Category: Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is God finished with Israel?

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

Published: 16 hours ago

Michael Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Geoffrey Grider May 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador, Accuses Israel of ‘Genocide’

By JNS May 16, 2018 , 9:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

by Geoffrey Grider May 14, 2018

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

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2 (KJV)

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

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

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Netanyahu’s Popularity Skyrockets After Successfully Orchestrating Iran Missile Attack Response And May 14th US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

by Geoffrey Grider May 11, 2018

Israel’s tough stance on Iran has boosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity at home, and he can expect more good press in the coming days when the United States opens its embassy in Jerusalem.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The speed at which events have transpired over the past few weeks is truly breathtaking. In America, President Trump seemed pinned to the mat with allegations from porn actress Stormy Daniels about an affair, a payoff and a coverup. Fake news media talking heads gleefully predicted Trump’s soon impeachment and removal from office. Yet today, President Trump has not only managed to bring home 3 American prisoners from North Korea, he announced last night a June 12th Summit with Kim Jong-Un to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. And he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the process. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has been weathering relentless charges of corruption with his enemies also gleefully anticipating his downfall. Yet today he stands as a heroic defender of Israel after skillfully responding to an Iranian missile attack on Friday, and preparing to open the new US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. Why are these two world leaders – Trump and Netanyahu – not just surviving but thriving in this hostile political environment? I submit to you it is because both men, however flawed and human they may be, are each God’s appointed leaders for the end times to fulfill Bible prophecy regarding Judah and Jerusalem. And until they complete the work that God has ordained for them to do, they will remain untouchable. 

As the closest Middle East ally of President Donald Trump, Netanyahu has been central to U.S. decisions that have reshaped the political map of the region. On April 30, he appeared on prime-time television to present Israel’s case that Trump should abandon the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. The president did so barely a week later.

Netanyahu publicly hailed the decision and followed up with air strikes on Iranian military positions in Syria, a country that borders Israel and which Israel fears may increasingly be used as a base by Iran to attack the Jewish state.

A poll on Channel 2 television the day after Trump scrapped the Iran deal showed Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would gain five seats if elections were held now, winning 35 in the 120-seat parliament and strengthening its position in a ruling coalition. A poll in April had Likud on 28 seats.

On Thursday Israel accused Iran of firing rockets from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the first time that Iran has attacked Israel with rockets. Israel struck back with its heaviest air strikes in Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, saying that it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure.

That attack came too late for a poll in the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv on Friday. But the survey found that 69 percent of respondents were satisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of “Israel’s policy regarding Iran’s presence in Syria.”

The survey also showed 59 percent of Israelis polled said they considered Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal and reimpose U.S. sanctions on Tehran would aid Israel’s security.

But 54 percent of respondents said they feared a direct military confrontation with Iran was looming and agreed with officials who said that it would be better “to have the fight now and not at a later stage,” the paper said.

Israel’s next elections are set to be held in November 2019, but Netanyahu could seek an early ballot to capitalize on the boost in popularity.

“Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

Abraham Diskin, political science professor with the Hebrew University said standing up to Iran was likely to increase support for Netanyahu, as it would for any government, left or right. Despite Likud’s surge, Diskin said, the balance of power between right- and left-wing blocs in the Israeli Knesset, pr parliament, had not significantly changed.

“According to the poll, Netanyahu doesn’t have a majority but he does hold all the cards,” he said in a phone interview with Reuters.

The corruption investigations against Netanyahu “are perceived by his supporters as persecution and as the probes drag on, his supporters are strengthened in this belief,” Diskin said.

The next few days see “Jerusalem Day” on Sunday, the date in the Hebrew calendar when East Jerusalem was captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

A day later, on May 14, the United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem. The ceremony is timed to coincide with the day in 1948 — on the western calendar — that Israel declared its independence.

May 15 is the day Palestinians commemorate what they call the “Nakba“, or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes in 1948.

Israel’s security forces have readied themselves for Palestinian protests to mark the embassy move from Tel Aviv and the anniversary, with the Islamist militant group Hamas talking of attempts to breach the Gaza-Israel border.

