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

Archive for November, 2007


Thursday, November 29th, 2007

One of the tragedies of the Annapolis Conference is the division occurring among so-called “evangelicals” concerning the future of Israel and its Land.


The conclusion of the US-hosted Middle East peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland has further highlighted a growing rift within the Evangelical Christian community over the degree of support for Israel’s biblical right to the lands between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.

A day after the summit, the leaders of the three most prominent Jerusalem-based Evangelical ministries told The Jerusalem Post that the re-division of the holy city and the surrender of Israel’s biblical heartland – an effective reversal of prophecy – are unacceptable concepts for Bible-believing Christians and Jews.

“The sanctity of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State is something very sacred which has both historical and religious associations for the Jewish people going back thousands of years,” said International Christian Embassy Jerusalem director Rev. Malcom Heading. “We view any attempt to divide the city as a tragic wedge that is unacceptable.”

Ray Sanders, executive director of Christian Friends of Israel, called Muslim claims to sovereignty over these lands, and especially Jerusalem, “preposterous,” and said Israel was doing itself a great disservice by failing to more aggressively counter such allegations.

US-based Evangelical heavyweights such as John Hagee and Pat Robertson share the position of the Jerusalem ministries, and vigorously oppose any surrender of Israel’s biblical birthright to its Islamic foes.

But another group of lesser known American Evangelical leaders who have taken a position previously described as humanist, rather than biblical, are again urging US President George W. Bush to rapidly divide the Land of Israel.

In a joint statement released this week, the over 80 Christian college and seminary presidents, denominational heads, and other ministry leaders declared:

“We…resolve to work for a viable permanent, democratic Palestinian State… We believe that the way forward is for the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a fair, two-state solution. …We call on all evangelicals, all Christians, and everyone of good will to join us to work and pray faithfully in the coming months for a just, lasting two-state solution in the Holy Land.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We at HOPE for TODAY Ministries will NOT support any calls for the support of a Palestinian State and a divided Jerusalem in the Land which God gave to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Apparently some evangelical leaders NOT reading their Bibles prayerfully and carefully!)


Thursday, November 29th, 2007

While the Annapolis Conference was taking place, a very important event was occurring at the Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel.

by Hillel Fendel

The New Jewish Congress was launched in Jerusalem on Tuesday – the same day as the Annapolis summit, whose defeatism it seeks to fight.

Organizations, speakers and supporters from across the spectrum of nationalist and religious thought were present at the Renaissance Jerusalem Hotel to take part in the opening sessions.

The plenary session was chaired by Congress co-organizer Prof. Hillel Weiss of Bar Ilan University. Others responsible for organizing the Congress were Katy Cohen and Prof. Arieh Zaritzky, while a fourth co-organizer, Dr. Gadi Eshel, read aloud the Congress charter, entitled: “The Eternal People in an Eternal Covenant in the Land of Israel.” Excerpts:

“G-d commanded the land of Israel to the People of Israel as a heritage – to settle it, to walk through it, to love even its dust, to know it, to observe the Torah in it, to long for it throughout 2,000 years of Exile. And when the time of the Return to Zion came, we were to ingather our dispersed exiles into it, take the barely-alive remnants of Israel and revive them upon it, raise pioneers in it, settle it with brides and grooms, children, families and communities, build upon it towns and factories, preserve it, rejoice in its rebuilding, build in it a national home that would be a light unto the nations – and to establish G-d’s Holy Sanctuary in its heart, Jerusalem, Zion, on Mt. Moriah.

“Everything is interwoven and inseparable – the tradition of Israel, the holiness of the Land, the unity of the Jewish People in Israel and abroad, defense and security, and life of creativity and deep bonds with the land.

“Every community that we plant throughout the land strengthens the roots of the Eternal Nation’s Eternal Covenant here – while at the same time preventing it from being bound by ‘Auschwitz borders.’ Let us not fool ourselves: ‘Auschwitz borders’ invite Auschwitz – not only for the Jews in Israel, but for Jews everywhere, and for all of humanity!

