Friday, July 27, 2007
MARKET TUMBLES TWICE THIS WEEK
THE BIBLE SAYS THERE WILL BE A STOCK MARKET CRASH SOMEWHERE DOWN THE LINE. IN JAMES 5:1-3 THE RICHES THAT PEOPLE HAVE STORED UP HAVE COME TO NOT, AND THEIR WEEPING AND WAILING. THEY HEAPED TREASURES FOR THE LAST DAYS AND GOLD AND SILVER IS USELESS. AND IN JERIMIAH 7:19 THEY (STOCK TRADERS) ARE THROWING THEIR GOLD AND SILVER IN THE STREETS AS IT IS WORTHLESS, AND THEIR WEALTH WILL DESTROY THEM INSTEAD OF PROTECT THEM IN THE DAY OF THE LORD (THE TRIBULATION PERIOD)
AS OF 2PM FRIDAY THE STOCK MARKET IS DOWN 113 POINTS AGAIN THE DOW.
Market braces after Dow dives
July 27, 2007 - 8:59AM
Traders show the stress on the floor of New York Stock Exchange today Wall Street suffered its second-biggest plunge of the year. Photo: AP
The Australian share market is expected to be hit hard this morning by the massive declines in New York with a particularly bleak outlook for the miners, as all metals but tin traded lower overnight.At 6.49am on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index was down 160 points to 6084.Australian stocks tumbled last night, led by miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 82 points lower at 6258.5, while the All Ordinaries lost 76.6 points to 6301.4.The Australian dollar opened weaker today. At 7am it was trading at $US0.8710/12, down from yesterday's close of $US0.8837/43.
The falls come after US shares plunged with key indices losing more than 2 per cent in one of the worst selloffs this year by investors gripped by housing market and credit crunch fears.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 448 points on more signs of deterioration in the US housing market and problems in financing corporate takeovers before bouncing back, ending down 296 points or 2.15 per cent at 13,489.51 at the closing bell.Earnings reports also weighed on stocks. A drop in quarterly profit at Exxon Mobil Corp. wiped out more than $16 billion in market value of the world's largest publicly traded company. Exxon's stock slid 5.4 percent to $87.72.Worrying news on housing came from home builders DR Horton and Beazer Homes. Both posted quarterly losses.Financial shares took a beating on concern that the problems of the battered subprime mortgage market will spread.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 375.23 points, or 2.72 percent, at 13,409.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 45.75 points, or 3.01 percent, at 1,472.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 75.12 points, or 2.84 percent, at 2,573.05.You have to have a simmering effect now. We've just gone in one direction - north, said Todd Schoenberger, executive director of brokerage at USAA.The question is: where are we going with corporate credit? he said.The Chicago Board of Options Exchange's volatility index , a gauge for measuring investor anxiety, shot to its highest level in more than 13 months.Late morning, as losses mounted, the New York Stock Exchange imposed trading curbs to restrict large-block sales when a stock is falling.Beazer's stock was down 11.9 percent at $15.01 while D.R. Horton was down 3.8 percent at $16.81.
In addition to the weak corporate results, a government report showed a sharper-than-expected drop in June new home sales, while home builder WCI Communities Inc. said the real estate market downturn was hurting its push to sell itself. The stock fell 21 percent to $8.95 on the NYSE.Exxon led decliners on the S&P 500, following by Citigroup Inc., down 4.2 percent at $47.19. Adverse credit market conditions are spilling over into the financing of corporate deals, which have helped to drive stocks to recent record highs.Dow Chemical Co. reported a slight increase in quarterly earnings, but its shares fell 5.9 percent to $42.99, as some analysts argued that a lower-than-expected tax rate helped boost earnings more than improved demand.European shares also fell across the board yesterday, suffering their biggest daily drop in five months.
Banks were among the biggest drag on the index with Royal Bank of Scotland Credit Suisse and UBS down between 3.0 and 3.4 per cent.Frankfurt's DAX lost 2.4 percent, Paris's CAC 40 declined 2.8 per cent and London's FTSE 100 tumbled 3.2 per cent.The FTSE 100 slid by the biggest one-day percentage since March 2003. The banking and mining sectors were worst hit by economic jitters.AFP/REUTERS/THE AGE.COM
EU, US to make GPS and Galileo satellite networks compatible Thu Jul 26, 1:27 PM ET
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union and the United States agreed on Thursday to make the US GPS satellite navigation system and its EU rival Galileo compatible, they said in a joint statement. EU and US experts agreed on plans for a signal, dubbed multiplexed binary offset carrier or MBOC, to be used by both the popular US Global Positioning System and the EU's Galileo system, which is still in development.In the future, users will be able to receive signals from both systems, which would allow for more precise services and wider geographical coverage.
The military-run GPS, developed in the United States and due to be updated, has long been used in cars, boats and aircraft for positioning as well in mapping, fisheries and scientific research.Meanwhile, Europe's Galileo system is intended to be a rival to GPS, but it has failed to get off the ground due to cost over-runs and bickering among the private contractors.A Commission spokesman said the agreement would allow GPS to be more precise even when there was strong interference, allowing it to locate an object to within 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) instead of 10 currently.Galileo, which is scheduled to be operational in 2012, is supposed to be able to locate an object to within one metre.
Abbas Wants Israel Peace Deal in a Year JULY 27,07
Abbas Says He Hopes to Reach a Peace Agreement With Israel in Less Than a Year
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heads a cabinet meeting at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, July 26, 2007. Abbas said Thursday he hopes to reach a final peace agreement with Israel in a year or less.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) The Associated Press By KARIN LAUB Associated Press Writer RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP)
Share Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hopes to reach a full peace deal with Israel within a year, after Israel's prime minister floated the idea of starting with a joint declaration on the contours of a Palestinian state. Abbas spoke to reporters after telling an Israeli newspaper that President Bush promised him he would push hard to conclude a Mideast agreement before he leaves the White House in January 2009.Israel Gaza Strip George W Bush Salam Fayyad Hamas Islamic Jihad In the Gaza Strip, three Israeli airstrikes killed five Palestinians, including the military leader of the Islamic Jihad there. Later, four Islamic Jihad members were wounded in a firefight with Hamas forces at the scene of one of the airstrikes, following a dispute over items in the targeted vehicle, witnesses said.
Also Thursday, Mohammed Dahlan, a leader of Abbas' vanquished forces in Gaza, said he would resign as national security adviser, citing health reasons. Dahlan was widely blamed for the surprising collapse of the pro-Abbas forces in five days of fighting that ended with Hamas' takeover of the coastal Gaza strip last month.
A committee of inquiry appointed by Abbas recommended Thursday that 60 members of the security forces face trial for their poor performance in Gaza, said an Abbas aide, Rafiq Husseini.The Hamas takeover of Gaza has spurred a flurry of diplomatic activity, with the international community lining up behind Abbas and his West Bank-based government of moderates.On Thursday the government, headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, approved a platform that includes acceptance of all previous peace deals with Israel. The Hamas refusal to endorse the peace accords and renounce violence led to an international aid cutoff. The aid has been restored to Fayyad's government.
Bush is planning an international peace conference in the fall, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is arriving next week for more talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is settling in as the international Mideast envoy.Abbas was quoted Thursday by the Israeli daily Maariv and the comments were later confirmed by his aides that Bush and Rice told him they'd work hard for a final peace deal within a year.The Americans are determined to push the sides to reach a peace agreement during President Bush's current term, Abbas was quoted as saying. I heard this with my own ears from the president himself and from Secretary of State Rice.
Asked Thursday about the U.S. assurances, Abbas was evasive, but said We hope to have a comprehensive peace with the Israelis within a year or even less than that.
Yossi Beilin, leader of Israel's dovish Meretz Party, said Abbas told him Thursday that he wants to move quickly toward a final peace deal. If there is an opportunity now, then it's better to go for the whole thing than a declaration of principles, Beilin quoted Abbas as saying.Beilin said Abbas' time in office was also a factor. The maximum he has is another year-and-a-half. He does not have any intention to be a candidate for another term, Beilin said.However, Abbas also reiterated Thursday that he wants to hold early presidential and legislative elections, though he has not set a date. It's not clear whether Abbas would refrain from running if a vote is held soon. A potential successor as leader of his Fatah movement, Marwan Barghouti, is serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison.
Olmert's aides, meanwhile, confirmed the prime minister wants to formulate a declaration detailing what a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank would look like. However, they hinted that it would leave out the most difficult issues, such as final borders and the fate of Palestinian refugees.In the Maariv interview, however, Abbas said the final result must be resolved first.It's likely that implementation will take time, that the timetable will be drawn out, but what's important is that the Palestinians know the final result, the end game, at the start,Abbas was quoted as saying.2007 The Associated Press.
Senior Israeli official backs negotiated pullout from most of West Bank
Eds: INCORPORATES BC-Israel-Ramon.AP Photos By MATTI FRIEDMAN Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM (AP) -- One of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's closest confidants said Friday that Israel should withdraw from most of the West Bank in a negotiated deal with the Palestinians and that a previous plan for a major unilateral pullback was no longer viable. Vice-premier Haim Ramon, one of the politicians closest to Olmert, told Israel Radio that he favored reducing the Israeli presence in the West Bank to the large settlement blocs and that NATO forces could replace Israeli troops in the areas evacuated. In my eyes, the occupation of the territories threatens our very existence, our legitimacy and our international standing, Ramon said in the radio interview. The major blocs are in the northern and southern parts of the West Bank and to the east of Jerusalem. According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, more than 100,000 of the approximately 260,000 West Bank settlers live in these three clusters.
