Posts Tagged ‘United States’


Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

Over the past week, Israel has been criticized for being insufficiently supportive of democratic change in Egypt. While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been careful to praise the cause of democracy while warning against the dangers of an Islamic takeover of the most populous Arab state, many Israelis have not been so diplomatic.

To understand why, it is necessary to take a little tour of the Arab world.

In the midst of Tunisia’s revolution last month, the Jewish Agency mobilized to evacuate any members of the country’s Jewish community who wished to leave. Until the end of French colonial rule in 1956, Tunisia’s Jewish community numbered 100,000 members. But like for all Jewish communities in the Arab world, the advent of Arab nationalism in the mid-20th century forced the overwhelming majority of Tunisia’s Jews to leave the country. Today, with between 1,500 and 3,000 members, Tunisia’s tiny Jewish community is among the largest in the Arab world.

So far, six families have left for Israel. Many more may follow. Two weeks ago, Daniel Cohen from Tunis’s Jewish community told Haaretz, “If the situation continues as it is now, we will definitely have to leave or immigrate to Israel.”

Since then, Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda, has returned to Tunisia after 22 years living in exile in London. He was sentenced to life in prison in absentia on terrorism charges by the regime of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Then on Monday night, unidentified assailants set fire to a synagogue in the town of Ghabes and burned the Torah scrolls. In an interview with AFP, Trabelsi Perez, president of the Ghriba synagogue, said the crime was made all the more shocking by the fact that it occurred as police were stationed close by.

The day after the attack, Roger Bismuth, president of Tunisia’s Jewish community, disputed the view that the scorching of Torah scrolls had anything to do with anti-Semitism. The man responsible for representing Tunisia’s Jewish community before the evolving new regime told The Jerusalem Post that the attack was the fault of the Jews themselves, “because they left [the synagogue] open… This is not an attack on the Jewish community.”

The fear now gripping the Jews of Tunisia is not surprising. The same fear gripped the much smaller Iraqi Jewish community after the US and Britain toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. The Iraqi community was the oldest, and arguably the most successful, Jewish community in the Arab world until World War II. Its 150,000 members were leading businessmen and civil servants during the period of British rule.

Following the establishment of Israel, the Iraqi government revoked the citizenship of the country’s Jews, forced them to flee and stole their property down to their wedding rings. The expropriated property of Iraqi Jewry is valued today at more than $4 billion.

Only 7,000 Jews remained in Iraq after the mass aliya of 1951. By the time Saddam was toppled in 2003, only 32 Jews remained. They were mainly elderly, and impoverished. And owing to al-Qaida threats and government harassment, they were all forced to flee.

Shortly after they overthrew Saddam, US forces found the archives of the Jewish community submerged in a flooded basement of a secret police building in Baghdad. The archive was dried and frozen and sent to the US for preservation. Last year, despite the fact that Saddam’s secret police only had the archive because they stole it from the Jews, the Iraqi government demanded its return as a national treasure.

As embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began his counteroffensive against the anti-regime protesters, his mouthpieces began alleging that the protesters were incited by the Mossad.

For their part, the anti-regime protesters claim that Mubarak is an Israeli puppet. The protesters brandish placards with Mubarak’s image plastered with Stars of David. A photo of an effigy of newly appointed vice president, and intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman burned in Tahrir Square showed him portrayed as a Jew.

On Wednesday night, Channel 10’s Arab affairs commentator Zvi Yehezkeli ran a depressing report on the status of the graves of Jewish sages buried in the Muslim world. The report chronicled the travels of Rabbi Yisrael Gabbai, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who has taken upon himself to travel to save these important shrines. As Yehezkeli reported, last week Gabbai traveled to Iran and visited the graves of Purim heroes Queen Esther and Mordechai the Jew, and the prophets Daniel and Habbakuk.

He was moved to travel to Iran after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered Esther and Mordechai’s tomb destroyed. The Iranian media followed up Ahmadinejad’s edict with a campaign claiming that Esther and Mordechai were responsible for the murder of 170,000 Iranians.

Gabbai’s travels have brought him to Iran, Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and beyond. And throughout the Arab and Muslim world, like the dwindling Jewish communities, Jewish cemeteries are targets for anti-Semitic attacks. “We’re talking about thousands of cemeteries throughout the Arab world. It’s the same problem everywhere,” he said.

Israelis have been overwhelmingly outspoken in our criticism of Western support for the antiregime forces in Egypt due to our deep-seated concern that the current regime will be replaced by one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Representing a minimum of 30 percent of Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood is the only well organized political force in the country outside the regime.

The Muslim Brothers’ organizational prowess and willingness to use violence to achieve their aims was likely demonstrated within hours of the start of the unrest. Shortly after the demonstrations began, operatives from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch in Gaza – that is Hamas – knew to cross the border into Sinai. And last Thursday, a police station in Suez was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and firebombs.

Hamas has a long history of operations in Sinai. It also has close ties with Beduin gangs in the area that were reportedly involved in attacking another police station in northern Sinai.

Western – and particularly American – willingness to pretend that the Muslim Brotherhood is anything other than a totalitarian movement has been greeted by disbelief and astonishment by Israelis from across the political spectrum.

It is the likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood will rise to power, not an aversion to Arab democracy, that has caused Israel to fear the popular revolt against Mubarak’s regime. If the Muslim Brotherhood were not a factor in Egypt, then Israel would probably have simply been indifferent to events there, as it has been to the development of democracy in Iraq and to the popular revolt in Tunisia.

Israel’s indifference to democratization of the Arab world has been a cause of consternation for some of its traditional supporters in conservative circles in the US and Europe. Israelis are accused of provincialism. As citizens of the only democracy in the Middle East, we are admonished for not supporting democracy among our neighbors.

