>The Union for the Mediterranean will create prosperity and peace for everyone involved in it. If it becomes reality, the Union for the Mediterranean will change the world.
— French President Nicolas Sarkozy, statement made at National Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Tunis, on April 28, 2008
In previous posts we have provided a rationale for our occasional detours from monitoring neo-Soviet Russia, described as “the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” in the book of Ezekiel, to considering the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in the Middle East and Europe. World events are moving fast and, indeed, Russia is not only on a collision course with the West but also God Himself. Ezekiel prophesies that in “the latter years” (38:8) Russia and its Islamic allies will fling their armies against Israel, after the Jews are gathered from their dispersion, only to be miraculously overthrown: “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou [Gog] shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezekiel 38:16).
The inclusion of hundreds of precise predictions of the future in the Bible was designed by God to confirm to mankind the historical reliability of His written word and, more specifically, to provoke people to look unto Jesus for personal salvation from divine judgment on sin. In the light of current events and the failure of some Bible expositors to properly relate Daniel’s 70th week to past events in Israel’s history, including the earthly ministry of Jesus, we believe that the last seven years of the kingdom of man is fast approaching. Three sets of prophecies, in particular, are worthy of consideration: 1) Israel has returned from its dispersion to its covenant land (Genesis 12:7) according to the exact year, month and day predicted in Leviticus (26:18, 24), Jeremiah (25:11-12, 29:10), Ezekiel (4:5-9), and Daniel (9:2); 2) the Roman Empire, in the form of the Mediterranean Union, which includes the European Union and the states of northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, including Israel, will be revived this year according to the predictions of Daniel (chapters 2, 7) and Revelation (13, 17); and 3) the professing churches are in a profound state of doctrinal confusion and moral declension according to the predictions of Paul (2 Timothy 4:3). In the days of His flesh Jesus said of His return: “[W]hen the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Defining God’s Programs for Israel, the Nations, and the Church
Christians who hold to the literal-historical-grammatical, rather than allegorical, interpretation of Holy Scripture rightly recognize that God has separate but related programs for Israel, the nations, and the Body of Christ, or church, that will culminate during the earthly thousand-year reign of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) from Jerusalem. During this extended period of universal bliss (Isaiah 9:7), Israel will be restored under her covenant relationship with Yahweh (Romans 11:26) and become the “head of the nations” (Deuteronomy 28:13); the Old and New Testament saints, in their glorified, resurrected bodies, will assist King Yeshua in his global dominion (Revelation 5:10); and those saints who are waiting for Messiah at the end of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), or Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Daniel 12:1), will escape the Son of God’s judgment to populate the Millennial world (Matthew 25:34). According to 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 5:9, as well as Revelation 3:10, moreover, before God pours out his judgments upon the earth Christ will remove the church from the earth through the physical translation, or rapture (“catching away”), of the saints to heaven.
As current events unfold, the superiority of the literal over the allegorical hermeneutic is becoming obvious.
It is true that the New Testament graphically refers to the individual Christian as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16) and the church as the temple of the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:16). The apostle Paul’s pictorial use of the historical Temple does not preclude, as those who hold to supersessionism or replacement theology insist, the reconstruction of a physical temple in Jerusalem. Ultimately, supersessionism or replacement theology is based on an allegorical, even crypto-gnostic, interpretation of God’s promises to Israel. In recent years, advocates of supersessionism, found throughout much of Protestantism, have mounted an offensive against the literal hermeneutic in the field of prophecy. True, there are good folks on both sides of the issue. However, at stake is God’s character. Is the Lord God of Israel a trustworthy, plain-speaking God, or does he speak in allegories that require interpretation by “Christian gurus”? The existence of symbolism in the Bible is not under debate here.
As such, we will consider the fact that two temples have existed on Mount Zion, while two have yet to be built. The First Temple was erected by King Solomon, the third and last monarch of the unified Kingdom of Israel, in the 10th century BC and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Second Temple was erected by Ezra and Nehemiah in 516 BC, after the predicted 70-year Babylonian Captivity, massively renovated by King Herod in 19 BC, and destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.
