Words of Peace in the Middle East

Words of Peace in the Middle East

Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

What does the Middle East have to say about Israel?

The Qatari prime minister let slip that the Arab League would consider territorial compromises as part of an Israeli-Arab peace deal. As soon as the United States got word of it, Secretary of State John Kerry rallied behind the deal in an attempt to get Israel on board. The comment, made on April 29, was seen by the U.S. as a leap forward in the direction of a peace deal.

It is almost comical that the U.S. could be so moved by the smallest of statements, while at the same time ignoring the threats directed at Israel by many nations in the Middle East, including those that claim to seek peace with Israel. There are numerous instances when Israel has been verbally attacked by surrounding nations, yet the threats have generated almost no response from the U.S.

The Arab League consists of 22 nations, many of which are passively, if not openly, hostile toward Israel. They certainly make known their hatred toward the Jews through their speech.

In Egypt, during a sermon in which a cleric asked God to “destroy the Jews and their supporters and disperse them, rend them asunder,” President Mohamed Morsi said, “Amen.”

In 2010, Mr. Morsi described Zionists as “bloodsuckers” and “the descendents of apes and pigs.”

The Palestinian Authority’s religious leader, the mufti, said, “The killing of Jews is a religious obligation.” When a religious leader calls the destruction of Israel an obligation over the sound of cheering crowds, what hope is there of achieving peace?

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that Hamas’s goal was the “liberation of the Palestinian territories”—by which he is referring to the entire nation of Israel. Israel gave up the Sinai to Egypt in 1978. Since Egypt has become radicalized in recent years, the Sinai has been used to send weapons and terrorists up to Gaza, from where Hamas has launched rockets into Israeli towns such as Sderot, and threatened cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

To the north of Israel, Syria is in upheaval while the Israel Defense Forces conduct strategic attacks on weapons shipments that are on their way to Lebanon. The terrorist group Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government, openly threatens the lives of the citizens of Israel. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, said he was “against any reconciliation with Israel.” Mr. Nasrallah’s viewpoint is shared by many of his followers and by other Middle Eastern leaders.

Then there are the inflammatory remarks and actions of Iran, which actively pursues Israel’s destruction. While attending a United Nations meeting in New York on Sept. 24, 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel had no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”

Regardless of how hard the U.S. tries to bring peace, it can’t satisfy the myriad players that affect stability in the region. Peace with Israel would contradict the religious convictions of many Islamist believers in the region. Some Iranian leaders, for example, believe Iran’s weapons will speed the second coming of the Mahdi, their version of the Messiah. It is a guiding principal of their foreign policy.

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes, “In the face of such problems—considering the existence of nation-threatening weapons today and the violent hostility bubbling up within whole populations in our world—you would think people would be scrambling to find some kind of a peace plan that would really work! Human civilization faces the very real threat of annihilation! This world desperately needs real peace.

“Herbert W. Armstrong actually showed this world a peace plan that does work: the way of God, and God’s law—the way of give versus the way of get. He taught about that way throughout his life, even taking the message of that way personally to kings and other leaders of nations all over the Earth.”

To understand the peace plan that works, read The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily.

Texas Groundwater Levels Plummeting

Texas Groundwater Levels Plummeting

Jack Newton

An effect of a three-year drought

The levels of groundwater in Texas’s aquifers dropped sharply between 2010 and 2011, according to a report by the Texas Water Development Board.

The report, published in February 2013, shows a sharp decline in groundwater levels in the state’s nine major aquifers. This is a major consequence of the ongoing U.S. drought.

Manager of the water board’s groundwater monitoring program, Janie Hopkins, said the drought has “affected even the groundwater levels to a greater extent than I’ve ever seen.” Ms. Hopkins expects the results for the 2011-2012 period—due for publication in August—to show a “continuing downward [trend] in the majority of [Texas’s observation] wells.”

The state of Texas has experienced the worst drought in the continental United States. Nearly 99 percent of the state is in “abnormally dry” or worse conditions, and almost 13 percent of it is experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions.

