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JPost.com » Opinion » Columnists » Article Aug 16, 2009 20:46 | Updated Aug 17, 2009 9:10

Candidly Speaking: Evangelicals: An appreciation

By ISI LEIBLER

A prominent American Jewish leader recently told me that the passionate standing ovation he received after addressing 4,000 participants at John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel rally in Washington was reminiscent of the fervent Zionist gatherings he attended as a youngster. The two-day Evangelical Christian parley was designed to express support for Israel, receive updates on the current challenges facing the Jewish state and lobby congressmen in support of Israel. They heard addresses from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu via satellite, Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ambassador Michael Oren, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents’ Conference and others.

At a time when much of global public opinion views Israel through the distorted lenses of Arab and anti-Semitic defamation, millions of Evangelicals have emerged as our most devoted supporters.

The evolution of this relationship is extraordinary and defies logic. It is only over the past three decades that support for Israel assumed such a high priority among this Christian denomination, which is rapidly expanding at a time when other churches are in dramatic decline.

Until recently, most Jews regarded Evangelicals as zealots obsessed with a desire to convert everyone. They also believed that their philo-Semitism was not “genuine” because it was based on an eschatology which predicted that the second coming of the messiah would only come after the Jewish people had returned to Israel and brought about the end of days.

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by Hana Levi Julian

Gas Field Near Haifa Exceeds Expectations — Again! by Hana Levi Julian Follow Israel news on and . (IsraelNN.com) The capacity of natural gas fields at the Tamar I drilling site off the coast of Haifa have exceeded the most optimistic expectations.- for a second time. The natural gas reserves found at the site are 16 percent more than estimated, according to an independent report released by Noble Energy, which owns 36% of the field under exploration. Noble Energy also operates the drill site on behalf of a conglomerate of partners, including Texas-based petroleum company Netherland, Sewell and Associates. The site is located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the coast of Haifa. Israeli partners in the well include Isramco Negev 2, which owns 28.75%, Delek Drilling, which has 15.625%, Avner Oil Exploration with 15.625% and Dor Gas Exploration, which owns 4%. Shares rose in response to the announcement at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Tests by an outside consultant have revealed 207 billion cubic meters of gas. The previous estimate of 178 billion, made a month ago, was already 30 percent higher than original estimates. “There is already enough Israeli made natural gas to provide for the county’s needs for years to come, said Avner CEO Gideon Tadmor and Delek CEO Tzvi Greenfield in a joint statement. They said that the group plans to “determinedly seek out additional reserves in our many licenses along the coast,” pointing out the discoveries free the Jewish State from dependence on foreign energy sources.

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Arutz 7- Israel National News
by Hana Levi Julian

Russia is joining up with Iran for joint naval exercises for the first time ever, according to the Iranian Mehr News Agency.

The joint Russian-Iranian naval maneuvers, which were announced Wednesday, are taking place this week in the Caspian Sea.

The report, which could not be independently confirmed, quoted a senior Iranian ports authority official who said the drill was aimed at preventing pollution and improving search and rescue operations coordination between the two nations.

However, the maneuver, involving some 30 vessels, is seen by some analysts as a way to join forces against the U.S., which the Asia Times referred to as “the intrusive Western superpower.”

Entitled “Regional Collaboration for a Secure and Clean Caspian,” the two-day drill quietly combines military objectives with environmental goals. A 1921 Iran-Russia friendship agreement was the legal foundation for the present naval cooperation between the two countries, according to political analyst Kaveh L. Afrasiabi.

Russia has been instrumental in protecting Iran from further sanctions by the United Nations Security Council due to its defiance of a U.N. mandate to end its nuclear development program.

Iran has continued to add uranium enrichment centrifuges and improve its ability to produce nuclear weapons-grade uranium, to the dismay of those hoping to persuade the Islamic Republic through diplomacy to abandon the effort.

Russia has been behind the construction of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, although Russian banks several months ago balked at funding any more of the project. Nevertheless, Russia has sent at least two shipments of nuclear fuel supplies to the facility, which is expected to come on line by the end of the year.

Israel has warned repeatedly that it will not tolerate a nuclear Iran, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often threatened to annihilate the Jewish State.

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