Former Israeli President, Moshe Katsav, was convicted on Thursday, December 30, of two counts of rape. Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that this was a sad day, yet also an indication of the honesty and equality of the Israeli court system. Both Justice Minister Yakov Neeman and Supreme Court Chief Justice Doris Beinish quoted the Torah about maintaining justice and impartiality in judgment.
Israeli cases are determined by a head judge and two associate judges. In this case the head judge was George Kara, an Israeli Arab of Christian background from Jaffa; the associates were Judith Shevah and Miriam Sokolov. In light of international propaganda of human rights abuse in Israel, here is an example in which an Arab Christian and two Jewish women sat in judgment over the Israeli President.
In general, cases of sexual abuse without direct witnesses are difficult to judge. There are three factors by which to judge: 1. evidence, 2. testimonies of witnesses, 3. intuitive sense of the judges as to which of the plaintiff or defendant are telling the truth. In this case the judges unanimously felt (#3) that the women were more believable than Katsav. (Those close to Katsav felt just the opposite, and were enraged that such bias was demonstrated against him.) Israeli public opinion seems to agree that Katsav did commit the sexual abuse, even though some of the testimonies against him contained certain contradictions.
What is positive is that sexual abuse in public office in Israel is being brought to justice severely. Male leaders in business and politics are feeling a certain fear of sensual interaction with women in their offices; perhaps this is a type of fear of God.
What is sad is the high level of sexual immorality and Jezebel spirits within Israeli society. The case of Katsav reminds us somewhat of King David's affair with Bat Sheva (in that case however, David was a godly man who truly repented with all his heart). Why did God force David's sin to be so publicly revealed and punished? One reason was that David was not alone in his sin. There was sexual immorality throughout the nation. God wanted to use David as an example to increase the fear of God in the rest of the nation.
Ironically, feminists in the country, who rightly fight sexual abuse, also favor the homosexual agenda and sexual immorality, even in the schools. One of our team member's 11th grade daughter was taught "sex education" in her class that included homosexual speakers to describe their "alternative," and the promoting of "safe sex," assuming that all the students will be involved in immorality during high school. This student and her parents asked for permission to share another perspective with the class – to wait until marriage for sexual relations. They were refused by the administration from sharing this as an option.
One item that has not made the headlines: I noticed as the television camera caught Moshe Katsav exiting the courtroom, that he turned to one of his companions and whispered, "Zot Ptirati" – "This is my death." It is not unlikely that Katsav himself is dealing with thoughts of suicide.
Let us pray for:
Leviathan Gas Field
A huge natural gas field was discovered this week at the Leviathan site, located 84 miles offshore from Haifa in northern Israel. The reported potential is 16 trillion (!) cubic feet, in addition to the 8.4 trillion cubic feet at the nearby Tamar site. The combined sales value for this resource is over 100 billion dollars.
Both sites are run by a joint venture of Texas-based Noble Energy and Israeli Delek Energy. The sea bed lies 1 mile beneath the surface of the water, and the gas reserve is located another 3 miles beneath the sea bed.
There are several challenges facing the production. First is opposition from Islamic extremists in the area, such as Hizballah in Lebanon. The second is the technical difficulty to bring out the gas and process it. The third is the taxation issues.
Israel has had a relatively low tax charge on natural gas production. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz appointed a committee led by Prof. Eitan Sheshinsky to consider tax reforms. Their recommendation was to raise the taxes closer to the European level. This has led to opposition, as expected, from the business investors.
Israel's potentially becoming independent in fuel resources could have an enormous effect on the political-economic balance in the Middle East. Israeli researchers are already speaking of the possibility of switching to a natural gas transportation system. Production at the Tamar site is expected in 2013 and the Leviathan site in 2017.
This week's Torah portion describes the 10 plagues and the confrontation between Pharaoh and Moses. One might think that God's judgments were too harsh. Remember that Pharaoh's regime enslaved another nation in brutal racism, and systematically murdered all the male children of their enslaved people (Exodus chapter 1). God said that He would "harden" Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 5:21), yet that was in response to Pharaoh's continuing sin and refusal to heed God's warnings.
At one point Aaron throws his rod before Pharaoh, and it turned into a snake. Pharaoh's magicians did likewise (Exodus 7:11), yet Aaron's swallowed the others.
Pictures of ancient Egypt show the Pharaohs wearing a "snake" on their heads. This sign appears in satanic cult leaders today. Egypt's government was led by a man who worshiped snakes and led a satanic cult. Their witchcraft was at such an evil level that government ministers could turn sticks into snakes. The miracle of the staff was to confront this demonism. The magicians' miracle shows that open satanism had totally dominated ancient Egypt. The victory of Moses' rod was to show that God is greater.
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