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

Archive for December, 2011


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Photo by: NIR ELIAS / Reuters

Iron Dome successful in downing 75% of rockets
12/30/2011 01:53

(Jerusalem Post)

The Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system has succeeded in intercepting rockets from Gaza 75 percent of the time it fired interceptors at incoming enemy projectiles, according to an analysis of its performance obtained by The Jerusalem Post.

The system usually fires two interceptors at each incoming missile.

US may buy Iron Dome to defend ME base.

“Seventy-five percent is impressive, but we would still like to see it perform better,” one officer said.

The Israel Air Force deployed the system in southern Israel in late March. Since then, it has been activated during the three significant rounds of violence between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip – in April, August and October.

In the first round of violence in April, for example, the Iron Dome succeeded in intercepting eight of 10 rockets; in August 22 of 28, and in October 3 of 9.

Following the October violence, the IDF conducted an inquiry into the Iron Dome’s performance and discovered that a radar failure caused some of the interceptors to miss their targets.

The problem has since been fixed.

Israel currently has three Iron Dome batteries in operation and plans to deploy the fourth in the coming months. Its plan is to deploy a total of nine batteries by mid-2013.

Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-to-70 km., and each battery consists of a multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors named Tamir.

The IAF Air Defense Division, which operates Iron Dome, holds regular operational probes and senior officers said that the system – which was developed in record time and immediately deployed in the field due to the rocket threat from Gaza – was still being studied and perfected on a daily basis.

Meanwhile Thursday, a disaster was averted when 20 Iron Dome interceptors fell several meters off of the back of a truck. The accident occurred after the missiles were improperly secured while being loaded onto a truck for maintenance, the IDF said.

A number of soldiers and officers were nearby, but no one was injured. The rockets are built with a safety mechanism to ensure they only explode when fired from a launcher.

The missiles were damaged and will be removed from operational service.

Each interceptor costs around $50,000 and usually two are fired at rockets slated for interception, putting the loss at roughly $1 million.

IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By REUTERS (Jerusalem Post)

US cannot “tell Iran what to do in the Strait of Hormuz” says senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander.

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said that the United States was not in a position to tell Tehran “what to do in the Strait of Hormuz”, state television reported.

Tehran’s threat to block crude shipments through the crucial passage for Middle Eastern suppliers followed the European Union’s decision to tighten sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, as well as accompanying moves by the United States to tighten unilateral sanctions.
Iran has most to lose by closing Strait of Hormuz.

USA, Israel discuss ‘triggers’ for Iran attack!

Iran’s English-language Press TV quoted Hossein Salami as saying: “Any threat will be responded by threat … We will not relinquish our strategic moves if Iran’s vital interests are undermined by any means.”

Separately, Salami was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency: “Americans are not in a position whether to allow Iran to close off the Strait of Hormuz.”

The US Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it would not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a strip of water separating Oman and Iran.

At loggerheads with the West over its nuclear program, Iran said earlier it would stop the flow of oil through the strait in the Gulf if sanctions were imposed on its crude exports.

Analysts say that Iran could potentially cause havoc in the Strait of Hormuz which connects the biggest Gulf oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. At its narrowest point, it is 21 miles across.

But its navy would be no match for the firepower of the Fifth Fleet which consists of 20-plus ships supported by combat aircraft, with 15,000 people afloat and another 1,000 ashore.


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by Giulio Meotti (IsraelNationalNews)

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has offered the Palestinians a powerful tool of propaganda: the comparison with Jesus’ passion.

“We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort”, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said during his Christmas Mass sermon at Westminster Cathedral. “A shadow falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem tonight … We pray for them tonight”.

It would have been more in keeping with Nicholas’ mission to mention hundreds of Christians losing their lives to Islamic terrorism and oppressed by Palestinian Muslim dictatorship.

Nichols’ sermon has an historical value, because now the entire Christian hierarchy in the UK, Catholic and Protestant as well, is part of the global battle against Israel.

There is a virulent animosity towards the Jewish state in the established churches in Britain, which promulgate inflammatory libels against it.

Recently Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, compared Israel to apartheid in South Africa. “The situation resembles the apartheid system in South Africa because Gaza is next to one of the most sophisticated and modern countries in the world – Israel”, said Morgan.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, joined the Church of England’s General Synod, which voted to disinvest Church funds from “companies that make profits from Israel’s occupation”.

