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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Day of The Lord

Prophetic Paintings

Joseph Herrin (11-29-2012)

I was blessed this past Saturday to be paid a visit by Joe Boes, a brother from the Atlanta area, and Randy Simmons and Veronica Jones from Macon who both minister among the people on the streets there. It was a good time of fellowship, and my daughter Kristin joined us for lunch.

I had spoken to Randy the previous day and he told me about something out of the ordinary he had come across. There is an old store front in downtown Macon that is partly utilized as a church. Randy stopped by there last week as a number of homeless and other street people frequent the location which is open to the public. In one part of the same building there is an art gallery.

Randy walked over to look at some of the paintings and was surprised to find some by a local artist that had a prophetic theme to them. One image in particular alluded to the judgment of America as her money fails her and the economy collapses.

End of the Road - by Beth Smith

I find it interesting that this painting was done prior to all the recent talk of America facing a “fiscal cliff.” There is an abyss in this picture into which the wealth of the country is falling, and a Wall Street sign, bloodied, and lying on the vanishing bars of gold.

If you look closely at the details of this painting you will see words written on the leaves of corn that are taken from America’s money. Various monetary denominations are listed. In America it seems that money springs forth from the ground like corn. This is a rather apt analogy since the Federal Reserve creates seemingly endless amounts of money out of nothing. It is further significant that the United States experienced severe drought in recent years. America’s corn crops have withered and diminished in a parallel to the wealth of her citizens.

You will also notice there is a scarecrow in the forefront of the picture. He is wearing an Euro emblem on his lapel, the symbol of the European monetary union. The scarecrow is dressed in far better array than is common. He is wearing a rich looking suit with tie and hat. A scarecrow is an interesting symbol to link to the world monetary system. It is basically an empty suit, a term at times employed to describe the soulless bankers and money changers from Wall Street, Fleet Street, and elsewhere. The world money system employs as much fakery and deception as is found in a scarecrow. It also employs fear to keep men and women in subjection. The populace is told to keep their money in the banks where it is safe, causing mankind to become dependent upon a financial system controlled by workers of iniquity.

One prominent feature of this painting is the storm clouds approaching, and the rain in the distance. A storm is truly coming to America and Europe and it will effect all mankind.

You can understand why Randy was surprised to come across this painting in this building in downtown Macon. There was some writing near the painting stating the artist’s name, which also included a statement by the artist. She made reference to painting those things God gave her to paint. She was putting down with brush and paint those visions given to her. The message of God bringing judgment to America, and of impending economic collapse, is not a popular message among Christians. It is rarely spoken of in the churches, and that is certainly true in Macon, Georgia. It is a rare experience to encounter someone else locally who is hearing similar things from the Father.

Randy had snapped a photo of two of the artist’s paintings and told me he would show them to me when he came to visit. I asked him if possible to get the name of the artist, and see if a website was listed. Happily, he was able to find this information and I was led to visit Beth Smith’s site where her artwork is displayed.


While viewing the images of her artwork I was intrigued by another painting there.

When the Sun Goes Down - Beth Smith

I see in this painting images that further speak of the condition of America. The hammock in the foreground bears red and white stripes, just like the U.S. flag. A hammock speaks of a people who are at ease, yet the location of the hammock is quite unusual. It is suspended precariously over the water. As the title of the piece reveals, the sun is setting. The sun is also setting on America as a constitutional republic. Her freedoms are daily being removed by acts of Congress and Executive Orders from the President. The wealth of America is rapidly being stripped from the land.

It seems fitting that no one is figured as lying in the hammock, for the comfort and security Americans once took for granted has left millions with a very unsettled feeling that something dreadful is about to happen. Further supporting this conclusion, we once again see storm clouds and distant rain in this painting. The hammock is positioned in a very perilous place to endure such an onslaught.

Yahweh has used other images involving water to prophesy of those things coming to America. The U.S. Airways jet that abruptly lost all power when striking birds, causing the pilot to perform an emergency landing in the Hudson River, provides a striking image of things to come.

U.S. Airways - Standing on the Wings

Many of the passengers onboard were employees of the banking industry. The flight was heading from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina which is another major banking hub and the corporate headquarters of Bank of America. The passengers aboard the plane all survived, but they escaped only with the clothes on their backs. Women even had to leave their purses behind. All of these things are symbolic of those experiences which are coming to America. America is being stripped of her wealth even as the gold bars are figured as dropping into an abyss in the painting by Beth Smith.

