If there is anyone out there on planet earth who thinks that the situation in Israel is straightforward and simple, please feel free to direct them to the following report (published with permission) from Stratfor the intelligence briefing agency.Footnote for a Biblical 'take'.
AN ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER COMES TO WASHINGTON AGAIN
By George Friedman
ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Washington for his first official visit with U.S. President Barack Obama. A range of issues -- including the future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israeli-Syrian talks and Iran policy -- are on the table. This is one of an endless series of meetings between U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers over the years, many of which concerned these same issues. Yet little has changed.
That Israel has a new prime minister and the United States a new president might appear to make this meeting significant. But this is Netanyahu's second time as prime minister, and his government is as diverse and fractious as most recent Israeli governments. Israeli politics are in gridlock, with deep divisions along multiple fault lines and an electoral system designed to magnify disagreements.
Obama is much stronger politically, but he has consistently acted with caution, particularly in the foreign policy arena. Much of his foreign policy follows from the Bush administration. He has made no major breaks in foreign policy beyond rhetoric; his policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Europe are essentially extensions of pre-existing policy. Obama faces major economic problems in the United States and clearly is not looking for major changes in foreign policy. He understands how quickly public sentiment can change, and he does not plan to take risks he does not have to take right now.
This, then, is the problem: Netanyahu is coming to Washington hoping to get Obama to agree to fundamental redefinitions of the regional dynamic. For example, he wants Obama to re-examine the commitment to a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. (Netanyahu's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has said Israel is no longer bound by prior commitments to that concept.) Netanyahu also wants the United States to commit itself to a finite time frame for talks with Iran, after which unspecified but ominous-sounding actions are to be taken.
Facing a major test in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Obama has more than enough to deal with at the moment. Moreover, U.S. presidents who get involved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations frequently get sucked into a morass from which they do not return. For Netanyahu to even request that the White House devote attention to the Israeli-Palestinian problem at present is asking a lot. Asking for a complete review of the peace process is even less realistic.
Obstacles to the Two-State Solution
The foundation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for years has been the assumption that there would be a two-state solution. Such a solution has not materialized for a host of reasons. First, at present there are two Palestinian entities, Gaza and the West Bank, which are hostile to each other. Second, the geography and economy of any Palestinian state would be so reliant on Israel that independence would be meaningless; geography simply makes the two-state proposal almost impossible to implement. Third, no Palestinian government would have the power to guarantee that rogue elements would not launch rockets at Israel, potentially striking at the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem corridor, Israel's heartland. And fourth, neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis have the domestic political coherence to allow any negotiator to operate from a position of confidence. Whatever the two sides negotiated would be revised and destroyed by their political opponents, and even their friends.
For this reason, the entire peace process -- including the two-state solution -- is a chimera. Neither side can live with what the other can offer. But if it is a fiction, it is a fiction that serves U.S. purposes. The United States has interests that go well beyond Israeli interests and sometimes go in a different direction altogether. Like Israel, the United States understands that one of the major obstacles to any serious evolution toward a two-state solution is Arab hostility to such an outcome.
The Jordanians have feared and loathed Fatah in the West Bank ever since the Black September uprisings of 1970. The ruling Hashemites are ethnically different from the Palestinians (who constitute an overwhelming majority of the Jordanian population), and they fear that a Palestinian state under Fatah would threaten the Jordanian monarchy. For their part, the Egyptians see Hamas as a descendent of the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the Mubarak government's ouster -- meaning Cairo would hate to see a Hamas-led state. Meanwhile, the Saudis and the other Arab states do not wish to see a radical altering of the status quo, which would likely come about with the rise of a Palestinian polity.
At the same time, whatever the basic strategic interests of the Arab regimes, all pay lip service to the principle of Palestinian statehood. This is hardly a unique situation. States frequently claim to favor various things they actually are either indifferent to or have no intention of doing anything about. Complicating matters for the Arab states is the fact that they have substantial populations that do care about the fate of the Palestinians. These states thus are caught between public passion on behalf of Palestinians and the regimes' interests that are threatened by the Palestinian cause. The states' challenge, accordingly, is to appear to be doing something on behalf of the Palestinians while in fact doing nothing.
