Friday, 6 February 2015 | Swirling in the center of Israel's raison d'être—its reason for existence—is its role as trustee of God's Word. Collectively called Torah, it is regarded as nothing less than the Creator's own instructions for life: a full and vibrant life of reconciliation, fellowship and peace both with God and human neighbors.

Accordingly, dedication of meticulously transcribed Torah scrolls is a high and somber honor.

  Iranian-American journalist Sohrab Ahmari Wednesday, 26 August 2015 | Three weeks ago today, US President Obama stood at the podium of American University and said that "every nation in the world that has commented publicly about [the deal with Iran regarding its weapons-grade nuclear program] ...has expressed support." Every nation, that is, "with the exception of the Israeli government."

The assertion is problematic. Arguably, along with Israel, the President's own country opposes the deal. At this point it is a virtual certainty that Obama will have to veto Congressional rejection of the agreement. The assertion is also problematic in that it denies the emphatic, if de facto, opposition by many Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

PM Netanyahu visiting injured Major Netanel Shamka, one of several IDF soldiers wounded in a Hezbollah cross-border attack last Wednesday on the Israel side of the northern border with Lebanon. In the incident two IDF soldiers were killed. Monday, 2 February 2015 | Last Friday, Israel's Prime Minister visited soldiers wounded by Hezbollah's rocket attacks two days before. "We are under a prolonged attack organized by Iran," he said. "Iran is trying to uproot us; they will not succeed."

If Israel is under attack by Iran, is it already at war with Iran? If so, it is battling a wily Goliath that is almost armed with nuclear weapons.

In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has become the new Persian Empire of the Middle East. With de facto control over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, its governance from east to west stretches 1,800 miles [2,897 km.].

Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance site memorial for those who perished in Nazi camps (based on the sculpture at Dachau). Photo by Israel Tourism Ministry Wednesday, 28 January 2015 | The room last night was small; perhaps thirty seats were filled. The Israeli Prime Minister stood at the podium. He spoke in Hebrew. In fact however, from this modest meeting place inside Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial Museum, Benjamin Netanyahu was addressing a lot of people: Israeli voters and Diaspora Jews, the US President and his nation, Iran and its proxies, the United Nations and the ICC, global power leaders and all nations of the world.

 Waterfront south of Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, 27 January, 2015 | The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, aka the Lausanne Movement, is one of the most influential organizations in global evangelicalism. Its stated vision is "the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world."

Today that vision includes harsh condemnation of Christians whose faith compels them to stand with the Jewish state of Israel.

The cover story in this month's issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis is called, "All of Me: Engaging a World of Poverty and Injustice." Its author is Steve Haas, "Vice President and Chief Catalyst for World Vision US."

 May 2014 meeting in Washington DC Monday, 26 January 2015 | "He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave." The speaker was an unnamed "senior US official." He was talking to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last Friday. The fury of his words is regarded as the persistent and heartfelt sentiment of President Obama's White House. Three months ago there was another outburst from an anonymous official linked to the President's administration. Today's "spitter" was last October's "chickensh**t." Then and now, the target of White House vitriol was Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Then and now, the underlying issue that provoked contempt was sharp disagreement over Iran.

Prime Minister will speak before joint US Congress in March Friday, 23 January 2015 | In the middle of two nations' political storms, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress. The event is scheduled to take place in less than six weeks, on 3 March 2015.

In the US, a Republican-led Congress is considering legislation that would require Congressional approval of any agreement the US makes with Iran regarding its controversial nuclear program. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama, a Democrat, pledged to veto any such legislation.

Current headquarters of the ICC at The Hague, Netherlands Monday, 19 January 2015 | Last Friday the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to open "a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine." According to Israeli leaders, its decision to do so is a violation of the ICC's charter and mandate. As such, Israel is protesting the decision while the Palestinian Authority praises it.

Yesterday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin welcomed Canada's Foreign Minister, John Baird, to Israel. But he began his remarks with harsh condemnation of the ICC's announcement. "The decision by the prosecutor is deeply ironic," Rivlin said. "It awards terror, and amounts to blasphemy against international law. The State of Israel is committed to the highest standards of international law."

A Christian warns of a resurgence of replacement theology.

 (photo credit:Moshe Milner / GPO)

So, Jews, Bethlehem Bible College is already preparing #CATC2016 to make you feel as welcome as possible.


IDF troops on duty near Bethlehem. (photo credit:Udi Gal)

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