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

Archive for May, 2011


Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


I have been in Congress nearly 6 years now. During that time, I have heard a number of speeches from the podium on the House floor. I have heard 2 U.S. Presidents and any number of Prime Ministers and Presidents and Chancellors of other nations. But, last week’s speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the best speech I have yet heard in those chambers.

First, from a clinical perspective, he is a great speaker. He used notes, but no teleprompter. Those little glass stands that you always see when Obama speaks were not there. Not using a teleprompter allowed him to ad-lib, as he did when a protestor started yelling in the gallery, without worrying that he would get out of synch with whoever was operating the prompter and thereby either miss or repeat a paragraph. Without that machine in between him and the audience, he made a connection that others fail to make. I could feel his courage. I could feel his strength. And, most importantly, I was overwhelmed by the sincerity of his remarks. I felt he was being completely honest and authentic. Many American politicians could learn something from him.

And, from the standpoint of the message, that too was delivered resolutely and with clarity. The friendship between the U.S. and Israel benefits both countries. I suppose I could count how many times he used the word “peace” in the address, but suffice it to say that he used it a lot. Israel has no aspirations for anything other than to continue to exist as a Jewish State in peace with its neighbors. I loved it when he said that the U.S. doesn’t need to employ in “nation building” with Israel, because they have already built. That we don’t need to democratize them because they are already a Democracy. And, that we don’t need to defend them because they can defend themselves. They want to recognize a Palestinian State, but only one that agrees to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That is not an unreasonable request. It is also not unreasonable to request that the government of said state not include the terrorist organization, Hamas, which has not called for just the elimination of Israel, but for the elimination of all Jews. The Jewish people have seen this movie before. And, they have a right to do everything they can to ensure that they don’t have to watch it again. I think that President Obama is wrong about most things. But, there is bipartisan agreement in Washington that he is wrong about trying to force Israel to return to the 1967 borders that led to their being attacked then, and will lead to attacks in the future. And, as a Christian, I believe that having Jerusalem entirely within this free country ensures access to this most holy of cities to people of all faiths around the world.

I was encouraged and inspired by the leader of the one enduring democracy and economically free and prosperous country in the Middle East. I hope there will soon be democratic, free and prosperous Arab countries in the Middle East without aspirations to destroy their neighbors. And, I wish there were more world leaders like Netanyahu. Shalom, my friend. May you succeed in attaining it.


Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

by Hillel Fendel (Arutz Sheva News)

This Tuesday night and Wednesday will be a special day for lovers of Jerusalem, which celebrates the 44th anniversary of its Six Day War reunification.

Among the central events planned for this Jerusalem Day are traditional festivities at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook, including all-night Torah lectures, singing, dancing to music of the famed clarinetist Musa Berlin, and each year since the liberation of the city, a march of hundreds to the Western Wall starting at 1 a.m. Prime MInister Benyamin Netanyahu, many Knesset Members and rabbis from all over Israel come to join the yeshiva’s celebration.

Festive prayers take place in central Jerusalem synagogues such as Heichal Shlomo and others. A special program will take place at Yeshivat Beit Orot on Mt. Scopus, overlooking the Temple Mount, which will be followed by music, dancing, a dinner, and an inspiring presentation by noted historian Dr. Eyal Davidson.

The central event in the capital on Wednesday will be the traditional Rikudgalim – Flag Dance March – towards the Old City. Though it has long been concentrated on Jaffa Rd., as well as on other streets – with separate routes for girls and boys – this year’s march will be adapted to meet the needs of the new light-rail transportation system. Many of the marchers will enter the Old City through Damascus Gate, while others will circle around the south, adjacent to Mt.of Olives, and enter through Dung Gate. Various tours of different parts of the city are sponsored by the municipality and other organizations all through the day.

