The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8


September 22nd, 2014

By Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is holding its annual “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel” (WWPPI) this week, calling on Israel to release jailed terrorists – despite the severity of their crimes and the abundance of terrorists immediately returning to terror.

NGO Monitor notes that WCC is a collective of “347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories,” and in this year’s week-long event it will focus on ending the “illegal occupation.”

This year’s WWPPI, which is organized by the WCC’s Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), is being held under the title “Let My People Go,” in an offensive appropriation likening “Palestinian political prisoners” – including jailed terrorists – with the Jewish people leaving Egyptian oppression in Biblical times.

According to the materials for WWPPI, all “political prisoners” should be freed. The ambiguous term is defined as referring to “any Palestinian – resident of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, or Israel – arrested in relation to the occupation.”

In short WCC calls for the release of all jailed terrorists, white-washing their crimes. One such terrorist is listed by name in the PIEF dossier: Ayman Sharawna.

As a “political prisoner” being jailed by “the occupation,” Sharawna was arrested in 2002 for his role in multiple terrorist attacks, including a bombing in Be’er Sheva that wounded 18 people. He was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.

Sharawna was rearrested in 2012 after returning to active terrorism with Hamas in Gaza, but was ultimately released again in 2013 after an eight-month hunger strike. After his second release, he publicly announced his return to terror.

And yet WCC lists Sharawna by name as the type of “political prisoner” whose release was an “achievement.”

The PIEF materials also falsely claim that Israel’s administrative detention of terror suspects “violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also constitutes a form of torture within a systematic policy which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and amounts to a war crime and crime against humanity.”

NGO Monitor points out that the International Committee of the Red Cross has debunked this interpretation, writing “Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions…contains no provisions regulating internment, i.e. administrative detention for security reasons, apart from the requirement of humane treatment.”

Another claim raising eyebrows in PIEF’s program booklet, which lacks any citation or reference, is that “since 1967 about 750,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces.”

Such a figure would amount to roughly 16,000 new prisoners each year, a claim PIEF’s own booklet disproves by asserting around 3,500 Palestinian Arabs have been arrested each year since 2000.

PIEF, the organizer of WWPPI, writes it was founded “to catalyze and coordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions.”


September 20th, 2014

by Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post)

In his Islamic State speech, President Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy.

This alone will probably get him a bump in the polls, which have dropped to historic lows. But his strategic problem remains: the disconnect between (proclaimed) ends and means.

He’s sending an additional 475 American advisers to Iraq. He says he’s broadening the air campaign, but that is merely an admission that the current campaign was always about more than just protecting U.S. personnel in Irbil and saving Yazidis on mountaintops. It was crucially about providing air support for the local infantry, Kurdish and Iraqi.

The speech’s only news was the promise to expand the air campaign into Syria and (finally) seriously arm the secular opposition. But this creates a major problem for Obama. Just a month ago, he ridiculed the non-jihadist rebels as nothing but a bunch of?“doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth.” Now he deputizes them as our Syrian shock troops. So he seems finally to have found his Syria strategy: F-16s flying air support for pharmacists in tanks.

Not to worry, says the President. We’ll have lots of other help — “a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” He then proceeded to name not a single member of this stout assembly or offer even an approximate number.

Democrats have a habit of accusing George W. Bush of going it alone in Iraq. According to the Center of Military History of the U.S. Army, Bush had 37 nations with us. They sent more than 25,000 troops. So far, Obama has a coalition of nine: eight NATO members plus Australia. How many of those — or of the much touted Arab coalition behind us — do you think will contribute any troops at all?

Why, this grand coalition does not even include many congressional Democrats. That’s why Obama hasn’t asked for Congress’s authorization. Democrats are ambivalent about this endeavor. With an election coming up, they are terrified of casting a vote supporting it.

And what will this campaign look like? Not Iraq or Afghanistan, the President reassured the nation. The model will be Somalia and Yemen.

Is he serious? First, there’s no comparing the scale. This year has seen 16 airstrikes in Yemen, two in Somalia. Two! That doesn’t even count as a pinprick.

Second, there is no comparing the stakes. Yemen and Somalia are strategically marginal. The Islamic State controls a vast territory in the heart of oil-rich Mesopotamia, threatening everything of importance in the Middle East.

Third, are these results we want to emulate? Yemen and Somalia are failed states — unsafe, unstable, bristling with active untamed insurgencies. We occasionally pick off a leader by drone — an absurdly inadequate strategy if the goal is to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, which the administration itself calls a terror threat unlike any we’ve ever seen.

