Well, another year is about to join the history ledger. It seems so recently, but it was five years ago when we began Barnabus Press. We’ve gone through some changes, tried to streamline some of our features to make it easier for you to get the “low-down” without a lot of extraneous reading.
We added the radio broadcast in January of 2005. !I encourage you to listen to this week’s! It is on the fact that two different released prisoners were behind attacks. Interesting stuff.
We’re now the Israel Bureau Chief for two radio networks and have a number of independent stations around the country. Each one is an encouragement to us, and we appreciate the markets that are open to us.
You will see some more changes in the future. Everything that grows changes and our work is the same. As the good Lord leads, we respond, and are diligent to follow His leading.
12/30/2009 - Politics at Home; Sister Mary; The Arrogance of Authority; Bibi, Livni and Abbas
Israel and the Middle East are becoming so intertwined with the US that our notes, news and commentary seem to overlap more and more often. As terrorism, politics and society are ever-changing. We try to bring you a bit more understanding by working to simplify the details. As Mark Twain said, “It takes a heap of sense to write nonsense!”
I don’t think what we do is nonsense, but there are often very convoluted facts behind the news. Personalities, actions, political movement and national activity are not always what they seem. We just strive to simplify and illuminate the issues.
One television commentator recently said of the Obama White House, (and I paraphrase) “When you see them highlighting something in the news, watch for what else is happening – that’s what they don’t want you to see.” That is not just the current regime. It is the same with lots of governments. We will try to catch some of those slight of hands and pass them on to you.
A CORRUPT – NOT JUST STUPID - ATTORNEY GENERAL
Do you recall the Black Panthers intimidating the Philadelphia voters during the last Presidential elections? Here’s the latest:
Black Panther case: Has a head rolled?
By: David Freddoso
Online Opinion Editor
12/27/09 11:21 PM EST
… Christopher Coates, head of the Justice Department's voting rights division, has been removed from his post and replaced.
But no, the administration isn't doing damage control after it mysteriously dropped voter intimidation charges against three members of the Black Panther Party who rather openly intimidated Philadelphia voters on Election Day 2008. Rather, the administration is getting rid of the official who initiated the charges:
Coates signed off on the controversial voter intimidation complaint against the New Black Panther Party and three of its members, filed in the waning days of theGeorge W. Bushadministration. The Obama DOJ’s decision to dismiss most of the charges in May has become a political controversy for the administration.
Coates is among those who were subpoenaed to testify about the Black Panther controversy before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. (Washington Examiner internet)
My sister and I have politics in our genetic code. Fortunately we are both conservatives. Here’s the latest from her…
U.S. House & Senate have voted themselves$4,700 and $5,300raises.
1. They voted tonotgive youa S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.
2. Your Medicaid premiums will go up$285.60for the 2-years and
You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr. Yourtotal2-yrloss and costis
-$1,600 or -$3,200for husband and wife.
3. Over 2-yrsthey each get $10,000
IN 2010 YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET RID OF THE SITTING CONGRESS:
Up to 1/3 OF THE SENATE, AND 100% OF THE HOUSE.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE STILL MAD IN NOVEMBER 2010 AND REMIND THEIR REPLACEMENTS NOT TO BEHAVE LIKE THE OLD CROWD.
Maybe it's time for the........
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United
States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives,
and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or
Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the
United States ."
HOW BAD IS OBAMACARE?
The news of the Senate and House versions is bad enough. When they are combined, the gag factor will likely go off the charts. Here’s something from the Washington Examiner:
Just how bad is Obamacare? Here are some of the proposal's most important flaws, as described by one of the proposal's most passionate critics:
It forces you to pay up to 8 percent of your income to private insurance corporations -- whether you want to or not.
If you refuse to buy the insurance, you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2 percent of your annual income to the Internal Revenue Service.
After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins.
It allows insurance companies to charge older people 300 percent more than other customers.
The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1,000 a year -- meaning in 10 years, you family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.
Care to guess the name of the Obamacare critic who pointed out these and many more flaws in the bill? Try Jane Hamsher of the very liberal blog, Fire Dog Lake, who called Obamacare "a con job." Clearly, opposition to Obamacare has grown to span the political spectrum. Yet these 60 senators couldn't care less. May the day come soon when all of them have to explain their disdain for their constituents.
THE ARROGANCE OF AUTHORITY!
