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

Archive for July, 2012


Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

The Obama White House and the Palestinian Authority this week expressed dissatisfaction, frustration and anger over Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s very public recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In an address to Israeli leaders and international donors in Jerusalem on Sunday, Romney clearly identified the city as “the capital of Israel.”

It was a stark break from US presidential policy dating back over 15 years, and an indication that should he win the White House in November, Romney will finally approve a 1995 congressional decision to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem.

The current American administration was not amused.

“Some people are scratching their heads a bit” over Romney’s remarks, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, noting that the Republican candidate is defying a position “that’s been held by previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican. So if Mr. Romney disagrees with that position, he’s also disagreeing with the position that was taken by Presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.”

The Palestinians were far more vehement in their rejection of Romney’s remarks.

“Even if this statement is within the US election campaign, it is unacceptable and we completely reject it. The US election campaign should never be at the expense of the Palestinians,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the BBC. “Romney is rewarding occupation, settlement and extremism in the region with such declarations.”

In another interview, Erekat warned that if this truly is Romney’s intended policy as President, it would be “harmful to American interests in our region.”

Hamas also had some choice words for Romney over what it saw as his “racist and extremist” positions.

“Romney’s statements on Jerusalem distort the truth, falsify history and misguide public opinion,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Palestinian media. “They provoke the emotions of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims and encourage Judaization [of Jerusalem] and settlement building.”

Despite the archaeologically-backed Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, and the extensively documented fact that Jerusalem was Israel’s ancient capital, the Palestinian Arabs now claim the city as their own, and insist that its eastern half be made devoid of Jews.

In 1995, the US Congress officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and legislated that the American embassy be moved there. But every six months since, a succession of American Presidents have invoked a national security clause to postpone implementation of that legislation, fearing an Arab and Muslim backlash.

Both Israel and the Palestinians believe Romney may reverse that policy.


Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

by Reza Kahlili

Reza Kahlili served in the CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and counterterrorism expert. He currently teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy and serves as a senior fellow with EMPact America and on the newly formed federal Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He is the author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray.

The Quds Forces, a special Iranian unit of thousands of operatives tasked with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution, are being told to step up preparations for terrorism for the coming of the last Islamic messiah and the destruction of the West.

Ali Saeedi, the Iranian supreme leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, emphasized during a Friday sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic must directly confront America so that the necessary environment is created for the reappearance of Mahdi, the Shiite’s 12th imam, who will kill all infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

“In three points of history, God directly confronts the will of unruly humans in which, of course, the Right will overcome the False,” Saeedi said, according to the Sepah News, the Guards’ official publication. “The first point in history was during the era of pharaoh, the second era was Bani Abbas, and the third is our current era in which it seems that God has willed us to enlighten the world with the coming of Imam Mahdi.”

Saeedi, “Many of the signs [necessary] for the coming have taken place during the previous years; however, the main sign will take place right before the coming.”

There are five levels of readiness that have to be prepared for the coming, he said: “Individual readiness, the readiness for creating the environment, systematic readiness, the readiness in the region and the international readiness. This means Occupy Wall Street must take place, the Americans must lose hope with the Democratic Party and others, and lose faith in the U.N., while at the same time the unraveling in the Middle East, which was not ripe before, must have taken place before the coming.”

This is the first time a high-ranking Iranian official has stated on the record that the Quds Forces are not only involved in the region, but also internationally for a final confrontation with the West.

“The Revolutionary Guards are one vehicle for preparation for the coming, and in the current Islamic Awakening [the Arab Spring] in the region and on international arena, the Quds Forces play a major role in preparing the readiness of the human force needed for such an event,” Saeedi said. “The chief commander of the Guards and the supreme leader’s representative are tasked for preparing the individual readiness, regional readiness as well as international readiness for the coming.”

In another Guards’ weekly publication, Sobhe Sadegh, a front-page analysis explains that the opening of Iran’s geopolitics and the empowerment of its Islamic power are a reality in which Iran’s influence has expanded not only in the region, but also in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Asia and even in Europe and America.

As was the fall of socialism and the Eastern bloc, the analysis promises, so will be the fall of the capitalism and liberal democracy.

