December 5, 2006
News on Israel Prayer .com
Special Backgrounder Issue
LEBANON & the Palestinians
I S R A E L - N
E W S briefs & news L A U N C
Titles are hyperlinked to the full article at the original news
do civil wars in Middle East nations mean?
What would the fall of Islam look like?
Last Week Jordan’s King Hussein warned of
for "civil wars" erupting in 3 Middle East nations—
& the Palestinians
But what is the real common denominator?
Middle East MADE SIMPLE:
Islamic Shia vs.
to popular misconception, the violence is NOT about Israel!
Israel would be impacted but Israel is NOT the cause
Let's put the axe to the ROOT in prayer:
Shia 92% Sunni
5% Shia 95% Sunni
Morocco 99% Sunni
Algeria 99% Sunni
Tunisia 98% Sunni
Libya 97% Sunni
Sudan 70% Sunni
13% Shia 74% Sunni
Kuwait 25% Shia 60%
Qutar 14% Shia 86%
UAE 16% Shia 80%
Oman 2% Shia 21% Sunni
Yemen 36% Shia 63%
Shia 85% Sunni
19% Shia 80% Sunni
Shia 77% Sunni
Iraq 63% Shia
Iran 90% Shia
Bahrain 70% Shia
Azerbaijan 67% Shia
figures are from CIA World Factbook 2004;
Adherents.com as quoted by
Interactive Map: Sunni and Shia: The Worlds of Islam
Lines and Deadlines
Interactive Map: Sunni and Shia: The Worlds of Islam
www PBS Wideangle BACKGROUNDER
This is an easy to understand, concise
explanation of the differences between the Sunni and Shia factions
of Islam and how the precarious balance of powers
in Middle East nations revolve around that ancient schism.
Plus the interactive map illustrates why Shia encroachment into
Sunni nations is impacting the current shaky Middle East.
East Protests Against Israeli Actions
—MIDDLE EAST MADE SIMPLE: Shia vs. Sunni
Stratfor World Terrorism Report July 21, 2006
Iran wants to fuel this kind of public
unrest to demonstrate that it and its allies -- Syria,
Hezbollah and Hamas -- are resisting U.S. and Israeli moves against
the Arab-Muslim world, and that most of the Arab regimes -- Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and others -- are not only unwilling but
also unable to act.
SUNNI-SHIA RIFT IN PALESTINE. Long Division
by Martin Peretz The New Republic Only
at TNR Online | Post date 03.09.06 BACKGROUNDER
The fact is that there is a hatred greater
in the Middle East than the Muslim hatred of the Jews. It is the
Sunni hatred of the Shia, and vice versa. The ferocity
now once again unleashed in Iraq, a ferocity echoing the historic
brutality of sectarian conflict in Mesopotamia, is neither the
beginning nor the end of it. It expresses itself in Lebanon and
Syria, and is right now only barely repressed in Bahrain and Saudi
[Also the facts about how Arafat’s deportation
from Jordan in the mid-1970’s tilted Arab
demography in Lebanon and created a launch-pad in Lebanon--a
legitimizing cover tactic--whereby the PLO began
the guerrilla campaign against Israel.]
historic moment for peacemaking
Both Israel and Hamas sent important signals last
week of a conditional willingness to coexist
By Rami G. Khouri The Chicago Sun Times
December 3, 2006
It would be easy for both sides to write
off the offers that Olmert and Meshaal made as propaganda
exercises. It also would be a great shame, because beneath their
conditional and tentative public offers to live in peace are some
crucial political realities that must be seized and built upon
before they evaporate: Israelis and Palestinians are nearing
exhaustion in their existential battle for the land of Palestine/Israel,
and both recognize that their prevailing military strategies will
not achieve their long-term goals.
meets PM, looks to Israel to help boost Abbas
By Akiva Eldar Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service
According to Army Radio, Rice urged the
prime minister to strengthen the Gaza cease-fire, and
expressed her appreciation for the Israeli restraint in the wake
of violations of the truce on the part of Palestinian militants.
in the Balance
Civil War Looks Like. Slide Rules
By Larry Diamond The New Republic 3-6-06
This is not a time for the United States
to throw in the towel in Iraq. The consequences of all-out
civil war–which would now surely follow a precipitous U.S.
withdrawal–would be too disastrous for everyone
except the extremists. It is still possible to find or
reconstruct some political common ground. It is still conceivable
that the Shia politicians who are now set (in one combination
or another) to rule Iraq for the indefinite future can be persuaded
to make concessions on the big issues, by the logic that less
is more in circumstances when seeking to win everything means
civil war. There is still time for far-reaching mediation to avert
the slide. But the hour is growing late.
