Category: Israel

The Anasazi and Anakim: Nephilim Ruins and Evidence of Ritual Murder

Across the ancient world, from the rocky deserts of the American West all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean, enigmatic parallels between ancient myths and archaeological sites are emerging. One such parallel exists between the Anasazi people of North America and the Anakim of the ancient Near East, the land of Canaan. Deciphering this conundrum is a difficult challenge when viewed through the opaque lenses of biases, cultural taboos, and overlapping civilizations, all buried under the sands of time and blanketed underneath a fog of mystery.

Who were the Anasazi? The term Anasazi is a xenonym used primarily by the Navajo people, which has been variously translated as “ancient ones” or “ancient enemies” or “ancient ancestral enemies.” This refers to a genetic and culturally unique group who were hostile towards the ancestors of modern tribes, and who dominated the American Southwest in ancient times before other tribes displaced them.

Different Native American tribes like the Paiute and Hopi make references to this same group in their traditions. The daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins wrote about who her people called the Si-Te-Cah in her book Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims . The Paiute oral tradition holds that the Si-Te-Cah, were a race of red-haired, cannibalistic giants who the Paiutes exterminated long ago.

Who were the Anakim? According to scholars, when the Hebrews completed their forty years of wandering through the Sinai desert they finally arrived in the promised land of Canaan, which was already occupied by a race of fearsome giants, whom we now call the Anakim. The Book of Numbers (13:32-33) recounts a story of twelve spies sent on a reconnaissance mission into the Anakim area. “And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

This term, Nephilim, is one of the most disputed words in the history of biblical scholarship. They are also known as the Anakim, however, the etymologies are all relatively flimsy. But the wealth of context clues makes it quite clear that this was a race of giant warriors who preceded the arrival of the Hebrews into Canaan, very similar to the Native American Anasazi tribal stories.

Ancient Historical Sources About the Nephilim Or Anakim

In the early Greek interpretations the word Nephilim was translated as “giants.” Other, later translations include “fallen ones,” and “appointed ones or overseers,” and “bound ones, or prisoners.” The first mention of the Nephalim in the Torah calls them “heroes of old and the warriors of renown.”

Apocryphal texts such as the Book of Enoch provide additional clues about the Nephilim / Anakim people, but these texts are generally regarded by academics as lacking validity because they were omitted from the official biblical cannon. However, the term apocrypha comes from the Greek roots apo (away) and krytein (to hide or conceal). This would suggest that these books were not omitted due to a lack of validity, but, rather, were deliberately hidden for some other reason, perhaps political or theological. Some things, it seems, never change.

The Book of Enoch, Section I, Chapters 6-7 refers to the Nephilim like this:

“And they [ homo sapien women] became pregnant, and they bare great giants: Who consumed all acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.”

The academic position on these Nephilim / Anakim accounts is that the fundamental, literal interpretation of them is deeply flawed, and rightfully so. Mythology cannot be automatically accepted at face value. However, therein lies a contradiction because the mainstream academics automatically reject any historical value in these accounts, which is equally flawed reasoning, nothing more than fundamental figurative interpretation. This gives rise to a discerning question: is there archaeological/anthropological evidence to support these myths about the Nephilim / Anakim?

 

The Archaeology And Anthropology Of The Anasazi

Early American archaeology is filled with reports of human remains that exhibited unique physical traits and theories of a vanished ethnic group. However, this narrative was rejected by the academic authorities of the time, including the Smithsonian and the National Geographical Society, even though it was their own experts advancing such theories. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah are littered with strange ruins and petroglyphs that are vaguely attributed to tribes that preceded modern Native Americans.

In a National Geographic article from 2016, Aaron Sidder explored the odd reality that the ruling elite of Chaco Culture had six fingers and toes, hence the title of the article “Extra Fingers and Toes Were Revered in Ancient Culture.” The article states that anthropologist Patricia Crown from the University of New Mexico was originally fascinated by the “divine powers attributed to polydactyls among the Maya.” Polydactyls are humans with extra fingers or toes. Crown goes on to summarize her team’s findings at Chaco Canyon, “We found that people with six toes especially, were common and seemed to be associated with important ritual structures and high-status objects like turquoise.”

Six fingered hand and six toed footprints impressed upon the plaster walls of ancient structures have also been discovered. However, it is important to note that these structures themselves are not fully understood. It is known that there were dwellings and ritual structures, but why exactly these subterranean ritual spaces (known as kivas) were dug into the ground and why so many were fashioned in a honeycomb design is unknown.

The location of the structures also raises questions. It’s clear that there were certain geographic, geometric, and astronomical alignments taken into account by the ancient builders of these structures. But these areas are generally poor locations for accessing natural resources.

It is also worth noting that when Europeans first encountered the Native American tribes in question, the materials they commonly used were bone, wood, and animal skins. The kiva structures were already abandoned, and these later tribes lived nomadically. In other words, there seems to be a significant disconnect between the culture of stone masons, settled in one area, and the nomadic tribes. Many of the Anasazi structures also show signs of possible destruction by warfare as their walls are discolored by fire.

Archaeological Evidence of Anasazi Cannibalism/Ritual Murder

In January of 2000, scholars Billman, Lambert, and Banks published an article in the Cambridge University Press regarding Mesa Verde , which is another Anasazi site in southwestern Colorado. This article reports their team’s discovery of cannibalism at the site. “Cut marks and percussion scars implicate humans in the disarticulation and reduction of these bodies. Evidence of heat exposure on some bone fragments and laboratory analyses of human coprolite recovered from one of the pit houses support the interpretation that people prepared and consumed human body parts.”

Another Anasazi site within Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly contains gruesome discoveries which led researchers to some odd speculations. As stated in a Gutenberg project report: “Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no skins, no clothing, no bedding. Many of the rooms are bare but for water vessels. One room, about 40 by 700 feet, was probably the main dining hall, for cooking utensils are found here. What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed that they came south in the winter and farmed in the valleys, going back north in the summer. One theory is that the present Indian tribes found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of the people which inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly, a good many thousands of years before the Christian era, a people lived here which reached a high stage of civilization. The remains of 14 infants were found in a slab-lined cist used earlier as a storage bin. Below the infants were the bodies of four other children packed in an enormous basket.”

In Utah’s Dry Fork Canyon, petroglyphs adorn primordial stone walls, and these glyphs tell ancient stories of violence. At the Fermont petroglyphs for instance, a figure interestingly known as “big foot man” (due to his disproportionate foot size) is depicted with a cone-shaped head, six fingers, who seems to be proudly displaying decapitated victims. Another glyph at McConkie Ranch shows a horned figure brandishing a bloody weapon illustrated through the use of a red pigment.

