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Quoting the Bible, Netanyahu says Israel must “choose life” in “historic” conflicts with Iran & Palestinians. Day Three report from AIPAC conference.

The PM brought the house down amidst 14,000 pro-Israel activists.

The PM brought the house down amidst 14,000 pro-Israel activists.

(Washington, D.C.) — Let’s put it this way: if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to jump into the 2016 presidential race, I suspect he would be far and away the front-runner for both the GOP and Democrat nominations.

He has enormous bipartisan support at the grassroots, and overwhelming support on Capitol Hill.

I lost count of how many standing ovations Netanyahu received from the 14,000 pro-Israel activists gathered here for the 2014 AIPAC conference.

It was a far warmer reception than he received from President Obama at the White House on Monday.

His themes were large and consequential.

The Prime Minister:

  • Urged the administration to intensify, not relax, pressure on Iran to give up its bid for nuclear weapons. 
  • Said he was ready to make an “historic peace” with the Palestinians, and urged Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” once and for all — “No excuses. No delays. It’s time.”
  • Quoted from the Bible, specifically from Deuteronomy chapter 30, saying, “My friends, on behalf of the people of Israel, I bring you message from Jerusalem, the cradle of our common civilization, the crucible of our shared values. It’s a message from the Bible. (In Hebrew.)  ‘I have put before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life so that you and your offspring may live.’ Ladies and gentlemen, my friends, never forget — America and Israel stand for life. We stand together on the right side of the moral divide. We stand together on the right side of history.”

It is so interesting to hear an Israeli Prime Minister quote from the Bible. You might think it would be normal, but it’s not. So few Israeli leaders cite Scriptures, at least in English speeches or translations that I hear or read.

How will the speech be received by the President? That remains to be seen. The Palestinian leadership is already denouncing the speech. (see below).

I urge you to read or watch the full speech, as well as the transcripts of what he and the President said at the White House yesterday:

Here’s the latest coverage of the PM’s AIPAC speech:

Here are the Tweets I sent (or re-Tweeted) out as the PM was speaking:

  • It’s wonderful to see so many evangelical Christians attending #aipac2014. Now is the time for us to be standing humbly w/our Jewish friends
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu brings greetings from Jerusalem, “eternal undivided capital if the Jewish people” 4th standing O
  • Netanyahu says – “Israel is humane.  Israel is compassionate.  Israel is a force for good.” (Shannon Bream, Fox News)
  • PM Netanyahu: Israel has treated nearly 1,000 wounded Syrians. #AIPAC14 (Embassy of Israel)
  • Netanyahu: Nasrallah says Hezbollah loves death & Israel loves life & that’s why Hezbollah will win. #aipac2014
  • Netanyahu: Nasrallah right about 1st part. Hezbollah glorifies death. Israel does sanctify life. But “dead wrong” on 2nd part
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: more pressure needed on Iran to get the right deal. More pressure makes war less likely, not more likely.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: 17 countries have peaceful civilian nuclear power, but they don’t enrich their uranium. Why does Iran?
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: Wants the negotiations with Iran to succeed. Peace better than war. But vows to do all needed to protect Israel.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: I am prepared to make an historic peace with the Palestinians.
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: calls on Abbas to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. “No excuses. No delays. It’s time.”
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: can’t “gamble” Israel’s security on foreign military forces. Too often, peacekeepers leave under fire. #aipac2014
  • Netanyahu says “as we work in the coming days and the coming weeks on forging a lasting peace” Wonder if that wording is significant (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz)
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: says BDS movement (to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel) will fail. Morally wrong. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It’s about delegitimizing Israel. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: throughout Mideast Christians fleeing for their lives, but BDS fights Israel, which protects Christians. #aipac2014
  • .@Netanyahu: the boycott Israel crowd doesn’t seek 2 states for 2 peoples – they seek destruction of Israel. #fact (Josh Block)
  • Another Bibi zinger: “How could anyone fall for the BS in BDS” #AIPAC14 (Chemi Shalev)
  • Good line. Netanyahu: Israel is boisterous democracy,everyone has opinion and states it.  In Israel, self-criticism is on steroids. (Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post)
  • I’ve completely lost track of the number of standing ovations for @IsraeliPM Netanyahu. #aipac2014
  • @IsraeliPM Netanyahu: closes quoting from the Bible, “I have put before you a choice between life and death. Choose life.” #aipac2014

——————————————–


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Historic snow storm slams Israel and neighboring countries. Many without power. Please pray.

