Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem


Jim Fletcher is a writer, researcher, speaker and director of Prophecy Matters (prophecymatters.com). He is also a member of the executive committee of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), and author of It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). He writes online for WorldNetDaily; Beliefnet; American Family Association; the Jerusalem Post; and Rapture Ready. He can be reached at jim@prophecymatters.com

Jim's New Book


  • Aug 18 to Sep 8, 2014
  • Jul 14 to Aug 11, 2014
  • Jun 16 to Jul 7, 2014
  • May 19 to Jun 9, 2014
  • Apl 14 to May 12, 2014
  • Mar 3 to Apr 7, 2014
  • Jan 20 to Feb 24, 2014
  • Dec 9 to Jan 13, 2014
  • Oct 14 to Dec 2, 2013
  • Aug 26 to Sep 30, 2013
  • Jul 15 to Aug 19, 2013
  • May 13 to Jul 8, 2013
  • Mar 25 to May 6, 2013
  • Feb 25 to Mar 18, 2013
  • Jan 7 to Feb 18, 2013
  • Nov 26 to Dec 31, 2012
  • Oct 8 to Nov 16, 2012
  • Aug 20 to Oct 1, 2012
  • Jul 16 to Aug 13, 2012
  • Jun 4 to Jul 9, 2012
  • Apr 9 to May 28, 2012
  • Feb 27 to Apr 2, 2012
  • Jan 2 to Feb 19, 2012
  • Oct 31 to Dec 26, 2011
  • Sep 12 to Oct 24, 2011
  • Sep 5 to Aug 5, 2011
  • Aug 8 to Jun 26, 2011
  • May 30 to Apr 25,2011
  • Nov 10, 2007
  • Nov 16, 2007
  • Nov 26, 2007
  • Nov 29, 2007
  • Dec 10, 2007
  • Dec 17, 2007
  • Dec 24, 2007
  • Dec 31, 2007
  • Jan 7, 2008
  • Jan 14, 2008
  • Jan 21, 2008
  • Jan 28, 2008
  • Mar 3, 2008
  • Mar 9, 2008
  • Mar 17, 2008
  • Mar 24, 2008
  • Mar 30, 2008
  • April 7, 2008
  • April 14, 2008
  • April 21, 2008
  • April 28, 2008
  • May 5, 2008
  • May 12, 2008
  • May 19, 2008
  • May 26, 2008
  • Jun 2, 2008
  • Jun 9, 2008
  • Jun 16, 2008
  • Jun 23, 2008
  • Jun 30, 2008
  • Jun 16, 2008
  • Jun 23, 2008
  • Jun 30, 2008
  • Jul 7, 2008
  • Jul 14, 2008
  • Jul 21, 2008
  • Jul 28, 2008
  • Aug 4, 2008
  • Aug 11, 2008
  • Aug 18, 2008
  • Aug 25, 2008
  • Sept 1, 2008
  • Sept 8, 2008
  • Sept 22, 2008
  • Sept 28, 2008
  • Sept 29, 2008
  • Oct 6, 2008
  • Oct 13, 2008
  • Oct 20, 2008
  • Oct 27, 2008
  • Nov 3, 2008
  • Nov 10, 2008
  • Nov 17, 2008
  • Dec 1, 2008
  • Dec 8, 2008
  • Dec 15, 2008
  • Dec 22, 2008
  • Dec 29, 2008
  • Jan 5, 2009
  • Jan 12, 2009
  • Jan 19, 2009
  • Feb 2, 2009
  • Feb 16, 2009
  • Feb 23, 2009
  • May 11, 2009
  • May 18, 2009
  • May 25, 2009
  • Jun 1, 2009
  • Jun 8, 2009
  • Jun 15, 2009
  • Aug 10, 2009
  • Aug 17, 2009
  • Aug 31, 2009
  • Sept 7, 2009


  •  

    December 22, 2014

    Palestinians and the Pentecostals

    One of the hallmarks of leftists who are infiltrating the American evangelical church is a penchant for targeting the very heart of evangelicalism. In other words, since the mainline churches are now rotting corpses, those who advocate for the Palestinians are now turning their focus to Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and various other straight-up evangelical denominations and associations.

    Some of us remember sometime back when the World Vision-organized “Hope for the Holy Land” tour, featuring PLO apologists Mae Cannon, Lynne Hybels, and Sami Awad, attempted to infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Association. The trio scheduled a stop at a California-based CC. When Chuck Smith and others in leadership heard about it, they denounced it, and reports are that the event had no more than 50 attendees, including at least half who were pro Israel.

    Good for Calvary Chapel.

    But as leftists like Brian McLaren pose as evangelicals (along with Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Tony Jones, etc.), they are getting chummy with…Pentecostals.

    A couple years ago, Drew Sumrall, then a co-host of “The Harvest Show,” with the LeSea Broadcasting team (his grandfather was legendary Pentecostal evangelist Lester Sumrall) invited McLaren — and later, Tony Jones — onto the show. It was shocking, for those of us who know who all the players are. Lester Sumrall would have thrown McLaren right out the front window if he’d shown up to be interviewed.

    Drew thought it was cool.

    Further, if you read McLaren’s blog regularly, as I do, you’ll quickly notice that he has glowing things to say about Pentecostals. Now, for purposes of understanding, McLaren is a former Maryland pastor, but he is solidly, ideologically aligned with mainline traditions. In other words, theologically liberal. In fact, McLaren is so liberal, I challenge anyone to read his books (such as the provocatively titled “Naked Spirituality”) and conclude that he is evangelical.

    Point being, all the aforementioned folks are apologists for the Palestinians. And Arab oil money is being well spent on pr for the Palestinian cause.

    In 2012, the Pentecostal Who’s Who group, Empowered21, hosted a Palestinian love-fest (complete with a talk by Sami Awad and a screening of the anti-Israel film, “O Little Town of Bethlehem) at Regent University. If you look at Empowered21’s website, you’ll see that some in their leadership group do things like attend (and speak at!) the odious “Christ at the Checkpoint” gathering every two years in Bethlehem. That conference is one big Israel-bashing event.

    A major player in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles is Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma Media. For decades, Strang has identified as a major pro Israel figure among evangelicals. However, while he does plenty of pro Israel stuff, his personal journey seems to be taking a path through Palestinian propaganda.

    In a 2008 “Strang Report,” the publisher included some odd language in his description of visiting Israel:

    “Most Palestinians--Christians or Muslims--must remain within areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. A 24-foot wall with guard towers that is covered in graffiti separates Bethlehem from south Jerusalem. It reminded me of the wall around a penitentiary.

    “The Israelis constructed the wall because there was so much terrorism coming from the Palestinian areas. The suicide bombings have greatly decreased since the wall has been in place. But that doesn't keep the Palestinians who live there from feeling as if their land is occupied.”

    While Strang, who is a journalist, brings some balance to the piece by acknowledging Palestinian terrorism, he also engages in that troubling tendency to engage in moral equivalency. Notice how he describes Israel’s security fence as a “penitentiary” wall. This feeds directly into the Palestinian lie that the security fence turns Palestinian towns and cities, including Bethlehem, into a “big, open-air prison.” This plays well in evangelical circles, when rank-and-file Christians begin getting the feeling that Israel is an occupier. That is leftist language that has found its way into American evangelicalism.

