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

Archive for January, 2011


Monday, January 31st, 2011

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

Syrian President Bashar Assad has one eye on a potential revolution and another eye on remaining a dictator. He says he will push for reforms and will raise subsidies for heating oil, but his country is still restricting Facebook, the social network that is being used to stage an anti-Assad rally Saturday.

In a rare interview with The Wall Street Journal, Assad observed that the movements for revolution in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt signal a “new era” in the Middle East, and that Arab rulers, if they want to remain in power, must understand citizen’s social and economic desires. Unlike Egypt, Syria is openly anti-American and is an ally of Hizbullah and Iran.

Assad’s regime is considered one of the most ruthless, even for the Middle East. Poverty in the country is rising, but is still far less than in other Muslim nations, including Egypt. However, abuses of human rights and freedom of expression are frequently the target of criticism by human rights groups and the United States.

“People here are suffering much more than Egypt or Tunisia but you don’t see it,” a medical student told Al Jazeera. “They keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to be locked up for 10 years.”

Opponents to Assad are using Facebook to prepare for a mass rally Saturday, using proxy servers to get around government restrictions on Facebook. Users must register their names when using Internet cafés, and police have the authority to confiscate the lists.

The Syrian dictator told the Journal he will grant more power to non-government organizations (NGOs) this year, and he is taking steps to lower food prices in an effort to stave off the revolution fever that is beginning to spread in Muslim countries.

He offered no signs of changing his one-party system and the strict control, often through brutal means, over anyone trying to suggest that Syrians would be better off under a different government. One elderly leftist is serving seven years in jail for proposing an alternative to Assad’s dictatorship.

The planned Facebook-inspired rally may fall flat on its face, partly because of Internet restrictions and partly because it simply has not captured the hearts and minds of Syrians, whether out of fear or because of a feeling of apathy.

The independent Islamic Bloc is among those promoting Saturday’s “Day of Rage” rally in front of the parliament in Damascus, but the government this past Saturday prevented a rally for solidarity with Egyptian protesters, reported the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Syrian security chief Ali Mamlouk reportedly has met with province governors and police commanders in order to prepare for possible protests in the country, according to Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) research director Y. Yehoshua.


Monday, January 31st, 2011

by Ryan Jones

Egypt could soon go the way of Lebanon in becoming a satellite or close ally of Iran if the current street demonstrations succeed in toppling the government of President Hosni Mubarak.

Until now, the week-long protests have lacked a clear leader, someone to take over should Mubarak fall. But Mohammed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is busy setting himself up as just such a leader.

ElBaradei openly backed and took part in the demonstrations over the weekend, quickly earning him the support and admiration of most of the protestors.

ElBaradei is a clean-cut diplomat with extensive ties to the international community. But Malcom Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations warned everyone not to be fooled.

In an interview with Yeshiva World News, Hoenlein accused ElBaradei of being a “stooge of Iran.” Hoenlein noted that during his years as head of the IAEA, ElBaradei worked tirelessly to oppose Western sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. ElBaradei adopted and championed the Iranian line that its nuclear program was purely civilian in nature.

His successors later acknowledged that ElBaradei’s reports were not accurate.
The kind of leader ElBaradei would be was further revealed on Sunday when Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the forerunner of the Palestinian Hamas, publicly endorsed him as the next President of Egypt.

Meanwhile, Egyptian protestors on Monday began to express great frustration over the lack of an international response to their uprising, especially from the USA.

Many Egyptians noted that the Mubarak regime is deeply entrenched, and without the help of international pressure, they are unlikely to be able to dislodge it. They accused Washington of supporting a repressive dictator because doing so serves American interests in the region.


Saturday, January 29th, 2011

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (IsraelNationalNews)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has succumbed to fears of a revolution and announced Saturday the appointment of intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his first-ever Vice President. He also dismissed his cabinet.

Suleiman has been a prominent figure in diplomatic ties with Israel and often has acted as a broker in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and between the Fatah and Hamas factions.

Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt since 1981, also named his air force commander and aviation minister, Ahmed Shafik, as Prime Minister.

The addition of new faces to his regime is aimed at calming the new protest movement, which has been attacked by riot police using the same tactics that are a root cause of the opposition. Egypt has been listed by Amnesty as one of the worst violators of human rights.

Mubarak said in a televised speech Friday he would introduce new political and economic reforms.

