Is a Two-State Solution Good for Israel?

The Knesset - Israel's Parliament
The Knesset

Earlier today, Israel’s governing body, the Knesset voted 99-11 against any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State. Here’s the text of the statement approved by the Knesset:

1. Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.

2. Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would prevent any future peace settlement. (Jewish News Syndicate)

Prior to today’s vote in the Knesset, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made it clear that he strongly opposed any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state when he said, “In the last few days we are witnessing a new type of pressure: An attempt to unilaterally impose upon us the establishment of a Palestinian state that would endanger the existence of Israel. We reject it outright. My position was and remains clear, and only got stronger after the terrible massacre of October 7th.” (Jewish News Syndicate)

What was the source of this “new type of pressure” that Netanyahu was referring to?

Last week, the Jewish News Syndicate reported that the Biden administration and “its Arab partners are ‘rushing’ to finalize the plan to establish a Palestinian state – a plan that could be announced in the next few weeks with hopes that a deal to release the remaining 134 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza in exchange for a six-week pause in fighting takes effect before Ramadan,” which begins on or around March 10th.

The Biden administration believes that a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State may pave the way for normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. At the same time, the White House is confident that a demilitarized Gaza can be achieved and maintained so that Israel’s security will never be threatened.

What precipitated the Knesset’s vote was the fact that the U.S. has not included Israel in its dialogue with other Arab nations. And the Knesset’s vote reflects the vast majority of Israeli Jews who are opposed to a Palestinian state after Israel was attacked by Hamas on October 7th.

During an interview this week on the Caroline Glick Show, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Amichai Chikli said that “92% of Israeli Jews” are opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state because they do not believe that Israel state can peacefully co-exist with a Palestinian state as its neighbor.

Question: What do Netanyahu, the Knesset, and the Israeli Jewish population recognize about the Palestinian problem that the Biden administration and the rest of the western world refuse to acknowledge?

Answer: The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank do not want to peacefully co-exist with Israel because they are committed to a One-State Solution; a.k.a., Hitler’s “Final Solution” for the Jews, meaning the annihilation of the Jews.

During an interview earlier this month, Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal confirmed that Hamas and the majority of Palestinians reject any Two-State Solution when he said,

“I would like to say two things about the two-state solution. First, we have nothing to do with the two-state solution. We reject this notion, because it means you would get a promise for a state, yet you are required to recognize the legitimacy of the other state, which is the Zionist entity. This is unacceptable. We demand to be liberated, to get rid of the occupation, and to have our independence, and our state. . . I believe that October 7 has enhanced this conviction, has narrowed the disagreements, and has turned the idea of liberating Palestine from the River to the Sea into a realistic idea that has already begun. It is not something to be expected or hoped for. It is part of the plan, part of the agenda, and we are standing on its threshold, Allah willing” (MEMRI).

Netanyahu, the Knesset, and Israeli Jews get it. They understand that Israel will never have peace if terrorism is rewarded.

But let’s be clear, even if the U.S. were to officially recognize a new Palestinian state or refuses to veto its full membership by the U.N., do you honestly believe the likes of Iran or Hezbollah will quietly stand down and welcome the establishment of a Two-State Solution?

And if a new Palestinian state is demilitarized, do you honestly believe it will stay that way for very long? Who will keep the weapons out Gaza and make sure it stays that way? The United Nations? Hasn’t this been tried before in places like Iran? How well did is that working when it comes to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program?

Please join me in praying for the peace of Israel and the leaders of the United States.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | February 21, 2024

Russia, Iran, and the Battle of Gog and Magog

On Tuesday, February 13, it was reported that Russia and Iran are in the final stages of completing a long-term, comprehensive, strategic, partnership between the two nations. Russian Ambassador to Iran, Alexey Dedov told Sputnik, “This is truly the most important fundamental document, which may determine Russian-Iranian interaction for the coming years, and perhaps decades” (Al Mayadeen.net). Dedov also noted that “Russian energy companies are successfully working in the Iranian  market, while Russia has taken the first place in the foreign investment in Iran. . . This illustrates the real level of our relations.”

Last month Reuters reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi worked through the details of expanding the cooperation between the two nations on political, trade, and military fronts during five hours of talks in December of 2023. And last November, the Kremlin said that Russia was working with Iran to strengthen their relations, “including in the field of military-technical cooperation.” At that time, Reuters noted that Iranian authorities had said that “military cooperation with Russia is expanding day by day. . .” and that  “Iran. . . had finalized arrangements for Russia to provide it with Su-35 fight jets, Mi-28 attack helicopters and. . . pilot training aircraft.”

Both the United States and Israel have expressed concern about the deepening ties between Russia and Iran. This is due to the fact that Iran is committed to the destruction of the United States and Israel.

For example, less than a month after Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 Israelis, raped women and young girls, and took over 240 people hostage, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, declared, “The situation between America and Iran is this: When you chant ‘Death to America!’ it is not just a slogan – it is a policy. . . . “If it were not for America’s support, if it were not for the support of U.S. weapons, the corrupt and artificial Zionist regime [Israel] would have been destroyed in the first week. It would have collapsed. The Americans are behind this.”

By strengthening ties with Iran, Putin is sending a clear message to Israel, the United States, and the West. In fact, Putin’s upcoming treaty with Iran reinforces the message that he has been sending to Israel since October 7, 2023.