    Next notice that Strang says the Palestinians have the “feeling” they are occupied. “Occupation” is the single biggest battering ram the Arabs are using against the Israelis, in Western perceptions of the conflict. Few seem to understand that Israel is a slender little country fighting off a vicious, unrelenting, and sophisticated terror war against its population.

    I have also noted in this space the curious case of Dr. Paul Alexander, a professor at Eastern University, who this year saw his Assemblies of God credentials revoked by the leadership at AG headquarters in Springfield, MO. The action was taken after complaints about Alexander’s extreme leftist views on a variety of subjects. Among his pet projects is helping to mainstream PLO thought in the American church.

    Alexander’s case is most interesting, because I get the feeling that as soon as the AG leadership passes from the scene, he will be welcomed back with open arms. I say that because of conversations I’ve had with faculty at the AG seminary, and members of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, of which Alexander is past president.

    Why are these things happening?

    Because A) the culture is changing, as Millennials drift farther away from biblical moorings and B) the Palestinians are smart and well funded when it comes to propaganda.

    I predict that the wider Pentecostal community (at the leadership level) will become more and more friendly with the Palestinians.

    Old-school Pentecostal leaders like Sumrall, David Allen Lewis, and the (happily) still-with-us Joseph Chambers would be and are stunned by the turn of events. It’s all more evidence that America, at the leadership level, is turning against the Jewish state.

    Let them do what they will. The rest of us will stay where we are, come what may.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    December 15, 2014

    Mr. Ambassador

    My friend Uri Bar-Ner is a man of many talents. He uses them all for good in this world, including building bridges of trust and understanding between Israel and the United States.

    The former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Uri now divides his time between his home in Israel and the New York office of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL). The “League,” as it’s known (www.aifl.org), is one of the premier groups fostering goodwill between America and our wonderful ally in the Middle East.

    From time to time, I visit with Uri to get his perspectives on the Middle East, Israel-U.S. relations, and politics.

    There were several things on his mind this week, including the critical nature of Christian support for Israel:

    “Working with Christian groups is critical and that’s the most important part of what we do. We need the Christian community in America to support us. We cannot rely only on the Jewish community; it is critical mainly also because the Palestinians are making a major effort in this area.

    In particular, this is important in view of the fact that Christians in the Middle East are heavily discriminated against, Bethlehem is almost emptied of them, the West Bank (Judea;Samaria) is the same way. We are the only ones in Middle East who give Christians their rights; they are building churches, worshipping, etc. We respect them, honor them  and give them equal rights.”

    This point looms large, since Arab propagandists have been busy convincing certain American Christian leaders that the opposite is true. For those of us who have been there and seen it, Uri’s description of reality fits.

    The ambassador also had interesting things to tell me regarding Israel’s relationship with Arab nations, and the Turks.

    “There is a civil war, a very bloody one in Syria, a very difficult situation in Iraq where Sunnis and Shias are fighting. There was a difficult situation in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood that came to power after 80 years in Egypt, but it was stopped by the military and we have a general, Sisi (Abdel Fattah el-Sisi), that is head of the state. Relations between him and Israel are very good.

    “For the first time there is a new situation where Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan together with Persian Gulf states (except Qatar), are really supporting Israel mainly because the villain is Iran. All countries I mentioned are afraid of them. All work with Israel and the USA to contain Iran in the Middle East. The negotiations between the Five-Plus-One powers and Iran are inconclusive. They received an extension of seven months. We worry a lot. Iran wants to destroy Israel, period. With all the problems they have in other areas , this goal doesn’t change.”

    What about the soured relations between Israel and Turkey of late?

    “The key person in Turkey is [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, of course. He was prime minister three times, and couldn’t be elected again. So he was elected president two months ago. The president in Turkey has no power, the power is in hands of prime minister. Now Erdogan is trying to get a two-thirds majority in parliament to transfer power from the prime minister to the president. He is far from it. What he is doing is making sure that in reality he will have the power. He appointed his previous foreign minister (his right-hand man) to be prime minister. He wants to do whatever he wants.”

    Uri has keen insight into Erdogan’s ideology.

    “The policy of Turkey is, even more now, to live in peace and harmony and economic development with neighboring countries. So Erdogan signed an agreement with Syria for $2 billion in trade. Signed agreement with Iran for $10 billion in aid. He tried with Iraq but they have no functioning government. He was very happy when Morsi was head of Egypt because that fits his ideology. He is absolutely an Islamic person. When I was ambassador in 1998, he was mayor of Istanbul and one day gave a speech in which he said, My goal is to have Turkey as a shariah state.”

    Uri actually believes relations can improve between Israel and Turkey, but cautions that no one can really predict or project too far ahead in this volatile region.

    For now, he is busy fund-raising and helping the AIFL with its tremendous slate of programs that take people to Israel, and to bring Israelis to America. This includes delegations for university presidents, states attorneys general, and the “flagship” program, YASE (Youth Ambassador Student Exchange).

    “The America-Israel Friendship League is doing what others do not do. Our sole goal is to enhance relations between Israel and the USA. We are not a Jewish organization but an American organization and this can help in securing peace. If you follow the peace process in the Middle East (I have participated in the process sin 1979 and 1983), you know a position of strength is critical. I was in Cairo many times. Sadat said, squeeze the Israelis, but he knew this would not happen because of the strong relations between the U.S. and Israel. This cemented the agreement between Egypt and Israel.

    “Talking about even-handedness is dangerous, because the Arabs feel they don’t have to make peace. Yes, to be a mediator you must be fair, but you must be able to bring the parties to the table. The only way to bring Palestinians to the table is if they understand relations between the U.S. and Israel are strong. That’s what the AIFL is doing, sending missions to Israel, from all walks of life, professors, youngsters, editors…”

    In this way — and many others — a long-time advocate for peace like Uri Bar-Ner is making a difference. Not all is dark in the tough-nut of Middle East politics, and I’m grateful to Uri for reminding us all that while stark contrasts exist, nuance is also important for developing proper perspective.

    I encourage you to check out the AIFL website; many readers routinely ask me for suggestions for donating money to Israel-related causes. There are several, but I give my personal recommendation for you to consider the efforts of the America-Israel Friendship League when making donations.

    Israel and the American people, particularly Christians, will always be linked.

    Thank God.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    December 8, 2014

    Energy at Pre-Trib Conference

    For those predicting the demise of Bible prophecy teaching in America, this past week was…discomfiting.

    In Dallas, the Pre-Trib Study Group, dedicated to the promotion of what I’d call classic prophecy teaching (Dispensationalism, Rapture teaching, etc.), hosted its 23rd conference. The ballroom was standing-room-only, and an exuberant (even combative?) Tim LaHaye spoke eloquently and passionately about the need to reach people with the teaching about the Blessed Hope.

    LaHaye, who started the Pre-Trib Study Group a quarter-century ago with scholar Thomas Ice, gave his partner a nod in proclaiming the success of this year’s gathering.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The conversations in hallways, the lobby, and restaurants were lively and, perhaps most important, enthusiastic. No mention here of the gloomy forecasters who say Evangelicalism has grown up and no longer has need for “doomsday talk.”

