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BREAKING: Iran launches missile barrage at US forces. Ayatollah says it’s just the beginning. Is all-out war really coming, or is Tehran all talk? Here’s the latest.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Iranian regime fired 22 missiles at two military bases in Iraq where U.S. forces are stationed.

The attacks were in direct response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani — the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the most dangerous terrorist in the world — by a U.S. drone strike on January 3.

Fortunately, there were no American casualties in the strikes. But tensions are spiking and big questions remain.

  1. Are the U.S. and Iran heading for all-out war?
  2. Will President Trump order retaliation in response to the missile strikes, or pocket his successful take-down of Iran’s top terrorist leader and de-escalate?
  3. Are Iran’s mounting and furious threats just bluster, or is Tehran serious about unleashing attacks on Americans and Western allies all over the world?

“The fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun,” the Iranian military declared, according to a report by the New York Times. 

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“Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his country delivered a ‘slap in the face’ to American forces, but added that the missile attack alone was ‘not enough’ and called for the US to be ‘uprooted’ from the region,” reported the U.K. Daily Mail. 

“This region will not tolerate the U.S. presence — the nations in the region will not accept that and the governments backed by their people will not accept it,” Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, reported the Financial Times.  

Such language suggests much more is coming. The leading Democratic presidential candidates — and numerous pundits and commentators in the U.S. and Europe — are warning that President Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani will lead to “anarchy” and that a full-blown war with Iran is now “inevitable.”

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden warned:  “[T]his is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region. The administration’s statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect. President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.”  
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders warned: “When you go around assassinating a government official, you unleash international anarchy and all the rules are gone….I get very nervous about it. Not only for the potential loss of life in endless wars, but right now in this country, we have massive, massive domestic needs.”
  • Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said: the job of the president is to keep America safe and yet Mr. Trump has “taken us in exactly the opposite direction.”

U.S., Israeli and Arab forces throughout the Epicenter are on high alert — and the U.S. is flowing in more troops into the region, including 2,800 members of the 82nd Airborne’s Immediate Response Force — in case Iran’s threats to escalate prove legit.

But the President’s action could cause Iran to actually think twice about embarking on a full-scale war. A major conflict is possible, but it’s not inevitable.

Consider the recent Israeli model:

  • In 2019 alone, Israel launched 54 airstrikes against targets in Syria.
  • Many of these strikes were against Iranian forces and sophisticated Iranian weapons bound for Hezbollah, Tehran’s main terrorist proxy in the region.
  • Yet, Israel’s on-going military actions to defend itself from Iranian aggression has not led to a full-scale war between the Jewish State and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Rather, Israel’s willingness to use force, and use it repeatedly, has actually had a deterrent effect on Iran because Iran’s regime is coming to realize that Israel is both willing and able to use force with devastating consequences if necessary.
  • Indeed, the Ayatollah Khamenei knows that Israel has German-built submarines lurking under the murky waters of the Persian Gulf, right off of Iran’s coast.
  • Khamenei knows that each of those subs is equipped with powerful ballistic missiles that could annihilate Iran’s capital and other bases and cities, if need be.
  • That’s why Khamenei is, so far, reluctant to intensify his conflict with Israel — he knows Prime Minister Netanyahu and IDF generals will not hesitate to push the button if they deem there is no other choice.

Right now, Iran’s regime is testing Trump. The mullahs know the U.S. has a massive military arsenal — far larger and far more lethal than Israel’s. What they don’t is whether the American President “all hat and no cattle,” or whether he is truly willing to unleash American force against Iran if he has to. Thus, there is a case that by using firm, decisive force against Iranian aggression in the near-term, the U.S. may actually prevent a larger war in the future.

For now, let us pray for peace, even as we prepare for war.

(Graphic credit: UK Daily Mail)

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BREAKING: As leading Democrats blast President Trump’s decision to take out Iran’s top terrorist, a prominent Democrat takes his party to task, urges bipartisan unity in face of Iran threat.

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The Democrats and Iran

Why can’t the party’s candidates simply admit Qasem Soleimani’s death makes Americans safer?

By Joe Lieberman, former US Senator (Democrat, Connecticut)

Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal

President Trump’s order to take out Qasem Soleimani was morally, constitutionally and strategically correct. It deserves more bipartisan support than the begrudging or negative reactions it has received thus far from my fellow Democrats.

