“With wars and rumors of wars dominating headlines, what does the future hold?” An expected 10,000 to gather in San Diego on April 4th at Epicenter Conference for answers to this and other questions


(Washington, D.C.) – Joel C. Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author of Epicenter: Why The Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future, announced today that on April 4th he will host the 2009 Epicenter Conference to examine several rising global geopolitical and economic crises in light of Bible prophecy. Rosenberg will be joined at the conference by Lt.-General (ret.) Jerry Boykin, the former commander of the Army’s elite Delta Force and the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; and Pastor Chuck Smith, the renowned Bible teacher, author, radio host and prophecy expert.


“With wars and rumors of wars dominating the Middle East, the eyes of the world are riveted on Israel, Iran and their neighbors, the epicenter of the dramatic events that are shaping our world and shaking our future,” said Rosenberg, whose new non-fiction book about the Mideast – Inside The Revolution – releases March 10th from Tyndale House Publishers.


“Americans are reading apocalyptic headlines out of the Middle East. They are looking for answers to questions like, Is there any chance of peace in the Middle East in the near future, or are we headed toward even more catastrophic wars? Why are Iran’s leaders saying the end of the world is near, and the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah is to annihilate the U.S. and Israel? What happens if Iran gets nuclear weapons? Why is Russia helping Iran go nuclear? How will coming events in the Middle East affect us as Americans, economically and geopolitically? Were the global crises we see unfolding today foretold thousands of years ago by the Hebrew prophets? And given the urgency of such crises, is there any hope in the world today?”


WHO: Joel C. Rosenberg, Pastor Chuck Smith, and Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Jerry Boykin


WHAT: The 2009 Epicenter Conference: Understanding Today’s Global Crises In Light of Bible Prophecy.


WHEN: April 4, 2009 – 9:00am to 4:00pm


WHERE: Cox Arena, San Diego, and web cast gavel to gavel at


Rosenberg, who has more than 1.5 million copies of his political thrillers and non-fiction books in print and is often a guest on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the History Channel and other networks, noted that the emergence of a new President of the United States and a new Prime Minister in Israel – as well as upcoming national elections in Iran in June – are developments that are adding to the volatility and uncertainty regarding the future of the Middle East and how Americans will be affected. He also cited the following recent headlines to underscore the timeliness of the 2009 Epicenter Conference:



* Israel, Iran liable to clash in 2009 over nukes, says U.S. intel chief Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, 2/14/09


* Hayden: Iran near nuke decision; Departing CIA chief says American intelligence agency Tehran appears to be nearing decision on whether to build nuclear warhead – Associated Press, 1/16/09


* Iran president says Israeli leaders face ‘doomed end’ – Los Angeles Times, 1/16/09


* Russia to start Iran nuclear plant by year end – Reuters, 2/5/09


* Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel – Associated Press, 1/14/09


* Obama Turns to Mideast, Offers ‘New Way’ With Muslims – Bloomberg, 1/21/09


“Wherever General Boykin, Pastor Chuck Smith and I travel – throughout the United States and around the world – we meet people who are increasingly anxious about the future of the United States, the future of Israel, and the future of the Islamic world,” said Rosenberg, who recently returned home to Washington, D.C., after four weeks traveling through Israel, Iraq, India and the Persian Gulf region. “I am honored that these two distinguished experts in military intelligence and Bible prophecy respectively will be joining me to help Americans – and all who join us via the world wide web – better understand current events not just through the lenses of geopolitics and economics, but also through the ‘third lens’ of Scripture.”


The San Diego event will be the first Epicenter Conference held in the United States. In April 2008, Rosenberg, Boykin and Smith spoke at the inaugural Epicenter Conference which was held at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.




