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

Archive for April, 2012


Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

by Gabe Kahn (IsraelNationalNews)

Switzerland on Monday extended some financial sanctions against Iran, but stopped short of freezing the assets of Iran’s central bank and imposing an oil embargo.

The move by Europe’s officially neutral nation underscored an emerging policy rift with other Western powers over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

The Swiss Federal Council (cabinet) opted to freeze the assets of eight companies and three individuals in a move it claims puts Geneva largely in line with restrictive measures voted by the European Union in January.

But the Swiss Economics Ministry made it clear that the country famous for both its banking secrecy laws and no-questions asked policies of its bankers, would not follow the EU in freezing the assets of the Iranian central bank “due to its importance for the Iranian economy.”

As such, Geneva has turned itself into a banking sanctions loophole through which Iranian oil can be bought and sold. Closing banking and insurance channels for the purchase of Terhan’s oil has been a key element of the Western sanctions effort.

The EU has incrementally tightened financial restrictions on Iran. On 23 January the EU agreed to phase in an oil embargo and to freeze the assets of Iran’s central bank in an effort raise pressure on Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

The Swiss ministry said it would make a decision on the EU’s ban on the import, purchase or shipping of Iranian crude oil at a “later date,” without giving specifics.

Switzerland does not directly import Iranian oil, but numerous oil companies based in Geneva are deeply vested in trading Iranian oil on the commodities market.

Switzerland has represented US interests in Iran since 1980, when Washington cut diplomatic ties with Tehran following the 444 day siege of the US embassy during which several American diplomats were held hostage


Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

Hamas’ missile and rocket war on southern Israel is 11 years old today (Tuesday), 12,500 rockets later. More than 40 people have been killed, thousands have been wounded and property damage and economic losses has been immeasurable.

Since the beginning of 2012, terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza have attacked Israel with 269 rockets and missiles – a rate of more than two a day, according to the IDF.

Mainstream media usually focus on Israeli military retaliations and occasional large-scale aerial bombings of terroroists, but the “Oslo War,” also known as the Second Intifada, has been carried out on a day-to-day basis for more then a decade, leaving a new generation growing up with the almost daily trauma of running to bomb shelters and suffering shock amid explosions, some of them harmless physically and some of them lethal.

IDF spokesmen pointed out Tuesday that Gaza is the same area where the government headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expelled 9,000 Jews and destroyed their homes in June 2005 as part of his “Disengagement” program. Farm facilities were turned over to the Palestinian Authority, which promptly turned most of them into training grounds for terrorist militias, while the IDF staged a total withdrawal from the area.

Years after the rocket barrage began, President Shimon Peres expressed his surprise that Hamas attacks southern Israel with missiles despite the expulsion, which Sharon and his supporters said would end attacks from Gaza.

During the 11-year missile barrage, the IDF momentarily entered Gaza several times to try to put a stop to the attacks, and the three-week Operation Cast Lead campaign two years ago achieved a two-month lull, until missile attacks resumed.

Since then, the IDF took up a more defensive position and developed the costly Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has been proven highly effective in knocking out incoming missiles but leaves more than 1 million residents defenseless when the system fails.

The IDF said that the Iron Dome has intercepted 56 rockets of 73 that were directly threatening civilian communities.


Monday, April 16th, 2012

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (IsraelNationalNews)

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), made more famous by its activist’s confrontation with an IDF soldier, is known as a left-wing pacifist group, but its sole mission in backing “Palestine” is to defame Israel. Whether it qualifies as being “pacifist” depends on whether the definition includes backing the Hamas terrorist organization and Arab “resistance.”

The activist from Denmark was one of approximately two dozen bicyclists stopped by the IDF at a checkpoint in the Jordan Valley on Saturday. During a two-hour confrontation, an IDF officer said he suffered wounds, including broken bones, at the hands of the activists who beat him with sticks. The ISM edited a film that showed the officer rifle-butting the activist, leading to a media outcry and a suspension of the officer pending a further investigation.

Mainstream media describe the ISM as a pacifist group supporting the “Palestinian cause,” but the group includes anarchists who openly support terrorists.

“The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is an organization focused on assisting the Palestinian cause in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using nonviolent protest,” according to Wikipedia.

Non-violence may have been a principle of its Israeli and Arab and American founders, but if so, traces of it barely exist.

Its own website says it is a “Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles”.

However, its mission statement also recognizes “armed struggle” as the “right” of Palestinian Authority Arabs.