Recently Hurricane Sandy provided another prophetic parable of that which is coming to America. It is highly unusual for a Hurricane to follow the track of Sandy. It did its greatest damage in an area from Washington, D.C. to New York City. The Manhattan transportation system was shut down. Wall Street had to close due to the storm, and once again we see that a loss of power was a major component of the event. Sandy knocked out power to 80 million people. Over a month later there are some people, particularly on Long Island, who are still left without power.

The parable of a storm coming to America that will leave her powerless, shut down her transportation system, cause a banker’s holiday, and leave millions scrambling to provide for basic necessities, is a palpable one. Even the name Sandy evokes an association with Christ’s parable of the man who built his house upon the sand.

Matthew 7:26-27
"And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall."

Home Destroyed by Sandy

The home pictured above is emblematic of the fate of America. Her people have failed to listen to, and obey, the words of Christ. The nation has chosen abominations over righteousness. Fittingly, they have chosen a man named Obama to lead the nation. They have done this after four years in which he has proven that he is a staunch supporter of the false religion of Islam, an ardent promoter of homosexual deviance, a champion of abortion, a proponent of globalism, and a faithful servant of the New World Order.

Obama promised CHANGE to Americans during his first presidential campaign, and he promised RUIN in the second. (For an explanation, see the following post.)

The New World Order can only arise after the old order has collapsed into RUIN. These things are coming swiftly. The Spirit of Christ is declaring this message whether through the artwork of an anointed artist, or through world events.

Disclaimer: The artwork of Beth Smith is shown here by permission of the artist. Please seek her permission before re-posting. The interpretations of her artwork are my own. The artist has not provided any commentary on the paintings other than stating that the visions she paints are from God. Prints of Beth Smith’s paintings can be purchased from her website. If you have comments or questions for her, there is a contact page on her site.

Joseph Herrin

Off The Cliff the plain truth

What does Peace in Europe mean to EU?

Israeli Defense Chief Sounds Ready to Hit Iran, Thanks in Part to Iron Dome

Israel’s retiring defense chief thinks Iran needs to be “coerced” in 2013 from building an atom bomb, despite any U.S. hopes that sanctions will bring Tehran to the negotiating table. And the recent success of his new, U.S.-funded missile defenses seems to have convinced him that Israel is better able than ever to deter its Iran-backed foes.

“Of course, we would love to see some heavenly intervention that will stop them, to wake up some morning and learn that they’ve given up on their nuclear intentions,” Barak told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday during a joint press conference with Leon Panetta, his American counterpart. “You cannot build a strategy based on these wishes or prayers. Sanctions are working and they are more hurting than anything I remember from the past vis-a-vis Iran, but I don’t believe these kinds of sanctions will bring the ayatollahs to a moment of truth where they sit around a table, look into each other’s eyes and decide that the game is over.”

Not exactly what Panetta wanted to hear during what was supposed to be a friendly press conference in which they celebrated how the U.S.-backed Iron Dome rocket defense system stopped Hamas’ rocket attacks cold. The U.S. defense chief, who effused over the retiring Barak as “a man of peace” and praised their long friendship, said the “unprecedented pressure” on Iran from international sanctions present “time and space for an effort to try to achieve a diplomatic solution.”

Not likely, thinks the retiring Barak. “During the coming year and hopefully before they reach what I have called a ‘zone of immunity’” — a point at which Israeli airstrike couldn’t meaningfully hinder Iranian nuclear work — Iran “will be coerced into putting an end to it this way or another way,” Barak said. “The physical attack option is an option that should be there, should remain on the table, never be removed.”

That may be short of a pledge to attack Iran next year, but it’s hardly a vote of confidence in any alternative. And it reflects a lingering divide in U.S. and Israeli goals on Iran, despite the rhetoric of unity. “We will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Panetta said, “and that remains our policy.” Barak’s policy is different: to stop Iran from even getting to the point in its technological nuclear work where an airstrike is senseless, before Iran gets the bomb. The Israeli defense chief acknowledged “sometimes slight differences” with U.S. policy “that should be better discussed behind closed doors.”

