Category: Islam

In A Stunning End Times Turn Of Events, Jewish Prayer Has Returned To The Temple Mount As Talk Of Rebuilding The Temple Ignites Controversy In Israel

Jewish worshipers are able to pray on the Temple Mount with what appears to be the tacit consent of police forces at the site, The Jerusalem Post observed during a visit there on Thursday. Despite the insistence by Israel Police that there has been no change in the decades-old policy, Jews now pray – in full view of the police – in an unobtrusive and inconspicuous manner. A senior Wakf Department official said the final goal is to rebuild the Temple.

by Geoffrey Grider December 12, 2019

Senior Wakf official: Any change would spark strong response from Arabs and Muslims. Jewish activists: Final goal is to rebuild the Temple.

In a stunning exclusive today, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that Jewish prayer has returned to the Temple Mount, something that has been banned by the Supreme Court of Israel since 1970. The New York Times back in 1976 said “Government regulations permit Jews to enter the Temple Mount but not to hold, prayer services, owing to the sensitivity of the area and the strong feeling it might arouse among Moslems.” Today that appears to have changed, and with that change comes talk of a Third Temple.

“And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.” 1 Chronicles 17:11,12 (KJV)

When I survey the end times prophetic landscape in the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, it appears to me that all the necessary elements are there for everything foretold in the scriptures of truth to take place. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the absolute true north epicenter of Bible prophecy. It’s like kernels of corn sitting in an oiled pan, just waiting for the heat to start popping. Today things just got a little hotter, and it almost sounds like things are starting to sizzle just a little. And hopefully more than a little.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isaiah 2:2 (KJV)

As Bible believers we don’t get excited because of the coming Third Jewish Temple, for it will be the temple of Antichrist as the scriptures tell us. No, we get excited about talk of a Third Jewish Temple because the sooner that comes, the sooner that we get on Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines in the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. Let’s go!

Jewish prayer has returned to the Temple Mount

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: Jewish worshipers are able to pray on the Temple Mount with what appears to be the tacit consent of police forces at the site, The Jerusalem Post observed during a visit there on Thursday. Despite the insistence by Israel Police that there has been no change in the decades-old policy, Jews now pray – in full view of the police – in an unobtrusive and inconspicuous manner.

A senior Wakf Department official said he was unaware of any change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, but warned that any change would lead to renewed protests and spark a strong response from Arabs and Muslims.

Led by Rabbi Eliyahu Weber and joyfully singing “Let us go up to the Temple,” a quorum of 10 Jewish men ascended the Temple Mount on Thursday morning at the beginning of non-Muslim visiting hours at 7:00 a.m. This reporter joined the group as it toured the compound.

The group began the typical counter-clockwise tour of the site accompanied as usual by several police officers. It began at the Mughrabi Gate and worked its way around the eastern side of the esplanade, stopping at various points and eventually leaving out of the Chain Gate on its western side into the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Upon reaching the eastern gate of the Dome of the Rock shrine, Weber and the group of Jewish men, and two women, stopped for between five and 10 minutes to recite the cantor’s repetition of the central Amidah prayer, including the components for congregational participation.

A kohen, a member of the priestly line, gave the blessing to the worshipers that is part of the daily morning service. The prayers were recited in full view and the immediate proximity of the police officers escorting the group around the Temple Mount, and they afforded the worshipers the time they needed to complete their prayers.

The prayers were said in a deliberately unobtrusive manner without the genuflection that is usually performed in the Amidah prayer, and with Weber leaning against a stone step to avoid drawing attention. Weber said that he and his fellow worshipers deliberately conduct their prayers in a manner that is “not extroverted” or to “antagonize people,” and the police do not intervene when they do it in this way. If we would do this in the face of the Wakf officials, it would not be accepted, but that is not our goal.”

