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

Archive for April, 2007


Monday, April 30th, 2007

The Democratic candidates for President of the USA in 2008 were all present in South Carolina this past weekend for the first of several presidential debates. The Moderator and host was Brian Williams of MSNBC. After watching it carefully, we came to the conclusion that this country is in serious trouble! We were quite disappointed in the answers these potential candidates for President gave concerning the recent Supreme Court decision banning partial-birth abortions – one of the most hideous and barbaric acts that could ever be committed against the unborn children in the wombs of the women of this country! It is nothing but MURDER, and the medical profession knows it! While some said it was a “sensitive” issue, not one of the candidates spoke out in favor of the decision. Three of the candidates spoke in praise of Justice Bader who blasted the decision and was part of the four in voted against the ban (the Supreme Court vote was 5-4). One thing is clear – this “abortion” issue is NOT going away quietly!

We were also very disappointed in the handling of the “ISRAEL” issue by Senator Barack Obama. Here is one journalist’s report on it:

Monday, April 30, 2007
By Susan Estrich

So who won? Won what? you’re asking. For most Americans, it’s a long way to November 2008, but for the candidates, the campaign is in full swing. The first debate is history. The pundits and pundettes are weighing in. So what if it was as boring as a college baseball game between two schools you didn’t go to. So what if the format stank, half the answers seemed canned and the most interesting guy was the former senator from Alaska whom no one under 40 has ever heard of and who has no chance of winning.

For those of us who live for this stuff, there was plenty to see. The first imperative in debates, particularly for frontrunners, is the political version of the Hippocratic oath. Instead of “do no harm,” we say “make no mistakes.” The moments people remember in debates are the sharp one-liners and the horrible flubs. If you can get off a memorable one-liner, like Reagan’s “there you go again” or Bentsen’s “you’re no Jack Kennedy,” that’s great.

Every candidate wants to move up as a result of a debate, but for those who are in front coming in, the most important thing is not to move down. Frontrunners are generally best off when nothing happens in debates.

Second-tier candidates have a different agenda. For them, debates offer the opportunity to appear on the same stage, at the same level, as the frontrunners. They need to use that opportunity to make something happen, or they’ll leave the debate with as little support as they had coming in, which is what happened in South Carolina.

Richardson and Dodd and Biden were all just fine, but just fine doesn’t do much for you when you’re in the second tier. The depth of experience these three men bring to the contest was clear in their answers and, if anything, it made the three less experienced frontrunners seem just that.

But neither the New Mexico governor nor the two senators with the most time in office said or did anything that ignited the sparks you need to move up in the hierarchy of the race, which inevitably becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards will look better when Dodd and Biden and Richardson are off the stage. And that’s where the latter three will be, much sooner than they’d like, unless they can ignite something.

As for Edwards, the former trial lawyer known for his oratorical brilliance didn’t get a chance to show it off or didn’t use the chances he had. Edwards managed to get in his Southern roots, his working-class background and his apology for voting for the war in Iraq; it wasn’t that he did anything wrong. If he were in first place going in, he would be in first place going out. But he isn’t. He’s in third, and nothing he said in South Carolina changed that.

The two people with the most to lose in the debate were the two who entered with the most support, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. While Friday morning’s polls, at least of South Carolina Democrats, gave the edge to Obama, that’s not how I see it. Hillary made no mistakes. Obama did.

Asked about America’s best friends in the world, Obama waxed on about NATO and our European allies before looking east to Japan. I’m not a foreign policy expert, but I’ve been around debates for decades and it was clear that Obama didn’t get that this was the Israel question. He didn’t get that people like me, voters and donors, were waiting to hear the word “Israel” in a way that Japanese Americans were not. Japan doesn’t live under constant threats; Israel does. Japanese Americans don’t worry about Japan’s survival in the way Jewish Americans worry about Israel. Obama’s answer, in my book, was the biggest mistake of the debate.

Even when prompted by Brian Williams, who followed up by pointing out that Obama had neglected to mention Israel, and reminded him of his comment that “no one had suffered more than the Palestinian people,” Obama still didn’t get it right. Sure, he said that Israel is an important ally, but his clarification of his “poor Palestinians” comment only left him further in the hole. His point, he emphasized, was that no one had suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failures in Palestinian leadership. That’s not exactly how I see it, or how many Jewish Americans see it. I don’t think suffering is a contest in which special recognition goes to those who have paid the highest price. The right answer is that there has been plenty of suffering on both sides. The Palestinians may be suffering more in the sense that their standard of living is lower, but whose fault is that? Talk to any Israeli family who has lost a friend or family member to Palestinian terror –- and that means any family in Israel –- and, believe me, they won’t cede the prize for the most suffering to the Palestinians. And they will point out, rightly, I think, that it is the Palestinians and not the Jews who have chosen these terrible leaders and remained loyal to them. Doesn’t that count for something?