The Dome of the Rock is seen in the background in Jerusalem's Old on a snowy winter day on Friday, December 13, 2013. (Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90/Times of Israel)

The Dome of the Rock is seen in the background in Jerusalem’s Old on a snowy winter day on Friday, December 13, 2013. (Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90/Times of Israel)

The biggest December snow and rain storm in the modern history of Israel and the Palestinian territories hit on Wednesday night. Now a storm three times worse is bearing down on the epicenter. For pictures of the storm, please click here.

I just landed back in Washington, D.C. this morning after nearly a week in Israel doing research for a new geopolitical novel I hope to begin writing in January. I flew out of Ben Gurion International Airport last night, and just in time. The airport closed for awhile after I left to prepare for the historic storm on its way.

For the many of the kids of Jerusalem, the storm has been much fun. Building snow men. Having snow ball fights. Sledding. Walking through and playing in the cold white stuff they rarely experience. 

For the adults, however, it has been a different story. Roads in and out of Jerusalem were shut down by authorities after many cars slid off the roads or couldn’t climb the heights without snow tires or chains. Many commuters who live in Jerusalem were stranded and had to stay with friends or in hotels. Tens of thousands of Israelis are without electricity. Many poor and needs — Jews and Arabs — have no heat, or have a difficult time affording enough heat. In the coastal and desert areas there was no snow, much intense, driving rains (which I experienced while still there) that caused flooding in some regions.

The first snow fall in a hundred years hit Cairo. Snow also hit parts of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Now the first Israeli death of the storm has been reported.

Please pray for the authorities as they work around the clock to help so many in need. Please pray that the homeless and needy (and refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan) are cared for with food and warm clothing and blankets and shelter. Please pray that people will turn to the Lord at this time for help, strength, wisdom and His great love and mercy.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Here’s the latest from the Israeli media:

“Tel Aviv and surrounding cities were experiencing hail, heavy rains and flooding on Friday night, while Jerusalem was in the midst of a snowstorm feared to be ‘three times worse’ than the snows that had hit Thursday and earlier Friday,” reported the Times of Israel. “Haifa was hit with its first snowfall in 22 years, according to officials, and much of the rest of the country was also grappling with stormy conditions expected to last into Saturday.”

“In what was described by Channel 2 as Israel’s ‘worst storm in decades,’ large portions of northern Israel were also hit by snow and heavy storms, as was much of the West Bank,” noted the Times. “Israel and the Palestinian Authority were working together to grapple with power outages and other aspects of the storm’s impact. Israel was also providing fuel and gas to Gaza, to keep the electricity on in the Strip, which was grappling with harsh weather conditions including flooding in some areas. In light of dangerous road conditions, police decided to keep both major major roads leading to Jerusalem (1 and 443) closed overnight.”

Other highlights from the Times:

  • Israel Railways announced that it would operate two special trains on Shabbat from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and Haifa. The first train will depart at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and the second at 2 p.m. They will also make stops at Beit Shemesh, Lod, Netanya and Binyamina.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Friday night for security vehicles and jeeps that were being held at Latrun — some 16 miles (25 kilometers) from Jerusalem — into the capital, where they could help with expected rescue and evacuation efforts overnight. Evacuation of elderly residents was to be given top priority, according to the prime minister’s orders.
  • The Ayalon Highway was closed for nearly two hours in the area of Tel Aviv over fears of flooding but was later reopened.
  • Ben Gurion Airport halted operations for 40 minutes to undergo “advanced preparation” for the storm. Some 40 flights did manage to arrive in Israel before the start of Shabbat despite the inclement weather conditions, reported Israel Radio.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

President Barack Obama’s Complete List of Historic Firsts [Updated]

Yes, he’s historic, alright (new items are in bold typeface).

Law and Justice
• First President to Violate the War Powers Act (Unilaterally Executing American Military Operations in Libya Without Informing Congress In the Required Time Period – Source: Huffington Post)
• First President to Triple the Number of Warrantless Wiretaps of U.S. Citizens (Source: ACLU)

• First President to Refuse to Tell the Public What He Did For Eight (8) Hours After Being Informed That a U.S. Ambassador Was Facing Imminent Death During a Terror Attack (Source: Mediate)
• First President to Lie About the Reason For an Ambassador’s Death, Blaming it on an Internet Video Rather Than What He Knew to be the Case: the Al Qaeda-linked Terror Group Ansar al-Sharia (Source: House Oversight Committee, et. al.)
• First President to Have an Innocent Filmmaker Thrown in Jail After Lying About the Cause for a Deadly Attack on U.S. Diplomats, Using the Filmmaker as a Scapegoat (Source: CNN)