The analysis refers to the statements of the founder of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:
“I say with all certainty that the 21st century will be the century of Islam.”
“I say with all certainty that Islam will conquer all key entrenchments of the world.”
“I say with all certainty that Islam will defeat all world powers.”
“I say with all certainty that the 21st century is the century where the oppressed will be victorious over the oppressors.”

While the Quds Forces have recently expanded their operations in shipment of explosives to Latin America, Africa and other places in the world, and at the same time have put terror cells on high alert for terrorist acts, the Islamic regime in Iran has expanded its nuclear program in which over 11,000 centrifuges are now running at two facilities, increasing its enriched uranium stock.

As of the last report in May by the IAEA, Iran had enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs, and despite all negotiations and recent sanctions, the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced days ago that there will be no turning back from the nuclear path.


Sunday, July 29th, 2012

(Fox News Report)

Romney: US has ‘moral imperative’ to aid Israel in its defense against a nuclear Iran!

Mitt Romney on Sunday gave his unequivocal support to Israel and its effort to thwart Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, saying the United States has “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to help in that effort.

The GOP presidential candidate made his comments in a much-anticipated speech in Jerusalem.

“Make no mistake, the Ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses,” Romney said. “They want to know who will object and who will look the other way. We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself.”

He also declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Earlier in the day, top foreign policy adviser Dan Senor in a preview of the speech suggested Romney would support Israel making a military strike on Iran to defend itself against a nuclear-capable Tehran.

“Gov. Romney believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so,” Senor said. “In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded.”

Romney later attempted to clarify his position.

“I respect the right of Israel to defend itself, and we stand with Israel in peace,” Romney said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Romney is on a seven-day overseas trip in which he hopes to burnish his foreign policy credentials. The trip started Friday in England, will continue this weekend in Israel and conclude in Poland.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Romney as “a representative of the United States” and said he agrees with his approach to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Netanyahu said he listened to a recent Romney speech in which he said that Iran possessing nuclear capability is the greatest danger facing the world.

“Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more,” Netanyahu told Romney on Sunday.

“We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota,” Netanyahu continued. “And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation.”

Romney spent the earlier part of the day visiting Israel’s Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray. The event included a rabbi reading a passage to Romney, who wore a dark blue jacket, tie and a yarmulke.

Hundreds of Jewish worshippers were praying at the site, also referred to as the Wailing Wall, on the holy fasting day of Tisha B’Av. The wall in Jerusalem is the outside wall that surrounds one of two temples destroyed by the Romans. Today is said to be the day the Romans destroyed the temples.

Romney also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Meanwhile, an Israeli newspaper reports the Obama Administration’s top security official has briefed Israel’s Prime Minister on U.S. plans for a possible attack on Iran.

However, the Israeli government has denied the report.

The Haaretz daily says National Security Adviser Tom Donilon sought to reassure Israel that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program.

Haaretz said Sunday that Donilon detailed the plans to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a visit to Israel earlier this month.

But a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential meeting, said, “Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the Prime Minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran.”

In the CBS interview, Romney often referred to President Reagan’s foreign policy strategy, pointing out that Reagan, like him, was a governor, not a senator. Romney also said his foreign policy would be guided by “intellect, resolve and clarity of purpose.”

He politely laughed off a question about the upcoming Newsweek cover that suggests he is a wimp and added the magazine incorrectly attempted to make the same point about then Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Romney flew to the Middle East from Britain, where he caused a stir by questioning whether officials there were fully prepared for the Olympic Games.

In declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, Romney was keeping with claims made by Israeli governments, even though the United States, like other nations, maintains its embassies in Tel Aviv. He did not say if he would order it moved if he wins the White House.

Even so, his remarks drew a standing ovation from his audience, which included Sheldon Adelson, the American businessman who has said he will donate millions to help elect Romney to the White House.

In his speech, Romney said Syrian President Bashar Assad “desperately clings to power” in Damascus in the face of an attempted overthrow, but he did not call for his removal.

He noted that Egypt is now headed by an “Islamist President, chosen in a Democratic election.”

“The international community must use its considerable influence to insure that the new government honors the peace agreement with Israel that was signed by the government of Anwar Sadat” more than three decades ago, he said.