    Indeed, LaHaye and other speakers repeatedly pointed out the obvious: the Christian who is looking for Christ’s Return is highly motivated to live a full and meaningful life in the here and now, and to help his or her fellow man find the one Truth each human desperately needs.

     In a word, the conference was sensational.

    I have to tell you, that for all the great talks and great conversation and resources, I was most gratified to hear an emphasis on using prophecy teaching as an evangelistic tool. With speakers like Donald Perkins (www.according2prophecy.org) this emphasis was in good hands.

    Because, let’s face it, much of the American church leadership has checked-out on this subject.

    Gary Frazier, a popular conference speaker, was tasked with giving the final talk this week at Pre-Trib, and it was the perfect, rousing send-off. For one thing, Gary made no bones about his agenda, and in introducing him, LaHaye made a key point:

    “Gary Frazier is an evangelist first and prophecy teacher second.” Frazier himself said a few minutes later, “I am not an expert on Bible prophecy,” but rather, he emphasized that for him, teaching prophecy was merely a tool to reach people. LaHaye mentioned that in 65 prophecy seminars he had taken part in with Gary and Ed Hindson, there had been 1,500 professions of faith.

    Gary’s book, It Could Happen Tomorrow (which I have on Kindle and highly, highly recommend) captures the passion its author has in reaching people with a message that defies human attempts to marginalize it and relegate it to irrelevancy. In fact, Gary’s talk made it abundantly clear that this is the moment to engage people everywhere with the message that Bible prophecy “reinforces the existence of the Creator” and that we can each have personal knowledge and fellowship with Him. I sat on the front row during Gary’s talk and came away seriously energized and even convicted that I can be doing more to use the miraculous story of Israel, and the wonderful examples of fulfilled prophecy to engage a lost and dying world.

    Soon, my interview with Gary — including his testimony — will appear in the Christian edition of the Jerusalem Post, and I hope you will also check out his ministry website at www.discoverymissions.org. Over the years, he has taken 1,000 pastors to Israel, resulting in untold ministry opportunities upon their return. He is known to be a great friend of Israel.

    Interestingly, Gary made several mentions of a topic I believe to be critically important in understanding worldview. He referenced the importance of believing the early chapters of Genesis are real history, and his endorsement of ministries like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research let me know that he correctly links faith in the validity of the Bible’s beginnings with its endings. Further, his publisher, New Leaf Publishing Group, has produced many bestselling prophecy books, and it’s imprint, Master Books (www.nlpg.com) is the world’s leading publisher of creationism books.

    It all added up in Dallas to a tremendous confidence in the teaching of Bible prophecy in making a real difference in people’s lives.

    As Tommy Ice often says…

    Maranatha!

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Dec 1 2014

    Incitement…from the West

    In recent weeks, the Israel Security Agency uncovered a plot by Hamas terrorists to assassinate Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. According to one report, they had already begun gathering operational intelligence and weapons.

    Meanwhile, a Hamas leaflet showed a cartoon-type illustration of a wave of water bearing-down on an Orthodox Jew. In the wall of water were a car, a knife, a meat cleaver, and a gun. All weapons used to try and kill Jews recently in the latest insane wave of violence directed at Jews, by Palestinians. The title of the illustration was “The Jerusalem tsunami.”

    On November 23, near the Gaza border, north of the Jabaliya refugee camp, a Palestinian named Muhammad Halawa was killed by the IDF. Palestinian media reported Halawa was killed while “trying to catch birds.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri charged that this was a gross violation of the lull agreement between Israel and Hamas, and “called on the international community to take responsibility.”

    All these incidents, so tragically common in Israel and the Palestinian territories, are part of a fabric of propaganda that is aided and abetted by Western sources that coddle the Arabs. We live in a time (who hasn’t in the past 4,000 years?) when the hunting and killing of Jews is not considered to be evil by the vast majority of people. I have long maintained that these “little” terror incidents are in fact huge in their implications.

    Take one more, for example.

    According to a report on the Facebook page of the Israel Police Force:

    “There was a double stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. A 45 year-old Israel man was stabbed in the chest with a knife; he said Arabs had attacked him. Another man sustained minor injuries. Investigation revealed that the two, who had left their yeshiva, were attacked by four Palestinians, who stabbed them with sharp instruments and fled. The Israeli

    security forces conducted a search and detained four young Palestinians from the Old City of Jerusalem.”

    I’ve been in the Old City many times, all through it, and the thought of bloodthirsty Palestinians planning violence is unacceptable. Yes, tourists are relatively safe; the terrorists usually know the difference between a camera-carrying fellow from Milwaukee and a yeshiva student, but the narrow alleyways and nooks and crannies make for perfect hideaways.

    Where is the outrage from Western leaders over all these incidents? The answer of course is that they don’t exist. Not even a massive bloodbath like the infamous Dolphinarium slaughter of 2001 prompted much in the way of outcry.

    As I often do, I must say again: where are the evangelical leaders in America who will condemn, wholly, the targeting and murder of Jews?

    The Israelis complain often about the incitement to violence from the Palestinian Authority. But isn’t gross silence and indifference from Western leaders, including elitist evangelical leaders, also a form of incitement? A hands-off approach so long as it’s only Jews being murdered?

    I have long believed that at the root of the silence is a simple dislike of Jews. This comes from all denominations: the mainline churches “liked” Jews who were survivors of the Holocaust, because that madness was simply beyond the pale. However, they did not like Jews with guns, the IDF, and especially after the Six Day War, the tolerance from the liberal churches waned.

    But even in the so-called conservative denominations, I know leadership — from the SBC and the Assemblies of God — that clearly seems to have a problem with Jews. They might acknowledge and even embrace much of prophecy. They might have some respect for Israel as an ally in the War on Terror.

    In their hearts, though, they harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Somewhere in the childhoods, or in seminary, or around the dinner table, they heard that Jews control all the money in the world, or foment violence in order to prosper. Or they’ve heard that Jews “killed Christ.”

    All these dark spots on the hearts of professing Christians add up to one thing: stepping aside when Jews are being hurt.

    Look at Jimmy Carter. How can the man teach Sunday school and embrace (literally!) Hamas terrorists? How can evangelical leadership gurus like Brad Lomenick and Gabe Lyons allow anti-Israel speakers at their conferences? How can Dr. Russell Moore of the SBC talk out of both sides of his mouth where Israel is concerned, even sounding eerily like a Replacement Theology guy when discussing Israel? What about the faculty at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, closely aligned with the Society for Pentecostal Studies — a group associated with Dr. Paul Alexander, a virulent critic of Israel? When Alexander was scrutinized by the top AG leadership for his liberal stances on homosexuality and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, several SPS members privately expressed solidarity with Alexander.

    Do rank-and-file Christians understand what is going on in “conservative” circles? At every turn, liberal and leftist ideology is seeping into the fabric of church life. And in this narrow focus of violence toward Jews and hatred of Israel, the trends are deeply troubling.

    Let me be frank. Stalwart pro Israel leaders like Noah Hutchings at Southwest Radio Church are in the winter of their lives. Who is replacing them? Not enough apologists and pro Israel leaders. In fact, the “replacements” are center-left ideologues who privately (and soon, openly) have a bone to pick with Israel.

