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Increase in Arab Sense Of Belonging in Israel, 5/1/20, “Poll: Huge Increase in Arab Sense of Belonging in Israel” [Excerpts]: The vast majority of Arab citizens feel that they belong in the Jewish State of Israel. That according to an annual survey published on Independence Day.

Israel’s detractors would have you believe that it is a racist state that practices “apartheid” against local Arabs. Those assertions almost never mesh with facts on the ground.

But the 2020 Independence Day survey carried out by the Israel Democracy Institute found that an overwhelming 77 percent majority of Arab citizens feel a part of the nation. Among Israeli Jews, 92.5 percent said they feel a part of the nation.

Those numbers represent significant increases. Over the past five years (2014-2019) the number of Jews who felt a sense of belonging ranged from 83-87 percent, and among Arabs 35-62 percent.


Darkness At Crucifixion: Metaphor or History, 4/6/07, “Darkness at the crucifixion: metaphor or real history?” [Excerpts]: The preternatural darkness reported at Jesus’ crucifixion was no metaphor. It was a real historical event based on eyewitness accounts and independently corroborated by a number of highly qualified ancient the darkness recorded in the gospels was based on real history, the reason for Jesus’s death is rooted in the real history recorded in the Book of Genesis.

[Greek historian] Thallus wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world since the Trojan War. Thallus wrote his regional history in about AD 52. Although his original writings have been lost, he is specifically quoted by [historian] Julius Africanus. Africanus states, ‘Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun—unreasonably as it seems to me.’ Apparently, Thallus attempted to ascribe a naturalistic explanation to the darkness during the crucifixion.

Phlegon...a Greek historian...wrote an extensive chronology around AD 137: “In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’”

Phlegon provides powerful confirmation of the Gospel accounts. He identifies the year and the exact time of day. In addition, he writes of an earthquake accompanying the darkness, which is specifically recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew:27:51). However, like Thallus, he fallaciously attempts to interpret the darkness as a direct effect of a solar eclipse.... Africanus rightly argues that a solar eclipse could not have occurred during the lunar cycle of the Passover.



Not A Chance, 5/7/20, “Not a Chance” [Excerpts]: “Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word…” (Psalm:148:7-8).

Is there any such thing as chance or luck? Does anything ever happen randomly? Many people don’t realize that the Bible speaks to these questions.

In late August 1992 a tornado swept through a small Wisconsin town and caused a great deal of destruction. That made it newsworthy enough. However, the destruction it wrought on one church in town received special notice on some national newscasts. Pictures showed the church in ruins. But the altar still stood, barely visible in the rubble. Most astonishing was the fact that the Bible still stood on its stand in its customary place on the altar. The undamaged Bible was open to where Psalm 77 reads, “The clouds poured out water, the skies sent out a sound; your arrows also flashed about. The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.”

Psalm 148 tells us that the entire creation praises God in everything that happens. God is so personally involved in the creation that He even instructs each wind about the speed and direction to take.

Was it simply luck that the altar was spared and the Bible was open to Psalm 77? God is involved in every detail of the creation. Let’s praise God that there is no such thing as luck!