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

Archive for August, 2008


Sunday, August 31st, 2008


As Israeli and PA negotiators struggle to square the circle and agree on how to implement the U.S. Roadmap, an analyst reminds that PA simply wishes to replace Israel.

In an article entitled The Reality of a Palestinian State, Joseph Puder writes in that the Arab struggle against Israel is not about land – as evidenced by repeated Arab rejections of territory over the course of decades. Instead, he writes, “it is an armed struggle that aims to replace Israel with an Arab Islamic terrorist state that would undermine American and European interests in the region.”

Puder notes that the Palestinian leadership rejected the 1937 Peel Commission offer of an Arab state, the UN Partition plan, the Camp David II Summit, and, most recently the Olmert-Livni offer of – reports say – 93% of Judea and Samaria. Each of these offers has “involved gradually shrinking landmasses,” Puder writes.

The reasonable assumption is therefore simple, he concludes: The Arabs “did not settle for the favorable Peel Commission recommendations of 1937 because they rejected the idea of a sovereign Jewish homeland, however small and untenable, and continue to refuse to accept the idea of a permanent sovereign Jewish State today.”

Puder calls upon both U.S. presidential candidates to totally reject further negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Succinctly summarizing the basic objections to a Palestinian state, he writes that such an entity would be “a base of operation to dismantle the Jewish State [and] a haven for assorted jihadist terror groups, including al-Qaeda, and would work closely with Hezbollah operatives” – as Hamas-run Gaza currently is today.

Any future Palestinian state would be unstable and violent, Puder writes, with rampant Fatah and Hamas clashes, and control sought by Shiite Iran and other Arab countries – leading to “regional wars, increased terrorism and possibly nuclear war.” Jordan, too, would be threatened, with Iran using jihadist elements in Gaza and the West Bank to destabilize and replace King Abdullah’s regime with a jihadist leadership.

The Palestinian Authority does not even have the potential to fulfill the international definition of a country, Puder writes:

“Under the 1933 Montevideo Treaty, a state must satisfy four specific requirements: It must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into peaceful relations with other states. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas does not satisfy any one of these requisites. While it has ‘permanent residents, it has also a large portion of unsettled refugees. And it certainly does not have ‘a defined territory’ as evidenced by its official maps. Its display of all of Western Palestine is indicative of its intentions to undermine the Jewish State. As to a ‘government,’ Abbas is running a gang rather than an acceptable government; it lacks legitimacy, as large portions of the Palestinians do not accept him as the leader. The fourth criterion is absolutely clear: It lacks the capacity to live in peace with its neighbor – Israel.”


Thursday, August 28th, 2008

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Israel National News)

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet on Sunday amid growing signs that the Israeli leader is trying to complete the outline for a new Arab state before he leaves office. PA sources said they will discuss the status of Jerusalem and the PA “right of return” demand that involves allowing millions of foreign Arabs to immigrate. Water resources also will be discussed.

American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hinted a deal is in the works during her visit to Israel this week. At her meeting with Abbas in Ramallah, she “proposed new ideas related to the peace process,” Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rdneh said. “The coming weeks will be very decisive,” he added.

Prime Minister Olmert is taking advantage of the summer vacation, when most Israelis are vacationing, the Knesset is out of session and he is free to act without worrying about keeping his coalition government together. The Prime Minister already has said he will step down from office after the Kadima party chooses a new leader in primary elections next month.

He recently said that negotiations with the PA must be kept secret and not in the eye of the media.

The editor of a leading PA newspaper believes that Secretary Rice, Prime Minister Olmert and Abbas are cooking up a surprise to satisfy President Bush’s desire to reach a final agreement before he leaves office in January.

Hafith Barghouthi, the chief editor of the daily Hayat Al-Jadidah, wrote on Wednesday, “It seems a political ‘meal’ is being cooked on fire behind the scenes…. The fact that Rice met with both negotiation teams separately, then together proves what she said in the press conference about both sides abstaining from negotiating in front of the media. All this indicates that the negotiations are serious,” he wrote.
It seems a political ‘meal’ is being cooked on fire behind the scenes.

A final agreement on a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders would not necessarily be accepted by the government but would serve as a working document for the successor to American President George W. Bush following American elections in November.