Skeletons in the Closet?

In 1911, at Lovelock Cave in Nevada, guano miners discovered a trove of ancient bones and artifacts. Then from 1912 to 1965 a series of haphazard and suspicious excavations occurred at the site during which tens-of-thousands of objects, including duck decoys, moccasins, weapons, and strange human remains, were recovered. The controversy and scientific misconduct travesty regarding these remains goes beyond the scope of a single article, but suffice it to say that large human remains were discovered and were, at one point, stored not displayed, at the Humboldt Museum in Winnemucca Nevada. These artifacts have been examined and photographed many times. However, currently, authorities claim the remains have been repatriated back to the Native Americans out of respect for their ancient ways.

It’s important to point out that without genetic testing it’s impossible to determine with certainty exactly which tribe these remains belong to, and there has been no published laboratory analysis of these remains. Furthermore, the artifacts in the museum are mostly replicas while the vast majority of the more than ten-thousand objects are in the possession of the Smithsonian and are not on display.

But just looking at the fragments of information available some disturbing conclusions can be drawn. For instance, in the photographs it is evident that some of the skulls had teeth that were apparently filed to a sharp point, which is a customary practice also found amongst certain Polynesian tribes who practiced cannibalism. Also, within the fine print of these reports are measurements of at least one skeleton. It was 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall and the mandibles, bone density, and ocular cavities suggest that these were very large, very muscular people with abnormal eyes.

The Archaeology And Anthropology Of The Anakim

Before delving into the texts, artifacts, and remains regarding the people who preceded the ancient Canaanites (the Anakim), it’s important to touch on the fact that cultures like the Philistines, Canaanites, and Phoenicians are not well understood. The boundaries of their civilization, their genetics, and cultural assimilation patterns are an extremely complex web that is still mostly a mystery.

But there is strong evidence for the notion that the Carthaginians, Philistines, and Phoenicians were all offshoot branches of the same original civilization: the Canaanites. It is not disputed that the Phoenician homeland was in the Levant. The ancient Egyptian accounts suggest the people from Carthage referred to themselves as Kenaani or Kinaani which equates to Canaanite.

Another complication is that the modern nations beneath which the Canaanite civilizations are buried make archaeological digs challenging. Many of the areas have been mired in perpetual conflict, their borders are disputed, and there are constant geopolitical hostilities, all of which make painstaking excavation nearly impossible.

In 2005, despite these obstacles, Dr. Aren Maeir, professor at BarIlan University in Israel and director of an excavation at the ancient city of Gath, discovered pottery shards with the name Goliath inscribed on them. The biblical combatant Goliath was said to be the greatest warrior of the Philistines. He was said to be 8.0-9.5 feet (2.4-2.9 meters) tall, had six fingers on each hand, six toes on each foot, and he was known as the Goliath of Gath.

The shard is dated to around 950 BC, which is within seventy years of the alleged biblical existence of Goliath. Of course, this shard does not prove the biblical tale. It does however lend a small degree of credence to it. Many other large, polydactyl, barbarians are described in biblical books such as Samuel, Deuteronomy, and Chronicles. The Nephilim-Anakim family tree included additional lineage branches like the Rephaim and Zamzummim. Figures such as Lahmi, the brother of Goliath, who was also slain during the conquest, was said to be very large with six digits on each extremity.

King Og of Bashan is perhaps the most interesting of these Anakim figures because his great size and strength are mentioned in correlation with a structure and an area in the region. In the Deuteronomy, it is stated that Og is the last of the Rephaim and that his enormous bedstead, or sarcophagus, was still a site of wonder for many people.

The entire Levant, from Turkey to Egypt, is dotted with field after field of ancient dolmens. In this particular Canaan region, there is a site known as Rujm el-Hiri , which is connected with the Anakim people. This site has many names, but one modern Hebrew name for the site is Gilgal Refaim or “the wheel of the giant.” The central section of this site matches the dimensions stated in Deuteronomy but also shares uncanny similarities to the mysterious structures at Chaco Canyon. Structural resemblance in and of itself would not be noteworthy. But an enigmatic megalith of concentric stone circles that allegedly contains the remains of a very large polydactyl is beyond noteworthy.

Archaeological Evidence Of Canaanite Anakim Ritual Murder

There is a wealth of ancient textual evidence to suggest that the Canaanites (and therefore the Anakim) practiced human sacrifice/infanticide to an extent that exceeds what has been “found” in the Bible or chapters removed from the original Bible.

Greek and Roman authors all recorded accounts that reinforced the idea that sacrifice/infanticide was common with the Anakim. Authors like Plutarch and Herodotus, for example, attest to this in their writings. However, it must be stated that Greece, Rome, and Israel were all competitors of the Canaanites and therefore may not be entirely reliable sources for Anakim accounts.

But in 2014, Dr. Josephine Quinn of Oxford University uncovered definitive evidence of infant sacrifice at a variety of Phoenician/Carthaginian/Canaanite colonies across the Mediterranean declaring “What we are saying now is that the archaeological, literary, and documentary evidence for child sacrifice is overwhelming and that instead of dismissing it out of hand, we should try and understand it.” Her evidence, published in the journal Antiquity, indicates the practice occurred from around 800 BC to 146 BC at a variety of Canaanite colonies in Carthage, Sicily, Sardinia, and Malta. The Malta site is well known for its subterranean sacred spaces and remains exhibiting unique physical traits. But these remain have suspiciously gone missing.

This old drawing shows King Og of Bashan, an Anakim, as giant. Note the other giants in the upper right part of the drawing. (Gustave Doré / Public domain )

From Fact To Fiction And Back Again

While legends cannot be blindly accepted at face value, empirical evidence indicates the presence in the ancient past of genetically unique humans who practiced ritualistic murder, mutilation, and cannibalism.

They were large, red-haired polydactyls, master masons, astronomers, and seafarers. They were renowned for their bloodlust and combat capability.

It cannot be stated as fact that the Anasazi originated in Canaan, home of the Anakim, but it can be stated that such stark cultural and genetic parallels cannot be mere coincidence.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11125

SHEBA TURNS TO ISRAEL TO COPE WITH PRE-EXODUS PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | NOV 18, 2020 | BIBLICAL NEWS

For if you refuse to let My people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts on your territory. Exodus 10:4 (The Israel BibleTM)

(Photo: Vladimir Wrangel / Shutterstock)

Like its Biblical archetype, a massive swarm of locusts has engulfed Ethiopia as a harbinger of an Exodus of Jews and a group of Israeli experts step in to help as a graphic reminder of the Biblical connection between Israel and the modern country of Sheba.

