There are two different, but perhaps related, Middle East items in this post.
First, notice information about the election in Israel:
JERUSALEM (AP) — Benjamin Netanyahu seems poised for re-election as Israel’s prime minister in Tuesday’s voting, the result of the failure of his opponents to unite behind a viable candidate against him — and the fact that most Israelis no longer seem to believe it’s possible to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians…Netanyahu has managed to convince enough Israelis that he offers a respectable choice by projecting experience, toughness and great powers of communication in both native Hebrew and flawless American English…
Netanyahu has maintained a lead with a message that the country needs a tough-minded and experienced leader to face down dangers including the Iranian nuclear program, potentially loose chemical weapons in Syria and the rise of fundamentalist Islam in Egypt and other countries in the Arab Spring. http://news.yahoo.com/israelis-vote-peace-not-agenda-195300112.html
Key campaign issues in Tuesday’s Israeli parliamentary election:
—Israel-U.S. relations: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had a frosty relationship with President Barack Obama. If Netanyahu is re-elected, relations could sour further over issues where the two disagree, primarily the Palestinians and Iran.
—Iran: Netanyahu and his government have pressed hard for stricter sanctions against Iran over its suspect nuclear program, implying until recently that Israel might be forced to attack Iranian nuclear sites to stop weapons development. His opponents charge that a unilateral Israeli attack would bring painful retaliation and would not significantly damage Iran’s program, which Tehran denies has military purposes…
—Arab world: Netanyahu insists that peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan must be preserved, but his opponents think he has overreacted with his dire warnings about Islamist parties that have won elections after “Arab Spring” revolts. Israel is also warily watching the civil war in neighboring Syria, concerned about al-Qaida-linked groups there and the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of hostile elements. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/key-issues-israeli-election-18272740
Let me add that Islamist parties will become much more significant in the Arab world than most realize. The Sunni Arabs want a caliphate (Islamic confederation/empire) and the Bible tells of a time in the not too distant future when the final King of the South (who apparently is Arabic and/or Islamic) will rise up (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-8). If he does, in fact, get re-elected, Prime Minister Netayahu is concerned about various possible regional wars in the Middle East that could involve Israel (perhaps I should mention that there are others in Israeli politics, such as Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party, that would likely stir the Middle East up even more, if they/he gets more influence).
Syria is one of the nations that could be involved in such a conflict with Israel.
Syria, which is currently mainly composed of people of the Sunni branch of Islam, while being ruled by one from the Shi’ite branch of Islam (its President Assad) is apparently destined to be part of the “King of the South” so I have long expected changes in Syria.
Now, the second item has to do with the fact that Syria’s second closest international ally (Iran is its closest international ally), Russia, is taking steps suggesting that it too may agree that Syria’s President Assad may have to change or leave:
Russia is sending two planes to Lebanon to evacuate Russians from civil war-struck Syria, authorities said Monday, a move that appears to reflect Moscow’s increasing doubts about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ability to stay in power.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said two of its planes were scheduled to fly to Beirut on Tuesday to carry more than 100 Russians from Syria.
Russia has been Assad’s main ally since the start of the conflict in the Arab state in March 2011, using its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to shield Damascus from international sanctions.
But it has recently begun to distance itself from the Syrian ruler, signaling it is resigned to him losing power. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia realizes the need for change in Syria.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said that it has contingency plans in place to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria, most of them Russian women married to Syrians. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57565003/russia-to-start-evacuating-its-citizens-from-syria/
“On orders from the leadership of the Russian Federation, the Emergency Situations Ministry is sending two planes … to Beirut so that all Russians wishing to leave Syria could leave,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Irina Rossius, told the RIA-Novosti news agency.
The announcement was the latest indication of concern in Moscow about the deteriorating security situation in Syria. Russia has close ties with the embattled government of President Bashar Assad.
Rossius said the planes each can accommodate about 100 passengers. The action does not signal anything close to a complete withdrawal of Russians from Syria. There are an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 Russian nationals in the country…A Russian journalist based in Damascus said most Russians in Syria have no intention of leaving soon. http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-moscow-sends-planes-to-mideast-to-evacuate-russians-from-syria-20130121,0,187640.story
Although this is a limited step by Russia (who also plans to use ships, which hold many times as the number of people, for possible evacuation), Syria’s President Assad may have even more serious concerns at this stage.
I remain convinced that a regional war in the Middle East will happen and could get out of control, especially presuming Iran, as well as Syria, is involved. Things are not going to go the way that Syria’s President Assad currently thinks they will.
Since the Bible suggests that Syria will be involved in a confederation of North African and Middle Eastern nations (Ezekiel 30:1-8; Psalm 83:4-8) who will support a leader that the Bible refers to as the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), this means change is somehow going to come to Syria. Since the Muslim Brotherhood wants a similar confederation, I have long believed that Syria will align with it or a group like it–and since Syria’s President is opposed to that, he will have to go or change his views. But since he does not wish to do either, Syria’s President Assad may decide to engage in an attack with Israel, which is more likely to result in the destruction of Damascus, as well as a change in the Islamic world to unite closer together behind a group like the Muslim Brotherhood. And Assad’s resistance to what is going on in his country and with Israel may lead to the destruction of Syria’s capital Damascus as the Bible predicts (Isaiah 17:1)–although he could decide to leave in another manner.
Of course, according to the Bible, the King of the South (Daniel 11:40) will rise up and we will see if this happens sometime after a conflict with Iran and/or Syria. The Bible also seems to tell of a peace deal in the Middle East in Daniel 9:27 which needs to happen–and it may well take a regional war for such a deal to take place. And this is something that Israel will likely be persuaded that it needs to accept, likely with international assurances–assurances that will essentially be broken (cf. Daniel 9:27; 11:31).
With the end of 6,000 years of human rule coming closer, and the apparent peace deal in Daniel 9:27 not yet confirmed, it may be that a war involving Israel will be soon. Israel has been planning for the likelihood of an Iranian & Syrian regional war for some time. We will see if Prime Minister Netanyahu gets re-elected and if he ends up being involved in that war, as he very well might (and could do so, even if he is out of the top office).
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2019 or 202x?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2013 or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What is the “beginning of sorrows”? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Is the deal in Daniel 9:27 a peace deal?