Another goal of Romney trip is to cut into President Obama’s support among Jewish voters and donors. A Gallup survey of Jewish voters showed Obama with a 68-25 edge over Romney, according to the poll released Friday.

Romney and other Republicans have said Obama is insufficiently supportive of Israel, noting statements the President has made about settlements and his handling of evident Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

In an unspoken rebuttal to Obama and other critics, Romney said “It is sometimes said that those who are the most committed to stopping the Iranian regime from securing nuclear weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war.

“The opposite is true. We are the true peacemakers,” he said.

In a speech in March before a pro-Israel lobby in Washington, Obama warned of “loose talk of war” that serves only to drive up oil prices. “Now is not the time to bluster,” he said then. “Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in and sustain the broad international coalition we have built.”

It was unlikely that the day’s events would settle the issue.

Obama’s former press secretary, Robert Gibbs, told ABC’s “This Week” that the Administration has delayed Iran’s nuclear program. The President has imposed U.S. penalties against Iran and worked to tougher strictures applied by other nations. There have been numerous published reports of a coordinated U.S.-Israeli cyber attack that caused damage to Iranian equipment vital to creating weapons-grade nuclear material.

Pentagon officials have spoken publicly about the difficulty of such a strike, and American officials have expressed concern about the destabilizing effect such military action could have in the region, even if carried out successfully.

Iran says it is not interested in nuclear weapons and its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes. The Israelis say they are considering a strike because they fear Iran could be moving its nuclear enrichment sites further underground, out of reach of the weapons Israel has available.


Sunday, July 29th, 2012

by Joshua Mitnick

The presumptive Republican candidate for President offered few hints of what he would do differently from Obama aside from avoiding public disputes with Israel.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Jerusalem Sunday.

In a signal foreign policy speech in Jerusalem, former governor Mitt Romney said that preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon should be the “highest national security priority,” and chided President Barack Obama for quarreling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over how to do it.

With Romney visit, Israelis worry about becoming a partisan issue – Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Congress, saying patience with Iran wears thin.

However, the presumptive Republican nominee for president offered few hints on what he would do differently from the Obama Administration. Though a senior adviser, Dan Senor, earlier suggested that Mr. Romney would “respect” an Israeli decision to launch a lone attack, Romney in his speech reiterated the more vague formulation of the Obama Administration that “we recognize Israel’s right to defend itself.”

He did reproach the President indirectly for chastising the Israeli leaders for saber rattling, a remark made when Mr. Netanyahu last visited Washington.

“It is sometimes said that those who are the most committed to stopping the Iranian regime from securing nuclear weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war,” Romney said. “The opposite is true. We are the true peacemakers.”

Romney’s visit has escalated the competition between the two campaigns to demonstrate who’s a stronger supporter of the Jewish state. Obama on Friday announced $70 million in additional military aid to help develop a rocket system to intercept missiles from Gaza and Lebanon.

Israeli officials and analysts are anxious about Israel being in the election’s spotlight, and would prefer the country to be more of an afterthought. That’s because an election debate over Israel could damage long term ties between the countries by risking the Jewish state’s long cultivated bipartisan support in Washington.

“We don’t want to be part of the issue,” says an Israeli diplomat, who was not authorized to speak. “We have very strong bi-partisan support and we want to keep it that way. We want there to be strong relations with the US. Not with blue or red.”

Romney: Jerusalem is capital

Speaking against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s Old City, Romney called the disputed city Israel’s capital. That’s likely to bother Palestinians and Arab countries who claim East Jerusalem – the portions captured in the 1967 Arab Israeli War – as capital of a Palestinian state.

In another dig at Obama – who has been bragging about stepped up military cooperation with Israel – Romney blamed the President for allowing public disputes to emerge: “Standing by Israel does not mean with military and intelligence cooperation alone,” he said. “We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel, voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries.”


Saturday, July 28th, 2012

by Daniel Greenfield

When Jordan’s Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed the city – the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett and Major Bob Slade, under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam, invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

Since then the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is, however, standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as “settlers” living in “settlements”, and describe them as an “obstruction to peace.” Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as “settlements” is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to dip his hat to. How does one have “settlements” in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that you would have to ask London and Washington D.C. where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough this religion’s name isn’t even Islam – it’s diplomacy!