The overnight polls of South Carolina voters showed that Obama “won” the debate, with Hillary second and Edwards third, but that will be soon forgotten. By the time anyone votes in South Carolina, there will have been dozens of these encounters, not to mention results from the earlier contests in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

The problem for Obama is that his failure to be more supportive of Israel will not be forgotten by those for whom this is a dealbreaker, which includes not only a fair share of Democratic donors, but also a significant voting bloc in states like New York and Florida. And that could come back to haunt him.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We are thankful that Senator John Edwards did speak of the impact of the “LORD” upon his life and also referred to the importance of his family. But, the general lack of moral commitment on the part of these candidates was indeed alarming. This was an opportunity to state clearly (with conviction) what they believe about the critical issues of our time. It seemed to us that the only goal was to do more “Bush-bashing” and to speak with great gusto about how they oppose our efforts in Iraq (but, of course, support our soldiers!). Frankly, if the democratic candidates continue this bashing of President Bush, we believe it will come back to haunt them and they will lose the opportunity they have at this time in history.

The Republican debates will take place soon, and it will be interesting to see what differences there are. We believe that our nation is in great need of a moral and spiritual awakening that returns us to the God of the Bible. Repentance of our sins, and public acknowledgement of our long-standing beliefs in the LORD GOD of Israel would help to begin the healing! May God give us all wisdom!


Monday, April 30th, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007 by Staff Writer – ARTICLE appeared in ISRAEL TODAY.


Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday said that the only way to halt attacks from Gaza on southern Israel was to launch a major military ground offensive. Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Ashkenazi was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as drawing a parallel between the belatedly recognized need last summer to use ground forces against Lebanon’s Hizballah and the inevitable necessity of sending soldiers back into Gaza.

Ashkenazi warned that Hamas continued to increase its military strength in Gaza, and that artillery attacks on southern Israel would only worsen until the IDF was given the order to take action.

A spokesman for a Hamas-affiliated terror group told the Palestinian radio station A Shams that his and other groups were waiting for the IDF to enter the area “so that we can kidnap more soldiers.”

Defense experts have warned for months that the longer Israel waited to attack Gaza’s terrorist infrastructure, the more likely it would be drawn into a lengthy and costly conflict similar to the Second Lebanon War.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Israel is facing serious threats and attacks from Hamas-led forces in Gaza. After the difficulties of what Israel calls the “Second Lebanon War” which, of course, occurred in the north, now they are facing problems in the south. Hizballah in the north is still a grave danger. But, what else can Israel do? The failure of negotiations and the unwillingness of the terrorist organizations to stop their attacks is forcing Israel to take action that they certainly do not what to do, but MUST do to protect its cities and citizens. Israel needs our prayers and support.

Amos, the shepherd prophet of Israel’s past spoke about Gaza in Amos 1:6-8:

“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof: And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn Mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.”

While speaking of God’s judgment in the past, there are several lessons to be learned. One powerful lesson is that the LORD God of Israel will not allow the enemies of Israel to continue their barrage of attacks against His people! A second lesson is that those who remain from the powerful culture of the ancient Philistines will “perish.” Interestingly, the late Yassir Arafat (though originally an Egyptian) often claimed that he and his terrorists of Fatah were descendants of the Philistines!

Another fascinating study in the Hebrew prophets comes from Zephaniah 2:4-7 where we read:

“For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon adesolation: they shall drive out Asdod at the noon day, and Edron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the hosue of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.”

When former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the decision to remove the Jews from Gaza, many Bible teachers referred to this passage. Gaza has become a central place of developing terrorism and fostering revolt against the state of Israel. Israel is faced with a serious problem and must act in a responsible yet forceful way to deal with this serious problem.

The LORD God of Israel has NEVER forsaken them, and His prophetic plan will take place exactly as He has designed. Though we do not know many of the particulars of His plan, we do know the God will NOT allow the nations of the world to “wipe Israel off the map.” Jeremiah 31:35-37 is clear – Israel will NEVER cease to exist as a nation before the LORD!


Friday, April 20th, 2007

The news from the Middle East seems to focus much on the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs who “occupy” places in Israel. Over one million Arabs are full citizens of Israel and in poll after poll over the years they have made it clear (when the polls are anonymous!) that they wish to stay with Israel, NOT in a new Palestinian State governed by terrorists.


The Oslo Peace Process was announced formally on September 13, 1993 – just seven years later, the late Yassir Arafat refused to accept either former President Bill Clinton’s plan or former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s plan for giving vast portions of the land to the Palestinian Authority which was then governed by Arafat. Instead, Arafat launched a massive attack (was being planned for months before Camp David Summits) and said “NO” to any dividing of the Land. He was committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and the elimination of ALL Jews from the Land which he said belonged to Islam, NOT Israel!


Terrorists have killed 864 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 people. These fatalities represent half of the 1635 Israeli citizens who have died in terrorist attacks since 1948.

Statistics were released this week by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi). Another interesting fact is that 177 Israelis were killed by terrorists who were released from Israeli jails as a gesture of good will and willingness to negotiate with the terrorists.