Most Israelis, from across the political spectrum, see the U.S. embassy move as a rubber stamp on recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israel has always regarded the city as its eternal and indivisible capital but the city has not gained that recognition internationally. The United Nations regards East Jerusalem as being held under military occupation by Israel, and Palestinians say it must be the capital of their future state.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9178

IDF HITS BACK: Israel Launches Massive Counter Attack Against Iranian Forces In Syria In Largest Exchange Since 1973 Yom Kippur War

The Israel Defense Forces is taking action at this moment against Iranian targets in Syria. Any Syrian involvement against this move will be met with the utmost seriousness,” wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson, on Twitter. A source in the Israeli security establishment said this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974.

by Geoffrey Grider May 9, 2018

 

In response an earlier Iranian missile attack, Israel launched an extensive retaliatory campaign, striking suspected Iranian bases throughout Syria for hours following the initial Iranian bombardment, an Israeli military spokesperson said, warning Syrian dictator Bashar Assad not to get involved.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Israeli Air Force has just finished with an absolutely blistering counterattack on Iran in Syria, in the largest show of firepower by Israel in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The IDF warned Assad to not even think about using anti-tank missiles against its planes, and would be hit immediately if they did. This is breaking news and we will update this story as it develops…

“The Israel Defense Forces is taking action at this moment against Iranian targets in Syria. Any Syrian involvement against this move will be met with the utmost seriousness,” wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson, on Twitter.

A source in the Israeli security establishment said this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974.

According to Arabic media reports, the Israel Defense Forces struck numerous targets across Syria, including weapons depots and Assad regime radar and air defense systems. The Israeli military would not immediately comment on its specific targets.

Syrian rebels said these strikes targeted three airfields: the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by the United States last year for its role in an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun; the Tha’lah air base, in southwest Syria, which has been tied to Hezbollah; and the Mezzeh military air field outside Damascus, which is reportedly home to Assad’s elite republican guard.

A large Israeli bombing raid was reported near the northwestern Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, a known Hezbollah stronghold.

Syria’s state news agency, after initially reporting that the country’s air defenses were intercepting dozens of “hostile Israeli missiles,” later said Israeli jets were “aiming to destroy anti-aircraft defenses and radar

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9173

The Middle East Is Bracing Itself For A Week Packed Full With Milestone Events Of Biblical And Prophetic Proportions

On May 14, Israel’s 70th anniversary, the U.S. ceremoniously opens its new embassy in Jerusalem, in line with Trump’s recognition in December of the city as Israel’s capital. Israel has excitedly welcomed the move. For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it spells the end to hopes that the U.S. would one day get Israel to cede the West Bank and Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — lands it captured in 1967 — to a Palestinian state.

by Geoffrey Grider May 8, 2018

The Middle East is bracing for milestone events packed into one week — beginning Tuesday — that could reverberate in unforeseen ways and change the trajectory of a region shaped by growing conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, leaders of the Shiite and Sunni Muslim camps.

“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:1-3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The amount of potential prophetical fulfillment packed into a single week is absolutely staggering. In exactly 7 days from today, regathered Israel will celebrated 70 years of being back in the land. I can just picture the prophets Daniel and Jeremiah looking down and high-fiving each other in anticipation. President Trump, the first United States president to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the only president to move the US Embassy there, is fully expected to announce later today that the US is pulling out of Obama’s phony Iranian Nuclear Treaty. As if all that was not enough, Hamas in Gaza is promising an all-out riot on the border on May 14th protesting the US Embassy move to Jerusalem. Here at NTEB, we have been urging believers to take a very long, hard look at the time surrounding May 14th as Israel turns 70, and events are coming together exactly as we have been saying they would. The only question is will the Lord finally ‘throw the switch’ and launch Flight #777 on Tttus213 Airlines so Daniel’s 70th Week can start? Tick, tock…let’s watch and see what happens. 

In this short span, the United States is to decide whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and then move its embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, provoking Palestinians at a time when many thousands plan to march from blockaded Gaza to Israel’s border — and perhaps overrun it.

THE IRAN DEAL

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce Tuesday whether he will keep the U.S. in a 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear program.

A pullout is opposed by other world powers, but supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A U.S. withdrawal and the possibility of an eventual collapse of the deal raises concerns about escalation, even war —particularly if Iran is seen as resuming its pursuit of nuclear weapons and Israel retaliates.

Tensions between Israel and Iran already are high over Iran’s efforts to expand its military presence in Syria and airstrikes attributed to Israel that killed Iranian fighters there, prompting threats of reprisal by Tehran. Netanyahu says he’ll counter “Iran’s aggression … even if this means a struggle.”

Israeli security officials say forces are already on high alert in northern Israel.

Netanyahu’s critics inside Israel warn that he is pursuing a risky course by trying to torpedo the nuclear deal, without assurances that the U.S. has prepared for the fallout.

