by Epiphany Bible Students


       “15 PALESTINIAN POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED; HAMAS OFFICES CLOSED:  Arafat Cracks Down on Militants Amid Growing Pressure for Peace.  JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority said Wednesday that it has arrested 15 security force members - the first time in nearly 16 months of conflict that Palestinian policemen were taken into custody on suspicion they participated in attacks on Israelis.

       “Israel’s armed forces chief, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, said that of 242 people killed on the Israeli side since September 2000, at least 80 were killed by members of the Palestinian security forces.

       “As part of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s enforcement of a truce with Israel, Palestinian police also closed six offices of the Islamic militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday.  The offices were centers for youth, political and social activities.  Hamas has carried out dozens of attacks, including suicide bombings, in Israel in recent years.

       “A Palestinian security chief in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, said the Palestinian Authority would not tolerate independent action by the militants.  ‘We will arrest anyone who violates Authority decisions,’ he told The Associated Press.

       “The arrests followed a weekend speech by Arafat in which he called for an end to attacks against Israel, including suicide bomb attacks, referring to them as ‘terrorist activity’ for the first time.

       “Israel has been skeptical, saying Arafat was not making enough of an effort.  Last week, Israel’s Cabinet cut ties with Arafat and declared him ‘irrelevant’ to its fight against terror attacks.  Israel’s suspicions of Arafat’s intentions were fanned again by remarks the Palestinian leader delivered in a meeting with a delegation of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem on Tuesday [Dec. 18], at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

       “Arafat quoted the Prophet Mohammed as saying, ‘one martyr in Jerusalem is worth 70 martyrs elsewhere,’ according to Israeli Arab member of parliament Ahmed Tibi, who was at the event.  Tibi said Arafat was trying to underscore the sanctity of Jerusalem.

       “Israeli security sources, meanwhile, reported a dramatic drop in Palestinian attacks, and the Israeli military noted only three relatively minor incidents overnight, including shooting on an Israeli army post in Gaza in which no one was hurt.

       “Secretary of State Colin Powell called Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday, and urged both leaders to resume security talks.  In his conversation with Arafat, Powell noted ‘some positive actions from the Palestinian side,’ said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.  But Powell also told the Palestinian leader ‘those actions need to be completed, they need to be made effective, there needs to be more actions to make an effective end to the violence,’ Boucher said.  Sharon told Powell that Arafat is still ‘giving the green light for terrorism,’ according to a statement from Sharon’s office.

       “Arafat’s truce call is backed only by a minority of Palestinians, according to a poll published Tuesday by the independent Jerusalem Media and Communications Center.  The survey indicated that 57.6 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza feel a ‘cease-fire is unjustified in the current circumstances.’  Only 34.9 percent felt a truce was justified, and 7.5 percent had no opinion.  Also, 64 percent backed suicide bomb attacks against Israelis.  The poll questioned 1,201 Palestinians in person and quoted a margin of error of three percentage points.  It was conducted between Dec. 6-9.

       “A Hamas statement rejecting the cease-fire call said suicide bombings are ‘the only weapon to preserve Palestinian rights.’  The Popular Front, which claimed responsibility for assassinating Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi on October 17, retaliation for Israel’s killing PFLP leader Mustafa Zibi, said armed resistance would go on as long as Israeli occupation continued.  (By Steve Weizman, The Associated Press, December 19, 2001)  

       “FROM THE CHAIRMAN’S DESK:  Tuesday 11 September, the day the world changed gear and the gloves came off in what will no doubt be an escalating global religious war.  World War III will most likely be a religious war, which, unless it ends with the total destruction of the adherents of the opposing religion, has no earthly solution.  This possibility opens the door for the Beast/anti-Christ and spiritually powerful end time ruler.  Only one who has demonic power will bring so called end time peace to a globe in upheaval.  The vicious, racist and unrelenting anti-Semitism of the UN Conference on Racism set the stage for evil on a global scale.  If ever bad was spoken of as good, it was here in Durban.  C.A.I. is located in Durban, South Africa and was able to stand with the Jewish community in a time of unprecedented hatred leveled against them.  Working in an alliance with other organizations, C.A.I. launched a nation wide newspaper campaign, countering the lies and filth publicly promoted by the Palestinian and Islamic groups active at the conference.  Foremost of the lies, was the distribution of the fraudulent ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ (banned in South Africa) by Arab representatives in Durban.  Commenting on this, Professor Milton Shain wrote, ‘Noone should underestimate the danger of such lies.  Just as the Protocols was exploited by Hitler and the Soviet Union, so it is now being exploited by those seeking to delegitimize Israel.  Anyone reading and believing it will see their role as saving the world.