The fact is that Israeli indifference to democratic currents in Arab societies is not due to provincialism. Israelis are indifferent because we realize that whether under authoritarian rule or democracy, anti-Semitism is the unifying sentiment of the Arab world. Fractured along socioeconomic, tribal, religious, political, ethnic and other lines, the glue that binds Arab societies is hatred of Jews.

A Pew Research Center opinion survey of Arab attitudes towards Jews from June 2009 makes this clear. Ninety-five percent of Egyptians, 97% of Jordanians and Palestinians and 98% of Lebanese expressed unfavorable opinions of Jews. Threequarters of Turks, Pakistanis and Indonesians also expressed hostile views of Jews.

Throughout the Arab and Muslim world, genocidal anti-Semitic propaganda is all-pervasive. And as Prof. Robert Wistrich has written,

“The ubiquity of the hate and prejudice exemplified by this hard-core anti-Semitism undoubtedly exceeds the demonization of earlier historical periods – whether the Christian Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition, the Dreyfus Affair in France, or the Judeophobia of Tsarist Russia. The only comparable example would be that of Nazi Germany in which we can also speak of an ‘eliminationist anti-Semitism’ of genocidal dimensions, which ultimately culminated in the Holocaust.”

That is why for most Israelis, the issue of how Arabs are governed is as irrelevant as the results of the 1852 US presidential elections were for American blacks. Since both parties excluded them, they were indifferent to who was in power.

What these numbers, and the anti-Semitic behavior of Arabs, show Israelis is that it makes no difference which regime rules where. As long as the Arab peoples hate Jews, there will be no peace between their countries and Israel. No one will be better for Israel than Mubarak. They can only be the same or worse.

This is why no one expected for the democratically elected Iraqi government to sign a peace treaty with Israel or even end Iraq’s official state of war with the Jewish state. Indeed, Iraq remains in an official state of war with Israel. And after independent lawmaker Mithal al-Alusi visited Israel in 2008, two of his sons were murdered. Alusi’s life remains under constant threat.

One of the more troubling aspects of the Western media coverage of the tumult in Egypt over the past two weeks has been the media’s move to airbrush out all evidence of the protesters’ anti-Semitism.

As John Rosenthal pointed out this week at The Weekly Standard, Germany’s Die Welt ran a frontpage photo that featured a poster of Mubarak with a Star of David across his forehead in the background. The photo caption made no mention of the anti-Semitic image. And its online edition did not run the picture.

And as author Bruce Bawer noted at the Pajamas Media website, Jeanne Moos of CNN scanned the protesters’ signs, noting how authentic and heartwarming their misspelled English messages were, yet failed to mention that one of the signs she showed portrayed Mubarak as a Jew.

Given the Western media’s obsessive coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict, at first blush it seems odd that they would ignore the prevalence of anti-Semitism among the presumably prodemocracy protesters. But on second thought, it isn’t that surprising.

If the media reported on the overwhelming Jew hatred in the Arab world generally and in Egypt specifically, it would ruin the narrative of the Arab conflict with Israel. That narrative explains the roots of the conflict as frustrated Arab-Palestinian nationalism. It steadfastly denies any more deeply seated antipathy of Jews that is projected onto the Jewish state. The fact that the one Jewish state stands alone against 23 Arab states and 57 Muslim states whose populations are united in their hatred of Jews necessarily requires a revision of the narrative. And so their hatred is ignored.

But Israelis don’t need CNN to tell us how our neighbors feel about us. We know already. And because we know, while we wish them the best of luck with their democracy movements, and would welcome the advent of a tolerant society in Egypt, we recognize that that tolerance will end when it comes to the Jews. And so whether they are democrats or autocrats, we fully expect they will continue to hate us.

Related Links


Die Welt Sees No Anti-Semitism – The Weekly Standard
The Source of Anti-Semitism – SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Israel’s government raises alarm at events in Egypt – The Guardian
Hundreds march against government in Jordan – AP
Rand Paul Repeats Calls to End Aid to Israel – Commentary Magazine


Joel C. RosenbergBy Joel C. Rosenberg
JoelRosenberg.com

Thirty-two years ago this week, the Islamic Revolution reached its zenith in Iran. The Shah had been forced to flee. His regime had collapsed. And on February 1, 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini landed at Tehran International Airport, welcomed by throngs of Islamic militants thinking he was the Twelfth Imam and shouting, “The Holy One has come! The Holy One has come!”

Khomeini’s expressed mission, however, was not simply to seize control of Iran. He vowed to “export the Islamic Revolution.” Iran has been funding terrorist and subversive groups ever since.

If Egypt falls into the hands of the Radicals, this will be a disaster of historic proportions. Egypt and Iran would be the Twin Towers of the epicenter, two nations that have collapsed at the hands of the jihadists who are determined to rebuild the Islamic caliphate and usher in the End of Days, even if many in our foreign policy establishment don’t recognize this.

In many ways, Egypt and Iran could not be more different. Egypt is ethnically Arab and spiritually Sunni. Iran is ethnically Persian and spiritually Shia. Traditionally, Arabs and Persians have hated each other. So have Sunnis and Shias. But now they are coming together for two common objectives:

  1. To surround Israel, destroy the Jews, and capture Jerusalem for Islam.
  2. To surround the Arabian peninsula, destroy the “apostate” House of Saud regime, and capture control of Mecca and Medina.

This is why the Iranian regime is so excited by what is happening in Egypt, and determined to help where and how they can.

“Uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia will spell an ‘irreparable defeat’ for the United States, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday, adding that the recent wave of unrest sweeping through the Mideast was a result of Iran’s Islamic Revolution,” reports Reuters and Haaretz.

