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BIBLE SKEPTICS TAKE NOTE: BABYLON IS BEING REBUILT, JUST AS PROPHESIED

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm
U.S. forces guarding city of Babylon, currently being rebuilt. (June 2009)

U.S. forces guarding city of Babylon, currently being rebuilt. (June 2009)

U.S. soldier near the famed Ishtar gate in Babylon, Iraq (June 2009)

U.S. soldier near the famed Ishtar gate in Babylon, Iraq (June 2009)

NOTE: I’ll be traveling in the U.S. this week and may not have the chance to update this blog until Friday or Saturday. Thanks for your patience.

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Regular readers of this weblog and my books know that Bible prophecy says the ancient city of Babylon, Iraq will be rebuilt and become the greatest center of wealth, commerce and power in the “last days” of history. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Revelation are explicit on this subject. Skeptics and cynics abound, to be sure, but the fact is Babylon is being rebuilt right now, in part with U.S. taxpayer funds. Iraqi leaders hope that eventually millions of tourists will come to visit, and real progress is being made. Consider today’s edition of Stars & Stripes, a U.S. military publication. They have a fascinating story this morning headlined: “U.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon, build local tourism industry.”

Excerpts:

  • Soldiers with the 172nd Infantry Brigade are exploring the ruins as part of a U.S.-Iraqi effort to preserve the ancient city and plan for the return of Western tourists.
  • Members of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment escorted a group of U.S. heritage tourism experts to the ruins last week for the first of several visits to develop a preservation and tourism plan for the area. U.S. and coalition troops have been criticized in the past for damaging and contaminating artifacts. In a 2006 report, the head of the British Museum’s Near East department said that, among other things, military vehicles crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement, and sand and archeological fragments were used to fill military sandbags. Now the rapidly improving security situation in surrounding Babil province has persuaded the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on the preservation project, dubbed the Future of Babylon Project.
  • The State Department and the World Monuments Fund have committed $700,000 to the project, which will see U.S. and Iraqi experts develop a plan to preserve the site and develop a local tourism industry, said Diane Siebrandt, the U.S. embassy’s cultural heritage officer. The Babylon project is one of several that the State Department is involved in to conserve ancient sites in partnership with the Iraqi government, she said.
  • Two people with expertise developing tourism plans for historic sites in third-world nations, Gina Haney and Jeff Allen, have been employed by the State Department to run the U.S. side of the project. They visited the ruins for the first time last weekend. Haney said the pair will involve the local community in the plan’s development, as they did with a similar project encouraging Western tourists to visit Ghana’s Gold Coast. “You could throw money at it and do all this work, but unless you can create a sustainable situation, your opportunities for tourism will run out,” Allen said. “The idea is to develop something that is going to be here 30 to 40 years from now and has benefits for the local people. We don’t want something that will only benefit outsiders.”
  • The Iraqi government will be involved in the planning as well. “If you have 200,000 people a year coming to this site, you will have people staying at hotels, visiting restaurants, buying souvenirs,” Allen said. “The site is in some ways a revenue generator for the local community.” Babylon could be comparable to the Egyptian pyramids, which draw millions of tourists each year. But the area lacks the tourist infrastructure that has been built at sites such as the pyramids, he said. “There is nothing for tourists here, but if you interpret and present it in the right way, you can spark interest,” he said.
  • Allen, who has experience designing walkways and signs for other heritage sites, said detailed planning won’t happen until authorities have worked out how best to preserve the ruins. The crumbling rocks of the original city are surrounded by more elaborate and modern fortifications, including a maze-like collection of interior walls built on top of genuine ruins during Saddam Hussein’s time.
  • “Some of the past restoration work hasn’t been very good,” he said. “Saddam was trying to inherit the power of the ancients and continue that legacy. His restoration methods helped reinforce that vision of himself, and he created a pattern of restoration and repair work that benefited a certain agenda.”

Last month, a British art publication had a story headlined, “Controversial move to reopen Babylon: State board of antiquities and heritage believes site needs more protection.” The story indicated that Babylon would be open for tourists on June 1st. Another recent story out of Taiwan noted that a Taiwanese tour agency is starting to take people to Iraq to tour — among other things — the city of  Babylon as it is being rebuilt.

As Iraq becomes increasingly stable and secure, direct foreign investment is going to flood in, and Iraq will become the wealthiest country on the planet. Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest company, for example, is positioning itself to become a major investor in the Iraqi energy sector. Other major oil companies are doing the same. The Iraqi government in recent months has been developing investment incentive packages to draw in such companies. And this week, such energy companies will actually begin bidding for licenses to develop Iraq’s immense but badly atrophied oil exploration, drilling, and refining industry. Consider, for example, this headline from the Associated Press: “World’s big oil companies prepare for return to Iraq.” And this is just the beginning.