Though I have done so in a previous article, it’s worth reviewing what Putin has said and his government has done since Hamas attacked Israel on that horrific day in Israel’s history:

  • October 13, 2023 – Putin equated Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip with Hitler’s “siege of Leningrad during World War II.” (Jerusalem Post)
  • October 26, 2023 – Russia hosted representatives from Hamas and Iran in Moscow. The purpose of their meeting was to address the ongoing war with Israel and to discuss ways to stop the “Zionist crimes supported by the United States and the West.” The Times of Israel reported that the “Hamas delegation praised the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the efforts of Russian diplomacy.”
  • November 1, 2023 – Russia’s representative to the United Nations said during an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, “The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defense, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power. . .” (Jerusalem Post)
  • December 14, 2023 – Putin praised Turkish President Erdogan after Erdogan declared his support for Hamas and insisted that Hamas is “not a terrorist organization.” Putin said of Erdogan, “He is certainly one of the leaders of the international community who is paying attention to this tragedy and doing everything to change the situation for the better, to create conditions for long-term peace. God bless him.” (Breitbart)

Again, I ask, “Is Putin a friend of Israel?” Clearly the answer is “No!” But you might be wondering, “Why are these developments important when it comes to Israel and the events of the latter days?” Because Russia and Iran will play significant roles in the events leading up to the Great Tribulation.

As I shared yesterday during Episode 34 of the Blessors of Israel Podcast, the Battle of Gog and Magog will precede the Great Tribulation. During the Battle of Gog and Magog, there will be an alliance of nations against Israel which will be led by the leader of Russia, “Gog, prince of Rosh” (Ezek. 38:4). “Persia,” modern-day Iran, will be part of that alliance which will attack Israel “in the latter years” (Ezek. 38:5, 8). These nations will “devise an evil plan” against Israel and with overwhelming force “come like a storm. . . like a cloud covering the land” (Ezek. 38:9-10).

In the midst of this great opposition, God will come to Israel’s rescue and pour out His “blazing wrath” upon her foes in order to deliver Israel from certain destruction through a series of four cataclysmic judgments (Ezek. 38:18-23). Let’s look at them together.

First, God will send a “great earthquake in the land of Israel. . . and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My [God’s] presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.”

Second, the invading armies will turn against each other because God will “call for a sword against him on all My [God’s] mountains. . . Every man’s sword will be against his brother.”

Third, God will send a deadly “pestilence” upon Israel’s enemies and “with blood I [God] will enter into judgment with him.”

Finally, God will rain down upon the invading armies “a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.”

God’s judgment against Israel’s enemies will be so severe that it will take Israel seven months to bury their enemies and seven years to gather and destroy their weapons (Ezek. 39:9-16). This divine deliverance will be in keeping with God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3).

So, the developments between Russia and Iran are setting the stage for the events prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel 2,600 years ago. And through it all, God will reveal Himself to Israel and the many nations so that they will know that He is the Lord (Ezek. 38:23).

Will you please join me in praying for Israel and for the leaders of the United States?

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | February 15, 2024

Yesterday, the Jewish News Syndicate reported that Saudi Arabia “clarified that it will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel until there is a Palestinian state, an end to the war against Hamas and a complete military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.”

The Saudi’s response was a direct counter to comments made on Tuesday by White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby.

During his daily briefing, Kirby struck an optimistic tone regarding normalization talks between Israel and the Saudis.

Kirby said, “We certainly received positive feedback from both sides that they’re willing to continue to have those discussions.”

The Saudi foreign ministry promptly issued the following statement clarifying its position regarding any future normalization talks with Israel:

“The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.”

The Saudi’s stance not only stalls the Biden administration’s efforts to establish peace between its two Middle Eastern allies, it also signals that the Saudis have aligned themselves with China and Iran against Israel and the U.S.

If Israel were to agree to Saudi Arabia’s demands it would signal the beginning of the end of the state of Israel as we now know it.

First, Israel would have to return the land it won during the Six-Day War in 1967 when it was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. At that time, Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, Jordan’s West Bank (i.e., Judea and Samaria) which included East Jerusalem, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. Israel later withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982 and then from Gaza in 2005. Such a withdrawal would open the floodgates for the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority, which are Iranian proxies, to mount an endless barrage of attacks against Israel.

Second, East Jerusalem, which includes Israel’s sacred Western Wall, would be handed over to the Palestinians and made the capital of the new Palestinian state.

Third, Israel would have to end its war against Hamas and remove its forces from Gaza. Once this happened, Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists would regroup and attempt to finish what it started on October 7, 2023, meaning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine will be free of the Jews.

While the demands by Saudi Arabia are troubling at best and the likelihood of Israel signing off is nil, let’s be clear, the Bible declares that one day, Israel’s borders will go well beyond the Jordan River. In fact, Israel’s border will extend to another river, the Euphrates River.

In Genesis 15, God established a Grant Covenant with Abram which means God bound Himself by an unconditional, unilateral oath to give the Promised Land to Abram and his descendants forever.

In verse 18, God declared what the borders of the Promised Land would be: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.”

God later confirmed the Promised Land borders to Moses in Deuteronomy 1:6-8 and then to Joshua in Joshua 1:4.