“Speaking with worshippers during Friday prayers in Tehran, Khamenei said that ‘if they [protesters] are able to push this through then what will happen to the U.S. policies in the region will be an irreparable defeat for America…. Today’s events in North of Africa, Egypt, Tunisia and certain other countries have another sense for the Iranian nation. They have special meaning. This is the same as ‘Islamic awakening,’ which is the result of the victory of the big revolution of the Iranian nation,” the Supreme Leader was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.”

“The Iranian Foreign Ministry statement called upon people and governments around the world to strongly condemn what it said were Israeli and American ‘interferences aimed at diverting Egyptians’ justice-seeking movement, by creating counter-revolt and using rioters…. Iran also warns that any opposition to the movement of the Egyptian people … will bring about the anger and hatred of all Muslims around the world,’ the statement said.”

Related Links


Egyptians rally for Mubarak to go now – Reuters
Hizballah team breaks 22 members out of Egyptian jail – DEBKAfile
Iran’s leader predicts new Egypt to endanger Israel’s existence – Monsters and Critics
Iran’s Khamenei praises Egyptian protesters, declares ‘Islamic awakening’ – Christian Science Monitor
Hofmeister: If Oil Production Shuts Down in Egypt — Oil Will Go up $20 to $30 a Barrel – CNBC
US, Egypt Discussing Mubarak’s Immediate Resignation – Voice of America


Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

The Egyptian multitudes on the streets of Cairo are a stunning sight. With their banners calling for freedom and an end to the reign of President Hosni Mubarak the story these images tell is a simple one as old as time.

On the one hand we have the young, dispossessed and weak protesters. And on the other we have the old, corrupt and tyrannical Mubarak. Hans Christian Andersen taught us who to support when we were wee tots.

But does his wisdom apply in this case?

Certainly it is true that the regime is populated by old men. Mubarak is 82 years old. It is also true that his regime is corrupt and tyrannical. Since the Muslim Brotherhood spinoff Islamic Jihad terror group murdered Mubarak’s predecessor president Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt has been governed by emergency laws that ban democratic freedoms. Mubarak has consistently rejected US pressure to ease regime repression and enact liberal reforms in governance.

This reality has led many American commentators across the political spectrum to side enthusiastically with the rioters. A prestigious working group on Egypt formed in recent months by Middle East experts from Left and Right issued a statement over the weekend calling for the Obama administration to dump Mubarak and withdraw its support for the Egyptian regime. It recommended further that the administration force Mubarak to abdicate and his regime to fall by suspending all economic and military assistance to Egypt for the duration.

The blue ribbon panel’s recommendations were applauded by its members’ many friends across the political spectrum. For instance, the conservative Weekly Standard‘s editor William Kristol praised the panel on Sunday and wrote,

“It’s time for the US government to take an active role… to bring about a South Korea/Philippines/Chile-like transition in Egypt, from an American-supported dictatorship to an American-supported and popularly legitimate liberal democracy.”

The problem with this recommendation is that it is based entirely on the nature of Mubarak’s regime. If the regime was the biggest problem, then certainly removing US support for it would make sense. However, the character of the protesters is not liberal.

Indeed, their character is a bigger problem than the character of the regime they seek to overthrow.

According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics. When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.

Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion.

When given the opportunity, the crowds on the street are not shy about showing what motivates them. They attack Mubarak and his new Vice President Omar Suleiman as American puppets and Zionist agents. The US, protesters told CNN‘s Nick Robertson, is controlled by Israel. They hate and want to destroy Israel. That is why they hate Mubarak and Suleiman.

What all of this makes clear is that if the regime falls, the successor regime will not be a liberal democracy. Mubarak’s military authoritarianism will be replaced by Islamic totalitarianism. The US’s greatest Arab ally will become its greatest enemy. Israel’s peace partner will again become its gravest foe.

Understanding this, Israeli officials and commentators have been nearly unanimous in their negative responses to what is happening in Egypt. The IDF, the national security council, all intelligence agencies and the government as well as the media have all agreed that Israel’s entire regional approach will have to change dramatically in the event that Egypt’s regime is overthrown.

None of the scenarios under discussion are positive.

What has most confounded Israeli officials and commentators alike has not been the strength of the anti-regime protests, but the American response to them. Outside the far Left, commentators from all major newspapers, radio and television stations have variously characterized the US response to events in Egypt as irrational, irresponsible, catastrophic, stupid, blind, treacherous, and terrifying.

They have pointed out that the Obama administration’s behavior – as well as that of many of its prominent conservative critics – is liable to have disastrous consequences for the US’s other authoritarian Arab allies, for Israel and for the US itself.

The question most Israelis are asking is why are the Americans behaving so destructively? Why are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charting a course that will necessarily lead to the transformation of Egypt into the first Salafist Islamic theocracy? And why are conservative commentators and Republican politicians urging them to be even more outspoken in their support for the rioters in the streets?

Does the US not understand what will happen in the region as a result of its actions? Does the US really fail to understand what will happen to its strategic interests in the Middle East if the Muslim Brotherhood either forms the next regime or is the power behind the throne of the next regime in Cairo?

Distressingly, the answer is that indeed, the US has no idea what it is doing. The reason the world’s only (quickly declining) superpower is riding blind is because its leaders are trapped between two irrational, narcissistic policy paradigms and they can’t see their way past them.

The first paradigm is former president George W. Bush’s democracy agenda and its concomitant support for open elections.

Bush supporters and former administration officials have spent the last month since the riots began in Tunisia crowing that events prove Bush’s push for democratization in the Arab world is the correct approach.

The problem is that while Bush’s diagnosis of the dangers of the democracy deficit in the Arab world was correct, his antidote for solving this problem was completely wrong.

Bush was right that tyranny breeds radicalism and instability and is therefore dangerous for the US.

But his belief that free elections would solve the problem of Arab radicalism and instability was completely wrong. At base, Bush’s belief was based on a narcissistic view of Western values as universal.

