Category: Israel

Two Saudi Oil Tankers Attacked Raising Tensions Between US and Iran

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz May 13, 2019 , 3:35 pm

49 Yehoshafat constructed Tarshish ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But he did not sail because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber.” I Kings 22:49 (The Israel Bible™)

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers were targeted by “sabotage attacks” adding more heat to the regional tensions.

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, announced to the state-run media on Monday morning that two of his nation’s oil tankers were targeted in a “sabotage attack” off the coast of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The site of the attacks is less than 100 miles from the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping channel. The tankers sustained “significant damage.”

He said: “Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels.”

The UAE on Sunday said an alleged sabotage attack targeted four boats, without elaborating or naming suspects. It is believed that one of the vessels was Norwegian.

Reuters reported INTERTANKO, an association of independent tanker owners and operators, saying that it had seen pictures of “at least two ships have holes in their sides due to the impact of a weapon,” and that “trading and shipping sources identified the Saudi vessels as Bahri-owned very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah.”

The Saudi Foreign Ministry published a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Monday, saying, “this criminal act poses a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime traffic, which reflects negatively on regional and international peace and security.”

Though it is still unknown who was responsible for the attack, the timing raises suspicions that indicate that Iran may be involved. Last week, the U.S. Maritime Administration issued a warning to commercial shipping companies that from the beginning of May there had been, “an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.”

The White House ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region on May 4, indicating heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

The statement from the Saudi government on the alleged “sabotage attacks” off the United Arab Emirates port at Fujairah came just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at the port in Fujairah.

Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned that such incidents could spark a larger conflict.

“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended,” Hunt said about the incident.

Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani,  the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, agreed with that assessment. “Such irresponsible acts will increase tension and conflicts in the region and expose its peoples to great danger,” Al Zayani said in a statement.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9807

Israeli Aircraft Strike Targets In Gaza Strip Early Thursday Morning After Palestinian Fire Balloon Attacks Ignite Fields In Eshkol Region Of Israel

Throughout the day, Palestinians launched dozens of incendiary devices, carried by balloons, into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. However, it was not immediately clear if the Eshkol fire was sparked by one of these objects.“At this point, the cause of the fire is not known. We will only know after a check by fire investigators,” a spokesperson for the Eshkol region said. The strike came after a large brushfire broke out in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on Wednesday night, with suspicions that it was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device from the nearby Gaza Strip, officials said.

by Geoffrey Grider May 1, 2019

Israeli aircraft were striking target in the Gaza Strip early Thursday, Palestinian reports said after a wave of fire balloons were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Fire balloons are no joke, and have done millions of dollars in damage to myriad acres of fields in southern Israel since the Gaza Strip riots began a little over a year ago. They show no signs of abating anytime soon.

In keeping with Israel’s zero tolerance policy on attacks by Palestinians in the Strip, the Israel air force launched a series of targeted strikes early Thursday. We will update this story as events progress.

Israeli aircraft said to strike targets in Gaza after wave of fire balloons

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: There was no immediate comment from the IDF. The reports said the aircraft bombed targets in northern Gaza. There were no reports of injuries. The strike came after a large brush fire broke out in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on Wednesday night, with suspicions that it was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device from the nearby Gaza Strip, officials said.

A fire rages in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on May 1, 2019. (Tzvika Korbeshi/Eshkol)

The blaze began in a field between the Eshkol National Park and Kibbutz Urim, spreading throughout the grasslands and into a wooded area, according to Fire and Rescue Department Eli Cohen.

The fire came amid heightened tensions between Israel and terror groups in the Strip, after a rocket was launched from the coastal enclave, landing several kilometers off shore on Monday night.

Throughout the day, Palestinians launched dozens of incendiary devices, carried by balloons, into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. However, it was not immediately clear if the Eshkol fire was sparked by one of these objects.

“At this point, the cause of the fire is not known. We will only know after a check by fire investigators,” a spokesperson for the Eshkol region said.

