A statement from the office of Sudan’s prime minister on Wednesday said Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari signed the Abraham Accords with visiting US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Sudan’s Acting Minister of Finance Hiba Ahmed and Mnuchin also “signed a memorandum of understanding in Khartoum to provide a same-day bridge financing facility to clear Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank”, her office said in a statement.
Sudan has signed the Abraham Accords with the United States and Israel despite the move being rejected by its political parties when it was first announced in October last year.
Normally, a story like this would be headline news for a cycle or two but not today, the day in which the battle for America began out in the open. Sudan became the latest Muslim nation to join the Abraham Accords, and nobody even notice. Maybe that’s a good thing, because flying under the radar will only increase the number of Muslim nations who will sign on, and at some point on that journey you will wind up at the Isaiah 28 and Daniel 9 covenant with death and hell confirmed by Antichrist.
“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:” Isaiah 28:15 (KJB)
The next few weeks here in America are going to go by in a fuzzy, hazy blur where Democrats will attempt to unseat President Trump, and squash all free speech and dissent as they complete their stranglehold on power in Washington. What will the next 4 years be like for us in America? Think Germany in 1933, and that’s how it’s going to go, with maybe a few new things Hitler never thought of. The America you once knew drew its last breath today, what happens next is the judgment of the God of Abraham.
Sudan signs Abraham Accords peace treaty deal to normalize relations with Israel
FROM AL JAZEERA: A statement from the office of Sudan’s prime minister on Wednesday said Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari signed the Abraham Accords with visiting US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Sudan’s Acting Minister of Finance Hiba Ahmed and Mnuchin also “signed a memorandum of understanding in Khartoum to provide a same-day bridge financing facility to clear Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank”, her office said in a statement.
“THIS MOVE WILL ENABLE SUDAN TO REGAIN ACCESS TO OVER $1 BILLION IN ANNUAL FINANCING FROM THE WORLD BANK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 27 YEARS,” THE STATEMENT ADDED.
The US embassy in Khartoum said the agreement will “help further Sudan on its transformative path to stability, security, and economic opportunity”. The signing came just over two months after US President Donald Trump announced that Sudan would start to normalize ties with Israel. Sudanese political parties rejected the government’s decision to normalize relations with Israel at the time it was announced, with officials saying they will form an opposition front against the agreement.
In a statement, Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, the second most prominent component of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) political coalition, said in October that Sudanese people were not obligated to accept the normalization deal.
Sudan’s former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi also slammed the announcement, adding that he withdrew from a government-organized conference at the time in protest.
Last year, the Trump administration engineered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the first since Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s and Egypt in the 1970s. Morocco also established diplomatic ties with Israel. The agreements are all with countries that are geographically distant from Israel and have played a minor role, if any, in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Abraham Accords have also contributed to the severe isolation and weakening of the Palestinians by eroding a long-standing Arab consensus that recognition of Israel should only be given in return for concessions in the peace process
Both David’s Sling and Iron Dome are built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel’s traditional research and development defense behemoth. Together with ELTA radar from IAI and other systems from Elbit, this exercise over recent weeks showcased Israel’s world-class defense companies and cooperation with allies such as the United States. It is important to understand that the defense systems were used in this manner in the context of the emerging threats and Israel’s new ties in the Gulf and as the current US administration is leaving office. Israel rolled out the Momentum plan between late 2019 and early 2020.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization has successfully completed a series of live-fire intercept tests of the Iron Dome and David’s Sling weapon systems against threat-representative cruise and ballistic missiles, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday. It is the first time the the Iron Dome system intercepted a cruse missile.
You can try as hard as you can, but you will never get past that King James Bible, and let me tell you why. The Bible says that King Jesus during His Millennial Reign will sit on the throne of His father, David, and in 2020 what is the fancy, high-tech name of Israel’s missile defense system? David’s Sling.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32,33 (KJB)
David’s Sling can do amazing feats of modern technological power, like now being able to intercept a cruise missile in a live-fire drill, something that has never been done before. Israel has the most-powerful air force in the Middle East, and thanks to President Trump over the past 4 years, Israel is a pretty good shape right at the moment. But when you pick up that Book, what do you see? You see Israel making peace with the Palestinians, dividing their own land to create a Palestinian state and rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” Matthew 24:15,16 (KJB)
Everything will be going great right up to the moment when Antichrist sits down on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. Like I said, have all the modern-day inventions you want, you will never manage to get ahead of that dusty, old and archaic King James Bible, more up-to-date than tomorrow’s headlines.
