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

Archive for November, 2013


Thursday, November 28th, 2013

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Israel has been accepted to join the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Maariv reported Thursday. The international body infamous for condemning the Jewish state will now add it to the list of 9 Western states.

The move is a complete about-face for the UNHRC, which in its 5-year history has condemned Israel over 46 times – more than any other nation in the world.

The UNHRC was also the body that appointed the Goldstone Commission’s investigation of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in the December 2008 – January 2009 Gaza War, eventually concluding that Israel had committed war crimes.

While Judge Richard Goldstone rescinded parts of his report in 2011, heavy damage had already been done to Israel’s reputation following what many view as a highly politicized smear campaign.

The US and other Western powers have already publicly declared that the UNHRC is in the wrong for condemning Israel. In October, Israeli diplomats demanded that the UNHRC stop harassing Israel in light of more pressing conflicts, like a nuclear Iran and the Syrian Civil War, which have remained largely ignored by the international rights group. The demand followed an 18-month boycott of the council after it demanded that Israel unconditionally retreat to 1949 Armistice lines.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his national security advisor Yaakov Amidror have set two requirements as preconditions for the resumption of cooperation with the Council.

The first is that European Union states agree to boycott the council meetings which are held under the anti-Israel Agenda Item 7 mandate, alongside the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Agenda Item 7 states that the UNHRC must discuss Israel’s alleged human rights violations each and every time the council convenes, regardless on what is occuring in other countries in the Middle East or around the world.

The EU has agreed to boycott the meetings at the next 2 UNHRC conventions. In the future, it could only participate in Agenda Item 7 discussions if there is a complete consensus over the issues at stake among every EU member state.

Maariv notes that is a near-impossibility. As such, those meetings have been effectively stripped of their Western representation – removing their efficacy as springboards for anti-Israel acitivity by Arab states.

The second condition is that Israel be accepted as part of the Western bloc in the UNHRC. Until now, Israel has not been assigned to any specific category, preventing it from taking effective action and singling it out even more. If not, Netanyahu has threatened to withdraw Israeli involvement from the UNHRC permanently.

Western member states have reportedly declared that they are making an attempt to quell differences among them and embrace Israel as a member state.

Maariv’s analysts attribute the sudden change to increased tensions over nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea as well as the upcoming Syria talks in Geneva later this year.

The UNHRC has expressed concern that a permanent Israeli withdrawal will not only encourage these countries to withdraw themselves as well – taking them off the international radar – but also reduce the relevancy of the Council in general as a result.

Israel will now be able to vote on UNHRC issues, including the selection of other member states, and defend itself against the claims brought against it. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Aharon (“Roni”) Leshno-Yaar will be sent to renew Israel’s presence on the Council, and is expected to join by the end of 2013.


Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)

On the Hanukkah menorah (called a hanukkiah), the shamash
(servant candle) sits higher than the other eight candles and is used
to light them. What a wonderful picture of how Yeshua, the Light
of the World, gives us the “light of life,” through the Ruach
HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit).

Hanukkah comes very early this year. Tonight is the first night!

All over the world tonight, the Jewish People will be lighting their hanukkiahs (Hanukkah menorahs) in remembrance of the miracles that God performed about 2200 years ago in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The first miracle was God’s deliverance.

For many years, the Jewish People had been oppressed by the Syrian/Greeks, who desecrated the Holy Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. They enforced idol worship and forbade Jews from reading and following the Torah.

God delivered the Jewish people through a Jewish priest named Mattathias and his sons. They led a small group of Jewish men to rise up against the 25,000 soldiers of the Syrian/Greek army.

When the Jewish priests entered the Temple to re-dedicate it and light the Menorah, only one small bottle of oil was found—enough to last one day.

Miraculously, that tiny supply of oil lasted eight full days.

This second miracle gave the priests enough time to create more sanctified oil to keep the Temple Menorah burning, as it had to be lit 24 hours a day.

Over 100 years later, Yeshua was at the Holy Temple on Hanukkah when He was asked directly, “Are you the Messiah?”

“Then came the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) at Jerusalem. It was winter and Yeshua (Jesus) was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. “The Jews gathered around Him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’” (John 10:22-24)

Let us rejoice together in the miracles of Hanukkah and the miracles that God is doing today in our lives.

May your holiday season be illuminated with the
Light of the World—Yeshua HaMashiach


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday hit back at those who criticized the deal that was reached over the weekend with Iran.

Speaking in San Francisco, Obama praised the talks that led to the deal with Iran, calling them “clear-eyed and principled” and saying that the United States “cannot close the door on diplomacy.”

“Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing for our security,” Obama charged.

