Category: Israel

Is there an unprecedented build-up of US naval power in the Middle East?

A massive amount of air power and US naval assets were suddenly in the same place at the same time.

By Seth J. Frantzman

April 24, 2019 14:06

Two US aircraft carrier strike groups operated in the Mediterranean Sea this week. The USS Abraham Lincoln, on its way toward the Persian Gulf from Palma de Mallorca, crossed paths with the USS John C. Stennis which had come from the Gulf and had left the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.
 

A massive amount of airpower and US naval assets were suddenly in the same place at the same time. As if that wasn’t enough, the Stennis had just carried out a joint pass exercise with France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in the Red Sea. There were other navy ships in the area as well. The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul, the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay, the Royal Danish Navy Frigate HDMS Niels Juel and the French air defense destroyer FS Forbin were in the area, Michael Landmark of Denmark pointed out online. The Defense Post reported the same information, noting that French Rafale aircraft and American F-18s conducted training together. The USS Stennis had already carried out weeks of training with France’s Marine Nationale defense destroyer FS Cassard in January.
 

The De Gaulle is en route to the Indian Ocean as part of its “Clemenceau” annual mission. It left Toulon in early March. The Stennis had left Manama in Bahrain on March 28. The Lincoln had left Norfolk on April 1. The Lincoln is supposed to end up in San Diego when its deployment ends. After the April 15 transit together in the Red Sea, the Stennis moved into the Mediterranean on April 20.

For observers of US naval power, the gather of forces appears important. Lenny Ben-David noted “where are the carriers,” and pointed out that their rendezvous coincides with the first F-35 deployment to the UAE. He noted that the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group was in the Gulf at the same time as the Stennis and Lincoln were moving toward one another. It raised interest from Iran-watchers as well. Babak Taghvaee, who tweets often about military issues in the region, noted that the Stennis has 50 F-18s on board.
 

The presence of the carriers and their strike groups have led to two different narratives. Task & Purpose website asserts that they “send a message to Russia.” Stars and Stripes agreed with that assessment, noting that Naval Forces Europe and Africa commanders Admiral James Foggo met US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.
 

The US has said that Russia’s “aggressive actions and interventions in Syria, Libya and elsewhere destabilize these areas,” Stripes reported. “It’s crucial that we give our civilian leaders options and ability to negotiate from a position of strategic strength,” Foggo said. The presence of the two carrier groups was aimed at Russia, the report concluded.
 

The Washington Examiner thinks that the presence of all the naval assets is a message to Iran.
 

“The Navy’s current posture gives President Trump significantly added means of deterrence and actions against Iran,” the newspaper reported on April 22. Tom Rogan, the author of the piece, wrote that it wasn’t coincidental. “The US Navy is overstretched, especially in relation to its aircraft carriers and submarines.” Its deployment to the Mediterranean “appears calculated with an anticipated conflict in mind.”
 

The question that the reports raise is whether the current naval power is a message to Iran or Russia and whether indicating that it is really helps send that message. The presence of these large US strike groups isn’t a secret, there are websites that track them and the US is open about its mission and destination. The USS Stennis even has a Twitter account. One issue the US faces is that despite the “messages” being sent to Iran and Russia, both countries likely know that the US isn’t actually going to use these powerful forces for a first strike. Despite the US listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the real tensions are in Iraq and Syria.

The US has previously noted that any real clash with Iran’s navy in the Persian Gulf would result in the destruction of that navy very quickly. It isn’t a contest, the US has a massive amount of unprecedented firepower that Iran has no interest in challenging.

Similarly, the US is not going to do anything about Russia’s annexation of Crimea or Russian actions in Libya and Syria. Sailing carriers around and showing off US military might is good for practice and for working closely with NATO allies, but Moscow and Tehran likely know that the message is largely symbolic.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9763

Report: IAF Used New Supersonic Missile to Beat S-300 Russian Anti-Aircraft System in Attack in Syria

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 18, 2019 , 2:52 pm

“Pay them according to their deeds, their malicious acts; according to their handiwork pay them, give them their deserts.” Psalms 28:4 (The Israel Bible™)

It was reported on Monday that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) used the new supersonic Rampage stand-off air-to-surface missiles in an airstrike that hit Iranian military targets inside Syria last Saturday.

