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

Archive for January, 2008


Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

( An official of the United Nations was even-handedly “disturbed” by the level of religious freedom in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A second UN official praised Arab states for ratifying a human rights document denigrating Zionism. And Canada was sufficiently convinced that the UN would fail to uproot anti-Semitism from the upcoming Durban Conference on Racism that it announced it would not take part.

United Nations Special Rappoteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Asma Jahangir, completed an eight-day visit to Israel and the PA this week. In a statement delivered in Jerusalem, Jahangir said her time here was “ both fascinating and disturbing.” In formulating her report, soon to be released, she met with government officials, representatives of religious organizations, non-governmental organizations and individual worshipers.

Jahangir detailed measures taken by Israel to provide security, including the separation barrier in Judea and Samaria, and said they unjustifiably limit access to religious sites of Christians and Muslims. The “intrusive restrictions” imposed by Israel, she said, are “disproportionate to their aim as well as discriminatory and arbitrary in their implementation.” Without explicitly mentioning the danger to life and limb for Jews who would venture into PA areas for religious worship, Jahangir only alluded to “problems of access to holy places revered by Jews.”

Jahangir had praise for Israel’s Supreme Court and said, “During my talks with members of religious minorities in Israel, my interlocutors have by and large acknowledged that there is no religious persecution by the State.” At the same time, she cited examples of what she claimed were specific practices of religious discrimination. She further expressed dismay that conversion, divorce and marriage in Israel is exclusively in the hands of Orthodox Jewish religious authorities.

Regarding the Palestinian Authority, Jahangir noted “serious tensions and in some cases violence” that ensues from conversion. “Some small Christian groups” and other religious minorities “fear a rising level of religious intolerance,” she said, but then gave an example of a Christian man murdered for his beliefs. She also cited Arab “honor killings carried out with impunity” and that “some women in Gaza have recently felt coerced to cover their heads not out of religious conviction but out of fear.”

In addition, “impunity for incitement is a concern,” Jahangir said. “Any violence committed in the name of religion, whether violent acts by zealous settlers or even worse in the form of suicide bombings by militant Islamists, should be denounced, investigated and sanctioned. Furthermore, it is particularly worrying when children are being incited to express hatred toward those with a different religious affiliation.”

UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour last week praised the ratification of an agreement called the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Arbour called it “an important step forward” in strengthening the protection of human rights in the Arab world. However, as noted by the UN Watch organization in a January 28 letter to the Human Rights Commissioner, the Arab League document “contains several provisions that promote classically anti-Semitic themes.”

UN Watch, which is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, quoted a clause in the Arab Charter on Human Rights “rejecting all forms of racism and Zionism, which constitute a violation of human rights and a threat to international peace and security.” Another part of the charter, ratified by seven Arab states, calls for the elimination of the Jewish State, saying that “all forms of racism, Zionism and foreign occupation and domination constitute an impediment to human dignity…. All such practices must be condemned and efforts must be deployed for their elimination.”

The letter from UN Watch said: “A text that equates Zionism with racism, describes it as a threat to world peace, as an enemy of human rights and human dignity, and then urges its elimination, is blatantly anti-Semitic. Even if the Arab Charter may contain other, constructive provisions, nothing can justify any endorsement of a text with such hateful language.”

The Arab League originally adopted the Arab Charter on Human Rights in 1994, but it was never enforced as it was not ratified by the required seven member states. This month, it was officially approved by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Syria, Libya, and the Palestinian Authority.

In a related development, Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier and the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, Jason Kenney, issued a statement on January 23 in which they announced that their country would not be taking part in the UN’s 2009 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. The reason for their decision, they
said, was the prospect that the conference would again degenerate into a festival of anti-Semitism, as occurred in 2001.

“Canada has a long and proud history of fighting racism, discrimination and intolerance in all its forms,” said Minister Bernier. “It was for this reason, and its promise of concerted global action against racism, that we participated in the 2001 in Durban, South Africa. Unfortunately, that conference degenerated into open and divisive expressions of intolerance and anti-Semitism that undermined the principles of the United Nations and the very goals the conference sought to achieve.

“Secretary of State Kenney and I had hoped that the preparatory process for the 2009 Durban Review Conference would remedy the mistakes of the past,” Bernier explained. “We have concluded that, despite our efforts, it will not. Canada will therefore not participate in the 2009 conference.”

