Category: Islam

Turkey Newspaper Yeni Safak Calls For A Global ‘Army Of Islam’ To Come Against Israel And Take Jerusalem

The report suggested the formation of a “Jerusalem Task Group” to take steps to form an army of Islam that would besiege Israel. “In a possible military operation, the first step is expected to involve 250,000 soldiers, and the establishment of joint land, air and naval bases for use in the short term,” explained the report. It would include the mobilization of 500 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 war planes, 500 attack helicopters and 50 warships and submarines. Interactive maps provided information on specific bases and operations against Israel.

by Geoffrey Grider March 19, 2018

When Turkey’s semi-official newspaper Yeni Safak called for urgent action in forming a 57-nation “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack Israel, a suggestion undoubtedly approved with at least a wink and nod by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it would signal the possible intent to create the largest military force on the planet – one nearly as large as the total population of the Jewish state.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:2,3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The astute student of Bible prophecy knows something that almost none of the world’s leaders who constantly try to bring peace to the Middle East are aware of. There can be no peace, and there will be no peace in the Middle East without deciding the fate of Jerusalem. Why all the fuss over Jerusalem? Because that is where the King of Kings will return to when He rules and reigns for one thousand years on the Throne of David. The entire Battle of Armageddon will be fought over who has the right to Jerusalem, and the global army of Islam will be the muscle behind the Antichrist for the time of Jacob’s trouble. 

The report came just ahead of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and was published under the headline, “What if an Army of Islam was formed against Israel?” It was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

But it wasn’t a rhetorical question. It was actually a suggestion to combine the military forces of all Islamic countries to overwhelm the Israeli army in manpower, budget and equipment – even boasting with statistics.

On December 12, 2017, ahead of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is close to Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party, published an article titled “A Call for Urgent Action,” which also appeared on the paper’s website under the title “What If an Army of Islam Was Formed against Israel?” The article called on the 57 member states of the OIC to form a joint “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack the state of Israel.

It notes that such a joint army will greatly exceed the Israeli army in manpower, equipment and budget, and presents statistics to prove this. It also advocates establishing joint bases for the army’s ground, air and naval forces that will arrive from all over the Muslim world to besiege Israel, while noting that Pakistan, as the only nuclear country, has “a special status” among the OIC countries. An interactive map provides information on military forces stationed in various locations and the role they can play in the potential joint Muslim attack on Israel.

Much of the information in the article was provided by Turkey’s SADAT International Defense and Consulting Company, which provides consultancy on defense and warfare, both conventional and unconventional, and on military organization, training and gear. The company promotes pan-Islamic military cooperation. According to its mission statement, it seeks “to establish defense collaboration and defense industry cooperation among Islamic countries, to help the Islamic world take its rightful place among the superpowers by providing … strategic consultancy and training services to the militaries and homeland security forces of Islamic countries.”

The SADAT company was founded by Erdoğan’s senior adviser on military affairs, retired General Adnan Tanrıverdi, and is chaired by his son, Melih Tanrıverdi. Adnan Tanrıverdi served in the Turkish army’s artillery corps and is an expert on asymmetric warfare. He was dismissed from the Turkish military in 1996 for his Islamist leanings.

In the report, Israel is described as “the outpost of the new Crusade and a dagger in the heart of Islam,” and “the eyes, ears and fist of the Christian World.”

“If the OIC member states unite and form a joint military force, it will be the largest army in the world,” the newspaper report said. “These countries’ total population is 1,674,526,931. The number of soldiers in active service in these countries is at least 5,206,100. Their [overall] military defense budget, of $174.7 billion, is also worthy of emphasis.”

It continues by contrasting the size of this potential Islamic force with Israel’s military capabilities.

“As for Israel, it is significantly inferior,” the report said. “The population of this country, which attempted to occupy Jerusalem while surrounded by Muslim states, is 8,049,314. Note that the population of Istanbul alone exceeds 14 million. The number of soldiers in active service in the [Israeli] occupation forces is 160,000, and [Israel’s] defense budget is approximately $15.6 billion.

The report suggested the formation of a “Jerusalem Task Group” to take steps to form an Islamic army that would besiege Israel.

“In a possible military operation, the first step is expected to involve 250,000 soldiers, and the establishment of joint land, air and naval bases for use in the short term,” explained the report. It would include the mobilization of 500 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 war planes, 500 attack helicopters and 50 warships and submarines.
Interactive maps provided information on specific bases and operations against Israel.

“Turkey will serve as an important headquarters during the operation, due to its land, air and naval infrastructures,” the report continued. “The Turkish army, which carried out ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ [in Syria in 2017] with great success, is now ranked the world’s seventh strongest army, and the second largest army among the NATO powers. Turkey has approximately 4,000 tanks and 1,000 war planes and other aircraft. Its navy made significant progress during the last years, with 194 vessels at its disposal.”

The report also noted Pakistan, with its nuclear arsenal, “has important status among the 57 Muslim countries.”

In a statement, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein described President Donald Trump’s Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a blow to Muslims, and added: “The Malaysian armed forces are ready to fulfill their duty regarding Jerusalem.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9090

Saudi Crown Prince Meets Senior Israeli Officials in Egypt: Report

By JNS March 11, 2018 , 7:00 am

“May Hashem grant strength to His people; may Hashem bestow on His people wellbeing.” Psalms 29:11 (The Israel Bible™)

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman. (Kremlin)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met with senior Israeli officials during his visit to Egypt this week, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Wednesday.

The report said the meeting focused on the normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and included the Kingdom’s commitment to the “deal of the century,” the Middle East peace plan being devised by the Trump administration.

Within that framework, Israel would take part in the unprecedented real estate venture being sponsored by the Saudis in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Crown Prince Mohammed first announced plans for the 26,500-square-kilometer (10,230-square-mile) zone at an international investment conference in Riyadh last October.

Officials say public and private investment in the area is expected to reach $500 billion. The mega-city would be built on Saudi territory on the eastern shore of the Red Sea near the border with Jordan, and connect to Egypt across the gulf via a bridge running through the island of Tiran.

Known as Neom—from the Greek prefix neo (“new”) and first letter of the Arabic word mostaqbal (“future”)—the mega-city is being billed as “the world’s most ambitious project,” intended to become a transnational city and economic zone.

The crown prince’s stated objective for the project is to wean Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, off oil revenues.

According to the report, the prince is also applying immense pressure behind the scenes on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to be part of the American deal.

