Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 



 

May 28, 2012

It’s the Holy City, Stupid

There is a key element of reality in our world today that most entire countries simply don’t get. They don’t get it because they have bought into the propaganda that the Bible is not credible.

Too bad for them.

Whenever someone asks me, “What is the one sign we are living in the last days?” I always answer one word: “Israel.”

It’s obvious. And the obviousness of the painfully obvious is lost on a clueless world.

I don’t think people who ask me this question are stupid; I do think the global community as a whole is stupid for blatantly rejecting the specialness of Israel and the Jewish people.

We have more clues this week that Bible prophecy is true, and the broad lines of the time of the end can be seen.

HonestReporting posted an article exposing the bias of The Guardian, the British paper that printed a “correction,” alleging that Israel’s capital is Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem.

(We must understand, “Israel Watch” readers, that appealing to the Bible holds little weight in today’s culture. In what is called a “postmodern culture,” the Bible is derided as an outdated myth.)

The paper’s own style guide says: “Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is.

This isn’t a surprise, since the British long ago ceased to be a Bible-believing people. It follows that the British media would concede the Jerusalem issue to the Muslims.

HonestReporting submitted a formal complaint, and it is instructive to note the response:

“Irrespective of whether the international community recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it is simply inaccurate to unilaterally confer capital city status on Tel Aviv. Believing The Guardian to be in clear breach of the UK Press Complaints Commission clause on accuracy, HonestReporting submitted an official complaint.

“Ironically received on Jerusalem Day, this was the outrageous PCC ruling:

“The terms of Clause 1 (i) of the Code make clear that newspapers “must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”, and the terms of Clause 1 (ii) state that “a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.

“In this instance, the Commission noted that the correction published had been a clarification of the newspaper’s earlier claim that Jerusalem was the Israeli capital. The Commission was mindful that while it is correct to say that Israel classes Jerusalem as her capital city, this is not recognised by many countries and those nations enjoying diplomatic relations with Israel have their embassies in Tel Aviv. As such, the Commission was of the view that the newspaper was entitled to refer to Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel. There was no breach of the Code in this instance.”

So, the world continues to bare its fangs to Israel regarding the status of Jerusalem. Sadly, that isn’t the only troubling development, and the one that follows hits even closer to home.

We have just learned that the Obama administration is releasing $192 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority/PLO.  Congress had frozen the financial package when Mahmoud Abbas (the Holocaust denier) threatened to unilaterally declare statehood. This after the administration also tried to restore funding to a cultural agency with the UN that recognizes the “State of Palestine.”

(Sounds like much of America’s evangelical leadership, by the way.)

A White House spokesman said that “The P.A. has recognized Israel’s right to exist, renounced violence, and accepted previous agreements, including the Roadmap”—all direct lies. The PA/PLO has done no such thing and continues to agitate for the destruction of Israel.

Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, told a group of congressional staffers last week just how the cow ate the cabbage:

 “This is totally, totally false information. Someone has to get the proper information to the White House” because it is “releasing $192 million based on false information.”

Marcus gave a detailed presentation on how the PA infuses its youth with hatred for the Jewish state.

For many years now, ever since the diabolical Oslo Accords, we have been hearing how compliant the Palestinians are. Not so.

In early May, a broadcast of a Palestinian children’s TV show celebrated a child saying,  “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.”

Interestingly, the child then goes on to describe taking Israeli land. How fascinating that the left decries alleged theft of Arab land, but never mentions Arab incitement.

 There was much more to this report from Marcus, and I encourage you to check out www.palwatch.org.

The thing is, while congressional staffers appeared to be shocked by such revelations, the administration knows full well what the Palestinians are up to—and they don’t care.

Palestinian children are being prepared for a literal assault on the city of Jerusalem, since it is Israel’s capital.

What is described in Zechariah? A global attack on Jerusalem. The two news items mentioned above are yet more bricks in the wall of that story, which is rapidly advancing.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


May 21, 2012

Evangelicals Who Have a Problem with Israel

In his 2004 look at our nation’s 39th president, The Real Jimmy Carter, Steven Hayward really got down to brass tacks. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is puzzled by the Man from Plains.

Specifically with regard to Israel, Carter was and is a menace. Although there are two sides to the argument, Carter’s arm-twisting-breaking-tearing off finally compelled the Israelis to give up the Sinai, to sworn enemy Egypt. The Israelis forfeited gas and oil fields, and other infrastructure built up since the Six Day War, and Egypt benefitted from all this beginning in 1981.

The severe downside to the deal, however, is that it set a precedent for Israeli withdrawals. Surely Menachem Begin regretted this to the end of his life. Ever since, the Israelis have been conceding territory, and it is patently obvious that the world body demands more and more, while hating the Jewish state more and more! A most curious condition.

Hayward offers quite a few compelling observations of Carter, a one-time (and long-time) Southern Baptist, famous for teaching Sunday school in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Writing about Carter’s religious belief system, Hayward stated:

“He is sincere about his beliefs, and is an authentic representative of a segment of Christianity that modern liberalism has corrupted and politicized. Douglas Brinkley regards Carter as ‘the most principled American president since Harry Truman.’ The core of the problem with Carter is that his principles are wrong.”