According to the report, the Trinity Aquifer of Central Texas was hardest hit. The 33 monitors in this aquifer recorded a median decline of 16.7 feet and an average decline of 19.7 feet during the 2010-2011 period. The Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer of South Texas recorded a median water-level decline of 4.4 feet and an average decline of 17.1 feet in its eight monitors.

Water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer in the Panhandle region receded in 25 of its 26 observation wells, with a median drop of 1.8 feet and an average drop of 3.5 feet.

The Ogallala is Texas’s major source of underground water, and it stretches all the way from South Dakota, spanning eight states. It is a chief source of water for these states as well.

The conditions in Texas give a stark, microcosmic picture of 51 percent of the continental United States that is in moderate to exceptional drought. These conditions are not normal and are significantly worse than those in previous years, even as the Texas Water Development Board report concluded.

When water levels recede drastically, water needed for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses becomes a scarce and pricey commodity. Money and effort will have to be expended to lower pumps in wells or to drill deeper wells.

The situation in Texas, and much of the U.S., is a result of the now-rapid removal of the prophesied blessings that were once showered on this great nation.

To learn more about why the U.S. has to experience these weather trials, request your free copies of The United States and Britain in Prophecy and Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?

German Arms Exports Grow

German Arms Exports Grow

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While Europe is in the midst of economic troubles, Germany’s arms exports continue to push the nation forward.

In a controversial move, Germany has approved the sale of 164 tanks to Indonesia, according to a member of the German Parliament. News outlets found out on Wednesday that German military manufacturer Rhinemetall was given approval by the government to sell 104 Leopard 2 tanks, along with an assortment of other vehicles. The decision was made by the German Security Council, which meets in secret, and its decisions on arms deals cannot be vetoed by the German Parliament.

Though reports suggest that many of these vehicles will be secondhand items from German Army stocks, a lot of concern has been raised over this sale because of Indonesia’s human rights violations and corruption concerns.

The sale is but the latest in a string of high-profile arms sales by Germany over the past few years. Last year, Germany approved arms exports valued at €1.42 billion (us$1.84 billion) to countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The previous year, the figure was just €570 million (us$739.5 million). All of this is part of what has come to be known as the “Merkel doctrine,” in which Germany is working to strengthen partner countries by supplying arms.

Watch Germany as it continues to prosper from its arms sales while the world plunges closer and closer toward global conflict. Bible prophecy shows that Germany will prosper financially in these end times. Revelation 18:15 says that many people will be made rich by German commerce and trade. But the same chapter also shows the ultimate fate of this great power. Read “Germany—Reverting to Militaristic Type?” to see where this increase in German military production is leading.

Justice Department Seized AP Phone Records

Senior executives at the Associated Press have said that the United States Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of AP reporters and editors. According to AP attorneys, the Justice Department seized records from about a year ago for more than 20 telephone lines used by the news organization.

The Justice Department was interested in records of outgoing calls from the work and personal telephones of individual reporters, as well as calls from AP offices in New York, Washington and Hartford.

It is unknown which journalists used the office phone lines in April and May of last year, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices that the Justice Department targeted.

“They haven’t told us what they are looking for and nor have they explained why we got no prior notice, which our lawyers tell us that it’s not only customary but required” (Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president-executive editor).

In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation.

Prosecutors have sought phone records from reporters before, but it is unusual for the government to secretly seize so many sensitive records, which include general AP switchboard numbers and an office-wide shared fax line.

The AP said it received a letter from the Justice Department on Friday that notified it of the seizure but offered no explanation.

The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media and has brought six cases against people suspected of providing classified information, more than under all previous presidents combined. This could be a sign that the federal government is seeking to restrict and intimidate the free press.

As Gerald Flurry has pointed out, we are seeing a trend toward lawlessness on all levels of American society today. He has asked two important questions: “Does the president tell the truth? Is anyone paying attention?” Are you paying attention? Request our free booklet America Under Attack to see how our nation is unraveling from within.

Economic Crisis Helps Germany Reshape EU

Economic Crisis Helps Germany Reshape EU

btrenkel/iStockphoto

Financial crisis amid Prussian profiteering

“Nothing can get done without the approval of Germany, and frankly, Germany would be insane to mess with the current status quo, given how much it’s outperforming the rest of the eurozone. Just insane,” wrote Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider.