General Keith Dayton may or may not be involved in the following, but his boys are. The general is the man behind training the Palestinian Authority’s so-called security forces. They are supposed to be – as in Israel – a police / anti-terrorist force. Keeping order inside the West Bank (and Gaza until Hamas killed a lot and kicked most of the rest out) was their assigned task.
Certainly their Jordanian-based training has helped, and there is so much less anarchy inside the West Bank that we applaud (begrudgingly) the work Dayton has done.
Now we read of some silly macho “my boss is more important than your boss” activity at the crossing points into and out of the West Bank.
How much is bluster and how much is bravado is still up in the air. Apparently the US consulate cars are not very cooperative with the IDF guys manning the checkpoints. And there is the fact that Israelis at the checkpoints aren’t always the friendliest either.
The men we know who handle security at the consulate are legitimate tough guys, brook no nonsense, but are also always very professional. At least one is reading our Traveling Israel book.
Who’s right and who’s wrong? That is not really the point. Some “adult” should straighten both sides up and get them marching to the same drum.
After weeks of sort of hunkering down, Bibi is back with a vengeance. Our read is that he was sick for a while. That is no fun when everyone wants to snap pictures and get sound bites.
But while he was out of sight some things were happening:
For one, he had emissaries talking to the disgruntled in the Kadima ranks. C’mon over to Likud, the water’s fine.
The story goes like this. In the last national election Kadima’s Tzipi Livni won a bare margin of the most votes. But she couldn’t cobble together a coalition government from the parties so the nod went to Netanyahu. He did finally manage to get enough to put a government together.
He offered Livni a chance to partner with him, but she got in a snit and refused.
Kadima, I remind you was the brain-child of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. I personally think it was to get the press off his back over some election shenanigans. At any rate, on the 4th of January, 2006, the day we moved to Israel, he had a stroke and another massive one the next day and has been in a vegetative state ever since.
The arrogant and ignorant Ehud Olmert assumed the leadership, Tzipi was his deputy, and they flubbed the war with Hezbollah, he got caught with his fingers where they should not be, and eventually had to resign, turning the party over to Livni.
Never being a shining light, the lass managed to cold-shoulder her own people, including the former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, who left Likud with Sharon. Now Mofaz wants to lead the party, or rejoin Likud, or something else, which he is not certain what that might be. He is a sort of bumbler in my opinion.
Since Livni’s refusal to allow her party to be a part of Bibi’s government, they have basically done nothing. She occasionally criticized Netanyahu in the press, but it comes off sounding like my sisters sniping at one another when they were twelve years old.
So, with the internal unrest, it looks like Bibi’s men may have as many as seven former Likud members who are currently in Kadima ready to rejoin the old flock, and even earn themselves some government post in so doing.
Now Livni is livid!!
Cheater! Dog! Dishonest! Oh, and she did say, (close paraphrase) “I’ll try to be warmer to my party members.” Huh. Maybe it’s too late for that one.
Bibi held talks with her last week and again offered her a chance to join the government. She again refused. Better to sulk in darkness than not to be the queen of the ball!
THE OTHER OPPOSITION
Another thing that was happening while PM Netanyahu was quiet was that the PLO, Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas (all one and the same) was digging a deeper hole.
A couple of months ago Abbas said he would not run for President of the PA again. That supposed of course that there would ever be elections again in the Arab area.
Then he did, and then didn’t want Israel trashed at the UN over Operation Cast Lead, the military operation against Hamas in Gaza.
Seems that Abbas supported and in some ways cooperated with Israel during the operation. When word got out about that he was ruthlessly castigated by his own side.
And he’s still harping on the buildings being built – or not – inside the West Bank. Stupidly, he keeps saying that Jerusalem is the West Bank, and not the capital of Israel.
This week it was announced that over 600 homes for the Arabs and another 600 for the Jews will be built in Jerusalem. That is not good news for Abbas, at least from the standpoint that the Arabs in Silwan (across the Kidron Valley from the old City of David) want those homes built!
He just keeps stepping in some bad things, and Bibi just keeps saying that he is ready to sit down with Abbas at the negotiating table any time that Abbas is ready.
TWO ROADS, ONE LESS TRAVELED!
There are two main highways between Jerusalem heading west toward Ben Gurion Airport. One is the older Highway 1 which runs to Tel Aviv. The other is a newer road, Route 443, and actually travels through about 12 miles of Palestinian Territory. This was initially (partially) built to help the Palestinians in six villages have better access between their towns, as well as to alleviate some of the traffic on Rte. 1.
