Video & text of Epicenter Conference message now online: “The Power of the Word To Change The World.”

epicenterconf-logo1THE POWER OF THE WORD TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Joel C. Rosenberg

2013 Epicenter Conference — Jerusalem, Israel — July 5, 2013

>> To watch the video of this message online, please click here

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Text as prepared for delivery:

We have considered the power of the Word to change a leader. We have considered the power of the Word to change a nation. Let us now consider the power of the Word to change the world – because “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” so to preach the Word is to preach Jesus.

The Beginning

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel of John. We’ll read verses one through fourteen.

John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

What’s striking about John’s Gospel account is how different it begins from the others.

Matthew begins with “the record of a genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.”(1:1) He begins with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and traces the royal lineage from through King David, and right on to Jesus. Why? Because Matthew’s mission is to portray Jesus to the Jews as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies, and thus the true Anointed One — the Messiah, the King.

Mark doesn’t use a genealogy at all. Why not? Because he is portraying Jesus to mankind as the Suffering Servant, and servants don’t need genealogies.

  • “For…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (10:45)
  • “And [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (8:31)

Luke provides a genealogy, but he doesn’t merely trace Jesus’ lineage back to Abraham. Rather, he goes all the way back to “Adam, the son of God.” (3:38) Why? Because Luke is portraying Jesus to the Greco-Roman world as the ultimate, perfect, sinless man.

John, however, is writing the last of the four Gospels. He is writing somewhere between 85 and 95 A.D. It is a time of danger and tumult, a time of great attack on the believers. It is a time not just of physical persecution, but one in which the very authority and reliability of the Bible and the Gospel message was under great attack. Satan had unleashed false teachers and they were everywhere, trying to undermine both the divinity of Jesus, and His humanity.

So, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John begins his Gospel account by tracing Jesus’ lineage further back than any of the others — “In the beginning….” John makes is crystal clear that “in the beginning”:

  • Jesus was with God.
  • Jesus was God.
  • Jesus is God.
  • Jesus created all things.
  • Nothing that was made was made without Him.
  • He was not made.
  • He was eternally pre-existent as the second Member of the Trinity.

John leaves no room to say that:

  • Jesus was “just a good man” but not the Messiah;
  • or Jesus was “just the Messiah,” but not the Son of God;
  • or Jesus was just the “Son of God,” but not fully God Himself, God the Eternal One, God the Creator.

John begins his Gospel with bold, direct clarity that Jesus is absolutely Divine. John declares that Jesus is the very God of very God.

What’s more, John ends his Gospel the exact same way. “[T]hese things have been written,” he concludes in John 20:31, “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

This is John’s goal – to be clear about who Jesus is.

  • he tells you what he’s going to say
  • then he says it
  • then he tells you what he just said
  • because he does not want you to miss the point

The Word

But John doesn’t simply want us to understand that Jesus is God. John also wants us to know that Jesus is the “Logos” — The Word.

Why didn’t John start with, “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God”? Wouldn’t that be true? Absolutely. Then why not just write it that way?

Because John is an evangelist – he is building a case – and he is appealing to the Jew first, and then the Greek.

  • By opening his account with a focus on “The Word,” he is certainly appealing to the minds and hearts of the Greek-speaking Gentile world.
  • “Logos” — The Word — was a powerful and enduring concept in Greek philosophy.
  • In 500 B.C., the father of Greek philosophy – Heraclitus –first used the term “Logos” to describe the divine thought, or the divine plan, that governs a changing universe.
  • Heraclitus taught that before the world came into being was the “Logos” – the thought, the idea, the plan.
  • He didn’t think of it as person, and certainly not as a singular God. The Greeks were polytheists. But he did believe the world began and was guided by a central cosmic thought, “the Word.”
  • And he deeply influenced the writings of the leading philosophers to come, including Plato and Aristotle.

So the Holy Spirit directed John to explain what the “Logos” really is:

  • not just a thought, but The Thinker
  • not just a plan, but The Planner
  • not just a philosophy, but a Person – the One True God

So this preamble to John’s Gospel would have really caught the ear and the imagination of the Greek-speaking Gentile world of the Roman Empire.

But John wasn’t simply appealing to the Greeks. He was also most definitely appealing to the Jews.

