Category: Israel

BLOOD-MOONS FALLOUT: NASA GOES HIDING

America’s go-to source mysteriously gets eclipsed

Published: 19 hours ago

Joe Kovacs

The same day WND published a major report about a rare phenomenon known as “blood moons” and its possible connection to an imminent return of Jesus to Earth, NASA hid its official Eclipse Website from public view without explanation.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, WND published a story titled “Rare phenomenon to shake Planet Earth.”

The story focused on a cycle of four upcoming lunar eclipses, also called blood moons because of the color the moon often appears when it becomes darkened.

Mark Biltz, an American pastor with El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Wash., used NASA’s Eclipse Website to correlate the celestial events with God’s holy days mentioned in the Bible, discovering the four blood-moon eclipses in 2014 and 2015 actually coincide with the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles.

On the same day as WND’s report, Feb. 12, NASA took down its site which for years provided detailed information and schedules about upcoming eclipses.

Users trying to find the site are now presented with a message stating, “NASA’s Eclipse Website is currently unavailable. Eclipse information is available from the U.S. Naval Observatory,” providing a link for readers to get to the USNO website.

WND contacted NASA to ask why the official eclipse site was removed, and if it had anything to do with the report about upcoming blood moons.

“The site was taken offline because it was not up to date and was therefore confusing to those planning for future solar eclipses,” said Karen Smale, the Web editor-in-chief for NASA’s Sciences and Exploration Directorate at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“If the site is updated again, it will be brought back online,” she added.

WND took screenshots of the site before it was yanked, to show how detailed the information was.

Pastor Biltz, author of the brand-new book and DVD, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” says the confluence of astronomical and biblical events is extremely noteworthy.

“All these signs, coming together at one time, are potentially the culminating signals that God is closing this chapter of human history,” he said. “This could be the final curtain call before the Great Tribulation mentioned in the Bible. God has always wanted to warn His people, and the rest of the world, before He intervenes. What better way to communicate to us than through the universal language of heavenly signs that speak to every tribe, tongue, and nation?”

One morning, as I was praying, a thought popped into my head: Why don’t I compare the dates of the eclipses on the NASA website to the dates on the biblical calendar? When I did, I was shocked to find that all four eclipses – over both years – fell on the biblical holidays of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. I just about jumped out of my skin.

Immediately I ran to my computer and pulled up NASA’s website to look up other times when there have been four consecutive blood moons, which are total lunar eclipses, where the moon appears blood red. NASA calls four total blood moons in a row a tetrad, and they list their occurrences. I noticed there weren’t any in the 1600s, 1700s, or even the 1800s. The last time there was a tetrad was back in the 1900s, and to my amazement, they also fell on the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles.

When I noticed the years these phenomena occurred, my mind began reeling. The last two times there were four blood moons in a row, they happened, first, right after Israel became a nation in 1948, and then again when Israel retook Jerusalem in 1967. I started doing a hallelujah dance. It was as if I had just found treasure buried in the sand. My heart was racing a hundred miles an hour as all those key Scriptures about the signs in the heavens, God’s feast days, and the timing on the biblical calendar flooded my mind.

The find led Biltz on an incredible journey of discovery as he began linking the feast days in the Bible with the signs in the heavens.

“God said in Genesis 1:14 that He created the sun and moon and stars for signals on His feast days,” said Biltz. “Now I had a key to unlocking the code.”

The pastor is now sounding the alarm about what the celestial events could mean for our immediate future here on Earth.

“Four total lunar eclipses happening the next two years herald possible war in the Middle East as well as global economic collapse,” he told WND.

He says historically, these types of solar eclipses have been signs, foretelling important events such as the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

“Two happened right in a row at the time of destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. and on feast days,” he said.

