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January 8, 2007
Israel News on Israel Prayer .com
I S R A E L - N E W S briefs & news L A U N C H
News Titles are hyperlinked to the full article at the original news source

Saddam’s ignominious end in stark contrast
with nations’ honoring of Gerald Ford and Teddy Kollek 

Legendary Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek dies at age 95
By Haaretz Service and Agencies  1-2-2007

Theodor "Teddy" Kollek, who as mayor for more than a generation shepherded the transition of Jerusalem from a Mideast backwater with a glorious past to a world capital of culture and politics, died Tuesday at age 95.  [A tribute follows.]

King Saddam meets his end
The Region: By Barry Rubin Jerusalem Post Dec. 31, 2006

The English revolution executed King Charles I in 1648; the French, King Louis in 1793; and the Russians, Czar Nicholas II in 1918. . . . Of all these deposed kings, Saddam was the most personally deserving of his fate. Charles was stubborn; Louis, ineffective (though he did plot with the revolution's foreign enemies), and Nicky, foolish in the extreme. None of them were deliberate mass murderers.

The Drudge Report Dec 31 2006

"There could be no greater contrast than that between Gerald Ford and Saddam Hussein, and word of Saddam's death illuminated Ford's grace and generosity even more," explains the magazine's Jon Meacham.


‘Prince of Persia’ in for ‘Shaking’

Iran to West and U.S.: You are nobody, we will humiliate you
By The Associated Press Haaretz 1-2-007

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad scorned the UN Security Council's imposing sanctions on Iran, telling a crowd Tuesday that Iran had humiliated the United States in the past and would do so again.

Online rumors: Iran's supreme leader dead
By Dudi Cohen Yediot Aharonot 1-5-07

Following report of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's death in American expert's blog, numerous rumors on internet claim he passed away. Iranian media conveys business as usual, while question remains: Is he dead or alive?

 Ahmadinejad’s popularity dropping Jan 8, 2007

Tehran (AsiaNews) – Top Iranian leaders are feeling a frosty wind. In one case President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s popularity is taking a nose-dove; in the other, rumours abound about Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s worsening health.

Although extrapolating from an internet opinion poll and applying the results to society as a whole is inappropriate, for one expert said the high number of participants is something unique and unprecedented. At least it shows that at level of the elites and educated strata as well as the urban middle class there is a certain consensus. Hence it can be considered as the view of today’s Iranian society.  What is more, this is happening at a time when Iran’s Supreme Leader is in the terminal phase of cancer, this at least according to Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), a private US geopolitics institute. Should he die, the one man who held the balance between extremists and pragmatists in Iran since the death of the ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 would be removed.


Nuke Iran? Nah…
but the threat can’t be talked out of existence

Democrats: Nuclear Iran unacceptable

Iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable, new House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told The Jerusalem Post hours after entering the party leadership position. The Maryland Democrat said the view is shared by his party, rejecting assertions that the Democrats would be weaker than the Republicans on Iran.

Decision time         *** Priority Read
It was exactly a year ago. A small Falcon jet - favored by top Iranian military officers - crashed in northwest Iran near the Turkish border. Among those killed were Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard ground forces division, and at least 12 other officers. . . . Kazemi had been responsible for the production and development of Iran's Shihab ballistic missile series. . . .Since last January's crash, air travel for Iranian military officials has become increasingly dangerous. On November 27, a military transport plane crashed just after take-off from Teheran. More than 40 people were killed including 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, some of them reported to be close advisers to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A week before, a helicopter crashed into the central town of Najafabad, killing six, including a senior Revolutionary Guard officer.

Think tank: Israel could attack Iran's nuclear program alone
By Amos Harel Haaretz Correspondent and The Associated Press 01/02/2007

The Institute for National Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University said in its annual report, released Tuesday, that Iran will possess nuclear weapons unless military action is taken against it, and Israel would be capable of carrying out such an attack. . . . Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has not ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, but has said he hoped other ways could be found to keep Tehran from becoming a nuclear power.

