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|Happy New Year!||
Just back from a gospel meeting at my assembly tonight. Desmond Goudy spoke,
and it was fantastic. He said afterwards that he felt compelled by the Lord
to speak on that particular subject, and I was glad he did. He spoke on
Ezekiel 37 about the regathering of Israel and about end time prophecy. We
rarely hear that subject mentioned in our assembly, even though it interests
us very much. After the meeting we sat and listened to Desi in conversation
about prophetic things, it thrilled my heart - and what timing!!!
Well, I wish you all very prosperous New Year in God's service. As the Jewish saying goes, "Next year, in [New] Jerusalem!"... Maybe, God willing!
Iran state media predicts coming of Mahdi
This link from my friend Tony...
Iran state media is broadcasting predictions of the soon return of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam or the Islamic Messiah. Some Islamic sources state that the Mahdi may come during a Spring equinox. The Mahdi was believed to have disappeared several centuries ago, but is expected to reappear in the end times to conquer the world for Allah. The reappearance of the Mahdi has been predicted several times by President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who is actively preparing his people and the nation for his arrival. At the start of this year, sources close to Ahmadinejad stated they believed the coming of the Mahdi was as close as a few years away. Part of Iran's preparation for the Mahdi includes the development of nuclear weapons, enabling Iran to become a powerful force in the Middle East and defeat the enemies of Islam (namely Israel).
Quote: ""The Mahdi's far sightedness and firmness in the face of mischievous elements will strike awe. After his uprising from Mecca all of Arabia will be submit to him and then other parts of the world as he marches upon Iraq and established his seat of global government in the city of Kufa. "Then the Imam will send 10 thousand of his forces to the east and west to uproot the oppressors. At this time Allah will facilitate things for him and lands will come under his control one after the other," the website declared. "After his appearance the Imam would remain in Mecca for some time, and then go to Medina... a descendant of the Prophet's archenemy Abu Sofyan will seize Syria and attack Iraq and the Hejaz with the ferocity of a beast... finally Imam Mahdi sends troops who kill the Sofyani in Beit ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem), the Islamic holy city in Palestine that is currently under occupation of the Zionists," the IRIB added.
Muslims believe that the Mahdi will return with the Prophet Jesus as his "Lieutenant", who will kill Dajjal (the Muslim Antichrist) and rule over Jerusalem for a period of seven years. This Prophet Jesus will then kill the pig and break the cross until Islam is the only religion left. After 40 years the Prophet Jesus will die and be laid to rest beside Mohammed.
Quote: "Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.
This is of course remarkably similar to to the end time scenario as described in the Old and New Testaments. The Bible states that the Antichrist will effectively rule from Jerusalem for a period of seven years, with his false prophet who will be given power by Satan to work all manner of lying wonders (Revelation 13:13-15, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9). This false prophet will cause all who do not worship the image of the Beast to be killed. In the Scriptures, Satan also persecutes the woman (Israel - the "pigs") who brought forth the manchild (Jesus Christ), and those who keep the testimony of Jesus (the "crosses" - tribulation saints) - Revelation 12:17.
It's important to remember that while the Muslims may have part of the "truth" regarding the end times, they don't have it all. Satan knows the Scriptures better than we do and has deceived Muslims in such a way that the ultimate goal for them is to worship Satan as God. For the "Christian" world - all those who didn't have salvation, had no teaching on the rapture and remain behind after it has taken place, it will be the natural thing to listen to what the false prophet is saying (Revelation 13:11). And for the Jews, a time of trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) that has never been experienced before, nor will be after (Matthew 24:21).
The former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging.
The verdict came after a long and arduous trial during which evidence was
presented of the many war crimes he had perpetrated against his own people.
Saddam was found hiding
in a hole in the ground in December 2003, after having evaded capture for
over 8 months.
Saddam believed he was the descendant of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and was attempting to rebuild the ancient city. But like King Nebuchadnezzar, he was once the ruler of the country but was reduced to living like an animal. I felt very sad for him. There's something terrible about a man that was once so powerful, dieing like a normal man. Perhaps that is a reminder to the world that when it comes to the judgement, that's all we are - men...
I prayed that he would be saved, also like King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:37). But whether the war against Iraq was justified or not, Saddam was a brutal dictator and financed terrorism against Israel. He paid the families of suicide bombers tens of thousands of dollars, and during the first Gulf War, fired dozens of Scud missiles at Israel. Palestinians mourned the news of Saddam's execution...
Quote: "Purportedly, Saddam's final words were, "Palestine is Arab." "We heard of his martyrdom, and I swear to Allah we were deeply shaken from within," said Khadejeh Ahmad from the Qadora refugee camp in the West Bank. "Nobody was as supportive or stood with the Palestinians as he did." During the first Gulf War in 1991, the Palestinians cheered Saddam's missile attacks on Israel, chanting "Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv," as the Scud missiles flew overhead.
And Palestinians weren't the only ones mourning the passing of Saddam. When Chairman Arafat of the Palestinian Authority died of unknown causes, the BBC news reporter Barbara Plett wept on camera. So much for our news being impartial. An investigation was carried out by the BBC into her behaviour, but she was let off. Once again, news the of the death of a "peace-loving, benevolent dictator" has news anchors spluttering for words...
Quote: ""We're following a breaking story out of Iraq. Saddam Hussein could be executed within a matter of hours. [Cough] At least that's what one Iraqi official is telling Reuters. [Cough, wheezing] Excuse me." Nearly 20 seconds of silence, broken only by wheezing and a cough, followed as video footage from Saddam's trial played without audio. Viewers were left to their own imaginations as to what was occurring at the anchor desk during the episode until MSNBC broke to a Walgreen's commercial.
Saddam may be gone, but the world still must face another brutal dictator - the Antichrist, and the one world religious system - Mystery Babylon.
Blair: Qur'an is standard bearer of tolerance
These are the words of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in an article
written for Foreign Affairs, a periodical published by the New World Order
Council on Foreign Relations. In the article, the Prime Minister outlines
his battle plan, a war of "values" and "ideologies",
where democracy reigns supreme and all other political systems must fall.
Tony Blair - a professing "Christian", praises
Islam and the Qur'an as an inclusive, progressive and tolerant
Quote: "To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is. I write with great humility as a member of another faith. As an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later. The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance. Under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture. The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones.
The Prime Minister states the Qur'an extols science, yet when confronted with the issue of creation becoming mainstream in British schools, he stated he would be very concerned. He says the Qur'an is far ahead of its time in regard to attitudes towards marriage and women, yet in some Islamic countries women are routinely abused, and children as young as thirteen are forced to marry Muslim men and become literally female slaves. He says Islam is the standard-bearer of tolerance, but doesn't mention the horrific persecution that many Christians face in Islamic countries where it is against the law to openly practice the Prime Minister's "religion", and converts from Islam to Christianity face death. And he fails to mention the empire that Islam carved out of Asia was won by jihad, not by the book and its values. When you have a Prime Minister that praises Islam as a religion of tolerance, is it any wonder when the country's broadcasting corporation starts lamenting the defeat of Islamic extremism in Somalia?
Quote: "Some residents say lawlessness has returned to Mogadishu - which had been under Islamic rule for six months... The situation seems to be descending back into anarchy, our correspondent adds.
Here's what Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War, said of Islam...
Quote: "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."
What on earth is this country coming to? I'm afraid it looks like our "modern civilization", which many seem to prize so highly, has already fallen. As Christians, we do not hate Muslims or any other person of any religion, we love them in Jesus' name. But for the Prime Minister to blatantly twist the truth in order to score some political goal is not only deceitful, it's an affront to the values and beliefs the people of this nation hold and the freedoms the Bible has given us.
Abbas calls for secret talks with Israel
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is calling for a new channel
of negotiations to be opened with Israel, presumably with the Palestinian
Liberation Organization that would bypass Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister
Olmert and President Abbas met last week, after being cajoled
somewhat by European Union leaders. At the meeting, Olmert offered Abbas
significant concessions including a release of tax money due to the PA, the
transfer of weapons to Fatah, as well as removing nearly 50 security
checkpoints throughout the West Bank. Abbas is now calling for a new
secretive channel to be opened between the Palestinians and Israelis, with
the co-operation of the Quartet.
Quote: "Following his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Abbas said serious talks behind closed doors are imperative, adding that the Quartet should participate as well. “For some time now we’ve been considering the option of opening another channel of communication between us and the Israelis with the participation of one or all of the Quartet members (United States, Russia, European Union, United Nations) to discuss issues related to a permanent agreement,” he said.
If all members of the Quartet aren't involved in these talks, that begs the question, which ones would be involved? The US isn't trusted by the Palestinians due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Russia is vehemently pro-Arab, and refused to impose any sort of sanctions against Iran's nuclear policy, therefore they wouldn't be trusted by the Israelis. The UN was unable to bring about a lasting peace on Israel's northern border, in fact UN inaction contributed to the situation in that country, so UN mediation is not the preferable option for Israel. That only leaves the European Union, which already has troops in Lebanon, is contemplating sending troops to Gaza, is Israel's biggest trading partner and has sent more money to the Palestinians this year than ever before, and the EU is not seen as pro-Israel by the Arabs - today insisting that Israel halt all settlement activity.
Quote: "The European Union said on Wednesday it was deeply concerned about Israel’s plan to turn a former army base in the occupied West Bank into a settlement for 30 Jewish settler families evacuated from Gaza last year. A US backed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan known as the "Road map” calls for a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank, land Palestinians want for a state. “This development runs contrary to the commitment undertaken by Israel in the road map,” Finland, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, said in a statement. (Reuters)
The Bible states that it will be the European Union that will become the final world empire (Daniel 7:7), and it will be the head of the EU that will confirm the covenant with Israel and the nations (Daniel 9:24-27).
Japan quakes disrupt communications
Two massive earthquakes measuring around 7.1 and 6 on the Richter Scale
struck southern Japan
yesterday. It was initially feared that the earthquake may produce a
tsunami, but nothing has emerged. The quake was responsible for the deaths
of two people, and significantly disrupted communications between Japan and
Quote: "Taiwan's largest telephone company, Chunghwa Telecom Co, said damage to an undersea cable had disrupted 98% of Taiwan's communications with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. Repairs could take three weeks, Vice-General Manager Lin Jen-hung said, but quality would improve daily. Telecommunications companies in Hong Kong, Japan and China also reported problems. China's biggest telecomms provider, China Telecommunications Group, said that communications cables to the US and to Europe had been damaged.
Ironically on the same day, Scotland was hit by an earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter Scale, the largest to hit the UK in four years. The UK does not lie on any fault lines, which means that moderately sized earthquakes are rarely experienced in this country.
Quote: "The British Geological Survey reported that the earthquake which shook Scotland on Boxing Day was of magnitude 3.5, making it the largest earthquake to hit the UK since November 2002. The British Geological Survey reported the epicentre of the earthquake as being just north of Dumfries. The organisation noted that while the quake was significant, it was not uncommon.