Since last October (2006) 66 Israeli citizens have died in terrorist attacks. 24 “wanted” men were captured this past week by IDF forces throughout Judea and Samaria in a series of raids. Several of them are members of Fatah and Hamas who now jointly control the Palestinian Parliament. Consider carefully what the former Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister said this past week:

Former PA foreign minister Mahmoud A-Zahar of Hamas said Friday that recognizing Israel contradicts the Koran. In an interview with a Hamas-affiliated Web site, A-Zahar said that Hamas had not given up on the principle that all of Palestine is Muslim land.

According to the report, A-Zahar also claimed that Fatah was building a new army and training operatives in various Arab countries in a renewed effort to eliminate Hamas. Hamas aims to control “West Bank” security. Hamas and Fatah have been attempting to maintain a shaky truce since they signed a peace treaty in Mecca in February, following weeks of brutal infighting Gaza and the West Bank. However, violence has continued sporadically since the accord was signed, and political tensions remain between the two parties as they try to form a unity government.


Friday, April 20th, 2007

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

A two-installment article by Saudi Arabian columnist Yousef Nasser Al-Sweidan calls upon the Arab states to give up the efforts to arrange the transfer of the families of refugees from the Israeli War of Independence into the Jewish State. Such a population transfer would violate Israeli sovereignty or lead to anarchy in the Palestinian Authority, according to the author. Rather, Al-Sweidan writes, the Arab states hosting the refugee families have the obligation to absorb them.
The “right of return” is “nonsense and deceit.” Al-Sweidan’s model for such immigrant absorption, he notes, is Israel.

The columns, recently made available in English by the Middle East Media Research Institute, were published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa on March 5th and March 16th. The articles were titled “On the Impossible [Idea] of the Right of Return” and “Naturalization is the Solution” respectively.

Noting that “the slogan ‘right of return'” – the flooding of Israel with millions of Arabs currently elsewhere throughout the Arab world – “is brandished by Palestinian organizations,” the Saudi columnist writes:

“It is patently obvious that uprooting the descendants of the refugees from their current homes in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other countries, and returning them to Israel, to the West Bank, and to Gaza is a utopian ideal and [a recipe for] anarchy. More than that – it is an idea that cannot be implemented, not only because it will upset the demographic [balance] in a dangerous and destructive manner, and will have [far-reaching] political, economic and social ramifications in such a small and constrained geographical area, but [mainly] because the return [of the refugees] stands in blatant contradiction to Israel’s right as a sovereign [state], while the Palestinian Authority lacks the infrastructure to absorb such a large number of immigrants as long as the peace process… is not at its peak…”

Al-Sweidan goes on to blame “cumulative mistakes” made by countries such as Syria and Lebanon, “which have isolated the refugees in poor and shabby camps lacking the most basic conditions for a dignified human existence. Instead of helping them to become fully integrated in their new society, they let them become victims of isolation and suffering…. Later, the worst of all happened when Arab intelligence agencies used the Palestinian organizations as a tool for settling scores in internal Arab conflicts that probably have nothing to do with the Palestinians….”

The Saudi writer savages Syria, in particular, for its “lies… and its trading in slogans like ‘right of return,’ ‘steadfastness,’ ‘resistance,’ ‘national struggle,’ and all the other ridiculous [slogans]….” The Arab refugees in Syria, as well as in Lebanon, Al-Sweidan insists, “have for many long years been fed by their Arab hosts on impossible dreams and on shiny promises that were soon broken….” These refugee families “do not need another 60 years of misery, wretchedness and suffering… in order to figure out for the thousandth time that all the talk about the ‘bridge of return’ is [nothing but] nonsense and deceit – a fairytale that exists only in the old, worn-out demagogy of the Arab propaganda….”

In contrast, Al-Sweidan suggests looking to the model of absorption of refugees presented by Israel in the post-1948 upheavals in the Middle East. The Israelis, the columnist declares, “were civilized and humane in their treatment of the thousands of Jewish refugees who had lost their property, homes and businesses in the Arab countries, and who were forced to emigrate to Israel after the 1948 war. The Israeli government received them, helped them, and provided them with all the conditions [they needed] to become integrated in their new society….”

The answer, Al-Sweidan writes, is “a realistic, unavoidable and bold decision… naturalizing [the refugee families] in the host countries, such as Syria, Lebanon and others.” The author calls such a decision to integrate the refugee camp residents “a humanitarian [project]” no longer “leaving the responsibility [of caring for them] to others, while marketing the impossible illusion of return [to Palestine]….”

Rather than promoting the unrealistic flooding of Israel with destitute Arabs, Al-Sweidan uses his article in Al-Siyassa to encourage peace and normalization with Israel. Such a relationship, he warns, is imperative in light of the common threat faced by the Arabs and Israel from Persian Iran. The two sides, the Saudi columnist writes, must “direct their joint energies and efforts towards confronting the Iranian nuclear threat, which imperils us all.”


Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

The following article appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

He’s the new face of Hamas – a well-spoken intellectual who says he wants a Palestinian state alongside Israel, not instead of it.

Local Affairs Minister Mohammed Barghouti has like-minded company in the new Palestinian Authority unity government. In hopes of breaking an international boycott, Hamas has filled its Cabinet seats with professionals and pragmatists, keeping its ideologues at home.