Archbishop Morgan said in a lecture on the relationship between religion and violence: “Messianic Zionism began a policy of cleansing the Promised Land of all Arabs and non-Jews rather than co-existing with them”.

But there has been no such “cleansing” at all in the disputed territories. The only attempt at “cleansing” has been the Palestinian attempt to kill as many Jews as possible.

According to Canon Andrew White, replacement theology is dominant and present in almost every church, fueling the venom against Israel.

The revised version of “Whose Promised Land?”, a highly influentiual book by the Anglican thinker Colin Chapman, recycles the worst Christian anti-Jewish theology. “When seen in the context of the whole Bible, however, both Old and New Testaments, the promise of the land to Abraham and his descendants does not give anyone a divine right to possess or to live in the land for all time because the coming of the kingdom of God through Jesus the Messiah has transformed and reinterpreted all the promises and prophecies in the Old Testament”, writes Chapman camouflaging anti-Jewish replacement theology, which helped fuel burnings at stake and pogroms during the Middle Ages, as a dispassionate analysis of the conflict of Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Bishop John Gladwin, a separate Palestinian state would be merely a “first step”. “Ultimately, one shared land is the vision one would want to pursue”.

A Palestinian cleric, Naim Ateek, has an immense influence in contemporary British Christianity, not least through his Sabeel Centre in Jerusalem. Ateek’s denunciations of Israel include imagery linking the Jewish State to the charge of deicide that for centuries fueled anti-Jewish bloodshed.

For example, Ateek wrote about “modern-day Herods” in Israel, referring to the king who the New Testament says slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to murder the newborn Jesus.

At the beginning of the XIX century, the UK Christian clergy was a driving force behind the Zionist enterprise, inspired by a brave interpretation of the Bible. A century later, British Christianity is one of the major producers of blood libels against the Jews.


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

Israeli officials are again warning Washington that time is almost up, and that the Iranian nuclear threat is growing stronger — this time based on soil samples collected near suspected sites.Investigative reporter Eli Lake writes this week in an exclusive report published in The Daily Beast that a delegation of Israeli diplomats, IDF officers and intelligence officials raised the issue at a meeting in the U.S. capital during the annual “strategic dialogue” conference earlier this month.

Israel’s presentation on the Iranian nuclear program included intelligence based on soil samples that indicated the Islamic Republic is building secret reactors to produce nuclear fuel.Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon confirmed in a December 24 speech in Jerusalem that although Iran probably did indeed suspend their nuclear technology activity in 2003, they resumed the drive to produce an atomic weapon by 2005.

U.S. national intelligence estimates still claim that Iran has not resumed its weaponization work — with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claiming an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret.”In response, Israel cites the document recently uncovered by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showing detailed plans for construction of a “neutron initiator” as evidence that time is rapidly running out.

As Lake explains, the neutron initiator is a pellet that sits at the middle of the nuclear core and is crushed by high explosives in a nuclear explosion. The existence of such a document is concrete proof that Iran is continuing its weaponization activity.The November 2011 IAEA report stated plainly that intelligence shared by member states appears to show that Iran has conducted explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons research.

The stakes are high, and not all Israeli politicians believe it is clear that Israel can trust the United States when the chips are down.As Ya’alon put it, “There is no credible military action when we hear leaders from the West, saying, ‘this is not a real option,’ saying, ‘the price of military action is too high.'”


Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

The few remaining Christians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip marked a very somber Christmas this year, reports The Guardian’s Pheobe Greenwood from Gaza City.

Greenwood is told by most local Christians that Hamas effectively cancelled Christmas after seizing control of Gaza in 2007, and that any open celebration of the Christian holiday is met with threats of arrest, or worse.

“People here do not celebrate Christmas anymore because they are nervous,” Imad Jelda, an Orthodox Christian, told the reporter. Fewer than 1,400 Christians live among Gaza’s 1.5 million Muslims.

Two brothers from another local Christian family explained how Christmas is supposed to be a time for family, but that much of their family had been forced to flee under threat of Muslim violence.

One brother, Peter Qubrsi, told Greenwood, “This is not a Christian environment. There are no good universities [for Christians], there is no opportunity to work, no apartments to rent and so no way we can get married. We have no future here.”

Meanwhile, much of the international community continues to blame Israel for the dwindling number of Christians in the Holy Land.

Expect Israel’s antagonists to gloss over and dismiss this rare truthful report regarding the true reasons behind the disappearance of Christian communities in the region.


Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Gavriel Queenann (Arutz Sheva News)

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar said that he expected the Islamic terror movement would “win a sweeping victory” in upcoming PA legislative elections scheduled for May. Zahar is confident Hamas will improve on their 2006 election victory, where they won 74 of an available 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Analysts say a sweeping victory for Hamas in next year’s electoral election would put the terror enclave firmly in control of PA enclaves in Judea and Samara. Such a scenario, they say, could force Israel to take high-profile steps to dismantle the increasingly moribund Oslo Accords.

Zahar made the remarks during an interview with London based pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper – adding Hamas had yet to settle on a presidential candidate.

Asked whether Hamas is an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, Zahhar deflected the question saying “there is no need for such a debate, what is important is the cultural project.”

“We don’t interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries because we believe that one day we will receive support from Arab and Islamic countries in order to realize our goals.”

Zahar – a Cairo academic – and other founding members of Hamas were closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood before they founded Hamas in the 1980’s.

Zahar said a movement like the Arab Spring becomes “inevitable” when Arab and Islamic countries experience “oppression, injustice, occupation and hunger.”

He added that organizations in the Arab world should establish a “federal union” tapping into youth movements as a way of influencing regional politics.

“This movement should believe in its religion and recruit all those who serve their homeland’s interests in order to be able to reform the nation.”

In 2006 elections, Hamas defeated the Fatah movement, which had long-dominated PA politics and then seized Gaza in a violent putsch in 2007.

Hamas has used the coastal enclave to stage numerous terror attacks and fire thousands of rockets and mortars on Israeli communities.

Last week Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal announced Hamas and its terror confederates would join the PLO ahead of forming a national unity government.

Despite Hamas’ much-hailed new political pragmatism, both Hamas and the PLO maintain ‘armed resistance’ is the only path to an ‘indivisible Palestine’ – leaving no room for the Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the induction of Hamas into the PLO meant peace negotiations were now impossible.


Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Any number of political analysts have tried to write off the electoral gains by Islamist parties in Egypt, insisting that once in power, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist al-Nour Party will take a pragmatic approach to governing.

It is the same nonsense that was spouted as the Nazis rose to power in Germany, when the Ayatollah Khomeini made his triumphant return to Iran, when Yasser Arafat’s PLO terrorist organization was elevated to the status of a national government, and when Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election.

On December 17, an Egyptian mob – presumably of the type that has been voting for the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour – demonstrated that they have no intention of “modernizing” or adopting Western-style pragmatism when they torched the Institute of Egypt in Cairo.

Among the casualties of the Islamist assault were some 192,000 rare books and manuscripts.

The Institute of Egypt was established by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in the late 18th century. For centuries the Institute of Egypt housed priceless chronicles of the nation’s history, as well as the findings of hundreds of top scholars and scientists.

The Institute of Egypt symbolized Egypt’s connection to the West, and for many its establishment was the start of the “modern era” in Egypt. And that is why it had to go. Because Egypt’s Islamists have no intention of modernizing, not on Western terms, at any rate. Like the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, their ultimate goal is to return Egypt to a medieval form of life where a strict interpretation of Sharia Law governs the actions of all.

The first to suffer will be Egypt’s Christians. They are suffering already.

But most of this is being ignored by an international community determined to paint the “Arab Spring” as a positive phenomenon. It is certainly a positive thing to throw off the yoke of a repressive dictatorship. But it is a negative thing to replace that repressive dictatorship with oppressive theocratic rule.

That the world is championing this change in Egypt when just 30 years ago the same scenario played out in Iran with devastating results just goes to show that mankind is doomed to never learn from his mistakes.


Monday, December 26th, 2011

by Elad Benan (IsraelNatinalNews)

Canada tightens its sanctions on Syria, bans export of software for telephone and internet monitoring.

“Canada will continue to put the squeeze on the Assad regime,” Baird was quoted by the CBC as having said about President Bashar Assad. “We will not sit idly by — not while Assad and his thugs continue to violate the rights of the Syrian people.”

Baird added that all imports from Syria with the exception of food will be barred. In addition, he said, all new investment in Syria is banned, and the export of equipment, including software for the monitoring of telephone and internet communications, will be blocked.

He said Canada will also freeze assets and prohibit economic dealings with additional individuals and entities associated with the Assad regime.

“The vise is tightening on Assad,” Baird was quoted as saying, and he added, “Assad will fall. The government will fall. It’s only a matter of time.”