Obama said the deal could help dismantle the history of “mistrust” between Iran and the West.

“If Iran seizes this opportunity and chooses to join the global community, then we can begin to chip away at the mistrust that’s existed for many many years between our two nations,” he said.

“When I first ran for President, I said it was time for a new era of American leadership in the world, one that turned the page on a decade of war and began a new era of engagement with the world,” added Obama. “As President and as Commander in chief, I’ve done what I’ve said.”

The deal with Iran has been criticized not only by Israel, but also by a group of senators from both parties, who vowed Sunday to impose more sanctions on Iran despite the deal.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed the deal on Sunday, saying. “As we learn more and more details about the agreement that was achieved last night in Geneva, it becomes increasingly clear how bad and dangerous this agreement is to the world, the region and Israel.”

“Iran is receiving billions of dollars in eased sanctions without having to pay any real price. Iran is receiving written approval to violate UN Security Council resolutions,” he added. “To a large degree, this agreement rescues Iran from the pressure it has been under and also gives it international legitimacy to continue its nuclear program. This is a bad agreement.”

Shortly after his remarks on Sunday evening, Netanyahu received a phone call from Obama to discuss the deal.

“The two leaders reaffirmed their shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has also hit out at critics of the deal, saying that those who criticize it have a responsibility to “tell people what the better alternative is.”


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

by Dalit Halevy (Arutz Sheva News)

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai cited “Egyptian sources” Tuesday as saying that Egyptian security forces recently arrested 17 people of various citizenships, who were members of three spy rings and were in touch with Israel’s Mossad agency.

The sources said that some of the people arrested are diplomats from unnamed countries, and that their intelligence reports had been transferred via diplomatic mail. These reports focused on the economic situation in Egypt, the public mood, as well as security and military information, especially with regard to the Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian security also found a large amount of photographs of military installations, military armored vehicles stationed in cities, and state-of-the-art means of espionage and communications that served to relay information to “another global spy agency.”

The Egyptian sources reportedly said that the country’s security and intelligence agencies stepped up their surveillance of diplomatic missions in Egypt after it turned out that some of them have been harboring “terror activists” and transferring funds to “terror organizations” attempting to create chaos in Egypt.

Several days ago, Egypt announced it was expelling the Turkish ambassador to Cairo because of Ankara’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s relations with Qatar also worsened after President Muhammad Morsi was deposed in July, because of the emirate’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mentioning Mossad in Egypt is often done simply in an attempt to discredit one’s rival.


Monday, November 25th, 2013

by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

A perusal of the text of the Iranian nuclear deal sealed Sunday reveals that the Parchin military base, suspected of being used to develop a nuclear weapon, does not appear in the agreement at all.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, Iran didn’t ratify an additional protocol to its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreement allowing on-demand inspections at Parchin and other sites. Furthermore, it is noted that Iran could send out UN inspectors at any time like North Korea did in 2009.

Walla similarly comments that the Iran deal did not address the Parchin issue at all.

It is suspected that nuclear weapons research is being conducted at the Parchin site, particularly as satellite imagery from August provided evidence of ongoing construction and testing being carried out in secret at the base.

The satellite evidence showed major alterations at the site which the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) says were meant to hide possible tests of conventional triggers for a nuclear explosion.

The evidence followed satellite images from August 2012 showing cleanup activities at the base, as well as images showing suspicious activities at a building suspected of housing nuclear blast experiments.

Furthermore, the IAEA has not been allowed in to inspect Parchin since 2005 despite calls by Yukiyo Amano, head of IAEA, to allow inspections.

The interim deal was reached between world powers and Iran on Sunday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the deal as being dangerous to the entire world, saying “this agreement rescues Iran from the pressure it has been under and also gives it international legitimacy to continue its nuclear program. This is a bad agreement.”

Netanyahu on Sunday further stated “today the world has become a more dangerous place, because the most dangerous regime in the world took another step towards achieving the most dangerous weapon in the world.”

Meanwhile, reports revealed Sunday that US President Barack Obama had approved secret talks that have been ongoing between the US and Iran for the past 6 months.


Monday, November 25th, 2013

by Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

French intelligence services planned to assassinate a leading Islamist cleric in Britain and disguise their operation as a neo-Nazi attack, according to an explosive report by anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate.

The plan to kill the infamous hook-handed hate-preacher Abu Hamza al Masri, was the result of growing frustration by French security services over the inaction of British authorities in the face of the growing threat of Islamist terrorism. Specifically, the French suspected Abu Hamza of having links to the terrorists responsible for the 1995 Paris Metro bombings.

