EU Pressures Syria, Combats Islam in Mali

The European Union is seeking to intervene in ongoing conflicts taking place in Syria and Mali. EU President Herman Van Rompuy visited Egypt on Monday to meet with the Arab League and discuss possible solutions to the unrest.

A recent United Nations report found that Syria’s civil war has already claimed the lives of 60,000 people. Van Rompuy described the death toll as “appalling” and “unacceptable.”

The European Union is also concerned about developments in Mali, located in northwest Africa. Nine months ago, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb seized control of large sections of northern Mali. France responded last week with aerial bombardments against the insurgents. It has deployed 800 troops on the ground, including special forces, and plans to dispatch approximately 900 more.

However, Mali’s well-armed Islamist rebels managed to gain more territory on Monday. Rebel forces are now within 250 miles of the capital, Bamako.

France’s intervention and Van Rompuy’s visit with the Arab League show that Europe is serious about combating radical Islam—serious enough to go into battle.

The United States, on the other hand, is not. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered nothing more than his encouragement.

More and more, America is shying away from the fight against radical Islam. This has created a power vacuum. Bible prophecy shows that a European superpower will step in to fill the void. For more about where these global trends are leading, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Israel’s Housing Crisis

Israel’s Housing Crisis

AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

How long before the Palestinians simply take East Jerusalem?

Palestinians moved into Israel’s E1 region last Friday and erected tents with the intent of staging a long-term protest against recently planned Israeli settlement construction. The protests are a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans, announced on November 30, to build 3,000 homes in E1, which is located directly east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s announcement came less than 24 hours after the Palestinian Authority successfully petitioned to be considered a United Nations observer state.

Construction of the homes would link Jerusalem to the nearby Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim. This would not only strengthen Israel’s presence in the West Bank, but Palestinian supporters fear it will also cut off the Arab-occupied East Jerusalem from the Arabic town of Ramallah.

Despite being a dry and arid area, E1 is one of the most contentious areas in the West Bank because of its geographical location and political importance.

Should a Palestinian state be established, the Arabs wish to claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Any moves by the Israeli government to cut it off from the West Bank are met with immediate cries of protest.

This latest move by Israel has drawn international criticism, and has been labeled as a major setback to peaceful negotiations on the two-state solution.

Israel said that despite the planned settlement, the West Bank will not be divided. At its thinnest point, the north and south of the West Bank will be connected by a corridor at least 15 kilometers wide. That is just as wide as the thinnest parts of Israel, between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinians will still have access to East Jerusalem through Arab districts such as Abu Dis.

Israel intends to continue its plans for construction of the settlement despite the fear of being ostracized by the international community. The plans passed through Israel’s courts last week, meaning Arabs and their supporters now have two months to petition against the construction plans.

On January 11, the Israeli Supreme Court made an injunction ruling that the protesters’ tent encampment could remain in E1 for six days. In the early morning hours of January 13, the Israeli military removed 200 protesters from the site. Netanyahu stated that the court ruling was for the tents themselves, not the protesters.

The haste that Israel has shown in progressing the latest building plans may indicate that it is realizing a Palestinian state may be closer than it expected. Israel can no longer rely on the international community to support its retaining its own sovereign property. Despite the United States denouncing the support of the Palestinians being given the status of observer state in the UN, little is done to ensure a two-state solution where both Israel and the Palestinian Authority benefit.

Israel feels it must resort to more tangible measures to secure its interests in the West Bank. That involves more people in the area—which means more construction and more houses. But these actions will have dangerous side effects. Israel will be further marginalized by the international community, and there will be further protests and clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians. Expect the Israeli-Palestinian tension to continue to simmer until ultimately the Palestinians reach out and violently take East Jerusalem. For more on how Israel will react on these issues in the near future, read Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy, and see for yourself the beautiful solution that will come for both Israelis and Arabs alike.

‘We Don’t Have a Spending Problem’

Germany Steps Up Mideast Combat Training

Germany Steps Up Mideast Combat Training

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Germany is strengthening its Middle Eastern alliances by stepping up weaponry and combat training to Gulf states.

Germany is increasing its active Bundeswehr combat training with key Gulf states that regard Iran as the enemy, reports German-Foreign-Policy.com. “At the end of the year, the German Air Force completed two major training measures in the United Arab Emirates, that included joint force operations” (January 11).

In parallel with the prophesied development of a future alliance with Arabian Gulf states (Psalm 83), the report continued, “Participating next to the Emirate soldiers were, among others, military from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and nato states.”

Of particular note was an exercise that “emphasized a ‘fictive crisis scenery in the Gulf region,’ in which Germany had to rush ‘to help a befriended state.’ The only imaginable scenario would be a war against Iran, in which nato and the Gulf dictatorships would fight together” (ibid).

This degree of cooperation between the Bundeswehr and key Arabian Gulf states has a history that extends back to the Schröder/Fischer government initiatives in the region, which have been further strengthened under the Merkel government.

Part of locking these Mideast nations into German Mideast strategy is Germany’s introduction to the United Arab Emirates of the Eurofighter. “Berlin will supply [Eurofighters] to the country in a continued multibillions heavy armament export program to the dictatorships of the Arabian Peninsula for the hegemonic war against Iran” (ibid).

These initiatives by Germany, the prophesied lead nation in the combine identified biblically as the “king of the north,” are additional proof of the rapid development of the Psalm 83 alliance in anticipation of that king of the north soon coming against its chief Mideast enemy, Iran, the biblical king of the south, like a whirlwind in blitzkrieg war.

Read our booklet History and Prophecy of the Middle East for further background on this coming war and where it will lead.