If an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is struck, the Saudis will reportedly be the beneficiaries of considerable U.S. investments, among other things in the Neom project. In exchange, they will act as the American’s spearhead for implementing the peace agreement.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9075

Iran and Bahrain: Ancient Ambitions, New Tactics

BESA Center Perspectives No. 762, March 7, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Bahraini government has long claimed that Iran is encouraging the Shiite opposition, which is fighting for recognition and political change. This is not an empty fear. Tehran’s  push for hegemony in the archipelago is not a new phenomenon. However, unlike monarchic Iran, whose hegemonic drive focused on the international political-diplomatic arena, the Islamic Republic is working for change from within and is using both soft power and subversion.

Iran’s push for hegemony in the Persian Gulf is hardly new. It stems from geostrategic and geopolitical factors related to the region’s importance in all regards, from security to economic and trade aspects. At the same time, Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in Bahrain can be considered a special case given the fragile demographic-political makeup of the principality, in which a Sunni minority rules a Shiite majority that is fighting for its rights and its role in governing the kingdom. Tehran’s subversive activity is, of course, condemned by the ruling establishment, which has long relied on Saudi patronage.

In early March 2018, the Al-Arabiya network reported a major counterinsurgency operation by the Bahraini security forces that seized large quantities of weapons and arrested 116 suspects belonging to a terrorist network established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This came on the heels of the reported arrest of 47 Bahraini citizens from three different terror cells working to destabilize Bahrain. Bahraini interior minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa pointed an accusing finger at the Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, and the al-Hashd al-Shaabi organization; these, he said, had trained, financed, and directed the terror cells. This was not the first time the Bahraini authorities had leveled such charges at the Iranians, who, they maintain, are working to subvert the Bahraini archipelago’s fragile balance of power in favor of the Shiite majority.

In a country where Shiites are about 70% of the population, the ruling establishment’s main charge is that Tehran is encouraging the Shiite opposition as it fights for recognition and political change. Members of the House of Khalifa accuse Iran of ongoing subversion in the archipelago, with the aim of destabilization and a change of government. For evidence, the Bahraini media highlight the numerous arrests of terror cells trained by the IRGC for the purpose of toppling the government. A mysterious explosion in Bahrain’s oil pipeline in November 2017 was also attributed to Iranian-backed elements. In addition, in March of last year, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported the foiling of an attempted attack on senior officials, leading to arrests of suspects who had been trained in Iraq by the IRGC and Hezbollah. A month earlier the BNA reported on a wave of arrests that led to the exposure of several terror cells in the emirate.

The struggle between Iran and Bahrain predates the Islamic Republic. Monarchic Iran made a historically based claim to sovereignty over the archipelago, which it saw as an integral part of its territory. In Tehran’s view, the artificial separation created by a series of agreements between Bahrain and Britain (in 1861, 1880, and 1892), which put the principality under British patronage, stemmed from a weak governmental mechanism and not from historical reality. Tehran further claimed, on the same historical basis, that the 1951 Oil Nationalization Act, which was ratified in the Iranian parliament at the initiative of Prime Minister Muhammad Mosaddegh, also applied to the Bahrain Petroleum Company.

Britain’s departure from the Persian Gulf at the beginning of the 1970s resulted in geopolitical changes that directly affected Bahrain. After Bahrain declared independence in 1971, monarchic Iran and Saudi Arabia worked out arrangements for territorial control of the Persian Gulf. On the one hand, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi assented to Saudi control of Bahrain and the Arab principalities; on the other, King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz recognized Iran’s role as guardian of the Persian Gulf. Moreover, during the Iran-Iraq War the House of Khalifa publicly acknowledged the House of Saud as its main patron. This dependence has continued – de facto – until the present, and was well evident in March 2011 when Riyadh sent its forces to Bahrain to shore up the Khalifa family’s rule. The Saudi move came in response to the civil unrest in the archipelago, which was seen as part of a chain reaction to the events of the so-called Arab Spring.

In the monarchical period, Iran used diplomatic channels to pursue its claims against members of the Arab League, then led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser; the League strongly opposed those claims. Tehran went so far as to threaten the Arab states that if they did not recognize its claim to sovereignty over Bahrain, it would institutionalize its ties with Israel – a threat that remained on paper only.

The current approach of the Islamic Republic is different. It entails working for change from within and focusing considerable effort on certain interrelated spheres of activity. The first sphere involves enhancing Iranian influence through the use of “soft power”: helping to establish culture and welfare centers, providing Islamic (Shiite) guidance, contributing to the building of mosques, and setting up Husseiniyat (community-religious centers for mourning and prayer over the death of Hussein in the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE). Most of the activity is carried out in neighborhoods with a sizable Shiite population. The aim is to attract people to religion and instill sympathy for Khomeini’s doctrine of velayet-e faqih, or the rule of the Islamic jurist. The effort to attract people to religion, which is an integral part of the soft-power model, helps in recruiting potential candidates for opposition movements.

The second sphere involves strengthening opposition elements who oppose the autocratic-tribal rule of the Khalifa family. The object is to create a governmental alternative and undermine the current government. In December 1981, for example, the organization al-Jabha al-Islamiya li-Tahrir al-Bahrain (the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain) made a failed attempt to topple the monarchic regime and replace it with a theocratic regime led by Hadi al-Modarresi. Born in Iraq and a scion of a family of Shiite clerics, Modarresi became active in Bahrain after fleeing an arrest warrant issued against him by the Baath regime. According to the researcher Hassan Tarik al-Hassan, Modarresi not only drew inspiration from the doctrine of velayet-e faqih but received support from envoys of the revolutionary regime. After the coup was foiled, a number of Iranian diplomats were indeed expelled from Bahrain.

The 1990s saw another putsch attempt in Manama. The Bahraini opposition, which called for restoring the constitution (not in force since 1975) and granting equal opportunity to all citizens, ratcheted up its struggle. Protests intensified, and in 1996 the government revealed a further attempt to overthrow the regime and replace it with an Iranian-style Islamic republic. Bahrain’s state television claimed the rebels had admitted belonging to the group Hezbollah al-Bahraini, which was supported by Iran and inspired by Hezbollah al-Hijaz – which, in turn, was active in Saudi Arabia and was blamed for the Khobar Towers terror attack on American soldiers that same year.