Skeptics take note: the Bible is coming true, one prophecy at a time.

>> To purchase Inside The Revolution from Amazon at 41% off, please click here

>> To learn more about — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to — The Joshua Fund, please click here.

>> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    EXCLUSIVE: IRAQI CHRISTIANS LAUNCH RADIO STATION

    In Uncategorized on June 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Antenna on the roof of the Iraqi Christian radio station The Joshua Fund helped finance.

    Antenna on the roof of the Iraqi Christian radio station The Joshua Fund helped finance.

    FLASH: North Korea threatens to nuke U.S. and wipe America off the globe.

    Dramatic news out of Iran this weekend. More than 3,000 Reformers arrested. Some 600 wounded. Conflicting reports about deaths. Some say at least 19 have been killed by the security forces. CNN has unconfirmed reports put the number of deaths at 150.

    But this isn’t the only story of revolution in the region. What the media isn’t telling you is that the Revivalists are moving powerfully to share the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Muslim world.

    Last month, for example, the Kurdish government of Iraq in May gave permission for a Christian radio station that The Joshua Fund helped finance to officially begin broadcast operations. The establishment of such a station owned and operated by Iraqi followers of Jesus Christ is really an historic development in the history of Christianity in the land once called Babylonia, and we are deeply grateful for your prayerful and financial support in making this happen.

    The station’s headquarters and main broadcasting facility is located in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, in the capital of Erbil, a city of some one million people, not far from the border of Iran. The station is operating on 97.1 FM in Erbil and has a translator station operating on 104.7 FM in the city of Kirkuk, a city of about 850,000. Each transmitter operates at 250 watts. That station — which can be heard throughout the Kurdish region and thus by more than two million people — is broadcasting Christian music, original and previously-produced educational programs, original and previously-produced cultural programs, Bible reading programs and radio dramas based on the Bible. All of this is in the Kurdish and Arabic languages.

    “Growing up under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, we never thought we would see the day when we who love Jesus could run a radio station in Iraq,” the station manager told a TJF staffer. “We are excited to see how the Lord will use us to bless the Iraqi people, and particularly the Kurdish people. Please be praying for us that the Lord’s favor would be with us and we would make a real impact in people’s lives here.”

    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    NETANYAHU DISCUSSES IRAN ON MEET THE PRESS: “THE CLOCK IS TICKING”

    In Uncategorized on June 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on NBC’s “Meet The Press” yesterday. He discussed the Iranian people’s thirst for freedom, and the Iranian regime’s thirst for brutality and nuclear weapons.

    Key excerpts:

    MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the nature of the Iranian threat. Mohamed ElBaradei who, as you know, runs the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday the following: “The ultimate aim of Iran,” he said, “as I understand it, is they want to be recognized as a major power in the Middle East. Increasing their nuclear capability is, to them, the road to get that recognition, to get that power and prestige. It is also an insurance policy against what they have heard in the past about regime change.” My question, Prime Minister, what does all that’s happening on the streets of Iran do, in your estimation, to the nature of the threat from Iran? Is this a game-changer in some way?

    PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: First of all, I don’t subscribe to the view that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is a status symbol. It’s not. These are people who are sending thousands and thousands of missiles to their terrorist proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas, with the specific instruction to bomb civilians in Israel. They are supporting terrorists in the world. This is not a status symbol. To have such a regime acquire nuclear weapons is to risk the fact that they might give it to terrorists or give terrorists a nuclear umbrella – that is a departure in the security of the Middle East and the world, certainly the security of my country. So I wouldn’t treat the subject so lightly.

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    MR. GREGORY: Prime Minister, there has always been debate about whether, when it comes to the threat of a nuclear Iran, whether there is Washington clock and a Jerusalem clock. And let me show you a book by David Sanger of the New York Times that he wrote called, “The Inheritance, the World Obama Confronts and the Challenge to American Power.” And in the course of his reporting for that book, he wrote this about Israel’s plans: “Early in 2008 the Israeli government signaled that it might be preparing to take matters into its own hands” — this is about Iran — “In a series of meetings, Israeli officials asked Washington for a new generation of powerful bunker-busters far more capable of blowing up a deep underground plant than anything in Israel’s arsenal of conventional weapons. They asked for refueling equipment that would allow their aircraft to reach Iran and return to Israel, and they asked for the right to fly over Iraq.” My question — if there is not tangible progress toward de-fanging Iran as a potential nuclear power by the end of the year, do you, as a leader of Israel, go back to that planning that Israel had underway in 2008 against Iran?

    PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: I can’t confirm those assertions….This regime that supports terrorists and calls for the annihilation of Israel and for the domination of the Middle East and beyond — I think this would be something that would endanger the peace of the world, not just my own country’s security and the stability of the Middle East.

