Friday, November 30, 2012

As Fatah fades, UN recognition of Palestine may eventually benefit Hamas

Palaestinan nonmember flag at the UN

Palaestinan nonmember flag at the UN

Thursday night, Nov. 29, the UN General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer status within 1967 borders by a majority vote. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried dismissing this upgrade as meaningless – awarding its initiator Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) nothing more than a small town sheriff’s badge. But the fact remains that this status and those borders are on the books, no matter which Palestinian government is in power, Abbas’s Fatah which rules the West Bank from Ramallah or the extremist Hamas in the Gaza Strip. And Israel now has a new headache, especially if the Palestinian entity seeks membership of the International War Crimes Court in The Hague.
For now, the Palestinians are treading carefully. They say they won’t apply as yet. However, by having Yasser Arafat’s remains exhumed in a grand military ceremony, for samples to be tested for poison in Paris and Moscow, they have set a road sign pointing to The Hague.
The Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning the food given Arafat after he was confined in his Ramallah headquarters under siege in 2002. A special team of IDF officers examined every item of food and drink provided him.

Even if no poison is found and there is no proof that Israel was instrumental in his death, the case has an odd and macabre bearing on the UN vote of Nov. 29 in two ways:

1. The Palestinians have an incurable tendency to overlay their diplomacy with acts of terror. Arafat himself kept up a ferocious terrorist campaign against Israel while engaged in one round after another of “peace negotiations.” And just last week, Hamas engineered a bus bombing in Tel Aviv, recalling the bad old days of Arafat’s reign and injuring more than 30 people. The blast provided the background noise for Hamas’s acceptance in Cairo on Nov. 21 of a ceasefire, which halted their missile offensive and Israel’s eight-day operation in Gaza.

Abbas a spent force

2. Compared with the aggressive Hamas, PA Chairman Abbas, at 77, is increasingly regarded as a spent force in the Palestinian and Arab arenas. His Fatah party and the Palestinian Authority are worn out by infighting and becoming increasingly irrelevant – except as a ball for batting among Israeli politicians. Abbas is using the Arafat case and his UN initiative to show he still has muscle – if not legitimacy.
Elected president seven years ago, his term ran out, according to the Palestinian constitution, in 2009.
The illegitimate Ramallah regime
The same goes for the Palestinian Legislative Council, which was elected in 2006 in a vote that gave Hamas a majority. Since then, Abu Mazen has suspended the Council’s work. There is frequent talk in Ramallah of new elections but nothing comes of it, partly for fear of giving the rival Hamas another chance to gobble up the West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip.
So the Palestinian president and prime minister holding court in the seat of government in Ramallah lack legal authority for ruling the West Bank or representing the Palestinian people to the outside world. They are only kept in power by seven battalions of special forces financed by the US. Their corrupt administration runs day to day affairs only with the help of donations from Western and Arab governments and Israeli economic aid. Without regular Israeli cash infusions in recent months, Abu Mazen’s regime would not have covered the payroll for the members of his bloated administration and security services.

All Abbas and his Fatah have to show for the many billions which world powers showered on them over the years to make the dream of a sustainable Palestinian state come true is a failed Palestinian entity ruled by a corrupt bureaucracy, with no standing in the Arab arena.
The UN farce

It is to this entity that the UN General Assembly, which itself is losing relevance as a player in international affairs, has voted to extended a measure of legitimacy on the world stage.
The Palestinian UN Ambassador may now get a bigger office at UN Center in New York with a view of the East River. But in Ramallah, after the well-orchestrated celebrations in honor of Abu Mazen are over, nothing will change. The toxicology tests on Arafat’s remains are awaited there in the hope of some drama. But the real hub of Palestinian affairs has moved from Ramallah to Gaza City.
Pilgrimages to Gaza

On December 8, treading in the footsteps of the Emir of Qatar and Arab foreign ministers, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan pays his first visit to Gaza.
He will be accompanied by the deposed Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. So far, he has not persuaded Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh to welcome Mahmoud Abbas as a token of Palestinian unity.
The disunity is such that when Abbas’ foreign minister Riyad Malki tried to enter the Gaza Strip with a party of Arab foreign ministers in the course of ceasefire talks, he was stopped at the Rafah crossing by Hamas security guards who denied his standing.
None of the Arab ministers interceded on his behalf. They just left him at the gate.
Erdogan will therefore not make Abbas’s company a precondition for his own Gaza visit. For him its importance lies in his being the second Muslim visitor to Gaza after the ruler of Qatar’s arrival on Oct. 23.

