Category: Islam



When all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves. Zechariah 12:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

rusalem’s Old City, November 6, 2015. (Muammar Awad/Flash90)

A Saudi Arabian journalist published an article in a prominent Saudi newspaper describing the historical roots of that the myth that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. 


Saudi Arabian lawyer and journalist Osama Yamani wrote an article in Okaz, a prominent Arabic Saudi Arabian daily newspaper, maintaining that the true location of the Al Aqsa Mosque described in Koran is in Al Ju’ranah, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia and not on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 

Yamani begins by explaining that during Mohammad’s lifetime Jerusalem was called ‘Ilya’, a name it was given by the Greeks and adopted by the Romans. It was adapted to Arabic. The name ‘Jerusalem’ does not appear in the Koran however ‘Ilya’ appears in some Hadith. Yamani claims that confusion arose due to misrepresentations in history books, later exegesis, and the ‘qibla’, the direction Muslims face when praying. Muslims currently face towards the Kaaba in the Sacred Mosque in Mecca as per a teaching in the Koran that was revealed to Muhammad in the second Hijri year.  Prior to this revelation, Muhammad and his followers in Medina faced Jerusalem for prayers, mimicking the custom of the Jews in Medina.

Yamani emphasized that Al Aqsa is not Al Quds, the Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem which is the short form of “Beit al-Quds” the holy house.” Al Aqsa Mosque, meaning the furthest mosque. This is a reference to Muhammad’s “Night Journey” from Mecca. In this context, “farthest” means “farthest from Mecca.” “Jerusalem is not Al-Aqsa, which is not cited in the missions that Allah gave Muhammad and the caliphs. Similarly, Jerusalem is a city, and Al-Aqsa is a mosque,” he stated simply.


Yamani explained that Al Aqsa was located in Al Ju’ranah (also referred to as Jeharna), near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It was called Al-Aqsa (the furthest) Mosque because there is another mosque in the region built by one of Mohammad’s benefactors known as “al-Masjid al-Adna, “the Near Mosque”.

Yamani then went into a complex analysis of the qibla and the process that culminated in Mohammad establishing the tradition currently accepted throughout all branches of Islam to pray towards Mecca. He explained that the construction of the Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik in 691 CE came nine years after Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr rebelled and prevented the Umayyads who ruled Damascus from fulfilling the obligation to make the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.

“At that stage, [al-Malik] changed the direction of prayer toward Jerusalem,” Yamani wrote. 

Yamani wrote that the differences between the claims pertaining to the actual identity of which site is the Aqsa Mosque described in the Koran are due to “political matters that were employed for the benefit of events or issues and political positions at the time that have nothing to do with faith or religious dictates or God’s intention.”


Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, frequently refers to the myth that the Aqsa Mosque described in the Koran is located in Jerusalem is “fake news” and insulting to Saudi Arabian Muslims since it would raise the mosque on the Temple Mount to a level of importance that could contest the centrality of Mecca in Islam.

“In early Islam, we see that assigning holiness to the Temple Mount was criticized as an attempt to introduce Jewish concepts into Islam,” Dr. Kedar said. “Today, this narrative describing Mohammad’s Night Journey as culminating in Jerusalem has been revived, advanced by the Muslim  Brotherhood, Turkey’s President Erdogan, Qatar, and other Islamist movements seeking to unite Muslims and/or Arabs under a caliphate who seek to take over Jerusalem and use it like a crown.”

It is disturbing to note that UN and UNESCO resolutions reflect these Islamist agendas by referring to the Temple exclusively as a Muslim holy site in the context of Mohammad’s Night Journey. Dr. Kedar cited the notable exceptions of Islamic interest in Jerusalem were the periods in which the Muslims identified a risk that other religions would rule in Jerusalem, such as the during the Crusades, the First World War and of course, the period of Zionism.

In an article first published in 2016, Dr. Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, is a long-time advocate for a more precise and accurate understanding of the significance of Jerusalem for some Muslims by dispelling some clear lies perpetuated about the Temple Mount. Dr. Kedar explained that Al-Aqsa is mentioned once in the Koran, and Jerusalem is never named even once. 

Since the Haj pilgrimage is one of the five basic Islamic commandments, the Umayads were forced to choose Jerusalem as their alternative for a pilgrimage site. In order to justify choosing Jerusalem, the Umayyads rewrote the story told in the Koran, moving the al Aqsa mosque to Jerusalem, and adding, for good measure, the myth of the night-time journey of Mohammed to al Aqsa. This is the reason the Sunnis now consider Jerusalem their third holiest city.

Shia Islam, mercilessly persecuted by the Umayya Caliphate, did not accept the holy Jerusalem canard, which is the reason the second holiest city to Shiites is Najif in Iraq, the burial place of Shiite founder Ali bin Abi Talib. Many of the Shiite elders – Iranian and Hezbollah – only began to call Jerusalem holy after the Khomeni rebellion in 1979 so as to keep the Sunnis from accusing them of being soft on Zionism.”

Dr. Kedar went on to explain that this lie was expanding to include the entire Temple Mount with the intention of claiming the entire city of Jerusalem for Islam.

The first lie, in that case, is the spurious claim that the “farther mosque” is in Jerusalem. More lies were piled on to the first one, the main prevarication being the exact location of this so-called al Aqsa mosque, which until not very long ago, was the silver-domed building on the southern end of the Temple Mount.