Until Mubarak’s dramatic political appointments Saturday, his son Gamal has been considered the prime candidate to succeed his father, who is reportedly suffering from cancer. Gamal Mubarak and his mother and daughter fled last Wednesday to London, according to an Arab news sources, as previously reported by Israel National News. Other sources, including Al Jazeera, confirmed the report on Saturday but then backed off.

The new positions of Suleiman and Shafik put two military men in top positions as Mubarak tries to avoid a repeat of the revolution in Tunisia, where the army helped overthrow the old regime.

“I think Mubarak is acting on the orders of the military establishment, who clearly value the country’s stability more than they do to their President,” John R. Bradley, author of “Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution,” told Bloomberg news service.

The military “will soon offer Mubarak a face-saving way-out, perhaps by announcing that he’s ill again and that Suleiman is to take over until new presidential elections take place,” he said.

In Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has told Cabinet ministers not to comment on the crisis in Egypt, but Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who left the Cabinet in the Labor party shake-up last week, said he thinks calm will return to Egypt.

The protest movement could directly affect Israel if Hamas supporters in Gaza take to the streets to protest against Mubarak, whose government has been increasingly critical of the terrorist organization’s sponsoring or allowing rocket and mortar attacks on Israel’s western Negev.

Egypt reportedly took most of its forces away from the sensitive Rafiah border, a center of smuggling of drugs and weapons into Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula. Part of the all between Gaza and Egypt reportedly has been dismantled.


Friday, January 28th, 2011

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

Former IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei returned to Egypt Thursday from Vienna, where he has lived for the past few years, fueling speculation that President Hosni Mubarak’s reign may be at an end.

Riots and protests in the streets of Cairo entered the third straight day, and social networking sites were jammed with anticipation of massive rallies planned for Friday.

Millions gather at the country’s mosques each week on that day, the Islamic Holy Day, providing protest organizers with the fuel needed for a massive demonstration calling for Mubarak’s ouster.

The 82-year-old President, who is ailing, has not been seen since the riots erupted on Tuesday, with tens of thousands marching in cities across Egypt.

Media reports said that Mubarak’s wife Suzanne, his son Gamal, considered the likely successor to his father as President, and Gamal’s daughter fled to London in a private jet with 97 suitcases.

ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate and the top opposition candidate to face Mubarak’s son Gamal in upcoming national elections, declared Thursday he was ready to lead the protests. The long-outlawed fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, the nation’s largest opposition group, also declared its support for the protests.

Mubarak’s National Democratic party, headed by Safwat El-Sherif, meanwhile, said at a news conference that the government would not enter a dialogue with anarchy.

“We are confident of our ability to listen,” said El-Sherif, according to the Associated Press. “The NDP is ready for a dialogue with the public, youth and legal parties. but democracy has its rules and process. The minority does not force its will on the majority.”

However, reports of extreme brutality by government forces trying to contain the riots are making the rounds of the social networking sites. The reports resemble those seen during the Iranian protests that followed the so-called “re-election” of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad more than a year ago, expanding the groundswell of grassroots opposition to any continuation of the status quo.

A protester who survived one such beating Wednesday near Tahrir Square, Amr Salama, told his story in an article translated into English and posted on the Facebook social networking site.

Explaining that his goal was a “better Egypt where police protect the people rather than doing what was done to me and many other protesters in every police department and street… a better Egypt where anyone who has a right can go to a police department to demand it without any fear of being ignored.”

Salama vowed to continue his protests. He further wrote that he realized the soldiers who beat him “had no idea why they were doing it,” adding that the soldiers appeared to have sympathy for him, and “were probably more afraid” than he was.

“I most importantly realized that there is hope, hope to see Egypt not only as liberated as Tunis but also in a place better than I could ever imagine,” he wrote. “A place I would want to have kids so they would live a good life full of dignity and make it even better.”


Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by Hillel Fendel (IsraelNationalNews)

A position paper by a senior policy analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs states that leaks of Israel-PA talks by Al-Jazeera are designed to harm the PA and block resumption of talks with Israel.

Pinhas Inbari, a veteran Palestinian Authority affairs correspondent and the author of books such as “The Palestinians: Between Terrorism and Statehood,” writes that Al-Jazeera has an agenda to de-legitimize the PA in the eyes of its residents and the Arab world.