The Bahraini government also drew a link between the presence of Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim in the Iranian city of Qom (for theological studies) and the 1996 coup attempt. That allegation was not proved, and Isa Qassim was allowed to return to Manama in 2001. Today he is considered the spiritual leader of al-Wefaq, the largest Shiite opposition movement in the kingdom. However, al-Wefaq (whose operative leader is Ali Salman) was outlawed in June 2016, and Isa Qassim’s citizenship was revoked a week later.

The third sphere is a direct extension of the second and reflects changes in the Iranian approach that were largely impelled by the Saudi-led forces’ March 2011 invasion of the archipelago to quell the agitation there. This sphere draws inspiration from the model used in Iraq and involves setting up a network of underground cells with operatives who have been trained outside Bahrain, while maintaining internal compartmentalization. Individuals seen as capable of leading the cells have been sent for operational training and further theological study, all under suitable cover so as to evade the authorities.

Researchers Michael Knights and Matthew Levitt note that Iran often infiltrates people and weapons into Bahrain by sea. For this purpose, Tehran makes use of speedboats, which are an important part of the IRGC’s doctrine of maritime warfare. According to reports of the Bahraini authorities, the largest of all the underground organizations appears to be Saraya al-Ashtar. Other groups include Saraya al-Mukhtar, Saraya al-Muqawama al-Sha’biya, Saraya Waad-Allah, and Saraya al-Karar. Despite their different names, these groups appear to operate under a single umbrella based in Tehran. In sum, since the founding of the Islamic Republic, the regime has worked tirelessly to spread its revolutionary ideology to the Muslim world. Since Bahrain’s demographic makeup provides fertile ground for promoting this worldview, Iran seeks to boost its influence in the principalities whether through soft power or support for opposition groups and the training of militant organizations that serve as proxies. Manama’s complaints about ceaseless subversion on Iran’s part are therefore far from baseless.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9073

Pieces For Apocalyptic War Have Been Moved Into Place: Kick-Off Of All-Out, Biblical War Awaits Just The ‘Trigger Event’

– Who Financed The Rise Of Islam? ‘Islam Is The ‘Enforcement Arm’ Of The New World Order’

Submitted to All News Pipeline by Pastor Dick Carmack

As you study your bible you will see no mention of an end-times war with an Asian power located to the northeast of Israel. Instead, the biblical Islam/Israel wars are all centered in the Mid-East. The next major conflict is called “Gog-Magog” and the pieces are falling rapidly into place. Bill Salus’ “Psalm 83 War may also be part of the equation.

The King James, Ezekiel 38 references a power from the “north parts” in relation to Israel, some other translations, seeking specificity try to say “the uttermost parts of the north.” Some say “far north,” “recesses of the north” and one says “inmost north.” The Hebrew calls it “sides of the north.” None however use “east” in relation to “north.” Let’s just call it “north.”

That effectively rules out Korea or China at least until the “kings of the east” ride later for Armageddon.

Most commentators think the invading power of Ezekiel 38 is Russia. A lesser number argue that Turkey fits the description better. Considering the present maneuverings, Turkey is rattling their sword more than Russia and seems to be the likely candidate. Does Russia even have an interest in the area? Certainly. Russia is a major supplier of natural gas to Europe. Proposed competing pipelines in the mid-east are the igniting factors in the Syrian-ISIS conflict and Russia has a direct interest in controlling the outcome. She would also like to become a sea power in the Mediterranean. Russia, however, suffers from a lackluster economy, only a fraction the size of the American economy and is limited in what it can actually accomplish.

Nevertheless, a major war, perhaps a world war waits in the wings. The players are lining up, the kick-off is near and we ask, “What will be the trigger event for the biblically predicted Gog-Magog event?” Only God knows for sure but from here it looks like Iran will push the envelope a little too hard and Israel will respond overwhelmingly, perhaps with a preemptive strike, to preserve themselves as a nation. After that all bets are off.

The nuclear facility located in eastern Iran (Elam) on the Persian Gulf may play a pivotal part in the coming war because if this ancient enemy of Israel, going back to the time of Abraham, is hit the entire region may explode. To complicate it further Iran’s Elam nuclear plant is reportedly sitting on a geologic fault line. If a major earthquake were to occur with the plant being damaged or destroyed all sorts of fall-out could result. If the earth moves will Israel be blamed for that?

Like it or not, the Israel haters (who argue Israel’s importance is exaggerated) will have to admit the attention of the world is centered on this small patch of land on the eastern Mediterranean. So is the Bible’s. While our media beats the drums for continual fear of a nuclear exchange between the United States and North Korea, or perhaps China and Russia, that’s not what God’s word teaches. I’ll go with the Bible, confident that when the smoke clears the Scriptures will be shown once again to be infallible.

Ancient Elam, as mentioned above and in Genesis 14 was one of the invaders of the area later known as the Holy Land, taking captives and looting the cities of the plain. It was then, and is today a prime candidate for the end-time wars. The wars associated with the descendants of Abraham run deep and continue for centuries as the details play themselves out, pre-written as prophecy in the pages of the bible.

When Abraham sired an illegitimate child with the Egyptian handmaid Hagar, at Sarai’s urging (Gen 16), the first seed of a conflict that was destined to last for the ages began its sojourn. Seed number two was the miraculous birth of Isaac when Abram was 100 and Sarai his wife was 90. The two progeny of Abram (later Abraham) were destined to conflict from then on. One child was legitimate, the second child (Isaac). The first child (Ishmael), born out of wedlock with Hagar was illegitimate. From Isaac proceeded the Jewish people, from Ishmael came the Arabs which make up the founders and the bulk of the adherents of Islam. God has made it clear the Jews are His Chosen People, the world and its prince (Satan) stand with Islam. Be sure you are on the winning side because there is no doubt as to how it will all end.

As we watch the end-time players, we notice that Islam has obviously become the chosen enforcement arm of the New World Order. The money people, all over the world, not just in New York, need to have a group of thugs to enforce their will, thus we see an Islamic invasion of the entire world. The stage has been set, the players are in place and the final moves are in the process of implementation. The only question remaining is will the Globalist crowd be successful now, or later? Because, the Bible clearly teaches at a certain point a world government will be administered through a group of ten “kings” (Dan 7:24; Rev 17:12) or political hacks for Antichrist.

Da 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

To further complicate the incentives of the mid-east players is the desire of Russia to extend its territory farther south for more access to the Mediterranean Sea. Having lost much of its prestige when Reagan was successful in tearing down the Berlin Wall, a move that hastened Russia’s fall, since then the Kremlin has struggled to regain its once strong position as a world player. Many however believe Russia to be a paper tiger.

