Category: Islam

Iran and Saudi Arabia Revisit Their Strategies

By Dr. James M. Dorsey January 24, 2018

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 723, January 24, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Expressions of support for the Iranian anti-government protests by US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have provided grist for Iranian claims that the protests were instigated by foreign powers. The assertions, while largely baseless, nonetheless offer insight into the very different strategies adopted by Iran and Saudi Arabia in their vicious struggle for regional dominance.

There is little doubt that the Iranian protests were fueled by widespread economic grievances, and Iran’s detractors abroad resembled not always helpful fans on the sidelines. In fact, Saudi Arabia, Iran’s nemesis, was the one opponent of the Islamic Republic to refrain from joining those fans publicly in a bid to stop the regime in Tehran from using it as a scapegoat. The Iranian leadership pointed a finger at the kingdom anyway, and in so doing illustrated the dynamics of the Iranian-Saudi rivalry.

Both the Iranian and the Saudi approaches to their rivalry are in flux. Protesters in Iran challenged the government’s heavy expenditure on propping up allies like Syrian President Bashar Assad and funding proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen, not to mention proselytization campaigns in West Africa.

The protests are unlikely to change Iranian policy, which the country’s leaders view as the crux of their defense strategy in Iran’s covert wars with the US and Saudi Arabia. Those wars have been ongoing since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the shah – an icon of now waning US power in the region.

Nonetheless, Iranian leaders will have to take public grievances into account even if the protests peter out. Rather than touting its regional successes publicly, Tehran is likely to be more circumspect about its foreign involvements. While that will not change things on the ground, it may contribute over time to a lessening of tensions.

Despite the protests, Iran has little reason to change facts on the ground. With access to the world’s most advanced weapons systems severely restricted for decades because of sanctions and boycotts, some in response to provocative Iranian actions and policies and others part of regional power struggles, Iran has sought to fight its battles far from its borders. Many Iranians bought into the argument that that policy had largely shielded their country from the instability and jihadism wracking the rest of the region.

Simultaneous Islamic State attacks last June on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, which killed 12 people, were viewed as exceptions that proved the rule. That perception has changed, however, among a significant segment of the population. Protesters demanded that funds allocated to Iran’s defense doctrine and enhancement of its regional influence be invested instead in improving deteriorating living standards.

“Our military doctrine is…based on historical experience: During the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein rained Soviet-made missiles on our cities, some of them carrying chemical components provided by the West. The world not only kept silent, but also no country would sell Iran weapons to enable us to at least deter the aggressor. We learned our lesson,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in The New York Times weeks before the protests erupted.

Speaking recently at a Brookings Institution seminar in Washington, Iranian-American journalist Maziar Bahari described Iran’s doctrine as a more brutal and militarized version of the late Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion’s policy of the periphery: in the absence of relations with Israel’s neighbors, he sought to forge ties with neighbors of the neighbors.

Zarif represents the view of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s pragmatic government, a view shared by conservatives as part of a far greater ambition that they have no compunction about articulating.

In a column in the conservative Tehran Times entitled “What makes Iran stronger than Saudi Arabia?”, sociologist and journalist Muhammad Mazhari argued that “the Saudi regime has no comprehension that money cannot replace ideological values.” By contrast, Mazhari wrote, “there are common ties between Iran and Hezbollah, but the crux of those ties is not monetary. What drives Iran is not a superficial goal; it is working hard to restore the empire, but this time culturally, while Saudi Arabia and its alliances have no clear vision nor project in the Middle East save for keeping their thrones.”

Prince Muhammad vowed, months before Zarif articulated Iran’s defense doctrine, that the fight with Iran would take place “inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.” In so doing, the crown prince was playing on deep-seated Iranian fears rooted in a history of foreign intervention that stretches from ancient to modern times as well as highlighting the fundamentally different Saudi and Iranian strategies.

Since coming to power in 2015, Prince Muhammad has shifted the emphasis of Saudi strategy from 1) long-term cultural and public diplomacy focused on the promotion of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism as an antidote to Iranian Shiite and revolutionary ideology and 2) passive reliance on the US to defend the kingdom by containing Iran to a more assertive confrontation with the Islamic Republic everywhere but in Iran itself.

Prince Muhammad’s approach is a power play based primarily on checkbook diplomacy, pressure tactics, and projection of the kingdom as the custodian of Islam’s holiest cities. It is an approach that is void of any ideology or worldview beyond the need to counter Iran and support autocratic or authoritarian rule in a bid to ensure the survival of the royal family’s rule.

Prince Muhammad’s approach has so far produced mixed results at best. His effort to force a political crisis in Lebanon by pressuring Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign backfired. King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the crown prince’s demand that they not attend an Islamic summit in Istanbul convened last month to condemn Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The prince’s one military adventure, the intervention in Yemen, has produced a quagmire, severely tarnished the kingdom’s image, and even provoked criticism from one of his greatest fans, President Trump. Egypt has adopted an independent foreign policy that is at times at odds with positions adopted by Saudi Arabia despite being financially dependent on the kingdom.

Hanging in the balance is the question whether Prince Muhammad’s declaration last year that he wants to return the kingdom to a yet undefined moderate form of Islam means he will introduce an ideological element to his strategy that would replace the increasingly problematic propagation of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism.

