NZ Relationship With Israel on Shaky Ground

New Zealand has not been in Israel’s good books lately. Together with Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, New Zealand played a key role in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 on Dec. 23, 2016. This was the infamous resolution that condemns, reaffirms and reiterates that Israeli homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal—including Israeli dwellings in and around the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, a section of Jerusalem that has been inhabited by Jews for the last several centuries (let alone considering the ancient biblical history). As the only Western nation of the four—and a nation, at that, which has enjoyed relatively good relations with Israel—New Zealand has gained a mixture of praise and scorn worldwide for its actions.

In response, Israel withdrew ambassadors to both New Zealand and Senegal (the only two of the four with which Israel has diplomatic relations). And according to a recent Times of Israel article, Israel is now “permanently downgrading its diplomatic ties with New Zealand and Senegal, punishing these countries for cosponsoring an anti-settlement resolution in the United Nations Security Council.” According to the article, last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided against returning Israel’s ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal.

Yet New Zealand’s part in 2334 isn’t an entirely good representation of the general outlook of the population. Actually, when it comes to support for Israel, New Zealand is a divided country. There is a large chunk of society that does vehemently support the Israeli nation. As a New Zealander myself, who has lived on and off in Israel working on archaeological projects, I have handled Israel’s ancient past, examined the histories, and studied the current situation of the nation—and of course, stand very much in support of Israel, like a large number of my fellow countrymen. Months before Resolution 2334 passed, and in response to a growing fear of the New Zealand government’s position on the status of Israel, a petition circled around New Zealand titled “For the Protection of Zion.” This petition was an attempt to stop the New Zealand government from pressuring Israel to give up territory and to support Israel’s claim to the entire Holy Land, including the West Bank. It has currently gained nearly 12,000 signatures—that may not sound like much, but it is not a bad showing for a lower-profile petition in a nation of less than 4.5 million.

After Resolution 2334 passed, more than 70 protesters from the city of Hastings made the 13-hour journey to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, to stage demonstrations at the Parliament building against the resolution. Also in the wake of the resolution, the office of New Zealand’s foreign minister, Murray McCully, very quickly found itself emblazoned with the following words:

McCully (perhaps due to the anti-2334 outcry within New Zealand) wrote an explanation for New Zealand’s part in pushing through the resolution. Interestingly, McCully admits in his letter that the resolution had to wait until after the November United States presidential election, in order to have a chance of passing without U.S. veto. This lends credence to the fact that this resolution was a parting shot at Israel from President Barack Obama and an intentional headache designed to be delivered to incoming President Donald Trump. Neither Mr. Trump nor Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had wanted a resolution such as this to be passed before their time in office. Seeing as Mr. Trump won the election, Mr. Obama was thus happy to let the resolution pass through without veto.

While there is much support within New Zealand for Israel, there is also the usual serving of disdain and even anti-Semitism. According to an Anti-Defamation League survey, 14 percent of New Zealand’s population is actively anti-Semitic—one of the least anti-Semitic regions in the world, yet still with unacceptably high numbers. Then there are the movements such as the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network and Kia Ora Gaza, designed to break the “Israeli siege of Gaza” and to “free Palestine.” In their efforts, flotillas to Gaza have been sponsored, along with general aid deliveries, consumer boycotting of Israeli products, and demand for sanctions against Israel.

Our neighbor Australia, contrary to New Zealand’s shameful UN display, has been politically a very strong bastion of support for Israel. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop indicated that Australia (not on the Security Council) would have gone against the positions held by both New Zealand and the U.S. at the UN. Further, in spite toward New Zealand’s part in Resolution 2334, a Queensland senator proposed that “at the very least, we should look at further cutting benefits for New Zealanders living in Australia.” He continued by referencing the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps’ (anzac) actions in liberating the Holy Land during World War i.

2017 marks the centenary of the anzacs’ brave actions to free the Palestinian territory—now Israel—from Ottoman oppression of Christians, Jews and other groups. It would never have been possible for those brave anzacs, charging as part of the Light Horse Brigade, to have ever thought that events 100 years later would go full circle and future generations would betray the very people they were about to liberate.