The entire area of the Temple Mount is known as al-Haram al-Sharif – “the holy and noble site”- but a change came about after the Six-Day War, when Jewish voices could be heard, particularly that of the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rav She’er Yashuv HaCohen, calling for the establishment of a synagogue on the Mount.  Immediately after the war, Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren also said that he wanted to celebrate religious events on the Temple Mount. It was felt that the Muslims would not object, since al Aqsa was on the southern edge of the compound and the synagogue would not be nearby.

As a result, however, the Muslims decided to announce that the al Aqsa mentioned in the Koran refers not only to the mosque on the southern end of the compound, but is the name for the entire Temple Mount area, abandoning the original name, al-Haram al-Sharif. 

Islam’s liars decided to “expand” al Aqsa – whose real location is actually in the Arabian desert – to encompass the entire Temple Mount area only after the Jews liberated the site of their Temples in the June 1967 Six-Day War. After all, the Jews might want to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount under the direction of Rabbis Goren and She’er Yashuv Hacohen.

One wonders why the al Aqsa Mosque is of such importance to the Muslims and why they have accorded it such prominence that it is becoming accepted as one of the basic principles of their faith. The answer lies in the fact that Islam defines itself as a religion that did not enter the world to live in peace with Judaism and Christianity, the religions that preceded it, but as a universal religion that is meant to obliterate them and take over the world. Islam sees itself as “Din al-Haqq,” the true religion, and  Judaism and Christianity as “Din al-Batil,” the false religions. The Muslims fear that the Jewish people’s return to their land, cities and the site of their Temples will grant Judaism the status of a vibrant, active and true religion, posing a theological threat to the very existence and raison d’etre of Islam.

That is the reason that all Jewish activity on the Temple Mount, especially Jewish prayer, infuriates them, and they will do everything, including spreading prevarications and outright lies, to prevent the Jews from returning to the places from which they were exiled almost 2000 years ago.  That is what makes the conflict over Jerusalem the basis of a theological struggle whose source is the Muslim world’s inability to recognize the history and religious rights of non-Muslim believers, all of whom are slated to disappear, according to Islam.


Yamani has written on controversial subjects in the past. In September, he was critical of the Palestinian leadership writing:

“The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships…Our enemy today is Iran and Turkey, who occupy Arab lands in the name of the Palestinian issue. As for the enemy of the Palestinians at home, they are the corrupt leaders and traitors who rest in the bosom of Iran. For us, the real issue now is development, peace and justice that were stolen from the Arab world and forgotten by the Arab peoples. The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships. The Palestinian leadership is in the hands of traitors and beneficiaries.”

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“After a long time you shall be summoned; in the distant future you shall march against the land [of a people] restored from the sword, gathered from the midst of many peoples—against the mountains of Yisrael, which have long lain desolate—[a people] liberated from the nations, and now all dwelling secure.” Ezekiel 38:8 (The Israel BibleTM)

Turkish flag on Turkey army uniform. Turkey troops (Shutterstock)

A premiere Turkish newspaper recently published an article in which prominent  academics called for the formation of a multinational army patterned after NATO that, according to its proponents, would be “one of the West’s greatest fears.” This may seem like conjecture however Turkish President Erdogan has adopted this as one of his goals while expanding Turkey’s military involvement in the region.


The Yeni Çağ daily, a Turkish nationalist newspaper, published an article on October 28 titled “The Turan Army.” In the article, the author, Ahmet GÜRSOY, called for the formation of a “pan-Turkism” organization which would include a “Turan Army.” Under the headline “The Turkic States Must Unite: The Turan Army Is The Hope,” the article described a new militaristic vision of pan-Turkish nationalism which due to geographic realities could never materialize as a contiguous national entity.

“The eternal dream of Turkish nationalists, the great homeland; The Turan dream may not come true in geography,” Gursoy wrote. “Therefore, we may not be able to unite all Turks in the geography under a single flag as in the times of the empire. However, by transforming into legal entities in every social field, we can unite all Turks under a single flag, just as international companies are represented with the same flag in every corner of the earth. The most striking and possible form of this is the Turan Army.”

In addition to the disparate geographic realities, the unification of several countries leads to the question of who will lead the army. Gursoy had an answer ready in which he suggested that the pan-Turan army be patterned after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This comparison is ironic as Turkey is, in fact, a member state of NATO.

“In addition to an institutional structure that will form the roof of the partnership, there will be a legal arrangement of what will be like a kind of Turkish NATO,” he wrote.


A pan-Turan army may be closer than most people think as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is working hard to bring this about. Much of his policy and rhetoric reflects pan-Turanist influence. On August 20, 2020, Turkish daily Yeni Akit reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan planned to announce on October 29 the formation of a Turan Army. This announcement never took place however many believe it still might. It is interesting to note that the article in Yeni Çağ came one day before the scheduled announcement by Erdogan concerning the formation of the Turan army.


