July 2013

Israel's New "Tough" Ambassador to America

Steven LeBlanc

In the early part of July Israel officially announced that Ron Dermer, a longtime aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is to become Israel’s new Ambassador in Washington. Dermer, who is from Florida is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and of Oxford University, will replace Ambassador Michael Oren, who is due to end his term this fall.

Between 2001 and 2003, Dermer wrote over 120 columns for the Jerusalem Post. Most of the columns dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he was very much against a “Palestinian state”. Since then, Netanyahu and Dermer have publicly rejected Barack Obama’s 2011 proposal that negotiations be based upon the 1967 lines of nationhood– plus land swaps (land for peace). Dermer is considered a “hard liner”.

The Tribe of Judah, Genesis 49:8-9: is strengthening its diplomatic posture with the appointment of Dermer. This is going to be interesting!

Fitna (Schism) Sleeps--Is this the Future of the Arab World?

Steven LeBlanc

There is a saying in the Arab world: “Fitna sleeps; Allah’s curse upon him who wakens it”—This is a reference to the 1400 year old great fitna (schism) between Islam’s main religious branches (Sunnis & Shia), given to fighting and conflict. It certainly looks like the Sunnis/Shia divide has again awakened from its sleep. In Syria the Sunnis/Shia religious war shakes the whole of the Middle East.

In astounding speed decade-old dictatorships of Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia fell. Public spending increased in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE, all in hopes of appeasing the local populations so they too would not go the way of Egypt or Libya.

The Arab Spring is now over 2 years old but the Revolution of 2011 has not given the people what they want; an end to government corruption, jobs or hope that things will get better soon. Pessimism in the Middle East, and tempers are once again on the rise.

The Arab world is composed of about 355 million people living in 19 Arab states, ruled by a mix of Monarchies and nascent republics. The fear in the region is that Islamist parties in the various Arab states will look to democratic elections—using the process of elections to gain power, but once in power, will take control of the nation never again to allow true democracy to take root. This scheme is called: “One Man, One Vote, One Time”. The other fear is that after losing power in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious factions across the Middle East, will resort to street fights to gain power.

Continual conflict and disagreement is the way of many in the Arab world—it has been that way for centuries. Syria’s brawl has spread across its borders with over 2 million of its people fleeing into neighboring Iraq, Turkey and Jordan. Shia/Sunnis tensions buttress the divisions in the Arab world. Further unrest and bloodshed is a certainty. Israel watches the chaos and worries when the Arab anger and frustration will be directed their way.

The Arab people are known for their hospitality, yet their tribal personality so often leads to fighting and conflict…the prophecy of Genesis 16 continues its echo: “You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your misery, He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers”.—verses 11-12. The Arab people are descendants of Ishmael—God’s description tells the story of the Middle East.

Important Developments in the Middle East

Steven LeBlanc

CBS Interview with Netanyahu on Iran:

There are important developments as of late… Below are some of the headlines I am following:

Netanyahu to Iran: We will attack if necessary (Israel Today):

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in an interview with American media on Sunday that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the very near future if such action is deemed necessary. In an appearance on CBS News, Netanyahu lamented that in the US and the rest of the West there was not enough of a sense of urgency regarding Iran.

“Our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable. And therefore, we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does,” said the Israel leader. And just in case Tehran thinks Israel won’t go it alone, “they’re sorely mistaken. I won’t wait until it’s too late,” Netanyahu vowed.

Netanyahu once again urged the West not to be fooled by the recent election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president, noting that despite possessing more tact, he has the same end goal as the nation’s fundamentalist clerical rulers. “He’s criticizing his predecessor (President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) for being a wolf in wolf’s clothing. His strategy is be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Smile and build a bomb,” Netanyahu explained.

Muslim Brotherhood suspends Ramadan, Egypt inches toward war (Israel Today):

The leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Monday ruled that pious Muslims are permitted to break the fast of Ramadan in order to take part in the “jihad” to regain control of the country. Meanwhile, the Egyptian army, which quickly sided with millions of anti-Morsi protesters in deposing the president earlier this month, fought back by freezing the funds of 14 leading Islamist leaders on Sunday.