It’s that kind of clear thinking and writing that serves the rest of us well, as we try and figure out who is right and who is wrong in this messed-up world. Hayward’s observation about Carter is dead-on.

At a “peace conference” in Geneva, in 2003, Carter let slip a very revealing comment:

“Had I been elected to a second term, with the prestige and authority and influence and reputation I had in the region, we could have moved to a final solution.”

As Hayward then noted, “Strange that such a politician of such prestige, authority, and influence would use that particular phrase.”

The “Final Solution,” of course, is the chilling phrase coined by the Nazis in 1943, in their satanic drive to kill all the Jews. It is indeed a telling phrase by Carter, who is not ignorant, and especially not ignorant of history.

And let me hack through Carter’s narcissism with a machete and parse his ode to himself.

Prestige. Authority. Influence. Reputation.

These are the words of a man in love with himself. I would argue that he certainly had/has a reputation in the Middle East. The rest are iffy. The Israelis basically don’t want him in the country even as a visitor, and I’m quite sure the Arabs can hardly believe their good fortune to have befriended such a high-level dupe.

One wonders where Carter went off the rails regarding Israel. His religious background was not in the mainline. This was a man raised in the Bible Belt South. Yet somewhere along the line, he began to dislike Jews.

Let me attempt to explain the linkage between Carter’s worldview and that espoused by today’s Emergent crowd. Again, Hayward’s book is invaluable.

“’A quotation from [German theologian Paul] Tillich sticks in my mind,’ Carter wrote and said on many occasions. ‘Religion is the search for the truth about man’s existence, and relationship with God.’ Maybe our search will be fruitful.’ The emphasis is in the original. A hallmark of modern liberal theology is that the search for truth is more important than the truth itself.”

This is exactly what Emergents believe and teach.

Jimmy Carter is not an anomaly in our world today, especially in the evangelical world.

Also worth noting, Hayward wrote that: “In his peanut warehouse office, Carter kept a small statue of Gandhi. Notably missing from his repertoire of religious references are conservative theologians or thinkers present or past, such as C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Charles Spurgeon, or Jonathan Edwards. These loud signals went unnoticed by the millions of conservative evangelical Christians who thought Carter was ‘one of us’ in the 1976 campaign.”

You see, just because it walks and quacks like a traditional evangelical doesn’t mean it is an evangelical.

It might be a left-handed Texan (see MacArthur, John, below).

That’s why I urge pro Israel Christians and Bible prophecy students to pay careful attention to organizations like www.catalystspace.com. There are those who call themselves evangelicals who know they are not.

Increasingly, I am writing about Israel’s enemies within the Church. I could write of course about recent goings-on in Israel, but others do that well. I believe that presently, “Israel Watch” is serving a purpose by calling attention to the malevolent rumblings coming from within evangelicalism.

John MacArthur (who has perhaps made some efforts to distance himself from newer forms of dispensationalism) has offered a tremendous rebuttal to Replacement “Theologians,” who like to mask their Jew-hatred behind a veneer of scholarship:

“Listen folks, once you're not literal, then who's to say? Right? I mean, then why not just say, ‘Well, Israel really means 'left-handed Texans'--if it's not exegetical--if it's not in the text, it could mean 'Canadians' How can you say, if you can't say what's literally there?”

Left-handed Texans. That’s awesome.

He’s right, of course. The word-games played by Emergents and outright liberals are confusing people, big-time.

Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Radio, posted on his Facebook page this week the following stunning conversation:

“A few weeks ago I had a high school freshman girl explain to me how language is a cultural creation and that as a result there are no eternal truths but only truths that are determined by society. I asked her where she learned this and she told me ‘I don't remember. But, I think I learned this in school and by watching television.’”

Folks, this is mind-boggling. Should we stop communicating altogether? Quit talking? Quit writing? What would be acceptable to people like this?

It is an indication, though, how far apart we are from those who don’t believe the Bible.

You can hold up a Bible today and proclaim that it is God’s Word, but today’s unbeliever will scream back that that’s our opinion. Words have no meaning for them today, and that is why anyone can interpret Scripture to fit his own agendas.

You see, this “postmodern” culture bases decisions on feelings. Not words. Not authority.

Feelings.

Experiences.

This is why the so-called “Palestinian narrative” has gained so much traction today with young people. No longer can we point to Scripture as the basis for declaring Israel’s right to her ancestral land.

Now the counter argument will be based on the feelings of someone who simply doesn’t like Jews in the West Bank. This is how Lynne Hybels (www.lynnehybels.com) promotes the Palestinian narrative.

You must understand that one basing a worldview on subjective feelings will always be at enmity with Scripture as the final and only authority. It is war, unrelenting.

“Language is a cultural creation.” Wow. If you have wondered why the Church has become unrecognizable, start there. Emergent proponents/pied pipers in particular are good at using this tactic, claiming that it is the “conversation” that’s important, not ending up at a final answer.

