Tag Archives: Israel

“Strong delusion” certainly now apparent … calling evil good, and good evil

To anyone who is paying any attention at all to what’s going on these days, one thing jumps out with screaming clarity:

The world just keeps on getting worse and worse.

There’s no nice way to say it—there’s no use trying to sugarcoat it or massage it to make things seem better. With each passing day, we see society spinning increasingly out of control and plunging into greater depths of deception and depravity. Of course, biblically knowledgeable believers aren’t exactly reeling in shock at this because we were warned in advance.

The apostle Paul minces no words in characterizing the way the world would become in the last days; and although the points he mentions have always been true to some extent, it’s hard to deny they are intensifying in concert with the fulfillment of other end-time prophecies:

1But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also.  (2 Timothy 3:1–5)

And voilà…here we are, at the doorstep of the Rapture and the ensuing Tribulation, and what do we see? Here are a few choice items that stand out, in my opinion:

• We see a hedonistic, atheistic society that revels in arrogantly mocking God and His Word and mercilessly lampooning anyone who dares to express differing sentiments.

• We see an utterly apostate corporate church elevating the Quran to the level of God’s Word, and promoting the twin heresies that we all worship the same God and there are many equally valid ways to come to Him.

• We see the liberal left having a full-blown meltdown over the election of a conservative president who, while certainly not perfect, at least openly espouses Judeo-Christian values and strongly supports the nation of Israel.

• We see the United States continuing to cave in to the LGBT agenda, including the legalization of homosexual “marriage;” anyone who deigns to disagree is promptly pilloried as a homophobic bigot. Check that—make that an unchristian homophobic bigot.

So what do we see? We see Isaiah 5:20 in action, that’s what we see:

20Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  (Isaiah 5:20)

In other words, we see a world that is increasingly under the sway of delusion. Black is white. Up is down. Good is evil and evil is good.

Oh, and God is a mythical Magic Man in the Sky, Jesus never existed or was just a second-string prophet, the Bible is a collection of Bronze Age fairy tales, and the gospel is an absurd, politically incorrect fiction—and like I said, anyone who has the temerity to disagree is sure to be mocked and marginalized.

Speaking of delusions, there is a familiar passage of Scripture in the New Testament that states that God will cause a “strong delusion” to come upon men in the last days:  11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:11 AKJV)

Many Bible teachers and prophecy buffs today speculate about the nature of this delusion; but with the prophetic trigger finger many seem to have these days, it seems as if every time some form of deception grabs the headlines, there are those who holler “There ya go…strong delusion! That’s gotta be it!”  And with the sheer volume and degree of deception engulfing the world, there is certainly no shortage of things one can pin this delusion to.

For example, I’ve heard people teach that this delusion is the simple fact that the world today increasingly rejects the gospel, and refuses to avail themselves of the grace and mercy God expressed to man through Christ.

I’ve heard teachers I respect say that this delusion has to do with the Palestinian narrative, and that it’s the delusion that keeps the world supporting the poor, oppressed Palestinians who are simply trying to prevent the evil Zionists from illegally occupying “their” land.

I’ve even heard people opine that this delusion is what is currently afflicting the liberal left, and has sent them into a blind, seething rage over the election of Donald Trump. In other words, they suspect it’s actually what is known as Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS—and if the Kavanaugh hearings failed to erase any doubt in anyone’s mind that TDS is a real thing, then I don’t know what will.

Now, are all of these delusions? Oh, you bet they are. But are any of these the “strong delusion” of 2 Thessalonians 2:11?

I believe there are clues in Scripture that point us toward the precise nature of this delusion, and I believe those clues point straight to Satan’s man, the Antichrist.  I want to discuss one specific aspect of the Antichrist that I believe will be part and parcel of that strong delusion, and it concerns how the Antichrist will present himself to and be perceived by the world.

I trust you know me well enough by now to know that I am not given to the sort of glassy-eyed tinfoil-hattery that is so prevalent in certain excitable circles in the Church today (not to mention the world).  ‘Nuff said. As always, I want to state up front that these conclusions are my opinion, and are necessarily speculative in nature regardless of how much sense I think they make.

So, the Antichrist, fully empowered by Satan after the abomination of desolation, performs his lying signs and wonders, and then God sends a strong delusion upon mankind.

I believe one of the key points in determining the nature of the strong delusion of verse 11 is the question of why:

Why is God going to send this strong delusion?

If we go back and look at verses 10–12, we see that we are told the reason pretty much straight out:

10And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (2 Thessalonians 2:10–12 AKJV / emphasis added)

“And for this cause…”

For what cause? The cause Paul just stated:

“Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

And the result?

“…they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned…”

So during the Tribulation, a large portion of mankind will still stubbornly refuse to believe the truth and be saved. Instead, they will take great pleasure in unrighteousness, and because of this God will send a strong delusion upon them so they will believe a lie and be damned.

And that leads us to the nature of the delusion. What’s the Big Lie? What will God cause them to believe? Again, let’s consider the reason for the delusion: Paul says it’s because they refused to receive the love of the truth. OK, what’s the truth? That’s easy:

6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.  (John 14:6 AKJV / emphasis added)

The truth is the fact that Jesus is the Son of God who stepped out of heaven and came to earth to die so that sinful men could live if they had faith in Him. The truth is that Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and raised on the third day to give eternal life to those who believe in faith. The truth is the fact that trusting in Jesus’ finished work of atonement is the one and only way to come to the Father and be saved and eternally reconciled to a holy God. The truth is the gospel.

The truth is Christ.

And because during the Tribulation mankind has utterly and completely rejected this truth in spite of seeing the mighty hand of God move in judgment, God deliberately influences them to believe a lie.

OK, but what’s the lie?

We know from the Bible that God is just—His justice is perfect, and must be satisfied to the fullest. That’s why Christ had to die—He had to satisfy His Father’s perfect justice on our behalf. As we read the Bible, we see instances where God executes justice in some situation and it’s just so…perfect. Often breathtakingly so. We see this often enough throughout Scripture that it’s no stretch to say that God has an unparalleled sense of poetic justice.

At the Rapture, every single person on earth who believes that Jesus is the Son of God—the biblical Messiah sent to earth by God to redeem sinful men—and has trusted in His finished work of atonement for their salvation will be removed, leaving behind billions of people the book of Revelation refers to as “those who dwell upon the earth.” Yes, legions of people will repent and believe during the Tribulation, but they are those who will have to endure to the end to be saved (Matt. 24:13) and are not part of the Church.

Now, as far as God’s poetic justice is concerned, I for one definitely see it coming into play here. God is basically saying:  “You stubbornly refuse to believe the truth and be saved? OK, fine. Have it your way: Believe this and be damned.”

Note that it is the False Prophet who “gives life” to the image of the beast in the temple and causes it to speak, and he will be the one who requires the world to worship the Antichrist on pain of death during the Great Tribulation: 15And he [the False Prophet] had power to give life to the image of the beast, [the Antichrist] that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Revelation 13:15 AKJV / [comments] added)

There are a number of parallels at work here. For example, this is the reverse image of the role of the Holy Spirit, who glorifies the Son and who draws men to the real Savior to give them life. Also, we know Christ was sent into the world by His Father to save mankind from their sin—their spiritual condition. The Antichrist will present himself as the world’s “savior,” sent to save us from the folly of our own foolish, selfish actions—our temporal condition: war, hunger, poverty, pollution, man-made climate change, intolerance, injustice, overpopulation, Obamacare, etc.