According to Syria’s SANA news agency, Israeli jets fired the missiles from Lebanese airspace at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The airstrike targeted a possible Iranian surface-to-surface missile factory in a Syrian base in the country’s Masyaf region. Satellite images released by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat Intl. (ISI) showed the complete destruction of the factory.

As the twitter post stated, the factory was under the protection of an advanced Russian S-300 missile defense system. Satellite images released by ISI have showed three out of the four systems erected in Masyaf, with one launcher covered by a camouflage net.

The Rampage, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industry Systems (IMI),  is 4.7 meters long missile and weighs 570 kilograms. It is guided by a GPS system, making it an all-weather day/night long-range air-to-ground assault missile. It carries a warhead designed for optimal penetration capabilities, allowing for the destruction of targets inside bunkers. Its rocket engine and advanced navigation suit allow for precision targeting at a range of hundreds of kilometers. The missile features an ability to control and monitor the extent of its shrapnel, which will make its strike surgical, accurate and with minimum collateral damage despite the fact the missile spends a lot of time in the air from the minute it is launched until it strikes its target. It supersonic capability makes the Rampage difficult to intercept.

The missile is designed to be launched from a fighter jet 150 km away from the target, meaning it will not be detected by the enemy’s detection and interception systems.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9742

‘Simply Mind-Blowing’: Researchers Believe They’ve Discovered the Route Moses Took Out of Egypt

04-16-2019

Bible scholars from the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (DTRF) believe they may have discovered the route Moses took when he led the Children of Israel out of slavery from Egypt and to the Promised Land. 

The group told the Daily Star Online that they traveled to Saudi Arabia three times during their research and found evidence that the Israelites traveled through the modern-day kingdom to get to Israel. 

DTRF researcher Ryan Mauro is still working on this theory but said the most “plausible” route is one where the Israelites left Egypt through Cairo and crossed into the Sinai Peninsula. He believes they crossed into ancient Midian and stopped at Mount Sinai, which he claims is the peak of Jabal al-Lawz in eastern Saudi Arabia. 

Related


http://www1.cbn.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_xl_640x480/public/media/standard/images/caveofpatriarchs_si.jpg?itok=MQZFOOEP


“After three trips to Saudi Arabia, and I’m fully convinced that the Israelites went into the ancient land of Midian when they fled slavery in Egypt,” he told the Daily Star Online

Last year, the organization released a documentary detailing their quest to find Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia. 

Mauro said he and his team discovered several pieces of evidence that Jabal al-Lawz is where Mount Sinai was located. 

“The golden calf, the split rock, Moses’ altar, the Red Sea crossing site; all of these pieces need to fit, and they fit at this site in a way that no other site does,” he said. 

Mount Sinai is traditionally associated with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The St. Catherine Monastery was built over what is believed to be the site where God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. 

“Perhaps these (skeptics) have doubted the historical account of the Exodus story because of a lack of evidence at the traditional site at St. Catherine’s, but what we have found appears to fit the ancient accounts,” Mauro said of the Jabal al-Lawz peak. 

Jabal al-Lawz has been previously been identified as the possible site of Mount Sinai, but scholars doubt this theory. 

“There is no credible historical, geographical, archaeological or Biblical evidence for the thesis that Mt. Sinai is at Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia,”  said creationist researcher Gordon Franz.

Mauro also told the Daily Star Online there is evidence that Moses split the sea at the Gulf of Aqaba on the modern-day beach of Nuweiba. There, the crossing would be just eight miles wide and a depth of only 33 meters (108 feet).

“It’s going to take some time to bring this alternative theory into mainstream historiography, but I believe that our work is going to seriously shift the landscape on this subject,” Mauro said. 

Mainstream scholars seriously doubt the historicity of the events recorded in Exodus due to a lack of archaeological evidence. 

Mauro encourages them to have an open mind. 

“I would basically say to someone who’s (skeptical) about the Exodus to keep an open mind about the subject,” he said. “These events really did happen. It doesn’t require belief in one of these faiths to accept the evidence.”