Putting an agreement in writing, regardless of its being impractical to carry out today, would be significant, a PA negotiator told WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein this week. The negotiator said, “Papers are very important. It puts limits on the new prime minister…. Olmert told us his goal is to reach an agreement on paper.”

Sunday’s meeting between Olmert and Abbas, the second this month, offers further evidence that Secretary Rice’s 24-hour visit earlier this week was more than a routine attempt to bridge the gaps separating the two sides.

Earlier this month, the Hebrew daily Haaretz revealed that Prime Minister Olmert offered Abbas 93 percent of Judea, Gaza and Samaria, including parts of Jerusalem, along with a Negev land swap and free passage between Gaza and Judea and Samaria.


Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz (Israel National News)

A United Nations task force assigned to report on weapons smuggling in Lebanon said Monday that Hizbullah has been bringing arms across the Syrian-Lebanese border. This confirms Israeli allegations that the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group has been steadily rearming with Syrian assistance and Lebanese collusion. Neither Lebanese nor Syrian officials have done anything to end weapons transfers to Hizbullah.

Last month, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that “the number of missiles in the hands of Hizbullah has doubled, if not tripled, and that the range of the missiles has been extended. And this has been accomplished with the close assistance of the Syrians.” In March, an anonymous source told the Associated Press that Hizbullah held new Iranian rockets capable of striking as far south as Dimona, Israel’s nuclear facility in the Negev.

According to the task force report, submitted to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, neither Lebanese nor Syrian officials have done anything to end weapons transfers to Hizbullah. The task force, which has seen no improvement in the situation since it started its work in 2007, noted that weapons flow easily across the Syrian-Lebanese frontier due to lax or non-existent inspections. Even the air and sea ports into Lebanon, the report says, have been used for weapons smuggling.

Earlier this month, Lebanon’s cabinet voted to allow Hizbullah to maintain its weapons arsenal. The government decision specifically approves Hizbullah activities aimed at Israel.

Weapons transfers to the Hizbullah such as those cited in the task force report are in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War two years ago. However, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrols in southern Lebanon, far from the weapons transfer routes. Furthermore, UNIFIL has stated outright that it would not enforce Resolution 1701 conditions calling for the disarming of Hizbullah.

In March 2008, Hizbullah terrorists threatened and chased off UNIFIL forces after the armed international soldiers found a truck carrying illicit arms and ammunition. The incident was mentioned in a semi-yearly report submitted to the U.N. Security Council by Ban Ki-moon.

In an earlier report to the U.N. Security Council, in February 2008, Ki-moon noted, “Hizbullah, by admission of its leaders on several occasions, has replenished its military capacity since the 2006 war with Israel. I therefore remain concerned that this border remains vulnerable to such [weapons transfers], which would represent serious violations of the resolution and constitute a significant threat to the stability and security of Lebanon.”

Earlier this month, a spokesman for yet another U.N. committee focused on Lebanon, the International-Lebanese Committee for U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, said Hizbullah has violated international restrictions on its militarization “big time.” Resolution 1559 of 2004 is focused on preserving Lebanese sovereignty from foreign interference and preceded the end of the Syrian occupation in the 2005 Cedar Revolution.

Also in mid-August, the commander of UNIFIL, Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano, accused Israel of violating Resolution 1701 by continuing Israel Air Force overflights in Lebanese airspace, as well as by the Jewish State’s refusal to submit maps of areas on which it dropped cluster bombs during the 2006 war. Israel maintains that the overflights are necessitated by Hizbullah’s weapons build-up and deepening entrenchment in southern Lebanon, despite UNIFIL’s obligations to halt such activities.


Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz (Israel National News)

Presumptive U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told Iowa voters Monday that the international community must tighten sanctions on Iran so that Israel does not feel that its “back is against the wall,” prompting the Jewish State to stage a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Obama said that a nuclear Iran would be able to project its power with impunity.

Some sanctions have been imposed on Iran in an effort to convince the regime to suspend its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons capabilities. Israeli and American leaders have been calling for expanded sanctions on the Islamic Republic, but have thus far insisted that the military option remains a viable one.

“My job as president is to make sure we are tightening the screws on Iran diplomatically… to get sanctions in place so that Iran starts making a different calculation,” Senator Obama (D., Illinois) said. “And we have got to do that before Israel feels like its back is against the wall.” He made the comments at a campaign stop attended by more than 200 people.

