And the Winner Is…
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 13:
“The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has divided the Continent. While European leaders in Brussels and national capitals are basking in the glow provided by the unexpected honor, euroskeptics in the EU have unleashed their contempt for the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
“In Britain, Friday’s award has been the subject of particularly heated commentary. Iain Martin, a columnist with the conservative Daily Telegraph dismissed the prize as ‘beyond parody.’ He writes that the prize has been awarded prematurely because ‘we have no idea how the experiment to create an anti-democratic federation will end’… Instead, he writes, it was the Brits and the Americans who brought peace to the Continent.
“Members of the House of Commons with the conservative Tories described the decision as ‘laughable’ and an ‘April Fool’s Joke.’ Meanwhile, the tabloid Daily Mail runs with photos of protesters in Athens burning a flag emblazoned with a swastika during this week’s visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and quotes the head of the Tory party in the European Parliament, Martin Callanan, as stating, ‘Presumably this prize is for the peace and harmony on the streets of Athens and Madrid.’ …
“In Greece, a spokesperson for the opposition Syriza party said that, because of the EU, ‘we are experiencing what really is a war situation on [a] daily basis … there is nothing peaceful about it.’ Meanwhile, the Norwegian Peace Council declared that the EU in the past year has stood for the ‘opposite of peace.’ In Germany, the conservative daily Die Welt criticized the ‘forced political correctness of a jury that has overlooked the unpleasant reality of the euro crisis’ in awarding the prize…
“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is not alone in considering the EU the ‘most successful peace project in history.’ In France, there has also been an overwhelming relief to have the EU viewed positively once again… a statement from the Elysée Palace, the office of President François Hollande, said that ‘every European should be proud to be part of a union that has created peace between long-warring nations’…”
The Telegraph wrote on October 12:
“The decision was widely interpreted as a conscious bid to prop up the single currency – and the bloc itself – in their darkest hour, after the Nobel committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland warned of a possible return to ‘extremism and nationalism.’ ‘We should do everything we can to safeguard it [the EU], not let it disintegrate. If the euro starts falling apart, then I believe that the internal market will also start falling apart. And then obviously we get new nationalism in Europe,’ he said after announcing the prize in Oslo.
“Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, quickly linked the ‘wonderful selection’ to her country’s efforts to save the 17-nation eurozone. ‘I often say that the euro is more than a currency, and we should not forget that these weeks and months we have spent working to strengthen the euro. At the end of the day it is about the original idea of a union of peace and of values,’ she told reporters…
“Even so, the award was perhaps not the committee’s most contentious. Barack Obama received the prize just days into his presidency of the United States, while commanding the world’s largest military in two wars. He later sanctioned a dramatic increase in secret drone attacks on militants in Pakistan and elsewhere…”
The Associated Press wrote on October 12:
“To many in the 27-nation bloc, the EU is an unwieldy and unloved agglomeration overseen by a top-heavy bureaucracy devoted to creating arcane regulations about everything from cheese to fishing quotas… ‘First Al Gore, then Obama, now this. Parody is redundant,’ tweeted Daniel Hannan, a euroskeptic European lawmaker… from Britain’s Conservative Party. Gore… was the 2007 recipient for his campaign to fight climate change…
“Nicolas Beger, director of Amnesty International’s Brussels-based EU office, said the union was neglecting its duty to the rest of the world. ‘The EU doesn’t even take remotely its fair share of the refugees of the world,’ he said. ‘It closes its borders, it pushes people back into countries where they are being tortured, it lets them [down].’”
To award the EU with the Nobel Peace Prize seems indeed far-fetched and terribly short-sighted… as have been prior awards, as the articles quoted above point out. According to the Bible, it will be a powerful united Europe which will plunge this world into “great tribulation.” For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.” Please also note the next article.
A Two-Speed Europe, with Britain Outside the Leading Nations
The EUObserver wrote on October 8:
“British conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will block the upcoming EU seven-year budget cycle if it goes against UK interests… Cameron last year vetoed the fiscal compact treaty on budget discipline which commits member states to sign up to a debt brake. ‘I sat round that table – 27 countries, 26 of them signing up to a treaty and I said, “This is not in Britain’s interests, I don’t care how much pressure you put on, I’m not signing, we’re not having it,”’ he said on Sunday. Details of the treaty were fleshed out and then signed by all member states in March, except the UK and the Czech Republic.