So, consider the situation:

On the one hand, you have Jesus Christ, the real
Savior who was sent to save men from their spiritual
condition and who performs true signs and wonders and
who causes those who do worship Him as God to live.

On the other hand, you have the Antichrist, the false
savior who was sent to save men from their temporal
condition and who performs lying signs and wonders and
who causes those who don’t worship him as God to die.

The irony is nothing short of exquisite.

So, if God wanted to express a dose of His special brand of poetic justice, it seems pretty clear to me what He would do:

I believe He would send a strong delusion that would cause the stiff-necked people dwelling on the earth who had refused to accept the grace and mercy He expressed to them through the real Messiah and be saved, to believe the lie that the Antichrist is that Messiah and to foolishly worship him and be damned.

I believe that’s the fundamental lie. I think God will take the lie that the Antichrist really is the Messiah, who has been sent to “save” the world and so should be worshiped appropriately, and cause the world to swallow it hook, line, and sinker. He’ll make ’em gobble it up and ask for seconds.

Talk about poetic justice…I can scarcely think of anything more poetic.

I believe this is why billions will eagerly follow him and happily take his mark and become part of his global system. I believe membership in the Antichrist’s system will not only include some type of chip implant that will allow the recipient to be part of the global economic system, but I believe it will also come complete with genetic modification that will hold out the tantalizing promise of several centuries of relatively disease-free life.

No? Science fiction, you say? Don’t look now, but that type of precision gene-modification technology already exists and is developing with lightning speed, and people are already pondering the dizzying possibilities: Biotechnology has advanced so rapidly over the past few years that scientists can now edit the genomes of plants and animals with ever-increasing precision. Using new techniques like CRISP/Cas9, researchers have already shown they can alter genes to create hornless cattle or mushrooms that don’t brown easily.

But the really big question—the stuff of sci-fi—is whether we’ll use genome-editing tools on people to wipe out heritable diseases or to enhance human capabilities. It’s no longer a question of whether we’ll be able to create “designer babies”: The technology is improving at a stunning pace. Instead, it’s a question of whether we should. It’s an ethics question, a policy question.   — Brad Plumer, from an article posted on Vox [Source]

Think of it: If people were told that if they took the mark they would not only be able to do business and make money, but also live several hundred years relatively free of disease, you think they’d go for it? Oh yeah. But just like everything else Satan offers, it’s just another inferior counterfeit:

Living for several hundred years in a disease-free body is an inferior counterfeit for living for eternity in a glorified body, wouldn’t you agree?

Although the Big Lie is primarily that the Antichrist is in fact the Messiah, the “savior” sent to save us from a man-made apocalypse, I believe there is another key aspect to Satan’s man that is also part of this strong delusion.

You may have noticed that up to this point I’ve tried to be careful to say that the Antichrist would only demand the worship that rightly belongs to God. I never said he would claim to actually be God, as in the God of the Bible. And the reason is simple: I don’t believe he will.

Let’s settle one thing. We have no need to speculate as to exactly who or what the Antichrist is in reality, because the Bible makes it quite clear: He is (a) a mortal man who is (b) empowered by Satan to perform miracles to deceive people. That’s the long and the short of it.

Superman(a) He’s the man of sin—not the superman of sin, not the demigod of sin, not the Pleiadian of sin, ad infinitum, ad nauseam (2 Thess. 2:3).

(b) He will come with Satan’s power to perform deceptive wonders (2 Thess. 2:9). He will have mighty, wondrous power, but it won’t be his own power (Dan. 8:24). That power will come from another source, namely Satan.

So the question isn’t who or what the Antichrist really is, because God’s Word tells us. The question is what he will claim to be, and what the world will be duped into perceiving him to be as part of the strong delusion.

For more, let’s take a trip back in time to a sleepy little town in the American Southwest.

On July 7, 1947, W.W. Brazel, a rancher who lived in the Roswell, New Mexico area, reported to Sheriff George Wilcox that a couple of weeks earlier he and his young son had stumbled across what appeared to be some type of wreckage on a sheep ranch a few miles outside of Roswell. According to Brazel, the wreckage included pieces of rubber, wood, tinfoil, paper, and tape (no metal). The sheriff called the RAAF (Roswell Army Air Field), and they sent intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcel out to have a look. Marcel jumped to the conclusion that Brazel had found the wreckage of a “flying saucer,” as he chose to describe it.

Reality check: OK, so let me get this straight: A highly advanced race of aliens flew scores of light years across the galaxy in a craft that was the product of technology beyond our comprehension…a craft that was made of rubber, wood, tinfoil, paper, and tape (no metal). Right. Now you know why the story required just a wee bit of embellishment.

Now, in all fairness to Major Marcel, there actually had been a bit of buzz in the Roswell area recently because a trusted local couple had reported seeing some kind of glowing disk fly over their house the previous week. So, it’s safe to say that Marcel had the notion of “flying disks” in the back of his mind when he went out to investigate the mysterious wreckage.

It seems Marcel put two and two together and got the idea into his head that this wreckage might actually be that of the reported “flying disk,” and said as much to his group commander, who said as much to the press officer on duty, who released a statement that said as much to the local newspaper that ​afternoon. The following day, on July 8, the headline in the Daily Record read:  RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region

What is not quite as well known, however, is that later the previous day the Army had reported that the wreckage was most likely from a crashed weather balloon, and Brazel said he was embarrassed to have gotten so excited over nothing. A retraction was printed in the paper the following day, and ordinarily that almost certainly would have been the end of ​it.

But that was one genie that was never going back into the bottle. The story began to circulate, and it was off to the races. The UFO/alien narrative was conceived and it wasn’t long before it began to take on a life of its own as a full-blown conspiracy theory, complete with alien bodies and damaged alien spacecraft being spirited off to a mysterious, top-secret Area 51 in Nevada.

Over the years, every jot and tittle of the original story—every scrap, every detail, every word of every interview with anybody who knew or had seen anything (not to mention some who knew or had seen nothing) was sliced, diced, puffed, spun, gussied up, dramatized, magnified, amplified, fancified, blow-dried, and put under a microscope until the desired narrative began to assume some semblance of plausibility. People become obsessed with the notion of aliens and were determined to find a way to make it all true.

Alien saying shhhhh!Then the narrative was topped off with a breathtaking (and conveniently non-falsifiable) tale of a massive government cover-up to desperately hide the truth that we were in fact being visited by aliens from outer space, and the mantra of UFO devotees became encapsulated in the tagline of the popular television series The X-Files:  The truth is out there.

(Yes, the truth is out there, and the truth is the cold, hard, simple fact that there are no aliens and never were.​ Sorry.)

