Newsletter #264     Friday, January 6, 2006
We wish all our readers a Happy New Year.
Please Join us in prayer for Ariel Sharon.

  • Praying for Sharon
    Jerusalem Post - January 6, 2006  Even those who would bitterly deny Sharon's greatness in the sense of leading the nation in the right direction cannot dispute the dimensions of the decisions he led the nation through, which are perhaps unmatched since his mentor David Ben-Gurion's day.

  • Israel after Sharon
    By Carolyn Glick - Jerusalem Post - January 6, 2006  Wednesday night ushered in a new era in Israel's political history. As we watch and worry as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dangles between life and death, one thing is absolutely clear. Sharon's massive cerebral hemorrhage on Wednesday night spelled the end of his political career. Whatever one's views of Sharon's policies and the quality of his leadership, no Israeli can feel anything but sorrow at Sharon's abrupt demise. A nation's sudden and dramatic separation from its leader is never a good thing. It is all the more debilitating when the leader in question is as popular and powerful as Sharon. The task that now besets our political leadership and the Israeli people as a whole is to focus on the country's present challenges -- for they suffer no delay. Without a doubt, the greatest challenge facing the State of Israel today is Iran's nuclear weapons program.

  • After Sharon
    By Joseph Farah - - January 6, 2006  Now that he has left power, Israel needs to follow a course of protecting its own national security. It needs to adopt sane policies of protecting the lives of civilians. Jews and Christians have only one place in the Middle East where their lives and rights are respected. It is the nation of Israel. To ignore this fact is to place the lives and rights of Jews and Christians in greater jeopardy.

    TheThe Mountains of Israel is an exciting and refreshing new perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict, clearly outlining how God is fulfilling His Word in modern-day Israel.
    Free with a $ 11.95 USD per copy Donation!  Click button at left for PayPal or visit our "Mountains" page onsite.

  • The Most High rules in the kingdom of men

    By Stan Goodenough - Jerusalem Newswire - January 5th, 2006

    As I write this, Ariel Sharon is lying on an operating table in a Jerusalem hospital, fighting for his life after suffering a massive stroke and intense cerebral hemorrhaging.

    The news of his collapse shocked all who heard about it, sending many people to prayer for his recovery and well being.

    Senior officials close to Sharon have expressed pessimism about whether the prime minister will survive the night.

    Speculation on all the Israeli and major international news networks is rife, even frenzied, as to the impact Sharon’s illness will have on the upcoming Israeli elections in the short term and on the Israeli-Arab peace process in the long term.

    Sharon is “one of the most important prime ministers Israel has ever had,” according to Ha’aretz reporter Ari Shavit.

    He is “a crucial man at a crucial time,” said CNN’s Jonathan Mann.

    His being incapacitated at this time “is sure to throw Israeli politics and Middle East peacemaking into turmoil” predicted one of Mann’s colleagues.

    “All the world’s leaders are watching very closely what is happening in Jerusalem,” added the network’s John Vause.

    And as expressions of concern for Sharon and for the peace process were being aired from the White House to 10 Downing Street and from Paris to Beijing, expressions of consternation and anxiety were being voiced by many “experts” at the prospect of former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu being returned to power in March.

    Sky News’ Emma Hurd unleashed a stream of negative opinion about Netanyahu, portraying him as an enemy of the “peace process” and the last man anyone with hopes for “progress” in the diplomatic process would want to see win.

    Leftist Israeli journalist and senior fellow at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies Hirsh Goodman described Netanyahu as a man whose policies are diametrically opposed to Sharon’s and under whose leadership the Road Map “peace” plan would bog down.

    Whatever those who influence opinion and policy feel about Sharon and Netanyahu, the irrefutable fact is that on Wednesday morning, according to polls published in the Israeli press, Netanyahu and his Likud were considered almost certain losers in the upcoming elections, while Sharon was believed to be a shoe in; his party enjoying the prospect of a 42 seat majority and being able to move forward largely unimpeded with Sharon’s “disengagement” policy.

    In the matter of just a few hours the whole picture has been transformed, the predictable future has become unpredictable. Sharon is on his way down. Netanyahu is on his way up.

    In 1991, when this writer first came to live and work in Jerusalem, Ariel Sharon, Israel’s greatest warrior, was considered unelectable. The shadow of the misnamed Lebanon War (actually Operation Peace for Galilee) and the massacres carried out by Israel’s allies in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps had made the then Defense Minister loathsome in the eyes of the majority of the electorate, all but assuring that he would never be able to run for the premiership.

    Back then, and in the ensuing years as the people of Israel were sucked into the Oslo Process, with the resulting erosion of their national security and escalation in terrorism, evangelical Christians in Israel and abroad prayed for the “impossible” – that God would keep Sharon in good health and place him at Israel’s helm.

    Surely “the warrior” would shatter the land-for-peace mirage and re-establish Israel’s security parameters, extending Jewish rule deep into Israel’s biblical land?

    The “impossible” did happen. Sharon became prime minister in 2001, riding into office on a wave of votes appealing for security after Oslo exploded in the 2ndintifada and funerals for Israeli victims of terrorism went off the charts.

    High hopes were pinned on Sharon. They were dashed. Last year saw the “father of the Israeli settler movement” abandon the Gaza Strip to the Arabs in what he explained was the beginning of a process of “disengagement” from the “Palestinians.”

    Sharon’s willingness to proceed with the forced removal of his people from their homes in Gaza pushed hundreds of thousands of Jews to prayer. Untold numbers of Christians, too, went to prayer for divine intervention. God-fearing men, women and children proclaimed their belief that the “disengagement” would never take place; that the Almighty would step in and perform a miracle.

    The miracle never came, and just over four months ago the world watched and applauded, while many believers watched and wept, as Jewish communities were erased from the map of Gaza, and thousands of Israelis became refugees in their own land at the hands of their own government.

    There is no doubt that the prayers and tears reached to heaven, and were heard there. God, Whose ways are not our ways, did not step in to prevent the expulsion. He has, however, stepped in now.

    As Prime Minister, Sharon was frequently heard to express his belief that “no one” could tell him how to run the country; “no one” could teach him what he needed to know to provide security for his people; “no one” would tell him what to do.

    This very afternoon, just hours before he was felled by his second stroke, Sharon declared his intention to – after the elections he was so sure he would win – continue to “disengage,” letting go great swathes of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s biblical heartland, and pulling his nation behind a “security wall” while enabling the State of Palestine to be established on the other side.

    If the medical and political experts flooding the airwaves tonight are only partially correct in their estimations, this is a policy Sharon will never be able to carry out.

    He has been unseated; the reins of power have been taken from his hands.

    As a colleague told me in reaction this evening: “It is hard to ignore the fact that after so many years of being so strong, Sharon suddenly goes down just months after dividing the land and promising to do so again.”

    Who will replace him? This is the question now uppermost in people’s minds. Could it be Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu? What about Ehud Olmert; Tzipi Livni; Amir Peretz?

    As the prophet Daniel wrote thousands of years ago, there is One Who will decide:

    He removes kings and raises up kings; (Daniel 2:20-21)

    [T]he Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." (Daniel 4:32)

    Our faith is in Him, not in man. May God have mercy and show compassion to Mr. Sharon, restoring him to health and strength.

    And may He raise up the man He purposes to lead Israel into the critical and “uncharted” future.

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