Three teams of firefighters were working to put out the fire. In addition to the Fire and Rescue Department, firefighters from the Jewish National Fund and from the Parks Service were involved in the effort, the fire department spokesman said.

“The teams are working together to get control over the fire and prevent it from spreading,” Cohen said.

Due to the blaze’s location, the firefighters were not able to bring their trucks into the area, requiring them to use smaller, hand-held equipment to battle the flames, the fire department spokesman said.

On Tuesday, a fire broke out near Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev region. That blaze was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device launched into Israel from Gaza. In recent weeks, such arson attacks have tapered off under the ceasefire brokered by Egypt last month. That fire was quickly extinguished by a team of volunteers, the fire department said.

Also Tuesday, the Israeli military deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout the country, following a rocket attack from Gaza the previous night and ahead of what is expected to be a sensitive next few weeks.

The military expects the coming weeks to be particularly tense, as they will see the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the international Eurovision song competition in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Memorial and Independence days, and the first anniversary of the opening of the contentious US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Following Monday’s rocket launch, Israel scaled back the permitted Gaza fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to six until further notice. The fishing zone had previously been extended to 15 miles — a level that the coastal enclave has not seen in over a decade — as one of the first concessions by Jerusalem under an unofficial ceasefire agreement with terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday morning, the IDF said the Islamic Jihad intentionally fired the rocket from the northern Gaza Strip toward coastal Israel the day before in an effort to derail ongoing efforts to maintain the ceasefire.

While there has not been a complete cessation of violence along the Gaza border since the ceasefire went into effect last month, the situation there has been relatively calm. Terror groups in the Strip have threatened to bring back regular border riots if Israel does not abide by its side of the deal.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9783

USS Abraham Lincoln deploys opposite Syria, US envoy to Russia aboard

Apr 25, 2019 @ 10:10 Diane Shalem Iranian threats, Putin-Kim summit, Ukraine, USSS Abraham Lincoln opp Syria

Accompanied by 10 warships, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier on Wednesday, April 24, deployed opposite the Syrian coast in a dramatic show of strength against Russia and Iran. The effect was underlined by the revelation from US Navy sources of the presence on the carrier’s command bridge of none other than US ambassador to Moscow Jon Huntsman. His message needed no commentary: “When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy cruising the Mediterranean, this is forward-operating diplomacy – nothing else need be said.”

There is no precedent even in the Cold War years between America and Soviet Russia of a US ambassador being planted on a front line against Russian and Iranian forces in the Middle East. The US Navy communique reported that Ambassador Huntsman was inspecting the operations of “9.000 crew and Marines and the 130 warplanes on the decks of the Lincoln and other vessels of the strike group.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources: This show of US military-backed diplomatic muscle was timed for Thursday, April 25, when President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader were about to sit down for their first summit in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, This meeting was seen in Washington as Putin’s challenge of the nuclear negotiation channel set up by President Donald Trump with the North Korean dictator.

The Lincoln’s deployment facing the Syrian coast was also the Trump administration’s answer to the three top Iranians, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who Wednesday threatened America with harsh retribution for the sanctions that were blocking its oil exports.  

Added to this, on Wednesday, Moscow advised Ukrainian separatists supported by Russia in their battle against the central government in Kiev that the red tape would be cleared from the path of any of those fighters who sought Russian citizenship. This was seen in Washington as a half-step towards Russia’s annexation of another part of Ukraine after Crimea. The State Department issued this statement: “Russia, through this highly provocative action, is intensifying its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and national integrity.”

On \Tuesday, April 23, DEBKAfile was first to break the news of the arrival in the Mediterranean of two US carriers and their strike groups – the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS John C. Stennis, and reported that they are operating with the US Sixth Fleet in conjunction with allied navies.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9772

Famed Architectural Firm KPF Building The Azrieli Center ‘Spiral Tower’ In Tel Aviv That Looks A Lot Like The Tower Of Babel For About $666 Million Dollars

The spiral tower was designed by the American Kohn Pedersen Fox architecture firm, which has designed five out of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in the world. Israeli firm Moshe Tzur Architects & Town Planners is working with KDF on the project.The tower’s spiral shape, according to its planners, draws inspiration from the curves of a snail shell. Biblical scrolls were another source of inspiration.

by Geoffrey Grider April 25, 2019

Tel Aviv will soon have a very substantial addition to its skyline – a fourth Azrieli Center tower, this time in the shape of a spiral, to join the city’s landmark trio of buildings. Once completed, it is set to be the tallest tower in Israel.

