by Epiphany Bible Students


In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. (Gen. 15:18)

And this became the land of Israel; all the land from the Nile River through what is now Jordan, some of Saudi Arabia, parts of Syria and a sliver of Iraq. Just think they would own a good part of the world’s oil. But in those days oil was of very little use and for the most part it just spoiled the water. There was no Palestine.

When the Jews migrated into Egypt in a time of severe drought they eventually were taken prisoner and made slaves. God commissioned Moses to bring them out of there back into the Land of “Promise.” In coming years they became a great nation under Kings David and Solomon.  There was no Palestine.

There were the Philistines from the Aegean, sailors, artists, traders and warriors. Towards the end of the thirteenth century, B.C., this immigrant people arrived in the eastern Mediterranean and occupied the southern coast of Israel incorporating the area now known as Gaza. They certainly were not Palestinians.

Evidence from archaeological excavations suggests that these people were an advanced culture beyond the Israelites. Philistine arti-facts, such as elaborately decorated pottery, indicate that these people maintained contact with other civilizations and suggest that the Philistines were involved in trade. Excavations of Philistine sites show settlements that reflect large, well-planned, fortified cities and cult centers, and it is even surmised that the Philistines had knowledge of iron working. They were a thorn in Israel’s side. They were better fighters as a rule with advanced weap-ons over the Jews. They were finally con-quered and subdued by King David. Still there was no Palestine.

When the Roman Empire finally gave up on trying to keep the Israelites under control, they destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. This was about the middle of the 1st Century AD. They circled the city with crosses on which hung crucified Jews and they dispersed most of the rest of them all over the world. They renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina” and changed the name of Israel to “Philestina.” Jerusalem’s new name never took and Philistina gradually became Palestine. There were still more Jews in the land than any other people after the dispersal, but lower class Arabs anxious to avoid the persecution of their Arab masters rushed onto the land and the trouble began. Ishmael, father of the Arabs, was called a “wild man.” Only the Jews are the true Palestinians.

Ishmael was father of the Arabs. About him Gen. 16:12 says, “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

“U.S. FAILS TO RESTART MIDDLE EAST TALKS: President Obama’s Middle East envoy ended his most intensive round of shuttle diplomacy without an agreement on one of the top foreign policy goals, restarting Israeli-Palestinian talks as a step toward a regional peace.

“U.S. officials had hoped to coax enough concessions to help Obama announce a region-al peace initiative. The timing is sensitive because a fresh round of talks on Palestinian statehood could bolster the United States in a looming showdown with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

“But the American envoy, George Mitchell, left the region after six days of talks failed to bridge gaps over several issues, notably Israel’s expansion of settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.

“U.S. officials said mediation would continue even if they do not realize the hope of a meeting next week among Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

 “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the administration is ‘very deter-mined’ to push for a peace accord but cannot impose a solution.

“‘We are going to do all we can to persuade, cajole, encourage the parties them-selves to make that agreement,’ she said Friday.” (Excerpts of Richard Boudreaux and Paul Richter, Tribune Newspapers, September 19, 2009)   

“NUCLEAR REBUKE: VIENNA ─ Over Western objections, a global nuclear confer-ence on Friday passed a resolution criticizing Israel and its atomic program. Of delegations present at the international Atomic Energy Agency, 49 voted for the resolution, 45 against and 16 abstained.”

(Associated Press, September 19, 2009)

“HAMAS OFFERING ISRAEL THE PEACE OF THE GRAVE: WASHINGTON ─ The Times interviewed Hamas leader Khaled Meshal at his Damascus headquarters. Mirabile dictu, he offered a peace plan with a two-state solution, except the offer is not peace but a truce that expires after 10 years. Meaning that after Israel has fatally weakened itself by settling millions of hostile Arab refugees in its midst, and after a decade of Hamas arming itself within a Palestinian state that narrows Israel to eight miles wide ─ Hamas restarts the war against a country it remains pledged to eradicate. There is a phrase for such a peace: the peace of the grave.