Ramon would not specify the scope of the pullout he envisaged, but said a plan floated by Olmert before his election in 2006 for a unilateral pullout from 90 percent of the West Bank was no longer a possibility, certainly not in one step.
He said Israel's 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was an option of last resort forced by the breakdown of talks with the Palestinians in 2000, and that the political situation has been transformed since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' split last month with the radical Islamic Hamas. That split led to Abbas' installation of a government of Western-leaning moderates under former international banker Salam Fayyad. The Palestinian Authority is now headed by two people committed to negotiations and fighting terror, Ramon said. We have a partner. The moment there's a partner, we must renew negotiations with him and reach agreements, he said. In an interview published Friday in the mass-circulation Israeli daily Maariv, Abbas praised Olmert and was upbeat about prospects for progress toward peace.
I am optimistic, I work with Olmert, the paper quoted Abbas as saying. We are about to meet every few weeks and move forward, he said. The two leaders last met July 16, in Jerusalem. An official in Olmert's office said Friday no date or venue had so far been finalized for the next session. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is arriving next week for talks with Olmert and Abbas, but her office hasn't said if there will be a joint meeting of the three. In an excerpt from the Maariv interview released Thursday, Abbas said both Rice and President Bush promised to push hard to conclude a Mideast agreement before Bush leaves the White House, in January 2009. I heard this with my own ears from the president himself and from Secretary of State Rice, Abbas told the paper. They want to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in the next year. His aides confirmed those comments.
Aides to Olmert said Thursday he wants to formulate a declaration detailing what a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank would look like. However, they hinted that it would leave out the most difficult issues, such as final borders and the fate of Palestinian refugees. Abbas ejected Hamas from a coalition government after the group's fighters chased his Fatah forces out of the Gaza Strip last month in five days of brutal fighting. Abbas aide Nabil Amr said Friday that security officials and field commanders deemed responsible for the defeat would face trial or disciplinary proceedings within the Fatah movement. More than a dozen people have already resigned from their posts, including Mohammed Dahlan, a former Gaza strongman who was not in Gaza during the fighting.
There are those whom a court of law or justice will hold accountable, and there are those whom Fatah will handle, Amr said. He did not mention any names, but said some senior Fatah members could face disciplinary action. The Hamas takeover of Gaza spurred a new round of diplomatic activity, with the international community lining up behind Abbas and his moderate government. On Thursday, the government approved a platform that includes acceptance of all previous peace deals with Israel. Hamas' refusal to endorse the peace accords and renounce violence led to an international aid cutoff. The aid has been restored to Fayyad's government.
Ramon Wants NATO to Protect Israel JULY 27,07
(IsraelNN.com) Additional details from Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon's interview on Kol Yisrael radio this morning: Ramon wants NATO forces to be in charge of security in the areas Israel hands over to the Palestinian Authority. Ramon did not say how much of Judea and Samaria should be vacated by Israel, but he did say that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's pre-election Converegence plan, which called for handing over 90% of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs, is no longer on the table, at least not as a one-step plan.
Iran, 2; Israel 0 - By Caroline B. Glick
Iran has built webs of alliances with other nations, alliances that have significantly deepened since last summer's war. Time for America, Israel to wake up
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Jafar Kiani was an anonymous Iranian prisoner until earlier in the month he became the first Iranian to be stoned to death since 2002. Iran's decision to revert to domestic barbarism is just one aspect of the regime's strategy for terrorizing its people sufficiently to quell all pockets of resistance to its rule. The regime's determination to prevent an internal rebellion is an integral part of its larger plan to cast aside all obstacles to its acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Iran already possesses what it needs to make nuclear bombs. What it needs is time. Last summer's war against Israel was timed to provide Iran with a respite from international pressure. Hizbullah's abduction of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser took place the day before the leaders of the G-8 were scheduled to discuss Iran's nuclear program. By ordering the assault on Israel, Iran diverted their attention away from its nuclear program. Ever since the war, the Olmert government has declared that the war split the Muslim world into two camps -- the moderates and the extremists. Operating on the basis of this perceived split, Israel has sought to build a coalition with the moderates in the hopes that such a coalition will block Iran from acquiring the bomb.
A year after the war, the time has come to make a renewed assessment of the situation. Are moderates blocking Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? If not, what has transpired? A good place to start the analysis is with an item that appeared on both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's to-do list this week. Both leaders telephoned Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan to congratulate him on his Islamist AKP party's electoral victory on Sunday. Turkey is perceived as the paragon of Muslim moderation. Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and President Shimon Peres have all stated that Israeldoes not have a problem with AKP's Islamist character. Indeed, in a bow towards Turkish friendship, Olmert revealed last week that Turkey has been facilitating talks between Israel and Syria towards an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights.
Yet Ankara's readiness to encourage Israel to hand the Golan Heights over to Iran's client state does not necessarily indicate that Turkey is Israel's friend. Indeed, since the AKP rose to power in 2002, it has distanced Turkeyfrom both Israel and the US while warming Turkish relations with Iran and Syria. Starting with Turkey's refusal to participate or support the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, recent years have been marked by steadily increasing Turkish hostility. Two weeks ago, to Washington's dismay, Turkey signed a $3.5 billion gas deal with Iran. As to Israel, Erdogan was the first leader to host Hamas terror masters after the jihadist movement won the Palestinian elections in January 2006. During last summer's war, Iran shipped arms to Hizbullah through Turkey. Turkey's leaders have repeatedly declared their support for Iran's right to develop its nuclear program.
Iran's courtship of Turkey is but one aspect of its foreign policy. Over the past several years, Iran has built webs of alliances with other states, alliances that have significantly deepened since last summer's war. In the first circle, Iran has its clients -- Syria, Hizbullah, the Shiite, (and increasingly the Sunni), militias in Iraq, and the Palestinians. Just as these forces fought together last summer, so they will fight together in the future. Ahmadinejad's visit to Damascus last weekend was strikingly similar to meetings he held with his terror underlings before last summer's war. In its second circle, Iran has cultivated strategic ties with countries in Latin America, which led by Venezuela, share its hatred for America. These ties serve three purposes. First, they provide Iran with a global deterrent against the US. Second, they provide Iran with ready support in diplomatic forums. Third, they build support for Iran among the progressive set in the US and Europe.
In Iran's third circle of alliances are countries like Russia, China and Egypt. While all these states publicly oppose Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, they effectively block the international community from taking effective action against Iran's nuclear program. In the meantime, Israel's coalition of moderates has failed to materialize. The leaders of the sought for coalition, Saudi Arabia and Egypt refuse to take any action against Iran. Indeed, they effectively support Teheran. In February, Saudi King Abdullah feted Ahmadinejad during a state visit. The next month, by mediating the formation of the Hamas-Fatah government, Abdullah enabled Iran's Palestinian proxy to gain control of the Palestinian Authority. As for Egypt, it is using Iran's nuclear program as cover to advance its own nuclear weapons program. Then there are the great powers and foremost among them Russia, France and the US. Any UN action against Iran must be agreed upon by all three. And there is little chance of that ever happening.
Russia is Iran's ally. Russia supplied Hizbullah and Syria with arms and intelligence during last summer's war. In the intervening year, Russia has sold advanced weapons systems to both Iran and Syria. Last weekend's report in the Arab media regarding Iranian financing of Syrian purchases of Russian jet fighters, tanks and missiles is part of this overall picture. Israeli analysts scoffed at the report noting that the billion dollars Ahmadinejad pledged is insufficient to purchase the weapons he outlined. But those weapons will not all be going to Syria. Last April Iran and Syriasigned an agreement essentially merging their militaries. Syria's Defense Minister Mustafa Muhammad Najjar told reporters in Damascus, We consider the capability of the Syrian defensive forces as our own. He added that Iran, offers all of its defense capabilities to Syria.
While Russia is selling the weapons to Syria, a Russian military official said of the aircraft, The Syrians will be getting the top line of Russian aircraft through financing by Iran and [will] share some or most of the platforms with the Iranian air force. Jane's Defense Monthly reported that at least ten of the artillery-missile systems will also be transferred to Iran. Russia also acts as Teheran's diplomatic shill. During a summit in Teheran last month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, We do not see any kind of threat from Iran. In a subsequent visit to Israel, Lavrov insisted that Russia's arms sales pose no threat to the Jewish state, and anyway, the only way for Israel to ensure its security is to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.
But the Olmert government refuses to acknowledge that Russia has reinstated its Cold War hostility towards Israel. It vapidly praises President Vladimir Putin for his positive role in the region and continues to adhere to the line that Russia will agree to UN Security Council action against Iran. Then there is France. Last summer France displayed open hostility towards Israel in its representation of the Lebanese government in which Hizbullah was then a member at the UN ceasefire talks. On the other hand, in 2005 France joined forces with the US to expel the Syrian military from Lebanonafter the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Israel hoped that with Nicholas Sarkozy's victory in the presidential race, France would take a more pro-Israel stance. Unfortunately, the opposite occurred. Sarkozy has warmed French ties with the Iranian-Syrian-Hizbullah axis. Sarkozy legitimized all three when he invited Hizbullah representatives to participate in talks he held with Lebanese factions outside of Paris this month. Additionally, early this month France led ten EU member states in meddling in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The foreign ministers of these largely Mediterranean EU member states sent a letter to Quartet envoy Tony Blair, demanding, among other things, that Israel agree to the deployment of international forces in Judea and Samaria, and that Hamas be invited to participate in an international conference on the issue.
