Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Welcome to this edition of the Rapture Report. Today we are seeing news coming out of the Middle East where the Palestinian PM is calling for the United States to draft a new Middle East peace policy, one that puts specific timeframes on implementing a Middle East peace deal. Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad is quoted in the Haaretz news as saying:
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad urged the United States on Saturday to draw up a fresh plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AFP reported. “I call anew on the United States to come up with a plan and a timetable for its application that will contribute to put an end to Jewish settlements and Israeli offensives, and lead to serious negotiations,” Fayyad was quoted as saying. The Palestinian leader made the comments in a speech at the Qalandiyah refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, the French news agency said. “Israel is turning its back on international legitimacy,” he was quoted as adding.
It was also noted that US President Obama for his part was expected to initiate new talks pretty soon that would include timetables in which to resolve the peace process, so it appears that the PA and the US maybe on the same wavelength as it relates to pressuring Israel. The article further stated:
U.S. President Barack Obama is, in fact, expected to announce a diplomatic plan soon for renewal of the Middle East peace process. A central feature of the plan, which will be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, will be a binding timetable for negotiations on the core issues involved in a final resolution of the conflict.
In my humble opinion, what we are seeing here is the Palestinians getting pretty impatient with the current peace process and with the election of the right-wing Israeli government. As a result, I am beginning to believe that the Palestinians feel that if they do not increase the pressure on Israel that their grasp on any possible “land grabs” through current “peace” negotiations will soon slip away. For the right-wing Israeli government’s part, they have so far withstood the pressure to give up more concessions without first having the Palestinians recognize their right to exist and meet their other peace process obligations. And of course, the Palestinians continue to refuse to recognize Israel and have not made any significant progress to help further the peace process. It really looks to me that the issue is beginning to deadlock to the point that the only way to solve the problem will inevitably be through conflict, as neither side is willing to bend in order to make a deal possible.
Meanwhile, in another article in the Jerusalem Post it is being reported that Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that he hopes to eventually see a Turkish embassy in east Jerusalem. The article stated:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that he hopes someday Turkey will be able to open an embassy in “Palestine,” specifically in “east Jerusalem.” The comments were made during an opening ceremony of an embassy for the Palestinian Authority in Ankara on Friday night, and were reported by the Palestinian news service, Ma’an.
As we have seen in previous editions of the Rapture Report, it appears that everyone in the world is beginning to burden themselves with the topic of the Middle Eastern peace process, especially with the issue of Jerusalem. This of course was foretold by the Bible by the prophet Zechariah:
Zec 12:2 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.
Zec 12:3 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.
In the coming days and weeks we can expect to see more pressure coming from the international community towards Israel in order to try to finally solve the Middle East problem. In my honest opinion, Israel is not going to bother with serious negotiations with the Palestinians until the situation concerning the Iranian nuclear program is dealt with. The situation with Iran and the potential for a nuclear holocaust is a much more grave issue to be dealt with than resolving the Palestinian/Israeli problem. In fact, it was reported today by the Iran Focus website and through the Associated Press that Iran currently has the means to possibly test a nuclear bomb within six months. The article stated:
Iran is blocking U.N. nuclear agency attempts to upgrade monitoring of its atomic program while advancing those activities to the stage that the country would have the means to test a weapon within six months, diplomats told The Associated Press Friday. The diplomats emphasized that there were no indications of plans for such a nuclear test, saying it was highly unlikely Iran would risk heightened confrontation with the West – and chances of Israeli attack – by embarking on such a course. But they said that even as Iran expands uranium enrichment, which can create fissile nuclear material, it is resisting International Atomic Energy Agency attempts to increase surveillance of its enrichment site meant to keep pace with the plant’s increased size and complexity.
For Iran to amass enough fissile material to conduct an underground test similar to North Korea’s 2006 nuclear explosion, it would likely have to kick out monitors of the IAEA – the U.N. nuclear agency – from its one known uranium enrichment site at Natanz. Technicians then could reconfigure the centrifuges now churning out nuclear-fuel grade enriched uranium to highly enriched, weapons-grade material.
The article also went on to discuss how Iran has steadily increased production of nuclear material at it’s Natanz nuclear facility and that it already has enough material available that if it was further enriched it would be enough for a single nuclear bomb. The article also said that the IAEA is not sure whether or not there is another secret enrichment program elsewhere in the country, but that even if there was it would be hard to remove the enriched material without tipping off inspectors. I personally would not be surprised if there was another secret program somewhere else in the country. The Iranians have shown time and time again that they can’t be trusted.
The bottomline is that Iran is racing to the nuclear finish line and the world community is nowhere closer to stopping Iran than they were six months ago. The only logical thing that can possibly stop the Iranian nuclear program is a military strike against it. And with increased Israeli military activity in recent weeks, we could be heading for some serious conflict in the near future. Israel has stated many times that they will not allow Iran to go nuclear and risk a nuclear holocaust. I think it is quite possible that we are finally seeing the “run up” to Israeli military strikes on Iran. But only time will tell for sure.
Students of Bible prophecy need to continue to keep watching the situation in the Middle East. The current situation has a possibility to explode at any moment and go downhill pretty fast. But all of this points to future Bible prophecy fulfillment potentially as it concerns Ezekiel 38-39, Psalm 83, and maybe even Isaiah 17. Let us continue to be watchmen on the wall and keep our eyes peeled on the Middle East. With signs that we are moving down the prophetic road, it should be assuring to Christians who are waiting patiently for the blessed hope of the Rapture. The bible tells us that when we see these things coming to pass, our redemption is drawing nigh!!