Massive protests in three nations in the Middle East threaten to severely curb Iran’s power in the region. In Iraq, the protest movement against Iranian entrenchment has moved into its third month and is still going strong. This week saw the death toll of the protesters rise to over 400, most of which have been shot with live fire by armed militias that lack insignia to declare who they are. This week also saw the prime minister of Iraq offer his resignation, but even that wasn’t enough to stop the protesters.
In Lebanon, to Israel’s north, the protest movement isn’t against Iranian entrenchment but rather the complete failure of the political system to manage the economy and give basic services to the people. However, given Hezbollah’s current veto power over the Lebanese government, the protests are taking on an increasing anti-Hezbollah and anti-Iran feel.
Then finally, in Iran, the religiously fanatical regime is desperately attempting to snuff out a protest movement that was ignited by an increase in gasoline prices. In the past two weeks, estimates say as many as 450 people were killed, 7,000 were injured, and 10,000 were arrested, but the number is likely far higher. Iran has allowed its internal regime defense forces to put down the rebellion with deadly force, and yet people are still on the streets.
Before he flew to Lisbon to meet with the United States secretary of state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:
We’re seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut. It’s important to increase this pressure against Iranian aggression. We also see that Iran wants to march forward with nuclear bombs development and ballistic missile development, including precision-guided munition. This has to be countered and the way to counter it is more pressure.
The United States pressure is certainly having an effect on Iran, which is why there are riots there. But will this pressure curb the regime’s power? While there certainly looks to be cause for hope, Bible prophecy shows that the protests in Iran will not be successful in taking down the regime. The brutal crackdown shows that the regime will not tolerate dissent, even if that means attacking its people.
However, as we bring out in “Is Iran’s Power Slipping?”, the protest movement in Lebanon could be the start of a prophesied retreat for Iran in that nation. If you would like to know, according to the Bible, which way these nations will go in terms of their relationship with Iran, please read that article.
Europe’s Two Faces on Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism took center stage in two national parliaments in Europe this week.
On Tuesday, France’s National Assembly voted on a resolution calling on the government to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. Namely that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.
The motion proposed by lawmakers in French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party passed 154-72 in the Parliament’s lower house.
The resolution stated:
For some years now, France, the whole of Europe, but also almost all Western democracies are facing a rise in anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionist acts can, at times, hide anti-Semitic realities. Hate toward Israel due to its perception as a Jewish collective is akin to hatred toward the entire Jewish community.
The resolution comes as France is grappling with its own surge of anti-Semitic acts directed against Jews inside the country. About half of the racist incidents in France are against Jews, even though Jews are less than 1 percent of the population.
Whereas in the Republic of Ireland, another bill is currently passing through the parliament that is outright anti-Semitic.
Known as the Occupied Territories Bill, the drafted law would impose fines of up to $280,000 or five years in jail on Irish merchants selling dates from settlements in the Jordan Valley, wine from the Golan Heights, or any goods or services coming from East Jerusalem.
You will remember that a couple of weeks ago the European Court of Justice decreed that Israeli goods coming from the West Bank should be forced to be labeled as coming from a settlement.
This bill that has already passed in Ireland’s lower house is making its way to the upper house. This bill makes the European Court of Justice’s ruling look quite tame. If this passes, it will be criminal to sell goods from Israeli settlements.
The Jerusalem Post wrote this about the bill on Wednesday:
The Occupied Territories Bill is part of the global anti-Israeli bds (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign whose ultimate objective is not the creation of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace with binational relations. Its real objective is the destruction of Israel, and this bill helps it along as viable legislation that will only further delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state
These two declarations, one clearly anti-Semitic and the other denouncing anti-Semitism, highlight the two faces that Europe has in its relationship with the Jews and Israel.
The surge in anti-Semitic acts across Europe and the emigration to Israel of European Jews highlight that Europe has a serious problem with anti-Semitism. Regardless of how they talk about it, there is a growing population in Europe, and even some governments, are normalizing a hatred of the Jews. This is an ominous threat for the Jewish people. And furthermore, it should be a warning for the Jews against putting trust in European nations.
While it might be easy to turn and look away from the surge in European anti-Semitism, it is a critical trend to observe in relation to the future of the Jews in Europe.
To understand where this will lead, as well as the roots of anti-Semitism, please read “Pay Attention to Rising Anti-Semitism in Europe and Britain.”