“We have to act much more forcefully and effectively on the world stage to contain Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” Obama added in response to a question regarding Israeli intentions. Israel, he said, is “one of our strongest allies in the world.”

Aside from its effect on Israel, Obama said that a nuclear Iran would be able to project its power with impunity in Iraq and threaten regional oil production.

At the same time, Senator Obama reiterated his position that direct talks with Iran are the best strategy to moderate its nuclear ambitions. “The problem is that for most of the Bush administration, instead of trying to engage directly with Iran, there was a lot of saber-rattling,” he said.

Approximately 60,000 people have gathered in Denver, Colorado, for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) Monday. Senator Obama is set to receive the party’s presidential nomination alongside Senator Joe Biden of Deleware. Biden was tapped to be Obama’s running mate on Saturday.

Biden, too, supports unconditional talks with the Islamic Republic. “The net effect of demanding preconditions that Iran rejects is this: We get no results and Iran gets closer to the bomb,” he said in a July media statement.

In a 2007 interview with the American Jewish affairs program Shalom TV, Senator Biden said that Israel was “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.” He further declared, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” Asked about imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, Biden said that he should be given “leniency.”


Monday, August 25th, 2008

For the past two weeks, David has been in Israel with a group of over 70 people. Although the weather was hot and humid most of the time, the folks who went experienced great blessing and information about the State of Israel and the historical sites mentioned in the Bible.

The tour members came from all over the United States, CANADA, and included a few from China, Japan, Korea, South America, etc. The impact upon the hearts of these folks will remain for years to come. There are very few trips in this world that are as important and inspirational as a tour of the Land of Israel.

Our trip was planned beautifully in cooperation with INSPIRED TRAVEL in Costa Mesa, California, and coordinated with SAR-EL TOURS in the Land of Israel. Their attention to details and their willingness to do all they could to make this trip the trip of a lifetime was obvious! Our special thanks to them!

Next year’s tour of Israel – ISRAEL 2009 – will be held in the last couple of weeks of October (following the fall Jewish holidays), and will include a trip to Petra, Jordan. Be watching in our monthly newsletters for next year’s tour information!

The attention of Israel and the Middle East is on the democratic convention in Denver, Colorado, this week! There is much interest, along with much confusion, over the proposed candidancy of Barak Obama. While in the Land of Israel, it was the focus in articles and conversations on both ides of the political spectrum. One thing is quite clear – GOD IS IN CHARGE! He is working out His prophetic plan as He has described in the Bible – soon and very soon – the Messiah of Israel will come! We say with John in the New Testament – “EVEN SO, COME QUICKLY, LORD YESHUA!”


Monday, August 25th, 2008

by Hana Levi Julian (Israel National News)

Close to 200 terrorists, including two who had murdered Jews, were freed Monday in another “goodwill gesture” to the PA by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Relatives and friends of Jews who are imprisoned in Israeli prisons held a protest Monday morning to demonstrate their disgust at the government’s decision to keep their loved ones in jail while freeing Arab terrorists.

The protestors demonstrated at the Ofer Prison, calling on the government to release Jewish prisoners as it has the hundreds of Arabs that have been freed in Prime Minister Olmert’s numerous “goodwill gestures” to the Palestinian Authority.

Security officials began the process of releasing 198 Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists and security prisoners, including two with “blood on their hands,” Monday morning at the Ofer Prison, north of Jerusalem.

After signing a document that certified their promise to abstain from returning to a life of terrorism, each convict – including the two who actually killed Jews, as well as the many others who attempted to do so, but failed – boarded buses taking them to Ramallah and then to their homes in Judea and Samaria.

In a statement released to the media, the government spokesperson’s office said the released prisoners are all members of factions that support the leadership of Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

“Through this latest confidence-building measure – which addresses an issue of critical significance for the Palestinians – Israel seeks to intensify its continued dialogue with partners who are both committed to diplomacy and opposed to terrorism,” read the government statement. “The release further underscores Israel’s willingness to make painful concessions for the sake of advancing peace negotiations.”

The prisoners were taken to the Betunia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, where they were to be officially set free. The busloads of terrorists are then to be transported to the Mukata in Ramallah for a festive welcome ceremony at which they will be greeted by Abbas, according to PA Minister for Prisoner Affairs, Ashraf El Ajrami. Following the ceremony, the terrorists will return to their families and other festivities in Hevron and Shechem.