“It cannot be that a temporary rule in the State of Israel will steal from the People of Israel its land, will conspire to expel them and give it away to a foreign nation – our bitterest enemy…

“Any traitorous or anti-Semitic declaration that emanates from the second Munich conference, wherever it is held, has no value whatsoever. The Nation of Israel and its State must shred it into the trash bin of history. Those who take upon themselves, seemingly in the name of the State of Israel, to commit national suicide, lose their right to rule in the State of the Jewish Nation.

“No Jew will abandon his home, give up his inheritance, freeze construction in his land or pave the way to Auschwitz borders in order to fulfill that evil decree.

“A group of people who take upon themselves, seemingly in the name of the State of Israel, to commit national suicide, lose their right to rule in the State of the Jewish Nation.

“We hereby determine that IDF soldier and members of the Israel Police are forbidden to take part in the crime of expelling Jews from their homes and inheritance, of transferring parts of our Holy Land to our enemies, and endangering the Nation of Israel – in any form!

“We call upon all those who are loyal to the Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel and every Jew who loves life, to arise, unite, remove the decrees “from our people and from the cities of our G-d,” and emplace Jewish sovereignty over the entire Land. In the words of Joshua and Caleb when Moses sent them to scout out the Land, ‘Let us ascend and inherit the Land, for we can overcome it.'”


Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The address of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US at the Annapolis Conference was one of the tragic events that occurred and emphasizes the absolute hypocrisy of the so-called “Kingdom.” (reported by Israel Today)


Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US on Tuesday said that the Arab world would never recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” because nations should not be defined by religious beliefs or ethnicity, even the ethnicity of their majority populations.

But, Saudi Arabia is definitely defined by religious belief and imposes Sharia Law on its people and states that it is an Islamic State in its own constitution.

Amnon Rubinstein answers Saudi Arabia with his article below:


If Israel is not a Jewish state, it can’t be called Israel, because Israel is a synonym for the Jewish people. If Israel is not Jewish, its Declaration of Independence should be annulled, because it talks about the establishment of a Jewish state named Israel.

If Israel is not Jewish, the United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947 regarding the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab, should be revoked.

If Israel is not Jewish, the Law of Return should of course be abrogated, along with Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, which determines that Israel’s values are based on it being a Jewish and democratic state.

If Israel is not Jewish, a new national anthem will have to be found instead of Hatikva. If Israel is not Jewish, it won’t be Catholic. Or Buddhist. It will be Arab-Muslim – even if the path toward this outcome has to go via a bi-national state.

If Israel is not Jewish, there will not be two states for two peoples. If Israel is Arab-Muslim, it is not likely to be democratic.

If Israel becomes all of these things, all its anti-Zionist journalists and intellectuals will be the first to flee. However, the Jews from Middle Eastern countries will be left behind. Although they once fled from an Arab regime in order to live in a Jewish country, that same regime, which humiliated and oppressed them, will catch up with them.

SUCH a scenario would be a nightmare – one that will never come to pass, but it is essential we understand just how important the demand to define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is. Yet we are being told that the existence of a large Arab minority in Israel means that Israel cannot be defined in this way, because defining a country without taking the minority into consideration is not democratic.

But when the UN declared the establishment of a Jewish state, the Arabs constituted more than 40 percent of the population, and despite this, the UN General Assembly saw no contradiction between this reality and defining Israel as a Jewish democratic state.

The anti-Zionists say that this reality has changed, that the world has entered the age of post-nationalism. But even in this age, most of the countries of Europe, even those with very large national minorities, remain nation-states.

The truth is of course that there is no justification whatsoever not to recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Our Supreme Court has repeatedly defined what the principal Jewish characteristics of the state are and has included in them the following: that the Hebrew language is its principal official language, its rest days will be held in accordance with Jewish tradition and that the state has a Jewish majority. We are told that defining Israel as a Jewish state awakens suspicions of it becoming a theocracy, and that at most, Israel is no more than the state of the Jews – like the name of Herzl’s book. But Herzl himself saw no difference between the idea of a Jewish state and that of a state of the Jews, and allowed the name of his book to be translated into other languages as “The Jewish State.” When the UN General Assembly decided that Israel would be a Jewish democratic state, it certainly did not have a theocracy in mind; and neither did David Ben-Gurion, who drafted the Declaration of Independence; nor did the former president of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak, who defined the essence of the state as Jewish.

