News Review - 13 Nov 2020
Peace In Th eMiddle East

After over 70 years of wars and strife, do we finally have…

Peace In The Middle East?

It was announced in October that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and now Sudan are ending their diplomatic boycott of the Jewish state. President Trump said "at least five" more countries are in line to normalize relations with Israel under US auspices, including Saudi Arabia. The threat of war is diminished, Israel will now have access to the Arab nations for trade deals while the Arabs will benefit from Israeli technology. Surely this is a ‘win-win’ situation for all concerned?

Look At The Media Coverage…

22 October, 2020 — The Palestinians Sidelined

"I think the Palestinians are sort of in one of those final stages of denial. It’s hard to watch. It’s completely self-defeating. There was a leadership problem. There was significant corruption at the top… I’ve travelled with Prime Minister Netanyahu to the United States. I’ve been on his plane a few times… He flies like a regular commercial passenger. And Mahmoud Abbas, where the Palestinian GDP per capita is maybe 1/15th that of Israel, he flies around in a $75 million Boeing business jet…

America has provided the Palestinians with more financial, humanitarian assistance per capita than any other place in the world by far. And we have given more money to the Palestinians compared to any other nation by a power of at least five compared to every other country. So, we’ve got nothing to apologize for in terms of our assistance to the Palestinians… It is a bridge to nowhere. The Palestinians want to take, but they’re not willing to really engage in a serious way.

We want to help the Palestinian people. By the way, the State of Israel wants to help the Palestinian people. It is in Israel’s interest for the Palestinian people to be healthy, to be prosperous, to have hope and optimism about their lives… Enough of the histrionics. Enough of the tantrums. Just sit down and have civilized discussions on serious issues and there’ll be progress.” ( themedialine.org)

23 October, 2020 — The Arab-Israeli Peace Cascade

“Middle East failures contributed to Republican defeats in 2008 and Democratic defeats in 2016. If Donald Trump loses in 2020, it will be for different reasons. The US-brokered deals normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states are a highlight of his Presidency, and on Friday the White House announced Sudan would join the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in ending its diplomatic boycott of the Jewish state. These moves have been utterly confounding to Obama Administration alumni.” ( wsj.com)

23 October, 2020 — Sudan and Israel agree to normalize ties, the third such accord since August

“Sudan and Israel have agreed to begin normalizing relations, President Trump and leaders of both nations said Friday, marking the third such accord brokered by the White House since August. The deal does not immediately entail full diplomatic relations, but it is an agreement to start discussions over normalization with an initial focus on economic matters. Like the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, this one sidelines the Palestinians, who have boycotted talks with Trump’s envoys, while drawing new economic and diplomatic partnerships with Israel. Trump said ‘at least five’ more countries are in line to normalize relations with Israel under US auspices and boasted that the arrangements cost the United States nothing.” ( washingtonpost.com)

23 October, 2020 — Egypt’s Sisi welcomes Sudan-Israel agreement

“Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi welcomed on Friday ‘the joint efforts of the United States, Sudan, and Israel that led to the normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel.’ ‘I appreciate all the efforts aiming to achieve the regional stability and peace,’ El-Sisi said in a post on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. Israel and Sudan agreed on Friday agreed to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Sudan the third Arab country to set aside hostilities with Israel in the past two months.” ( ahram.org.eg)

25 October, 2020 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting

PM Netanyahu: “Today we are expanding the circle of peace. Additional countries will yet join only if we consistently adhere to this policy. It has brought us results that we could only dream about, and I dream about much more. Today, I am submitting for Cabinet ratification the historic peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates, which has been approved by the Knesset. The Cabinet will also approve sending to the Knesset the agreement on establishing peaceful ties with Bahrain. As you know, over the weekend we also declared an additional normalization agreement, this time with Sudan, which had been an enemy country until a few years ago.” ( mfa.gov.il)

29 October, 2020 — Trump says Saudi Arabia next in line for Peace with Israel

“On Friday evening, President Trump announced that Israel and Sudan have reached an agreement that will lead to establishing normalized relations between the two countries. The deal was finalized in a phone conference between the president, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. At the same time, Trump announced that there are currently five more countries that will be announcing normalization agreements with Israel. In his remarks, the president hinted that Saudi Arabia is considering a similar move. ‘We have many countries as you know getting ready and I’m also sure you’ll see we also have Saudi Arabia in there very soon,’ Trump said from the Oval Office. ‘I really believe that will happen too. And very good relations with Saudi Arabia. You’ll see something very special’.” ( israel365news.com)

29 October, 2020 — Meanwhile, Israel on the offensive… With massive exercise in north, [Israel’s] IDF prepares for war on multiple fronts

“Lethal Arrow drill simulates fighting in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere against Iranian proxies and Palestinian terror groups.

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday completed its premier exercise of the year, a large-scale simulation of war in the north against Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies, and of a smaller conflict in the Gaza Strip. Dubbed Lethal Arrow, the drill was meant to improve the military’s offensive capability, specifically the number of targets it is able to strike each day, according to senior IDF officers. The exercise, which began Sunday, was the IDF’s largest of 2020, with both regular conscripted units and reservists taking part.

