Sunday, June 27, 2021

Covid Delta is About to Overrun America

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is well on its way to becoming the predominant strain of Covid-19 in America. Covid Delta is the variant that has recently devastated India. It is more contagious and more deadly than regular Covid-19.  

Currently about everyone who gets hospitalized or dies of Covid-19 in America are unvaccinated.

These dire news shows once again the vital importance of getting vaccinated against this dreadful disease. Some genuinely are unable to access them. Listening to some voice on the radio or some random article on the Internet passing on anti-vaccine misinformation will not save anyone from this upcoming latest wave of Covid-19. 

Getting vaccinated is the easiest way to save yourself and those around you from this dreadful disease.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

PCG Complaining About the Rise of a New Government in Israel

(Disclaimer: PCG has recently been posting anti-vaccine articles. Please use caution if you decide to read their writings. Thankfully there are many people and NGOs, such as Voices for Vaccines, that speak out against such attitudes. More information may be gained from the CDC. The main article now begins.)

The PCG leadership are still smarting over the fact that, unless something unexpected happens before the proposed new government is sworn in, the Israeli Prime Minister they adore, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be out of power. They continue to moan over this development in another article. (Brent Nagtegaal, The 'Big Lie' in Israel's Election, June 9, 2021.)

Let's see what they have to say this time.

PCG says they support the State of Israel but once it appears that PCG's preferred Prime Minister is about to be removed from power they say the following words. Observe how PCG's leadership talk of Israelis they disapprove of.

Sunday’s confidence vote in the Knesset will be the culmination of the multilayered campaign over the past two years to pull out all stops to remove Netanyahu from leading the Jewish state. A leftist-dominated media and educated class, anti-Netanyahu leaders from the left and right, as well as a politicized judiciary came together to wage war on Israel’s longest-serving and arguably most successful leader. They joined forces through four inconclusive elections in order to oust Netanyahu. And finally, they’ve done it—by all means possible.

PCG's article denounces Naftali Bennett as a liar for joining forces with Yesh Atid, a centrist party.

But after the election, Naftali Bennett betrayed his voters and sided with the left to rip the crown off Bibi’s head and put it on his own. ... Furthermore, had Bennett not lied to Israel, the Yamina party would likely not have received enough votes to clear the electoral threshold (3.5 percent). Meaning, that Naftali Bennett would not even be a member of the Knesset. Instead, because of a lie, a man who probably wouldn’t have made the Knesset is now going to lead the Jewish state. This takes the adage “cheating your way to the top” to a whole new level. If Bennett doesn’t lie before the election, Netanyahu most likely is still Prime Minister today.

Nagtegaal does not mention that it was Yesh Atid that got the second most votes in the 2021 election behind Netanyahu's Likud. After the election President Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first chance at forming a new government. Netanyahu was unable to do so. After that President Rivlin appointed Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid, with the responsibility to forge a new government. Lapid did so, however as part of the coalition deal Naftali Bennett gets to be Prime Minister first. 

Many in Israel are worried that politically motivated violence might occur. One reason for this concern is the painful memory of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by a right wing extremist on November 4, 1995. PCG's article expresses no sympathy for those who are afraid something like that might happen again. Instead such concerns are dismissed as unfounded.

[T]he media in Israel is giving the “big lie” a pass. Instead, they say those who would try to expose and overcome the attack on Israel’s democracy are insurrectionists. Indeed the media has help endorsing such a position from Israel’s security agency. On Saturday, [the] Shin Bet Director ... condemned language that might be perceived as “one who endorses violent and illegal activities that could even lead to harming individuals.” ...

[Nagtegaal quotes Netanyahu saying,] Stick it to them. Every effort. Figurative phrases like that are being trumpeted by Israel’s left-wing media and politicians as evidence that Netanyahu is trying to raise an actual violent insurrection against the results of the stolen election. In fact, if you even discuss the steal, you are labeled as a dangerous conspiracy theorist.

Nagtegaal compares the fall of Netanyahu from power with the fall of Donald Trump. He blames some "deep state" conspiracy which he describes as being "left-wing." 

While the deceitful means enacted to defraud democracy might be different in Israel and in the United States, the outcome and the narrative are almost identical. For years a left-wing, anti-traditional “deep state” has merged with mass media to degrade the Bible-based values and rich history of both America and Israel.

In other words PCG was not happy that Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have lost power. PCG happens to be right wing.

Nagtegaal then insists that somehow he knows better than the State of Israel's prosecutors and he insists that the criminal cases against Prime Minister Netanyahu are "bogus" even though these court cases are in fact happening.

Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump have recognized this attack and have fought back. It was the reason Mr. Trump was elected, and it was the reason Mr. Netanyahu remains the most popular leader in Israel. Unable to remove the leaders from power by simple popular vote, the radical left tried other means, from impeachment attempts to Russian collusion to an ongoing bogus legal case against Mr. Netanyahu.