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    MR. GREGORY: You have said, you said it to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine, talking about Iran — that it was a messianic and apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. The Obama administration argues that for the past eight years, under President Bush, there has been a hard line calling it part of the “axis of evil,” and where has that hard line gotten America? Only emboldening Iran over that period of time. Is your hard line – is the U.S. hard line over the past eight years the wrong strategy to get Iran to change its behavior?

    PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: I think that the president spoke to me quite explicitly about the great threat that Iran’s development of nuclear weapons capability poses to the United States. I saw, in fact, the continuity, in that sense, of an assessment of the threat….The clock is ticking.

    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    >> To purchase Inside The Revolution from Amazon at 41% off, please click here

    >> To learn more about — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to — The Joshua Fund, please click here.

    >> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

    UPDATE: JOSHUA FUND INVESTS $300,000 IN “DAMASCUS” FILM

    In Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm
    After premiering in Syria in March, the "Damascus" film premiered at the Vatican in May 2009.

    After premiering in Syria in March, the “Damascus” film premiered at the Vatican in May 2009.

    Quick update on Damascus, the 77 minute docu-drama film. It tells the story of Saul of Tarsus — a religious extremist and persecutor of the Church in the first century — who had a vision of Jesus Christ on the road to the Syrian capital and not only became a follower of Jesus but became the Apostle Paul, arguably the most famous of the early Church fathers and author of nearly half the books of the New Testament. The film was produced by Arab Christians. It was filmed on location in Damascus and other historic locations in Syria. The film has been endorsed by President Bashar al-Assad and premiered in Assad’s personal theater in Damascus in March. The film has also been endorsed by Protestant and Catholic leaders, and premiered at the Vatican in May. The film is also known in the region as, Damascus Is Speaking.

    The Joshua Fund was asked to raise $300,000 to produce 300,000 copies of the film on DVD. The DVDs will distributed in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Holy Land. After prayer, the board of TJF enthusiastically supported the project and committed to funding it in honor of Amy Knapp, one of TJF’s founding board members. By God’s grace — and with your faithful prayers and generous financial support — TJF raised the funds and transmitted them in May. The DVDs are currently being produced and readied for distribution. Please check back for more updates.

    If you would like to support The Joshua Fund financially to help on future projects to bless Israel and her neighbors, please click  here.

    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    A NEW HITLER IS RISING IN THE EAST: Why can’t the West see it?

    In Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm
    The Ayatollah Khamenei is preparing to annihilate the Jews.

    The Ayatollah Khamenei is preparing to annihilate the Jews.

    Khamenei's model?

    Khamenei's model?

    UPDATE ON SATURDAY:

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    President Obama says he refuses to “meddle” in Iran. Why not? He is clearly “meddling” in Israel, pressuring the Jewish people not to defend themselves from a new Hitler rising in the East. He is clearly “meddling” by pressuring Israelis not to continue developing and expanding their own neighbors in Jerusalem, their capital city? He is happy to “meddle” in pressuring the Israelis to divide Jerusalem, give away the West Bank and allow Islamic Radicals to establish a sovereign state in “Palestine.” Remind me why, then, President Obama is willing to “meddle” in the affairs of a truly democratic country such as Israel, and refuses to speak out with moral courage and clarity with regards to a tyrannical dictatorship in Iran beating, arresting, and killing innocent civilians.

    To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. The U.S. was blindsided by Hitler’s move on Europe in 1939. We were blindsided by Pearl Harbor in 1941. We were blindsided by the  in the 40s. By the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. By Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. By the 9/11 attacks just a few years ago. I believe we are increasingly in danger of being blindsided again. And the stakes couldn’t be higher,

    How can the White House — and the Western alliance — not see the evil that is running Iran today? The Ayatollah Khamenei has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. He selected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the president of Iran in 2005. He just re-annointed Ahmadinejad to serve another four years by rigging the recent elections. He and Ahmadinejad are fully committed to acquiring nuclear weapons, long-range ballistic missiles, destroying the U.S. and Israel, and bringing about the End of Days. They speak of it openly, as I document in my new book and will present in the documentary film we’re finalizing for release on 9/11 (see www.insidetherevolution.org). Yet top officials in Washington refuse to truly and effectively confront Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. Rather, they keep pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to make dangerous concessions to Israel’s avowed enemies. Meanwhile, Khamenei is threatening an even more bloody crackdown on the young Reformers crying out for freedom and justice. Ahmadinejad has been in Moscow building political and military alliances with Russia, China and the Islamic powers of Central Asia. And Iran’s chief Asian ally — North Korea — is threatening to conduct new nuclear weapons tests and may be preparing to test launch an ICBM into the Pacific next month that could threaten Hawaii.