New Zealand, like Australia, is a member of the British Commonwealth. We have had a unique shared history over the past 100 years, even in connection to the Holy Land. Yet as those well familiar with this website know, our Commonwealth connections with the State of Israel run far deeper than just the last century. They in fact take root in biblical history. This fact makes New Zealand’s latest demonstration at the UN Security Council especially obscene. For a full explanation of this shared history, take a look at our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

The Bible in fact forecasts a time when the relationship between the Jewish nation, the U.S. and Britain (including the British Commonwealth) will be broken. In many ways—especially with what has been displayed at the UN by the U.S., UK and New Zealand—we are already seeing that “brotherhood” (see Zechariah 11:14) falling apart. The nation of Israel is unfortunately becoming very ostracized and alone in a world of wolves. Stay tuned to see where these developments are leading.

Who Will Mexico Trade With Now?

Who Will Mexico Trade With Now?

Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images

As relations with its biggest trade partner get shaky, where will Mexico turn?

When Mexico is having trade troubles with United States President Donald Trump, where should it turn? Based on recent developments, the answer is Europe. On February 1, Mexican and European officials agreed to work on modernizing an existing free-trade pact. The negotiations of this pact, worth $57 billion in 2015, have to be sped up. (Additional meetings will be conducted in April and June).

Why the sudden move to improve Europe-Mexico relations? Donald Trump.

While campaigning before the election, Mr. Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta) “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country.” In his inauguration speech, the new president said, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.”

Large tariffs, discouraging companies from establishing operations overseas, and requiring Mexico to pay for a border wall have reemerged as viable options for the Trump administration.

So Mexico, understandably, is a little concerned and wants a little leverage.

After the agreement to “accelerate trade talks,” the EU Commission delivered a rather banal snub toward the American president: “Now is the time to build bridges, not walls.”

Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president from 2000-2006, joined in on the attack with a letter addressed to Mr. Trump (Politico, February 1):

You may be a fierce negotiator and an old-school businessman, but as a political leader you don’t understand how the world works. Your outdated solutions don’t apply to today’s needs. All nations know that we depend on each other. …You don’t like to be challenged. But your idea of tearing up nafta has caused business leaders and politicians from all three nations to come together to call for the continuation of this win-win policy. …Inexplicably, you have decided to treat Mexico like a piñata, throwing every punch you can, justifying yourself with topics like the border and the trade deficit that the U.S. has with Mexico—some $60 billion, far less than what the U.S. has with other partners like China, Japan and the European Union.

Mexico’s trade is dominated by the United States, totaling $583.6 billion of goods in 2015. In 2015, EU trade with Mexico measured only $56.4 billion. Yet since 2005, European-Mexican trade volume has more than doubled. Manuel Molano, deputy director of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness, knows that a transformation from the current situation will be tough. “We have talked about diversifying Mexico’s external commerce for years,” Molano said. “But it’s not that simple.”

President Trump’s foreign policy represents a major crisis for Europe and for Germany. But at the same time, it is an “enormous opportunity,” as former Belgium Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt put it. Across the Continent, leaders and writers believe President Trump will force Europe to unite, presenting the bloc with an opportunity to lead the world. In the Trumpet Daily radio program cited above, contributing editor Richard Palmer examines how the Trump presidency is already uniting Europe and causing Germany to step up.

What’s most important to Mexico is the ability to diversify its trade. This will enable it to threaten and/or retaliate against American actions it opposes. To accomplish this, Mexico needs a credible trading partner. So now Mexico is turning toward the European Union at a time when the EU is scrambling to unify and become a stabilizing power in the world. Many analysts are noticing that the leadership of the “free world” is shifting from America to the heart of Europe: Germany.

Where does a nation turn when America looks shaky? Mexico is beginning to look to Europe. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast more than five years ago that the Europeans would widen their trade scope. You can read the details of this forecast in “The Great Mart.”

Herbert Armstrong’s Greatest Personal Prophecy

Trumpet

Herbert W. Armstrong pinpointed a specific trigger that will set off earthshaking events that will change Europe and the United States permanently

Week in Review: Russia on Move in Syria and Libya, Pressure on Germany, European Nuclear Superpower?, and More

Week in Review: Russia on Move in Syria and Libya, Pressure on Germany, European Nuclear Superpower?, and More

Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto/Getty Images, Dmitry Serebryakov\TASS via Getty Images, ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images, Xinhua/Li Gang/Getty Images

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

Get all the important news from February 4–10 by downloading the Trumpet Weekly.Click here to receive it by e-mail every week.