“Around eight months before the Temple was destroyed we find on 10/18/69 there was a partial lunar eclipse on the Feast of Sukkot. A total solar eclipse followed this on Nisan 1-3/30/70, the beginning of the religious year. Two weeks later there was a penumbral lunar eclipse on Passover on 4/14/70. An annular solar eclipse followed this on Rosh Hashanah on 9/23/70. Then another penumbral lunar eclipse on Sukkot on 10/8/70,” he explained.

Biltz stresses what makes the coming events so startling is the fact they’ll take place during the Feast of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles in consecutive years.

 “This has happened only eight times over the last 2,000 years!” Biltz said. “And the last two times these occurred on the Jewish holidays there was a war in the Middle East regarding the nation of Israel. These are patterns and historical facts that cannot be disregarded. The Jewish Talmud records that total lunar eclipses are indicators or omens for the nation of Israel.”

Among those championing the need to pay attention to Biltz’s message in “Blood Moons” is Joseph Farah, the founder and CEO of WND.

“It’s not a question of if these signs will occur. It’s not even a question of when they will occur. About that there is no doubt,” said Farah. “The only questions that remain to be answered are: what they mean – and whether they are biblical harbingers of things to come for the world and for God’s people. No one has perspective on these questions like Mark Biltz.”

Farah added: “The wisdom of decoding these heavenly messages from our Creator in ‘Blood Moons’ is overwhelmingly persuasive, and I believe this book will, for the first time, answer all the questions curious people of all walks of life will have about the imminent signs in the heavens. God is trying to get our attention. And I am convinced He has anointed Mark Biltz to help us understand the times in which we live and the urgent warnings God is trying to deliver to us all.”

He calls it a powerful spiritual teaching “so detailed, so improbable, so mysterious it could only be the result of divine handiwork.”

Blood-Moons

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6067

Four Blood Moons from 2014 through 2015—a Sign for Israel and All of Us, says Pastor John Hagee

“If there was ever a time for the Christians of America to stiffen their spine and stand up and speak up, it’s now. To see evil and not call it evil is evil. Not to speak is to speak. We cannot be silent and receive God’s approval at a time like this.” –Pastor John Hagee

It’s not that unusual to see an occasional “blood” or seemingly red looking moon over the years. However, in 2014 there will be 2 blood moons—in April and September—and again in 2015, another two during the same months. (Photo via CBN News)

This, according to Pastor John Hagee, is likely an important, sign from the Lord, concerning Israel.

“I believe that in these next two years, we’re going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world,” Hagee told CBN News.

Hagee has written about this prophetic sign in his new book, “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change.”

The senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, and founder and National Chairman of Christians United for Israel, explained exactly what a “blood moon” is.

“A blood moon is when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon,” said Hagee. “The sun is shining through the atmosphere of the Earth and casts up on the moon a red shadow. And so the moon appears to be red.”

He noted that of the four blood moons in 2014 and 2015, all of them are set to appear on Jewish feast days—on Passover and again during the Feast of Tabernacles, in both years. (Photo via zmescience.com)

Hagee pointed out in the CBN News report that when blood moons have occurred on Jewish feast days in the past, they have “coincided with major events for Israel and the Jewish people.”

Hagee believes this time, the events will likely involve Iran and its dealings with Israel.

He was adamant about the importance of Christians standing with Israel in light of the signs.

“If there was ever a time for the Christians of America to stiffen their spine and stand up and speak up, it’s now. To see evil and not call it evil is evil. Not to speak is to speak. We cannot be silent and receive God’s approval at a time like this,” Hagee said.

blood

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6058

The Shocking Simulation Involving a U.S. Aircraft Carrier and Israeli Cities that Iranian State TV Aired

Just one day after the commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet announced that Iranian warships would for the first time travel close to U.S. maritime borders, the Islamic Republic’s state television broadcasted a documentary simulating attacks on an American aircraft carrier and Israeli cities.

First reported on by the Times of Israel, the documentary titled “The Nightmare of Vultures” was presented as demonstrating Iran’s potential retaliation to an American or Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Set to the backdrop of a dramatic Hollywood-like symphonic soundtrack, the simulation involved Iranian drones launching missiles at and destroying the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf as well as American military jets and helicopters taking off from the vessel.

