Category: Israel

Iran poised to resume enrichment at deep Fordow facility

Jun 13, 2018 @ 19:27 Fordow, Hassan Rouhani, Iran nuclear, Natanz, uranium enrichment

After Iran warned it will leave the nuclear accord unless benefits are forthcoming, an atomic energy official in Tehran said that uranium enrichment would resume at Fordow – if that happens.
Iranian President Rouhani issued that warning to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. On Wednesday, June 13, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated in Tehran that new work would begin on the nuclear program on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Currently the Supreme Leader has ordered that the programs be carried out within the parameters of the nuclear deal,” Kamalvandi said. “And when he gives the order we will announce the programs for operating outside of the nuclear deal for reviving Fordow.”

Fordow, one of Iran’s two big enrichment sites, is equipped with 8,000 advanced centrifuges capable of turning out in a short time uranium enriched to the 20pc grade, required for making a nuclear weapon. At Natanz, Iran’s second large enrichment site, the advanced equipment just installed is believed to include high-speed IR6 centrifuges. Much of Natanz is deep underground and Fordow is buried inside a mountain to keep them safe from aerial bombardment.

The AEOI statement from Tehran had three purposes:

  1. To demonstrate the next day that Iran is unconcerned by the June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un for the nuclear disarmament of the Korean peninsula.
  2. It was a defiant response to the US president’s comment after the Singapore summit. He said that Iran was in a different place compared to three months ago. “I hope that at the appropriate time after sanctions, really harsh sanctions, kick in, they will negotiate a new deal. Right now, it’s too soon.” Tehran made sure in its response to stress its resolve to continue on its nuclear path regardless.
  3. The statement, combined with Rouhani’s remark to Macron, showed that the Iranian leadership is lined up solidly against Trump’s strategy and determined to resume its nuclear program.
  4. The underground enrichment facility at Fordow, not far from the religious town of Qom, is exceptionally difficult to destroy by air or missile. It consists of a network of long and twisting shafts so designed that if a section is hit, at least 10 chambers will continue to operate. An attempt was made in 2012 to disrupt the plant by sabotaging its high-tension power supply. After that, an independent power station was installed underground.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the US and Israel may be presumed to have prepared detailed operational plans for striking Fordow in consideration of these obstacles.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9243

Archaeological Discovery: 2,800-Year-Old Face, Possibly of Biblical King, Found in Israel

A small carved sculpture discovered in the ancient city of Abel Beth Maacah in northern Israel, and dating back over 2,800 years, could be a depiction of a biblical king, according to archaeologists.

Robert Mullins, a professor at Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, who is co-director of excavations in the ancient city, said last week that the sculpture was found last summer in a large building at the highest point of the city.

The figure, only 2 by 2.2 inches in size and carved in a type of glazed ceramic, depicts a man with long black hair and a beard, wearing a yellow and black headband.

The head was originally attached to a figurine that would have stood 8-10 inches in height.

“Despite the head’s small and innocuous appearance, it provides us with a unique opportunity to gaze into the eyes of a famous person from the past; a past enshrined in the Book of Ages,” said Mullins.

“Given that the head was found in a city that sat on the border of three different ancient kingdoms, we do not know whether it depicts the likes of King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram-Damascus, or King Ethbaal of Tyre, rulers known from the Bible and other sources. The head represents a royal enigma.”

All three of the figures mentioned by Mullins are found in the Bible.

King Ahab is said to have been the husband of the infamous Jezebel, who worshiped the pagan god Baal, with 1 Kings 16:30 explaining that he “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.”

King Hazael is mentioned in 1 Kings 19:15, with God telling the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Aram Damascus.

King Ethbaal is found in 1 Kings 16:31, where he is referred to as the father of Jezebel.

Azusa Pacific University, which is an evangelical Christian university, pointed out that Abel Beth Maacah is itself mentioned on several occasions in the Hebrew Bible, and has been the site of a number of notable discoveries.

Mullins and his research team have been excavating the remains of what could be an ancient citadel dating back to the time of the Israelite kings, with the rooms containing evidence of metallurgical activity, as well as Phoenician storage vessels.

Separately, technological innovations have been aiding archaeologists in their study of evidence dating back to various biblical kings.

