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We CAN Make a Difference–Learning from Elijah

This month’s guest blogger is Yossi Bar Negev from Israel. Yossi is a passionate voice for Israel. With his knowledge of scripture and watchful eye on the media, he brings clarity to the complex issues surrounding Israel.

I’d like to begin with a story about one of my favorite biblical heroes – Elijah (the same guy for whom we set a place at the Passover Seder and for whom we open the door while singing “Eliyahu HaNavi” – “Elijah the Prophet”). He may be considered a hero today but in his own time he wasn’t very popular.

The political leaders hated him; the king called him THE trouble-maker of Israel. The queen, Jezebel,  wanted him dead. Religious leaders despised him because he dared to tell the truth and rebuked them for what they were doing wrong – like worshiping the gods of the surrounding pagan peoples and engaging in their lascivious behavior. In short, he refused to follow or condone the politically correct philosophy of the day.

On top of that, he looked like a wild man – hairy, dressed in what would be considered rags – like something just blown in off the desert. In today’s jargon Elijah was a right-wing nut job.

 Scripture records Elijah’s miraculous victory over hundreds of pagan (false) prophets. You can read the entire account in 1 Kings 18:16-39.

 Despite a fantastical display of God’s awesome power and the humiliation of every pagan priest, one discouraging word from Jezebel and Elijah and ran away into the desert. There he plopped himself under a bush. He wallowed in his discouragement and complained to God that even though he himself had been very zealous he was the only one left standing for the truth – so why bother living anymore? The world was going to hell quickly – why not just forget about it, die and let them go along on their merry way.

 God didn’t put up with Elijah’s whining. First of all, Elijah was wrong: he wasn’t alone. God had 7,000 people who were standing with him against the forces of evil. That’s not a lot in a whole nation, but it’s something–a believing remnant. Secondly, Elijah wasn’t ready for retirement. God basically told him to get up off his tuchus (rear end) and continue the work God had called him to do.

Sometimes we who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may feel isolated in an increasingly hostile world. It’s politically correct now to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist (read “anti-Jew”); just ask the UN, EU, the Obama administration, Arab nations, leftist NGO’s, campus and church BDS groups (boycott, divestment, sanctions), many Hollywood celebrities, mainstream media, etc., etc.

Those who take the opposite view and dare to express it are often labeled right-wing nut jobs, ignorant, trouble-makers, even terrorists . . . sound familiar? Because of extreme media bias, these brave souls even have difficulty getting their message out without having it twisted. It’s up to you and me to not allow them to be “voices crying in the wilderness”.

 Thanks to conservative talk radio, blogs and newsletters like Joel’s and mine (what a shameless plug!) we can unearth the truth – which frequently takes a lot of digging – and pass it around to others. Watch some YouTube videos such as Michele Bachmann and Allen West sharing their views on Israel. These people aren’t just speaking to woo Jewish voters or Jewish donations to their campaigns. They really mean what they say and have backed it up with action regardless of political cost.

 Then there’s Glenn Beck. Yes, I know that he may have some odd ideas about various and assorted topics. But the reason he’s been more vilified in the mainstream media than almost anyone else is his uncompromising stand for Israel.

Then there’s you and me, average folks who aren’t making speeches or YouTube videos. How can we get up off our collective tuchus and make a difference? Here are three simple things:

1. Send the link to this blog– another shameless plug – to your friends, post on your Facebook, LinkIn, and other social media outlets. Total time expenditure: 1 to 4 minutes.

2. Do some research on your own and pass your findings on to others. Remember that your friends won’t find this info on the evening news and so they may be totally unaware of the truth unless you inform them. Of course, please, please, please be sure to check out the veracity of your sources first so that even if people accuse you of being a wild-eyed nut case, you’ll be a credible wild-eyed nut case.

3. Be proactive! Watch for negative stories in the media. It is inexcusable to say “I don’t have the time” or “my opinion doesn’t matter”! Emails to newspapers, congressmen, senators, companies, and local businesses can and do make a difference.

Think you can’t make a difference?

I happened upon a news story a number of months ago about a bus ad in Seattle. The city of Seattle, WA, allowed a group to post on public buses ads which read, “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”[1], accompanied by huge, misleading pictures of “poor oppressed Palestinians”, I—and apparently thousands of other “watchers”—immediately fired off emails to Seattle city commissioners. Because pressure was applied from so many concerned citizens, the ad campaign was eventually cancelled.

So let’s not waste time on hand-wringing and kvetching (complaining). Let’s dust ourselves off like Elijah did, be encouraged, and get to work – we’re not alone!

“Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:2)

Prayer Needs:

Pray that the Lord will provide an opportunity for us to be a credible “voice” for Israel.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.

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[1] Seattle Times, December 21, 2010, “Metro’s acceptance of  ‘Israeli War Crime’ bus ad draws complaints”, by Keith Ervin

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Obama Continues Dramatic Shift Towards Palestinian Aspirations

In a continuation of the trajectory supporting Palestinian/Moslem aspirations for statehood at the expense of Israel’s security and some might argue survival, President Obama proclaimed to the world that he expects Israel to return to pre-1967 boundaries. Robert Satloff, writing for the International Jerusalem Post explains,

He is the first  sitting US President to say that the boundaries should be “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps”. The Obama formulation concretizes a move away from four decades of US policy based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 which has always interpreted calls for an Israeli withdrawal to a secure and recognized border as not synonymous with the pre-1967 borders.

Likud MK, Danny Danon, further explains,

Barack Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat’s staged plan for Israel’s destruction, and he is trying to force it on our Prime Minister…All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to pre-1967 borders without resolving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: “Tell Obama to forget about it.”

Israeli Prime Minister…

Benyamin Netanyahu, quickly responded to Obama’s new position on Israel’s boundaries by saying that  signing such an agreement would leave Israel in an indefensible military position and threaten the survival of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu further asserts,

The Palestinians, and not only the US, must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people…and expects to hear from President Obama a reconfirmation of commitments to Israel from 2004 that received wide support in both houses of Congress.

The Jerusalem Post also reports that….

… the President Bush letter to PM Ariel Sharon (in 2004) “did not call for a return to the 1967 lines, and that it recognized that any agreement would take into account the changed realities on the ground–a line interpreted by Israel to mean a recognition that it would hold on to the large settlement blocs.

Netanyahu goes on to say,

The Bush commitments deal with Israel not being asked to withdraw to pre-1967 lines, which are not defensible, and which place large population centers in Judea and Samaria outside of these borders.

Netanyahu also asserted that the Bush letter made clear that Palestinian refugees would be absorbed in a future Palestinian State. (Jerusalem Post)

So where is this headed?

As PM Netanyahu flies to the US to meet with President Obama and speak to both houses of Congress, there is no question in my mind that the current US administration is continuing to set a course that will further alienate the US from its close alliance with Israel. Israel has no choice but to reject the President’s  new formulations for peace which can only further strain and isolate Israel from its primary ally, the USA.

I would remind this government of the God’s words from Isaiah 54:14 in which He delivers a clear promise to Israel in the prophetic period called “latter days”. God promises:

If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me. Whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you…and you shall refute every tongue that rises up in judgment against you. Isaiah 54: 14-15

Continue to pray for both the US and Israel. Specifically that our leaders will forsake the path of antagonism with Israel and continue to be the support we have been for the past 50 years. A word to the wise…

Joel Chernoff

Osama Bin Laden’s Assassination and Middle East Peace

 

 

Will Osama Bin Laden’s (OBL) much celebrated death at the hands of American military special forces move the world closer to peace in the Middle East?

The answer is no.

While it is particularly gratifying to see OBL meet his just reward on this planet and to know that an American face was the last face he saw before leaving this earth, it was a temporary distraction and sideshow from the center stage of Arab political upheaval.

In particular, continue to keep your eyes on Egypt… 

Besides being the largest of the Arab Moslem countries, Egypt has maintained the longest peace with Israel of any Arab state. Since the recent overthrow of Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak and his government, we are seeing a gradual but clear tilt towards a radical Moslem takeover. The forces for democracy in Egypt, that were so prominent during the revolution, are much less organized than the radical Moslem  constituencies. Specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood is now the most powerful and organized political party in Egypt and will be a force to be reckoned with in the soon coming elections in Egypt.

My Prediction…

The radical Moslem cleric run political parties, the largest of which is the Muslim Brotherhood, will first takeover the democratic process that is desperately trying to maintain and nurture a foothold in the current  Egyptian political landscape. After rising to power, those radical elements will undermine the democracy (as Hitler did in Germany) and declare Egypt to be a theocracy (like Iran) and operate under “sharia law” i.e. the law of the Koran.

More Bad News for Israel

 In addition to the radicalizing of the political process in Egypt, I have noted from various  news sources over the last several weeks, other clear  indicators that the Egyptian populace and political process  is increasingly anti-Israel.