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:20-22 (KJB)
Israel’s historic Iron Dome missile test: A message to Iran, Hezbollah, allies
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The test comes in the wake of Iran using cruise missiles and drones to attack Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil facilities a year ago. That drone-swarm attack was a chance for Iran to show off its capabilities. Reports also indicated Iran sent ballistic missiles to militias in Iraq in 2018 and 2019 and that it sends precision-guided munitions to Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. It also has drones that it has used from the T-4 base in Syria against Israel in 2018.
The threat matrix is changing, and among today’s enemies, Iran is Israel’s main regional adversary with multiple complex missiles and drones. To confront these myriad threats, Israel needs its own complex multitiered system. Iron Dome has worked for 10 years to confront close-range threats and is the workhorse of Israel’s air defenders. David’s Sling, which is supposed to face higher-level threats and is similar to the US’s Patriot batteries, uses an impressive interceptor to stop enemy missiles.
BOTH DAVID’S SLING AND IRON DOME ARE BUILT BY RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS, ISRAEL’S TRADITIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT DEFENSE BEHEMOTH. TOGETHER WITH ELTA RADAR FROM IAI AND OTHER SYSTEMS FROM ELBIT, THIS EXERCISE OVER RECENT WEEKS SHOWCASED ISRAEL’S WORLD-CLASS DEFENSE COMPANIES AND COOPERATION WITH ALLIES SUCH AS THE UNITED STATES.
It is important to understand that the defense systems were used in this manner in the context of the emerging threats and Israel’s new ties in the Gulf and as the current US administration is leaving office. Israel rolled out the Momentum plan between late 2019 and early 2020. It calls for a dedicated IDF general to focus on “third circle” threats. Third circle is the term Israel uses to describe Iran or countries that lie beyond the direct area of engagement from Gaza to the Golan Heights.
Israel’s historic mode of warfare has mainly been on land against enemies along the borders, from the tank battles of the 1950s and ’60s to the Palestinian insurgency of 2000, the Second Intifada. However, today’s warfare is not about hunting down terrorists in buildings or using tanks; it is also about confronting hi-tech missiles and drones. These modern threats have been on display as Hezbollah stockpiled 150,000 missiles and rockets. The recent war in the Caucasus also showcased how drones can transform war. That is why everyone in the region now wants missiles and missile-defense systems.
The United Arab Emirates is seeking to upgrade its systems through its purchase of F-35s from the US and many more drones and missiles. This illustrates that Israel’s missile-defense test has major ramifications for its new relations with Gulf states. But not only Israel needs missile defense. Saudi Arabia has used Patriots supplied by the US in recent years, and the US in Iraq also needed to deploy a system called C-RAM to confront rocket threats from Iranian-backed militias.
ADD ALL THIS TOGETHER AND YOU CAN SEE A RAPIDLY CHANGING REGION IN NEED OF THE KIND OF DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY THAT ISRAEL HAS DEVELOPED WITH US BACKING.
The US is a partner in the Arrow and David’s Sling programs and has supported Iron Dome. But the latter is a unique Israeli solution, and together with David’s Sling, Israel is able to cover almost 100% of potential incoming threats. This means that when an enemy launches missiles or drones, the multitiered system will kick in with sensors, such as radar tracking the threats and displaying them on a map, forming an integrated picture of the threat and of the systems capable of stopping them. Arrow and David’s Sling combine to cover long-range threats, whereas Iron Dome batteries are a point defense that can defend a certain area. By deploying Iron Dome batteries at the right locations with radar on land and at sea, such as aboard the Sa’ar 5 and new Sa’ar 6 ships, Israel bolsters its massive multilayered defense umbrella.
This drill in the lead-up to Hanukkah showcased what Israel has accomplished in the last decade. Israeli missile defense has its origins in the 1990s, and close cooperation with the US led us here. However, it is important to note that the real revolution took place in the last decade through a unique partnership with companies such as Rafael and Israel’s decision to correctly anticipate emerging threats and invest in staying at least one step ahead of the enemy.
IRAN CAN’T BLACKMAIL THE REGION AS LONG AS ISRAEL CAN INCREASINGLY BUILD AND DEPLOY THESE SYSTEMS.
That is important because as the end of the Trump administration nears, the Iranian octopus of threats in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen appears to be growing, and it is chomping at the bit to begin a new reign of terror if it feels it is being appeased by the West.
