Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Modern Warfare: Apocalypse Edition, Vol. 2 - Pete Garcia -
But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:4
Over the past 3,000 years, we have seen how new technologies (i.e., Revolutions in Military Affairs, or RMAs) could not only change the course of a battle, but also the destiny of an empire. The sling shot, the armored chariot, the phalanx, the bow and arrow, catapults, gunpowder, manned flight, and the atom bomb are just a few of these RMAs which have repeatedly shaped the course of history. The 21st-century is also promising to add to the already long list of deadly achievements man has arrived at, with artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nanotechnology, unmanned air/ground/sea systems, biometric technologies, sonic/acoustic weapons, energy-directed weapons, and so forth.
While the nature of war (why we fight) rarely changes, the character (how we fight) is always marching toward greater methods of devastation and destruction. That got me thinking about the final battle we see in Scripture at our Lord's return...the battle of Armageddon. So is the rapid modernization we see today, simply a byproduct of Moore's Law (the doubling of technology), or is there a more nefarious reason why things in research and defense industry (and technology in general) have gotten so weird?
Which brings us to the speed at which knowledge is accumulating. For most of human history, technological achievements moved slowly. However, starting in the late 19th-century, things began to change very rapidly. Granted, this largely depended on the specific fields of study per se, as the old saying goes, a rising tide raises all boats. According to the website industrytap.com, the author notes the following,
Buckminster Fuller created the "Knowledge Doubling Curve"; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the "internet of things" will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. (Link)
Beginning with the first industrial revolution (circa 1780s), mankind began to harness power through steam and water. The second industrial revolution (circa 1870s), introduced the assembly line, mass production, and the harnessing of electricity. It was here also that we see the birth of the automobile and manned flight. The third industrial revolution (circa 1970s), allowed for electronics, computers, and automation to process increasingly larger amounts of information in shorter periods of time. The fourth industrial revolution (circa present day) saw the introduction of cyber physical systems, the internet of things, quantum technology, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, digital networks, etc.
This last revolution vastly multiplied man's ability to harness enormous amounts of information in a fraction of time and space. If usable and qualified information equals intelligence, then intelligence drives operations and operations drives logistics. What this means is that the more we find out, the more we act in accordance with that knowledge. That knowledge equals action, which equals our need to resource said action. This means that the speed at which we receive and process information is intricately linked to our economic situation.
The production for war materials (guns, bullets, bombs, tanks, etc.) had been kicked into overdrive at the outset of the second industrial revolution, which heralded a pre-World War I European arms race. Once mankind learned how to mass-produce war materials (via assembly line), nations quickly raced to amass large amounts of weapons and ammunition. This has been the mainstay for the past 120 years or more. As new technologies emerged (submarines, planes, atom bombs, etc.), nations quickly raced to out produce each other in order to maintain some type of militaristic edge. But as fate would have it, the knowledge used to produce this powerful technology quickly proliferated to less ethically constrained nations. Furthermore, the more advanced the weapons, the more advanced our technology became we used to either control or offset our enemies weapons. However, arms races cost money, and for the last seventy-years, the United States was able to out-produce friend and foe alike.
The problem we are running into with our current world order is that our geopolitical and economic systems are still largely tied to a 20th-century model, and this is not conducive to the scenario the Bible lays out. This means that the United States role at the top of the geopolitical pyramid is problematic to both Satan's agenda and to what the Bible says will come to pass. [Perhaps explains the supernatural hatred towards Trump and his MAGA campaign] Something has to give in order for the current world order to be reimaged into the coming new world order called The Beast.
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Revelation 13:1
The Bible states that a final kingdom is coming, and it is not the United States. Or at the very least, it is not the US in its current configuration. This beast begins after some crisis removes the US as the current world leader. It then forms a global government that controls all the economies of the world first, and then the politics second, and lastly the world's militaries. The mother of all Hegelian-dialectic scenarios.