The day commemorates the miraculous liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem on the 28th of Iyar, 5727 (June 7, 1967), just days after several Arab armies threatened to wipe the State of Israel off the map. Israel took the initiative with a surprise, defensive attack, wiping out the Egyptian Air Force in one day, and taking over Jerusalem, Gaza, Judea, Samaria, the Sinai and the Golan Heights shortly thereafter. Weeks of national trepidation and tension, including the preparing of thousands of body-bags in Jerusalem and elsewhere, suddenly gave way to celebration and thanksgiving.

It has been noted many times that in the days prior to the war, Israel used its informal ties with Jordan’s King Hussein to ask him repeatedly to hold its fire and forces and allow Israel to concentrate only on its Egyptian and Syrian fronts. Had Hussein listened, the course of history would have been very different, as Israel would not have liberated Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria – at least not then.

The war marked Israel’s return to the Old City of Jerusalem for the first time since having been ignominiously driven out in 1948, and for the first time in 1,899 years as sovereign rulers.

In fact, though most Jews were thrilled in 1948 when the renewed State of Israel was established, for others the joy was greatly tempered by the lack of inclusion in its borders of the holy sites of Jerusalem– and particularly the Temple Mount.

The continued longing for Jerusalem and other Biblical areas was expressed by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, the head of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. Speaking to his students on Independence Day of 1967, just weeks before the Six Day War, he appeared to be gripped by prophecy when he cried out, “Where is our Hevron? Have we forgotten it? And where is our Shechem (Nablus)? Have we forgotten it? And where is our Jericho? Have we forgotten it?! … And where is all the rest of the Land of Israel? Where are all the pieces of G-d’s Land? Do we have the right to give up even one millimeter? Heaven forbid!”

One of his students, Rabbi Chanan Porat, who was later to be a leader in the movement to settle all of the Land of Israel, said that the rabbi’s emotion was so extreme that it left an impression on him forever: “He roared and cried out from the depths of his heart; we saw that he was truly like one crying over someone who had just died, as if he was torn in pieces. We felt as if he was speaking in the name of the Land of Israel, and that its tearing-asunder was tearing his own flesh as well.”

Just days after Rabbi Kook’s emotional cry, Egypt placed a blockade around the Straits of Tiran leading into Israel, and preparations for war began. Within three weeks, Hevron, Jericho, Shechem and Jerusalem were once again in Jewish hands. Rabbi Kook and his friend the Nazir, Rabbi David Cohen, were given a special military escort to the Western Wall within hours of its liberation.

The continued longing for Jerusalem in the 19 years between ’48 and ’67 was expressed on another level by Naomi Shemer, in her famous song “Jerusalem of Gold.” The original lyrics read, “The city that sits solitary, and in its midst – a wall… How the cisterns have dried, the market-place is empty, and no one frequents the Temple Mount, in the Old City… Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light, Behold I am a violin for all your songs…”

Just a few months later, she was able to add these lyrics as the final stanza: “We have returned to the cisterns, To the market and to the market-place, A ram’s horn (shofar) is heard on the Temple Mount, In the Old City.” The song Jerusalem of Gold quickly became Israel’s unofficial national anthem, sung in joy at every opportunity.


Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


Assad’s forces face armed resistance in Homs from residents with rifles, RPGs, AP reports; clash kills 4; activist: “Army cannot enter towns.” Syrian residents on Monday fought back for the first time against government troops in a two-month-old uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

According to the report, residents used automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades to fend off advancing troops, raising fears that the uprising may turn into a “Libya-style” armed conflict.

MK Kara: Syrian opposition asked for Israel’s help
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Until Monay’s battle, Syrian opposition groups have taken to the streets unarmed, although authorities have claimed the fighting has been led by armed gangs.

Activists said that residents of Talbiseh and Rastan, in the central Syrian province of Homs, decided to go on the offensive against Assad’s forces, in a clash that killed at least four civilians, AP reported.

“They felt that they cannot sit back anymore and pray for God to help them,’’ a Homs resident was quoted as saying by AP.

Meanwhile, another two bodies were discovered yesterday in the area of Bab Amro cemetery, putting the death toll from the crackdown in the country’s center at 15, a local rights group said.

“The army is facing armed resistance and is not able to enter the two towns,’’ another Homs resident was quoted as saying.