Israel has the most hi-tech array of defense systems ever fielded in world history. But the question, as always, will be how these systems perform in real scenarios. That means also using Arrow as part of these drills, rather than conducting tests at sea or with the Arrow system’s sensors being used but without the actual missile. This is a struggle because real-world threats come in over mountainous areas, like the Golan, with drones or missiles trying to hide by being close to the ground. The recent test was a game changer, but the threats will continue until these systems are put to the test on the battlefield.
In the last weeks of the Trump administration, Israel is fast-tracking the military drive to push Iran and its helpers back from their advance on southern Syria and the Golan border. The IDF is urged to hurry up in case the Biden administration decides that Iran’s presence in Syria need not be addressed by the US in a potential renegotiated nuclear deal with Tehran.
Iran is using the uncertain transition period to advance on the Syrian-Israel Golan border by infiltrating and hiding behind Syrian army positions in the southern Syrian provinces of Deraa, Quneitra and Sweida. The Iranians are also practicing clandestine tactics on the Syrian Golan with the help of a special Hizballah unit and dozens of local armed groups and soldiers, taking advantage of the overall chaos prevailing in the region. The IDF is hitting back by expanding the targets of its air strikes to include the Syrian regime army positions hosting or covering Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Shiite militia forces in the south and the east.
The success of the IDF’s ramped-up operations to counter Iran’s strategy was indicated by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi in an end-of-year summary last Thursday, Dec. 10. “Iran has begun cutting back on its military presence in Syria as a result of our operations,’ he said, “but there is still a long way to go before the job is done.” The tempo and quality of Israeli strikes against Iranian assets in Syria, including kinetic operations, the general said, have been enhanced this year, along with more numerous covert and clandestine missions.”
Iran had also significantly stalled its cargo airlift for smuggling weapons into Syria, Gen. Kochavi revealed. This came as a result of the destruction by aerial bombardments in recent months of vast quantities of advanced weaponry, that were to have been handed over to Iran’s proxy, Hizballah, for using in Lebanon as a convenient forward base for attacking Israel.
To escape Israel’s air strikes, Iran has moved its bases, camps and headquarters out of the line of Israeli fire around Damascus towards the northern and eastern parts of Syria. Iranian forces have also been drawn down. Hizballah and Syrian armed units have been left to anchor Iran’s presence in the south. Moreover, reported IDF air strikes on IRGC positions at Abu Kamal in eastern Syria on the sensitive border with Iraq showed Israel to be undeterred by the proximity of US bases.
Tehran is acting on the assumption that Israel is intent on provoking a major clash to provide Donald Trump with justification for clobbering Iran or its interests in the waning days of his presidency. Tehran is therefore at pains to avoid overt or extreme response to the intensified IDF campaign. Its presence in South Syria is denied except for “a few advisers.” Reported casualties are dismissed as “Zionist propaganda.”
The IDF is using Tehran’s caution to seriously bludgeon its assets and collaborators in Syria for the purpose of driving home Israel’s determination to drive them out.
President Donald Trump congratulated the two parties in a tweet: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” Less than a year ago, President Trump launched his Abraham Accords Middle East peace plan, which departed from previous efforts in that it sought agreements between Israel and Arab states without giving a veto to the Palestinians.
Morocco became the fourth Muslim nation to reach a peace deal with Israel this year, as news broke Thursday that the Kingdom would sign an agreement establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and join Abraham Accords.
For those of you, like myself, who are patiently scanning the eastern skies in anticipation of taking off on Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines, I have good news for you. We are not only getting giant steps closer to departing, things are heating up so much that Spring 2021 is starting to look like the time when that might be taking place. Not setting a date, not predicting anything, just looking out my window and talking. Just ask King Solomon how he felt about it, the answer might surprise you.
“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song Of Solomon 2:10-13 (KJB)
Putting the wonderful thought of the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church aside for just a moment, let’s focus on the rapidly-expanding Abraham Accords Middle East Peace Treaty, the necessary precursor to the Daniel 9:27 Covenant with Death and Hell the Jews will agree to sooner rather than later. As we have been telling you, every major Muslim nation that rings around the Palestinians are going to sign the Abraham Accords, thus putting overwhelming pressure on the Palies to sign it as well. What will Israel receive in exchange for such open-minded, forward thinking? Not much, just the rebuilt Jewish Temple that Antichrist will inhabit, that’s all.
