Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Choice Between Hope And Panic [updated]

This comes from Israel Today and the title alone is compelling:

The inauguration of Muhammad Morsi in Egypt prompted a quick Israeli response: The Prime Minister rushed to congratulate the newly elected president, expressing hope that the two countries will continue to cooperate on various levels; in Cairo, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Yaakov Amitai, met with several top-ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood, stressing that Jerusalem had no intention to interfere with Egypt’s domestic affairs.

This, however, masked the deep anxieties of the country’s leaders. As the flames of revolution are still raging at Israel’s doorstep, many experts voice their concerns about the impact of those events on the Jewish state.

“Israel will be facing challenges in several spheres,” said Orit Perlov, a researcher who focuses on the Arab states at the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS). “Since the epicenter of the uprisings is usually the capital or the country’s major cities, the periphery is left neglected, creating a void that is easily filled by various terrorist cells,” she continued.

Indeed, after the eruption of the popular protests that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula turned into a haven for terrorist activity.

Other reports indicated that Jihad Islami, a terrorist organization aimed at annihilating Israel, was establishing arms-making and logistical bases in the area, convinced that the long arm of Israel’s Defence Force (IDF) wouldn’t reach them there.

Some militants went as far as stationing long-range rockets in the region (some of which have already been fired into Israel), assuming that Jerusalem would be far less inclined to attack such sites out of concern for bilateral ties with Egypt. Others – reportedly linked to Al-Qaeda – made several attempts to infiltrate the country.

All of these developments have been particularly frustrating, given the fact that in the past 30 years the 240km Israel-Sinai border remained mostly unprotected, saving both countries tens of billions of dollars in military expenditures. The situation wasn't ideal under Mubarak though, but the strong fist of the security forces presented a deterrent to those, willing to undermine stability. Now with the regime gone, many terror groups feel free to dictate their own rules.

Addressing the issue -- especially following last August’s terrorist attack that left eight Israelis dead and some 31 others wounded -- Israel decided to construct a sophisticated fence (at a considerable cost) along the entire border. The move did decrease trafficking and illegal immigration but failed to solve the problem of militants shooting into Israel, leading the IDF to beef up its presence in the area.

But apart from the high level of violence that’s been plaguing the area, Perlov said Israel would face other challenges. “An excessive flow of unsupervised weapons is streaming from Iran via Sudan, Libya and the Gaza Strip, while the populist government in Cairo lacks any basic policy to tackle the problem,” she told Israel Today. “This kind of situation bogs down the country’s economic development, which needs stability,” she stressed.

However, some Israeli politicians remain optimistic about the future of Egypt. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Egypt would probably move towards a Turkish version of Islamic democracy, meaning Cairo would maintain a ‘cold peace’ with Jerusalem. But as tensions escalate across the border, Israel might opt for retaliation, leading to a full-fledged war.

The author misses the central point regarding hope and panic. As you read the article and watch current events - there isn't much hope there. The only hope that Israel has (along with the rest of us) is in God and God's protection. Period. Without God, then panic would be appropriate.

Is the powder keg about to blow?

Syria has begun moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities, U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal.

The country has vast undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide, according to the report. American officials have different opinions regarding the logic behind the decision to move the chemical weapons out of storage.

"Some U.S. officials fear Damascus intends to use the weapons against the rebels or civilians, potentially as part of a targeted ethnic cleansing campaign," writes the Journal. Others said strongman Bashar Assad "may be trying to safeguard the material from his opponents or to complicate Western powers' efforts to track the weapons."

Another opinion was that Assad is moving the weapons as a feint, "hoping the threat of a chemical attack could drive Sunnis thought to be sympathetic to the rebels from their homes." Yet another assessment is that the move is connecte with a plan Assad has, to create an enclave controlled and populated only by his Alawite minority sect.

"This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch," a U.S. official said. "This is incredibly dangerous to our national security."

Officials said that if Assad uses chemical weapons, Western allies would probably go ahead with plans to intervene in the Syrian civil war more aggressively than they have until now and topple him from power.

Bolton says the Assad regime in Syria would on its way out of power if not for the Russians. He says Russian military assistance and diplomatic interference gives the brutal dictator a much longer lease on power.

Bolton also worries that Assad may use chemical weapons against his own people.

On Egypt, Bolton says we are witnessing a classic power struggle between Islamist groups and the military and we ask Bolton whether elections in Egypt and among the Palestinians several years ago suggest that democracy may not be in the best interest of the U.S. in all parts of the world.

