Germany and the Arab World
On March 10, 2005, www.wsws.org published a remarkable article, titled, “German Chancellor Schröder’s business trip to the Gulf States.” The article pointed out:
“US President George W. Bush had hardly finished his four-day European tour when German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder began a seven-day tour of the Arabian peninsula. He travelled to seven Gulf States, five of which had never before received a visit from a German head of government. Schröder’s journey casts into sharp relief the reasons for the INCREASING TENSIONS between the US and Germany, which were barely concealed during Bush’s stop in Mainz. At stake are naked ECONOMIC and STRATEGIC interests — not peace, stability, liberty or democracy, as the official propaganda of both sides would have one believe.
“The Gulf possesses the world’s largest supplies of oil, the most important strategic raw material for the economy of the twenty-first century. Moreover, thanks to the billions of dollars that flow into their coffers as a result of the high price of oil, those in power in the Gulf States are among the biggest international investors and purchasers of Western products. Schröder’s journey was aimed at cashing in on German reservations towards the Iraq war and US policy in the Middle East. To some extent, the German chancellor was acting as a poacher in what is usually considered Washington’s preserve — a region that the US endeavours to keep firmly under its influence economically and politically. The billion-dollar contracts for the reconstruction of war-torn Iraq went nearly exclusively to American companies and, to a lesser degree, British firms… According to Ulrich Schäfer, writing in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Schröder’s message read: ‘Our vacuum cleaner can do everything. The German economy sucks up everything.’
“America’s aggressive actions in the region have UNSETTLED many Arab regimes. They fear the loss of their power if the US further DESTABILIZES the region or brings about further ‘regime changes’ — as is presently being attempted in Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Washington’s close collaboration with ISRAEL is also a cause of constant tension.
“Schröder’s offering of German products, investment in German companies and the redenomination of foreign currency holdings out of dollars and into euros represents an attempt to lure the Gulf States with an alternative strategic orientation — AWAY FROM THE US and TOWARDS GERMANY. The German government attaches ‘great strategic significance’ to the region, according to the correspondent of Germany’s leading financial daily, the Handelsblatt, who accompanied the chancellor on his journey. A comment in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung makes this even clearer. ‘The chancellor is using the economic power of German enterprises for a second mission,’ the newspaper writes. ‘He wants to entrench the Federal Republic of Germany as a CENTRAL POWER IN WORLD POLITICS…'”
The article concluded with the following remarks:
“Schröder’s journey to the Gulf States makes clear that his demands for more power and influence for Germany, which he aired at the Munich Security Conference last month, were meant seriously… [T]he growing rivalry between the great powers in the struggle for markets and economic influence must inevitably lead to INCREASING INTERNATIONAL TENSIONS AND THE GROWTH OF MILITARY CONFLICTS.”
The Bible reveals that there WILL BE a confederacy between Germany and certain Arab nations in the Middle East. It is also prophesied that that alliance will be in competition, BOTH ECONOMICALLY AND MILITARILY, with the United States of America, Great Britain and the state of Israel. Mr. Schroeder’s business trip to the Gulf States could be a step toward the fulfillment of those Biblically prophesied developments.
Old and New Europe
The International Herald Tribune reported on Friday, March 4, 2005, that “‘New Europe’ renews its links with the old.” The article stated: “Frustrated by travel restrictions and uneasy about the war in Iraq, citizens of Central Europe who once pledged allegiance to the United States are now recalling their European roots and looking to a united Europe for their economic and political futures… A decade ago, Central Europe was heavily focused on getting into the U.S.-dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organization and assuring their security in the region. At that time, Hungarians, Poles, and Czechs spoke worriedly about the possibility that Russia might be a menace to its neighbors again.
“But now, Central Europeans are paying attention to building their economies and making their mark in a united Europe… Western Europeans are buying Budapest real estate, and the local newspapers are owned largely by Swiss and German interests… The cultural and political differences between Europe and the United States are present as well. Europeans in general are at odds with Americans on matters such as the death penalty, the environment and the roles of international institutions and religion… Hungarians and Czechs overwhelmingly oppose the war in Iraq, despite the support from their governments. Polish popular opposition to the war, muted at first, has grown.”
Based on Biblical prophecy, we can safely say that “old” and “new” Europe will unite and that they will, in time, develop a mighty power bloc in competition with and hostile to the United States of America. For further information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”
Israel’s New Sanhedrin
On March 8, 2005, www.israelnationalnews.com reported about startling developments within the state of Israel. The article stated:
“The reestablished Sanhedrin has concluded extensive deliberations on the disengagement plan, rejecting it as a contradiction to the Torah of Israel. The current format of the Sanhedrin is the renewal of the historic Sanhedrin, Judaism’s highest legal-religious tribunal during Holy Temple times. The 71-man assembly convened in one of the Holy Temple chambers, and existed from several decades before the Common Era until roughly 425 C.E. The renewed body was launched last year in Tiberias, and convenes in Jerusalem.”