[See: Democrats condemn Trump’s strike on Soleimani(Axios); 2020 Democrats charge Trump is risking major Middle East conflict with Soleimani killing (Market Watch); Joe Biden on Killing of Qassem Soleimani: ‘Trump Tossed a Stick of Dynamite Into a Tinderbox’(Daily Beast)]

The president’s decision was bold and unconventional. It’s understandable that the political class should have questions about it. But it isn’t understandable that all the questions are being raised by Democrats and all the praise is coming from Republicans. That divided response suggests the partisanship that has infected and disabled so much of U.S. domestic policy now also determines our elected leaders’ responses to major foreign-policy events and national-security issues, even the killing of a man responsible for murdering hundreds of Americans and planning to kill thousands more.

After World War II, Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, a Michigan Republican who was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, formed a bipartisan partnership with President Truman that helped secure the postwar peace and greatly strengthened America’s position in the Cold War. “Politics stops at the water’s edge,” said Vandenberg when asked why he worked so closely with a Democratic president. He added that his fellow Americans undoubtedly had “earnest, honest, even vehement” differences of opinion on foreign policy, but if “we can keep partisan politics out of foreign affairs, it is entirely obvious that we shall speak with infinitely greater authority abroad.”

In their uniformly skeptical or negative reactions to Soleimani’s death, Democrats are falling well below Vandenberg’s standard and, I fear, creating the risk that the U.S. will be seen as acting and speaking with less authority abroad at this important time.

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No American can dispute that Soleimani created, supported and directed a network of terrorist organizations that spread havoc in the Middle East. In Syria he made it possible for the Assad regime to respond with brutality to its own people’s demands for freedom. More than 500,000 Syrians have died since 2011 and millions more have been displaced from their homes.

During the Iraq war, Soleimani oversaw three camps in Iran where his elite Quds Force trained and equipped Iraqi militias. According to the U.S. government, these fighters have killed more than 600 American soldiers since 2003. In another time, this would have been a just cause for an American war against Iran, and certainly for trying to eliminate Soleimani. Within Iran, the Quds Force has worked with the supreme leader to suppress freedom and economic opportunity, jail dissident politicians and journalists, and kill protesters in the streets.

From the perspective of American values and interests, it’s impossible to mourn the death of such a man, and Democrats haven’t. Their response thus far has been “Yes, but . . .,” adding worries that Soleimani’s death will provoke a violent response from Iran. Democrats have also suggested that the Trump administration has no coherent strategy toward Iran or that Mr. Trump shouldn’t have acted without notice to and permission from Congress.

Yet if we allow fear of a self-declared enemy like Iran to dictate our actions, we will only encourage them to come after us and our allies more aggressively. Some Democrats have said that killing Soleimani will lead us into war with Iran. In fact, Soleimani and the Quds Force have been at war with the U.S. for years. It is more likely that his death will diminish the chances of a wider conflict because the demonstration of our willingness to kill him will give Iranian leaders (and probably others like Kim Jong Un ) much to fear.

Some Democrats have also refused to appreciate Soleimani’s elimination because they say it isn’t part of an overall strategy for the region. But based on the public record, there is a strategy, beginning with the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, the shift to maximum economic pressure, and now adding a demonstrated willingness to respond with military force to Iran’s provocations. The goal is to bring the Iranian government back into negotiations to end its nuclear weapons program and rejoin the world’s economy.

The claim by some Democrats that Mr. Trump had no authority to order this attack without congressional approval is constitutionally untenable and practically senseless. Authority to act quickly to eliminate a threat to the U.S. is inherent in the powers granted to the president by the Constitution. It defies common sense to argue that the president must notify Congress or begin a formal process of authorization before acting on an imminent threat.

On many occasions President Obama sensibly ordered drone strikes on dangerous terrorist leaders, including U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki. He did so without specific congressional authorization, and without significant Democratic opposition. Mr. Obama also “brought justice” to Osama bin Laden without prior, explicit congressional approval.