Over the past week, the Qatar-based Arabic-language satellite TV station and international news network has been publishing documents leaked to it from the PLO Negotiations Support Unit – causing great damage to the PA negotiators. “Now, after Al-Jazeera has brainwashed Arab minds with charges of PLO treason,” Inbari writes, “no declaration of statehood can be expected. Neither will there be a resumption of negotiations with Israel since the
Palestinian team will stick to the most hard-line positions possible.”

The leaked documents indicate that the PLO negotiators and leadership conceded to Israel on three main points: The relatively small number of Arab “refugees” to be allowed to enter Israel; allowing Israel to keep most Jewish neighborhoods in what is known as eastern Jerusalem; and collaborating with Israel in fighting Hamas terrorists.

According to the leaked documents, Inbari writes, the PLO negotiating team “relinquished all Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem except for Har Homa – including Ramot Shlomo, the Jewish neighborhood that sparked the crisis between Israel and the U.S., and Sheikh Jarrah, now a location for demonstrations by international supporters of the Palestinian cause.”

The papers also quote PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in an internal briefing to PA officials as saying, “We cannot demand the return of millions, as this will end Israel.”

Inbari indicates that Al-Jazeera purposely overlooks the firmness with which the PA adhered to some of its positions. For instance, the PLO team “was adamant in refusing to agree to Israeli demands to keep the settlement blocs. For example, the Palestinians demanded the dismantling of the city of Ariel (pop. 17,559), and they were ready to consider leaving Israelis living in Ma’ale Adumim (pop. 34,324) only if the Jewish city adjacent to Jerusalem was under Palestinian sovereignty.” He also raises the possibility that some of the leaked documents are simply forgeries.

In response to the Al-Jazeera campaign against Abbas and his Fatah organization, Fatah gunmen attacked Al-Jazeera studios in Shechem (Nablus) on Wednesday. They damaged equipment, though no one was hurt.


Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by Hillel Fendel (Arutz Sheva News)

Second day in a row: Thousands of Egyptians defied a government ban on protests today and angrily called on President Hosni Mubarak to resign.
The U.S.seems to have partially abandoned its long-time Arab ally, with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton telling the Mubarak government it must implement democratic reforms and allow peaceful protests.

Six people are reported dead and hundreds have been arrested following the second day of protests in several Egyptian cities. In the city of Suez, rioting demonstrators set fire to a government building on Thursday.

The ailing Mubarak, 82, has been in power since 1981, after the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat. He has not said whether he will run in the September elections; he has long been considering backing his son Jamal.

A leading figure in the pro-reforms movement is Mohamed ElBaradei, who is set to return to Egypt as the anti-government protests give his bid for the presidency a powerful boost.

The White House pointedly turned down a direct opportunity to affirm support for Mubarak. Asked if the Obama administration still backed Mubarak, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said only, “Egypt is a strong ally.”
“I do think it’s possible for there to be reforms,” Clinton said at a State Department press conference with visiting Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, “and that is what we are urging and calling for.”

The U.S.position is somewhat surprising, seeing as if Mubarak’s regime falls, it is likely that the extremist anti-Israel and anti-West Muslim Brotherhood will gain much power.


Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

by Elias Bejjani (Arutz Sheva News)

Elias Bejjani is spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF) and Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC).

Hizbullah, the armed Iranian-Syrian terrorist proxy, is resorting to all sorts of force, terrorism, intimidation, threats, bribery, division, sectarianism and instigation to install a new puppet government in Lebanon after toppling the Hariri national unity government January 13, in response to direct orders from its two Axis of Evil supporters, Syria and Iran.

In a report that was published Tuesday in the Kuwaiti daily Alseyiasi, veteran analyst and journalist Hamid Gheriafi wrote that many Western and Arabic countries have been lately issuing urgent travel warnings.

They have cautioned their citizens who are residing in Lebanon to take the highest required measures to avoid being targeted by Syria’s and Hizbullah’s armed groups and advising them not to travel deep into Lebanon’s southern and Bekaa Valley regions or to go to Beirut areas, where there are Sunni- Shiite tensions.

The report stated that the whole democratic and Free World and the majority of the Arab countries are extremely concerned that Tehran’s and Damascus’s allies could take full control of the Lebanese state and all of its institutions, including both the army and internal security forces.