CBC noted that over the past several months, Canada has imposed bans on the import of Syrian oil and petroleum products, and barred any financing of that country’s oil sector. Canada has also placed travel restrictions, an asset freeze and a prohibition on dealings with members of the Syrian regime.

Baird announced the new sanctions on the same day that two suicide car bombs killed 44 people in Damascus.

Syrian officials subsequently blamed al-Qaeda terrorists for the bombings, saying al-Qaeda is linked to dissident Syrian Forces leaders who support the Turkish-backed insurgency against Assad’s government.

The Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group, however, blamed the United States for the twin car bombings, saying Washington was the “mother of terrorism.”

“These bombings which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of people, mostly women and children, are the specialty of the United States, the mother of terrorism,” Hizbullah said in a statement.

Meanwhile, residents in the Syrian city of Homs called for western intervention on Saturday after activists said the area has come under renewed attack from forces loyal to Assad.

Al Jazeera cited residents who told the network on Saturday that army tanks were shelling the city. Activists in the Bab Amr district said they had been under siege for the last 48 hours.


Sunday, December 25th, 2011

by Gavriel Queenann (Arutz Sheva News)

The Israel Antiquities Authority held a special press conference in Jerusalem’s City of David on Sunday to unveil a rare coin from the Second Temple era.

The cartouche – or seal – never seen by the public before, is the size of the modern New Israeli Shekel coin and bears the Aramaic inscriptions “it is pure” and a two-letter abbreviation for the name of God.

It was discovered near the Robinson’s Arch at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. Archeologists say the soil layer above the Herodian road where the seal was found was dated to the first century BCE.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority, and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, who oversaw the excavation, explained to reporters the significance of the coin.

“This is the first time an object of this kind has been found. It is direct archaeological evidence of Jewish activity on the Temple Mount during the Second Temple era,” they said.

“Products being brought to the temple had to be stamped pure – which is what this seal was used for,” they added.

Such seals are mentioned in the Mishna and discussed in the Talmud – but the cartouche unveiled today does not match any of the four inscriptions included in extant texts.

“What we know is brought down from the surviving literature,” the archeologists said. “Here archeology has brought us something new.”

Minister of Culture Limor Livnat and Minister of Education Gideon Saar joined dozens of students for the unveiling.

Saar said, “The seal shows the deep connection of Israel to the City of David. It is important in excavations like these that demonstrate our bond to Jerusalem. Everything uncovered here strengthens us.”

In addition to the seal other artifacts were discovered dating to Second Temple period, and some to the days of the Hasmoneans – such as oil lamps, cooking pots made of clay, a jug containing oils and perfumes, as well as coins of the Hasmonean kings such as Alexander Jannaeus and John Hyrcanus.


Friday, December 23rd, 2011

HANUKKAH – Festival of Lights

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that begins on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. It celebrates the re-kindling of the Temple Menorah at the time of the Maccabee rebellion.


175 BC – Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) comes to power (Seleucid)
168 BC – The Temple is robbed, Jews are massacred and Judaism is outlawed
167 BC – Antiochus orders an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple

Mattathias and his five sons (John, Simon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah) lead a rebellion against Antiochus!

Apparently Antiochus also sacrificed a pig on the altar, and poured the blood on the Scripture scrolls.

166 BC – Mattathias dies and Judah becomes the leader – the Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom begins and lasts until 63 BC

165 BC – Jewish revolt is successful and the Temple is liberated and rededicated!


Hanukkah is known also as the “Feast of Dedication” and the “Festival of Lights.” Legend says that the oil that is used in lighting the interior of the Temple was miraculously supplied for eight days until Antiochus was defeated by the Maccabees. That is the reason for the eight candles on the Hanukkah Menorah (called “Hanukkiyah”). The central candle (called “shammash” or “servant candle”) illustrates the presence of the LORD and many believe was symbolical of the light of the Messiah the servant of the LORD (Isaiah 42:1-6).

Although most of the history concerning this event is found in books written before the time of Yeshua and the New Testament, the Gospel of John records that Yeshua visited this festival (John 10:22).

Foods for the occasion include “latkes” (potato pancakes) and donuts that are fried in oil to remind us of the miracle of the oil.

It is possible that its close proximity to Christmas led to the tradition of giving presents on each of the eight days of this festival.

It is also traditional for children to play “dreydel” (a top that spins) games, reminding us of God’s deliverance from the Seleucids.

A blessing is recited all eight nights just prior to the lighting of the candles – “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.”

A second blessing is often said on each night: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors, in those days, at this moment.”

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