With all the volatility we’re seeing in the epicenter, I just want to say a quick word of thanks to all those who are visiting this weblog and finding it helpful. In August of last year when we switched to this new format, we began with 109,726 viewers. By January during the Gaza war, the number had climbed to 233,169 viewers. Thanks, too, for your kind and thoughtful emails, as well as those challenging my views and/or correcting my mistakes. My team and I try to read them all, but due to the volume of emails we’re getting, I’m sorry that I’m not able to personally respond to them all. May the Lord bless you as you keep tracking with events in the epicenter and keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Bible teaches us to do in Psalm 122:6.



Does the Obama administration truly understand Ahmadinejad's "apocalyptic mindset"?

Does the Obama administration truly understand Ahmadinejad's End Times theology and how it is driving his foreign policy?

Readers of Epicenter 2.0 and this weblog know that I have been warning U.S. and Israeli leaders for several years about the dangers of the eschatology or End Times theology held by Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad and how it is driving Iran’s foreign policy. Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and I have discussed the subject and I believe he understands the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, neither President Obama administration nor the new Congressional leadership seems  to understand whom they are facing in Tehran.

In that context, I was encouraged to see a transcript of a panel discussion last week in which Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis, arguably the West’s foremost expert on Islam and the Middle East, warned of the “apocalyptic mindset” of the current Iranian leadership and said Ahmadinejad in particular cannot be deterred by the arms control strategies that worked with the Soviet Union.

Excerpts: “In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there is a scenario for the end of times, where the final battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil will occur. For Christians and Muslims alike, this means between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ The ‘us’ being differently defined, the ‘them’ being more or less the same. From the view of a certain section within the Iranian leadership, it’s not by any means unanimous, that time is now. For a group… whose main leader is [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, the apocalyptic time has come. “Ma’adi,” the Muslim messiah is already here. The final battle has already begun. That is important for another reason, and that is concerning Iran’s nuclear weapon. The Soviet Union had weapons right through the cold war, but neither side used them because they were aware the other side would use them as well. It was called mutual assured destruction (MAD) which was the main deterrent of using the weapons. For most of the Iranian leadership, MAD would work as a deterrent. But for Ahmadinejad and his group, with their apocalyptic mindset, MAD is not a deterrent, but an inducement. They believe that the end of time has come and the sooner the better. So the good can go enjoy the delights of paradise and the wicked, meaning all of us here, can go to eternal damnation.



How will Netanyahu work with President Obama given their deep differences on Iran?

How will Netanyahu work with President Obama given deep differences on Iran?

Benjamin Netanyahu received the official word today from Israeli President Shimon Peres that he has six weeks to put together a coalition to lead the next government of Israel. The announcement came as the U.N. announced that Iran now has enough uranium to build its first nuclear weapon.

Given the seriousness of the growing crisis with Iran, Netanyahu is calling for a broad “unity government” that would include Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party. “For decades we have not withstood so many challenges at the same time,” said Netanyahu. “To face up to these challenges we need to join hands and unite all the forces within the people. I call on all parties, those who recommended me and those who didn’t. I turn to [Kadima leader Tzipi] Livni and to [Labor leader Ehud] Barak — let us join hands and pledge for the future of Israel. I hope to meet with you first and discuss a wide unity government.”

Livni, however, today said she refuses to serve with Netanyahu. “Today, the foundations of a right-wing extremist government under Netanyahu were set,” Livni wrote in a text message sent to 80,000 Kadima members. “The path of such a government is not our own and we have nothing to look for there. You didn’t vote for us in order to provide a kosher certificate for a right-wing government, and we need to provide an alternative of hope from the opposition.”

The big question for Netanyahu, however, may not be how best to form his government, but how his government — whatever form it takes — will interact President Barack Obama, given the deep fissures between the two men over how to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed power.

“Iran is developing nuclear weapons and poses the greatest threat to our existence since the War of Independence,” said Netanyahu. “Iran’s terror wings surround us from the north and south” Based on my conversations with Israel’s next Prime Minister, I believe Netanyahu fundamentally understands the apocalyptic, genocidal Islamic eschatology driving Iran’s current leaders. By contrast, I am convinced that President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton do not understand at all the End Times beliefs of the current leaders of Iran, and are thus making wrong policy choices based on their lack of understanding. Let us pray, therefore, that as Mr. Netanyahu forms his government and then meets with President Obama and top U.S. leaders that he is able to help American officials understand who they are dealing with in Tehran, and find a way to work together to stop Iran before it is too late.



Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, receives the official Israeli election results from Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Israel Eliezer Rivlin at Peres' residence in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP photo)

Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, receives the official Israeli election results from Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Israel Eliezer Rivlin at Peres' residence in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP photo)

Israelis are waiting for President Shimon Peres’ decision regarding which Member of Knesset (MK) is most likely to be able to form a stable governing coalition. Already, 50 MKs have told Peres they are backing Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu to be the next Prime Minister. Only 28 MKs have told Peres they back Kadima’s Tzipi Livni. One of the big questions at this point concerns who Avigdor Lieberman and his Israeli Beiteinu party will back. Lieberman is expected to return to Israel tonight from a vacation in Minsk and is scheduled to meet Peres Thursday morning. Developing….



Iraqi soldiers walk past a replica of the Ishtar Gate of Ancient Babylon, 135 km (85 miles) south of Baghdad, January 13, 2009. (Reuters photo)

Iraqi soldiers walk past a replica of the Ishtar Gate of Ancient Babylon, 135 km (85 miles) south of Baghdad, January 13, 2009. (Reuters photo)

Largely overlooked by the Western news media over the past few weeks was an enormously significant story. The government of Iraq is moving forward with plans to protect the archaeological remains of the ancient City of Babylon, in preparation for building a modern city of Babylon. The project, originally started by the late Saddam Hussein, is aimed eventually at attracting scores of “cultural tourists” from all over the world to see the glories of Mesopotamia’s most famous city. What’s more, the Obama Administration is contributing $700,000 towards “The Future of Babylon Project,” through the State Department’s budget. 

“Officials hope Babylon can be revived and made ready for a rich future of tourism, with help from experts at the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the U.S. embassy,” reports the Reuters news agency. “‘The Future of Babylon’ project launched last month seeks to ‘map the current conditions of Babylon and develop a master plan for its conservation, study and tourism,’ the WMF says. ‘We don’t know how long it will take to reopen to tourists,’ said Mariam Omran Musa, head of a government inspection team based at the site. ‘It depends on funds. I hope that Babylon can be reborn in a better image.'”

In my non-fiction book, Epicenter 2.0, I wrote about the Bible prophecies in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Revelation that indicate the ancient city of Babylon in Iraq will, in fact, be rebuilt in the “last days” of history and become the wealthiest and most powerful city on the face of the planet. I also cited my interview with Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Abdul Ameer Allawi who told me in 2006 at the peak of the insurgency, “Cultural, religious, archaeological, and biblical tourism is a big opportunity for Iraq. I think rebuilding Babylon is a wonderful idea, as long as it is not done at the expense of the antiquities themselves.” For many, I know the rebuilding of Babylon seemed like a far-fetched idea in the Bible. For many more, it seemed like a far-fetched idea in 2006, as well. But skeptics and cynics take note: now that the insurgency is dying down, the Shia-led government of Iraq is actually moving forward with this historic and prophetic project. They say Babylon will be “reborn.” And they’re right. It will be. Stay tuned.


BIBLE PROPHECY AND THE U.S. AND GLOBAL ECONOMIES: “It’s almost as if you can hear the ice cracking beneath our feet”


ORIGINAL POST: People often ask me, “Where is the United States in End Times Bible prophecy?” When I reply, “The Bible makes no indication that the U.S. is a significant player in prophecy,” they respond, “Why? What happens to us?”

To be honest, I don’t know.

While I do believe we are living through the events Jesus talked about in Matthew 24 as signs of the “last days” before His return, I don’t know why the United States — the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the face of the earth in the history of mankind — is not ever clearly mentioned in Bible prophecy concerning the last days. I don’t know because the Bible doesn’t tell us. 

