Saturday, December 27, 2008
LEARN ABOUT CHANUKAH
CHANUKAH DAY 1-8 SCRIPTURES
The Insiders: Architects of the New World Order (Part 1 of 9)
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 2
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 3
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 4
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 5
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 6
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 7
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 8
The Insiders: How and Why America is Being Betrayed Part 9
THAT 3RD TEMPLE MIGHT BE REBUILT SHORTLY IF RUSSIA WOULD TEAM UP WITH THE MUSLIMS AND MARCH TO ISRAEL FROM EZEKIEL 38+39,GOD WOULD DESTROY 5/6TH OF THEIR ARMIES AND THERE WOULD BE NO WAY TO STOP ISRAEL FROM REBUILDING THE THIRD TEMPLE BECAUSE THE MUSLIMS,RUSSIA COUNTRIES WOULD ALMOST BE ALL DESTROYED. ISRAEL ID FINALLY FIGHTING BACK AGAINST HAMAS KILLING AT LEAST 200. ALL THE MEDIA IS BLAMING ISRAEL JUST LIKE I FIGURED,MEANWHILE OVER THE LAST 8 YEARS THE ARABS SHOT 10,110 ROCKETS AND MORTARS INTO ISRAEL,THIS IS ISRAEL PROTECTING ITSELF.
Israel demolishes Hamas compounds, over 200 dead DEC 27,08
By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.Most of those killed were security men, but an unknown number of civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit, threatened to resume suicide attacks, and sent at least 70 rockets and mortar shells crashing into Israeli border communities, according to the Israeli military. One Israeli was killed and at least six people were hurt.With so many wounded, the Palestinian death toll was likely to rise.The strikes caused widespread panic and confusion in Gaza, as black clouds of smoke rose above the territory, ruled by Hamas for the past 18 months. Some of the Israeli missiles struck in densely populated areas as children were leaving school, and women rushed into the streets frantically looking for their children.My son is gone, my son is gone, wailed Said Masri, a 57-year-old shopkeeper, as he sat in the middle of a Gaza City street, slapping his face and covering his head with dust from a bombed-out security compound nearby.He said he had sent his 9-year-old son out to purchase cigarettes minutes before the airstrikes began and now could not find him. May I burn like the cigarettes, may Israel burn, Masri moaned.
The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired some 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and in recent days, Israeli leaders had threatened to launch a major offensive.There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting, said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, vowing to expand the operation if necessary.Asked whether Hamas political leaders might be targeted, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declared at a news conference: Hamas is a terrorist organization and nobody is immune.The first round of airstrikes on Gaza came just before noon. More than 100 attacks took place, continuing well into the evening.Hospitals crowded with people, civilians rushing in wounded people in cars, vans and ambulances. There are heads without bodies .... There's blood in the corridors. People are weeping, women are crying, doctors are shouting, said nurse Ahmed Abdel Salaam from Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main treatment center.The offensive sparked angry protests throughout the Arab world, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Vatican, the U.N. secretary-general and special Mideast envoy Tony Blair all called for an immediate restoration of calm. The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the situation.In Washington, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, Hamas' continued rocket attacks into Israel must cease if the violence is to stop. The United States urges Israel to avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas in Gaza.
In Gaza City's main security compound, bodies of more than a dozen uniformed Hamas police lay on the ground. One survivor raised his index finger in a show of Muslim faith, uttering a prayer. The Gaza police chief was among those killed. One man, his face bloodied, sat dazed on the ground as a fire raged nearby.By early evening, 205 Gazans were known to be dead and 388 wounded, Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said. He did not provide figures on civilian deaths. But earlier in the day, police said about 140 Hamas security forces were killed. Some of the dead, rolled in blankets, were laid out on the floor of Gaza's main hospital for identification.Israeli military officials said more than 100 tons of bombs were dropped on Gaza by mid-afternoon. They spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines.Defiant Hamas leaders threatened revenge. Hamas will continue the resistance until the last drop of blood, vowed spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.Israel told its civilians near Gaza to take cover, and in the West Bank, moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a bitter rivalry with Hamas, condemned Israel. Egypt summoned the Israeli ambassador to express condemnation and opened its border with Gaza to allow ambulances to drive out some of the wounded. Despite the overwhelming show of force, it was not clear whether it would halt the rocket fire. Past operations have failed to stop the attacks. One rocket struck the Israeli town of Netivot, killing an Israeli man and wounding four people, rescue services said.
Dozens of stunned residents, some of them weeping, gathered around the house that took the deadly rocket hit. A hole gaped in one of the walls, which was pocked with shrapnel marks. The crowd broke up after an alert siren went off and everyone went running. Streets were nearly empty in Sderot, the Israeli border town that has been pummeled hardest by rockets. A few cars carried panicked residents leaving town. Dozens of people congregated on a hilltop to watch the Israeli aerial attacks. Protests against the campaign erupted in Arab Israeli villages, the Abbas-ruled West Bank and across the Arab world. The most violent West Bank response came in the city of Hebron, where dozens of youths, many of them masked, hurled rocks for hours at Israeli forces, who lobbed tear gas and stun grenades in response. Officials in Bethlehem, Jesus' traditional birthplace, turned off Christmas lights and traders shuttered shops to protest the Israeli attack. Anti-Israel protests also erupted in Amman, Jordan, and in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. Israel has targeted Gaza in the past, but the number of simultaneous attacks was unprecedented.
Israel left Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, but the withdrawal did not lead to better relations with Palestinians in the territory as Israeli officials had hoped. Instead, the evacuation was followed by a sharp rise in militant attacks on Israeli border communities that on several occasions provoked harsh Israeli military reprisals.
REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE (THE EU DICTATORS TEMPLE)
1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
REBUILT 4TH TEMPLE (THE TRUE MESSIAHS TEMPLE)
12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
EZEKIEL 40 TO 48 IS THIS 4TH TEMPLE TO BIG FOR THE MOUNT I BELIEVE TO BE BUILT 25 MILES FROM JERUSALEM.
WHY I ASK DO THE ISRAELIS NOT DO THEIR 'COMMAND' FROM 'GOD' TO REBUILD THE 3RD TEMPLE.
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU Jews return to Joseph's tomb,Judaism's 3rd holiest site regarded as burial place of biblical patriarch December 26, 2008 1:20 am Eastern By Aaron Klein 2008 WorldNetDaily
Jews return to Joseph's tomb to pray, repair damage
JERUSALEM – Eight years after the site was heavily desecrated by Palestinians, Jews this week quietly returned to Joseph's Tomb in the northern West Bank to rebuild the structure in hopes of a continued Jewish presence at the tomb - Judaism's third holiest site. Joseph's Tomb is the believed burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became viceroy of Egypt. Following repeated Palestinian attacks, Israel in October 2000 unilaterally retreated from Joseph's Tomb and, with very few exceptions, banned Jews from returning to the site purportedly for security reasons. Within less than an hour of the Israeli retreat, Palestinian rioters overtook Joseph's Tomb and reportedly ransacked and then partially destroyed the structure. Local Arabs have since set the tomb on fire several times, including an incident last February in which WND first reported burning tires were found inside. The past few months, the Israeli Defense Forces has been protecting small, monthly convoys of Jews who quietly pray at the tomb for about an hour under the cover of darkness. The visits were arranged by Israel's Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika along with a local organization, Shchem Ehad.Get Aaron Klein's classic book: Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew! On Monday night, Mesika led a group of Jewish students and professional contractors to the tomb, where the group repainted the exterior and interior of the structure and laid a new concrete stone covering on Joseph's tombstone, which had been smashed by local Muslims. Shromron Community Council liason David Haivri told WND the plan is to bring more professionals to the tomb in the near future to complete renovations. He said the ancient dome-shaped roof needs to be reinforced and a Jewish seminary attached to the tomb structure needs to be completely rebuilt. In 2000, television footage showed the dome being smashed by Palestinians after it was painted green - a color associated with Islam. We hope to bring Joseph's Tomb back to the Jewish people, Haivri said. It was unclear whether the Israeli government would change their policy by allowing Jews to visit more frequently.
Israel forfeits tomb
The tomb is located just outside the modern city of Nablus, or biblical Shechem, in the northern West Bank. Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted nearby strategic territory to the Palestinians, Joseph's Tomb was supposed to be accessible to Jews and Christians. But following repeated attacks against Jewish worshippers at the holy site by gunmen associated with then-Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat's militias, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000 ordered an Israeli unilateral retreat from the area. Building at Joseph's Tomb site after Palestinian Authority took control in 2000 . Immediately following the Israeli retreat, Palestinian rioters overtook Joseph's Tomb and reportedly began to ransack the site. Palestinian mobs reportedly tore apart books, destroying prayer stands and grinding out stone carvings in the Tomb's interior. Palestinians hoisted a Muslim flag over the tomb. Amin Maqbul, an official from Arafat's office, visited the tomb to deliver a speech declaring, Today was the first step to liberate (Jerusalem).One BBC reporter described the scene: The site was reduced to smoldering rubble – festooned with Palestinian and Islamic flags – cheering Arab crowd.
