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  #41  
Unread 2nd February 2013, 04:51 PM
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THE ROLE OF RUSSIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST

I have already alluded to the fact that Turkey is pulling away from involvement with European ties such as the EU and NATO, and pursuing a closer relationship with Russia, China and Iran. The following statement from Turkish PM Edrogan exemplifies this shift:

""I recently said to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin: ‘Take us into the Shanghai Five. Take us and we will say goodbye to the EU.' What's the point of stalling?” Erdoğan said, referring to the SCO by its previous name."

-- China welcomes Turkish bid for SCO membership

Turkey's position is critical for long-term Russian planning, because Turkey controls Russia's access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea -- in particular, to Russia's only naval base there, Tartus in Syria (see map below).



According to Asharq Al-Awsat,

"Russia’s chief naval base is located in Sebastopol in the Crimean Peninsula which is part of Ukraine. The lease for that base expires in 2017, although an accord to extend it for a further 25 years has been initialed by Moscow and Kiev. If Ukraine asks Russia to leave the Crimean, Moscow would effectively cease having a blue water navy. This is why Tartus is important as an alternative base."

-- Loading...

An article from last July elaborates on Russia's dilemna:

"At present Russia lacks the ships to retain a permanent presence of combat vessels in Tartus – Russia’s only overseas military base outside the borders of the former Soviet Union. A Black Sea Fleet repair and maintenance ship is permanently moored in Tartus to offer aid in case a Russian warship needs urgent repairs. Two times a year, the maintenance ship sails back to Sevastopol from Tartus, to be replaced for the following half year by another similar naval support vessel. The land-based Russian naval garrison in Tartus is 50 men strong. According to the Russian naval command, this month, tugboats of the Black Sea Fleet pulled a new floating pier into Tartus to expand its docking capability. Yet, Russian combat ships visit Tartus only several times a year, and then stay for just a day or two (RIA Novosti, July 20)."

-- The Jamestown Foundation: single[tt_news]=39715

With Turkey and Russia backing different horses in the Syrian conflict, there is an obvious problem: Russia depends on Syria for its only overseas base, in Tartus; yet it depends on the good will of Turkey in order to get to that base. Now, wouldn't it be lovely for Russia, if Turkey and Syria were on the same side. The key to this relationship seems to be the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, cited above. That council, which has staged joint military maneuvers, has reached out to both Turkey and Iran (see map):




BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has decided to grant Afghanistan observer status [blue], and accept Turkey as a dialogue partner [violet], Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Thursday. -- Shanghai Cooperation Organization Accepts Turkey as Dialogue Partner

The major obstacle, once Turkey and Iran have joined the SCO, seems to be getting rid of Bashar Assad. Russia seems willing to coax things in that direction:

"While Russian officials voiced objections to Israeli attacking Syria, they also apparently omitted to forewarn President Assad of what was coming and he was taken by surprise. After the raid, President Vladimir Putin advised the Syrian ruler to refrain from exacerbating the military situation with Israel."

-- Obama green light for Israel to strike Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah military links

Does any of this mean that Russia is "Magog" of Ezekiel 38-39, as so many insist? I doubt it. Russia is not mentioned in ANY prophecy, and definitely not in Ezekiel; and there is no reason to believe that they would want to become mired, Afghanistan-style, in such an adventure. Far more likely, is that Russia and the US will become involved in yet another proxy war, with the Russians backing Turkey and the Americans backing Israel ("leading from behind", of course, as President Obama likes to say, with "no boots on the ground").

Shalom shalom

PS While looking at Map #1, you might notice that Iran borders Turkey. If Bashar Assad were to lose most of Syria and become confined to say, the Alawite stronghold near Syria's coast, Iran could continue to supply its Hizbullah allies in Lebanon through Turkey.
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  #42  
Unread 3rd February 2013, 06:15 PM
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DON'T EXPECT OPEN WAR THIS WEEK

Don't expect open war this week, between Israel on the one hand, and Iran, Syria and Hizbullah on the other. Israel's Chief of Staff is meeting in Washington for five days with his US counterpart. I don't expect any major initiatives by Israel while he's here; and the fact that he's here probably indicates that Israel doesn't expect much action by its enemies either -- not this week. Next week? That's another story.

