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Archive for March 2013

Book review of Exo-Vaticanus March 30, 2013

A book review by Terry James of Rapture Ready of Exo-Vaticanus authors: Tom Horn & Cris Putman.

Nando

http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book14.html

Nando end

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Giants, Nephillim and the coming Apocalypse March 29, 2013

Today the Christian world celebrates the crucifixion of Christ and in churches all over the world we remember our Lord’s work of redemption at the cross. He became the lamb sacrificed at the altar to pay for our sins.

Thank you our God and Lord Jesus Christ for dying and paying for my sins and of all whose sins you covered at the cross. It is my believe that He paid for all the sins of the world including for the sins of those who end in hell for all eternity by not accepting this sacrifice and offering of Love from our Creator.

With this introduction I give an introduction to a very profound and often unknown subject that will be in center place of the news all around the world in this and the coming years to follow after. The subject is a Biblical subject first introduced in the 6th Chapter of Genesis. We know of the existence of Satan as he is first introduced in the Garden of Eden tempting Eve to disobey and rebel against God. Few ever think beyond this episode and blame Adam and Eve for introducing sin and the curse into the World, but the introduction of sin and rebellion came much earlier at the time Satan rebelled and incited one third of the created Angels to join him in his plan to dethrone God and make himself god.

The Bible speaks a lot about Angels, but their true nature and powers and limitations are not fully understood. It is in Genesis 6 that the Bible addresses an aspect of their existence that is not very well known. These fallen angels took human females as wife and produced a race of creatures that were not human or angelic called the Giants or Nephillim.

The ramification of this act of rebellion with the purpose of obliterating the human genome was Satan’s master plan to destroy the path for the seed of the woman to bring forth the Son of God born of a human for the Redemption of mankind.

Today this phenomena is again taking full center stage as these fallen angels masquerade themselves as aliens from other planets riding vessels identified as UFO’s and making their appearance all over the world.    http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/march2013/donnad327-3.htm

In the program below this subject is discussed by Mr. Gary Stearman, L.A. Marzulli and Russ Dizdar. http://www.lamarzulli.net/giants-hiding-in-plain-site.php

Nando

Nando end

Written by twelvebooks

March 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Is Passover tomorrow Thursday March 28, 2013 Does this mean this is a year of Perfect Order? March 27, 2013

In my last post I gave my opinion that the Apocalypse could start on Passover to continue the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 week of years right where it was stopped.

The article below explains the possible dates for Passover for this year. At the time of this writing it is 6.03 PM of  March 27 the Biblical date of Passover.

Time will tell if this Passover brings forth the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27 or not. Thanks to Friedrich Wenz for this article.

If Passover starts today and extends to tomorrow at 6 PM then this is a year of Perfect Order that fulfills the perfect year for the correct order in the designated feasts of Israel following the same pattern of the year of the crucifixion and the year of the Exodus.  If the last week of Daniel starts in this year then the Second Coming is on the year 2020. The link below takes you to the article on the year of Perfect Order where the author wrongly concludes that the year 2020 is the next year of perfect order and consequently the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The second part he has right , it is the year of the Second Coming, seven years after this year the year of Perfect Order that starts the Tribulations. Please read the article below to comprehend the enormous importance of this kind of year in God’s plan. By the way tonight is full moon.

https://twelvebooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/the-start-of-the-tribulations-the-rapture-and-the-year-of-perfect-order-october-18-2012/

Nando

http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/march2013/friedrichw327.htm

Friedrich Wenz (27 March 2013)
Today! …Wednesday ! Passover…


When is Passover?

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karaite_korner_news/message/615

Passover (Pessach) will begin this Wednesday night March 27, 2013 at sunset…

http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/passover_week_timeline.html

http://www.torahcalendar.com/Calendar.asp

http://www.sparrowsbarn.com/s-4-dream-i

Enoch: “Erin look at Wednesday – there is a saying, you know this, Wednesday’s child is full of woe.”

Me: “I don’t understand.”

Enoch: “Erin the original crucifixion was on Wednesday with the Resurrection on the Sabbath Day. This was the day that the Pharisees were angry that Jesus healed rather than obey their laws. The day also that He set the Captives Free! Resurrection = Sabbath!”

me: “But we were taught Friday to Sunday.”

