by Tim Buck | Feb 13, 2023 | How to Live the Last Days, Signs, Syria, Tim's Articles, Turkey
The Great Earthquake of 2023 and the Sudden Surge of Prophetic Signs
2/13/23 By Tim Buck
Watching the aftermathof the major earthquake in Turkey and Syria and their many aftershocks has been gut-wrenching. This massive natural disaster has been eye-opening for the church in terms of where we now stand in the last days.
As most are now well aware, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck south-central Turkey near the border with Syria on Sunday, February 5th. It was the single most powerful quake in the Middle East since 1939.
At a little past 1:00 AM on Monday morning, the ground began shaking in southern and central Turkey and western Syria. Because of its shallowness, the 7.8 quake devastated the region. Nine hours later, a second quake struck, this one 7.6, with an epicenter less than 100 miles away from the first. The damage has been catastrophic.
More than 35,000 are confirmed dead with another 45,000 missing. Many of these are buried in the rubble of 8500 collapsed buildings, which will undoubtedly double and possibly triple the current death toll. Those without a roof over their heads number greater than 400,000, a number which is even more tragic considering the snow and below freezing temperatures in much of the affected area.
The earthquake has reminded the church that we are squarely in the “birth pangs” that Jesus spoke of to His disciples in Matthew 24. In the last three years, we have had a global pandemic that has killed nearly seven million people, a world war that has killed 100’s of thousands and now a massive earthquake that has killed over 35,000. What is coming next?
The earthquake shook all of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus, most of Israel and Jordan, and parts of Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Most of the regions mentioned in the Bible were shaken. The earthquake was so massive that a large portion of Turkey moved as much as 10 feet westward (source), and the result is that the entire region has been swarmed with aftershocks—nearly 3,000.
When earthquakes of this magnitude strike, typically hundreds or thousands of aftershocks will follow for an extended period of time—weeks, months, even years. Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 about the “birth pangs” have now taken on sudden urgency and relevance like never before. The Church should be fervently praying.
Remember, Jesus spoke to his Jewish brethren about life in Israel leading up to his return. While earthquakes in distant places like New Zealand or Chile get our attention, nothing is quite as relevant as when the big one hits smack dab in the heart of prophetic ground zero. And now there has actually been a trigger for ongoing earthquakes across the Middle East for the foreseeable future.
Moreover, this quake may have put into motion tectonic activity leading up to bigger ones to come. Dr. Ata Richard Elias from the Lebanese University in Beirut has said that one more shift of the Arab plate would erase Lebanon off the face of the map.
Again, consider Jesus’ words:
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Looking at the search criteria HERE, you can confirm that this mega-quake was the largest to strike not only the Middle East, but large swathes of Europe, Africa, and Asia beyond the Middle East, since 1939. You can see the search region below:
At the moment it’s looking like 2023 is when prophetic signs are finally starting to boil over.
Until we’re gone, the Restrainer will restrain, but His restraining hand appears to be lifting this year.
Putting this in perspective:
- Something of international concern happened the day right before this earthquake: the U.S. shot down the 200-foot-wide Chinese reconnaissance/EMP test balloon near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
- The largest Middle East earthquake in 83 years shakes the whole Middle East and thousands of aftershocks are continuing across the region, and they will continue for the foreseeable future. Jesus’ prediction in Matthew 24:7 has never been more applicable than right now.
- Putin is about to re-invade Ukraine with a massive 500,000-man army, and if NATO responds, there’s nothing left but World War III.
- The Iran-Israel standoff is finally boiling over this year. Israel recently struck several facilities deep inside Iran in the city of Isfahan because Iran now has the materials to build somewhere between four and six bombs. Time has run out.
- Next month will witness a sort of Babel 2.0 moment: the first orbital flight of the SpaceX Starship. It’s the first spacecraft capable of sending colonists to the moon or Mars. It’s my opinion that, just like the ancient tower of Babel, where the world tried to “reach up to heaven,” today’s world is crossing the line here and God will not allow this in mankind’s current fallen state.
- The five red heifers are apparently still kosher and will be ready for slaughter this year. This would fulfill one of the final missing criteria for the rebuilding of Israel’s Temple. The heifers are necessary for cleansing the temple and making it ready for sacrifices.
- The U.S. and Canadian governments are now claiming three “unidentified objects” were shot down over the U.S. and Canada and the wreckage is being retrieved. While these may end up being claimed to be advanced craft from Russia or China, this could also end up being a final unveiling of the Satanic deception of an alien invasion that could help the enemy to explain away the removal of the Church from the earth (2 Thess. 2:9-11). This story is now at the top of most national news sites (see here, here, and here).
