This Week In Israel - Jun 23, 2009
 A conservative Commentary on events in israel
What if W....?

Hello Everybody,

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The challenge came when we installed the new Internet Explorer 8. Thanks, Bill.

TWO FACES OF POLITICS

In case you think that Democrats and their “state run media” pals and the Republicans behave the same way regarding Presidents, you might want to read the following and then ask yourself – whether you liked George W. Bush or not – if the treatment is the same.

 


6/23/2009 - Iran; Palestinians and Change

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the SpecialOlympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had givenhim a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you haveapproved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containingvideos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you haveapproved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to thenon-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as aminor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers withpeople who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would youhave approved?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the fourth of May (Cuatro de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word advice would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as “proof” of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually “get” what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans , would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a majorcorporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so,would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which hadtaken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you haveapproved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10years, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of tho usands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliantand impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all thisin 5 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months tocome up with an answer.

 

THE SKINNY KID SYNDROME

Actually we think that Obama’s arrogance just might be tied up in what we call the “skinny kid syndrome.” The desire to be popular that is so ingrained in a kid growing up poor, mixed-race, and skinny that it carries over into his adulthood.

You can see it here and there. Tie it to the fact that he has gathered an army of sycophants around him who dare not cross him – typical of politicians of both parties – and you have the makings of all the goofs above.

 

SOMEONE SHOULD SEND MCCAIN HOME. HE’S OBVIOUSLY SENILE!

Not to be outdone, is the obviously senile John McCain who wants to be seen as so agreeable with the liberals that he has fallen off the cliff:

McCain: Obama has 'done well' as president so far

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says his opponent in last year's presidential campaign, Barack Obama, has "done well" in his first five months in the White House.

The Arizona Republican says that using a legislative scorecard to judge the presidency so far, Obama has achieved all his legislative goals.

On the down side, McCain says that Obama's successes in Congress have come with little or no Republican support.

McCain also is critical of Obama for setting a date for closing the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay without first developing a comprehensive plan for what to do with its prisoners.

And the Arizona senator says Obama should speak out more in support of protesters in Iran.

McCain appeared Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

(FoxNation.com)

 

THE QUESTION OF THE DAY! FROM ISRAELI PAPER MA’ARIV:

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

The leaders of the world, the European Left, the democrats and the liberals all go crazy when Israel attacks in Gaza. Why are they silent when the Iranian regime slaughters demonstrators? Why do Obama, Blair and Sarkozy continue to sit on the fence?

 

MOST OF US HAVE SEEN THE IRANIAN MARCHES

But how many of us were aware that the two proxy terrorist groups from Gaza and Lebanon were employed to put them down?

Is it because the ruling junta doesn’t trust Iranians to do the job?

BUSY WORK FOR HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH – IN IRAN!

The Iranian government employs foreigners as anti-riot police and Palestinian Hamas members and Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen are currently assisting the regime in its attempt to crush massive street protests in the streets of Tehran. [1]

According to Voice of America, there are up to 5,000 members of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighting against the protesters, Der Spiegel reported. The militiamen were identified by their screams in Arabic. [2]

One protester cited the presence of Hamas in Teheran saying, "my brother had his ribs beaten in by those Palestinian animals. Taking our people's money is not enough-- they are thirsty for our blood too." When asked if these militia fighters could have been mistaken for Lebanese Shiites, sent by Hezbollah, he rejected the idea. "Ask anyone, they will tell you the same thing. They [Palestinian extremists] are out beating Iranians in the streets… The more we gave this arrogant race, the more they want… [But] we will not let them push us around in our own country."


Reports are circulating that Venezuela has sent anti-riot troops to Tehran to help Ahmadinejad, joining Hezbollah members from Lebanon. [4]

On Wednesday, a senior Hamas representative in Gaza told Israel’s daily Israel Hayom his organization was not involved in the recent developments in Iran. However, a high ranking Palestinian security official in the West Bank said that, according to Palestinian intelligence sources, since Monday Iranian intelligence arrested about 20 militia volunteers, among whom were 8 Palestinians with Jordanian passports who were Hamas activists trained by Iranians and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The eight suspected aggressors bashed protesters and even killed one person, although the government gave a restraint order.

Hamas formally welcomed incumbent Ahmadinejad's ostensible reelection victory on June 13. The Palestinian Islamist movement receives arms and funding from Iran, and its members have often received training there, including in terror tactics and weapons manufacture.
(Courtesy The Israel Project, references on request)

 

And then there are Muslims making a difference in other countries too! Paste the following link into your browser.

http://vodpod.co m/watch/1428923-sweden-in-grip-ofIslam

 

ISRAEL OPENING THE JERED JERICHO ROADBLOCK

We have been in the Jordan Valley when this crossing was opened before. It results is such a flood of Arabs to the Dead Sea spa areas that the Jews are virtually pushed away. They fear the unruly crowds of gang-like young Arab men who stand at the entrances and virtually dare Israelis to enter.