Highlights:

What Russia wants in Libya

  • The Times of London wrote Wednesday that “Italy is turning to Russia to help combat the [Libyan] immigration crisis, despite warnings from European allies about Vladimir Putin’s motives.”
  • Russia’s involvement in Libya via eastern Libyan warlord, Khalifa Haftar, could spark a civil war in the country and trigger a refugee crisis reminiscent of Syria.
  • Hafter (and Russia) does not recognize the United Nations-backed government based in western Libya—the government European officials pledged to support with $200 million during a conference in Malta last weekend.
  • “[R]efugees are not Putin’s priority in Libya,” Leonid Bershidsky wrote for Bloomberg View. “He’s far more interested in restoring Russian influence there and establishing a military presence if he can.”
  • What Russia wants in Afghanistan

  • On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia will host a conference on the future of Afghanistan later this month.
  • The conference, which is expected to involve representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India, is the latest instance of Russia hijacking the American-led operation in Afghanistan.
  • Geopolitical Futures assessed on January 18 that Russia’s involvement in Afghanistan provides Moscow with “the additional benefit of inserting itself in an area of interest for the U.S. in hopes that it can increase its leverage over Washington.”
  • “The Bible warns us to expect a great power rising from the east,” we wrote in our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy. “It calls it ‘the kings of the east’ ….” Those “kings,” as our booklet explains, represent some of the very nations that are embedding themselves deeper into Afghanistan: Russia, China, Pakistan and India!
  • ‘An EU nuclear superpower’

  • Poland would welcome a European Union “nuclear superpower,” Jarosław Kaczyński, head of Poland’s ruling party, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published February 7.
  • Kaczyński made his remarks to the German newspaper before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to the Telegraph, “it is thought” that Kaczyński “may have pressed [Merkel] on the issue” of nuclear weapons during the meeting.
  • Kaczyński also called for the EU to “be prepared for huge expenditures” on its military.
  • Germany’s resurgent military

  • Germany is “usually portrayed as a civilian and economic power par excellence, but rather allergic to military issues,” wrote Claudia Major in an article for Carnegie Europe titled “Germany: The (Not So) Timid Leader.
  • In reality, Germany is “one of four allies to lead a battalion of nato’s Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic countries and Poland; [it] is the biggest European contributor to nato’s deterrence measures in Eastern Europe; and [it] has soldiers deployed in 12 operations from Mali to Iraq.”
  • “Almost silently, Germany has changed its defense policy over the last four years.”
  • For where this is leading, listen to this week’s Trumpet Hour program and read our articles “Germany’s Urgent and Dangerous Military Decision” and “New German Paper Signals Dramatic Military Shift.”
  • Russia and China’s meaner weapons of war

  • Russia and China are developing more advanced weapons of war, improving existing arms systems, and possibly practicing for preemptive strikes on American targets.
  • Several reports have emerged in recent days showing that the military capacity and resolve of these Asian giants is on the rise. Taken together, these developments paint a picture of a world primed for conflict.
  • Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said in a January 2014 episode of the Key of David television program that the increasing military might and determination of Russia and China is far more threatening to global stability than most analysts realize.
  • Other news:

  • The United Kingdom’s House Speaker John Bercow said on Monday that United States President Donald Trump should not be allowed to address Britain’s Parliament because of his “sexism” and “racism.”
  • More than half of United States Navy aircraft cannot fly, mostly “because there isn’t enough money to fix them,” Defense News reported on Monday. That means that 1,700 combat planes and support aircraft are grounded.
  • Get the details on these stories and more by subscribing to the Trumpet Weekly!

    Germany Is Taking Back Gold from the United States

    Germany Is Taking Back Gold from the United States

    Abdulselam Durdak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    … and it’s ahead of schedule.

    The Bundesbank announced yesterday that it had repatriated 300 tons of gold stored in New York City ahead of schedule.