Rte 443 connects to Route one just east of the Ben Gurion exit and just past Route 6’s north-south highway.
Actually I prefer this road to Route one because it is a bit wider, less sharp turns, congestion, and the other drivers are better (that’s a relative phrase).
I do know that in the Palestinian stretch there have been shootings (6 killed a few years ago in separate incidents), but I have not had any troubles, including one time when I was with a friend and we were stranded for two hours at night when his Pajero died.
Last week however, there was a bombing attempt when an IED fizzled that could have brought lots of stone down on travelers.
Since 2002 the Palestinians of the West Bank have been blocked from using the highway because of threat levels.
This week the Israel High Court determined that now they must be given access to the highway along with Israelis.
I for one think that is insane. It was only a couple of weeks ago that a Rabbi, a father of seven, was murdered when Palestinian shooters pulled alongside his van and opened fire on him. That will no doubt happen sooner or later on Rte. 443.
UNDER THE HEADING: TRYING TO ENERGIZE THE TROOPS!
Hezbollah chief asks Egypt to stop Gaza border wall
It would be sad if it were not so laughable. This week Hassan Nasrallah made a speech in which he said that Egypt should stop the construction of the underground steel sheets that are intended to stop the smuggling between Egypt and Gaza. Smuggling that includes rockets from Iran, and other weapons systems, as well as regular commodities for everyday life.
What’s laughable about that?
Just that right now there are about a dozen Hezbollah agents in Egyptian jails for attempting to blow up shipping in the Suez Canal, destroy some Egyptian enterprises and strengthen Mubarak’s enemies in the Muslim Brotherhood inside Egypt.
In other words, Nasrallah is seen as the head of a terror group against Egypt. I’m certain Mubarak will be listening to him about ANYTHING!
CONFUSION TO MY ENEMIES!
“Intifada” is the Arab word for uprising. It was the title given to two previous periods when Arab terrorism was rampant against Israel. The first actually petered out when everyone just got tired of the pressure and Arafat relaxed his speeches. The second ended when Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister and sent in the IDF to wipe out the ring leaders, smash Arafat’s compound in Ramallah and captured a ton of his most secret documents.
Now there is talk of another intifada. This one a civil war among the Arabs of the West Bank because the lower breed of society there thinks that Abbas is cooperating with Israel against terrorists. They are probably right about that, but considering the alternatives, what real choice does he have?
First of all, his own people don’t want another war with Israel. They are finally getting some jobs, their kids are safer, and they want a “normal” way of life. Only the outlaws want a war.
What will happen? If this proposed Intifada does come against Fatah, it is our guess that the Abbas/Dayton security forces will be backed up by the IDF in certain cases and there will be a lot less terrorists at the end of 2010 than there are today.
That’s my guess.
THE ISRAEL PROJECT REPORTS ON HOUSING IN EAST JERUSALEM:
Arabs and Jews Get New Housing Starts in East Jerusalem
Today (Dec. 28) the Israeli government announced it has approved the construction of 1,192 new housing units for both Arab and Jewish residents of East Jerusalem; 500 housing units have been authorized in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for the Arab population, and 692 housing units have been authorized for the mostly Jewish neighborhoods of Har Homa, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev.
The Israeli government has stated that Israel’s 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank excludes the East Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Nov. 17, "Israeli law does not discriminate between Jews, Muslims, and Christians or between eastern and western Jerusalem. The demand to halt construction by religion is not legal in the United States or in any other free place in the world. I do not presume that any government would demand to freeze construction in the United States based on race, religion or gender and the attempt to demand it from Jerusalem is a double standard and inconceivable."
On Nov. 25, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the 10-month construction freeze on West Bank settlements - a gesture to the Palestinian Authority to build confidence between the two sides and restart peace negotiations. Despite significant political and public opposition in Israel, the freeze is currently in effect and is being enforced by government agencies and security services.
The majority of the land on which the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Neve Yaakov and Har Homa are built was purchased by Jewish organizations or individuals before the State of Israel was established in 1948, or was legally acquired by the Israeli government post-1967.