When, due to US pressure, the Palestinians were given the opportunity to vote in open and free elections in 2006, they voted for Hamas and its totalitarian agenda. When due to US pressure, the Egyptians were given limited freedom to choose their legislators in 2005, where they could they elected the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood to lead them.

The failure of his elections policy convinced Bush to end his support for elections in his last two years in office.

Frustratingly, Bush’s push for elections was rarely criticized on its merits. Under the spell of the other policy paradigm captivating American foreign policy elites – anti-colonialism – Bush’s leftist opponents never argued that the problem with his policy is that it falsely assumes that Western values are universal values. Blinded by their anti-Western dogma, they claimed that his bid for freedom was nothing more than a modern-day version of Christian missionary imperialism.

It is this anti-colonialist paradigm, with its foundational assumption that the US has no right to criticize non-Westerners that has informed the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It was the anti-colonialist paradigm that caused Obama not to support the pro-Western protesters seeking the overthrow of the Iranian regime in the wake of the stolen 2009 presidential elections.

As Obama put it at the time,

“It’s not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the US president meddling in the Iranian elections.”

And it is this anti-colonialist paradigm that has guided Obama’s courtship of the Syrian, Turkish and Iranian regimes and his unwillingness to lift a hand to help the March 14 movement in Lebanon.

Moreover, since the paradigm claims that the non-Western world’s grievances towards the West are legitimate, Obama’s Middle East policy is based on the view that the best way to impact the Arab world is by joining its campaign against Israel. This was the central theme of Obama’s speech before an audience dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo in June 2009.

Like the pro-democracy paradigm, the anti-colonialist paradigm is narcissistic. Whereas Western democracy champions believe that all people are born with the same Western liberal democratic values, post-colonialists believe that non-Westerners are nothing more than victims of the West. They are not responsible for any of their own pathologies because they are not actors. Only Westerners (and Israelis) are actors. Non-Westerners are objects. And like all objects, they cannot be held responsible for anything they do because they are wholly controlled by forces beyond their control.

Anti-colonialists by definition must always support the most anti-Western forces as “authentic.” In light of Mubarak’s 30-year alliance with the US, it makes sense that Obama’s instincts would place the US president on the side of the protesters.

So there we have it. The US policy towards Egypt is dictated by the irrational narcissism of two opposing sides to a policy debate that has nothing to do with reality.

Add to that Obama’s electoral concern about looking like he is on the right side of justice and we have a US policy that is wholly antithetical to US interests.

This presents a daunting, perhaps insurmountable challenge for the US’s remaining authoritarian Arab allies. In Jordan and Saudi Arabia, until now restive publics have been fearful of opposing their leaders because the US supports them. Now that the US is abandoning its most important ally and siding with its worst enemies, the Hashemites and the Sauds don’t look so powerful to their Arab streets. The same can be said for the Kuwaiti leadership and the pro-American political forces in Iraq.

As for Israel, America’s behavior towards Egypt should put to rest the notion that Israel can make further territorial sacrifices in places like the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley in exchange for US security guarantees. US behavior today – and the across-the-board nature of American rejection of Mubarak – is as clear a sign as one can find that US guarantees are not credible.

As Prof. Barry Rubin wrote this week,

“There is no good policy for the United States regarding the uprising in Egypt but the Obama administration may be adopting something close to the worst option.”

Unfortunately, given the cluelessness of the US foreign policy debate, this situation is only likely to grow worse.

Related Links


Muslim Brotherhood; not quite the YMCA – Bill Randles Blog
WHO IS MOHAMED ELBARADEI? – Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog
Protest Snowball Knocks Over Jordanian Government – Arutz Sheva
Egyptians fill Tahrir Square in massive rally – USA Today
Bolton: If Mubarak falls in Egypt, Israel should bomb Iran – Raw Story


Joseph FarahBy Joseph Farah
WorldNetDaily

In case you didn’t notice, and few have, there is a global Islamist revolution under way.

The world’s press doesn’t see it.

The talking heads on cable TV don’t see it.

Washington doesn’t see it.

It’s a case of not noticing the forest for the trees.

With revolts going on in Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan, most of them clearly orchestrated from Iran, it’s easy to believe these are unrelated, disconnected uprisings.

But if you have been observing the Muslim world like I have been for 35 years, what’s happening right now is as big a development – maybe bigger – than what happened in 1979 when backers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with a push from Jimmy Carter, overthrew Iran’s Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi in one of the most tragic and unfortunate international developments of the late 20th century. We, in the West, have been paying the price for it ever since.

This is the work of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the aid and encouragement of Tehran. And the ripple effect of what we’re seeing is hard to overstate.

As the leader of Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood, Hammam Saeed, warned over the weekend, the unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States.

I’ve done my part to alert the public to the insidious work of the Muslim Brotherhood, including right here in the U.S. But, again, most Americans don’t get it. They’ve been hoodwinked by the media and government school system into believing there is no active conspiracy for a worldwide caliphate, and certainly no threat to the U.S. from what the brotherhood refers to as the Muslim Mafia.

An amazing book by the same name, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” was published more than a year ago by WND Books with the intention of exposing the secret international cabal working on behalf of Saudi-style Shariah law right here in America. Again, the book, a work of daring and courage and enterprise got a collective yawn from the politically correct establishment news media.

Now, as Rev. Jeremiah Wright would say, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Imagine if Egypt falls.

Hosni Mubarak is nothing but a dictator, it’s true. But he is a dictator who is holding the line on Islamic radicalism. If his regime goes, it will be replaced by something similar to what we see in Iran today – a government run by zealous mullahs hell-bent on bringing about a worldwide Islamic revolution.