The service – a truncated version of the full morning prayer service – was conducted in a very discreet manner, but the worshipers were nevertheless clearly participating in a discernible Jewish prayer service.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10259

Jordan, EU, Bernie Sanders Triggered by Trump’s Acknowledgement of West Bank Settlements as Legal

By David Sidman November 19, 2019 , 12:17 pm

They prepared a net for my feet to ensnare me; they dug a pit for me, but they fell into it. Selah. (Psalm 57:6)

Jordan, whose Waqf mercenaries act as custodians in the Temple Mount slammed the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jewish Presence in Judea and Samaria as legal under international law.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, blasted the White House’s decision, claiming that settlements “kill the two-state solution”, the most widely accepted blueprint for Middle East peace. “Entrenching the occupation and its injustice, and violating the resolutions of international legitimacy will not achieve peace, and will not guarantee security and stability,” he said in a statement, according to state media. “Nothing changes the illegal reality of settlements that the international community is unanimous in condemning,” Safadi added.

Democratic 2020 Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders accused Trump of “isolating” the US with his most recent statement. Sanders tweeted on Monday: “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions. Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base.”

Meanwhile, the European Union didn’t take too kindly to Pompeo’s historic statement either. The EU’s vice-president Federica Mogherini contradicted Pompeo’s conclusion stating:

“The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334. The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power. The EU will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10207

We Are Going To War”: Has The Final Apocalyptic Conflict Between Israel and Her Enemies Now Begun?

On Tuesday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s targeted killing of the senior commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza.  Many of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, but quite a few got through, and some even reached as far as Tel Aviv.  Following those rocket attacks, Israeli tanks and aircraft pounded Islamic Jihad positions in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli officials are pledging to continue to respond to any additional attacks.  Unfortunately, it certainly sounds like more attacks are coming.  According to Islamic Jihad’s Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala, his organization is “going to war” with Israel.  The following comes from the Times of Israel

We are going to war. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines in assassinating Al-Quds Brigades Commander Baha Abu al-Ata. We will respond forcefully,” PIJ Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala told the Dar al-Hayat Arabic-language news site.

Israeli officials felt that they had no choice but to kill Baha Abu al-Ata once they had a clear opportunity to do so.  According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he was an “archterrorist” and was “the main instigator of terrorism from the Gaza Strip”.  The Israeli people are fed up with the endless rocket attacks, and so it makes sense that Israel would target the man that initiated so many of those attacks.

But to Islamic Jihad, Baha Abu al-Ata was a greatly beloved hero, and his death sent shockwaves throughout the entire Middle East.  Once news of his death got out, terrorists in Gaza fired “more than 200 rockets into Israel”

Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip sent a barrage of more than 200 rockets into Israel Tuesday and vowed further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic Jihad commanders, killing one in Gaza and missing the second in Syria.

An Israeli airstrike killed Baha Abu al-Ata, 42, and his wife as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said. Conricus added that Abu al-Ata was responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and claimed he was actively planning new attacks.

In response to those rocket attacks, IDF tanks and planes absolutely pummeled Islamic Jihad military outposts…

Israeli tanks attacked three Islamic Jihad military posts in the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon.

An IDF spokesperson stated: “A short while ago, IDF tanks targeted three PIJ military posts in the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli Air Force has also bombed numerous Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza in response to the firing of dozens of rockets by the terrorist organization.

And IDF spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told the press that the Israelis are “prepared for several days of battle” if it comes to that.

We shall see what happens, but it appears that we may be looking at a conflict that will last a whole lot longer that just a few days.

Islamic Jihad is promising a campaign of revenge that will “have no borders”, and it is being reported that Israel’s enemies are considering “opening a second or third front in the north”

DEBKAfile’s sources report that when Israel’s security cabinet was convening in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, so too were senior officials in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut. They were discussing whether to punish Israel by opening a second or third front in the north.

The Palestinian Jihad also maintains armed forces in Syria and Lebanon, who may be conscripted in both countries for strikes against northern and central Israel in solidarity with their brothers in Gaza. The Gaza headquarters initially reacted to the death of its leader by announcing that their retaliation “would have no borders.” Then, after firing some 50 rockets, Jihad stated that as yet “unprecedented retaliation” was still to come, suggesting that Israel faced attacks from additional borders.

Of course every time Israel’s enemies escalate the conflict, Israel is going to hit back even harder.

And if this conflict escalates enough, it could pull in the Iranians and all of their close allies in the region.  In recent years, Islamic Jihad has actually forged very close ties with Tehran.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

PIJ is important for Iran because Tehran’s regime often argues that it is the center of “resistance” against Israel and the US. In order to weave a narrative of “resistance,” it must show that it is actually doing something against Israel. Since Iran doesn’t like to sacrifice its own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members, it works through other groups. In Lebanon it supplies Hezbollah with precision guidance for its rocket arsenal; in Gaza it has relations with PIJ and also with Hamas.