Most of all, it signifies his recognition of Hamas at the expense of Fatah in Ramallah as part of the burgeoning Sunni Muslim Middle East axis, which is strongly though silently endorsed by the US and Israel.

No Arab leader or foreign minister has been seen in Ramallah for some time. However, in his declining years, Abbas has left UN endorsement of Palestinian nonmember observer status ready on the shelf to be collected at some future date by Hamas – should those extremists qualify for a place in the new US-backed Sunni Middle East grouping in formation by Egypt, Turkey and Qatar.
At some future point, the dormant Middle East Quartet may wake up and revive its stipulation for Hamas to give up terrorism and its ambition to eradicate Israel – the key points of its “resistance” posture – in order to buy international acceptance.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Polish court rules against ritual slaughter'

Dan 9:27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

I believe this scripture refers to the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount and and the recommencement of the daily sacrifice that will be instituted- and stopped by the anti-Christ in the near future, but this article found on the Jerusalem Post shows the mindset already in place in the EU (where the anti-Christ will most likely come from) to oppose Jewish culture that will continue after the rebuilding takes place.

Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

11/28/2012 09:39
Warsaw court reportedly rules against Jewish and Muslim exemption from stunning animals before slaughtering them.

A constitutional court in Poland reportedly has ruled against allowing Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter in the country.
The Warsaw court’s ruling, which was made known on Tuesday, said the government had acted unconstitutionally when it exempted Jews and Muslims from stunning animals before slaughtering them as their faiths require, according to Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland.


Kadlcik told JTA that in addition to the special exception announced by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture, Jewish ritual slaughter, or shechitah, is permissible under the 1997 Law on Regulating the Relations between the State and the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland.
“It appears there is a legal contradiction here and it is too early to tell what this means,” he said. "We are seeking legal advice on this right now."

The ruling, according to AFP, enters into force on January 1, the same day that a European Union directive on ritual slaughter sets it. The directive sets common rules for the production of kosher and halal meat across the 27-nation bloc but allows individual countries discretion on whether to apply these rules.
Poland's chief prosecutor turned to the Constitutional Court in June at the behest of animal rights groups, AFP reported.

Poland has approximately 6,000 Jews, according to the European Jewish Congress.
Kadlcik said kosher meat is served at kosher canteens across the country.

“I’m not sure we will be able to keep serving meat there,” he said.
According to AFP, Poland is home to two dozen slaughterhouses that specialize in kosher and halal slaughter, with the value of last year's exports estimated at $259 million.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ex-Gay Change is Possible!


Top o

Bottom oWednesday, November 21, 2012

Ex-Gay Debora Barr is co-author of the therapeutic workbook Practical Exercises for Women in Recovery of Same-Sex Attraction with reparative therapist James Phelan, MSW, PsyD.
Debora Barr

Radical transformation is possible! I lived 18 years of my life as a lesbian with absolutely no desire to change. Now that I have been set free from my invisible shackles, I am experiencing the most wholesome and unconditional love of my Savior, Jesus Christ and will never turn back!

I was born in 1963, to a nineteen year old mother and a twenty-one year old father who lost their first child (my older brother) to complications during child birth less than a year earlier. My parents both came from homes where their same sex parent died when they were very young. I am the oldest of three biological children of my parents and one adopted sibling. I was brought up in the Catholic Church, and early in my life, I developed a love for God and even dreamed of becoming a nun.

I was extremely insecure as a child and did not make friends easily. I never really connected with kids my own age, and my best friends were always older than me. I matured quickly, and beginning at the age of nine, I took on the role of babysitter for my younger siblings as well as the 50 foster children (infants) that my family took in over a period of seven years. I felt like an adult, even as a child.

In high school I began dating a boy who was a couple of years older than me. He lived quite a distance away, so he would come and spend the weekends at my house whenever possible. During this time, my mother started to go with us to the movies or bowling alley nearly every time we went out. She never really dated as a teen because she was raising her two younger brothers. She married my father at the age of 16 to get away from her alcoholic father and her dysfunctional family situation.

When I was 15, my boyfriend and I were away at a church camp and there he tried to have sex with me. When I returned home, I experienced deep betrayal by someone very close to me which sent me spiraling into a deep depression. I rejected God and completely turned my back on him, denying that he even existed. I struggled for the next couple of years with deep depression and attempts at suicide. I graduated from high school, my parents divorced, and I went to college in another part of the state. There, I experienced sexual abuse from three different older men and further rejected any notion that God could exist. I thought what I knew as a child was just a lie and a fairytale - there was no God! I actively rejected the existence of God, telling people who believed that they were weak and deceived.