The Times of Israel reported that the video “opens with Supreme Leader [Ali] Khamenei addressing military academy graduates in 2011, warning: ‘Anybody who thinks of attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran should be prepared to receive strong slaps and iron fists from the Armed Forces.’”

“And America, its regional puppets and its guard dog – the Zionist regime – should know that the response of the Iranian nation to any kind of aggression, attacks or even threats will be a response that will make them collapse from within,” Khamenei said in the clip.

The video then goes on to show military air strikes and multiple ballistic missile firings at Tel Aviv.

5

Iran warned of an airstrike on Tel Aviv and showed graphically how that would appear (Screenshot: “The Nightmare of Vultures” via YouTube)

In a somewhat unrealistic scenario that dismissed any Israeli air defenses, the video demonstrated an Iranian aircraft flying unperturbed throughout Israeli airspace, dropping its powerful munitions one after another, wreaking destruction of Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion International Airport, what appears to be an apartment building, Israeli Air Force bases, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) command center in Tel Aviv.

As the Iranian warplane was bombing the IDF headquarters, the video showed file footage of a meeting with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert which presumably meant to demonstration that Iran could strike the Israeli leadership.

Lest the target of the message be misunderstood, the locations of the strikes were conveniently subtitled in Hebrew.

To drill home the human toll of such a scenario, the Iranian film also included footage of Israelis being evacuated on stretchers by emergency responders.

The simulation emphasized the aspiration to strike strategic targets, including the refineries in the heavily populated coastal city of Haifa.

The film also showed the simulated attack of twin high-rises and Tel Aviv’s iconic Azrieli skyscraper complex, images chillingly reminiscent of September 11 attacks.

The Jerusalem Post wrote, “The film is yet another propaganda salvo unleashed by the Iranian regime, which has escalated its rhetoric in the past few days.” Besides the announcement of Iranian war vessels nearing the American coast, Khamenei said on Saturday that the U.S. government, with its “controlling and meddlesome” approach to Iran, would overthrow the Iranian regime if it could.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6029

Kerry has declared a war on God,’ write hard-line rabbis in letter

Rabbis warn Kerry to stop negotiations “in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved.”

A group of hard-line nationalist rabbis wrote in an open to letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry that through his current mediation efforts between Israel and Palestinian negotiators he had declared war against God.

The rabbis warned that the secretary must cease such activities, to avoid divine punishment.

The letter was sent by the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel – an activist group opposed to any political accords with the Palestinians involving territorial concessions – founded by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, who also founded the far-right Our Land of Israel party.

“Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the letter reads.

The rabbis argue that Kerry’s plan endangers Israeli Jews by bringing them within close range of potential rocket and missile fire from the West Bank should it be ceded by Israel to the Palestinians.

“If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people,” continued the rabbis, comparing Kerry to Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II and Roman commander and future emperor Titus, the two enemies of the ancient Jewish kingdoms who destroyed the temples in Jerusalem and Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel along with them.

“By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” they threatened.

The letter was signed by Rabbi Wolpo, along with four other rabbis including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder and chairman of the Temple Institute; Rabbi Yigal Pizam, the dean of a yeshiva and a leader of the Chabad community in the Haifa neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel; Rabbi Gedalya Axelrod, the emeritus head of the Haifa Rabbinic Court; and Rabbi Ben Tziyon Grossman from the town of Migdal Ha’emek.

080423_US_and_Israel_flags

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6018

Decoded: 3,000-Year-Old Inscriptions May Prove Biblical Account of Powerful Reign of King Solomon and Jerusalem

By Dawn Cherie Araujo (news@gospelherald.com) Jan 31, 2014 07:48 PM EST

A Jewish history scholar believes he has decoded the eight letters thought to be the most ancient Hebrew inscription to come out of Jerusalem.

Gershon Galil, a Jewish history professor at the University of Haifa, says the letters appear on a wine jug and the inscription tells what type of wine it contained: cheap wine for slaves.

“This wine was not served on the table of King Solomon nor in the Temple,” Galil wrote in the journal New Studies on Jerusalem. “Rather it was probably used by the many forced laborers in the building projects and the soldiers that guarded them.”

He notes this proves the biblical account of Jerusalem as a sophisticated and powerful city, which some scholars have denied.

“The ability to write and store the wine in a large vessel designated for this purpose, while noting the type of wine, the date it was received, and the place it was sent from, attests to the existence of an organized administration that collected taxes, recruited laborers, brought them to Jerusalem, and took care to give them food and water,” he wrote.

Scholars believe the jug dates back to the reign of King Solomon more than 3,000 years ago, but the engraving’s meaning has eluded archaeologists since its discovery last summer. At the time, the lead archaeologist on the dig that found the engraving, Eliat Mazar, said the combination of letters did not match any known west-Semitic language.

Initially, Mazar and others believed the inscription was made a non-Israeli, likely a Jebusite – a group of non-Jews who also lived in Jerusalem.

Galil, however, believes the inscription is in an early form of Hebrew – and one written right to left rather than left to right as Hebrew has traditionally been written. Attempts to read it left to right have not yielded any results.

The jug was found in the Ophel area of Jerusalem, south of the Temple Mount. Galil believes the inscription was made in the years after Solomon had built the temple and his palaces as described in 1 Kings 6-8 and again in 2 Chronicles 3-5. Incidentally, he says it was these very building projects that produced such a high demand for cheap wine and its storage.

Eliat Mazat, a third-generation archaeologist, has been excavating King Solomon’s complex off and on since 2009. The wine jug was found in a dig that began in 2012. Other notable discoveries from the dig include artifacts described by the prophet Jeremiah. 

Mazat is no stranger to biblical discoveries. In the 1990s, she used clues from the Bible in an attempt to find the ruins of King David’s palace. In 2005 she announced she had, though not all scholars agree. Yet, in a 2008 interview, she said she remains committed to her biblically based work.

“[The Bible] is the historical source, so important, so fantastically written,” she said. “The question is, how much of the reality that the Bible describes can we archeologists reveal?”

eastern gate

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6015

ISRAEL’S ‘LION OF GOD’ DEAD AT 85

Ariel Sharon, the 11th prime minister of Israel who served in that capacity from 2001 to 2006, suffered a serious stroke on Jan. 4, 2006, and had been incapacitated since.

But Sharon, whose name, Ariel, means “Lion of God” and was sometimes called “The King of Israel” – or “The Butcher of Beirut,” depending on who was doing the nicknaming – still had loomed large over the nation he was so instrumental in establishing.

Sharon will go down in history as one of Israel’s fiercest military warriors and a longtime hawk on security matters, but he will also be remembered for his controversial evacuation of Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip. To this day Israel continues to feel the devastating security consequences of the Gaza disengagement, which left the Islamist terror group Hamas in control of the border territory.

Aside from the Gaza withdrawal, Sharon was widely considered one of the greatest field commanders and military strategists in Israel’s history – and reviled as one of the worst of villains by Israel’s enemies. Sharon fought in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Suez War, the Six-Day War of 1967, the 1969 War of Attrition, the Yom-Kippur War of 1973, and served as Israel’s minister of defense during the 1982 Lebanon War.

Sharon’s policies both on and off the field of battle lent muscle to the fledgling Israeli state, which was surrounded by enemies on every side, yet survived its formative years no doubt in part because of Sharon.

For example, after Yasser Arafat rejected an Israeli offer of a Palestinian state at U.S.-brokered talks at Camp David in 2000, the PLO leader returned to the West Bank to launch his intifada targeting Jews.

Sharon, working with George Bush, reversed decades of Israeli and U.S. policy that treated Arafat as a moderate. Sharon used the Israel Defense Forces to isolate Arafat to a small wing of his compound in Ramallah, where the Palestinian leader lived under de facto house arrest until his death in 2004.

The Jewish Virtual Library says Sharon joined Haganah at age 14 in 1942 and during the 1948 war commanded an infantry company. He was named commander of a Paratroop Corps in 1956. He commanded an armored division in the 1967 conflict and again during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Even his opponents hailed him as “Ariel son of Shmuel … a biblical military hero no less than Jeroboam son of Yehoash or Joshua son of Nun.”

An online biography notes Sharon was nominated by Knesset Member Yoel Hasson for the Israel Prize in 2006. Hasson called Sharon “an outstanding soldier throughout the chain of command, the hero of the Yom Kippur War, an admired general, a Knesset member and minister for many years and one of the most popular prime ministers in the history of the State of Israel.”

Sharon was elected to the Knesset in 1973 but left shortly later to advise Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on security. He was elected to the legislative body again in 1977 and then was appointed minister of agriculture, followed by his move to the office of defense minister.

But in 1982, after a slaughter of hundreds or even thousands of mostly Palestinian refugees by Lebanese militia in Israeli-controlled Beirut, an Israeli commission found Sharon responsible for ignoring the threat of revenge killings, which indeed led to the massacre. Sharon was pressured into resigning as Israel’s minister of defense.

Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early ’90s, Sharon carried out a program to build 144,000 apartments to absorb the flood of immigrants arriving from Russia.

While holding the office of foreign minister in the late ’90s, he met with U.S., European, Palestinian and Arab leaders to advance peace, including major work on a solution to the region’s need for water.

Following his visit to the Temple Mount in 2000, Palestinians led by Arafat released a wave of terrorism against Israelis even though a committee led by Sen. George Mitchell determined Sharon was not the cause of the violence.

He was installed as prime minister in 2001.

In that office, Sharon initiated a disengagement plan, during which thousands of Jews were deported from Gaza and northern Samaria – turning the once-fertile region over to Hamas-control.

He also played a key role when, in 1981, Israel sent fighter jets to destroy a nuclear plant in Iraq.

Sharon later wrote about the events, his concerns for a nuclear Arab state and ultimately, his thoughts on the success of the mission: “As a member of the Security Affairs Ministers Committee, now known as the Small Cabinet, I was of the opinion that we face a grave danger, and therefore was among those who pushed to strike the nuclear plant in Iraq. … From time to time I used to remind Menachem Begin of this issue, stressing how severe it was that an Arab state had a nuclear weapon. I did not concur with the opinion, which was expressed then by Shimon Peres, I think, that if both parties would have nuclear weapon, there would be a reciprocal deterrence. I said that I couldn’t rely on the discretion of Arab states if they had nuclear weapons. Soviet Union or the Unites States have a different set of considerations, and they are more responsible, even though the balance of terror always seemed dangerous to me. But I don’t trust Arab states, I have no idea how they would assess a given situation or what would bring them to use these weapons. I also explained that there was a danger that an Arab nuclear ‘umbrella’ would lead to an escalation of smaller scale actions against Israel, because Israel would refrain from responding to such actions in fear of the nuclear threat.”

He recalled the success of the mission: “We were in Prime Minister Begin’s house in Jerusalem when we received the news that the fighters returned safely and that they have bombed and destroyed the nuclear reactor. It was in Shavuot eve, June 1981. Joy and elation overwhelmed the ministers who were there with the prime minister. We left; Begin approached me, embraced me and said something in the lines of, ‘I want to thank you. The position you took had a great influence on my decision.’ In my opinion this is one of the most daring decisions any government ever took. It is something in the scale of the decisions Ben Gurion used to take.”

Those who follow the prophecies of Israel noted that Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, a much-venerated spiritual leader, had said the long-awaited Messiah would not come until after the death of Sharon. He made the prediction two months before Sharon, still acting as prime minister, had a major stroke in 2006 that left him in a coma.

Sharon’s collapse six weeks before his 78th birthday was so sudden and complete that doctors at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem advised his family that he should be allowed to die. Yet advanced medical care allowed him to live another eight years and receive daily visits from his two sons, Gilad and Omri.

While his injury was considered permanent, Gilad, wrote that, “He lies in bed, looking like the lord of the manor, sleeping tranquilly. Large, strong, self assured. His cheeks are a healthy shade of red. When he’s awake, he looks out with a penetrating stare.”

The two brothers were steadfast in their insistence their father must be kept alive, saying, “I would never be able to forgive myself if we did not fight to the end.”

 

israel_flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5959

Secret Location of ‘King David’s Castle’ to be Revealed

 

 

More proof that the Bible is real…. Like there was any doubt!

 

The location of a major archaeological find that was kept secret until now will be revealed to the public on Friday, next week. The find is being touted as a royal castle that could have belonged to Israel’s most celebrated king – the Bible’s King David.

The find is a decorated carved stone known as “a proto-aeolic capital” that is connected to a column. Only 30 such capitals have been found in Israel so far, and only five of them were found in areas in which Biblical-era kings lived.

Unlike all of the other proto-aeolic capitals found in Israel – this one is not separate from the column but connected to it. The weight of the column and capital are estimated to be about five tons.

“For reasons that are not completely clear,” wrote newspaper Makor Rishon when the find was first announced, “several authorities in Israel have decided to silence the find, which may mark a breakthrough in the perception of the period of King David and his son, Shlomo [Solomon], and of the entire Judean kingdom.”

The site was identified by Binyamin Tropper, of the Kfar Etzion Field School, as he descended into a cave in the area of southern Jerusalem. The capital “apparently indicates that an entire temple or castle is buried beneath it,” the newspaper added.

Mysteriously, when Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority to inform them of the find, the person he spoke to reportedly simply said – “Yaron, good for you. You found it, but we already are aware of it. Now forget about the whole thing and keep your mouth shut.”

Rosental said that he later found out that the IAA had known about the site for 18 months.

According to Rosental, excavation of the site has potential for uncovering a complete castle and possibly an entire neighborhood from the Judean kings’ period, for the first time ever. “We appear to have a complete castle here,” he said. “Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact.” The details found inside could be “amazing.”

The IAA confirmed to Makor Rishon that the find is an important one that appears to date to the period of Judean kings. However, the IAA added, the subject is “sensitive” and “requires serious and responsible handling.”

The Kfar Etzion Field School has announced that it will disclose the location of the find next Friday, January 17, right after a joint Jewish-Arab event for planting trees along the proposed route of the section of the security barrier that is to be constructed nearby. The field school vehemently opposes the construction and says that it will cause irreparable damage to nature, harm the livelihood of local residents and create tensions between Jews and Arabs.

In addition, the planned route of the fence would leave the site of the archaeological find outside of Israeli-controlled territory, in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.

The IDF points out that the barrier is the last section of the security fence that remains to be built for protecting Jerusalem. It has also offered to assist the IAA in moving the proto-aeolic column into Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5957

Proposal on Jordan Valley: Make It Part of Israel

A new proposed law that will come before government Sunday would counter United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposals regarding the status of the Jordan Valley.

While Kerry is putting heavy pressure on Israel to hand control of the strategically valuable area to the Palestinian Authority, MK Miri Regev (Likud), head of the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee, is suggesting that Israel do the opposite: officially annex the region.

The purpose of the law is simple, Regev said, “To ensure that the current government of Israel continues to maintain Israel’s eastern line of defense, as every previous government has done.”

There is precedent for annexing strategically critical land disputed land, she noted. “Just to remind everyone, there was opposition to imposing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan region, but the sky didn’t fall when it happened,” she said.

“It’s no secret that the towns in the Jordan Valley have tremendous importance in terms of defense and strategy… Ultimately, we have a responsibility to the citizens of Israel,” Regev declared.

“Not every round of negotiations has to end with land concessions and forcibly evacuating Israeli towns,” she added. “If this continues, eventually we’ll end up with just central Tel Aviv.”

Regev expressed hope that the ministers from Likud, Yisrael Beytenu and Jewish Home would not vote down her proposal despite the controversy – and international backlash – expected over declaring land claimed by the Palestinian Authority to be officially Israeli territory. She noted that the Likud had just had a stormy party meeting “in which the ministers made it clear to the government how important they think it is to keep the towns in the Jordan Valley.”

A similar law has been put forth by MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home). Yogev argued that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens agree that Israel must keep the Jordan Valley. “The Jordan Valley is strategically vital, and must remain under Israeli sovereignty under any future diplomatic arrangement,” he stated.

jordan-river

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5934

U.S. PLAN GIVES JERUSALEM HOLY SITES TO VATICAN

International mandate to control sections of Israel’s capital

Published: 24 hours ago

Aaron Klein

TEL AVIV – Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.

The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with a group of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The international arrangement is being proposed as a temporary solution for about two to three years while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are finalized, said the sources.

Israel, the sources said, was not receptive to the particulars of Kerry’s plan, especially the concept of Turkish participation in Jerusalem. Kerry told the Israelis he would hold talks with the Kingdom of Jordan about its playing a leading role in the proposal in the place of Turkey, the sources added.

Kerry was in Jerusalem on Friday as part of an Obama administration effort to reach a deal for a Palestinian state by April, a timeline that is still on track, Kerry told reporters.

“We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” Kerry added.

According to the Israeli and Palestinian diplomatic sources speaking to WND, Kerry’s trip this time around focused specifically on the particulars of security arrangements for the strategic Jordan Valley following a deal.

In October, WND exclusively reported Kerry was strongly urging Israel to give up the Jordan Valley in closed-door talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The current round of U.S.-brokered talks is attempting to hash out the details of a plan for the valley.

The Jordan Valley cuts through the heart of Israel. It runs from the Tiberias River in the north to the Dead Sea in the center to the city of Aqaba at the south of the country, stretching through the biblical Arabah desert.

The U.S. proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator told WND in October. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the U.S. plan.

Previous talks incorporated an element of Jordanian authority in the Jordan Valley, but the Kingdom of Jordan is wary of participating in a future Palestinian state, the negotiator said.

The Palestinian negotiator pointed to the insurgency in Syria and changes of leadership in Egypt as reasons for Jordanian reluctance to assume any security control over Palestinian areas.

eastern gate

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5917

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim BrotherhoodGlossary Item

A worldwide Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna that seeks to implement Sharia-based governance globally.

was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also said Turkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Both sides are bleeding and spending heavily in the Syrian civil war and the demographic realities make it difficult to envision either side prevailing. Syria is likely to be divided with the Iran-allied regime holding onto the Allawite and Christian areas and the rebel-controlled Sunni areas winning autonomy.

Turkey will have to twist the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s arms to make this happen. The group refuses to negotiate with Iran and claims it rejected a recent offer from Iran to pressure Assad into stepping down from power in return for reconciliation.

That is a huge concession. The last reported offer from Iran came in January 2012, when it was willing to hand the Syrian government to the Brotherhood as long as Assad remains at the helm. Now, if the Syrian Brotherhood is telling the truth, the Iranian regime is willing to push Assad aside. Unfortunately for Turkey and Iran, the Brotherhood is unwilling to be seen as a sell-out.

The third bloc led by Saudi Arabia is not giving up on overthrowing Assad and is using its proxies to become the dominant Syrian rebel force. The Saudis arranged for rebel units to break away from the Free Syria Army to form the Salafist

SalafistGlossary Item

Islamic movement formed in the early 20th century that holds that Muslims must reject much of modernity and replicate the lifestyle of Mohammed and early Islamic authorities; often used synonymously with Wahhabism.

-led “Army of Islam.” This Salafist force represents the Saudi brand of Islam but is opposed to Al-Qaeda, an enemy of the Saudi Royal Family.

The Army of Islam is the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build a 40-50,000 strong national army. The Saudis imported Pakistani instructors to train 5-10,000 of them and have set up training centers in Jordan.

The nuclear deal with Iran heightened the tension between these blocs. As the deal was being finalized, an Iran-backed militia in Iraq fired mortar shells into Saudi Arabia. It said that it was retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s anti-Shiite agitation.

“If they continue their provocations, we will carry out armed operations inside Saudi territories,” the militia threatened.

After the deal was announced, the Saudis abandoned their polite protests of American policy and became downright hostile. Prominent Saudis openly told the press that their country will chart a course independent of the U.S.

“Appeasement hasn’t worked in the past, and I don’t think it will work in the 21st century,” the Saudi ambassador to the U.K. said.

It’s long been an open secret that the Saudis funded the Pakistani nuclear weapons’ program with the understanding that Pakistan would send over nukes if requested. When asked about this deal, the ambassador said, “Let’s just leave it there, all options are available.”

The deal also provides an opportunity for Iran to entice other countries with lucrative trade deals. The Iranians are trying to lure Pakistan by finishing a major gas pipeline.

Turkey says its banks will again be able to make transactions with Iran and will increase their Iranian oil imports to 130-140,000 barrels per day from the current level of 105,000. Turkish imports of Iranian oil were at 180,000 barrels per day before the sanctions were implemented. The two countries are also restarting their gold trade.

The recent Egyptian-Turkish spat is a consequence of this escalating contest. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan continues to rail against the current Egyptian regime for the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is allowing the Brotherhood to set up a new television station in his country called “Rabia” with the slogan, “Pulse of freedom.”

Eypt expelled the Turkish ambassador in retaliation for Erdogan’s pro-Brotherhood rhetoric and Turkey responded by declaring the Egyptian ambassador to be persona non-grata. This dispute will intensify if the Egyptian government follows through on its aspiration to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council members except Qatar are trying to stabilize the Egyptian economy. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates immediately pledged $12 billion in assistance after the Brotherhood was toppled. The new Egyptian government returned $2 billion of it.

The United Arab Emirates is encouraging companies to invest in Egypt and is hiring Egyptian teachers that support the new regime. The Egyptian regime has also used the UAE to replace Qatar’s role in developing the Suez Canal.

Qatar, on the other hand, continues to act as the Muslim Brotherhood’s bank. The U.S. “ally” provided the Brotherhood-led Egypt with $7.5 billion in assistance but is now absent. Qatar has made it clear whose side it is on, and Saudi Arabia tried to organize a condemnation of its behavior in Egypt and Yemen.

Qatar is coming to the aid of the weakened Islamist government of Tunisia. The Ennahda Party that leads Tunisia is facing popular protests and may be overthrown. The Qatari National Bank recently agreed to loan it $500 million.

The Moroccan government is poised to play a potentially decisive role in this geopolitical and ideological contest. It is hostile to Iran and fears its own Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated opposition. King Mohammed VI managed to contain the country’s own Arab Spring uprising and protests have faded.

“We can be a model. We can export our reforms and our vision,” says the Deputy Foreign Minister.

Morocco is helping the West with ideologically combating Islamist extremism in Mali. The Mali government picked up to 500 imams to go there for education. The geopolitical position of Morocco places it in the third camp, but how long will Saudi Arabia tolerate Morocco’s promotion of a competing ideology?

U.S. policy is in a state of fatal contradiction.

The White House favors the pro-Brotherhood bloc and is trying to build a better relationship with Iran. This stance has alienated the bloc whose interests most closely align with ours. Egypt is now embracing Russia and Saudi Arabia is openly saying it needs to stop relying on the U.S.

The Middle East is now divided into three alliances and none of them are with the U.S.

israel_flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5907