The United States has a vested interest in the preservation of these states. The futures of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are of vital importance to Washington. The United States must therefore simultaneously publicly demonstrate its sensitivity to pressures from these nations over the Palestinian question while being careful to achieve nothing -- an easy enough goal to achieve.
The various Israeli-Palestinian peace processes have thus served U.S. and Arab interests quite well. They provide the illusion of activity, with high-level visits breathlessly reported in the media, succeeded by talks and concessions -- all followed by stalemate and new rounds of violence, thus beginning the cycle all over again.
The Palestinian Peace Process as Political Theater
One of the most important proposals Netanyahu is bringing to Obama calls for reshaping the peace process. If Israeli President Shimon Peres is to be believed, Netanyahu will not back away from the two-state formula. Instead, the Israeli prime minister is asking that the various Arab state stakeholders become directly involved in the negotiations. In other words, Netanyahu is proposing that Arab states with very different public and private positions on Palestinian statehood be asked to participate -- thereby forcing them to reveal publicly their true positions, ultimately creating internal political crises in the Arab states.
The clever thing about this position is that Netanyahu not only knows his request will not become a reality, but he also does not want it to become a reality. The political stability of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is as much an Israeli interest as an American one. Indeed, Israel even wants a stable Syria, since whatever would come after the Alawite regime in Damascus would be much more dangerous to Israeli security than the current Syrian regime.
Overall, Israel is a conservative power. In terms of nation-states, it does not want upheaval; it is quite content with the current regimes in the Arab world. But Netanyahu would love to see an international conference with the Arab states roundly condemning Israel publicly. This would shore up the justification for Netanyahu's policies domestically while simultaneously creating a framework for reshaping world opinion by showing an Israel isolated among hostile states.
Obama is likely hearing through diplomatic channels from the Arab countries that they do not want to participate directly in the Palestinian peace process. And the United States really does not want them there, either. The peace process normally ends in a train wreck anyway, and Obama is in no hurry to see the wreckage. He will want to insulate other allies from the fallout, putting off the denouement of the peace process as long as possible. Obama has sent George Mitchell as his Middle East special envoy to deal with the issue, and from the U.S. president's point of view, that is quite enough attention to the problem.
Netanyahu, of course, knows all this. Part of his mission is simply convincing his ruling coalition -- and particularly Lieberman, whom Netanyahu needs to survive, and who is by far Israel's most aggressive foreign minister ever -- that he is committed to redefining the entire Israeli-Palestinian relationship. But in a broader context, Netanyahu is looking for greater freedom of action. By posing a demand the United States will not grant, Israel is positioning itself to ask for something that appears smaller.
Israel and the Appearance of Freedom of Action
What Israel actually would do with greater freedom of action is far less important than simply creating the appearance that the United States has endorsed Israel's ability to act in a new and unpredictable manner. From Israel's point of view, the problem with Israeli-Palestinian relations is that Israel is under severe constraints from the United States, and the Palestinians know it. This means that the Palestinians can even anticipate the application of force by Israel, meaning they can prepare for it and endure it. From Netanyahu's point of view, Israel's primary problem is that the Palestinians are confident they know what the Israelis will do. If Netanyahu can get Obama to introduce a degree of ambiguity into the situation, Israel could regain the advantage of uncertainty.
The problem for Netanyahu is that Washington is not interested in having anything unpredictable happen in Israeli-Palestinian relations. The United States is quite content with the current situation, particularly while Iraq becomes more stable and the Afghan situation remains unstable. Obama does not want a crisis from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush. The fact that Netanyahu has a political coalition to satisfy will not interest the United States, and while Washington at some unspecified point might endorse a peace conference, it will not be until Israel and its foreign minister endorse the two-state formula.