Originally 199 prisoners were to be set free, but at the last minute it was discovered that one of those on the list is facing a pending criminal investigation and was thus deemed ineligible for release.

Two of the prisoners slated for release served nearly 30 years of their life sentences for murdering Jews. The rest were convicted on other charges, including attempted murder, shooting at people, placing bombs, membership in terrorist organizations and aiding and abetting senior terrorists.

Israel released 429 prisoners last December in a similar “goodwill” gesture.

The High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected a petition by the Almagor terror victims’ group asking the court to block the government’s release of the terrorists, accepting instead the state’s position that the matter was a purely political-diplomatic issue.

Two justices, Ayala Procaccia and Edmond Levi, criticized the government’s urgency in freeing the terrorists, saying the time frame made it impossible to hold a proper discussion before reaching a decision on such a grave matter.

Israelis were given only a 48-hour window within which to examine a published list of the names of those who were being released and file a legal petition against the move.

The timing of the release is also being carried out several hours before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives, making it obvious that Prime Minister Olmert wants to show her that Israel is making concessions to the PA.

Last week, the road that connects Ramallah with PA villages to the south was re-opened to a free flow of traffic when the IDF and the Civil Administration removed the security roadblock at Bir Naballah, the third such roadblock to be eliminated this month.

More than 100 roadblocks and security checkpoints were removed in Judea and Samaria in May and June, around the time of Rice’s last spate of visits to the region.

It is not clear what, if any, concessions have been made to Israel by the Palestinian Authority in return.


Friday, August 8th, 2008

By Yair Ettinger and Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondents

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused rival faction Kadima of planning to make sweeping concessions over Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

“For the first time in the history of our nation, we come upon a development that we are unfamiliar with and that we cannot remember whereby the ruling party in our midst will come and offer up Jerusalem even to the worst of our enemies,” Netanyahu said during an appearance at a Jerusalem conference commemorating 70 years since the founding of the Rabbi Kook Institute.

Also in attendance at the event was Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who uncharacteristically showered praise on the Likud chairman. Yosef referred to Netanyahu as “my dear, beloved friend” who “does a great deal for the Torah.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) on Sunday vowed to form a coalition government before local authority elections on November 11.

“Israel does not need general elections now, in light of the existential challenges facing us,” Mofaz said, during his speech at an election rally for the Kiryat Ono municipal elections.

Mofaz, who is locked in what is widely regarded to be a two-person race for the Kadima chairmanship against Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, said last Friday that the latest poll numbers indicating an advantage in favor of his rival in the Kadima Party primaries in September are bound to change.

“I wouldn’t advise anyone to base the future on polls,” Mofaz said on Friday. “The polls are a mood, and this will change. I’m sure that I will win the primaries.”

Livni would lead Kadima to victory over Likud if elections were held today, according to a special poll conducted by Dialog last Thursday on behalf of Haaretz.

For all the bitter struggle between Livni and Mofaz, Thursday’s poll, conducted a day after Olmert announced that he would not seek re-election as Kadima’s leader, shows that the foreign minister is the only politician who currently has enough public support to defeat Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu.

The poll of 503 Israelis, which has a margin of error of 4.1 percent, showed that in national elections, Kadima headed by Livni would win 26 seats in the Knesset, compared to 25 for Likud under Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has consistently led in the polls for the past two years, but Thursday’s survey seems to indicate that the political arena is changing.

Senior Kadima members have harsh words for Livni for refusing to make a public promise to stay in Kadima even if she loses the party’s leadership race.

“It is very strange that Livni, who prides herself on being among the party’s founders, is unwilling to state explicitly that this is her home. It raises questions and looks really bad from a public standpoint,” one prominent party member said.

The issue arose in the past few days, prompted by a “candidate declaration” being drafted by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and MK Tzachi Hanegbi, the latter of whom who heads Kadima’s committee for party affairs. The declaration includes a commitment to remain in the party, as well as a promise to reserve the second spot on the list for the candidate who takes second place in the primary.

Associates of Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said he is expected to support the document, and in any event intends to stay in Kadima, as he has announced previously. By contrast, Livni’s confidants took the line that “she intends to win, and isn’t dealing with other things.”