Egypt is the largest and arguably most important Arab country in the Middle East. For decades now it has been at relative peace with its neighbor, Israel. How long will that last if Mubarak is replaced with a Muslim Brotherhood leader? Keep in mind it was the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Mubarak’s predecessor, Anwar Sadat, for making peace with Israel.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is still in the midst of a quagmire in Afghanistan, while still engaged in Iraq. It can ill afford an explosion of violence and revolution and instability through the Middle East and the Islamic world.

But that appears to be just what is coming.

The U.S. is also mired in deep recession. Try to imagine how that economic dislocation will be exacerbated by a disruption of the flow of Middle East oil, as happened in the 1970s.

Remember, the U.S. and Israel are the primary targets. Europe has already capitulated to Islam. Israel and the U.S. stand virtually alone, and the U.S. is in denial of the threat.

What you see happening around the Islamic world today is big. It’s dangerous. It’s explosive.

If you think America, which has arrogantly and ignorantly refused to develop its own energy sources, is somehow immune, you are in for a rude awakening.

Related Links


Mubarak shuffles cabinet but protesters say “Go!” – Reuters
Worldwide Islamist revolution explodes – WND (Aaron Klein)
Egyptian troops hunt Hamas gunmen fighting to control N. Sinai. Two captured – DEBKAfile
Egypt crisis: country braced for ‘march of a million’ – Telegraph.co.uk
Egypt’s next leader a ‘stooge of Iran?’ – Israel Today (Ryan Jones)


Stan GoodenoughBy Stan Goodenough
Jerusalem Watchman

How quickly the world can be turned upside down. The political map of the Middle East is being revised almost more rapidly than analysts can describe what is taking place.

Most news watchers will have followed the events since the fire that Mohammed Bouazizzi ignited with his body on December 17; the desperate act that lead to the violent overthrow of Tunisia’s dictatorial regime in what became known as the Jasmine Revolution – set new fires across our region.

One month after the Tunisian’s self-immolation, four Egyptians copied him. The initial result of their attempted suicides was the same: Hundreds of thousands of Egypt’s 80 million-strong population poured into the streets, protesting and rioting in their effort to terminate with immediate effect the 30-year-long rule of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

At the time of writing, Egypt is poised for further convulsion in a seventh day of riots and protests, organizers hope will culminate in a “million man march.” Mubarak is said to now be clinging to what could be his last moments in power and could have to face off against Mohammed ElBaradei – the Nobel Prize for Peace Laureate, recognized for his work as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. ElBaradei stood in a crowded Cairo square Sunday evening, demanding the immediate and unconditional departure of the president and all those associated with him.

A couple of weeks ago Israelis were anxiously following developments to the north, where the Iranian-founded Hizb’allah has maneuvered to upgrade its control over Lebanon. With that situation still in flux, Israeli eyes have nervously swung around to watch the mushrooming potential for an equally threatening development on their southern doorstep.

When the protests erupted on January 25, Israeli analysts were almost dismissive, positive that Mubarak would quickly crush the dissidents. How wrong could they be?

In fact, Israel’s new chief of Military Intelligence has been hauled over the coals in the local press for his failure to foresee what has happened. In his debut appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the very day protests began in Egypt, Major-General Aviv Kochavi’s assessment was that Mubarak’s regime was not under threat.

Six days later, in both Jerusalem and Washington, everything was being revised. Statements and assessments from recent months, and policies and approaches that have been in place for years – the whole lot’s under review.

Here in Israel consternation is acute. Eager to not antagonize Mubarak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his government to keep quiet on the crisis, and has called on the international community to curb criticism of the Egyptian leader. Jerusalem has observed with unease how the tune out of Washington DC has changed, from initially defending Mubarak as “no dictator” who should be secured in power to now officially talking about the need for transition to a new leadership.

Why so concerned?

For more than 30 years, a peace agreement has been in place between Israel and Egypt. Israelis have called it a “cold peace,” at least from the Egyptian side, where Mubarak himself has helped keep alive the deeply rooted hostility towards the Jewish state.

Despite this, the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty has worked to maintain a state of quiet along their common border even as tensions have ebbed and flowed between Israel and nations to the north, and east – Lebanon, Syria, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and Jordan, until the peace agreement with that state in 1994.

For Israel, which has had to fight a war at least once every decade and is constantly anticipating the next one, not having to spend its strung out military resources in the south has been a big deal.

More than this, the Egyptians have been richly rewarded for signing that peace treaty: The United States has poured billions of dollars worth of military equipment and know-how into the country, transforming the Egyptian army into the mightiest Arab force in existence today.

The fear is that if Mubarak is taken down, the peace treaty will be swept away. The long-suppressed but well entrenched Muslim Brotherhood may ascend to some level of power – possibly as part of a new coalition government. And everything will change.

According to Fox News Monday evening, a source “at the highest level of government in Israel” said “they are terrified that Egypt will become another Iran on the southern border.” Israel could suddenly find itself facing an Arab version of its Persian foe – a powerfully armed (by America!) and well-trained Islamist state eager to ally with – even once again lead – Syria and Lebanon into war against the Jewish state. And all backed by Turkey, Iraq and an, about-to-go-nuclear, Iran.

The transformation is happening as we speak. Israel’s news media has already reported that a regime change in Cairo may force the IDF to boost its forces in the south.

And the latest news: Israel has agreed to allow Egyptian troops to enter the Sinai for the first time since 1979. By helping the Egyptian leader secure himself against the popular uprising it appears Israel has decided to take a stand on Mubarak’s side.

No one seems to know how things are going to turn out. Some experts say Mubarak will manage to hold on until his term expires at the end of this year and then hand over the reins to the man he swore in as Vice President – former spy chief Omar Suleiman.

Others, knowing how volatile the Arab world can be, are bracing for the worst-case scenario described above.

It could suddenly become the new reality facing Israel and the West.