Netanyahu will then shift to another area where freedom of action is relevant -- namely, Iran. The Israelis have leaked to the Israeli media that the Obama administration has told them that Israel may not attack Iran without U.S. permission, and that Israel agreed to this requirement. (U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went through the same routine not too long ago, using a good cop/bad cop act in a bid to kick-start negotiations with Iran.)
In reality, Israel would have a great deal of difficulty attacking Iranian facilities with non-nuclear forces. A multitarget campaign 1,000 miles away against an enemy with some air defenses could be a long and complex operation. Such a raid would require a long trip through U.S.-controlled airspace for the fairly small Israeli air force. Israel could use cruise missiles, but the tonnage of high explosive delivered by a cruise missile cannot penetrate even moderately hardened structures; the same is true for ICBMs carrying conventional warheads. Israel would have to notify the United States of its intentions because it would be passing through Iraqi airspace -- and because U.S. technical intelligence would know what it was up to before Israeli aircraft even took off. The idea that Israel might consider attacking Iran without informing Washington is therefore absurd on the surface. Even so, the story has surfaced yet again in an Israeli newspaper in a virtual carbon copy of stories published more than a year ago.
Netanyahu has promised that the endless stalemate with the Palestinians will not be allowed to continue. He also knows that whatever happens, Israel cannot threaten the stability of Arab states that are by and large uninterested in the Palestinians. He also understands that in the long run, Israel's freedom of action is defined by the United States, not by Israel. His electoral platform and his strategic realities have never aligned. Arguably, it might be in the Israeli interest that the status quo be disrupted, but it is not in the American interest. Netanyahu therefore will get to redefine neither the Palestinian situation nor the Iranian situation. Israel simply lacks the power to impose the reality it wants, the current constellation of Arab regimes it needs, and the strategic relationship with the United States on which Israeli national security rests.
In the end, this is a classic study in the limits of power. Israel can have its freedom of action anytime it is willing to pay the price for it. But Israel can't pay the price. Netanyahu is coming to Washington to see if he can get what he wants without paying the price, and we suspect strongly he knows he won't get it. His problem is the same as that of the Arab states. There are many in Israel, particularly among Netanyahu's supporters, who believe Israel is a great power. It isn't. It is a nation that is strong partly because it lives in a pretty weak neighborhood, and partly because it has very strong friends. Many Israelis don't want to be told that, and Netanyahu came to office playing on the sense of Israeli national power.
So the peace process will continue, no one will expect anything from it, the Palestinians will remain isolated and wars regularly will break out. The only advantage of this situation from the U.S. point of view it is that it is preferable to all other available realities.
What world leaders (and commentators) do not realise is that the nation of Israel has been chosen by God – historically and through to the present day – as a means by which He continues to outwork His purposes throughout the nations. Ultimately the battle in that land is spiritual, and the dynamic is related to God's end-time purposes for this present world. See the following articles:
Why no peace in Israel? A dangerous ignorance. A letter to the Church of Scotland.
MSP says 'faith isn't a private thing'
Highland MSP Dave Thompson says that faith is not to be hidden away; and that politicians should articulate what they believe in spiritual matters. (Author: Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office)
SCP - Spring 2013 Conference
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Christian Freedoms in the UK?
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Syria: a fight to the death?
In 1982 Hafez al-Assad, the President of Syria used the military to murderous ends in order to suppress an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Hama. The memories are still very fresh. (Author: The Editor)
Only one week left to respond to prostitution consultation.
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UK Government to allow same-sex marriage in churches
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Cardinal O'Brien continues same-sex opposition
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Christians and Politics
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Cardinal states Marriage should be Sustained not Subverted
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Christian Party Mayor elected in Wales
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Nationalist MSP breaks ranks with his party
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Scotland for Marriage say it's not over yet.
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Dear Mr. Salmond
Could I take this opportunity to express my thoughts and concerns regarding the current proposals to legislate for same-sex 'marriage'. (Author: Colin Wilson)
EU architect would welcome God or the Devil.
