Political Chess in the Middle East
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Welcome to this edition of the Rapture Report where we will review recent news and events in the Middle East. There have been some interesting articles coming out of the Middle Eastern news outlets over the past few days. The ones that caught my interest were the ones focusing on the Iranian nuclear problem and recent Israeli comments that indicate that Israel is nearing a possible strike on Iran. Let's take a look at the current news articles and see what is going on in the Middle East right now.
The Haaretz news paper is reporting that Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman is calling for Israel to give talks with Iran 3 months and if they do not produce results then action must be taken against Iran. There is no doubt that Lieberman is talking about military action. The article reports:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday told Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that the West should give Iran three months to respond to diplomatic overtures regarding its contentious nuclear program. If within three months Iran has still not responded, Lieberman said, "action must be taken."
Lieberman also held a strong stand against pressure to make concessions to the Palestinians:
In his first speech as foreign minister, Lieberman said concessions to Palestinians would only invite war and declared that Israel was not bound by commitments it made at a 2007 U.S.-sponsored summit in Annapolis.
No doubt the comments about Annapolis ruffled feathers across the international community. The current Israeli government knows that giving up land to the Palestinians is not going to bring about peace, but rather invite more terrorism and attacks against the Israeli homeland. Any concessions by Israel will be signs of weakness in the eyes and minds of the islamic fanatics.
Some of the pressure Israel encountered could be seen by the following caomments:
Last week, the EU's commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to endorse a Palestinian state and said the upgrade would depend on Israel's commitment to the two-state solution. Israel warned the EU that such criticism endangered the bloc's role as broker in the peace process, and Lieberman said Monday that the upgrade must "not be connected to the other problems of the Middle East."
Lieberman's response was to make general declarations about reaching a lasting peace with the Palestinians while not making binding promises as seen by these comments:
As he kicked off his European tour, Lieberman skirted around the issue of a Palestinian state, putting him on a possible collision course with American and EU efforts for a solution to the conflict. On his first day in Rome, Lieberman expressed commitment to the peace process but did not endorse the idea of a Palestinian state as sought by the United States and the European Union." "This government's goal is not [to] produce slogans or make pompous declarations, but to reach concrete results," he said on Monday, when asked if he would ever endorse a Palestinian state.
The Bible tells us in these last days that the world will turn on Israel and as a result try to make the Israeli homeland and especially Jerusalem a burdensome stone. The world thinks that by giving the Palestinians a homeland on Israeli land that it will turn the terrorists into good neighbors. These kinds of thoughts and actions show that the international community is clearly out of touch with reality. As we have seen from the withdrawal of Israel from Gaza, the exact opposite has occured and things have just gotten worse for Israel. The truth is that the international community doesn't seem to want to face the fact that the islamic fanatics have no intention of making genuine peace with the Israelis. The acceptance of a Jewish state runs counter and in opposition to islam. This should be apparent to the international community, but rather than stand with Israel and against terrorism the world community continues to try to pressure Israel into suicidal "piece" deals.
In other news, the Israel National News is reporting that Israel is currently preparing for an airstrike on Iran. The INN article reports:
While the U.S. is preparing for talks with Iran, Israel appears to be preparing for an attack, according to a plethora of media reports. Israel Air Force planes conducted exercises between Israel and Gibraltar, including midair refueling, according to a report published Saturday in the French weekly L’Express. The writer speculated that the distance of the exercises that were carried out, 2,361 miles (3,800 km) from Israel, appeared to confirm that the IDF is preparing to attack Iran if Teheran continues its refusal to end its nuclear program.
Two weeks ago, the London-based Sunday Times reported that Israel plans to attack Iran’s nuclear reactor using three AWAC planes. A senior military official was quoted as saying, "Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words."
The above quote is interesting given the fact that the distance of this air force training is approxiamately the similar distance to Iran. It is not unusual that such training takes place, but the distance of the training definitely stands out. This is not the first time Israel has taken such a long air training mission. With the tough talk coming from Lieberman about a timeframe for "talks" with Iran, it could be very well that we are getting close to seeing the Iran nuclear situation come to a head so to speak. Bible prophecy watchers will need to keep their eyes peeled on the Middle East as it is possible that a strike on Iran will come without warning. This fact also leads us to our next article which pretty much supports this idea.
According to a recent Reuters news article Israel would inform, but not ask for permission to strike Iran. The news article reports:
So while no one questions Israel's willingness to attack should it deem U.S.-led talks on curbing Iranian uranium enrichment a dead end, such strikes would almost certainly entail at least last-minute coordination with Washington. Israel would want to ensure that its jets would not be shot down by accident if overflying U.S.-occupied Iraq, and to give Americans in the Gulf forewarning of possible Iranian reprisals. "Whether or not Israel got the green light from Washington to attack Iran is almost immaterial, as everybody in the region would believe that the U.S. was complicit," said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. One U.S. diplomat envisaged Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak telephoning Pentagon chief Robert Gates, unannounced, "to give a heads-up and explain" once the mission were under way.
The article then goes on to say:
Gates and the U.S. military brass have voiced distaste for pre-emptive strikes on Iran, which says its uranium enrichment is for legitimate electricity production, not weapons. But their public comments have acknowledged that Israel could break rank. "I do not doubt that Israel will do what it thinks it needs to do, regardless of whether the U.S. approves," said Mark Fitzpatrick, non-proliferation expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. "Israel would seek forgiveness, not permission."
As was done in 1981 with the Iraqi nuclear reactor and again in 2008 with the Syrian reactor, it is quite possible that Israel will suddenly strike when it is least expected and/or with little to no warning. There is a good chance that we will wake up to news headlines showing the rubble of the smoking remains of the Iran nuclear reactors. Such a scenario is very real indeed. Over the last couple of months we have heard many an Israeli politician noting the similarities between the current day with that of the 1940's when a mad man named Hitler was loose and attacking the Jewish people. The Jewish people have said "never again" to such incidents. I do not believe that Israel will remain silent and accept a nuclear Iran. With the Iranian president calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" the stakes could not be higher should Iran develop a nuclear weapon.
Let us remain ever watchful of events in the Middle East and in particular with Israel. We are entering a period of time here in these last days when it appears Bible prophecy is moving in such a direction for near future fulfillment. There are many pieces to the prophetic puzzle that seem to be moving across the chess board. Eventually the chess pieces will fall and lead us into the Tribulation period. Join me in praying for the Israeli people and for their leaders. The Israeli people need prayers in these last days as they face incredible pressure and force from every direction.