Elijah: “Erin, Christ Rose from Sabbath to Sabbath. The Death & Burial occurred before Passover was to begin!”

Enoch: “Now look at the time of the moon. This is the first full moon after Spring Equinox.”

Elijah: “Now let’s review Manna.”

I saw the Lord and Disciples leaving after Supper to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and battle the enemy (like Jericho) – supper ended — going to battle. I saw the Israelites from the Wilderness, manna stopped; Israelites ate from the table (the Promised Land) the Lord had Prepared for Them in Advance — then going into battle with the enemy = Jericho.

me: “Oh – Jesus is the True Manna! His body; the Bread. His Blood; the Wine!”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Maranatha Come Lord Jesus

Nando-End

Will Passover usher in the Apocalypse this year? March 25, 2013

At the end of the day today 6PM the Passover festival starts. It is this Passover that in my opinion will see the start of the seven year Tribulation period.

First reason is that President Obama who I believe is the Antichrist took a covenant to Israel to sign in his trip to that nation last week.

I believe that this is the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 and in this covenant the fate of the world is sealed.

The same chapter of Daniel speaks of seventy weeks of years were decreed. Please notice below that the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years was stopped after the 69th week with the death of Jesus the Messiah at the third hour on the day of preparation for Passover. A parenthetical period of 1, 980 years was taken until the present time for the restart of this prophecy. Bible scholars refer to the remaining week of years as the Apocalypse of John of seven years duration.

Well what is the first thing that happens in the Apocalypse, it is the opening of the first seal that releases the white horse and its rider(the Antichrist, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama) to be a conqueror. Another thing that can be expected  is the appearance of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. The Rapture of the church may precede these two events. These events are my opinion based on biblical prophetic studies and the events that are going on in the world that follow prophecies around Israel at the time of the end of the age.

Nando

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-reportedly-suggests-israeli-palestinian-summit-in-may/

US reportedly suggests Israeli-Palestinian summit in May

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Netanyahu, says Turkish-Israeli rapprochement will help cause of peace in region

By and March 24, 2013, 1:11 am 4
John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu meeting in Jerusalem Friday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu meeting in Jerusalem Friday. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

With US Secretary of State John Kerry trying to push Jerusalem and Ramallah back to the negotiating table, US officials have reportedly proposed convening a four-way summit to jump start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in May.

Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday night and into Sunday morning, several hours after holding talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman. He is reportedly pushing a US-devised package of arrangements to pave the way for new negotiations.

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A statement issued after the meeting by Kerry’s office said Israel’s recent rapprochement with Turkey would help Jerusalem with its challenges in the region.

“The reconciliation between Israel and Turkey is a very important development that will help advance the cause of peace and stability in the region,” Kerry said in the statement. He said Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan “deserve great credit for showing the leadership necessary to make this possible.”

“As I discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu this evening, this will help Israel meet the many challenges it faces in the region,” Kerry said. “We look forward to an expeditious implementation of the agreement and the full normalization of relations so Israel and Turkey can work together to advance their common interests.”

The statement cottoned to an earlier remark by Netanyahu that the conflict in Syria had been a major factor in his decision to apologize to Turkey for the deaths of nine activists aboard a blockade-busting boat in May 2010.

The meeting with Kerry came as US President Barack Obama wrapped up a four-day jaunt to the region with a trip to Petra in Jordan.

US officials have suggested the US and Jordan host four-way talks with the Palestinians and Israel in early May, Saudi paper Asharq al-Awsat reported late Saturday, citing unnamed sources. The Jordanians welcomed the idea and Kerry is following up with the Israeli and Palestinians sides, according to the paper.

Earlier in the day, Judeh told Kerry he would be happy to host talks.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since 2010, at the tail end of a 10-month settlement moratorium. Ramallah has demanded settlement construction stop before the Palestinians will come to the table, while Israel insists on talks without preconditions.

The US has been instrumental in facilitating indirect talks between the sides, with Jordan in the past playing the role of host.