    Now, more than ever we need to pray for our leaders, that their hearts would be changed, that their eyes would be opened, that they would “do justice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 5:8) We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. “Behold, He who keeps Israel neither will slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:8) And we need to pray for the Lord to show His great love to all the people of the epicenter. “I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward….I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord.” (Ezekiel 39:21,22,29)

    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    >> To purchase Inside The Revolution from Amazon at 41% off, please click here

    >> To learn more about — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to — The Joshua Fund, please click here.

    >> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

    AHMADINEJAD IN MOSCOW

    In Uncategorized on June 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    Shanghai Cooperation Organization meetings are underway in Moscow..

    Shanghai Cooperation Organization meetings are underway in Moscow..

    Prophetic? As Iranian forces murder pro-democracy protesters, Ahmadinejad heads straight for Moscow.

    Prophetic? As Iranian forces murder pro-democracy protesters, Ahmadinejad heads straight for Moscow.

    Massive protests in Iran not seen since '79 Revolution.

    Massive protests in Iran not seen since ’79 Revolution.

    FLASH: IAEA head admits Iran seeking nuclear bomb

    Students of Bible prophecy should keep a close eye on events unfolding in Iran and the epicenter, and keep praying for the Lord to have mercy on that country. With upwards of a million young, pro-democracy Reformers on the streets of Iran demanding an end to the Radicals’ regime, Iranian security forces have murdered as many as two dozen protesters. Iranian leaders are now threatening the Reformers with the death penalty. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — freshly annointed by the Supreme Leader to stay as the face and voice of the regime’s apocalyptic agenda — couldn’t care less. Ahmadinejad headed straight for Moscow yesterday. There, he met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to continue building a political and military alliance between Russia, China, Iran and Islamic countries in Central Asia. Currently, Iran has “observer” status in the SCO, but has requested full member status. The SCO alliance is evocative of the eastern-portion of the biblical alliance foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 that will come against Israel and seek to destroy the Jewish people in what the Bible calls the “last days” of history. When one considers how closely Russia and Iran are currently growing to the western portion of the prophetic alliance — Sudan, Libya and Algeria, for example — it’s not hard to envision these prophecies coming true in our lifetime, or even in the next few years. That said, I believe it is currently too soon to draw any conclusions. There are many intriguing trends and developments, but it remains far from clear that we’re seeing Bible prophecy come to pass. That said, we cannot rule out the possibility. Events in the region are both unprecedented and riveting. All the more reason for followers of Jesus Christ to “get ready and be prepared” for whatever lies ahead.

    MIRACLE, OR MANIPULATION? Excerpt from an NYT story worth noting: “Iranians are generally united in viewing the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to another four-year term as a miracle. Some believe it in the literal sense that the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seemed to intend when he said ‘the miraculous hand of God’ was at work. Others believe it in the sense that they see no earthly explanation why an incumbent who presided over worsening inflation, unemployment and isolation would draw more than seven million more votes than in his first victory.” Observation: With the full backing of his Supreme Leader for his apocalyptic End Times beliefs, is Ahmadinejad more or less likely to give up Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the Obama administration?

    >> To purchase Inside The Revolution from Amazon at 41% off, please click here

    >> To learn more — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to The Joshua Fund — please click here.

    >> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    A NEW REVOLUTION IN IRAN? Reformers are on the streets

    In Uncategorized on June 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy Reformers are flooding the streets of Iran, taking their stand against the Radicals.

    Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy Reformers are flooding the streets of Iran, taking their stand against the Radicals.

    A cry for freedom in Iran is rising. Why is the White House silent?

    A cry for freedom in Iran is rising. Why is the White House silent?

    FLASH: Pentagon says North Korea’s missiles could threaten U.S., and NK is working with Iran

    I’ve been tracking events in Iran closely over the past few days. Not since the Islamic Revolution of ’79 have we seen such ideological ferment and such passion in the streets of Iran. What fascinates me is how hungry the Iranian people are to overthrow their current regime. They want change. They want democracy. It’s not Mir Hossein Mousavi they want (after all, 70% of Iranians are under the age of 30 and don’t remember how bloody, despicable and tyrannical he was in office during the 1980s).  They just want someone — anyone — to lead them out of the darkness Khomeini, Khamenei, and Ahmadinejad have dragged them into. They want someone who will lead the fight for their God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Will is the White House silent? Why won’t President Obama endorse and support the Reformers in Iran, rather than engage the Radicals who run the regime?