“Negotiations are currently underway on the EU’s multi-financial framework budget for the period 2014 to 2020. Some 80 percent of the budget goes to member states and covers everything from farm subsidies to research… All 27 member states need to approve the budget, but Cameron says they must first agree to a ‘proper control’ of spending. He threatened to veto any ‘massive increase.’
“The prime minister also spoke of introducing a separate budget for the 17 member states using the euro. ‘There will come a time I believe where you’re going to need to have two European budgets – one for the single currency, because they’re going to have to support each other much more, and perhaps a wider budget for everybody else,’ he told the BBC.”
We see—as the Bible prophesied—that a two-speed Europe or a core Europe consisting of ten nations or groups of nations, is developing. Europe will consist of those ten nation or groups of nations who have adopted and will maintain the euro, and the rest. Please also note the next three articles, showing an increasing desire to unite militarily, coupled with the attempt to prohibit “unpopular” ministers access to Europe and to make it difficult for minorities in Europe to practice their religious customs.
European Super State Is Coming
The Express wrote on September 12:
“The nations of the EU must join together in a federal state, if the euro is to be saved, the President of the European Commission declared today. Jose Manuel Barroso called for further integration among the states of the EU, calling for a ‘federation of nation states of Europe.’ … The EC chief even claimed that the EU should have its own military force which would be able to intervene in conflicts ‘when needed.’
“His comments come as the highest court in Germany ruled that they would not stand in the way of an international £400billion fund to save the 17 countries of the eurozone by allowing them to lend money without restraint.
“Meanwhile it has been revealed that banks in London could be shut down or forced into bailouts against the wishes of British authorities under a controversial ‘banking union’ proposed by the European Commission. Decisions taken by the powerful body would be automatically binding.”
Der Spiegel Online reported on October 15:
“Great Britain is turning away from the EU and the German government is allowing it to do so. In the future, Chancellor Merkel wants to forge ahead with projects London opposes.”
The Bible has prophesied that such a European Super state under German leadership—without Great Britain–will develop.
Germany Prohibits Entry of Unpopular US Minister
Der Spiegel Online wrote on September 17:
“The German government has barred US pastor Terry Jones from entering the country. Jones… who gained global attention in 2010 by threatening to burn the Koran, has said he backs the anti-Islam film that has sparked worldwide protests. Berlin acted on information that German far-right groups planned to invite him…
“Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has asked the Interior Ministry to prevent Jones from entering the country. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said Sunday that a visit by Jones would ‘run counter to the interest of maintaining public order.’”
Subsequently, Angela Merkel confirmed that Terry Jones will not be allowed to enter the country. Even though we most certainly do not endorse or support in any way Terry Jones’ opinions and actions, it is a dangerous (but telling) trend to selectively exclude unpopular US ministers from entering (fortress) Europe.
Circumcision in Germany—Welcome or Not?
The Local wrote on October 10:
“If the government has its way, religious circumcision will remain legal in Germany providing it is carried out to medical standards. Angela Merkel’s cabinet agreed [with the] re-drafted legislation on Wednesday…
“As long as the child’s health is not put at risk, and the practitioner carries out the rite in accordance with medical standards, circumcision may be performed. The bill was drawn up in response to a Cologne court decision in June, which said circumcision was tantamount to grievous bodily harm. This united Jewish and Muslim groups in opposition and caused uproar in Israel and Muslim countries.
“But Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said the concept of a child’s ‘well-being’ was something that needed to be discussed in more depth. ‘In general the new law is going in the right direction,’ he added…
“Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, was slightly more positive. He hailed the bill as ‘decidedly savvy, well-considered, and fair’… and added it was a definite signal that Jewish and Muslim life was still welcome in Germany.
“Diplomats have admitted that the Cologne ruling was ‘disastrous’ for Germany’s international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past, and the debate even prompted the former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, to question whether the country still wanted a Jewish community. About four million Muslims and more than 200,000 Jews live in Germany.”
Parliament must still approve the bill for it to become law. It must be said that even the redrafted proposed law has dangerous loopholes which are bound to be raised in a criminal court of law. In any event, any law permitting circumcision will not change the minds of a majority of the German people who oppose circumcision of little boys. Whether Jews are really welcome in Germany is still the big question of the day.
Catholics Must Pay Special Church Tax
The Daily Mail wrote on September 28:
“Germany’s Catholic Church will deny worshippers the right to Holy Communion and religious burials if people do not pay a special church tax. A newly-enforced German bishops’ decree says anyone failing to pay the tax – an extra 8% of their income tax bill – will no longer be considered a Catholic.