However much Barak seems resigned to Iran’s determination “to go in the footsteps of Pakistan and North Korea,” he also mused out loud about Iron Dome as a security game-changer for Israel. Not because a system that was “extremely successful” at stopping unguided Qassam rockets can also stop Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missiles — it can’t. But because of the demonstration effect that Israeli missile-defense technology can have on Iran and its proxies.

“The very knowing of the other side that you have such an effective system, especially when we’ll be equipped with many more interceptors, it will change the balance of contemplation on the other side,” Barak said. “It creates a logical kind of deterrent, not a psychological one, because any enemy that tries against Israel is exposed to the effectiveness of our efforts that we’ve seen during in this operation.” Especially since, Barak noted, Iron Dome’s big brothers — David’s Sling and the Arrow — are in development to stop more powerful missiles launched by Iran and Hezbollah.

Barak won’t be defense minister next year, as he announced this week he’s retiring from politics. But if other prominent Israeli decision-makers think that Iron Dome restored Israel’s ability to deter adversaries, imagine the value they might place on an Iran attack next year.


UK banks face £60bn black hole

In its Financial Stability Report (FSR), the Bank revealed that the big four lenders - RBS, Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC - may need to take £15bn of extra provisions on consumer loans and European debt, “a further £4bn-£10bn” to cover fines and customer compensation, and “between £5bn and £35bn” to meet regulatory risk standards.

Sir Mervyn King, the Bank’s Governor, said the potential losses distorted the “picture of banks’ health” and that lenders may have to “raise capital or take steps to restructure”. He added: “The danger to be avoided is that of inadequately capitalised banks holding back our recovery.”

However, he stressed that no more taxpayer money would be put on the line. “It was made very clear that the Treasury did not want to put more into the state-owned banks,” he said.

Markets have lost confidence in the banks due to their “complex and opaque” numbers and, to recover investors’ trust, lenders need to set aside capital for “expected losses” and for potential compensation and fines over customer mis-selling and Libor rigging, the Bank said. Risk levels also need to be calculated more prudently.

The decision was taken after last week’s meeting of the Financial Policy Committee. In the most dramatic intervention since the £67bn bail-out of lenders from RBS to Lloyds, the proposal will see regulators from the Financial Services Authority sent into banks and building societies to ensures losses are properly declared by March next year.

However, the Bank declined to put a single number on the scale of potential recapitalisations, stressing that it would depend on the FSA judgement on each individual bank. Sir Mervyn added: “The problem is manageable, and is already understood at least in part by markets.”

Bank shares reacted favourably as fears of a worse outcome proved unfounded. Barclays shares closed up 1pc at 244.6p, RBS was 1.5pc higher at 299p, and Lloyds rose 1.5pc to 46.64p. Jason Napier, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said: “Overall, the FSR is in line with our expectation, and in areas the report is better than we had feared.”

The plan could lead to a shake-up of the industry with rights issues, asset sales, and disposals – so long as they “do not hinder lending to the real economy”.

Barclays has already raised $3bn (£1.8bn) in contingent capital, Royal Bank of Scotland has previously been asked by the regulators to consider selling its US operation Citizens, and Lloyds Banking Group is rumoured to be looking at the disposal of its stake in wealth manager St James’s Place.

Sir Mervyn said: “The recommendation we have made will soon get the banks back to a position where they can support our economic recovery.”

The Bank also released separate data yesterday showing that write-offs by UK banks fell to £3.5bn in the third quarter from £4bn in the previous three months – well below the peak of £6.3bn in 2011 and the lowest since 2009. Citi’s economist Michael Saunders said: “The drop may be a symptom of increased banking forbearance and reluctance to face losses .”

The Telegraph

Russia's Envoy Warns Against NATO Missiles in Turkey

BRUSSELS, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Planned deployment of Patriot air defense systems on the Turkish-Syrian border will mean NATO is involved in the Syrian conflict, Russia’s NATO envoy said on Friday.

Alexander Grushko, newly-appointed envoy to NATO, said he reiterated Russia’s concerns over the deployment plan at a meeting with the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.

“This involvement might accelerate and could become irrevocable in case of an incident or provocation,” Grushko told reporters on Friday. “Previously, the alliance officials have repeatedly said that Syria is not Libya, and NATO doesn’t have a role in the Syrian conflict,” he said, referring to last year’s multi-state military intervention in Libya.