And so we see PCG complaining when political events they disapprove of happen to occur. However considering that PCG says that America and Israel are about to be militarily conquered by a future European Empire any moment now one wonders why the PCG leadership chooses to be so annoyed over the apparent removal from power of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Monday, June 7, 2021

PCG's Six Day Tunnel Vision

PCG's other website focused on presenting their teachings in a manner catered for a Jewish audience, Watch Jerusalem, has highlighted an article of theirs describing the Six Day War of 1967. Let's see what they have to say this time. (Christopher Eames, Miracles in Six Days, June 1, 2019.)

The little nation of Israel, having only been formally reestablished in its biblical homeland in 1948, was, by 1967, facing destruction by four major Arab nations and many other supporting belligerents. The combined might of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan was about to bear down on the little nation of less than 2.5 million Jews. Israel had half as many soldiers, less than half the tanks, and only a quarter of the aircraft. Yet against the greatest of odds, a truly miraculous victory was won by Israel in what is today known as the Six-Day War.

The fact that State of Israel happens to be geographically small is largely irrelevant because it happens to have a military force better than the surrounding Arab nations as was seen in the 1947-9 war. The State of Israel has been militarily better than the surrounding Arab nations ever since.

Also in 1967 the Arab nations had on paper a common command structure with a Egyptian military officer in charge of everything. In practice there was much confusion between the different Arab nations. Unlike Israel they did not have a clear command structure uniting their efforts.

The State of Israel's military was indeed outnumbered but that would not matter once the Israeli Air Force destroyed Egypt's air force. With that decisive move the State of Israel had control of the air so there was little the Arab nations could do to stop them. 

The Arab nations surrounding Israel had never accepted the official 1948 international reinstatement of the land as a Jewish state. They fought bitterly in the 1948 Arab War to try to destroy the fledgling Jewish nation but were defeated. In 1967, they planned to try again, combining forces once more to defeat Israel in what should have been a quick and decisive victory. Yet within six days, Israel had defeated the Arab armies, tripled the area of land under Israeli control, and fully reclaimed Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

The author insists that the Arab nations were on the verge of "a quick and decisive victory" and suddenly they lost so much territory. The fact that Israel had such a decisive victory suggests they were in never in that much military danger in 1967.

But was President Nasser trying to attack? Could he do so? According to President Lyndon Johnson it was the assessment of US intelligence that President Nasser was not trying to attack Israel and furthermore the State of Israel was not in real danger of military defeat.

On the evening of May 26 [1967] I [President Johnson] met with Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban, who had just flown to Washington. Our conversation was direct and frank. Eban said according to Israeli intelligence, the United Arab Republic (UAR) was preparing an all-out attack. I asked Secretary McNarama, who was present, to give Mr. Eban a summary of our findings. Three separate intelligence groups had looked carefully into the matter, McNarama said, and it was our best judgment that a UAR attack was not imminent. "All of our intelligence people are unanimous," I added, "that if the UAR attacks, you will whip the hell out of them." (Lyndon Johnson, The Vantage Point, 1971, p. 293.)

And the Americans were right. The Egyptians were routed by the Israeli military. How can this be a miracle as Armstrongites say when people US intelligence, President Johnson and Secretary McNarama were able to accurately anticipate a decisive victory for the State of Israel?

However this information was not widely known among the public within either the United States or the State of Israel. The people of the State of Israel were genuinely afraid of total defeat even though those in power, as is seen above, knew better. The State of Israel was never in any real danger of a total defeat in 1967.

We now return to PCG's article.

Early in the morning on June 5, 1967, nearly 200 Israeli airplanes took to the sky, making their way toward Egypt. Jordan, picking up the Israeli air force movements by radar, forwarded a coded warning to Egypt. In a miraculous stroke, however, the Egyptians had changed their message-coding equipment without notifying the Jordanians. As such, the Israeli planes were able to knock out more than 300 Egyptian planes—more than half the Egyptian air force—in only three hours! Strangely, no order was given for the Egyptian anti-aircraft missile batteries to retaliate. By the end of that initial day, two-thirds of the Syrian Air Force had also been destroyed, along with most of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

These are not signs of a miracle, as Armstrongites claim. These are the results of an unclear, badly integrated command structure on the Arab side. The Egyptians changing encryption method without telling the Jordanians is a result of unclear communications. The Israelis were fighting by themselves so they had a clear command structure. This is an organized nation fighting disorganized nations. Being outnumbered does not matter when you are more organized compared with the other side.

Also those planes the Israelis had were bought from France. Many of the State of Israel's tanks were purchased from Britain. Both the British and French governments disapproved of this war but they armed Israel until the moment the Israeli government chose to attack. The military genius of Britain and France gave the State of Israel the arms to win.