Here are some of them:

  • Many voices in Egypt are calling for Egypt to end selling natural gas to Israel. This call has manifested in two bomb attacks on the pipeline between Israel and Egypt which succeeded in temporarily halting the flow of gas to Israel.
  • Egypt recently opened the border between itself and Gaza infuriating Israel. This opening permits weaponry to be much more easily  moved into the hostile hands of the Hamas terrorist government.

    Hamas

    These weapons will be used against Israel and Israel knows this.

  • Many Egyptian citizens and politicos are calling for an end to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Those voices are gaining a larger and larger following amongst the general population.
  • And lastly, Egypt has been central in helping Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate a political truce thus unifying the Palestinian Arabs against Israel. This despite the fact that Israel has stated very clearly that it will not accept this “unity” government and will not negotiate any peace with a government that includes the radical Hamas party unless it accepts the right of Israel to exist. Hamas has no interest in recognizing Israel.
So Where is This Leading?
 
Egypt is a boiling pot that is threatening to explode. Israel sees the anti-Israel direction the Egyptian revolution is taking and is feeling increasingly threatened and vulnerable on its southern border. It is just a matter of time until war breaks out as Israel feels it must move pre-emptively to protect itself from a crippling and potentially lethal first strike from its enemies.
 
All of this is prophesied in the book of Isaiah and elsewhere. We could be watching the precipitating events that cause and lead up to the Final Arab Israeli War.
 
More on this later.
 
For the restoration of Israel,
 
Joel Chernoff

Finally! Reconsidering the Anti-Israel UN Goldstone Report

In an earlier blog I asserted a prophetic promise God gives to Israel

Richard Goldstone

concerning her physical and spiritual restoration in “latter days”. Not only does He say that all who attack Israel will fall because  of her (Isaiah 54: 15)but in Isaiah 54: 17 he promises “you will refute every tongue that rises against you in accusation or judgment.”

In other words God Himself will vindicate Israel in the face of the many individuals and nations that rise up with hostile intent to maliciously and unfairly accuse her of various wrongs. The UN Goldstone Report was just one of many  unfair, disingenuous and slanderous accusations that have been authored by various UN entities to hurt, isolate and discredit Israel.

It is against this background that it is worth noting that now Richard Goldstone, the author of that horrific report is now backing away (although not completely) from his own report and I dare say with increasing amounts of egg on his face. In his own words:

We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza War of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been very different. (April, 2011, Washington Post)

He goes on to point out that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza while …Hamas has not conducted any

Current Rulers of Gaza

 investigations in to the launching of rockets and mortar attacks against Israel”.

I know you must be as shocked as I am that Hamas, a terrorist organization ruling Gaza, who has permitted the launching of over 5000 bombs into Israeli civilian populations, has not taken an aggressive posture in investigating who might be responsible for launching those bombs. Tsk, tsk!

It appears that many other politicians at least here in the US are beginning to rise up and ask that this report be discredited and shelved. Don’t hold your breath.

And also…don’t expect an apology from the UN anytime soon.

Accusers of Israel beware…the God of Israel keeps His promises! He will rise to Israel’s defense whether it is on the battlefield of war, the media or the courtroom.

Joel Chernoff

 

President Obama’s UN Speech: The Palestinian/Israeli Crisis

President ObamaPart 2: Thoughts on President Obama’s UN Speech

As I parsed through the part of President Obama’s speech to the UN that focused on Israel and the Palestinians, I thought it was appropriate to highlight the following:

1. President Obama continues to try to position himself as a neutral and fair mediator rather than Israel’s ally with the following words,

“We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”

To casually characterize the thousands of Palestinian/Hamas rockets that were launched into Israeli cities and their civilian populations as “incitement” is outrageous. Incitement is a minimizing understatement. These were acts of war and no nation would put up with it, including the US. Obama then turns on Israel in specific and in my view harsh terms and states;

“And we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”

So let me get this straight.

Thousands of Palestinian rockets launched into civilian populations is merely “incitement” (aggravating) while Israeli settlements are “illegitimate” thus Burningimplying Israel is pursuing a policy that is illegal by international law and thus criminal. In my view, “incitement” is a mild rebuke and the “illegitimate settlements” constitute a harsh indictment of Israel.

2. He states that the second pillar of his speech is the pursuit of world peace.

In the President’s view, one of the keys to world peace (which he so badly desires to be the inspiration for) is the resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli crisis. In Obama’s view, the way to resolve the Middle East conflict is to divide Israel into two nations, ie the two state solution.  In his own words…

“The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security – a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.”

