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

Archive for March, 2009


Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

(Israel Today News)

An internal European Union document obtained by Reuters this week accuses Israel of illegally taking over the eastern half of Jerusalem and then discriminating against its Arab residents.

The document, which is dated December 15 of last year, says that Israel has accelerated its “illegal annexation” of Jerusalem in order to keep the city united under Israeli sovereignty as part of any peace settlement.

News of the document came just days after visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the Obama Administration also does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the eastern half of Jerusalem.

During a press conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah last Wednesday, Clinton blasted the Jerusalem municipality for daring to act against illegal Arab construction in the Israeli capital.

The European document also claimed that Israel practices systematic discrimination against Jerusalem’s Arab population by not letting them build wherever and whenever they please, and by subjecting them to security checks.

The report failed to note that Arab residents of Jerusalem have carried out a number of bloody terrorist attacks against the city’s Jewish residents over the past year.

An Israeli government source told Ha’aretz that the grumbling from Europe has been accompanied by increasing pressure from the Obama Administration over plans to build more Jewish homes on lands claimed by the Palestinians.

The source said that Israel has received four messages from Washington over the past month demanding explanations for plans to build more homes in the Judean towns of Ma’aleh Adumim and Efrat and a decision to solve the problem of one so-called “illegal” settlement by moving it within the municipal boundaries of an officially authorized settlement.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s about time that the USA stays out of Israel politics! Telling Israel what they can build or not build in Jerusalem is absolutely ridiculous and outrageous! Jerusalem was given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – it belong to Israel and for that matter – so does the entire land promised to Abraham by God in Genesis 15! To describe Israel’s housing developments as “takeover” and “illegal” is absolutely wrong in every way! May God give wisdom to Israel’s leaders under all this pressure!)


Monday, March 9th, 2009

by Hillel Fendel

IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Amos Yadlin confirmed on Sunday, in his monthly briefing to the Cabinet, that Ayatollah-controlled Iran has the technology to develop a nuclear bomb – and that it is taking advantage of U.S. President Obama’s dialogue policy.

“Iran has crossed the technological threshold,” Yadlin said, “such that its reaching military nuclear capabilities is a matter of adapting its strategy to the target of manufacturing a nuclear bomb.” The bottom line, according to Yadlin, is that it is entirely up to Iran’s decision makers, independent of outside considerations and factors, to decide when to proceed with producing the bomb.

Yadlin confirmed earlier reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander Admiral Mike Mullen. Mullen said two weeks ago that Tehran now has enough fissile material to build a bomb. The IAEA announced last week that its earlier reports were mistaken, and now acknowledges that it has evidence that Iran has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. Practically while Yadlin was making his report, Iran announced that it had successfully tested a new long-range air-to-surface missile.

“Iran continues to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-grade enriched uranium,” Yadlin said, “and is hoping to take advantage of the dialogue with Washington to buy time to advance towards the ability to build a bomb.” Iran will not stop this activity while the dialogue continues, Yadlin implied, because though “Iran and its allies hope that the spirit of change in the United States is genuine, they think that it is a step before the formulation of a more effective coalition against them.”

Not only Israel has cause for concern, Yadlin said: “The moderate Arab nations fear that the Obama administration’s dialogue with Iran will come at their expense, and that it will be exploited by Iran and Syria, which will continue engaging in arming and terrorism while appearing to dialogue.”

Iran currently has 4000 active centrifuges, the IAEA reported, which produce the low-grade enrichment of more than a ton of uranium. In addition, Iran now has the wherewithal to enrich the uranium to a high-grade level; 25 kilograms of high-grade enriched uranium is sufficient for a bomb.

Some see Obama’s approach of talking with Tehran a modern form of the appeasement that enabled Nazi Germany to actualize its threats. Elements of this policy include: Last week’s invitation by the U.S. to Iran to an international conference on Afghanistan – a clear break with the Bush policy of viewing Iran as part of an “axis of evil.” Obama’s desire to fight jointly with Iran against the Taliban – although only the more extremist elements thereof. Obama’s offer of economic incentives to Iran to stop its nuclear program. Obama’s expression of “recognition” of Iran’s strength and regional position. However, as Gen. Yadlin told the Cabinet on Sunday, Iran plans to use the new American dialogue policy to its own advantage – and that of its nuclear program.


