Will Iran’s New President Reform Iran’s Policy Towards Israel?

Will Iran’s New President Reform Iran’s Policy Towards Israel?

Iran elected its new president last Friday, July 5, 2024. The former heart surgeon turned politician, Masoud Pezeshkian, received 53.7 percent of the vote in a run-off election to defeat hard-liner, Saeed Jalili. He is Iran’s ninth president since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Pezeshkian is considered a moderate and a reformer when compared to the other candidates he faced in an unexpected presidential election to replace Iran’s former president, Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024.

As president, Pezeshkian promised Iranians that he would “open Iran to the world and deliver freedoms its people have yearned for” (The Jerusalem Post). After the election results confirmed Pezeshkian had won, videos were posted on social media platforms which showed Pezeshkian’s supporters dancing in the streets, honking their car horns, and handing out candy to celebrate his victory. The next day, Pezeshkian acknowledged “the difficult path ahead” but offered an olive branch to his fellow Iranians, stating, “I extend my hand towards you and swear on my honour that I will not leave you alone on this path. Don’t’ lead me alone” (Al Jazeera).

World leaders with strategic and/or potential partnerships with Iran were quick to congratulate Pezeshkian on his surprise rise to Iran’s presidency. Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “I hope that your tenure as president will contribute to a reinforcement of constructive bilateral cooperation between our friendly peoples” (Al Jazeera). Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, “I affirm my keenness on developing and deepening the relations between our countries and people and serve our mutual interests” (Al Jazeera). Communist China’s President Xi Jinping said, “I attach great importance to the development of China-Iran relations and am willing to work with the President to lead the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership towards deeper advancement. . . . Faced with complex regional and international situations, China and Iran have always supported each other, worked together and continued to consolidate strategic mutual trust” (Al Jazeera). And India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he looked forward to working with Pezeshkian in order “to further strengthen our warm and long-standing bilateral relationship for the benefit of our peoples and the region” (Al Jazeera).

Pezeshkian also received a congratulatory message from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The Jerusalem Post reported that “The Hamas chief noted that the Palestinian people ‘are confident in your capabilities to serve Iran, overcome all challenges and difficulties, and take steps towards the unity of the Islamic ummah [nation] against its enemy, as well as to assist the Palestinian cause as the main issue of the Islamic world.’”

Prior to the election many wondered if this moderate reformer will attempt to change Iran’s hostile policies towards the United States and Israel. Will Pezeshkian be willing and able to convince the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to extend an olive branch to Israel and halt all forms of terrorism against Israel and her allies through its proxies (i.e., Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis)? Or will Pezeshkian attempt to convince the Ayatollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to stop enriching uranium at its nuclear facilities and fully comply with the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? And will Pezeshkian be able to convince the Iranian powers-that-be regarding the wisdom of redirecting funds towards rebuilding Iran’s feeble economy and liberating its people from the heavy-handed, authoritarian rule that has led to the ruthless slaughter of many of its citizens since the Islamic Revolution in 1979?

The world did not have to hold its collective breath for very long to discover the answers to these questions. Pezeshkian swiftly took to the phone and connected with Iran’s allies in order to reassure them that it will be business as usual for Iran. During his phone call with Putin, Pezeshkian said, “We attach great importance to relations with our friendly and neighboring country Russia, and we will undoubtedly strengthen these relations” (The Jerusalem Post). To the Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Pezeshkian commended the Iraqi government for its “wise and dignified” opposition to Israel, which he accused of “crimes against the people of Gaza” (Breitbart). And to Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, Pezeshkian offered praise for the terrorist regime’s missile attacks against Israel, saying, “The Islamic Republic has always supported the resistance of the people of the region against the illegitimate Zionist regime. . . . I am certain that the resistance movements in the region will not allow this regime to continue its warmongering and criminal policies against the oppressed people of Palestine and other nations in the region” (The Jerusalem Post).

Just in case his comments to Nasrallah about Israel were not clear enough for those in the West to understand, Pezeshkian declared that he seeks “friendly relations with all countries except for Israel” (The Algemeiner). And before U.S. officials become too optimistic about the prospects of fostering a better relationship with Iran because of its new “moderate,” “reformer” president, it is also important to note that Pezeshkian has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. For example, after Iran shot down a U.S. drone, Pezeshkian triumphantly declared it “a strong punch to the mouths of the leaders of criminal America” (The Algemeiner).

All that said, the truth is the 69 years old retired heart surgeon turned politician will be limited in what he can do for Iran because the Iranian President is not the true power in Iran. He might be able to affect some change domestically but ultimately he will have to answer to the true power in Iran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In practice this means that whenever the Ayatollah tells President Pezeshkian to “Jump,” he will ask the Supreme Leader, “How high?”

In addition to the Ayatollah, Pezeshkian will also have to answer to the IRGC. In his analysis of the IRGC and its influence over Iran’s newly elected President, Seth J. Frantzman observed, “There is a proverb here that is worth recalling when hearing stories about another Iranian ‘reformer’. The motto is ‘trust, but verify’. In fact, in this case it’s not even worth trusting. The Iranian regime is more than just the president and he will not have much power to recast Iran’s role in the region. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is like an albatross around the Iranian state, smothering it and using it for its own needs.” Frantzman adds, “What this means is that the Iranian nuclear program will likely continue to advance into a weaponization phase; Iran’s proxies will continue to attack Israel; and Iran will continue to form ties with Russia, China and other countries that oppose the West. . . . The new Iranian president will therefore likely only bring bad things to the region, rather than any kind of reform” (The Jerusalem Post).

Please join me in praying for Israel and her people.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | July 11, 2024

Is Time on Hamas' Side?

What does Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind behind Hamas’ October 7, 2023 attack on Israel, believe about Hamas’ war against Israel that others have failed to grasp?

Answer: That time appears to be on Hamas’ side.