A former Belgian Prime Minister who was one of the founding fathers of the European Union spoke 'prophetically' into the current climate surrounding the EU and the economic chaos. The prospect is chillingly real. (Author: Christians Together)
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Scotland for marriage: a meeting report
David Masson reports on a recent meeting in Inverness where representatives from national Christian organisations spoke into the current situation and debate on the proposals to introduce same-sex marriage. (Author: David Masson)
Standing up for marriage
A joint meeting of CARE, EA and CI to bring an update on the Scotland for Marriage campaign in respect of the proposal to introduce same-sex marriage. (Author: CARE/EA/CI)
The Death of Democracy
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Rising tide of 'militant secularisation' in Britain
In a speech delivered at the Vatican a high-profile Muslim Peer will emphasise her view that Britian and other European countries need to become more confident and more comfortable in their Christianity. (Author: Christians Together)
From a sovereign about The Sovereign
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Fife fellowship writes to Presiding Officer
A Christians Together site member is part of the Mustard Seed Fellowship in Glenrothes. His church has written to the Scottish Parliament in response to the current same-sex marriage consultation. (Author: Mustard Seed Fellowship)
'Scotland for Marriage' Rally at Holyrood
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, former SNP leader Gordon Wilson, and Ann Allen of the Church of Scotland will be the keynote speakers at a rally outside the Scottish Parliament to launch a new pro-marriage coalition. (Author: Christians Together)
Lewis churches input to same-sex consultation
The Lewis Presbytery of the Church of Scotland has sent a submission to the Scottish Government Consultation on Same Sex ‘Marriage’ 2011. (Author: Christians Together/Lewis Presbytery)
Christian Party speaks on same-sex marriage
The Scottish Christian Party held a press conference in Inverness to outline the Party's response to the Scottish Government' consultation on same-sex marriage; and the implications of the proposal. (Author: Christians Together)
Highland MSP affirms value of the Bible
In the 400th anniversary year of the King James Bible, Dave Thompson MSP led the debate in the Scottish Parliament as the 'People's Bible' was presented in Westminster Abbey. (Author: Christians Together)
With the increase in antagonism towards biblical Christianity in the UK (and beyond) so the questions – philosophical, ethical and theological – of church/state relationships and Christian protest arise. (Author: Christians Together)
SNP millionaire-supporters against same-sex plans
Two of Scotland's most wealthy and well-known businessmen supporters of the SNP have spoken out publicly against the party's declared support for same-sex marriage. (Author: Christians Together)
Ruth Davidson to lead Scottish Conservatives
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President Salmond of Scotland?
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Bishop writes on same-sex consultation
The Episcopal Primus The Most Reverend David Chillingworth has posted his views on the current same-sex marriage consultation. (Author: Christians Together)
Catholics and the Free Church standing together
As the Roman Catholic Church steps up its campaign against same-sex marriage, the Free Church of Scotland adds its voice to the debate and consultation. (Author: Christians Together)
Churches' responses to same-sex consultation
Responses from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and the Church of Scotland respectively to the consultation on same-sex marriages (Author: Christians Together)
John Mason MSP on civil partnerships debate
John Mason explains why he is 'perfectly relaxed about civil partnerships in the context of a forthcoming consultation on gay marriage. (Author: Christians Together)
Alex Salmond being boxed in by God?
It would seem that Alex Salmond is being forced to come off the fence regarding homosexuality as John Mason MSP sings off a different hymn sheet from some of his fellow nationalists. (Author: Christians Together)
Serving two masters
In many areas of life the Christian believer finds him/herself in positions of conflicting loyalties; the political battleground is strewn with compromise, capitulation and double standards. (Author: Watchman)
The EU - the nature of the beast?