“Who else can boast that its unemployment rate is substantially below where it was before the financial crisis? So, tight money, low inflation, austerity. It’s working great for the country that has the power,” he opined, pointing to a blatantly lopsided European unemployment chart produced by Danske Bank.

The weak euro currency and flagging continental export market are directly profiting one nation specifically—Germany. A continental bloc the West thought would bring equality, impartiality and equity for all, has become a cash cow for its largest and most dominant country.

Make it in Germany agrees: “Indeed, both domestic and foreign media are already using the word Jobwunder to describe the exceptional performance of Germany’s labor market.”

Seven years ago, Germany’s unemployment rate was near 12 percent. Since that time, compounded by the European financial crisis, it has been in free fall, now at near 5 percent. “If you are thinking about working in Germany, you have made an excellent decision—Germany is Europe’s largest, and the world’s fifth-largest, economy,” says InterNations.

The Continent is undergoing a labor migration of historic proportions as millions pack their bags and head for prosperous Deutschland, Europe’s job engine. With low population growth, Germany is in pressing need of qualified candidates to fill its burgeoning job market.

This comes as the country boasts an explosive export market, which has boosted gross domestic product and fueled strong employment opportunities. In 2012, the EU Blue Card was introduced to speed visa applications of the wealthy and their highly skilled employees. Money- and employment-creation laws were softened for investors looking to establish companies in Germany.

Like iron filings to a magnet, immigrants from the most fiscally depressed countries fled to the Teutonic promised land last year at levels not seen in the past 17 years, according to data released last week. “The report from the German statistics office was sure to fuel a debate over the consequences of immigration for the country. In all, 1.08 million people moved to Germany last year, or 13 percent more than in 2011, Germany’s statistics office said, indicating that the eurozone’s debt crisis is reshaping the fabric of European society as well as the economy” (Wall Street Journal, May 7).

Currently, 27 nations comprise the trading mart and 17 trade in the euro currency, while Germany has made no secret of its desire to reduce this number to a more dedicated German-centric core. The Trumpet has continually reminded readers of the words of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “You have not anchored Germany to Europe. You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.”

“Although all wealth comes from the ground, prosperity and affluence on a national scale always have come also by industry and commerce,” wrote Herbert W. Armstrong in his acclaimed book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

It is such “prosperity and affluence on a national scale” that Germany continues to procure through its policy, led by its corporate elites, of leadership through domination of industry and commerce as the fiscal gatekeeper of EU fortunes.

The Trumpet’s editor in chief has drawn particular attention to the domineering of Europe by Germany, from domestic to foreign policy, finance, trade, religion and military expansionism. On the surface, to the ignorant observer, the ever increasing overt actions of German elites appear to be just another business plan. However, to the non-ignorant of recent geopolitical past, such aggressiveness, exploitation, regional expansionism and blatant Euromart domineering reveal the scale and impact of an aggressive continental and globally unchallenged economic policy whose scope has disturbing, far-reaching, historic implications.

Request Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? along with Gerald Flurry’s Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans for a deeper comprehension of these concerning developments.

Europe’s Unemployed: An Army Waiting for a Leader

Europe’s Unemployed: An Army Waiting for a Leader

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

As Europe edges toward mass anarchy and chaos, the Catholic Church is emerging as the key mediator between Europeans and their leaders.

Europe’s unemployment crisis is one everyone knows about, but no one is thinking seriously about.

We’ve all seen the atrocious figures and statistics, the long lines of grumpy, unemployed Greeks and Spaniards. But how many have actually thought about what this means, for Greece and Spain, for Europe, and even for the international community? Historically, mass unemployment has resulted in extreme social and political upheaval, followed by the rise of tyrannical ideologies and government, followed by the outbreak of large-scale war.

Considering the history, isn’t this worth thinking on?

