Sunday, July 30, 2006

ISRAEL UPDATE-JULY 30,2006

[ISRAELUPDATE] War Update July 30 - David Dolan - Jerusalem

Shalom from Jerusalem,

The prospect that a full-scale Muslim-Israeli Mideast conflict will soon break out seemed to increase dramatically today after a powerful Israeli bomb landed overnight right next to a four story building in a Shiite village in southern Lebanon. The blast caused the building to collapse upon scores of Lebanese civilians, including many children, who were reportedly instantly killed. The attack was labeled a "deliberate massacre of our innocent martyrs" by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Seniora, who furiously called for his regional "Muslim brethren to stand united in the face of the Israeli war criminals"—an apparent call for military intervention.

Speaking on Israel radio in the past few hours, several Israeli analysts say the Sunni politician is apparently hoping, along with Hizbullah Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, that Syria might open up a second warfront on the disputed Golan Heights, which Israel cannot claim it has evacuated in fulfillment of longstanding UN demands (the issue was nearly resolved during US-brokered Syrian-Israeli peace talks in the 1990's, which collapsed when the Hizbullah-backed Palestinian Hamas group succeeded in crushing the peace process via a series of deadly terror attacks upon Israelis that began in 1994).

Al Jazeera and other Arab media outlets have been carrying similar calls for Muslim military intervention today, possibly giving the Syrian-Iranian axis the excuse it seems to be seeking to jump directly into the deepening conflict. Ironically PM Seniora's visceral war cry came just one day after another senior Lebanese politician, Walid Junblatt, warned in a newspaper interview published in Beirut that Sheik Nasrallah was "another Hitler" who was "dragging Lebanon to the same destructive fate" that befell Nazi-ruled Germany at the end of WWII.

QANA AGAIN

When it became clear early this morning that the targeted building in the village of Qana housed dozens of Lebanese civilians in its basement, Israeli government and military officials expressed immediate sorrow and condolences over the tragic deaths. They made clear that the Air Force had no idea that the building housed civilians in its basement. But they also noted that Hizbullah militiamen have been launching dozens of Katyusha rockets from Qana at eastern Galilee towns for over one week in an obvious attempt to kill and maim Israeli civilian men, women and children—firing their rockets and then running for cover in nearby buildings, including the one that collapsed, in order to avoid IDF return strikes aimed at destroying the rocket launchers. They added that Hizbullah forces had launched five powerful rockets at the town of Afula Friday evening carrying warheads some five times more explosive than those carried on Katyusha rockets that have themselves managed to kill19 Israelis, and wounded hundreds of others, so far. (One Katyusha landed directly on the Nahariya hospital Friday afternoon, collapsing part of the roof, but did not kill anyone since the patients had already been moved to lower floors). That the extremely deadly Syrian-built rockets which struck Afula did not kill scores of people in the town—landing right next to occupied buildings in most cases—was regarded as nothing short of miraculous. Israeli officials also pointed out that the army had been warning non-Hizbullah residents of south Lebanese villages to leave for over one week, and cannot be held responsible for the reported fact that the vile militia group has forcibly prevented some non-combatant residents of Qana from fleeing north, as they have done in other Shiite villages and towns.

With angry anti-Israel and anti-US demonstrations now taking place in Beirut (as they surely will in Damascus, Tehran and probably all around the world), the Lebanese government said that American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was not welcome to come to their capital city, as had been scheduled for later today. The American diplomat later announced that she would stay put for the time being here in Jerusalem to continue attempts to put together "an enduring ceasefire." This indicated that the US government had not immediately altered its support for Israel's difficult attempt to neutralize the longstanding Hizbullah threat to rain rockets down upon northern and central Israeli civilian centers.

However international pressure upon the US and UK to join the growing anti-Israel bandwagon was certainly bound to increase after the large Lebanese civilian death toll was announced. Rice noted that she "wanted a ceasefire yesterday, but it has to be one that will last." She also pointed out that an Israeli rocket had mistakenly struck a UN outpost near Qana in 1996 that killed some 100 Lebanese civilians taking shelter there, demonstrating that the Israeli-Hizbullah conflict has been going on for many years, and so needed a "lasting solution at this time." (That rocket strike also sparked an international outcry that contributed to Binyamin Netanyahu's narrow election victory over the dovish Shimon Peres one month later. Peres was acting Premier at the time of the IDF shelling, which followed a heavy Hizbullah rocket barrage upon northern Israel in April of that year).

DARK DAYS

As the regional furor grows over the Qana disaster, fierce ground clashes were again reported today at several other locations near the Lebanese border with Israel. Meanwhile over 80 Hizbullah rockets were fired into Israel by mid-day, after more than 100 crashed down on Saturday. Israeli officials are reportedly concerned that Hizbullah will use the "Qana massacre" as an excuse to unleash its longer-range Zelzal missiles against the Tel Aviv region. Indeed, Hizbullah TV has just warned that it will retaliate for the Qana attack, claiming that it's "stones can strike all portions of Israel." However analysts say that Sheik Nasrallah, who is believed to be hiding inside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, will probably wait a few days to unleash his largest guns in order to maximize the political capital he has apparently earned inside Lebanon and around the Muslim world for his successful policy of deliberately waging his jihad war against "the Zionist entity" from south Lebanese civilian centers.

We are only four days away from the darkest day on the annual Hebrew calendar, the fast of Tisha b'Av, which begins at sundown on Wednesday. It marks various disasters that have befallen the Jewish people on that very date, including the Babylonian and Roman destructions of the ancient Jewish temples and the expulsion of Spain's large Jewish community in 1492, ordered on that date. It seems to many of us here in Israel that this week could prove pivotal in determining whether or not we are heading toward a full-scale regional war, which could easily result in hundreds of thousands of causalities since both Syria and Iran, along with Israel, possess non-conventional chemical, biological and—at least in Israel's case, but also quite possibly with her declared adversaries as well—nuclear warheads. To say the least, your urgent prayers are greatly appreciated.
_________________________________________________________________

Friday, July 28, 2006

ATMOSPHERE OF WAR IN SYRIA

Atmosphere of war in Syria - www.ynetnews.com

Syrian reporter: In Syria there is atmosphere of eve of war

Exclusive: In conversation in Damascus, senior Syrian journalist tells about sentiments in Syria ('as if there will be war any moment'); talks about military preparations in his country ('identifying your reinforcements in Golan Heights'); and estimates that Israeli pounding in Lebanon to intensify grassroots support of Nasrallah and his organization. Also in Syria, he says, Nasrallah more popular than ever

As the conflict with Hizbullah in Lebanon escalates by the day, the question of Syria's involvement in the conflict becomes increasingly more relevant.

"The atmosphere in Syria is in every way an atmosphere of war, or at least of the eve of war. Syrian television for the first time since

the '80's has started broadcasting Syrian military marches and nationalistic songs. There is not difference between Syrian television broadcasts and Al-Manar broadcasts of the Hizbullah. The broadcasts are in preparation for war, as if Syria is involved in this war, or is going to be involved at any moment. The local newspapers and the television are conducting themselves as if they are preparing the Syrian public for war."

These comments were made by a senior Syrian journalist in a telephone interview from Damascus. It isn't easy these days of war that they don't have there, to convince a Syrian to accept an interview with the Israeli media, even when we're not there. One must remember that each side has his messages to transmit. And yet, the picture sketched by this senior journalist reveals the great concern in Damascus about the operations of Israel – and definitively paints a picture of preparedness for war. A conversation with an interviewee beyond the Golan.

In Israel there is talk that Syria and her army have considerably raised their alert since the start of fighting in Lebanon. Is this indeed the reality there?

"This, in my opinion, is the reality where you are. The Syrian army has identified intensive activity of the Israeli army on the Golan Heights. At first they identified lights on some of the bases at night in Syria. We have noticed a rehabilitation and revival of the Israeli military bases on the Golan on which no one has set foot for more than ten years. We see Israeli soldiers rehabilitating these bases and equipping them."

Paranthetically, it should be mentioned in this article that from the beginning of IDF operations in Lebanon, the level of preparedness on the Golan Heights has been raised noticeably along the border between Syria and Israel. The IDF estimated that the Hizbullah has an interest of bringing Syria into the confrontation, and that the organization would not be loathe to launching Katyushas at the Golan Heights. However, Israel has openly declared that Damascus is out of the game at this point and that there is no intention to confront Syria. With this, the IDF heightened its intelligence alertness along the border, including a larger-than-usual military presence meant to respond to any development in the region.

Beyond the pre-war atmosphere that you described, is there deployment for war or concrete steps of the government and army towards the possibility that Syria will become part of the war?

"I can't say if the army is taking practical steps to prepare for such an option, but what is certain is that Syria has consolidated once and for all the stance that the current situation, especially the occupation of the Golan, needs to stop. If there will be a solution to the current war in Lebanon, we must be part of this solution. And that means negotiation and returning the Golan to the Syrians. And if there won't be a solution, the stance is that we must prepare to liberate the Golan through different means – there aren't many other ways."

How does the Syrian government respond to the accusations of sources in the IDF and in Israel that Syria isn't only aiding the Iranians to transfer weapons to the Hizbullah, but is contributing herself to the arming of Hizbullah with Syrian rockets?

"All the senior and official representatives who have been asked to respond to these accusations have stridently denied them. The official stance, and this is the truth, is that the trucks passing through that the Israeli army is bombing, are trucks for humanitarian aid, carrying food, equipment, and donations that the Syrian people raised or aid from other countries that arrives through Syria. For instance, one of the convoys that was bombed was a convoy of ambulances from the Emirates in the Gulf that was designated for the Lebanese people."

