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

Archive for February, 2010


Sunday, February 28th, 2010

by Hana Levi Julian (Arutz Sheva News)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reportedly angling to start another war between Israel and the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist group in order to deflect attention away from his own lack of popularity at home. Ahmadinejad has faced constant friction from grassroots opposition movements since last June, when lopsided election results re-electing the President raised red flags among suspicious voters, who suspected the government had rigged the polls.

“As Israel is beating the war drums four years after its humiliating military defeat against Hizbullah, many believe that Ahmadinejad might exploit another conflict between Israel and the militant group as a way of resolving his own lack of legitimacy inside Iran,” wrote Iran’s Green Voice newspaper.

The publication, which represents the “green” anti-government protest movement in Iran, noted that many Hizbullah terrorists were involved in the violent post-Presidential election crackdowns on protestors who demonstrated for weeks against the results.

The newspaper identified as one example Hossein Manif Ashmar, a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard force that attacked the northern Tehran campaign office of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on election day, June 12, 2009. The paper said Ashmar, who has been living in the country since the mid-1990s, also works at Hizbullah headquarters in Iran. Two of his brothers died as “shaheeds” (martyrs) – both as members of the Hizbullah terrorist group.

The report also alleged that Hizbullah was the beneficiary of a gift of $400 million from its Iranian handlers last month during “Iran-Lebanon Friendship Week.”

The transaction allegedly took place through the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, according to Green Voice, which reported that the cultural event provided the cover for the funds transfer.

Mehrdad Bazrpash, adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was the agent who carried out the transaction. Prior funds transfers to the terrorist group had apparently been sent through Iran’s Saderat bank. According to the report, however, international sanctions have now blocked that channel – hence the personal trip by Bazrpash to the embassy in Lebanon.


Friday, February 26th, 2010

by Maayana Miskin

Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah as well as Iranian leader Ahmadinajad for dinner in Damascus on Thursday night. The trio of terror-supporting leaders denounced Israel and America and discussed ways to aid “resistance groups.”

Prior to the three-way meeting, Nasrallah met with Ahmadinajad to discuss “the Israel threat to Lebanon and Syria,” according to the Hizbullah news service Al-Nahar. Hizbullah, the Shi’ite Muslim terrorist group based in southern Lebanon, who launched rockets into Israel and kidnapped Israeli soldiers Regev and Goldasser that resulted in the July 2006 Second Lebanon War, receives much of its financial and military support from Iran. This continues despite UN resolution 1701 calling for the disarmament of Hizbullah that ended the war in August 2006. Iran has been making up for arms used by Hizbullah during that war and Hizbullah’s military might, according to Lt. Col. David Benjamin, who spoke at the Begin Center this week, is now stronger than that of most small nations.

Assad sat down with Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah just one day after United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Syria to distance itself from Iran. Ahmedinejad accused the U.S. of attempting to sever Iran-Syria ties in order to “dominate the region,” and said American diplomats should “pack their things and leave.”

Iran and Syria “have the same goals, same interests, and same enemies,” the Iranian president declared.

Ahmadinajad and Assad agreed to cancel visa restrictions between their countries. Assad told journalists that the trio discussed “Israeli crimes and how to deal with them, and how to assist the resistance forces.” “Resistance” is often used by Arab leaders as a euphemism for terrorism.


Thursday, February 25th, 2010

by Hillel Fendel

At a press conference in Damascus on Wednesday, Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmedinajad and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad took turns threatening and taunting Israel. The former received more headlines, with his remark about a “New Middle East free of Zionists.”

Assad said, “We assume that we are facing an entity (Israel) that is ready to attack us at any time. We are always ready for aggression, whether small or large.” He said that he had discussed with his Iranian guest “Israel’s crimes, and how to deal with Israel and help the resistance forces.”

Ahmedinajad, for his part, told the reporters, “The new Middle East (a phrase originally made popular by President Shimon Peres who envisaged a peaceful, prosperous region) will be a Middle East without Zionists and without imperialists. With Allah’s help, this will happen.”