With the Sunnis
by Larry Diamond The New Republic Post
date 11.20.06 | Issue date 11.27.06
We need a plan to stabilize Iraq politically before we
exit…. a key feature should be to split up the
Sunni Arab insurgency. … divided between secular
(nationalist, Baathist) and religious elements and--within
the latter--between Islamists focused on Iraq and hardcore utopian
revolutionaries (Salafists like Al Qaeda) who see a U.S.
defeat in Iraq as the first step in a global jihadist war.
…. If it seems that Syria and Iran, and all the
internal troublemakers, have the upper hand in Iraq, ponder this:
The chaos in Iraq that was good for them in the past now risks
spilling over borders and threatening, rather than insulating,
the neighboring regimes. Iran--a multinational state that
is barely half Persian--must worry about the implications for
its own stability of Iraq disintegrating into ethnic pieces. Syria
faces a formidable threat from its own Islamic radicals. So do
the other Arab neighbors. Thus, there remains scope for a deal,
because each of the major players faces serious risks if Iraq
Lebanon A Test
in Lebanon / Red-hot Beirut
By Zvi Bar’el Haaretz 12-3-06
The longer the demonstrations
and the closure of Beirut's business center persists, the greater
the chance public opinion will turn against the opposition (Shia).
But if the demonstrations and strike end before the goal is reached,
they will be considered a failure and will make it difficult for
the opposition to press its demands.
protest is attempted coup'
By Jacey Herman Jerusalem Post correspondent
Dec. 3, 2006 BEIRUT
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and members
of his anti-Syrian coalition government are holed up inside, afraid
for their lives, but vowing that that they will not give in.
"This is an attempted coup," said Druse MP Walid Jumblatt,
a senior coalition member. "But we will remain strong. We
are facing a weird situation. There is a legitimate government
and an illegitimate government that wants to topple it."
LEBANON THE NEW IRAQ?
by Annia Ciezadlo The New Republic Post
date 03.02.06 | Issue date 03.13.06 BACKGROUNDER
In the dahiyeh, Beirut's Shia suburbs, Iraq is
as close as the nearest mosque ….So the "war of the
mosques," as one newspaper dubbed the conflict…is getting
blockbuster ratings in dahiyeh living rooms….With
the Shia ascendant in Iraq, Lebanon's Sunni minority fears that
the more numerous Shia here will overpower it.
BEIRUT DISPATCH by Annia Ciezadlo The New Republic
Post date 12.01.06 | Issue date 12.11.06
Lebanon is locked in a battle over its
political future, and it's clear which faction has the upper hand
and which is demoralized. On one side is a powerful
alliance of Shia and Christians, including the
Shia militia Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran.
On the other is the fragile government of Prime Minister Fouad
Siniora--representing Sunnis, Christians, and Druze--backed
by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Emboldened by
this summer's war with Israel, Hezbollah is demanding a bigger
share of Lebanon's Cabinet posts, which would effectively hand
it control of the government. Disheartened by rumors out
of Washington that the Baker Commission will recommend détente
with Damascus to fix Iraq and by Hezbollah's swelling postwar
prestige, anti-Syrian partisans like Asfour are divided, defensive,
and terrified of being sold out by their protector--the
IDF intelligence chief: War is more likely if Siniora quits
By Akiva Eldar Haaretz Correspondent and
Haaretz Service 12-3-06
“…former chief of Israel Defense Forces Army Intelligence
Corps, Major General (res.) Aharon Ze'evi Farkash….told
Army Radio Sunday that Israel should not intervene in the political
crisis in Beirut. "It is Europe's responsibility
to prevent radical elements from overtaking [Lebanon],
elements that try to turn it into an Iranian outpost," he
Hizbullah coup could oust UNIFIL
By Yaakov Katz Jerusalem Post Nov. 30,
Israeli defense officials expressed extreme concern Thursday over
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's call for a massive protest
Friday to bring down the Lebanese government, warning
that UNIFIL might be expelled from Lebanon if Prime Minister Fuad
Saniora were forced to leave office.
showdown / Who will blink first in Lebanon?