In June 2017, high-tech imaging allowed Tel Aviv University researchers to read for the first time the inscription on the back of an ancient pottery shard that was discovered back in 1965, but had been unreadable until then.

The shard has been dated back to 600 B.C., before the destruction of Judah’s Kingdom by the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most important characters in the Book of Daniel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9236

Endgame for the U.S. -Turkey Relationship

By Caroline Glick May 29, 2018 , 9:00 am

On Monday, NATO ally Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Washington. The severe step is meant to punish the U.S. for opening an embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

Also Monday, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador to Turkey. It had already withdrawn its ambassador from Tel Aviv.

In a speech at Chatham House on Monday, Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a “terror state,” and accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide.”

Indicating his view that the U.S. is also responsible for the so-called “genocide,” Erdogan said, “I condemn this humanitarian drama, this genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.”

Turning his attention to Washington, Erdogan accused the U.S. of violating international law by recognizing Israel’s capital and moving its embassy to Jerusalem. He insisted that following the embassy move, the U.S. can no longer mediate the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

As Erdogan was condemning Israel and the U.S. in London, protesters in Ankara were burning Israeli and American flags at a mass rally. One speaker at the rally referred to the American people as “dogs.” The rally was organized by Turkey’s Islamist IHH group. IHH, which is aligned with Hamas and al Qaeda, has close relations with the Erdogan regime.

Also Monday, Turkey called an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that immediately after the conference, a mass protest against Israel would be held at Istanbul’s central thoroughfare.

It would be easy to dismiss Erdogan’s latest moves as simply another expression of his hatred for Israel and Jews. By this line of thinking, the Turks are not hostile towards U.S. per se when Erdogan accuses the U.S. of committing genocide, and Turkish pro-regime demonstrators burn the U.S. flag. Erdogan and his followers are just sore at Washington for siding with the Jews.

That is, Erdogan’s anti-Americanism is a function of his anti-Jewish bigotry.

While it is certainly true that Erdogan is a raging anti-Jewish bigot and hater of Israel, antisemitism is only a partial explanation of his behavior.

On Thursday, Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin offered another explanation. After calling for Israelis to forego travel to Turkey, Levin said that Erdogan is striking out against Israel – and presumably the U.S. – as part of his election campaign. (Next week Turkey is holding parliamentary elections.)

Levin said, “Unfortunately, Turkey has a leader who repeatedly exploits Israel to make headlines for himself and to mobilize support ahead of elections. I would view the steps that Turkey has taken in terms of [next week’s] elections.”

The problem with explanations like Levin’s or the notion that Turkey’s anti-Americanism stems entirely from its hatred of Israel is that they ignore Erdogan’s view of elections on the one hand, and the purpose of his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policies and his anti-Americanism on the other hand.

In regards to elections, Erdogan has made clear repeatedly over his 16 years in power that he will not allow election results to determine Turkey’s trajectory. In June 2015 elections, Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party lost its parliamentary majority. Rather than accept the loss, he called for new elections. Those elections, held in November 2015, unsurprisingly brought the desired results.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Erdogan would not rule out — indeed he all but admitted — that he will repeat the practice in the event his ruling AKP party fails to retain its parliamentary majority in the coming poll.

So, contrary to Levin’s assessment, Erdogan really doesn’t care about elections. His latest diatribes and actions against Israel and the U.S. do not stem from electoral considerations.

As for the role his Jew-hatred plays in determining his policies towards Israel and the U.S., while it is possible, indeed probable, that some of his policies are the result of his vituperative hatred of all things Jewish, the fact is that Erdogan uses hatred of Jews, which is widely shared by more than 70 percent of Turks, to advance a much larger goal.

To understand that goal, it is important to recognize Erdogan’s history with various U.S. administrations.

Erdogan was upheld by both the Bush and Obama administrations as a paragon of a moderate Muslim leader. To secure U.S. support, Erdogan was perfectly happy to let them believe that. But while he was basking in the support of the likes of Condoleezza Rice and Barack Obama,(who referred to Erdogan as one of five foreign leaders with whom he had formed “bonds of trust”), Erdogan repeatedly rejected the notion that there is such a thing as moderate Islam.

