were attacked and ousted by Hamas last year, Abbas still believes there can’t be a solution without Hamas.

And Ehud Olmert also stressed: “There will be no peace until Palestinian terror is stopped everywhere. Gaza must be part of the package. Without Gaza, it will be hard to reach any understanding with the Palestinians.”


George Bush is very unpopular among Palestinians in Gaza; he is viewed as being overwhelmingly pro-Israeli.

Mr Bush told reporters that the Hamas terrorist organization has complicated matters for everyone. “There is a competing vision taking place in Gaza,” he said. “Hamas … has delivered nothing but misery.” 

He added that he didn’t know whether issues with Hamas and Gaza could be resolved by the end of 2008.  “Gaza’s a tough situation; I don’t know whether you can solve it in a year or not.”

What is clear, Mr Bush said, is the cost to the PA of not resolving the Gaza problem and the choice that must be made. “Do you want those who have created chaos to run your country?” he asked pointedly. “Or do you want those of us who negotiated a settlement with the Israelis that will lead to lasting peace?”

Abbas says frankly that he is powerless to do anything to stop the violence and rockets coming from Gaza.




The Palestinians may soon have two separate parliaments - one in the West Bank controlled by Fatah and the second belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) Central Council, which met in Ramallah on 13th Jan, is expected to vote to dissolve the current PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) which is dominated by Hamas, but which has been paralyzed since Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip in June.

The 116-member PLO Central Council would serve as a temporary parliament to fill the vacuum after the PLC was dissolved, a senior PA official said.

The council is also scheduled to call for early parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. However, it’s unclear how elections would take place in Gaza which is entirely controlled by Hamas.

President Abbas has told the council members he “fully supports” early parliamentary elections.

The move is set to deepen divisions among the Palestinians and further consolidate the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is also likely to hamper efforts by some Arab countries to patch up the differences between Fatah and Hamas.

Hamas officials warned the PLO council against dissolving the Legislative Council. In the last parliamentary elections in January 2006, Hamas won 74 of the PLC’s 132 seats.

Ahmed Bahr, acting PLC speaker and a Hamas legislator, said even Abbas did not have the power to disband the parliament. “According to article 113 of the Palestinian Basic Law, no one has the power to dissolve the parliament,” he said. “The PLC can’t even be dissolved under a state of emergency.”

Ayman Taha, another Hamas figure, accused Abbas of using PLO institutions to reverse the results of the last parliamentary elections. “The PLO Central Council was never elected by the Palestinians,” he said. “Most of its members were appointed either by Yasser Arafat or by Hamas. How can a body that was never elected dissolve a democratically elected parliament?”      - The Jerusalem Post / Jan. 14, 08



JAN 14, 08. Syria and Iran have stepped up their efforts to overthrow President Abbas and the Fatah party.

PA officials in Ramallah accuse the Syrians and Iranians of “encouraging” Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups to establish a new organization that would replace the PLO. 

The officials also accused Iran and Syria of providing Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip with millions of dollars as well as weapons. “They want to help Hamas extend its control to the West Bank.”

In the context of their efforts to overthrow the Abbas regime, Damascus and Teheran have encouraged Hamas and ten other radical groups to meet in the Syrian capital on January 23 to discuss forming a new PLO, and to increase their terror attacks on Israel.  The decision to hold the conference was apparently taken in response to President Bush’s visit to the region.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have never been part of the PLO, but in recent years they have challenged the PLO’s claim to be the “sole and legitimate” representative of all Palestinians. Hamas is hoping to name its leader, Khaled Mashaal, as chairman of the new PLO.

– source:


JAN 9, 08.  according to the EU’s current president, Slovenia, The European Union is ready to get involved again in the Mideast peace process if the current US-led drive fails to make progress.

After meeting the Palestinian information minister, Riyadh al-Maliki, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said the EU was ready to resume a key role if the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks grind to a halt.

The Quartet, (the EU, Russia, the US and UN), has “stepped back to see what can be achieved through the agreement reached in Annapolis,” Rupel told a news conference. “But if there is no progress, the EU will involve itself in the process again, as far as it can.”

