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Trump says he and Netanyahu discussed possible US-Israeli defense treaty

By Robert Gearty | Fox News

President Trump said he spoke Saturday to Israel leader Benjamin Netanyahu about the possibility of a “mutual defense treaty” between the two nations—just days before Israeli voters go to the polls to decide the fate of their embattled leader.

Trump said in a tweet that such a defense pact — a Netanyahu priority — would “further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries.”

“I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!” Trump said.

The comments just three days before the election on Netanyahu’s political future were the latest effort by Trump to back Netanyahu, perhaps his closest personal ally on the world stage.

The timing of the Trump tweet appeared aimed at bolstering Netanyahu’s effort to remain in power by showcasing his close ties to Trump, Reuters reported.

Opinion polls predict a close race, five months after an inconclusive election in which Netanyahu declared himself the winner but failed to form a coalition government.

Some Israeli officials have promoted the idea of building on Netanyahu’s strong ties to the Trump administration to forge a new defense treaty with the U.S.– focused especially on guarantees of assistance in any conflict with Iran, Reuters reported.

But some of Netanyahu’s critics have argued that such an agreement could tie Israel’s hands and deny it military autonomy.

Netanyahu thanked Trump for his announcement, saying he looked forward to meeting him at the United Nations General Assembly, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 “The Jewish State has never had a greater friend in the White House,” Netanyahu said.

The White House didn’t immediately elaborate on the tweet. A mutual defense treaty could take months to formalize, the Journal added.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10045

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

September 15, 2019 by Michael Snyder

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in virtually everything that we buy.  In addition, a really high price for oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  And if this crisis in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously.  The last time we experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S. economy of the 1970s favorably.

The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.  According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…

Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but they may or may not be telling the truth.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.

And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks originated.

But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.

So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on the precipice of a major war.

According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were affected by the attacks.  Saudi Arabia typically produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.

When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded higher.  In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump ever…

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“, and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday $60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.

As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at $66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level of production…

The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.

But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.

In the short-term, President Trump has “authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve“, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able to calm the markets.  In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees of the global economy.

The times that we are living in are about to become a whole lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these absolutely critical global events.

In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.

That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.

Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to start breaking loose there in a major way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10042

Iran-Backed Militants Launch Drone Strike On Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Refineries Wiping Out Over Half Of The Kingdom’s Oil Refining Capabilities

Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets. A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

by Geoffrey Grider September 14, 2019

Half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production power is feared to have been wiped out after Iran-backed militants turned two of the world’s most valuable refineries into infernos with a devastating drone strike.

Iran is fighting a proxy war on many fronts including Saudi Arabia and Israel, by supplying weapons and funding to Islamic terror groups in Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. These one-off type of attacks can be, as you can see here, devastatingly effective. In this recent drone strike attack on Saudi Arabia, it wiped out half of the kingdom’s production power to produce oil.

So it’s a good thing that the United States, due largely to the shale boom in the Permian Basin of West Texas, has just this month surpassed Saudi Arabia at now over 11 million barrels per day. The United States isn’t expected to cede its crown any time soon. The EIA expects US oil production to stay ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019.

Attacks took place at 4.00 am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: A eye-watering 5 million barrels per day of crude production has reportedly been destroyed – more than 50 per cent of the kingdom’s 9.65 million daily output which is relied upon around the globe. Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets.

A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

The Houthi fighters have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

The Saudi government has not yet officially confirmed the scale of the damage, by two well-connected sources told Reuters that 5 million barrels worth of daily production had been impacted.  Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.

Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the UN, the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen. The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Houthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.

The international energy watchdog said that the global oil markets are for now ‘well supplied with ample commercial stocks.’ The International Energy Agency said in a statement: ‘We are in contact with Saudi authorities as well as major producer and consumer nations.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10039

Netanyahu exposes previously unknown nuclear weapons site in Iran

Netanyahu said the facility was in a region of Iran called Abadeh. He showed satellite images of the site before July, 2019 after which Iran – somehow – discovered Israel had learned of the site.