Mauro said his team is currently trying to piece together an exact timeline and map structure for Exodus based on their findings.  “What I found there was simply mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe that there was all this evidence for the Exodus and hardly anyone outside this region was aware of it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9740

ANALYSIS: Turkey’s Erdogan is in real trouble

Erdogan, whose party lost Turkey’s internal elections, insists on purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, may find itself eased out of NATO.

Yochanan Visser, 12/04/19 00:08

For the first time since Turkey’s Islamist leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan ascended to power, he’s in trouble at home, while at the same time the tyrant is risking a major confrontation with the United States.

Erdogan’s AKP party lost the March 31 municipal elections to the secular ultra-nationalist MHP party which used to help the AKP party to establish its Islamist regime.

As a result, for the first time in a quarter-century, Turkey’s main population centers such as Istanbul and Ankara will be governed by secular politicians and not by Islamists who take their orders from the Turkish strongman.

This means that Turkey’s economy will be largely controlled by the opposition since the country’s major cities count for more than half of Turkey’s GDP.

Erdogan tried to manipulate the local elections by nominating close allies such as parliament speaker Binali Yildirim and his Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and turned the local elections into a referendum on his rule.

The move backfired, however.

When polls and surveys showed that the AKP party was trailing, Erdogan did what he is best at: He started to demonize his opponents, blaming foreign governments for Turkey’s ailing economy and using religion to mobilize the masses.

Gaza, Jerusalem, Mecca, and Raqqa were more important topics in Erdogan’s campaign than the improvement of living conditions in villages and cities in Turkey.

The residents of major Turkish cities apparently saw through Erdogan’s manipulations and rhetoric, and voted in the MHP party by a clear majority.

Erdogan now refuses to concede in Istanbul claiming the election there was invalid due to fraud at polling stations and demands a rerun of the voting.

Losing Istanbul and Ankara could have devastating consequences for Erdogan’s rule over Turkey since they form the backbone of his autocratic regime, observers say.

“Erdoğan, seemingly on his way to being a modern sultan, no longer seems invincible,” Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute wrote this week.

The loss in the municipal elections is the result of economic mismanagement by the AKP government which caused the Turkish lira to lose 30 percent of its value last year and the near collapse of Turkey’s economy.

The country has slid into recession where unemployment and inflation are rising all the time.

“The opposition’s revival is good for the people of Turkey, who are suffering under Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, as well as for Western governments, which should no longer view Ankara as a friend and ally,” according to Bandow who added that Turkey should be kicked out of NATO.

The Cato Institute fellow was referring to Erdogan’s decision to purchase the state-of-the-art Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile shield, a decision that drew the ire of the Trump Administration.

The Administration has already decided to stop the delivery of equipment for the F-35 stealth fighter plane to Turkey in order to pressure Erdogan and demand he cancel the deal with Putin’s Russia, but the hot-headed leader refuses to comply.

The S-400 missile shield is considered the world’s most advanced anti-aircraft system and the deal between Russia and Turkey is threatening Israel’s air superiority in the Middle East.

Washington is considering the purchase of the Russian system, a threat to the NATO since the deal would jeopardize the secrecy of its own and NATO weapon technologies and has offered to deliver the rival Patriot missile-shield to Turkey.

Erdogan, however, made clear he would not budge and vowed to go ahead with S-400 purchase while at the same time showing interest in buying the Patriot system on his terms and as an addition to the Russian system.

Congress has now adopted bi-partisan legislation that will scuttle the F-35 deal altogether whenever Ankara decides to go ahead with the purchase of the S-400.

Delivery of the S-400 system and the F-35 to Turkey would expose the weak spots of the American stealth jet to Russia, experts warned.

Tensions between the US and Turkey reached boiling point last week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Erdogan’s regime of “devastating consequences” if the Turks go ahead with their planned invasion of Kurdish-held regions in Syria.

Erdogan and his Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu have repeatedly warned a Turkish invasion in what the Kurds call Rojova, the Kurdish autonomous region along the Turkish border in Syria, was about to begin but apparently, Ankara fears the American response to this new aggression against the Syrian Kurds.

