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Red Heifer Birth, Paves Way For Renewed Temple Service

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz September 5, 2018 , 12:17 pm

Daniel 12:10 (The Israel Bible™)

Red heifer candidate born in Israel. (Credit: The Temple Institute/YouTube screen capture)

Last Tuesday, the Temple Institute’s Red Heifer program was blessed with results; an entirely red female calf was born, paving the way for re-establishing the Temple service and marking the final stage of redemption.

Almost three years ago the Temple Institute inaugurated its Raise a Red Heifer in Israel program. Due to laws restricting the importation of live cattle into Israel, the Temple Institute imported frozen embryos of red angus, implanting them in Israeli domestic cows. The pregnant cows were raised on cattle ranches in different locations throughout the country. The cows are giving birth this summer with several calves already having been born.

One week after it’s birth, the newborn red heifer was certified by a board of rabbis as fulfilling all the Biblical requirements. The rabbis emphasized that the heifer could, at any time, acquire a blemish rendering it unsuitable. They will be inspecting the calf periodically to verify its condition.

The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body.  Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service.

The red heifer is described in the Book of Numbers.

“This is the ritual law that Hashem has commanded: Instruct B’nei Yisrael to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid. Numbers 19:2

Several heifers have been found in recent years that seemed to qualify but ultimately were unsuited for the ritual. Earlier this month, two calves born in Israel to the Institute’s red heifer program were deemed to be unsuitable for the performance of the mitzvah. One calf was a bull while the second, a heifer, had a small patch of white hair which disqualified her.

The heifer, born from a natural birth, must be entirely red, with no more than two non-red hairs on its body. It must also never have been used for any labor or have been impregnated. The existence of such a heifer is considered a biological anomaly and very rare. Fortunately, the ritual requires an infinitesimally small quantity of ashes. From the time of Moses, who personally prepared the first heifer, until the destruction of the Temple, only nine red heifers were prepared. Nonetheless, this was sufficient to maintain the ritual purity of the entire nation for almost 2,000 years.

According to Jewish tradition, there will only be ten red heifers in human history with the tenth heifer ushering in the Messianic era. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the most renowned medieval Jewish scholar known by the acronym Rambam, wrote in his explanation of the mitzvah that “the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.”

Rabbi Chaim Richman, the International Director of the Temple Institute, commented on this on the institute’s website.

“If there has been no red heifer for the past 2,000 years, perhaps it is because the time was not right; Israel was far from being ready. But now… what could it mean for the times we live in, to have the means for purification so close at hand? With the words of Maimonides in mind, we cannot help but wonder and pray: If there are now red heifers… is ours the era that will need them?”

The laws pertaining to the mitzvah are myriad and considered by the sages to be the archetypal chok, an inexplicable Torah commandment accepted solely on faith. Before entering the land of Israel after the Exodus, the heifer was burned outside of the camp. In the days of the Temple, the heifer was taken to the Mount of Olives across a causeway built specifically for this purpose to ensure that there was no inadvertent contact with areas along the way that may have been contaminated by dead bodies.

Cedarwood, hyssop, and wool or yarn dyed scarlet are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing spring water to purify a person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse. Water from the vessel is sprinkled on the subject, using a bunch of hyssop, on the third and seventh day of the purification process. The priest who performs the ritual then becomes ritually unclean, and must then wash himself and his clothes in running waters. He is deemed impure until evening.

No less stringent than the laws pertaining to the heifer are the laws pertaining to the site where the heifer is burned. Almost 30 years ago, Rabbi Yonatan Adler, who is also an archaeologist, performed an in-depth study into the textual references to the site where the red heifer was burned, publishing his results in  in the Torah journal Techumin. His calculations, based on the Holy of Holies being located where the Dome of the Rock stands today, led him to a spot where Dominus Flevit, a Catholic Church built in 1955, now stands. Archaeological surveys discovered unique characteristics of the site that corresponded to descriptions in the Talmud.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9367

Iran launches anti-US-Israel front – from W. Iraq, with Tel Aviv in missile range, builds base facing Golan

Aug 31, 2018 @ 18:25 Iranian forces in W. Iraq, Russian armada, US-Russian-Israeli buildup

Russia, Iran, Syria and Hamas have launched six steps to counter the US-Israeli plan to hit Iranian military targets in Syria, which National Security Adviser John Bolton finalized in Jerusalem two weeks ago. That plan is to strike Iran’s Al Qods Brigades and allied Shiite militia forces in Syrian and western Iraq, as DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources were first to reveal. The US and Israel agreed to provide each other with reciprocal air and military cover for their operations in Syria. This accord was first implemented on Aug. 23, when unidentified warplanes bombed a pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite Khataib Hezballah convoy on the Syrian-Iraqi highway.

