Report on my meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to discuss the Holocaust & the rising Iran nuclear threat.

Meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol.

Meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol.

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday — on the 70th anniversary of the escape from Auschwitz by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler – I had the opportunity to meet privately with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at his office in the Capitol.

I gave him a copy of The Auschwitz Escape and shared with him  some of the true stories that inspired the novel.

We discussed how Vrba and Wetzler got out, and why their report, “The Auschwitz Protocol,” was so important in telling the world the truth about what the Nazis were really doing to the Jews. I also shared with him the remarkable heroism of the evangelical Christians of Le Chambon, France, who risked their lives to rescue more than 5,000 people from the Nazis, including more than 3,000 Jews.

We also discussed the growing Iran nuclear threat, and how best to stop Iran before they can attempt to perpetrate a Second Holocaust.

Rep. Cantor is Jewish and a fellow Virginian. As I reported in this column, he recently made his first visit the Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland with a group of Israeli Members of Knesset in January.

The following month, Cantor delivered a major speech speaking of the lessons of the Holocaust and warning of the dangers of the isolationism.

It was interesting to hear him share his impressions of his time at Auschwitz, and to discuss the latest developments with the Iranian nuclear threat.

I did not ask the Majority Leader for anything. I wasn’t there to lobby him in any way. Rather, I simply wanted to share with him some of these true stories, thank him for going to Auschwitz, and encourage him to keep reminding Americans how important it is to act decisively to stop evil early, before it can metastasize.

Please keep Leader Cantor in your prayers, and pray that he will be a positive influence on the rest of the House of Representatives on these vital issues.

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>> Read the column I recently wrote for CNN.com with fmr. Senator Rick Santorum — “Lessons of history: Americans fear ‘second Holocaust’ if Iran gets the bomb”

>> Read the attack on our column by an Iranian government official — Iranian official attacks oped I wrote with Senator Santorum as “ludicrous, counterproductive and unfortunate.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

What’s the chance of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in 2014? King Abdullah II & PM Netanyahu meet in Amman to discuss.

Israeli PM Netanyahu met this morning with Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss latest developments in the peace process.

Israeli PM Netanyahu met this morning with Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss latest developments in the peace process.

>> Video footage of Netanyahu arrival in Jordan & meeting with the King.

(Washington, D.C.) — What are the prospects of an actual Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in 2014?

There are no shortage of reports coming out of the region saying the talks are going nowhere and are about to collapse. Maybe those rumors will prove accurate. But what if they prove to be a smoke screen to hide the fact that the two sides are inching closer to a deal?

One thing is certain is that Israeli and Jordanian officials are engaging each other at the highest possible level to make sure that if a deal is struck — and that’s still a big “if” — the security concerns of both sides will be fully and properly factored in.

To that end, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II huddled for several hours in a previously unannounced meeting in Amman. Together, they discussed the latest developments in the peace process and how to handle some of the most sensitive security issues.

Among them:

* How can Israel and Jordan make sure the Jordan River valley does not become a safe haven for terrorists?

* How can Israel and Jordan make sure that the Palestinian state, should there be one, doesn’t become a militarized and hostile state that could threaten its neighbors?

* Is it possible that a future Palestinian state could form some form of confederation with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan whereby the Jordanians had some measure of influence over and responsibility for overall security? (this was an idea first floated by the late-King Hussein, was embraced by some Israeli officials, dismissed by most Palestinian leaders, and remains an idea that, while controversy, remains in play.)

I’ll write more on these issues in the weeks ahead. For now, here is some of the coverage of today’s meeting between Netanyahu and the King.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an unannounced visit to neighbouring Jordan on Thursday for talks with King Abdullah II on the Middle East peace process, palace officials said,” reports Agence France Presse. “The rare meeting in Amman comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry presses Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework to guide peace talks forward.”

“King Abdullah and Netanyahu discussed peace process developments in light of the current US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinians peace negotiations,” a palace statement said.

AFP noted that the palace statement said the meeting “seeks to make sure a progress in the peace talks would meet Palestinian aspirations and at the same time protect Jordanian interests, particularly final status issues at this critical stage.” It add that the king told Netanyahu, “Jordan’s interests top our priorities.” Abdullah urged Israel and the Palestinians to “seize the current opportunity and intensified efforts by Kerry to achieve tangible progress… and create the suitable atmosphere for the success of peace negotiations,” the statement said. It added that Netanyahu “briefed the king on the track of peace talks as well as US efforts.”

“Netanyahu’s last visit to Jordan was in February last year,” reported AFP.