The Third Temple, the future existence of which is predicted in Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, and Revelation 11:1-2, will be built by the Jews themselves, possibly just before or just after the beginning of the first three and one half years of Daniel’s 70th Week. It will probably be destroyed during the earthquake that will shake Jerusalem in the midst of that prophetic week (Revelation 11:13) or possibly during Messiah’s return to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
Daniel’s 70 weeks refer to 490 prophetic years of Israel’s history, which began when Persia’s King Cyrus commanded the Jews to rebuild God’s temple in 516 BC (Daniel 9:25) and terminated 483 years later, at the end of the 69th week, with the Passover week in which Christ was received as Israel’s king (Matthew 27:37) but then rejected and crucified, or “cut off” (Daniel 9:26) for the “sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28). From this point God, following the plan that He devised in eternity past (Revelation 13:8), redirected His attention to the Body of Christ, consisting of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus. Following the rapture of the saints, mentioned above, God will return his full attention to Israel for the purpose of pouring out the spiritual and material blessings promised to that nation through Abraham and David. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, warns the Christian church in Rome: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).
Prophetic time spans in Holy Scripture, it should be stressed, are never used in conjunction with the church, only Israel and the nations. Confounding Israel and the church, therefore, will produce a faulty understanding of most areas of theology. The same can be said with respect to erroneously attributing the “he” of Daniel 9:27 to Christ, rather than Antichrist, which will produce a faulty understanding of the end times, the entire period between the First and Second Advents of Messiah.
Lastly, the Fourth Temple will be constructed at the beginning of the Millennium under the supervision of Messiah Himself, as prophesied by Zechariah (6:12-15), and follow the blueprint described by Ezekiel (chapters 40 to 46), but which was never applied in the Second Temple. The Millennial Temple will be the site of memorial observances of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, such as the reinstitution of the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19). This should not be a foreign concept to Christians today since the church presently has a memorial observance called the Lord’s supper. In the Millennial Temple worship, it should be emphasized, there will be no Levitical priesthood or sacrifice for sin since Christ’s one-time offering of Himself on the cross as mankind’s sin-bearer was perfect (Hebrews 9:26). There is no disharmony, therefore, between the Millennial Temple worship and the Christian doctrine of personal salvation. It is very possible, we should add, that the Millennial Temple will not even be erected on the Temple Mount, but near Jerusalem, since this structure and its environs vastly exceed the size of their predecessors.
Rebuilding the Temple of God in Jerusalem
Pictured here is a hypothetical Third Temple from the website of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, which is prominent in the plans afoot to rebuild the Jewish Temple. Another important organization involved in these plans is the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement. In 2004, in preparation for erecting the Third Temple at the Temple Mount, Orthodox Jews reorganized the ancient Sanhedrin, or council of rabbis. Yisrael Ariel, who heads the Temple Institute, is one of the rabbis participating in the revived Sanhedrin. In a January 2005 interview with Arutz-7 TV Rabbi Ariel confided:
Whether this will be the actual Sanhedrin that we await, is a question of time – just like the establishment of the State; we rejoiced in it, but we are still awaiting something much more ideal. It’s a process. Today’s ceremony is really the continuation of the renewal of the Ordination process in Israel, which we marked several months ago. Our Talmudic Sages describe the ten stages of exile of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem to other locations, until it ended in Tiberias – and this is the place where it was foretold that it would be renewed, and from here it will be relocated to Jerusalem.
In December 2007 the Temple Institute announced the completion of the tzitz, the high priest’s headplate, and current work on 120 sets of garments for the regular priests and architectural drawings for the Third Temple. Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, informed Arutz-7 TV that until the tzitz can actually be used, the headplate will be on view in the Institute’s permanent exhibition, along with other vessels and priestly garments fashioned by the Institute for use in the yet-to-be-built Temple. Rabbi Ariel, who was also interviewed, explained that the reinstitution of the Temple worship also awaits the breeding of a suitable red heifer to ceremonially purify the participants. “For one thing,” Ariel said, “they are made in impurity – for now we are impure, and will remain impure until we are able to have a Red Heifer whose ashes can be used in the Torah-prescribed purification ceremony. If no Red Heifer is available, then the High Priest must even serve in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur in a state of impurity.”
More recently, in April 2008 an orthodox Jewish group ritually slaughtered a sheep in what the Temple Movement calls a “rehearsal for the renewal of the Passover sacrifice once the Jerusalem temple is rebuilt.”
Jewish group to slaughter lamb in Passover sacrifice rehearsal
Sunday, April 06, 2008 by Staff Writer
A Bible-adherent Jewish group on Sunday ritually slaughtered a young lamb in what is called a “rehearsal” for the renewal of the Passover sacrifice once the Jerusalem temple is rebuilt.