The prophecies of Daniel indicate that the Ruler of the Revived Roman Empire who arises out of Europe, will be the one to “confirm” a peace agreement in the Middle East. And he (the Antichrist) - “the prince of the people that destroyed Jerusalem” in 70 AD, “will divide the land for a price.”  (Daniel 9:26 & 11:39)

“He will attack the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god which he shall acknowledge. He will increase in glory, and will cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for a price.”  

The LORD has a controversy with the nations that divide His land and disperse His people. Yahweh says:

“I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Yehoshafat. There I will enter into judgment against them on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. And they have divided up My land.”  (Joel 3:2)

Zechariah prophesied that all the nations of the world will be gathered together against the city of Jerusalem for battle - in the Great Tribulation.

“Look! I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. And on that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem a very heavy rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will be severely injured.”  (Zechariah 14:2-3)


The besieging of Judah and Jerusalem, I believe, will be the catalyst for the next world war, which will be early in the 7-year Tribulation.

The result of that war will be the destruction of a quarter of the world’s population, leading to the Prince of Rome occupying Israel and establishing Jerusalem as the headquarters of a dictatorial world government – in the second half of the seven years.

The prophet Jeremiah foretold the controversy and the great whirlwind that would be stirred up against the nations:

“And you, Jeremiah, you shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: . . .

 “‘Tumult has come to the ends of the earth, for YHWH has a controversy with the nations. He has entered into judgment with all flesh. As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword.’

“Thus says YHWH of Hosts: ‘Look! Evil is going forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind is being stirred up from the ends of the earth. And those slain by YHWH in that day will be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.  They will not be mourned, gathered up, or buried; for they are like dung lying on the ground’.” (Jeremiah 25:30-33)



At the end of the 7 years, Y’shua the Messiah will return to establish righteousness and the worldwide Kingdom of God with Jerusalem, the city which He has chosen and where He has placed His Name, as the capital.



“… that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen for Myself, and where I have put My Name.” (1 Kings 11:36. See also 2 Chronicles 6:6 and Zechariah 3:2)

That Kingdom will last for 1000 years on earth, and then forever in the new heaven and earth. (Revelation 21-22)

“... the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed - a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.”  (Daniel 2:44)

My reader, the time for these events to take place is drawing near.  Let us make sure that all our families and friends are saved (born again), and let us redeem the time for the time is near.”  (Rev 1:3. Rom 13:11-12)



The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, N Pakistan, on Dec 27, was another “earthquake” for the strife-torn nation; and it was a shocking portent of perilous times ahead, both for Pakistan and the region.  It dashed the hopes of many, including those of the US administration.

US plans are in shreds! President Bush wanted the two secular forces of Musharraf and Bhutto to unite against the Islamists. But Pakistan is now the crucial home turf of the Taliban and al-Qaida, and it has become the seventh front, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza, in the war on terror!

As in Lebanon, Islamic extremists in Pakistan are bent on eliminating political leaders that are opposed to their evil goals. In both countries their goal is to topple the current governments; and, in Pakistan’s case, to gain contain control of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

With constant bombings and bloodshed throughout the country, the future is not a joyful prospect for President Pervez Musharraf, or for the opposition political leaders who may be voted into office in the election that has been rescheduled for February 18.

The opposition parties have threatened to impeach President Musharraf if they come to power. But he has responded by saying he would avoid impeachment. “If that happens, let assure that I’d be leaving office before they would do anything.”




This item was published before the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

DEC 19, 07. Osama bin Laden’s quest for a nuclear weapons arsenal now focuses on al-Qaida’s attempts at destabilizing Pakistan, plunging the nation into civil war, seizing power in conjunction with other radical jihadists and grabbing control of the world’s first Islamic bombs, according to a report in a US military academy anti-terrorism journal.

Writing in the Combating Terrorism Center’s Sentinel,  Bruce Riedel, a former senior US official now with the Brookings Institution, says Pakistan represents the “real front line in the war against al-Qaida.”