Sinwar is confident that Hamas will prevail over Israel and remain in power the day after the war has ended despite the fact that Reuters recently reported that Hamas “has been reduced to between 9,000 and 12,000 fighters. . . down from American estimates of 20,000-25,000 before the conflict.” Is Sinwar unnerved by Hamas’ forces shrinking by 50% because of the superiority of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)? Not at all. The Jerusalem Post reported that Sinwar has boasted to Hamas leaders in Qatar, saying, “We have the Israelis where we want them.”

Sinwar’s comments reveal a man who is not delusional but is committed to an antisemitic, genocidal ideology; the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews at any cost, even if it means Hamas has to “go it alone.” Last December, when Hamas officials met with the leaders of other terrorist groups to debate reconciliation after the war, Sinwar objected to their efforts and labelled such dialogue as “shameful and outrageous.” Sinwar then exhorted his comrades, saying, “As long as fighters are still standing and we have not lost the war, such contacts should be immediately terminated. . . We have the capabilities to continue fighting for months.”

But it is one thing to be willing to “go it alone” in order to achieve one’s objective. Sinwar is not only willing to “go it alone,” he is willing to use innocent civilian lives to realize his goal. For Sinwar, civilian casualties are the means by which Hamas will obtain its end (i.e., “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free”). In another message to Hamas leaders, Sinwar callously commented that Palestinian civilian casualties are “necessary sacrifices.” And when Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s three sons were killed by an Israeli Air Force strike in Gaza this last April, Sinwar enthusiastically declared that their deaths and the deaths of other Palestinians would “infuse life into the veins of this nation, prompting it to rise to its glory and honor.”

Please keep in mind that a little more than eight months after October 7th, it has been reported by the Gaza Health Ministry (GHM) that over 37,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza. Now, we do not know that exact number of civilian versus terrorist deaths during that period because the GHM does not distinguish between civilian and Hamas terrorist deaths (Associated Press). And it is also difficult to discern whether an adult or a child has died because the GHM counts an 18-year-old Hamas terrorist as a “child” in their statistics.

But back to Sinwar. How can Sinwar be so resolute when it comes to achieving his goal, to destroy Israel and remove the Jewish people from the face of the earth? Again, what does Yahya Sinwar know about Hamas’ war against Israel that others have failed to comprehend?

Answer: When he reads the news headlines, Sinwar believes time is on Hamas’ side. And it is easy to see why he would come to that conclusion.

First, it is clear that antisemitism is alive and thriving throughout the world. Immediately after the horrific events of October 7th, when Hamas terrorist murdered 1,200 people, raped women and young girls, beheaded babies and burned infants alive, and took approximately 250 people hostage, many global leaders voiced their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas. But support for Israel was short-lived and the narrative quickly shifted in favor of Hamas when Israel went on the offensive and seized northern Gaza. Suddenly there were protests against Israel in major cities around the world and on U.S. college campuses.

As Israel seized more control of Gaza, the protests grew more intense. The United Nations, which is no friend of Israel, began to level accusation after accusation against Israel. And it came as no surprise when the likes of Brazil, Russia, and South Africa, members of the BRICS coalition of nations, along with Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan began to chime in and call for a ceasefire while also claiming that Israel has no right to defend itself and that its leaders are committing war crimes. Nor was anyone shocked when Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism and puppeteer of Hamas, threatened to annihilate Israel if it did not end its war with Hamas.

But when Ireland, Spain, Norway, and Slovenia unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state and Spain subsequently requested to join South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in order to accuse Israel of genocide, the pressure against Israel intensified dramatically. Then shortly thereafter, Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), equated Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant with Hamas’ Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Mohammed Deif and accused Netanyahu and Gallant of “causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict” (The Times of Israel). Khan then applied for arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant, Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Deif.

Now, arrest warrants for Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Deif make sense. Truly, they have committed crimes against humanity both in Israel and in Gaza. But Netanyahu? Gallant? Really?

Back to Sinwar. Do you think for one moment that Sinwar felt threatened by Khan’s arrest warrant request? Not at all. I am sure that when Sinwar read those headlines from his Gazan tunnel, he smiled with satisfaction as he thought to himself, “Time is on Hamas’ side.”

Second, as I wrote in my article last week, Palestinians’ support for Hamas remains strong. The polling numbers say it all, “67% of the Palestinians polled still believe that Hamas made the ‘correct decision’ when its terrorists launched a barbaric attack against Israel on October 7th.” These are strong numbers when one considers that 80% of those surveyed living in Gaza claim a family member has died or has been injured since October 7th. And get this, “61% still prefer that Hamas remains in control of the Gaza Strip” while “75% are satisfied with Hamas’ performance during the war and 65% are pleased with the performance of its diabolical ringleader, Yahya Sinwar.” What is also revealing about the survey results is that 65% of the Palestinians polled are opposed to a Two-State Solution. Why? Because the Palestinians want a One-State Solution, meaning a world without Israel. Clearly, the Palestinians still support Hamas and Sinwar even though he has commanded Hamas terrorists to use civilians as human shields, women, children, and elderly alike. What does Sinwar think when he hears the news about the polling numbers from Gaza and the West Bank? “Time is on Hamas’ side!”

While there appears to be unified support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the same cannot be said for Netanyahu and his government in Israel. Prior to October 7th, liberal, progressive groups protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to reform the Supreme Court even though he was voted into office to do so (Reuters). But it did not stop there. Soon more than 100 “Reservist officers and soldiers of the Military Intelligence’s Special Operations Division came out strongly against the coalition’s planned judicial overhaul. . . warning in an open letter that they would stop showing up for duty should the government move ahead with its plans” (The Times of Israel). But it did not stop there. The media was against Israel’s duly-elected government. The business and financial sectors were against Netanyahu and his coalition in the Knesset as well.