“Hamas knows what to do. Yasser Arafat wrote the playbook. With the 1993 Oslo accords, he showed what can be achieved with a fake peace treaty with Israel ─ universal diplomatic recognition, billions of dollars of aid, and control of Gaza and the West Bank, which Arafat turned into an armed camp.

“In return for a signature, he created in the Palestinian territories the capacity to carry on the war against Israel that the Arab states had begun in 1948 but had given up after the bloody hell of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“Meshal sees the opportunity. Not only is the Obama administration reaching out to its erstwhile enemies in the region, but it begins its term by wagging an angry finger at Israel over the Netanyahu government’s ostensible refusal to accept a two-state solution.

“Of all the phony fights to pick with Israel. No Israeli government would turn down a two-state solution in which the Palestinians accepted territorial compromise and genuine peace with a Jewish state. Netanyahu’s own defense minister, Ehud Barak, offered precisely such a deal in 2000.

“The Palestinian response (for those who have forgotten) was: No. Nine weeks later Arafat unleashed a savage terror war that killed 1,000 Israelis.

“Netanyahu is reluctant to agree to a Palestinian state before he knows what kind of state it will be. That prudence should be shared by anyone who’s been sentient the last three years.

“The Palestinians already have a state, an independent territory with not an Israeli settler or soldier living on it. It’s called Gaza ─a terror base, Islamist in nature, Iranian-allied, militant and aggressive, that has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians.

“If this is what a West Bank state is going to be, it would be madness for Israel or America or Jordan or Egypt or any other moderate Arab country to accept such a two-state solution.

“Which is why Netanyahu insists that the Palestinian Authority first build institutions to anchor a state that could actually carry out its responsibilities to keep the peace.

“Meshal’s gambit to dress up perpetual war as a two-state peace is yet another iteration of the Palestinian rejectionist tragedy. In its previous incarnation, Arafat lulled Israel and the Clinton administration with talk of peace while he methodically prepared his people for war.

“Arafat waited seven years to tear up his phony peace. Meshal’s innovation? Ten ─ then blood.”

(By Charles Krauthammer, Orlando Sentinel, May 10, 2009)

“CALL TO REEXAMINE TWO-STATE SOLUTION: An American plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within two years may lead to the establishment of ‘Hamastan in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria],’ Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon said during an event at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The peace process may take up to five years, Yaalon said, adding that ‘instant peace’ will fail because of realities on the ground. The minister called for a reexamination of some basic assumptions underlying the peace process, including the two-state vision ostensibly being the only viable solution, and the perception that Israel’s ‘occupation’ and settlement activity constitute major obstacles for peace.

“‘These assumptions stood behind the Oslo process, and its failure indicates that they deserve to be reexamined,’ Yaalon said. ‘Such examination will reveal that, whereas the Israelis were really ready for this kind of a solution, including myself, the Palestinians do not accept that ‘the two-state solution’ refers to two states for two peoples. In their view, one state should be the Palestinian state and the national identity of the other state should remain undefined, so that in the future, it can become a Palestinian state as well,’ he said.

“Israel wishes to keep ‘all options’ open in respect to the character of the future Palestinian entity, he said, adding that just like the Americans, Israel believes in honesty between friends. Yaalon also proposed a different ‘Road Map’ en route to separation from the Palestinians that would not threaten Israel, focusing on reforms in five key areas: Palestinian education, economy, politics, law and order, and security.

