CBN News (Link) - Chris Mitchell & Julie Stahl (August 22, 2011)
Last year, an international crisis exploded when Israel stopped a flotilla of ships from breaking its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The incident left Israel feeling more isolated, but some Jews saw the pages of scripture coming alive through the crisis.
When Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-owned flagship, Mavi Mamara, leading the flotilla, things quickly turned deadly. Pro-Palestinian activists attacked the soldiers, who then defended themselves. Nine activists died in the melee.
Israel acted to keep weapons out of Hamas-controlled Gaza, but that didn’t stop an international rush to judgment.
The U.N. Security Council condemned Israel and called for an investigation.
Sweden, Ireland and other nations planned boycotts against the Jewish state.
The incident also revealed Turkey as a major player in the Middle East, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shifting his allegiance from Israel to Iran, Syria and their axis of power.
“Turkey was a friend of Israel for much of the last six decades,” author Joel Rosenberg told CBN News.
“It’s a democracy, it’s a moderate Muslim country, it’s a NATO ally and a friend of the United States, a tourist destination spot for tens of thousands of Israelis, and yet all of that is changing right now,” Rosenberg said.
This change represents a major realignment in the Middle East.
Turkey - once a close ally of Israel and the West - is now openly courting the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ultimately Russia’s Vladmir Putin.
Gog and Magog Soon?
So what does this shift of power and increasing isolation of Israel mean? Some in Israel and around the world believe it reflects biblical prophecy.
“Given the fact that Ezekiel 36 and 37 have largely come true - the rebirth of Israel, Jews pouring into the Holy Land after centuries in exile, rebuilding the ancient ruins, isn’t it remotely possible that Ezekiel 38 and 39 - the war of Gog and Magog - couldn’t that come true in our lifetime also?” Rosenberg reasoned.
Following last year’s flotilla incident, the Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement saying the aftermath seemed to “place us at the beginning of the Gog and Magog process, where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption.”
Gog and Magog is a biblical reference in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel when a coalition of nations attack the land of Israel. No one knows whether or not this will happen soon, but many believe war in the Middle East is looming.
“As you watch the trajectory of events geopolitically here in the epicenter, the events are living up more and more in favor of Ezekiel 38 and 39 coming true, possibly sooner than most of us realize,” Rosenberg said.
Hezbollah in Lebanon now has more than 50,000 rockets for a future conflict with Israel. Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to arm itself and Iran’s nuclear and missile programs stand poised to fulfill the mullahs’ dream of destroying the Jewish state. †