Third holiest site turned into mosque
The Torah describes how Jacob purchased a land plot in Shechem, which was given as an inheritance to his sons and was used to re-inter Joseph, whose bones were taken out of Egypt during the Jewish exodus. Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, are also said to be buried at the site. As detailed in the Torah, shortly before his death, Joseph asked the Israelites to vow they would resettle his bones in the land of Canaan, biblical Israel. That oath was fulfilled when, according to the Torah, Joseph's remains were taken by the Jews from Egypt and reburied at the plot of land Jacob had earlier purchased in Shechem, believed to be the site of the tomb. Modern archeologists confirm Nablus is the biblical city of Shechem. Yehuda Leibman, who until the Israeli retreat from Joseph's Tomb in 2000 was director of a yeshiva constructed there, explained, The sages tell us that there are three places which the world cannot claim were stolen by the Jewish people: the Temple Mount, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Joseph's Tomb.There is evidence suggesting for more than 1,000 years Jews of various origins worshipped at Joseph's Tomb. The Samaritans, a local tribe that follow a religion based on the Torah, say they trace their lineage back to Joseph himself and that they worshipped at the tomb site for more than 1,700 years. Israel first gained control of Nablus and the neighboring site of Joseph's Tomb in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Oslo Accords signed by Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called for the area surrounding the tomb site to be placed under Palestinian jurisdiction but allowed for continued Jewish visits to the site and the construction of an Israeli military outpost at the tomb to ensure secure Jewish access. Following the transfer of control of Nablus and the general area encompassing the tomb to the Palestinians in the early 1990s, there were a series of outbreaks of violence in which Arab rioters and gunmen from Arafat's Fatah militias shot at Jewish worshipers and the tomb's military outpost. Six Israeli soldiers were killed, and many others, including yeshiva students, were wounded in September 1996 when Palestinian rioters and Fatah gunmen attempted to over take the tomb. Eventually, Israeli soldiers regained control of the site. Gravestone at traditional burial site for biblical patriarch Joseph after it was ransacked by Palestinian mobs. The Palestinians continued to attack Joseph's Tomb with regular shootings and the lobbing of firebombs and Molotov cocktails. Security for Jews at the site increasingly became more difficult to maintain. Rumors circulated in 2000 that Barak would evacuate the Israeli military outpost and give the tomb to Arafat as a peacemaking gesture.In early 2000, the Israeli army began denying Jewish visits to the tomb on certain days due to prospects of Arab violence. Following U.S.-mediated peace talks at Camp David in September 2000, Arafat returned to the West Bank and initiated his intifada. During one bloody week in October 2000, Fatah gunmen attacked the tomb repeatedly, killing two and injuring dozens, prompting Barak to order a complete evacuation of the holy site Oct. 6. In a WND exclusive interview, Tariq Tarawi, a Fatah lawmaker who in 2000 served as chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group in the vicinity of the tomb, said the Palestinians would never allow Israel to rebuild a yeshiva or synagogue at Joseph's Tomb. The Brigades carried out most of the attacks against the tomb site. A yeshiva is an institution, said Tarawi. An institution can be the beginning of claiming rights and these claims can bring once again the Israeli army to establish a base in the place, and we cannot accept this. If the Jews try to build a yeshiva, we will shoot at them.
CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE NETANYAHU WITH E-MAILS TO PUT FEILIN 2ND BEHIND HIM IN THE ELECTION LINEUP,HES SQUEEZED FEIGLIN RIGHT OUT OF CONTENTION. FEIGLIN IS AN ORTHODOX JEW AND I BELIEVE IT WILL BE THE ORTHODOX IN POWER TO HAVE THE THIRD TEMPLE REBUILT,SO WE MUST GET NETANYAHU TO PUT FEIGLIN 2ND IN LINE BEHIND HIM IN THE ELECTIONS.
Netanyahu promises to topple Hamas leadership if elected Israeli PM
December 25, 2008
Israel's Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu promised Wednesday that he would act to topple the Hamas leadership if elected prime minister, local daily Ha'aretz reported on its website. The opposition leader made the remarks to a group of Russian speakers, saying that under his leadership, Israel would move from a policy of absorbing blows to a policy where it is on the offensive. In addition to stopping the rocket fire from Gaza Strip, such a policy would also restore Israel's national honor, said Netanyahu. Meanwhile, he reiterated previous remarks that Israel would hold on to the Golan Heights, saying that It should be clear to the Syrians and to the world, the Golan Heights will stay in our hands.In response to reports that leaders of the left-wing Meretz party are seeking to create a blocking majority against a rightist government, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of turning Likud into the biggest party so that it could form a government.
The rightist camp would be his first option in the search for coalition partners, said the opposition leader, adding that he would also turn to other parties in order to establish a wider coalition. Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister and ruling Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni made similar remarks to Netanyahu's regarding Hamas. On Sunday, Livni said that she would lead the government to topple the Hamas' regime in Gaza Strip if elected prime minister in the February parliamentary election. The people of Israel are threatened, missiles are falling, she said to Kadima members. I won't say what moves should be made. There is no calm in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel, and a government under my leadership, would topple Hamas in Gaza with military, economic and diplomatic means.She vowed that Israel must respond to restore its deterrence and stop the fire as long as it is fired upon, adding that's what the government must do, and will do, under my leadership. Source:Xinhua
Celebrating The Festival Of Lights December 18, 2008
Dear Friend of Israel,
Sunday, December 21 at sundown is the beginning of Hanukkah. It is a festive time of the Jewish year, especially for children, who receive a gift each day of the holiday along with Hanukkah gelt (a small amount of money, usually given in coins), and delight in lighting the menorah, playing with the four-sided top called the dreidel, and eating special holiday treats such as latkes (potato pancakes).During Hanukkah, Jews celebrate two miracles. The first miracle is the military victory 2,100 years ago of a small group of Jews, the Maccabees, against a powerful Greek-Syrian army that had invaded and occupied Israel, defiled the Temple, and tried to impose paganism upon the Jewish people. Despite overwhelming odds, the Jews fought fiercely and, through God’s favor, prevailed. This pivotal victory was the key to the survival of the Jews as a people and Judaism as a faith.The second miracle involves a flask of oil. After overcoming the invaders, the Jews set about to purify the Temple during the eight day Feast of Dedication. Upon entering, they found only one flask of purified oil for the eternal flame – enough to keep it burning for just one day. But, miraculously, the oil lasted eight days and nights until more pure oil could be brought. This is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days, and why it is called the Festival of Lights.
The story of the Maccabees and their courageous stand against foes who wanted to separate them from their faith contains a lesson for Christians and Jews alike. All of us must at one time or another be willing to take a stand against that which we believe is contrary to God’s will, even if taking that stand means we have to struggle against great odds. We may not immediately see the fruit of our faithfulness – in the Maccabees’ case, their struggle for victory against their oppressors took years! But in doing so, we know that we are doing what is right, and acting as partners with God to fulfill his purposes. And it is always possible that, like the Maccabees, God will bless us with a miracle for our faithfulness.
Today I invite you to learn more about Hanukkah by viewing online the Hanukkah episode of our Journey To Zion television program, and reading my in-depth teaching on Hanukkah’s meaning and significance. I hope these resources will help you grow in your faith as you come to better understand what is perhaps the most widely known Jewish holiday.For both Jews and Christians, this is the season of miracles. May it be a time of joy for you and your loved ones — and may you be blessed, even as you have blessed God's children, Israel.With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein President International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
The CARMEL ALERT Dec 26th 2008 A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to praying for Israel and the salvation of the Jewish people.
David's Comment: Israel is in Desparate Need of a 21st Century Judah Macabee
As the Christian world celebrates the birth of a Jewish baby 2000 years ago who was destined to become the King of Israel and the Saviour of the World, the Jewish world is celebrating the festival of Hanukah. Stefan shared with you the meaning and relevance of Hanukah in his comment last week, so you know that Hanukah is about God partnering with those who will stand with Him in the face of major adversity. That recipe, God + man = VICTORY. And we see over and over again in Israel's history that recipe works every time. If that recipe worked for Israel in the old days, then we can be sure it will work for Israel in the 21st Century - and the Lord knows how His nation of Israel needs a major victory today.
Last Friday the 6 month cease-fire that Egypt brokered between Israel and Hamas came to an end. This was a typical cease-fire for Israel - Israel ceased and Hamas kept firing. Hundreds of rockets were fired at Southern Israel from Gaza over the 6 months of the cease-fire, while the Israeli army, one of the most powerful armed forces in the world, sat back with its hands tied by a weak and inept government, whose inaction against the constant rocket attacks, can only have been due to massive pressure being applied from the US administration. Hamas, who are not afraid of the USA, have announced their decision not to renew the cease-fire.
In the first few hours after the cease-fire ended, the rocket attacks immediately increased. Rockets are falling on houses, community centres, and very close to strategic installations. Israeli citizens are being injured, private and public property is being destroyed and the army is still waiting for a green light from the government. It seems the government is more concerned with keeping President elect Obama happy than defending the people who voted them into power. The upcoming Israeli elections may also be a consideration in the way this situation is being handled, or more accurately, not handled. Over the last 6 months of the so called cease-fire Hamas, following the example of Hizbollah, has regrouped, re-armed and re-established itself as a real force to be reckoned with. Hamas is ready for a full scale war with Israel - a war which they believe they can win, thus realising the Muslim world's goal of driving Israel into the sea. In the natural the future looks very bad for Israel. Hamas is ready for war on the southern border, Hizbollah is ready for war on the northern border, and Iran's maniacal leader is constantly calling for Israel's destruction. The question we should all be asking is what will it take for Israel's leadership to wake up? Only now after this week's barrage of rockets following the end of the cease-fire, is the Israeli government threatening and preparing to hit Hamas hard.
It will be interesting to see how they carry out that threat. A ground operation will place IDF soldiers at a huge risk of injury and death. The only sensible option is to use the Air Force and hit Gaza from the air, wiping out Hamas leadership, and then sending in the ground forces to fully retake and occupy the Gaza Strip. This current violence is due to the fact that the Sharon government removed all Israel civilians and the military from the Gaza Strip on 2006.
That political decision is now seen as the biggest mistake in the history of modern Israel.The aspirations of Israel's enemies to bring about the end of the Jewish state overlooks one key dynamic - the all powerful God of Israel, also known as the Lord of the Armies, who makes it very clear in His Word that He will never allow His land and His people to be destroyed. Every previous enemy of Israel lost their place as the dominant world empire after attacking the tiny nation. Israel is a very small nation but the God of Israel is a very big God. The story of Hanukah has been repeated over and over again as a continual line of Satanically inspired bullies attempted to destroy Israel and the Jewish people, and ended up as the defeated ones.We are witnessing in our day yet another attempt to remove God's nation from the face of the Earth. Even those who see themselves as Israel's friends are working with her current enemies to weaken and hog-tie the tiny state. The situation is extremely serious and it is surely the time for a warrior like Judas Macabee to rise up in Israel. A leader who will refuse to bow down to the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A leader who will not sacrifice the plan of God to appease the EU or UN or the Quartet. A leader who will refuse to allow a parasite state inside the borders of God's Land. A leader who will not allow the Holy City to ever be divided again. A leader who will trust in Word of the Lord to see the miraculous victory that only the God of Israel can bring about supernaturally.