Jimmy Carter simply believes that the Old Testament promises to the Jews are no longer valid. That’s why he could cobble together an illogical and dangerous strategy for Middle East “peace.”

Now we have whole generations of young people who do not believe in Zionism. They do not because they have a wholly different view of the Bible.

That is the product of a generation of topical sermons, church-growth obsession, seeker-driven models, celebrity focused “Bible studies,” and more.

It is also, as Hayward said of Jimmy Carter’s principles, wrong.

jim@prophecymatters.com


May 14, 2012

Where We Are

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of Bible-believers this weekend, not in a church, but in a community center. Small in number, we had a great time. I leave it to church-growth hobbyists to obsess over numbers. My experience the past two days reinforces my view that the Church is doing just fine.

It’s just not very large.

(This all relates to Israel, by the way, as I’ll attempt to demonstrate.)

One of the things I shared with the group this week was the bomb that Andy Stanley dropped recently at his church in Atlanta. I won’t go into detail here, but you can read the entire saga at:

http://apprising.org/2012/05/05/homosexuality-megachurches-and-andy-stanley/

 

Andy Stanley has now legitimized the homosexual lifestyle for the evangelical world. Is it a coincidence that both the vice president and the president recently officially gave their approval of what they call “same-sex marriage”? I do not believe it is. For some time, Obama has been courting those who call themselves evangelicals, who are in fact with him much of the time regarding worldview. This is key.

Very public pronouncements on this subject, from cultural and political leaders, has been orchestrated.

Because all these guys move in the same circles—Stanley, Scot McKnight, Erwin McManus and younger leaders like Cameron Strang hob-nob with Obama—one can safely assume they have similar views on large issues; I am friendly with discernment and apologetics ministries, and it follows that we have the same worldview.

It’s obvious that one gravitates toward the community with whom one shares common interests.

Because Andy Stanley is considered an authoritative figure (and I urge you to read the above link and digest the implications), his public stances will be embraced by millions. Here’s how:

Just one segment of Stanley’s mega-church empire is his association with Bill Hybels of Willow Creek. There are now 9,000 churches in the Willow Creek Association. Stanley appears routinely at Hybels’ “leadership” conferences. Since Hybels and wife, Lynne, are pro-Palestinian, it is not hard to speculate that Stanley—if the subject were to come up—would not exactly see the Israeli point of view.

As I’ve written before, the director of the anti-Israel documentary, “Little Town of Bethlehem,” Jim Hanon, attends Craig Groeschel’s LifeChurch in Edmond, Oklahoma. This is one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, and while Groeschel is probably too smart to comment publicly on an issue like the Arab-Israeli conflict, it seems reasonable to assume that since his friends like Hanon, Bill Hybels, etc., have the same view, he would, as well.

They are impacting millions of young people in America, right now.

It is a given that the Emergent community (a label they gave themselves, by the way) has a deep dislike of dispensationalism and Christian Zionism. Witness Todd Deatherage’s comment at a Catalyst conference:

“Eschatology matters, in so many areas of life. What we think about the end helps shape how we live and act today. So if we believe that violence and war and bloodshed in the Middle East has been predetermined—if necessary, maybe even a good thing—then how responsive are we to Jesus’ call that we be peacemakers? How authentically Christian is any theology that makes us more perpetuators of conflict than agents of reconciliation?”

In the same statement, he also said that the “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict seems “blind at times.”

He means, of course, that, for example, Christian Zionists are “blind.” 

Let me break-down the above comments: 

•When Deatherage says that eschatology matters, what he means from his point of view is that one’s view of the last days’ theology will either compel one to work for the betterment of man, or it will lead to what Brian McLaren calls an “eschatology of abandonment.” In other words, us Rapture-nuts figure that since the planet is on a collision-course anyway…why work for peace and for good? Emergents, of course, stand in stark contrast to this “Armageddon mentality,” and are harmonious, loving folk.

•Notice his subtle inference that war and bloodshed might be “a good thing,” again, in the worldview of a pro Israel/Bible prophecy Christian. This is bearing false witness, my friends, and is a very dark charge to lay at our feet—and it comes without evidence! To say that we enjoy war and bloodshed…wow, that from a self-professing Christian brother.

•Deatherage also charges that our version of Christianity is not authentic, because of alleged rejection of peacemaking, etc. He has blundered into dangerous rhetoric, yet will not be held accountable. 

As I’ve said many times, all (meaning, all) Bible prophecy teachers I’ve known, along with Christian Zionist leaders, have never practiced an “eschatology of abandonment.” Many engage in all sorts of relief activity and activism for the less fortunate. Men like David Lewis were pioneers in bringing Israelis and Palestinians together for dialogue. David used to tell me that the peace treaty with Egypt was “very good,” because it saved lives. 

Todd Deatherage, you are bearing false witness against your fellow Christians by making statements like the above, at Catalyst.

The Catalyst audiences are made up of the next-generation evangelical leaders in this country. 

Where Israel is concerned, that is very bad.  