And what good will it do to change Israel’s name? Will the Palestinian Arabs ever agree to the existence of a state of the Jews under any name?

If Israel as a Jewish state does not have to be Jewish in the religious-halachic sense, what then does it mean to be Jewish? That meaning has not changed since Herzl’s time: The Jews, at least since the Emancipation, are a people, a single people that has a very important religious element to it, and which, like other peoples, is strongly connected to its religious past. That past is the launch-pad from which its modern national identity takes-off.

Israel is the state of the Jewish people and all its parts, and it must also be the state of all its non-Jewish citizens, as well as of its large Muslim minority, whose leaders deny that they belong to the state.

The state cannot be identical to just a part of the Jewish people. It is the shared home of all – both non-Jews and Jews, Orthodox, traditional and secular – and it must not discriminate between any of the elements that constitute it.

Yes, there are still shortcomings in Israel’s governmental system, with the absence of civil marriage being one of the most serious of them. The subjugation of Israelis to the Orthodox rabbinical courts and judges is at odds with Israel’s essence as a democracy.

But that is not the reason the Arab leadership and the Palestinian president are opposed to defining Israel as a Jewish state. On the contrary, they themselves seek to establish a fanatical, anti-democratic theocracy of their own here, in place of Israel.

Their opposition is to the existence of a democratic Jewish state anywhere in the region. Their dream is our nightmare.

“There are 1.5 million civilians in Israel who do not define themselves as Jewish,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Adel al-Jubeir as saying at the US-hosted peace talks in Annapolis, Maryland. “We do not believe states should define themselves according to religion or ethnicity.”

An Israeli blogger pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the Saudi representative’s remarks:

Saudi Arabia is a nation that officially endorses Islam to the point of outlawing the overt practice of any other religion;

The kingdom’s legal system is based on Muslim religious law, or sharia;

The Saudi king carries the official title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”;
And last, but certain not least, Saudi Arabia’s constitution begins with the following words:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, are its constitution…”


Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The results are mixed; the USA is asking for a final solution by the end of 2008. Jerusalem was left out of the discussions. Syria’s contribution was to tell all of the delegates that the Golan Heights never belonged to Israel. Obviously, they have no regard for anything that the Bible says. One of the most honest reports on the Annapolis Conference and the intentions of it was given by Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter of the Kadima Party headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

by Hana Levi Julian (reported in Israel National News

An agreement to reach a final status agreement by the end of 2008 is a laudable goal, says Public Security Minister Avi Dichter of Kadima, but essentially unrealistic.

Speaking to new Border Guard Police officers at the IDF Reception and Sorting Base, Dichter said he believes both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas are sincere in their intentions.

The two leaders issued a joint statement in Annapolis in which they allow the U.S. to serve as final arbiter and commit to carry out the negotiations and compromises set forth in the U.S. Road Map plan as a blueprint for the final agreement, as follows:

“The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based Road Map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict issued by the Quartet on 30 April, 2003″ [the Road Map -ed.] and agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism led by the United States to follow up on the implementation of the Road Map.

“The parties further commit to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the Road Map until they reach a peace treaty. The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the Road Map.

“Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the Road Map, as judged by the United States.”

The statement was forced through at the final hour by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who pulled Abbas out of the talks and insisted that he sign it.

Dichter still questions the ability of the PA government to enforce even the first stage in the Road Map plan, which calls for the PA to bring about the total cessation of terrorist attacks on Israel from PA-controlled territory. This stage also obligates the PA to completely dismantle terrorist infrastructure. Abbas will have to accomplish both goals – at least to U.S. satisfaction – before further steps toward final status moves can be made. Dichter did say that he believes the veracity of the statements made by Abbas in the document.