Tzur said his troops focused on rapidly identifying and destroying enemy targets. Hezbollah is believed to control an arsenal of some 130,000 rockets and mortar shells, most of them simple, so-called ‘statistic’ munitions, but also a small but growing number of precision-guided missiles, which present a far greater threat to Israel.” ( timesofisrael.com)

30 October, 2020 - Israel on the offensive - at the UN!

UN envoy chides Security Council for ‘ignoring’ Israel normalization deals…

“Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the Security Council on Monday: ‘Instead of viewing the [normalization] accords as a new opportunity to kick-start negotiations, the Palestinians have attacked the Emirates, Bahrainis and Sudanese… Now everyone can see that the Palestinians incite against any country that seeks peace in the region, even its fellow Arab League members. The fact that the Palestinians attack those who make peace with Israel demonstrates that, for years, the council has been applying pressure to the wrong side’.” ( timesofisrael.com)

Peace, Peace?

After over 70 years of wars and strife, do we finally have peace in the Middle East?

Politics in the Middle East…

"Democracy is like a streetcar. You ride it until you arrive at your destination and then you step off.” (Turkish President Erdogan) ( thehill.com)

Right now, it looks promising. However, the Bible makes it clear what is really going on in the Arab/Muslim world.

“They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence.’

Assyria has joined them, too, and is allied with the descendants of Lot (Jordan).(Psalm 83:3-4, 8, NLT)

Germany Allied With Jordan?

Quietly, and almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, this has already happened. In June 2017, Germany moved its base in Turkey to Jordan.

“Since December 2015, Germany has been part of the global coalition against the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group (Counter Daesh). The soldiers of the German Armed Forces had been stationed at Incirlik air base in Turkey, supporting the coalition with a tanker aircraft and reconnaissance flights. In early June 2017, Germany’s federal government decided to withdraw from Incirlik because the Turkish government had refused to allow members of Germany’s parliament to visit the base. Instead, 250 soldiers, six Tornado fighter jets and a tanker will be stationed at Al-Azraq air base in Jordan. As head of the advance party, Frank Gräfe spent one and a half months at the Jordanian base preparing for the move. He is delighted by how cooperative his Jordanian partners have been.” ( deutschland.de)

The Way Of Peace They Know Not

God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write:

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” (Isaiah 59:1,2, 7-8)

God inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write:

“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14 – repeated in Jeremiah 8:11)

The Apostle Paul was inspired to give this warning:

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (I Thessalonians 5:3)

So – What’s Next For The Middle East?

At some stage, it would appear that Judah is going to be attacked and be “wounded”, as we read in Hosea. Note that they go to Europe for help, not the USA!

“When Ephraim saw his sickness (or grief), and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.(Hosea 5:13)

The following scripture seems to indicate that the USA and Britain “turn against Judah”.

“Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 9:21)

If America withdraws its support for Israel, and Israel is attacked, they may have to resort to using nuclear weapons against the attacker. Could this be the reason the European army invades the Middle East, as a “peace keeping” force?

The Invasion

The invading European army takes over much of the Middle East – even down into North Africa.

“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom (Turkey), and Moab (Jordan), and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” (Daniel 11:41-42)

The removal of the Daily Sacrifices is one of their goals. Their army also surrounds Jerusalem… to protect/control it!

“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” (Daniel 11:31)

Temple To Be Built First?

Many think that endtime events cannot happen unless there is a Temple in Jerusalem.

Mr Armstrong explains:

“But, verse 11, ‘from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away…’ Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice – possibly at the wailing wall. The indication is the armies of the ‘beast’ of Revelation 17, entering Jerusalem (Dan. 11:41, Zech. 14:2), will stop this daily sacrifice. ‘…And the abomination that maketh desolate set up.

What is the “abomination that makes desolate”?

This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15. In Daniel 11:31, the armies of Antiochus Epiphanes were at Jerusalem, and some commentators have interpreted it as Antiochus placing a statue of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Not only does Matthew 24:15 also refer to this, but in a parallel New Testament scripture, Luke 21:20 speaks of the same thing as ‘Jerusalem compassed with armies.’ This is the correct meaning of this abomination. It is THE ARMIES – NOT A STATUE - that make Jerusalem desolate.( Pastor General’s Report – November 20, 1979)

After 6,000 Years

Man has now tried every form of government – and all have failed. But this is very much part of God's Plan. The key lesson He wants us all to learn is that man without God’s Holy Spirit cannot obey God - so cannot solve his problems.

At the beginning, Adam and Eve rejected God’s way – so access was cut off to the tree of life. When Christ came and fulfilled His ministry, the Holy Spirit was made available – but only to those chosen by God.

Sir Winston Churchill understood the real problem…

“Unteachable from infancy to tomb — there is the first and main characteristic of mankind.”

( winstonchurchill.org)

Soon now, Christ will return to take control of the whole earth. God tells us, at that time… “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). When Satan is removed, mankind will then be able to obey God – and so reap the blessings!

What Is Our Role Now?

Ours is possibly the hardest job of all, to be independent, neutral, unbiased - but alert - observers.

Not taking sides, views or slants, not succumbing to conspiracy theories, not peddling pet ideas or falling into the “sheeple” mentality, avoiding hype and sensationalism - all are ditches.

How do we preserve godly neutrality?

We are to use our God-given senses and the clarity of God's spirit to process what we can see, touch, hear, understand - evidence processing - but we steer clear of “coulds” and “shoulds”, “mights” and “maybes”. We should be wary of sources given to speculative theorising - so-called “mainstream” or otherwise - that sound factual but are tainted by their underlying agenda.

Ask: “Is it fact or opinion?”

Living God's Way in a world going in the opposite direction is not easy. But keep in mind that an important part of our future role will be that of independent witnesses or observers for those we will have contact with at that time.

Unbiased reporting of the facts will be needed when asked…

“What was it like to live at the end of the age?”