The Russian-backed Iranian-Syrian-Hamas alliance subsequently put together six counter-measures:

  1. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami arrived in Damascus with a large military delegation to sign expanded military cooperation pacts with Syrian ruler Bashar Assad. Israeli and American officials who initially made light of this event were forced to take a second look.
  2. Iran was empowered by these accords to deepen its military grip on Syria, backed by the promise of Russian military and air cover modeled on the US-Israeli mutual commitment.
  3. Tehran and Damascus agreed to retaliate for every US or Israel attack on Iran’s Al-Qods or Shiite militia forces in Syria in the same coin, i.e. by targeting US military forces posted east of the Euphrates River along the Syrian-Iraqi border, or IDF forces inside the Golan enclave. Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani was put in charge of these operations.
  4. Our exclusive sources also reveal that the new military pacts signed by Iran and Syria provide explicitly for three large Iranian bases to go up in Syria as hubs for the various Iranian command posts dispersed across the country; one outside Aleppo; a second between Damascus and the Israeli Golan border and a third at a still undetermined location.
  5. In the wake of these pacts, the United States, Russia, Iran and Israel are all engaged in military buildups in the Middle East and around Syria of intervention forces for a potential escalation.
    The Americans have prepared major naval and air strength in the region capable of rapid responses, mainly with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
    The Russians are massing a sea armada opposite the Syrian coast. Fresh arrivals on Friday, Aug. 31, raised the number of warships to 24.
    Syrian air defense networks are on the highest war alert since early this week. The IDF’s presence in northern Israel has been beefed up and the troops placed on high alert.
  6. On Friday, Iran said it had supplied allied Iraqi Shiite militias with ground-to-ground missiles with ranges of between 200km and 700km. From Western Iraq, meaning Anbar, where Soleimani has concentrated a large force, these mssiles can reach Tel Aviv; and from southern Iraq, the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The senior US allies in the region are therefore under fresh Iranian missile threat from Iraq.
    DEBKAfile’s military sources note that these missiles have long been in the hands of the Iraqi Shiite militias under Tehran’s thumb, but Iran’s leaders decided it could do no harm to release the information to its enemies at this time.
    In former articles, our sources have pointed out that a US-Israeli showdown with Iran in Syria  would inevitably spill over into Iraq.
    Hamas joined the emerging fray on Thursday, when its leader noted that the Palestinian organization also had rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv. He was pointing up the collaboration between Gaza’s Palestinian rulers and Tehran.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9364

From The Heart Of The Bible Belt To The California Coast, Satanism Is Experiencing Explosive Growth In America

September 2, 2018 by Michael Snyder

As attendance declines at Christian churches all over America, many Satanic groups are experiencing tremendous growth.  For some, embracing Satanism is the ultimate form of rebellion, for others it is about making an anti-Trump political statement, and yet others claim that they are attracted by the very real power that they discover in Satanism.  Every week, bizarre rituals are conducted in basements, meeting halls and public facilities all over the country, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what is going on.  Of course most mainstream news articles about Satanists attempt to portray them as ordinary people that have simply been “misunderstood”.  And ultimately that is what the Satanists are trying to do for Satan – they are trying to get all the rest of us to view Satan or Lucifer as a “misunderstood” being that only has humanity’s best interests at heart.  And since the values of Satanism line up more accurately with the values of modern society than Christian values do, Satanists are finding increasing success in bringing in new recruits.

Today, there are Satanic churches just about everywhere.  For example, a Satanic high priest named Adam Daniels started “the Church of Ahriman” in the heart of Oklahoma City

Adam Daniels, 35, is the “dastur” – or high priest – of the Church of Ahriman, which is based in Oklahoma City, USA.

The Church of Ahriman has 15 members and worships Ahriman, another name for the original Persian devil figure Angra Mainyu – the God of Hell.

The church’s followers meet in Daniels’ home, where he has converted a storage room into the ritual chamber in which he performs ceremonies including devil worshipping weddings and Satanic exorcisms.

Daniels says that he was attracted to Satanism after a deadly encounter with an armed thief sent him on a quest for answers

Seeking a way to come to terms with ending another person’s life, he began to see a therapist and turned to a variety of religions – all of whom suggested he should have turned the other cheek.

Daniels said: “I tried to find solace and I was told that I had committed the sin of wrath by the Christians and the Buddhists – even by my mom.”

Instead he found comfort in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, whose motto is ‘self preservation is the highest law’.