REF: IDF chief Gantz visits Washington - Israel News, Ynetnews

That's about it for substantive news from the area. Everything else seems pretty much as I've reported in previous posts. There are all sorts of violence and so-called "war crimes" going on in the area -- suicide bombing killing dozens in N. Iraq, assassination in Turkey, police beating demonstrator in Egypt, etc.; but these cannot be blamed on Israel, so there is little interest in the matters. Meanwhile, Zeus' Temple is being repaired in Athens, raising not one eyebrow in the international community, while the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem continues to lie in ruin and to be desecrated daily. I guess that sums up the world's attitude toward Israel: not a news item; just a continuing, silent, statement.
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  #43  
Unread 4th February 2013, 11:04 AM
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TAKING A STEP BACK TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON

I started making my usual daily rounds of checking out items in the press relevant to Israel and its neighbors, when I started seeing, mixed in with an incredible amount of propaganda and disinformation from all sides, the "fact" that Israel had established a "No Fly Zone" over Syria. It didn't take much digging, to see that all the sites carrying this "fact" got it from always-first-and-sometimes-accurate DEBKA. Digging a little further, I see that the Israelis Turks and Lebanese all seem to be concerned primarily with local and economic issues. There isn't any "no fly zone" going on, so far as I can see: Syria seems intent on smuggling Iranian arms into Lebanon for use against Israel, and Israel seems intent on interdicting them. That looks very, very, very much like business as usual, and I don't expect a REAL "no fly zone" being imposed by Israel, Turkey, NATO or the UN any time soon.

That said, this seems to be an appropriate time to step back and see some of the pertinent facts BEHIND the latest stories. Let's begin, with whom we can believe. Below is a map of freedom of the press in the area: The color coding ranges from fairly free (yellow) to ridiculously repressive (black):



Image source: Tikun olam

Notice that Cyprus is yellow; Israel, Lebanon and Kuwait are orange, and forget the rest. The little red enclaves inside Israel reprewsent the Arab Palestinian areas, the home of "Pallywood". Saudi Arabia, of course, home of most of the 9/11 bombers, has no idea whatever what "freedom" means, let alone "press"; and partners-in-crime Syria and Iran are in the same category.

That ought to put in perspective, so-called "news" from the area. For cross-referencing, the "big picture" is shown below:



Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/press%20freedom%20index

While we're on the subject of indicators, a quick look at the 2012 "corruption index" ought to shock any doubters into the reality of what we're up against:



Source: http://75hellerromantimemachine.wikispaces.com/Hanson+X

You can't make out Israel's color at this scale. They come in at 60/100 non-corrupt, a little ahead of Poland, which, at 58/100, is orange. The US doesn't do all that much better, at 73/100. The Syrians and Iranians, meanwhile, do so much business under the table that they have no need of chairs (hence the fame of Persian carpets, I imagine).

Other "index" maps follow a similar pattern. As Arutz7 Radio's Jay Shapiro repeatedly reminds his listeners, the major problem that many people have concerning Israel is that they don't realize the "Middle East" is not the "Middle West".

Now, let's get back to see if there is a "no fly zone" over part or all of Syria. There technically isn't; but if and Israeli source such as DEBKA says there is, I would say that there's at least SOME truth to it.

