Category: Islam

‘PALESTINIAN’ LEADER: ISRAEL CONQUERING BIBLICAL BORDERS OF NILE TO EUPHRATES

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | BIBLICAL NEWS

On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying, “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: Genesis 15:18 (The Israel BibleTM)

In an interview with told Qatar’s Al-Araby TV last Tuesday, Fatah (PLO) Central Committee Member Azzam al-Ahmad warned Arab nations against the Abraham Accords, claiming that Israel aspires to dominate the entire region. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated and reported on the interview:

Euphrates to the Nile

“We hope that the people [of the UAE and Bahrain] will restrain [their leaders] and make them reconsider what they have signed. Do not destroy yourselves and the future of the entire Arab nation,” al Ahmad said. “We are defending Mecca, Baghdad, Cairo, Amman, and Damascus. This is our destiny as Palestinians. We are the Murabitun in Jerusalem who defend it from the Zionist territorial designs from the Euphrates to the Nile. We will continue to serve as the spearhead in the confrontation against the American administration and the Zionist movement.”

Defenders of the faith

Literally meaning “defenders of the faith”, Murabitun is a term used to describe several historical and currently active trans-Arab Jihadist groups.

“We will continue to serve as the spearhead and will continue to persevere and fight,” al-Ahmad concluded. “We have been fighting for over 100 years in defense of the Arab nation and the Islamic and Christian holy sites.”

Biblical description

Al Ahmad’s reference to the Euphrates and Nile is based on the Biblical description of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants.

On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying, “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: Genesis 15:18

The precise boundaries of the promised land is a complicated subject that changed drastically throughout the 5,000-year history of the Jews in the land. The description in Genesis is, in fact, the first of three Biblical descriptions of the borders of the land God promised to the Jews. 

A detailed description is outlined in Numbers chapter 34 for the purposes of establishing regions ascribed to each tribe. These borders are repeated in Ezekial chapter 37. 

The final description of the borders is the territory that will be acquired in stages. 

I will not drive them out before you in a single year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply to your hurt. I will drive them out before you little by little, until you have increased and possess the land. I will set your borders from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of Philistia, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you will drive them out before you. Exodus 23:29-31

The precise borders of Israel as described in the Bible is a complicated study and the actual borders have changed drastically over the 5,000-year history of the Jewish People in the land. In his interview, al-Ahmad repeated a trope frequently used by anti-Zionists to portray Zionism as having a regionally imperialist agenda. This concept of Israeli expansionism was even cited by Osama Bin Laden as one of the reasons for his terrorist war on the US, which he perceived as supporting this agenda.

Biblical context

In the Biblical context, the description of the borders of Israel as described in Genesis is referred to as Eretz Yisrael HaShlema (ארץ ישראל השלימה; the complete land of Israel) though it is usually translated inaccurately as ‘the Greater Israel” vision, implying an extremist political agenda. 

Boundaries of Israel

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel has written several books and atlases widely recognized as authoritative on the subject of the Biblical and historical boundaries of Israel. He has also been criticized for views which his detractors claimed are dangerously extremist on the same subject.

“Israel is working to sign an accord with Kuwait,” Rabbi Yisrael stated, noting that the Torah warns against making deals with the inhabitants of the land.

You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. Exodus 23:32

Kuwait

“Kuwait is, in fact, included in the borders of the land promised to Abraham, which includes all the territory from the Euphrates to the Persian Gulf. There are regions that are unclear or debatable, but other areas are clearly part of this.”

Tel Aviv vs Iraq

“We are commanded by the Torah to settle in every area that God told us to dwell in,” Rabbi Ariel said. “It is certainly forbidden for us to relinquish land which is not ours to give away. In this regard, there is no difference between Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem, or any other land within these borders.” 

Jewish sovereignty

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the former spokesman for the Sanhedrin and the head of the Organization of the 70 Nations, acknowledges that Rabbi Ariel’s interpretation of the Biblically mandated borders of Israel was undoubtedly accurate while noting the implications were even more complicated. Rabbi Weiss prefaced his statements by emphasizing that it is forbidden to divide the land of Israel or to relinquish territories already under Jewish sovereignty.

Joshua ben Nun

“It is permitted, under certain circumstances and in specific manners, to make agreements with the inhabitants of these territories,” Rabbi Weiss said, citing the path endorsed by Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Kach political party. “Rabbi Kahane, who was considered far-right in matters of Israeli nationalism, based his policies on Biblical precedent. Before waging his campaign to conquer Israel, Joshua ben Nun sent letters to the inhabitants of the land, offering them three options: to come to amenable terms with the Children of Israel, to emigrate, or to engage in battle.” Rabbi Weiss emphasized that coming to terms required accepting the Noahide laws which included rejecting idolatry and murder.

“We are not required to be zealots and there are solutions,” Rabbi Weiss said. “In any case, before engaging in war there must be an attempt at peace making. This is certainly true in the case of the modern state of Israel and its current neighbors so long as it is not based on dividing the land currently under Israeli sovereignty.” 

Evil political agendas

“Unfortunately, in the current political environment, the political mechanisms are not structured to encourage true peace between nations. The United Nations and European Union are focused on encouraging unjust and evil political agendas and it is not true of a politically correct vision of peace, which is no peace at all..”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10937

IS CHINA HELPING SAUDI ARABIA GO NUCLEAR?

BY JNS | MIDDLE EAST

The recent normalization deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have fundamentally shifted the region’s alliances. Both Gulf countries maintain close ties with Saudi Arabia, and speculation abounds as to whether or not the Saudis will be the next country to formalize ties with the Jewish state. While Israel may be on the verge of cementing a close alliance with major Sunni Arab states in the face of a common enemy with Iran, at the same time, concern is also growing about a possible nuclear race in the region with China’s help.

A recent report in The Guardian indicates that Chinese geologists say Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium ore reserves for the domestic production of nuclear fuel. At the same time, a Wall Street Journal report said that Western officials have grown concerned about nuclear cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia in the construction of a facility for extracting uranium yellowcake from uranium ore. This facility is being built with the assistance of two Chinese companies. Similarly, The New York Times reported that Western intelligence agencies are “scrutinizing” the Saudi’s work with China to develop nuclear expertise as a cover towards the development of a nuclear weapon.

Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS that the Saudi-Chinese relationship has existed for many years already. In the 1980s, Saudi Arabia reached out to China because it wanted to obtain Chinese missile technology.

“They acquired from China some of the longest-range ballistic missiles in the Middle East,” he said. “So we have been there.” But Saudi nuclear capability, even if for peaceful purposes, could still place the Saudis at the threshold of nuclear military capability, which has Israel greatly concerned.

