Tension high in Middle East as "peace process" breaks down
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Over the past week we've seen some very interesting news reports coming out in the media that suggests that a strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities could be coming in short order. As usual the media also reports on the continued Middle East peace process that is currently in a deadlock. Other current news reports have the Palestinian Authority declaring that they could unilaterally seek a United Nations resolution declaring a Palestinian state with borders as they were in 1967. This of course brought a swift condemnation from Israel as a well as the threat that Israel would start taking unilateral actions themselves. Let us jump into the news and take a look at the situation on the ground.
According to a Jerusalem Post news article, Iran has demanded that US President Obama choose between Iran and Israel. The Jerusalem Post article reported:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the US to choose between Israel and Iran on Tuesday night, according to Iranian state media. Speaking in Istanbul at the 25th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Iranian president said that it was up to US President Barack Obama to realize his motto of "change". "The support of both Israel and Iran can't go hand in hand," he was quoted as saying by IRNA. "No change is made unless great choices are made."
As we can see here Iranian President Ahmadinejad is trying hard to drive a political wedge between US support of Israel by trying to make the US choose one side or the other. Of course this sort of political "brinksmanship" was bound to backfire as there came another report later saying that the US had rebuked Ahmadinejad's challenge. In a Haaretz newspaper article a US official had the following to say:
The United States on Friday rejected a call by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for it to choose between supporting Israel or Iran. "Israel is a very, very close friend of the U.S., and we don't think we have to choose between Israel or any other country," State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.....In his briefing on Friday, Kelly added: "We want to have productive, meaningful relations with all countries in the region."
On the surface this "stunt" by Ahmadinjead would seem like a "no-brainer" to anyone who has good working knowledge of the US-Israel friendship, but it is still interesting that Ahmadinejad would make such a bold challenge for the US to decide between them or Israel. It makes me wonder what kind of psychological warfare tactic Ahmadinejad is trying to play? Or is he just simply bluffing and trying to use the dangling carrot of continued negotiations over their nuclear program as a means of weakening support for Israel? To me, this is simply more of the same "chess" game that has been going on for over the last five years now between Iran and the international community.
There is also a chance that Iran believes that US President Obama will soon decide to abandon the historical ties between the US and Israel. Afterall, Obama has given some pretty unbelievable speeches recently that looked an awful like praise for Islam and the terrorist states rather the condemnation they should rightly receive. It could be that Iran truly believes that they can divide the US-Israel alliance and by making such a strange challenge as to choosing between one of the world's leading terrorist states or a long time democracy and friend in Israel just baffles me. But then again, politics makes for strange bedfellows. For our part, we need to pray that Obama does not fall into the deception offered by Iran and Islam as we know where their spiritual guidance comes from and it is not good. The future of Iran is not one that looks good either as Ezekiel 38-39 warns us.
The Israel National News is reporting that due to the deadlocked situation of the current Middle East peace process, that US President Obama could be looking for a way out of the "mess". The article reports:
Foreign analysts and media observers say that U.S. President Barack Obama's failure to advance the "diplomatic process" is forcing him to find alternatives, one of which is "just walking away," according to observers quoted by the French news agency AFP. The president has three options, and "none of these is very good...because the Palestinian side is melting away," Center for Strategic and International Studies director Jon Alterman told the news agency.
"One is to have the president even more directly engaged to make a more obvious personal effort;" the second is put his own solution on the table; the third is to "find some way to redefine this, so people aren't looking for the president to move it forward, walk away in some way. It would be playing for time." He acknowledged that the refusal of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to budge on his demands "reinforces the Israeli thinking that now is not the good time to move."
As mentioned earlier it is being report that due to the deadlocked nature of the current Middle East peace talks the Palestinian Authority is currently thinking about trying to get a UN resolution to approve a state based on 1967 borders. The Palestinian Authority however is afraid that the US will veto such a resolution and as a result has also floated the idea of dismantling the Palestinian Authority altogether thereby forcing Israel to have to step in to take over control of the entire West Bank. This is something that the Israelis are not looking forward to having to do should the need arise. Much of the West Bank is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and is a hot-bed for unrest and would be extremely dangerous in it's current state for Israel to control. So, we can see that one way or another the Palestinians are trying hard to force Israel's hand since negotiations have basically reached their limit. And as we've been reporting here in the Rapture Report, it is expected that conflict will eventually break out. We are definitely seeing here in these last days where the Bible predicted that Jerusalem would become a burdensome stone has definitely become a reality.
The truth of the matter is that the only one who will bring true and lasting peace to the Middle East is the Lord Jesus Christ. For only he can solve the woes and hatred in the region. This family feud between Ishmael and Isaac can only be solved by him. But the world will always try to come up with a man-made solution that in reality only ends up causing more trouble. As the Bible says, we should all pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and that the Lord's Will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven. Amen.
In other news, the situation with Iran and it's illegal nuclear program is making many folks in the region tense about the short term future. The Jerusalem Post reports that French President Sarkozy has warned Syria's Assad that Israel may be close to striking Iran. The article reports:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday that Israel may strike Iranian nuclear facilities if an agreement on Teheran's nuclear program is not reached soon, London-based Al Hayat reported on Saturday. According to the report, Sarkozy told Assad that after meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, he was under the impression that the military option was 'not off the table.'
This report is coming ahead of another report where there is great concern that the next conflict in the region between the Israelis and Palestinians will be one that is much more intense than before. The Haaretz news reports that:
The Israeli reactions to the conclusions reached by the Goldstone Commission about Operation Cast Lead are characterized by large doses of affront and anger. But the issue of the next war is no less important. Justice Richard Goldstone, who conducted his investigation on the basis of a clearly ideological approach, effectively operated as an "unknowing agent" of Tehran. The practical significance of his report is that Israel is liable to wage its next war, against a more serious threat than the one posed by Hamas, with its arms and legs shackled.
With reports that the Islamic terrorists are gaining ahold of missiles with a longer range, effectively putting all of Israel under it's threat, there is no doubt that the next war will be more intense and one in which the average Israeli citizens will unfortunately take a bigger hit in. This is one of the reasons why "Operation Cast Lead" should have been allowed to go on until it's mission was completed which was to effectively stop the rocket fire into Israel as well as eliminate the threat of terrorist rocket attacks in the future. But we all know that the war was cut short by then Israeli PM Olmert as he tried to appease the world community and the terrorists have been busy since re-arming themselves with even more powerful weapons for the next conflict.
But despite all of this, the Bible tells us that Israel will continue to live on and prosper leading into the Tribulation period after making a seven year treaty with the future Antichrist. The problems on the borders with Israel between them and the terrorists will unfortunately be solved by conflict but despite the odds Israel will find herself coming through the smoke and fire by the direct intervention of God as foretold in Ezekiel 38-39. But first, the prophecies concerning Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 may first have to be fulfilled. Whether this is the case or not, only time will tell, but one thing is for sure we won't have to wait long to find out.