    Let me give you one final example for now, to help you understand the networks.

    Cameron Strang, publisher of Relevant magazine, has had his photo ops with Barack Obama in the White House. Why would the 30-ish Strang be invited to a shindig at the White House? Because Team Obama knows who the influencers are among young people, and Strang, in the pages of his magazine, never misses an opportunity to bash Israel.

    This is what we are facing in the not-too-distant future. An age in which the gathering forces against Israel and her capitol, Jerusalem, grow more menacing.

    And fewer seem to care.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


     

    Nov 24, 2014

    Giving Iran More Time

    It’s difficult to watch the madness that passes for American foreign policy these days.

    Take the Iranian negotiations.

    Please.

    Meeting in Vienna, officials on both sides of a global “effort” to reach a deal with Iran on the terror-state’s drive for nuclear weapons are now considering extending the deadline of November 25.

    Of course they are.

    As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for photo ops with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad  Zarif, one wonders how we’ve sunk so low.

    According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

    “’Our focus remains on taking steps forward toward an agreement, but it is only natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline we are discussing a range of options both internally and with our P5+1 partners,’ a senior State Department official said, referring to the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. ‘An extension is one of those options.’”

    Russia and China. Such hostile nations to the U.S. ensure that Iran will never be required to give up its race for the ultimate weapon. An extension, say to January, 2015, would require “concessions” such as (from both sides):

    “Added caps on Iran’s enrichment of uranium agreed upon by Tehran, and the further easing of sanctions on Iran granted by world powers, possibly in the form of airplane shipments or the delivery of heavy oil-drilling equipment.”

    You do see of course that Iran will continue to ignore such “caps” while at the same time the Western powers buckle and ease sanctions.

    I have a theory that since Israel is the only country threatened with extinction by the mullahs of Iran, the rest of the world cares little about Iran’s ambitions. It’s the classic case of hoping the crocodile eats someone else before he comes for you.

    As Bible-believing Christians (which dominate the readership of RR), we have a different perspective: Israel, via Scripture, cannot cease to exist. This is a promise from God. It matters little that much of the world mocks such a “simplistic” worldview.

    Further, rather than obsess over the dreadful weakness now being displayed by the Americans and European countries, I think it is imperative that each of us get our spiritual house in order.

    This is all we can do, and all we should do.

    By all accounts, Iran now has thousands of centrifuges with which to enrich uranium, which in turn can be used to make nuclear bombs. Remember, too, Iran is also racing to make intercontinental ballistic missiles, with which to threaten the rest of us.

    Only a tiny fraction of the world’s population (Bible believers) recognizes that Israel is here to stay. We live in momentous times, dangerous times.

    That makes it all the more important that, rather than acting from fear at the current terrors in the night, we act with confidence and tell anyone we come in contact with that God’s promises are sure and true.

    Madness is enveloping the world, but we can be serene and calm, even joyful, in the face of dangers.

    This is our duty.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Nov 17, 2014

    Kissinger Speaks

    I once heard a story that fabled statesman Henry Kissinger flew to Jerusalem upon the election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli premier. This was 1996.

    The story goes that Kissinger, upon landing in Tel Aviv, was driven straight to Netanyahu. The men then went behind closed doors for a not-long meeting. When they emerged, Netanyahu was ashen-faced. Kissinger immediately left and flew home to the U.S.

    The story might be untrue, or it might be true. If true, one can presume that Kissinger told Netanyahu something so astonishing, the young prime minister was caught off-guard. Presumably it involved a diabolical threat to the Jewish state.

    I mention this little tale, because Kissinger has been thought by various conspiracy enthusiasts to be either the antichrist, or his lieutenant. A Council on Foreign Relations kind-of-guy, shadowy…all that.

    I have no idea if Kissinger is at that level of power broker, but I do know he gave an interesting speech this week in New York, at the Waldorf Astoria. He received the Theodor Herzl Award from the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

    Kissinger’s comments about Israel’s attempts to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians were very interesting. Especially for a guy considered to be a dark figure in international politics. Kissinger said point-blank that Israel has no business negotiating a final deal with the Palestinians until the current overall unrest in the Middle East has subsided. There is a general feeling right now in Israel that the Palestinians have launched a third “Intifada,” a torrent of terrorism aimed at all Jews.

    Kissinger is well aware of the situation.

    “[Israel should] make contributions by the understanding it shows for the psychological and historical problems of the people with which it lives in the same territory. But things cannot be accomplished in a final manner in a single negotiation.”

    With barbaric Islamic groups burning the Middle East, there is little chance of any long-term deal in the Arab-Israeli conflict and in fact, there is unprecedented (and largely unknown to the public) close cooperation going on between Israeli and Arab security forces. Iran looms large for all interested parties, including the Saudis, and the green light given to Muslim Brotherhood-backed terror groups, by Barack Obama’s limp-wristed 2009 speech in Cairo has all nervous.

    Kissinger also addressed the all-important relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and seemed to downplay current tense feelings between Washington and Jerusalem.

    “In the years ahead,” Kissinger said, “there are a number of principles that the United States has to keep in mind. What it will defend or seek to achieve even if it has to do so alone. What it has to achieve only together with others, and finally, what is beyond its capacity.

    “The survival of Israel and the maintenance of its capacity to build the future is one of those principles that we will pursue even if we have to do so alone.

    “It is crucial for the United States to develop a conception of the future that we can sustain over a long period of time,” he said. “And part of that consensus must be a realization that Israel is, has been, a representative of the principles in which America believes. It is the one country on whose geopolitical support America can always count.

    “In America we have come to think that peace is something that can be contracted in a single effort…” he concluded. “The fact is that we are engaged now in a process without end, but a process which needs our convictions and our commitments and in which the friendship between Israel and the United States is an essential element.”

    Kissinger, who fled Germany during the Holocaust, knows about what he speaks regarding these issues. It is unknown if he is indeed the kind of malevolent character described by conspiracy theorists, but his speech in New York was refreshing and important, especially as Israel attempts to navigate difficult and choppy international waters.

    Henry Kissinger is a man who knows many secrets. And today, Benjamin Netanyahu is more tempered and wise and experienced as the leader of the most unique nation on Earth.

    Let us all resolve to pray harder for our Jewish friends worldwide, and those who inhabit the glorious state of Israel.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     

    Nov 10, 2014

    The Year of Supporting Bibi

    During his first premiership, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was roundly criticized by the left, especially media in his own country. One brave journalist even penned a column titled, “The Year of Hating Bibi.”

    Today, we lament the shabby and crude treatment given to Netanyahu by our own government.

    It seems that almost every day, there is a news item about how the troubles in the Middle East are somehow Netanyahu’s fault.  The White House recently weathered yet another scandal, this one involving a high-placed official offering a crude remark about Netanyahu.

    Then, just last week, Israel’s own daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, published a cartoon of Netanyahu flying a plane into a high-rise building.

    It’s stunning that anti-Semitism has reached such levels.

    Yet all is not lost. As the left flexes its muscles in criticizing Netanyahu, his supporters are rallying, too. I would prefer that more evangelical leaders in America would follow suit, but we take what we can get.

    My friends at the America-Israel Friendship League are offering their influential support to the Israeli leader, and it is instructive for us, I think, to read it and consider that when things get tough, we should keep proper perspective.