ISRAELI EXPERTS CALLED TO HELP WITH ETHIOPIAN LOCUST CRISIS

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed requested help from Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, in coping with a massive swarm of locusts plaguing his country. The Embassy of Israel in Addis Ababa is now leading the operation run by Yoav Mortro, Israel’s top locust expert, in coordination with the authorities in Ethiopia. The Israeli team is comprised of four experts, a logistics officer, drone pilot and scout, and spraying expert. The Israeli team arrived last week and plans on spending two weeks in the country, training 300 Ethiopians in fighting the locusts. The Israeli task force brought with it more than 2 tons of equipment including 27 drones and other advanced equipment that will be handed over to the Ethiopian authorities at the conclusion of the operation. The Israeli strategy for coping with the locusts involves using drones to remotely monitor the location and movements of the swarms and then spraying insecticide at night.

“The better thing as the experts told us is that it is possible to work at night; as locust is cold-blooded and sleeps at night it is efficient to fight the locusts at night. The experts will train over 300 persons at the locust affected fields,” Agriculture Minister Oumer Hussien told the Ethiopian News Agency.

Recent reports claim that the infestation has destroyed crops in over 900,000 acres of farmland belonging to half a million farmers since July in what authorities called the worst in 25 years. In addition to the locusts, flooding destroyed another 90,000 acres of farmland, displacing some 64,630 people. TO make matters worse, Ethiopia is being ravaged by a civil war in the north. 

Swarms are often tens of square kilometers in size.  A swarm of just one square kilometer eats the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people. The swarms also can travel 93 miles a day making efforts to control an outbreak even more difficult. Officials warned that further rains in the region could lead to an even larger outbreak.

About 600,000 people in the region depend on food assistance, while another million people receive other forms of support, all of which are now disrupted, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report released on 7 November.

Lesser swarms have been reported in Kenya, as well as smaller ones in Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia. Yemen, also wartorn, is struggling with an outbreak of locusts. 

Desert locusts are always present in the region but are typically solitary. Favorable breeding conditions generate swarms and their behavior changes as they form groups that can be miles long and contain a billion individuals. Last year, locusts destroyed 350,000 tons of grain and more than 3 million acres of pasture in Ethiopia.

BIBLICAL PLAGUE, MODERN EXODUS

This wave very much resembles the Biblical plague in this respect, coming as part of a wave of catastrophes that left the land of Egypt bereft of any food.

Locusts invaded all the land of Egypt and settled within all the territory of Egypt in a thick mass; never before had there been so many, nor will there ever be so many again. They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. Exodus 10:14-15 

Like its Biblical precedent in Egypt, this plague of locusts comes in time to precede an Exodus of Jews from Ethiopia. Last month, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss deepening the ties between their two countries. In the course of the conversation, Netanyahu expressed his desire to immediately bring to Israel some  2,000 Ethiopian Jews currently in Addis Ababa and Gondar waiting to immigrate. The plan is expected to cost Israel $109 million.

Approximately 13,000 Jews currently reside in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and in Gondar in the northern part of the African country. About 9,000 of the Ethiopian Jews have been waiting for 15 or more years to immigrate. Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the situation. In 1991, Israel airlifted some 14,500 Jews out of Ethiopia in less than two days as part of Operation Solomon. About 140,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel today.

The connection between the two countries goes far deeper than a telephone call between two heads of state. According to Ethiopian legend recorded in the Kebra Nagast (Glory of the Kings), the Ethiopian national saga translated from Arabic,  Menelik I,  from whom the Ethiopian dynasty claims descent to the present day, was the son of Makeda, the Ethiopic name for the queen of Sheba, and King Solomon. 

According to Jewish tradition, the ten-plagues will reappear before the Messiah. Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, explained this aspect of the Messianic process to Israel365 News, quoting the Prophet Micah.

I will show him wondrous deeds As in the days when You sallied forth from the land of EgyptMicah 7:15

“All of the miracles will reappear, all of the plagues, the entire story, in all its pain and all its glory,” Rabbi Berger said. “Our job in this generation is to speak about it, to pray for it, even while it is unfolding in front of our eyes.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11119

SAUDI MEDIA EXPOSES PALESTINIAN LIE: AL AKSA MOSQUE ISN’T ON TEMPLE MOUNT

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | NOV 16, 2020 | JERUSALEM

When all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves. Zechariah 12:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

rusalem’s Old City, November 6, 2015. (Muammar Awad/Flash90)

A Saudi Arabian journalist published an article in a prominent Saudi newspaper describing the historical roots of that the myth that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. 

OSAMA YAMANI: AL AQSA IN SAUDI ARABIA, NOT JERUSALEM

Saudi Arabian lawyer and journalist Osama Yamani wrote an article in Okaz, a prominent Arabic Saudi Arabian daily newspaper, maintaining that the true location of the Al Aqsa Mosque described in Koran is in Al Ju’ranah, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia and not on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 

Yamani begins by explaining that during Mohammad’s lifetime Jerusalem was called ‘Ilya’, a name it was given by the Greeks and adopted by the Romans. It was adapted to Arabic. The name ‘Jerusalem’ does not appear in the Koran however ‘Ilya’ appears in some Hadith. Yamani claims that confusion arose due to misrepresentations in history books, later exegesis, and the ‘qibla’, the direction Muslims face when praying. Muslims currently face towards the Kaaba in the Sacred Mosque in Mecca as per a teaching in the Koran that was revealed to Muhammad in the second Hijri year.  Prior to this revelation, Muhammad and his followers in Medina faced Jerusalem for prayers, mimicking the custom of the Jews in Medina.

Yamani emphasized that Al Aqsa is not Al Quds, the Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem which is the short form of “Beit al-Quds” the holy house.” Al Aqsa Mosque, meaning the furthest mosque. This is a reference to Muhammad’s “Night Journey” from Mecca. In this context, “farthest” means “farthest from Mecca.” “Jerusalem is not Al-Aqsa, which is not cited in the missions that Allah gave Muhammad and the caliphs. Similarly, Jerusalem is a city, and Al-Aqsa is a mosque,” he stated simply.

NEAR MOSQUE AND FAR MOSQUE: BOTH IN JEHARNA

Yamani explained that Al Aqsa was located in Al Ju’ranah (also referred to as Jeharna), near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It was called Al-Aqsa (the furthest) Mosque because there is another mosque in the region built by one of Mohammad’s benefactors known as “al-Masjid al-Adna, “the Near Mosque”.

Yamani then went into a complex analysis of the qibla and the process that culminated in Mohammad establishing the tradition currently accepted throughout all branches of Islam to pray towards Mecca. He explained that the construction of the Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik in 691 CE came nine years after Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr rebelled and prevented the Umayyads who ruled Damascus from fulfilling the obligation to make the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.