Pie tins and swamp gas: So, does this mean that many thousands of people who have seen UFOs are all crazy? Are they all lying? Is every single photo or video of a purported UFO fake? Is every single report a hoax? Just pie tins and swamp gas? No. I am convinced some (not all, but some) of the UFO evidence is real and compelling. But if there are no aliens (and there aren’t), and people really are seeing something (and they are), then what exactly are people seeing? Here is my detailed response to this question, and the answer just might surprise you.

For years, devotees scoffed at the idea that the wreckage was that of a crashed weather balloon, but in fact the scoffers were right. It wasn’t. Several decades later, the Air Force (which was formed in September 1947, two months after the Roswell incident) finally revealed that the wreckage had been of a highly sensitive “tracking balloon,” the result of a then top-secret project ​that was intended to develop a special type of ​balloon that could be flown at extremely high altitudes over the Soviet Union to detect the detonation of nuclear devices.

Although the Soviets wouldn’t conduct their first successful test of a nuclear device until August 1949, by 1947 the U.S. was well aware the Soviets were aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and was determined to keep tabs on their progress. This is a big part of the reason that as soon as the dust settled from WWII, the Cold War blossomed into a hot topic.

Unfortunately, however, by the time the government got around to revealing that information, all it did was reinforce the widespread notion that the U.S. government was involved in a conspiracy to hide the truth that aliens had visited and were continuing to visit earth.

To its credit, Hollywood took notice. Prior to the incident in Roswell in July 1947, there had never been a single movie that featured the idea of aliens coming to earth. Not one. The closest any movie came was a German silent film made in 1920 called Algol: Tragedy of Power, which featured an alien who lived in the depths of a coal mine; but there is nothing about him actually coming to earth. The last movie made prior to Roswell that contained any mention of extraterrestrials at all was Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), and in that film our man Flash ventures into space to kick butt and take names—but not a single alien comes to earth.

But after Roswell? Oh, baby. Before you could say “pass the popcorn” the screenplays were pouring in, and within three years a new movie genre was off and running. In the seven years prior to Roswell, not one movie had been made dealing with extraterrestrials. Zero. In the seven years following Roswell, there were 31, including such classics as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), It Came from Outer Space (1953), and The War of the Worlds (1953), all three of which featured aliens invading earth ​(as did the majority of the rest), and their popularity at the box office showed Hollywood the public was hungry for more. The bottom line is clear:  After the summer of 1947, UFOs and aliens were here to stay.

Since then, the existence of extraterrestrials has come to be assumed as a virtual scientific fact, and the idea that at least one of those advanced alien races somewhere out there has not only visited earth but continues to do so is routinely accepted by many people today. For the majority of the world, the disclosure of alien contact isn’t a question of if, but when.

But what, you may be wondering, does any of this have to do with ​end-time prophecy or the Antichrist? Hold that thought.

Coincidentally enough, something else of significance was happening in 1947 besides somebody in the American Southwest mistakenly believing they had stumbled across the wreckage of an alien spacecraft.

For more, let’s take a trip back in time to a not-so-sleepy patch of scorched earth in the Middle East.

Eretz-Israel

I’d like to think everyone reading this is aware that Israel was re-established as a nation in 1948 in a stunning fulfillment of Bible prophecy—the super sign that launched the unfolding of the end-time scenario.

I’d also like to think you’re smart enough to realize that someone didn’t just wake up one morning in 1948 and suddenly announce out of the blue sky:  “Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we declare Israel as an independent nation today? Yeah, that’ll work.”

…and wow, nobody saw it coming! The full story of the events that led up to this monumental event are obviously beyond the scope of this article, but at the very least I want to communicate to you a general sense of what was happening around the time frame of the summer of 1947.

In the years leading up to WWII, the persecution of Jews was increasing in many European countries, and at the same time the countries of the world were closing their doors to Jewish immigration. As illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine increased, the British (who were in charge under the British Mandate) decided to close Palestine to Jewish immigration as well. Thus by the time WWII began, it was only half-jokingly observed that for Jews in Europe, the world was divided into places where they could not live and places where they could not enter.

During the Holocaust, a systematic effort was carried out to kill every Jew in Europe, resulting in the death of six million people of Jewish extraction. After the war, the British were confronted with increasing waves of illegal immigration of Jews they could scarcely contain, increasing anger from Arabs in Palestine as a result, and an increase of acts of terror carried out by Zionist insurgency groups in their effort to drive the British out.

To top it off, the U.S. Congress was highly critical of the heavy-handed British response to the bombing of the British Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv by radical Zionist insurgents in July of 1946, and as a result delayed loans to Britain that were sorely needed for the nation’s post-war recovery. Thus, by the end of 1946, the situation was clear:

The Jews wanted the Brits out.
The Arabs wanted the Brits out.
The Brits wanted the Brits out.

Although Britain had formally ruled Palestine under the British Mandate since 1923, Palestine had become an exceedingly hot potato, and the British were desperately looking for someone to toss it to. The Brits wanted out of Palestine, Mandate or no Mandate.

Enter the United Nations.

The world body known as the United Nations was only 18 months old when, on April 2, 1947, Britain requested that the “question of Palestine” be handed over to the fledgling General Assembly. Like any world body worth its salt, the UN promptly formed a committee: the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). By July of that year, after traveling to Palestine and meeting with Jewish and Zionist delegations (the Arabs boycotted the whole thing), UNSCOP agreed with the proposal of the Orthodox Jewish (Haredi) party, who proposed that an independent Jewish state be established after a religious status quo agreement could be reached regarding such a future state.

UNSCOP proposed in their majority report to the UN that both independent Arab and Jewish states be created, with Jerusalem held under an International Trusteeship System. Finally, on November 29, 1947, the UN passed the now-famous Resolution 181, in which they adopted UNSCOP’s majority report with a few minor modifications. At the same time, Britain formalized their already widely known intention to terminate the British Mandate, and announced to the UN they would do so no later than August 1, 1948—and a short while later they moved that date up to May 15. True to their word, the last British troops left Haifa on May 14, 1948.

So, at 4:00 p.m. that same afternoon, with the British Mandate ready to officially expire in about eight hours, David Ben-Gurion convened a meeting of the Jewish People’s Council at the Tel Aviv Museum, in which he made his historic declaration:

Accordingly we, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British Mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.

The super sign was fulfilled, and the curtain came up on the final act of end-time prophecy.

Putting the pieces together

OK, so what’s up with the Reader’s Digest history lesson?

First of all, understand that Satan cannot see the future. He is certainly not omniscient—only God can make that claim. Satan had no way of knowing for sure when the prophecy of Israel’s re-establishment as a nation would be fulfilled, so he had to pay close attention and keep his hand on the throttle. He knew that when that did occur, the clock would begin ticking on his (grand but futile) efforts to wipe out Israel and thus force the cancellation of the Second Coming, and that he would have no time to waste in making preparations for his grandiose plan.