Let’s identify the borders that God promised to Israel through His covenant with Abram.

  • The western boundary is the “Great Sea” which is the Mediterranean Sea (Joshua 1:4).
  • The southern border is the Nile River in Egypt.
  • The eastern border is the Euphrates River.
  • The northern border is Lebanon.

In today’s context, what countries would be included in the borders listed in Genesis 15?

  • First, the territory currently occupied by the Palestinians, the West Bank and Gaza, is included.
  • Second, a portion of Egypt to the south.
  • Third, some of Saudi Arabia to the southeast.
  • Fourth, all of Jordan to the east.
  • Fifth, a portion of Iraq to the east.
  • Sixth, some of Syria to the north.
  • Lebanon to the north.
  • And possibly the southeastern portion of Turkey as you follow the Euphrates River north by northwest.

Question: Has Israel ever fully occupied these boundaries?

Answer: No. Some of the regions were controlled by King David and King Solomon but they were never fully possessed or occupied by Israel.

Question: Why didn’t Israel fully occupy the Promised Land according to the borders of Genesis 15?

Answer:  Because Israel failed to obey God’s command and allowed their enemies to remain in the Land which ultimately tempted them to sin against God by worshipping idols.

Question: Will Israel’s borders ever extend to what God promised Abram in Genesis 15?

Answer: Yes. Please remember that since God bound Himself by an oath, His promise to Abram must be fulfilled and it will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom. During Christ’s 1,000-year reign, the Promised Land will experience peace, tranquility, and blessings as Jesus reigns on the throne of David from the capital city, Jerusalem.

What a glorious day that will be.

Will you please join me in praying for the return of Jesus Christ, the peace of Israel, and for the leaders of the United States?

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | February 8, 2024

Palestine vs. Israel
Palestine vs. Israel

Axios reported yesterday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked the State Department to conduct a review and present policy options on possible U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state after the war in Gaza according two U.S. officials briefed on the issue.

While the U.S. officials were quick to add that there has not been an official policy change, this maneuver by the State Department to consider recognizing a Palestinian state signals a shift, one that will have great ramifications both domestically and internationally.

For decades, the U.S. has been opposed to the unilateral recognition of Palestine as a state and has pushed for the recognition of a new Palestinian state through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Why the sudden shift? Because President Biden believes Israel’s war with Hamas is taking too long and he is being pressured by his Pro-Palestinian staff and voting base to end the war.

So, the Biden administration is attempting to link normalization with Saudi Arabia to an “irrevocable” pathway to a Two-State Solution. But, in order to remove the Palestinian state obstacle from the negotiation table, the State Department is now considering the possibility of making the recognition of the state of Palestine the first step in the normalization process between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

How could the U.S. make a recognized Palestinian state a reality on the world stage?

First, the U.S. could bilaterally recognize the state of Palestine. Second, the U.S. could allow the United Nations Security Council to grant the state of Palestine full membership to the U.N. and not use its veto power to block it. Third, the U.S. could encourage other nations to recognize Palestine.

And as if on cue, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, said on Monday, “We should be starting to set out what a Palestinian state would look like — what it would comprise, how it would work. As that happens, we, with allies, will look at the issue of recognizing a Palestinian state, including at the United Nations. This could be one of the things that helps to make this process irreversible” (Al Arabiya News).

The British government insisted yesterday that its stance on the Middle East peace process remained unchanged after Cameron suggested the UK could soon recognize a Palestinian state (Al Arabiya News). Nevertheless, the seed has been planted.

This is not the first time that there have been attempts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. In fact, it was attempted in 2002, 2007, and 2017. But each time negotiations were terminated due to a terrorist attack against Israel.

On March 27, 2002, Arab leaders traveled to Beirut and offered to Israel to, “consider the Arab-Israeli conflict over, sign a peace agreement with Israel, and achieve peace for all states in the region” (Asia Times). But negotiations ended later that same day after a Hamas terrorist detonated a bomb in a hotel in Netanya which killed 30 Israelis who were observing a Passover dinner.

Another angle the U.S. State Department is considering is a demilitarized Palestinian state so that Israel will never have to fear an invasion by land, sea, or air ever again. Netanyahu proposed this idea in 2009 and 2015, yet without success.

But what all of these options fail to admit is that there is a historical pattern when it comes to peace agreements between Israel and her Muslim neighbors and this historical pattern brings to light a glaring problem with the Palestinian state and the proposed peace negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Question: What is the glaring problem?

Answer: The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank do not want to peacefully co-exist with Israel because they are committed to a One-State Solution ( a.k.a., Hitler’s “Final Solution” for the Jews), meaning the annihilation of the Jews.

During an interview earlier this month, Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal confirmed that Hamas and the majority of Palestinians reject any Two-State Solution when he said,

“I would like to say two things about the two-state solution. First, we have nothing to do with the two-state solution. We reject this notion, because it means you would get a promise for a state, yet you are required to recognize the legitimacy of the other state, which is the Zionist entity. This is unacceptable. We demand to be liberated, to get rid of the occupation, and to have our independence, and our state. . . I believe that October 7 has enhanced this conviction, has narrowed the disagreements, and has turned the idea of liberating Palestine from the River to the Sea into a realistic idea that has already begun. It is not something to be expected or hoped for. It is part of the plan, part of the agenda, and we are standing on its threshold, Allah willing” (MEMRI).

