Benjamin Netanyahu: In His Own Words

A few days ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Saban Forum (as he often does).  The Saban Forum is “an annual dialogue between American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum, organized by the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.”

In his address, Netanyahu spoke yet again about the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran, and the fact much of the world fails to recognize the significance of Iran’s ultimate goal: the destruction of Israel.  Netanyahu made one point very clear:

“When tyrants call for the destruction of my people, I believe them.”

Catch Benjamin Netanyahu’s 5-minute address:

 

BTW – today is a day of prayer for Israel.  Why not join the global Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative!

More Israeli Airstrikes and a New Palestinian Capital City?

Keeping up with, and understanding, developments in the Middle East is never an easy task, but more and more intriguing happenings beg for attention in the news!

The Times of Israel is reporting a second round of Israeli airstrikes near Damascus in the past 3 days.  After hitting a military base thought to be occupied by Iranian soldiers and equipment on Friday night, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) reportedly attacked a Syrian military installation on Monday night, thought to include a scientific research center and weapons warehouses.

Interestingly, Monday night’s target is supposedly the same site attacked by Israeli aircraft in January 2013 when Israel took out convoys of Russian-made SA-17 missiles enroute to Hezbollah.

Once more we are reminded that Israel is seeing “red lines” crossed and, true to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promises, Israel will not sit silent while enemies bent on the destruction of Israel set up camp on Israel’s border.

Meanwhile, on the Palestinian front, very interesting news is coming out of Saudi Arabia, regarding the Palestinian peace plan.  The New York Times apparently broke a story indicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented a plan to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, seemingly slanted toward Israeli interests.  For example, the proposal supposedly grants the Palestinians a state of their own, but with the capital in Abu Dis (in the West Bank).

That is sure to draw criticism from those supporting a divided Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.  Most Israeli “settlements” in the West Bank would remain, and there would be no right of return for Palestinian “refugees.”

Even more interestingly, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, reveals a totally different Saudi position: “the Kingdom remains committed to a settlement based on the Arab peace initiative of 2002, including East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. To suggest otherwise is false.”

The White House has denied the Crown Prince’s stated conditions, leaving the world to wonder who is pulling the strings and what cat and mouse games are being played behind the scenes.  Is the Saudi Crown Prince simply cozying up and taking his position in the alliance between Israel and the US?  Is he pre-empting American peace plans in order to establish himself as a leader in the Middle East?  Is Abbas feeling so much pressure due to his weakening political position that he is shifting focus from his sliding popularity to make it look like he is being pressured by the Saudis?

Add to the mix that President Trump is expected to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a speech tomorrow.  Now we’ve got the recipe for increased tension in the Middle East, with nations forced to “pick a side.”  The battle lines may soon become very clear.

Peace in the Middle East is an unrealistic goal.  The last days will not be days of peace (other than in hearts where the Prince of Peace dwells!)  Rather, they will be days of “wars and rumors of wars,” along with all sorts of other calamities.  We would do well to keep our eyes on Damascus, while keeping our hope fixed on the Author and Perfecter of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)

Why eyes on Damascus?  Isaiah 17:1 tells us Damascus will be utterly destroyed in the last days, and it is hanging on a thread it seems.  Once Damascus falls, the dam could break, making way for the full-on invasion of Israel from the north.

Regardless of the chaos we see in the world, our noses should be to the grindstone…being about our Father’s business.  Whether by rapture or death, our time on this earth is short.  Let’s make the most of it before our Bridegroom comes to escort us home!

Trump, Jerusalem, Israeli Military Action and Iraq…What in the World is Going On?

Lots of news over the weekend, so let’s sort it out!

First, Israel took aim at an Iranian military base near Damascus on Friday night, and hit its target.  At the time, little was known about what the IAF (Israeli Air Force) was targeting or what the mission was.  Israel, as always, was tight-lipped about the airstrike, neither confirming nor denying their involvement in military action.

According to DEBKA, we know now that the target was the Iranian military base just south of Damascus, where Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias taking briefings from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.  Iranian and Hezbollah officials were killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, following recent buildup of American troops in Iraq, there are reports indicating pressure applied to Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi to cut cooperation with the Iranians.  It is unclear what other diplomatic efforts are being done there.

On Saturday, Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh committed to a “new page,” in favor of the Saudi-led defense against the Houthis (another Iranian proxy).  Once a backer of the Houthi insurgency, the “new page” seems to coincide with US-Saudi efforts to topple the Iranian puppet (Houthis) in Yemen.

Finally, President Trump is faced with a Monday deadline in which to sign a waiver that would delay still further the move of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  Furthermore, reports are coming out that Trump will make a major announcement on Wednesday, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority has warned that the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital will destroy the peace process.  (What peace process?  The efforts with the Palestinians has gone on since the 1960’s with no progress to speak of!)  Some believe Arab leaders such as Egypt’s President Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince bin-Salman are finally fed up with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and are ready for a change.

What does this all mean?  Do we see the Sunni Arab world becoming more-and-more aligned with western efforts, including those of Israel and the US?  It seems so.  Is Israel sensing the urgency of taking action, with or without the support of others, to prevent Iran from setting up shop right on their border?  It most definitely looks that way.  Will the US ever move the embassy to Jerusalem?  Who knows…but if it happens, we can count on chaos and further attacks on Israel.

Is the world ready for what is shaping up in the Middle East?  Hard to know.  Are YOU ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus to “catch us up” to meet Him in the air?  That could happen at any time.  Be ready (Matthew 24:44)…run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1)…be found faithful when He returns (Luke 12:35-43)…stand, and look up, because our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28)!

Battlelines: How Close Can Iran Get?

Are battlelines being negotiated?  It certainly seems that way.

Ceasefire agreements in portions of Syria now seem to be shaping battlelines.  Israel has consistently stated they will do whatever it takes to keep Iran from establishing operations on Israel’s borders.

IDF on the Golan Heights

Russia offered a 3-mile buffer zone, while Israel requested a 37-50 miles buffer zone.  Meanwhile, in secret meetings between Syria’s President Assad and Russian President Putin last week, it is being reported that Assad offered a 25-miles buffer zone in return for Israel’s restraint from removing Assad from power.

It is a cat-and-mouse game at this point!  Ultimately, Iran will likely go wherever they so desire, and will risk what comes, as they believe they are on the cusp of accomplishing a long-held vow: with the help of Russia and friends, to wipe Israel off the map.  (Sounds a lot like the War of Gog and Magog!)

Read Breaking Israel News’ report of the negotiations: Report: Assad Offers Israel 25-mile Buffer Zone on Syrian Border.