“Jerusalem will take Jordan’s security interests into consideration in any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Jordan’s King Abdullah on Thursday,” reports Haaretz. “Netanyahu returned to Jerusalem early Thursday afternoon, after meeting with the king at his palace in Amman. Netanyahu’s office did not announce the visit prior to his return to Israel.”

“The prime minister emphasized the important role Jordan, under the leadership of King Abdullah, plays in the efforts to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, noted Haaretz. “The prime minister stressed that Israel has placed an emphasis on security arrangements, including Jordanian interests, in any future agreement,” adding that any deal would take into consideration the peace treaty signed between Israel and Jordan 20 years ago.

The article further noted:

  • Netanyahu was in Amman for closed-door talks with the king on the latest about the latest “developments in the peace process” brokered by the United States.
  • Netanyahu made at least three similar visits to Jordan last year.
  • Jordan maintains cordial relations with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 — one of only two signed agreements the Jewish state has with an Arab country.

The Times of Israel added:

  • A number of former Jordanian officials have expressed concern that an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians could harm vital Jordanian interests. Jordan, for instance, has been reportedly concerned over security arrangements in the West Bank after an Israeli withdrawal, fearing it might be harmed by an upsurge in terrorism were the IDF to completely vacate the area; Israel demands that the IDF remain deployed along the West Bank-Jordan border even after a peace treaty is reached, the PA rejects the demand, and the US has been trying to find a compromise.
  • The London-based daily Al-Hayat further reported on Thursday that conservative Jordan politicians understand a framework agreement being drafted by the US as abrogating the Palestinian “right of return,” therefore necessitating the granting of permanent citizenship to some 2 million Palestinians currently residing in Jordan.
  • The details of the framework deal, which is being pushed by US Secretary of State John Kerry, have yet to be released to the media.
  • Samir Rifa’i, a conservative former prime minister, reportedly told Jordanian politicians he was worried that the negotiations “may result in decisions that will not serve the Palestinian cause.” His father, former prime minister Zeid Rifa’i, seemed less worried, reported Al-Hayat, opining that Kerry’s efforts to reach an agreement “will not succeed.”
  • In order to quell Jordanian concerns, Abbas recently sent Fatah official Abbas Zaki to hold talks with conservative Jordanian officials, including former ambassador to Israel Ma’arouf Bakhit and Senate speaker Abdul Ra’uf Rawabdeh.

In a particularly interesting of its article, the Times reported that:

  • According to a report Thursday on Army Radio, Netanyahu has been seeking to define a fourth bloc of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in the vicinity of Beit El, that Israel would retain in any future agreement with the Palestinians.
  • The report, which cited an unnamed senior Israeli official involved in the negotiations, harked back to previous reports that the Israeli negotiating team has brought up the option of renting or purchasing land from the Palestinian Authority. The older reports did not specify which swaths of land Israel would seek to retain.
  • While discussing the Beit El bloc issue in the past with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Netanyahu reportedly highlighted the Jewish people’s biblical claim — Beit El is named for the site where Jacob is said to have dreamt of a ladder to heaven while fleeing from his brother, Esau. Netanyahu further explained to Kerry that Beit El was considered sacred, as according to the Bible it had for some years been home to the the Ark of the Covenant.
  • Earlier this month, Netanyahu reportedly offered to cede most Israeli settlements in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority on the condition that Israel would be allowed to enter into a long-term lease for the land, thereby avoiding the eviction of hundreds of thousands of settlers.
  • Under such a deal, Israel would essentially pay for the right to remain in the West Bank for some 40 years.
  • The Palestinian negotiating team is said to have rejected the offer, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly ridiculed the notion.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

An historic Christian awakening is under way in Iran. I discuss the inside story in this 20 minute interview with Dr. Hormoz Shariat.

On the set, recording a TV interview with Dr. Hormoz Shariat, "the Billy Graham of Iran."

On the set, recording a TV interview with Dr. Hormoz Shariat, “the Billy Graham of Iran.”

(Washington, D.C.) — An historic spiritual awakening is under way inside Iran.

More Iranians have renounced Islam and come to faith in Jesus Christ in the last three decades, than in the last 14 centuries combined. There is now an estimated one million followers of Christ inside Iran, and there continues to be a great hunger amongst Persian-speaking people to hear and understand God’s Word and the power of the Gospel message.

In recent days, a new TV interview has just been posted online. In the program, Dr. Hormoz Shariat, the foremost Iranian evangelist and Bible teacher in the world, and I discuss the revolutionary movement of the Gospel inside Iran and its implications for the Church.

In this 20 minute interview, we discuss:

  •  how satellite television is enabling Christians to beam the Gospel over the heads of the ayatollahs and mullahs and secret police to the homes of millions of Iranians
  • some of the prophecies concerning the future of Iran
  • why I describe Hormoz as “the Billy Graham of Iran”
  • how you and I and other Christians around the world can make an historic impact for the Gospel on the people of Iran

To watch the interview, please click here.