Shalom shalom

PS. In terms of Bible Prophecy, the Ezekiel 38-39 Coalition stands out on the "Press Freedom" map:

1. Turkey (Magog, Gomer, Meschech, Tubal and Togarmah are all in Turkey): RED
2. Iran (Persia): BLACK
3. Sudan (Cush): BLACK
4. Libya (Phut): RED
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  #44  
Unread 4th February 2013, 12:46 PM
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ZECHARIAH 14 TODAY

I hate posting one good post right after another, knowing that they will quickly get scrolled out of view, before being periodically purged completely by CF. Nevertheless, I post, in the honest belief that YOU, my elect viewing audience, have been ordained by God to read these posts, absorb them, and change the world forever. That said, here goes my second great post for the day:

"Quick quiz. An inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council has just released a draft report condemning:
  • A) Iran
  • B) China
  • C) Sri Lanka
  • D) Israel
"The answer, of course, is D — Israel. This is yet another UN document that deserves to be filed in the same dustbin as the ugly and discredited Goldstone report. Never mind Iran, China, Sri Lanka et al. As the Geneva-based monitoring group, UN Watch, points out, since the UN set up its “reformed” Human Rights Council in 2006, “there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry.”

-- The Rosett Report » The UN Bigotry Machine

The "United Nations", as I have noted earlier, is aptly called the "United Gentiles", seeing that "nations" and "gentiles" are the same word in Hebrew. In Zechariah 14, we have the UN attacking Israel:

Zech 14
[1] Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
[2] For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
[3] Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

That passage is about the FINAL battle before the End-Times coming of MESSIAH. A similar passage is in

Rev 13
[1] And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
[2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
[3] And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
[4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
[5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
[6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
[7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
[8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

That beast, who comes out of the "Sea" (which, from Israel's point of view is the Mediterranean, and, beyond that, the Atlantic Ocean), also has his heyday ended abruptly by the end-times coming of Messiah. The attack on Israel by the UN, therefore, mentioned in Zech 14, will be LED BY the Beast from the Sea -- which, if you know your geography, is NATO.

I mention this article here, because I have just posted several maps, one of which was the "Corruption Index" map:



When I posted this map, I noted that the "Ezekiel 38-39" coalition of Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Libya, is among the most corrupt and least free countries of the world. Its main backers, by the way, namely, Russia and China, are also in that category.

Those are certainly the fellows in "black hats", the very ones who have turned the UN into an Anti-Israel club. It is those "black hats" (not to be confused with Haredi Jews, who also wear black hats) who will attack Israel according to Ezek 38-39. The Rev. 13 coalition, on the other hand, which will lead the FINAL attack on Israel, are the "WHITE HAT" countries -- the relatively corruption-free countries of the world with long, stable histories, freedoms of every sort and a society marked by honesty.

It is this great difference between these two coalitions, that most graphically shows that the Ezekiel 38-39 attack on Israel, led by junior NATO member Turkey, is NOT the Zech 14 and Rev 13 attack, led by the older members of NATO.

Just as a refresher from my earlier posts, these older, principal members can be numbered 10, as in the ten horns of the beast they represent:
  1. The US of America
  2. The UK of Gr Britain & N Ireland
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Canada
  6. Belgium
  7. Denmark
  8. Netherlands
  9. Norway
  10. Portugal
That list can be rearranged, according to one's understanding; but there is little doubt that it includes the principal Western military powers: The US, Britain and France. These are the countries that have been the principal IMPLEMENTERS of UN military adventures, such as those in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; and the preponderance of scriptural evidence indicates that they will also lead the final attack against Israel.

The irony, of course, is that the "Good Guys", or "White Hats" of today will be arrayed against God's Chosen People. This is the culmination of the great deception of the days we live in.
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Unread 4th February 2013, 04:53 PM
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If we are to make sense of current events, how they affect our lives, and how we are to respond to them, we must attempt to put them into Biblical context. The one scripture, more than any other, that describes the times we are living in, is Rev 17:

Rev 17
[8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
[9] And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
[10] And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
[11] And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
[12] And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
[13] These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
[14] These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
[15] And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
[16] And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
[17] For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
[18] And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Let me take the elements, one at a time:

1. The beast described is the supreme end-times ruler on the earth, who shall make war with the Lamb (Rev 19:14) AND against Israel (Zech 14): for in both cases, the battle with this entity immediately precedes the Messianic Age.