    Kenneth Bialkin, Chairman of AIFL, commented:

    “It is particularly moving that the words of the leader of Israel come during the Days of Awe, the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur when Jews reflect on their sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.  The image of a leader of Israel bringing a message during the Days of Awe to the representatives of the entire world warning of the imminence of a great danger threatening to world peace is suggestive of the warnings during the biblical period of the Prophets of Old.  It is to be devoutly hoped that the peace-loving people of the world heed the warning of the Prime Minister of Israel.”

    What a wonderful thought from Bialkin. But it is not simply a statement of affection and support. It is a clear signal that those who covet freedom and defend high ideals are engaged in the practical work of supporting Israel. It is an every day job, and one cannot help wondering if indeed those Prophets of Old are watching to see how we respond to this latest epoch in the history of the Jewish people.

    Let’s make this the Year of Supporting Bibi.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    November 3, 2014

    (This is my 400th “Israel Watch” for RaptureReady. It is one of the joys of my life to live in this community of believers, and I want to thank Todd and Terry for their faithfulness, encouragement, and support. Per the subject of the following column, Palestinian advocate Porter Speakman, Jr. recently referred to me as a “RaptureReady tool.” Thank, you; I’m proud of the association. Much love to all of you at RR. Jim)

    The Subversives

    I began actively advocating for Israel in 1995. The large shadow of the Oslo Accords, which bonded Israel’s security with the newly created Palestinian Authority, was all.

    Many things have happened since then, of course. Today I want to discuss a common theme at “Israel Watch” the last couple years, but with a greater sense of urgency.

    The Palestinians and their many international friends — growing in number weekly now — undermine and seek to destroy Israel in myriad ways. I have become convinced that this implacable enemy of the Jews and the Jewish state is unreachable in terms of true peace efforts.

    Let me qualify that statement. I believe them to be unreachable unless they publicly, clearly acknowledge that Arab rejectionism and the global jihad agenda are the root cause of the conflict.

    This is not happening.

    As a Bible-believing Christian and committed Christian Zionist, I believe — I know — one of the greatest threats to Israel and her supporters today comes from within the (often) self-appointed evangelical leadership community in the United States.

    A Jew-hater like Stephen Sizer, the Anglican vicar from the UK, is still outside the borders of the U.S. and while his influence in the international community is somewhat significant, his reach is limited in convincing American Christians that Israel is the real problem in the Middle East.

    So, let me ask you a question: If you were a Palestinian leader wishing to undermine Israel in the U.S., how would you do it?

    I’ll answer the question from my perspective: I’d reach straight into the very heart of Evangelicalism in the greatest nation on Earth. I’d seek to weave an elaborate and well-choreographed lie about Israel and her supporters, and tell it loudly and often to rank-and-file American Christians.

    I would first launch this plan by getting close to evangelical leaders. I would garner invitations to influential conferences. I’d accept invitations to speak in churches all over America.

    And above all, develop my lie with honeyed words.

    This is what’s happening in America right now. The erosion of support for Israel in American churches is the greatest underreported story around. I have hesitated to say publicly just how dire the situation is, because I know our enemies love it and it emboldens them. Yet I feel compelled to speak in the limited way that I can.

    I know virtually every pro Israel Christian organization in existence. Many are personal friends. I love them and feel it’s mutual. They do tremendous work.

    Yet a few recent conversations leave me troubled. There is a tendency to want to appear “moderate” when advocating for Israel.

    The other side has no such approach. They are relentless, vicious, and subversive. Brian McLaren, much more in tune with Eastern religion than any evangelicals he purports to move among, agreed with Palestinian propagandist Naim Ateek in claiming that Christian Zionists are a bigger threat to Palestinians than jihadists.

    Not a peep from the American evangelical community. The grotesque and malicious charges laid at the feet of Christian Zionists, by those who have “crept in unawares” into the Church, are met with silence by leaders like Bill Hybels. He and his wife, Lynne, have been befriended by Palestinians since the ‘70s…why? Because the Palestinians are smart and realize that the quickest way to finish-off pro Israel support in the American Church is to get friendly with the leadership.

    This they have done and are doing. At an alarming rate.

    No, the other side does not follow any mythical rules of war. They lie all the day long and promote the Palestinian Narrative, which claims that almost all the problems in the Middle East are Israel’s fault.

    For today, let me site just one example. This week, I had discussions with three people in the pro Israel community in the U.S. The topic was whether the Green family — of Hobby Lobby fame — have been misunderstood in terms of their purported support for the Palestinians.

    Let me say specifically what I mean.

    Three years ago, I broke a story about the film (http://www.wnd.com/2011/12/374717/), “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” produced by EGM Films, a project funded and emotionally supported by Mart Green, head of Mardel Christian bookstores (his brother, Steve, runs Hobby Lobby, founded by their father).

    The film is anti-Israel (see it and decide for yourself), and when I interviewed the director, Jim Hanon, he told me that he had begun the project by visiting Hezbollah chief Sheik Nasrallah, in Lebanon.

    (How weird is that?)

    You need to understand that Nasrallah is a murderous jihadist who openly advocates for Israel’s destruction. Hanon told me on the record that he found Nasrallah to be personable. This is akin to Neville Chamberlain thinking he could appeal to Hitler.

    Mart Green produced this film with part of his fortune. EGM Films has generous office space at Hobby Lobby headquarters in Oklahoma City.

    Now, some of my pro Israel friends are telling me that the Green family has been “misunderstood” on this issue. Well, my answer is two-fold:

    A) I have no idea what David and Steve Green and the extended family think about Israel or any of this. B) What I know is that Mart Green produced an anti-Israel film and when I attempted to interview him about it, he couldn’t find the time.

    This week, I will attempt — again — to interview him about this subject, because evidently, there’s been enough pushback about the film that someone connected to the family has claimed at least privately that they have been misunderstood.

    The Green family gave upwards of $100 million to Oral Roberts University a few years ago. Mart Green became the chairman of the board of regents at ORU. Let me be clear: in my view, he bought that seat, and it stands to reason that his advocacy for the Palestinians will now find its way into the heart of the Pentecostal world.

    (The Greens also contributed $10.5 million to Liberty University, now run by Jerry Falwell Jr. Jonathan Falwell now pastors Thomas Road Baptist Church and is growing in influence among evangelicals. Although these men have given no public evidence that they would be influenced by the seeping views of a Mart Green with regard to the Palestinians, they move in all those circles. There is a new ecumenism speeding like a freight train throughout evangelism, and people with strong views on things like the Arab-Israeli conflict are quietly shunned or shown the door. I am telling you point-blank that buying influence among top evangelical leadership can yield a marketing bonanza for Palestinian propagandists down the road. It’s done incrementally.)

    In 2012, some of the aforementioned leadership was also responsible for a screening of the “O Little Town of Bethlehem” film to a group of Pentecostal leaders at Regent University. Sami Awad, Palestinian propagandist, also spoke at the gathering.

    What is happening right at this moment is that a well-orchestrated, well-funded effort by the Palestinians is proceeding nicely. That agenda is to infiltrate — infiltrate — American evangelical churches with Palestinian propaganda.

    Period.

