If you’ve ever wanted to walk where Jesus and the apostle and the prophets walked, and study the Word, and worship in spirit and truth, meet local ministry leaders, care for the poor, and rediscover the power and purpose of Bible prophecy, this is the trip for you.
And if you’re a pastor or ministry leader, would you consider coming just with your spouse and maybe a few close ministry friends? Rather than lead a tour this year, come and simply be encouraged and refreshed — and see first-hand how powerfully the Lord is moving among Arabs and Jews in the Middle East.
Joining me as keynote speakers for the Summit will be dear friends and wonderful Bible teachers, Anne Graham Lotz and Dr. Ronnie Floyd, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. We will be joined by leaders of various Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries as they share with the Summit participants about what they see the Lord doing from their unique vantage points. They will also be sharing prayer requests for their ministries, and praying for unity among the brethren in the Land.
Please be part of this special time. Lynn and I and our team would love to see you there!
UPDATED: (Jerusalem, Israel) — On Monday, I was humbled to be invited to watch Vice President Mike Pence’s historic address to the Knesset from inside the chamber.
It was the first time an American Vice President had ever addressed Israel’s 120-seat parliament, and Mr. Pence certainly covered a lot of ground and stirred an enormous amount of controversy. Among his key points, the V.P.:
Spoke of his personal affection for Israel and the Jewish people and cited or alluded to more Scripture than probably any foreign leader who has spoken there.
Called on the Palestinian leadership to “return to the table” and agree to direct peace talks with Israel (they have refused such talks since 2014).
Praised Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders for making peace treaties in the past with American help.
Underscored the nuances of President Trump’s December announcement on Jerusalem and discussed the U.S. embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Spoke of the near eradication of ISIS’s caliphate by a U.S.-Arab-Kurdish alliance.
And warned that the “apocalyptic” leaders of Iran would never be allowed to acquire nuclear warheads.
A reporter for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked me how American Evangelical Christians would respond to the speech. Here are excerpts from his story….
“Joel Rosenberg, an Evangelical author and activist who lives in Jerusalem, told Haaretz that ‘most American evangelicals will be very happy with this speech. He expressed very strong support for Israel.’ Rosenberg, who attended Pence’s speech in the Knesset, added that ‘the vice president used more scripture and allusions to the bible than any speech by a foreign leader that I can recall. He did it in a very respectful way.’
‘Rosenberg cautioned, however, that not all evangelicals in the United States and around the world share the same views regarding the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East peace process. ‘Some Evangelicals ask how the timing of the Jerusalem decision served the purpose of reaching a peace deal,’ he said. ‘Did the vice president’s speech make things easier today for the leaders of Jordan and Egypt, who both told him about some hardships caused by the Jerusalem decision? Probably not.'”….
Here’s a link to the interview I did with CBN News (runs about 30 minutes).
Here, too, is both the video and transcript of the interview I did with Shannon Bream, anchor of Fox News @ Night (the video runs about 4:45 minutes). I did the interview in my capacity as one of the founding members of the new organization, Alliance For the Peace of Jerusalem.
I must say I was particularly struck with a soundbite Shannon played from an interview with Hanan Ashrawi, a noted Palestinian legislator, advisor and spokeswoman. As you’ll see in the transcript below, she excoriated Vice President Pence’s Evangelical Christian faith, saying he “brought to bear his ideological, fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible in order to punish the Palestinians and reward the aggressors, the Israeli occupiers.”
Later in the interview, Shannon quoted Palestinian official Saeb Erekat attacking Mr. Pence’s “messianic discourse” as a “gift to the extremists.”
The comments caught me off guard — I wasn’t anticipating this line of criticisms in this particular interview — and I wish I’d responded to them more directly. The topic deserves a more detailed response. But for now, let me just say respectfully to Mrs. Ashrawi and Mr. Erekat that being a faithful follower of Jesus and having a literal interpretation of the Holy Scriptures — both Old Testament and New — does not make one anti-Palestinian. As a Jewish son born in Bethlehem, Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, and that most certainly includes the Palestinians.
Hundreds of millions of Evangelicals around the world love Jesus, the most famous Israeli in human history; we love the Bible and love seeing the Biblical prophecies of the rebirth of Israel coming to pass. At the same time, precisely because of our faith and our love for the Bible, we also love peace. We pray faithfully for the peace of Jerusalem as commanded by the Psalmist. We also deeply long to see Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian Arabs all living side-by-side in peace in the Holy Land.