Kadima’s Knesset faction convenes Tuesday for the first time since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s announced he would not seek reelection, and will discuss the “candidate declaration.”

At a campaign rally last night in Kiryat Ono a few hours after Mofaz returned from a visit to the United States, he announced that after winning the primary he would form a national unity government, even before the municipal elections scheduled for November 11.

“We don’t need [general] elections at a time like this when such complex matters are on the agenda. We must form a national unity government and contend with these challenges,” Mofaz said.

The rally, which was held for Kadima’s candidate for mayor of Kiryat Ono, Ami Kahlon, was attended by ministers and Knesset members, including Livni, who entered the hall only after Mofaz had exited by another door. Associates of both candidates said it was a mere coincidence, not an effort to prevent their meeting.

Mofaz and Livni both showered praise on the young Kahlon, who is among the party’s former Likudniks. Others who praised him at the rally were ministers Gideon Ezra, Roni Bar-On, and Ruhama Avraham-Balila, as well as MKs Hanegbi, Yohanan Plesner and Abraham Hirchson.

Livni and Mofaz have been busy recruiting support from faction members, and have more meetings lined up with all of its ministers and MKs, with their eyes on the quadruple prize: Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Bar-On, Itzik and Hanegbi. These four have the power to influence the party rank-and-file, and the word is that all are still on the fence.


Thursday, August 7th, 2008

by Yechiel Eckstein

Tisha B’Av, which takes place on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people – many of which have occurred on this day throughout history.

The main events remembered are the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av, the first by the Babylonians in 586 BC, and the second by the Romans in 70 AD.

But there were other tragedies as well that have occurred throughout history on this fateful day. In 135 AD, the Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Israel’s Roman rulers. In 1492, then King and Queen of Spain issued an order expelling all Jews, which put an end to one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish communities in Europe. In 1942, the Nazis began deporting Jews in Poland’s Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps.

In fact, Tisha B’Av is the culmination of a period of mourning that begins three weeks earlier with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which commemorates the breach of the city walls of Jerusalem that led to the destruction of the First Temple. During this period, known as “The Three Weeks,” weddings and other parties and joyous festivals are not permitted. Jews refrain from eating meat or drinking wine, and from wearing new clothing.

On Tisha B’Av itself, the restrictions are similar to those on Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement” on which Jews pray for forgiveness for their sins. These rules are meant to draw attention to the solemn nature of Tisha B’Av. All activities that are joyful or pleasurable, or that are done for personal satisfaction and adornment, are to be avoided. These include eating and drinking, washing, bathing, shaving or wearing cosmetics. Work is prohibited, and many of the traditional mourning practices are observed – people refrain from laughter and idle conversation, and from sitting on comfortable chairs. Even learning Torah, other than texts that deal directly with the subject of mourning, is prohibited, since studying God’s word is considered a pleasurable activity.

In synagogue, lights are dimmed and candles are lit. We read from the book of Lamentations, and the cantor leads prayers in a low, mournful voice, reminding us of the Divine Presence that departed the Holy Temple with its destruction. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

The terrible events we remember on Tisha B’Av remind us of the need to always pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the safety of the Jewish people. As we approach this solemn day, I hope you will join me in a show of solidarity with Israel and her people by recommitting yourself to pray for Israel’s peace and security.


Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

DEBKAfile Special Report

US Gen. David Petraeus steps into Lebanon minefield. The US Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus, soon to be promoted to Central Command chief, arrived unannounced in Lebanon on Wednesday, Aug 6. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that he came to check out the strategic ramifications of Hizbullah’s seizure on behalf of Syria and Iran of two strategic Lebanese peaks, Mt. Sannine and Mt. Barukh. Petraeus also sought the exact import of the Lebanese government’s policy decision of August 4, to let Hizbullah stay armed (in violation of UN Security Council resolutions) and continue its war against Israel.

Those sources stress that American intervention in Lebanon closes the door once again on the prospect of Israeli action against this new threat – in the same way as Washington vetoed effective action against Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb and the buildup of Hamas’ war machine in Gaza.

Military sources question the value of yet another Israeli defense cabinet meeting on the crisis building up on the northern border, when Hizbullah has been allowed to brazenly flout UN Security Council resolution 1701 of 2006 by taking delivery of quantities of smuggled Iranian and Syrian weapons and redeploying in South Lebanon.