“At that stage, [al-Malik] changed the direction of prayer toward Jerusalem,” Yamani wrote. 

Yamani wrote that the differences between the claims pertaining to the actual identity of which site is the Aqsa Mosque described in the Koran are due to “political matters that were employed for the benefit of events or issues and political positions at the time that have nothing to do with faith or religious dictates or God’s intention.”

DR. KEDAR: JERUSALEM’S HOLINESS TO ISLAM IS “FAKE NEWS”; ISLAMIST AGENDA

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, frequently refers to the myth that the Aqsa Mosque described in the Koran is located in Jerusalem is “fake news” and insulting to Saudi Arabian Muslims since it would raise the mosque on the Temple Mount to a level of importance that could contest the centrality of Mecca in Islam.

“In early Islam, we see that assigning holiness to the Temple Mount was criticized as an attempt to introduce Jewish concepts into Islam,” Dr. Kedar said. “Today, this narrative describing Mohammad’s Night Journey as culminating in Jerusalem has been revived, advanced by the Muslim  Brotherhood, Turkey’s President Erdogan, Qatar, and other Islamist movements seeking to unite Muslims and/or Arabs under a caliphate who seek to take over Jerusalem and use it like a crown.”

It is disturbing to note that UN and UNESCO resolutions reflect these Islamist agendas by referring to the Temple exclusively as a Muslim holy site in the context of Mohammad’s Night Journey. Dr. Kedar cited the notable exceptions of Islamic interest in Jerusalem were the periods in which the Muslims identified a risk that other religions would rule in Jerusalem, such as the during the Crusades, the First World War and of course, the period of Zionism.

In an article first published in 2016, Dr. Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, is a long-time advocate for a more precise and accurate understanding of the significance of Jerusalem for some Muslims by dispelling some clear lies perpetuated about the Temple Mount. Dr. Kedar explained that Al-Aqsa is mentioned once in the Koran, and Jerusalem is never named even once. 

Since the Haj pilgrimage is one of the five basic Islamic commandments, the Umayads were forced to choose Jerusalem as their alternative for a pilgrimage site. In order to justify choosing Jerusalem, the Umayyads rewrote the story told in the Koran, moving the al Aqsa mosque to Jerusalem, and adding, for good measure, the myth of the night-time journey of Mohammed to al Aqsa. This is the reason the Sunnis now consider Jerusalem their third holiest city.

Shia Islam, mercilessly persecuted by the Umayya Caliphate, did not accept the holy Jerusalem canard, which is the reason the second holiest city to Shiites is Najif in Iraq, the burial place of Shiite founder Ali bin Abi Talib. Many of the Shiite elders – Iranian and Hezbollah – only began to call Jerusalem holy after the Khomeni rebellion in 1979 so as to keep the Sunnis from accusing them of being soft on Zionism.”

Dr. Kedar went on to explain that this lie was expanding to include the entire Temple Mount with the intention of claiming the entire city of Jerusalem for Islam.

The first lie, in that case, is the spurious claim that the “farther mosque” is in Jerusalem. More lies were piled on to the first one, the main prevarication being the exact location of this so-called al Aqsa mosque, which until not very long ago, was the silver-domed building on the southern end of the Temple Mount.

The entire area of the Temple Mount is known as al-Haram al-Sharif – “the holy and noble site”- but a change came about after the Six-Day War, when Jewish voices could be heard, particularly that of the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rav She’er Yashuv HaCohen, calling for the establishment of a synagogue on the Mount.  Immediately after the war, Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren also said that he wanted to celebrate religious events on the Temple Mount. It was felt that the Muslims would not object, since al Aqsa was on the southern edge of the compound and the synagogue would not be nearby.

As a result, however, the Muslims decided to announce that the al Aqsa mentioned in the Koran refers not only to the mosque on the southern end of the compound, but is the name for the entire Temple Mount area, abandoning the original name, al-Haram al-Sharif. 

Islam’s liars decided to “expand” al Aqsa – whose real location is actually in the Arabian desert – to encompass the entire Temple Mount area only after the Jews liberated the site of their Temples in the June 1967 Six-Day War. After all, the Jews might want to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount under the direction of Rabbis Goren and She’er Yashuv Hacohen.

One wonders why the al Aqsa Mosque is of such importance to the Muslims and why they have accorded it such prominence that it is becoming accepted as one of the basic principles of their faith. The answer lies in the fact that Islam defines itself as a religion that did not enter the world to live in peace with Judaism and Christianity, the religions that preceded it, but as a universal religion that is meant to obliterate them and take over the world. Islam sees itself as “Din al-Haqq,” the true religion, and  Judaism and Christianity as “Din al-Batil,” the false religions. The Muslims fear that the Jewish people’s return to their land, cities and the site of their Temples will grant Judaism the status of a vibrant, active and true religion, posing a theological threat to the very existence and raison d’etre of Islam.

That is the reason that all Jewish activity on the Temple Mount, especially Jewish prayer, infuriates them, and they will do everything, including spreading prevarications and outright lies, to prevent the Jews from returning to the places from which they were exiled almost 2000 years ago.  That is what makes the conflict over Jerusalem the basis of a theological struggle whose source is the Muslim world’s inability to recognize the history and religious rights of non-Muslim believers, all of whom are slated to disappear, according to Islam.

YAMANI: CRITICAL OF PALESTINIANS

Yamani has written on controversial subjects in the past. In September, he was critical of the Palestinian leadership writing:

“The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships…Our enemy today is Iran and Turkey, who occupy Arab lands in the name of the Palestinian issue. As for the enemy of the Palestinians at home, they are the corrupt leaders and traitors who rest in the bosom of Iran. For us, the real issue now is development, peace and justice that were stolen from the Arab world and forgotten by the Arab peoples. The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships. The Palestinian leadership is in the hands of traitors and beneficiaries.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11106

Iran threatens Arab nations making peace with Israel

‘We will respond the way we would toward any enemy’

By WND Staff
Published November 8, 2020 at 5:54pm

Iran is in a fury over President Trump’s peace deals between three Islamic nations and the Middle East’s premiere democracy, Israel.

The mullah-led regime sees the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and the Jewish state as a direct threat, endangering its hegemony in the Persian Gulf,  reports the Middle East Media Research Institute.

It’s also a “severe blow to Iran’s narrative of Islamic unity and Islamic values, and to the ideological messages of the Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran that claims to be the standard-bearer of the defense of the pure and correct Islam,” MEMRI said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei wrote in Twitter that the  Muslim nations “will not tolerate any normalization with the Zionist regime.”