  • The concept of “the word” is central to the Tanakh (Old Testament).
  • 244 times the phrase “the word of the Lord” or “the word of God” is used in the Tanakh.
  • What’s fascinating to me – and what many people don’t realize – is that the specific expression “The Word” as a descriptor of the Lord God Himself was a term very familiar to Jews in the first century.
  • Why? Because when the Hebrew Scriptures were ready every Sabbath in the synagogues, what was also read – verse by verse – was the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible known as the “Targum.” But a Targum was not simply a direct translation of the Scriptures but rather an “amplified version” – not a commentary, per se, but a version designed to help the average Jewish person understand what the text was really saying.
  • And what’s remarkable is that beginning a few centuries before Jesus – and occurring for centuries after Jesus — the Targum often replaced the term “Jehovah” or “the Lord” with the term, “The Word.”

 

Example from Genesis 17:7

  •  NASB — “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”
  • Targum Neofiti — “And I will establish my covenant between my Word and you, and your descendants after you, throughout their generations, for an eternal covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”

Example from Deuteronomy 32:43

  • NASB — “Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and He will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people.”
  • Targum Pseudo-Jonathan“….by His Word He will make atonement for His land and His people.”

Example from Isaiah 55:3

  • NASB — Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you according to the faithful mercies shown to David.”
  • Targum Neofiti — “Incline your ear and receive My Word…..”

So this preamble to John’s Gospel would also have really caught the ear and the imagination of the Aramaic-speaking Jewish world of ancient Palestine.

The Life and The Light

John 1:4-9 – “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”

The Apostle John is steadily building his case, brick by brick, verse by verse.

  • That Jesus is “The Word.”
  • That The Word is God.
  • That The Word is the Divine Creator.
  • Thus, Jesus is God and He is the Divine Creator.

But then the Apostle goes further. He makes the case that Jesus is not a God that simply set the universe into motion and then sits back and takes no interest in the affairs of men. On the contrary, the Apostle makes the case that:

  • Jesus is actively involved in the affairs of men.
  • Jesus is not only the Creator of physical life, but in Him is spiritual life – He can give true and eternal life to those who are perishing in their sins.
  • What’s more, Jesus is the Light of the world – He can give true Light to people lost in the darkness.

Here’s one way Jesus did that – He chose and sent a man named John ahead of Him

  • to be His witness
  • to testify to the truth
  • to point people to the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • to point people to the Light
  •  John wasn’t the Life – he pointed to Life.
  •  John wasn’t the Light – he pointed to the Light.
  •  John wasn’t the Prophet – he pointed to the Prophet.
  •  John wasn’t the Messiah – he pointed to the Messiah.

We should note here that the Apostle John is not referring to himself here. Rather, he is referring to John the Baptist. Indeed, whenever the Apostle, mentions the word “John” in his Gospel account, he is referring to John the Baptist. He never refers to himself by name. He doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. As a disciple of John the Baptist, who then became a disciple of Jesus, and then one of our Lord’s most trusted Apostles, John only wants to point to Jesus, never himself.

What I love is that as the Apostle builds his case verse by verse, chapter by chapter, he uses statements from Jesus and actions by Jesus to prove his initial point that Jesus is God, and Jesus is Life, and Jesus is Light.

  • In John 3, Jesus explains to a Jewish leader how to find eternal life by becoming born again. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (3:16)
  • In John 5, Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and [yet] you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (5:39-40)
  • In John 8, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (8:12)
  • In John 11, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (11:25-26)
  • In John 14, Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (14:6)

I could go on, but I think the point has been made – the Apostle states the intention of his Gospel account in the very first chapter, and then he carefully, methodically builds his case.

  • he describes seven miracles performed by Jesus.
  • he relates seven times that Jesus says, “I am….”
  • he quotes the testimony of seven eyewitnesses who said Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (beginning with John the Baptist)

But the Apostle is also honest that not everyone will receive the truth about Jesus.

The Choice

John 1:10-13 – “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.”

Are there any verses in all of the New Testament sadder than these?

Jesus physically created the world by the power of the Word (He spoke, and the world came into being) – yet the world rejected Him.

