Obama in Israel

Obama in Israel

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The president and Israeli intellectuals agree: It’s ‘no fair’ that Palestinians have no state.

During his first term, President Obama spent considerable energy trying to build America’s relationship with the Muslim world. He never visited Israel, and repeatedly showed hostility toward the Jewish state. His reelection seemed to vindicate this approach.

This made his decision to take his first-ever visit to Israel this past week intriguing. It took place against a backdrop of increasing radicalism in the Arab world, a rise in Islamist authoritarianism, growing anti-Americanism among Muslims—and American retreat from the Middle East.

The president went out of his way to soothe the Israelis and say a lot of nice things. He made guarantees about Israel’s future, and about keeping Iran from going nuclear. He condemned groups that deny Israel’s right to exist. He was extremely friendly with Prime Minister Netanyahu, whom he repeatedly called “Bibi.”

However, President Obama refused to speak before the Knesset, opting instead to address a group of handpicked university students, symbolic of his wanting to reach the Israeli people directly. This set the stage for the most telling and remarkable moment in the president’s trip.

Most of the speech was champagne and chocolate: ingratiating, sensitive, appealing to the Jews. He acknowledged “the changes sweeping the Arab world … uncertainty in the region—people in the streets, changes in leadership, the rise of non-secular parties in politics.” Just listening, one would never know the role this administration has played in encouraging and fueling these dangerous changes. Then came the real point of the speech: admonishing the Jews to give the Palestinians a state. And among the Israeli intellectuals in the crowd, he found glowing support.

“The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized.” Applause. “And put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own.” Applause. “Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people, but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished.” Applause. “It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank (applause begins) or displace Palestinian families from their homes.” Applause. “Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.” Cheering applause. “Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their homeland.” Applause.

These words characterize the Palestinians as yearning for peace through negotiations with Israel, if only Israel would cooperate. Apparently this view is shared by these Jewish academics.

They woefully ignore several pressing realities: that the Palestinian children of which the president speaks are being raised on virulent Jew hatred; that Arab leaders who support negotiations with Israel lose public support; that Arab leaders, whatever they may say to the international press, consistently speak to their own people in terms of war with the Jews; that when Israel ended its “occupation” of Gaza, that territory became a terrorist haven; that Israel’s “controlling” security measures are necessary to protect citizens from unprovoked terrorist attacks. The crowd’s applause signifies stubborn adherence to beliefs long proven false.

The president followed up these comments by encouraging the Israelis to demand their leaders make concessions for peace. “[L]et me say this as a politician, I can promise you this: Political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks. You must create the change that you want to see.” But the fundamental change required for peace cannot take place in Israeli hearts. Who will change the hearts of the Muslims—not just those in Gaza and within Israel—but also in Egypt and elsewhere in the surrounding countries—who want to eliminate the Jews?

Some of the audience’s most enthusiastic applause came when President Obama spoke of some Palestinian youths he met. “I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say I, I want these kids to succeed. I want them to prosper. … I believe that’s what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. I believe that.” Wonderful sentiment. Any right-thinking person would agree. But how many Muslims would think that about Jewish youths?

The president assured his listeners that peace is possible. He said they had a “true partner” for peace in the Palestinian Authority leadership—a notion that has repeatedly proven false. Several of the president’s statements were founded on the old belief—contrary to the reality of human experience—that, deep down, everyone wants peace.

Speaking of the Muslims who heard his speech in Cairo four years ago, he said, they’re basically like you: They want “the ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married; to raise a family.” It’s quite remarkable to invoke America’s involvement in Egypt as proof of the potential for peace. It was with Egypt that Israel had enjoyed a peace pact that lasted for three decades. But since President Obama’s speech there four years ago (a speech to which he invited the Muslim Brotherhood)—and thanks in no small part to America pushing Hosni Mubarak aside—Egypt has shifted dramatically toward radicalism, and that peace agreement is in tatters. The new Egyptian president has called the Jews “blood suckers … descendants of apes and pigs,” and said “we should employ all forms of resistance,” including military resistance, against the “criminal Zionists.”

President Obama’s handpicked listeners were cheering a fantasy. The peace they hope for simply cannot come by the means they wish for. “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).

Don’t be distracted by the attractive visuals of this visit. The underlying realities were only reinforced. Negotiations will not solve these problems. The threat to Israel’s security will increase. The limits of American support will be further exposed. And the need for another foreign advocate will become ever more painfully clear—an advocate to which the Jews will look, mistakenly, for salvation.

Voyager 1 Reaches the Edge of the Solar System

Voyager 1 Reaches the Edge of the Solar System

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has just drifted beyond the reach of our solar system, according to a paper published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal on March 20. It will be the first man-made object to travel so far from home.