Netanyahu understood this was true when he cautioned the U.N. against appeasing the Palestinians by giving them veto power over peace last year.

But let’s be clear, even if the U.S. were to officially recognize a new Palestinian state or refuses to veto its full membership by the U.N., do you honestly believe the likes of Iran or Hezbollah will quietly stand down and welcome the establishment of a Two-State Solution?

And if a new Palestinian state is declawed and defanged, do you honestly believe it will stay that way? How will the United Nations keep the weapons out? And who will monitor it to ensure it stays that way? Hasn’t this been tried before in places like Iran? By the way, how well did that work when it came to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program?

Again, Nasrallah’s threat to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world five days prior to October 7th is the resounding answer to these questions.

Please join me in praying for the peace of Israel and the leaders of the U.S.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | February 1, 2024

Flags of Israel and Saudi Arabia

Prior to October 7, 2023, there were rumblings of a historic peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Before that horrific day in October when Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 Israelis, raped women and young girls, and took approximately 240 people hostage, the Biden administration had been pushing Israel and the Saudis towards a peace agreement which included “upgrading U.S.-Saudi relations with a defense treaty. . . and an agreement on a civil nuclear energy program on Saudi soil” (Axios).

The Saudis also conditioned any peace agreement with Israel upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. During an interview with Fox News on September 20, 2023, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman noted that any normalization with Israel would require a plan for the Palestinians, “Every day we get closer, it seems it’s for the first time real one serious. . . .  If we have a breakthrough of reaching a deal that give the Palestinians their needs and make the region calm, we’re going to work with whoever is there” (Israel National News).

Two days later, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed normalization progress with Saudi Arabia during his address to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Netanyahu shared his optimism for an agreement, stating, “I believe that we are at the cusp of a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Such a peace will go a long way to ending the Arab Israeli conflict” (Israel National News).

Part of Netanyahu’s optimism was based on what a peace agreement would mean for Israel and the entire region because it would include “a planned corridor connecting the Arabian peninsula, Israel, and Europe, to allow for travel, shipping, and energy pipelines between all of the countries involved” (Israel National News).

But Netanyahu also added this cautionary note about any peace agreement with Saudi Arabia when he said, “Many decades of efforts to make peace with Arab Nations have failed because they were based on one false assumption – that the Palestinians must be appeased as a precondition to peace. The Palestinians have much to gain from new peace agreements. They should be part of these agreements, but they should not have a veto on peace” (Israel National News).

The potential for peace between Israel and the Arab nations was not welcomed by all in the Middle East. On October 2, 2023, during a speech marking the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned Saudi Arabia and other nations that might follow the Saudis lead, “Any country that might sign a normalization agreement should be condemned and held accountable for its actions” (Israel National News).

Five days later, not only did the peace negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia come to a screeching halt, the Middle East and the rest of the world were set on edge as well, fearing any regional escalation could lead to World War III.

Four months post October 7th and with a presidential election less than a year away, the Biden administration is aggressively looking for a way to motivate Israel to end its war against Hamas. One way the White House has sought to bring Israel back to the negotiation table is by dangling a peace agreement with the Saudis.

Recent reports have revealed that the Saudis are open to resuming talks with Israel as long as certain conditions are met. On January 18, 2024, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. told members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that Saudi Arabia welcomes dialogue with Israel but that any peace agreement must include a ceasefire in Gaza and the establishment of an “irrevocable” path to a Palestinian state (Axios).

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud said that the Saudis have extended an olive branch to Israel but that the Saudi kingdom also has a responsibility for the Palestinian people, “The Palestinian people deserve a state…they deserve a pathway that is irrevocable… We recognize the need for Israel to feel safe but it can’t be at the expense of the Palestinian people” (Axios).

It is important to keep in mind that this is not the first time that Israel and Saudi Arabia have engaged in normalization talks. The Saudis took the lead in similar negotiations in 2002, 2007, and 2017. Each time, Saudi Arabia offered an olive branch to Israel in exchange for the return of territories occupied by Israel after it won the Six-Day War in 1967 (i.e., the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and the Golan Heights). But each time negotiations were terminated due to a terrorist attack against Israel.

For example, on March 27, 2002, Arab leaders traveled to Beirut and offered to Israel to, “consider the Arab-Israeli conflict over, sign a peace agreement with Israel, and achieve peace for all states in the region” (Asia Times). But negotiations ended later that same day after a Hamas terrorist detonated a bomb in a hotel in Netanya which killed 30 Israelis who were observing a Passover dinner.

There is a historical pattern when it comes to peace agreements between Israel and her Arab neighbors and this historical pattern brings to light a glaring problem with the proposed peace negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Question: What is the glaring problem with any peace agreement between Israel and the Arab nations?

Answer: The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank do not want to peacefully co-exist with Israel because they are committed to a One-State Solution (a.k.a., Hitler’s “Final Solution” for the Jews).