Then October 7th happened and everything changed because suddenly all parties realized they were facing an existential threat. If Israel did not unite, Israel may cease to exist. But eight months later, Israel is looking more like the Israel of old, before October 7th. There have been threats, resignations, and protests. While division festers, tragically, many hostages have died in captivity with recent reports calculating that only 50 hostages are still alive. What does Sinwar think when he reads such headlines while fleeing to another tunnel location under the Gaza Strip? “Time is on Hamas’ side!”

Finally, there is Israel’s tension-riddled relationship with the United States. Historically, the U.S. has been Israel’s greatest ally in the world and Israel has been the U.S.’s greatest ally in the Middle East. Yet, prior to October 7th, President Biden joined the throng of those who were publicly chastising Netanyahu for attempting to reform Israel’s Supreme Court (CNN). But after October 7th, Biden committed the U.S. to supporting Israel as Israel sought to defeat Hamas. And while there has been times when the Biden administration has appeared to support Israel without reservation, Biden has been under pressure to please his base during this presidential election year, a base that is clearly anti-Israel and antisemitic. Recent reporting reveals that Biden is frustrated with Netanyahu because Netanyahu is not obeying the dictates of the White House like a good Israeli Prime Minister should.

Tensions reached a new level this week when Netanyahu posted a video accusing the U.S. of withholding weapons and ammunitions from Israel (Breitbart). Netanyahu’s video and Biden’s response prompted Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark) to ask the “White House to come clean about the status of U.S. arms shipments to Israel and to detail what has been paused in recent months” (World Israel News).

What does Sinwar sing from his Gazan tunnel as he reflects upon the divide he helped to orchestrate between the U.S. and Israel? “Time is on my. . . I mean. . . Hamas’ side. . . yes it is!”

When we look at the rise and prevalence of antisemitism around the world, Sinwar is justified in concluding that Hamas is winning the war against Israel on the narrative front. The longer Sinwar holds onto the hostages and makes it look like Hamas is willing to strike a deal with Israel, the greater the pressure will be on Israel to concede to Hamas’ demands.

Why is this so? Because there are two sets of rules, one for Israel and one for Hamas and the rest of the world. And because there are also two sets of standards, one for Israel and one for Hamas and the rest of the world. You see, the world really does not want Israel to defeat Hamas. The world just wants to control Israel until the time comes for the antichrist to annihilate Israel (Daniel 9:27).

Yet, Sinwar has failed to understand a very important principle found within the pages of Scripture; while Sinwar may believe that time is on Hamas’ side, God is on Israel’s side. The God of Israel is not done with Israel (Romans 11:25-36). He has a plan to restore Israel to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. He promised King David that his Son, Israel’s Messiah, would reign on the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:13). So, God is using these events, even Israel’s enemies and friends, to prepare Israel for the return of her Savior, Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:15-31). Jesus Christ will return at the end of the Great Tribulation to defeat the antichrist, the false prophet, along with Satan and his minions and reign on the throne of David for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-10).

Back to Sinwar. None of us knows how much time we have left on this side of heaven, not even Sinwar. But one thing is certain, time isn’t on anyone’s side. Each of us will stand before Jesus Christ one day and give an account for our answer to the most important question ever asked, “Who do you say Jesus is?” (Hebrews 9:27-28; Matthew 16:15-17). Those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be rejected by Jesus Christ and suffer an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and confessed Him as their Savior will receive the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life (Romans 10:8-13). Before that day comes, I pray that all of Israel, her friends and enemies alike, including Sinwar, will ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior (John 3:16).      

Will you please join me in praying for Israel and her people at this critical time? 

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | June 21, 2024

Palestinians Support for Hamas Remains Strong

Once again, the polling numbers say it all, numbers that send a clear message which will not be welcomed by proponents of a Two-State Solution with the Palestinian Authority governing a new Palestinian state. The survey was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). Of the 1,570 Palestinian adults surveyed, 760 live in Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. “West Bank”), and 750 live in central and southern Gaza. The face-to-face interviews were conducted between May 26 and June 1, 2024. The margin of error was 3%.

The survey reports that 67% of the Palestinians polled still believe that Hamas made the “correct decision” when its terrorists launched a barbaric attack against Israel on October 7th. When broken down by region, 73% of supporters reside in the West Bank while 57% live in Gaza. What is quite revealing is that approximately 80% of the Gazans surveyed also said that they had lost a relative or had a relative injured by Israel and yet they still support Hamas’ attack on Israel.

Another survey question showed that 88% believe that Hamas did not commit war crimes on October 7th compared with 97% who believe that Israel is currently committing war crimes as it seeks to defend its citizens from another October 7th-like attack. And when asked if they believed Hamas committed the atrocities which are seen in the videos posted by the terrorists, “the overwhelming majority (91%) said no, it did not, and only 7% said it did.”

It is important to keep in mind all that the Palestinians living in Gaza have endured at the hands of Hamas while reading the survey results; used as human shields, having humanitarian aid stolen from them by Hamas terrorists, and being threatened with personal harm or even death if they did not obey the oppressive dictates of Hamas leaders who are living in the lap of luxury in Qatar. Nevertheless, the survey found that 61% still prefer that Hamas remains in control of the Gaza Strip, with 71% of Hamas supporters coming from the West Bank and 46% coming from Gaza. Yet when asked if the Palestinians want the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of the current President Mahmoud Abbas to govern a unified Palestinian State, only 6% gave their approval. In fact, “About 90% want the president to resign.”

What is also concerning is that 75% are satisfied with Hamas’ performance during the war and 65% are pleased with the performance of its diabolical ringleader, Yahya Sinwar. By the way, it is this same Sinwar who sent a message to Hamas leaders in Qatar which stated that civilian casualties are “necessary sacrifices” (The Jerusalem Post).

