Archive for June 5th, 2009

The Day of the LORD

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Day of the Lord

“And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

And everyone who calls
on the name of the LORD will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the LORD has said,
among the survivors
whom the LORD calls.

Joel 2:28-32 (New International Version)

Israeli Activists Launch Anti-Obama Campaign

Friday, June 5th, 2009

“Mr. Obama, we started demonstrating 16 years ago,” said Rabbi Shalom Gold, the founder of Kehillat Zichron Ya’acov in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, alluding to the early days of the Oslo Accords. “You were in your ’30s and you probably didn’t know the first thing about Eretz Yisrael… but we’re part of God’s divine plan, we’re here and we’re staying here!”

“Be a friend of Israel, but even if you won’t be, we have the greatest ally in the world,” he said, pointing to the heavens.

Esther Pollard followed, telling the crowd that her message to the US president was that “your problem isn’t with Prime Minister Netanyahu, nor is it with the People of Israel. Your problem, Mr. President, is with the almighty God of Israel!”

The protest was only a part of a wider campaign launched by activists on Wednesday, in which they will try to counter the American stance by portraying Obama as an anti-Semite whose policies would harm the Jewish state.

Over the coming days, activists plan to hang posters throughout the country of Obama wearing a keffiyeh, flanked by the words, “Anti-Semite,” and “Jew-hater,” written in red in both English and Hebrew. Another poster published by the campaign shows Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against a background of a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion.

The Jewish National Front, which is backing the protests, said in a statement: “We decided to launch a campaign against the president of the United States and to say that Barack Hussein Obama is bad for the Jews.”

“From the moment that he entered the White House, we have been feeling anti-Semitism and hatred toward Israel,” the statement continued. “We have a number of plans, among which are demonstrations in the US and protests in front of the consulate and homes of the ambassadors.”

Original Link.

Obama More Than Tolerant of Homosexual Lifestyle

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Earlier this week, the White House released a proclamation recognizing June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” The proclamation was signed by President Obama and mentioned the record number of homosexuals he has nominated and chosen for positions in his administration. It also called for equal justice under the law for homosexuals and transgendered Americans. (See earlier story)

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, says the proclamation advocates more than mere tolerance.

“The United States federal government, now by executive order, signed by the President of the United States, is declaring national pride in these lifestyles,” he contends. “This is not mere toleration; it’s not calling for legalization, an end to criminal sanctions. It’s not calling even for something like civil unions…it’s calling for pride.”

Scripture, Mohler points out, does not allow Christians to be proud of sin.

Original Link.

Media Slanted in Reporting High-Profile Shootings

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad has been accused of shooting two uniformed soldiers on Monday outside a military recruiting center in west Little Rock, Arkansas, killing one and wounding the other. Authorities said he acted “with political and religious motives” — and numerous media outlets described him as a “lone shooter.”

But one day earlier, when abortionist George Tiller was gunned down at his Wichita, Kansas, church, the media not only gave the murder substantial coverage, it took every opportunity to use the incident as a way to slam the entire pro-life movement. That’s the report from Colleen Raezler, a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center.

“They were saying that [Tiller’s killer] was a person who was linked to pro-life organizations and things like that — and there’s no such consideration for the person who did those shootings in Arkansas,” she notes.

The Muslim suspect in the Arkansas attack has been charged with multiple counts of terrorism as well as murder. Raezler says she has noticed a striking difference in the reaction to the two killings.

Original Link.

Obama Overture to Hamas Suggests Inevitability of Terror Group’s Dominance Among Palestinians

Friday, June 5th, 2009

In an apparent policy shift, President Obama on Thursday invited Hamas — a designated terror organization — to “play a role” in the future of the Palestinian people.

During his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo on Thursday, the U.S. president bluntly recognized the group, which has called for the destruction of Israel, in a two-sentence passage that was part of a broader discussion about the terms for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel’s right to exist,” Obama said.

The president then called on Israel to end settlement construction and for both sides to embrace a two-state solution. He reiterated that the U.S. bond with Israel is “unbreakable.”

Some observers said they were struck by the firm tone Obama took with both sides in addressing the generations-old conflict and particularly with his recognition of Hamas, which may signal to the group that it is seen as an inevitable part of the Palestinian future.

“That is a major shift in Middle East policy and it’s not good,” said Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, who sought to isolate Hamas.

“Israel has reached out to the Muslim world by giving Gaza back and they have even talked about a Palestinian state. But all of these entities, Hamas, Hezbollah and others, have said Israel’s right to exist should not be guaranteed,” said Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

The three “responsibilities” Obama mentioned — an end to violence, recognition of past agreements and of Israel’s right to exist — have been part of U.S. policy toward Hamas for years. But those responsibilities are often stated as conditions for engagement with Hamas — not for implied Western support of Hamas governance.