Both these earthquakes occurred on December 26th, in what seems to becoming "international earthquake day". On December 26th 2004, Indonesia was struck by an earthquake measuring around 10 on the Richter Scale, generating a tsunami that killed over a quarter of a million people. On December 26th 2003, an earthquake struck Bam, Iran killing around 26,000 people.
Olmert agrees to dismantle dozens of checkpoints
Thanks to all who sent news while I was on holiday. I won't get a chance to
look through it all, I'm just trying to get caught up with what has been
transpiring over the Christmas period. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority met for talks
two days before Christmas. Both politicians had announced they were ready
for the talks after meeting with European leaders earlier in the month.
Quote: "During a two-hour meeting at his official residence, Olmert promised to transfer frozen tax revenue directly to Abbas's office to ease the Palestinian economic crisis. Olmert also agreed to allow forces loyal to Abbas to deploy in the Gaza Strip, a move that would strengthen the Palestinian leader in an area dominated by the rival Hamas movement. "The two leaders believe that this meeting will be the first step toward rebuilding mutual trust and fruitful cooperation," Olmert's office said in a statement released after the meeting, the first formal session between the two sides in nearly two years.
President Abbas had asked Olmert to release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails, but no agreement has so far been reached on this concession. The Israeli Prime Minister has also agreed to remove dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank, a move which the IDF state will make it much easier for terrorist organizations to mount attacks on Israelis, with currently sixty percent of terror attacks being thwarted at military checkpoints.
Quote: "At a meeting yesterday, Olmert told the heads of Israel's major security services he hopes the checkpoints will be dismantled by the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha, which takes place next week. "My hope is that by the Id al-Adha holiday, the Palestinian population will feel a significant improvement in the fabric of their lives," Olmert said at the meeting. The Israeli security establishment largely opposes the roadblock removals, saying their dismantlement will likely lead to an increase in terror attacks.
But will the Palestinians thank Israel for this improvement in the fabric of their lives? I doubt it. Most likely Hamas will get the credit for driving the Israelis out, as was seen last year after the disengagement from Gaza. Former Prime Minister Sharon had also promised that disengagement would satisfy the Palestinian terrorist organizations.
Rowan Williams slams Bethlehem barrier
I saw this on the television while visiting my friend Angela in Portrush. It
made me so angry. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams - also a
practicing druid, visited Bethlehem just before Christmas. Many Christians
visit Israel and Bethlehem to remember the Lord's birth. But it seems
Rowan's trip to Bethlehem was more of a political
nature than a religious one. The delegation of Christian leaders had
planned to walk through a pedestrian checkpoint to get to Bethlehem,
equipped with CCTV cameras and IDF soldiers. There is no doubt such an act
would have brought immediate condemnation of Israel, an Archbishop of
England being treated like a potential suicide bomber.
Quote: "Accompanied by Christian church leaders from Jerusalem, the delegation made its way through the notorious checkpoint at the entrance to the town, which prevents all but a few Bethlehemites - who need special permits - from travelling and trading with neighbouring Jerusalem. The church leaders had planned to walk through the pedestrian checkpoint - an elaborate steel construction involving turnstiles, CCTV cameras, and gun-wielding soldiers. But at the last moment, the Israeli security forces diverted them through the less humiliating vehicle entrance point, causing camera crews waiting on the other side to rush to get pictures.
The Archbishop also criticized the wall that now encircles most of Bethlehem, commenting that it was the barrier that was causing the Christian population in Bethlehem to dwindle. He also stated that British policies in Iraq were putting the lives of Christians living in the Middle East at risk.
Quote: "On Saturday, Williams clashed with the British government when he said the "shortsightedness" and "ignorance" of Britain's policies on Iraq were putting Christian communities in the region at risk. The Foreign Office issued a quick rebuttal, saying their suffering was caused by the "intolerant extremism" of those opposed to a democratic society.
It is Islamic persecution of the Christians in Bethlehem that is to blame for the low Christian population in the town. It's not the first time the Church of England has taken sides against the Jews. In February of this year, the Church voted to divest from Israeli firms operating in lands captured during the Six Day War, causing the former Archbishop Lord Carey to exclaim that he was "ashamed" to call himself an Anglican. You wouldn't think the One that Rowan Williams was coming to worship was born a Jew. Well according to the British Independent Newspaper, He was not.
Quote: "In two days, a third of humanity will gather to celebrate the birth pains of a Palestinian refugee in Bethlehem - but two millennia later, another mother in another glorified stable in this rubble-strewn, locked-down town is trying not to howl.
|Happy Christmas!!!||I wish you all a very happy Christmas and new year. I pray that God will bless and keep you all in His will next year. News will resume after Christmas...|
Chinese Christians face trial over demolition protest
The Chinese communist government has put eight Christians on trial for
"riot", after a church they had built illegally was demolished.
The Chinese Christians were unable to obtain permission from the government
to build the church, as their gathering is not approved by the state.
Quote: "The trial of eight Christians who allegedly led a violent clash with police in an attempt to prevent the demolition of a partially built church in eastern China started Friday, a court official said. The Christians face charges of inciting a crowd to resist law enforcement, said an official at the 10th Xiaoshan District People's Court in the coastal city of Hangzhou who would only give his surname, Cui. He said the trial started Friday morning but refused to give details of the case or name the defendants. It was not immediately clear what penalties they face if they are convicted.
Only several mainstream branches of Christianity are recognized by the government, and all are controlled by the government. It is estimated there are at least 10,000 Christians for every 1 trained Pastor in China. Millions of Chinese Christians gather in house-churches in complete secrecy. They don't carry Bibles because many don't have the luxury of owning one. Instead they copy down Scriptures on pieces of paper at their meetings. The gatherings are often raided by the secret police, their Bibles destroyed, and their leaders beaten, arrested or executed. Just a few months ago, two Chinese women were arrested by police for handing out Bibles. They were accused of "spreading of rumour and disturbing the social order", and were beaten to death.
Quote: "But it was not enough for the PSB to arrest and beat these two Christian women for the crime of passing our Christian literature. In the afternoon of June 18th, Mrs. Jiang Zongziu was pronounced dead by the PSB office of Tongzi County. They claimed she died of "natural causes." The fact is she was beaten to death. The Voice of the Martyrs has received video testimony from the surviving family, photos of Jiang's bruised body, and a copy of the actual arrest document. All of this had to be smuggled out of China as the authorities continue to attempt to hide their systematic persecution of Christians.
Here is a video of the destruction of the Chinese Church in July. Friends, we often wonder whether or not we will face persecution before the Lord returns to take us home. We need to remember that there are Christians across the world in various countries who are suffering terribly for their faith in Christ. We are privileged to be living in lands where the Bible has given us tremendous freedoms. It wasn't always that way. Just four hundred years ago, you could be arrested in England for preaching without a licence from the Church of England. One such Christian was John Bunyan, who was imprisoned for 12 years for his faith. During that prison experience he wrote the book, Pilgrim's Progress. After the Bible was widely published in our land, our freedoms increased. If our nation turns its back on God once again, our freedoms will also disappear. We need to remember our Chinese brothers and sisters in prayer, and continue serving God no matter what opposition faces us. It is said of the tribulation saints, they loved not their lives to the death. Can we do no less?
Wars and rumours of wars
UN to rule on Iran sanctions today
There will be few updates today, my friend Angela is visiting.
Well, it's starting. The United Nations is planning to vote today on whether or not to place sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, after months of wrangling between Russia and China on one hand and the United States and Israel on the other. The resolution is expected to be politically weak, placing a ban on parts for Uranium enrichment, nuclear development and ballistic missiles. According to the United States, the fact that they even have a resolution will be enough to send a message to Teheran that they can't defy the international community. But it seems to me that the UN is just closing the door after the horse has bolted...
Quote: ""The nature of this resolution is not capable of pressuring Iran and Iran will give an appropriate response to it," Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran 's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying by the ISNA students news agency. "This behaviour will just create more problems," He said. "If they ratify the resolution Iran will be in a new situation. In this situation Iran will review its cooperation with the agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) and review other political, economic and cultural fields."
...in other words, you can say goodbye to your Non-Proliferation Pact. The reason the UN resolution is so weak is because Russia and China would lose quite a lot of money if real sanctions were placed against Iran. The UK would also lose quite a bit of money. So both the UK and US are sending aircraft carriers to the Gulf, to send a message to Iran that they mean business.
Quote: "To display their determination regarding the matter, the US and Britain have also authorized steps to apply psychological pressure on Tehran in announcing their intent to launch aircraft carriers and warplanes to the Persian Gulf. The New York Times reports that US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is expected to authorize a request by military commanders to deploy a second aircraft carrier to the region which will join the 'Eisenhower' already in the Gulf. US military officials clarified that the increase of military force in the region was not be seen as preparations for an attack on Iran, but to make clear that US commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan will not prevent the country from being able to take military action should diplomatic efforts prove unsuccessful. Boosting naval presence in the area would also serve as a means to ensure that Iran won't try to block oil shipments in retaliation for the sanctions.
I remember when the British Prime Minister Tony Blair started sending troops to the Gulf in preparation for the invasion of Iraq. The situation is much the same now as it was then, the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Now I'm not taking one side or the other here in regards to the war being started, just pointing out the similarities. It was claimed back then that this was being done in order to persuade Saddam to open up his facilities to the UN inspectors. But I remember thinking, there is no way you send tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of aircraft and a few aircraft carriers into the Gulf, if you are not preparing to use them. It costs too much money. That manoeuvre took three months to complete and then the war began. Iran will have completed its Bushehr plant around three months from now, and as has been said before, there are some speculating that March is the month on which an Iranian strike has been agreed. My own suspicions are that world leaders are trying to ensure they have enough firepower in the region to prevent whatever Iran might be contemplating, rather than attempting to change Ahmadinejad's mind on the matter.
Mark of the Beast
Video of RFID hand implant
not much has been happening this last few days, so I thought I'd put this
link on the site for you all to see. Warning!
This video is not for those who are squeamish. This YouTube
video shows the procedure of inserting an RFID chip into the hand.
Associated Digital Solutions still claim they implant their VeriChip in the
right forearm, but it seems more and more people are implanting themselves
in their hands. One such person was Amal
Graafstra, who has an RFID chip in each hand.
More and more RFID-enabled household applications are being developed. Imagine just waving your hand in front of your door to gain access to your property? They're already doing it in my country. Just pray that there is nobody lurking nearby with an RFID scanner, otherwise you may suddenly find you aren't the only person with access to your house. By 2010, Prime Minister Tony Blair will hope to bring in his compulsory national identity card scheme. 10 Downing Street held a live web chat on this topic several months ago. Prime Minister Blair had ridiculed the civil liberties arguments over national ID cards, and stated that as this was being brought in worldwide, there was no other option but for Britain to accept biometric identification. I submitted a question on the live web chat, since national ID cards can be stolen or lost, when the Prime Minister sees the need to increase our security, will the next step be moving to implantable RFID chips, and does he realize that many Christians will have problems accepting that. Reasonable question you would think, but I never received a reply. But according to VeriChip, that is indeed the next step...