During an interview earlier this month, Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal confirmed that Hamas and the majority of Palestinians reject any Two-State Solution when he said, “People are saying now that the October 7 war has opened a new horizon for a vision of a political settlement. Here, they pull out their old ‘merchandise’ of the two-state solution. I would like to say two things about the two-state solution. First, we have nothing to do with the two-state solution. We reject this notion, because it means you would get a promise for a [Palestinian] state, yet you are required to recognize the legitimacy of the other state, which is the Zionist entity. This is unacceptable. We demand to be liberated, to get rid of the occupation, and to have our independence, and our state. [Israel] is my enemy. It is not my concern. . . Obviously, the position of Hamas, and the position of the vast majority of the Palestinian people, especially following October 7, I believe that the dream and the hope for Palestine from the River to the Sea, and from the north to the south has been renewed. . . the Palestinian consensus – or almost a consensus – is that we will not give up on our right to Palestine in its entirety. . . I believe that October 7 has enhanced this conviction, has narrowed the disagreements, and has turned the idea of liberating Palestine from the River to the Sea into a realistic idea that has already begun. It is not something [merely] to be expected or hoped for. It is part of the plan, part of the agenda, and we are standing on its threshold, Allah willing” (MEMRI).

Netanyahu understood this was so when he cautioned the U.N. against appeasing the Palestinians and giving them veto power over peace.

But let’s be clear, even if the Palestinians are not appeased or given power to veto peace, will Iran or Hezbollah quietly stand down and welcome the establishment of a Two-State Solution? Again, Nasrallah’s threat to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world five days prior to October 7th is the resounding answer to that question.

In fact, Nasrallah’s answer was recently confirmed by Former Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi during an interview with Russia Today TV on January 22, 2024. When asked about the possibility for an end to the current tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv, Salehi said, “As long as the [Israeli] entity exists and is active in our region, the crisis will remain between Iran and the regime that is occupying Jerusalem, even if a Palestinian state is established. I am referring to the proposed two-state solution. We can never recognize the plundering Zionist entity. So this confrontation will continue until the Zionist entity ceases to exist. I do not see the end of this confrontation on the horizon” (MEMRI).

To make matters worse, it appears that the Iranian regime’s commitment to the complete annihilation of Israel will be getting a boost. On March 1, Iran will be holding “parliamentary elections as well as elections for the 88-member, eight-year term Assembly of Experts. This round of the Assembly of Experts is expected to select the next Supreme Leader given that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni is nearly 85 and has been sick repeatedly” (Jerusalem Post).

In order to maintain their ideological grip on the Iranian people, Iran’s Guardian Council has disqualified virtually all moderates and “pragmatists” from running for public office, including former president Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani criticized his disqualification, stating, “the minority that rules officially and publicly wants to reduce people’s participation in elections” (Associated Press).

This new development led one commentator to conclude that the Guardian Council’s decision “makes ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran’s proxies a virtual certainty, and war more likely than ever” (Jerusalem Post).

Please join me in praying for our leaders and for the peace of Israel.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | January 26, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (MediaLine.org)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The Foreign Ministry of Russia reported on January 17, 2024 that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a new interstate treaty with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi. According to Reuters, the new treaty was “in the final stages of being agreed.”

Last month, Putin and Raisi worked through the details of expanding the cooperation between the two nations on political, trade, and military fronts during five hours of talks.

According to Maria Zakharov, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, “This document is not just timely, but also overdue. Since the signing of the current treaty, the international context has changed and relations between the two countries are experiencing an unprecedented upswing.”

Last November, the Kremlin said that Russia was working with Iran to strengthen their relations, “including in the field of military-technical cooperation.” Reuters notes that “Iranian authorities have said military cooperation with Russia is expanding day by day. Iran said in November it had finalized arrangements for Russia to provide it with Su-35 fight jets, Mi-28 attack helicopters and Yak-130 pilot training aircraft.”

Both the United States and Israel have rightly expressed concern about the deepening ties between Russia and Iran. As noted in my last article, “Iran Only Needs One Week to Make Enough Weapon-Grade Uranium for Its First Nuclear Weapon,” Iran is committed to the destruction of the United States and Israel.

For example, less than a month after Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 Israelis, raped women and young girls, and took over 240 people hostage, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, declared, “The situation between America and Iran is this: When you chant ‘Death to America!’ it is not just a slogan – it is a policy. . . . “If it were not for America’s support, if it were not for the support of U.S. weapons, the corrupt and artificial Zionist regime [Israel] would have been destroyed in the first week. It would have collapsed. The Americans are behind this.”

By strengthening ties with Iran, Putin is sending a clear message to Israel, the United States, and the West. In fact, Putin’s upcoming treaty with Iran reinforces the message that he has been sending to Israel since October 7, 2023. Let’s review what Putin has said and his government has done since Hamas attacked Israel on that horrific day in Israel’s history:

  • October 13, 2023 – Putin equated Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip with Hitler’s “siege of Leningrad during World War II.” (Jerusalem Post)
  • October 26, 2023 – Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Putin’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, hosted representatives from Hamas and Iran in Moscow. The purpose of their meeting was to address the ongoing war with Israel and to discuss ways to stop the “Zionist crimes supported by the United States and the West.” The Times of Israel reported that the “Hamas delegation also praised the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the efforts of Russian diplomacy.”
  • November 1, 2023 – Russia’s representative to the United Nations (UN), Vasily Nebenzya, stated during an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, “The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defense, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power. . .” (Jerusalem Post)
  • December 14, 2023 – Putin praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Erdogan declared his support for Hamas and insisted that Hamas is “not a terrorist organization.” Putin said of Erdogan, “He is certainly one of the leaders of the international community who is paying attention to this tragedy and doing everything to change the situation for the better, to create conditions for long-term peace. God bless him.” (Breitbart)