“As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance,” according to the ISM.

The group insists is does not condone or support terror, but one of its articles stated, “Non-violent resistance is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation.”

Asked by a CNN interviewer if that could be understood as promoting suicide bombings, two ISM leaders tried to explain, “The article that we wrote was actually in response to another article written by a Palestinian, who said the Palestinians could not be nonviolent…”

“There already is violence. We’re not advocating it. It’s already there. It’s on the ground. We’re working with people and with Palestinians who want to promote nonviolence, and that was the context of the whole article.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has said that two terrorists involved in a suicide bombing at a restaurant had “links with foreign left wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement.”

Part of the ISM non-violence is to use themselves as “human shields” as in the case of Rachel Corrie, who was overrun and killed while trying to block an IDF bulldozer.

Other non-violent tactics that actually promote violence include removing Israeli military checkpoints and roadblocks, violating curfew orders, using incitement through slogans painted on the security fence along Judea and Samaria, entering closed military zones and trying to break the maritime embargo aimed at preventing the support of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Several ISM activists have suffered wounds by participating in violent protests against the IDF, although Wikipedia quotes ISM volunteer Joe Carr as stating that Israeli soldiers try not to harm them.

Lesser known incidents include an Italian ISM activist kidnapped and killed by Gaza terrorists.

ISM activists’ tactic of avoiding terrorism often disguises what the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel says is their having “abetted the grave wave of terrorism that deluged Israel in the last decade] … and disrupted the IDF’s counterterrorism activities.”

In the United States, the ISM supports “The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” that includes groups promoting revolution and Marxism.

“The ISM has built a network across our nation’s colleges,” according to investigative journalist Lee Kaplan. He added, “Campus ‘clubs’ such as the Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Union, both ISM affiliates, are found at every major campus where they support the goals of terror groups like Hamas.

ISM activists also supported the terror-linked IHH flotilla from Turkey to Gaza two years ago before IDF commandos, backed by international law, tried to convince the crew to change course. IHH terrorists on the Mavi Mamara ship brutally attacked commandos as they rappelled onto the deck from a hovering helicopter. Nine terrorist were killed in the clash after the IHH members kidnapped and seriously wounded three of the soldiers.

Kaplan has written, “In addition to supporting Hamas, ISM activists assist the cause of Iran, not only in its campaign against a U.S. ally, Israel, but also to aid Iran’s geopolitical goals against the United States.”


Sunday, April 15th, 2012

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

Egypt’s former intelligence chief warns that a Muslim Brotherhood win in the presidential elections will lead to war with Israel.

A day after he was barred from the Egyptian Presidential race, the country’s former intelligence chief warned Sunday against a win by the extreme Muslim Brotherhood.

Former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who was appointed by ex-President Hosni Mubarak as Vice President in the dying days of his Administration, was one of ten candidates who were barred from running in the May election on Saturday.

The Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) excluded Suleiman allegedly on the basis of the geographical distribution of the signatures on his candidacy registration, according to the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The regulations call for a candidate’s application to include a minimum of 1,000 signatures from 15 separate governorates in order to qualify for the race.

On Sunday, according to a report on IDF Radio, Suleiman expressed his fear that Israel will have to invade the Sinai Peninsula if the Muslim Brotherhood ends up winning the Presidential election.

The report cited an interview Suleiman gave to an Egyptian newspaper and in which he said, “I fear that incorrect judgments will push us into confrontations with Israel. The Sinai may become an area from which rockets are fired into Israel and the parties may be drawn into war.”

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood named Khayrat el-Shater, its chief strategist and financier, as a candidate for President earlier this month, despite earlier pledges to stay out of the race.

The Brotherhood, outlawed during the Mubarak regime, already controls about half of the seats in Parliament.

Shater, however, was also disqualified from the race along with Suleiman. Shater, released from prison in March 2011, was disqualified on the basis of a law stating candidates can only run for office six years after being pardoned or freed.

Meanwhile, terrorism is already on the rise in the Sinai Peninsula, as has been the case since Mubarak’s ouster. On Sunday, two Egyptian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded by radical Salafi Islamist terrorists in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented earlier this month that the region is rapidly becoming a “rocket launching pad for terrorists,” in addition to having already become a hideout for terror cells. Israel is building a security barrier in an effort to deter attacks.

Suleiman told the Egyptian newspaper he intends to appeal the decision to reject his candidacy. Suleiman was given 48 hours to appeal the decision.


