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|The Arab War Against the Resurrection of the Dead
by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fighteth in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, so that there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:4-5)
While Israel battles a horrific wave of Arab terror that has literally caused blood to flow in the streets, a lesser-known side of their jihad is going unseen: the Arab war against Jewish graves. Though less brutal than murder, Arab desecration of Jewish graves is a part of the same war that will not only establish whose land it is, but will also determine the nature of the coming Messiah.
One of the main targets for Arab vandalism is the Mount of Olives and the thousands of Jewish gravesites located there. Gravestones are destroyed and mourners are attacked on a daily basis, requiring special security details to accompany Jews who visit the site.
The Mount of Olives has messianic and religious significance in addition to being an ancient burial site. It is referred to in the book of Zechariah, when he prophesied that the mountain will play an essential part in the Messiah, splitting in two (14:4), with one half shifting south.
The Mount of Olives, adjacent to the Temple Mount, was an integral part of the Temple service. It was where the Para Adumah (red heifer), the major component needed for ritually purity, was burned. Any attack on the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount as part of their religious heritage would necessarily include an attack on the Mount of Olives.
As a site of Biblical significance, and because of its proximity to the Temple Mount, it has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years, and contains over 150,000 gravesites, including the tombs traditionally identified with the Biblical figures Zechariah, Absalom, Haggai, and Malachi.
Religious Jews have always preferred to be buried on the Mount of Olives, since it is the place where the resurrection of the dead will begin. According to the Jewish tradition, people buried outside of Israel will have to burrow through the ground to arrive at the Mount of Olives in order to be resurrected there.
Considered a holy site by international accords, it is protected by international law. Nonetheless, during the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, an estimated 38,000 gravestones were damaged. Four paved roads ran over hundreds of graves, and Jordan’s King Hussein permitted the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel on the mount, destroying some gravesites from the First Temple period. Gravestones were removed and used for paving stones, and some were taken for use as latrines in Jordanian army barracks.
There was a sharp increase in vandalism on the Mount of Olives last September, congruent with the increase in violence against Jews in the Old City. Some gravesites are specifically targeted for vandalism. The grave of the Gerrer Rebbe, former leader of the largest Hasidic sect in Israel, is frequently vandalized. In September, a few hundred meters from where the Muslims were rioting on the Temple Mount, the gravestone of Nathan Mileikowsky, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grandfather, was destroyed.
An even stranger, more perplexing, phenomenon has appeared in this war on the dead. In 2011, it was discovered the Arabs had begun burying their dead adjacent to the Eastern Wall of the Temple Mount, in between centuries-old Jewish graves and the Temple Mount. Not only was this illegal and destructive to the archaeology of the site, it was, in effect, jumping to the front of the resurrection queue.
Even stranger was when authorities caught Arabs preparing fake Muslim graves at the site, graves which contained no human remains, an action that can only be an attempt to distance Jews from being buried in the spot where the resurrection will begin.
It has also been conjectured that this is an attempt to prevent a Jewish Kohen (priest) from ever performing the ritual of the Red Heifer, since he is forbidden for reasons of ritual purity from walking over a grave, and he must do so in order to bring the ashes of the Red Heifer to the Temple. This is a mistaken belief, since the remains of a non-Jew do not carry impurity.
Breaking Israel News asked Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an authority on the end of days, about this war on the dead. He affirmed that the Arab violence on the Mount of Olives is clearly part of a war against the Messiah. However, he believes that the vandals may not be aware of why they are acting in this illogical manner. Even if they make claims that they are fighting for nationalistic goals, they are part of a greater plan.
“The perpetrators do not have to know the spiritual significance of what they do or where they do it. Everything is orchestrated on higher levels, and the people who carry out the deeds, acting compulsively, only have to believe that the idea originates with them,” he explained.
“In fact, they are merely merely puppets, vehicles for the Divine will to be carried in order to communicate to the spiritually astute the direction history is going and the stage it is at,” added Winston. “Those who are aware of the ‘bigger picture’ know the greater significance of current historical events, and to prepare for what is destined to occur next.”
IMF sees years of austerity for Saudi Arabia, as debt defaults loom
The International Monetary Fund has predicted years of higher taxes and low fuel subsidies for oil-rich Saudi Arabia. As crude prices have fallen more than 70 percent in 18 months, weaker players could soon start to default on debts.
Saudi Arabia will need to stop relying so heavily on oil revenues, which make up more than 80 percent of the government's wealth, said Masood Ahmed, head of the Middle East department at the IMF.
"This will have to be part of a multi-year adjustment process. There will have to be a major transformation of the Saudi economy. It is necessary, and it is going to be difficult, but it is a challenge which I think the authorities have clearly laid out,” Ahmed told the Telegraph.
According to IMF estimates, Saudi Arabia may be running a $140 billion budget deficit, much more than the official figures of $98 billion.
To change that, Riyadh will have to change its electricity, water and oil subsidies for population of 30 million.
"Energy price reform is key. It has been part of the social contract but that will now need to change,” Ahmed said.
The current situation in the oil market reminds analysts of 1986 oil glut, when the Saudis sparked a four-month, 67 percent collapse that left oil just above $10 a barrel. Prices sank to as low as $10.42 per barrel in March 1986 from a November 1985 peak of $31.72.
During the 1986 oil crisis, 17 out of 25 of the world's major oil producers defaulted on their debts, says a research from Oxford Economics. The debt in these producers rose to 40 percent of GDP on average.
"The 1980s precedents are alarming; producers that avoided sovereign defaults were the exception rather than the rule,” Gabriel Sterne, head of global research at Oxford Economics told the Telegraph.
But the situation today could be much more difficult for Saudi Arabia, which has seen its population triple since the 1980s. A bigger population means more subsidies and bigger budget deficits in the years to come.
An example on a smaller scale of what could be in Saudi Arabia's future is Azerbaijan. Likewise heavily dependent of oil production, the country is already facing a debt default as low oil prices have taken their toll. Azerbaijan is seeking $4 billion from the IMF to keep its economy afloat.
Rouhani: US, Iran Must Work Together to Calm Middle East
With the lifting of sanctions, Iran is poised to play a more active role in international diplomacy. During his visit to Italy, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that if the United States has any hope of solving conflicts in the Middle East, it needs Tehran’s help.
President Rouhani is conducting a four-day visit to Rome and Paris to shore up international business contracts, now that Iran is no longer isolated by sanctions.
Speaking in Rome, the president stated his hope that Tehran and Washington can work together to solve regional problems in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, Rouhani said that economic opportunity is key to creating stability in the region.
"If we want to combat extremism in the world, if we want to fight terror, one of the roads before us is providing growth and jobs. Lack of growth creates forces for terrorism. Unemployment creates soldiers for terrorists," he said during a business forum in Rome.
"We are ready to welcome investment, welcome technology and create a new export market," Rouhani added.
International sanctions have been lifted from Tehran following a nuclear agreement negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 nations, including Russia, the US, UK, China, France, and Germany. The lifting of sanctions comes in exchange for Iran limiting its uranium enrichment capabilities, and allowing UN inspections to ensure that the country is not pursuing development of nuclear weapons.
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