November 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

November 1st, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The history of the Temple Mount and the modern day conflict between Israel and the Palestinians over it

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. It is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. To the east of the Temple Mount is the Kidron Valley. To the West is the Tyropoeon Valley. According to the rabbinic sages whose debates produced the Talmud, it was from here the world expanded into its present form and where God gathered the dust used to create the first human, Adam. Since at least the first century, the site has been associated in Judaism with the location of Abraham’s binding of Isaac. In the Bible, this event took place on Mount Moriah.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Temple Mount was originally a threshing-floor owned by Araunah, a Jebusite. David then bought the property from Araunah, for fifty pieces of silver and erected the altar. The God of Israel instructed David to build a sanctuary on the site outside the city walls on the northern edge of the hill. The building was to replace the Tabernacle that Moses build in the wilderness and serve as the Temple of the Israelites in Jerusalem.

King Solomon the son of King David built the first Temple in 957 BCE. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The second Temple was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE. It was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 CE.

In around 19 BCE, Herod the Great extended the Mount’s natural plateau by enclosing the area with four massive retaining walls and filling the voids. This artificial expansion resulted in a large flat expanse which today forms the eastern section of the Old City of Jerusalem. The southern section of the western flank is revealed and contains what is known as the Western Wall. The ambitious project which involved the employment of 10,000 workers more than doubled the size of the Temple Mount to approximately 36 acres. A basilica (the Royal Stoa) was constructed on the southern end of the expanded platform which provided a focus for the city’s commercial and legal transactions and which was provided with separate access to the city below via the Robinson’s Arch overpass.

After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE, the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, rebuilt the city in 130 CE and renamed Jerusalem to be Aelia Capitolina. Aelia came from Hadrian’s nomen gentile, Aelius, while Capitolina meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus to whom a Roman temple was built on the site of the Temple Mount in the 2nd century.

In those days, the Roman Emperor Hadrian constructed a giant statue of himself in front of the Temple of Jupiter. In addition, the Temple of Jupiter had a huge statue of the god Jupiter inside of it. Therefore, there were two graven images standing on the Temple Mount. In addition to this, Hadrian issued a decree prohibiting the practice of circumcision. It was the normal practice of the adherents of the Hellenic religion to sacrifice pigs before their deities.  These three factors, the graven images, the sacrifice of pigs before the altar, and the prohibition of circumcision, constituted for non-Hellenized Jews a new abomination of desolation. As a result, the Jewish military leader Bar Kochba launched the Third Jewish Revolt around 135 CE. After the Third Jewish Revolt failed, the Romans decreed that all Jews were forbidden from entering the city or the surrounding territory around the city on the condition of death if the decree was violated.

From the 1st through the 7th centuries Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and Jerusalem became predominantly Christian. Emperor Constantine I decreed Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 321 CE and Hadrian’s Temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount was demolished immediately following the First Council of Nicea in 325 CE on orders of Constantine.

Revered as the Noble Sanctuary, Muslim’s believe that the Temple Mount was the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven. In 637, Arabs besieged and captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. As a result, Rashidun Caliph Umar built a mosque known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In 691, an octagonal Islamic building topped by a dome was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik around the sacred rock located on the Temple Mount. The Dome was completed in 692 CE, making it one of the oldest extant Islamic structures in the world. The Al Aqsa Mosque rests on the far southern side of the Mount facing Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Dome of the Rock currently sits in the middle, occupying or close to the area where the Holy Temple previously stood. The shrine became known as the Dome of the Rock. As a result, today’s Temple Mount is dominated by three monumental Islamic structures: the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain. For Sunni Muslims, the importance of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque makes Jerusalem the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.

An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim reconquest of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187. Even today, the mosque and shrine are currently administered by a Waqf (an Islamic trust).

On 7 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces advanced beyond the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line into West Bank territories, taking control of the Old City of Jerusalem inclusive of the Temple Mount. In order to celebrate and remember that day, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate declared a religious holiday on this yearly anniversary, called “Yom Yerushalayim” (Jerusalem Day) to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem.

At that time, the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall. Many saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a miraculous liberation of biblical-messianic proportions. A few days after the war was over 200,000 Jews flocked to the Western Wall in the first mass Jewish pilgrimage near the Mount since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Islamic authorities did not disturb Goren when he went to pray on the Mount until, on the Ninth Day of Av, he brought 50 followers and introduced both a shofar, and a portable ark to pray, an innovation which alarmed the Waqf authorities and led to a deterioration of relations between the Muslim authorities and the Israeli government.

A few days after the Six-Day War, on June 17, 1967, a meeting was held at al-Aqsa between Moshe Dayan and Muslim religious authorities of Jerusalem regarding the regulation of the Temple Mount. In their agreement, Jews were given the right to visit the Temple Mount unobstructed and free of charge if they respected Muslims’ religious feelings and acted decently. However, Jews were still forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount.  It was decided that the Western Wall was to remain the Jewish place of prayer. The Prime Minister of Israel at that time, Levi Eshkol, gave control of access to the Temple Mount to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. Eshkol made the following declaration: “no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions”.

Together with the extension of Israeli jurisdiction and administration over east Jerusalem, the Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law ensuring protection of the Holy Places against desecration as well as freedom of access thereto. While ‘Religious sovereignty’ was to be with the Muslims, Israel was in charge of the ‘overall sovereignty’ of the Temple Mount. Today, the Temple Mount can be accessed via eleven gates, ten reserved for Muslims and one for non-Muslims, with guard posts of Israeli police in the vicinity of each.

Although freedom of access to the Temple Mount was enshrined into Israeli law, as a security measure, the Israeli government currently enforces a ban on non-Muslim prayer on the site. Non-Muslims who are observed praying on the site are subject to expulsion by the police.At various times, when there is fear of Arab rioting upon the mount resulting in throwing stones from above towards the Western Wall Plaza, Israel has prevented Muslim men under 45 from praying in the compound, citing these concerns.

Following the June, 1967 agreement, Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount continued to be a source of contention between the Jews and the Palestinians. In response to an appeal in 1976 against police interference with an individual’s personal right to prayer on the site, the President of the High Court of Justice, Aharon Barak, expressed the view that, while Jews had a right to prayer there, it was not absolute but subject to the public interest and the rights of other groups. He wrote:

The basic principle is that every Jew has the right to enter the Temple Mount, to pray there, and to have communion with his maker. This is part of the religious freedom of worship, it is part of the freedom of expression. However, as with every human right, it is not absolute, but a relative right… Indeed, in a case where there is near certainty that injury may be caused to the public interest if a person’s rights of religious worship and freedom of expression would be realized, it is possible to limit the rights of the person in order to uphold the public interest.

Subsequently, several Israeli prime ministers also made attempts to change the status quo regarding prayer on the Temple Mount but failed to do so. In October 1986, an agreement between the Temple Mount Faithful, the Supreme Muslim Council and police, which would allow short visits in small groups, was exercised once and never repeated, after 2,000 Muslims armed with stones and bottles attacked the group and stoned worshipers at the Western Wall. During the 1990s, additional attempts were made for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount which were stopped by Israeli police. Today, the Temple Mount remains, under the terms of the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, under Jordanian custodianship.

Since 2010, fear arose among Palestinians that Israel planned to change the status quo and permit Jewish prayers or that the al-Aqsa mosque might be damaged or destroyed by Israel. As a result, Al-Aqsa was used as a base for attacks on visitors and the police from which stones, firebombs and fireworks were thrown.

There is a disagreement between Orthodox Jews whether religious Jews should pray on the Temple Mount. A few hours after the Temple Mount came under Israeli control during the Six-Day War, a message from the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Isser Yehuda Unterman and Yitzhak Nissim was broadcast, warning that Jews were not permitted to enter the site. This warning was reiterated by the Council of the Chief Rabbinate a few days later, which issued an explanation written by Rabbi Bezalel Jolti (Zolti) that “Since the sanctity of the site has never ended, it is forbidden to enter the Temple Mount until the Temple is built.” The signatures of more than 300 prominent rabbis were later obtained. Rabbinical consensus in the post-1967 period, held that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the Temple Mount and in January 2005 a declaration was signed confirming the 1967 decision.

Due to its extreme sanctity of the Temple Mount, many Orthodox Jews will not walk on the Mount itself, to avoid unintentionally entering the area where the Holy of Holies stood during the days of the Temple. Most of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis are of the opinion that the Mount is off limits to Jews and non-Jews alike. Their opinions against entering the Temple Mount are based on the current political climate surrounding the Mount along with the potential danger of entering the hallowed area of the Temple courtyard and the impossibility of fulfilling the ritual requirement of cleansing oneself with the ashes of a red heifer. The boundaries of the areas which are completely forbidden, while having large portions in common, are delineated differently by various rabbinic authorities.

In December 2013, the two Chief Rabbis of Israel, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, reiterated the ban on Jews entering the Temple Mount. They wrote, “In light of [those] neglecting [this ruling], we once again warn that nothing has changed and this strict prohibition remains in effect for the entire area [of the Temple Mount]”. In November 2014, the Sephardic chief rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, reiterated the point of view held by many rabbinic authorities that Jews should not visit the Mount. On the occasion of an upsurge in Palestinian knifing attacks on Israelis, associated with fears that Israel was changing the status-quo on the Mount, the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Mishpacha ran a notification in Arabic asking ‘their cousins’, the Palestinians, to stop trying to murder members of their congregation, since they were vehemently opposed to ascending the Mount and consider such visits proscribed by Jewish law.

However, there is a growing body of Modern Orthodox and national religious rabbis who encourage visits to certain parts of the Mount, which they believe are permitted according to most medieval rabbinical authorities. A leading proponent of the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount is Rabbi Yehuda Glick. Glick is the leader of HaLiba, a coalition of groups dedicated to “reaching complete and comprehensive freedom and civil rights for Jews on the Temple Mount.” Glick has led groups of Jews to walk the Temple Mount, and has been repeatedly arrested while praying, walking and filming videos on the Temple Mount. On 4 June, 2015, a Jerusalem district court banned Glick from entering Temple Mount, overturning a lower court decision. The judge ruled that Glick’s presence was inflammatory and that “there is a risk of violence breaking out if the respondent returns to the compound before the end of legal proceedings in his case.”

On 29 October, 2014, Glick survived an assassination attempt by Mutaz Hijazi, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement. In 2015, Glick was awarded the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism for being “Active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.” Under current regulations, Muslims may visit and pray on the Temple Mount. Jews may also visit during limited hours, but are prohibited from praying or doing a range of things — kneeling, bowing, even crying — that resemble worship.

The most recent round of violence between Jews and Muslims at the Temple Mount started on September 9 following Israel’s decision to bar an Islamist protest group from entering the Temple Mount. Israel said the group, known as the Murabitat, and its corresponding men’s faction have been yelling at Jewish visitors and throwing stones at them. In announcing the ban, the Israeli government said: “The aforesaid organizations strive to undermine Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, change the existing reality and arrangements at the site and infringe on freedom of worship.”

On September 12, Israeli police raided the Temple Mount uncovering a stockpile of pipe bombs, firebombs and rocks that they feared would be aimed at Jewish worshippers. On Sept. 18, police barred Muslim men under 40 from the mount in anticipation of unrest following Muslim Friday prayers. Some 200 Palestinians protested the move at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City. Three Israeli policemen and 21 Palestinians were injured in the Friday clashes.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared “war” on stone throwers. Netanyahu is pushing through a new law that would allow police to fire more quickly on Palestinian stone throwers as well as increase the stone throwers’ prison sentences and fines. Netanyahu said: “We attest to the fact that we decided to change the policy and declare war on those who throw stones and firebombs, shoot and riot. In the State of Israel, people do not throw firebombs, or shoot at trains, or throw stones at will. Those who do so will pay a very heavy price.”