By Herb Keinon

September 9, 2019 20:47

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he said was a newly discovered Iranian nuclear weapons development site at Abadeh, south of Isfahan, during a hastily called press conference Monday afternoon.

The prime minister showe satellite photos of the site taken in June, and then – after the Iranians discovered that the site had been uncovered – pictures from July showing their attempts to cover-up and destroy the site. “They destroyed the evidence, or at least tried to destroy the evidence,” he said.

Netanyahu, who spoke briefly in both Hebrew and English, said that he has a message “to the tyrants of Tehran.”

“Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows when you are doing it, Israel knows where you are doing it,” he said. “We will continue to expose your lies. What you see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.”

The revelation comes a year after Netanyahu – during a speech at the UN – exposed what he called a “secret nuclear warehouse” in the Turquzabad neighborhood in Tehran for storing materials and equipment for Iran’s nuclear program, and a year and a half after he unveiled Iran’s secret nuclear archives that the Mossad spirited out of the country.

Netanyahu said the Abadeh site – where Iran “conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons” – was first exposed in the nuclear archives.

The prime minister called on the international community to “wake up” and “realize that Iran is systematically lying.” He called on the international community to “join President Trump’s sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran. The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb and its aggression in the region is pressure, pressure and more pressure.”

Netanyahu’s announcement came a few hours after IAEA’s acting director-general, Cornel Feruta, said at a meeting of the organization’s board of governors in Vienna that “time was of the essence” for Iran to explain how uranium particles were found at the Turquzabad site which Iran originally said was a carpet-cleaning facility.

Netanyahu said that the discovery of traces of uranium at the site,  and Iran’s refusal to provide an explanation to the IAEA, is a direct violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty which Iran has signed. The prime minister showed satellite images of how the Iranians tried to cover up the site with gravel.

As he left the podium in the Foreing Ministry, with pictures of the newly revealed site on a screen behind him, Netanyahu joked – in a reference to the controversy over placing cameras at polling places – “it is important that there are cameras everywhere.”

Netanyahu’s political opponents quickly accused Netanyahu of a cynical use of intelligence information to promote his election campaign.

“Netanyahu is again using intelligence information for his campaign propaganda,” Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid said. “This is terrible national irresponsibility. Iranian nukes cannot be used as campaign antics.”

And the Democratic Union’s Ehud Barak dismissed Netanyahu’s statement eight days before the election as mere “election spin.”

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office deflected those charges, saying that security officials recommended that Netanyahu deliver his statement immediately after Feruta’s comments in Vienna.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10036

The Biblical town of Emmaus, which is linked to Jesus’ resurrection and the Ark of the Covenant, may have been found

By James Rogers | Fox News

Archaeologists in Israel may have discovered the Biblical town of Emmaus, which is linked to Jesus’ resurrection and the Ark of the Covenant.

Haaretz reports that archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 2,200-year-old fortification at Kiriath-Jearim, a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem.

The fortification dates back to the Hellenistic period when ancient Greek influence in the region was strong. Tel Aviv University Professor Israel Finkelstein told Haaretz that the walls were repaired during the later period of Roman rule in the first century A.D.

Finkelstein and his fellow researchers suggest that the site could be the famous Biblical town, or village, of Emmaus. According to Christian tradition, Jesus appeared to two of his apostles on the road to Emmaus after his crucifixion and resurrection.

In Luke 24:13-35 Emmaus is described as being about 7 miles from Jerusalem. This corresponds with the distance between Kiriath-Jearim, Abu Ghosh and Jerusalem.

Emmaus is also described in ancient histories as being a fortified town west of Jerusalem.  The Kiriath-Jearim site is west of Jerusalem.

Kiriath-Jearim is also mentioned in the Bible as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant stood. Last year Finkelstein and his fellow researchers reported that the site of Kiriath-Jearim is the hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh.

