Category: Israel

TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE CHRISLAM ‘ABRAHAM ACCORD’ BETWEEN ISRAEL AND UAE WAS MISSING LINK NEEDED TO LAUNCH VATICAN ABRAHAMIC FAITHS INITIATIVE

There can be no denying what is plain and obvious and right before our eyes, so we say with complete certainty that the ‘Abraham Accord’ announced this morning is absolutely the culmination of all the work done by Rick Warren, Pope Francis and the Vatican in creating the One World Religion of Chrislam. Today Chrislam took a giant step forward in realizing the signing of what will culminate in the 7-year covenant foretold in Daniel 9:27. We are that close. Now let’s see how Macron will fit into all of this, that will be the truly fascinating part.

by Geoffrey Grider August 13, 2020

The ‘Abraham Accord’ Will Connect Israel And Abu Dhabi Where The Chrislam Headquarters Known As The Abrahamic Faiths House Is Located

 

Today’s announcement of a peace treaty between the Jews and Arabs contained within the ‘Abraham Accord’ brokered by Jared Kushner and the Trump administration sent shock waves throughout the bible prophecy world today. But it is only many hours later, as the dust begins to settle, that the true picture of what actually took place this morning comes fully into view. The ‘Abraham Accord’ is the missing link the Vatican needed to complete its launch of Chrislam, otherwise known as the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative.

“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)

When you lay all the cards out on the table, the picture becomes absolutely stunning. Take a look at the rough timeline leading up to the announcement of the ‘Abraham Accord’, and you tell me if it all connected or not. Chrislam, the One World Religion from Revelation 13, goes by many names, and you will see most if not all of them listed below. Whether they called it the ‘Abraham Accord’, the ‘Abrahamic Family Initiative’, or any such variation, it all means Chrislam. That is what took place this morning in the White House.

Now we have in a direct spiritual/religious connection the Jews, the Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church, all working together to bring about the One World Religion and the false peace of Antichrist. The table is set, let’s take a look at the twin timelines that brought us to the moment. I highly urge you, dear reader, to click all the links presented below and read all the connected articles. When you do that, all doubt about where we are on the end times timeline, if you still possess any, will be erased. I promise you that. Ready? Let’s begin!

The Timeline Of The Vatican And Pope Francis In Creating Chrislam Known As The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative

 This timeline covers only the key moments relating the work of the Vatican and Pope Francis in the creating of Chrislam, otherwise known officially as the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative. For a full and complete Chrislam timeline dating all the way back to Rick Warren and those early efforts, please visit our NTEB Chrislam Archives here. 

  • January 11, 2016: Pope Francis Releases A One World Religion Prayer Video Saying All Faiths The Same. Pope Francis has sent the first shot across the prophecy bow for 2016, clearly stating his desire to unite the world’s religions and create a one, global religion that will combine elements from Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. Francis repeatedly states that “we are all children of God” no matter what our faiths or religious beliefs might be.  This is in direct opposition to the Bible which states that only when born again in Jesus Christ alone can we ever be called God’s children.
  • May 23, 2016: Pope Francis And Sunni Islam’s Top Imam Hold Historic Meeting At Vatican. The first Vatican meeting between the leader of the world’s Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths since Francis took office in 2013. “Our meeting is the message,” Francis said in a brief comment at the start of his meeting with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, Vatican officials told a small pool of reporters covering the event. In a statement on the trip, Al-Azhar, an institution that also comprises a prestigious seat of learning, said Tayeb had accepted Pope Francis’s invitation in order to “explore efforts to spread peace and co-existence.”
  • February 10, 2019: Vatican Officially Releases Chrislam Logo For Pope Francis Upcoming ‘Servant Of Hope’ Tour To The Muslim Nation OF Morocco. The Holy Father is making the Apostolic Visit in response to the invitation of King Mohammed VI and the Bishops of the country.  The trip to the Muslim-majority nation includes the cities of Rabat and Casablanca, and will be the Pope’s 26th outside Italy. The official logo of the Pope’s visit was chosen from about 50 entries in a competition. An explanatory note accompanying the logo’s release says that a cross and a crescent in the logo are symbols of Christianity and Islam which highlight the interreligious relations between Christians and Muslims.

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH: THE END TIMES ‘UNIVERSAL PEACE DOCUMENT’ POPE FRANCIS SIGNED WITH ISLAMIC LEADER MAKES NO REFERENCE OF ANY KIND TO JESUS CHRIST OR THE BIBLE

POPE FRANCIS ISSUES THE ORDER CREATING GLOBAL CHRISLAM COMMITTEE TO IMPLEMENT HIS DECREE ON ‘HUMAN FRATERNITY FOR WORLD PEACE’ SIGNED IN UAE BACK IN FEBRUARY

The Timeline Of The Trump Administration Signing On To Supporting And Advancing The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative

The above timeline gives you all the major events by Pope Francis and the Vatican creating the One World Religion of Chrislam, with a signed covenant called the Declaration of Human Fraternity, over the past 4 years. There is a corporate committee, there is massive financing, there is a gorgeous multi-faith Chrislam headquarters being built in Abu Dhabi, and there is now the most important element of all – the full and complete cooperation of the United States of America. Now you will see how today’s announcement of the ‘Abraham Accord’, uniting the Jews and Muslims, is Pope Francis’ wildest end times dream come true. See for yourself.