In the article, Prof. Dr. Kürşad Zorlu described how the victory of Turkey-supported Azerbaijan over Armenia in their conflict over the Nagorno-Karabagh region has brought this pan-Turan NATO closer to reality:

 “The success in Karabagh has brought once again to the agenda one of the West’s greatest fears: the Turan Army. Azerbaijan, which has become stronger with the military training, joint drills, and support with armed drones that Turkey has provided, has broken Armenia’s back. This picture of success that has appeared has once again brought to life the hopes concerning a Turan Army, which would be the joint military power of the Turkic states. The Turan Army, which will be a unique option for disrupting the plots in the region, will become a leading actor on every issue.” 

“The idea of a ‘Turan Army,’ which has been discussed for a long time, has once again come to the agenda following Azerbaijan’s successes against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh, which it achieved with the support of the military training, joint drills, and armed drone support that Turkey gave. Most recently, the agreement on military training and cooperation [signed] on the visit of [Turkish] Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to Kazakhstan, has been as a step toward establishing a joint army of Turkic states. Experts who have answered our newspaper’s question of ‘Is a Turan Army possible?’ called attention to the point that this army, which is expected to be formed under Turkey’s leadership, would be able to have a voice on every issue, regionally and globally.”


As a theoretical political movement, pan-Turkism emerged during the 1880s among Turkic intellectuals of the Russian region of Shirvan (now central Azerbaijan) and the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey), with its aim being the cultural and political unification of all Turkic peoples. Some adherents live in the Caucasus, and Central Asia. This movement was at odds with the Ottoman Empire and, in some ways, with Islam. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, some tried unsuccessfully to replace the empire with a pan-Turkish commonwealth. Pan-Turkist movements gained some momentum in the 1940s, due to the support of Nazi Germany who in the course of the war, sought to leverage Pan-Turkism to undermine Russian influence and in an effort to reach resources of Central Asia. 

The Turkish nationalist movement has been recently gaining in popularity due to the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of other multinational movements, like the European Union. Critics perceive Pan-Turkism as a new form of Turkish imperial ambition.

Toward this end, the Turkic Council was established in 2009 as an intergovernmental organization with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States. Three of its four founding member states, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, were part of the former Soviet Union. Turkey, under the prime ministership of Erdogan, was the fourth founding state with Uzbekistan joining in 2019 and Hungary being granted observer status in September 2018.

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Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia sign peace deal over Nagorno-Karabakh

By Aren Melikyan, Arzu Geybulla, Gul Tuysuz, Mary Ilyushina, Tim Lister and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 6:05 AM ET, Tue November 10, 2020

(CNN)Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced he had signed an “unspeakably painful agreement” with Russia and Azerbaijan to end the war over the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh, just hours after Azerbaijan claimed it captured the region’s strategic city of Shusha.

“I have made a difficult, extremely difficult decision for personally me and all of us. I have signed a declaration with the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on stopping the war starting from 01:00 (local time),” Pashinyan said in a statement posted on his Facebook page early Tuesday.

After claiming earlier on Monday that the fight over Shusha was not over, Pashinyan said he made the decision to sign the agreement based on a deep analysis of the military situation and “on the conviction that in the existing situation this is the best possible outcome.

Speaking after the agreement was announced, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said the deal would “return our territories without any further bloodshed.” He said all military operations in the region that sits in Azerbaijani territory but has been populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians have stopped.

“Today, I am signing this agreement with pride! Congratulations to the people of Azerbaijan!,” Aliyev added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian peacekeeping forces will be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and within the corridor that connects the region with Armenia.

He said the ceasefire deal stipulates the exchange of prisoners of war and bodies, according to the Russian official news agency, TASS. Russia neighbors Azerbaijan, but has a security alliance with Armenia. Moscow had tried to broker a ceasefire several times in the past few weeks, but each agreement fell apart within a short time.

Aliyev declared Sunday that his forces had taken Shusha, a city sometimes described as “the Jerusalem of Nagorno-Karabakh” for its religious significance.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry released a video Monday showing the country’s flag flying on public buildings in the city, putting Azerbaijani forces mere miles from the regional capital Stepanakert. The video shows deserted streets and damaged buildings.

Later on Monday, Azerbaijan apologized for downing a Russian helicopter near the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, saying it was an accident.

Shusha — or Shushi as it’s known to Armenians — lies some 10 kilometers south of Stepanakert and is on higher ground, making the capital more vulnerable. It has already suffered regular rocket and missile attacks; many civilians fled towards Armenia over the weekend.

The first Armenian acknowledgement that Shusha had fallen came Monday from the spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh’s presidency, Vahram Poghosyan. He posted on Facebook that the “city is completely out of our control and all kinds of encouraging or inspiring propaganda do[es] not give us anything besides losing the sense of reality.” Poghosyan added that “the enemy is in the vicinity of Stepanakert and now the existence of the capital city is threatened.”

Videos posted on social media Sunday showed convoys of cars heading away from Stepanakert, but reports from the city say many civilians remain there.

Hours after Azerbaijan’s defense ministry posted the Shusha video online, the Russian defense ministry said a Russian military helicopter was shot down over Armenia near the border with Azerbaijan.

The helicopter was downed using a portable surface-to-air missile, the ministry said, adding that two crew members were killed when the Mi-24 crashed in a mountainous area in Armenia and a third was taken to an airfield with injuries.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry later issued a statement apologizing for the downing of the helicopter, which it said was an accident.