We could, God forbid, be devastated by a nuclear war. We could be hit by decapitating terrorist attacks. We could be hit by massive natural disasters. Or we could face a series of economic disasters. Consider just two potential scenarios that could render the U.S. a non-factor in the last days:

Scenario #1: the U.S. could implode economically after the rapture. The rapture is an event described in I Thessalonians 4-5 when true followers of Jesus Christ are snatched away from the earth and meet Jesus Christ in the air at a time when the rest of the world has been saying there is “peace and safety.” How many Christ-followers in the U.S. would disappear in the “twinkle of an eye,” according to the Scriptures? We don’t know for certain. It could be 10 million. It could be 25 million. It could be 50 million, 75 million, or more. The point is the rapture will have a devastating and irrecoverable impact on the U.S. in many ways. Consider, for example, how hard the American economy was hit when nearly 3,000 Americans were lost on 9/11/01. Now imagine the impact the loss of millions of Americans due to the rapture would have on the U.S. economy. Think we have a subprime mortgage crisis now? Imagine what the U.S. banking and real estate system will look like when millions of Christians disappear and can no longer pay their mortgages, or their credit card bills, or buy other goods and services. Our economy would implode, and suddenly America would no longer be the economic superpower it has been for a century.

Scenario #2: the U.S. economy could melt down in a Great Depression before the rapture. Such a melt down would emasculate our economic and military power and thus radically reduce our influence in the world. On October 16, 2008, I wrote about “the implications of this financial apocalypse.” Things have only worsened since then. I am praying that the Lord would have mercy on us. But we cannot rule out the possibility that the Lord will remove His favor from our nation and allow us to be rocked to our core economically. Decisive action should be taken to strengthen our economy and help American businesses small and large grow and create more jobs. But the President’s hastily-crafted multi-trillion dollar spending plan will not save the day and revive our moribund economy. 

Most Members of Congress haven’t even read the 1,100-plus page bill they are voting in favor of, says Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat. The Obama administration is rushing through this massive and expensive bill without giving the people’s representatives the time to read it and consider its merits. Why? The whole thing smacks of European socialism and risks making our economic situation worse, not better. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the real price tag of the bill is actually $3.27 trillion over the next ten yearsSen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has offered an alternative plan that creates twice as many jobs for half the price of the Obama plan. Why is Congress not allowing a full and fair debate about The American Option Act? Why do most Americans not even know about this alternative? The feverishness with which the White House and Congressional leadership are acting is unnerving. They are rushing so fast to spend an unheard of amount of money without giving the people of the country much less their elected representatives the opportunity to read it, study it, debate it, much less amend it. In the process, they risks piling more than $3 trillion worth of crushing new debt on top of the more than $10 trillion of debt we’re already handing over to our children.

What does the future hold? It’s almost as if we can hear the ice cracking underneath our feet. I don’t know if the Lord will allow us to plunge into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. But humanly speaking, you and I have very little influence to stop the current course of events. So we must pray. We must to turn to the Lord and seek His mercy, His grace, His favor on our nation and our leaders, lest we see the current economic crisis take us into a financial death spiral.

In my last political thriller, Dead Heat , I wrote on p. 154: “What Bennett had never really considered carefully until now was the possibility that something else might devastate the American people, rendering them ineffective heading into the last of the last days. A financial downturn on Wall Street. The sudden collapse of the dollar. The beginning of another Great Depression. A series of devastating earthquakes. Or hurricanes. Or other natural disasters, like a tsunami. [Or ] the most cataclysmic terrorist attack of all time — five nuclear warheads. And there might be more to come. None of it was clearly prophesied in the Scriptures. Not that he could find. But perhaps he should have foreseen the neutralization of America by more carefully reading between the lines. If so, what else was he missing? What exactly was coming next?”