Is there such a man out there? Only God knows. All we can do is pray that for such a time as this, He will raise up another man like Judah Macabee. As we all enjoy the festive season and look towards the rapidly approaching end of 2008, please don't forget to pray for Israel, and for the raising up of the Lord's appointed leader for this absolutely strategic time in the history of Israel, and the entire world. 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.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
First Published 2008-12-26
How Russia Courts the Muslim World
Russia is seeking strong political relations not only with Iran and Syria, but also with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey - which have long been close allies of the United States, notes Jacques Lévesque. Vladimir Putin was the first head of a non-Muslim majority state to speak at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, a gathering of 57 Muslim states, in October 2003. That was a political and diplomatic feat, especially since Russia was waging a long-running war in Chechnya at the time. Putin stressed that 15% of the total population of the Russian Federation are Muslim, and that all the inhabitants of eight of its 21 autonomous republics are Muslim, and he won observer member status with the organisation, thanks to support from Saudi Arabia and Iran.Since then, Putin and other Russian leaders, including the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, claim that Russia is, to some extent, a part of the Muslim world. In an interview with Al Jazeera on 16 October 2003, Putin stressed that, unlike Muslims living in western Europe, those in Russia were indigenous and that Islam had been present on Russian territory long before Christianity. So Russia now claims to have a privileged political relationship with the Arab and Muslim world and believes that, as a mostly European state, it has a historic vocation as a mediator between the western and Muslim worlds.There are reasons for these claims. The first is to counter the pernicious effect of the Chechnyan war, in Russia as much as in the rest of the world. The aim is to avoid, or at least limit, polarisation between Russia’s ethnic majority and its Muslims by reinforcing Muslims’ feeling of belonging to the state. We must prevent Islamophobia, said Putin in the Al Jazeera interview. That will be difficult given the way anyone suspected of being a Muslim fundamentalist is pursued, and not just in Chechnya. Terrorism should not be identified with any one religion, culture or tradition, Putin insisted. Before 9/11 he called Chechen rebels Muslim fundamentalist terrorists; now he speaks of terrorists connected to international criminal networks and drug and arms traffickers, avoiding any reference to Islam.
The other purpose in seeking special ties with the Arab and Muslim world is related to Russia’s foreign policy aim to reinforce multipolarity in the world -- to sustain and develop poles of resistance to US hegemony and unilateralism. This means taking advantage of the hostility to US foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim world. The Soviet Union used to present itself as the natural ally of anti-imperialist Arab states with a socialist orientation. Now Russia is seeking strong political relations not only with Iran and Syria, but also with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, which have long been close allies of the United States.Economic considerations are important, especially in the energy sector -- the power behind Russia’s return to the international stage. The Kremlin believes there is a major future in nuclear energy and the export of nuclear power stations, which may give Russia a competitive edge in technology and make it more than just an exporter of raw energy. The same is true of high-tech weapons, which were the most successful economic sector of the former Soviet Union before serious difficulties in the 1990s.
The Kremlin is no longer seeking formal alliances. It wants strong but non-restrictive political ties in frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), which do not put it in direct opposition to the United States. Significantly, Iran only has observer status in this organisation, although it would like to be a full member.One more explanation for this new policy towards the Muslim world is the quest for a post-Soviet Russian identity at home and abroad. This is not just political opportunism. In 2005, the academic Sergei Rogov wrote in the official foreign ministry review: The Islamic factor in Russian policy is first and foremost a question of identity.… That is one of the reasons why Russia cannot yet be a nation state in the European sense of the term.… Our relations with the Islamic world directly affect our security.It is important to grasp what that means. In September 2003, Igor Ivanov, then foreign minister, said the war in Iraq had increased the number of terrorist attacks on Russian territory as elsewhere in the world. That was before Beslan, but Russia was already fearful of terrorism as a consequence of the Iraq war. Russia had hoped that a new multipolar configuration would emerge from the concerted opposition at the UN Security Council by France, Germany and Russia, which had deprived the US of international legitimacy for the war.Russian leaders, with Putin and Medvedev at the head, were seriously concerned that a clash of civilisations would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Given the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and unconditional US support for Israel’s most intransigent policies, Russian leaders thought potential US attacks on Iran would be a catastrophe, with destabilising consequences in Iran, so close to Russia, as well as in several former Soviet republics and in Russia.This is a key to understanding the complex and difficult relationship that Moscow has with Tehran. Iran is an important geopolitical partner, as well as being the third-biggest buyer of Russian arms after China and India, and a showcase for the controlled export of nuclear power plants. Iran’s leaders have refrained from expressing support for Chechen rebels. Iran and Russia cooperated in supporting armed opposition to the Taliban in Afghanistan, long before the United States. (Afghanistan under the Taliban was the only state in the world to recognise the independence of Chechnya and offer assistance to Chechen fighters.) But Moscow did denounce President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks about Israel as shameful and put pressure on Tehran by voting with the United States for economic sanctions at the UN Security Council, although it excluded military action.By risking a deterioration of its relations with Iran, Russia wants to show the United States and other western powers that it is responsible when it comes to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It also wants to persuade Iran to find a modus vivendi with the International Atomic Energy Agency. By agreeing to limited and gradual sanctions, Russia hopes to reduce the threat of an armed attack against Iran for as long as possible. Russia does not want an Iran equipped with nuclear weapons on its frontiers, but it would prefer to live with a nuclear Iran than face the consequences of a US attack on Iran.
The ambivalence of these positions has contributed to a rapprochement with traditional US allies such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia -- both concerned that Iran may have access to nuclear weapons. However, like Russia and for the same reasons, they are opposed to US military action. They fear the consequences at home as well as among their immediate neighbours.As a result of the war in Iraq, Turkey has a de facto independent Kurdistan on its borders, a problem that would be seriously aggravated by a destabilised Iran. Russia intends to take advantage of this at a time when its economic exchanges with Turkey -- and political convergence -- are at their best for two centuries.Russia also intends to keep improving its relations with Saudi Arabia, which opposed the war in Iraq despite its hostility to Saddam Hussein. (It did, however, make its bases available to the United States.) In February 2007, Putin made a first visit by a Russian or Soviet head of state to Saudi Arabia and offered contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants and arms. He also pleaded for an increase in the number of Russian Muslims authorised to make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Saudi support for the Chechen rebels, openly expressed until 2002 (without recognition of the independence they claimed), suddenly stopped. Jacques Lévesque teaches at the faculty of political science and law at the University of Quebec, Montreal, and is author of 1989, la fin d’un empire: L’URSS et la libération de l’Europe de l’Est, Presses de Sciences Po, Paris, 1995 -- translated by Krystina Horko.2008 Le Monde diplomatique.
Russia to Export Missiles to Syria, Venezuela, Vedomosti Says
By Lyubov Pronina
Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Russia plans to supply air-defense missile systems valued at $250 million to seven countries including Syria, Libya and Venezuela, Vedomosti reported, citing an unidentified official in Russian Technologies Corp. Russia has started fulfilling orders of 200 S-125 systems that are due to be delivered during the next three years, the Moscow-based newspaper said. Russia will ship about 70 missile systems to Egypt, and also supply Myanmar, Vietnam and Turkmenistan, Vedomosti said. To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at email@example.com;
Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border,Tension grows between nuclear-armed neighbors following Mumbai attacks DEC 26,08 Vinay Joshi / AP
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan started to redeploy thousands of troops to the Indian border from the tribal areas near Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Friday, raising tensions in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. The move was expected to frustrate the United States, which has been pushing Pakistan to step up its fight against al-Qaida and Taliban militants near the Afghan border. India has blamed Pakistani-based militants for last month's siege on its financial capital, which killed 164 people and has provoked an increasingly bitter war of words between nuclear-armed neighbors that have fought three wars in 60 years. The troops headed to the Indian border were being diverted away from tribal areas near Afghanistan, the two officials said. They said elements of the army's 14th Infantry Division were being redeployed to the towns of Kasur and Sialkot, close to the Indian border. The military began the troop movement Thursday and plans to shift a total of 20,000 soldiers, they said without providing a timeframe. Earlier Friday, a security official said all troop leave had been canceled. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. India and Pakistan have said they want to avoid military conflict over the attacks. But India has not ruled out the use of force as it presses its neighbor to crack down on the Pakistani-based terrorist group it blames for the attack.
The real issue
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has promised to respond aggressively if attacked but reassured India Friday that Pakistan would not strike first. We will not take any action on our own, Gilani told reporters. There will be no aggression from our side.Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee accused Pakistan of trying to divert attention away from its struggle to rein in homegrown terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, which Delhi accuses of masterminding the Mumbai attacks. They should concentrate on the real issue: how to fight against terrorists and how to fight against and bring to book the perpetrators of (the) Bombay terrorist attack, he said. Pakistan has arrested several senior members of the banned group and cracked down on a charity the U.S. and U.N. say was a front for Lashkar. India has demanded greater action, but Pakistan says it needs to share evidence backing up its claims. Mukherjee responded Friday by saying India had provided more than enough evidence about the militants, who infiltrated Mumbai by sea. We have indicated to them that there are ample evidences from the log book of the captured ship, from the information available from satellite telephones and various others that elements from Pakistan were responsible for this attack, Mukherjee told reporters.
Prevailing security situation
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Friday with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force to discuss the prevailing security situation, according to an official statement. An Associated Press reporter in Dera Ismail Khan, a district that borders Pakistan's militant-infested South Waziristan tribal area, said he saw around 25 trucks loaded with soldiers and equipment heading away from the Afghan border Friday. A senior security official confirmed that soldiers were being moved out of the border area, but said it was a limited number from areas where they were not engaged in any operation.He declined further comment and asked his name not be used, citing the sensitivity of the situation. The White House said it was discussing the reported troop movements with U.S. embassies in the region and was urging both countries to cooperate in investigating the attacks and fighting terrorism. We hope that both sides will avoid taking steps that will unnecessarily raise tensions during these already tense times, said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
Warning to India
Analysts said the redeployment was likely meant as a warning to India not to launch missile strikes against militant targets on its territory, a response that some have speculated is possible. It is a message to India that if you think you can get away with strikes, you are sadly mistaken, said Talat Masood, a retired general and military analyst based in Islamabad. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two over Kashmir, a Muslim majority region in the Himalayas claimed by both countries. They came close to a fourth after suspected Pakistani militants attacked India's parliament in 2001. Both countries massed hundreds of thousands of troops to the disputed Kashmir region, but tensions cooled after intensive international diplomacy. News of the buildup comes as Indian officials say militant activity in Indian Kashmir has fallen to its lowest levels since an anti-India militant movement began there in 1989. The number of militant attacks fell 40 percent from 2007-2008, reaching 709 this year from roughly 1,100 last year, Kuldeep Khoda, a senior police official, said in a statement.