    As I describe in Inside The Revolution, tens of millions of Iranians have abandoned Islam. Most are Reformers at heart, looking for political liberation. Millions are Revivalists, experiencing spiritual liberation. Both groups deeply oppose the Radicals that are strangling their country and destroying the lives of their children. Let’s keep praying for the full liberation of Iran, spiritual and political. And let’s be clear: the Ayatollah Khamenei is not really the Supreme Leader of Iran. Jesus Christ is — the King of kings and the Lord of lords. May His name be lifted up in Iran today.

    >> To learn more — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to The Joshua Fund — please click here.

    >> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

    IRAN HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    ISRAEL HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    WEEKEND ANALYSIS: WAR IS THE LIKELY OUTCOME OF THE IRANIAN “ELECTIONS”

    In Uncategorized on June 13, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSahmadinejad-pressconfJune09UPDATED MONDAY MORNING: The Supreme Leader of Iran has spoken. It’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a “landslide.” This means a major, cataclysmic war is the most likely outcome of the Iranian “elections.” And the battle lines are clear. It’s Netanyahu vs. Ahmadinejad — Bibi vs. Mahmoud — and the big question is: Who will strike first?

    This weekend’s events in Iran tell us a lot.

    First, the results prove that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei firmly, completely and whole-heartedly supports Ahmadinejad’s End Times beliefs. Khamenei also fully supports Ahmadinejad’s commitment to build nuclear weapons and long-range, high-speed ballistic missiles. What’s more, the Supreme Leader supports Ahmadinejad’s public commitment to destroy Israel and the U.S. to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. There is no daylight between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad on this Radical “eschatology,” or End Times theology, as some analysts and commentators have suggested. These two men are who I have said all along they are – members of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult. They are kindred spirits. They are two peas in a pod. They are absolutely committed to their cause. They believe the wind is at their backs, that Allah is on their side, and they believe they will soon see complete victory. That’s what makes them so dangerous.

    Second, the results prove that the people of Iran never had a real choice. This wasn’t a real election. It was totally and completely rigged by a Radical Muslim mafia, a police state without justice or compassion for those enslaved. The aftermath became, as one Iranian noted over the weekend, a Tehran Tiananmen. Protesters and dissidents were beaten, arrested and tortured. Text messaging was turned off. Facebook was shut down. The internet was down or slowed for vast stretches. All this prevents ordinary citizens from mobilizing their opposition to the government. That said, however, the massive turnout at the polls – and the street demonstrations and violence in Iran over the weekend — showed that even though Iranians didn’t have real Reformer candidates to choose from, the vast Iranians are deeply disgusted with the current regime. They long for true freedom and true democracy. They desperately wanted the elections to be real. They are ABA — anybody but Ahmadinejad. They don’t buy into the regime’s End Times theology. They desperately want someone to liberate them. I feel for them. I want them to be free. Now more than ever. [MOST BIZARRE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Iran's supreme leader orders probe of vote fraud]

    Third, the results prove that the Obama administration’s belief that you can sit down and have a rational discussion with such Radicals — or trust an agreement even if one could be negotiated with them – is absolutely nonsensical. How could we possibly trust the Iranian leadership to keep a promise to stop building nuclear weapons (if such a promise were made), when they steal elections and beat and torture dissidents in front of the whole world? The Obama administration should treat Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as pariahs now. The White House should praise the young people of Iran, the pro-democracy forces in Iran, the forces of freedom in Iran. And the President should condemn the Iranian government has totalitarian theocratic thugs, not offer to engage them. Not offer them concessions. Not reward such evil behavior. Why has the President been silent? Vice President Biden on Meet the Press yesterday at least challenged the legitimacy of the elections. That’s something. But why didn’t he say the weekend’s events in Iran just prove the leadership in Tehran are part of the axis of evil?

    Fourth, as for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, he is right: Iran is the real threat to the region and the world, not Israel’s refusal to make more land for missiles concessions to the Palestinian leadership. Bibi’s assessment of the current Iranian regime is spot on, while the White House’s assessment has been exactly wrong. The real, existential threat to peace in the epicenter is Iran’s death cult leadership and their feverish pursuit of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu was right to smoke out the real intentions of the Palestinian leadership and the Muslim leadership as a whole in the region. By agreeing that there could be a Palestinian state and then defining one that would truly be peaceful, Netanyahu shrewdly shifted the terms of the debate. He provoked a firestorm of criticism from the Arab and Muslim world, who are denouncing the speech in the harshest of terms. Which makes things crystal clear: Israel’s enemies don’t really want peace with Israel at this time. They don’t really want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Thus they don’t really believe in “two states for two peoples.” What’s more, they don’t believe the putative Palestinian state should be demilitarized. Thus, they believe in a Palestinian state that would threaten the very existence of Israel. Why should Israel say “yes” to that? Israel gave land for peace in 2000 — withdrawing from southern Lebanon. What did it get? More than 4,000 rockets and missiles from the Iran-backed Hezbollah. Israel gave land for peace in 2005 — withdrawing from all of Gaza. What did it get? More than 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars from the Iran-backed Hamas. Israel even offered in 2000 to divide Jerusalem and give the Palestinians about 93% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. What did Israel get in exchange? Arafat’s utter rejection of the offer and a wave of suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks. Upon what basis, then, would Israel be able to trust another land for peace deal in the near future?