Erdogan never has made his true goal a secret. In his 16 years in power, he has enacted a slow motion revolution in Turkey. The Turkey he took over in 2002 was the secular republic formed by Ataturk on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Ataturk appointed the Turkish military as the constitutionally-mandated guardian of Turkey’s new secular order.

Military protection of secularism was necessary because, as Samuel Huntington explained in his book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Turkey was always a “torn” society. It was never able to strike a balance between Islam, secularism, and Western identity.

Turkish scholar and former Pentagon official Harold Rhode explains in the book Ally No More: Erdogan’s New Turkish Caliphate and the Rising Jihadist Threat to the West that Erdogan represents the majority of Turks who never accepted the regime’s secularism. Since entering office, he has used public support as well as U.S. backing to dismantle the secular state over time. He replaced the secularists who controlled the media, the judiciary, civil service, law enforcement, and education with Islamists who share his goal of transforming Turkey into an Islamic state. The failed July 2016 coup gave Erdogan a pretext to purge the military brutally of all pockets of secular resistance.

Erdogan’s aspirations are not limited to Turkey. Indeed, Rhode explains, his goals extends far beyond Turkey. Erdogan intends to restore the Ottoman Empire and install himself as the caliph, or leader of the Islamic world.

As Rhode notes, Erdogan made his aspirations clear during a victory speech following his reelection to a third term as Turkish prime minister in 2011. Erdogan said, “Today, our victory here in Turkey is as important [here] as it is in Sarajevo [the capital of Bosnia]; in Izmir [Turkey] as it is in for Beirut, this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in Damascus…in Turkey as it is in Ramallah, Jenin and in Jerusalem.”

Like the Iranian regime, which shares Erdogan’s ambition to lead the Islamic world, the chief sociological obstacle Erdogan faces in achieving his goal of leading the Islamic world is that Turkey is not an Arab state. To overcome this racial impediment, Erdogan has latched onto Islamic hatred of Israel and of the Jews as a means to prove his worth.

Thus Erdogan competes with the Iranian regime for the mantle of Hamas’s chief sponsor. Hamas’s operational headquarters are in Istanbul. Most of the lethal terror attacks the group carried out against Israelis in recent years were directed from Hamas offices in Turkey. Turkey serves as a hub for financial transfers and money laundering operations for Hamas. And Erdogan is Hamas’s chief advocate in international forums.

For Erdogan, propagating hatred for America is another key feature of his efforts to seize leadership of the Islamic world. Since entering power, he has inculcated deep-seated hatred of the West generally, and the United States specifically, into Turkish society. Television shows, movies and books have been released that spew conspiracy theories demonizing Americans and America.

It seems a day doesn’t go by without Erdogan or one of his underlings saying or doing something deeply hostile to Israel, or a report emerging about another Turkish policy adopted to harm the Jewish state. Likewise, it seems a week doesn’t go by without Erdogan saying or doing something deeply hostile to the U.S., its citizens, or its strategic interests.

This week, Israel’s foreign ministry debated whether or not to cut off diplomatic relations with Turkey altogether. As Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely explained in a radio interview Thursday, the decision was made to keep formal ties intact. Most of the flights of Israel’s national airline, El Al, overfly Turkish airspace, Israel has considerable trade with Turkey, and Turkey has a significant Jewish community that is increasingly at risk, she explained.

While this is all true, given Erdogan’s desired end state, it is clear that Israel should have contingency plans ready to surmount the challenges to air travel and trade for the day Erdogan cuts off relations with Jerusalem.

Parallel to Israel’s discussions, it is reasonable to assume that Erdogan’s viciously anti-American statements and actions have provoked Washington policymakers to conduct cost-benefit analyses of Turkey’s continued membership in NATO. The reasoning presumably concludes that it is better for the U.S. to betray its Kurdish allies in Syria and Iraq and other shocking displays of Turkish treachery than lose its bases in Turkey.

While these considerations are not ridiculous, like Israel’s assessment of the desirability of continued diplomatic ties to Erdogan’s Turkey, they are largely missing the point.

Sixteen  years ago, Erdogan launched Turkey on a trajectory that is implacably hostile and antithetical to the very notion of a Turkish-U.S. alliance, let alone to continued Turkish membership in NATO.