Is Putin a friend of Israel? No. Why are these developments important when it comes to understanding the events of the latter days? Because Russia and Iran will play significant roles in the events leading up to the Great Tribulation. As I have shared repeatedly, both in print and during the Blessors of Israel podcasts, the Battle of Gog and Magog will precede the Great Tribulation according to Ezekiel 38-39. During the Battle of Gog and Magog, there will be an alliance of nations against Israel which will be led by the leader of Russia, “Gog, prince of Rosh” (Ezek. 38:4). “Persia,” modern-day Iran, will be part of that alliance which will attack Israel “in the latter years” (Ezek. 38:5, 8). These nations will “devise an evil plan” against Israel and with overwhelming force “come like a storm. . . like a cloud covering the land” (Ezek. 38:9-10).

In the midst of this great opposition, God will come to Israel’s rescue and pour out His “blazing wrath” upon her foes in order to deliver Israel from certain destruction through a series of cataclysmic judgments (Ezek. 38:18-23). First, God will send a “great earthquake in the land of Israel. . . and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My [God’s] presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.” Second, the invading armies will turn on each other because God will “call for a sword against him on all My [God’s] mountains. . . Every man’s sword will be against his brother.” Third, God will send a deadly “pestilence” upon Israel’s enemies and “with blood I [God] will enter into judgment with him.” Finally, God will rain down upon the invading armies “a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.”

God’s judgment against Israel’s enemies will be so severe that it will take Israel seven months to bury their enemies and seven years to gather and destroy their weapons (Ezek. 39:9-16). This divine deliverance will be in keeping with God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3).

These developments between Russia and Iran are setting the stage for the events prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel 2,600 years ago. And through it all, God will reveal Himself to Israel and the many nations so that they will know that He is the Lord (Ezek. 38:23).

Watch and pray. Stay alert and intercede for Israel.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | January 18, 2024

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Europe is on edge with no hope in sight for an end to Russia’s unprovoked war with Ukraine. The Middle East is also on edge as Israel seeks to remove the last remnants of the Iranian-sponsored terrorist’s group, Hamas, from the Gaza Strip while also protecting itself from another Iranian-backed terrorist’s organization, Hezbollah, to the north. And Asia is no better after China’s Communist President Xi Jinping threatened the sovereignty of Taiwan when he declared during his New Year’s address that “The reunification of the motherland is a historical inevitability.” To top it all off, Iran’s nuclear program is back in the news and the news is nothing short of alarming.

According to David Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, Iran “would only need about a week to produce enough for its first nuclear weapon. It could have enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month, and after five months of producing weapon-grade uranium, it could have enough for twelve.” In his report titled, “How quickly could Iran make nuclear weapons today?” Albright observes, “The other major poles in the tent are ‘nuclear weaponization’ and delivery. Iran has a variety of delivery systems, including nuclear-capable missiles: the delivery pole is ready.”

In terms of “nuclear weaponization,” Albright notes that Iran has multiple pathways but the “two most prominent pathways are (1) launching an accelerated effort to achieve a few crude nuclear weapons or reconstituting, or (2) completing its earlier Amad nuclear weapons program with the ability to serially produce annually many warheads suitable for delivery by ballistic missiles.”

While the second pathway poses “notable challenges,” Albright believes the “accelerated program can be accomplished in a matter of six months and would involve activities conducted in far smaller, more disguisable facilities.” In fact, Albright concludes that “This path is a more assured way for Iran to establish itself as a nuclear weapons power while leaving little time for the international community to react.”

How much time? Albright’s report calculates that “Western intelligence agencies may have less than two months to respond.”

Why should this matter to citizens of the United States and Israel and their western allies? Because Iran is not only the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, it is committed to the destruction of the United States and Israel.

On the evening of October 7, 2023, after Hamas terrorists murdered approximately 1,200 Israelis, raped women and young girls, beheaded and burned infants alive in front of their parents, and took roughly 240 people hostage, the Iranian regime hosted massive street parties in Tehran, provided free sweets and lemonade along with a fireworks display, as the Iranians chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Less than a month later, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, declared, “The situation between America and Iran is this: When you chant ‘Death to America!’ it is not just a slogan – it is a policy. . . . “If it were not for America’s support, if it were not for the support of U.S. weapons, the corrupt and artificial Zionist regime [Israel] would have been destroyed in the first week. It would have collapsed. The Americans are behind this.”

Why are these developments important when it comes to understanding the events of the latter days? The prophetic stage is being set for the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. One event that will precede the Great Tribulation is the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39). During the Battle of Gog and Magog, there will be an alliance of nations against Israel. According to the book of Ezekiel, “Persia,” modern-day Iran, will be part of an alliance that will attack Israel “in the latter years” (Ezek. 38:5, 8). These nations will “devise an evil plan” against Israel and with overwhelming force “come like a storm. . . like a cloud covering the land” (Ezek. 38:9-10).