The Temple Movement won approval to carry out the practice sacrifice from Israel’s High Court on Friday after animal rights groups asserted that the lamb would be put through inhumane suffering.
In its legal response, the Temple Movement explained that the slaughter would be carried out according to biblical standards, which is the same method used to slaughter lambs at kosher slaughterhouses around the country.
The sacrifice and accompanying religious ceremonies were performed at a prominent yeshiva overlooking Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which is still occupied by several Muslim shrines.
Source: Israel Today
Thus, we see the ongoing fulfillment of important elements in God’s plan for Israel during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), which occurs during the second half of Daniel’s 70th week. In preparation for erecting the Third Temple, however, Orthodox Jews will require an agreement, brokered by the leader of the revived Roman Empire, with the Islamic Waqf. This body has controlled the Temple Mount since 1291, when the Crusaders were expelled from Palestine, and continues to exercise its authority to this day, notwithstanding the fact that the Israelis liberated the Temple Mount in the Six Day War. Half way through Daniel’s 70th week the Roman Antichrist, who is also described as “that man of sin” in Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica, will seat himself in the rebuilt Temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Rebuilding the Roman Empire of Bible Prophecy
In the Old Testament book of Daniel God provides mankind with an outline of history in the dreams of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and the Hebrew prophet Daniel, who also interpreted the king’s dream. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a statue of a man consisting of different metals that represented four successive world empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 2:38-45). A stone, representing Jesus Christ and his Millennial Kingdom, smashed the statue at its feet. The ancient Roman Empire, in particular, embraced not only Europe, but also northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, including the province of Judea, or modern Israel. Together, these empires would embrace the “times of the Gentiles,” spoken of by Jesus in Luke 21:24, and span the period between the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity and the return of Messiah in glory, a period now almost 2,600 years in extent. Since the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom on earth was postponed at his First Advent (Acts 1:6-7), the fourth worldly empire, Rome, has been extended accordingly, through various phases, to the end of the church, or present, age.
The final form of the Roman Empire, which will be present when Messiah returns was identified with the statue’s ten toes, comprised of iron and clay and representing a mingling of overbearing authoritarianism and fragile democracy (Daniel 2:42-43). In parallel fashion Daniel’s own dream contained four beasts, representing the kingdoms above, the last of which possessed ten horns, representing ten kings, and “another horn” that shall rise after them and require the subservience of the previous (Daniel 7:23-27). The end of the (Western) Roman Empire is dated at 476, with the deposing of Romulus Augustus by the German chieftain Odoacer, but no confederation of equal kingdoms embracing the land of Palestine subsequently arose until 2007, when French President Nicolas Sarkozy first proposed his Mediterranean Union. The mingling of authoritarianism and democracy also perfectly describes the European Union and its impending expansion into the Mediterranean Union.
Meanwhile, the EU leadership is anxious to expand its power throughout the territory of the ancient Roman Empire. On April 1, 2008 Middle East Business Intelligence quoted European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, an “ex”-communist from Portugal, as saying: “The Mediterranean is an absolute priority for Europe, a priority on which delivery has now become urgent.” The full article follows:
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called for the urgent delivery of plans for a Mediterranean Union, international press reports said. Speaking over the weekend at an Athens meeting of parliamentary presidents from the 37 member states of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Barroso said: “The Mediterranean is an absolute priority for Europe, a priority on which delivery has now become urgent.” On 14 March, the EU approved the Mediterranean Union plan promoted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France is expected to present detailed plans and host a summit on the issue in July, when the country takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency. Some 27 EU members and 12 Mediterranean nations, including Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are to be included in the Union.
As of April 2008 France, Spain, and Italy have expressed their unreserved support for the nascent MU. Germany and Turkey have offered qualified support for Sarkozy’s project of uniting the Mediterranean region. In North Africa Tunisia and Egypt have articulated their solidarity with the French president in his grandiose ambitions. Sarkozy and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in fact, are touted as the MU’s dual leaders. According to the French media, moreover, the MU will boast two rotating presidencies, one for the countries north of the Mediterranean Sea, another for the countries south of the sea. On May 4 France 24 TV reported: “Syria, Libya and some other Arab countries have also appeared lukewarm over the project as it might suggest an indirect normalisation of their relations with Israel without any settlement of the Palestinian conflict.” However, settlement of the Palestinian conflict is top priority for Sarkozy and will be for the leader of the revived Roman Empire.