Russia insists that the Syrian conflict can’t be resolved with the use of military force, Grushko said.

Turkey, a NATO member, has requested the deployment of Patriot missiles on its territory, saying the anti-missile system is necessary to protect its 900-km border with conflict-torn Syria.

NATO officials have maintained that the missiles systems will not be used to establish a no-fly zone or to conduct offensive operations. But Russia criticized the intention saying that it may lead to further escalation of the conflict. This week NATO officials have started surveying sites along the Turkey-Syria border.

The ongoing civil war in Syria is expected to be discussed during the NATO-Russia Council meeting of foreign ministers scheduled for Tuesday, December 4.

The UN has estimated that nearly 40,000 people have died since the fighting began in March 2011.

RIA Novosti

A Series of Earthquakes all over the world

A series of earthquakes have attacked the state of Alaska during the last two hours. It started with a 2.5 quake 43km S of Tanaga Volcano, Alaska. This quake was followed by a much more signification seismic movement, detected as a 5.0 earthquake 57km west, south-west of Attu Station, Alaska.

The last quake to hit in this series came 12 minutes later and registered as a magnitude 3.1 quake east, north-east of Cape Yakataga, Alaska.

At the time this report was being fashioned, a 3.0 quake hit Puerto Rico.

No news of damage or life lost has yet been reported for any of these earthquakes.

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit 57 miles south of Suchiate, Mexico and 43 miles south-west of Champerico, Guatemala.

Early reports from people living near the quake’s epicenter say they felt a jolt shake their place of residence followed by a sustained rumble which shook the ground below.

Experts have been quite vocal with their warnings that Mexico should be prepared for a large earthquake in the short future.

There are crustal seismic activity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench that indicate fault transformation and pull-apart basin tectonics.

The U.S. Geological survey has detected 24 earthquakes today, 221 earthquakes in the past 7 days, 888 earthquakes in the past month, and 17,504 earthquakes in the past year.

Extracts fromThe Guardian

Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule

Eurozone unemployment rate hits new high in October

The eurozone's unemployment rate hit a new record high in October, while consumer price rises slowed sharply.

The jobless rate in the recessionary euro area rose to 11.7%. Inflation fell from 2.5% to 2.2% in November.

The data came as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi warned the euro would not emerge from its crisis until the second half of next year.

Government spending cuts would continue to hurt growth in the short-term, Mr Draghi said.'Two-speed Europe'

The unemployment rate continued its steady rise, reaching 11.7% in October, up from 11.6% the month before and 10.4% a year ago.

A further 173,000 were out of work across the single currency area, bringing the total to 18.7 million.
The respective fortunes of northern and southern Europe diverged further. In Spain, the jobless rate rose to 26.2% from 25.8% the previous month, and in Italy it rose to 11.1% from 10.8%.

In contrast, unemployment in Germany held steady at 5.4% of the labour force, while in Austria it fell from 4.4% to just 4.3%.

"The real problem is that we have a two-speed Europe," economist Alberto Gallo of Royal Bank of Scotland told the BBC. "The biggest increase in unemployment is being driven by Italy and Spain.

"It is the same as you are seeing in financial markets," he explained. "The periphery [Spain and Italy] is the area where the banks are the least capitalised and need the most help, and the loan rates are the highest."Spending hit

Spending hit

Data earlier this month showed that the eurozone had returned to a shallow recession in the three months to September, shrinking 0.1% during the quarter, following a 0.2% contraction the previous quarter.

The less competitive southern European economies, such as Spain and Italy - where governments have had to push through hefty spending cuts to get their borrowing under control, and crisis-struck banks have been cutting back their lending - have been in recession for over a year.

But the economies of Germany and France have also begun to weaken. Growth in the eurozone's two biggest economies came in at a disappointing 0.2%.

And more recent data suggests that both core eurozone economies have continued to skirt recession during the autumn.

Retail sales in Germany shrank 2.8% in October versus the previous month, down 0.8% from a year earlier, according to data released on Friday. Analysts had expected the country to record unchanged or moderately growing sales.

