"BENJAMIN NETANYAHU – Prime Minister of Israel. The strange name of Israel's new Prime Minister is not strange in Hebrew: Benyamin ["son of my right hand"] Netanyahu ["gift of God"]." (Bible Light International, Volume 3, No. 7)
"MAKING TRACKS: Israel's Ports and Railways Authority director has announced an agreement under which the Jerusalem municipality will invest $40 million in the development of the city's rail links.
"One plan that is currently being studied is the routing of a Jerusalem rail link with Tel Aviv, with an underground train terminal and electric train service which would complete the journey between the two cities in 35 minutes." (World Jewry, May 1996)
"ISRAEL MISSING FROM THE HOLY LAND: The latest travel guide to the Holy Land, published by Alfred A. Knopf has a gaping hole. The guide, Knopf Guide to the Holy Land, boasts it has 'everything you need to know about the Holy Land,' and yet it neglects to mention Israel. 'The book wipes Israel off the map,' Tommy P. Baer, International President of B'nai B'rith, wrote to Knopf. 'The omission implies – wrongfully – that the State of Israel should not and does not exist.'" (Bridges For Peace, July/August 1996)
ISRAEL: "Investors want a piece of the Holy Land: Strong economy, chance for peace raise Israeli prosperity and attract businesses.
NEW YORK – Benjamin Gaon, the head of Israel's biggest industrial concern, is ready to deal.
"The president and chief executive of Koor Industrial searches the globe for partners who wouldn't have given him a second look just a few years ago. Now he's giving them a chance to tap into what has been one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
"Business is booming in the Holy Land, helped by a strong economy, an educated work force and promises of peace in the region. That's giving foreigners an abundance of opportunities, turning the land of milk and honey into the land of milk, honey – and money.
"Although smaller than the state of New Jersey, Israel has become attractive to investors because of its export-driven high-tech industries and increasingly prosperous, consumer-oriented population.
"Whether the success will continue depends largely on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose surprising election in May disappointed many business leaders.
"Netanyahu, a business graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, took office promising dramatic moves to open up Israel's economy. But his tough policies toward the Palestinians have placed a question mark over the Mideast peace process – an issue crucial to investor confidence." (Excerpt By Josef Federman, Associated Press, October 17, 1996)
"REPORT: Archaeologists find 3,200-year-old writing. JERUSALEM – Archaeologists have uncovered three clay tablets inscribed more than 3,200 years ago which may have been part of the royal archives of the largest city-state in ancient region of Canaan. The tablets date to the late Canaanite period, 1550 BC to 1200 BC, the Haaretz daily reported Friday. The period immediately preceded the first Israelite settlement in Canaan, which dates to 1200 BC and coincides with the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus. The report said archaeologists found the matchbox-sized tablets, inscribed in Accadian cuneiform scrip, while digging at the site of a Canaanite palace at Tel Hazor in northern Israel." (The Orlando Sentinel, July 21, 1996)
"Jews Praise Sweden's Cooperation: STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The Secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress praised Sweden on Thursday for agreeing to cooperate in the search for gold and other assets stolen by the Nazis from Holocaust victims.
"Once-secret Allied documents show that the Nazis sent gold to Sweden. The gold, some of it stolen from Jews, would be worth $150 million to $200 million at today's prices.
"World Jewish Congress Executive Director Elan Steinberg said information about Sweden emerged during a probe of Swiss banks.
"'We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in looted gold. Whether it was returned or not is immaterial. It was laundered by the Swedes,' he said during a World Jewish Congress meeting this week in Oslo, Norway.
"Although the gold was a fraction of that thought to have been laundered by Switzerland, Allied investigators said the Swedes and others should have known it was tainted.
"Swiss banks say about $32 million remains in accounts dormant after World War II, but Jewish groups claim $7 billion.
"'All gold that Germany sold after a certain date, probably from early 1943, was looted gold, since [its] own reserves... were exhausted,' said a 1946 Allied report, de-classified this year." (Excerpts from The Orlando Sentinel, November 29, 1996)
"Gold And Art Hidden By The Nazis: In the late days of World War II, the United States soldiers found a cache of art and gold hidden inside German salt mines, including fillings apparently ripped from the mouths of Holocaust victims, according to a declassified Government document.
"The document, which is dated May 10, 1945, also indicates that the cache, which included ceremonial cups used for Jewish religious observances, may have been part of a money-laundering scheme devised by Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS.