“‘We believe that an almost exclusively top-down approach that characterized the way the Palestinian issue was handled under the Oslo and Annapolis processes should be replaced by a determined performance-based, bottom-up approach that characterized the Road Map,’ he said, adding that such approach ‘would focus first on building the necessary infrastructure for peace. We have spoken much over the past few years about dismantling the infrastructure of terror. Let us begin to talk about building an infrastructure for peace.’” (Excerpts from an article by Yitzhak Benhorin,, August 2009) 

“THE UNITED NATIONS ‘TOWER OF BABBLE’: On September 8, 2001, Durban I voted to label Zionism as racism. The United States and Israel walked out. Those nations who had their delegates remain, in one way or another, gave their approval to declaring Israel the only racist nation on earth. That such an indictment was possible under the covering of a United Nations sanctioned event makes the organizing body appear to be out of touch, biased, and manipulated ─ out of touch with the reality in the world today and biased towards the single goal of stigmatizing the name and reputation of Israel.

“Now it is 2009, and Durban II gathered in an attempt to confirm the finding of 2001. Durban II chose to meet in the same week Israel observed Holocaust Memorial Day (April 21). Some might see that to be timely programming. Others would have reason to consider the timing to be insensitive and obscene.

“Durban II, launched by the UN in August 2008, established a committee to process a two-year plan, which culminated in the Durban Review Conference held in Geneva. Leading the conference prep commit-tee were Libya as chair, Cuba as rapporteur (reporter), and Iran as vice-chair. This chosen terror trio would signal warning to anyone with a normal IQ. When leaders from terror states are elevated to executive status in a project commissioned to establish democratic standards and individual rights, one can merely ponder the viability, common-sense, or value of the umbrella organization which host them.”

(By Ron Ross, Dispatch From Jerusalem, June 2009)

“EJC: GREEK COURT REVERSAL STUNS: “‘Outrage’ and ‘miscarriage of justice’ summarize the European Jewish Congress’s reactions to a Greek court which recently overturned a 2007 conviction of Holocaust-denying author Costas Plevris for his book The Jews ─ The Whole Truth. Under a Greek anti-racist statute ─ incitement to hatred and racial violence ─ Plevris had been convicted and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment plus three years probation.

“The Holocaust-denier had also been charged with ‘racial insult’ for comments such as calling Jews ‘sub-human’ and faulting ‘the civilized world that tolerated the international parasites that are called Jews.’”

(Dateline World Jewry, July-August 2009)

“KILLING BREAST CANCER IN THE DARK: An Israeli-American research team has stumbled onto a new and interesting find ─ a non-radiation-based therapy that may provide relief for an aggressive and hard to treat breast cancer cell known as HER2+, but which could also have wider applications for treating all kinds of cancer.

“Professor Zeev Gross, from the Technion [Israel Institute of Technology] has played no small role in the new research paper that shows positive results for the new therapy based on the chemical compound gallium corroles. Using a new-to-science organic chemical called a corrole, Gross was able to develop a powerful method that synthesizes these chemicals for practical use in medicine. The beauty of the new chemical compound is that it not only works in diagnostics, lighting up and showing doctors where the cancer cells are; it kills the cancer at the same time.

“Gross tells ISRAEL21c, ‘They are highly florescent. We found at the cellular level [gallium corroles were] useful for imaging, but also found it could kill cancer with high specificity and could be an alternative to chemotherapy. We were surprised. It could be used for slective killing of cancer cells… In most cases, if people want to get a closer look at a drug in vivo, they have to attach a fluorescent probe to it ─ and that turns it into a different molecule. But in our case, the active molecule we’re tracking does the fluorescing. We get to tract the original, unmodified molecule and are hence able to follow its distribution among different organs in live animals.’

“In the new study, the international team combined a gallium corrole with a protein carrier, so that the corrole would show an affinity to cancer cells. They report fewer side effects compared to other breast treatments. The Israel-US team was able to shrink breast cancer tumors at doses five times lower than standard chemo treatments (based on a drug called doxorubicin). Also, the corroles could be injected straight into the bloodstream and not into the tumor, making the treatment, if developed clinically, easier to administer.”

