Turkey's Relationship with Israel and Ezekiel 38 and 39


A recent report from the Associated Press indicates that Turkey plans on a military escort of Turkish ships intent on breaching the Israeli blockade of Gaza. In an alarming development, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has threatened to send warships to "protect" humanitarian shipments to Gaza. This rhetoric and the mainstream media ignore the fact that enormous amounts of aid are sent to Gaza through and from Israel. It also ignores the fact that the incident in which Israeli commandos boarded Gaza-bound ships and resulted in the loss of lives of Turkish citizens did not need to result in such if the ships had simply obeyed the directive to go to a particular port for inspection before the aid was allowed into Gaza or allowed the commandos to board without attacking them.

See: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/09/turkish-prime-minister-says-navy-will-escort-aid-ships-to-gaza/

In Ezekiel 38 and 39, the prophet Ezekiel warns of a massive invasion of Israel from a confederacy of nations that has what is now the nation of Turkey as a major player. It would seem that the deterioration of good relations with Turkey that included the exchange of military sales from Israel to Turkey and the warming of relations of Turkey with the Muslim world while it experiences obstacles in its relations with the West all point to the potential that a key piece of the prophetic puzzle is coming into place.

At this time Israel is pursuing a cautious response. What would happen if such a shipment and escort approached Gaza? Would Israel risk confrontation? If so, will shots be fired? Could this lead to a battle between Turkish and Israeli warships and, if so, how would the world react? I think it is clear that all the above is very possible and that even if Israel were to win the skirmish it would suffer greatly in world opinion. Israel would be forced into a "lose-lose" proposition: 1) risk a battle with Turkish ships that will lead nowhere positive in relations with Turkey and the world or 2) let the escorts and ships pass without incident and risk Gaza getting arms, etc. that could greatly imperil the security of the Jewish state.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for Israel to have wisdom. It would appear that it has no winning option here. The only way out seems to be to apologize for the breaching of those ships, compensate for the loss of life and to negotiate for aid ships to come to Gaza from Turkey, to be inspected peacefully by Israeli security and to proceed to Gaza unimpeded. Such a deal would avoid conflict but would mean a serious concession on Israel's part despite its view it did nothing wrong; a viewpoint that many evangelicals like myself share.

These are truly dangerous days for Israel. Also see the developments at the Israeli embassy: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/09/egyptians-ransack-building-housing-israel-embassy/

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