Unless U.S. cost-benefit analyses are based on that basic fact, their conclusions are largely irrelevant to the strategic challenge Erdogan’s Turkey poses to the U.S.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9210

Erdogan Of Turkey Just Announced That He Wants To Send A Muslim Peace Keeping Force Into Israel

By Ted on May 19, 2018 in Featured, General

The Istanbul summit, which brought together leaders of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “Israel committed acts constituting crimes with the brutal support of the United States of America.”

The communiqué issued by the Istanbul Islamic Summit affirmed the determination “to take political and economic measures towards countries that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Erdogan’s OIC also wants to put in Israel what its terms as “a peace keeping force”. The statement called for “international protection for the Palestinian people,” including the “dispatch of a peacekeeping force.”

The Istanbul summit stressed the need for coordination and cooperation with the League of Arab States, the European Union, the African Union and regional and international organizations on the latest developments in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.

The summit called on the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take urgent action to establish an independent international commission of experts to investigate what it called “the crimes and massacres of Israeli forces against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza and to determine the criminal responsibility of the Israeli authorities”.

The Istanbul summit also called on the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to fulfill their responsibilities to form an international commission of inquiry into the Gaza attacks and urged the issue to be included on the agenda of international institutions.

In 2017, Erdogan declared that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. This is all a sign of the coming invasion of Israel, as the Scripture foretells:

For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:2)

As we read in one report The leaders of 57 Muslim nations have called on the world to recognise “the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.

An Organisation of Islamic Co-operation communique declares US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital as “null and void”.

It also says the move has signalled Washington’s withdrawal from its role in the Middle East peace process.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier said the UN should take over.

In a speech to the OIC summit in Istanbul, Mr Abbas said it would be “unacceptable” for the US to be the mediator “since it is biased in favour of Israel”.

The Palestinians had engaged with the Trump administration in an attempt to agree “the deal of the century”, he noted, but had instead “got the slap of the century”.

Erdogan is the leader of the O.I.C. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (O.I.C) considered to be the Muslim ‘U.N’ coming second to the United Nations in size and global power.

OIC headquarters

Erdogan’s use of the OIC as the conduit to dealing with Trump’s decision is no coincidence. In fact it was Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Jerusalem which caused the founding of the OIC in 1969 consisting of 57 member states, the organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world”. It was set up as result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate after World War I which left a vacuum for a pan-Islamic institution. Losing the Six-Day War in 1967 provided the incentive needed where leaders of Muslim nations met in Rabat to establish the OIC on 25 September 1969.

In May last year year, Erdogan spoke about the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims around the world and urged more Turks and others to visit the city that “Jerusalem is ‘The first of the two directions of prayer, the second of mosques, the third of sanctuaries’”

This issue will fuel Erdogan to speed up the formation of a Muslim League. We warned last year about Erdogan using Jerusalem to create a Muslim League adding:

“This “league” is a united Muslim states and the O.I.C plays a major role in this affair. Remember the Scriptures: “Cush, and Put, and Lud [Turkey], and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.” (Ezekiel 30:5)

Don’t say that we never told you so, way ahead of time, that you may consider the state of your spiritual affairs by becoming one of the five virgins with oil in their lamps before the coming of the Bridegroom.”

And a league it is. Just as we stated will happen is happening. Erdogan even traveled all over the Muslim world to create such a league. From Saudi Iranian relations to expressing concern at the stand-off between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Erdogan offered to get involved in settling many issues to bring this unity together. And now since the issue of Jerusalem is coming up again this will speed the process.

So we are seeing the beginning signs of the times.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9198

Rare Jewish Coins Found in Temple Mount Excavation

By JNS May 22, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“A beka a head, half a shekel by the sanctuary weight, for each one who was entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, 603,550 men.” Exodus 38:26 (The Israel Bible™)

A man displays ancient coins in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90)

Five exceptionally rare ancient coins from among the very first ever minted by Jews were discovered on the Temple Mount, evidence of Jewish activity at the disputed site.

The small coins – three in pristine condition and two showing signs of wear – were discovered as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an archaeological initiative started in order to sift thousands of tons of dirt illegally excavated and dumped in the Kidron Valley by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. The Waqf excavations compromised the archaeological integrity of the Temple Mount and sparked outrage in Israel, leading many to suggest that the Waqf was intentionally attempting to eradicate evidence of two Jewish Temples which stood on the Mount for over 800 years.