"Along with a cache of Nazi gold and art, the Americans discovered a special hoard of 'SS loot' which consisted of 200 boxes and bags.
"Each container bore a shipping tag listing the Reichsbank and the name 'Melmer.' The document stated the loot was deposited and then credited to another account that also bore a fictitious code name." (Excerpts from The New York Times, October 24, 1996)
"The Battle For Israel: Events in the Middle East remain complex and difficult. The Western alliance continues to pressure Israel to trade land for peace and the Islamic alliance with Iran as its instigator repeatedly calls for the destruction of all of Israel. The Palestinians press for greater concessions all the while declaring that their agenda remains the same as always. This is the phase by phase dismantling of the Jewish state. Naturally they only declare this in Arabic to their wider Arab constituency.
"CNN and other media giants attempted to tell the world that the liquidation clause in the PLO charter had been removed whereas it had in fact not been removed. Why the lie? Why is the world so eager to back Israel's enemies without due consideration of Israel's security?
"If we add to this the 'war talk' of Syria and Iran then the situation in the Middle East becomes even more volatile and uncertain. How do we respond to these things? The answer to these questions lies in a consideration of the following:
"1. Israel Is Uniquely 'Tied' To The God Of The Bible: Israel's existence goes back to a unique encounter with God that took place 4,000 years ago. At that time God called Abraham, a Gentile living in Ur of the Chaldees, to be the father and fountain source of this nation. This call, extended to Israel through Abraham, was for the purposes of revelation (understanding) and world redemption. This effectively meant that the nation of Israel would become the tool in the hand of God that would effectively challenge and defeat the powers of darkness. Her very calling therefore presupposed a destiny of conflict and suffering.
"Bearing the above in mind it is clear that Israel has a relationship with God that no other nation upon the face of the earth enjoys. She is God's chosen people! History affirms this choosing since the word of God is Jewish as is Jesus.
"2. Israel Has Always Been Subject To Conflict: Given that the Bible bequeaths to Israel a role that brings the light, love and saving power of God into a world of sin, fallenness, hatred and domination by powers of darkness, one would expect the forces of wickedness to assault her with every 'weapon' at their disposal. History clearly affirms this and thus much of Israel's suffering has been because of her calling and destiny.
"At the very outset when Abraham was brought into the covenant of God's blessing, the vultures – symbols of the powers of darkness – attempted to ravage and destroy the agreement. Abraham was required to chase them away! (Gen. 15:1-11) From that time onward the devil and his dark hordes have launched a never ending assault against Israel. The devil has known that hidden in her is the plan that will in the end destroy him and those who follow in his deeds. 'Salvation,' as Jesus declared, is 'of the Jews.' (John 4:22) This salvation destroys the devil and rescues those who embrace it from his tyranny! In a way conflict has been Israel's birthright.
"3. Israel Has Always Furthered God's Plan Of World Redemption In The Land Of Canaan: The land of Israel has not only formed the nation but it has thus become the 'springboard' of God's plan of world redemption. Whenever Israel returns to her ancient homeland things take place:
"(i) Another major step in God's plan to save the world is taken...
"(ii) All hell breaks out against her. The powers of darkness throw everything against her so as to prevent or frustrate the birthing of another step in the plan of God, and;
"(iii) Miracle after miracle takes place thus verifying, for those who love God and have eyes to see and ears to hear, the purposes of God.
"All three of the above are now realities before us. In the natural the situation on the ground very often appears to be beyond human ability to resolve. We who know God's Word and love Israel must recognize that the conflict is not a natural one, it is a supernatural one. The issues facing Israel will only be resolved with God's help. She came into existence supernaturally, she has existed supernaturally and she will survive supernaturally. We must have faith to believe this and encourage as many as possible to get into this prayer battle. Prayer will change events on the ground and be the 'secret weapon' that will see Israel's enemies overcome and defeated.
"This final return of the Jews to Zion will culminate with the return of the Messiah. No wonder the issues on the ground have become so complex and difficult. No wonder it appears as if all nations are being stirred up against Zion.
"Our readers are to be reminded that the powers of darkness take this last return of Israel to Canaan so seriously that Scripture affirms that three unclean spirits like frogs will go to the ends of the earth to gather all the nations against Jerusalem! (Rev. 16:12-14) The nature of this conflict is therefore great and we must not underestimate the intensity of it.