To the chagrin of a great many Egyptians, the United States and other Western powers appear to be still supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that a majority of Egyptians say the group won the last election via deceit and fraud. Over the weekend, both Germany and the US called on Egypt’s interim rulers to release Morsi, who is currently being held in a military barrack.

Taking a look at the bigger picture we are reminded that Egypt plays an important role in end-time events: Daniel 11:40 reads, “And at the time of the end [that is, just before Jesus Christ returns] shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” Prophecy and history establish that the “king of the north” is going to be a German-led European power—the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This European power will confront nations in the Middle East and their leader–the king of the south.

Verses 42 and 43 tell us this European power will in the future– “stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt .…” Notice how the accent is on Egypt.

Clearly the situation in Egypt is not getting better.

A More Violent Egypt

Steven LeBlanc

The Muslim Brotherhood’s chief leader, Mohammed Badie, disseminated a statement that military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was pushing Egypt into a Syria-like civil breakdown. These were dangerous words that may only make the chaos in Egypt worse. Should Egypt erupt into civil war, the whole of the Middle East would be thrown into absolute choas.

The political unrest in Egypt intensified when more than 42 supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood were killed and another 300 were wounded in fighting with military forces outside the Republican Guards officers’ club July 8th. The Muslim Brotherhood will continue to try to pressure the military and its transitional government by staging conflict in the streets. This is a dangerous game. The Brotherhood does not want to try to overthrow the Egyptian military—but it does want to prove itself forceful enough, so it may assert a stronger position when it negotiates with the Egyptian military in the future.

There seems to be no satisfactory solution to the ousting of President Morsi.

Egyptian are mostly descendants of Ishmael—the religion of Ishmael is the religion of Islam.
The way of Islam is one of hostility, anger and war…the prophecy of Genesis 16 continues to play out: “You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your misery, He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers”.—verses 11-12. Today brother against brother is the tide that is riding high in Egypt.

Egypt's Military Issues Ultimatum

Steven LeBlanc

The Egyptian military is attempting to stabilize the massive unrest that is underway in Egypt. The Egyptian military issued an ultimatum Monday, demanding that President Morsi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood start a dialogue with opposition members within 48 hours. If Morsi fails to dialogue with opposition groups the Military may immediately call for new elections.

The opposition movement called Tamarod (means: rebel) is behind the huge rally against Morsi. Tamarod has united a variety of groups under one umbrella to confront Morsi’s failure to improve the economy. Egypt is very poor and getting poorer. There is a very large class of unemployed or underemployed men who are desperate to see change—they are angry.

In an attempt to gain support from the people President Morsi plans to prevent bakers from selling wheat flour for profit. Wheat is the number #1 staple of the Egyptian diet, and Egypt (84 million population) imports more wheat than any other nation in the world. The price of bread is of paramount importance in Egypt; riots can break out if the price of bread goes too high.

Egypt is geopolitically important because it controls the Suez Canal, and because it is the most populous nation in the Arab world. The Suez Canal remains a major artery for global shipping (4 million barrels flow through the Canal every day).

America provides $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt every year—money Egypt desperately needs. Also Israel maintains a cool peace with Egypt. The Middle East needs to see a stable Egypt that retains a working relationship with Israel. War between Israel and Egypt would damage the world financial markets and the millions of people who live in that region of the world.

The next few days and weeks will reveal just how unstable Egypt is. Egypt plays a key role in the end-time prophecy of Daniel 11. We are told that just before Christ returns– “the land of Egypt shall not escape” the military invasion by the king of the North (verse 42)—a European power, that will move swiftly into the Middle East provoked by the leader of an end-time Muslim alliance led by the king of the South (verse 40). Remember, this scenario has not yet materialized, but it will happen in the near future.

Watching Egypt is important because of its Biblical relevance and geopolitical standing (most powerful army in the Arab world).

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