• First President to Use the IRS to “Unfairly Target Political Enemies” as Well as pro-Catholic and pro-Jewish Groups (Source: Sen. Ted Cruz)
• First President to Unlawfully Seize Telephone Records of More than 100 Reporters to Intimidate and/or Bully Them (Source: Associated Press)
• First President to Witness a Single Cabinet Secretary Commit Multiple Hatch Act Violations Without Acting, Speaking Out, Disciplining or Firing That Person (Source: New York Times)

• First President to Have His Attorney General Held in Criminal Contempt of Congress For His Efforts to Cover Up Operation Fast and Furious, That Killed Over 300 Individuals (Source: Politico)
• First President to Issue Unlawful “Recess-Appointments” Over a Long Weekend — While the U.S. Senate Remained in Session (against the advice of his own Justice Department – Source: United States Court of Appeals)

• First President to Sue States for Enforcing Voter ID Requirements, Which Were Previously Ruled Legal by the U.S. Supreme Court (Source: CNN)

• First President to Encourage Racial Discrimination and Intimidation at Polling Places (the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, Source: Investors Business Daily)
• First President to Refuse to Comply With a House Oversight Committee Subpoena (Source: Heritage Foundation)
• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It (Defense of Marriage Act – Source: ABC News)

• First President to Demand a Company Hand Over $ 20 Billion to One of His Political Appointees (BP Oil Spill Relief Fund – Source: Fox News)
• First President to Have a Law Signed By an ‘Auto-pen’ Without Being “Present” (Source: The New York Times)

Scandals
• First President to publicly announce an enemies list (consisting of his opponents campaign contributors; and to use the instrumentalities of government to punish those on the list – Source: Heritage Foundation)
• First President to Attempt to Block Legally-Required 60-Day Layoff Notices by Government Contractors Due to His Own Cuts to Defense Spending — Because The Notices Would Occur Before the Election. (Source: National Journal)

• First President to Intentionally Disable Credit Card Security Measures (in order to allow over-the-limit donations, foreign contributions and other illegal fundraising measures – Source: Power Line)

• First President to send 80 percent of a $ 16 billion program (green energy) to his campaign bundlers and contributors, leaving only 20% to those who did not contribute. (Source: Washington Examiner)
• First President to issue an Executive Order implementing a “Racial Justice System”, a system that tries to achieve “racially equivalent outcomes” for crimes (Source: Daily Caller)

• First President to Use the EPA to Punish Political Enemies and Reward Political Allies (Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute)
• First President to Send Millions in Taxpayer Dollars to His Wife’s Former Employer (Source: White House Dossier)

Economy
• First President to Move America Past the Dependency Tipping Point, In Which 51% of Households Now Pay No Income Taxes (Source: Center for Individual Freedom)

• First President to Increase Food Stamp Spending By More Than 100% in Less Than Four Years (Source: Sen. Jeff Sessions)

• First President to Propose Budgets So Unreasonable That Not a Single Representative From Either Party Would Cast a Vote in Favor (Sources: The Hill, Open Market)
• First President Whose Economic Policies Have the Number of Americans on Disability Exceed the Population of New York (Source: CNS News)

• First President to Sign a Law Requiring All Americans to Purchase a Product From a Third Party (Source: Wall Street Journal)
• First President to Sue States For Enforcing Immigration Laws Passed by Congress (Source: The Arizona Republic newspaper)
• First President to See America Lose Its Status as the World's Largest Economy (Source: Peterson Institute)

• First President to Attempt to Bully a Major Manufacturing Company Into Not Opening a Factory in a Right-to-Work State (Boeing’s facility in South Carolina – Source: Wall Street Journal)

Energy Policy
• First President to Endanger the Stability of the Electric Grid by Shutting Down Hundreds of Coal-Fired Plants Without Adequate Replacement Technologies (Source: National Electric Reliability Corporation – PDF)

National Security and World Affairs
• First President to Openly Defy a Congressional Order Not To Share Sensitive Nuclear Defense Secrets With the Russian Government (Sources: ABC News, Rep. Michael Turner)

• First President to send $ 200 million to a terrorist organization (Hamas) after Congress had explicitly frozen the money for fear it would fund attacks against civilians (Sources: American Thinker, The Independent [UK])

Miscellania

But remember: he will not rest until all Americans have jobs, affordable homes, green-energy vehicles, and the environment is repaired, etc., etc., etc.

Doug Ross @ Journal