“Canada will continue to focus its efforts on genuine anti-racism initiatives that make a difference,” added Kenney. “Our government’s decision to seek full membership on the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research demonstrates that we remain committed to the fight against racism and to the promotion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law at home and around the world.”


Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

By Marc Zell

Whatever the outcome of the 2008 Elections, there will likely be a dramatic turning point in the way the United States conducts its foreign policy, particularly here in the Middle East.

Throughout most of its term in office, the current Bush Administration pioneered a bold new direction in American policy in the region, as it took an aggressive stance on combating terror and cultivating democratic values in an area that has been resistant to Western ideas of democracy.

In the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict, the Bush Administration set an important precedent in calling for the establishment of a Palestinian State but was careful to do so by stipulating a number of prerequisites to Palestinian independence.

In his landmark address of June 24, 2002, the President stated that such a state must embrace true reform requiring “entirely new political and economic institutions, based on democracy, market economics and action against terrorism.” Logically, these reforms cannot be achieved by uttering magic words or waving a magic wand. They take time, national commitment, sacrifice and perseverance.

Thus it is amazing to see so many in the international community, including the recidivist Clinton-Oslo team and the even more radical Obama Democrats, the reigning Israeli Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister, and even, quite inexplicably, the current US Secretary of State, maintaining that the key to serenity and security in the Middle East is the establishment tutto pronto of a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River.

Instead of seizing the unprecedented opportunity extended to them by President Bush, the inhabitants of the would-be Palestinian state have brought us Hamas, Islamo-fascism, terror, and repression of women and non-Moslem populations.

Self-determination for Palestinians in those areas where they achieved it has come to mean the daily rocketing of Israeli cities and towns, an unabated stream of terrorist acts both in and around Gaza and in the West Bank, the importation of increasingly sophisticated weaponry at the cost of social and economic development, and the consistent failure to create viable democratic institutions in any of the areas under their control and continued.

It is a tragic fact that Palestinians have had innumerable opportunities over the last three-quarters of a century to found their state. They have such an opportunity today. But for some reason it just has not happened, is not happening and is not likely to happen in the near future. Why?

To answer this one must ask a basic question about the current state of Palestinian nationalism and its relationship to nation-building. Recently the author returned from an extended stay in Kurdistan in Northern Iraq principally in the capital city of Erbil. Erbil is a city that works in a region that works.

Massive infrastructure projects are under way (streets, parks, schools, sewer systems, water treatment systems, electricity, etc.). A modest but modern international airport has been built with regular flights to Europe and Jordan. Even modern shopping malls have opened stocked with the latest merchandise and filled with eager consumers. New five-star hotels are fully booked. New residential communities are springing up in and around the city. Consumer goods abound. There is plenty to eat. The streets are clean. Government services are provided.

The Kurdish militia keeps the peace and makes development possible so much so that the Iraqi parliament recently extended their mandate to strife-torn Kirkuk outside the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government. A middle class is emerging. People aren’t killing one another and people at all levels of the society are beginning to enjoy the fruits of economic prosperity. There is even a primitive but viable democracy at work – personal liberty is protected and is steadily increasing. These are developments about which both Kurds and Americans can be justly proud.

All this progress in a country whose existence is threatened from all sides: Turkey, Iran, Syria not to mention fanatic fringes in Iraq itself, like Al-Ansar/al-Qaida. This the Kurds have done with relatively little financial assistance from abroad; certainly nothing like the billions that have been donated and pledged to the Palestinian Authority.

There is some humanitarian aid and they have benefitted from US military protection (the No-Fly Zone) since 1991, but the economic and political miracle that is happening daily in Kurdistan has been fueled largely by the Kurds themselves.

The conclusion is inescapable that the Kurds of Iraq are on the their way to realizing a centuries old dream of autonomy – may be not true independence, since the geopolitical realities would not permit such a step – but a viable, prosperous regional autonomy – a state in everything but name.

One cannot help but contrast the success of the Kurds in Northern Iraq with the situation in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinians have orchestrated over the decades a hugely successful public relations effort designed to call their plight to the world’s attention.

Yet despite the fact that the Palestinians have had the opportunity to build their own state for some 70 years and despite the fact that they have been the recipients of billions of dollars in international aid, the Palestinians have failed utterly to create the social, economic and political institutions necessary for a modern national state to function.