  • January 14, 2020: Ambassador Brownback Travels to Vatican City and Turkey. Ambassador Brownback will begin his trip in Rome and Vatican City, January 14-16, where he will participate in the launch of the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative, a dialogue led and organized by religious leaders of three Abrahamic faith traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, working together to emphasize the peaceful expression of faith and the renunciation of violence.  This dialogue, the first of many, seeks to foster mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding between the Abrahamic faith traditions in the quest for greater religious freedom, stability and peace around the world.
  • January 20, 2020: United States Commits To Fully Supporting The Chrislam Abrahamic Faiths Initiative As VP Mike Pence Prepares For Private Meeting With Pope Francis At Vatican Next Week. The woman in the main photo is U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, wife of former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. She, on behalf of the United States, is spearheading what is officially known as the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative. Bible believers, of course, have a different name for it. We call this Chrislam, and so it begins. And just as we also told that Chrislam would include Judaism alongside of Islam and Catholicism, that has now been taken care of as well. All systems go for Chrislam. “The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative, in short, is predicated and built upon a message of hope. Your actions this week will serve as a powerful demonstration to the rest of the world that, through interreligious dialogue, peace is possible. The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See will continue to proudly support and promote these efforts. We are committed to working with you to advance our shared goals of mutual respect, religious freedom, and peaceful coexistence.”

UNITED STATES COMMITS TO FULLY SUPPORTING THE CHRISLAM ABRAHAMIC FAITHS INITIATIVE AS VP MIKE PENCE PREPARES FOR PRIVATE MEETING WITH POPE FRANCIS AT VATICAN

CHRISLAM: PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ‘ADVANCING INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM’ AFTER VISITING THE IDOL OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II

  • June 4, 2020: President Trump Signs Executive Order ‘Advancing International Religious Freedom’ After Visiting The Idol Of Saint John Paul II. On Tuesday, President Trump and the First Lady visited the shrine of Saint John Paul II, something as idolatrous as anything the Jews in the Old Testament had going on in the groves that God hates so much, and bowed before his idol and gave tribute. That really happened – but wait, it gets worse yet. Then Trump returned to the White House and signed an executive order that gives strength and power to the One World Religion of Chrislam. It provides for “promotion of interfaith dialogue to solve problems and promote greater inter- and intra-religious understanding.” How broad must be the smile on the face of Pope Francis today.
  • August 13, 2020: Trump Brokers Deal Between Israel And The United Arab Emirates To Create Full Diplomatic Relations Between The Two Nations. Netanyahu tweeted an Israeli flag with a short message in Hebrew: “Historic Day.” The joint statement from the U.S., the UAE and Israel said delegations would meet in the coming weeks to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care. The two countries also will partner on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. “Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economics will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations,” said the statement by Trump, Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the day-to-day ruler of the UAE. It said the leaders had a three-way call discussing the deal.

The ‘Abraham Accord’ Will Connect Israel And Abu Dhabi Where The Chrislam Headquarters Known As The Abrahamic Faiths House Is Located

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The agreement will include establishing embassies and exchanging ambassadors, investments into the Israeli economy, trade, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, an investment in Israeli efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine – as first reported in The Jerusalem Post last month – and cooperation in matters of energy and water. An important element of the deal for the UAE is the expectation that its citizens would be able to visit the Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal “full, formal peace” with “one of the strongest countries in the world.”

“Together we can bring a wonderful future. It is an incomparably exciting moment,” Netanyahu said. “I have the great privilege to make the third peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country, the UAE.”

Netanyahu wished Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed “Salam Aleykum v’Shalom Aleynu – peace unto you and peace unto us.” READ MORE

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJB)

There can be no denying what is plain and obvious and right before our eyes, so we say with complete certainty that the ‘Abraham Accord‘ announced this morning is absolutely the culmination of all the work done by Rick Warren, Pope Francis and the Vatican in creating the One World Religion of Chrislam. Today Chrislam took a giant step forward in realizing the signing of what will culminate in the 7-year covenant foretold in Daniel 9:27. We are that close. Now let’s see how Macron will fit into all of this, that will be the truly fascinating part.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10830

ART OF THE DEAL: TRUMP BROKERS DEAL BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TO CREATE FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS

Netanyahu tweeted an Israeli flag with a short message in Hebrew: “Historic Day.” The joint statement from the U.S., the UAE and Israel said delegations would meet in the coming weeks to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care. The two countries also will partner on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. “Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economics will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations,” said the statement by Trump, Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the day-to-day ruler of the UAE. It said the leaders had a three-way call discussing the deal.

by Geoffrey Grider August 13, 2020

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

It’s not exactly an ‘October surprise’, seeing as we’re in August but it is certainly surprising a lot of people. Being able to broker full diplomatic relations between Israel and any Arab nation, much less the United Arab Emirates, is no small feat. Obviously, God’s hand is still on President Trump and still using him to advance the end times prophecy timeline. The only thing this new puts into question is the annexation of Judea and Samaria, but maybe the Lord has another avenue in mind.

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3 (KJB)

This is a great deal on many levels, and the fact that Donald Trump accomplished it will bode well for the election coming up. President Trump needs a few more achievements like this, but something tells me that is exactly what he has planned as we get closer to November. Never a dull moment on the front lines of the end times!

Netanyahu tweeted an Israeli flag with a short message in Hebrew: “Historic Day.”

FROM THE AP: The announcement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to have active diplomatic ties to Israel. Trump tweeted a statement from the countries, acknowledging the deal. He then told reporters in the Oval Office that it was “a truly historic moment.”

“NOW THAT THE ICE HAS BEEN BROKEN I EXPECT MORE ARAB AND MUSLIM COUNTRIES WILL FOLLOW THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES,” HE SAID.

The recognition grants a rare diplomatic win to Trump ahead of the November election as his efforts to see an end to the war in Afghanistan have yet to come to fruition while efforts to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians have made no headway. Israel and the UAE also have been among Trump’s closest foreign allies.

For Israel, the announcement comes after years of boasting by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his government enjoys closer ties to Arab nations than publicly acknowledged. Netanyahu has sought to build settlements on lands sought by the Palestinians and embraced a Trump proposal that would allow him to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank while granting Palestinians limited autonomy in other areas.