The Syrian journalist also claims that the nature of the explosions testify to the fact that the trucks were not carrying rockets, ammunition, or explosives. "True, there was one time that the explosion was different than the regular ones. This happened when Israeli planes bombed trucks carrying car oil. Then the explosion was different. Syrian television was the first to photograph this explosion. Would they have photographed if Syria had something to hide?

Is Syria ready for a script in which it assists the US to stop the Hizbullah in exchange for a return of Syrian influence in Lebanon and cancellation of anti-Syrian sanctions?

"Whoever has followed the mood in the government and in the Syrian street after the completion of the withdrawal from Lebanon, understands that the emphasis today from the perspective of the government and the Syrian people is on the Golan and the need to return it to Syria – and less on Lebanon."

So, how do you explain that many in Israel and in the world see Syria as a key to solving the current conflict?

"That is because of the special relationship between Syria and the Hizbullah. These are excellent relations, but Syria today doesn't enjoy the same influence over them that they did in the past."

As an example of the great fondness of Syrians for the Hizbullah, the Syrian journalist brings the following story: "In Syria, it is customary in homes, businesses, and shops to hang pictures of the president's family. A picture of the late president Hafez Assad in the center, to the left a picture of the current president, Dr. Bashar, and to the right a picture of the slain son Bassal, the president's brother, whom the Syrian people loved very much.

"But today, especially since the outbreak of fighting, the phenomenon gaining momentum is to swap the picture of the beloved Bassal with a picture of Hassan Nasrallah. This is to express how much we in Syria love and appreciate what Nasrallah has done for the Arab nation. Not for a specific community, not for his country, but for the entire Arab nation."

In Israel there is talk that the current war is a war of the home front and of the patience of the simple people for a continuation of the war situation. We hope that the rest of the war, especially the crushing air strikes and the destruction they wreak, will bring about an uprising of the Lebanese public against Hizbullah that will compel them to stop firing.

"Whoever says that doesn't know Lebanon and her population and hasn't been following the political developments in the period before the war. The Hizbullah's Shiite community is the largest community in Lebanon. Many Sunnis also support Hizbullah. Also, Hizbullah enjoys broad support in the most important section of the Christian population, that which is represented by the general, Michel Aoun, who won the majority of the Christian votes in parliamentary elections."

"We see, for example, Walid Junblatt, who severely criticized the events of the first few days, is the one who today provides cover and aid for thousands of refugees in his area of Mount Lebanon. He does this not only out of humanitarian motives, but also to improve his image a little in Lebanon.

"Even Hariri's representatives and their supporters adopting a similar approach and are dealing with humanitarian aid in order to weaken the criticism they gave at first. At the current time, the social fabric in Lebanon is rallying more and more around support for Hizbullah, giving them the necessary strength to continue this fight."
__________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


THE END TIME'S PLAYERS CLUB  Posted by Picasa

ISRAEL AND THE WEST IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Israel and the West in the crosshairs
Iran's Apocalyptic War Plan has Begun; Israel First, West Next

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Northeast Intelligence Network,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world."-- said Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, just 6 days after becoming Iran’s President

1,500 Islamic terrorist fighters from Iraqi Shi'ite militia in Baghdad recruited to fight Israel in Lebanon – Sunni’s also calling for volunteers

As attacks on Israel and on Israeli troops continued, Israeli news media is reporting that about 18,000 Israeli soldiers have now been mobilized for operations in Lebanon and Gaza. Hezbollah's rocket attacks on northern Israeli cities and towns have been relentless despite the ongoing Israeli operations; more than 90 rockets landed in Israel yesterday, killing two people in Haifa, one when rocket shrapnel hit a man’s car and another when a man’s carpentry shop was struck by a missile.

Meanwhile, Iran is using Lebanese territory as a frontline zone for an assault on northern Israel. According to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Shiite regime in Tehran has created a mini-state in southern Lebanon, using the build-up of Hezbollah’s forces since Israel voluntarily vacated southern Lebanon in 2000. The Iranians have been preparing for this war since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon 6 years ago, sending Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to provide Hezbollah with tens of thousands of rockets, missiles, and other weaponry.

Make no mistake about it: Hezbollah's attack on Israel nearly two weeks ago was directed by the highest levels of the Iranian government due to Iran's official ideology that is based on a fundamentalist Shiite theology. Iran’s Islamic theocratic doctrine calls for the complete annihilation of Israel and additional wave of attacks to establish global dominance of Shiite Islam. “Israel is merely a stepping stone to the West.” In order to win the “global war on terror,” which is more accurately described as a global war against fundamentalist Islam, the West must understand the enemy and their objectives.

It is the stated belief of Iranian President Ahmadinejad that it is his earthly role usher in a period of apocalyptic warfare to annihilate non-Shiite Muslims, and facilitate the "return" of the twelfth imam, signaling the end of time and supreme global rule of Shiite Islam. In a statement made by Ahmadinejad after being elected the president of Iran, he stated, "Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution has arisen and the Islamic revolution of 1384 (2005) will, if God wills, cut off the roots of injustice in the world, The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world."

To accomplish the objectives of this self-appointed Islamic savior, southern Lebanon, controlled by Iranian proxy Hezbollah, is being armed, funded, manned and controlled by Tehran. The fact that Iran is directly involved in the war against Israel was confirmed yesterday as some of the dead soldiers fighting with Hezbollah were identified as Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers. They were killed by the Israeli army in Lebanon and were transported back to Tehran through Syria, Iran’s close ally in this war. It should be noted that Iran and Syria are the largest financial sponsors of Hezbollah; numerous rockets used by Hezbollah were made by or maintained by Iran.

Additionally, two weeks ago Iranian guards assisted Hezbollah fighters in firing a radar-guided C–802 missile that hit an Israeli navy vessel off the coast of Lebanon, killing four soldiers. Israel says Iran acquired the missile from China.

Sunnis, Shi’ites table their differences to fight Israel

From Iraq, a senior member of Muqtada al-Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia, the Mahdi Army, says the group is forming a squadron of up to 1,500 elite fighters to go to Lebanon and assist Hezbollah in fighting Israel. "We are choosing the men right now," said Abu Mujtaba, who works in the loosely organized following of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. "We are preparing the right men for the job." According to military intelligence reports, Sheik al-Sadr's black-clad armed militia numbers in the thousands, operates throughout central and southern Iraq and is thought to be responsible for numerous killings of Sunnis.

In an interview with a western reporter, a rival Sunni cleric, Abdul Rahman al-Duleimi, stated that he knew of the Shi’ite’s militia's recruiting effort and that he had appealed to his own followers to fight Israel. "We know that the Mahdi militia is on this issue since the Lebanon-Israeli crisis started," said Sheik al-Duleimi (unrelated to Adnan al-Dulaimi, a Sunni cleric and leader of a major faction in Iraq’s parliament).

During Muslim prayers on Friday, Sheik al-Duleimi "called the people to volunteer, and if they cannot, they should donate anything. I called on people to donate even one bullet, because maybe this one bullet will kill one Israeli."

Many “duped” by Iran and claims of Israel’s “disproportionate use of force”

Iran is also duping the world court in two specific ways. First, while the eyes of the world are on the Middle East war, Ahmadinejad’s regime continues to push forward their nuclear agenda. More insidiously, Hezbollah, again under Iran’s direction, are hiding their weapons among civilians in Lebanon, including homes, schools and mosques. Doing so slows down Israel’s forces, and if by chance a mosque, house or school is destroyed by Israel’s determination to avoid their own death, the media is effectively used to influence world opinion against Israel and the United States.

World opinion is already strongly footed against Israel. "My country has been 'torn to shreds,'" said Fouad Siniora, prime minister of Lebanon, as the death toll among his people passed 300 civilian dead, 1,000 wounded, with half a million homeless. Israel must pay for the "barbaric destruction," said Siniora. The prime minister, however, fails to address his administrations inability to control a terrorist organization operating within the borders of his won country – one that uses the citizens of his country as human shields.

And world opinion – especially the opinion of Muslims worldwide, is equally against the U.S. Because Israel is, in part, using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs, the U.S. is as much responsible for the death and destruction in Lebanon as Israel. Accordingly, the U.S. can certainly expect retaliation just as the Israelis can expect a bitter fight that has no end in sight.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

THE TIME SHALL COME

The Time Shall Come - Commentary on the News

Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor - www.omegaletter.com

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:5-6)

The verses quoted above were part of Jesus' response to the question, "What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)

The Lord's reply to the question is known to Bible scholars as the "Olivet Discourse" because, 1) Jesus was standing 'upon the Mount of Olives' at the time, and; 2) His answer, which is contained in the three Synoptic Gospels, fills the entire chapter. It is one of the most lengthy teaching discourses in the New Testament.

The Olivet Discourse focuses its attention on events that take place DURING THE TRIBULATION, but begins by describing the events that conspire together to bring it about.

The period of wars and rumors of wars has been ongoing now since 1914 with the first truly global war in human history. It was followed by a second global war in 1939, whose conclusion brought about the ultimate 'rumor of war' between the West and the Soviet Empire.

There are two different entities under discussion, 'nations' and 'kingdoms'. The word 'nation' is translated from the Greek word 'ethnos' and describes an ethnic state, like Israel or one of the ethnic states of the Arab world. Or North Korea.

The world translated 'kingdom' 'basileia' means "royal power, kingship, dominion, rule" and it describes a national entity bound together by economic/social interests, rather than ethnic relationships.

America would fit the Biblical understanding of a 'kingdom' in the sense Americans are not bound together by blood or ethnicity, but rather by common social and economic benefits. The same could be applied to the member/states of the EU. Individually, some European countries might be ethnic in origin, but the Common Market exists for economic reasons.

The collapse of the Soviet Union uncorked a new round of ethnic unrest and international conflict, but, as Jesus was careful to note, "the end is not yet."