For the Arab alliance, things got worse. Rank ineptitude and disorder reigned. 

To defeat an inept and disorderly enemy is not a miracle. It is the inevitable result of better planning and discipline.

Israeli desert troops made their way into the Sinai Peninsula, readying an attack on the well-armed Kusseima military outpost. Massive explosions were heard within the base, and by the time the Israelis arrived, they found the Egyptians had already destroyed their own equipment and fled. Egypt had abandoned other military bases as well.

The Egyptians had lost their air force so it made sense for them to flee to safety instead of leaving themselves vulnerable to attack from the air. After the Six Day War the Egyptians regrouped and proceeded to wage a guerrilla war against the State of Israel to regain control of the Sinai Peninsula until the death of President Nasser in 1970. When Sadat become President he prioritized negotiations (aside from the 1973 Yom Kippur War) and in 1979 made a treaty which among other things allowed Egypt to regain the Sinai Peninsula. The restoration of Egyptian rule over the Sinai was completed in 1982. If the 1967 war was a miracle, as Armstrongites claim, why did the God of Armstrongism cause the State of Israel to return the Sinai Peninsula just fifteen years later?

Surely such military successes were too much for just the little nation of Israel to accomplish. 

Balderdash. The State of Israel was better organized and disciplined compared with the Arab alliance. They had French planes and British tanks. So of course they won. 

The Israelis had been expecting a fierce and bloody land battle on the well-fortified Golan Heights, as the Arab bunkers were impervious to conventional airstrikes. However, by June 10, before many of the enemy positions had even been set upon by the Israelis, the Syrians had left their weapons and fled their positions in a state of panic!

Why would the Syrians flee? Look at what the author said four paragraphs earlier:

By the end of that initial day [June 5, 1967], two-thirds of the Syrian Air Force had also been destroyed, along with most of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

The Syrian soldiers were left exposed to air attacks so they fled to safety. From their perspective it was rational to preserve their military force from possible air attack. That's not a miracle.

The statistics from the war are amazing. For every Israeli who perished in the conflict, 25 of the enemy died. For every Israeli prisoner of war, there were over 394 Arab POWs. For every Israeli plane that was downed, more than 11 Arab planes were lost.

It is worth noting that those unfortunate Israeli soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice or were captured or shot down while in a plane are never mentioned or discussed in this article. For those soldiers and their families and friends there was no miracle. Their pain and suffering is ignored and minimized to make the supposed miracle sound good to Armstrongites.

There are many more miracles that happened during the Six-Day War that you can read about. They certainly cannot be regarded as blind luck. 

It was not blind luck at all. The State of Israel had a better military force, a clear command structure instead of an unwieldly amalgam of different military forces, and air superiority after destroying the air forces of the Arab nations. So of course the State of Israel won. The Arab nations did not stand a chance.

After the war, on Shavuot (Pentecost), hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived in the recently recaptured city of Jerusalem, offering up prayers of thanks to God for His miraculous delivery from the jaws of the Arab armies.

After seizing East Jerusalem from the Jordanians the State of Israel quickly demolished the Moroccan neighborhood in order to have a wide open square in front of the Wailing Wall. The demolition was done so quickly that one unfortunate woman was killed in the demolition.

Also during the Six Day War an American navel ship, the U.S.S. Liberty, was attacked by Israeli forces. Thirty-five Americans were killed in the attack. The Israeli government said it was a mistake. The question needs to be asked of the Armstrongites: Was that part of the miracle? If not, why not? Questions such as these are carefully ignored in this article.

Also the Six Day War led to the rise of Fatah within the Palestine Liberation Organization. After the 1947-9 war the Palestinians, about 750,000 of whom had been expelled from their homes by the newly formed State of Israel, were in no position to fight the State of Israel to go home so they placed their hope in the Arab nations hoping that they would gather up their forces and fight. Many placed their hopes on President Nasser. The PLO was originally founded in 1964 to keep the Palestinians aligned with the Arab governments. After 1967 it was clear that the Arab nations could not defeat the State of Israel in a military conflict. Consequently the Palestinians began to organize themselves under the aegis of Fatah and tried to wage an armed insurgency against the State of Israel to go home. Fatah quickly became the dominant faction of the PLO. Fatah's armed insurgency against the State of Israel escalated. The Israeli government chose not to negotiate with the PLO until 1991. Was the rise of Fatah in response to the Israeli victory in 1967 part of the miracle that these Armstrongites claim occurred?

The war lasted six days only if one chooses to view it that way. If one views it as part of a long term conflict between the State of Israel and the Arab nations then the Six Day War becomes merely a dramatic moment in a decades long struggle.

