Title: SHARON THROWS ISRAEL INTO TURMOIL! TAKES EARLY, BOLD, UNEXPECTED STEPS TO BEGIN UNILATERAL DISENGAGEMENT
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For months now, Israeli settlers and other hardline groups have been filling the airwaves with dire threats against Sharon's coveted Unilateral Disengagement plans. They have gone very public with their many plans, while Sharon -- being the masterful tactician for which he was famous in the Army -- said absolutely nothing. But, then yesterday, Sharon took bold and powerful action to thwart the plans of the settlers.
Sharon's actions were so powerful and so unexpected, Israel is in a state of collective shock!
NEWS BRIEF: "Defense Secretary Mofaz Fires Lt. Gen. Yaalon Just Before Disengagement is to Begin", Israel National News, February 16, 2005
"In a decision that has aroused opposition on both sides of the political spectrum, Defense Minister Mofaz has announced that Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon's term as IDF Chief of Staff will not be extended. Yaalon's term will end just days before the disengagement is slated to begin ... Mofaz's laconic move is ... viewed as a slap in Yaalon's face among much of the top IDF brass ... Sources close to Mofaz said that the decision was 'professional, to the point and in keeping with army orders'."
In the past few months, General Yaalon has spoken publicly, urgently warning that Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan was fraught with danger to the Israeli nation. He warned that the entire vacated area would immediately become a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism, giving the terrorists a protected haven from which they could sneak mortars and rockets right up to many juicy targets within Israel.
Yaalon also warned that Hizbullah and Syria would probably try their best to take over control of the terrorist factions, just as they have already done in Lebanon. This warning means that, one morning, Israel might wake up to a virtual Syrian army in their own backyard!
For this reason, General Yaalon has become an icon of hope to the settlers about to be forcibly evacuated and to conservative groups. Dissident IDF soldiers also rallied to Yaalon's side, publicly stating that they would refuse to participate in the plan to physically remove the settlers. Just last week, the IDF had to contend with 10,000 IDF signatures on a petition which stated that they would not follow orders to evacuate Jewish settlers.
Lt. General Yaalon may not have wanted to become such a symbol, but his warnings were stark and they attracted much attention. For this reason, Sharon had to fire him, before the evacuations actually begin.
Reaction was immediate and strong.
"MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union) said, 'This is another proof of the regime of dictatorship that Sharon is leading. Whoever doesn't walk in his exact path – is fired. This is how it was with the ministers who were fired, and it's the same with an excellent Chief of Staff whose only sin was that he said the truth and warned that the disengagement would grant a supportive wind to terrorism. We must end this rule of tyranny."
"MK Yossi Sarid of Meretz said, "There's no doubt that Yaalon was a more upright Chief of Staff than was [his predecessor] Sha'ul Mofaz – and yet he was sent home with very strange timing... that arouses many suspicions."
"Left-wing MKs from Shinui and Meretz, as well as Minister Chaim Ramon of Labor, expressed objections to Mofaz's decision ..."
"Former Mossad chief MK Danny Yatom (Labor) said that Mofaz's decision 'on the eve of the disengagement indicates irresponsibility and a lack of thought, and is scandalous'."
We respectfully disagree with this statement from Yatom, because we believe this decision to fire General Yaalon was very carefully thought through, and was most certainly in line with Sharon's overall plan by which he intends to complete his coveted withdrawal.
However, the next shoe was about to drop, as the head of Israel's security service was also fired.
NEWS BRIEF: "Two Strong-minded Israeli Defense Chiefs Purged Ahead of Evacuations", DEBKAfile Intelligence, February 16, 2005
"The non-extension of Lt.-General Moshe Ayalon’s tour of duty as Israeli armed forces chief of staff is unprecedented. The one-year extension has always been automatic for every one of his predecessors ... This virtual sacking hit Israel like a thunderclap after midnight Tuesday, February 15, the more shocking since it followed shortly after the announcement that Shin Beit Director, the second top czar of Israel’s war on Palestinian terror, will also not be asked to stay on when his stint is up in May."
"Both of these experienced veterans, widely acclaimed for their achievements ... are being dropped ahead of the evacuations of Israeli civilians and troops from the Gaza Strip and northern West bank in the coming July. Both have spoken out against the step – each in his professional capacity."
We have already spoken of the incredible outpouring of anger and resentment from a wide variety of sources within Israel -- literally from the extreme Left to the extreme Right. Many people talked of increasing their anti-disengagement efforts, while some even spoke the hideous words, "Civil War", a subject to which we shall shortly return. The fact remains clear: two top national leaders were fired because they publicly opposed Sharon's plans. The handwriting is on the wall for anyone else who might think of publicly opposing Sharon: come out against him and your job is finished!
But, the organization which may be hardest hit is the Israeli Defense Force.