       “’Instead, they ought to know that they are adding yet another layer of muck to civilization’s tarnished history.

       “’The sale of the Protocols in Durban will in time become a metaphor for the failure of an important international event, an occasion for understanding and dealing with the scourge of prejudice, rather than an occasion for disseminating hatred.’

       “The deafening silence of the local church concerning the vilification of Jews was sickening to the heart of any true believer.  When the silence was broken, it was generally by churches that came out in full support of the Palestinian cause, demonstrating the extent to which replacement theology has gripped the church and further, the gullibility of many Christians in terms of the biased presentation of Middle East realities.

       “It has taken the attack on the USA to peal back the covers on what is really an agenda to bring the entire world under Islam.  Yet an irreligious West continues to be blind to the fact that Muslims DO believe in their cause (global domination - one world Islamic government) and that they will kill indiscriminately to achieve this end.  Someone put it this way; ‘America must understand that Muslims are not going to exchange their beliefs for a Coke and a hamburger.’  The church must face the prophetic and spiritual facts concerning the Jewish people and the restored nation of Israel.  It must stop being duped by simplistic humanitarian arguments that are put forward by manipulative cold-blooded killers exploiting a naïve and secular West.  Christians should learn to distinguish between genuine and legitimate humanitarian concerns (including Palestinians) and those that are cynically used as weapons intended to in fact de-humanize and rob people of God-given dignity and liberties.  The church has become a pawn in an end time scenario, swept into a deception of apocalyptic proportions.

       “The ignorance of Christians with regard to their own Bible’s teaching on the Jewish people and Israel is appalling.  C.A.I. has determined that it’s major concern in South Africa at least, must be to educate, train and inform anyone who will listen.  Our new project ‘Holocaust Education’ will immediately begin to attract funding for this purpose.  As Chairman, I will be traveling extensively around South Africa, holding seminars, radio and TV interviews during the next three months, in pursuit of this goal.  As a supporter of C.A.I. I encourage you to prayerfully support this project, for the Holocaust in some respects is not over.”

(By Noel Sanderson, Christian Action for Israel, 3rd Quarter Newsletter, October 2001)

       “PALESTINE, PALESTINE, PALESTINE:  This is a Roman term which does not appear even once in the Old and New Testaments.  It was imposed by the Emperor Hadrian in the second century after crushing the Jewish revolt let by the false Messiah Bar Kochba, in order to efface the terms Judaea and Israel from the memory of mankind and the map of the world.  Hadrian even went so far as to rename Jerusalem ‘Aelia Capitolina’ with the same intention.  One can easily see which term, despite the will of the Roman emperor, has disappeared from human memory…

       “In the Bible, this country is simply called ‘Eretz’ meaning the land, and sometimes ‘Eretz Israel’ - the Land of Israel.  From the time of Abraham’s appearance in the Book of Genesis, God promised this land forever to the children of the Patriarch, the children of Israel.

       “The Roman term ‘Palestina’ means ‘land of the Philistines.’  The least one can say, if one knows anything of the Bible, is that the Old and New Testaments do not relate the history of the Philistines in Philistia, but the history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

       “In Judaism the term ‘Palestine’ is never used to describe the Holy Land.  Christianity, on the other hand, adopted it from the second century and has continued to use it until our day in the obscure intention of taking the promised land, and the hope of it, away from the Jewish people.

       “The Churches’ interest in the so-called Holy Places, and the idea of the Holy Land dear to the ever-powerful Franciscan Custody as to the Vatican authorities - all this has contributed to the development of a definite but subtle anti-Zionist bias in Christendom, especially pronounced among the Church hierarchy in Jerusalem.” 

(Claude Duvernoy, international founder C.A.I. Christian Action for Israel, October 2001)

       ISLAM AT THE HEART OF WORLD TERROR:  “Allah shall make the Moslem rule over the Jew, we will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv and in Natanya in the righteousness of Allah against this riff-raff, we will fight against them and rule over them until the Jew will hide behind the trees and stones and the tree and stone will say: ‘Moslem!  Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!’

