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COUNTDOWN: NETANYAHU’S SECRET TRIP TO MOSCOW OVER IRAN THREAT CONFIRMED

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>> New Israeli poll finds Netanyahu and Likud gaining popularity — would gain 4 Knesset seats if elections were held today, while Ehud Barak’s Labor Party would lose one seat and Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party would lose 4 seats

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“A senior Kremlin official confirmed Wednesday to the Russian paper Kommersant that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did make a clandestine trip to Russia on Monday,” reports the Jerusalem Post this morning. “The report in the Russian newspaper comes despite a statement Wednesday from the Kremlin press service that ‘nothing is known’ about reports of the visit. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also said he had no information, the Interfax news agency reported. Nevertheless, there was never any official denial of the report from Moscow. On Wednesday night, the Prime Minister’s Office appeared to stick to its original version of events: that Netanyahu was occupied with ‘secret and classified activities’ during his unexplained absence of more than 12 hours….What is almost as mysterious as whether the trip took place, is what might have been discussed, with speculation focused on Iran, possible Russian arms deals to Iran and Syria, or the disappearance of the Arctic Sea cargo ship – suspected of carrying Russian made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran – that went missing last month. The trip, if indeed it took place, would not have been the result of an impromptu, emergency decision, since there was already talk among Netanyahu’s inner circle during his visit to London and Berlin two weeks ago about a possible visit to Russia ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting at the end of the month. Interestingly, almost exactly two years ago, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert paid a lightning visit to Moscow to meet with then-Russian president Vladimir Putin, a day after the Russian leader returned from a trip to Teheran in which he warned outside powers not to attack Iran and said there was no evidence it was developing nuclear arms.”

The mystery surrounding the trip comes as ex-Mossad chief Danny Yatom tells the Israeli media that he now believes the only way to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons is through the use of military force. “Only military action can stop Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capabilities, former Mossad chief Danny Yatom told Army Radio late Wednesday night, though he added that he doubted the United States would approve such a step. Responding to an interviewer’s query, asking Yatom if he had reached the conclusion that only military action could stop Iran’s drive toward nuclear weapons, the ex-Mossad head said ‘yes, I have reached that conclusion.’  According to the former intelligence chief, the ‘world needs to understand — an Iranian bomb poses a risk to its safety.'”

Another sobering report in the Russian and Israeli media this morning: “Russian report: Netanyahu may be planning attack — PM’s rushed visit to Moscow under cloud of secrecy occupies Russian media. Kommersant paper quotes ‘informed Israeli’ source as saying ‘It can’t be ruled out that Israel may be ready to move on to decisive actions with regards to Iran, and Netanyahu decided to inform Kremlin of this'”

This morning, the Wall Street Journal has a must-read op-ed by former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Dan Coats and two foreign policy colleagues entitled, “Taking Iran Seriously: Tehran is on course for a nuclear weapon next year.”

In light of such developments, please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for wisdom for U.S. and Israel leaders, for the strengthening of the Church and the spread of the gospel in the epicenter — and in Russia — and for the Church in the West to be awakened to the threats and the opportunities.

* Details on the “National Town Hall Meeting on the Threat of Radical Islam and the Church’s Response” on September 11th from 7 to 9pm eastern (re-webcast at 10pm eastern)

* To purchase a copy of Inside The Revolution documentary film on DVD from Barnes & Noble (35% off)

* To sign up for Joel’s (free) email updates

HEADLINES TO TRACK:

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