And when it comes to breaking the stalemate between Israel and Hamas, 63% of Palestinians prefer “a return to confrontations and armed intifada” to “negotiations” or a “peaceful popular resistance.” In fact, 54% of those polled believe an “armed struggle” is the “best means of achieving Palestinian goals in ending the occupation and building an independent state.” What is interesting about these results is that 65% are opposed to a Two-State Solution. Why? Because they want a One-State Solution, meaning a world without Israel.

Another interesting survey result involves Palestinian views “towards the deployment of an Arab security force from Egypt and Jordan in the Gaza Strip.” Back in December of 2023, 70% opposed the idea of Arab security forces assisting Palestinians security forces. Six months later, opposition to this type of security rose to 75%. And speaking of other Arab nations, few if any will be surprised to learn that 75% oppose Saudi-Israeli normalization, “even if it is conditional on Israel accepting a Palestinian state and taking concrete and irreversible steps toward that goal.”

In terms of approval ratings for regional actors during the war, Yemen tops the list at 80%, followed by Hezbollah at 57%, Qatar at 55%, and Iran at 49%. And speaking of Iran, there was 27-pecentage point increase from three months ago when Palestinian support was reported at 22%. The “rise in satisfaction with Iran is tangible, almost certainly due to Iran’s direct missile attack on Israel in April,”

So, let’s summarize the results. First, the Palestinians still support Hamas (along with their leader, Sinwar) and expect Hamas to win the war against Israel and even govern Gaza the day after the war ends. Second, the Palestinians believe armed opposition is one of the best ways for them to achieve their goal of independence. Third, the Palestinians are opposed to a Two-State solution because they want a One-State Solution. Fourth, the Palestinians do not want security assistance from their closest Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. Fifth, the Palestinians are opposed to any Saudi-Israeli normalization even if that it paves the way for a Palestinian State.

Question: Why are the nations standing against Israel as it seeks to protect its citizens from this type of existential threat?

Again, please do not misunderstand me. I want peace as much as the next person and it breaks my heart to see the suffering in Gaza because Hamas leaders have doubled-down and lay down their weapons and return the hostages. But even if Hamas leaders did admit defeat, released the remaining hostages, and lived in exile, these polling results make it clear that Hamas ideology will live on in the hearts of those Palestinians who remain in Gaza the day after Hamas is defeated. And we must never forget that the likes of Iran, Hezbollah, Qatar, and Yemen will gladly support and even fund any efforts to terrorize and ultimately defeat Israel so that from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.       

Will you please join me in praying for Israel and her people at this critical time?

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | June 14, 2024

Will 2024 be the Year Iran Reveals it is a Nuclear Power?

Will 2024 be the year that Iran reveals it is a nuclear power? Recent comments by Iranian officials and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are cause for concern. Let’s trace Iran’s management of the narrative since the first of this year.

On January 18, 2024, Breitbart reported that Rafael Mariano Grossi, the Director-General of the IAEA, expressed his frustration with Iran because it had “tripled its uranium enrichment rate and increased its stockpile of near-weapons-grade material.” Grossi vented, “It is a very frustrating cycle. We don’t understand why they don’t provide the necessary inventory for weapons, the manufacture and storage of so much material is raising concern. . . Iran is the only non-nuclear weapon state which is enriching uranium at this very, very high level – very close to weapons grade.”

Sunday, February 11, 2024 was a significant day for Iran. The day marked the 45th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Associated Press reported that thousands of Iranians took to the streets that were decorated with Iranian flags, balloons, and banners.

Iranians also chanted familiar slogans, slogans that have been frequently recited since the Iranian regime took control in 1979. What were those slogans? “Death to America” and Death to Israel.” As those traditional slogans were shouted, United States and Israeli flags were also burned. Then the celebration intensified as the crowd watched a paratrooper jump from a plane while displaying a Palestinian flag.

Many high-ranking Iranian officials joined the celebration in Tehran, including Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. During his speech which was broadcasted to the nation via Iranian state television, Raisi called upon the United Nations to “expel the Zionist regime” and to stop Israel’s bombing of Gaza.

Later that same day, the former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, was interviewed by Iranian state television and said, “We have all the (pieces) of nuclear science and technology. Let me give an example. What does a car need? It needs a chassis, it needs an engine, it needs a steering wheel, it needs a gearbox. Have you made a gearbox? I say yes. . .” (Associate Press).

Salehi’s comments prompted a warning from Rafael Mariano Grossi. While speaking at the World Governments Summit in Dubai, Grossi sounded the alarm regarding Salehi’s admission and Iran’s lack of transparency. Grossi said that Iran is “presenting a face which is not entirely transparent when it comes to its nuclear activities. Of course this increases dangers. There’s loose talk about nuclear weapons more and more, including in Iran recently. A very high official said, in fact, ‘we have everything, it’s disassembled’” (Associated Press).

Ten days later, Reuters reported “Iran’s nuclear chief. . . dismissed a suggestion that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi would visit Iran next month [March] but instead invited Grossi to a conference in Tehran in May.” Grossi wanted to visit Tehran in order “to tackle ‘drifting apart’ relations between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic.” But Mohammad Elami said the March visit would not work for the Iranian regime due to a “busy schedule.”

Then on April 11, 2024, The Jerusalem Post reported that “Iranian nuclear scientist Mahmoud Reza Aghamiri revealed during an interview with Iran’s Channel 2, “As I have said before, making an atomic bomb is not complicated. If you can have a nuclear reactor, which is a device where you control the chain reaction. . . When producing a nuclear bomb, you make a device where the chain reaction is not controlled, so it is much easier. The important point is that our nuclear capabilities are high.”