The “Gateway To Terror” report alleges that French officials were so “fed up” with the lack of action by their British counterparts that they sought to “take matters into their own hands”. They often referred to the British capital as “Londonistan”, due to the apparent impunity with which al Qaeda and other Islamist networks were able to operate there.

In the aftermath of a deadly 1999 London nail-bombing campaign by a neo-Nazi terrorist, France’s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure hatched the plan, in which they would disguise their operation as a neo-Nazi hit.

“The plan was to impersonate the British Nazi group Combat 18 and then allow them to take the blame,” said the author of the report, Hope Not Hate’s Nick Lowles, according to the Express.

“In the aftermath of the London nail bombings, the French considered sending death threats in the style of Combat 18 and then killing him with the same type of weaponry that the group was thought to possess,” he explained.

The report also claims that prior to the assassination attempt, which was never carried out, French agents had planned to kidnap Abu Hamza from his London home and smuggle him to France on a ferry.

That plan, which was also aborted for unknown reasons, was the result of French concerns over an attack by Algerian terrorists linked to Abu Hamza on the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament.

The French intelligence agency also apparently planned to “take out” other senior British Islamists, according to the report.

After a long and controversial legal battle and following several years in a British jail, in 2012 Abu Hamza was extradited to the US over a range of serious terrorism charges


Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by Maayana Miskin (Arutz Sheva News)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference Sunday in which he praised Iran for its willingness to enter talks over its nuclear program, and answered critics of the deal the “P5+1” reached with Iran.

“I know that there are those who will assert that this deal is imperfect. Well, they too bear a responsibility, and that is to tell people what the better alternative is,” Kerry declared.

The deal has been criticized by Israeli leaders – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called it an “historic mistake,” while Minister Naftali Bennett warned it could lead to nuclear terrorism – and by Saudi leaders as well, who have termed the West’s willingness to trust Iran “incomprehensible.”

Netanyahu and Arab leaders urged western nations to keep the pressure on Iran through sanctions until Iranian leaders agreed to better terms. That was not an option, Kerry argued.

“Some might say we should simply continue to increase pressure – just turn up the screws, continue to put sanctions on, and somehow that’s going to push Iran towards capitulation or collapse. Not by any interpretation that we have from all the experts and all of the input that we have, and from all of the countries – the P5+1 – that took place in this today, none of them believe that would be the outcome,” he insisted.

“Instead, we believe that while we are engaged in that effort, Iran’s program would actually march forward… So we believe that you would wind up with an Iran with bigger stockpiles, with more advanced centrifuges and more progress at pursuing a plutonium track. And President Obama believes that doesn’t benefit anybody,” he continued.

Kerry suggested that if previous U.S. administrations had been willing to compromise, Iran’s nuclear program would have posed less of a threat. “In 1973 – 19 – excuse me, in 2003, when the Iranians made an offer to the former Administration with respect to their nuclear program, there were 164 centrifuges. That offer was not taken. Subsequently, sanctions came in, and today there are 19,000 centrifuges and growing,” he said.

Kerry also rejected arguments that the deal reached with Iran allows it to keep the essential elements of its nuclear program. “This first step, I want to emphasize, actually rolls back the program from where it is today, enlarges the breakout time, which would not have occurred unless this agreement existed,” he said.

The main goal is to allow international inspection of Iran’s nuclear program, he added.

Kerry thanked the U.S. negotiating team for its work. He also thanked Iranian leaders.

“While we obviously have profound differences with Iran yet to be resolved, the fact is that this agreement could not have been reached without the decision of the Iranian Government to come to the table and negotiate. And I want to say tonight that Foreign Minister Zarif worked hard, deliberated hard, and we are obviously, we believe, better that the decision was made to come here than not to, and to work hard to reach an agreement. And we thank the Foreign Minister for those efforts,” Kerry said.


Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK has declared the kingdom would not “sit idly by” if world powers fail to halt Iran’s nuclear program, reports Al Arabiya.

Ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, who was speaking to the British Times, called the Obama Administration’s “rush” to embrace Tehran “incomprehensible.”

“We are not going to sit idly by and receive a threat there and not think seriously how we can best defend our country and our region,” Prince Mohammed, who is Saudi King Abdullah’s nephew, said.

“Let’s just leave it there, all options are available,” he added, referring to possible defense plans made in response to Iran developing its nuclear capability.

He was speaking as negotiators from six world powers are in talks with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva in an attempt to get Tehran to commit to downgrading its nuclear program in return for several sanctions being lifted.

The interview, which was published on Friday, came days after the same British Times reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia may team up to fight Iran if talks between Iran and the West fail to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

According to the report, which appeared last Sunday, Israel would carry out the actual airstrike, with Saudi Arabia providing technical support.