Despite its apparent power, much of it may simply be drama. Take for example last week’s announcement of an “unstoppable atomic missile.” Many have noted there were no pictures of the actual missile, simply an animation that may have been taken from a 2007 YouTube video. This leads to other information that much of Russia’s power may just be bluster. Check out the story at this link.

Such bluster leads us to believe when push comes to shove for the Gog-Magog invasion Russia may well take a back seat with Erdogan’s Turkey being the main player from “the north quarters.”

The second, and larger reason war between Iran and Israel is next is the “Trump Plan” being touted, and soon to be “revealed” that calls for a Palestinian State on the West Bank (of the Jordan) with its capital in East Jerusalem. Trump’s plan may fly with the Palestinians, but it will not fly with the religious Jews and if it somehow gets over those hurdles, God Himself will take care of the problem because He says clearly in the third chapter of Joel that if they do “part” Jerusalem, that will bring on the war to end all wars,

Joe 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Yes, Gog-Magog and Armageddon may be separate wars, then again Gog may morph into Armageddon. We do know certain things, particular conflicts are going to happen, the timing of all of them however is very uncertain. The point of this article is that war with Korea at this time does not fit into the prophetic plan, war between Israel and Islam does.

WHO HAS FINANCED THE RISE OF ISLAM?

Regarding the relative sudden emergence of Islam popping up all over the world and taking a major role in world politics can only be accounted for by an amazing amount of money being spent buying off otherwise somewhat rational politicians. One such is Germany’s Angela Merkel (plus the European Union in general) completely losing her mind in throwing open that country’s borders to the invasion of an unwashed, uneducated mass of insane humanity called Islam, descending on the civilized world from the Mid East.

It just does not compute that the world’s politicians have suddenly, collectively lost their minds in throwing open their borders to Islam. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil and the most logical explanation is that a few billion dollars have been printed out of thin air and used to buy the allegiance of world leaders in pushing an Islamic invasion on the world. Both the Europeans and Islam will do the bidding of their Money Masters, the driving force of the push for world government. As many are prone to say, “Follow the money.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9067

Pakistan Deploys Troops To Saudi Arabia For “Bilateral Security”- Pakistan And Saudi Arabia’s Goose Is Cooked, Turkey And Iran Are Waiting To Chow Down

By Andrew Bieszad on February 16, 2018 in Featured, General

In a move that has come as a surprise to many, Pakistan is now sending troops into Saudi Arabia for “bilateral security cooperation.” This comes at a time with increasing tensions for both nations with Turkey, Iran, and India:

In a major policy shift, Pakistan has decided to deploy troops in Saudi Arabia under bilateral security cooperation with the kingdom which is involved in the ongoing civil war in neighbouring Yemen.

The Pakistan Army announced the decision after a meeting between Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki, at army headquarters in Rawalpindi yesterday.

“In continuation of ongoing Pak-Saudi bilateral security cooperation, a Pakistan Army contingent is being sent to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on training and advise mission. These or troops already there will not be employed outside KSA,” the army said.

It also said the army “maintains bilateral security cooperation with many other Gulf/regional countries”.
About the meeting of the ambassador with Bajwa, it said that matters of mutual interest including regional security situation were discussed during the meeting.

Already around 1,000 Pakistani troops are deployed in Saudi Arabia in various advisory and training roles, according to officials

There was no official word on the number of additional troops being sent to kingdom but the Dawn newspaper quoted “multiple sources” hinting that it might be the size of a composite brigade.

It also quoted army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor that the new deployment would be much lesser than a division, and that he would give details later.

Saudi Arabia has been pushing Pakistan to provide troops since 2015 when it joined Yemen’s civil war but Pakistan steadily refused, saying it would not become party to any regional conflict.

The war in Yemen stalemated and the situation has aggravated with the rebels firing missiles at regular intervals towards the kingdom.

The alliance of Muslim nations set up by Saudi Arabia and led by former Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif is also still in an early stage to play any role in the conflict.

Bajwa earlier this month visited Saudi Arabia for three days and met officials including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Commander of Ground Forces Lt Gen Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

It was his second visit to the kingdom in two months and reportedly played a role in Pakistan’s decision to deploy troops.

Pakistan is treading a fine line in maintaining relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Qatar and other regional players and the decision of deploying troops may annoy Saudi Arabia’s rivals like Iran and Qatar.

The decision may also create tension in Pakistan’s internal politics as parliament had passed a resolution at the start of the Yemen crisis that said Pakistan would stay neutral in the conflict.

Calling the reason that Pakistan is sending military troops to Saudi Arabia and saying it is for “fighting terrorism” in Yemen while “maintaining relations” with the rest of the Muslim world is a lie. This is happening because Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are their only two serious allies in the region. Saudi knows that her goose is cooked, and at the same time Iran and India are talking about not if, but how they are going to eat Pakistan next. (source)

Shoebat.com has been predicting since 2014 that Saudi Arabia was terrified and likely going to be consumed by her neighbors, most likely first by Turkey but also Iran. We warned that Pakistan will likely provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear capabilities, and Saudi was already talking with Russia to add nuclear power plants for the purpose of producing material for nuclear weapons. With the recent relocation of ten thousand Turkish troops to Qatar made in June 2017, we noted that Saudi Arabia is toast.

Let’s take a look at a regional map:

We know for a fact that Turkey, Iran, India, and Qatar have an alliance. Syria and Lebanon are also under Iranian and Turkish influence, so they are effectively tied as well. Likewise, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have an alliance too, which gives the following picture:

Obviously, there are some holes in this map. However, it illustrates the basic idea that Saudi Arabia is surrounded. Sure, she has allies technically in Yemen and Egypt, but Egypt is weak and as we have noted, will eventually be attacked by Turkey. Yemen has the support of Saudi Arabia, but is engaged in a continual war against the Houthis, who are Shiites that are being backed by Iran. Yemen is weak, impoverished, and will continue to receive support from Iran and by default, Turkey and India.

This leaves Bahrain and the U.A.E. as Saudi’s two major remaining allies. However, it would be impossible for them to stand up against a Turco-Iranian union because the nations are outnumbered, out-manpowered, outgunned, and isolated, as well as accustomed to a life of luxury from oil money. If anything, they will submit as vassal states to preserve their wealth and lives.

