Friday, September 4, 2015

A Tragic Symbol of U.S. Failure to Act in the Mideast

September 4, 2015
Dear Pastors:
Thank you for Praying for Dr. Bill Pickell’s Grand-daughter Hope.  He emailed me, “We just got the results!  NO CANCER!”   Praise the Lord.  Thank you for praying for her!
Please continue to pray for the Bride of my Youth, Jo Ann, and her need for hip-replacement.  She is suffering considerably from this. 
A side-light, but, also something of a blessing to she and this ole sinful man she is married to is, next Tuesday,  September 8, is the anniversary of the death of our good friend Dr. Ron Fenwick.  Ron made a vow to God that he would find someone who had never been told the GOSPEL STORY and witness to that person, and would do so EVERY DAY.    He witnessed faithfully 365 days a year for over 37 years! 
We had Ron come and Preach every August and every January.  While he was here he always kept that vow of going out to find someone who had never heard that GOOD NEWS STORY.  He would do nothing until he had accomplished that.
Ron would have my wife and I come to Woodlawn Baptist Church every year.  I would speak on Monday night.  Then, Tuesday morning he wanted his church Ladies and girls to hear Mrs. Vineyard, and so she would speak a couple of hours to them while I spoke to the men and boys.  He would tell people words to this effect, “Mrs. Vineyard is going to get more rewards in heaven than Dr. Vineyard, for she won him!”
Mrs. Vineyard and I, and the good people of WHBC surely have missed our short BIBLE PREACHING PREACHER, Dr. Ron Fenwick, since he died 7 years ago next Tuesday.
Back some years ago THE LORD GOD OF THE HEBREWS allowed my path to cross with that of Yoram Ettinger.  Yoram spent several years ago in Houston as Israel’s SW Area Representative.  Texas made an impact upon him and he wears Cowboy Boots.  He has written a “Oy Jerusalem” Article which we show below:
Oy Jerusalem
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative"
"Israel Hayom," September 4, 2015,
While the Jewish State benefits from the robust Jewish demographic tailwind of fertility and immigration, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is burdened with a Jewish demographic headwind of emigration, which is eroding the current 66% Jewish majority.
The growing, youthful Jewish emigration from Jerusalem is driven by the scarcity of jobs as well as costly and limited housing. It was triggered – beginning in the 1990s - by Israeli Prime Ministers, who have relegated Jerusalem to a lower national priority, in sharp contrast to preceding Prime Ministers. 
Simultaneously with a litany of "O Jerusalem" boasting statements, they have demonstrated "Oy Jerusalem" feeble action, reflecting limited capability to withstand opposition, by US Presidents, to Jewish construction beyond the pre-1967 armistice line.  Moreover, succumbing to US pressure has yielded more, and rougher, pressure.  Thus, they have constrained the development of Jerusalem's infrastructure of transportation, housing and employment - which constitute a prerequisite for transforming Jewish emigration into robust Jewish immigration - since it requires construction on substantial, state-owned land, available within the largely unpopulated boundaries of reunited Jerusalem, not in the limited parameters of pre-1967 Jerusalem.  
The smaller the effective boundary of Jerusalem, the larger is Jewish emigration; the larger the effective boundary, the greater is the potential for Jewish immigration.
Thus, recent Prime Ministers have sacrificed the significant upgrading of Jerusalem's infrastructure of growth on the altar of the supposed peace process with the Palestinian Authority, which seeks to annul Jerusalem's reunification, worships suicide bombers and operates the most effective assembly line for manufacturing terrorists: a K-12 destroy-Israel-education system.
This peace process-driven policy has also led to physical and administrative disengagement from some Arab neighborhoods in reunited Jerusalem, and the construction of walls and fences, separating these neighborhoods from the rest of the city. As a result, parallel to the increasing Jewish emigration from Jerusalem, some 50,000 Arab residents of these neighborhoods - possessing Israeli ID cards - immigrated over the walls and the fences deeper into Jerusalem, lest they lose Israeli social and welfare benefits. Thus, at a time when parity has been reached between Jewish and Arab fertility rates (number of births per woman), this Israeli policy of disengagement has induced Arab immigration into Jerusalem, at a rate twice as high as the rate of Jewish emigration from Jerusalem.
In this regard, contemporary Israeli Prime Ministers have strayed away, dramatically, from their predecessors.  For example, in 1950, in defiance of brutal US and global pressure to internationalize Jerusalem (which is still the policy of the US Department of State!), Prime Minister David Ben Gurion proclaimed Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocated government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, settled a massive number of Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) in Jerusalem, upgraded the transportation infrastructure to Jerusalem, and erected new Jewish neighborhoods along Jerusalem's cease fire lines, providing the city land reserves for long term growth. Ben Gurion's actions spoke louder than the current bravado statements about the "indivisible Jerusalem."