It’s a tall order in a country whose religious establishment and culture is steeped in ultra-conservatism despite support for more relaxed religious and social codes among a significant segment of a predominantly young population.

A successful redefinition of Islam would not only significantly enhance confidence in Prince Muhammad’s ability to change the nature of Saudi society and economy but also strengthen the kingdom in its struggle with Iran, which – despite being fought as a zero-sum game – can only be resolved with an agreement that recognizes both Saudi Arabia and Iran as key regional players.

Economics rather than Tehran’s rivalry with Riyadh and hostility towards the US and Israel is at the crux of the anti-government protests in Iran. Nevertheless, the protests are likely to force Iranian leaders to repackage their foreign involvements at a time when Prince Muhammad is seeking to revamp his kingdom as part of an economic and political survival strategy. In the longer term, that could unintentionally create building blocks for the lowering of tensions in a dispute that has wreaked havoc across the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8988

END TIMES SHOWDOWN: US Vetoes United Nations Vote For Withdraw Of Trump Decision To Recognize Jerusalem

The U.N. draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

by Geoffrey Grider December 18, 2017

The United States was further isolated on Monday over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: 14 of the 15 permanent voting members of the United Nations voted today to overturn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Only member number 1 vetoed the vote, and Amb. Nikki Haley was awesome. Oh, that burdensome stone that God said would split the world apart in the last days is getting heavier and heavier. Jerusalem, Jerusalem…it’s almost time. But first, the Rapture of the Church.

The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote, adding that it was the first veto cast by the United States in more than six years.

“The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council,” Haley said.

The U.N. draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world and concern among Washington’s western allies.

“In the wake of the decision of the United States … the situation has become more tense with an increase in incidents, notably rockets fired from Gaza and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces,” U.N. Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council ahead of the vote.

Emergency General Assembly Session

Trump also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft U.N. resolution had called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley and Trump for the veto in a video clip posted on his Facebook page.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Following the U.S. veto, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Arab states, which had agreed earlier this month to seek a Security Council resolution, would meet to evaluate the situation to determine what their next steps might be.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians would seek a rare emergency special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Trump’s decision.

Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.

Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on Israeli actions in occupied Palestinian territories. Any outcome of such a session is non-binding, but carries political weight

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8913

Palestinian claims to Jerusalem lose Saudi as well as US support

Dec 16, 2017 @ 15:07 Donald Trump, Gaza, Jared Kushner, Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas, Mike Pence, Saudi Prince Salman, West Bank, Western Wall

The Palestinians have three major grievances with the Trump administration on Jerusalem, but are most irked by Saudi backing for the Trump peace plan.

Palestine rage over President Donald Trump Jerusalem decisions was further fueled Friday, Dec. 17 by the comment from Washington: “We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But, as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.”   It came with the announcement that Vice President Mike Pence will pay a visit to the Western Wall next Wednesday’ Dec. 20, during his Middle East tour.
Not too long ago, President Trump himself visited the Western wall on May 22. But then, American security officers excluded their Israeli counterparts from safeguarding the visit, claiming it took place outside Israeli territory. border. Eight months later, Trump has restored Israel’s sovereignty to the Western Wall, which encloses the hallowed compound of  the last Jewish Temple, in time for his vice president to pray there.
For the Palestinians, this is another Trump-administration shift in Israel’s favor and its consequent loss of credibility as an honest broker for the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah reiterated this position Saturday, after announcing a boycott of the Pence visit and severing contact with Washington – a position they can’t really afford to sustain for long.
But what is really irking them even more than the Trump administration’s pro-Israeli stance on Jerusalem is its endorsement by their longstanding champion, Riyadh. The impression gaining ground in recent weeks is that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has reached an understanding with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) on a new plan for resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, which departs fundamentally from the traditional core issues that scuttled all past peace processes.

The first inkling of such a plan came on the pages of the The New York Times of Nov. 11, under the title “Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan.” This plan was described as pushing ahead on the fast track due to three factors:

  1. Its support by the Saudi crown prince and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi.
  2. The uncertainty of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s future in the face of long-running police probes against him.
  3. The constant erosion of Mahmoud Abbas’ standing as Palestinian Authority Chairman, whose rapidly diminishing popularity, due to his advanced age of 82 and the corruption rife in Ramallah, is reflected in the latest Palestinian opinion poll on Dec. 7-10. (70 percent want him to retire: 84 percent on the West Bank and 26 percent in the Gaza Strip).

Washington has therefore chosen a moment of leadership weakness to push ahead with its plans to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
A week before the NYT report, Abbas (Abu Mazen) paid an urgent visit to Riyadh to meet Prince Muhammed. Since then, a continuous stream of tidbits is emanating from their conversation. According to one report, the Saudi prince put before the Palestinian leader an American-Saudi blueprint. It proclaims Abu Dis, a village located on the fringes of east Jerusalem, as the capital of the future Palestinian state. That state would have limited sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, while all the Jewish communities would remain in place. East Jerusalem would not be declared its capital; and the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” was dropped, as was mention of the pre-1967 boundaries.