"An angry tremor ran through the IDF’s high command. High albeit anonymous officers voiced fears of the destabilizing effect on the armed forces at a very tricky period. The top soldier’s retirement inevitably generates a round of new appointments and musical chairs which are bound to complicate the run-up to the dangerous and painful withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Many commanders expect the post-disengagement Palestinian territory to turn rapidly into a fast-exploding powder keg." (Ibid.)
However, hidden beneath the public outcry over the firings is the reality that Sharon also ordered the IDF to take action against the settlements slated for evacuation, action which occurred before any of the plans by the opposition could materialize. Let us return to the DEBKAfile report.
"But Sharon and Mofaz are not wasting a moment for the news to sink in. DEBKAfile has learned they have directed Gush Katif, in the southern Gaza Strip, and settlements in the northern part of the territory military areas locked down as a military zone immediately after the cabinet approves their evacuation Sunday, February 20. Under the new orders, Israeli civilians will be barred from entering the closed zones and even residents will require special permits limiting the time they may spend outside their homes. In effect, 10,000 Israeli citizens will be placed under marshal law." (Ibid.)
Sources close to the Israeli government have long insisted that Prime Minister Sharon was intending to get very stern with any Israeli citizen strongly opposing his withdrawal, even to the point of denying them their basic rights as citizens. Placing 10,000 citizens under marshal law certainly qualifies as "getting stern". Listen to even more outrage.
"Yaalon and Halutz have received their orders to make all the necessary preparations for the 'closure' within the next two weeks, and that is exactly what they are doing. The cordon sanitaire is aimed at foiling the settlers’ plan to bring tens of thousands of supporters to the Gaza Strip to stop the evacuation by their very presence." (Ibid.)
Yesterday, we posted an article detailing how the opposition planned to bring 90,000 protestors into the settlements planned for evacuation. Obviously, Sharon must have quickly concluded that it would be far easier to deal with 10,000 angry settlers than the settlers plus 90,000 angry protestors. Polls have consistently shown that Sharon's withdrawal plan is widely accepted among the Jewish citizenry of Israel, but the Prime Minister must be careful how he implements his plans. If his forces are seen brutalizing significant numbers of Israelis, the poll support could vanish virtually overnight. Sharon must prevent the opposition from become a significant force against him. Preventing 90,000 people from amassing is certainly a step in the right direction for the Prime Minister.
Now, we need to return to this DEBKAfile article:
"The clampdown will also affect the media, including outlets that are firm supporters of Sharon’s “disengagement” plan. Print, photo and television journalists will be barred from entering the cordon and have to make do with stage-managed briefings at special media centers run by the Army Spokesman’s Office. Footage recording the pull-outs will be provided by army camera crews, and subjected to military censorship. The media, along with the settlers, will effectively be gagged, all in the name of saving the Sharon government from embarrassing scenes at home or abroad. These draconian measures were indicated but hardly contested. 'Anyone who speaks or writes against the disengagement plan is guilty of incitement', Sharon declared at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday."
Originally, Sharon wanted to be given powers comparable to President Bush's dictatorial authority given him in Patriot Acts I and II, i.e., arresting people without warrants, without charges and being able to hold them indefinitely! While we have seen no indication Sharon has ever received this broad authority, he most definitely plans to push existing laws to the limit in dealing with opposition!
How shocked is Israel right now?
"Even the people facing eviction appear to be living in a dream world, believing they have five months to play with till the axe falls in July." (Ibid.)
This sentence captures the essence of the problem facing settlers and others who oppose Sharon: while they are talking about making concrete plans, tactician Sharon is actually using his considerable powers to take concrete plans. Sharon's hardheaded background as a field general of the Israeli Defense Force is going to prove to the major factor in carrying the battle against Jewish citizens opposed to withdrawals.
This last quote from DEBKAfile brings this point straight to home.
"Changing horses in mid-war was a characteristic tactic for the old Sharon and evidence that he has not changed his spots ... As defense minister who led the country into the 1982 Lebanon War, he ordered certain units not to be mobilized because their commanders and men opposed his policy. Now as then, he is taking pragmatic decisions, guided by considerations of political ends – not means or ideals. Then as now, the prime minister brooks no objections to his decisions and is deaf to counter arguments ... It is now the turn of the chief of staff and domestic security director to be traded in for more amenable successors. Both learned the hard way of the high price they must pay for questioning the course Sharon had determined." (Ibid.)
Strong, informed one-man leadership almost always prevails over the wishes and wails of the masses. Sharon will prevail -- unfortunately.
As these winds of controversy swept over Israel, indications began to abound that Sharon may be planning a pre-emptive propaganda strike against the right-wing settlers in order to discredit them in the eyes of the average Israeli citizenry.