At some point, Israel will find itself fighting against Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all at the same time.

Could it be possible that we are right on the precipice of that war?

Without a doubt, many on both sides of the conflict are eager to achieve final victory.  For example, on Tuesday one activist group in Israel was openly calling for war with Hamas

The group’s activists were seen hanging signs around the country reading, “Bibi – Give Us TheOrder!”

“The time has come for Israel to achieve victory over Hamas and all the terror organizations in Gaza,” said Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg. “Peace is made with defeated enemies, and that’s the only way to restore quiet to the south. Today’s assassination of a senior Gazan terrorist was a step in the right direction, and now we need to take the next step and defeat the terror in Gaza once and for all.”

If rockets were constantly being fired at my family and friends, I think that my patience would be gone too.

There simply is not going to be lasting peace in the region as long as the status quo exists.  Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian government have all pledged to permanently wipe Israel off the map, and the Israelis are going to respond to every attack against them by hitting back extremely hard.

Whether it happens today, tomorrow or at some future time, the truth is that a major war is coming to the Middle East.

And once that war happens, none of our lives will ever be the same again.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10197

Israel is at war with Islamic Jihad. Tehran weighs opening northern fronts as punishment for Al-Atta killing

By two targeted assassinations in Gaza and Damascus, Israel on Tuesday, Nov. 12, went to war against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Baha Abu Al-Atta, chief of the northern Gaza command, was killed in an IDF bombing raid on his home in Gaza city; Akram Al-Ajouri’s home in the Maze district of Damascus was struck by two rockets. Some sources say he escaped; others that he was injured. Al Ajouri was the liaison officer between the Palestinian Jihad in Gaza and the Iranian Al-Qods Brigades and its chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The Islamic Jihad’s first response was a wide-ranging rocket barrage against key towns in central and southern Israel, including Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gedera, Rishon Lezion and Tel Aviv, after announcing that “there were no borders.” Iron Dome downed some 20, including the rockets targeting Tel Aviv.

DEBKAfile: The IDF initially relayed messages to Gaza City that the slaying of Abu Al-Atta did not portend a new wave of targeted assassinations against Palestinian terrorist leaders, in the hope of persuading Hamas to stay out of it and let Jihad act on its own. This was intended to avert a major conflagration. This hope was largely unfounded because it is not in the power of Hamas or Egypt or even Israel to determine how far this incident escalates but Tehran.  DEBKAfile’s sources report that when Israel’s security cabinet was convening in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, so too were senior officials in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut. They were discussing whether to punish Israel by opening a second or third front in the north.
The Palestinian Jihad also maintains armed forces in Syria and Lebanon, who may be conscripted in both countries for strikes against northern and central Israel in solidarity with their brothers in Gaza. The Gaza headquarters initially reacted to the death of its leader by announcing that their retaliation “would have no borders.” Then, after firing some 50 rockets, Jihad stated that as yet “unprecedented retaliation” was still to come, suggesting that Israel faced attacks from additional borders.

Any Egyptian or UN efforts to mediate de-escalation would be irrelevant in these circumstances since neither has access to this extremist Palestinian terrorist group or its Iranian masters. And Hamas can hardly afford to stand aside in the event of a multi-front conflict erupting and is likely to be drawn into backing a fellow Palestinian terrorist organization.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10193

President Trump Watched While ISIS Supreme Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Died Like A ‘Whimpering Dog’ During US Special Ops Raid At Secret Hideout

The White House confirmed that Trump watched and listened to the operations unfold in the Situation room Saturday night – Sunday morning Syria time – with National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans.  The president said, while claiming he’s been looking for Baghdadi ever since assuming office, that he’s potentially the only one better at ‘using the internet’ than ISIS forces.  ‘A couple of weeks ago they were able to scope him out,’ Trump said of the U.S. intelligence community.

by Geoffrey Grider October 27, 2019

President Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘died like a dog’ as the result of a U.S. Special Ops forces raid on his hideout in northwest Syria.