Notwithstanding flat Palestinian denials of all these reports, they continue to gain ground and credence. The picture emerging from the Saudi prince’s conversation with Abu Mazen is taking shape as underlining the following points:

  • The old Saudi-Arab League peace plan of 2003 is a dead letter;
  • Riyadh has dropped its demand that Israel accept a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital;
  • Since the original Saudi Peace proposal which the prince called Plan A was dead, it is necessary to move forward to Plan B.
  • Plan B is essentially as follows: The State of Palestine would be established in the Gaza Strip plus large tracts of territory to be annexed from northern Sinai. Egypt has agreed to this outline. This deal would essentially render irrelevant the Palestinian demand to restore the pre-1967 boundaries for their state.
  • When Abu Mazen asked what would happen to the West Bank, MbS reportedly replied: “We can continue to negotiate about this.”
  • And when he pressed further: What about Jerusalem, the settlements, Areas B and C, the answer was: “These will be issues for negotiation between two states, and we will help you.”

These reports are furiously denied by Palestinian officials and, although no other official source, including Prince Muhammad, has verified them, they continue to abound. The Palestinians now have three major grievances against the Trump administration for which they are cutting off ties with Washington in protest:  Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and, now, the declaration of the Western Wall as part of Israel in any political solution. This will be underlined by the Pence visit. Yet neither Washington nor Riyadh shows any sign of backtracking on their far-reaching plan which defies all former conventions.

Abu Mazen is in a jam. Even if he tries to distance himself from Washington, he cannot possibly divorce the Palestinians from the two leading Arab nations, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which would lop off the branches of the Arab tree on which they sit. Doing so might well thrust Ramallah on the path of the anti-West Turkish-Iranian-Hizballah axis and its extremist ideology. There are early signs that his rivals in Gaza, the radical Hamas, may be adopting this path. After Friday prayers in the mosques of Gaza, on Dec. 15, some of the demonstrators at the Israel border force were seen for the first time holding aloft huge placards with depictions of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods. If Iran can gain solid inroads into the Palestinian community at large, its dispute with Israel would assume an entirely new dimension.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8911

One Million Muslims Rage Over Jerusalem While Erdogan Calls Jerusalem “The Capital Of All Muslim Nations”

By Shoebat Foundation on December 11, 2017 in Featured, General, Highlight

One million Muslims raged all over Turkey over “Quds” (Jerusalem). Erdogan even declared that “Jerusalem is the capital of the Muslim world”.

While “Nations are in uproar” (Palms 46:6) over Jerusalem, few even consider that Erdogan last year signed an agreement with Israel to normalize relationships between the two nations. In that agreement it clearly states that Erdogan accepted and understood that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel. The document stated: “This Agreement was concluded in Ankara and Jerusalem on 28 June 2016 …” The agreement said “Ankara and Jerusalem” instead of “Ankara and Tel Aviv”.  Erdogan clearly understood that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel.

 

Anyone can review the documents in Hebrew, English and Turkish here.

So it was Erdogan who recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2016 before Trump recognized it in 2017.

And now Erdogan is calling upon a flood of Muslims, one million in Turkey alone took to the streets over the issue of Jerusalem.

“It spread along the Turkish territory east, west, south and north hundreds of thousands, while the media estimated more than one million participants .” (Daily Sabah)

“From the heart of the capital Ankara, passing through Istanbul to the west and the Black Sea provinces to the north and the south of Diyarbakir and the provinces of the east of the country, the Turkish people continue their unprecedented popular protests against the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Many can be seen with the marks on their foreheads, participants raising Turkish and Palestinian flags, chanting slogans “Death to Israel”, “Jerusalem is an Islamic Arab”, “No one has the right to impose his control over Jerusalem” and “Oh Allah Bismillah”. They also chanted slogans such as “Istanbul to Gaza, peace to Hamas” and “we will liberate al-Aqsa [Jerusalem], even if our blood flowed,” and “Jerusalem is Muslim despite America’s nose”.

Even Morocco (part of Biblical Phut) stormed the streets.

While many might think these demonstrations are simply the regular response normative to the Muslim world. However, Erdogan plans a substantive move besides the ‘traditional response’ of a million or so demonstrating throughout Turkey. The Arab media reveals: “But the most prominent so far is the call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is engaged in a diplomatic campaign, including contact with about 20 leaders around the world to hold an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul next Wednesday, and his desire to come out of the decisions away from just simple traditional slogans and condemnations.” (Al-Quds)

Erdogan declared to the masses his intent to use the O.I.C (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) which represents the Muslims of the world to begin taking some real action even including Jerusalem (not Mecca) as the capital of the Muslim world. In one video he openly declared “Jerusalem is the capital of the Muslim world” and in another he added:

“Through the roadmap to be set by the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation next Wednesday, we will show the world that the implementation of the Trump resolution on Jerusalem, will not be easy at all.” “Jerusalem is the apple of our eyes, and we can not leave it at the mercy of a state [Israel] that kills children. We will not leave Jerusalem to its fate in the face of a state that has no values ​​other than occupation and looting. We will continue our struggle within the framework of the law and the values ​​of democracy,” he continued: ” The Trump Declaration has no effect, and I say to him: Your recognition of Jerusalem as the capital and the transfer of your embassy is of no value to us. “

In a remarkable move, on Saturday and Sunday, Erdogan presented large-scale maps explaining the history and mechanism of how Israel ruled the Holy Land.