“The world should use the positive signs, not push Palestinians to the wall,” said Barghouti, pleading for an end to the boycott.

Yet Hamas is still close to the virulently anti-Israel Iran, keeps smuggling rifles and rockets into the Gaza Strip and threatens a third Palestinian uprising if diplomacy fails to bring statehood.

Since Hamas and the moderate Fatah Party formed a coalition government last month, the world has been trying to figure out whether Hamas’s conflicting signals constitute true ideological transformation or merely a ploy to push a hidden, radical agenda.

Hanging on to both options – militancy and moderation – allows Hamas to help prevent a split between pragmatists and hard-liners and put off tough decisions.

“We are now at the stage where Hamas does want to deal, but it has to preserve what it sees as its credibility, also among the broader Palestinian public,” said Mouin Rabbani of the International Crisis Group, a private think tank.

Palestinians contend the West is missing a huge opening for Mideast peace by continuing to boycott Hamas. But Israelis warn against falling for Hamas’s smooth talk.

Barghouti, one of Hamas’s most polished advocates and at 38 the youngest Palestinian Authority Cabinet minister, says his people understand today’s realities: that Israel is here to stay and that progress will be achieved through politics, not war.

Barghouti, a second cousin of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, challenged the West’s main argument for maintaining the boycott: that Hamas has failed to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist. By calling for a Palestinian state on the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War, “that means there is another state on the other side,” he said, referring to Israel.

The government’s support for expanding a truce from Gaza to the West Bank, he argued, trumps its platform affirming Palestinians’ right to “resist” – widely seen as code for violent attacks on Israel. Critics point to that part of the platform as proof that Hamas has not changed.

“No one among the Palestinians is calling for the elimination of Israel,” said Barghouti, a former Hamas student leader jailed repeatedly by Israel. “All the Palestinian people want is a state in the 1967 borders.”

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr, an independent trying to sell the new government to the world, said Hamas underwent a dramatic ideological shift as a ruling party. “One year ago, the movement would never have accepted a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders,” Abu Amr said last week.

Israel warns that Hamas’ softer tones are just a tactical ploy to stay in power, after a year of international sanctions. “There has been no change whatsoever in the ideology,” said Boaz Ganor, an Israeli counterterrorism expert.

Hamas hardliner Mahmoud Zahar seemed to confirm Israel’s claim. “The current government program will last at most three years, but our program is to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, in what we call the gradual solution,” the former Hamas foreign minister said in remarks recently carried on a Web site linked to Hamas.

Israel warns that Hamas is exploiting a relative lull to smuggle anti-tank missiles, rockets and explosives into Gaza, through underground tunnels from Egypt.

Palestinian analysts say other factions, including Fatah, smuggle weapons and that militants are hoarding for another possible round of factional fighting, not for use against Israel.

Yet Israel’s military is so worried about the arms buildup that it is preparing for a major invasion of Gaza, on par with a devastating 2002 offensive against terrorists in the West Bank. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert won’t give the approval for now, but one deadly rocket attack could change his mind.

In another worrisome sign, Israel announced Tuesday it had arrested 19 Hamas members who planned a car bombing in Tel Aviv over the Passover holiday. Hamas’s last suicide attack was in 2004.

For now, international sanctions have remained in place because of Hamas’s failure to meet three international conditions: explicit recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of previous peace deals. The European Union and the US decided to deal only with non-Hamas members of the government, and only Norway has recognized the coalition.

Foreign leaders say they’ll judge the new government by its actions, including putting a stop to rocket fire from Gaza and releasing an Israeli soldier seized by Hamas-allied terrorists 10 months ago.

Barghouti hinted that if rebuffed, Hamas might fall back on its militant ideology.
“We have shown great flexibility in Hamas,” he said. “Hamas has two options. If it is not encouraged to go ahead with the political era, then we will have the other option.”


Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Here is a very important article written by a Jewish writer (Jonathan Rosenblum) about the threat of ISLAM to both Jews and Christians:

Every citizen of the West is threatened by political Islam, which seeks to impose Islamic law over the entire world. The Jewish community feels the threat even more intensely, as Muslims’ separatism and refusal to integrate into their host cultures causes them to be perceived as threats to national cohesion and to democracy. That critique can be easily expanded to encompass every religious-ethnic community, the Jewish community included.

Further, Islamic fundamentalism has helped bring religious belief in general into disrepute, and provided fuel to those who charge that most of mankind’s problems can be traced to religious fanaticism. Within one week of 9/11, for instance, The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman already described the great threat confronting the West not as Islamic fundamentalism but as religious fundamentalism in general, including Christian and Jewish. Thus did traditional Jews find themselves uncomfortably linked with Islamic terrorists under the convenient rubric “fundamentalists.”

Best-selling books depict religion as beneath contempt. The past year has witnessed a plethora of books — several of them best-sellers — against religious belief: Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion,” Daniel Dennett’s “Breaking the Spell,” and Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.” These works are characterized not by their arguments, none of which are new, but their level of invective and in their general attitude toward religious belief as something beneath contempt and incapable of defense by any intelligent person.

