Given the amount of bad news floating around out there, I’m happy to have come across this recent article by Israpundit: Israel is Sitting Pretty. Just a few highlights with my own thoughts:
Israel has successfully made the case that such a unilateral move by the PA [to establish a Palistinian state by U.N. fiat] would be a violation of the Oslo Accords which mandated no unilateral moves and a negotiated settlement. Israel has made it clear that such a move would result in unilateral moves by Israel and the end of the Oslo Accords. This means the end of the PA created pursuant to these accords. The primary unilateral move mooted by Israel is the extension of Israel law to the settlement blocs which would make the blocs sovereign territory of Israel. It would also replace occupation law over these territories. Many in Israel are demanding that Israel not stop there but that she should do the same for all of Area “C” over which she currently has full control pursuant to the Oslo Accords. These lands contain 300,000 Israelis and 10,000 Arabs. Israeli grassroots are now mobilizing a major campaign to increase Israeli support for such a move.
One wonders if such a move would prompt Israel to push for more control of the Temple Mount from the Waqf–not that the Waqf officially reports to the PA, but the loss of the PA might put it in a more accomodating mood.
Syria is on the ropes and is expected to go down for the count. Turkey has been threatening to invade Syria ostensibly to set up a safe zone for refugees but she may remain there and perhaps end up controlling Syria and by extension, Lebanon. The US is coordinating all this with Turkey and Israel. Remember, Syria and Lebanon used to be part of the Ottoman Empire. The US and Saudi Arabia have been trying to separate Syria from Iran for years and this may just be the way to do it.
At the same time, there are reports that the US is propping up the Assad regime by calling for it to talk with the opposition rather than calling for it to resign. Elliott Abrams is critical with this realpolitik and writes
- “That is bad enough, but realpolitik must then be judged by its logic and its fruits. There are none, except for undermining the moral position of the United States. To repeat what has been written here before, the Assad regime is an enemy of the United States. It has the blood of tens of thousands of Syrians on its hands but also of thousands of Americans, killed in Iraq by jihadis it led into Iraq for that purpose. It is Iran’s only Arab ally, and provides Iran with a Mediterranean port, a border with Israel through Hizballah, and an arms trafficking route from Iran to Hizballah. It supports and houses Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. The fall of the Assad regime would be the greatest blow we can strike against Iran and its terrorist allies today.
One of the big mysteries surrounding the Gog-Magog war described in Ezekiel 38-39 is the absence of Syria. Most tie that into the apparent destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17, but it’s also possible that Syria as a independent entity simply won’t exist anymore.
Canada’s Globe and mail recently reported
- ”The London-based World Energy Council says Israel’s Shfela Basin, a half-hour drive south of Jerusalem, holds 250 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil, possibly making the energy-vulnerable country (as expressed by The Wall Street Journal) “the world’s newest energy giant.” With reserves of 260 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia would remain the world’s No. 1 oil country – though not, perhaps, for long. Howard Jonas, CEO of U.S.-based IDT Corp., the company that owns the Shfela Basin concession, says there is much more oil under Israel than under Saudi Arabia: Perhaps, he says, twice as much.”
It concluded that Israel should be pumping oil within three to four years. Israel, it reported, “will match Canada in oil exports to the U.S. and thus free its long-time friend from needing to deal with tyrants”.
That really would be good news, and might explain how Israel is put into a position to peaceably negotiate to rebuild the Temple. After all, in the modern world, oil talks more than even gold. And finally,
Saudi Arabia recently threatened to acquire nuclear weapons as a needed defense against Iran who will soon be nuclear. It is noteworthy that Israel has had the bomb for four decades but Saudi Arabia saw no need to acquire her own capability ‘til now. Israel was not perceived as a threat. Saudi Arabia no longer looks to the US for protection because it is not reliable. In any potential war with Iran, the Saudis see Israel as an ally.
That’s very interesting, since it would explain why the King of the North in Daniel 11 might want to make a treaty with Israel to keep her out of the way of his wars with the King of the South, which was historically Ptolemaic Egypt but which probably includes Saudi Arabia and her allies today.