That ripping sound you heard earlier today was the sound of Democrats in Washington pulling their own hear out of their own heads as Donald Trump kept yet another campaign promise in spectacular fashion. President Trump watched while US Special Ops forces raided the secret lair of ISIS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi early Sunday morning. Faced with no way out, al-Baghdadi detonated his own suicide vest rather than face justice in the United States.

This comes as a much-needed shot in the arm for not only the so-called ‘war on terror’, but to buoy the reelection prospects of Donald Trump in 2020. Good job, Mr. President, keep up the good work. I loved how you specifically pointed out that al-Baghdadi “died like a dog”, doesn’t get much better than that. You sent the snowflakes over at fake news CNN into a tailspin (see video below of the Liberals whining about it), and sent your reelection chances soaring into the stratosphere. And the Trump Train just keeps on rolling…rolling right over that phony impeachment kangaroo court, too. #MAGA2020

‘He died like a dog’ Donald Trump addresses the nation and confirms that ‘coward’ ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by U.S. Special Forces

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: ‘Last night the United State brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,’ Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room, where just a week earlier he announced a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds.

‘He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world,’ he continued as he described the events of the raid. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the president confirmed, detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three children, during an overnight targeted attack in Syria’s Idlib province.

The president touted the operation and al-Baghdadi’s death as ‘bigger than bin Laden.’ Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda and the terrorist leader behind the September 11 terrorist attacks, was killed in 2011 during a Navy SEALs operation during Barack Obama’s presidency.

‘This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country,’ Trump said, referencing al-Baghdadi’s creation of the Islamic State.

Trump also referred to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and those who followed him as ‘losers,’ and lauded that no U.S. personnel were lost during the raid. He did say, however, that one ‘talented canine’ was injured.

‘I got to watch much of it. No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him,’ Trump said during his rare Sunday morning remarks.

‘He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,’ Trump continued, adding that Baghdadi drug three of his children with him. ‘They were led to certain death.’

‘He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition. But test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification. It was him. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,’ he detailed.

The White House confirmed that Trump watched and listened to the operations unfold in the Situation room Saturday night – Sunday morning Syria time – with National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans.

The president said, while claiming he’s been looking for Baghdadi ever since assuming office, that he’s potentially the only one better at ‘using the internet’ than ISIS forces.

‘A couple of weeks ago they were able to scope him out,’ Trump said of the U.S. intelligence community. ‘You know, these people are very smart, they are not into the use of cell phones any more. They’re very technically brilliant,’ the president said in reference to those working for ISIS.

‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died like a dog, he died like a coward. He was whimpering, screaming and crying, and frankly I think it’s something that should be brought out so that his followers and all of these young kids that want to leave various countries – including the United States – they should see how he died. He didn’t die a hero, he died a coward – crying, whimpering, and screaming and bringing three kids with him to die. Certain death.’

The president teased Saturday night, ‘Something very big has just happened!’ and the White House also announced that night that the president would be ‘making a major statement’ Sunday morning from the White House.

Trump said he does not regret his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which opened the way for Turkey to invade and target Kurdish forces.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10157

It’s Middle East Mayhem As U.S. Pulls Out All Troops In Front Of Rapidly Advancing Turkish Army Leaving Syria In The Hands Of Erdogan And Putin

The fast-deteriorating situation was set in motion last week, when Trump ordered U.S. troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurds as terrorists. Since 2014, the Kurds have fought alongside the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and Trump’s move was decried at home and abroad as a betrayal of an ally. Over the past five days, Turkish troops and their allies have pushed their way into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers (125 miles). The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people. On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all American troops will withdraw from northern Syria because of the increasing danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

by Geoffrey Grider October 13, 2019

The Kurdish fighters in Syria had few options after the United States abandoned them, and it had been anticipated they would turn to Assad’s government for support.