Some Bible scholars have suggested that the 1954 military pact known as the Western European Union, which consists of 10 member states, represents the revived Roman Empire of prophecy. However, the territory covered by the WEU, the functions of which are being transferred to the more well-known EU, does not embrace that of Imperial Rome. In conclusion we should note that for these prophecies to be literally fulfilled, it is to be expected therefore that the nascent MU will be regionalized into 10 subunits and the seat of government established in Rome. The EU’s capitals are currently in Brussels, Belgium and Strasbourg, France.
Waiting for Antichrist: “Another Shall Come in His Own Name”
During His earthly ministry Messiah warned that “false Christs,” or pseudochristos, would appear at the end of the present age to deceive Israel and the world: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:24). In John’s gospel account Jesus alluded to the arrival of the final Antichrist: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). “Little children, it is the last time,” affirms John in his first epistle, “and as ye have heard that [the] antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). Incidentally, the Greek contains the definite article ho in the first reference to antichristos. John defines antichrist as one who denies that Christ has come in the flesh, but antichrist is no open atheist but, rather, a hypocritical professor of things holy (1 John 2:22-23).
The present revival of the Roman Empire, of course, necessitates the arrival of a political-military ruler (Daniel 8:9-14, 23-25, 9:26-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9, 1 John 2:18) who will assume control over the last form of Daniel’s fourth kingdom. This “beast from the sea” (Revelation 13:11) will probably not be a pope, contrary to the historic Protestant interpretation, but, rather, a co-religionist of the “false prophet” (19:20, 20:10), also known as the “beast from the earth,” who had “two horns like a lamb” and “spake as a dragon” (13:11). The False Prophet, furthermore, “had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (13:15). For a time the Beast and the False Prophet will operate as a duumvirate.
The pope’s religious influence is unrivalled. Since the Second Vatican Council the papacy has taken a leadership role in promoting the ecumencial/interfaith/one world religion movement. Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II especially were no exceptions. In October 2007 Benedict XVI hosted the largest inter-faith meeting of his pontificate thus far. The Turkish Press reported: “Some 200 participants at the annual Sant’Egidio community peace meeting include Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Israel’s chief rabbis Yona Metzger and the imam of the United Arab Emirates, Ibrahim Ezzeddin.” The same source quoted the pope as urging: “With respect for the differences between the various religions, we are all called to work for peace and … reconciliation among peoples.” The synthesis of the world’s competing religions under the guidance of the Vatican, which claims to this day that it is the “one true church,” will require nothing short of a demonic deception, such as that predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. Coincidentally but probably not, the pope, as is commonly known, portrays himself as a meek and mild “shepherd of souls,” but like Revelation’s beast from the earth, literally sports two horns in the form of a two-horned mitre, or ceremonial headpiece (above).
For those Christians who believe that the ancient Roman emperors or the popes were or are the final embodiment of the spirit of antichrist already at work in John’s day (1 John 4:3), then be mindful that John’s epistle quoted above predicts the arrival of “many antichrists,” in addition to the chief “antichrist [who] will come.” Revelation, moreover, describes how the political power, or the Beast, will exploit the religious power, or the False Prophet, to advance its own cause (Revelation 17:1-9), before overthrowing the harlot state church and demanding total worship for itself (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The Holy Scriptures reveal:
And the ten horns [kings] which thou sawest upon the beast [from the sea, equivalent to Daniel’s fourth beast], these shall hate the whore [state church], and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire (Revelation 17:6).
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning (Revelation 18:9).
Without making an apology for Catholic eschatology, it is interesting to note that the Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges a similar scenario. In ancient Rome the emperors demanded worship and some like Constantine the Great, a professed Christian who nevertheless supported the old pagan gods and their priests, referred to himself as Supreme Pontiff, one of the pope’s current titles. In short, Antichrist will be the last leader of the revived Roman Empire, who will command the adoration of the world’s inhabitants in much the same way as did the ancient caesars, and he will be present on the earth when Christ returns in flaming vengeance against evildoers (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
In his classic treatment of eschatology in Things to Come (1958), theologian J. Dwight Pentecost notes 29 Biblical characteristics of Antichrist’s character and career (pages 333-334), some delivered under types and shadows of ancient Middle Eastern political-military leaders. This is the case with Daniel’s prophecy about the “willful king” (11:36-45). Some indication of the personality of Antichrist appears in the eighth chapter of Daniel’s book, which contains a predictive account of the malevolent Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes (meaning “manifestation of god”).
