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March 24, 2007

Israel News on Israel Prayer .com
NOW On-Line News Briefs and News Launch

Go beneath the surface to the most pertinent
Israel News Stories and all the News Impacting Israel

Pray in the Spirit and "with understanding of the times"
Titles are hyperlinked to the full article at the original news source

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Diplomatic Realities

Analysis: The Saudi fig leaf
By Anshel Pfeffer Jerusalem Post Mar. 12, 2007

Much has changed in the five years since the Saudi initiative first emerged, but two principles have remained sacrosanct. The Palestinians, backed by the Arab leaders, have adamantly refused to back down from the demand for the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees. All Israeli governments continue to oppose any concession on the issue, reflecting the consensus that allowing the refugees back would amount to suicide of the Jewish state.

Coalition: A temporary union for common purposes
...but is the purpose a pursuit of peace or funding?

Cabinet rejects Hamas Fatah coalition in landslide vote
By Jerusalem Post and AP Mar. 18, 2007

The Cabinet on Sunday overwhelmingly approved Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's call to boycott the new Palestinian Authority unity government. . . . According to Olmert, "Israel expects the international community to continue to impose sanctions on the Palestinian government until it accepts the three conditions set by the Quartet."

US 'disturbed' by PA gov't platform
By Associated Press Jerusalem Post Mar. 18, 2007

The Bush administration found little good to say Saturday about a Palestinian coalition government that falls short of Western demands and complicates US plans to revive long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

U.S.: With Iranian help, Hamas forces growing faster than Fatah
By Reuters Ha’Aretz 3-21-07

With Iranian help, Hamas forces are expanding fast and getting more sophisticated weapons and training than do those under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' control, according to the U.S. security coordinator.

Incitement to Violence

Islamic leader ordered out of J'lem
By Etgar Lefkovits Jerusalem Post Mar. 22, 2007

The interim decision handed down by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court comes two weeks after a previous court ruling barred Sheikh Raed Salah from congregating with more than eight people in the city following a series of run-ins the radical leader had with police over a contested archeological excavation underway near the Temple Mount. Salah, an Israeli citizen who heads the extremist northern branch of the Islamic Movement of Israeli Arabs which denies Israel's legitimacy, had previously called for an intifada over the archeological dig by the Jerusalem holy site.

A deadly epidemic sweeping across our world
Suicide bombings are a killer epidemic spawned from a tragically erroneous world view.
Not an act of desperation

By Rabbi Levi Brackman Yediot Aharonot 3-23-07

As long as this horrendous phenomenon was just contained to Israel people were able to claim that suicide bombers were just groups and individuals who had lost all hope and out of extreme desperation resorted to killing others with explosives attached to their bodies. Because of the pervasiveness of this sort of violence this argument is now defunct. However the truth is that it should have never been given any credibility in the first place, and its premise shows a fundamental ignorance of both the possible causes of suicide and radical Islamic society.

Can You Dig It?

Israeli works did not damage Temple Mount, UN says
UNESCO report, which will be published Wednesday, states Israel adhered to international standards in Mugrabi Gate excavations

By Lilach Shoval Yediot Aharonot 3-13-07

In the report, which was obtained by Ynet, UNESCO experts laud Israel for the transparency with which the works were being carried out, and note that the excavations conducted near the Temple Mount compound do not jeopardize its stability.

The Religious Divide

Shas Proposes Expanded Bill to Outlaw Missionary Activity
by Hana Levi Julian Arutz Sheva Israel National News [A religious news source]

Statistics reported by the Interior Ministry indicated that 437 Jews abandoned their faith to “accept Jesus” in 2003, rising to 884 converts to Christianity in 2004 and 733 in 2005. . . . “Whether it is Christians coming from abroad or Jewish converts working in Israel, they all have the same agenda – to destroy every trace and memory of the people of Israel,” reads the proposed bill.

Shas seeks harsher punishment for missionaries
Led by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, party proposes bill to completely forbid proselytism in Israel, sentence violators to one year in prison

By Neta Sela Yediot Aharonot – 3-14-07

A war on missionaries was declared Tuesday when Shas faction head MK Yakov Margi proposed a bill stating that Israel 's laws against proselytism should be aggravated. Backed by six other faction members and in concordance with Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's instructions, Margi proposed the sentence for preaching conversion should be one year imprisonment.