The sifting project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount.

The newly-discovered coins bear the letters “YHD,” or Yehud, the Aramaic name for the biblical kingdom of Judea, and are dated to the end of the 4th century BCE.

According to one of the co-directors of the project, Zachi Dvira, only five other coins of this kind have been found in the 150 years of archaeological digging in ancient Jerusalem sites.

Dvira noted that Jewish pilgrims would bring offerings of first fruits of the season to the Temple around the time of the Shavuot holiday, and would often convert their value to silver in the days of the Second Temple.

He also noted that the Temple was a center of commerce and public administration, making it a prime site for finding coins.

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,” Dvira said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news. “They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia—similar to our relations with the United States today.”

He noted that the New Israeli Shekel also bears the letters YHD, exactly as they appear on the newly unearthed coins.

Though state funding for the project halted in 2017, the Temple Mount Sifting Project is now aiming to bring mobile sifting units of Temple Mount dirt to Israeli schools and communities, enabling children to learn about Jewish history in Jerusalem and to participate in the sifting themselves.

More than half a million artifacts have been pulled from the rubble so far by over 200,000 participants, including 6,000 ancient coins.

In May 2017, UNESCO adopted a resolution denying Jewish connection to Jerusalem. In October 2016, the international body said the Jewish people have no ties to the Temple Mount

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9195

Trump ME peace plan: Half West Bank for Palestinians, Abu Dis as capital

May 20, 2018 @ 10:04 Abu Dis, Arabs, Israel, Jard Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Jerusalem, Palestinians, Trump peace plan, West Bank

President Donald Trump sees his peace plan as a springboard for shaping an Israel-Arab track – even  if spurned by the Palestinians at first. He is preparing for the second time to unveil the all-but complete peace plan in mid-June i.e., after the month of Ramadan, subject to the situation in the region, five administration officials informed US media on Friday, May 18. His son-in-law and senior advise Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, had originally been instructed to tie up the last ends in time for its launch with the US embassy dedication in Jerusalem on May 14. The spadework was in hand. The president had discussed the peace plan’s content with three Arab leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, UAE emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, as well as thoroughly briefing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was invited to come aboard, but he rebuffed the offer – and that was even before he generated a crisis with Israel for its deadly confrontation with Hamas in Gaza.
Some of the elements incorporated in the Trump peace plan were revealed by DEBKA Weekly 798 on April 27

  • The plan will be released on the date scheduled by Washington, regardless of a boycott by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.
  • The Arab world is expected to publicly nix the blueprint while keeping it afloat by offering to make the acceptable elements the basis for further discussions for an eventual peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • In search of a measure of Palestinian assent, the White House, Egypt and Gulf nations agreed to headhunt Palestinian figures living outside the PA domain, who hold different views from the Ramallah elite, and would be willing to underwrite the plan. Five eminent Palestinians have been found as possible candidates, including Abbas’ arch-foe Muhammed Dahlan. Feelers are still ongoing.
  • The Israeli prime minister will issue a cautious statement proposing that the Trump plan be the springboard for immediate negotiations with Arab governments on certain mutually acceptable points. Administration emissaries have buttonholed a wide range of Israeli political leaders, both in the government coalition and on opposition benches, who have agreed to look with favor on the Trump plan and not obstruct it.
  • Kushner and Greenblatt are assigned exclusively with the task of shepherding the peace plan from one stage to the next.
    The Trump plan is not a definitive document. It is designed to generate momentum for key Arab governments, notably the three Gulf emirates and Egypt, to sit down with the US and Israel and start the ball rolling for peace talks. Since this will be a long process, the Palestinians will have a chance to jump in at some point. At all events, the Arab and Israeli governments are expected to establish a mechanism for airing common issues that will be open to co-optiong Palestinians.