Ethnic or economic strife have been responsible for all the wars of modern times. The world wars were wars aimed at conquest for economic reasons. Hitler's Nazis sought both ethnic purity and "liebensraum"(living space) for Germany.

Japan's Imperial government set out to conquer Asia to ensure a steady supply of raw materials and to establish ethnic Japanese rule over Greater Asia.

Skeptics might argue that wars, ethnic unrest, even famines, earthquakes and pestilences, all have been part of the human condition since the Fall of Man at the Garden of Eden. (Or since the first amoeba turned into a person . . . for the skeptic who can't bring himself to believe in God, but finds no conflict of faith in a frog turning into a prince).

Note that Jesus said "all these are the beginning of sorrows." The word 'sorrow' first appears in Scripture in Genesis 3:16 when God tells Eve, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." "Sorrow" is translated from the Hebrew "itstsabown" and refers to labor pains.

The Greek word 'odin' translated as 'sorrows' in Matthew 24:8 also refers to labor pains.

Every parent who has ever lived could instantly grasp the meaning of this metaphor -- that is why Jesus chose it. As the birth of a child approaches, the mother begins to experience labor pains, which, having once begun, continue to increase in both frequency and intensity as the moment of birth approaches.

Prospective parents in Jesus' day did exactly what I did with each of my kids -- timed the interval between the contractions. It was a carefully chosen metaphor designed to resonate with all people, of all cultures, in all generations. But, to the generation to whom those signs were addressed, the meaning would be unmistakable.

When one compares the accuracy of the Bible's account of the unknowable future to the ever-changing scientific 'explanations' for the distant past, doubts melt away. The skeptic has multiple explanations for static events that have already happened.

The Bible gives a single explanation for a fluid, changeable series of events predicted to happen thousands of years in the future -- the events that define our present day. Which is more convincing?

Bible prophecy proves Jesus was the Son of God, regardless of the latest scientific, archeological or historical discovery. No matter what else might be offered as 'evidence' to the contrary, there is no other explanation for Bible prophecy. It is our generation's unique miracle.

It proves that He remains in charge of the affairs of men. Scripture records His Promise in all three Gospel accounts, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35. Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" (2 Peter 1:19)

Bible prophecy is proof positive that God remains on the Throne, that His Word will NOT return to Him void, and that all the chaos and terror of the world notwithstanding, all continues to go according to His plan.

Given the unbeliever's explanation of uncontrolled chaos, Bible prophecy isn't all that depressing, after all. What WOULD be depressing would be to be among the lost, not knowing what this world is coming to, and believing the world is in a state of uncontrolled chaos.

For the believer, Bible prophecy can be pretty encouraging, which is what the Lord intended for the last days' Church all along:

"But these things have I told you, that WHEN THE TIME SHALL COME, ye may remember that I told you of them." (John 16:4)
_________________________________________________________________

RUSSIAN-SYRIAN-IRANIAN AXIS

UNCOVERED: RUSSIAN-SYRIAN-IRANIAN AXIS - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com

For students of Bible prophecy, even the title of this communiqué should set off alarm sirens. I just received some electrifying intelligence data. First, from the Debka-Net-Weekly's briefing. And second, from some personal intelligence sources (I carefully guard) that confirm Debka's report.

Russia, Iran and Syria have entered a defense pact that is in the process of altering the balance of power in the entire Middle East. Russia's part in the pact has been kept relatively secret for a long time. But the facts reveal a long steady Russian commitment to the Iranian nuclear program and arms supply to Syria.

A Mossad General shared with me in confidence that he had personally traced the hiring and importation to Iran 283 of the defunct Soviet Union's top nuclear and missile scientists. This meeting took place in February of 1991.

I shared this information with no one until nine months later when it was first made public (although strangely not followed up by the mainstream media). All Russian leaders continued and expanded this agreement to this day, especially our supposed friend, Vladimir Putin.

Russia has helped the Iranian nuclear program from its inception. Hundreds of Russian scientists with their families live around the some twenty scattered nuclear related facilities. Russian 'Spetznaz soldiers' (special forces) guard all the key nuclear facilities.

Iran has had some help on missile development from the North Koreans. But even their missiles are based upon Russian designs. The unmistakable culprit in China, North Korea and Iran's nuclear development has been the Soviet Union and continued by Russia.

The Soviet Union's motivation for helping China and North Korea was primarily ideological. Russia's primary reason is hard cash, although now, it is taking on a strategic importance as well.

So here are the disturbing hard facts about what is taking place in what can only be viewed as a dangerous anti-western strategy in the form of a Russian-Syrian-Iranian Axis.

The first part of this strategy was, as I said above, Russia enabling Iran to produce deliverable nuclear warheads. The second part was the forming of the recent mutual defense pact between Iran and Syria. The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria, Mostafa Najjar and Hassan Turkmani, signed the pact in Tehran on June 15th, 2006.

Debka's intelligence sources unveiled a disturbing clause in the agreement that was reported to President Bush by US Intelligence. This report disclosed:

"The clause speaks of more than one battery of upgraded SHEHAB-3 surface-to-surface missiles to be deployed on the 13,000-foot Jabal Ash Shanin ridges towering over central Syria.

"The latest Syrian-Iranian exchanges are reported by DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources as auguring the early dispatch from Tehran of a deputation of officers to take up position at al Qadnus, east of the Syrian port of Tartus, and along the road linking the port to Jabal Ash Shanin.

"This team will act as the vanguard of the Iranian missile force to operate the missiles station, will check out the ground and fix its precise location.

"Senior intelligence officials warned the US President that this deployment would not just throw the entire Middle East balance of strength out of kilter, but directly menace American bases as far as West and East Europe and the Central Asian republics, including those located on the shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea."

This puts virtually all of Europe within range of the soon-coming nuclear tipped Iranian missiles — and at the whim of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Remember him? He is the one who believes Allah has chosen him to fulfill an "end time" Muslim prophecy by starting a world apocalypse in which the long-awaited 'Mahdi' (Muslim Messiah) will appear and subject all survivors to Allah.

As if this isn't bad enough news, there is something even more alarming developing within this new axis of evil. Russia is now making moves to protect Syria and its Shehab-3 missile base. This is what DEBKA-News-Weekly reported:

"Our sources have observed the Russians dredging the port of TARTUS, Syria's second most important Mediterranean port, with a view to expanding their logistical supply point there to a fully-equipped naval base, possibly to serve the Black Sea Fleet warships when they are redeployed from the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. It is designed to be built up into the permanent base for the fleet led by the RFS Moskva (TG Flag) missile cruiser and the RFS Azov landing ship within the next three years.

"February 27, 2006, DEBKA file's exclusive sources found the MOSKVA and AZOV heading into the Mediterranean on Feb. 5, escorted by a Russian military tug, to take part in the a NATO marine exercise Operation Active Endeavor, which was to practice counter-measures against nuclear and other WMD smugglers. NATO chiefs and American generals in particular, attached great importance to Russia's participation in the exercise. NATO secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer had intended to make the gesture of being the North Atlantic Organization chief to visit a Russian flagship.

"The visit was cancelled when it was discovered that the three Russian fleet vessels would be paying an official call at the Syrian port of Latakia.

"The arrival of the Russian task force in TARTUS in March marked the opening of the Russian base. Our military experts note that the Missile Cruiser MOSKVA is armed with the weapons, radar and electronic gear of an [aircraft] carrier hunter.

"The American intelligence briefing for the US President further disclosed that sophisticated Russian air defense systems are to be installed for the dual purpose of protecting the TARTUS NAVAL BASE and the SHEHAB-3 missile emplacements. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources identify the system as the S-300PMU-2. It will be operated by Russian military crews and not put in Syrian hands.

"This air defense system is comparable to the American Patriot, but is more effective.

"The version to be deployed in Syria is geared to intercept ballistic missiles. It has the great advantage of being ready to fire five minutes after receiving orders …"

This explains why Iran has blatantly defied the world and continued developing nuclear warheads, which are closer to becoming operational than we dare believe.

Second, it explains the reason why the Iranian and Syrian defense ministers signed a mutual defense pact last June 15th.

Third, it gives the reason for Hezbollah launching a war with Israel when they did. It was to divert the G-8 leaders from seriously debating action about the Iranian nuclear threat. And Vladimir Putin played a masterful game of concealing what his forces are doing.

Fourth, it explains why Syria and Iran are unafraid to openly support Hezbollah in their war with Israel and support terrorist that target US troops in Iraq. Russia is in the background guaranteeing their protection.

Debka reports that they found data indicating that Russia helped persuade Syrian President Bashir Assad to accept the placement of Iranian missiles on their soil by hinting that "it is part of their own deepening strategic plans for Syria.

What is most important is that all this is setting up Ezekiel's 2600-year-old prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 38. Persia, or modern Iran, is listed a chief among the Muslim nations Russia will lead into an all-out assault against Israel. This is predicted to be the first battle of the war of Armageddon.

The one nation that does not seem to be listed is Syria. I believe this is because as a result of actions it is now taking against Israel, Isaiah's prophecy about Damascus in the last days is going to be soon fulfilled.

Twenty Seven hundred years ago, Isaiah warned, "An oracle concerning Damascus: "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins … In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away." (Isaiah 17:1, 4 NIV)

To establish the time of this event, look at these factors. First, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously populated cities on earth. It has never been totally destroyed – yet.

Second, it is in a context of events that lead up to the catastrophes that precede the Lord Jesus' Second Coming. Third, it is far enough away from that event that Jacob (Israel) is enduring terrible circumstances. Fourth, Syria and the tribal name of its forefathers are not mentioned in the Russian led Muslim Confederacy that launches Armageddon in the middle of the Tribulation.