Indeed, the Palestinians have had more opportunities handed to them to build their state than any other community on the planet, yet they have consistently missed the boat. When one looks around the Palestinian territories from Gaza to Shchem (Nablus), it is the same sad affair. There is little if any building of infrastructure, even the most modest attributes of future independence are lacking.

There is, to be sure, much demagoguery and propaganda, blaming Israel, the Jews and the Americans. But no tangible progress. In stark contrast to the unfortunate Kurds, the Palestinians are perhaps the most educated, most affluent group in the Arab world.


Monday, January 28th, 2008

by Hillel Fendel

The Council of Torah Sages of the Shas party, headed by former Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, has decided: Once government representatives start talking with the PA about splitting Jerusalem, Shas leaves the government coalition.

The right-wing camp and many Shas supporters have long awaited this decision, and especially over the past two weeks since Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) left the government. Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman announced on Jan. 16 that he was resigning his position as Minister for Strategic Affairs and leading his party out of the government coalition in protest of the start of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over so-called “core issues.” Those issues include Jerusalem, final status borders and the so-called ‘right of return’ of hundreds of thousands of Arabs and their descendants to Israel.

The Shas decision was made Sunday afternoon at a Torah Sages Council meeting in the home of Rabbi Yosef in Har Nof, Jerusalem. Shas leader Eli Yishai, Minister of Industry and Trade, was also present, briefing the rabbis on the planned timetable of the talks with the PA.

At present, the government coalition headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert numbers 66 Knesset Members – a majority of the Israeli Parliament’s 120 members. If and when Shas and its 11 MKs quit, Olmert will head a minority government vulnerable to a simple no-confidence motion in the Knesset.

Olmert is also facing another political crisis this week: Wednesday’s release of the Winograd Report on the government’s handling of the Second Lebanon War. The report is expected to criticize Olmert personally; it will not call for him to step down, but it is likely to lead to a wave of public pressure for him to do so.

If Olmert resigns, new elections need not necessarily follow; he could simply be replaced by a fellow Kadima Party member. If he brings the government down with him, however, or if the Knesset votes to disperse itself or votes no-confidence in the government, new elections must be held in 90 days. In such a case, the government becomes a transitional government, and ministers and parties cannot resign or join. Alternatively, the leading parties can decide on an agreed-upon date for new elections.

Given the dramatic ramifications of the Winograd Report to be issued two days from now, together with the Shas decision to quit as soon as Jerusalem is mentioned to the PA negotiators, the coming days and weeks are expected to be politically tense.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Those who have a deep concern and heart for Israel and know of the Bible’s teaching concerning God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their physical descendants, will see clearly that this is a time for prayer – let’s all ask God for wisdom and that the government of Israel will stop their political maneuvering with Israel’s hostile enemies and return to complete depending upon the LORD GOD of ISRAEL and the Bible alone!)


Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Bible believers already know that the truth about Jerusalem is that it belongs to the Nation of Israel. Here is a most fascinating article on the subject:

by Hillel Fendel

Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”

Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.

Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

The relevant resolution reads as follows: “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust… the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [which] will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration… in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” – but says nothing about “political” rights of the Arabs living there.

The San Remo Resolution also bases itself on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which declares that it is a “a sacred trust of civilization” to provide for the well-being and development of colonies and territories whose inhabitants are “not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world.”

The League of Nations’ resolution creating the Palestine Mandate, included the following significant clause: “Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” No such recognition of Arab rights in Palestine was granted.

In 1945, the United Nations took over from the failed League of Nations – and assumed the latter’s obligations. Article 80 of the UN Charter states: “Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed, in or of itself, to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”

However, in 1947, the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan. It violated the League of the Nations’ Mandate for Palestine in that it granted political rights to the Arabs in western Palestine – yet, ironically, the Jews applauded the plan’s passages while the Arabs worked to thwart it.

Resolution 181 also provided for a special regime for Jerusalem, with borders delineated in all four directions: The then-extant municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns up to Abu Dis in the east, Bethlehem in the south, Ein Karem and Motza in the west, and Shuafat in the north.