In January 2012, Amman saw a meeting between Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho and Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat, but the session failed to bring the sides together.

On Saturday, Kerry met with Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni — the new ministerial overseer of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts — along with Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror and Molcho.

The focus of the talks was to develop new ideas for enabling a resumption of direct negotiations. Netanyahu has reportedly been considering a package of goodwill gestures – including approval of building requests, and a release of prisoners — designed to encourage Abbas to come back to the peace table.

Flush with his success in arranging Friday’s Israel-Turkey reconciliation, Kerry is hoping to be able to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree within days to new talks, Channel 10 reported Saturday night. The components: Israel will agree to release a number of Palestinian prisoners and to transfer certain West Bank areas from partial (Area B) to full (Area A) Palestinian control; the Palestinians will agree not to seek to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes relating to its control and policies in the West Bank.

Moves to enable a resumption of talks were reportedly discussed by Obama and Netanyahu on Friday morning, with Netanyahu detailing Israel’s security needs in the Jordan Valley under a future accord, and specifying that he wanted to see a “performance-based progression” in the talks — with measurable change on the ground as the criterion for gradual steps toward the “broad agreement” Obama said he was seeking when in Ramallah on Thursday.

During his first trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as president, Obama called for the resumption of peace negotiations. He offered no new plan on how to get there but said Kerry would be spending considerable time on the matter.

“Peace is necessary,” Obama said Thursday in an address to Israeli students in Jerusalem. But he was decidedly more vague about what he or his secretary of state were going to do about it. Obama’s rhetoric throughout the visit seemed to suggest that the will to achieve peace must first and foremost come from the parties themselves, and that he wants to merely assume the position of an honest broker, an interlocutor who doesn’t impose concessions on either side.

It seems that Kerry, however, is eager to engage and try to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together, and if not reach a final agreement, perhaps an interim solution.

“Kerry very much wants to be active in this area. Obama is cautious about using his presidential political capital, but Kerry is eager to act — which is why he arrived before Obama and will leave after he goes,” Michael Herzog, a veteran of past Israeli peace negation teams, told the Global Post.

Kerry is expected to spend much time in the region in the coming weeks and months.

Nando

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+9&version=NIV

The Seventy “Sevens”

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[c] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[d] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[e]

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[f] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[g] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[h] In the middle of the ‘seven’[i] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[j] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.[k][l]

Nando

Pope Francis I and Revelation 13: 11 The Beast Out of the Earth March 21, 2013

The video below is about an interview between M.r Gary Stearman and co-authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam who wrote Petrus Romanus and the coming book Exo-Vaticanus.

This is an interview that sheds new light into the agenda and direction that they see the new Pope taking. Midway the interview Cris shows a book The Jesusits by Malachi Martin an ex-Jesuit himself that left the order by Papal authority. I got the book a few years back and stopped reading it about half way. This author was one of my favorites and his book the final conclave was a work of fiction that was magnificent. He also wrote Hostage to the devil and The Keys of this blood Pope John Paul II versus Russia and the West for control of the New World Order. This last book I also stopped on page 182 and shelve it.

It sure looks that Pope Francis I will fit into the shoes of the false Prophet of Revelation 13 as the beast that comes out of the earth.

Nando

Nando

WND reveals evidence Iran crossed the red line March 21, 2013

As I have stated before in several articles there is a good possibility that this Passover March 25-26 will see the start of the Tribulations.

It is important to understand that the Tribulations is a period of seven years which culminates in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to establish His 1,000 year Kingdom here on earth.

The first thing that happens at the start is the opening of the first seal that releases the Antichrist as conqueror of the world. Another thing that happens at the same time the appearance of two witnesses Rev 11. The start is also punctuated by a covenant between the Antichrist and many including and foremost Israel. As I believe Obama is the Antichrist I see this covenant signed in the trip that Obama is making to Israel.