“The Americans are wrong if they think they can solve the problem of the region in this manner,” he said

Iranian President Hassan Rohani, during a meeting, blasted the Arab Gulf states.

“Sadly, there are countries in the region whose citizens are observant and faithful Muslims, [but] whose rulers do not understand the religion, do not heed its directives and do not implement them, [including] with respect to the Palestinian people, who are their brothers and speak their language,” he said. “They claim to be Arab. … Where is your [Arab] identity? What has happened to it? [The Israelis] are committing more and more crimes in Palestine every day. How can you reach out to Israel, which will later [lead to] giving it a base in this region? All the grave outcomes [of this agreement] will be on your head. You are the ones who are violating the rules and [endangering] the security of this region.”

The Trump administration went against precedent, bypassing the Palestinian issue and approaching the Arab nations directly.

The White House has said that several more nations are on the brink of agreements with Israel.

Any nation that follows the path of the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan will be seen as aiding and abetting “the enemy,” Israel, warned Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri

He said that “if the Zionists have a foothold here, and if even the smallest harm were to be caused to our national security and defense, we will view these countries as providing bases for the enemy, and we will respond the way we would respond towards any enemy.”

Ali Akbar Velayati, a Khamenei adviser, said the “enemies of the pure Islam and the hypocrites have once again removed the mask from their faces and evilly and deceptively declared their shame and their treason throughout the world.”

“The American strategists, who in the recent years have experienced numerous and ongoing defeats in the international arena, and especially in the Middle East, have no goal but to employ propaganda so as to achieve normalization between the region’s autocrats [and Israel] as a service to the Zionist lobby, in order to win [the Zionists’] votes in America’s presidential elections and save the prime minister of the wretched Zionist regime, whose position in the occupied territories [i.e., in Israel] is now very weak,” he said.

He accused the Arab nations normalizing relations with Israel of building their foundations on “the hollow promises of the Great Satan, the criminal America.”

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said any “threat” will be met “with a clear and direct response.”

And Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, an adviser to the Majlis speaker, said: “The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain are giving the Zionist Israelis a foothold in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. They must know that in this dangerous game, they are fanning the flames. The response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to maximally preserve its national security, and regional security… If even the smallest harm is caused to the Islamic Republic or its allies in the region, its response will not only be aimed at the Zionists. It will also be aimed at those who have given the Zionist regime a foothold in the region. The political and security arrangements in the region will not allow the Zionists to breathe a sigh of relief. This is a necessity for the maximal preservation of Iran’s national security…”

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said: “The hangman-ruler of Bahrain should await the bitter revenge of the fighters of Jerusalem, the fighters of the devout Islamic nation, against his country. The disgraceful act of [Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa] Aal Khalifa and of his regime, which is dependent [on America] the establishment of relations with the Zionist regime, against the will and aspirations of [his] country’s Muslim people is an act of great stupidity that is entirely illegitimate and will meet with appropriate responses.”

The IRGC, warning of a domino effect, called Trump the “hated and stupid American president.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11089

138 MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS VOTE TO APPROVE RESOLUTION CALLING THE TEMPLE MOUNT IN JERUSALEM ONLY BY ITS MUSLIM NAME OF HARAM AL-SHARIF

“The audacious attempt to rewrite history will not change the indisputable fact that the Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem dates back thousands of years,” he said. The resolution was only one of the seven documents approved by the panel, the UN Watch NGO said, all of them singling out or denouncing Israel while paying little attention to things happening in the rest of the world.

by Geoffrey Grider November 5, 2020

A United Nations panel comprised of 138 states passed Wednesday a resolution that only referred to the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem by its Muslim name of Haram al-Sharif.

One of the many reasons why you don’t want Joe Biden as president if you’re a bible believer is because he will rapidly undo, or seek to undo, everything that President Trump has put in place with regards to Israel. The Obama Biden administration had 8 years to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and they refused. The Obama Biden administration had 8 years to declare Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the sovereign state of Israel, they refused to do that as well. Donald Trump did both those things, and whole lot more.

“Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalemthat my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” 2 Chronicles 6:5,6 (KJB)

The bible clearly shows us the multi-millennial historical record of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, given to them by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with Jerusalem as not only the capital of Israel, but the place where God Almighty has places His own name. The bible also shows us something else, it shows us the soon-coming fate of the United Nations, and how God has gathered all the nations to judge them. Take a look at this:

Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8 (KJB)

God gathered all the nations of the world in 1945 with the establishment of the…wait for it, United Nations General Assembly. Nearly word for word fulfillment of what the prophet Zephaniah saw in the vision that God gave to him. We see the same thing repeated in Zechariah 14:2, Joel 3:2, and in various other places. So have at it, United Nations, go ahead and declare that the Temple Mount belongs to the Muslims. Call it ‘Haram al-Sharif’ all you like, but I have news for you. The King is coming, and you better get right before that day takes place. Haram al-Sharif, is it? Not by a long shot.

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” Zechariah 14:1-3 (KJB)

UN panel approves resolution calling Temple Mount only by Muslim name of Haram al-Sharif

FROM i24 NEWS: The document voiced concern with “tensions and violence” on Palestinian territories, “including with regard to the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif.” Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan lashed out at the body, saying the document ignored Judaism’s own ties with the holy place — the holiest one for the religion.

“THE AUDACIOUS ATTEMPT TO REWRITE HISTORY WILL NOT CHANGE THE INDISPUTABLE FACT THAT THE JEWISH CONNECTION TO THE CITY OF JERUSALEM DATES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS,” HE SAID.

The resolution was only one of the seven documents approved by the panel, the UN Watch NGO said, all of them singling out or denouncing Israel while paying little attention to things happening in the rest of the world.

The documents passed by the panel included lambasting Israel over alleged repressions against Syrians in the Golan Heights and a renewal of the UN Relief and Works Agency mandate.

“While France, Germany, Sweden and other EU states are expected to support most of the estimated 20 resolutions to be adopted against Israel by December, the same European nations have failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries,” Hillel Neuer, NGO Watch chief, said.

In his remarks, Erdan highlighted why the U.N. has continually failed to solve the conflict: “One of the biggest reasons for the U.N.’s failure in ending the conflict is its continued support of UNRWA,” he said. “Simply put, UNRWA’s very existence makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unsolvable, and I don’t intend to allow business as usual anymore.”

Erdan pointed out how UNRWA uses its schools to spread hatred and anti-Semitism, inciting Palestinian children to violence, promoting terrorism and questioning Israel’s right to exist. Erdan pushed committee members to reconsider their blind support of these annual resolutions: “What is the point of these resolutions? Just to pave the way for future resolutions?” he asked. “By supporting these resolutions you are not only wasting U.N. resources, you are also sabotaging any changes of future peace.”

