Mideast in Bloody Chaos--Is Full Scale War Just Ahead?

Almost hourly, we hear of yet another of an unrelenting wave of suicide bombers killing themselves aboard buses, in crowded shopping malls, in restaurants and pizza parlors, in coffee shops — anywhere crowds congregate, in cities all over Israel.

From Haifa to Jerusalem, and from Netanya to Tel Aviv, helpless civilians are shattered into bloody rags as vicious suicide bombers, their torsos filled with powerful explosives packed with nails, nuts and bolts and jagged metal, deliberately detonate their bombs, instantly blowing themselves to bits, and killing or horribly injuring their victims. There is simply NO PROTECTION from determined suicide bombers. Recent weeks have proven they can be former employees of the very restaurant they target; they can be teen-aged girls, middle-aged women, or young male fanatics belonging to any number of the many anti-Israeli terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile, the European Union decries Israel’s response — that of blasting their way into Yassir Arafat’s compound, conducting room-to-room searches, while keeping the Palestinian leader isolated in a room without electricity or water. Only hours ago, as I watched Arafat being interviewed by Reuters by candlelight, I saw one more example, in a tiresome series of dozens of such interviews, of Arafat’s duplicity and hypocrisy. While he issues mild disclaimers in English, he usually follows up such interviews with rabble-rousing speeches in Arabic, continually calling for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders, abandoning the entire West Bank and Golan Heights, and handing over the old city of Jerusalem as the new “Capital of the Palestinian State.”

Why Are The Israelis Worried About Palestinian Statehood?

Millions of Americans and Europeans, completely ignorant of ancient and recent Middle East history, cannot see for the life of them why Israel doesn’t just give Arafat all he wants. Even the former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, urged “trading land for peace.”
Such simple-minded “solutions” fail to address the deep-seated centuries-old religious and racial hatreds that fuel the continual violence. To many, there is a “political” solution. All that would be needed, they say, is for Israel to ignore the suicide bombings, sit down with the Palestinians, and concede all that “occupied” territory.

Think for a moment what “statehood” means. Statehood means sovereignty. It means that as a newly constituted state takes its place among all other states, it becomes an equal among all others. It seeks, and is admitted as a member of the United Nations. It can initiate political relations with every other nation on earth; effect pacts, treaties, trade agreements; it can become a member of a military bloc, such as that of NATO, or the former “Warsaw Pact.” It means that such a state could conduct covert operations through the establishment of its own intelligence agencies; that it could receive direct foreign economic and military aid from any nation willing to provide such aid; that it would have harbors, airports, and borders which are sacrosanct, the deliberate invasions of which would be an act of war.

Consider a Palestinian State, existing INSIDE Israel, with large sections of land extending from the Jordanian Border (along the Jordan River) to Jerusalem; to Latrun (only about 12 miles from the Mediterranean), and in the Gaza Strip. Such a state could commence regular economic, technical, and military concourse with Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia, as well as with Russia and China, and any nations of its choice.

Today, the Chinese supply Iran and Syria with advanced missile technology. The Russians sell missiles, tanks, aircraft, mortars, land mines, rockets, small arms and millions of rounds of ammunition to many countries. So do the Chinese. It is well known that Iran has missiles capable of striking Israel. Saddam Hussein proved he has missiles which can rain down on Tel Aviv during the Gulf War, ten years ago. Today, the Iranian Air Force has 205 fighter aircraft, well over a half million men under arms, and a Navy of about 150 vessels, including three Russian built submarines. When the shipment of Iranian arms aboard the “Karine A” were intercepted by Israeli intelligence in early January, the weapons included the BM-21 missile launchers with a range of 20 miles. If such missiles had been deployed within any Palestinian held territory, they would have posed a very dangerous threat to Israeli towns and cities.

It is known that Iraq is working on chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. So is Syria, and so is Iran. Israeli intelligence believes the Iranians will have the bomb within another three years!

Once a sovereign Palestinian state is declared, the following scenarios would very rapidly develop:

(1) It would be recognized by the UN, and would become a member, rather than an “observer.”

(2) Russia, China, the EU, and every Arab state, along with dozens of other nations, would immediately recognize the legitimacy of such a state.

(3) The airstrip in Gaza would become an “international” airport, with regular flights coming from anywhere in the world. There would be no surveillance, no inspection, and no interdiction of such flights; whether they were huge Russian Antonovs, capable of carrying several tanks, or flights from Iraq or Iran.

(4) Gaza would become an international port. No inspection or interdiction of ships would be possible. All nations wishing to trade with or supply aid to the new Palestinian State could do so.