As France treats with Iran on Lebanon, the US follows a similar course of engaging the mullah on Iraq. After his meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad this week, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker announced the formation of a joint US-Iranian security committee which will discuss Sunni terrorism in Iraq. Apparently in the interest of advancing America's security cooperation with Iran, the State Department refused to raise the issue of the five American citizens being held hostage in Iran at the meeting. And with the prospect of diplomatic progress with Iran on Iraq in the air, the UScertainly doesn't want to rock the boat by pursuing the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Indeed, Iran's carrot and stick approach to powers like the US and Franceform a fourth circle of ties. Iran has worked to neutralize threats from these countries by attacking their interests in other spheres: Lebanon, in the case of France, and Iraq, in the case of the US. Given both countries enthusiasm for engagement, it seems that the mullahs have hit on the right approach. Israel has experienced some achievements regarding Iran over the past year. The UN Security Council did pass two sanctions resolutions against Iran. With the active lobbying of opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, many US public employee pension funds are moving to divest from companies that do business with Iran. And this week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that like his predecessor Tony Blair, he will not rule out the option of using military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Yet despite these achievements, Iran has made steady progress with its nuclear program. Wednesday Ahmadinejad announced, Iran will never abandon its peaceful [nuclear] work. Sunday, a senior Iranian official told The Independent that with almost 3,000 centrifuges operating at its nuclear facility at Natanz, We have at the moment enough centrifuges to go to a bomb.Back in Israel, this week Olmert made clear that he wishes to advance contacts with the Palestinians towards an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. His advisors told reporters that Olmert is moved by his desire to get beyond his failure in last year's war and the criminal investigations into his shady business dealings. He wishes to be perceived as a statesman.
Of course if Olmert truly wishes to be seen as a statesman, then he shouldn't be concerning himself with Israeli withdrawals that will only strengthen Iran. He should change his strategic focus to Iran which threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Despite his government's protestations to the contrary, there is no coalition of moderates to work with against Iran. There is no coalition at all. And time is not in Israel's favor. If Olmert wishes to gain the public's support, and even admiration, he must quickly build and deploy a military option for destroying Iran's burgeoning ability to destroy the State of Israel.
David's Comment: Bush & Blair versus YHVH - Who Will Prevail ?
Jer 30:3 For behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah, says the LORD. And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.(NKJ)
The spiritually based, political & military conflict in the Middle East continues to intensify. Every day we are receiving more and more news reports of Israel's enemies conspiring to join ranks in the interest of destroying the Jewish State. Just this past weekend Mahmud Armadinejahd, the demonised leader of Iran, met with the similarly Hell inspired Syrian president Bashar Assad, to prepare their strategy for a war with Israel, possibly in the next few weeks. Sheik Nizrallah, the leader of Hizb'Allah is also preparing his forces in readiness for another war. In the south, Hamas controlled Gaza is a hotbed of terror, with ongoing Kassam rockets attacks into Israeli towns and a frantic race to bring in as much weapons as possible before the launch of a concerted Islamic Arab war against Israel.
While Israel's obvious enemies openly prepare for war, the Israeli military is doing its best to regather its ability to defend the nation against the military might of the above mentioned nations. But they are doing it with at least one hand tied behind their backs. That hand has been tied up by the President of the United States and his dream of a Two State Solution. For several years now Bush and his hench-woman Condalesa Rice, have been forceably manipulating Israeli leaders to abide by the US plan for the future of the Middle East. And Bush seems to be very proud of opposing the will of God. He recently gloated - I became the first American President to call for the creation of a Palestinian state and I laid out a new vision for the future – two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security. To bring this vision to pass Bush will have to compel Israel's godless and weak prime minister Olmert to withdraw from the Biblical Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria. Late last week Bush was quoted as he announced his plans that Israel would have to reduce its footprint in the West Bank.
Who does Bush, who professes to be a Christian, think he is ? In advocating the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria, Bush is directly opposing the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. Bush is telling Jewish people to get out of Judea and Samaria, in spite of the fact that God says that He will multiply the Jews on that land - Ezekiel 36:8-12 But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of their children.(NKJ)
Satan must be very please with George Bush, as his plan for a Palestinian State on Israeli land is straight from Hell, and IF it comes to pass, ( I dont believe it will ), it will prevent or at least seriously delay the 2nd coming of Yeshua. Acts 3:21 clearly states that Yeshua must remain in Heaven until all of the prophecies ( including Ezek 36:8-10) are fullfilled ).
And just to compound Israel's problems, we now have ex UK prime minister poking his 'new age' nose into the situation as the new official Middle East Envoy. Blair, who also professes to be a Christian, is reportedly planning to convert to Catholicism, us a very dangerous man. He is a smooth talking, power hungry man, who it seems wouldn't have the faintest idea what it means to be a Christian, or what YHVH says in His Word, particulalrly in regards to Israel. Even before he arrived in Israel Blair said that he is willing to meet Hamas and is already talking of Palestinian State to be established in the not too distant future.
As I am seeing on the news, floodwaters ravaging much of the western England & parts of southern Texas, I can't help but wonder if the Lord in His mercy, is giving Bush and Blair, and their nations, a watery warning, before He sends the FIRE of His wrath against the nations for their ill-treatment of the Jews and for dividing His Land. ( Joel 3:1 ) The water has does a lot of damage to homes, businesses and roads, but what is coming on the nations may leave very little behind.
Its President Bush & Tony Blair versus YHVH - Who Will Prevail ? Its a foregone conclusion ! They are no match for the Holy One of Israel. We need to pray for both of these seriously misguided men, in the hope of saving them from making the greatest mistake of their lives. The future of the US, the UK and all of the nations they are allied with in opposition to God's plans for Israel, is looking very grim indeed.
The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel . Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray for our son Jordan, and all of his fellow soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom .. . David & Josie
Thursday, July 26, 2007
1000 GUNS FOR PA - ISRAEL
The signs are definitely pointing that we are in the end of days. Yesterday I was in Tel Aviv where the street light polls were still draped with the Rainbow Colored Flags representing the Gay Pride Parade in which 3000 Jewish gay and lesbian activists paraded through Israel 's largest city promoting Sodom and Gomorrah! Here in Israel , we are preparing for war! Most of my cousins have been called up by their IDF (Israel Defense Force) units telling them that they will have to serve in the army, as there might be a war with Syria and Iran this summer. Over the last month, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the President of Iran has repeatedly stated: Israel will be destroyed in the near future. So please keep all of us in your prayers.Every day we are reaching the Jewish people with Yeshua, however it is not every day that we are in the presence of those who make the decisions for the nation of Israel .
Meeting with the Prime Minister and President of Israel
The Captain of all the guards and security at the Knesset ( Israel 's Parliament) was waiting to greet me at the front gate of the Knesset. (The Knesset is the highest protected infrastructure in Israel besides its nuclear facility in Dimona). He escorted me to meet with the General Manager of the Knesset who introduced me to a number of the Members of Parliament (MPs).
After a meeting in the office of the Speaker of the House, I was then escorted down the hall where I met with Shimon Peres ( Israel 's current President and past Prime Minister). As this former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Prize Winner reached out his hand with a warm smile to greet me, I was in awe of how God had brought me to a place of being in the presence of such a distinguished man. A few minutes later I met with Ehud Olmert ( Israel 's Prime Minister). The Prime Minister and I chatted about the family and his wife who is a distant relative of mine by marriage.
Due to security and privacy I can not discuss what our meetings entailed, however it was a privilege to meet the highest authorities of government and I can't wait until we have the Hebrew Messianic Prophecy Bible to give them and their families, and to discuss the prophecies in detail with them.
Helping the homeless, giving to the poor Our ministry is focused on sharing the Word of God, the Messianic Prophecies and doing evangelism, however we must also help Jewish people in their time of need.
This week one of our ministry workers, Svi, passed by Yochanan, a homeless man in his 30s who looked like he was in his 60s. His hair was long and straggly, he was filthy dirty, and wearing torn and dirty clothes (the only ones he owned). He had not washed in weeks and his stench was so bad, Svi felt like vomiting. Yochanan was not on drugs or alcohol but he had given up on life, and no one had reached out to him.
Svi showed him the love of God; bought him food, took him to a clothing store to buy new clothes, and offered Yochanan to stay at his home to help him get back on his feet (which he declined because he was so used to living on the streets). He then asked Svi to drive him to a drug store to buy him toiletries for washing and taking care of himself. After spending a few hours with Yochanan, Svi drove to an ATM bank machine and gave him 1000 Shekels ($250). I can not believe you are doing this, Yochanan said. Svi told him that it was the love of Yeshua, and he then prayed some more with Yochanan who asked if he could keep Svi's Tanakh (Bible). Of course Svi said, I was going to give you a Bible, but you can have my personal Bible.