Friday, March 6th, 2009

by Gil Ronen

In its leading editorial piece Wednesday, the influential Wall Street Journal called on U.S. President Barack Obama to “get serious” about Iran now or face a potentially broader Middle Eastern war started by an Israeli pre-emptive strike. The paper notes that as a presidential candidate, Obama called for direct, high-level talks in the hopes of persuading Iran’s mullahs to abandon their nuclear aspirations.

“We’ve never held out much hope for those talks, which would inevitably be complicated and protracted,” the paper wrote. “Mr. Obama is already trying to lure Russian help on Iran by offering to trade away hard-earned missile defense sites in Eastern Europe. Russia’s President claims to be unimpressed. And now it turns out that the rate at which Iran’s nuclear programs are advancing may render even negotiations moot.”

The WSJ cites the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, which found that Iran has produced more than 1,000 kilograms of low enriched uranium and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen’s weekend acknowledgment that the U.S. believes Iran has enough fissile material to make a bomb. Iran now possesses 5,600 centrifuges in which it can enrich uranium and plans to add 45,000 more over five years. “That will give Tehran an ability to make atomic bombs on an industrial scale,” the paper notes. The Arak heavy water reactor, scheduled for completion in 2011, “can have no purpose other than to produce weapons-grade plutonium.”

The WSJ says that the IAEA report “is the latest in a long line of reports that should have sounded alarms but instead have accustomed the world to conclude that a nuclear Iran is something we’ll just have to live with. Well, not the entire world: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned last week that ‘time is slipping through our fingers’ when it comes to stopping Tehran. ‘What is needed,’ he added, ‘is a two-pronged course of action which includes ironclad, strenuous sanctions . . . and a readiness to consider options in the event that these sanctions do not succeed.’”

“Nobody — Mr. Obama least of all — can doubt what Mr. Barak means by ‘options,’ the New York paper warns. “Nor should the Administration doubt that an Israeli strike, however necessary and justified, could put the U.S. in the middle of a broader Middle East war. If Mr. Obama wants to avoid a security crisis in the first year of his watch, he will have to get serious about Iran now.”


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

(One Jerusalem News)

For decades, Arabs have gotten a free pass when it comes to Israel’s real estate laws. While everyone else is required to get permits before building in Jerusalem and elsewhere, Arabs build illegally in Jerusalem and throughout the State of Israel. Until now, Israeli politicians shied away from upholding the law when it comes to Arabs.

Now that Israel’s political leaders have decided to enforce the law of the land, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Israel of breaking some unspecified international obligations, by deciding to demolish some illegally constructed homes. Clinton told the press she intends to raise this issue with Israel’s leaders. Interestingly, Clinton did not protest when the State of Israel forcefully ejected thousands of Jews from their homes in Gaza.

This recent move by Clinton clearly places her in the camp that favors the Arabs taking Jerusalem as their capital. Clinton is obviously not bothered by the facts that under Israeli rule Jerusalem has been a free and open city to all people. Such freedom never existed when the city was divided, and Jews were driven out of the Old City.

Nor is Clinton bothered by the prospect of Islamic terrorists setting up advanced bases of terror in Jerusalem. Under such conditions, Jerusalem would become inaccessible to Jews and Christians alike. Just look what happened in Gaza.

By drawing the line in the sand over Jerusalem, Clinton has chosen to have a contentious relationship with the incoming Netanyahu Administration. Fortunately, Netanyahu has pledged not to give up Jerusalem.


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

by Hana Levi Julian

The city of Jerusalem responded on Thursday with a biting, detailed statement to what it called the “disinformation campaign” that was conducted during this week’s visit to the capital by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton on Wednesday slammed Israel’s demolition of buildings in the northern and eastern neighborhoods of the city. “Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the ‘Roadmap,'” she said. “It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem,” she told reporters in Ramallah following her meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, senior Abbas aide Saeb Erekat and other officials.