All of this leads me to believe that Damascus will be destroyed before the Tribulation begins. I believe that Damascus is about to so threaten Israel's existence by either launching or furnishing bio-chemical weapons or radioactive dirty bombs, that Israel will nuke them. Israel has sworn that it will implement the Samson-Option against any nation that attacks them with any form of weapons of mass destruction. That means a thermonuclear strike. This may soon happen to Syria.

This in turn will so terrify the world, that it will be ripe to embrace the antichrist when he is unveiled. And that could be very, very soon.

Thank God that you have received the gift of pardon that Jesus purchased by dying in your place under the judgment for your sins. You will be miraculously snatched up to heaven to meet Him before the antichrist is revealed.

But if you haven't received this free gift of pardon and accepted Jesus into your life, now is the time. Don't put it off. It is like playing Russian roulette with eternity. Pray right now and receive your forgiveness. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and make it what He wants it to be. He will give you new desires, new joy and purpose for living. Do it now.
_________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

THE MIDDLE EAST IS BACK ON THE BRINK OF ALL OUT WAR

The Middle East is Back on the Brink of All Out War - OUT of ZION Ministries - www.out-of-zion.com

Israel is Under Attack

In 1990 Israel withdrew from the 20 km security zone in South Lebanon that they had maintained as a buffer zone against Hizb'Allah rocket attacks. Israel then withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 in a " land for peace " deal. The Palestinians got the land, but all Israel got was more Kassam rocket attacks in the last eight months than during the last 10 years. Then out of the blue, in the morning of Wednesday July 12th, Hizb'Allah declared war on Israel on as they infiltrated across the northern border with Lebanon, killing 8 soldiers and taking 2 prisoner. Israel and Hizb'Allah have been involved in a tit for tat campaign ever since. More than 1000 rockets have struck Israeli towns and cities, killing 14 civilians and injuring hundreds more, and causing serious damage to building and infrastructure. It is now Tuesday morning. I am writing this article as Hizb'Allah rockets are once again striking our home town of Haifa, and many of the other northern towns. Eight residents of Haifa have so far been killed in this barrage of rocket fire.

Once again the Middle East is on the brink of all out war and all eyes are again focused on Israel and her neighbours. Apart from President Bush and PM Tony Blair, most of the world's politicians and most of the secular media are calling for Israel to show restraint. One has to ask " What is wrong with the world ? Why do the political leaders expect Israel to show restraint or negotiate with people who openly admit that the very purpose of their existence is the destruction of Israel ? Which other responsible government would not use all the resources at its disposal to protect their citizens ? Why are the majority of the world so quick to take the side of the Muslim Arab world and oppose Israel every time ? Why does the secular media do their best to show Israel in bad light ?"

And what is wrong with the Church ? We are hearing from many of our friends that their church didn't even pray for Israel last Sunday even though this extremely serious escalation began last week. If your church is not interested or involved, at least in prayer, then we need to help your leaders understand the importance of Israel to the Church.. We are not discussing a theological or a doctrinal issue - this is war. Israel is under attack and while the world is telling Israel to show restraint, most of the church is standing by praising the God of Israel while His nation and His people are under attack. Sadly very little has changed since the days of the Nazi Holocaust, when the nations and the church stood by while six million Jews were anihilated in the Nazi gas chambers.

Arming the Body of Messiah

The purpose of this article is to arm you with the facts to help you stand up for Israel at this strategic time. We need the Church to be like Esther - to rise up in defense of Israel, the future location of the Kingdom of God on the Earth. If the enemy manages to destroy Israel then the Kingdom of God will not come. Of course that won't happen because God is infinitely greater, but according to 2 Peter 3:12 the day of the Lord's return can be hastened or delayed. Each of us must play our part in facilitating the former - hastening the day of the Lord's return. Therefore it is imperative that we have as much understanding as possible concerning Israel's place in the plans and purposes of God.

The Heart of the Conflict

The heart of the problem in the Middle East has two parallel aspects - the spiritual aspect and the natural aspect. In the spiritual realm the heart if the conflict is in the heart of Jerusalem - the Temple Mount. We can see that very clearly in the following verses. Firstly YHVH tells us that He has chosen the Temple Mount for Himself as a house of sacrifice

2 Chronicles 7:12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.

verse 16 "For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever;

Then we read in Isaiah that Satan also wants to lay claim to the very same place ............

Isaiah 14:12-14 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation (NKJ)

The real heart of the problem is very clearly and very simply over whether God or Satan will have possession of the Temple Mount. That's the simple and quick part of the problem. The natural aspect is more complicated. It is a family feud over the land that was once called Canaan and is now known as Israel. This is just a small part of the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendants .........

Gen 15:18-21 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates--"the Kenites, the Kenezzites, and the Kadmonites, "the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Rephaim, "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." (NKJ)

Both the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael lay claim to the land. But is it simple to find out who the promise was to. In Genesis 21:21 we read In Isaac your seed shall be called. And again in Psalm 105:6 - 11 we can see it ........ 6 O seed of Abraham His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones! 7 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, 9 The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, 10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, 11 Saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance," (NKJ)

Deuteronomy 30:1-5 Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you, "and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, "that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you. "If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. "Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. (NKJ)

For Bible believing Christians there is no room for interpretation or discussion. Without doubt, God has given the land to the Jewish people as an eternal covenant, and every Christian is obliged to submit to the Lord's will in the matter. We must warn other Christians not to accept any of the reasons that the anti-Semitic Replacement Theology people put forward to deny these facts. This tiny nation of Israel has been supernaturally resurrected and protected for 59 years as it is the foundation of the Kingdom of God. He is the God of Israel and there is nowhere else His Kingdom can be established.

The Devil knows this is true. That Is why Israel has always been under attack. Acts 3:21 says that the Lord is being restrained in Heaven until all of the prophecies (concerning Israel ) are fulfilled. That is why Israel is under attack today. No Israel would mean no second coming of the Messiah. The devil knows it, but it seems millions of Christians do not know it. The well being of Israel is, or should be, the most important issue for every Christian who is looking forward to the return of her Lord and King. Did your church pray for Israel this Sunday? If not I am challenging you to ask your leadership why not. The Kingdom of God and the people of Israel need you right now, as never before, to stand with us, and to pray for us, and to be an Esther Church. Isaiah 62:6 & 7 says to give the Lord no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in all of the Earth and we say give your leaders no rest until they get serious about standing with Israel.

The Secular World

As usual the majority of world leaders and secular media are being extremely critical of Israel's attempt to free the kidnapped soldiers and stop the attack of rockets from Gaza and from Lebanon. This has been the pattern since just after the victory in the Six Day War of 1967. Prior to that date Israel was a hero in the eyes of the world for the incredible way the Jewish people strived to establish the country in the face of constant aggression from all of the surrounding Arab countries. With Israel regaining East Jerusalem and the West Bank, we saw the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its leader Yassar Arafat. The media began to parrot Arafat's claims of a Palestinian people and their rights to a Palestinians State. After 39 years of hearing about the Palestinian people and the illegally occupied territories, most of the world and much of the Church believes it. The whole Palestinian issue is a fable. Here are some of the real facts .........

* God promised all of the disputed land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

* Jewish people have lived in the disputed land for more than 3400 years

* There is no mention of a country called Palestine in the Bible - it never existed

* The Romans plundered Israel in 70 AD, called Jerusalem Aerolinus Capitalinus, and later changing the name from Israel to Palestine

* As the land changed hands many times over the last 1900 yrs, there was a constant Jewish presence

* Mark Twain visited the Holy Land in the 1860's and reported finding 3 times as many Jews as Arabs living in Jerusalem

* The British Partition of 1917 gave all of the land west of the River Jordan as a Jewish homeland

* In 1948 the Jews extended a hand of friendship to the resident Arabs - 350,000 accepted and became Israeli Arabs 650,000 declined and left the country at the request of the Arab League

* There are now 1 million Israeli Arabs who enjoy a good life under Israeli government, whereas the so called Palestinians live in abject poverty under the Palestinian Authority

* Arab lands are 650 times larger in size than Israel and they have all of the oil.

* Israel sits in the midst of 260 million sworn Islamic enemies

* Hamas, Hizb'Allah, and the president of Iran have all publicly called for the total destruction and removal of the state of Israel.

* The majority of Muslims would agree with this desire to see the removal of Israel.

Obviously the above facts are disregarded by the many voices who blame Israel for all of the problems in the Middle East and are now calling for Israel to show restraint as Hizb'Allah attempts to carry out its desire to destroy Israel. It makes no sense to oppose Israel's right to defend itself and to root out and kill those who are responsible for initiating this act of war and those who are firing the missiles into Israel. Calls to stop fighting and start negotiating are irrelevant. You cannot negotiate with an enemy whose only goal is to annihilate you.

The time has come for the politicians and the media to wake up to the truth. The Jewish people are the legal occupiers of the land. Stop talking about the Quartet's Road Map. It will never happen because it is not the Lord's map for peace. No matter how hard the western leaders try, the radical Muslims will never accept Israel in the Middle East. Their religious book the Koran does not allow them to. As long as they are Muslim, they will never change their attitude to Israel.

* Any attempt to circumvent God's plans for the territory that Israel occupies can only bring the wrath of God upon the nations that are involved in the division of His land.

* Israel does not want to take any more land than is rightfully theirs

* The Arab nations do not need to demand the West Bank or Gaza as they have more than enough land to resettle the Palestinians who don't want to enjoy the blessings of living in God's land under a benevolent Israeli government

* Instead of using their money to fund the war against Israel, the land and oil rich Arab nations could build a wonderful country for those who do not want to remain in Israeli territory. They could build another Dubai out there in the millions of miles of uninhabited desert. It could be glorious and all the citizens of Israel, Egypt and Lebanon could all enjoy life on the wonderful Mediter-ranean coastline.