Another Abraham Accords Middle East Peace Deal: Morocco Latest to Establish Ties with the Jews and Israel
FROM BREITBART NEWS: President Donald Trump congratulated the two parties in a tweet: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”
Less than a year ago, President Trump launched his Middle East peace plan, which departed from previous efforts in that it sought agreements between Israel and Arab states without giving a veto to the Palestinians.
Earlier U.S. administrations had believed, incorrectly, that such an approach was impossible. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry said in 2016 that no separate peace between Israel and Arab states was possible:
Morocco has quietly enjoyed unofficial ties with Israel for many years. The country has a large Jewish community, many of whose members moved to Israel after the Jewish state declared independence in 1948. The Trump administration has been reaching out to Morocco for years. Ivanka Trump visited the kingdom last November. Morocco also granted an exclusive interview with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to Breitbart News in 2018.
On Thursday, Trump announced that the U.S. would be recognizing Morocco’s claims to the disputed Western Sahara:
The kingdom is the fourth state to make peace and forge diplomatic relations with Israel this year. The other three include the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which signed the Abraham Accords on the White House lawn in September; and Sudan, which announced it had reached an agreement with Israel several weeks later.
If true, this would coincide with US President Donald Trump’s creation of the Space Force as the fifth branch of the US armed forces, though it is unclear how long this sort of relationship, if any, has been going on between the US and its reported extraterrestrial allies. Speaking in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Eshed – who served as the head of Israel’s space security program for nearly 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award – explained that Israel and the US have both been dealing with aliens for years. And this by no means refers to immigrants, with Eshed clarifying the existence of a “Galactic Federation.”
Former Israeli space security chief Hiam Eshed says aliens exist, has been in contact with Israel and the US for years, humanity not ready for what’s coming
Before you make up your mind as to whether or not you believe this incredible story coming from a highly-respected and decorated retired general in the Israel military, allow me to remind you of a couple of things. First, on April 28th of this year, the United States Pentagon admitted that videos of UFOs taken by Air Force pilots are indeed legit, and that the encounters they had with aliens actually took place. In July, the Pentagon went a step further and said that they have recovered ‘objects and vehicles not made on this earth’ and that there is so much activity they had to create the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force inside the Office of Naval Intelligence on August 4th, 2020. These are the facts, let’s proceed.
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39 (KJB)
It was in May of 2020 that President Trump announce the creation of the US Space Force, complete with the all-seeing eye built into the logo, and everyone laughed at the perceived silliness of Trump in creating an intergalactic Space Force. Suddenly, as I am recalling the Pentagon admitting to UFOs, Trump’s Space Force is not quite so humorous anymore, is it? Ret. Israeli Gen. Haim Eshed is laughing, and he isn’t crazy, either. He is telling you the truth, and your King James Bible backs him up. You should believe what he’s saying, I do.
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14,15 (KJB)
Jesus says clearly that when the time of Jacob’s trouble begins, it will be just like it was in the ‘days of Noah’, and event that was kicked-off with the one-man pretribulation rapture of Enoch. If we are where we think we are in this crazy year of 2020, then what Haim Eshed is saying makes perfect, rightly divided and dispensationally correct sense. We are living in the overlap between the end of the Church Age and the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble, with the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church on the launch pad.
Please visit our friend Steve Quayle over on his Genesis 6 Giants site, it will be an eye-opener for you.
Former Israeli space security chief Haim Eshed says aliens exist, humanity not ready
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: Has the State of Israel made contact with aliens? According to retired Israeli general and current professor Haim Eshed, the answer is yes, but this has been kept a secret because “humanity isn’t ready.”
Speaking in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Eshed – who served as the head of Israel’s space security program for nearly 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award – explained that Israel and the US have both been dealing with aliens for years.
AND THIS BY NO MEANS REFERS TO IMMIGRANTS, WITH ESHED CLARIFYING THE EXISTENCE OF A “GALACTIC FEDERATION.”
The 87-year-old former space security chief gave further descriptions about exactly what sort of agreements have been made between the aliens and the US, which ostensibly have been made because they wish to research and understand “the fabric of the universe.” This cooperation includes a secret underground base on Mars, where there are American and alien representatives.
IF TRUE, THIS WOULD COINCIDE WITH US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CREATION OF THE SPACE FORCE AS THE FIFTH BRANCH OF THE US ARMED FORCES, THOUGH IT IS UNCLEAR HOW LONG THIS SORT OF RELATIONSHIP, IF ANY, HAS BEEN GOING ON BETWEEN THE US AND ITS REPORTED EXTRATERRESTRIAL ALLIES.