Quote: "ADS Chief Executive Scott Silverman, in a speech at the ID World 2003 conference in Paris last Friday, said his company had developed a "VeriPay" RFID technology and was hoping to find partners in financial services firms. Matthew Cossolotto, a spokesman for ADS who says he's been "chipped," argues that competing proposals to embed RFID tags in key fobs or cards were flawed. "If you lose the RFID key fob or if it's stolen, someone else could use it and have access to your important accounts," Cossolotto said. "VeriPay solves that problem. It's subdermal and very difficult to lose. You don't leave it sitting in the backseat of the taxi."
So you have been warned, national ID cards are the first step towards the Mark of the Beast system. The book of Revelation is a book of contrasts, with events written not necessarily in a chronological order, but from both God's perspective and man's perspective. One example is Babylon, in man's perspective it is portrayed as a great city (Revelation 18:16), but from God's perspective it is portrayed as a harlot (Revelation 17:18). The same for the Mark, the first one to issue an identifying mark is the Lord to seal the servants of God. Later, Satan implements his own scheme, sealing his followers with the Mark of the Beast, who will receive special judgement from God (Revelation 14:9-10).
Wars and rumours of wars
Ahmadinejad: US and Israel will soon disappear
Tensions are increasing in the Middle East, as President Bush has decided to
increase the US military presence in the region. George Bush stated that his
aim is to send a warning message to President Ahmadinejad that the West is
serious about Iran's nuclear programme. Yesterday Ahmadinejad claimed Iran
was now a nuclear
power, and told Iranians to expect a "nuclear victory" very
Quote: "During a speech delivered in the Western Iranian province of Javanroud, Ahmadinejad said: " The Islamic Republic of Iran is now a nuclear power, thanks to the hard work of the Iranian people and authorities." The announcement of Iran as a "nuclear power" is bound to significantly escalate tensions between the West and Iran, and marks a dramatic stage in the Islamic Republic's nuclear campaign.
But for an Iranian President that thrives on confrontation, President Bush's "message" is unlikely to have the intended effect. Today Ahmadinejad warned that it will be the US, Britain and Israel that will soon "disappear", not Iran. Once again the Iranian nation slammed Israel over Olmert's admission that Israel has nuclear weapons, and demanded that if Israel refused to allow UN inspectors to view their facilities, that diplomatic or military action should be taken.
Quote: ""The aggressive forces will vanish, while the Iranian people will survive - since all who chose God will survive and those who distance themselves from God vanish like Pharaoh," said Ahmadinejad in his speech. "The US, Britain, and the Zionist regime will vanish since they have distanced themselves from God. This is a divine promise," he added.
While the US and Britain certainly have distanced themselves from God and will be judged, the Divine promise that the land of Israel was given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an eternal inheritance, cannot be broken. For this reason, when Ahmadinejad and his Russian and Islamic cohorts mount an invasion of the Holy Land, in spite of Israel's waywardness God's wrath will come up in his face and He will defend Israel for His own name's sake.
Source YNet News
Covenant of Peace
Chris Perver quizzes British Europe minister
Yes, that's me! The 10 Downing Street website were holding a live
web chat yesterday, with Geoff Hoon, the Tony Blair's Europe Minister.
Britons were given a chance to pose him questions on the UK's role in
Europe. I thought that since the Prime Minister was in the Middle East, and
the European Union is pressing hard for a peace agreement between Israel and
the Palestinians, that perhaps they might have some sort of time frame they
are aiming for. If they do, Geoff isn't giving anything away.
Quote: "Chris Perver: With international pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to bring about a lasting peace in the Middle East, and the EU spearheading efforts in this area with the Spanish peace initiative - adopted by the EU last Friday, and proposing monitors be deployed in Gaza, in what sort of time frame are EU leaders expecting some sort of peace agreement to be in place by?
Geoff replies: It is important that the countries of the European Union play their part in helping to bring about a peace process in the Middle East. Over many years the EU has helped financially with the administration of the Palestinian authority, helping to provide the Palestinian people with the capacity they need to engage in real negotiations. It is important that we try and find a way back to a peace process which is why the Prime Minister has been in the region this week.
Well it was worth a shot anyway :).
Source 10 Downing Street
Wars and rumours of wars
Former Lebanese MP proposes 7 year peace plan
The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has sent Christmas greetings and
well wishes to Christians all over the world. Not missing an opportunity,
the Iranian President also asked us an important question on the topic of
current world affairs, "What
would Jesus do?". Ahmadinejad was of course referring to the
Israeli-Palestinian issue, and asked that when Jesus returns, what will he
do with Iran, or with the US and other administrations. Which powers will He
destroy, and which will He preserve?
Quote: ""My one question from the Christians is: What would Jesus do if he were present in the world today? What would he do before some of the oppressive powers of the world who are in fact residing in Christian countries? Which powers would he revive and which of them would he destroy?" the Iranian president asked. "If Jesus were present today, who would be facing him and who would be following him?" He added. Ahmadinejad then linked Jesus with Imam Mahdi, a Shiite leader believed by the Iranian president to have gone into hiding centuries ago, and who is expected by Shiite Muslims to return and usher in a period of messianic dominance for Islam. "All I want to say is that the age of hardship, threat and spite will come to an end someday and Allah willing Jesus would return to the world along with the emergence of the descendant of the Islam's Holy Prophet, Imam Mahdi and wipe away every tinge of oppression, pain and agony from the face of the world," Ahmadinejad said.
Although Ahmadinejad's question is no doubt intended to deflect criticism of his own regime, his question is a very poignant one. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, and will return and conquer Jerusalem in the name of Allah and reign over it for a period of seven years. Christians believe that the Antichrist will rule over Jerusalem for a period of seven years. This twisted Islamic version of the Revelation will have Muslims worshipping the Antichrist - the Mahdi, and the False Prophet - who they claim will be Jesus. When the False Prophet starts working his "miracles" (Revelation 13:14) and commanding that all who do not worship the Beast should be beheaded (Revelation 20:4), it will be the natural thing for them to accept.
Meanwhile, Georges Corm, former Lebanese Finance Minister, has proposed a new peace plan for the Middle East, a plan which he says is based on the "dissident viewpoint" which doesn't enjoy the support of the Western world (the view that Israel is to blame for every war in the Middle East since 1948). I have copied the entire text here, for it makes interesting reading, especially the seven year hiatus on borders. At the end of seven years, Georges states, both communities - Israel and Palestine - must vote on whether they want to continue as separate states or live in one united or federal state. Since Palestinians outnumber Israelis, it would be believed that such a vote would be the equivalent of state suicide for Israel. Why did he pick seven years? How much more evidence do we need that Christ's return is imminent?
Quote: "1) Palestinian society, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, is both open and multi-ethnic, reflecting the spirit of the United Nations’ 1948 and 1949 rulings on the Israel-Palestine conflict; none of the different religious communities has the monopoly over political power and armed force. Jerusalem is an open city with a municipal council composed in equal proportion of Jews, Christians and Muslims.
2) In line with the 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, there must be no delay in dismantling the wall that Israel has erected along the West Bank to contain the local population. The Palestinians must have total freedom of movement both within the West Bank and to the Gaza Strip. Israel should no longer control Palestinians traveling outside their borders unless they are crossing into Israel. This is a matter for the Palestinian Authority, or the Egyptian and Jordanian police if their borders are concerned. Israel must immediately lift the air, sea and land blockades aimed at the Palestinian people.
3) Those Israeli settlers who are living in settlements established in violation of the Geneva conventions may remain in their homes, as long as Israel compensates those Palestinians whose lands have been seized. The legal interest should be payable at the 12-monthly London interbank rate offered for US dollar deposits.
4) Following UN resolution 194 of 11 December 1948, the Palestinians and their descendants expelled from their homes or ousted by the advancing Israeli army both in 1948 and 1967 must now enjoy the right of return to their historical homelands, or receive Israeli compensation in lieu.
5) The Israeli army must withdraw within 15 days from the areas it has been occupying in the West Bank and Gaza, making way for an international force entrusted with the protection of the Palestinian community in the occupied territories.
6) A referendum must be held after a seven-year period both in Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. The two communities must pronounce on whether they wish to continue living together within a single unified or federal state, or as two separate states.
7) The G7 states and the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should together finance a compensation fund for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. The fund will provide reparation for the occupation of Palestinian lands and the repression the Palestinian people that has endured over recent decades.
8) Whatever the solution adopted, the Israeli-Palestinian state or the two states of Israel and Palestine must make a commitment to remain neutral on the international scene, and to abstain from engaging in any form of privileged relations, military or political, with the regional and global powers.
9) Since 1967, Israel has occupied Syria’s Golan Heights. These must now be returned to Syria, with demilitarised safety zones on both sides of the border. The Israeli settlers in the area may remain in their homes under the same conditions as for the West Bank. The two countries shall resume diplomatic and economic relations as soon as the safety zones are in place and the settlers’ obligations acquitted.
10) Israel must return the Shebaa Farms area, which it still occupies, to Lebanon; it should then also ensure mine-clearance in the south of the country. It has been occupying Lebanon for the last 22 years in contravention of resolution 425 of the UN Security Council, effectively preventing the UN from deploying its interim force (UNIFIL) to the border between the two countries. The UN must see that demilitarised zones on both sides of the border are enforced. Lebanon must also receive compensation for the economic losses that Israel has repeatedly caused it since 1968: Israel has claimed rights of reprisal that it has exacted with relentless assiduity. Israel, the G8 and the Arab OPEC states shall make equal contributions to this fund, paying interest for arrears as defined above.
11) Israel must immediately release all Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
12) Palestinians with Israeli citizenship must be allowed to exercise full civil and political rights. The Israeli electoral system must guarantee their fair representation in the Israeli parliament, as well as in the country’s local councils and administrative, military and judicial institutions.
Blair promises Abbas £13 million for "security"
Usually it's Northern Ireland that is on the receiving end of Prime Minister
Blair's peace visits. But with the Prime Minister facing increasing
criticism from home over Iraq and the cash-for-honours inquiry, he has
decided to take a trip abroad to improve his "legacy", hoping that
we will all remember him for helping achieve peace in the Middle East. Yesterday the
Prime Minister met with Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime
Minister Olmert, who both pledged to meet each other in the near future. And
no wonder Abbas was so pleased to see Prime Minister Blair. He promised the
terrorist organization at least £13
million to help them continue their struggle against Hamas and Israel.
And this money will be paid direct to Abbas to fund his "security
team", also known as the Al-Aqsa Brigades.