Thursday, April 12th, 2012

By Reuters

Launch seen as stepping stone to developing long-range nuclear ballistic missile fails, dealing blow to reclusive regime.

SEOUL – North Korea’s much hyped long-range rocket apparently crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch on Friday, South Korean and other officials said, dealing a blow to the prestige of the reclusive and impoverished state.

Pyongyang had defied international pressure from the United States and others to push ahead with the launch, which even its close ally China opposed. Defiant N. Korea begins injecting fuel into rocket

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing a defense ministry source in Tokyo, the rocket flew for 120 km (75 miles) and then broke up into four pieces, crashing into waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s army said debris had crashed into the sea some 200 km off the western coast of South Korea.

“South Korean and US intelligence understand that North Korea’s missile launch failed,” a spokesman for the South’s defense ministry told reporters at a briefing.

North Korea said it wanted the Unha-3 rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, although critics believed it was designed to enhance the capacity of North Korea to design a ballistic missile deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States.

Officials from Japan confirmed the mission had failed, while ABC News cited US officials saying it had failed, although there was no immediate indication of where it fell.

The rocket’s flight was set to take it over a sea separating the Korean peninsula, with an eventual launch of a third stage of the rocket in seas near the Philippines that would have put the satellite into orbit.

This will be North Korea’s second consecutive failure to get a satellite into orbit, although it claimed success with a 2009 launch. There was no immediate comment on Friday’s launch from North Korea’s official media.

The Unha-3 rocket took off from a new launch site on the west coast of North Korea, near the Chinese border.

The launch had been timed to coincide with the 100th birthday celebrations of the isolated and impoverished state’s founder, Kim Il-sung, and came after a food aid deal with the United States had hinted at an easing of tensions on the world’s most militarized border.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss a possible response to North Korea’s rocket launch on Friday, council diplomats said on Thursday.

Earlier this week US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the 15-nation council should “respond credibly” to a North Korean missile launch. Western diplomats say that the most China, a permanent veto-wielding council member and North Korea’s protector, would accept is a rebuke of Pyongyang.

New sanctions, they said on condition of anonymity, are out of the question.


Thursday, April 12th, 2012

by Yoni Dayan

US, French Presidents speak via telephone, express hope Iran will take advantage of P5+1 meetings; Ahmadinejad defiant.

The US will continue to pressure the Iranian regime through sanctions if the upcoming P5+1 talks fail to lead to a negotiated settlement over Tehran’s nuclear program, US President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Obama’s comments followed a defiant speech made earlier Thursday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said that Tehran would not surrender its nuclear rights “even under the most difficult pressure.”

Iranian forces to conduct joint military maneuvers

Clinton says ‘still time’ for Iran nuclear deal

The US President spoke via telephone about the contentious issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In a press conference, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that “both leaders expressed hope that Iran would take advantage of the upcoming P5+1 talks to address the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program.”

He added that “the President and President Sarkozy agreed to continue increasing the pressure on the Iranian regime through sanctions and other measures if Tehran remains unresponsive.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed optimism that the P5+1 talks would bear fruit. Speaking at the conclusion of a G-8 meeting late Thursday, Clinton said that “we are receiving signals that (the Iranians) are bringing ideas to the table.”

“We want them to demonstrate clearly in the actions they propose that they have truly abandoned any nuclear weapons ambition,” she stated. “We are looking for concrete results.”

Clinton suggested that the international community would only continue to pursue a strategy of diplomacy with regards to Iran’s nuclear program as long as negotiations were progressing.

“I do think it is clear to everyone, certainly in the P5+1 but far beyond, that the diplomatic window for negotiations is open but will not remain open forever,” she said.

Talks between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain are set to resume in Istanbul on Saturday with the major powers hoping Iran will give enough ground to continue negotiations and avert the threat of a Middle East war. They are the first such talks in more than a year.

Iran has promised to put forward “new initiatives” but has given no details.


Thursday, April 12th, 2012

By Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)

Jordanian King Abdullah wishes to finish what his late father King Hussein began – full separation from the Palestinians.

King Abdullah is seeking to complete the divorce proceedings between Jordan and the Palestinians which his late father, King Hussein, began in 1988.

The separation began in July that year, a few months after the eruption of the first intifada.

‘Jordan is Palestine,’ MK Eldad declares at embassy

Jordan to revoke citizenship of PA, PLO officials

King Hussein realized back then that it was not in the interest of his kingdom to maintain a linkage to the West Bank, home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

His biggest fear was that the intifada would spill over into Jordan, where the Palestinian majority would rise against his monarchy.