By Zvi Bar’el Haaretz Dec 2, 2006
“…it seems that Nasrallah
will not pass up a show of force, something he has been planning
for weeks and which was postponed following the assassination
of Pierre Gemayel. The government of Lebanon is preparing for
such an eventuality, with roads in the outskirts of Beirut being
closed by the army in an effort to prevent Hezbollah supporters
from the countryside entering the city and moving toward the main
Lebanese democracy is in danger
Associated Press Yediot Aharonot 11-30-06
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora says Lebanese democracy
in danger after Hizbullah's call for people to 'take
to streets' against gov't. Siniora to Lebanese people: Now is
time to stand by your gov't
The Iraq Study Group has reached a consensus.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol The Weekly Standard
12/11/2006, Volume 012, Issue 13
In the frenzied final week of the Iraq Study Group's
deliberations, co-chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton
took time out to pose for a photo spread for a fashion magazine,
Men's Vogue. This might seem a dubious decision given
the gravity of the moment and their self-appointed roles as the
nation's saviors. The "wise men" who
counseled Lyndon Johnson during Vietnam and the members of the
Kissinger Commission who tried to reshape Ronald Reagan's Central
American policies did not sit for Annie Leibovitz in the
middle of their endeavors. Nor did they hire
a mega-public relations firm to sell their recommendations
(supposedly intended for the president) to the public at large,
as Baker and Hamilton have done.
threatens to kill Jordan's King Abdullah
Yediot Aharonot 12-1-06
A statement posted on the group's website read:
"We say to Abdullah, who is deserving of death: Be patient.
Soon you will know the same fate as your great-grandfather,
working to curb Iranian influence
By Associated Press Jerusalem Post Dec.
3, 2006 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
Worried by Iran's deepening involvement in the
Arab world, Saudi Arabia has been working quietly to curtail
the Shi'ite nation's influence and prevent the marginalization
of Sunni Muslims in the region's hotspots. … Saudi
Arabia, a key US ally in the region, has been putting its economic
and diplomatic weight behind groups in direct confrontation with
factions backed by Iran in every major conflict zone in the region,
Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
PM to meet high-ranking Saudis soon in new peace bid
By Haaretz Service 12-3-06
"According to senior Israeli sources, Ehud
Olmert, Israel's prime minister, will soon meet high-ranking Saudi
officials to explore the formation of a group of moderate Arab
countries to negotiate with Tel Aviv over the future of the Middle
East," the Times reported Sunday, in a dispatch
from Tel Aviv.
Memo on Iraq Proposed ‘Major’ Change
By Michael R. Gordon and David S. Cloud New
York Times Published: December 3, 2006
WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 — Two days before he resigned as defense
secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld submitted a classified memo
to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration’s
strategy in Iraq was not working and called for a major course
correction. “In my view it is time for a major adjustment,”
wrote Mr. Rumsfeld, “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently
doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.”
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
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
surrounding and hostile to Israel that are now held in the grip
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
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
that have closed the doors of their nations against the gospel.
God is bringing those down walls that stand against the sure promises
the Word being fulfilled--such as the word that says, "men
from every tribe and tongue and
and nation" will be "purchased for God with Your Blood."
is yet to come great harvest of souls by the Blood of Jesus in
--just as there already has begun in the nations of the former
and behind the Iron Curtain. The wall of Islam will see a similar
that will open the Middle East to the gospel of the kingdom of
The civil wars and conflict currently broiling in the region
do not spell Israel's demise, but Islam's demise!
is as Francis Frangipane recently said,
“In all the predictions about Israel, one major prophetic
almost always to be ignored: the gospel of the
must be proclaimed as a witness to all nations, 'and
then the end shall come.'
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
Middle East have known a true and significant outpouring of the
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
remain steadfast, our eyes should still be looking for the harvest.”
men of Issachar…had understanding
of the times,
of what Israel should do ….”
God gives us a great blessing in that we don't have to have all
the facts in order
to pray, but that does not negate praying with understanding
as the men of Issachar did.
Yes! We pray in the Spirit, but
we also pray with understanding.
This launch to relevant weekly news stories significant to Israel
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