It is possible that anti-Trump partisanship isn’t behind Democrats’ reluctance to say they’re glad Soleimani is dead. It may be that today’s Democratic Party simply doesn’t believe in the use of force against America’s enemies in the world. I don’t believe that is true, but episodes like this one may lead many Americans to wonder whether it is. If enough voters decide that Democrats can’t be trusted to keep America safe, Mr. Trump won’t have much trouble winning a second term in November. That’s one more reason Democrats should leave partisan politics at “the water’s edge” and, whatever their opinion of President Trump on other matters, stand together against Iran and dangerous leaders like Qasem Soleimani.

Mr. Lieberman, a Democrat, was a U.S. senator from Connecticut, 1989-2013, and is chairman of No Labels, a national organization working to revive bipartisanship.

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BREAKING: US takes out Iran’s top terrorist commander in stunning airstrike at Baghdad airport. Iran vows “harsh retaliation.” US & Israeli forces on high alert. Here’s the latest.

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UPDATED (Jerusalem, Israel) — After months of being accused of not being willing to retaliate effectively against spiking Iranian aggression in the region, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to take out Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, last night.

Iran’s top terrorist commander — a close associate of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — was killed in a stunning airstrike at Baghdad International Airport.

“Also killed in the strike was a top Iraqi leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, which is known as the PMF and is part of a larger umbrella group that includes a number of Shia militant groups supported by Iran,” reports the Military Times.

The Times cited a U.S. State Department report which “estimated that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was responsible for 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 — roughly 603 casualties.”

Other senior Iranian military officials were also killed in the attack, Fox News reports.

“The game has changed,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters, noting that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — such as the New Year’s Eve attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad — will now be met with U.S. military force.

The Associated Press notes that the U.S. has some 5,200 troops in Iraq at the moment, and 700 more are on the way.

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Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, based in Washington, notes, “The strike on Soleimani was more consequential than the killing of Osama bin Laden. The general’s experience, savvy and resources had made him Iran’s real foreign minister and close to irreplaceable for Tehran.”

“It’s one of the most consequential assassinations in the Middle East in years and will have violent and first order implications primarily for the US, Iran and Israel,” said Aaron David Miller, a former state department official at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Iran’s Khamenei vowed “harsh retaliation” for the attack. American military forces and diplomatic installations throughout the region are on full alert, as are Israeli forces, knowing the Jewish State could face severe new threats from Tehran.

The State Department is also Warning American citizens to leave Iraq immediately as Iranian-backed militias are likely to kidnap or kill Americans they find.

“In killing General Soleimani,” the New York Times reports, “Trump took an action that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected, fearing it would lead to war between the United States and Iran.”

Just as President Obama deserved — and received — bipartisan credit for ordering American forces to take down Osama bin Laden, President Trump deserves credit from Americans in both major political parties for ordering this successful strike on Soleimani, as well as the recent take down of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

That’s the latest at this hour. Please follow me on Twitter for regular updates. And please be praying for calm and quiet in the region, and wisdom for US, Israeli and Arab leaders to know how best to contain and counter the Iranian threat.

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As 2020 begins, I’m using a great new app to read through the entire Bible — the #1 best-selling book of all time — and I’m encouraging you to do the same. Here’s how.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Whether you’re opening the Bible for the first time in your life, or have read it cover to cover numerous times, I hope you’ll join me in using a wonderful (and free) app called “Read Scripture.” 

I’m not associated with the team that developed it, nor do I receive any remuneration for mentioning it. It’s just a very well done app and after my pastor and wife recommended it I’m excited to use it this year.

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Beginning with Genesis chapter one, the app provides a daily plan of a few chapters of Scripture to read. Follow the plan and you’ll get through the whole thing in 365 days.

What I really like is that the app also provides a series of short but wonderfully creative and remarkably clear and helpful videos that provide context to what we’re reading.

Yes, the Bible can, for many, feel complicated and confusing at times. But the videos, developed by world class Bible teachers, help us see and keep track of the overarching story that God in His loving kindness is trying to communicate to us.

Shouldn’t 2020 be a year of seeing God, ourselves and the world more clearly than ever before? Come, let’s read through the entire Bible together.