The Apostle John in his first epistle, notes that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, is antichrist (1 John 2:22). He goes on to note that many even in his day, many were antichrist. However, he also notes that there is a particular man, who is the Antichrist (1 John 2:18). We do not know who this man is, but we can be reasonably assured, that he is alive today somewhere in the world. He seemingly comes out of one of the provinces that Alexander the Great had given over to his generals upon his death (Daniel 8:8-14). Could this be where the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) finally comes into play?
When this crisis happens, he (the Antichrist) takes advantage of the situation and begins to take charge. He seemingly has all the answers to the problems, and more importantly, he has the full backing of Satan (Luke 4:6, 2 Thess. 2:9). His solution will be to get the world (broken into ten regions after the Rapture) to give him all their authority and create a singular system to govern all life on planet earth.
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2
Moreover, because we are in the digital age, and our economies are already largely tied together through cyber networks, an economic coup d'état is easier today, than it ever has been. Because so much has already been prepared and readied for a one-currency system all based upon the US dollar today, all it will take is a little nudge to get the nations lined up. If the US Dollar crashes, it will drag every other currency down with it. Out of the ashes, a financial phoenix will arise, probably some form of quantum-based, crypto-currency. This currency then will be directly linked with party affiliation and biometrics.
This is very much the same as how for example, the 2001 Patriot Act came to be. The Patriot Act (or the core of it) was written both before (1995 Omnibus Counterterrorism Act) and after the Oklahoma City bombing (1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act). Once 9/11 happened, there was enough political consensus and raw emotion to simply add in the additional intelligence sharing and collecting measures to make it broad sweeping in scope. This has since been renewed in four-year intervals often adding to the original provision. What could not be done by the government (Constitutional constraints aside) was simply handed to private businesses such as cell phone companies, social media, or internet companies to hold on behalf of the government for later collection.
All that to say this...when this final government comes into being, it may not be this grand sweeping entrance on to the global stage as many are led to believe. This world government is already here, and has been coming in stages for quite some time. What the Rapture does in terms of geopolitical effects, is gives mankind that final nudge to abandon nationalism forever. The creeping Orwellian antiterrorism measures we have seen expanded over the last few decades could not have passed, were it not for the devastating terrorist attacks of Oklahoma and 9/11. Again, crisis proves the perfect catalyst for rapid change. So where are we today in terms of seeing this final government coming into being?
However, creating an all-powerful and overarching global government would still be a daunting, high impossible task, were it not for our technological advancements. The world would need an Internet system and computers powerful enough to blanket the entire earth. Although we do not see it today, the process for free global internet has already begun, albeit, it also is being done in stages. The justification seems altruistic enough (providing free internet access to those around the world who either don't have it, or can't afford it). But like everything else, what begins as something for mankind, will quickly become something that is used against mankind.
Furthermore, with quantum computing and cloud technology coming into the fray more and more each day, this final government system will not only have the global reach, but the power to process massive amounts of information effortlessly and limitlessly. This will not only be used for tying all of the world's economies together, but will also be used for global surveillance, biometrics, military and political messages and campaigns, artificial intelligence, and information warfare, simultaneously. The race is on amongst tech companies (IBM, Google, D-Wave, and Rigetti) to see who will gain quantum supremacy first. But not just amongst private industries, but nations:
The European Commission is preparing the ground for the launch in 2018 of a €1 billion flagship initiative on quantum technologies, which can put Europe at the forefront of the second quantum revolution, bringing transformative advances to science, industry and society. The flagship initiative is expected to turn Europe's excellent research results in areas like quantum secure communication, quantum sensing and quantum simulation and computing into concrete technological opportunities that can be taken up by industry.
In terms of national unity, the EU leads the world in their efforts to achieve quantum supremacy and even have a quantum manifesto. However, it is not just the 1B euros they are dropping on this quantum bet, but also the 80B euros have invested in technological growth and research in their project Horizon 2020. They are determined to lead, and I believe that what John sees in Revelation 13's imagery, is this manifestation of a revived Roman Empire coming on the heels of a major crisis such as the Rapture, aided by this new quantum technology breakthrough. When this breakthrough happens, it will absolutely revolutionize how people live on earth. In fact, it will be so groundbreaking in terms of its power and scope, the world will say...who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? (Rev. 13:4)
Nevertheless, all in its appointed time.