“The Azerbaijani side apologizes to the Russian side in connection with this tragic incident, which is accidental and was not directed against the Russian side,” the statement said. The statement went on to express Azerbaijan’s “sincere condolences” to the families of the Russian crew members and offered to pay compensation.

“The helicopter flight took place in close proximity to the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border, while active military clashes continue in the zone of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the Azerbaijani statement said.

“The flight took place in the dark, at low altitude, outside the air defense radar detection zone. Russian Air Force helicopters have not been seen in the specified area before,” it added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — a vocal supporter of Azerbaijan — told a rally in the Turkish city of Kocaeli on Sunday that “the liberation of Shusha also signals that liberation of remaining occupied territories is near.”

In a call with Putin on Saturday, Erdogan said Armenia must withdraw from the Azerbaijani lands under its occupation, according to a read-out of the call from the Turkish presidency.

The unrest in Nagorno-Karabakh dates back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the region, backed by Armenia, declared independence from Azerbaijan.

Shusha was captured by Armenian forces in 1992 and Nagorno-Karabakh established a de facto independence that is not recognized by most of the world. A 1994 ceasefire brought the violent conflict over the enclave to an end, but tensions continued to simmer.

Azerbaijan has long claimed it would retake the territory, which is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani. Tensions flared up again over the summer and escalated in September.

Both sides have reported dozens of civilian casualties since the conflict began in September.

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“The audacious attempt to rewrite history will not change the indisputable fact that the Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem dates back thousands of years,” he said. The resolution was only one of the seven documents approved by the panel, the UN Watch NGO said, all of them singling out or denouncing Israel while paying little attention to things happening in the rest of the world.

by Geoffrey Grider November 5, 2020

A United Nations panel comprised of 138 states passed Wednesday a resolution that only referred to the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem by its Muslim name of Haram al-Sharif.

One of the many reasons why you don’t want Joe Biden as president if you’re a bible believer is because he will rapidly undo, or seek to undo, everything that President Trump has put in place with regards to Israel. The Obama Biden administration had 8 years to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and they refused. The Obama Biden administration had 8 years to declare Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the sovereign state of Israel, they refused to do that as well. Donald Trump did both those things, and whole lot more.

“Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalemthat my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” 2 Chronicles 6:5,6 (KJB)

The bible clearly shows us the multi-millennial historical record of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, given to them by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with Jerusalem as not only the capital of Israel, but the place where God Almighty has places His own name. The bible also shows us something else, it shows us the soon-coming fate of the United Nations, and how God has gathered all the nations to judge them. Take a look at this:

Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8 (KJB)

God gathered all the nations of the world in 1945 with the establishment of the…wait for it, United Nations General Assembly. Nearly word for word fulfillment of what the prophet Zephaniah saw in the vision that God gave to him. We see the same thing repeated in Zechariah 14:2, Joel 3:2, and in various other places. So have at it, United Nations, go ahead and declare that the Temple Mount belongs to the Muslims. Call it ‘Haram al-Sharif’ all you like, but I have news for you. The King is coming, and you better get right before that day takes place. Haram al-Sharif, is it? Not by a long shot.

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” Zechariah 14:1-3 (KJB)

UN panel approves resolution calling Temple Mount only by Muslim name of Haram al-Sharif

FROM i24 NEWS: The document voiced concern with “tensions and violence” on Palestinian territories, “including with regard to the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif.” Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan lashed out at the body, saying the document ignored Judaism’s own ties with the holy place — the holiest one for the religion.


The resolution was only one of the seven documents approved by the panel, the UN Watch NGO said, all of them singling out or denouncing Israel while paying little attention to things happening in the rest of the world.

The documents passed by the panel included lambasting Israel over alleged repressions against Syrians in the Golan Heights and a renewal of the UN Relief and Works Agency mandate.

“While France, Germany, Sweden and other EU states are expected to support most of the estimated 20 resolutions to be adopted against Israel by December, the same European nations have failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries,” Hillel Neuer, NGO Watch chief, said.

In his remarks, Erdan highlighted why the U.N. has continually failed to solve the conflict: “One of the biggest reasons for the U.N.’s failure in ending the conflict is its continued support of UNRWA,” he said. “Simply put, UNRWA’s very existence makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unsolvable, and I don’t intend to allow business as usual anymore.”

Erdan pointed out how UNRWA uses its schools to spread hatred and anti-Semitism, inciting Palestinian children to violence, promoting terrorism and questioning Israel’s right to exist. Erdan pushed committee members to reconsider their blind support of these annual resolutions: “What is the point of these resolutions? Just to pave the way for future resolutions?” he asked. “By supporting these resolutions you are not only wasting U.N. resources, you are also sabotaging any changes of future peace.”

Every year, the General Assembly adopts a package of about 20 anti-Israel resolutions, including renewing the mandate of biased Palestinian committees. Israel views this as part of a diplomatic effort led by the Palestinians to undermine its legitimacy.

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Mossad head: Saudi normalization ties close; post US election could see progress

US-mediated normalization talks between Israel and Oman are reportedly close to achieving a breakthrough.


OCTOBER 25, 2020 10:20

A normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is close and there could be major developments following the US presidential elections depending on who wins, Mossad director Yossi Cohen has said in closed conversations, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, N12 reported that Cohen had said privately to those around him that the Saudis were waiting until after the US election, but that they could potentially announce normalization as a “gift” to the winner.