    I am asked, consistently by friends, if I’m sure of my claims. I’ve been sure for years, because I can document it. I suspect that I am asked repeatedly because the true horror of the implications are too much to wrap one’s mind around. It’s easier to keep repeating our own propaganda that “the vast majority of evangelicals support Israel. The truth is not as bright, but it’s realistic.

    Moderation is not the way to advocate for Israel today, my friends. One does not have to resort to the maliciousness and ad hominem arguments put forth by opponents of Christian Zionism.

    But if anyone thinks this fight is not open warfare over the right of Israel to exist, he is deluding himself.

    Honestly? I wish top Christian Zionist leadership would name names and tell people what’s going on in this story.

    It isn’t that the Palestinians are attempting to co-opt the mainline — the United Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. They’ve already done that, decades ago.

    What they are doing right now is burrowing deep into the very heart of Evangelicalism: the Assemblies of God, the wider Pentecostal world, the Southern Baptist Convention, etc. Astonishingly, they attempted in 2013 to infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Association, which was rebuffed.

    I don’t know what Mart Green really thinks about all this. He won’t talk. All I know is that he is friendly with people who don’t like Israel.

    Here is another of One Man’s Opinion: if the Greens are privately claiming they have been misunderstood regarding this film, then I publicly call on them to say so. Tell us exactly where you stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what you think about the film produced by Mart Green. Are they more concerned about losing customers if the customers really know about the Palestinian connection?

    I’m not sure. Let them go public with their views on Israel.

    If the Greens have been duped — specifically, if Mart Green has been duped — let’s have it out in the open and have him go on record with a statement.

    Meanwhile, his friends in the Palestinian community continue to promote a worldview that is no different from that of the PLO, long sworn to Israel’s destruction.

    Our ideological opponents want us to be moderate and accommodating and have symposiums and dialogue.

    While they are using brass knuckles, and a sockful of nickels on their Christian Zionist opponents.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Oct 27, 2014

    A Political Statement

    I was talking with a  friend this week who related an interesting story, from the days of the first Intifada.

    (The First Intifada, a wave of terror unleashed by a new Muslim Brotherhood-backed outfit called Hamas, occurred in 1987. One can trace the region’s current difficulties to this momentous event.)

    My friend was speaking with a Palestinian friend, one who had been considered moderate. When he entered the restaurant, my friend noticed the black-and-white-checked keffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress made popular by the terrorist-serial killer, Yasser Arafat.

    “Is that a political statement?” my friend asked.

    “Yes, it is,” replied the Palestinian.

    A small moment perhaps, from a single encounter. Yet it speaks volumes about the progression among Palestinian Arabs to full-blown support for Palestinian nationalism. In other words, whether an Arab in the Holy Land is Muslim, Christian, or perhaps neither…he or she will rally in unity around the idea that Israel is a brutal occupier and must be removed.

    This is an important point, because it signals that the usual solutions — negotiations, peace plans, and symposiums — all fall short of the Arab thirst for a Jew-free Middle East. If even the moderates subscribe to such maximum demands, what real hope is there for peace?

    Further, as we’ve reported here at “Israel Watch,” the encroachment of the Palestinian narrative/propaganda into the American Evangelical scene is alarming.

    And advancing.

    I’ve spoken to many Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian. The subject of Arab/Palestinian nationalism is fierce and deep. It is unsettling. Too many evangelical leaders are warming to the idea of a Palestinian state.

    And only this week, Hamas killers murdered a three-month-old Israeli; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (evidently, president-for-life, like other Arab totalitarians) of incitement, which led to the killing.

    Virtual silence from the international community, including the Evangelical world.

    Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the east Jerusalem driver who rammed his car into a light-rail station, also praised last month the murderers of three kidnapped Israeli youth earlier this year.

    The barbarism that has soaked into Palestinian culture is the direct result of incitement by the PA, leading directly to Abbas. The PA (and unity government partner Hamas) routinely praises homicide bombers and other killers of Jews, often naming soccer fields and the like after them. The concept of the “shaheed” (a “martyr” who has killed Jews) is deep in Palestinian Arab culture.

    Evangelical leaders in America rarely condemn the murder of Jews, and that should give all of us pause. Gone are the days when national figures like Jerry Falwell would loudly condemn such attacks and assure Israel that America stands with her. Now the power vacuum has been filled with the likes of Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren — all pastors who have in common, among other things — warm relationships with key Democrat leaders, including Barack Obama, the most anti-Israel president in American history.

    Stanley has spoken at Obama’s inauguration, Warren hosted the disastrous 2008 “civil forum” featuring Obama and mannequin John McCain, and Hybels uses his powerful Willow Creek platform to host such luminaries as Bill Clinton.

    The Evangelical Church in America is moving rapidly to the left, and with it the heretofore strong support for Israel. An erosion of support for the Jewish state is a natural outcome of changing worldviews within evangelicalism.

    That’s why the killing of Jews is met with yawns. It’s why the subtle-but-sure move towards acceptance of Palestinian nationalism — by previously “moderate” Palestinians — that began a quarter-century ago has now reached full flower.

    It is my opinion that most evangelicals have no clue what is going on with regard to these issues.

    That’s why more and more evangelical leaders refer to Israel as “Israel/Palestine.”

    That is a political statement.

    The left has done its job well.

    And Israel becomes more isolated.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Oct 20, 2014

    The Numbers Matter

    The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a part of the Israeli intelligence community, is an invaluable source for understanding the jihadists’ agenda.

    Recently, the ITIC released a report, in meticulous detail, shedding light on the numbers of Palestinians killed in this past summer’s Hamas War.

    The importance of the breakdown is multi-layered. Of major importance is the revelation of how Hamas conducted its terror war against Israeli civilians…by putting their own citizens in danger.

    The ITIC concludes that slightly more than half of those killed were Palestinian civilians, put in harm’s way by Hamas. One can rightly wonder why American and European political leadership, religious figures, and media types refuse — refuse — to acknowledge that Hamas is responsible for the horrible loss of life.

    Look, I’ve been to the region many times, and as a Christian Zionist, I can say that it grieves me to see Palestinian civilians slaughtered by those who claim to lead them. I have Palestinian friends, both in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the continued imprisonment of them, by Hamas and the PA, is heartbreaking and enormously frustrating.

    A fascinating note in the ITIC report shows that Palestinian leadership actually recruits adolescents. This is an emotionally devastating reality.

    A photograph in the report shows Wassim Nasr Shurab and his brother, Iyad Nasr Shurab, members of the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] Al-Quds Battalions, killed in Khan Yunis in July. Both are pictured in a photo from a few years ago, holding a rocket launcher and other weapons, proving that they are recruited as adolescents.

    My friend and colleague, Chris Quintana (pastor of Calvary Chapel Cypress, CA) recently posted on Facebook one of the most lucid statements I’ve yet seen, and its appearance was startling when one considers that few religious leaders and no political leaders to my knowledge inform the American public in the way Chris did.

    He pointed out a crucial truth in the Terror War. We all often hear that “only” about 10 percent of Muslims worldwide are radicals. A few conservative whistle blowers (like Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Pam Geller) point out that if this is true, at least 100 million Muslims are radicals!

