by Epiphany Bible Students


”For the people will dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more, he will be very gracious unto thee at thy voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.” (Isaiah 30:19)  

“PARIS:  An advertising campaign against anti-Semitism conceived by the French Jewish Students Union (UEJF) and featuring Jesus and Mary as central figures was canceled before launching on October 25, after it sparked protests from Catholics, anti-racist groups and even Jewish leaders.  Posters and newspaper ads were to show a naïve painting of Jesus and Mary with graffiti scrawled across them reading ‘Dirty Jew’ and ‘Dirty Jewess,’ respectively, with the slogan underneath, ‘anti-Semitism: Shouldn’t it concern everyone?’  Father Patrick Dubois, secretary general of the French Catholic Church’s commission for relations with Judaism and a firm supporter of French Jewry, cautioned that the public would interpret the message as anti-Christian; Monsignor Pierre d’Ornellas, deputy to Jewish-born Cardinal Jean-Marie Aron Lustiger of Paris, called for a high-level meeting with the French rabbinate; Jewish and human-rights leaders counseled that the campaign would be counterproductive.”

“DURHAM, N.C.:  Despite protests before and during, Duke University peacefully hosted the fourth annual conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement in mid-October, but a new controversy erupted immediately afterward.  An October 18 opinion column titled ‘The Jews’ in the Chronicle, Duke’s campus newspaper, blasted the ‘unprecedented outpouring of pro-Jewish, pro-Israel support in defiance of free speech at Duke’ and accused American Jews of feeling an ‘overwhelming sense of entitlement not to be criticized or offended,’ the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.  Columnist Philip Kurian also charged that Jews exploit the Holocaust for political gain.  Chronicle editor Karen Hauptman, who is herself Jewish, defended the paper’s choice to run the column as consistent with its “very broad free-speech policy.’”

“PARIS:  French Jews, who often accuse their country’s press of being one-sided about the Arab-Israeli conflict, got a pleasant surprise when journalists at Radio France International forced the resignation of their news director after he said Israel was a racist state and that Jews created their own ghettos.  Alain Menargues resigned from his post at the state-owned RFI radio station on October 18 after multiple protests from subordinates and journalists’ unions over interviews he gave when launching ‘Sharon’s Wall,’ his virulently anti-Israel book about recent Middle East events.  An RFI correspondent in Beirut and Cairo for nearly 20 years, Menagues, who had occupied his present post only since June, argued that his statements to other newspapers and radios were given as a private author and not as an RFI executive.  But subordinates said the view reflected negatively on the radio station’s mission of being impartial.  The final blow came when the French Foreign Ministry described Menargues’ statements as ‘unacceptable,’ including his assertion that the original ghetto in Venice Italy, was a Jewish idea.”         

(The three above articles are from The Jerusalem Report, November 15, 2004)

“ARAB LEAGUE CONDEMNS WI-FI INTERNET JERUSALEM SERVICE - Editor’s Note:  A joint initiative by the Jerusalem municipality, Intel, and Compumat, together with the Jerusalem Business Development Corporation, may turn the holy city into the world’s first wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) in the near future.  Users in most areas of the city will be able to surf the internet wirelessly.  We published a story about this in the Update on July 23, 2004.  The Arab League (AL) condemned the Israeli project to turn Al-Kuds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem) into a so-called Great Internet City, asserting that the aim of this project is to liquidate the Arab identity of the city and change its historical and archaeological features.

“In a statement issued on August 24, the AL alleged that the project aims to impose defacto [control] of the city in a way that serves Israeli interests under the pretext of encouraging foreign investments.  The AL alleged that the project and all of Israel’s policies contradict not only international law and resolutions, but also reflect no desire to realize a just and comprehensive peace in the region.”

(Sana-Official Syrian News Agency, Reported in Bridges For Peace Update, August 9, 2004)

Comment:  We wonder if this isn’t a forerunner of Jerusalem becoming the world capital and putting the Word forth through this internet.  No wonder the Arabs would be upset over it.