“We hope that they (Israel) will recognize the rights of the nations of the region,” the Iranian president said, “but they must know that if they continue their mistaken ways of the past, they will have no place in our region… If the Zionists repeat their past mistakes, all the nations of the region will stand against them and rip them up from their roots.”

“No one can damage” the close Iranian-Syrian ties, Ahmadinajad said, which will “become deeper and develop over the years… We are brothers. We have mutual interests, as well as common goals and enemies.”

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downplayed last month’s decision by the Obama administration to return an ambassador to Syria. Clinton told Congressmen that the U.S. demands that Syria sever all ties with Iran.


Thursday, February 25th, 2010

(Israel Today News)

The Obama Administration on Wednesday added its voice to those harshly condemning Israel over its official recognition of the Cave of the Patriarch and Rachel’s Tomb as national heritage sites.

The Cave of the Patriarch in Hebron – burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah – and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem joined a list of 150 other historical and biblical sites that Israel will give priority to for renovation and preservation.

But because Hebron and Bethlehem are under Palestinian Authority control, the decision has angered the Arab world and prompted threats of “holy war,” even by “moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

That has led international leaders to condemn Israel’s decision to officially recognize two sites so sacred to the Jewish people. Though few in Israel expected the US to join in on the latest bash-fest.

Nevertheless, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner labeled Israel’s heritage site list a “provocation” and an obstacle to peace.

Israelis have explained that by constantly reprimanding Israel in such terms, the US, the ostensible overseer of peace efforts in the region, is the one making peace more difficult by giving the Palestinians the justification they need to never make true peace with the Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday responded to the mounting international criticism by pointing out that being added to the heritage list simply means that those sites will receive more attention in terms of preservation, including the Muslim areas at the Cave of the Patriarchs.


Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warns of a “holy war” over Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. Muslims claim it is a 1,000-year-old mosque, although Islam – only 1,300 years old itself – began publicly claiming the site only 44 years ago. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of “hypocrisy.”

The Prime Minister announced earlier this week that the ancient tomb, located immediately south of Jerusalem, and the Patriarchs’ Cave (Me’arat HaMachpelah) in Hevron, are Jewish heritage sites that will be refurbished. Genesis Chapter 23 describes the purchase of the Patriarch’s Cave by Abraham in order to bury his wife Sarah, and Genesis 35, 19 describes that Rachel “died and was buried on the road to Efrata which is Bethlehem…the sign of her grave stands until today.”

The entire Muslim world has protested Israel’s initiative, and the United Nations has expressed “concerns.” Hizbullah, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Jordan warned that the move is a provocation, and Hamas outrightly called for violence. Abbas, visiting in Brussels, told the Belgian parliament in Brussels that the move is a “serious provocation which may lead to a religious war.”

The Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, broke out in 2000 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Leftist and Arab protestors have rioted the past two days in Hevron, where the Patriarch’s Cave is located, throwing rocks at soldiers, one of whom was lightly wounded.

Abbas turned to the European Union, which heavily finances the PA, and said that the EU “understands the real nature of this Israeli provocation.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry accused Israel on Tuesday of “annexing two religious sites of the Palestinians, the Sanctuary of Abraham (Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi, referring to the Machpelah Cave) and Bilal Ibn Ribah mosque [Rachel’s Tomb] in Bethlehem.” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said, “Unfortunately, the Zionists’ decision rises from the regime’s strategy for cleaning all the sanctities of the Muslims and Christians in the occupied Palestine to give them a Zionist identity.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office charged Abbas with conducting a “deceitful campaign of lies and hypocrisy” by referring to Jewish sites as Moslem mosques. The Arab world’s claims follow a campaign the past several years to deny the existence of any Jewish history at the Temple Mount site, including the Western Wall (Kotel) in the Old City of Jerusalem.

“The State of Israel is committed to freedom of religion for worshippers of all faiths at the holy places and thus it acts in practice,” said the office of the Prime Minister. “Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the over 3,500-year old resting places of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish People – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel – certainly deserve preservation and rehabilitation.”

Hevron community spokesman Noam Arnon noted that the Patriarchs’ Cave “was a Jewish site thousands of years before Islam ever existed.”