Decrease in attacks
Police say there are 850 militants fighting in the region, including followers of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is widely believed to be a creation of Pakistani intelligence in the 1980s and used to fight Indian-rule in Kashmir. Indian authorities say the decrease in attacks is the result of an experienced security apparatus that has struck at the heart of many militant groups — Khoda said Indian forces have killed about 350 militants this year, including some top-ranking commanders. But they also say that the militants have scaled back their attacks as a large public protest movement gained momentum since last summer. Pakistan has deployed more than 100,000 soldiers in Waziristan and other northwestern regions to fight Islamic militants blamed for surging violence against Western troops in Afghanistan as well as suicide attacks in Pakistan.
A serious blow
Security officials have previously said the country would be forced to withdraw troops from the Afghan border if tensions with India — whose army is twice as large —escalated. This is a serious blow to the war on terror in the sense that the whole focus is now shifting toward the eastern border, said Masood. It will give more leeway to the militants and increased space to operate.The United States wants Pakistan to stay focused on the fight against militants in the border region, where Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders are believed to be hiding.
Friday, December 26, 2008
LEARN ABOUT CHANUKAH
CHANUKAH DAY 1-8 SCRIPTURES
911 DECEPTON BY GOVERNMENT,MEDIA OR EXPLOSIONS INSTEAD. YOU DECIDE.
RICHARD GAGE IN TORONTO ON 911 COVERUP BY GOVERNMENT
OTHER RICHARD GAGE VIDEOS
I HEARD A RUMOUR THAT THE JAN 21 OR 22 HAPPENING COULD BE AN ASSASINATION ATTEMPT,THEN MARTIAL LAW INFORCED. LIKE I SAY THIS IS JUST A RUMOUR MY GUESS WOULD BE AN AL-QIDA ATTACK ON AMERICA OR A ONE HOUR ECONOMY COLLAPSE AS CHINA,RUSSIA WOULD DUMP DOLLARS WHICH WOULD INDUCE MARTIAL LAW.
Homeland Security forecasts 5-year terror threats By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer – FRI Dec 26, 9:13 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The terrorism threat to the United States over the next five years will be driven by instability in the Middle East and Africa, persistent challenges to border security and increasing Internet savvy, says a new intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press.Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks are considered the most dangerous threats that could be carried out against the U.S. But those threats are also the most unlikely because it is so difficult for al-Qaida and similar groups to acquire the materials needed to carry out such plots, according to the internal Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013.The al-Qaida terrorist network continues to focus on U.S. attack targets vulnerable to massive economic losses, casualties and political turmoil, the assessment said.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction remains the highest priority at the federal level. Speaking to reporters on Dec. 3, Chertoff explained that more people, such as terrorists, will learn how to make dirty bombs, biological and chemical weapons. The other side is going to continue to learn more about doing things, he said.
Marked for official use only, the report does not specify its audience, but the assessments typically go to law enforcement, intelligence officials and the private sector. When determining threats, intelligence officials consider loss of life, economic and psychological consequences.Intelligence officials also predict that in the next five years, terrorists will try to conduct a destructive biological attack. Officials are concerned about the possibility of infections to thousands of U.S. citizens, overwhelming regional health care systems.There could also be dire economic impacts caused by workers' illnesses and deaths. Officials are most concerned about biological agents stolen from labs or other storage facilities, such as anthrax.The threat of terrorism and the threat of extremist ideologies has not abated, Chertoff said in his year-end address on Dec. 18. This threat has not evaporated, and we can't turn the page on it.These high-consequence threats are not the only kind of challenges that will confront the U.S. over the next five years.
Terrorists will continue to try to evade U.S. border security measures and place operatives inside the mainland to carry out attacks, the 38-page assessment said. It also said that they may pose as refugees or asylum seekers or try to exploit foreign travel channels such as the visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 34 countries to enter the U.S. without visas.Long waits for immigration and more restrictive European refugee and asylum programs will cause more foreigners to try to enter the U.S. illegally. Increasing numbers of Iraqis are expected to migrate to the U.S. in the next five years; and refugees from Somalia and Sudan could increase because of conflicts in those countries, the assessment said.Because there is a proposed cap of 12,000 refugees from Africa, officials expect more will try to enter the U.S. illegally as well. Officials predict the same scenario for refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.Intelligence officials predict the pool of radical Islamists within the U.S. will increase over the next five years due partly to the ease of online recruiting means. Officials foresee a wave of young, self-identified Muslim 'terrorist wannabes' who aspire to carry out violent acts.The U.S. has already seen some examples of these homegrown terrorists. Recently five Muslim immigrants were convicted of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix in a case the government said demonstrated its post-Sept. 11 determination to stop terrorist attacks in the planning stages.The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah does not have a known history of fomenting attacks inside the U.S., but that could change if there is some kind of triggering event, the Homeland assessment cautions.
A 2008 Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism assessment said that Hezbollah members based in the U.S. do local fundraising through charity projects and criminal activity, like money laundering, smuggling, drug trafficking, fraud and extortion, according to the homeland security assessment.In addition, the cyber terror threat is expected to increase over the next five years, as hacking tools become more sophisticated and available. Youthful, Internet-savvy extremists might apply their online acumen to conduct cyber attacks rather than offer themselves up as operatives to conduct physical attacks, according to the assessment.Currently, Islamic terrorists, including al-Qaida, would like to conduct cyber attacks, but they lack the capability to do so, the assessment said. The large-scale attacks that are on al-Qaida's wishlist — such as disrupting a major city's water or power systems — require sophisticated cyber capabilities that the terrorist group does not possess. But al-Qaida has the capability to hire sophisticated hackers to carry out these kinds of attacks, the assessment said. And federal officials believe that in the next three to five years, al-Qaida could direct or inspire cyber attacks that target the U.S. economy. Counterterrorism expert Frank Cilluffo says the typical cyber attack would not achieve al-Qaida's main goal of inflicting mass devastation with its resulting widespread media coverage. However, al-Qaida is likely to continue to rely on the Internet to spread its message, said Cilluffo, who runs the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. Officials also predict that domestic terrorists in the forms of radical animal rights and environmental extremists will become more adept with explosives and increase their use of arson attacks.
Olmert issues last-minute warning to Hamas Thu Dec 25, 2:27 PM
By Adam Entous and Ari Rabinovitch
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday issued a last-minute appeal to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to reject their Hamas rulers and stop rocket fire at Israel, warning them he would not hesitate to use force.His comments were the clearest indication yet that Israel was preparing a possible Gaza offensive which could result in heavy casualties on both sides and fuel a humanitarian crisis.Israeli political sources said Olmert's security cabinet approved a staged military escalation, beginning with air strikes against a wider range of Hamas targets in the densely-populated enclave.A large-scale operation has yet to be authorized but could get a green light depending on Hamas's response, the sources said.In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel would pay the price for any attack.Olmert told Al Arabiya television, an Arab broadcaster widely watched in Gaza: I didn't come here to declare war.But Hamas must be stopped -- that is the way it is going to be. I will not hesitate to use Israel's might to strike Hamas and (Islamic) Jihad. How? I will not go into details now, Olmert said, according to a statement issued by his office.Olmert has resisted calls within Israel for a major military operation against Hamas, but rocket and mortar fire from the coastal enclave since a six-month truce brokered by Egypt expired last week has increased pressure on him to act.Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a leading candidate to replace Olmert in a February 10 election, held emergency talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo, who cautioned against an escalation.
ROCKET FIRE UNBEARABLE
Livni said Hamas had to pay for unbearable rocket fire, declaring: Enough is enough.
Adding to the saber-rattling, army chief Gabi Ashkenazi said Israel would have to act with all our force to hurt the terrorist infrastructure and change the security reality.In a sign any fighting with Gaza ran the risk of igniting a wider war, Lebanese troops dismantled eight rockets set up for launch at Israel in a border village. Israel fought an inconclusive war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon in 2006.Egypt appealed to Hamas leaders after the talks with Livni to calm the situation so as to avoid an Israeli military escalation, a Palestinian official said in Gaza.In response to world appeals and a reduction in rocket fire from Gaza, Israel agreed later to let about 100 trucks carrying food, humanitarian aid, grain and animal feed travel into Gaza on Friday through two crossings, officials on both sides said.Israel has tried to weaken Islamist Hamas by keeping the Gaza Strip's border crossings closed, increasing hardship for the territory's 1.5 million residents. But there is little doubt that Hamas has control and can counter internal challenges.Since the ceasefire ended on Friday, more than 200 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel, causing damage but few injuries, the Israeli army said. In the same period, six Gaza militants have been killed in Israeli attacks.
But rocket fire from Gaza declined to 16 launches on Thursday, from dozens the day before.In the Al Arabiya interview, Olmert issued what amounted to a public call to Gazans to overthrow their Hamas leaders to prevent an escalation with Israel.I'm telling them now. It may be the last minute. I'm telling them. Stop it. We are stronger. There will be more blood there. Who wants it? We don't want it, Olmert said.Olmert questioned whether Hamas's stance was consistent with Islam. Is the spirit of Islam to kill innocent children, to fire rockets at kindergartens and civilians? I don't think that is the spirit of Islam, Olmert said.(Additional reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Nadim Ladki in Beirut, Alaa Shahine in Cairo, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Haitham Tamimi in Hebron; editing by Andrew Roche)
Storm blankets West with snow, ice glazes Midwest DEC 26,08
By SANDRA CHEREB, Associated Press Writer
RENO, Nev. – Yet another snowstorm pummeled parts of the West on Friday, snarling post-holiday traffic and darkening lights on Christmas trees, and freezing rain covered some Midwest highways with a dangerous sheet of ice.Winter storm warnings were issued Friday for parts of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas, and a blizzard warning was in effect for the mountains of southwest Colorado.It's going to be a heck of a storm, said Chris Cuoco, senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, Colo. We're expecting significant snowfall in all the mountains of Colorado. Even the valleys are going to see 4-plus inches of snow.Up to 20 inches of snow was forecast in parts of the Rockies, along with wind gusts of up to 80 mph.In the Midwest, most streets and highways in the Chicago area were ice-glazed. The Eisenhower Expressway — Interstate 290 — was closed for a time because of the ice, but the temperature was rising above the freezing point by midmorning. The village of Lemont, Ill., shut down all its major intersections.The full length of the Indiana Toll Road, more than 150 miles, was shut down for about two hours Friday morning because it was an entire sheet of ice with numerous accidents, said state Trooper William Jones. Indiana also closed a 10-mile section of Interstate 69 just north of Fort Wayne.Utah officials shut down Interstate 84 at the Utah-Idaho state line Friday because of the weather, and some state roads were open only to vehicles with tire chains or four-wheel-drive. Colorado closed at least two mountain pass highways.Heavy snow and whiteout conditions in the Sierra Nevada on Thursday led authorities to intermittently shut down Interstate 80, the busy main link between northern Nevada and Northern California.