What John also sees, is global government being displayed as having seven heads and ten crowns. It will be arrayed with subordinate commands that function at the regional levels. Below them will be the nation-states, who all of which, are subordinate to the Beast. However, at a certain point in time, all of that government's power and authority will be concentrated into the hands of just one man, the Antichrist, largely aided by another man, the False Prophet.
So how do we get from where we are today, to where the Bible says we will be in such a short period of time?
The final nudge into this system will come after the crisis of the Rapture.
If necessity is the mother of all inventions, then necessity rooted in the mother of all crisis's, invents this final governmental system.
However, change like that is exceedingly painful (i.e., replacing dying empires), and nations at the top will not go quietly into the night. This means two things are certain on our horizon, the Rapture of the Church, and total war.
The Rapture of the Church (the Blessed Hope) will decimate the United States, and to lesser degrees, the rest of the world. When Christ removes His Church from the earth, it will force a change to the current world order. Since we can know without any hesitation that the Bible teaches a pre-Tribulation Rapture, this means that that change to the world order will happen immediately after. This also means that total war is on the horizon, because nations less effected will jockey to fill the vacuum left by the world's undisputed superpower. The EU will win that race to fill the vacuum, by way of the heavy investments in technology today. That fits exactly what the Bible says will happen here in the not-too-distant future.
What's On & Off The Table When It Comes To Middle East Peace - By Sean Savage -
Long eluding his predecessors, U.S. President Donald Trump has not shied away from attempting to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he has called the "deal of the century."
Trump has broken with previous administrations by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocating the U.S. embassy there. While relations with Israel may be at an all-time high, the same cannot be said of the Palestinians, who have officially boycotted the Trump administration since last year's announcement over Jerusalem and what they perceive as favoritism towards Israel at present.
In recent weeks, tensions between the Palestinians and Trump have increased with the Trump administration cutting more than $200 million in assistance to the Palestinians. This also comes as the Trump administration has withheld $65 million to UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency dedicated solely to the needs of Palestinian refugees, with additional reports indicating that the United States may cut all funding to UNRWA in the coming weeks.
The growing strain has also been exacerbated by speculation over the announcement of plan by the administration to bring forth a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and expert on Palestinian politics, told JNS that the intent of the Trump administration's cuts targeting the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA seem to be geared towards weakening the Palestinian's negotiating position ahead of talks.
"The logic here seems to be an intent to weaken the Palestinian negotiating position before rolling out the peace process, with the intent of offering a lifeline to lure them into a new paradigm," he said. "The cuts to the P.A. and UNRWA certainly have the potential to be destabilizing. It really depends on how long this period lasts. It should not be prolonged if the intent is to prevent instability."
Yet Ghaith al-Omari, an expert on Palestinian and Arab matters for the Washington Institution for Near East Policy, said the cuts by the Trump administration will likely play right into the hands of the Palestinian leadership.
"These cuts will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza, but the public anger will be directed against the U.S. and Israel not the P.A.," he said. "The angry mood created by these measures plays into the P.A.'s hands as it reinforces [Mahmoud] Abbas's rhetoric casting the Trump administration as an antagonist."
As such, al-Omari believes that this will bolster the Palestinian public's support for Abbas not to engage with Trump, while also possibly producing volatility in the West Bank and Gaza.
"These cuts could produce instability that could manifest in a deteriorating security atmosphere in the West Bank and Gaza dues to the worsening humanitarian conditions," he said.
Tackling UNRWA 'head on'
Nevertheless, the Trump administration has begun targeting UNRWA with the hope of reforming the institution that provides services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees. Detractors have argued that UNRWA, which counts every Arab who fled during the 1948 War of Independence and their descendants as refugees--an arrangement that is exclusive to just the Palestinian refugees--has helped to perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by keeping millions of Palestinians as permanent refugees.