Related Links


Israel worried about Islamic takeover in Egypt – AP
Egypt: From Police State to Military Rule – FOX News
Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38 – Which is the Next Middle East News Headline? – BPB (Bill Salus)
Egyptian protesters: ‘The people won’t get tired’ – USA Today
IDF Blocks Infiltrators at Egyptian Border Crossings – Arutz Sheva
Muslim Brotherhood Poised for Power in Egypt – Human Events (Robert Spencer)


Andy WoodsBy Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church

Because of the recent shooting in Tucson, AZ, we are engulfed in a national conversation concerning what caused the shooter to do what he did. The shooter’s destructive behavior has been blamed on everything from a lack of access to affordable health care, to listening to too much political commentary, to the easy accessibility of firearms. Sadly, many use a tragic event of this nature to advocate a political agenda that calls for greater control of government over our lives. Yet, in the midst of all of this pontification, few have adequately articulated the root cause of the problem.

As tempting as it may be to blame such an unfortunate incident on a person’s environment, the root problem relates to man’s fallen nature. The human heart is sick. Jeremiah 17:9 says,

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Ever since the Fall of man in Eden, every human being has inherited a sin nature that is at war with his Creator (Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12; 8:7-8). Thus, Christ explained that the natural state of the human heart is one of violence and murder:

“That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23, italics mine).

James also spoke to the root of the problem when he explained,

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel…” (Jas 4:1-2, italics mine).

Genesis 8:21 explained the violence (Gen 6:11) of the pre-flood world as follows:

“…for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”

The millennial kingdom will amply illustrate the truth that man’s evil emanates from his nature rather than his environment. Although the kingdom will start with believing mortal, tribulation survivors (Matt 25:31-46), they will have children, and their children will have children, etc … until the entire earth is again repopulated. During this 1000 year period Christ will rule the world from David’s Throne in Jerusalem (Isa 2:2-3) consequently ushering in a perfect environment for the earth’s inhabitants (Isa 11:6-9). Yet at the end of this glorious era, when given the opportunity, mankind will participate in a universal revolt against God (Zech 14:16-18; Rev 20:7-9). Quite clearly man’s appetite for sin cannot be blamed on his environment since he had been living in a perfect environment for 1000 years before deciding to rebel against God.

For those that blame man’s evil propensity on adverse economic conditions, they need only remember that crime statistics actually fell during the Great Depression. For those that think a lack of education is the problem, they need only recall that one of the most educated societies of all time according to literacy standards was none other than Nazi Germany. As the old saying goes, “if you educate a thief, you only increase his capacity to steal.” For those that believe that a lack of government spending on social programs is the problem, they need only recall that we have spent trillions on social spending thanks to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Despite these massive expenditures, violence, similar to what we have witnessed recently, continues unabated in our society.

The only meaningful solution to violence that emanates from man’s depraved nature is an internal transformation that only God can provide. People must trust in Christ (John 3:16) and consequently experience the new birth (John 3:3-6), receive the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9), and participate in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). Only such an internal restraint on man’s wicked heart will provide him with the internal conviction that he needs to deny his natural proclivity for violence. America’s founding fathers well understood that if man will not externally be restrained by the bayonette (the threat of punishment from the State) then he must be internally restrained by the Bible. Should such internal restraint be removed, our ability to govern ourselves becomes impossible thereby leading to the end of the unique American experiment in liberty, independence, and limited self-government.

Given the current drift of our culture away from biblical truth, what surprises me is not the occurrence of violent episodes, like the one that recently occurred in Tucson; but what surprises me is that these tragic events do not happen with greater frequency. The only lasting solution to man’s wicked heart is an internal transformation that only God can provide, and this is the root cause of man’s problem.

Related Links


Tucson Hero Intern to sit with First Lady at State of the Union – FOX News
Alleged Tucson shooter to return to court – CBC
Total Depravity – is it Biblical? – GotQuestions.org
The Seat of Sin, the Heart – Bible.org (Greg Herrick)
Proof: More Guns = Less Crime – BPB (Joseph Farah)
Portrait of a hero: John Roll – WorldNetDaily (Greg Laurie)


Jan MarkellBy Jan Markell
Olive Tree Ministries

We all know we are heading into a full-blown surveillance society. The U.K. probably heads the world in this effort, but the U.S. is nipping at its heels. The Obama administration is assuring that.

Newsmax online is reporting the fact that Obama is eyeing the Internet to ID all Americans. This was preceded by the Net Neutrality Act which was the first phase of the government monitoring the Internet. White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt says,

“This is the perfect spot in the U.S. government to centralize efforts toward creating an ‘identity ecosystem’ for the Internet.”

Privacy groups are alerting that this is an absolute infringement on Americans’ rights. The Department of Homeland Security will also help implement this.

Keep in mind the power of the Internet and computer technology. The Stuxnet computer worm was reportedly more effective in setting back Iran’s nuclear plans a couple years than anything else, including an air strike. Stuxnet’s complexity has stunned the computer security industry. It was certainly affiliated with a government – likely Israel, possibly with U.S. help. The worm had Iran’s name on it and specifically their nuclear computers. Why have we not heard more about this? It may be the technological story of 2010. But is Stuxnet an argument for a supra-national government body to regulate cyberspace?

The Obama administration has back-up support from a U.N. office in Geneva where officials from 18 countries voted to staff a working group on the future of something called Internet Governance Forum. Since it’s the U.N., there is already reason to be concerned. The plan was supported by China and, not without surprise, Iran. So, it has global impact, not just Obama impact.

For good or bad, technology is taking center stage. It has for 25 years or more. Time magazine’s man of the year is Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. This communication tool has taken the world by storm. Zuckerberg is worth about $50 billion as a result of a device that helps people communicate with one another. People are eager to make friends even if some of them could be suspect. It helps them feel connected and not isolated, something essential in our 21st century impersonal world.