Though 9/11 and ongoing Islamic fanaticism helped create an audience for such works, they by no means focus their attack on Islamic fanaticism. Sam Schulman points out in the January 5, 2007 Wall Street Journal, “The atheists focus their peevishness not on Muslim extremists (who advertise their hatred and violent intentions) but on the old-time Christian religion… They conclude: God is not necessary, God is impossible and God is not permissible if our society — or even our species — is to survive.”

The concerns raised by the threat of Islamism can in no way be dismissed. Indeed, as citizens of the West, we should all be grateful that the nature of the threat posed is finally registering societal elites. The internal Islamist threat is greatest in Europe. A combination of well-below-replacement birthrates among Europeans, high Muslim birthrates and Muslim immigration have paved the road for a Muslim majority in Europe within two or three generations.

Most of the approximately 20 million Muslims living in Europe today have not integrated into their host societies. In a recent poll in Britain, 40-60% of Muslims said that they would prefer to live under Sharia, Islamic law. British security forces consider at least 14,000 British Muslims to be security threats, and keep 1,000 under active surveillance. Tens of thousands of British citizens of Pakistani descent visit their ancestral homeland each year, and many of those are indoctrinated by Islamist groups while there.

Nor has the threat remained theoretical, as demonstrated by the 7/7 bombings on the London Underground, which claimed 52 lives, and the uncovering last August of a plot by British Muslims to blow up 10 transatlantic airliners. At least 13 students at British universities have been convicted of terrorism and four became suicide bombers.

Increasingly, mosques and Islamist religious institutions are fostering Muslim separatism. A recent British TV documentary featured preachers at numerous mosques, including those allegedly dedicated to moderation and interfaith dialogue, condemning integration into British society, democracy, preaching hatred for Jews and Christians, and celebrating the killing of British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2004 rioting in the “cities of darkness” ringing Paris and other major French cities revealed the extent of alienation of young, mostly second generation Muslims in France. Social critic Theodore Dalrymple describes how the “sweet dream of universal cultural compatibility has been replaced by the nightmare of permanent conflict,” in France and numerous other European cities, in which police and firefighters do not dare venture into Muslim areas, and where copycat riots followed those in France: “A kind of anti-society has grown up in [these cities of darkness] — a population that derives the meaning of its life from the hatred it bears for the other ‘official’ society…This alienation…is written on the faces of the young men, most of them permanently unemployed, who hang out in the pocked and potholed open spaces between their dwellings. When you approach to speak to them, their immobile faces betray not a flicker of recognition of your shared humanity…”

In the UK, when British Home Secretary John Reid urged Muslim parents in East London to supervise their children and to make sure that they are not being initiated into a death cult in their local mosque or Muslim school; when a heckler shouted at him that he had no business coming to a Muslim area, Reid sharply rejected the suggestion that there is any area in Britain that is off-limits to Her Majesty’s government. And he denounced the attempt to Balkanize Britain into semi-autonomous communities, each with its own values.

In Reid’s reply, we hear the growing apprehension that extreme multiculturalism threatens the unity and strength of the nation-state. That fear is well-taken. Citizens of democratic societies feel a greater stake in the country and a greater identification with one another. Yet where citizens do not identify with the state or a common set of national values, but rather view themselves only as members of insular sub-communities, that national strength is lost. Opponents of bi-lingual education make the same point: loss of a common national language weakens a country.

To date, the United States has experienced nothing like the bombings in London or the Madrid train blasts. And Muslims in America appear to have integrated more successfully than in European countries. The median average income of American Muslims is approximately the same as American whites, and their educational levels are higher. From the beginning, America has conceived itself as a melting-pot of immigrants from many different countries; national identity is not assumed to be based on descent from some group of ethnically homogenous ancestors, as in European countries. Further, the deep religiosity of America and the fact that there was never a national church in America, but rather a multitude of sects and religions, have made it easier for Muslims to maintain their religious identity and assume their place in the rich tapestry of American religious pluralism. (American religiosity and the lack of a national church stand in stark contrast to Europe.)

Nevertheless, fanatic forms of Islam have found a receptive audience among black inmates in prisons. Anti-terrorist expert Daniel Pipes has repeatedly warned of radical Islamic groups in the United States as well, a warning given more credence by the January expulsion from the United States of an Ohio imam on charges stemming from his fundraising for Islamic Jihad. The plot of 17 Canadian Muslims to blow up the Canadian parliament and behead the Prime Minister further suggests that the United States should not consider itself immune from homegrown Islamists.

The recognition that Muslim schools attempt to create a Muslim identity that prevents integration into the larger society has engendered a response that has important implications for Jewish institutions as well.
In England, Lord Kenneth Baker submitted a bill to Parliament, believed to have the support of the Minister of Education, which would have required all newly opened religious schools to set aside at least 30% of its places for children of different religions. Lord Baker noted that his concern was with Islamic schools that “seek to create a total Muslim personality.” Under Baker’s bill, requirements such as familiarity with the Koran would have been forbidden since the effect of the requirement would have been to eliminate all non-Muslims together.