The United States, European countries, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many other countries have been conducting around the clock consultations on the highest level to abort this vicious Syrian-Iranian scheme. The Syrian-Iran full control of Lebanon will impose a dire threat to all the Arab countries, Israel, and Europe.

Gheriafi learned from reliable European Intelligence sources in Brussels that at least two well-equipped Western military fleets were urgently ordered to move from the Arabian Gulf to positions close to both Syria and Lebanon in the Mediterranean Sea.

They carried strict instructions to fully monitor and watch the unfolding events in Lebanon, especially in case Hizbullah, backed by Syria and Iran, succeeds in taking over the new Lebanese government.

The intelligence sources did not unveil the identity of the Western fleets but confirmed that they comprise two nuclear aircraft carriers with 210 jet fighter planes on board, and more than 30 ships carrying about 5,800 marines armed with the latest technologies.

The same sources said that the Israeli air and navy forces have been on a high alert status since last Friday after Lebanon’s Druze Leader, MP Walid Jumblatt, decided to join Hizbullah and Syria with his parliamentary bloc. His support gave them the upper hand and a parliamentary majority that enables them to form a new pro-Syrian and -Iranian government, killing all chances for caretaker PM Sa’ad Hariri to return as a Prime Minister.

A new Hizbullah-controlled government will cut all Lebanon’s legal and financial relations with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and force the country to fully join the Axis of Evil terrorist front comprised of Syria, Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah. The STL is expected to indict members from Hizbullah, Iran and Syria for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and dozens of high ranking Lebanese politicians, clergy, journalists and intellectuals.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his deputy and other high ranking officials expressed their very serious concerns in regard to the looming possibility that Lebanon will have a pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian government fully controlled by the terrorist Hizbullah and its allies.

The U.S. administration and both Houses of Congress are looking seriously into the dreadful hazards that could affect both the peace process and stability in the Middle East, in case Hizbullah succeeds in forming and fully controlling Lebanon’s new government. The Obama administration will most probably halt all kinds of aid to Lebanon and even impose harsh sanctions.

In this same context, all the 18 countries with troops participating in the UNIFIL forces deployed in South Lebanon on the Lebanese-Israeli border are extremely concerned about their safety. These countries are definitely going to reevaluate their participation in UNIFIL, as well as their aid to Lebanon once Hizbullah’s government is in office.

In conclusion: The Free World and the Arabic countries have an obligation to help the Lebanese people by all available means, including military forces in a bid to stop Iran and Syria, through its armed terrorist proxy, Hizbullah, from taking over Lebanon and turning it into an arena for evil wars against all the democracies in the world.

The confrontation with the Axis of Evil is inevitable and now it is the right time to act before it is too late and before a new Nazi dragon starts goose stepping in to devour all the Arab countries and Europe.


Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Lebanon’s parliament on Tuesday voted 68-60 in favor of handing the reins of the government over to billionaire businessman Najib Mikati, who was nominated for the position of Prime Minister by Hizbullah and its allies in the plenum.

Hizbullah brought down the government of Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri earlier this month after he rejected the group’s demand that Lebanon stop cooperating with the international investigation into the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah is widely expected to be named the chief suspect in the murder.

In his victory speech, Mikati declared himself the “consensus candidate,” and Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah insisted Mikati is not a representative of his group.

“The resulting new government is not, in any way, a Hizbullah-government. I wish it was,” stated Nasrallah. “Anyone who says so aids in the incitement against Hizbullah coming primarily from the United States and Israel.”

But the Lebanese people knew better, and erupted into widespread street riots on Tuesday to protest the rising power of Hizbullah. The demonstrations were largest, and most violent, in Sunni Muslim areas, where locals fumed about their country slipping further under the thumb of the Shiite Hizbullah and its Shiite masters in Iran.

Some have argued that Mikati could not possibly help Hizbullah and the Shiites gain power, as he himself is Sunni. However, Mikati is known to be very close to the Syrian regime, which despite not being Shiite is also an ally and sponsor of Hizbullah. And, of course, Mikati was nominated by Hizbullah.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated on Tuesday that Lebanese-US ties will be greatly damaged if Hizbullah controls the government in Beirut, and State Department spokesman PJ Crowley threatened that American financial aid to Lebanon could cease.

But many in Israel expected that the ruse of nominating a Sunni Muslim who is also an international businessman was probably enough to give Washington a way out of actually carrying through on its threats.


Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

by Stephanie Samuel (Christian Post Reporter)

The Walk for Life West Coast event on Saturday exceeded organizers’ expectations by drawing a crowd of 40,000 people, a record-breaking figure.

More than 40,000 people attended the 7th annual Walk for Life West Coast event on Saturday, January 22, 2011, in San Francisco, California.

Tens of thousands of pro-life activists filled Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco to participate in the 2.5-mile walk along the waterfront during the 7th annual Walk for Life West Coast. The Walk was held on the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

“We are here to break the bondage of the culture of death,” said Walk for Life co-chair Dolores Meehan to the crowd. The walk route started at Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco and concluded at Marina Green in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. The line of walkers stretched over a mile long.

Groups such as Silent No More, Priests for Life, Lutherans for Life, and Anglicans for Life joined in the walk to remember the unborn, share their testimonies, and pray for an end to abortion.

Participants heard from Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who left her job after watching an ultrasound-guided abortion. Johnson, now a pro-life activist, said she no longer honors choice when it comes to abortion. “You are the new generation of the pro-life movement and I can tell you Planned Parenthood is shaking in their boots,” said Johnson.

Men and women who aborted their babies also shared their stories.
“We must end this slaughter,” proclaimed the Rev. Brian Walker.
Walker and his wife Denise aborted their child four months before their wedding. He said he was immature back then. Now the Walkers, both African-American, tell people that abortion is a disservice to the black community.
“We’ve lost close to 40 percent of our population to abortion,” stressed Denise.

Across the country, President Barack Obama, a self-proclaimed advocate for choice, also acknowledged the anniversary of the controversial legal ruling in a statement. “Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle, that government should not intrude on private family matters,” he declared. He tried to balance his statement by saying that he is committed to preventing unintended pregnancies, supporting pregnant women and mothers, encouraging healthy relationships, and promoting adoption.

But opponents of abortion say the practice is a false answer to the social issues of teen pregnancy, child neglect, and sexual abuse. “For the past thirty-two years, abortion has been sold as a solution to societal problems women face. During that time, abortion advocates have pitted women against their children – forcing us into a no-win situation,” said Sally Winn, vice president of Feminists for Life of America, in a statement. She continued, “Abortion is not a solution but a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better.”

The Walk for Life West Coast was founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents. According to the website, the walk’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is the answer. Last year, the Walk for Life West Coast drew more than 35,000 people.

The California pro-life walk comes two days ahead of the much larger March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Organizers of the D.C. event are expecting the crowd to exceed last year’s count of 300,000 participants.


Monday, January 24th, 2011

by Avi Yellin (Arutz Sheva News)

The American-based weekly Defense News has reported that the United States Department of Defense has acknowledged deficiencies and technical shortcomings of some versions of the new F-35 warplanes, which Israel is buying.

The DoD report, compiled by the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate, noted problems with the F-35 Lightning II’s handling and avionics, among other things. Lockheed Martin, the American manufacturer of the warplanes, is also reported to have delayed testing on the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft due to other qualitative shortcomings.

It is currently unclear how recent revelations regarding the F-35 will affect the State of Israel and its defensive capabilities. Washington annually provides Jerusalem with roughly $3 billion in military aid, and the F-35 had been a major incentive for Israeli leaders to cooperate with American policies that some view as detrimental to Israeli national interests.

Last October, Israel National News reported on a ceremony in New York in which Israeli Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani signed an agreement for the Jewish state to purchase its first squadron of F-35 jets for $2.75 billion.

The agreement called for Israel to receive the stealth fighters from Washington between the years 2015 and 2017, at a cost of $96 million per aircraft (including engines, simulators, spare parts and maintenance).

The fighter jets were expected, according to a report in Aviation Week, to possess Israeli add-ons, such as altering the cockpit interfaces to use IDF communications, control and intelligence systems, installing Israeli equipment on the F-35 main computer and installing a detachable fuel tank that would extend the warplane’s range but make it easier to detect when attached.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave their final approval for the purchase in September, at which time Netanyahu said that “Purchasing this fighter jet, the most technically advanced on earth, is a significant step in strengthening Israel’s military prowess.”

The revelations regarding the F-35’s deficiencies are expected to strengthened advocates of Israel manufacturing its own military hardware and become increasingly independent in matters of defense.

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