As we move through time, and as I study and investigate the statements and agendas of what I will now call the Religious Left (theological and social liberals who have hijacked the term “evangelical,” in order to burrow-into conservative churches), I will say clearly that a war has been declared on Christian Zionists and Bible prophecy students and teachers; the latter two groups of course are really one, generally. 

What this means for you is that you are going to have to think-through your level of commitment. I am certain that we have seen the tip of the iceberg in what I will call the coming persecution in this country of Christian Zionists. 

If you stand for Israel and for Bible prophecy, you will increasingly lose friends and even family. Prepare yourself mentally and spiritually for that, because it is coming. In some cases, you will be shocked and dismayed; in other situations, the end of a relationship will seem anticlimactic. 

I mention Andy Stanley in this column specifically because, though my main point is not to discuss homosexuality per se, his recent message at NorthPoint Church is instructive because one strategy of the homosexual lobby is very similar to that of Christian Palestinianists: put a human face on the issue.

Because Stanley has now given the homosexual lifestyle credibility among evangelicals (it is already rapidly being embraced by the youngest generations, raised on a steady diet of television—see Ellen DeGeneres—and multi-cultural education), the dominoes will now begin to fall. Very near the top of the agenda of the Religious Left is undermining/destroying support for Israel among evangelicals.

This is why, because many of your friends and family are now bending on the large social issues that have long divided the country, they will also abandon you at some point regarding support for Israel.

But, unlike the Emergents/Seeker-Driven/Church-Growth crowd, it’s never been about the numbers. See: Army, Gideon’s.

That’s why, when the dust settles, you will be left with genuine relationships.

Quality over quantity, my friends.

 

jim@prophecymatters.com

 

 

 

May 7, 2012

Is It the End of the World?

In his riveting profile of Don Isaac Abravanel, acclaimed historian Benzion Netanyahu wrote about an encounter the Middle Ages statesman and philosopher had with Spain’s Queen Isabella, on the eve of the expulsion of the Jews from that country. Netanyahu wrote:

“If Isabella thought that, by measures like expulsion, the Jews could be brought to surrender or extinction, she was greatly mistaken. He pointed out to her the eternity of the Jewish people, that they had outlived all who had attempted to destroy them, that it was beyond human capacity to destroy the Jewish people, and that those who tried to do so only invited upon themselves divine punishment and disaster.”

My goodness, Abravanel “got it.” And Benzion Netanyahu got it.

When I learned early this morning that he died hours before, at his home in Jerusalem, I knew some rarified air had gone out of our world. Benzion, you see, was much like Abravanel and, may I say, Moses, who confronted Pharaoh by telling him that disaster awaited him for his persecution of the people God Himself has etched into his hands.

The elder Netanyahu, who would live to see three sons distinguish themselves in the Jewish state he helped create, taught for a time at Cornell. Yet he lived long and died in Jerusalem, the Holy City of his forefathers. What an other-worldly legacy he leaves!

Known far and wide for his embrace of “Revisionist Zionism,” which to much of the world means “right-wing” Zionism, Benzion had come to Palestine as a 10-year-old, in 1920. His singular life flourished in the place that would become the modern Jewish state.

After his eldest son, Yonatan, was killed commanding the assault force at Entebbe in July, 1976, Benzion and his beloved Cela moved home. When I read Entebbe: The Jonathan Netanyahu Story, written by the youngest brother, Iddo (it remains the best book I’ve ever read), I could see much of the old man in the son(s).

In the book, Iddo recounts the moments before planeloads of Israeli counter-terrorist commandos landed at the African airport. The night-time raid caught PLO terrorists and their Ugandan hosts flat-footed, and the ensuing firefight was over in minutes and the 100+ hostages were loaded onto the planes and flown home to freedom.

As the lead pilot guided his plane through the night, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu (“Yoni”) made his way to the cockpit.

“If he’s there, I’m going to kill him,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Who?” asked the pilot.

“Idi Amin,” Yoni answered.

The astonished pilot argued that they didn’t have authorization to kill Amin, who was in the middle of a reign of terror as the strongman of the African nation.

Yoni replied that it didn’t matter, that killing Amin would save countless lives, since the fiendish dictator was known for throwing innocents off buildings, or feeding them to crocodiles. In Yoni’s world—a world shaped by a father of uncompromising principles—offing the Butcher of Uganda was the humanitarian thing to do.

I agree.

That Amin missed the party didn’t detract from the spectacular success of the mission. The lone loss, however, was unrecoverable: Yoni Netanyahu was killed while directing the initial assault. His death would alter the family forever.

In his foreword to The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu, compiled by the fallen commander’s brothers, the novelist Herman Wouk likened Yoni to “an ember of sacred fire,” a person of such unusual abilities and outsized life that the rest of us can only marvel.

Wouk was right, of course. Such a man could only have come into being by sitting at the feet of greatness. Benzion instilled in his sons a love of their own people.

I am often struck by the vapidness of their ideological enemies (oddly enough, a growing number of them in leadership positions in my own American evangelical community). These are people who have been overtaken by the rhetoric of the left and denounce perhaps the most moral initiative in all of human history, Zionism. Interestingly, in a piece on Benzion from the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, he was quoted as saying that the left posed an existential threat to Israel and the Jewish people.