The Only Solution

The nations must be realistic when it comes to dealing with the Middle East. The only way to stop this and any future violence, is to work alongside Israel to cripple every terror group, both in the Middle East and elsewhere. Over the last 40 years, the Western nations have been guilty of appeasement and compromise which has allowed the terror groups to grow very strong. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem also notes that some of the blame for this tragic state of affairs lies at the door of the United Nations and the wider world community, in that they failed to insist on the complete disarm-ament of Hizb'Allah, and its removal from southern Lebanon, as called for in UN Security Council resolutions. Hizb'Allah, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and all of the terror organisations must be reigned in if there is to be even a temporary peace in the Middle East. And the Church must repent of its Replacement Theology influenced propensity to oppose Israel's right to live in peace in the land that the God they claim to worship, promised to Abraham.

Interesting Timing

Finally I find it very interesting that this massive escalation in the conflict began on the morning of the Hebrew date of Tammuz 17th. This is the date that marks the 21 day period leading up to 9th of Av, the day when all of Israel's disastrous events have occurred, including the destruction of both Temples. We must assume that the Lord is always in control of everything and that what is happening right now in the Middle East is in His will and in His timing. We really need to have revelation of what is happening in the spirit realm, so that we can pray accordingly. We may well be much closer to the Great Tribulation and return of the Lord than most of us think.
__________________________________________________________________

Monday, July 17, 2006

NEARING MIDNIGHT

July 17

Praying for World War III?

Once again the nation of Israel has become the center of world attention. The unrest started two weeks ago in the Gaza Strip area when Palestinian forces tunneled into Israel, killing two soldiers and abducting Corporal Gilad Shalit in a raid. A few days later, the situation was made worse when Hezbollah forces opened up a northern front, killing eight soldiers and taking two more captive. Hezbollah has also been firing rockets into northern Israel.

The Israeli military has responded to the unprovoked attack with a series of bombings. It has bombed several transportation hubs and a command center used by the terrorists. There are some reports that Israel has sent strong warnings to Iran and Syria that could lead to a wider conflict.

Whenever there is a blow-up in the Middle East, I often get emails from people who think I’m sitting at my computer and salivating all over myself with glee over the prospect of war. Here is one good example:

“A friend and I from work were watching CNN today on our lunch break. We saw breaking news from the Mideast where Israel was bombing Beirut. He turned to me and said, 'You know, Christian fundamentals are salivating right now; they believe this is the beginning of the "rapture."' I laughed a little and thought to myself, 'Are there really people out there so incensed with their faith that they actually believe this is the end?' So I decided to research it on the net. Sure as God made little green apples, here you are!”

I don’t get excited every time there is conflict in the Middle East. The Lord Jesus commanded His followers to watch patiently for His return. Because God is totally in control of the timeline, there is no need for cheerleading. As far as World War III goes, man's wickedness will eventfully ensure its arrival. The whole Rapture Ready crew shares this view. Consider the following message that one of our admin posted on the message board:

“Some of our guests may have the impression that Christians are rooting for the apocalypse and are rejoicing at seeing blood spilled. The media sometimes portrays Christians that way, but it simply isn't true. While we long to see God's will done here on earth, just as it is in heaven, we know that this will not happen until some terrible things come to pass. But we don't rejoice in the suffering that occurs as it happens, nor do we find the death that both the military and civilians incur in the process cause for celebration.”

My nearly 20 years of experience with the site has taught me to have a long view. Every time a prophecy-related event is in the news, thousands of people flock to Rapture Ready. When activity wanes, the majority of these people lose all interest in the end times. Last month, the 06/06/06 date generated a mini media frenzy, setting a two-year record for traffic to the site. A week after the beast date, the traffic flow had returned to normal. My expectation is to see the same thing happen with this current traffic surge.

I’m not urging everyone just to ignore what is going on in the Holy Land. I see the turbulence as a clear warning of our proximity to the last days. If the situation continues to steadily worsen, events could quickly lead us to the tribulation hour. The fact that Israel keeps coming back to the brink is one indication that it has a prophetic destiny.

The critics of Bible prophecy can moan and groan all they want, but they cannot stop world events from going down the path predestined by God himself. Even Israel is powerless to stop the progression of prophecy. In the past decade, the Jewish state has taken several measure to avert conflict. It signed several peace pacts with its Arab neighbors, it gave up land as a goodwill gesture, and it's built a wall around much of its territory. In the end, the so-called peace process has only helped make matters more ripe for prophecy.

The same Bible that predicts that Israel will be a “burdensome stone for all people” (Zec. 12:3) also forewarns of a great calamity that will lead to the death of over two-thirds of the human population. It is very sad to read emails from people who are smart enough to understand that the unrest has a connection to prophecy, and yet they mock the implications it has for them.

There is coming a day when there will be no doubt that the end times have arrived. When the rapture takes place, the skeptics will have all the evidence they need to make the correct decision about eternity. Unfortunately, the new stakes will then require a willingness to suffer martyrdom for one's faith. Anyone who is currently on the fence would be very wise make the right choice now.

"When these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28).
--- Todd

ISAIAH 17-AN ORACLE CONCERNING DAMASCUS

"Isaiah 17, An Oracle Concerning Damascus" - Jack Kelley - www.gracethrufaith.com

Isaiah 17: An Oracle Concerning Damascus: The situation between Hezbollah and Israel is heating up, and nobody seems able (or even willing) to stop it. The US and Russia have agreed that Israel has a right to defend itself from unprovoked aggression, and even the moderate Arab states have questioned Hezbollah's motives.

At the recent emergency meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers sharp rifts erupted as moderate Arab states denounced Hezbollah for starting the conflict, according to Fox News.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal called the group's actions "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible," telling his counterparts: "These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we cannot simply accept them."

Supporting his stance were representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, delegates said.

The only ones openly supporting Hezbollah are Syria and Iran, both widely suspected of having engineered the confrontation in the first place.

Today (July 15) The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported that "Washington has information according to which Israel gave Damascus 72 hours to stop Hezbullah's activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and bring about the release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers or it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences."

Unless somebody blinks soon, this crisis has the potential to escalate into the fulfillment of Isaiah 17's Oracle against Damascus. With that in mind, I'm delaying the publication of our next chapter of the Book of Revelation to present this updated commentary on Isaiah 17.

An Oracle Concerning Damascus:
"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. (Isaiah 17:1-2) Because of the language of these verses, many scholars believe that this prophecy was only partially fulfilled when the Assyrians defeated the Arameans and overran their capital, Damascus, in 732 BC. To this day Damascus is thought to be the world's oldest continuously inhabited city with a 5000-year history and a population close to 2 million, yet Isaiah 17:1 indicates that it will one day cease to exist.

Some believe the phrase "cities of Aroer" refers to Aramean territory east of the Jordan River around the Arnon River, which flows into the Dead Sea in southern Jordan. However, the Jewish Encyclopedia claims that this phrase in Isaiah 17:2 is probably translated incorrectly, because of its geographical distance from Damascus. While they say it's possible that there may have been another Aroer near Damascus, it is more likely that the passage should be rendered "the cities thereof shall be forsaken." If that's the correct translation, it would include the Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, which was part of Aramean territory in Isaiah's time, and is in a direct line between Beirut and Damascus.

The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites," declares the LORD Almighty. "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm- as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. (Isaiah 17:3-5)

This segment speaks of the fall of Samaria 10 years later in 722 BC, and the systematic relocation of everyone showing any leadership tendencies to the far reaches of the Assyrian Empire. This was standard Assyrian policy to reduce the likelihood of subsequent rebellion among their conquered peoples. Jacob and Ephraim are alternate names for the Northern Kingdom, and Samaria was its capital. Judah was the name given to the Southern Kingdom, later changed to Judea in the Greek and Roman eras.

Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful boughs," declares the LORD, the God of Israel. (Isaiah 17:6)

Not all the people were dispersed. A remnant remained in the land, casting further doubt on the "lost 10 tribes" hypothesis. It was this remnant that came to be known as the Samaritans in the time of Jesus. (A quick reading of 2 Chronicles 11:16 shows that all 12 tribes were represented in the Southern Kingdom of Judah at the time of the civil war that divided the nation. There are no lost tribes. The Lord has always preserved a remnant of all the Tribes of Israel.)

In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation. (Isaiah 17:7-9)

This is another passage that's problematic for those who try to consign the whole prophecy to history. There is simply no reason to believe that the Assyrians turned to God following their conquest of Aram and Israel. And far from abandoning their cities because of the Israelites, it was the Israelites who were defeated and dispersed. The yet future Jewish attack on Damascus causing the destruction and abandonment of Syrian cities, and the eventual return of the survivors to their God is a much more likely fulfillment. And it could happen soon.

The Israelis have all but announced plans to mount a pre-emptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. Iran and Syria supply the money, weaponry and supervisory manpower for the 16,000 or so missiles Hezbollah has arrayed against Israel. They are believed to have directed Hezbollah to provoke this attack to demonstrate their combined strength as a deterrent to Israel's plans. But I don't think anyone expected Israel's new government, thought by most to lack sufficient backbone for this kind of thing, to respond so forcefully. Now that they have, the West sees the possibility for a major victory in the War on Terror by knocking out a player or two. Israel has promised to destroy Hezbollah before they stop, and the West may see an opportunity here to punish Syria for killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri last spring. Better stay tuned.

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain. (Isaiah 17:10-11)

Asshur, father of the Assyrians, and Aram, father of the Arameans were both sons of Shem. Aram's son Uz is the traditional founder of Damascus. The knowledge of God in the memories of these patriarchs cannot be questioned. It wasn't that they never knew Him, but that they had forgotten Him, abandoned Him in favor of the Canaanite gods of the region, Baal and his consort Ashtoreth (aka Asherah, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus.) Currently Syria is almost totally Moslem. Until they return to their Maker and Savior none of their plans and schemes will prosper in the long run.