Sources who have had access to the text told DEBKAfile that it addresses the subjects at issue in detail, including Jerusalem. They disclosed the following nine elements:

  1.  A Palestinian state will be established with limited sovereignty across about half of the West Bank and all the Gaza Strip.
  2. Israel will retain security responsibility for most of the West Bank and the border crossings.
  3. The Jordan Valley will remain under Israel sovereignty and military control.
  4. .The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will pass to the Palestinian state, excepting the Old City, which will be part of Israeli Jerusalem.
  5. Abu Dis east of Jerusalem is the proposed capital of Palestine.
  6. Palestine and Jordan will share religious jurisdiction over the city’s mosques.
  7. Gaza will be integrated in the new Palestinian state provided Hamas agrees to disarm.
  8.  There is no provision in the plan for the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” – but a compensation mechanism will be established and managed by the international community.
  9.  The Trump plan mandates Israel’s recognition as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine with limited sovereignty as the Palestinian homeland.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9193

Is God finished with Israel?

Michael Brown on ‘divine promises’ that belong to Jewish nation

Published: 16 hours ago

Michael Brown

Is God finished with Israel? Is He done with the Jewish people as a people? Heaven forbid. All of Scripture and history shouts a loud “No” to this question.

Paul addressed this directly, asking: “So I ask, did they [speaking of the Jewish people as a whole] stumble in order that they might fall? By no means!” (Romans 11:11). Or, in the words of the King James Version, “God forbid.”

So, despite Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah, Israel has not fallen beyond the point of recovery. Rather, as Paul writes in Romans 9:4 (speaking, again, of non-believing Jews), “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.”

Notice carefully those words, all in the present tense in Greek: The divine promises still belong to Israel. And one of those promises is that, whatever Israel does as a nation, even falling under divine discipline, God will preserve it as a nation.

As written in Jeremiah 31:35-37: “Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord of hosts is his name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.’”

That’s why the Jewish people still exist today: We have been miraculously preserved by God, not because of our goodness, but because of His goodness. Thank God that He keeps His promises! Thank God for His grace and mercy and longsuffering! (To all of my non-Jewish, Jesus-loving friends, remember: The church does not have a monopoly on grace.)

What about the fact that the vast majority of Jews do not believe in Jesus? What about the fact that some militantly oppose faith in Jesus?

That is tragic, and that is why Paul mourned in Romans 9:1-3. Jews without Jesus are lost, just as Gentiles without Jesus are lost (see Romans 2:6-11).

Yet, despite my people’s rejection of our Messiah, we remain loved and chosen by God. As Paul stated so clearly: “As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29).

Some would argue that when Paul said “Israel” in these verses, he meant only the believing remnant, the Israel within Israel, Jews who believe in Jesus (see Romans 9:6-8). But to argue for this is to do violence to the Word of God.

First, after making this point about the Israel within Israel (the believing remnant) in Romans 9:6, Paul used the word “Israel” 10 more times, culminating in Romans 11:26. In every case, he meant the nation as a whole, not just the believing remnant.

Second, as New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce pointed out in his commentary to Romans 11:26, ” … it is impossible to entertain an exegesis which takes ‘Israel’ here in a different sense from ‘Israel’ in v 25 (‘blindness in part is happened to Israel’).” In other words, the Israel that has been temporarily blinded is the Israel that will be saved.

As Bruce explained, “Temporarily alienated for the advantage of the Gentiles, they are eternally the object of God’s electing love because his promises, once made to the patriarchs, will never be revoked.”

That’s why Jesus spoke about the time of future “regeneration,” with the 12 tribes of Israel playing a central role (Matthew 19:28).

That’s why Peter spoke about the time of the restoration of all things, in accordance with the words of the Old Testament prophets (see Acts 3:19-21).

And what did those prophets speak about? They spoke of the time when the Messiah would reign from Jerusalem, when Israel would be exalted and when the nations would stream to Jerusalem to learn from Israel’s God (see, for example, Isaiah 2:1-4).

The idea that a New Testament writer could reverse all these promises with a single stroke of his pen – as some claim Paul or others did – is to deny the inspiration and authority of the Old Testament. After all, Jesus the Messiah came to fulfill the Hebrew Scriptures, not abolish them (see Matthew 5:17-20). He came to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, not cancel them (see Romans 15:8-9).

And, as Paul also wrote, the Sinai covenant, which came 430 years after the promises to Abraham, cannot annual those promises (Galatians 3:17-18; this includes the promises to the Land of Israel; see also Psalm 105:7-11).

That alone explains the history of the Jewish people. Without a homeland for many centuries, scattered around the earth, yet preserved through generations of unspeakable suffering, only to be regathered to our ancient homeland. Nothing even remotely close to this has happened to any other people. It is only because of the Lord!