(Excerpt from an aricle by Karin Kloosterman,, August 2009) 

“ISRAEL’S ECONOMY SINKING: The Israeli economy officially in recession. ─ The world economic crisis has caught up with Israel, and the next few months will tell whether [Israel Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government has the ability to deal with it. In May, the government approved an economic ‘package deal’ hammered out in concert with the trade unions and employers’ representatives that commentators described as a 180-degree reversal of Netanyahu’s econom-ic promises during the election.

“According to data published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the economy slumped at a rate of 3.6% in the first quarter of 2009. The Bank of Israel forecasts that the Gross Domestic Product growth will shrink to 1.5% this year, creating the worst recession since the state was founded in 1948. Foreign investment is down by 30%, exports have fallen 46%, and imports are down 63%.

“Unemployment is also set to rise. High-tech companies are shedding jobs and Israeli start-ups acquired by U.S. giants are closing. ‘Over the past year, 13,000 industrial workers have lost their jobs, and 8,000 more employees will be fired from industrial factories by the end of 2009 unless global demand recovers,’ reported the chairman of the economics committee of the Manufacturers’ Association. The employers predict that unemployment in Israel will hit 8.7% by the end of the year, with 250,000 people out of work.

“The government’s economic ‘package deal’ is designed to soften the blow by pouring new investment into tourism and infrastructure projects to attract foreign cash and build the basis for future economic growth.”

(The Media Line, August 2009)   

“IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN: So now the veil is well and truly ripped off. All the warning signs have been there for months: Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s boiler-plate leftist agitprop about Operation Cast Lead in Gaza; Britain’s pressure on the EU to renege on the agreements it made with Israel and boycott produce from the settlements; Miliband’s statement that Jerusalem should be the capital of ‘Palestine’ as well as of Israel. Now there has been a step-change. Haaretz reports that the British government has revoked a number of arms export licenses to Israel following the Gaza war. Five export licenses have been revoked over spare parts for ships’ guns. The decision apparently resulted from heavy pressure by both members of Parliament and human rights organizations.

“The unhinged malevolence over Cast Lead can no longer be brushed off as the foamings of the far-left and its acolytes in the media, NGOs and fashionable society. This is the British government now acting to punish Israel for defending itself against relentless rocket attack by an enemy bent on its destruction.

(By Melanie Phillips, Outpost, July/August 2009) 

“ARCHAEOLOGY AS FARCE: The World Archaeological Congress chose Ramallah ─ of all places ─ for its recent international conference. The Israel Antiq-uities Authority’s deputy director Dr. Uzi Dahari accused the organization of excluding Israelis, not informing the IAA of the event and turning the proceedings into ‘little more than a political demonstration [against Israel].’

Further, Dahari noted that although it was unethical and unprofessional to visit active archaeological sites without informing the archaeologists charged with the excavation, the Congress had visited the Temple Mount and City of David Archaeological Park in Jerusalem without any such coordination, indeed with a politico-archaeological tour guide who, in the words of City of David spokesman Doron Spielman, engaged in ‘a political diatribe’ designed to ‘use archae-ology as a guise to enforce an extreme political agenda to weaken Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem.’

“Spielman observes that it is particularly ironic to hold an archaeological conference in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, when the Palestinian Authority-controlled Wakf carried out in 1999 what is likely the largest archaeological devastation in recent history, when they bulldozed and dumped 13,000 tons of archaeological earth from the Temple Mount.”

(Outpost, September 2009)   

“The following letter was sent by Menachem Begin to Ronald Reagan in September 1982:

“What some call the 'West Bank,' Mr. President, is Judea and Samaria, and this simple historic truth will never change. There are cynics who deride history. They may continue their derision as they wish, but I will stand by the truth. And the truth is that millennia ago there was a Jewish Kingdom of Judea and Samaria where our kings knelt to God, where our prophets brought forth the vision of eternal peace, where we developed a rather rich civilization which we took with us in our hearts and in our minds, on our long global trek for over 18 centuries; and, with it, we came back home. By aggressive war, by invasion, King Abdullah conquered parts of Judea and Samaria in 1948; and in a war of most legitimate self-defense in 1967, after being attacked by King Hussein, we liberated, with God’s help, that portion of our homeland.