Antiochus IV is an obvious Old Testament type of the final Antichrist. One source writes of Antiochus’ nefarious exploits in Judea: “While Antiochus was conquering Egypt (169 BCE), Jason’s forces recaptured Jerusalem & slaughtered supporters of Menelaus. Returning from Egypt (167 BCE) Antiochus sacked Jerusalem & rebuilt it as a Seleucid fortress. Torah observance was outlawed & the imperial cult brought into the Jewish temple itself with the erection of a statue of Antiochus as Zeus with a Hellenistic altar of sacrifice. Jews who resisted were subject to execution.” Antiochus also desecrated the Second Temple by slaughtering a pig, a ceremonially unclean animal, on the premises.
It is not our purpose here to provide an extensive biography of Antichrist. Indeed, this figure’s identity cannot be known with absolute certainty until every born-again, Bible-believing Christian, which includes your resident blogger, is removed from this earth in the rapture. Nevertheless, potential candidates of the world’s last dictator appear to be present on the world stage. For example, Prince Charles, who was dubbed “Savior of the World” by overzealous Brazilian sculptor Mauricio Bentes in 2002, was a recent contender, but was dismissed from the role by one cynical Antichrist tracker.
Nevertheless, self-restrained students of Bible prophecy might wish to monitor the careers of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Upon first inspection, the congenial Blair and the playboy Sarkozy appear to be unlikely candidates for Antichrist. After all, they are not rapacious Jew-haters like Adolph Hitler or Antiochus Epiphanes. Indeed, Sarkozy’s mother’s father was a Greek Jew. The European Antichrist, after all, is a deceiver, who will remove his friendly mask after neo-Soviet Russia and its Islamic allies move against Israel three years and six months into Daniel’s 70th Week.
Friendly Deceiver? Tony Blair, Antichrist Candidate A
As the world’s Middle East peace ambassador, Blair’s career is a must-view for Antichrist sleuths. The former British prime minister, as we blogged before, was chosen in June 2007 to be the Diplomatic Quartet’s Special Envoy to the Middle East. The Diplomatic Quartet, also known as the Quartet on the Middle East, the Madrid Quartet, or simply the Quartet, consists of the USA, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Quartet was established in Madrid in 2002 by the Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, in order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Jewish news source reported at the time that Blair will be moving to Jerusalem to fulfill his new role as “world peacemaker.” He will open an office there, as well as in the Palestinian National Authority.
Quartet picks Blair as peace envoy
Tony Blair will be moving to Jerusalem to become the Quartet’s special peace envoy to the Middle East. A statement released Wednesday by U.N. headquarters in New York confirmed Blair’s appointment, which was reportedly agreed upon yesterday in Jerusalem at a meeting of the Quartet, the diplomatic grouping made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. As envoy, Blair is charged with mobilizing international assistance to the Palestinians, securing support for the institutional governance needs of the future Palestinian state, promoting Palestinian economic development, and coordinating Quartet objectives with other countries.
“As representative, Tony Blair will bring continuity and intensity of focus to the work of the Quartet in support of the Palestinians, within the broader framework of the Quartet’s efforts to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the roadmap,” the statement said. “He will spend significant time in the region working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy, and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people.” Blair’s new post will be based in Jerusalem, with a potential second office in the West Bank, and will be assisted by a team of experts.
Blair is widely perceived by his supporters and opponents as a friend of Israel. In 2003 Tam Dalyell, Father of the House, the most senior position in the British House of Commons, created an uproar by accusing then Prime Minister Blair of “being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers.” Leftist Labour MP Dalyell named Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s personal envoy on the Middle East, Peter Mandelson, whose father was Jewish, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has Jewish ancestry, as three leading figures who have influenced Mr. Blair’s policies on the Middle East. Lord Janner, a Labour peer and the chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, commented: “I think these comments are sad and unfounded. Tony Blair is his own man. He will follow advice if he considers it correct and not otherwise. He has been a good friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.” In a 2005 interview with the Jewish Chronicle Blair affirmed: “I’ve been a very strong supporter of the Jewish community and Israel, and will always be so.” During a visit to Israel in September 2006 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said of his British counterpart:
Prime Minister Blair is a true and proven friend of the State of Israel, and a dedicated friend of the Middle East. Britain is Israel’s staunch ally and a trusted partner in advancing many of the issues that stand in the forefront of our national agenda.