Other activists confirmed residents had fought back, but noted that individuals were trying to protect themselves, as opposed to mobilizing into an organized armed resistance, AP said.

Also on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that the brutality and repression in Syria and Libya against anti-government protesters is “shocking.” She urged the Syrian government to permit a UN-fact finding mission to enter the country.


Monday, May 30th, 2011

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

The Israeli Knesset’s Interior Committee met on Monday to discuss future control of Jerusalem as pressure mounts for Israel to surrender the city’s eastern half to the Palestinian Authority.

Among those slated to address the committee were Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem who want to continue living under Israeli sovereignty.

That these Arabs would risk their lives to come forward and request to remain part of Israel debunks the international misconception most recently enunciated by US President Barack Obama that the Palestinian Arabs cannot reach their full potential or live dignified lives while under “Israeli occupation.”

It also provides further evidence for the conclusion of Israel Today’s recent cover story revealing that many Palestinian Arabs do not want an independent state, and already live in peace and prosperity with their Jewish neighbors.

Monday’s Knesset gathering was called by lawmakers who are growing increasingly concerned over how parts of eastern Jerusalem are slowly falling under the de facto control of the Palestinian regime.

“Signs of Israeli sovereignty are disappearing in parts of Jerusalem that are behind the partition fence and their place is being taken by hostile elements,” wrote the lawmakers. “This, despite the lack of any decision by the Knesset or the government on the matter.”

They warned that this “impotence leads to the de facto division of Jerusalem.”


Sunday, May 29th, 2011


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, feeling the political winds in his favor, told the Cabinet Sunday that a unified Jerusalem is “the heart of the country” and added that the government is committed to building in all parts of the city.

The Cabinet is expected to approve on Sunday NIS 290 million ($83 million) to strengthen the city’s economy, with most of the money to be allocated for tourism and biotech research and development.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments at a special Cabinet meeting in the Old City came two days before the eve of Jerusalem Unification Day, which falls on Thursday night, celebrating 44 years since all of the capital was restored to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Jordan, without United Nations authorization, occupied the southern, northern and eastern neighborhoods, where more than 250,000 Jews now live.

The Obama Administration has labeled the neighborhoods as “illegitimate settlements,” backing the Palestinian Authority claim that they should be under its sovereignty in any future PA state.

Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated to Cabinet ministers what he told members of Congress last week, when he re-declared the principle of an “eternal and united Jerusalem.”

However, the government never has stated which areas of Jerusalem, if any, would be ceded to the Palestinian Authority in a final status plan for its becoming an independent country. Several Arab-populated areas of the city are situated beyond the security barrier, and the Palestinian Authority unofficially operates in several neighborhoods.

U.S.President Barack Obama declared in his 2008 campaign said that Jerusalem is Israel’s united and eternal capital but quickly backtracked after howls from the Palestinian Authority. He later explained that he meant the city never again will be divided by barbed wire fences, which Jordan placed after the War for Independence in 1949.


Sunday, May 29th, 2011

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Canada further emerged as Israel’s new best friend on the international stage at last week’s G8 Summit in Deauville, France.

Playing off US President Barack Obama’s recent foreign policy speeches, the G8 leaders were keen to use their closing statment to demand that Israel retreat to its 1967 borders.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was having none of it.

According to reports from the summit, Harper blocked all efforts to include references to the 1967 borders in the closing statement. The statement that finally read did call for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, but put no pressure on Israel to accept dangerous pre-conditions.

Harper also blocked huge financial aid packages to Egypt, which in its current transition phase has been cozying up to Iran, Hamas and other regional Islamists.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the weekend phoned his Canadian counterpart to express his deep gratitude for Harper’s efforts and for Canada’s support at a time when Israel is feeling increasingly isolated.


Saturday, May 28th, 2011

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

About two-thirds of the Jewish public in Israel thinks that in September the Palestinian Authority will declare the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and request that the UN General Assembly recognize it, even without an agreement with Israel, according to statistics published by The Peace Index.