The EU - as each new treaty is signed and the (permanent) post of President created are we seeing the emergence of the Empire of Europe. (Author: Watchman)
PM believes Christianity and politics mix
David Cameron believes Britain is a Christian country and says he cannot understand why there is any debate over Christian political involvement. (Author: Christian Institute)
Top Judge calls for review of Family Law
High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge has issued a call for an Independent Commission into the state of Family Law in the UK. (Author: Christians Together)
Scottish electorate rush to nationalist party
In the current elections for the Scottish Parliament mass defections from particularly the Liberal Democrats but also from the Labour party sees Scotland as a nation now clearly under the governance of the Scottish Nationalist Party. (Author: Christians Together)
Lib/Lab advocate 'gay marriage' in churches
Labour and the Lib Dems in Scotland have committed themselves to changing the law so that civil partnerships could be held in Scottish churches. (Author: Christian Institute)
Hustings meeting: questions to candidates
A pre-election hustings meeting is scheduled as an opportunity to hear directly from candidates as they respond to questions put to them in advance of the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections. (Author: Michael Dillon)
CARE calls for church-based hustings
In the run-up to the forthcoming Scottish Elections in May this year (2011), a new CARE report says that church-based hustings are still as important as ever. (Author: CARE)
Churches unite around forthcoming election
Christian churches and organisations in Scotland have come together to launch a new website in the run-up to the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections in May. (Author: Christians Together)
Blair and Warren: a deadly duo for peace
Tony Blair's courtship of American leaders is paying off for him. The former British Prime Minister is 'guest lecturer' at the seventh Saddlyback Civil Forum on Sunday, 6 March which will discuss "Jesus' Peace Plan". (Author: Christians Together)
Wilberforce Academy: a great opportunity
Christian students and young professionals with a passion to serve Christ in law, politics, education, media, arts and business are invited to apply for a place at the Wilberforce Academy. (Author: Christian Concern / Christians Together)
Beware the threat to Freedom of Speech
Christian Concern highlight the increasing use of new restrictive legislation which is being selectively applied to limit the traditional freedoms of speech in the UK (Author: Christian Concern)
Christian Institute speaking in the Highlands
This last week member of the Christian Institute addressed well-attended meetings in both Thurso and Inverness speaking on a range of issues in political and public life which are a concern to Christians. (Author: Christians Together)
Media Group fight for Christian Freedoms
PREMIER CHRISTIAN MEDIA has issued proceedings against the Government in the High Court over an issue of Christian freedoms. (Author: Christians Together)
Scottish Christian Party: Questions and Answers
Dr. Donald Boyd who stood as a candidate for the Scottish Christian Party in the 2010 General Election responds to questions about the SCP. (Author: Christians Together/Donald Boyd)
Should Christians be involved in politics?
Some Christian groupings believe that as followers of Christ belong to a better world they should not be involved in the political scene. Others think differently. (Author: Christians Together)
Plans to abolish the Act of Settlement
The coalition government has shelved plans to abolish the Act of Settlement. Repeal of this Act would fundamentally influence how we are governed under God. (Author: Christians Together)
Dutch Freedom Party shock outcome
The Dutch national election outcome is dominated by the impact of the Freedom Party’s success in more than doubling its seats in parliament whilst the Christian Democrats are ousted. (Author: Christians Together)
Christian candidates draw the votes
Christian Candidates drew a significant number of votes in the Highalds and Islands, beating the Lib Dems in one constituency and the Greens in another. (Author: Christians Together)
Beyond the Election
The extent of Britain's national debt and the scale of the problem that the new government – in whatever form it takes – will be faced with. (Author: Philip Wren)
A Snapshot of Scotland at Election Time
A series of snapshots taken in Scotland's capital city, illustrate some of the principle facets of and challenges facing the nation in the run-up to the 2010 General Election. (Author: Christians Together)
Local GP stands as SCP candidate in 2010
Donald Boyd, an Inverness General Practitioner is standing as a candidate for the Scottish Christian Party at the forthcoming 2010 General Election. (Author: Christians Together)
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Election 2010: Hustings meeting in Inverness
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Election 2010: Hustings meeting in Moray
An open election hustings organised by Moray churches to allow the electorate the opportunity to question the candidates standing for the seat. (Author: Moray churches)
General Election 2010 Resources
Links to organisations and resources for the forthcoming General Election 2010 (Author: Christians Together)
Launch of Declaration of Christian Conscience
Thirty senior Christian leaders, including a former Archbishop of Canterbury, launched a Christian Manifesto on Easter Sunday entitled Westminster 2010. There is an opportunity to sign. (Author: Christians Together)
Did the cock crow that morning?