In 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol adopted Ben Gurion's statesmanship, fended off severe US and global threats, reunited Jerusalem and established the foundation of satellite Jewish neighborhoods well beyond Jerusalem's "pre-1967 lines." 
In 1970-1, Prime Minister Golda Meir resisted heavy pressure, by the White House and the Department of State, refusing to rescind the reunification of Jerusalem and to transfer Jerusalem's Holy Basin to the auspices of the three leading religions (these demands were embraced, in 2010, by former Prime Minister, Olmert). Defiantly, Golda Meir laid the groundwork for additional neighborhoods beyond the "pre-'67 lines": Gilo, Ramot Alon, French Hill and Neve' Ya'akov, significantly expanding Jerusalem's infrastructure of growth.
Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir sustained the position of Jerusalem at the top of Israel's national priorities, reinforcing - through construction and growth - the historical, national and religious status of reunified Jerusalem as the exclusive, non-negotiable capital of the Jewish State.
In order to dramatically expand Jerusalem's 66% Jewish majority, and retain the graduates of the Hebrew University (Israel's largest university), while improving the quality of life for Jews and Arabs, Israel should embark upon a fast-track, dramatic enhancement of Jerusalem's transportation infrastructure, which would pave the road for a flow of Israeli and international entrepreneurs and investors.  For example, the largest Israeli city (2.5 times larger and more populated than Tel Aviv!) needs an airport, located in the ample, unpopulated area in eastern Jerusalem, which would be a most effective engine of growth. The only two freeways to Jerusalem from the coastal plain (#1 and #443 which stretches along the Land of the Maccabees beyond the 1967 lines) must be expanded, and a third one (#45 which was shelved by Prime Minister Sharon) should be constructed, for commercial, safety and national security reasons. The internal Begin Road should evolve into the Jerusalem Loop, which would be a game-changer for commerce and quality of life.  A similar surge should apply to the infrastructure for high tech, telecommunications, electricity, water, education and housing.
Will Israeli Prime Ministers embark upon an "O Jerusalem" policy – initiated 3,000 years ago by King David – which would drastically enhance Jerusalem's quality of life and expand its Jewish majority?  Or, will they sustain the "Oy Jerusalem" policy, which could doom Jerusalem to a Jewish minority?
Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a rewarding weekend,
Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem, Israel, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative," 
We met Jewess Gale Barshop through our friend Ron Fenwick, mentioned above.  Gale Graciously sent us the below, which is a blessing:
And Jonathan said unto him: 'Tomorrow is the new moon; and thou wilt be missed, thy seat will be empty.'
1 SAMUEL (20:18)
וַיֹּאמֶר-לוֹ יְהוֹנָתָן מָחָר חֹדֶשׁ וְנִפְקַדְתָּ כִּי יִפָּקֵד מוֹשָׁבֶךָ
שמואל א כ:יח

va-yo-mer lo y'-ho-na-tan ma-khar kho-desh v'-nif-kad-ta kee yi-pa-kayd

Jerusalem Inspiration
The Rabbis teach that the moon is a symbol of the People of Israel. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, looking tiny when it is new but appearing great by the middle of the month, the Children of Israel follow a similar cycle. Though at times they are a small and downtrodden nation, they will again become great in the eyes of all. And when the world is blessed with the Messiah, son of the house of David, the light from the People of Israel will shine its brightest. This year, the moon is going through a special four-moon cycle, known as a "tetrad", when a blood moon appears four times over the year - and each time, it occurs during a Jewish holiday! The Almighty is sending a message to the world, and we can decipher His message by studying biblical prophecies. Gidon Ariel and Bob O’Dell are the first Orthodox Jew and Christian to join forces in putting it all together, uniting Biblical information and prophecies relating to Blood Moons, Shemitah (the sabbatical year), promises to Israel, and the Jubilee in one amazing eBook. Don't miss this #1 Amazon New Release!
From IBD: Will U.S. Help Iran Against Israel?
  Nuclear Deal: A passage of President Obama’s appeasement pact may mean the U.S. helping Iran fight back against an Israeli attack on their nuclear sites. But then again, this president might do that even without a deal.
     Considering how gravely concerned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been all along about President Obama’s nuclear surrender to Iran, even coming to Washington in March to make a personal appeal in front of a joint session of Congress, one might have expected the Israelis to have bombed Iran by now.
