29 Nov, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Twin tropical systems began hitting the northern Coast of Mexico on Monday and are expected to continue into mid-week. Hurricane Marco was downgraded to a tropical depression as it made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Though concerns about flooding and heavy rain remain, initial fears of predicted tornadoes have been averted. 

Tropical Storm Laura

The more intense concern is for the soon-to-hit is Tropical Storm Laura, which has already killed at least nine people in the Caribbean and is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall on the US mainland late Wednesday or early Thursday. A hurricane watch has been called for an area covering parts of Texas and Louisiana.

Pompeo’s travels

The timing of the storm is portentous, coming as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling around the Middle East and Africa  in an effort to arrange a multi-national Middle East peace conference to be held in the next few weeks in one of the Arab Gulf states. This comes in the wake of the announcement that the Trump administration brokered an agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab emirates. 

Cancelling sovereignty

Under the agreement, Israel and the UAE agreed to full diplomatic ties including  exchanging ambassadors, starting direct flights, and trading openly.Though many of the details of the agreement have yet to be revealed, it is believed that the agreement with the UAE would require Israel to delay or cancel plans to declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Pompeo has stated in the past that extending Israeli sovereignty was a decision “for Israelis to make.”

Katrina-esque

The double storm that is lashing at the US right now is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating storm in US history, that hit the same region in 2005 on precisely the same fateful day; August 25. Though it was a category 3 hurricane and not particularly powerful, warm waters quickly ramped Katrina up to a terrifying category 5 hurricane just as it hit. Katrina’s impact was intensified even more by its unusual double-eyewall. It is especially rare for a double-eyewall to remain intact after making landfall but Katrina’s did, with the outer eyewall adding an additional category 2 storm on top of the category 5 hurricane presented by the inner-eyewall.  

It is interesting to note that Katrina hit just two weeks after Israel was pressured by the US into destroying the Jewish communities in Gush Katif, thus creating Gaza, now a Hamas stronghold and base of operations. 

DEMOCRACY: “THE MISTAKEN BELIEF THAT MIOST PEOPLE WILL NOT CHOOSE TO BE EVIL” 

Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a former member of the Sanhedrin and a descendant of King David, noted that any diplomacy that attempts to uproot the Jews from any part of Israel will inevitably bring about natural catastrophes.

Who’s really in charge

“When men go against the world of God, they are saying that they are in charge,” Rabbi Dayan said. “Democracy can be a horrible thing, allowing men to think that if they join together, they can usurp the rule of Heaven. This is what happened at the Tower of Babel and  this is what the ten spies did. When men do so, it is inevitable that God will show them that he is present and still rules the world. When men gather together against God, the first thing they will try to do is try to take the Jews out of Israel.”

Rabbi Dayan pointed out that wildfires are now devastating California at the same time that southern Israel is being threatened by incendiary balloons. 

God will speak up

“There is no doubt that when this happens, God will speak up. And against all the evidence, people with hardened hearts will try to say it is only nature. Even if it happens time after time, in the most improbable forms.”

Democracy

Rabbi Dayan emphasized that the source of the problem was democracy;  that when people get together and form governments, these governments very quickly turn to evil even at the detriment of the citizens.

“Democracy is based on the mistaken belief that most people will choose not to be stupid or evil most of the time,” Rabbi Dayan said. “This was the best that the other nations could devise but the Torah teaches that if we need a government, it should be a God-fearing king. We are required to have a court based on the Torah but the United Nations chose to establish a court of lies.”

PROPHECY OF DIVINE RETRIBUTION FOR DIVIDING ISRAEL

One undeniable historical fact is that any attempt by foreign powers to divide the land of Israel is inevitably followed by massive natural catastrophes, economic disasters, or worse. This is a clear and consistent fulfillment of the prophecy as expressed  by Zechariah:

And I Myself—declares Hashem—will be a wall of fire all around it, and I will be a glory inside it…For thus said the lord of Hosts—He who sent me after glory—concerning the nations that have taken you as spoil: “Whoever touches you touches the pupil of his own eye…For I will lift My hand against them, and they shall be spoil for those they enslaved.”—Then you shall know that I was sent by the lord of Hosts…In that day many nations will attach themselves to Hashem and become His people, and He will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that I was sent to you by the lord of Hosts. Hashem will take Yehuda to Himself as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will choose Yerushalayim once more. Zechariah 2:9-16

HASHEM STRIKING INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

This retribution can take on a personal nature.  Ariel Sharon had achieved almost legendary status in Israel. After a spectacular army career, he entered politics and, at the head of the Likud party, was elected prime minister in 2001. He endorsed the Roadmap for Peace and began plans to remove the Jewish population of Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip. The dismantling of the Jewish settlements was scheduled for August 15th, 2005, the day after Tisha b’Av, the anniversary of both Jewish Temples being destroyed.

