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Elie Wiesel, Joe Lieberman and Alan Dershowitz call on Democrats to attend Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to Congress next week. (Please call your Congressman and urge him/her to attend.)

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm
Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, is calling on Democrats to attend the Israeli Prime Minister's speech to Congress.

Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, is calling on Democrats to attend the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to Congress.

(Nashville, Tennessee) — The train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations I have been warning about for several years has, tragically, arrived.

The President of the United States and his administration refuse to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week when he addresses a Joint Session of Congress. Rather, even as they negotiate a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, administration officials are trying to persuade Congressional Democrats to boycott the speech. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s political strategists are currently in Israel actively working for the defeat Netanyahu and his party in the March 17th elections.

Without question, this is the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in 67 years. Yet I thank God that some courageous voices on the Left — including Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, brilliant author and Nobel Prize Winner — are speaking out and calling for bipartisanship. They are calling for Democrats and Republicans to come together to listen to the Prime Minister’s case and to work hard to bring healing to this relationship, which is so important to both countries and to freedom and security.

I would encourage you to read the following — then contact your Members of Congress (House and Senate) and encourage them to attend the speech and listen respectfully to the Prime Minister of our most faithful and trustworthy ally in the Middle East.

[Note: I’m writing this article in my private, personal capacity as an author and not in any manner connected to the work of The Joshua Fund.]

Here is Sen. Lieberman’s op-ed in full:

HEAR OUT ISRAEL’S LEADER

Last week, 23 House Democrats asked Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress scheduled for March 3. But it is absolutely clear that the speaker will neither postpone nor rescind his invitation. The prime minister will be there to speak.

Therefore, I appeal to those 23 individuals and any other undecided members of Congress to go to the joint meeting and hear what the prime minister has to say. Let me suggest some good reasons why:

● Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty.

● Go because — regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case — you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.

● Go because you know that the Constitution gives you, as a member of Congress, the power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” “define and punish . . . offenses against the law of nations,” “declare war,” “raise and support armies” and “provide and maintain a Navy,” and Netanyahu might say some things that will inform your exercise of those great powers.

● Go because you know that Israel is one of our closest and most steadfast allies and you feel a responsibility to listen to its leader speak about developments that he believes could threaten the safety, independence and even existence of his country, as well as that of our closest allies in the Arab world.

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BREAKING: President caving to Iranian nuclear demands, despite poll showing 80% of Americans fear “Second Holocaust” if Iran gets The Bomb. What should be our policy towards Iran’s nuclear program?

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm

MEME-SecondHolocaust(Nashville, Tennessee) — The American people overwhelming fear a nuclear holocaust if Iran is permitted to develop their nuclear program and build atomic warheads, according to exclusive polling data I have commissioned.

The policy of the United States and world community towards the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program should be:

  • No possession of enriched uranium whatsoever — turn over all such material to the IAEA to be removed from the country; only retain what is being used to run peaceful nuclear reactors
  • No uranium enrichment whatsoever — and full dismantlement of enrichment facilities and equipment
  • No plutonium development whatsoever
  • No purchase, building or testing of nuclear weapons, or components and technologies to build such weapons whatsoever
  • No ICBM development, testing or deployment whatsoever
  • No material support of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, etc whatsoever
  • Vigorous and consistent inspections by the IAEA
  • Or else the international community which impose crushing economic and diplomatic sanctions, and reserve right to take other measures.

At the same time, explicit U.S. policy should be regime change in Iran.

Yet rather than do all in his power to end Iran’s nuclear program, news reports from the Associated Press and New York Times now indicate that as the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran come to a deadline at the end of March, President Obama is preparing to cave into Iranian demands and give the terrorist leaders of Iran most of what they want.

Tragically, we are watching the emergence of the most dangerous deal with an enemy nation since British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany in the late 1930s.

And all this in defiance of the American people’s wishes.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “If the world does not take decisive action, and the Iranian regime is permitted to build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, the Iranian regime will one day attempt to annihilate the State of Israel and bring about a Second Holocaust”?

  • 80.2% agree
  • 16.1% disagree
  • 3.7% don’t know

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “If the U.S. and our allies do not take decisive action, and the Iranian regime is permitted to build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, the Iranian regime will one day attempt to attack the homeland of the United States and bring about a nuclear holocaust”?

  • 68.1% agree
  • 23.3% disagree
  • 8.6% don’t know

These results coming from exclusive polling I commissioned last year from McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally respected U.S. polling firm.

On February 18th, President Obama spoke to the “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.” He told the gathered representatives from 60 countries that “in the face of this challenge, we have marshaled the full force of the United States government, and we’re working with allies and partners to dismantle terrorist organizations and protect the American people.”

Unfortunately, this is not true.