The big question is this: In this life — before the Messiah comes to reign from Jerusalem and establish true justice and peace on the earth — how do we all as humble, flawed people live together in honor and respect, in dignity and in quiet? For Evangelicals, this begins with following the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and all the Hebrew prophets — learning to love people with an unconditional, sacrificial love, trusting the Lord to give us the strength and grace to do so when that’s hard.
It also means both honoring and learning from the remarkable legacy of modern peace-makers like Anwar el-Sadat, Menachem Begin, King Hussein, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and the like — complicated but courageous men who sat down together face to face to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace and hope and a brighter future to their people. May their tribe increase.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: A Palestinian negotiator is accusing the Vice President of using his religion to set diplomatic policy.
[VIDEO CLIP OF HANAN ASHRAWI, Palestinian legislator]: He brought to bear his ideological, fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible in order to punish the Palestinians and reward the aggressors, the Israeli occupiers. This is entirely unacceptable. It is not only illegal. It is immoral. It is inhuman.
SHANNON BREAM: Joining me now in Jerusalem is New York Times best-selling author and founding member of the Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem, Joel Rosenberg. Great to have you with us today.
JOEL C. ROSENBERG: Great to be with you, Shannon. Welcome to Jerusalem.
BREAM: Thank you very much. It’s such a fascinating, beautiful area. We have really enjoyed our time here, though it’s been quick. It’s not surprising that the Palestinian lawmaker you just heard from didn’t appreciate the Vice President’s use of the Bible. Also hearing from the top Palestinian negotiator [Saeb Erekat] – whom we talked with a couple of days ago in Ramallah – saying this, “The messianic discourse of Pence is a gift to extremists and has proven that the U.S. administration is part of the problem rather than the solution.” Not surprising.
ROSENBERG: Actually, it is surprising. I mean, it’s not surprising that the top Palestinian leadership is so upset. But it is surprising in the sense that Pence concluded his entire speech – I was there – [by saying], “We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” He called for Palestinians to come back to the table. He’s saying that the boundaries of Jerusalem aren’t even settled – right? He reiterated what President Trump said in his Jerusalem announcement in December.
The point is, this is the moment for the Palestinian leadership, “They’re not negotiated? They’re not final? Great. Let’s have that discussion.” Now, Jerusalem is the toughest issue in this conflict, and it’s a divisive one. But it’s not clear why the Palestinian leadership is saying, “We won’t talk. Forget it. It’s over.” Your interview with Saeb Erekat was illuminating and fascinating.
And Mahmoud Abbas said in a big speech the other day to the Palestinian leadership that, “You may not see me again. This may be my last speech.” We may be heading for a post-Abbas era. It’s not clear where the process goes from there.
BREAM: It’s interesting because with Erekat, I continually pushed the fact that the President did have nuance to what he said, that he wanted this to be about, “We’re not decided the borders, the boundaries. We’re not making any final assessment. We’re the U.S. We’re outside. We’re just saying that we’re recognizing Jerusalem as the capital. You all will work out those details.” But to Erekat, there was no difference. He said, “We heard the headline, and that’s it.”
ROSENBERG: That’s right and I think that’s a challenge. I know that Vice President Pence spoke to President el-Sisi in Egypt, and with King Abdullah in Jordan about this, which is a very sensitive issue. But it is interesting that effectively what the President and Vice President are saying is, “West Jerusalem is a set issue.” And it has been.
The Palestinians aren’t actually asking, really – at least at the leadership level – for West Jerusalem. So the debate is over East Jerusalem, or some neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. So if they [the Palestinians] don’t negotiate, then generations of Palestinian suffering go on, ad infinitum. It’s not clear how this leadership – Abbas and Erekat – what their plan is.
You know, we pray for Saeb Erekat. You were talking to him about his health. He’s just had a lung transplant in the United States. I’m so glad that has gone well. But these men seem tired. Actually, everybody in the region is tired of the fight. But if you won’t sit down and negotiate, it’s not clear how to make the situation better.
BREAM: Right — you don’t have a voice.
ROSENBERG: I thought the Pence speech was excellent in calling for peace, in clarifying the President’s position, but affirming that America is with Israel as an ally — but it’s also with Jordan as an ally, and with Egypt as an ally.
In fact, Pence noted that many people think that peace is not possible. But this is not theoretical. The Vice President was saying, “The United States has helped Egypt make peace with Israel, and Israel make peace with Jordan. Two of the most difficult elements of this conflict have been dealt with, and these treaties have lasted — but those treaties have lasted because men were willing to sit down and make hard choices face to face.
I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians, but I don’t understand how they make their lives better for their people if they won’t sit down.