Every year, the General Assembly adopts a package of about 20 anti-Israel resolutions, including renewing the mandate of biased Palestinian committees. Israel views this as part of a diplomatic effort led by the Palestinians to undermine its legitimacy.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11083

‘IF BIDEN IS PRESIDENT, AN ISRAEL-IRAN WAR COULD BE ON HORIZON’ TOP ISRAELI MINISTER WARNS

BY DAVID SIDMAN | NOV 5, 2020 | US-ISRAEL RELATIONS

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel BibleTM)

Apache Helicopters (Shutterstock)

As the US election enters the home stretch, politicians and pundits in Israel are anticipating how the day after will look if either President Donald Trump, or Joe Biden is elected president.

In an interview with channel 13 News, Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzahi Hanegbi said that if President Biden were to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, it could ultimately precipitate an Israeli-Iranian war because “we will be forced to take action.”

Hanegbi, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party and considered to be a close confidant of the prime minister, previously served as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Minister of Regional Cooperation. He is also considered to be a security expert.

Hangebi may be referring to Biden’s commitment to restart the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that his administration brokered when he was vice president under Barack Obama. This means that the economic sanctions imposed by President Trump could be thawed out under his leadership. That can translate into Tehran exporting over 2 million barrels of crude oil a day.

Netanyahu for his part addressed congress against the wishes of Obama to warn about the Nuclear deal with the Islamic republic which he called a “historic mistake.”

The sanctions imposed by Trump have managed to cripple the Iranian economy sending its currency, the rial, to 304,300 on the dollar. Many experts believe that it was precisely these sanctions that have prevented Iran from following through on their threats to wipe Israel off the map – a war that currently cannot afford.

But if the sanctions are indeed lifted under a potential Biden administration, that can all change. This could leave Israel no choice but to wage war on Tehran.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11080

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN JERUSALEM DISCOVER RARE 2,000-YEAR OLD RING ENGRAVED WITH IMAGE OF THE SUN GOD APOLLO SHEDDING LIGHT ON IDOLATRY

The profile of Apollo has long flowing hair spilling over his sturdy neck. He has a large nose, thick lips, and small prominent chin, according to the press release. The styled hair is braided above his forehead, with long curls reaching the shoulder. All of this adds up to the god Apollo in the eyes of a trained archaeologist. “You cannot miss it,” Shukron said. The question then arises, what is a nice Jewish neighborhood such as 1st century CE Jerusalem doing with a pagan Greek god?

by Geoffrey Grider October 29, 2020

Discovery of a rare 2,000-year-old signet ring engraved with the Greek sun god Apollo gives new evidence of a pluralistic Jewry walking the streets of ancient Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, archaeologist Eli Shukron told The Times of Israel.

 

In various places in the New Testament, we read about the open idol worship that was taking place in First Century Jerusalem, something that the apostle Paul had to deal with on a regular basis. So with that in mind, it is fascinating  that biblical archaeologists have found a ring engraved with the image of the Greek god Apollo.

“But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?” Acts 19:34,35 (KJB)

The counterfeit of the Devil has always existed alongside the real thing from God, and right up to the Second Advent, it always will. Many cultures have a flood legend, a madonna and child legend, and the list goes on and on. Jesus Christ created His Church at the cross 2,000 years ago, and the Devil created his fake church in the declining years of the Roman empire 300 years after that. Nice to see that 21st century researchers are finally catching up to the dusty, archaic, old King James Bible.

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: “It allows us to see a Jerusalem that wasn’t some kind of ultra-Orthodox city, it was more pluralistic,” Shukron said, who is convinced the ring would have adorned a Jew’s finger. The fact that a Jew chose the symbol of a Greek god, “shows the wide variety of practices in Jerusalem. Everyone was a Jew, but there were different groups and perspectives,” he said. he dark brown jasper gem sealing (intaglio) was recently discovered at the Archaeological Sifting Project at Tzurim Valley National Park during the wet sifting of earth taken from ongoing City of David excavations of the foundations of the Western Wall.

Shukron said there is absolutely no doubt that it is Apollo who is engraved on the tiny, oval-shaped, 13 millimeter-long, 11 millimeter-wide, and 3 millimeter-thick sealing. It would usually have been used as a signature stamp on beeswax to seal contracts, letters, wills, and goods or bundles of money, according to a City of David press release. The profile of Apollo has long flowing hair spilling over his sturdy neck. He has a large nose, thick lips, and small prominent chin, according to the press release. The styled hair is braided above his forehead, with long curls reaching the shoulder.

ALL OF THIS ADDS UP TO THE GOD APOLLO IN THE EYES OF A TRAINED ARCHAEOLOGIST. “YOU CANNOT MISS IT,” SHUKRON SAID. THE QUESTION THEN ARISES, WHAT IS A NICE JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD SUCH AS 1ST CENTURY CE JERUSALEM DOING WITH A PAGAN GREEK GOD?

According to Shukron, there are already a handful of archaeological artifacts dated to the Second Temple period in which Apollo plays a starring role: Two other Apollo gem sealings were discovered at Masada and another two were found in Jerusalem, one also from the Western Wall drainage tunnels excavations and one in a tomb on Mount Scopus. Shukron noted that whereas during the Roman period, other members of the Greek and Roman pantheon make appearances, for the centuries surrounding the turn of the Common Era, only Apollo has been found. The god symbolized light, health and general well-being and success — something everyone generally aspires to, he said, which is why the symbol was considered “kosher” for these Second Temple Jews.

“IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE THAT JERUSALEM IS MORE THAN CONSERVATISM, THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS WHO [AS EVIDENCED BY HIS ADOPTION OF A PAGAN SYMBOL AS HIS SIGNATURE] WOULD HAVE HAD MORE FREEDOM IN THEIR THINKING,” SAID SHUKRON. WHAT IS ALSO CLEAR, THROUGH HIS VERY PUBLIC USE OF THE SYMBOL, IS THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A GROUP OF JEWS WHO ACCEPTED THIS USAGE AS WELL.

Expert of engraved gems Prof. Shua Amorai-Stark made an assessment of the sealing and noted that “at the end of the Second Temple period, the sun god Apollo was one of the most popular and revered deities in Eastern Mediterranean regions. Apollo was a god of manifold functions, meanings, and epithets. Among Apollo’s spheres of responsibility, it is likely that association with sun and light (as well as with logic, reason, prophecy, and healing) fascinated some Jews, given that the element of light versus darkness was prominently present in Jewish worldview in those days,” he said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11062

RABBI WHO USES BIBLE TO ACCURATELY PREDICT ELECTIONS WORLDWIDE: ‘TRUMP WILL WIN’

And if he who consecrated the land wishes to redeem it Leviticus 27:19 (The Israel BibleTM)

From left to right: President Donald Trump. Torah (Shutterstock)

Rabbi Meir Turnheim, an ultra-orthodox Jew from the Chabad movement who lives in Israel, has accurately predicted the results of political elections both in Israel and around the world with pinpoint accuracy. His more noteworthy predictions include Trump’s 2016 victory despite the polls and Netanyahu’s unexpected win in 2015. More recently, as he predicted that Netanyahu will win Israel’s elections in March reports YWN.