Quote: "THE British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has proposed a controversial plan to bolster the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in his battle against Hamas by funnelling millions of dollars in aid directly to security forces under Mr Abbas's control. The risky plan has been agreed with the US and is designed to break a deadlock that has held back progress in the Middle East for months. The plan also introduces a proposal for a new framework for talks on a Palestinian state to be agreed in a matter of weeks.
It seems the Prime Minister is in the habit of funding terrorism. He gave Sinn Fein IRA a sizeable sum when £23 million was stolen from the Northern Bank last Christmas. Nobody was ever imprisoned for that robbery, despite a manager's family being held at gunpoint by the IRA for over 24 hours. The Prime Minister is finishing his Middle East tour today, with a trip to the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Olmert is visiting Jordan in a bid to help relaunch the peace process.
Quote: "During the meeting, the King said it was important for the Israelis to hold negotiations with the Palestinians to re-launch the peace process. His Majesty said solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will come once the two sides are convinced that they are partners in a process that would not have results except through negotiations and the implementation of international commitments.
EU Summit calls on Olmert and Abbas to meet
The EU is continuing to dictate the agenda of the Middle East peace process,
calling on both the Israelis and Palestinians to make greater efforts to
come to an agreement. On Sunday the European Council, also referred to as
the EU Summit, urged all Palestinian terrorist organizations to show restraint
after violence had flared following Abbas' call for early elections...
Quote: ""The EU calls on Palestinian groups to show restraint. It is urgent to stop the armed clashes, to work for national unity and to resume the peace process," an EU statement said. "This is the only way to ease the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation in the Palestinian territories." The statement, issued by Finland, which currently holds the presidency of the 25-member bloc, came as factional fighting flared in Gaza when gunmen attacked the convoy of the Hamas foreign minister and raided a training base of security forces allied with President Mahmoud Abbas.
...and it seems they got what they wanted. The following day both President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh promptly agreed a ceasefire, although the fighting continues for the meantime...
Quote: "Earlier, Palestinian sources reported that Fatah and Hamas representatives reached an agreement on a ceasefire and on halting the violent incidents in the Palestinian Authority, with the assistance of the Egyptian security delegation visiting the Strip. According to the report, the parties hope that the agreements will be translated into real activity in the field, and that the activists will be calmed down.
Today, European leaders at the EU Summit criticized Israel for continuing to build settlements in the territories captured during the Six Day War and construction of the West Bank barrier, and urged Palestinians and Israelis to abide by their obligations laid out in the "Roadmap to Peace" document. The European Council also called for violations of the cease fire to end, for Palestinian legislators and Israeli captives to be released, and for President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert to hold direct negotiations as soon as possible...
Quote: "The European Council called on Monday for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet in the near future.
...and it seems once again the EU will get its way. As British Prime Minister Blair met with President Abbas in Ramallah, Abbas stated he was ready to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert as soon as possible.
Quote: "Following his meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Muqata complex in Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was "willing to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the near future and begin serious and mutual negotiations to bring the conflict to an end." "We have to meet. We need each other, and we have to deal with our problems," he said. Abbas said he told Blair that diplomatic action is necessary to bring about a two-state solution. "Security and stability will be achieved only when a peace agreement is reached," Abbas said, adding that he asked Blair to work toward ending the economic siege imposed on the Palestinian Authority and bring about the opening the crossings and the release of Palestinians currently held in Israeli jails, including the detained ministers and legislators.
So we can see that the EU in regards to the Middle East peace process is definitely calling the shots. Abbas knows that without EU funding, the Palestinian Authority could not survive. He also knows that without the EU, Fatah hasn't a chance against Hamas. Abbas now has the political incentive to make peace with Israel. As for Olmert, with not much hope of political backing from the States and the EU no longer satisfied with the status quo, he will have to make peace with the Palestinians or face political isolation. And we know that without the EU, there will be no peace agreement for the Antichrist to confirm.
Covenant of peace
January EU Summit to strengthen Solana's hand
This from my friend elijahreborn...
Earlier in the year, Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, was given a mission from French President Jacque Chirac and the European Foreign Ministers in June 2006. Shortly following the declaration of this mission, the war between Israel and Hizbullah broke out, after the capture of Israeli soldiers. Javier Solana was the first world leader to visit Lebanon, after the end of the Israeli-Hizbullah war. But he complained bitterly that he was hindered in his task of bringing about a regional peace agreement, due to interference in the Middle East from European leaders pushing their own foreign policies rather than speaking with one European voice. Come January, that looks set to change. The EU plans to hold a summit in January 2007, aimed at revitalizing the EU Constitution, "strengthening" Solana's hand, and renewing EU peace efforts in the Middle East.
Quote: "Meanwhile the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, said that Spain’s joint peace initiative with Italy and France for the Middle East, had led to a motion passed by the European Council on the problem. He said the motion strengthens the hand of the EU representative, Javier Solana, and puts the road plan to peace back on track.
Due to the problems in ratifying the EU Constitution by January 1st 2007 - the original deadline, EU leaders had decided to hold a summit and make a "political declaration" on the Constitution, presumably a statement of faith in the treaty even though it isn't officially adopted. I don't know exactly what strengthening Solana's hand entails. This could mean Solana's job may be merged with the EU External Relations Commissioner, if not becoming EU Foreign Minister proper. This would give Solana the "one voice" of Europe he has wanted for so long. And of course, according to the article, this will place Solana in the perfect position for confirming the EU's peace agreement in the Middle East. Solana is already personally involved in the efforts for peace in the Middle East. Last night he phoned President Abbas and discussed his call for early elections...
Quote: "President Mahmoud Abbas received Saturday a phone call from Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy. President Abbas briefed Solana on the latest developments in the Palestinian territory. For his part, Solana reiterated his support for President Abbas and his efforts to overcome the current political crisis for the benefit of all Palestinians.
Wow. I can't believe I'm typing this. Piece by piece, the events spoken of in the Scriptures are falling into place. Time to start getting ready to go.
2nd Peter 1:19
Northern Ireland in disarray over same sex laws
Things aren't going so well over here in Northern Ireland, in regards to the
laws now being passed by the UK Labour government. As you may already know,
the government brought in same sex marriage
laws - in all but name - last Christmas, despite a majority of people
being opposed to the legislation. It was an early Christmas present from the
government to the people of Northern Ireland. Well this Christmas we are
getting another present from our friends in the Labour government, the
Sexual Orientation laws which make it a criminal offence to make a person of
a different sexual persuasion feel uncomfortable, or to withhold goods and
services from them. The DUP party passed a motion
in the Northern Ireland assembly, calling on the government to repeal its
satanic legislation (for that's what it is), but unfortunately the vote
ended in a tie and it looks like we are stuck with it.
Quote: "Sinn Fein equality spokeswoman Caitriona Ruane accused the DUP of "whipping up homophobic sentiment with the motion". "This motion is part of yesterday's agenda, part of the bad old days of the past," she said. "Move on - show leadership. Days of second-class citizenship and hiding our identities are gone."
It's not that we want sexual harassment, it's the way this law is worded that has Christian lawyers up in arms. Just like the Incitement to Religous Hatred Bill which the government failed to get passed at the start of the year, it's no longer "innocent until proven guilty". The burden of proof is placed on the accused, and not the accuser. This means that a homosexual or lesbian person need only accuse someone of subjecting them to a threatening environment. This could be a gospel text on a wall, a Christian bookstore selling books that teach homosexuality is wrong, or a Christian refusing board to a homosexual "couple" wanting to stay at their Bed & Breakfast. That's why the Christian Institute has decided to take the government to court.
Quote: ""We're taking action to protect the many Christian people in Northern Ireland who will become victims of frivolous accusations if these regulations become law."
My aunt Pamela wrote to Prime Minister Blair about this legislation, but received a reply to the effect that we were getting this legislation whether we liked it or not. If you live in the United Kingdom, contact your MP and let them know you are not happy with this law.
2nd Samuel 23:3
Abbas calls for early PA elections
It seems everyone on the planet is now pushing for a peace agreement in the
Middle East within the next few weeks. Prime Minister Olmert stated
yesterday that he was prepared to give up "many, many lands" in
return for a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Yesterday, the European
Union formally endorsed the Spanish peace initiative. Today Prime Minister
Blair visits Egypt on the second day of his peace tour. He stated that the
next few days and weeks will be a critical
moment of decision for the whole Middle East peace process...
Quote: "Referring to recent violence, Mr Blair said: "As you can see from the events of the last 24 hours, the next few days or weeks are a critical moment of decision for this whole process." He believes the most important thing was to establish "a fully functioning authority" which will "start to create the structures on the Palestinian side that then allow a negotiation for peace with Israel to go forward". Worsening violence was a reason for going there, not for staying away, he said. "If we don't get a new sense of urgency and movement in this situation, it will continue to go backwards and the suffering of the Palestinian people and the implications for the region and for the security of Israel are dreadful."
Also today, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority called for new elections to be held at the earliest opportunity, in an effort to end the deadlock between Fatah and Hamas. Both terrorist organizations have so far failed to come to any agreement on the formation of a Palestinian unity government...
Quote: ""I have decided to call for presidential and parliamentary election ... I have decided to call for early elections," Abbas said in a speech broadcast live on Palestine TV. The governing Hamas Islamist movement immediately rejected Abbas's announcement. "Our priority is to form a national unity government. It is the only solution. We reject anything which complicates the Palestinian situation," Wasfi Kabha, minister of prisoners affairs, said.
There is no doubt we are at a critical moment. World powers have been working feverishly towards the goal of a peace agreement in the Middle East by the end of this year. Whether they can pull it off or not remains to be seen. But everything seems to be falling into place, just like the Bible said over 2500 years ago. For you, this may also be a critical moment. The Bible states that without a relationship with Jesus Christ, you personally will suffer the wrath of God during the tribulation period. And the tribulation will soon begin, everything is pointing to that - a nuclear Iran, RFID tags, Jerusalem a cup of trembling, the EU involved in the Middle East, etc. For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, their future is secure. The Lord will be coming to take them home to heaven, just like He promised in John 14:3. Accept His offer of salvation today. The Bible states that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13)
Covenant of peace
Olmert desperate to give away "many lands"
Peace at any price? If Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has his way, it may be.
Ehud Olmert stated today he was making "extraordinary efforts" to
start peace negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas. He also said he was
prepared to give up "many,
many lands", but final status borders would still have to be
Quote: ""I'm making extraordinary efforts now to try and reach that kind of understanding with Abu Mazen that will allow both of us to start open, bilateral negotiations," Mr Olmert told the BBC. My dream and my policy is of a two state solution Ehud Olmert He said he was "very hopeful" that talks would go ahead "in spite of the difficulties that he (Mr Abbas) experiences all the time".
The European Union formally endorsed a peace initiative today, a plan which Olmert initially rejected. There is already a ceasefire is in place between Israel and the Palestinians. The formation of the Palestinian unity government failed earlier in the month, due to conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Talks on the prisoner release are currently being undertaken by Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. Now the Israeli Prime Minister is attempting to start direct talks with President Abbas over borders. The final initiative in the peace plan is EU troops in Gaza monitoring the ceasefire.