“UN’S HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH:  In a break from tradition, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism last Monday as part of a broader resolution against religious intolerance.

“Israeli officials said the inclusion of a reference to anti-Semitism in what has become an annual UN resolution on religious intolerance constitutes a historic breakthrough.  The resolution passed despite efforts by Arab countries to omit any reference to anti-Jewish bigotry amid references to Islamophobia and Christianophobia.  In years past, the resolution made no mention of anti-Semitism.

“In the resolution, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly said it ‘recognizes with deep concern the overall rise in instances of intolerance and violence directed against members of many religious communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and Christianophobia.’

“In previous years, Israel had abstained from supporting the resolution due to its failure to mention anti-Semitism.  Many pointed to the omission as one of many signs that the UN is hostile toward Israel and the Jewish people.  This year, Israel mounted a concerted campaign to have anti-Semitism included in the resolution, and officials said they were pleased with its unanimous passage.

“‘This was a historic breakthrough for Israel in this organization, which very often does not do what is right,’ said Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman.  “Its been a very, very uphill battle.’

“He credited the European Union and the Dutch president of the EU, Jan Peter Balkenende, for pushing for the anti-Semitism clause in the face of strong opposition from Arab and Muslim countries.  He also said Israeli mobilization on the issue - it was a top priority at the Foreign Ministry - helped overcome Arab efforts to ‘dilute and poison’ the resolution.

“The lesson here is that if they want to they can,’ said Gillerman of the European countries.  ‘I hope that this resolve of theirs will carry on to other resolutions.’”

(The Jerusalem Post, December 3, 2004)

“JEW-HATRED ON THE RISE DOWN UNDER:  Attacks on Jews in Australia have surged to record levels over the past 12 months, thanks in part to the growing use of the internet by anti-Semitic groups, a report released by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has found.  In its annual report on anti-Semitism in Australia, Australian Jewry’s umbrella organization said there were 50% more anti-Jewish attacks between October 2003 and September 2004 than the average recorded over the past 14 years.  In one incident the words’ kill the Jews’ were burned into the lawn outside the state parliament of Tasmania; other incidents involved anti-Semitic graffiti and attacks on synagogues, individuals, and property.

“A total of 455 such attacks took place during the recorded period, marking the third year in a row that the number has tolled 450.”

(The Jerusalem Post, December 8, 2004)

“BBC POLL:  Nearly half of Britons never heard of Auschwitz.  LONDON - Nearly half of Britons in a poll said they had never heard of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in southern Poland that became a symbol of the Holocaust and the attempted genocide of the Jews.

“The results of the survey conducted by the BBC were released December 2, as Britain’s public broadcaster announced it will show a new series next January to mark the 60th anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation.

“‘We were amazed by the results of our audience research,’ said Laurence Rees, a producer for the series, Auschwitz: the Nazi and the Final Solution.

“‘Its easy to presume that the horrors of Auschwitz are engrained in the nations collective memory, but obviously this is not the case,’ Rees said.

“The survey found that 45 percent of those polled had not heard of Auschwitz.  Historians estimate that anywhere from one million to three million people, about 90 percent of them Jews, were killed there.

“Among women and people younger than 35, 60 percent had never heard of Auschwitz, despite the recent popularity of films such as Schindler’s List, Life is Beautiful and The Pianist, which depict the atrocities of the Holocaust.

“‘The name Auschwitz is quite rightly a byword for horror, but the problem with thinking about horror is that we naturally turn away from it,’ Rees said.

“The BBC said the research was based on a nationally representative postal survey of 4,000 adults 16 and older.  The broadcaster is marking Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, with a variety of television and radio programs.  The Auschwitz series for BBC2 is based on nearly 100 interviews with survivors and perpetrators and is the results of three years research with the assistance of professors Ian Kershaw and David Cesarani.”