Gold said “one of the challenges for diplomacy is to try and make some of the moderation in Saudi behavior more permanent, and I don’t think we’ve done that. As much as Saudi interests have changed, it is a reversible change. We have to make sure that it has a higher degree of permanence.” While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has demonstrated an interest in moderation by creating distance from the extremist Wahhabi ideology of many of Saudi Arabia’s top clerics, it remains unclear whether or not his influence will hold.

According to Gold, Israel and Saudi Arabia “need to take the mutual threat we both face and create a basis for a quasi-alliance, but I’m not sure we are there yet. Relationships with countries you don’t have diplomatic relations with are usually held very tightly in the hands of whoever is the leader. The question is how you make it permanent.” That question could be answered soon if reports are true that Saudi Arabia will eventually sign a normalization agreement with Israel. Making such diplomatic relations permanent “could be an agenda item for the U.S. and Israel to work on after the American elections,” said Gold.

‘Chinese companies less hostile’ towards developing nukes

So why did the Saudis turn to China, of all countries, for assistance with its nuclear program, especially since China has helped Pakistan and Iran in the past? According to Saeed Ghasseminejad, a senior Iran and financial economics adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Saudis probably have two reasons to go to Chinese companies.

“First,” he told JNS, “if they decide to move towards military nuclear capabilities, China and Chinese companies will be more accommodating or at least less hostile towards such a move.”

“Second, the Kingdom is trying to diversify, if not realign, its strategic foreign partnerships,” said Ghasseminejad. “Working with China on this strategic project is another sign that China and Saudi Arabia are strengthening their bond.” Bin Salman has said that he would not pursue the nuclear option unless Iran achieved the bomb, which it still has not; however, he has started working on nuclear capability nonetheless. Why?

“In 2015, [former President Barack] Obama signed a deal with Tehran that gave Tehran a patient pathway to a nuclear bomb and gave it an industrial large-scale nuclear capacity, which could quickly turn into a military program,” recounted Ghasseminejad. “The Democratic Party still insists that the [the deal] is the golden standard of nuclear non-proliferation agreements, and they want to go back to it. Saudi Arabia, as a longtime U.S. ally that does not chant ‘Death to Israel,’ obviously wants at least what Iran got.” “Also,” he added, “for decades, Riyadh and Washington had a deal where Saudis bought U.S. goods and weapons, and helped Washington in managing the oil market, and Washington defended Saudi Arabia.”

However, Ghasseminejad said that recent U.S. actions by both the Obama and U.S. President Donald Trump have made the Saudis more cautious of solely relying on the United States. “Obama actively tried to undermine the Saudis in favor of Tehran, and Trump did nothing when the clerical regime targeted the heart of Saudi’s oil industry,” he said.

He went on to explain that if an administration run by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “will offer Tehran the same patient pathway to a nuclear bomb, and neither Republicans nor Democrats guarantee Riyadh’s security, then the kingdom probably perceives that having nuclear capability is an option, if not the best option, to deter the Islamist regime in Tehran from further and more severe aggression in future.”

Saudi Arabia is having a ‘Shah-moment’

Israel is naturally concerned after it warned the Obama administration that the nuclear deal with Iran would start a Middle East arms race, that now its worries are coming to fruition. Now, Saudi Arabia believes that it needs nuclearization to counter Iran. Who is to say tomorrow it won’t be pointed at Israel?

“Israel is right to be concerned,” said Ghasseminejad. “The Middle East today is full of unstable governments, radicalized societies, apocalyptic militants and messianic politicians.”

Ghasseminejad noted that while the Saudis may currently be a friend of Israel, “MBS is having his Shah-moment.”

As Ghasseminejad described, in the 1960s, the Shah decided that “modernizing the country required weakening the monarchy’s traditional allies and broadening the middle class as the support base for a modern monarch. It was an absolutely successful plan that modernized the country at a fast rate but led to a political disaster. Two decades later, the clergy turned on him and the middle class left him alone and joined the revolution.”

“MBS is following the same plan,” observed Ghasseminejad. “He may succeed in avoiding the Shah’s fate, but it is also possible that he won’t. As a result, it is essential to make sure the conservative kingdoms of the region will not be replaced with a radical Islamist regime, and if they do, their successor will not get their hands on nuclear weapons.”

What happens when the Middle East goes nuclear? Will there be a way down from the ladder at that point? “A nuclear Middle East will be a ticking nuclear bomb,” said Ghasseminejad. “Some may hope that the imminent threat of a nuclear Armageddon will curb the apocalyptic urges of religious fundamentalists in the region. That is a gamble no sane person should accept.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10930

WILL IRAN INVADE BAHRAIN AS REVENGE AGAINST NORMALIZATION WITH ISRAEL?

BY JNS | MIDDLE EAST

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel BibleTM)

The normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain constitutes another significant and painful blow to Iran’s soft belly. However, unlike the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain is of particular historical, religious and political importance to Iran. Bahrain was once under Persian rule (1602-1783) and as Iran’s 14th province sent representatives to the Iranian Majlis (parliament). A Sunni minority rules the Shi’ite majority in Bahrain, and part of the population is Persian in origin. In recent years, especially during the tenure of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but also before, there were calls to restore Bahrain to Iranian rule.

Bahrain, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is located right in the middle of the Iranian “lion’s jaws.” It hosts the U.S. Navy’s main naval base in the Gulf region, home to the Fifth Fleet, and representatives of the Royal British Navy. Bahrain effectively serves as a microcosm for the “great processes” and shake-ups in the Middle East that have gradually unraveled the old order, narratives and paradigms (Sykes-Picot, land for peace, pan-Arabism). These are being replaced by a new regional order represented by the U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” vision and economic prosperity.

Since the outbreak of the “Arab Spring”—and even long before it—Iran has acted with perseverance, principally via its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, to destabilize the Bahraini Kingdom and bring down its minority Sunni rule. The decision by Bahrain, with the backing of Saudi Arabia, to normalize relations with Israel is expected to lead to an increase in Iranian subversion efforts in the kingdom through local Shi’ite terrorist groups and the Shi’ite opposition parties, with assistance from the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah. Leading Iranian media, such as Kayhan, which reflect the opinions of the country’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, are already inciting Bahrainis to take up arms to protect their rights. Kayhan declares that Bahrain will be the first of the Gulf states to fall, and that “the storm against Israel is rapidly approaching.” “A shameful move that will result in serious consequences” As in the case of the establishment of relations between Israel and the UAE, senior Iranian officials in Iran’s Foreign Ministry were quick to condemn the move by Bahrain, defining it as “shameful” and harmful to the Palestinian people.