After Iran attacked Israel on April 14, 2024 with drones and missiles, Iran’s nuclear threats and hints elevated to a new level. Even though Iran has said it would not pursue nuclear weapons because Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has banned production, several high ranking Iranian officials have hinted “that Iran will be changing its declared nuclear doctrine from civilian to military, and will act to develop nuclear weapons” (MEMRI). For instance, Javad Karimi Ghadossi, Majlis National Security Council Member and former Senior IRGC Official said, “If approval is given [by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameni], it will be a week until the first [nuclear] test.” On April 16, 2024, Abdallah Ganji, a member of Iran’s Informational Council, warned, “Any mistake by Israel and its sponsors – France, Britain, and the U.S. – could prompt Iran to rethink its nuclear strategy” (MEMRI).

Meanwhile, on May 7, 2024, the Associated Press reported that the IAEA is still trying to negotiate with Iran “over how to implement a deal struck last year to expand inspections of the Islamic Republic’s rapidly advancing atomic program.” Once again, Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director-General of the IAEA, sounded the alarm stating, “Tehran has enough uranium enriched to near-weapons-grade level to make ‘several’ nuclear bombs if it chose to do so.”

On May 10, 2024, MEMRI translated an interview of Majlis member, Dr. Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, who revealed Iran’s plan to gradually announce it is a nuclear power. Ardestani noted that “recent statements by Kamal Kharrazi, advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, along with statements by other elements, about the possibility of a change in Iran’s nuclear doctrine from civilian to military were ‘a preliminary step before announcing that we have a nuclear bomb.’” Ardestani added, “In effect, we want to gradually make it known that we have achieved [this]. . . We do not want to announce it all at once and frighten the world.” And commenting on Iran’s April 14, 2024 attack on Israel, Ardestani observed, “Iran would not have attacked Israel or the U.S. with missiles unless it had the ‘backup’ of a nuclear bomb.” Finally, Ardestani said that “Iran is apprehensive about frightening its allies Russia and China, and that. . . it expects Russia will use its veto in the UN Security Council to thwart possible sanctions by the Western powers once it becomes known that Iran has a nuclear bomb.”

Question: Why should this matter to citizens of the United States, Israel, and their western allies?

Answer: 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.

Question: Why are these developments important when it comes to understanding the events of the latter days?

Answer: The prophetic stage is being set for the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation.

As I have noted in recent articles and during the Blessors of Israel Podcast, 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).

But in response to 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, 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).

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

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | May 17, 2024

China and Russia Support Iran’s Attack on Israel. . . What’s Next?

On Saturday, April 13, Iran launched its first-ever direct attack against Israel with approximately 185 drones, 110 surface-to-surface missiles, and 36 cruise missiles launched at Israel (The Times of Israel). Iran said that Saturday’s attack was in retaliation for an April 1 airstrike in Damascus on a building located near the Iranian consulate which left seven officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps dead, including commander Mohammed Reza Zahedi. It is being reported that Zahedi was involved in the planning of the Hamas terrorist strike on Israel last October 7. To date, Israel has not taken responsibility for the April 1 attack.

While the sheer volume of military hardware launched by Iran at Israel last Saturday was overwhelming, it also revealed the inferiority of Iran’s military technology and the superiority of Israel’s defense systems which were enhanced by support from the United States, Great Britain, and France. “None of Iran’s 185 Shahed 238 drones launched against Israel reached the country, nor did any of the 36 cruise missiles fired in Tehran’s historic attack. . . Only a small number of Iran’s 110 Kheibar Shekan ballistic missiles struck the country, and an even smaller number exploded” (Ynet News).

Yet, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi was quick to dismiss the facts about Iran’s military shortcomings during his speech yesterday at a military parade marking Iran’s Army Day. Raisi declared that Iran’s drone and missile attacks on Israel “toppled Israel, proving that it is weak as a spiderweb. . . This operation was precise and calculated, and it announced to the entire world and to the alleged armed superpowers, to America and to the supporters of the Zionist regime, that Iran is in the arena, and that our armed forces are prepared and waiting for the command of the Supreme Commander. Operation ‘Honest Promise’ was limited in scope. Had it been broader, they would have seen that nothing would have remained of the Zionist regime” (MEMRI).

In an effort to control the narrative and voice their support for the newest member to their BRICS alliance, Communist China and Russia have heaped praise upon Iran for their attack of Israel. On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone call with Iran’s Foreign Minister and accepted Iran’s justification for the attack. In fact, he described Iran as “good-neighborly and friendly” (Breitbart). And Wang Yi’s spokesman also noted that the absence of a Palestinian state is “the most persisting injustice in [the] modern-day world” (Breitbart).

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, also praised Iran’s failed strike against Israel. According to the propaganda arm of the Iranian government, PressTV, Putin described the attack as “tactful and wise,” noting, “What the Islamic Republic of Iran did in response to what happened criminally and in the light of the inaction of the [UN] Security Council, was the best way to punish the aggressor and represented the tactfulness and rationality of Iran’s politicians” (Breitbart).

Fearful of Israeli retaliation, earlier today, Iran threatened “to advance its nuclear weapons program and to attack American targets in the Middle East if Israel strikes its nuclear facilities” (Israel National News). It is also reported that “the Iranians warned the US and European countries not to tighten the sanctions against them, because this would lead to taking steps in the nuclear field such as raising their level of uranium enrichment” (Israel National News).

Not fearing Iran’s threats, today, the White House announced that it is “holding Iran accountable – imposing new sanctions and export controls on Iran” (WhiteHouse.gov). The press release concluded by stating, “Let it be clear to all those who enable or support Iran’s attacks: The United States is committed to Israel’s security. We are committed to the security of our personnel and partners in the region. And we will not hesitate to take all necessary action to hold you accountable.”

According to Axios, “Israel considered conducting a retaliatory strike against Iran on Monday night but eventually decided to postpone it.” Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told “two foreign ministers that Israel will respond to the Iranian attack but will do it in a ‘thoughtful and calculated way.’”