Now this, which underscores the problems detailed in the first article above:

Two US tourists were held hostage in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday by Beduin tribesmen seeking the release of an imprisoned kinsman, security sources said.

The Americans, one man and one woman, were stopped by the Beduins in an armed ambush in central Sinai and taken along with their Egyptian tour guide to a remote mountainous location, the sources said.

Security in the isolated desert region has deteriorated since the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in February 2011. South Sinai's Red Sea coast is a major tourism hub for Egypt.

Also Friday, IDF forces killed one man and injured another who were trying to cross the border from Sinai.

Also - speaking of Egypt, we see this:

The head of the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip said on Friday he was confident Egypt's new president would shield the Palestinian enclave from Israeli attack and fully open its borders to end a trade blockade.

Mohamed Morsi, who won power in last month's presidential election in Egypt, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and ideologically close to Hamas.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas's Gaza government, told worshippers in a mosque that change was coming.

"We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Morsi, will never provide cover for any new aggression or war on Gaza," he said. "We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Morsi, will not take any part in blocking Gaza," he added.

Politicians in Israel have expressed alarm in private over the election of Morsi and fear that their country's historical peace treaty with Egypt could be eroded over time.


James N Nashville said...

Good morning everyone. A few thoughts today and please your thoughts are welcome as well in response.

I think we have finally seen the game changer with Syria pulling chemical weapons out of storage. Let's take a look at this and see what the options for Israel are.

Israel has said any movement of chemical weapons closer to their borders would be an act of war. They've even gone as far to say they would employ the Sampson Option if that happens.

With the movement of these weapons now public knowledge, Israel has a war on two fronts. Watching Iran and Syria now they know that civilian deaths are a certainty in the coming days. The plan moving forward is how to minimise the impact especially if they go ahead with a strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran.

Their is two more fronts to come which will make these conflicts even more dangerous than they are now. Hezbollah and Hamas with their infrastructure reinforced with an overwhelming number of rockets estimated at 50,000 or more situated in and around the west bank, Lebanon and the Sinai at Israels southern border.

With Assad backed in a corner, I think Israel if they strike Iran now knows they have to strike Syria at the same time to minimise the number of civilian fatalities. They know they can handle Hezbollah and Hamas with Iran and Syria severely crippled. The question is will Syria play it's hand in moving these weapons across the line in the sand trigering Israel's response. I think they will. With the pressure mounting on Syria we have never seen Assad's future in such doubt. I would watch for him to move his family into a neighboring country soon. Having said this he knows his time to respond is nearing its end.

Israel is ready.

Scott said...


Very very good points and I agree. The movement of these chemical weapons is most definitely a game changer for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is the simple fact that the weapons are now "in play" --------- which means, they are much more easily prone to terrorists getting them - the very fact that they are being moved increases the odds that they will be used, and the movement of these weapons alone may make Israel change their gameplan.

Its big news and just shows how close we are to "things" hitting the fan over there IMO

WVBORN56 said...

I did not know Israel had drawn a line in the sand on the movement of Syria's chemical weapons. This makes this story much bigger than I had first thought.

We may indeed be on the verge of Isaiah 17/Ezekiel 39.

The "perfect storm" occuring is looking more and more plausible everyday. All the actors and props are certainly gathering on the big stage.

Time for the curtain call?

Break a leg.... or in this case....Maranatha!

Mrs.C said...

Hi Brother Scott & Brother James, :)
These may not be the only chem weapons around. From what Ive read and heard, its very possible that Hezbolla already has had chem weapons in their strong hold, the heavily protected Bekaa Valley, that were forwarded to them through Syria, that came from Iraq when it was crumbling. Israeli commandos went there in 2006, but the mission failed. Hezbollah has mad it pretty impenetrable.
Most important, is what Gods Word says about this. We know from His Word, that at the beginning of the Isaiah 17 war, Israel will be fighting a multiple fronted war. Damascus, Jordan, then the West Bank. There were some articles in the JP, with the new IAF Chief and the outgoing IAF Chief the IAF that explained in detail how well trained an prepared the IAF was for a multiple fronted war.

New Chief:
“We do not rejoice in battle but if Israel will need to draw its sword, the IAF will be the sharpest of blades,” Eshel said.

And from the outgoing IAF Chief – just amazing!