The mountains around Lake Tahoe received about 2 feet of snow, bringing totals at some resorts in the past two weeks to 10 feet.This is one of the snowiest Christmas holiday periods I can remember, said Kent Hoopingarner, general manager at Homewood Mountain Resort.Elsewhere in the Sierra, an avalanche killed a 21-year-old man Thursday at the Squaw Valley USA ski resort in California. A Utah avalanche killed two people earlier in the week.In New Mexico, San Juan County got up to 5 inches of snow for its first white Christmas in 11 years, the weather service said.We were eating breakfast this morning and it was snowing. It was very Christmasy, said Farmington resident Kim Hamer, who went sledding with her husband and two sons.
Nearly a foot of snow in the Salt Lake City area blacked out about 10,000 customers Thursday morning. Power was also knocked out in parts of Oregon on Thursday, affecting 19,000 customers of Portland General Electric, said PGE spokesman Steve Corson.Farther north, the weight of snow, ice and water over the past week collapsed the roof of a high school in Olympia, Wash. There was severe water damage but no injuries, fire Lt. Ralph Dunbar said. In eastern Washington, Spokane reached a snowfall total for the month of 46.2 inches, a record for December, said Laurie Nisbet of the weather service.Snow and ice weren't the only problems. The weather service confirmed that it was two small tornadoes on Christmas Eve that caused scattered damage in Alabama.Slippery roads and cold have been blamed for seven deaths this week in Wisconsin; five in Ohio; four each in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri; two in Kansas, two in Michigan, and one apiece in Illinois, Oklahoma, Iowa, Massachusetts and West Virginia.
Southeast Asia remembers tsunami on anniversary By MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental Writer DEC 26,08
BANGKOK, Thailand – Southeast Asia's tsunami-ravaged coral reefs have bounced back with surprising speed, according to a study released Friday, four years after the deadly waves hit.The findings came as communities across the Indian Ocean remembered the disaster that struck Dec. 26, 2004 with prayers, songs and tears. About 230,000 people were killed in a dozen countries when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered the tsunami.Surveys of coral reefs after the tsunami showed that up to one-third were damaged and experts predicted it would take a decade for them to fully recover.
Scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, working with the Indonesian government and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said their examination of 60 sites on 497 miles (800 kilometers) of coastline along Indonesia's Aceh province showed the reefs were bouncing back.On the 4th anniversary of the tsunami, this is a great story of ecosystem resilience and recovery, said Stuart Campbell, coordinator of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Indonesia Marine Program.Our scientific monitoring is showing rapid growth of young corals in areas where the tsunami caused damage, and also the return of new generations of corals in areas previously damaged by destructive fishing, Campbell said in a statement. These findings provide new insights into coral recovery processes that can help us manage coral reefs in the face of climate change.Healthy coral reefs are economic engines for Acehnese communities, Campbell added, supplying fish to eat and sell as well as tourism dollars from recreational diving.The tsunami decimated coastlines across the Indian Ocean, wiping out villages, killing entire families and crippling the economies in parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The United Nations estimated that Aceh alone lost $332.4 million from the loss of its reefs to the destructive waves.But four years on, the multibillion dollar rebuilding process is almost complete with more than 120,000 homes built in Aceh alone and the reconstruction of tourist hotels and restaurants along Thailand's Andaman coast.Thousands gathered Friday to celebrate the progress but to also remember the dead and reflect on a tragedy that turned their lives upside down.I don't think people will ever forget the tsunami. It changed a lot of people's lives, said Alisara Na-Takuatung, a local Phuket radio disc jockey who took part in a ceremony on Thailand's Patong beach attended by 200 people.About 50 Buddhist monks prayed while school children played traditional Thai instruments.I know people who lost their husbands, their kids. Those people won't forget about the tsunami, she said. They will see it as a lesson. You think about what you can do for others.
Ibrahim Musa, a 42-year-old civil servant who joined thousands in a prayer service in the hard-hit Aceh province of Indonesia, said it feels like yesterday that his family was taken by the sea.
Even after four years, I cannot forget how I lost hold of my wife and baby, he said. I have tried in vain to look for them for three years. Now I have no choice but to accept their departure as destiny.Siti Hasnaini, 40, who still lives with her two sons and husband in a temporary shelter in Aceh, prayed for my daughter who was washed away with my house.In India, where thousands also perished, interfaith prayers and a moment of silence were held. The Sri Lankan government declared two minutes of silence for the 35,000 people killed there as well as other victims of natural disasters. The healing trend embraced by those devastated by the tsunami has extended to the reefs with communities responding to calls to protect them from illegal fishing, pollution and coastal development. Campbell said citizens have been particularly responsive in Aceh where fishermen have stopped using illegal techniques like dynamite and villagers have transplanted corals into areas that were hardest hit. The recovery, which is in part due to improved management and the direct assistance of local people, gives enormous hope that coral reefs in this remote region can return to their previous condition and provide local communities with the resources they need to prosper, Campbell said. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a reef expert from the University of Queensland in Australia who did not take part in the study, said the findings were not surprising since corals typically will recover if not affected by fishing and coastal development. The mechanical damage from the tsunami left a whole bunch of shattered corals on the bottom of the sea, Hoegh-Guldberg said. Left alone, these things can quickly grow back into what looks like a coral reef in a short time, he said. We are seeing similar things around the southern Great Barrier Reef where reefs that experience major catastrophe can bounce back quite quickly.John Bruno, a reef expert from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, agreed saying it shows coral reefs are able to recover after severe disturbances. There has been so much bad news about coral decline lately, and the threats to corals seem to increase every year. It is important to recognize that these invaluable ecosystems are not lost, he said in an e-mail interview. We just have to implement some common sense policies locally and substantially reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at a global scale.Associated Press Writer Fachrurradize Gade contributed to this report from Banda Aceh, Indonesia. On The Web: Wildlife Conservation Society: http://www.wcs.org
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HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
WORLD MARKET RESULTS
HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS FRI DEC 26,2008
09:30 AM +10.25
10:00 AM +39.98
10:30 AM +47.47
11:00 AM +39.26
11:30 AM +28.91
12:00 PM +32.65
12:30 PM +16.88
01:00 PM +1.43
01:30 PM +6.77
02:00 PM +12.34
02:30 PM +14.49
03:00 PM +27.00
03:30 PM +59.49
04:00 PM +47.07 8515.55
S&P 500 872.80 +4.65
NASDAQ 1530.24 +5.34
GOLD 870.20 +21.60
OIL 37.82 +2.38
TSE 300 8310.55 (OFF)
CDNX 697.00 (OFF)
S&P/TSX/60 502.08 (OFF)
Dow +41 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow +63 points at high.
Dow +29 points at low.
YEAR TO DATE
Russell 2000 -38.58%
NYSE COMPOSITE -43.66%
NYSE STATS 10:30AM
Advances 1698,Declines 1101,Unchanged 134,New highs 3,New lows 7.
NASDAQ STATS 10:30AM
Advances 1292,Declines 964,Unchanged 229.
GMAC recieves approval to become a bank holding company.
SpendingPulse report:Retail sales -4% this Holiday season.
Retailers Year to date:Abercrombie -73%,Nordstrom -67%,Macy's -66%.
Jones New York +15% After reducing Credt lines.
Dow +63 points at high.
Dow +29 points at low.
Fewer than 200,000 shares traded at noon today.
Dow +63 points at high.
Dow -6 points at low.
Dow +0.6% today
Dow -35.8% this year.
Dow -3.4% this month.
S&P +0.5% today.
S&P -40.6% this year.
S&P -2.6% this month.
Nasdaq +0.3% this week.
Nasdaq -42.3% this year.
Nasdaq -0.4% this month.
-Light volume,tight range.
-Negative Holiday sales weigh.
-Gmac Bank status approval boosts autos.
-333 MILLION Shares traded by 3PM today.
DOW,S&P,NASDAQ has not had a 2 day up streak since DEC 08,2008.
Stocks have 2 winning,2 losing days in this shortened trading week.
Stocks gains for 2nd day,but end lower on the week.
OIL snaps 9 session losing streak.
3 TRADING DAYS REMAIN IN 2008.
Stocks up after GMAC lifeline, retail sales dip By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer DEC 26,08
NEW YORK – Wall Street has ended the week with a moderate advance in light post-holiday trading after the government threw a lifeline to General Motors Corp.'s finance arm. But while the market did manage an advance, dreary holiday spending readings are dimming the chances for a big year-end rally.Americans spent much less this season than they did last year, according to SpendingPulse, a division of MasterCard Advisors. Personal consumption is a huge part of U.S. economic activity, so Wall Street is nervous that a frugal consumer could keep the economy weak in 2009.
Investors did react well to news on Christmas Eve that the Federal Reserve had allowed GMAC Financial Services to become a bank holding company and thus qualify for the government's $700 billion rescue fund.The Dow Jones industrials are up 47 points at 8,515. All the major indexes finished higher.