During that period, the Israeli government stood by and failed to interfere with this unfolding menace and Lebanon’s takeover as a Syrian-Iranian outpost.

Wednesday, an Israeli security source ‘”revealed” that Hizbullah had amassed 40,000 rockets.

On March 22, 2008, DEBKAfile’s military sources first disclosed that Hizbullah had built up its rocket arsenal to three and-a-half times its pre-2006 Lebanon War stocks. “Some of the 40,000 rockets of Syrian and Iranian manufacture can hit Israel targets as far south as Beersheba, 350 km. away from the Shiite terror group’s launching pads north of Lebanon’s Litani River.

“Not only has Tel Aviv come within range, but Hizbullah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza can between them cover most of Israel except for its southernmost tip at Eilat. Using these two surrogates, Tehran can therefore make war on Israel and keep its hands clean.”

On June 12, the Israeli military intelligence research director Brig. Yossi Baidatz reported that Hizbullah had constructed a subterranean storage system, partly in south Lebanon, for tens of thousands of rockets. DEBKAfile’s military sources added that they had been proofed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards against aerial attack.

From then until now, the Israeli military has not been called upon to take any action.

Then on Tuesday of this week, Israeli security circles were revealed to be at odds over whether Hizbullah had already emplaced radar and anti-air batteries on Mt. Sannine – or not yet. On July 21, DEBKAfile first disclosed exclusively that Hizbullah had already deployed them on Mt. Sannine.

Then on Aug. 2, after Israel made no move, the Lebanese Shiite terror group seized a second strategic peak on Mt. Barukh, thus acquiring its first capability to shoot down Israeli Air Force flights. And still, the Olmert government sat on its hands. So it is not surprising that Hizbullah has moved on to considering how to dispose of a fresh batch of Israeli prisoners from downed warplanes, or that the Iran-backed group was cocksure enough to manipulate the new Lebanese government into endorsing its continuing armed battle against Israel.

Had prime minister Olmert and his three likely successors Tzipi Livni, foreign affairs; Ehud Barak, defense; and Shaul Mofaz, transport – all of whom claim to be seasoned defense tacticians – resolved on proactive measures to curb Hizbullah’s march from strength to strength, Israel would have been less susceptible to American pressure on Lebanon and Iran. Above all, Iranian and Syrian officers and their guns would not now be ensconced atop Mts Sannine and Mt. Barukh.


Monday, August 4th, 2008

by Gil Ronen

Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, whom Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is considering naming as his vice-presidential running mate, said in a speech last November that Jerusalem is “Ground Zero in the global battle between tyranny and democracy” and is “Israel’s lifeblood.”

Speaking during a visit to Israel for the “One Jerusalem” event, which protested the Annapolis summit, Cantor said: “Jerusalem is not merely the capital of Israel but the spiritual capital of Jews and Christians everywhere. It’s the site of the First and Second Temples, which housed the Holy of Holies, and it’s the direction in which we Jews face when we pray. This glorious City of David is bound to the Jewish people by an undeniable 3,000 year historical link.”

Jerusalem, Cantor said, “is Israel’s lifeblood. No one understands this better than Israel’s enemies. That is precisely why they still engage in a systematic campaign to erase the historical link of the Jews to this great city. For if Israel were severed from Jerusalem, the Jewish state would lose its sense of legitimacy and its will to fight; only then could Israel be destroyed.”

“If Israel were severed from Jerusalem, the Jewish state would lose its sense of legitimacy and its will to fight.”

“What befalls Jerusalem threatens the security of the United States and its allies worldwide. That’s because Jerusalem and Israel are Ground Zero in the global battle between tyranny and democracy, radicalism and moderation, terrorism and freedom.”

Speaking in Hebrew, Cantor quoted Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who said: “If a land has a soul, then Jerusalem is the soul of the Land of Israel.”

Rep. Cantor, chief deputy minority whip in the House of Representatives, has reportedly been asked to supply Sen. McCain with personal documents for the vetting process.

Jewish Senator Joe Lieberman ran for vice president with Democratic nominee Al Gore against George W. Bush in 2000 and narrowly lost. The senator, who was Sen. Barack Obama’s mentor in the Senate, has since left the Democratic party to become an independent and is backing Sen. McCain for president.

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