Iran may be preparing to use a heavy water reactor for producing weapons-grade plutonium, according to U.S. and European officials cited in the Wall Street Journal. This is an alternative method for reaching a nuclear bomb, which joins its existing uranium enrichment project.
A heavy-water reactor is an easier target to hit than the underground facilities that house Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities, the newspaper notes.
In recent months, said the U.S. and European officials, the Iranian regime has made significant advances on the construction of a heavy water reactor in the northwestern city of Arak. The spent fuel from the reactor under construction can serve as the raw material for making two nuclear bombs a year, said U.S. and U.N. officials. India, Pakistan and North Korea have all built plutonium-based bombs.
Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to make the reactor operational by the second half of 2014 and could begin testing it later this year.
“The IAEA has been monitoring Arak since its construction began,” wrote the Journal. “But following Iran’s latest timeline, the site’s importance has vastly shot up for Washington and Brussels, said U.S. and European officials. ‘It really crept up on us,’ said an official based at the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters.”
The paper quoted “a senior European official involved in the Iran diplomacy” as saying, “At this stage, our most pressing concern is dealing with the enrichment of uranium. But we are increasingly concerned about activity…at Arak.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly warned Iran in July not to move forward with the commissioning of the Arak reactor.
“They’re pursuing an alternate route of plutonium…to build a nuclear bomb,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on July 14. “They haven’t yet reached it, but they’re getting closer to it. And they have to be stopped.”
San Francisco on high alert after State Dept. terror advisory
San Francisco police are on heightened alert after the U.S. State Department advised them of a serious al Qaeda threat that shut down 19 U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, local media reported.
There was no direct threat to San Francisco, but police are monitoring airports, train stations and other transportation hubs, and will deploy more resources if needed, SFPD Officer Gordon Shyy said Sunday, CBS San Francisco reported.
by Lenny Ben-David
And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tabernacle there, and the land was subdued before them. (Joshua 18:1)
When Joshua brought the children of Israel across the Jordan River he was really leading a new nation, born in Egypt and Sinai but forged for 40 years in the furnace of the desert.
Their journey had started hundreds of years earlier when Jacob’s sons, grazing their flocks near Shechem (Nablus), sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Their descendants returned to the same area in Samaria bearing Joseph’s body for burial in Shechem. They chose the nearby village of Shiloh as the resting place for the Tabernacle which housed altars, the menorah, the ark of the Covenant and more.
Ruins of Shiloh (circa 1910, Library of Congress)
There the Tabernacle would remain for almost 400 years, the place for pilgrimages and sacrifices. In Shiloh, Joshua drew lots to divide up the land among the Israelite tribes. Eli the High Priest officiated.
A woman named Hannah came to Shiloh to pray for a son and promised he would serve the Lord if he was born. Samuel was born to Hannah. He served in the Tabernacle and was the prophet who anointed Saul and then David as kings. David shifted his capital first to Hebron and then to Jerusalem.
Archaeologists today have little doubt that the area known as Sailun was the location of biblical Shiloh. Evidence
of early synagogues, churches and mosques can be found there.
In the Talmudic period and the Middle Ages, Shiloh was a destination for pilgrims.
We recently discovered online an antique book, “A Month in Palestine and Syria, April 1891,” posted by the New Boston Fine and Rare Books. The book includes a travelogue and several dozen photographs of tourists and pilgrims. They also visited Shiloh.
Unfortunately, the antique book shop does not know the name of the photographer or author. We would welcome suggestions from our readers.
Today, religious pilgrims are usually found in the south, in a place called Jerusalem, but those visiting Shiloh, located in the Binyamin district of Samaria, can see new and exciting excavations of the Tabernacle site and meet a vibrant community of Israeli families. The temple in the main photograph is now closed.