After fighting a month long war with Hizbullah and the constant rain of Hamas rockets landing in Israel, I find it strange that the Prime Minister is offering so much in return for so little. He said he rejected the EU peace plan because Israel wanted to carry out direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Possibly the reason why Olmert has suddenly become so keen to achieve peace, is because he wants to do it before someone else gets the credit for doing it. And that may also be why British Prime Minister Tony Blair is visiting the region this week. This morning the Prime Minister landed in Turkey for talks on joining the EU.
Quote: "The prime minister, who plans to step down in 2007, has repeatedly said that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to stabilizing Iraq and achieving a broader Middle East peace. He declared in September that "from now until I leave office, I will dedicate myself ... to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine." "I may not succeed. But I will try because peace in the Middle East is a defeat for terrorism," he said.
He said it himself. Blair won't succeed, just like UN Secretary General Kofi Annan didn't succeed...
Quote: "Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed great sadness on Friday that he couldn't help resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict during his term of office. "It is with great personal sadness that I leave office with the (Israeli) occupation now in its 40th year," he said in a message to a UN-backed conference on Palestine on Friday.
Sorry guys, only leaders of the European Union may apply for this position...
Covenant of peace
EU summit accepts Spain's peace initiative
The European Council officially accepted Spain, France and Italy's Middle
East peace plan yesterday morning, and will formally endorse it
The peace plan calls for a ceasefire to be enforced between Israel and the
Palestinian terrorist organizations, the release of Palestinian prisoners
and Israeli captives, the formation of a Palestinian unity government,
direct talks between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas and EU troops
to monitor the ceasefire. The European Union also urged Syria to play a more
constructive roll in the region.
Quote: "The 25 foreign ministers reaffirmed the initiative Thursday and leaders from the 25 EU nations will formally endorse it Friday.
This is big news folks, for to me it now becomes clear how a peace treaty in the Middle East could be adopted, and then later confirmed by the leader of the European Union - currently Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. I don't know whether this peace initiative will be the one the Antichrist will confirm, but it certainly involves the right nations according to Daniel's prophecy.
Meanwhile in light of the previous article on Israel's nuclear weapons, Javier Solana has reaffirmed the EU's policy that the Middle East region should be made a nuclear-free zone.
Quote: "In response to a question whether the E.U. would take action against Israel over the nuclear issue, Solana noted that Olmert had issued a denial. "The position of the European Union is very clear," Solana said. "In the long term we don't want to have the Middle East with weapons of mass destruction."
Former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw caused anger and outrage last year, when he announced on Channel 4 news that he believed Israel and Iran constituted potential threats to Middle East peace, and that both must be disarmed. This is still the view of the current British Foreign Office. Disarming Israel, many believe, would be the equivalent of state-suicide for Israel, with Arabs outnumbering Israelis 100-1. It is also believed the nation of Israel would be virtually indefensible with 1967 borders and no nuclear weapons.
Planetary Society offers $50,000 to "tag" asteroid
The Planetary Society has offered a $50,000 prize for the best design to
"tag" the Asteroid Apophis,
which is due to pass close by earth in 2029.
The aim is to enable the asteroid to be tracked across the sky, which will
allow astronomers to predict a more accurate orbit. The asteroid Apophis is
400m in diameter, and will pass within a few thousand miles of earth. More
accurate information on the asteroid's orbit will enable governments to
decide whether action needs to be taken before its next approach in 2036.
Quote: ""While the odds are very slim that this particular asteroid will hit Earth in 30 years, they are not zero, and Apophis and other NEOs represent threats that need to be addressed," said Rusty Schweickart, Apollo astronaut, head of the Association for Space Explorers NEO committee. Bruce Betts, The Planetary Society's Director of Projects said, "With this competition, we hope not only to generate creative thinking about tagging Apophis, but also to stimulate greater awareness of the broader near-Earth object threat."
The book of Revelation seems to indicate the Mediterranean sea will be hit by an asteroid strike during the tribulation period, that will destroy a third part of shipping and sea life. It has been said that even if we knew exactly when an asteroid was to strike the earth, aside from evacuating probable impact zones, there is currently little we could do to prevent it. Several asteroids passed within close proximity to the earth a few years ago, one passing between the earth and the moon. The public was only informed about the near miss a few days after the event.
Covenant of peace
Peace plan to be presented at EU summit today
Leaders from across the European Union are set to travel to Brussels today
for the annual EU summit. The agenda includes reforms to make accession for
new members harder to achieve. The new Middle
East peace plan, authored by Spain in cooperation with France and Italy,
will also be presented to the Council for approval. The plan has already
been reviewed by Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European
Common, Foreign and Security Policy, and has been accepted
by Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority.
Quote: "The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, travels to Brussels this afternoon to present his Middle East Peace Plan. He will be joined by Jacques Chirac and Román Prodi in a joint call for an immediate cessation in violence. Their plan then calls for a Government of national unity for Palestine, and the third point is the exchange of prisoners. The plan was first presented on November 16th as part of the Spanish/French summit held in Girona. Spain’s Foreign Minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, said that he was confident that the idea would be supported by the entire European Council.
Meanwhile, religious leaders from several US denominations are calling on the US to make a greater effort to push for peace in the Middle East. The National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East, representing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and the Islamic Society of North America.
Quote: ""The unique role of the United States in the region and in the world gives our nation a special responsibility to pursue peace," the religious leaders said. "The United States must make peace in the Middle East an urgent priority." The clergy are pressing US leaders to help bring about an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire and revive talks on a two-state solution; channel reconstruction aid to Lebanon; push for Israeli peace deals with Lebanon and Syria; and work for religious liberty in the region.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, while Christians should be praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and should follow peace with all men on an individual level, I don't agree with liberal denominations such as the above, pressing the US government to find a solution to peace in the Middle East. To work for a lasting solution in the Middle East conflict means dividing God's land - an act which He hates, and working against God's revealed will in the prophetic Scriptures - which state that there will be no peace until Christ returns. To me, these liberal groups are like the Old Testament prophets who spoke peace for Israel in the name of the Lord, when it was God's plan to judge the nation for its sin. To the liberal "Christians" and religions of this world, we "prophesy evil" and they blame us for the lack of peace in the Middle East. This is not true, we do not prophesy evil and we do not seek war that we may hasten our Lord's return. But do we speak the truth.
1st Kings 22:8
Mother of Harlots
Olmert wraps up European tour
This link from my friend Kevvie...
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert completed his tour of the European Union on Thursday morning, after meeting with the German Chancellor, Italian Prime Minister and Pope Ratzinger. Olmert was upbeat about his discussions with his European partners, which included briefings on the Iranian nuclear crisis and talks on the Vatican's status in Jerusalem. I said earlier that the Pope may have brought up the status of Jerusalem in the talks, I was wrong this time. Perhaps the time for talking about the issue of Jerusalem is not quite yet upon us, but the Pope did discuss the status of the Catholic church in Jerusalem.
Quote: "The two also discussed the financial agreement regarding the Catholic Church’s status in Israel, with the prime minister assuring the pope that he had instructed officials to conclude the lengthy discussions on the matter.
The Vatican has been in talks with Israel regarding the purchase of the Upper Room, the place where it is believed Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover with His disciples. The site, which overlooks the Temple Mount, is currently in the hands of Israel, but Rome wants control of the Upper Room so they can hold mass there...
Quote: "Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein, who founded and still runs the Diaspora Yeshiva [located near the Upper Room], officially known as Yeshiva Toras Yisrael, elaborated in a follow-up discussion with Arutz-7: "According to their bible, the land is to return to the Christians, and 144,000 Jews are to return to Mt. Zion. So their plan is for them to take control of the site, and then to announce that they are holding a mass re-enactment of the Last Supper, with [all types of religious rituals], and to invite millions of Christians to come to Jerusalem and celebrate." He said that this means much tourism money for Israel, and that someone in the Israeli government is apparently very interested in making this happen.
I don't know whether this is the reason why the Vatican wants control of the Upper Room or not, but it is very interesting nonetheless and I wouldn't put it past them. The Vatican did support Jerusalem becoming an international city, not under Jewish or Islamic control, but under the control of Rome. The reason being they could place a Pope in Jerusalem, and trace an "unbroken" line of Pope's from Peter (who never was a Pope) to Christ at His return. The person in the Israeli government who is interested in making this happen is Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who was apparently trained as a Jesuit, and promised that if he was in the government, he would give control of Jerusalem to the Vatican. Interesting times...
Wars and rumours of wars
Iran condemns Israel over Olmert's nuclear blunder
A couple of days ago I said that the Israeli Prime
Minister's remarks would be taken as "evidence" by Iran than the
"Zionist regime" should be wiped out as soon as possible.
Ehud Olmert had told German television that Iran had a desire to obtain
nuclear weapons like Israel, shattering Israel's ambiguity policy over its
possession of nuclear weapons. Some in the government are stating that
Olmert's slip was purposely intended to send a message to Ahmadinejad not to
think about attacking Israel. I personally think the man just didn't think
before he spoke. Today, the Iranian government spokesman Mohammad
Ali Hosseini used Olmert's own words against him, portraying
Israel as the aggressor
and providing "proof" for Islamic extremists that what President
Ahmadinejad has been saying all along is true...
Quote: "According to Hosseini, this statement "constitutes a real threat to the security and stability of the Middle East... it's proof that Islamic nations in the region are under a security threat." Iranian news agency IRNA, which reported Hosseini's statement, said that "the announcement indicates the worrying objectives of the Zionist regime and its intention to implement its threats against the Muslim world, to execute an aggressive policy and continue occupation of the region." "The Security Council, the Islamic Council and other organizations must take real and effective steps to cope with these clear threats," the agency continued.
I can't help but think of King David, when Nathan the prophet accused him of the murder of Uriah the Hittite. Nathan said that by this, David had given great occasion for the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. And indeed he had, and David suffered because of his sin. Likewise, because Israel has turned its back on their Messiah, they have given great occasion for their enemies to blaspheme God and His chosen people, and thus we have episodes like this. When Iran does invade Israel, God will defeat them and He will be sanctified in the sight of all nations, but perhaps not more so than in the sight of Israel itself.
Source YNet News
Covenant of peace
Kofi Annan discusses peace in the Middle East
Link from my friend Tony...
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General, has delivered a speech on his vision for peace in the Middle East just before his retirement. Kofi Annan stated that the conflict in the Middle East is not just one among many in the world today, but that no other conflict had the power to ignite passions in people who lived so far away from its source. The Secretary General blamed both the Israelis and Palestinians for failing to see each other's point of view, and stated that he hoped both sides could end the conflict through the establishment of two states with Jerusalem as their capital.