Erdogan then contacted some 20 presidents and kings of the Arab and Islamic countries including the Palestinian president, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Qatar, the King of Jordan, the Sudanese, Tunisian, Iranian and Pakistani presidents, the Malaysian prime minister and the head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh. Indonesia and Nigeria. He also telephoned the Russian President, the French and even the Vatican’s Pope and the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Its all about Erdogan wanting to establish a Muslim league and make Jerusalem their central focus. Ezekiel 30:5 and Ezekiel 38 mentions a “league”:

Cush, and Libya, and Lydia [Turkey], and all the mingled people, and Kub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.

We also have the mention of MagogMeshechTubalGomer and Beth Togarmah in Asia Minor or in the landmass between ancient Armenia and Media—in short, the Republics south of Russia and north of Israel, comprised of Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkestan, Chechnya,  etc…

These are whom Erdogan is reaching out to unite with in the future fight over “Al-Quds” (Jerusalem).

In Ezekiel 38 it states in Hebrew “Kush wa-Phut wa-Lud wa-kul ha-Arab wa-Kub wa-Bani eretz ha-beret”.

“Kush” is Sudan and Somalia, “Phut” is Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, “Lud” is Turkey and “ha-Arab” are some “mingled people” and Kub. Kub in the Semitic languages means ‘carved out of the earth’ ‘Wadi’ (canyon) and is Wadi-Kub is in Saudi Arabia where decisive battles between the Arabs and the Ottomans hashed out some battles in the early 1900’s.

وادي قوب, الباحة, منطقة الباحة, السعودية Wadi Kub around hundred miles south of Mecca

The construct from an eastern perspective really starts from the end. What the verse is saying is this;

listen up, it will be all these mingled people from all over the land. They will come in a league; Arabs, Meccan, the dark Sudanese and Somalians, the Turkic peoples (Uzbeks, Gergez, Tadjiks, Bosnians, Albanians …), all the North Africans (Tunisians, Algerians, Libyans, Moroccans and Mauritanians).

It is all coming together and the issue is what God proclaimed: Jerusalem.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8901

Archaeologists Discover Muslim Artifacts Proving Jerusalem’s Jewish Identity

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz December 8, 2017 , 1:04 pm

“In that day I will all but annihilate all the nations that came up against Yerushalayim.” Zechariah 12:9 (The Israel Bible™)

A menorah replica overlooks the eastern wall surrounding the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. (Photo: Joshua Wander)

Israeli archaeologists announced to the press a discovery of 1,300-year-old coins from the Islamic Umayyad Dynasty imprinted with an image of the menorah from the Jewish Temple. This new discovery joins a trove of artifacts that show Muslim acknowledgment of Jerusalem’s Jewish identity.

Assaf Avraham of Bar-Ilan University, and Peretz Reuven of the Hebrew University made their announcement on Wednesday.

“The Jewish symbol which the Muslims were using was the menorah [the gold seven-branch candelabra from the Temple], which appeared on several coins and other early Islamic artifacts,” said Avraham to the Jerusalem Post.

“The menorah coins bear the Shahada Arabic inscription on one side: ‘There is no god but Allah,’ while the menorah appears in the center of the coin. The other side bears the inscription: ‘Muhammad [is the] messenger of God.’”

This is consistent with a find the two archaeologists made last year of pottery shards bearing the inscription the labeled the Nuba Inscription. The inscription found in a mosque near Hebron is believed to have been made in the tenth century and refers to the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim structure built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as “Bayt al-Maqdis”, literally, “The Holy Temple”. The rest of the inscription implies that the Muslim perceived the structure to be an Islamic version of the Jewish Temple.

The university is creating a display of these artifacts and many more that show the Jewish influence on early  Islam.

“They are dated to the early days of the Islamic caliphate, and were in use by Muslims,” said Avraham, noting that the finds are of great importance for understanding the history of Islam.

“We wish that many Muslims will be exposed to this knowledge, which is part of their own religious and cultural heritage,” he continued.

“At the beginning of the Muslim rule, not only didn’t they object to the Jews, but they saw themselves as the continuation of the Jewish people.” They adopted the Jewish narrative and symbols for their own, Avraham said in an interview with Times of Israel. The menorah was a Jewish symbol; its use is testimony that Muslims didn’t have a problem with the Jews, he said

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8893

The Frenzy Over Jerusalem Has Begun. Erdogan Threatens Trump “In Five To Ten Days We Will Gather The Muslim World In Istanbul And We Will Deal With The Issue Of Jerusalem”

U.S. President Donald Trump has just informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a telephone call that he plans to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. This despite all the threats coming from Turkish President Erdogan including  Mahmoud Abbas who warned Trump that the action will have “dangerous consequences.”

Erdogan lashed on Trump today saying: “Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is a red line for all Muslims” as the crowds jeered.

“We will follow this situation until the end” Erdogan said adding “if this step is taken, in 5 to 10 days we will gather the O.I.C [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] in Istanbul. And this will not be enough. We will gather the whole of the Muslim world in this summit. We will continue our struggle till the end and we will end our relationship with Israel”.