The most frightening part of advances by Islamists confronting the government of Pervez Musharraf is the determination of al-Qaida to obtain nuclear weapons.

Al-Qaida has been pursuing nuclear weapons for more than a decade, according to former CIA Director George Tenet.  - WorldNetDaily

Pakistan is a hotbed for Islamic radicals, and the Musharraf government is either unwilling or unable to quell the growing number of terrorists within their border on its own. 

Many are calling for Musharraf to bring in NATO troops to help stabilize the area, as his own army and police force has been infiltrated by Muslim extremists. 

There have already been several attempts on the life of Musharraf. If an assassination attempt succeeded,  and terrorists wrested control of the country and its nuclear arms, the dangers to Israel, India, and the Western world would be greatly increased. 


JAN 11, 08.  Despite the growing threat from Islamic extremists, President Musharraf said US troops are not welcome to join the fight against al-Qaida on Pakistani soil. He

warned that Pakistan would resist any unilateral military action by the US against militants sheltering in its lawless, tribal regions close to the Afghan border.

“I challenge anybody coming into our mountains,” he said. “They would regret that day.” 

- AP







By Stan Goodenough /Jerusalem Newswire 

DEC 18, 07. When, in an effort to stop Iran from reaching the status of nuclear military power, Israel attacks the sites housing that country’s nuclear program, it could find itself on a collision course with Russia. This possibility emerged Monday amid reports that Russia had delivered what an unnamed Iranian official called a “first batch” of 82 tons of nuclear fuel to the Iranian plant at Bushehr.

According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Russia announced its intention to supply the fuel just days after the publication of a US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which concluded that Iran had stopped trying to build a nuclear bomb four years ago.

Hailed as a victory by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the NIE report led to an immediate evaporation of the international pressure on Iran to end its quest for nuclear arms, leaving Israel standing alone against the threat.

In a statement that might return to haunt him, President Bush said he supported Russia’s supplying of the nuclear fuel because it removed any reason the Iranians might have for continuing to enrich its own uranium.

But Israeli officials are deeply concerned.

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset that Iran needed only a few months to make the transition “from a civilian nuclear energy track to a military one.”  And Israel’s Internal Security Minister, Avi Dichter, had warned that the NIE report could pave the way for “another Yom Kippur War.”

And Ynet quoted an unnamed senior political-defence source as saying that “Iran will do anything to continue (developing nuclear technology) while attempting to confound the Western World.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has strategically aligned his country with Iran, resisting US requests to join an international embargo against the Islamic Republic, and instead, entering into a historic covenantal relationship with it.

This deepening relationship will only complicate any plans Israel has to strike Iran’s facilities.

When Israel took out the French-sponsored Iraqi nuclear reactor called Osirak in 1981, it triggered a crisis with President Francois Mitterrand, who immediately vowed to rebuild the plant. Although he never kept his word, France did supply Iraq with five highly sophisticated fighter bombers armed with Exocet missiles.

Before Osirak, Israel’s relations with France were seldom more than cordial. By contrast, its often tense relations with Soviet Russia have brought the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war on at least one occasion.

While the USSR is no more, analysts believe Putin seeks to re-establish the level of influence in the Middle East once enjoyed by the Soviet Empire.

Iran received a second shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia in January.




Bush found himself challenged by his Israeli allies on the recent US intelligence report that said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are a chief fear in Israel, and the US report led many Israelis and Arabs who are concerned about rising Iranian influence, to doubt the US commitment to rein in Tehran.  The report also undercut US efforts to build support for sanctions against Iran.

“Iran is a threat to world peace,” Opposition Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu told President Bush during a meeting between the two at the King David Hotel.

For years Netanyahu has pushed for both Israel and the US to make a greater effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. Last year, he persuaded a number of American governors and legislatures to divest state pension funds from the Islamic Republic.

Mr Bush and Olmert also discussed Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and the incident on 6th January when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. US officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully.