- Finally, the new Israeli government is the first religious government in the history of the modern state of Israel. We’ve waited 75 years for this alignment. This is a crucial end-time development in Israel’s Knesset and something very important I’ve tried to point out for years. Previous conservative coalitions were reliant on secular nationalists. Bibi’s coalition is reliant on the religious right. The significance is that this is the exact coalition you would expect to be in place for demanding Israel’s right to build the Temple and for stewarding the religious revival of the nation as it enters the Tribulation.
Several years ago I spoke that if God was to reject Donald Trump for a second term in office and instead, install Joe Biden, we could very well be entering the last four years of the Church Age. Indeed, I still stand by that possibility. Perhaps, though, it’s really the final ONE.
So if you would prefer not to experience the worst seven years in human history, it is my fervent plea that you instead believe the good news about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and call upon the name of the Lord to be saved today.
by Tim Buck | Jan 17, 2023 | Isreal, Russia, Tim's Articles, Turkey
How Israel’s Gas & Oil Windfall Could Trigger Daniel’s End Times Invasions
1/17/23 By Tim Buck
Discerning the Days
Jesus is coming soon! But His return at the Second Coming will not occur in a vacuum, nor should it come unexpectedly for true believers. The prophecy of Daniel makes this quite clear. Specific prophesied events will be the precursors of His arrival and when everything is aligned in accordance with God’s will, He will unleash the events of the final days.
I believe we are seeing shadows of this coming alignment taking shape today. Our responsibility as followers of Christ is to remain faithful, keep watching, be discerning, and be prepared.
Join me as I explain the ongoing battle for energy in the eastern Mediterranean and reveal how this conflict could lead to a full-scale military invasion that was prophesied by Daniel more than 2,500 years ago.
Israel first discovered natural gas off its coast more than 20 years ago using Noble Gas Company (above map). Over the past two decades, it has worked relentlessly to develop the means to deliver this valuable energy resource to the European market. The East-Med pipeline project, which had been in the works for the past eight years and had the support of both the Obama and Trump administrations, would have created the longest undersea pipeline in the world. At a length of nearly 1,200 miles, it was to run from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore natural gas fields to the islands of Cyprus and Crete, then to the Greek mainland, and on to Italy and Western Europe.
The project had robust support from the European Union (E.U.), particularly France, Italy, and Greece who stood to benefit the most from a connection to Israeli gas reserves. It was no secret that officials across Europe understood the importance of the pipeline project as it would provide a much-needed alternative to Russian gas, thereby diminishing Putin’s energy stranglehold on the continent.
Biden Undermines Israel… Again!!!
But Israel’s plan to export natural gas to Europe through the East-Med pipeline hit an unexpected roadblock in 2022 when the Biden administration withdrew its support. The State Department sent a letter to Greek officials describing the project as “a source of tension that was destabilizing the region” by pitting Israel, Greece, and Cyprus against Turkey. After an uproar from Greece our State Department changed its rhetoric citing “climate change and clean energy” as the rationale for its decision.
Yet only six months earlier Biden approved the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea which doubled the capacity of natural gas from Russia to Germany. Curiously, this same “climate change” policy didn’t seem to have an effect on the completed Nord Stream pipeline and nor has it diminished the U.S. exporting liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe over the past year when our exports have reached record-high levels.
In light of these facts, a more likely reason for the U.S. withdrawal of support for Israel’s crucial East-Med pipeline was to appease Turkish President Erdogan who has been a loud opponent of the project because it bypassed Turkey. Erdogan hailed the U.S. policy change as a Turkish victory and arrogantly proclaimed: “If Israel gas is to be brought to Europe, it can only be done through Turkey.”
Erdogan has argued that Turkey should be included in the nations of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). But Erdogan seeks more than “inclusion.” He’s been illegally itching to claim gas deposits in the Mediterranean that aren’t located within Turkish maritime boundaries. Erdogan’s vision is for Turkey to become the region’s energy hub with him as de facto Energy Master of the Mediterranean and head of the revived Islamic Caliphate.
Despite its membership in NATO, Turkey has made aggressive moves, without legal standing, to threaten, disrupt, and block progress for Israel’s East-Med pipeline. I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that Satan’s darling leader Erdogan has more influence over Biden than Israel.
With the U.S. surrendering to his strong-arm tactics, energy analysts are deeply concerned that the Turkish strongman will be emboldened to continue escalating tensions in his quest to control the flow of energy to Europe.
A New Plan Emerges
With a lack of U.S. support, the East-Med project appeared to be dead in the water in early 2022. But a secondary plan to bring gas to Europe began gaining traction. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Europe became increasingly alarmed by its energy entanglements with Russia especially since strict sanctions were being placed on Russian exports.