Unilateral action in Syria by the Turks would have devastating consequences, State Department Robert Paladino told reporters last week after a meeting between Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo in Washington.

Paladino’s remarks led to a new row between the Erdogan regime and Washington with Çavuşoğlu charging that the United States hasn’t “a clear strategy” Syria.

The U.S. recently decided to leave 200 military advisers in Rojova whose presence is meant to deter the Turks from attacking the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, which together with the US army defeated Islamic State in Syria.

“Increasingly, Ankara is no friend to America or the West,” Bandow wrote and advised NATO to toss Turkey out of the North Atlantic alliance

“Rather than desperately attempting to hold Ankara in NATO, the allies should begin considering how to ease Turkey out,” the former special assistant to President Reagan added.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9730

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Lauds ‘Incredible Victory’ As Exit Polls, Tally Shows Clear Likud Win Over Gantz’s Blue And White Party

Netanyahu said the numbers indicated a “fantastic achievement, an enormous achievement, which is almost unfathomable.”He applauded his supporters for securing his win in the face of a “biased media.”He called the Likud outcome “almost unprecedented,” saying, “When did we receive so many seats? I don’t even remember.”If Likud ends up with 33 seats or above, it would be the party’s best showing since 2003, when the party won 38 seats under the leadership of Ariel Sharon.

by Geoffrey Grider April 9, 2019

With 96% of vote in, Netanyahu headed to fifth term as Israel’s PM. Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White tied with 35 seats each, but right-wing bloc has clear majority; second Arab party crosses election threshold

It’s official, Benjamin Netanyahu will officially be the longest-serving leader in the 70-plus year history of regathered Israel. Though the election got off to one of the rockiest starts Netanyahu has ever experienced, in the end the God of Abraham granted him yet another term as earthly leader of the nation of Israel.

“For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122: 5-9 (KJV)

I guess God has more for the prime minister to yet accomplish, and the mind reels at what might come next. Already we have seen the US Embassy moved to Jerusalem, then we saw Jerusalem declared as the capital of Israel, incredibly we watched as President Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and crazy as it seems, we watched Secretary of State Pompeo hint that the United States might support the building of a third Jewish Temple.

What could possibly top all of that? Something tells that even bigger things are loading in the prophetical pipeline, and just waiting for the word of the Lord to bring them to pass. I am beyond thrilled that Benjamin Netanyahu has been given another term, and what amazing things lay just around the corner. Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines…now boarding!

Netanyahu lauds ‘incredible victory’ as exit polls, early tally show clear win

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared himself victorious in the 2019 general election Monday night, as updated exit polls and early results showed him with a clear path to forming a new government.

“I am very moved on this night,” he told exuberant supporters. “This is a night of an incredible, incredible victory.” Though initial exit polls at 10 p.m. had showed Likud and Blue and White either even at 36 seats (Channel 13 and Kan) or with an advantage for Blue and White (37 to 33 on Channel 12), updated results accounting for the final hours of voting on both Channel 12 and 13 showed Likud leading 35 to 34.

And regardless of the horse race between the two major parties, the right-wing bloc was projected to win a majority in the 120-seat Knesset. The results mean Netanyahu will likely sweep back into power for an unprecedented fifth term, despite pending bribery and fraud indictments hanging over him.

He had help. President Donald Trump gifted him the sensationally timed US recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan late last month, and the branding of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Force as a terror group this week. President Vladimir Putin pitched in with Russia’s return of the remains of Zachary Baumel, 37 years after the Brooklyn-born IDF tank commander’s death in the Lebanon War. source

As of 3:12 a.m. Wednesday, with over 2.7 million votes counted, Likud was leading Blue and White 27.5 percent (roughly 33 seats) to 26% (31 seats). Shas was running a distant third with 6% (7 seats), followed by UTJ with 5.2% (6 seats) and Yisrael Beytenu with 4.6% (6 seats). The actual amount of seats will likely go up once all votes are tallied and votes of parties that did not cross the threshold are redistributed.

Final turnout in the vote was 67.9%, down from 2015’s final turnout of 71.8%. Depending on the final tally and coalition negotiations, Netanyahu appeared slated to be able to form a coalition with some 63 to 65 seats, while the Blue and White led opposition would have 55 to 57 seats.