The statistics are based on a survey which was conducted by telephone last week by the Dahaf Institute. The survey also found that 56% of the Arab public in Israel sees the chances of this as being low.

Respondents were also asked whether they believe that a General Assembly majority will recognizes the Palestinian state even if Israel opposes the move. The results show that a higher rate (75%) of the Jewish public believes that this will happen, while only 68% of the Arab public foresees a large majority in the General Assembly.

In regards to the question of whether the upcoming declaration of the Palestinian state could have been prevented, the survey found that 55% of the Jews say Israel could not have prevented the declaration even if it had shown greater political flexibility in the past.

Moreover, 60% of them do not think Israel should moderate its positions at this stage so as to prevent the declaration of the Palestinian state. 64% believed that even if Israel significantly moderates its positions, the chances that the PA will not declare an independent state and request UN recognition for it are low. A majority of the Arabs (57%), however, think the declaration could have been prevented if Israeli policy had been more flexible.

Respondents were also asked what they believe will happen after the declaration and the recognition of the Palestinian state. The majority of the Jewish public (64%) believed that the declaration of Palestinian independence and the UN recognition will damage Israeli interests, and an even larger majority (74%) believes that the chances are high that following the recognition, the international community will exert substantial pressures on Israel, such as economic sanctions, in order to force Israel to withdraw from the territories.

The survey also found that 71% of the Jewish public thinks the current Israeli government will not recognize a Palestinian state that is declared unilaterally. A majority of both Jews (57%) and Arabs (60%) believes that, under these circumstances, the U.S. will not recognize the Palestinian state. At the same time, the Jewish public is divided as to whether Israel will or will not be able to allow itself not to recognize an independent Palestinian state: 48% believe it will be able to allow itself to withhold recognition while 47% think it will not. In the Arab public, 53% said Israel will be able to allow itself not to recognize the Palestinian state after it is recognized by the UN.

Participants were asked what they believe will happen in Judea and Samaria after a Palestinian state is recognized. A large majority of both Jews (70%) and Arabs (62%) responded that they think that following the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, the chances are high that an intifada will erupt in the Judea and Samaria. 58% percent of the Jews also believe that the PA leadership will encourage such an intifada.

Finally, respondents were asked about their thoughts regarding Israel negotiating with the PA’s Hamas-Fatah unity government. Here, the results were surprisingly divided: 38% of the Jewish public supported the claim that negotiations can be held even if Hamas is part of the government. 35% said that the inclusion of Hamas in the PA leadership means that Israel cannot negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, while 24% oppose negotiations with the PA whether or not Hamas is part of their government.

In the Arab public, 78% supported negotiating with a unity government that includes Hamas.

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. The survey was conducted a few days before President Barack Obama’s speech on U.S. policy in the Middle East last Thursday. It included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel.


Friday, May 27th, 2011

by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNationalNews)

President Shimon Peres held a clandestine meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently in London, Maariv reported Friday.

According to the report, the two continue to exchange telephone calls and messages, and their close associates have held discussions as well.

Peres took the official position of refusing to respond to “rumors.” However, a close associate of the President quoted in the report expressed dismay that the Peres-Abbas connection might be revealed.

“President Peres is the last Israeli who continues to enjoy a direct channel to the Palestinians, and it is highly unfortunate that this channel will be sealed due to being made public,” he said. The President “is horrified by the leaks regarding the London meeting,” the associate reported. He did not comment on the issue of whether Israel’s President is advancing his own policies, rather than the elected government’s.

Following his alleged meeting with Abbas, Peres proceeded to the United States, where he held a one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. Sources in both Israel and America have suggested that Obama’s recent Middle East policy speech included ideas heard from Peres in that meeting.

Obama’s mention of the “1967 lines” echoed statements made by Peres on Independence Day. Peres expressed support for the “1967 territory” and suggested that Israelis living in Judea and Samaria “return home” to pre-67 Israel.

