A Good Excuse to End a Bad Relationship
There is a kind of madness in the world’s constant condemnation of Israel. Up is down; victim is aggressor; facts are treated as propaganda and propaganda as truth; a friendless state trying to stave off its own death is accused of genocide.
All this wearingly familiar noise filled the political theater after last week’s Mavi Marmara incident.
What is remarkable, though—especially worth noting amid the noise—was Turkey’s central role in this latest blow to the Jewish state.
After America, Turkey has been Israel’s strongest ally. This relationship has protected Israel from a neighborhood of enemies as much as any other factor.
The alliance has suffered substantially in recent years under the leadership of Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. And now, this man has used the “Free Gaza” flotilla incident to jam a stake into its heart.
The Turkish-Israeli alliance is dead, and Israel will bleed for it.
This development calls to mind an intense and almost bewildering biblical prophecy that is about to unfold before our eyes. It graphically describes where the hatred for Israel we see exploding within Turkey will lead.
“Damn Israel.” “Murderer Israel.” “We are all Hamas.” This is what protesters storming the streets of Istanbul by the tens of thousands are shouting these days. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Revenge.”
They’re carrying Palestinian flags. They’re demanding Turkey cut ties with Israel, boycott its products and impose sanctions.
And as far as Turkey’s leaders are concerned, this ugly picture actually works to their advantage. “Turkey is in the process of trying to stage a comeback as a great power—a pursuit that has tremendous implications for the alliance it has had with Israel for more than six decades,” explained Stratfor. In order to do that, it has to start by leading within the region—which means establishing its Islamic credentials.
Nothing does that better than some telegenic anti-Israel protests—over Turks having been killed by Israeli soldiers, no less.
In this way, the flotilla incident was a slam-dunk.
The folks who organized it knew what they were doing. The Turkish group that staged the “humanitarian” mission to Gaza had ties to terrorist networks. It invited dozens of terrorists with ties to Iran, Hamas and al Qaeda to participate. It specifically sought to bust a naval blockade solely intended to limit Hamas’s ability to turn the Gaza Strip into a military bunker. It forced a confrontation, banking on the ability to turn it into a public relations disaster for the Jews.
Israel could see what was coming. Before the convoy set sail, Israeli leaders pleaded with Turkish officials to stop it; they offered to allow the supplies to be delivered through an Israeli checkpoint. But Erdoğan’s government let it go anyway. Thus, Israel had no choice but to intervene directly. And those on the boat made sure it turned violent.
Now, Turkey is milking the event for all it’s worth. It accused Israel of state-sponsored terrorism. It compared the psychological impact of the incident on Turks to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Americans. Turkish President Abdullah Gül called the Israeli raid a crime against humanity and said Israeli-Turkish relations will never be the same. Erdoğan labeled it a massacre. Turkish armed forces announced several cutbacks in cooperation with Israeli forces. The government also offered to supply Turkish naval protection for the next “aid” convoy to Gaza; “This would be, in effect, an act of war,” wrote Mark Steyn, “—more to the point, an act of war by a nato member against the State of Israel.”
Amazing the turnaround from just a few years ago. But Erdoğan’s Turkey has been looking for a way to sever its alliance with Israel, and this opportunity was practically gift-wrapped.
Now to the prophecy. What will become of this exploding antipathy for Israel? The book of Obadiah vividly foretells.
“Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom,” the prophecy begins. Edom is another name for the descendants of Isaac’s son Esau (see Genesis 36:8). Esau’s descendants comprise the nation of Turkey today.
Remarkably, the prophecy describes an end-time repetition and closing chapter of the rivalry between Esau and his younger twin, Jacob. After Jacob swindled Esau out of his birthright and his blessing, Esau vowed to kill him (Genesis 27:41). He failed, and Jacob went on to father the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. In his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong proved that the modern descendants of these tribes are, among other nations, Britain, America and Israel.
Obadiah’s vision primarily shows God’s anger with modern Edom over its brutal betrayal of its brother Jacob. Combined with other biblical prophecies, it shows that when the enemies of Israel rise up to destroy it, Turkey will align with them, even cutting off the escape routes of those trying to flee!
It is one of the most grotesque acts of treachery revealed in Bible prophecy—and it will be committed by Turkey against Israel.
The breach in this alliance today is but an ominous foreshadowing of that soon-coming event. (And this rift, in the near term, amplifies the immediate threat to Israel’s survival. The loss of Turkey’s protection unquestionably emboldens Israel’s enemies, and thus hastens Israel’s demise—which is also prophesied.)
Obadiah forewarns of God’s severe judgment against the Turks in response. See also Ezekiel 25:12-13.
The Trumpet has been watching Turkey with this prophecy in mind since well before Islamists took over the government. That is why we have always recognized the ultimate untenability of the Israeli-Turkish alliance.
Before us, however, the Plain Truth magazine, under Mr. Armstrong’s direction, did the same—as far back as 1966!
Yes, for most of the six decades of partnership binding Turkey to the Jewish state, we have used biblical prophecy to forecast the horrifying demise of this alliance. Such is the unfailing predictive power of “the more sure word of prophecy.”
In a world where up is down, where facts are treated as propaganda and propaganda as truth, it is good to know that one thing is sure. “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isaiah 46:9-10, Revised Standard Version).