Though Baker’s bill was ultimately withdrawn, the mere fact that such legislation could be introduced and supported by the Minister of Education gives cause for concern. The implications of such a piece of legislation for the Jewish community would have been immense. Torah day school education also seeks to create a uniquely “Jewish personality.” The presence of 30% of non-Jews in a school would make that goal unobtainable. So would forcing Jewish schools to drop requirements for admission that would exclude all or most non-Jewish students — e.g., familiarity with Jewish prayer, holidays and Bible.

The statute may have been written with Muslim extremism in mind, but it would be naive to think that it would therefore apply to only to Muslim schools and not Jewish ones. Legislators prefer to couch statutes in neutral terms that do not single out any particular religious group for special regulation. It is unlikely that courts would exempt Jewish schools based on ‘good citizenship.’

Most traditional Jews would undoubtedly be shocked at finding themselves linked to Islamic extremists. And they would be right to object. The most salient distinction, of course, is that there are no Jews blowing themselves up on the London Tube or plotting to explode transatlantic airlines. But it remains unlikely that courts would carve out an exemption for Jewish schools based on the generally upstanding citizenship of their graduates.

In at least one case, the United States Supreme Court did carve out a religious exemption to a neutrally drawn statute on the basis of the good citizenship of those asserting the religious claim. Thus in Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Court exempted Amish children who had completed elementary school from the requirement of attending high school until age 16. The Court cited the low rates of criminality among the Amish and the fact that they rarely, if ever, receive state welfare payments. Those were deemed sufficient reason to allow Amish parents to educate their children themselves from ninth grade on.

In a similar way, if a particular statute was drafted to prevent private religious schools from being breeding grounds for terrorists, the lack of Jewish terrorists might be cited in support of an exemption for Jewish day schools from the statute’s application. In all likelihood, however, courts would be reticent to extend the Wisconsin precedent in such a way that Muslim schools alone would be singled out for a particular statutory regulation.

In addition, many regulations drafted with Muslim schools in mind are designed not just to protect against the training of terrorists of the future, but also with the goal of preventing those schools from fostering an identity completely at odds with the dominant national culture. The French ban on the wearing of any religious head-covering in school would be an example of the second kind of legislation, and it applied with equal force to yarmulkes and the hijab worn by some Muslim women. Some have argued that there is no religious liberty argument in the wearing of a hijab because Islamic law does not require it. In support they cite the fact that at least two Muslim countries — Turkey and Tunisia — ban the wearing of a veil altogether, and that it has not been traditional dress in many Muslim societies.

That is not an argument that Jews should be eager to embrace. We would not want a secular court to inquire whether wearing a yarmulke indoors is religiously required, or consider evidence that some observant Jews do not wear a yarmulke at work. A secular court oversteps itself when in acts as a religious authority. The only relevant question in this regard is whether the person asserting the religious liberty claim truly believes that he is religiously required or forbidden to something.

Jewish law requires one to obey the laws of the land.
So it remains true that many Jews, like many Muslims, do wear distinctive garb, and profess an allegiance to God that transcends any allegiance to the secular state. Unlike many Muslims, however, Jewish law recognizes the legitimacy of a secular legal system, and acknowledges the duty to obey the laws of the land (dina d’malchusa dina) and nowhere seek to impose Torah law on the secular state.

Muslims show a much greater propensity for imposing their religious beliefs on others. In one case that attracted a great deal of notoriety, Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis have been refusing to take passengers caring pork or liquor products. The airport authority was initially inclined to accommodate the Muslim drivers until columnist and scholar Daniel Pipes aroused a national uproar, at which point the drivers were told that they would have to take all passengers or forfeit their license.

Here the claim of the airport authority seems particularly strong. Taxi licenses are a limited public resource, and the state has a clear interest in ensuring that holders of those licenses use them to best serve the public. (It is hard to imagine a Jewish taxi driver refusing to transport a passenger carrying pork products, even if the passenger were Jewish.)

The religious curriculum will introduce students to a variety of different religions, and seek to imbue them with an attitude of tolerance to all of them, including those which according to halachah constitute idol worship. In addition, students will learn that many people derive their ethical moral beliefs from sources other than revealed religion. The message is the same that anti-religious writers are forever proclaiming: One need not be religious in order to be a moral person, and indeed religious people are no more moral than others.

The authors of the curriculum emphasize that some values are growing stronger in the contemporary world and other traditional values waning. They make clear that their preferences rest on the side of the contemporary over the received values of the past. But the very description of such value changes contradicts the view of Torah as the source of eternal values binding on the Jewish people forever.

Underlying the proposed curriculum is a strong emphasis on tolerance that derives, at least in part, from the fear of the Islamic intolerance and even violence. The emphasis on the moral autonomy of each person and the need to recognize multiple sources of ethical values betray a bias against revealed religion in general.

It is hard to imagine any Torah Jew allowing his children being subjected to a curriculum in which Torah is just one among many options. But the question we must ask ourselves is whether any political entity might nevertheless mandate such curriculum.

In the United States the right of parents to provide their children with a parochial education was settled by the Supreme Court almost a century ago. If anything, that right has even become more firmly entrenched with the rapid growth of the home-schooling movement. At the same time, the state’s substantial interest in the regulation of private education has long been recognized.