To the contrary, the President is appeasing the terrorist government of Iran and preparing to give the Radical Islam leaders in Tehran exactly what they want, including:

Meanwhile, the President is also:

  • Ignoring Iran’s work in building ICBMs
  • Ignoring Iran’s material support of terrorist organizations from Hezbollah to Hamas to Shia militia groups in Iraq, etc.
  • Ignoring the counsel of our most faithful ally in the region, Israel, who faces an existential threat from a nuclear armed Iran and are pleading with the President not to agree to such a deal.
  • Ignoring the counsel from our Arab allies in the region – including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and several of the Gulf Emirates – who also believe they face a mortal threat from a nuclear armed Iran, and behind the scenes are pressing the President not to agree to such a deal.

I will be addressing these issues this afternoon at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. Please follow me on Twitter for updates.

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>> How serious is the threat of ISIS & Radical Islam? I’m doing a special simulcast event for churches on Sunday evening, April 19th. Please register today.

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I’m excited to announce The Joshua Fund’s 2015 “Prayer & Vision Tour of the Holy Land.” Come visit Israel & Jordan and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Here are the details.

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

TJF-2015tourDear Friends:

It is with great excitement about God’s love for the people of Israel and her neighbors that I cordially invite you to join us for The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour Of The Holy Land.”

The Israel portion of the tour will be October 14-25, 2015.

And for the first time ever, we will lead an optional additional tour to the Biblical sites of the Kingdom of Jordan for those who want to extend their time and learn more. This will be from October 25-29, 2015.

If you have never been to the Holy Land, it is hard to describe what a profound spiritual effect such a journey can have on you and your family. You may have heard others say God’s Word seemed to “come alive” in a new way when they walked where Jesus walked, from the shores of Galilee to the Mount of Olives and into the streets of Jerusalem. Well, it’s true, and I believe our 2015 Israel trip will allow you to experience this for yourself and intensify your desire to walk more closely with Jesus Christ.

If you have been to Israel before, this trip will be a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of how powerfully the Lord is moving there. And this tour is like no other!

  • You will visit The Joshua Fund’s warehouse and participate in a practical ministry project to bless the poor and needy.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet with and pray for local pastors and ministry leaders on the frontlines of the faith.
  • You will have the opportunity to hear solid Bible teaching, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for all the people of the epicenter, and have the joy of worshipping the Lord in the land of Jesus, the prophets and the apostles.
  • I will also teach at key locations and answer your questions about the future of the Epicenter.
  • And, as I mentioned, for those who want to learn more, we are offering our first-ever extension to visit Biblical and historic sites in Jordan such as Mount Nebo, Petra and the capital of Amman.

Now more than ever, it is vitally important for Christians to “learn, pray, give and go” — to really learn how much God loves the people of Israel, Jordan and the region; to pray with and for Jews and Arabs; to give to ministries that are truly blessing people on both sides in the name of Jesus; and actually go to the Holy Land to stand with these dear people in these challenging times.

To learn more about this Prayer & Vision Tour of the Holy Land — to get your questions answered, and to register — please click here.

Please prayerfully consider coming to visit the Land we love and now call our home to meet the people we love and now call our neighbors. We would love to see you there!

Yours to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund

>> To make a secure, tax-deductible, financial contribution to the work of The Joshua Fund, please click here

What does ISIS want? To usher in the End of Days. Here’s the short version. (Must-read article in The Atlantic)

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2015 at 8:25 pm
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, is driven by an End of Days vision. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, is driven by an End of Days vision. (photo credit: Associated Press)

(Nashville, Tennessee) — Are the leaders and ground forces of the Islamic State driven by an apocalyptic, End of Days theology? If so, does President Obama and his administration understand this?

I was asked these questions on Fox News yesterday. (To watch the video or read the transcript, please click here)

Here’s the short version:

  • Yes, ISIS and its supreme leader — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — is consumed by a Radical Sunni Islamic version of eschatology, or End Times theology.
  • No, the President and his senior team do not see this, and this is one of the most serious mistakes they are making. We cannot defeat an enemy we refuse to define. I realize eschatology is a topic foreign — even bizarre — to most political, military and intelligence officials. But to truly understand what ISIS wants, and how far they are willing to go to get it, our leaders absolutely must study and understand it.

One of the most intriguing and disturbing developments of our times is that we now have two nation states — the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic State — driven by adherents to apocalyptic, genocidal forms of End Times theology. The Iranian leaders hold to a Shia brand. ISIS leaders hold to a Sunni brand. But both are driven by a belief that their messiah is coming and judgment with him. The Iranians believe they must lay the groundwork for the messiah (Mahdi) to come and build his caliphate or kingdom. ISIS isn’t waiting. They have launched a jihadist rampage to build the caliphate now, so that the Mahdi will come soon.