But return to Him they will. In Isaiah 19 we're told that in the Kingdom Age there'll be a highway extending from Egypt to Assyria, and both will stand with Israel to receive the Lord's blessing. (Isaiah 19:23-25)

Oh, the raging of many nations- they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples- they roar like the roaring of great waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us. (Isaiah 17:12-14)

Having conquered both the Arameans and the Northern Kingdom, the Assyrians set their sights on the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Assyria's King Sennacherib brought his armies almost literally to the gates of Jerusalem, so close his commanders were within speaking distance of the Jewish defenders. On the night before they were to attack, the Lord sent His angel into the Assyrian camp on Mt. Scopus to slaughter 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Before dawn they had packed up and fled, ending 44 years of conquest. (Isaiah 37:36-38) This time in Israel's history so parallels the Jewish view of the End Times that Sennacherib is seen by them as a type of the anti-christ, while Judah's King Hezekiah models the Messiah.

But notice that Isaiah speaks of many nations raging against God's people, not just Assyria, leading us once again to consider Sennacherib's defeat as a partial fulfillment.

Today many nations are stirred up by Israel's response to the Hezbollah rocket attack and kidnapping. They say it's extreme, not appropriate to the circumstances. Many believe that Syria will soon try to provoke a Jewish response, and Israel's 72 hour ultimatum may be their cue. If that should cause a further escalation we can easily envision a scenario that includes the final fulfillment of Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus.

The phrase "rushing of many waters" is often used to describe a loud voice. Such an escalation would certainly cause an incredible uproar among the nations, and many loud voices.

If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. Updated 07-15-06.
_________________________________________________________________

THE BURDEN OF DAMASCUS

The burden of Damascus- Chuck Missler - www.khouse.org (Note: The following article is a couple of years, yet it relates to our current headlines' ...)

". Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap ... And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us." Isaiah 17:1,14

"Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!" Jeremiah 49:24-25

:: "Taken Away From Being a City.."

Many who study Bible prophecy believe that one of the soon to be fulfilled events may be the destruction of Damascus as prophesied in Isaiah 17. Damascus is the capital of Syria.

Syria is finding their way into the News Headlines more and more lately. Whether it is because of their extremely harsh stance against Israel, or the fact that Damascus is the home to numerous terrorist organizations, or even more recently because of the trouble they are stirring up in the Iraqi war. Suffice it to say, they are getting some attention.

The purpose of this article is to focus on some prophecies in God's Word concerning Syria ... more specifically their capital Damascus. The most obvious reason that we believe these prophecies are yet future, is because Damascus exists! It has NEVER ceased to be a city!

Let's look at the History, Facts, and most importantly ... the Scripture.

:: "The Oldest Continuously Inhabited City"

Damascus is named 60 times in 55 verses in the King James Bible. The first time we see it mentioned is right at the beginning in Genesis 14:15.

Later, we see the prophet Isaiah declaring; (in strong, definitive language regardless of translation)

KJV-"Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."

NKJV-"Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap."

NASB-"Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city. And will become a fallen ruin."

NIV-"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins."

NLT-"Look, Damascus will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins."

Yet as irony would have it, today Damascus has a "claim to fame" which is, that it is "the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world".

On CNN Presents March 15, 2003 ... "Lines in the Sand". Shelia Macvicar, CNN Senior International Correspondent, took a trip to the Middle East to see how a war with Iraq would play in the Arab world.

From the transcripts ... "When you talk about civilization, Syrians like to remind you their capital Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, an old culture that has slowly started to embrace reform. For nearly 20 years, Syria has been on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terror and it has not yet made peace with Israel...." Here's a few more ...

"Located in a strategic gap commanding the Barada River and transdesert routes, Damascus has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is reputedly the oldest continuously occupied city in the world. There was a city on its site even before the time (c.2000 BC) of Abraham..." encyclopedia.com

"Damascus is known to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. There is firm evidence that in the third millennium BC, Damascus was a population center of a civilization that was considerably prosperous and economically influential. The earliest reference to the city was found in the archaeological site of Ebla in 1975; where the word "Damaski" was found on one of the clay tablets. Some historians believe that the city actually dates back to the seventh millennium BC..." damascus online

"Said to be the world's oldest inhabited city, Damascus today is a thriving modern capital. Three thousand years ago it was the capital of the Aramean Kingdom and was later conquered by Alexander the Great, when it became an important Greek city. It was also a major city of the Roman Empire and fell to the Muslims in 635A.D ..." arab.net

"The capital and largest city of Syria, in the southwest part of the country. Inhabited since prehistoric times ..." dictionary.com

"Damascus (Sham or Dimashq as we call it) has the reputation of being the oldest city in the world. More recent discoveries suggest that Damascus was first settled ca. 6,000 B.C. but some discoveries suggest that it is older than 8,000 B.C. but we don't know exactly who ruled Damascus at that time. An old story says that its name "Sham" was derived from "Shem" the eldest son of Noah because he chose to live there after the flood...." arabicnet

"Damascus is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, and reports run back at least 3,500 years. Many claim that Damascus is the oldest continued inhabited city in the world. While modern Damascus is a standard Middle Eastern city, it was famous for centuries, and often referred to as the "pearl of the East".... lexicorient I think it has been established that Damascus has been a city for quite some time, and indeed remains as such today.

:: Prophecy or History?

"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not." Job 33:14

One of the intriguing things about Bible Prophecy is that very often we find there is an immediate smaller or partial fulfillment foreshadowing a larger or complete fulfillment yet to come. Some use the phrase short and long term prophecy regarding this. Where as, some of what is being described in a given passage was applicable to the time period in which it was written ... further study may reveal a broader future fulfillment in these last days.

"When the prophets wrote, they were using a telescoping perspective, like a zoom lens with dynamic focal length. They would prophesy about something that would not be far away, and then, in the same breath, talk about something that would happen centuries later. That also resulted in double references, like an echo in advance. For instance, Daniel wrote of a particular king, but he was also referring to events in the final days..." (Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, pg. 126 - Dr. Chuck Missler)

One of the reasons that God may have designed Prophecy in this manner, could have been so that His true prophets would be validated by having their prophecies come to pass in their own lifetimes. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Then in doing this, also declare much more than was immediately apparent. Of course in hindsight, we can look at the bigger picture, and see - from our last days viewpoint - how incredibly God arranged these events. To be true. Then true again.

For a great example of this, let's take literal Babylon (Iraq) "the land of the Chaldeans" ... The destruction described in several passages is quite detailed, and it has not yet occurred. The Bible says it would be destroyed like Sodom & Gomorrah and would never be inhabited again etc. (Isaiah 14:19-22 ... Jeremiah 50:39-40) Babylon in fact, was conquered in 539 B.C. by Cyrus the Persian. But he took it without a battle and of this he bragged! "... without any battle, he entered the town, sparing any calamity..." (The Stele of Cyrus, The British Museum in London) There is clearly some unfinished business concerning Babylon.

Many believe this is also the case with the Damascus prophecies. While many prophecy students believe this event is yet future ... you may find multiple commentaries mentioning how Isaiah 17 was fulfilled in 2 Kings 16:9 when Tiglath-pileser "went up against Damascus". But, the city never ceased to exist. The strong wording of the passages that predict this city's dramatic and final judgment we believe are yet future.

(Recently we found a website, trying to discredit the Bible ... as coincidence would have it, one of the arguments they presented was that this prophecy in Isaiah 17 was never fulfilled! ... Stay tuned!)

:: On the Naughty List

Syria's blatant hatred for Israel is common knowledge. Their leaders usually pepper their speech with Anti-Semitic language every chance they get. Just recently Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with a Lebanese newspaper that as long as the Jewish state exists it will be a threat.

"As long as Israel exists, the threat exists. As long as there is aggression against an Arab country, and as long as there is a war close to our borders, the danger continues. Anyone who does not worry in such circumstances does not see reality. Worry does not mean fear, but readiness for the confrontation. ..." "... None of us and none of the Arabs trust Israel. It is natural that we should always expect an Israeli attack, even when it does not threaten. It should be known that Israel is based on treachery. This is a point to be considered thoroughly. We are dealing with treachery and threats, which accompanied the establishment of Israel. Since its very inception, Israel has been a threat. It is the Israeli nature, and for that Israel was established." (Syrian President Bashar Assad --> more)

This view is nothing new ... right after Israel became a Nation (May 14, 1948) fulfilling Bible Prophecy and kick-starting the last of the last days ... Damascus radio was calling on all Arabs to: "undertake the liberation battle that will tear the hearts from the bodies of the hateful Jews and trample them in the dust" - quoted in TIME, June 2, p. 20

Syria is a charter member of the list of "state sponsors of terrorism"--appearing on the first such list in 1979--and it has kept its spot on that list ever since. According to the State Department, the Syrian government has not been directly engaged in terrorism since it was implicated in the attempted bombing of an El Al flight in 1986. Nevertheless, Syria has retained its status as a state-sponsor of terrorism because it meets the criteria outlined in the Arms Export Amendments Act of 1989, which in part defines terrorist states as those that allow their territory to be used as a sanctuary; provide logistical support to terrorists or terrorist organizations; provide safe haven or headquarters for terrorists and their organizations; plan, direct, train, or assist in activities; and/or provide financial support for activities.