“Geography and history have ordained that Judea and Samaria be mountainous country and that two-thirds of our population dwell in the coastal plain dominated by those mountains. From them you can hit every city, every town, each township and village and, last but not least, our principal airport in the plain below.

“Mr. President, you and I chose for the last two years to call our countries 'friends and allies.' Such being the case, a friend does not weaken a friend, an ally does not put his ally in jeopardy. This would be the inevitable consequence were the 'positions' [Begin refers here to the Reagan Plan which called on Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines] transmitted to me on August 31,1982, to become reality. I believe they won’t. ‘For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest.’ (Isaiah 62)” (Outpost, July/August 2009)

“IRAN’S BOMB: Iran is going into its familiar routine of playing the West like a fiddle (it’s opening up one of its reactors to IAEA inspection in an effort to obtain yet more time to get its nuclear weapons program up and running). Just prior to this phony ‘breakthrough’ the Konrad Adenauer founda-tion had organized a conference of Iran experts (including diplomats who had served in Teheran, former senior Iranian military offi-cers and defense and intelligence officials). British journalist Con Coughlin (no friend of Israel) reports that the consensus at the conference was that unless Iran could be prevailed on to rein in its nuclear ambitions (which they considered highly unlikely, especially given Obama’s appeasement of the mullahs) the world is heading toward calamity. With the political will to stop Iran diminishing in the West, conference participants concluded the most likely outcome was for leading Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt, to seek to acquire their own nuclear arsenals. And alas, as Coughlin writes ‘the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, which could be relied upon during the Cold War to prevent a nuclear holocaust, cannot be applied to a region in which national pride and personal honor often take precedence over the more basic human instinct for self-preservation.’” (Outpost, July/August 2009)

“MACABRE HUMOR: Human Rights Watch, which ranks with Amnesty Interna-tional in deserving a Nobel Prize in hypocrisy, has sent a delegation to raise money from that bastion of human rights Saudi Arabia. Its pitch is that it has earned the support of Saudi royals by its battles with ‘pro-Israel pressure groups in the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations.’ (Even the Saudis must wonder how Human Rights Watch could find such groups to battle in the latter two.)

“Law Professor David Bernstein says the point ‘is not that Human Rights Watch is pro-Saudi, but that it is maniacally anti-Israel. The most recent manifestation [of that hostility] is that its officers see nothing unseemly about raising funds among the elite of one of the most totalitarian nations on earth ... without the felt need to discuss any of the Saudis’ manifold human rights violations, and without apparent concern that becoming dependent on funds emanating from a brutal dictatorship leaves you vulnerable to that brutal dictatorship later cutting off the flow of funds, if you don’t ‘behave.’

“What Bernstein overlooks is that when it comes to off-the-wall attacks on Israel, Human Rights Watch can feel sure there is no danger the organization will fail to live up to donor expectations.”

(Outpost, July/August 2009)

“THE PAPER OF RECORD: The New York Times merits its famous title as the paper of record ─ only now it’s the record for obfuscation. Reporting on the Fatah Party elections on August 12, it spun the event as ‘ushering in a younger generation,’ ‘more pragmatic’ than its elders, in a better position to negotiate with Israel.

“Nary a mention that this ‘more pragmatic’ leadership endorsed the terrorist-gangster Aksa Martyrs Brigades as Fatah’s official armed wing and proclaimed that the ‘right to return’ was sacred. Nary a mention that the Fatah General Assembly decreed that Palestinian control over the entire city of Jerusalem, East and West, was a non-negotiable ‘red line.’

“The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem does not seem to differ from Fatah on the last score. Melanie Phillips notes that its website never mentions Israel. Writes Phillips: ‘As far as the U.S. Consulate is concerned, Israel’s capital city is Arab. It’s as if Israel and its Jewish identity have been airbrushed from history altogether.’”