But Eshed insists that Trump is aware of them, and that he was “on the verge” of disclosing their existence. However, the Galactic Federation reportedly stopped him from doing so, saying they wished to prevent mass hysteria since they felt humanity needed to “evolve and reach a stage where we will… understand what space and spaceships are,” Yediot Aharonot reported. As for why he’s chosen to reveal this information now, Eshed explained that the timing was simply due to how much the academic landscape has changed, and how respected he is in academia.
“IF I HAD COME UP WITH WHAT I’M SAYING TODAY FIVE YEARS AGO, I WOULD HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED,” HE EXPLAINED TO YEDIOT.
He added that “today, they’re already talking differently. I have nothing to lose. I’ve received my degrees and awards; I am respected in universities abroad, where the trend is also changing. Eshed provided more information in his newest book, The Universe Beyond the Horizon – conversations with Professor Haim Eshed, along with other details such as how aliens have prevented nuclear apocalypses and “when we can jump in and visit the Men in Black.” The book is available now for NIS 98.
While it is unclear if any evidence exists that could support Eshed’s claims, they did come just ahead of a recent announcement by SpaceIL, the group behind Israel’s failed attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2019.
Uploaded to social media with the text “Ready to get excited again?,” the announcement contained a 15-second video of the moon with text saying “Back to the Moon,” followed by the date of December 9, 2020. It is likely that this is a follow up to the Beresheet spacecraft, which crashed after engineers lost contact with it just minutes before it was due to land. However, the follow up project, titled Beresheet 2, is expected to take three years to be ready.
A report in the Hebrew-language news site Yediot Ahronot written by investigative reporter Ronen Bergman and published on Friday stated that on a 2008 visit by George W. Bush to Jerusalem, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert played a tape of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the senior Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated by a hit squad outside of Tehran ten days ago, speaking about his efforts to produce “five warheads.”
The recording was made by a source close to Fakhrizadeh who had been recruited by Israeli intelligence. Played as part of an effort to convince the US of the dire threat of an Iranian nuclear program, Olmert requested that the room be emptied of any non-essential people, including Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley, in order to ensure the identity of the source remained a secret.
According to the report in Yediot, Israel had been compiling a dossier on the Iranian scientist for over three decades, indicating his deep involvement in a nuclear weapons program. The recording was considered by Israeli intelligence experts to be the final proof that the Iranian nuclear program was not focused on peace-time goals, as the Iranian government still insists in the public forum.
At the time, Ehud Barak, Olmert’s Minister of Defense, requested the US to supply Israel with weapons that it did not have in its arsenals, such as vertical take-off aircraft and bunker-busting bombs. It was believed that Israel intended to use the weapons to carry out an attack against the Iranian nuclear program.
According to the report, Bush responded to the request by pointing at Barak and saying, “This guy frightens me.”
Bush then reacted to the new information concerning the Iranian nuclear weapons program by saying:
BUSH: “US WILL NOT ACT”
“I want you to know the official position of the United States government. The US strongly opposes Israel taking action against the Iranian nuclear program,” Bush said, according to Ehud Barak in the Yediot report. “And in order not to be vague, I will tell you that the United States does not intend to act either as long as I serve as president.”
After this response, Olmert decided to play the tape for the US president the next day in an attempt to convince him of the dire necessity. Before the meeting, Olmert insisted that everyone leave the room except for the president. Headley stated that protocol demanded that as national security adviser, he stay. But Olmert insisted that he leave and Bush assented.
Olmert played the tape which was, of course in Persian, but the Israeli prime minister provided an English transcript.
“I’m going to play you something, but I ask that you not talk about it with anyone, not even with the director of the CIA,” the report quoted Olmert as telling Bush, identifying Fakhrizadeh as the man speaking on the tape.
IRAN’S LONG HISTORY OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT
Olmert described him as the head of the Iranian AMAD program. AMAD is the Iranian program aimed at developing a nuclear weapon that was begun in 1989. The Iranian government claims to have ended the program in 2003. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, was predicated on the truth of this Iranian claim. President Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA but the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, who helped set up the JCPOA, and many of his cabinet nominees have vowed to return the agreement.
The Yediot report cites the recording, quoting Fakhrizadeh, but does not use the word ‘nuclear’. The nuclear scientist discusses his weapons program, complaining that the government is not providing him with sufficient funding.
“They want five warheads,” Fakhrizadehsaid. “But on the other hand, they won’t let me work.”