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Awake, Arise O Church Conference
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Banking: the future is Halal
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Fight to save Beechwood House from closure
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Seduced by prospects of political power?
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Do Faith and Politics mix?
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General Election 2010
With a General Election pending this is an opportunity to post information which could help fellow Christians decide on where to place their cross on polling day. (Author: )
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General Election alert: making the Cross count!
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Art Teacher writes to Lord Waddington
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The EU; a history of our future
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It's simply the arithmetic!
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The minarets won't come to the mountains
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Preacher says: 'No, Mr. President'.
Christian preacher John Piper faces up to Barak Obama's backing for new legislation offering government financial support for abortion (Author: Watchman)
The Lisbon Treaty: whose plan?
The Lisbon Treaty which many regard as an EU Constitution in disguise has now been ratified. Brian Ross ponders the development in the context of God's greater purposes. (Author: Brian Ross)
Forced Prostitution Vote: November 3 or 5
CARE are urging Christians to write to their representatives is support of pending legislation which is designed to protect the mis-treatment of women in the face of increasind demand for paid sex in the UK. (Author: CARE)
New EU legislation threat to Christian liberty
A law expert explains how new EU legislation could criminalise Christians on the basis of third parties claiming to be 'harrassed'. (Author: Christian Concern for Our Nation)
Who is God's choice to stand in the gap?
The recent introduction of Sunday sailings to Lewis has brought the issue of Christian input to public and political affairs into sharper focus, and candidate selection is a vital and unanswered question. (Author: Christians Together)
Churches to be forced to employ gays
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Church and State; who's boss?
Throughout the centuries there has been a continuing power struggle between Emperors and Popes, Kings and churches - and it could surface again. (Author: Watchman)
The need for a New World Order
At the recent G20 summit and following the meltdown in the world's financial system, leaders are increasingly planning openly for a New World Order. (Author: Tony Pearce)
Christians and Politics; one young preacher's views
With the increasing hostility of public policy to Godly living, the question of Christian engagement with the politic process is rising on the agenda. (Author: Christians Together)
Highland pastor's wife to stand in By-election
The wife of an Inverness pastor is to stand as a Scottish Christian Party candidate in the forthcoming by-election for Inverness West Ward. (Author: Christians Together)
'Curfews' in the Highlands to tackle rising crime
Rising levels of public disorder including violent and criminal behaviour is obliging police in the North of Scotland to introduced a quasi-curfew system to control rising crime. (Author: Watchman)
Car repair cost could rocket if the EU has its way
Pending changes in EU laws could see car owners across the member nations - especially in rural areas like the Highlands and Islands - facing rocketing costs for car repair. (Author: Christians Together)
Anarchists, humanists and religionists united
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Calls for a new global currency
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Scottish Christian politics: is the party over?