This is a very profound statement, and one we would do well to read three or four times.

It isn’t simply that the left is an annoyance, or even an opponent. It is that the pacifist, defeatist—I will also call them immoral—policies of the left endanger all of us.

I think of how the Religious Left in America so loathes people like Benzion Netanyahu. They express displeasure at people who kill enemies in battle. They decry war, as if this last-ditch option is not moral.

It is very moral. And men like Benzion Netanyahu and his sons (each served in the same elite counter-terrorism unit that went to Entebbe) keep the rest of us safe from unhinged, malevolent murderers, many of whom list jihad as their occupation.

Those were the kinds of people the Netanyahu family fought all their lives. How many of us who are old enough to remember felt safer when boarding a plane after Entebbe? How many of us stop to realize what an impenetrable fortress/outpost the Israel Defense Forces brings to the Middle East, thus creating at least a semblance of stability in a region that would be far more dangerous for America, were the Israelis not there?

No, the Religious Left can continue chattering about alleged brutality perpetrated by the Israelis, and call Zionists a bigger threat to peace than Hamas. They are bearing false witness when they do, and History will vindicate the Jews. Men like Brian McLaren and his friends…are not fit to lace the boots of the men and women who make up the IDF.

I have seen the graves in Jerusalem of the 22 young IDF men who died in Jenin in 2002, during an operation to stem the tide of bloody terrorism, unleashed on innocents—the terror campaigns of Hamas. The Israelis sent those men house-to-house to find terror operatives, rather than bomb the city from the air and kill innocents.

Did the Israelis “receive credit” for that? Does the Religious Left think about the 22?

No.

The IDF is the most ethical army in the world, fighting an existential threat every second of every day. Benzion Netanyahu was well aware of this fight.

He was a personal friend. I well remember visiting him for the first time. Evening had fallen and I wondered if I’d come to the right house. Then I saw the side steps, the same steps I’d seen his boys play on in grainy documentary footage. He came to the door and his eyes twinkled.

That first visit was sublime. We sat in the family dining room, where so many profound conversations had taken place in the previous half-century. In the corner was a bust of his fallen son, Yoni. We discussed culture, politics, history. He told me how much the Russians had hated the Jews. How much Europe had hated the Jews. How much the Arabs hated the Jews.

And there we were, enjoying a delightful evening in the Jewish homeland, which still serves as a finger in the eye of Pharaoh, Queen Isabella, and Idi Amin.

The Jewish people are indestructible, more than the stuff of legend. For they are living, breathing, singing, dancing this night—in the City of David.

Goodnight, Benzion.

None of it was in vain.

 

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


Apr 30, 2012

dis·in·for·ma·tion [dis-in-fer-mey-shuhn, dis-in-] noun

false information, as about a country's military strength or plans, publicly announced or planted in the news media, especially of other countries.

 

Israel Isn’t Clowining Around

 

If I can say it this way, the Iranian threat is almost becoming comical.

Long-time readers of “Israel Watch” know that I don’t mind saying my worldview is informed by the presupposition that the Bible is true.

Therefore, Iran cannot destroy Israel. A clear theme in Scripture is that the Jewish people will never be destroyed.

That this flies in the face of conventional wisdom is something I can live with, believe me.

But who can we believe in the Iranian-Israel story? Let me propose something shocking:

You can believe Iran, but you can’t believe Israel.

I’m not giving away any state secrets here, mainly because I don’t have any to give away. However, a hunch tells me that when the Iranian leadership says it wants to wipe Israel off the map, I believe them.

When Israel leaks stories of backroom fighting among the political and military leadership…I frankly don’t believe those stories.

The news chatter this week was that there is dissension among the Israeli leadership. We are told that former head of the Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, is unhappy with the secretive planning going on between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Both men have worked for each other before, stretching back to their days in Sayeret Matkal, the IDF’s elite counter-terrorism unit.

To hear Diskin and others tell it, a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be a horrific mistake. Diskin even made an interesting comment this week about how Netanyahu and Barak make decisions:

"I have no faith in the prime minister, nor in the defense minister," Diskin, who stepped down as head of the Shin Bet a year ago, said in a speech partly broadcast by Israel Radio on Saturday.

"I really don't have faith in a leadership that makes decisions out of messianic feelings."

Clever! In one fell swoop, Diskin switched the truth in this equation. Iran’s mullahs have long been known to view their work as important for bringing back the Twelfth Imam, a messianic figure in Koranic literature.

By contrast, no one who knows them would ever accuse Netanyahu or Barak of having any messianic thoughts. At least that we know of; Barak in particular is rigidly secular.

Yet Diskin’s comments serve to confuse, and this, my friends, is the first tactic in a high-stakes war.

Diskin’s remarks came after Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz—Israel’s chief of general staff—claimed that Iran is “very rational” and unlikely to pursue nuclear weapons because the world opposes it.

American newspapers have reported that these kinds of comments apparently undermine the case for a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

I don’t know whether to laugh or guffaw. Maybe I’ll chuckle vigorously.