By cutting off Jordan’s legal and administrative ties with the West Bank, King Hussein signaled his desire to part from the Palestinians living there. Jordanians and Palestinians at the time hailed the decision as a positive step toward the Palestinians establishing a state of their own.

But many Jordanians felt that the divorce had not been completed given the fact that most Palestinians living in the kingdom continue to hold Jordanian citizenship.

In recent years, King Abdullah has faced calls from fellow Jordanians to act quickly to ensure that the separation from the Palestinians would be completed.

In 2009, Amman quietly began revoking the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of Palestinians, triggering strong protests from human rights organizations and pro-Palestinian groups around the world.

Over the past year, Jordan has witnessed increased demands for reforms and democracy. The “Arab Spring” that has been sweeping the Arab world has prompted thousands of Jordanians to take to the streets every week to demand real changes and freedoms.

The growing protests have clearly embarrassed and confused King Abdullah, who is feeling the heat approaching him rapidly.

The monarch’s biggest fear is that the powerful and popular Muslim Brotherhood organization would form an alliance with the Palestinians and turn against his regime, seriously undermining his grip on power.

King Abdullah is now hoping that a new electoral law would prevent both the Islamists and Palestinians from gaining victories in the upcoming parliamentary election, scheduled for later this year.

Talk in Israel and elsewhere about turning Jordan into a Palestinian state has also left the king worried about the future of his kingdom. That explains why he is not even prepared to receive 1,100 Palestinian refugees who have fled Syria in recent weeks, while at the same time welcoming more than 100,000 Syrians who crossed the border into Jordan.

The Jordanians have no problem absorbing tens of thousands of Iraqis, Syrians and Libyans. But when it comes to the Palestinians, it’s a completely different story. The last thing King Abdullah needs is another 500,000 Palestinians in the country.

King Abdullah is now seeking to distance himself from the Palestinians. He says he wants the Palestinians to go to the West Bank and Gaza Strip and establish their own state there, and not elsewhere.

The king feels reassured only when an Israeli or US official tells him that “Jordan is for the Jordanians and Palestine for the Palestinians.”


Thursday, April 12th, 2012

by Gabe Kahn (Arutz Sheva News)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will seek direct talks with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas when he meets PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad next week.

Netanyahu will hold a rare face-to-face meeting with Fayyad and two other senior officials from Ramallah in Jerusalem on April 17.

It will be the first top-level meeting between leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah since talks hit a dead end over two years ago.

According to his office, Netanyahu will propose “raising the level of talks” and holding face-to-face negotiations with Abbas.

“At his meeting next week with the Palestinian delegation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will propose raising the level of the talks to conduct them directly with Abu Mazen,” it said, using Abbas’s nom-de-guerre.

“This message will also be passed on through his personal envoy, the lawyer Yitzhak Molcho, who is expected to meet with Abu Mazen and hand him a letter with Israel’s position on a future agreement with the Palestinians,” the PMO said.

Fayyad is expected to use the rare meeting to personally deliver a letter from Abbas in which he lays out his conditions for returning to direct negotiations.

In the letter, Abbas is expected to say the PA will only return to negotiations if Israel agrees to accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as a PA state’s future borders and halt construction in the ‘disputed territories.’

Fayyad will be accompanied by negotiator Saeb Erekat and Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Israeli officials have long accused their PA counterparts of using preconditions as a fait accompli to forestall talks that would require them to make hard choices and comrpomises to achieve peace.

They also note that a previous construction freeze in Judea and Samaria by Israel aimed at meeting PA demands was rebuffed and met with additional preconditions – and Abbas’ failed unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations Security Council last September.

Netanyahu is also preparing his own letter for Abbas, which will be handed to the PA chairman by Molcho when the two next meet, although a date for that meeting has not yet been announced.

In the letter, Netanyahu will clarify Israel’s position on reaching an agreement, which will likely include a call for a resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions.

Last week, Erekat and Molcho met to discuss Abbas’s letter in what was the first time the two sides had met since January when they held five rounds of exploratory talks in a bid to seek ways of reviving direct negotiations.

But the meetings, which were sponsored by the Quartet – the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States – ended without any agreement to continue talking.

The last time Abbas and Netanyahu met was at the end of September 2010, just weeks after the peace process was relaunched to great fanfare at a ceremony at the White House.