Meanwhile, separate data showed consumer spending in France shrank 0.2% in October versus the previous month, with spending on cars and other durable goods hardest hit.Calmer markets

Eurozone unemployment rates

Country October 2012 October 2011





















*Greece data for August of each year
Source: Eurostat

The eurozone is not the only part of the world in trouble.

Other data released on Friday showed growth slowing sharply in India and almost grinding to a halt in Brazil over the summer.

The performance of both countries - members of the Bric quad of big and fast-growing developing economies - fell well short of analysts' expectations.

Meanwhile Japan's heavily-indebted government has promised to borrow and spend even more to try to reinvigorate its dismal economy.
Brazil economy slows unexpectedly
India economic growth rate slows
Japan in second stimulus package
US growth rate revised up to 2.7%



Syria conflict: 'Fierce clashes' near Damascus airport

The government appears to be mounting an unprecedented offensive against rebel-held districts in the east of the city, BBC correspondents report.

The clashes came as internet and phone systems in the country went down.

The Syrian government has previously cut off access to the internet during major operations.

However, correspondents say a nationwide switch-off is unprecedented.

But Syria's information minister said "terrorists" had cut off the internet and that engineers were working to repair the fault.'Passengers trapped'

Emirates airline and Egypt Air have cancelled flights to Damascus.

Government sources said a plane carrying 150 staff from the UN peacekeeping force had taken off from Damascus airport on Thursday evening.

A replacement team had already arrived earlier in the day, the sources said.

State TV reported on Thursday evening that the airport road had been "secured" after military intervention. But correspondents say the highway remains closed and there are more reports of fighting.

It is believed that Syrian government reinforcements were sent into the area after rebels fired mortars at the runway, the BBC's Paul Wood in Beirut reports.

A source in the Free Syrian Army told our correspondent the attack on the airport had been planned for a long time and that rebel fighters had been "inching closer and closer" over the past few days and hours.

The aim of the plan was to capture the airport and not just conduct a hit-and-run attack, the source said.

The rebels carrying out the attack were all from Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the capital, and were well armed after capturing government weapons, including heavy weapons, in recent weeks, the source added.

Our correspondent says there have also been reports of passengers still being trapped inside the terminal and at an airport hotel. No rebels appear to be inside the airport.UN peacekeepers injured

Despite the communications blackout, the BBC was able to get through to residents in the centre of Damascus, who said they could hear and see what they believed to be the biggest army offensive so far against rebel-held districts.

The offensive appeared to be going on in the east of the city, extending to the airport 27km (17 miles) south-east of the centre.

The main road to the airport passes through rebel-held territory which has regularly been the target of government air strikes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based activist group, also reported a major government offensive, saying clashes were most intense in the suburb of Babbila, near the rebel stronghold of Tadamun.

The group, whose information cannot be independently verified, said there were clashes all along the road.

State TV said government forces were fighting "al-Qaeda elements", mostly in the suburbs of Duma and Daraya.

Two Austrian soldiers from a UN peacekeeping force deployed in the Golan Heights, disputed by Syria and Israel, were wounded as their convoy came under fire on the road to the airport. Their injuries were not life-threatening, the Austrian defence ministry said.

The Syrian ambassador in Vienna was to be summoned to the foreign ministry to explain what happened, Austrian government officials said in an official statement.

"Syria is responsible for the safety of our [UN] soldiers and must ensure that they can fulfil their international mandate", they said.

Meanwhile the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said he had "the elements of a peace plan" but could not move ahead without the backing of the Security Council.

"No doubt what is very, very urgently needed is a ceasefire that can hold and that, I believe, will require a peacekeeping mission," he said on Thursday.

"It bears repeating that the situation is bad in Syria and getting worse, that unfortunately the parties themselves are not ready to have an internal solution.

"The region is also not really capable, at this time, of helping for a peaceful solution. The place where a peaceful solution can be initiated is the Security Council."

On Wednesday, two car bombs hit Druze and Christian areas, also to the south-east of Damascus, killing 34 people.

No group has said it was behind the bombings, and there was no immediately obvious military or government target, reports the BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut.

Activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

PPalestine wins historic upgrade at the United Nations

138 vote in favor, 9 against, 41 abstentions in US General Assembly; US, Israel oppose Palestinian statehood bid; Abbas at the UN: The Palestinians are in desperate need of peace, but window of opportunity is closing.