I am certain of this: Iran’s nuclear weapons program will be destroyed.

How it’s done, of course, I have no idea. My deepest source within Israel is my usual cab driver, who was a naval commando in the Lebanon War.

Yet common sense and a healthy respect for Scripture (Isaiah 54:17) tell me that Israel will not allow an existential threat to come from Iran.

That spymasters like Diskin publicly rebuke the leadership means nothing. Except that it’s disinformation, pure and simple.

Look, Israel wants Iran to think it will strike. It wants Iran to think it won’t strike. Israel wants Iran to think the fries in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Happy Meal will blow up. They want the Iranians to think that clowns at a circus are members of Sayeret Matkal. They want Iran to think that black is red and milk is honey.

It’s called throwing your enemy off-base.

Diskin, when asked what he thought of Netanyahu and Barak, had this say:

"They are not people who I personally, at least, trust to be able to lead Israel into an event on such a scale, and to extricate it."

Let me tell you how I interpret that statement. On the issue of how to handle Iran, I believe that the truth is, Diskin trusts Netanyahu and Barak implicitly. He is part of a disinformation campaign to keep Iran guessing.

As to details of a strike, or whatever it will be, this is my personal feeling: Israel will do something so innovative—so breathtaking—that none of us will have ever seen it coming.

Am I lying?

Who knows?

 

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Apr 23, 2012

(As they are relevant to today’s column, I recommend all readers pick up copies of two friends’ books: Alex Grobman’s License To Murder, and Michael Curtis’s Should Israel Exist? Each offers amazing information about the efforts to delegitimize Jews and Israel. Both are also available on Kindle. Highly, highly recommended—Jim)

Stakelbeck on Terror

My friend Erick Stakelbeck, a courageous reporter and TV host (CBN’s “Stakelbeck on Terror”) is superb at connecting the dots. He is also fearless, a much-needed trait in today’s harrowing world.

Today he posted an article about the nefarious work of Media Matters, the left-wing watchdog group that targets Christians and Israel. Not surprisingly, Media Matters is close to the White House.

Part of Erick’s research uncovered the following:

“’It is common for news and commentary by the press to present viewpoints that tend to overly promote...a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology,’ the group said in its application for non-profit status with the IRS.”

This is an absurd statement, and a good example of the brazenness of the left to peddle lies. It’s quite obvious to anyone paying even the slightest attention that media don’t “promote” conservative Christian worldview. The opposite is true.

David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel, thinks Media Matters’ targeting of Christians is influenced by its (MM) anti-Israel bias.

Erick makes an important point about Media Matters’ former senior foreign policy fellow, M.J. Rosenberg:

“Rosenberg routinely uses the label, ‘Israel Firsters,’ implying that American supporters put the interests of Israel above the United States. It's a charge commonly made by Neo-Nazis and anti-Semitic groups.”

It is interesting to note that Media Matters promotes the same kind of rhetoric as that of the American religious left, particularly those who are calling themselves evangelicals. This is an ongoing story that will get much bigger, as more facts come to light regarding the players and agendas involved.

There is plenty of evidence, for example, that Rick Warren has already aligned himself with a whole host of anti-Israel friends, in his purposeful drive toward pluralism. And he’s been at it a long time. Readers will simply have to figure out if supporting Israel is reason enough to oppose what Warren is about.

In 2008, Warren’s Saddleback Community Church hosted presidential candidates Barack Obama and the Republican ringer, John McCain. Warren of course proposed a balanced set of questions, ranging from the environment to poverty—all softball issues in such a forum.

But the group he selected to help him come up with questions for the candidates was most revealing: Faith in Public Life. Self-described as “a strategy center for the faith community advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good,” this multidenominational religious group was founded by, among others, Jim Wallis (Sojourners); and Bob Edgar (former head of the National Council of Churches).

Among the board members and advisers for Faith in Public Life: EElizabeth Letzler, member of the PCUSA’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee and the Israel-Palestine Network (i.e., an Israel divestment proponent); Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society—he also sits on the board (with Communist Party USA leader Judith LeBlanc) of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation; and Dr. Nazir Khaja, chairman of Islamic Information Service.

One would have had to have been aware for some time (as I have been) of the anti-Israel views of people like Winkler—a key mover in United Methodist circles—and Wallis, in order to fully understand the implications of Warren working with them.

What we now have, you see, is a man who is perhaps the most identifiable evangelical in the world linking arms with avowed opponents of a sovereign Jewish state to administer its own defense against relentless terrorism.

Fellow “evangelical” Brian McLaren also referenced recently on his blog (/span>http://brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/proisraeli-and-propalestinian.html)) the efforts of Aaron Niequist to be “Pro Israel and Pro Palestinian.” And who is Niequist?

He is the son-in-law of Bill and Lynne Hybels, founders of the monolithic Willow Creek Church outside Chicago. Willow Creek is a huge association of like-minded churches around the country. At 9,000 member churches—Hybels certainly has the attention of many thousands of evangelical Christians. And he and his wife were mentored by a Palestinian beginning in the 1970’s, so their animus towards Israel is not new.