(By Reuters, Dec. 2, 2004)

 “Most of the food ingredients sold in the U.S. today are Kosher certified.  Of some $500 billion in ingredient items sold by U. S. manufacturers, over 70% are kosher certified.  A recent Food Expo in Las Vegas attracted 20,000 attendees, and 1,000 exhibiting companies, many seeking kosher certification.  Many of the companies were from the Far East including China where hundreds of companies are now kosher certified.”

 (The Jewish Press, Fall 2004)

“Hundreds of Spanish Hidden Jews have discovered their ancestors were Jews from Portugal and Spain and were forced to convert years ago.  They are now moving to Israel and being absorbed back to the Jewish people after a modified conversion to Judaism.” 

(The Jewish Press, Fall 2004)

“MIDEST OPTIMISM GIVES RISE TO HOPES:  Palestinians shifting support away from more violent faction. GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP - A rare optimism is taking hold among Palestinians amid signs of a possible breakthrough in the long-deadlocked Mideast peace process.

“Palestinians are looking at next month’s election to replace Yasser Arafat as a new opportunity for peace and perhaps the first real democracy in the Arab world - and their support for violent militants appears to be waning, polls say.

 “‘We want to live freely, to live like other human beings, to feel peace and security, not to worry about the future of my sons,’ said Hisham Karm, 33, speaking on a Gaza street.

“The new hopes for peace - stronger than at any time since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising four years ago - are shared by Israel and much of the international community.

“In recent days, Egypt’s president praised Ariel Sharon, Israel offered the Palestinians ‘quiet for quiet,’ even Syria said its ready to talk.

Still, the intifada, or uprising, isn’t over, peace talks are a ways off, and life for most Palestinians is as hard as ever.

“Both Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have taken to dousing the euphoria, explaining that no magical peace leap is at hand.

“Yet the optimism itself is changing the region’s political dynamics, bolstering moderate voices among the Palestinians, and making it easier for Sharon to push through his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements next year.

“Sharon invited the dovish Labor Party to join his flagging coalition yesterday, a day after a majority of 3,000 leaders of his own Likud Party voted to let it happen.  Such a victory would have likely eluded Sharon only weeks ago, when gloom reigned supreme in the Middle East and hard-liners often held sway.

“Two polls this month showed a drop in support for the militant Hamas group and an increase for the mainstream Fatah movement.  The independent Jerusalem Media and Communication center, in a survey of 1,200 people (with 3 percent error margin), found that 52 percent of Palestinians now oppose militant attacks on Israelis, compared with 26.9 percent in June.

“Palestinian legislators are at work amending electoral laws that would make it easier for militants to participate in politics, hoping that a stake in the system will persuade them to stop attacks.

“‘There is a feeling among the Palestinians that everybody has to shoulder his responsibility now,’ said Tawfek Abu Khoussa, the chairman of the chairman of the journalists’ syndicate in the Gaza Strip.

“Diplomats from around the world have descended upon Israel and the Palestinain territories, hoping to build on the peace momentum.  The exhilaration hit a fever pitch this month when Mubarak described Sharon as the Palestinians’ best chance for peace, then preceded to release accused Israeli Arab spy Azzam Azzam, receiving six Egyptian students jailed by Israel in exchange.

”Israel and the United States had refused to talk to Arafat because of what they said was his support for terror.  His death on November 11 removed what they called the main obstacle to negotiations.”

(The Associated Press, December 11, 2004)

Comment: There is a saying that the Palestinians never miss and opportunity to miss an opportunity.  Recently the new interim Palestinian leaders have repeated their demand for Jerusalem.  So now it seems another opportunity may be missed by the Palesstinians.

“Did You Know Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) believed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage?  It was Lincoln who opened the U.S. chaplainry to Jews as well as Christians.  General Ulysses Grant ordered the expulsion of all Jews as a class within 24 hours from Department of Tennessee, comprising parts of Kentucky and Mississippi, but President Lincoln revoked Grant’s order.”