“All people in Germany must pay this tax if they want to worship in either Catholic or protestant churches, or Jewish synagogues.
“Last year millions of files spanning decades were handed over to criminal investigators by all 27 dioceses of the Catholic Church hierarchy in Germany in a bid to get to the heart of child sex abuse by priests. It was seen as an attempt to staunch the flow of leavers who made it plain the scandal, and the inability or unwillingness to deal with it, was the reason for their departure.
“In 2010, 181,000 people left, an increase of 50 percent on the previous year. Last year 126,000 left. Over the past twenty years, the number of members of Germany’s Roman Catholic Church has fallen from 28.3 million to 24.6 million or 30.2 percent of the country’s population.”
Due to a treaty between the Catholic and Protestant Churches and the German Government, the Government withholds automatically the church tax from the earnings of every member of the Protestant and Catholic Churches and passes it on to these two major churches.
Dangerous Fanatics Have Their Say…
… against the USA…
USA Today reported on October 13:
“The leader of Al-Qaeda has urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel over a film that insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Ayman al-Zawahri praised as ‘honest and zealous’ demonstrators who breached the U.S Embassy in Cairo and attackers who stormed the U.S. ‘embassy’ in Benghazi in violence linked to the film. The American ambassador and three others died in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city. The amateur film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen.
“In an audio message released by al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites early Saturday, al-Zawahri claimed Washington allowed the film’s production under the pretext of freedom of expression, ‘but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners.’”
… and Israel
The Times of Israel wrote on October 11:
“Egypt’s foremost Muslim Brotherhood official called on the Arab world Thursday to replace negotiations with Israel with ‘holy Jihad,’ claiming that if Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount they will destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and supplant it with the third temple.
“Mohammed Badie, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared in a public message published by Egyptian daily Al-Ahram that ‘the Zionists only understand force,’ and that Arabs cannot hope to achieve justice from the Jews ‘through the corridors of the United Nations or through negotiations… The time has come for the Islamic nation to unite around one man for the sake of Jerusalem and Palestine,’ Badie said. ‘The Jews have dominated the land, spread corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and in their actions profaned holy places, including their own… Zionists… will not relent without duress… This will only happen through holy Jihad, high sacrifices and all forms of resistance. The day they realize we will march this path and raise the banner of Jihad for the sake of God, is the day they will relent and stop their tyranny.’”
The goal of fanatical radical Islamists is clear—to bring about destruction and obliteration of the USA and the state of Israel. The Bible is very precise that ultimately, those two powers will be hated by all nations—not just the Arab world. Also remarkable is the reference in the quoted article to the building of the third temple, which is indeed strongly suggested to occur in the Holy Scriptures.
The Syrian-Turkish Conflict Could Set the World on Fire
Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 5:
“Turkey’s retaliation against Syria marks a dangerous new phase in the conflict — one that threatens to grow into a regional confrontation. That, though, might be what Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has in mind, say German editorialists on Friday. It could lead to greater Turkish influence in the Middle East.
“Retaliatory strikes by Turkey against Syria on Wednesday have created an entirely new dimension to a civil war that now threatens to become a full-fledged regional conflict in the Middle East. The moves by Ankara came after shelling by Syrian forces that killed five women and children in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.
“European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have strongly criticized the shelling by Syria. And on Thursday, the United Nations Security Council overcame divisions to issue a statement condemning the shelling ‘in the strongest terms.’ The statement, which had been watered down at Russia’s behest, said the incident ‘highlighted the grave impact the crisis in Syria has on the security of its neighbors and on regional peace and stability.’
“Turkey’s intensified role in the crisis is raising serious concerns that the country, a member of NATO, may ultimately drag the rest of its partners into war with Syria by invoking Article Five, which stipulates that all alliance members must come to the defense of any other member country that has been attacked…
“The leftist Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘For decades, Turkish policy tended to be isolationist, with a focus in the country on maintaining what it already had. But this foreign policy abstinence ended when Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu entered office. During his time as foreign minister, Turkish President Abdullah Gül has focused mostly on Turkey’s deeper integration into Europe. But Davutoglu has also pushed for a new, more powerful role for the country in regions that include the Middle East and the Balkans — areas the Ottoman Empire once ruled. Indeed, his opponents accuse him of pursuing neo-Ottoman policies with the aspiration of Turkish dominance in the region with a more modern twist…’
“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘Turkey is in the process of going down a highly dangerous path. It is intervening in a war. With a decision by its parliament this week mandating a deployment of the Turkish military into Syrian territory, the NATO member state has also established the pre-conditions for a highly dangerous internationalization of the Syrian conflict…’
“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘…If it came to an all-out war, the Syrian army could also use chemical or biological weapons from its well-stocked arsenal. The consequences would be unforeseeable… In the history of the world, there have been many wars that both sides weren’t really interested in…’
“The business daily Handelsblatt writes: ‘The conflict now threatens to escalate. One shouldn’t believe that Turkish Prime [Minister] Erdogan is acting disinterestedly with his retaliatory strikes or that he only pushed through a kind of enabling act permitting the foreign deployment of his military solely for purposes of making a show. The step means a conscious fuelling of the conflict… Erdogan holds the key in his hand. If he wants to seize the opportunity and expand his influence, the Middle East will become a powder keg.’
