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Canadian PM Harper visits the epicenter. Tells Israel: “Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.” Brings delegation of 208 Canadians, including Rabbis & Pastors. Also, read full text of Harper address.

harper-net-flagsAt a time when so many world leaders are turning away from Israel and trying to isolate the Jewish state, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – an evangelical Christian and the most pro-Israel world leader on the planet at this time — arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday for his first visit, telling the Israeli people, “through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.”

Harper was given the red carpet treatment by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with whom he has become a close and personal friend, as well as a staunch and reliable ally. He and his wife, Laureen, dined with Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. The Harpers also toured several Christian holy sites, and plan to visit several more — including sites around the Sea of Galilee — during their trip.

Harper brought with him a delegation of 208 Canadians, including 21 Rabbis, 27 CEOs of Canadian companies, as well as numerous evangelical pastors and Catholic priests.

On Monday, Harper became the first Canadian Prime Minister in history to address the Israeli Knesset. He reaffirmed the importance of Israel as ”a Jewish state,” and was given a standing ovation for his long-standing and warm friendship and support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

“It is right to support Israel because after generations of persecutions the Jewish people deserve their own homeland,” Harper told the Israeli parliament. “I believe the story of Israel is a great example to the world. It is a story, essentially, of a people whose response to suffering has been to move beyond resentment and build a most extraordinary society, a vibrant democracy, a freedom-loving country with an independent and rights-affirming judiciary. An innovative, world-leading ‘start-up’ nation. You have taken the collective memory of death and persecution to build an optimistic, forward-looking land, one that so values life, you will sometimes release a thousand criminals and terrorists, to save one of your own. In the democratic family of nations, Israel represents values which our Government takes as articles of faith, and principles to drive our national life. And therefore, through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.”

To read the text of his extraordinary speech, please click here (scroll to the bottom of the Haaretz article where the video of the speech is located).

Harper met with Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday morning. Later this week, he will visit Jordan and meet with King Abdullah II in Amman, deeply committed as he is to encouraging peace between Israel and the Arab people.

“Prime Minister Harper, my good friend Stephen, welcome to Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu said on Sunday upon welcoming Harper at his office, reported Israel Hayom. “I have to say, Stephen, that you are a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people. I’m not just saying that — I mean it deeply from the bottom of my heart and I speak for all the people of Israel….This world is often cynical and hypocritical, and you have shown great moral leadership. When it comes to fighting terrorism, you know that there cannot be any politically correct double talk, but only unequivocal condemnation and united international action….When it comes to anti-Semitism, you have stood up unabashedly at the side of Israel and the entire Jewish people, I think at the side of decency and fairness to everyone: Jews and non-Jews alike. And when it comes to Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s annihilation and its unrelenting development of nuclear weapons — you and Canada have stood unflinchingly on the right side of history.”

“Touching on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations,” Israel Hayom noted, Netanyahu told Harper, “You recognize that a genuine peace, a lasting peace, must be based on mutual recognition and sound security arrangements on the ground. I think in all this and in so many other things, you have shown courage, clarity and conviction. And in standing up for the truth, your voice, Stephen, has been an indispensable one,” Netanyahu said. “So the people of Israel and I deeply appreciate your friendship and the friendship of the people of Canada to us.”

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Report: LA Quake Would Cause “Significant Disruption of Inter-Dependent Infrastructure…Transportation, Gas and Electricity Supplies, Sewage Systems, Water…”

(Pictured: This iconic image from the 1994 Los Angeles quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter of the 6.7 quake)

Tens of millions of Americans depend on the stable functioning of infrastructure systems like transportation, utility services, food delivery and communications. Without them modern society comes to a standstill. The U.S. government, under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local emergency teams, has spent billions of dollars to ensure operability of these essential societal nodes in the event of an emergency, but for some parts of the country, it may not be enough. A report from the US Geological Survey (USGS), a research arm of the federal government, indicates that the West Coast of the United States, namely those areas directly on or in the vicinity of fault lines, is not equipped to deal with a wide scale emergency that would directly impact these infrastructure systems.

The threat is a high-magnitude earthquake, something most Americans living in these areas assume will not have a significant impact on their lives because of building codes and existing disaster response plans implemented by government emergency planners. Many residents of these areas have become complacent because previous earthquakes, while damaging, didn’t adversely affect their day-to-day lives.