At the National Religious Broadcasters convention here in Nashville this week, I will be addressing these issues and the reasons I wrote The Third Target, Inside The Revolution, and The Twelfth Imam, each of which deal with Islamic, Jewish and Christian eschatology, their similarities and their differences. I will blog and Tweet notes from those messages throughout the week.

For now, let me encourage you to read an absolutely spot-on article in The Atlantic magazine on the apocalyptic theology driving ISIS. It was written by a reporter named Graeme Wood. It’s long, but it is excellent. Here is the link to the full article. Here are some excerpts.

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

  • Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers.
  • In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.”
  • In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
  • The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior.
  • Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.
  • In broad strokes, al-Qaeda acts like an underground political movement, with worldly goals in sight at all times—the expulsion of non-Muslims from the Arabian peninsula, the abolishment of the state of Israel, the end of support for dictatorships in Muslim lands.
  • The Islamic State has its share of worldly concerns (including, in the places it controls, collecting garbage and keeping the water running), but the End of Days is a leitmotif of its propaganda.
  • Bin Laden rarely mentioned the apocalypse, and when he did, he seemed to presume that he would be long dead when the glorious moment of divine comeuppance finally arrived. “Bin Laden and Zawahiri are from elite Sunni families who look down on this kind of speculation and think it’s something the masses engage in,” says Will McCants of the Brookings Institution, who is writing a book about the Islamic State’s apocalyptic thought.
  • During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers, by contrast, saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi—a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world.
  • McCants says a prominent Islamist in Iraq approached bin Laden in 2008 to warn him that the group was being led by millenarians who were “talking all the time about the Mahdi and making strategic decisions” based on when they thought the Mahdi was going to arrive. “Al-Qaeda had to write to [these leaders] to say ‘Cut it out.’ ”
  • For certain true believers—the kind who long for epic good-versus-evil battles—visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths fulfill a deep psychological need.
  • Of the Islamic State supporters I met, Musa Cerantonio, the Australian, expressed the deepest interest in the apocalypse and how the remaining days of the Islamic State—and the world—might look. Parts of that prediction are original to him, and do not yet have the status of doctrine.
  • But other parts are based on mainstream Sunni sources and appear all over the Islamic State’s propaganda. These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.
  • The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains. It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp. The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam.
  • Now that it has taken Dabiq, the Islamic State awaits the arrival of an enemy army there, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse.
  • After its battle in Dabiq, Cerantonio said, the caliphate will expand and sack Istanbul. Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth, but Cerantonio suggested its tide may never reach beyond the Bosporus.
  • An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem.
  • Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus—the second-most-revered prophet in Islam—will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.
  • That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model.
  • Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time.

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>> How serious is the threat of ISIS & Radical Islam? I’m doing a special simulcast event for churches on Sunday evening, April 19th. Please register today.

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Jordan’s King shows real leadership on ISIS. Why will a Muslim monarch say our enemy is Radical Islam but President Obama won’t? Also: The importance of considering the apocalyptic goals of ISIS. Here’s my interview on Fox News.

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Joel-FoxJordanShannon(Nashville, Tennessee) — Why is that President Obama absolutely refuses to define our enemy in the Middle East as “Radical Islam,” yet Muslim leaders like Jordan’s King Abdullah II very honestly and publicly state this fight is, in fact, a showdown with violent Muslims and that we must take decisive action to fight these jihadists theologically as well as militarily?

Why is it, too, that so few in Washington are focused on understanding the apocalyptic goals of ISIS and their End of Days mindset? To miss this is to miss much of what motivates the Islamic State.

Jordan’s Muslim monarch is showing real leadership in the war on ISIS. He gets their goals, and gets the stakes, as I explained on Fox News on Sunday. (Egypt’s President el-Sisi is showing impressive leadership, too, as I wrote about recently). Unfortunately, President Obama does not appear to be listening to such men.

Consider the headlines of just the past few days:

The President is making a serious mistake. We cannot defeat an enemy we refuse to define.

We should be grateful that King Abdullah II and President el-Sisi are showing bold leadership in the fight against ISIS. They deserve America’s support.

I discussed these issues on Fox with anchor Shannon Bream. Here is the video. Here is the transcript.

Bream: After that brutal killing of the captured Jordanian pilot — carefully scripted, filmed and broadcast to the world — King Abdullah retaliated and called the battle against ISIS the “third world war.” Joel Rosenberg is author of a new book, The Third Target. He says King Abdullah fully understands he that is in a winner-take-all showdown with ISIS. Joel joins us now live. Joel, good to see you today.

Rosenberg: Good to see you, as well. Thank you, Shannon.