Quote: "One of the most frustrating aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the apparent inability of many people on both sides to understand the position of the other, and the unwillingness of some to even try. "The Arab-Israeli conflict is not just one regional conflict amongst many. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge even for people far away. "I will leave office without an end to the prolonged agony. The Middle East today faces grim prospects. The region is in profound crisis. The situation is more complex, more fragile and more dangerous than it has been for a very long time."
Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad is routing, not for the "two state solution", but for the "final solution", the destruction of all Israel. Today, Ultra Orthodox Jews met with the man who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Jews and Arabs, through the recent conflict with Hizbullah. At the holocaust-denial conference in Teheran, the President once again reiterated his belief that Israel will soon be destroyed...
Quote: "Thanks to people's wishes and Allah's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what Allah has promised and what all nations want," he said. "Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added. His words received warm applause from delegates at the Holocaust conference, who included ultra-Orthodox anti-Israel Jews and European and American writers who argue the Holocaust was either fabricated or exaggerated.
Of course the President is right, no matter what Germany, the Vatican or anyone else says. The Bible states that at the end of the tribulation period, all the nations of the world will be gathered at Jerusalem to do battle. But thank God what the nations want, and what God will permit are two completely different things...
Covenant of peace
Spain's peace plan to be submitted at EU summit
In a few days time, Spain, France and Italy are to submit their proposals
for a Middle
East peace plan to the rest of the European Union at a mid-December
summit. The plan which was announced by Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero last month
has five major elements - an immediate ceasefire, the formation of a
Palestinian unity government that would be able to receive international
recognition, prisoner exchange between Israel and the PA (including the
three kidnapped Israeli soldiers), talks between the Israeli prime minister
and his Palestinian counterpart, and an international force that will deploy
in Gaza and reinforce the ceasefire.
Quote: "Blair will have left his position as prime minister before the next Labour Party conference in September next year. He is keen to use his remaining time in office to ensure his political legacy. In particular he hopes it may be possible for him to be remembered for helping to bring about a lasting solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. He plans to visit the Middle East before Christmas, as a follow up to his visit in September. However, Britain was not consulted over the Spanish, French and Italian plan for Israel-Palestine peace, announced on November 17. Indeed, Blair is said to have first learned of it from a BBC report. The plan, which Israel has rejected, will be presented to the forthcoming EU summit in mid-December. Blair's potential role as a mediator in the Israel-Palestine conflict has been damaged by his position during the Israel-Lebanon war, when he stuck closely to the policy of the US administration and refused to call for an immediate ceasefire, damaged Britain's credibility in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's tour of the Middle East begins next week, when he will arrive in Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Prime Minister Olmert initially rejected the peace plan as "Spanish ideas", on the basis that Israel was never notified of the initiative. But he has since then changed his mind about the EU force in Gaza and a ceasefire is already in force in the Gaza Strip, so he may be more willing to accept the EU's mediation on the prisoner issue, which he has up until now been unable to solve. So it seems Blair may not be the man to solve the Middle East conflict. What we need is a slick politician, who is seen as neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestinian and who enjoys the confidence of the Islamic world. Any guesses?
Wars and rumours of wars
Olmert admits Israel has nuclear weapons
As attendees gather in Tehran for President Ahmadinejad's holocaust-denial
conference, the Israeli Prime Minister has begun a tour of the European
Union. He is due to meet several EU leaders including German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Pope Ratzinger. He is
expected to press for action on the Iranian
nuclear crisis and the Hamas terror government with European leaders,
and one can only assume the status of Jerusalem with his holiness.
Quote: "Olmert's tour will culminate in a visit to the Vatican and a meeting with the pope. The PM hopes to hear moderate statements from Benedict XVI supporting a renewal of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian.
But as in the last article, talk about letting it slip. Being interviewed by German television about his visit, Ehud Olmert stated that Iran desired to have nuclear weapons like Israel, effectively shattering Israel's ambiguity policy on its nuclear armaments. Israel had a policy of neither admitting nor denying their possession of nuclear weapons, so as not to risk starting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Quote: "In an interview with German TV station N24, Sat1, broadcast Monday ahead of his first visit to Germany as prime minister, Olmert said that "Israel is a democracy and does not threaten anyone. The only thing we have tried to do is to live without terror, but we have never threatened anyone with annihilation. Iran explicitly, openly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map." "Can you see that is the same level when you are aspiring to have a nuclear weapon as America, France, Israel and Russia?" He asked.
This version of events is being denied by the Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mark Regev, who stated that the Prime Minister was only referring to four democratic nations to set them apart from Iran, and was not referring to Israel's possession of nuclear weapons. But those of us who have a hard time believing that, this blunder couldn't come at more inopportune time. There is no doubt Israel has nuclear weapons, possibly around 400-600 warheads, and Israeli Prime Ministers have stated that Israel will not be the first country to use nuclear weapons in the Gulf as Olmert himself said during the interview. But having already threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", President Ahmadinejad does not need any excuses to launch a full scale war with Israel. This blunder will be taken as further evidence by Iran as to why Israel must be obliterated as soon as possible. Western nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom - which has recently decided to renew its aging fleet of nuclear submarines, have been calling for a nuclear-free Middle East zone to be created, demanding Iran give up their nuclear ambitions and Israel decommission its weapons. But this effort was shattered earlier in the year, when it was revealed that half a dozen Arab states were also pressing to perfect nuclear technology in light of the burgeoning threat from Iran.
Mark of the Beast
Journalist says next generation will all be chipped
This link from my friend Adam...
Kevin Haggerty, in an article for the Toronto Star, believes that within one generation the pressure will be on for everyone to receive an implantable RFID microchip in their arm. In his article, Kevin Haggerty outlines how far implantable microchips have come, and how he is expecting the public will be "coerced" into accepting such a system. Microchip implants, marketed mainly by VeriChip Corporation, have come on a long way. After the Asian Tsunami in 2004, one article by Star-TechCentral even suggested the use of implantable microchips as a means of identifying the dead - and also let slip that the best places for implantation were in the right hand or forehead, just like the Bible states...
Quote: "Some current technology could have helped here (Asian Tsunami). Here's one possible scenario: The VeriChip is about the size of a grain of rice, virtually undetectable and practically indestructible once inserted under the skin - usually in your right hand or forehead. The chip has a special polyethylene sheath that helps skin bond to it, so that it stays in place. Since the chip has no battery, there are no chemicals to worry about and the chip never "runs down" - its expected life is up to 20 years.
Since then, the CEO of VeriChip has suggested to the US Government that soldiers should be implanted with VeriChip, replacing the old metal dog-tags currently in use by the army. He also suggested immigrants to the United States should be implanted, in order to solve the crisis on the southern border. In another development, it was revealed that Tommy Thompson, who is on the board of Directors for the VeriChip Corporation, may be running for the Presidency. Then of course we have the global march towards biometric identification, and Prime Minister Blair's revelation that such a scheme is unavoidable, if we want to further scientific and technological progress. And none of us want to be blamed for hindering progress now, sure we don't. Kevin's article follows my own line of thought, that compulsory chipping will come about gradually through pressure from many different areas. At present we are experiencing the "stick" approach, with global terrorism and fraud being marketed as the main reasons to adopt compulsory identification technology. This will help remove the initial stigma from the technology if we are made to believe we will feel safer. But if the population as a whole is to accept RFID implants, more needs to be done, and that's when the commercial sectors, the government, security and businesses start coming on board, to help us to believe that this is for the "greater good" of society. All this leads Kevin Haggerty to believe that within one generation, RFID implants will become part of everyday life.
Quote: "In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade. In the coming years some of the most powerful institutional actors in society will start to align themselves to entice, coerce, and occasionally compel the next generation to get an implant.
There are of course efforts underway by certain governmental groups (I believe most likely the Bilderberg are behind this global push for biometric IDs) to condition the general public for mass identification. But the Bible states that during the tribulation period, it will the Antichrist who will be the one to "cause all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond" to receive the mark.
Revived Roman Empire
Solana wins prize for promoting EU's voice
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and
Security Policy, has been awarded with the Charlemagne
prize. The prestigious award has been given to individuals or
organizations for the last 56 years, who make significant advances in
promoting European Unity. Solana was awarded the Charlemagne prize for doing
more than anyone else in promoting the EU's voice on the world stage. This
of course reminds us of the Scripture in Revelation, that the Antichrist
will be given a mouth (a voice) speaking great things, and blasphemies
against God (Revelation 13:5).
Quote: "Solana has become "a carrier of hope for the deepening of Europe's political dimension, the Euro-Atlantic partnership and the union's claim ... to make a substantial contribution to peace in the world," it said. The Charlemagne award, which is endowed with a symbolic €5,000 (US$6,600), has been presented each year since 1950 to people or institutions credited with advancing European unity. The Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne once ruled a large swath of western Europe from Aachen, close to the Belgian and Dutch borders.
Quote: "The 64-year-old Spaniard was hailed as "one of the hardest-working men" in the service of Europe by Juergen Linden, the prize jury spokesman and mayor of the northwest German city of Aachen, where the prize was announced. Solana was honored for his work in the enlargement of the EU and for his diplomatic activity in the Balkans and the Middle East. He will be presented with the award on May 27.
I find this news particularly incredible, for Charlemagne was one of the most powerful kings in Europe in Medieval times. Many world leaders, including many US Presidents and the British Royal family, claim descendance from king Charlemagne. The British heir to the throne Prince Charles had submitted a request to the European Commission to be crowned king of all Europe based on this ancestry, for he has more connections to Charlemagne and other kings and queens of Europe that any other person today. He was of course turned down. Charlemagne is also believed to be the patron of Freemasonry. Bloodlines are very important in the occult, and some speculate that the reason Charles married Diana was because she was also of this bloodline, and they would produce a good candidate to be the heir to the throne of England.
In any case, to receive the Charlemagne prize, I believe you would have to be high up in the New World Order, which Javier Solana is - attending Bilderberg meetings and speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations. Former prize-winners include President Bill Clinton - who had ambitions for the UN but now runs his own NWO gathering, Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands - whose father started the Bilderberg conventions, freemason and author of the EU Constitution Giscard d'Estaing, King Juan Carlos 1st of Spain and of course Pope John Paul II - who did more for the ecumenical movement that anyone else.
Me? My bloodline comes through the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, and He says my reward is with Him.
Covenant of peace
Olmert changes mind on EU Gaza force
A couple of days ago I said that the Israeli Prime
Minister would have to start listening to the European Union as a
consequence to a politically weakened United States. Today it seems that
prediction has come true. Ehud Olmert previously stated he was opposed
to "Spanish" interference in the Middle East peace process, and
that Israel preferred to negotiate directly with the Palestinians. Last
month, Spain, France and Italy had proposed a new Middle East peace plan,
one which addressed the Israeli hostage issue, would have established a
ceasefire and the Palestinian unity government, and the eventual creation of
a Palestinian state. The plan was accepted
by Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, and has been reviewed by the
United States and Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European
Common, Foreign and Security Policy. European Union MEPs,
and Javier Solana also called last month
for an international peace keeping force to be sent to Gaza in order to keep
the peace. There may be a certain sarcasm in Olmert's statement, but it
seems he may be shifting
his position on EU forces patrolling the Gaza border.