Iran could respond by activating regional allies — Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Gaza-based Hamas — but faces limits. Both groups have to keep in mind local constituencies that endured painful Israeli airstrikes in previous cross-border confrontations.

Hezbollah, armed with tens of thousands of rockets trained at Israel, hopes to integrate further into Lebanese politics after scoring gains Sunday in the country’s first election in nine years. Hezbollah’s calculations could change if it succeeds in setting up military positions in southwestern Syria, allowing it to launch rockets without concern for Lebanese civilians being harmed in counterattacks.

Sunni Muslim Hamas, which has had ambivalent ties with Shiite-led Iran since seizing Gaza in 2007, wants to avoid another war with Israel and is betting on mass border protests to break a decade-old blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt.

A U.S. EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM

On May 14, Israel’s 70th anniversary, the U.S. ceremoniously opens its new embassy in Jerusalem, in line with Trump’s recognition in December of the city as Israel’s capital. Israel has excitedly welcomed the move.

For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it spells the end to hopes that the U.S. would one day get Israel to cede the West Bank and Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — lands it captured in 1967 — to a Palestinian state.

Trump’s predecessors have said conflicting claims to Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations. His claims that the Jerusalem policy shift doesn’t preclude talks on how to share the city is met with scorn by Abbas, who suspended ties with Washington and considers it unfit to keep serving as the sole Mideast broker.

Abbas warned recently that he would take “tough steps” against the U.S. and Israel, but didn’t spell them out. Options endorsed last week by the Palestine Liberation Organization include suspending recognition of Israel and walking away from interim peace deals of the 1990s.

Signaling that he’s in no rush to respond, Abbas left Sunday for a trip to Venezuela, Chile and Cuba. Even if he’s back by May 14, he won’t have time to get far-reaching decisions approved, if only as a formality, by senior PLO figures.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II seems to have resigned himself to the U.S. shift on Jerusalem, whose Israeli-annexed eastern sector, sought as a Palestinian capital, houses major shrines of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. U.S. officials have told the monarch he would continue to serve as custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city.

UPDATE: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his intention to formally name the square near the US embassy site the “United States Square in honor of President Donald Trump,” the Jerusalem Press Office released on Tuesday.

Beyond such assurances, the kingdom, where most residents are of Palestinian origin, relies on U.S. aid and discreet security ties with Israel. Despite Abdullah’s tough rhetoric on Jerusalem, he recently ended a months-long diplomatic crisis with Israel, signaling he is ready to move on.

Sunni Arab states might issue new statements critical of the U.S. Embassy move to appease domestic audiences. However, the Saudi-led camp has cheered Trump’s aggressive stance toward Iran, and will likely avoid hurting the new alliance.

BORDER MARCH

On the day of the U.S. Embassy move, Hamas plans to bring the largest crowd yet to the Gaza-Israel border, as part of an open-ended blockade-busting protest campaign. Since the weekly demonstrations began in late March, protesters have mostly thrown stones and burned tires on the Gaza side, stopping short of large-scale border breaches.

Two senior Hamas officials said such breaches will become inevitable when crowds gather on May 14, the day of the embassy move, and likely also on May 15, when Palestinians mark their “nakba,” or mass uprooting during the 1948 Mideast war over Israel’s creation.

More than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of refugees. Blockade-linked hardships, from 16-hour-a-day power cuts to sweeping travel bans, have pushed more people to go to the border, despite the risks.

So far, 40 protesters have been killed and more than 1,700 wounded by Israeli troops.

A mass breach is bound to lead to more casualties. Israel has dug in, despite international criticism of its use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. Israel says it needs to maintain the blockade to contain Hamas and that it will defend its border at all costs.

The border marches are expected to continue at lower intensity during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins around May 16, said the two Hamas officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss internal deliberations with reporters.

Hamas is investing as much in the new tactic as it did in its military wing, responsible in the past for suicide attacks and rocket fire on Israel, the officials said. The group believes the protests have become the only remaining tool for breaking the blockade.

Abbas is not expected to try to compete with Hamas during “nakba” rallies. In the West Bank, his security forces have kept demonstrators away from Israeli army positions.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9168

JACOB’S COMING TROUBLE: Israel And Iran On Path To War As Mideast Tinderbox Awaits Spark To Ignite

Iran and Israel have been exchanging threats for decades. What’s different now is that Syria’s civil war, which sucked in both countries, provides a potential battlespace — one that’s much closer to Jerusalem than to Tehran. It’s a tinderbox, says Ofer Shelach, a member of the foreign affairs and defense committee in Israel’s parliament. “I’m worried about the possibility that a match ignited in the Golan will light up a war going all the way to the sea.’’

by Geoffrey Grider May 4, 2018

There have been coups and revolutions, external invasions and proxy conflicts, but the Middle East hasn’t seen a head-to-head war between major regional powers since the 1980s. There’s a growing risk that one is about to break out in Syria, pitting Israel against Iran.