Although it could be said that events were already moving in that direction, it was around July of 1947, when UNSCOP began to take a favorable view of the idea of establishing an independent Jewish state, that you might say that the handwriting was finally on the wall. Satan could see that the British had turned Palestine over to the UN and that they were ready to bail, and that the UN would be inclined to agree with its own committee’s report that was favorable to the formation of such a Jewish state.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s extremely interesting that right about the same time that it was becoming clear that Israel would finally become a nation again for real, over on the other side of the world a U.S. military officer was jumping to the errant conclusion that some scattered debris consisting of rubber, wood, tinfoil, paper, and tape constituted “proof” that an alien spacecraft had crashed on a sheep ranch in New Mexico, thus igniting the rise of the UFO/alien narrative.

Incidentally, there is something that should be noted in relationship to the Roswell incident. In the summer of 1947, about the time Satan knew that Israel was going to become a nation again, and thus knew it was time to trigger his UFO/alien narrative, ask yourself:  Do you think Satan knew the wreckage of that top-secret tracking balloon was lying on the ground on a sheep in New Mexico?

You bet he did. He knew precisely when and where that thing crashed—and he saw his opening. Understand that so-called UFOs are a demonic phenomenon, and so they appear wherever, whenever, and in whatever form Satan chooses (if you doubt what I say, take the time to read the section of one of my previous articles I linked to above). Now ask yourself:  How difficult do you think it would be for Satan (who knew the military would have no choice but to disseminate disinformation to protect a top-secret project) to arrange for a “flying disk” to be seen by the just the right people in just the right location at just the right time to kick-start all the fuss in Roswell?

Are you kidding? A walk in the park…and oh my, how convenient.

Then again, maybe it’s all just a bizarre coincidence.

I think the answer is clear—it was all part of the plan, and this is how I would summarize things:

First of all, like many others, I believe the man who will become the Antichrist will be a rising leader on the world scene who talks big talk, appears to have all the answers, and swiftly rises to power through intrigue. At some point before or during this process we will be raptured, and as a result the world will be turned upside-down and shaken as a frightened and confused population desperately seeks answers.

At some point after the Rapture, he will confirm (or strengthen or implement) a treaty between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations that will divide the land of Israel, a treaty I believe will allow the Jews to fulfill their national dream of building their highly anticipated Third Temple. This treaty will start the clock on the seven-year Tribulation, and things will begin to pick up steam.

Since he will be the one who made it possible for them to build the Third Temple, the Antichrist will be hailed and embraced by the nation of Israel as their long-awaited Messiah. But at the midpoint of the Tribulation, possibly after being “resurrected” from a head wound, he will become fully empowered by Satan, enter the temple and commit the abomination of desolation by erecting his image in the Holy of Holies. The False Prophet will cause the image to speak, and he will compel the world to worship the Antichrist as God on pain of death.

Following the abomination of desolation, I believe that Satan is going to present his chosen leader the Antichrist to the world as someone who is in contact with and/or being supported by an alien race, presumably a benevolent one that has come to help us, and possibly defend us from some dire threat. That will explain his powers—I believe the Antichrist will appear to be one who has been imbued with these powers by that alien race to lead our battered planet and its beleaguered population into its long-awaited New Age and the next step up in human evolution.

And will the world fall for it? Yes, they will, thanks to the strong delusion God will send upon them, which will make the world believe the biggest lie from the biggest liar in the history of the universe. For most of the world, it will seem compellingly proper and perfectly sensible that they should worship their amazing new leader as God.

And worship him they will.

 

[From an article published by Greg Lauer on his website A LITTLE STRENGTH.com]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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Palestinians beginning to see things as they are, not as they want them to be

“It’s safer to demonstrate against Israel than against Abbas or the Palestinian Authority. Israel is at least a country of law and order and they have human rights organizations and a powerful media and judicial system. We can only continue to dream of having something like what the Jews have.”

 

In the past two weeks, Palestinians received yet another reminder that they are living under undemocratic regimes that have less than no respect for public freedoms.

The regimes of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip never miss an opportunity to remind their people of the dire consequences that await anyone who speaks out against the leaders. The two Palestinian regimes have been forcing it down the throats of their people for many years.

Still, some Palestinians seem surprised each time the PA or Hamas send their police officers to break up (or, more precisely, to break bones in) a demonstration in Ramallah or the Gaza Strip.

The streets of Ramallah and Gaza City showcase, yet again, that the Palestinians’ true tragedy over the past five decades has been failed and corrupt leadership — one that keeps dragging them from one disaster to another; one that never offers them any hope; one that has been radicalizing and brainwashing its people; one that steals large portions of the financial aid provided by the international community, and one that has brought them nothing but dictatorship and repression.

The Palestinian Authority is nearly 25 years old, but it continues to act as a corrupt dictatorship. Like most Arab regimes, the PA and its leaders have zero tolerance for any form of criticism.

Ask Palestinian journalists, bloggers and pundits in the West Bank and they will tell you (in private and anonymously; they would like to save their skins) how the Palestinian Authority cracks down on them and imposes severe restrictions on their work. In the past year alone, at least 11 Palestinian journalists and political activists have either been arrested or summoned for interrogation by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. The charge: voicing various forms of criticism against the Palestinian Authority or one of its senior officials, including, of course, President Mahmoud Abbas.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority went one step further in demonstrating to its constituents what dictatorship looks like. Hundreds of Palestinians were staging a peaceful demonstration in the center of Ramallah to call on Abbas to lift the sanctions he had imposed on the Gaza Strip a year earlier. The sanctions, which severely aggravated the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip, included firing thousands of PA civil servants and cutting off social assistance to many families. Abbas has also refused to pay for the electricity and medical care that Israel supplies to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas placed the sanctions on the Gaza Strip in the hope that affected Palestinians would revolt against his enemies in Hamas. So far, however, his measures seem to have backfired. Hamas is still in power and there is almost no real challenge to its rule over the Gaza Strip. Also, Abbas does not want to bear any responsibility for his people in the Gaza Strip; he wants the Gaza Strip to be the problem of Israel, Egypt and the rest of the world. Anyone who thinks that Abbas is eager to go back to the Gaza Strip is living in a dream world. (Hamas expelled the Palestinian Authority and Abbas from the Gaza Strip in 2007).

Abbas does not like to be reminded of his responsibility for what many describe as a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and he does not want any Palestinians to protest the punitive measures he imposed on the Gaza Strip.

First, Abbas issued a directive banning Palestinians from protesting in the major cities in the West Bank.

His directive, however, did not stop hundreds of Palestinian activists from taking to the streets of Ramallah on June 13 to condemn Abbas’s sanctions. What was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned out to be one of the most violent clashes between Abbas’s security forces and demonstrators, whose only crime was that they were calling on their leader to lift the sanctions he imposed on the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians in the West Bank are also trying to show solidarity with their brothers in the Gaza Strip. They seem to be beginning to realize that Abbas, instead of helping the people in the Gaza Strip, is actually punishing them by cutting off their salaries and denying them medical and humanitarian aid. The Ramallah protest also came amid growing criticism (mainly from the Gaza Strip) that the Palestinians of the West Bank are indifferent to the suffering of their brothers in the Gaza Strip.

