This week, the United States doubled down on its demand that the Turkish regime release Christian missionary Andrew Brunson by stalling the sale of 100 state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey would double, and after sanctioning two members of the Turkish cabinet.
In retaliation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that Turkey would increase tariffs on some U.S. imports, including alcohol, tobacco and cars. And he still refuses to release Brunson.
Whether or not Brunson is eventually released, this quarrel is exposing a giant rift between the supposed NATO allies. Erdoğan threatened in an opinion piece in the New York Times over the weekend, “Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives. Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.”
While most commentators think this means a closer relationship with Russia (and indeed that will be likely), we are most interested in the growing relationship between Turkey and Europe. If you thought Europe would come down on the side of the United States in this debacle, you’d be wrong, especially while Mr. Trump is president. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is about to honor President Erdoğan with an official state visit to Germany in early September.
For our followers, a closer relationship between Europe and Turkey, at the expense of the United States, is unsurprising. Based on a prophecy found in Psalm 83, we have long expected Europe to align itself with Turkey and other Middle Eastern nations. As related in the psalm, the alliance forming before our eyes is an anti-American, anti-British and anti-Jewish alliance.
Read more about this development in “The End of the United States-Turkish Alliance?”
Impending Peace or Illusion of Peace Between Hamas and Israel
According to news reports, Israel has been negotiating with Hamas through Egyptian mediation for the past few weeks, and they are close to a long-term deal. These reports came amidst last week’s massive barrage of rockets and mortars fired at Israel by Hamas.
Understandably, many in Israel are disturbed by such a truce that doesn’t bring Hamas to its knees.
One of these is longtime commentator Isi Leibler. He wrote in the Jerusalem Post this week:
We have not learned from the past. We are again acting with restraint as the terrorists gauge our response and resolve. … Appeasement only emboldens our enemies, who harbor genocidal ambitions against us as their goal. And the absence of deterrence will inevitably, as in the past, lead to war.
All Israelis are willing to make great sacrifices to achieve peace. They would dearly love to live side by side with Palestinians. But the road to peace is not paved with illusions
Liebler’s choice of words is interesting because we have said that the monotonous talk of peace deals with the Palestinians is a dangerous delusion in Israeli policy.
As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in Jerusalem in Prophecy, “A little psychology ought to convince any honest person that a peace pact will never work! But the Jews cling to their illusions because of weakness.”
The Nature of the Conquest
Finally, I recommend you read a fascinating essay by Christopher Eames that we published on Watch Jerusalem this week, detailing the nature of the conquest of Canaan. It has become fashionable to liken Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land to Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Chris takes an in-depth look at the history and sets the record straight. Please read his article “Canaan vs. Israel: Helpless Natives Against Evil Imperialist Power?”