(5) The State of Palestine would immediately send Ambassadors to the Vatican, to Russia, China, and all Arab States, and eventually to all states in its sphere of interest, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

(6) The new state could form pacts with any nation, or grouping of nations, which would state that, in the event it was attacked, all such nations would immediately come to its aid.

(7) Such pacts would include massive shipments of arms, billions of dollars in economic “aid,” as well as mutual defense treaties, meaning that any number of nations, principally Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, would promise to attack Israel if Israel attacked the state of Palestine.

Meanwhile, suicide bombings would continue — probably increase — since the new state would provide safe haven for terrorists, and the Israelis would no longer be able to send their armor into Palestinian strongholds, seeking caches of explosives, and arresting terrorists.

Faced with such an eventuality, Israel knows that it would be only a matter of time, and a very SHORT time at that, until all-out war would break out. The Palestinians could be given billions of dollars in military aid; from submarines to aircraft; from tanks to small arms.

An army of fanatical young Muslims would be rapidly trained. Specialists from the armed forces of many other nations, including Russia, Iran and Iraq, could go to Palestine to train their emerging army, navy, and air force.

Meanwhile, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and other nations could continue their “terror by proxy” methods, funding, providing sanctuary and training for young, idealistic terrorists who believe their guarantee into their version of heaven is instantaneous upon detonating their bombs, killing as many Israeli men, women, and children as they can.

Do you wonder why the Israeli’s are concerned about a Palestinian state?

The Hatred And Violence Is RELIGIOUS More Than Political

Please read my booklet about whether Mideast violence will lead to Armageddon. In it, you will see a sketch of the development of the religion of Islam; the story of how Mohammad, a caravan robber, concocted a religion from a combination of paganism, the Old Testament, and Christianity, proclaiming himself a “prophet,” who received messages from God.

Islam, formerly called “Mohammedanism,” did not form until six long centuries after Christ. One must be familiar with the spread of Islam throughout Saudi Arabia, into Egypt, and throughout the Middle East, in order to understand the roots of violence from Albania and Kosovo to Israel.

The religion of Islam promises instant access to its version of “heaven” if a believer kills “infidels.” As you will see from perusing several of my previous commentaries, one of which contains direct quotations from the Koran, young fanatics are promised instantaneous entry into a “paradise” filled with gratification of the physical senses. Food, drink, leisure and sex are portrayed as endless and abundant. You may have seen a recent home video tape of the mother of one of the suicide bombers, praising her son, who was holding an AK-47, preparing to go to a crowded Israeli restaurant or shopping mall, and blow himself up.

Such fanaticism is utterly foreign to any nominal Christian. To Christians, life is precious; to be protected and preserved. Suicide is a sin, as is murder. To a Muslim, murder, even if one must commit suicide to kill one’s enemies, is the loftiest goal of life. The mother confidently said she knew her son would be “going to a better place.” When millions of Palestinian Arabs have been forced to live in squalor, poverty, and hopelessness, such beliefs find fertile soil.

But it is the surrounding Arab nations which have refused to allow Palestinians to be assimilated into their populations who have insured such poverty and squalor. Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia have all refused to allow Palestinians to assimilate. For one thing, the Palestinian Arabs tend to be more aggressive, better educated, and more likely to succeed at their chosen job or profession than their counterparts in other countries. The squalid “refugee camps” have been maintained by nations surrounding Israel for literally decades! Hundreds of thousands of impressionable young Arabs have grown up in such camps, taught by their Imams and Mullahs, as well as by their parents, that their plight is the fault of Israel!

Every day, they can compare the squalor of their own lives with the affluence of Israel, and feed on their rage. More, their religious leaders continually proclaim that the Israelis are virtually the “seed of Satan;” that they are vicious enemies, and that the downtrodden Arabs are merely “freedom fighters,” struggling to regain lands which are rightfully theirs.

It is the MIND SET of millions of Arabs that is the problem.

No US or UN sponsored “peace plan” is going to alter the fanatical RELIGIOUS BELIEFS of more than a billion people! The prophecies of God’s word predict that Jerusalem will be the flash point of a great WORLD WAR! Today, your daily, virtually HOURLY news continually trumpets that great VIOLENCE, as well as INTERNATIONAL CONCERN, centers around the struggle over Jerusalem!

Meanwhile, the US government sends mixed, confusing signals to the world. On the one hand, President George W. Bush reiterated his support for Israel, saying they have “the right to defend themselves” in their own war against terrorism. On the other hand, the US voted with other nations on a UN resolution demanding that Israel withdraw from all Palestinian areas!

WHY such mixed signals? For the simple reason that President Bush has made no secret of the fact that Saddam Hussein may well be the next target in America’s “war on terror.” If so, Bush wants to line up as much support as he can get from Arab nations in the region! Just how awkward is it, for a US President to support Israel on the one hand, and on the other hand ask for support from nations all over the Middle East which seek its destruction?