"We will be a donor if it [UNRWA] reforms what it does ... if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said recently.
Additional reports have also indicated that the Trump administration may officially refute the Palestinian "right of return."
Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and a co-author of the 2013 book Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief, explains that the cuts by the Trump administration to UNRWA will help raise awareness over the issues concerning UNRWA.
"I suspect the cuts will be part of the preconditions for talks which the P.A. will reject. That said, [they] will ultimately raise national awareness re: UNRWA's functionality," he said.
"It also sheds light on the subversive dynamic between UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership; the existence of UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority to continue shirking core responsibilities towards its citizens," he added.
While the United States has not ignored the issue of UNRWA in the past--with a number of congressional resolutions seeking to limit or cut off funding, as well as promoting transparency and accountability in regards to UNRWA since the 1970s--Romirowsky said this is the first time the issue has been tackled head on.
"Understanding the way that UNRWA helps perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem reveals an entrenched and dysfunctional bureaucracy, accustomed to 70 years of international welfare, including over $370 million from the U.S. in 2016," he said.
Involving the Arab world in peace talks
At the same time, reports over the past year have emerged indicating that the Trump administration has been reaching out to Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, which has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, to play a role in facilitating peace. Reports have even gone as far as to suggest that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states may normalize relations with Israel before striking a deal with the Palestinians.
"The Trump administration initially tried to build on the shared Israel and Arab concerns regarding Iran in order to adopt the 'outside-in' approach, whereby they sought to convince Arab states to open relations with Israel before a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal is concluded," said al-Omari. "These efforts were bound to fail since Arab states have traditionally and consistently been unwilling to pay the political and diplomatic price of publicly opposing or even going ahead of the Palestinians on such an emotive issue."
In June, both Kushner and Greenblatt visited several Arab states--Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar--in a bid to reportedly drum up support ahead of the Trump administration's rollout of its peace plan. Kushner and Greenblatt also discussed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman about providing humanitarian relief to the Gaza Strip, according to the White House at the time.
Additional reports have also circulated regarding Israel attempting to form a long-term truce with Hamas through indirect negotiations via Egypt and other Arab states, such as Qatar.
Nevertheless, Schanzer believes that the Arab Gulf states remain key to the success or failure any peace deal for the Trump administration.
"If the Gulf states can exert their influence and push the Palestinians toward the Trump position--whatever that may be--then there is a fighting chance for success. It certainly won't be the United States or even members of the [Middle East] Quartet fulfilling this role," he said.
The 'deal of the century'
Moving forward, it is unclear exactly what type of plan the Trump administration aims to introduce. Experts are split on whether or not Trump will continue support for a two-state solution or introduce a new paradigm to the equation.
"From what we can see, this will be vastly different. Every other process has brought the Palestinians and Israelis to the table as equals,' said Schanzer. "The Trump team will do no such thing."
"What we are seeing is a dynamic that is reflective of the actual dynamic on the ground--one in which the Israelis have significant power and assets, and the Palestinians do not. This will be the starting point in these negotiations. We will soon find out whether this is a successful strategy."
However, al-Omari believes that while a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be "welcome" if it takes core issues like Jerusalem and refugees "off the table," then that could doom any prospects it might have.
"Such an approach is bound to be robustly opposed not only by the Palestinians," he said, "but also by various Arab states, including U.S. allies such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia."
Awesome - By Daymond Duck -
It is awesome to watch God setting up the fulfillment of remarkable end-of-the-age Bible prophecies.
His power and accuracy are mind-blowing, awe-inspiring and magnificent.
Here are four remarkable examples:
First, in past articles I have mentioned that God said the Euphrates River will dry up during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 16:12), and He said there will be streams and pools of water in the desert during the Millennium (Isa. 35:6-7).
It has occurred to me that He was talking about rivers in two different nations: probably Iraq and Israel; and the signs are just the opposite.