So I guess Mr. Obama believes the Palestinian assertion that Israel’s dominance of Holy Land taken in wars the Arabs started and lost is “occupation” and not the legitimate spoil of war. Compare that to the way the US forcefully appropriated so much land from the Native Americans Indians. A little hypocritical wouldn’t you say? Are we “occupying” Indian lands?

3. He accuses Israel (in front of an increasingly hostile world) of not respecting legitimate Palestinian claims and rights.

“The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of Palestinians”.

Israel has been a close ally to the United States for 50 years. This statement amounts to a betrayal of that relationship. Even if he believes this statement it is wrong to expose little Israel to worldwide condemnation when she is already unfairly reviled by so many nations in the UN. Shame!

Conclusion

Judging by what Obama is saying in this speech coupled with his Cairo speech,  Obama continues to pursue a strategy that puts the onus for theBarack Obama Middle East crisis politely but clearly on the doorstep of Israel.

May God have mercy on the United States.

Joel Chernoff

Prayer Alert – Moment of Truth Between the US and Israel

UN Report Accuses Israel of War Crimes

It is no surprise that the 575 page UN Goldstone Commission Report investigating war crimes committed during the Gaza War harshly and unjustly accuses Israel’s Army of committing war crimes.

For the past 40 years, most actions coming out of the UN are heavily influenced by the Moslem and African bloc of third world nations which have been consistently hostile and anti-Israel. This report is no different.

israel-hamas
Despite the fact that Israel absorbed over 8000 rockets in its southern cities over a period of years before attacking Gaza, and despite the fact that Israel gave the Palestinians control of Gaza and forced their own people out for the sake of peace only to see Gaza turned into an armed terrorist camp bent on Israel’s destruction, the UN Goldstone Report conveniently ignores these realities and reserves its harshest criticisms for Israel. The UN’s record of consistent anti-Israel reports and resolutions remains unbroken.

Israeli Reaction

To say that Israeli officials across the political spectrum were furious is an understatement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that the report was a shameful chapter in the history of international law regarding the right of nations to defend themselves.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yossi Levy, told Army Radio, We reject any comparison between a democratic country defending itself and a terrorist organization.

 Hamas

Hamas

Hamas

Gerald Steinberg reporting for the Jeruslem Post observed that the Goldstone Report accuses Israel of violating international law by committing acts of terror, while it refrains from directly accusing Hamas of violating those laws. Worse, the report never even admits that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

One of the UN reports authors, Professor Christine Chinkin,  splendidly displayed her anti-Israel bias when she  categotrically rejected Israels’s right to self defense against rocket attacks from Gaza and accused Israel of aggression and “prima facie” war crimes (Jerusalem Post).

Palestinian Reaction

Despite the fact that Palestinian terrorists indiscriminately launched over 8000 rockets into Israeli cities over a period of years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) shrugged off any responsibility for the war and proclaimed that the report confirmed allegations that Israel had committed war crimes. (Jerusalem Post)

The PA then had the brazen gall to demand that Israeli civilian and security officials responsible for the war be brought to trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Of course, this is intended to further isolate and criminalize Israel in the world community.

The, the PA conveniently welcomed the charges against its sworn enemy Hamas and added that Hamas was responsible for atrocities against the Palestinians (but failed to say the same about  Israel). Palestinian President Mahmoud AbbasThis report is clearly a win/win for the Abbas and the PA he heads.

Feeling safe from serious prosecution and sensing the anti-Israel bias of the Commission’s Report, Hamas’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh…called on the United Nations to charge Israeli leaders with war crimes while rejecting the panel’s accusations against his group.” The Palestinian people acted in self defense”, he said.

 Here is where it gets dangerous for Israel and creates a moment of truth in the relationship between the Obama Administration and Israel.

As the LA Times reports, The four panel UN commission has called on both Israel and Hamas to appoint independent investigators for separate inquiries into their own conduct. If that is not done, it said, the UN Security Council should refer the report to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Everyone knows this will turn out badly for Israel. Israel has already rejected this demand as well as Hamas and the Palestinians.

If the panel refers the matter to the ICC, the ICC will likely allow prosecution of the Israeli Army, rule against Israel and criminalize the actions of Israel’s army against the terrorists further demonizing and isolating Israel in the world community. This is completely irrational but nevertheless likely.

Of course there is no chance that Hamas will appoint such a commission. It’s laughable really–to expect a terrorist organization to appoint an independent panel to review its activities. You must be kidding. Sadly…little will be required of them if they don’t comply.

The only way to stop this blatantly anti-Israel campaign is if the US exercises its veto and stops any move by the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the ICC. The US has routinely done so in the past…but will President Obama do so now?

