Israel Enters Nightmare Scenario
We knew this was coming, but it’s still breathtaking to watch.
Last Friday evening, thousands of Egyptian demonstrators descended on Israel’s embassy in Cairo, terrifying the 80 some people inside. Sometime after midnight, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, his family and most of the embassy personnel were forced to evacuate to Cairo’s airport, where they were whisked away by Israeli military jets. Six Israeli intelligence officers remained, charged with the unenviable task of protecting the embassy.
Fearing for their lives, the officers barricaded themselves in the embassy strong room. The mob outside had demolished the 8-foot concrete wall that surrounded the compound and were walking around embassy facilities, tossing papers out the windows and burning the Israeli flag. Locked inside the strong room, the officers listened as the hammers beat down the doors that separated them from certain death. When the mob began beating the last door, three of the officers stood and aimed their weapons toward the door. Meanwhile, the commanding officer was on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He asked for backup, and that his prime minister would deliver the news of his capture or death to his parents in person, rather than over the phone.
Miraculously, the officers were rescued.
It’s telling, however, that it took the president of the United States calling and threatening retaliation before Egypt’s military rulers dispatched commandos to rescue the trapped Israelis. Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces could easily have prevented the demonstrators from breaching the embassy. It chose not to. The demonstration got out of hand, Stratfor reported, because there “was an order from the top to allow the situation to become a near crisis before intervening to stop it” (September 13).
This was a manufactured crisis, one that could very easily have turned out much differently.
Reading about these events of last Friday, one is struck by the broader parallel: Israel’s embassy crisis in Cairo is a microcosm of the dilemma now facing the entire Jewish nation.
Like its embassy in Cairo, Israel is a tiny speck, outnumbered and outgunned, in a region seething with hatred for the Jewish state. Like the embassy, Israel’s national security depends largely on the rectitude of third parties, be it regional allies or the United States. And much like embassy officials experienced firsthand last Friday, the willingness of Israel’s traditional allies to maintain past agreements and defend Jewish sovereignty is rapidly diminishing. In some instances these allies are even creating crises, much like Egypt’s military rulers did at the embassy last Friday.
Like its embassy in Cairo, the entire Jewish state is at risk of being violently besieged!
By now even the most ardent peaceniks are realizing that the now-forming post-Mubarak Egypt will not be a pro-Israel state. Ethan Bronner, the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, wrote Saturday that the “growing hostility from Egypt could require a radical rethinking of Israel’s defense doctrine which, for the past three decades, counted on peace on its southern border.” The uptick of violence against Israel in the Sinai and the now routine outbursts of public hatred for Israel in Egypt have “military strategists … examining how to beef up protection of the south, including by the building of an anti-infiltration wall in the Sinai,” Bronner said.
On Tuesday, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick endorsed similar measures. Israel “must prepare for the possibility of war,” she warned. “It must increase the size of the idf by adding a division to the Southern Command. It must train for desert warfare. It must expand the Navy.”
To be sure, fortifying the military wall that protects Israel from attack is a rational step to take in light of recent events. But the reality is, such measures would essentially be the same as the 8-foot concrete barrier erected less than a month ago to protect Israel’s embassy in Cairo—that is, a barrier that creates a false sense of security and will collapse under the weight of overwhelming force.
This may seem like a hopeless and pessimistic point to make. But it’s the truth. Israel needs more than military muscle—it needs an act of God.
Now consider the situation in Turkey, which was actually the first Muslim-majority nation to recognize Israel as a Jewish state back in 1949. Together with Cairo, the moderate government in Ankara has been Israel’s most important regional ally for decades, and a key pillar of Israel’s national security. But in recent years, particularly under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has undergone a quiet revolution, one that has involved Ankara increasingly sabotaging its relationship with the Jewish state in an effort to bolster its reputation among Muslim states.