Regarding the clashes on the Temple Mount, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said: “Israel will not be allowed to continue its steps. The Al-Aqsa mosque is ours. They have no right to dirty it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to do that.” Jordan’s King Abdullah II criticized Israel’s actions, saying that “any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel.”

Israel’s action, Netanyahu said has come only to prevent violence at the site. In addition, Israel insists that it is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. Netanyahu said: “Israel have no plans to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount. However, we also have no intention of allowing anyone to cause the deterioration of the arrangements on the Temple Mount by resorting to explosive and widespread violence.” The Israeli status-quo limits Israeli sovereignty over the Mount, leaves the Islamic Waqf responsible for managing the site and bans Jewish prayers there.

In early October, Netanyahu barred all Cabinet ministers and Jewish lawmakers from visiting the Temple Mount. As a result of the recent violence associated with the Temple Mount, US Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement with King Abdullah of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late October to formalize arrangements governing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The terms of the understanding reinforce the status quo and will be backed up with 24-hour monitoring of the Temple Mount. “Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said. “Those who visit or worship on the Temple Mount must be allowed to do so in peace, free from violence, from threats, from intimidation and from provocations. We will continue to ensure access to the Temple Mount for peaceful worshipers and visitors, while maintaining public order and security.”

Based upon a suggestion by Jordan’s King Abdullah, the new agreement will provide “24-hour video coverage of all sites” in the compound. US Secretary of State, John Kerry said: “The 24-hour video coverage will provide comprehensive visibility and transparency and that could really be a game changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of the holy site.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) The Temple Mount
2) Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Jewish Access to the Temple Mount
3) 5 Things About the Violence Spike on the Temple Mount
4) Temple Mount Violence Rooted in Contradictory Views and Cynical Politics
5) Agreement on Temple Mount Formalizes Status Quo But Violence Continues
6) Netanyahu bans Jewish officials from Jerusalem holy site
7) Kerry: Israel okays 24-hour video cameras on Temple Mount

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

October 27, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

October 25th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) An analysis of why Russia aggressively went into Syria the first week of October to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. The war in Syria is connected with who has the control and power over natural gas and its pipelines in the Middle East.

The roots of the war in Syria is centered in the development, supply and control of oil and natural gas reserves in Middle Eastern countries and the pipelines needed to send them primarily to Europe. Syria is not a major oil producer. Until the start of the Syrian civil war in March, 2011, Syria was making a hardly negligible $4 billion a year in oil sales – a third of the government budget. Nevertheless, Syria is a strategic country to transport natural gas from various Middle East countries to Europe. Syria is already part of a Western-ordained gas pipeline that spans from Egypt to Syria. This pipeline, known as the Arab Gas Pipeline, was originally planned to continue traveling from Syria into Turkey. From there, it can be piped into Europe. The major players of this Western approved pipeline include Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among other Gulf nations.

Arab Gas Pipeline


In 1989, Qatar and Iran began to develop the South Pars/North Dome natural gas field which is buried 3,000 meters below the floor of the Persian Gulf. With 51 trillion cubic meters of gas and 50 billion cubic meters of liquid condensates, it is the largest natural gas field in the world. Approximately 1/3 of this gas field belongs to Iran and other 2/3 belongs to Qatar. The major market for this gas is Europe. Iran has strategic ties with Syria and Syria is backed by Russia. Qatar is aligned with the US and Europe.

Since the discovery, Qatar has invested heavily in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and terminals that enable it to ship its gas around the world in tankers. Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas. Yet liquefaction and shipping increase total costs and, particularly as gas prices have slipped, Qatari gas has remained easily undercut in European markets by cheaper pipeline gas from Russia and elsewhere. As a result, it would be highly beneficial to Qatar to be able to send their natural gas to Europe by a pipeline.

Qatar - Iran Gas Fields

Qatar Gas Fields


So in 2009, Qatar proposed to President Bashar Assad of Syria to build a pipeline to send its gas northwest via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria which would eventually reach Europe. Two different routes for such a pipeline were possible. One would lead from Qatar through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq to Turkey. The other would go through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey. Assad refused to agree to the proposal by Qatar to build a pipeline through Syria.  A French newspaper report claimed Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.” For Qatar, the investment to build the pipeline would be billions of dollars up front but it would reduce its existing high transportation costs over the long term. To complicate matters, Saudi Arabia was not interested in a gas pipeline from Qatar to go through its country. Saudi Arabia has a track record of obstructing regional pipeline projects and for decades has had a tense political relationship with Qatar.


Qatar - Saudi Arabia - Syria Gas Pipeline


Qatar Gas Lines to Europe

In January, 2010, at the World Future Summit in Abu Dhabi, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, promoted a project with Qatar to supply natural gas to Europe through a Turkish hook-up with the proposed Nabucco pipeline. The Nabucco pipeline would transport Central Asian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe bypassing Russia. Mr Erdogan said the Qatar-Turkey pipeline project was “important” for his country, and “will provide remarkable opportunities for Gulf countries”.  He also described last year’s signing of an inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline as the year’s “most significant development” for Turkey’s energy strategy. The transit agreement between five EU states and Turkey cleared the way for a final investment decision on the EU-backed project to reduce European dependence on Russian gas.

Turkey has long sought to establish itself as a hub for energy flowing from Asia and the Middle East to Europe. The idea gained the interest of the EU as European concerns over energy security have intensified due to recurring spats that have threatened to disrupt westward flows of Russian oil and gas. In January, 2009, Russia cut off 20 per cent of Europe’s gas supply for two weeks over a dispute with the transit state of Ukraine. In January, 2010, the failure of talks between Russia and Belarus have threatened oil supplies to several EU countries.

Planning for the Nabucco pipeline began in 2002. From the start, the pipeline was a joint European and American project aimed at undermining Russian influence over the European continent by reducing Russian energy imports. Europe currently obtains 36 per cent of its gas and 20 per cent of its oil from Russia.In 2006 Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Romania reached an agreement to build the pipeline’s extension through Syria to the Turkish border. From there, the pipeline would have been connected to the possible Nabucco Pipeline for the delivery of gas to Europe. In 2008 Turkey and Syria signed an agreement to construct a 63 kilometres (39 mi) pipeline between Aleppo and Kilis as a first segment of the Syria-Turkey connection of the Arab Gas Pipeline. However this contract was annulled at the beginning of 2009.

Responding to the building of the Nabucco pipeline, Russia built the North Stream pipeline which has been exporting gas from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany since 2011. In addition, Russia took on the South Stream project in 2007, which is to export gas from Russia, under the Black Sea and through the Balkans to western Europe. Work on South Stream began in December 2012, and it should be completed by 2018.

However, in July, 2013, the Nabucco pipeline project which was sponsored by the European Union (EU) and was to have transported gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe in order to bypass Russia was cancelled. The failure of the Nabucco project was due to a combination of geopolitical factors and business considerations. Nabucco-East was to have run from Azerbaijan across Georgia and Turkey to the Bulgarian border. As an alternative, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), funded by Azerbaijan and Turkey is due to come into operation in 2018. Nabucco-West was to have carried gas from Turkey to Austria, through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. As an alternative to Nabucco-West, the Shah-Deniz II consortium, which runs the largest gas field in Azerbaijan, awarded the contract for the transportation of gas to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) which runs through Greece and Albania and under the Adriatic Sea to Southern Italy. This route is 500 km shorter than that proposed by Nabucco-West. Although representatives of the EU and the US state department declared their support for the decision in favor of the TAP pipeline, the cancelling of the Nabucco pipeline is a defeat for the EU.

The increased independence of Turkey from Russia was one of the main goals of the southern route from the outset. Turkey is one of the largest importers of Russian gas, but at the same time is a key political partner of NATO and the EU in Eurasia and the Caspian region. The route will now not be built under the direction of the EU, but instead primarily under the control of Turkey and Azerbaijan. As a result, the laying of the TANAP and TAP pipelines will increase the geopolitical importance of these two countries as EU energy partners.

Turkey attempted to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to reject the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline and to work with the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline, which would ultimately satisfy Turkey and the Gulf Arab nations’ quest for dominance over gas supplies, who are the United State’s allies. But after Assad refused Turkey’s proposal, Turkey and its allies became the major architects to start Syria’s “civil war.”

Nabucco Gas Pipeline


North and South Stream Pipelines

In 2010, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its shared gas field with Qatar. It would be completed by 2016.  Russia blessed this project possibly believing that it would have an easier time dealing with Iran than Qatar to control gas imports to Europe from Iran, the Caspian Sea region, and Central Asia. This alternative pipeline plan would carry Iran and Iraq’s gas to Europe, instead of gas from Qatar, and this option further pleased Russia’s Putin because he already had long standing energy agreements in place with Iran.

Next, Syria signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq to build one gas and two oil pipelines with its target destination being Europe. In July, 2011, just weeks after civil war broke out in Syria, the Tehran Times released a report entitled, “Iran, Iraq, Syria Sign Major Gas Pipeline Deal“. The report provided details on Iranian plans to export its vast natural gas reserves to Europe through a pipeline that would travel through both Iraq and Syria. This new Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline would reportedly be the largest gas pipeline in the Middle East and would span from Iran’s gas-rich South Pars field to the Mediterranean coastline in Lebanon through Iraq and Syria. The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline is sometimes called the Islamic Gas Pipeline (IGP). However, the proposed pipeline wouldn’t stop in Syria. The agreement calls for the construction of an underwater pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea stretching from Lebanon to Greece to deliver Iranian gas to energy-hungry European nations. The Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline became a threat to the Arab Gas Pipeline as it would compete directly with the Arab Gas Pipeline’s goal of delivering Mideast natural gas to Europe as well.

As a long-term supporter of Syria, Russia had built up influence within the administration and the armed forces. Also Russia’s only military base in the Mediterranean is located on the coast of Syria which would strategically allow Putin to control a second gas pipeline to Europe. Naturally this Iranian pipeline to Syria quickly became a top priority for Russia. Therefore, Assad and the Russians worked their contacts within Syria to dissuade the Qatar pipeline and promote the Iranian pipeline.


Iran Iraq Syria Pipeline

The Memorandum of Understanding for the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline was signed in July, 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo. In July 2013, leaders from Syria, Iran, and Iraq met to sign a preliminary agreement on the pipeline with the hopes of finalizing the deal by the end of the year. This pipeline would by-pass Turkey. The plan by Assad to support the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans to build a pipeline through Syria.

In July, 2013, Russia rejected a Saudi proposal to abandon Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, in return for a huge arms deal and a pledge to boost Russian influence in the Arab world. On July 31, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a strong backer of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, met Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan. During the meeting in Russia, the Saudi official explained that Saudi Arabai is ready to help Russia play a bigger role in the Middle East at a time when the United States is disengaging from the region. Bandar proposed that Saudi Arabia buy $15 billion dollars of weapons from Russia and invest “considerably in the country.” The Saudi prince also reassured Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in the Saudis’ hands and will not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports, the diplomat said. The meeting between Bandar and Putin came amid tension between Russia and Saudi Arabia over the conflict in Syria, as Russia has accused the Saudis of “financing and arming terrorists and extremist groups” in the war which started in March, 2011.

