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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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The World against Israel

The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement on 3rd June in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of ‘the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption.’

The statement explained that while secular Zionism always wants Israel to be loved by other nations, ‘the legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their poisonous traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us that Israel ‘is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations’’ (Numbers 23:9). They emphasised that there is no reason to be alarmed by the world’s condemnation.  

 

Could they be right about preparing the way for Gog and Magog?  This is the prophesy of Ezekiel 38-9 for the last days of this age in which an alliance of nations invades Israel led by a Gog, a leader from the uttermost north of Israel. Significantly the line up of nations included in Ezekiel include a great power to the uttermost north of Israel (Russia), Persia (Iran) and

Beth Togarmah which many commentators link with modern day Turkey.  This invasion happens after the restoration of Israel from world wide dispersion and before the end of this age. These nations are supernaturally defeated by God intervening to save Israel from annihilation. As a result there is a turning to God in Israel and among the nations.  We have a CD of a talk on Ezekiel 38-9 together with notes and a power point presentation which is available on request.

 

Gaza Flotilla

 

The Gaza flotilla of boats intercepted by Israel with loss of life was not about humanitarian aid. What the ships brought in ‘aid’ was miniscule in comparison with what goes in daily from Israel and via tunnels from Egypt.   Some of it was past its sell by date and all of it could have been peacefully transferred had the convoy accepted Israeli terms for its transfer.  In 2009 more than 738,000 tons of food and supplies entered Gaza from Israel and 133 million litres of fuel. In 2009 10,544 patients left Gaza for medical treatment in Israel.  Gaza receives massive funds from the international community - over $5 billion since June 2007.  In addition 56% of the Palestinian Authority budget is designated for Gaza and additional aid comes directly from Iran and the Arab countries.  While life is not great in Gaza, the people are not starving as they are in parts of Africa and Asia or even some parts of eastern Europe.  The markets have stalls full of food and there has even been an Olympic size swimming pool built in Gaza city.  

 

The organisation behind the flotilla was a Turkish aid organisation IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi) known to have links to extreme Islamist groups.  The ship which caused the violent confrontation, Mavi Marmara, was full of Turkish Islamic militants. Three of the four Turks who died had previously expressed their desire to be Muslim suicide martyrs.  On the day

before the Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli navy, Al-Jazeera TV documented the pre-battle atmosphere created by men on board the flotilla, chanting a well known Islamic battle cry invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:  ‘Remember Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!’  Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by

Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. In Psalm 83.4 the forces that come against Israel in the last days say, ‘Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’  

 

The aim of the organisers of the flotilla was to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  Once they have got a few ships going in with ‘humanitarian aid’ they can get on with the real business of taking in missiles and weapons to be used against Israel by Hamas.  The aim of Hamas is the destruction of the Jewish state in cooperation with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and the paymasters and suppliers of all these forces – Iran. Iran’s leader, Ahmadinejad, has called Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ which should be wiped off the map.  

 

Another aim was to make a propaganda statement showing Israel as the aggressor attacking ‘peace activists’ and oppressing the poor people of Gaza.  In this it was very successful.  The loss of life resulting from Israel’s interception of the ships has created a veritable ‘hate fest’ against Israel around the world.  Demonstrations against Israel took place and the European and American media were vocal in their condemnation of Israeli action.  Not many went as far as Hearst Newspaper’s White House Correspondent, Helen Thomas, who demanded that the Jews ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ and go back to Poland, Germany and the United States, but condemnation of Israel came from all sides.  The UN, the White House, the EU and British Foreign Secretary William Hague all agreed that Israel should open up the seas to shipping into Gaza and ignored legitimate reasons why Israel does not want to do that.

 

Almost everyone ignored the reasons why Israel has maintained a blockade on sea traffic into Gaza.  In 2001 the Israeli navy intercepted the Karine-A, a ship laden with tons of weapons bound for Gaza from Iran. In November 2009, the Francop container ship carried hundreds of tons of war materiel to be off-loaded for Hezbollah. Containers aboard the ship were clearly stamped with Iranian markings.  Since Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006, Iran has transferred several hundred million dollars annually to Hamas. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards have trained about 950 Hamas terrorists in rocket and bomb construction and tactical warfare. Iranian Revolutionary Guards have responded to the crisis by saying it will send further aid ships to Gaza.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, ‘Israel simply cannot permit the free flow of weapons and war materials to Hamas from the sea.  Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometres from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem. The international community cannot afford an Iranian port in the Mediterranean right next to Israel, right next to Europe.’

 

Other Developments in the Middle East

 

Up until recently Turkey was allied to Israel, even doing joint military exercises with Israel.  Now Turkey has broken its alliance with Israel and become hostile to Israel, as it moves in an Islamist direction.  The recent event in Gaza has dramatically increased that hostility with mass demonstrations taking place in Turkey against Israel. Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Erdoğan says of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ‘There is no doubt he is our friend.’ After years of hostility towards Syria, the Turkish armed forces are now holding joint military exercises with the Syrians. Caroline Glick, a Jerusalem Post columnist, has written that Turkey has already ‘left the Western alliance and became a full member of the Iranian axis.’

 

Russia is becoming far more active in the Middle East now.  Russia has supplied Iran with the nuclear facility in Busheir and has been instrumental in putting Iran on the road to nuclear power.  Russia is making alliances with Syria and Turkey and seeking to promote its own ‘peace process.’ Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Syria in May and met with Hamas politburo Khaled Mashaal. He even stated that Hamas should be included in the Middle East peace process, despite Israel’s firm stand against the Islamist movement.  Russia has opened a sea port for its ships in Tartous, Syria and is opening a direct sea link between Russia and Syria to ‘transport cargos directly, avoiding transit through other countries.’

 

There are now tens of thousands of missiles in Lebanon and Syria (on the borders with Israel), mostly supplied by Iran and Iran itself has long range missiles capable of reaching Israel. The Israeli army fears that Hezbollah might launch missiles with biological and chemical warheads capable of reaching Tel Aviv. If this were to happen, Israel confirmed that its response would include targeting anywhere in Lebanon.  If Iran strikes Israel with long-range missiles carrying chemical and biological warheads, Israel will respond by devastating air strikes and lethal extremely advanced weapons to target the capital Teheran and other major Iranian cities. There are also warnings of Israel and Syria coming to blows with Israel threatening to attack Damascus if Syria continues to supply Hezbollah with missiles.  Syria has said that if Israel were to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria would respond.  In our Spring edition (available on request) we had more information on this subject in the article ‘Nuclear threat and the Middle East.’

 

All these things taking place are another sign of the last days’ prophecies of the Bible being fulfilled and point to coming conflicts over Israel, including Ezekiel 38-9.  The final redemption of which the rabbis speak in the item quoted above will actually be the second coming of the Messiah Jesus.  According to Zechariah 12.10 in the last days Israel will recognise Yeshua / Jesus as the Messiah when they ‘look upon Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only Son’ at a time when the nations of the earth gather together against Jerusalem. We don’t have to wait to then to recognise Jesus as the Messiah who has come once to redeem us from our sins through His death and resurrection and who is coming again in power and glory to judge the world in righteousness according to the Gospel.   

 

 

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