Bream: Now, you are very familiar — having lived and worked in that region quite a bit — what do you make of the response we saw from the Jordanians, and where do you think we go from here? Do you think those you live and breathe and work in that region have a different understanding than we do here in the U.S.?

Rosenberg: Well, the contrast between President Obama’s response to Americans being beheaded and King Abdullah’s response is striking. You know, President Obama was with King Abdullah the day the video was released of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive. The King was not on the President’s schedule that day he was in Washington. And the President only added him in because of that murder, and they only spent 20 minutes together. But what did the King do? He went right back. He suited up in fatigues. He started bombing ISIS, and he hanged two ISIS people that had been captured. He understands this is a war. And he understands that he is at the center of it. And it’s interesting that in that 60 Minutes interview you just referenced — when he called it a “third world war” — he said it’s a war “inside Islam.” President Obama is deeply conflicted over whether this is a battle that has anything to do with Islam. But the King — who is a descendant of Muhammad — knows it’s a battle inside Islam, and against Radical Islam.

Bream: I don’t want to get too deep into the theological weeds, but you’ve written a number of books about this. And your book on the so-called “Twelfth Imam” is about these End Times prophecies that certain factions of Islam — not the majority of Muslims out there — but there are certain factions who adhere to a very radical, specific End Times theology, and that ISIS is sort of in the business of, they want to launch an Armageddon-type, end of the world situation. They think it’s what they need in prophecy to bring about their end goals. Do you think that we get that? Do you think that our administration gets that?

Rosenberg: No, and that’s because the President is saying from the top and throughout the administration that this isn’t an Islamic problem. You’re right that the vast majority of Muslims don’t, you know  — this is not them — they’re not cutting off people’s heads and they never will. But the Radicals are being driven by their interpretation of Islam. And it’s important — this is what motivates them. This is why it’s not a jobs issue. It’s not a poverty issue. It’s a Radical Islamic theology issue, and an eschatology issue. They do want to set up a caliphate — an Islamic kingdom — which is really an End Times theology in their view. They believe it will hasten the End of Days. My new novel, The Third Target, is really about ISIS being a threat to Israel, the United States, and Jordan. What’s interesting is that it’s been out five weeks now on the best-seller lists, but it really takes us into this threat that is actually not fiction right now. This is very real.

Bream: Yes. I was one eschatology class away from a theology minor in college, but I find that there’s so much that I’m learning by reading about what these specific factions believe. And for those who want to get some education on this, your books are a great way of doing that — some fiction, some non-fiction — but a great way of getting a better understanding of why some decisions are made, and who the players are and what their interests are in these games that are — not games, I mean the end game of what they hoped to bring about.

Rosenberg: Right, right.

Bream: I would recommend those [books] as a very entertaining but very educational way to get up-to-speed on some of these issues. Joel, always good to see you. Thank you so much. Come back soon.

Rosenberg: Thank you. I appreciate it.

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BREAKING: Obama refuses to back Egypt in fight against Radical Islam. ISIS burns 45 people to death in Iraq. MSNBC’s Chris Matthew says U.S. being “morally humiliated” by ISIS. New report highlights ISIS persecution of Christians.

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2015 at 8:28 pm
(Source: BBC Middle East)

(Source: BBC Middle East)

UPDATED: The satanic acts of the Islamic State — robbing, killing and destroying across the Middle East and North Africa — continue unabated.

Yet President Obama and his administration are hesitating if not outright refusing to back Egypt — a long-time American ally — in its military strikes on ISIS, even thought 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded this week by ISIS-affiliated jihadists in Libya.

Now even some members of the liberal media are becoming apoplectic by the lack of seriousness and urgency of the White House to deal with the evil that is ISIS.

  • “Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, the local police chief says,” reports the BBC. “Exactly who these people were and why they were killed is not clear, but Col Qasim al-Obeidi said he believed some were members of the security forces.”
  • “IS fighters captured much of the town, near Ain al-Asad air base, last week,” noted the BBC. “Col Obeidi said a compound that houses the families of security personnel and local officials was now under attack. He pleaded for help from the government and the international community. The fighting and poor communications in the area make it difficult to confirm such reports. Earlier this month, IS published a video showing militants burning alive a Jordanian air force pilot, whose plane crashed in Syria in December.”
  • “The Obama administration was given multiple chances Wednesday to endorse a long-time ally’s airstrikes on America’s biggest enemy at the moment, the so-called Islamic State,” reports The Daily Beast. “Over and over again, Obama’s aides declined to back Egypt’s military operation against ISIS. It’s another sign of the growing strain between the United States and Egypt, once one of its closest friends in the Middle East.”
  • It is hard to be surprised by the President’s dangerous and foolish foreign policy blunders, but this one is mind-boggling. We need the President to reengage and strengthen the U.S. alliance with Egypt that has crumbled over the past six years.
  • Several days ago, I wrote the following blog: “Amidst Obama retreat from Mideast, three regional leaders are forming a quiet but fiercely determined alliance against Iran & ISIS. Israeli PM Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah II & Egyptian President el-Sisi face high stakes. Will they succeed?” In it, I discuss how Israel, Jordan and Egypt are banding together since they feel increasingly distanced from the Obama administration (particularly Israel and Egypt, a bit less so with Jordan). I commend it to your attention in light of the latest developments.
  • “Liberal cable news host Chris Matthews called out American apathy in the wake of the latest Islamic State massacre, saying the United States is being “morally humiliated” by the terrorists,” noted National Review Online. “Islamists associated with the Islamic State murdered 21 innocent Egyptian Christians in Libya on February 15, filming their mass beheading and posting the video online.”