Hizbullah said that Israel’s declaration that the tombs are Jewish heritage sites represents “arrogance” and “is yet another example of aggression against Muslim holy sites and an attack on the dignity of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.”

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in a statement: “This new Israeli position will only feed extremism, confrontations and violence, and it does not serve US efforts to revive peace.” Jordanian Minister of State for Media and Information Nabil Sharif said, “The Israeli policies that also seek to alter the historical and religious features on the ground in the occupied territories are rejected and are against international legitimacy principles.”

Jews had free access to Rachel’s Tomb under the rule of the Ottoman Empire since the 19th century, and Muslim references to a mosque at the site began to appear publicly only in 1966. Muslim history refers to Rachel’s Tomb as far back as the Quran, which recounts Rachel’s death and burial, as stated in the Bible.

The Oslo Accords interim agreement in 1995 states that security arrangements must “ensure free, unimpeded and secure access to the relevant Jewish holy sites.” The agreement also defined Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem and the Shalom Al Israel synagogue in Jericho as “Jewish holy sites.

The Sharon government surrendered daily access to Joseph’s Tomb following Arab terrorist attacks, and Jews have been barred from the Jericho synagogue since the PA took over full control of Jericho. Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) this week led a group of Jews past blockades and visited the synagogue, until the IDF removed them.

The Oslo Agreement also states, “The Palestinian side shall respect academic freedom and rights… and shall ensure free access to archaeological sites, open to the public without discrimination.”

Among the sites are synagogues in Samoa and Yatta, south of Hevron, which have been closed to Jewish visitors, with the exception of rare visits under heavy IDF guard. Also listed is the synagogue in Gaza City, where Jews are not allowed. The Sharon government expelled more than 9,000 Jews from the area in 2005, destroyed all Jewish communities there and turned the area over to the PA, now controlled by Hamas in Gaza.


Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

(Israel Today News)

“Moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday threatened war over Israel’s decision to officially recognize the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb as national heritage sites.

The Cave of the Patriarchs – the burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah – and Rachel’s Tomb are both located in areas that are today controlled by the Palestinian Authority, namely, Hebron and Bethlehem.

Speaking to European Union parliamentarians in Brussels, Abbas said that the Israeli cabinet’s decision to add those sites to its list of national heritage sites is a “dangerous provocation” that will lead to “religious war.”

In practical terms, the decision will not effect any changes in the status of the sites, but rather will give them higher priority for refurbishment and preservation.

“Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarch – the burial place for more than 3,500 years of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people – are certainly worthy of being refurbished and preserved,” said Israeli government spokesman Nir Hefetz in a statement released to the press.

Mark Regev, another Israeli government spokesman, noted that denying the Jews their religious and historical ties to the land is not the way to make peace.

“Just as Israel understands the Muslim connection to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, we are entitled to hear from the Palestinian side that they respect our connection to a site that is very important to the Jewish people,” Regev was cited by The Jerusalem Post as saying. “It is disappointing to hear other messages from the Palestinian leadership.”

As usual, the Palestinians found an ally in the UN regarding this issue.

On Monday, special UN coordinator for the Middle East, Robert Serry said he was deeply concerned by the Jewish state’s audacity in officially recognizing its ties to two sites so sacred to Jews.


Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

A small group of left-wing Americans, some of whom call themselves Zionists, have launched a “Breaking the Law of Return” campaign, branding as “racist” the Israeli law that guarantees citizenship to Jews. More than 1,000 American Jews have backed the movement.

American Jewry traditionally had been pro-Israel until peace movements and Israel military efforts to stop Arab terrorism turned a growing number of Diaspora Jews against modern Zionism. One recent effort to maintain close ties with Israelis living abroad is a proposal to allow them to vote in Israeli elections. The idea also raised the suggestion that all Diaspora Jews be allowed to vote for Israel’s leaders.

However, a group of post-Zionist American Jews opposes even having the automatic right to become Israeli citizens by moving to Israel.