(Bible Light International Summer 2004)

“FEARS:  New fears of an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence in England have been raised by recent arson attacks on two synagogues in north London, one of which destroyed prayer books previously rescued from the Holocaust.  More than one hundred synagogues in Britain have been desecrated since last year.”

(World Jewry, July 2004)                                                       

“Israel was ranked 51st for economic freedom in a report released by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, DC.  In ‘Economic Freedom of The World: 2004 Annual Report,’ Israel received a score of 6.6 out of 10 compared with 6.5 a year earlier, when it came in 53rd.  This is the eighth edition of the report, which ranks 123 nations for 2002, the most recent year for which data was available.  It measures economic freedom in five main categories: the size of government, the legal structure of property rights, access to sound money, the freedom to trade internationally, and the regulation of credit, labor, and business.”

(Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2004)

“The number of Israeli civilians killed in terror attacks in the last four years is nearly equal to the number killed by terrorists in the preceding 53 years, Shin Bet (Israeli security service) head Avi Dichter told the cabinet recently.  Dichter told the cabinet that from November 29, 1947, when the United Nations voted for partition and Jewish statehood, until the start of the current violence in September 2000, some 755 Israelis were killed in terror actions here or abroad.  Some 674 Israeli civilians have been killed since September 2000.  Dichter said that there has been a substantial increase in the Palestinian use of women and children under 18 to carry out attacks.  In 2004 they account for some 81 percent of attack perpetrators.  Since January 2003, Israel has succeeded in foiling 70 percent of the attempted suicide attacks.”

(Jerusalem Post, August 8, 2004) 

“DISTURBING:  According to a recent survey, one in five British citizens would oppose having a Jewish prime minister, and believe that Jews have too great an influence in the United Kingdom.  One in seven of those polled   also thinks    that   accounts    of    the Holocaust are exaggerated.”

(World Jewry, September-October 2004)

”A recent educational program on Palestinian Authority (PA) TV taught that the Jews of biblical history and those of today have no connection, and that accepted Jewish history in the Land of Israel is essentially ‘Arab History.’  Palestinian Media Watch, a watchdog organization monitoring PA media, reports that two senior historians, guest on the television program, went to great lengths to deny ancient Jewish history and erase the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel while at the same time, describing a contrived ancient Palestinian Arab history and creating a historical connection to the land that never existed.”

(Arutz Sheva, July 8, 2004)

“PALESTINIAN VIEW:  We’re standing in the way of peace.  Three years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Palestinians have failed to do enough to condemn the kind of Islamic extremism that caused the terrorism.

“And while, technically, some Palestinians are correct in arguing that their cause was not behind Osama bin Laden’s terrorism, they were uninvolved and they were unsupportive, a redefinition of terrorism and the rise of terrorism in the intifada place a moral burden on their backs they can’t avoid.

“Further, the failure of Palestinians to control their own Islamic extremist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, has redoubled the burden.

“Islamic fanaticism has permeated the Palestinian cause, undermining its justice and threatening Palestinian national aspirations.

“They have functioned with the tacit approval of the Muslim world, and Palestinians, who embraced Islam as the so-called official religion of the yet unachieved Palestine, have fueled the linkage.

“More than championing the principle of Palestinian justice, Palestinians must address without equivocation the terrorism that has taken place in their own name.

“That terrorism parallels the terrorism of Osama bin Laden in the eyes of the West, which has the power not only to deny Palestinian national rights, but to empower Israel’s growing right-wing government to exercise even worse acts of state-sponsored terrorism in the guise of self-defense.

“Israel would not have been able to build the wall had Palestinians not failed to rein in the terrorists who have hijacked the Palestinian cause.  Suicide bombings are immoral, and rather than undermine Israel’s actions, they only serve to reinforce world moral support for Israel’s repression.