“This shameful act by Bahrain,” the spokesman continued, “slaughters the Palestinian ideology and the decades-long struggle and suffering of the Palestinian people on the altar of the American election. Undoubtedly, the oppressed and freedom-seeking people of Palestine and the freedom-seeking Muslims of the world will never accept the relations with the usurper and rebellious regime of Israel, and this shameful act will forever remain in the memory of the oppressed nation of Palestine and the freedom-loving nations of the world.” The spokesman also warned of “an infringement on the security of the region by the Zionist regime” and said that “responsibility for such intervention rests on the shoulders of the Bahraini government.”

Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, an adviser to the chairman of the Majlis, tweeted that “Bahrain will be facing difficult times” as a result of its decision to make peace with Israel. “The Bahraini regime’s compromise w/ #Israel is a great betrayal to the Islamic cause & Palestinians. The imprudent leaders in UAE, #Bahrain must not pave the way for the Zionist schemes. They should learn lessons from history. Tomorrow is late! The U.S. lifeline has worn out for years,” he wrote.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that in trying to drive a wedge between the Bahraini government and the Bahraini people, “the Government of Bahrain made a fundamental mistake by preferring to find refuge in the lap of the occupying regime of Jerusalem instead of gaining legitimacy from its people” and by “sacrificing the ideal of noble Palestine to the internal American elections.”

IRGC: Bahrain’s Shi’ites will not permit normalization with Israel

The IRGC’s foreign relations office issued a bellicose statement on its website calling for rebellion and citizen protests in Bahrain. The IRGC Quds Force, true to its intentions, will enforce the execution of such protests, including violent expressions and attacks by its terrorist proxies.

“The executioner ruler of Bahrain should await harsh revenge of the Mujahideen [Islamic fighters] aiming to liberate Quds [Jerusalem] and the proud Muslim nation of this country,” said the statement. It went on to state that “the shameful measure by [King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa] Al Khalifa and the dependent regime [stooge] ruling Bahrain in establishing relations with the Zionist regime against the wishes and ideals of that country’s Muslim nation is a big idiocy void of any legitimacy, and it will receive suitable responses.”

Elsewhere, the statement said, “The domino effect of normalization of relations with the Zionist regime—which is through the rulers of certain Arab countries and the engineering of the White House and the hated and unwise U.S. president—follows their imposition of humiliation on Muslim nations and looting of their resources and wealth.” Claiming that the U.S.-Gulf objective is to make the Palestinian territories safe for Israel, the IRGC declared this project will never be fulfilled, and, on the contrary, will give Muslim nations a stronger determination to “eliminate the cancerous tumor, Israel.”

The statement warns “Al Khalifa and other arrogant traitors to the Bahraini regime against opening the gates to the entry and influence of the Zionist regime into the strategic area of the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea.” It goes on to say that those who assist the United States and the “Zionist regime” will be targeted by the “holy rage and burning revenge” of the Islamic nation, and especially “the Shi’ite residents in Bahrain, who raise the banner of Imam Hussein bin Ali [a symbol of Shi’ite martyrdom].”

Press TV, the Iranian propaganda channel in English, and al-Alem TV, which broadcasts to an Arab target audience, echoed the calls against the agreement, especially from protesting citizens of Bahrain. “The agreement is treason” and “Bahrain opposes normalization” were press headlines. Kayhan newspaper’s editorial declared, “It is all too obvious that the pirate regime in occupation of the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain has signed its own death warrant by establishing ties with the illegal Zionist entity.”

Bahrain’s Shi’ite opposition party: A “betrayal of Islam”

Bahrain’s largest Shi’ite opposition party, the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society (Jam’īyat al-Wifāq al-Waṭanī al-Islāmīyah) or the “Bloc of Believers,” acted in the spirit of its patron, Iran, and called the government’s relationship with the “Zionist enemy” (Israel) a “crime.” The party declared that the deal was illegal and that the rulers of Bahrain had no authority to take such a move, which it called “a betrayal of Islam and Arabism, a deviation from the broader Arab and Islamic consensus and harm to the Palestinian people.”

Saraya Wa’ad Allah (The Promise of God), an Iranian-backed military wing of the Bahraini Shi’ite opposition group, was the first to officially react to the peace deal. “This false normalization is nothing but an update to the enabling of this cancerous tumor in the body of the [Islamic] Ummah, and it is rejected by reason, Sharia law, and the people,” it said in a statement. On Sept. 16, Saraya Wa’ad Allah announced the creation of Saraya Suhada al-Quds (martyrs of Jerusalem) to fight the “the Zionist presence in Bahrain.”

Bahrain, Iran’s 14th province

Iran claims sovereignty over Bahrain and produces historical references to it from time to time. Bahrain was under Persian rule from 1602-1783, following an 80-year Portuguese occupation. In 1799, the House of Khalifa moved to Bahrain from Qatar, and they maintained a protectorate status to the British. After the end of the 1960s, Britain decided to withdraw its forces from the Gulf, and Iran renewed its claims of sovereignty over the island. However, in a 1970 referendum, the people of Bahrain were required to decide between independence and becoming part of Iran. They chose independence. The Iranian Shah ceased to raise the issue, but after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Tehran put it on the agenda from time to time. In a dispute with the UAE, Iran also claimed sovereignty over three islands (Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb) near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian officials continue to argue that until its independence, Bahrain was the 14th province of Iran and was even represented in Iran’s Majlis. They also sharply criticize the Shah’s “shameful” decision to give it up. For example, Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Kayhan and a close associate of Iran’s leader, stated in July 2007, “The governments of the Gulf states were established as a result of the direct interference of global condescension [western powers] … And were accused by their people of collaborating with the Zionist entity … They know full well that the earthquake that shook Iran [the Islamic Revolution] would bring [sooner or later] the collapse of their illegal regimes.” He said it was not his personal opinion, but that of the Iranian and Bahraini people.

These statements, which undermined Bahrain’s Arab identity, its independence and sovereignty, although rare, feed the Bahraini concerns about Iran’s continued subversion and repeated attempts to overthrow the monarchy.

For Iran, Bahrain is a critical and charged issue, and over the years it has been trying to incite the Shi’ite majority’s protests against the Sunni rule. The Bahraini decision to move toward normalization with Israel is also linked to internal developments within Bahrain and fears of the kingdom’s ongoing Shi’ite protests. The Shi’ite majority (70 percent) calls from time to time and with varying intensity to challenge the Sunni royal family. The normalization of relations with Israel is yet another sign of the profound transformation reshaping the political and social landscape of the Middle East and redefining the region’s relations with the United States and Israel, in particular under Iran’s shadow across the Sunni-Shi’ite and Arab-Persian divide.