The Russians were mentioned as a possibly ally earlier, but the Russians are not going to come to their aid.  See the following map, this time focusing on Russia, in blue:

Russia is HUGE. As we have noted, she also has a lot of internal problems. This does not include her external neighbors with historical grudges and imperial desires. In the West, Russia has to contend with German militarization. To the south, Russia has long fought against Turkey and Iran, not to mention her long-standing problems with the Caucasus republics. In Central Asia, there is a massive, unreported migration taking place from those nations into Russia. In the Far East, China and Japan are both looking at Siberia for her mineral resources, and we know that Japanese militarism is increasing. For Russia, she is going to be at war with at least one, most likely two external enemies at any given time. It is in her interest to keep peace with as many neighbors as possible for her own stability.

If Russia were to “back” Saudi Arabia, it could automatically be used as an excuse for Turkey and Iran to move towards war against Russia. Russia would fight them, but that could also give Japan a “clear signal” to attack Russia from the east. Any declaration of war that involves Japan or Turkey means Germany will come along and by extension also the Americans, which could start a war in the West. Since Russia cannot afford any more wars than she absolutely has to deal with, Russia will wait for one of these neighboring nations to move first against her. In fact, Russia may exercise considerable patience even in the face of multiple attacks against her from any one of these nations so that when war does come, she has ample, undeniable, clear, and completely just reasons for responding in that if Russia was retaliated against for those reasons would make the one who attacked her to be perceived as the aggressor. Likewise it is also unlikely that Russia is going to come to the aid of Pakistan for the same reasons.

Pakistan is stuck between a rock and a hard place like Saudi Arabia. Iran hates the Arabs for racial reasons, with its origins going back to well before the times of Islam, for remember, the Iranians see themselves as a separate race- the Aryans- who are the descendants of the Bactrians, Parthinians, and Scythians, NOT the Arabs. India was originally a Dravidian nation that was conquered by the Persians, who imposed the religious and racial caste system on the people. The Indians, while a mixed people, understand their history and the special relationship they have culturally and historically with Iran. When Islam came to Iran, the Muslims slaughtered the Persians and destroyed their culture, imposing Islam upon them. While Persia has been Muslim for centuries, there has always been in Iran a strong sense of ethnic nationalism and a hatred of the Arabs for what they did and still do not forgive them of it. Likewise when Islam came to India, the Muslims brutally ravaged the subcontinent that India still remembers and hates.

In the eyes of Iran and India, Pakistan is the treasonous loser who wants to be just like the people that destroyed both of their civilizations. While this makes Pakistan the natural ally of Saudi Arabia, it also cements in the mind of her neighbors their hatred of Pakistan and gives reasons to move against her.

Israel and especially America are the wildcards in this game of geopolitics. Both will act out of self interest, the Israelis in their economic and political survival, and the Americans to get as much access to cheap oil as possible while attempting to undermine any possible Russian influence for their own geopolitical aims. As we have pointed out there is an alliance between Turkey and Israel right now, but how this will play out with Israel is yet to be seen, for in a game of power at all costs with respect to none, and dealing with madmen who place dreams of empire and wealth over the good of their fellow man, anything could happen.

At the recent World Government Summit in the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia gave a special presentation about the future of the nation. Speaking in positive terms, the Saudi’s said they wanted to focus away from just oil and towards oil-derived products, but most surprisingly, towards entertainment. The Kingdom has appointed a minister of entertainment, and has boasted they want to make Saudi Arabia a world destination for entertainment, as the video below shows:

This seems uncharacteristic of Saudi Arabia, but in desperate times people do desperate things.

Saudi Arabia knows that she is dead- she’s simply trying to keep the world from realizing what Turkey, Iran, and India already know.

What the viewer should come away with from watching this video is a desperate, Arabian-style attempt at the Roman panem et circenses. The people inside of Saudi Arabia are furious, for the majority lives in desperate poverty while the Saud family lives a debauched lifestyle divorced from the Islam they so aggressively preach and impose on the population. Saudi’s neighbors hate her because the Saudi’s have viciously persecuted the Shiites and interfered in the affairs of the Muslim world. Turkey hates Saudi Arabia and believes that by divine right she is the protector of Islam, and sees the Saudi corruption as a symptom of the past century’s decline in Islamic influence and so as part of her goal of empire wants to re-take control as custodian of Mecca and Medina. Iran, due to the fact that she is Shia, has holy sites in different locations and owing to the Sunni-Shiite hatred so has no problem with Turkey’s desires towards Saudi.

Saudi Arabia can make all of the circuses she wants and try to remake herself as many ways as she pleases. The reality is that Saudi Arabia knows that she most likely does not have a future except as a vassal to her historical Turkish overlord. Pakistan is her only hope of a real alliance to defend herself, and she will work with them as much as she can. However, Pakistan has her own problems that she has to deal with, which is that Iran and India are planning to delightfully carve her up and destroy her in the name of ethnonationalist zealotry just as much as Turkey is planning to do the same to Saudi Arabia in the name of Islam.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan might be better off starting a business trading in spices, because they are geese fattened for the kill and waiting to be seasoned and roasted by their Muslim neighbors as the world watches.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9041

Why Jerusalem is not Islam’s 3rd holiest site

Exclusive: Joseph Farah reveals truth in face of ‘powerful delusion casting spell upon world’

Published: 18 hours ago

Joseph Farah

You’ve undoubtedly heard that Jerusalem represents the third holiest city in Islam.

That is provably untrue.

Or, perhaps you’ve read in Wikipedia or heard on CNN that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest place of worship in Islam.

That, too, is a provable lie.

Or, maybe you heard about the vote by UNESCO in 2016 that denied any Israeli connection to the Temple Mount, referring it only by the Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.”

Before I get to the history of these myths, these aberrant legends, these anti-Semitic fictions from hell, let me tell you why anyone with a clear head and objective, rational mind can see the truth in spite of the powerful delusion that has cast a spell upon the world – deliberately, with political purpose and very recently, too.

Everyone should recognize the No. 1 holy site in all Islam is Mecca, the Qaba, which draws millions of pilgrims annually – perhaps more than any other religious shrine in the world. For instance, while some 5 million visit the Vatican City every year, 18 million Muslims visit Saudi Arabia and, almost all of them, go to Mecca, which doesn’t allow non-Muslims to enter the city. The annual five-day Hajj, alone, attracted more than 2 million in 2017.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/mecca.jpg

Mecca

Spiritual pilgrimages are a big deal in Islam, and the No. 2 holy site in all Islam is probably Medina, where Muhammad is buried.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2018/02/Medina.jpg

Medina pilgrimage

But after Mecca and Medina, there is actually much dispute, even among Muslims, as to which would be Islam’s third holiest city. Why? Because while Mecca and Medina are considered holy to all Muslim followers of Muhammad and Allah, not all of them are Sunni. Sunni Islam adherents represent about 80 percent, or roughly 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. But another 20 percent are Shia, representing as many as 300 million. And Shia Muslims revere shrines in two other cities in Iraq – Najaf and Karbala.