       “We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and Jaffa as conquerors, and Haifa as conquerors and Ashkelon as conquerors, we are certain that the victory is quickly coming, as we bless anyone who rises against a soldier, we bless all those who educate their children to Jihad and to martyrdom; blessings to him who shoots a bullet into the head of a Jew…

       “I heard a youth say, ‘Oh, Sheikh, I am now 14 years old.  I have 4 more years and then I will go to blow myself up among Allah’s enemies, I will blow myself up among the Jews.’”

       “I said to him, ‘Allah should let you merit martyrdom and let me merit martyrdom…’  All weapons must be aimed at the Jews, at the enemies of Allah, the cursed nation in the Koran, whom the Koran describes as monkeys and pigs, worshippers of the calf and idol worshippers.”

(Selections from Official Palestinian Authority TV, provided by Palestinian Media Watch, Arutz-7 Newsletter, August 2001)

       Extract from:  Key statement delivered by Israel to United Nation’s World Conference against Racism in Duban, South Africa:  “If slavery is one form of racist atrocity, anti-Semitism is another.  And by anti-Semitism, let us be clear, we mean the hatred of Jews.  The word ‘anti-Semitism’ was deliberately coined in 1879 by Wilhelm Man, an anti-Jewish racist in Germany, to replace the term judenhass, Jew-hatred, which had gone out of favor.  It has always, and only, been used to describe hatred and discrimination directed at Jews.  Attempts to eradicate the plain meaning of the word are not only anti-Semitic, indeed they are anti-semantic.

       “Those uncomfortable recognizing the existence of anti-Semitism not only try to redefine the term, they try to deny that it is different from any other form of discrimination.  But it is a unique form of hatred.  It is directed at those of particular birth, irrespective of their faith, and those of particular faith, irrespective of their birth.  It is the oldest and most persistent form of group hatred; in our century this ultimate hatred has led to the ultimate crime, the Holocaust.

       “But anti-Semitism goes far beyond hatred of Jews.  It has arisen where Jews have never lived, and survives where only Jewish cemeteries remain.  And while Jews may be the first to suffer from its influence, they have rarely been the last.

       “Anti-Semitism reveals the inner corruption of a society, because at its root it is fueled by a rejection of the humane and moral values the Jewish people bequeathed to the world.  As Anne Frank, the Jewish schoolgirl in hiding from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam, wrote in her Diary:  ‘If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.  Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all people learn good, and for that reason only do we now suffer.’”  (Christian Action for Israel, 3rd Quarter Newsletter, October 2001)

       “Jewish school burns Bible:  JERUSALEM - A Jewish religious school expressed regret Tuesday for publicly burning a copy of the New Testament, saying it was just trying to protect its students from efforts to convert them to Christianity.  A spokeswoman for Orot, a public school in the town of Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem, said a teacher held the outdoor book burning for his sixth-grade class in early December, destroying a Christian Bible that a missionary gave to a pupil.  Proselytizing minors is a criminal offense in Israel.”

(World news to Note, Orlando Sentinel, December 26, 2001)

       “’THOSE WHO OPEN FIRE ON ISRAELIS ARE NOT TERRORISTS’:  Tafik Tirawi, Palestinian head of intelligence in the West Bank district of the Palestinian National Authority, was asked on The Voice of Palestine Radio (October 1) about Israel’s demand that he arrest terrorists, according to a list that Israel Foreign Minister Shimon Peres handed to Yassir Arafat on their September 26th meeting in Gaza.

       “Tirawi responded by saying that ‘there are no terrorists.  We will arrest no one.  Those who open fire on Israelis are not terrorists.  It is the Israelis who are terrorists.  We say to the Israelis that your state is the terrorist state that opens fire on our people.  You are first requires [sic] to arrest your settlers and soldiers.  We gave you a list of real terrorists whom you have yet to arrest… Arik Sharon used terror in killing at Deir Yassin, killing Egyptian prisoners, killing Palestinians in Sabra/Shatilla.’”  (Israel Resource News Agency, October 1, 2001)

       “THE U.S. DECLARES WAR - BUT ASKS ISRAEL TO SURRENDER:  Americans For A Safe Israel/AFSI endorses Vice-President Dick Cheney’s militant position on Hezbullah as reported in Yediot Acharanot and Arutz Sheva, and denounces that of Secretary of State Colin Powell, who continues to pressure Israel to meet with Arafat, the master terrorist and teacher of the suicide bombers.