Saudi Arabia later denied the report, clarifying it “has no relations or contacts with Israel of any kind or at any level.”

In fact, Prince Mohammed told The Times, while both the Saudi and Israeli government are keen to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, Israel should also have to show that its nuclear program is peaceful.

“The whole region will suffer from producing these weapons,” said the ambassador.

“It happens that everyone is talking about Iran, but Israel also has to prove that their program is a peaceful program, as we are demanding from the Iranians,” he added.

In order to ensure security in the Middle East, the international community should push Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, Prince Mohammed told The Times.

“The idea of introducing these weapons in the region is unacceptable to us and this concept of total security is a dream, there is no such thing… The total security of one country is the insecurity of another — that has to be understood,” he added.

Last month, Saudi Arabia rejected a seat on the United Nations Security Council due to frustrations of the UN’s failure to act on the Syrian conflict.

“We feel we have been let down and hence this is why we are asserting ourselves, making the message loud and clear,” Prince Mohammed told The Times.

“Our aim is very clear: [a] Sunni, Shiite or Christian President is not the issue. The issue is that the President of Syria is brutalizing his own people,” he indicated.


Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting by mounting a sharp attack on the agreement reached Saturday night between Iran and Western powers over the nuclear issue.

Netanyahu stated, “For the first time, the world’s leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran while ignoring the UN Security Council decisions that they themselves led. Sanctions that required many years to put in place contain the best chance for a peaceful solution. These sanctions have been given up in exchange for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be cancelled in weeks.”

“Implications of this agreement threaten many countries – including, of course, Israel. Israel is not bound by this agreement,” Netanyahu affirmed. “What we achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement; it is a historic mistake.”

He continued, “Today the world has become a more dangerous place, because the most dangerous regime in the world took another step towards achieving the most dangerous weapon in the world.”

Netanyahu’s remarks follow statements of satisfaction from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who claims that the deal is “safer for Israel.” The move also elicited praise from Regime leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who claims that the deal – which lifts economic sanctions in exchange for a reduction of Iran’s nuclear capabilities – was achieved “through the prayers of the Iranian people.”

Surprisingly, former Mossad head Efraim Halevy has fewer reservations regarding the deal. “It was naive to think that Iran would start dismantling centrifuges after the first round of talks,” Halevy stated Sunday, in an interview to Army Radio.

“We also must remember that from now on, inspectors will be visiting Iran’s nuclear facilities on a day-to-day basis,” Halevy continued. “If the Iranians hide [nuclear] sites – and if that concealment is revealed – any agreement will crumble. The Iranians will be slammed for fooling major powers and the consequences will be far-reaching,” he concluded.

Halevy’s position flies in the face of Israeli public opinion, which overwhelmingly supports an Iran strike, as a poll revealed earlier this month. The Israeli government has consistently rejected the “bad” deal, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said earlier Sunday that “all options are on the table” when it comes to a possible response.


Friday, November 22nd, 2013

by Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

Riyadh has urged Saudi Arabian citizens to flee Lebanon in light of Tuesday morning’s bombing on the Iranian embassy, according to statements released Thursday.

“Given the danger of the situation in Lebanon, the Saudi Embassy has urged its citizens to leave the country for their own safety,” Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Awad Asiri stated, to the Lebanese National News Agency. Tuesday’s attack, launched by an Iranian-founded branch of al-Qaeda, left 23 dead and 146 wounded.

The Daily Star reports that this is the second Saudi travel advisory for Saudis in Lebanon in two months. In September, the Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry warned its nationals against travel to Lebanon when the U.S. was preparing for a strike against Syria.

The embassy sent text messages to its nationals in the country, asking them to depart or remain cautious in case they decided to stay. “Amid the current situation and the tensions, the Saudi Embassy advises its citizens to return home or remain cautious,” the text message read.

Tensions in between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have been mounting, as the Saudis continue to crack down on Lebanese terror activity in light of the ongoing and bloody conflict in nearby Syria. Saudi Arabia announced earlier this year that it will deport Lebanese citizens who are known supporters of Hizbullah in protest of the Shi’ite terror group’s military support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Daily Star also reported in July that the future of Lebanese leadership depends on Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Iran, causing complications throughout the Middle East.

Rumors continue to swirl that Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf States are preparing an elaborate military plan in the events that diplomatic talks with Iran fails, in order to prevent the region from becoming a nuclear hotbed.

While Saudi Arabia has officially denied these claims, Western media continues to insist that talks between Jerusalem and Riyadh – who officially do not have any diplomatic contact whatsoever – are currently underway.

Meanwhile, Iranian-Saudi relations may be under increased strain, following Thursday’s mortar bombing in the Gulf State by an Iran-linked terror group.

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