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.

Vice-President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, “It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice-President who didn’t deserve that.” David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an “affront” and an “insult”. Two for the price of one.

Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration. “Israel’s Provocation”, the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a “diplomatic bomb” that went off in Biden’s face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.

Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It’s in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It’s insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.

That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it’s completely and undeniably true.

When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn’t come crying that he’s been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were, then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It’s only the Jews who are the problem.

The entire Peace Process is really a prolonged solution to the latest phase of the Jewish Problem. The problem, as stated by so many diplomats, is that there are Jews living in places that Muslims want. There were Jews living in Gaza before 1948, but they were driven out, they came back, and then they were driven out again by their own government in compliance with international demands. Now only Hamas lives in Gaza and it’s as peaceful and pleasant without the Jews as Nazi Germany.

But there are still Jews in the West Bank and they have to be gotten rid of. Once enough Jews have been expelled, there will be peace. That’s not a paragraph from Mein Kampf, it’s not some lunatic sermon from Palestinian Authority television – it is the consensus of the international community. This consensus states that the only reason there still isn’t peace is because enough Jews haven’t been expelled from their homes. The ethnic cleansing for peace hasn’t gone far enough.

There will be peace when all the Jews are gone. That much is certainly undeniable. Just look at Gaza or Egypt or Iraq or Afghanistan, which has a grand total of two Jews, both of them in their seventies. Or Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria where peace reigns now that the Jews are gone. Some might say that violence seems to increase proportionally with the number of Muslims, but we all know that would be a racist thing to say. On the other hand suggesting that violence increases with the number of Jews living on land that Muslims want, that’s just diplomacy. A common sense fact that everyone who is anyone in foreign policy knows to be true.

How will we know when the Muslims have gotten all the land that they want? When the violence stops. Everyone knows that agreements mean nothing. No matter how many pieces of paper are signed, the bombs and rockets still keep bursting, real ones that kill people, not fake ones that upset vice-presidents. The only way to reach an agreement is by groping blindly in the dark, handing over parcel after parcel of land, until the explosions stop or the Muslims fulfill their original goal of pushing the Jews into the sea.

That’s the wonderful thing about diplomacy if you’re a diplomat and the terrible thing about it if you are anyone else, without a secure way out of the country when diplomacy fails. And diplomacy in the region always fails. Camp David and every single agreement Israel has signed with Muslim countries isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The only peace treaty that counts is the one made by tanks and rifles. It’s the one made by Israeli planes in Egyptian skies and Israeli soldiers walking the border. It’s the one made by Jewish farmers and ranchers, tending their sheep and their fields, with rifles strung over their backs. The only peace that’s worth anything is the peace of the soldiers and settlers.

In 1966 Jerusalem was a city sundered in two, divided by barbed wire and the bullets of Muslim snipers. Diplomacy did not reunite it. Israel pursued diplomacy nearly to its bitter end until it understood that it had no choice at all but to fight. Israel did not swoop into the fight, its leaders did their best to avoid the conflict, asking the international community to intervene and stop Egypt from going to war. Read back the headlines for the last five years on Israel and Iran, and you will get a sense of the courage and determination of the Israeli leaders of the day.

When Israel went to war, its leaders did not want to liberate Jerusalem, they wanted Jordan to stay out of the war. Even when Jordan entered the war, they did not want to liberate the city. Divine providence and Muslim hostility forced them to liberate Jerusalem and forced them to keep it. Now some of them would like to give it away, another sacrifice to the bloody deity of diplomacy whose altar flows with blood and burnt sacrifices.

It is important to remember that the city is united and free because diplomacy failed. The greatest triumph of the modern state happened only because diplomacy proved hopeless and useless in deterring Muslim genocidal ambitions. Had Israel succumbed to international pressure and had Nasser been as subtle as Sadat, then the Six Day War would have looked like the Yom Kippur War with 1948 borders– and Israel very likely would not exist today.

Even as Jews remember the great triumph of Jerusalem Day, the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices are busy searching for ways to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, out of towns, villages and cities. This isn’t about the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who have repeatedly asserted that they want to remain part of Israel. It’s not about peace, which did not come from any previous round of concessions, and will not come from this one either. It’s about solving the Jewish problem.