Netanyahu said the numbers indicated a “fantastic achievement, an enormous achievement, which is almost unfathomable.”

He applauded his supporters for securing his win in the face of a “biased media.” He called the Likud outcome “almost unprecedented,” saying, “When did we receive so many seats? I don’t even remember.” If Likud ends up with 33 seats or above, it would be the party’s best showing since 2003, when the party won 38 seats under the leadership of Ariel Sharon.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9725

President Trump’s ‘Deal Of The Century’ Middle East Peace Plan Would Have Palestinians Become Citizens Of Jordan And Egypt

There have been various reports on what Trump’s peace plan might include. Channel 13 News reported in January, that the deal would include a Palestinian state with 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem. Part of the deal would also include giving Jordanian land, Naharayim and Tzofar, to Israel. These enclaves are currently leased to Israel, but officially Jordanian land. In return, Jordan would receive land from Saudi Arabia, the report claimed.

by Geoffrey Grider April 5, 2019

President Donald Trump will push for Jordan to grant citizenship to one million Palestinian refugees as part of his “Deal of the Century,” according to the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.

As improbable as it seems, with each passing month, President Trump and Jared Kushner are inching closer to presenting a very unique and different peace deal and one that actually might be accepted by both parties. Amazingly, it will not create a Palestinian state existing alongside with Israel. Now the question is, who will control Jerusalem.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (KJV)

The battle for control of Jerusalem goes all the way back to the first book of the bible ever written, the book of Job. Job represents in type Jews who will find themselves in the time of Jacob’s trouble in the days after the rapture of the Church takes place. Because God has proclaim over and over that Jerusalem is the place where He has place His own name, Satan wants it for himself. You cannot have peace in the Middle East without first figuring out who will control Jerusalem.

TRUMP’S PEACE PLAN: GRANT JORDANIAN CITIZENSHIP TO A MILLION PALESTINIAN REFUGEES – REPORT

FROM THE JPOST: Trump will also ask Egypt to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees. Granting Palestinians refugees citizenship status from other countries may be a way for Trump to avoid establishing a Palestinian state. The report hints that a confederation of three states may be an option, where there would be a joint government between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority for specific and limited purposes.

According to the report, Jordanian King Abdullah II expressed opposition to the establishment of a joint confederation and told Egyptian leaders that he prefers Jordan to remain in charge of the holy sites in Jerusalem “without interfering in the details between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

If the Al Akhbar report is correct, Jordan and Egypt will receive USD $110 billion in economic aid, according to the report. It is not yet clear where this reported aid will come from. Jordan would receive USD $45 billion, and the remainder would go to Egypt. For both of the countries part of the money will be used for implementing projects on the ground.

The absorption would happen in stages, where the largest number of refugees that Jordan would have to take in at one time would be 300,000. Palestinians from Gaza who are currently in Jordan would be included in this deal.

Part of the deal would also include giving Jordanian land, Naharayim and Tzofar, to Israel. These enclaves are currently leased to Israel, but officially Jordanian land. In return, Jordan would receive land from Saudi Arabia, the report claimed.

Al Akhbar reported that Trump intends on updating Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the details of his peace plan. Trump would also propose that Lebanon absorbs a portion of their Palestinian refugees, but if the refugees accept Lebanese citizenship, they would forgo their claim to the right of return.

There have been various reports on what Trump’s peace plan might include. Channel 13 News reported in January, that the deal would include a Palestinian state with 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem.

The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan by a senior American official, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of settlement outposts deemed illegal under Israeli law

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9718

Tiny First Temple find could be first proof of aide to biblical King Josiah

Rare seal impression from 8th century BCE, bearing the name Nathan-Melech, found in dig at large Iron Age administrative center in Jerusalem’s City of David

By Amanda Borschel-Dan 31 March 2019, 12:48 pm 23 Edit

Two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions recently uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE.

The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks by long-term team members Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik.

One is a bluish agate stone seal “(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu” (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech). Nathan-Melech is named in 2 Kings as an official in the court of King Josiah.

This burnt clay impression is the first archaeological evidence of the biblical name Nathan-Melech.