Daniels is married, and his wife is fully on board, but having a father that is a Satanic high priest has been very rough on their daughter Amber

“When I was six because I was given the Baphomet [an ancient deity, traditionally depicted as a horned goat] necklace in first grade and I wore it to school and was told by a teacher that I wasn’t allowed to wear it so I had to take it off and put it in my backpack.

“In sixth grade my grandma got me to go to my local bookstore and was able to get my full name printed on the Holy Bible – which my parents threw away.”

But before you start feeling tempted to feel sorry for this family, you should keep reading.

The truth is that Daniels is not a pleasant man.  In fact, he openly admits that he purposely commits blasphemy and that his entire goal is to offend God…

He said: “I have ritualistically burned the Holy Bible, the Qu’ran, the Talmed, the Torah, Buddhist Sutra’s, different Hindu Sutra’s you name it, I’ve burned it out of blasphemy.

“I am not responsible for God and no God is responsible for me.

“Through my words and my deeds, I am offending God and that is my whole goal, to make his people miserable, to bring about apostates, to bring about anguish.”

At one time, nuts like Daniels would have been a very rare anomaly, but times have changed.

Today there are Satanic communities that gather from coast to coast, and the following is how the Los Angeles Times described one of these gatherings in the L.A. area…

In November, in the candlelit basement of a house just above the Silver Lake Reservoir, Alexandra James walked over to an altar where her husband, Zachary, waited near a bleached human skull, teeth locked in eternal rictus. From the altar, she lifted a sword and drew points across his chest while a circle of onlookers watched solemnly (well, a few giggled too). An organist played eerie minor key chords and Alexandra turned to face the group.

“On this altar we consecrate swords to direct the fire of our unholy will,” she said. “A human skull, symbol of death. The great mother Lilith created us all, and will destroy us all.”

“Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hail Satan!” The group chanted back.

So how many people are we actually talking about nationwide?

Well, there is not a single national organization, but all major Satanic groups have claimed large increases in membership since the election of Donald Trump.

In particular, the Satanic Temple reported gaining “thousands” of new members within the first 36 hours of Trump’s victory…

The Satanic Temple attracted “thousands” of new members in just the first 36 hours after the election of Donald Trump, according to co-founder Lucien Greaves. The 4-year-old temple, which had a pre-Trump membership of around 50,000, has never before seen a spike in registration nearly this big.

“It’s crazy,” Greaves said after a speech in front of some adoring fans at CU-Boulder. The emails, registrations, donations and social media posts are pouring in faster than the temple can respond. “People have a desperate need for something to rally to right now.”

Right now, membership in the Satanic Temple is somewhere around 100,000, and it has become a hub for the anti-Trump resistance.

Of course most have joined various Satanic groups for spiritual reasons.  Today there is a tremendous spiritual hunger in America, but Americans are also leaving traditional churches at a staggering pace.  People are looking for authenticity, but they aren’t finding it in the traditional places, and so many are seeking out new options.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans are deciding that Satanism is the answer, and that is a very, very troubling sign.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9361

BIBLE BOMBSHELL: Archaeologists unearth site of Jesus’ ‘water into wine’ miracle

THE RIDDLE of the site of Jesus’ ‘first miracle’ has baffled religious scholars for centuries. By Tom Fish / Published 30th August 2018

But now academics claim to have solved the millennia-old mystery, bolstering the case for the New Testament’s historical accuracy.

The Gospel of John famously recounts the story of Jesus Christ turning water into wine during the Wedding at Cana.

In the account, Jesus, his mother Mary and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine.

Pilgrims have for hundreds of years believed the miracle site to be Kafr Kanna, a town in northern Israel near the Sea of Galilee.

“We have uncovered a large Christian veneration cave complex”

Archeologist Dr Tom McCollough

But in a bombshell development, archaeologists now believe the Cana of biblical times to actually be a dusty hillside five miles further north.

And our pictures show precisely the location of the incredible find.

A number of compelling clues suggest the site is actually Khirbet Qana, a Jewish village which existed between the years of 323 BC and AD 324.

Excavations have revealed a network of tunnels used for Christian worship, marked with crosses and references to Kyrie Iesou, a Greek phrase meaning Lord Jesus.

There was also an altar and a shelf with the remains of a stone vessel, plus room for five more.

Pen News

MYSTERY: An altar marked with a cross in a tunnels has been unearthed

Pen News/Alfred Muller

NEW TESTAMENT: The site where Jesus changed water into wine has been found

Six stone jars like this held the wine in the biblical account of the miracle.

Dr Tom McCollough, who is directing excavations at the site, said there were three other sites with a credible claim to being the Cana of scripture.