This renewed body, which might gain strong influence in Israel, issued the following proclamation on Monday:
“The disengagement plan, involving the uprooting of Jewish communities in Gaza and Samaria and the abandonment of these areas to a foreign entity, is in direct contradiction to the Torah of Israel, and is null and void. Future governments of Israel will have to re-conquer the areas in question… The Government of Israel and the Knesset, in their present form and power structure, are institutions that have no authority according to Jewish Law to render decisions that contradict the Torah of Israel… Any Jew–including a soldier or policeman–who supports the uprooting, whether directly or indirectly, whether by voting in its favor, or by giving counsel, or by supplying vehicles or materials, and certainly anyone who actively participates in the uprooting, thus transgresses a large number of Torah commandments, such as not standing idly by one’s neighbor’s blood (Lev. 19,17)… By this declaration, the Sanhedrin, as the link of continuity of the Torah received by Moses at Sinai, hereby expresses the stance of Israel’s Torah… The Sanhedrin, as the representative of the Jewish people throughout history, hereby affirms that the Jewish people — regardless of this or that government — does not relinquish, and is not entitled to relinquish, so much as the span of a solitary man’s foot of the Land of Israel according to its Biblical boundaries, for it is [God’s] land.”
Lebanon and Syria
On March 8, 2005, The Associated Press reported about most recent and unsettling developments in Lebanon. The article stated: “Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah–a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria’s presence in Lebanon. The demonstration came hours before Syria began redeploying its troops within Lebanon to an area closer to the two countries’ border. President Bush, who rejects this as a half-step, said Tuesday that ‘freedom will prevail in Lebanon’ and demanded that Syria withdraw completely. But that was not the sentiment among the protesters in Riad Solh square.”
Hezbollah has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Administration. They are a Shiite group, while the former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, who was recently murdered, was a Sunnite.
Some have claimed that the above-mentioned demonstration was a hoax. The WorldNetDaily stated on March 9, 2005: “The giant Hezbollah rally that drew nearly half a million purported supporters of Syria’s occupation of Lebanon actually was a staged hoax with non-Lebanese citizens, Syrian workers, students and municipal employees coerced into joining the protest, former Lebanese Prime Minister Michel Aoun told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview this morning.”
Whether WorldNetDaily’s report is correct or not, it is clear that Hezbollah — a militant Shiite group–is supportive of Syria, and it can be expected that they will not stand idly by, if Syria should withdraw its troops.
Which Ten Commandments?
On March 8, 2005, www.msnbc.com and Newsweek published a controversial article about the public display of the Ten Commandments. As the article pointed out, “The state of Texas has a statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the capitol building, similar to thousands of Ten Commandment plaques hanging all over the country. An Austin lawyer challenged the Texas display as a violation of the First Amendment’s rejection of government sponsorship of religion… Last week, the Supreme Court finally heard the case, along with a suit against two Kentucky counties that have been displaying the Commandments. During the oral arguments, the Bush administration and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott argued that the Ten Commandments is such a fundamental part of our national culture and heritage that they are, effectively, non-religious. Even Justice Antonin Scalia, who openly expressed his support for public displays of the Commandments, mocked Abbott’s argument. ‘If you don’t believe that it sends a religious message, you’re kidding yourself’, he said. (The Supreme Court’s decision in the cases is pending).”
The article then pointed out the crux of the matter, by stating:
“I also found that nobody knows all 10 of the Ten Commandments. ‘Honor your parents, don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, don’t lie, don’t kill, don’t steal, um, um, how many is that’ said Kristen, a woman from Brooklyn. ‘Don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, and honor your parents,’ said Olga, who was smoking a cigarette outside her office. ‘Don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t covet thy neighbor’s stuff, don’t steal, and honor your parents,’ said Dan, who rents out a six-seat ‘party bike’ in Times Square. No matter whom I interviewed, the same five or six commandments kept coming up. And no matter whom I interviewed, I heard the same thing: ‘They should be displayed,’ said Dan. ‘They’re just the basic rules that everyone can agree on.’ And then I reminded them about the other four or five commandments. One: I am the Lord thy God. Two: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Three: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Four: Keep the Sabbath. And then people started changing their minds… Besides, there’s hardly any unanimity about what the Ten Commandments even are. The Protestant and Jewish decalogue is basically the same, but the Catholic Church got rid of the ‘make no graven images’ commandment…, so the Church split the 10th commandment–don’t covet your neighbor’s wife or stuff–into separate commands.”
Of course, even the Protestant and Jewish Decalogue is not the same! It may READ the same, but Protestants and Jews have totally different ideas as to what it says. Most professing Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike, have replaced the Fourth Commandment (instructing us to keep the Sabbath holy) with their human tradition to keep Sunday holy. Sunday, however, was never a day which was holy to God. It was set aside by pagans to worship the sun god Baal and other sun gods. The Bible calls this practice an abomination. For more information, please read our free booklets, “Don’t Keep Christmas,” and “God’s Commanded Holy Days.”
When we hear the argument that this country must publicly display the Ten Commandments, let’s ask the question first: “Which Ten Commandments?”