   As long ago as 2008, over 100 Israeli fighter jets were conducting what were obviously practice exercises in the Mediterranean for an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
   Ehud Olmert, ‍Israel‍’‍s prime minister at the time, warned it would require drastic measures to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran; his deputy, former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, said military action appeared “unavoidable.”
   That was seven years ago. Could anything less than a warning from the Obama administration that America would resist Israeli actions against Iran have stopped ‍Is‍‍rael?  
   Now turn to the text of the deal. Annex three’s section on “nuclear security” on Page 142 pledges that the U.S. will “strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to, nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”
   While this is supposed to happen “through training and workshops,” the clause about enabling “effective and sustainable nuclear security” could conceivably mean direct military aid to Iran against Israeli attack.
   And anyway, who other than ‍Israel would be undertaking “nuclear security threats, including sabotage” against Iran?
   In July, the Center for Security Policy’s warned that this section of the agreement apparently   commits the U.S. “to help Iran develop capacities to prevent things like the STUXNET worm,” the computer attack five years ago that dealt Iran’s nuclear program a significant setback.
   The U.S. giving Tehran secrets about computer worm design “would mean entrusting extremely sensitive data to Iran — a nation that has weaponized, for distribution to terrorist groups, every technology it has thus far obtained,” the center argues. It might also mean “training Iranian commandos . . . the last line of defense for Iranian nuclear security,” which is “unwise, given Iran’s decades-long history of murdering Americans.”
   This section of the pact might even mean “sharing intelligence on Israeli operations that” the Israelis themselves “do not know we have knowledge of, but have obtained via NSA intercepts or human intelligence.”
   Only last week, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which the deal charges with conducting nuclear facility inspections within Iran, reported new construction going on at Iran’s Parchin site, where Tehran is strongly suspected of having tested nuclear-weapon detonators.  
   According to the IAEA, it “has continued to observe through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles equipment and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building” has apparently been built.
   Activities at Parchin over the past 3-1/2 years “are likely to have undermined the agency’s ability to conduct effective verification,” warns the IAEA, which is concerned of possible Iranian “activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”
   The U.N. inspection agency concluded that it “is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
   So while Iran is already undermining the deal’s inspection regime, the U.S. is expected to start protecting and defending Tehran as a U.S. ally, against ‍Israel, as if the Jewish state were an American enemy.
IBD:  Deal With Iran So Bad, Dems Try To Hide It
     It has been obvious for a long time that President Obama badly wanted to strike a deal with ‍Iran on its illicit nuclear program. The problem is, if you want it bad, you’ll get it bad.
   Bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress disapprove of the deal. They are prepared to vote that way.
   Just a few months ago, Senate Democrats unanimously supported having a vote on the subject. Now the White House is desperate to avoid this embarrassment.
   Rather than have an honest debate on the ‍Iran deal, the president and the Senate Democrat leader are hiding behind a filibuster. They’re using Senate procedure to conceal their panic.
   The administration knows that it struck a bad bargain. Its reluctance to admit the agreement’s flaws means that the American people don’t even know how bad the deal really is.
   The administration won’t talk about how much money ‍Iran stands to make because of the deal. Under the agreement, ‍Iran reportedly will get access to $100 billion. Additional money will flow from the sale of oil and other goods. How much, we don’t know.
   This administration also won’t talk about the side deals to the agreement. There have been media reports that ‍Iran will collect its own samples for testing at nuclear sites. The White House refuses to answer this charge. We could resolve this issue if the administration would provide the side deals to Congress, as required by law.
   Since the deal was announced almost eight weeks ago, Senate committees have held nine hearings. We’ve heard from experts and allowed the administration to make its best case for the agreement.
   Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have raised sincere and important questions about the deal. President Obama has been blinded by deal euphoria. He cannot see the defects that are obvious in the plan. He lashes out at anyone who questions him, calling them “the crazies.”
   The president has said that those who have scrutinized the agreement and disagree with it are making “common cause” with anti-American radicals. Yet the answers to our questions suggest that his administration was far too willing to make concessions that put our own national security at risk.
   In April, the administration said that inspectors would have access to ‍Iran‍’‍s facilities “anywhere, anytime, 24/7.” That has turned out to be more like anywhere, anytime ‍Iran chooses — with up to 24 days’ notice.
   Under United Nations Security Council resolutions, ‍Iran was supposed to suspend its uranium enrichment program before it could get sanctions relief. In the final agreement, ‍Iran will continue to enrich.
   The president said in December 2013 that the Iranians “don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.” The final agreement allows ‍Iran to keep those centrifuges and to develop more advanced ones.