Iran flipped the Arab Spring into an Islamic awakening

With the outbreak of the Arab Spring 10 years ago, the popular protest swept the Arab world, including Bahrain. Bahrain encapsulates the weaknesses of the Arab world in the face of Iran’s growing projection of military power. At the same time, differences appear within Bahrain’s Shi’ites. They are still divided over the sources of Shi’ite religious authority (embodied by Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei or his rival Ayatollah Sistani), as well as ethnic and religious rivalries—Persians, Arabs, Shi’ites and Sunnis. In the dramatic course of normalizing relations with Israel, it appears that Bahrain openly chose the American shield against Iran’s looming shadow, showing the disconnect between normalization with Israel and solving the Palestinian problem. Washington is considered the kingdom’s main ally. The U.S. Fifth Fleet Command operates in Gulf waters as a counterweight and a deterrent against Iran.

Bahrain is the arena of a major conflict in the Gulf between two major regional forces. Iran (Shi’ite), which still sees itself as defining, representing and leading the “new regional order” or the “Islamic Spring,” the one that was supposed to rebuild its vision on the ruins of the old American/Western order and the Arab regimes supported by it. Since the Arab Spring, Iran has tried with only partial success to exploit the weakness and fragmentation of the Arab countries (Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon). With these countries primarily busy maintaining their stability and understanding the U.S. position toward them, Iran has been increasing its political and military involvement. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia (Sunni) is involved in a desperate battle (including in its own backyard in Yemen) to preserve something of the old order that is crumbling under its feet.

The confrontation with Iran

During the Arab Spring in 2011, Saudi Arabia dispatched to Bahrain the Peninsula Shield Force to prevent Bahrain from falling into the hands of the Iranian-backed Shi’ite majority. It was sent to the kingdom in the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Defense Agreement to assist Bahrain in protecting its “vital facilities and interests” and, in fact, prevented a coup in Bahrain.

In doing so, Saudi Arabia signaled that it was ready to confront Iran and showed a new face to its historic rival. The fall of Bahrain to the Shi’ites—for which Tehran pushed 10 years ago—would have granted Tehran direct access from the east (Bahrain borders with Saudi Arabia) into the heart of the Sunni world. Later, with the Shi’ite Houthi rebels, Iran managed to gain a foothold on the southern border of Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Iran is constantly working on strengthening Shi’ite parties in Bahrain, such as the al-Ashtar Brigades. With the help of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran incites these parties to protest, even violently, against the regime.

As part of the Iranian campaign, Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim of Bahrain issued a stern statement opposing the normalization of relations between Bahrain and Israel. Sheikh Isa supports the absolute theocratic rule of Khamenei (Velayat-e faqih) and even relates to him as the venerated Imam Hussein of our times. Iran also tries to weaken Shi’ite parties that support the Quietist Shi’ite model (separation of political and clerical power), which finds expression in the model of power in Iraq and its main representative, the Grand Ayatollah Ali Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani and even some of the Shi’ite clerics in Lebanon, such as Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, before his death in 2010. Following Bahrain’s announcement to normalize its relations with Israel, Iran blatantly called on the Shi’ites in the kingdom to come out and demonstrate against the “betrayal,” as reflected in the statement issued by the IRGC and other Iranian spokesmen.

Iran is concerned that Shi’ites in Iraq, in Bahrain and other Gulf countries, Lebanon and even Iran may shift their support to Ali al-Sistani’s brand of Shi’ism. Therefore, Iran tries to strengthen those Shi’ite clerics who venerate Khamenei. Iran also tries to nurture in Bahrain’s Shi’ites, some of whom are of Arab and others of Persian origin, a unique Shi’ite identity and affinity to the Iranian leader. In this context, Iran provides them generous financial assistance, helps Shi’ite organizations, and even provides weapons to some, with the assistance of Hezbollah.

Iran does not suffice with words and works vigorously to destabilize Bahrain, mainly through the recruitment and incitement of its Shi’ites, and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon (and modeled on local Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Yemen). This way, Iran advances its interests and prepares the ground for overthrowing the government in Bahrain using secret intelligence-gathering cells and organizing Shi’ites to protest and acts of subversion.

The Malik al-Ashtar Brigades

In this context, in 2013, the Quds Force of the IRGC were behind the establishment of the Islamic Resistance in Bahrain, along the model of Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Malik al-Ashtar Brigades, also called Saraya al-Ashtar, aims to overthrow the Bahraini monarchy.

The IRGC even provided the al-Ashtar Brigades with explosives, weapons and training, some of which took place in Iraqi camps. The terrorist organization carried out several attacks, including assassinations and car bombings, against Bahraini security forces and security targets, in which police officers and members of the security forces were killed. One of the police officers killed in a terrorist attack carried out by the organization in 2014 was a UAE policeman, stationed in Bahrain as part of the forces sent by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2011 to suppress an attempted coup. Since July 2018, the U.S. State Department has included the al-Ashtar organization in its list of terrorist organizations. Following extensive and ongoing counter-terrorism activities by the Bahrain authorities, it was discovered that several of the organization’s operatives had found refuge in Iran. Bahrain’s security forces have arrested some of the organization’s operatives, and some of them have been executed.

Many diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks pointed out to senior U.S. officials that the Bahraini monarchy and other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, were deeply concerned with both the political (“Bahrain is a part of Iran”) and military (nuclear and naval) threats posed by Iran. Bahrain is also concerned about subversion of its government, and the growing Iranian impact in the region, especially in Iraq and the Gulf. It was discussed in the cables that Bahrain and other Gulf states needed to formulate a regional Arab response and creation of the international umbrella to protect from those threats.

Bahrain accuses Iran of aiming to overthrow the regime, the way it attempted to do in the early 1980s, and again in 1994 when it established Hezbollah in Bahrain and even trained its operatives in Syria. In 1996, Bahrain uncovered on its territory Hezbollah cells, called Hezbollah Bahrain. These cells were inspired by the Lebanese Hezbollah and were established with its assistance. Earlier in 1981, security forces in Bahrain unveiled the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, which was trained and financed by Iranian intelligence and acted to stage a coup.

The Iranian method of operation is similar in any country where there is a Shi’ite majority or minority. It recruits the Lebanese Hezbollah, which possesses the knowledge and experience it gained fighting against Israel and in Syria, and trains the operatives in Lebanon and Iran. Iran operates the Quds Force and official Iranian institutions that work to locate, recruit and train local operatives, who will constitute future Hezbollah cells. This way, Hezbollah Al-Hejaz, the Hezbollah movement in Iraq, Hezbollah Bahrain (al-Ashtar Brigades) and others were established.