Myself and a friend did walk through these groups and they were not happy, but we were not there to challenge them. Rather to help American tourists with their travels. There were no incidents with us, but most Israelis will not dare to do what we did for fear of being attacked.

This opening also gives West Bank Arabs from the hot-spot of Nablus entrance to the entire Jordan Valley, Dead Sea area. Two policemen were shot and killed very near this Vered Jericho (which in Hebrew means Green Jericho) Crossing two months ago when Arabs faked a car breakdown and the officers stopped to see if they could help.

 

Vered Jericho Crossing Removed Today; Free Passage of Vehicles and Pedestrians in Area

Today, Wednesday June 17th, 2009, the Vered Jericho crossing, located south of Jericho, was removed, thus making possible the free passage of vehicles and pedestrians between the city and the Jordan Valley region. The removal of this crossing is a result of security assessments in the Central Command, and a Civil Administration proposal as a part of the goodwill measures authorized by the Minister of Defense.

This action allows for additional free movement of the Palestinian population in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria region. The removal of the Vered Jericho crossing is in addition to over 140 roadblocks and crossings that were removed in the past year.

The IDF will continue to operate in accordance with decisions made by the Israeli government and on the basis of ongoing security assessments. Such actions are meant to further ease the daily life of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria, while continuously fighting terror and maintaining the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel.

(Courtesy of the IDF)

 

FLYING INTO THE VALLEY OF ARMAGEDDON?

Could tourist flights be landing in the Valley of Armageddon, or Jezreel Valley as it is known in Israel?

A Jerusalem Post article addressed the issue this week. The government is worried about tourist numbers rising from 15 million to 30 million in the next twenty years. They want the next airport up north.

Actually it would make sense for tourists who often begin their travels in the north, then move to the south for the last half of their tours.

It makes sense from a geographical perspective also. The land is already flat and ready to pave.

That is where the trouble enters. The Megiddo Regional Council is vehemently opposed to the whole idea. They want the tourist numbers, but not the airport.

And virtually all of the valley is dedicated to feeding Israel. Crops turn the place in the northern breadbasket.

Who will win? No telling. Stay tuned.

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER WANTS CALM

And of course people in hell want ice water.

The bearded Khomeini wants the crowds to disburse and go back to their slavery. It doesn’t look at this point like it’s going to happen anytime soon. The crowds number in the thousands. The man who lost the election says he is willing to be martyred and of course that could be easily arranged in Iran.

There are those in Israel who want the election to stand, believing that the world needs to be confronted by the radicals. It hasn’t mattered so far, so I’m not convinced by their argument.

Others believe that there could be a revolution that would stabilize and civilize Iran to the degree that it could even be an ally of Israel as it was once under the Shah before Jimmy Carter threw him under the bus.

THE INSANITY OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR IN ISRAEL

We’ve told you the horror stories of how the Ministry of Interior treats people. Tourists, people working to get a resident status, even olim (new citizens) and regular citizens – all are equally treated rudely, and some far worse.

CONSIDER THIS:

In 2005, the rate of growth among the Jewish population was 1.5 percent, whilethe Muslim population grew at a rate of 3 percent. (The Israel Project)

In light of this, the Muslim population will outnumber the Jewish population and that will be the end of the democracy and the end of the Jewish State.

ON ANOTHER FRONT

How bright is it to keep Zionist Christians out of Israel when they would certainly stand with Israel – even to military service in many cases!?

 

HERE’S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE CRAZINESS:

Want to extend your tourist visa? Slam! Goodbye!

Jun. 20, 2009
Ruth Eglash , THE JERUSALEM POST

After growing up in New York, Gene Maltsev is no stranger to rude behavior, even from government bureaucrats. But the 26-year-old businessman will not quickly forget his agonizing experience one day last month at the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem.

"I've never been dealt with so rudely and unapologetically in my life," Maltsev, who was only attempting to renew his tourist visa, recounted to The Jerusalem Post over the weekend.

"Being from New York, I've met many rude people, believe me, but this has far surpassed anything I've ever experienced," continued Maltsev, who in less than a few hours at the government office had to argue his way into the building, had a door slammed in his face and was eventually given an appointment for six days after his visa was due to expire.

"I've never had a door slammed in my face before. That kind of treatment is completely inhumane," he exclaimed.

Maltsev's Interior Ministry snafu actually started a week earlier, when he first arrived at the office to renew the visa. The guard immediately turned him away, telling him that an appointment had to be arranged in advance by phone.

"It turns out that you can only make an appointment once a week between the hours of 8-12 on a Sunday, but upon my attempt to do so, I found out that the phone lines were always busy and it was impossible to get through," he said.

Realizing that he would not be able to reach anyone by phone, Maltsev returned to the offices the following week, explaining to the guard that his attempts to make an appointment had been futile.

"He eventually allowed me upstairs, where I was directed to another room to schedule an appointment for extending my stay," remembered Maltsev. "When I got to the room, I knocked politely and proceeded to ask if I was in the right area, but the person who had opened the door instantaneously slammed it in my face, without allowing me to even finish my sentence."