German Catholic Church Aborts Sex Abuse Helpline

German Catholic Church Aborts Sex Abuse Helpline

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Bishops’ Conference decides the church, not the government, will police itself in sex abuse cases.

From its institution, the universal church of the city of seven hills has shown itself more powerful than governments which at times have challenged its authority and influence. In 2013, amid the Vatican-led “Year of Faith,” another such instance occurred as the German Catholic Church told the Berlin government it had better tow the line regarding the ongoing administration of the sex abuse scandal.

In a move that stunned government officials, the church shut down its phone line dedicated to individuals claiming sex abuse at the hands of priests. The reason? The line was not being used.

For over two and a half years, the line received calls from victims and their family members, acting as their initial contact in resolving alleged acts of clergy exploitation. “The number you have called is not in service” is what callers now hear. A spokesman for the German Bishops’ Conference claimed the line had served its intended purpose.

In a nationally televised interview, Berlin’s sanctioned arbiter for underage sex abuse stated, in defiance of the church’s actions, that such a helpline was “important for the first step towards finding help” for victims.

Furthermore, the head of the government’s initiative for those impacted by such violence and/or abuse openly opposed the Catholic Church, saying that counseling was offered but that it was not open to outside observation.

Over the past two years, the church addressed the issues of exploitation by enacting initiatives such as monetary compensation and forums to talk about problems.

In response to government opposition to the decision to close the hotline, the German bishops’ spokesman claimed the church was doing the job by offering services in all 27 of the country’s dioceses. “One can easily find their phone number and e-mail address on the Internet,” he said.

In another initial act of the new year, the German Bishops’ Conference declared the church would cancel its cooperative agreement with Prof. Christian Pfeiffer’s Lower Saxony criminology institute. The bishops, who requested the institute’s help in 2011 after sex abuse scandals were exposed—and congregants fled amid the publicity crises, and Pope Benedict xvi visited the country’s victims—said trust had been destroyed. Pfeiffer accused the church of blocking proceedings and wanting to control the process.

The professor was so upset at church actions he went to the German media and said, “We were meant to submit everything for approval.” The “we” he was referring to was a collection of retiree judges and prosecutors approved to comb through records of church personnel.

In an apparent effort to reassure the 34 percent of German citizens who claim to be Catholic and destroy the professor’s credibility, the bishop of Trier declared, “The relationship of mutual trust between the bishops and the head of the institute has been destroyed.” The German church maintained that a new investigation would be commissioned in the future, but with an altogether different collaborator.

Amid the ongoing power plays, and the resultant cancellation of the abuse helpline and cooperation with the criminology institute, Europe announced what is called EC3. This is the Continent’s most recent attempt to tackle online crime.

It’s headquartered in the European judicial city of The Hague, with the avowed purpose of halting fraudulent online activity and online sexual abuse. EC3’s chief, Troels Oerting, optimistically asserted, “Just like in the offline world, we can’t just put more locks at the door. We also need to have a criminal-free environment where we can go safely, and we need exactly the same. So this is why EC3 will focus on the perpetrators, the gangsters, the criminal networks. Either they are in loose or in more hard networks.”

At the initiative’s official announcement, EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom added, “EC3 will focus on cybercrime committed by organized crime groups, particularly those generating large criminal profits such as online frauds, and cybercrimes which cause a serious harm to the victims, such as child sexual exploitation.”

If the perpetrators, gangsters and criminal networks of Europe are to be watched, policed and prosecuted, will EC3 do the same for the Catholic Church regarding online activity and sexual abuse? Will The Hague rule Rome and bend the knees of defiant German bishops?

You may be shocked to find that God’s Word answers, foretelling a Holy Roman woman riding a great empirical beast power, prophesied for our very time today (Revelation 17:1-14). For more answers, depth and to learn where this prophecy is leading, watch Gerald Flurry’s Key of David program titled “Was Jesus a Prophet?

Britain Tries to Go to War—and Fails

Britain Tries to Go to War—and Fails

Defence Images/flickr

Why Monday was a sore day for Britain’s pride.

Britain was the first nation to step up and help France fight in Mali, British Prime Minister David Cameron proudly announced January 14. And then nothing happened. The two C17 transport planes Mr. Cameron promised both broke down. No help came from Britain until the next day.

Mr. Cameron praised the C17 as Britain’s “most advanced and capable transport plane” on bbc Radio 4’s Today program Monday morning. He announced Britain would be sending two of them to help, proud that Britain could respond so quickly. “So we were first out of the blocks, as it were, to say to the French ‘we’ll help you, we’ll work with you, and we’ll share what intelligence we have with you and try to help you with what you are doing,’” he said. Moments later, it all went wrong.

The first C17, in Paris, developed a problem, and needed a new wheel. So the Royal Air Force (raf) loaded a wheel on a second C17, to fly from Oxfordshire to France. But this plane also developed a fault and was delayed.

Maj. Marc Locqueville, a French officer who serves alongside the raf, vented his frustration about the first breakdown to the Times’s Tom Coghlan. But, he said, “this is normal in aircraft.”

“The aircraft was not broken, but there was a problem with the wheel, and it could have broken on landing in Bamako and created a real problem,” he said.

In the grand scheme of things, a day’s delay doesn’t matter much—this time. But it dents Britain’s prestige and reputation as a reliable ally. As Oscar Wilde nearly wrote, To lose one plane may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

“They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14). The fiasco of the planes is an example of this verse in action, in a small way. Britain sounds the alarm, announces it’s ready to fight, and then nothing happens.

There are other possible causes for this prophesied scenario to unfold. A massive cyberattack could be one. But it doesn’t bode well for Britain’s military when it can’t even get two planes in the air in a hurry.

For more information on this sad decline, see our article “Want to Know What a Former Superpower Looks Like?