Canadian economy shrinks, on track for recession By David Ljunggren David Ljunggren –Wed Dec 24, 11:46 am ET
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada's economy shrank in October on declines in wholesale trade and manufacturing, paving the way for a recession that has been widely predicted by analysts and government officials.Statistics Canada said on Wednesday that the economy shrank by 0.1 percent in October from September, less than the 0.3 percent fall predicted by market analysts.Year on year, gross domestic product growth was an anemic 0.2 percent, the lowest figure since the 0.2 percent increase recorded in May 1992.The decline in October GDP likely marks the start of recession in Canada, said Benjamin Reitzes of BMO Capital Markets Economics.The technical definition of recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.Ian Pollick, economics strategist at TD Securities, said he expected fourth quarter GDP to contract between 1.5 and 2.0 percent from the third quarter and to shrink by at least 0.7 percent from the year-before quarter.Either way you slice it, the Canadian economy is beginning to feel the weakness of the global economic slowdown, he said.Wholesale trade fell by 2.7 percent in October over September, while manufacturing dropped by 0.7 percent, as both sectors felt the impact of a slump in the auto sector that is causing more and more pain for Canada.Weakening demand for housing reduced business for real estate agents and brokers by 14.3 percent in October, the biggest monthly decline in more than a decade.The data had little impact on the Canadian dollar. At 9:50 a.m., the currency was at C$1.2170 to the U.S. dollar, or 82.17 U.S. cents, down slightly from C$1.2146 to the U.S. dollar, or 82.33 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.On the positive side, the energy sector grew by 1.2 percent on increased oil and gas extraction, while the finance and insurance sector rose 0.4 percent due to unusually high trading volume on stock exchanges.Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States and as such is extremely vulnerable to the growing economic crisis in its neighbor to the south.
For a small open economy that continues to see the vast majority of its external demand originate out of the United States, there is little debate over the economy's inability to decouple itself from the U.S. consumer and the U.S. economic slowdown, said Stewart Hall, an economist at HSBC Securities.The expectation is for the economy to decelerate significantly in November and December, he added, predicting that GDP in the fourth quarter would contract by 2.5 percent on annualized basis from the third quarter.(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)
US holiday season retail sales plunge amid recession DEC 26,08
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A dismal Christmas-New Year shopping season for American retailers -- that's what a preliminary poll showed Friday as the United States reeled from a prolonged recession that has cut jobs and spending.Total retail sales dropped by up to eight percent for the traditional November-December shopping period, making it one of the worst holiday shopping periods in decades, the MasterCard Inc.'s SpendingPulse unit said in a report.While total retail sales are down in the 5.5 to eight percent range for November and December, there were a few signs of relative strength, according to Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for SpendingPulse.The 40 percent drop in the price of gasoline compared to December 2007 accounted for almost half of the decline, the report said, tracking retail and service sales nationally.Excluding gasoline, total sales were down two to four percent this holiday season compared to the same period in 2007, it said.Sectors that sold food, such as grocery and general merchandise stores and some sectors of the restaurant sector, helped keep total declines in the single digit range.And sales through the Internet also remained comparatively healthy, with overall e-commerce sales declining only 2.3 percent compared to the 2007 holiday season.
Still, McNamara noted, A difficult economic environment combined with unfavorable weather during the last week of shopping made 2008 one of the most challenging holiday shopping seasons in decades.The usually hot apparel sector was among the worst hit despite huge discounts.Total apparel sales declines stabilized in the 19 to 21 percent range over the same period last year, only slightly higher than the 19.5 percent year-to-year decline through the first week in December, and the 19 percent decline in the first half of November, the latest survey said.The popular electronics and appliance category also suffered, facing declines of more than 26 percent against 2007.Sales above 1,000 dollars have been a consistent drag on this sector throughout the season, observed McNamara.But luxury sales, another high-ticket sector, showed the largest year-over-year declines, with sales down by more than 34 percent over last year.When jewelry was excluded, luxury sales were down slightly over 21 percent compared with 2007.
GM shares and GMAC bonds jump on bank holding status
By Soyoung Kim and Walden Siew DEc 26,08
DETROIT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of General Motors Corp and bonds of GMAC LLC jumped on Friday after the auto finance company won U.S. approval to become a bank holding company.The Federal Reserve approved GMAC's status as a bank on Wednesday, giving the automaker's finance affiliate access to government lending programs, which may help GMAC avoid bankruptcy and continue financing of dealer and consumer loans for GM vehicles.Shares of GM were up 19.38 percent, or 63 cents, at $3.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.The news came less than a week after the U.S. government agreed to bail out GM and Chrysler LLC with $17.4 billion of emergency loans to provide liquidity and stave off collapse and massive loss of jobs.It's significant in terms of GM's ability to move cars, said Erich Merkle, an analyst at Crowe Horwath.Things are still pretty ugly out there (in terms of sales) but in terms of GM possibly filing for bankruptcy, in my mind that's not going to happen. The reason I'm saying this is what they (the government) are doing with GMAC right now.GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said last week that GMAC's difficulties were hammering the carmaker's ability to sell vehicles.The new bank status came ahead of a midnight debt swap deadline on Friday. GMAC, owned by private equity firm Cerberus and GM, is looking to swap $38 billion of outstanding debt for a smaller amount of new debt, as well as preferred shares and cash, to reduce its debt load and raise capital.This opens the door to invest in the senior and subordinated debt, which are trading at very attractive yields, said Andrew Brenner, an analyst at MF Global Inc in New York.
GMAC's 5.625 percent notes due in 2009 climbed to 93 cents, yielding 26 percent, versus about 73 cents on Monday, its last significant trade, when the note yielded almost 104 percent, according to MarketAxess data.GMAC has struggled as the credit crunch lifted its borrowing costs sharply and the value of many of its assets plummeted. It has lost $7.9 billion over the last five quarters.The lender's difficulties forced it to severely curtail financing for dealerships and for consumer purchases of new GM cars and trucks in recent months. The cutback in financing compounded the sales slump at GM, the No. 1 U.S. automaker, whose sales fell an eye-popping 41 percent in November.GM dealers have depended on GMAC, the largest auto finance company in North America, for financing of their own inventory and consumer purchases even after GM sold a 51 percent stake in GMAC to Cerberus in 2006 for $7.4 billion. GM retains the remaining 49 percent.GM and Cerberus will have to trim back their stakes to no more than 10 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively, to comply with Fed rules that are meant to prevent companies from using banks to fund their businesses.(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
Media's cold deceit descends upon Bethlehem December 24, 2008 9:41 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein 2008
An arctic chill has descended upon Bethlehem in recent days. And I'm not talking about the weather, but the cold deceit of the mainstream media, which, like clockwork, file misleading reports from this important Christian city every year. They completely ignore Muslim intimidation of Christians while blaming Israel for ruining Christmas and for the drastic decline of Christianity in one of the holiest cities for that religion. Let's start with a widely circulated AP article: Bethlehem adapts to life in shadow of Israeli wall.The piece paints a picture of an economically downtrodden Bethlehem and squarely blames Israel for building a wall that the AP claims not only cuts Bethlehem off from Jerusalem, but meanders through the town. AP journalist Dalia Nammari interviews local residents who lost their jobs, including one family who closed their car repair shop, we are told, because of the Israeli wall.The article is drowning in lies. Did Nammari actually travel to Bethlehem? If so, she would know there is absolutely no wall that meanders through town.Israel built a fence, in 2002, in the area where northern Bethlehem interfaces with Jerusalem. A tiny segment of that barrier, facing a major Israeli roadway, is a concrete wall that Israel says is meant to prevent gunmen from shooting at Israeli motorists. Israel had good reason to build the wall in that one small area, since terrorists in 2000 and 2001 routinely shot and killed Israeli motorists at the adjacent roadway. The rest of Bethlehem is not encircled by any wall or fence. Actually, unless one enters the city from the area interfacing Jerusalem, a traveler coming in from any other entrance will not even encounter the barrier. Get Aaron Klein's classic book: Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!
Nammari's main contention – Palestinians in Bethlehem are suffering economically, and this is Israel's fault – couldn't be further from the truth. The Palestinian Authority itself has declared Bethlehem is undergoing major economic growth and is expecting more tourists this year than any time since 1999! Even the New York Times was forced to admit as much. A Times article from yesterday datelined in Bethlehem, was titled, Palestinians work to jolt West Bank back to life.The piece, allows, Both Israeli and Palestinian officials report economic growth for the occupied areas of 4 to 5 percent and a drop in the unemployment rate of at least three percentage points. The improved climate has nearly doubled the number of tourists in Bethlehem and increased them by half in Jericho.The Times quotes Victor Batarseh, the Palestinian mayor of Bethlehem, triumphantly declaring: It has been the best year since 1999.Our hotels are full, whereas three years ago there was almost nobody. Unemployment is below 20 percent, he said. But alas, the Times is sure to get in an inaccurate snippet aimed at Israel: Even today, getting into Bethlehem requires passing through an Israeli checkpoint under the shadow of the enormous Israeli separation barrier. (Again, not true. There are other entrances into Bethlehem that don't face any barrier). The Times piece did not bother to tell readers one of the main reasons tourism is up in Bethlehem: The number of terrorist attacks launched by Bethlehem-area terrorists is down, drawing fewer Israeli antiterrorism operations in the city. Enter Reuters. A piece by the news agency concedes in its title, Bethlehem fills up with Christmas pilgrims, that the city is teeming with tourists. But it blathers about a daunting concrete wall 4 metres (13 feet) high with watchtowers without informing readers that the wall is only in a tiny, necessary section. The Reuters article attributes the rise in Bethlehem tourism to a decline in violence in the West Bank that has tempted back tourists who no longer fear gun battles in the streets. Decline in violence? That's a bit general. Perhaps Reuters is so entrenched in its political narrative in which Israel is the aggressor it is afraid to admit a decline in Palestinian terrorism has helped free Bethlehem from economic decline.