Bahrain considers Lebanese Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization. In the past year, Bahrain has also taken a series of measures and imposed financial penalties against Iranian individuals and banks suspected of laundering money and transferring it to support terrorism or to circumvent sanctions in the kingdom. In August, Bahrain also set up a committee to fight terrorism and extremism, with an emphasis on stopping funding of these organizations.

Convenient infrastructure for subversive activities

Since the outbreak of the Arab Spring, Iran finds in Bahrain a convenient infrastructure for political-religious subversion. Firstly, the proximity to Iran greatly facilitates Iran’s ability to assist Shi’ites in Bahrain. Secondly, the Shi’ite population (the Persian part) has become more attentive to Iran in recent years, in light of its disappointment with Bahraini reforms designed to weaken the Shi’ite opposition through its inclusion in a kind of toothless parliament. The successes of the Shi’ites in Iraq serve as a kind of encouragement to the Shi’ites in Bahrain.

Thirdly, regional and international circumstances contribute to the “increasing hunger” of the Shi’ites: the democratic elections in Iraq, the results of which reflected the Shi’ite majority there, the strong position of Hezbollah in Lebanon after the Second Lebanon War and its political establishment in Lebanon, the successes of the Houthi rebels in Yemen and their steadfast stand against Saudi Arabia, including the capture of the Yemenite capital Sana’a. Fourthly, Iran continues to exploit the collective weakness of the Sunni Arabs in the absence of a leading power core, for example, the symbols of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and to some extent, Hafez al-Assad in Syria. This way, Iran is trying to use the vacuum to direct changes in Bahrain the way it desires.

Shi’ite social networks in Bahrain and their affiliation with Shi’ite social networks in countries with a majority Shi’ite population played a key role during the attempted coup during the Arab Spring in Bahrain in terms of spreading and inciting protests, as well as coordinating with Shi’ite parties outside Bahrain. Bahraini bloggers (some of whom have been arrested by the authorities), opposition forums and websites have also been active during previous rounds of protests against the regime during 2007 and 2008. A unique feature of Bahraini virtual space is that it is a part of the broader Shi’ite context and affiliations. In cyberspace, Bahraini Shi’ites find “sympathetic ears,” words of encouragement and practical advice, as well as ideas common to Shi’ites in a broader context.

The Shi’ite protest in Bahrain resonates in Hezbollah’s forums in Lebanon. Images and videos uploaded in Bahrain echo in Hezbollah’s blogs and forums in Iraq and vice versa. This way, inspired by Iran, a kind of “Shi’ite virtual fraternity” is created, which in the end finds expression far beyond the virtual. Iran’s hopes for a speedy overthrow of the Bahraini monarchy were quickly dashed. Iran had hoped that Bahrain would become another link in the series of what it has defined as “divine events” since the beginning of the 21st century, including Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, the Second Intifada, the Second Lebanon War and “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza.

During the Arab Spring protest in Bahrain, Khamenei stressed that the Bahraini struggle is similar to the struggle in other Arab countries and should therefore be supported. In a propaganda message issued by Khamenei, he also emphasized that Iran supports Bahrain not because of Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority, but the way it has been supporting the Palestinian struggle for the past 32 years. In his message, he said, “We do not differentiate between Gaza, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen—tyranny everywhere is doomed to failure.” In 2011, the Iranians made similar claims to those made today in the face of the establishment of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, according to which the United States has nurtured the monarchies in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to maintain its dominance in the region.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, former commander-in-chief of the IRGC, pointed out in April 2011 that the common denominator of all revolutions against the “corrupt rulers in the region” is the loyalty of these rulers to the United States and Israel. He emphasized that “the residents of Bahrain cannot tolerate such humiliation.” The Saudi military intervention in Bahrain was defined by the IRGC commander as a “strategic error” that would bring Bahrain’s end closer.

A strategic shift in the regional power equations

The normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE reflects strategic developments in the region, some resulting from the Arab Spring and some deriving from the Gulf states’ growing concern regarding Iran’s lengthening regional shadow. The Gulf states have decided to rely on the United States (and Israel), in stark contrast to Tehran’s repeated declarations that Gulf security should be in the hands of countries on its shores.

Iran had hoped and still hopes that it will be able to translate the shock waves of the Arab Spring and the continued weakness of the Sunni Arab camp into a Shi’ite-led Islamic awakening, whereby it takes the central place in the leadership of a new Middle East. Against this backdrop, Iran will continue to present itself (with Turkey breathing down its neck) as remaining true to the Palestinian vision of “liberating Palestine from sea to river” and to head the resistance camp, emphasizing the betrayal of the Palestinian people by the Sunni Arabs.

Faced with the stinging normalization decision by Bahrain—a country with a Shi’ite majority—Iran will further emphasize the growing influence of Shi’ites in the region. The Shi’ites, who Iran believes have lived since the dawn of Islam with a constant sense of degradation by the Sunnis, are now inspired by each other and the Shi’ite successes in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Yemen. They aspire to take a historical place of honor that will lead the Islamic world in a new Islamic world order.

For Iran, the Bahrain campaign is not over yet, but has merely entered a dangerous new phase. Iran’s attempts to destabilize Bahrain, via the Shi’ite majority and terrorist organizations recruited from within and aided by the successful model of the Lebanese Hezbollah, all suggest a violent future. Iranian propaganda is already inciting the Shi’ite majority against the normalization. Bahrain has many Iranian-inspired terrorist cells, established during the era of Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Another question is whether Iran, motivated by a genuine fear of a “Zionist presence” in the Gulf, will attempt to carry out a Crimea-style invasion of Bahrain to restore what it believes to belong to Iran, risking a direct confrontation with the United States. It is likely that Iran has discussed such a scenario and has contingency plans to implement it. Iran also sees Bahrain as a springboard to drive its influence into Sunni territory and to encircle Saudi Arabia from Iraq (northeast), Yemen (in the south) and Bahrain (to the east) through Shi’ite-majority countries. In addition, Iran could stir up the oil-rich eastern part of Saudi Arabia, where there is a large Shi’ite minority.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10927

Trump: Another 5-6 states waiting to sign peace with Israel

 Sep 15, 2020 @ 10:52 BahrainBinyamin Netanyahu Donald TrumpDon ald TrumpIran

President Donald Trump at a joint news conference with PM Binyamin Netanyahu in the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 15 disclosed that 5 or more nations are ready to sign peace with Israel after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. “They all want peace; they’re tired of war. Israel is a very strong country militarily, but it also wants peace, he said.  

