BREAKING: U.S., Saudis & UAE say Iran responsible for sabotaging oil tankers in Gulf. How will White House & Arab allies respond? Is military force being planned?

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on BREAKING: U.S., Saudis & UAE say Iran responsible for sabotaging oil tankers in Gulf. How will White House & Arab allies respond? Is military force being planned?
Jun 142019
 

Gulf-oiltanker(Jerusalem, Israel) — Tensions are spiking between Iran, the United States and a group of Gulf Arab countries. Indeed, we may closer to a military confrontation with Tehran than any time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the takeover of the American Embassy by Iranian Radical Islamists.

On April 22nd — facing a plummeting economy due to crippling U.S. sanctions — Iran threatened to disrupt oil tanker traffic in and around the Straits of Hormuz. Over the last several weeks, Tehran began executing their strategy. At least six oil tanker ships have been violently sabotaged.

Now the U.S., the Saudis, the UAE, and the British say the intelligence confirms the Iranian regime is responsible for these attacks.

The most recent attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman come just one day after a missile scored a direct hit on a Saudi airport, injuring 26 people. The missile was fired from Yemen by Houthis rebels who are armed and supported by Iran.

We now face two big questions:

  1. Will the U.S. and her allies further ratchet up the economic pressure, or back off due to Iranian aggression?
  2. Will military force be used to punish Iran, or will the U.S. and her allies be content with tough talk and economic sanctions alone?

No one wants another war, especially in the Middle East. But the Trump administration has been quite clear over the past year that it is losing patience with Tehran.

“The U.S. Government publicly accused Iran of attacking two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, as US President Donald Trump closed the door on talks between Washington and Tehran,” reported The National, the main English newspaper in the United Arab Emirates.

  • U.S. statement: “It is the assessment of the United States government that Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
  • UAE statement: “The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash, said the tanker attacks and the Houthi attack on a Saudi airport represented a ‘major and dangerous escalation’ that required the international community to help protect regional stability and security,” The National noted
  • Saudi statement: “The Iranian regime is the only party in the region that has been pursuing reckless escalation, through the use of ballistic missiles and UAVs to directly target civilian installations and innocent civilians,” stated Saudi Vice Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, son of the King. He added that “the continuation of the Iranian regime’s aggression and reckless escalation, whether directly or through its militias, will result in grave consequences.”
  • British statement: “We are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the prospects of peace and stability in the region,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Please pray for calm and stability to be restored. Pray for wisdom for U.S. and allied leaders. And if you’re interested in this on-going story, please follow me on Twitter for updates.

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Psalm 19:1-2

 Daily Readings  Comments Off on Psalm 19:1-2
Jun 112019
 
“[Psalm 19] For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”

Dramatic announcement: White House says 3 more Arab countries will attend peace conference June 25-26. This brings total number of Arab countries participating to 7, though Abbas resisting.

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on Dramatic announcement: White House says 3 more Arab countries will attend peace conference June 25-26. This brings total number of Arab countries participating to 7, though Abbas resisting.
Jun 112019
 

Bahrain-Sisi-Abdullah-Mohammed

(Jerusalem, Israel) — The White House made a dramatic announcement today: three additional Arab countries have agreed to participate in the Trump peace team’s economic conference, scheduled for June 25 and 26.

This brings the total number of participating Arab countries to seven.

At the conference, Jared Kusher and his team will roll-out the first section of their peace plan. This section is designed to dramatically improve the Palestinian economy, create good jobs, improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment and government aid to pay for it all.

The three newly-signed-on countries are:

  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Morocco

They join four Gulf Arab countries who have already said “yes” to participating:

  • Bahrain, which is also hosting the conference in its capital city of Manama
  • the United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar

Israel has not yet been formally invited. U.S. officials said they wanted to nail down significant Arab participation first. Now that that has happened, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is expected to receive his invitation soon. He has already indicated he is eager to attend.

Unfortunately two governments have said they will not participate.

  • The Palestinian Authority
  • Lebanon

As I noted in my recent column, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisors aren’t just saying no, however. They are responding with tremendous anger towards the Trump team for having the event, and towards the Arab countries that are participating. They have pleaded with the leaders of these Arab countries to boycott the event, and warned that any Palestinian business leader who attends will be branded a “traitor” and “collaborator with the enemy.”

That said, it strikes me as a wise, even shrewd, move to unveil the economic portion of the peace plan first. Here’s why:

  • It will focus the Palestinian people — if not their leaders — first and foremost on what they would “get” from making peace with Israel, not first on what they might have to “give.”
  • It will create a conversation not just among Palestinian Arabs but among Arabs throughout the region on whether the Trump team is making specific, positive and useful proposals to make the lives of real people better. 
  • No previous American administration has ever offered a detailed financial plan to improve the Palestinian economy and infrastructure.
  • We’ll get to see what countries are willing to invest the billions of dollars necessary to turn these ideas into reality.

All of us who pray for the peace of Jerusalem should be praying that this conference is not just petty politics as usual, but will lay out a truly meaningful and innovative plan that really can bring to much-needed help to the suffering people of the West Bank and Gaza. Personally, I’m very encouraged to see seven Arab nations playing a part. Perhaps they can even persuade Abbas and his team in Ramallah to take a deep breath, and come to Manama after all with an open mind.

Inshallah.

(Photo: Egyptian President el-Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.)

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Matthew 7:13-14

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Jun 082019
 
“[The Narrow and Wide Gates] “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”