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On eve of Purim, Netanyahu warns of rising Persian threat to Israel & the world and danger of making a bad deal with Tehran. Here’s my analysis. (Also: audio my interview with NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford on the PM’s speech, “Apocalyptic Iran” & “The Third Target”)

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2015 at 4:13 am
The Prime Minister of Israel addressing a Joint Session of Congress on March 3, 2015.

The Prime Minister of Israel addressing a Joint Session of Congress on March 3, 2015.

(Washington, D.C.) — That was one for the ages.

In 25 years living in or near the nation’s capital, I have never actually been to a Joint Session of Congress. But if there was ever a speech I wanted to hear, it was this one.

I wish you could have been there with me. It was so fascinating — and so humbling — to be in the House Chamber as the Prime Minister of Israel arrived to thunderous and continuous applause.

As I listened to him speak, I felt I was witnessing history being made, as if Winston Churchill himself were personally warning us of the gathering storm.

On the eve of Purim, the Jewish holiday remembering the Biblical book of Esther and the Persian plot to annihilate the Jewish people 2,500 years ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned the world of a new Persian/Iranian threat to Israel and the world. He made it clear how dangerous this Iran deal is, and Iran’s repeated threats to annihilate Israel and the U.S., and why we need to work together to stop Iran, not help them get The Bomb. [To read the transcript of the speech, please click here]

It was electric in that chamber. One standing ovation after another. From Democrats and Republicans. Liberals and conservatives. Young and old. Rabbis and pastors. There was such a sense of unity and warmth and bipartisanship. It was so rare, and so refreshing — I’ve never experienced anything else like it in the political realm. [To watch the video of the speech, please click here]

Many of you have emailed or Tweeted me or sent me Facebook messages asking for my observations and analysis. I appreciate that. Late in the afternoon, I was interviewed by Tony Perkins, who had also been to the speech. We spoke for 27 minutes. We analyzed the speech, its substance, its tone, its Biblical allusions, and its implications. Rather than write up an analysis, then, I’d encouraged you to listen to this podcast. [to listen, please click here]

I was also interviewed by Kathie Lee Gifford of NBC’s “Today Show” for her podcast. We discussed the President’s speech, my conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the Iranian threat, the issue of “Apocalyptic Islam,” and my new novel, The Third Target. [to listen to the Podcast — episode 68 — please click here.]

Finally, here’s a new column I published today, “Netanyahu Risks All To Address Congress, Sees The Threat of ‘Apocalyptic Islam.'” It includes excerpts from an interview I did with the Prime Minister several years ago about the End Times theology driving Iran’s leaders. Hope you find it helpful.

Thanks so much — more in the days ahead.

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Why does Netanyahu want to address Congress? He once explained in an interview with me that he sees a threat most do not. Excerpts from that conversation.

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2015 at 4:12 am

Netanyahu-AIPAC2014(Washington, D.C.) — Why does Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to address a Joint Session of Congress despite intense – even unprecedented — political attacks against him from the Obama administration, the media, and the left-wing in Israel?

Because he understands something too few in the West do – that the most serious threat we face today is not simply from “Radical Islam,” but from “Apocalyptic Islam.”

“I think the West misunderstood, and still misunderstands, the threat” posed by Iran, Mr. Netanyahu told me during a 2007 interview for a documentary film I was producing. “It is a fanatic, messianic ideology that seeks to have an apocalyptic battle for world supremacy with the West. It seeks to correct what it sees as an accident of history, where the West has risen, and Islam had declined.  The correction is supposed to be done by the resurrection of an Islamic empire and the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary, to obliterate Islam’s enemies, and to subjugate the rest.”

“This is a pathological ideology, much like Naziism was,” Mr. Netanyahu, then out of office, continued. “It poses a threat, in my judgment, in many ways bigger than Naziism. Because Hitler embarked on a world conflict and then sought to achieve nuclear weapons, where as the leading Radical Islamic regime – Iran — is seeking to first acquire nuclear weapons and then embark on a world conflict. And that is what is not yet understood in the West, and certainly, if it’s understood, it’s not acted upon.”

Today, for the first time in human history, the world faces not just one but two nation states whose rulers are driven by an apocalyptic, genocidal, End Times eschatology that seeks not simply to attack us but to annihilate us.

The first is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The second is Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL). The leaders of the former are Shia. The latter are Sunni. Both believe the End of Days has come. Both believe the Islamic messiah – known as the “Mahdi” — is coming at any moment. Both are trying to hasten the coming of the Mahdi so that he can conquer the earth and establish justice and peace. They speak often of such things.

That said, each has a different strategy to speed up the Mahdi’s arrival. ISIS wants to build a caliphate. Iran wants to build The Bomb. ISIS is committing genocide now. Iran is preparing to commit genocide later, openly stating it seeks to wipe Israel off the map and create a world without the United States, which they describe as the “Great Satan.”

