Israel’s new government and annexation of territories.
One result of the coronavirus crisis has been to propel the two main parties, Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White led by Benny Gantz to create a unity government in order to break the deadlock and deal with the crisis. Netanyahu will now function as Prime Minister for 18 months after which Gantz will take over for the next 18 months.
In his speech before the swearing-in ceremony, Netanyahu proposed extending Israeli law and thereby moving towards annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu said, “It’s time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism.”
Going ahead with this plan will cause a backlash against Israel from the Arab world, particularly Jordan which has threatened to abandon its peace treaty with Israel if this happens. The EU has warned of sanctions against Israel if this happens and the US Democrats hoping to unseat President Trump also oppose it. It could also cause unrest in the Palestinian areas.
Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy, said that he believes Israel will implement the plan, because it lines up with the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan and “makes it clear it is important for our security and removes from the table all suggestions for alternative security arrangements that are not good for us.”
Netanyahu is keen to get this plan moving so he can create ‘facts on the ground’ while Trump remains President on the USA and before Gantz becomes Israel’s PM. Since this territory is the area surrounding Jerusalem and the heartland of biblical Israel, a controversy over its status lines up with the biblical prophecy of Jerusalem being a burdensome stone to all nations in the last days before Messiah returns (Zechariah 12).
Iran’s Final Solution.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei posted online an anti-Semitic poster depicting a ‘free Palestine’ devoid of Jews in Jerusalem. The poster read: “Palestine will be free. The final solution.” The poster shows a cartoon drawing of Palestinians and, what seem to be Iranian troops, waving Palestinian, Hezbollah and other Islamic related flags, in Jerusalem. The city appears empty of Jews, presumably killed or removed from the land. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini, denounced Israel as a “deadly, cancerous tumour” which will be ‘uprooted and destroyed.’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded: “Khamenei’s threats to carry out ‘The Final Solution’ against Israel bring to mind the Nazi ‘Final Solution’ plan to annihilate the Jewish People.” He warned that ‘any regime that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel faces a similar danger.”
Despite Iran’s bravado, on the ground things are going very badly for Iran. An Israeli security official said Iran has begun pulling troops out of Syria for the first time since its involvement in the civil war as Israel mounts successful raids on Iranian targets and Russia begins to see the Iranians as a liability rather than a help in their plans for Syria.
Iran also stands accused of spreading the coronavirus in the Middle East. Several Middle Eastern countries have reported that the COVID-19 outbreak began after Iranians visited or after citizens of these countries returned from Iran. The Iranian regime is accused of hiding the full scale of the Corona pandemic. The regime claims that there are 103,035 COVID-19 cases in Iran, and put the death toll on 6,486, while the opposition reports indicate that the numbers of cases and deaths are at least six times higher. As many as 1.5 million Iranians have tested positive for the coronavirus, and that the true death toll exceeds 50,000.
There’s unrest inside the regime and the Iranian security forces and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are hard hit by the pandemic. One IRGC unit has been reduced to half strength, according to the Iranian expert. This could explain why Iran is re-grouping in Syria and has reduced its anti-Israel activities in the country. The worsening situation for the Khamenei regime increases the chance of regime change in Iran. Large numbers of people now live below the poverty line and disillusion with the Islamic Regime is growing all the time.
This means an Iranian attack on Israel is not likely in the short term. The ayatollahs haven’t given up their ambitious plan to eliminate the Jewish state, but they are currently pre-occupied with far more pressing internal affairs.
Rabbi warns Jews to return to Israel.
Rabbi Fish has issued this warning to all Jews in the diaspora to return to Israel and prepare for the imminent arrival of the Messiah. “This announcement must be spread to the entire world. This is an imminent emergency. All Jews in exile around the world must come to Israel immediately. They are all in grave danger.”
He gives a somewhat complex explanation, based on Jewish mystical teaching, of why the Shechina, the presence of God, is no longer protecting the Jews in diaspora and says that, lacking the Shechina, the Jews outside of Israel have no protection. “They are only protected by the merit of their own mitzvoth (Torah commandments) which are not nearly enough to protect them from the terrible catastrophes which are, God forbid, waiting to come into the world by way of the haters of Israel. Whoever stays there will be in dire straits. All the protection has moved to Israel to protect the Jewish people there. If the Jews do not return from exile now, all the gates will be closed to them.”
