Weekly Update: Keep your eyes on Turkey, Russia and Iran

editor - 9 October 2020

We have some fascinating reading for you this week about the changing dynamics in the Middle East and Caucasus.

In a thought-provoking article published in Foreign Policy, Jonathan Spyer argues that political Islam has been defeated, and “[t]he game to come is great-power competition, directed by ruling elites from above.”

Jerusalem Post journalist Seth Frantzman analyses the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict. He argues that much of the unrest in the region is a result of lines drawn in the sand by Western powers 100 years ago – ignoring the peoples, clans and families in the region, and giving rise to nation states based on European concepts of international law. The peoples of the region continue to be ignored.

He rightly asks the question whether international law – given the hypocritical way it is interpreted and applied – can have any meaningful contribution to the resolution of the conflicts plaguing the region.

The major regional powers – Turkey, Iran and Russia – are all seeking to consolidate and expand their influence in the Middle East.

Russia’s influence in Syria is being restrained by the US that has not completely withdrawn, and indeed does not intend to, as Jonathan Spyer reports.

Turkey’s President Erdogan recently claimed that “Jerusalem belongs to us” – ie. to Turkey. There is no doubt Erdogan wants to revive the Caliphate. Turkey’s aggression is provoking conflict with its arch-rival Greece, which has strong ties with Israel.

We should keep our eyes on these developments. Many commentators argue that Russia, Turkey and Iran are destined to play a major role in the conflict that will erupt, with Jerusalem at its centre, as described in Ezekiel 38-39. Watch Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer’s teaching on this topic.

As Christians we should also be concerned for the many different ethnic peoples of the region – Kurds, Armenians, Jews, Arabs, Baloch, Syriacs, Arameans, etc – who continue to be used as pawns in the larger political and military ambitions of the major super-powers. Let us pray for these peoples.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Inconsistency on international law, history underpin Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

By Seth J. Frantzman.
Read article..

The End of the Age of Insurgency
By Jonathan Spyer. Read article..

US is beefing up forces in eastern Syria to counter Russian harassment 
By Jonathan Spyer. Read article..

“Jerusalem is Ours!” What’s Behind Turkey’s Astonishing Claim
By Yochanan Visser in Israel Today. Read article..

Erdogan’s Plan to Take Over the Palestinian Authority
By Khaled Abu Toameh. Read article..

Erdoğan and His Arab “Brothers”
By Burak Bekdil. Read article..

7 + 3: Greece As Part of a Mediterranean Bloc
By Rauf Baker. Read article..

Why is Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria important?

Sondra Baras, Director of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC):  “The application of sovereignty over [Judea and Samaria] is vital because it is an accurate expression of a reality that already exists. Proposals that consider the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria ignore the reality on the ground, and create an alternative, dream world.”

Andrew Tucker interviews Sondra Baras: watch here

Read the article ‘Sovereignty is Critical’ by Sondra Baras here.


New Israel & Christians Today Podcast series:

In this podcast Editor-in-chief and international lawyer Andrew Tucker joins journalist and theologian Johannes Gerloff in a conversation about the modern State of Israel and its significance for us as Christians.

Podcast #1: What connects Christians with Israel?

Listen here..


Teaching on Gog and Magog by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Glashouwer explains about the countries that form the second ring around Israel that will suddenly attack Israel in that day, when His people Israel is living in safety. He read from Ezekiel 38 and 39. The prophecy is about Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. The countries involved in this prophecy are identified via their ancient names mentioned in the Bible. The prophecies of the Bible are very accurate. But we should never forget: God is in control and ultimately it will lead to His Kingdom and the coming of the King of the Kingdom. Which is Jesus Christ, who will establish peace all over the world!



Scripture for the week: Ezekiel 38:1-13

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

“‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’



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