Archive for February, 2009

Obama’s Hollywood Ping Pong Dialog Diplomacy!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Obama’s Hollywood PING PONG DIALOG Diplomacy,

Is now on department store special in Iran-like-Macys!

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DIALOG with comic book THUGS didn’t work for Dick Tracy,

And it will only generate a scenario of false peace with Laces,

Until the Islamic hoard roars south in Israel to break all Traces!

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Our new far left liberal government is fooling all of its many Races,

Into believing a smiling face and friendly dialog can change Radicals,

And reality has now left the United States to go on a LONG Sabbatical!

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February 28, 2009

Please take the time to read

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the two excerpts from DEBKAfile.

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I wholeheartedly agree with them. The first outlines the diplomatic dialog administrative program being launched by Obama’s talking heads, and the second lays out the way Iran will take advantage of it.



Begin Excerpt 1 from DEBKAfile

Obama’s “Hollywood diplomacy” launches dialogue with Tehran

February 28, 2009, 10:05 AM (GMT+02:00)

Thirty-eight years ago, a ping pong team sent by US President Richard Nixon to Beijing opened the door to Communist China. February 27, 2009, president Barack Obama launched his bid for dialogue with Iran with an Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences delegation from Hollywood. It is led by the actress Annette Bening, AMPAS president Sid Ganis and his predecessor Frank Pierson who flew in just after the Oscar award ceremony. Visiting in the framework of “US-Iranian culture exchanges,” they will hold talks in Tehran Saturday and Sunday.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources note that this visit coincides with three relevant events:

1. Friday, Obama announce that the bulk of US forces will be out of Iraq by Aug. 2010 leaving only 50,000 in place.

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This meets Tehran’s objections to the presence of large-scale US forces in Iraq.

2. He calmed Iran’s fears on another score when he stated in a PBS interview: “One of the things that I think we have to communicate in Afghanistan is that we have no interest or aspiration to be there over the long term.”

3. The US president had his reply from Tehran in the former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rasanjani’s Friday sermon, when he extended his government’s first overt invitation for talks on the nuclear issue: “…we don’t make false promises,” said the Iranian strongman. “Therefore I declare that Iran’s nuclear plan is not to build weapons …and we are ready to prove it in negotiations.”

End Excerpt 1 from DEBKAfile


Begin Excerpt 2 from DEBKAfile

Iran offers Obama nuclear negotiations –

With a catchDEBKAfile ExclusiveAnalysis

February 27, 2009, 10:04 AM (GMT+02:00)

The Friday sermon delivered by former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rasanjani in Tehran on Feb.

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27 embodied an incentive and a catch for US president Barack Obama, condemned Israel and threatened Russia.

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He said: “…we don’t make false promises. Therefore I declare that Iran’s nuclear plan is not to build weapons… and we are ready to prove it in negotiations.” Indicating Israel, he said: “‘You are planting a false notion in public minds.” Addressing the Russians, he said bluntly that “…even if they don’t’ deal with the [Bushehr] project, we can finish it on our own.”

The Iranian leader closest to supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khameni had in fact issued Tehran’s first explicit invitation to Obama to open direct negotiations which promised an Iranian pledge not to build a nuclear weapon.

That was the incentive.

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But the catch implicit in his message was picked up by DEBKAfile’s Iranian experts: He was saying in typical Rafsanjani shorthand that Tehran was willing to kick off the bargaining with a pledge not

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to develop on nuclear weapons, provided Washington agreed to the Islamic Republic retaining the capability to do so.

This formula would reduce the Tehran-Washington talks to haggling over where to place the cutoff point in the Iranian program.

The Iranians would demand to be allowed leeway for completing a bomb within four to six months; the Americans would likely insist on halting

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the program two to-three years short of a military capability, and the negotiations would end in a compromise.

Rafsanjani employed this verbal tactic on the strength of the information about the Obama administration’s position gained from informal preliminary Iranian-US contacts in the last two months. Tehran believes the US president needs Iran’s help in the Afghan War and would therefore be flexible in his dialogue with Iran.

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They calculate that he would go an extra mile for the sake of showing he had managed to arrest the Islamic Republic’s march toward a nuclear weapon.

Israel is adamantly opposed to this formula, certain Tehran will use it as a blind to forge ahead secretly until its clandestine bomb and warhead projects are close to assembly at short notice.

Thursday, Feb. 25, outgoing Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert commented on the launch of Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr: “We have deployed enormous efforts to reinforce our deterrence capacity.

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Israel will be able to defend itself … against all threats,

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against all enemies. I cannot say more but believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

Without referring to Israel by name, Rafsanjani responded by saying: “You are planting a false notion in public minds,” in reference to the “unthinking words of the main enemies of the Islamic revolution.”

But Russia, which had delayed completing the Bushehr reactor for 10 years on one pretext or another, was warned specifically: “The Russians and others should know that …even if they don’t deal with the project, we can complete it on our own. But they must fulfill their promise.”

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

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We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to:

You may use material originated by this site. However, if you wish to use any quoted copyrighted material from this site, which did not originate at this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner from which we extracted it.

Geological and Tribulation Features on Israel Tour Paths – 3B

Friday, February 27th, 2009



Tiberias and Upper Galilee– Second Half of Normal Third Day of Tours


This a continuation of activities on the third day of the tour. We leave the ancient city

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fortress of Hatzor proceeding into the upper headwater tributaries of Israel’s Jordan River.

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I have been to the headwater springs of all the northern tributaries of the Jordan, but we will only go to the one I believe the most biblically significant because of its setting where Jesus advised the Disciples he was the foundation of the first Church, and they were the pebbles that existed on his foundation.