Putin rejected the Saudi Arabian proposal. When this happened, Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia then let the Russians know that the only option left in Syria was military action. So, why did Russia reject the proposal to partner with Saudi Arabia? Asked about the Putin-Bandar meeting, a Syrian politician said: “Saudi Arabia thinks that politics is a simple matter of buying people or countries. It doesn’t understand that Russia is a major power and that this is not how it determines its policy. Syria and Russia have had close ties for over half a century in all fields and it’s not Saudi money that will change this fact,” he added.

As a result, of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s decision to reject the Qatar pipeline going through Syria to Europe and embracing the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline instead, the decision was made to start an uprising backed by the US and Europe to remove Assad from power. This uprising started in March, 2011 as armed protesters opposed the Assad government. As a result, the U.S., France, Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — aka, the new “Friends of Syria” coalition — began to publicly call for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad between 2011 and 2012 after Assad’s refusal to sign onto the Qatar gas pipeline through Syria to Europe. Qatar began working to oust the Assad regime by funding rebel groups to the tune of an estimated $3 billion between 2011 and 2013.

For nearly 15 years, Gulf nations, and their Western-based militaries have been plotting an overthrow of the Syrian government. In 2001, former U.S. General Wesley Clark admitted that the United States made a decision to topple the Syrian government.

In May 2007, a presidential finding revealed that the “the Saudi government, with United States approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.” One faction chosen to receive covert US “political and financial support” through the Saudis was the exiled Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. Speaking with French television, Dumas said: “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”

In December, 2011, a military officer wrote a report on a meeting with US military intelligence officers regarding events taking place inside Syria confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.” The goal was to replace the Assad government with a new “democratic” government that is friendly to US, EU, Sunni/Saudi interests in the region. According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, the US strategy in the region is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.

So how do we understand the dynamics of the disagreement between Russia and the West over the support of Syrian President Bashar Assad?

In October, 2015, the Russian military went into Syria. So, why is Russia backing Assad ? Russia supports the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. Why are they choosing to side with Syria despite the massive propaganda push by the West against the Assad government? It is because Russia’s economy is predominantly based upon its enormous energy exports. Much of Europe is dependent upon Russian oil and gas and this dependency is growing. Russia boasts the largest natural gas reserves in the world. The Russian energy company, Gazprom, is the world’s largest extractor of natural gas. It currently delivers gas to over 25 European countries. Europe is the source of 40% of Gazprom’s yearly revenue. Which country has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world? It is Iran.

In addition to Russia, Iran has also firmly opposed the removal of Assad from power. In fact, since the start of the fighting, Iran has provided the most extensive support to the Assad government. By some accounts, it is more or less running the Syrian army, as well as supplying it with weapons and now even troops from its Revolutionary Guard. Russia has its eye on the potential profits of bringing Iranian oil and gas online for Europe. For this reason, (among a myriad of others) it has sought to solidify its relations with Iran. The most direct route for moving Iran’s energy supplies to Europe is right through the heart of Iraq and into Syria.

As Iran is liberated from US-imposed embargo, two power blocks have emerged in the Middle East – Iran, Iraq and Syria, which are all Shia-led, and the rest of the Arab world, which is Sunni and stands against the Shia. While America holds the alliance of the Sunni world, Russia is siding with the Shia-controlled nations. Most Arabs view the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline as a Shi’ite pipeline serving Shi’ite interests. After all, it originates in Shi’ite Iran, passes through Shi’ite Iraq, and flows into Shi’ite controlled Syria. Therefore, the Sunni-dominated Gulf nations have both an economic and religious reason for preventing the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline from becoming a reality. So far, the Gulf nations have violently opposed Syria’s adoption of the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline by arming opposition fighters within Syria in order to destabilize the nation. This also explains why Russia has chosen to target Qatari- and Saudi-funded rebel groups in Syria in its bombing campaigns in addition to bombing ISIS.

If Syria-Iran-Iraq gas pipelines comes into existence, Russia and its energy company, Gazprom, would economically benefit. Russia would rather see the Iran–Iraq–Syria pipeline built or no pipeline at all so that it can best control gas supplies to Europe, its main market. Therefore, Russia is backing Syria, and consequently, Iran and Iraq. Of course, Russia has already signed a deal with China for the provision of natural gas starting 2019, so China will back Russia. So, Russia, China, Iran, Iraq and Syria form a core of the nations who support the Assad government in Syria.

Hezbollah entered the scene in 2012 and allied itself with the Syrian government to fight al-Nusra and ISIS, which were officially being armed and financed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. And all the arms were actively being sold to these nations by the United States.

For Qatar, Syria represents an opportunity to transport its gas to market cheaply or block Iran from dominating pipeline exports from a jointly-owned field. Qatar along with Turkey would like to remove Assad from power and install the Syrian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States, meanwhile, supports the Qatari pipeline as a way to balance Iran and diversify Europe’s gas supplies away from Russia. And Turkey, likewise, believes that the Qatari pipeline would help it diversify its own gas supplies away from Russian energy and further its ambitions to be a gas transit hub between Asia and Europe.

Russia is battling for the allegiance of Turkey. In fact, Russian state media has reminded Turkey that it is “unlikely to manage without Russian gas” and that Turkey’s other major supplier, Iran, is aligned with Russia in Syria. Russia alone accounts for about 1/5 of Turkey’s energy consumption, more than any other country. According to a Bloomberg report, Russia provides around 57 percent of Turkey’s natural gas. The whole Turkish energy security architecture depends on gas from Russia and Iran. On the flip side, Turkey is Russia’s second biggest natural gas customer after Germany. Germany obtains 40 per cent of its gas from Russia and is its most important trading partner in the EU. Turkey needs Syria to fulfill its energy strategy.

In December, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will scrap the $20 billion South Stream natural-gas pipeline that would have sent Russian natural gas the European countries in favor of a natural gas pipeline link to Turkey. The European Union never fully embraced the project instead trying to broaden its supplies and reduce dependence on Russian gas. The emergence of Turkey as a major economic partner with Russia, which sets aside their conflicting military and political agendas, especially on Syria, comes as Russia makes trade agreements to strengthen ties with countries that haven’t joined the sanctions imposed by the U.S., the EU and some of their allies in Asia over Russia’s actions in the Ukraine. In October, 2015, Turkish President Mr Erdogan, angered by Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, warned Russia that Turkey may look elsewhere for partners to supply its natural gas. One of the top importers of Russian gas, Turkey has joined with Russia in a major effort to construct a new gas pipeline – dubbed Turkish Stream, or TurkStream – as an alternate route into Europe that bypasses Ukraine.

Because the West is eager to lesson the dependence Russian natural gas to Europe and replace it with supplies from the Persian Gulf, the West wants to remove Assad from power. Because having a pipeline from the Persian Gulf that run through Syria to Europe is a major key to achieving energy independence from Russia and because Syria politically leans in favor of Russia and Iran, it was decided in the Western capitals that Assad needs to be removed from power. If this eventually happens, US would like to replace him with someone loyal to the US, Europe, Qatar and Saudi Arabia therefore work to get the Qatar-Syria-Turkey pipeline operational so that the Qatari Princes and Saudi Kings can finally begin to have access to the European energy market once and for all.

While seeking this objective, the West also believes that Russia (and Putin) must be destabilized, kept occupied, removed and divorced from having control over the natural gas supplied to Europe. To the West, it doesn’t matter what they have to do to ultimately remove Russia’s energy out of Europe and replace it with Qatari / Saudi reserves. In August, 2013, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said: “Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Turkey touts proposed gas pipeline from Qatar
2) European Union’s Nabucco pipeline project aborted
3) Qatar seeks gas pipeline to Turkey
4) Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
5) Spooks’ view on Syria: what wikileaks revealed
6) General Wesley Clark: US planned wars in 7 countries in 5 years including Syria
7) Moscow rejects Saudi offer to drop Assad for arms deal
8) General Dempsey on Syria Intervention
9) Syria’s Pipelineistan war
10) Iraq green lights gas pipeline deal with Iran, Syria
11) Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines
12) Why Syria? An Examination of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline
13) ISIS, Ukraine, Syria…it was, and always has been, about Qatar and Saudi gas and oil to Europe
14) Syria and the Gas Pipelines – Syrian Crisis’ Ground Reality
15) Is Russia Just in Syria for the Pipelines?
16) Putin Says Moscow to Drop Gas Pipeline to Europe
17) Turkey’s Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Deals

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

October 20, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

October 18th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) An analysis of why Russia aggressively went into Syria the first week of October to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. The support of Assad is connected to control and power over natural gas and its pipelines in the Middle East which is rooted in the control and power over natural gas and its pipelines from Russia through the Ukraine into Europe. First, we will examine the control and power over natural gas and its pipelines from Russia through the Ukraine into Europe.

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately 25% of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU. Important pipelines pass through Ukraine to Slovakia, and then on to Germany, Italy, and Austria. About 60% of Ukraine’s consumed gas comes from Russia. In addition, two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses the Ukraine. Germany and Ukraine are Gazprom’s biggest foreign purchasers. Oil and gas trade accounts for half of Russia’s annual export revenue and more than half of Russia’s federal budget.



Russian gas pipelines through the Ukraine

A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting that which was intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation but later Naftohaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on 1 January 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory. On 4 January 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine. In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia.

On 17 January 2009, Russia held an international gas conference in Moscow. Ukraine was represented by the Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.  On 18 January 2009, Putin and Tymoshenko reached a deal to restore gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine. Both parties agreed that Ukraine would start paying European prices for its natural gas, less a 20% discount for 2009, and that Ukraine would pay the full European market price starting in 2010. In return for the discounts for 2009, Ukraine agreed to keep its transit fee for Russian gas unchanged in 2009. The two sides also agreed not to use intermediaries.  On 19 January 2009, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller signed an agreement on natural gas supply to Ukraine for the period of 2009-2019.  Gas supplies restarted on 20 January 2009, and were fully restored on 21 January. According to the EU Commission and Presidency, the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine, causing Russia and Ukraine to no longer be regarded as reliable partners. In addition, Russia plans to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018 by constructing a gas pipeline intended for Europe through Turkey.

Since the break up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had been mired by years of corruption, mismanagement, lack of economic growth, currency devaluation, and an inability to secure funding from public markets.  Since 2004, Ukraine sought to establish closer relations with the European Union (EU) and Russia. One of these measures was an association agreement with the European Union which would provide Ukraine with funds contingent on reforms. The Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement is a treaty between the European Union (EU) and the Ukraine that establishes a political and economic association between the parties. The agreement commits Ukraine to economic, judicial, and financial reforms to converge its policies and legislation to those of the European Union.

The Ukrainian president ultimately refused to sign the agreement at the urging of Russia. Instead, on December 17, 2013, the Ukrainian president signed a treaty and multi-billion dollar loan with Russia whereby it was agreed that Russia would buy $15 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds and that the cost of Russian natural gas supplied to Ukraine would be lowered to $268 per 1,000 cubic metres (the price was more than $400 at the time).  The deal relinquished Ukraine’s Kerch peninsula to the Russian Navy granting Russia highly desirable warm-water ports and strategic access to the Mediterranean and beyond.