And beyond the strategy’s halfhearted substance is its author’s halfhearted tone. Obama’s reluctance and ambivalence are obvious. This is a man driven to give this speech by public opinion. It shifted radically with the televised beheading of two Americans. Every poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly want something to be done — and someone to lead the doing.

Hence Wednesday’s speech. Its origins were more political than strategic. Its purpose was to save the wreckage of a presidency at its lowest ebb. (If this were a parliamentary democracy, Obama would lose a vote of nonconfidence and be out of office.) Its point was to give the appearance of firmness and purpose, i.e., leadership.

You could sense that Obama had been dragged unwillingly into this new unproclaimed war. Which was reminiscent of Obama’s speech five years ago announcing the surge in Afghanistan. In the very next sentence, he announced a fixed date of withdrawal. Then added, lest anyone miss his lack of enthusiasm, “the nation that I’m most interested in building is our own..

At the time, I called it the most uncertain trumpet ever sounded by a President summoning the country to war. I fear the campaign against the Islamic State will be a reprise.

Even the best war plans run into trouble. This one already suffers from a glaring mismatch of ends and means — and a grand coalition that is largely fictional. Difficulties are sure to come. How will the commander in chief, already reluctant and ambivalent, react to setbacks — the downing of the first American pilot or perhaps a mini-Tet Offensive in Baghdad’s Green Zone engulfing the U.S. Embassy?

On that day, we will need a steady, determined President committed to the mission. Do we have one even now?


September 19th, 2014

by Jack Engelhard (IsraelNationalNews)

Back when I was around 15 years old I was offered a summertime job. This was in Montreal. I would have to present myself for a brief interview, but since a high authority in town had recommended me, the fix was in, it was in the bag. The interview was a formality.

The man behind the big desk began asking questions…strange questions.

“Your father is Polish. Yes?”

“No, my father is Jewish.”

“I understand,” said the man. “But he is a Polish Jew.”

I did not know what that was, and I said so. Polish? Spanish? What’s the difference?

“Polish Jews,” the man persisted, “are known to be Talmudic, no? Bookish, studious.”

True, my father knew the depths of Torah and Talmud – but bookish? He worked 14 hours a day in the leather trade.

“I am sorry,” I said. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“I mean they tend to be lazy.”

“You are very wrong, Mister…”

“Nevertheless, we cannot hire lazy people,” said the man.

That was my first brush with in-your-face anti-Semitism.

After all these years, have I ever forgiven this fellow Jew? Obviously not. Some insults and indignations stick.

Forgiveness is a tough job and a tough sell.

The Chofetz Chaim… refused to forgive a gang of louts after they tormented him, mistaking him for a tramp as he travelled incognito. But we’re approaching the High Holy Days. This is when we are commanded to clean up our act and learn to forgive. As for me, I try, and often I succeed. But just as often I can’t get with the program. I will leave it to our rabbis to define the boundaries of forgiveness. Surely I exceed the limits and am far from being righteous.

The Chofetz Chaim, however, was impeccably righteous, and he refused to forgive a gang of louts after they tormented him, mistaking him for a tramp as he travelled incognito. Later, when they found out who he really was, they begged for forgiveness, but by then it was too late. They would have to find the “tramp” again and he was forever gone.

On average, I’d say we all endure five insults a day, from a wedding invitation that excludes us to a snub at the office. Why coffee for everyone except you? How about that driver who cut you off or that lady who sneaked ahead of you in line or the co-worker who gave you a bad performance review…may he win a million dollars and spend it all on doctors?

We suffer all these snubs and indecencies and even put them out of our minds, but do we forgive?

We give it our best shot, but it doesn’t always work. There’s hurt all around and we “forgive” only to move on with our lives.

It would be impossible to survive as individuals, as a species, if we remembered every slight. But we are not angels. We are not saints. We are human.

The same two men who shake forgiving hands in synagogue – once they get on the road all bets are off.

The manager that ran the radio station where I worked as an editor – I still call him Hitler. The director who stole my idea, I call him no friend, no pal.

A movie producer friend can’t forget (or forgive) the studio boss who invited him to lunch and then stood him up at the elevator when someone “more important” came along. That happened 20 years ago. Is this an exception or a rule? I’m saying it’s a rule and that it all begins at home. Most families are dysfunctional.

Forgiveness is desirable, of course, but does not appear to be a natural human inclination…judging from my own instincts and from observing others.

How about you?

Do you forgive Ariel Sharon for Gush Katif?