In the midst of this great opposition, God will come to Israel’s rescue and pour out His “blazing wrath” upon her foes in order to deliver Israel from certain destruction through a series of cataclysmic judgments (Ezek. 38:18-23). This divine deliverance will be in keeping with God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). So, it appears that the stage is being set for the events prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel 2,600 years ago. And through it all, God will reveal Himself to Israel and the many nations so that they will know that He is the Lord (Ezek. 38:23).

Watch and pray. Stay alert and intercede for Israel.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | January 16, 2024

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) welcomes United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) prior to their meeting at Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul, Turkiye on January 06, 2024. Turkish Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu via Getty Images © Turkish Presidency / Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) welcomes United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) prior to their meeting at Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul, Turkiye on January 06, 2024. Turkish Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu via Getty Images © Turkish Presidency / Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images

On Saturday, January 6, 2024, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Turkey has expressed its commitment to playing “a positive, productive” role for postwar Gaza (Associated Press). Why is Secretary Blinken confident that Turkey will play “a positive, productive” role in postwar Gaza? Let’s look at the comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Israel was attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 to see if we can find any clues.

  • “We call for restraint from all parties. . . They must refrain from aggressive acts.” (Al Jazeera October 7, 2023)
  • “Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a liberation group, mujahideen waging a battle to protect its lands and people.” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 25, 2023)
  • “Israel, we will proclaim you as a war criminal to the world. . . We are making our preparations, and we will declare Israel to the world as a war criminal.” (Associate Press, October 28, 2023)
  • “Israel is an occupier. . . The main culprit behind the massacre unfolding in Gaza is the West.” (Al Jazeera, October 28, 2023)
  • “Once all of this that is happening is finished, we want to see Gaza as a peaceful region that is a part of an independent Palestinian state, in line with 1967 borders, with territorial integrity, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.” (Reuters, November 4, 2023)
  • “Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off.” (Al Arabiya News, November 4, 2023)
  • “With the savagery of bombing the civilians it forced out of their homes while they are relocating, it is literally employing state terrorism. I am now saying, with my heart at ease, that Israel is a terror state. We will never shy away from voicing the truth about Hamas members protecting their lands, honor, and lives in the face of occupation policies are resistance fighters, just because some people are uncomfortable with it.” (Foundation for Defense of Democracies, November 15, 2023)
  • “Beyond being a war criminal, Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be tried as the butcher of Gaza. . .” (Reuters, December 4, 2023)
  • “They used to speak ill of Hitler. What difference do you have from Hitler? They are going to make us miss Hitler. Is what this Netanyahu is doing any less than what Hitler did? It is not. He is richer than Hitler, he gets the support from the West. All sorts of support comes from the United States. And what did they do with all this support? They killed more than 20,000 Gazans.” (Al Jazeera, December 27, 2023)

Based on Erdogan’s incendiary comments against Israel and Netanyahu, why would Blinken believe Turkey can play “a positive, productive” role for postwar Gaza? Erdogan has made his position clear since October 7th:

  • Hamas is a legitimate liberation group not a terrorist organization.
  • Israel an occupier and does not have a legitimate right to exist.
  • Hamas was justified in attacking innocent Israeli citizens on October 7th.
  • The West, not Hamas, is to blame for the terrorist attack on October 7th.
  • Israel must turnover East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.
  • Israel is committing crimes against humanity as it seeks to protect itself from future attacks by Hamas.
  • Adolf Hitler is morally superior to Benjamin Netanyahu.

Again I ask, why is Secretary Blinken confident that Turkey will play “a positive, productive” role in postwar Gaza? How could Erdogan possibly broker peace when he has clearly taken the side of Hamas?

Please join me in praying for the leaders of the United States and for the peace of Israel.

By His grace,

Dr. Matthew Dodd, Executive Director

Last Friday I received an email with a subject line that read “Digusting.” Now, with a subject line like that I suspected the email’s author was not a fan of Blessors of Israel. My suspicion was confirmed for I soon discovered the email was laced with accusations against Israel similar to what is frequently spread by Israel’s enemies, not only in the Middle East but at the United Nations, in the mainstream media, and on college campuses across the United States. Not content with limiting his attacks to Israel, the author proceeded to mischaracterize the Bible before concluding his email with an expression of his personal distaste for Blessors of Israel, “Your organization disgusts me.”

At first I was tempted to ignore the email and tackle my Friday’s “To Do List.” But after receiving counsel from Pastor Rich Jones, I decided to engage with the email’s author and respond. One paragraph flowed into another and eventually one page turned into two. Before I sent my response, I asked Pastor Rich for his editorial input, and once my edits were completed, I clicked the send button. Soon my response left the outbox, and as it did I asked the Lord to open a door for honest dialogue regarding Israel’s war with Hamas. As of today, I have not heard back from the email’s author, but I still hold out hope.

I also felt compelled to share my response to this email with you. You will notice that I frequently asked questions. I did so because questions are a powerful way to reveal the flaws in someone’s logic or point of view. My goal was not to embarrass or shame the email’s author but to hopefully stimulate a desire to discover the truth.

Beyond this email, my hope is that we Christians will begin to dialogue with non-Christians and help them see the flaws in many of the talking points concerning Israel and the modern Palestinian problem. Ultimately, my prayer is that, as we engage with non-Christians, God will open doors for us to talk about His Son, Jesus Christ, because our world truly needs Jesus now!