Instead of signing a treaty with the EU, Russia wanted the Ukraine to join the Eurasian Customs Union. The Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) is a customs union which consists of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union. It came into existence on 1 January 2010. Its founding states were Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. On 2 January, 2015 it was enlarged to include Armenia. Kyrgyzstan acceded to the EEU on 6 August, 2015. The Customs Union was launched as a first step towards forming a broader European Union-type economic alliance of former Soviet states.  The member states continued with economic integration and removed all customs borders between each other after July 2011. On 19 November 2011, the member states put together a joint commission on fostering closer economic ties, planning to create a Eurasian Economic Union by 2015.

Therefore, the present Ukrainian crisis started when pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s government abandoned a trade deal with the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Russia. In December, 2013 some 800,000 people rallied in the capital of Kiev and protesters occupy city hall and Independence Square due to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich’s failure to sign the trade deal with the EU. In February, 2014, the Ukrainian president fled Kiev. At that time, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove the president from power setting a new election date for May 25, 2014.

After the 2014 revolution, Russia refused to recognize the new interim government, calling the revolution a coup, or an overthrow and illegal seizure of the Ukraine. Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said that the West was inconsistent in not recognizing the Crimea referendum as legitimate while recognizing the military coup in the Ukraine. Lavrov also said that Russia’s relationship with the West has been quite eventful in the post-Soviet period. Lavrov continued: “Russia was welcomed into the democratic world because they expected us to follow their orders and observe all the rules created by the west. However, this is not partnership but rather an attempt to take under control a non-aligned geopolitical ‘turf’. Russia saw that attitude exposed in developments in Ukraine. Russia saw how desperate the West was to drag Ukraine into its orbit, without paying attention to the interests of the Ukrainian economy, culture and the nation. Ukraine is a very complex, multi-ethnic and multicultural country. The ultimate motive behind all that was to separate Ukraine from Russia. Russia remembers the words of former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski under the Carter administration who said in 1998 that with control of the Ukraine that Russia is a great power but without the Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a relevant Eurasian empire.”

In February, 2014, pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. The majority of Crimea’s 2.3 million population identify themselves as ethnic Russians and speak Russian. Crimea is the historic base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. In March, 2014, the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea voted to join Russia in a referendum and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, signed a law incorporating Crimea into Russia. When this happened, the EU and US condemned the annexation of Crimea and imposed a first round of sanctions on Russian officials and high-ranking Moscow allies in the Ukraine.

Ukraine has been torn between east and west since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukrainian is the main language in western regions – where there is also a long-standing aspiration for integration with Europe. However, Russian is predominant in parts of the east and south. In May, 2014, the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of Eastern Ukraine declared independence after a referendum.



Russian speaking areas of the Ukraine



Ukrainian Map with Crimea

In April, 2014, pro-Russian leaders occupied government buildings in the eastern cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv and declared that referendums on granting greater autonomy to the eastern regions will be held. In May, 2014, pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declared their independence after the passage of the referendums. The results which were not recognized by the Ukrainian government in Kiev or the West.



Referendums in Eastern Ukraine

In May, 2014, pro-European Petro Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine. In June, 2014, Poroshenko signs the trade agreement with Europe. The leaders of Georgia and Moldova also put pens to EU “association agreements” in a historic step for the three former Soviet countries.

In July, 2014, the European Union agrees to punishing economic sanctions restricting access of Russian banks and oil companies to long-term western financing. In addition, the European Union has imposed sanctions against some of Russian President Vladamir Putin’s closest associates within his inner circle.


Ruble to Dollar Exchange Rate 2014



Oil Price Chart since 2014


In September, 2014, the pro-Russian rebels in the Eastern areas of the Ukraine, the mainline Ukrainian government in western Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sign a peace deal in Minsk, Belarus. However, it is violated just four days later when fierce fighting erupts around Donetsk airport.




In October, 2014, the western Ukrainians voted for a new parliament. Pro-West parties triumph but the polls were boycotted in the pro-Russian rebel-held east – which held its own elections in November, 2014.

In February, 2015, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France announced that a ceasefire will begin on 15 February. The pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine also sign the agreement. In an interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine, calling it unlikely, and made clear that Russia will not be forced to return Crimea to the Ukraine.

Following the successful conclusion of the peace conference, chief of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde announced the organization’s agreement to furnish Kiev with a four-year $40 billion bailout including $17.5 billion to stabilize the country’s economy. Under the terms of the so-called Extended Fund Facility, the Ukrainian government would have to commit itself to trim back on government spending and pensions while tackling corruption and liberalizing energy prices.

In March, 2015, Ukraine and Russia reached an agreement that secures gas supplies to Ukraine for the month of March forestalling anticipated cuts of Russian natural gas supplies to the Ukraine. The agreement is contingent upon Ukrainian prepayment. In advance of the negotiations, Russia had threatened to send gas to rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine rather than to Ukraine proper. The EU has a special interest in maintaining Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine as it consumes 40% of Russian natural gas, half of which is transited via the Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine is planning to increase prices of the gas on domestic consumers by “around threefold” to raise funds to avoid government default and meet the IMF demands to seal $17.5 billion. In addition, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin demanded that any mending of fences between Russia and Ukraine would require the return of the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Also, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the arrival of U.S. military trainers in Ukraine a “provocation” that could have considerable consequences as the Obama administration announced that it will send an additional $75 million in non-lethal assistance to the Ukraine. This will include 30 armored Humvees and an additional 300 non-armored Humvees; counter-mortar radar; drones; radios; and medical equipment.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was unequivocal on the issue of Crimea’s status: “Crimea is a region of the Russian Federation and of course the subject of our regions is not up for discussion.” Peskov was responding to statements from the United States and Europe that sanctions would remain in place as long as Crimea remains under Russian rule – or, in the words of U.S. Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki “as long as the occupation continues.” In response, Dmitry Peskov said that Russia may alter its fundamental documents, such as the Foreign Policy Concept and Military Doctrine, in response to the perceived anti-Russian bias of the National Security Strategy of the United States.

In April, 2015, the U.S. training mission of Ukrainian soldiers Operation Fearless Guardian was started involving the US Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade and 900 Ukrainian solders. Also, according Alexei Miller, the CEO of the Russian energy company, Gazprom, said that the government of Ukraine owes his company nearly $175 million for gas supplied to separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine. He also made clear that Gazprom will explore the possibility of signing a separate contract with the so-called people’s republics in those areas to directly supply gas. “The issue should became the subject of special talks, and we think that it’s rational to study the possibility of signing a separate direct Gazprom contract on supplies to the southeast,” he said.

In May, 2015, the European Union stated its desire to implement a free-trade pact with the Ukraine from next year despite Russian pressure for another delay. The agreement which is likely to antagonize Russia, commits to the deal from Jan. 1, 2016, a date already a year later than planned as Russia seeks to oppose European efforts to integrate Ukraine and move it out of Moscow’s sphere of control and influence. The deal is at the heart of tensions that have grown from a tug-of-war over influence in the Ukraine to sanctions, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking in an interview on Russian television, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made clear that Russia would not sit idly by if Ukraine defaults on its debt. Medvedev, who was responding to Ukraine’s passage of legislation that would allow a moratorium on debt repayment, stated that in the case of a deliberate default “we would adopt as tough a position as possible […] and defend out national interests.” He went on further to say that Russia seeks not only repayment for the $3 billion Eurobond owed by the previous Ukrainian government but also remains “not indifferent” to debt owed to private creditors.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the “challenge from the east … from a resurgent Russia” and its implications for NATO policy moving forward. Mr. Stoltenberg made clear that he views Russia’s actions in Ukraine not as an isolated incident, but rather as part of a “disturbing pattern of Russian behavior that goes well beyond Ukraine [and] undermines key principles of European security,” foremost among them respect for borders, the independence and sovereignty of states, and transparency in military activities. Stoltenberg further noted that NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia nor does it seek Russia’s isolation; rather, he put forward a vision of a constructive relationship, only to note that such a relationship may be hard to develop as “Russia has changed. And we must adapt.”

In addition, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized Russia’s decision to impose a travel ban on nearly 100 European officials in a retaliatory step tied to sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. Steinmeier stated that the travel ban “does not contribute toward” attempts to work together to “defuse a persistent and dangerous conflict in the middle of Europe,” also calling the move “not particularly clever” as well as arbitrary and unjustified. Russia’s travel ban, which was reportedly delivered to the EU delegation in Moscow, targets 89 officials from across Europe.

In June, 2015, during the opening ceremony of the G7 Summit, President of the United States Barack Obama announced that he and his assembled colleagues would address the urgency of “standing up to Russian aggression over the course of their consultations, adding, “conflicts can end and great progress is possible.” Shortly thereafter, the White House issued a press release in which it affirmed that “[t]he duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia’s full implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” Furthermore, the European Union governments have agreed to a six-month extension of sanctions against Russia. The agreement will extend the sanctions through January 31, 2016.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian president Vladimir Putin placed the blame for the current crisis in Ukraine squarely on the shoulders of Western policymakers in the United States, the European Union and NATO headquarters. He stated that the United States government is at fault of “igniting” the crisis in Ukraine, also noting that Russia sees the United States “interfering with our internal political processes.” Later, he went on to state that the United States is “trying to impose on us their decisions and their standards” without consideration for Russia’s interests, which Putin says Russia is persistent, though not aggressive, in pursuing.

In July, 2015, the United States has added twenty-six individuals and entities to its sanctions blacklist. Among those targeted were were eight associates of Russian businessman and Putin ally Boris Rotenberg, several subsidiaries of Rosneft and Vneshekonombank, and five Crimean port operators. The updaed list also included several associates of billionaire Russian businessman and Putin ally Gennady Timchenko, who was himself hit with sanctions in November 2014.

In September, 2015, Ukraine’s National Security Council gave its stamp of approval to the country’s new military doctrine, a document that declares unequivocally that Russia stands as the principle security threat and military opponent of Ukraine. The doctrine, which still needs to be signed by president Poroshenko, also calls on Ukraine to pursue NATO membership.

Ukraine and Russia, along with EU representatives, initialed a deal that will ensure stable deliveries of gas to Ukraine (and on to Europe) through March 2016. Maros Sefcovic, EU energy commissioner, told journalists that the “winter package” (as the deal is termed) will “lay the ground for smooth gas deliveries from Russia to Ukraine, and consequently also through Ukraine to the European Union.”

In the 1990s, former national security advisor under the Carter administration Zbigniew Brzezinski formulated the strategic case for buttressing the independent statehood of Ukraine, partially as a means to ending a resurgence of the Russian Empire, and to drive Russia toward integration with the West, promoting instead “geopolitical pluralism” in the space of the former Soviet Union. He developed “a plan for Europe” urging the expansion of NATO, making the case for the expansion of NATO to the Baltic states.

In his speech at the United Nations, Russian President Putin rejected the Brzezinski doctrine that seems the West is following today saying that this “bloc thinking” of the Cold War, in his view, remains very alive today in the foreign policies of the United States, NATO, and the West more broadly. The “logic of confrontation” in offering former Soviet countries the false choice of association with East or West, Putin said, resulted in a geopolitical confrontation in Ukraine and a coup “orchestrated from outside” in the Ukraine.