Is nuke attack realistic?
Experts say nuclear strike on Iranian targets feasible but unlikely
By Roi Mandel Yediot Aharonot 1-7-07

"No country has launched an attack using nuclear weapons since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If there's indeed a strike on Iran, the last thing the forces would want to do is to use nuclear arms, as long as there are other means," Deputy Director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies Dr. Ephraim Kam told Ynet Sunday morning.

The Reporter Who Cried Wolf?
By Allison Kaplan Sommer PajamasMedia .com

In response to the Sunday (London) Times for January 7, 2007 reports that: “Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility [Natanz] using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

This update:  First and foremost - one must consider the source of this story. The Sunday Times journalist in question Uzi Mahnaimi, is a controversial figure, who co-authored a book with Bassam Abu Sharif, former senior adviser to Yasser Arafat and PLO press officer.


Iraq:  “We can win,” but We must not fail  

The Consequences of Failure in Iraq      *** Priority Read
They would be awful. But failure can still be averted.
by Reuel Marc Gerecht   The Weekly Standard 01/15/2007, Volume 012, Issue 17

What would be the consequences of an American withdrawal from Iraq? Trying to wrap one's mind around the ramifications of a failed Iraq--of an enormous, quite possibly genocidal, Sunni-Shiite clash exploding around American convoys fleeing south--is daunting. In part, this is why few have spent much time talking about what might happen to Iraq, the region, and the United States if the government in Baghdad and its army collapsed into Sunni and Shiite militias waging a battle to the death. Among its many omissions, the Iraq Study Group's stillborn report lacked any sustained description of the probable and possible consequences of a shattered Iraq.

….only the blind, deaf, dumb, or politically malicious cannot see that the Iraqis themselves, especially the Shia, are still trying desperately to avoid the abyss.. . . Certainly the most damning consequence of failure in Iraq is the likelihood that an American withdrawal would provoke a take-no-prisoners civil war between the Sunni and Shiite Arabs.

Democrats Escalate Battle Over "Surge"
WASHINGTON NEWS  U.S.News & World Report 1-8-07

Like Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, on Fox News Sunday, called the proposal "an escalation, and not a change."  But Democrats are realistic about their ability to block the surge. The Los Angeles Times says Democratic leaders "acknowledged that they had a limited ability to prevent the White House from adding forces." On NBC's Meet the Press, Senate Foreign Services Chairman Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential hopeful, said, "There's not much I can do about it. Not much anybody can do about it. He's commander in chief. If he surges another 20, 30, or whatever number he's going to, into Baghdad, it'll be a tragic mistake, in my view, but, as a practical matter, there's no way to say, 'Mr. President, stop.'" This week's U.S. News and World Report quotes a "Republican insider with close ties to the White House" who said, "The Democrats are going to be in a real bind. The President will come out with a strong plan to get order in Baghdad, and if the Democrats do anything to undermine or block it, it will look to Americans as though they wouldn't give his plan a chance."

Iraq: Violence against Christians forces seminary move
by Asia News January 04, 2007

Kidnappings and murders of priests and laity have forced eminent Christian institutions to move north from Baghdad to Kurdistan…. The kidnapping of priests, attacks and threats have pushed the Chaldean Patriarchate in Baghdad to transfer Babel College – the only Christian theological university in the country – and St Peter’s major seminary close to Erbil.


Don't Judge at Face Value 

US Sen. Boxer rescinds award to Muslim leader
Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had received a certificate from Boxer's office in November "in recognition of (his) outstanding service."