“The Road Map stipulates a two-year timetable, and the Palestinians have not met it,” Dichter pointed out. “The timetable was unrealistic to begin with and it is still unrealistic… I believe that by the end of 2008 we will have a better idea regarding [their] performance. This could lead to a very positive, significant process,” he added with guarded optimism.

The question still remains, however, as to whether Abbas has what it takes to control the many terrorist groups in the PA’s midst, especially considering that his Fatah forces were driven out of Gaza by the Hamas terrorist organization last June.

“Their performance amounts to zero,” Dichter observed.

(Editor’s Note: There were many demonstrations against this conference, and the overwhelming majority of the demonstrators were against giving up any more land, and definitely were against the dividing of the city of Jerusalem.)


Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

by Hillel Fendel (Israel National News)

An estimated 25,000 people took part in a mass prayer service at the Western Wall against the Israeli government’s positions at the Annapolis summit.

The prayer service was followed by a massive protest, co-sponsored by the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), near the Prime Minister’s residence. The protest is entitled, “It Will Blow Up in Our Face.” At the time of the Western Wall prayer vigil, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was meeting in Washington with U.S. President George Bush in preparation for the Annapolis summit on Tuesday.
We sometimes think that if we act, protest, settle the Land, teach, and do all sorts of things, that everything will be OK. But today, we are coming to the Western Wall with humility, awe, and serene faith.”

The front line of religious-Zionist rabbis, led by Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu, called for the public to attend the Western Wall prayers. MK Uri Ariel (National Union party), among those who initiated the prayer service, said, “It is critical for us to offer prayer to our Father in Heaven when the Prime Minister wants to sell our national homeland. We are here [at the Wall] to say that we trust in G-d, and that Olmert has no mandate to give up Jerusalem.”

Another organizer, Rafi Atiyah, told Arutz-7’s Chizky Ezra, “The feeling of despair that has overtaken some of the public has not escaped the eyes of the rabbis who called for the prayer service. But while this feeling can lead to a dead end and to a sense of helplessness, it can also be an opening for a new type of genuine and mature turn to G-d; to a taking of responsibility from a new, pure angle. It could be that out of this tiredness, we will come to the realization that it’s not we who control the situation. We sometimes think that if we act, protest, settle the Land, teach, and do all sorts of things, that everything will be OK.”

Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu presides over the prayer service and says:

“But today, we are coming to the Western Wall with humility, awe, and serene faith. We return the ball that has been repressed in our hearts for the past two-plus years, and that is threatening to choke us, to our Father in Heaven. We plead with Him that He will show us the way, and that we can be partners with Him in our Redemption. We want to work with Him, to sanctify His Name.”


Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

The Annapolis Conference has begun, and already there is serious trouble over what is taking place. Giant prayer rallies (25,000 at one event alone) in Israel are taking place, and Jewish organizations in America are responding with prayer and demonstrations against the efforts to divide the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Believers everywhere should be in much prayer about this conference. The following appeared in Israel National News:

by Hana Levi Julian

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters in Annapolis Monday that the future status of Jerusalem is an Israeli decision, not “a Jewish issue.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed American Jewish leaders Monday that Jews outside of Israel have no right to intervene in any decision regarding the status of Jerusalem.

Olmert declared at a news conference Monday following his meeting with leaders of U.S. Jewish communities that “the government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel,” making it clear that Jews outside of Israel had no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem. The prime minister told reporters that the issue had “been determined long ago.”

His remarks were seen as a slap to American Jewish leaders who oppose tentative plans by the Olmert administration to put Jerusalem on the negotiating table.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel, told hundreds of Jews in Chicago Monday night that “Yerushalayim is not for discussion, Yerushalayim is not for sale, Yerushalayim must remain undivided forever.” Participants at the prayer vigil were led by the rabbis of the community in chanting tehillim (psalms) and speaking out against the division of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. A statement sent to the media noted that “for at least one night both the Religious Zionist/Modern Orthodox and Aguda communities stood side by side to pray for what most matters.”