This time, Europe looked to Israel and Egypt for an energy solution. In June a tri-party agreement was reached between Israel, Egypt and the E.U. for Israeli natural gas to be exported via an existing pipeline to Egypt’s LNG terminal on the Mediterranean where it will be liquified and shipped by tankers to European ports.
This multi-billion-dollar agreement is not only a financial windfall for Israel but will serve to increase Egypt’s standing as an energy hub in the Mediterranean and will be a vital step toward weaning Europe off its independence on Russian gas.
For the time being, the Turkish president seems placated by the alternate agreement since it avoids the thorny issue of constructing permanent undersea pipelines. But Erdogan continues to view Egypt as a nemesis and rival. The two countries are simply not on the same page as Erdogan hosts the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey which movement has been outlawed in Egypt.
A Turn of Events
On the heels of these developments, another event shocked the continent of Europe and the world. The Nord Stream pipelines that transport Russian gas to Europe were sabotaged in September, 2022 by substantial explosions in the lines, deep at the bottom of the Sea. To date, no nation has claimed responsibility for the action and speculation runs wild. One thing is certain: with the harsh temperatures of winter, Europe is desperate for adequate supplies of energy to replace the natural gas lost from this catastrophe.
With his Baltic Sea pipelines to Europe unusable and desperate to salvage his gas monopoly over Europe, Putin wasted no time in offering a proposal to Turkish President Erdogan. “If there is interest from Turkey and agreement from buyers in Europe, we could consider the possibility of building another gas pipeline system and develop the creation of a gas hub in Turkey…”
Russian President Putin and Russia’s Gazprom head Alexei Miller met President Erdogan in Kazakhstan in October to discuss gas hub plans. Erdogan and Miller met again in November in Istanbul. Russia could divert gas that was planned for the Nord Stream pipeline through the Black Sea to Turkey, Putin told Erdogan.
These are unstable times to be negotiating with Putin and any hub would likely face political, financial and supply issues that are compounded by the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
This is where we find ourselves at the start of 2023. Erdogan is likely salivating over Putin’s words with the prospect of realizing his vision to see Turkey become a powerful player that controls the natural gas exports to European markets.
Whether Putin’s pipeline proposal through Turkey becomes a reality is linked to whether Europe has lost its taste for Russian energy and how fast Israel and Egypt can deliver Israel’s gas to the continent.
Daniel 11 and End Time Prophecy
In light of the current dynamics taking place in the eastern Mediterranean, let’s take a closer look at what the prophet Daniel reveals (not Ezekiel) about an end-time invasion that will be led by Antichrist. Here’s a series of events with short commentary from Daniel 11:40-45 about the Jihad wars of Antichrist and his invasion of Israel in the middle of the Tribulation. More than ever, it reveals how the Middle East today is in alignment with Daniel’s prophecy. It may help to keep your Bible handy as we walk through these six verses.
40 And at the end time the king of the South will wage war with him (Antichrist), and the king of the North (Antichrist) will storm against him (Egypt) with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them, and pass through. 41 He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. 42 Then he will reach out with his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. 44 But rumors from the East and from the North will terrify him, and he will go out with great wrath to eliminate and annihilate many. 45 And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
Antichrist is referred to as the ‘King of the North’ (Daniel 11:40)
In Daniel’s prophecy, the intended meaning of the phrase, “King of the North,” is that Antichrist will bring an invasion down from the north of Israel. Note that he’s not coming from the west as he would if he was coming from Europe. Turkey and its Islamic, Turkic-speaking allies are located due north and northeast of Israel. Turkey was the former head of the Ottoman Caliphate for 500 years until being “mortally wounded by the sword” (Rev. 13:14) in WW1 by the allied forces. Turkey’s strongman Erdogan is itching to revive the Ottoman Caliphate.
Antichrist will come as a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and many ships (v. 40)
This tells us Antichrist’s path of invasion will be by land and sea. The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest military in NATO, with more than 750,000 military personnel. It is second only to the United States. In 2020, the Turkish Navy operated more than 112 military vessels and is in the process of adding 24 new ships to its fleet. According to an Israeli study in 2021, Turkey is the strongest maritime force in the region. In July 2022, Erdogan declared that Turkey would “take further steps until we make the Turkish Armed Forces Number One in the world.”
Antichrist will enter the “glorious land,” and many countries will be overthrown (v. 41)
Israel’s economy is booming, and its offshore natural gas assets will continue to make it an even wealthier target. In context, Antichrist’s invasion here is taking place near the middle of the Tribulation. The Turkey-led Caliphate is not just coming for Israel’s natural gas, it also has its eyes set on capturing the West Bank and stealing East Jerusalem for it’s capital and taking possession of the grand prize of Israel’s new Temple on the Temple Mount.