At the same time, we need to keep our eye on the global economy as well. We need to be aware of just how much suffering and geopolitical instability is being created by this global financial crisis. Russia’s stock market, for example, is down 75%. The value of the Russian currency — the ruble — is down about 30%. Will we see anti-Semitism surge as a result? Will Russians blames Jews for their economic troubles? Will they blame America as well? The European economy, meanwhile, is experiencing the worst contraction in decades. Spain’s economy, for example, is the worst in 15 years. Whom will Europeans blame? Are Europeans likely to draw closer to Israel? To the U.S.? If the global economy continues to sink, expect more tensions with Europe and expect Europe to turn against Israel in sharper and more painful ways.



Israel's center-right parties made big gains Tuesday.

Israel's center-right parties made big gains Tuesday.

The road ahead could be full of surprises, but for the moment Netanyahu seems to have the edge.

The road ahead could be full of surprises, but for the moment Netanyahu seems to have the edge.

UPDATED at 7:30am eastern, Wednesday — One thing is now clear after Tuesday’s national elections in Israel: the center-right coalition made dramatic gains and can have an operating majority with 64 seats in the 120 seat Knesset (parliament), if they choose to work together in unity. The center-left parties, by contrast, were trounced and now have only 56 seats, eight of which are held by Arab parties who so deeply resent the left-wing’s participation in the recent Gaza war against Hamas that they cannot be counted upon to help the left form a stable governing coalition.

The big surprise Tuesday night was that the leading center-right party — Likud, headed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — did not win a plurality. The left-wing Kadima party, headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, did. So things get really interesting from here.

At this hour, with 99.8% of the vote counted, Kadima appears to have squeaked out a narrow lead over Likud, 28 seats to 27 seats. If these results hold, they will mean Kadima will  have one less seat in the next Knesset than the 29 they currently have. They also mean Likud will have 15 seats more than the 12 they currently have. But two weeks ago, Likud was widely expected to win a total of between 31 to 34 seats, and a decisive victory over Kadima.

So who will emerge as the next Prime Minister of Israel? This remains to be determined, but based on everything I’m seeing at the moment it would appear that Netanyahu has the edge, given the size and strength of the overall center-right coalition.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Final election results won’t be known until February 18th, when all of the absentee and military ballots have been counted.
  • After the final results are in, Israel’s President — Shimon Peres — is legally mandated to invite the party leader with the best chance at forming a stable government to try to put together his or her coalition within a short time frame.
  • If the current results hold, Livni and her team will argue to Peres that they should be given this opportunity because they have won a plurality. However, Peres gave Livni the opportunity to form a government last fall, and she couldn’t do it. Even when she asked for and was granted more time by Peres to form a government, she still couldn’t accomplish it, even though the Left had far more seats then than they do now. Livni’s failure to succeed is what prompted these new elections in the first place.
  • What’s more, Livni’s ability to form a center-left coalition has just been dramatically complicated by the fact that Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s badly decimated Labor Party has just announced that it will sit in the opposition in the next government, not help one side or the other form a coalition or a “unity government.”
  • Keep your eye on Avigdor Lieberman and his right-wing Israel Beiteinu party. They just won an impressive 15 seats. Though they were expecting to win 20, Lieberman suddenly has quite a bit of leverage, and I expect him to milk his perceived “kingmaker” status for all it is worth. Lieberman once served as chief of staff (director general) when Netanyahu was Prime Minister in the late 1990s, and he is inclined to help Netanyahu create a strong center-right coalition government. But Lieberman is also an opportunist. He once broke away from Likud and created his own party, criticizing Likud for not being tough enough against Palestinian and Iranian extremists. Then he joined the government of Ehud Olmert, and was rewarded by Olmert with the title of Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Affairs. He then quit when Olmert’s stock was plunging like a rock. Now he is playing footsie with Livni, suggesting publicly that he’s not opposed to helping her form a government. Personally, I don’t buy it. Anything’s possible, of course, and we could see a lot of twists and turns in the road ahead. But I think Lieberman is trying to maximize his leverage to get as much power from Netanyahu in the next government as possible. In the end, I suspect Netanyahu and Lieberman will cut a deal together, if for no other reason than they both believe so strongly in toppling Hamas and defending Israel from the increasingly imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.