The agenda of Peres’ meeting with Abbas remains unknown. Whether Peres hoped to dissuade Abbas from his planned unilateral declaration of a state in September, or prevent the PA leader from embracing Hamas, these did not occur. Sources said it is more likely that he paved the way for Obama to think that he could tell Israel that the 1967 lines are to be the basis for discussion and that Jerusalem is on the negotiating table after the border issue. Both are anthema to Netanyahu.

Peres did slam Abbas’ decision to reunite with Hamas – announced after the two reportedly met – as “a fatal mistake” that would doom the chances for a new Arab state led by the PA. He also expressed concern that it would lead to the continuation of rocket attacks – which would now threaten all of Israel.

It remains unclear if Peres met with Abbas independently, or with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s knowledge, let alone approval. While Israel’s President, chosen by the Knesset and not the voters, is intended to serve ceremonial functions, Peres has continued his involvement in foreign policy as President and has made statements, possibly to promote events reflecting his own views and not those of the Likud-led, democratically elected government.


Friday, May 27th, 2011

by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNationalNews)

The United States, Qatar and the World Bank each pledged to give billions of dollars in aid to Egypt this week, in order to help the country boost its economy following the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to relieve Egypt of $1 billion in debt, and has offered an additional $1 billion in loans to improve infrastructure and create new jobs.

The World Bank pledged to provide $4.5 billion over the next 24 months, including at least $1 billion in budget support this year and $1 billion next year “dependent on progress.” The other $2.5 billion will be invested in development projects.

Saudi Arabia has pledged $4 billion in aid, and Qatar is considering projects worth more than $10 billion.

The International Monetary Fund sent a delegation to Cairo this week to discuss the possibility of a loan. Egypt is seeking up to $4 billion from the IMF. Once an IMF agreement is signed, the European Union will decide how much aid to give. EU officials are currently considering giving several hundred million euros.

The G8 is expected to approve a package including billions of dollars in aid and debt swaps.

Tunisia will get $1.5 billion from the World Bank, including budget support and money for investments.

The World Bank said in a statement, “Approximately 50-75 million jobs are needed over the next decade to absorb new labor market entrants and to bring down unemployment” in the Mideast and northern Africa. The World Bank warned, “Only 48 million jobs will be created if countries continue to grow as they did over the past decade.”

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the goal is “to try to stabilize and then modernize the economies of the region.”

The World Bank lowered its economic growth forecast for northern Africa and the Middle East to 3.6% from 5% this week, but has expressed hope that the overthrow of long-term authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia will lead to economic integration similar to that in eastern Europe in the 1990s.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Where is all this money coming from?)


Thursday, May 26th, 2011

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

Israel will purchase four more Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries to defend its citizens in the south against terrorist attacks from Gaza.

The systems, each of which costs approximately $50 million, will be purchased with financial assistance from the Pentagon.

U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Patrick O’Reilly, director for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, made the announcement Wednesday at a meeting of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee. “In our budget we have a proposal to assist with procurement of four more batteries,” he told the legislators. The Congress officially approved the expenditure last May.

Procurement of the batteries will cost the U.S. Department of Defense $200 million, according to Globes. Each Iron Dome system costs $50 million and each interceptor costs $40,000. The systems should be operational by late 2012.

U.S. President Barack Obama made the request to the Pentagon last year to purchase the systems for Israel.

In making the announcement, O’Reilly said he considers the system to be “highly effective” in combat. However, he added, he believes Israel faces a “daunting task” in defending itself against the onslaught of missile and mortar fire from Gaza terrorists against its communities in the south.

“This is one in which the United States benefits from understanding and studying exactly how they’ve been successful with the Iron Dome system,” he told the lawmakers, noting that American troops could face similar risks in future combat.

The Iron Dome anti-rocket system is designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortar shells with ranges of 5 km (3 miles) to 70 km (45 miles) and destroy them in mid-air. It is built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

At present, two such systems are deployed in Israel. One is located in Be’er Sheva, to defend the city against mid-range Grad Katyusha missiles that have been fired from Gaza. The other is deployed in the coastal city of Ashkelon, which has been attacked repeatedly by terrorists in the Hamas-ruled region.

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