Dear Friends of Israel,
The events taking place in the country on Israel’s northern border, Syria, are cause for concern and deep reflection. Obviously, it is all being followed closely by the political and military leadership. An article about these events appeared in the Jerusalem Post, in which the writer, Amotz Asa-El, contemplated the events in Syria in light of Ezekiel 38-39. He wrote, “As of this writing, King Gog has yet to arrive at Jerusalem’s gates. ”
He first refers to the various groups that are involved in the power struggle, from the local ethnic and religious splinter groups to the regional powers and finally the super-powers, then compares them with Ezekiel 38:4-6. Those verses portray a strikingly similar array of tribes, faiths and powers. He shows further that the current situation matches the description in Ezekiel 38:7-14.
Asa-El then poses a question as to how Israel should react to these events. He comes to the conclusion that there is now a demise of the European architecture that was established for the northern Middle East at the end of World War I, and he compares that to the demise of the post-Napoleanic structure of Europe that was established at the Congress of Vienna. He notes that the various regional powers are attempting to exert their influence on the events as they unfold.
He focuses first on the two, rival, regional powers, Iran and Turkey, then expands to the superpowers, Russia and the USA. The reasons for Russia’s staunch support of Assad and his regime are then analyzed. Syria provides an important naval base for Russia in the port city of Tarsus, the only one, in fact, that doesn’t lie on Russia’s own coastline. Russia has sought “warm waters ” outlets since the days of Peter the Great. According to Asa-El, Turkey’s support of the opposition forces in Syria pits it against Assad and his Alawite-supported government, which not only provokes Iran, but Russia as well. From a historical perspective, he notes that Russia has waged 12 wars with Turkey since 1568.
One possible scenario that Asa-El sees for Syria is that it will be broken apart and divided among the various interest groups. He then writes, “There was a time when all this commotion would tempt Israeli decision makers to join the fray. The First Lebanon War has taught us that in this region no alliance endures and no stratagem pays, when it comes to the Jewish state.” He concludes with the observation that, “By any yardstick – demographically, religiously economically and political – we are too marginal to reshape the region where we live. Our task, therefore, is to humbly follow its travails from the regional margins where we belong, and only respond when provoked.”
Asa-El believes that this is well-understood in Israel where Syria is concerned, but not so well where a nuclear Iran is concerned. He wrote, “Let it therefore be said loud and clear: Isolate Tehran – sure, sabotage its nuclear program; attack Iran – no.”
He argues that as things are unfolding, everyone around Israel is busy with each other, so that the events described in Ezekiel 38:21 appear to be reaching fulfillment. There it is written, that God Himself will conjure up rivalries among those who march upon Jerusalem, so that they will destroy themselves before they ever reach the gates of Jerusalem.
In the name of Him, who in the last verse of Ezekiel 38 will show His greatness and holiness, and will make Himself known in the sight of many nations while revealing Himself to Israel,