The PA chairman has threatened to turn to the United Nations General Assembly if Netanyahu does not acquiesce to the demands contained in the letter Fayyad will deliver next week.

Critics say Netanyahu’s government has failed to adapt to a new paradigm in which PLO officials pursue a unilateral track while forestalling bilateral talks with unacceptable preconditions.

In December 2011, PLO officials announced “a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance.”


Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

by Rachel Hirshfeld (Arutz Sheva News)

This year the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) has published a new version of the “Four Questions” traditionally recited at the Passover seder. Instead of commemorating the liberation of the Jews from Egypt, the NJDC has chosen to take this opportunity to hail, what they see as, the achievements of President Barack Obama.

As Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan Tobin poignantly notes, “One of the most disturbing aspects of modern American Jewish life is the almost obsessive desire of many Jews to universalize every aspect of Jewish belief while downplaying the original meanings of customs and ritual.”

Following a video of President Obama’s Passover greetings, the NJDC states, “As Jews in the United States and around the world gather together to celebrate Passover, it is important that we reflect on the blessings and freedoms that we have as Jews living in a free society. One of those blessings is that we have a President deeply committed to the safety and security of Israel, and the welfare of all Americans—including the needy among us.”

They then go on to list their new version of the ‘Four Questions,’ which include: “Why has President Obama provided record amounts of military aid to Israel?”; “Why has President Obama worked so hard and succeeded at uniting the world against Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program?”; “Why has President Obama achieved the historic passage of ‘Obamacare’”?; and, “Why has President Obama fought to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid?”

They claim that the “answers to all of these questions are: President Obama cares deeply about the safety and security of the Jewish state. He has been Israel’s leading advocate from day one and has done more than any other President to meaningfully bolster its defenses and provide for its future. He also cares deeply about the welfare of all Americans, including our seniors and the needy – and our commitment to them.”

However, if one examines President Obama’s record on Israel, he or she is likely to recognize that, as Charles Krauthammer explains, “This President [Obama] has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other President and he did it by arriving on the scene and imposing and demanding of Israel a freeze on settlements including the building of the Jewish homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, of all places, something that had never been a precondition in 17 years of negotiations.”

The Emergency Committee for Israel recently issued a video, entitled “Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel,” blasting the President’s treatment of the Jewish state and urging voters to remember the significant disconnect between Obama’s promises and affirmations in ensuring the security of the state of Israel and the Administration’s tangible positions and policies.

Yet, despite one’s political inclinations and alliances, and regardless of a President’s administrative record, the Passover seder is not a forum for furthering political objectives or creating new versions of the ‘Four Questions.’

Tobin notes, “Passover is the occasion for Jews to remember their liberation from Egypt and to embrace not only the gift of freedom but also the ability to worship God and His laws as a people. While seders are appropriate moments to remember those in need as well as other Jewish communities — such as that in Israel — which are assailed by foes, it is not the time to be delivering obsequious paeans to American politicians, no matter which party they belong to. That sort of absurd distortion of the festival of freedom bears a closer resemblance to idol worship than it does to Judaism.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: An interesting article, but we would add – it is our sincere desire that Jews all over the world recognize the Biblical account of redemption and freedom, and that our future hope resides in the coming of the Messiah – may all, Jews and Gentiles, turn to the Messiah before it is too late!)


Tuesday, April 10th, 2012


The first two Tuesdays (6:00 PM PST) of each month feature David’s “LIVE” program on Internet Television – This Internet TV site is the fastest growing site on Internet television, its audiences coming from around the world.

At 7:00 PM every Tuesday night (PST) David is teaching the BOOK of GENESIS and it is re-broadcast on Saturdays on 12:00 noon (PST). Last year (2011) David completed a wonderful verse by verse study of the Book of Revelation. To get these materials at reduced prices, simply click on HOPE for TODAY’s web site – – To receive the monthly newsletter, simply call 1-800-75-BIBLE in the USA or 1-888-75-BIBLE in CANADA. Also, David produces a weekly e-letter that comes free each Sunday night – to get your free copy (free to download as well), go to the web site – and click on “HFT Connect” on the front page – just put in your e-mail address – that’s all you need to do!

General Shimon Erem gives leadership to ISRAEL/CHRISTIAN NEXUS and is a frequent commentator on Middle East Events. Don’t miss this important interview – David will be asking General Erem many of your questions about the Middle East and how Israel is handling the situation.

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