The UN resolved that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a separate entity under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The regime was to come into effect by October 1948, and was to remain in force for a period of ten years, unless the UN’s Trusteeship Council decided otherwise. After the ten years, the residents of Jerusalem “shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City.” The resolution never took effect, because Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem after the 1948 War of Independence and did not follow its provisions.

AFTER 1967
After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained Jerusalem and other land west of Jordan. Gauthier notes that the UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of all the land until it had “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution was notably silent on Jerusalem, and also referred to the “necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem,” with no distinction made between Jewish and Arab refugees.

Given Jerusalem’s strong Jewish majority, Gauthier concludes, Israel should be demanding that the long-delayed city referendum on the city’s future be held as soon as possible. Not only should Israel be demanding that the referendum be held now, Jerusalem should be the first order of business. “Olmert is sloughing us off by saying [as he did before the Annapolis Conference two months ago], ‘Jerusalem is not on the table yet,'” Gauthier concludes. “He should demand that the referendum take place before the balance of the land is negotiated. If the Arabs won’t agree to the referendum, there is nothing to talk about.”


Friday, January 25th, 2008


1. The Nation of Israel will NEVER cease to exist!
Jeremiah 31:35-37; Matthew 24:34-35

2. God has NEVER forsaken Israel!
Isaiah 41:8-9, 17; 43:5-7; 45:25; 49:13-16; 54:6-8; Romans 11:1-2

3. The promise of a LAND is based on an everlasting covenant!
Genesis 15:18; 17:7-8; Psalm 105:8-11

4. God’s promises to ISRAEL are not based on their performance or merit!
Leviticus 26:40-45; Psalm 89:30-34

5. The Jewish people did NOT crucify Yeshua!
Psalm 118:22; Matthew 20:18-19; 21:42-46; John 18:12, 38-40; 19:6-7, 12, 14-15, 21-22; Acts 4:8-12; 5:28-32; 6:15; 7:51-52

6. The “ISRAEL of God” refers to Jewish Messianic believers!
Galatians 6:16

7. When a Jewish person becomes a believer in Yeshua, that person does NOT cease to be Jewish!
Galatians 3:28

8. The partial “blindness” of Israel does NOT eliminate their future salvation!
Isaiah 45:18-25; Romans 11:25-27

9. There is no “CHURCH” in the Old Testament!
Acts 7:38 (Greek: ekklesia – “assembly” used of the mob in Ephesus – Acts 19:41
and translates the Hebrew word “qahal” used of the congregation of Israel assembled for worship).

10. Jewish worship is NOT condemned in the New Testament! (Brit Hadashah)
I Corinthians 5:7-8; 15:20-23; Colossians 2:16-17

11. The judgments and events in the Book of Revelation were NOT fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70 AD!
Matthew 24:1-2, 4-28; Luke 21:20-24

12. The return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel did NOT happen in 70 AD!
Isaiah 35:10; Jeremiah 30:3; 31:7-9; Ezekiel 36:24; Amos 9:13-15

13. The conversion of Israel at the end of the Tribulation did NOT happen in 70 AD!
Isaiah 44:21-23; 59:20-21; 62:11-12; Zechariah 12:10; 13:1; Romans 11:25-27

14. The phrase “some standing here” of Matthew 16:28 is referring to Peter, James, and John – cf. Matthew 17:1-8; John 1:14; II Peter 1:16-18

15. The words “this generation shall not pass” in Matthew 24:34-35 are referring to the Nation of Israel surviving the Tribulation.
Matthew 23:34-38; Luke 11:47-51



Friday, January 25th, 2008

In answer to several messages we have received from our radio listeners – YES, we are committed to focus on Israel and Bible Prophecy – Israel is the biggest subject in the Bible next to the Lord Himself! God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is an everlasting covenant and the Land of Israel is an everlasting possession for the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Many of our listeners and readers have stated that they believe we are involved too much in the politics of the Middle East – this is an attempt to avoid what God says in His Word! We have no intention to compromise on these matters. What happens in Israel is of vital importance to all Bible believers!

Of course we also teach on other issues – that should be obvious from our web site as well as our monthly newsletter and our radio broadcasts. But, lately we have seen the growth of anti-Israel remarks among believers and a reluctance to support Israel in these serious times. We have also seen a different “slant” among listeners and readers that seems to question the meaning of Bible Prophecy. Perhaps the following outline from II Peter 1:12-21 will help. As always, please feel free to use it in whatever way you desire!