The president said “all options are on the table to secure our assets.” He said serious consequences would follow another Iranian provocation.

The Times commented: “A year ago, such a provocation would have been unthinkable because it would have met with a punishing response. Many will have concluded that power is ebbing away from Bush by the day as the US focuses on choosing its next leader.

“Certainly, he would do well to remember the experience of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. Clinton tried and failed to clinch a peace deal in the dying days of his administration. Instead of a historic agreement at Camp David, the region was left with another conflict that cost thousands of lives.”


COULD LEAD TO WORLD WAR 3 reported that President Bush said on January 5, an Iranian attack on Israel could lead to World War 3. Bush also said that the US considers Israel a strong ally, and if it is attacked by Iran, it would not let Israel face the Iranian threat alone.

The President said, “If I were an Israeli I would take the words of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad (that Israel should be wiped off the map) seriously.

“‘Whether there is an imminent attack coming, I don’t think so,’” Bush told the news channel. “The recent US intelligence report that claimed Iran suspended its nuclear program in 2003, does not mean that Iran is no longer considered a danger, as it could restart the program any time,” he added.

Bushehr Plant to be operational

by March 2008

The Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr will be operational by March 21, 2008, and could begin supplying electricity to Iran’s power grid by summertime, according to Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah. The plant will deliver 500 megawatts of electricity to the power grid by summer and 1,000 megawatts by March 2009.

Washington and Moscow have recently asserted that providing Iran with Russian nuclear fuel would enable the Islamic republic to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment program, but Iran stated that it planned to continue enriching uranium, which is required for other nuclear facilities. -


Despite the US pressure, Turkey is firm on bolstering relationship with Iran since the neighbours have not fought since 17th century, PressTV reported.

“Turkey and Iran have neither fought nor changed their border since the 1639 Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin,” Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said to remind critics that Ankara-Tehran relations is older than US history.

Ankara is under mounting US pressure to refrain from investing billions in Iranian energy projects.

In November, Iran and Turkey signed an energy deal including building power plants and improving electricity transport infrastructure. The Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Sept that his Country would continue collaboration with Iran in the oil and gas sectors. “Iran is an important trade partner for Turkey and Turkey cannot ignore this fact.”



DEC 23, 07. Israeli military sources say Syria has agreed to an expanded Russian Navy presence, particularly at the ports of Latakia and Tartous. And the Israeli military expects Russian submarines to conduct reconnaissance operations near the Israeli coast.

“The Russians could conduct naval operations for Syria and compensate for Syria’s technological gap,” a military source said.

Russia has announced that the navy would restore its presence in the eastern Mediterranean. Moscow said the operations would take place in 2008.

The Israel Navy has completed a submarine course meant to enhance skills to detect enemy submarines. The navy has three German-origin Dolphin-class diesel-electric submarines and plans to acquire another two such platforms by 2011.       -

                       OUR GREATEST NEED

* If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

* If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

* If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

* If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.

* But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us …


“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. My Beloved in whom I delight. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations ... and in His Name the nations will put their hope – their confident expectation.  (Matthew 12:18 , 21)

“You shall call His name Y’shua (which means, Yahweh is salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

“Y’shua of Nazareth - He is the One whom they killed by hanging on a tree - a cross. But God raised Him up on the third day - (a living Saviour) … This is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His Name, every one who believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins.”  (Acts 10:42-43)

“Believe in the Heavenly Master, Y’shua the Messiah, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)


Y’SHUA thE Heavenly Master WILL BE SAVED.”

(Romans 10:13)

“THE GOOD NEWS is  ...       


that the Messiah died for our sins, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:1-4).  And “God has made this Y’shua whom you crucified, both Master and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36).  If you confess with your mouth Y’shua as Lord - your Master and Saviour, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved ... for whoever will call upon the Name of Y’shua the Heavenly Master will be saved. (Romans 10:9 -13). If you have not received Y’shua as your own personal Saviour, I urge you to believe and call on Him today.


Tomorrow may be too late!  






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The One who is coming will come, He will not delay