Most news reports stated, as did the Hebrew-language Ha’aretz, that “Israel had issued orders for the demolition of 80 Palestinian homes in eastern Jerusalem it says were built illegally. But Palestinians say they cannot receive proper building permits from Israeli authorities, and the planned demolitions are means to assert Israel’s control over the disputed city.”
Carefully avoiding any accusations against the American official, the city instead placed the blame in its statement on journalists, saying it “rejects many recent claims made in the media” and offering to “provide further information on the topic.” Few, if any media provided details as to where the illegal structures were located, or information about the process that led to their demolition. However, it is unlikely that Clinton was not provided with these details during her meeting with local and national leaders.

Prior to this week, Miller said that only 28 demolition orders have been carried out since January: 11 on structures in the western section of Jerusalem and 17 on structures in the Arab neighborhoods in the eastern part of the capital.


Mayor Nir Barkat promotes investment in infrastructure, construction, and education in eastern Jerusalem, but at the same time intends to uphold the law throughout Jerusalem equally, explained the mayor’s spokesman, Stephan H. Miller. “According to administrative procedure, orders can be given to stop work on illegal construction at the beginning and throughout the process of construction. Often, illegal construction has come at the expense of public land designated for the residents themselves, he explained.”

Most of the 80 illegal buildings that were demolished in the Emek HaMelech neighborhood were built in recent years without permits. Petitions to the Interior Ministry filed by residents of the buildings were rejected, said the city, because the area is intended for public recreational use.

“The area of Emek HaMelech is one of the most important areas with regards to the history of Jerusalem, with holy sites important to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike,” said Miller. Its importance as a tourist destination to “more than three billion people of faith around the world,” Miller pointed out, makes it an area that must be treated “with the utmost strategic importance. Emek HaMelech is not intended for residential development but rather is intended to be an open public space. This position is concurrent with positions taken during the British Mandate and going back to Ottoman control of the area,” Miller explained.

The one building that was demolished in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukabar – not Silwan, as previously reported by many news agencies – also was built illegally without a permit, in open space. The demolition was only carried out after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against it.

In the northern neighborhood of Shuafat, five empty, unfinished buildings were knocked down. “They had already been given instructions to stop construction, which were not honored,” the city noted. “The orders pasted on the buildings also explain how the order can be appealed in the court of law if any injustice is felt.” However, Miller added, there is a dilemma in Shuafat: “Almost no public areas remain for public construction for the residents of the neighborhood.” The area in which the illegal buildings were located, said the city, included land that was earmarked for public schools and institutions for the benefit of the local residents themselves.

“According to the Mayor of Jerusalem, administrative orders have been issued to unlicensed buildings continuing the process of construction throughout all of Jerusalem, West and East, without bias,” Miller noted pointedly.


Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

DEBKAfile Special Report

Ten Palestinian missiles struck Israel from the Gaza Strip Saturday, Feb. 28, including two heavyweight Grads aimed at Ashkelon. The number since Israel halted Operation Cast Lead Jan. 18 has risen to eighty – 81 Sunday night with a direct hit which set a Sderot home on fire.

DEBKAfile’s military sources directly correlate the upsurge of Palestinian rockets attacks on Israel and the setbacks in securing the release of the captive Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit with defense minister Ehud Barak’s dogged insistence on the imminence of an Egyptian-brokered long-term ceasefire.

The figures are irrefutable, the ceasefire is receding and the message from Cairo is plain. The Egyptians say the rockets will keep on coming and the Israeli soldier stay missing until the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reach an accord on sharing power, which is Cairo’s top priority.

Israel is not offered any say in this process; neither is Hamas required to abandon violence or its ruling ambition to destroy Israel. But the Palestinian Islamists’ conditions for a deal are largely addressed to… Israel. Hence the pressure-by-missile.

Cairo optimistically forecasts a “successful” outcome later this month; other Arab sources mention April-May. But Barack and his envoy to Cairo Amos Gilead seem to have no qualms about Cairo’s linkage of Palestinian missile fire and a Palestinian unity accord, although this makes Ashkelon hostage to a Palestinian factional reconciliation. And what happens if the Palestinian deal falls through, as it has before?

For more than a month, therefore, Israeli retaliation for the missile attacks has been muted, restricted to the harmless aerial bombardment of empty buildings and smuggling tunnels in Gaza. This tactic contradicts the promises Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni made that Israel would respond instantaneously and effectively to Palestinian aggression from Gaza, if the military operation of January failed to bring the promised “new security reality” to southern Israel.

