Olmert Investigation and Iran
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Welcome to the latest edition of the Rapture Report where we review critical news headlines and watch for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wow! What a week it has been. In Israel, the ongoing Olmert scandal was intensified today when PM Olmert interviewed by the police for the 3rd time since allegations of curruption, inapprorpoiate gifts, etc. have come to light months ago. Olmert is clearly walking on his last legs here with the 3rd interview taking place today. It was said in earlier reports in the Haaretz Newspaper that Olmert is being interviewed for a 3rd time on new revelations that he used non-profit money to finance overseas trips for his family. The article reports:
Israel Police and the Justice Ministry released a joint statement Friday saying that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is suspected of asking a number of different public organizations, and the state, to pay for the same trips abroad. The money was then allegedly used for family holidays.
Concerning the trip money is was that:
Each body then had its own receipt that it had funded the trip, and the surplus money - apparently a substantial amount - was allegedly deposited in a private bank account in Olmert's name, which was handled by the same travel agency. The suspicion is that these funds were then used to pay for private trips abroad for Olmert and his family. On some occasions, Olmert's wife and children traveled on their own. Police say Olmert amassed close to $100,000 in the private bank account over the course of many years.
These new revelations of wrongdoing are piled onto the already troublesome reports of corruption concerning the Talansky affair in which Olmert was given envelopes full of cash over the years for various political favors. With each passing day it appears that Olmert's days as PM could becoming to an end. However, Olmert is a very smart political clown and has on many occasions managed to slip through what was surely his political end. Recently Olmert made a last minute deal with various political parties in order to avoid bringing down the Olmert government. Whether Olmert will find a way out of this mess remains to be seen. Another news report in the Jerusalem Post notes:
A police source said Thursday that the allegations are extremely serious and that an ordinary citizen would have been arrested by now had such accusations been leveled.
With the Olmert situation getting worse with each passing day, some analysts have suggested that Olmert could try to use the Iranian situation as a way to slip past the current allegations of corruption. There are some who believe that if Israel is to make the tough decisions on Iran, it cannot afford to be in the middle of an election or other political turmoil. This kind of political issue like the Iranian nuclear situation could give olmert some political leverage for the time being. Now whether that is the case, remains to be seen. But Olmert is clearly desperate, and as the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Look for Olmert to try anything to stay in office. Stay tuned on that situation. We will keep watching the developments.
In other news, the war of words and psychological warfare continues to escalate in the Middle East. There are several very concerning news articles today on the Iranian nuclear front. In the Israel National News it is being reported that the IAf is currently using Iraqi bases for practice runs on taking out the Iranian nuclear facilities. It was reported that:
Israeli Air Force planes have been using U.S. Air Force bases in Iraq to train for an aerial strike on Iran, sources in Iraq's Department of Defense told an Iraqi news network. The report was quoted in Iran as well.
In describing the activities it was said that:
It says there has been night-time activity by fighter jets "on a massive scale" in several U.S. bases and that U.S. troops have stepped up security around those bases. The Iraqi sources added that according to ex-military personnel living in Al-Anbar province, the jets usually arrive at night from the direction of Jordan, enter Iraqi airspace and ;and at a base near Haditha. The sources "estimate" that these are IAF fighters. The report adds that if jets take off from the U.S. air bases they could enter Iranian airspace "in five minutes" and be over the Bushehr reactor "in record time."
If the following reports are true, then it would appear to me that things are pretty close to a military strike on Iran. Having the IAF in Iraqi practicing bombing raids is pretty serious stuff. Especially in an Islamist country like Iraq. On the other hand there were flat out denials concerning these reports. In a Jerusalem Post article Iraq denies that the IAF is actively using Iraqi bases for such military activities. The reports says:
"As the Ministry of Defense, we haven't observed any IAF warplanes practicing in Iraqi airspace," said Major-General Mohammad al-Askari, spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry.
I would imagine that if the IAf was indeed rehearsing bombing runs in Iraq, that Iraq would deny such reports as they would surely inflame the Iranians and have serious effects as a result. I would not be surprised to see the IAF using the Iraqi bases for such a mission. The Arabs are not happy with the thoughts of a nuclear Iran and the increased rhetoric coming out of Iran is causing serious concern in Arab capitals. In fact, it is being reported today that an unnamed Arab country has told Israel that they do not mind an attack on Iran. The Haaretz Newspaper reports that:
Official representatives of an Arab country have hinted in meetings with Israeli officials that they would not oppose an Israeli military operation against Iran, sources in Jerusalem said this week. According to the sources, the representatives of the Arab country said they are worried by Iran's growing influence in the region, primarily among Shi'ite communities in Arab states.
I have been wondering if the Arab country not named might be Iraq? That would certainly seems to be a possible match to me as the Iranians maintain a very serious influence in the southern Iraq regions. This has been a serious concern of the US and their allies in the past as well. while the Arab state is not named, it could be any one of several in the area. but regardless of the state's identity, the bottom line is that a nuclear Iran is a serious concern for everyone in the Middle East. Iran wants to reclaim the Persian empire and the influence that goes along with it. Iran would love nothing more than to control the welathy Middle East.
Finally, one other interesting news article that shows that a military strike could be coming soon is found in the Israel National News report that the US Navy has been practicing simulated exercises involving an attack on Israel by Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. The article states:
A U.S. Navy exercise last week practiced defending Israel against a combined missile attack from Syria, Lebanon and Iran. The exercise involved two Aegis warships, one off the coast of Israel, and the other in the Persian Gulf, StrategyPage reported. The website noted that the exercise was meant to "send a message."
The exercise results were reported as:
"So far, the Aegis system has knocked down nearly 90 percent of the missiles fired towards it. This includes shooting down a low flying space satellite," the report said. The Aegis system consists of anti-aircraft missiles combined with the Aegis radar system, that shoots down ballistic missiles.
With all that is happening in the Middle East these days, Bible prophecy watchers need to keep watching the news as events tend to move fast in the Middle East when they start going downhill. We need to pray for the "Peace of Israel" and pray for the salvation of everyone, particularly those in the Middle East where these events will unfold.