Though Bush did not relent and sell Israel the requested weaponry, he did agree to full-intelligence cooperation on the Iranian nuclear weapons program and joint operations against it.
Fakhrizadeh was named in 2018 when Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed a trove of secrete documentation taken from a warehouse in Tehran by the Mossad. The documentation was from Iran’s nuclear program.
A rare event in the heavens just ahead of Christmas will feature an alignment of planets that a famous astronomer believed was the phenomenon that is mentioned in the Bible when Jesus Christ was born.
The alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will appear in the skies on December 21, the winter solstice. The last time the rare alignment of the planets was this close was in 1623, nearly 400 years ago. That was only 14 years after Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter with the invention of the telescope.
Another famous astronomer, Johannes Kepler, posited in 1614 that the alignment of the two planets might have been what was reported in the Nativity Story of Christ in the Bible. The planets aligned in 7 B.C., around the time that Christ was born.
The account in the Gospel of Matthew says that the wisemen came to Jerusalem to seek the birth of the “King of the Jews” after seeing a bright star in the sky.
…behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.
There is much debate among theologians and Christians as to whether the bright star in the sky was a natural phenomenon or a supernatural event.
Whether the star was the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn or not, the rare sight will be visible to those in the Northern Hemisphere shortly after sunset in the southwestern sky. The conjunction will dip under the horizon after a few hours.
The dispute that is now rocking the Muslim world is not about whether the Prophet Muhammad’s famous Night Journey actually took place or was merely a dream. The current debate, which is intertwined with political, religious and nationalist motivations, has to do with the question of where Al-Aqsa (“the farthest”) Mosque, from whence—according to Muslim tradition—Muhammad set off on his way into the heavens, is located.
Widespread Muslim belief, backed by religious literature, says that the angel Gabriel was revealed to Muhammad in Mecca, riding a winged beast named al-Buraq. Muhammad took the angel up on his invitation to ride al-Buraq into the sky, but made an important stop at Al-Aqsa. Only after that did they rise into the sky together, where Muhammad received the commandment that requires Muslims to worship five times a day, and also stipulates that the prayers be directed toward Mecca.
Now, some 1,400 years after the Muslim belief that the Quranic Al-Aqsa sits on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem took root, a debate from the early days of Islam has resurfaced. Is Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, as the vast majority of Muslims believe? Or, as Saudi researcher Osama Yamani claims in the Saudi establishment paper Okaz, is it near Mecca on the Arabia Peninsula.
According to Yamani, the mosque Muhammad visited is actually located in Al-Ju’ranah in Saudi Arabia’s Makkah Province.
Since his article was published, Arab social media has been aflutter. Yamani is accused of spreading “perverse nonsense that contradicts the Quran and Sunni Islam.” A few claimed he is “sick” or “insane.” Some, like the Turkish television station TRT, claim that his remarks were designed to serve the “Zionist agenda” and attempts by Jewish Middle East scholars to deny that Al-Aqsa is located in Jerusalem, as well as Muhammad’s miraculous night flight. Others say the article was published for political reasons, as an attempt to pave the way for Saudi normalization with Israel.
The article also infuriated several officials in the Palestinian Authority. Mohammad Habash, the P.A.’s highest-ranking sharia (Islamic law) judge, thinks the article was designed to serve “enemies of the nation.” Dr. Ali Abu al-Awar, who wrote his doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard, calls Osama Yamani a “highwayman.”
‘THE UMAYYADS INVENTED A STORY’
Yamani, it should be noted, is not the first to question the identification of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem as the Quranic Al-Aqsa. The Egyptian intellectual Dr. Youssef Ziedan did so in 2015, as did Jordanian researcher Dr. Suleiman al-Tarawneh in 2017, and one Israeli researcher, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, who has been expounding the theory for 12 years. They all refer to ancient historians like al-Waqidi (at the end of the eighth century C.E.) or al-Azraqi (ninth century C.E.), both of whom wrote similar arguments over 1,000 years ago.
Kedar sums up this dissenting version:
“Fifty years after the death of Muhammad in 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr, who was the bully of Mecca, revolted against the Umayyad Dynasty that ruled in Damascus. He closed the roads and prevented Damascus residents from making the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Having no other choice, the Umayyads chose Jerusalem as an alternative Haj destination, which is one of the five fundamental commandments of Islam. To entrench their choice of Jerusalem, they invented the story that the Al-Aqsa Mosque mentioned in the Quran wasn’t in Ju’ranah, but in Jerusalem. They linked the story to the Quran myth about Muhammad’s night flight to Al-Aqsa Mosque by inventing a number of hadiths that are essentially rewritten history.”