“Israel would not have been able to expand its racist settlements had Palestinians not failed to control the free-lance terrorists who seem to dominate the current turmoil.

“Israel would not have overcome years of Palestinian advances in the world toward nationhood had Palestinians stood firm in decrying not only Israeli atrocities but also atrocities committed by Palestinians or in the Palestinians’ name.

“Many might argue this is an unfair burden.  It’s true, it is unfair.  But the Palestinian tragedy that is unfolding is worse than unfair, and unless Palestinians take serious steps to arrest the religious extremists among them, their cause will only further erode.

“Before Palestinians can even speak out against Israel’s actions, they must speak out against the actions of their own people.  They can thank the Islamist movement for placing that inevitable burden on their backs.  They can thank the rise of Islamic fanaticism for undermining their just cause.  They can thank Osama bin Laden for pushing the cause of Palestine to the back burners of the international conscience.  They can thank September 11 for making it nearly impossible to stand up and demand justice or demand that Israel’s atrocities end.

“The truth is that despite the ugliness of Israel’s wall, it has reduced Palestinian extremist suicide bombings.  The wall is not the right answer for Israel, nor will it ever guarantee true long-term security, but it is providing the answer that Palestinians have failed to provide.

“The longer Palestinians delay speaking out against the fanaticism among their own community, the worse the situation will become, and the more difficult it will be for Palestinians to achieve justice.

“Even Palestinians who embrace peace and oppose violence cannot succeed as long as the Palestinian community, the conscience of the Palestinian people, fails to stand up and denounce terrorism and suicide bombings.

“They must, as a nation, denounce Islamic fanaticism, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the instrument of these horrors, suicide bombings, or else they may be forced to surrender their historic claims for justice, compromise and peace.

“Hamas stands in the way of peace, not Israel.  The failure of the Palestinians as a nation, not individual groups, to denounce suicide bombings, stands in the way of justice.

“Israel may not want to give the Palestinians a real just peace, but Palestinians have made it easy for Israel not to do so.” 

(By Ray Hanania, Creators Syndicate)

Comment: The Palestinians are their own worst enemy.  If they could stop the suicide bombings, jihad and other atrocities against Israel, then Israel could cooperate in finding a real just peace, which is what Israel has wanted all along.

“A LOOK AT LIFE AFTER ARAFAT:  Yasser Arafat may be dead, but Arafatism lives on.  That is the crucial fact amid all the talk about resurrecting the road map to peace.  Arafat’s principal legacy is hate, his gift to the world a kind of terrorism whose techniques have been aped from Indonesia to Iraq.  Arafat was resolute in refusing to prepare his people for peace.  He used every platform - radio, TV, newspapers, the mosques, schools, even summer camps for kids - to inculcate a hatred of Jews, Israel, and the West.  The Jews, Arafat declared, ‘never lived in or ruled Palestine… They were relying on false mythological sources,’ i.e., the Bible.  Canaan, for Arafat, was not the Promised Land for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants; it was the land of banishment.  For good measure, he added that ‘there was no temple in Jerusalem,’ thus denying that Jesus ever walked there, preached there, or was crucified there.  A pox, in other words, on everyone’s house.  Pure Arafat.

“The Palestinians who mobbed his coffin represented as much the hate he had fostered as grief.  A Palestinian poll in Gaza asked whether rockets and mortar attacks on Israeli towns should continue even after Israel’s full withdrawal: 51 percent approved of more attacks.  Only 42 percent said no.  A couple of years ago, another poll found only 26 percent of Palestinians favored stopping terrorist attacks - even if they were to receive all the West Bank and Gaza, East Jerusalem, and sovereignty over the Temple Mount.  No wonder any successor to Arafat will have trouble breaking with Arafat’s rejectionist policies.