Unemployment can be a frightening phenomenon. When a working-age person has meaningful daily tasks—be it making a cappuccino, laying bricks or creating spreadsheets—his mind tends to be active and occupied. Added to this, the employed person has income, which means food on the table, a roof overhead, clothed children and a hopeful future. Basically, he or she tends to be happier, more content, more stable, more hopeful.

Take employment away and two things begin to happen psychologically: First, as the bills mount and his stomach aches, the unemployed person becomes stressed, anxious and frustrated. Soon, the stress evolves into desperation and hopelessness, even despair. Second, disenfranchised by his deteriorating circumstances—the loss of the family home, his decline in status, marital tension—the unemployed person finds himself emotionally and intellectually vulnerable. The one commodity he does now have is time—time for his vulnerable, frustrated mind to entertain new, often extreme or radical “solutions” that promise to rescue him from the system that has failed him. Dismayed by the status quo, he pines for something new. A new political party, new ideologies, new leaders, new policies—a whole new system.

When unemployment is low, the threat of social unrest and political change is marginal and easily mitigated. But if the unemployment level rises, it creates a veritable army of disenfranchised, desperate, angry people. An army ready and willing to embrace extreme political ideologies. An army ready to support a leader who promises salvation. An army willing to overthrow the established system. When this happens, unemployment is no longer an unfortunate economic issue, it’s a terrifying social and political crisis capable of initiating major catastrophe!

So, where is Europe on the unemployment spectrum?

The combined March unemployment rate of eurozone states was 12.2 percent. Expanded to include all 27 EU states, the unemployment rate is steady at 10.9 percent. These figures are bad, but they’re not dire. But look a little closer at the unemployment rates on the national level.

In Greece, unemployment is just above 27 percent, up from 21.5 percent 12 months ago. Spain’s rate is 26.7 percent. In these two countries, more than one quarter of people who want to work cannot find a job. Unemployment in both countries is worse than it was in America during the Great Depression.

Other European countries are moving in the same direction. Portugal’s unemployment rate is 17.5 percent and rising. Slovakia’s is 14.5 percent and rising. I was in France over the weekend and spoke with three employed friends, each of whom told me that their company would be laying off employees over the next few months. One friend, an accountant who is privy to the finances of numerous businesses, said that nearly all her clients are making plans to lay off employees. France’s unemployment rate is currently 11 percent, but it’s about to get much worse.

These figures take into account only those who are willing and able to work. They don’t include people who no longer receive unemployment benefits. Or people who have given up searching for a job or have taken up part-time employment. They don’t include those in education. And they do not take into account those who have left the country to look for work elsewhere. (I was recently in Cyprus and was shocked by the number of people, especially the young, bolting to greener pastures.) In the last 12 months, more than 1 million have moved to Germany in search of work.

Stratfor ceo George Friedman has a guideline when analyzing unemployment: “A rule I use is that for each person unemployed, three others are affected, whether spouses, children or whomever. That means that when you hit 25 percent unemployment virtually everyone is affected.” By this measure, unemployment is affecting every person in Spain and Greece. In many other states, half to two thirds of the populace is touched by unemployment.

The more we dissect the figures, the grimmer the picture. In Greece, 34.2 percent of individuals ages 25 to 34 are unemployed. Nearly 60 percent of workers between 16 and 24 are out of work. In Spain, the unemployment rate for 16-to-24-year-olds is 57.2 percent. In Italy, nearly 40 percent of under-25s are unemployed. In Slovakia, it’s nearly 35 percent of under-25s; in Portugal, 28 percent. The under-25 unemployment rate across the EU is 23.5 percent. According to unemployment rates submitted to Eurostat, only two European countries currently have an under-25 unemployment rate under 10 percent: Germany and Austria. Europe is brimming with millions of young people disenfranchised by the established system, yearning for change, and ready to throw their support behind someone with radical solutions for a brighter future!

Looking at these figures, it’s a marvel countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have not already experienced mass unrest and riots. Indeed, as Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca, research director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, recently asked: Why have the Spanish people not revolted? For now it seems the masses of unemployed are being sustained on state handouts. This is untenable. What will happen when the benefits inevitably dry up? Already, thousands of people are being cast from their homes and food banks are running dry.