Antichrist will attack Egypt and take control of its wealth and assets (vv. 42-43)
As stated earlier, Egypt is also becoming an energy hub and is acquiring newfound wealth due to its strategic position along the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, and Red Sea. Egypt is optimistic about their many new gas discoveries in the Mediterranean. The Nile River nation is also nearing completion of a new administrative capital out near Cairo International Airport and close to the Great Pyramids, financed and built by China.
Today, Turkey and Egypt find themselves in their latter-day alignment of opposition to one another just like Daniel predicts will result in war during the Tribulation portraying them in Daniel 11 as the King of the North (Turkey) vs. the King of the South (Egypt).
Antichrist will subdue Libya (v. 43)
Libya lies due west of Egypt, along the Mediterranean coast. The North African nation also has significant offshore natural gas deposits. In October 2022 a divided Libyan government signed a controversial agreement giving Turkey the right to drill for oil and natural gas in Libya’s territorial waters. This was an attempt to create a swath across the entire Mediterranean Sea between the two countries that prompted a swift response from Greece and Egypt opposing any Turkish activity in disputed areas of the Mediterranean.
Antichrist will subdue Ethiopia (v. 43)
When the Bible speaks of Ethiopia, it’s more of a reference to the country we know today as Sudan which lies south of Egypt. Sudan and modern-day Ethiopia (which is further south) control the two sources of the Nile River that are key to Egypt’s survival. Fears are growing in Egypt over a looming water crises with both countries damming the Nile.
In the midst of his Middle East aggression, Antichrist will be troubled by reports he hears from the east and the north about an invasion coming against him (v. 44)
It’s important to note that Antichrist’s Middle East wars, as laid out for us in these six verses (Daniel 11:40-45), indicate he does not have global power as some suppose. The passage shows him trying to conquer many of the nations in the Middle East. During his successful conquering spree (Rev. 6:1) he suddenly comes under siege from possibly China (east) and Russia (north). Not only aren’t many of the nations of the Middle East not under his rule but here we see two superpowers that are not part of his empire. Antichrist’s empire will never be worldwide and will be continuously opposed. The end times is not about one man conquering the world, but about one religion (Islam) trying to rule the world!
Perhaps this is China and Russia, possibly the only two superpowers who have survived to this point of the Tribulation who orchestrate an assault on Antichrist before he brings the majority of the world’s oil and gas under his control. He is “troubled” feeling threatened by the two-pronged attack and the text says, “he shall go out with great fury and destroy and annihilate many.” Goodbye Russia and China! (SeeFOTET article, 2/9/22: “China In Bible Prophecy: The Rise of the Red Star and the Crescent.”
Antichrist will set his royal encampment “between the seas and the glorious holy mountain;” but his time will come to an end and no one will be able to help him (v. 45)
The phrase, “between the seas” is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. The “glorious holy mountain” refers to Mount Moriah in Jerusalem where Israel’s Temple Mount is located. Prior to Antichrist’s invasion, Israel’s new Temple will be constructed by devout Jews for the purpose of reinstituting the Mosaic Law and the sacrificial system.
After taking possession of Israel’s Temple and destroying Mecca and Saudi Arabia, Antichrist will put an end to the Temple sacrifices and convert Israel’s Temple into the new Grand Mosque of Islam. Muslims world wide will need to pray toward Jerusalem which will allow Satan to ratchet up their hatred for the entire Jewish State. Satan wants all the land of Israel and he wants to sit on God’s throne in Jerusalem and rule the world in place of Jesus.
Through the False Prophet, he will institute “forced conversions” to Islam requiring everyone in his empire to bow down and worship during the required times of prayer or die. A time of severe persecution will follow for those who refuse to bow the knee and take the mark. But he will come to his end when the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to earth in power and glory to destroy him and his armies.
Could Turkish President Erdogan Be Antichrist?
Erdogan is openly calling for the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, the restoration of its Ottoman borders and the conquest of Jerusalem.
His provocations and dangerous rhetoric, along with the alignment we see forming in the Middle East leads to a crucial question: Is it possible that Turkish President Erdogan is Antichrist? Is he the one the Apostle Paul referred to as the Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3)? Although he has evil intentions, I do not believe he fits the biblical criteria for several reasons.
First, Scripture points to Antichrist as the “little horn” who rises AFTER the 10 kings have formed the final empire (Dan. 7:8, 24). Erdogan is a key player as the President of Turkey but he’s arrived on the world stage BEFORE the arrival of the 10-king empire. Secondly, Antichrist initially rises to power from within the 10-King empire in relative obscurity while Erdogan burst onto the Middle East scene making headlines right from the start. And thirdly, the “little horn” uproots or kills three of the ten kings before he is ever brought to power. Once he has momentum behind his rise, he leads an international coup to take over the empire by killing the rulers of three of the ten nations. Since Erdogan is already a major player on the world stage, as the president of Turkey, he simply does not meet these benchmarks to be Antichrist.