Trump and Netanyahu spoke to reporters ahead of the signing ceremony with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain foreign ministers. Trump added: “Even Iran is ready to discuss a deal – their GDP is down by 27pc. I told them to wait until after the (US presidential) election. I will make a deal that is great for Iran and make it a very rich country. very quickly.”

Asked about the sale of F-35 stealth planes to the UAE, Trump brushed the question of by saying that was “easy.” He stressed that that US relations with the UAE were very good. Asked whether the Palestinian issue is touched upon in the two documents, whose contents have not so far been revealed, the US President promised that the Palestinians would absolutely gain too. “We are the talking to the Palestinians,” he said. According to one source, the reference in the peace documents will be on the lines of “two states for two nations,” without concrete steps. DEBKAfile reported earlier.

Trump and Netanyahu spoke to reporters ahead of the signing ceremony with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain foreign ministers. Trump added: “Even Iran is ready to discuss a deal – their GDP is down by 27pc. I told them to wait until after the (US presidential) election. I will make a deal that is great for Iran and make it a very rich country. very quickly.”

Asked about the sale of F-35 stealth planes to the UAE, Trump brushed the question of by saying that was “easy.” He stressed that that US relations with the UAE were very good. Asked whether the Palestinian issue is touched upon in the two documents, whose contents have not so far been revealed, the US President promised that the Palestinians would absolutely gain too. “We are the talking to the Palestinians,” he said. According to one source, the reference in the peace documents will be on the lines of “two states for two nations,” without concrete steps. DEBKAfile reported earlier.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu to meet President Donald Trump tete a tete on Tuesday, Sept. 15 shortly before the ceremonial signing of diplomatic accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The latter are represented by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, respectively.


While the two accords, brokered by President Trump, represent a historic breakthrough to Israel’s acceptance by its Gulf neighbors, they are legally different: With the UAE, the prime minister is signing a “peace treaty” predicated on parliamentary ratification, and with Bahrain, a “declaration of peace,” which is a solemn commitment to peace. Netanyahu’s office has indeed announced that the pact with the UAE will be brought before the government and referred to the Knesset for approval. The precise contents of the two papers have not been revealed.

The official ceremony takes place at 12 p.m. (7 p.m. Israel time) on the White House South Lawn, followed by speeches by the leaders and the playing of the countries’ national anthems. Some 700 people are invited to a grand dinner event.

“We’ve worked on this for many years,” Netanyahu said when he flew out to Washington. “This is a massive turning point in the history of Israel, as well as the history of the Middle East. It will have a huge and positive impact on all Israelis.” He added: “I promise you, from what I see here, that more countries are on the way.”

All Israelis were meanwhile condemned at the end of this same week to spend the High Festivals from Friday under a full lockdown in the face of a major surge in coronavirus infection.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10921

AT NOON TODAY IN THE WHITE HOUSE, ISRAEL WILL SIGN THE ABRAHAM ACCORD PEACE TREATY WITH TWO MUSLIM NATIONS LAYING FOUNDATION FOR DANIEL 9

The Abraham Accord Israel will sign with the UAE will be a peace treaty, Netanyahu said Monday.The agreements could usher in a seismic shift in the Middle East. If Saudi Arabia were to follow, this would have major implications for Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Experts believe other Muslim countries that could soon establish ties with Israel include Oman, Sudan, and Morocco.

by Geoffrey Grider September 15, 2020

The signing of the Abraham Accord comes after months of diplomatic work spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who led the negotiations.

At Noon today in the White House, Israel will sign the historic Abraham Accord peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which will be live streamed right here on this page. The Abraham Accord is what we believe is the foundation stone of the coming Daniel 9:27 covenant that will be confirmed by Antichrist in the days after the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church takes place. If you’re thinking about getting something done for the Lord before Flight #777 takes off, you better do it now.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJB)

Interesting article on the Jerusalem Post today saying that while sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE is not part of the Abraham Accord, creating a Palestinian state is. The Abraham Accord document references a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so when Israel signs it, they do so knowing they are agreeing to not only give up dreams of annexation of Judea and Samaria, but to create a Palestinian state as well. This is why we say that the Abraham Accord is the foundation of the coming Daniel 9 covenant with Antichrist.

Israel to Sign Historic Abraham Accord With UAE and Bahrain at White House Tuesday

FROM CBN NEWS: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington Tuesday getting ready to sign two historic diplomatic deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. President Donald Trump will preside over the signing ceremony, which will take place at 12 p.m. ET on the White House’s South Lawn. Netanyahu and Emirati and Bahraini foreign officials will sign the deals before a crowd of more than 700 people. The deal Israel will sign with the UAE will be a peace treaty, Netanyahu said Monday. It was previously unclear if the deal will be normalization or peace since Israel and the UAE have never been at war.

The deal Israel will sign with Bahrain will be a declaration of intent to make peace with Bahrain. This is because there was not enough time to draw up a full agreement since Friday when ties between Bahrain and Israel were announced, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The peace treaty with the UAE will have to be brought before a vote in Israel’s cabinet and then the Knesset after Netanyahu signs it. The treaty will only be finalized after it is approved by the cabinet. Meanwhile, Israel’s declaration with Bahrain is just a joint statement that does not need Knesset approval.

TRUMP WILL SIGN THE ISRAEL-UAE AND ISRAEL-BAHRAIN DEALS AS A “WITNESS” OR “OBSERVER.”

In addition to the individual bilateral agreements Israel will sign with the UAE and Bahrain, all three countries will sign a trilateral document. The specific details of the deals have yet to be revealed.

“WE HAVE WORKED ON THIS FOR VERY MANY YEARS,” SAID NETANYAHU. “THIS IS A GREAT TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL AND IN THE HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST. IT WILL HAVE A GREAT AND POSITIVE EFFECT ON EVERY CITIZEN OF ISRAEL. I ALSO PROMISE YOU, ACCORDING TO WHAT I SEE HERE, THAT ADDITIONAL COUNTRIES ARE ON THE WAY.”

Before the signing ceremony, Netanyahu and Trump will hold a bilateral meeting at the White House and then leaders from all four countries will meet. The signing of these so-called “Abrahamic Accords” comes after months of diplomatic work spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who led the negotiations.

“These agreements are a huge accomplishment for the countries involved and have led to a tremendous sense of hope and optimism in the region,” said Kushner. “Instead of focusing on past conflicts, people are now focused on creating a vibrant future filled with endless possibilities.”

The agreements could usher in a seismic shift in the Middle East. If Saudi Arabia were to follow, this would have major implications for Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Experts believe other Muslim countries that could soon establish ties with Israel include Oman, Sudan, and Morocco.