“But none has the ensemble of evidence that makes such a persuasive case for Khirbet Qana,” he said.

“We have uncovered a large Christian veneration cave complex that was used by Christian pilgrims who came to venerate the water-to-wine miracle.

“This complex was used at the beginning of the late fifth or early 6th Century and continued to be used by pilgrims into the 12th Century Crusader period.

“The pilgrim texts we have from this period that describe what pilgrims did and saw when they came to Cana of Galilee match very closely what we have exposed as the veneration complex.”

As part of his evidence, Dr McCollough points to the work of first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

He said: “His references to Cana align geographically with the location of Khirbet Qana and align logically with his movements.

“The reference to Cana in Josephus, the New Testament and in the rabbinic texts would argue the village was a Jewish village, near the Sea of Galilee and in the region of lower Galilee.

“Khirbet Qana fulfills all of these criteria.”

As for the better-known site at Kafr Kanna, Dr McCollough is sceptical.

“When tourists visiting Israel today are taken to Cana, they are taken to Kafr Kanna,” he said.

“However, this site was not recognized as a pilgrimage site for those seeking Cana until the 1700s.

“At this point the Franciscans were managing Christian pilgrimage and facilitating easy passage rather than historical accuracy.”

Dr McCollough believes the discoveries at Khirbet Qana could even bolster the case for the historicity of the Gospel of John.

He said: “Our excavations have shown that this was in fact a thriving Jewish village located in the heart of much of Jesus’ life and ministry.

“For the Gospel of John, Cana is in some ways, Jesus’ safe place or operational centre. It is a place he and his disciples return to when they encounter resistance in Judea.

“I would argue our excavations warrant at least a reconsideration of the historical value of John’s references to Cana and Jesus.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9359

NATO Confirms Russian Naval Buildup Off Syria, Calls for Restraint

‘It is important that all actors in the region exercise restraint and refrain from worsening an already disastrous humanitarian situation in Syria,’ a NATO spokesman told Haaretz in a statement

Haaretz

Aug 29, 2018 9:56 AM

NATO confirmed a large scale Russian navy buildup in the Mediterranean Sea off Syria on Tuesday. “The Russian Navy has dispatched substantial naval forces to the Mediterranean, including several ships equipped with modern cruise missiles,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu confirmed to Haaretz in a statement.

Russian media on Tuesday called the deployment Moscow’s largest naval buildup since it entered the Syrian conflict in 2015. The reinforcement comes as Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is believed to be considering an assault on the last big rebel-held enclave, Idlib in the north.

Lungescu said, “Many NATO Allies border the Mediterranean, and our navies constantly operate there, so we monitor naval activity in the region, including that of Russia.”

“We will not speculate on the intention of the Russian fleet, but it is important that all actors in the region exercise restraint and refrain from worsening an already disastrous humanitarian situation in Syria,” added the spokesperson.

“NATO is not present in Syria, but we support the efforts of the United Nations to achieve a lasting political resolution to the conflict.”

Russia claimed on Monday that the U.S. is preparing for a possible strike on Syria. Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by agencies as saying that the USS Ross, a guided-missile destroyer, had entered the Mediterranean on Aug. 25 armed with 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles capable of hitting any target in Syria.

Russian intervention

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that the Russian military was in talks with leaders of armed groups in Syria’s rebel-held Idlibprovince to reach a peace settlement, Russian news agency RIA reported.

Shoigu said the aim of the Idlib talks was to reach peaceful resolution similar to the settlements in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta and Deraa, RIA said.

The Russian Navy has dispatched the biggest task force to the Mediterranean Sea since the start of Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict in September 2015, Russian daily Izvestia reported.

* The task force includes 13 warships and two submarines

* Most of the ships carry ‘Kalibr’ cruise missiles

* Several more ships are reportedly on their way to join the task force

* Izvestia cites military experts as saying the fleet will be able to support the Syrian army’s campaign in rebel-held Idlib Province

* Russia intervened in the Syrian Civil War in 2015 backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9355

IDF’s New Missile Corps: “Revolutionizing Modern Warfare”

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 29, 2018 , 4:25 pm

Of David. Blessed is Hashem, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for warfare. Psalms 144:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel has announced that within a few years it will have a remote firing missile system that could precisely hit targets anywhere in the entire region. Intended to counter Hezbollah’s vast arsenal of mid to long range rockets, at least one military analyst thinks Israel’s new missiles are a significant game-changer.

The Defense Ministry announced on Monday that it signed a deal with Israel Military Industries (IMI) for surface-to-surface missiles that could hit targets from a distance of 18-93 miles. The exact cost of the new system was not disclosed but the ministry said it was “hundreds of millions of shekels” and would be delivered “in a few years.”