And so, both history and Scripture demolish the idea that God is finished with Israel. Not a chance!

(For those wanting to do further study, I recommend the following titles: Brock David Hollett, “Debunking Preterism: How Over-Realized Eschatology Misses the ‘Not Yet’ of Bible Prophecy“; Gerald R. McDermott, ed., “The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land“; by the same author, “Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land“; Barry E. Horner, “Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged” and “Eternal Israel“; Michael Vlach, “Has the Church Replaced Israel“; Michael L. Brown, “Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the ‘Church’ and the Jewish People

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9189

DAZED AND CONFUSED: Erdogan Says Turkey Will Not Allow Israel To Steal Jerusalem From Palestinians. Huh?

Erdogan said his chief of staff’s office and foreign ministry were working to evacuate the injured from Gaza, and said that Turkey would stand by Palestine “no matter what the price”. “Even if the whole world shuts their eyes, we will not allow Israeli cruelty. We will continue to be with our Palestinian siblings not only with our hearts, but with all our resources,” he said. “We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel.”

by Geoffrey Grider May 17, 2018

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the United Nations had “collapsed” in the face of events in Gaza where Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinian protesters on Monday as the United States relocated its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

“And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.” 1 Kings 11:36 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, seems to be a tad confused today. In giving his latest fiery tirade against all Jews everywhere in general and against the sovereign nation of Israel in particular, Erdogan made a amazingly ignorant statement. He said, and I quote that he will “not allow Israel to steal Jerusalem from the Palestinians”. Hmm. In my King James Bible, the word ‘Jerusalem’ appears 811 times, all of them in reference to Israel. Look it up, check me out. But that’s not all. There are dozens and dozens of verses where the LORD says that Jerusalem is the place where He chooses to ‘put His name’. And there is not a single reference that shows any Canaanite or Philistine, that’s what the modern day Palestinians are descended from, with the right to control the Holy City. In fact, Zechariah 14:21 shows that, in the Millennial Reign of King Jesus, all Canaanites/Palestinians will be removed completely from the House of the Lord. 

“Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 14:21 (KJV)

Turkey has been among the most vocal critics of the Israeli use of deadly force against protesters at the Gaza border and of the U.S. decision to open its new embassy in Jerusalem. It called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Friday.

Speaking at a dinner on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan said the majority of the international community had failed to react to the events in Gaza, and warned that remaining silent would mean “opening a very dangerous door.”

For those of you who are not geographical scholars, here is the original land grant God gave to Abraham in bullet points:

How much of Israel belongs to the Jews? All of it, and then some. God’s land grant to Abraham is in perpetuity, and will not only last through the Millennial Reign, it will last throughout all eternity as well.

WHO’S OCCUPYING WHO? LET’S LOOK AT GOD’S ORIGINAL LAND GRANT OF ISRAEL TO ABRAHAM

“In the face of all these events, the United Nations has ended. (It has) become exhausted and collapsed,” Erdogan said. “If Israel’s bullying is met with more silence, the world will rapidly be dragged into a chaos where thuggery prevails.”

The events in Gaza have also sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel, with both countries expelling each other’s senior diplomats on Tuesday.

The dispute appears to mark the worst diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers since Israeli marines stormed an aid ship to enforce a naval blockade of Gaza in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists and prompting a downgrade in diplomatic ties that lasted until 2016.

Erdogan, who described Monday’s bloodshed as genocide earlier this week, said Turkey had launched initiatives to get the issue onto the U.N. General Assembly’s agenda. He said Ankara was pressing members of the U.N. Security Council to be more active.

He said his chief of staff’s office and foreign ministry were working to evacuate the injured from Gaza, and said that Turkey would stand by Palestine “no matter what the price”.

“Even if the whole world shuts their eyes, we will not allow Israeli cruelty. We will continue to be with our Palestinian siblings not only with our hearts, but with all our resources,” he said. “We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9186

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador, Accuses Israel of ‘Genocide’

By JNS May 16, 2018 , 9:30 am

“The words of a fool lead to strife; His speech invites blows.” Proverbs 18:6 (The Israel Bible™)

Turkey has told the Israeli ambassador to the country to temporarily leave in protest of the situation in Gaza, which saw nearly 60 Palestinian rioters killed by Israeli forces on Monday.