I’m going to make a bold statement, but one I think that is backed with common sense:

It is not possible that those 9,000 churches do not share Bill and Lynne Hybels’ attitudes about modern Israel.

In August 2011, Lynne Hybels hosted a “Summit Lunch” entitled, “Leading Toward Peace in Israel and Palestine.” The tip-off of course that this was to be a left-wing gathering comes in the now ubiquitous use of the term “Palestine,” as if they are describing a sovereign nation.

The main presenter was Dr. Gary Burge, a Wheaton College professor and author, whose anti-Israel bias goes way back.

It is almost an afterthought to note that Rick Warren and Bill Hybels are chums. They share the same interests and goals.

In other words, what we now have facing us is a global coalition of anti-Zionists, many of them now operating in the open in evangelical camps. This takes me back to the beginning of this column, to point out that groups like Media Matters are no longer really New York-based groups (and thus far removed in every way from middle America); they are ideological bedfellows of the leading Christian speakers and writers today.

Rick Warren’s associations are the same in many respects as groups like Media Matters.

What I’ve written is the tip of the iceberg in the new war on Israel from tthe Religious Left in America. Watchmen like Erick Stakelbeck are heavily out-numbered by the above-mentioned individuals and groups, and more, but I still believe that personal courage and a passionate commitment to truth will win the day.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Apr 16, 2012

Hatred

A few years ago, at the height of the controversy over the Israeli pullout from Gaza, I visited with Caroline Glick in the lobby of the Mount Zion Hotel.

Listening to Caroline—I believe her to be the finest pure journalist anywhere today—give a hard-eyed assessment of the fallout from the pullout, with a backdrop of the Old City walls in the picture window behind her, I couldn’t help but wonder why this type of sane reasoning can’t find its way into politics.

Caroline, the Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor (I highly recommend her book, Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad), is petite, but don’t let that fool you. A reserve officer in the IDF, she made aliyah in 1991, from her native Chicago. She doesn’t mince words, and her assessments of both the political and military situation in the Middle East is dead-on. I am reminded of the comment from CAMERA’s Andrea Levin a few years back, speaking of the insipid Anthony Lewis: “He’s always wrong.”

(Lewis often liked to lecture Israel from the safe confines of his ivy covered cottage in Cambridge, where he filed his Washington Post op-eds. After a Jordanian machine-gunned a group of Israeli girls during their school outing in 1997, Lewis wrote about it, somewhat lamenting the incident in the first paragraph, then bashing Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu for the next 13 paragraphs.)

Well, if one described Caroline Glick’s writing: “She’s always right.”

Recently in the JPost, she got down to brass tacks regarding Barack Obama’s true intentions toward Israel, when she said that his “hatred” for the Jewish state would certainly come out from behind the mask if he gets a second term.

And don’t think for a minute that Bibi Netanyahu trusts him. In fact, the Israeli premier—who was seeing combat in his country’s most elite counter-terrorism unit while Obama was in bed at night reading Saul Alinsky by flashlight—wouldn’t trust the American president to get him a glass of water.

Obama’s astonishingly disingenuous speech before AIPAC was a classic in double-speak (he is another in a long line of presidents who claim to be Israel’s best friend, presumably supplanting biblical figures like Rahab, and extending all the way to Ord Wingate and Arthur Balfour).

What Obama is angling toward is having Israel’s neck in his hands during a second term. The Iranian threat is growing so grave that Israel will have to act soon.

The Americans have longer-range capabilities to knock out Iran’s nuclear facilities. At the very least, a joint effort with the Israelis would surely do the job.

Yet Obama is fully intent on not lifting a finger and forcing Israel to act alone. Once Iran moves enriched uranium and centrifuges to its facility at Qom, it will be too late. This is key, because while Obama publicly pushes sanctions and dispatches his Cabinet ministers like Leon Panetta to bully and threaten the Jewish state, the Iranians know he has their back. And, just like the theory of evolution, time is the core ingredient.

The PA’s Mahmoud Abbas told American officials that because Obama publicly demanded that Israel stop building in the so-called “settlements,” he, Abbas, had no incentive to sit at the negotiating table with Israel. This kind of nonsense is quite harmful both to Israeli and American interests.

Yet Obama’s foot soldiers in the media give him cover.

I held my nose the other day and purchased a TIME special edition called “The New Middle East.” It is of course full of the usual Hansel and Gretel fables about the Arabs, with some deft Israel-bashing thrown in for good measure. What really stands out, though, is a piece at the very end by Joe Klein.

I consider Klein to be one of the most mediocre and undiscerning writers of the last generation, but here he is with this platform. In “What America Can Do,” Klein makes the following inane-yet-fawning statement:

“One of the more remarkable aspects of the Arab Spring, from an American point of view, is that Barack Obama saw it coming.”

Klein lives in an alternate universe.

All American presidents have classified information not available to the rest of us, and can “see things coming” months before they do. But Klein was elevating Obama to seer-like status.