“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” Luke 21:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As I write this, the world stands on the precipice of mind boggling change without even being wholly aware of it. War between Israel and Iran, happening on or around the 70th anniversary of Israel’s regathering as a nation, would not simply be a political or regional conflict. It would be a conflict of biblical proportions. Stop and think for a moment how things stand right now. Russia controls Syria, and has a signed pact with the nations of Turkey and Lebanon for its protection. This is in addition to the pact Russia signed with Iran back in 2015 to back each other up in the event of war. God has made sure that pro-Jerusalem Benjamin Netanyahu has remained the leader of Israel, and that the United States has the pro-Jerusalem Donald Trump as its leader. And then there’s Syria. Syria figures crazy heavily in Bible prophecy, with Damascus being singled out in the time of Jacob’s trouble for utter destruction. The powder keg of prophecy is filled to the brim, and the only thing left is for the LORD to light the match. As we have been saying since 2016, May 14th, 2018 is a date you need to keep an eye on, as the LORD may just be getting ready to pay a visit. 

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10 (KJV)

The Islamic Republic’s forces are entrenching there, after joining the fight to prop up President Bashar al-Assad. The Jewish state, perceiving a direct threat on its border, is subjecting them to an escalating barrage of airstrikes. Nobody expects those strikes to go unanswered.

The path to escalation is clear, and the rhetoric is apocalyptic. “We will demolish every site where we see an Iranian attempt to position itself,’’ Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the London-based Saudi newspaper Elaph, adding that the Iranian regime is “living its final days.’’

In Tehran, Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said that “100,000 missiles are ready to fly’’ in Israel’s direction, and warned they could bring about its “annihilation and collapse.’’

Iran and Israel have been exchanging threats for decades. What’s different now is that Syria’s civil war, which sucked in both countries, provides a potential battlespace — one that’s much closer to Jerusalem than to Tehran.

Israeli officials say there are 80,000 fighters in Syria who take orders from Iran. As they help Assad recapture territory, militiamen from Hezbollah have deployed within a few kilometers of the Golan Heights on Israel’s border. Iran has vowed to avenge its citizens killed by the Israeli airstrikes, and it has plenty of options for doing so.

It’s a tinderbox, says Ofer Shelach, a member of the foreign affairs and defense committee in Israel’s parliament. “I’m worried about the possibility that a match ignited in the Golan will light up a war going all the way to the sea.’’ Even more troubling is the absence of firefighters.

Israelis lament that Washington has become a bit-part player, unable to impose a Syrian settlement that would guarantee its ally’s security. Absent that, “we can only represent our interests through force,’’ Shelach says.

The man who started the global shaking

We have written story after story showing you exactly why Donald Trump is God’s man to lead the most powerful nation on earth at the start of the end times. In just 10 days, he will authorize the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Asked about Israel-Iran tensions at a press briefing on Thursday, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the U.S. is concerned by Iranian actions that “destabilize the region,” including through its proxy Hezbollah. “Wherever Iran is, chaos follows,” she said.

Far from tamping down tensions, President Donald Trump -– egged on by Israel –- has been ramping them up. By threatening to withdraw next week from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, he’s added another volatile element to the regional mix.

The only power with channels open to both sides, and the clout to play mediator, is Russia.

President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in 2015 to shore up Assad has left Russia as the strongest actor in Syria. Putin is seeking to impose a peace that would lock in his political gains, so he has every interest in averting any spread of the war.

But that doesn’t mean he’s able or willing to rein in Iran. While Russia has cordial ties with Israel, they’re likely outweighed by the confluence of interests with the Islamic Republic, whose ground forces were crucial to the success of Putin’s Syrian gambit. Repeatedly threatened with attack or regime-change by its enemies, Iran sees the sympathetic governments in Damascus and Beirut as providing strategic depth.

Now, the Iranians in Syria have graduated from helping Assad to “building their strategic presence against Israel,’’ said Paul Salem, senior vice president at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “It appears that neither the Russians nor the Assad regime are in control or can limit these things,’’ he said. “The situation is highly unstable and highly unmanaged.’’