At a loss, Maltsev waited outside the room, after being informed by someone else that the one person available to make appointments to renew tourist visas was on her lunch break.

"Once she returned," he continued, "I found out that the appointment-setter was the same person who had almost taken my face off with the door. So I sat down in front of her and said that I would like to make an appointment to extend my visa before its expiration. I explained that my visa was due to expire in four weeks.

"Without asking any questions, I was given a pink slip with a date on it and told to come back then, but I noticed that the date was six days past my visa expiration," he went on. "I attempted to tell her that, but was rudely yelled at with the words, 'Goodbye!'"

A month later, Maltsev said he did manage to obtain the visa, and the experience had not deterred him from considering making aliya in the future.

"I just think the whole system is ridiculous," he finished.

In response, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said that the office was sorry for Maltsev's "intolerable treatment."

"We are constantly doing all we can to improve services for everyone," she said, highlighting that there were several alternative methods for contacting the ministry to make appointments, such as via the Internet or by fax.

"Unfortunately, the summer months bring increased requests, and we are doing all we can to keep the level of service as high as possible," continued the spokeswoman, adding that Maltsev's specific case had been forwarded to the relevant body for further investigation.

http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184881817&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

 

HAS JIMMY CARTER REVERSED HIMSELF?

Before you get to believing that, consider that he may just be totally zonkers. (A Greek word which means “nuts.”)

David Horovitz has written a classic piece that bears consideration. I hope you will take the time to read it and give it thought.

 

Editor's Notes: A consensual vision

Jun. 19, 2009
David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST

Truly, an astounding speech on Sunday by Jimmy Carter. Remarks that left Israelis dumbfounded. A dramatic shift to the most unexpected positions.

Truly, an astounding speech on Sunday. Remarks that left Israelis dumbfounded. A dramatic shift to the most unexpected positions.

No, I'm not talking about the prime minister's Bar-Ilan University appearance - the landmark lecture in which Binyamin Netanyahu described a demilitarized Palestinian state as a central component of "my vision of peace, in this small land of ours."

I'm thinking of the brief address to reporters by Jimmy Carter earlier that same day. Having spent two hours chatting in the Neveh Daniel living room of Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shaul Goldstein, with a small group of (evidently highly persuasive) local Jewish residents for company, the former president - he of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid notoriety - emerged to declare that the Etzion Bloc "settlement area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory."

Was this April 1? Purim, perhaps? Surely it had to be one of them, for this was truly a world turned upside down. Isn't it the likes of Carter who are supposed to be trying to force Palestinian statehood upon wary Israelis in general and an implacably opposed Israeli Right in particular, and the likes of Netanyahu who are supposed to be making insistent speeches about the permanent retention of major settlements, and minor ones too for that matter, in Judea and Samaria?

And surely, were a Likud prime minister to suddenly veer away from the traditional policies at the heart of his party's platform, and start trumpeting the Labor manifesto "of two peoples" living "freely, side by side, in amity and mutual respect," each with "its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government," then the Likud Knesset faction and its rank-and-file supporters would rise as one in angered tumult and demand that leader's resignation?

But no, it was neither Purim nor April Fool's Day, just plain old June 14, and the coincidence of Netanyahu's and Carter's "reversed" positions says much about the failures of Israel's political leadership over recent years and the self-defeating superficiality of our partisan internal climate.

BICKERING AND sniping across party lines, sinking to political assassination at our lowest point, we have continually allowed our differences to skew our national interest, depriving ourselves of the capacity to find a consensus on the basic contours of the Jewish state we seek to maintain and the means to guarantee our long-term security.

Not so many years ago, Labor-led governments argued, incorrectly, that Israel could achieve a viable permanent accord with the Palestinians and still retain 10 percent, or perhaps even more, of our biblical, historic heartland in Judea and Samaria. And Likud-led oppositions lambasted those governments for sanctioning the very notion of Palestinian statehood at all. As we ripped ourselves to political pieces, and discredited ourselves internationally, the Palestinians exploited our differences and, at the moments of diplomatic truth, rejected our peace overtures and skillfully deflected blame onto us.

Increasingly desperate, Israeli leaders, heading collapsing coalitions, offered the Palestinians still more territory with fewer discernible security safeguards - culminating in what amounted to a 100% West Bank withdrawal under prime minister Ehud Olmert just months ago: relinquishing almost all of the territory, offering land-swaps for the remaining few percent, going so far as to reportedly sanction a limited influx of Palestinian refugees to Israel. Still, as Mahmoud Abbas confirmed to The Washington Post three weeks ago, the Palestinians said no.

So inadequately has Israel grappled with the question of where its territorial red lines really must run and what other protection a shrunken Israeli reality would require, so debilitating have been the domestic disputes, that we have now reached the dismal low where a former US president's endorsement of our right to maintain land that was privately purchased by Jews before the establishment of the state is received with surprise and pathetic gratitude.