BREAM: Yeah, and I repeatedly asked Erekat what would get them back to the table. I mean, I’m no peace negotiator. So he’s not going to tell me. But there was just no answer he could give me, short of them [the Trump administration] revoking what they just said about Jerusalem, and we know that’s not going to happen.
Thank you very much for your insights.
ROSENBERG: It’s great to be with you, and these are interesting days and challenging moments.
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and their senior advisors traveled to Amman, Jordan, where the V.P. held critically important bilateral meetings with King Abdullah II — America’s most trusted Arab ally — followed by a working lunch at His Majesty’s main palace.
As the lunch began, the press was permitted to cover the opening remarks of both men. I’ve included both the video and the transcript below, and I would highly encourage you to both watch and read the messages. (I’ve also included the transcript and some video from the V.P.’s meeting with President el-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt.)
I saw two friends and allies being candid with each other over sensitive matters and some serious disagreements on major issues, but also two men taking care to strengthen the core of the friendship and staying focused on why their countries need each other.
I have had the honor of getting to know both men a bit in recent years. I’m deeply grateful for them both. I believe they are both men of peace. And I pray that they and their colleagues can truly find a path forward to help expand the peace that the Jordan and Israel courageously forged some 24 years ago, with the help of American leadership.
On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and his senior advisors landed in Cairo, Egypt. The V.P. held 2 1/2 hours of meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, following by a two hour dinner. Early reports in the media and from my sources in Cairo are very positive. I’ll post more details soon.
Late Saturday night, Air Force Two headed to Amman, Jordan, where the V.P. and his team will stay overnight. On Sunday morning, the V.P. will meet with King Abdullah II. I anticipate those talks to be more sensitive than the ones in Cairo.
The Jerusalem Post has just published a new column of mine, examining the V.P.’s trip from a somewhat different angle than the column I wrote Friday for Fox News. In this one, I look at the Trump administration’s four policy objectives in the Middle East and the progress they are making with each. I also examine the enormously challenging balancing act Vice President Pence has undertaken on this trip in which he will be welcomed so warmly by the Israelis but urgently needs to strengthen strained ties with Egypt and Jordan, as well as seek a way to repair relations with the Palestinians.
Please continue to pray that the trip goes well and each of these relationships improves.
The following are excerpts from the Jerusalem Post op-ed. To read the column in full, please click here.
As US Vice President Mike Pence arrives in the Middle East, he has a tough needle to thread. Israeli support for the Trump administration is soaring. The Arab street is furious.
Can he deliver a convincing message that the US truly wants to be a regional peace-maker? And having delivered more than most Israelis expected in the first year, is the vice president authorized to announce specific policies to strengthen America’s critically important alliances with Egypt and Jordan, even as the Palestinians refuse to see him?
It’s worth zooming out for a moment to put Pence’s trip in context.
The Trump-Pence administration came into office a year ago with four specific strategic objectives in the region.
The first was to crush Islamic State (ISIS), dismantle the genocidal grip of the “caliphate” that controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and prevent ISIS foreign fighters from being able to attack and kill Americans….
The administration’s second objective in the region was to dramatically reorient America’s policy toward Iran….
The administration’s third objective was to rebuild the US-Israeli alliance, badly damaged during the Obama years. In this it has far surpassed expectations. Polls show Israeli support for Trump has skyrocketed. In May, 56% said he is “pro-Israel.” Today, that number is 76%….
Which brings us to the administration’s fourth objective: rebuilding America’s alliances with the Arab world, also damaged during the Obama years. This initiative started off quite well, despite Trump’s incendiary “Muslim ban” pledge during the campaign….
A year later, however, this strategy is foundering. The president’s Jerusalem decision –how it was made, why it was made and when it was announced — has infuriated the Palestinians, who have cut off relations with the White House. It has also seriously complicated US relations with Jordan (a country whose population is about 70% Palestinian), and much of the Sunni Arab world.
Trump’s nuances — that the boundaries of the Holy City still need to be negotiated, thus keeping the door open to a possible Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem; and saying the status quo of the holy sites must be protected — either weren’t heard or weren’t believed. As one senior Arab official told me, “Very few people in our part of the world watched President Trump’s full speech. Fewer still read it. All they heard was the headline, ‘Trump gives Jerusalem to the Jews.’” Palestinian leaders should be using the moment to re-engage in peace talks, not continue to boycott them. Their people urgently need a final resolution to this painful conflict.
Until that happens, the vice president should focus on bolstering relations with Egypt and Jordan, two faithful and vitally important allies….
The vice president has an unenviable task. One trip can’t fix everything. But taking a victory lap before the Knesset and coming empty-handed to Amman and Cairo would seriously set back US interests in the region.
