“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to warn the international community to learn from its mistakes with North Korea and not to be fooled by Iran’s new conciliatory attitude toward its nuclear weapons program, when he speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, October 1,” reports the Jerusalem Post.
“Netanyahu will be the last of the world leaders to address the assembly’s opening session,” the Post noted. “He will speak one week after Obama and Rouhani.”
“Iran must not be allowed to repeat North Korea’s ploy to get nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu is expected to say, according to an Israeli official who provided The Jerusalem Post on Monday with some of the quotes from the most recent draft of the prime minister’s UN speech for next week.
Excerpts from Post article:
By 2007 North Korea had become a nuclear power after engaging in diplomatic negotiations with the West aimed at preventing it from developing such weapons.
Netanyahu is expected to tell the UN that “just like North Korea before it, Iran professes to seemingly peaceful intentions. It talks the talk of nonproliferation while seeking to ease sanctions and buy more time for its nuclear program.”
Last year Netanyahu made headlines at the UN when he held up a diagram of a bomb and drew a red line to illustrate the point at which force should be used instead of diplomacy to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
His speech this year comes as diplomatic hostilities appear to have lessened between the US and Iran.
Washington has been a stanch ally of Israel in its battle to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
But US President Barack Obama in the past week displayed a new sense of optimism that a diplomatic solution can be found, now that there is a new administration in Tehran.
It was expected on Monday that US Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Jayad Zarif later in the week. It is the first such high level meeting between the US and Iran since 1979.
On Monday, the EU announced that Zarif would join the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany later this week to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program.
But Netanyahu next week is likely to warn the UN that “a bad agreement is worse than no agreement at all.”
Israel believes that US optimism is premature and that Iran should be judged on its deeds, not words. Netanyahu has said that the Iranian threat will be halted only once Tehran has agreed to halt uranium enrichment and remove that material from its country. It must also dismantle its nuclear facility in Qom and stop building a nuclear reactor at Arak.
Secretary John Kerry has struck a deal on Syrian chemical weapons. Will it work? Is it enough?
(Dallas, Texas) — The U.S. and Russia have announced that their diplomats have struck a deal to identify all chemical weapons in Syria by November, and destroy them all by mid-2014. It will take some time to learn all the details and assess the deal. Here are some of the questions that will need to be answered:
Will Assad really disclose all the chemical weapons the Syrian regime possesses?
How will we know for certain?
Is it really possible to destroy an estimated 1,000 tons of chemical weapons in the middle of a raging civil war?
What countries will provide the weapons inspectors?
How many will be needed?
How will they be protected?
What happens if they are ambushed, kidnapped, or killed?
What happens of Assad reneges on the deal?
Will the U.S. use force then?
Would a U.N. Security Council vote be required first?
Wouldn’t Russia veto such a resolution?
Will Russia be able to continue selling — or giving — conventional arms to Assad’s regime?
The larger question is this: Even if all of Syria’s chemical weapons could be identified and destroyed (that would be a good thing), this deal does nothing to stop the mass murder and savage brutality still underway in the country, right?
Let’s keep in mind:
Sheer evil has been unleashed in Syria.
Both sides are guilty of war crimes.
We are witnessing the implosion of a modern Arab state.
More than 110,000 Syrians have been killed in the last 30 months — only a tiny percentage by chemical weapons; most by conventional methods.
An estimated 7 million Syrians — nearly 1 in 3 citizens of the country – are fleeing for their lives (2 million have fled the country as refugees; another 5 million are “internally displaced”).
Over the past several years, I have been repeatedly asked whether the Bible speaks to the future of Syria. Pastors and other Christian leaders have asked. So have a number of U.S. leaders and those from other countries.
As the implosion of Syria accelerates, the question of what Bible prophecy says about the future of Syria is being asked more frequently. More and more media outlets are examining this question. During the horrific civil war that is underway there, more than 110,000 Syrians have been killed thus far, including, reportedly, through the use of chemical weapons in Damascus. More than two million Syrians have fled their country. Another five million more Syrians have been “internally displaced” — they have fled their homes and villages because of the brutal violence, but have not yet actually left their country. The country is steadily falling apart and there is a real question how in the world Syria would ever be put back together.
The larger question is whether the situation will actually go from bad to worse. Does the Bible predict the catastrophic destruction of Damascus? If so, did those prophecies already come to pass, or will they happen in the future? If so, why will Damascus be destroyed, and how will it happen? What are the implications of such a thing happening? And how should Christians live in light of such coming events, if they are legitimate?
Yes, the Bible says Damascus will be “cease to be a city” in the future.
No, these prophecies have never been fulfilled.
No, we don’t know that these prophecies will come to pass soon, or even in our lifetime.
But yes, it is possible that Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 could come to pass in our lifetime.
No, we should not overreach, or sensationalize the text.
Yes, we should encourage people to study these texts carefully.
Yes, Christians need to be praying for the people of Syria now. We also need to show compassion to the people — and the Church — in Syria now, regardless of whether the prophecies will come to pass soon. After all, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies.
Given how often I’m being asked to discuss this, I preached on these Old Testament passages at Topeka Bible Church in Kansas. I have also decided to post 24 pages of my personal study notes on this subject. I hope they are helpful.