Jewish residents of Jerusalem established the northeastern neighborhood of Neve Yaakov in 1924. Land for the new neighborhood was purchased from the nearby Arab village of Beit Hanina. During Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, the Jordanian army conquered Neve Yaakov, and Jordan annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950. Israel then acquired the neighborhood during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Har Homa was built in 1997 on 457 acres (1.85 sq. km; 1,850 dunams) of land. The Israeli government acquired the land for construction, 345 acres (1.4 sq. km; 1,400 dunams) of which was from Jewish-owned land and 111 acres (0.45 sq. km; 450 dunams) of which was from Arab-owned land. The Israeli government provided compensation to both Arabs and Jews whose land was appropriated. The land was in any case vacant and no one was displaced by the project.
In 2007, there were 1,300 Arab residents of Pisgat Zeev and 600 Arab residents of Neve Yaakov.
Tomorrow (Dec. 29), Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. The meeting between the two leaders will focus on ways to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
 Sofer, Roni, “Atias: 500 housing units okayed for Arabs in J'lem,” YnetNews, Dec. 28, 2009, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3826187,00.html
 “Temporary Jewish settlement freeze excludes East Jerusalem,” The Times (UK), Nov. 26, 2009, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6932449.ece
 “Jerusalem Mayor Barkat, strongly objects to the American demand to halt construction in Jerusalem,” Israel Government Press Office, Nov. 17, 2009
 “Behind the Headlines: The ten month Israeli moratorium on settlement building,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nov. 26, 2009, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/Behind-the-Headlines-The-Ten-Month-Israeli-Moratorium-on-Settlement-Building-26-Nov-2009.htm; Abu Toameh, Khaled; Keinon, Herb, “‘Let us make peace,’ declares Netanyahu,” The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2009, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1259010981876&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
 Ravid, Barak, “Netanyahu forms task force to monitor settlement freeze,” Haaretz, Dec. 5, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1132825.html; Ravid, Barak; Mualem, Mazal “Barak to augment inspection teams to enforce West Bank settlement freeze,” Haaretz, Dec. 1, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131608.html
 “Neve Yaakov,” Nationmaster Encyclopedia, http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Neve-Yaakov. Accessed Dec. 7, 2008; “The Neve Yaakov Neighborhood in Jerusalem,” Jerusalem.com, Oct. 15, 2008, http://www.jerusalem.com/news_99/The-Neve-Yaakov-Neighborhood-in-Jerusalem.
 “Israel’s Changing Borders,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/CD41289E-0875-4D84-A2D1-5BBF34BCF91A/0/mapstorypart2.pdf, accessed Dec. 28, 2009
 Stein, Kenneth W, “The Arab-Israel Peace Process- 1997,” Middle East Contemporary Survey, Volume XXI 1997; pp. 71-109, http://www.ismi.emory.edu/BookChapters/MECS97.pdf
 “Building In Jerusalem, Background,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 24, 1997, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Modern%20History/Historic%20Events/Building%20in%20Jerusalem%20-%20Background (currently online at http://www.netanyahu.org/noname.html)
 “"The Jews Are Going, the Arabs Are Coming," DanielPipes.org, Sept. 28, 2009, http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/05/the-jews-are-going-the-arabs-are-coming
 “PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting,” Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Dec. 27, 2009, http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/Spokesman/2009/12/spokestart271209.htm
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It is during this week that I take some time to review what I’ve been able to accomplish over the previous twelve months and prayerfully consider my goals for the coming year.
Actually I have been setting annual goals for years. I record them in the front of my personal journal and then read them and pray over them each day during my devotions.
This process helps me stay on track for my more immediate plans and goals, it helps me recognize where I might need to sort of re-order my activities, and it gives me a sense of where I am in the scheme of things.
For a Christian there is a grave danger of “playing to the gallery.” In other words, doing what we think others expect of us as opposed to asking the Lord what He would have us to do. Those two areas are not always in conflict, but we must be aware that the possibility exists.
Thinking outside the box is, to me, one of the most important things a serious Christian can do. Read the Bible. You will notice that the Lord led many people in innovative actions and gave them goals that were unheard of before. I’m not talking of anything that disagrees with the teaching of the Word of God, but we both know that there are many areas in our lives that the Lord doesn’t hand out specifics in the Bible.
One of the most important bits of advice ever given to me was the phrase, “Ernie, God did not call you to be an echo; He called you to be a voice for Him. Only you can really know God’s will for your life.”