(By Malcolm Hedding, Christian Action for Israel Newsletter, 3rd Quarter 1996)
"A Jewish Observation Of The 'Third International Christian Zionist Congress': And now, just as the political arena in Israel seems to be rejecting Zionism as 'outdated,' the Christian Embassy has scheduled the Third Christian Zionist Congress to be held in Jerusalem for the purpose of declaring that Zionism is part of Divine destiny and to encourage the Jewish people to continue in that path.
"How ironic! For centuries Jews have suffered under persecution from Christians in all the lands of our Exile. Yet, after we have been returned to our homeland, we are persecuted by our own government and find Christians here who seek to comfort us, to renew our faith in Jewish destiny! They have consistently opposed every agreement with the PLO and every suggestion that Jewish land be compromised." (By Gary M Cooperberg, The Jewish Press)
"Arab Siege Against New Government In Israel: Netanyahu alluded to the renewed attacks on his government by a host of Arab leaders by mentioning the 'attempt to impose a political siege' on the new government when it first took office in June.
"Netanyahu recalled that 'when we took office we were faced with a concerted attempt by some circles in the Arab world to impose a diplomatic siege upon the new government and upon the State of Israel. This went so far that the first action we had to take was to break through this siege and to do it as quickly as possible.'" (By Sarah Henig, Jerusalem Post News, August 23, 1996)
"Peace Process Is Killing Us Softly: Benjamin Netanyahu is the last hope of the Jewish people to prevent the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. The Israeli prime minister must hold firm.
"The American Jewish establishment is of no help. In a truly shocking phenomenon, it remains hypnotized by the views of Israeli leaders that were rejected by the over-whelming majority of Israeli Jews in the May elections. The U.S. Jewish leaders cannot see how they are endangering even the safety of American Jews, not to mention Israeli Jews. Neither are American politicans of any help. Democrats and Republicans, by abondoning their time-honored position that there shall be no sovereign Palestinian state, are endangering their own country as well as the future of Israel and Western democracy. I wish Bill Clinton or Bob Dole would have been more concerned with American interests rather than the Jewish vote.
"Almost two years ago in Washington, at a World Jewish Congress briefing by Dennis Ross, the State Department's special envoy to the Middle East, I asked whether the United States had junked that once firm position that there shall not be two states in the area now called Israel. This stance was adopted not only because the area is not viable for two states, but also because a Palestinian state can become the base for future military operations by Iran, Iraq and their allies for the conquest of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the vast oil deposits in the Middle East. The answer I received was evasive.
"Alas, Israel's peace brokers had agreed to the country's suicide. They were reconciled to having an armed enemy in their midst. Not many months passed and Israel learned with the tunnel violence what an armed Palestinian Authority can do. One or two such demonstrations were not enough to convince those impatient to gain peace – even if it spelled suicide.
"They make it appear that a few hundred settlers in Hebron are blocking the peace. They argue that the will of such a minority should not block what is good for millions
"Of course, if there were evidence that the Palestinians wanted coexistence, one could be more hopeful. That is what many of us dreamed about. But the Palestinians never agreed to make peace; they only use the process to fulfill the 'covenant' they never rejected, although they promised to do so. And the peace brokers do not realize that the settlers are struggling to make the majority realize this.
"And it is the settlers who are helping the United States to see where its real interests lie. A. M. Rosenthal of The New York Times considers pressuring Israel to yield to Yasir Arafat as the suicide of the West. He knows well the scenario of Iraq and Iran having an ally in the very heart of Israel – Jerusalem and the West Bank. And one does not have to be as prescient as he to imagine how rapidly this could come to pass.
"When the U.S. will have to capitulate to Iraq and Iran because they have a base in Israel, the very belly of the Middle East, Americans will be able to blame American Jews for the horrible situation. Jews who did not support the Pentagon, first in its commitment to a strong Army, then in its commitment for many decades to the proposition that America needs a strong democracy in the area – not a weakened, indefensible territory with no strong base anywhere.
"The promise that the Palestinians will have a sovereign state should be ignored. A lawful government made the promise, but no sovereign state must keep a promise that is suicidal. And in the tunnel dispute Arafat gave ample cause legally to terminate dealing with him.
"Jews are being denied the right to deal with the Western Wall as their own. They are being denied the right to worship in their own holy places. Is this coexistence as it exists in the United States and all other civilized countries?" (By Emanuel Rackman, The Jewish Week, December 1, 1996, sent by David Horowitz)
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 all our readers a blessed and prosperous New Year. "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." (Psa. 31:24)
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Memorial for 1997 is March 21, 1997 after six p.m.