It is important to note that we are witnessing the drawing of clear battle lines. In fact, we are witnessing the alignment of nations against Israel in preparation for what was prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 38-39, the Battle of Gog and Magog.

As I have shared in articles, podcasts, and during prophecy updates with Pastor Rich Jones, Russia and Iran will play significant roles in the events leading up to the Great Tribulation. It is also clear that Russia and Iran feel empowered to move against Israel and her Western allies because of the support they receive from Communist China.

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, and Turkey 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 four 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 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).

Please also note, the destruction of Russia, Iran, and Turkey at the end of the Battle of Gog and Magog will create a geopolitical void which will be filled by a revived Roman Empire, whose leader will be the Antichrist (Daniel 7:7-8, 20-27).

Blessors of Israel is closely monitoring the developments between Israel and Iran. Please join me in praying for Israel and her people during these difficult days.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | April 18, 2024

Iran Attacks Israel, Will Israel Retaliate?

Yesterday, Iran launched an unprecedented attack against Israel. The Times of Israel reports that Iran launched “185 drones, 110 surface-to-surface missiles, and 36 cruise missiles at Israel.” While the attack came mainly from Iran proper, some of the attack also came from Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.

“None of Iran’s 185 Shahed 238 drones launched against Israel reached the country, nor did any of the 36 cruise missiles fired in Tehran’s historic attack. . . Only a small number of Iran’s 110 Kheibar Shekan ballistic missiles struck the country, and an even smaller number exploded” (Ynet News).

According to the IDF, the attack lasted 16 minutes during which there were 688 sirens sounded. Thirty-one people were slightly injured and one Israeli was seriously injured due to shrapnel (Ynet News).

The United States, Great Britain, and France assisted Israel in defending Israel against Iranian drones, cruise and ballistic missiles (Times of Israel).

Even though Iran threatened to attack other Middle Eastern countries who supported Israel against Iran’s attack, “Jordanian jets downed dozens of Iranian drones flying across northern and central Jordan heading to Israel. . . in a dramatic show of support from Amman” (The Times of Israel).

Prior to the attack, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement in which he expressed his appreciation for the support Israel was about to receive from the U.S., U.K., and France in defending Israel from the Iranian attack. The statement reads:

“Citizens of Israel, In recent years, and especially in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran. Our defense systems are deployed; we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong. The IDF is strong. The public is strong. We appreciate the US standing alongside Israel, as well as the support of Britain, France and many other countries. We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and will do so level-headedly and with determination. Citizens of Israel, I know that you also are level-headed. I call on you to follow the directives of IDF Home Front Command. Together we will stand and with G-d’s help – together we will overcome all of our enemies.”

Many nations have voiced their support for Israel and their condemnation of Iran for yesterday’s attack. That said, the BRICS alliance of nations which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa along with new members, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates did not condemn Iran’s attack but called for the immediate de-escalation of tensions between Iran and Israel (DW.Com). Likewise, the “Saudi Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over the ‘recent military escalations’ in the regions and. . . stressed the importance of ‘preventing any further exacerbation’ of the crisis” without condemning Iran (CNN).

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden reiterated U.S. support for Israel during a joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister, stating, “As I told Prime Minister Netanyahu, our commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad. Let me say it again: ironclad. We’re going to do all we can to protect Israel’s security” (Breitbart). And speaking to reporters on Friday about a potential Iranian strike against Israel, Biden said, “Don’t” (i24 News).

But it appears that Biden’s “ironclad” support for Israel has limits. Reuters reports that “President Joe Biden warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the U.S. will not take part in a counter-offensive against Iran if Israel decides to retaliate” during a phone call last night.

This morning, during an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” the White House’s top national security spokesperson, John Kirby, confirmed the U.S. will not support an Israeli counter-offensive against Iran, stating, “U.S. will continue to help Israel defend itself, but does not want war.”

The Times of Israel now reports that Biden’s call with Netanyahu “dissuaded” Netanyahu “from greenlighting an immediate retaliatory strike against Iran.”

Blessors of Israel is closely monitoring this crisis between Israel and Iran. Please join me in praying for Israel and her people during these difficult days.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | April 14, 2024

Israel Braces for an Attack by Iran

The Middle East and the rest of the world are on edge. According to CBS News, “Israel is bracing for a worst-case scenario that U.S. officials believe could materialize within just hours – the possibility of a direct attack on Israeli soil by Iran in retaliation for a strike almost two weeks ago that killed seven Iranian military officers. Iran has vowed to take revenge for Israel killing its commanders, who were hit by an April 1 strike” on an Iranian consulate in Syria’s capital. Two U.S. officials told CBS News “that a major attack against Israel was expected as soon as Friday, possibly to include more than 100 drones and dozens of missiles aimed at military targets inside the country.” In light of the imminent threat, the United States “has instructed its diplomatic employees in Israel not to travel far from their homes in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Be-er Sheva in the south” until further notice (Breitbart).

According to Axios, three U.S. officials confirmed that “Iran sent a message to the Biden administration through several Arab countries earlier this week: if the U.S. gets involved in the fighting between Israel and Iran, U.S. forces in the region will be attacked.”

President Biden answered Iran’s warnings on Wednesday during joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister, when he declared, “As I told Prime Minister Netanyahu, our commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad. Let me say it again: ironclad. We’re going to do all we can to protect Israel’s security” (Breitbart). And speaking to reporters earlier today about an Iranian strike against Israel, Biden said, “Don’t” (i24 News).

On the diplomacy front, the Daily Caller reports that the “Biden Administration asked China on Thursday to urge Iran against launching a retaliatory strike against Israel.” During a phone call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Blinken asked Beijing to “deter Iran from launching an attack against Israel.” But Wang rejected Blinken’s request and stated that “China ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s strikes and urged the U.S. to play a ‘constructive role’ in the Middle East.” Where China refused to assist with diffusing tensions between Iran and Israel, Russia, Germany, and Great Britain “urged countries in the Middle East to show restraint” on Thursday (Reuters).