The inscriptions are “not just another discovery,” said archaeologist Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Rather, they “paint a much larger picture of the era in Jerusalem.”

According to Shalev, while both discoveries are of immense scholarly value as inscriptions, their primary value is their archaeological context.

The ‘Natan-Melech/Eved Hamelech’ bulla found in the City of David. (Eliyahu Yanai, City of David)

“What is importance is not just that they were found in Jerusalem, but [that they were found] inside their true archaeological context,” Shalev told The Times of Israel. Many other seals and seal impressions have been sold on the antiquities market without any thought to provenance.

This in situ find, said Shalev, serves to “connect between the artifact and the actual physical era it was found in” — a large, two-story First Temple structure that dig archaeologists have pegged as an administrative center.

“It is not a coincidence that the seal and the seal impression are found here,” said Shalev.

It is not a coincidence that the seal and the seal impression are found here

According to archaeologist Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University, in the 8th century BCE, this area of the City of David becomes the central administrative center of Jerusalem. The newly unearthed two-story public building, constructed with finely cut ashlar stones shows, illustrates the beginning of a westward move of the administration area in the large sprawling city.

Mendel-Geberovich believes “Ikkar” refers to a personal name rather than an occupation. If so, this would be the first evidence of such a name. The other portions of the inscription are more familiar to biblical Hebrew linguists: “The name Matanyahu appears both in the Bible and on additional stamps and bullae already unearthed,” said Mendel-Geberovich.

What is most likely to capture popular interest is the burnt clay seal impression, which features the words: “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).” The fact that it was written without a surname indicates his fame is on par with celebs of today, such as singers Madonna or Adele.

The name Nathan-Melech appears once in the Bible, in the second book of Kings 23:11. An official in the court of King Josiah, the biblical Nathan-Melech took part in implementation of widespread religious reform: “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.”

While the biblical account uses a different title than that impressed on the ancient clay, the title “Servant of the King” (Eved HaMelech) does often appear in the Bible to describe a high-ranking official close to the king. According to the IAA, the title appears on other stamps and seal impressions that were found in the past. In ancient times, seal impressions, or bullae, were small pieces of clay impressed by personal seals (such as the “Ikkar” seal) to sign letters.

But is this the very same biblical Nathan-Melech? That’s still a matter of interpretation.

Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, which operates the City of David National Park, said, “This is an extremely exciting find for billions of people worldwide. The personal seal of Natan-Melech, a senior official in the government of Josiah, King of Judah, as described in the second book of Kings. The ongoing archaeological excavations at the City of David continue to prove that ancient Jerusalem is no longer just a matter of faith, but also a matter of fact.”

However, scholar Mendel-Geberovich isn’t as quick to confirm the tie.

“Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together,” said Mendel-Geberovich diplomatically.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9708

DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Pope Francis Meets With Muslim King In Morocco And Declares That Jerusalem Should Never Belong Solely To The Jews

Pope Francis joined the Moroccan monarch in declaring the city the “common patrimony” of Christians, Jews and Muslims, on the first day of a visit to the North African country. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was invited by King Mohammed VI for the sake of “inter-religious dialogue,” according to Moroccan authorities. The statement Thursday made no mention of any Jewish link to Jerusalem.

by Geoffrey Grider March 30, 2019

Pope Francis and Moroccan King Mohammed VI called on Saturday for Jerusalem to be preserved as a symbol of peaceful coexistence where Jews, Muslims and Christians can be allowed to worship freely.

Just like everything that comes out of the mouth of the Roman pope, it was a tiny nugget of truth encompassed about with layers and layers of lies. Yes, Jerusalem is claimed by Jews, Christians and Muslims, absolutely, but of those three only the first two are mentioned in the bible as being ordained by God. The Muslims are the bastard children of Abraham, and are specifically mentioned in the Bible as have none inheritance. The children of Abraham through Hagar are to be “cast out” as we see here:

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Galatians 4:22,23,30 (KJV)

So that takes care of Lie #1 of Pope Francis, let’s move on to the second whopper he told in Morocco. This idea that Jerusalem cannot belong solely to the Jews because it “has to be shared” is another oft-repeated fact that is just not so. The bible says  that the Battle of Armageddon, seen below in Joel 3, is fought over the fact that somebody, namely Antichrist, has “parted” God’s land of Israel in general, and Jerusalem in particular. That’s right, Jerusalem belongs to God.