Sixty-five years to the day after the UN voted for the partition of mandatory Palestine – a move the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected – the same body overwhelmingly voted on Thursday to grant the Palestinian delegation the upgraded status of non-member observer state.

The vote was 138 in favor, nine against and 41 abstaining.

“The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said to the packed UN General Assembly.

“We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the state that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine,” he said.

“We did not come here to add further complications to the peace process, which Israel’s policies have thrown into the intensive care unit; rather we came to launch a final serious attempt to achieve peace,” Abbas continued.

“Our endeavor is not aimed at terminating what remains of the negotiations process, which has lost its objectivity and credibility, but rather aimed at trying to breathe new life into the negotiations and at setting a solid foundation for it based on the terms of reference of the relevant international resolutions in order for the negotiations to succeed.”

Abbas said that the Palestinians will accept no less than “the independence of the state of Palestine, with east Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of Resolution 194.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned Abbas’s strong critique of Israel as “hostile and poisonous,” and full of “false propaganda.”

“These are not the words of a man who wants peace,” he said in a statement.

The PA president said nothing about immediately resuming talks with Israel without preconditions, though he did pledge to “act responsibly and positively in our next steps, and... to work to strengthen cooperation with the countries and peoples of the world for the sake of a just peace.”

The countries opposing the move were the US, Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama and the Marshall Islands.

Abbas, who called the resolution a “birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine,” used the recent fighting in Gaza to frame his request for the statehood upgrade and painted both Israel and its birth in demonic colors.

“Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace,” he said.

“The Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedom and independence,” Abbas continued, pointedly avoiding the mention of the rocket and missile bombardment of Israeli cities from Gaza.

“This aggression also confirms the Israeli government’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute force and war, which in turn obliges the international community to shoulder its responsibilities toward the Palestinian people and toward peace.”

The Palestinian people, Abbas said, “miraculously recovered from the ashes of the nakba [the Arabic term meaning “catastrophe” that refers to Israel’s victory in the War of Independence] of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history.”

In Abbas’s telling of history, “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor dismissed the move as empty symbolic posturing that will change nothing tangible on the ground, but push the chances of securing a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians into the distant future.

Prosor said that he has never heard Abbas say the phrase “two states for two peoples” because the Palestinians have never accepted that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

“They have never been willing to accept what this very body recognized 65 years ago – Israel is the Jewish state.”

Prosor said that the Palestinians were asking for recognition of a Palestinian state without themselves being willing to recognize the Jewish state. Beyond that, Prosor said, Abbas is trying to erase Jewish history by earlier in the year trying to wipe out a Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

“You said that Jews were trying to alter the historic character of Jerusalem, Prosor said. “President Abbas, the truth is that Jerusalem had a Jewish character long before most cities in the world had any character.”

Instead of revising history, Prosor said, Abbas should start “making history by making peace with Israel. This resolution will not advance peace,” he said. Nor will it change the fact that the Palestinian Authority has not control over Gaza, 40 percent of the territory they claim to represent.

“President Abbas, you can’t even visit nearly half the territory you claim to represent. That territory is controlled by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that rains missiles on Israeli civilians.”

Prosor said the resolution sends a message that the international community is willing to turn a blind eye to peace agreements.

“For the people of Israel, it raises a simple question: Why continue to make painful sacrifices for peace, in exchange for pieces of paper that the other side will not honor? “There is only one route to Palestinian statehood. And that route does not run through this chamber in New York. That route runs through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah that will lead to a secure and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “There are no shortcuts. No quick fixes. No instant solutions.”

The resolution was presented to the General Assembly by the representative of Sudan, who called this a victory for the “values of truth.”

Staunch European allies such as Germany and the Netherlands, who opposed Palestinian admission into UNESCO last year as a state, were among those who this time only abstained, while other friendly countries, such as Italy, voted for the move.

The vote took place on the annual “Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

Senior diplomatic officials voiced deep disappointment over the European votes. Up until a few days ago, when France declared that it would support the move, senior officials held out hope that the EU might abstain as a bloc, something that would have deprived the Palestinian Authority of a moral victory.

One senior official said that the recent fighting in Gaza tipped the scales in Europe, with the Europeans worrying that if Abbas would not gain some kind of diplomatic victory, he would lose all stature and authority.

