Light for the Last Days

From our Israel Desk – February 2023

Iran planning to kill Jews in the Diaspora

Iran plans to kill Jews in the diaspora

The Jewish Chronicle (17 February) carried an article with the headline ‘Iran mapping Jews in diaspora for kill squads.  Iran has been “mapping” the Jewish diaspora for an assassination campaign that will be triggered if Israel attacks its nuclear facilities, a Jewish woman who met Ayatollah Khamenei has told the JC.

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The chilling plan, disclosed at a high-level meeting in Tehran, involved identifying key Jewish figures and determining “how to strike and where”.

The hit squads would be deployed if Israel ever attacked Iran, she was told, so

“the diaspora would have a very nasty surprise”. 

Catherine Perez-Shakdam

The revenge plot was revealed to Catherine Perez-Shakdam, one of the few Westerners to be granted an audience with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  She said Khamenei only seemed scared of one thing  — an Israeli attack, she said, adding:

“He believes Netanyahu’s threats and he knows that, for now, Israel is militarily superior. ”

Catherine Perez-Shakdam

Unbeknown to the despotic regime, Ms Perez-Shakdam, a Middle East analyst and research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society think tank who contributed to pro-Iranian websites and the Russian propaganda TV channel, RT, was also a Jew.

ערוץ 7 (israelnationalnews.com)

She said she gained the high-level access via the man she called “Iran’s Dr Goebbels”, the late-Nader Talebzadeh, who led propaganda campaigns and cultivated her as a friend and ally. 

It was at a closed event he organised in Iran that she said was told of the plan

“to identify all the prominent NGOs run by Jews, who was doing what in each business sector, the important rabbis. They wanted to figure out their influence and where they lived with their families in order to target them.”

Catherine Perez-Shakdam
The Blogs (timesofisrael.com)

Talebzadeh, she said, was explicit that the mapping was preparation for murder to make

“the diaspora pay a price”.  He said all Jews are really Zionists, even those who claim not to be, so they have to be targeted, and ultimately destroyed. It was very clear he was talking about murdering Jews … The way they saw it, killing Jews would make it easier to deter Israel from attacking Iran, or if it did, to make Jews pay the price.” 

Catherine Perez-Shakdam

In her meeting with Ayatollah Khameini she revealed that

“He began talking about the End of Days, how he would be the one who would usher in the return of the Mahdi [the mythical leader who will herald the apocalypse].  His voice was quiet, high-pitched. He talked about this great war that would take place, and how al-Aqsa had to be liberated for the Mahdi to return to save humanity. He talked about the wars Iran was fighting in Yemen and Syria and how he had a divine mission.  He was basically trying to justify crimes against humanity, saying you had to harm the enemies of God, who shouldn’t be seen as human beings.   He said killing the innocent was OK, because they weren’t really innocents.  A mistake we make is to assume he cares about his country. He doesn’t. He will literally see it burn if it means Islam will triumph.”

Catherine Perez-Shakdam

In an interview with current Iranian President Raisi before he became president, she reveals that

“He told me he didn’t care if Iran went to war when he became president. I don’t care if Iran burns so long as our project succeeds’. He said the influence of the Zionists would be brought to an end.”

Catherine Perez-Shakdam

In November MI5’s director general Ken McCallum said ten Iranian assassination plots had been foiled in the UK in the space of a year, although he did not say whether Jews had been targeted.

GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Christian Friends of Israel must stand with Israel and Jewish people at this time and pray against this wicked plan of the Iranian government.

Is Israel heading for civil war?

Israel’s opposition held a number of large scale demonstrations against the government.  Israelis were shocked by the hatred expressed at these rallies, especially when prominent figures in the anti-government movement began openly calling for armed violence, civil disobedience. Some even encouraged the assassination of Prime Minister Netanyahu. This reaction to the new religious right-wing government and its proposed policies has shed a light on just how deep the rifts in Israeli society run.

Middle East Eye

One of the main issues that has roused this anger is the government’s plan to reform the Supreme Court.  The proposed changes include limiting the Supreme Court’s ability to strike down laws passed by the Knesset, altering the relationship between the Attorney General and the government, as well as democratising the process by which judges are selected.

Al Jazeera

Since the founding of the State, the Supreme Court has been in the hands of the left, with the ability to appoint judges from its own members, behind closed doors, thus ensuring the continuation of left wing control.  They have often used their powers to interfere with and overturn Knesset government decisions they don’t like. Israel’s Justice Minister, Yariv Levin, says his plan for judicial reform is designed to ‘save’ democracy by introducing a ‘Supremacy Clause,’ which would empower the Knesset to overturn Supreme Court rulings that nullify government decisions, as long as they pass with an absolute majority of 61 out of 120 MKs.

israeltoday.co.il

The left sees this as a way of removing a significant power base they have in Israeli society.  There are other issues the government is trying to change, where left wing opinion is able to influence Israeli society, especially in the areas of education and the media.  Any attempts to change this by the present right wing government result in a huge push back by the left.  Hence the danger of ‘civil war.’

Israel Today comments on this situation:

‘Talk of “civil war” is headlining nearly every media broadcast in Israel these days. And while it might’ve started as mere political rhetoric, some fear it could soon become a reality.  The Jewish people are no strangers to civil war. Internal strife has torn Israel in two and led to its downfall more than once in the nation’s long history.