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:1,2 (KJV)

Isn’t it funny how whenever the Roman pontiff talks about Jerusalem, he never mentions that it is the capital of Israel and as such is not up to be shared by whoever feels like grabbing a piece of it? He speaks of Jerusalem like a commodity that can be bought and sold, and indeed it will be. By Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Pope in Morocco urges Jerusalem be protected for all religions

FROM THE TIME OF ISRAEL: Pope Francis joined the Moroccan monarch in declaring the city the “common patrimony” of Christians, Jews and Muslims, on the first day of a visit to the North African country. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was invited by King Mohammed VI for the sake of “inter-religious dialogue,” according to Moroccan authorities.

In a joint statement, the two leaders said Jerusalem was “common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions,” during the pontiff’s visit to Rabat.

“The specific multi-religious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity of Jerusalem… must be protected and promoted,” they said in the declaration released by the Vatican.

The statement contrasted sharply with a joint communique put out by Mohammed and Jordan’s King Abdullah on Thursday vowing to safeguard Jerusalem against attempts to change its Islamic or Christian identity.

The statement Thursday made no mention of any Jewish link to Jerusalem.

Improving relations with other religions has been a priority for the Argentine pontiff, whose papacy has been marred by a wave of child sex abuse allegations against clergy.

ANTICHRIST: POPE FRANCIS TELLS CATHOLICS IN ROME THAT A ‘PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP’ WITH JESUS IS ‘DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL’

Addressing thousands of Moroccans who had braved the rain to attend the welcome ceremony, Francis said it was “essential to oppose fanaticism.”

He stressed the need for “appropriate preparation of future religious guides”, ahead of meeting trainee imams later on Saturday.

Catholics are a tiny minority in the country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim. The king is revered across West Africa as “commander of the faithful.”

Speaking at the ceremony at the Tour Hassan mosque and nearby mausoleum in Rabat, Francis defended “freedom of conscience” and “religious freedom.”

“Live as brothers,” he told a crowd of around 25,000, after arriving from the airport in his Popemobile, passing rows of Moroccan and Vatican City flags.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9699

Satellite Images Show Likely Iranian Military Installation in Syria

By JNS March 14, 2019 , 2:43 pm

“I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. Zechariah 10:6 (The Israel Bible™)

A military installation near the Lebanese-Syrian border may be producing precision surface-to-surface missiles, likely with Iranian backing, according to an intelligence report. (Credit: ImageSat International.)

A military installation near the Lebanese-Syrian border is being utilized to produce precision surface-to-surface missiles, likely with Iranian backing, according to an intelligence report published on Wednesday by ImageSat International.

The firm mentioned that neither warheads nor missile engines are being manufactured at the compound in the northwestern Syrian city of Safita, which is almost five miles from the border with Lebanon.

The factory, which is being built in the town of Safita, east of Tartus on the Mediterranean coast, is in an area controlled by the Syrian regime and in the vicinity of Russian SAM (surface-to-air missile) deployment.

“The construction patterns, the compound location and the activity signs at the compound and its region, increase the probability that this is a missile manufacturing site,” (ISI) said, adding that “if this site is indeed related to SSM manufacturing it is possible that the two hangers include production line and the third is for manufacture or assembly.”

The firm added that there has been increased vehicular activity to the compound in recent months, in addition to a new water tower constructed there.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9689

Damascus To Become A “Ruinous Heap”?: Syria Threatens To Attack The Golan Heights And Israel Prepares For War