Next week, we will see how the conflict in the Ukraine between Russia, the Ukraine, the EU and the US over natural gas supplies and natural gas pipelines to the Ukraine and Europe is connected to the conflict in Syria to keep or remove Bashar Ashad in power is linked with controlling the routing of natural gas from various Middle East countries through Syria to Europe.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Russia–Ukraine gas disputes
2) Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement
3) Eurasian Customs Union
4) 7 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan
5) To understand what’s really happening in Ukraine, follow the gas lines on this map
6) 2014 Ukrainian revolution
7) Lavrov: If West accepts coup-appointed Kiev govt, it must accept a Russian Crimea
8) Timeline of Crisis in Ukraine
9) Ukraine crisis in maps
10) Ukraine signs historic EU trade pact sparking Russia ire
11) Putin’s inner circle hit by EU sanctions
12) IMF Reveals $40 Billion Bailout Package For Ukraine
13) Putin: War With Ukraine Unlikely, Would Be Apocalyptic
14) Russia and Ukraine Reach Stopgap Gas Deal
15) Klimkin: Russia, Ukraine Normalization Requires Crimea’s Return
16) US Lawmakers Press Obama on Lethal Aid
17) US to Send Additional Non-Lethal Assistance to Ukraine
18) Russia Makes Clear That Crimea Is Non-Negotiable
19) US troops start training Ukrainian infantry
20) Gazprom: Ukraine Owes for Gas Sent to Southeastern Ukraine
21) EU to stand by Ukraine trade deal at summit despite Russia-draft
22) Medvedev: Russia to Adopt “Tough Position” on Ukraine Debt
23) Stoltenberg at CSIS: “Russia has changed”
24) Steinmeier Criticizes Russia Over Travel Ban
25) US President Barack Obama Calls For G7 Unity On Russia, Ukrainian Crisis
26) EU Agrees to Extend Sanctions Against Russia
27) Putin: US Ignited Ukraine Crisis
28) US Slaps New Sanctions on Former Yanukovych Officials, Putin Allies
29) Ukraine Approves New Military Doctrine
30) Ukraine, Russia Reach “Winter Package” Gas Agreement
31) Putin, Obama Discuss Ukraine in UN Speeches
32) The New Great Game: Why Ukraine Matters to So Many Other Nations
33) Who is Zbigniew Brzezinski ?

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 22, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

September 22nd, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The details regarding the decision by the US Senate to support the Iranian nuclear deal

Initially, the Obama administration received support from over 34 Democratic Senators for the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated between the P5 + 1 powers (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) which was spearheaded by the United States. This guaranteed that US President Barack Obama will have enough support to override a possible veto against those who oppose the deal. The Republican party opposes the Iranian nuclear agreement. Eventually, there were a total of 42 senators who supported the Iranian nuclear deal upholding a democratic filibuster to not hold a formal vote on the issue. After Senate Democrats were able to initially uphold their filibuster against holding a vote on the Iranian nuclear agreement, twice they blocked legislation within a week to kill the Iranian nuclear deal. As a result, the Iranian nuclear deal was upheld by the US Senate. In response Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, “I’ve never been more disappointed in this body than I am today. You won’t let us have a vote. You won’t let us have a debate. And please stop saying this deal makes Israel safer. That’s cruel.”

Furthermore, the US House of Representatives voted 245 to 186 to declare Obama out of compliance with the Iran Nuclear Review Act because Congress has yet to see two confidential side agreements pertaining to the deal — documents the administration says it doesn’t have. The resolution also stated that the 60-day clock for Congress to approve the deal hasn’t started. The Iran Nuclear Review Act passed in April and gave Congress a voice in the final Iranian nuclear deal.

In response to the vote, Speaker of the House John A. Boehner said: “This debate is far from over and, frankly, it’s just beginning. We will use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented.” However, Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, said: “Our fellow Americans, allies and negotiating partners around the world should know that today’s outcome was clear, decisive and final. There is now no doubt whatsoever that the United States Congress will allow this historic agreement to proceed.”

What caused so many Senate Democrats to vote for the nuclear deal? Just before the Senate left town for its August break, a dozen or so undecided Democrats met in the Capitol with senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia who delivered a blunt, joint message: Their nuclear agreement with Iran was the best they could expect. The five world powers had no intention of returning to the negotiating table.

Furthermore, leading up to the Senate vote, Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK, Francois Hollande of France and Angela Merkel of Germany appealed directly to Congress not to reject the deal in a September 10 editorial in The Washington Post.

“They basically said unanimously this is as good a deal as you could get and we are moving ahead with it,” recalled Senator Chris Coons, the Delaware Democrat who lent crucial support to the deal this week despite some reservations. “They were clear and strong that we will not join you in re-imposing sanctions.” Senator Bob Casey,  Democrat from Pennsylvania said the unwillingness of the other five powers to renegotiate was a major factor in his decision as well as the importance of keeping America’s allies unified.

For many if not most Democrats, it was that message that ultimately solidified their decisions, leading to President Obama securing enough votes to put the agreement in place over fierce and united Republican opposition. One after another, lawmakers pointed to the warnings from foreign leaders that their own sanctions against Iran would be lifted regardless of what the United States did. “Our ability to build coalitions, to lead, to have credibility when we enter into a negotiation was really on the line,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, “To walk away now would diminish our ability to lead on future issues.”

Opponents of the agreement said they could not remember another recent policy battle where the White House was so driven. They made the Iran vote a strong test of party loyalty. Ultimately, they said, Democrats would be held accountable for their votes.

Two top Jewish democrats in the Congress, US Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Eliot Engel, the most senior Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that they will oppose the Iranian nuclear deal.

In his explanation, Schumer said he found the restrictions on inspections of Iranian facilities — which could take up to 24 days — to be “troubling,” and the promised snap-back sanctions mechanism “cumbersome and difficult to use. Even more troubling is the fact that the US cannot demand inspections unilaterally… It is reasonable to fear that, once the Europeans become entangled in lucrative economic relations with Iran, they may well be inclined not to rock the boat by voting to allow inspections,” Schumer maintained.

If Iran’s true intent is to get a nuclear weapon, under this agreement, it must simply exercise patience. After ten years, it can be very close to achieving that goal, and, unlike its current unsanctioned pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear program will be codified in an agreement signed by the United States and other nations. To me, after ten years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.

The senator said Iran’s ongoing support for terror is what gave him “the most pause. To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great,” Schumer said. “Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.”

In the end, Schumer concludes that the Iranian agreement is based upon trusting the Iranians to comply with the agreement. He said: “If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement. After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism. But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be. For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Eliot Engel explained his decision by saying: “The answers I’ve received simply don’t convince me that this deal will keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and may in fact strengthen Iran’s position as a destabilizing and destructive influence across the Middle East,” Engel said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that he “profoundly disagrees” with the reasoning behind decisions by two prominent Democratic lawmakers to vote against the nuclear deal he negotiated with Iran. Kerry said that the rejection of the Iranian deal does not offer any alternative than a drumbeat to war. Kerry said that if the deal is rejected, “there will be a huge cry about Iran’s continued activity and that will lead people to put pressure on military action since the United States would have walked away from the diplomatic solution.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington D.C. said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” that the deal “would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.” Officials within the Israeli government said: “Israel doesn’t doubt President Obama’s sincerity about the Iranian nuclear deal but disagrees with his position. This deal does not prevent war but rather hastens it because it gives Iran international legitimacy to build the infrastructure for an arsenal of nuclear bombs; it bolsters its terror machine and its aggression with hundreds of millions of dollars.”

As part of the agreement, Iran will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency. In fact, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Reza Najafi, has emphasized that recent sampling at the Parchin military site was not done under IAEA supervision. Furthermore, the IAEA chief, Yukiya Aman confirmed carried out testing at the Parchin military site where nuclear weapons might have been tested in the past. Former agency Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen says he knows of no other case where a country under investigation for possibly trying to make nuclear weapons was permitted to use its own personnel to collect environmental samples as part of the investigation.

The Israeli official slammed Obama’s claim that the oversight by the international community would catch Iranian violations of the deal. “The claim that Iran won’t be able to hide a military nuclear program does not correspond to reality,” the official said. “Iran already managed to fool the international community and build secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom.” After 15 years, Iran will only be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and “Iran has violated this treaty time after time,” the official said.

For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are united in calling the Iranian nuclear deal disastrous. Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a “good deal” with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would “carefully monitor” North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and ensure the country’s return to the “community of nations.” The world, we were told, would be a safer place.

It wasn’t. North Korea never forfeited its nuclear plants and the inspections proved useless. The community of nations is threatened by North Korean atomic bombs and the world is anything but safe. And yet, against all logic, a very similar deal has been signed with Iran.

And Iran is not North Korea. It’s far worse. The North Korean dictators never plotted terrorist attacks across five continents and in thirty cities, including Washington, D.C. Iran’s Ayatollahs did. North Korea is not actively undermining pro-Western governments in its region or planting agents in South America. Iran is. And North Korea – unlike Iran – did not kill many hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

So why, then, are only Israelis united in opposing this deal? We know that the deal allows Iran to break out and create nuclear bombs in as little as three months, too quickly for the world to react. We know that the Ayatollahs, who have secretly constructed fortified nuclear facilities that have no peaceful purpose and have violated all of their international commitments, will break this deal in steps too small to precipitate a powerful global response. And we know that the sanctions, once lifted, cannot be swiftly revived, and that hundreds of billions of dollars Iran will soon receive will not be spent on better roads and schools. That treasure will fund the shedding of blood – of Israelis but also of many others. Ultimately, Israelis know that, while the world might weather its deception by North Korea, they cannot afford to be duped by Iran.

Israel’s former ambassador to the United States Michael Oren believes that the Iranian nuclear agreement signals that the Obama administration has engaged in a major policy shift regarding Israel. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Iranian nuclear deal will enable Iran “to break through to many nuclear bombs in zero time, with international legitimacy. The deal also will give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars, at least 100 billion in the first year, money that will serve to increase its aggression in the region and to spread terrorism to many countries. In Israel and in many countries in the Middle East, there is broad agreement – this is a bad agreement. Many nations in the world support the Iranian nuclear agreement. Israel opposes it. It seems that the Jewish state is on trial in a world kangaroo court and the results in some of the world’s nations are known in advance.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama secures Iran victory as 34th senator endorses nuclear deal
2) Democrats Hand Victory to Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal
3) Senate rejects attempt to derail Iran deal in victory for Obama
4) Senate Democrats again block Iran nuclear deal disapproval
5) Coordinated Strategy Brings Obama Victory on Iran Nuclear Deal
6) How Europe helped save Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran
7) Two top Jewish Democrats say they will oppose Iran deal
8) Why I will vote against Iran deal
9) Kerry ‘profoundly disagrees’ with Schumer, Engel on Iran
10) Israel ‘doesn’t doubt Obama’s sincerity,’ says official, but disagrees on Iran
11) Pro-Israel groups in US line up to slam Iran deal
12) Kerry has ‘intense exchange’ with Jewish leaders over Iran deal
13) Michael Oren: Why Israel Won’t Be Celebrating the Iran Deal
14) Oren: Kerry ‘threats’ won’t deter Israel from opposing nuke deal
15) US Jewish leader: Several EU PMs, including from P5+1, very unhappy with Iran deal
16) UN said to let Iran inspect its own alleged nuclear activity site
17) PM: Israel Is Being Tried in Global Kangaroo Court

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 1, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

September 2nd, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) An interview with Messianic believer Mena Lee Grebin regarding prophetic events which she has been shown for the fall of 2015

This week’s update is an audio interview conducted by Rick Wiles of of Messianic believer Mena Lee Grebin regarding prophetic events which she has been shown for the fall of 2015.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) An interview with Messianic believer Mena Lee Grebin regarding prophetic events which she has been shown for the fall of 2015

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 18, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

August 20th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Presentation to the North American Jewish Federation Explaining His Reasons for Opposing the Iranian Nuclear Deal

This week’s update is an audio interview of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making a presentation to the North American Jewish Federation explaining his reasons for opposing the Iranian nuclear deal. The interview includes questions from the Jewish community about the Iranian nuclear deal.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Benjamin Netanyahu’s presentation to the North American Jewish Federation explaining his opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 11, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

August 8th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The details of the debate between the US and Israel over support for the Iranian nuclear agreement

US President Barack Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are in a heated debate over the merits of the Iranian nuclear agreement recently negotiated between Iran and the P5 + 1 powers which includes the United States over its nuclear program. Obama believes that the agreement will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb while Netanyahu believes the agreement will make it easier for Iran to get a nuclear bomb. Regarding the terms of the nuclear agreement, Netanyahu said: “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction,” he said. “We will always defend ourselves.”