During the times of the biblical judges, the Tribes of Israel fought numerous times against one another.
– Following the death of King Solomon, the nation was plunged into civil war resulting in its political division into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
During the time of the Hasmoneans, a civil war resulted in the Kingdom of Judah effectively being absorbed into the Roman Empire.
– Internal strife between competing factions during the Great Jewish Revolt crippled Israel’s ability to fight the Romans, and resulted in the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.’

israeltoday.co.il

The issue of the destruction of the Second Temple mentioned here is an interesting one.  The rabbinic explanation for this calamity in 70CE is that the Jewish people were fighting each other, indulging in ‘sinat achim’ (hatred of the brethren) which allowed the disaster to happen.  Jesus gives a different explanation in His prophecy of the coming fall of Jerusalem:

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Luke 19.41-44

In His words, the coming catastrophe is because ‘you did not know the time of your visitation’, meaning you did not understand that Yeshua / Jesus is the Messiah visiting His people.

As we see the strife within Israel, neither the left wing nor the right wing, neither the secular nor the religious, but only Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, can resolve it.  As we approach the days of trouble that will precede His return the only answer for Israel is to repent and turn to the Messiah: 

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

Zechariah 12.10

Settlements in Judea and Samaria / the West Bank

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has vowed to promote unrestrained construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, despite opposition from the Biden administration.

Speaking at Givat Harel, one of nine new outposts in the region that have been approved by the Cabinet, he said,

“The real answer to Palestinian terror is to continue to build, to continue to set roots in the Land of Israel.  That is what we as a government, as a state, as a nation, must do.”

Bezalel Smotrich – Israel’s Finance Minister

He said he would advance plans to construct some 10,000 homes in Judea and Samaria, and that the government should treat the area ‘exactly as any other part of the State of Israel.’

In response, the U.S. said it was “deeply troubled” by this prospect. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the process ‘previously illegal under Israeli law’.

The US was joined by the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and Italy who stated,

“We strongly oppose these unilateral actions which will only serve to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution.” 

Joint statement by foreign ministers of the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy

Blinken called on Israelis and Palestinians to avoid escalating tensions in the region and ‘to take practical steps that can improve the well-being of the Palestinian people.’

BBC News

The Israeli government looks set to ignore US and European concerns on this issue, which is at the heart of the Israel – Palestine conflict.  Since taking control of the West Bank after the 6 Day War, Israel has moved about 500,000 Jewish Israelis into the region plus around 200,000 in the area around Jerusalem. 

The Palestinians want the removal of all Jews from these settlements (most of which are medium size towns rather than settlements) in return for peace.  However they are not real about wanting peace, because they educate their people to seek the destruction of the State of Israel and encourage terrorism. 

Hamas Covenant [Full Text] (jewishvirtuallibrary.org)

The current nationalist government of Israel will not consider any ‘land for peace’ deal and the Palestinian Authority and its rival Hamas have shown by word and deed that they have no intention of living in peace with Israel.  The Israeli government encourages more settlement and the Palestinian authority encourages more terrorism against Israel.  With no sign of any possible change in these two road blocks to peace, ‘the negotiated two state solution’ that the US and EU want is all but dead in the water.

Significantly this territory is the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, with Jerusalem at its centre. For the rest of the story read Zechariah 12-14.

Earthquakes and Israel

Following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, questions have been asked about Israel’s ability to withstand a large earthquake.  Two small earthquakes, around 4 on the Richter scale, in Israel on January 22nd.  The Jerusalem Post carried an article saying that Israel is not ready to withstand a large earthquake, with a senior source saying, “It will take a long time to carry out the plan” for improving the structural integrity of buildings across the country.

The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

He said that despite repeated warnings from the state comptroller at Knesset hearings, nearly none of the approximate 80,000 buildings in the country that are vulnerable to earthquakes have received the improvements needed to help withstand a major quake.  A worst scenario earthquake would kill 7,000 people, with 28,600 buildings destroyed and 290,000 buildings with light damage.

Temple Mount shaken

On February 3rd Arab media reported that anti-Christian verses from the Koran began falling off the facade of the Dome of the Rock.  Jerusalem had just experienced heavy rain, and the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria was also felt in the city.

Israel365 News

 The tiles that fell down were quotes from the Koran.  The inscriptions on the interior of the Dome of the Rock state that the apostles of Jesus are “impostors and threatened with stoning” and contain text from the Koran (Sura 19:33-35) rejecting the divinity of Jesus.

القرآن الكريم (quran.com)

On 9th February there were reports of another collapse on the Temple Mount site.  Israel 365 reports:

“Arab media is reporting that rain damage led to the collapse of sections of the floor inside the Aqsa Mosque’s Marwani prayer building on the Temple Mount. Arab officials blamed Israel for not allowing the Islamic Wakf to carry out renovations to the Aqsa Mosque’s prayer buildings.”

Israel 365

Akiva Ariel, a spokesman for the Temple Mount activist organization, Beyadenu, said it is not uncommon for the Muslim structures on the Temple Mount to experience minor structural collapses   He said,

“The Waqf carries out illegal and unsupervised digging and construction. Jews are restricted and are not allowed near the buildings. Not only is the Temple Mount archaeologically significant, but it is honeycombed with tunnels that were used in the Temples. It is dangerous to dig there.”

Akiva Ariel – Beyadenu

Eilat Mazar, a noted archaeologist and expert on the Temple Mount, conjectured that a major disaster at the site was imminent.

“It is falling apart.  It is just a matter of time until some big section of the inside of the compound will fall in from the weight of tens of thousands of Muslims, from trucks, from the next earthquake.”

Eilat Mazar

The Bible warns of earthquakes hitting this area in the last days:

Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel … and every wall shall fall to the ground.

Ezekiel 38.19-20

See also Zechariah 14.5, Revelation 16.18

Some Jewish and Christian interpreters believe the collapse of these mosques will precede the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in connection with the coming of the Messiah.

Tony Pearce

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