    What Chris pointed out, though — and this helps explain in macrocosm the report on how Palestinians are radicalized — is that a full 90 percent of Muslims worldwide are Sunni, and the Sunnis are predominant among terrorist leadership.

    In other words, one could legitimately argue that we can flip the previous numbers and assume that the vast majority of Muslims at least internally agree with jihadist ideology.

    (By contrast, the Iranian leadership is Shia, the “competition” with Sunnis in Islam. So, neither outcome is anything less than chilling.)

    To the point of the Hamas War against Israel, the Jewish state is dealing not only with jihadist leadership, but a radicalized society fed a diet of hate for decades. This is the spotlight on the Shurab brothers. A tragedy of epic proportions.

    Until world leadership steps up and admits the true nature of the problem, the jihadist agenda will continue to advance.

    I am confident Israel will deal with its problems and survive.

    I’m not confident at all about the rest of us.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Oct 13, 2014

    Obama & Friends

    Anna Baltzer is a young “activist” closely associated with the BDS Movement (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions), aimed at Israel. It is one front in a multi-front war against the Jewish state. Whereas Hamas is physically confrontational, BDS is a key part of the cultural terrorism that attacks Israel relentlessly.

    Active in social media, including Twitter, Baltzer seeks to mobilize Jew-haters among evangelical Millennials, and the mainline churches. Recently, she circulated a document among folks in the United Church of Christ, urging BDS activism. The UCC, of course, vies with a couple other denominations for the crown of most leftwing. It is also the church-of-choice for Barack Obama. In fact, the UCC is where he learned at the feet of Jeremiah Wright.

    (To better understand Obama and his associates, I strongly recommend two books: Dupes — How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, by Paul Kengor, and Saul Alinsky: The Evil Genius Behind Obama, by Jerome Corsi.)

    One can simply let eyes fall on a page of Baltzer’s document and find a lie. For example:

     

    “•Present – Occupations and unconditional US support for Israel continue”

    This is absurd, but because so many don’t know much about the Arab-Israeli conflict, propagandists like Baltzer get away with it. She knows very well that Obama & Team work tirelessly to undermine Israel in myriad ways. “Unconditional US support” is a Big Lie.

    It is interesting to note that even among pro Israel activists, there is often confusion as to why Obama does what he does regarding the Jewish state. His public rebukes of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, and his open contempt for the premier are actually not difficult to understand, given his absolutely radical associations and education. Certain UCC leadership (like the now-retired Wright) are virulently anti-Israel, and this is where Obama attended church for two decades. Beyond that, his associations with communists and his embrace of totalitarians provide clarity when considering his animus towards Israel.

    In the document she circulates, Baltzer presents a list of “sources” of information. Almost comically, they are the usual suspects of leftists and propagandists. One could ask: when listing biased sources like Electronic Intifada and B’tselem (Amnesty International also makes the list), why doesn’t Baltzer also list sources like StandWithUs and Israel National News?

    The answer is obvious: demonizing Israel is more important than truth.

    The networking among anti-Israel propagandists is vast, much more widespread than even pro Israel activists are aware. For example, the Anna Baltzers of the world mix easily with young evangelical leaders who are helping infect the American Church with rabid anti-Israel propaganda. On Facebook, Baltzer has thousands in her network (as an aside, many pro Israel activists do not even use social media; this is one example of the gap in effective communication via networks).

    A further interesting example of Baltzer’s influence can be found from an Amazon review of a DVD she produced. Notice the bizarre claims of this person:

    “I am a Christian who in the past had believed and taught the standard Zionist line. What changed my perspective was when a friend challenged me with the question of, ‘What if Jesus were serious about loving one's enemies?’ Conservative Evangelical Christians completely reject this possibility with objections such as, ‘Just wherein loving your enemies does it say not to kill them?’ and ‘Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to kill them.’. Fortunatley I examined the issue and as I came to embrace these words of Christ my theology was shaken to its foundation.”

    Question: do Christian Zionists really say (or even think) things like: “Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to kill them’?

    Do they?

    Have you ever once heard anyone say such a thing? Only a disturbed person would say such a thing, obviously. So the next question I have is this: are such quotes real, or are they fabricated?

    I know the answer and so do you: anti-Israel and anti-Christian Zionist activists lie about their ideological opponents. Quotes are routinely fabricated, in order to give a particular slant on a story. The manipulation of language is one of the biggest stories in the American Evangelical community, yet few are aware of it. Most simply don’t know they are being lied to continuously.

    The above quote, from Anna Baltzer’s network, uses lies to promote a pro Palestinian worldview. Notice how seamlessly it fits the grotesque, gargantuan lies that come from the Oval Office.

    At the end of the day, the massive, relentless, and diabolical propaganda war against Israel is fueled by liars like the president and young activists (mentored by older ones) who despise Israel and despise Jews.

    It’s really not hard to figure out the roots of this terrible reality.

     

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Oct 6, 2014

    A Non-Starter

    Every time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes a breath, his critics pounce. As I often do, I am thinking of American political and religious leaders.

    In an interview this week, Netanyahu said that if there is to be a Palestinian state, “everyone” will have to adjust their ideas of what sovereignty would mean. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

    “Netanyahu, who filmed the interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during his stay last week in New York, said that the only way to ensure that territory ceded by Israel does not turn into a ‘third Iranian enclave around Israel’s border’ is to have a long-term Israeli security presence inside a future Palestinian state.”

    It’s a given the Palestinians will reject/attack Netanyahu’s position.

    I expect, though, that his vicious critics within the religious/political community will pounce once again, from their ivory tower in the West.

    In the interview, Netanyahu spoke about concrete realities, a main one being that were Hamas to take over the West Bank, mere mortar fire could paralyze Ben Gurion Airport.

    Forget rockets and missiles.

    Further, Netanyahu made clear that he has a thorough understanding of the problem, something his critics do not grasp:

    “The Palestinians have made clear that they are adamantly opposed to any protracted Israeli security presence anywhere in a future Palestinian state, including along the Jordan River.

    “Asked about Israel’s assessment of the strength of Islamic State, Netanyahu – who just a month ago put the figure of Islamic State fighters at 10,000, or about half that of Hamas – said Sunday that they have ‘several tens of thousands by now. It’s growing by day because they’ve got about 2 million petrodollars revenue a day.’

    I’ve seen the Jordan River Valley, and it is an absolute necessity that Israel maintain control of the area. A failure to do so would leave them with their backs to the sea, in the event of an attack, and an attack would surely come. This week marks the 41st anniversary of the Yom Kippur War; Israel has been dealing with lethal threats for decades, and Netanyahu (who fought in ’73, while a student at M.I.T.) is dealing with more of them than perhaps any Israeli leader.

    Remember, the Palestinian refusal — they call Netanyahu’s analyses a non-starter because they wouldn’t even consider it — to accept an Israeli security presence in the Jordan River Valley brings to mind the 1970 attempted coup by the PLO, in Jordan. The Palestinian refusal to seriously address Israel’s legitimate security needs is a key indicator that they not only don’t care about such concerns, but they in fact are the primary threats to Israeli security.

    As Netanyahu continues to make more sense about the realities in the Middle East, look for his critics to drift further from reality, as their Jew hatred rises.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    Sep 29, 2014

    A Major Award!