God condemns the hiring of “lovers” among the nations! God condemns the kind of “political diplomacy” which reasons “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and which seeks through chicanery, lies, subtleties, half-truths and the suborning of “friends” through massive infusions of cash, in order to buy temporary alliances.

Warning any nations who would become involved in the struggles over Jerusalem, God says, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3).

Land For Empty Promises

Promulgators of the “land for peace” scenario should study their history more closely. When Israel was but a tiny country with a narrow waist, and Jordan possessed the entire West Bank, including the Old City of Jerusalem, my wife and I were in Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt. This was in 1966, shortly before the 1967 6-day war.

Syria possessed the Golan Heights. Egypt possessed the entire Sinai, and the Gaza Strip. Never had there been the slightest hint, either from indigenous Palestinians inside Palestine, nor from any of the three Arab nations which possessed large sections of land now occupied by Israel, that there should be the creation of a Palestinian state! For over SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS, from the time of the Caliphate of Baghdad, through the reigns of the Seljuk and the Ottoman Turks, when Arabs had control of Palestine, was there a suggestion from any of the Islamic powers that Palestine should become a state!

When, in 1967, the combined Arab armies sought to destroy Israel, and “drive the Jews into the sea,” the Arabs received an incredible surprise! The Israeli Air force destroyed the Egyptian Air force on the ground! Israeli tanks destroyed hundreds of Egyptian tanks at the Mitla Pass, and elsewhere in the Sinai! The Israelis advanced, destroying dozens of Syrian tanks in the Golan, past Kuneitra, until the road to Damascus lay open before them.

When Israel battled with the Jordanian Desert Legion, and drove them from the Old City, and all the way to the Jordan River, Israel emerged victorious against the combined might of five Arab states! Later, after Israel had spent considerable sums developing oil reserves in the Sinai, as a gesture of good will toward Egypt, Israel handed over most of the Sinai to Egypt once again.

From that time to this, Syria has continually demanded that Israel return the Golan. But Jordan has not demanded the return of territory. Instead, because of its vulnerability from all sides, Jordan has supported Palestinian demands for the creation of a Palestinian State. Egypt maintains an uneasy “peace” with Israel, while religiously and emotionally wishing for its demise.

Why would anyone in his or her right mind suppose that, if Israel returned to it’s pre-1967 borders, “peace” would break out? There was no peace prior to 1967! First the combined Arab armies tried to exterminate the Jews when the unilateral declaration of independence of the State of Israel was declared in 1948. They lost. They tried it again in 1956. They lost. They tried it again in 1967. They lost not only the war, but vast amounts of territory. They tried it again in 1973, on “Yom Kippur” (The Day of Atonement). They lost.

If Israel should acquiesce to the various “peace plans” put forth, such as the “Saudi Proposal” (which is nothing more than a dusted off version of UN Resolution 242 of decades ago), and “trade land for peace,” here is what would happen.

Israel would give the land. Land is precious. It has tangible value. As American Humorist Will Rogers once said, “buy land -- its’ the only thing they ain’t makin’ any more of!”

What would the Israeli’s receive? Promises.

Does history — do recent events — give us any indication of just how valid are promises from the Palestinians?

Prophecy Shows Jerusalem Will Once Again Be Divided

As I have repeatedly explained, the 11th chapter of Daniel contains a detailed prophecy of how the Beast power will eventually intervene in the Middle East — how nations all along the eastern border of Israel will be spared, but that Israel itself, together with Egypt, and probably Saudi Arabia, will be occupied by an invading military force!

For decades, Jerusalem was a divided city. When we were first there (we have been there many times) in 1966, we had to drive to Jerusalem from Amman, the capital of Jordan. We then toured the various places of interest, including the site of Golgotha and the “Garden Tomb,” which were under Jordanian government control. Jordanian and Israeli Soldiers gazed at one another from sand bagged machine gun emplacements behind barbed wire across “no man’s land,” in the bottom of the famous Brook Kidron, which was dry.

We spent the night atop the Mount of Olives in the “Intercontinental Hotel,” where I became deathly sick from the food. After driving to Petra and other points of interest, we took a taxi to “no man’s land,” where the taxi let us out, together with all our heavy bags. We then had to walk along a dusty path, crossing through chain link fences and barbed wire, until arriving at the other side, where an Israeli taxi picked us up, and took us to the King David Hotel.