The Palestinians have strongly condemned the deals and consider them a stab in the back. While the UAE has said Israel agreed not to move forward with its contentious plans to annex up to 30% of the West Bank, biblical Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu has insisted that annexation remains on the table and is merely suspended. The UAE and Bahrain will become the third and fourth Arab countries to make peace with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10917

TRUMP TO SHOWCASE ISRAEL-UAE PEACE DEAL TO THE WORLD WITH BIG WHITE HOUSE CEREMONY

BY JNS | US-ISRAEL RELATIONS

I will bless those who bless you Genesis 12:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

Israel and the United Arab Emirates are scheduled to formally sign the Aug. 13 normalization agreement—named the “Abraham Accord”—at the White House on Sept. 15, a senior White House official told JNS.

U.S. President Donald Trump will attend the ceremony. A senior Israeli delegation will be led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while a senior Emirati delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.

It will mark the first public meeting between an Israeli prime minister and an Emirati minister, and the first White House peace-accord signing since the one between Israel and Jordan in 1994.

“I am proud to leave for Washington next week at the invitation of President Trump and to participate in the historic ceremony at the White House on the establishment of a peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” said Netanyahu in a statement released by his office.

The upcoming signing would follow the U.S.-brokered agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalize diplomatic relations. Under the deal, Israel has agreed to suspend applying sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.

Israeli and Emirati delegations have been meeting to work on bilateral agreements on security, technology, health care, culture, energy and the environment. Flights, telecommunications, banking and finance between Israel and the UAE are already underway.

Additionally, Israel and the UAE agreed to accelerate the development and treatment of a vaccine for COVID-19.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10902

ABRAHAM ACCORD FEVER BEGINS TO SWEEP ACROSS MIDDLE EAST AS BAHRAIN BECOMES LATEST MUSLIM NATION TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL

Washington looks to mediate the peace talks between Israel and Bahrain and hopes to hold the official normalization ceremony before the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, according to the official. The report follows the historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which was brokered by the United States in August. Like the UAE-Israel deal, the normalization of relations between Bahrain and the Jewish state would likely entail a series of economic and security ties. Just last month, Bahrani prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa reportedly spoke with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen.

by Geoffrey Grider September 3, 2020

Bahrain is set to be the next Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel, a senior Israeli official told Israel’s Kan 11 News Wednesday.

The Abraham Accord is beginning to catch fire across the Middle East, with the Muslim nation of Bahrain agreeing to sign on to the peace covenant. Master architect of the deal, Jared Kushner, says to expect as many as 20 Muslim nations to become part of the Abraham Accord over the next two months. President Trump is on record as saying he believes that Saudi Arabia will join up as well fairly soon. What could possibly go wrong?

“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:” Isaiah 28:15 (KJB)

Here’s a little fun fact: In order for the United Arab Emirates to agree to join the Abraham Accord, Israel was required to make a teeny, tiny, little, baby-sized concession first. Israel had to agree to no longer seek to apply annexation on Judea and Samaria. Ouchies! Oh, one more thing, the UAE gets to purchase F-35 fighter jets, which would effectively erase the military edge in air superiority that Israel enjoys at the current moment. But other than that, hey, it’s a great deal. Oh Daniel, chapter 9 is needed at the customer service counter.

Bahrain Set to Normalize Relations With Israel

FROM WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: Washington looks to mediate the peace talks between Israel and Bahrain and hopes to hold the official normalization ceremony before the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, according to the official.

The report follows the historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which was brokered by the United States in August. Like the UAE-Israel deal, the normalization of relations between Bahrain and the Jewish state would likely entail a series of economic and security ties. Just last month, Bahrani prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa reportedly spoke with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen.

“ISRAEL IS HISTORICALLY PART OF THE HERITAGE OF THIS WHOLE REGION,” BAHRAINI FOREIGN MINISTER KHALID BIN AHMED AL KHALIFA TOLD AN ISRAELI TELEVISION OUTLET LAST YEAR. “SO THE JEWISH PEOPLE HAVE A PLACE AMONG US.”

In the wake of the Emirati peace deal, Trump administration officials hope other Gulf states will normalize ties with Israel as part of an anti-Iranian coalition. Last month, President Donald Trump said that he believes Saudi Arabia—which boasts one of the largest defense budgets in the world—will also sign on to the UAE-Israel agreement.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10890

Israel hopes to sign normalization deal with UAE by mid-September: minister

i24NEWS

August 30, 2020, 03:56 AMlatest revision August 30, 2020, 12:57 PM

Signing ceremony to take place in Washington, D.C., exact date to be hammered out in talks with Abu Dhabi

Israel is hoping to sign a deal formalizing the normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates by mid-September, Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis told Kan public broadcaster on Sunday. 

Akunis said that the exact date for the signing ceremony, which will take place in Washington, D.C., will be hammered out in the upcoming talks between Israeli and Emirati negotiators.

He told the broadcaster that Jerusalem was hoping to ink the accord before the Rosh Hashana holiday on September 18.

The statement comes as Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner landed in Israel Sunday, leading a high-profile US delegation set to accompany the Israeli negotiators when they head out to the UAE later this day.

Kushner was accompanied by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brian, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, and special Iran representative Brian Hook.

Before taking off for Abu Dhabi, the US officials will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.

Earlier, the UAE officially ended its boycott of Israeli businesses and goods, paving the way for companies from both countries to start doing business with each other.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10877

WAQF FILLS IN NEWLY DISCOVERED TEMPLE MOUNT TUNNEL WITH CONCRETE

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | BIBLICAL NEWS

In the days to come, The Mount of Hashem‘s House Shall stand firm above the mountains And tower above the hills; And all the nations Shall gaze on it with joy. Isaiah 2:2 (The Israel BibleTM)

Last week, the entrance to an underground tunnel complex on the Temple Mount. The potential for important archaeological discoveries connected to the tunnel are enormous but on Tuesday, the Waqf (Muslim authority) filled in the tunnel entrance with concrete. 

Last week, a broken flagstone on the Temple Mount revealed a tunnel, approximately two feet square, descending several yards where it seems to join up with a larger tunnel. The entrance is located in the southern end of the Temple Mount,  between the Aqsa Mosque and the Mughrabi Gate. Dr. Zachi Dvira, an Israeli archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University, confirmed that the shaft was from the Second Temple Period.

“This is from the part of the Temple Mount that Herod added later,” Dr. Dvira said. “It was part of the Temple Complex, though not part of the Temple itself.”