One test of Russia’s ability to manage it may come in southern Syria, where Islamic State and other jihadists and rebels still hold territory near Israel’s border — enclaves that are among the likely next targets for Assad’s advancing army.

For such a time as this

This amazing video shows exactly why Benjamin Netanyahu is absolutely God’s man to lead Israel in the end times.

“Before they do that, the Russians need to have an arrangement with the Israelis,’’ said Yuri Barmin, a Middle East expert at the Russian International Affairs Council, which advises the Kremlin. Russia is “willing to negotiate on the issue of Iran and Iran’s presence’’ in those regions, he said.

That may not be enough to meet Israeli concerns, which extend far beyond the border.

Earlier in the Syrian conflict, Israel’s airstrikes typically aimed to destroy weapons convoys bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. There’s been a significant change. Two strikes in the past month -– widely attributed to Israel, though the Jewish state doesn’t comment on such matters –- targeted permanent infrastructure used by Iran’s forces. Both took place deep inside Syrian territory.

“It’s shortsighted to look at it in terms of how many kilometers from the border Iran is sitting,’’ said Amos Gilad, who recently stepped down as director of political-military affairs at Israel’s Defense Ministry. “Iran cannot be allowed to base themselves militarily in Syria. And Israel is fully determined to prevent that.’’

To be sure, the goal could be achieved without a full-blown war. Salem, at the Middle East Institute, says the likeliest outcome is that Israel and Iran will avoid a conflict that neither really wants — though he says the risk that they’ll end up fighting is higher than at any time since the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006.

And although hostilities have effectively begun with the airstrikes, many analysts say that they can be contained to Syria -– where Israel and Iran can square off without their allies necessarily being drawn into the fight.

“Never!’’ said Liberman, when asked if clashes with Iran could lead to clashes with Russia. “There will be no confrontation with them.’’

In Beirut, Sami Nader of the Levant Institute for Strategic Studies said that Russia may not oppose an Israeli attack on Iranian positions in Syria, provided it doesn’t threaten to topple the Assad regime that is “the Russians’ main card at the negotiating table.” Barmin, the Kremlin adviser, said there’s plenty of daylight between the “diverging interests” of Russia and Iran.

So far, Russia’s response to Israeli airstrikes has been muted. But after the U.S. bombed Syrian targets last month, to punish Assad for an alleged chemical attack, Russian officials said they may deliver state-of-the-art S-300 missile defense systems to Syria. That would pose new risks for the Israeli air force -– and increase the chance of a flashpoint.

Israel’s parliament this week passed a law empowering the prime minister and defense to declare war without wider Cabinet approval in “extreme circumstances.”

Half a century ago, Israel launched a surprise attack against its Arab enemies. A few years later, in 1973, the tables were turned. In both cases, one of the combatants consciously opted for war.

But that’s not how Israel’s more recent conflicts have started, says Shelach. “It always happened because the situation escalated, deteriorated, without any of the sides making a decision.’’ And that’s the risk he sees now, with no obvious off-ramp.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9164

Benjamin Netanyahu Makes 3 Very Bold Moves As He Prepares Israel To Take On Iran Militarily In Quest To Stop Their Nuclear Ambitions

In Tel Aviv the next evening, Mr. Netanyahu gave a bravura PowerPoint performance on live television from inside the Defense Ministry, flaunting the booty pilfered from a secret Tehran warehouse by an intrepid Mossad team — evidence, he said, of Iranian deceit about its long-running efforts to develop a nuclear bomb. The revelation came less than two weeks before President Trump is to announce a decision on whether to withdraw from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

by Geoffrey Grider May 3, 2018

In three bold moves this week — with F-15s, a PowerPoint presentation and the passage of a contentious new law — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strengthened his hand in trying to foil Iran’s strategic ambitions, while potentially pulling the two nations closer to direct conflict.

“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” Luke 21:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As Iran continues to build their military presence in Syria, Israel knows that the time is short before the two nations are going to have to engage each other on the battlefield. Israeli PM Netanyahu is taking the unpopular but necessary steps to protect his country and his people, but of course the liberal media will only ever see this as ‘Israeli aggression” when in fact it is much-needed self defense. May 14th is now 11 days away…

In Syria late Sunday, F-15s, widely assumed to be Israel’s, struck facilities where Iran and its proxies had entrenched themselves. The attack on a storage site near Hama destroyed 200 missiles and killed at least 16 people, 11 of them Iranians.