It was quite an experience. We had seen many, many military vehicles in Egypt; dozens of tanks, large field artillery pieces, and armored vehicles. It was obvious to us that the Arabs were preparing for war. Because I was sending taped radio broadcasts back to Pasadena, and because I wanted to look up some statistics, I purchased a World Almanac while in Beirut.
When I looked up “Israel” in the Almanac. It wasn’t there! Someone had deliberately glued the pages together, so that “Israel” was not listed! Such is the virulent hatred toward Israel in the Mideast.

Little could we have known that within less than one year, Israel would have driven the Jordanians from the Old City, and annexed it. From that time on, Israel has declared that Jerusalem is its “Eternal Capital” and that it will never again be divided. Yet, God’s word shows it WILL be divided!

Notice the prophecy of the second coming of Christ in Zechariah: “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

“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 [the other half which does not go into captivity] of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:1-4).

Now, notice again the detailed prophecy of Daniel 11:40-45: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

“He shall enter also into the glorious land [Palestine!], and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon [probably Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan].

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

“But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [Put and Cush] probably modern Pakistan and India; not the modern nation of Ethiopia] shall be at his steps [at the farthest point of his advance].

“But tidings out of the east and out of the north [Russia and China!]  shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:40-45).

Since it is obvious that the invading northern army does not occupy those lands east of Israel, and since Amman is the capitol of Jordan, it would appear that half of Jerusalem, probably the “Old City” with the various “holy places” of the three monotheistic religions, will once again be in Arab hands at the time of the Day of the Lord!

There is no peace prophesied for Jerusalem and Israel!

Christ’s prophecies concerning the Great Tribulation are REAL, and they are in the immediate offing! The destruction of Jerusalem under the armies of Titus thirty years before the close of the 1st century was merely a TYPE of an end-time destruction.

It is time our peoples awakened to the awesome, frightening realities of world conditions! America is engaged in a “war against terror” which we CAN NEVER COMPLETELY WIN! We will have successes, yes, as we have had to a large extent in Afghanistan. But more than ONE BILLION hostile, fanatical people in dozens of countries HATE the United States! They hate our “culture” which they see (not without reason) as decadent. They hate our way of life. They hate our professed religion. They hate us because of our support of Israel. Huge percentages of this world’s population would like nothing more than to see the complete DESTRUCTION of the United States, and, like it or not, believe it or not, that includes millions IN EUROPE!

God says our enemies will REJOICE at our collapse: “I called for my lovers [”allies” we have tried to purchase], but they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls.
“Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth [war in foreign places], at home there is as death [disease, possibly chemical and biological weapons used against us].

“They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me” (Lamentations 1:19-21).

Over and over again, God has warned our peoples that our own personal and collective national SINS are bringing horrible destruction upon us! God says, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

“Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

“Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (Isaiah 1:1-7).

The shocking devastation and loss of life on September 11, 2001, DID cause many in our country to cry out to God. Many took stock of their personal lives, and began to seek God in whatever way they knew. But very soon, it was “business as usual” insofar as America’s collective national sins are concerned.

We, as a people, cannot get enough of unending VIOLENCE in our motion pictures and television shows. We wallow in murder, dismemberment, huge explosions, witchcraft, demonism, rape, and every assorted kind of deviant behavior — movie makers collect hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office as movie goers flock to see the latest non-stop mass murder, stabbings, garrotings, shootings, violent high-speed chases, overturning trucks and buses, and massive explosions. The movie makers try to give the public what it wants. And the public wants an orgy of blood and sex.

Ezekiel was told, “Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence [the chain indicating the non-stop violence all around us].

“Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.

“Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none” (Ezekiel 7:23-25). Ezekiel’s prophecies came to him over one hundred and twenty years AFTER the House of Israel had gone into captivity!

His prophecies are for OUR DAY, NOW!

He said, “Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

“A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

“Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.

“Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.

“So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes [millions in nations all over the world will be DANCING IN THE STREETS when they learn of our terrible troubles!]. I the LORD have spoken it."

“When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:

“So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it” (Ezekiel 5:11-17).

America may try to “buy” friends from hate-filled Islamic nations all around Israel in order to form some kind of “coalition” against Saddam Hussein, but any such “coalition” will be deeply flawed from the beginning, and, in any event, God condemns our having turned our backs on Him, and attempting to purchase lovers for our protection!

God says, “All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it” (Lamentations 2:16). Dozens of nations HATE us, and the world will REJOICE at our fall!

If you do not yet understand the true IDENTITY of our peoples in the prophecies of your Bible, by all means read my book “Europe and America in Prophecy” available on our web site at “www.garnertedarmstrong.org/” or call or write for your free copy! It is one of the most important books you will ever read!

Remember, Jesus Christ says there is a REASON for us to WATCH these horrifying world conditions! That reason is our own personal protection! He commands us, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:35).


Garner Ted Armstrong
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