The Jordan River rises from the confluence of three major springs and streams located on the southern and western slopes of Mount Hermon (Arabic, Jabal al-Shaykh). The largest is the Dan and the other two are the Hasbani (Hebrew, Nahal Senir) and the Baniyas (Hebrew, Nahal Hermon) streams. The streams unite about 4 miles south of the Lebanon-Israel border. These springs usually provide 50 percent of the water of the upper Jordan, the rest coming from surface runoff in the rainy winter months. The discharge flows into the northern end of the Ghawr, which is the valley of the Dead Sea and the northern extremity of the Great Rift Valley that runs south to Africa, ending at Mozambique.

The upper Jordan River flows swiftly through the Hula Valley, additional water coming to it from minor springs and Wadi Barayghit (Hebrew, Nahal Iyyon). Four miles south of the Jordan’s outlet from Lake Hula, the water course deepens and the river runs for 10 miles, plunging 850 feet. The central Jordan river begins north of the Sea of Galilee (also called Lake Tiberias or Lake Kinneret), leaving the southern exit of the lake, where it meets up with a few more streams and most importantly with its main tributary, the Yarmuk River. The Yarmuk originates in the eastern rift and forms the border between Syria and the Kingdom of Jordan as it flows westward to enter the Jordan River 6 miles south of the Sea of Galilee at 985 feet below sea level. The lower Jordan River flows southward, dropping to 1,310 feet below sea level, emptying into the Dead Sea, a great salt lake whose surface level is the lowest point on Earth’s surface.

Water politics in the Jordan River basin

The Headwater Diversion Plan was an Arab League plan to divert two of the three sources of the Jordan River, and prevent them from flowing into the Sea of Galilee, in order to thwart Israel’s plans to use the water of the Hasbani and Banias in its National Water Carrier project for out of Basin irrigation. The plan was approved by the Arab League in 1964 but Israel prevented the project’s development through military intervention.

In 1955 the Unified (Johnston) Plan for the multinational development of Jordan River basin between the riparian rights holders was finalized. The Plan was accepted by the technical committees from both Israel and the Arab League. A discussion in the Knesset in July 1955 ended without a vote. The Arab Experts Committee approved the plan in September 1955 and referred it for final approval to the Arab League Council. On 11 October 1955, the Council voted not to ratify the plan, due to the League’s opposition to formal recognition of Israel. [1] After the Suez Crisis of 1956 however, the Arab states (with the exception of Jordan) considerably hardened their position against Israel,[2] and now opposed the plan, arguing that by strengthening its economy the plan would increase the potential threat from Israel.[3] The Arab leadership also argued that the increase to Israel’s water supply would encourage the immigration of more Jewish settlers, thus reducing the possibility of repatriation for Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war.[1]

Nevertheless, both Jordan and Israel undertook to operate within the allocations laid out within the “Johnston Plan”. Two civil engineering projects were completed successfully; the diversion of water from the Jordan River (1.7 million cubic meters in a day) at Eshed Kinrot, carried by the Israeli National Water Carrier from 1955 to 1964 and the Jordanian construction of the East Ghor Main Canal from 1957 to 1966.

In 1964 when Israel’s National Water Carrier was nearing completion, the second Arab League summit conference voted on a plan designed to circumvent and frustrate it. The Arab and North African states chose to divert the Jordan headwaters rather than to use direct military intervention.

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The heads of State of the Arab League considered two options:

1. The diversion of the Hasbani to the Litani combined with the diversion of the Banias to the Yarmouk,

2. The diversion of both the Hasbani and the Banias to the Yarmouk.

The second option was selected.

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Syria began its part of the overall Arab diversion plan with

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the construction of the Banias to Yarmouk canal in 1965. Once completed, the diversion of the flow would have transported the water into a dam at Mukhaiba for use by Jordan and Syria and prevent the water from reaching Israel. Lebanon also started a canal to divert the waters of the Hasbani, whose source is in Lebanon, into the Banias. The Hasbani and Banias diversion works would have had the effect of reducing the capacity of Israel’s carrier by about 35% and Israel’s overall water supply by about 11%. Additionally, it would have increased the salinity of the Sea of Galilee by 60 ppm. [5] Israel declared that it would regard such diversion as an infringement of its sovereign rights.[1] The financing of the project was through contributions by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The Syrian diversion works were targeted by a series of Israeli attacks, culminating in air strikes deep in Syrian territory in April 1967.

The increase in water-related Arab-Israeli hostility was a major factor leading to the June 1967 Six-Day War.

Caesarea Philippi was an ancient city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon (Ba’al-Hermon or Arabic Jebel esh-Sheikh). The city is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew,[ Mark and also numerous times in Acts. Today, the city, now no longer inhabited, is an archaeological site located within the Golan Heights.

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The Ptolemaic kings, in the 3rd century BC, built a cult centre.

Panias is a spring known also known Fanium named for Pan, the Greek god of desolate places. It lies close to the fabled “way of the sea” mentioned by Isaiah. Along which many armies of Antiquity have marched. In the distant past a giant spring, gushed from a cave in the limestone bedrock, tumbling down the valley to flow into the Huela marshes. Currently it is the source of the stream Nahal Senir. Whereas previously the Jordan River rose from the malaria infested Huela marshes it now rises from this spring and two others at the base of Mount Hermon. The flow of the spring has decreased greatly in modern times. The water no longer gushes from the cave, but only seeps from the bedrock below it. Paneas was certainly an ancient place of great sanctity and when Hellenised religious influences were overlaid on the region, the cult of its local numen gave place to the worship of Pan, to whom the cave was dedicated and from which the copious spring feeding the Huela mashes rose and ultimately supplied the river Jordan.[ The pre-Hellenic deities that have been associated with the site are Ba’al-gad or Ba’al-hermon.[10]

In extant sections of the Greek historian Polybius’s history of “The Rise of the Roman Empire”, the Battle of Panium is mentioned. The battle of Panium occurred in 198 BC between the Macedonian armies of Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Greeks of Coele-Syria, led by Antiochus III. Antiochus’s victory cemented Selucid control over Phoenicia, Galilee Samaria and Judea until the Maccabean revolt. The Hellenised Sellucids built a pagan temple dedicated to Pan, (a goat-footed god of victory in battle [creator of panic in the enemy], desolate places, music and goat herds), at Paneas.

