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On August 13, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to sign a normalisation agreement with Israel (Not theoretically a peace accord, as they have never formally been at war). This was followed by Bahrain on September 11. The formal agreements were signed on the White House lawns on September 15, just three days short of the Feast of Trumpets/ Jewish New Year 5781 being ushered in.
Various other nations are expected to follow suit and Saudi Arabia and Oman have already issued a statement of support to these two nations who have broken the previous cold relations. Saudi Arabia opened its air space to Israeli Airline ELAL, allowing the first-ever direct flight between Israel and the UAE to take place and Morocco is reportedly close to opening direct flights to Israel as well. No doubt many other nations are presently contemplating to get in on the action of normalising relations with Israel.
What has caused this amazing turn of events in the Middle East? Some plausible explanations might be…
The recognition that Israel relations would be good for their own country’s general economic wellbeing through increasing business, agricultural, technical and tourism co-operation, to name a few areas.…
A major factor is however, most likely, the one which drives most international politics…fear. The intensifying battle between the mainly Sunni Gulf states and their longstanding Shiite enemy, Iran, has drawn them closer to Israel over the last few years. The Gulf states have come to realise that Israel is a crucial ally in the Middle East against Iran, especially after the USA betrayed them under Obama, by making a nuclear treaty with their arch enemy.
Trump wrote the book, Art of the Deal, which made him a name in the USA. He has used his negotiation skills in these deals, which started the process with the Israeli Palestinian “Deal of the Century”, where he floated the “annexation” plan in exchange for massive financial rewards for the Palestinians. The Palestinians rejected it outright.
Shelving of ‘annexation plan’
The Gulf States have leveraged the “annexation plan” as a way to save face with their neighbours by stating that they did the peace deal with Israel in return for the shelving of the “annexation plan”. Israel says that it has only been suspended, but a number of sources indicate that USA officials have hinted that the USA would not support the “annexation plan” until at least 2024. This was potentially a window of opportunity for Israel to exercise its sovereignty over her Biblical heartland, that might not be opened soon again.
The oil leverage that the Arab states previously enjoyed over the nations including the US, has also impacted how deals are made today in the Middle East. Israel’s strength has caused many to take note and has fostered a desire to have her on their side as a regional ally against Iran and Turkey.
It has never been an easy thing to forge ties with Israel. Anwar Sadat paid with his life for making peace with Israel in 1979 and the Jordanian king had an attempt on his life for doing the same in 1994.
There is much opposition to the agreements. Iran and Turkey refer to the agreements as their “worst nightmare” and as a legitimate reason to respond with terror attacks. Two big explosions were detonated near the Abu Dhabi airport just before the first historical flight from Israel landed there on August 31.
As the Abraham Accord was being signed on the White House lawns, sirens were going off in southern Israel as rockets were being fired into Israeli towns bordering Gaza. Six people were badly injured and at least one person is presently on life support.
Reconciliation of ‘brothers’
The Abrahamic Accord has seemingly ended 26 years of enmity between “brothers” after a drought of any type of positive relations between Israel and the Arab nations.
Messianic Pastor Peter Tsukahira describes it as a picture from Genesis (Ch 32-33) where, after Jacob wrestles with God, he is forced to face Esau and is pleasantly surprised when he meets him and discovers that he seems to have had a change of heart!
The older brother might have realised that God’s blessing is on his younger brother and it will not benefit him to fight against his younger brother any longer.
From a regional perspective, the UAE is one of the more advanced Arab nations in the Middle East and has taken the lead and others are expected to follow. Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has stated that most of the other 22 Arab League nations are expected to follow suit. Could this lead to the “covenant with many” the Scriptures speak about?
The Palestinians feel betrayed, but they should have realised by now that they don’t enjoy the loyalty of most Arab states and have been used as pawns in the ongoing battle to destroy Israel. Their cause has possibly reached an expiry date as the reality of their corrupt leaders stealing millions of dollars/euros donated to the Palestinian cause, has not endeared them to many. They are their own worst enemies as they have rejected numerous peace offers through the years and are now effectively moving themselves towards irrelevance.