The latest research is described in a forthcoming paper published in the journal “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region.”

Other locations, however, have also been suggested as the site of Emmaus, such as the ancient Byzantine town of Emmaus Nicopolis and the modern village of Motza, according to Haaretz.

The dig at Kiriath-Jearim is a joint project of Tel Aviv University and the College de France, supported by the Shmunis family in San Francisco. Finkelstein, who leads the project with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle of the College de France, told Fox News that the latest discoveries offer a fascinating glimpse into the site’s role in the ancient world.

“The finds at Kiriath-Jearim hint at its long-term role as guarding the approach to Jerusalem,” he explained, via email. “This can be seen in the Iron Age, Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The Hellenistic and Roman period remains shed light on the much-debated issue of the location of the New Testament’s Emmaus.” The prominent Israeli archaeologist is renowned for taking an “evidence-based” approach to his research, which acknowledges the complexity of Biblical texts. “Reading the Bible, it is important to distinguish historical facts from the ideological/theological stances of the authors,” he told Fox News in 2017.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10033

2,600-Year-Old Seal with Biblical Name “Adneyahu Asher Al Habayit” Found Near Temple Mount

By BIN staff September 10, 2019 , 12:44 pm

“Adoniyahu is in fear of King Shlomo and has grasped the horns of the mizbayach, saying, ‘Let King Shlomo first swear to me that he will not put his servant to the sword.’ (Kings 1 1:51)

The “Adonayahu Asher Al Habayit” bulla (seal). Photo Credit: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David

CITY OF DAVID, JERUSALEM (12/9/2019) A Bulla (seal) bearing a Hebrew name from 2,600 years ago was uncovered from dirt excavated in 2013 beneath Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall. The seal is inscribed with the name of an individual with the most prominent role in the king’s court in the kingdom of Judea. The Bulla (seal), which was used to sign documents, bears the Hebrew name and title: “Adenyahu Asher Al Habayit” which literally translates as “Adenyahu by Appointment of the House”- a term used throughout the Bible to describe the most senior minister serving under a king of Judea or Israel.

According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, who conducted the initial excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority just north of the City of David at the Foundation Stones of the Western Wall: “This is the first time this kind of archaeological discovery has been made in Jerusalem. The Biblical title “Asher Al Habayit” was the highest-ranking ministerial position beneath the king during reigns of the Kings of Judea and Israel, it is undoubtedly of great significance.”

“This tiny bulla has immense meaning to billions of people worldwide. The personal signet of a senior official to a Biblical King from the First Temple Period. This is another link in the long chain of Jewish history in Jerusalem that is being uncovered and preserved at the City of David on a daily basis.” Said Doron Spielman, Vice-President of the City of David Foundation which operates the site in which the bulla was discovered and the Archeological Experience where it was uncovered.

The bulla is approximately one-centimeter-wide, and according to the type of writing that appears on it dates to the seventh century BC – the period of the Kingdom of Judea.

The term “Asher Al Habayit” describes the most senior role in the royal hierarchy in the kingdom of Judah and Israel and it appears for the first time on the list of ministers of Solomon. This role is mentioned in the Bible in reference to a number of figures that have a considerable influence in the kingdom and it describes a senior minister who was very close to the king.

For example, “Abdihu Asher Al Habayit,” in the Book of Kings I, is mentioned as having served in that role in the Kingdom of Israel, under the reign of King Ahab during times of Elijah the Prophet. As part of his tenure, Abedihu acted against Isabel in administering the kingdom and even saved a hundred of the prophets of the Lord after hiding them in a cave.

Also in this role in the Kingdom of Judea during the reign of King Hezekiah was “Elyakim son of Partiah Asher Al Habayit”. According to the book of Isaiah, Elyakim negotiated with Rabshka, one of the ministers of King Sennacherib King of Assyria, who threatened to conquer Jerusalem.