I built an impenetrable stone wall around my heart, started dressing like a man and making my appearance completely undesirable to men. I befriended my college roommate and she showed me nonsexual love. We started sleeping together, she would just hold me and I felt safe. I then became extremely jealous when she started dating a man, and he moved into our house. I had to endure the pain of hearing them together in the next room, and I was alone once again. I began to struggle with the thought that I was truly a homosexual. I even sought out counseling and the therapist said that I was a homosexual and should just embrace it.

I entered the Army at the age of 24, and there met woman who introduced me to homosexuality. At first I felt safe and loved, however, she was involved with another woman as well and my relationship with her was an emotional rollercoaster ride. During that time, I was also seduced by two different married men who wanted to have sex with me, and I gave into them because I was looking for love and struggling with who I was sexually. I ended up completely embracing homosexuality and began to live as a closeted-homosexual in the military. My first homosexual lover eventually left me after a rocky six year relationship and I spiraled back into deep depression. I truly felt like I would die.

In 1993 I began dating a woman who went to church and one day she invited me to join her. I said that there was no God and that I hadn't crossed the threshold of a church since I was 15. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Jesus wants you back." At that moment, the Lord began to break down the barriers in my heart and I began traveling the road back to him. I personally experienced what the bible says in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

I joined the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) - a homosexual church. I became indoctrinated in their beliefs that God made me homosexual and he was pleased with my lifestyle and I became very involved in the church. Over time, I discovered that the woman who brought me back to church was an alcoholic and I suffered sexual and emotional abuse in that six year relationship. In January 2000, I left her behind and moved to the Washington D.C. area and sought out another MCC church. I entered into another homosexual relationship in April 2000, and the two of us were warmly accepted by the gay community where we lived. In 2001 we traveled to Vermont and entered into a Civil Union. We began to build our life together. We bought property together and built our dream home, co-mingling everything we owned.

I became unsatisfied with the MCC churches I found so I began to seek out other types of churches. My partner and I found a church that we loved the first time we attended service. I was shocked and disappointed to see the word "Baptist" on the sign out front as we left the church that first day. I just knew that 'they' would not accept us there. However, we continued to go to that church and were warmly greeted by everyone. We were determined that over time we would bring change to the church and eventually they would openly accept gays as we showed them that our love for each other was pure.

When the church began a church-wide bible study, we opened our home to host a small group study (which was facilitated by a leader in the church) and at the end of that study the church was having a celebration service and invited anyone who wanted to be baptized to sign up. We requested baptism, and were both called into the assistant pastor's office where he told us he didn't know if he could baptize us since we were living in sin (we had been 'ratted out’ by the church leader who facilitated the small group in our home). After a long discussion where we both told him that we would walk away from our lifestyle if that is what God told us to do - he agreed to baptize us. That was Nov 23, 2003.

Over the next two years, I became more and more involved in the church. I volunteered as one of the production managers for Sunday morning services, and became heavily involved in the women's ministry. I also developed a love for the word of God, which is where the REAL transformation in my life began to occur. My partner and I started to read the bible together every day and when we would come across passages about homosexuality, she would question me and I would immediately respond with the "real truth" I had learned at MCC about what the scriptures meant. I firmly believed what I had been taught. All the time (unknown to us) the women's ministry leaders at the church were just loving us where we were and praying fervently for our deliverance.

In the fall of 2005, I approached the women's ministry leader and said that my partner and I wanted to 'come clean' with the women in our ministry (believing that nobody in the group knew we were gay). She suggested that we meet with the pastor to discuss this before talking to the women's group, so we began a series of meetings with them. The pastor asked me why I labeled myself as homosexual. I answered that I was born that way and felt I needed to tell him who I was because my lifestyle didn’t conform to what the church teaches. He said he just saw me as a child of God. They confronted our beliefs in a gentle and loving way, never backing down from their convictions, but gently showing us what the scriptures said about the way we were living. Over time, the Lord convicted us through his word - the Truth.

We were decided to follow him at all costs. We were determined to live out what the bible says in Luke 9:23 “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” On January 1, 2006 we publicly confessed to the women’s group at church that we were turning away from our homosexual lifestyle and following Jesus Christ. We began by moving into separate bedrooms in our house, and eventually, my partner moved out. This was an extremely painful time, but we were determined to do what was right. It felt like a physical death; the loss of physical touch and the struggle to redefine myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore, because I had identified myself as a lesbian for 18 years and at that time had actually convinced myself that I had always been gay. I thank God for the healthy heterosexual women who surrounded me with love as I suffered through this transition.