We’re taught that our Torah never demands anything beyond our reach. But forgiveness – that is a tough one. That is a stretch.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: The above article is interesting and insightful – However, most of us who have become Messianic believers in Yeshua, have found that only His grace and example helps! Forgiveness is critical for all of us, no matter what the reason. It is because of our Lord’s forgiveness that we can apply that we ever find
peace and relief for what has happened to us in our lives. The Bible reminds us to forgive as He forgave us – to Him be all the glory and praise!


September 19th, 2014

by Ari Yasher (Arutz Sheva News)

Hamas spokesperson charges unity PM of obeying Fatah, ‘reinforcing the rift,’ after Hamdallah admits no plans to implement deal.

The war of words between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction continued to heat up on Friday, after Hamas lashed out at unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri gave Hamdallah a tongue lashing on his official Facebook page Friday, accusing the prime minister of “still being loyal to the orders of the Fatah movement and conducting its decisions.”

Hamdallah “isn’t behaving according to the rules of the unity government, and ignores the rights of Gaza residents and their suffering,” charged Abu Zuhri. “He is reinforcing the rift and adding to the failure of the (unity) government.”

Abu Zuhri’s verbal barrage comes after Hamdallah earlier on Friday revealed no plans have been instituted to ensure the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah in April.

The prime minister instead said that all factions who signed the agreement are “fully responsible” for finding solutions to internal conflict – pushing the responsibility off of the unity government.

Just hours before Hamdallah’s comments, Hamas political official Mahmoud Zahran claimed late Thursday night that the unity pact was merely a “temporary measure,” and that Hamas was looking for “alternative solutions.”

“There is no doubt (the unity government) is a failure,” Zahran added.

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah have been at the boiling point lately, with Abbas last week threatening to end the unity deal over a range of issues, primarily among them Hamas’s foiled coup attempt against Abbas in Judea and Samaria.

In that case too Abu Zuhri struck back, saying “Abbas’s remarks against Hamas and the resistance are unjustified, and the sources of information and figures he relied on were incorrect and have nothing to do with the truth.”


September 18th, 2014

by Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

Impressive Byzantine-era compound shedding light on life 1,000 years ago unearthed during preparations to build new neighborhood.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) said it “uncovered a large and impressive compound dating to the Byzantine period in Ramat Bet Shemesh,” which included near-perfectly preserved artifacts offering a rare glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient inhabitants.

During the survey blocked cisterns, a cave opening and the tops of several walls were found visible on the surface. The subsequent excavations, funded by the Ministry of Construction and Housing revealed a vast compound surrounded by an outer wall and divided on the inside into two areas: an industrial area and an activity and residential area.

The industrial area demonstrated the primary source of income for residents was olive oil and wine production. An unusually large and well-preserved olive oil press was discovered inside the complex, while a large wine press was revealed outside. The latter consisted of two treading floors from which grape juice would have flowed to a large collecting vat.

According to the IAA, “The impressive size of the agricultural installations shows that these facilities were used for production on an industrial-scale rather than just for domestic use.”

Two entire ovens used for baking were also exposed in the compound, although those likely were for local use.

The residential part of the compound consisted of several rooms, some of which contained beautifully-detailed mosaic flooring. One partially-preserved, colorful mosaic was exposed in a room which once contained a staircase to a now-nonexistent second floor. In the adjacent room another multicolored mosaic was found, which portrayed a cluster of grapes surrounded by flowers set within a geometric frame.

Execavation directors Irene Zilberbod and Tehila libman said the compound was most likely a monastery.

“We believe this is the site of a monastery from the Byzantine period,” said Zilberbod. “It is true we did not find a church at the site or an inscription or any other unequivocal evidence of religious worship; nevertheless, the impressive construction, the dating to the Byzantine period, the magnificent mosaic floors, window and roof tile artifacts, as well as the agricultural-industrial installations inside the dwelling compound are all known to us from numerous other contemporary monasteries.

“Thus it is possible to reconstruct a scenario in which monks resided in a monastery that they established, made their living from the agricultural installations and dwelled in the rooms and carried out their religious activities.”

Experts estimate that at some point towards the beginning of the Islamic period (seventh century CE), the compound ceased to function and was subsequently occupied by new residents, who changed the plan of the compound and adapted it for their needs. If the new residents were along the Muslim conquerers or accompanying Arab settlers it may suggest why no church was found during the excavations.

Dr. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the IAA and Housing Ministry had already taken measures to preserve the site, which would ultimately be situated in the center of the new neighborhood slated for construction.