Now let's go into a little necessary background on that wall in Bethlehem. The barrier, most of which is a fence, was constructed after the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada, or terror war, launched after late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat turned down an Israeli offer of a Palestinian state, returning to the Middle East to liberate Palestine with violence. Scores of deadly suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Israelis were planned in Bethlehem and carried out by Bethlehem-area terrorists, including Eita and his ilk. At one point during the period of just 30 days in 2002, at least 14 shootings were perpetuated by Bethlehem cells of Arafat's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, killing two Israelis and wounding six. Many times Muslim gunmen in the Bethlehem area reportedly took positions in civilian homes in the hilltops of Christian Beit Jala, which straddles Bethlehem. Beit Jala afforded the terrorists a clear firing line at southern sections of Jerusalem and at a major Israeli highway down below, drawing Israeli military raids and the eventual building of the security barrier there. Another popular theme of the mainstream media in recent years is that Bethlehem's Christian population, which is drastically declining, is dwindling because of the barrier.Simple demographic facts disprove this contention that Israel built the barrier six years ago. But Bethlehem's Christian population started to drastically decline in 1995, the very year Arafat's Palestinian Authority took over the holy Christian city in line with the U.S.-backed Oslo Accords. Bethlehem was more than 80 percent Christian when Israel was founded in 1948. But since Arafat got his grimy hands on it, the city's Christian population dove to its current 23 percent. And that statistic is considered generous since it includes the satellite towns of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala. Some estimates place Bethlehem's actual Christian population as low as 12 percent, with hundreds of Christians emigrating each year. As soon as he took over Bethlehem, Arafat unilaterally fired the city's Christian politicians and replaced them with Muslim cronies. He appointed a Muslim governor, Muhammed Rashad A-Jabar and deposed of Bethlehem's city council, which had nine Christians and two Muslims, reducing the number of Christians councilors to a 50-50 split. Arafat then converted a Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of Nativity, the believed birthplace of Jesus, into his official Bethlehem residence. Suddenly, after the Palestinians gained the territory, reports of Christian intimidation by Muslims began to surface. Christian leaders and residents told me they face an atmosphere of regular hostility. They said Palestinian armed groups stir tension by holding militant demonstrations and marches in the streets. They spokes of instances in which Christian shopkeepers' stores were ransacked and Christian homes attacked. They said in the past, Palestinian gunmen fired at Israelis from Christian hilltop communities, drawing Israeli anti-terror raids to their towns. In 2002, dozens of terrorists holed up inside the Church of the Nativity for 39 days while fleeing a massive Israeli anti-terror operation. Israel surrounded the church area but refused to storm the structure. Gunmen inside included wanted senior Hamas, Tanzim and Brigades terrorists reportedly involved in suicide bombings and shooting attacks. More than 200 nuns and priests were trapped in the church after Israeli hostage negotiators failed to secure their release. Some Christian leaders said one of the most significant problems facing Christians in Bethlehem is the rampant confiscation of land by Muslim gangs.
There are many cases where Christians have their land stolen by the [Muslim] mafia, said Samir Qumsiyeh, a Bethlehem Christian leader and owner of the Beit Sahour-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station. It is a regular phenomenon in Bethlehem. They go to a poor Christian person with a forged power of attorney document, and then they say we have papers proving you're living on our land. If you confront them, many times the Christian is beaten. You can't do anything about it. The Christian loses, and he runs away, Qumsiyeh told WND, speaking from his hilltop television station during a recent interview. Qumsiyeh himself said he was targeted by Islamic gangs. He said his home was firebombed after he returned from a trip abroad during which he gave public speeches outlining the plight of Bethlehem's Christian population. One Christian Bethlehem resident told WND last year her friend recently fled Bethlehem after being accused by Muslims of selling property to Jews, a crime punishable by death in some Palestinian cities. The resident said a good deal of the intimidation comes from gunmen associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization. A February Jerusalem Post article cited the case of Faud and Georgette Lama, Christian residents of Bethlehem who said their land was stolen by local Muslims and when they tried to do something about it, Faud was beaten by gunmen. One religious novelty store owner I met recently told me Muslim gangs regularly deface Christian property. We are harassed, but you wouldn't know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims. This is why Christians are running away.
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU Muslim grinches steal Christmas Christians warned against celebration: We are living under a state of fear December 24, 2008
8:50 pm Eastern By Aaron Klein 2008 WorldNetDaily
JERUSALEM – Christians living in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are holding only small, quiet Christmas celebrations after local leaders received warnings from Muslim groups against any public display of Christianity this holiday season, according to a Gaza Christian leader. Publicly, some Christian leaders announced the dampened festivities were to protest an Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza after Hamas seized control of the territory in the summer of 2007. Israel limits trade convoys but still allows in humanitarian aid and directly supplies Gaza with 75 percent of its electricity. The Jewish state also provides monthly infusions of Israeli currency that fuel the Gaza economy. Gaza Latin Church pastor Manuel Musalam faxed a statement to reporters announcing his church would not hold midnight Christmas mass to protest both the blockade and a threatened Israeli military invasion of Gaza. At least one other Christian leader in the territory made similar remarks to the media.
Still, according to local Christians, some private, low key celebrations took place.
A top Christian leader in Gaza told WND the decision to keep celebrations quiet came after he received threats from local Muslim groups against any public display of Christianity during Christmas. The leader was speaking on condition of anonymity, saying his life would be threatened if he spoke out publicly. He said the threats were conveyed to other Christian leaders in Gaza. We were warned not to celebrate in the streets or ring the church bells, otherwise Christians would be targeted. We are living under a state of fear, the Christian leader said. There is nothing we can do about the situation. We don't want to infuriate anyone, he said. The Christian leader would not say whether the threats were verbal or came in the form of written communication. He said he had reason to believe the threats emanated with Jihadia Salafiya, a Hamas-allied Islamic outreach movement in Gaza that recently announced the opening of a military wing to enforce Muslim law. The organization, which is not directly connected to Hamas but publicly supports it, has been suspected in a string of anti-Christian attacks, including the bombing of a Christian bookstore in November 2007 and the murder of the store's manager, local Christian resident Rami Ayyad. Contacted by WND, Abu Islam, chief of Jihadia Salafiya, denied making any threats against Christians. Still, Abu Islam commented, Gaza is a Muslim state. Why do 3,000 Christians need to celebrate openly in a territory of 1 million Muslims? Any celebrations are clearly for missionary purposes and must not be tolerated.
Abu Islam previously gave WND interviews under a different name, Sheik Abu Saqer. He changed his name to Abu Islam in June 2007 in celebration of Hamas' Gaza takeover.
Immediately after Hamas' Gaza coup, Abu Islam told WND in an exclusive interview Christians could continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accepted Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings. [Now that Hamas is in power,] the situation has changed 180 degrees in Gaza, said Abu Islam, speaking from Gaza in June 2007. Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity, he said.
Abu Islam accused the Gaza Christian leadership of proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals.This missionary activity is endangering the entire Christian community in Gaza, he warned.
Christians warned: Accept Islamic law
About 3,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of over 1 million. After Hamas' rise to power, Christian in Gaza repeatedly have been targeted. Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of many of the Islamist attacks, such as a May 2007 shooting against a United Nations school in Gaza after it allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in the attack. In the case of Ayyad, who managed the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, his body was discovered riddled with gunshot and stab wounds. Just before his murder, Ayyad, a Baptist, was publicly accused by Abu Islam's group of engaging in missionary activities. Ayyad's bookstore, owned by the Palestinian Bible Society, was firebombed in April 2007, after which he told relatives he received numerous death threats from Islamists. WND quoted witnesses stating Ayyad was publicly tortured a few blocks from his store before he was shot to death. The witnesses said they saw three armed men, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Ayyad repeatedly with clubs and the butts of their guns while they accused him of attempting to spread Christianity in Gaza. The witnesses said that after sustaining the beating, Ayyad was shot by all three men.
Russia to raise nuclear missile output fourfold• 70 ICBMs intended to pressure US in treaty talks• £95bn package includes tanks, ships and planesTom Parfitt in Moscow and Julian Borger, diplomatic editor The Guardian, Wednesday 24 December 2008
Russia has thrown down a new gauntlet to Barack Obama with an announcement that it will sharply increase production of strategic nuclear missiles.In the latest of a series of combative moves by the Kremlin, a senior government official in Moscow said the Russian military would commission 70 strategic missiles over the next three years, as part of a massive rearmament programme which will also include short-range missiles, 300 tanks, 14 warships and 50 planes.Military experts said the planned new arsenal was presumed to consist of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) rather than submarine-launched missiles. If this is the case, the plans represent a fourfold increase in the rate of ICBM deployment. The arsenal will include a new-generation, multiple-warhead ICBM called the RS-24. It was first test-fired in 2007, with first deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov boasting it was capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defence systems.The new missiles will be part of a £95bn defence procurement package for 2009-2011, a 28% increase in arms spending, according to Vladislav Putilin of the cabinet's military-industrial commission. There will be further increases in spending in the following two years.The new military procurements follow the war in Georgia in August. Russian forces easily routed Georgian troops, but the conflict exposed weaknesses in the Russian army, including outdated equipment and poorly co-ordinated command structures. The defence ministry said it would carry out drastic reforms, turning the army into a more modern force.
Vladimir Putin on Monday urged cabinet officials to quickly allocate funds for new weapons and closely control the quality and pace of their production. Military experts said the construction of 70 long-range nuclear missiles in the next three years represented a Russian attempt to strengthen its bargaining position with Washington, in talks aimed at agreeing new nuclear weapons cuts when the current treaty in force, Start I, expires next December. Moscow's strategy appears to be to challenge Obama's new administration as soon as it takes office on 20 January. On the day Obama was elected the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, announced plans to station short-range Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave as a counter to American installation of its missile defence system in eastern Europe. Ruben Sergeev, an expert on disarmament issues, said Moscow was afraid of falling behind in a new arms race. Russia is decommissioning its old liquid-fuel missiles from the Soviet era at a rate of several dozen every year, he said. The Kremlin knows that if it doesn't increase production of ICBMs rapidly now then it will have no chance of getting a new arms reduction treaty out of the US, which has much greater quantities of missiles. Negotiations on a successor to Start I have been bogged down in detail, and hamstrung by the Bush administration's lame duck status. The chief US negotiator, John Rood, said last week that the latest sticking point was Russian insistence that the new treaty cover long-range delivery systems, such as bombers and missiles, intended for conventional arms as well as nuclear warheads. The US wants the treaty to focus solely on nuclear warheads. Moscow has also signalled that it would supply Tehran with new surface-to-air missiles in defiance of US opposition. Washington has asked for more information on the sales, fearing the weapons being sold include long-range S-300 missiles, which have a 120km (75 mile) range. They could threaten US planes in Iraq, and could also protect Iranian nuclear sites from aerial attack.The US has set aside its own plans for military action against Iran for now, but US officials hoped that fear of an Israeli strike would make Iran more amenable to suspending its enrichment of uranium.
Start I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, July 1991, limited US and Soviet Union to long-range nuclear arsenals of 6,000 warheads on 1,600 delivery systems. Expires 5 December 2009.INF Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty 1987 banned missiles such as the US Cruise with range of 3,500 miles.Start II Signed 1993, supposed to ban multiple warheads on long-range missiles. Russian Duma delayed ratifying and it never came into force. Start III Negotiated in 1997 to reduce nuclear stockpiles to 2,000-2,500 warheads, but fell apart over the US missile defence system. Talks resumed in 2007.Sort Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or 2002 Moscow Treaty, cuts US and Russian arsenals to 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed warheads each. No verification procedures.