But this is not the first time the issue of Jerusalem has come up. In the past US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating that the US embassy should be moved there. But an inbuilt waiver, which allows the president to temporarily postpone the move on grounds of “national security,” has been repeatedly invoked by successive US presidents, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and Barack Obama — meaning the law has never taken effect.

So will Trump simply follow the past and postpone such decision?

It doesn’t seem like it especially after Trump had called Mahmoud Abbas telling him of his decision.

So will we see the Middle East implode as result? At some point in time this will spark “Jerusalem will be a stumbling block to all surrounding nations” (Zechariah 12).

Erdogan is the leader of the O.I.C. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (O.I.C) considered to be the Muslim ‘U.N’ coming second to the United Nations in size and global power.

Erdogan’s use of the OIC as the conduit to dealing with Trump’s decision is no coincidence. In fact it was Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Jerusalem which caused the founding of the OIC in 1969 consisting of 57 member states, the organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world”. It was set up as result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate after World War I which left a vacuum for a pan-Islamic institution. Losing the Six-Day War in 1967 provided the incentive needed where leaders of Muslim nations met in Rabat to establish the OIC on 25 September 1969.

In May this year, Erdogan spoke about the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims around the world and urged more Turks and others to visit the city that “Jerusalem is ‘The first of the two directions of prayer, the second of mosques, the third of sanctuaries’”

This issue will fuel Erdogan to speed up the formation of a Muslim League. We warned last year about Erdogan using Jerusalem to create a Muslim League adding:

“This “league” is a united Muslim states and the O.I.C plays a major role in this affair. Remember the Scriptures: “Cush, and Put, and Lud [Turkey], and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.” (Ezekiel 30:5)

Don’t say that we never told you so, way ahead of time, that you may consider the state of your spiritual affairs by becoming one of the five virgins with oil in their lamps before the coming of the Bridegroom.”

And a league it is. Just as we stated will happen is happening. Erdogan even traveled all over the Muslim world to create such a league. From Saudi Iranian relations to expressing concern at the stand-off between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Erdogan offered to get involved in settling many issues to bring this unity together. And now since the issue of Jerusalem is coming up again this will speed the process.

Erdogan now offers the OIC’s references to self-determination as a means to resolving differences not just over Jerusalem, but Qatar, Kashmir and other crises such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Palestinian problem, Iraq, Syria, the Kurdish issue, the Tibet, Taiwan all the way to Balochistan.

Erdogan said that the OIC is the answer:

“It (OIC) has its area of influence. It has economic and political strengths, it has a say in global matters and it can contribute to world peace. If something has been approved by all member-states, it should not be criticised or questioned. OIC members also have weight in the United Nations. Turkey supports India to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8885

President Donald Trump Will Announce Wednesday That The United States Recognizes Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel

President Trump will first announce that the “United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” according to one of three senior administration officials who spoke with reporters on Tuesday. Second, Trump will direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

by Geoffrey Grider December 5, 2017

President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the State Department will begin a process to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We can now report that President Trump will in fact authorize the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as recognize that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. The process of moving the Embassy will take years to complete, as is the case in all Embassy moves. The Muslim world tonight has issued a multitude of threats against Israel should Trump go forward with his stated agenda. We stand on the precipice of prophetic fulfillment, are YOU ready for what comes next?

Trump will first announce that the “United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” according to one of three senior administration officials who spoke with reporters on Tuesday.

The officials conveyed that the change is a recognition of “reality” — both the historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish faith since ancient times; and the modern reality that the city is the seat of government for Israel, housing its legislature, supreme court, prime minister, and executive agencies.

Second, Trump will direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. One official explained that the directive to the State Department requires it to develop a plan for this “with a minimum additional burden on taxpayers.” It was noted that there are approximately 1,000 personnel in Tel Aviv, and that it would take some time to find an appropriate site in Jerusalem. One official stated that despite hopes for an immediate move, it was a “practical impossibility to move the embassy tomorrow.”

“It will take some time to find a site, address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility…[and] build it,” said one of the senior officials.

DONALD TRUMP WAS 70 YEARS, 7 MONTHS AND 7 DAYS OLD ON FIRST FULL DAY IN OFFICE AS PRESIDENT

The official went on to address the issue of the semi-annual presidential waiver that has allowed presidents to delay moving the embassy over the past 22 years and several administrations of both parties. The deadline to sign the waiver passed on Monday night; however, the official stated that President Trump will sign a new waiver as the process begins to move the embassy “in order to avoid fairly significant cuts to State Department’s funding that the law requires as a consequence.” One official stated that Trump will sign the waiver each six months until the embassy is opened.

Officials emphasized that the President would not specify a timeline for completing and opening the embassy, and explained that it would take years, not months.

When later pressed on a timeframe, one official said that he expected it would take no less than three to four years, as other U.S. embassies have taken at least that long to move. One remarked that the ongoing relocation of the U.S. embassy in London took eight years.

Pressed on whether the embassy would be moved within Trump’s current presidential term so that a potential subsequent administration could not overturn Trump’s decision, one official replied, “As a practical matter, no embassy is constructed today anywhere in the world in shorter than three to four years. No embassy.”