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Would you like to make a secure, tax deductible investment in The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net)? Come help us educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, strengthen the Church in the Epicenter, proclaim the Good News, teach the Word of God, make disciples, care for the poor and needy in Israel (both Jews and Arabs) with food and other humanitarian relief, care for Holocaust survivors, and care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and others. The Joshua Fund is a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Please click here to learn more. Thanks so much.

 

Would you make a generous year-end donation to The Joshua Fund? Help us strengthen the Church, train pastors and care for the needy in Israel & the Arab world in 2020. Thanks so much!

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Many of you know me as an author, speaker and commentator on events and trends in the Epicenter. But there’s another side to my life, one that I’m very passionate about.

In 2006, my wife, Lynn, and I founded The Joshua Fund, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit ministry to educate and mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her Arab neighbors in the name of Jesus.” Specifically, we help strengthen the Church in the Middle East so they can….

  • preach the Word
  • shepherd the flock
  • proclaim the Good News
  • care for the poor and needy
  • comfort widows and orphans
  • assist single mothers and their newborn children
  • encourage pastors and their wives, and
  • train future ministry leaders

From the perspective of our board and staff, The Joshua Fund (TJF) is like a spiritual venture capital fund. TJF comes alongside small but growing and promising congregations and ministries in Israel, the Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza), and five neighboring Arab countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt) to invest in them with encouragement, prayer, and financial resources, allowing them to plant more seeds of God’s Word and bear more eternal fruit.

From the perspective of donors, TJF is like a ministry mutual fund. Many Christians want to help proclaim the Gospel and grow the Church in the Epicenter, but few have the time to crisscross through the region getting to know hundreds of pastors and their ministries, assessing which ones are theologically on track and walking closely with the Lord and stewarding their resources wisely and bearing real fruit and truly in need of assistance. That makes it hard for individual Christians and even some Christian foundations to know where to invest and how much to invest.

That’s where The Joshua Fund comes in. Our team of experienced and faithful pastors and ministry leaders does careful, prayerful and continual vetting of ministries in Israel and the Arab world and makes recommendations to our senior leadership on where we should invest the precious funds that our donors entrust to us. 

In this way, TJF endeavors to act as a trusted resource, helping you maximize the immediate and eternal impact of your charitable giving. 

Whether you’re a regular donor, or someone just learning about The Joshua Fund, please read our “2019 Impact Report” to learn more about what we do and the fruit the Lord is bearing through your prayers and financial support.

Would you also make a generous, year-end donation to work of The Joshua Fund? You can give securely online by clicking here, and your gift is tax deductible.

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On behalf of our board and staff, Lynn and I want to thank you so much for you gracious prayers and generous giving. We are deeply humbled and honored to be engaged in this exciting and eternal work together, and we look forward to working side by side together in 2020!

(It would be great if you would share this report with friends and family on social media so they also can get involved with The Joshua Fund, blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus!)

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Would you like to make a year-end, secure, tax deductible investment in The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net)? Come help us educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, strengthen the Church in the Epicenter, preach the Gospel, teach the Word of God, care for the poor and needy in Israel (both Jews and Arabs) with food and other humanitarian relief, care for Holocaust survivors, and care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and others. The Joshua Fund is a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Please click here to learn more. Thanks so much.

“The Persian Gamble” named one of the “top 5 political thrillers” of 2019. And a new Jerusalem Post review calls it “riveting,” “un-put-downable” and “highly recommended.”

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(Washington, D.C.) — This week, the leading website reviewing and covering all news related to mystery, spy and thriller novels — The Real Book Spy — published its list of the best of 2019. A few excerpts:

  • What a year it’s been for action-packed, high-flying thrillers. Thankfully, 2020 is gearing up to be another special year for readers, but before we officially turn the page and focus on the new year, here’s one last look at the very best this year had to offer….
  • The Persian Gamble by Joel C. Rosenberg: Known for writing plots that have a tendency to one day come true, Rosenberg’s right on the money again with this one. Not only is it ripped-from-the-headlines, but it’s also wildly entertaining and a ton of fun to read. 

I’m grateful to Ryan Steck, editor of the site — very honored to be included with best thriller writers in the business.