According to researcher Bill Webber, Voyager 1 passed through what is known as the “heliocliff” on August 25 last year, citing the detection of a dramatic fall in radiation emitted from the sun. Beyond the influence of the sun, Voyager-1 continues its voyage onward.

Speculation remains as to whether the Voyager 1 probe has arrived in interstellar space or an undefined region beyond the solar system. Upon its arrival on the edge, a change in the direction of the sun’s magnetic field should be observed as it is acted on by interstellar magnetic fields. This has not happened, leading some to speculate that the probe is now in a no-man’s-land between Earth and the vast emptiness that divides our solar system from the next one.

Voyager 1 has had a long journey. Launched in September 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Voyager 1 was sent to observe the outer planets and the interstellar region beyond the solar system. Following the completion of the first part of its journey, it set off for the far reaches of space and was followed by its counterpart Voyager 2.

The fact that the two probes are still traveling is a marvel in itself. They run off of basic 1970s equipment. Each one has 68 kilobytes of computer memory. An average iPod today has over 240,000 times that much memory. However, those 68K are still doing the job. Radio waves are still being bounced back across the solar system. It takes these waves 16 hours to traverse the distance between man and machine.

So far, Voyager 1 has traversed across 18 billion kilometers of space. It is powered by a plutonium power source which is set to stop generating electricity in 10 to 15 years. At that point, the probe will go silent and drift on through the darkness alone.

It is incredible to see what man has been able to achieve. He has sent out technology that broadcasts information back across the universe. Voyager 1 is a fantastic piece of technology. But it also raises a larger question.

Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, wrote in his book Mystery of the Ages, “Why do we find a world of awesome advancement and progress, yet paradoxically with appalling and mounting evils? Why cannot the minds that develop spacecraft, computers and marvels of science, technology and industry solve the problems that demonstrate human helplessness?”

Though mankind has made amazing advancements across the fields of technology, we have yet to bring about world peace. War ravages the planet, millions live in poverty, and millions more go without basic education or a reasonable standard of living. Man finds it easier to peer over the precipice of the solar system than to solve the crisis that faces him on Earth.

But this world is not without hope. The galaxies that Voyager 1 is slowly drifting towards are directly connected to the future of mankind. Man has a potential that exists among the stars. In all reality, mankind will reach those distant solar systems before Voyager 1 ever will! It will be over 40,000 years before that probe will come even close to another star.

Read Our Awesome Universe Potential to see what God has in store for those who will heed his message. The Voyager 1 trip to the edge of the solar system doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

What Is the Abomination of Desolation?

Just what is the abomination of desolation? According to your Bible, we need to understand what it is in detail to escape the worst suffering ever coming upon this Earth. The Bible says it is a sign of when God’s very elect are to flee. But to flee from what? Christ personally talked about it when He was on this Earth. And those prophecies that Christ talked about are certainly being fulfilled today. There never has been a more exciting time to live, but also, there’s never been a more dangerous time than what we’re living in today.

Argentina Recruits Pope in Falklands Dispute

Argentina’s president met with Pope Francis in Rome on Monday to solicit his help against Britain. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner requested that the pope intercede to “facilitate dialogue” over Britain’s Falkland Islands, which lie off the coast of Argentina. Buenos Aires claims that it has jurisdiction over the islands, and calls them the Malvinas.

In the past, relations between the two have been cold. Before he was elected pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio accused Kirchner’s government of demagoguery. He also opposed homosexual adoption, a stance that she compared to the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. However, these differences were set aside at Monday’s meeting.

It remains to be seen how much Pope Francis will intervene in the Falklands, but his Argentine roots may be bad news for Britain.

On Friday, political economist Rodney Atkinson drew attention to the Catholic Church’s historical antagonism toward Britain, saying that the Vatican has threatened British sovereignty for almost a millennium.

Continue to watch the Falklands conflict. With help from the Roman Catholic Church and the European Union, Argentina may be able to force Britain to relinquish its sovereignty. For more information, read “Empire’s Last Hurrah.”

Cyprus—the Russian Angle

Cyprus—the Russian Angle

BARBARA LABORDE/AFP/Getty Images

One commentator gives an intriguing observation about Russo/German antics in Cyprus.

Sometimes a non-mainstream observer of the world scene comes up with real food for thought. Such was the case this week when British blogger Alexander Boot reflected on the actions of Russia and Germany in regard to the Cyprus situation.

Boot asks an obvious question, “The question is why the ecb and imf, which is to say Germany, made this raid a precondition for the bailout of Cyprus? After all, they were more lenient when bailing out Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Why single out Cyprus for rough treatment?” (March 19).