[Photo: Vice President Pence met on Saturday with Egyptian President el-Sisi. Early reports indicate the conversations were very positive.]
ORIGINAL POST: Jordan was not originally on Vice President Mike Pence’s Mideast schedule when the trip was planned for mid-December. When the trip had to be rescheduled (due to the tax cut vote) for mid-January, a visit to Amman was added.
In my new column for Fox News, I explain why, describe the strains that have emerged in the U.S.-Jordanian alliance, and offer some thoughts on the way forward to strengthen this vitally important relationship.
But first, a look at the current itinerary. On Friday night, Air Force Two will depart Washington, headed for the epicenter, including stops in Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
Saturday: Vice President Pence will land in Cairo and meet with President el-Sisi.
Sunday: The V.P. will fly to Amman and meet with King Abdullah II.
Sunday evening: The V.P. will fly to Israel.
Monday and Tuesday: The V.P. will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, visit Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, and speak to the Knesset.
Please pray for:
The safety of Mike and Karen Pence, their advisors and their delegation.
The V.P. to have wisdom to know how best to strengthen U.S. relations with Egypt and Jordan, as well as with Israel.
The Palestinian leadership to reconsider their boycott of the V.P.’s trip, and to choose to engage in dialogue with him instead to make their case directly.
Something significant happened since Vice President Mike Pence rescheduled his trip to the Middle East from December to the end of this week. No longer is he visiting only Israel and Egypt. He is going to Jordan as well.
It is the right move – indeed, Amman should have been on his original itinerary – but it’s now an act of damage control.
Not only were West Bank and Gaza Palestinians furious in the wake of President Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Most Jordanians – some 70 percent of whom are Palestinians – were outraged as well.
How President Trump’s decision was made, why it was made, and when it was announced have thus created serious strains in the U.S.-Jordanian alliance. Pence will have to handle the matter deftly.
To be sure, friends will not always agree on every issue. Washington and Amman have weathered deep disagreements in the past and still strengthened their relationship.
That said, Jerusalem touches deep into the Jordanian religious, social and political psyche. Until 1967, the Hashemite Kingdom governed the eastern portion of the holy city, including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The loss of East Jerusalem to the Israelis during the Six Day War remains a bitter wound.
So despite President Trump’s nuanced statement about how the boundaries of Jerusalem remain to be negotiated (thus keeping the door open to a possible Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem), and the importance of protecting the status quo of the holy sites, the issue isn’t going away any time soon.
This is especially true given that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given increasingly heated statements against the Trump administration and is boycotting the vice president’s visit.
Pence should be prepared to hear frank talk from Jordanian King Abdullah when he arrives. In return, let us hope he is prepared to share with the king a clear and convincing American initiative to help Palestinians and Israelis get back on the road to making a fair and final peace treaty, and that he is authorized to announce specific policies designed to bolster the U.S.-Jordanian strategic alliance….
It is with great excitement about God’s love for the people of Israel that Lynn and I cordially invite you to join us for the Epicenter Prayer Summit, which will be held in Jerusalem the evening of Wednesday, July 11th, and all day Thursday, July 12th, 2018.
Keynote speakers for the Summit include Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. Ronnie Floyd and me. Also speaking will be local pastors and ministry leaders on the frontlines of the faith. We will be joined by leaders of various Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries as they share with the Summit participants about what they see the Lord doing from their unique vantage points. They will also be sharing real-time prayer requests for their ministries, as well as praying for unity among the brethren in the Land.
The focus of the Summit will be the urgency of praying for the peace of Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel to all people in the Epicenter and asking the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit to bring about a revival in His Church and a sweeping spiritual awakening in the Land and throughout the region.
Please prayerfully consider joining us. Lynn and I and our entire team would love to see you there!
As I understand it, this remarkable deal — 81% off the list price — will last through Saturday, January 20th. So if you’re interested please order it quickly, and let your family and friends know, as well.
This is the first in my J.B. Collins series of novels about a New York Times foreign correspondent on the hunt for the leader of the Islamic State and reporting on ISIS’s plans to launch genocidal attacks against the U.S., Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and Egypt.
It was followed by two more novels in the trilogy — The First Hostage and Without Warning, dealing with ISIS attacks inside the American homeland and the hunt to bring the head of ISIS to justice.
Jordanian intelligence and security officials have just announced that they recently captured a cell of 17 Islamic State operatives allegedly plotting to launch catastrophic attacks to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The dramatic series of arrests were actually made in November and are only now being made public.