    Fifth, we need to pray for peace, but prepare for war. Our Joshua Fund board met over the weekend for several days of strategic prayer and planning meetings. At this point, we see our mandate clearly: Do everything we can to educate, awaken and mobilize the followers of Jesus Christ to pray for peace, and do everything we can prepare for war in case the Lord allows a cataclysmic battle ensue between Israel and Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. We are working on building the organizational and financial infrastructure to eventually provide $100 million worth of food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to Israel, and another $20 million to Israel’s immediate neighbors. This will take time and much effort. It’s not clear how quickly we can achieve this goal, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. We’ve expanded our budget this year (In 2006, TJF’s budget was $160,000. This year, it is about $5.7 million.) We’ve increased the size of our staff (from 1 in 2006 to 4 full time employees today). We are actively recruiting several new staff positions. We’re working with our financial services provider to expand their capacity for receiving and processing donations. We’re working to improve our communications to our donors so we can do a still-better job at briefing them on the projects we’re doing and how we’re investing the resources they’ve entrusted to us. We’re recruiting more prayer partners. We’re building more government and civilian allies in Israel and the region. We’re working to build more allies  among evangelical pastors and ministry leaders in North America and beyond. We’re also taking up to 300 evangelical leaders and lay people to Israel in November for a “prayer & vision trip.” And, as the Lord gives us grace, strength and resources, we will do more to help followers of Christ “learn, pray, give and go.” This is a critical moment. The threat is real. The time is short. We would be grateful for your continued prayers and support in the weeks and months ahead. God bless you.

    >> To learn more — or to make a tax-deductible contribution to The Joshua Fund — please click here.

    >> Will you help us build a global alliance of 1 million true friends of Israel? Click here to sign up yourself, a friend or a family member for Joel’s Flash Traffic email alerts. Get the latest news and analysis on Israel and the epicenter, prayer requests and Joshua Fund project updates.

    ISRAELI HEADLINES TO WATCH:

    IRANIAN HEADLINES TO WATCH:

    ALL EYES ON IRAN….AS THE SUPREME LEADER APPEARS TO HAVE CHOSEN AHMADINEJAD

    In Uncategorized on June 12, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Apocalypse Now? If Ahmadinejad has "won" in a landslide, look for him to indicate the Mahdi gave him victory.

    Apocalypse Soon? If Ahmadinejad has "won" in a landslide, look for him to indicate the Mahdi gave him victory.

    This guy's vote is all that matters: Whom did the Ayatollah Khamenei "vote" for this morning?

    Humanly speaking, this guy’s vote is all that matters: Whom did the Ayatollah Khamenei “vote” for this morning?

    UPDATES:

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    All eyes are on Iran today. Please be praying for the Iranian people. Humanly speaking, it’s almost impossible for anything good to come out of today’s rigged “elections.”

    First, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his cabinet of clerics (the “Guardian Council”) have already chosen four presidential contenders. They denied another 450 or so applicants from even being considered. This gives you a little taste of what democracy means in Iran. Thus, Khamenei and the Radical mullahs around him have already chosen four people they want the country to know would be acceptable to them — that is, people who are loyal to the Revolution, will follow the wishes of the Supreme Leader, and will prepare the way of the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the Twelfth Imam or the Mahdi.

    Second, no matter who “wins,” it doesn’t really matter in any practical sense. In Iran’s Sharia-law driven legal system, all authority is vested in the hands of the Supreme Leader. The role of the president in many ways is to be the public face and voice of the Supreme Leader to the nation and the world. For the last four years, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been been that face and voice precisely because Khamenei wanted him to be.

    Third, the system really is rigged. Iranians will feel like they are exercising their right to choose their next leader. But Khamenei is pulling strings behind the scenes to engineer the “choosing” of his preferred candidate. The only drama is finding out whom Khamenei wants to be the face and voice of Iran for the next four years, and whether he believes Ahmadinejad has outlived his usefulness.