Klein also made one of those statements that bears further examination and reflection:

“Chaos is a strong possibility for the region, but not the only one. A simple-minded American looks at Egypt’s parliamentary election results, sees 70% of the seats going to Islamists, and assumes trouble.”

Did you notice that pejorative, “simple-minded American”?

He means us, of course.

Obama and his sycophant followers in media believe we are stupid. Wouldn’t it be nice to see him retired early next year?

If he isn’t, both Israel and the American people will suffer the consequences of coddling state sponsors of terrorism. Among other things, this race-baiting, enemy appeasing, political thug from Chicago knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s not that he’s stupid, as some allege.

The president’s hatred is on full display.

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Apr 9, 2012

At An Hour When Ye Think Not

Beirut, Lebanon—a spring night in 1973. The streets are teeming with people in what was once considered a jewel of the Middle East. That was before the PLO moved in.

The story goes that Ehud Barak was wearing a dress, strolling arm-in-arm down the street with “her date.” The future prime minister of Israel also had an Uzi tied around his waist, and dangling between his legs, if I may say it that way.

Barak, commander of the famed and elite counter-terrorism unit, Sayeret Matkal, was about to spring a surprise on key PLO leaders, this in retaliation for the ghastly Munich Olympics murders of 1972. Israeli premier Golda Meir approved the operation, dubbed “Operation Spring of Youth.”

The Munich killers were relaxing. Their minds were far from danger.

Members of the unit, which included Yoni Netanyahu, older brother of another future prime minister, landed onshore that evening, where they were met by Mossad agents, who drove them to and from the apartment building where the operation took place.

In the ensuing firefight, three PLO operatives were killed, and other Israeli commandos engaged in a savage battle nearby with members of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).

I was reminded of that legendary story this week—as were other writers—when Barak (now Israel’s defense minister) gave the order for security forces to remove “settlers” in Hebron who have not proven their ownership of property to the government’s satisfaction. The Jewish families were removed while preparing for Passover—a swift and stunning surprise just when it appeared they had won the day via public opinion.

With news that Barack Obama has cowardly sent secret messages to the Iranians, via Turkey, that he will accept the terror state’s “civilian” nuclear ambitions, the stakes are ramped-up even higher regarding the mullah’s deadly intentions toward the Jewish state.

This is relevant to the story of the Hebron settlers, and how Barak dealt with it.

It is perhaps here that we are seeing clues to how the Israelis will deal with this existential threat. I have said before that I am quite sure they are not going to Auschwitz again, and will never again allow themselves to be vulnerable. The only way Jews will remain safe in our world today is if they have guns and sundry other weapons.

Barak’s handling of both the ’73 operation, and the recent one in Hebron are good indications that the man plans strikes that occur without any kind of warning. Such is what I expect regarding Iran and its nuclear threats. Everyone is scanning the skies for an Israeli airstrike; I expect something quite different.

Remember too the incredible Entebbe raid, which Barak helped plan, and which Yoni Netanyahu led as commander of the rescue force. So sudden was their appearance in the dark African night at Entebbe Airport that the lead commando told me once the terrorists holding 105 men, women, and children did not know what was happening until he was in the doorway.

Something tells me that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to get a bomb dropped down his shorts while he brushes his teeth one night in the not-too-distant-future.

When the smoke clears, there won’t be so much as Israeli fingerprints left behind.

Obama’s pitiful overture to the Iranians comes on the heels of news that SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) was cutting off dozens of Iranian banks and financial institutions from its systems. Naturally, the Iranian people heard little about this, but officials, such as former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian and Mahmoud Ahmadi, director of the Central Bank both threatened the West and claimed they had already taken measures to overcome the SWIFT decision.

(By the way, another issue not directly tied to Iran’s race for nuclear weapons opens a fascinating window into just how interconnected global financial transactions really are, and one can see clearly how close we are to a system in which a single charismatic person will “solve” our problems. In a note from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center , we read:

Mohammad-Reza Behzadian, former chairman of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, warned about the possible repercussions of Iran’s disconnection from the international clearing house. In an interview given to the Iranian Diplomacy website, Behzadian said that, with Iranian banks cut off, even smaller banks that do not depend on the United States and were so far willing to continue cooperating with Iran will be unable to perform transactions with it. Behzadian estimated that it will be impossible for Iran to continue doing business securely using old-fashioned telecommunications systems, and that the country’s disconnection from SWIFT will lead to an increase in the costs involved in conducting international banking transactions.”

Sound like an antichrist system in development to you? Me too.)

Further, Iran’s economy is highly dependent on raw material and capital import for the agricultural and industrial sectors; it is not hard to imagine the very real economic sanctions causing Iranian currency to implode.

However…one must remember that the old Soviet Union was well on its way to economic meltdown and bankruptcy at the same time it developed nuclear weapons and built up its military infrastructure to menace the entire world.

I do not believe sanctions will prevent the Iranian regime from developing and potentially using nuclear weapons.

That will leave the one-time gun-toting “girl” on a Beirut street—and “her” military and diplomatic team of former fellow elite commandos to make the most momentous decision of their lives.

jim@prophecymatters.com