In one nation, a river will dry up, and in another nation the rivers (plural) will flow in the desert.
It is amazing, but dams and about five years of drought have greatly reduced the annual water flow in the Euphrates River.
The drought has also impacted Israel, but that nation has appropriated money to build desalination plants to rehabilitate seven rivers (plural) there.
So, in one nation, the once lush green Fertile Crescent is becoming a brown wasteland.
And in the other nation, preparations are being made for water to flow in the desert.
Second, the Antichrist will establish his military headquarters in Israel during the Tribulation Period.
On Aug. 17, 2018, the head of the UN wannabe world government, Sec. Gen. Antonio Guterres, released a report suggesting that armed UN forces could be deployed to Israel to protect the Palestinian civilian population.
God's prophecies are reliable: About 2,500 years ago, God wrote that the Antichrist will deploy troops to Israel at the time of the end, and the UN wants to deploy troops to Israel (Dan. 11:41-45).
Third, when asked about the signs of His coming and of the end of the age, Jesus said there will be earthquakes in different places (Matt. 24:3-7).
Some Scriptures teach that they will be like birth pains (increase in frequency and intensity as the end of the age approaches).
On Aug. 24, 2018, Michael Snyder posted an excellent article on zerohedge.com, documenting that the number of earthquakes on earth have been 50% above normal in the last 30 days; and some of them have been unusually strong.
Fourth, it is incredible, but the November mid-term elections may be the most important we have ever faced.
We know that the Mark of the Beast will be used to control people.
The Antichrist and False Prophet will identify and kill those who don't support their world religion and world government (Rev. 13:14-18).
The U.S. is now moving into that kind of scenario, and it represents a great danger to America and the world.
In an effort to control what people think, what they say and how they vote, several social media tech firms (groups such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Spotify, Twitter, etc.) are starting to control what is distributed over their platforms.
Several ministries and conservative groups (American Family Radio, Alex Jones, Dennis Prager, Jim Hanson, Pres. Trump) have already been temporarily suspended or banned from posting information by one or more of these media groups.
There have been studies that prove this is happening.
Some politicians and media are blaming the Russians for intervening in the last U.S. election, but they are saying little to nothing about the social media intervening in the upcoming U.S. elections.
Pres. Trump got into the fray by Tweeting against social media censorship.
Multi-billionaire George Soros is funneling millions of dollars into media groups in an effort to control people and influence who rules over us and who makes the rules.
I saw a report on TV about a Stanford University study that found that George Soros voting machines swayed the last Democrat Party Presidential Nomination in Mrs. Clinton's favor.
The November elections could cost Americans their freedoms of religion and speech, their right to assemble and bear arms, and more.
If that happens, Americans will never get their rights back, and the coming satanic government will be on a fast track to gain control of the world.
Contact information for the U.S. House of Representatives is available at:
Contact information for the U.S. Senate is available at: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
The phone number of the United States Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you with the office of the Senator you want to contact.
Censoring or silencing perhaps as much as half of America before the November elections needs to be addressed immediately.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Palestinian Refugees: Trump's Reality Check - by Ruthie Blum - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12942/palestinian-refugees-unrwa-reality
The Trump administration's reported plan to overturn US policy on the issue of Palestinian refugees is long overdue. According, initially, to media reports, the new policy -- scheduled to be unveiled in early September and based on sealed classified information from the US State Department -- will reduce the number of Palestinians defined by the UN as "refugees" from five million to 500,000, thus refuting the figures claimed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The UN figures include descendants (not only children, but grandchildren and great grandchildren) of Palestinians across the world who have never even set foot in Israel, the Gaza Strip or the Palestinian Authority (PA). The new plan will also apparently include a rejection of the Palestinians' so-called "right of return" to Israel of refugees and their descendants.
Washington also announced that it is cutting all US funding to UNRWA, and will reportedly "ask Israel to 'reconsider' the mandate it gives UNRWA to operate in the West Bank."