Yeshua says in Luke 12:32-34 For your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Through our ministry you can help save the people in Israel for Eternity.Whether we have opportunity to be with the highest of society such as Ehud Olmert the Prime Minister of Israel, or what is considered to be the lowest of society, homeless and poor people like Yochanan - to the new Ethiopian immigrants (read about them on the following pages of my newsletter) or the Chassidic ultra-orthodox religious Jews, YOU can help reach the 5.5 million Israeli Jewish people who do not know Yeshua.Paul says in Romans 10:14; How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
You have an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the nation of Israel and for the Jewish people's eternal salvation. The people of Israel need your help, and you can make a huge difference today by giving the best possible gift you can.
With all of my brotherly love in our Messiah Yeshua,
Zev Isaacs, Founder MESSIANIC BIBLE PROJECT
Putin orders boost in military, spying By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 25, 3:16 PM ET
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin vowed Wednesday to strengthen Russia's military capability and step up spying abroad in response to U.S. plans to build missile defense sites and deploy troops in Eastern Europe. The situation in the world and internal political interests require the Foreign Intelligence Service to permanently increase its capabilities, primarily in the field of information and analytical support for the country's leadership, Putin said at a meeting with senior military and security officers in remarks that were posted on the Kremlin's Web site.The Foreign Intelligence Service is a successor agency to the KGB.
Putin did not identify specific nations as targets, but officials in the United States and Britain have said recently that Moscow has intensified its spying in those countries.Putin said U.S. plans to station troops in Eastern Europe and Washington's intention to base missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic pose security challenges for Russia. Washington says the facilities are necessary to protect the U.S. and Europe from missiles launched by Iran or other rogue states.Putin has proposed that the U.S. use a Soviet-built radar base in Azerbaijan for missile defense. U.S. officials have questioned whether the facility is technically compatible with American systems.On Wednesday, Putin said Washington was stonewalling. Alternative ways of protection from hypothetical missile threats which we proposed have been left unanswered, he said.
All-round strengthening of our military forces is one of our indisputable priorities, Putin said, promising to continue equipping the military with new weapons.Putin also criticized the United States and other NATO members for failing to ratify an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and other heavy non-nuclear weapons around the continent.Earlier this month, Putin suspended Russia's participation in the treaty and threatened to withdraw from it completely if NATO nations do not ratify its amended version, which was signed in 1999, to reflect changes since the 1991 Soviet collapse.NATO members have refused to do that until Russia withdraws its troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia.
Putin said the old version of the CFE treaty counted arsenals of former Soviet satellites and republics which are now NATO members as part of the Soviet bloc. In particular, it counted weapons in the ex-Soviet Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of what was the Soviet Baltic Military District.Maybe I should appoint one of you as its commander? Putin said wryly.Russia's relations with the United States and other Western nations have grown increasingly acrimonious amid Western concerns that Russia is edging away from democracy and Kremlin suspicions about the West's intentions.
Israel authorises 1,000 guns for Palestinian Authority: report Thu Jul 26, 3:17 AM ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel recently authorised a shipment of 1,000 rifles from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, a newspaper reported on Thursday. The largest ever arms transfer authorised by Israel to security forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank, it is meant to help prevent a possible Hamas challenge or takeover as in Gaza, Haaretz said.A spokeswoman in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office neither confirmed nor denied the report when questioned by AFP.
The weapons were delivered to security forces, whose Gaza colleagues were routed by Hamas fighters last month, under strict confidence to prevent any possible leak that could undermine Abbas' standing, the paper said.This year, several thousand rifles were delivered from Egypt and Jordan to Fatah forces in Gaza and the West Bank, but most have fallen into the hands of Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since mid-June, Haaretz said.
THE BIBLE SAYS THE SUN WILL SCORCH MEN 7XS OR 7 DEGREES MORE. IF NOT FOR ISRAELS SAKE ALL FLESH WOULD DIE FROM THE SUN (SCORCHING)
Ozone has 'strong climate effect'
By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News
Ozone is an important component of smog
Ozone could be a much more important driver of climate change than scientists had previously predicted, according to a study in Nature journal. The authors say the effects of this greenhouse gas - known by the formula O3 - have been largely overlooked. Ozone near the ground damages plants, reducing their ability to mop up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. As a consequence, more CO2 will build up in the atmosphere instead of being taken up by plants. Arguably, we have been looking in the wrong place for the key impacts of ozone Peter Cox, University of Exeter This in turn will speed up climate change, say the Nature authors.
Ozone could be twice as important as we previously thought as a driver of climate change, co-author Peter Cox, from the University of Exeter, UK, told the BBC News website. Scientists already knew that ozone higher up in the atmosphere acted as a direct greenhouse gas, trapping infrared heat energy that would otherwise escape into space. Ozone closer to the ground is formed in a reaction between sunlight and other greenhouse gases such as nitrogen oxides, methane and carbon monoxide.
Greenhouse emissions stemming from human activities have led to elevated ozone levels across large tracts of the Earth's surface.
This study is described as significant because it shows that O3 also has a large, indirect effect in the lower part of the atmosphere. Research into ground-level ozone has tended to concentrate on its harmful effects on human lungs. But the gas also damages plants, reducing their effectiveness as a carbon sink to soak up excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Co-author Stephen Sitch, from the Met Office's Hadley Centre, said: Calculations of the efficiency of land ecosystems to take up carbon would be less efficient than we thought previously.Furthermore, Peter Cox said: The indirect effect is of a similar magnitude, or even larger, than the direct effect.
There are uncertainties, Professor Cox admits; but he added: Arguably, we have been looking in the wrong place for the key impacts of ozone.Ozone enters plants through pores, called stomata, in the leaves. Interfering with the reactions involved in photosynthesis, it leaves the plants weakened and undersized.
However, efforts to determine how rising levels of ozone will affect global plant growth are complicated by other factors. High levels of both CO2 and O3 cause stomata to close. This means they take up less of the carbon dioxide they need for photosynthesis, but also absorb less of the harmful ozone. The researchers built a computer model to estimate the impact of predicted changes in ozone levels on the land carbon sink over a period running from 1900 to 2100. This model was designed to take into account the effect of ozone on plant photosynthesis and the interactions between O3 and CO2 through the closure of pores. They used two scenarios, depending on whether plants were deemed to have high or low sensitivity to ozone. Under the high scenario, ozone reduced plant productivity by 23%; under the low scenario, productivity was reduced by 14%.
It's an interesting effect, and I don't think it has been introduced into a coupled [computer] model before so that the overall effect can be seen, said Dr Nathan Gillett, from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK, who was not involved in the study. The results may have implications for global food production, particularly in vulnerable areas. Paul.Rincon-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
EXTREME WEATHER IN THE WORLD
ELSEWHERE SEVERE RECORD HEAT TO SEVERE RECORD RAINFALL. PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD STRUGGLED WITH THE CRUELER SIDE OF WORLD EVENTS. IN HUNGRY 500 DEAD FROM HEAT WAVE, IN THE BALKANS 30 DEAD FROM HEAT WAVES. OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE FELT THE BURN AND HEAT OF FIRES FROM THE HOT DRY CONDITIONS. ENGLAND IS STILL FLOODED BADLY AND HERE IN CANADA ESPECIALLY IN THE PRAIRIES HEAT HOVERED AT SASKATOON 37, REGINA 35, EDMONTON 32, AND WINNEPEG 34 DEGREES.
FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES HAVE KILLED 500 IN CHINA. WAKE UP FOLKS THE TRIBULATION PERIOD IS NEAR. ALSO THE TSX DROPPED 400 POINTS AND THE DOW DROPPED 226 POINTS TUESDAY.
I'D SAY LUKE 21:25-26 IS COMING TO PASS GREATLY, NATIONS IN DISTRESS WITH MASS CONFUSION DUE TO THE SEA AND THE WAVES ROARING AND THE HEAVENS BEING SHAKING (WEATHER CONDITIONS). AND ONE LAST HAPPENING TODAY THE CANADIAN DOLLAR IS AT 96.36 TO THE US DOLLAR ALMOST AT PAR, THE FIRST TIME THE DOLLAR HAS BEEN THIS HIGH SINCE FEB 1977.
IN NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 25,07 - IN DALLAS AT I-35 A NUMBER OF GAS EXPLOSIONS OCCURED AS WELDING GAS EXPLODED. AS THEY EXPLODED IT LOOKED LIKE DOMINOES FALLING, AS FAR AS I HEARD 2 PEOPLE WERE INJURED. AND IN ATLANTA POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR A MURDERER WHO SHOT A 9 YEAR OLD GIRL.
Extreme weather conditions hit Europe
25.07.2007 - 09:29 CET | By Helena Spongenberg
Extreme weather conditions have hit Europe with record-high temperatures causing deaths in south-eastern Europe while heavy rainfall in northern Europe leads to major floods in some parts of the UK. Around 500 people have died in Hungary in the past week alone, which has seen a daily mean temperature of 30C across the country, while the temperature reached a record high of 41.9C in the southern city of Kiskunhalas. The deaths - from 15 to 22 July - were caused by heatstroke, cardiovascular problems and other illnesses aggravated by the heat – mainly among the older population, said Anna Paldy, from the Hungarian National Institute of Environmental Health, according to BBC News. The heat wave has also hit Austria, Romania - where at least 30 people have died – and has also been blamed for widespread forest fires in Greece, Italy, Macedonia and Serbia.