Dr. Dvira co-directs the Temple Mount Sifting Project which began in 2004 to recover archaeological artifacts contained within debris removed from the Temple Mount without proper archaeological care during illegal construction carried out by the Waqf. In 1999, approximately 9,000 tons of archaeologically-rich soil were removed from the Temple Mount by the Waqf, using heavy earth moving equipment and without a preceding salvage excavation or proper archaeological care, following works in and around the newly constructed underground el-Marwani Mosque.

“Unfortunately, it was to be expected that the Waqf would fill in the entrance to the tunnel,” Dr. Dvira said. “The Israeli Antiquities Authority did not act fast enough. They should have gone in and checked it out. This is their responsibility. This has religious and archaeological ramifications.”

According to classical Jewish sources, the Ark of the Covenant is hidden under the Temple Mount in a specially prepared underground chamber.

“This does not destroy the tunnel. It can be removed but it is preventing the tunnel from being researched. If the IAA would have filled it in but not with concrete. Currently, Israel is not initiating any research on the Temple Mount because that would upset the Muslims.”

Dr. Dvira noted that under the new normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the Israeli government is hoping that the Temple Mount will attract Muslim pilgrims from other countries. “The Israeli government does not want to jeopardize the relationship with other Muslim nations. It may even be that the government encouraged the Waqf to fill in the tunnel to prevent the possibility of unrest.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10871

Pompeo: We’ll supply UAE with arms without hurting Israel’s advantage

The remarks came amid controversy in Israel over whether the Washington will sell F-35 stealth jets to Abu Dhabi, now that Israel and the UAE have diplomatic relations.

By LAHAV HARKOV   

AUGUST 24, 2020 21:50


The US will find a way to balance helping its military ally the United Arab Emirates without weakening Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Monday.

The remarks came amid controversy in Israel over whether Washington will sell F-35 stealth jets to Abu Dhabi, now that Israel and the UAE have diplomatic relations.

“The US has legal requirements with respect to the QME, and we will respect that,” Pompeo said. “We have a 20-plus-year security relationship with the UAE as well.”

Without mentioning F-35s or any other systems by name, Pompeo said the US wants to “make sure we are delivering the equipment [the UAE] needs to defend themselves from the… threat of the Islamic Republic” of Iran.

But he said he is “sure we’ll find a way” to do so while ensuring Israel’s military superiority in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the normalization deal with the UAE “did not include Israel’s acceptance to any arms deal. I don’t know of any arms deal that has been agreed upon but our position hasn’t changed.”

The prime minister added that he reiterated his objections to Pompeo, who said he is strongly committed to maintaining Israel’s QME.

“That has been true over four decades of peace with Egypt and two and a half decades of peace with Jordan. The US has stood by that and I have no doubt will continue to do so,” he said.

Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz emphasized after his meeting with Pompeo the need to maintain Israel’s QME, in light of statements by White House officials that the US is considering selling F-35s to the UAE now that it has formal ties with Israel.

The QME is “a necessary condition for regional stability and for Israel’s security when facing the challenges of the Middle East,” he said.

A day earlier, White House special adviser Jared Kushner said on CNN that “this new peace agreement should increase the probability of [the UAE] getting [F-35s].”

In the past week, talk of the UAE purchasing the planes has raised questions as to whether the prime minister knew it would happen soon after normalization – which he denied on Monday – and criticism of Netanyahu for not informing Gantz, who is also defense minister, of the matter.

Pompeo and Netanyahu also addressed the US move to trigger “snapback sanctions” on Iran, which would stop the UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic from running out in October. The other parties to the Iran nuclear deal say the US is not authorized to do so, because it left the framework in 2018. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a separate document from the UN Security Council resolution instituting the snapback mechanism, which states that any permanent UNSC member can trigger the continuation of sanctions.

Netanyahu commended the US for having “stood up to Iranian aggression” by calling on snapback sanctions, warning that it would be “outrageous” for the world to allow the arms embargo to run out, facilitating its regime in obtaining “tanks, aircraft missiles and anti-aircraft defenses to continue its campaign of aggression in the region and the world.

“It’s just absurd,” he said.

Netanyahu pointed out that Gulf states are as strongly opposed to the end of the embargo as he is.

“I suggest to our friends, especially our European friends at this point, that when Arabs and Israelis agree on something, it makes sense to pay attention,” he said.

Pompeo said the US will “use every tool we have” to ensure Iran does not attain nuclear weapons, and he is confident they will succeed.

“We think its in the best interest of the whole world. Many leaders tell me so privately. It’s time to stand up… Iran is on the cusp of having access to those weapons and the money,” he said. Last week, Pompeo specified that the leaders of the UK, France and Germany made those remarks privately.

The US decision to trigger snapback sanctions on Iran is “necessary to maintain stability in the Middle East,” Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said after meeting with Pompeo. “Iran cannot be allowed to import and export arms, and all the sanctions must be brought back.”

Netanyahu and Pompeo lauded the UAE-Israel deal, with the prime minister calling it “the alliance of the moderates against the radicals” and “a boon to peace and regional stability.”

The prime minister expressed hope that more nations will formalize their ties with Israel, saying there may be “good news in the near future.”

Pompeo’s itinerary for this week includes Sudan and Bahrain, two countries with which Israel’s ties have warmed recently and could follow in the footsteps of the UAE, which the secretary of state also plans to visit.

Ashkenazi also brought up the issue of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), whose mandate is coming up for a renewal vote in the Security Council. The US has threatened to veto the renewal, abolishing UNIFIL if its mandate is not changed to make it more effective in combating Hezbollah’s presence in southern Lebanon.

“We cannot allow UNIFIL not to fulfil its mandate fully and effectively. The American stance on this matter is important and will lead to practical implementation” of the mandate, Ashkenazi said.

Pompeo courted controversy, filming an address from an “undisclosed location” in Jerusalem, which will air at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.

The State Department said Pompeo “will address the convention in his personal capacity. No State Department resources will be used. Staff are not involved in preparing the remarks or in the arrangements for Secretary Pompeo’s appearance. The State Department will not bear any costs in conjunction with this appearance.”

Democratic Majority for Israel criticized Pompeo, tweeting: “By violating another vital norm – speaking to the RNC from Israel – [Pompeo] is helping [Trump] further degrade American government, just as their never-ending effort to politicize Israel damages that country. Trump and Pompeo care only about themselves, not the US, not Israel.”

Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer said “by arranging for Secretary Pompeo to speak to the RNC while on official travel in Jerusalem, Trump is once again using Israel to score political points.

“Jewish voters see through this cheap political stunt and reject Trump’s ongoing use of Israel as a political wedge issue,” Soifer added. “The US-Israel relationship has been, and should remain, a bipartisan issue and… US taxpayers should not pay for politicized State Department activity in Israel.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10865