One of the hallmarks of the last days is a worldwide spike in anti-Semitism. Revelation 12 connects this directly to the final thrashings of the red dragon known as Satan. His war in the heavenlies against Michael, the archangel who holds the Israel portfolio (Daniel 12:1; 10:21), also has ramifications on earth. The enemy attempts to destroy Israel God’s chosen people, because he is painfully aware that their prophetic role is key in the return of Messiah, in world revival, in bringing in the times of refreshing and in the restoration of all things (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 11:12, 15). The devil knows that his own fall and destruction are directly connected to the Jewish people’s coming into their promised inheritance.
As a result, the enemy is increasing his attempts to wipe out Israel. Part of his recent strategies include Hezbollah’s terror rocket attacks against Israel from Lebanese soil in the 2006 Lebanon War, and Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel from Gazan soil in December 2008/January 2009. In each case Israel had previously pulled out of each territory as a step toward potential peace. In each case Israel’s withdrawal was interpreted by the enemy as weakness, and their murderous desires to attack and destroy Israel grew rather than lessened.
What was astounding is that in each case, Israel’s justified wars of self-defense against her Islamist enemies were met by virulent worldwide media condemnation, descending even to anti-Jewish rioting, physical attacks against Jewish synagogues and cemeteries, and ultimately to thuggery against Jewish and Israeli individuals. The violent Islamist genie has escaped from his bottle. He will not quickly return to his previous prison.
The devil is God’s devil
The Bible teaches that Satan himself is a creation of God, subject to His sovereignty, and ultimately to be crushed under the feet of the body of Messiah (Romans 16:20). Satan’s anti-Messiah in the end will also be slain with the breath of Messiah’s mouth when Yeshua returns (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Whatever power and activity the devil is allowed to exercise up to that point, we should bear in mind that he is very much tethered by a tightly held divine leash.
The rise of demonized anti-Semitism may indeed be one of the last vomits of Satan. Its meteoric rise in our day has a clear meaning – that the devil is panicking. The international explosion of Jew hatred (the German word Judenhass is even clearer than the term anti-Semitism) is an eschatological warning flag, letting all passengers on the Last Days Bus know that we will soon be hitting the last bit of rocky road before arriving at our final destination.
Betting on the horses
Lee Smith’s penetratingly astute analysis of Middle Eastern political realities “The Strong Horse: Power, Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilizations” (Doubleday, 2010) draws its name from Osama Bin Laden’s dictum “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse” (transcript of CNN interview December 13 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/12/13/tape.transcript/). This “strong horse” philosophy guides the Islamic and Arab world more than Western appeals to material prosperity, technological advancement or even the allure of peace. Middle Easterners have spend the past 4,000 years perfecting their political radar for, historically speaking, survival in the Arab and Islamic world depends on spotting the rising dictator (the strong horse) and siding with him.
The strong horse in the Middle East right now is Iran. It alone is succeeding in thumbing its nose at the world greatest superpower. It alone is stinging and goading Israel (the Middle East’s most deadly army). And it alone is stirring up the Shiite masses of Iraq and the Gulf States, where much of the West’s oil lounges in Babylonian luxury.
One by one, the cruelest dictators of the Middle East have “come to Canosa” to kiss the Persian ring. Syria, Sudan, Iraq and now Turkey – all have recently made their way to Teheran, making sure that they are photographed and noted as ardent aficionados of the up and coming Iranian strong horse.
Playing chess with the big boys
Iran (modern Persia) has arranged its Near Eastern chess pieces with consummate skill, surrounding Israel on all sides. The Islamic Republic of Iran supplies Shiite jihadis on Israel’s northern border (Hezbollah) with advanced weaponry. Over the past years Israel has intercepted and captured many Iranian weapons ships just before they docked in Lebanon – such as the Francop (www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/134235). Iran also supplies chemical warfare and delivery missiles to Syria in the Northeast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2007_Syrian_arms_depot_explosion); http://abcnews.go.com/International/scud-missile-shipment-hezbollah-raises-mideast-tensions/story?id=10361973). Iran has continued to smuggle rockets and missiles into Islamist Gaza – first to Gaza’s PLO (Israel intercepted the Karine A weapons ship – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karin_A – and then the Santorini, www.waronline.org/en/analysis/pal_weapons.htm). Today Iran smuggles weapons into Gaza by ship, but also through Egyptian tunnels based on truck convoys through Sudan (Israel recently launched long-range air strikes against these Iranian convoys in Sudan; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Sudan_airstrikes).
Iran’s strategy is simple – threaten Israel from all sides; then any attempt to degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons production line can be slowed down or stopped by triggering attacks on Israel by any or all of these above proxies – her client states.
Pray that destructive Iranian strategies will be overturned and turned against their originators; that God would save and protect His chosen people; and that strategies and great discernments would be given to those entrusted with safeguarding the security and survival of the Jewish people (read Psalm 121).
Hiding behind the skirts of useful idiots
Recently a flotilla of naïve and “politically correct” Westerners tried to run the Israeli Navy blockade of Gaza, attempting to sneak 7 ships into Gaza without undergoing Israeli vetting. In light of the above noted history of terrorist weapons smuggling, these Westerners are guilty of foolish negligence at the very least. They are also guilty of unwitting cooperation with Islamist terror strategists (whether from Gaza, from Turkey or from Iran) and attempting to severely downgrade security for Israel’s civilian population.