The prime minister’s statement also did not seem to take into account a declaration that was made decades ago by his predecessor, a founding father and the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel, David Ben Gurion during a session of the first Knesset in Tel Aviv.

“The attempt to sever Jewish Jerusalem from the State of Israel,” warned Ben Gurion in 1949, “will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East or in Jerusalem itself. Israelis will give their lives to hold on to Jerusalem, just as the British would for London, the Russians for Moscow and the Americans for Washington.”

The Orthodox Union (OU) immediately responded to the prime minister’s remarks with a statement saying it did not intend to dictate policy to Israel, but expressed its “resolute stand” that all Jews in the world have a share in “the holy city of Jerusalem.”

Agudath Israel of America adopted a resolution Sunday at its 85th national convention in Connecticut bluntly stating “Israel should not relinquish parts of Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty, and the American government should not pressure the Israeli government into doing so.”

Both statements echoed an assertion published on the website of the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem which states unequivocally that “World Jewry opposes Israeli negotiations which would include any discussion of ceding sovereignty over part or all of Jerusalem.”

The group soberly notes in its statement that this is “the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel that a significant group of American Jewish organizations have created a broad united front to pursue a policy directly involving Israel that is based on an explicit principle that supercedes deference to the sitting Israeli government.”

American Jewish and Christian leaders met Monday with White House officials to discuss their concerns about the events taking place in Annapolis Tuesday.

Nathan Diament, public policy director for the Orthodox Union, led the group of American Jewish and Christian leaders who met with Stephen Hadley, the National Security Advisor for U.S. President George W. Bush and other senior White House officials.

Included in the delegation was Jeff Ballabon, head of the Coordinating Council for Jerusalem, as well as representatives from Agudath Israel and the National Council of Young Israel, David Brog of the Christians United for Israel, the Southern Baptist Convention and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

“We had a constructive and meaningful conversation….” said Diament following the meeting, adding “We were happy to share with them the perspective of Americans who in their synagogues and church pews regularly pray for the peace of Israel and the rebuilding of Jerusalem.”



Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Israeli President Shimon Peres knows personally the difficulties of having peace with your hostile enemies dedicated to your destruction. In answering a question about the possibility of having peace between Israel and the Palestinians during this coming year, Peres made it clear that he believes it is impossible. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice believes that it IS possible – consider this recent article:


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it remains her government’s intention to oversee a final status Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement before its second term in the White House expires one year from now.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Rice admitted there is no guarantee of success, but indicated the Bush Administration will continue its policy of ignoring warnings that the current Palestinian leadership is not a viable peace partner and press ahead nevertheless.

Striking a messianic note, Bush declared several years ago that he was “convinced that, during this term, I will manage to bring peace.”

That determination notwithstanding, Israeli President Shimon Peres, one of the chief architects of the two-state solution Bush is now championing, lamented that efforts to secure regional peace by surrendering Israel’s biblical heartland to its enemies will not result in a peace agreement by the time the current American government leaves office.

“It is theoretically possible to reach an agreement during the term of President Bush but it is practically impossible,” Peres told Japan’s Tokyo Shimbun.

Peres said the upcoming Bush-hosted peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland will, in his estimation, launch a new and meaningful negotiation process between Israel and the Palestinians, but that the chances of that process reaching a full conclusion within a year were next to nothing.

(Editor’s Note: It is very important for Bible believers to watch carefully what is currently going on and to remember what Daniel 9:24-27 predicts! May the real Messiah come soon!)


Sunday, November 25th, 2007

This article appeared first in Haaretz in Israel, and this past weekend in Aish.

by Natan Sharansky

One of the high points at which the drama could have turned into a farce within seconds occurred nine years ago at the Wye Plantation summit. After exhausting and debilitating efforts, we received from Yasser Arafat a promise (even if half-hearted and unwilling) to delete from the Palestinian Charter the sections calling for the destruction of Israel.

Upon leaving the conference room, we saw one of the closest advisers of President Bill Clinton and proudly told him about our achievement.

“Are you out of your minds?” he shouted. “He’s going to be killed because of that. He is too weak for dramatic steps like that. First he has to be strengthened!”