How many make pilgrimage from Najaf to Karbala annually during the Shia Arba’een Pilgrimage? Hold on to your burqa or keffiyeh. Some accounts put it at 30 million from as many as 40 countries, often braving attacks from Sunni terrorists and usually traveling barefoot. That’s right. This Arba’een Pilgrimage, is a much longer one than the five-day Mecca Hajj and, according to many sources, much larger in sheer number of participants.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2018/02/Arbaeen-Pilgrimage.jpg

Arba’een Pilgrimage

Now let’s consider Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem.

How many Muslims make pilgrimage to Jerusalem? Israel hosts a total of about 2 million tourists from all over the world every year, but only a tiny fraction are Muslims. Israeli tourists are diverse ethnically but almost all Jewish and Christian. And please don’t tell me Muslims are not welcome, because they are. In 2014, the latest statics I could find, showed 26,700 tourists from Indonesia; 23,000 from Turkey; 17,700 from Jordan; 9,000 from Malaysia and 3,300 from Morocco. And those were the biggest numbers.

And maybe you think Muslims stopped coming to Jerusalem, their “third holiest city,” after Israel reunified it in 1967. Quite the opposite. There was scarcely any interest in Jerusalem when Jordan controlled Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Even King Hussein never visited Jerusalem during the time he controlled part of the city for two decades.

If you want to go back further, before the first Zionist Aliyah, you can see what the Dome of the Rock circa 1875 looked like – abandoned, in total disrepair, unvisited. In fact, it didn’t get its famous gold-plated roof until the 1950s under Jordanian control, and it had to be redone in 1993 under Israeli authority.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2018/02/Dome-of-the-Rock.jpg

Dome of the Rock in 1875

While we’re starting to travel back in history, let’s look for Jerusalem in the Quran. Let me save you some time. You can stop looking. You won’t find it. It’s not there, though a passage we read in the Quran did indeed inspire the building of Al-Aqsa.

The Muslim “claim” to Jerusalem is based on what is written in the Quran in Sura 17:1, which says, “Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque.” How did this “Furthest Mosque” become the one visited by Muhammad in a dream in which he rode a flying camel or horse?

In Muhammad’s lifetime, Jerusalem was occupied by the Byzantine Empire. While Muhammad died in 632, Jerusalem was captured by Muslims in 638. When they came, of course, there was no mosque and no Dome of the Rock anywhere in Jerusalem, only churches. One of those churches is believed to have been built atop the Temple Mount. It may have even been converted into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In fact, both the dome and the mosque display undeniably noticeable Byzantine architectural influences.

When rivals of Muhammad’s successors captured Jerusalem from the Christians, they first built the Dome of the Rock, a shrine the conquerors believed to have been the site of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The dome was completed in 691 and the Al-Aqsa Mosque some 20 years later, or some 80 years after the death of Muhammad. The “ascension” of Muhammad from the rock under the dome is believed to have been conjured during this period by Khalif Omar, who sought to construct a new holy site to rival the one in Mecca.

Nevertheless, the idea of establishing this shrine and the Al-Aqsa mosque atop the old Temple Mount as permanent Islamic holy places did not catch on, as we can see by comparing them to others in Mecca, Medina, Najaf and Karbala.

In fact, not through the entire time of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which controlled Jerusalem until World War I, and not until 1929, did the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque stir any passionate interest in Islam. And that was thanks to Adolf Hitler’s Muslim friend, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who reminded his radical followers of Muhammad’s “Night Journey.” He stoked the myth to initiate riots that year.

Then, another dreamer, after the 1967 Six-Day War in which Israel reunified Jerusalem under its control, Yasser Arafat, used the shrines to stir Islam’s claim to the city, which he called “Al-Quds.” Arafat also launched the lie that no Jewish Temple ever rested atop the Temple Mount, though that is precisely why both the dome and the mosque were built there on what Omar believed to be the Temple’s very foundation.

On one level, the propaganda coup has fooled most of the world – to such an extent that most Muslims believe the Al-Quds myth. They riot for it all over the world. They commit terrorism in the name of “liberating” it. They boycott, divest, impose sanctions, throw stones, launch missiles, start intifadas and more.

But, one thing they don’t do? They don’t visit. They don’t do pilgrimages. Go figure.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9039

IDF Spokesman warns Lebanon of war with Israel if Iranian presence grows

By Anna Ahronheim

January 28, 2018 11:40

“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” said Manelis.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis warned in a rare op-ed on a Lebanese opposition website that a war with Israel could break out if Iran develops precision missiles in the country.

“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,”  Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.

“It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’ Iran is here,” he said.

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of the state,” he continued, adding that “in the shadow of Nasrallah’s bullying behavior” the terror group has built “terror infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of the Lebanese government.”

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon, for the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south.

“This past year (2017), like the 11 years that preceded it since the end of the Second Lebanon War, was characterized by relative stability on the Lebanese front. This quiet is for the benefit of residents on both sides,” Manelis wrote. “The fact that northern Israel and southern Lebanon have children who have not heard an alarm in their lives is a significant achievement of the Second Lebanon War, and the best proof of the stability of Israeli deterrence and the burning memory among the Lebanese about the magnitude of Nasrallah’s previous mistake.”

Nevertheless according to IDF assessments, Hezbollah has since rebuilt its arsenal with at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach central Israel. In addition to a massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its tunnel system, complete with ventilation, electricity, and rocket launchers.

Hezbollah has also increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad, and has spread its troops across the entire Middle East.

“The past year has been further proof that Hezbollah serves as an operational arm of Iran. In every place where there was instability, we discovered the fingerprint of Iran and everywhere we discovered Hezbollah’s involvement,” Manelis wrote.

Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch Israeli soldiers at any moment.

“The ordinary citizen will be mistaken to think that this process turns Lebanon into a fortress, it is nothing more than a barrel of gunpowder on which he, his family and his property are sitting,” Manelis said in his op-ed on Sunday.

“One in every three or four houses in southern Lebanon is a headquarters, a post, a weapons depot or a Hezbollah hideout. We know these assets and know how to attack them accurately if required.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.