On the death of Zenodorus in 20 BC, the Panion, which included Paneas was annexed to the Kingdom of Herod the Great. He erected here a temple of “white marble” in honour of his patron. In the year 3 BC, Philip II (also known as Philip the Tetrarch) founded a city at Paneas. It became the administrative capital of Philip’s large tetrarchy of Batanaea which encompassed the Golan and the Hauran. Flavius Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews refers to the city as Caesarea Paneas; the New Testament as Caesarea Philippi (to distinguish it from Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast). In 14 AD Philip II named it Caesarea (in honour of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus) and “made improvements” to the city. His image was placed on a coin issued in 29/30 AD (to commemorate the founding of the city), this was considered as idolatrous by Jews but was following in the Idumean tradition of Zenodorus.

Jesus often used the things in the surrounding topography as examples of principles he wanted to remain in disciple’s memories by both voice and sight. The Springs of Banias is one place where he employed this manner of teaching at Caesarea Philippi.

When we come to the Springs of Banias we are arriving at the Archeological site of Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus made his now famous proclamation concerning the foundation of the local Church. As you walk to the site from the bus, please notice four things in particular: (1) a great cleft of rock rising high above the site, (2) A cave at its bottom, out of which a spring flowed in Jesus’ day, (3) Where the same spring now flows, and (4) the small smooth stones visible below the clear flowing spring water above them, have been name smooth by the water action bumping them together over a long period of time.

A great cleft of rock in Koine Greek is Petra. Jesus used it to describe himself. A pebble or small rock in Koine reek is Petros.

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Jesus used it to describe a disciple, in this case Peter, since he was the leader and had just identified Jesus as the Son of the Living God.

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It is out of the belly of the living God that the water of the Word is sent forth to the world by local church disciples, the small living stones of the living God.

Matthew 16:13-18 – When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? [14] And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? [16] And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. [18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


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I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

John 7:37,38 – In the last day, that great day of

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the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. [38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Ephesians 5:25-27 –Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to:

You may use material originated by this site.

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However, if you wish to use any quoted copyrighted material from this site, which did not originate at this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

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from which we extracted it.

Can the Islamic Leopard Change its Spots?

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Can Islamic leopard change Spots?

Obama’s DIALOG talking Heads Say

It can as Result of Liberal Diplomacy!

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Middle East is observing the action Of

Satan’s satellites surrounding Israelis!

So Satan’s Euphrates River Valley Seat,

Is preparing for a final showdown Battle.

In part of the planet known as old World,

As octopus satellites extend from his Seat!

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Jeremiah 13:23 – Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

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The nature of the Islamic leopard will not change until after the Second Advent of the King of Righteousness.

Isaiah 11:5-13 – And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. [6] The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. [7] And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. [8] And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. [9] They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. [10] And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. [11] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. [12] And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. [13] The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex

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Begin Excerpts from Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/Daily Alert

February 27, 2009

Excerpt 1 from Haaretz

Iran Increasing Control over Hizbullah Operations

Amos Harel (Ha’aretz)

Iran has been increasing its involvement and control over Hizbullah’s operations since terror operations head Imad Mughniyeh was killed a year ago, using a large number of Iranian Revolutionary Guard and intelligence officers in Lebanon.

Iranian officers, most of whom are based in Syria, often visit Lebanon and tour the Israeli border.

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The Iranians are directly involved in running Hizbullah operations in southern Lebanon and, in addition, hundreds of Hizbullah militants head for Iran every month for training.

Excerpt 2 from Maariv

The Iranian Octopus Sends Its Tentacles into Africa

Nadav Zeevi (Maariv-Hebrew)

Ahmadinejad is signing economic and military agreements to strengthen Iran’s position in Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti, raising fears of African bases that may become centers of activity against Israel.

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Begin Excerpt 3 from AP via Jerusalem Post

Shi’ite Protests Break Out in Eastern Saudi Arabia

(AP/Jerusalem Post)

Members of Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite m inority have held protests that

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included anti-government slogans rarely heard in public, sparked by a dispute at a cemetery in Medina.

On Tuesday, the dispute erupted into two protests involving several hundred people, and Shi’ite leaders differed over whether demonstrations and shouting slogans would resolve the issue better than quiet dialogue with the government.

Begin Excerpt 4 from UK Telegraph

Iran Begins to Test First Atomic Reactor Despite Western Fears over Nuclear Weapons

Miriam Elder

Iranians insist that the $1 billion Russian-built plant in Bushehr is part of a civilian energy program, but Western powers fear that its covert purpose is to produce atomic weapons. Start-up tests were carried out on Wednesday by Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm which built the plant. “The construction stage of the nuclear power plant is over, we are now in the pre-commissioning stage,” Kiriyenko said.

He was accompanied by Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, who announced a nearly ten-fold expansion of Iran’ s uranium enrichment capacity in the next five year

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s. He also said 6,000 centrifuges were now enriching uranium, an increase of 1,000 since November.

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Begin Excerpt 5 from MEMRI

Middle East Media Review Institute (MEMRI)

Article Number 2259

February 24, 2009

Egyptian Cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam: Jews ‘Infect Food with Cancer and Ship it to Muslim Countries’

Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam, which aired on Al-Nas TV on January 28, 2009.

The Jews “Invest Their Utmost Efforts… in Conspiring How to Corrupt the Islamic Nation… This Is Why We Hate Them”

Ahmad Abd Al-Salam: “The Jews ‘will not fail to corrupt’ the believers. What does this mean? The Jews are never remiss – they invest their utmost efforts, day and night, in conspiring how to corrupt the Islamic nation, the nation led by the Prophet Muhammad.

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“I want you, Muslim viewers, to imagine the Jews sitting around a table, conspiring how to corrupt the Muslims, and how to destroy their worldly and religious affairs. The Jews ‘will not fail to corrupt you,’ and this is why we hate them.”

The Jews “Infect Food with Cancer and Ship It to Muslim Countries”

“The Jews conspire day and night to destroy the Muslims’ worldly and religious affairs. The Jews conspire to destroy the economy of the Muslims. The Jews conspire to infect the food of the Muslims with cancer. It is the Jews who infect food with cancer and ship it to Muslim countries.”

“We Hate the Jews Because They Spare No Effort in Stripping Muslim Girls of their Clothes”; “Sexual Temptations… Were Conspired By the Jews”

“We hate the Jews because they spare no effort in stripping Muslim girls of their clothes. It is the Jews who conspire to have Muslim girls, and even married Muslim women, wear clothes that are tight, short, or see-through, or clothes that are open from the front, or the back, from the right or the left.

“The Jews ‘will not fail to corrupt you,’ and this is why we hate them. The Jews conspire to destroy Muslims. The Jews conspire to bring Muslim youth down to the pit of sexual temptation. The sexual temptations, which are prevalent worldwide, were conspired by the Jews.”

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

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We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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For more detailed information go to:

You may use material originated by this site. However, if you wish to use any quoted copyrighted material from this site, which did not originate at this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner from which we extracted it.

Geological and Tribulation Features on Israel Tour Paths – 3A

Thursday, February 26th, 2009



Tiberias and Upper Galilee– First Half of Nor ma

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Tiberias was established in around AD 20 AD by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, it became the capital of his realm in Galilee. It was named in honor of Antipas’ patron, the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Josephus describes the building of Tiberias by Herod Antipas near a village called Emmaus in The Antiquities of the Jews. Also in The Wars of the Jews Flavius Josephus refers to it as Emmaus.

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During Antipas’s time, the Jews refused to settle there; the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean. Antipas settled predominantly non-Jews there from rural Galilee and other parts of his domains in order to populate his new capital, and Antipas furthermore built a palace on the acropolis. The prestige of Tiberias was so great that the Sea of Galilee soon came to be called the Sea of Tiberias. The city was governed by a city council of 600 with a committee of 10 until 44 AD when a Roman Procurator was set over the city after the death of Agrippa I. In 61 AD Agrippa II annexed the city to his kingdom whose capital was Caesarea Phillippi. During the First Jewish–Roman War Josephus Flavius took control of the city

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and destroyed Herod’s palace but was able to stop the city being pillaged by his Jewish army. Where most other cities in Palestine were razed, Tiberias was spared because its inhabitants remained loyal to Rome after Josephus Flavius had surrendered the city to the Roman emperor Vespasian. Eventually it became a mixed city after the fall of Jerusalem; with Judea subdued, the southern Jewish population migrated to Galilee.

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In 145 AD the Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai “cleansed the city of ritual impurity allowing Jews to settle in the city in numbers.”[6] The Sanhedrin, the Jewish court, also fled from Jerusalem during the Great Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire, and after several moves eventually settled in Tiberias in about 150 AD. It was to be its final meeting place before disbanding in the early Byzantine period. Following the expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem after 135 AD, Tiberias and its neighbor Sepphoris became the major centers of Jewish culture. The Mishnah, which Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh is said to have collated as the Jerusalem Talmud, may have begun to have been written here.

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The 13 synagogues served the spiritual needs of a growing Jewish population.

In 614 it was the site where during the final Jewish revolt against the Byzantine Empire, the Jewish population supported the Persian invaders; the Christians were massacred and

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the churches destroyed. In 628 the Byzantium army retook Tiberias and the slaughter of the Christians was reciprocated with a slaughter of the Jews.

We will head northward in Upper Galilee along the western shoreline of the heart shaped Sea of Galilee, passing near the base of towering Mount Arbel, where lie the ruins of the ancient city of Magdala.

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Today the remains of the city can be found by traveling north about six kilometers on the coastal road from Tiberias.

Magdala was placed on the map forever because of its most famous first-century resident. We know her from the dozen references in the New Testament as Mary Magdalene. We also know from the Gospels that Jesus (Yeshua) delivered this woman from a demonized life (Mark 16:9). Thereafter, she became a disciple par excellence. Mary accomplished something that the twelve selected disciples did not accomplish. She followed Jesus all the way to the cross (John 19:25), and three days later she was the first witness to the resurrection of the Lord (John 20:14-18).

Mary’s city, Magdala, is mentioned only once in scripture, in Matthew 15:39. Here it is stated that Jesus came to the region of Magdala. However, even in this instance, the NIV translates Magdala as Magadan. The area of Magdala is also associated in the New Testament with the name Dalmanutha, as seen in Mark 8:10. All other references to the city are indirect ones.

Like so many other ancient cities, Magdala was rediscovered in the past century. In 1971-74, the city was excavated by Corbo and Loffreda. In their excavations they discovered a mini-synagogue, a water reservoir and some mosaics. One of the mosaics, now on display at Capernaum, depicts an ancient boat with both sails and oars, not unlike the famous boat actually discovered in the general area in 1986.


In the Talmud, Magdala is called by its Aramaic name, Migdal Nunaiya (Pes. 46a). This name gives us a clue to the basic enterprise going on in the area, since the name means “Tower of Fish.” Magdala was famous for its skill in processing fish. In the first century the town was called by another name illustrating this. In the Greek language it was called Tarichaea, again, referring to it as a place of salting or processing fish.

We read in the New Testament about two miracles that Jesus performed, both including some type of small fish. It is thought today that the small fish were the plentiful Kinneret sardines. Obviously the boy could not have had them in his lunch unless they were preserved in some fashion. It is likely that the fish were either salted or smoked. It is even quite possible that these little fish were originally processed at Magdala.


Soon after the time of Jesus, Magdala suffered a tragic blow. After the revolt against Rome began in AD 66, Magdala was defeated by the Romans. The historian, Josephus, recounts that the Romans under Titus conquered the city with much bloodshed. Since Magdala was a center of boat building, many of the remaining residents fled to the sea in their vessels. A great sea battle resulted with a total of 6500 Jews slaughtered in the sea and on land. Josephus describes how the sea became bloody and full of dead bodies. Titus’ father, Vespasian, then decreed that the remaining citizens would not be spared. The old and infirm were slaughtered. Six thousand of the city’s strongest were given as slaves to Nero, and the remaining thousands were sold in the slave markets.*

Somehow, Magdala continued on as a city. In later times the Talmud mentions Magdala once again as a boat-building center. The city is also characterized as one noted for its wealth and depravity.

After passing Magdala we come to Kibbutz Ginnosar, the home of the Jesus Boat. It was founded by Israel-born youth and Youth Aliyah graduates of *Ben Shemen. The kibbutz was set up at the time of the Arab riots early in 1937, serving initially as a guard outpost on *Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA) lands. In spite of PICA’s opposition, the settlement became permanent. Before 1948, in the pre-State period, Ginnosar served as a training and organizational center of the *Palmaḥ. It developed subtropical intensive farming (bananas, avocado, mango, and litchi), field crops, dairy cattle, and fishery. In addition, the kibbutz operated a banana plant nursery and also opened a large guesthouse and restaurant. Yigal Allon House, a memorial museum, is located inside the kibbutz. It features the so-called “Jesus boat,” constructed in around 40 B.C. and salvaged from Lake Tiberiasin 1986.

The Sea of Galilee Boat or The Jesus Boat was an ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD (the time of Jesus), which was discovered in 1986 on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The remains of the boat, which are 27 feet (8.27 meters) long and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) wide and with a maximum preserved height of 4.3 feet (1.3 meters), first appeared during a drought, when the waters of the Sea (actually a great fresh-water lake) receded.

Discovery and excavation

The remains of the boat were found by two fishermen brothers, Moshe and Yuval Lufan, from Kibbutz Ginnosar. The brothers were keen amateur archaeologists with an interest in discovering artifacts from Israel’s past. It had always been their hope to one day discover a boat in the Sea of Galilee, where they and generations of their family had fished. When the drought reduced the water-level of the lake the two brothers examined the newly exposed beach and stumbled across the remains of the boat buried in the shore.

The brothers reported their discovery to the authorities who sent out a team of archaeologists to investigate. Realising that the remains of the boat were of tremendous historical importance to Jews and Christians alike, the secret archaeological dig that followed was undertaken by members of the Kibbutz Ginosar, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and numerous volunteers. Rumour spread that the boat was full of gold, so the site of the dig had to be guarded night and day. Excavating the boat from the mud without damaging it, and quickly enough to extract it before the water rose again, was a difficult process which lasted 12 days and nights. The boat was then submerged in a chemical bath for 7 years before it could be displayed in the Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar.

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Dating the boat

The boat has been dated to 40 BC (plus or minus 80 years) based on radiocarbon dating, and 50 BC to 50 AD based on the pottery (including a cooking pot and lamp) and nails found in the boat, as well as hull construction techniques. The evidence of repeated repairs shows the boat was used for several decades, perhaps nearly a century. When its fishermen owners thought it was beyond repair, they removed all useful wooden parts and the hull eventually sank to the bottom of the lake.

Historical importance

The Sea of Galilee Boat is historically important to Jews as an example of the type of boat used by their ancestors in the 1st century for both fishing and transportation across the lake. The boat is also important to Christians because this was the sort of boat used by Jesus and his disciples, several of whom were fishermen. Boats such as this played a large role in Jesus’ life and ministry, and are mentioned 50 times in the Gospels.

There is no evidence connecting the Sea of Galilee Boat to Jesus or his disciples.


Chorazin (Korazin, Korazim) is located on the side of a large hill about two and one-half miles north of Capernaum. This city is remembered as one of the three key cities in which Jesus spent much of his ministry. These cities, Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida formed what is called the “Evangelical Triangle,” the small area where most of Jesus’ miracles were displayed (Matt.11:20). Chorazin also has the dubious distinction of being one of the cities that Jesus cursed. The city is mentioned only twice in the New Testament (Matt.11:21; Lk.10:13), and both instances concern the curse that Jesus placed upon it.

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We know a little about the city from Jewish writings and from history. The city and its surroundings are mentioned in Jewish Talmud (b. Menahot 85a). It is praised as an area famous for its very early harvest of grain. This is no doubt due to an abundance of black basalt stones and dark volcanic soil in the area. Chorazin’s steep sun-exposed hillside, with its dark coloration tends to warm up in the springtime, much earlier than surrounding areas. Today this natural process is known as insoltation.

We learn from history that the city was destroyed, probably by an earthquake, in the fourth century AD and rebuilt in the fifth century.

The first archaeological work on the city began in the nineteenth century. The synagogue in Chorazin was discovered as a result of a survey conducted by the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1869. In 1905–07 excavations on the city were begun and work was resumed at different times, continuing on as late as 1980–84.

Surprisingly, Chorazin’s archaeological remains have yielded no evidence of first century (time of Jesus) settlement on the present site. An abundance of coins and other information date the current site clearly to the third and fourth centuries AD. However, potsherds gathered nearby may indicate that the biblical city of Jesus’ day lies somewhere in the immediate area.

The excavations in the city have yielded numerous archaeological treasures. The most outstanding of course is the well preserved synagogue made of local black basalt stone. The synagogue measures about 50 feet by 70 feet in size. Prominently displayed in the synagogue is the ‘seat of Moses,’ likely referred to by Jesus in Matthew 23:2. There are also floral decorations, human and animal figures and surprisingly a well preserved Medusa.

Near the synagogue can be seen what remains of the city’s commercial area plus several dwellings. In one of these dwellings very near the synagogue a Jewish ritual bath (mikveh) has been excavated.


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We may ask why Jesus cursed this city as well as the other two cities of Capernaum and Bethsaida? The obvious reason from scripture is that most of his mighty works were done in these areas. All three were Jewish cities, contrasted with the many Gentile cities elsewhere around the lake and in the Galilee area. There were so many Gentiles around, that the area is even referred to as “Galilee of the Gentiles” in Isaiah 9:1. We know from scripture that Jesus was sent primarily to the House of Israel and it is interesting that he also sent his disciples exclusively to Israel. We read about this in Matthew 10:5-6: “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.’”

We can only imagine the great responsibility brought to bear upon a small town as the King of the Universe came regularly to visit. We know from scripture that Jesus did many miracles in this city. These people witnessed the mighty power of God in their streets for the better part of three years. Yet, it seemed to make no difference in their lives. Jesus finally said: “Woe to you, Korazin…If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you” (Matt. 11:21-22).

The archaeological excavations at Chorazin may also help us understand why the people received such a curse from God. Although it obviously happened some generations after Jesus, it is truly interesting that the descendants of these people would allow a Medusa to be built right into their synagogue wall. Its presence betrays an assimilation with the Greek and pagan practices of the time. We know from other sources that this assimilation was going on in Jesus’ time and actually as early as Maccabeean period in the second century BC.

Of course the Medusa came directly from Greek mythology and was the most famous of the monsters known as Gorgons. Supposedly anyone who looked directly at Medusa was turned to stone. According to mythology she was killed by Perseus, who cut off her head. But we might ask what in the world does all this have to do with true religion?


It seems that the true faith always remains in a life and death struggle with paganism.

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Throughout the centuries we see both Jews and Christians involved in this ongoing struggle. It was not just at Chorazin, but it was at Capernaum, Hammat (Tiberias), Bet Alpha, and other places where pagan symbols were included in ancient synagogue architecture. At the Beit Alpha and Hammat synagogues, there are the symbols of the Zodiac embedded in the mosaic floors. At both sites one can also see the pagan symbol par excellence, the image of Helios, the Sun God

Although the early church began with great purity of doctrine, it was not long until pagan ideas even crept into Christianity. We see Jude writing to early Christians with this exhortation: “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3). In a very few centuries the mother goddess, so prevalent in paganism, was introduced into the church through Mariolatry. Her images continue everywhere in Catholicism today. Even our great Christian celebrations such as Easter can be traced directly to the pagan worship of the mother goddess Ishtar.

In our day neo-pagan ideas of Humanism, New Age, and eastern influences are often evidenced in our assemblies. Christian books and teachings often reinforce these strange concepts. We need a warning about all this lest we end up in a situation similar to that of Chorazin. When we take the name of God; call ourselves Christians and present ourselves to the world as God’s covenant people, we are placing ourselves in a peculiar and dangerous position. If we fail to be true to God and his word he will surely judge us and our judgment will exceed that of pagans who know no better. In Amos 3:2, the prophet reprimands Israel in stern words that certainly apply to believers today: “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”

From Chorazin we move on to the great northern city fortress of Hazor.

The tel (mound) of the ancient city of Hatzor is the largest and richest archeological site in Israel. It is located in the upper Galilee, 14 km. north of the Sea of Galilee.

The mound rises only slightly above the fertile plain surrounding it and consists of two parts: a lower Tel with an area of some 170 acres and the acropolis to the south with an

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area of about 30 acres.

Many large areas of both mounds were excavated during 1955 and 1958, again in 1968 – 1969; excavation was resumed in 1990, on the upper tel only.

Hatzor was the largest Canaanite city of the 2nd millennium BC. It maintained trade links with Mari on the Tigris River, as mentioned in 18th century BC documents found there. Fourteenth century BCE documents, from the El Amarna archive in Egypt, also mention Hatzor as an important city in Canaan; they also include the name of its king, Abdi-Tirshi, who had sworn loyalty to the pharaoh of Egypt. He is the only Canaanite ruler referred to as “king” in those documents. The excavators hope that comparable archives will be found in Hatzor.

Thus far, only several documents in cuneiform script on fragments of small clay tablets, have been found in the upper city of Hatzor. They are similar to the Mari and El Amarna documents, both in content and date. One of the Hatzor documents mentions Ibni Addu, whose name also appears in a Mari document.

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In the semitic languages, the name is reminiscent of that of the last Canaanite king of Hatzor, Yavin, known from the Bible. Texts of an administrative and economic nature discovered in Hatzor strengthen the assumption that the palace now being excavated on the acropolis will eventually yield a wealth of such documents.

The Canaanite City

The fortified Canaanite city of Hatzor (19th – 13th centuries BC) comprised both the upper tel (acropolis) and the lower tel (lower city). The rectangular shape of the lower mound resulted from the huge earthen rampart which was constructed at the beginning of this period along the western and northern sides of the city. The eastern side, above a steep slope, was protected only by a wall; here two city gates were located with gatehouses consisting of two rectangular towers with a passage between them, narrowed by three pairs of pilasters that supported doors.

The fortified area of lower Hatzor contained dwellings and public buildings. A very large Canaanite temple was uncovered in the northern part of the city. It appears that four consecutive temples were built one on top of the other, between the 17th and 13th centuries BCE. The first of these was modest, the last attained its greatest size in the 14th century BC. It consists of three large rooms built in a row, from south to north. The entrance hall in the south leads to a central hall, behind which was the holy of holies, the northernmost and the largest room of the temple. In its northern wall is a rectangular niche in which the statue of a god may have stood. This Canaanite temple reminds one of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, which, according to the biblical description, also included three rooms in a row.

A unique technique was employed in building this Canaanite temple at Hatzor: the inner sides of the walls were lined with orthostats, trimmed rectangular basalt slabs, which strengthened the brick walls. A large basalt orthostat, with a lion depicted on it in relief, was found; it is probably one of a pair that stood on either side of the entrance.

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In the ruins of this temple, which was destroyed by fire, a variety of statues, cult vessels, libation tables and a deep basalt bowl decorated with running-spiral motif were found. Of special interest is a square basalt altar for burning incense. On one of its sides, a circle with a cross in the center – the divine symbol of the Canaanite storm god – is carved in low relief.

In the western part of the lower city, a small 14th century BCE temple built into the earthen rampart was uncovered. At the back of the building stood a row of basalt steles, one with a pair of hands raised in prayer and above them a crescent and disk, presumed to represent divine attributes. Also found here – of basalt – were statuettes of a seated figure and of a lion.

The most important discovery of recent years was the Canaanite palace on the acropolis. It is the largest and most elaborate of this period so far discovered in Israel.

At the center of a large courtyard in front of the palace stood a raised platform, probably for cultic use. Two enormous stone bases, which once supported massive columns, were found on the facade of the entrance hall, from which several steps led up to a 12 x 12 m.

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room – assumed to have been the throne room.

The walls of the palace were up to 3 m. thick, built of bricks reinforced with cedar-wood beams, their bases lined with basalt orthostats. Since the palace and the building style bear similarities to those found in countries to the north of Israel, it is assumed that during this period Hatzor had cultural and economic ties with these lands.

The palace was destroyed with the rest of Hatzor, apparently in a conflagration that fired the bricks into very hard material. The remains of the Hatzor palace were covered with ash and debris which contained fragments of Egyptian sculptures, ivory artifacts, jewelry, bronze figurines and statues and more. One stone statue, cracked by fire and broken into many pieces, was over one meter high, thus making it the largest statue from the Bronze Age so far found in Israel.

Northeast of the palace was a Canaanite temple with clear north-Syrian architectural influences. It consists of a single large hall with a courtyard in front of it. This was probably the private, royal temple.

The uncovered fortifications, elaborate palace, temples and buildings, together with the written documents and other finds, indicate Hatzor’s importance among the Canaanite city-states of the 2nd millenium BC. It illuminates the biblical passage which describes Hatzor as “the head of all those kingdoms.” (Joshua 11:10) This flourishing city was totally destroyed by fire at the end of the Late Bronze Age (around 1200 BC). The conflagration is mentioned in the Bible, emphasizing the complete destruction of Hatzor during the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites: But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hatzor only; that did Joshua burn. (Joshua 11:13)

The Israelite City

For some 200 years after the destruction of the Canaanite city, only an insignificant Israelite settlement existed here. A royal city was founded on the upper tel in the 10th century BCE, during King Solomon’s reign, as recounted in the Bible: And this is the reason for the labor force which King Solomon raised: to build the house of the Lord, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hatzor, Megiddo and Gezer. (1 Kings 9:15) It is noteworthy that fortification systems and administration buildings identical to those found at Hatzor have also been found at Megiddo and Gezer.

A casemate wall surrounded only the western half of the upper tel. The eastern gate consisted of three pairs of chambers and two outward projecting towers. At the western edge of the city stood a mighty fortress, probably serving also as the residence of the governor appointed by the king to rule over the northern part of the kingdom.

In the 9th century BC, during the rule of King Ahab, Israelite Hatzor became a great, royal city, grandly planned. The eastern part of the upper tel was surrounded by a solid wall and the early casemate wall in the west was filled in with stone, resulting in a massive, strong and uniform wall surrounding the entire city. A new citadel measuring 25 x 21 m. with two-meter thick walls was erected in the western part of the city. It had two long halls with rooms on three sides and a staircase of long, trimmed stones which led to the second story. The main, western entrance to the citadel consisted of two stone pilasters bearing carved proto-aeolic capitals which once supported the doorway’s lintel. Such capitals, with two large, carved volutes, are among the hallmarks of Israelite royal architecture.

Within the city and near the gate, a variety of administrative and private structures were built. A storehouse structure with two rows of monolithic stone pillars that supported a roof is noteworthy among these. This building was dismantled in the renewed excavations and reconstructed nearby so as to allow the excavation to continue to lower levels.

A water system of amazing size and engineering complexity was constructed at Hatzor during the reign of King Ahab. It is located in the south of the city, opposite the natural springs in the valley at the base of the mound. The main component of the water system is a broad, rectangular shaft, cut into the rock to a depth of 30 m. A 3 m. wide winding staircase along the walls, leads to the bottom. The lowest flight of stairs continues in a southwesterly direction into a sloping, 4 m. high and 25 m. long tunnel, which leads to a water chamber cut in

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to the aquifer. This unique water system ensured the continued water supply to the city even in time of siege, hidden from the enemy’s view.

In the 8th century BCE Israelite Hatzor lost its importance and declined. It was conquered by Tiglat Pileser III of Assyria in 732 BCE. (2 Kings 15:29) Traces of the destruction have been found all over the city. Hatzor never regained its past glory; only a small settlement continued to exist there, until that too was abandoned in the Hellenistic period.

Excavations of Hatzor between 1955-58 and in 1968 were conducted by Y.

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Yadin on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The excavations carried out since 1990 (the Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin), are directed by A. Ben-Tor on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and M.T. Rubiato of the Complutense University of Madrid in cooperation with the Israel Exploration Society and the Rothschild Foundation

PART 3B – Tiberias and Upper Galilee– Second Half of Normal Third Day of Tours will be Continued.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to:

You may use material originated by this site. However, if you wish to use any quoted copyrighted material from this site, which did not originate at this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner from which we extracted it.

A Bible Final War Prophecy is not IF, but WHEN!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

A Bible Final Wa

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r Prophecy Is Not IF, But WHEN!

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The Lens Focus as to When the Final War Begins,

Is Beginning to Come to Move Toward Clear Focus!

The main parameter as to when Islam attacks Israel,

Since 2003 has been WHEN American Troops Left Iraq,

It was a foundation on which all other premises Rested,

And the main determinate by which I chose 2010 to 2015,

As the Time Period During Which an Attack Will be Initiated!

I don’t believe an Islamic war will be launched against Israel,

As long as U.S. troops are still positioned twixt Iran and Israel!

The Forecast Pullout stages in AP excerpt lie twixt 2010 to 2012,


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increases My Confidence in My 2010 To 2015 Attack Frame!

Most troops will leave by August 2010, and ALL troops before 2012,

So a Point in Time 2010 to 2015 is Most Likely Period for initial Attack,

With Possibility Odds Rapidly Accelerating From 2012 to the Year 2015!

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February 26, 2009

Begin Excerpt from the Associated Press via Haaretz

Officials: U.S. to pull most troops out of Iraq within 19 months

By the Associated Press

February 24, 2009

The United States plans to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq by August 2010, 19 months after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, according to administration officials.

The withdrawal plan would fulfill one of Obama’s central campaign pledges, albeit a little more slowly than he promised. He said he would withdraw troops within 16 months, roughly one brigade a month from the time of his January 20 inauguration.

The officials said they expect Obama to make the announcement this week.

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They spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.

The U.S. military will leave behind a residual force, between 30,000 and
50,000 troops, to continue advising and training Iraqi security forces, the two officials said.

Also staying beyond the 19 months will be intelligence and surveillance specialists and their equipment, including unmanned aircraft, they said.

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A further withdrawal will take place before December 2011, the period by which the U.S. agreed with Iraq to remove all American troops.

A senior White House official said

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Tuesday that Obama is at least a day away from making a final decision. He further said an announcement on Wednesday was unlikely, but he said that Obama could discuss Iraq during a trip to North Carolina on Friday.

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About 142,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, roughly 14 brigades, about 11,000 above the total

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in Iraq when President George W. Bush announced in January 2007 that he would surge the force to put down the insurgency. He sent an additional 21,000 combat troops to Baghdad and Anbar province.

Although the number of combat brigades has dropped from 20 to 14, the U.S. has increased the number of logistical and other support troops. A brigade is usually about 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

Obama’s campaign promise to withdraw troops in 16 months was based on a
military estimate on what would be an orderly pace of removing troops, given the logistical difficulties of removing so many people and tons of equipment, a U.S. military official said.

The 19-month strategy is a compromise between commanders and advisers who are worried that security gains could backslide in Iraq and those who think the bulk of U.S. combat work is long since done.

The White House considered at least two other options to withdraw combat
forces – one that followed Obama’s 16-month timeline and one that stretched withdrawal over 23 months, the AP reported earlier this month.

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Some U.S. commanders have spoken more optimistically in recent months about prospects for reducing the force. Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, who commands U.S. forces in central and southern Iraq, told reporters earlier this month that he believed the gains in stability in that area were now irreversible.

According to officials, Obama had requested a range of options from his top military advisers, including one that would have withdrawn troops in 16 months.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had recently forwarded withdrawal alternatives to the White House for Obama’s consideration.

In addition to the U.S. troops to be withdrawn, there is a sizable cadre of contractors who provide services to them who would pack their bags as well. There were 148,050 defense contractor personnel working in Iraq as of December, 39,262 of them U.S. citizens.

There are more than 200 U.S. military installations

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in Iraq. According to Army officials interviewed by the Government Accountability Office, it can take up to two months to shut down small outposts that hold up to 300 troops.

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Larger entrenched facilities, like Balad Air Base, could take up to 18 months to close, according to the GAO.

As of Monday, at least 4,250 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. More than 31,000 have been injured. Tens of thousands

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of Iraqis have died as well.

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Congress has approved more than $657 billion so far for the Iraq war,
according to a report last year from the Congressional Research Service.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to:

You may use material originated by this site.

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However, if you wish to use any quoted copyrighted material from this site, which did not originate at this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner from which we extracted it.