Temperatures hit a historic 43C in Belgrade, 44C in Bulgaria and 45C in Bosnia and Macedonia, according to press reports. The Greek government has urged people to restrict their movements and stay indoors.It is the second heat wave in the southeast European region this year where record temperatures in June have already ensured that this is the hottest summer in Greece for a century.In northwest Europe the extreme weather conditions are also creating chaos although with limited numbers of deaths.Heavy rainfall in the region where overflowing rivers have caused severe flooding in the UK and southern Germany.Days of rain have turned swathes of central and western England into lakes, flooding 4,500 houses, threatening many more and leaving cars submerged. Hundreds of thousands have been without drinking water and electricity.
We are coming to terms with some of the issues surrounding climate change, UK prime minister Gordon Brown said recently about his country's floods, which are the worst seen in the last 60 years.Last week, EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas urged member states to treat water as a scarce commodity as the warming trend, and accompanying droughts, will rise in southeast Europe.Droughts have increased during the past 30 years and cost the European economy at least €100 billion, according to EU data.The European Commission on Tuesday (24 July) released its annual crop yield forecast for Europe, saying that the 2007 total cereal harvest will be 1,6 percent below the average of the last five years with Central and Eastern Europe losing out the most.Heat waves, droughts and excessive rain across Europe has been a great factor to this result, the EU executive said.
A 21st century catastrophe
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Published: 24 July 2007
Flood-ravaged Britain is suffering from a wholly new type of civil emergency, it is clear today: a disaster caused by 21st-century weather. This weather is different from anything that has gone before. The floods it has caused, which have left more than a third of a million people without drinking water, nearly 50,000 people without power, thousands more people homeless and caused more than £2bn worth of damage - and are still not over - have no precedent in modern British history.
Nothing in the past hundred years, in terms of flooding caused by rainfall, has been as bad. According to the Environment Agency, even the previous worst case, the extensive floods of spring 1947, which were aggravated by the vast snow melt that followed an exceptionally hard winter, has been surpassed.We have not seen flooding of this magnitude before, said the agency yesterday. The benchmark was 1947, and this has already exceeded it.And the 1947 floods were said to have been the worst for 200 years.Most remarkable of all is the fact that the astonishing picture the nation is now witnessing - whole towns cut off, gigantic areas underwater, mass evacuations, infrastructure paralysed and grotesquely swollen rivers, from the Severn and the Thames downwards not even at their peaks yet - has all been caused by a single day's rainfall. A month's worth and more in an hour. It is obvious that the Government and the civil powers, from Gordon Brown down to the emergency services, are struggling to cope, not only with the sheer physical scale of the disaster itself, but with the very concept of it. It is entirely unfamiliar. It is new. Yet it is exactly what has been forecast for the past decade and more.
No one can yet attribute the flood events of the past week, or indeed, those of June, when Yorkshire suffered what Gloucestershire and Worcestershire are suffering now - again from one single day's rainfall - directly to global warming. All climates have a natural variability which includes exceptional occurrences.But the catastrophic extreme rainfall events of the summer of 2007, on 24 June and 20 July, are entirely consistent with repeated predictions of what climate change will bring.
It is nearly 10 years since the scientists of the UK Climate Impacts Programme first gave their detailed forecast of what global warming had in store for Britain in the 21st century - and high up on the list was rainfall, increasing both in frequency and intensity.This was thought most likely to happen in winter, with summers predicted to be hotter and dryer. But yesterday Peter Stott of the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, an author of a new scientific paper linking increases in rainfall to climate change, commented: It is possible under climate change that there could be an increase of extreme rainfall even under general drying.The paper by Dr Stott and other authors, reported in The Independent yesterday, detects for the first time a human fingerprint in rainfall increases in recent decades in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere - that is, it finds they were partly caused by global warming, itself caused by emissions of greenhouse gases.
The public as a whole appears not to have taken the extreme rainfall predictions on board, thinking of climate change in terms of hotter weather. But the science community has been fully aware of it, and has steadily reinforced the warnings.One of the most important came from a group of experts commissioned to look at the risks by the Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, under the Government's Foresight Programme, in 2004. Their report, Future Flooding, said that unless precautions were taken, more severe floods brought about by climate change could massively increase the number of people and the amount of property at risk. Yet once again, this hardly penetrated the public consciousness.Amidst all the news of communities being overwhelmed by water yesterday, one very significant announcement, from Gordon Brown and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn, was that the Government is setting up an independent inquiry to look at the flood events of June and July.
Its report will be immensely important and may prove a milestone in terms of the British public's appreciation of the reality of climate change. It will doubtless focus on the key problem in terms of flood response - there is no one minister, or other person, in overall charge - but it may also take a view of the disaster in terms of global warming, and may well come to the conclusion that we are already witnessing the future. The floods of 2007 may eventually be regarded as a wake-up call to the warming climate's rapidly approaching effects.Nobody saw them coming. But that appears to be the way of a changing climate. In April 1989 Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister, gave her Cabinet a seminar on global warming at No 10 and one of the speakers was the scientist and green guru James Lovelock. A reporter asked him afterwards what would be the first signs of global warming. He replied: Surprises. Asked to explain, he said: The hurricane of October 1987 was a surprise, wasn't it? There'll be more.The floods of 2007 were a surprise as well, and if Dr Lovelock is right, there'll be more of them too. Welcome to the weather of the 21st century.
The flood of 1947
The Great Flood of 1947, the previous worst inundation caused by rainfall in Britain, swamped almost all of the rivers in the South, Midlands and the North-east, submerged 700,000 acres of land and caused an estimated £4bn worth of damage (in today's money).The deluge was predominantly caused by the rapid thaw of snow and ice that had covered much of England after a particularly long and cold winter. The weather patterns that caused the thaw also caused a number of torrential downpours, exacerbating the flooding.The timing could not have been worse; Britain was still recovering from the war. Rationing was harsh, deprivation widespread and the economy was teetering. What made the catastrophe even more unfortunate was that it occurred before the era of flood insurance.The flooding started across the South, from Somerset to Kent, as many rivers broke their banks. By 14 March, parts of west and north-east London had been submerged. The next day, the river Thames overflowed its banks at Caversham, near Reading, and around the Lea Valley to the east of London.
By the end of the month, an estimated 100 000 homes had been flooded, hundreds of thousands of people displaced and the year's crops largely wiped out.
EU unveils bulky new treaty draft
23.07.2007 - 17:39 CET | By Mark Beunderman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU kicked off its procedural journey towards a new Treaty on Monday with 277 pages of draft Treaty text on the table, and Poland showing a fresh willingness to compromise on the sensitive issue of voting weights.
At the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, the Portuguese Presidency presented a full draft version of the new Treaty which is intended to replace the failed EU Constitution, rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The document has the cumbersome working title Draft Treaty Amending The Treaty On European Union And The Treaty Establishing The European Community - but it will most likely be called Reform Treaty, a term used by EU leaders in June.
The core of the text unveiled on Monday, has 145 pages, accompanied by almost as many pages (132) of protocols and declarations. There are total 12 protocols and 51 declarations. The rejected Constitution had 475 pages of text, but this document was intended to replace all EU Treaties from the past. The newly-proposed Reform Treaty merely amends the existing Maastricht and Rome Treaties, which will legally continue to exist under different names. The Portuguese draft forms the basis of member states' formal round of negotiations on the new Treaty in an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), which was launched at Monday's meeting of foreign ministers.
Portuguese foreign minister Luis Amado says Lisbon is aiming to finalise the IGC talks as soon as possible and that it is sticking to the timetable to wrap up the talks at an informal EU leaders' meeting in Portugal in October. The presidency has received some encouragement from Poland, which indicated it would not insist on being able to block decisions in the EU Council - member states' decision-making body, for up to two years. Warsaw had made its claim under the so-called Ioaninna compromise, which enables an individual member state to delay a decision made by a majority of countries if the decision hurts the interests of that particular country.
But Ana Fotyga, Polish foreign minister, said during the IGC opening ceremony that her country would accept the existing Ioaninna period of blocking legislation of around three months. She added that in return, Warsaw would like to see the Ioaninna provisions included in the core treaty text instead of in the protocol in order to give it stronger legal status. Mrs Fotyga's intervention was explained by observers as a watering-down of Warsaw's tough stance on the issue so far. Andrew Duff, one of the three European Parliament representatives in the IGC talks, said, this is an improvement of the Polish position. But he added that Warsaw's wish to have the blocking clause included in the core treaty would likely run into fresh resistance from other delegations.
Portugal's Mr Amado said that Mrs Fotyga had given a positive and constructive intervention, adding that the issues that Mrs Fotyga raised will be dealt with at the technical level.Portugal is seeking to keep the IGC talks in the hands of legal experts and not politicians, for as long as possible, to avoid unravelling the detailed political deal on the treaty, which was clinched by EU leaders under the previous EU Presidency in June. I will not say there will not at the end be some political problems, but at the moment, that is premature, Mr Amado said. Czech Vice Prime-Minister Alexandr Vondra, also present at the Brussels meeting, said Prague would support Warsaw's new line on the voting issues, but would also seek further clarifications on several institutional technicalities itself.