Ambassador Eitan Naeh was summoned to the foreign ministry and told to “return to his country for a period of time,” said a Turkish foreign ministry official, AFP reported.

Turkey has also recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States over the Gaza situation.

Naeh had been serving in his post since December 2016, following a reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey stemming from a break down in relations due to the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident.

At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also lashed out at Israel, accusing the country of being a “terror state” that has committed “a genocide.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday, calling Erdoğan, who has long supported Hamas, of himself being involved in “terrorism and slaughter.”

Erdoğan then responded again, saying that Netanyahu leads an “apartheid state.”

“Netanyahu is the PM of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people’s lands for 60+ yrs in violation of UN resolutions,” Erdoğan wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey.”

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett also responded to the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and Erdoğan’s comments by blasting the compensation deal with Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident and calling for the recognition of the Armenian genocide.

“Erdoğan is soaked with Hamas terror from head to toe. It was a severe mistake to sign a compensation deal with him, worth tens of millions of dollars, following the Marmara incident,” Bennett wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday.

Bennett, a member of the Security Cabinet, added: “At the time, I said he would return to hurt us, and I even voted against that shameful agreement, which unfortunately passed in the cabinet.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9184

As 40,000 Palestinians Rush Gaza Border, Israeli Snipers Kill 38, Wound 1,000 Ahead Of US Embassy Opening

Israeli snipers have killed 25 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 35,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today. At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

 

by Geoffrey Grider May 14, 2018

Israeli snipers have killed 38 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 40,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today.

“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.” Zechariah 12:2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Embassy in Jerusalem will open officially in the next 50 minutes at 10:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM Israeli time today. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are right now engaged on the Gaza border, rushing the protective fence behind which live Israeli citizens. The stated goal of the rioters is to ‘loot, destroy and kill Israelis’. IDF snipers have already killed scores of these Gazan rioters, with over 1,000 wounded, and the death toll is climbing by the minute. These figures will be out of date the moment this article is published. With mere minutes until the Embassy opening in Jerusalem, it would appear that nothing is going to stop it. 

At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony

Click here to watch a live stream of the US Embassy dedication ceremony coming in real-time from Jerusalem, or watch below.

It comes as a White House delegation and Israeli officials gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognised the city as Israel’s capital in December – a  decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis.

Russia said today it feared the embassy opening would increase tension in the Middle East while Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan warned the US it had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now ‘part of the problem rather than the solution’.

As violent clashes broke out this morning, Trump, in a tweet, hailed the scheduled embassy opening as ‘a great day for Israel’.  Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet, instead inviting Twitter followers to watch live coverage of the embassy opening.

Amid heightened tensions in the region, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri last night called for followers to carry out jihad against America. In a new message, he said America’s decision was evidence that negotiations and ‘appeasement’ have failed Palestinians as he urged Muslims carry out jihad against the United States.

The Israeli air force struck five targets in a Hamas military camp near the city of Jabaliya, the IDF said. The strike came following three “serious” incidents in which IDF troops were targeted by Palestinians along the border fence. According to the army, 40,000 Palestinians are demonstrating in 12 different locations along the border fence. source

Trump ‘was clear and explicit as he revealed the true face of the modern Crusade, where standing down and appeasement does not work with them, but only resistance through the call and jihad,’ Zawahiri said, according to a transcript provided by the SITE monitoring agency.

It follows Trump’s announcement last week that the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli strikes two days later on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Those strikes came after rocket fire toward Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights that Israel blamed on Iran.

This morning, the Israeli military said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during mass protests.

The shooting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah came as the army said an Israeli aircraft had bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.

The Israeli military says over 35,000 protesters are taking part in demonstrations at 12 points along the Gaza border. The Trump administration has vowed to restart the moribund Middle East peace process but the embassy move has inflamed feelings across the globe.

Monday’s inauguration ceremony at 4pm Israel time will include some 800 guests – though Trump himself will not attend – at what until now had been a US consulate building in Jerusalem.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the Washington delegation that includes Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Ivanka Trump thanked Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli Prime Minister’s hospitality at a welcome reception

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9182