       “The Vice-President and Pentagon officials ‘favor expanding the American military option, and want to add Hezbullah in Lebanon and even Iraq to the list of military targets.’  AFSI supports this policy, noting Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to the House Government Reform Committee on September 20 where he said, ‘The Palestinian groups cooperate closely with Hezbullah, which in turn links them to Syria, Iran and bin Laden.’  Netanyahu cited Israel’s ‘hasty withdrawal from Lebanon’ as one which was glorified as a great Muslin victory by the Syrain-backed Hezbullah.’

       “Herbert Zweibon, AFSI’s chairman, states, ‘In a war against terror, we should not be enlisting terrorists to fight by our side.  We reject the request of Secretary of State Colin Powell asking Israel to meet once again with Arafat - in effect, surrendering to terror.’  Zweibon continued, ‘Israel has been fighting terrorism for several decades.  Prime Minister Sharon’s characterization of Yasir Arafat as Israel’s bin Laden is accurate.’

       “In conclusion, AFSI’s chairman asserts, ‘Israel must be encouraged to defeat radical Islamic terrorism within its borders.  We believe that the President of the United States has the obligation to clarify for the American people who are terrorists and those who host them.  We trust that he will choose the Cheney war option over the Powell surrender plan.’  Americans For A Safe Israel/AFSI urges all those who support our position to contact President George W. Bush at the White House:  Tel. 2022-456-1414; Fax; 202-456-2461.   Please let him know that it is inconceivable that America fight a war against terrorism while asking Israel to surrender to those very same terrorists.”  (The Jewish Press, October 5, 2001)

       “ONE MAN’S TERRORIST:  September 11 changed U.S. attitudes forever toward

terrorism, with a single exception: Suicide bombings in Israel.  The Bush Administration said they were terrible but the blame for ‘violence’ was still said to lay with both sides.  Now even that moral equivalence may be vanishing in the White House, with potentially helpful long-term consequences.

       “After Hamas suicide bombers killed 25 Israelis and injured some 200 over the weekend, the White House responded to Israeli reprisals by saying, ‘Israel has a right to defend itself.’  A day later President Bush went further, freezing the assets of a U.S.-based charity called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which he accused of funding Hamas.

       “The about-face is an encouraging sign that the Bush Administration understands that one man’s terrorist is… another man’s terrorist.  We also hope it’s a sign the White House is breaking with a decade-long U.S. led ‘peace’ process that has now produced the most Arab-Israeli violence in a generation.  A further sign of progress would be if Mr. Bush changed the current Mideast mission of U.S. envoy and retired Gen. Anthony Zinni; instead of hoping he can resurrect a forlorn process, he might first try to get the Arabs to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

       “Until even that basic standard is met, how can there be something called ‘peace’?  Yet only two Arab states, Jordan and Egypt, have done so.  Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority employs textbooks with maps that do not depict Israel at all, even as a disputed territory.  And the PLO Charter still declares: ‘The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void, whatever time has elapsed.’

       “This Charter has never been amended, despite Arafat’s promises in signing the Oslo Accords in 1993.  Bill Clinton’s 1998 visit to the PLO meeting in Gaza, where the Charter was supposedly changed, was in fact a sham; it isn’t legal by the PLO’s own rules and most members don’t recognize it.

       “In this context, Arafat’s routine pledge to round up the usual Hamas suspects can hardly be trusted.  These are the same people he promised to control as part of Oslo.  Instead he released most of them from jail last year when he began the Second Intifada.  Arafat still speaks, and has since 1974, of a plan of ‘phases’ to destroy Israel entirely from any base he can establish in Palestine.  Amid the current terrorism, and after Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s historic offer for a Palestinian state, Oslo looks merely like one more part of this long-term strategy.

       “Which is why it’s understandable if Israel now takes more forceful security moves.  Disarming the Palestinian police that was created under Oslo would seem to be a logical step.  The U.S. would never tolerate an armed camp of suicide bombers on its own doorstep.  Expelling Arafat the way Jordan did in 1970 would also make sense.

       “The question is whether such moves would prompt the Bush Administration to return to its earlier blame-both-sides rhetoric.  We’ve always suspected that this posture was partly tactical, designed to appease the coalition Mr. Bush wants to maintain in the war against terrorism.  But Hamas’s continued terror has exposed that stand’s moral and strategic inconsistency.  As New York Senator Chuck Schumer has put it, ‘The PLO is the same as the Taliban, which aids, abets and provides safe haven for terrorists.’