The winds of war are blowing once again, and it isn’t going to take much to spark a major conflict in the Middle East.  This week is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Syria, and after the nightmare that the people of Syria have been through, you would think that the Assad regime would be eager for peace.  But instead, Assad appears to be ready to go for broke.  If Syria can spark a Middle East war that results in the complete destruction of Israel, Assad would be remembered as a hero in the Islamic world forever.  Instead of a legacy of civil war and crushing poverty, Assad’s legacy would be one of wartime leader that brought total victory over Syria’s most hated enemy.  But of course such a conflict would be a huge risk, because if it went badly the city of Damascus would be completely flattened and the nation of Syria as we know it today would be entirely destroyed.  And considering how overwhelmingly powerful the Israeli military is, it would seem to be a very foolish risk to take.  Unfortunately, Assad does not appear to be thinking rationally.  On Thursday, Syria officially threatened “to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights”.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Of course Israel is never going to leave the Golan Heights.  We all know how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels, and on Monday his main opposition in the upcoming election expressed similar sentiments

Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon visited the Golan Heights on Monday and vowed never to give it up.

“We will increase the numbers of residents in the Golan, sending a resounding message to all – we will never relinquish the Golan Heights,” Gantz said.

Let us hope that Syria is bluffing, because if Syria attacks the Golan Heights it will start a war.

And it is a war that Syria could not possibly hope to win on their own.  But Assad doesn’t plan to take on Israel by himself.

Over the last several months, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian forces inside Syria.  The Iranians have been fighting on Assad’s side in the Syrian civil war, and the Israelis are afraid that when everything is all said and done that the nation of Syria will end up being totally dominated by Iran.  The following comes from Haaretz

For Iran, its domination of Syria is key to achieving its long-standing dream of a “Shiite crescent,” extending through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean and of establishing a permanent ground, air and naval presence on Israel’s border. Iran’s ability to do so has been impeded to date only by the small and dwindling U.S. force in eastern Syria and hundreds of Israeli airstrikes that have, so far, successfully thwarted Iran’s efforts.

Although Israel has become a powerful and essentially secure state, capable of demonstrating restraint in the face of the many challenges it faces, this would constitute a dire and unacceptable change in the balance of power, one that Israel cannot tolerate and must prevent – even at the expense of war.

The Iranians have stated that they are no longer going to tolerate Israeli airstrikes, and their military leadership is fully ready to go to war.  If war does erupt between Israel and Syria, it seems very unlikely that Iran would stay out of it.

And without a doubt, Iranian targets would be among the first to get hit in a war between Israel and Syria, and the Netanyahu administration has been very clear that Israel is preparing for a war with Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran. It comes at a particularly delicate moment, as the Trump administration uses a U.S.-organized summit in Warsaw and this week’s 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution to try to rally the world against the government in Tehran.

Such a war would be incredibly bloody, and the moment that missiles began to fall on Tel Aviv the Israelis would not hesitate to use nukes on Damascus and Tehran.

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Meanwhile, the situation in Venezuela continues to unravel as well.  Sunday was the fourth day for the nationwide blackout, and Nicolas Maduro is blaming the failure of the power grid on a U.S. cyberattack

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro – who is facing a challenge to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido – has blamed the blackout on an act of “sabotage” by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment.

“The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks,” Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours.”

Hopefully the U.S. was not behind the cyberattack, because a cyberattack is an act of war.

And since nobody has asked the U.S. Congress for permission to go to war, such an attack would be in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, relations with North Korea are rapidly deteriorating as well.  In fact, Kim Jong-Un appears to be preparing to provoke the U.S. by launching a missile

Following President Donald Trump’s stalemate talks with Kim Jong-Un, it appears North Korea may be preparing to launch a missile or rocket some time soon.

Earlier this week North Korea sparked outrage after satellite images revealed the nation was ‘rapidly rebuilding’ its Sohae Launch Facility, a long-range missile launch site.

New images reveal activity may have also resumed at a second site near Pyongyang, known as Sanumdong, where intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite-launching rockets are assembled.

We truly do live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and this could very easily be a year of war for the United States.

Unfortunately, our military is not in very good shape right now.  In fact, in RAND’s recent “simulated World War III scenarios” the U.S. just kept on losing

In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND’s wargames show how US Armed Forces – colored blue on wargame maps – experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can’t thwart Russia or China – which predictably is red – from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he warned.

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has been dramatically transformed, and not for the better.

But even if our military was in the condition that it should be, we should still not desire war, because in this day and age weapons of mass destruction have made full-blown war between major powers absolutely unthinkable.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9680