The last election is 2 years past; the next one is looming. Is the notion of a Scottish Christian party a viable response to a nation increasingly devoid of salt and light? (Author: Christians Together)
Write to your elected representative
It has never been easier to contact those who are elected to represent us. Link to Write to Them for a list of MPs, MSPs and local councillors. (Author: Christians Together)
Rick Warren's prayer at Obama's inauguration
Pastor Rick Warren prays at the inauguration ceremony of Barak Obama as the incoming 44th President of the United States of America. (Author: Christians Together)
Euro Parliament calls for abortion and gay marriage
The European Parliament has passed a resolution which calls for abortion rights and ‘gay marriage’ to be promoted throughout the EU. (Author: Christian Institute)
Strathclyde fireman wins 'landmark' case
A Strathclyde fireman has won his legal battle against his bosses after he was punished for refusing to take part in a ‘gay pride’ march. (Author: Christian Institute)
Warren to pray at Obama inauguration
Rick Warren has been invited to pray at the inauguration of Barak Obama. Many will be listening closely to the pastor's words. (Author: Christians Together)
MSPs say keep oral sex unlawful for under-16s
Gordon MacDonald of CARE for Scotland has argued successfully that Government plans to legalise oral sex for children as young as 13 should be scrapped. (Author: Christian Institute)
The cost of naked greed
Gordon Gecko's "Greed is good" culture in the banking system is costing lives whilst corporate financiers fail to answer the most obvious and basic of questions. (Author: Watchman)
Word from the Lord was rare in those days
A Conservative Shadow Secretary has written of his sadness regarding the spiritual 'famine' in Scotland, and the "hunger in the lives of men". (Author: Christians Together)
When the lights go out in Europe
Geert Wilders, the controversial Dutch politician, businessman and film-maker recently gave a speech in New York highlighting the dangers to Europe posed by Islam. (Author: )
American election - the most important letter..
Concerning the forthcoming presidential election, American pastor Dutch Sheets writes what he considers to be "the most important letter of [his] life (Author: Dutch Sheets)
The CARE Leadership Programme
Care are currently looking for Christian young people who are interested in the Leadership Programme which is due to run from Sept 2009 - July 2010. (Author: CARE)
Ian Paisley calls for repentance over crash
Rt. Hon. Rev. Ian Paisley, the outspoken MP from Northern Ireland, has called the government to repentance over the current financial crash. (Author: Christians Together)
SCP Highland Annual Conference 2008
The Scottish Christian Party is (d.v.) to hold its 2008 Highland Conference in Inverness. The conference will focus on progress to date and development issues. (Author: Scottish Christian Party)
Where is our faith?
The current crisis in the financial world presents both a challenge and an opportunity. God has said: "I will shake all things." As Christians, how do we respond? (Author: The Editor)
Christians seen as 'tainted' says Archbishop
Christian groups are seen as "tainted" by Government and by other funding agencies warns Dr. John Sentamu, the second-highest figure in the Anglican Church. (Author: The Telegraph)
Who is Sarah Palin?
What do we know about the Governor of Alaska and the woman who has been appointed as running mate to Senator John McCain in the US presidential elections? (Author: Christians Together)
Big brother could be standing next to you
The extension of police powers to other agencies and the extent to which members of the public are being used and encouraged to report fellow citizens is an alarming trend. (Author: Christians Together)
Parliamentary Prayer Update 4 June 2008
An update from Anne McIntyre and her team from Parliamentary Prayer Scotland bringing the latest news from the political scene in our nation (Author: PPS Team)
Embryos Bill - a sad result
Colin Hart, the Director of the Christian Institute writes following the vote in the House of Commons on the Embryo Bill (Author: Christian Institute)
Parliamentary Prayer Update 21 May 2008
An update from the PPS Team concerning contemporary and relevant issues affecting the life of our nation. (Author: PPS Team)
Rob Parsons to speak at Time for Reflection
Rob Parsons of Care for the Family is due to address the Scottish Parliament at Time for Reflection. The invitation comes through Mrs. Karen Gillon MP (Author: CT)
Story of last night's free speech victory
Free speech law victory in the House of Lords safeguards the liberty to preach the Gospel and protects against charges when speaking about homosexuality (Author: Christian Institute)
BBC and ITV taken to court by Christian candidate
A LONDON mayoral candidate is taking the BBC and ITV to the High Court for ‘censoring’ his Party Election Broadcasts in the run up to the May 1 elections. (Author: Christian Legal Centre)
Prayer support and Bibles for Councillors