I recalled this tragic-comic story a few days ago as I was talking with a player from the international elements engaged in building up the destroyed Palestinian economy. When I asked him why they weren’t making aid to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) contingent on stopping the anti-Israeli incitement on the official television channel and in the Palestinian education system, he replied, “Abu Mazen is so weak, and this is not a popular step. First of all, it is necessary to strengthen him and afterward it will be possible to demand something of him.”

I have never understood this strange reasoning: First strengthen the weak leader, by giving legitimization to anti-Israeli actions that he allows (or encourages, and sometimes even operates) and then, once the anti-Israeli positions have made him popular, expect that he will suddenly change his spots and lead his people determinedly toward the desired peace.

This distorted approach has become a kind of sacred cow. “We must strengthen Abu Mazen,” say Israel’s leaders as a kind of mantra. It is of no importance that along the way they are educating another generation of Palestinians to hatred, violence and the aspiration to destroy Israel. It is of no importance that the way to the strengthening is the diametric opposite of peace and dialogue. The main thing is that we are strengthening Abu Mazen.

The old argument of President Shimon Peres and Meretz MK Yossi Beilin and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on “with whom to make peace, a strong leader or a weak leader” is no longer relevant. A look back over the years since the Oslo Accords shows clearly that the direction in which Palestinian society has marched is not the direction of peace. It was all in all just a hudna (truce) before another intifada. And when the society is becoming more extreme, what difference is it to us if the leader is strong or weak?

It is true that to carry out courageous reforms and educate the people to peace, a strong and bold leader is needed. Leaders like that, who understand the need for education toward peace and reforms, do exist — but not in the Muqata in Ramallah. These are people who are not afraid to challenge the tyranny of the weak leader and who believe in building a civil society as a necessary foundation for any progress on the road to peace.

As chairman of the Institute for Strategic Studies, I meet them quite frequently. It is true that they are weak, but for one reason only: We ourselves are weakening them by giving unreserved support to “moderate” tyrants. The justification that support for these troublemakers weakens the only element that is capable of stopping Hamas doesn’t hold water: It is precisely the strengthening of an anti-democratic regime and the absence of an alternative that are pushing the public into the arms of fundamentalists, into the arms of Hamas.

Annapolis is doomed to failure not because we or the Palestinians have not made enough concessions — it is doomed to failure because it is built on distorted reasoning to the effect that it is possible to move ahead and make a deal with some leader and totally ignore what is really happening in Palestinian society. In this, to our regret, Annapolis has become another tragic-farcical Middle Eastern scene.


Friday, November 23rd, 2007

The pressure of the United States, and the United Nations and the European Union has intensified in the last few days over the Annapolis Conference to be held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. High-ranking officials now in the Israeli government have serious questions about this effort to finalize peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The facts from recent polls reveal that Israel is becoming less secular and more religious, and that the primary growth in religious commitment is coming from the young in Israel. Consider the following two articles that have appeared in Israel National News:

by Hillel Fendel (Israel National News)

An Israel Democratic Institute demographic survey finds religious growth, secular decline; the percentage of religious is highest among the youth.

The percentage of Jews describing themselves as secular has dropped sharply over the past 30 years, while the religious and traditional proportions have risen. The annual survey finds that the secular public comprises only 20% of the Israeli population – compared to 41%, more than twice as much, in 1974.

Nearly half the population, 47%, describes itself as traditional, while the hareidi-religious and religious-Zionist together comprise 33% of the public. The numbers were compiled based on a survey of representative sampling of 1,016 Israelis Jews.

Over the past seven years, according to IDI statistics, the proportion of secular Jews has dropped sharply from 32% to 20% today. The “traditionalists” have traditionally had the lead in polls of this nature – except for one year in 1974, when they trailed the seculars, 41% to 38%.