Here’s a little Bible Prophecy 101 for you: The Old Testament prophets all tell us that Syria in general is a major end times player, with Damascus being mentioned repeatedly in particular and singled out for ultimate destruction during the Battle of Armageddon just prior to the Second Coming. Also we read out Russia, China, Iran and Turkey as playing major roles. Care to hazard a guess which world superpower is absent from your end times scorecard? You guess it, it’s the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth who is looking more and more like its about to be put out to pasture. Who am I talking about? Us, the United States of America. We don’t even get a passing mention, that should tell you how great our fall from power is about to be.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 17:1-3 (KJV)

As the slaughter in Syria intensifies, with over 130,000 persons already displaced in the first 5 days of fighting, it is becoming obvious that Turkey is not there to “defend its borders’ as they had said. They are in Syria to take control of the northern part of it, which coincidentally is right near where the Golan Heights is located as well. Israel is the center of bible prophecy, and it doesn’t take a prophet to tell you that if Turkey is allowed to continue then Israel will be forced to defend themselves as well.

ISIS Affiliates Break Free From Camp in Syria

FROM THE AP: Syria’s Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion — a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos.

The shift could lead to clashes between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia.

Adding to the turmoil Sunday, hundreds of Islamic State families and supporters escaped from a holding camp in Syria amid the fighting between Turkish forces and the Kurds.

The fast-deteriorating situation was set in motion last week, when Trump ordered U.S. troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurds as terrorists. Since 2014, the Kurds have fought alongside the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and Trump’s move was decried at home and abroad as a betrayal of an ally.

Over the past five days, Turkish troops and their allies have pushed their way into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers (125 miles). The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people.

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all American troops will withdraw from northern Syria because of the increasing danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” He did not say how many would withdraw or where they would go but that they represent most of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

The peril to American forces was illustrated on Friday, when a small number of U.S. troops came under Turkish artillery fire at an observation post in the north. No Americans were hurt. Esper said it was unclear whether that was an accident.

Trump, in a tweet, said: “Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border, for a change. Those that mistakenly got us into the Middle East Wars are still pushing to fight. They have no idea what a bad decision they have made.”

Later in the day Sunday, Kurdish officials announced they will work with the Syrian government to fend off the Turkish invasion, deploying side by side along the border. Syrian TV said government troops were moving to the north to confront the Turkish invasion but gave no details.

The Kurdish fighters had few options after the United States abandoned them, and it had been anticipated they would turn to Assad’s government for support.

A return by Assad’s forces to the region where Syrian Kurds have built up autonomy in the north would be a major shift in Syria’s long-running civil war, further cementing Assad’s hold over the ravaged country.

It would also mean that U.S. troops no longer have a presence in an area where Russia and Iranian-backed militias now have a role. It was not clear what Russia’s role was in cementing the agreement. But Russian officials have been mediating low-level talks between the Kurds and Damascus. Syria is allied with Russia, and Turkey, though it is a NATO member, has drawn close to Moscow in recent years under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. READ MORE

Turkey’s Syria offensive: Erdogan defiant in response to US threats

The US military is warning Turkey that its incursion into Syria could jeopardize progress in defeating the so-called “Islamic State.” Kurdish-led forces in the region say they can’t keep ISIS prisoners contained and hold back the Turkish military. The US defense department is calling on its NATO ally to halt operations, and US President Trump has threatened economic sanctions. There has already been one explosion near an outpost of US Special Forces. And the UN says 100,000 civilians have fled their homes since the offensive began three days ago.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10139

The Invincible Sultan: Is Erdoğan Losing His Populist Charm?

By Burak Bekdil September 26, 2019

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,300, September 26, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: At testing times, Turkey’s Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has always sought refuge at home, taking pleasure in his massive popularity. But after 17 consecutive years in power, having won every election in which he ran, Turkey’s self-declared Sultan is showing signs of fatigue – and his popularity may be wearing thin.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan behaves like a cornered cat when it comes to regional politics: he acts savagely and erratically, lashing out at both real and imagined enemies. His adversaries are the EU (Italy, France, Cyprus, and Greece in particular, due to a row over hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean), the US, and Israel. In neighboring Syria he is threatening a bloody military assault on the Kurds. He is explicitly unwanted in fellow Muslim countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE due to his rigid support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In Libya he is waging a proxy war against secular Muslims who want to oust an Islamist government in Tripoli.

At times like these, Erdoğan has always sought refuge at home, taking pleasure in his massive popularity. But after 17 consecutive years in power, having won every election, Turkey’s Islamist strongman is showing signs of fatigue. And as the country continues to fail both economically and politically, Erdoğan may no longer be invincible.