   The original goal of ending ‍Iran‍’‍s nuclear weapons program was a good one. I wish that the president had stuck with that target and done a better job of negotiating. He did not. I believe it would be irresponsible to support such a weak, naive and dangerous deal.
   The Iranians stalled for years on these negotiations. They watched closely as the Obama administration signaled its desperation to strike a bargain. ‍Iran adjusted its demands accordingly and wound up with a very good deal for the radical leaders.
   After this agreement, ‍Iran will be a nuclear threshold state and a military and industrial power. It will have the money to support terrorists around the world. It will have the freedom to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
   President Obama and his allies should take seriously the concerns of the American people. The Senate should be allowed to have an up-ordown vote to disapprove the agreement.
   The president should also rethink his reckless veto threat. He should stop the childish name-calling and come clean about the flaws in his agreement. Then he should sit down with Congress and figure out a way to strike a better deal that actually meets the goals he set from the start.
   Barrasso, the junior senator from
   Wyoming, sits on the Committee on
   Foreign Relations.
  The Death Of U.S. Credibility
     One little boy in a red T-shirt, lying face down, drowned, on a Turkish beach, is a tragedy. More than 200,000 dead in Syria, 4 million fleeing refugees and 7.6 million displaced from their homes are statistics. But they represent a collective failure of massive proportions.
   For four years, the Obama administration has engaged in what Frederic Hof, former special adviser for transition in Syria, calls a “pantomime of outrage.” Four years of strongly worded protests and urgent meetings and calls for negotiation — the whole drama a sickening substitute for useful action. People talking to drown out the voice of their own conscience. And blaming.
   In 2013, President Obama lectured the United Nations Security Council for having “demonstrated no inclination to act at all.” Psychological projection on a global stage.
   Always there is Obama’s weary realism.
   “It’s not the job of the president of the United States to solve every problem in the Middle East.” We must be “modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil.”
   But we are not dealing here with every problem or every evil; rather a unique set of circumstances: The largest humanitarian failure of the Obama era is also its largest strategic failure.
   At some point, being “modest” becomes the same thing as being inured to atrocities. President Bashar Assad’s helicopters continue to drop barrel bombs filled with shrapnel and chlorine. In recent attacks on the town of Marea, Islamic State forces have used skin-blistering mustard gas and deployed, over a few days, perhaps 50 suicide bombers. We have seen starvation sieges and kidnappings and beheadings and more than 10,000 dead children.
   German Chancellor Angela Merkel has changed her country’s asylum rules to welcome every Syrian refugee who arrives. Syrians have taken to calling her “Mama Merkel, Mother of the Outcasts.” I wonder what they call America’s president.
   At many points in the last four years, even relatively small actions might have reduced the pace of civilian casualties in Syria. How hard would it have been to destroy the helicopters dropping barrel bombs on neighborhoods?
   A number of options short of intervention might have reduced the regime’s destructive power and/or strengthened the capabilities of more responsible forces. All were untaken.
   This was not some humanitarian problem distant from the center of U.S. interests. It was a crisis at the heart of the Mideast that produced a vacuum of sovereignty that has attracted and empowered some of the worst people in the world.
  Inaction was a conscious, determined choice on the part of the Obama White House. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus advocated arming favorable proxies. Sunni friends and allies in the region asked, then begged, for U.S. leadership.
All were overruled or ignored. In the process, Syria has become the graveyard of American credibility. The chemical weapons “red line.” “The tide of war is receding.” “We don’t do stupid (stuff).” These are global punch lines.
   “The analogy we use around here sometimes,” said Obama of the Islamic State, “and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
   Now the goal to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State looks unachievable with current strategy and resources. “The time has come for President Assad to step aside,” said Obama in 2011. Yet Assad will likely outlast him in power.
   What explains Obama’s high tolerance for humiliation and mass atrocities in Syria?
   The Syrian regime is ‍Iran‍’‍s proxy, propped up by billions of dollars each year. And Obama wanted nothing to interfere with a nuclear deal with ‍Iran. He was, as Hof has said, “reluctant to offend the Iranians at this critical juncture.”
   So the effective concession of Syria as an Iranian zone of influence is just one more cost of the president’s legacy nuclear agreement.
   Never mind ‍Iran will now have tens of billions of unfrozen assets to strengthen Assad’s struggling military. And never mind Assad’s atrocities are one of the main recruiting tools for the Islamic State and other Sunni radicals.
   All of which is likely to extend a war that no one can win, that has incubated regional and global threats, and that has thrown a small body in a red T-shirt against a distant shore.




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