Other findings show that the Sephardic population is much more traditional and religious than the Ashkenazic sector. Ashkenazic Jews are those originating from European (Christian) countries, whereas Sephardic Jews lived in the Iberian Peninsula (now Spain and Portugal), African and Middle Eastern (Moslem) countries. Only 7% of the Sephardim describe themselves as secular, compared to 36% of the Ashkenazim. At the same time, 56% of the Sephardim are religious or hareidi, compared to only 17% of the Ashkenazim. 39% of those under age 40 are religious – more than those in their 40’s and 50’s (32%), and much more than those aged 60 and over (20%).

It can be inferred from the numbers that Israel is a traditional society, and that it will become even more so as the years go by.

Politically, the religious are more right-wing, but so are the others. Among the religious, many more identify with the right than with the left, by a 71-8 margin; among the traditional, it’s 49-21, and among the secular, it’s 43-27. In total, 55% of the population view themselves as right-wing, and only 18% are to the left.

(Editor’s Note: This obvious fact about the religious growth of Israel is in direct contrast with the plans of the Annapolis Conference and the secularism of Israel’s present govenment.)

by Hana Levi Julian

Objections to the ever-nearing Middle East summit scheduled for next week in Annapolis are growing in all quarters, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s top ministers.

Syrian officials have said that attending the Annapolis conference will be a waste of time if the status of the Golan Heights, recaptured by Israel in 1967, is not on the agenda.

Saudi Arabian officials have said there isn’t much point in attending if Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators cannot come to an agreement on a basic joint statement for the event.

Now reports are emerging that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak both told close aides that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is “doing the wrong thing” by going to the Annapolis conference. Likud MK Yuval Shteinitz voiced the allegation Thursday morning in an interview with Voice of Israel government radio.

The Foreign and Defense Ministers have not commented on the charge.

Shteinitz also said he feels the prime minister is “making a terrible mistake by going to Annapolis.” He rejected the claim that it is Hamas and not Fatah that is firing rockets on Sderot. “What difference does it make?” asked Shteinitz. “Mahmoud Abbas said he is responsible for security of all of the Palestinian Authority (PA). It does not make any difference who fires at us.”

The Likud MK compared Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, when he went to Munich to talk with Adolf Hitler after the Nazi invasion of European countries. Shteinitz charged that Prime Minister Olmert is negotiating under fire while the Arabs perpetrate rocket attacks in Sderot and terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria. He likened this to Chamberlain’s trying to appease Hitler while the Nazi war machine was in high gear.

He also said that going to Annapolis violates the American Roadmap plan, which calls for negotiations only when terrorist attacks and incitement against Israel completely end.

(Editor’s Note: We urge all Bible believers to pray earnestly about this week’s Annapolis Conference! Pray that God’s wisdom and the everlasting covenant of the LORD GOD of Israel will not be ignored or set aside as the pressure to compromise increases upon Israel and its future!)


Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

(Articles appeared in Israel Today)

Leading US presidential candidates from President George W. Bush’s own Republican party are distancing themselves from their commander-in-chief’s last ditch effort to forge a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs before the end of his second term.

In less than a week, Bush will convene an ambitious Middle East peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland, though the gathering already seems doomed to failure considering the mass confusion surrounding its purpose and goals.

Not wanting to find themselves stuck in a diplomatic quagmire the likes of which Bush and his predecessor, President Bill Clinton, created for themselves, the top Republican candidates have expressed nothing but wariness over the idea of convening yet another Israeli-Arab summit when it is clear to everyone that the chances of concluding a meaningful agreement are nil.

It is risky and unrealistic to “push toward Palestinian political goals when the institutional foundations of statehood do not exist” within the Palestinian Authority, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s chief foreign affairs adviser Charles Hill told the New York Sun on Tuesday.

Giuliani first came out against a premature and irresponsible push for Palestinian statehood in an August essay he wrote for the journal Foreign Affairs, in which the former mayor noted that “it is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism.”

Candidates Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain have all taken similar positions, each pointing out that the Palestinian Authority cannot be viewed as a true and viable peace partner when elements within still seek the destruction of Israel and the regime itself is incapable of exercising sovereign, sustainable rule over its territories.

Web Site Designed and Hosted by Ceronex