One aspect that amazes me, over the past 12-18 months now, is how the various stories in the region seem to be converging - all at the same time.
We have been watching the Iranian nuclear "crisis" moving rapidly towards conclusion. Will Israel attack? What will happen if they do?
We have been watching the arms build up in the north, and the strengthening alliances of Syria-Lebanon-Hezbollah with an array of weapons being built up, including weapons of mass destruction.
We have been watching the alliances of "Gog-MaGog" strengthening daily, with Turkey the newest "member" of the club - a club which is destined to attack Israel.
We watch the attempts to divide Jerusalem increasing daily - an act which is strongly rebuked by God Himself in Zechariah 12.
We watch the world closing in around Israel, with rhetoric from the UN, the U.S., Russia and the EU threatening to shrink Israeli borders and the same nations threatening to create a Palestinian state by force.
And all of these events are converging rapidly.
Today's news seems focused on one such "converging events" - the build-up to war with Iran:
"Israeli subs with nukes in Gulf"
Israel is planning to permanently station a submarine carrying nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
Israeli submarines have visited the Gulf before, but the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.
The paper claims that the government has decided to station at least one of three submarines armed with nuclear missiles permanently within striking distance of Iran in the Persian Gulf.
Interesting....Business as usual? Probably not:
According to the article the submarines are moving to the Persian Gulf in respone to the growing missile threat to Israel from Syria, Iran and Hizbullah.
"Israel Submarines Headed for Persian Gulf"
Israel has allegedly deployed a permanent submarine presence in the Persian Gulf to keep an eye on Iran, according to media reports published Sunday. The three German-built submarines are reportedly equipped with nuclear cruise missiles.
The force is intended primarily as a deterrent, however. “The 1,500 kilometer range of the submarines' cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,” noted a navy officer quoted by British newspaper The Sunday Times.
The deployment was sent in response to the recent delivery of Iranian-produced ballistic missiles from Syria to Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon and the opening of Syria to Hizbullah presence. The missiles have the capability of hitting air bases and other sensitive sites located deep in Israel, as far south as Tel Aviv and beyond.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly shared satellite imagery of the delivery of the missiles with U.S. President Barack Obama during his recent visit to the White House.
The London Times claimed satellite pictures show a Hizbullah base on Syrian soil which is a depot for arms to be delivered by Hizbullah truck fleet to Lebanon
"Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran"
Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.
The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.
Israel’s urgent need to deter the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance was demonstrated last month. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to have shown President Barack Obama classified satellite images of a convoy of ballistic missiles leaving Syria on the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
It looks like the US is getting into the picture as well:
"Iranian Navy Detects U.S. Submarine in Persian Gulf"
An Iranian patrol on Thursday spotted the nuclear-armed submarine in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which allows the passage of 90 percent of the oil produced by Persian Gulf states to Asia, the US and Western Europe, press tv reported.
There are currently 48 logistic and 18 combat US vessels in the Persian Gulf waters, among them the USS-Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
In other news worth reporting, we see that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu comes out with the truth regarding the calls for a Nuclear "Non-Proliferation Treaty" in the Middle-East, which is a thinly veiled attempt to disarm Israel. This quote by President Netanyahu says it all (link here):
A statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office at the weekend called the resolution "deeply flawed and hypocritical: It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world. It singles out Israel, the Middle East's only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Yet the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution."
I wish that was the end of the story, but it is not. Sadly, we see the following:
Israel announced that since it is a non-signatory state, the NPT has no authority over it, and Jerusalem will not cooperate with the resolution's implementation. It noted that the problem is not with a state like Israel that never signed the treaty and more or may not be quietly in possession of nuclear weapons for self defense, but rather with a nation like Iran, which has signed the treaty, but flaunts it in order to openly threaten its enemies.
US President Barack Obama also criticized the focus on Israel at the NPT meeting and in the resolution, but nevertheless gave his stamp of approval to the document and the 2012 summit, which will ultimately work to force Israel to declare its nuclear arsenal and open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
Ha'aretz analyst Yossi Melman noted that the NPT meeting was only able to produce such a strong resolution because the Obama Administration had essentially betrayed Israel and its security. Melman noted that the same NPT signatories had tried to hold such a meeting in 2005, but were refused the cooperation of the Bush Administration. Without US involvement, the conference never happened.
But Obama, notes Melman, is far more interested in his own agenda, even at the cost of Israeli security. Obama knew the focus of the conference would be Israel, and that it's primary aim would be to strip the Jewish state of any nuclear weapons it may possess.
Once again, we see U.S. President Obama siding with Israel's enemies. Not only that, but actually facilitating efforts to undermine Israel's security, and, in turn, their viability as a nation. Again, as mentioned so many times before - we will see how that works out for the U.S.