The implication from the N12 report was that such an announcement could even come almost immediately after the election.

However, the Post has learned that the N12 report either misunderstood or did not fully flesh out what Cohen had said.

What Cohen actually said to those around him was that if US President Donald Trump wins reelection, there could be an almost immediate announcement.

Yet, if as the polls suggest, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election, though the Saudis would still want a normalization deal with Israel, there would not necessarily be a clear timeline.

Cohen had emphasized that the Saudis did not want to give a gift to Trump and then get nothing for it upon a Biden administration taking over the reins.

Rather, Cohen understands that a Biden administration may want to link normalization with the Saudis to progress with negotiations with the Palestinians – the opposite tactic of the Trump administration which is trying to pressure the Palestinians to show flexibility in negotiations with Israel by moving ahead with normalization deals without them.

Further, Cohen would have acknowledged that the post-election situation in the US, especially if Biden is elected, would be far more uncertain regarding international relations in general, and that his estimate was based on knowing what the Saudis want and are ready for.  

The normalization deal will also reportedly involve an arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia, which could serve to cushion the move, Cohen said.

Normalized ties are something many in Israel and Saudi Arabia look forward to, with a recent poll by Zogby Research Services finding that nearly 80% of Saudis are in favor of working towards normalizing ties with Israel within the next five years.

This was reflective of another poll published by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, which saw Saudi Arabia as the country with which most Israelis would like to next establish normalized ties.

In addition, it was also reported by N12 citing Israeli sources that US-mediated normalization talks between the Jewish state and Oman are close to achieving a breakthrough. In fact, these sources believe Oman is the most likely country to next normalize ties, though some believe Muscat will also take a more cautious approach and not sign anything until the election is over.

These announcements follow the ongoing wave of full relations being established between Israel and countries in the Arab world, with Sudan recently announcing a move towards normalization.

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Israel, Sudan said to reach final agreement to normalize ties

Announcement to be made over weekend or early next week, reports say, following trip by Israeli-US delegation to Khartoum

By TOI STAFF and AGENCIES22 October 2020, 12:31 pm  

Israel and Sudan will announce the establishment of diplomatic ties over the weekend or early next week in a US-brokered deal, Hebrew media reported Thursday, citing officials involved in the negotiations.

The announcement will likely come after a phone call between US President Donald Trump, Sudan’s transitional leader Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Walla news site.

The breakthrough comes after a high-level Israeli-US delegation reportedly traveled to Sudan on Wednesday for covert negotiations on the normalization of ties between Khartoum and Jerusalem.

According to Israel Hayom, the Wednesday trip in a business jet — which made a highly unusual direct flight from Tel Aviv to Khartoum, and back — saw officials from the Mossad intelligence agency and Prime Minister’s Office visit Sudan for talks. During the meetings with their Sudanese counterparts, the senior officials reached a final agreement on forging Israel-Sudan ties, the report by the pro-Netanyahu daily said, without elaborating on the terms.

The Walla news site named the Israeli officials as Acting Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office Ronen Peretz and Netanyahu’s envoy to the Arab world “Maoz.” They were joined by senior US defense official Miguel Correa and Aryeh Lightstone, an adviser to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, according to Walla.

The delegation met with Burhan and other senior Sudanese officials, the report said.

Talks between the US, Israel and Sudan reportedly continued on Thursday.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Sudan would soon recognize Israel, as Washington moved to strike the Arab country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. Pompeo said that the United States wanted every nation “to recognize Israel, the rightful Jewish homeland, to acknowledge their fundamental right to exist as a country.”

“We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision,” Pompeo told reporters. “We hope that they’ll do that, and we hope that they’ll do that quickly.”

Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 after then-dictator Omar al-Bashir welcomed Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

To exit the blacklist, which has severely impeded investment, the cash-strapped nation agreed to pay $335 million to survivors and victims’ families from Al-Qaeda twin bombings in 1998 of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Pompeo said that the United States had “begun the process” of the delisting. Congress then has 45 days in which it can raise objections.

“We think that there will be enormous bipartisan consensus that that’s the right thing to do,” Pompeo said.

Speculation regarding a decision from Sudan to normalize ties with Israel got a boost Wednesday when a flight tracking site recorded a mysterious unregistered business jet that traveled directly from Israel to Sudan and back on Wednesday.

Tel Aviv to Khartoum, Sudan bizjet – this morning. 9H-VFJ

This is the 2nd known direct flight between the two countries (1st one, in reply)

It’s been reported Sudan may be next to normalize relations w Israel, following Trump removing Sudan from state sponsors of terrorism list

— avi scharf (@avischarf) October 21, 2020

Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis told Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday that an announcement on ties would likely come before the US election. “I have a reasonable basis to believe that the announcement will come before November 3. That… is what I understand from my sources,” he said.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen echoed that sentiment, telling Channel 13 that Jerusalem was “very close to normalizing ties with Sudan.”

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman expressed certainty that there were several Arab countries that will normalize with Israel.

“There will be more countries that are in the Arab League that will normalize and make peace with Israel, I have no doubt it is a certainty. How many, in what order, I think everyone will have to wait and see,” he told Israel Hayom.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have both normalized relations with Israel in recent weeks.