The official dismissed the possibility that a subsequent president could reverse the decision, adding that updates would be provided on progress toward planning, funding, and building a new embassy.

One read a statement declaring that Trump is fulfilling a major campaign promise by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He added that a number of previous presidential candidates had made the same promise but had declined to fulfill it. The official further stated that the move has broad bipartisan support in Congress, with the legislative body voting for the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 10 successive congresses. The Act was first passed in 1995.

In response to questions about whether Trump’s decision would set back negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, an official said: “Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has done nothing to achieve peace for more than two decades.”

HOW DONALD TRUMP MOVING THE U.S. EMBASSY FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM COULD TRIGGER THE PSALM 83 WAR

Officials were also at pains to emphasize that no other issue would be affected by the new policy. Trump is “prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians if agreed to by the two parties,” the official stated. “President Trump also recognizes the specific boundaries in Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations of such an agreement.”

“President Trump reaffirms support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, Haram esh-Sharif,” the official continued.

The decision-making process had involved the President, the Cabinet and department principals. “This was a collaborative U.S. government position,” said one official later, in response to reporters’ questions.

Reporters were also told that “departments and agencies have developed a robust security plan” to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens and assets in case of violent protests against Trump’s decisions.

One official stated emphatically that President Trump has had “very detailed” discussions with Middle East leaders about his decisions on Jerusalem, and reiterated a strong commitment to peace.

President Trump will make his announcements at 1pm ET from the White House on Wednesday afternoon

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8883

The new peace partners and the next war

Analysis: A new kind of peace is taking shape before our eyes between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. No longer cold, indifferent and hostile, peace is hiding in the highest places of the government echelons. Together, the new peace partners are learning to assess the dimensions of the next conflict, which will likely be the worst we’ve ever experienced.

Smadar Perry |Published:  29.11.17 , 23:32

An old friend called me from Jordan on Monday. Help me out of the imbroglio, he requested. I have an urgent personal issue, and I must get to Tel Aviv. I need no explanation from my friend: the Israeli Embassy in Amman has been under lock and key for four months now, and there is no one to issue him an entry visa and stamp his passport.

Here’s a reminder: King Abdullah is angry with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to end the security guard affair. The Jordanian street is furious over the unsolved death of two citizens. Israel promised to hand over the investigation report and bring the guard to justice. The king and the street have lost their patience.

A solution has already been found for hundreds of passports that got stranded in the empty embassy building, including passports from Egypt which were sent to Amman after the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was shut down. In Jordan, new documents were issued. In Cairo, anyone wishing to visit Israel is required to first of all present “the yellow note.” The process of obtaining that note, in the general security service’s offices, is deterring. No one wants their name and address to be listed, as someone may pay them a visit at night to inquire why they are rushing to Tel Aviv. No one wants to “get caught in normalization” either.

A new kind of peace is taking shape before our eyes. It’s no longer cold, indifferent and hostile peace, but peace hiding in the highest places of the government echelons. Leader vis-à-vis leader, in Egypt’s case, and apparatus vis-à-vis apparatus, in Jordan’s case.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announces at his own initiative that he talks to Netanyahu, and the prime minister makes a comment about “an interesting conversation with the Egyptian president.” As for the angry king of Jordan, the street no longer has to launch protests against signs pointing to normal relations. Everything is concealed, and Israel is drifting away.

Now, a third partner is entering the picture. The young crown prince from Saudi Arabia, who is imposing a new political, economic and maybe even social order. As far as he’s concerned, the sky’s the limit. Who should we believe: Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is scattering statements about covert contacts and cooperation, or Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who is firmly denying this, and insisting that such things never happened?

I’m going to guess that had there really been no contacts, the Saudi minister would have allowed himself to keep quiet. There are too many signs stacking up on the ground that there is, in fact, a dialogue going on at a high rank. Riyadh and Jerusalem are connected by a whole lot of interests under the rug, led by the Iranian threat. I’m willing to believe the Saudi foreign minister when he insists that we have yet to reach the path of open relations. The test will take place soon: will the Saudis issue entry visas for the Israeli chess team, and how will be greeted, if at all?

The new peace draws the boundaries of the “good guys” camp versus the “bad guys” camp in our neighborhood, between the moderate Sunni-Muslim axis and the evil Shiite axis, as Iran has already succeeded in settling in four capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa and Beirut. The Revolutionary Guards are not on an annual field trip; they have come to gain strongholds.

The moderate axis is learning how to walk on eggshells. If a conflict breaks out in one of the places, the next war will be the worst and toughest war we’ve ever experienced, with weapons we never dreamed of, soaked with blood and destruction. It won’t be a war between states. It will be a war within the Muslim camp which everyone is now trying to curb, and Israel—being stuck in the middle—will have trouble evading it.