The news of the disruption of the chilling and “massive” ISIS plot comes just as the White House announced that Vice President Mike Pence is coming to the epicenter this month and will visit not only Egypt and Israel but Jordan, as well. Counter-terrorism will be a key element of the V.P.’s policy agenda.
Let me just say as someone who has traveled to Jordan at least ten times over the past decade — including four times in the past eighteen months — I’m deeply encouraged (and relieved) that Jordanian officials identified the plot and were able to deal with it decisively. Indeed, I shudder to think what might have happened had ISIS been able to carry through with their plans. The King, whom I regard as America’s most faithful Sunni Arab ally and a highly effective leader in the on-going fight against Radical and Apocalyptic Islamism, deserves a great deal of credit for maintaining such an impressive level of stability that has clearly eluded Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and other countries in the region.
Readers of my most recent trilogy of novels — The Third Target, The First Hostage, and Without Warning — know that these political thrillers imagine a scenario in which ISIS conspirators plot to assassinate King Abdullah II, attack and destroy the official palace in Amman, and then overthrow the monarchy and enslave all of Jordan under the black flags of Radical — even Apocalyptic — Islamist rule. I pray regularly that such a worst case scenario never comes to pass. Yet this latest news shows that ISIS remains intent on seizing Jordan for the forces of darkness.
This is the novel series that the King began to read in January of 2016. Yet rather than banning me from his kingdom, His Majesty invited my wife and me to come visit with him and his generals and intelligence and security officials in one of the most fascinating trips we have ever been a part of. This led, in turn, to the opportunity to bring a delegation of Christian leaders to visit Jordan last November to meet with senior Jordanian security and diplomatic officials, and to have a working lunch with King Abdullah last November. While there, we discussed a wide range of issues, including how to strengthen the U.S.-Jordanian alliance, how to help Jordan in its counter-terrorism efforts, how to help Jordan care for the two million-plus Syrian and Iraqi refugees that have flooded their country, and how best to move the Arab-Israeli peace process forward.
There have been significant strains in the U.S.-Jordanian relationship since President Trump’s December announcement about Jerusalem. The King and most Jordanians — including most Jordanian Christians — see the Jerusalem issue very differently than most Americans, and most American Evangelicals. The core of the strategic alliance is quite solid in my view, but there are challenges that need to be addressed.
Let us pray that the conversations between Mr. Pence and the King are not only candid but constructive and help advance both the alliance and the prospects for lasting regional peace. Let us also continue to pray for the Jordanian government and people that the kingdom remains solid, secure and at peace. Jordan is a vital ally, and we need her to be strong and prosperous.
To read more, here are links to some of the major news stories:
Today begins a two day period when you can purchase the e-book version of The Third Target for only $1.99.
This remarkable deal — 88% off the list price — will last through Wednesday the 10th.
This is the first in my J.B. Collins series of novels about a New York Times foreign correspondent on the hunt for the leader of the Islamic State and reporting on ISIS’s plans to launch genocidal attacks against the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt. It was followed by two more novels in the trilogy — The First Hostage and Without Warning.
Then, on Thursday through Saturday, the e-book price for The Third Target will still be low, but not quite that low — available for a mere $2.99. Please order today to take full benefit of this incredible deal.
Meanwhile, you can also now pre-order my next political thriller — The Kremlin Conspiracy — before it releases on March 6th.
(Jerusalem, Israel) — The first review of my forthcoming political thriller was published this week on the website known as, “The Real Book Spy,”which covers all things related to spy novels and political thrillers. And I’m glad to say they liked it.
The Kremlin Conspiracy is the first of my new series of novels about former U.S. Secret Service Agent Marcus Ryker. It releases in North America on March 6th. I’ll be posting details on the launch and book tour soon.
(And I’m happy to note that this week I began writing the next novel in this series.)
Rosenberg cranks up the suspense, delivering his most stunning, high-stakes thriller yet.
Aspiring authors should take note of Rosenberg’s deftly plotted story and first-rate character development — he puts on a clinic for how to introduce and bring along new characters. Some readers, especially early on, may find the plot moving a tad slower than his past books, but that’s clearly by design. Rosenberg meticulously builds the necessary foundation for later on, and, when you least expect it, he yanks the rug out from underneath you.
This is Joel C. Rosenberg at his absolute best, proving yet again that he’s one of the premier novelists working in the genre today.
With his knack for writing prophetic fiction, those who want an early glimpse at what the world might look like in the very near future should pick up Joel Rosenberg’s latest thriller….Strap in and hold on tight, The Kremlin Conspiracy is a high-octane thriller that will stun readers and stay with them long after they turn the final page.