(Outpost, July/August 2009)

“PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE MAHDI: One of the many things that religious Jews and Bible-believing Christians have held in common throughout their shared history is the fact that they are each what might be called a ‘waiting people.’ And even the least religious among Jews and Gentiles alike have been aware of just what it is both communities are waiting for ─ the Messiah.

“Only in the past decade or so, however, has knowledge of another ‘waiting people’ emerged, a third hat thrown in the messianic ring. Muslims, it seems have a messiah, too, called the Mahdi. Many in the United States and around the world who became students of Islam after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001 were shocked to discover that Muslims were expecting the Mahdi at any moment. Even more alarming was the revelation that Islamic fundamentalists saw terrorism as a legitimate means through which his arrival could be hastened.

“Any act that defies the spirit of the current age and its immoral, repressive, and materialistic lifestyle will help to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. Beginning now to inculcate the thinking of men with the ideas of moral purity and self-sacrifice as taught by the Koran will help to create the environment into which the Mahdi will emerge. Therefore, acts of defiance against Western nations that are seen as the architects of evil are viewed not only as positive but necessary. The acquisition of nuclear weapons, the elimination of Israel, the destruction of Western democracies, and an end to the United States as a superpower are all preconditions to the arrival of the Islamic savior.

“Many who ascribe to Ahmadinejad’s brand of messianism quote hadith that refer to the state of the world into which the Mahdi will come: one of ruin, spiritual darkness, and catastrophe. Even the faithful will fall away, and there will be worldwide war and chaos.

“On June 12, 2009, Ahmadinejad won a landslide victory over his opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, even though some Iranian watchers had thought that he might not be victorious this time. Some Iranian clerics had expressed disillusionment with the president, stating that he was much too open about such issues as the nuclear ambitions of the nation and its intention to wipe Israel off the map.

“A horrified international community had watched helplessly as people were murdered in the streets of Tehran. Politicians and reporters spoke of a sincere public outcry for political reform. World leaders expressed their deep concern and hope that there would be a recount of the votes, that order would be restored, and the Iranian people’s demands for change considered.

“The alarming truth may well be that Ahmadinejad and his supporters saw the riots as the fulfillment of prophecy and the rioters as the apostates spurred on by the most evil of the religious. Rather than a sincere public outcry for political reform, the reaction to Ahmadinejad’s reelection could be seen by those in power as positive proof that the president has been right all along ─ the Mahdi is about to return and Ahmadinejad is his current representative on earth. A recount would have been meaningless, since it was the Mahdi’s will that achieved his victory.”

(Excerpts by Cheryl Hauer, Dispatch from Jerusalem, October 2009)

“NATANYAHU: Rules Out More Evictions ─ ‘My government will not participate in increasing the number of evacuees ...’  The nation ‘will never make the same mistake [of evacuating citizen as it did from the Gaza Strip in 2005] again ... The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip brought us neither peace nor security. The territory has become a base for the pro-Iranian Hamas movement,’ announced before his cabinet on August 9, 2009.

“Rejects Unilateral Withdrawals ─ ‘Peace will go back to being based on reciprocity, not unilateralism.’ The Israeli leader then proceeded to outline necessary conditions for a peace deal, including Palestinians recognizing Israel ‘as the national state of the Jewish people.’

Netanyahu said the necessary conditions for a peace deal, which also include demilitarization of a future Palestinian state and resettling Palestinian refugees outside of Israel’s borders, were ‘not pre-conditions for the start of a peace process but the basic conditions for establishing a lasting and stable peace. Palestinian moderates should internalize this.’

‘Whoever sets preconditions for opening negotiation delay the peace process.’ He also reaffirmed that Israel would continue to improve the economic life for the Palestinians ‘by dismantling barriers to traffic, business and tourism ... Whoever will be with us in peace ─ will prosper’  speaking on the fourth anniversary of the 2005 Gaza Strip Disengagement.”

(Dispatch from Jerusalem, October 2009)