Prime Minister Blair’s visit to Israel is of great importance to us all and is in direct continuation of a positive role that Britain plays under the leadership of the Prime Minister and will continue to play. Prime Minister Blair works actively and intensively to promote progress in all tracks to create stability throughout the Middle East and his contribution is invaluable. In the last few months I had many talks with Prime Minister Blair in which he enquired, suggested, promoted and asked me to make every possible effort to advance the possible track for negotiations between us and the Palestinians.
Among Muslims and neo-Nazis Blair is denounced as a “Zionist agent.” For example, former KKK leader and Russophile David Duke, who attended Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s holocaust (denial) conference in December 2006, complained: “Aren’t they the Zionist puppets Bush and Blair and the Zionist controlled media that lie about this conference, my speech, the speech of the Iranian President and who support imprisonment of human beings for free speech.”
Getting Warmer? Nicolas Sarkozy, Antichrist Candidate B
As prime mover behind the revival of the Roman Empire, Sarkozy’s career is also a must-view for Antichrist sleuths. Like Blair, the French president is Roman Catholic by affiliation and thus associated with an organization that holds a key role in the movement toward a one world religion. Like the former British prime minister in June 2007, Sarkozy has also made his pilgrimage to the Vatican. In December of the same year the French president, according to the International Herald Tribune, floated the subject of the Mediterranean Union with Pope Benedict XVI: “During his daylong visit to Rome, Sarkozy also pitched his idea for a union of Mediterranean countries, gaining support from leaders of Italy and Spain.”
Of the Vatican’s involvement in resolving the Middle East conflict, Sarkozy’s spokesman David Martinon revealed: “It’s a partner that counts, and it’s a heavyweight ally on a great number of subjects, such as on Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.” In spite of the pope’s controversial statements about Islam as a violent religion, first expressed in 2004, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and in 2006, as the current bishop of Rome, the Vatican supports Turkey’s accession to the EU. A rapprochement between Roman Catholicism and Islam that overlooks centuries of past inter-religious warfare will be essential if the revived Roman Empire is to peacefully expand into Turkey and then absorb North Africa and the Levant.
On April 25, 2008 Sarkozy flew to Tunisia to hold a two-day summit with long-time socialist dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to discuss bilateral relations and the nascent Mediterranean Union. In Tunis Sarkozy spoke at the National Institute of Applied Science and Technology, where on April 28 he boastfully told students: “The Union for the Mediterranean will create prosperity and peace for everyone involved in it. If it becomes reality, the Union for the Mediterranean will change the world.” Henri Guaino, another Sarkozy spokesman, confided to the Tunis Press Agency:
Tunisia is very committed, along with France, since the start of this initiative (for a Mediterranean Union). We reviewed this issue and the current problems. We are convinced that France’s and Tunisia’s stands on this issue are totally identical. Together, we will be able to kick-start this great design which puts the Mediterranean right at the heart of the European concerns and breathes again a dynamics of great will of unity, which is still very strongly felt among the Mediterranean peoples.
Following the conference, Tunisian President Ben Ali expressed his conviction that “The Mediterranean is a place of peace, cooperation and security. Tunisia and France, which share the same vision, are determined to work together to put this project into effect.”
Unlike Blair, moreover, Sarkozy boasts Jewish descent through his mother, who was born to the Mallah family, one of the oldest Jewish families of Salonika, Greece. The Australian Jewish News reports quotes Sarkozy as saying in a 2004 interview: “Should I remind you the visceral attachment of every Jew to Israel, as a second mother homeland? There is nothing outrageous about it. Every Jew carries within him a fear passed down through generations, and he knows that if one day he will not feel safe in his country, there will always be a place that would welcome him. And this is Israel.”
In terms of ethnic origin, some Bible expositors speculate that Antichrist will not only emerge from the revived Roman Empire, but also might be a Jew. This scenario could facilitate Antichrist’s ability to present himself as Israel’s coming Messiah and establish a peace covenant between the Jewish state and the warmongering Arab Muslim powers that surround Israel. Daniel 11 says that “at the time of the end” (verse 40) the “willful king” (verse 36) will not “regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” “The God of his fathers” is presumably the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In view of the fact that two of the Bible’s titles for Antichrist is “the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26) and the “profane wicked prince of Israel” (Ezekiel 21:25-27), it should be mentioned that Sarkozy is also a prince. During the French Second Republic and since the beginning of the French Third Republic the heads of state and presidents of France are also co-Prince of Andorra.