Having said all of this, Erdogan’s rhetoric in combination with Turkey’s strongarm attempts to control energy in the Mediterranean require close and careful observation. It may not be Recep Tayyip Erdogan who leads the Caliphate of Islamic nations from the north against Israel but I firmly believe Turkey will be leading the charge!
by Tim Buck | Oct 7, 2022 | Nations, Russia, Tim's Articles, Turkey
From Moscow’s perspective, having a nuclear-armed Iran, one that is Russia’s ally, will greatly enhance its ability to challenge the West. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi hold a meeting in Tehran, Iran.
Russian-Iranian Alliance Has World On Edge
10/7/22 By Tim Buck
Russian Nuclear Threat
A Russian military train caught on video is reportedly transporting equipment for the nation’s nuclear weapons program to the frontlines of its war with Ukraine, sparking fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be preparing to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield amid his nation’s mounting losses in the war.
“Such videos are never released by chance. I’m 100% sure that there was a purpose behind posting or releasing such a video,” Konrad Muzyka, an aerospace and defense consultant focused on Russia and Belarus, told CBS News.
The video surfaced amid reports by CBS News that the U.S.-led NATO military alliance had warned its member nations that Russia could be preparing to test its nuclear-capable Poseidon torpedo.
“Going forward, we are going to see more reports about Russian activities that relate to nuclear weapons, that relate to drills of units which can potentially be carrying nuclear warheads,” Muzyka said.
“Russia will try to increase the pressure on the West, and it will try to indicate to the world that, from its point of view, the nuclear option is being considered.”
Adding salt to Russia’s wounds is the mysterious explosion of Nord Stream 1 & 2, Russian’s gas lines to Europe. Following the explosion, the Swedish Minister of Energy suggested that the explosion was likely the result of an attack from another country. Russian foreign intelligence is claiming that a western country was involved in the execution of the incident.
Russia continues to target the civilian population in Ukraine. Last week, the Russians hit a convoy of Ukrainian refugees trying flee the contested region of Zaporizhzhia. At least 23 people were killed in the attack.
However, the most notable moment related to Russia surfaced when Vladimir Putin announced that four Ukrainian provinces have been officially annexed to Russia. As of this week, Russia considers any attack against these annexed areas an attack against Russia itself. The Biden Administration responded with widened sanctions on Russian officials following the announcement of the annexation.
Not only is Russia hinting at the future use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but the Chechen Republic is also encouraging the Russians to proceed in this manner following the Russian retreat from Liman in Eastern Ukraine. Just days ago, NATO warned its member states of Russia’s deployment of the K-329 Belgorod Nuclear Submarine equipped with the Poseidon Nuclear Missile. This week, Russia began nuclear tests on its border with Ukraine.
Russia even has its hand in what’s taking place regarding oil output of OPEC’s announced dramatic decrease. The current oil cut is the largest since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. Russia is influencing this lack of output in an attempt to increase oil prices around the world.
Iran’s Mass Protests
Iran continues to struggle internally with a host of riots taking place in opposition to the corrupt regime. Recently, at least 19 people were killed and several others were injured in the Sistan and Baluchistan provinces alone.
A statue of the late Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was set on fire at one of the protests. He’s considered a national hero in the eyes of the ayatollahs. But Iran has other problems, as its currency, the rial, hit an all-time low of 330,000 rials to one dollar.
A young lady named Nika Shakarami was kidnapped by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces throughout the protests last week. After an extensive search for her body, her family was asked to come identify that which was found. She had been beaten extensively before being killed.
When it comes to Iran and Russia, Iran is being humiliated by its own people and is imploding economically. Russia is being embarrassed on a global scale due to its lack of success in Ukraine and is dealing with a crumbling economy.
While these two despotic regimes seem determined to forge an alliance, however, their objectives are completely at odds with the demands of their citizens, whose primary concern is securing their freedom, not supporting the military aspirations of the ruling elites.
In Russia, the hostility among ordinary Russians to Putin’s regime has manifested itself in nationwide protests against the Russian leader’s attempts to mobilise 300,000 reservists to help support his disastrous military campaign in Ukraine.
Nationwide disgust at Putin’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine has seen hundreds of thousands of young Russians fleeing to the borders in a desperate attempt to avoid the horrors of conscription and being made to fight in a war none of them supports.