“This precision firepower significantly improves the IDF’s capabilities and enables precise impact on remote launch, immediate availability and low mission cost compared to other combat systems,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“We are acquiring and developing precision fire systems that will enable the IDF… within a few years to cover any point in the region,” added Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Hadashot news reported that among the missiles purchased were multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) with a range of 25 miles. Able to fire 18 rockets per minute with a 44-lb warhead, the rockets are precision-guided by GPS.

It was also reported that the Defense Ministry is interested in acquiring Extended Range Artillery (EXTRA) missiles that have a maximum range of 93 miles and can carry a 265-lb warhead. The EXTRA missiles will cost an estimated $300,000 per rocket.

Another missile system being considered is the Predator Hawk, a tactical ballistic missile with a range of 186 miles.

A long-range missile system has long been considered by the IDF. More accurate than artillery and without the risk of sending a human pilot into harm’s way, remotely fired missiles are intended to counter Hezbollah’s reported arsenal of hundreds of thousands of low-tech rockets.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has been proposing a “missile corp” since he first entered the Knesset as a member 15 years ago. Yediot, a Hebrew language news service, reported in January that Liberman approved a half billion shekel budget to jumpstart the missile program.

In an article published on Wednesday titled “Analysis: IDF’s New Missile Corps Will Revolutionize How Israel Wages War,”  Yaakov Katz, defense analyst and editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, praised the new IDF initiative.

“Years from now, it will also likely be looked at as one of the most significant decisions Avigdor Liberman will have made as Israel’s defense minister,” Katz wrote .

Katz explained that use of the missiles will free up the Air Force for more strategic missions. The missiles will fall under the purview of the IDF ground forces allowing for more effective coordination with the missile corp.

“Considering how Hezbollah and Hamas operate, this is a huge advantage,” Katz wrote. “It will take some time before we see these rockets in action, but one thing can be said about Liberman’s decision: Israel is once again revolutionizing modern warfare.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9353

Are Turkey and the USA on a collision course? Not necessarily

Where are we headed? The Brunson crisis has gone on for several weeks – does Erdogan really think Trump will concede?

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, 27/08/18 13:08 | updated: 16:03

Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (“Father of the Turks”) – in 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire during WWI (1917). He led Turkey into the modern age by abandoning Islam and using constitutional and governmental means to force a secular nationalist agenda on the country’s citizens. The secular state allowed many of the things prohibited by Islam, such as the sale of alcoholic beverages and their consumption in public, civil marriages, casinos and betting, while some of the things permitted by Islam became illegal, such as polygamy and child marriage.

As the years passed, the demographic makeup of the country changed, and the mostly liberal and secular urban public declined in number due to a lowered birth rate and high rate of emigration, while the rural public, more traditional and religiously observant, increased and gained strength due to its high birthrate and low level of emigration. This cultural change was reflected in the 1996 elections when Necmettin Erbakan, head of the Islamic Welfare Party, was elected prime minister and deposed in 1997, the following year.

Erbakan’s pupil, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, head of  the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was elected prime minister in March 2003 and served  for two terms until August 2014, when he was elected President – one whose authority is steadily expanding as time goes on. The renewal of an Islamist party regime in a state which had an 80 year tradition of a secular government caused consternation in the West among leaders, journalists, intellectuals and academics who feared a Turkish version of the 1979 Iranian revolution that brought Khomeni to power.  In order to calm them down, Erdogan decided to play both sides simultaneously – at least in public.

Playing both sides in the religious sphere

In order to  assuage the fears of those inside Turkey and outside of it who were concerned about his becoming president, Erdogan ran a clever election campaign which included holding a press conference during daylight hours in the month of the Ramadan fast where he enjoyed  a sandwich in full view of the assembled  photographers and media representatives. Audible sighs of relief were heard worldwide, with no one understanding that this did not prevent him from simultaneously being a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist – and in fact, some time later, Erdogan admitted that the sandwich was a publicity stunt meant to soothe Western nerves. Playing both sides…

In the military sphere

Tiurkey is a full-fledged member of NATO and an honorary member from its founding. The Incirlik Air Base in Turkey was the front line position of NATO forces against the USSR, and U2 and SR71 planes took off from the base to missions above the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies, without any of those countries being capable of intercepting the high flying planes.