“Can we do nothing?” the MSNBC host asked. ”Can we just look at the pictures, ask what’s for supper? What’s on TV tonight? What’s the weather like tomorrow morning? And go on with our lives warding off the knowledge that these people are being killed in demonstration against us?”

“I know, we all know we need a plan,” Matthews continued. “We need a route that takes us to a destroyed ISIS, because the alternative is too sick, too un-American, too un-human. We can’t see people killed like this in our face and simply flip to the sports page or the financial news or what’s at the movies or who’s going to win the Oscars and act like America, our country, is not being morally humiliated.”

“Because it is, with the lives of at least some of these people, who must, in their last minutes, have to be wondering if there’s any chance the people in the United States could be coming to their rescue,” he said. “Because that’s how we were taught that we conduct ourselves. We don’t leave people behind.”

Developing….

STORIES WORTH TRACKING:

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On Sunday evening April 19th, I’m doing a special simulcast event for churches: “Do Christians In The Middle East Face Genocide? How Serious Is The Threat of ISIS & Radical Islam? What Can Christians In The West Really Do To Make A Difference?” With so much interest in these topics, I hope your church or small group Bible study will take advantage of this special event. Please register today.

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Is Jordan next? Will it fall to the Islamic State? King Abdullah knows he is in a winner-take-all war with ISIS. Does Washington?

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2015 at 9:50 am
The Warrior King?

The Warrior King?

Here is the new op-ed I just wrote for the FoxNews.com Opinion page.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is in a winner-take-all war with the Islamic State

By Joel C. Rosenberg, special for Fox News Opinion, February 17, 2015

With the barbaric murder of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh — the Jordanian pilot locked in a cage and burned alive by operatives of the Islamic State, for all the world to see — Jordan’s King Abdullah faces the most dangerous moment since ascending to the throne in 1999.

ISIS jihadists in Syria and Iraq have publicly threatened to invade Jordan and “slaughter” Abdullah, whom they denounce as a “tyrant.” Extremists inside Jordan took to the streets last summer shouting, “Down, down with Abdullah!” The latest ISIS propaganda video attacks the king as an “ally of the crusaders.” One figure in the video proclaims, “all Arab tyrants should…be burned.”

While Jordan has remained a source of calm in the region, the roots of radical Islamic extremism run deep there. A Jordanian, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq — the precursor to ISIS — before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike on June 7, 2006. Today, an estimated 2,000 Jordanian nationals are fighting with ISIS. What happens when they come back to Jordan?

Meanwhile, 1.3 million people, mostly Muslims, have fled Syria and are currently residing in Jordan. Some 600,000 are contained inside refugee camps. The rest are freely moving about the country. How many are plotting against the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and how advanced and sophisticated are their plans?

The good news is that King Abdullah understands full well that he is in a winner-take-all showdown with ISIS, which he describes as “a Third World war.” As a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, the king sees himself as a moderate Arab reformer. He believes Islam is the answer to the challenges facing his region, but he does not believe violent jihad is the way forward. He has built good relations with the West, maintains a solid peace treaty with Israel, and has worked hard to protect Christians in Jordan. But he is acutely aware that the jihadists are gunning for him. Indeed, upon hearing the news of the pilot’s murder, he immediately cut short his visit to Washington and returned to Amman to launch an “earth-shaking” military response to ISIS.

The urgent question right now is whether American leaders fully understand just how catastrophic it would be for Jordan to fall to ISIS, and whether they are truly committed to taking all measures necessary to crush ISIS and stand firm with Jordan, one of our most important Arab allies.

Friends and enemies alike have pointed out that President Obama has been indecisive and inconsistent in responding to the turmoil caused by the extremists. U.S.-led airstrikes have slowed the jihadist advance in Iraq, but ISIS is steadily expanding its control of Syria. Yet inexplicably, the White House has failed to set forth a clear strategy to defeat the Islamic State in either Iraq or Syria, even as the rest of the neighborhood — from the shores of Tripoli to the Hindu Kush — is falling apart before our eyes.

