Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Updates From The Epicenter

Looking Behind The Curtain: Who Is Behind 'Boycott Of Jerusalem, Biblical Territories'?

A European Union boycott of financial dealings with Jews in the biblical West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem was fully coordinated with the Obama administration, a senior Palestinian negotiator told WND.“Without the U.S. support, the EU wouldn’t have taken such measures,” the negotiator said.

On Friday, the EU published guidelines forbidding its 28 members from having any financial dealings with what it calls Jewish settlements or territories that have been “occupied” by Israel since 1967.
The preface to the guidelines states “the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over … the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem … and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic law.”
“Only Israeli entities having their place of establishment within Israel’s pre-1967 borders will be considered eligible as final recipients” of funding such as “grants, prizes and financial instruments.”
A high-ranking Israeli foreign ministry official told Agence France-Presse on Friday that Israel met the ambassadors of Britain and France, and Germany’s deputy ambassador to convey a message that the boycott will cause a serious crisis in diplomatic relations.

The EU boycott came as Secretary of State John Kerry announced that both Israel and PA President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to open negotiations to create a Palestinian state.
WND reported yesterday the Obama administration has quietly presented a plan in which the PA and Jordan would receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel would retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.
Israel has not agreed to the U.S. plan regarding the Temple Mount, with details still open for discussion, stated the PA negotiator.
The negotiator, who is one of the main Palestinian figures leading the Arab side of the talks, further divulged Kerry’s proposed outline for a Palestinian state as presented orally to Israel and the PA.
He said Jordan has been invited to play a key role in the discussions surrounding both the Temple Mount and Jerusalem while it will be the PA, with some Jordanian assistance, that would ultimately receive control of some of those areas.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat will not depart for preliminary peace talks in Washington until his government receives assurances regarding Israel’s readiness to negotiate a deal based on the 1967 lines and a commitment to release prisoners who have been serving sentences handed down before the signing of the Oslo Accords, the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday.
Erekat, the veteran negotiator, is due to meet with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molho early next week in the American capital to discuss the terms for renewing talks.
Israeli officials are also lowering expectations in the run-up to next week. Likud Beytenu MK Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio that it remains uncertain as to whether peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will indeed be renewed.
Liberman, the former foreign minister who currently chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said on Tuesday that the negotiating teams that are due in Washington early next week will seek to reach agreement on an agenda for the talks.
In the interview with Israel Radio, Liberman repeated his view that the preferred route for Israel would be to strive for a long-term interim agreement with the Palestinian Authority rather than a final-status deal.

The Knesset's Land of Israel caucus, a predominantly right-wing lobby of 35 MKs and public figures, threatened on Tuesday to halt support for the government during Knesset votes if there is a freeze on settlement construction.
With the slogan, "No building=No voting," the members are also split over opposition to to negotiations with the Palestinians in scheduled renewed talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The caucus held an emergency summit over Kerry's announcement Friday of new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a meeting attended by MKs and mayors from West Bank settlements. The mayors accused Netanyahu of merely paying "lip-service" to building new settlement units.

Caucus chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) told the meeting on Tuesday that the decision to release Palestinian prisoners was incompatible with the Israeli demand for negotiations without preconditions.
He said that there was no reason for the world to think that the release of murderers advances peace, while building kindergartens harms it.
He said that the caucus was not against negotiations in principle, but that the process had to have set goals, namely, keeping all of the land of Israel and its settlements under Israeli sovereignty while maintaining security.
"Rebel" Likud MK Moshe Feiglin stood entirely opposed to any form of peace talks with the Palestinians, saying that the Knesset boycott should have been introduced a long time ago.
“Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount as the heart of Jerusalem and the nation is more important to me than any job,” Feiglin was quoted as saying in May, after he wasremoved from the Knesset Education Committee.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to rush through the Knesset a new law that would make any peace deal with the Palestinians contingent on the Israeli public’s approval in a national referendum, Jerusalem sources said Sunday.

According to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office who spoke to Hebrew Daily Israel Hayom, the move aims to advance the diplomatic process, and shows how serious Netanyahu is about resuming talks.

Netanyahu addressed the referendum in Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, characterizing the resumption of talks, which have been on hold since 2010, as a strategic interest.

“I don’t think these decisions can be made, if there is a deal, by one government or another, but need to be brought as a national decision,” he said.
“It won’t be easy,” Netanyahu warned, “but we’re going into the negotiations with integrity and honesty.”
In 2010, the government passed a law making the holding of a national referendum mandatory in any case where Israel would be required to surrender sovereignty over territories it had annexed — i.e. East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The new bill would expand that law to require a referendum prior to handing over any land as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Realpolitik notwithstanding, Israel, by its daring raid, has sent a clear message to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas, that it will not sit idly by while its interests are threatened. The four known raids that Israel has carried out this year against Syria as well as the 2007 strike near Deir el-Zorand multiple strikes executed against Sudan, the latest of which occurred in October 2012, should serve as an ominous warning to Iran that its WMD facilities are potentially on Israel’s “to do” list.