In Iran, meanwhile, the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini as she was detained in custody by Iran’s morality police, allegedly for refusing to wear a hijab, has resulted in Iranians of all ages taking to the streets across the country in mass protests and shouting “death to the dictator”, a reference to the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran’s security forces have reacted to the anti-government protests with their customary brutality; figures at the time of writing estimate at least 76 people killed in the government’s crackdown. Even so, the anti-regime protests have continued to spread, with more than 80 cities and towns affected by the violence since Amini’s funeral on September 17.
For many Iranians, the death of Amini, who reportedly died after being struck several times on the head, is the last straw, and the demonstrations represent the biggest anti-government uprising since the 2009 Green Revolution.
The deepening unrest in both Russia and Iran should certainly give the Biden administration pause for thought as it weighs up its next move on the nuclear negotiations.
There is growing concern in Washington that Biden is preparing to sign a new deal with Tehran once the midterm elections have been concluded, and that his officials are prepared to sign a far weaker version of the deal than that originally agreed to in 2015.
At a time when both the Russian and Iranian governments are battling nationwide dissent, this would be a grave miscalculation on the part of the Biden administration.
This should be the moment when the US and its allies are intensifying the pressure on both Iran and Moscow, not capitulating to their interests with a weak nuclear deal which will only encourage them to indulge in further acts of aggression against the West and its allies.
by Tim Buck | Mar 25, 2022 | America, Isreal, Joe Biden, Nations, Tim's Articles, Turkey, Ukraine
Ukraine’s Lessons For Israel
By Caroline Glick
Edited by Tim Buck
In the months and weeks that led up to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Western powers signaled clearly that they were prepared to accept the disappearance of Ukraine as an independent state.
U.S. President Joe Biden virtually invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade in late January when he said that a “minor incursion” would leave NATO flat-footed. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, like his predecessor Angela Merkel, served as the Kremlin’s unofficial spokesman in Europe.
But once Russian forces invaded, the West’s plans to yell a bit and look away went awry. The Ukrainians failed to play their assigned role of Paschal lambs. Instead, they rallied around their flag and their president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
For his part, Zelensky captivated the hero-starved West. His rejoinder, when the Biden administration offered to evacuate him from Ukraine on the second day of the war, “I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition,” reminded Americans of a time when they weren’t being attacked for being transphobic or systemically racist, a time when patriotism was permitted.
Once Americans and other Western audiences got a whiff of Ukrainian nationalism, it became politically impossible for Washington, Brussels, Berlin, Paris and London to turn their backs on Kyiv. And so, with little deliberation, Biden and his European counterparts announced a series of unprecedented financial and economic
sanctions on Russia and massive shipments of arms and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
For a moment, it was possible to wonder whether Russia’s reminder that the problems of the world cannot be reduced to the pronouns one uses or the amount of carbon one burns on an average day would change the focus of Western elites. But it was not to be. The ruling classes in Brussels and Washington made clear that the war in Ukraine would not steer them off course.
While Poland is giving refuge to nearly two-thirds of the 3 million Ukrainians who have fled their homes, and Hungary has taken in 10% of them, the E.U. parliament passed economic sanctions against both nations last week. Their crime? The nationalist governments in Warsaw and Budapest refuse to toe Brussels’ line on Muslim immigration and LGBTQ indoctrination.
As for the Biden administration, Ukraine’s fight for national survival in the face of Russian aggression is all well and good. But appeasing Iran is the Biden administration’s top priority. And Biden can’t appease Iran without Russia. So to keep Russia on board with his administration’s efforts to close a deal with Iran, Biden agreed to cut Russia’s lucrative business with Iran out of the sanctions.
Russia can expect to receive $10 billion developing Iran’s nuclear installations and billions more in arms sales. The implications for Ukraine are clear: The US is willing to let them fight the Russians, but will not help the Ukrainians defeat Russia, because the United States cares more about empowering Iran than helping Ukraine survive.
The deal that Biden is concluding with Iran is itself a stunning testament to the radicalism of the Biden team and its refusal to let reality interfere with its policies. It will provide Iran with $90 billion from sanctions relief. That astronomical sum guarantees massive cash infusions into the coffers of Iran’s in-house global terrorist organization–the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which Biden is set to remove from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations–and to Iran’s terror armies in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and the Gaza Strip.
Iran will have the funds to expand its missile and drone capabilities. And thanks to the lax restrictions it will face on its nuclear operations, it will become a nuclear threshold state by 2025 at the latest.
Although the West’s progressive agenda necessarily limits the support it is willing to provide Ukraine, the West’s ruling classes need to placate their publics, who admire Ukraine, compelling them to provide significant if not determinative military, humanitarian and political assistance to Kyiv. And given Ukraine’s willingness to fight it out with Russia, that support may be sufficient to enable Ukraine to withstand Russia’s assault for long enough to maintain its independence.