    One of the joys of my life centers around the friendships I have within the pro Israel community, whether the groups or individuals are Jews or Christians. For 20 years, I’ve advocated for Israel in some form or another.

    I like to keep readers informed of terrific sources to do just that, and so I was recently glad to hear that my friends at Untold News are preparing to present awards to top Israeli innovators — folks who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. Frankly, if Israel’s enemies put as much into these endeavors as they do to destroying the Jewish state…well, that’s another story.

    Marcella Rosen, the founder of Untold News, recently announced that the group will hold an awards dinner to honor innovators on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the Harmony Club in New York.

    “We will offer a $10,000 cash award for each recipient,” Rosen says. Untold News will also send the recipients on a short media tour to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City. “We plan to do this annually,” Rosen adds. The awards will recognize inventions of the last year.

    Untold News features stories about Israeli achievers who excel in improving technological, agricultural, and medical fields. Whether it’s fish farming, desalination, or providing world-class medical care regardless of a patient’s background, Israel provides hope for millions around the world. These stories serve as a dramatic counterweight to the negative portrayals of Israel from international media.

    Rosen feels the awards dinner will serve as a further spotlight on stories unknown to much of the general public. She is excited about the focus on innovators.

    “Criteria are that they improve the human condition and have a ‘wow factor,’ and have a global impact. In each case, there are two applications: from scientific institutions and universities. Those interested in applying for consideration should get a dean or professor to endorse their nomination. Each applicant also must be an Israeli citizen.”

    The two categories — science and technology — promise to focus on “up-and-coming” innovators. Rosen also emphasized that applicants must be able to speak English well enough to be interviewed by media.

    “We want to celebrate the inventors and we want to get press coverage, to see how Israeli has impacted lives,” Rosen says. “People really aren’t aware of this and Israeli is such a valuable partner to the US.”

    Ten nominees will be selected, and the names will then be sent to a jury. A single meeting will produce the winners.

    The jury will be made up of prominent American academics, businesspeople, and others. To date nine have signed on:

    • Joel Citron, venture capitalist, CEO, Tenth Avenue Holdings
    • Dr. Barry Coller, Chief Medical Officer at Rockefeller University
    • Alisa Doctoroff, President, UJA
    • Margie Fox, Chief Creative Officer at Devries
    • Heidi Jacobus, CEO of Cybernet Systems
    • Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and professor at Columbia
    • Morris Offit, CEO of Offit Capital
    • David Schizer, just stepping down as Dean of Columbia Law School
    • Tony Tether, former head of DARPA ($3 billion US government department to expedite scientific progress)

    I encourage Christian supporters of Israel to check out Untold News at www.untoldnews.org, and use the information to tell those within your circle just how much good the Jewish state does for an international community that should be grateful.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Sep 22, 2014

    Of Prophecy and Israel

    Obvious statement alert.

    We live in such odd times.

    The past month has brought news of convulsions in the Bible prophecy movement: transitions among decades-long ministries. The announcement of new groups. And, as always, the growing mocking from skeptics (ironically, I’m talking about fellow Christians, ranging from Reformed types, to Mark Driscoll, to Millennial sources).

    By extension, the immense pressure being brought to bear on Israel the past two decades is only getting worse. Here at “Israel Watch” and RR, the erosion of support for Israel among American evangelical leaders is an ongoing story. This week brought news that the Palestinians are once again preparing to petition the UN for recognition of statehood. This surely is one of the most bizarre developments of our time, as the Palestinian Authority is run by a gang of criminals who still have many friends in high places.

    What is on my mind this week: what are you, the reader, seeing in your own churches and circles of influence with regard to how Israel is perceived and how Bible prophecy is perceived.

    Yes, I’m aware that the landscape “doesn’t look good.” What I’d like to know, though, is how you are your friends are penetrating the darkness through Israel advocacy or the teaching of Bible prophecy.

    For example, a dear friend of mine is working quietly in his (Reformed) church to introduce Bible prophecy concepts. Another friend is a retired minister who circulates online Israel advocacy resources to his circle of active pastor friends.

    I believe very strongly in efforts like these. We can’t all be Christians United for Israel (CUFI), or Tim LaHaye or Dave Reagan. Most of us have “smaller” platforms and what most don’t realize is, those smaller platforms make a difference.

    We are where we are. Some of us think that even with the challenges in our world, it is a marvelous and wondrous time to be alive. We are seeing prophecy unfold every day.

     

    So…if you are so inclined, let me know how it goes in your circles. Good or bad feedback is what I’d like to have, a realistic assessment of what the landscape looks like.

    I sincerely believe that RR readers are family, especially in these perilous times.

    Thanks for all you do out there. 

    jim@prophecymatters.com

     


    Sep 15, 2014

    The Jew Haters

    Near where I live — in the middle of America — I once stopped for gas at a local convenience store. On the counter was an unusually titled tabloid-style paper. I picked one up and began to thumb through it. Very quickly, I realized it was a white supremacist rag. An ad inside led me to a book published…locally…and in the book, the “author” alleged that the Jews were a product of the union of Eve and Satan.

    The insanity of it all was overwhelming. We live in the age of science and reason, right?

    Yet, it always amazes me to learn of more mind-numbing anti-Semitic filth bubbling up from the international community. MEMRI (www.memri.org) has uncovered a weird production from Iraqi TV. As the Iraqis deal with the demonic entity known as ISIS, this is what they’ve come up with:

    “With Islamic State dominating the world stage with its brutal mass murders, gruesome videos to world leaders and omnipresence on social media, Iraq – perhaps the hardest-hit nation by the self-proclaimed caliphate – has taken to the airwaves to give its take on the root cause of the extremist group.

    “A satire show, broadcast on an Iraqi TV network, depicts an arranged marriage between Satan and a Jewish woman. As celebratory music plays in the background, wedding preparations are underway in an arid Middle Eastern desert. The marriage ‘has a purpose,’ the man officiating the wedding exclaims, as the video turns to the bride and groom. ‘We will name our child ISIS,’ the parents-to-be say in unison.

    “Much to their pleasure, after taking their vows, the happy couple has a child, an ISIS fighter – who emerges from an egg, fully equipped for battle.

    “As Satan and his Jewish wife raise their ‘ISIS-ling,’ the controversial rituals of the rising terrorist group are mocked, from the infamous black-and-white Islamic State flag, to the many ‘throat slittings,’ to various forms of punishments inflicted on ‘infidels’ and the rest of the extreme Sharia laws.”

    To all this I say, How long, O God, will the world mock your people?

    When the human mind cannot explain evil, the human mind blames the Jews. Whether it’s a small southern town in the United States, or a Middle Eastern country that at one time was literate and urbane — all seem to try and explain bad things by blaming the Jews.

    This issue is this: because the majority of the world rejects God’s revelation, as given in the Bible, the world opens itself up to all forms of evil, including thoughts and deeds.

    One day soon, the Lord will return and set things right. He will rule with perfect justice and righteousness, and He will show Himself completely to the world that has mostly rejected Him.

    I welcome that day, not only because His Chosen People will finally and forever dwell in safety, but because He will heal for all time the damaged and insane minds that have endangered the Jews and blamed them for millennia.

    As Thomas Ice often says: “Maranatha!”

    jim@prophecymatters.com