‘TRUMP WILL BE REELECTED’

Rabbi Turnheim, who has accurately predicted the outcome of every Israeli election since 1996, bases his predictions on a complex method of isolating letters from one Bible passage whose reading falls on the anniversary of the week of the elections in the portion read on the day of the elections.

Regarding the upcoming U.S. election, Rabbi Turnheim’s decisive answer is that Trump will be reelected B’Chadrei Chareidim reported.

TRUMP’S VICTORY APPEARS IN GENESIS 18

Rav Turnheim’s made a name for himself after successfully predicting Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016. In fact, journalists and politicians turn to him in the run up to elections to hear his predictions. Usually, Rabbi Turnheim reveals his predictions shortly before elections but this time, he decided to share them well in advance. That’s because he sees Trump as a President who protects the nation of Israel in the land of Israel, who fights against terror and nations that are hostile to Israel. The rabbi also sees him as a messenger who is fulfilling the prophecy of the Bible.

Rabbi Turnheim says that Trump’s victory appears in Genesis 18:1–22:24 in Chapter 19 in the passages 1, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 19, and 20. The words that are written in this chapter are as follows:

טראמפ יעלה וינצח – Trump will arise and be victorious.


(טראמפ יעלה וינצח (פעם שניה בפסוק הבא – (The same words appear in the next passuk.)
דונלד טראמפ ינצח/טראמפ ינצח את גו ביידן – Donald Trump will be victorious/ Trump will win Joe Biden.


טראמפ ינצח את ביידן – Trump will win Biden.


טראמפ ינצח ויהיה נשיא ארהב – Trump will win and be the President of the United States.
(טראמפ ינצח ויהיה נשיא ארהב (פעם שניה בפסוק הבא – (The same words appear in the next passuk)
דולנד טראמפ ינצח את גו ביידן ויהיה נשיא – Donald Trump will win Joe Biden and will be the President.
טראמפ הוא המנצח. הוא יהיה הנשיא – Trump is the winner. He will be the President.

 

NOT THE ONLY RABBI

The rabbi started his unique pastime after arriving at the conclusion that everything that happens in the world is inside the Torah. Therefore, a topic as important as the Israeli and international elections can also be found in the Torah.

He’s not the only rabbi who uses the Torah to predict elections. In October, Israel365 News reported that Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, a Bible codes expert, also predicted a win for Trump in November.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11056

Mossad head: Saudi normalization ties close; post US election could see progress

US-mediated normalization talks between Israel and Oman are reportedly close to achieving a breakthrough.

By YONAH JEREMY BOBAARON REICH   

OCTOBER 25, 2020 10:20

A normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is close and there could be major developments following the US presidential elections depending on who wins, Mossad director Yossi Cohen has said in closed conversations, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, N12 reported that Cohen had said privately to those around him that the Saudis were waiting until after the US election, but that they could potentially announce normalization as a “gift” to the winner.

The implication from the N12 report was that such an announcement could even come almost immediately after the election.

However, the Post has learned that the N12 report either misunderstood or did not fully flesh out what Cohen had said.

What Cohen actually said to those around him was that if US President Donald Trump wins reelection, there could be an almost immediate announcement.

Yet, if as the polls suggest, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election, though the Saudis would still want a normalization deal with Israel, there would not necessarily be a clear timeline.

Cohen had emphasized that the Saudis did not want to give a gift to Trump and then get nothing for it upon a Biden administration taking over the reins.

Rather, Cohen understands that a Biden administration may want to link normalization with the Saudis to progress with negotiations with the Palestinians – the opposite tactic of the Trump administration which is trying to pressure the Palestinians to show flexibility in negotiations with Israel by moving ahead with normalization deals without them.

Further, Cohen would have acknowledged that the post-election situation in the US, especially if Biden is elected, would be far more uncertain regarding international relations in general, and that his estimate was based on knowing what the Saudis want and are ready for.  

The normalization deal will also reportedly involve an arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia, which could serve to cushion the move, Cohen said.

Normalized ties are something many in Israel and Saudi Arabia look forward to, with a recent poll by Zogby Research Services finding that nearly 80% of Saudis are in favor of working towards normalizing ties with Israel within the next five years.

This was reflective of another poll published by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, which saw Saudi Arabia as the country with which most Israelis would like to next establish normalized ties.

In addition, it was also reported by N12 citing Israeli sources that US-mediated normalization talks between the Jewish state and Oman are close to achieving a breakthrough. In fact, these sources believe Oman is the most likely country to next normalize ties, though some believe Muscat will also take a more cautious approach and not sign anything until the election is over.

These announcements follow the ongoing wave of full relations being established between Israel and countries in the Arab world, with Sudan recently announcing a move towards normalization.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11043

AS TURKEY’S LIRA TUMBLES, ERDOGAN PURSUES NEO-OTTOMAN VISIONS

BY YAAKOV LAPPIN | OCT 26, 2020 | OPINION

Jews in Palestine under Ottoman rule, 1895. (Wikipedia Commons)

As Turkey’s lira sunk to a record low on Thursday, and the Turkish economy, hit hard by the coronavirus, attempts to bounce back, the Islamist government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pursues an increasingly daring neo-Ottoman policy throughout the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has become the state leader of the regional Sunni Islamist bloc, whose most prominent other members are the Gulf state of Qatar, and Hamas, as well as international networks of Muslim Brotherhood activists that cooperate with this coalition’s activities. One recent 100-page report from a London-based think tank concluded that Qatar and Turkey are “bankrolling and supporting an interlinked network of Muslim Brotherhood organizations across Europe.”

Turkey’s profile has been growing in the Palestinian arena too, as illustrated by the fact that Istanbul hosted, for the first time, talks between domestic bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah, who previously used Egypt as a mediator. Fatah’s willingness to send a delegation to Turkey for the talks indicates a potential willingness by Ramallah to give more influence to Turkey and the Islamist bloc it heads.

Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman and pan-Islamist vision of a renewed ascendency of the old Turkish empire was expressed clearly and concisely earlier this month, when he declared that “Jerusalem is our city,” before referring to the Ottoman Empire’s four-century rule over the city, running from 1517 to 1917.