September 18th, 2014

by Elizabeth Blade (Israel Today News)

The Middle East has a serious problem, and it isn’t the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Though one wouldn’t know it by the skewed focus of international media and diplomatic attention, the crisis of the Islamic State dwarfs even the most serious bouts of Israeli-Arab violence.

Over the past several months, the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS), a Sunni Muslim group rejected by Al Qaeda as being too extreme, has not only managed to gain control over much of Iraq and Syria, but has fulfilled the long-held dream of many Sunnis by establishing a “caliphate” that demands the allegiance of all faithful Muslims.

But the Islamic State’s notorious leader, Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi, is not content with the territory he already rules. Al-Baghdadi is thinking big, and has vowed to forcibly spread Islam to the four corners of the world. Iraq was only the first target among many, and the swift defeat of the US-trained and equipped Iraqi military provided the Islamists a major morale boost.

Abdul Alhasan (name changed for security reasons), a member of the Iraqi parliament, explained the easy conquest of key Iraqi cities by pointing a blaming finger at his nation’s unpopular government.

“We poured billions of dollars into military equipment and training, but these fanatics managed to deal us a severe blow. This would not have been possible if the government listened to the will of its people,” said the politician, insisting that Iraq needs to grant greater autonomy to its diverse group of minorities and abandon the American idea of an overbearing central government.

Instead, Baghdad has strongly suppressed calls for greater regional autonomy, sparking violent clashes and dangerous shifts in allegiances. This has only made the Islamic State’s job easier, with some factions preferring the caliphate to their own government. It would appear that a unified Iraq’s days are numbered.

And while Alhassan and others remain optimistic that Iraq still has a fighting chance, the Islamic State is already moving on to new targets in its assaults on Jordanian border towns. The goal is clear: topple Jordan’s monarch and annex the territory of the Hashemite Kingdom in a march that inevitably leads to Israel.

In a face-to-face showdown, Jordan’s well-trained military and substantial regional and international backing should be too much for the Islamic State to overcome. The real threat is the Islamic State gaining supporters within Jordan. “Mass demonstrations in support of the Islamic State have already taken place in the Jordanian city of Maan,” notes Dr. Mordechai Kedar, an expert on Islam at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.

Kedar stresses that many Palestinian and Syrian refugees residing in the Kingdom are angry over the way Jordanian authorities handle their miserable living conditions, “forcing thousands to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, which they view as a solution to their problems.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been monitoring the developments closely, vowed to help Jordan in curbing the rising threat. “Israel realizes that one day we may all wake up to find the Islamic State on our borders,” says Kedar. “The real danger is that Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and even inside Israel proper may support the Islamic State, shattering Israel’s security.”

According to the pundit, it might be in Israel’s interests to tackle this threat militarily before it has a chance to gain a foothold West of the Jordan River. While such a decision hasn’t been taken yet, rumors are that Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the US have established an operations center in Amman with the aim of developing plans to defeat the Islamic State.

The Islamic State has asserted that its present focus is dealing with apostate Muslim countries, but there is no doubt the jihadist horde is inching ever closer to the Jewish state.


September 17th, 2014

by Ari Yasher (Arutz Sheva News)

Fatah reveals Hamas smuggling people from Gaza via Egypt to Europe for $2,000 to $3,500 per person; Hamas partially denies.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction has exposed that Hamas is running a human trafficking network, smuggling Gaza residents to Europe for $2,000 to $3,500 per person.

The charges come following reports that dozens of Palestinian Arabs drowned last week after leaving Gaza for Egypt, where they boarded an ill-fated ship bound for Europe that never reached its goal, reports Kol Yisrael (Israel Radio).

Apparently Hamas used its hundreds of smuggling tunnels into the Sinai Peninsula to funnel the would-be immigrants out of Gaza and into Egypt; while an Egyptian siege limited the usage of those smuggling tunnels, the blockade has been recently eased during the current ceasefire.

Palestinian Arab media sources published the names of roughly 90 Arab residents of Gaza who went missing after trying to immigrate by sea from Egypt to Europe.

In response to the accusations, Hamas said the phenomenon of immigration has always existed, and claimed it arrested several members of the human trafficking network in Gaza.

The revelation of increased mobility between Gaza and Europe comes at a time of heightened concerns that Arab terrorists from the Middle East may be finding their way to western Europe, where they could potentially conduct terror attacks.

Just recently the Israeli National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning to western Europe for Israelis, over fears of terror attacks targeting Jewish and Israeli targets.

In particular, there is a fear that western jihadists, most notably the roughly 2,000 Islamic State (ISIS) foreign recruits, may return home to conduct attacks.