Nando

http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/revealed-evidence-iran-crossed-nuclear-red-line/

WND EXCLUSIVE

Revealed! Evidence Iran crossed nuclear ‘red line’

Source reveals details about enriched uranium, plutonium stockpiles

Published: 20 hours ago

author-image by Reza Kahlili Email | Archive

Reza Kahlili, author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray,” served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, counterterrorism expert; currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI). He regularly appears in national and international media as an expert on Iran and counterterrorism in the Middle East.More ↓
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1630

Plutonium

Iranian scientists are working on nuclear warheads – and trying to perfect them – at an underground site unknown to the West, according to a high-ranking intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.

The officer, who has been assigned to the Ministry of Defense, not only provided the coordinates to this vast site but also details of its operation.

Reza Kahlili: Heavy traffic across Iran’s ‘red line’

The site, approximately 14 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, consists of two facilities built deep into a mountain along with a missile facility that is surrounded by barbed wire, 45 security towers and several security posts.

The new secret nuclear site, named Quds (Jerusalem), is almost 15 miles from another site, previously secret but exposed in 2009, the Fordow nuclear facility. The power to this site comes from the same source as Fordow – the Shahid Rajaei power plant – with high power towers surrounding the site.

Construction of the site started about the same time as Fordow, and in the second half of 2010 all industrial tests were completed. The site became 60 percent operational in 2011.

Gen. Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi, who works in the supreme leader’s office to protect the regime’s information and counterintelligence, manages the site. His deputy, Hojatolislam Ramezani, was appointed to the protection of intelligence at the Defense Ministry after several leaks about the country’s nuclear operations.

Quds, built about 375 feet under the mountain and accessible by two large entrances reinforced with concrete, has 12 emergency exit tunnels and spreads around the mountain.

The site has a capacity of 8,000 centrifuges and currently has three operational chambers with 19 cascades of 170 to 174 centrifuges enriching uranium. As of three months ago, the source said, there were 76 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium stock at the site and 48 kilograms of over 40 percent enriched uranium.

Though the regime has long succeeded in enriching uranium to 20 percent, which is 80 percent of the way to weapons grade, enriching to over 20 percent would be a clear sign of an intention of building a nuclear bomb.

Read the electrifying, award-winning story of Iranian insider turned CIA spy, Reza Kahlili’s “A Time to Betray” – $4.95 today only!

One chamber is specifically allocated to laser enrichment research and development, and Iranian scientists have seen great progress, the source said.

The most significant information provided by the source is that the regime has succeeded in not only enriching to weapons grade but has converted the highly enriched uranium into metal.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 Image, Quds secret nuclear facility

Moreover, the source said, successfully making a neutron reflector indicates the final stages for a nuclear weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb.

Regime scientists are also working on a plutonium bomb as a second path to becoming nuclear-armed, the source said, and they have at this site 24 kilograms of plutonium, which is sufficient for several atomic bombs.

The scientists are at the last stage of putting together a bomb warhead, he said, and the scientists in their design for a plutonium bomb are using polonium and beryllium, which would serve as the trigger for the bomb.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 Image, Close up of the two entrances into the Quds nuclear facility

Iranian scientists, aided by North Koreans, are also working on new ways to have more miniaturized and more powerful atomic bombs, he said.

Adjacent to the Quds facility is another facility dubbed “Martyr Mughniyah” after the Lebanese terrorist Imad Mughniyah, the source said. Personnel at this site work on missiles and warheads.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, Imad Mughniyah missile and warhead facility

The regime is building its Shahab 3 ballistic missiles there using compressed composite carbon material, which originated at an American company, he said. The company manufactures advanced composite materials and structural parts. Iran purchased the carbon material through an intermediary in Turkey, the source said. The material makes it possible to have a longer missile range with larger warheads.

The regime is working on 17 Shahab 3 missiles in preparation of arming them with nuclear warheads, the source said. The operational and technical aspect of the delivery system is 80 percent completed, he said

The regime, aided by North Korea, is also working on neutron warheads that could be used as super EMP weapons for electromagnetic pulse attacks.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, The road connecting both Quds nuclear facility to Imad Mughniyah missile and warhead facility

Overhead images clearly show this site has over 380 missile depots and launching pads, facilities that can house large ballistic missiles, most likely Shahab 3 and possibly North Korean Taepodong II (ICBMs). The source added that this missile site is the center of the regime’s defensive and offensive strategies and supports other missile sites: the Imam Ali near the city of Khoram Abad in the Lorestan province and the one in Tabriz in the province of East Azarbaijan – to be used in any attack on Israeli and U.S. military bases in the Middle East.