Shas-Ashkenazi deal produces 12 new ultra-Orthodox rabbinic court judges
By Amiram Barkat Haaretz 3-21-07

Many of the 15 judges appointed to rabbinic courts yesterday are relatives of politicians, public figures or veteran rabbinic court judges, and only one has a background in law. Women's rights organizations said yesterday was a black day in the struggle for women's rights in the rabbinic courts. Many view the rabbinic courts as favoring men in divorce cases and as failing to do enough to minimize the problem of women whose husbands refuse to divorce them.

Break up the monopoly
By Haaretz Editorial 3-23-07

The ultra-Orthodox may enjoy their achievements for a while, but this is a pyrrhic victory because they are imposing decrees the public cannot tolerate.

This is another test the new justice minister, Daniel Friedmann, has failed. It is hard to understand why a man who conducted fierce struggles against the ultra-Orthodox establishment and against nepotism hastened to approve the improper appointments of judges who are anti-liberal, lack legal education and are committed to the Haredi hierarchy.

Analysis: Divorcing the rabbinical courts
By Anshel Pfeffer Jerusalem Post 3-19-07

Shas uses its clout as a coalition member to ensure that only a token number of non-haredi rabbis receive the coveted positions. As a result, the courts ascribe to the strictest version of Halacha, as interpreted by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

… The attempts by more liberal-minded rabbis to solve serious social and personal problems through more flexible views - even if they are based on Orthodox literature - are a direct threat to the infallibility of Halacha. Casting doubt on the validity or relevance of any detail could bring the whole edifice crashing down. The dayanim are the guardians of the flame.

Baptists in the Holy Land
By David Smith Jerusalem Post Mar. 8, 2007

As a Baptist journalist in Israel for the past 25 years, I've often been shocked at how little Israelis know about my denomination.

Of Note From the Nations

Investigator into Hariri killing: Int'l tribunal needed
By Associated Press UNITED NATIONS Jerusalem Post Mar. 22, 2007

The chief investigator probing the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri backed the creation of an international tribunal to prosecute the alleged perpetrators, saying without a court it is difficult to justify the investigation.

Iran seizes up to 15 British troops in the Persian Gulf
By AP and Jerusalem Post Staff Mar. 23, 2007

The British personnel from the frigate HMS Cornwall were "engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant shipping in Iraqi territorial waters," and had completed their inspection of a merchant ship when they were accosted by Iranian vessels, the ministry said in a statement.

Bolton: US backed Israel's bid to eliminate Hizbullah
By Associated Press LONDON Jerusalem Post Mar. 22, 2007

The demand for an immediate cease-fire, backed by much of the international community but ignored for weeks by the United States and Britain, had been "dangerous and misguided," John Bolton said in a British Broadcasting Corp. interview…. "Hizbullah had committed an act of aggression and Israel was reacting in its own self-defense. And if reacting in its own self defense meant the defeat of the enemy that was perfectly legitimate under international law and frankly under good politics."

Spy vs. Spy

By Way of Defection
Is Iran hemorrhaging high-level officials?

By Michael Young Opinion Editor, Lebanon Daily Star March 15, 2007

Who is Ali Reza Asgari and why is he important? No one is quite sure yet, but when the Iranian general and former deputy defense minister disappeared in Istanbul earlier this year, suddenly everyone had a good spy story to follow.

Iranian official reportedly defected is at NATO Germany
YaLibnan BEIRUT March 15, 2007

"Asgari is a gold mine for western intelligence," an Israeli defense source told the Times. ….According to the Times, the escape took several months to plan, and at least 10 close members of Asgari's family had to flee the country as well. Asgari has two sons, a daughter and several grandchildren, and all are considered to have escaped Iran.

New on the Book Shelf

An Interview with Historian Michael Oren
on the Tangled Web of US Involvement from the age of Jefferson to Today

[author of Power, Faith, and Fantasy]
by Michael J. Totten February 20, 2007

“You cannot withdraw from Iraq and be confident that the enemy is not going to follow you. Because the enemy is going to follow you. America can’t detach from the Middle East because the Middle East is not going to detach from America. And America’s going to have to learn to fight this fight to win in a much more prudent and effective way. And there are ways America can fight it more effectively.” — Michael Oren

Excerpt from Publisher’s Weekly Review of
Power Faith and Fantasy

America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren

The author of the acclaimed Six Days of War finds continuity in U.S. relations with the Middle East from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. As America's power grew, he contends, strategic considerations became complicated by the region's religious significance, especially to the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policy in the 19th century and who championed a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause.

These collections of news stories are not just for the sake of information, opinion
or commentary but rather are meant to help Christians and Messianic Jews
pray more effectively
for the things that God has declared He is going to do.

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