Another source of political wrangling lies potentially in the UK's opt-out from the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, amid an ongoing debate on the exact scope of the opt-out. In addition, Poland reaffirmed on Monday that it would like to keep its options open on opting out of the charter.
Just like the constitution, say friends and foes of new EU treaty
24.07.2007 - 09:42 CET | By Lucia Kubosova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Both advocates and critics of the complete draft of the new EU treaty highlight its similarity with the bloc's failed constitution. While advocates consider it the argument for a swift ratification through parliaments, critics maintain it should be decided by public referendum.Diplomats and legal experts from EU member states are gathering on Tuesday (24 July) to kick off the first round of talks over the bloc's Reform treaty, formally unveiled as a full 277-page version at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday. According to EU officials, the launch of the Intergovernmental conference on the new treaty should be a smooth process of clearing away minor differences over technical details rather than serious political issues.
The draft is based on a detailed outline agreed by the bloc's leaders in late June. It stems from the legal text contained in the draft EU constitution, which was given a red light from French and Dutch citizens in 2005.Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former chairman of the European Convention which drafted the 2004 constitution, has pointed out that the changes transforming it into Reform treaty are purely cosmetic.But while the constitution was supposed to be adopted by referendum in several countries, the new document looks likely to be ratified predominantly by national MPs, with only Ireland openly signalling a popular vote.For some, the similarity in content between the two documents should be followed by the same ratification method previously envisaged for the constitution. I haven't found one single difference in legal obligations, argues a veteran Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, from a eurosceptic Group for Independence and Democracy in the European Parliament.The form is different, but the content is the same. That is why I propose a referendum in all EU, he added in a statement.
Heated debate in the UK
The same message is expressed by UK conservative opposition and eurosceptic political activists, such as Open Europe which argues that its analysis has shown 96 percent of the new text is the same as the rejected constitution.If Brown now tries to carry on pretending that this is somehow a different document, it will be one of the most audacious political lies in the last couple of decades. It would be simply ludicrous, said the group's director Neil O'Brien.But while the British prime minister Gordon Brown has not yet openly ruled out a popular vote on the issue, his Europe minister Jim Murphy suggested the calls for a referendum were frankly absurd, in his speech to the UK's House of Commons on Monday (23 July), according to the UK Daily Telegraph.Similarly, the British foreign minister David Miliband argued in Brussels, The concept of a constitution has been abandoned. That is made clear in the new treaty. In that context we don't think there needs to be a constitutional referendum.The notion that popular votes should be avoided so as to prevent the 2005 French and Dutch scenario became part of the strategy following the decision by German chancellor Angela Merkel to revive the constitutional process, in a bid to save the institutional reforms the charter was to introduce.Advocates of a parliamentary ratification of the new treaty argue that national deputies are representatives of EU citizens and so their vote should not be played down as less significant to public opinion.
EU seeks balanced approach to the Middle East
25.07.2007 - 09:20 CET | By Renata Goldirova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Tony Blair, the former UK premier and the newly-appointed envoy of the Mideast Quartet, has urged Israelis and the Palestinians to capitalize on a current moment of opportunity, while the European Union seeks a balanced approach to the region. I think there is a sense of possibility, but whether that sense of possibility can be translated into something that is something that needs to be worked at and thought about over time, Mr Blair said on Tuesday (24 July).
It was Mr Blair's first visit to Israel and the West Bank since his appointment by the international Quartet - the US, the EU, the United Nations and Russia - to bolster economic recovery and institution-building in the Palestinian territory.
The comment comes just a day after EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, also spoke of a positive momentum and called on the parties to desist from any action that threatens the viability of a [two-state] solution.I sense a moderate optimism about a possibility of launching a political initiative", EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said. However, some diplomats indicated that ministerial debate had shown differences on what kind of message should be sent to the region, with some EU capitals – such as Berlin or Bratislava – pushing for more balanced wording. On the other hand, France, Sweden, Cyprus and Malta stressed that an EU message should reflect the Israeli occupation and settlements as being the core problem.
In their final statement, EU ministers welcome Israel's move to release 255 Palestinian prisoners and the partial transfer of withheld Palestinian tax and custom revenues. At the same time, however, they call for the immediate and complete release of remaining and future funds as well as for a removal of checkpoints and barriers in the West Bank. In addition, while recognizing Israel's legitimate right to self defence, the EU urged Israel to exercise utmost restraint and underlined that action should not be disproportionate or in contradiction to international humanitarian law.The Union should apply a balanced approach to maximum extend in order to seize a positive momentum and remain credible to both parties, Slovakia's foreign minister Jan Kubis stressed. Currently, all diplomatic efforts are channelled towards an international Middle East peace conference due in September – something expected to give new impetus to bilateral Israeli-Palestine dialog and the moribund peace process as such.
According to Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the meeting would be an opportunity to draw conclusions on how we can move ahead on the way to a two-state solution.An Arab peace initiative is seen as a major element in moving the Middle East peace process forward by the EU bloc. The proposal - to be also discussed by Israel, Egypt and Jordan later today (25 July) - foresees full Arab recognition of Israel in return for lands the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Secret memo: One-world agenda dominates SPP summit
Document reveals plan for meeting of U.S., Mexico, Canada leaders
July 24, 2007 - By Jerome R. Corsi - WorldNetDaily.com
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa at February meeting
A multinational business agenda is driving the upcoming summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, according to a document obtained through an Access to Information Act request in Canada. The memo shows a secondary focus of the leaders' meeting in Montebello, Quebec, Aug. 20-21, will be to prepare for a continental avian flu or human pandemic and establish a permanent continental emergency management coordinating body to deal not only with health emergencies but other unspecified emergencies as well.
As WND has reported, President Bush, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon will attend the third SPP summit. The Security and Prosperity Partnership is unveiled in Jerome Corsi's book, The Late, Great USA.The document, obtained by Canadian private citizen Chris Harder, is a two-page heavily redacted summary of the ministerial meeting in Ottawa, held Feb. 23 between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa. The purpose of the Feb. 23 meeting in Ottawa was to set the agenda for the August summit. The Access to Information Act-obtained memo noted the nation's leaders intend next month to pursue the five priorities set at their second summit meeting in Cancun in March 2005:
Avian and Pandemic Influenza
Of the five issues, the memo clearly states recommendations by the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC, regarding competitiveness took centerpiece at the Feb. 23 meeting. Almost immediately, the memo says, governments will need to begin assessing the potential impact of adopting recommendations made by the NACC and coordinating their response to the authors of the report.The memo states the most dynamic element on the plenary agenda was a meeting with the NACC, the body created by the Leaders in 2006 to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America.The NACC consists of 30 multinational business corporations that advise SPP and set the action agenda for its 20 trilateral bureaucratic working groups. The memo notes the NACC was created by the leaders in 2006 to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America.
According to the memo, the NACC made recommendations in three areas: border-crossing facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation, and energy integration. The memo suggested NACC members were getting impatient, charging the speed of SPP regulatory change was too slow. The members complained of the private sector's seeming inability to influence the pace of regulatory change from the bottom up.Some NACC representatives,the memo comments, felt that direct signals from ministers were required if work was to advance at a pace rapid enough to address challenges from more dynamic international competitors – particularly China. The subtext was clear: In the absence of ministerial endorsement, bureaucracies are unlikely to act on the more challenging recommendations.The memo noted the ministers agreed at their Feb. 23 meeting to finalize by June a plan to create a coordinating body to prepare for the North American response to an outbreak of avian or pandemic influenza. The leaders are expected to finalize the plan at the August summit.
The memo also reported ministers agreed to create a coordinating body on emergency management similar to that set up for avian or pandemic flu. The governance structure of coordinating body was also scheduled for completion in June, so it could be presented to the leaders for final approval at the August summit. A comment at the end of the memo said the ministers at their Feb. 23 meeting acknowledged that the SPP was largely unknown or misunderstood and needed to be better communicated beyond the officials and the business groups involved.WND has reported that as many as 10,000 protesters plan to assemble in Quebec to show opposition to the summit.
The Corbett Report, a Canadian blog that first reported on the memo obtained by Harder, noted the term Security and Prosperity was first used by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, or CCOCE, in a Jan. 23, 2003, report entitled, Security and Prosperity: Toward a New Canada-United States Partnership in North America. CCOCE's membership consists of 150 of Canada's leading businesses. In the U.S., the Chamber of Commerce would be considered a counterpart. WND previously reported on National Security Presidential Directive No. 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 20, which allocate to the office of the president the authority to direct all levels of government in the event he declares a national emergency.
WND also has previously reported that under SPP, the military of the U.S. and Canada are turning USNORTHCOM into a domestic military command structure, with authority extending to Mexico, even though Mexico has not formally joined with the current U.S.-Canadian USNORTHCOM command structure.
DEBKAfile reports: US Air Force B-2 Stealth bombers will soon be fitted with newly-developed 15-tonne Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs
July 23, 2007, 10:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
New Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb
American military sources say the gigantic new bunker-blaster is designed to hit fortified underground targets such as Iran’s uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz.
It will be capable of drilling through many meters of earth or concrete. When it falls from a high altitude, the MOP – composed of 20% explosives, 80% hardened metal - will punch a hole in the toughest protective casing before exploding in depth. It is GPS guided.DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that Israel’s RAFAEL has upgraded its US-made SPICE air-to-ground missile, adding a stand-off precision guidance kit.
