* Russian president warns Israel not to strike * Concern growing that Russia could attack Georgia again.
By Joel C. Rosenberg
(WASHINGTON, D.C., August 18, 2009) -- The Obama administration and the leaders of the G8 industrialized nations have given Iran a deadline of September to accept serious, high-level negotiations over its nuclear program or risk stiffer economic sanctions. Thus far, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his senior aides have rejected any negotiations with the "infidels." And the clock is running.
In that context, Israeli President Shimon Peres met with his Russian counterpart, President Dmitry Medvedev, in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi Monday. During the meeting, Peres expressed Israel's serious and growing concern about the state of the Russian-Iranian alliance, Russia's continued assistance to Iran's nuclear program, the extreme views of the Iranian regime, and the gravity of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
"The problem in Iran is not just the desire to develop nuclear weapons but the character of the regime," said Peres. "Mr. President, I am a Jew, and a large part of my family [from Belarus] was murdered by the Nazis and I cannot sit with my hands folded while I hear the declarations of the president of Iran calling for the destruction of the state of Israel."
"From my standpoint, a nuclear bomb in Iran's hands means one thing - an airborne death camp," Peres said.
Medvedev gave no indication that Russia intends to change it's policy towards Iran, though he reiterated Moscow's official policy that it does not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. On Friday, however -- before Peres' arrival -- Medvedev publicly declared the Kremlin's opposition to more economic sanctions against Iran and then went further to warn Israel of the grave dangers of launching a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
It's too soon, of course, to know whether Iran will eventually agree to negotiations (perhaps to buy more time to complete its nuclear weapons development), or will stiff the West entirely. The Obama administration has pinned a lot of hope on the President's ability to persuade Tehran to "engage." We will see if he is successful.
In a separate but related note, there are growing concerns expressed by evangelical Christian leaders in Georgia that Russia may be preparing to attack the small democratic republic. More details and analysis are available on my weblog.
P.S. -- For an update on the Iran nuclear crisis, please join us on Friday night, September 11th for the "National Town Hall Meeting on the Threat of Radical Islam and the Church's Response." By then, we should have a somewhat clearer sense of what is happening and whether the prospect for another war in the epicenter is rising or diminishing.
Nearly 300 churches have signed up to show the two-hour webcast to their congregations that night, 7pm to 9pm eastern. We hope you can join us. More information is available at www.insidetherevolution.org, including a partial list of churches that are participating and details on how your congregation can sign up to show a high-resolution webcast in your sanctuary.
* PRAYER & VISION TRIP TO ISRAEL: We still have a few spaces left, and we would love to have you join us for this extraordinary adventure. September 1st is the deadline. For more information, please go to www.joshuafund.net.
* BACKPACKS IN ISRAEL: The new school year is approaching in Israel. The Joshua Fund is helping Jewish and Christian leaders in the Holy Land purchase new backpacks and school supplies for poor and needy Jewish children. The backpacks will be distributed very soon as a way of obeying Jesus' command to "love your neighbors."
* "CROCS FOR IRAQ": The Joshua Fund is helping to ship a container of sandals known as "Crocs" to Iraq. They will be distributed to poor and needy Muslim children and adults by Iraqi Christians who also want to find ways to love their neighbors."
As always, we will do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, and brief you on how those projects are proceeding. We will also let you know about the kinds of projects we are developing for the future. In no way do we want to pressure anyone to give financially. We fully believe the Lord will provide for the needs of the people we seek to serve. But if you or others wish to help, we gratefully welcome your support, and all financial gifts are tax-deductible in the U.S.A.
If you would like to make a contribution to the on-going work of The Joshua Fund please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:
The Joshua Fund 18940 Base Camp Road Monument, Colorado 80132-8009
DESIGNATED GIVING: If The Joshua Fund is successful in raising our financial goal for a specific project for which you have designated your donations, all excess funds for that project will be applied to related projects or to the general fund of TJF.
Thanks so much and may the Lord richly bless you and your family as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus -- especially at this critical moment in the history of the epicenter.