Also see:

The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroitis just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core.  Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are hitting the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen every single day until the year 2030.  As a society, we have made trillions of dollars of financial promises to these Baby Boomers, and there is no way that we are going to be able to keep those promises.  The money simply is not there.  Yes, I suppose that we could eventually see a "super devaluation" of the U.S. dollar and keep our promises to the Baby Boomers using currency that is not worth much more than Monopoly money, but as it stands right now we simply do not have the resources to do what we said that we were going to do.  The number of senior citizens in the United States is projected to more than double by the middle of the century, and it would have been nearly impossible to support them all even if we weren't in the midst of a long-term economic decline.  Tens of millions of Americans that are eagerly looking forward to retirement are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the years ahead.  There is going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of broken promises.

What is going on in Detroit right now is a perfect example of what will soon be happening all over the nation.  Many city workers stuck with their jobs for decades because of the promise of a nice pension at the end of the rainbow.  But now those promises are going up in smoke.  There has even been talk that retirees will only end up getting about 10 cents for every dollar that they were promised.

On top of everything else, the federal government has been recklessly irresponsible as far as planning for the retirement of the Baby Boomers is concerned.
As I noted yesterday, the U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.
At this point, the number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.
The number of Americans collecting Social Security benefits is projected to grow from about 56 million today to 91 million in 2035.
How is a society with a steadily declining economy going to care for them all adequately?
Yes, we truly are careening toward disaster.
If you are not convinced yet, here are some more numbers.  The following stats are from one of my previous articles entitled "Do You Want To Scare A Baby Boomer?"...
You can view the rest of the statistics right here.
Sadly, most Americans are not aware of these things.
The mainstream media keeps most of the population entertained with distractions.  This week it is the birth of the royal baby, and next week it will be something else.
Meanwhile, our problems just continue to get worse and worse.
There is no way in the world that we are going to be able to keep all of the financial promises that we have made to the Baby Boomers.  A lot of them are going to end up bitterly disappointed.
All of this could have been avoided if we would have planned ahead as a society.
But that did not happen, and now we are all going to pay the price for it.

The recent bankruptcy filing in Detroit is raising red flags about other major U.S. cities also dealing with billions in under-funded retiree benefits, prompting the question -- who might be next? 
Just last week, Chicago’s credit rating was downgraded as a result of its $19 billion in under-funded pension liabilities.
Moody's Investors Service called the liabilities “very large and growing" and warned that Chicago, the country’s third-largest city, faces a “tremendous strain’’ in trying to meet future funding requirements and public safety demands.
A similar scenario, though decades in the making, largely doomed Detroit, whose average police response time has grown to more than 50 minutes.
And like Michigan, which appears in no position to bail out Detroit, Illinois is dealing with its own $97 billion pension shortfall.

The total difference between what the cities owed to retired employees and what was covered equaled $217.2 billion, according the report, “A Widening Gap in Cities.” It was released in January and based on 2009 numbers, the most complete data at the time.
The nonprofit group also released a report in March that found New York City has a combined $1.15 billion in under-funded pension and health-care costs, followed by such major cities as Philadelphia, at $8.6 billion. In comparison, that figure for Detroit was $12.9 billion. 

Just days after it concluded the biggest military exercise since the cold war, Russia has ordered its missile forces to conduct a snap drill in order to ascertain the readiness of putting intercontinental ballistic missiles on “high-alert” within a short time frame.

“The headquarters and two missile divisions of the Orenburg Missile Army in Russia’s Urals region have been put on high-alert as part of snap combat readiness drills,” reports RIA Novosti.
The drills, which will run until Saturday, involve the redeployment of missile units which include those armed with nuclear-capable Topol (SS-25 Sickle) intercontinental ballistic missiles and RS-20V Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) ballistic missile systems.

“The goal of this snap check is to assess the ability of missile units to go on high-alert in required time and to evaluate their readiness to perform the designated tasks,” said Col. Igor Yegorov, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
The missile drills follow in the footsteps of a similar “snap order” given by Vladimir Putin which tasked the Russian military to achieve full “combat readiness” as quickly as possible. Last week’s exercise involved 130 combat aircraft, 70 ships, 5,000 tanks, 160,000 troops and 320 tons of equipment, making it the biggest such drill since the Soviet era.
According to Konstantin Sivkov, a retired officer of the Russian military’s General Staff, last week’s exercise “was intended to simulate a response to a hypothetical attack by Japanese and US forces,” although the drill received little attention from the US media.


Anonymous said...

Good day all I trust you are all well and strong in The Lord and his mighty power.
These verses are what The Lord Jesus reminded me of this morning.
Philipians 4:4-8, 2 Timothy 1:7 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Enjoy the rest of your day

David H said...

Alright Dave, great verses, tnx for sharing...

Enjoy you day also...

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing. Always love the verses you pick out.