Senior officials from Israel’s defense establishment have repeatedly stated that while the chance of escalation on the border is low, the smallest incident or a miscalculation by either side has the possibility to lead to conflict.

“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” Manelis wrote, adding that “I think it is right to warn the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in their future.”

In September, Israel carried out its largest military exercise on the northern border in 20 years with tens of thousands of soldiers from all branches of the army simulating a war with Hezbollah.

“The past year has been used by the IDF to significantly improve preparations for war on the northern front,” Manelis wrote. “If our enemies understood how much we knew about them, they would be deterred from entering into another conflict for many more years to come.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8992

Iran and Saudi Arabia Revisit Their Strategies

By Dr. James M. Dorsey January 24, 2018

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 723, January 24, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Expressions of support for the Iranian anti-government protests by US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have provided grist for Iranian claims that the protests were instigated by foreign powers. The assertions, while largely baseless, nonetheless offer insight into the very different strategies adopted by Iran and Saudi Arabia in their vicious struggle for regional dominance.

There is little doubt that the Iranian protests were fueled by widespread economic grievances, and Iran’s detractors abroad resembled not always helpful fans on the sidelines. In fact, Saudi Arabia, Iran’s nemesis, was the one opponent of the Islamic Republic to refrain from joining those fans publicly in a bid to stop the regime in Tehran from using it as a scapegoat. The Iranian leadership pointed a finger at the kingdom anyway, and in so doing illustrated the dynamics of the Iranian-Saudi rivalry.

Both the Iranian and the Saudi approaches to their rivalry are in flux. Protesters in Iran challenged the government’s heavy expenditure on propping up allies like Syrian President Bashar Assad and funding proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen, not to mention proselytization campaigns in West Africa.

The protests are unlikely to change Iranian policy, which the country’s leaders view as the crux of their defense strategy in Iran’s covert wars with the US and Saudi Arabia. Those wars have been ongoing since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the shah – an icon of now waning US power in the region.

Nonetheless, Iranian leaders will have to take public grievances into account even if the protests peter out. Rather than touting its regional successes publicly, Tehran is likely to be more circumspect about its foreign involvements. While that will not change things on the ground, it may contribute over time to a lessening of tensions.

Despite the protests, Iran has little reason to change facts on the ground. With access to the world’s most advanced weapons systems severely restricted for decades because of sanctions and boycotts, some in response to provocative Iranian actions and policies and others part of regional power struggles, Iran has sought to fight its battles far from its borders. Many Iranians bought into the argument that that policy had largely shielded their country from the instability and jihadism wracking the rest of the region.

Simultaneous Islamic State attacks last June on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, which killed 12 people, were viewed as exceptions that proved the rule. That perception has changed, however, among a significant segment of the population. Protesters demanded that funds allocated to Iran’s defense doctrine and enhancement of its regional influence be invested instead in improving deteriorating living standards.

“Our military doctrine is…based on historical experience: During the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein rained Soviet-made missiles on our cities, some of them carrying chemical components provided by the West. The world not only kept silent, but also no country would sell Iran weapons to enable us to at least deter the aggressor. We learned our lesson,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in The New York Times weeks before the protests erupted.

Speaking recently at a Brookings Institution seminar in Washington, Iranian-American journalist Maziar Bahari described Iran’s doctrine as a more brutal and militarized version of the late Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion’s policy of the periphery: in the absence of relations with Israel’s neighbors, he sought to forge ties with neighbors of the neighbors.

Zarif represents the view of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s pragmatic government, a view shared by conservatives as part of a far greater ambition that they have no compunction about articulating.

In a column in the conservative Tehran Times entitled “What makes Iran stronger than Saudi Arabia?”, sociologist and journalist Muhammad Mazhari argued that “the Saudi regime has no comprehension that money cannot replace ideological values.” By contrast, Mazhari wrote, “there are common ties between Iran and Hezbollah, but the crux of those ties is not monetary. What drives Iran is not a superficial goal; it is working hard to restore the empire, but this time culturally, while Saudi Arabia and its alliances have no clear vision nor project in the Middle East save for keeping their thrones.”

Prince Muhammad vowed, months before Zarif articulated Iran’s defense doctrine, that the fight with Iran would take place “inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.” In so doing, the crown prince was playing on deep-seated Iranian fears rooted in a history of foreign intervention that stretches from ancient to modern times as well as highlighting the fundamentally different Saudi and Iranian strategies.

Since coming to power in 2015, Prince Muhammad has shifted the emphasis of Saudi strategy from 1) long-term cultural and public diplomacy focused on the promotion of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism as an antidote to Iranian Shiite and revolutionary ideology and 2) passive reliance on the US to defend the kingdom by containing Iran to a more assertive confrontation with the Islamic Republic everywhere but in Iran itself.

Prince Muhammad’s approach is a power play based primarily on checkbook diplomacy, pressure tactics, and projection of the kingdom as the custodian of Islam’s holiest cities. It is an approach that is void of any ideology or worldview beyond the need to counter Iran and support autocratic or authoritarian rule in a bid to ensure the survival of the royal family’s rule.

Prince Muhammad’s approach has so far produced mixed results at best. His effort to force a political crisis in Lebanon by pressuring Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign backfired. King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the crown prince’s demand that they not attend an Islamic summit in Istanbul convened last month to condemn Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The prince’s one military adventure, the intervention in Yemen, has produced a quagmire, severely tarnished the kingdom’s image, and even provoked criticism from one of his greatest fans, President Trump. Egypt has adopted an independent foreign policy that is at times at odds with positions adopted by Saudi Arabia despite being financially dependent on the kingdom.

Hanging in the balance is the question whether Prince Muhammad’s declaration last year that he wants to return the kingdom to a yet undefined moderate form of Islam means he will introduce an ideological element to his strategy that would replace the increasingly problematic propagation of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism.

It’s a tall order in a country whose religious establishment and culture is steeped in ultra-conservatism despite support for more relaxed religious and social codes among a significant segment of a predominantly young population.

A successful redefinition of Islam would not only significantly enhance confidence in Prince Muhammad’s ability to change the nature of Saudi society and economy but also strengthen the kingdom in its struggle with Iran, which – despite being fought as a zero-sum game – can only be resolved with an agreement that recognizes both Saudi Arabia and Iran as key regional players.