As I drew closer to Jesus, he began to reveal to me the things that occurred in my past which led me to embrace that lifestyle, and God began to heal those deep wounds in me. I also grieved the loss of what my life could have been if I had married and had children of my own, realizing now that I may never marry and have a family of my own.

I cannot begin to tell you how much God has blessed me since I have completely turned away from denying his existence and living a life of homosexuality for a total of 24 years! God did such an incredible thing in me - I feel as if he actually transformed my DNA! The bible confirms what I have experienced in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I thank God for my new life in him. I am now free from the shackles of homosexuality and am experiencing the lavish love of my Savior Jesus Christ! Please be encouraged by my story, whether you are struggling with same sex attraction, or you are a family member or friend of someone who is, because change is possible!

Ex-Gay Debora Barr is co-author of the therapeutic workbook Practical Exercises for Women in Recovery of Same-Sex Attraction with reparative therapist James Phelan, MSW, PsyD.

For Biblical Christianity's teaching on Homosexuality and the Church: go here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

European Union and the Welfare State

- Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh

(Bio and Archives) Monday, November 26, 2012

The Bilderberg Group’s Steering Committee met on November 13-14, 2012 for the 61st working session of the world’s most exclusive club, during the Rome Film Festival at Hotel de Russie, hoping to blend in with celebrities, fans, reporters, and movie directors, hidden in plain view, to discuss the fate of the EU, Italy, Greece, and Spain.

Forgoing the rental of an entire hotel and the secrecy surrounding previous meetings, the 80people in attendance spent, according to the Italian daily newspapers, Il Vostro and InvestireOggi, 100,000 euros, a pricey sum considering that ordinary citizens of the 27-member union were asked to make deep cuts in their welfare state driven budgets.

The Bilderberg attendees included a long list of Italian CEOs, Mario Monti, the Italian Prime Minister, cabinet members, Italian bankers, Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank president, the owner or RAI, Tom Enders of Eads, Marcus Agius of Barclays, Kenneth Jacobs of Lazard, Edmund Clark of TD Bank, and the chairman of Alcoa and of Shell.

Spain, Italy, and Greece have protested vehemently over the required austerity measures which citizens were unwilling to accept - they strongly believed that the crisis was engineering by the very people who were now “concerned” with resolving it.

Additionally, once citizens became dependent on the welfare state, mentality, and largesse, it was much harder to become self-sufficient. When the free money and entitlements were scaled back and financial responsibility was required in order to pay for banks that gambled with derivatives but were unwilling to write off the resulting losses, the masses protested vehemently and even violently.

The blame game was exacerbated by the British weekly, the Economist, after its 14-page report called France’s economy a “ticking time bomb and the biggest threat to the euro currency’s stability.” The French called the photograph headlining the article, a bundle of French baguettes tied with a lit fuse and the French flag, inflammatory and “French bashing.” The Economist had accused the French voters in March of being in “denial,” calling President Francois Hollande “dangerous” for Europe. (France 24)

As a strategic member of the Eurozone, France is a threat to EU because of its large public sector that encompasses 57 percent of GDP. The socialist president Francois Hollande was elected on the promise of a 75 percent income tax on the rich, higher taxes on companies, wealth, capital gains, and dividends, a higher minimum wage, more entitlements, and the rollback of the Sarkozy measure to increase the retirement age.

Politicians/oligarchs spent huge sums to control the Eurozone. German industry in general and its exports profited from the initial EU conglomeration. After Germany gave over one trillion euros in bailouts to Italy, Spain, and Greece, Germany’s economic growth slowed down, even in rich parts of Germany like Mainz and the industrialized Rhineland.

Germany’s economy has been successful when compared to the Eurozone. When compared to the period when the currency was the German mark or when compared to other non-EU countries, it has been a failure.

According to Rodney Atkinson, “Germany’s success in productivity is ironically due not to GDP per capita growth but to wages falling relative to production.” Thus Germany was “left with poor consumers at home and poor consumers abroad who cannot afford to pay their debts to Germany.” Chancellor Angela Merkel urged German companies to give their employees higher wage increases in 2012. “Prosperous Bavaria is challenging in court a fiscal balancing system that makes it hand over some revenue to poorer federal states.” (Reuters, October 15, 2012)

The fiscal engineering is not a surprise. Socialist states promote re-distribution of wealth and progressives endorse taxing the rich excessively in order to “even-out the playing field” in the name of social justice. If we were to confiscate the entire accumulated wealth of every rich person in this country, it would last perhaps, at the current rate of government spending, less than two months.

