This upon every Christian’s heart. Salman Shoval in Israelhayom.com asks this question. Salman Shoval sites numerous current political situations whereby such a scenario might occur, particularly the US political moves of hale hearty friendship towards Iran.
The reader is welcome to study Israelhayom at their leisure, my Comment piece today is to cover the bases as to this question. The Middle East has always been in the midst of intrigue with plots to over throw one another and in a note of reality none of this is new.
Thinks back to WWI and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 citing a State of Israel and then the promises made by Lawrence of Arabia to the Arab uprising against the Turks only to be ignored by the British Government.
It was only after the Holocaust of the 1940's WWII that such pressure came to bear the United Nations 30 years later voted to establish such a State of Israel. On the other hand, when the British and French eventually permitted various Arab States to be established, they were designed to be on constant friction with each other – the divide and conquer model.
Today, ISIS is another of these Arab states with a religious bent utilising Islam as the philosophy behind their politics. Syria has been on this similar path for decades with Arab nationalism as its philosophy. Saudi Arabia is protective of its Royal House, Jordan is as much the Palestinian State when you don't have a Palestinian State, Iraq and Iran have different variants of Islam while Egypt is struggling to maintain its own house.
Libya is a political basket case with so many factions its like a chess board and the northern African States of Morocco and Algeria are so fed up with the whole Islam 'caliphate' issue their national voters simply want out of that entire terrifying Islamisation model.
The question as to whether this mob could ever be united politically, even to destroy Israel, be realistic. Many of these States, even with all their oil wealth, are strategically inhibited when it comes to military matters. Their combined hate for the State of Israel converted into energy might send a rocket to the moon, but they could never agree on how to tackle the feisty Israelites on the battle field.
Call it what you will, but I recall the 1973 Yom Kopper war when against a huge Arab army in one battle, an attack of knats (insects) plagued the Arab forces whereby the battle was lost before it had even begun. Who can forget the images of Egyptian soldier's boots in the Sinai desert in 1976 as they belted out of the fray back to their homes in Egypt.
Who might pull them together?
If the central Arab nations do not have the wherewithall to bring this lot into some sort of order so as to give the Israelies their come-up-ins, who might be able to see a way forward.
History reveals this answer. The Ottoman Empire once ruled the then entire Arab world from North Africa, across the Arabian peninsular, up through what was then Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and to the very north, Turkey.
Today, herein lies the unknown. I wrote of this in my ANZAC article on the 24 April 2015. I cited Charles Miranda who was in Turkey for the lead up to ANZAC day, writing for News.com who wrote: “Both Australia and Turkey will commemorate but while Australia’s marks the breaking away from the mother country and old empire to become its own nation, Turkey is to mark how its old empire created new promise and can do so again.”
Charles Miranda speaks today of a changing Turkey. The Turkey of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who won the Gallipoli victory in 1915 and who recreated the old Otterman Empire into a Turkish nationalistic secular state, is slowly but surely being recreated into what was before, an Islamic focused country that sits astride between Europe and the Middle East.
This is a Turkey led by a pious Muslim President and an even more pious first lady who wears the Hijab and whose political support is from regional and rural Turkey, but not the major cities whose secularism of Turkey is sacrosanct – hence the uneasiness.
In this article Miranda gives chapter and verse as to how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is changing a host of traditional aspects of life in Turkey. One example is the education syllabus to words representing the old Otterman Empire rather than the secular state of Ataturk.
This is creating some alarm amongst the elites of Turkey especially the military who have a particular interest in maintaining secularism who for want of a word, can see national disaster looming if they find themselves being forced to defend a religious motif. An example - the Turkey of today last week cut off Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The signs are there right now. Hence the debate of what might be made of Gallipoli and the ANZAC commemorations, not least tomorrow (25 April) and its 100th year – which in part celebrates a clear unambiguous Turkish philosophical emphasis of a secular Turkey founded by Ataturk.
This symbolism is diametrically opposed by the idea of returning to a pre 1915 constitutionally religious political position which is being promoted by Erdogan, and with the Turkish military squeezed somewhere between these philosophies.
Concerns for the West
This is perhaps creating more concern for the West than the Middle East's problems such as ISIS. The reason are the USA air force bases in Turkey which are bases for the bombing campaigns against ISIS.
Yet Erdogan is more aligned philosophically to the political ideas of the idealism of an Islamic Caliphate. The Turkish military it appears represents just the opposite.
Should Turkey politically look south and not west, eyeing off a return of something akin to the Ottoman Empire, which many of these troublesome Arab States might find accommodating within the framework of a common cause, we might find a rejuvenated Ottoman Empire look-alike ready to pounce.
The stepping stones are laid out. The political bent of Erdogan is toward ISIS and a Caliphate, the Arabs are looking for a strong man with the where-with-all to pull something like this off, and Turkey, by a country mile is by far the military giant of the region.
For those who are bible prophecy orientated and being aware of every nook and cranny of bible verses relating to such a situation, that even a cursory look on a map will show that Turkey is north of Israel.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. The above photo is the upper part from this portrait.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html