Bruce Riedel, a foreign policy fellow with the Brookings Institution and former Middle East adviser to several U.S. presidents, said Obama — ever the pragmatist — was merely trying to steer an undeniable force in Palestinian life and politics into the mainstream.

“I think he’s challenging them. … He’s saying if you want to lead your people forward, here’s what you need to do,” he said. “The reality is Hamas now controls Gaza, more than 1 million people. It can’t be ignored.”

Currently, the Fatah government of Mahmoud Abbas is in charge of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, which Israel vacated in 2005.

Fatah and Hamas broke ties from a coalition government two years ago when Hamas won a majority of votes in parliamentary elections, but could not control key ministries and maintain Western support because of its widespread designation as a terror group.

One Hamas official Mahmoud Ramahi offered qualified praise for the speech.

“I have followed the speech closely. There are many positive points,” Ramahi is quoted saying in the Jerusalem Post. “There is a difference between his policy and Bush’s policy. I see a change in the U.S. foreign policy discourse.”

Other Palestinian leaders also praised the tone Obama took in his address.

“This speech touched me because it’s the first time an American president saw the human face of the Palestinians,” Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said in a statement.

As for Obama’s statements on Israeli settlements and the two-state solution, Riedel said they were tough, but necessary.

“It was about as direct and forceful as you could have gotten… he didn’t pull any punches with either side,” he said, noting that Obama’s also forcefully condemned Holocaust deniers, a message likely aimed at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and those who call for the destruction of Israel. But he said the speech is sure to cause a backlash in Israel.

“The Israelis are not going to like some of what they heard, especially about settlements,” he said.

In the days leading up to his address, the president’s prior call for Israel to abandon all settlement construction drew criticism in the Jewish state, and had been rebuffed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s issued a statement after the speech praising the U.S. president in broad terms.

“The government of Israel expresses hope that President Obama’s important speech will lead to a new period of reconciliation between the Arab and Muslim world, and Israel,” the statement said.

“Israel is obligated to peace and will do as much as possible to help expand the circle of peace, while taking into consideration our national interests, the foremost of which is security,” it concluded.

But Israeli media reported Thursday that settler leaders were frustrated by Obama’s address.

Habayit Hayehudi chairman Daniel Hershkowitz was quoted saying Obama presented a “fabricated history” and ignored those Palestinians who have not renounced terror.

“The government of Israel is not America’s lackey. The relations with the Americans are based on friendship and not submission, and therefore Israel must tell Obama that stopping natural growth in the settlements is a red line,” he said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Obama’s speech also exposed divides among Israel’s lawmakers over the settlement and statehood issues. Other politicians welcomed Obama’s tough talk, and said it proved Netanyahu represents narrow interests by opposing elements of that roadmap to peace.

Original Link.

Little Rock Shooting Suspect Joins Growing List of Muslim Converts Accused of Targeting U.S.

Friday, June 5th, 2009

The suspect in the deadly shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas is the latest in a series of Muslim converts accused of planning or launching violent attacks in the U.S., part of what security experts call an alarming domestic trend.

The attack came less than two weeks after a foiled bomb plot on two synagogues in Riverdale, N.Y., allegedly led by four men who converted to Islam in prison or shortly after their incarceration.

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the 23-year-old accused of killing a U.S. soldier and injuring another in the attack Monday in Little Rock, was born in Tennessee as Carlos Leon Bledsoe. He reportedly converted to Islam as a teenager, and court records show he changed his name in March 2006.

Little Rock police said there was no indication Muhammad was part of a wider plot to attack the military, but terrorism experts say there are important connections between his and other homegrown terror plots in recent years, including their targets, motives and inspiration.

“The real common denominator is the ideological commitment (present) in every single case I’ve seen over the past few months and over the past few years,” said Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Phares said the vast majority of converts are nonviolent, but a few embrace the teachings of extremist religious mentors.

“In the lives of these diverse people there’s always one moment where there’s a click,” he said — in which the budding convert is turned by a radical cleric or ideologue, or swayed by indoctrinating material they find online.

Prosecutors say Muhammad was targeting U.S. soldiers “because of what they had done to Muslims in the past” and was angry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But some terror experts say that reasoning is a cover for their true grievances. The alleged ringleader of the plot in New York professed a similar motivation and hoped to take down a military plane at a local airstrip — but only after he tried to bomb two synagogues in a war against the Jews.

Original Link.