“This wide range of threats is what makes the IAF unique in comparison to other air forces around the world, he explains. Here, pilots can find themselves flying in the morning in Iran, in the afternoon in Lebanon and at night in Gaza, and on all three fronts facing different threats and air defense systems.”

ALL THREE FRONTS! WOW! That still amazes me after having read this before. They are so confident, yet we know what His Word says will happen and its not good. Once the Isaiah 17 war starts, there will be no turning back, the dominos will fall. Ezekiel 38 will quickly follow.
God Bless!

Mrs.C said...

The Perfect Storm indeed Brother WV! On a personal note, still lifting you up in Prayer Brother :)

God Bless You!

WVBORN56 said...

Thanks Mrs. C! I am experiencing the great peace. God's fingerprints are all over my situation! Heading down that way Tuesday. Meet with the doctor Wednesday and surgery Thursday. The hospital stay is supposed to be 4-5 days.

Mrs.C said...

Dear Brother WV...I know the peace you speak of :) His Peace is indeed truly is beyond ALL understanding! I Praise God you have His Peace Brother! All Glory and Praise unto You Father!
God Bless You, and be assured we are and will be Praying for you Greatly!

GG said...

Hi WV~

So the big day is finally upon you? :) Well just know you can count on some extra prayers from us to you! I have already said some for you as well as your physicians. May God guide and protect both your family and your medical team through this difficult time.

Here are some goodies to take with you and when you read them know we are thinking of you!

Get well soon. We can't wait to know you are home and healing safe and sound.

P.S. I am praying extra hard that when you get there it is all fixed and no surgery is necessary!! Now that would be a wonderful testimony. :)

God Bless!!


See your scriptures below:

GG said...

WV's Care Package:

Malachi 3:6
6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Ephesians 3:20
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Galatians 3:29
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Exodus 23:25
25 You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.

Psalm 34:19
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Jeremiah 30:17
17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’

Proverbs 12:25
25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Psalm 84:11
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Romans 10:17
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Mark 11:25
25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Scott said...

Good Luck WV - We'll be lifting you up in prayer!

Yes, this is amazing - in fact I was noticing how the north and south are squeezing Israel now - Egypt and Gaza in the South and Lebanon/Syria in the North. With Israel right in the middle of all of it. Amazing

WVBORN56 said...

Thanks Mrs. C, Scott and GG the thoughts prayers, verses and encouraging words are much appreciated! I hope to give aupdate the following week.

Anonymous said...

Isa 17 has already started year ago,and still in the process of final fulfilment.
Annan plan failed and any attempt for a political solution will continue to fail, the bible describe the solution as a fire coming down to consume the palace of ben hadad. The palace of the king bashar assad on fire. That is the only solution to this crisis to fulfill isa 17.

Caver said...

WV....joining in prayer for you, your family, and medical team.

Looking forward to your news of a either surgery no longer needed or a completely successful and
low recovery procedure.

Waterer said...

2 quick things.

Praying for you too WV and remembering your family too.

Secondly a Question for Mrs. C.
How do we know that Ez will quickly folloe Is 17?

Thanks in advance. kr

Mrs.C said...

Hi Sister Waterer,
Not a quick answer, but Im just poppin in for a sec. Prepping ribs for BBQ and baking :) company is a come'n. By the end of Isaiah 17, God has brought Israel to her knees. Only because at the last moment, when the surrounding enemies attempt to rush in to finish her off, does God Himself step in to "rebuke" them.
It is the beginning of His turning back to His People. The devastation leaves Israel weak, severely wounded, and alone, as Gods Word says no one will assist Israel in this war, which is just the way He wants it.
Israel will be vulnerable to invasion, God has begun to return to them, and He orchestrates Gog/Russia and their tagalongs to attack/invade. As God has already begun to return, it is the Ezekiel war that He returns to His People in fullness, revealing Himself to them and restoring His Covenant with them. God, an only Almighty God will be able to save them from the Gog invasion. ALL Glory will be to Him, and Him alone when He destroys Gog and his followers on the mountains of Israel. Hope that helps a wee bit...
God Bless

Waterer said...

Thank you Mrs. C., for your time in a crunch time and such a full answer.
It seems that in everything eschatological timing is sequential but also not precise in the way we reckon. I'm thinking of the word soon for instance, and the way it means all at once but not the way we use the word. When you spoke earlier about Gog war following soon after I was wondering about a specific verse that stated it. Your explanation makes alot of sense in the way the things come together.

Thanks again,