When the Islamist Party took over the Turkish regime, Turkey’s relations with the West became complicated, starting with the Erdogan regime’s decision to stop NATO forces from invading Iraq from Turkish soil. This came as a great surprise to the US, causing a major change in the plans for the Second Gulf War.  Erdogan did not leave NATO, but did not cooperate with any of the organization’s military plans in any Islamic state: Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria.  Simultaneously, a member and a non- participant. Playing both sides…

Relations with Middle Eastern states

Turkey is attempting to gain recognition as a regional power overseeing the area’s other countries on the basis of 1) its national pride 2) j400 years of historical consciousness as an Empire (1517-1917) and 3) political Islamic ideology which leads Erdogan to believe that he alone is fulfilling Allah’s will.

The Arab regimes have understood Erdogan’s motives since 2003 and he has them greatly concerned. Bashar Assad had an excellent relationship with him until 2011, with the need for visas waived for Turks visiting Syria and vice versa. This is unusual in Arab states, where a visa is always necessary to travel from one to another. Erdogan blew a fuse, however, when Assad the Alawite began butchering his Sunni Muslim citizens and particularly Muslim Brotherhood members, Erdogan’s ideological brothers. At that point, all the former agreements vanished into thin air, and in 2014, Erdogan even supported ISIS.

Erdogan has a dual relationship with Egypt as well: He wholeheartedly supported Morsi, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president from late June 2012 till early July 2013, and has an ongoing feud with al-Sisi who deposed Morsi. This is not about the relations between Turkey and Egypt, but is concentrated on the personal relationship between Erdogan and whoever rules Egypt. Everything is personal and revolves around the ideological preferences of one person – Erdogan.

Erdogan’s special love is reserved for Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan supports and helps them wholeheartedly in every way he can, although he is careful not to transfer funds to them so as not to go up against the US law that forbids transferring funds to Hamas as they are listed as a terrorist organization.

The most extreme incident was the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship filled with IHH terrorists that tried to sail through the blockade on Gaza in May 2010. On the one hand Erdogan has diplomatic relations with Israel and on the other, he supports those who call for its destruction. Playing both sides…

When it comes to Israel, Erdogan plays both sides in other ways. Turkish construction companies, headed by Yilmaz, build upscale office buildings in the center of Tel Aviv, Turkish factories manufacture clothes, food and electric appliances for Israeli companies. On the other hand, however, Erdogan sends tens of millions of dollars to support Islamic resistance to Israeli rule in East Jerusalem, an inseparable part of Israel’s capital, its faith and history.

Playing both sides in Europe and the US

Erdogan’s dream is to be accepted to the European Union so that he can reap economic benefits from joining one of the world’s strongest and largest economic bodies. Up until the economic crisis of 2008, Erdogan was insulted to the depths of his soul if some European leader said something against Turkey joining the EU, because he realized that Europe did not want to give him the opportunity to export millions of Muslims to Europe and speed up its Islamization.

On the other hand, when Greece was in dire economic straits and needed massive European economic aid, Erdogan was glad not to be an EU member. The last thing he wants to do is to help the Greek Christians he hates so much. He wants to be accepted to the EU, but not really….

Then came the migrant wave of 2015 that flooded Europe with over 1 million refugees, some of them Syrian but most of them Iraqi, Afghan or Pakistanis who, if they managed to survive crossing the Aegean Sea, landed in small, rickety boats on the Greek coast. Where did they sail from? Syria? Iraq?   Not at all. They embarked on the dangerous sea journey from Turkey, the country they fled to from their collapsing states. According to international law, the minute a refugee arrives in a functioning state, he may not be expelled from it and must be granted refuge within its borders. In other words, all the hundreds of thousands of refugees who reached Greece were sent on their way by Turkey, which is not in a state of war.

Do you get it? Erdogan, the celebrated Islamist, sent hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, the overwhelming majority of them Muslim, to drown (remember the little boy with the red shirt lying on the shore?) or to reach heretic European states.

Why didn’t the Europeans stop the Erdogan-created migrant wave before it hit their shores? Who knows.

Later on, they paid him a billion euro to stop the migration from Turkey to Europe. He took the money and continued sending migrants. Why? Because that is the way to turn Europe into a Muslim continent. Why did he want to do this? Because he is an Islamist.

Then US  President Barack Obama, said not a word against Erdogan and the wave of immigrants he created. Conspiracy theorists will tell you that Obama, like Erdogan, wanted Europe to become Islamic. The extensive reports in the media about the refugee wave helped Trump win the election, because he spoke of stopping the lesser wave of migrants that reached North America. Trump knew who was responsible for the wave of migrants, and it makes sense to infer that his opinion of Erdogan already began to be forged during that period.