On instructions from Abbas, dozens of Palestinian policemen, both in uniform and civilian clothes, attacked the protesters with brute force, using clubs and tear gas. More than 44 protestors were arrested and 20 injured. The brutality, however, did not end there. Palestinian policemen later raided hospitals and medical clinics in Ramallah to arrest injured Palestinians suspected of taking part in the peaceful protest. At least five Palestinian and foreign journalists were wounded during the police assault, while many others had their cameras and other equipment confiscated.

“The Palestinian Authority has crossed all red lines,” said a Palestinian protester who was beaten up by Palestinian policemen during the demonstration. “They treated us as if we were the biggest enemy of the Palestinians. We have no idea why they used such force against us. This is a real crime and a violation of Palestinian human rights.”

The Palestinian Authority has defended its brutal assault on the peaceful protesters by arguing that the demonstrators had failed to obtain a permit for their protest. But since when do Palestinians need a permit from their leaders to demonstrate? Well, in this instance they do need a permit because the protest was directed against the Palestinian Authority and Abbas.

Demonstrating against Israel or the US and burning their flags and posters of Israeli and American leaders do not require a permit from the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. In fact, the Palestinian leaders in Ramallah have played a major role in initiating anti-Israel and anti-US demonstrations, especially in recent months. It is one thing to shout chants against the US and Israel, but it is a completely different story when a Palestinian shouts chants against his leaders. Such a Palestinian would be lucky indeed if he winds up in hospital with only with a broken limb.

So Abbas, who is already punishing his people in the Gaza Strip under the pretext of fighting Hamas, is now telling his people in the West Bank to keep their opinions to themselves or pay for the impudence with broken heads and broken bones.

Abbas’s warning was echoed by one of his senior officials, Akram Rajoub, who serves as “governor” of the West Bank city of Nablus. In a video posted on social media after the violent Ramallah incident, Rajoub is seen and heard threatening any Palestinian who demonstrates against President Abbas:

“We will curse the father of anyone who protests… From now on, we’re not afraid and we don’t care. We will strike back at anyone who curses us and harms our dignity. Cursed be the fathers of those who say bad things about us!”

Rajoub’s threats, which sound more like the language of a street thug than a senior official, came in response to widespread criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s brutal violence against the Ramallah protesters. His threat is seen as an attempt to deter other Palestinians from speaking out against Abbas’s sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Rajoub’s threats represent a massive mockery of truth on the part of the Palestinian Authority. On the one hand, Abbas and his officials continue to hold Israel responsible for the misery of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and are calling on the international community to condemn Israel for its policies in defending itself against attacks (from the Gaza Strip), while it is, in fact, Abbas himself who is largely responsible for the current crisis. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip get only four or five hours of electricity every day. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that tens of thousands of Palestinian employees have not been receiving salaries for the past few months. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that hospitals in the Gaza Strip lack medicine and medical equipment.

These are only some of the inconvenient truths that Abbas and his cronies in Ramallah do not want the world to know or the Palestinians to talk about. That is why Abbas sent his police officers to Ramallah to beat up the protesters, whose only crime was that they had dared to call on their leader to remove the sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

For now, Abbas appears to have achieved his goal of silencing and intimidating his critics. The violent scenes on the streets of Ramallah on June 13 served as a sufficient deterrent. As one Palestinian activist commented:

“It’s become safer to demonstrate against Israel than against Abbas or the Palestinian Authority. Israel is at least a country of law and order and they have human rights organizations and a powerful media and judicial system. We can only continue to dream of having something like what the Jews have.”

The fact that Abbas is running a one-man show in the West Bank and is cracking down on public freedoms does not mean that his rivals in Hamas are any better. Sometimes, in fact, it is hard to distinguish between Abbas’s regime and that of Hamas. The two often use the same tactics to impose terror and intimidation on their people. Hamas is bad, but who said that the Palestinian Authority is good?

The scenes we witnessed on the streets of Ramallah in mid-June were replicated in Gaza City a few days later, when Hamas used the same tactic to break up a peaceful protest. On June 18, Hamas policemen and militiamen attacked a group of Palestinians who were holding a peaceful protest to call for Palestinian unity. Again, several Palestinians ended up in hospital, while scores of others were arrested by Hamas. Hamas also justified the use of force by arguing that the protesters had failed to obtain a proper permit.

In both Ramallah and Gaza, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas managed to send a message to their people that anyone who speaks out against his or her leader will have his bones or skull smashed. Hamas and the PA despise each other and have been ripping each other to pieces — figuratively and literally — for the past decade. At the end of the day, however, Palestinians know that the power struggle between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is not between good guys and bad guys, but between bad guys and bad guys. These bad guys are no different from other Arab dictatorships that enslave and kill their people.

If the Palestinians ever wish to seek a better life, the first thing they need to do is rid themselves of the “leaders” who are destroying their lives today.

 

[From an article published by GATESTONE INSTITUTE]

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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Gaza pauses in its ferocity and deadly clashes to bury its dead terrorists

Top stories of the day following Israel’s anniversary celebration:

1. Palestinians in Gaza spent the day burying their dead for now. Hamas’s calls for further marches on the border petered out as a mere 400 Palestinians showed up. Nevertheless, the IDF remained braced for Naqba Day violence to spread to the West Bank.

Shortly before this roundup was published, the IDF announced that 24 of the 60 Palestinians killed were terrorists from Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The army also released details about how it prevented a mass border breach.

2. Israel threatens to resume targeted killings of Hamas leaders if riots continue.

3. Palestinians managed to trash their side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing. It’s the third time they destroyed equipment and infrastructure at the crossing where Israel transfers food, fuel, medicine and humanitarian aid to the Strip. (Who gains? Hamas.)

By the way, Palestinians refused to allow 14 trucks carrying food and diapers to enter Gaza today, the Times of Israel reports. (Medical supplies were allowed through.) The Times notes, “It was not immediately clear why the border officials, who are employed by the Palestinian Authority, would not accept the shipments.”

4. Does the Media Really Understand the Gaza Violence? Thanks to the media, Gaza violence was always likely to be a win-win situation for Hamas. HonestReporting addressed a number of issues not raised in this roundup and the critique is must-read.

5. Your No-Hype Guide To The US Embassy Move To Jerusalem: Lost in the media hoopla over the US embassy move is a solid discussion of the law and history shaping this historic moment. HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz explains in The Federalist.

6. Is the US Embassy Move Legal?: Israel must be treated according to the same legal standards as every other country on earth.

Israel and the Palestinians

• Israeli and US officials inaugurated the US embassy in Jerusalem. President Donald Trump addressed the gathering by a video link. Take your pick of Times of Israel or Haaretz coverage. Outside, police clashed with Israeli Arab MKs protesting the move.

• IDF called yesterday’s Palestinian violence unprecedented, as an estimated 35,000-50,000 Gazans clashed with soldiers and tried to breach the border. Military officials told Israeli media that “Hamas deployed 12 separate terror “cells” to try to breach the border at different spots,” and that they were unable to kidnap or kill any soldiers.

• Talk is cheap, but I wonder if sparking a new intifada in the West Bank was the Hamas end game all along.