“He who wins Istanbul wins Turkey” is Erdoğan’s own dictum. He may be right: Istanbul is home to nearly 15% of Turkey’s 57 million voters and accounts for 31% of its GDP. Erdoğan launched his political journey by being elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994.

On March 31, a little-known opposition candidate, Ekrem Imamoğlu, won Istanbul (where more than 11 million voters are registered) by a margin of 13,000 votes. Erdoğan challenged the result and demanded a new vote – only to lose, the second time, by a margin of 800,000. He lost both Istanbul and Ankara after 25 years of Islamist rule.

Erdoğan’s bitter defeat came at a time of a rise in anti-government protests, mostly focused on environmental issues. “The wave of peaceful demonstrations – the country’s largest since the 2013 Gezi Park rallies – suggests a newfound vitality among the opposition, with potentially deep implications for Turkey’s democracy,” wrote Soner Cağaptay and Deniz Yüksel for the Washington Institute. “This consolidation of power, coupled with frequent crackdowns on protestors, left many in the opposition disheartened.”

With 4.7 million jobless and unemployment continuing to soar, 15% inflation, and high borrowing rates, Turkey’s economy is not functioning well. The national currency, the lira, has been volatile ever since a serious crisis last year.

Erdoğan is at war with Turkey’s 15 million or so Kurds. He recently appointed government trustees to three overwhelmingly Kurdish provinces in southern Turkey, escalating tensions between Ankara and the Kurdish southeast and further undermining Turkey’s already problematic democratic outlook.

It would be ironic if Erdoğan were to lose power after his long stretch of Islamist rule. Necmettin Erbakan, whom Erdoğan often referred to as “master,” became Turkey’s first Islamist PM in 1995 when he won 21% of the national vote and signed a coalition agreement with a center-right party. Erbakan’s political vision featured a rigid Islamism based on an anti-Western, anti-EU isolationist rhetoric known as “the National View” – a bizarre policy blend deeply hated by the (then) strong military top brass. Wisely, Erdoğan parted ways with his “master” and burst onto the political stage with a less rigid Islamist policy calculus. His Islamism was to be compatible with Western democratic culture and capitalism, or so he claimed. In a 2000 interview he said “he had thrown away the shirt called “National View.”

Erdoğan and his top brass – whom Erbakan called “our naughty boys” for their departure from the straight and narrow – held that a more pro-Western rhetoric had to be showcased if Islamists wanted to come to power. This was a political struggle between the Islamist conservative and reformist wings.

Erdoğan’s second-in-command was his long-time comrade Abdullah Gül. Through a controversial parliamentary vote in 2007, Gül became president with Erdoğan, who was PM at the time. Erdoğan and Gül thus ran the show together, à la Putin and Medvedev. In 2009, Erdoğan appointed Ahmet Davutoğlu, a Gül confidante, as FM, and, in 2014, as PM. The third man in Erdoğan’s hall of fame was brilliant economist Ali Babacan, who became finance minister.

All three men grew disillusioned with Erdoğan’s increasingly despotic one-man approach to governance. Now in political exile, they are showing signs of making a comeback. Last year, this prospect was just another tidbit on the Ankara political grapevine, but it has gone beyond mere speculation. Gül, Davutoğlu, and Babacan are working day and night to formally launch their version of a market-friendly, pro-Western, pro-democracy political party (or two parties).

Erdoğan has threatened that they will pay a high price for their “treason” and claimed that a new party (or parties) would mean “dividing the umma.” If launched, this would be the sixth Islamist party in Turkey’s political history, with Erdoğan’s emerging as the only successful experiment.

How popular the “new party” will be (to use the phrase of Turkish observers) is anyone guess. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, supported by the ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party, appears to be able to give him the 50% plus one vote he needs to be reelected in the presidential elections of 2023. The “new party” will try to challenge him directly, with the aim of winning a share of his conservative voter base. Observers rightly think the “new party” will appeal more to “intellectual conservatives” whereas Erdoğan’s party will continue to target less educated Islamists.