Don’t put God in a box. Too often we get into this rut of “That’s the way we have always done it before.” Sure it’s comfortable, but in a changing world, we often need to innovate, whether in our work, our homes; even our churches.
I well remember a preacher telling me one time “You can’t just hang on by a string forever!” He was talking about my not having a work visa in Israel. This well-meaning man lived in the same town for over forty years, pastored the same church for over forty years, owned a very profitable business on the side, his wife earned a separate living in real estate, and his life was cast in concrete.
We had sold our home, lived in an RV when in the States, and in an apartment when in Israel. The government admittedly would not issue me a work visa because our little news enterprise was Christian not secular, and too small to bear pressure on them. I worked at getting that visa for over four years.
Ah, but God knew what was happening. It is our understanding (from a high government official and friend) that journalists with a work visa who have been in the land over five years will now have to leave Israel – for good! They will be kicked out, in essence.
But, we, who were just “hanging on by a string” (God’s string, as it turns out) will not be in that situation and continue to come and go to do our work. Yes, our situation has been expensive, frustrating, and “unfair” but today we see the Lord’s hand in it and rejoice at His “thinking outside the box” as He led us on the pathway we took.
Remember: Think. Make time for quiet consideration of where you believe the Lord is leading you.
Beware of whom you counsel with. Be assured that they have a serious investment in your success.
Dream. What would you like to do? What would you do if you didn’t even get paid for it? What would you do; what could you do, that would be pleasing to the Lord and excite your passion for the work?
Write your dreams and goals down. A dream with a plan becomes a goal. A goal that is written down is already well on its way to fulfillment.
Be patient. God’s work means preparation. Sometimes it is formal education. Sometimes it is to the school of hard knocks we must go. Either way, be willing to let the Lord lead you and don’t listen to the people who try to tear you down.
Beware of the ungodly counsel of so-called friends. There are lots of people who would use us for their own profit. Be mature enough to let God show you the intents and hearts of those around you.
Even well-meaning friends are often inexperienced, or perhaps even have a personal reason to want you to do what pleases them.
Our rule has been for years to seek counsel from those who have succeeded in areas that want to succeed. And remember, truly successful people will be willing to share their lessons learned along the way.
Work like it all depends on you, and pray like it all depends on God. Bathe your goals and dreams in prayer. Make quiet times when you can listen to God. I’ll be frank, it is when I am reading the Bible that the Lord often speaks to me in my heart and mind.
Don’t expect “out loud conversations” with God. Be sensitive to His leading, live pure and you will know God’s voice when it speaks to your spirit. Impurity, arrogance, or stubbornness are the surest ways to destruction and to shutting the whole counsel of God from your heart.
Finally – at least for now – Walk with God. Trust His love for you and your dreams. He loves us more than even our most devoted parent. His way will lead to joy even during trials, to victory even where the world sees catastrophe, and to temperance and patience that will grow you in wisdom and fulfillment even where others see delay and frustration.
I am sixty-three years old. The above lessons have been learned the hard way in many cases, but not always. My mentors date back all the way to a little blacksmith shop with grandparents whose love for me was unquestionable. A simple couple who never traveled far from home, but whose love of family was awesome.
In school I was blessed by a couple of teachers whose disciplined ways demanded the best from me and who inspired me to do better than my best.
The military was the place I learned real discipline, how to take and later how to give orders, even when other’s lives were in the balance. There too, were men who strengthened my abilities and sharpened me.
The great pastors who mentored me when I was in the ministry as a pastor cannot be over emphasized. And too the businessmen who surrounded me with the joy of dreaming and reaching and striving for my best is beyond measure.
Finally, and most important, there is my own family. My wife, my son, and uncles like Jake Crabtree (the real one) and Leonard Payne. Their love and belief and encouragement have always been the wind beneath my wings.
Now I offer this to you as my New Year’s offering. Dream Big. Nothing of any value was ever accomplished without first the dream.
Take counsel, but also seek the Lord.
And work. Do not flag when discouragement or disappointment come. Persist. That is the sunshine and rain that sprouts wonderful crops abundantly.
Thanks for taking some time to let me share my heart with you. I pray that if you will let the Lord lead you for the coming year, your dreams will prosper beyond your own imagination! God Bless.
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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This Week In Israel is written for those with a real interest in Israel and what affects that nation. Written from a position of love and concern for the people, we want to educate, at times entertain, and keep you up to speed.