Quote: ""If Italy is prepared that its army will be engaged on a daily basis against terrorist actions of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations operating in Gaza, this is very interesting news. I want to learn it," Olmert said, speaking in English. Italy is one of the largest contributors to the expanded UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon that was deployed to monitor the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema has said that an international force for Gaza should have UN authorization, and that Italy would be ready to contribute.
That's where I believe Olmert is wrong. Palestinian terrorist organizations aren't stupid enough to attack European Union forces. If they did, they would soon find themselves internationally isolated and financially bankrupt. A few days ago the European Union revealed its aid to Palestinian institutions was the highest it's ever been, despite the embargo on Hamas. Last year this stood at around 600 million Euros annually. The Palestinians aren't going to risk losing that money. And coupled with Hamas' intended tahdiah for 2007, EU forces on the border of Gaza is possibly the only solution that will guarantee a measure of peace for both sides. This of course is the exact situation described in the book of Daniel, over 2500 years ago.
Source YNet News
Freak tornado cuts swathe through London
This link from my friend Adam...
A freak tornado cut through northeast London yesterday, destroying around a hundred homes and injuring half a dozen people. The weather this December has been quite extreme, with gusts of wind up to 70mph and torrential downpours hitting Northern Ireland and the mainland last week. The UK experiences around 30-40 tornadoes each year, but most occur in remote places and out at sea. I've only noticed within the last few years, tornadoes been witnessed in town centres. In August last year, the towns of Bristol and Birmingham were hit by tornadoes, in the space of a week. Looking back, these tornadoes coincided with the start of the disengagement from Gaza. After the disengagement, the US was of course hit by hurricane Katrina, killing thousands and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
Quote: "About 100 homes in ten roads were damaged when the
tornado tore through Kensal Rise yesterday morning. Six people were injured,
with one man taken to hospital. Describing the latest episode of extreme
weather in recent months, residents said that the sky turned black and a
lightning strike and massive thunder clap occurred just before the tornado
struck. Homeowners barely had time to lock their windows and shut doors
before cars were blown across the street, tiles smashed windows and garage
roofs peeled off like "lids on tins of baked beans". One
shopkeeper described the tornado as "like the Wizard of Oz"...
This particular tornado was apparently the closest ever to have occurred near BBC Television centre. So much so that a BBC cameraman who lived close by was able to grab his camera and record the scene of devastation shortly after it struck. Pity it didn't hit the building. Last night while I was watching the news, a reporter who was covering the story exclaimed, "What is happening with our weather?". My response to that would be, "What is happening with our country?". When a country has largely turned its back on God, legalizes homosexual marriage and its official church and academia persecutes Israel, is it really any wonder when things like freak weather and the scourge of Islamic terror starts hitting home? I believe the US isn't the only country to experience God's removal of His hand of protection.
These verses seem to me to indicate that when a nation turns its back on God, it can only expect to have to deal with terrorism, our enemies gaining power over us and the need for security (ye shall flee when none pursueth you).
Source Times Online
Assad praises US Baker report
Syrian President Bashar Assad praised
the US Baker-Hamilton report today, which demands that Israel withdraw from
the Golan Heights, as "objective" and "positive". The
controversial report, drawn up by US senators, examines where US policy has
failed in Iraq and proposes what should be done in order to rectify it.
President Bush has stated the report gives a "tough assessment" of
the situation in Iraq, and its findings will be taken seriously. But Prime
Minister Olmert has rejected
the idea that violence in Iraq is related to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, and stated that he believed President Bush would agree with him on
that. Prime Minister Blair echoed those sentiments last
month when he said solving the conflict between Israel and the
Palestinians would calm the situation in the wider region. One of the
proposals of the Baker-Hamilton report is for the US to launch a major
diplomatic initiative that would begin on December 31st 2006, and would work
towards a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Quote: "The committee recommended Bush to initiate a diplomatic offence, rather than a military one, which would be launched as of 31 December and would include, among other things, a move towards peace between Israel and the Arab world. "Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of US forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly," committee members wrote.
Friends, we know that the EU, and specifically the leader of the European Union, will be the ones to confirm the covenant between Israel and many nations. But with the US now forced to press for "peace" through party demographics, perhaps Prime Minister Olmert will have to start listening to what the EU has been saying or he'll soon find himself politically isolated. And the European leaders are also pressing President Bush to work towards the goal of a regional peace agreement.
Quote: "Like the panel, Blair is expected to urge Bush to embrace a wider Middle East peace policy to help resolve the Iraq crisis in what White House spokesman Tony Snow predicted would be a "very freewheeling" conversation.
I don't know whether we have a covenant in the form of the European Neighbourhood Policy or not, though the fact that it is an agreement for seven years is very interesting. If it turns out to be not, I believe we can expect some sort of covenant to appear sooner or later. Both the EU and US will now be pressing for peace. The ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians is "holding", despite Kassams continuing to land in Israel. Hamas is expected to announce a "tahdiah" for 2007. There's not much left needs to happen before we see a covenant of peace.
Hamas meets with EU leaders
UIS link from my friends Ken and Tony...
Despite Javier Solana's statement that he would not meet with Hamas officials after their failure to reach agreement on a Palestinian unity government, a Palestinian source has revealed that EU leaders and US Democrats have been holding meetings with the terrorist organization, and that progress is being made towards the declaration of a a long term truce, or "hudna".
Quote: "According to the source, the Europeans expressed their willingness to addresses an idea of solving the conflict based on a "long-term hudna (truce)," as suggested by Hamas, instead of the land for peace principle. The Palestinian source added that the Europeans objected to the Quartet's conditions regarding the relations with the Palestinian government. The Quartet demands that Hamas recognizes Israel and the agreements signed with it, renounces violence and disarms. "The most important European countries, which have contact with the current Palestinian government and with the Hamas movement, are France and Britain. These countries demanded that Hamas submits a detailed document on the hudna idea and on the organization's perception of Israel," the source said.
This news comes as a new report is published in the US calling on the States to change their policy towards Israel in order to solve the crisis in Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton report also demands that Israel concedes the Golan Heights to Syria, in exchange for security guarantees from the US, and that an international peace summit is held - but without the participation of Israel.
Quote: "A source in the US government was quoted in the report as saying, "As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the US to strike a deal without Jewish pressure. This has become the hottest proposal examined by the foreign policy people over the last month."
Even before the Democrats regained power in the US, the Bush administration was already bowing to pressure from Egypt in regards to Israeli nuclear weapons. Now that the Democrats are in power, it looks like we can expect more of the above.
Signs of the times
Vatican unearths "Apostle Paul's" coffin
This link from my friend Cliff...
Didn't know what heading to put this under, but I think it's interesting news. The Vatican has declared it has finally unearthed the sarcophagus of what is believed to contain the bones of the Apostle Paul, executed by Emperor Nero around 60 AD. On order of Emperor Constantine, the grave had a basilica erected around it. A second church was built by Emperor Theodosius on the site where Paul's remains are believed to be buried, and a third church was built in the 1800's to replace the previous one that was destroyed by fire...
Quote: "The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week. "Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica. The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored, but Filippi didn't rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.
What a name, Giorgio "Filippi"! Makes me very sad to see sincere Catholics worshipping a dead man's bone, rather than worshipping the God Paul faithfully served in life and in death. If only they would take the example of the jailor of Philippi, who cried out, "What must I do to be saved!". Maybe then they would understand it's only through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be saved and be in heaven.
Mark of the Beast
Heathrow starts biometric trial
Terminal three at Heathrow Airport in London has begun a new biometric
identification trial today. The miSense scanner was inaugurated by the
Labour government's Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, and will provide
travellers on participating flights with the ability to skip long check-in
queues. miSense works on scanning the iris and finger print of travellers.
Quote: "Immigration Minister Liam Byrne officially opened the miSense system at Heathrow's terminal three. "In an era of mass movement we can't secure our border effectively unless we deploy biometric technology much more widely than we do today," he told reporters. He said the technology was also crucial for monitoring the entry of foreign nationals into the country, helping to tackle illegal immigration and preventing the use of multiple identities.
A second trial scheme will also involve the use of RFID enabled identity cards. The trial will show how effective Britain's electronic passports and compulsory national identification card system will be.
Quote: "Passengers will enjoy a speedier journey through the airport as a result, but Mr Byrne said the principal benefit would be increased security. He said: "It's really easy and I've enrolled today. But the reason that this kind of technology is important is not just because it helps travellers go through the system quicker but also because it makes the system more secure. We think it can be part of a much better system to protect identity. "We will next week make an announcement on our plans for ID cards and we want technology like this to plug into a national ID system."
I think it's absolutely ridiculous, that a government that was caught red-handed, knowingly approving counterfeit visas, even visas for people whose claims were clearly fraudulent (e.g. roof worker who had no legs), and then punished the man who brought the scandal to light, has the gall to even speak about "securing borders" and protecting identities. I believe the adoption of this system will not make us more secure, rather our identities will become easier to steal and our lives easier to control.
Quote: "A diplomat who exposed an immigration scandal that led to a minister's resignation was penalised last night for whistle-blowing. James Cameron, a manager in the visa and consular section of the British embassy in Romania, was given a final warning after a four-hour Foreign Office disciplinary hearing. He was also told he would not be promoted for three years and would receive no pay rise for a year. He was banned from returning to his post in Bucharest. Mr Cameron exposed abuses which led Beverley Hughes to quit as immigration minister." "The Foreign Office refused to comment on the penalty imposed on Mr Cameron. But a spokesman said that he would have the right to appeal."
If the Blair government can't even keep track of paper visas, how can we trust them with all our identities stored on a national computer? Welcome to Brave New Britain.
Wars and rumours of wars
Iran confirms March nuclear point of no return
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani confirmed today that Iran will
have completed its nuclear research and development by March
2007. There had been reports earlier in the year that Israeli
intelligence had evidence that Iran was only a few months
away from perfecting its nuclear knowledge, and in the Israelis minds,
knowledge of how to build a nuclear bomb is much more dangerous than
possessing one. Israeli politicians have stated that under no circumstances
will Iran be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.
Quote: ""All parts of our research and development program will be achieved by the end of this Iranian year (March 2007),” Ali Larijani told Iran’s official IRNA news agency, without elaborating. Tehran says it will expand its atomic work by installing 3,000 centrifuges, devices used to enrich uranium either to make fuel for power stations or material warheads. Tehran insists its plans are peaceful but the West fears it has military goals. Iran now operates two chains of 164 centrifuges and has only enriched tiny quantities of uranium to levels used in power stations. Experts say with 3,000 centrifuges in place, Tehran could make enough material for at least one warhead in a year.