    The German Central Bank announced on Jan. 16, 2013, that it would relocate the gold from New York and Paris to Frankfurt. This decision was made after the U.S. Federal Reserve refused to submit to an audit of German gold held in U.S. vaults. The Germans initially estimated it would take seven years to repatriate the gold, but if they complete the French repatriation by the end of 2017, they will have completed the task three years ahead of schedule.

    “The transfers were carried out without any disruptions or irregularities,” Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele said in yesterday’s news release. “The gold storage plan for New York, which envisaged the transfer of 300 tons of gold from New York to Frankfurt, was fully realized in 2016.”

    The 300 metric tons of gold repatriated from New York equates to 20 percent of Germany’s gold holdings in the United States. Thiele also announced that Germany would repatriate 100 percent of its gold holdings in France by the end of 2017. The Bundesbank currently stores 47.9 percent of its gold in Germany, 36.6 percent in the U.S., 12.8 percent in England, and a mere 2.7 percent in France. Once the transfers are complete, Germany will hold half its 3,378 tons of gold in Frankfurt, with the balance in New York and London.

    Despite declining relations between Germany and the administration of President Donald Trump, Thiele said there are currently no plans for further gold transfers from the United States, and Mr. Trump’s presidency doesn’t change the situation. The fact that Germany is repatriating so much gold from America at all, however, shows that the level of trust between the two nations is at a postwar low.

    This is big news, but few know what it really means.

    To understand how this announcement will eventually affect you, you have to understand why so much German gold was held in New York, London and Paris in the first place. Why doesn’t Germany hold its own gold?

    According to the Bundesbank, the reason is twofold.

    First, storing gold in America makes it easier to sell, or pledge, in case of an economic emergency. It is easier to trade to others who can then quickly take ownership.

    The second reason is that it was deemed safer to spread Germany’s gold out during the Cold War to protect it from the Soviets. According to the Bundesbank, that is no longer a concern. That Germany feels safe enough to bring it home speaks volumes about Germany’s changing relationship with Russia.

    But there is a third, unmentioned—and far more important—reason Germany doesn’t keep its gold at home.

    It goes back to World War ii. When the Allies finally stopped the German death machine in 1945—for the second time in 27 years—they purposed to ensure that Germany could never again destroy world peace. Forcing Germany to store its gold overseas was the primary financial mechanism preventing Germany from ever starting another war. As analyst Byron King noted, “One way for the U.S., Britain and France to keep a leash on Germany was to keep ‘German’ gold under control outside of that country’s borders” (Daily Resource Hunter, Jan. 22, 2013).

    As long as the Allies controlled Germany’s gold, the Allies had a conqueror’s insurance policy that ensured Berlin would not again disturb the peace. Without its gold, Germany’s currency and thus its economy, could be destroyed virtually overnight.

    But now, America, Britain and France appear to think that they no longer need that insurance policy.

    This will prove to be a tragic mistake.

    With President Trump threatening to undermine both nato and the European Union, you can be sure that German leaders are discussing how they can shore up their economic and military might in a world where America isn’t their ally. Germany’s old World War ii foes will soon regret turning Germany loose. The world is about to see a much stronger Bundesbank—and consequently, a more aggressive German nation. German confidence and power grows with the clink of each brick it adds to its towering stack of gold!

    Will Russia Squeeze Syria Out of the Iranian Orbit, Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy?

    Will Russia Squeeze Syria Out of the Iranian Orbit, Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy?

    NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

    Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on Feb. 10, 2017.

    For over a decade, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has forecast that Syria will fall out of the Iranian orbit. Now that Russia and Iran have stabilized the Syrian regime, will their temporary alliance begin to fracture, leading to the fulfillment of this prophecy? On today’s program, Middle East correspondent Brent Nagtegaal discusses that likelihood in relation to two news stories from the past week.

    https://warisboring.com/iran-and-russia-are-apparently-fighting-each-other-in-syria-6f9d79b911da#.h17i6ri0i

    http://www.defensenews.com/articles/russia-and-iran-split-over-syria

    Listen to or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show on:

    http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/68064/details

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trumpet-daily-radio-show/id1003885427

    http://kpcg.fm/shows/trumpet-daily-radio-show