As long as Jews allow themselves to be defined as the problem, there will be plenty of those offering solutions. And the solutions invariably involve doing something about the Jews. It only stands to reason that if Jews are the problem, then moving them or getting rid of them is the solution. The bloody god of diplomacy always assumes they are the problem. There is less friction in defining Jews as the problem, than in defining Muslims as the problem. The numbers alone mean that is so.

Let us remember what the real problem is and what the real solution is. Sole control of Muslims on the Temple Mount is the problem. Muslim occupation of Israel is the problem. The Islamization of Jerusalem is the problem. Muslim violence in support of the Muslim occupation of Israel and of everywhere else is the problem. Israel is the solution. Only when we liberate ourselves from the lies, when we stop believing that we are the problem and recognize that we are the solution. Only then will we be free of the BBC, the Morsis, the Joe Bidens and the Peter Beinarts, the Jimmy Carters and Barack Obamas, the Gilad Atzmons and Jeremy Ben Amis. Only then will the liberation that began in 1967 be complete.

Only then will we have liberated our Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of the soul. It is incumbent on all of us to liberate that little Jerusalem within. The holy city that lives in all of us. To clean the dross off its golden gates, wash the filth from its stones and expel the invaders gnawing away at our hearts until we look proudly upon a shining city. Then to help others liberate their own Jerusalems. Only then will we truly be free.


Saturday, July 28th, 2012


Syrian government should not be expected to willingly relinquish power to its opponents, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says; Assad’s helicopters pound rebel-held district of Aleppo, tanks prepare onslaught.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Saturday that international support for Syrian rebels would lead to “more blood” and the government could not be expected to willingly give in to its opponents. Lavrov’s comments came as military helicopters pounded a rebel-held district of Aleppo and armored units positioned themselves for an onslaught that could determine the fate of Syria’s biggest city, opposition sources said.

Lavrov, whose country has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions intended to increase pressure on Syria’s government to end 16 months of violence, said Western and Arab nations should exert more influence on rebels to stop fighting.

He said “tragedy” could be imminent in the Syrian city of Aleppo, but indicated rebels would be at least partly to blame.

“Pressure must be put on everyone,” Lavrov said at a joint news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba after talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin’s summer base.

“Unfortunately, our Western partners prefer to do something a bit different and essentially, along with some countries neighboring Syria, encourage, support and direct the armed fight against the regime,” he said. “The price of all this is still more blood.”

In the wake of the UN Security Council vetoes by Russia and China, the United States has said it will seek ways to tackle the crisis outside the UN.

Lavrov said Russia was calling on the government to “take the first steps” but that the rebels should not take advantage of any such government actions by occupying cities and towns.

“The city of Aleppo is occupied by the armed opposition and the next tragedy is brewing there, as I understand it,” he said.

“Well-armed opposition groups are occupying cities, intending to create some sort of buffer zones for a transitional government. How can one expect that the Syrian government will say, ‘Yes, go ahead, overthrow me,'” he said.

“This is unrealistic – not because we are holding onto the regime but because it just doesn’t work,” he said.

The battle for the Aleppo, a city of 2.5 million people, is seen as a crucial test for a government that has committed major military resources to retaining control of its two main power centers, Aleppo and the capital Damascus, in the face of a growing insurgency.

While neither side has managed to gain the upper hand, the outcome of the uprising is being watched anxiously in the region and beyond, amid fears that sectarian unrest could spread to volatile neighboring countries.

Military experts believe that while Assad’s more powerful military will overcome the rebels in Aleppo and other major cities, but risk loss of control in the countryside because the loyalty of large sections of the army is in doubt.

Three rebel fighters were killed in clashes between midnight and dawn on Saturday in Aleppo, the Observatory said. It said 160 people were reported killed in Syria on Friday, adding to an overall death toll of around 18,000 since the uprising began.


Friday, July 27th, 2012

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

The United States said on Thursday it appeared that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were “lining up” for a massacre in the city of Aleppo, but again ruled out military intervention in the conflict.

Reuters quoted the U.S. State Department as having said that credible reports of tank columns moving on Aleppo along with air strikes by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft represented a serious escalation of the government’s efforts to crush an armed rebellion.