The widespread assessment today is that the Ukrainians will be able to continue fighting, despite Russia’s clear military superiority, for another month or six weeks. Given the high losses the Ukrainians are inflicting on the Russians, and assuming that the Russians begin to feel the full impact of the economic and financial sanctions within the next two to three weeks, it is possible that by mid-April, the Ukrainians will be able to negotiate ceasefire terms with Russia that will leave the country independent and more or less intact.
There is a moral to this story for Israel.
Ukrainians can still hope for and expect a future of freedom and independence because they have refused to bow before either Russia or to the West.
If Israel were paying attention to the dynamics at work in the West’s behavior towards Ukraine, it would be adopting policies opposite to those it is currently pursuing, both in relation to Ukraine and Russia and in relation to the West.
Unlike Zelensky, who hasn’t hesitated to call the United States and Germany out for their fence-sitting, the Bennett-Lapid-Gantz government has subordinated all Israeli policies to the Biden administration’s agenda.
If Israel were putting its own interests first, as Zelensky has, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wouldn’t be trying to mediate between Zelensky and Putin. Instead, Israel would make do with a simple but clear message: Israel supports Ukraine’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity and calls on Russia to end its offensive operations.
Israel ought not and need not go beyond that statement.
The reasons for this are obvious. This is not Israel’s war, and words have consequences. Israel cannot mediate this conflict because it has no leverage over either actor to persuade them to compromise.
As for the significance of words, in order to succeed, a mediator has to be perceived by both sides as someone who accepts the basic legitimacy of their positions. But as a threatened democracy, it is a dangerous proposition for Israel to accept Russia’s view that Ukraine has no right to exist as an independent and distinct nation-state.
When the next round of “mediation” between Israel and the Palestinians begins, how will Israel be able to demand that any prospective mediator reject out of hand the Palestinians’ position that the Jewish state has no right to exist?
This brings us to the second policy Israel should be adopting in the face of the war in Ukraine. Israel should be devoting all of its efforts on the ground to rapidly facilitating the mass aliyah of Ukrainian Jewry. As it stands, there are 10,000 Ukrainian Jews waiting to make aliyah.
Instead of processing their applications, the Foreign Ministry is giving them appointments at consulates and embassies in Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest three and six months from now and filling planes with non-Jews instead. Non-Jewish Ukrainians, it bears noting, have no problem resettling in the countries bordering Ukraine and throughout Europe. Yet, as 10,000 Ukrainian Jews are forced to wait for months to come to Israel, 10,000 non-Jewish Ukrainians have been airlifted to Israel.
This brings us to Israel’s real problems–Iran, the Palestinians and the Biden administration.
Zelensky’s fierce defense of his country, and the Ukrainian people’s refusal to stand down in the face of Russia’s advance, have compelled the Biden administration to support Ukraine even at the risk of a world war because the Ukrainians are standing for the values of freedom and independence that the United States is supposed to personify on the world stage.
If Israel were to take a page from Ukraine’s playbook, its leaders would be attacking the immorality of the Biden administration’s capitulation to Iran’s demands in the appeasement talks in Vienna.
The Bennett-Lapid-Gantz government’s silence in the face of Biden’s abdication of moral and strategic leadership in the Middle East undermines the efforts of Israel’s supporters in Congress and the international community. The Republicans, for instance, are compelled to explain why they are more opposed to Biden’s capitulation to Iran than the Israeli government is.
Then there are Israel’s Arab partners. The Saudis and the Emiratis have been more outspoken in their opposition to Biden’s Iran policies than Israel. The Arab leaders in the Gulf look at the silent, supine Israeli government in astonishment and distrust. The strategic consequences are already tangible. Rather than redouble their cooperation with Jerusalem, the Saudis and the Emiratis are setting their sights on Moscow and Beijing.
The situation with the Palestinians is also disturbing, and speaks clearly to the destructive implications of Bennett’s decision to play mediator between Russia and Ukraine.
Two weeks ago, Congress passed an omnibus spending bill, which Biden signed. With AIPAC’s support, the bill contained a section on Israel that significantly downgraded the U.S. commitment to the Jewish state.
The section on Israel was an amended version of a law that passed initially in 2012, and required the United States to “assist” and “support the Government of Israel” in its ongoing talks with the Palestinians. The new law deleted the part about supporting Israel. Under the new law, the United States is obligated to support “a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.”
In other words, under the amended law, the United States is committed to supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state, whether Israel supports it or not.
Sen. Ted Cruz has fought since last July to block the passage of this amendment because he recognized the damage it was liable to do both to U.S.-Israel ties and to Israel’s national security. The Israeli Embassy, on the other hand, was less concerned.