This facility provides the missiles for Hezbollah, the source said, and, with the help of North Koreans, is mass producing a new generation of napalm bombs to be shipped to the terrorist group while at the same time working on white phosphorus bombs to be used for terrorist acts.

The images also show a military airfield for the sole use of officers at this facility.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, the vast missile site

The source noted that for this calendar year, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has allocated $22 billion toward the country’s nuclear bomb and missile programs, funded by entities under the control of the supreme leader.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an expert on nuclear strategy and weapons who served on several strategic congressional commissions and in the CIA, reviewed the imagery and human intelligence (HUMINT) and called for a congressional hearing.

“The newly discovered underground complex looks like the kind of enormous complexes built by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War and by Russia today,” Pry said. “Heavily hardened and fortified and supplied with huge amounts of electric power, by what appear to be 765-kilovolt electric power lines, the imagery suggests a top-priority military site. Nuclear-weapons programs consume vast amounts of electricity.”

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, missile depots

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, a close up shot of missile depots

The location of the site amid an Iranian missile armory, protected by a vast array of defensive and offensive missiles, is consistent with the HUMINT reporting that the site is for the final stages of nuclear weapons development, he said, and that the complex appears to be the most heavily protected site in Iran.

“The HUMNINT reporting claims the complex is for both the final stages of uranium enrichment – indeed, that Iran has crossed the ‘red line’ and is converting uranium hexafluoride gas into weapons-grade metal – and for actual bomb fabrication,” Pry said. “And the source gets sophisticated engineering details of nuclear weapons design right, even though the source is allegedly a non-expert.

“The source claims Iran now has all the materials for building nuclear weapons, such as weapons-grade uranium, plutonium as well as polonium and beryllium,” he said. “One can infer from the descriptions some design characteristics of parts for making implosion plutonium weapons and two-stage atomic weapons. The latter is a design far more sophisticated than the Hiroshima bomb that could have a much higher yield and possibly produce an explosion 50 times greater than Hiroshima,” according to Dr. Pry.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, missile silos, the size suggests large ballistic missiles such as Shahab 3 or the North Korean Taepodong II (ICBMs)

Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, reviewed the imagery. “There is much work to be done by imagery analysts on the photos Reza (Kahlili) has produced,” he said. “For example, is spoil from the tunneling visible? Does it tell us how extensive the tunneling is? But taken as a package, this imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles, normally based in deep underground sites for survivability against even nuclear attack, capable of rapid deployment. … They do suggest that Iran is working the problem of becoming a nuclear weapons power in a serious way, not just playing around for a few nukes on the shelf.”

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, mobile missile launchers spread out throughout the mountainous terrain

Ambassador Henry Cooper, the former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator on nuclear and space treaties with the Soviet Union, said, “Iran’s apparent interest and investments in underground systems are clearly coupled with its programs to develop and potentially employ weapons of mass destruction in the face of armaments that may be deployed against them, whether by Israel (‘the little Satan’) or the United States (‘the Great Satan’). Most notable is the fact that Iran has already demonstrated its ability to launch satellites into low earth orbit. When they also gain confidence in their nuclear weapons, they can then use those launchers to place nuclear weapons in earth orbit and detonate them over wherever they wish, creating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could level its strategic playing field with all of Western civilization. This is perhaps their ultimate asymmetric weapon. Far-fetched? I wouldn’t bet (against) it.”

In an annual report to Congress Tuesday, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper stated that Iran could not produce weapons-grade uranium without being detected. President Obama, in an interview last week with Israel’s channel 2 TV, said Iran is still “over a year or so” away from building a nuclear weapon.

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency in its Feb, 21 report stated that the Islamic regime has yet to provide access to several suspected sites, including its Parchin military facility, which is suspected of carrying out tests on nuclear bomb components.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/revealed-evidence-iran-crossed-nuclear-red-line/#rSRRZICMEpkud2VB.99

Nando

Israel builds walls of separation from the Arab neighbors. March 20, 2013

The article below shows the State of Israel insecure within its borders needing walls to separate them from the Arab neighbors.