       “A peace in Palestine may still be possible one day, and the U.S. efforts on its behalf since Oslo have been legion.  But after eight years and hundreds of deaths, more Israelis have understandably, concluded that that process is over.  We hope the Bush Administration now finally agrees.”  (The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2001)

       “TERRORIST LABEL RILES PALESTINIANS:  If the U.S. war targets them, ‘freedom fighters’ said they will target Americans.  GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - As Arab radicals continue to bomb Israeli targets, leaders of militant Palestinian organizations say they are freedom fighters, not terrorists.  But they warn they will target Americans as well as Israelis if the United States extends its war on terrorism to them.

       “’Our war is with Israel,’ said Abdel Hakim Masalma, a spokesman in the West Bank for Islamic Jihad, generally considered the most militant Palestinian group.  ‘But if the United States get in our way, then all of America will become a target.’

       “Masalma’s warning was echoed by people throughout the region who argued that their organizations are fighting a war against an occupying state and are not attacking Americans or U.S. interests.

       “’Hamas a terrorist organization?’ exclaimed Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the Gaza-based spiritual leader of Hamas, considered the most popular Islamic group among Palestinians.  ‘I reject this classification totally.  We’re here fighting an occupation, settlements, a war against us.  We are resisting against an occupation, and we are fighting for our freedom.’

       “Officials of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah insist they have not targeted Americans in years, and did so in Lebanon in the 1980s only because U.S. troops had been injected into the Lebanese civil war.

       “Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, a Shiite scholar who is considered Hezbollah’s founding father, said Hezbollah is no different from other resistance groups in history.

       “’If we are to judge these freedom fighters as terrorists, then we should also judge the French who fought against the Nazis during the world war as terrorists,’ he said.  ‘Maybe we should judge the Americans who fought against British colonialism as terrorists.’

       “The Bush administration has not said whether it will include Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah in its war on terrorism.  But the militant Islamic organizations are on the administration’s list of ‘terrorist organizations with a global reach,’ and Israeli officials and supporters are lobbying hard to have the groups included because their suicide bombings have killed scores of innocent people, including at a disco in Tel Aviv and a pizzeria in Jerusalem.

       “Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad counter they’ve confined their attacks to Israel, which they accuse of trying to exterminate the Palestinian people.  They say they have not attacked Americans or American interests in the region and have called on the United States to be an honest broker between the Palestinians and Israelis.”

(By Joyce M. Davis, Knight Ridder Newspapers, December 1, 2001)

       “A LOT OF LIGHT UNTO MANY NATIONS:  When Golda Meir was Israel’s foreign minister in the late 1950s she figured that sub-Saharan Africa’s newly independent countries offered the Jewish state a diplomatic frontier that waited to be conquered.  Israel, she said, could scarcely compete with its enemies’ mineral wealth, but it had plenty to offer as a consultant and aide in anything and everything from health administration and university building to road construction and irrigation techniques.

       “Determined to link Israel’s experience with Africa’s dire need for state-building expertise, the Foreign Ministry established a special foreign-aid arm that trains professionals across the developing world, both by bringing them to Israel and by sending Israeli experts to their countries.

       “Known by its Hebrew acronym MASHAV (which stands for the Center for International Cooperation), this agency operated in 130 countries last year, from Latin America to Central Asia.  The department also oversaw Israeli aid to international disaster relief efforts like those that followed last year’s earthquakes in Turkey and India.  Its frameworks trained 97,000 people abroad and 76,000 in Israel last year alone.  At the same time MASHAV also works on launching physical projects abroad, like the advanced medical installations it set up recently in Ukraine, Eritres, and Mauritania.

       “MASHAV was also active in promoting Israeli-Arab cooperation, and trained more than 1,000 people from across the Arab world, including the Palestinian Authority.

(International Jerusalem Post Staff, October 5, 2001)

. “Israel draws Argentine Jews:  BEN GURION AIRPORT, Israel - Seeking refuge from economic crisis and social unrest in turbulent Argentina, 63 Argentine immigrants arrived in Israel on Tuesday, preferring Israel’s unstable security climate to Argentina’s financial woes.  The immigrants are the first of a wave of Jewish Argentines expected to arrive since simmering discontent with the country’s economy erupted in street protests last week.”