Senate sources explain that Israel’s diplomats were nowhere to be found as Cruz fought adoption of the amendment.
The worst aspect of the amended law is that it wasn’t initiated by the usual anti-Israel forces in the so-called “Squad.” AIPAC supported the amendment, and so did mainstream Republican senators, like the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, James Risch, and Sen. Rob Portman.
The implications are clear. When Israel opts to remain silent as its interests and position are undermined, not only does it strengthen its enemies, it loses its friends.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, many Ukrainians told Israeli reporters on the scene that they were inspired by Israel, which has always fought its own battles and survived even in the face of global indifference and hostility. Today, the opposite should be the case.
Israel’s government must learn from the Ukrainians. The West will not fight for a threatened democracy. States that wait for green lights from the West to defend themselves will not survive. But states that defend themselves will see sufficient forces rally to their side to enable them to persevere and survive.
A view of Eclipse, a luxury yacht belonging to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, recently docked at a port in the resort of Marmaris, Turkey. (IHA via AP)
Russian Oligarch Yacht
Parked in Turkey
A Russian pair of yachts belonging to Chelsea soccer club owner and sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich have docked at resorts in Turkey, according to the Associated Press.
Turkey has not imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine last month, nor has it frozen assets belonging to top Russian businessmen linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The private DHA news agency said Tuesday the Bermuda-registered Eclipse docked in the resort of Marmaris.
A day earlier, Abramovich’s Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht My Solaris arrived in the nearby resort of Bodrum, triggering a protest by a group of Ukrainians who boarded a small motorboat and tried to prevent the yacht from docking.
NATO member Turkey has close ties to both Russia and Ukraine. It has criticized Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but has also positioned itself as a neutral party trying to mediate between the two.
by Tim Buck | May 17, 2021 | Iran, Islam, Isreal, Palestinians, Turkey
Turkey Vs. Israel
President Erdogan of Turkey feels it’s time to pay back Israel and now he’s calling for an international force to quell Israel’s so-called aggression. The current escalation against Israel began with violent protests by Palestinians on the Temple Mount.
The cry from the beginning of the uprising in Israel was that every Muslim nation should attack Jerusalem. Sound familiar? At the same time massive rallies began taking place throughout Turkey calling for the overthrow of Jerusalem.
This entire war effort against the Jewish State was a premeditated incitement of violence against Israel. Hamas is still firing rockets into Israel from Gaza with some 3000 rockets already sent into Israel. Rockets were also fired from Lebanon and from Syria. Israel responded by targeting Hamas positions in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel’s campaign in Gaza was continuing at “full force.” Politicians in Israel often do not agree but concerning defending Israel against these rocket attacks everyone is unanimous. Israel is committed to this fight.
Most conspicuously Turkish President Erdogan said that Israel must be taught a “deterrent lesson”. Erdogan called on the UN Security Council to put an international peace keeping force inside of Israel. And once again, Erdogan also reiterated his position that Turkey should be allowed a seat on the five member state UN Security Council.
My friends, the Turkey versus Israel animosity is no small sign. The antagonism of Turkey for Israel is heating up which will ultimately lead to the Magog Invasion at the end of the Tribulation period.
In a speech this week Turkish President Erdogan called on all Muslim nations to overthrow Jerusalem. In another speech Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey had decided to send an international army to Israel for the protection of Jerusalem.
The current uprising is exacerbated through the influence of the region’s two biggest, outside players; Turkey and Iran.
Iran funds Hamas and has long supported Palestinian terrorist groups while Turkey uses every chance it gets to berate Israel.
While the recently signed Abraham Accords have reflected improving ties between Israel and key Gulf Arab states, the Israeli-Palestinian controversy remains unresolved, and both Turkey and Iran cited the dispute in their condemnations of the Abraham Accords last year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Israel as a “cruel terrorist state” on Saturday, and he said last year that “Jerusalem is our city” as part of his effort to identify the current anti-Israel regime in Turkey with its former Ottoman Empire.
“Iran’s IRGC head Hossein Salami warned last week that Israel was vulnerable to one large tactical operation because the country is so small,” Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis Executive Director Seth Frantzman wrote Tuesday in the Jerusalem Post. “Hamas is setting the pace – and that pace is being watched and guided from Iran.
This may be due to the fact that Iran’s largest proxy Hezbollah wants to know what it looks like when Israel is faced with a large amount of rocket fire.”
According to Ezekiel 38-39, Turkey, Iran and Antichrist’s coalition of nations will launch their offensive to invade Israel by miscalculating they will be able to overwhelm the Jewish State. Their plan works until God intervenes at the last minute!