Two major events tore through the fragile, volatile fabric of the Middle East this week and sent ripples of alarm around the world.
First, the Sunni-Shiite conflict being carried out in Syria with horrifying bloodshed and suffering spilled over into neighboring Iraq. A Sunni military movement called ISIS — an acronym that translates in English to “The Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and the Levant” — is animated by a vision of restoring an Islamic caliphate to the Middle East.
The group has not only been fighting to overthrow the (Shiite) Assad regime in Syria but also the U.S.-backed, democratically elected government in Iraq. Some experts have expressed concerns that if Iraq falls or remains fragmented, Jordan could be the group’s next target.
This would put ISIS forces on Israel’s eastern border.
Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and the government of the Palestinian territories soared when three teenage Yeshiva students were kidnapped in the West Bank area of Judea and Samaria.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has expressed certainty that Hamas is behind the kidnappings. IDF forces have since arrested more than 80 Hamas activists in response to the kidnappings, and soldiers are systematically searching Hamas strongholds.
The entire nation of Israel is gripped with concern and anger over these kidnappings and tensions could escalate rapidly.
These events serve as powerful reminders that we are living in prophetically momentous days and that we must watch and pray in an informed way. That’s a key part of our mission at Jewish Voice.
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