“Even if the ‘new party’ won [only] a couple of percentage points from Erdoğan, it may be the beginning of the end for him,” an Erdoğan confidante admitted.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10093

The Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council Created By Pope Francis Announces New Chrislam Headquarters Opening In 2022 That Combines A Mosque And Church According To Signed Covenant

The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue. An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

by Geoffrey Grider September 22, 2019

The United Arab Emirates will build a new synagogue as part of an Chrislam interfaith compound that will also house a mosque and church and is reportedly set to open in 2022.

As far as advancing the end times timeline goes, 2019 has been a banner year for Pope Francis and the coming One World Religion. We told you back in February that the pope has travelled to Abu Dhabi where he met with Sunni Muslim leader Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. There the two men signed a global peace covenant called the Document On Human Fraternity For World Peace.  From that covenant, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was created to implement this end times religious peace treaty. Now that committee has announced that there will be a fancy new headquarters for this endeavor. The shiny, new center of global Chrislam opening in 2022.

“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: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)

The end times are unfolding before our very eyes, people, things are speeding up very quickly, if you blink you’ll miss it. This is Chrislam, it will be the foundation of the coming One World Religion the Bible says will assemble in the last days. The Catholic Church will call the shots, and Islam will provide the muscle with their tens of millions of jihad warriors, now they will be martyrs for Chrislam under the command of a Roman king. Don’t believe it? You’re watching it.

UAE To Open Chrislam Interfaith Headquarters In 2022

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue.

An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

 “This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference,” said Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, senior rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and a Jewish representative of the committee.

The design for the Abrahamic Family House, by the renowned architect David Adjaye, was unveiled during a meeting in New York this week, the second for the committee. According to Gulf News, it will take three years to complete.

The UAE is already home to a synagogue, in Dubai, formed in 2008. Though it receives quiet support from the Emirati authorities, its members have largely kept a low profile. The new state-sanctioned synagogue would mark a significant step forward for public worship of Judaism in the Gulf state.

In May, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the chaplain at New York University, became the first chief rabbi of the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10070

Report: US satellites detected Iran priming drones, missiles ahead of Saudi strike

Two Pentagon officials told NPR that U.S. intelligence saw this as “circumstantial evidence” that Iran launched the attack from its soil.

Saudi Arabia’s largest oil field and processing facility were attacked by 10 drones on Sept. 14, 2019, an aggression that is expected to affect at least 5 percent of the world’s oil production.

(September 17, 2019 / JNS) U.S. satellites detected Iran priming drones and missiles before striking two Saudi Aramco oil facilities on Saturday, two Pentagon officials told National Public Radio.

They told NPR that U.S. intelligence saw this as “circumstantial evidence” that Iran launched the attack from its own soil.

The more than 20 cruise missiles and drones that hit the oil facilities were launched from southern Iran, reported CBS News, citing a senior U.S. official.

“A U.S. team has been on the ground at the oil facilities and identified the specific types of drones and cruise missiles fired,” reported CBS News. “The wreckage was moved to a facility outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where it will be used to make what one U.S. official called, ‘a very compelling forensic case’ that Iran launched ‘a complex and coordinated attack’ on Saudi Arabia.”

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The news outlet said that “in addition to the wreckage, the forensic case will include radar tracks reconstructed after the fact that show the cruise missiles and drones coming out of Iran.”

On Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday echoed U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments.

“In the wake of this weekend’s unprovoked attack on several oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, I promise you we’re ready,” said Pence at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “As the president said, we don’t want war with anybody, but the United States is prepared. We’re locked and loaded. And we’re ready to defend our interests and our allies in the region. Make no mistake about it.”

Pence reiterated Trump’s comments on Monday that it appears Iran was behind it, and that U.S. intelligence is looking to determine if that was actually the case, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dispatched to Saudi Arabia.

The vice president warned, “If Iran conducted this latest attack to pressure President Trump to back off, they failed. America is ready to defend our interests.”

“We’re evaluating all the evidence. We’re consulting with our allies,” said Pence, adding that “the president will determine the best course of action in the days ahead,” and that “the United States of the America will take whatever action is necessary to defend our country, our troops and our allies in the Gulf.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10057

Trump Says That The Military Response To The Attack On Saudi Arabia Will Be “Proportionate”

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Trump administration officials are telling reporters and that there is no doubt that the attack on the oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia originated from Iranian soil, although Trump himself is being less dogmatic in his public statements.  It appears that Trump wants all of the evidence to come in before making a final decision about what to do, but clearly he is leaning toward military action against Iran.  And when we hit Iran, there is a very high probability that they will hit back.  In fact, the Iranians have already stated unequivocally that they will defend themselves.  So as I discussed yesterday, we are potentially facing a scenario that could ultimately lead to World War 3.  