In the immediate term, ISIS is more dangerous, as journalist Graeme Wood explains in a must-read article in The Atlantic. Why? Because ISIS is on a jihadist rampage right now – robbing, killing, destroying, enslaving, raping, torturing, beheading and burning people alive.

Longer term, Prime Minister Netanyahu argues that Iran is the most dangerous, especially if the President approves this disastrous nuclear deal. Why? Because the apocalyptic leaders of Iran are biding their time to build a nuclear arsenal capable of killing tens of millions of people in a matter of minutes. Thus, the Prime Minister will urge Congress to do everything in its Constitutional power to block ratification and implementation of treaty with Iran giving the mullahs a legal path to uranium enrichment, plutonium development, building ICBMs, and building nuclear warheads.

Far too few people in the West truly understand the nature and threat of Radical Islam. Fewer still are aware of — much less understand — the nature and threat of Apocalyptic Islam. Indeed, many dismiss these concerns all together.

However, according to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center, “in most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, more than half or more of Muslims believe they will live to see the return of the Mahdi.” In a world of 1.5 billion Muslims, that means more than 750 million Muslims believe not only that the Mahdi is coming, but that his arrival is imminent.

In Egypt, 40% of Muslims believe the return of the Mahdi is imminent. In Jordan, the number is 41%. Among Palestinians, it’s 46%. In Iraq, a stunning 72% of Muslims believe the Islamic messiah is coming soon.

What’s more, the Pew report found that an enormous number of Muslims believe that Jesus is literally coming back to earth. In Islamic eschatology, Jesus is not the Savior, nor the Son of God. Thus, Muslims do not believe Jesus will reign as the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” as prophesied in the Bible. Rather, Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology asserts that Jesus will come as a deputy, serving under the Mahdi, forcing people to convert to Islam or die.

In Jordan, 29% of Muslims believe Jesus is coming back to earth. In Egypt, the number is 39%. Among Palestinians, the number is 46%. In Iraq, a remarkable 64% of Muslims believe Jesus is coming back. Not all of these Muslims are dangerous, of course. But the leaders of Apocalyptic Islam are seeking to mobilize the masses who share their End Times theology towards violent, even genocidal, ends.

The President is ignoring such facts and their implications. The Prime Minister is not.

“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Mr. Netanyahu told a reporter in March of 2009, upon coming back to power after a decade in the political wilderness. Speaking of the Iranian leadership, he said, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

Mr. Netanyahu is still sounding the alarm. Mr. Obama is still refusing to listen.

God help us all.

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Top Senate Democrat blasts Obama’s Iran policy. Stage set for painful showdown. Please pray.

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2015 at 3:36 am
President Obama gives exclusive interview to Reuters on his Iran policy. (photo credit: Reuters)

President Obama gives exclusive interview to Reuters on his Iran policy. (photo credit: Reuters)

(Washington, D.C.) — Greetings from the AIPAC Policy Conference. AIPAC stands for the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” I have been to many of these over the past 25 years in Washington. But this is one for the ages.

There was a tumultuous reception here this morning for Israel’s Prime Minister from the 16,000 delegates. I lost track of the number of standing ovations. It was moving to be a part of (Israeli leaders rarely receive standing O’s anywhere else in the world, including in Israel.) The Prime Minister thanked America for our long-standing strategic alliance and called for bipartisanship in preventing Iran from building The Bomb.

Please be praying for the PM, his wife Sara and his team as they prepare for the speech to the Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday at 11am eastern. Thanks. I have been invited to attend the speech, and hope to provide details and analysis via Twitter, and later on this blog and in various media interviews.

For now I can tell you there is so much political tension and spiritual warfare in this city. We really need to be faithfully praying for Israel’s leaders, as well as for America’s leaders — for wisdom and discernment and for healing between our governments.

We are witnessing the most dramatic and unsettling clash in the 66 year history of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

President Obama is setting the stage for an historic and painful showdown — not with our enemy, Iran, but with our best friend and ally in the Middle East, Israel.

The President is signaling he is ready to give Iranian leaders most of what they want in the nuclear negotiations, and that he has no intention of meeting with Israel’s top leaders or listening to their deep concerns.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is signaling that he believes the nuclear deal is an historic mistake that threatens the very survival of Israel. He’s also making it clear that he will do everything he possibly can to persuade Congress to reject this emerging deal because it would put Iran on the path to legally building The Bomb.

And now a top Senate Democrat is now blasting the Obama administration over the wrong and dangerous path it is headed down regarding Iran.

“When it comes to defending the US-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone—not Israel’s political enemies, and not by my political friends when I believe they’re wrong,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said today. “As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as I have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interest of Israel, the region, and the national security interests of the United States—Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon. It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch.”

Menendez added: ““Here we are, near the end of negotiations, and the goal posts have moved from dismantlement to reconfiguration. From a peaceful nuclear program to just enough to detect break out. From no right-to-enrichment to getting an alarm system.

More analysis soon. For now, let me give you links to several of the key speeches and news stories:

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