It is a simple conclusion that this state of insecurity is not the condition listed by Ezekiel 38 prior to the invasion of Magog and Persia listed there.

Mr. Bill Salus in his book Psalm 83 argues this point in concluding that the Psalm 83 war must precede the Ezekiel 38 war.

I am not sure if his conclusion that this war must happen before the Tribulation period is a valid conclusion to reach. I see the possibility of the Apocalypse starting on the 26 of March this year on the festival of Passover.

We have to wait a few more days to see if all this will happen.

Nando

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/20/17360084-israel-becomes-a-fortress-nation-as-it-walls-itself-off-from-the-arab-spring?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=2

Israel becomes a fortress nation as it walls itself off from the Arab Spring

The renewed war in Iraq combined with Hamas’ rise in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood running Egypt and the conflict in Syria, the region surrounding Israel is in turmoil. In response, Israel is erecting a 150-mile fence along the border with Egypt and another one along the Syrian border. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

By Richard Engel, Correspondent, NBC News

TEL AVIV — On a wide beach in Tel Aviv, I recently watched two Israeli men — wearing tight neon bathing suits that would make many Americans blush — play a game of paddle ball. They impressively smashed their serves and volleys with decisive forehands and backhands and dove in the sand to make saves.

A few feet away, a couple of young women in skimpy bikinis with tattoos on their ankles and shoulders stretched into yoga positions in the shade of a wooden gazebo.

You can buy ice cream and cold beer on the beach and nobody seems to litter.

If Tel Aviv’s beachfront sounds like a island of paradise in the midst of the turbulent Middle East — that’s because it is. And Israeli officials intend to keep it that way.

While the chaos unleashed by the Arab Spring continues to reverberate across the region, Israel, a small country the size of New Jersey, has been busily building about 500 miles of fence, walls and barricades to keep the surrounding Arab world out.

Keeping a lid on Gaza
Just 45 miles south of the paddle ball players in neon, Hamas runs the Gaza Strip, the narrow Palestinian territory squeezed between Egypt and Israel.

Hamas is a Palestinian political party with an aggressive militant wing. At its rallies, Hamas supporters routinely chant that one day they will destroy Israel and that Palestinians will return to their homes where Jews now live. Hamas has long been Israel’s enemy, but in the wake of the Arab Spring, the group is empowered like never before.

Behind the headlines, away from the conflict with the Palestinians, life in Israel is a vibrant mix of cosmopolitan and coast, Jews and Arabs. NBC’s Martin Fletcher looks at life from inside Israel.

Just last November, Hamas and Israel fought a brief war. Hamas launched rockets at southern Israel, and for the first time in the group’s history, at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Many of the rockets were shot down by Israel’s U.S.-funded Iron Dome missile defense system.

More than 150 Palestinians and at least six Israelis were killed in the fighting. But Hamas walked away with significant political recognition.

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi sent his prime minister to Gaza during the fighting to show solidarity with Hamas. That would never have happened under former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Nir Elias / Reuters, file

Israeli soldiers watch as an Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Beersheba on November 17, 2012 .

Mubarak didn’t trust Hamas and kept them weak. In fact, during the previous, and far more severe, Gaza-Israel war in early 2009, Mubarak effectively helped Israel target Hamas by cutting off its border, denying escape and resupply routes.

But ever since the Arab Spring reset the Middle East and unleashed anti-Israel passions that Arab strongmen — like Mubarak — once kept at bay, Israel feels threatened. And they are fortifying their defenses.

Gaza tunnel
Now getting in and out of the Gaza Strip is increasingly difficult and bizarre.

When you exit Israel, you must first pass through a series of metal detectors and X-ray machines, before entering a long Israeli-controlled tunnel.

The tunnel is above ground, fenced in on both sides, and with a wire roof. It runs along the ground like a metal snake. It’s about 20 feet wide and stretches for about a mile with a dog-leg turn in the middle. There are cement blocks in the tunnel so you can’t drive a car through it. You have to walk, dragging your bags. It feels like you’re passing through a wormhole from a beach community into a prison.