“This is the concern: that we will see a massacre in Aleppo and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“Our hearts are with the people of Aleppo, and again this is another desperate attempt by a regime that is going down to maintain control, and we are greatly concerned about what they are capable of in Aleppo,” she added.

Nuland said, however, that despite U.S. concern over the violence, the Obama Administration did not contemplate ending its self-imposed ban on direct military help.

“We do not believe that pouring more fuel on the fire is going to save lives,” she said, according to Reuters. “The route out of this is not more violence … the route out of this is an end to the violence and a beginning to a true political transition process.”

She dismissed comparisons between Aleppo and the Libyan city of Benghazi, the cradle of the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi, where warnings of a threatened massacre by Libyan government forces in March 2011 prompted the UN Security Council to authorize military action to protect civilians.

“There are a vast number of differences,” Nuland said, citing lack of a UN mandate, more difficult terrain and the absence of a direct call for help by a unified opposition.

“The vast majority of the Syrians want the violence to end. They don’t want increased violence,” she added. “The kind of groundswell call for external support that we’ve seen elsewhere is not there.”

Aleppo has become the main battleground in Syria’s 16-month popular uprising as government forces on Thursday intensified their firepower in response to rebel gains in Syria’s largest city.

Aleppo, Syria’s principal economic center of 2.5 million, is of strategic importance to the rebels due to its position near the Turkish border, where weapons can be acquired and foreign fighters are said to be joining the opposition.

Fighting is said to be concentrated in three neighborhoods. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have allegedly used warplanes and artillery to bomb rebels armed with rifles.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Russia charged that calls for Assad to step down are blocking efforts to end 16 months of unrest in the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned such calls — made by the United States, several European and Arab governments and Turkey — were fanning the flames of violence.

He also reiterated Moscow’s claim that support for Syrian rebel groups was tantamount to backing terrorism.

Israel has reportedly reinforced its Syrian frontier as the fighting intensifies. Israeli troops have reportedly been put on “very high” alert


Friday, July 27th, 2012

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

The Hizbullah terror group has affirmed its allegiance to Syria and has offered to place itself at President Bashar Assad’s disposal.

According to a report on Thursday in Lebanon’s Al-Joumhouria newspaper, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah “placed all of Hizbuulah capabilities at al-Assad’s disposal, in the event of the Syrian regime requiring urgent assistance.”

The newspaper quoted senior political sources as confirming that there had been contact between Assad and Nasrallah, and that “Nasrallah had offered al-Assad two forms of assistance, firstly he offered elements of Hizbullah’s special forces any time they are needed, even if they are required to be sent to open fronts to fight the revolutionaries. Secondly, Nasrallah invited the Syrian President to his personal residence, or even to meet inside the Iranian embassy in Beirut.”

The report said that Assad “has opted to remain in Syria because he still believes he is able to steer the ship with the help of some Russian political and military experts.”

The article also said that Hizbullah, prior to the death of Syrian Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha in a Damascus bombing last week, “had – with the Defense Minister and the Syrian Chief of Staff – developed a military plan to intervene directly to support the regime, in the event of it facing any form of foreign aggression. This plan included strategies to deploy radars and missiles in the Beqaa Valley and to supply the Syrian army with 2,000 elite Hizbullah troops.”

However, Lebanese MP Kamel Rifai, a member of Hizbullah’s parliamentary bloc, downplayed the report and told the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Thursday that “despite the fact that the resistance holds the Syrian leadership in high regard, it will not interfere in any internal conflict in Syria.”

He added, “The resistance will not point its weapons at any Arab entity, because these weapons and those men are to fight against the Zionist enemy.”

“All Hizbullah wants is a peaceful solution between the opposition and the regime in Syria, and although the party displays sympathy and loyalty to those who stand with the resistance (the Syrian regime), our conflict is primarily with Israel,” said Rifai.

The longtime close relations between Hizbullah and the Assad regime were a key point in Nasrallah’s speech last week, in which he confirmed that Syria supplied Hizbullah with the missilies it used against Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

“Some say that Syria is the link between Hizbullah and Iran, but let me say that Syria is much more than that,” said Nasrallah. “It is very important for the resistance. The most important missiles which fell in Haifa, and beyond Haifa, and in the center of Israel – were Syrian missiles given to the resistance in Lebanon. Syria gave the resistance missiles which helped us in the Second Lebanon War. It’s not just in Lebanon, it’s also in Gaza.”