 

• The New York Times and Washington Post both noted this point about the Hamas’ drive for casualties:

But the protests appeared to have a more violent edge than in previous weeks. Some young men brought knives and fence cutters. At a gathering point east of Gaza City, organizers urged protestors over loudspeakers to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.

• The New York Times snippet on Palestinian injury figures made my antennae twitch:

A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus, cast doubt on the casualty numbers from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry; he said a large number of those listed as injured had suffered only tear-gas inhalation.

That may be true. According to the Health Ministry, live fire accounted for 1,204 injuries, bullet fragments caused 133 injuries and 837 injuries were attributed to gas. The breakdown did not account for the remaining injuries.

• A Palestinian baby died of tear gas inhalation because, well, who doesn’t bring the little ones to violent clashes? [Update: Just after this roundup was published, a Gaza doctor said the baby, Layla Ghandour had a pre-existing medical condition and may not have died because of tear gas]. Associated Press quoted Hamas-affiliated Gaza health officials that six of the Palestinians killed by gunshots were minors. Indeed, this description from a New York Times dispatch says a lot about the gulf between Israeli and Palestinian society:

At the rear of the protest area, Aseel Nasser, a determined 12-year-old girl, stood her ground. Facing a video camera operated by her brother, she recited a poem that extolled the virtues of jihad against Zionists. She was undeterred by the risks, explained her father, Khalil Nassar, 46, an education ministry official, who had brought her along. “It would be a great honor to be martyred by the occupation,” he said.

The Los Angeles Times also noted one family’s unsuccessful efforts to keep their daughter from going to the clashes. But where did Shireen learn to talk like this?

Terrified for their daughter’s safety, Shireen Nusralla’s parents locked her in her room Monday so she would not go to the protests. But the 30-year-old woman said she sneaked out through a window.

“I’m not afraid,” she declared as she walked toward a camp east of Gaza City, carrying a large Palestinian flag. “My dream is to get martyred or to kidnap an Israeli soldier.”

Commentary

• Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai weighs in on the embassy move, also insisting that Israel only has one capital, and it is Jerusalem.

In all my years as mayor, I have made it clear to every distinguished ambassador that we will provide him and his team with the best service to make them feel at home here, but that I am first and foremost an Israeli who is offended by the fact that his country refuses to recognize my country’s capital—Jerusalem—as Israel’s capital city.

What would the Italians say if the State of Israel decided that Milan rather than Rome was the capital of the boot-shaped country and placed its embassy there?

Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv
• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) nailed the first paragraph of its staff-ed.

Violence marred the transfer of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on Monday, but the ceremony was more excuse than cause. The Palestinians from Hamas who protested along the Gaza border with Israel were continuing their eternal war against the existence of the Jewish state more than they care about where America puts its diplomats.

 

[From an article published by HonestReporting.com]

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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Palestinians have an excellent opportunity for peace in Jerusalem…but what will they do with it?

For decades now, Palestinians have interpreted Israeli concessions and gestures as signs of weakness.

This fact is important to bear this in mind as the US administration prepares to launch its plan for peace in the Middle East, which President Donald Trump has referred to as the “deal of the century.”

A report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv on May 4th claimed that the “deal of the century” calls for placing four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The four neighborhoods, according to the report, are Jabal Mukaber, Essawiyeh, Shu’fat and Abu Dis. Ma’ariv wrote that the details of the US peace plan were presented to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman during his visit to Washington last week:

“The principles of the peace plan, which were presented to Liberman, include, among other things, large-scale and significant concessions on the part of Israel… the US expects Israel to accept the plan and to come to terms with what the Israelis perceive as painful concessions.”

If true, the reported concessions that Israel is being asked to make as part of the US administration’s “deal of the century” will not be perceived by the Palestinians as a sign that Israel seeks peace. As the past has proven, they will be viewed by the Palestinians as a form of retreat and capitulation.

The Palestinian Authority would be happy to assume control over the four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. As far as the PA is concerned, the more territory it is handed by Israel, the better. Territory in Jerusalem is especially welcome as it would give the Palestinian Authority a foothold in the city. A foothold, that is, for much, much more.

The four neighborhoods are only a few miles away from the Knesset, the Prime Minister’s Office and other symbols of Israeli sovereignty. Thus, Palestinian sovereignty over the four neighborhoods is of symbolic importance. Make no mistake: the Palestinians will see their presence in the four neighborhoods as the first step towards the redivision of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians will say that these Israeli concessions are not enough. They will demand that Israel hand them control over all 28 Arab neighborhoods and villages that are located within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality and are under Israeli sovereignty. In other words, the handing over of the four communities will only whet the Palestinians’ appetite and drive them to demand more. The Palestinians will argue that Israel has now created a precedent that needs to be followed by further concessions.

Here, it is worth noting that the Palestinian Authority is demanding sovereignty over all of east Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Western Wall. For them, the Old City and all the holy sites in Jerusalem belong to the Palestinians and should all be under Palestinian sovereignty. They will take the four neighborhoods, but that will just be the beginning. Even worse, the Palestinians are likely to use the four neighborhoods as launching pads to carry out terror attacks against Israel to “liberate the rest of Jerusalem.”

Let us consider what happened in 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip after evicting more than 8,000 Jews from their homes and destroying more than 20 settlements.

Even today, it is hard to find a single Palestinian who regards the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as an indication that Israel wants peace. On the contrary. The Israeli “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip was misinterpreted by the Palestinians as a retreat in the face of suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

For the Palestinians, the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was perceived as a capitulation that emboldened Hamas and other terror groups. These groups took credit for “driving the Jews out of the Gaza Strip” through terrorism.

If shooting Israelis worked and drove the Israelis to retreat, good: Keep doing it!

It is no wonder, then, that Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary election a few months later. Hamas ran in the January 2006 election on a platform that boasted that it had forced Israel to “flee” the Gaza Strip through suicide and rocket attacks.

Back then, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip said: “This is wonderful, we have killed 1,000 Jews in four years and these Jews run away from the Gaza Strip, so we need to continue shooting at them. Today, they run away from the Gaza Strip. Tomorrow they will run away from Ashkelon, then from Ashdod, then from Tel Aviv, and from there to the sea, and we will achieve our goal of eliminating Israel.”

Needless to say, Hamas and its supporters continued to launch attacks against Israel after the Israeli withdrawal to the international border. They truly believed that the Israeli “disengagement” was nothing but surrender in the face of violence.

The talk now about an Israeli withdrawal from parts of Jerusalem will bring us back to the Gaza Strip scenario.

First, no Palestinian will see such a step as a positive gesture on the part of Israel.

Second, why would anyone think that these neighborhoods will not fall into the hands of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the future?

That is exactly what happened in 2005, when Israel handed the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinian Authority, which later ran away, and handed it over to Hamas.

The timing of the proposed Israeli concessions is also highly problematic. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Ramallah-based government and associates are currently engaged in an unprecedented campaign of incitement against Israel.

They are continuing to spread venomous lies about Israel and incite their people to hate and violence. They are continuing to reward terrorists and their families for killing and maiming Jews. They are continuing to deny any Jewish history and connection to the land, and they are doing their utmost to delegitimize and demonize Jews.