Scripture: II Peter 1:12-21

1A. Bible Prophecy refers to the MARVEL of our departure into the presence of our
Lord Yeshua!
II Peter 1:12-15 cf. Philippians 1:21-23; II Corinthians 5:1-8

2A. Bible Prophecy refers to the MAJESTY of our glorious Lord Yeshua!
II Peter 1:16-18 cf. Titus 2:13 cf. Matthew 16:27-28; 17:1-8

3A. Bible Prophecy refers to the MESSAGE upon which we can totally rely!

1B. A message about the STAR!
cf. Numbers 24:17-19

2B. A message about the LIGHT!
cf. Isaiah 42:1, 6-7 – “a light of the Gentiles”

3B. A message about the ANCHOR!
“a more sure word of prophecy” – cf. Hebrews 6:13-20 – “sure…anchor of the soul”

4A. Bible Prophecy refers to the MEANING of what God has revealed! – II Peter 1:20

1B. It is understandable – “Knowing this first” – it refers to that which can be

2B. It is unique – “no prophecy of the scripture (that which is written –
Greek: graphe)

3B. It is unusual – “no…private interpretation”

5A. Bible Prophecy refers to the METHOD by which God’s revelation was given to us!
II Peter 1:21

1B. It is NOT referring to recent communication!
“came not in old time” – cf. Hebrews 1:1-2

2B. It is NOT the result of human reasoning!
“the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man”

3B. It is the product of special men who were chosen for the task!
“holy men of God” – cf. Hebrews 2:1-4

4B. It is the control of the Holy Spirit that guarantees its accuracy and total
reliability! “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (Greek: pheromenoi – “carried” cf. Acts 27:15, 17 – “drive” & “driven”)

BIBLE PROPHECY gives hope beyond the grave!

BIBLE PROPHECY centers on the true identity of the Messiah of Israel, our blessed Lord Yeshua!

BIBLE PROPHECY bases its teachings on the Bible alone!

BIBLE PROPHECY refuses to depart from the historical and grammatical meaning of the words of the Bible!

BIBLE PROPHECY believes without question that the Bible is the Word of the living God – inerrant, inspired, and totally accurate in all it says!

Conclusion: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Peter 1:23)


Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, spoke out about the Iran nuclear weapons controversy and the possibility that Israel will attack these facilities in Iran.

by Gil Ronen

Former American Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton hinted broadly Tuesday that Israel will have to strike Iran’s nuclear program on its own, and soon. Speaking at the Eighth Herzliya Conference, Bolton said an Israeli strike could be the last resort against Iran. Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who also spoke at the conference, hinted that the military option is growing more likely with time.

Ambassador Bolton devoted the first part of his speech to an attempt to push the Israeli press into revealing details of the strike against the suspected Syrian nuclear facility four months ago. “There is a lot that we don’t know about the facility because of the veil of secrecy that the Israel government and the American government have tried to throw over it,” he said.

“We don’t know for example exactly what the facility was – whether it was a clone of the Yongbyon reactor; whether it was a uranium enrichment facility; whether it was a storage location for North Korean plutonium or plutonium based weapons,” he added, and explained that he could speak freely at the conference because the American Constitution’s First Amendment applied to him even when he was abroad (this elicited laughter from the audience).

Bolton went on to list his conjectures: “We don’t know if it was North Korea in effect renting space in Syria to recreate the North Korean program. We don’t know if it was a sale of technology or equipment from North Korea directly to Syria and we don’t know whether it was a joint venture perhaps between Syria and North Korea working together,” he said. “Our governments, however, do know the answers to some of these questions.”

What I don’t understand really is the timid nature of the Israeli press which I know knows a lot more about this strike than it’s been willing to talk about. I am sure somewhere in the Israeli press there is a John Peter Zengler who is willing to risk something in order to give the public more information about this.”

John Peter Zengler was an 18th century publisher who was arrested for libelous sedition after printing criticism of the governor of New York and then acquitted, in what is considered a landmark trial in the development of the freedom of the press in the U.S.

Bolton explained that this information is being withheld for fear that if it came out that North Korea once again, following its game plan, was engaged in nuclear proliferation contrary to its obligations, it would embarrass the U.S. which is seeking ways to back off of North Korea.