Sensing this weakness in Israel’s stance, Hamas which has quickly recovered from its hammering at Israel’s hands is moving forward on three fronts:

1. An upsurge in missile attacks: Saturday, two newly upgraded 170mm Grad missiles were launched against Ashkelon. One went through the fortified roof of a schoolroom where no lessons were held because of the Sabbath. This attack on an important Israeli port-city made nonsense of the defense minister’s claim that Israel’s deterrence capacity was in place.

2. Iran is smuggling larger quantities of weapons to Hamas via Sinai than during the days prior to Operation Cast Lead: 50 improved Grad rockets, different types of anti-air missiles and tons of explosives were delivered in the last two weeks.

That takes care of another solemn promise (delivered by Amos Gilead) that, if Israel agreed to a Cairo-brokered unilateral ceasefire last month, Egypt would reciprocate with strenuous action to stem the smuggling of arms to Hamas through its territory.

Our sources add that Tehran, which took that promise seriously, had planned alternative, more expensive and roundabout smuggling routes. Now Iran sees it can save itself the trouble and go back to shipping arms via Sinai to Gaza relatively undisturbed.

3. Hamas is digging its heel in harder than ever before on the release of Gilead Shalit. This tramples yet another of Barak’s assurances, this one endorsed by the outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert, that the military offensive would bring his freedom closer. Hamas has made it clear that the price for his release is up and still rising.


Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

by Maayana Miskin

Visiting United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday that the United States would be “vigorously engaged” in the creation of a Palestinian Authority state. “There is no time to waste,” she added.

Clinton met with Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday. Both Netanyahu and Livni expressed satisfaction with the meetings, and said Clinton showed an understanding of Israel and America’s “common goals.”

Clinton met with President Shimon Peres as well. The meetings were her first with Israeli officials since she was sworn in as Secretary of State.

Netanyahu did not reveal the content of his discussion with Clinton other than to say that the two had spoken about “the Iranian issue and the Palestinian issue” and had agreed to meet again once a new government has been formed. Netanyahu described the talks as “deep, important and good.”

Livni praised Clinton, saying the latter had “shown a deep understanding of the needs of Israel.” Israel’s ties with America “transcend parties and governments,” she added.

Livni, who was involved in negotiations with the PA under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, supports the creation of a PA state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem. Netanyahu has called for “Palestinian self-rule,” but has not given a full explanation of his diplomatic plan regarding the PA’s demands.

“We need to think creatively in order to move forward and create a different reality, both in terms of security and politically,” Netanyahu said Tuesday.

Defense Minister Barak pressed Clinton to tighten economic sanctions against Iran in the fields of financing, import and development. In order for sanctions to be effective, Russia, India and China must also be brought into the fold, Barak said. “Only thus will the world be able to find out in short order if dialogue and sanctions have a real chance,” Barak opined. He also said that while the Jewish state supports the sanctions against Iran, “Israel is not taking any option off the table and recommends that other countries behave similarly.”

The meeting between Clinton and Barak took place in a Jerusalem hotel and was attended by officials and advisors from both sides. However, at the end of the session Barak and Clinton also held a one-on-one talk with no one else present.


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

The Olmert administration has changed its tactics. Instead of authorizing the IDF to continue immediate military retaliation to Hamas rocket attacks, it has complained to the United Nations. A protest was filed with the U.N. following the latest rocket attack that exploded immediately south of Ashkelon, shortly before midnight Monday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Cabinet on Sunday, “If the firing continues from the Gaza Strip, it will be met with a painful, harsh, strong and uncompromising response from the security forces.”

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated Tuesday morning that “we have to respond” after every attack, but her own office told Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Prof. Gabriela Shalev to compose the complaint to the U.N.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levi referred the apparent contradiction in policies to Minister Livni’s personal spokesman and to the Defense Ministry, neither of which was available for comment.

A spokesman for Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Israel would respond “after Netanyahu takes office.”

Shalev wrote to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “In response to these ongoing attacks, Israel has the inherent duty to exercise its right to self-defense enshrined in article 51 of the United Nations Charter…. Israel will not tolerate, and will respond accordingly to attacks against its citizens.”