Twenty years ago, even 10, few in Israel would have conceived that the international community would doubt our long-term claim to the Etzion Bloc. Yet today, after four decades in which we failed to reach a unified position on which settlement areas were vital and which were not, the current American president, Barack Obama, has essentially adopted a mirror image of our disinclination to differentiate. In his vision, all settlements must go.

Watching the street protests in Teheran this week, the vicious constraining of democracy there, one can only lament the negligent abuse of our ample democracy here - the self-interested fights and hypocrisies that have left government after government incapable of effectively representing the wider good of our state.

How much partisan vitriol was poured out down the years, and how much consequent damage done to us all, over the "crime" of endorsing the principle of Palestinian statehood, when our united focus should have been on formulating and articulating to a wearied, often uncomprehending watching world our essential needs, the dimensions of the Palestinians' rejectionism and the need for their reform as a vital condition for any accommodation?

And why, now, for that matter, the ongoing superfluous divisions? The Israeli electorate, in its utterly confused vote four months ago, gave no single party real political weight. It made a wide coalition a political necessity. It provided party leaders with the perfect framework within which to seek consensus. To date, they have failed us again.

BUT TODAY, now that Netanyahu has put aside the debating society arguments of recent weeks about "we won't say 'two states' because they won't say 'Jewish state'" and taken the pro-Palestinian-state-in-principle plunge, what's required is domestic cooperation and partnership. We need to galvanize the best minds, representing the widest proportion of the political mainstream, to ensure that the Israeli government's goals are carefully and competently formulated, and then are recognized as truly representing Israel - the better to try and realize them.

Netanyahu has internalized and given public expression to the fact that if we want to salvage Israel as at once an overwhelmingly Jewish and a firmly democratic state, we have to seek a path to separation from the Palestinians - for our sakes as much as, if not more than, for theirs. That separation, he has sensibly made plain, can only be achieved under terms that do not threaten our physical safety. Bloodied and battered by the terrorists who have thrived in Palestinian areas - and only too aware that endemic Arab hostility to Israel predated the 1967 war and the capture of the additional territory that the Arab world now claims lies at the root of our conflict - Israel dare take no chances with its security.

There was much for all Israelis to applaud in Netanyahu's speech - not least his emphatic response to Obama's false depiction of Israeli-Jewish sovereign legitimacy stemming from the Holocaust rather than from our historical connection to this land.

But there are also reasons for Israelis, from their differing perspectives, to feel misgivings about the new Netanyahu vision - skepticism that stems from those decades of bitter experience with Palestinian intransigence, concerns about the viability of mechanisms to ensure demilitarization, reservations about the prime minister's capacity to hold to his positions when pressed from all sides, questions as to whether this was expedient rhetoric or heartfelt strategy.

Those on the Right who criticize Netanyahu because they believe he capitulated to American pressure and sold out the Likud; those who would prefer to sacrifice our democracy rather than relinquish territory; those who believe that Israel should expand sovereignty across Judea and Samaria and seek to restrict the Palestinians to some form of autonomy - all have good reason to feel abandoned by their presumed champion, though few will have been surprised.

Those on the Right who enthusiastically applaud him are in murkier waters. Critics to the left can ask why it is that Palestinian statehood, a veritably treasonable conception when expressed by some of his predecessors, is now acceptable, uniquely, when endorsed by Netanyahu?

There are numerous ways to justify the shift - among them that Netanyahu is trying to make the best of an immensely complex situation, some of whose complexity is a direct consequence of poor policies and mishandled negotiations in years past. Then there is the fact that Netanyahu's attitude to the settlement enterprise remains markedly more supportive and empathetic than that of others who have filled his post. And, of course, there is the insistence on recognition of Jewish Israel and the military constraints he has made central conditions of Palestinian statehood - though quite how demilitarization could effectively be enforced is wide open to question.

Less credible are the claims by those who defend Netanyahu by arguing that there was less to his speech than met the eye - that the prime minister doesn't really mean what he says, that he was simply getting the Americans off his back, and that the Palestinians can be relied upon to doom any substantive negotiations anyway. This echoes the initial, rather desperate response of some of Ariel Sharon's supporters who tried to reconcile their support for Greater Israel with his abandonment of it.

Certainly, Netanyahu can be expected to take a more cautious negotiating stance than certain former prime ministers. Certainly, too, one of Netanyahu's imperatives was indeed to reduce tensions with the Obama White House in order to better work together against Iran's nuclear program. And certainly, the hysterical Palestinian dismissal of Netanyahu's new policies confirms the ongoing rejection by even the "moderate" Palestinian Authority of our most basic legitimacy here.

But the prime minister's Sunday speech was not a grudging, indeed deceptive, acceptance of Palestinian independence. It was not, if measured by his own words, the enunciation of a route he has absolutely no intention of following. It was, rather, an avowed delineation of a vision - a road, as he put it, to "reconciliation with our neighbors."

And even if Netanyahu believes it will lead nowhere, it is a road that the energized Obama can be relied upon to do his utmost to strong-arm both sides into traveling.

We might reasonably ask ourselves why we couldn't have unified around this goal - a cautious, consensual approach to a model for Palestinian statehood that does not threaten Israel - years earlier?