Regarding the IAF Syria raid, Bolton said: “The daring and successful Israeli military strike… has obvious significance for the potential of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program. I think, given the debacle caused by our National Intelligence Estimate, that it’s close to zero likelihood that President Bush will authorize use of military force against Iran’s program before he leaves office, absent some dramatic new development.”

He concluded: “Certainly in Teheran you can bet that they took careful notice of what the Israeli Defense Force did. Penetrating Russian supplied radars very similar to the air defenses that Teheran has; using techniques that could be very useful for a long range strike against Iran; this is the kind of operation that the Iranians need. Iran may be leading in points but the final whistle is still far ahead.

Because I think with the collapse of American policy, the Israeli strike against the Syrian/North Korea facility is the harbinger of what may be – absent regime change in Teheran – the last resort… Unless you are prepared to see Iran proceed unmolested toward a nuclear weapons capability, which this NIE has given them free rein to do in my judgment, you are coming very close to a decision point in this country of whether you will use military force to stop Iran.”

Minister Shaul Mofaz hinted that Israel may indeed attack in Iran in order to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Mofaz noted that the warming of relations between Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia with Iran is “moving fast very quickly, while the world not only is not moving ahead – it is moving backwards.”

“This reality,” Mofaz said, “is a clear deterioration in the effort to halt Iran by diplomatic means and therefore the likelihood of the other options rises.” He did cite a window of opportunity for diplomacy, however: “We have to find other ways to renew the momentum which has weakened… The diplomatic timetable is getting shorter, the next two years are critical to halt Iran using diplomatic methods,” he estimated.

Mofaz added: “Reality is complex but the picture is very clear: Iran may be leading in points but the final whistle is still far ahead… It is clear that the current trend must be reversed; and all the means are justified. This is a historical time… This time, no leader will be able to say ‘we didn’t know, we didn’t understand the importance of this time.’ The world must do everything that is necessary in order to assure a future of peace and prosperity for the next generations as well.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Interesting as it relates to Ezekiel 38 and the prominent role of Iran!)


Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by Staff Writer

The UN Security Council met in emergency session on Tuesday at the behest of Arab member states to hammer out a resolution condemning Israel for imposing a blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to ongoing terrorist rocket attacks on southern Israel.

In addition to pinpoint retaliatory military strikes, Israel has for the past month responded to incessant Palestinian artillery attacks on southern Israel’s civilian population by implementing a limited embargo on the entry of industrial fuel into Gaza.

The international community erupted in harsh criticism of the Jewish state when the fuel sanctions resulted in Gaza’s largest electrical power plant shutting down at the weekend. Explanations by Israeli officials that the Israel Electric Company was continuing to supply some 75 percent of Gaza’s electrical needs as it always had were all but ignored.

But Jerusalem remained confident that the efforts at the UN to further demonize Israel would come to naught after Washington vowed not to support any resolution singled out Israel’s defensive measures while failing to take into account the Palestinian terrorism that prompted them.

Speaking to the council, US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said that Hamas “must bear responsibility for the current situation” in Gaza.

An official with the Israeli Mission to the UN tried to explain to the council that the situation in Gaza would immediately and significantly improve if only Palestinian forces based there would stop firing rockets and mortar shells at communities in southern Israel.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official quoted by The Jerusalem Post expressed frustration that the UN is quick to take action every time Israel is allegedly harming the Palestinians, but on a daily basis turns a blind eye to Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again it was the “Arab States” of the Middle East that called for another condemnation of Israel – no such “calls” are ever heard over the continuing rocket barrage from Hamas in Gaza. The inconsistency of this international body continues. We thank the Lord for the stand which the United States took on this issue!)


Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Six Stone Water Jars
by Ronny Reich

Stone vessels were more abundant in the land of Israel [between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D.] than in any other period of its history.
In December 1969 we started to dig in Area B of the Jewish Quarter excavations. The late Professor Nahman Avigad directed the excavations, and Ami Mazar, now Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, was Area Supervisor. When Ami was called up for reserve army duty, I replaced him.

As the work advanced, we discovered that the building in Area B was destroyed in a violent fire. We soon named this building the “Burnt House.” The fire had caused the buildings walls to collapse, trapping under them everything that had been in the house. From the pottery vessels and coins found in the building (the latest of the coins were minted in the fourth year of the Jewish revolt against Rome, 69 C.E.), we concluded that the building, along with the entire city of Jerusalem, was destroyed in the year 70 C.E.