Israel is now concerned that Hizbullah will get a hold of Assad’s chemical weapons and use them against Israel. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned this week that Israel is prepared to intervene militarily if this happens.

“In the moment we see that the Syrians transfer chemical and biological weapons to Hizbullah, this is a red line for us and from our point of view it‘s a clear ‘casus belli,’” Lieberman said, using the Latin expression justifying war.

“We will act decisively and without hesitation or restraint,” he added. “It will be a completely different ball game and we hope for the understanding of the international community.”

Israel has also fingered Hizbullah and its supporter Iran as being behind last week’s terror attack against Israelis in Bulgaria. Lieberman asked European governments this week to place Hizbullah on their lists of terror organizations in the wake of the Bulgaria attack. The European Union rejected the request, claiming “there is no consensus on the issue, because Hizbullah also has an active political arm.”


Friday, July 27th, 2012

by Rachel Hirshfeld (Arutz Sheva News)

The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) political advocacy organization published a full-page ad on Thursday in 23 Jewish newspapers across America highlighting liberal criticism of President Barack Obama’s stance toward Israel.

“President Obama has been trying to have it both ways — pursuing policies that weaken the U.S.-Israel alliance while boasting on the campaign trail that he is the most pro-Israel President since Truman,” ECI’s executive director Noah Pollak said in a statement. “As the Obama campaign attempts to mislead about the President’s record, it is important that American Jews understand what many prominent liberals are now conceding — this President’s approach to Israel has been hostile, ineffective, and at odds with the promises he made in 2008.”

The ad, which is said to reach approximately 600,000 Jewish voters, details Obama’s “deeply troubled relationship with the pro-Israel community over the last three years, and the mounting danger to Israel posed by an Iranian regime that is closer than ever to obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel under President Clinton Martin Indyk is cited as saying, “From his first day in the White House, he put the Middle East at the top of his political agenda. Unfortunately for him, his personal involvement only made things worse.”

“The President sees how the Iranians mock him- and does nothing. He sees radical Islam approaching the nuclear brink- and does not budge. …The President is pushing Israel into a corner, but is hoping that Israel will accept its fate submissively,” reads a comment by Ha’Aretz columnist Avi Shavit.

“We believed from that point that we were in for problems. And we were right,” said national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman.

The ad even cites a former ‘Palestinian’ political adviser as saying that Obama’s Mideast political agenda has consistently shown “a complete lack of an emotion-based relationship with Israel.”

The ad concludes by asking: “What will they be saying after another four years of Obama?”


Thursday, July 26th, 2012

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Israeli archeologists digging at the site of an ancient Canaanite capital in the Galilee region believe they have found further evidence that the biblical account of Israel’s presence in the land is accurate.

Tel Hazor is one of the most prominent archeological sites in the country today, and with good reason. The ancient city of Hazor was for nearly one thousand years the largest fortified city in Canaan prior to the arrival of the Children of Israel in roughly 1300 BC.

Israeli researchers have managed to uncover a great deal of ancient Hazor, and in recent years unearthed what they believe to be the royal palace from the time of the Israelite conquest. More recently, archeologists discovered a room in that palace that contained 14 clay jugs filled with burnt wheat.

Dating on the jugs put the time of their destruction right around 1300 BC, and the fact that the wheat was burned lines up perfectly with the biblical account of Joshua’s conquest of Hazor, the only Canaanite city that the Israelites destroyed by fire.

Not all archeologists agree with this assessment, and some continue to insist that Hazor was destroyed by the Egyptians or various sea-faring tribes like the Philistines. However, the Egyptians kept detailed records of the cities they conquered, and Hazor does not appear on any of their lists. Nor did the Philistines and other “Sea Peoples” typically venture too far inland, and Hazor is situated in mountainous terrain a long distance from the coast.

As such, most archeologists have come to accept that Hazor was destroyed by the Israelites, lending a great deal of legitimacy to the biblical record. And new discoveries only seem to be further bolstering that position.

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