Obama is now asking for congressional authorization for his half-hearted war on ISIS. Yet his very request shows how unsure and unserious he is. Congress should pass a resolution authorizing the use of “all means necessary” to defeat the enemy. But the president’s draft explicitly rules out any serious use of ground forces, even if America’s military leaders deem them essential.

Obama specifically refuses to put an adequate number of U.S. special forces and technical advisers on the ground to help Iraqi forces retake their country. Last month, retired four-star U.S. Army General Jack Keane testified before Congress that at least 10,000 U.S. special operators are needed in the theater to prosecute an effective war against ISIS. Thus far, the administration adamantly disagrees.

At the same time, President Obama refuses to directly and adequately arm the Kurds in their fight against ISIS, despite their heroic efforts on the battlefield. Obama should be providing Jordan and the Iraqis far more arms and other resources to fight ISIS, but he hesitates.

Meanwhile, he exhibits a dangerously dysfunctional attitude toward two key American allies in the region, namely Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Like Jordan’s King Abdullah, both Netanyahu and al-Sisi clearly see the grave threat posed by the Shia brand of radicalism advanced by Iran and Hezbollah, and the similarly ominous threat posed by the Sunni brand of violent extremism advanced by ISIS, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Netanyahu and Sisi are quietly but actively working together – and with Jordan – against these threats. Yet Obama’s public disdain for the Israeli and Egyptian leaders in the midst of a hot war is both counterproductive (the Egyptians are now turning to Moscow for help) and risks undermining the trust and confidence of Jordan’s leaders, as well as that of other Mideast allies.

With so many other major challenges in the Middle East at present, it would be easy for American policy-makers to overlook Jordan’s importance — easy, but a mistake. Jordan is the cornerstone of any future Arab-Israeli peace plan. If it fell to ISIS, Jordan would quickly become a launching pad for terrorist attacks against America and its allies.

Fortunately, the American people instinctively understand the magnitude of the threat posed by ISIS. In a recent survey 74 percent of Americans said they worry ISIS will launch a “catastrophic terrorist” attack inside the U.S. if they are not defeated soon. Nearly as many Americans (72 percent) worry ISIS will soon try to launch a massive attack against the State of Israel. At the same time, 65 percent are afraid ISIS “will also try to overthrow the King of Jordan – an important, moderate Arab ally of the United States – and use Jordan as a base camp to launch terrorist attacks against America and Israel.”

Not surprisingly, therefore, Americans want President Obama and congressional leaders to work closely with America’s most trusted allies in the Middle East – including Jordan — to crush ISIS quickly and decisively. God help us if the president does not start making the right moves before it is too late.

Joel C. Rosenberg is a New York Times best-selling author of novels and non-fiction books about the Middle East. His latest political thriller, The Third Target, centers on an ISIS plot to attack the U.S., Israel and Jordan.

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ALSO WORTH READING:

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THE THIRD TARGET stays on Publishers Weekly best-seller list for 5th straight week. With ISIS dominating global headlines, readers are asking about a sequel. Here’s an update & my current speaking schedule.

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm
Register today for the April 19th event.

Register today for the April 19th event.

As readers of this blog know, the Islamic State, ISIS, and ISIL were not household words or concepts in 2013 when I began writing a new political thriller about this Radical Islamic jihadist movement plotting mass casualty attacks in the Middle East and the West.

By the time I handed in the manuscript in the summer of 2014, however, ISIS was on a jihadist rampage across the epicenter and dominating global headlines.

With interest in — and concern about — ISIS growing rapidly in the U.S. and Canada, Tyndale House Publishers decided to move up the release of The Third Target to January 6, 2015, from its original planned release in March.

The international geopolitical thriller — the only novel about ISIS of its kind on the market — immediately hit all the major hardcover fiction best-seller lists, including the New York Times. It is currently the #1 best-selling novel in the Christian publishing industry. And we have just learned that The Third Target has hit the Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best-seller list for the 5th week in a row.

Many readers are asking me, “Is this the first book in a series?”

It is — and I’m glad to announce that I began writing the sequel to The Third Target today here in Israel.

My editors would like the manuscript by May. Tyndale hopes to release the next book early in 2016. So I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.

I also have several speaking commitments that I need to fulfill over the next few weeks. Among them:

I hope to see you at one of these events. In the meantime, please keep praying for America, Israel and our Arab allies at this critical moment.

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Egypt’s President el-Sisi orders military strikes after ISIS beheads 21 Egyptian Christians. Details & analysis. [Register today for special simulcast on April 19th: “Do Christians In The Mideast Face Genocide?”]