This reining in of UNRWA operations -- which began in January 2018, when President Donald Trump imposed a $65 million freeze on America's annual funding -- is significant, as it is the first time an American administration has actually sought out and acted upon evidence about the Palestinian refugee organization. Until now, the US has continued to provide billions of dollars to UNRWA, even as monitoring organizations - such as UN Watch, Palestinian Media Watch and NGO Monitor - have repeatedly exposed the complete and ongoing abuse of its mandate, which is already rather a marvel:
"A more precise working definition of a mandate is difficult but necessary to determine how UNRWA's mandate is derived. The Secretary-General recently discussed the meaning of the term for the purposes of identifying and analysing mandates originating from resolutions of the General Assembly and other organs. The Secretary-General referred to the nature and definition of mandates for the purpose of his exercise:
"...Mandates are both conceptual and specific; they can articulate newly developed international norms, provide strategic policy direction on substantive and administrative issues, or request specific conferences, activities, operations and reports.
"For this reason, mandates are not easily defined or quantifiable; a concrete legal definition of a mandate does not exist....
"Although the term "Palestine refugee" is central to UNRWA's mandate, the General Assembly has not expressly defined it. The General Assembly has tacitly approved the operational definition used in annual reports of the Commissioner- General setting out the definition. The operational definition has evolved slightly through Agency internal instructions but in practice there are political and institutional limits on the extent to which the Agency is able to develop the definition itself...." (Emphasis added)
Even more disturbing is that a State Department report delivered to Congress in 2015, which revealed crucial information about UNRWA's purposeful inflation of the number of Palestinian refugees, was marked as "classified" and its findings purposely kept hidden. The existence of the report was exposed by the Washington Free Beacon in January 2018, nearly three years later. In April, when the report still had not been made public, 51 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter -- spurred by the Middle East Forum -- calling on Trump to declassify the report.
The letter reads, in part:
"...America has provided $1 billion to [UNRWA] over the last four fiscal years, and nearly $6 billion since UNRWA's inception in 1950. We are concerned that American taxpayer dollars are not being used properly. Your withholding of funds from UNRWA in January on the condition that they reform was a tremendous first step. American taxpayers deserve to know how they tax dollars are spent on Palestinian refugees and their descendants...
"In order to investigate the matter, the Senate Report 112-172 to the Department of State, Foreign Operations, And Related Programs Appropriations bill in 2012 directed the Department of State to issue a report to Congress detailing 'the approximate number of people who, in the past year, have received UNRWA services: (1) whose place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948 and who were displaces as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict; and (2) who are [their] descendants...
"...Finally, in 2015, the Obama State Department delivered the mandated report to Congress in classified form despite no apparent national security threat or known historical precedent...We believe this classification was inappropriate and a deliberate attempt to conceal information from American taxpayers..."
A subsequent appeal was issued in July, when members of the Congress called on the State Department to release the report. Now, it appears, not only are the findings about to be made public, but they are going to serve as the basis for the White House's new policy.
When asked about this new policy during the August 28 National Security Summit of the Washington, DC-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley explained the administration's increasingly tough stance towards UNRWA specifically and the Palestinian leadership in general:
"When you look at UNRWA... you're looking at the fact that, yes, there's an endless number of refugees that, continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the [Palestinian government continues] to bash America... They have their hand out wanting UNRWA money. We were supposed to, the last time, give them $130 million. We cut it in half, saying that they really needed to reform and fix the things they were doing, because they teach anti-Israeli and anti-American things in their textbooks. They are not necessarily doing things that would cause peace... it's very political..."
In a comprehensive 2017 piece on UNRWA, former Israeli Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker detailed just how "political" the organization has become:
"... UNRWA by its own admission, has proudly evolved from a temporary relief and works program into a broad social welfare organization within Palestinian society. It has become an independent political body, based solely on the continuing existence of the refugee issue. It maintains its own independent political interests, policies, and funding mechanisms.