We were surprised to find in the “Burnt House” many stone objects stone tables (rectangular tables, resting on a single leg, and round tables, supported by three legs), stone containers, stoppers, trays, lids, sundials, mortars and pestles, and other objects that served purposes we still cannot determine. All of these objects were found in pieces, smashed by the falling walls. Everything was photographed and recorded as found and then moved to the laboratories of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Several years were spent in the restoration of these vessels assembling, fitting and gluing together the broken pieces.

Excavation of other private houses in the “Upper City” of Second Temple-period Jerusalem, and buildings in the area near the western and southern walls of the Temple Mount, as well as at sites such as Masada, Herodium, Jericho, Gamla and Jotapata in Galilee, have demonstrated that stone vessels were common in the Second Temple period (especially during the first century B.C.E. and first century C.E.). Furthermore, stone vessels were more abundant in the land of Israel in this period than in any other period of its history.

The abundance of stone vessels is probably due to Jewish religious regulations relating to ritual purity that were developed in the Second Temple period. These regulations pertain mainly to the Temple and Temple Mount area and the various activities that occurred there such as sacrifices and priestly offerings. The sages of this period classified the materials from which vessels and other household objects were made on the basis of each materials susceptibility to different sources of impurity. We may divide these materials into produce such a vessel, a craftsman would soak a large block of stone with water to make the stone even softer, set it on a rotating wheel, and then, with the stone rotating, use a sharp implement fastened to a side stand to carve the vessels profile. Afterwards, the inner part of the container was hollowed out by hand.

Examples of the many pieces of stoneware excavators discovered in the Burnt House.
What purpose did these large vessels serve? Because of their size it is certain that these vessels were not used as tableware like the stone cups, plates and trays that were unearthed. The answer is found in the Gospel of John in the story of a wedding celebration at Cana in Galilee. John 2:6 says, “There stood there [at the place where the wedding celebration was held] six stone water jars, each holding from two to three metretes [twenty to thirty gallons].” The Gospel of John is apparently the only ancient source that mentions such vessels.

The verse in John points to the fact that water was stored in houses in stone vessels. In the first century, when one needed water, one could always go to the cistern and draw water; however, it seems that as a matter of convenience water was drawn in quantity and stored inside the house in large stone containers. Pottery jars could also have been used as waterpots, but such jars were constantly in danger of becoming ritually impure. Any such defilement meant the loss of the jar and its water.

It might be noted that all the giant goblet-like stone jars have shallow recesses on the upper side of their rims, an indication that they were covered by a lid. These lids were probably made of wood since no correspondingly large stone lids were found with the stone jars.

The discovery of stone jars in the “Burnt House” illustrates how an historical record can clarify an archaeological puzzle, and how an archaeological find can dramatically illustrate an ancient text.


Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem’s City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name “Temech” engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The family was among those who later returned to Jerusalem, the Bible recounts.

The seal, which was bought in Babylon and dates to 538-445 BCE, portrays a common and popular cultic scene, Mazar said.

The 2.1 x 1.8-cm. elliptical seal is engraved with two bearded priests standing on either side of an incense altar with their hands raised forward in a position of worship.

A crescent moon, the symbol of the chief Babylonian god Sin, appears on the top of the altar.

Under this scene are three Hebrew letters spelling Temech, Mazar said.

The Bible refers to the Temech family: “These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city.” [Nehemiah 7:6]… “The Nethinim [7:46]”… The children of Temech.” [7:55].

The fact that this cultic scene relates to the Babylonian chief god seemed not to have disturbed the Jews who used it on their own seal, she added.

The seal of one of the members of the Temech family was discovered just dozens of meters away from the Ophel area, where the servants of the Temple, or “Nethinim,” lived in the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said.

“The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible,” she said. “One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the biblical source as seen by the archaeological find.”

The find will be announced by Mazar at the 8th annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday.
The archeologist, who rose to international prominence for her recent excavation that may have uncovered King David’s palace, most recently uncovered the remnants of a wall from Nehemiah.

The dig is being sponsored by the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem research institute where Mazar serves as a senior fellow, and the City of David Foundation, which promotes Jewish settlement throughout east Jerusalem.

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