The permanent euro bailout, the European Stability Mechanism, has been challenged in Constitutional Court by 37,000 Germans, the largest Constitutional complaint in German history, but the oligarchs prevailed. The European Central Bank (ECB) decided in September that it would purchase unlimited quantities of sovereign bonds from EU countries in crisis. ECB will link its market interventions to ESM, applying strict austerity criteria to any country that seeks aid. National parliaments will have no control over the unlimited hyper bailout fund, making them irrelevant. (Phillip Wittrock)

The Catalan-speaking Catalonia, a wealthier region in Spain with high-tech industries and productive farming, paying the lion’s share in taxes to Madrid, while getting less revenue when its own finances are overstretched, resents having to pay for poor areas such as Spanish-speaking Andalucia. Similarly, Dutch-speaking Flanders resents paying for French-speaking Wallonia. (Paul Taylor and Robert-Jan Bartunek, October 15, 2012)

Heather Grabbe, the Brussels director for the Open Society Institute, explains the separatist move among many states and countries as not correlated to money but an expression of “historical grievances and language.” (Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, Europe’s Richer Regions Want Out, October 6, 2012)

Could it be that rich and productive countries are tired of subsidizing social welfare, re-distribution of wealth schemes, failed multiculturalism, and sloth?

Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, warned separatist regions that opting for independence will mean being shut out of the EU – new member states admission requires unanimous agreement. With unemployment at 25 percent in Spain, 6 of its 17 regions asked the central government for a bailout. Creating jobs and improving economic growth can only happen by the existence of the private sector and economic activity of citizens who pay taxes to the government.

To say that people in Spain or Italy do not like to pay taxes, it is an understatement. According to the Tax Research Institute in the U.K., 22.5 percent of GDP in Spain comes from work off the books. As fewer people are paying taxes in the underground economy, the state debt gets larger, more austerity measures are required, and fewer resources exist to jump-start the economy. (Lisa Abend, Time World, October 31, 2012)

Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Monti, wants his country to be bailed out as well because he ‘fears the parliamentary democracy could bring down the European Union.” Mass demonstrations in Rome against German imposed austerity measures reflected those in Spain, France, Greece, and Portugal. There is a deep resentment against Germany’s dominance in the EU.

Nigel Farage believes EU bailouts are nothing short of subjugation of countries in financial need to the new world order. Farage describes the next phase of EU control as forcing those who “do not need or want a bailout to accept a bailout, to sign budget guarantees and to have the power to strike down national budgets after they’ve been through national parliaments.”

“I feel that the Euro zone is now in a very dark place, economically, socially, politically, and I fear for the countries trapped inside in that prison will be there for many years to come. It is against this backdrop that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union.” (Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party)

Oskar Freysinger, Vice President of the Swiss People’s Party, pointed out in an interview that the European Union is imposed on nations by technocrats. He believes that the EU will fail eventually because “citizens are identifying less and less with a bureaucratic anti-democratic and centralized power” like the EU.

Tony Blair thinks that the EU needs a president who can rule over a “sustainable” European integration. UN Agenda 21 is promoting everything sustainable, why not a sustainable integration under the aegis of a president elected through a Europe-wide election? (The Telegraph, October 29, 2012)

The Brits are not charmed by the EU since the union is costing them jobs and it aims to wipe out national borders. Brussels pays EU citizens to cross borders in order to find employment elsewhere, but it won’t pay for Brits to move within their country in search of jobs.

“A common European jobs market exports Greek and Spanish unemployed to the relatively rich north in order to bolster confidence in the Euro and keep it going until the next crisis summit.” (Tim Aker, Get Britain Out, November 1, 2012)
Ed: I'm glad I voted Republican, but seriously doubt it really would have changed anything had Romney won.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Obama’s pledge of US troops to Sinai next week won Israel’s nod for ceasefire

Obama on the phone to Netanyahu with key pledge
Obama on the phone to Netanyahu with key pledge

 Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire for halting the eight-day Israeli Gaza operation Wednesday night, Nov. 21, after President Barack Obama personally pledged to start deploying US troops in Egyptian Sinai next week, debkafile reports. The conversation, which finally tipped the scales for a ceasefire, took place on a secure line Wednesday morning, just hours before it was announced in Cairo. The US and Israeli leaders spoke at around the time that a terrorist was blowing up a Tel Aviv bus, injuring 27 people.

Obama’s pledge addressed Israel’s most pressing demand in every negotiating forum on Gaza: Operation Pillar of Cloud’s main goal was a total stoppage of the flow of Iranian arms and missiles to the Gaza Strip. They were smuggled in from Sudan and Libya through southern Egypt and Sinai. Hostilities would continue, said the prime minister, until this object was achieved.