Finally, the linkage between Sarkozy and Blair is worth noting. Sarkozy apparently supports Blair’s candidacy for EU president. In February 2008 The Guardian reported: “Praising Blair as ‘the most European of Englishmen,’ President Nicolas Sarkozy of France first threw the Briton’s name into the ring last October. Blair has chosen not to dispel the reports of his candidacy.” France will be filling the presidency of the Council of Europe this year. At the same time, the French media is promoting Sarkozy himself as Europe’s first permanent president.
The Olmert Regime Enshackles Israel to the Revived Roman Empire
Meanwhile, the Israeli government itself is seeking membership in the EU/NATO in order to secure peace with its Arab Muslim enemies. In 2003 the wire services reported that then Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom “startled” EU officials by affirming that his government was “weighing EU membership,” a prospect that can only become reality if, according to EU rules, Israel first settles its border disputes with Syria and Lebanon. It is perhaps for this reason that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is apparently determined to return the Golan Heights to the Syrians. UPI observes: “The EU is already deeply, indeed inextricably involved in the Middle East, and not just as a member of ‘the Quartet’ of the United States, EU, Russia and the United Nations that have jointly drawn up the ‘road map’ to a peace agreement.” In July 2006, after Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Olmert indicated that he would accept the deployment of an EU military force in its northern neighbor in order to prevent the Iranian/Syrian-backed terrorist group from initiating further attacks against Israel. A formal cooperation agreement, ratified by the Knesset in 2000, already exists between the EU and Israel.
Analysis: Israel Weighing EU Membership
UPI Chief International Correspondent – by Martin Walker –
Washington, May 21 (UPI) — The visiting delegation from the European Union was startled this week when Israel Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said his government was weighing an application to join the EU.
“It doesn’t mean he is preparing the dossier for applying tomorrow,” an Israeli spokesman said. “In principle, the minister thinks a possibility exists for Israel to join the EU, since Israel and Europe share similar economies and democratic values.”
Shalom broached the subject Tuesday, but there is no immediate prospect of this happening, since under EU rules, new members must have no outstanding border disagreements with their neighbors.
The incoming new members from Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary and Romania, had to resolve long-standing disputes to clear their path for entry. But if and when Israel does achieve a peace settlement with Syria and Lebanon and the Palestinians (it already has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan), Israeli membership could make a great deal of sense for Israel and the EU alike.
The EU is already deeply, indeed inextricably involved in the Middle East, and not just as a member of “the Quartet” of the United States, EU, Russia and the United Nations that have jointly drawn up the “road map” to a peace agreement.
The EU is one of the main customers for Middle Eastern energy exports, and under the Barcelona Agreement, has forged a series of trade and cooperation agreements with the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey, a strategic Middle East player and an Islamic though legally secular country, has been formally accepted as an EU candidate member.
North African Arabs now account for 10 percent of France’s population, and the French and British colonial heritage in the Middle East gives them strong links to the region.
For Israel, EU membership would mean an end to the regional isolation it suffers, and a strong security guarantee, along with all the economic advantages of the vast EU market. Joining the EU would presumably mean joining the euro, shielding Israel from the kinds of currency crises that have hit the shekel since the intifada battered its important tourism industry.
For the EU, Israel’s impressive high-tech industry could be useful, but any economic advantages to Israeli membership would have to be balanced against the wider political costs to the EU, unless the Jewish state’s relationship with its Arab neighbors is transformed.
Even then, those European countries like France that already sneer at Britain as “America’s Trojan horse” (and the German media that sneers at Poland as “America’s Trojan donkey”) might hesitate before admitting another such pro-American member.
There are voices in the EU that support the idea, including one member of the EU Parliament delegation that was told of Israel’s deliberations Tuesday evening. Marco Pannella, an Italian member of the European Parliament and president of the Transnational Radical Party, is promoting the initiative. He told reporters in Israel that while support was growing in the European Parliament for Israel to join the EU it could take “up to a decade” to complete the process.
The EU and Israel already have a formal Cooperation Agreement, ratified by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, three years ago. Its provisions include regular political dialogue, liberalization of trade in goods and services, the free movement of capital and competition rules, the strengthening of economic cooperation on the widest possible basis and cooperation on social and cultural matters. (Israel has long taken part, for example, in the annual Eurovision Song Contest.)
One possible motive for the Israeli foreign minister’s announcement is to repair the difficult relations with the EU, repeatedly accused by Israeli officials and ministers of being partial toward the Palestinians. Israeli diplomats also noted that the initiative shows Israel’s commitment to peace.
The Israeli foreign minister’s statement also coincided with a report by the Washington-based Cato Institute think tank, which suggested an important geopolitical aspect to Israeli membership. “Signaling to the Israelis and the Palestinians that a peaceful resolution to their conflict could be a ticket for admission into the EU, would be more than just enticing them with economic rewards,” the Cato report said.
“Conditioning Israel’s entry into the EU on its agreement to withdraw from the occupied territories and dismantle the Jewish settlements there, would strengthen the hands of those Israelis who envision their state not as a militarized Jewish ghetto but as a Westernized liberal community.”
More recently, in January 2007 Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman articulated the line of the Olmert government in a column in The Jerusalem Post, in which he stated that Israel should join the EU/NATO within five years. “Today’s world is dividing over values,” Lieberman explains. “On the one side is the free, democratic world, and on the other side is the radical, fundamentalist world. We might have disagreements with Europe and the international community over foreign policy, but we share the same values system that is the target of the radical, fundamentalist war against the West.” Pictured above: The Vatican is not without its political-religious designs in the Holy Land, to wit the medieval Crusades against the Turks and the Muslims. The previous pope John Paul II rubs elbows with the chief rabbis of Israel during his 2000 visit to their country.
We need to be part of EU and NATO
Avigdor Lieberman, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 3, 2007
The following is the first Jpost blog central post by Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman. It is part of a soon-to-be launched feature that provides prominent politicians from across the political spectrum an opportunity to debate the hot issues on their own personal blog.
In my very first political science lecture in the Hebrew University in the early 1980s, I was taught that international politics were governed by State interests. In all my years in Israeli politics and as a third-time minister, I have yet to see this theory implemented in Israel. I believe it was Henry Kissinger who once said that Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic.
The sad reality of today is that the State of Israel has never defined, and rarely acted in accordance with its national interests. The few examples I can think of include Israel going to war over the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal and restriction of Israeli marine traffic in 1956, the 1981 attack against the Iraqi nuclear facility and the 1995 peace agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I have recently suggested that it is in Israel’s national interest to join the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The world today is a less hospitable place to our democracy. The second half of the twentieth century witnessed a world divided over economic doctrines and political thought. I myself was born in Moldova, a country taken over by the Soviet Union in 1944, and spent my childhood under the rule of a harsh totalitarian regime (until my family made aliya in 1978, when I was 20 years old).
Today’s world is dividing over values. On the one side is the free, democratic world, and on the other side is the radical, fundamentalist world. We might have disagreements with Europe and the international community over foreign policy, but we share the same values system that is the target of the radical, fundamentalist war against the West.
The great danger in this global conflict is that we are facing non-rational players. Take Bin Laden for example – there is nothing you can offer him to stop his war against the free world – no amount of money, no piece of territory, no agreement – his goal is to convert the entire world to Islam, or send all infidels to heaven. There is no sense in rationalizing with this kind of enemy. Not a single Islamic leader – political or spiritual – has condemned the death sentence against Salman Rushdie, and even today he has to live in hiding between London and Paris. Not a single Islamic leader has ever condemned the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddha sculptures in Afghanistan. The Muslim world’s reaction to cartoons about the prophet Muhammad and to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech are irrational.
My goal for Israel is to complete this global re-positioning within the coming five years. This move will send a strong message not only to our enemies, but also to our friends and allies. One last note: Jpost.com readers are aware of the letter I sent to incumbent UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who said that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was at the core of solving all the problems in the Middle East. Someone pointed out to me a very poignant comment posted on a talkback to the Jpost.com article about this letter, by Bob in the US: “Last week I appeared in court because I was doing 20 miles over the speed limit. I flat out told the presiding judge “I’m not paying the fine until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.” His exact words were “What the Hell does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have to do with anything?” I ask the same question. Thanks, Bob.
On March 12, 2008 the European Jewish Press quoted Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was then on a five-day state visit to France, as saying: “I support 100 percent the [Mediterranean Union] plan. The entire (Israeli) government is in favour of Sarkozy’s initiative of course. North Europe countries, the Maghreb countries in the south and the Arab countries in the middle, why not cooperate on what is possible?” Current events appear to be confirming that Israel will shortly be absorbed into the revived Roman Empire of Bible prophecy.