“The Law of Return creates an ethnically exclusive citizenship,” Dr. Amy Kaplan, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-founder of the ‘Breaking the Law of Return’ campaign, told The Media Line. “Anyone who can claim a Jewish grandparent has this automatic right to ‘return’ to this land while Palestinians who were dispossessed of that land, in 1948 and 1967 and most recently in East Jerusalem, can’t have that same right. We see this as unjust and want to repudiate that right.”

She said she grew up in a Zionist family but that the Operation Cast Lead operation against Hamas terrorists “personally implicated me in the violence that it perpetrates in my name.” She did not explain her remark.

The Law of Return, passed in 1950, carried out the principle of the re-establishment of Israel as a Jewish State. The American Jews campaigning against it cite their drive as part of a public commitment to boycott Israel as part of the growing global opposition to Israeli policies, although many foreign elements also have called for the abolishment of Israel as a Jewish country.

Critics of the campaign include Israeli leftist leader Uri Avnery, founder of the Gush Shalom movement. He told The Media Line, “At this moment I think it’s the wrong tactic and the wrong time. It will only turn Israeli public opinion against the peace movement.” He said that the Law of Return is discriminatory against Arabs but that trying to abolish it “will mean nothing and send a bad signal and do no good whatsoever.”

Stronger criticism was expressed by Hebrew University political scientist Dr. Moshe Maor, who told the website, “The Jewish radical left has criticized Israel’s policies and undermined Israel’s overall legitimacy for years. These kinds of campaigns pose a major threat to Israel as they ignite anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli feelings abroad.”

He pointed out post-Zionist claims that the Law of Return is discriminatory because it favors a Jewish State “is not accepted by the Israeli Zionist center… In 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution for the establishment of a Jewish State. So, the ticket to enter Israel is given to Jews only, but in Israel itself, there is no legal discrimination whatsoever.”

Bar-Ilan University political scientist Dr. Gerald Steinberg, chairman of that NGO Monitor that exposes anti-Israel bias, told The Media Line that the Breaking the Law of Return campaign eventually seeks to make the existence of the State of Israel illegitimate.

“It’s always easy to find a group of Jews on the fringes of society who make some noise and who are embraced by pro-Palestinian organizations,” he said. “Their entire purpose is to provide more legitimacy to the Palestinian narrative which is focused on repealing the 1947 U.N. resolution which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.

“If there was a French group that denied the right of the French to live in France and demanded that the French language be replaced by a kind of international culture it would get absolutely no publicity,” he added. “But because it’s Israel it gets attention.”

Several American Jews campaigning against the law admit that it is part of a general move against American aid to Israel. “As a Jewish person I oppose what Israel is doing in my name but I also protest that they are doing it with my tax dollars,” American Jewish activist Anna Beltzer said.


Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

(Israel Today News)

Turkey was enraged in January when Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon humiliated the Turkish ambassador to Israel by sitting him in a lower chair and inviting the press to take pictures. On Sunday, Turks apparently connected to President Recep Erdogan hypocritically fired back by unfurling a massive poster depicting Israeli President Shimon Peres bowing down to his Turkish counterpart.

The poster read: “Erdogan, a leader whom the world bows down to.”

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem cited by The Jerusalem Post called the poster “scandalous” and a serious display of disrespect for both Peres and Israel.

Israel officially shrugged off the incident and did not file any complaints with Ankara, though Turkey was far less forgiving of Ayalon last month.

After summoning the Turkish envoy to reprimand him over a Turkish television series depicting Israeli Jews as bloodthirsty killers, Ayalon had him sit on a low couch, while the Israeli and his aide set in higher chairs. Such an arrangement is considered an insult in the Middle East.

At the time, Ayalon refused to apologize, and insisted that Israel’s neighbors must understand that Jerusalem will not just roll over while its citizens are publicly maligned by regional media.


Monday, February 22nd, 2010

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Israel National News)

Arabs who left Israel in the 1948 war are beginning to blame Arab countries for leaving them stateless after promising a quick return to “Palestine.” “The Arab leaders said, ‘A week, two weeks, approximately, and you’ll return to Palestine,'” Sadek Mufid, formerly of Akko (Acre) and now living in Lebanon, recently told Palestinian Authority television. His comments were translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

Saudi Arabia has led an Arab world demand that normalization of ties with Israel and the establishment of the PA as a state be conditioned on Israel’s allowing the immigration of approximately five million Arabs. Most of them are descendants of Arabs who claim they used to live in Israel.