Together, the new peace partners are learning to assess the dimensions of the next conflict. We should take note of the warnings from one side (Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah) and the “all clear” signals from our side. No one is planning to initiate an adventure in Lebanon against the Iranians and Hezbollah’s missile arsenal. No one in Riyadh, Cairo and Amman will assume responsibility for taking the first step against Iran, when no one knows where and how it will end. And peace? It will remain in its new, covert place, moving away from the civil level, because the leaders are busy.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8871

After Mosque Attack Exposes Egypt’s Terror Weakness, Israel Offers to “Lend a Hand”

By JNS November 27, 2017 , 11:30 am

“Yehoshua established friendship with them; he made a pact with them to spare their lives, and the chieftains of the community gave them their oath.” Joshua 9:15 (The Israel Bible™)

By: Adam Abrams

After terrorists killed more than 300 people during prayers at a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last Friday, experts say that weaknesses in the Arab country’s counter-terrorism operations will likely lead to increased Israeli-Egyptian security cooperation.

The terror attack, which occurred at the al-Rawdah mosque in the northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abed, was one of the deadliest in recent memory in Egypt. While no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, the terrorists hoisted Islamic State flags.

Despite ongoing efforts to secure the Sinai by Egypt’s military, Islamic State-affiliated terrorists have waged an insurgency in the region, perpetrating a succession of deadly attacks on Egypt’s security forces and civilians.

Last Friday’s attack “brings Israel and Egypt [closer] together,” said Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum, a senior research fellow at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

“Egypt and Israel have a common goal in crushing these [terror groups] operating in the Sinai, for two reasons,” Teitelbaum told JNS.org. “[Sinai-based terrorists affiliated with Islamic State] have attacked Israel in the past, mostly with mortar or rocket fire to Eilat. Israel also cares about the security of the Egyptian regime [and views it] as a bulwark of pragmatic stable countries in the region, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan. So Israel will do what it can to help Egyptian security.”

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared a nationwide three-day mourning period following the attack, while the country’s air force initiated strikes to eliminate terrorist hideouts in the northern Sinai on Saturday night.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said regarding the attack that terrorism “will be defeated even more quickly if all countries work against it together,” while Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said Israel “stands shoulder to shoulder with Egypt and other countries in the region and the international arena in the war against radical Islamic terror.”

“The Israeli defense establishment expressed its sympathies and, as always, is willing to lend a hand to any country in order to help fight terror,” said an Israeli security official on Sunday.

According to Egyptian media reports, armed terrorists using all-terrain vehicles planted bombs outside of the mosque, then detonated them and opened heavy fire on more than 500 worshippers as they attempted to flee. The terrorists also set the worshippers’ vehicles ablaze and used them to block escape routes.

Experts say the terrorists’ ability to plan and carry out such a large attack is indicative of underlying flaws in Egyptian security, intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism efforts.

“If several terrorists can be packed in SUVs and just drive up to a mosque and start shooting at them, then the Egyptian control of the Sinai leaves a lot to be desired. Egypt has never had great control of the Sinai,” Teitelbaum said.

The attack “reflects several characteristics of the ISIS Sinai Province’s current posture,” said Assaf Orion, a senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, referring to Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate.

“Substantial capacity to execute large-scale attacks, freedom of movement across the area of operations and a high level of operational security allowed [the terrorists] to mount a surprise attack of this scale,” Orion, the former head of the Strategic Division in the IDF General Staff’s Planning Directorate, told JNS.org. “All of these tenets may indicate possible shortcomings in the counter-ISIS efforts in intelligence, early warning and operational posture and response on the defenders’ side.”

Experts and officials fear that Islamic State’s recent loss of its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq has prompted the terror group to turn its attention to other lawless areas of the Middle East, such as the Sinai.

Orion said Egypt and Israel are “well aware” of the threats posed by Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate to each country’s civilians and security forces.

“Their mutual commitment to stand against terrorism, secure their common border and buttress the [1979 Israeli-Egyptian] peace treaty are well-known and often declared, and severe common threats are a stimulant to stronger common responses,” said Orion.

Following last Friday’s attack, Orion expects to see “heightened counter-ISIS efforts by the Egyptian Armed Forces in the Sinai, with Israel willfully concurring to Egyptian military capabilities and activities, which are originally limited by the peace treaty’s security annex.”

Orion added that Israel likely is already “actively coordinating with the Egyptian neighbors through their military liaison system.”

“Let’s not forget, Israel controlled the Sinai from 1967 to 1982,” said Teitelbaum. “It still has a lot of contacts there and a lot of amassed knowledge [about the area], so I’m sure it’s sharing what it knows.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8850

Iranian Government Reveals It Plans To Utterly “Wipe Saudi Arabia Out Of Existence”

By Walid Shoebat on September 28, 2016 in Featured, General

While Obama failed to protect Saudi Arabia today with his Veto, now Iranian government reveals that it plans to “utterly wipe Saudi Arabia out of existence”. Also learn about the Iranian Sejjil, a prophecy by Iran to destroy Mecca hidden in the tip of its favorite missile it designated for Mecca. So lets start:

What circulates the Middle Eastern media has not yet been reported by western media. Special Adviser to the commander of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firuz Abadi on Tuesday threatened to “erase Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabis from existence” if Riyadh committed “any stupid moves”.

The Iranian FARS news agency quoted Firuz Abadi as saying that:

“We’re not going to war against any Muslim country, but Saudi Arabia is an exception. If it commits any stupid move they’ll get a penalty, that is erasing Arabia and Wahhabism out of existence, and if the defense necessitated an attack, we will attack and if we attacked the enemy, it certainly will be a reply to whatever we consider an attack, but it will not be a pre-emptive attack”. (translated by Shoebat.com)

In other words, Iran is telling Saudi Arabia that they will attack even if unprovoked and that such an attack will not even have to be pre-emptive where Saudi Arabia must show real aggression towards Iran.

Abadi pointed out that “even the U.S. recently admitted, Iran has missile deterrent capabilities. World powers admits that Iran can accurately perform a missile attack.”

While Iranian forces are no match technologically for Riyadh’s lavishly equipped military, Iran’s air force is mostly comprised of obsolete airframes, Tehran can use what equipment and troops it does have in clever ways to offset that advantage.

Iran has a host of missiles at its disposal including the liquid-fueled Emad, which has a 1,000-mile range. It also has the Shahab family of ballistic missiles. The latest variant, the developmental Shabab-4, could have a range as great as 2,400 miles.

But the most capable Iranian missiles are the solid-fuel, two-stage road-mobile Sejjil series ballistic missiles—which are very difficult to hunt down. They also have very quick reaction times.

“The Sejjil 3 would reportedly have three stages, a maximum range of 4,000 km, and a launch weight of 38,000 kg,” according to the Claremont & George C. Marshall Institute’s Missile Threat project.

What most do not consider is the name of the missile “Sejjil” which tells the whole story since it stems from the Quran. No ‘expert’ is even linking its prophetic symbolism. Sejjil stems from the history just prior to Muhammad’s birth: Year of the Elephant (Āmu l-Fīl), 570 AD, where according to Islamic tradition, it was in this year that Muhammad was born. The year is the story of Sejjil, the fiery missiles from Allah and Ababeel, the heavenly birds that delivered them and Abraha Al-Ashram‘s elephants, the tanks of the day  destroyed by Allah’s Sejjil.

Sejjil is the name of Iran’s baby pet missile. Sejjil stems from when Abraha was a zealous Christian ruler of Yemen, which was subject to the Kingdom of Aksum of Ethiopia, marched upon the Kaaba with a large army, which included war elephants, intending to demolish the Kaaba. However, the Muslim legend by the Arabs has the story that the lead elephant, known as Mahmud, is said to have stopped at the boundary around Mecca, and refused to enter. It has been theorized by historians that an epidemic such as by smallpox could have caused such a failed invasion of Mecca.

Abraha’s army had complete war equipment, armour, and the elephants to knock down the Kaaba. Abraha was convinced that he will easily be able to destroy the Kaaba. But what happens next, according to Muslim legend in the Quran, was that Allah’s help arrived according to the Koran in Sura Al-Fil (The Elephant) where Allah sent “Birds of Ababeel to throw stones of Sejjil” on the elephants and the army, which led to their defeat and destruction.

The war was launched as a campaign to destroy Makkah in Arabia and end the pilgrim to the Kaaba and divert Arab worshippers instead towards Christian Yemen at the time, which had a large church built by Abraha.

This forced replacement of holy places is similar to what Iran wants to do proclaiming Karbala over Mecca. In essence, Iran’s naming this missile, Sejjil, is to succeed where Abraha failed to destroy the Kaaba, here now comes Iran’s Sejjil. It is a prophetic message from Iran to Arabia that your Kaaba will be no more and that they will fulfill where Abraha failed.

This Sejjil rock thrown by the Ababeel birds, became a symbol of Arabia’s pride. For example, one Saudi man on a hunting trip in the rugged mountains near the border with Yemen stumbled across a little dark stone, which according to him he instantly recognized as “Sejjil” mentioned in the Koran. A year later, he was offered $four million for the stone but he refused.

After all, this is what was sent by the Almighty Allah carried by the “Ababeel birds to throw Sejjil stones” (pebbles of hell) to destroy an army led by Yemen’s warlord Abraha just before the advent of Islam to knock down the Kaaba. While the story of Abraha’s campaign probably had some truth, the Sejjil part of it was simply an Islamic legend.

And today, Saudi Arabia is cornered, not just by Iran, but by the U.S. Just a few hours ago, in a stinging blow to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted Wednesday to override his veto of a bill to let 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the terrorist attacks. The U.S. has not forgotten Saudi Arabia’s men who knocked down their handsome Twin Towers. It’s the first time a chamber of Congress has had the votes to overrule Obama on a veto. Not even Saudi’s African slave, messenger of peace, was able to pull it off, Saudi Arabia’s money will not find a safe haven in the U.S. due to all the coming lawsuits.

War analysts presume that if a war ignites between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Saudi planes will have to make numerous sorties against Iranian targets. This will expose Arabia since the Iranians would launch as many missiles as possible, potentially eliminating much of the Saudi air force and rendering bases unusable. The Saudis would have to flee and the war is over with Iran’s victory.

While the current saber rattling between Iran and Saudi is still in the status of “rumors of wars,” the war scenario is no legend but is daily becoming a reality. Isaiah 21 clearly declares that Persia will destroy Arabia. God predicted it and it will come to pass where Iran will soon mount Mecca with the magnificent thrust force of an elephant and a Sejjil for a suppository.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8817