September 17th, 2014

by Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

Yasin Ali Suleiman Shlash blamed for mass-kidnapping of Yezidi women, many of whom were sold into sexual slavery.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces claim to have killed a senior Islamic State (IS) military commander Tuesday.

According to Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, 39-year-old Yasin Ali Suleiman Shlash, also known as Abu Abdullah, was IS’s top military commander in the Mosul region.

“He was killed with a number of other terrorists during a military operation by Peshmerga forces in coordination with the US air force to liberate Hassan Sham and its vicinities,” the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council said in statement.

The city of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest, was captured at the start of a stunning advance by IS and allied Sunni militias earlier this year.

The Iraqi army was accused of ineptness after it melted away in the face of a much smaller IS force, and even Peshmerga forces – highly regarded for their own bravery in combat – performed disappointingly in the initial stages of the jihadist onslaught, which took place outside of the mountainous Kurdish region the Peshmerga were used to fighting in.

Since then, however, with the help of US airstrikes and western military aid Kurdish forces have pushed back and made some significant gains – most notably the retaking of Mosul dam last month.

The Kurdish Security Council said Shlash, a former Arabic teacher, was behind a 2007 terrorist bombing the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) capital of Erbil.

It also said he had coordinated the recent mass-kidnappings of Yezidi women – many of whom were raped or sold into slavery – when IS captured the Shingar mountain region last month.


September 16th, 2014

By Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

For Malachi and Tanya Avital Ben-Yehuda of Riverdale, New York, terrorist rockets peppering southern Israel were inconsequential compared to their firm dedication to the Jewish faith and homeland.

The Ben-Yehuda’s, an African-American couple who converted to Judaism four years ago, made aliyah (immigration) to Israel on July 21, even as counter-terror Operation Protective Edge continued and terror rocket attacks raged.

Not only did they immigrate – they arrived at an absorption center in Be’er Sheva in the south where rockets have been falling frequently, and they plan to move to Ashkelon which has been a main target of Hamas. Arutz Sheva joined the couple on their aliyah flight.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva in New York before departing to the Holy Land, Malachi, a 55-year-old former American serviceman, recalled how their rabbi was surprised by their decision, saying “you want to make aliyah? You just converted!”

For Malachi the decision was obvious. “We wouldn’t change it for the world, we wouldn’t go back, even at this time, we want to go forward,” stated the new immigrant.

“We love the land of Israel,” Malachi said while on his aliyah flight approaching Israel. After being around the world, he recalled how he and his wife arrived in Israel and “just wanted to kiss the ground, and I just felt like I was a part of the land, like I was supposed to be here, and my wife feels the same way.”

Tanya, a 51-year-old retired New York City corrections office, concurred, saying “we understand the situation that’s going on, and we’ve chosen to live here. We’ve chosen to show the terrorists that we’re not afraid and that we support Israel.”

“This is the best time to come,” added Malachi, noting the strong message of making aliyah under fire.

In the month of July, 546 American Jews made aliyah unintimidated by the Hamas rocket fire, including a flight of 109 “Lone Soldiers” immigrating and immediately beginning their army service. The aliyah has been aided by Nefesh B’Nefesh.


September 16th, 2014

by Ben Ariel (Arutz Sheva News)

Hezbollah official says the threat from the Islamic State means there “is a great need for Hezbollah to remain in Syria”.

A senior official with Hezbollah declared on Monday that the group will not leave Syria, citing the threat of the “Islamic State” (IS) and other radical groups, reports the Lebanese-based Daily Star.

Speaking at a ceremony in the southern village of Aita Shaab, Nabil Qaouk, the deputy head of Hezbollah’s executive council, said, “There could never be a war of words between ISIS and us, but there is the field where we will defeat them. We will not engage in a war of statements or political disputes.”

“Day after day, it is becoming clear to Lebanon and the Arab, Muslim and international communities that there is a great need for Hezbollah to remain in Syria,” he declared.

“The current situation today imposes the need for Hezbollah to stay in Syria more than any other time,” added Qaouk, according to the Daily Star.

Referring to last month’s clashes between the Lebanese Army and fighters from IS and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, he said a battle with radical groups had been imposed on Lebanon, which was now in the eye of the storm.

Hezbollah has made no secret of the fact that it is heavily involved in the Syrian civil war, sending fighters to battle rebels alongside Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s troops.

The group has also expressed concerns over IS. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah recently warned that the group is an “existential threat” menacing Lebanon and the whole region.

“The Lebanese need to be aware of this existential threat and the need to confront it,” Nasrallah said, adding, “We must find true, realistic and serious means to counter this threat.”

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