After five elections in less than four years, Israel finally elected an outright victor: Benjamin Netanyahu. His Likud party and its partners, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Religious Zionism, won 64 out of 120 legislative seats on Nov. 1, 2022, returning Netanyahu to the prime minister’s office 18 months after he was forced out by a motley coalition built expressly for that purpose.
The mainstream press immediately attacked Netanyahu and his coalition, with major outlets calling parties in his coalition extremist, ultranationalist and racist. The title of an editorial in Haaretz claimed, “Israel Is Now Closing In on a Right-wing, Religious, Authoritarian Revolution.”
The United States government made its displeasure known, as Joe Biden took five days to finally call and congratulate Netanyahu. The exchange was friendly, but White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden would “closely monitor the government formation process,” out of concern that Netanyahu would include “far-right parties.” See article, page 8.
The most powerful people in the U.S. government are loyal not to Biden but to Barack Obama, who pointedly snubbed, insulted, backstabbed and undermined Netanyahu. Biden himself is beholden to Obama, so expect him to renew that attack against Netanyahu and the special bond between Israel and the U.S.
On Oct. 27, 2022, Israel and Lebanon signed a deal to resolve their maritime border dispute over the Karish oil field. While Israel can now develop the oil field, some experts say the fact that it agreed to renounce territory it has claimed for years makes the deal a surrender. “Such a complete concession can be perceived as a weakness,” wrote former Israeli National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror. “Even objective observers, who accept that Israel had an economic interest in the agreement, would likely agree that the absolute concession embodies a fear of conflict with Hezbollah.”
An important dimension is Europe’s involvement. Lebanon has strong connections with Europe. This agreement, brokered in part by France, may be part of much greater European involvement in Lebanon, a trend the Trumpet has long forecast. Read “Israel and Lebanon Sign Landmark Maritime Deal.”*
Several companies and individuals in Africa were placed under U.S. sanctions in late October and early November in an effort to curb the alarming growth of the Islamic State in the continent. U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said these sanctions target “key individuals … who have played pivotal roles in enabling terrorism and other criminal activities in the region.” Islamic State affiliates are among a number of growing terrorist organizations in the region.
Daniel 11 describes a Middle Eastern power called “the king of the south.” Gerald Flurry has identified radical Islam, led by Iran, as this “king.” Daniel 11 also warns that it will gain control over key African nations such as Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. Read The King of the South.
Crises continue to mount in Germany. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused Germany’s “deepest crisis” since reunification, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Oct. 28, 2022, adding that “tougher, rough years are ahead of us.” Eurozone inflation hit 10.7 percent, even higher than expected, according to Eurostat data published on October 31. Germans typically keep their savings in cash, so a lot of wealth for millions of Germans has already been eroded.
Meanwhile, immigration is rising fast. Authorities seem to fear this combustible subject, trying to keep the figures hidden. Manuel Ostermann from the German Police Trade Union told Bild that the most recent figures are missing. In February 2022, 3,842 illegal refugees entered Germany. In September 2022, as many as 12,701 entered. The government is late in reporting the up-to-date figures. While not comparable to the 2015–16 refugee crisis, the influx is a reminder of the volatile situation and Europe’s vulnerability.
The result: 55 percent of Germans believe Chancellor Olaf Scholz is overburdened, according to a survey commissioned by Bild. Only 37 percent say that he seems up to the challenges of his office. Scholz kowtowing to China against the wishes of his coalition partners has also weakened his government (article, page 20).
These crises are already pushing changes in Germany. Steinmeier said that, due to the war in Ukraine, there is a “growing awareness of and growing respect for our Bundeswehr [German military] across our society.” “Finally, it is high time!” he continued. It’s not just Germany’s attitude to its military that will change—watch appetite for a strong leader to grow. The Bible prophesies a new strongman will emerge from the mess in Germany; our booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent shows how.
Italy has already begun taking a stronger and more nationalist approach, as voters elected Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party, a successor to World War II dictator Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, in September 2022. The party has tried to downplay its far-right aspects, but on October 31, the government appointed two politicians accused of being fascist sympathizers. Claudio Durigon of the League party has been appointed undersecretary in the Ministry of Labor. In 2021, Durigon called for a city park to be renamed to its original Parco Arnaldo Mussolini. The park was named after Arnaldo upon request of his older brother, dictator Benito Mussolini. Galeazzo Bignami of the Brothers of Italy has been appointed undersecretary of the Infrastructure Ministry. In 2005, he was photographed wearing the typical black shirt of the World War II-era fascists and a swastika armband.