Any Israeli concessions, particularly at this stage, will be interpreted by the Palestinians as a reward to Mahmoud Abbas and his crowd, who are not being required to give Israel anything in return.

Hardly a day passes without Abbas reminding us that he is not a partner for any peace agreement with Israel. Is it wise to reward Abbas now that he has exposed his true anti-Semitism? Is it appropriate to give Abbas a foothold in Jerusalem after he recently claimed that it was, according to him, the Jews’ behavior, and not anti-Semitism, that caused the Holocaust?

Is it appropriate and helpful to reward Abbas at a time when he is refusing to stop payments to Palestinian terrorists and their families?

Moreover, is it appropriate and helpful to reward Abbas and his Palestinian Authority at a time when they are continuing to incite their people against the US administration and its Jewish advisors, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman and Jared Kushner? Does the Palestinian Authority deserve to be rewarded for its daily incitement against US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley?

There is a saying in Arabic: “They spit in his face but he calls it rain.”

Haven’t the Palestinians already dismissed President Trump’s plan as a “conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and national rights?” Why should the Trump administration give Abbas gifts at a time when he and his friends are boycotting US officials?

The Trump administration needs to understand that the Palestinians view the US as an enemy, not as a friend. Giving Abbas control over four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem will not advance the cause of peace.

No Palestinian will take to the streets to express gratitude to Israel. Instead, they will take to the streets to intensify their terror attacks on Israel in the hope of extracting further concessions.

Abbas has proven that he is no different than his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. Like Arafat, he too does not recognize Jews’ right to the land, any land. Just look at any current map of “Palestine”: it is an exact duplicate of the map of Israel, but with the names of some cities changed.

Abbas does not aim for control over some areas just in Jerusalem. For Abbas, as for Arafat, Israel is one big settlement that needs to be removed. For him, in his own words, Israel is a “colonial project” that he claims has nothing to do with Judaism. For him, the Jews are nothing more than the greedy moneylenders, parodied in caricatures, who brought the Holocaust on themselves.

Is this a man who deserves to be rewarded? Is this a man who deserves to be brought into Jerusalem? Abbas, and not Israel, ought to be asked for concessions. He should stop denying and distorting Jewish history, he should stop rewarding Jew-killers; he should stop preaching hate to his people. That is the best path to peace.

 

[From an article written by Bassam Tawil for The Gatestone Institute.  Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.]

 

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President of Turkey now threatens to wipe out the Jews

Turkey's president threatens to wipe out the JewsObama has praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “a man of action” and one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bond. President Trump met with him at the White House last spring.

And certainly Erdogan has tried to portray himself to Western leaders as a pragmatist with whom they can work.

But at a convention of his ruling party Sunday, Erdogan invoked a Muslim hadith — a collection of the accounts and sayings of Muhammad — that made clear his view of Jews and the state of Israel, according to dissident Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt, the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported.

“Those who think they own Jerusalem better know that tomorrow they won’t be able to hide behind trees,” Erdogan said, according to Bozkurt.

That statement essentially is an affirmation of a prophecy that all Jews will one day be destroyed, the journalist said.

Bozkurt explained Erdogan was making “a veiled threat of killing each and every Jew with a shocking reference to apocalyptic prophecy of tree story.”

The Turkish leader was responding to President Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Bozkurt said anti-Semitism has always been in the background in Turkish society, but this marks the first time Turkey’s head of government has publicly added fuel to it.

Last year, Erdogan shut down Bozkurt’s former newspaper, Today’s Zaman, which had Turkey’s largest circulation, IPT noted.

The full hadith that Erdogan referenced says:

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

Erdogan invoked the hadith during a Justice and Development Party gathering Sunday in which he also accused Israel of being a terrorist state.

Turkey, under Erdogan, has harbored and funded Hamas terrorists, provided covert support to ISIS and other jihadists in Syria, and bombed civilians belonging to his own Kurdish minority, IPT said.

IPT pointed out that the Turkish Youth Foundation, run by Erdogan’s son, Bilal, participated in anti-Israel and anti-U.S. rallies calling on Muslims to unite against Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.

On Friday, protesters in Istanbul chanted “Jerusalem is ours and will remain so!” along with “Down with America” and “Down with Israel.”

In May, as WND reported, Erdogan watched his security officials beat protesters outside Turkey’s embassy in Washington. Members of his security team also clashed with demonstrators in 2016 outside the Brookings Institution in Washington, where he was giving a speech.  Brookings issued a statement at the time saying the security team “behaved unacceptably — they roughed up protesters outside the building and tried to drag away ‘undesired’ journalists, an approach typical of the Russians or Chinese.”

WND reported many geopolitical analysts are concerned the NATO nation, once regarded as a potential member of the European Union, is being systematically transformed into an anti-Western power. Fifteen years into his rule, Erdogan is abandoning the secular tradition of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in favor of Islamic nationalism.

In April, Erdogan declared victory in a referendum to grant him sweeping powers in a vote opponents charged was marred by irregularities.

The measure, with 51.5 percent of the vote, replaced Turkey’s parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolished the office of prime minister.

A week before his visit to the U.S., Erdogan urged Muslims to swarm the Temple Mount to act as a counter to the “insult” of “occupied Jerusalem.”

He called Israel a “racist and discriminatory” state that is reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa.

Erdogan also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to work on “unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” the independent Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

In December 2016, as WND reported, hacked emails released by WikiLeaks showed Erdogan’s son-in-law was tied to the company accused of importing oil from ISIS. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov previously told journalists in Moscow that Erdogan and his family were “involved” in ISIS’ illegal oil trade and personally benefiting from it.

Turkey also has been accused of training ISIS fighters and of providing direct support to ISIS.

‘Strong’ relationship

At the White House in May, President Trump and Erdogan described the relationship between the two countries as strong but avoided the differences over strategies for confronting ISIS in northern Syria.

The previous week, the Trump administration decided to supply heavy weapons to Syrian Kurdish rebel militias, the YPG, fighting ISIS. Turkey is in an ongoing battle with Kurdish separatists in its southeast.

The Turkish embassy claims the protesters at the embassy Tuesday were affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the leading Kurdish separatist group, which has been banned in Turkey.

Pastor Andrew BrunsonThe case of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey without formal charges since October 2016, was brought up three times during Trump’s meeting with Erdogan, twice by Trump and once by Vice President Mike Pence, CBN reported.

A former member of Turkey’s Parliament who has advocated for Brunson’s release, Aykan Erdemir, told CBN that Brunson, improbably accused of “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” is now “a pawn, kind of a trump card in Erdogan’s hand.  There’s absolutely no rule of law, no due process in that case, it’s a completely bogus case. Anyone who has looked at the case knows that these are trumped up charges,” he said.

 

[From an article published by WND]

 

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Palestinian Authority tells UN it is responsible for ending Israeli “occupation,” also demands apology (and compensation) from Britain for 1917 Balfour Declaration

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday told the United Nations that Israel is not a peace partner, and said its “colonial occupation” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem was breeding incitement and violence in the region.