Lately, Turkey has become ever more combative with Israel. Just in the last two weeks Ankara has suspended military ties with Israel, kicked out Israel’s ambassador and begun persecuting Israelis visiting Turkey. In his most recent provocation, Erdoğan announced that Turkey would dispatch three frigates to the Mediterranean to escort any future aid flotilla to Gaza.
Turkey’s growing animosity toward Israel is deeply sobering. As Caroline Glick wrote recently, “We need to recognize that what we are experiencing now is the beginning, not the end, of Turkey’s slide into the enemy camp. Erdoğan is openly taking steps to transform Turkey into an Islamic state along the lines of Iran. And the further he goes down his chosen path, the more harshly and aggressively he will lash out at Israel” (emphasis added).
There are so many events of extreme significance in this world it’s easy to overlook how extraordinary, how historic and how dangerous for Israel the changes occurring in Egypt and Turkey are. The fate of nations, entire regions even, turn on moments like this.
And we haven’t even considered the Palestinians’ plan to declare statehood at the United Nations next week!
This could create a fresh crisis for Israel, one of greater magnitude and with potentially disastrous consequences. At the moment no one knows for sure what will happen when most of the world recognizes a Palestinian state. But most people agree: Israel will undoubtedly find itself more isolated, under greater pressure and facing more persecution from the Palestinians, from the international community and from the United States. “Far from being a gesture towards peace,” Melanie Phillips wrote this week, “this declaration sounds the drumbeat for war.”
It’s a grim scenario, and one that has converged on Israel with incredible speed. As a European envoy in Jerusalem put it this week, “Within a week Israel has found itself two friends down and about to face a so-called diplomatic tsunami with the Palestinians.”
In fact, the situation is markedly worse than these people realize.
Israel hasn’t simply lost Egypt and Turkey as regional allies—it has gained both as enemies.
Cairo and Ankara are not severing relations with Israel and repositioning themselves as moderate, neutral states. They are not simply resigning from Israel’s team, choosing instead to sit as passive spectators on the sidelines. Rather, as they discard their alliances with Israel, both are willfully,vigorously throwing their support behind Israel’s number one enemy.
The peril is less that Israel’s position is being weakened, and more that Iran and its radical Islamic proxies are being dramatically strengthened!
In a televised address following last Friday’s emergency rescue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Middle East is “now undergoing a political earthquake of historic proportions.”
Netanyahu sees that right now vast tracts of the Middle East, territorially, politically and strategically, belong to Iran and radical Islam. Soon now, this Iran-led radical Islamic mob will descend on Israel with overwhelming numbers and force. Like its embassy in Cairo last week, the Jewish state has a defensive wall, a top-notch military, crack intelligence and state-of-the-art anti-missile defense systems. That wall might hold for a while longer. But with each passing month, its ability to protect and defend will diminish, one missile, one terrorist attack at a time.
Soon, perhaps in a few months or maybe next year or the year after, the weight of the Islamic mob will cause the wall to crumble and collapse. What will happen then?
Bible prophecy tells us that just as a full-scale incursion and takeover of Israel by radical Islam is occurring, Israel will make a phone call. Not to the White House, or to the United Nations. Rather, prophecy reveals that Israel’s leaders, barricaded behind a crumbling wall, will turn to Europe. At the last minute, a German-led European army will swoop in to rescue the Jewish state and obliterate the forces of radical Islam.
Maybe that sounds fanciful. But think for a moment—so did our forecasts nearly 20 years ago that Egypt would fall to radical Islam and align with Iran; that Turkey would eventually turn on Israel; and that Iran would emerge as the king of Islamic terrorism. Today, each one of these Bible-based forecasts is reality.
It’s true that the loss of Egypt and Turkey as regional allies is a disaster for Israel. But the real catastrophe in these recent developments is that both Cairo and Ankara are now aligning themselves with Iran. These events have not simply weakened Israel, they have empowered Israel’s enemy!
The stage is set for Israel to be besieged—creating a scenario in which it will turn to Europe for help.
Although we know this will happen, this too will be breathtaking to watch.