Sudan is currently ruled by a fragile transitional Sovereignty Council run by al-Burhan, who has reportedly been generally supportive of ties with Israel. His civilian counterpart, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, however, has been far more hesitant.

Al-Burhan is scheduled to hand over control of the Sovereignty Council to Hamdok in 2022. But the normalization question has reportedly driven a wedge between the two leaders, with al-Burhan increasingly frustrated by Hamdok’s insistence that the transitional government has no mandate to handle the normalization question at this time.

Israeli officials have long expressed a wish for better relations with Khartoum. But Sudanese officials had been rejecting the US effort to tie Khartoum’s removal from the blacklist to its normalizing ties with Israel.

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Erdogan Declares War on Arabs

by Khaled Abu Toameh
October 16, 2020 at 5:00 am

“Some countries in our region did not exist yesterday, and they may not exist in the future….” — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing parliament on October 1, 2020.

  • “His [Erdogan’s] crimes against the Arab peoples must be exposed, such as his massacres against the Syrian people, against the Kurds in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and in Libya….” — Abdel Aziz Razan, a Saudi adviser at the Center for Arab-Russia Studies, Okaz, October 4, 2020.
  • Such powerful responses made by Saudis and other Arabs to Erdogan’s contemptuous statements show that the Arabs now understand it is Erdogan and his friends in Iran whom they should fear. In the eyes of these Arabs, Erdogan and his Iranian connections represent the real threat to their security and stability.
  • In light of such reactions, perhaps more Arab countries will follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in signing diplomatic agreements with Israel. The State of Israel, as it turns out, is a strategic and strong ally that can help Arab countries stop Turkey and Iran from spreading their contagion of terror in the Middle East.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing to insult and threaten Arabs, specifically those living in the Gulf.

Many Arabs are concerned about Erdogan’s threats against their countries and his ongoing meddling in their internal affairs. Some Arabs are saying that the time has come to stand up to Erdogan and end his “malicious” schemes against Arab countries.

In the past few days, many Arabs took to social media and other platforms to condemn Erdogan’s latest offensive remarks and veiled threats against their countries.

They were responding to statements by Erdogan, who on October 1 told Turkish lawmakers, “Some countries in our region did not exist yesterday, and they may not exist in the future, but God willing, we will continue to raise our flag in this region forever.” He was apparently referring to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and other Gulf countries.

The Turkish president was speaking at the opening of the 27th legislative session of his country’s parliament. Commenting on the death of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Erdogan said, “He [The Emir of Kuwait] was “a different, rational and wise leader, unlike the rulers of some countries in the region, whose rulings do not correspond to reason, logic and fairness.”

Erdogan’s statements sparked a wave of protests and condemnations in the Gulf states, which considered his remarks as “hostile to Arabs” and a “declaration of war on Arabs.”

Some Arabs wondered whether Erdogan was preparing to topple Arab regimes.

Noting that Erdogan posted a video clip of his statements on his Arabic Twitter account in an explicit attempt to send a warning to Arabs, Saudi political analyst Abdel Hameed Yahya wrote: “He [Erdogan] posted it on his Arabic account with an Arabic translation. This is a declaration of war, to say the least.”

Yayha and several Arab political analysts and commentators said that Erdogan “has a project of hegemony and influence that resembles Iran’s project in its end, although they differ in the tools and method of implementation.”

“While Iran uses sectarianism through its militias and proxies, Turkey has used other tools, the most important of which is political Islam, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood organization,” according to the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Arab.

“For years, Turkey continued to implement its agenda in secret, but its true face has begun to appear in public. In light of the internal economic crisis, and Turkey’s external setbacks, there was no room left for Erdogan but to flee forward.”

Saudi political activist Munther Al Sheikh Mubarak remarked:

“Perhaps October will be a turning point in dealing with Erdogan. His clear threats require the Gulf states to take clear measures against Turkey by ending every relationship with it. Shut up, Erdogan!”

Adheya Ahmed Al-Sayed, Chairwoman of the Bahrain Journalists Association, commented that Erdogan’s threats against the Gulf states should be seen as a “message to all those who are deceived by Erdogan. His threat against our country is clear and not hidden.”

Two popular hashtags trending on Twitter reflect the growing concern among Arabs toward Erdogan’s intentions and threats: “Arabs are a red line that should not be crossed” and “Erdogan threatens Arabs.”

Several Gulf social media users accused Erdogan of seeking to increase his popularity “by insulting the Gulf countries and showing contempt for Arabs.”

Egyptian political thinker Magdi Khalil, president of the Middle East Freedom Forum, wrote that Erdogan “is following in Iran’s footsteps by recruiting extremists in favor of his dangerous expansion project.” Erdogan, he added, “is a dangerous man for the world.”

Abdullah Al-Otaibi, a Saudi writer and political analyst, wrote that Erdogan has been sending “mercenaries” to fight in Syria, Iraq and Libya to prove that he is the next Ottoman Caliph. “In Syria, Turkey presented itself as a supporter and savior for the Syrian people from its army and its political leadership,” Al-Otaibi said.