In July, one month before the IDF dismantled Gush Katif and evicted almost 9,000 Jews from their homes, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin who can trace his lineage back to King David, led a group of ten rabbis in performing an obscure, ancient Kabbalistic ceremony, the Pulsa diNura, on Sharon. The Pulsa diNura invokes the angels of destruction to block heavenly forgiveness of the subject’s sins, causing all the curses named in the Bible to befall him and resulting in his death.  

Sharon’s health deteriorated, and by January, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, entering a vegetative state from which he never recovered. Rabbi Dayan also led rabbis in the Pulsa diNura against Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin a few months before he was assassinated. Rabin was shot and killed in 1995 by Yigal Amir, an extremist who  opposed Rabin’s peace initiative and particularly the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Reneging on his campaign promises just one year before, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin aligned with his political nemesis, Shimon Peres, and signed the Oslo Accords in 1993,  which created the Palestinian National Authority and granted it partial control over parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Rabin was shot and killed in 1995 by Yigal Amir, an extremist who opposed Rabin’s peace initiative and particularly the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Divine retribution is not restricted to Israeli prime ministers and can affect foreign politicians.  One of the clearest examples of divine slap-down came on January 21, 1998, when US President Bill Clinton gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a decidedly cold reception at the White House, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to have lunch with Netanyahu. Things looked grim for Israel, but later that day, the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out, ultimately resulting in Clinton’s impeachment. 

Occasionally, divine intervention can take an ironic turn. As president, Jimmy Carter was not nearly as involved with Israel as he has been since leaving office. In his book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, he blames Israel’s “colonization of Palestinian land” as being “the primary obstacle to a comprehensive peace agreement”.

Carter was a proponent of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) since it seemed to produce results and bear pressure on Israel to negotiate. He has also met with many leaders of Hamas and during the 2014 war in Gaza, called for Israel to negotiate with Hamas.

One year later, he was diagnosed with cancer and melanomas were found in his brain and liver. After only a few months of treatment, the doctors  pronounced him cancer-free. Pembrolizumab, a drug developed in Israel, was a key element in his treatment. His adherence to boycotting Israeli products and innovations obviously had its limits.

Carter’s miracle cure may not have been solely attributed to Israeli science. His sins against the Jewish people may have been forgiven in December 2009, when Carter published an open letter apologizing for any words or deeds that may have upset the Jewish community. In the letter, he said he was offering an Al Het, a prayer of repentance, said on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, has earned a reputation for Israel-bashing. The first blatant anti-Israel offense came in 2014, when she became the first European Union foreign minister to recognize the state of Palestine.

After the horrifying terror attacks in Paris last November, she came out with a statement linking Islamic anger to the lack of a two-state solution. Even worse, after months of terror in which Palestinians were attacking Israelis in the streets on an almost daily basis,  she accused Israel in January of carrying out “extrajudicial executions”.

Israel reacted through diplomatic channels, but a more powerful force stepped in. Three days after Wallström accused Israel of executing Palestinians, it was revealed that she had jumped to the head of an eight-year waiting list for apartments owned by a labor union. Stockholm is suffering from a serious shortage of housing and this was viewed by the Swedish public as an egregious misuse of her position. Anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating the case now to determine if it constitutes bribery, which carries a potential two-year prison term.

HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS OF NATURAL CATASTROPHES IN RESPONSE TO LAND FOR PEACE

August 2017: The Trump Administration’s Middle East negotiating team, led by Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, visited the region in an attempt to jump-start peace talks. Ten days later, Hurricane Harvey, described as the “worst disaster” in Texan history, made landfall, slamming the Corpus Christi region of Texas with 130 MPH winds and 13-foot storm surges.

June 2016:  A summit was held in Paris as a prelude to a multi-national conference that would force Israel to unilaterally accept the two-state solution and create a Palestinian state within its borders. As the delegates left the summit, rain began to fall. Over the next 24 hours, the River Seine rose 20 feet, resulting in the worst flooding Paris has seen in decades.

August 5-13 2015: After announcing the nuclear deal, Iran was hit with an apocalyptic-like heatwave hitting an astounding  164℉. One week later, a significant meteor struck Iran.

April 2008: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a strong advocate of the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, meets with leaders of Hamas, announcing to the world that the terrorist organization dedicated to killing Jews are “committed to peace.” One year later, he was diagnosed with cancer and melanomas were found in his brain and liver. After only a few months of treatment, the doctors pronounced him cancer-free. Pembrolizumab, a drug developed in Israel, was a key element in his treatment. 