Better, though, to now unite behind a prime minister who is speaking to the mainstream, work together to forge consensual positions and revitalize the arduous process of co-opting the international community to our legitimate cause. That way, the Palestinians are exposed in their abiding, resolute, benighted intransigence. Or, just possibly, slowly, insistently, they are pressured, in a partnership belatedly unifying Israel and the international community, to come to terms with the fact of our existence here and to gradually accept the terms of viable reconciliation, now espoused by Netanyahu, that would make all of our lives better and safer.

"These two realities - our connection to the Land of Israel, and the Palestinian population living within it - have created deep divisions in Israeli society," the prime minister said on Sunday. "But the truth is that we have much more that unites us than divides us. I have come tonight to give expression to that unity, and to the principles of peace and security on which there is broad agreement within Israeli society."

However belated, and however complex the road ahead, a heartfelt "Amen" to that.

http://www.jpost.com servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184875293&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

-----------------------------

Analysis: Most Arabs won't miss Iran's ayatollahs if they fall

Jun. 22, 2009
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST

Many Arab governments, including the Palestinian Authority, are quietly hoping that the latest crisis in Iran will mark the beginning of the end of the radical regime of the ayatollahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Frustrated with Teheran's long-standing policy of meddling in their internal affairs, representatives of the relatively moderate, pro-Western governments in Ramallah, Cairo, Beirut, Riyadh and other Arab capitals are hoping that regime change in Iran would undermine radical Islamic groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah.

These proxy groups, together with Syria - Iran's strategic ally and facilitator in the Arab world - have long been viewed as a main source of instability in the Middle East.

Yet the Arab heads of state and their government officials appear to be doing their utmost to downplay the Iran crisis. They are obviously concerned that their constituents would follow suit and demand reforms and free elections.

Invoking Palestinian terminology, Arab editors and columnists have been describing the anti-government protests in Iran as an intifada.

"The pro-Iran camp in the Arab world is very worried," said Abdel Rahman Rashed in an op-ed in the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. "It's natural for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other pro-Iran groups to be afraid because their existence depends solely on the radical regime in Iran. If anything bad happens to this regime, they will suffer even more."

Rashed hailed the Iranian protesters for opposing their government's policy of funding Hizbullah and Hamas at a time when the economy in Iran is not doing well.

A number of Palestinian officials in Ramallah said they expected the collapse of the regime in Iran to have a "positive" impact on what's happening in the PA-controlled territories. "The Hamas leaders must be in a state of panic," said an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. "Without Iran's support, Hamas couldn't have staged a coup in the Gaza Strip two years ago."

The official claimed that the Iranian government had given Hamas more than $150 million in the past three years, enabling the radical Islamic movement to maintain its tight grip on the Gaza Strip. He said that more than 80% of Hamas's weapons come from the Iranians.

"Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs have long been working hard to export their radical Shi'ite ideology to Palestine," said another PA official in Ramallah. "We will be more than happy to see the regime in Teheran disappear, together with Hamas and Islamic Jihad."

But there is also concern in Ramallah that the crisis would force US President Barack Obama to focus on Iran rather than the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The "intifada" in Iran erupted just when it seemed that the issues of West Bank settlements and the two-state solution had been placed, thanks to the Obama administration, at the top of the world's agenda.

Unlike former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad never succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the Palestinian masses despite his fiery rhetoric and threats to eliminate Israel.

Teheran's open support for Hamas in the power struggle with Fatah, as well as its continued attempts to undermine the relatively moderate regimes in Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf countries, have alienated many Palestinians. Echoing these sentiments, Hafez Barghouti, editor of the PA-funded Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, held Teheran responsible for the ongoing sharp differences between Hamas and Fatah.

Egyptian mediation efforts between the two rival parties have failed because of the Iranians, who have turned Khaled Mashaal into another ayatollah, he said, referring sarcastically to the Syrian-based Hamas leader as "Ayatollah Mashalati."

Like many of his colleagues throughout the Arab world, Barghouti expected the crisis in Iran to escalate, resulting ultimately in the downfall of the ayatollahs. "The winds of change will eventually reach the top brass of the Iranian regime," remarked Palestinian columnist Muwafak Matar. "What's happening there is more than a power struggle in the regime. It could be the beginning of a new era of awareness among the young people, who are aspiring for stability and rejoining the international community. They want a new Iran that does not interfere in the internal affairs of its neighbors or countries that are far away."

Noting that Teheran had been meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians, Lebanese and Egyptians over the past few years, another Palestinian columnist, Rajab Abu Siriyyeh, said he did not rule out the possibility that Obama's conciliatory approach to the Arabs and Muslims could have been one of the main reasons why tens of thousands of Iranians decided to take to the streets.

"They see the last election as an opportunity for real change in Iran," he said. "Ahmadinejad's policies have strained relations between his country and the Arab countries. We saw how Teheran recently dispatched a Hizbullah cell to attack Egypt."