Jesus physically created the nations of the world – yet the people of the nations (that is, the Greek-speaking Roman world) did not know who He was or receive Him as Messiah, Savior, Lord and King.

Jesus physically created “His own” – the Jewish people, the “chosen people” – yet by and large the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, did not receive Him either. They didn’t understand He had fulfilled their own prophecies. They didn’t understand He had come to bring them abundant life and eternal life. They were walking in darkness. They were not reading the Word. Or understanding the Word. They weren’t connecting the dots. And they missed Him.

And yet….not everyone missed Him. In His grace, God opened the eyes of a handful of people – men and women – so they could suddenly see the Light. They could suddenly see the Truth. They suddenly experienced the Life.

And to as many as received him, only handful of people at first, to them Jesus gave the right (power, authority, ability) to be born again, to be born from above into the very family of God. Not by their own will, or brilliance, or insight, or intuition – but by the will of God, by the power of God. And this is the good news — this is the great hope – this is the power of the Word to change the world

The Gospel

John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This is the Gospel, the good news:

  • that Jesus is the “Logos”
  • Jesus is The Word
  • Jesus is God
  • Jesus is the Creator
  • Jesus is Life
  • Jesus is Light
  • Jesus is God who became flesh and dwelt among us
  • He “tabernacled” or “tented” or “camped” among us.
  • He was fully God.
  • He was fully man.
  • Not everyone will understand this.
  • Not everyone will receive this.
  • But if you do – Jew or Gentile – and if you repent and receive Him, Jesus will save you.
  • If you repent of your sins and receive Him for who He really is, Jesus will adopt you into His family, and you will become a child of the Living God.
  • You will experience His grace.
  • You will experience His truth.
  • You will see His glory.
  • You will live with Him forever.

Are there any verses in all the Bible more wonderful then these?

This good news is for Jews. But it is not for Jews alone. “But as many as received Him….” This good news is for Arabs, Bedouins, Druze, and Persians. This is good news for all peoples, tribes and tongues. Anyone who hears the Word, and believes, and repents of their sins, and receives Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Master can and will be saved.

This is very good news. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We are not living in darkness. We are not alone without God and His wisdom. God came in person to tell us how to have life and peace. He came in personal to show us to live and how to love. And then He gave us the Word of God in the form of a book. It is called the Bible. It is the only book inspired by God Himself. It is the only book that is a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” (Psalm 119:105) It is the only book that is full of the “word of life.” (I John 1:1)

The Challenge

I believe this is the great challenge of our time: to help the Church rediscover the power of the Word, and to recommit ourselves to proclaim the Word – all of it, from Genesis to Revelation – without fear, without apology, but with authority and great urgency.

The Lord said through the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

The Lord said through the writer of Hebrews, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Lord said through the Apostle Paul, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

We need more people in the Church today who truly believe in the power of the Word to save souls and transform lives.

We need to freshly commit ourselves – as those who teach the Word and who train others to teach the Word –  to follow the Great Commission and teach people to obey all that Christ commanded us.(Matthew 28:19)

Let us be able to say what the Apostle Paul told the church in Ephesus, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27)

In our closing panel, we will discuss with these dear pastors how they approach teaching the Word, and what kind of fruit they have seen from teaching the “whole counsel of God” with thoroughness and vigor.But as I close this message, let me share with you a personal testimony of how I came to really discover power of the Word in my own life. [brief testimony]


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

2013 Epicenter Conference concludes in Jerusalem: Text of opening message.

EpicenterConf-logo(Jerusalem, Israel) — The Joshua Fund’s 2013 Epicenter Conference has concluded, and it has been a fascinating day. The messages will soon be posted online at www.epicenterconference.com. They will also be posted on our mobile app.

We were deeply blessed to have some remarkable speakers, both Jews and Arabs, as well as the pastor who hosted the third Epicenter Conference a few years ago (in Philadelphia). I delivered the opening and closing message of the day. Here is the text of the first, as I prepared it for delivery. I hope you find it helpful. [Tomorrow, I hope to post the text of the second message.]

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WHY IS OUR THEME, “THE POWER OF THE WORD”?

 Joel C. Rosenberg

 2013 Epicenter Conference — Jerusalem, Israel — Friday, July 5, 2013

We are gathered here in Jerusalem at a time of war and rumors of war, uprisings and revolution.