Netanyahu’s office wrote a document outlining the Israeli opposition to the Iranian nuclear agreement. Netanyahu said that with this agreement, Iran has two paths to acquire a nuclear bomb. Primarily, if the Iranians violate the deal, as they have done in the past, they can develop a bomb by cheating. Secondly, if Iran abides by the agreement then, in about a decade, when the central restrictions on its program are automatically removed, they will be able to “carry out unlimited enrichment of uranium with full international legitimacy,” the document says. At that time, “Iran’s breakout time will be close to zero, as Obama himself has said.”

After the agreement, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said that the nuclear deal with the world powers did not include limitations on Iran’s weapons capabilities or missile power and that Iran would keep arming its regional allies. We have told them [the P5+1 world powers] in the negotiations that we will supply arms to anyone and anywhere necessary and will import weapons from anywhere we want and we have clarified this during the negotiations,” Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state TV. Araqchi emphasized that Iran would do what it thinks necessary to maintain its regional alliances. “We will take any necessary action to maintain and expand our defensive capabilities, safeguard our independence and sovereignty and help our regional allies to fight against terrorism,” he said. “We are not ready to even negotiate on our security and defensive issues, let alone compromising them,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listed Iran’s allies as follows: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up support of its friends in the region — the oppressed people of Palestine, of Yemen, the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the oppressed people of Bahrain and sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine… Our policy will not change with regards to the arrogant US government.” Last year, Khamenei said that Iran should keep arming the Palestinians until Israel is destroyed “by a referendum of the people living there.”

With the agreement, Iran will ultimately be receiving over $150 billion dollars from the relief of economic sanctions. While conceding that the nuclear agreement will give Iran more money to fund its military allies, Obama downplayed the Iranian aspirations to continue arming its regional allies saying that — even in its most dire financial state — had never ceased to fund terror groups such as Hezbollah. Obama said: “Does the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] or the Quds Force have more resources [as a result of the deal]? Probably, as the economy in Iran improves. But the challenge that we’ve had, when it comes to Hezbollah, for example, aiming rockets into Israel is not a shortage of resources,” Obama said. “Iran has shown itself to be willing, even in the midst of real hardship, to fund what they consider to be strategy priorities.”

Israel has been fiercely critical of the nuclear deal, arguing that the money Iran receives, as sanctions are lifted, will be used to sponsor terror and destabilize the region. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “They say this agreement pushes war away but in fact it brings war closer. Firstly, because Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars and already now states openly that it will use this money to fund its terror proxies. Secondly, [the deal] will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Director General Dore Gold said that Israel anticipates a “major escalation” of Iranian-backed terror attacks on its borders as a direct result of the nuclear agreement. Gold warned that “the moment that the funds become available from frozen accounts… that’s when the Middle East goes south and things become extremely dangerous in the region.” Saying that the release of $150 billion of frozen funds would free Iran from having to choose which terror activities to support, Gold said Iranian troops and their proxies in the region “will have an ability to be everywhere simultaneously.” Iran has also made great efforts to acquire and distribute advanced weaponry to terror groups, Gold said. “We have been seeing an expansion of Iranian deployment around Israel.”

In association with the nuclear agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency, a unit of the United Nations, has negotiated two side deals with Iran involving critical data collection processes. In a US Senate hearing, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, revealed that the covert military base Parchin will be off limits to international inspectors. Instead, Iran will take its own samples from Parchin and do its own testing of the covert site. Kerry explained in the hearing that the agreements on Parchin are part of the classified section of the deal. Kerry explained that the US government will not be revealing to the American people the contents of “secret side deals” made with Iran on its nuclear enrichment program. Kerry said that he has not read the agreements but has been “briefed” on their contents.

“No, I haven’t seen it,” Kerry said, adding that “we don’t have access to the actual agreement.” Kerry also said that national-security adviser Susan Rice had not seen them either. Kerry said that Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state, “may have” looked at the side agreements during a meeting at an IAEA facility. However, Kerry said that he couldn’t recall whether Sherman had seen the final version: “I don’t know whether she read a summary or a draft,” Kerry said. “I have no idea.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wanted to know why these deals can’t be made public to the American people asking Kerry, “Why can’t we confirm or deny the content of these agreements in public? Why is this classified? It’s not a sensitive U.S. government document. The Ayatollahs know what they agreed to.” Kerry replied: “Because we respect the process of the IAEA and we don’t have their authorization to reveal what is a confidential agreement between them and another country.” Cotton responded to Kerry, “So the Iranian ayatollahs will know what they agreed to but not the American people?” Kerry said members of Congress would be able to learn about it in a classified briefing.

Kerry said that the United States never intended to dismantle Iran’s entire nuclear program and the nation’s top diplomat never promised “anytime, anywhere inspections.” In response, US Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) told Kerry, “I believe we’ve been fleeced and in the course of being fleeced you turned Iran from being a pariah into Congress being a pariah,” he said. “A few weeks ago, you said that no deal was better than a bad deal. What you say now is that somehow if Congress were to turn this down, the only option is war.” Corker told Kerry that he had “crossed a new threshold in US foreign policy where it is now the policy of the United States to allow a state sponsor of terror to develop a sophisticated nuclear program.”

Since Israel does not believe that the agreement will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would not rule out Israeli military action to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear arms. Furthermore, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also indicated that a military option was not off the table, saying that even though the nuclear agreement “is a historic mistake” and will enable Iran to be a “legitimate nuclear threshold country,” Israel “will continue to defend ourselves on our own.”

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) put Kerry on the spot when he asked him whether the controversial articles in Annex III on page 142 of the 159-page deal would stipulate that the US block Israeli attempts to stop the Iranian nuclear threat. The articles in question state that the US, world powers and the EU obligate to “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.” Rubio asked, “If Israel conducts an airstrike on a physical facility, does this deal…require us to help Iran protect and respond to that threat?” In a separate interview, Kerry said that any future Israeli military action against Iran over its nuclear program would be a “huge mistake.” Asked if the nuclear deal signed between the world powers would make it more likely that Israel would attempt an attack, Kerry said: “That would be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Furthermore, Kerry told Rubio that “the purpose of these clauses is to be able to have longer-term guarantees as we enter a world in which cyber warfare is increasingly a concern for everybody. If you are going to have a nuclear capacity, you clearly want to be able to make sure that those are adequately protected.” Responding to Kerry’s hint that the clause is meant to defend Iran from “cyber warfare,” Rubio asked if the deal obligates the US to defend Iran from an Israeli cyber attack. “I assure you that we will be coordinating very, very closely with Israel as we do on every aspect of Israel’s security,” said Kerry, tellingly refusing to directly answer what the deal obligates the US to do in such a scenario essentially indicating that America’s actions won’t be clear until the moment of truth.

In strongly opposing the Iranian nuclear agreement, a senior Israeli diplomatic source said that the agreement “not only allows the Iranians a warning time of 24 days (before inspections of its nuclear facilities) to clean things up but now we learn that they’re the ones collecting the samples as part of the inspections. This means that this agreement will allow the Iranians to fabricate the samples and there is no chance that breaches (of the deal) will be found. In practicality, it means that there won’t be any real inspections of Iran’s nuclear program.”

A senior minister of the Israeli government was quoted as saying, “In this deal and its annexes there are lots of astonishing things, like the fact that Iran is the one to collect the samples from nuclear sites, and that the world powers are also obligated to help Iran prevent sabotage at its nuclear facilities,” said the minister. He added, “each day it becomes clear how awful this deal is. This deal is full of holes. Everyone understands that they (the Iranians) tricked them. The more we go deeper into this deal and its annexes, we discover that the Americans and the international community crossed many red lines.”

Recently, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that in spite of the nuclear agreement, Iran’s policies toward the US and the world will not change. He said: “Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change.” After Khamenei spoke his words, the crowd responded by saying, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” In response, Khamenei  said that he hoped that God would answer their prayers. Regarding Iran’s open animosity to Israel, US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that while “they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment” that doesn’t necessarily mean “that translates into active steps” therefore, the discussion about Iran’s hostility toward Israel in connection with the nuclear deal is “a waste of time”.

In rejecting the Iranian nuclear deal, Netanyahu said that Israel was “not at the table” when it was being negotiated, instead the agreement reveals that Israel was “one of the courses on the menu itself.” US Secretary of State, John Kerry, accused Netanyahu of going “way over the top” in his criticisms. In addition, Kerry argued that the nuclear agreement signed with Iran is in Israel’s interest and that the Israeli government’s decision to oppose it could further its international isolation. Kerry said: “I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed.”

As for Israel’s ability to stop the nuclear agreement, they are engaging in an intense lobbying effort in the U.S. Congress to block the deal. The US Congress will have until September 17th to review and vote on whether to support or reject the Iranian nuclear agreement. Under an agreement that Obama struck with lawmakers, Congress has 60 days to review the agreement before Obama can start easing economic sanctions on Iran. As a result, US lawmakers will likely try to derail it by passing new sanctions or prevent Obama from lifting existing sanctions by voting to reject the agreement.

Obama has said that he will veto any resolutions from Congress seeking to undermine the deal, meaning opponents would have to muster a two-thirds majority in Congress to override the veto. That would require dozens of Democrats to vote against the president which appears unlikely. Speaking to members of congress, Netanyahu called on “all those who care about Israel’s security” to unite behind the commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

In response to Netanyahu, Obama said that he was confident that the US Congress will not be able to muster enough no votes to block the agreement. “[P]erhaps [Netanyahu] thinks he can further influence the congressional debate, however, I’m confident we’re going to be able to uphold this deal and implement it without Congress preventing it.” In addition, Obama said that Israel’s rejection of the Iranian nuclear agreement was “sincere” but “wrong.” The UN Security Council “unanimously supported it” by a vote of 15 – 0 so Israel is the only country who opposes it and in doing so is being internationally isolated.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Prime Minister’s Office gears up for battle in US against Iran accord
2) Iran’s deputy FM: We told world powers we’ll keep arming our allies
3) Obama Admits: Iran Being Given Billions for Terror Funds
4) Obama’s Deal: $150 Billion to Iran to Destroy Israel with Conventional Arms
5) Obama downplays nuke-deal benefits for Iran’s proxies
6) ‘No Inspections’: Iran to Test its Own Covert Nuclear Sites
7) Does Iran gets to inspect its own suspect nuke sites? US won’t say
8) Kerry bombshell: U.N. in ‘secret deal’ with Iran
9) John Kerry hasn’t even seen one of the most crucial parts of the Iran agreement
10) Senator to Kerry on Iran deal: ‘We’ve been fleeced’
11) Watch: Kerry Indicates US Will Defend Iran from Israel
12) Kerry: Israeli strike on Iran would be ‘huge mistake’
13) Netanyahu said to bitterly attack Kerry for placing Israel ‘on the menu’ of Iran deal
14) PM hints military option against Iran not off the table
15) Kerry Says Israel May Deepen Its Isolation by Opposing Iran Nuclear Accord
16) Kerry casts doubt on Iran’s desire to annihilate Israel
17) Embattled Israeli leader faces tough task fighting nuke deal
18) Obama threatens to veto Congress moves to block Iran deal
19) Netanyahu’s bid to lobby Congress to kill Iran deal will fail, Obama says
20) Obama: Netanyahu cannot stop Iran deal
21) Obama: Israel sole objector to Iran deal; Netanyahu is ‘wrong’

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 4, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

August 2nd, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the nuclear deal agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 powers

On July 20, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal and paving the way to lifting longstanding sanctions on it. The vote was 15-0. As a result of the vote, the international community will remove punishing economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear activity. The agreement will now go before the US Congress for approval. A vote is expected by the end of September.