The personal aspect of the issue cannot be ignored. Trump and Erdogan are both extremely sure of themselves and their ideas, two men whose style of leadership is at once personal, loud and emotional. They both love to speak straight to their supporters, rallying them to whatever cause they are espousing and radicalizing their opinions.  The chance that the two will have a head on collision  is  the same as the probability that two billy goats trying to cross a narrow bridge from opposing ends will bump into one another.

Trump’s opinion of Islamist leaders is well known. He has the same level of affection for Erdogan as he has for the Iranian mullahs, but instead of taking that into account, Erdogan has done everything he can to infuriate the US president. In Syria, Erdogan collaborates with the Russians, says nothing about the heavy bombing that shattered the US-supported anti-Assad forces, and battles the Syrian Kurds although he is aware that the US that armed them so they would fight ISIS.

Erdogan came out loudly and publicly against Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and once it was a fait accompli, called a conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) representing 57 Islamic states in order to condemn Trump’s action and work against it. What was he thinking? That Trump would send a recorded blessing to the conference?

That’s when the Pastor Brunson issue surfaced. Erdogan has had him incarcerated since 2016, at first in prison and now under house arrest, for allegedly taking part in the rebellion against the government. I do not know what really happened there, but it seems that Trump simply does not believe that a Christian leader, whose activities are totally religion-oriented, would take part in a military coup. Trump convinced Israel to release a woman suspected of transferring funds to Hamas, expecting the quid pro quo to be Brunson’s release, but that did not happen. What was Erdogan thinking?  That a leader whose voters are in a large part Evangelists would give up the efforts to release an Evangelist pastor?  Yet the Brunson crisis has gone on for several weeks – does Erdogan really think Trump will concede?

Trump took the economic steps he knows how to do without burning all his bridges, from sanctions against two ministers to a tax on metals. These are sanctions that can be stopped in a moment, but Erdogan has not given in and is ready to sacrifice his country’s economy on the altar of his inflated ego. The Turkish lira is in a state of collapse, the stock market has crashed, Qatar – another terror and Muslim Brotherhood sponsoring country – is offering aid, but Erdogan has not yet freed Bronsun.

Where are we headed? It looks as though there are behind the scenes contacts whose goal is to find a solution, but it is clear that Trump does not see Erdogan as a partner despite his formal NATO membership. He may even have given the USAF orders to prepare for the day Erdogan expels the US from Incirlik – yes, even that is being talked about by some voices in Turkey.

It is possible that some kind of solution will be found, one that allows both leaders to preserve their honor and images. It will not be easy, but from this important podium I would like to humbly suggest a solution to the two of them:  Bronsun has a weak heart, he is beginning to feel ill, his health is deteriorating and his llfe is endangered. Erdogan can arrange the “patient’s” medical transfer to Europe as a lifesaving goodwill gesture and after two days of tests in the US army hospital in Germany, Trump can remove the sanctions, welcome Bronsun and let Erdogan come out a winner as well. Playing both sides again – but so what?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9350

Russian Warships Heading for Syria

 

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 26, 2018 , 3:44 pm

“You are My war club, [My] weapons of battle; With you I clubbed nations, With you I destroyed kingdoms.” Jeremiah 51:20 (The Israel Bible™)

Russian warship preparing to sail (Photo by Shutterstock)

It was reported Turkey sighted three Russian warships passing through the Bosporus last Thursday en route to Syria.

Debka File, an Israeli military intelligence website, reported on Saturday that the armada, composed of the Krivak Class Pytlivy missile frigate, the Tapir class LST (tank landing ship) Orsk, and a landing craft, the Nikolai FilchenkoThe Filchenko is the largest landing craft in the Russian fleet capable of transporting 300 soldiers and either 20 tanks and trucks or 40 armored personnel carriers.

“Debka File’s military sources conclude that the two large Russian landing craft consigned from the Black Sea to Syria are almost certainly carrying Russian marines or special forces for attacking rebel groups in Idlib from the sea or the coast,” the site reported.

Idlib is one of the final holdouts for rebel troops fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Russia already has a significant military presence in Syria to support Assad. Debka reported that approximately 60-70,000 Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels with heavy weaponry and armored vehicles have reportedly answered a call by the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization to begin an offensive to conquer Aleppo and Hama. The rebels are supported militarily and financially by Turkey. The conflict in Syria has set Russia and Turkey increasingly at odds.

The US Navy’s destroyer Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles on its board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago and a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force armed with AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface missiles was redeployed to the Al Udeid air base in Qatar

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Israel’s Natural Water Reserves Lowest in 100 Years

By Tazpit Press Service August 27, 2018 , 10:55 am

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel’s natural water reserves are at a deficit of 2.5 billion cubic meters – the largest in 100 years, Israel’s Water Authority said Sunday.