An offer of prayer support and a gift of Bibles to be presented to Highland Council members and chief officials by Lord Mackay has prompted a number of reactions. (Author: Christians Together)
Survey by 3rd-year HTC Student
This is a survey being done by a 3rd-year student at the Highland Theological College. Please give a couple of minutes to give your answers and encourage the student concerned. (Author: The Editor)
Loyalist march phone calls to councillors probe
Two city councillors who publicly opposed the Loyalist march through the streets of Inverness have received allegedly intimidating phone calls. (Author: Christians Together)
CARE under fire
The Christian organisation CARE has been attacked by a national newspaper with claims that the charity is illegally influencing MPs. (Author: CT)
Thumbing our noses at God
A scan of some of the latest news from the Christian Legal Centre will show us as a nation that is in open rebellion against the things of God. (Author: Andrea Minichiello Williams)
Sharia Law's need for supremacy
Sharia Law is underpinned by a theology which gives it supreme status. It is not intended as the partner to any other legal system, but its total replacement. (Author: David Andrew)
Statement on the Archbishop's 'Sharia' views
A Statement from Rev. Dr. Clifford Hill on the Archbishop of Canterbury's recently expressed views regarding the incorporation of Sharia Law into Britain (Author: The Editor)
A 2008 update from Parliamentary Prayer team
Anne McIntyre of Parliamentary Prayer Scotland speaks about the year past, how to engage with prayer for the nation, and gives insights into the political scene (Author: )
Tony Blair - a man to watch
The UK's former Prime Minister is in the process of building credentials in a wide variety of important political and religious spheres. (Author: Watchman)
He who pays the piper..
Many Christian organisations are turning to secular sources of money to finance their operations. This practice can compromise ethics and create huge problems. (Author: Watchman)
SCP Inverness monthly meetings
Monthly meetings of the Inverness Branch of the Scottish Christian Party - All interested parties most welcome (Author: Donald Boyd)
Wording of gay speech crime
The Christian Institute and the Lawyers Christian Fellowship (LCF) are concerned about inadequate protection for free speech (Author: )
Abortion, euthanasia and the SCP
On the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967 and since then, 6.7 million abortions have taken place; and the BMA are now giving no lead in the euthanasia debate (Author: )
Ex magistrate begins appeal
An ex-magistrate who failed to get an exemption from hearings in which he might have to place children with gay couples is beginning an appeal. (Author: )
A litany of offensive legislation
In 2006 the Western Isles Council in Scotland received hate mail and death threats because its registrars refused, on moral grounds, to conduct civil partnership ceremonies. (Author: Christian Concern for Our Nation)
In one hour....
The queues of anxious investors outside Northern Rock branches could be a prophetic picture of what lies ahead..... (Author: Sword magazine)
SOR Northern Ireland update
A High Court ruling in Northern Ireland has quashed legislation which could have aversely affected Christian witness. The case was brought by the Christian Institute and some NI churches (Author: Lawyers Christian Fellowship)
Building relationships with politicians
A "CARE" guide to "connecting" with those who are elected by the people for the people. (Author: )
SCP - Highland Annual Conference 2007
Post-election feedback, consultation, Q and A, preparation for AGM and next Election. Morning and afternoon sessions. All welcome! (Author: )
Kirking of the Council put on ice
Inverness Provost Bob Wynd has stated that the Kirking of the Council would in future go into abeyance until the start of the next council four-yearly cycle in 2011. (Author: )
Threats to freedom to witness
The Discrimination Law Revue could have a massive impact on the freedom for Christians and others to say what they believe without fear of prosecution. (Author: Lawyers Christian Fellowship)
Concern over 'Public Benefit' test
Churches and Christian organisations could be seriously and financially impacted by proposed legislation relating to the operation of charitable bodies. (Author: CCFON/LCF)
Post-election observations, thoughts and feelings
The election is over; the results are in. Where to now for Christians in Scotland who might feel called to the arena of political activism? (Author: )
Election results in the Highlands and Islands
A summary from the BBC's web site of the election results for the Highlands and Islands area. (Author: )
Christians and Politics
This is an area of the Christians Together web site for discussion on political issues. (Author: )
Scottish Christian Party
A new political party on the Scottish scene under the leadership of Rev. George Hargreaves is looking at fielding candidates for the May 2007 elections. (Author: Christians Together)