Earlier today, “Hezbollah said it had launched ‘dozens’ of rockets from Lebanon towards Israel. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman said around 40 missiles and two explosive drones had been fired. No casualties were reported and there were no indications of involvement from other actors” (BBC).

On Tuesday, The Times of Israel cited an anonymous “Western security official” who noted Israel “has been conducting air force drills in recent days that include preparing to target Iranian nuclear facilities and other key infrastructure should the Islamic Republic retaliate for the Damascus strike by attacking from its own territory.”

And yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his warning to Iran if it attacked Israel, stating, “We are in challenging times. We are in the midst of a war in Gaza that is continuing with full force. In addition, we are continuing with ceaseless efforts to return our hostages, but we are also preparing for challenges from other fronts. . . We set a simple principle: Anyone who hits us, we hit them. We are ready to fulfill our responsibilities to Israel’s security, in defense and attack” (The Times of Israel).

Blessors of Israel is closely monitoring this crisis between Israel and Iran. Please join us in praying for Israel and her people during these tumultuous days.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | April 12, 2024

On Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei spoke at a religious event which marks Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that formally closes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During his speech, Khamenei accused the United States and the United Kingdom of supporting Israel in “kill[ing] children in their mothers’ arms and patients in hospitals” (Breitbart). Khamenei said, “During the last six months in Gaza, the Western governments, themselves, put on display this evil nature before the eyes of the world. . . Their strength does not match that of the resistance fighters, so they claim the lives of old men, families, children and women, and killed more than thirty thousand innocent people.”

What Khamenei failed to mention is that Israel was brutally attacked by Hamas terrorists, an Iranian proxy, on October 7, 2023. During that barbaric attack, 1,200 Israelis were murdered, women and young girls were raped, babies were burned to death and beheaded before their parents, and approximately 240 people were taken hostage.

What Khamenei also conveniently failed to mention is that the number of Palestinian casualties includes Hamas terrorists and that Israel’s ability to limit civilian casualties during its urban warfare campaign against Hamas is without peer in the history of modern warfare (Newsweek).

Lastly, what Khamenei failed to mention is that Israel did not start the war against Hamas, Hamas did. And ever since, Israel has been trying to remove this existential threat from its border with Gaza because Hamas, like Iran, is committed to the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews.

But Khamenei’s comments did not end there. Next, he threatened Israel, promising, Israel “must be punished and it shall be” for allegedly attacking an Iranian consular building in Syria on April 1, which left two Iranian generals and five officers dead (Time of Israel). Khamenei said, “Israel attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Consulates are part of the countries to which they’re affiliated, thus the attack was launched against our own country. Israel will pay for the mistake it made” (Ynet News).

On Friday, April 5, CNN reported, “The US is on high alert and actively preparing for a ‘significant’ attack that could come as soon as within the next week by Iran targeting Israeli or American assets in the region.” CBS News also reported last Friday, “The U.S. has picked up intelligence that Iran is planning a retaliatory attack that would include a swarm of Shahed loitering drones and cruise missiles. . . Officials say the timing and target are unknown” but it is likely to come by the end of Ramadan.

Last week, Israel placed its embassies around the world on high alert (Jerusalem Post). The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also canceled home leave for all combat troops and even scrambled GPS systems in Israel (The Time of Israel). Due to the increased threat, Israelis began “stockpiling supplies out of fear of an attack from Iran” even though the IDF claims there is no need to do so (Ynet News).

In response to Khamenei’s threats earlier today, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, warned that Israel will strike Iran directly if an attack against Israel originates from within the borders of Iran. Katz posted his response to Khameni in Persian on his X account and then tagged Khamenei’s official X account, saying, “Should Iran attack from its territory, Israel will respond and attack inside Iran.”

What would Israel target if Iran attacked Israel directly from within its borders?

Yesterday, The Times of Israel cited an anonymous “Western security official” who noted Israel “has been conducting air force drills in recent days that include preparing to target Iranian nuclear facilities and other key infrastructure should the Islamic Republic retaliate for the Damascus strike by attacking from its own territory.”

The U.S. and Israel have repeatedly voiced concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Those concerns reached a new level today after it was reported that “Iran has greatly increased activity at the Fordow nuclear facility, moving it closer than ever to the production of nuclear weapons” (Israel National News). “Officials said that Iran has enough highly enriched uranium now to create enough fuel for three nuclear bombs in as little as a few days to a few weeks. The creation of a ‘crude bomb’ could take up to six months, while producing a warhead capable of being fitted on a missile could take up to two years.”

Question: Why are these developments important when it comes to understanding the events of the latter days?

Answer: 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).

But in response to 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).

Please join me in praying for Israel and her people during these critical days.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | April 10, 2024

Israel is More Isolated Than Ever

Earlier today, President Joe Biden spoke with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approximately thirty minutes. Immediately after their phone call, the White House released the following statement:

“President Biden spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The two leaders discussed the situation in Gaza. President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable. He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers. He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps. He underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home. The two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israel people.

President Biden made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats.”

What does the White House press release reveal regarding U.S. policy towards Israel?

First, the release of the 134 hostages held by Hamas terrorists is no longer a condition for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. In fact, a ceasefire, not the release of hostages or the defeat of Hamas or the future security of Israel against another attack from its enemies is the most important concern for the Biden Administration. In many ways, today’s press release confirms the policy shift that was first unveiled when the U.S. “abstained from the vote for a Chinese- and Russian-sponsored resolution for an immediate ceasefire not conditioned on the release of the hostages” (Jewish News Syndicate).

Second, U.S. support for Israel is fading. Since U.S. policy towards Israel is now conditioned upon what the U.S. deems as proper for Israel’s war against Hamas, the door is wide open for the U.S. to execute a variety of anti-Israel policies.