Earlier, US officials tried unsuccessfully to persuade Israel to accept Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s personal guarantee to start launching effective operations against the smugglers before the end of the month. The trio running Israel’s Gaza campaign, Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, were willing to take Morsi at his word, except that Israeli security and intelligence chiefs assured them that Egypt has nothing near the security and intelligence capabilities necessary for conducting such operations.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Jerusalem from Bangkok Tuesday, she tried assuring Netanyahu that President Obama had decided to accelerate the construction of an elaborate US system of electronic security fences along the Suez Canal and northern Sinai. It would also cork up the Philadelphi route through which arms are smuggled into the Gaza Strip. (The US Sinai fence project was first disclosed exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 564 on Nov. 9).

US security and civilian units will need to be deployed in Egyptian Sinai to man the fence system and operate it as an active counter-measure for obstructing the smuggling of Iranian weapons supplies.

The prime minister said he welcomed the president’s proposal to expedite the fence project, but it would take months to obtain Egyptian clearance. Meanwhile, the Palestinians would have plenty of time to replenish their weapons stocks after Israel’s Gaza campaign. It was therefore too soon to stop the campaign at this point or hold back a ground incursion.

Clinton was sympathetic to this argument. Soon after, President Obama was on the phone to Netanyahu with an assurance that US troops would be in place in Sinai next week, after he had obtained President Morsi’s consent for them to go into immediate action against Iranian smuggling networks.

Netanyahu responded by agreeing to a ceasefire being announced in Cairo that night by Clinton and the Egyptian foreign minister, and to holding back the thousands of Israeli reservists on standby on the Gaza border.
debkafile’s military sources report that the first air transports carrying US special forces are due to land at Sharm el Sheikh military airfield in southern Sinai in the next 48 hours and go into action against the arms smugglers without delay.
This development is strategically significant for three reasons:

1.  Once the missile and arms consignments depart Iranian ports or Libyan arms bazaars, Tehran has no direct control of their transit from point to point through Egypt until they reach Sinai and their Gaza destination. All the same, a US special forces operation against the Sinai segment of the Iranian smuggling route would count as the first overt American military strike against an Iranian military interest.
Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are impressed by the change the Obama administration has undergone since the president’s reelection. Until then, he refused to hear of any military action against Iran and insisted that Tehran could only be confronted on the diplomatic plane.

2.  President Morsi, by opening the Sinai door to an American troop deployment for Israel’s defense, recognizes that the US force also insures Israel against Cairo revoking or failing to honor the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979.

3.  In the face of this US-Israel-Egyptian understanding, Hamas cannot credibly claim to have won its latest passage of arms with Israel or that it obtained guarantees to force Israel to end the Gaza blockade.
Indeed, Gaza’s Hamas rulers will be forced to watch as US troops in Sinai, just across its border, break up the smuggling rings filling their arsenals and most likely laying hands on the reserve stocks they maintain under the smugglers’ guard in northern Sinai, out of reach of the Israel army. This means that the blockade on Gaza has been extended and the focus of combat has switched from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula. 


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Friday, November 23, 2012

Egypt Brotherhood leader blasts peace with Israel

November 23, 2012 09:43 AM
Associated Press

CAIRO: The top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood denounced peace efforts with Israel and urged holy war to liberate Palestinian territories on Thursday - one day after the country's president, who hails from the movement, mediated a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians to end eight days of fierce fighting.
"The enemy knows nothing but the language of force," said Mohammed Badie. "Be aware of the game of grand deception with which they depict peace accords," he said in a statement carried on the group's website and emailed to reporters.
His statement was a sharp deviation from the role played by President Mohammed Morsi in the last week. Egypt's role in brokering the deal has been hailed by U.S. officials.
The Brotherhood sometimes delivers conflicting messages, depending on its audience. There are also ideological and generational divisions within the movement, with older leaders like Badie often seen as more conservative.
The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't recognize Israel and - at least officially - its members refuse to hold direct talks with Israeli officials. But Morsi has said that he will abide by the terms of Egypt's 1979 treaty with Israel, and many members say they are in little hurry to enter into armed conflict with the Jewish state.
Badie declared that "jihad is obligatory" for Muslims. But he also said that taking up arms would be the "last stage," only after Muslims achieved unity. "The use of force and arms while the group is fragmented and disconnected, unorganized, weak in conviction, with faint faith - this will be destined for death."
In the meantime, he called on Muslims to "back your brothers in Palestine. Supply them with what they need, seek victory for them in all international arenas." Badie's title - General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood - also implies a leadership role in the Islamist group's sister movements across the world.
Under the deal, Gaza's ruling Hamas is to stop rocket fire into Israel while Israel is to cease attacks and allow the opening of the strip's long-blockaded borders.
The Hamas-Israel fighting was the first major international test for Morsi, who was caught between either supporting Hamas, one of the Egyptian Brotherhood's sister movements, and Cairo's regional and international commitments.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rutherford Institute Warns Texas School Officials Not to Force Students to Wear RFID Tracking Devices, Despite Parental Concerns & Religious Rights