The United Nations has classified them as “refugees” and placed them in villages, known as “camps,” in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and Arab countries. The Arab designation of “refugees” is maintained today by the refusal of Arab countries to allow them citizenship, voting rights, or the ability to move into better housing, in order to preserve their “unique status.”

Mufid’s testimony represents a new trend of Arab leaders, writers and former Israeli Arab residents who have begun to speak out and openly blame the Arab leadership for the creation of their situation.

Mufid describes a mass departure to Lebanon from Israel, which led to the creation of “11 or 15 refugee camps.” He does not place the blame on Israel. As Palestinian Media Watch has previously reported, other recent accounts also describe a deliberate exit from Israel under orders from Arab leaders, as the Israeli government has always claimed, which contradicts the Palestinian leadership’s charge that the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who left in 1948 were expelled by Israel.

Mufid, who left the village of Dir Al-Qasi near Akko in 1948, told the PA TV’s weekly program – “We headed first from Dir al-Qasi to Rmaich (Lebanon), considering what they (Arab leaders) said at the time: ‘By Allah, in a week or two, you will return to Palestine.’

“The Arab armies entered Palestine, along with the Arab Liberation Army. We left – we and those who fled with us – and we all headed for Lebanon. Some people came to Rmaich and others came to the villages on the border, such as Ein Ibl and also to Bnit Jibil. People scattered. And we have about 11 or 15 (refugee) camps in Lebanon.”

In another PA television interview, an elderly Arab recalled how his family left Ein Kerem, in eastern Jerusalem. “The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us. ‘Get away from the battle lines. It’s a matter of 10 days or two weeks at the most, and we’ll bring you back to Ein Kerem.’

“And we said to ourselves, ‘That’s a very long time. What is this? Two weeks? That’s a lot!’ That’s what we thought then. And now 50 years have gone by.”

Two years ago, Jordanian-based Aryan journalist Jawad Al Bashiti wrote in Al-Ayyam, “The reasons for the Palestinian Catastrophe (establishment of Israel and the refugee problem) are the same reasons that have produced and are still producing our catastrophes today… The first war between Arabs and Israel had started and the ‘Arab Salvation Army’ told the Palestinians, ‘We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission in the best way and so you won’t be hurt.’ It became clear already then, when it was too late, that the support of the Arab states against Israel was a big illusion.”


Monday, February 22nd, 2010

by Hillel Fendel (Arutz Sheva News)

Some 100 Arabs threw rocks and rolled burning tires near the Jewish Community in Hevron on Monday. One soldier’s hand was wounded lightly during the Arab attack.

The IDF declared the incident an “illegal and violent disturbance,” and soldiers used tear gas to disperse the attackers.

The Arabs were protesting the Israeli Government declaration on Sunday that the Jewish State recognizes the Jewish sites of the Machpelah Cave in Hevron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem as national heritage sites.

Palestinian Authority sources said that the decision was a violation of the accords, is dangerous, and “will add to the religious complexities of the conflict in that it could lead to dangerous results.”

The Judea Residents Council responded: “It’s no surprise that the Arabs are not happy with the decision about the Machpelah Cave; as far as they’re concerned, we have no right to be in Tel Aviv either. We congratulate the government on its decision, and call upon it not to cave in to Arab terrorism and violence.”

The original list of national heritage sites did not include either the Machpelah Cave or Rachel’s Tomb; these were added only after heavy pressure from the nationalist end of the spectrum.

This past Friday, the traditional weekly Arab riots in Bil’in – held every Friday for five years against the placement of the anti-terror fence – were buttressed by two additional riot flashpoints: Near N’vei Tzuf in western Binyamin and at the Arab village of Umm Salmona, near Bethlehem, where rioters threw stones at Jewish civilians and soldiers. Arabs have rioted before near N’vei Tzuf, lightly injuring two Border Guard policemen with rocks a month ago.

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