In Tel Aviv the next evening, Mr. Netanyahu gave a bravura PowerPoint performance on live television from inside the Defense Ministry, flaunting the booty pilfered from a secret Tehran warehouse by an intrepid Mossad team — evidence, he said, of Iranian deceit about its long-running efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.

The revelation came less than two weeks before President Trump is to announce a decision on whether to withdraw from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program. Israeli officials portrayed it as an attempt to provide Mr. Trump — Mr. Netanyahu’s close ally — with backing for the decision, which they believe the president has already made.

Even as Mr. Netanyahu was speaking, his coalition in Parliament was pushing through a bill that would shift the power to go to war or carry out a military operation from the full cabinet to the smaller security cabinet — and, under “extreme circumstances,” allow the prime minister and defense minister alone to order such action.

In short order, Mr. Netanyahu had managed to exploit important political, military and intelligence advantages to advance his agenda on both the nuclear and conventional fronts, intensify the pressure on Iran, and free his hand under Israeli law to take the country to war without cabinet approval.

Taken together, his moves have prompted longtime observers of the prime minister, whom they have long credited with a healthy aversion to all-out warfare, to ask if he may have turned to a grim new way of thinking.

“All these years he was trigger-unhappy,” said Nahum Barnea, a respected columnist at Yediot Ahronoth. “And I believe that we should appreciate him for being so cautious about using military power. Now, it seems that he is pushing everybody toward a more hostile environment.”

Mr. Barnea said the hostile political environment Mr. Netanyahu faces could also be a factor: He is awaiting a likely indictment in a sprawling corruption scandal; he is believed to want to hold elections before any criminal charges materialize; and he has been presenting himself to his political base as the only Israeli leader capable of keeping the country safe.

“I don’t rule out any reason,” Mr. Barnea said. “And I’m sure there is more than one reason.”

All three actions this week further Mr. Netanyahu’s longtime goals.

As early as 2010, he sought to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but was stopped repeatedly by his own cabinet. He railed against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement from its inception under President Barack Obama, contending it would allow Tehran to threaten Israel with atomic weapons within a decade’s time. And he has vowed for months to prevent Iran from establishing a conventional offensive threat to Israel from inside Syria.

The new war powers law, approved Monday on a vote of 62 to 41, was not written with the current skirmishes with Iran or the current prime minister and defense minister in mind, according to one of the measure’s architects.

Still, critics note that the corruption cases against Mr. Netanyahu, and the lack of security experience in his defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, could raise questions about their motivations should they decide to take Israel to war.

And while the power applies only in “extreme circumstances,” the law does not define what those are.

Some experts said the new law may not have a dramatic effect. The prime minister and defense minister are unlikely to go to war without strong political backing and the support of the military and security agencies, some experts said, which have proven in the past to be cautious.

“A government cannot go to war, no matter what the law says, without a national consensus,” said Shlomo Avineri, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Obviously a prime minister under investigation is limited by the kind of choices he can take, and they will be scrutinized even more than usual.”

Crucially, the show of force in Syria and the show-and-tell of spycraft both come as Iran is constrained from plunging into a shooting war with Israel, either by itself or by proxy. Its own public is increasingly restive. Its close ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which might otherwise be counted on to retaliate against Israel, is reined in, at least for the moment, by elections on May 6, in which it is fielding candidates.

Most of all, with President Trump set to announce his decision on the nuclear agreement by May 12, Iran is unlikely to give Mr. Trump any fresh excuses to quit it.

“That’s just an opportunity for Israel to do what needs to be done, and at relatively low cost,” said Daniel Shapiro, the former United States ambassador to Israel under Mr. Obama.

Analysts said Mr. Netanyahu’s fight to arrest Iran’s conventional-arms buildup in Syria was linked not merely by coincidence of timing to his efforts to deny Tehran a nuclear option. Just as North Korea amassed a huge arsenal of artillery to threaten Seoul while it worked to develop nuclear arms, Mr. Shapiro said, Iran is seeking to threaten Israeli territory, with drones and precision-guided missiles from within Syria, “while it uses time and negotiations and delays to advance their nuclear ambitions.”

Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israel’s military intelligence who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said Iran’s nuclear and conventional threats were “aimed at the same goal: to destroy Israel.”

Mr. Yadlin said the nuclear deal had succeeded in stopping Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons for a number of years.

“So they built a conventional force against Israel in Syria — with ballistic missiles, with precise guidance,” he said. “And this is the most dangerous threat towards Israel today in 2018.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9160