According to the 1998 edition of the State Department's annual report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, Syria provides safe haven and logistical support to terrorists. Specifically, says Patterns 1998, Damascus permits numerous terrorist groups -- headed by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC)--to maintain their headquarters in Damascus and Syria-controlled territory in Lebanon, and it allows Hizballah to receive military supplies via Syrian territory.... the Peace Encyclopedia

"Syria, a fierce foe of Israel, hosts 10 radical Palestinian factions in its capital, Damascus." March 1, 2003 - jerusalem post

Damascus = a sack full of blood; the similitude of burning ... Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

:: 4 Strikes - You're Out?

"...For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof..." Amos 1:3

Frequently referenced, is the above passage in Amos, concerning coming judgment on Damascus. Many are aware that Syria, has attacked Israel in 3 major wars since Israel became a nation again in 1948. Could it be that Syria, will actually attempt a 4th time to do great harm to Israel and in turn be dealt this extreme judgment from the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob?

The War of Independence
- The War of Independence, 1948 - Peace Encyclopedia - Israeli War for Independence - ADL The 6 Day War - The Six-Day War - Peace Encyclopedia - The 1967 War - ADL The Yom Kippur War - The Yom Kippur War, 1973 - Peace Encyclopedia - The 1973 Yom Kippur War - ADL

:: Too Close for Comfort!

For those of you who think this horrific event could not occur, brace yourselves. On at least one occasion it almost did ...

On February 16, 2001 ... There was a combined American-British air raid against the Command/Control center in Iraq, 20 miles North of Baghdad. The intention was to pre-empt Saddam Hussein.

There were 2 US AWACS, 4 Hawkeye-A2C Spy Planes and 36 other US/British aircraft that took off from the Incherlik base in Turkey heading for Iraq. The Israeli Air Force was also involved. There were 35 JSOW missiles fired. They all missed their targets due to software problems. This simply strengthened Saddam's resolve.

A few days later U.S. satellites pick up 6 Iraqi divisions moving westward, including ground-to-ground missiles with launching equipment. The U.S. intelligence community estimated they would be ready for launch by Thursday evening, February 22, 2001. Israel placed their security forces and the Northern Israeli towns on alert.

Syrian President Bashar Assad granted permission for these 6 Iraqi divisions to be deployed on the Syrian-Iraqi border. He gave the Hizballah an OK to unleash a long-range rocket attack against northern Israel. The U.S. and Israeli governments issued grave warnings to the Syrian government. There were also massive Palestinian terrorists attacks being programmed as a signal for regional flare-up. Yassir Arafat arranged his personal evacuation contingences to Baghdad.

A message was sent thru Tony Blair warning Iraq that Israel was preparing a preemptive strike: There would be Neutron bombs on 6 Iraqi divisions and Nuclear strikes on Damascus & Baghdad.

The button was to be pushed at 7:30 PM Thursday Eve.

Iraqi surface missiles remained stationary; 7:30 PM: everyone stands down ... for the time being!

See Also: "On the Precipice of Armageddon" ... World Net Daily, February 24, 2001 ... All-out conflagration nearly engulfed Mideast this week ...

You can also view our News Archives for February 2001 .

:: The Road To Damascus ...

(Recent News Commentary from Roger Oakland - Understand The Times 1/21/04)

When most people familiar with the Bible think of the road to Damascus , they are reminded of the location where the Apostle Paul was transformed from an enemy of Jesus Christ to one of His most zealous promoters. However with regard to current events and their relation to Bible prophecy, there is another meaning to the phrase "road to Damascus " many may not be aware of.

Based on a growing conflict between Israel and Syria , the destiny of Damascus , may soon be fulfilled according to Isaiah 17: 1-14. Consider the following news items that seem to provide the catalyst that could bring about and fulfill the very scenario Isaiah foretold.

Haaretz.com reported on January 21, 2004 that " Israel considered bombing Syrian targets in response to a deadly missile attack by Hezbollah on an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer". [Syria completes CW warheads]

However, instead of attacking Syria , Israel struck at targets in Southern Lebanon in retaliation. The article also mentioned that U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell condemned Hezbollah for the missile attack and warned Syria about their association with Hezbollah. "I would hope the Syrians should once again understand that any support – whether it is vocal support of allowing their leadership to stay in Damascus or whether it is serving as a transshipment point for weapons to Hezbollah – is destabilizing in the region and is not in the interests of peace," he said.

While the world watches whether or not Israel will strike back, another news item posted on January 20, 2004 helps explain Israel 's reluctance to attack Syria directly, at least at this time. According to a Middle East Newsline article titled "Syria Completes CW Warheads," we read:

Syria has completed chemical warheads for its arsenal of Scud-based missiles. U.S. officials said Syria , with help from North Korea , has succeeded in designing and installing CW warheads for the Scud B, Scud C and Scud D missiles. This provides Syria with warheads that can reach distances from 250 to nearly 700 kilometers. The chemical agent deployed in the CW warheads is sarin, regarded as the most toxic of material. [Israel mulled striking Syria in response to Hezbollah attack]

Keep your eyes focused on the Middle East – particularly Damascus . Remember when it comes to Bible Prophecy, you can be certain when God tells us about future events, the certainty of the event happening is 100 per cent. Someday Damascus will be leveled - perhaps current events are paving the way.

:: The Bible Tells Me So ...

God promised Abraham (speaking of the Nation of Israel):

"I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee... Genesis 3:2 Yet the confederacy of nations that presently surround Israel are united by their hatred for her.

"For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee..." Psalm 83:2-5 Notice in the above passage Israel needed to be a nation (post 1948). The common bond that would unite these surrounding nations in their hatred of Israel was their Islamic religion which was not in existence until around the 7th century AD ... long after this Psalm was written. In history, this joint confederation, united against Israel, did not exist like this.

Many think these passages; Isaiah 17 , Jeremiah 49:23-27, Amos 1, Psalm 83 , Zechariah 9 and so on ... refer to a future judgment of some of Israel's immediate neighbors and may be fulfilled on the near horizon. This would then allow Israel to live under the allusion of "peace & safety".

We also know there will be a betrayer who pretends to be their friend who will eventually "by peace destroy many" (Daniel 8:23) ... he will "divide the land for gain". (Daniel 11:39) (See Also: profile of the Antichrist)

At some time in this chain of events this will cause an "evil thought" to enter the mind of Gog of Magog. (Ezekiel 38:10) He will align yet another confederacy against those (Israel) with unwalled villages who dwell in peace & safety. But God will intervene. (Ezekiel 38:11) (*Note: Israel is in some sort of "security" at the time of the Magog Invasion, which suggests that Isaiah 17, and the "Palestinian problem" etc ... has already been dealt with!) ...

However, in the above scenario, we hold to the view that the Rapture of the Church must occur before the Magog Invasion (Ezekiel 38) and before the "The Man of Peace" (Antichrist) is revealed. (2 Thessalonians 2)

We don't claim to know exactly how these events will play out, but we do know that God's Word is true. What it declares will happen, of this we are certain. The important issue is knowing The One who declares the end from the beginning! (Isaiah 46:9-10, Isaiah 42:9, John 13:19) God prewarned us - out of love - what these last days would be like. As we see Prophecy being fulfilled with lightening speed before our eyes, it is certainly a wake up call!

If you don't know Jesus you need to!

Because Ready or Not - Here He Comes!

Even So, Come Lord Jesus!
__________________________________________________________________

WAKE UP CALL FOR ISRAEL

Wake-up call for Israel? - Joseph Farah - WorldNetDaily.com

This is a hard column for me to write.

It's difficult because what I need to say about the two-front terrorist attacks on Israel is nothing new.

I've said everything that needs to be said many times in as many new ways as I could imagine.

Suffice it to say I am not shocked by these developments. I am not even a little bit surprised. In fact, I predicted it.

I knew that Israel's evacuation of Gaza was not solving problems with terrorism but creating bigger problems for another day.

I knew that Israel's evacuation of Judea and Samaria was not solving problems with terrorism but creating bigger problems for another day.

I knew that Israel's unilateral evacuation of southern Lebanon was not solving problems with terrorism but creating bigger problems for another day – not to mention selling out the Jewish state's Christian friends in the region.

However, the point of this column is not to point out how smart I am. The point is to show how predictable it is that appeasement of evil aggression always leads to more evil aggression.

Indeed, I have become so weary of making these points over and over again that, a few months ago, I actually gave up on Israel – deciding it was a lost cause to defend people who were unwilling to be responsible with their own national security.

After all that, here we are.

Israel is battling on two fronts – Gaza and Lebanon – two territories from which it unilaterally withdrew its military presence in what could only be interpreted by its enemies as an unconditional retreat and surrender.

Likewise, Israel is on the verge of finalizing plans to do the same thing in the West Bank. If it had completed that operation, it would now be fighting on three fronts.

Maybe some good can still come out of this unmitigated policy disaster for Israel. Maybe some official are ready to realize and admit they made some tragic errors. Maybe it's not too late to reverse course. Maybe, if Israel begins to see its very survival is at stake, it will correct course, defend itself and, in the process, do all free people in the world a big favor at the same time.

What does Israel need to do now? It needs to do what I have been advocating from the beginning – defeat the bad guys, destroy them, kill them all.

Nothing short of this response will do anything more than buy time until the next barbaric assault on Jewish civilians by Hezbollah, which, I understand, translates in Farsi to "Hitlers in headscarves." As I've said before, it's time for Israel to make humus out of Hamas.

This is no joke.

Israel is not only tempting God with its own future with its policy of national surrender, it is endangering the rest of the world, encouraging the Islamo-fascists whose ultimate goal is a global khalifate.

I know Israel has faced tremendous pressure from the U.S. and the rest of the world. I know. I've been there defending Israel and indicting the rest of the world all along. But, at some point, as this generation of Israelis needs to understand, if the Jews of Israel don't care about their nation, if they don't care about paying for territory more than once with Jewish blood, if they don't care about the future viability of a Jewish state, no one else can be expected to care.