For the UAE, home to skyscraper-studded Dubai and the rolling, oil-rich sand dunes of Abu Dhabi, it further burnishes its international campaign to be seen as a beacon of tolerance in the Middle East despite being governed by autocratic rulers. It also puts the UAE out first in a regional recognition race among neighboring Gulf Arab states.

And for the Palestinians, who long have relied on Arab backing in their struggle for independence, the announcement marked both a win and setback. While Thursday’s deal halts Israeli annexation plans, the Palestinians have repeatedly urged Arab governments not to normalize relations with Israel until a peace agreement establishing an independent Palestinian state is reached.

“Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter. She also said the UAE has come forward with its “secret dealings/normalization with Israel.”

“Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!” she wrote.

The militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, called the deal by the Emiratis “a stabbing in the back of our people.”

The joint statement from the U.S., the UAE and Israel said delegations would meet in the coming weeks to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care. The two countries also will partner on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economics will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations,” said the statement by Trump, Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the day-to-day ruler of the UAE. It said the leaders had a three-way call discussing the deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the deal.

“This is a remarkable achievement for two of the world’s most forward leaning, technologically advanced states, and reflects their shared regional vision of an economically integrated region,” he said in a statement. “It also illustrates their commitment to confronting common threats, as small — but strong — nations.”

He added: “Blessed are the peacemakers. Mabruk and Mazal Tov.”

Netanyahu tweeted an Israeli flag with a short message in Hebrew: “Historic Day.”

Among Arab nations, only Egypt and Jordan have active diplomatic ties with Israel. Egypt made a peace deal with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994. Mauritania recognized Israel in 1999, but later ended relations in 2009 over the Israel’s war in Gaza at the time.

In addition to Trump, the main U.S. mediators for agreement were the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, special Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10827

Trump announces ‘Historic Peace Agreement’ between Israel, UAE

United Arab Emirates and Israel agree to ‘full normalization’ of diplomatic relations, Trump announces

By Brooke Singman | Fox News

President Trump on Thursday announced what he called a “Historic Peace Agreement” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, saying they agreed to “full normalization of relations.”

“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

The president, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement Thursday, after the three spoke “and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.” The statement said that the “diplomatic breakthrough” was at “the request of President Trump,” and that Israel will “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”

Israel and the UAE also said they will continue their efforts to “achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read. “All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

Delegations from Israel and the UAE are expected to meet in the coming weeks to “sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.” “Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations,” the statement also read.

Trump on Thursday said he had a call with Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The president told reporters Israel and the UAE will exchange embassies and ambassadors, and “begin cooperation across the board.” The president said he expected other countries to follow the UAE’s lead on this effort to cooperate with Israel going forward.

“We are already discussing this with other nations,” Trump said. “So, you will probably see others of these.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10824

Did The “Mushroom Cloud” Explosion In Beirut Just Push The Middle East Closer To A Major War?

August 4, 2020 by Michael Snyder

2020 just keeps getting weirder.  On Tuesday, an absolutely massive explosion caused a red mushroom cloud to rise high over the city of Beirut, Lebanon.  It is being called “Beirut’s Hiroshima”, and the blast was heard as far away as Cyprus.  You can watch a two minute compilation that contains video clips of the explosion from several different angles right here.  It appears that the shockwave did even more damage than the initial explosion did, and at this hour a large portion of the city of Beirut lies in ruins.  Dozens are dead, thousands are injured, and the entire city is now in a state of complete chaos

Two enormous explosions devastated Beirut’s port on Tuesday, leaving at least 73 people dead and thousands injured, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos across the Lebanese capital.

The second blast sent an enormous orange fireball into the sky, flattened the harbourside and drove a tornado-like shockwave through the city, shattering windows kilometres (miles) away.

It is being reported that Beirut’s port “is totally destroyed”, and this comes at a really bad time because Lebanon is already in the midst of an epic economic collapse.

In recent months, we have become accustomed to hearing about “mystery explosions” all over the Middle East, and many believe that those mystery explosions indicate that the region is on the brink of a full-blown war.

But this incident was different.  A large section of the capital of Lebanon has been flattened, and many eyewitnesses are comparing the blast to a nuclear explosion.  Here is one example

“It was like an atomic bomb,” said Makrouhie Yerganian, a retired schoolteacher in her mid-70s who has lived near the port for decades.

“I’ve experienced everything, but nothing like this before,” even during the country’s 1975-1990 civil war, she said. “All the buildings around here have collapsed.”

And even Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud brought up “Hiroshima” and “Nagasaki” when asked about the explosion

“This reminds me of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud. “I have never seen such widespread destruction. This is a national catastrophe. This is a disaster for Lebanon. We’re already living through days where we can barely keep going.”

“And now this…I don’t know how we’re going to recover from this,” Aboud told Sky News, before bursting into tears.

Immediately after this happened, a lot of people began wondering if this was an Israeli attack, but that does not appear to be the case.

One unnamed Israeli government official told AFP that “Israel had nothing to do with the incident”, and Benny Gantz has actually offered to send humanitarian aid to Beirut…

Offers of aid also came from bitter rivals Israel, with which it is still technically at war. Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government – via international intermediaries – medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,’ said a joint statement from the two ministries.

If Israel really had been behind this attack, I seriously doubt that they would be offering to patch up their enemies.

And this isn’t Israel’s style either.  The Israelis prefer surgical strikes that avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, and this explosion definitely does not fit that profile.

Instead, it appears that this was some sort of deeply tragic accident.  Lebanese officials have admitted that 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in the unit that exploded, and that amount of ammonium nitrate can definitely produce the sort of explosion that we just witnessed

Lebanon’s interior minister said ammonium nitrate had been stored in the unit since 2014, with experts agreeing that the chemical would cause the red plume of smoke which burst up from the blast.