In addition, The Jerusalem Post just published a positive review. Excerpts:

  • The Persian Gamble is…riveting….fast-moving….entirely-plausible….constructed with very short and sharp chapters — 93 of them. As a result, the reader is kept on the alert, reluctant to leave the story, turning time and again to the next short chapter eager to follow one incident on to the next. The Persian Gamble is a thriller that falls within the category of ‘un-put-downable.’ It is highly recommended.”

For those who haven’t read it yet, or want to purchase it for Christmas gifts, The Persian Gamble is now available in paperback (as well as e-books and on audio). And The Jerusalem Assassin will be releasing on March 17th. (see below)

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BREAKING: Blowout in Britain. Boris Johnson and his conservatives win massive victory. Jewish & Israeli leaders rejoice as Jeremy Corbyn, “anti-Semitic” British Labour leader, says he will step down. Here’s what you should know.

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(Washington, D.C.) — A stunning, encouraging night in British politics.

  •  Biggest defeat in the history of the British Labour Party
  •  Biggest victory for conservatives since Thatcher
  •  Resounding mandate for Johnson to finish Brexit
  •  Expect a US-UK free trade deal in 2020
  •  British Jews and Israeli leaders are breathing a huge sigh of relief

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won a commanding majority in the British Parliament, a striking victory that redraws the lines in British politics and paves the way for the country’s exit from the European Union early next year,” reports the New York Times this morning.

“The Conservatives were projected to win 364 seats in the House of Commons, versus 203 for the Labour Party, according to the BBC, with almost all of Parliament’s seats decided,” the Times noted. “That would give the Conservatives about a 75-seat majority, their largest since that amassed by Margaret Thatcher in 1987.”

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This Christmas, give your family the gift of Israel & Egypt! Come join Lynn and me on The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Trip” in October 2020 and watch the Bible come alive in ways you've never imagined. Reserve your place today!

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Looking for a great gift, one sure to create memories that will last a lifetime?

This Christmas, give your family the gift of Israel and Egypt!

Lynn and I cordially invite you to join us and our board and staff for The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour,” taking place from October 13th through the 24th, 2020.

If you’ve never been to the Holy Land, it’s hard to describe what a profound spiritual effect such a journey can have on you and your family. You may have heard people say that God’s Word seemed to “come alive” in a new way when they walked where Jesus walked, from the shores of Galilee to the Mount of Olives and into the streets of Jerusalem. It’s true, and we would love to share it all with you.

Plus, for the first time ever, we hope to offer an optional “Egypt Extension” from October 24-27, 2020. Come explore the land of legendary Pharaohs. Visit the Pyramids. Take a dinner cruise on the Nile. See mummies and other ancient artifacts in Cairo’s famous Egyptian Museum. Learn the Biblical history and prophetic future of this remarkable country. And meet and pray for Egyptian Christians.

What better time to sharpen our spiritual eyesight than in the year 2020!

If you’ve been to Israel before, this trip will be a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of how powerfully the Lord is moving there. After all, this tour is like no other. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with and pray for local Israeli and Palestinian pastors and ministry leaders — both Jewish and Arab — on the frontlines of the faith, as well as participate in a practical ministry project to bless the poor and needy. I will also teach at key locations and answer your questions about the future of the Epicenter.

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like coming as a family to the Land of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Jesus and the Twelve. Please prayerfully consider joining us. Lynn I would so love to see you here in Israel and in Egypt in 2020!

To view the brochure, please click here.

To watch a video, learn more details, and to register, please click here.

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Third time’s a charm? Unable to form a government, Israel forced to hold 3rd round of elections. Vote set for March 2. And Netanyahu suddenly has a serious new challenger. Here’s what we know.

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(Washington, D.C.) — It’s Groundhog Day in Israel, again.

Remember the hilarious 1993 movie in which Bill Murray plays a local TV weatherman from Pittsburgh who keeps waking up in the same hotel and every day he’s required to cover the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and it’s a loop from which he can never seem to get out? 

Welcome to the election cycle in Israel. Except that it’s not quite so funny.