In Iran accepting this nuclear deal, Iran has only agreed to temporary curbs on its nuclear program but it has not abandoned atomic research and long-term uranium enrichment plans. When various nuclear experts examined the details of the 159-page nuclear deal, they warned that it ignores various key aspects of Irans’s nuclear program and that the lifting of arms sanctions may pave Iran’s path to nuclear-capable missiles. A glaring omission is seen in the absolute lack of any reference to the highly covert Parchin military base located southeast of Iran which is suspected of being the center of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). IAEA reports in November 2011 pointed to nuclear weapons development previously conducted at the site and a 2012 IAEA report likewise confirmed explosives containment vessels were at the site and likely used to test nuclear detonations. Iran has repeatedly refused IAEA requests to inspect Parchin.

Not only does the deal not directly address military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program but critics warn it contains several loopholes that will greatly limit its effectiveness in stopping Iran’s march to a nuclear weapon. For one, the agreement calls for Iran’s “voluntary” compliance with the terms of the deal in several places instead of implementing mandatory steps Iran must fulfill.

What’s more, a section of the deal may allow Iran to avoid revealing its past nuclear weapons testing stating that Iran “may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities inconsistent with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) at the location in question.” The deal also includes removing a large number of sanctions, including those targeting Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), which operates sites at the Parchin base and is thought to be highly involved in the covert nuclear weapons program.

Aside from Parchin, experts were alarmed to see that the nuclear deal does not directly impose limits on or even reference the Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power plant which they warn can produce enough plutonium for a large number of atomic weapons. Regarding plutonium, after 15 years the deal stipulates that Iran will be able to “engage in producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys,” and likewise conduct research and development “on plutonium or uranium (or their alloys) metallurgy, or casting, forming, or machining plutonium or uranium metal.”

At the Natanz nuclear facility, a limitation on 5,060 centrifuges in 30 cascade units will cease in ten years, and after 15 years Iran will be able to enrich uranium over 3.67% – a 20% enrichment is needed to build nuclear weapons. In eight years, Iran can start producing up to 200 partial advanced centrifuges each year, and two years later it can construct complete advanced centrifuges.

In addition to the details on Iran’s nuclear program, experts warn there are pitfalls in how the deal approaches – or ignores – Iran’s nuclear-capable missile program. Notably the deal avoids addressing Iran’s ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program. It also removes sanctions against Iran’s Al Ghadir missile command based in Tehran which has been leading the development of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, and is thought to hold operational control of Iran’s missiles.

A UN conventional arms embargo on Iran will end in five years due to the deal, and sanctions against selling ballistic missiles to Iran will likewise expire in eight years. However, it is possible that China and Russia will covertly sell arms to Iran before those dates, as they have done in the past.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the nuclear deal doesn’t change the United States’ “profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region. But denying Iran a nuclear weapon is important not in spite of these other destabilizing actions but rather because of them,” Power said. EU foreign ministers maintained that the deal as it stands is the best option available. “It is a balanced deal that means Iran won’t get an atomic bomb,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, applauded the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers and said that the deal is “an important achievement” that must be implemented at once.

The nuclear deal with Iran was met with a profound worries in the Arab world. Arab countries are skeptical that a deal would stop Iran from building a weapon. Arab countries have deep fears of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon and some have been skeptical that a deal will prevent that from happening. But equally high for key Sunni-dominated Gulf allies of the United States is the worry that a deal gives Iran the means — through an economic windfall — and an implicit green light to push influence in the region where concerns are widespread that the easing of its international isolation could tip the already bloody contest for power in the region toward Shiite-led Iran. The Arab world has been polarized for years in a worsening proxy conflict between Iran and Gulf powers, particularly Saudi Arabia, fueling Sunni-Shiite tensions and stoking wars. In Syria, Iran’s support has ensured the survival of President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels backed by Gulf nations in a devastating civil war now in its fifth year. Yemen has been torn apart this year as Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition air campaign, has tried to help fend off Shiite rebels supported by Iran. In Iraq, Saudi Arabia has opposed the growing power of Iran even since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein and the rise of a government led by Shiite politicians close to Iran.

A Saudi Arabian source said that “the Obama Administration made an enormous, historic mistake that will lead a great burden upon the next American government, from the perspective of dealing with and rectifying the mistake. The deal will bring about further hostility due to the manner in which it was achieved. In addition, Saudi Arabia issued a pointed warning, saying Iran must use any economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to improve the lives of Iranians, “rather than using them to cause turmoil in the region, a matter that will meet a decisive reaction from the nations of the region.” Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, warned earlier this year that a deal might fuel a regional arms race. “This agreement, from our point of view, represents an indirect threat to Gulf and Arab interests and peace,” said Tariq Al-Shammari, a Saudi analyst and president of the Council of Gulf International Relations.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the US Security Council vote as “hypocrisy,” stressing that Tehran “systematically violates UN resolutions and calls for the destruction of Israel — a member of the UN. There is no limit to hypocrisy,” Netanyahu charged. “The best way to combat this hypocrisy is to firmly and uniformly tell the truth.” Netanyahu said many countries in the Middle East see “eye-to-eye with Israel” on the nuclear deal. “History has proven that even when the world is united, it is not necessarily right,” he said.

“They say this agreement pushes war away but in fact it brings war closer. Firstly, because Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars and already now states openly that it will use this money to fund its terror proxies. Secondly, [the deal] will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

Furthermore, Netanyahu said “This deal endangers our security, our survival even, and the security of the Middle East and the world,” and US lawmakers to reject the deal. Netanyahu dismissed talk of US military compensation to Israel as futile and ineffective. He said: “Everybody talks about compensating Israel. If this deal is supposed to make Israel and its Arab neighbors safer, why should we need to be compensated with anything? And how can you compensate my country against a terrorist regime that is sworn to our destruction and going to get a path to nuclear bombs?” Netanyahu asked. According to Netanyahu, an ideal agreement would be based on the notion of “dismantle for dismantle” — that Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure in exchange for sanctions relief. “That was the original administration position and I think it was the right one,” he said, lamenting that under the current deal “Iran gets to … keep its infrastructure and it gets the full dismantling of sanctions in a very short time.”

Ya’akov Nagel, deputy chief of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC), warned about the dangers in the Iranian nuclear deal saying, “The (version of the) final deal reached Israel just very shortly before the public (announcement of the) deal,” explained Nagel. “Except for a few surprises, most of the deal was already known to us beforehand. The deal is a bad deal – and even a very bad deal compared to what we thought.” The security expert explained that “the bottom line is that Iran was permitted to continue enriching uranium on Iranian soil. What that means is that the centrifuges for enriching uranium will remain in Iran and will not be deconstructed. As of today Iran has ten tons of centrifuges to enrich uranium but the deal speaks about that being limited to 300 kilograms with excess being sold on the free market.” Nagel added that the deal gives Iran a “permit to research and develop advanced centrifuges which will allow Iran to significantly shorten the needed time to breakout to a nuclear weapon. Fifteen years from the deal all the limitations will be lifted on the enrichment of uranium.”

Regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which signed a “road map” deal with Iran to clarify the nuclear aspects of its nuclear program by the end of the year, Nagel said the agency previously “passed to Iran a list of 12 clauses connected to Iran’s military (nuclear) developments. As of today, Iran has not responded to the request or given a response about the status of these clauses, and this topic was not included in the deal. If Iran doesn’t give answers in the next four months, it will cast doubt as to the validity of the deal.”

Nagel emphasized that the deal has numerous loopholes regarding the inspection of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programs. “IAEA inspectors can arrive at suspected sites, but that’s only possible after a long period of 24 days,” warned the security expert. “Other than a nuclear (detonation) experiment that can’t be hidden within 24 days, everything else can be hidden.”

The revelation is particularly significant in context of the covert Parchin military base, where Iran has admitted to testing exploding bridge wire nuclear detonators and where the IAEA has reported nuclear weapons experiments were likely centered. Satellite photos have shown Iran has been modifying the site possibly covering up evidence of ongoing nuclear tests. In conclusion, Nagel said, “Iran hasn’t abandoned and won’t abandon its vision of military nuclear (power). Due to the deal, Iran will receive a huge amount of money in a thawing of the sanctions, which will allow Iran to increase its involvement in terror and obtain technological knowledge regarding nuclear (power).”

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said he would work with Netanyahu’s ruling coalition to thwart the Iran nuclear deal. Herzog said: “I had a meeting where I learned about the deal and I think it is bad for Israel. [Netanyahu and myself] will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous.” MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said:  “The day the agreement was signed, I said that the clear and immediate danger is strengthening Iran’s terror system,” said MK Livni. “The fact that the president of the United States now acknowledges and is aware that Iran will continue to meddle in terrorism despite the agreement and that the agreement was only intended to deal with the nuclear program forces the world to take the next step and act against Iran’s terrorism.” Livni added, “Israel must now demand from the US, without connection to whether or not the deal passes, security and operational steps to reduce the deal’s damage and to allow us to act against the immediate results in the region. This is a legitimate demand and necessary to Israel’s safety.”

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama told Netanyahu that the Iran nuclear deal was in Israel’s national interest and sent his defence secretary, Ash Carter, to travel to Israel to talk with Netanyahu about it. In response, Israeli political party leader of Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, said Netanyahu was making a mistake by refusing to hear about compensation for the Iranian nuclear deal from American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He pointed out that the Israeli defense establishment wants compensation. “But the worst mistake is allowing the world, especially the Arabs to see that the US has stopped listening to Israel,” Lapid said. In response to Lapid, the head of the political party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, said: “The Iran nuclear deal is the height of political evil. Instead of trying to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the world is now helping it to develop one. Instead of completely eviscerating their economy, they are developing it. Instead of taking away their weapons, they are giving them the opportunity to get more. During times like these there is no coalition or opposition,” said Bennett. Turning to Lapid, Bennett said “I would expect politicians to show some responsibility especially at a time like this.”