Local media are reporting that 2,700 tonnes of the chemical exploded, which scientists making initial calculations said was about three kilotonnes of TNT – roughly a fifth of the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in the Second World War.

But Donald Trump is apparently not buying that explanation.  He told the press that the explosion “was an attack” and that it was caused by “a bomb of some kind”…

At least 60 people were killed and thousands were wounded in an explosion that caused widespread damage in the Lebanese capital. Trump said he had been briefed by “our great generals” and that they “seem to feel” that the explosion was not an accident.

“According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It was a bomb of some kind.”

If this really was an attack, the Lebanese are going to want revenge, because a substantial portion of their capital city has been absolutely decimated.

And needless to say, there are already voices all over the Middle East that are eagerly pointing a finger of blame at Israel and are calling for war.

But unlike the “mystery explosions” that have been happening in Iran, the evidence does not indicate that Israel had anything to do with this great tragedy.

Unfortunately, a lot of people out there are going to jump to their own conclusions, and many of those that hate Israel will use this as another justification to call for armed conflict.

Over the past couple of years, there have been so many moments when it seemed like a major war could break out at any time in the Middle East.  And here in 2020, tensions are running higher than ever.  The IDF has been regularly hitting Iranian and Hezbollah targets all over the region, and we just witnessed a harrowing confrontation on the Syrian border.

It appears that it is just a matter of time before a huge war erupts in the Middle East, and it certainly isn’t going to take much to trigger one. So could this explosion push the region over the edge?

Let us hope not, but without a doubt this blast is not going to help matters.

The devastation that we just witnessed has caused great pain and anger in Lebanon, and terror groups such as Hezbollah will inevitably try to channel all of that pain and anger in a way that furthers their ultimate goals.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10806

ISRAEL PLACES IDF ON HIGH ALERT AFTER BEIRUT PORT CITY ROCKED BY MASSIVE SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS RESULTING IN NUCLEAR BOMB STYLE MUSHROOM CLOUDS

A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday and a tall plume of smoke could be seen from a distance. The explosion took place at the Beirut Port. According to Lebanese media, ambulances were transporting dozens of injured people to local hospitals. Multiple videos from the area showed a plume of smoke rising from near the coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. Nearby buildings were damaged in the blast. The Daily Star newspaper, for example, released a video from its offices showing extensive damage. 

by Geoffrey Grider August 4, 2020

Video and pictures from the scene showed windows blown out and debris strewn in shops and offices in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. The IDF has been on high alert in the North ever since Hezbollah operatives tried crossing into Israel last week.

 

Even though early reports coming out of Lebanon are calling this an ‘accident’, the timing of this explosion is highly suspect to say the least. For the past 6 weeks or so, Israel has been relentlessly bombing targets in Iran and Syria, due to an increase in terrorist activity coming from those areas. As recently as just yesterday, the IDF made air strikes on Iranian targets near Damascus.

When you look at the video of the explosion in Beirut, it was multiple explosions actually, it does not appear to be something that was accidental. It looks like a strategic air strike, the only question is why. If it does turn out to be from Israel, this could well lead to a fresh outbreak in hostilities in the Middle East.

Massive explosion rocks Beirut Port causing damage to nearby buildings

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday and a tall plume of smoke could be seen from a distance. The explosion took place at the Beirut Port. According to Lebanese media, ambulances were transporting dozens of injured people to local hospitals.

Multiple videos from the area showed a plume of smoke rising from near the coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. Nearby buildings were damaged in the blast. The Daily Star newspaper, for example, released a video from its offices showing extensive damage.

Massive explosion rocks Beirut Port causing damage to nearby buildings as Israel goes on high alert after strikes on Syria and Iran in recent weeks.

The source of the explosion was unclear. LBCI Lebanon News claimed that a fire had broken out at the port and then triggered an explosion of a nearby warehouse storing fireworks.


According to the Daily Star, two explosions were reported, one at the port and another near the former home of the late Lebanese president Rafik Hariri, who was killed 15 years ago in a Hezbollah-Iranian attack.

Video and pictures from the scene showed windows blown out and debris strewn in shops and offices in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. The IDF has been on high alert in the North ever since Hezbollah operatives tried crossing into Israel last week. Late Monday night, the IDF struck multiple targets throughout Syria in response to an attempt by a terror cell in Syria to plant an explosive device along the border fence with Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10799

Lebanon is sliding into the abyss of a “failed state”

 Aug 4, 2020 @ 11:02 Economic collapseHizballahLebanon failed stateSaudi Arabia

When he quit as Lebanon’s foreign minister on Monday, July 3, Nasser Hitti said his country was close to becoming a “failed state” due to “conflicting interests” and its weakened ties with the “Arab community” – a dig at the Shiite Hizballah’s iron fist on government as Iran’s tool.

Lebanon’s woes are the result of a compendium of troubles: a cold shoulder from oil-rich Sunni Arab friends, a collapsed economy, popular discontent that transcends sectarian divides, government corruption and ineptitude, and the disastrous spinoff from the Syrian civil war – all aggravated by the coronavirus outbreak. Last year, as Lebanon plunged deep into debt, Hizballah fighters came marching home from a successful campaign on Iran’s behalf in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its leader Hassan Nasrallah, riding high, deepened his grip on government and parliament, after forging an alliance with President Michel Aoun.

Lebanon’s formerly strong ties with Arab nations were soon derailed, especially with Saudi Arabia. They bitterly resent the Iranian Lebanese proxy’s growing role in furthering Tehran’s ambitions in its country and region and interference in its conflicts.

Hizballah’s increased clout in Beirut also tipped the scales of the fragile power-sharing arrangement among the country’s three main sects, based on a Christian president, a Sunni Muslim prime minster and a Shiite Muslim Parliament Speaker. They form the elite which maneuvers tirelessly for the high ground in Beirut and plum jobs for their cronies.

Not long ago, Beirut was the free-and-easy playground of well-heeled Arabs who kept the town buzzing and its banks swimming in abundant dollars. Today, Lebanon’s public debt-to-gross domestic product is the third highest in the world, unemployment is rife and a third of the population had sunk to below the poverty line. Transfers have dried up from the large Lebanese diaspora. The drop in remittances from Gulf-based Lebanese nationals and decline in oil prices keep on pushing Lebanon further into debt and widening the gap between the Lebanese pound and the dollar in a thriving black market.

The country’s weakness is further exacerbated by the added burden of 1,5 million Syrian displaced refugees displaced to Lebanon at the height of the war.

Furious protests starting last year over the breakdown of basic services – power cuts, shortages of clean water and public healthcare – spilled over in October when the government levied a tax on tobacco, petrol and the Whatsapp messaging service. This plan was scrapped but the protests continued against the ruling elite, which continues to be blamed for feathering their nests while failing to carry out essential reforms. Tens of thousands of angry Lebanese forced the Western-backed Sunni prime minister Saad Hariri to resign and his unity government to fall, bringing the country to a standstill.

The protesters will not have forgotten or forgiven Hizballah goons for wielding sticks to break up their demonstrations last year.

The current Prime Minister Hassan Diab subsequently announced that Lebanon would default on its foreign debt for the first time in its history, saying its foreign currency reserves had hit a “critical and dangerous” level and that those remaining were needed to pay for vital imports.

By the time the coronavirus restrictions began to be lifted in May, the prices of some foodstuffs had doubled, and Lebanon was at risk of a major food crisis. At a time of hyperinflation, meat, fruits and vegetables have become unattainable luxuries for most Lebanese; some can’t even buy bread. Hours after Hitti resigned, President Michel Aoun and Diab signed a decree appointing Charbel Wehbe as the new foreign minister.

Hitti’s resignation was the biggest blow yet to Diab’s six-month-old government, which has struggled to make good on promises to implement wide-ranging reforms following the massive anti-establishment protests last year.  Diab’s cabinet has already seen two high-profile resignations from a team negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. Both had cited the same lack of will to reform due to the interests of the country’s political-financial elite.

Hitti’s prediction that “If they don’t’ come together, then the ship will sink with everyone aboard.” is close to being realized. “Everyone” also includes Hizballah, whose response to this dire fate is keenly watched from neighboring Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10793

Many Americans See The Hand Of God At Work In Current Events

July 23, 2020 by Michael Snyder

2020 has been an incredibly bizarre year up to this point, and this has many people wondering if the hand of God is at work.  And the worse things get, the more this sort of speculation will heat up.  When things get crazy, people search for answers, and that can be a good thing.  Because the truth is that during normal times most of us are way too self-absorbed and most of us spend far too little time thinking about the things that really matter.  2020 has really shaken up a large portion of the U.S. population, and we should hope that all of this shaking ultimately moves our society in a more positive direction.

Right now, COVID-19 is dominating the headlines day after day, and the debates that I have seen on social media platforms about this pandemic have often gotten quite heated.

I knew that many people had extremely passionate opinions about COVID-19, but what I didn’t realize is that a large percentage of them are also convinced that God is somehow involved.  In fact, an Associated Press/NORC survey found that 63 percent of all religious Americans believe that this pandemic is “a sign from God”…

Sixty-three percent of religious Americans say that the novel coronavirus pandemic is a sign from God, telling humanity to change its ways of living, according a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by the Associated Press/NORC, surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults who say they believe in God.

I was stunned to see a number that high.  The Bible does tell us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days, and it would have been very interesting to see how many respondents to that survey believe that this COVID-19 pandemic is one of those pestilences.

In any event, if this pandemic actually does inspire vast numbers of Americans to live better lives, that would definitely be a positive outcome.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be happening.  Instead, surveys have shown that Americans are increasingly turning to drugs, alcohol and television during this pandemic, and a survey that was released just this week found that Bible reading in the United States dropped precipitously “between January and June”

The number of American adults the American Bible Society considers “Scripture engaged” based on how frequently they read Scripture and its impact on their relationships and choices dropped significantly from 28% to 22.7% between January and June, according to additional data collected by the organization in June.

Another thing that has many Americans speculating is the very unusual storm that hit New York City on Wednesday.  A massive thunderstorm sent wind gusts of up to 75 mph howling through the city, and at one point “purple lightning bolts” were photographed striking One World Trade Center…

Dramatic photos captured the moment purple lightning bolts struck the tip of One World Trade Center – while smaller bolts scattered across the sky in New York City.

Huge bolts of lightning were also photographed hitting the middle of the Hudson River, near Lower Manhattan – making an eerie sight.

Could that lightning strike have some sort of spiritual significance?

I certainly do not know.  But when video footage emerged of lightning hitting “on or behind” the Statue of Liberty, that fueled the speculation even more…

Video footage captured the moment lighting bolts struck on or behind Lady Liberty with dark clouds seen overhead.

Mikey Cee, who took the 21-second video from Ellis Island and shared it to Twitter, wrote: “The best video I ever captured. #NewYork #WeatherChannel #NYC.”

In addition, a lightning bolt also hit the steeple of a church, and this caused a very dangerous fire

The FDNY responded to the fire at the Spirit and Truth Christian Church on Sutter Avenue just after 7:30 p.m.

Crews worked hard to save the house of worship as flames raced up the front of the building, right beneath the steeple.

Neighbors say the clap of thunder that preceded the fire was even more dramatic than the actual flames.

Witnesses say the steeple took a direct hit from a lightning bolt.

In normal times, perhaps a thunderstorm of this nature would be largely ignored.

But these are not normal times.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, people are buzzing about the fact that the locust armies that have been absolutely devastating parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have now made their way to Europe.

Farms on the Italian island of Sardinia are now being ravaged by desert locusts, and one British news source is using the term “biblical plague” to describe what is happening…

In a situation reminiscent of a biblical plague, the insects have stripped large areas of the island’s agricultural regions of crops, in what the World Bank has already been branded the most serious such invasion the world has faced in 70 years. The epicentre is formed by the municipalities of Orani, Ottana and Bolotana in the Tirso valley, with insects having arrived from the Middle East and Africa, where 23 countries have experienced similar problems.

Over the past several months, I have written several articles about this very unusual plague and the impact that it is having on the global food supply.  Some of the swarms are as large as major cities, and when the locusts descend upon a farm they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.

Lastly, I wanted to mention a very close encounter that we will have with an asteroid on November 2nd.  Apparently, a rock known as “2018 VP1” is supposed to pass very close to our planet on that day

There’s a video on Youtube saying we are about to have another “very-close encounter” with an asteroid. What the Jet Propulsion Lab in California calls “Near-Earth-Objects” or NEOs. Now keep in mind asteroids have been coming close or have hit our planet for millions of years, and many do daily. The bulk of asteroids and debris in space as you may remember from science class get burned up in the atmosphere, caused by the friction from the air as objects hit the atmosphere going many thousands of miles per hour.

However, one Youtube video says an asteroid called “2018 VP1“, which is about 6 feet diameter will pass within about 300 miles of our planet on November 2, 2020. However, some experts are saying this nothing to fear. First off there’s the math, asteroid “2018 VP1” is projected to come 0.02 times the distance between the earth and the moon. Given that the moon is 239,000 miles away, 0.02 equates to 4,780 miles. Now your thinking that’s far off right? What’s the big deal? Well, when they compute this stuff through orbital mechanics, they use the center of the celestial body, in this case, the earth. The earth is 7,917 miles across, and half that is 3,958 miles. That is where the video correctly gets its 300-mile estimate from, or a drive from Metro Detroit to Sault Sainte Marie in the UP to put it in perspective.

The good news is that this asteroid is so small that it is not likely to cause any damage even if it enters our atmosphere.

But I have noticed that there is a tremendous amount of discussion about asteroids on social media lately, and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a very large rock does slam into our planet.

A lot of people do not like to be reminded of such things, but realizing how dependent we are on God for every breath that we take leads to humility.  Sometimes we need something to shake us up so that we will turn back to Him.

It is so easy to lose sight of what really matters, and that is why we should be thankful for events that come along that cause us to step back and consider the bigger picture.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10772

KING HEZEKIAH’S ADMINISTRATIVE COMPOUND DISCOVERED NEXT TO US EMBASSY, JERUSALEM

In the fourteenth year of King Chizkiyahu, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Yehuda and seized them. Kings 18:13 (The Israel BibleTM)

by BIN staff | Jul 22, 2020 | Biblical News

An Israel Antiquities Authority excavation on the slopes of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona uncovered an administrative complex from 2,7000 years ago. (Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority)

What challenge was the Kingdom of Judah preparing for 2,700 years ago in today’s Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem and can it be related to a dramatic historical event?

A significant administrative storage center from the days of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh (8th century to the middle of the 7th century BCE) has recently been exposed at archeological excavations in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority is funded by the Israel Land Authority and administrated by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation for the development of a new neighborhood.

Excavation at the site revealed an unusually large structure built of concentric ashlars walls. Of particular interest, 120 jar handles were found bearing seal impressions containing ancient Hebrew script. Many of the handles bare the inscription “LMLK” – (belonging) to the King- with the name of an ancient city, while others feature the names of senior officials or wealthy individuals from the First Temple Period. This is one of the largest and most important collections of seal impressions ever uncovered in archaeological excavations in Israel.

According to Neria Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari, directors of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years. At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth. Evidence shows that at this site, taxes were collected in an orderly manner for agricultural produce such as wine and olive oil.

“The site once dominated large agricultural plots and orchards of olive trees and grape vines which included agricultural industrial facilities such as winepresses for winemaking. The site is dated to a period documented in the Bible by upheavals such as that of the Assyrian conquest campaign – under the command of King Sennacherib in the days of King Hezekiah.

“It may be that the government economic provisions indicated by the stamp seals are related to these events however, the excavation revealed that the site continued to be active after the Assyrian conquest. Moreover, the array of stamped seals indicated that the system of taxation remained uninterrupted during this period.

“It is interesting to note that some of the storage jar handles area inscribed with the names of senior officials and wealthy individuals from the Kingdom of Judah – Naham Abdi, Naham Hatzlihu, Meshalem Elnatan, Zafan Abmetz, Shaneah Azaria, Shalem Acha and Shivna Shachar. These names appear on storage jar handles at various sites across the Kingdom of Judah and attest to the elite position of those whose names are impressed on the jars.

“It is estimated that these are senior officials who were in charge of specific economic areas, or perhaps wealthy individuals at that time – those who owned large agricultural lands, propelled the economy of their district, and owned private seals.”

The excavators also posit that the large number of seal impressions at the site clearly indicate that during the latter part of the Kingdom of Judah, governmental activity took place in the area south of the City of David. It is also possible that this governmental activity was related to the nearby site of Ramat Rachel, which may be identified with the palace of the Kings of Judah and/or as an administrative center.

The majority of the seal impressions uncovered contain the ancient Hebrew letters “LMLK.” These impressions are characterized by a sun disk, flanked with two wings. Above the sun disc appears the word ‘to the King’ and below one of four cities in the kingdom of Judah: Hebron, Ziph, Socho or Mmst. According to Sapir and Ben-Ari, while the identification of Hebron, Ziph and Socho can be identified with known ancient cities in Judea in the Hebron Hills area, the identification of Mmst is still controversial.”

During the ancient period, for reasons not understood, the large building at the site was covered over with a massive pile of flint stones forming an artificial hill measuring 20 meters high and extending over seven dunams (!). Even today, this huge pile of stones stands out from the surrounding hills and is visible from a great distance. According to the researchers, “These artificial stone hills have been identified at several sites in Jerusalem and are a phenomenon to the end of the First Temple period and have aroused the curiosity and fascination of Jerusalem researchers since the beginning of archeological research in the area. Nevertheless, the reason for the huge effort made in stacking them over many acres remains an unresolved archaeological mystery.”

Another find that sheds light on the character of the period is a collection of figurines – clay statuettes. According to archaeologists Sapir and Ben-Ari, “Some of the figurines are designed in the form of women, horse riders or as animals. These figurines are usually interpreted as objects used in pagan worship and idolatry – a phenomenon, which according to the Bible, was prevalent in the Kingdom of Judah.”

The researchers added that, “It seems that shortly after the site was abandoned, with the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE and Babylonian exile, the site was resettled, and administrative activity resumed. During this time governmental activity at the site was connected to the Judean province upon the Return to Zion in 538 BCE under the auspices of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which then ruled over the entire ancient Near East and Central Asia.”

According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, the IAA Jerusalem District Archaeologist, “The archeological discoveries at Arnona identify the site as a key site – the most important in the history of the final days of the Kingdom of Judah and of the return to Zion decades after the destruction of the Kingdom. This site joins a number of other key sites uncovered in the area of Jerusalem which were connected to the centralized administrative system of the Kingdom of Judah from its peak until its destruction. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Lands Authority recognize the importance of the site and its uniqueness and are working together to preserve and integrate these sites into the new neighborhood plan. This is part of the IAA’s trend of sustainable development which views archeological excavations as a resource that must be preserved and presented to the public as part of local heritage, and not just as an academic field of study.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10759

Is Turkey’s Erdogan out to destabilize Middle East?

From northwest Iraq to Tripoli on Libya’s African coast, Turkey is flexing its muscles – without the slightest nod to the supposedly ‘pro-Western’ and ‘pro-NATO’ orientation that Turkey’s Western apologists like to recall.

 By  Dr. Jonathan Spyer

Turkish forces are at the present time bolstering newly constructed outposts in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turks have established five new positions on mountainous terrain near the villages of Sharanish and Banka, in the Zakho area adjoining the border with Turkey, since commencing operation in the area in mid-June. Troops have been transported in by helicopter to man the new positions.

This is the latest phase in an operation that has brought the Turkish armed forces to 30 kilometers (18 miles) inside Iraqi Kurdish territory. Operation Claw-Tiger was launched on June 17, following Turkish air attacks on targets Ankara identified as associated with the PKK at a number of sites in the Kurdish Regional Government-controlled area. The areas destroyed in the airstrikes included a number of Yezidi villages in the Mount Sinjar area. A refugee camp at Makhmur was also targeted.

Elements of the 1st and 5th Commando Brigades, both elite Turkish airborne formations, are taking part in the operation on the ground. Iranian artillery shelled the Choman area of the Qandil Mountains on June 16th, in a move widely interpreted as supportive of the Turkish offensive. Iranian cooperation with Turkey derives from immediate shared interests: both countries have restive and alienated Kurdish populations living in geographically distinct areas.

Both wish to see the weakening of both the PKK and the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq. The PKK originated among Turkish Kurds, but also has a franchise among Iranian Kurds (PJAK). Beyond the Kurdish issue, Iran has huge hydrocarbon reserves, while Turkey has a need for oil and gas. As a result, Turkey has been assisting Iran in avoiding US sanctions.

Turkey’s ongoing gas imports from Iran were suspended on March 31, 2020, due to a PKK operation that temporarily disabled the pipeline. Supplies are set to recommence this month. Iran and Turkey both seek the end of the US-led security structure in the region, and are similarly opposed to the various allies in the region of that structure. Hence, there is at present a great deal of common ground between the two countries.

The PKK is a pan-Kurdish organization, and the fighters in Qandil come from across the Kurdish area. The organization was formed in Turkey, however, and its top leadership remains dominated by Turkish Kurds. Despite the considerable dimensions of the current offensive, Kurdish sources do not consider that it represents the beginning of a long-awaited general Turkish attempt to destroy the PKK in Qandil.

Rather, it is seen as continuing an established pattern of ongoing Turkish operations into Kurdish controlled northern Iraq, conducted without inquiry as to the wishes of the local Kurdish authorities, and intended to establish a widening Turkish military infrastructure in the area adjoining the border.

Turkish media reports largely concur. According to a recent article in the Hurriyet newspaper, 12 permanent observation posts had already been established in the KRG controlled area in the period between 2016 and the present operation.

Hurriyet quoted Turkish security officials who depicted the PKK as seeking to establish a corridor from their forces on the Iranian border in Suleimania province, via Sinjar, to the Kurdish controlled area in northeast Syria. In this regard, it is worth noting that both PJAK and other Iranian Kurdish military groups opposed to the Iranian regime, such as the Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party (PDKI) maintain bases and positions inside KRG territory, adjoining the border with Iran.

Ankara considers the YPG (Peoples’ Protection Units), which is the main force in this area, to be a franchise of the PKK. The Turkish operation, according to Hurriyet, is intended to break this corridor from Syria to the Iranian Kurds. It should be noted that the current deployment of Turkish forces is not sufficiently deep to cut any such notional line.

The Turkish newspaper likened the current effort to previous Turkish operations in northern Syria in 2016 and 2019 which resulted in Turkish occupation of two non-contiguous blocs of territory along the Syrian Turkish border. Turkey hopes to expand the easternmost of these areas, which cuts directly into Kurdish controlled northeast Syria.

Kurdish sources, meanwhile, suggest an additional, domestic political motivation for the current operation. They note the dire state of the Turkish economy, and the consequent loss of public support indicated in a number of recent polls, for the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main ally, the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP). According to this perspective, the Turkish operation is intended to rally the government’s political base through its fear of and hostility to Kurdish aspirations and to distract from socio-economic failure.

This element notwithstanding, Operation Claw Tiger fits into an arc of Turkish military assertiveness currently extending from northern Iraq, across northern Syria, going down via the Mediterranean and via Israel, and reaching Libya. Turkey also has a military presence to the south and east of this area, in Qatar, in Sudan and in Somalia. In the Mediterranean, Turkey is challenging Greece, Cyprus and Israel for the gas riches beneath the water.

Via its SADAT military private company, Ankara is deeply engaged in support of Hamas against Israel. SADAT, sometimes referred to as Erdogan’s “Revolutionary Guards,” is involved in other, similarly more murky ends of Turkey’s regional assertion. The company, founded by the Turkish President’s military advisor General Adnan Tanriverdi, took responsibility for the training of Syrian Islamist and jihadi rebels under Turkey’s flag. These forces were subsequently deployed against the Syrian Kurds in 2019-20.

They are now engaged in Libya, fighting against the Libyan National Army of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. SADAT, incidentally, is currently also involved in training Sunni Islamist forces loyal to the Government of National Accord in Libya. The Africa Intelligence website and Sharq al Awsat newspaper reported this week that the Turkish company has signed an agreement to this end with Security Side, a Libyan security company headed by one Fawzi Abu Kattaf, a Palestinian Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood supporter with close ties to Qatar.

So, what does this flurry of overt and semi-covert Turkish regional military assertion amount to? Can a common theme be established?

In Syria and Iraq, obviously, Ankara is on the face of it challenging its old PKK enemy. But there are additional layers. Erdogan was first to support the Syrian Sunni Arab insurgency. He has proved its last and most faithful ally. Western states, discouraged by the insurgency’s Islamist and jihadi nature, peeled away from it years ago. Turkey, untroubled by these loyalties because it shares them, has remained.

The enclaves in northern Syria do serve to bisect the area of Kurdish control, and in Afrin a large-scale ethnic cleansing of Kurds has taken place. But Turkey is now pouring money and forces into northwest Syria, in an effort to shore up this enclave and ensure its semi permanence. This is not only about opposing Kurdish aspirations. It is about establishing a corner of Syria intended to be forever Turkish (and Sunni Islamist). The Turkish Lira has now been introduced as the currency in these areas, to replace the devastated Syrian pound. The Turkish postal service has even opened branches in a number of towns in northwest Syria.

In Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Erdogan wants to lay claim to the cause of recovering al-Aqsa from non-Muslim custodianship. Covert military support to Hamas runs alongside active soft power efforts. These are managed by the government aid agency TIKA. Tens of millions of dollars are spent each year, via such projects as the Turkish Culture Center on Hashalshelet Street in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In the Mediterranean, the interests, of course, are related to Turkey’s need for gas supplies. But the bald assertiveness of laying claim, together with the client government in Tripoli of a massive swathe of the east Mediterranean and thus stymying plans by Israel, Greece and Cyprus to pipe gas to Europe has the additional advantage for Turkey of depicting itself as the regional dominant force.

In Libya, finally, again geo-strategic and ideological aspects coincide: Serraj is kept in place by Muslim Brotherhood associated forces. He represents a last remnant of the hoped for alliance which Erdogan had thought to lead, before the military coup in Egypt of 2013, the departure of the En Nahda party from power in Tunisia and the revival of Bashar Assad’s fortunes in Syria.

So, all the way from Zakho Province in north west Iraq, to Tripoli on Libya’s African coast, assisted by Qatari direct financial investment, Turkey is flexing its muscles. It is an independent, ambitious foreign policy, without the slightest nod to the supposedly ‘pro-Western’ and ‘pro-NATO’ orientation that Turkey’s Western apologists like to recall. It has its origin in a combination of nationalist assertiveness, tinged with Ottoman-era nostalgia, and the ambitions of MB-style Sunni political Islam. This is a potent mix, which is not required to place itself before the judgement of the Turkish voter until 2023. As of now, its main impact is an arc of destabilization, stretching across land and sea from Iraq to Libya.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10744

At least 7 Iranian ships in flames at Bushehr port. New US warning

 Jul 15, 2020 @ 16:46 7 Iranian ships on fireUS Gen. Kenneth McKenzie

The types of the seven vessels on fire on Wednesday, July 15, and what caused the blazes were not revealed in the first official report from Tehran. The incident followed a string of mysterious explosions at Iran’s nuclear, military and missile production sites ongoing since late June.

DEBKAfile: If this suspected campaign of sabotage has been extended to encompass Iran’s navy, it would be a serious escalation, amounting to a threat to Iran’s claim to control the Persian Gulf and its waters.

Bushehr province is also home to Iran’s only nuclear power plant.


A day earlier, on Tuesday, US Central Command Chef Gen. Kenneth McKenzie warned Tehran that “any malign activities in the Gulf would bear a high cost.” In an interview sponsored by the State Department, he reminded Iran of “the events of January” when a US drone killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. “So we are postured and will continue to be postured in the region, working closely with all our partners, all our friends n the region, to ensure that we’re ready and Iran sees very clearly what would be the high cost of any malign activity on their part,” the US Centcom chief stressed.

The general was asked if the Iranian regime was truly deterred by the killing of Soleimani or whether, before making its move, it was waiting out the upcoming UN Security Council vote on extending the arms embargo or the US presidential election. He replied that Washington had established “red lines” that might not have been visible before. The UN vote was a factor, he said, adding “But to be honest with you, it’s very hard to know and understand exactly what Iran’s thinking is.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10738