NEWS BRIEF: "Civil War 'Talk' Heats Up", Israel National News, Feb 13, 2005
"As tensions over the withdrawal/expulsion plan intensify, talk of a civil war or violence between Jews is also heating up. (But) Some fear another Avishai Raviv-type provocation against the right-wing. The following items have been noted in recent days:
* "A resident of Itamar in Samaria was accused on Friday of having attempted to run over a policeman during a fracas over the deployment of a caravan. Eyewitnesses say that nothing of the sort occurred, other than the fact that a resident didn't stop when told to do so by a policeman."
* "... a similar complaint was made two months ago following a confrontation near Yitzhar, also in Samaria; an officer claimed that a resident tried to attack him while soldiers destroyed two empty trailer homes. The case was later closed."
* "Voice of Israel Radio devoted considerable time on this morning's shows to discussing the 'similarity' between the events of this week and those that preceded Rabin's assassination. The host asked why the police and legal authorities are not doing more to arrest agitators."
Since Voice of Israel Radio is an official organ of the Israeli government, this kind of talk is shocking, for it seems to be conditioning the people that another assassination -- or attempted assassination -- of either Sharon or one of his officials may be about to tragically occur. We have heard many stories to that extent already, that Sharon is facing increased death threats; however, every time such a story is floated the Shin Bet Security chief publicly states that his office has not noticed an increase in death threats. Perhaps the Shin Bet chief was fired because he refused to play Sharon's game.
If Prime Minister Sharon or one of his officials is assassinated, you can "bet your bottom dollar" that a government provocateur actually carried out the killing. Such an assassination would immediately discredit the settlers so completely that Sharon would find it much easier to mobilize public sentiment to accept the actions he feels he needs to take in order to complete his unilateral withdrawal.
Let us now quickly review some other instances where the government was trying to make more of a case than the facts on the ground would justify.
* "Last week, a group of protestors yelled at Education Minister Limor Livnat ... for her support for the disengagement plan. Many headlines said she was 'attacked', though in fact she was not." (Ibid.)
* "Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit, a pro-withdrawal Likud member, says he received a letter threatening his family."
* "It was widely reported that Chabad youths attacked Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this past Thursday night, threw something at him, and slashed his tires. It was quietly reported afterwards, however, that none of this actually happened. The driver of Netanyahu's car saw that his tire was low on air, but criminal intent is not suspected." (Ibid.)
A very discerning MK from one of the settlements planned for evacuation understood what was going on, and the part the government is playing in this current propaganda campaign against the settlers.
"MK Tzvi Hendel, a resident of Gush Katif, said that the alleged attackers 'cause harm not only to our cause, but also to the entire country. But they are only a tiny fraction of the entire populace, and they must be related to in this manner. It's actually the Prime Minister who sees fit to mention Judea, Samaria and Gaza and extremist Kach members in the same breath. A citizen who hears the Prime Minister make such an equation is liable to believe him... I don't see anyone being arrested. I'm beginning to think that this is another case of [Shabak agent-provocateur] Avishai Raviv, and that [these incidents] serve Sharon's ultimate objective of de-legitimizing all of us." (Ibid.)
Since a comparison was made, above, to Avishai Raviv, accused in Rabin's assassination, let us spend a little time examining these historical facts so you can properly understand the propaganda campaign which seems to be building against the settlers.
"Avishai Raviv is believed to have encouraged Yigal Amir to assassinate Yitzchak Rabin in 1995. Among other evidence, two high school girls said they heard Raviv goad Yigal Amir into assassinating Rabin. Raviv was similarly the driving force behind the fictitious Eyal organization, which 'took credit' for attacks against Arabs that never occurred - leading to the ostracizing of the nationalist camp by many."
As Jewish author, Barry Chamish, noted in his book, "Who Really Assassinated Yitchak Rabin?", the Israeli government actually set up this totally fictitious "Eyal organization" with the objective of making the public believe that someone in the Nationalist Camp had plotted and had carried out, the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. Perfect provocateur operation!
It looks as though Prime Minister Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from Palestinian territories is finally about to get underway. As quickly as Sharon moved in this instance, it is likely that the withdrawal will occur must faster than originally advertised.
The gradual, inexorable march toward the fulfillment of Obadiah 15-18 and Ezekiel 34 continues and will not turn back. The ultimate goal is to separate the population of Palestinian from Jew so the prophesied annihilation can occur; once the withdrawal of Jewish citizens is complete and once the Security Fence is completed, 99.3 percent of all Palestinians will be separated from the Jew. The annihilation foretold in Obadiah and Ezekiel, above, can commence. The world draws near to this unprecedented event.
We have written several insightful articles on this subject, since June, 1998. If you have not read these articles, please take a few moments to do so now. We list them in NEWS2007.
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