According to Kedar, this led to the Sunni Muslim belief that Jerusalem is the third-holiest city in Islam. “I didn’t invent these arguments,” said Kedar. “They were made 1,000 years ago by the great Ibn Taymiyyah and al-Waqidi, who cannot be suspected of Judaism or Zionism. They looked for the truth and they knew about the industry of falsified hadiths that operated in the seventh and eighth centuries.”
Unlike Kedar, Middle East scholar professor Yitzhak Reiter, author of “From Jerusalem, to Mecca and Back – The Islamic Consolidation of Jerusalem” and a former adviser to three prime ministers—Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres—is by no means “right-wing,” and yet he is in agreement with Kedar on the history.
However, Reiter believes that the debate around the question of where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located has erupted now because of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and the improved ties between Jerusalem and Riyadh.
“This is a transparent attempt to reduce the weight of the Palestinian issue in relations between the Arab world and Israel,” said Reiter. “In other words, this is part of an attempt to say that the holy places on the Arabian Peninsula—Mecca, Medina and now many [say] Al-Aqsa—are much more significant, and that Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is less worthy of a place in the center of that normalization,” he added.
However, Reiter—like Kedar—notes that the argument about the holiness of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa goes back to the dawn of Islam. “In effect, we have sources like al-Waqidi from the ninth century and others who argue that the original mosque is located in Ju’ranah in the Makkah Province,” he said.
HADITH AS AN EARLY FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Reiter stresses that Jerusalem became holy to Islam 60 years after Muhammad’s death, when the Umayyad dynasty ruled the Land of Israel. They had no access to Islamic holy sites on the Arabian Peninsula after al-Zybayr seized power there.
“Only then did the Umayyads start developing Jerusalem as a spiritual center. My interpretation is that they were very successful in the battle for hearts and minds. They had people write hadiths and traditions and disseminated them. In today’s terms, we’d say that they controlled the media and social media by distributing and inculcating the hadiths, and the belief that Jerusalem is the third-holiest place to Islam and that Jerusalem is the first direction of prayer according to Muslim tradition.
“They also invented a tradition that Al-Aqsa Mosque was built 40 years after the Kaaba in Mecca by Abraham and Ismail. But the more important tradition they managed to instill attributes to Muhammad the decree that pilgrimage is permitted to three places—the holy mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. That is the famous hadith about the three mosques, and it was invented in the Umayyad period to serve them,” said Reiter.
The Kaaba in Mecca surrounded by worshipers at the center of Islam’s most important mosque, Great Mosque of Mecca. Credit: Wikipedia.
However, Reiter noted that no remains of an ancient mosque have ever been found in Ju’ranah, and said that in any case, “You can’t challenge a 1,300-year-old belief.” The current discussion on the subject, he reiterated, “is a political trend, and even if it has a historical basis, it’s designed to weaken the Palestinian position.”
Nor is there consensus in Israel on the history; one of those critiquing the renewed questioning of Al-Aqsa is Middle East scholar Eran Tzidkiyahu of the Forum for Regional Thinking. Tzidkiyahu penned a long Facebook post on the subject, taking issue with the “hypocrisy” of subjecting one narrative, the Muslim one, to critical scientific analysis, “while the narrative of the other side, the Jewish one, is accepted as truth that is not only historically correct, but also confers modern-day political rights.”
This new attempt to invalidate the Muslim historical-religious narrative, he said, “arose in order to justify the cancellation of political rights.”
“Academic research takes the existence of God out of the equation and looks at historical events. According to research, no god ever promised or sanctified the city of Jerusalem, or Al-Quds, to any nation or religion. The research assumes that all the processes of sanctification and politicization were created as the result of human, religious, political and social processes.
“Therefore, even if Jerusalem later became holy, whether it was because of kings who identified with the House of David in the eighth century B.C.E., or because of a Muslim dynasty that aspired to lead the Islamic world in the seventh century C.E., it doesn’t cancel 1,400 or 2,700 years of holiness and religious and political centrality, not for Jews and not for Muslims,” he said.
Tzidkiyahu stresses that the greatest researchers of Islam delved into the question of Jerusalem’s holiness, poring over books, ancient manuscripts, ancient sources in classic Arabic, Latin, Greek and Persian, and integrating sources and comparing texts. “They published endless articles and books on the subject, but not one of the serious researchers thought to translate these historical commentaries into political statements. They focused on research,” he said.