Economics rather than Tehran’s rivalry with Riyadh and hostility towards the US and Israel is at the crux of the anti-government protests in Iran. Nevertheless, the protests are likely to force Iranian leaders to repackage their foreign involvements at a time when Prince Muhammad is seeking to revamp his kingdom as part of an economic and political survival strategy. In the longer term, that could unintentionally create building blocks for the lowering of tensions in a dispute that has wreaked havoc across the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8988

END TIMES SHOWDOWN: US Vetoes United Nations Vote For Withdraw Of Trump Decision To Recognize Jerusalem

The U.N. draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

by Geoffrey Grider December 18, 2017

The United States was further isolated on Monday over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: 14 of the 15 permanent voting members of the United Nations voted today to overturn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Only member number 1 vetoed the vote, and Amb. Nikki Haley was awesome. Oh, that burdensome stone that God said would split the world apart in the last days is getting heavier and heavier. Jerusalem, Jerusalem…it’s almost time. But first, the Rapture of the Church.

The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote, adding that it was the first veto cast by the United States in more than six years.

“The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council,” Haley said.

The U.N. draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world and concern among Washington’s western allies.

“In the wake of the decision of the United States … the situation has become more tense with an increase in incidents, notably rockets fired from Gaza and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces,” U.N. Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council ahead of the vote.

Emergency General Assembly Session

Trump also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft U.N. resolution had called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley and Trump for the veto in a video clip posted on his Facebook page.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Following the U.S. veto, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Arab states, which had agreed earlier this month to seek a Security Council resolution, would meet to evaluate the situation to determine what their next steps might be.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians would seek a rare emergency special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Trump’s decision.

Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.

Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on Israeli actions in occupied Palestinian territories. Any outcome of such a session is non-binding, but carries political weight

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8913

Palestinian claims to Jerusalem lose Saudi as well as US support

Dec 16, 2017 @ 15:07 Donald Trump, Gaza, Jared Kushner, Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas, Mike Pence, Saudi Prince Salman, West Bank, Western Wall

The Palestinians have three major grievances with the Trump administration on Jerusalem, but are most irked by Saudi backing for the Trump peace plan.

Palestine rage over President Donald Trump Jerusalem decisions was further fueled Friday, Dec. 17 by the comment from Washington: “We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But, as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.”   It came with the announcement that Vice President Mike Pence will pay a visit to the Western Wall next Wednesday’ Dec. 20, during his Middle East tour.
Not too long ago, President Trump himself visited the Western wall on May 22. But then, American security officers excluded their Israeli counterparts from safeguarding the visit, claiming it took place outside Israeli territory. border. Eight months later, Trump has restored Israel’s sovereignty to the Western Wall, which encloses the hallowed compound of  the last Jewish Temple, in time for his vice president to pray there.
For the Palestinians, this is another Trump-administration shift in Israel’s favor and its consequent loss of credibility as an honest broker for the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah reiterated this position Saturday, after announcing a boycott of the Pence visit and severing contact with Washington – a position they can’t really afford to sustain for long.
But what is really irking them even more than the Trump administration’s pro-Israeli stance on Jerusalem is its endorsement by their longstanding champion, Riyadh. The impression gaining ground in recent weeks is that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has reached an understanding with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) on a new plan for resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, which departs fundamentally from the traditional core issues that scuttled all past peace processes.

The first inkling of such a plan came on the pages of the The New York Times of Nov. 11, under the title “Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan.” This plan was described as pushing ahead on the fast track due to three factors:

  1. Its support by the Saudi crown prince and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi.
  2. The uncertainty of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s future in the face of long-running police probes against him.
  3. The constant erosion of Mahmoud Abbas’ standing as Palestinian Authority Chairman, whose rapidly diminishing popularity, due to his advanced age of 82 and the corruption rife in Ramallah, is reflected in the latest Palestinian opinion poll on Dec. 7-10. (70 percent want him to retire: 84 percent on the West Bank and 26 percent in the Gaza Strip).

Washington has therefore chosen a moment of leadership weakness to push ahead with its plans to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
A week before the NYT report, Abbas (Abu Mazen) paid an urgent visit to Riyadh to meet Prince Muhammed. Since then, a continuous stream of tidbits is emanating from their conversation. According to one report, the Saudi prince put before the Palestinian leader an American-Saudi blueprint. It proclaims Abu Dis, a village located on the fringes of east Jerusalem, as the capital of the future Palestinian state. That state would have limited sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, while all the Jewish communities would remain in place. East Jerusalem would not be declared its capital; and the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” was dropped, as was mention of the pre-1967 boundaries.

Notwithstanding flat Palestinian denials of all these reports, they continue to gain ground and credence. The picture emerging from the Saudi prince’s conversation with Abu Mazen is taking shape as underlining the following points:

  • The old Saudi-Arab League peace plan of 2003 is a dead letter;
  • Riyadh has dropped its demand that Israel accept a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital;
  • Since the original Saudi Peace proposal which the prince called Plan A was dead, it is necessary to move forward to Plan B.
  • Plan B is essentially as follows: The State of Palestine would be established in the Gaza Strip plus large tracts of territory to be annexed from northern Sinai. Egypt has agreed to this outline. This deal would essentially render irrelevant the Palestinian demand to restore the pre-1967 boundaries for their state.
  • When Abu Mazen asked what would happen to the West Bank, MbS reportedly replied: “We can continue to negotiate about this.”
  • And when he pressed further: What about Jerusalem, the settlements, Areas B and C, the answer was: “These will be issues for negotiation between two states, and we will help you.”

These reports are furiously denied by Palestinian officials and, although no other official source, including Prince Muhammad, has verified them, they continue to abound. The Palestinians now have three major grievances against the Trump administration for which they are cutting off ties with Washington in protest:  Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and, now, the declaration of the Western Wall as part of Israel in any political solution. This will be underlined by the Pence visit. Yet neither Washington nor Riyadh shows any sign of backtracking on their far-reaching plan which defies all former conventions.

Abu Mazen is in a jam. Even if he tries to distance himself from Washington, he cannot possibly divorce the Palestinians from the two leading Arab nations, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which would lop off the branches of the Arab tree on which they sit. Doing so might well thrust Ramallah on the path of the anti-West Turkish-Iranian-Hizballah axis and its extremist ideology. There are early signs that his rivals in Gaza, the radical Hamas, may be adopting this path. After Friday prayers in the mosques of Gaza, on Dec. 15, some of the demonstrators at the Israel border force were seen for the first time holding aloft huge placards with depictions of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods. If Iran can gain solid inroads into the Palestinian community at large, its dispute with Israel would assume an entirely new dimension.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8911