"We made a bad mistake not researching the organization," the California Democrat said.. . . One of its Texas chapter members, Ghassan Elashi, was sentenced in October to 80 months in prison for engaging in financial transactions with Hamas leader Musa abu Marzook. Another member, Ismail Royer a former CAIR communications specialist, was indicted in 2003 on charges of being part of a conspiracy to support terrorist activities overseas and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jewish groups hail new US envoy to UN
By Hilary Leila Krieger Jerusalem Post Jan. 8, 2007 WASHINGTON

US President George W. Bush hopes to put a new face of America forward at the United Nations, with his choice Monday of Zalmay Khalilzad as UN ambassador. Jewish groups welcomed his appointment and said they hoped Khalilzad would continue strong US support for Israel in an arena often critical of the Jewish state.


Contrary to Recent Reports

Plight of Persecuted Christians in Syria, Other Mideast Nations
By Allie Martin  France : Chretien Journal January 3, 2007

An official with Christian Solidarity International (CSI) says the once thriving Christian majority in Syria has now been transformed into a small, frightened community. According to published reports, thousands of believers are fleeing from war-torn Iraq into Syria, but the Islamic nation provides no safe refuge for Christians.

Carter is no friend
Open letter to former president in wake of his recent anti-Israel book
By Yariv Nornberg Yediot Aharonot 1-3-07

Last year I had the privilege to join your conflict resolution task team to assist you in your worthy goal of "waging peace."  The opportunity to facilitate dialogues between warring parties in conflicts outside of the scope of the Israeli-Arab conflict was a tremendous experience. It convinced me that a goodwill ambassador could actually play a constructive role in facilitating the reconciliation of two enemies. Unfortunately, your last publication is a total contradiction to this notion. Not only is the book counter-productive, Mr. President, but it completely contradicts all that I was taught about conflict resolution at the Carter Center.

The AP's Jamil Hussein Scandal
Controversy Will Haunt the AP Until It Does What is Right
By Eason Jordan 01/01/2007 7:19 PM ET

Former CNN News executive Eason Jordan is unconvinced that “Captain Jamil Hussein” exists.


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.

You might say, "What does all this have to do with Israel? I just want to pray for Israel!"
Think of it this way, Jesus said the gospel of the kingdom was going to be preached in every nation of the world--including the nations surrounding and hostile to Israel that are now held in the grip of Islam.
If the gospel is going to be given the freedom to be preached in Israel's neighborhood,
then the militant fanaticism of Islam has to be broken.

How did the Berlin Wall come down? God was quietly undermining the hold of Communism throughout the U.S.S.R. and behind the Iron Curtain. Suddenly the Wall came down, just as the walls of Jericho, but Western nations had to stand in opposition until God visibly brought down the Communism that kept the gospel locked out of those nations. The Fall of Islam will be similar.

There is a relationship to the commitment of Western nations to stand for liberty and freedom, and the fall of both secular and religious "isms" that have closed the doors of their nations against the gospel. God is bringing those down walls that stand against the sure promises of the Word being fulfilled--such as the word that says, "men from every tribe and tongue and
people and nation" will be "purchased for God with Your Blood." There is yet to come great harvest of souls by the Blood of Jesus in every nation
--just as there already has begun in the nations of the former Soviet Union and behind the Iron Curtain. The wall of Islam will see a similar breakdown that will open the Middle East to the gospel of the kingdom of God. The civil wars and conflict currently broiling in the region
do not spell Israel's demise, but Islam's demise!

It is as Francis Frangipane recently said, “In all the predictions about Israel, one major prophetic reality seems almost always to be ignored: the gospel of the kingdom still must be proclaimed as a witness to all nations, 'and then the end shall come.' In other words, God's focus is still on reaching the nations, even the Muslim world (and also the Hindu and Buddhist worlds). We still have a job to do in that arena, as none of the nations in the Middle East have known a true and significant outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Until that happens -- and until the fullness of the gentiles comes in -- these other events concerning Israel and the end sit upon a stage yet to be revealed. We may have wars in the Middle East, and while our prayers for Israel remain steadfast, our eyes should still be looking for the harvest.”

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