As suspicion grows against certain religious-ethnic groups, it would be prudent for the Jewish community worldwide to carefully monitor the effect this has on their own rights and educational autonomy. As such, this becomes yet another chapter in our millennia-long effort to preserve our unique and precious Jewish heritage.


Saturday, April 7th, 2007

This weekend we celebrate and remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Yeshua. Because He lives, we have HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE! I Thessalonians 4:14 makes it clear that our future hope is based on His resurrection. The KJV English words “even so” are from the Greek “houto” meaning “in the same manner.”
Read John 20:4-9; Romans 8:18-25; Philippians 3:20-21; and I John 3:1-3 and lift your heart of praise up to the Lord and worship Him!


Death is NOT the end! It is simply the “release” of our soul/spirit into the presence of the Lord. The physical body that is put into the grave will one day be resurrected – believers truly have HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE.

1. According to the Bible, believers are carried by angels into the present of the Lord and to Abraham, the father of all who believe – Luke 16:22

2. The Bible teaches that when we die we will then be “comforted” – Luke 16:25

3. The Bible makes it clear that our souls and spirits are not simply vapor or gasses floating in space; we will have a temporary body of some sort awaiting the final resurrection body – read II Corinthians 5:1-9 and Revelation 6:11 where we are told that believers who have died are given “white robes.”

4. The Bible indicates that we are not unconscious after death, nor are we sleeping! It is the physical body that is pictured as sleeping in the grave. According to the Bible believers are fully conscious and able to communicate – Revelation 6:9

5. Interestingly, believers who have died are described as having concern about God’s prophetic plans – Revelation 6:10

6. One of the strongest statements about what we will be doing after we die is found in Psalm 16:11 and in Luke 15:7 and 10: We will experience “fullness of joy” and have “joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth”

7. Believers who have died are also urged to be contented until the day of the Resurrection – Revelation 6:11; 14:13

8. One of the most blessed teachings of the Bible is that believers who are alive will one day be reunited with those who have died and already are “with the Lord” – the Lord has planned a great reunion – a “meeting in the air” – what a day that will be!
I Thessalonians 4:16-17

9. The Bible makes it quite clear that this HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE is a remedy for all our worries, troubles, and fears. I Thessalonians 4:18 tells us to “comfort one another with these words” – consider the results of this remedy:

It eliminates mental DIFFICULTIES – I Thessalonians 4:13 – “I would not have you to be ignorant”

It eliminates emotional DEPRESSION – same verse says “sorrow not as others who have no hope”

It eliminates personal DISCOURAGEMENT – I Thessalonians 5:4-11 explains this HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE that will spare us from the coming “wrath of God” upon this planet during the “Day of the LORD” – God did NOT appoint church-age believers to experience that coming day of terror. We are exhorted to “comfort one another” once again!

(Editor’s NOTE: You may want to get copies of David’s very special booklet entitled “HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE” – it is an excellent tool to give to family and friends concerning life after death and presents the true gospel to them!)


Saturday, April 7th, 2007

With the release of the British military personnel this past week, the whole world was given a big “dose” of a smiling Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, showing the world that he is a man of peace, gifts, and blessings! What a manipulation of the truth! This article appeared this weekend that should clarify the truth about this man.

by Alireza Jafarzadeh

Before becoming the President of Iran, Ahmadinejad served the Iranian regime in several capacities. First, as a militant student leader chosen by Ayatollah Khomeini shortly after the revolution, he was a co-founder of Khomeini’s Office for Consolidating Unity, an organization that stormed universities and jailed students and professors. He next worked as a professional interrogator, responsible for questioning and torturing political prisoners, including USA hostages. A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its inception, he fought on Iran’s northwestern border during the Iran-Iraq War. At that time, he participated in a special operations mission in Kirkuk, deep inside Iraq. It is now widely acknowledged that Iran is heavily involved in sending roadside bombs, explosives, and arms into Iraq to kill American forces, all with the full backing of Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad knows exactly what they are capable of in Iraq because he conducted missions there himself. He has also served as a senior commander of an elite section of the IRGC, which later became the Qods Force. In this role he conducted secret operations to assassinate the regime’s enemies in Europe and the Middle East.

The “everyman” perception of Ahmadinejad as a big-city mayor who came from behind to win the presidency is based on a fiction put forward by the regime. In reality, Ahmadinejad was carefully selected for his post based on his military expertise, devotion to the regime’s fundamentalist brand of Islam, and strong ties to the supreme leader.

Ahmadinejad’s virulent anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric is the true voice of the Iranian regime. He speaks for the hard-line power elite that has always controlled Iran.

Ahmadinejad’s current mission in his lifelong commitment to the Iranian regime is to smooth the path for the development of a nuclear weapon, and he is succeeding brilliantly. While Tehran escalates its race for a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad buys more time by drawing attention away from Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The louder Ahmadinejad rants about nuclear power, the closer the regime comes to achieving its real nuclear goals.