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2015 at 9:16 am
ISIS jihadists prepare to behead 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. (source: screen capture from new ISIS video)

ISIS jihadists prepare to behead 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. (source: screen capture from new ISIS video)

>> On Sunday evening April 19th, I’m doing a special simulcast event for churches: “Do Christians In The Middle East Face Genocide? How Serious Is The Threat of ISIS & Radical Islam? What Can Christians In The West Really Do To Make A Difference?” With so much interest in these topics, I hope your church or small group Bible study will take advantage of this special event. Please register today.

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UPDATED: Much of the West remains asleep or lethargic concerning the threat posed by the Islamic State, even as the movement’s gruesome killing spree continues unabated.

The latest: an Islamic State affiliate has beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya, according to a new ISIS video released on Sunday. “In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach the group said was near Tripoli,” reported Reuters. “They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded.”

“The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church,” read a caption on the five minute video, Reuters noted.

President Obama spent eight hours golfing on Sunday.

But Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to “avenge” the “criminal killings.” He immediately ordered the Egyptian air force to bomb ISIS sites in Libya, and he announced that more attacks against the jihadists were coming. He also called for a seven-day period of mourning for the murdered Christians.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sisi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens and said his government reserves the right to seek retaliation, reported the Associated Press. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

The AP report noted that “the killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to ‘conquer Rome.'”

“All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together,” states one of the jihadists on the ISIS video. “Therefore we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”

A few thoughts on these horrific new reports:

  • My heart is grieving for the growing number of ISIS victims from Syria to Iraq to Jordan to Egypt and Libya and beyond.
  • Let us pray for the families and friends of all who have been murdered.
  • Let us pray for the safe and quick release of all those whom ISIS is holding captive.
  • Let us pray for the Egyptian Church — to be brave, bold, courageous witnesses for the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to be faithful lights amidst such terrible darkness.
  • Let us pray for Egyptian President el-Sisi to know best how to deal with this crisis.
  • Let us pray for President el-Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as they continue to form a quiet but fiercely determined alliance to protect their people from Radical Islam, as I wrote about yesterday.
  • Let us also understand that ISIS is a demonic movement. This is not mere terrorism. These barbarians are making blood sacrifices to their god. They must be stopped.
  • I will continue to pray faithfully for President Obama to have a change of heart and mind, to truly come to understand the magnitude of the threat Radical Islam — from Iran to ISIS — poses to the American people and our allies.
  • But I also believe that with the gathering storm of Radical Islam building, 2016 cannot come fast enough.
  • We need new leadership — but we must choose very carefully and prayerfully.
  • We are not simply looking for a leader who will revive America’s economy and put tens of millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans back to work in good, high-paying jobs that can support their families.
  • We are not simply looking for a leader who will get America’s fiscal house in order, and stop borrowing massive amounts of money from the Chinese.
  • We are not simply looking for a leader who believes in the Judeo-Christian values America was founded upon, and will operate according to the Constitution, and will defend the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — in that order.
  • We are not simply looking for a leader who understands the moral and spiritual dangers facing America, and the need for God’s grace and mercy and a Third Great Awakening.
  • We are looking for all these qualities, but we are looking for more.
  • We need a War President — someone with a well-developed understanding of the rising threats we face from Radical Islam to Russia, someone who believes in “Peace Through Strength,” someone who is building around him or her a team of wise and experienced foreign policy and national security advisors, someone with a plan to rebuild America’s military, someone who will rebuild our tattered global alliances, someone who will defeat ISIS and neutralize the Iran nuclear threat, someone who isn’t trigger-happy but is ready to use force when necessary, someone who will lead the free world from the front, not from behind.
  • We are not facing a jayvee squad, and we cannot afford a rookie.

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Amidst Obama retreat from Mideast, three regional leaders are forming a quiet but fiercely determined alliance against Iran & ISIS. Israeli PM Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah II & Egyptian President el-Sisi face high stakes. Will they succeed?

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm
King Abdullah and PM Netanyahu.

King Abdullah and PM Netanyahu.

President el-Sisi and King Abdullah II.

President el-Sisi and King Abdullah II.

Something curious is happening in the Middle East.

Amidst President Obama’s repeated moves to withdraw American military power and influence from the Middle East and “pivot” to Asia, three regional leaders in the epicenter are forming a quiet, unexpected but fiercely determined alliance.

Why? To protect their people against two existential threats, one posed by the Shia Radical Islamists of Iran, the other posed by the Sunni Radical Islamists of ISIS.

Who are they?

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu;
  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II; and
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

They are meeting secretly. They are talking regularly by phone, as well as with other leaders in the region from Saudi Arabia to the Gulf. Their senior advisors are also in regular contact, coordinating moves to counter their most serious enemies. They are not waiting for Washington. Indeed, they often see the White House and State Department as less than helpful, and sometimes opposed to — or not truly understanding — their national and shared interests.

