ALAN FRANKLIN writes: Pat and I just said farewell to our son in law Michael, daughter Annie and grandaughter Rachel, now back home in northern Israel. Annie is planning new curtains for their apartment. A few miles away, Hizbullah - a proxy of Iran -is planning to kill as many Jews as possible. This is how Israelis have to live, under constant threat of death. Michael and Annie's website is linked to ours if you want a glimpse of what they do and what they sell from Israel. (Their Israel Unique advertisement can be clicked on at the top right of this page).
We have relatives and friends even closer to the Lebanese border, in Nahariya, Western Galilee, where the standard Israeli "safe rooms" - reinforced shelters in every newer home - are so important when you house hunt in Israel. Offshore an Israeli patrol boat has to be on permanent patrol, to stop of the repeat of previous Islamic terrorist invasions when gangs of murderers slipped down from Lebanon to cut the throats of children.
Michael grew up here and, when there were terrorist alerts, was hidden in odd corners of his parents' apartment for, as a Jew, his life was always at risk, and still is.
Michael is a Messianic Jew and he and Annie were thrilled on their visit to England to meet two of our Christian friends who are half Lebanese, from southern Lebanon. They are committed believers and supporters of Israel and they, Michael and Annie had a wonderful time with their families together. The only thing that will bring the world together in love, peace and harmony is acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour. Nothing else; no "peace talks," plans or schemes of men will ever work. That is why there will never be peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem.
While we await the rapture that preceeds this astounding event, predicted many times in the Bible, but shamefully ignored by what passes for the church today - or most of it- plots are afoot. This is an extract from an article in The Jerusalem Post, which provides our Middle East news ticker on this site.
Amid reports of growing tension along the northern border and predictions by Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah that Israel would attack Lebanon, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said there were no "winds of war" blowing along the northern border.
"We are closely following what is happening along the northern border," Ashkenazi said during a tour of the Tel Hashomer IDF Induction Center. "In general, there is quiet there, and I am not aware of any winds of war in the region.
"The explosion (weapons stored in a house exploded by mistake) in southern Lebanon proves our claims that Hizbullah is bolstering its offensive capabilities in southern Lebanon villages," he continued. "We view this [event] gravely, [considering that this area] is under the watch of UNIFIL and the Lebanese government."
A senior IDF officer said that the source of the tension was a decision by Hizbullah to overtly deploy some of its fighters along the border with Israel near the Shaba Farms earlier this week. Israel responded accordingly and also beefed up its military presence in the area.
According to Lebanese media reports, the IDF moved four Merkava tanks into the area and flew a number of aircraft overhead throughout the day.
Nevertheless, the assessment in the IDF is that Hizbullah is not interested in a new conflict with Israel, but is still doing its utmost to launch an attack against a Jewish or Israeli site abroad to avenge the 2008 assassination of Hizbullah military chief Imad Mughniyeh.
"Hizbullah wants to strike at us, but is concerned what our response will be if a synagogue or an embassy is attacked somewhere overseas," a defense official said. "It is concerned that such an attack would lead to an all-out war, which is something it will want to avoid."
Thus, if such an attack is perpetrated - Hizbullah has reportedly tried to attack the embassy in Azerbaijan - the assessment is that the group will not take direct responsibility, but will instead use a proxy. At the same time, Hizbullah will also likely denounce the attack.