A growing cacophony of voices blame religion for all the world’s woes, especially for its growing, raging river of violent bloodshed.

 

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and President Shimon Peres with Pope Francis at the Vatican, June 8, 2014. (photo credit:REUTERS)

With a rising tide of voices, here and around the world, I call on all to look and see beneath the mask of Christianized duplicity coming out of Bethlehem. And England. And the USA. For such a time as this.

 

Sign in the West Bank. (photo credit:Courtesy)

The entire world agrees that there is a universal absolute, an external moral standard to which all people are accountable.

 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Two months after completing his term as Israel’s ninth president, 91-year-old Shimon Peres was pounding stony pavement at the Vatican.

 

POPE FRANCIS and former president Shimon Peres chat at the Vatican yesterday.. (photo credit:Courtesy)

But the warning issued at the start of the conference echoes in its aftermath: the greatest threat of all is the one that no one is thinking about.

 

 

Iran's reported message: Wednesday’s attack in the Golan Heights “was a warning to Israel that its return to covert operations against Iranian targets would result in war with Hezbollah.

 

Openly armed Hezbollah members spotted near the Israeli border.. (photo credit:Courtesy)

For such a time as this, Happy Christmas from the Holy Land.

THOUSANDS OF Palestinians and foreign visitors await the arrival of the Latin Patriarch at Manger Square in Bethlehem on Christmas eve.. (photo credit:SETH J. FRANTZMAN)

It was November and Christmas was coming to Bethlehem.

Two years ago, Sherry Khoury drove through the little town.

Decorations were being hung, streets were coming alive with sparkling, colored lights. There were Christmas trees and Santas, snowmen and tinsel lights, angels and twinkling stars. But something was missing. She visited again, looking close, then went home to tell her husband what she had seen, what she could not find.

  PM Netanyahu Only days before Rosh HaShanah, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Israel's plans for growth and defense. He also thanked the people of Israel and expressed the nation's number one concern as it enters its New Year:

Expressing gratitude to the people of Israel for their "determination and resiliency" during this summer's war with Hamas in Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu also praised "the heroism of our soldiers." Israel faces many threats, he said. And this summer the nation's military men and women repelled "one of these threats, dealing a severe blow to our enemies on the southern border."

As the season of Fall Holy Days begins, the Prime Minister sent regards to Israelis profoundly affected by this summer's war. "I send best wishes to the wounded and deepest condolences to families of the fallen," he said.

  Detonation of 16 tons of explosives (illustrative) On Monday morning, 6 October, Iran's news agency, IRNA, reported a "fire" at an "explosives producing factory" in the eastern part of Tehran. The fire, it said, happened Sunday night.

It was, however, more than just a fire. And its location more than an innocuous explosives plant.

Only hours after the IRNA's terse announcement, BBC news cited a “pro-opposition website” as saying that, in fact, the incident was a “huge blast” that occurred in the proximity of Iran’s Parchin military base. Parchin is closely linked to Iran's nuclear program. Representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been denied access to the base since 2005.

Day of Prayer for Jerusalem This coming Sunday, 5 October, Israel's capital city is the epicenter for a global day of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. Literally millions around the world are expected to participate.

Only twelve years since its conception in 2002, the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem—#DPPJ—is on its way to becoming a Christian holiday. This year up to 500 million people are answering King David's 3,000 year old summons to pray for peace in the place he called home.

The event's founder and organizer, Pastor Robert Stearns, tells the story.

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