Abu Siriyyeh said that the Arab world, which is worried about Iran's territorial ambitions in the Middle East, would not tolerate another four years of Ahmadinejad's rule.

"The Arab countries will benefit in many aspects from the collapse of the current regime in Iran," said Mohammed Husseini, secretary-general of the Arabic-Islamic Council in Lebanon. "The demise of the regime will remove a real threat to Arab national security and put an end to Teheran's meddling in the internal affairs of others."

Husseini voiced hope that the next regime in Iran would learn from the mistakes of its predecessors and refrain from "sticking its nose" into the Arab people's affairs. He said that Iran's proxy groups in the Arab world will then realize that they had made a "huge mistake" by placing Teheran's interests above the interests of their own people.

http://www.jpost.com servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184891821&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

 

THE THIRD TEMPLE

Most of the time when I lecture American tourists in Israel they eventually ask about the rebuilding of the Temple.

Actually it will not be a re-built temple. There are no remains of the previous ones to rebuild. The third temple will be from scratch.

And if we are to understand the differences between Revelation and Ezekiel’s information on a new Temple, then it might be good to understand that the one in Revelation is under the authority and auspices of the Anti-Christ and the one in Ezekiel under the Lord Himself. That is a fact that even some born again Christians seem to miss.

Such organizations as the Temple Faithful and the Temple Institute seem to me to gain more finances from Christian tourists than from any Jewish organizations. Are they legitimate or simply another tourist stop? You would have to ask them that. My guess is that they would not entertain such a question gladly.

Now there is a newspaper column on the idea that the Temple could be built without destroying the Dome of the Rock.

Long ago I was on a tour and the guide suggested exactly that. He went through the measurements atop the Temple Mount and laid out the spot of the Temple as being north of the Dome of the Rock. Ever since that I have considered this, even to noting the Rabbi’s Tunnel location of their plaque denoting where the Holy of Holies lay back then. It seems to me to be definitely north of the Dome.

So then, perhaps it could be done. Locating both on the Temple Mount.

WHO SAYS IT’S OKAY?

Which begs the idea of permission. It is beyond the current considerations that any Arab has the authority to convince enough Muslims that such a building program would not desecrate the Dome of the Rock, much less the other two mosques atop the Temple Mount, or the two underground ones which will hold about 5,000 worshippers each.

Back to the Anti-Christ.

 

Can Third Temple be built without destroying Dome of the Rock?

Jun. 21, 2009
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST

A new Jewish interfaith initiative launched last week argues building the Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem would not necessitate the destruction of the Dome of the Rock.

"God's Holy Mountain Vision" project hopes to defuse religious strife by showing that Jews' end-of-days vision could harmoniously accommodate Islam's present architectural hegemony on the Temple Mount.

"This vision of religious shrines in peaceful proximity can transform the Temple Mount from a place of contention to its original sacred role as a place of worship shared by Jews, Muslims and Christians," said Yoav Frankel, director of the initiative.

The Interfaith Encounter Association at the Mishkenot Sha'ananim's Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Jerusalem is sponsoring the program, which includes interfaith study and other educational projects.

According to Islamic tradition, the Dome of the Rock, built in 691, marks the spot where Muhammed ascended to Heaven.

But according to Jewish tradition, Mount Moriah, now under the Dome of the Rock, is where the Temple's Holy of Holies was situated.

Until now Jewish tradition has assumed that destruction of the Dome of the Rock was a precondition for the building of the third and last Temple.

However, in an article that appeared in 2007 in Tehumin, an influential journal of Jewish law, Frankel, a young scholar, presented a different option.

His main argument is that Jewish doctrine regarding the rebuilding of the Temple emphasizes the role of a prophet.

This prophet would have extraordinary authority, including the discretion to specify the Temple's precise location, regardless of any diverging Jewish traditions.

Frankel considers the scenario of a holy revelation given to an authentic prophet that the Temple be rebuilt on the current or an extended Temple Mount in peaceful proximity to the dome and other houses of prayer such as the Aksa Mosque and nearby Christian shrines.

However, both Muslims and Jews have expressed opposition to the initiative.

Sheikh Abdulla Nimar Darwish, founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel, said it was pointless to talk about what would happen when the mahdi, the Muslim equivalent of the messiah, would reveal himself.

"Why are we taking upon ourselves the responsibility to decide such things?" Darwish said in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post. "Even Jews believe that it is prohibited to rebuild the Temple until the messiah comes. So what is there to talk about.

"The mahdi will decide whether or not to rebuild the Temple. If he decides that it should be rebuilt, I will go out to the Temple Mount and help carry the rocks."

Darwish warned against any attempt to rebuild the Temple before the coming of the mahdi.

"As long as there is a Muslim alive, no Jewish Temple will be built on Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Temple Mount]. The status quo must be maintained, otherwise there will be bloodshed."

In contrast, Baruch Ben-Yosef, chairman of the Movement to Restore the Temple, made it clear that the Temple had to be built where the Dome of the Rock presently stands.