In an address to the General Assembly, Abbas said the international community was responsible for putting an end to Israeli policies that “incite religious tensions and could lead to a violent religious conflict.”

“We are entrusted and you are entrusted to end apartheid in Palestine,” Abbas said in a nearly 45-minute speech.”Can the world accept an apartheid regime in the 21st century?”

Still no truth or honor from Abbas“Has the international community surrendered to the fact that Israel is a country above the law?” he asked. “The continuation of the occupation is a disgrace for the international community.”

“There is no place left for the state of Palestine and this is not acceptable,” he said.

“The two-state solution is in jeopardy,” he said, warning, “We cannot as Palestinians stand still in the face of this threat.”

“Our choice is the two-state solution on the 1967 borders,” Abbas said, “and we will grant every chance for the efforts being undertaken by President Donald Trump and the Quartet and international community as a whole to achieve a historic agreement that brings the two-state solution to reality, enabling the state of Palestine with its capital East Jerusalem to live in peace and security side by side with Israel.”

The Quartet refers to the grouping of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union guiding the Middle East peace process.

Abbas said that failing the re-establishment of talks, he would continue to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood outside the framework of a peace process — a posture Israel has rejected repeatedly as sabotaging chances for peace.  In a first for a Palestinian president since the launch of the Oslo peace process in 1993, however, Abbas also suggested that the Palestinians might, in the face of the collapse of hopes for two states, agitate for full rights in a single state.

Likening Israel’s control of the West Bank to a “one-state reality,” Abbas warned that in the failure of a two-state solution, “neither you, nor we, will have any other choice but to continue the struggle and demand full, equal rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine. This is not a threat, but a warning of the realities before us as a result of ongoing Israeli policies that are gravely undermining the two-state solution.”

Abbas said withdrawing the Israeli presence from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, by contrast, would be a blow to Palestinian terror groups, which continue to call for the use of violence as a strategy of resistance.

Abbas went on to urge the British government to correct the “historic injustice” it inflicted on the Palestinian people by issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917, a document that espoused London’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  The PA president criticized the United Kingdom for marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration, and demanded compensation.

Abbas also told the Assembly that Israel’s refusal to recognize a state of Palestine along the 1967 lines “put into question” its commitment to the Oslo peace accords signed in 1993.

“We recognize the state of Israel on the 1967 borders, but Israel’s refusal to recognize these borders has put into question the mutual recognition of the agreement signed in Oslo,” he said.

Afterwards, Israel’s UN ambassador slammed Abbas for his remarks, saying they “spread falsehoods” that “encourage hate.”

“Today’s lies and excuses have proven once again that the Palestinian leadership is a serial evader of peace,” Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Abbas met with US President Donald Trump and, in a markedly more conciliatory tone than his UN General Assembly speech, expressed optimism of the US administration’s efforts to broker “the deal of a century” between the Palestinians and Israel.

Abbas said the 20-plus meetings PA officials have held with US officials since Trump took office in January “gives us the assurance and the confidence that we are on the verge of real peace.”

Trump, in response, told the Palestinian leader that “we have a pretty good shot — maybe the best shot ever” at achieving peace in the entire Middle East. “I certainly will devote everything within my heart and within my soul to get that deal made.”

“Israel is working very hard toward the same goal, and I must tell you, Saudi Arabia and many of the different nations are working also hard,” Trump told Abbas. “So we’ll see if we can put it together. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Trump, who has made resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict one of the “highest priorities” of his presidency, failed to mention the decades-long dispute in his address to the UN a day earlier.

During his speech, Trump trashed the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program and dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man” on a “suicide mission.”  Also on Tuesday, Trump met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told the Israeli leader that a regional peace deal would be a “fantastic achievement” and that “we are giving it an absolute go.”

In his own remarks to the General Assembly, Netanyahu said that Israel was ready for peace with Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. However, his commitment to the principle of “two states for two peoples,” expressed last year, was absent from his speech.  Netanyahu later hailed Trump’s remarks as the most “courageous speech” he had ever heard at the world body.

 

[From an article published by The Times of Israel]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

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Israel celebrates 69th anniversary of its independence while the UN continues to condemn the Mideast’s only democracy for its “occupation” of the only country it has ever known

“Palestinians hemorrhaging support for their continued anti-Israel resolutions”

As Israel celebrated its 69th Independence Day on Tuesday,  UNESCO — the cultural arm of the United Nations — voted by a 22-10 margin (with 23 abstentions and three absences) to approve a resolution that condemned what it called Israel’s “illegal” presence in Jerusalem.
However, the number of “yes” votes was down from similar past resolutions — a development one watchdog group viewed as progress.
“Israel lost the vote today, but it did score a moral victory by winning more votes than ever before, including from leading democratic members like the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands,” Hillel Neuer — executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch NGO -told The Algemeiner.
“The Palestinians at UNESCO are hemorrhaging support for their ritual anti-Israel resolutions: last April they had 33 yes votes, then in October it was down to 24, and today it’s down to 22.
And once again, India — an increasingly important friend of Israel — has voted to abstain, showing that its recent break from decades of lockstep voting with the Arab states is now a fixed policy.”
The resolution passed on Tuesday stated that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”
Holy sites outside Jerusalem were also included in the resolution. Two shrines sacred to Jews — the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem — were defined by the resolution as the “two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.” Both, the resolution said, “are an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
The resolution also “deplored” what it described as “the continuous Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel, students and humanitarian relief items.”
Israeli officials were likely to be pleased with the list of countries that either abstained from the vote or opposed the resolution.
Abstentions included Albania — which has a Muslim majority — and four African states with whom Israel now enjoys revived relations: Ghana, Guinea, Kenya and Uganda.
The US voted against the resolution, as did key European nations like France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania and the Netherlands.
There was a similar lack of consensus among the Latin American delegates.
Paraguay voted against, while Argentina — an ally of Iran before current President Mauricio Macri defeated incumbent Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the November 2015 election — also abstained.
Other abstentions included the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. Brazil was the only Latin American country to vote “yes.”
Arab and Muslim states, among them Qatar and Iran — both of whom have extensive financial and political ties with the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas — voted overwhelmingly in favor.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon condemned the passage of the resolution, which was entitled “Occupied Palestine.”
“This biased and blatantly deceitful decision, and the attempts to dispute the connection between Israel and Jerusalem, will not change the simple fact that this city is the historic and eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Danon said. “Israel will not stand silently by in the face of this shameful resolution.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the International Bible Contest in his nation’s capital, “There is no other people in the world for whom Jerusalem is as holy and important as for the Jewish people, even though a meeting will take place at UNESCO today that will try to deny this historical truth.”
[From an article published by PROPHECY NEWS WATCH]
NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  How do you suppose you and all your country’s citizens would feel if the UN continually told you (and the rest of the world) that you were illegally occupying YOUR country?  Israel has thousands of years of well-documented history behind it and the land it calls home, but that seems to make no difference at all to the UN.  Why does the USA continue to support this rogue and ruthless organization?  Maybe we should tell the UN that we think it is illegally occupying all of its New York buildings and give them 90 days to vacate.  Think that might wake them up?
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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