A copy of the letter also was sent to the U.N. Security Council, but its current rotating president, Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. Ibrahim Dabbashi, previously has been at the forefront in promoting anti-Israeli motions.

Parents shut down most educational facilities in Ashkelon for the second straight day Tuesday because most buildings are not fortified against rocket attacks. The advanced Grad missile that slammed into a school in the port city on the Sabbath, when the building was closed, blasted through fortifications that were in place. Police said the 170-mm rocket was the most powerful that has been used to date.


Monday, March 2nd, 2009

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday pledged $900 million in aid to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, including $300 million for rebuilding Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu has warned foreign leaders not to invest in Gaza while Hamas still attacks Israel with rockets and bombs at the separation barrier. However, Secretary Clinton maintained that the aid will flow on the condition that none of it would reach Hamas despite a long history of Hamas putting its hands on foreign money, weapons and United Nations humanitarian aid.

“We have worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands,” Clinton said at the international donors’ conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. However, facts in the field indicate that it is virtually impossible to separate aid in Gaza from Hamas, which wrested control of the region from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority nearly two years ago.

An Israeli newspaper reported Monday that it obtained a Palestinian document proving that PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spent 90 million shekels ($21.5 million) for rebuilding Gaza with tax revenues that Israel had transferred with the understanding they would be earmarked for salaries of PA employees. Hamas directly received the funds, none of which were deposited in workers’ accounts in Gaza banks, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot. Fayyad had claimed that he needed the funds urgently to cover salaries, but a large portion of the money was used instead to rebuild Gaza homes and mosques, some of which have been used by Hamas as weapons storage depots.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) admitted that Hamas had commandeered convoys of aid destined for its warehouses. Weapons that the United States and other countries have supplied the past several years to Fatah leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also have found their way into Hamas hands and have been used in terrorist attacks against Israelis. Channel One TV News journalist Ayala Hasson told viewers on the Mabat news program last week, “If that funding does not wind up in Hamas terror coffers, then I am a circus ballerina.”

In addition, journalist David Bedein noted that according to study conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), the PA is bound by the “Mecca Agreement” of 2007 to fund the Hamas regime, including the growing army of the terrorist group, which is outlawed by the United States. He suggested that the Obama administration could be accused of having violated American law if any of the aid winds up in Hamas’s hands. Last year, an American citizen was sentenced to prison for providing $20,000 for humanitarian aid to Hamas.

Secretary Clinton’s aid package follows billions of dollars donated in the past by the U.S. and European Union (EU) countries to the extent that the World Bank has warned that the PA is becoming a welfare state. In a report filed last summer, The World Bank concluded that billions of dollars in foreign aid has enabled the PA to inflate its public payroll while its education system continues to incite violence against Israel. Approximately 160,000 public servants are on the PA payroll, requiring almost $2 billion a year to cover salaries, and part of Secretary Clinton’s pledge of assistance is earmarked for them. The domestic output of the PA economy has actually dropped by 30 percent on a per capita basis since 1999, one year before the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada, broke out.

A Middle East Quarterly essay written by Steven Stotsky, a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), stated that donor conferences for increased aid to the PA ignore the issue of terror. “Perhaps aid itself does not cause violence, but there is strong evidence that it contributes to a culture of corruption, government malfeasance, and terrorism that has had lethal consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians over the past decade,” he wrote.

He noted that almost all of the foreign aid before the Oslo War was directed to economic and infrastructure development programs. The escalated terror campaign since 2000 cut employees’ wages and PA tax revenues, leaving the PA more and more dependent on foreign aid.
“In a classic example of the creation of perverse incentives, the decision to fund the government budget made the Palestinian Authority less dependent on revenue derived from commerce, detaching the PA’s solvency from the health of the economy,” wrote Stotsky. “Thus, while the intifada sent the Palestinian economy into free fall, the PA’s coffers swelled. The conditions were thus established that ensured the separation of Palestinian governance from responsibility for the economic health of the Palestinian people. “Not only did the security forces fail to prevent terrorist attacks, in many cases they colluded with terrorist groups and sometimes perpetrated attacks themselves.”

The economy in the region was growing until 2000 when lethal suicide bombings and rocket and mortar attacks on Jewish communities in the Gaza region forced Jewish farmers to stop the employment of Arab workers.

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