A Turkish-funded Islamic center in Jerusalem is reportedly hosting tourists with Muslim Brotherhood links, and promoting messages by the Islamist coalition led by Ankara.

Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh is a guest of honor in Turkey, and the country has acted as a base for a Hamas headquarters that attempted to orchestrate terrorist cells in the West Bank.

It appears difficult to avoid the conclusion that the more Erdogan and his ruling AKP party are challenged domestically, economically, or by its ongoing conflict with the Kurds, the more provocative they become.

The AKP party is guided by a Turkish variant of the Muslim Brotherhood philosophy, making it a natural ideological partner to Hamas. Former Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Pinchas Avivi held discussions with key AKP ideologue and former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who pioneered some key party ideas.

According to Avivi, the party’s ideological doctrine is based on a rejection of the secularism of the Turkish state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk a century ago, and a return to being the region’s pan-Islamic and geo-political center of gravity, thereby returning Turkey to its historical size and role.

Ataturk, who adopted Latin letters instead of Arabic, prohibited religious Muslims from entering the government and military, and worked to attach Turkey to the West. The AKP wishes to see Turkey return to a lead position in the Middle East. After coming to power in 2002, the party began to focus on developing the poorer, more traditional eastern part of the country, an initiative that saw new highways, schools, and madrassas appear there.

Erdogan’s Revival Effort

Over the years, Turkey’s approach to the region became increasingly driven by neo-Ottomanism, and Erdogan’s rhetoric on Israel became more and more hostile.

Yet Turkey also has maintained official diplomatic ties with Israel and increased its bilateral trade with it, creating a parallel, quiet, pragmatic channel of relations (though ironically this did not stop Turkey from threatening to cut ties with the UAE over its recent normalization pact with Israel).

Despite maintaining economic and (at least on the official level) diplomatic ties, Turkey is gradually becoming a strategic problem for Israel, and more acutely so for Greece, as well as for pragmatic Gulf Arab states, which view Ankara as a problematic rival. The UAE has described the presence of Turkey’s 5,000 soldiers in neighboring Qatar as a destabilizing force.

In another sign of increasing assertiveness, Turkey has sent soldiers and thousands of Syrian Islamist mercenaries to fight in Libya on behalf of the Islamist administration in the western part of the country. Turkey views both geo-political influence and opportunities to extract large quantities of natural gas and oil from under the Mediterranean Sea, in an area that Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) agreed to demarcate in 2019.

Meanwhile, Turkey has aggressively challenged an Egyptian-Greek demarcation of Mediterranean maritime borders, which nullified its own agreement with Libya, and reportedly sought help from Muslim Brotherhood elements to attack the demarcation agreement announced by Athens and Cairo in August.

Turkey’s non-recognition of the Egyptian-Greek deal is a continuation of its attempt, together with Libya’s GNA, to create a maritime buffer between Egypt and Greece and disrupt their plans to exploit energy in the area.

Turkish battleships repeatedly entered energy gas exploration zones in the eastern Mediterranean in areas claimed by Greece in recent months, prompting Greece to warn of a potential military clash. Tensions over energy rights are joined by Turkey’s claim over the Greek island Kastellorizo, and Turkey’s sending warships in its direction.

Tensions further escalated when Ankara sent an energy exploration ship to an area near Cyprus, backed by two Turkish naval auxiliary ships, leading Greece to condemn Ankara’s “destabilizing role.” Since coming to power, the AKP party has worked tirelessly to reverse the secular character of the modern Turkish state in 2002.

As Avivi, the former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, has noted, it was Ataturk who ended the Ottoman Empire and shifted sharply towards a secular state, and it is Erdogan who envisions a return to the days of a Turkish sultan exercising vast political-military control over the Middle East and central Asia.

The AKP rejects Ataturk’s dismemberment of the Turkish caliphate, and its neo-Ottoman policies today reflect this ideology.

In Syria, Avivi stated, Turkey believed it could turn ISIS against the Kurds, but found itself at war with both ISIS and the Kurds (although Turkey has reportedly employed a revolving door policy when it comes to captured ISIS activists). Turkish armed forces and their proxies have occupied northern Syria since 2016, and have entrenched themselves with no signs of an imminent departure.

“Erdogan has three identities – Islamist, Turkish, and Ottoman – and he sees no contradiction between any of these. He combines them,” Brigadier-General (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and former head of the research division in the IDF military intelligence branch, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Despite all of the recent developments, the Islamist bloc led by Turkey is growing weaker, Kuperwasser argued, and the bold move by the UAE and Bahrain in normalizing ties with Israel is evidence of that. Still, he said, “that doesn’t mean the bloc has been weakened in every area. Erdogan’s forceful conduct has had some achievements.”

Hamas’s Role

In response to the normalization shift by Gulf states, Fatah has, at least temporarily, contemplated whether to move closer to the Muslim Brotherhood camp, Kuperwasser said, though Fatah has not confirmed that it will do this. “This would be a surrender to Hamas,” he said. Such a shift could lead to Fatah adopting more radical positions and placing its West Bank rule at greater exposure to infiltration by Hamas, which would directly undermine its own interests.

“Turkey is the main state and military leader of this bloc. They are a large state player, and can influence Europe as well, through [the millions of Syrian] refugees,” he added. Erdogan has threatened to open his country’s borders and allow the refugees to travel into Europe.

Qatar, for its part, promotes public relations for the Islamist bloc, and uses its vast treasure to provide financial support for the coalition’s activities.

“Hamas brings the struggle, and the direct friction with the enemy [Israel],” said Kuperwasser.

Turkey’s close cooperation with Hamas is continuing despite the fact that its headquarters left Turkish soil last year. Turkey has granted citizenship to dozens of Hamas members over the past two years, including senior members of a Hamas terror cell, according to one report.

On Thursday, the Times of London, citing Western intelligence services, reported that Hamas “set up a secret headquarters in Turkey for carrying out cyberwarfare and counter-intelligence operations,” adding that the cyber operations are being run out of Hamas’s official offices in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s maneuvers are also shaking up international power balances, due its membership in NATO. Ankara reportedly test fired the Russian-built S-400 missile defense system last week, drawing condemnations from Washington. Turkey signed a $2.5 billion contract with Russia for the system in 2017, with deliveries beginning in 2019 – a development that led the United States to eject Turkey from the F-35 fifth generation fighter jet program last year.

Ultimately, it seems that economic challenges at home will do little to slow Turkey’s pursuit of a neo-Ottoman Islamist foreign policy. Its satellite companions, Qatar and Hamas, will continue to form a Sunni Islamist coalition that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood brand – one that will have to be watched closely.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11037