This kit has been cleared for the US-made BLU-109 penetrator warhead, carried by Israeli warplanes, which is rated one of the top-line US weapons capable of hitting fortified targets from the air or warship.Its effective drop range has been extended from 60km to 90km enabling Israeli warplanes to release the missile to target from outside enemy territory without being exposed to air defense fire.The Israel-made PGM cannot be jammed since it does not depend on coordinates which can be falsified. After the targets are loaded into the bomb’s computer and dropped, it navigates and guides itself without pilot intervention and cannot therefore be diverted in mid-flight. The unveiling of these super-weapons comes shortly after satellite pictures showed new digging efforts in the mountains just outside Iran’s Natanz facility. Analysts worldwide believe a tunnel complex is under development.
Tisha B'Av (July 24): Next Year in Jerusalem!
Israel is braced for trouble. Why not? The calendar is relentlessly ticking down to the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av) that falls on July 24 this year. Jewish people around the world fasted on Tuesday [July 3]. This marked the beginning of their annual three-week mourning period commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples. During this three-week observance, weddings and other party celebrations are not permitted, and people refrain from cutting their hair. They avoid eating meat, and wine is only served as part of the Sabbath. Jews will not wear new clothes during the fast on the Ninth of Av.
“Five misfortunes befell our fathers…on the ninth of Av…it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the (Promised) Land, the Temple was destroyed the first and second time, Bethar was captured, and the city (Jerusalem) was ploughed up (Mishnah Ta’anit 4:6). The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, and the Second Temple by the Romans in AD 70. Bethar was the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt in AD 135. It fell, thereby sealing the fate of the Jewish people of that day. The sorrow of Tisha B’Av has continued for the Jews. In 1492, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B’Av as the final date by which not one, solitary Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil. World War I, which started the merciless march toward the Holocaust, began on Tisha B’Av.
The prohibitions applied for the remembrance of the Jewish pain and sorrow connected with Tisha B’Av is more stringent than for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Jews are not permitted to wash, be anointed, or wear leather shoes during this time. The last meal before the 21-day observance usually consists of one hard-boiled egg and bread. It should be eaten alone so as to avoid a quorum, which would provide a blessing. It is customary to eat this meal while sitting on a stool, indicating its loneliness. This custom is to remind the Jewish observer of sitting shiva (grieving for a lost loved one). This year, the Chief Rabbis Yonah Metger and Shlomo Amar have emphasized the situation facing Israel today. “It is a time of trouble for Israel: Israel's enemies sound off and lift their heads in arrogance and conceit, opening their mouths wide with threats...They boast of their desire to destroy the Jews, read a portion of the letter carried by Israel National News.
But as always, the Jew has hope. It is taught that Tisha B’Av is a love story. It is when observers express the hope that the Messiah, who according to Jewish tradition will be born on this day, is indeed already in the world. They look to the next Tisha B’Av, hoping and praying that it will be celebrated next year in His Presence which will be in joy-filled Jerusalem and in the Third Temple. The rabbis wrote in their article: Let us cry out with all our strength, and call to our God and the God of our fathers from the depths of our heart—for 'God is close to all who call upon Him in truth' (Psalm 145). They observed: God's salvation can come in the blink of an eye, and urged the nation of Israel to be ready. (By Ron Ross, Bridges for Peace Israel Mosaic Radio, July 5, 2007)
Many Christian groups are designating this time period to intercede for Israel. Pray that God will be merciful to Israel as they possibly face more conflict in the days ahead.
Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up (Hosea 6:1).
Microchips mulled for HIV carriers in Indonesia's Papua
Jul 24 03:57 AM US/Eastern AFP
Lawmakers in Indonesia's Papua are mulling the selective use of chip implants in HIV carriers to monitor their behaviour in a bid to keep them from infecting others, a doctor said Tuesday. John Manangsang, a doctor who is helping to prepare a new healthcare regulation bill for Papua's provincial parliament, said that unusual measures were needed to combat the virus. We in the government in Papua have to think hard on ways to provide protection to people from the spread of the disease, Manangsang told AFP. Some of the infected people experience a change of behaviour and can turn more aggressive and would not think twice of infecting others, he alleged, saying lawmakers were considering various sanctions for these people.
Among one of the means being considered is the monitoring of those infected people who can pose a danger to others,Manangsang said. The use of chip implants is one of the ways to do so, but only for those few who turn aggressive and clearly continue to disregard what they know about the disease and spread the virus to others, he said. A decision was still a long way off, he added. The head of the Papua chapter of the National AIDS Commission, Constant Karma, reportedly slammed the proposal as a violation of human rights. People with HIV/AIDS are not like sharks under observation so that they have to be implanted with microchips to monitor their movements, he told the Jakarta Post on Tuesday. Any form of identification of people with HIV/AIDS violates human rights.According to data from Papua's health office cited by the Post, the province has just over 3,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. Some 356 deaths have been reported. Papua has a population of about 2.5 million.
Evangelist says Bible speaks to Potter series white magic
Ed Thomas - OneNewsNow.com - July 24, 2007
It is no coincidence that a Christian ministry has updated its comic book parody of the Harry Potter series in time for the latest Potter movie and book releases. Evangelist Tim Todd, who heads up Revival Fires International, says both the church and the secular world need to understand the danger for children and teens in embracing occult literature.Todd acknowledges that no book series in recent years has achieved the success of the Harry Potter series, which he describes as well-written -- but whose spiritual nature and philosophy is in opposition to scripture, he points out. Many young readers, he surmises, are often simply drawn to the drama and fantasy of the Potter series, without realizing the spiritual nature of the books.The Harry Potter books present a Godless universe -- one in which the most powerful wizard wins, says the evangelist. And in these books, the hero is a wizard who shows no evidence of belief in God and does not use the power of prayer to combat evil.Todd contends the church has not looked closely enough at the phenomenon of the wizard's saga and the danger of it from a biblical standpoint. The Harry Potter series -- it promotes sacrificing animals; it's emphasizing power regardless of good or evil; offering up blood sacrifices, he explains. In Deuteronomy chapter 18, it says that sorcery and witchcraft is wrong, it's sin .... This is not something that we want to be promoting to our children as being a good thing, Todd emphasizes.
The ministry leader shares a story related the Potter series. [T]his past week, in a children's [Bible] camp, there was a little girl who was just absolutely sold out on Harry Potter, he says. According to Todd, the girl repented of her obsession with the characters, but only after reading the Harry Polarity and the Sinister Sorcery Satire comic -- which is contained in his ministry's Truth for Youth Bibles.Because of cases like the girl in the Bible camp, he urges parents to realize that Satan is trying to reach even their children in church. We need to keep our children as far away from the things of the devil as we possibly can, Todd urges.American Family News Network.
Nerve gas antidote made by goats JULY 24,07
The goats produce the enzyme in their milk
Scientists have genetically modified goats to make a drug in their milk that protects against deadly nerve agents such as sarin and VX. These poisons are known collectively as organophosphates - a group of chemicals that also includes some pesticides used in farming. So far, the GM goats have made almost 15kg of a drug which binds to and neutralises organophosphate molecules. Details appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
The drug, called recombinant butyrylcholinesterase, could be used as a protective prophylactic drug and also to treat people after exposure to nerve gas. None of them have been able to produce anything beyond milligramme amounts. In the goat, we can make two or three grams per litre Solomon Langermann, PharmAthene The US Department of Defense is funding the development effort by biotech firm PharmAthene to the tune of $213m (£105m).
It regards the drug as a promising way to protect its troops against exposure to nerve agents on the battlefield. Butyrylcholinesterase could also be stockpiled for use in the event of a terrorist attack on a city with chemical weapons. It is an enzyme that is made in small quantities by the human body. The compound can be purified from blood, but the yields are poor. However, the team at PharmAthene has been able to produce butyrylcholinesterase in large, commercial quantities and, the company says, at a reasonable cost.
It is a very difficult molecule to produce. There is a long history of people trying to produce this in everything from insects to yeast to bacteria and mammalian cells, said Dr Solomon Langermann of PharmAthene, a co-author on the PNAS paper. None of them has been able to produce anything beyond milligram amounts. In the goat, we can make two or three grams per litre.The researchers inserted DNA for making the human form of butyrylcholinesterase into a vector molecule. This vector is then introduced into a goat embryo. This allows the human gene to be incorporated into the goat's DNA sequence. The resulting female animals, all healthy, produced large quantities of butyrylcholinesterase in their milk. The high yields are partly down to control elements - stretches of DNA added, along with the human gene, to the vector molecule. These control elements regulate how much of the enzyme the goat produces and ensure that most of it is produced in the milk, rather than in other tissues.
Once the enzyme was purified from milk, the scientists injected it into guinea pigs, and saw that it remained active in the bloodstream. The commercial name given to the butyrylcholinesterase enzyme is Protexia. Dr Langermann said that Protexia was more effective than the combination of the drugs atropine and 2-PAM currently carried by soldiers for protection against nerve agents. Those (older) drugs get cleared from the blood very rapidly. Even if the soldier were to survive, they would have very severe neurological damage, he told BBC News. With Protexia, you would survive and be able to go back on the battlefield.It is also effective against a variety of different organophosphate poisons. The product is still several years from entering use; it needs to pass a safety trial and seek approvals from the US government.