For instance, the U.S. could withhold munitions from Israel which would reduce Israel’s ability to win the war against Hamas and defend itself against future attacks from enemies like Iran and Hezbollah (Politico).

Next, the U.S. could threaten Israeli officials that if they do not end the war with Hamas it will support efforts to try them for war crimes (Jewish News Syndicate).

In addition, the U.S. could permit the Palestinian Authority to become a full member of the United Nations. By the way, with impeccable timing, the Palestinian Authority submitted a request on Tuesday for “the United Nations Security Council to vote this month on accepting the entity as a full member” (Jewish News Syndicate). While the “United States is expected to block the bid due to Washington’s long-standing policy that U.N. membership will only come as a result of a negotiated bilateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinians” it was reported in February “that the Biden administration was considering unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.” At this time, 140 countries have already recognized a Palestinian state. The U.S. could simply abstain during the U.N. Security Council vote, and the Palestinian Authority would become a full member of the United Nations.

Finally, the U.S. could level economic sanctions against Israel and its leader similar to what the Biden Administration did to Russia after it invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 (CNN).

What does all of this mean for Israel? It means that Israel is more isolated than ever.

And the timing could not be worse. Not only have tensions been high during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, recent reports reveal that Iran is preparing to attack Israel either directly or through one of its proxies in response to an alleged Israeli airstrike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed two generals and five officers on Monday (Associated Press).

In response, Israel has placed its embassies around the world on high alert (Jerusalem Post). The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also canceled home leave for all combat troops and scrambled GPS systems in Israel (The Time of Israel). Due to the increased threat, Israelis are “stockpiling supplies out of fear of an attack from Iran” even though the IDF claims there is no need to do so (Ynet News).

In light of these troubling developments, will you please join me in praying for Israel and for her people at this critical time?

God is not done with Israel. The stage is being set for the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. At that time, Jesus Christ will reign over Israel during the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20) which means God is preparing Israel for the return of her King.

What will Jesus Christ’s Kingdom be like? According to Isaiah 9:7, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | April 4, 2024

Hamas has Turned the World Against Israel

Well, it only took 171 days for Hamas and its proxies at the United Nations (U.N.) and in the media to turn the world against Israel. One hundred seventy-one days.

Please remember that on October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 Israelis, injured thousands of Jews, and kidnapped 253 people.

But on Monday, March 25th, 171 days later, the 14 members of the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 2728. The United States should have vetoed the resolution, but abstained instead and paved the way for its adoption.

What does Resolution 2728 declare?

The non-binding resolution “Demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain” (TheNationalNews.Com).

First, it is important to note that Hamas is not a member of the U.N. Therefore, Hamas is not bound by the dictates of the U.N.

Second, please notice that Resolution 2728 does not condition a ceasefire upon the release of the hostages. As a result, any motivation for Hamas to negotiate with Israel and release the hostages was weakened by Resolution 2728.

And that’s exactly what happened immediately after Resolution 2728 was adopted. Israel and Hamas had been negotiating a hostage deal and truce but talks came to an abrupt halt once Resolution 2728 passed (The Times of Israel).

The next day, the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. During their meeting, Haniyeh celebrated the approval of Resolution 2728, saying this “indicates the unprecedented political isolation experienced by the Israeli occupation” (The Jerusalem Post).

By the way, the Jerusalem Post observed that Haniyeh conveniently “neglected to mention the resolution’s demand that his movement ‘immediately and unconditionally’ release the Israeli hostages it kidnapped during the October 7th massacre.” Why? Because Haniyeh knows that Hamas is not bound by any U.N. resolution so it does not have to release the hostages, especially since the wording of Resolution 2728 does not condition a ceasefire upon the release of the hostages.

Haniyeh rightly observed the significance of Resolution 2728 when he added that Israel had “failed to achieve its political and military goals” in Gaza, and that “We are going through a historical stage and a fateful turning point in the context of the historical context with the Zionist entity in the Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood (Hamas’s name for the October 7 massacre)” (The Jerusalem Post).

During their meeting, Khameni complimented “the propaganda and media measures” of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists groups (The Jerusalem Post). It was quite appropriate for the Ayatollah Khameni, the leader of the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, to compliment Hamas and its proxies. Hamas’s global propaganda campaign is working. In fact, the results of their campaign can be seen in the latest Gallup poll.

In November of last year, 50% of Americans surveyed approved of Israel’s military action in Gaza and 45% disapproved. But in March 2024, only 36% approve and 55% disapprove. Please keep in mind that this Gallup poll was taken before Resolution 2728 was approved. Imagine what the numbers will look like as Hamas and its proxies ramp up their efforts to demonize Israel as Israel seeks to defeat Hamas and remove the terrorist threat from its border.

Last week, I noted a recent survey of Palestinians living in Gaza and how the Gazans support for Hamas to continue to “rule the Gaza Strip has increased by 14 points to more than 50% since December, with nearly 60% believing the terrorist group will remain in control of the territory” (Jewish News Syndicate). Based on what we are witnessing, there is good reason to believe the Gazans have it right. Truly we are witnessing a historic shift against Israel on the world stage.

But while the nations are aligning against Israel, we must see that this is part of God’s plan. God is preparing Israel for the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. Zechariah 12:10 declares, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” On that day, God’s grace will be poured out on Israel as they call upon the name of the Lord and are saved.

Will you please join me in praying for Israel and for the nations, that all will hear the Good News and place their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life? This is why Jesus came, “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

May this Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday bring about a world revival because, like never before, our world needs Jesus Christ.

Will you please join me in praying for Israel and for the nations, that all will hear the Good News and place their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life? This is why Jesus came, “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). May this Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday bring about a world revival because, like never before, our world needs Jesus Christ.

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | March 27, 2024