Well now, this is interesting. Construction work has begun on what will be the tallest building in Israel, part of the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv. The building looks stunningly like a 21st century version of the Tower of Babel from the bible, with the price tag coming in right around $666 million dollars, approximately. Even more interesting is the logo of the Azrieli Group with its large, Masonic capital “G” that intersects with a pyramid topped with a blue capstone. All that’s missing is the number “33” to make the imagery complete. So what to make of all this?

“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:9 (KJV)

OK, so it looks like the Tower of Babel, has 91 floors (9/11??), it costs right around $666 million dollars, and the Azrieli Group has a crazy creepy Illuminati and Masonic-themed logo. Hmm. I guess all I can do is put it in a big, fat ‘prophecy pile’ together with Mike Pompeo’s teasing of a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and Jared Kushner, who owns a building at 666  Fifth Ave, that was financed by George Soros, preparing to implement a ‘new and different‘ Middle East peace plan. Is this for real, or did I swallow a ‘Left Behind‘ novel for breakfast this morning?

Things are speeding up quickly now, people, pay close attention or you’re going to miss it.

Tel Aviv to Add Fourth Azrieli Center Tower; Will Be Tallest Building in Israel

FROM THE TOWER: The 91-story spiral tower will be almost 1,150 feet (350 meters) tall and will include commercial, office and residential areas as well as a hotel. The top floors are to house conference rooms, spaces for meetings and entertainment and a 360-degree lookout. A garden and chef restaurant will be on the roof.

Digging and piling work is already underway, and construction is expected to be completed within six or seven years. The total cost of the project is estimated at ₪2.5 billion (over $650 million).

“The architecture of the spiral tower reflects the boldness and creativity of the Azrieli Group, which redefines Tel Aviv’s skyline with each new project,” Azrieli Group Chairwoman Dana Azrieli said at the project’s unveiling on Wednesday.

“The tower was planned and developed in a unique geometric shape, never before seen in Israel, which captures the eye and the imagination. The main challenge for the initiators and architects was to create harmony between the three iconic towers that form Azrieli Center and the new tower, an impressive, one-of-a-kind structure which stands on its own. The tower’s design takes inspiration from the twists of a snail’s shell, attempting to imitate their natural form. The design also draws inspiration from ancient biblical scrolls and the way they unfurl upwards.” – KPF

“The exceptional financial investment in the project is a testament to our great confidence in the Israeli economy and its growth, and continues the strategy that has led us in building the country for over three decades,” she said.

The spiral tower was designed by the American Kohn Pedersen Fox architecture firm, which has designed five out of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in the world. Israeli firm Moshe Tzur Architects & Town Planners is working with KDF on the project.

The tower’s spiral shape, according to its planners, draws inspiration from the curves of a snail shell. Biblical scrolls were another source of inspiration. Once completed, the new building will unfurl dramatically above the existing circular, triangular and square-shaped Azrieli Center buildings. Those three 50-story buildings, which include a shopping mall, commercial and office space, were completed between 1998 and 2007.

The new tower will expand the Azrieli Center footprint by almost three acres, for a total area of more than 12 acres. The complex will constitute a major transportation hub, connecting the existing Hashalom railway station with the light-rail network now under construction in the Tel Aviv district, as well as the many bus lines.

Some 100,000 people are expected to pass through the expanded center every day.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9768

Lebanon’s minister threatens to strike Ben-Gurion Airport in future war


By ANNA AHRONHEIM
04/25/2019  

The disputes over the border have elevated tensions between the two enemy countries
Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab has warned that the Lebanese military would strike Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport if Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport were struck in a future conflict.