"Anybody who says anything else simply does not know what he is talking about," he said. "A prophet does not have the power to change the law which explicitly states the location of the Temple."

Ben-Yosef also rejected the idea that rebuilding of the Temple had to be done by a prophet.

"All you need is a Sanhedrin," he said.

Mainstream Orthodox rabbis have opposed attempts to rebuild the Temple since the Mount came under Israeli control in 1967.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel even issued a decree prohibiting Jews from entering the area due to ritual purity issues.

However, several grassroots organizations such as the Movement to Restore the Temple, and maverick rabbis, including Rabbi Israel Ariel, head of the capital's Temple Institute and a leading member of the revived Sanhedrin led by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, have called to take steps to renew the sacrifices on the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184891155&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

 

“HE MAY BE AN SOB BUT HE IS OUR SOB!”

History records those words of President Lyndon Johnson regarding the Shah of Iran. Later, President Jimmy Carter came to the office and dumped the Shah, giving Iran and the world even worse dictators in the Islamic radicals.

Professor Barry Rubin has some cogent thoughts on the topic of working with dictators. Consider this:

The Region: Working with dictatorships

Jun. 21, 2009
Barry Rubin , THE JERUSALEM POST

Question from a reader: Do we really want to promote the making of deals with "moderate dictators" or are we better urging them to turn their countries into liberal democracies?

Response from this writer: What we "really want" to do is not the issue here. Political reality is what is important.

Under normal and current conditions, North America and Europe are better off making deals with relatively moderate dictators while supporting liberal forces so they can play a role some day. The same principle applies for Israel.

Today - except for Lebanon - there is no real liberal democratic alternative in the Arabic-speaking world regarding real political power. To understand why this is true, read my book The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.

The main threat to the West, to Israel, and even to the Arabs themselves are radical Islamists (Iran's regime, Hamas, Hizbullah, Muslim Brotherhoods, al-Qaida) and their radical nationalist allies (Syria particularly).

Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrein, and - most problematically given its pro-Teheran stance - Qatar are our allies in this battle - despite all their problems, shortcomings, and appeasement behavior If you want to understand why these dictatorships are holding onto power and will be removed only by radical Islamists in the foreseeable future, read my book The Tragedy of the Middle East.

Against the fascists, the US and UK had to ally with Stalin; against the Communists, with many dictators. Those who are going to engage seriously in politics must deal with this reality.

At present, there is no serious prospect of turning these countries into liberal democracies, certainly not from the outside. Liberal forces are simply too weak. Democratic institutions don't exist. Anti-democratic Islamists would win elections and never bother to hold them again. This is the situation that has been seen recent years.

WHEN A DEMOCRATIC upsurge does come along, as currently is taking place in non-Arab Iran, it deserves support from Westerners and verbal encouragement from Western governments. There is certainly a huge difference between the Iranian demonstrators and the current regime. True, there is far less difference between the opposition candidates and the current rulers. But that margin is important.

Would a less extreme Islamist ruling Iran get better public relations' advantages in the West while developing nuclear weapons? Sure. But so what. The West isn't going to take on the current regime anyway. Public relations are not going to affect Iran getting nuclear weapons at this point.

It would certainly be better to have a leadership less eager to engage in war, less likely to use nuclear weapons, and more cautious in its international behavior. Equally, it would be preferable to have a regime which had a wider gap between a radical ideology and a more pragmatic practice. Finally, it would be nicer to have a regime that had to devote more of its time and attention to improving its domestic living standards than to foreign adventures.

Unfortunately, such options are not very available in the Arabic-speaking world. They may be, today, in Iran. But again that is Iran, not the Arabic-speaking world.

Is Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak or Jordan's King Abdullah preferable to Islamist states ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood? Is Iraq's current regime preferable to a radical Islamist state under Iranian patronage? Is Lebanon under the March 14 Sunni-Christian-Druze alliance preferable to Lebanon under Hizbullah? Is the Palestinian Authority preferable to Hamas?

How many milliseconds did it take you to answer that list of questions?

WORKING WITH the dictatorships does not mean supporting them when they repress genuine liberal democrats. That's where the line must be drawn. Yet why should the West help bring anti-Western Islamist groups to power that would create even worse dictatorships and set off bloody wars?

Nor does working with the dictatorships mean being naïve about them and their policies. Of course, the Palestinian Authority is going to incite violence against Israel-though it will also stop many of the resulting terrorists-but won't make a lasting comprehensive peace with Israel. Certainly, Mubarak's government will take American money and then order its media to preach anti-Americanism.

 

The problem with much of Western strategy today is that while claiming to be realistic, it is dangerously romantic. It often seems more concerned in conciliating with the worst extremists than in preserving and strengthening the less dangerous and repressive - though admittedly corrupt and incompetent-incumbents.

 

Incidentally, this is precisely the conclusion reached by the overwhelming majority of genuine Arab liberals. They hate the existing governments and are all too aware of their flaws. But they prefer the current rulers to bringing into their own homes the nightmare of Islamist Iran, Taliban Afghanistan, or Hamas Gaza. Who can blame them for reaching this conclusion? They prefer staying in the frying pan to leaping into the fire.