(World News to Note, Orlando Sentinel, December 26, 2001)

       “100+ YEARS OF ZIONISM AND 50+ YEARS OF ISRAEL - WHAT CAN THE WORLD LEARN FROM IT?  With Israel once again under attack, engaged for over one year in the Al-Aksa Intifada, it is time to reflect on the singular success of the Jewish state.  Political Zionism was started in 1894 by Theodor Herzl, a journalist and thoroughly assimilated Austrian Jew, who was assigned by his Vienna paper to cover the notorious Dreyfus trial in France.  The experience of seeing this Jewish officer being railroaded to a life sentence on Devil’s Island led him to the recognition that life for Jews in Europe was untenable and that the solution of the ‘Jewish problem’ lay in the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

       “The Birth of a Dream:  The return to Zion had for 2,000 years been the dream of Europe’s dispersed Jews, the only hope in their miserable lives.  ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ had always been the watchword.  But nothing was done to bring this dream to reality.  Theodor Herzl organized the first Zionist Congress in Basel (Switzerland) in 1897 and political Zionism was born.

       “The concept of creating a new nation in what was then a sparsely-settled country was something totally new, never before attempted in the history of mankind.  But Herzl’s vision fired up world Jewry and especially the Jews of eastern Europe, who were despairing under the yoke of Russian oppression and recurring pogroms.  Energized by Zionist aspirations, British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour issued his famous Declaration in 1917, by which Palestine was established as a national home for the Jewish people.  In 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine.  Regrettably, and contrary to the Balfour Declaration and the requirement of the Mandate, Britain decided that the provisions for setting up a Jewish national home would not apply east of the Jordan River.  That area constituted three-fourths of the territory of the Mandate and eventually became the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.  Only one-quarter of Palestine remained to fulfill the Jewish dream.

       “A Nation is Born and Succeeds:  The modern state of Israel was founded in May 1948, just over 53 years ago - fifty years after Herzl formulated the concept.  Immediately upon its creation, the country was invaded by the armies of five Arab countries.  With a total Jewish population of only about 650,000, and with limited armaments and resources, the ragtag army of Israel defeated the combined might of the aggressors and established itself firmly within its boundaries.  Transjordan (now renamed Jordan) stayed in possession of Judea/Samaria (now known as the ‘West Bank’) and the eastern part of Jerusalem.  Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip.  The price was very high.  In this bloodiest of wars imposed on Israel, over 6,000 citizen-soldiers died - over 1% of the population.  It is as if the United States were to suffer a loss of close to 3 million people!  It was not the only war that its neighbors visited on Israel.  In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel once again prevailed; it repossessed Judea/Samaria (the ‘West Bank’), the eastern part of Jerusalem, and conquered the vast Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.  And once more, in 1973, the Arabs tried to destroy Israel in the Yom Kippur War.  Once more, they suffered defeat.  Despite being under constant attack and siege and having suffered over 20,000 dead in those defensive wars, Israel created social and political systems and an economy that continues to amaze experts worldwide.  Israel is the only truly democratic country in the entire Middle East, with governmental structure and institutions comparable to those of the United States.  Its economy - despite the enormous defense expenditures mandated by the aggressiveness of its neighbors and despite the effort and expense of having absorbed more than 2.5 million immigrants (four times the population at the creation of the state) - can only be described as a miracle of human accomplishment.  Virtually everything - infrastructure such as roads, railroads, ports, airports, water carriers, electricity stations and distribution networks - had to be built from a minimal base.  Today, Israel’s economy is booming.  It is a leader in high-tech technology; it has created one of the most advanced agricultural systems in the world; it is one of world leaders in economic growth rate; it has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world; and it is the world leader in exports per capita.

       “We have in this century seen the demise of many ‘isms,’ the most prominent failures being those of Communism and Nazism.  But Zionism, the national movement of the Jewish people, has flourished despite incredible obstacles - to an extent that the visionary Theodor Herzl could not have possible imagined 100 years ago.  One would think that the world, especially the emerging nations, would wish to learn from Israel’s example, so as to emulate its achievements.  Unfortunately, almost the exact opposite is the case.  Goaded by the Arab nations, inalterably hostile to Israel and single-mindedly dedicated to its destruction, the United Nations has offered more than 100 resolutions censuring and condemning Israel’s actions.”

(Facts and Logic About the Middle East, U.S. News & World Report, October 29, 2001)


       Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the many beautiful Christmas cards expressing love and prayers.  Be assured that our warm Christian love and prayers are ever with you.  We wish for all our readers that they will grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord for a blessed New Year, as “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18)

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The Memorial for 2002 is on Tuesday, March 26, after six p.m.