    Fourth, that said, the God of the Bible — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — is in control. The Lord God Himself is all sovereign and He ultimately will determine who will run Iran, and will do so for His own purposes. Daniel 2:21 tells us that “He removes kings and establishes kings.” While humanly speaking all seems to be lost in Iran, this isn’t really the case. The truth is that Jesus Christ is drawing millions of Iranians away from Islam to become His followers. As I describe in Inside The Revolution in detail, the Lord is using radio broadcasting, satellite TV technology and the Internet to get the good news of salvation to the Iranian people. Jesus is also appearing to many personally, telling them to, “Come, follow Me” — and they are. Iranian Christian leaders tell me they expect more than 10,000 house churches to be planted in Iran in the next 12 to 18 months because Christianity is growing so fast in that country. And one of the main reasons people are abandoning Islam and becoming followers of Jesus is because of the tyrannical leadership of the country. Starting with the Ayatollah Khomeini, and right up to the present with the Ayatollah Khamenei, such cruel, Radical dictators are causing Iranians to become deeply disillusioned with Islam and eager to search for true peace. They are finding it in the Prince of Peace. So, let us pray earnestly for the Iranian people that no matter who wins, they will choose Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords this year.

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    UPDATE: WHO IS MIR-HOSSEIN MUSAVI?

    Note: There are numerous spellings of his name — Mousavi, Moussavi, Hussein and Hossein.

    For the last few days I’ve been noting the evidence that Mousavi is not a moderate or Reformer, as the Western media keeps insisting. Here’s the latest evidence:

    Alireza Jafarzadeh is a leading Iranian pro-democracy dissident. He is based in Washington. He gives a summary of the background of the four “candidates” running for president in Iran today. Even this brief snapshot shows how Radical any one of them will be.

    • “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by his own admission, was part of the quintet of the Central Committee of the Office of the Unity which led and operationally oversaw the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. He was the special operations officer in the 6th special corps of IRGC’s Qods Force, responsible for sabotage and cross-border missions. In his current hat, he oversees his government’s expanding drive to perfect the nuclear fuel cycle and acquire the ultimate weapon.
    • “Mir Hossein Moussavi is the current reincarnation of the moderate political animal in Iran. He was a founding member of the Islamic Republic Party- think of it as the mullahs’ Third Reich. Among honors on his resume, he lists: 144 extraterritorial assassinations during the premiership, the massacre of nearly 30,000 political prisoners on the eve of the signing of the 1988 UN Iran-Iraq cease-fire accord, and the 1983 embassy and marine barrack bombings in Beirut.
    • “Mohsen Rezai ranks high in the pantheon of terror. He commanded the IRGC during the disastrous war with Iraq, with ultimate responsibility for sending tens of thousands of under-aged adults to their death in the battle fronts as human mine sweepers, many of whom were shrouded in army-issued blankets to prevent their body parts from splattering. Rezai played a decisive role in coordinating and directing the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, for which he was implicated by an Argentine court and for whom, in 2007, Interpol issued an arrest warrant.
    • “Mehdi Karoubi is the least consequential. Nevertheless, he occupies a special place among the regime hierarchy. For, he is a permanent member of the Expediency Council, chaired by former president, Rafsanjani.”

    CNN is quoting an Iranian professor at Georgetown University as saying Moussavi is deeply anti-American and in no way a Reformer. “‘Twenty years — what has he done in that time? No one really knows,’ said Shireen Hunter, a Georgetown University visiting professor and Iranian author of numerous books on the nation’s political history who interviewed Moussavi just as he was officially exiting politics. ‘What you have is a war and a history that the younger Iranians do not know about or remember, so they know less about him and see him as the reformer he says that he is,’ Hunter said. She spoke with Moussavi for her 1992 book, Iran and the World. ‘I quoted Moussavi as saying that Iran did not suffer as much from the Soviet Union as it did from America,’ Hunter said. ‘He was very anti-Western. He presided over a lot of nationalism [during his time as prime minister,] and now he is saying that he is a reformer? I don’t believe in born-again Democrats. I’m skeptical.’”

    The Weekly Standard brings additional nuggets to light:

    • In 1981, when Mousavi first appeared, UPI explained that “Appearances aside, Mousavi heralds a more vigorous propagation of the radical Islamic foreign policy of exporting Iran’s revolution.”
    • In 1987, Reuters quoted Mousavi at a demonstration in Tehran saying “Tomorrow will be the day we step on the Great Satan. Tomorrow is the time for America to see our iron fists.”
    • In 1988, Reuters reported that Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi called Israel a “cancerous tumour” and said the Palestinian move to accept UN Resolution 242 would anger Muslim revolutionaries.
    • In 1989, after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Washington Post described Mousavi as “a leading radical who in the past has competed with Khamenei for primacy in setting government policy pledged subservience, along with his entire cabinet, to the new leader.”
    • In 1989, Mousavi called for Salman Rushdie to be killed. The Times (London) reported that “Mr Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the Prime Minister, said the Ayatollah Khomeini’s order that Mr Rushdie should be killed ‘will undoubtedly be carried out and the person who has become a tool of Zionists against Islam and brazenly attacked it and the Prophet will be punished’, according to Tehran Radio.” And in that same year, the Washington Post described Mousavi as a “leading hardliner,” with links to regime attempts to assassinate political opponents in exile.