Enter Antichrist. Is he waiting in the wings? Perhaps. Technology will drive the final generation. In a sense, it already is. Everything in Revelation 13 depends on technology: The electronic money system, electronic control of the media, electronic control of commerce and even electronic control of the one-world religion. When “Mr. Fix-it” enters the scene, the technology infrastructure must be in place. His empire is limited – seven years.

The equally-popular Twitter could also be abused. The Iranian youth revolution of a couple years ago was coordinated heavily by the young people tweeting one another. If untrained youth can run a revolution – admittedly unsuccessful due to Iran’s president and her mullahs – how could Antichrist use it against the world?

Whether it’s net neutrality, an effort to use the Internet to ID all Americans, Facebook, Twitter, or an all-new scheme to come down the pike to use the magic of modern-day technology to limit freedoms, stay on guard. We may not be able to stem the tide of intrusiveness and even an ID effort. The Bible talks too much about such themes as privacy loss under the rule of Antichrist, but please don’t fall under the spell of “it’s predicted, we can’t fight it, let’s surrender.” As Edmund Burke said,

“All that is necessary for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing.”

But the end-time technological infrastructure is being put in place as I write this. It could take weeks or it could take years for complete implementation. This is a reminder to stay tuned and to spot the efforts as they are introduced by snoopy governments and the U.N. Please speak up when you can and let it be known that some freedom-loving people will protest until the end, even if, in the end, evil triumphs. Remember to read the last chapter. Evil triumphs only temporarily. The King of kings will return to right all these wrongs and abominations!

Related Links


Facebook Wants to Issue Your Internet Driver’s License – NetworkWorld.com
Utah will be site of huge cyber protection facility – CNN
Obama Administration Devloping Internet ID Program – PC Magazine
United States will assign Internet passports to its citizens – Ecommerce Journal
Obama Administration fleshes out online trusted IDs – Computerworld
Protecting Your Privacy Both Online and Offline – An Interview with Trace Mayer, JD – FTMDaily (Jerry Robinson)
Trapped in Hitler’s Hell – Jan Markell (Book)


Chuck MisslerBy Dr. Chuck Missler
Koinonia House

End-of-the-world fever seems to have hit the masses. It’s as epidemic as whatever killed thousands of drum fish in the Arkansas River. First it was 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar. Now animals are dying by the hundreds and thousands in a wide variety of places around the globe. Plus, a group of date setters are looking for the rapture to occur in just five months on May 21. Whether it’s due to boredom, or fear, or a desire to rouse folks from their spiritual slumber, humans are fascinated with the apocalyptic. Yet, so far, efforts to set a date for the Rapture or Judgment Day have been incorrect and … plain anticlimactic.

Animal Deaths

First, the drum fish died. An estimated 100,000 of these bottom feeders began floating to the surface of the Arkansas River on December 30. When thousands of redwing blackbirds fell out of the sky over Beebe, Arkansas, landing in the road and dropping onto people’s cars, people started to wonder, what else is wrong with Arkansas?

But, it didn’t stop there, of course. About 500 redwing blackbirds and starlings were discovered dead along a stretch of highway between New Roads and Morganza, Louisiana on Monday, January 3. In Italy, thousands of turtle doves rained from the sky onto the streets of Faenza, about 30 miles southeast of Bologna. The shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland were littered with the carcasses of two million fish. Coromandel beaches on the North Island of New Zealand were suddenly covered with dead snappers on January 4. Boaters reported seeing “a carpet of floating fish further out to sea all along the coast.” All within a few days of each other.

The series of strange animal deaths has created a flurry of interest in the end times, and there are plenty of people wondering if the end of the world is at hand.

The spate of animal deaths is a bit unnerving until each case gets investigated.

  • The USGS National Wildlife Health Center’s Arkansas bird analyses determined that the redwing blackbirds died of blunt force trauma, likely from running into things after being spooked because of New Year’s Eve noise-making. They flock together by the thousands and can easily be disturbed by fireworks or noise-makers going off at midnight.
  • The doves in Italy were examined and the vets concluded the poor birds had died of indigestion from eating too many sunflower seeds from a nearby oil factory. The seeds are hard on the birds livers and kidneys.
  • The unusual cold in December is credited for the Maryland fish deaths.
  • The drum fish, well, the problem was likely species-specific. Possibly a disease.

The USGS notes that mass animal deaths are not that uncommon. The deaths of the fish and birds in Arkansas simply brought attention to the fact that animals do die in large numbers fairly frequently. For instance, the USGS NWHC documented eight separate events in 2010 in America alone in which 1,000 or more birds died en masse. It’s sad, but not that unusual – certainly not indicative of the apocalypse … or as it has been widely called in the press … the “aflockalypse.” Remember, the vast majority of towns are happily carcass-free.

Date Setting

Adding to the excitement, a small group of believers are calling for the Rapture to take place on May 21 of this year. They’ve based their expectations on Bible code calculations made by 89-year-old Harold Camping. Harold Camping was incorrect the last time he attempted to predict the Rapture when he said it would occur in 1994. Camping is not alone in trying to make such predictions. Sir Isaac Newton declared the apocalypse had to wait until at least AD 2060.

Others throughout history have made their estimations, and have been wrong:

  • AD 1033 was believed to be the 1000th anniversary of Jesus’ death and resurrection. His second coming was naturally expected.
  • In 1179, John of Toledo predicted that the alignment of many planets during 1186 would coincide with the world’s end.
  • Pope Innocent III added 666 years to the year that Islam was founded and came up with AD 1284 as the day of reckoning.
  • AD 1689 was the year a Baptist named Benjamin Keach predicted would offer the end of the world.
  • William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, believed the key date would be March 21, 1843.
  • Joseph Smith, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even Charles Wesley have offered incorrect end-of-the-world dates.