As 2014 began, I wrote a series of columns about why we should keep our eye on these three (for a sampling, see here, here, here, here, and here.) As 2015 begins, I hold to this analysis. These men are critically important players who are actively trying to shape the future of the Middle East for the better, and who are trying to work closely with the U.S. despite resistance from the White House.

NETANYAHUPrime Minister Netanyahu declared war on Hamas last summer amidst a jihadist rampage sweeping the region.  An experienced expert in battling jihad, few leaders have warned about the overall threat of Radical Islam — and specifically about the Iranian nuclear threat — not just to Israel but to the U.S. and the world more clearly or consistently than he.

“To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war,” Netanyahu told leaders at the UN last September. ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. They share the same fanatical creed….The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith….Militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam….Allowing Iran to reach nuclear capabilities will pose the greatest threat to us all.”

He leads the most faithful and trusted ally America has in the Middle East (and arguably in the world), yet he is persona non grata in the White House, and far closer to his colleagues in Amman and Cairo.

ABDULLAHKing Abdullah II has declared war on ISIS and launch repeated rounds of airstrikes after a Jordanian pilot was burned alive by ISIS. He is pro-Western and has worked closely with the U.S. military and intel community for years.

What’s more, the King and his top advisors are also actively engaged in trying to deconstruct and delegitimize the theology of Radical Islam. In 2005, the King issued the “Amman Message,” a public call for Muslims to reject violent extremism, promote tolerance and moderation, and project innocent human life, based on a “Reformer” interpretation of Islam. Since then, some 552 Muslim leaders, scholars and clerics in 84 countries have signed the document in agreement. He has also worked hard to protect Christian minorities in Jordan.

The King, perhaps America’s most trusted and faithful Arab ally, has the best relationship with Obama of the three — yet it is far from what it should be. The President reportedly was not even planning to meet with His Majesty on his recent trip to Washington, and apparently only changed his plans after learning of the Jordanian pilot’s death. Even then, they met for less than 20 minutes.

El-SISI — President el-Sisi has declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood and other brands of jihad. In the summer of 2013, he and the Egyptian military brought down the Brotherhood that was strangling Egypt and was trying to impose Sharia law. He declared a ferocious war on the lawless jihadists operating in the Sinai desert, shut down many of the smuggling tunnels connecting the Sinai to the Gaza Strip, and committed himself to cutting off the arms and money flowing to the Hamas terror group operating in Gaza.

Most recently, he delivered a major speech in Cairo on January 1, 2015 challenging Muslim leaders to reform Islam and rescue it from the Radicals. “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!” el-Sisi told scholars at Al-Azhar University, the Harvard of Sunni Islam. “We are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting for your next move….I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema (learned men) – Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”

Yet while el-Sisi has forged excellent working relations with Abdullah and with Netanyahu (especially important during the 2014 war with Hamas), the Obama administration refuses to treat el-Sisi as partner and ally of the United States. Instead, it condemned removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power and called for Mohammed Morsi to be put back into power. (Morsi is the man who famously said during a campaign speech, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”)

Meanwhile, the Obama team has refused to dispense more than $500 million in promised aid to Egypt. A top Egyptian official said U.S-Egyptian relations were in “turmoil” in 2013. The situation remained so bad that in the summer of 2014 el-Sisi declined an invitation from President Obama to come to meet him in Washington.

Two U.S. officials told me of a meeting they had with President el-Sisi in Cairo last year. The Egyptian leader told them he had a better working relationship with Netanyahu than with President Obama.

True, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, and signed a separate peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. But that has not always meant the countries worked closely together. Indeed, there have been times of much stress and tension in each of these relationships.

But times are changing. The rise of the Radicals, and the retreat of Mr. Obama, is bringing these three leaders together in unexpected ways.

Each sees his country in grave danger from the forces of Radical Islam.

Each has chosen to boldly and aggressively engage in military action against the Radicals to protect their people, despite widespread criticism at home and abroad.

Each is also increasingly speaking out publicly about the nature of the threat — the poisonous, genocidal theology of the jihadists — and each is calling on the world both to understand the threat and help them first contain and then defeat Radical Islam before it is too late.

Yet to their astonishment, Netanyahu, King Abdullah and el-Sisi have come to realize that President Obama and his administration do not fully appreciate the magnitude of the threat, and that the Obama team is not fully committed to taking decisive action to neutralize the threat.

Will this alliance succeed to stopping Iran, ISIS and other Radicals? Only time will tell. But it’s an important — though very sensitive partnership — and one the U.S. should be assisting, not resisting.

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