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was also heading to Israel to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “to convey our message about the Iranian deal directly. I am also confident that Israel has shown, time and again, that it can be pragmatic and that once it has exhausted that avenue of opportunity, that it will seek to engage in a sensible and pragmatic way to deal with the new reality on the ground in the Middle East, to the benefit of everyone.” Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, criticized Israel for opposing the Iranian nuclear deal. The FM said that the deal is responsible and called to Israel to examine the deal scrupulously instead of roughly criticizing the agreement.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has accepted an invitation to visit Iran. France used to have a strong presence in Iran before the sanctions went into effect, with Peugeot and Renault being major players in the Iranian auto industry and energy giant Total heavily involved in the oil sector. Futhermore, Asian refiners are set to buy more crude oil from Iran once they receive word on when sanctions will be lifted expecting Tehran to price its oil competitively as it tries to rebuild market share in an oversupplied market. Iran has said its priority destination for selling its crude is Asia, not surprising since China, India, Japan and South Korea are its largest customers.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) UN Security Council unanimously approves Iran deal
2) European Union Backs Iranian Nuclear Deal
3) Netanyahu: To Combat UN’s Hypocrisy, We Must Tell the Truth
4) In Arab world, worries that deal will boost Iran’s power
5) Saudi Source: Obama Made a Historic Mistake
6) Merkel: Iran Deal an Important Achievement
7) Germany: Israel Should Examine ‘Responsible’ Iran Deal Carefully
8) British foreign minister heads to Israel to explain Iran deal
9) French foreign minister to go to Tehran for trade talks
10) French foreign minister to visit Tehran in sign of post-deal thaw
11) Asia ready to buy more Iranian oil when sanctions lifted
12) Top Security Official: Nothing in Deal Stops Iran Going Nuclear
13) Iran’s long-term nuclear ambitions survive deal
14) Experts Reveal Deal Ignores Iran’s Covert Nuclear Arms Program
15) Iran’s parliament votes to ban access to military sites and scientists
16) Nuclear Deal Silent on Iran’s Parchin Military Plant, Bushehr
17) Netanyahu: Iran deal endangers Israel, US compensation won’t help
18) Opposition head Herzog says he will work with PM against Iran deal
19) Livni to Obama: US Must Help Stop Iranian Terror
20) Lapid: The world sees that the US has stopped listening to Israel
21) Bennett Slams Lapid, Defends Netanyahu on Iran

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

July 21, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

July 19th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The Nuclear Deal Agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 Powers

On July 14, Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners reached an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The economic benefits for Iran are potentially massive. Iran stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks. Not only will Iran get access to its frozen assets, it can now start selling its oil on the world market. As part of the sanctions relief, Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who killed US soldiers, and who conducts foreign operations outside Iran’s borders and directs the Islamic regime’s terrorist activities throughout the world will be part of a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed. Diplomats struck the deal after the latest 18-day round of intense negotiations in Vienna, Austria.

The agreement is intended to keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years. Diplomats said Iran agreed to the continuation of a United Nations arms embargo on the country for up to five more years though it could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons. A similar condition was put on U.N. restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Iran which could last for up to eight more years. According to officials, Iran also had agreed to a so-called “snapback” provision under which sanctions could be reinstated if it violates the agreement.

The deal includes a compromise between the United States and Iran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. However, access at will to any site would not necessarily be granted and even if so, could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Iran time to cover any sign of non-compliance with its commitments. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran’s permission first after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process.

Under the deal, Iran would have the right to challenge the U.N. request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers that negotiated with it would have to decide on the issue. Such an arrangement would still be a notable departure from assertions by top Iranian officials, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that their country would never allow the IAEA into such sites. Iran has argued that such visits by the IAEA would be a cover for spying on its military secrets.

As part of the agreement, Iran will cut by about two-thirds the number of centrifuges — which can make fuel for nuclear power stations but also the core of a nuclear bomb — from around 19,000 to just over 6,000. The US Congress has 60 days to review the agreement and can vote to approve or reject it. However, should Congress pass a resolution of disapproval, Obama would veto that resolution.

In an interview with Israeli TV, Obama said that there was no military option to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Obama said: “A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it.” Obama said that a “verifiable” agreement with Iran was the best way forward. He said: “I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement.”

Speaking from the White House, Obama claimed the deal meets “every single one of the bottom lines” from a tentative agreement struck earlier this year. He said: “Does this deal resolve all of the threats Iran poses to its neighbors and the world? No. Does it do more than anyone has done before to make sure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon? Yes. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” Obama said, claiming it provides for extensive inspections. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.” Obama added: “If Iran violates this deal, the sanctions we imposed that have helped cripple the Iranian economy -– the sanctions that helped make this deal possible –- would snap back into place promptly. Still, you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s comments, warning that the emerging deal would “pave the way” for Iran to attain a nuclear arsenal. He said the deal would also see Iran’s economy boosted and thus enable it to engage in further terrorist activity. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Israel “will be safer” under the terms of the nuclear deal. Kerry said: “We believe that Israel will be safer with a one-year breakout [to a nuclear weapon] for the ten years [of heightened restrictions stipulated by the deal] than two months,” the time it would take Iran to “break out” to a weapon now, according to many Western intelligence estimates.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid and other political leaders have slammed the nuclear agreement with Iran which leaves much of Iran’s enrichment infrastructure and offensive missile programs intact and depends on trusting the Iranian regime to adhere to the agreement despite a long record of breaking previous promises. Israel argues that the US could have negotiated a better deal. In response, Kerry rejected the Israeli criticism that a “better deal” was possible. “Now there’s no alternative being provided by all these other people,” he charged. “They all say, ‘Oh, why don’t you crush them by sanctions?’ I’ll tell you why, because they won’t be crushed by sanctions. That’s been proven. And because we’ll lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions,” he said, referring to UN Security Council members from Europe, Russia and China, among others, who are eager to see the end of Iranian sanctions. Kerry warned that the alternative to the current deal was war.

The United States is drafting a United Nations resolution which supports the agreed upon Iranian nuclear deal. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power will outline the main points in the agreement to council members. The resolution will replace the existing framework of Security Council sanctions with the restrictions agreed during negotiations in Vienna, Power said. The resolution already has the backing of UN veto-wielding members who took part in the Iran talks — Britain, the United States, France, China, and Russia — as well as Germany.

Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded for the first time on the country’s nuclear deal and applauded his country’s negotiating team for their efforts towards achieving the deal. Furthermore, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that in spite of the nuclear agreement, Iran’s policies toward the US and the world will not change. He said: “We have repeatedly said we don’t negotiate with the U.S. on regional or international affairs; not even on bilateral issues. There are some exceptions like the nuclear program that we negotiated with the Americans to serve our interests. We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” he continued, referring to the Iranian terror axis in the Middle East. “Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change.” After Khamenei spoke his words, the crowd responded by saying, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” In response, Khamenei  said that he hoped that God would answer their prayers.

Israel’s security cabinet unanimously rejected the Iran deal and said that Israel reserves the right to take action to protect the state. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the nuclear agreement with Iran will not prevent it from getting a nuclear bomb while granting it sanctions relief to continue its aggressive policies in the region. He called the agreement “a bad mistake of historic proportions” and that it was “filled with absurdities.” For some reason, Netanyahu said, “There is a willingness in the West to accept despotic regimes and seek peace at any price.” Netanyahu added that because of this deal, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons because many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.” With the removal of economic sanctions, Netanyahu warned, “Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region.” As a result, Netanyahu said that “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. Israel will always defend itself” Netanyahu said. “If it weren’t for Israel, Iran would’ve had a nuclear weapon long ago.” In further slamming the nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu said that as a result Israel must now “first and foremost” rely on itself to defend itself rather than trusting in the support of the United States.

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said: “A terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.” Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely accused Western powers of surrendering to Iran regarding the nuclear deal saying: “This deal is a historic surrender by the West to the axis of evil headed by Iran. As a result, Israel will act with all means to try and stop the agreement from being ratified.”

Israel Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein said, “I regret to say that the agreement signed with Iran expresses a systemic collapse, a hallucination with international sponsorship. Iran is toying with the West and stating openly its intention to continue its murderous plans even against the ones negotiating with it, and that is why this is a dangerous illusion – not just for Israel but for the world’s peace. This agreement is paving the way for Iran to build numerous nuclear bombs while giving tens of billions of dollars to the Iranian terror machine. This agreement is a true collapse of our ‘iron wall’ – in the face of fundamentalist evil. This agreement is the beginning of the collapse of the western wall of resistance to the murderous conquest of the Iranian school of extreme Islam.

In challenging Israel’s disapproval of the nuclear deal with Iran, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said: “Those who would prefer that we simply take military action now against Iran without going the last diplomatic mile: you need to consider that such a response would first destroy the international sanctions coalition,” he said. He added that it would “only set Iran’s nuclear program back by a few years at best, at which point Iran likely would bury a new program deep underground and speed toward an actual nuclear weapon. All of that said, the United States continues to believe – as we have from day one – that no deal is preferable to a bad deal,” he insisted, in direct contradiction to Israel’s own stance on the issue. “We’ve had plenty of opportunities throughout this negotiating process to take a bad deal; we did not, and we will not.” In addressing Israel’s opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal, Blinken said: “I would say to any opponents of the agreement, if we reach it: You’ll have an obligation, too. Here in the United States, you’ll have an obligation to tell the American people exactly what you would do differently, and exactly how you would get it done.”

In response, Netanyahu said: ”the alternative we proposed repeatedly to a failed agreement is to continue strengthening sanctions on Iran and conditioning the removal of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program only if Iran changes its policies. As long as the Iranian leadership continues to encourage cries of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, there is no reason to make concessions to it,” he said.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Iran, world powers agree to nuclear deal
2) Full Text of Iranian Nuclear Deal
3) Iran deal announced, gets over $100 billion in sanctioned assets
4) Deal means ‘permanent prohibition’ on Iranian nukes, insists Obama
5) Obama calls critics of Iran nuclear deal ‘overheated and dishonest’
6) Obama: There is no military option to stop Iran
7) Military strikes won’t end Iran’s nuclear program – Obama
8) ‘Israel is safer’ with Iran nuclear deal, says Kerry
9) U.S. Readies UN Measure Carrying Out Iran Nuclear Deal
10) Khamenei Applauds Negotiating Team on Nuclear Deal
11) Iran’s Supreme Leader: Policy Toward the US Will Not Change
12) Iran’s Khamenei hails his people for demanding death to America and Israel
13) Israel accuses world powers of yielding to Iran for nuclear deal
14) Israel says West has surrendered to Iran with nuclear deal
15) Israeli leaders condemn Iran deal, ‘one of the darkest days in world history’
16) Iran Deal Is ‘Internationally Sponsored Hallucination’
17) PM preempts Obama TV interview pitching Iran deal to Israeli public: We must rely on ourselves
18) Interview: Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu On Iran Nuclear Deal
19) Netanyahu calls Iran nuclear agreement a ‘bad mistake of historic proportions’
20) Netanyahu on Iran deal: The more you read it, the worse it gets
21) PM to Obama: Iran will get nukes, with or without breaking deal
22) Netanyahu to Obama: Deal with Iran funds its terror and war machine
23) Netanyahu: If it weren’t for Israel, Iran would’ve had nukes long ago
24) US Challenges Israel on Iran: What Would You Do Differently?
25) Netanyahu Blasts Open Iranian Defiance After Nuclear Deal

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 30, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

July 2nd, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) A commentary by Rick Wiles of regarding the prophetic significance of the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage

Rick Wiles of shares his viewpoint on the prophetic significance of the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Rick Wiles:

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l