Category: Israel

More info on the Israeli strike on Syrian Chemical Weapons

Israel’s Air Strike in Syria

Obama Gave the Nod for Israel’s Military Strike against Syria
 

Tuesday, January 22, two top Israeli officials arrived in Washington and Moscow to deliver prior notice of the Netanyahu government’s resolve to strike out against the military links binding Syria and Hizballah because they had grown into a major threat to its national security and an impediment to regional stability.
In Moscow, National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror met President Vladimir Putin’s aides and was warned off this venture, whereas in Washington, Military Intelligence director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi fared much better.
According to its public statements, the Israeli government is obliged to take action if President Bashar Assad releases sophisticated arms including chemical weapons to Hizballah or any other terrorists.
But that is just a façade. Striking an arms convoy moving across the border from Syria to the Lebanese Hizballah would amount to no more than a sortie, whereas continuous, repeated pounding of the shared military frameworks or structures serving Syrian-Hizballah cooperation could stretch out for months and bring Iran into the fray.
Maj. Gen. Kochavi was questioned closely by US military and intelligence experts, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources report, on IDF plans for achieving its objective and what precisely Israeli war planners mean by the destruction of the military interconnections between the Assad regime and Iran’s proxy, Hizballah.
The Israeli intelligence officer listed the prospective targets of attack, how they would be hit and the operation’s estimated timeframe.

Assad gains strategic hinterland in Lebanon – thanks to Hizballah

The plan was put before President Barack Obama for his approval together with five propositions:
1. As long as Iran, Syria and Hizballah are bound by a strong military alliance, the United States has little chance of achieving a breakthrough in diplomatic negotiations with Tehran or curbing its race for a nuclear weapon.
2. A successful Israel operation for severing the Syria-Hizballah military partnership would isolate Iran militarily and so reset the balance of military strength in the Middle East. In those circumstances, the US and Israel would find it easier to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear program if necessary.
3. The tight Hizballah-Syrian interdependence keeps Assad safe from attempts to unseat him. It has deepened to the point that his Shiite ally is abetting the Syrian ruler in his grab for parts of Lebanon as his strategic hinterland, focusing on the Hizballah strongholds in the Beqaa Valley. Already, Syrian command posts, intelligence centers and sophisticated weapons are being installed there and camps for loyal military units. So even if his regime is overthrown in Damascus, Assad will have a fallback headquarters in Lebanon from which to continue fighting.
4. The transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to Hizballah is no longer an issue; Israeli military intelligence has determined that some of those poison substances are already in Hizballah’s possession, and DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources recently reported that they had passed into Hizballah’s hands back in January 2012.
Thursday, Jan. 31, Saudi intelligence sources leaked a report that “in early 2012, Assad approved the transfer to Hizballah of mustard gas and missiles able to travel 300 kilometers and carry chemical warheads.”
Saudi sources say the transfer took place over 40 days, from Feb. 17 to the end of March, 2012.

Obama weighs the knock-on effect for Iran and Russia

Therefore, it was decided in Jerusalem that the time had come to cut to the chase and avoid getting sucked into another endless debate on whether or not Hizballah has acquired chemical weapons, like the argument circling interminably around the exact point reached by Iran in its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
According to the plan put before Washington, Israel proposed launching an air strike against the Jamraya “research institution” near Damascus, where Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah officers work together on developing the chemical weapons systems supplied to both the Syrian army and Hizballah.
5. For the sake of avoiding all-out war with Syria and Hizballah, Israel’s strategic planners proposed launching a series of controlled strikes, each one pinpointing a specific target common to all three in Syria and Lebanon.
The IDF can carry out this mission on its own with no need for direct US military assistance.
After studying the Israeli plan presented by the Israeli intelligence officer, Obama weighed two more considerations before reaching a decision:
a) US support of the Israeli plan presupposes the revival of the American-Russian Cold War in the Middle East. Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Number One strategic commitment is the preservation of the Assad regime, an Israeli offensive with Washington’s blessing would have the weight of an ultimatum to Putin to ditch Assad, a step with knock-on impact on his credibility with Tehran. Obama does not imagine Putin caving in to this extent.
b) Israeli military action on the scale of offensives against Syria and Lebanon would almost inevitably set off hostilities with Iran and the onset of a major Iranian-Israeli war.
Irrespective of these considerations, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources in Washington report that Tuesday, Jan. 29, a week after military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi departed Washington, the US President’s approval of the Israeli plan was on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desk in Jerusalem. The next day it was up and running with the Israeli air strike at Jamraya.
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Israel’s Rolling War Alert

The Israeli War Alert Peaked in Time with Twin Chemical Threats
Binyamin Netanyahu

The average Israeli hardly noticed the war alert the IDF declared Friday, Jan. 25, because for the first time ever, security issues were pushed to the back of most of their consciousnesses by the fascinating political revolution quietly unfolding in their sight since the general election of Jan. 22.
An opinion poll conducted this week showed that had the vote had taken place today, Binyamin Netanyahu and his ruling Likud-Israel Beitenu would have shed more mandates than their 35 to 31 plunge and may even have been overtaken by Yair Lapid’s new Yesh Atid (Future) which netted 19 seats at its first try.
The war alert was ramped up to its peak level Tuesday, Jan 29, the day before the Israeli air strike in Syria.
During those five days, Israeli Air Force jets stood on the runways, their pilots in sitting in cockpits ready to take off within minutes of an order, and large armored and infantry forces massed along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon.
Patriot and Iron Dome missile interceptors mushroomed around Israel’s northern towns and Israeli hospitals were told to stand by for a war emergency and a sudden surge of casualties from the war front, missile attacks or chemical warfare. Television and radio newsrooms kept staff overnight in case of a sudden eruption of hostilities.

Chemical threat triggered unfolding Israeli war alert

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources report that the alert was triggered Friday afternoon, Jan. 25 by an order picked up from Hizballah headquarters to the brigades standing ready in the Beqaa Valley of East Lebanon. They were told to advance across the border and deploy outside Syrian chemical weapons stores and facilities.
Embedded in the order was a one-word code telling the Hizballah units to stand by to enter the stores and remove the poison substances to an unspecified destination. The Shiite terrorist group had come close enough to commandeering the weapons for Israeli forces to go on peak alert for moving in.
Early Saturday morning, Jan. 26, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recalled Defense Minister Ehud Barak from a family trip overseas and told him a special Israeli Air Force flight was on its way to bring him home without delay, because hostilities with Syria and Hizballah could erupt at any moment with Iran’s possible involvement.
Barak, who is about to retire, was at his Defense Ministry office in Tel Aviv later that morning. With IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and his deputy, Maj Gen. Gadi Eizenkott, until recently OC Northern Command and therefore conversant with the Syrian and Lebanese fronts, preparations for a war contingency were put in place.

Attack on Syria tantamount to attack on Iran

Tehran is kept fully abreast of events in Syria by its early warning station on the Syrian peak of the Hermon ridge opposite the Golan and northern Israel. This electronic facility constantly sweeps Israel for every military movement on land, sea and air. In the light of its input that Saturday, Ali Akbar Velayati, one of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s closest aides, went on record with a warning that Iran would deem any attack on Syria an attack on itself:
“Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance [against Israel]… For this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.”
This was the first time an Iranian official had explicitly committed Tehran to war action over Syria.
The next day, Sunday, January 27, a second chemical war threat raised its head in Syria.
It centered on the Menagh Air Base (or Minnigh airport, Minakh Air Base), a Syrian Air Force installation six kilometers south of Aleppo – originally home to the Syrian 4th Flying Training Squadron, MBB 223 Flamingo trainer aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters.
But last December, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources report, President Bashar Assad ordered the base’s conversion to a chemical warfare site, housing missiles and rockets fitted with chemical warheads and bombs filled with sarin nerve gas.
This arsenal was located ready for use as needed against the Syrian rebel concentration in Aleppo and the northern region of Idlib.
Also moved into the Menagh Air Base were Iranian- and Syrian-made short- and medium-range surface-to-surface missiles, many of them adapted to chemical warheads.

Islamist terrorists race for chemical attack on Israel

Syrian rebels have fought repeatedly to seize the strategic Menagh Air Base, but Sunday saw them massing in large numbers around the base and, as the week wore on, coming close to seizing this chemical arsenal.
The rebel force closing in on the base is reported by our military experts as consisting of three groups: The Al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusrah; the al-Tawhid (Unity) Brigade – the Free Syrian Army’s Aleppo unit, which has three subsections, the Fursan al-Jabal Brigade, the Daret Izza Brigade and the Ahrar al-Shamal Brigade; and the Suqour al-Sham Brigade – the Falcons of the Levant Brigade, another FSA unit, which is assigned to the Idlib front.
The ideology these FSA groups share has been described as Islamist but not jihadist, although some of their officers and fighters are close to Jabhat al-Nusrah.
Israeli and American military and intelligence analysts agree that if the Menagh Air Base falls into the hands of any or all these three rebel forces, they won’t hesitate to conduct mass executions of the Syrian troops and officers defending the base, or fire chemical missiles at regime targets inside Syria or at Israel and Jordan.
Israel was further troubled by a video posted on the Internet depicting gunmen holding up cans containing chemicals and threatening to hurl them at Syrian troops – evidence that Islamist terrorists in rebel ranks and backed by foreign powers, have acquired chemical weapons.
A second video showed the bodies of rabbits dead from inhaling poison gases.

Is Qatar ready to fund chemical arms for Syrian rebels?

British newspapers of Jan. 21 carried an email exchange between two senior officials of the British-based contractor Britam Defence outlining a scheme “approved by Washington” explaining that Qatar was ready to fund rebel use of chemical weapons in Syria.
In Israel, this rush of infromation confirmed their fears that the three rebel forces closing in on the Syrian air base are racing each other in a contest for the first to shoot a chemical missile at an Israeli civilian or military target.
The apprehension decided Israel’s armed forces to elevate its war level alert on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 29.
One plan drawn up for averting the threat is to drop large special force units on the Menagh Air Base to take charge of the base and its chemical and missile arsenals, followed by large cargo transports and helicopters that would lift the arsenal out to Israel.
This was only one of the contingency plans drafted in Israel for surgical strikes on the dangerous facilities dotted around Syria.
Israel and American military and intelligence experts are of the opinion that neither Bashar Assad nor Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah will take Israel military action in Syria for long and will eventually send their troops on the offensive for retaliation.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4743

Russia slams Israeli attack on Syria. US forces in Jordan on alert

The Syrian announcement of an Israeli air strike on a military site near Damascus Wednesday, Jan. 30, drew strong condemnation from Moscow the next day: “Such action if confirmed would amount to unacceptable military interference in the war-ravaged country,” said the statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry Thursday. “If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violate the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it.”
Israel has made no comment on the Damascus statement which described in detail an Israeli air strike against a “military research institute” near the capital. Witnesses say it was a plant for manufacturing “unconventional weapons.” The facility was destroyed and two staff members killed.

Lebanese sources later reported a Russian Mig-31 fighter had crossed over Sinai Wednesday in the direction of Israel. It veered west over the Mediterranean after encountering an Israeli warning not to intrude into its air space and continued flying over Lebanon.

debkafile’s military sources say that the only external military force in the eastern Mediterranean region is a fleet of 18 Russian warships, which includes landing-craft – among the largest in the Russian Navy – with 2,000 marines aboard.
According to various Middle East sources, the Syrian report of an Israeli air strike has touched off high military alerts across the region. Syria has put its Golan forces on the Israel border on combat readiness and the Lebanese and Jordanian armies are on alert. So too are the Russian fleet opposite Syria and the Lebanese army.

Our military sources report that Turkish units on the Syrian border are on high preparedness although Ankara played down the reports of the Israeli air strike in Syria, uncomfortable over the fact that the Israeli Air Force was the first external power to intervene directly in the Syrian conflict.

So too are the US air force units stationed at the Turkish Incerlik air base, the US special forces deployed at the Jordanian Mafraq air facility and the American, German and Dutch Patriot missile interceptors deployed in Turkey opposite Syria. Israel has been on high alert since last week.
The prevailing estimate in military and intelligence circles in Washington and NATO capitals is that the Israeli air attack on the Syrian military site near Damascus was but the opening shot for the coming round of military blows they expect to be exchanged in the near future between Israel, Syria and Hizballah, with Iran possibly waiting in the wings for a chance to pitch in.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4737

Apostasy: Israel has No Future (What do you do with Romans chapters 9-11)

Propaganda Wins – Jim Fletcher

At the Catalyst East conference in Atlanta, I listened to Lynne Hybels give a talk about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. One of her concluding slides was an image of the security fence Israel erected to keep out terrorists. It’s worked quite well, and that seems to bother critics of the Jewish state, who can’t bring themselves to simply say that it’s good Jews are not being murdered anymore.

Instead, the critics refer to the fence as a “wall,” or, more provocatively, an “apartheid wall.” This is a complete inversion of the truth, since Israel is the most open society in the Middle East, and grants far-reaching rights to Arabs.

An interesting lie being peddled is that the fence completely surrounds Bethlehem. It does not.

Yet, by alleging that the fence encircles the town—this even by members of the Religious Left who have been there and know better—they succeed in portraying Israel as the “warden” of the “prison” the Palestinians are kept in.

Hybels chose to include an image in her presentation that showed a simple message written on the fence:

“Love Wins.”

This is significant, because it signals yet another evidence that leftists are tightening their grip on Evangelicalism. After all, Rob Bell’s 2011 book, Love Wins, in which he comes out as a universalist while simultaneously denying that he did so—this a hallmark tactic of leftists posing as “evangelicals”—is admired by those change-agents within the church who are attempting to transform it into an altogether different entity.

By approvingly displaying this image, Hybels shows clearly that she embraces the same type of theology/ideology that Bell does. They are all in the same camp, and specific examples could be cited all the day long:

•Donald Miller’s hit piece on Israel, from his November 19 blog post.

•Andy Braner’s recent blog post bemoaning the tough conditions of those that live in Bethlehem.

•Gabe Lyon’s recent “Q” discussion/interview with Sami Awad, a leading change agent and Bethlehem resident who is friends with Lynne Hybels.

•Relevant magazine’s continued flirtation with anyone who either mocks Bible prophecy or sides with Israel.

By the way, I’ve just been informed that Relevant’s issue dealing with the Israel/”Palestine” conflict—set for January—has been moved to July. Be watching for it.

A further interesting development is that when I attempted, several times, to get an interview with Catalyst director Brad Lomenick, and ask him why anti-Israel and self-described “non-Marxist socialist” Cornel West spoke at Catalyst East in 2011, I was told Mr. Lomenick doesn’t have time.

(There is plenty of other data that shows the Catalyst team is committed to spreading the Palestinian narrative throughout the American church.)

Personally, if I were responsible for filling young evangelicals’ heads with leftist ideology espoused by Liberation Theologian West…I’d find the time to tell constituents why. But you must know, dear reader, that a hallmark of the New Evangelical leadership is to stonewall when someone questions their methods.

Silence.

This type of ideology is flooding the evangelical world, as we speak.

It doesn’t matter to these people that Israel’s security fence borders Bethlehem on only two sides. The story must be advanced that it completely encloses the tragic town.

You get it, don’t you? Let me be indelicate:

The left lies.

They lie in order to advance their ideology, which is an acidic stew of Marxism, New Age, and outright apostasy.

One of the outposts their Panzer divisions are smashing currently is pro Israel support in the American church.

Notice too that you hear only silence from America’s leading Christian…leaders. Who is holding Donald Miller accountable for writing the same kind of stuff about Israel that Hamas does? He actually alleges that Israel controls the caloric intake of Gazans…and nobody says a word!

When I attempted to ask Miller’s rep how he knows this, and whether he will come forth with documentation, I was stonewalled.

And, through networking and the internet, this anti-Israel agenda is truly a global enterprise. This week, English vicar Stephen Sizer is in east Asia, filling heads there with anti-Christian Zionist and anti-Israel invective. All the while smiling.

Last year, self-described Pentecostal (!) writer Paul Alexander referred to Jesus as a Palestinian. It is lost on these people that this is classic, Soviet-style propaganda, first unleashed on the world by leading theologian Yasser Arafat.

Where is the discernment today?

Love wins? Yes, it will, but the very definition of love has been distorted in our world today. Love will win, because love is truth, and truth will be triumphant.

At this moment and beyond, a sweet truth exists: Israel is alive and her haters hate.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4622

On the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple

There is an interesting dynamic that takes place when you listen to many of the comments made by Christians who identify themselves as Zionists, or supporters of Israel and the Jewish people, when signs of a rebuilt Jewish Temple are discussed. Quite frequently, their comments are overly negative. Because there is the Scripturally-based expectation that sometime after the Temple is rebuilt, the Antichrist will desecrate it, the Temple itself, or any plans to built it, are often thus treated as evil. But think about the logic here. The Antichrist will invade the land of Israel, but this doesn’t mean that we treat the State of Israel as evil. If the State of Israel didn’t exist, the Antichrist wouldn’t be able to invade it. Yet we support Israel. As we should. Yet many of these Christians who support the Jewish State will actually condemn the notion of a rebuilt Temple. Why a distinction between the resettling of the land and any effort to rebuild a Temple? Biblically, the Jewish people are commanded to faithfully steward the land until Messiah comes. Christians who understand the Scriptures support them in their efforts to do such. Likewise, the Jewish people are also commanded to offer sacrifices on the Temple Mount, so do I believe that we should support their efforts to do so. Simply because the Antichrist will in the future, for a brief time enter, violate and “trample” the Temple, this does not thus make the Temple, or the idea of a Temple, evil. Others will argue that any sacrifice at all is an abomination in light of the once-and-for-all sacrifice made by Jesus. While I would agree that it is only the blood of the Messiah shed on the cross that can truly atone for sins, this does not mean that any sacrifice made is thus an abomination. Far from it. After the cross, Paul and the early believers continued to participate in the various Temple rituals (Acts 21:24-26). And during the millennium, it is clear that some sacrifices will take place (Ezekiel 40-47). I’m quite sure these very brief comments will stir up a bit of controversy and will likely be misread by some, but essentially, my point is simply that so long as Christians continue to make clear the Cross of Jesus the Messiah as the only source of atonement and salvation, simple support for efforts to rebuild a Temple are far preferable to the finger pointing often cast toward the Jews as soon as the issue of a future Temple is discussed

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4605

Davidic-era temple unearthed in dig near Jerusalem

A 2,750-year-old temple and a cache of sacred vessels from biblical times were discovered in an archaeological excavation near Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The finds, unearthed at Tel Motza on the western outskirts of the capital, date from the early monarchic period and include pottery figurines of men and horses, providing rare evidence for the existence of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the Judean monarchy. The precise significance of the figurines is still unknown.

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judea at the time of the First Temple,” said excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz. They said the structure’s uniqueness was enhanced by the site’s proximity to Jerusalem, which was the kingdom’s main center and the seat of kings David and Solomon.

An IAA statement described the walls of the structure as massive, and said it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: the rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the objects placed inside the temple, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure. The assemblage includes ritual pottery vessels, with fragments of chalices (bowls on high bases which were used in sacred rituals), decorated ritual pedestals, and a number of pottery figurines.

Motza and the surrounding region are well-known for their archaeological importance. Many finds from a variety of periods have been unearthed at the site, among them a public building, a large structure with storehouses and a considerable number of silos supposedly used to store the capital’s grain supplies. Experts have proposed identifying the site with the Biblical settlement of Motza which is mentioned in the Book of Joshua.

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According to the site’s directors, ”The finds recently discovered at Tel Motza provide rare archaeological evidence for the existence of temples and ritual enclosures in the Kingdom of Judah in general, and in the Jerusalem region in particular, prior to the religious reforms throughout the kingdom at the end of the monarchic period at the time of Hezekiah and Isaiah, which abolished all ritual sites, concentrating ritual practices solely at the Temple in Jerusalem.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4558

UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Monday calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

The resolution, approved by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting “no” were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Resolutions adopted by the 193-member General Assembly are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry moral and political weight.

Israel refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear bombs though it is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal. It has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, along with three nuclear weapon states – India, Pakistan and North Korea.

The Arab proposal to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Mideast, and to pressure Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear warheads, was endorsed at an NPT conference in 1995 but never acted on. In 2010, the 189 parties to the 1970 treaty called for convening a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

The resolution, which was approved by the assembly’s disarmament committee before the conference was cancelled, noted the decision to hold it “with satisfaction.”

But Israel has long said there first must be a Mideast peace agreement before the establishment of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The region’s Muslim nations argue that Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region.

Just before Monday’s vote, Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly “the truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference.” He called for “strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions.”

Israeli diplomat Isi Yanouka said his country has continuously pointed to the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Mideast, singling out Iran and Syria by name.

“All these cases challenge Israel’s security and cast a dark shadow at the prospect of embarking on a meaningful regional security process,” he said.

“The fact that the sponsors include in this anti-Israeli resolution language referring to the 2012 conference proves above all the ill-intent of the Arab states with regard to this conference,” Yanouka said.

Syrian diplomat Abdullah Hallak told the assembly his government was angry that the conference wasn’t going to take place because of “the whim of just one party, a party with nuclear warheads.”

“We call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to accept the NPT, get rid of its arsenal and delivery systems, in order to allow for peace and stability in our region,” he said.

The conference’s main sponsors are the US, Russia and Britain. British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has said it is being postponed, not cancelled.

While the United States voted against the resolution, it voted in favor of two paragraphs in it that were put to separate votes. Both support universal adherence to the NPT, and call on those countries that aren’t parties to ratify it “at the earliest date.” The only “no” votes on those paragraphs were Israel and India.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4489

TOP ISRAELI RABBI TWEETS PROPHECY AS MISSILES TARGET HOLY CITY

 

A leading rabbi for the Israeli Defense Forces has been reaching out to the nation’s troops – now being massed because of the unrelenting missile attacks from Gaza over the past few days – through social media.

According to a new report in Israel Today, the soldiers are being called up for active military duty in preparation for a possible invasion of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, so the rabbi has been posting inspirational scriptures on Twitter.

Just yesterday was posted Zechariah 12:10, “A passage Christians and Messianic Jews see as pointing to Yeshua as Messiah,” the report said.

That states, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.”

While the Twitter space limits ended the message there, Israel Today notes that the verse continues, stating, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

“The IDF chief rabbi has posted that verse before, but it seemed to many to be especially timely now as the battle in Gaza rages and the world howls against Israel,” Israel Today reported.

The publication also noted the verse immediately preceding:

“On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.”

Some of the Gaza-based missiles being launched against Israel have been targeting Jerusalem, the report said.

Israel Today is a Jerusalem-based news agency providing a biblical and objective perspective on local news. Founded in 1978, when it began publishing a monthly German news magazine, the English language edition of Israel Today was launched in January 1999 in order to meet a growing demand for news from Israel to the English-speaking market.

The publication aims to be the definitive source for a truthful and balanced perspective on Israel and to provide timely news directly from Jerusalem – the focus of world attention.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4437

Arabs Burning ‘First Temple Cedars of Lebanon’

A group of Jews that ascended the Temple Mount Sunday were shocked to see that ancient beams of wood that had apparently been used during the period of the Holy Temple were being used as firewood by Arabs on the Mount, and off it. Archaeologists have dated the wood as far back as the First Temple period, and appear to be among the celebrated “Cedars of Lebanon” mentioned in the Tanach.

The wood, consisting of giant beams, first appeared at the end of the 1930s, when the Al-Aqsa mosque which currently occupies the Temple Mount was refurbished. The beams had been used in the roof structure of the mosque, and already at that time they were said to be thousands of years old by archaeologists – preserved only because they had been used in the building. Some of the beams were dated to the first Temple period, others to Roman times, and at least one beam was found to have Byzantine-era designs etched on it.

After the beams were removed from the mosque, they were stored in a museum on the Mount. However, in recent years the beams were moved to a corner of the Mount, open to the elements – and archaeologists fear that exposure to winter rain and summer sun will be their undoing. Some of the beams were taken out several years ago, and more have been spotted in recent months. Reports said that the Arabs, who have been trying for years to ger rid of the beams, have begun burning them.

Now, many of the beams have been placed at what appears to be a dumping ground next to the Golden Gate of the Old City, apparently for the use of local Arabs as firewood. Jewish groups that visited the Mount saw the beams being moved, but reported that the Arabs forbade them to take photos of the activity. Officials of the Archaeology Authority, who are responsible for the safety of these ancient beams, are nowhere to be seen.

Organizations that are involved in attempting to secure Jewish rights on the Mount expressed shock at the story. “It appears that this is part of the systematic attempts by Arabs to destroy all connections between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount,” said a spokesperson for one of the groups.

Manhigut Yehudit leader Moshe Feiglin expressed shock at the destruction of the important artifacts under the noses of Israeli authorities, and expressed hope that Likud voters would choose the Manhigut Yehudit faction to help defend the holy places of the Jewish people.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4369

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ISRAEL?

What’s the big deal about Israel?

Exclusive: Greg Laurie looks at prophecy predicting Jewish state will be friendless

by Greg Laurie

Why is Jerusalem such a big deal in world news? Why aren’t we talking about Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, or some other major capital in another part of the world? Why this little city?

I will tell you why. Because God said that in the last days, Jerusalem would play a key role: “I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:2–3 NLT

Scripture also foretold in Ezekiel 37 that the Jews would be regathered in their land, and this prophecy was fulfilled when Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. After Ezekiel 37 comes Ezekiel 38, which speaks of an attack against Israel by a large nation to the north of the Jewish homeland, accompanied by a number of allies invading Israel from every direction. Scripture emphasizes multiple times that this will happen in the last days. This is still in the future.

In speaking of Israel’s enemies, Ezekiel 38:8–11 offers an interesting detail:

“A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel.

“You and all your allies – a vast and awesome army – will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud.”

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. You will say, “Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence!”‘”

These people who live in such confidence? Can you imagine that statement being made right after the Holocaust? Hardly. Can you imagine that statement being made after Israel was established as a nation, or even after the 1967 war? Not really. But today Israel has one of the most powerful and effective military forces on the face of the earth. They are not the largest, but they are known for their military prowess and for their military intelligence. And for quite a long time now, they have had nuclear weaponry. That is why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stood before the United Nations and made it very clear that, if necessary, Israel will exercise a military option to protect herself. So I think Israel does live within a certain degree of confidence today that they have never known historically.

Some might say, “Well, who cares about what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says? He’s just another crazy tyrant.”

But this is a man who makes threats and has the ability to carry out those threats. Therefore, Israel takes this very seriously, and they have stated they will defend themselves.

In his address to the United Nations in September, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth. That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.”

And that is true. Because in his recent address to the United Nations, Ahmadinejad stated, “God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ. Peace be upon him and the righteous.”

This Islamic messiah, this 12th Imam, according to their beliefs, will bring about an Islamic kingdom. But also according to their beliefs, the Judeo-Christian civilization must be destroyed first. For this 12th Imam to come, they believe, there must first be chaos.

Could this be what brings about the scenario predicted in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel (see chapters 38 and 39)? No one can say with certainty. But this much we must acknowledge: It certainly could be. We see how things are lining up.

Up to this point, the United States has been a staunch ally of Israel’s. And I believe that one of the reasons God has blessed our nation is because of our continued support for Israel. But it would appear these days that we are backing away from her. And according to Bible prophecy, one day, there will be no great ally behind Israel. She will stand alone when she is attacked by an enemy from the north and its allies.

The Bible also predicts that a national revival will come to Israel, when God will once again pour out his Spirit upon the nation. But this will happen after the rapture of the church. Romans 11:25 predicts, “Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ.”

I have met people who can quote chapter and verse and give a good overview of the proper chronology of events of the end times, yet they are not living godly lives. And they are missing the point. If knowing what the Bible predicts about the last days doesn’t impact us in the way that we live, then we have missed what God is trying to say. Jesus didn’t say, “When these things begin to happen, argue about it.” Rather, he said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 NKJV).

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Turkey: An Aggressive Emerging Islamist Autocracy That May Soon Become ‘The Greatest Threat To Israel’

“Bernard Lewis, one of the world’s greatest experts on the Islamic world, told me a few years ago that the emerging younger Iranian generation and the alienated middle class would bring about regime change. However, he also predicted that Turkey would evolve into an aggressive Islamist dictatorship and could become the greatest threat to Israel.

Alas, his prediction about Turkey is being realized.

When, 12 years ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed the reins of leadership in Turkey, many expressed concern that beneath the veneer of moderation and commitment to a fusion of moderate Islam and democracy, the real Erdogan was a fanatical Muslim whose objective was to transform Turkey into an authoritarian Islamic state. They were vindicated.

The military, which controlled the nation since Kemal Ataturk created a secular Turkish Republic in 1923, undoubtedly displayed autocratic tendencies in the course of its relentless determination to suppress Muslim extremism. Yet in terms of freedom of speech and democratic process, the situation today is significantly worse than before Erdogan.

Erdogan imprisoned thousands of Turkish citizens on spurious grounds without adequate trials; one in four former Turkish generals is currently languishing in prison; journalists, nonconforming academics and politicians have been summarily arrested; dissenting newspapers were closed down.

To some extent, leaders can be judged by their associates.

Erdogan proudly accepted a ‘human rights award’ from the late Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi and welcomed as his guest Omar Bashir, the genocidal leader of Sudan, a certified war criminal responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his own citizens.

Erdogan denies that Hamas is a terrorist organization, referring to its adherents as heroic liberation fighters and treating visiting Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh virtually like a head of state. Last month he invited the other Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, to be his personal guest of honor at a state Iftar dinner to mark the end of Ramadan.

Erdogan also expanded Turkish diplomatic ties to the most radical Muslim terrorist regimes and organizations, including until recently the Syrians and the Iranian ayatollahs who he continues to insist are entitled to become a nuclear power. Now having parted ways with Assad, he has closely allied himself with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Clearly his objective is to emerge as the popular leader of a neo-Ottoman Sunni Muslim arc.

To promote this objective, he has consciously exploited popular hatred of Israel as a vehicle by which to gain widespread support from the Arab masses.

To this end, he has transformed Turkey’s former close alliance with Israel into one of aggressive confrontation and demonization, emerging as one of the leading Arab states directing hostility against the Jewish state.

The first public display of this behavior was his bitter and contrived confrontation of President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2009. Millions of television viewers saw him excoriating Peres over alleged Israeli war crimes and then dramatically storming out of the conference.

The deterioration in Turkish-Israel relations climaxed in 2010 when nine members of the IHH, a Turkish government-sanctioned jihadist terrorist group, were killed on board the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish boat in the Gaza ‘peace’ flotilla, after having attacked the IDF boarding party with metal bars, clubs and knives.

An independent Israeli commission of inquiry vindicated the IDF actions as self-defense. A separate UN commission ruled that while there may have been excessive violence, the Israeli action was entirely consistent with international law.

However, Erdogan exploited this incident to intensify the confrontation with Israel. He demanded that the Israeli government apologize, pay restitution to families and unconditionally lift the blockade on Gaza.

Seeking to ease tensions, the Israelis expressed regret at the loss of lives and, without accepting blame, sought to reach an accommodation including a rumored offer to pay $6 million to families of the victims.

But it soon became clear that Erdogan was seeking confrontation rather than compromise.

The Turkish government downgraded its diplomatic representation and intensified its global campaign to demonize Israel, seeking to have it barred from participating at all international gatherings.

Last month, on the second anniversary of the flotilla, the Turkish High Court issued indictments against Israeli military officers for their alleged involvement in the incident, pronouncing life sentences on the former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and other military leaders.

Campaigns against Israel were accompanied by intensification of anti-Semitic propaganda in the government- controlled media which included ghoulish television dramas (Valley of the Wolves) portraying Israelis as dealers in body parts, murderers of innocent children and other foul criminal activity. Not surprisingly, Turkish opinion polls reflect a 76 percent negative attitude towards Jews.

Erdogan has been especially viral in his denunciation of Israel’s targeted assassinations of terrorists. Yet when a number of Syrian shells errantly crossed his border, he had no hesitation in launching a brutal military attack, in stark contrast to Israel’s reluctance to maximize its deterrent capabilities in response to missiles continuously being launched against Israeli civilians from Gaza.

Nor does Erdogan display any scruples in employing the fiercest means to suppress protests or efforts by the Kurdish minority to achieve greater autonomy or independence.

One of the most disconcerting aspects of this confrontation is that despite his concerted campaign to delegitimize Israel, Erdogan has successfully forged a close alliance with President Barack Obama, who describes him as ‘an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.’ Erdogan reciprocates, stating ‘from the moment Barack became president, we upgraded the status of our relations from a strategic partnership to a model partnership, on which he also placed a lot of importance.’

Indeed, following pressure from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Obama agreed to bar Israel – a NATO partner country and member of NATO’s Mediterranean dialogue – from participating in a NATO summit which took place in Chicago.

Turkey also demanded that NATO intelligence information be denied to Israel.

Likewise, Turkey succeeded in excluding Israel from a special meeting of the World Economic Forum. More outrageously, Obama caved in to Turkey’s demand that Israel – the Western country which has suffered more terrorism than any other – be barred from a global forum on counterterrorism.

Israel can do little to lessen the tension. Those who suggest that by prostrating and groveling towards Turkey Israel would overcome this enmity are naïve and misguided. In the context of an aggressive Islamist government such behavior conveys weakness and surrender and would only further embolden Erdogan into making even greater demands. If we cannot generate friendship it is far better that we command respect.

However, the Turks would hesitate to demonize and delegitimize us if they believed that they would be penalized. We could surely expect our principal ally, the United States, to stand firm and not kowtow to Turkish efforts to isolate or demean us.” Source – The Jerusalem Post.

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