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.

Israel President
Reuven Rivlin
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 | Yesterday Israel's President Reuven Rivlin made an articulate plea for civility in public discourse, including heated debate. While unlikely that his admonitions will modify a global tide of spiteful rhetoric, Rivlin’s appeal for boundaries in dialogue is notable. Almost no one is calling to account the way we speak to one another in the public square, on Facebook and in Twitter.

Addressing members of Israel's Knesset, Rivlin said he was “horrified by the severe bullying and intimidation that has contaminated debate.”

  Emblem of Israel 15 October 2014, Jerusalem | Late Monday evening, 13 October, elected members of the United Kingdom's Parliament cast a vote. Parliament's House of Commons resolved that the UK "should" recognize Palestine as a sovereign state "alongside the state of Israel."

Although it was a nonbinding resolution and more than half of qualified Members were not present for the vote, the motion is regarded by many as an indicator of broader European sentiment on the matter of Palestinian sovereignty.

Last week, two “projectiles” landed in the Golan Heights.

Smoke rises following an explosion on the Syrian side near the Quneitra border crossing between the Golan Heights and Syria, August 29, 2014.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Last week, two “projectiles” landed in the Golan Heights. Alarms went off and nerves were rattled, but in the end officials called them “errant mortars.”

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