Attending to his own question, Boot retorts, “The answer is obvious: Cyprus is a floating refuge and laundromat for dirty Russian money.”

But he then goes on to address the larger strategic question of why Russia is so enmeshed with Cyprus: “But it’s more than just about exerting influence on Cypriot politics—potentially the Russians hope to gain the elusive prize they’ve been pursuing since the late 16th century: a foothold on the Mediterranean.”

Then Alexander Boot points to the numerous strategic deals concluded both in secret and, where convenient, in the public eye between Russia and Germany: “The 1922 Rapallo Treaty, the 1926 Treaty of Berlin, the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact and Treaty of Friendship all had their secret protocols that left the rest of the world none the wiser.”

Boot then makes an intriguing observation: “The German raid on Russian money in Cyprus (to call a spade a spade) is ostensibly perceived in Russia as a direct attack. Putin immediately described it as ‘unfair, unprofessional and dangerous,’ but one can almost see his eyes light up.

“For, unlike the previous German attack [World War ii], this one can conceivably turn Russia into a Mediterranean power. Gazprom, the world’s biggest producer of natural gas, has already offered to restructure Cyprus’s debt in exchange for exclusive exploration rights on the island. The Russians are also prepared to underwrite the whole bailout for the right to use a naval base on the island.”

So where are these latest Russo-German shenanigans over the Mediterranean leading?

Boot maintains that “It’s highly unlikely though that the Germans didn’t consider the Russian angle before launching their confiscatory raid. Yet they pressed ahead, which raises all sorts of possibilities.

Could it be that yet another deal between Germany and Russia has been struck? After all, historically the two countries have demonstrated their ability to conclude secret treaties whose ramifications become known only decades later. … [T]he propensity for underhand, backstage dealing in both the EU and Russia leaves much room for educated guesses” (emphasis added).

Five years ago, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry indicated that behind closed doors, Russia and Germany may well have already made a pact.

Whether that pact included a deal that would give Russia access to Mediterranean ports is unknown. Perhaps the ink is not yet dry on that score. Either way, as our editor in chief has declared, Germany, now holding the whip hand over the strategic island nation of Cyprus, will not yield its ground. But that does not discount a friendly, though temporary, deal between Russia and Germany over bailing out Cyprus banks in exchange for free, though again temporary, access to its port facilities. Such a deal would have to at least be seen to work in the short-term strategic interests of both nations. A tradeoff on access to energy resources could be the catalyst.

Keep watching Cyprus for the outcome of the grand game of control of Europe’s “soft underbelly,” as Winston Churchill called it, the highly strategic Mediterranean Sea.

Our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire gives greater detail on the developing situation in the Mediterranean.

Coming: Inner-Core Europe—and War!

Coming: Inner-Core Europe—and War!

pawel.gaul/iStockphoto

A German think tank predicts the prospect of a prosperous inner-core Europe clashing with a poorer periphery.

In a harbinger of the prophesied inner core of 10 European entities to prevail in Europe under the sway of the Rome/Berlin axis (Revelation 17:12-13), a German think tank has highlighted the prospect of the European Union breaking up into a core Europe under German domination—versus the rest.

German-Foreign-Policy.com reports that the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a think tank associated with the main German opposition party (Social Democratic Party) has “developed four possible scenarios for the future development of the EU under the pressure of the euro crisis” (March 20; translation ours).

Of the four scenarios outlined in a recent report, the foundation believes that the most likely outcome of the current euro crisis will be “the formation of a smaller union around the German center (‘Kerneuropa’), while the EU continues parallel in the form of a sort of greater free trade zone” (ibid). Inevitably, that “free trade zone” would be subject to the diktat of the more powerful inner core, directed by Germany.

Of real concern is the foundation’s conclusion that such an outcome would bring with it “a dramatic impoverishment of EU peripheries as well as a possible total breakdown of the eurozone.”

This report by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung goes on to observe that historically, the collapse of alliances such as the European Union has inevitably led to war. It points to the 1990s collapse of greater Yugoslavia as being a case in point: “The Ebert-Stiftung calls to remembrance that the decay of state-run unions can absolutely end in violence: One has to take this danger ‘seriously,’ it warned, with a specific reference to the former Yugoslavia” (ibid).

When one considers that it was Germany and the Vatican that lit the powder keg of the Balkan wars in a deliberate effort to break up that “state-run union” and deliver the Balkan Peninsula to the control of the Rome/Berlin axis, one surely has to consider a similar scenario as being a possible outcome of the European Union project—a German project under the spiritual influence of Rome from its beginning.

Read our booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans for more detail on this subject and its final outcome.