2. The beast is identified with the Roman Empire, which "reigneth over the kings of the earth" during the time of the prophecy. Moreover, that Roman Empire was to go though some transformations:
  • The first phase is the Empire as extant in John's time
  • The second phase is the Empire that succeeded this one. This was the Holy Roman Empire, which was thought to be the legitimate successor of the first through the forged "Donation of Constantine".
  • The third phase was to be the reign of ten kings who ruled at the same time as one another. This would represent the descendants of the Holy Roman Empire, either physical or allegorical, which would still be in power during the time of "the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition"
  • The fourth phase was to be the reign of the "beast itself", to whom the ten would give their power and authority.
I have been vexed for some 40 years, trying to exactly identify the ten horns. The most salient scripture is a parallel passage in Daniel:

Danl 7
[7] After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
[8] I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
[9] I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire...

[16] I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
[17] These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
[18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
[19] Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
[20] And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
[21] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
[22] Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
[23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
[24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
[25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
[26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
[27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Obviously, I am interested in "and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings".

From this passage, we have another sequence:
  • Firstly, we have the ten kings, which I take to be great powers at the time of the ascension of the "little horn". These kings need to have ruled, moreover, when the "little horn" was still small.
  • Secondly, three of these kings must be plucked up by the new imperial power.
There was a point in time, when these two phenomena came together: namely, the end of WWII. The three "plucked up" powers were therefore probably Germany, Italy and Japan; and the "Little Horn" was the United States. After the war, a group of those formerly great powers gave their "power and authority" to the Little Horn, in the form of NATO.

This helps us to identify the ten horns. Three of them were obviously
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Austria (or Japan)
The others were countries that were powerful, both (1) when the US was very small (1783, when its independence was recognized) and (2) at the start of WWII.

Powerful nations in 1781 (and their status in 1945):
  • Britain
  • France
  • Russia (which became the nucleus of the Soviet Union in 1917)
  • Austria* (divided after WWI into Austria, Czechoslovakia, etc.)
  • Prussia (became Germany)
  • the Netherlands (from whence came Belgium* in 1830)
  • Spain
  • Naples (absorbed by Italy in 1860)
  • Bavaria (absorbed by Germany in 1866)
  • Denmark
  • Papacy (absorbed by Italy in 1866)
  • Portugal
  • Savoy (became Italy in 1860)
  • Saxony (absorbed by Germany in 1866)
  • Sweden
  • Ottoman Empire (became Turkey in 1923)
  • Würtemberg (absorbed by Germany in 1866)
*Austria has not joined NATO. In 1781, it included Belgium, Luxembourg and much of Italy, as well as what was to become the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For our purposes, we can consider Belgium to be the appropriate successor state. Belgium became a world power, when King Leopold I was granted what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo as his personal fief. This was later taken over by the government of Belgium. After WWI, Rwanda and Burundi were added to Belgium's possessions from the former German East Africa. Austria never had an overseas empire. Japan did have such an empire, however, and is part of an extended NATO through its bilateral alliance with the US. If Japan is counted as one of the ten, then another country must be eliminated. This is where interpretation gets difficult, and I do not claim to have solved the problem.

Notice that I have highlighted the current NATO members above, in red. They total ten countries, altogether. The situation reflects contidions that formed between 1945, when the US became the paramount world power, and 1982, when Spain was admitted to NATO.

The "beast that came out of the sea" is thus with us today; it is a group of nations, led by the US. The ANTICHRIST, however, is an individual: He will persecute the church for 3½ years, before being defeated in the Zech 14 campaign. The Ezekiel 38-39 event must necessarily come before this, at least seven years before the end. Since Turkey is the key player in that struggle, and Turkey has yet to definitively ally itself with Iran, that event has not happened yet; but it may come soon.