The name Adenayahu that appears on the bulla appears throughout the Bible:

This name belonged to one of King David’s sons as mentioned in the Book of Kings. Another individual with that name is mentioned as one of the Levites in the days of Jehoshaphat. Lastly, in the days of Nehemiah, he is mentioned as one of the “Heads of, the people…(Nehemiah, 9:16).

It should be noted that some 150 years ago, French archeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau

discovered a burial cave with the inscription: “Tomb of …..yahu Asher Al Habayit.” The beginning of the name had been erased, but the burial site, on the outskirts of the City of David was also dated to the seventh century BC, much like the recent bulla. Although discovered by Clermont-Ganneau, the inscription was only deciphered by Prof. Nachman Avigad some eighty years later.

The bulla was covered in dirt that was excavated in 2013, until three weeks ago, when it was uncovered as part of the City of David’s volunteer Archeological Experience, by an Israeli teenager named Batya Howen, who described the moments of the discovery: “I began sifting through the bucket of dirt by washing it under a stream of water, and suddenly I recognized a small piece of black colored piece of metal. To hold such a significant find from 2600 years ago, from the time of the Kingdom of Judah, is an amazing thing.”

The bullae stamps – were small pieces of tin used in ancient times to sign documents, and were meant to keep the letters closed en route to their destination.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10030

Israel said again mulling raid on Iran; thinks Trump, unlike Obama, won’t oppose

NY Times exposé reveals extent of Netanyahu-Obama rift on stopping Iranian nukes; PM himself tells paper he’d ‘unequivocally’ have ordered strike in 2012 if cabinet had backed him

By Michael Bachner 4 September 2019, 4:13 pm 11

Israeli officials are currently considering the possibility of conducting a military strike on Iran, with or without the approval of the United States, The New York Times reported Wednesday. They believe US President Donald Trump could decide not to stand in the way of such an attack, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, the paper reported Wednesday in an exposé that detailed the lows and highs of the Israel-US relationship in the face-off against the Islamic Republic over the past decade.

“Once again, more than a decade after they first raised the subject with American officials, Israeli officials have been considering the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran,” said the report. “Unlike with Bush and Obama, there is greater confidence that Trump wouldn’t stand in the way.”

The report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” which focused on Israeli-US efforts to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, did not specify which targets Israel was now said to be contemplating attacking. It noted that “hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program,” and asked: “Will Trump finally deliver?”

 “The threat of war could be a bluff, or an election ploy,” it added. “But it also represents a dangerous confluence of interests: an American president often reluctant to use military force and an Israeli prime minister looking to deal with unfinished business.”

“I think that it’s far more likely that Trump would give Netanyahu a green light to strike Iran than that Trump would strike himself,” the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was quoted as saying. “But that, you know, is a big risk.”

Trump himself in June was “half an hour away” from approving a US strike on the Islamic Republic, reports said at the time.

“Trump’s last-minute decision to abort the attack in June led to a concern among Iran hawks in both Israel and the United States: that the president ultimately might not have the resolve to confront the threat with military force,” Wednesday’s piece said.

Jerusalem has been actively pushing and preparing for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities for many years, and in 2012 came extremely close to giving the Israel Defense Forces a green light to carry that out, the NY Times said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was interviewed in August for the article, told the paper that he would “unequivocally” have approved the attack, but did not have the necessary cabinet support.

The report quoted dozens of current and former senior officials to describe how Netanyahu threatened the Obama administration with carrying out the strike. That pressure, according to some of those cited in the story, ironically pushed the US president to expedite the negotiations with Tehran that eventually yielded the 2015 nuclear deal. Thus Netanyahu, according to these sources, inadvertently pushed Obama to promote the agreement he loathes so much.

According to one Israeli intelligence official, “Netanyahu achieved exactly the opposite of what he wanted… By doing what he did, he promoted the deal that he fought against afterward.”

