When Push Comes to Shove
Over the past several weeks, as Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to preemptively strike Iran’s nuclear facilities—perhaps even before the U.S. elections in November—Iranian leaders have retaliated by launching one verbal assault after another. On Jerusalem Day last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the Zionist regime to be obliterated, saying Israel was an “insult to humanity.” Two days after that, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world.”
Given the heightened tensions over the prospect of a regional war, Iran’s leaders certainly don’t seem to be losing sleep over the possibility of an Israeli strike. On Tuesday, Iranian M.P. Evaz Heydarpur brushed aside Israel’s threats as little more than psychological warfare. And even if Israel does attack, he said, “Iran will not accept any ceasefire request by that regime’s allies and will attack the occupied lands by missiles until all the Zionists die or surrender.”
This is the same pushy spirit of hostility and provocation we now see coming from Egypt. Using a recent spate of terrorist acts as justification, Cairo has been pouring troops, tanks and aircraft into the Sinai Peninsula—a region that has been demilitarized since the Camp David Accords in 1979.
Much to Israel’s dismay, Egypt is now pushing to regain “full sovereignty and control over every inch of Sinai,” to quote one of President Mohammed Morsi’s legal advisers from August 13.
This week, Reuters quoted an Egyptian military official as saying, “We don’t need to issue a daily report to Israel on the operation, as it is a matter of sovereignty and national security.”
Last week, Morsi fired all of the Mubarak loyalists left in Egypt’s military leadership—including the defense minister, the army chief of staff and the top commanders of the navy, air defense and air force—and replaced them with people like Mohamed Rifaat el-Tahtawi, who once described Israel as the “greatest threat” to the security of Egypt.
Of course, the backdrop behind Egypt’s astonishing transformation tells more about the story than any of these specific events. As Joel Hilliker reminded us on Wednesday, the Bible prophesied thousands of years ago that Egypt would take a radical turn for the worse in these latter days and ultimately fall under the powerful influence of Iran’s region-wide dominance.
Evidence of this fulfilled prophecy was captured beautifully on tape during an Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia on August 14. The revealing footage shows an Iranian president and his Egyptian counterpart warmly embracing at the start of the summit. Within days of this diplomatic first, Morsi then accepted an invitation to attend another summit in Tehran, scheduled for next week. It will be the first time in 32 years that an Egyptian head of state visits Iran.
“Watch for Cairo to distance itself from America,” my father wrote in early 2006. “Should the MB ever take control, there is no doubt that a strong alliance between Iran and Egypt will be built.”
That prophecy has been fulfilled, which is why Egypt is now pushing hard against Israel in the Sinai.
Of course, Israel isn’t the only nation on the receiving end of Iran’s pushy foreign policy. In Afghanistan, a U.S.-led coalition is facing a surge of terrorist acts, even as it prepares to abandon all combat operations by the end of 2014.
This week, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, met with U.S. and Afghan officials in Afghanistan to discuss ways to curb the recent increase in violence. Ironically, during Dempsey’s stay, his plane was damaged after militants fired rockets at the airfield where it had been parked.
In the Nimroz province of Afghanistan, also this week, there was a series of bomb attacks that killed 28 people. Afghanistan’s spy agency later killed two of the suspects and captured three others. All five of them were Iranian citizens.
Of greater concern to coalition forces than the Iranian-backed terrorist strikes is the alarming increase of “green-on-blue” attacks—when Afghan “partners” target U.S. soldiers and their allies. The latest attack happened on Sunday, when a man wearing an Afghan police uniform fatally shot an unsuspecting international coalition member. It was the tenth such killing in the last two weeks and the thirtieth attack of its kind so far this year. Several other government agents and nato forces have been gunned down or killed in bombing attacks in recent weeks—all by supposed friendlies. Americans and their allies are becoming victims of the very forces they have helped train and equip over the last several years.
Here again, back in 2003, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry correctly predicted the failed outcome of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Until America confronted the true origin of state-sponsored terror, he said, we would never win the war against terrorism. That head of the terrorist snake—Iran—is already looking to fill the void left by America’s evacuation in Afghanistan, just as it has in Iraq.
With Iran’s aggressive foreign policy steadily pushing its way into every corner of the Middle East, its no wonder Israel wants to take action. But in some ways, Israel’s threats against Tehran—even if Israel follows through on those threats—might distract us from other, far more consequential events, prophetically speaking.
Daniel 11:40 shows that Europe, not Israel or the United States, will ultimately smash the Iran-led “king of the south.” The Bible also indicates that this spectacular clash between the European “king of the north” and radical Islam will primarily revolve around Jerusalem. And the division of Jerusalem, as foretold in Zechariah 14:1-2, will be the spark that ignites the next worldwide war.
So while the world remains distracted with the threats flying back and forth between Israel and Iran, watch Europe. There, you will see a European power bloc quietly uniting in the background with Germany at its head. When Iran has finally pushed to the limit, this European power block will swoop in from the sidelines and obliterate Iran and its allies “like a whirlwind,” just as Daniel prophesied.