Arab ministers in Israel for land-for-peace talks By Adam Entous
Wed Jul 25, 9:23 AM ET
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Egyptian and Jordanian envoys from the Arab League, on their first visit to Israel to present an Arab land-for-peace plan, called on Wednesday for setting a rapid timetable for talks with the Palestinians over statehood. We need a precise timetable, a quick timetable and we urge Israel not to waste this historic opportunity. Time is not on our side, said Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah al-Khatib, in Jerusalem with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he believed there was a chance in the near future for the process to ripen into talks that would, in effect, deal with the stages of establishing a Palestinian state.His comments were the clearest statement yet of Israel's intention to try to relaunch final-status talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose secular Fatah faction lost control of the Gaza Strip last month to Hamas Islamists.But Olmert said there were no precise timetables or stages established yet" for getting to discussions about permanent borders and the future of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, all divisive issues in the Jewish state.
Neither Israel nor the visiting Arab envoys spelled out how significant progress could be made towards statehood with the Palestinian territories divided between Hamas-run Gaza and the occupied West Bank, where Fatah holds sway.The one-day visit to Israel by Gheit and Khatib, who both spoke at a news conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, was the first by Arab League representatives to promote the group's peace plan, stalled since 2002.The initiative offers Israel normal ties with all Arab states in return for a full withdrawal from the lands it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, creation of a Palestinian state and a just solution for Palestinian refugees.We want to hear your ideas and want to express our ideas, so that we'll be able to carry on, Olmert, who has said the plan had positive elements, told the envoys at his office.But citing demographic and security concerns, Israel opposes the return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in what is now the Jewish state and wants to hold on to major settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Israel sought to cast the envoys' arrival as a potential turning point in relations with the Arab League, which has long shunned it. Livni described the visit as historic.Arab diplomats played down the gesture. Egypt and Jordan already have full relations with Israel, and despite U.S. and Israeli appeals to expand the number of Arab participants in the talks, Saudi Arabia and other Arab League members with no formal ties to the Jewish state have refused to take part.I will be more than happy that next time you come, you'll bring with you ministers from more Arab countries, Olmert said in his welcoming remarks to Gheit and Khatib.
The United States has been pushing Olmert to move ahead to serious negotiations over border issues with Abbas, who dismissed a unity coalition with Hamas last month after the Islamists seized control of Gaza.Olmert described his current talks with Abbas as serious and said the goal was to advance a process in a natural way towards discussion of central issues.Former British prime minister Tony Blair ended his first visit as international envoy to the Middle East on Wednesday after saying he saw a moment of opportunity for peace. But he offered no specifics in public.(Additional reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan)
July 25, 2007 - Danger - ARLENE KUSHNER
Ehud Olmert continues to be inordinately eager to promote a Palestinian state. Yesterday I wrote about the refusal of the leaders of the international community to recognize who the Palestinians really are and how unlikely is the possibility that they can put together a viable state. But I was remiss: I should have included the leaders of Israel.
Olmert is offering to hold negotiations on an Agreement of Principles for the establishment of a Palestinian state. What this means, and it makes me sick in the pit of my stomach, is that Olmert wants to push aside the difficult issues and yet negotiate on some of the factors that would be involved in establishment of a state -- such as the characteristics of the state, official institutions and customs arrangements.
What this does is provide tacit acknowledgement on our side of acceptance in principle of a state (that's what hits me in the stomach) even before there has been resolution of such issues as borders, refugees and the capital in Jerusalem. Olmert is assuming this will strengthen Abbas, who can show what he has achieved, and strengthen himself with the Israeli populace at the same time, as he will say that he is the one who can bring peace.What he is trying to do is restart the peace process even though he knows that the PA is weak and will not fulfill its obligations regarding security. Rather blows the mind, does it not?
Aaron Lerner of IMRA points out today that what Olmert seeks to do is dangerous because within the context of the Road Map a sovereign Palestinian state can be created before the difficult final status issues are resolved, so that it would be possible for us to find ourselves with a Palestinian state adjacent to our nation without the Palestinians even signing off on end of conflict. And indeed, Lerner is correct. The Road Map (see http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/am/old/printer_982.shtml ) states:
In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty...as a way station to a permanent status settlement.It is not until phase three, that there is a permanent status agreement and an end to the conflict.
However... The very first phase of the plan calls for the Palestinians to immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence.This includes sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.Also all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.If the Palestinians were held to this, there would be no progress. But once again the bar is being lowered and obligations are being waived: They can't do this? Let's move on.The stuff of nightmares.
I note that in the report on this, released by Haaretz, one of the subjects on the table would be a tunnel between Judea and Samaria and Gaza, to provide contiguity. I am fascinated, as Hamas controls Gaza and is supposed to be excluded at present. Olmert is supposed to be supporting Abbas in his stand against Hamas.
And so I remain alert as to what will happen with regard to this. My take is that no one knows how this is going to play out. This provides some measure of comfort: the Palestinians have in the past messed up opportunities to have a state and their situation today is considerably less stable than it was previously.
While we must be on guard, stay informed, and fight what he plans with all our energy, the fact is that from Olmert's malign intentions to fulfillment of the reality is still a large step. There are many experts who see the PA as so unstable that it is incapable of actually achieving the status of a state.
Ephraim Inbar has written an analytic piece for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bush Cannot Succeed in the Holy Land. He advances several reasons why Bush's attempt to form a Palestinian state is bound to fail:
-- Palestinian society cannot be reformed by outsiders. Middle Eastern societies have already proven their resistance to attempts by Western powers to change their old habits of doing business. It is naïve to believe that political and social dynamics rooted in centuries-old traditions can be easily manipulated by well-intentioned, but presumptuous Westerners. If ever reform is to occur it will be from within.
-- It is a fallacy to assume that economic assistance to the Palestinians can alleviate political problems.Since the Oslo Accords (September 1993), the Palestinian Authority (PA) has received the highest amount of economic aid per capita in the world. Yet, billions of euros transferred to the PA have been squandered and misused. The PA, like other Third World countries, was quite ingenious in siphoning parts of the aid to those members least in need of outside support.
Inbar speaks of the philosophy of Maimonides, who said that in the hierarchy of philanthropy helping someone become self-sufficient ranks first. ...the history of humanitarian aid in the last century...shows that outside economic aid is only as good as the ability of a recipient's economy and government to use it prudently and productively. Therefore, it is doubtful whether sending more money to the dysfunctional Palestinian economy, as President Bush proposes, will do any good.
-- It is a mistake to think that Abbas can be an agent of change and thus deserves support. [His] record as leader is dismal. He failed to unite the security services under one organ as pledged and has not followed through with his anti-corruption election campaign promises. The chaos within the PA increased under his presidency...The Palestinians have suffered from bad leadership for almost a century, and are in need of a strong leader...to rescue them from the crisis they have brought upon themselves. Unfortunately, such a courageous and visionary leader does not appear to be in sight.
-- It is a fallacy to assume that Palestinian society can be quickly transformed into a good neighbor of Israel and that a stable settlement is within reach. Since the Oslo Accords, the PA's education system, media, and dramatic militarization process has done great damage to the collective Palestinian psyche. A society mesmerized by the use of force and accustomed to the shaheed (martyr) ready to blow himself up among the hated Israelis will not change overnight. Numerous facets of Palestinian society have been radicalized and the widespread influence and popularity of Hamas is a clear indication of such a process.
This last point is perhaps the most ignored, and it is critical. People are aware of corruption and a host of other problems in the PA. They tend to forget about the radicalization of the population that has taken place because of the incitement that has been engendered since Oslo started. This is the greatest irony: When Arafat gained control of the educational system and the media, instead of educating for peace, he educated for war and hatred. This has continued with Abbas, in particular with regard to textbooks. The lessons have been well learned.
The fact is that there was more hatred of Israel in the PA in the years when we were withdrawing from Arab population centers and trying to give them autonomy (1994-2000) than there had been when we administered all systems. When we were in control, we simply didn't permit that sort of incitement. Here is an example of trying to be nice and having it backfire totally. The hatred, the attitude that Israel is illegitimate and that Allah praises jihad, has all become entrenched.
If this isn't game-playing, I do not know what it is: Envoys from Egypt and Jordan, originally charged by the Arab League with coming to Israel to do persuasion regarding the Arab League peace initiative, are finally here after a postponement in their visit. They were charged by the League, truly -- selected because they already have diplomatic ties with Israel. But these envoys are now insisting they don't represent the League but only their own nations. In fact, Egypt has gone to the trouble of specifically putting out a communiqué saying that their envoy, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, would be representing only his country.
What is this about? Israel had made note of the fact that this visit would be historic -- the first time that representatives of the Arab League would be visiting Israel. And, as I noted before, the Arabs weren't having it. Horrors! This might suggest that the various nations of the League recognize Israel, and they cannot allow that. And so, an about-face. Silly beyond words. They are ostensibly promoting a plan that would provide Israel with 'normal relations' with all these nations (if Israel pulled back to '67 lines, allowed refugees to return,etc.) You can tell how eager they are about this.
To make it sillier still: Saudi Arabia, as I have written, has backed off from the plan, even though this Arab League plan is really a Saudi plan. So it seems the normal relations with Israel wouldn't include the Saudis anyway.
see my website www.ArlenefromIsrael.info