In addition, on October 29, around 4,000 Italians gathered in Predappio, northern Italy, the birthplace of Benito Mussolini, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his dictatorship. Mussolini’s great-granddaughter said, “After 100 years, we are still here to pay homage to the man this state wanted and whom we will never stop admiring.”
The Bible reveals that the same spirit will once again rise from the underground (Revelation 17). Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written a detailed analysis on this prophecy and how it applies to current affairs. To learn more, read “Fascism Reawakens in Italy.”
With persistent inflation eroding wage gains, most Americans’ finances have worsened, and the government’s finances are a clear and present danger to the nation.
According to a September 2022 Lending Club Report, 63 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That is near the 64 percent historic high hit in March and 6 percent higher than the number a year ago. Read “Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck.”
The Federal Reserve countered rising consumer prices by raising its interest rate by 0.75 percentage points on November 2. It is expected to raise it further, a decision that will cost the U.S. government, literally. The government paid 35 percent more in interest on its $24 trillion public debt in fiscal year 2022, and is projected to spend 55 percent more for fiscal year 2023.
Financial historian Niall Ferguson has warned that nations and empires usually fall once the cost of paying their debts exceeds the cost of defending their borders. Based on current budget projections, and with a border that is already undefended against infiltration, America will reach this tipping point soon. The Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength ranks the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Space Force as too weak to win victories in two major conflicts at once. Slashing military spending to pay for the ballooning national debt will weaken the military further.
In Deuteronomy 28, God specifically warned His people that debt problems are one of the many curses that come from disobedience. Now America is approaching a point where debt leaves the nation vulnerable to foreign attack. Yet many Americans do not realize this startling fact because their math skills are plummeting at the fastest rate in history.
An Oct. 24, 2022, National Assessment of Education Progress report showed that only 26 percent of eighth graders (13-to-14-year-olds) were deemed proficient in math, down from 34 percent in 2019. Many recognize the massive damage that draconian coronavirus school lockdowns did to America’s education, but another factor destroying U.S. education is “woke” indoctrination, including teachers and administrators characterizing academic achievement as part of white supremacy culture. Learn more in our March 2020 article “What Is Your Child Learning in Public School?”
Isaiah 3:1-3 prophesies of a time when America’s armed forces are deprived of mighty men, America’s government is deprived of disciplined leaders, and America’s children are deprived of good teachers. The lack of biblical virtue in America’s families, schools, officers and politicians is having real-world, mass-scale consequences.
On Oct. 9, 2022, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in four territories he has forcibly annexed from Ukraine. This authorizes him to ban travel, set curfews, censor information, and legally seize civilian resources in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia. Government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “All these territories are inalienable parts of the Russian Federation” and their “security is provided for at the same level as the rest of Russia’s territory.” In other words, Putin will use nuclear weapons to keep the land it has taken from Ukraine.
Two weeks later, Russia said it might attack American commercial satellites that Ukraine is using for its defense. “Quasi-civil infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliation strike,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantin Vorontsov said. Considering Russia’s history, this is not an empty threat.
In his January 1995 article “America’s Achilles’ Heel,”* Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned, “America is the greatest superpower this world has ever known. But we have a very vulnerable point in our military—our own Achilles’ heel.” That fatal vulnerability, he wrote, is heavy reliance on information technology.
On Oct. 1, 2022, China Central Television aired footage of the nation’s latest Dongfeng “aircraft carrier killers.” The U.S. Department of Defense warned that these nuclear-capable ballistic missiles are “capable of conducting precision land-attack and antiship strikes specifically” and are designed “to hold adversary aircraft carriers at risk when located within 1,500 kilometers of China’s coast.” Showcasing these on television, according to former People’s Liberation Army instructor Song Zhongping, “is a subtle warning to the United States.”
China has also established at least 54 “overseas police stations” in 21 different countries, according to a recent report titled “110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild.” The report, named after the emergency telephone number for the Chinese police, was published by Safeguard Defenders, a nongovernmental organization based in Spain.
The Chinese Communist Party established these stations in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and at least 50 other nations so it can crack down on dissent and silence critics of the party far beyond China’s borders. Beijing says 230,000 Chinese people in other nations have been “persuaded to return” to China to face criminal proceedings from April 2021 to July 2022. “[P]eople are afraid,” said Laura Harth, campaign director for Safeguard Defenders. “People being targeted … have family members back in China,” which makes them “afraid to speak out.”
In July 2014, Mr. Flurry wrote: “Throughout history, China has often taken on an expansionist policy to conquer, destroy, subdue and enslave people. That same policy is starting to materialize again ….” As Mr. Flurry explained, China’s actions are just the beginning of what the Bible terms “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm.” Read that article, “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?”