Why Wouldn’t President Obama Act to Halt this Injustice?

  • Obama has scheduled a tripartite peace “powwow” in Washington at the end of this month between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • The Palestininas have said they will not come until Israel freezes all settlement construction.
  • Israel has said it will come but not stop all settlement construction.
  • Therefore the Palestinians have a good excuse not to come.
  • President Obama (who politically needs to keep his peace initiative alive) may simply say to Israel either stop all settlement construction in the west bank or the US will not veto the motion to refer the commissions accusations against Israel to the ICC. This would amount to political extortion.
  • In other words, it may not be in the best interests of his political agenda to protect Israel as other US Presidents have done.

What should Israel do if this happens?

In my view Israel should say no to the halt of all construction. That would put the political ball back in the President’s hands. If Obama refuses to veto the UN Commissions recommendation to refer the matter to the ICC and expose Israel to this injustice, it would most certainly expose him to great political peril here in the US from the Christian right, and the many in both political parties, as well as the House and Senate that support Israel. It may also have a dramatic and negative effect on the US Jewish mainstream who have so far stood with the President.

I believe he will do the right thing even if it’s just in his own interest to do so. However, for the reasons stated above, it wouldn’t shock me if he threw Israel under the bus to teach them a lesson and allowed the UN to refer the matter to the anti-Israel International Criminal Court.

Let’s all pray that our President will do the right and just thing and stand with Israel against the rising tide of anti-Semitism around the globe.

Joel Chernoff

 

 

Part IV: Obama’s Stunning Turnaround on Iranian Nuclear Threat

George-Bush%20frowningAfter the September 11 Moslem terrorist attacks on the US, President George W. Bush, as well as the rest of the world, came to the logical conclusion that the radical Moslem terrorists and their state sponsors must be prevented access to nuclear weapons. We all know that if the terrorists have them they will use them against the US and the west in general. That is essentially a significant reason the US attacked Iraq and why President George W. Bush threatened military action against Iran during his Presidency.

Iranian Threat

AhmadinejadIran has been one of, if not the leading, state sponsor of Muslim terrorism. The whole world knows this and has explored every peaceful means to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons…to no avail. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has made it very clear that Iran will develop nuclear weapons and has threatened to use them against Israel in particular and the US through its links to terrorist group it is sponsoring or associated with.

Obama’s new US policy

Obama appears to ignore the previous assessments of US Presidents, the European Union (EU) and even the UN. It is important to understand how Obama views himself and the world on this issue.

In Cairo he revealed his long term view on nuclear arms and how he would apply his approach in the short term to the Middle East conflict. In his own words:

obama-cairo-speechI understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with it’s responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

Summary of President Obama’s Philosophy on Nuclear Energy

  • He believes in a nuclear bomb free world.
  • He believes that all nations should have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • He believes that all nations that desire nuclear energy must sign on to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and abide by its peaceful objectives. 

Obama’s Nuclear Strategy for the Middle East

  • He knows the Arabs/Iranians will not sign the NPT unless Israel signs it, and eliminates its nuclear weapons. This is the reason he is pressuring Israel to do so. By the way, if Israel complied it would be a strategic coup for the enemies of Israel. A nuclear weapons free Israel would be a much more tempting target and easier enemy to defeat.
  • By pressuring Israel he believes it gives him the moral authority to do the same with Iran.
  • He is willing to trust Iran with nuclear power for energy purposes if they will sign the NPT and “promise” the world they will be “good boys and girls”.

Is Obama really that naive or stupid?

  • Doesn’t he realize that Israel is surrounded by 250 million Muslim Arabs dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel?
  • Doesn’t he understand that there are another billion Moslem’s- yes even so called moderate Moslems – around the world that also support that objective?
  • Doesn’t he understand that for the Moslem world the baseline issue is theological/spiritual not political and Israel’s existence is an affront to the Moslem world on religious grounds

The answer…

President Obama is very smart and has many brilliant advisors. I believe he understands the situation but has come to the conclusion that he is ready to gamble with or change America’s relationship with Israel (in my opinion for the worse) in order to achieve his objectives towards solving the Middle East conflict and reaching detente with Iran and the Arabs. I believe that Obama believes that if he can just get into the same room with these Moslem hard-liners that he has the personal charm and skills to change their minds and impose his will.

Of course Israel will not agree to disarm its nuclear weapons and neither will Iran agree to discontinue its drive towards developing nuclear weapons.

How far will Obama go with Israel? No one knows. Stay tuned.

Joel Chernoff

~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~