The extreme deficit is down to the drought which has been plaguing Israel for the past five years, with some of the country’s streams and rivers on the brink of reaching historically low levels of waterflow.

While the forecasts for precipitation may predict a slight amelioration in the drought, the Water Authority said that even a year of average rainfall will leave the Sea of Galilee’s water level beneath the “lower red line” – the absolute lowest water level which allows for pumping water from the lake. According to the Water Authority, the 160 square kilometer lake’s level is dropping by as much as a centimeter a day.

The Water Authority said that while in neighboring countries, water supplies had also been disrupted, Israel is successfully dealing with the challenges posed by the drought, as 70% of the water consumed by Israelis originates in one of five major desalination plants constructed in Israel over the past year.

A plan to deal with the crisis was approved by the government in June, in which the department of energy will construct two additional desalination plants that will pump some 100 million cubic meters of desalinated sea water into the lake’s tributaries.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9344

Naval experts concerned over China’s increasing presence in Mediterranean

The workshop held at the University of Haifa studied and assessed the issues concerning the future and character of maritime warfare in the region as well as various strategic developments.

By Anna Ahronheim

August 23, 2018 15:28

Israeli navy patrol vessels take part in a drill simulating the targeting of an infiltrated enemy vessel and the evacuation of a patrol boat, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Ashdod, southern Israel November 8, 2016.. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The increasing presence of China in the Mediterranean region as part of the Asian giant’s Belt and Road Initiative should be a cause of concern, experts told The Jerusalem Post this week.

“What concerns us is China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its growing role in Israel’s maritime domain, especially the operating of Haifa port,” Rear Admiral (Ret.) Prof. Shaul Chorev told the Post during a two-day workshop held by the University of Haifa-Hudson Institute Consortium on the Eastern Mediterranean (Hudson Institute and the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy).

Under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Action Plan released in 2015, China’s “new Silk Road” will connect Beijing with 68 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe via land routes (the “Belt”) and maritime routes (the “Road”) with the goal of improving trade relationships primarily through infrastructure investments.

According to a report by the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), a leading German think tank, the Chinese workers building the network of infrastructure developments as part of the multi-billion dollar initiative are secured by 3,200 Chinese – many of them veterans of China’s People’s Liberation Army – employed by 20 registered private security companies.

These security companies operate in places like Sudan, Pakistan and Iraq, where the risk of kidnapping or attacks against Chinese workers is high due to political unrest.

In Israel, China has invested in major infrastructure projects including the expansion of Haifa and Ashdod ports, the construction of the Mount Carmel tunnels in Haifa, and the building of the Tel Aviv light rail. Elsewhere in the Middle East, including Turkey, various Gulf emirates and Iran – which is China’s top trading partner – Beijing has similarly been active in building infrastructure projects.

According to Admiral (res.) Gary Roughead, who served as the 29th Chief of Naval Operations and Commander of the United States Fleet Forces Command, the ability to collect information by civilian systems from military systems should be of concern to both Israel and the United States.

“In a world in which so much depends on how information moves, the types of systems we are using and the ability to collect information and intelligence from those systems is of significant concern,” warned Roughhead, who today teaches at the University of Haifa-Hudson Institute Consortium on the Eastern Mediterranean, and is the Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow at the Hoover Institute, an American public policy think tank and research institution located at Stanford University in California.

“It’s not just someone listening in, but what is the technology being used in commercial systems which can bleed into military systems. How vulnerable are they to interference? It’s not something that just Israel and the Port of Haifa should be concerned about. What is being tested on an Israeli warship and how easily can those signals be picked up? What are the mechanisms in place to prevent that?”

The workshop, held at the University of Haifa, assessed the future of maritime warfare in the region as well as various strategic developments. The workshop also examined ways in which Israel and the United States can cooperate in the maritime domain.
According to Douglas Feith, director at the Center for National Security Strategies at the Hudson Institute, some civilian cyber-defense technology used for commercial purposes “are the top of the line that militaries should adapt and use for their own purposes.”

Ties and trade between Israel and China have increased dramatically in the past few years. According to data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, exports to China reached $2.8 billion in the first half of 2018, a 73% increase compared to the previous year.

While visiting Beijing in 2017, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said China accounts for one-third of the investment in Israel’s high-tech sector.

The Belt and Road initiative, Feith added, must be looked at from various perspectives.

“If you are going to look at phenomena like this initiative, you should look at it from all points of view,” he said. “Most militaries use civilian technology, and that’s one reason why the Chinese favor economic activities like expanding ports. These are not only commercial, but commercial with military implications.”

 

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