I still do care. For the life of me, I can't stop caring. In fact, the Bible commands me to care. I only wish the people of Israel had the same faith in those Hebrew prophets that I have.
_________________________________________________________________

Saturday, July 15, 2006

ALL-OUT WAR SEEMS INEVITABLE

JERUSALEM SUN EDITOR PUBLISHER OK CORBETT!

ALL-OUT WAR SEEMS INEVITABLE!

WHILE THE WORLD is concerned about North Korea's missile capabilities and whether Zidane should be banned from soccer for life for his flagrant head butt, the real focus should be on the border between Lebanon and Israel.

Politicians throughout the West are putting blinkers on their eyes when it comes to the Middle East situation, believing it will go away if it's ignored long enough. However, the crisis will only escalate.

As a former Middle East reporter, based in Jerusalem, I believe an extremely volatile confrontation could be only days away. At least that's my opinion.

So what are the reasons for my concern?

Although Israel has endured wars with its enemies ever since its birth as a modern-day nation in 1948 there was always a desire to fight if it needed to for the right to survive. Its pure guts were admirable and then through a series of misadventures it lost that will, at least its most recent government leaders have.

Take for instance, the strong leadership of the now-comatose Ariel Sharon wilted to the pats on the back of the U.S. and its president, George W. Bush, in giving away Gaza and the West Bank to its bitter enemies, the Hamas, which suddenly gained power mainly by threats and violence.

Then with Sharon now in a vegetative state in a Tel Aviv "hospital," his successor and the former mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, has carried out that dastardly plan of, literally, dragging the settlers from homes they had established in Gaza and the West Bank. The shame of it all.

Just when Olmert and his co-horts believed the exile of well-established settlers was the solution, the Hamas, now in full control in the Palestinian territories, began wielding their hate-filled violence for the Jews. And although there's been denials left and right, their objective was and still is to drive the Jewish people into the sea (the Mediterranean).

This peace (or appeasement) policy has utterly failed as Israel forces have had to re-enter Gaza after Hamas thugs captured an IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit, and still hold him at some unknown hell hole in Gaza.

Just when it appeared if limited action against the Hamas would be the solution, the even more barbarous group, known as Hezbollah (ironically translated as the party of god), snuck into northern Israel and grabbed two IDF soldiers, and in the subsequent aftermath, eight more Israeli troops were killed when their transportation ran over a road mine.

Of course, in the past few days, the Israelis have returned to Lebanon and bombed the Beirut international airport and continued to try to inflict casualties among their elusive enemy.

However, it could all be futile for these terrorists will not give up; they have stated, emphatically, their goal is global (terror) war despite the natterings of placid world leaders.

One thing, Israel and Olmert, seemingly, do not realize is that Lebanon is a "surrogate" of Syria and Iran, so by invading Beirut and environs, they are tempting Syria and Iran to try to "wipe out" Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in fact, Israel as a whole as Iran's Ahmadinejad has promised to do ... and soon.

A vicious confrontation seems inevitable, since concessions, haven't worked in appeasing these terrorists.

In conclusion, numerous scholars have the deadly fear that Thursday, August 3 -- Tisha B'Av, the Day of Mourning -- will be just that for Jerusalem and Israel. Only time will tell if that is true.

Historians will relate that numerous calamaties occurred on the ninth of Av (August 3 this year) such as:

* The 12 spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan brought an "evil report" about the land that caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair about entering the "Promised Land;"

* Solomon's Temple (the First Temple) was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and the Judeans sent into Babylonian exile;

* The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE and the Jews were scattered and it began a 2,000-year exile;

* In 1290, King Edward I expelled the Jews from England;

* The First World War started in 1914;

* The first killings at Treblinka took place in 1942;

* Some 86 Israelis were killed by Arab terrorists in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994.

If history repeats itself, it could be a date to be very aware of -- in 2006.

MORE WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Israeli forces move back into northern Gaza Strip
Israeli forces clashed with militants in Gaza on Sunday as tanks moved back into the north of the Strip on an offensive that has continued even as fighting with Lebanese Hizbollah guerillas opened a second front.

Foreign companies buy U.S. roads, bridges
Roads and bridges built by U.S. taxpayers are starting to be sold off, and so far foreign-owned companies are doing the buying.

Royal Navy ships head for Lebanon
Defence Secretary Des Browne has given orders for HMS Illustrious and HMS Bulwark to "make ready" for operations off Lebanon.

Lebanon Calls on U.N. to Broker Truce
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called for a cease-fire under U.N. auspices Saturday, as Israeli warplanes hit central Beirut for the first time and smashed the Hezbollah leadership's main strongholds.

Bush Blocks WTO Entry for Russia
In a chilly summit prelude, President Bush blocked Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization on Saturday and President Vladimir Putin mockingly said Moscow doesn't want the kind of violence-plagued democracy the United States has fostered in Iraq.

Russia to use authority in Middle East to stop conflict - aide
Russia is not intending to propose initiatives on resolving the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, but will use its authority in the Arab world to stop the violence, a presidential aide said Friday.

Crisis seen as chance to reshape Mideast
The escalating Hezbollah-Israeli confrontation is just one of several political and military showdowns playing out simultaneously as competing players vie to reshape the Middle East according to their own interests.

Arab League chief: Peace process 'dead'
"The Middle East peace process has failed. The whole process should now be sent back to the Security Council for a complete overhaul," said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

Report: Israel gives Syria ultimatum
The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday that “Washington has information according to which Israel gave Damascus 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and bring about the release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers or it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences.”

Israel: Iran aided Hezbollah ship attack
A missile fired by Hezbollah, not an unmanned drone laden with explosives, damaged an Israeli warship off Lebanon, the army said Saturday. Elite Iranian troops helped fire the missile, a senior Israeli intelligence official said.

Israeli Airstrikes Hit Bridges, Gas Stations, Kill 18 Lebanese
Israeli warplanes pounded Hezbollah's south Beirut stronghold and struck roads around the country Saturday, killing at least 18 Lebanese fleeing the onslaught. Hezbollah rockets continued to pour into Israel, where officials warned citizens that Tel Aviv could be hit.

Israeli Jets Continue Airstrikes on Lebanon in Fourth Day of Fighting
Israeli warplanes renewed attacks on Lebanon early Saturday, targeting bridges and fuel storage tanks and gas stations in the east and south, security officials said.

IAF strikes Syria-Lebanon border crossing, suburbs of Beirut
Israel Air Force planes fired rockets near the Lebanese-Syrian border on Saturday, heightening fears that it could hit Syria, as well as Lebanon, in a campaign to dislodge Syrian-backed Hizbollah fighters from its northern border.

Thanking Jesus in Court Lands Man in Jail
Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury of abusing his son.

Calif. Desert Wildfires Merge
Thousands of firefighters struggled in fierce desert heat Friday to keep a newly merged pair of wildfires from gaining a foothold in the populated San Bernardino Mountains, where millions of trees killed by drought and bark beetles could provide explosive fuel.

Gunmen kidnap Iraqi Olympic chief, aides
Gunmen kidnapped about 30 Iraqi sports officials, including the head of the national Olympic committee, as they met in Baghdad on Saturday, just hours after parliament voted to extend a state of emergency.

At G-8, world leaders focus on Mideast
World leaders tore up a carefully prepared summit agenda Saturday and turned their attention to a growing crisis in the Middle East, hoping to reach common ground on ways to stop the fighting.

Hezbollah rockets strike Israeli city
Four Israeli civilians have been killed in rocket attacks that began Wednesday after Israel launched the offensive after Hezbollah militants captured two soldiers and killed eight.

Ecuador volcano spews rocks, villages evacuated
Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed ash, gases and molten rocks on Friday, forcing authorities to evacuate four nearby villages after the crater registered its most volatile activity since a 1999 eruption.

Insurers to Test Implantable Microchip
In a new test program, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey plans to implant patients suffering from chronic diseases with a microchip that will give emergency room staff access to their medical information and help avoid costly or serious medical errors, the insurer said on Friday.

US 'could be going bankrupt'
The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary paper published by one of the key members of the country's central bank.

IAF strikes north Lebanese city of Tripoli
IAF jets attacked targets in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Saturday morning, some 90 kilometers north of Beirut, marking the deepest Israel has struck inside Lebanon since the onset of Operation Just Rewards.

Venezuela's Chavez says US backing of Israel is taking world toward 'Holocaust'
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday that US Backing of Israel is responsible for flaming tensions in the Middle East and putting the world on course toward another "Holocaust."

Lebanese sources predict provocation from Damascus
While Israeli military sources in the Golan Heights are reporting Syrian military gunfire directed inside the Jewish state, Lebanese political sources are telling WND they expect a provocation of some kind from Damascus.

Syria says supports Hizbollah against Israel
Syria will support its allies Hizbollah and Lebanon against Israel's attacks on the country, the ruling Baath Party said on Friday.

4 IDF sailors missing from damaged warship
A Hizbullah strike on an IDF warship off the Lebanese coast damaged the ship severely.

IAF strikes bridge in central Gaza
The IAF hit Al-Bureij bridge in the central Gaza Strip early Saturday, reports said.

Thousands of Iraqis demonstrate for Lebanon
Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Friday praising the leader of Lebanon's Hizbullah group and denouncing Israel and the United States for attacks against Lebanon.

Syria 'ready for anything'
SYRIA is bracing itself for "any eventuality" as the regime nervously eyes a relentless Israeli operation over the border in Lebanon and faces up to increasingly hostile US rhetoric.

Israel: New Hezbollah rockets can reach Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva
Israel believes Hezbollah has missiles that can hit most of Israel, and which could even strike Be'er Sheva under optimum conditions.