Other sources, however, told the paper that Israeli pressure did not play a significant role: “President Obama’s push for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear challenge long predated Prime Minister Netanyahu’s saber-rattling,” it quoted Ned Price, spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council, saying. “Candidate Obama pledged in 2007 to seek the very type of diplomatic achievement he, together with many of our closest allies and partners, struck as president in 2015.”

The report said Washington had been closely monitoring Israeli activities at the height of Israel-Iran tensions in the Obama era, and that in the summer of 2012, American spy satellites “detected clusters of Israeli aircraft making what seemed to be early preparations for an attack.”

 “Israeli leaders had spent more than a year delivering ominous warnings to Washington that they might launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities — and that if they did, they would give the United States little warning and no chance to stop them,” the report said. “One former senior Israeli security official, looking back at that time, said that it wasn’t until then that he believed the prime minister was serious about striking Iran.”

Realizing the gravity of the moment, then-US secretary of defense Leon Panetta was said to make a rare decision to invite Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to his Pentagon office and show him a “highly classified video.”

“In a desert in the American Southwest, the Pentagon had constructed an exact replica of the Fordo [fuel enrichment plant], and the video showed a test of the 30,000-pound [13,600 kilogram] massive ordnance penetrator, a bunker-busting weapon the [US] Air Force had designed to penetrate the most hardened of underground defenses. The bomb destroyed the mock-up in the desert. Barak was impressed,” the Times reported.

Concern in the White House over the potential Israeli strike also led it to send an official to Israel every several weeks to to “Bibisit” the Israeli leader and make sure he did not launch a strike on the Islamic Republic, the report said.

However, Israel kept preparing for the strike, which “came far closer to happening than has previously been reported.”

“[Israel’s] military and intelligence services had cut the time needed for the final preparations — for the attack and for the war that might ensue,” the report said.

“I went to bed every night, if I went to bed at all, with the phone close to my ear,” it quoted Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington at the time, as saying. “I was ready to be called in by Israel and sent to the White House or the State Department to tell them we had attacked, or if they already knew from their own sources, straight to CNN.”

Netanyahu himself was quoted as saying the threat to attack Iran “was not a bluff — it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly worried about it.”

A satellite image from April 2, 2016, of the Fordo nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

The Times said Netanyahu at the time “pulled back from the brink only because he still could not get a majority of his cabinet to support him.” The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday confirmed to The Times of Israel that Netanyahu was referring to the security cabinet, not the full cabinet.

“If I’d had a majority, I would have done it. Unequivocally,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by the Times.

The timing was problematic as well, shortly before the 2012 US presidential elections. And after those elections the attack became impossible to approve because of a rift between Netanyahu and Barak, caused by a meeting the latter had with Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in an attempt to convince him to support Jerusalem’s move. Netanyahu received word of the undeclared meeting and believed Barak had been undermining him.

In October, the report said, the strike was called off. It quoted Barak as saying: “It is one thing to strike alone, and a totally different thing to draw the United States into a confrontation that it doesn’t want to be a part of.”

Among other claims made in the piece is that Netanyahu “became increasingly suspicious of his senior advisers” as he considered in attack seven years ago. “He now accuses [then Mossad chief, the late Meir] Dagan of leaking the attack plan to the CIA, ‘intending to disrupt it,’ a betrayal that to Netanyahu’s mind was ‘absolutely inconceivable.’ Within a year, the paper noted, Dagan, IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, and national security adviser Uzi Arad, “were no longer in their posts.”

But “if Netanyahu hoped his handpicked replacements would be more compliant, however, he would soon be disappointed,” the report continued. Quoting three senior officials, it said “many others in the government,” including the new IDF chief Benny Gantz, “were also against the attack.” Gantz, who is Netanyahu’s main rival in the September 17 elections, was quoted telling the paper that his stance was a practical matter: “Even those who have not seen the intelligence understand that it would be a highly complicated affair and — if the impact it would have on other countries is taken into account — a strategic affair of the highest level,” Gantz said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10026

A Watershed Moment For American Evangelical Christianity – Benny Hinn Has Just Renounced The Prosperity Gospel

September 4, 2019 by Michael Snyder

When you have done things a certain way for almost your entire career, it can be exceedingly difficult to admit that you were wrong.  This is true in any field, but it is especially true for those in the ministry.  So Benny Hinn showed an enormous amount of courage when he completely repudiated the “prosperity gospel” on Monday night during a Facebook Live broadcast.  This represents a 180 degree turn for his ministry, and it could be a watershed moment for American evangelical Christianity as a whole.  For decades, an extreme emphasis on wealth and prosperity has virtually drowned out the message of the cross on Christian television, and this has greatly damaged the evangelical movement.  Having high profile leaders such as Benny Hinn renounce the “prosperity gospel” would do much to heal the damage that has been done, and he should be greatly applauded for his public repentance.

Of course a lot of people out there are going to be skeptical, and that is unfortunate.  Forgiveness is available to everyone no matter what they may have been through in the past, and we should all remember that there is literally nobody alive that is not in need of grace.

In addition, it is important to remember that ministries are always going to need resources in order to fulfill the Great Commission, and believers should always be supporting those ministries that are doing a great job of preaching the gospel.  But the “prosperity gospel” twisted what the Bible says about giving into a message that appealed to the flesh, and Benny Hinn has now completely rejected that message.  The following comes from the Christian Post

Declaring that the “Holy Ghost is just fed up with it,” controversial televangelist Benny Hinn, formerly one of the most aggressive proponents of the prosperity gospel, has for the first time in his career, delivered a full-throated rejection of the practice that made him and his family millions.

The prosperity gospel teaches, among other things, that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth, and they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the “sowing of seeds” through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.

And Hinn didn’t stop there.

At one point during his Monday night message, he boldly declared that the prosperity gospel is literally making him “sick to my stomach”

He said that “it is an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say, ‘Give $1,000.’ I think it’s offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it.”

At one point Hinn asked viewers “Am I shocking you?”

“Giving has become such a gimmick it’s making me sick to my stomach,” he said. “And I’ve been sick for a while too, I just couldn’t say it.”

We definitely need a lot more of that sort of preaching in our churches.

In the end, this could result in Benny Hinn not being invited on Christian television as much.  As we have seen, there have certainly been other prominent Christian ministers that have paid a great price for telling the truth in recent years.  But Hinn is doing what is right for himself, his followers and for the American church as a whole, and that is what matters.

After all this time, Hinn says that the way he views “prosperity” has completely changed.  During his message, he pointed out that the great heroes in the Bible didn’t have lots of wealth

“Did Elijah the prophet have a car? No. Did not even have a bicycle. He had no lack. … Did Jesus drive a car or live in a mansion? No. He had no lack. How about the Apostles? None lacked among them,” Hinn said. “Today, the idea is abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts. The focus is wrong … It’s so wrong.”

Hopefully thousands of other Christian leaders will see what Hinn has done and will follow his lead.  He continues to be highly influential in the evangelical Christian world, and what he just did is likely to send shockwaves all across the country.

It would have been really easy for Hinn to continue to preach the prosperity gospel, because that is what he has done throughout almost his entire career.

But in the final analysis, he was very afraid about what God would say once he got to heaven

Toward the end of the clip the 66-year-old told viewers, “I don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked. I think it’s time we say it like its: The Gospel is not for sale.”

I understand that this article is highly controversial, and I also understand that many will criticize me for writing it and that many will continue to deeply criticize Benny Hinn for things he has done throughout the course of his ministry.

But it isn’t how we begin the race that matters.

What really matters is how we end the race, and Benny Hinn should be greatly, greatly applauded for setting himself on a new path

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10023

Experts Brace For An Apocalyptic Future As Earth’s Forests Burn To The Ground

August 27, 2019 by Michael Snyder

A world without forests would be an apocalyptic wasteland, and right now we are losing our forests at an astounding rate.  As you read this article, more than 10,000 wildfires are ripping through forested areas of South America and Africa, and global leaders seem powerless to do anything about it.  Most of the media attention has been on the horrific wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, and we are being told that the number of fires in Brazil is up 85 percent compared to last year.  But the number of fires is actually much higher in Africa.  In fact, it is being reported that there are “approximately five times as many wildfires burning in Africa than in the Amazon” at this point.  Our planet is literally being destroyed right in front of our eyes, and a lot of people don’t seem to care. 

Let’s talk about what is going on in the Amazon first.  In a previous article, I discussed the fact that there have been more than 72,000 wildfires in Brazil so far this year, and at least 640 million acres have been affected by those fires.  CNN arranged for a plane to fly over some of the most heavily damaged areas, and what those on the plane witnessed was almost too horrifying for words

Flying above the Amazon’s worst afflicted state (during last week), Rondonia, is exhausting mostly because of the endless scale of the devastation. At first, smoke disguised the constant stream of torched fields, and copses; of winding roads that weaved into nothing but ash. Below, the orange specks of a tiny fire might still rage, but much of the land appeared a mausoleum of the forest that once graced it.

“This is not just a forest that is burning,” said Rosana Villar of Greenpeace, who helped CNN arrange its flight over the damaged and burning areas. “This is almost a cemetery. Because all you can see is death.”

The Amazon rainforest has been described as “the lungs of the Earth” because it produces so much of our oxygen, but many people don’t realize that the second largest tropical rainforest in the world is actually in the Congo Basin, and there are even more fires happening there right now.

In fact, according to official data released by NASA, the number of fires in central Africa is more than five times higher than the number of fires currently raging in Brazil…

Data from Nasa’s Fire Information for Resource Management System, showed at least 6,902 fires in Angola and 3,395 burning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The same data put Brazil’s fires at 2,127.

These fires in central Africa have become so widespread that they have even gotten the attention of French President Emmanuel Macron

If you look at the data from NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management Map (FIRMS), which show a large swatch of fire across Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The alarming area of these fires has left some people wondering why so much attention is being paid to the Amazon, while on the surface it appears Africa is alight with even more blazes. Even French President Emmanuel Macron, who has led the charge for international relief and solutions for the Amazon wildfire and has pledged aid from France, said on Twitter that he would consider starting a similar initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.

Fortunately, the good news is that the fires in the Congo Basin are not as out of control as the fires in the Amazon rainforest, but we are also being told that this could soon change

Organizations like Greenpeace Africa, which focuses primarily on calling attention to issues of deforestation, are monitoring the situation while acknowledging that as of right now, the fires are relatively “small-scale” compared to the flames the in the Amazon or even previous African wildfires.

But that doesn’t mean the flames are under control. “This is something we could experience again tomorrow if preventative measures are not taken today,” Irène Wabiwa Betoko, Greenpeace Africa Senior Forest Campaign Manager, told Newsweek on Tuesday.

Many of the fires in Africa are being set purposely by farmers in order to clear land, but they are still eroding critical ecosystems.  And we cannot afford to continue to treat our planet like this, because we are losing species at an astounding pace.

According to new research that was just released, “some plants have been going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical average”

Earth is seeing an unprecedented loss of species, which some ecologists are calling a sixth mass extinction. In May, a United Nations report warned that 1 million species are threatened by extinction. More recently, 571 plant species were declared extinct.

But extinctions have occurred for as long as life has existed on Earth. The important question is, has the rate of extinction increased? Our research, published today in Current Biology, found some plants have been going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical average – with devastating consequences for unique species.

How many species do we have to lose before we finally become concerned?

If you follow my work on a regular basis, then you already know that I am deeply concerned about our “culture of death”.  Our endless wars have killed thousands, millions of children have been killed in our “clinics”, and we are wiping out countless species of plants and animals without even thinking twice about it.

What kind of monsters have we become?  We are so cold and so heartless, and all we seem to care about is ourselves.

Meanwhile, the long-term consequences that so many have warned about are starting to arrive.  In fact, a CNN article about the Amazon wildfires that was just published boldly declared that “the apocalyptic future is here, and it is impatient”…

It is hard to see any claims of future doom as alarmist, when you see skylines rendered invisible by smoke, flames march across the plains like lava, and hear disinterested taxi drivers tell you they have never seen it so bad. The apocalyptic future is here, and it is impatient.

For once, I actually agree with CNN.

Given enough time, nothing would survive.  We are systematically destroying ourselves and everything around us, and for a while it didn’t seem like we needed to fear the long-term consequences.

But now the dark times are upon us, and the stench of our evil ways has become undeniable.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10020

Pope Francis Issues The Order Creating Global Chrislam Committee To Implement His Decree On ‘Human Fraternity For World Peace’ Signed In UAE Back In February

The members of the seven member Catholic and Muslim commission include Pope Francis’s personal secretary, Fr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, and the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Giuxot. In a statement on Monday, Aug. 26, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that Pope Francis “encourages the efforts of the Committee to spread knowledge of the Document; he thanks the United Arab Emirates for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity and he expresses the hope that similar initiatives can spring up throughout the world.”

by Geoffrey Grider August 27, 2019

This latest Chrislam move by the Roman pope is a bold shot across the bow in creating the end times One World Religion spoken of in the book of Revelation in chapters 17 and 18

If you remember we had told you back in February that Pope Francis went to the United Arab Emirates and signed a covenant called “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”, which we told you at the time was the official declaration of the start of the One World Religion of Chrislam. Since that time not much has happened in the way of progress until last week. What happened last week? The implementation of the covenant.

“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)

What other popes have talked about, Pope Francis is bringing to pass, with amazing progress in assembling the end times religion of Chrislam. The Roman Catholic Religion is a counterfeit of biblical Christianity, but that’s exactly what is needed to bring about the arrival of the counterfeit Messiah of Antichrist. You are watching Mystery, Babylon rising before your very eyes, as she prepares to take her prophesied place on the end times stage.

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:5,6 (KJV)

Could Pope Francis be the one? I don’t know but I know this much. He has gone further than any other pope before him in the 1,700 year history of the Catholic Church towards reaching that goal.

Bishop Schneider says Vatican is betraying ‘Jesus Christ as the only Savior of mankind’

FROM LIFE SITE NEWS: Last week, the Vatican announced that a multi-faith “Higher Committee” had been established in the United Arab Emirates to implement the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” which Pope Francis signed on Feb. 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, together with Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam al-Azhar, during a three-day apostolic visit to the Arabian Peninsula.

Members of the seven member Catholic and Muslim commission include Pope Francis’s personal secretary, Fr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, and the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot.

In a statement on Monday, Aug. 26, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that Pope Francis “encourages the efforts of the Committee to spread knowledge of the Document; he thanks the United Arab Emirates for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity and he expresses the hope that similar initiatives can spring up throughout the world.”

Controversial document

The Abu Dhabi document drew controversy for stating that a “pluralism and diversity” of religions is “willed by God.”

The passage inciting controversy reads:

Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.

On March 1, 2019, during an ad limina visit of the bishops of Central Asia to Rome, Bishop Schneider, whose diocese is located in a predominantly Muslim nation, expressed  concern about this formulation to Pope Francis. The Pope said that the phrase in question on the “diversity of religions” meant “the permissive will of God,” and he gave explicit permission to Bishop Schneider and the other bishops present to quote his words.

Bishop Schneider in turn asked the Pope to clarify the statement in an official manner. Pope Francis appeared to offer an informal clarification at his Wednesday general audience on April 3, 2019, but no official clarification or correction to the text has been given to date.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10017