It is true that Trump did tell reporters on Monday that he does not want war, but war may be coming anyway.  If the evidence that he is shown clearly demonstrates that the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran, President Trump is going to feel forced to respond militarily.

Trump has indicated that he will have all the evidence that he needs to make a final decision very soon, and when a reporter asked Trump if a military response to the attack on Saudi Arabia would be “proportionate”, Trump responded affirmatively

‘I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see – You look at a vector, and you look at – there are lots of different things we can look at,’ Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for New Mexico. ‘And we’ll know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.’

Asked if he would order military action if he is sure who was behind the attack, Trump said: ‘Then we’re going to decide.’

When a reporter asked if the response would be proportionate, Trump responded: ‘I would say yes.’

In other words, if it is ultimately determined that Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil production facilities, we should probably expect the U.S. to hit similar facilities in Iran in return.

Such an attack could spark a much broader conflict, and it could easily set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to stop.

Even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attack in Saudi Arabia, at this point virtually everyone is coming to the conclusion that Iran did it.

For example, this is what the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen is saying

The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.

And a “senior Trump administration official” has told ABC News that the U.S. has solid evidence that the Iranians “launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory”

Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.

It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.

In addition, CNN is reporting that an unnamed “U.S. official” has told them that the Trump administration “has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran”…

The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. “It is one thing to tell us, it is another thing to show us,” said a diplomat from the region.

A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

So it sounds like the decision has already been made.

And even President Trump himself is telling the press that it is looking like Iran is responsible

A day after threatening an armed response over an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, President Donald Trump said Monday that it looks as if Iran was responsible – but he doesn’t want war.

“Well, it’s looking that way,” Trump said when asked whether Iran is responsible for the missile and drone strikes this weekend on a major source of oil for the Saudis and the world. “As soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way.”

I think that Trump is hesitant to actually use the military, and he definitely does not want to get the U.S. into yet another endless Middle East war.

But if the evidence shown to him indicates that Iran directly attacked Saudi oil production facilities, the pressure on him to do something will be immense.

At this point, even one of the top Democrats in the Senate is calling for a military response “if that’s what the intelligence supports”

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said Monday that the U.S. may need to use military force against Iran if intelligence reports determine Tehran was behind recent attacks on two Saudi oil refineries.

“This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran if that’s what the intelligence supports,” Coons said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

As much as the Democrats like to attack Trump, most of them are simply not going to go against the intelligence community.  And so if the intelligence ultimately indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack, most Democrats in Congress will end up supporting a military option.

In the end, it is so hard to predict what Trump will do when it comes time to make a final decision.  Back in June, he called off a military strike against Iran at the last moment, and it is entirely possible that such a thing could happen again.

And as it stands right now, the Russians are clearly urging Trump not to pull the trigger

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the U.S. statement, said: “We have a negative attitude towards rising tensions in the region and call for all countries in the region and outside of it to avoid any hasty steps or conclusions which may deepen destabilisation.”

In a separate statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it believed that the exchange of strikes on civilian targets was “a direct consequence of the ongoing sharp military and political crisis in Yemen”.

In addition, the Chinese are warning that a “revenge attack” against Iran could cause the region to “spiral out of control”

China has warned President Trump that he is being manipulated by warhawks into believing “conspiracy theories” that Tehran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities and that any “revenge attack” on Iran could cause the Middle East to “spiral out of control.”

The warning was contained in an editorial posted by the Global Times, which is widely recognized as a Communist Party mouthpiece.

The Russians and the Chinese both understand how close to World War 3 we potentially are, and they both desperately want to avoid such a scenario.

Unfortunately, we live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and circumstances seem to be inexorably pulling the entire globe toward military conflict.

It certainly appears that Trump would like to avoid a war with Iran, but is there a clear way out at this point?

If the intelligence that he is presented with clearly indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for him to do nothing.

So it is quite likely that a “proportionate response” is coming, and that could set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to control.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10051