The earthquakes that struck San Francisco in 1989 and Los Angeles in 1994 measured 6.9 and 6.7 on the Richter scale respectively. Hundreds of buildings in both cities collapsed in their aftermath, with nearly ten times as many being “red flagged” as uninhabitable. Neither of these quakes were strong enough to affect the underlying infrastructure on a widespread scale. Life continued on as if nothing had happened following the initial destruction. According to the USGS, there have been over 120 earthquakes measuring in this range – between 6.0 and 6.9 on the Richter scale – in 2013, so they’re not uncommon.

But these aren’t the quakes scientists are concerned about with respect to damage levels. It’s the “mega-quakes,” which measure around 7.5 or higher that pose the biggest threat to populated areas on the West Coast. Though they don’t happen very often, this year the USGS has measured six such earthquakes around the world, so it’s not out of the question to suggest that a seismic event of this magnitude could potentially occur in Los Angeles or any major West Coast city at any time.

USGS researcher Dr. Lucy Jones, who spoke to 20,000 geoscientists from around the globe at this year’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, simulated the effects of a 7.8 quake originating just south of Los Angeles along the San Andreas fault line. The results were shocking. According to Dr. Jones, not only would nearly half of the buildings in L.A. become uninhabitable due to structural damage, but essential infrastructure systems would collapse almost instantaneously.

In their model, the thick sediments that downtown LA sits upon amplify the strong shaking of the quake, which would happen around 75 seconds after the first small signal of the earthquake.

Ground motions would be of “Intensity 9″, corresponding to accelerations of one G, causing significant damage to buildings. The model suggests the collapse of possibly around 1% of the buildings in an area of 10 million people.

The end result would be that around half the buildings in the area would have to be abandoned. But the model’s most disturbing results show that beyond the building damage there would be significant disruption of inter-dependent infrastructure.

Transportation, gas and electricity supplies, sewerage systems, water supplies and communications would all be affected.

Whether a modern civic society could operate under such conditions is questionable. At the instant of the USGS model earthquake, debris would close roads, extinguish traffic lights, water supplies would be cut off, and emergency responders would have difficulty operating.

Beyond that, the disruption of the supply chain also becomes an issue, pointed out Dr Jones. The move towards a “just in time” economy in grocery stores and elsewhere has introduced additional vulnerability.

There are few warehouses or stockpiles of food on the western side of the San Andreas fault.

The water system is vulnerable: 70% of the water pipes in Southern California are made of brittle concrete which would likely fail in a large quake, with LA served by water supplies that traverse the San Andreas fault.

Even repairing the pipe network was stated as an issue, since current pipe manufacture in the US is insufficient to replace the damage in under six months. Replacement by polyurethane piping, which can withstand earthquake shaking, could overcome this problem.

Source: BBC via Stan Deyo

The Los Angeles metropolitan area has a population of 12.8 million people, the majority of who would be out of food and water within seconds following this disaster. According to the USGS report, up to half of the population could be without shelter due to either building collapse or the possibility of collapse. Emergency responders would not be able to make it to affected areas because roadways would be destroyed, and those that were undamaged would be jam-packed with people trying to leave the city.

It would be a complete and utter disaster.

Moreover, as soon as those 12.8 million people realized that help wasn’t coming, they’d make their way out of the city by foot in what has been described by James Rawles as the golden horde, and they would leave destruction in their wake as they scrambled for resources.

After Hurricane Sandy it only took 72 hours after grid-down for the initial stages of societal breakdown to begin setting in. We saw the same scenario play out during Hurricane Katrina. In both instances government emergency responders were overwhelmed and unable to provide victims with the basic necessities for life. Those disasters affected on the order of about 50,000 to 100,000 people.

Now imagine what happens when we’re talking numbers on the scale of millions.


Related Reading:

Are You Ready Series: Earthquake Preparedness (Ready Nutrition)

The Prepper Conundrum: To Bug In or Bug Out (Ready Nutrition)

Simulation: New Madrid Quake Would Kill 100,000 Instantly; Displace 7 Million (SHTFplan)

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You