  • Another revolution is underway in Egypt – the second in two years. The Egyptian army has removed President Morsi from power, but there is still the danger of a civil war erupting.
  • A tragic revolution is underway in Syria – more than 93,000 are dead, and chemical weapons have been used in recent months.
  • Lebanon is systematically being taken over by Hezbollah, an Iranian terror organization.
  • Jordan is under constant threat of an Islamist coup.
  • Iran is rapidly approaching the “red line” – and Israel is considering a massive preemptive strike.
  • Millions of men, women and children do not know what tomorrow will bring.

So why isn’t the 2013 Epicenter Conference focused on analyzing such issues?

Our theme this year: “The Power of the Word.”

The reason is simple: Because as serious as these crises are, there is actually a far more serious crisis facing the people of the epicenter – and all people on the Earth – than the mere absence of geopolitical peace. That  is, the absence of spiritual peace – the absence of peace with God.

And while Christians have very little opportunity to bring about geopolitical peace in this region, you and I know the secret of that true and lasting peace that is found in the Word of God.

The Bible says Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The Bible says He is coming back one day to reign over the whole earth from this city, from Jerusalem, and He will bring peace on the earth.

But geopolitical peace is not His first priority. In fact, the Bible tells us that in the last days God is going shake all the nations of the earth. He will allow wars and revolutions and other disasters to occur to get people’s attention and draw them to their desperate need for Him. Thus, Christ’s first mission is to call people to repentance and peace with God, and to give those who have peace with God a “peace which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace,” Jesus said in John 17:33. “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

This is good news. Christ offers true peace. Yet, tragically, most people in this world – and especially in this region — do not even know such peace is possible.

Why? Because so many do not know the Lord God Almighty. They do not know His promises.

Why? Because they have not read His Word. They have not heard His Word. And thus they do not understand the power of the Word to change them, save them, heal them, comfort them, protect them, encourage them, and welcome them into the very presence of the God who loves them and gave Himself for them.

This, my friends, is the greatest crisis of our time – the absolute disconnect between people and the Word of God.

This is especially tragic among Jews and Arabs, who live in the lands where the Scriptures given. Consider a few data points:

  • Nearly half of Israeli Jews describe themselves as “secular.”
  • Most Israelis have utterly rejected almost any form of religious instruction, worship or practice.
  • Remarkably, 65% of Israeli Jews say they believe the Torah is God-given.
  • Yet, only 16% of Israeli Jews say they ever actually read the Bible.
  • Likewise, only 14% of American Jews say they ever read the Bible on their own.

They are not alone, of course.

  • The vast majority of Arab Muslims have never seen a Bible, much less read one.
  • The same is true of Persians in Iran.

Think about that. Of the half billion people that live in the very region where the Bible was written, only a relative handful have the Word of God, much less read or believe it.

Is it really so surprising there is no peace in the Middle East?

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

Throughout much of the Church in the world today, there is an outright rejection of the Bible as the divinely inspired Word of God. In congregations all over the world, many are being taught the Bible is a nice story, especially for children, but not really the divinely inspired Word of the living God.

Such theological liberalism— such rejection of the supremacy and sufficiency and power of the Word – is a pandemic cancer sweeping through most denominations, subverting the faith of millions right at the moment when the world most needs a strong and healthy Church to point them to the living God and His holy Word.

Yet even among those churches that say they follow Christ, and who say they hold the Bible to be the very Word of God, we are seeing signs of equivocation. We are seeing evidence of doubt creeping into the minds and hearts of pastors and priests and lay people.

  • Doubt that Word is sufficient to answer every question.
  • Doubt that the Word is powerful to change every heart.
  • Doubt that Jesus really meant it when He gave us the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded…”

Sadly, Bible prophecy tells us that there will be apostasy in the last days, that there will be false teachers who pervert the truth, that there will be bad teachers who water down or mishandle the truth. What’s more, there will be many who won’t want to hear the Bible taught well, or at all.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

What then shall we do? Get discouraged? Give up? Lose confidence in the efficacy of God’s Word?

By no means. The Apostle Paul commanded us to “preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

Why?