“Then it became clear that the Turkish goal was to control northern Syria and turn the Syrian youth into an army of mercenary militias that Turkey would use to achieve its expansionist ambitions in the Arab countries. Turkey interfered with its armed forces in northern Iraq under the pretext of pursuing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party members. Iraqi and Libyan sovereignty were violated by Turkey in full view of the world. Iran and Turkey spread chaos in the countries in which these two countries interfered, and they support terrorism, deploy militias and transport mercenaries.”

Egyptian writer Emil Amin described Erdogan as a “delusional man” and the “bad man of the region.” Erdogan, Amin wrote, was “busy to the maximum extent with foreign invasions and dreams of restoring the Ottoman Empire.”

Emirati writer Abdel Rahman Al-Naqbi wrote about Erdogan’s “filthy trick” to distract attention from his problems at home. “Hardly a week goes by without Erdogan coming out with fiery statements that contain a direct or implicit threat to the Gulf states and Egypt,” Al-Naqbi said.

“These continuous statements indicate the extent of the turmoil and the challenges facing him inside Turkey, especially in the economic field. This old political trick of distracting the Turkish people from the failure of the ruling regime to solve its internal problems is still used in a ridiculous way. Such nonsense is not appropriate for an ordinary politician, let alone a president of an Islamic state who insults and threatens Muslim countries.”

Saudi political analyst Abdullah Farraj Al-Sharif said that Turkey and Iran have become the two most hostile countries to Saudi Arabia. “Confronting them is obligatory,” he said. “These two countries are hostile to Saudi Arabia for no understandable reasons.”

Another Saudi writer, Mohammed Al-Saaed, compared Erdogan to former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi. “Erdogan thinks that he is the ruler of the region,” Al-Saaed said, dubbing the Turkish president delusional and ignorant.

“The notorious messages that he sends to the countries and peoples of the region confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that we are facing a new Gaddafi. What Erdogan is doing today is breaking the foundations of the modern Turkish state, stone by stone, and destroying its values.”

Abdel Aziz Razan, a Saudi adviser at the Center for Arab-Russia Studies, called on the international media to expose Erdogan’s “crimes” against the Arabs.

“His crimes against the Arab peoples must be exposed, such as his massacres against the Syrian people, against the Kurds in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and in Libya through the violation of Libyan sovereignty and the sending of Syrian mercenaries to that country.”

Such powerful responses made by Saudis and other Arabs to Erdogan’s contemptuous statements show that the Arabs now understand it is Erdogan and his friends in Iran whom they should fear. In the eyes of these Arabs, Erdogan and his Iranian connections represent the real threat to their security and stability.

In light of such reactions, perhaps more Arab countries will follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in signing diplomatic agreements with Israel. The State of Israel, as it turns out, is a strategic and strong ally that can help Arab countries stop Turkey and Iran from spreading their contagion of terror in the Middle East.

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Forces will be levied by him; they will desecrate the temple, the fortress; they will abolish the regular offering and set up the appalling abomination. Daniel 11:31 (The Israel BibleTM)

A prominent Palestinian religious leader slammed the Gulf States for normalizing relations with Israel by claiming that the Abraham Accords are based on the “false Zionist narrative” that the Jewish Temples once stood on the Temple Mount.


In a sermon on Friday, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem appointed by Yasser Arafat and the current head of the Temple Mount Islamic council, warned that Israel has been successful in marketing the “Zionist narrative” that the Al Aqsa Mosque is situated on land that was once part of the Jewish Temple. 

Sabri warned that Israel had succeeded in persuading some Arab leaders to accept the “Zionist narrative” of Jewish Temples once standing on the Temple Mount. Sabri claimed that it was this false narrative that led to the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel. On the other hand, he condemned the incompetence of Muslims in marketing the Islamic narrative by clerics and the media.

The Sheikh warned that the “occupation” and the settlers are working to take over specific places in the al-Aqsa. In this statement, Sabri is incorrectly using the term “Al Aqsa’ to refer to the entire Temple Mount rather than just the silver-domed mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount complex. 

Sabri claimed that Israel did not respect the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, He claimed that Israel is working to sever the ties between Muslims and the site by creating “delusions” among “settlers” (Jews who live in Judea and Samaria). According to Sabri, this illusion was built around a false narrative that “Palestine” was the land that Jews had a right to, and that the Temple will be built on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

According to Sabri, Israel’s “greed” does not stop and is also reflected in daily “infiltrations” to Al-Aqsa in an attempt to impose a new reality. Again, since Jews are not permitted to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque, it is clear that Sabri is using the term ‘Al-Aqsa’ to refer to the entire Temple Mount.


Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, unpacked Sabri’s comments, noting the tenuous connection between Islam and the Temple Mount.

“There is no mention of Jerusalem or the Temples in the Koran,” Dr. Kedar said, “The Koran does relate that Allah told the Jews to go into the land and they refused. This is, of course, the Biblical story of the spies after the Exodus from Egypt.” Though the Jewish Temple are not explicitly mentioned in the Koran, they are undoubtedly the basis for the Muslim presence at the site.

“However, Jerusalem is referred to in the hadith as Bayit al-Maqdis, which is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew, ‘Beit Hamikdash’ (house of the holy, i.e. the Temple), Dr. Kedar said. “No doubt this is what the Jews called the Temple Mount and the Arabs took this and translated it.”

Islam and Judaism

Dr. Kedar emphasized that the current conflict leading to a Muslim ban on Jewish worship at the Temple Mount was not always the case.

