President Obama Goes to Israel Next Week

703346_10151355490224532_1208902426_oNext week President Obama makes his first trip to Israel since he was elected president. He will meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders on this trip, as well as visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Shrine of the Book (home of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and speak to college students in Jerusalem. This is a crucial trip as relations between the U.S. and Israel have been strained in recent years.

President Obama is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres, and may also meet with opposition leaders in Israel’s Knesset. Mr. Obama will also hold talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Though some early rumors had suggested that the president would unveil a wide-ranging peace initiative, White House aides have been lowering expectations regarding any major announcements being made on this visit. (more…)

Ahmadinejad Claims Iran Is ‘Already a Nuclear State’

In an interview with Egyptian media published yesterday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is making the first visit between leaders of the two nations since the Iranian revolution in 1979, declared that Iran is “already a nuclear state.” He vowed that Iran would resist those who want them to “go backward.” In addition, he spewed out a number of anti-Semitic remarks, including the claim that the “Zionists are taking over the places of wealth, money, and politics in deceiving the world.” (more…)

Upcoming Vote Has Huge Implications for Israel’s Future

703346_10151355490224532_1208902426_oJonathan Bernis,
President and CEO of Jewish Voice

Next week voters across Israel head to the polls to select the next Prime Minister and Knesset to lead the Jewish state. Though Prime Minister Netanyahu is widely expected to be re-elected, there is a good deal of uncertainty regarding the makeup of the new Knesset. Israel’s parliamentary system, unlike here in the United States, features numerous political parties. In fact the last Knesset had representatives from 18 different parties! (more…)

Unrest Continues in ‘Season of Rejoicing’

We are in Sukkot, which ends this coming Sunday, October 7. This festival is sometimes known as Zman Simchateinu—or the “Season of Rejoicing”—and is quite a contrast to the most solemn of days, Yom Kippur, which was just over a week ago.

I pray that you are living in a Season of Rejoicing! God intends for you to live in His joy, which is far deeper than happiness. So often people base their emotions on their circumstances rather than God’s Word. God does indeed have a plan for each of us, and His plan for you and me is that we live in His blessing. In fact, His Word declares in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

On the international scene, through purely ‘natural eyes,’ there is seemingly not much to rejoice about. Unrest in the Middle East continues as democracy is put into the hands of people whose values are based on an entirely different system than the Word of God. Giving rule to the majority when they don’t value life and liberty produces some very bad outcomes. (more…)

Tensions Between Washington and Jerusalem Break Into Open View

It is no secret that the relationship between U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been strained. The two men reportedly do not trust each other, and the tension between their differing objectives has only increased the divide. The most central issue is the one posed by Iran’s nuclear program. The recent NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) report from Washington revealed that Iran is making much more rapid progress in their nuclear work than had previously been thought. (more…)

It’s Israel’s 64th Birthday!

Today Jewish People around the world are celebrating Israel’s Independence Day. In 1948 the Jewish state was reborn…and immediately plunged into war. Those first few desperate weeks saw hundreds of under-trained and poorly equipped Jewish soldiers fight off vastly superior numbers of Arab invaders who came from every side to try to destroy Israel before it could become a nation. (more…)

Washington Meetings Highlight Divide Between Obama and Netanyahu

Following meetings at the White House on Monday, it was clearer than ever that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have vastly divergent views on the seriousness of the threat posed to Israel by Iran’s nuclear program, and regarding the timing of that threat as well. Despite a publicly united face, the statements by both men revealed their differing conclusions and the divide between them. (more…)