President Obama says his administration is conducting a review of the U.S. policy towards Iran

President Obama says his administration is conducting a review of the U.S. policy towards Iran -- but there is absolutely no indication his administration will take decisive action to stop Iran from getting The Bomb?

Will Israel's next Prime Minister stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

Will Israel's next Prime Minister stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

On Monday night, President Obama, in his first White House press conference, said his administration is reviewing U.S. policy towards Iran, but made it crystal clear it will be sharply different than that of the Bush administration. “I think there’s the possibility, at least, of a relationship of mutual respect and progress,” said the President, but added that “it’s time now for Iran to send some signals that it wants to act differently.”

It is certainly prudent to review U.S. policy, but it is wishful thinking to expect signals of a desire from Iran’s leadership that they will act differently. It is critical that the new administration carefully analyzes the eschatology — or End Times theology — of Iranian Supreme Leader Khameini and President Ahmadinejad. It is impossible to develop an effective strategy to deal with Iran until one truly understands this eschatology.

In my forthcoming non-fiction book, INSIDE THE REVOLUTION (March 10th, Tyndale), I explain their eschatology in great detail and quote both of them at length. In the meantime, here are some quick points to keep in mind about what Khameini and Ahmadinejad believe:

1. The end of the world is near and the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi or the 12th Imam is coming soon.

2. The Islamic Messiah will only come when the world is engulfed in chaos and carnage.

3. Islamic leaders can hasten the arrival of the Islamic Messiah by annihilating two countries — Israel, “the Little Satan,” and the United States, “the Great Satan.”

4. It is not just possible, it is the God-given mission of Iran’s leaders to destroy Jews and Christians or force them to convert to Shia Islam.

5. Iran must rapidly acquire the technology necessary to accomplish genocide — namely nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

6. Israel’s “defeat” by Hezbollah and Hamas and Israel’s divided election results indicate the Jewish states is increasingly weak and prepared for destruction. The severe economic crisis in the U.S. shows America is about to collapse as well.

7. With the U.S. and Israel so weakened and their collapse imminent, there is no incentive to truly negotiate with “Satan” and give up Iran’s pursuit of advanced nuclear technology.

8. However, there is an incentive to buy time until Iran builds, buys or steals the weapons it needs to accomplish its genocidal, apocalyptic objectives.

One thing is clear after the press conference: President Obama does not currently understand what is driving Iran’s leaders. What’s more, he has no intention of even seriously considering military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them to Israel, Europe and the United States. This means Israel’s next Prime Minister will be the last leader on the planet in position to stop Iran.

We absolutely must be praying, therefore, for great mercy on the U.S. and Israel and great wisdom for her leaders.

Kadima currently has 29 seats in the Knesset, and appears on track for winning 28-30 seats in this election; Likud, by contrast, currently has 12 seats, but appears to be soaring up to at least 25-28 seats.

Kadima currently has 29 seats in the Knesset, and appears on track for winning 28-30 seats in this election; Likud, by contrast, currently has 12 seats, but appears to be soaring up to at least 25-28 seats.

The big question: who will win Israel’s elections today and emerge as the next Prime Minister of the Jewish State, and will he or she be willing to stop Iran from getting The Bomb, if no one else on the planet is so willing or able?

"Israel Discovers Massive Reserves of Oil, Gas"

Epicenter, 2.0 edition -- Chapter Five: "Israel Discovers Massive Reserves of Oil, Gas"

Glenn Beck has invited me to come back on the show today to discuss these issues in more depth. Currently, I’m slated to be on at about 5:30pm-ish eastern. Hope you can join us. I will update this post after the show, explaining in more detail what the President and his national security team need to understand about the religious beliefs of Iran’s current leadership.