In contrast, in the West, the prevalent current thinking often urges jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Of course, it is easier to advocate such a step for those whose feet won't be the ones getting burnt.

There are good reasons why there are so many sayings about making a distinction between the horrible and the less objectionable though hardly ideal choice: The best is the enemy of the good. The lesser of two evils is preferable.

Politics is the art of the possible. Bad strategy is the vandalism of the dangerously ignorant.

http://www.jpost.com servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184890451&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

 

MOORE’S MUSINGS:

PARADIGM CHANGING

You might think of it as “thinking outside the box.”

Paradigm Definition: “an example that serves as a pattern or model for something, especially one that forms the basis of a methodology or theory.”

In other words, “that’s the way we’ve always done it before.” The last words of the modern (not modernist) church.

In other words a mental rut. Something that was done for such a long time that it is an established pattern to the point that any thinking about changing it is considered heresy by many.

In the Baptist community there are any number of folks who fall into this category. Years ago when a preacher began using a screen to display Power Point teaching aids and song lyrics, he was nearly kicked out of his fellowship.

That was terrible! How dare he?! The “liberals” did that.

What is interesting is that they also bus folks to church services, provide coffee and doughnuts in Sunday School classes, and a host of other things like having organ and piano music, but no one thought these commonalities important.

Why then was using a screen so terrible? Was it because some could not afford the high cost of long range projectors? Did not want to learn the technology? What could be so terrible.

I might add here that I don’t have a dog in this fight. I am not a Sr. Pastor so what I think really isn’t too important to anyone.

But the concept of changing the concept IS important to me.

With the high cost of today’s society, there must be some ways of doing things which could be changed, could be just as or even more effective, and could be radically different from the TRADITIONS OF OLD.

Christians in the independent Baptist areas, from whence I come, are quick to bewail the worship of tradition among both liberal Christian denominations as well as the Orthodox Jews. I concur.

But how often do even we make some kind of doctrine from a tradition that one of our past church leaders “invented” before we came around? I think this idea might surprise some of the brethren.

David Horovitz’s column about Israel’s lack of statesmanship among the various political parties was quite good. It is just as true about business and the churches we are familiar with.

Things change. Societies change. People’s ability to recognize certain things change. That doesn’t mean that changing the fundamentals of the faith are all right. That is the basis of heresy.

But – going back to the screen analogy – certain innocent methodology could change without earning the one who dares the title of heretic.

Sometimes we get so stodgy that we are negative when we needn’t be.

When my son became the pastor of the church I’d founded and pastored for 28 years I was pleased. When I came back to visit after an extended absence and saw what minor changes he had made, I had to give myself this little lecture.

A rut, I remind you, is a grave with open ends.

Yes, there are success ruts, and they ought to be maintained, but there is no rule against change. During my years in the pastorate, I put up signs, “Change is good when God is in it!”

Everything that grows changes. We began in a living room. Then to a community center’s meeting room. Then to the church building. Progress we were excited about because the numbers dictated it. That’s good change.

But what about the changes that are not mandated by necessity? Are they to be outlawed? And what about changing before necessity dictates, but when it can be seen on the horizon.

I have to be honest with you. We look at this subject every few months. What is happening in the United States. In Israel? How does it impact our work? What might be demanded of us or our work in the coming months? How will we have to act, before the necessity to react is upon us?

You might say, “Well that is wise.” We believe so, too. But what if a change occurs that you are uncomfortable with? Does that mean that it is bad because you or I squirm?

Not necessarily.

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

I’m trying to get you to look at where change might be creeping up on you.

Before you get negative (as I find myself doing with change, the older I get) take a breath, and consider that it might be necessary soon.

Or it might just be a better way, even if unnecessary!

Don’t get hardening of the attitudes.

I am a traditionalist. I love the old hymns. I don’t like Christian rock. I like the old KJV. I like pews, preaching and people who want to grow. I don’t care for cluster-groups rather than church services. I am a traditionalist.

By the way, I do like the screens for hymn lyrics. I’ve been in churches that do it both ways. I like the words up high where you can sing without looking down all the time.

But, that’s my opinion. It isn’t cast in concrete. And it has nothing to do with the fundamentals of the faith.

I always get a kick out of the fact that Spurgeon smoked cigars for many years of his most dynamic growth. But I don’t think it is good Baptist doctrine.

Yes, I am a bit of a revolutionary on “lite” things. But not on the basics.

Mastery of the Fundamentals is the secret to greatness in anything. Eliminate the fundamentals and the thing fails.

On the other hand, if some people had their way, we’d still be pulling fire trucks with a team of horses.

Think on that.

Thanks for your prayers for my wife’s eye surgeries. The first of three is complete and healing well. Two to go, so please keep her and the doctors in your prayers.

Thanks too for your friendship, encouragement and support in our work. We want to make a difference, and it is happening.

May the Lord bless you one and all,

Shabbat Shalom,

Ernie Moore

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

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