Jesus said even he did not know the time of the end, saying in Mark 13:32-33

,

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”

Certainly, then, we need to watch and pray. Setting dates, or being fearful because of bird deaths, or making too much of the end of the Mayan cyclical calendar, all these things are unhelpful. The best thing we can do is to just keep doing the work He’s set us to do until He comes.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” – Matt 24:45-46

Related Links


‘Aflockalypse’ Hits California – Discovery News
Thousands of fish washed up in Chicago – Metro
Fish & Bird kills: are we getting answers or being placated? – Northeast Intelligence Network (Douglas J. Hagmann)
Camping with Rapture Loons in 2011 – BPB (Don Koenig)
Mass animal deaths cause many to search for answers – NewsNet5.com
Are Mysterious Bird and Fish Deaths Prophetic? – Charisma News Online
The ‘Aflockalypse’: Google Map Traces Mass Animal Deaths – TechNewsDaily
Learn the Bible in 24 Hours – Chuck Missler (Book)


John McTernanBy John McTernan
Defend and Proclaim the Faith

‘Lebanon’s Government Falls as Hezbollah Pulls Out’

This has been coming like a slow moving train wreck. It appears that the day has now arrived. Hezbollah assassinated the previous prime minister and has threaten war if they are held responsible. They act just like the gangsters/terrorists they are. The collapse of the government leaves a huge political void. Hezbollah has threatened war and might try to take over the country. Syria believes that Lebanon is part of Syria. Iran wants Hezbollah to take control, as it is an arm of Iran.

Israel cannot allow Syria or Hezbollah to take over Lebanon, as it would have a powerful enemy right on its border. Israel will go to war if either try to take over.

Turkey has already threatened Israel with war, if it attacks Lebanon, and the United States is sending an aircraft carrier battle group to the area. There is a real possibility of this turning into the regional war that I have been warning is coming. I still think the war is going to start over Jerusalem, but this could easily be the trigger for the all-out war that the prophets write about.

Related Links


Lebanon in crisis: Hizballah quits government, US-French buildup, Israel on standby – DEBKAfile
LEBANON’S GOVERNMENT COLLAPSES – Joel Rosenberg’s Weblog
As President Meets With Prime Minister, Lebanese Government Collapse – FOX News
Hezbollah and its allies topple Lebanon government – Forbes
Lebanon reels as Hezbollah topples government – The Guardian
As America Has Done to Israel – John McTernan (Book)


Terry JamesBy Terry James
Rapture Ready

I must preface what follows by saying that I use Hal Lindsey in this look at the future because I and so many others hold him in high regard as the most widely recognized apologist for the pretribulation Rapture view of Bible prophecy. His book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth,” is of course the work that vaulted him into prominence. His continuing efforts over the decades to forewarn of things to come – with his current TV program serving as an excellent Bible prophecy platform – puts him at the top level of those who watch for Christ’s return, in my view.

Lindsey has indicated on his television program, The Hal Lindsey Report, that he believes America and all other nations of the world are headed into the darkest of socioeconomic times. American Christians, he believes, face persecution unlike any that believers in the United States have experienced. He recommends, as does Glenn Beck, that people store food and make other preparations against possible hyper-inflated times to come.

While Lindsey advocates – as does Beck—that we strive to be good citizens and fight the staunch, patriotic fight through the ballot box in order to return the nation to one centered in morality and freedom, he says in practically the same breath that this world system is doomed. There is no hope, apart from the hope that is in Jesus Christ. His seeming dichotomy of thought evokes concerns that must be addressed.

We began looking into prospects for the near future by considering an email I received from one such concerned Christian. Again, he wrote the following, in part:

I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your “Nearing Midnight” article today, I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the Rapture being as close as it is, then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?

This writer’s perspectives carry much weight. It is Dr. Lindsey’s view of things that impressed the emailer to write. Since I am asked for my “take” on Hal’s position regarding severe persecution for believers being imminent, I must be true to my study of prophecy and risk going somewhat counter to his stated belief that Christians in America are necessarily going to suffer such intensive, satanically engendered travail.

I mean no disrespect for this man, certainly a special servant chosen for the Lord’s prophetic ministry for these closing hours of the age. However, my assessment differs from his forecast to an extent that I sense it needs to be presented here.

We have spent time thus far looking into the eerie, troubling changes taking place across the socioeconomic landscape of America and the world. Mostly, we have tried to get our brains around the apparent insanity of our leaders and why they have created crises then printed trillions of dollars to throw at those crises – all of this sleight-of-hand chicanery done to stave off supposed national and world cataclysm those leaders warned would otherwise destroy civilization as it has been known. Their supposed attempts to preempt economic Armageddon now threaten to bring about the collapse of every economy on the planet.

The foundation had to be laid thusly in order to begin answering the question so many people want to know. Our emailer framed well the fears of many who worry what the near future might hold. Since world conditions are in configuration that includes issues and events much like those for the Tribulation given in Bible prophecy, will Christians in America face severe persecution before Christ returns to this desperately wicked planet? That is among the most expressed concerns in email correspondence I receive these days.

Hal Lindsey, like Glenn Beck, states that he believes there will be a cultural and societal breakdown due to an economic collapse that is surely about to take place in the United States. I infer from his strongly stated position that he believes Christians in America will face severe persecution as a part of the social and economic upheaval about to erupt in this nation.

In the final analysis, however, whether I accurately understand and expound upon Dr. Lindsey’s thoughts in these matters is of minor consequence to the treatment at hand. The fact is that many Christians who do observe these times from a prophetic perspective need answers to questions like the one posed by the emailer. Trying to look at what lurks just ahead in the foreboding mist and haze of the coming days is the proposed objective of what follows.

Next time we will attempt to accomplish this, staying within the confines of what God’s Word actually has to say about the very end of the age.

Related Links


Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 1 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 2 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 3 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 4 – BPB (Terry James)
The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy? – Terry James (Book)