He also related the coronavirus crisis to the ‘first pangs of childbirth’ before the dawn of the Messianic era. “We are all trapped inside, like a baby in the womb,” Rabbi Fish explained. “Just as the Second Temple was destroyed because of Jews hating each other, this disease is coming because of division among the Jews. Jews are being forced to be alone, to separate from their community. The tikkun (fixing) is to come out of this with greater unity, clean of hatred for our brothers, to clean ourselves of slanderous speech, for Jews in the exile to remember that their home, their family, and their father, are all in Israel.”
He says the Jews need to regather in Israel to await the imminent arrival of Messiah.
“It is certainly a mitzvah to anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, to believe with absolute certainty that the Messiah is right outside the door, and to act accordingly. Just a few years ago, these rabbis and mystics were not speaking about the final redemption and the arrival of the Messiah in these terms. But now they are. World events are also turning in a way never seen before.”
He says that the Jews must return to Israel from the diaspora because they are no longer under protection there and face the threat of anti-Semitism rising. Jews must come into union with each other (stop the division between secular and religious, and different kinds of religious Jews) and prepare for the imminent coming of the Messiah.
The rabbi does not believe that the coming of the Messiah has anything to do with Yeshua / Jesus of Nazareth, the suffering servant Messiah of Isaiah 53, who is coming again with all power at His disposal to bring in the Messianic kingdom, reigning in power from Jerusalem from the restored Temple as we see in Isaiah 2.1-4 and Ezekiel 40-48 and Zechariah 14.
He says ‘Just as the Second Temple was destroyed because of Jews hating each other, this disease is coming because of division among the Jews.’ Hatred among brothers is the standard rabbinic explanation for the destruction of the Second Temple. There is no scriptural justification for this teaching. Yeshua said the temple would be destroyed ‘because you did not know the time of your visitation’ (Luke 19.44). Israel’s religious leadership failed to recognise Yeshua as the Messiah when he ‘visited’ the earth and died for our sins and rose again from the dead. This is the true cause for the disaster which followed for Judaism and the Jewish people in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion into the nations. Daniel 9.26 also makes this connection. ‘And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall [a]be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.’
The last days’ programme will cause the correction of this error. Zechariah 12-14 shows that the time of war and desolation for Jerusalem will come to an end when Yeshua is recognised as Messiah and returns to take up His place as King of Israel and the world in the Millennium. Jeremiah 30 shows that God will correct this historic mistake the Jewish people have made in the coming time of tribulation as they ‘look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only Son.’ Zechariah 12.10. Jesus said to Jerusalem ‘You will not see Me again until you say ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’ – Baruch ha ba be shem Adonai, the traditional greeting for the coming of the Messiah. Matthew 23.39.
Row breaks out over God TV in Israel.
A new Messianic Jewish cable channel on mainstream Israel television has caused a stir across the country. Many Israelis see this as an attempt to convert Jews to Christianity, though the channel is run and hosted by Hebrew-speaking Messianic Jews. Historically, Messianics have been prevented access to all forms of Israeli media, including newspaper, radio, or television. This is the first time a mainstream media company has agreed to broadcast openly Messianic Jewish content.
The media buzz over the Messianic station has drawn even more attention to the channel to the consternation of the those opposed to the Messianic broadcast. Even some Christians are trying to shut the channel down, claiming it is offensive to preach the Gospel to Jews to this from one of the station’s Messianic producers.
The Messianic channel called “Shelanu” (‘Ours’ in Hebrew referring to the Jewish Messiah) is being broadcast daily on the HOT cable service since March 28th. HOT is Israel’s largest cable service with close to a million subscribers.
Since the Corona pandemic, Messianics are reporting unparalleled viewing on their Internet sites and live broadcasts. For many in Israel, this has been their first introduction to Yeshua (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah, in the Hebrew language by Jewish Israelis citizens.