November 20, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a San Antonio high school student who was told that she must wear a name badge containing a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip as part of her school district’s new “Student Locator Project.” So small that they are barely detectable to the human eye, RFID tags produce a radio signal by which the wearer’s precise movements can be constantly monitored, raising serious privacy concerns. For Andrea Hernandez, a sophomore at Jay High School, the badges also pose a significant religious freedom concern. In coming to Andrea’s defense, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead is demanding that school officials accommodate students’ requests to opt out of the surveillance program.

The Rutherford Institute’s letter to the superintendent is available here.

“Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens—and these RFID surveillance programs are just the tip of the iceberg,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Forcing a student to express support for a program she finds repugnant is just as unconstitutional as prohibiting a student from voicing her frustration with that program.”

The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, has launched a program, the “Student Locator Project,” aimed ostensibly at increasing public funding for the district by increasing student attendance rates. As part of the pilot program, roughly 4,200 students at Jay High School and Jones Middle School are being required to carry “smart” ID cards embedded with an RFID tracking chip which will actively broadcast a signal at all times. Although the schools already boast 290 surveillance cameras, the cards will make it possible for school officials to track students’ whereabouts at all times. School officials hope to expand the program to the district’s 112 schools, with a student population of 100,000. Although implementation of the system will cost $500,000, school administrators are hoping that if the school district is able to increase attendance by tracking the students’ whereabouts, they will be rewarded with up to $1.7 million from the state government.

High school sophomore Andrea Hernandez, a Christian, expressed her sincere religious objections to being forced to participate in the RFID program. Reportedly, Hernandez was informed by school officials that “there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card.” For example, students who refuse to take part in the ID program won’t be able to access essential services like the cafeteria and library, nor will they be able to purchase tickets to extracurricular activities. Hernandez was prevented from voting for Homecoming King and Queen after school officials refused to verify her identity using her old ID card. According to Hernandez, teachers are even requiring students to wear the IDs when they want to use the bathroom. School officials offered to quietly remove the tracking chip from Andrea’s card if the sophomore would agree to wear the new ID without the imbedded RFID chip so as to give the appearance of participation in the Student Locator Project, stop criticizing the program and publicly support the initiative. Hernandez refused the offer. In coming to Hernandez’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys point out that by forcing Hernandez to express support for the program, school officials are in direct violation of the First Amendment, as well as Texas statutory law.

Press Contact:
 Nisha Whitehead
 (434) 978-3888 ext. 604
 (434) 466-6168 (cell)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Iran launches ‘biggest ever’ military air drills

 By Tom Chapman | November 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

DUBAI — Iran launched military drills across half the country on Monday, warning it would act against aggressors less than a week after Washington accused Iranian warplanes of firing on a U.S. drone.
The maneuvers take place this week across 850,000 square kilometers of Iran’s northeast, east, and southeast regions, Iranian media reported.
About 8,000 elite and regular army troops will participate, backed by bombers and fighter planes, while missile, artillery and surveillance systems will be tested, they said.
Played out against a backdrop of high tension between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, the “Velayat-4″ maneuvers will involve the biggest air drills the country has ever held, Iran’s English-language Press TV said.
Western experts have challenged some of Iran’s military assertions, saying it often exaggerates its capabilities.
“These drills convey a message of peace and security to regional countries,” Shahrokh Shahram, spokesman for the exercises, told Press TV on Monday. “At the same time they send out a strong warning to those threatening Iran.”
Last week, the U.S. Pentagon said Iranian planes opened fire on an unarmed U.S. drone over international waters on November 1. Iran said it had repelled “an enemy’s unmanned aircraft” violating its airspace.
Senior researcher Pieter Wezeman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said an international arms embargo imposed against Iran meant the country was using outdated military equipment, including aircraft.
 “The U.N. embargo on supplies of most types of major weapons to Iran is blocking Iranian military modernization,” he said. “Iran is more and more falling behind in military terms.”
But London-based defense analyst Paul Beaver said Iran’s military should not be underestimated, describing it as “a pretty impressive organization”.
“They are busy out there modifying, adapting, and doing things to their technologies. They have made the most of what they have,” he said.
Western powers have imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil trade to press it to halt nuclear work they fear is aimed at developing the capability to build nuclear bombs. Iran denies the charge, saying its atomic activities are purely for peaceful purposes.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the dispute.
Although the Iranian air drills come just days after the Pentagon’s announcement, the exercises appear to have been planned well in advance.
In September Farzad Esmaili, commander of the army’s air defense force, said Iran was planning a large-scale air drill in coming months.
Various radar and other fixed, tactical and airborne surveillance systems would participate, Esmaili told state news agency IRNA on Thursday. The exercise will also test bombers, refueling planes and unmanned aircraft, Esmaili said.
Iranian media said on Monday that F-4, F-5, F-7, and F-14 fighters would take part.
Shahram told IRNA the drills would also focus on improving coordination between Iran’s military and the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
On Sunday, Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Iran believed the U.S. drone was gathering intelligence on oil tankers off its shores.
Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Guards’ top commander, said his forces had acted well in repelling the drone. “If such intrusions take place in the future, we will protect our airspace,” Jafari said on Sunday, according to Press TV.
Iranian officials have threatened to strike U.S. military bases in the region and target Israel if the country is attacked.
Iran has carried out a number of military simulations this year, including the “Great Prophet 7″ missile exercises in July.
Iran’s air defense chief Gen. Farzad Esmaili boasted Tuesday, Nov. 12, that a new air defense system was successfully tested during a “massive” ongoing military exercise, which he said was “a message and a strong slap to those countries that threaten [us].”