“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘The Syrian attack on Turkish territory has made one thing clear: Each military incident along the border of the two countries could trigger a war. And because Turkey is a NATO member state, it is a war that Germany and the other NATO partners would inevitably get pulled into.’”
Deutsche Welle reported on October 13:
“Turkish fighter jets intercepted a Syrian passenger plane from Moscow to Damascus. Turkey forced the passenger plane to land outside of Ankara late on Wednesday under suspicion that it was carrying weapons to Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Russian-made munitions were seized from the aircraft. The Syrian plane was later freed to continue on its journey…
“Moscow is Syria’s most important arms supplier and maintains a naval center in the Syrian city of Tartus, Russia’s only port on the Mediterranean Ocean. Both China and Russia have vetoed three UN draft resolutions aimed at sanctioning the regime of President Bashar Assad.
“The forced landing of the Damascus-bound passenger plane is the latest confrontation between Turkey and Syria. The two neighbors exchanged artillery fire across their common [border] several times last week… The Turkish parliament subsequently authorized the government to launch cross-border raids into Syria if necessary. Some 100,000 refugees have fled to Turkey, and the rebel Free Syrian Army has used Turkish territory as a staging ground.”
Indeed, as Christ predicted, we are hearing these days much about wars and rumors of war. We know from Scripture that Turkey will play an important role in a future war in the Middle East, siding with Europe against Israel and other nations. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
No War Between China and Japan
The Washington Times wrote on October 17:
“A senior adviser to the Taiwanese government on Wednesday downplayed the likelihood that a war will erupt in the festering dispute between Taiwan, China and Japan over a chain of tiny islands in the East China Sea. ‘Nobody’s going to war over this few rocks, over these tracts of barren land,’ said Stephen S.F. Chen, a former top Taiwanese diplomat in Washington, to editors and reporters at The Washington Times. China and Taiwan agree that the islands are Chinese, though they differ on exactly what that means, said Mr. Chen…
“Mr. Chen said Taiwan stands firmly with China against Japan in the dispute over the islands, which are surrounded by rich fishing waters and may lie atop large oil and gas reserves. While such a stance signals seemingly unprecedented unity between Taipei and Beijing, Mr. Chen said the two governments actually agree in only a limited way on the issue. Both sides have long concurred that there is only one China, but the democratic island nation and the communist-ruled mainland claim to represent all of China…
“The recent tension in the region has been capped by a wave of anti-Japanese violence inside mainland China. Mr. Chen said Taiwan is a ‘peace-loving island,’ and he predicted a similar backlash against Japanese goods is unlikely to occur in Taiwan because industry in the relatively tiny nation is beholden to Japanese imports. ‘We cannot initiate any boycott’ or ‘embargo,’ he said… highlighting Taiwan’s distinctly different approach from that taken by Beijing, which has been flexing its naval muscles by sending paramilitary marine patrol boats to the waters around the disputed islands.
“This week, China went further, sending seven warships through a narrow sea passage near the Japanese island of Yonaguni, about 125 miles from the disputed islands… The ships included frigates, a guided-missile destroyer, a supply ship and two submarine rescue vessels. Japanese Defense Ministry officials said the ships might have been trying to avoid an approaching typhoon but added that Tokyo is monitoring the warships’ progress closely…
“Mr. Chen said Japan recently agreed to reopen talks on fishing rights with Taiwan in November. The talks have been stalled and dormant for three years. ‘Japan would hate to be facing on two fronts, facing the mainland, facing us,’ Mr. Chen said, ‘That is why they have agreed to resume the talks.’”
A war between China and Japan is indeed highly unlikely, as the Bible prophesies a soon-coming mighty alliance between China, Russia and Japan, as well as other Far Eastern nations, against Europe and the USA.