This week, Israel Hayom asked Kedar about the practical meaning of the claims he has been making for over a decade now being made by Muslim researchers. Does he really expect Muslims to drop a 1,300-year-old belief and adopt the view that Al-Aqsa is near Mecca, not in Jerusalem? Might this not be an “own goal,” with challenges about historical truths also being leveled at biblical accounts?
“Your question is influenced by the distance between postmodernism and modernism,” said Kedar. “Postmodernism claims that there is no absolute truth. Anyone who accepts that view accepts Jerusalem’s holiness to Islam as a fact. I, as a realist, am looking for the absolute truth. A narrative is a collection of stories that I believe and expect everyone else to respect. That is how religious-national narratives are constructed. But as a researcher, I want to get to the truth, and understand how stories are created, how a narrative is created. Understand whether they have a historical basis, and now that I understand that, I say again, the so-called truth about the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness to Islam is clear to many people now, not just me.”
Kedar went on to state: “I research Islam, and people’s motivation today to make up stories is no different from what motivated them 1,400 years ago. The story is a battle for power and control. Why do you think the Saudi king calls himself ‘guardian of the holy sites’ [Mecca and Medina]? The Saudi royal family comes from the Riyadh area. They made themselves into the guardians of the holy places to give their rule legitimacy. Now the Palestinians, particularly the Islamic Movement, have made Al-Aqsa their top priority in order to position Jerusalem as a central issue for the Muslim world. The more they succeed, the more the Saudis will claim that Al-Aqsa is located there.”
Could the debate among Muslims about the location of Al-Aqsa spill over into violence and bloodshed? Reiter, Kedar and Tzidkiyahu don’t think so, but suggest that we wait and see whether the Saudi newspaper article signals a stance the Saudi royal family will adopt, or whether it was a shot in the dark. If that theory becomes more prevalent, Tzidkiyahu said, “there will be more potential for violence and bloodshed.”
kForce437, in ‘operation Clemenceau’. (courtesy: Shutterstock)
The US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz was deployed to the Persian Gulf this week at a time of heightened tension in the region.
IRANIAN NUCLEAR GENERAL ASSASSINATED; REDUCTION OF US TROOPS IN REGION
One cause for concern was the assassination of Mohsen Mahabadi, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a senior official in the nuclear program of Iran, on Friday. Members of the Iranian government have blamed Israel for the targeted killing.
“There were no specific threats that triggered the return of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an emailed statement after the carrier deployed on Wednesday. Rebarich did acknowledge that the redeployment of the carrier strike group was in anticipation of a US reduction of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon is expected to keep a total of 5,000 US troops split evenly between the two countries.
“This action ensures we have sufficient capability available to respond to any threat and to deter any adversary from acting against our troops during the force reduction,” she said.
The Nimitz was last in the Persian Gulf three weeks ago, leaving after two months in the sector, the longest amount of time a U.S. aircraft carrier has spent in the waters since 2018.
LARGEST, OLDEST, NUCLEAR-POWERED
At 1092 feet and over 100,000 tons displacement, the nuclear-powered Nimitz, touted as the US Navy’s oldest and finest aircraft carrier, is one of the largest warships in the world. The Nimitz has a complement of over 3,500 sailors and an airwing of over 2,400 capable of operating 90 warplanes and helicopters.
The strike group consists of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104).
Jerusalem on November 18, 2020. Photo by Menahem Kahana/POOL
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held secret talks in Saudi Arabia on Sunday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli media reported on Monday. The trip would be the first of its kind by an Israeli premier to the Gulf State.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Israel (including Judea and Samaria) last week, also reportedly attended the meeting. Israel’s public broadcaster Kann’s diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid reported. Mossad chief Yossi Cohen accompanied Netanyahu as well.
The journalist cited anonymous Israeli officials quoting them as saying that Netanyahu as well as the head of the Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen “flew yesterday to Saudi Arabia, and met Pompeo and MBS (Prince Mohammed bin Salman) in the city of Neom,”
Oddly, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi were not informed of the meeting. This could possibly be because Gantz has been accused of being compromised by Iran who reportedly hacked into his phone and discovered incriminating material.
Several other Israeli media outlets reported similar information on Monday as well.
Netanyahu’s office did not confirm nor deny the reports. The meeting comes following Israel agreeing to forge historic accords to normalize ties with two Saudi Arabian allies in the Gulf – Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