By the way, also worth keeping an eye on: as predicted in Epicenter 2.0, an Israeli company has recently discovered an “historic” amount of natural gas off the coast of Haifa. And they’ve just announced that actually the reserves are 61% larger than they had previously thought. This means Israel has some five trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Could massive discoveries of oil occur soon, too?


JOEL ON GLENN BECK TONIGHT: What Washington doesn’t understand about Iran


Greetings from New York City. I’m back from a month-long speaking tour through Israel, Iraq, India and the United Arab Emirates. Tonight, I am scheduled to appear on the Glenn Beck TV show on the Fox News Channel. Topics:  the military significance of the launch of a new Iranian telecommunications satellite, and how  the launch fits into the Iranian Shia leadership’s “eschatology” or “End Times” theology. Glenn’s show airs live from 5pm to 6pm eastern. I’m not sure which segment I will be on, and keep in mind — it ‘s television. Thus, it’s all subject to change. Please check back here for updates. Thanks.


UPDATED: Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday. A few points to keep in mind:

* How effective was Israel’s cease fire deal with Hamas? The IDF reports more than 35 rockets, missiles and mortars have been fired by Hamas at southern Israel since the “cease fire” took effect two weeks ago.

* Fmr. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party have had the lead for the entire campaign — until now. He strongly opposed giving away Gaza in 2005, arguing it would create a terror base camp he nicknamed “Hamastan.” He was right. While economic growth is a major issue for him, he is best known for strongly opposing the dividing of Jerusalem, opposing giving away the strategic Golan Heights, and opposing the ceding of new land in the West Bank to the current Palestinian leadership. What’s more, he is out front in making the Iran nuclear threat a top campaign issue, saying he will do everything in his power to stop Iran from acquiring The Bomb. The polls have tightened considerably in the last week or so. At this moment, it is not clear Likud will win the most mandates (seats in the Knesset)

* Running almost neck-and-neck with Likud is the Kadima Party, led by Israel’s current Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Livni was a key player in the Gaza turnover in 2005, supports creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank, and dividing Jerusalem. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the previous head of Kadima, finally endorsed Livni over the weekend. This may not help. Olmert is widely despised in Israel for his poor handling of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

* In third place and rising rapidly is the Israeli Beiteinu party, led by former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman is a hawkish, right-wing Russian immigrant who used to serve as a senior aide to Netanyahu. Currently, he’s increasingly perceived by many voters on the right as tougher against the Arabs and Iran than Netanyahu. His party’s polls have surged from about 13 mandates to between 18 and 20. All of this is coming out of Likud support. Netanyahu has said he is ready to including Lieberman’s team in his governing coalition if Likud places first among the 40 parties competing. Ironically, Netanyahu may not have the opportunity to form a government if Lieberman’s party continues to siphon off Likud voters.

* In fourth place is the Labor Party, led by current Defense Minister Ehud Barak. This is the worst showing for Labor in six decades.

Please keep Israel in prayer over the next 24 hours, that the Lord would be gracious to her people. The threats they face are very real. The stakes are very high. And the world is increasingly turning against Israel. They need leaders like the “sons of Issachar,” mentioned in the Book of Numbers, “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”


* Michael Ledeen’s must read column in the Wall Street Journal on Iran’s new capacity to launch intercontinental ballistic rockets, and Ahmandinejad’s Shia End Times theology

* Heritage Foundation analysis: Iran’s Satellite Launch Underscores Growing Military Threat

* U.S. says Iran launch shows it ‘could develop long-range ballistic missile’

* Europe could be within Iranian missile range says NATO officer

* Tehran’s satellite launch shows America its nuclear intent

* Iran insists satellite launch has no military aim

* Russia to start Iran nuclear plant by year end

* In Interview, Obama Talks of ‘New Approach’ to Iran

* Iran waiting for Obama’s plan for the Middle East

* Pakistan release A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, who once sold atom bomb plans — U.S. sees danger in Khan’s release

* U.S. Skeptical About Pakistan’s Restrictions on Nuclear Scientist

* Mubarak rebukes Hamas over Gaza war