“In the seventh century, Jews viewed the beginnings of Islam as a sign the geula (redemption) was coming,” Dr. Kedar said. “For hundreds of years, the Byzantine Christians barred the Jews from entering Jerusalem. In the seventh century, the new Muslim religion allowed Jews to come to Jerusalem. Jews viewed Islam in a positive light as it resembled Judaism, having taken many elements including Biblical stories from Judaism. 

“This positive Jewish attitude was reciprocated by the Muslims as the Jews were not trying to establish a Jewish state on Muslim land. Jews were everywhere in Arab and Muslim countries and the Arabs viewed them as the elite. There is a hadith that relates how Jews were permitted to bring incense to the area of the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in the eighth century.”

Dr. Kedar explained that using the term ‘Al Aqsa’ to refer to the entire Temple Mount is a recent phenomenon that is entirely based in a flawed political narrative.

During the Ottoman Empire, there were periods when Jews not only prayed on the Temple Mount, but the Jews were permitted to burn incense to be burned on the rock inside the Dome of the Rock where the Holy of Holies once stood,” Dr. Kedar said. “This was because it was based on Islamic sources. This should have been the status quo.”

Dr. Kedar explained that the Abraham Accords did not refer to Jerusalem at all, and this is hugely problematic for the Palestinian leadership.

“The Jerusalem issue is much less important to the Gulf States, which is a matter of enormous concern for Sheikh Sabri,” Dr. Kedar explained. “Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are at the epicenter of the Palestinian story. Without Jerusalem and Al Aqsa, the Palestinian issue has almost no meaning. It is like whiskers without a cat. This is why they keep repeating the allegation that the Jews have no connection to the Temple Mount or Jerusalem even though this flies in the face of all recorded history.”

“In Islam, religion is used to give legitimacy to political issues. The Saudis do this, as does Iran and Turkey. Religion and politics in Islam are inseparable. Islam without political power is nothing.”

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Jerusalem is our city,’ Turkey’s Erdogan declares

Addressing lawmakers in Ankara, Turkish president says the Palestinian people have lived in the capital ‘for thousands of years’

By RAPHAEL AHREN 1 October 2020, 9:54 pm  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday implied that Jerusalem belongs to Turkey, referring to the Ottoman Empire’s control over the city for much of the modern era.

“In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us,” he told Turkish lawmakers during a major policy speech in Ankara. “Our first qibla [direction of prayer in Islam] al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are the symbolic mosques of our faith. In addition, this city is home to the holy places of Christianity and Judaism.”

The Ottoman Empire ruled over Jerusalem from 1516 to 1917. Modern Turkey, its successor state, has long stressed its enduring connection to the holy city, regularly condemning Israel’s alleged efforts to “judaize” it and the US administration’s December 2017 recognition of it as Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the country’s founding, and the Jewish people have thousands of years of history in the city, backed up by extensive archaeological finds.

During a lengthy speech at the opening of the Turkish parliament’s new legislative session, Erdoğan spent several minutes lamenting the fate of Jerusalem and the Palestinians’ plight.

“Another crisis that our country and our nation carefully follow is the oppression of Israel against the Palestinians and the indifferent practices that disregard the privacy of Jerusalem,” he said toward the end of his address.

“The issue of Jerusalem is not an ordinary geopolitical problem for us. First of all, the current physical appearance of the Old City, which is the heart of Jerusalem, was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, with its walls, bazaar, and many buildings. Our ancestors showed their respect for centuries by keeping this city in high esteem.”

The Palestinian people have been living in Jerusalem “for thousands of years,” but they were occupied and had their rights violated, the Turkish leader went on.

He went on to vow to “pay close attention” to the Palestinian issue.

“We consider it an honor on behalf of our country and nation to express the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people on every platform, with whom we have lived for centuries,” he said. “With this understanding, we will follow both the Palestinian cause, which is the bleeding wound of the global conscience, and the Jerusalem case to the end.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Erdoğan’s speech.

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Another Potential Entanglement for the Turkish Military

BY MARK DAVIDSON on SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 • ( 0 )

Today is Monday, September 28, 2020. It is Day 264 of the grace period declared by one of the kings of the Medes and Persians, the supreme leader. of Iran.

If the north push of the Persian Ram takes the IRGC forces into eastern Turkish territory, how much resistance might it find there?

One clue we have in Daniel 8:7 that the IRGC may very well be occupying Turkish territory is the use of the word “enraged.” That word means to be personally embittered. The same word was used to describe Esau’s feelings toward Jacob after being cheated of his birthright. A Sunni Muslim leader would be enraged that a Shia Muslim military was invading his territory.

In an earlier post it was shown that the Turkish military, though formidable, might be tied down in part facing the Russian military in a regional conflict at the time the Second Signpost begins.

Albania versus Serbia is one potential conflict, in which Turkey could become tied down, facing Russian troops.

Libya is another.

Now we may have a third regional conflict that might tie down the Turkish military against Russia. Conflict between Christian Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan has exploded in recent days.

Turkey supports Azerbaijan, while Armenia has a military agreement with Russia.

The fight involves Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan peopled mostly with Armenians. Nagorno has been attempting to break away from Azerbaijan, and Armenia has been helping them. Of course, Azerbaijan wants their territory back.

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