Just when all of Israel was preparing for early elections on September 4th, Prime Minister Netanyahu pulled off a stunning political deal this week that some are interpreting as a prelude to war with Iran. That’s certainly what the Arab media is saying. Rather than dissolve the Israeli parliament (Knesset) as expected, Netanyahu persuaded his chief rival Shaul Mofaz, leader of the Kadima party, to join the government. Mofaz will become a Deputy Prime Minister. His entire party (with 28 seats in the Knesset) will join as well, and some will be given senior positions in the government. This will give Netanyahu a coalition comprising 94 of the 120 members of the Knesset, one of the largest national unity governments in modern Israeli history. Even political observers who can’t stand Netanyahu are calling the deal a “masterstroke.”

Mofaz was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He learned to speak Farsi fluently before emigrating to Israel in 1957 and rising through the ranks of the Israeli Defense Forces. He served as Defense Minister under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Thus, Netanyahu now has another experienced military commander and strategist at his side, in addition to current Defense Minister Ehud Barak (another long-time political rival of Netanyahu), and current Vice Prime Minister  Moshe Yaalon, who used to be the chief of staff of the IDF. However, just a few weeks ago, Mofaz was calling Netanyahu a “liar,” vowing never to join the Netanyahu government, and attacking the Prime Minister’s approach towards Iran, saying Israel did not need to consider a preemptive strike against Iran for at least another two years.

Did Netanyahu convince Mofaz that the need to hit Iran sooner is actually more urgent that Mofaz thought, and if so, how? Or did Mofaz simply read the polls that showed early elections would decimate his “Kadima” political party and reduce their number of Knesset seats from 28 to 15 or less, and thus decide to join the government to forestall such early elections? Maybe both. Time will tell.

For now, let’s be clear: Netanyahu and his government are clearly and steadily preparing for a major war with Iran. That doesn’t mean it will happen this year, or next. The Russians could intervene. The Iranian government could fall. Other circumstances could change. The Lord could supernaturally intervene. But war could be coming, and coming soon. The Israelis are getting ready. Is the Church?

>> To stand with The Joshua Fund and help us provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other humanitarian relief for the poor and needy in the epicenter — as well as stockpile supplies for the war ahead — please click here.


(San Remo, Italy) — For the first time in my life, I have had the opportunity to visit the Italian city of San Remo which played an historic role in the prophetic rebirth of the modern Jewish State of Israel.

In addition to being a beautiful seaside resort on the northern coast of the Mediterranean, home of some excellent restaurants and amazing cappuccinos to which I can now personally attest, San Remo is the site where ninety-two years ago — on April 25, 1920 — the leaders of the Principal Allied Powers who had just been victorious in World War I met for a critically important international conference. There, they divided the Ottoman Empire into several zones of control. The French would control what would later become the countries of Lebanon and Syria. The British would control what would later become the countries known as Israel, Jordan, and the nations of the Arabian peninsula. Indeed, it was at the San Remo Conference where Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan signed a formal treaty pledging to reestablish a Jewish state in the British Mandated territory then known as “Palestine.” The San Remo Conference thus provided the official basis in international law for the re-creation of the State of Israel in the 20th century that had been foretold by the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 36-37 more than 2,500 years earlier.

Two colleagues from The Joshua Fund and I visited the villa where the British Prime Minister Lloyd George and the others negotiated and signed the treaty, which the League of Nations endorsed, and was later signed by more than 50 other nations. Unfortunately, few people know of this important “chapter” of Israel’s modern story. I myself learned much more about it as I was preparing to speak at a conference on the history and future of Israel held at the European Union parliament, and as I was preparing for the 2011 Epicenter Conference. Tomas Sandell, the founder and director of the European Coalition for Israel and one of the speakers at our conference, helped me better understand the details regarding San Remo why they are so significant. Tomas is working hard to help European and other world leaders rediscover this history, and held a conference of his own in San Remo two years ago to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the resolution made there.

“At a time when even the core existence of Israel as a Jewish state is being challenged by its enemies it is of vital importance that we take a closer look at international law,” Sandell said at the time. He also noted that “the San Remo Resolution of 1920 recognized the national Jewish sovereignty on the land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine.”

Given the international assault on Israel’s legal rights these days, I highly encourage you to do your own research on the history and importance of the San Remo conference and how the Lord used it to fulfill those ancient prophecies.

  • One good to place to start is this video report by CBN reporter Chris Mitchell.
  • Here is a key excerpt from the treaty signed in 1920: “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
  • The definitive book on the subject is The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel Under International Law, by Professor Howard Grief.

ISRAEL MOBILIZES SIX RESERVE ARMY BATTALIONS: New elections likely set for Sept 4 — how does that affect Iran war timetable?

Interesting developments in the epicenter this week:

  • Netanyahu and his Likud party move to call new elections, likely Sept 4th
  • Some key Israeli political analysts speculate Netanyahu wants to consolidate his political power and strengthen his coalition — polls show Likud poised to rise from 27 to possibly 31 seats — in order to launch a preemptive military strike on Iran in September or October, after the Israeli elections but before the American elections
  • An “October Surprise” could put President Obama in a difficult position, perhaps less able to criticize or block an Israeli move
  • At the same time, the Israelis continue to make obvious preparations for war
  • This week Israel took possession of a brand new German built submarine capable of launching nuclear missiles
  • This week Israel also mobilized six reserve army battalions and put more on notification that they could be called up into active duty soon
  • That said, it would be a mistake to rule out the possibility of an Israeli first strike sooner than September — both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak are stating that time to neutralize the Iran threat is running out and the time for action is drawing near
  • Opponents of war inside are growing more vocal — even a number of former high ranking Israeli generals and intelligence officials gave spoken out recently in sharp criticism of Netanyahu and Barak
  • Prophetic implications? Hard to say at this point. Vladimir Putin comes back to power as president (read: czar) of Russia on May 7 and coplay throw his weight in against an Israeli strike. Were that to happen, that could suggest we are moving towards the “War of Gog and Magog” described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. We also need to keep in mind the coming fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus as foretold in Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49. Does that happen before or after the Magog war? The Scriptures do not say, so I don’t know. But we need to be prayerful, proactive and prepared for these and other scenarios, especially given the growing alliance between Russia and Iran and the evil of the Assad regime. Leaders reap what they sow, and the leaders of these nations — tragically — are poised to reap a whirlwind.