“Had the vote taken place before the Gaza operation, the EU would have voted differently,” one official said.

The Prime Minister’s Office has made clear in recent days that the vote would free Israel of its obligations under the Oslo Accords, since Jerusalem views the move as a blatant violation of the underlying principle of those agreements: that all outstanding issues be resolved through negotiations, not through unilateral actions.

Israel’s immediate reaction is expected to be the deduction from tax transfers it makes to the PA each month of some NIS 800 million that the PA owes to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Further steps are expected if the Palestinians use this new status and try to join other UN bodies or, as a result of their enhanced status, attempt to haul Israel or its citizens before the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court on war crime charges.

Hours before the vote, Netanyahu – realizing that Israel was facing a stinging diplomatic defeat – said that regardless of how many countries vote against Israel, “no force in the world will get me to compromise on Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu said that the decision will “not change anything on the ground. It will not further the establishment of a Palestinian state, but will make it more distant.”

Netanyahu’s comments came while touring an exhibit of recently declassified documents marking the upcoming 35th anniversary of Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.

“Israel’s hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens.”

The prime minister, who said that none of the conditions he reiterated are even mentioned in the Palestinians’ UN resolution, said that peace is only achieved through negotiations and not by unilateral declarations “which do not take into consideration Israel’s vital security and national interests.” He recommended not being impressed by the applause that he expected to be heard at the UN.

“I remember the international community’s applause that the government of Israel received when it decided to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza,” he said. “We got applause and then rocket fire. We left Gaza, and Iran entered, exactly like what happened in Lebanon.”

Netanyahu said he would not enable another Iranian base to be established, this time in Judea and Samaria, a kilometer away from Jerusalem.

“It does not matter how many will vote against us, there is no force in the world that will cause me to compromise on Israeli security and there is no force in the world able to sever the thousands-year-old connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,” he said.

Jerusalem Post

Ugly Q3 GDP Confirms Personal Consumption Collapsing

One glance at today's second read of Q3 GDP may leave some with the false impression that the US economy is soaring, because after sliding to 1.3% in Q2, and after a preliminary read of 2.0% in the first Q3 estimate, today's print, which missed estimates of a 2.8% print, did nonetheless rise to 2.7%.

 "A stunning success", the administration sycophants would say. Absolutely wrong. Because a quick glance at the underlying numbers shows the true picture of the economy which contracted far more than most expected, with personal consumption collapsing to 1.4% Q/Q, on hopes of a 1.9% rise, and down from 2.0%. In fact, at 0.99% personal consumption expenditures - the core driver of 70% of the US economy - were a tiny 36% of the headline number. Ironically today's second GDP revision was far worse when analyzed at the component level, than the first Q3 estimate, which while lower overall at 2.0%, at least had personal consumption nearly 50% higher at 1.42%, or well over half of the total contribution. 

So what drove "growth" in Q3? Nothing short of the most hollow and worst components of GDP: Government Spending, which soared to 0.67% of the annualized number, the first positive print in years, and of course, Inventories, which were responsible for 30% of the headline number. And sadly not even Sandy can be blamed on the collapse in consumption in Q3, for the simple reason that the Hurricane did not hit until 1 month into Q4. Perhaps it is Sandy's fault it did not hit sooner. In the meantime, all those hoping that the US consumer is finally waking up from his slumber and is spending (on credit of course) like a drunken sailor (for anything more than iPads using student loan proceeds), will have to wait until Q1 2013, as the Q4 2012 number will be even uglier than the one just released.
And a longer-term confirmation of the collapse of Personal Consumption courtesy of John Lohman:

Zero Hedge

Iran showcases new warships near strategic waters

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV is showcasing additions to its Navy including a missile-launching warship around the size of a frigate.

Navy officials watched as the domestically-produced Sina-7, equipped with anti-ship missiles, was launched Wednesday at Bandar Abbas, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Two new Iranian-built Ghadir submarines and two repaired hovercrafts were also delivered to the Navy.

The TV quoted Navy chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying that Iran must possess the “newest technology and top-grade facilities to protect its borders.”

Ghadir class submarines can fire missiles and torpedoes at the same time, and can operate in the Persian Gulf’s shallow waters.

Iran has sought to upgrade its air defense and naval capabilities, saying any possible future attacks on it would come from the air and sea.

Times of Israel