3 Chinese navy ships leave for Somalia By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer William Foreman, DEC 26,08
GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese warships — armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters — set sail Friday for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.The three vessels — two destroyers and a supply ship — may increase worries about growing Chinese military power. The mission will also challenge China's ability to cooperate with other naval forces patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest sea lanes.Warships from India, Russia, NATO and the U.S. are also cruising the Somali waters that have been plagued by pirate attacks in recent months.The Chinese ships left early Friday afternoon from a base on the southern island province of Hainan, the official Xinhua News Agency and CCTV reported. China announced it was joining the anti-piracy mission Tuesday after the U.N. Security Council authorized nations to conduct land and air attacks on pirate bases.Pirates have made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom this year, seizing more than 40 vessels off Somalia's 1,880-mile (3,000-kilometer) coastline.Deploying ships to the Gulf of Aden marks a significant step in the evolution of China's navy, according to a report by Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based intelligence company. The mission will be complicated, offering vital on-the-job training in refueling, resupply and repairs far from home as well as patrolling for pirates, Stratfor said.
In the event of an accident or a run-in with pirates, Stratfor said, would a Chinese vessel carry out repairs at sea, head to a nearby port, perhaps in Pakistan, or return to China? Stratfor also noted the waters will be awash with naval ships from around the world, making it essential for China to maintain effective communication with the vessels.The Chinese will very likely monitor the way NATO and especially U.S. warships communicate with each other and with their shipborne helicopters, the report said.China's willingness to send ships so far from home is also the latest example of the growing power and confidence of the country's navy. In recent years, the military has been loading up on warships, planes, missiles and other weapons — a beef-up that has worried its neighbors and the U.S.Those most concerned include the Japanese and South Koreans, who have long-standing disputes about territorial waters that occasionally flare up. China has also been locked in an uneasy stand off with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations over the ownership of the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, said countries in the region will view China's mission off Somalia differently.For Japan and some in South Korea, this is another step in the unwelcome growth of the Chinese navy as a capable blue-water force, which has only downsides for Tokyo and Seoul, said Roy, an expert on China's military.But he said most Southeast Asian countries may see China's involvement in the anti-piracy campaign as a positive thing. It would mean that China was using its greater military might for constructive purposes, rather than challenging the current international order.However, the analyst added, The Chinese deployment gets at a question the U.S. and other governments have been asking: Why the big Chinese military buildup when no country threatens China? Or more bluntly, Why do the Chinese need a blue-water navy when the U.S. Navy already polices the world's oceans?
Roy said the answer is that China is unwilling to rely on the U.S. to protect China's increasingly global interests. Beijing still believes it needs to enter the field, Roy said, and that leaves open the possibility of a China-U.S. naval rivalry in the future.China has said the mission's purpose was to protect Chinese ships and crews that have come under attack from pirates. The vessels would also be willing to share intelligence and conduct humanitarian rescue operations with other countries involved in the anti-piracy efforts, Senior Col. Huang Xueping, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said Tuesday.
The two Chinese destroyers — the Haikou and Wuhan — will carry special forces, two helicopters and traditional weapons such as missiles and cannons. Huang didn't say how long the mission will last, but a Communist Party newspaper has said the ships would be away about three months. On Thursday, a German military helicopter rescued an Egyptian ship from pirates who shot and injured a crew member while trying to board the vessel off the Somali coast, said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center. The bulk carrier with 31 crew was passing through the Gulf of Aden on its way to Asia when it was chased by gun-toting pirates in a speedboat, Choong said. The pirates are spurred by poverty in Somalia, a nation of about 8 million people that has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991 and then turned on each other. Countries as diverse as Britain, India, Iran, the United States, France and Germany have naval forces in the waters or on their way there. On Wednesday, Japan said it was considering joining the coalition.
Israel opens Gaza border for humanitarian aid DEC 26,08
By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM – Israel reopened its border with Gaza on Friday to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid, despite continued rocket and mortar fire from the coastal strip and growing expectations of a large-scale Israeli military campaign against Palestinian militants.One rocket fired by militants late Friday landed short of its target and struck a house in northern Gaza, killing two Palestinian girls, ages 5 and 12, said Health Ministry official Dr. Moiaya Hassanain. The two girls were cousins, he said, adding that three other children were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.The military said approximately 90 trucks were delivering medicine, fuel, cooking gas and other vital goods into Gaza. The shipment included a large donation of goods from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's wife as well as more than 150,000 gallons (400,000 liters) of fuel and 200 tons (180 metric tons) of natural gas, the military said.Israel's Defense Ministry said it agreed to open its cargo crossings into Gaza to avoid a humanitarian crisis there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the decision came after consultations with defense officials as well as calls from the international community. Israel controls Gaza's cargo crossings, which are used to deliver food, fuel and other goods into the territory.Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said the humanitarian shipment was meant to be a message to the people of Gaza that they were not Israel's enemy.We are sending them a message that the Hamas leadership has turned them into a punching bag for everyone, he told Israel Radio. It is a leadership that has turned school yards in rocket launching pads. This a leadership that does not care that the blood of its people will run in the streets.The deliveries did not persuade Gaza militants to halt their rocket and mortar fire on Israeli border communities. The military said more than 10 rockets and mortars were fired toward Israel early Friday. One home was struck but no injuries were reported.Israel had originally agreed to open the cargo crossings with Gaza on Wednesday, but shut the passages after militants began pounding southern Israel with dozens of rockets and mortars. The attacks were the heaviest since an Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers expired last week. The truce, which had taken effect in June, began unraveling in early November.Pressure has been mounting in Israel for the military to strike forcefully against Gaza militants and Israeli leaders have been voicing strong threats in recent days. But on Friday, military officials said the army was planning a routine rotation of its troops along the Gaza border in the coming week. That, coupled with current winter weather, made an imminent operation seem unlikely, they said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to discuss military strategy publicly.Israel has maintained a strict blockade of Gaza since the June 19 cease-fire began unraveling six weeks ago, allowing in only small quantities of essential goods. Egypt has also sealed its border crossing with the territory, the main exit point for Gazans traveling abroad.Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Cairo Thursday for meetings with Mubarak, who urged Israel to exercise restraint in response to the rocket fire. Livni brushed aside the calls, however, and said Israel would defend itself.Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also issued a direct, emotional plea to the people of Gaza to stop firing and turn against their Hamas leaders, whom he called the main reason for your suffering — for all of ours. He delivered the message in an interview with the Arabic-language Al-Arabiya TV channel.Israel left Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation. Islamic Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in June 2007, after routing security forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.Israel has thus far been reluctant to press ahead with a campaign likely to exact heavy casualties on both sides. Past incursions have not halted the barrages, and officials fear anything short of a reoccupation of Gaza would fail to achieve the desired results.Israel is expected to continue its military consultations over the weekend.Also Friday, a poll published in the Maariv daily showed Livni's moderate Kadima Party neck and neck with its hawkish Likud rival ahead of Feb. 10 elections. Likud objects to the peace talks that Israeli negotiators, led by Livni, are conducting with Abbas' government.A Teleseker survey showed Kadima winning 30 of parliament's 120 seats, to Likud's 29 seats. The poll surveyed more than 800 people and had a margin of error of 2 seats. Previous polls in recent weeks had given Likud a strong lead.
Palestinian rocket misfires, kills 2 girls in Gaza By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer DEC 26,08
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A crude rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in the northern Gaza Strip and killing two schoolgirls.The attack came as Israel sent mixed signals over its plans to respond to continuing Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli defense officials say politicians have approved a large-scale incursion into the territory once rainy conditions clear. But at the same time, Israel appeared receptive to international pressure against an invasion, opening the Gaza border Friday to allow in deliveries of humanitarian aid.None of Gaza's militant factions claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the house in Beit Lahiya. Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moiaya Hassanain said the two victims, ages 5 and 12, were cousins. Three other children were wounded, he said.The girls were the first Palestinian civilians inadvertently killed by militants since their truce with Israel began collapsing six weeks ago. Family members and medics said they were killed by rocket fire.Israel's crossings with Gaza have been largely clamped tight since Islamic Hamas militants seized control of the coastal strip in June 2007, with only the barest essentials allowed in since a June 19 truce with Gaza gunmen began unraveling six weeks ago.On Thursday, however, Israel's Defense Ministry said it agreed to open its cargo crossings into Gaza to avoid a humanitarian crisis there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the decision followed consultations with defense officials and calls from the international community, suggesting Israel might be open to international pressure to resume the truce.
A total of 106 trucks carried medicine, fuel, cooking gas and other vital goods into Gaza, including a small donation from Egypt, the military said.Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said the humanitarian shipment was meant to be a message to the people of Gaza that they were not Israel's enemy.We are sending them a message that the Hamas leadership has turned them into a punching bag for everyone, he told Israel Radio. It is a leadership that has turned school yards into rocket-launching pads. This a leadership that does not care that the blood of its people will run in the streets.Ben-Eliezer echoed the message Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to deliver a day earlier in an interview with the Arabic language Al-Arabiya TV station: that Gaza's Islamic Hamas militant rulers were to blame for the suffering in Gaza, home to 1.4 million Palestinians.But, as with similar cases involving unintended civilian casualties in the past, there were no immediate signs of backlash against the militants after the girls' death.The militants kept up their fire on Israeli border areas despite Israel's agreement to open its crossings Friday. In all, 13 rockets and mortars were fired toward Israel by Friday evening, the military said. One home was struck but no injuries were reported.Israel had originally agreed to open the cargo crossings with Gaza on Wednesday, but shut the passages after militants began pounding southern Israel with rockets and mortars.
Pressure has been mounting in Israel for the military to crush Gaza militants, and Israeli leaders have been voicing strong threats in recent days. But on Friday, military officials said the army was planning a routine rotation of its troops along the Gaza border in the coming week. That, coupled with winter weather, made an imminent operation seem unlikely, they said.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to discuss military strategy publicly.
Israel left Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation and has been reluctant to press ahead with a campaign likely to exact heavy casualties on both sides. Past incursions have not halted the barrages, and officials fear anything short of a reoccupation of Gaza would fail to achieve the desired results.