Please join me in praying for Israel and her people.

By His grace,

Dr. Matthew Dodd, Executive Director

A Response to "Your organization disgusts me"

From: Matthew Dodd
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2023 1:03 PM
To: < >
Subject: RE: Digusting

Hi ,

Thank you for sharing your perspective. Like you, I am also deeply concerned by what is happening between Israel and Hamas and I am praying for a peaceful resolution. I am grieved to read of the horrific things that have been done to the Israelis and that so many innocent Palestinian women and children in Gaza have also been injured or killed because they dwell in a land that is governed by Hamas terrorists.

As I reflect on your email, some questions come to mind by way of response. I sincerely hope that this will open the door for future dialogue.

Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and is committed to the extermination of the Jews. If you had an enemy within the boundaries of your control who was committed to your annihilation, what would you do? What do you recommend that Israel do when it has attempted to live in peace with an enemy that does not want peace? Do you believe Israel has the right to defend itself from such an enemy? Is there something that Israel could do that it has not tried in the past?

Recent reports have revealed that Hamas deceived Israeli leaders into thinking they wanted to live peacefully with Israel. In response, Israel permitted thousands of Palestinians to come into Israel because Israel’s leaders believed the Palestinians in Gaza would benefit from higher wages. But those same Palestinians took advantage of Israel’s kindness and meticulously mapped out southern Israel for the Hamas terrorists in preparation for the October 7th slaughter. Again, what is your counsel to Israel after it extended an olive branch to Hamas and, in return, received an unprecedented slaughter in response?

Do you support the unprovoked and unprecedented atrocities that Hamas exacted upon Israel on October 7th which resulted in 1,400 dead, 5,431 injured, and 239 taken hostage? Do you believe Hamas was justified in beheading babies, raping women and teenage girls, and slaughtering Jews and non-Jews alike? Do you believe that any of these acts violated international law? And do you believe Israel has the right to not only defend itself but also ensure such heinous crimes never happen within its borders again?

On another note, Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and millions of dollars from the United States, the European Union, and other nations were given to the Palestinians living in Gaza. Hamas could have literally turned the Gaza Strip into a Mediterranean resort. What did Hamas do with all of that money? Did Hamas bless the residents in Gaza with better roads, water, and sanitation systems? Did they turn Gaza into a travel destination so that the Palestinians could thrive from a booming tourist industry? Did they educate the Palestinians so that Gaza could compete internationally? No, they used the millions of dollars to dig tunnels, convert water pipes into missiles, and pay the families of Palestinian “martyrs” as a way of encouraging more terrorism.

It is well documented that Hamas has been indoctrinating the Palestinian children to hate the Jews. Do you support the indoctrination of the Palestinian children by Hamas so that little boys and girls are not only taught to hate the Jews but to even celebrate when Hamas terrorists murder Jews?

It is also well documented that Hamas stores weapons and ammunition under hospitals and schools. Hamas uses hospitals and schools in order to blame Israel when it defends itself against a terrorist attack from one of those locations. Should hospitals and schools be used to store weapons and launch missiles at Israel?

When Israel gave the Palestinians advanced notice to leave northern Gaza before it commenced bombing that region, Hamas not only prohibited the Palestinians from fleeing, they also threatened to kill Palestinians who attempted to do so, innocent women and children alike. Why would Hamas treat the Palestinians in this manner, especially innocent women and children? Could it be that Hamas is using innocent Palestinian women and children as human shields? Do you support Hamas and their treatment of innocent Palestinians living in Gaza?

Regarding the topic of apartheid, this is a common attack against Israel. I hope that as you consider your answers to my questions, you will see why it is inappropriate to call Israel an “apartheid state.” That said, there are apartheid nations in the Middle East. For instance, are you familiar with Lebanon and its treatment of the Palestinian refugees within its borders? Did you know that Lebanon restricts Palestinians from access to government services and that Lebanon prohibits Palestinians from pursuing occupations in the medical, legal, and government fields? Why would Lebanon treat the Palestinian refugees like that? Correct me if I am wrong but I do not believe the Palestinian refugees are committed to the destruction of Lebanon and the extinction of the Lebanese people. And why has Syria done the same thing to the Palestinian refugees within its border? Doesn’t that sound like apartheid to you? On a similar note, why hasn’t Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, or Jordan welcomed the Palestinians into their countries? Could there be another reason? If so, what do you think that reason is? Do you think it may have to do with the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews?

Do you believe that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s collective commitment to the destruction of the state of Israel and the extermination of the Jews can be rightly defined as a commitment to commit genocide? If not, what is your definition of genocide?

Please know that God does not delight in the death of anyone because He wants everyone to turn from their sin and have a life-transforming relationship with Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 33:11; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). And it is also true that Jesus Christ is coming back and when He does He will make right all that is wrong for His kingdom will be righteous and just (Isaiah 9:6-7).

As I close, you stated that you are “disgusted” by Blessors of Israel. Hopefully, my comments and questions will serve as the catalyst for you to reconsider your view. I appreciate your time and look forward to future dialogue.

By His grace,

Dr. Matthew Dodd, Executive Director