Shalom shalom
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Maps so many maps. it must be true.
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Originally Posted by kenvin View Post
Maps so many maps. it must be true.
"it"?
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Originally Posted by BlandOatmeal View Post
"it"?
The conspiracy against Isreal.
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Originally Posted by kenvin View Post
The conspiracy against Isreal.
Kevin, you label yourself as a "Christian", yet you seem to be in doubt about the Bible. I don't know exactly where you're coming from. Some of the main doubts you may have are:

1. You don't believe in the Bible? In that case, I would suggest that you seriously consider what you DO believe in; because what you believe in rules your life.

2. You don't believe the Jews of today are the Jews of the Bible? I could prove, by many proofs, that they are. I am descended of Jews, specifically of Moses' brother Aaron, and have taken a good deal of interest in this matter. Even if this were not true, the conspiriacy the Bible talks about is specifically against the city of Jerusalem, the land of present-day Israel, and the ruler of that land. That doesn't require any proof, other than a look, as you have said, at the map.

3. You aren't aware that the scriptures explicitly talk about conspiracies against Israel? Here you are:

Pss 2
[1] Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
[2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
[3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
[4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
[5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
[6] Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

Does that require decipherment? This is an English translation, of course; in Hebrew, vs.1-2 say:

Psa 2
א למה רגשׁו גוים ולאמים יהגו ריק׃
ביתיצבו מלכי ארץ ורוזנים נוסדו יחד על יהוה ועל משׁיחו׃


I'll translate the words for you:

למה רגשׁו גוים lit. "Why do nations rage?" (גוים literally means "nations". The Bible says that the Jews are not to be counted among the nations, but are to stand alone. The translators took a great liberty in translating this as "heathen", which means, literally, "country bumpkins" -- from a time when covens of pagan worshippers were in the countryside, and churchgoers imagined that those were the true "non-Jews". This reflected the biases of William Tyndale and others of his time; but the original simply meant "nations".)

ולאמים יהגו ריק lit. "The peoples plot that which is futile." The word אמים here is wrongly translated as "people". It is actually "peoples", meaning "people groups". This indicates that not only are the rulers involved, but the citizens as well.

יתיצבו מלכי ארץ lit. "Kings of the earth take their stand."

ורוזנים נוסדו יחד lit. "Nobles counsel together"

על יהוה lit. "Against יהוה" The word used for "the LORD" in this case specifically refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, not some universalist concept.

ועל משׁיחו lit. "Against His anointed". The word for "anointed" is literally "messiah", but does not refer to THE Messiah. It is a generic term, indicating those whom God has designated. It was used in the Bible to describe prophets, kings and priests. In the context, it refers to the king of Israel.

There you have scriptural evidence of "conspiriacies" against Israel and against Israel's leaders. They exist, and have always existed. Psalms 2 tells us, moreover, that these conspiriacies are not just against Israel; they are against the GOD of Israel.

If you want more discussion on these matters, I will be happy to oblige. I love honest Bible studies.

Shalom shalom
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Unread 5th February 2013, 12:33 PM
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"Syrian opposition reports intense fighting near Jordan

"Residents search for survivors under the rubble in al-Ansari neighborhood of Aleppo after air forces loyal to Assad struck the area. (Photo: Reuters)
5 February 2013 /BEIRUT/DAMASCUS – REUTERS, AP
Syrian opposition and Jordanian security officials said on Tuesday intense fighting had broken out near Syrian government installations and border posts near Jordan, leaving 17 civilians wounded..."

-- Syrian opposition reports intense fighting near Jordan

This is serious, since "near Jordan" also means "near Israel". Assad is losing control of his border regions. Israel was already in danger from Syrian and Iranian weapons going into southern Lebanon; now it is in danger of attack from Al-Qaeda- and Muslim-Brotherhood- affiliated rebel groups, who are less likely than Assad to show restraint in attacking Israel. This makes Israeli intervention in southern Syria more and more likely.
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