Some interesting facts about March 2007. It's the month in which a total lunar eclipse will be visible from the whole Middle East (the 3rd of March). The lunar eclipse also falls on the days of Purim - when the Jews celebrate deliverance from their Persian enemies and wicked Haman. It's the month in which the Israeli elections fall. It's the month in which Iran hopes to complete it's Bushehr nuclear facility. And according to a top Russian politician, it's the month in which Israel has decided to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. So all does not look well for March, if the negotiations Javier Solana is proposing continue to stall.
Revived Roman Empire
Finland ratifies EU Constitution
This link from my friend John...
Finland has become the sixteenth European state to ratify the EU Constitution. The matter will now be passed to Finish President. The government hopes to have the constitution officially ratified by the time EU ministers meet for the end of the Finnish presidency of the European Union.
Quote: "The Finnish presidency held discussions with EU states during the autumn, and will present an assessment of the state of play to the summit. EU leaders are still hoping for agreement on measures to streamline EU institutions by 2009, when a new European Commission will be appointed and elections will be held to the European Parliament.
"Streamlining EU institutions" will of course give Javier Solana the official title of European Foreign Minister. Despite its rejection by a majority of citizens in both France and Holland, some EU states have continued to press on with ratification of the constitution, resulting in a truly bizarre situation. Some countries have declared the EU document "dead in the water", over half of the states have now ratified the treaty, and some others such as Germany are proposing it be rewritten.
Quote: "Germany's plan is to spend the first three months of its presidency sounding out opinion across Europe - "active listening", in the words of one diplomat. In March, EU leaders will meet in the German capital to sign a short and crisp Berlin Declaration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which first set out the idea of a common market. By June - with the political situation in Britain and France clearer - the Germans hope to produce a document that will set out the terms for a possible consensus and a time frame for moves to adopt the constitution.
Blair to press US to move on Middle East peace
British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be meeting
with US diplomats tomorrow, where he is expected to press them to increase
their efforts to find a lasting peace in the Middle East. The Prime Minister
stated a few months ago, that solving the
conflict between Israel and the Palestinians could have a positive influence
on other conflicts in the region.
Quote: "Mr Blair will be in Washington the day after the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission publishes its long-awaited report on US policy in Iraq. Mr Blair has given evidence to the commission by video link, urging it to recognise that Palestine is a sore that is worsening the violence in Iraq. The 10-strong commission is expected to propose US re-engagement with the issue of Israel and Palestine, as well as the possibility of strengthening diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria, previously seen as pariah states by Washington.
Downing Street has announced that the Prime Minister still intends to visit the region before Christmas, despite little progress being made on the Palestinian unity government. In other news, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Damascus today, urging President Bashar Assad to make positive contributions to peace in the wider region.
Quote: "Meanwhile, the German top diplomat also urged Syria to exert influence on the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which also enjoys Syria's support, to help promote the Middle East peace process. "Syria is an important player in the region but it needs to play a constructive role to ensure German involvement," Steinmeier said.
Covenant of Peace
Solana looks elsewhere for mediator role
With yesterday's devastating news for all parties in the Middle East over
the failure of Hamas to agree to a unity government with Fatah, it appears
that top men in the region are now looking elsewhere to try and find a
solution to the impasse. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be meeting
officials in the next few weeks to examine their offer for peace, which
offers Israel and end to terror in exchange for disengagement from all land
captured during the Six Day War.
Quote: "According to the report, which quotes a senior Israeli source, a preliminary meeting between Olmert and a leading Saudi representative took place in Amman at the end of September, and focused on the Saudi offer. The Israeli official claimed that the Saudi envoy was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former ambassador to Washington and one of King Abdullah's closest aides. The Saudi peace initiative calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, in exchange for peace agreements and normalization with the Arab countries. According to the Times, Olmert was presented with the Saudi plan, which includes the establishment of a Palestinian state, followed by a formal peace deal between Israel and seven Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, the Emirates, Morocco and Tunisia.
But I think Olmert will be wasting his breath with this one, seeing a disengagement from East Jerusalem will be completely unacceptable to most Israelis. Israel would also suffer attack after attack until the disengagement process is completed, and even then there is no guarantee that groups like Hamas will be satisfied, whose charter calls for the liberation of all Palestine (including all of Israel and Jordan, if that phrase is being taken at face value). As for Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, it seems he also hasn't given up on the idea of a regional peace agreement in the Middle East despite yesterday's disappointment. Solana is personally working towards the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and the other Israeli soldiers being held by Palestinian terrorist organizations since the summer. The issue of the captured soldiers is one of the main obstacles that is currently hindering Israel and the Palestinians coming to any agreement.
Quote: "EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana said to the families of kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, that despite Lebanon's political crisis, he would continue to use any means in his power to receive a sign of life from the captives. Solana, who has met with the families three times since the reservists' kidnapping on July 12, noted that he had spoken to Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora prior their meeting. During their conversation, he made clear his demand for information on the soldiers' welfare and their immediate release.
And for those who don't know why I always use Solana's full title, it's so I don't make mistakes like this one...
Quote: "(IsraelNN.com) European Union (EU) Foreign Minister Javier Solana, in a Gaza meeting with PA (Palestinian Authority) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) expressed sorrow over the failure of Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement to establish a coalition government. Solana stated that the EU is not maintaining a dialogue with Haniyeh and his Hamas government.
...I think Solana wishes he was EU Foreign Minister. Or perhaps I missed something? In Northern Ireland, we have had so many setbacks in regards to peace, we've stopped counting. Israel and the Palestinians may have missed one "deadline", but when it comes to peace processes there is always another opportunity just around the corner. The only question is how soon, and will they take it. In regards to events in the Middle East, Olmert and Solana had better find another opportunity as quickly as possible, for if things are left until March, when Iran goes nuclear, things will be a whole lot more complicated.
Covenant of Peace
Solana disappointed over no unity government
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and
Security Policy, expressed regret
today over the failure of Palestinian terrorist organizations to form a
unity government. Expectations had been that a government should have been
formed by Hamas and Fatah around this time, and the visit of Solana to the
region was timed to coincide with that.
Quote: "''Very sadly, I have to say the chance has been lost,'' he told reporters. Solana reiterated the need for the current Palestinian government to comply with the demands of the international community. Abbas' meeting with Solana is part of a series of talks held by the PA Presidents with European officials, including German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jonas Gahr Store.
But the EU's determination has not been stifled by the failure to form a Palestinian unity government. Today Prime Minister Romano Prodi has offered to station troops on the Philadelphi corridor between Egypt and Gaza, the West Bank and also the border between Syria and Lebanon.
Quote: "Prodi met Saturday with Meretz Chairman MK Yossi Beilin in Rome and told him that Italy is interested in helping prevent arms smuggling to Hamas and Hizbullah. He elaborated that Italy is waiting for an answer from Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was asked if he would agreed to the presence of armed monitors in Lebanon, along its border with Syria. Prodi added that a multinational force should be deployed in the West Bank as well, in order to promote a cessation of violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
Last month the European Commission voted in favour of an international force similar to that of UNIFIL, being stationed in Gaza in order to keep the peace. Javier Solana also called for such a force to intervene in the Middle East conflict. EU troops in the Middle East would of course dramatically change the situation on the ground, and could provide an environment in which a covenant of peace could be signed.
Dividing the land
UN slams Israel with six new resolutions
Abbas link from my friend David...
The United Nations General Assembly voted in six resolutions at their annual summit on the Middle East conflict, condemning Israel and urging the Israelis to disengage from all land captured in the Six Day War, East Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. The GA also welcomed the ceasefire in Gaza, and called on all sides to maintain the truce which will pave the way for a negotiated settlement. The resolutions made by the General Assembly are not legally binding, but are reflective of world opinion, an opinion that is slanted against Israel. Even Kofi Annan - who slammed Israel for shelling terrorists operating in UN bases in Lebanon - criticized the UN's Human Rights Commission a few weeks ago for only issuing anti-Israel resolutions since its creation six months ago. A few years ago, the UN General Assembly also voted overwhelmingly for Israel to dismantle its peace wall, while no condemnation was made of the terrorism that caused it to be erected.
Quote: "The only other resolution to top 150 "yes" votes declared any attempt to impose Israel's laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem illegal, and therefore null and void. It was approved by a vote of 157-6 with 10 abstentions. The other resolutions demanded that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights and supported the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN Secretariat's Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN's special information program on the question of Palestine.
This news comes as Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, is due to meet President Abbas to press for the creation of a Palestinian unity government. Solana, as predicted, will press Israel and the international community to respond positively to the creation of a unity government. Abbas will also meet the Foreign Ministers of Austria and Germany.
Quote: "'We fully support (Palestinian) President (Mahmoud) Abbas's efforts to form a new government which reflects the quartet's principles and allows the international community to fully re- engage,' Solana wrote in an article to be published in the Thursday edition of the new Ramallah-based, Palestinian English-language daily, Palestine Times. 'When we have such a government, it is vital that all of us in the international community, including Israel, respond immediately and concretely.' he said.
Friends, it seems everything is hinging on this new Palestinian unity government. The EU is pressing for it, the UN General Assembly is demanding it. Israeli Prime Ministers often said they had no partner for peace in Arafat. Now the EU is trying to change that, and once a Palestinian unity government is formed, the ball will be in Israel's court. And Olmert will be willing to "play ball", as he has already stated, Abbas will be "surprised at what Israel had to offer". It will only then be a matter of time before we have a covenant on the table, ready to be confirmed.
Covenant of Peace
Solana in Jerusalem to "push for peace"
Sorry not much news today. Had the day off work, but I was helping my cousin
at his work. Then we had our senior citizens' Christmas dinner...
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, arrived in Jerusalem today, as promised, in an attempt to put new impetus into the peace process in the Middle East. Solana had previously promised to revisit the Middle East late November or early December, after a six day tour of the region. So far it seems the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire is holding, despite Kassam rockets continuing to fall on Sderot. And I know all about ceasefires "holding", we've had our fair share of them in Northern Ireland.
Quote: "Like the rest of the world, the European Union is determined to see Israel relinquish its right to its ancient homeland, enabling a hitherto unknown 'State of Palestine' to be established in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the hope this will lead to peace. The EU's foreign policy pusher, Javier Solana, seeing in this past week's diplomatic flurry a renewed chance to achieve that goal, jumped over to Jerusalem Friday with the reported intention of trying to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Solana's meeting with Olmert comes just days after he rejected out-of-hand the suggestion that EU troops police the Gaza border. Earlier last month Olmert also rejected the Spanish Middle East peace initiative. I didn't report on this because I see Olmert as being stubborn-minded, and I believe the European Union will eventually have its way no matter what Israel says. Perhaps that's why in this particular article, the author is so angry. If it were my country, I'd probably be angry too. The EU is also keen to see the formation of the unity government, and I expect that issue will be high on Solana's agenda. If the EU can get a government with which they can work with, they will be able to pressure Israel and the Palestinian Authority to make peace. Watch this space...
Source Jerusalem Newswire