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Here’s what we know at this hour: Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East — we love elections so much we’ve had two rounds in 2019. That’s never happened before in Israeli history. Now we are going to a third round — on March 2

Here’s why:

  • Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu — Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister — is losing his political hold on the country.
  • Twice this year, Bibi has failed to secure enough seats for his Likud Party and his center-right allies to form a governing coalition.
  • After Bibi failed the second time, Bibi’s main opposition party challenger — former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz — was given the opportunity to form a governing coalition, after Bibi failed. However, Gantz failed, as well.
  • Meanwhile, Israel’s Attorney General recently indicted Netanyahu in three separate cases involving alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust. 
  • Polls show that Israelis overwhelmingly want two things.
  • First, they want Netanyahu to step down to focus on his legal troubles, not serve as PM will under indictment.
  • Second, they want the two major parties — Likud and Gantz’s Blue & White party — to form a national unity government in which Gantz would serve as PM for two years and then rotate to the head of Likud being PM for two years.
  • Bibi, as you can imagine, doesn’t want to step aside.
  • But Gantz refuses to create a deal with Bibi while Bibi is under indictment.

Now, enter a new dynamic: Bibi suddenly has a serious new challenger within Likud.

  • Gideon Sa’ar, one of Likud’s most popular and effective Members of Knesset who has served as Education Minister and the Interior Minister, has called for snap leadership primaries.
  • But shrewdly, Sa’ar is not focusing on Bibi’s legal troubles.
  • Rather, he is making the case to fellow Likudniks that Bibi needs to be replaced because he has lost two elections in a row, has failed to form a governing coalition two times in a row, and has no better prospects of winning an election and creating such a coalition via a third election.
  • Indeed, Sa’ar is arguing that Likud could get shellacked in March, punished by voters for driving the nation to a third election.
  • [Here’s an interesting new interview with Sa’ar — worth reading to become more familiar with him.]

It’s too early to say whether Likud party members are ready to say goodbye to Bibi. However, here are two last things you should know.

  • First, it appears that Likud is going to have a leadership primary on December 26. Bibi’s allies are understandably trying to scuttle that. But if the primary does happen, we’ll know very soon whether Bibi will lead Likud going forward, or whether Sa’ar (or someone else) will emerge on top.
  • Second, a new poll does, in fact, suggest that in the next election, public support for Likud may drop significantly, and support for Gantz’s party could surge. “According to Channel 13, if the election were held today, Blue & White…would win 37 seats, compared to 33 for the Likud.”  
  • Watch for a rash of more polls to come out in the coming days. If evidence grows that the public is turning against Likud with Bibi’s at its helm, this could significantly influence voters in the Likud internal primary. 
  • That said, Likudniks historically are very loyal. Bibi has been their guy for the last 10 years, and been one of the most popular officials in Likud for three decades, having also served as PM from 1996 to 1999. Bibi is also a very effective political infighter. He hasn’t stayed on top this long for no reason.

Bottom line: Please pray for Israel during this vulnerable, volatile season. We do not have an effective, functioning national government. We have a very experience Prime Minister who is suddenly under indictment and in real political trouble and thus at risk of becoming distracted. And we have very real and dangerous enemies angling to take advantage of the situation. May the Lord have mercy on us at this time.

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Evangelicals, Saudis & cyborgs: A conversation with MBS — The Crown Prince is spearheading a massive transformation of his kingdom toward moderate Islam and a peaceful, technologically advanced future. But there are real risks related to artificial intelligence. (An op-ed by my son, Jacob.)

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(Washington, D.C.) — This week, The Jerusalem Post published an op-Ed by our 23-year old son, Jacob. It’s the first Jacob has ever written and while I am, admittedly, biased, it’s quite good. What’s more, the subject is both important and timely.  

The following are a few excerpts. To read the full column, please click here. I hope you’ll take the time to read the whole thing and to share it on social media. Thanks.

The term “cyborg” is not one you might expect to hear spoken in a meeting with the royalty of the world’s most powerful Muslim country, Saudi Arabia. But the leadership of Saudi Arabia is charting a course to a new future, and artificial intelligence is central to it.

The conversation took place while I was on a trip with my father, author Joel C. Rosenberg, who’d been invited by the kingdom to lead a delegation of American Evangelical Christian leaders to meet with top Saudi officials, Muslim clerics and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, commonly referred to as “MBS”….

Having read that Saudi Arabia had become the first country to grant citizenship to a robot (back in 2017), I asked the crown prince if he was concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) was a potential future threat. He answered by….

(photo credit: Faisal al Nasser, Reuters)

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