"UNRWA employs 30,000 people, almost all Palestinian and some complicit in acts of violence and terror against Israel such as allowing Hamas rockets to be stored in and fired from UNRWA schools or grounds. In one case, after the weapons' discovery, UNRWA handed the rockets to Gaza government officials - in other words, back to Hamas officials."
It is thus surprising that Israeli defense officials reportedly responded to early reports of an impending US defunding of UNRWA with trepidation, apparently on the grounds that the move could "create a vacuum in the provision of basic services in the [Gaza] Strip, where the majority of residents are dependent on the organization," and "may strengthen the Hamas terror group in Gaza and endanger Israel's security."
These officials are wrong, according to former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor. In a recent op-ed in Israel Hayom, Prosor writes, in part:
"It is high time these officials realize that UNRWA - the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - is not the solution, but the problem. It is hard to believe that in Israel, of all places, these officials claim to be in favor of finding a solution to the seven-decade-long refugee problem, but when push comes to shove, it seems the timing is never right.
"Established for the exclusive benefit of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has, instead of resolving the problem, done everything in its power to perpetuate it. Instead of peace and coexistence, it teaches hatred and incitement. Instead of fighting terrorist organizations, it collaborates with them... I am glad Washington finally gets it and I hope the people at IDF headquarters will soon come to their senses...
"While it is in Israel's long-term interest that UNRWA be closed, in practice the defense establishment acts as the agency's representative. Following the media reports, it took less than 24 hours for the fear-mongering to begin, with officials arguing that ending UNRWA's operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would result in Israel being made to bear the burden of providing the education, health and welfare services for which the agency is currently responsible...
"There may be difficulties in the short term, but in the long term this action must be taken. We cannot allow tactical concerns to dictate policy and perpetuate a strategic problem.
"Responsibility for the Palestinians and the UNRWA budgets could be transferred to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which looks after the rest of the world's refugees and, unlike UNRWA, works toward solving the refugee problem instead of perpetuating it.
"Alternatively, U.N. agencies that already operate in the region, such as the United Nations Development Program, could be tasked with the job.
"Another option is to transfer the budgets directly to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, where UNRWA's presence is particularly problematic. As things stand today, the budgets are allocated to UNRWA, which cooperates with Hamas which in turn acts against the PA. Transferring the authority and the funds to Ramallah would serve to strengthen the PA."
Prosor concludes by praising Washington for "see[ing] things more clearly than they do in Tel Aviv," and urging Israel to adopt Trump's reported plan "wholeheartedly," as "the only way for the refugee problem to be resolved and possibly for us to come closer to finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Whether or not Prosor's suggestions would create more fertile ground for the Palestinian Authority to make its peace with the existence of the state of Israel has yet to be determined. What is clear is that the current PA leadership has been exhibiting open hostility to the US over the past 9 months.
As Gatestone's Bassam Tawil reported recently:
"The Palestinians are basically telling the Americans: We have the right to condemn you every day, to burn your flags and photos of your president, to incite against you, to launch weekly protests against you, to accuse you of being under the 'influence of the Jewish and Zionist lobby' and, at the same time, we have the right to continue receiving US taxpayer money...
"The ongoing Palestinian rhetorical attacks on the US administration are dangerous because they further radicalize the Palestinian public and turn the Americans into an enemy in the eyes of many Palestinians. In recent months, we have seen increased hostility towards American officials and citizens visiting the West Bank as a direct result of this incitement...
"The Palestinians are now accusing the US of attempting to "blackmail" them by cutting the funds. According to the Palestinians, the US administration wants to force them to accept Trump's yet-to-be-unveiled plan for peace in the Middle East.
"It is worth noting, however, that the US administration has not yet presented its purported plan to the Palestinians or to any other party. So how can the US administration be trying to pressure or "blackmail" the Palestinians when no peace plan has ever been made public? Can the Palestinians point to one US administration official who asked them to accept the unseen plan or support Trump's policies? Of course not.