Debkafile’s military sources report that the six-day Iranian air defense drill is Tehran’s answer to the joint three-week US-Israeli maneuver – Austere Challenge 2012 – which is drilling defenses against an Iranian or Syrian ballistic missile attack on Israel.

Monday, four US and Israeli Patriot anti-missiles missiles shot down four out of four mock Iranian missiles from the Israeli air base at Palmachim. Tuesday, the Iranians paraded a new air defense system modeled on the US Hawk system. Earlier reports said the new surface-to-air system is named “Mersad,” or Ambush. It was capable of locking on a flying object at a distance of 80 kilometers (50 miles) and able to hit from 45 kilometers (30 miles) away, Iranian state TV said.
The Iranians have apparently upgraded the American Hawk system, say our military sources, but not all its touted specifications are confirmed. Even if they are, Iran’s latest military exercise shows it cannot match missile interceptors on the high order of the US and Israeli Aegis, THAAD and Arrow. These systems are capable of pinpointing ballistic and cruise missiles the moment they are launched by means of the highly sophisticated US X-band radar stations, one of which is located in the Israeli Negev, and shooting them down hundreds of kilometers before they approach their targets.
The anti-missile systems launched from the Israeli coast Monday practiced for the first time US and Israeli ability to intercept Iranian cruise missiles speeding toward the Israeli shore from Iranian warships or merchant vessels cruising in the Mediterranean Sea or launched by Hizballah marines. Specialized Hizballah units have been trained in Iran of late in the handling of short-range cruise missiles launched from large commando speedboats.
American and other Western intelligence agencies have received word that Iran is outfitting with cruise missile launch pads civilian merchant vessels that would sail close to the Israeli coast in a war.
The US and Israeli planners of the joint maneuver are working on the assumption that the Iranian stealth drone which entered Israeli air space from Lebanon on Oct. 6, after spending an hour and twenty minutes over the Mediterranean, was performing a part in an Iranian-Hizballah exercise. This exercise is thought to have tested the use of an Iranian drone for guiding shipboard cruise missiles launched from the sea.
The UAV passed across Israeli skies, our military sources noted, at exactly the same time as a Palestinian Hamas military exercise took place in the Gaza Strip.
Tehran has clearly been building up to the present exercise. A week before the drone operation, Gen. Ferzad Ismaili, head of Iranian air defenses, said, “We may be faced with full-scale and all-out electronic warfare.”
The Iranian military exercise under way now over almost the entire eastern half of the country, with the participation of jet fighters, drones and more than 8,000 troops, is one of the most extensive of its kind to take place in recent months.
About the Author

Tom Chapman is a retired Army officer, teacher, computer manager, and
pilot. He has been a student of Biblical Prophecy for over 30 years. He not only has a passion for the prophetic but believes it is an integral part in the maturing process of a believer. The Bible has much to say about the times in which we live and every believer needs to understand the prophetic season of "the last days". To understand the present we also need to understand the future as it is foretold in scripture. Proverbs 29:18a tells us: "Where there is no revelation (prophetic vision), the people cast off restraint". The time is short and we must be ready (holy and righteous) to meet Jesus when He returns to claim His own.


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