We need to think about this because it’s real and happening right now. Across Europe, and especially in the southern Mediterranean, there are millions of disenfranchised, frustrated people with the time and desire to entertain any person, or party, or ideology that can promise them a return to a better life. This massive army is ready right now to get behind the individual, ideology or government that can promise salvation!

Michael Collins, investment journalist with Fidelity Worldwide Investment, warned last month: “The rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during the 1930s depression shows how an unemployment crisiscreates political chaos that demagogues can exploit.”

Friedman recently delivered a similar warning: “It is important to understand the consequences of this kind of unemployment. … Fascism had its roots in Europe in massive economic failures in which the financial elites failed to recognize the political consequences of unemployment. [The elites] laughed at parties led by men who had been vagabonds selling postcards on the street and promising economic miracles if only those responsible for the misery of the country were purged. Men and women, plunged from the comfortable life of the petite bourgeoisie, did not laugh, but responded eagerly to that hope. The result was governments who enclosed their economies from the world and managed their performance through directive and manipulation” (March 5; emphasis added). We’ve already seen evidence of this with the rise of far-right and far-left parties in Greece and elsewhere.

On Sunday, Telegraph columnist and economist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote an excellent article on a subject the Trumpet has long been anticipating. Reporting from Toledo, Spain, Evans-Pritchard noted how the Vatican and the Catholic Church are taking a keen interest in Europe’s economic crisis, specifically Europe’s unemployment problem.

Before we note some high points of that article, recall what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about the role of the Vatican and the Catholic Church in uniting Europe. In August 1978, he wrote: “Europeans want their own united military power! … They have made a real effort toward union in the Common Market. … But they well know there is but one possibility of union in Europe—and that is through the Vatican” (Good News, emphasis his). Two years later, he warned that “world conditions may force European nations … to unite, bringing to pass the revived ‘Holy Roman Empire’ …. [European nations] have wanted to unite politically, with a common currency and common military force, for some time—but have been unable. It can be accomplished only through the Vatican” (Worldwide News, June 1980).

In 1979, Mr. Armstrong described a scenario that is remarkably prescient. “The nations of Europe have been striving to become reunited. They desire a common currency, a single combined military force, a single united government. They have made a start in the Common Market. They are now working toward a common currency. Yet, on a purely political basis, they have been totally UNABLE to unite” (Plain Truth, January 1979). In spite of these conflicting political interests, Mr. Armstrong explained, European countries will find a way to unite. How? “In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling.”

Gerald Flurry and the Trumpet have been echoing this forecast by Mr. Armstrong ever since Europe’s economic crisis began: The Vatican will be the glue that unites Europe under German leadership!

Now consider the following recent remarks by Braulio Rodriguez, the archbishop of Toledo and the highest Catholic official in Spain, as reported by Evans-Pritchard. “We have to change direction, otherwise this is going to bring down whole political systems,” he said in an interview with the Telegraph. “It is very dangerous. Unemployment has reached tremendous levels. … There is a deep unease across the whole society, and it is not just in Spain. We have to give people some hope or this is going to foment conflict and mutual hatred.”

Archbishop Rodriguez apparently explained how the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (comece), a forum of leading European bishops, is currently gearing-up to play a greater role in helping solve the crisis.

About the archbishop’s remarks, Evans-Pritchard wrote: “Europe’s churches are emerging as a powerful pole of authority, filling a vacuum left by political parties of all stripes tainted by the crisis. German leaders may be more ready to heed criticism from the Vatican and their own clergy than from Club Med politicians” (emphasis added).

Note that last point: German leaders won’t listen to other European politicians, but they will listen to the Vatican!

This is precisely the scenario that Mr. Armstrong forecast. You need to watch and think about this. Europe’s economic crises are going to get worse. The unemployment lines will grow, and so will the army of disenfranchised Europeans searching for someone to rescue them. Don’t be surprised if we see massive protests and riots this summer. But as mass unemployment and mass disgruntlement grow, don’t take your eyes off the Catholic Church.

As Europe edges toward large-scale anarchy and chaos, the Vatican will emerge to mediate a new relationship between Europeans and their leadership.