The Abrahamic Accord and the unprecedented breakthroughs in the Middle East accompanying it have led to much speculation as to how it might all tie in with end-times prophesies.
The battle of Gog and Magog mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38 has not only been understood to be a major “last days” battle by Christians but also by Jewish scholars and rabbis. Even the Koran mentions Gog and Magog and Islam also views it as a major sign of the end times.
God brings a number of nations to join together in battle against Israel. Ezekiel 38:2..”Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal…v5..Persia, Ethiopia and Libya are with them…Gomer and the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops”.
Gog and Magog have been identified for centuries as Russia. For example, the lexicography of Gesenius published in 1812 identified Magog as Russia long before Russia became a world power. Persia is widely held to be modern-day Iran and the other nations mentioned are most likely Turkey and others in the area. It is interesting that neither Egypt nor Edom (Jordan) are listed with these nations.
V8 — “In the latter days you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; They were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”
This is clearly referring to the Israel of today, whose people have been gathered back from the nations.
They come against a land at peace…v11 “You will say, I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people…”.
Israel does not live in peace and security presently. This gives us an indication that it is for a time to come.
Could the coming economic collapse trigger a new economic world order, leading to “world peace”? The “economic reset” and the New World Order is already openly spoken about.
Another interesting statement embedded in the agreement, which might have gone unnoticed by many, says: “As set forth in the Vision of Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths”.
The transition from the term Haram al-Sharif (which implies the total Temple Mount area, controlled currently by the Islamic Waqf, seated in Jordan) to the term Al-Aqsa Mosque, which implies only the area inside the mosque itself, is significant, as it opens up the whole Temple Mount area to people of all faiths, including Jews who are not presently allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. Who knows what could be negotiated next…the rebuilding of the Temple on the open area adjoining the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
This is not entirely unlikely, as the talk of a vision of shared peace for all faiths is the news headlines of today. But this “peace” will not last…
“On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan…to take plunder and to take booty” (v10 and 12).
Israel never had much to plunder until fairly recently when she discovered offshore gas.
The giant Leviathan gas field off the coast of Haifa was the largest discovery worldwide during the first decade of the century. Israel’s gas production is anticipated to exceed demand by 80% in 2020, thanks to production from Leviathan. This will enable Israel to become a gas exporter in the Eastern Mediterranean. Israeli natural gas offers the EU a rare opportunity to loosen Russia’s energy chokehold on parts of Europe. Moscow wields access to energy supplies as a political weapon.
In January 2019, Israel, Egypt, and Cyprus announced the creation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which aims to build a 1 930km pipeline connecting the abundant hydrocarbon reserves of the Levantine basin with Europe via Cyprus and Crete. It is expected to be completed in about five years time.(2026).
This development concerns Moscow, because the Russian economy is heavily dependent on the export of natural resources such as oil and natural gas.
One can easily understand how “evil thoughts can arise in their minds…”
Will this coincide at a time when Israel is at “peace”? — While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,… (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
There are some nations who do not partake in the attack on Israel, v13, “Sheba and Dedan (countries possibly part of the Arabian Peninsula, where the UAE and Bahrain are based) and the merchants of Tarshish (most likely a far off coastal city, location unknown, possibly even as far as present-day Spain)… will say to you, “ Have you come to take plunder”.
Alliance of nations
Could the Abrahamic Accords be the beginning of the alliance of nations who are at peace with Israel and do not support those who come against Israel?
The attack by Gog and Magog and their allies leads to a massive response from the God of Israel, who defends Israel against the attack and unleashes earthquakes, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone on the armies who attack Israel. (39:18-22).
This great act of God will “set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgements which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward” (Ezekiel 39:22).
It is the not the Abraham Accord that will stand but the Abrahamic Covenant — 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have displayed my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them behind; 29 and I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God (Ezekiel 39:27-29).