    Report: Mousavi helped found Hezbollah and is the “younger half-brother of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.”

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    HEADLINES TO TRACK:

    AHMADINEJAD COULD LOSE ON FRIDAY: WHAT TO WATCH FOR DURING THE IRANIAN “ELECTIONS”

    In Uncategorized on June 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

     

    Does Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still have the support of the country's Supreme Leader?
    Does Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still have the support of the country’s Supreme Leader?
    • Main challenger: Iran's former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi is no moderate Reformer, despite media reports.

      Main challenger: Iran's former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi is no moderate Reformer, despite media reports.

      FLASH: Joel to appear on the Glenn Beck show on Fox at 5pm eastern Wednesday to discuss today’s shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, rising anti-Semitism, and the Iranian elections on Friday.

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    UPDATED: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could lose his re-election bid on Friday. More on that in a moment.

    First, disturbing new evidence suggests President Obama’s strategy too woo Iran back from the dark side is not working. Indeed, a new poll finds America’s favorable ratings among Iranians has actually gone down significantly since Obama took office. “Just 29 percent of Iranians said they have favorable views of the United States in the latest poll, which was conducted last month,” reports the Associated Press. “In a similar survey in February 2008 — nearly a year before Barack Obama became president — 34 percent had positive opinions about the U.S.” What’s more, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, responded to the President’s speech in Cairo last week by noting that Muslims hate the  U.S. from the bottoms of their hearts.

    What’s happening? Why were we more popular in Iran when George W. Bush was in office? Because President Bush told the truth. He didn’t kowtow to the Radicals in Tehran. He accurately described them as members of the “axis of evil.” President Obama, by contrast, keeps apologizing about American shortcomings — real and perceived — and keeps beseeching Iran’s Radicals to please, please come to the table and talk to us. Iranians by and large hate their government for lying to them and enslaving them and destroying their economy and their children’s future. They don’t respect Western leaders who legitimize the tyrants who oppress them, plain and simple.

    That said, keep your eye on the Ayatollah Khamenei this week. When Iranians go to the polls on Friday, the big question will be whether the Supreme Leader believes Ahmadinejad has outlived his usefulness to the regime. Both men share a Radical, apocalptic, genocidal, Shia Muslim world view. Both believe the end of the world is at hand, the Islamic Messiah’s arrival on earth is “imminent,” and that annihilating the U.S. and Israel are central objectives to hastening the Mahdi’s arrival. Up until now, Khamenei has supported Ahmadinejad as the face and voice of such views. Does he still? We’re about to find out. The elections on June 12th are rigged. If Ahmadinejad is reelected, that will be seen as an affirmation that the Persian Hitler known as Ahmadinejad is still the valued “front man” for the Supreme Leader. If someone else wins, we’ll have to watch closely to see if that presages a mere p.r. face lift, or suggests an actual, fundamental shift away from Radical Shia eschatology. Right now,  I’m expecting Ahmadinejad to win. But I really don’t know how this will play out. Anything is possible. Should be an interesting few days for everyone in the epicenter. See more below.

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    >> John Bolton in the Wall Street Journal: What If Israel Strikes Iran?

    WHO IS  MIR-HOSSEIN MOUSAVI?

    Mir-Hossein Mousavi is the Iranian presidential candidate who appears to have a shot at toppling current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday. He is claiming to be a “Reformer,” and campaigning on the mantra of “change.” And the Western media is touting him as a moderate. But is Mousavi really a pro-Western, pro-democracy Reformer? He has criticized Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust, and the President’s erratic, “extremist” foreign policy because both have sullied Iran’s reputation internationally. But the preponderance of the evidence suggests Mousavi is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing — a Radical who is soft-spoken and genteel in public.

    Mousavi was very close to the Ayatollah Khomeini during the initial phase of the Islamic Revolution. Indeed, Mousavi was appointed by Khomeini to be Iran’s Prime Minister from 1980 to 1988, after serving as Iran’s Foreign Minister. Despite some policy clashes in the past, he is believed to be close to Iran’s current Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei. They are from the same town. And they have worked together over the years to advance the Revolution. Mousavi’s record clearly suggests he is a jihadist at heart. He believes in exporting the Islamic Revolution as did his mentor. He hates Israel. He has no intention of slowing down Iran’s enrichment of uranium. His eschatology is, as yet, unknown.  The big question is whether Khamenei has decided to give him — or another of Ahmadinejad’s rivals — the nod. That remains to be seen. Developing….

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