In short, he is a zealot, a man who absorbed Khomeini’s “all or nothing” brand of Islam – an ideology that brooks no dissent and requires its exportation through any means necessary around the globe. As a student, he lived its philosophy whole-heartedly over the course of the past three decades, and now works to give its followers the ultimate weapon.

Sanctions alone will not stop Ahmadinejad and the regime from acquiring nuclear weapons; only unleashingt the discontent of Iranian citizens and its organized opposition against the regime itself can do that. Until the world realizes this, it is not a question of if Ahmadinejad will succeed in his mission – but when!

(Editor’s NOTE: The present rise of Iran to the stature of a world leader (especially among Muslim nations) reminds all of us who take the Bible seriously of what Ezekiel 38 says about the coming invasion of Israel – the first nation mentioned is “Persia” which is the name of Iran before the Islamic Revolution took over!)


Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

The recent pressure of Syria upon the United Nations and the European Union, and its discussions with Congressional House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – arguing that in order to have peace Israel must give back the Golan Heights is an old argument and absolute nonsense! Syria would immediately use that advantage to attack Israel as they have done in the past. Islam has no desire to ever make peace with Israel, and this has been their long-standing argument.


There is a very important passage about Syria (Damascus) in Isaiah 17. It begins with the words “The burden of Damascus.” The text continues: “Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” In this important chapter we are told clearly the following: THE MESSAGE COMES FROM THE LORD HIMSELF! He is called “the LORD GOD of ISRAEL.” Anyone who attacks Israel is attacking God Himself! His judgment is going to fall upon Damascus – it is just a question of time.

Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world. Archaeological excavations have shown civilization to exist here at least 8000 years ago. It has continued throughout history to be a “city” even though it was conquered by many foreign powers before the time of our Lord Yeshua. The Assyrians captured Damascus in 732 BC, and the city became captive to Babylon, Persia, Greece, the Ptolemies and Seleucids, and finally Rome under Pompey in 64 BC. Two major highways went through Damascus: The VIA MARIS and the KING’S HIGHWAY. Tablets from Ebla mention Damascus as early as 2300 BC and even Thutmose III of Egypt claimed to have conquered the city around 1475 BC.

Syria has been controlled in recent years by Sunni Muslims and in particular, the Baath Party of which the late Sadaam Hussein was the leader. The current leader, Bashar Assad is the son of the deceased Hafez Assad who was a constant “thorn” in Israel’s side and who launched major attacks against Israel. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel was about to capture the entire city before the USA and world leadership begged them to stop. From that point until now, the Golan Heights (a beautiful area with rich agricultural advantages to Israel) has belonged to Israel and has been a strategic deterrant to any Syrian plans for attack.

It was Syria (with the encouragement of Iran) who equipped, trained, and supplied sophisticated weapons to Hizb’allah in the war of last summer. It was one of the ways in which this Islamic regime was seeking revenge against Israel for the loss of the Golan Heights in 1967.

Never forget that the gospel came to Damascus under the leadership of the Apostle Paul who was converted on the “road to Damascus” according to the Bible. Acts 9:22 says: “But Saul (Paul) increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Messiah (Christ).” Our desire for Damascus and for all Syrians is that they come to believe and worship the Messiah of Israel, our blessed Lord Yeshua!


Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

The Associated Press reports from Saudi Arabia the following (April 2, 2007):

Israel should withdraw from Arab territory and allow the creation of a Palestinian state before Arabs recognize it, a Saudi official said Monday – the first Saudi statement on the issue since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert publicly invited Arab leaders to discuss their ideas for peace with him.

Olmert specifically called on Saudi Arabia Sunday to take the lead, the first time Israel has made such a request of the Saudis, who maintain a state of war with Israel but are pushing for a peace deal.

The Saudi official told The Associated Press that “before any meeting could be considered,” Israel should accept the 2002 Arab peace initiative that would recognize Israel in exchange for withdrawal from captured territory and a just solution for the Palestinian refugees. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

At a summit in Saudi Arabia last week, the Arab League renewed its commitment to the peace initiative, which was initially proposed by Saudi Arabia. Olmert welcomed the decision but said Israel did not accept all parts of the plan.

He said that if King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia were to invite him, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and moderate Arab leaders to a meeting “to present Saudi Arabia’s ideas before us, we will come to hear them and be glad to offer our ideas.”

Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs, Hani Khallaf, was quoted as saying Monday that the Arab side cannot negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. The Jordanian government did not make any immediate comments.

Syria had no immediate comment to the latest Israeli offer. At a meeting on Sunday, Olmert asked US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad that if Syria stops its support for terrorism, Israel would be interested in making peace.

In a March 22 interview with French television, Assad said seeking peace with Israel is a “firm principle,” but stressed that the return of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the Six Day War, was a Syrian right that would not be compromised.

“The land must be returned in full. Any other details are subject to negotiations but land is not. It is Syrian land,” he said.

(Editor’s Note: There is nothing “new” in these proposals, and it confirms what we have been saying for years – the goal of Islam is the removal of Israel for land which they claim belongs to them. That, in fact and in history, is simply false! The God of Israel gave this land as an “everlasting possession” to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)

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