  • Because the “sacred writings…are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
  • Because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
  • Because “‘as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
  • Because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Yes, it is a sad and painful truth that the world at large – and the people of the epicenter in particular – do not know and believe and embrace the power of the Word.

And yes, it is a sad and painful truth that too many pastors, priests and lay people in the Church do not truly know and believe and embrace the power of the Word, either.

But here is a great and glorious truth: Two thousand years ago, a mere twelve uneducated men turned the world upside down because they had been with Jesus, because they knew the Word, they knew His power, and – filled with power of the Holy Spirit – they were not afraid to proclaim the Word to change men’s lives, because they had seen their own lives changed so radically.

Today, more and more people in the epicenter realize how desperate they are for the Word of God. And more and more believers are determined to give them God’s Word.

This is why we are focused in this year’s conference on the “Power of the World.” To remind ourselves of the power of the Word, and to recommit ourselves to being faithful members of the remnant the Lord wants to use to preach the Word, in season and out.

Those of us gathered here in Jerusalem today – and those watching in more than 100 countries around the globe – we do not have the power of the world. We do not have the power to make geopolitical peace, even if we tried. But you and I do have the power of the Word. We do have the power to help men make peace with God, and discover the “peace that passeth all understanding,” if only we will try.

My friend, there is tremendous, life-changing, nation-changing, world-changing power in the Word of God.

Today, I hope you and I will discover it anew.

And beginning tomorrow, I pray you and I will preach it afresh — with great passion, and great conviction, and a great sense of urgency.

Now, let us begin.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Israeli President Shimon Peres delivers historic, beautiful, brilliant speech to European leaders. Here’s the full text.

Israel's President Shimon Peres (L) thanks European Council President Hermen Van Rompuy during a joined news conference after a meeting at the EU Council. (photo credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal)

Israel’s President Shimon Peres (L) thanks European Council President Hermen Van Rompuy during a joined news conference after a meeting at the EU Council. (photo credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal)

“I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul. I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, 89, today addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It was powerful and personal and beautiful and brilliant. It was also historic. He spoke of being born and raised in Europe and having to leave before the Holocaust destroyed his family. He spoke of the deep and sordid historic enmity between Europe and the Jews, but also of how Europe changed after World War II and came to help Israel and the Jewish people.

“Peres’s speech was the first time a senior Israeli official addressed the European parliament in its current extended format with 754 members from 27 member states,” notes the Times of Israel. “In 1985, then-president Chaim Herzog spoke to the parliament in Strasbourg; at the time, the union had only 10 members.”

“The idea of the rebirth of Israel was born on European soil,” said Peres. “In the past thousand years, more Jews lived in Europe than in any other continent. Alas, more Jews were murdered in Europe in the last hundred years than in the preceding two thousand years. We experienced here the worst tragedy of our history. Here we dreamed an impossible rebirth. Six million, a third of our people, were murdered here by starvation, gas, rifles and fire. What remains from them is ashes. We shall not forget that the righteous among the nations carried candles of light in the darkness. They were small in number but great in heroism. Israel was born from the ashes at the end of the Second World War. If someone had stood up then and said that within three years a Jewish state would be created – he would have been considered a delirious visionary. But the dream became a reality.”

>> Peres: Iran is the greatest danger to world peace — the president, in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, calls to label Hezbollah a terror organization.

The threats posed by Iran and Syria were major themes in the address, new existential threats no less dangerous than the European Holocaust. The Israeli leader “called on the international community Tuesday to limit Iran’s production of the long-range missiles that could deliver nuclear weapons, in addition to restricting the regime’s uranium enrichment program.” He also “appealed to the European Union to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization,” noted the Times. “He said he opposed Western intervention in Syria, suggesting instead that the Arab League form a provisional government in Syria that would attempt to stop the bloodshed.”

“I believe that in addition to controlling the production of highly enriched uranium there is a need to control the means of delivery, to control the production of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads,” Peres told the EU leaders. “Khamenei declared that religion prohibits the production and the use of nuclear arms. Why, then, does he build missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads?” Peres asked, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. He called the regime in Tehran the “greatest danger to peace in the world,” and urged the EU to condemn Iran’s human rights violations as they condemed Soviet violations during the Cold War.

Here is the full text of the Peres speech. I commend it to your attention.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog