Christian Zionists Excited as Givot Olam Makes Yet Another Announcement of Israel Oil Find

Charisma reports:

In a preliminary report to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Givot Olam Oil estimates there are 1.525 billion barrels of oil at its Rosh Ha’Ayin site, located about 10 miles inland from the Tel Aviv coastline.

…Christian supporters of Israel have long believed the Bible points to vast amounts of petroleum deposits in Israel. And some Bible prophecy teachers believe the final battle of Armageddon will stem from attacks against Israel over its oil resources.

Joel Rosenberg is among those who have declared the announcement to be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

But Givat Olam’s report is a bit of déjà vu. Back in 2004 the UK Observer reported that

In an announcement that could shift the power balance in the Middle East, it claims to have discovered a £3 billion oilfield in the centre of Israel. But Tovia Lushkin says his company, Givat Olam, needs £18 million to develop wells and extract the oil.

And in 1998, a Christian Zionist newsletter had this to say:

Bridges for peace: Clarence H. Wagner, Jr., International Dir. –

Jerusalem: 11 Dec 98 OIL EXPLORATION IN ISRAEL“The Givat Olam Oil Exploration Company redrilled a well near Rosh HaAyin to confirm the presence of oil in the area. A huge gas flame, more than seven meters high, shot from the well, confirming the presence of gas or oil.

“Tests will be done over the next few days to determine the quality of the gas or oil. In addition, Givat Olam is trying to raise NIS 60 million on the Tel Aviv stock market to finance the drilling of another well three kilometers away.”

Looks like a six-year cycle. According to another 2004 report, from the AP:

Israeli oil expert Amit Mor said the company had made claims of oil discoveries in the past that had not born fruit. “They have a credibility problem,” he said.

While Charisma ponders the apocalyptic significance of the most recent announcement, Haaretz focuses on some rather more down-to-earth issues:

…Yesterday’s developments left analysts divided, professionals angry and speculators giddy.

…This is not the first time Givot has issued partial and less than definitive information that has had a major impact on the partnership’s share price. This time, however, the securities authority intervened until more information was provided.

…[An energy sector analyst] said the fact that investors have to turn to details in a 2009 prospectus is an indication of the incompleteness of the report. “The [current] announcement has no significance”.

…A geophysicist in the field… called the most recent announcement “speculative” and said the 1.525 billion figure appeared “exaggerated.”

I previously blogged on Givot Olam in 2004, here.

Incidentally, whatever the oil situation in Israel turns out to be, the idea that the Bible contains special information on the subject is utter rubbish, and reflects obsessions in modern American religion rather than the Bible’s intended meaning or anything in historic Christianity. See my blog post here.

Feisal Rauf, the Washington Times, and the Global Peace Festival

From Media Matters:

In an August 16 editorial, The Washington Times baselessly claimed that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading efforts to build the Islamic community center in New York City, “has supported” Hamas’ “cause.” The Times offered no evidence to support its claim.

Perhaps the Washington Times should give us a full account of Rauf’s questionable religious associations. For instance, the picture below shows Rauf speaking at a “Global Peace Festival” event in Malaysia in 2008; the GPF is an outreach programme of a controversial New Religious Movement whose leader has served time in prison in the USA:

That religious leader, of course, is Rev Sun Myung Moon – who founded the Washington Times to promote his political and cultural views, and whose son Preston Moon chairs both the Washington Times (although he’s currently trying to sell it off) and the GPF. According to a report in Unification News at the time (in a column directly below a picture of Preston Moon):

Speakers at the [GPF] International Leadership Conference called for a greater understanding between Islam and other Abrahamic faiths. “We share the same two commandments,” said Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative. “We are to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Today, everyone is my neighbor. But we are not actually living the commandments.” Rauf, a leader of US/Muslim dialogue, heads a mosque near Ground Zero in New York, and is author of the book What’s Right with Islam.

It’s not known whether Rauf has one of Rev Moon’s “Ambassador for Peace” awards, but he appeared on a video that was shown at the Seventh Annual Ambassadors for Peace Awards Banquet. Apparently, his heading “a mosque near Ground Zero” wasn’t particularly controversial at that time.