“If ‘Israel’ bombards our airport, we will bombard its airport; if it strikes our oil facilities, we will strike its oil facilities,” he was quoted as saying by Hezbollah’s al-Manar news site.

Saab made the comments while touring south Lebanon. During his tour, he met with Lebanon’s Army Chief Gen. Joseph Aoun in Tyre, who briefed him on the situation in the southern region, especially in villages bordering Israel Saab and Aoun later visited UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, where they were received by its general commander Maj.-Gen. Stefano Del Col.

Disagreement over Israel’s ongoing construction of the border wall and Lebanon’s plans to explore for offshore oil and gas in disputed maritime waters have elevated tensions between the two countries, which officially remain at war.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for disarmament of Hezbollah; withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon; deployment of the Lebanese army; and an enlarged UN force in southern Lebanon.

But Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon has led senior officials in Israel’s defense establishment to warn that Lebanon’s army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network.

The IDF says that cooperation between the LAF and Hezbollah has increased in the past year, and has warned that the next war will see Israel target not only military infrastructure but civilian infrastructure used by Hezbollah.

On Tuesday, Lebanon’s Speaker of the House Nabih Berri said that his country is prepared to demarcate its maritime border with Israel under the supervision of the United Nations, with the same mechanism used for the Blue Line.

“We are ready to draw Lebanon’s maritime borders and those of the Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] using the same procedure that was used to draw the Blue Line under the supervision of the United Nations,” Berri was quoted by Lebanon’s National News Agency as saying.

The UN-demarcated Blue Line currently separates Lebanon and Israel’s territory along more than 200 points. Thirteen of the points are disputed by the Lebanese government.

According to the report, Del Col told Berri that the mechanism used to draw the Blue Line could also be used to resolve the maritime border issue and enhance stability.

The two countries have an unresolved maritime border dispute over a triangular area of sea comprising around 860 sq.km., which extends along several blocks of exploratory offshore drilling that Lebanon put up for tender two years ago.

Beirut claims that Blocks 8 and 9 in the disputed maritime waters are in Lebanon’s EEZ and parts of Block 9 run through waters that Israel claims as its own EEZ.

Recently discovered oil and gas reserves off the shores of Lebanon and Israel are predicted to generate up to $600 billion over the next few decades. In December 2017, Beirut signed contracts with three international companies to explore oil and gas in two of the blocks.

Lebanon and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on oil and gas in October 2013.

Israel also views its offshore oil and gas reserves as highly valuable, both economically and strategically. Jerusalem has made agreements with Cairo to sell it surplus gas, and agreed earlier this year to partake in an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which includes seven members: Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian Authority.

In November, Israel reportedly signed an ambitious project to build a 2,000 km. underwater gas pipeline – from Israel to Cyprus, Crete, mainland Greece and Italy – to supply natural gas. The construction of the pipeline is expected to take five years and cost some $8b.
Due to the pipeline, Greece and Cyprus were reported by al-Hayat to have offered their help in mediating the demarcation of the maritime border with Lebanon.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9766

Is there an unprecedented build-up of US naval power in the Middle East?

A massive amount of air power and US naval assets were suddenly in the same place at the same time.

By Seth J. Frantzman

April 24, 2019 14:06

Two US aircraft carrier strike groups operated in the Mediterranean Sea this week. The USS Abraham Lincoln, on its way toward the Persian Gulf from Palma de Mallorca, crossed paths with the USS John C. Stennis which had come from the Gulf and had left the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.
 

A massive amount of airpower and US naval assets were suddenly in the same place at the same time. As if that wasn’t enough, the Stennis had just carried out a joint pass exercise with France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in the Red Sea. There were other navy ships in the area as well. The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul, the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay, the Royal Danish Navy Frigate HDMS Niels Juel and the French air defense destroyer FS Forbin were in the area, Michael Landmark of Denmark pointed out online. The Defense Post reported the same information, noting that French Rafale aircraft and American F-18s conducted training together. The USS Stennis had already carried out weeks of training with France’s Marine Nationale defense destroyer FS Cassard in January.
 

The De Gaulle is en route to the Indian Ocean as part of its “Clemenceau” annual mission. It left Toulon in early March. The Stennis had left Manama in Bahrain on March 28. The Lincoln had left Norfolk on April 1. The Lincoln is supposed to end up in San Diego when its deployment ends. After the April 15 transit together in the Red Sea, the Stennis moved into the Mediterranean on April 20.

For observers of US naval power, the gather of forces appears important. Lenny Ben-David noted “where are the carriers,” and pointed out that their rendezvous coincides with the first F-35 deployment to the UAE. He noted that the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group was in the Gulf at the same time as the Stennis and Lincoln were moving toward one another. It raised interest from Iran-watchers as well. Babak Taghvaee, who tweets often about military issues in the region, noted that the Stennis has 50 F-18s on board.
 

The presence of the carriers and their strike groups have led to two different narratives. Task & Purpose website asserts that they “send a message to Russia.” Stars and Stripes agreed with that assessment, noting that Naval Forces Europe and Africa commanders Admiral James Foggo met US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.
 

The US has said that Russia’s “aggressive actions and interventions in Syria, Libya and elsewhere destabilize these areas,” Stripes reported. “It’s crucial that we give our civilian leaders options and ability to negotiate from a position of strategic strength,” Foggo said. The presence of the two carrier groups was aimed at Russia, the report concluded.
 

The Washington Examiner thinks that the presence of all the naval assets is a message to Iran.
 

“The Navy’s current posture gives President Trump significantly added means of deterrence and actions against Iran,” the newspaper reported on April 22. Tom Rogan, the author of the piece, wrote that it wasn’t coincidental. “The US Navy is overstretched, especially in relation to its aircraft carriers and submarines.” Its deployment to the Mediterranean “appears calculated with an anticipated conflict in mind.”
 

The question that the reports raise is whether the current naval power is a message to Iran or Russia and whether indicating that it is really helps send that message. The presence of these large US strike groups isn’t a secret, there are websites that track them and the US is open about its mission and destination. The USS Stennis even has a Twitter account. One issue the US faces is that despite the “messages” being sent to Iran and Russia, both countries likely know that the US isn’t actually going to use these powerful forces for a first strike. Despite the US listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the real tensions are in Iraq and Syria.

The US has previously noted that any real clash with Iran’s navy in the Persian Gulf would result in the destruction of that navy very quickly. It isn’t a contest, the US has a massive amount of unprecedented firepower that Iran has no interest in challenging.

Similarly, the US is not going to do anything about Russia’s annexation of Crimea or Russian actions in Libya and Syria. Sailing carriers around and showing off US military might is good for practice and for working closely with NATO allies, but Moscow and Tehran likely know that the message is largely symbolic.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9763

Report: IAF Used New Supersonic Missile to Beat S-300 Russian Anti-Aircraft System in Attack in Syria

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 18, 2019 , 2:52 pm

“Pay them according to their deeds, their malicious acts; according to their handiwork pay them, give them their deserts.” Psalms 28:4 (The Israel Bible™)

It was reported on Monday that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) used the new supersonic Rampage stand-off air-to-surface missiles in an airstrike that hit Iranian military targets inside Syria last Saturday.

According to Syria’s SANA news agency, Israeli jets fired the missiles from Lebanese airspace at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The airstrike targeted a possible Iranian surface-to-surface missile factory in a Syrian base in the country’s Masyaf region. Satellite images released by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat Intl. (ISI) showed the complete destruction of the factory.

As the twitter post stated, the factory was under the protection of an advanced Russian S-300 missile defense system. Satellite images released by ISI have showed three out of the four systems erected in Masyaf, with one launcher covered by a camouflage net.

The Rampage, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industry Systems (IMI),  is 4.7 meters long missile and weighs 570 kilograms. It is guided by a GPS system, making it an all-weather day/night long-range air-to-ground assault missile. It carries a warhead designed for optimal penetration capabilities, allowing for the destruction of targets inside bunkers. Its rocket engine and advanced navigation suit allow for precision targeting at a range of hundreds of kilometers. The missile features an ability to control and monitor the extent of its shrapnel, which will make its strike surgical, accurate and with minimum collateral damage despite the fact the missile spends a lot of time in the air from the minute it is launched until it strikes its target. It supersonic capability makes the Rampage difficult to intercept.

The missile is designed to be launched from a fighter jet 150 km away from the target, meaning it will not be detected by the enemy’s detection and interception systems.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9742

‘Simply Mind-Blowing’: Researchers Believe They’ve Discovered the Route Moses Took Out of Egypt

04-16-2019

Bible scholars from the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (DTRF) believe they may have discovered the route Moses took when he led the Children of Israel out of slavery from Egypt and to the Promised Land. 

The group told the Daily Star Online that they traveled to Saudi Arabia three times during their research and found evidence that the Israelites traveled through the modern-day kingdom to get to Israel. 

DTRF researcher Ryan Mauro is still working on this theory but said the most “plausible” route is one where the Israelites left Egypt through Cairo and crossed into the Sinai Peninsula. He believes they crossed into ancient Midian and stopped at Mount Sinai, which he claims is the peak of Jabal al-Lawz in eastern Saudi Arabia. 

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“After three trips to Saudi Arabia, and I’m fully convinced that the Israelites went into the ancient land of Midian when they fled slavery in Egypt,” he told the Daily Star Online

Last year, the organization released a documentary detailing their quest to find Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia. 

Mauro said he and his team discovered several pieces of evidence that Jabal al-Lawz is where Mount Sinai was located. 

“The golden calf, the split rock, Moses’ altar, the Red Sea crossing site; all of these pieces need to fit, and they fit at this site in a way that no other site does,” he said. 

Mount Sinai is traditionally associated with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The St. Catherine Monastery was built over what is believed to be the site where God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. 

“Perhaps these (skeptics) have doubted the historical account of the Exodus story because of a lack of evidence at the traditional site at St. Catherine’s, but what we have found appears to fit the ancient accounts,” Mauro said of the Jabal al-Lawz peak. 

Jabal al-Lawz has been previously been identified as the possible site of Mount Sinai, but scholars doubt this theory. 

“There is no credible historical, geographical, archaeological or Biblical evidence for the thesis that Mt. Sinai is at Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia,”  said creationist researcher Gordon Franz.

Mauro also told the Daily Star Online there is evidence that Moses split the sea at the Gulf of Aqaba on the modern-day beach of Nuweiba. There, the crossing would be just eight miles wide and a depth of only 33 meters (108 feet).

“It’s going to take some time to bring this alternative theory into mainstream historiography, but I believe that our work is going to seriously shift the landscape on this subject,” Mauro said. 

Mainstream scholars seriously doubt the historicity of the events recorded in Exodus due to a lack of archaeological evidence. 

Mauro encourages them to have an open mind. 

“I would basically say to someone who’s (skeptical) about the Exodus to keep an open mind about the subject,” he said. “These events really did happen. It doesn’t require belief in one of these faiths to accept the evidence.”

Mauro said his team is currently trying to piece together an exact timeline and map structure for Exodus based on their findings.  “What I found there was simply mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe that there was all this evidence for the Exodus and hardly anyone outside this region was aware of it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9740

ANALYSIS: Turkey’s Erdogan is in real trouble

Erdogan, whose party lost Turkey’s internal elections, insists on purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, may find itself eased out of NATO.

Yochanan Visser, 12/04/19 00:08

For the first time since Turkey’s Islamist leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan ascended to power, he’s in trouble at home, while at the same time the tyrant is risking a major confrontation with the United States.

Erdogan’s AKP party lost the March 31 municipal elections to the secular ultra-nationalist MHP party which used to help the AKP party to establish its Islamist regime.

As a result, for the first time in a quarter-century, Turkey’s main population centers such as Istanbul and Ankara will be governed by secular politicians and not by Islamists who take their orders from the Turkish strongman.

This means that Turkey’s economy will be largely controlled by the opposition since the country’s major cities count for more than half of Turkey’s GDP.

Erdogan tried to manipulate the local elections by nominating close allies such as parliament speaker Binali Yildirim and his Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and turned the local elections into a referendum on his rule.

The move backfired, however.

When polls and surveys showed that the AKP party was trailing, Erdogan did what he is best at: He started to demonize his opponents, blaming foreign governments for Turkey’s ailing economy and using religion to mobilize the masses.

Gaza, Jerusalem, Mecca, and Raqqa were more important topics in Erdogan’s campaign than the improvement of living conditions in villages and cities in Turkey.

The residents of major Turkish cities apparently saw through Erdogan’s manipulations and rhetoric, and voted in the MHP party by a clear majority.

Erdogan now refuses to concede in Istanbul claiming the election there was invalid due to fraud at polling stations and demands a rerun of the voting.

Losing Istanbul and Ankara could have devastating consequences for Erdogan’s rule over Turkey since they form the backbone of his autocratic regime, observers say.

“Erdoğan, seemingly on his way to being a modern sultan, no longer seems invincible,” Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute wrote this week.

The loss in the municipal elections is the result of economic mismanagement by the AKP government which caused the Turkish lira to lose 30 percent of its value last year and the near collapse of Turkey’s economy.

The country has slid into recession where unemployment and inflation are rising all the time.

“The opposition’s revival is good for the people of Turkey, who are suffering under Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, as well as for Western governments, which should no longer view Ankara as a friend and ally,” according to Bandow who added that Turkey should be kicked out of NATO.

The Cato Institute fellow was referring to Erdogan’s decision to purchase the state-of-the-art Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile shield, a decision that drew the ire of the Trump Administration.

The Administration has already decided to stop the delivery of equipment for the F-35 stealth fighter plane to Turkey in order to pressure Erdogan and demand he cancel the deal with Putin’s Russia, but the hot-headed leader refuses to comply.

The S-400 missile shield is considered the world’s most advanced anti-aircraft system and the deal between Russia and Turkey is threatening Israel’s air superiority in the Middle East.

Washington is considering the purchase of the Russian system, a threat to the NATO since the deal would jeopardize the secrecy of its own and NATO weapon technologies and has offered to deliver the rival Patriot missile-shield to Turkey.

Erdogan, however, made clear he would not budge and vowed to go ahead with S-400 purchase while at the same time showing interest in buying the Patriot system on his terms and as an addition to the Russian system.

Congress has now adopted bi-partisan legislation that will scuttle the F-35 deal altogether whenever Ankara decides to go ahead with the purchase of the S-400.

Delivery of the S-400 system and the F-35 to Turkey would expose the weak spots of the American stealth jet to Russia, experts warned.

Tensions between the US and Turkey reached boiling point last week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Erdogan’s regime of “devastating consequences” if the Turks go ahead with their planned invasion of Kurdish-held regions in Syria.

Erdogan and his Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu have repeatedly warned a Turkish invasion in what the Kurds call Rojova, the Kurdish autonomous region along the Turkish border in Syria, was about to begin but apparently, Ankara fears the American response to this new aggression against the Syrian Kurds.

Unilateral action in Syria by the Turks would have devastating consequences, State Department Robert Paladino told reporters last week after a meeting between Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo in Washington.

Paladino’s remarks led to a new row between the Erdogan regime and Washington with Çavuşoğlu charging that the United States hasn’t “a clear strategy” Syria.

The U.S. recently decided to leave 200 military advisers in Rojova whose presence is meant to deter the Turks from attacking the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, which together with the US army defeated Islamic State in Syria.

“Increasingly, Ankara is no friend to America or the West,” Bandow wrote and advised NATO to toss Turkey out of the North Atlantic alliance

“Rather than desperately attempting to hold Ankara in NATO, the allies should begin considering how to ease Turkey out,” the former special assistant to President Reagan added.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Lauds ‘Incredible Victory’ As Exit Polls, Tally Shows Clear Likud Win Over Gantz’s Blue And White Party

Netanyahu said the numbers indicated a “fantastic achievement, an enormous achievement, which is almost unfathomable.”He applauded his supporters for securing his win in the face of a “biased media.”He called the Likud outcome “almost unprecedented,” saying, “When did we receive so many seats? I don’t even remember.”If Likud ends up with 33 seats or above, it would be the party’s best showing since 2003, when the party won 38 seats under the leadership of Ariel Sharon.

by Geoffrey Grider April 9, 2019

With 96% of vote in, Netanyahu headed to fifth term as Israel’s PM. Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White tied with 35 seats each, but right-wing bloc has clear majority; second Arab party crosses election threshold

It’s official, Benjamin Netanyahu will officially be the longest-serving leader in the 70-plus year history of regathered Israel. Though the election got off to one of the rockiest starts Netanyahu has ever experienced, in the end the God of Abraham granted him yet another term as earthly leader of the nation of Israel.

“For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122: 5-9 (KJV)

I guess God has more for the prime minister to yet accomplish, and the mind reels at what might come next. Already we have seen the US Embassy moved to Jerusalem, then we saw Jerusalem declared as the capital of Israel, incredibly we watched as President Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and crazy as it seems, we watched Secretary of State Pompeo hint that the United States might support the building of a third Jewish Temple.

What could possibly top all of that? Something tells that even bigger things are loading in the prophetical pipeline, and just waiting for the word of the Lord to bring them to pass. I am beyond thrilled that Benjamin Netanyahu has been given another term, and what amazing things lay just around the corner. Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines…now boarding!

Netanyahu lauds ‘incredible victory’ as exit polls, early tally show clear win

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared himself victorious in the 2019 general election Monday night, as updated exit polls and early results showed him with a clear path to forming a new government.

“I am very moved on this night,” he told exuberant supporters. “This is a night of an incredible, incredible victory.” Though initial exit polls at 10 p.m. had showed Likud and Blue and White either even at 36 seats (Channel 13 and Kan) or with an advantage for Blue and White (37 to 33 on Channel 12), updated results accounting for the final hours of voting on both Channel 12 and 13 showed Likud leading 35 to 34.

And regardless of the horse race between the two major parties, the right-wing bloc was projected to win a majority in the 120-seat Knesset. The results mean Netanyahu will likely sweep back into power for an unprecedented fifth term, despite pending bribery and fraud indictments hanging over him.

He had help. President Donald Trump gifted him the sensationally timed US recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan late last month, and the branding of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Force as a terror group this week. President Vladimir Putin pitched in with Russia’s return of the remains of Zachary Baumel, 37 years after the Brooklyn-born IDF tank commander’s death in the Lebanon War. source

As of 3:12 a.m. Wednesday, with over 2.7 million votes counted, Likud was leading Blue and White 27.5 percent (roughly 33 seats) to 26% (31 seats). Shas was running a distant third with 6% (7 seats), followed by UTJ with 5.2% (6 seats) and Yisrael Beytenu with 4.6% (6 seats). The actual amount of seats will likely go up once all votes are tallied and votes of parties that did not cross the threshold are redistributed.

Final turnout in the vote was 67.9%, down from 2015’s final turnout of 71.8%. Depending on the final tally and coalition negotiations, Netanyahu appeared slated to be able to form a coalition with some 63 to 65 seats, while the Blue and White led opposition would have 55 to 57 seats.

Netanyahu said the numbers indicated a “fantastic achievement, an enormous achievement, which is almost unfathomable.”

He applauded his supporters for securing his win in the face of a “biased media.” He called the Likud outcome “almost unprecedented,” saying, “When did we receive so many seats? I don’t even remember.” If Likud ends up with 33 seats or above, it would be the party’s best showing since 2003, when the party won 38 seats under the leadership of Ariel Sharon.

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