Making the tunnel stranger still is its quiet loneliness. There aren’t any Israeli guards or officers in the tunnel. As you walk with your bags, every few hundred yards you come to a closed gate. A camera and microphone over the gate turn on as you approach. You call out to an unseen guard that you’d like to advance and, if he approves, the gate clicks open and you move to the next barrier.

Egypt fence
Beyond Gaza, about 100 miles to the southeast of the gazebos shading women on Tel Aviv’s beach, is Israel’s border with Egypt. For decades, the border was protected naturally by the bare and jagged Sinai Mountains and the open desert.  

Moshe Milner / Israeli government via EPA, file

A photograph supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office in January 2013 shows a panoramic view of some of the border fence Israel has completed separating Israel from Egypt.

But now with Mubarak gone, a metal snake is going up along the Egyptian border, too.  

Israel is building a 150 mile fence along the Egyptian border. It’s nearly finished — with only 6.2 miles left to go.

The fence has two layers, is 20 feet high and is topped with razor wire. It also plunges several feet under the sand, so you can’t dig underneath it. Israel clearly doesn’t feel the mountains and desert offer enough protection anymore.

The Wall
Back on the beach in Tel Aviv, few people talk about their increasingly hostile neighbors in Gaza and Egypt, or the fences that keep them out. But other barriers are even closer.

Marko Djurica / Reuters, file

A Palestinian rides a bicycle past a mural on the controversial Israeli barrier depicting the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, at Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 26, 2012.

Just 40 miles east of Tel Aviv, a giant wall cuts off the West Bank — the landlocked Palestinian territory surrounded on three sides by Israel, and one side by Jordan. Palestinians call it the “apartheid wall” because it keeps them penned in. Israel built the wall during a spate of Hamas suicide attacks and since its construction the number of bombings in Israel has plummeted.

Keeping Syria out, too
About 100 miles north of the Tel Aviv, a new fence is going up along the border with Syria. Only about 10 miles of that barrier, which looks just like the one with Egypt, is finished. The rest is going up fast.

As I walked along the new fence with Syria with our cameraman and producer a few days ago, we were stopped by a group of Israeli border guards who politely told us to leave.

Atef Safadi / EPA

Israeli employees work on the new border fence at the Israeli-Syrian border, south of the Golan Heights, in Israel, on March 8, 2013.

The border guards, based on a hill overlooking the fence, told me they had seen fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels just a few hundred yards away from their base. The chief of staff of the Israeli military said at a conference this month that he believes it’s only a matter of time before armed factions in Syria turn their attention to Israel.

“We see terror organizations that are increasingly gaining footholds in the territory and they are fighting against Assad. Guess what? We’ll be next in line,” said Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.

‘Fear index’ down
As Israel waits for the political storm in the Arab world to pass, it has become a fortress nation, what some experts call a “garrison state.”

Perhaps it’s human nature, but living in a bubble has some advantages. Fences and walls can be effective and even soothing, at least for those who build them.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Israel’s military said it had accomplished its objectives while Hamas claimed victory after the two sides exchanged deadly airstrikes and rocket attacks for over a week.

A study by Haifa University’s National Security Center published this month in the Israel newspaper Haaretz said Israelis have never felt more secure in their borders. The so-called annual “fear index” is at an all-time low.

“People in Israel are simply optimistic. As a result of a hundred years of Zionism that met with difficult challenges, the public’s conceptions are that we have overcome that, and that we will overcome it in the future,” Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor, the director of the study, told Haaretz.

But there’s twist. Israel’s Arab citizens, who may be more in touch with the profound changes in the region that they watch unfolding on Arabic-language television, were far less convinced about Israel’s security than Jewish respondents to the survey.

“It is possible the Arab population is seriously and intensively following what is happening across the border, and they judge the situation differently,” said Ben-Dor.

The Israeli military is certainly aware that things have changed for Israel.

But that apparently hasn’t sunk in for most Israelis, or, just like people on the beaches of Tel Aviv, perhaps they don’t want to think about it.

Nando