2005:  Ariel Sharon endorsed the Roadmap for Peace and began plans to remove the Jewish population of Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip. The dismantling of the Jewish settlements was scheduled for August 15th, 2005, the day after Tisha b’Av, the anniversary of both Jewish Temples being destroyed.

This disengagement was due to US pressure.  Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, leaving thousands of Americans homeless and killing at least 1,833. The damage was estimated at over $108 billion.

In July, one month before the IDF dismantled Gush Katif and evicted almost 9,000 Jews from their homes, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin who can trace his lineage back to King David, led a group of ten rabbis in performing an obscure, ancient Kabbalistic ceremony, the Pulsa diNura, on Sharon. The Pulsa diNura invokes the angels of destruction to block heavenly forgiveness of the subject’s sins, causing all the curses named in the Bible to befall him and resulting in his death.  

Sharon’s health deteriorated, and by January of that year, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, entering a vegetative state from which he never recovered. 

October 11, 1999: Jewish settlers in 15 West Bank settlements are evicted from their homes. The Dow Jones financial average loses 5.7 percent, in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15, the Dow lost 266 points. A hurricane hits North Carolina. The next morning, October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the southwest US in the fifth most powerful earthquake in the 20th century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but was felt in three states.

Arafat and Netanyahu met at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland for five days of intensive talks as part of a continuation of Albright’s plan that would force Israel to give up major areas of Judea and Samaria. On October 17, Hurricane Irene boiled over. Though it never made landfall, the resulting rains and tornados that hit southern Texas caused over $750 million in damage and killed 31 people, affecting a quarter of the state. The storm dissipated as the meeting ended in Maryland. On October 21, Clinton declared the hard-hit areas of Texas a major disaster area.

May 3, 1999: Arafat was scheduled to declare an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. For two days, tornadoes ravaged the center of America, concentrated in Oklahoma and Kansas. 152 tornadoes touched down, causing $1.4 billion in damage, killing 50 and injuring almost 900 people. Arafat’s declaration was postponed to December 1999 at the request of Clinton.

November 30, 1998: Arafat arrived in Washington to meet with Clinton. He proposed a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital and began efforts to raise money. A total of 42 nations agreed to give Arafat $3 billion, with Clinton pledging $400 million and European nations pledging $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average plunged 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of dollars of market capitalization were wiped out in the US and Europe.

September 28, 1998: US Secretary of State Madeline Albright gave a press briefing describing the final details of an American brokered agreement between PLO Head Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu. According to the deal, Israel would have been required to give up 13 percent of Judea and Samaria. The same day, Georges, a category 4 hurricane, hit the United States Gulf Coast with winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 175 mph. In terms of damage, it was the costliest hurricane since Hurricane Andrew, causing $10 billion of damage and killing 604 people.

January 21, 1998: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Bill Clinton at the White House and was greeted in an unwelcoming manner. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to have lunch with him. It was later that same day that the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out.

1995: Reneging on his campaign promises just one year before, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin aligned with his political nemesis, Shimon Peres, and signed the Oslo Accords in 1993,  which created the Palestinian National Authority and granted it partial control over parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

January 16, 1994: President Clinton met with Syria’s President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva. They discussed a peace agreement with Israel that included giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, the powerful Northridge earthquake, which registered a 6.9 on the Richter scale, hit Southern California. The earthquake caused an estimated $20 billion in damage, leaving 57 people killed and over 5,000 injured.  The earthquake became the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States.

August 23, 1992: The Madrid Conference moved to Washington DC and the peace talks resumed. One day later, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster recorded in American history, hit Florida, causing an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 180,000 homeless across the state.

October 30, 1991: US President George Bush, Sr. opened the Madrid Conference with an expectation that Israel would trade “Land for Peace”. As the conference progressed, what was later called the “Perfect Storm” develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm traveled 1,000 miles from east to west, defying the more natural west-to-east pattern. One day later, on October 31, the storm struck the New England coast with 35-foot waves crashing into the Walker’s Point home of President Bush in Kennebunkport, South Maine. His home was extensively damaged.

September 1938: Though not connected to the land-for-peace process, divine retribution appeared in modern politics even before the establishment of the state of Israel. In September 1938, Lord Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler, signing the Munich Agreement intended to appease Nazi expansionism. On September 21, one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes in recorded history struck Long Island and Southern New England. Killing an estimated 700, the brunt of the storm hit a section of Long Island that was home to the headquarters of the Bund party, the American party that supported the Nazis.