"There is indeed blackmail going on -- but in precisely the opposite direction. The Palestinians are trying to blackmail the US by claiming, absurdly, that the recent US decisions jeopardize the two-state solution and prospects for peace in the Middle East.
"These are the very Palestinians, however, who have refused to resume peace talks with Israel for the past four years, since long before Trump was elected as president."
President Trump, apparently realizing this, has been sending a clear message to Palestinian leaders that they will no longer be permitted to use American money to perpetuate a refugee crisis that could long ago have been solved; to incite their populace to violence and terrorism through financial and other incentives -- and then expect to be rewarded for it; and to reject all peace overtures. Cutting UNRWA's funding seems to be a fine place to start.
Daily Jot: Football, prayer and the National Anthem
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." On March 15, 1982, President Ronald Reagan said, "The first amendment was not written to protect the American people from religion; the first amendment was written to protect the American people from government tyranny." On September 25, 1982, Reagan said, "To prevent those who believe in God from expressing their faith is an outrage...The relentless drive to eliminate God from our schools...should be stopped."
As we begin football season, there are two issues that will undoubtedly rise to the top. Prayer and the National Anthem. The Supreme Court, wrongly in my opinion, ruled in June 2000 that public schools cannot allow student-led prayer over the public address system before high school football games. Protests during the National Anthem will also be an issue that will cause many to abandon their watching of football games. A recent NBC poll indicates that 54% of Americans oppose protests during the National Anthem. But the divide is even deeper between Republicans and Democrats. Some 88% of Republicans oppose taking a knee during the Anthem, while 72% of Democrats approve of the protests.
I coached basketball and football for over 40 years. Prior to our first game of the season, either myself or someone on my coaching staff would discuss the Anthem and the historic reason of why it is important to stand. I never had an athlete not stand for the Anthem. But we never forced them to stand. Also, whatever team I coached, either myself, another coach, a parent, or an athlete led prayer before the game and after the game. We even prayed during the game (for sure!). My former athletes often tell me about how our coaching and dedication to the Lord changed them at critical points. In training college and pro football athletes, there is no doubt that faith, prayer, and love of country are integral to most of their lives.
First Amendment freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion is for anywhere, anytime and anybody. Judges who rule against the plain language of the First Amendment should be removed from office. Also, when people understand the gravity of the Anthem, they are more likely to stand. Hear me out-I believe people should stand, but if they are forced to stand, they are still sitting in their hearts. Notwithstanding, companies have a right to enforce their policies, and if you want to keep your job, you comply. But I love the example of when the Sadducees in Acts banned Peter and the apostles from teaching in the name of Jesus, "Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." God is a God of freedom. As we accept his liberty, we should obey God's precepts-not man's.
Daily Devotion: It's Wake-Up Time for America
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. -Proverbs 14:34
I read about an interesting new alarm clock called the Wake n' Bacon, which makes it possible to wake up to the smell of bacon every morning. Before you go to bed, you simply place a piece of frozen bacon inside this special clock. Then, ten minutes before you wake up, the bacon starts cooking so you will awake to that amazing smell. I love the smell of bacon, so I may have to buy one of those clocks.
I think it is time for our nation to wake up and smell the bacon, so to speak. As we look at end-times events in the Bible, it is alarming not to find the reigning superpower on the face of the earth, the United States of America, in the last-days chain of events.
We can certainly find the nation of Israel. We can find Iran. And I think a pretty good case can be made for Russia and perhaps even China being found in the prophetic scenario. But we can't find the United States.
Every nation has a lifespan. Every nation has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The might of ancient Babylon only lasted for 86 years. The powerful Persian Empire did a bit better at 208 years. The glory of Greece was eclipsed after 268 years. Mighty Rome ruled for almost nine centuries. The British Empire endured for some 250 years in her great power. The United States of America is around 242 years old and counting. Every nation's days are numbered.
Proverbs 14:34 says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." If we turn from righteousness, if we turn from God, we will face the consequences. If we abandon God, if we forget God, there will be consequences to pay.
FROM THE HEART
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