“Mannequins.  The great delusion in the West was that Arafat would lead the Palestinians to democracy and peace if only he were given more concessions.  The hope in the Oslo peace pact was that Arafat might provide security for Israel against terrorism and democracy for the Palestinians.  Instead, we ended up with neither security nor democracy.  Again, pure Arafat.  Yet even when he broke his promises, the Clinton administration refused to hold him accountable while the hundred of millions of dollars he received to improve life for Palestinians were diverted to support a terrorist network.  So now the Palestinians are to be guided, it appears, by some 10 feuding groups and their warlords who have about 40,000 guns (to say nothing of the criminal gangs that control swaths of the West Bank and Gaza).

“Symptomatic of the chaos was the murder, at a commemorative service for Arafat, of two bodyguards of Arafat’s likely successor, Mahmoud Abbas - a continuation of the enmity Arafat directed at Abbas in forcing him to step down as prime minister last year.  Abbas and his sidekick, Ahmed Qureia, are both well known to the West, but both are only mannequins in a store window.  The store itself is run by men like Bashir Nafe, Haj Ismail Jaber, Tawfik Tirawi, Jibril Rajoub, and Mohammed Dahlan.  It is they who have the guns and, so, the power.  There is no evidence that these men intend to give up either, or to crack down on terrorists and criminals.  There is danger, instead, that the Palestinian leadership that emerges will seek popularity by encouraging the terrorists and the criminals.

“What should Washington do?

“1. Alleviate the difficulties of Palestinian life and encourage Israel to identify and support moderate Palestinians who want to build legitimacy and political power.

“2. Hold Palestinians accountable.  The fatal flaw of Oslo was that violations of Palestinian obligations provided the rationale not for rebuke but for more concessions.

“3. Encourage the one positive development, namely Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s brave commitment, at the risk of his own political future, to withdraw from Gaza and from four West Bank settlements.

“4. Resist the clamor from Europe to begin political negotiations before terrorist groups are dismantled.

“5. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are right to advocate democratic ideals for the Palestinians, but we must recognize that, in the short run, we may see a Palestinian leadership even more radical than Arafat if those in charge insist on ignoring the underlying values of democracy - especially the rule of law.

“There must be no rush to push a new road map.  The emerging Palestinian leadership must prove its will and ability to transform the nation.  A democratic Palestine offers the only chance to become a peaceful neighbor to Israel instead of a terrorist entity.

“Careful, judicious leadership from Washington will have to convince Europe and the Arab countries that no single leap is likely to achieve justice and peace for all.  If George Bush takes the long view, he could become not only a war president but a peace president, too.”

(By Mortimer B. Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, November 29, 2004)



Dear Emily, Marjorie and all there,

We send our loving greetings to you all as this year comes to an end.  We hope this finds you all well and looking back on a year of God’s many blessings and sustaining strength.

Wow! How many changes in the two months since we wrote last!  You can’t take a nap or you have missed something.  We found it interesting that in the same period George W. Bush was re-elected and Arafat left the scene at last.  It reminds one of the Scripture about Israel, “I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee.”  Even if one does not agree with all of Bush’s policies, he has been supportive of Israel and kept Arafat out of the White House, so since Israel is God’s main focus for the future Kingdom that means even the U.S. elections are in that viewpoint.  Arafat, on the other hand, couldn’t even depart in peace as his funeral was chaotic.  What a mess he left for the Palestinians to try to clear up now!

In Israel every day brings a new crisis with Sharon’s now weakened government.  He has such a minority in the Knesset that he may even bring the Labor party as a partner to avoid elections.  This party is eager to get in, as they want to give away and give away more, and more of the Land!  They will certainly help Sharon to push for the “disengagement plan,” and expect more down the road.  We have to trust that God has all in His control and the great plans of man will not come to pass.  Israel is also depending more on Egypt to keep the “peace” if Israel pulls out of Gaza even allowing them to move 750 army troops to the border.  The Bible warns about depending on Egypt - “a broken reed.” (Isa. 36:6) 

Take care, Lev and Hava Bausch                                                                       (ISRAEL)