Also, here’s what Hormoz writes on his new blog  – http://hormozshariat.com/ – which I follow, and would encourage you to follow, as well:

  • I recently had the privilege of sitting down in our studio with my dear friend, Joel Rosenberg.  You may know Joel through his many NY Times bestselling books, his educational and charitable organization, The Joshua Fund, or his blog and Twitter account, both of which I follow and strongly recommend you do as well (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/  @joelcrosenberg).
  • I know Joel as passionate follower of Jesus Christ, whose heart for the Gospel to be proclaimed and embraced in the Middle East, even in Iran, is unmatched and genuine.
  • During his visit, Joel and I sat down and had a wonderful conversation about the Middle East and specifically his thoughts related to Iran in the Scriptures and the unique role the Lord has in store for this dangerous, beautiful and spiritually open country.

>> Recent blog: Dear President Rouhani, Jesus Christ loves you. But judgment is coming, the Bible warns in Jeremiah 49:34-39. Let me explain.

>> Another resource: What does Bible prophecy say about the future of Iran? Click here to listen to an address I recently delivered to the “Iran Alive Ministries” banquet. This message goes more in-depth in analyzing the prophecies found in Jeremiah 49:34-39.

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>> Track the latest developments and analysis on Twitter — @JoelCRosenberg.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

It was an honor to discuss “Damascus Countdown” at the Kansas Book Festival.

Addressing the 3rd Annual Kansas Book Festival in the House Chamber.

Addressing the 3rd Annual Kansas Book Festival in the House Chamber.

(Topeka, Kansas) — It was an honor to address the 3rd Annual Kansas Book Festival on Saturday here in Topeka. Some two dozen local and nationally-known authors spoke about their books and the journey they have been on as writers.

During my presentation, I addressed several hundred attendees in the House Chamber in the State Capitol. I discussed how I left my career working for a number of U.S. and Israeli leaders and began writing my first novel, The Last Jihad in early 2001, and some of the books that have followed. Then I focused more specifically on Damascus Countdown — why I wrote it, the geopolitical context of the novel and the series, and the Bible prophecies of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 that I wove into the plot. Then we had a fascinating Q&A session. People asked great questions — some about Israel, Syria and Iran; others about themes from my book, Implosion; and some about my faith and Bible prophecy. Afterwards, I signed books for people and answered more of there questions.

The Governor was not there, as he was attending the State Fair all day. Nor were legislators there. This was an event for the public, and it was very special — well organized, lively, and very engaging. First Lady Mary Brownback and her team deserve great credit for putting on an amazing event that drew several thousands to all the very presentations.

Having never spoken in Kansas before, I was honored to be invited and grateful to be part of it. Thanks to everyone who attended — it was a joy to meet you!

As the official press materials stated: “The 3rd Annual Kansas Book Festival will feature more than 25 locally and nationally-known authors who will give presentations throughout the day on their most recent books. The festival’s goal is to promote literacy and a love for reading among Kansans of all ages by hosting this day-long festival, awarding grants to libraries across the state and encouraging children to become writers through their annual writing contest. You can find more information, including the 2013 schedule, by visiting their website at www.kansasbookfestival.com.”


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

I’ll be on Hannity, Dennis Miller, other shows on Thurs to discuss #DamascusCountdown

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With allegations that the regime in Damascus has used weapons of mass destruction – and the enormously controversial possibility that President Obama will send the U.S. military into the war in Syria — I’ve been invited to be interviewed on a number of radio shows tomorrow to discuss the current situation and my novel, Damascus Countdown.

Here is the current line-up. Regarding the Sean Hannity Show, I’m confirmed to be on the radio show tomorrow afternoon. Not sure precisely what time yet. I’ll update the blog and send an update out by Twitter as well. Please tune in if you can.

Thursday, Sept. 5

7:10 a.m. – 7:20 a.m. ETJohn Gambling Show (WOR 710 in New York)

9:15 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. ETBill Martinez Live (nationally syndicated)

9:40 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ETThe Mark Larson Show (KCBQ in San Diego)

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET – Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem (KTIS Minnesota)

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ETThe Dennis Miller Show (nationally syndicated)

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET The Schilling Show (Newsradio 1070 WINA Charlottesville, VA)

2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. –– Billy Hallowell for www.theblaze.com

TIME TBDThe Sean Hannity Show (nationally syndicated)

(all times are Eastern, and subject to change — I’ll send out any changes via Twitter tomorrow as necessary)


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog