Well, one week ran into the next, as events began to unfold in various areas. Russia is firming up its position in Middle East affairs and will not only supply a state-of-the-art anti-aircraft system to Syria, but will give it almost a dozen MiGs as well. Fighting intensified in the Golan, which has spilled over to the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel. The Austrian "peace-keeping" contingent is withdrawing its troops because the area has become to too dangerous for them.
The lack of gas masks inIsrael remains a concern of the government. Netanyahu pleads with Abbas to sit down and negotiate with Israel. Iran's nuclear ambitions may be tied to its expansionist ideology and Tel-Aviv allows another Gay Pride Parade.Turkey's Erdoğan is having his troubles and woes with the population and there is evidence of erosion between the Hizb'allah and Hamas. A kidney from a Jewish child who died was transplanted into a "Palestinian" child and a Member of Knesset gets the giggles and gets almost everyone in attendance to laugh with him.
From Russia with love - anti-aircraft system and 10 MiG-29 combat planes to Syria
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's announced that he has already received the first shipment of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. The Kremlin denied having made the delivery, but stated that it could deliver the S-300 system toSyria"in accordance with contract no earlier than the autumn". Apparently, there were more military contracts that remained unfulfilled and that would be supplied.Russiaintends to supplySyriawith 10 Russian MiG-29 combat airplanes, also "in accordance with contract". After delivery, testing and training, the S-300 system could be operable by the spring of 2014. Some military experts believe that they can become operable within a month, depending upon the diligence of the Syrian personnel. According to a former Russian Air Force Commander, once the system is set up, it can be deployed within five minutes. The combat planes can be put into operation much more quickly than the anti-missile system.
Israel's concern over Syria's receipt, installation and operation of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is that it is able to launch six missiles at once, with each one being capable of intercepting ballistic targets, as well as being able to destroy aircraft flying at several times the maximum speed of the F-16 and F-22 fighter jets, the staples of both the Israeli and U.S. air forces, respectively.
This places Israelin the position of having to locate and destroy the anti-missile systems, as well as the combat planes, before either of them becomes operational. The complication is that for both of those deliveries, Russian technicians and/or military experts will have to be on site in order to train the Syrians how to use them. The Kremlin's statements on the matter (that the S300 would provide "regional stability against the hotheads who are thinking about intervening in Syria") are intended for Israeli ears. If the Russians inSyria are killed or seriously wounded byIsrael, it would not be treated as just another Israeli strike, but could well be seen as a provocation that would bringRussia into the fray. In this situation, the conflict would be betweenMoscow andJerusalem - not a good scenario.
Fighting on the Golan Heights - for now, in the Syrian side
The Syrian civil war edged a step closer to Israel's borders this week, as the border town of Old Quneitra(pronounced koo-neh-trah) became the scene of heavy fighting between the forces of Assad's regime and rebel forces. The latter also captured, but then lost, a border crossing in the demilitarized zone. According to a report by the Reuters News Agency, the Austrian troops in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (U.N.D.O.F.) went into their bunkers during the fighting, until after the Syrian army recaptured the border crossing. Thereafter, the Austrian government decided to withdraw its military contingent, which numbers 377 troops, more than one-third of the 911-member U.N. force, stating: "Freedom of movement in the area de facto no longer exists. The uncontrolled and immediate danger to Austrian soldiers has risen to an unacceptable level."
Israel remains justifiably concerned that the Hizb'allah is trying to open an additional front againstIsrael, this time from the Syrian side of theGolan Heights. It is to be recalled that the Golan was captured fromSyriain 1967.Jerusalem's perspective is that this strategic plateau could become a haven for jihadists and various other, terrorist groups and a springboard for attacks againstIsraelby those presently involved in the armed opposition against Assad.
NotwithstandingIsrael's desire not to become involved withSyria's civil war, it nevertheless has again agreed to provide medical assistance to some of the wounded, rebel combatants, who were taken to Israeli hospitals.
Assad's forces have recently been successful against the rebels in major battles, primary among them being for the city ofQusair, following a three-week confrontation, in which the Lebanese Shiite Hizb'allah forces sided with Assad's regime. Even though this terrorist organization lost dozens of fighters in that battle, its presence and commitment to keep Assad in power was a substantial factor in the success of Assad's forces in the recent fighting and its continued assistance could make a significant difference in the outcome of the civil war.
Its involvement on behalf ofSyria's Alawite-Shiite minority government could also push the region into a sectarian conflict between the Iranian-backed, Shiite axis (Iran-Syria-Hizb'allah) against Sunni Moslems, who constitute the majority of the population inSyria. In addition, the recapture of Quneitra by government forces could cause Assad to think that he could actually be victorious against the rebel forces and push for all-out victory, rather than agree to participate in cease-fire negotiations, which are being urged by theU.S.andRussia.
However, lest we think that Hizb'allah is the only organized terrorist organization involved in the Syrian arena, it should be pointed out that the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front is also fighting, but on the side of the rebels against Assad's troops, the Hizb'allah and the Iranian forces there. Both the Hizb'allah and al-Qaida are active in many countries around the world, providing a one-two punch for terrorism, which is increasing internationally. The questions which naturally arise are: Are the countries around the world able to launch effective counter-terrorism measures? With theU.S. deciding to downplay terrorism and avoid even language related to it, who will step up to take the lead in the fight not to give in to terrorism?
One more thing: Following Austria's decision to withdraw its "peace-keeping" force, guess who offered to replace it? Right! Russia. Why should they stay on warships in the Mediterranean, when they can be deployed on Israel's northeastern border? But, their request was denied by the U.N., whose spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said on Friday that Russiawas banned from taking part in the force because it is one of five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: "We appreciate the consideration that Russia has given to provide troops on the Golan. However, the disengagement agreement and its protocol between Syria and Israel does not allow for the participation of permanent members of the security council in UNDOF." It's the little things, like this, for which we need to remember to be thankful.
Gas Masks - again.
When an issue continues to be emphasized in the media, it tends to reflect a genuine concern that is not being properly addressed by the government. Or, if the issue is being addressed, action on the issue is not being taken quickly enough. Such is the case with the ABC (Atomic Biological Chemical) protective kits.
According to reports issued this past week, about 42 percent of Israelis do not have the ABC kits and in order to supply what is missing, the government will have to come up with 1.3 billion shekels (about $352 million). In addition, another NIS300 million ($81.5 million) a year is required to replace age-appropriate gas masks and atropine pens that are included in the kits, when these items pass their expiration dates. Government sources were quick to stress that the decision to expedite supplying these protective kits to every Israeli was unrelated to the situation inSyria.
Here, too, Israel will have to make "hard decisions", an expression that is finding its way into the everyday lexicon of the Prime Minister, who said: "We will have to deal with the issue of gas masks and here too, we will have to make some hard decisions -- and we will make them, period...We will make the necessary decisions and bear the brunt of the budgetary and practical ramifications they entail. There are different ways to finance the gaps [in the budget] and create a situation that will be both appropriate for the entire population and will change if need be." (my emphasis)
P.M. Netanyahu pleads with Abbas to negotiate.
I don't personally know any Israeli who does not want to live in peace with our neighbors. But, I do know that the country is divided as to how to attain that peace. Some say the best defense is a strong offense. In the context of this discussion, that means "offer peace in exchange for peace". Others, who are far more aligned with the Israeli political left, are willing to divide the land and allow the establishment of a "Palestinian" state in the heart ofIsrael.
Given the significant increase in the number of terrorist incidents inIsrael, rather than their decrease, I have to reflect whether those who live here and want to sit down and negotiate with those who refer to themselves as "Palestinians" really understand what "negotiation" means and what it will costIsrael. Unfortunately, this willingness is evident at the highest levels of our government and it appears that some of them are living in "lala-land", rather than in the present State of Israel.
An Arab peace plan, that was offered 11 years ago and properly rejected by Israel, has been slightly modified in recent days and is now being seriously considered in the highest echelons of our government. The earlier plan, proposed in 2002 by the Arab League, offered normalization of ties with Israel by many (but not all) of our Arab neighbors, in exchange for complete Israeli withdrawal from land captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in June, 1967. Like many before him, Netanyahu had rejected the proposal, saying that a return to pre-1967 frontiers was indefensible.
However, about a month ago, there appeared to be a softening and slight modification of the Arab plan, when the prime minister and foreign minister ofQatarsuggested thatIsraeland the "Palestinians" could "trade" land, instead of conforming exactly to the 1967 cease-fire lines. While Netanyahu has not publicly endorsed the concept of territorial exchange, nevertheless, it was clear from a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks in 2010 that in a meeting withU.S.legislators in 2009, he expressed support for the concept.
After repeatedly expressing a willingness to pursue the "two states for two peoples" proposal, it should not come as a surprise that while speaking to the Knesset plenum, Netanyahu expressed Israel's willingness to consider the revised Arab peace plan. As he stated: "We are willing to discuss initiatives that are offers, not dictates...We are in favor of negotiating without preconditions immediately." He also again called on Mahmoud Abbas, the "Palestinian" Authority President, to return to the peace talks that collapsed in 2010, without preconditions. Then, almost as if he was begging Abbas to return to the negotiating table, Netanyahu said: "Since he (Abbas) doesn't speak Hebrew, and my Arabic is not great, I am calling on him in a language we both know and saying to him (switching from Hebrew to English), 'Give peace a chance'...Don't miss the opportunity." And then he added that he was prepared to make "difficult decisions to move negotiations ahead" but would not do anything that would jeopardizeIsrael's security.
Anyone listening to this political double-talk would have to ask how land swaps in the heart of Israel could not jeopardize Israel's security. What land is Abbas going to offer us in return for Judea and Samaria? Would he offer us Gaza, which was part of the area given as an inheritance to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:20-21, 47), but which is now temporarily under the control of Hamas, who has sworn never to recognizeIsrael?
Ever since President Obama visited Israel in March of this year, the intensity with which Netanyahu wants to partition the land has increased and continues to increase with each visit of Secretary of State Kerry to the region. Once, it was thought that Netanyahu would not yield toU.S.pressures. But, that perspective totally changed following Obama's visit here. It became evident with Obama's speeches, Netanyahu's speeches and the actions of the government to apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident of 3+ years ago and to pay damages to the families of the "activists" who were killed in the flotilla incident, of agreeing to allow Turkey to be involved in mediating the Arab-Israeli conflict, of appointing Tzippi Livni to negotiate with the "Palestinians" and now, the pressure of Secretary of State Kerry. The U.S.has made it clear that it may decide to withdraw its attempts to resolve the present conflict, if it doesn't see real progress very soon.
And what is the response of the "Palestinians" to continued Israeli overtures to meet and talk in an effort to reach agreement? Abbas continues to insist on his pre-conditions before he agrees to talk. These include the demand that Israel present a map setting forth the permanent borders of the future "Palestinian" state, the release of convicted terrorists and an immediate cessation of all settlement construction (i.e., over the Green Line), including in Jerusalem. The above map, of course, needs to set borders in line with those that existed before The Six-away War. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, continues to blame Israel for the impasse in negotiations: "Of course we want to negotiate. No one benefits from the success of Kerry's efforts more than us, and no one loses, if he fails, more than us...But we want to know the agenda of the talks. We want the Israeli prime minister to utter the word 1967." Erekat did not complete the equation, which should have been: "No one benefits from the success of Kerry's efforts more than the "Palestinians" and no one loses more from the success of those efforts than Israel."
Regarding the release of the prisoners, we are talking about hard-core terrorists with blood on their hands. The country is still reeling from the release of 1,027 terrorists in exchange for one live soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for over 5 years. It is quite another thing to release 120 murderers "in exchange for resuming the talks." Notwithstanding their heinous crimes, Justice Minister Tzippi Livni, who described the prisoners named in the list of Abbas as "despicable terrorists who did terrible things", agreed to look into their individual cases, while President Shimon Peres said that Abbas's demand to release the rogues gallery of prisoners should be looked upon favorably by Israel. Of the many outrageous demands made by representatives of the "Palestinians", this is one of the most egregious and should have been rejected outright. These murderers should be given the same consideration that they gave to the victims that they willfully and maliciously killed, namely: none!
The Almagor Terror Victims Association revealed the complete "list of 120" and gave countless examples of terrorists "with blood on their hands" who were released by Israel and returned to terrorist activity - murder and wounding, or inciting or planning terror attacks. Meir Indor, one of the heads of Almagor, said: "If there should be another wave of released terrorists, the state will have sinned twice. The first is the moral sin of releasing murderers before the proper time and making a joke out of the legal system, the law and law enforcement in the State of Israel. Second, they're committing a moral sin by releasing terrorists knowing that previous releases have already led to waves of terrorism and the murder of hundreds of people...Some of the people who were released in the Shalit deal have gone back to terrorism and made statements supporting terrorism."
Unfortunately, Netanyahu has bought into the terminology of theU.S., as well as of former Israeli Prime Ministers, including Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, namely, that the two-state solution will involve "painful concessions". If we know it will be painful to us in the immediate future, why should we agree to it? There cannot be any guarantees etched in stone that will insure that the pain will not continue well into the future.
To close out this discussion, a brief comment needs to be added regarding what former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was willing to give to the "Palestinians". According to a report published last weekend by journalist Avi Issacharoff, following an interview with Olmert, the former P.M. was willing to give Abbas 98 percent of Judea andSamaria, as well as another 6% of the territory in "land swaps" for major Israeli settlement areas in Gush Etzion, Ariel andJerusalem. But, worse than that, Olmert reportedly agreed to give up Israeli sovereignty over theTempleMount. He was willing to release "Palestinian" prisoners and even offered to propose the establishment of a "Palestinian" state in the U.N. and rally support for this initiative. And there was more. Abbas refused to conclude the deal and said that he had to "think about it."
Why would the "Palestinians" fail to take advantage of such an incredibly magnanimous deal? The simple, but most obvious, answer is that they would have to agree to a total end of the conflict with Israel, which would be contrary to the P.L.O. Charter. They don't want a peace with Israeland they don't want a piece of Israel. They want all of Israel. Their attitude and mentality haven't changed. Even if we were to agree with Abbas today, there is a good likelihood that tomorrow he will be out of the picture and Hamas will control the "Palestinian" Authority in its entirety. And then we will face armed conflict within our greatly reduced borders. So why is Netanyahu begging Abbas to "negotiate"?If ever there was a time when wisdom and discernment, along with courage, were needed to stand against those who seek to do away with Israel, this is that time.
The "Safavid" plan for the Middle East - Iran's expansionist goals
The involvement of the Hizb'allah forces inSyria's civil war was said to be part of a "Safavid" plan for theMiddle Eastregion. So said Brig. Gen. Salim Idris, commander of the Free Syrian army during a recent interview on Al-Jazeera. Similar comments were forthcoming from other Arab sources which warned that Sunni Arabs were facing danger from "Safavid allies" and from "the spreading Safawi project".
The term "Safavid" has become a derogatory word among Arab leaders for Iranians. Use of the word is a reference to the Safavid Empire and imputed expansionist idea and plans giving rise to the suggestion thatIran(formerly known asPersia) is seeking to re-establish its country's former imperial borders.
The Safavid Empire existed between 1501 and 1722. Shiite Islam was the state religion andIran's leadership waged wars against the Ottoman Empire (now mostlyTurkey), which was the leading Sunni state at the time. The Safavid Empire included what are now large parts ofAfghanistan,Pakistanand Turkemanistan, half ofIraq, includingBaghdad,Azerbaijan,Armenia, the Arabian coastline of the Persian Gulf and the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, along with the easternmost part ofSyria. In order to help propagate Shiite Islam across the Persian realm, Safavid leaders imported Shiite leaders from southernLebanon, establishing ties between the two countries that extend at least as far back as the 16th century.
The present Iranian leadership has made statements suggesting that the borders of the Safavid Empire are part of their national aspirations, while coming short of formally claiming them. Both in articles and in verbal declarations, Iran, officially and unofficially, stated that the Arab people in the Arabian peninsulawere not involved in the appointment of their governments and that the Arab states of the Gulf came about because of intervention from the West. In 2009, Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, who was Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's candidate for president in 1997, called Bahrainthe "14th province" of Iran. Similarly, another Khamenei confidant recently referred to Syriaas Iran's "35th province". According to WikiLeaks, an Iranian official told a visiting American counterpart that Tehran was motivated by an "Iranian expansionist ideology", which is related to the regions that in one way or another were formerly subject to, or under the control of, Iran. Thus, by referring to Iranians as "Safavids", Arabs are expressing the view that Iranis an anti-status quo state and aspires to exercise its influence over its neighbors and, eventually, take over their territories.
This issue should have particular relevance for the West, which is still debating the consequences of a nuclear Iran. An Iranthat is seeking "the bomb" for defensive purposes only and is considered as a status-quo state (i.e., not territorially expansionist), fits in nicely with the present position of the Obama administration. There are many indications, however, that just the opposite is true and that Iran's desire to become nuclear is part of its larger plan to totally change the international status quo. If, in fact,Iran sees itself as territorially divided and as wanting to reunite the territories it once controlled under the Safavid Empire, then the West will have a considerably greater problem than it presently thinks it has in trying to deterIran's nuclear ambitions.
By the way, none of the 8 candidates for the presidency ofIranthis week is taking a stand againstIran's nuclear program. Khamenei has interjected himself in the presidential campaign, by saying that he is not telling the public to vote for any specific candidate, but to vote "nuclear". In terms of Iranian politics, that means to vote for Khamenei's hand-picked candidate, Said Jalili, who commented regarding the nuclear program and stated: "We're not in a bad situation, we've progressed considerably." That statement did not warm the cockles of the hearts of those here who are followingIran's nuclear project.
Tel-Aviv held its 15th annual Gay Pride Parade.
This past Friday, Tel Aviv held its 15th annual Gay Pride Parade, with a record-breaking 100,000 spectators and participants attending the celebrations, including tourists from all over the world.
Among the notables who addressed the crowds was Dan Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He conveyed warm wishes from President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the American people, adding: "There’s no better place to celebrate than in Tel Aviv, the friendliest city in the world to the LGBT community...We learned from Israel to let our troops serve in the military without having to hide who they love...We’re not done yet, there is still much to be done."
Tel Aviv has been praised for its friendliness to the LGBT community and is widely considered to be the only gay-friendly destination in theMiddle East. What a claim to fame.
"Arab Spring" in Turkey? Probably not, but it is also not Turkish Delight.
GaziPark, theIstanbul,Turkey, equivalent ofNew York'sCentral Park, has given rise to the worst civil unrest that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (pronounced Erd-wan) has had to deal with during his 11 years in power. There is a sort of poetic justice about his leadership problems, which stem from his prideful stance regarding everything taking place in theMiddle East, as well as from his desire to increase the Islamization of his country.
The park is in the center ofIstanbul, a city with a population of some 17 million people. The government is planning a development project in the park, which would necessitate the uprooting of about 600 trees. Environmental quality and related matters are issues of genuine concern for many Turks. Replacing trees and grass with buildings was not something that the Turkish people were going to readily agree to and it gave them a reason to take to the streets in protests, some of which became violent and resulted in the loss of life. Erdoğan's real problem began when the chants of "Save the trees" were replaced by "Erdoğan, resign."
Erdoğan responded last week in a speech saying that Turkeyis a democracy (so why was there a local media blackout of the unrest?) that will not give in to the tyranny of the minority. Nice words, but they fail to address the real issue, namely, the tyranny of Erdoğan himself.Istanbul is a prosperous city, but her residents demonstrated that economic prosperity is of no value, if there is no freedom to speak out and express their opinions.
It is doubtful that Istanbul's Taksim Square will become the Turkish equivalent of what Tahrir Square was/is in Egpyt and that the fate of 600 trees in central Istanbul would be the spark that ignites the Turkish Spring. But, things change very rapidly in this part of the world and if Erdoğan doesn't listen to the voice of the people, he may find himself on the wrong end of a very local "Arab Spring". In any event, it is still too early to tell how things will turn out.
Erdoğan is openly antagonistic towardsIsraeland the leadership inJerusalemand even expressed support forIsrael's removal in favor of the establishment of a "Palestinian" state. It is ironic that Erdoğan allowed his security forces to use excessive force to disperse the protestors. This is the same Erdoğan, who called upon his "former friend", Syrian President Assad, to deal gently with protestors and who also lectured Arab leaders about morality during the early days of the Arab Spring in 2011.Syriagave Erdoğan a taste of his own moral exclamations when its information minister expressed sympathy for the Turkish people, saying that they "don't deserve all this violence" from Erdoğan. Touché! It is somewhat ironic thatSyriacame out with a "traveler's advisory", cautioning tourists from visitingTurkeybecause of the social unrest in that country. This is a clear situation of the pot calling the kettle "black".
Erdoğan has been pursuing measures which, if passed, will change Turkey's so-called "democratic" image and point to greater Islamization. I wonder if Erdoğan's woes would have been avoided if he had decided to bless Israel, rather than curse her (Gen. 12:3).
Hizb'allah - Hamas ties are eroding.
Sometimes, bad situations have surprising twists that are good for Israel. For example, the fighting in Syriais a cause for concern for Israel. Not good. The Hizb'allah is fighting on the side of Assad and wants to establish a foothold in Syriafrom which to launch future attacks a upon Israel. Not good. Assad, for his part, justifies the military involvement of the Hizb'allah, saying: "When Israel's involvement and ties to those who call themselves the rebels became clear, we couldn't not allow Hizb'allah to stop the Israeli attempt." Not good. But, without all of these events, the tension on the Lebanon-Syria border has also started to boil. This is good. Relations between Hamas and the Hizb'allah, who were once close allies, are beginning to erode. The Lebanese terrorist group called for Hamas leaders to immediately leave Lebanon, because of Hamas's support for the Syrian rebels. The command to disconnect ties to Hamas came directly from Tehran, which had completely halted its support for Hamas. These are good. May their houses be divided permanently. If only the same division would take place between Moscow and Damascus. A report this past week from the Washington Post indicated that Syria ordered supplies from Russia, which include 20,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 20 million bullets, machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles and night-vision equipment. That's enough to keep the present war going for a while and even to start a new one. Not wanting the Russian backing of the Syrian regime to create an imbalance there, U.S. Senator John McCain called for providing the rebels with ammunition: "We can help the right people...Is there some risk involved? Absolutely. But is the status quo acceptable?" Is this good or bad?
Kidney of deceased Jewish child donated to 10-year-old "Palestinian".
Noam Naor died after falling from the balcony of his home last month. His family agreed to donate his organs. The recipient of one of his kidneys was 10-year-old Yakoub Ibhisad, a "Palestinian" boy from theWest Bank.
Israeli regulations do not allow families of donors to determine who receives donated organs, or to make an organ donation conditional on going to a particular ethnic or religious group. Nevertheless, Noam's family was asked if they were comfortable with his kidney being transplanted to a "Palestinian" child. One of Noam' parents responded: "It doesn't matter who gets the kidneys, as long as children don't have to go through dialysis anymore."
Last Sunday, President Shimon Peres called the mother and told her that "to do something so humane, so generous and so difficult -- to give life to another human being -- is exceptional...According to Jewish tradition, every man was created in the image of God, and anyone who saves a life in essence serves the Jewish ideology. You stood before two tests and you passed them with impossible bravery, after having gone through such an unjustified tragedy. You have filled our hearts with pride over the courage you possess, your motherhood and your Jewishness."
The father of the recipient remarked on the donation: "There are no words to thank the donor's family. My child has received a new life, after many years of waiting for a transplant."
I wonder whether the "Palestinian" media picked up on the story.
In the midst of all the seriousness - a little laughter can be contagious.
Education Minister Rabbi Shay Piron came up to the podium of the Knesset and wanted to address the growing phenomenon of "inserting unlawful objects" into prisons. But, as soon as he began his speech, he started to giggle and, eventually, the entire plenum joined him in laughter.
It's worth the 3-1/2 minutes to watch. You don't need to understand the Hebrew. Laughter is good medicine. (Prov. 15:13 - my interpretation)
And THAT was The Week That Was.
"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!" (Psalm 84:10-12)
Be blessed and be a blessing.
Have a simply great week.
p.s.: In case anyone missed prior updates of The Week That Was, copies of updates that were sent out from the end of January, 2013, until now, can be viewed at: www.twtw.co.il