The largest of these ships (the Mavi Marmara) held more than 560 passengers. At least 50 of them were Turkish terrorists funded and equipped by a Turkish group IHH connected with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and al-Qaeda (www.investigativeproject.org/blog/2010/06/ihh-terrorist-ties-confirmed). Twenty of these terrorists had already taped al-Qaeda style Islamist suicide videos, in preparation for a violent death fighting Israeli soldiers (www.nypost.com/p/news/international/truth_behind_the_harm_ada_CgqfVG9KrAUT4mQeO335fO). Though world television and newspaper headlines screamed of “brutal Israelis invading peace ships” and “attacking humanitarian aid flotillas”, the truth was shockingly different. Islamist terrorists quite happily hid behind a politically correct “humanitarian” cover as they planned the lynching and murder of Israeli Seals who came to investigate and neutralize any threats that these ships might contain.
On May 31 2010 at approximately 0415 hours Israel’s Navy Seals (Shayetet or Flotilla 13) rappelled down onto the ship from Blackhawk helicopters, expecting to be greeted by Western protestors displaying mild civil disobedience. Instead they were immediately attacked by a murderous Turkish terror mob equipped with iron bars, axes, stun grenades, firebombs, hunting knives, slingshots, night vision equipment and firearms. The Shayetet team was equipped with paintball guns used primarily for moderate riot control. Each Israeli commando was carrying only one Glock 9mm pistol for personal self-defense.
Documented video clips show the Turkish terrorists preparing for and initiating premeditated violent attacks, and their attempted lynchings of Israel’s Shayetet 13 Navy Seals (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2duPV9MQIc&feature=channel; www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvS9PXZ3RWM&feature=channel; www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6sAEYpHF24&feature=channel; www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfWUlNBnwyg).
Why do the nations rage? (Psalm 2)
The world media instantly portrayed Israel’s self-defense as a bloody massacre of innocent humanitarian peaceniks. TV and newspapers followed the story line established by the terrorists themselves, while concealing the terrorist connections of the Turks who tried to lynch the Israeli special forces. Nine Turks were shot at close range by Israeli Seals in hand to hand combat, but nearly all news media perverted these plain and documented facts. Instead they unleashed a huge tidal wave of anti-Semitism.
As a result, may countries are boycotting trade connections with Israel, boycotting Israeli goods, withdrawing ambassadors, cutting off diplomatic relations, etc (three examples include Norway – www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3899094,00.html; Sweden – www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=177545) and Malaysia.
The behavior of the nations to Israel is stunningly close to Bob Dylan’s ascerbic and prophetic description of Israel and the nations in his song “Neighborhood Bully” :
Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully
“Neighborhood Bully”, words and music by Bob Dylan © 1983 Special Rider Music
This newest wave of anti-Semitism is a serious development. From a biblical perspective, the nations are filling up their own cup of judgment and are facing their day of reckoning (Isaiah 31:9; 34:1-8). Israel is being painted into a corner by the hatred of the nations, and God will use this pressure to purify a remnant in Israel (Isaiah 4:4; 10:20-25).
Pray for the Jewish people in Israel and in the Exile, that the pressures and troubles facing Jacob will move us to seek God’s face and heart through Messiah Yeshua.
Prophetic change in the Middle East
For the past 50 years Israel’s strategic defense strategy involved making alliances with non-Arab and non-Islamic neighbors on its periphery. These allies have included Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia, the Shah’s Iran, the Kurds of northern Iraq, the Maronite Christians of Lebanon and the non-Arab secular government of Turkey.
Over the past 35 years Israel has witnessed the rise of Marxist revolutionaries in Ethiopia, Ayatollah Khomeini’s Shiite putsch in Iran, Syria’s smothering takeover of Lebanon through Hezbollah, and the weakening of the Kurds through Shiite and Sunni terror in an Iraq now aflame. The last strategic linchpin now crumbling is the country of Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister, has been slowly pulling his country away from a close alliance with Israel and America, and coddling up to Teheran, Damascus, Khartoum, Caracas, Beirut and Gaza. He has moved his country into the position of cursing Israel on a daily basis, aiding Israel’s mortal enemies, and most recently encouraging the terror flotilla to violate Israel’s sovereignty and security.
Students of the prophetic Scriptures know that the Bible points to a Turkic role in the end-time battle with Israel known as the war of Gog and Magog (see Ezekiel 38-39). Countries turning against Israel mentioned in that battle include present day Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, many of the Central Asian “Stans” – and Turkey. Turkey’s about-face regarding Israel seems to be another decisive step towards that final frontier.
Born-again Caliphate or Ottoman windbag?
Turkey has the historic honor of being the last center of the Islamic Caliphate, the Muslim Empire’s once-capital city, so to speak. Koranic Islam looks to a rebirth of the Caliphate as a center for international jihad and Islamic world control. Every Turk is aware of this past historical glory, and some do harbor dreams of future grandeur or delusions of revived Ottoman glory. Erdogan himself sees that the road to Islamic leadership leads directly through the gate labeled “hatred of Israel.” His policies and tactics are taking Turkey out from under the NATO umbrella and far away from Europe and the USA – straight into the arms of Iran, Syria and radical Islam.
Israel and Turkey once shared close ties in trade, intelligence, military matters and tourism. As a result of Erdogan’s shenanigans, the chill in Turkey-Israel relations is more than marked.
Pray for the leadership of Turkey – that God would grant them a revelation of His heart and plans for Israel; that they would no longer curse but bless the Jewish people and their state (see Genesis 12:3); and that any evil plans and alliances would be broken and thwarted by the Holy One of Israel Himself (see Isaiah 8:9-10).
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