So we see the Six Day War was not as miraculous a triumph as the PCG leadership would have their followers believe.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

PCG Mourning the Apparent Fall of Netanyahu

After going though four elections since March 2019 it now appears that the State of Israel will have a new Prime Minister and a new coalition government by June 14. No Likud Party involvement required. Unless something unexpected happens Benjamin Netanyahu will be out of office once the new government gets sworn in. The proposed government has not taken power yet PCG has already produced an article about this. The PCG leadership adores Netanyahu so they are not happy at this development. Let's see what PCG has to say about this now. (Brent Nagtegaal, Will Israel Lose Its Churchill?, June 3, 2021.)
Jerusalem—Barring last-minute heroics, the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history will soon be out of power. 
It seems evident that what mainly frustrated Likud's attempts to regain power since 2018 is the fact that Netanyahu happens to be facing several corruption allegations in the courts of law. Turns out a lot of Israelis are not happy having to take orders from a Prime Minster facing corruption charges. Nagtegaal gives little attention to that problem.
Netanyahu became Israel’s youngest-ever prime minister during his first term (1996–1999) and its longest-serving prime minister during his second (2009–present) and has weathered numerous onslaughts, including multiple corruption charges.
Outside observers, especially conservatives, find it illogical that Israelis would discard Netanyahu in the face of multiple threats to Israel’s security. The prime minister is viewed by many as one of the most effective leaders in Israel’s modern history. In a region prone to violence, He has successfully managed to protect Israel from outside threats, especially Iran. In fact, the last decade under Netanyahu has been Israel’s most peaceful, and in just the past year, his government signed four new peace agreements with Arab states, doubling the number that have been signed since Israel’s modern founding. 
Meanwhile, as most nations still grapple with COVID-related crises, Israel is back to normal, apart from its largely closed international borders.
And a major reason why the State of Israel is like that now is because they did not let people like Stephen Flurry scare them off from getting vaccinated. And they wore masks. Prime Minister Netanyahu advised the people to wear face masks. The contradiction between PCG's stance and what the Israeli government under Netanyahu had done is quietly ignored.
Yet it is also undeniable that Mr. Netanyahu has become the most divisive leader in Israeli history. In the past election, Netanyahu’s Likud party attained its most votes ever. That number was still not enough to maintain power, yet it shows the power he holds among the party’s base. And at the same time, Netanyahu’s enemies have increased across all sectors of society.
Nagtegaal is wrong to say that the Likud Party got more votes in the 2021 election than any previous election. That is not true. In the 2020 election Likud got 1,352,449 votes which was 29.46% of the vote. But in the 2021 election Likud got 1,066,892 votes which was 24.19 % of the vote. Likud lost about 285,557 votes compared with their result in the 2020 election. This is a major reason why Netanyahu faces the prospect of losing power: Many previous Likud voters did not vote for the Likud party this time. Nagtegaal is wrong to say Likud got more votes in the 2021 election than ever before. That simply is not true. Why does the PCG leadership let him say something that is verifiably untrue?

And the question must be asked: why have people in the State of Israel chose to no longer support Prime Minister Netanyahu? Did this have anything to do with the corruption allegations? Such questions are ignored in this article.

Nagtegaal then condemn the incoming government as an unworkable government doomed to fail once it gets into power and remove Netanyahu from the Prime Minister's office.

While presenting Prime Minister Netanyahu in a positive light Nagtegaal refers to the Biden Administration as "the American regime."
Mr. Netanyahu is fighting to safeguard Israel’s future, just as he has done during previous American administrations. It is the American regime that has turned hostile.
Nagtegaal cites a statement by the Prime Minster and does not cite his source. Apparently we are just supposed to merely take his word for it that this happened.
“If we have to choose—I hope it doesn’t happen—between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat, eliminating the existential threat [wins],” Netanyahu said recently. 
Nagtegaal accuses the Biden Administration of seeking to back Iran at the State of Israel's expense.
More than any other political leader in Israel, Netanyahu is keenly aware of the anti-Israel policies of the United States. He almost certainly realizes that this is a greater threat to his country than even Iran. More than any other political leader in Israel, Netanyahu recognizes that it is a United States-backed Iran that poses the greatest threat to Israel.
Nagtegaal mentions Netanyahu's speech before a joint session of Congress in 2015 to oppose the deal with Iran. He implies that Donald Trump was elected President due to opposition among Americans to the deal with Iran.
Netanyahu was chosen by the people, “he saw the sword coming,” and he warned of the danger of a United States-backed Iran, embodied in Barack Obama’s nuclear deal. And the American people listened, voting into power a leader who was determined to nullify the deal and restore deterrence on Iran.
Actually Netanyahu was not chosen by the people because the electoral system in the State of Israel is somewhat indirect. In the State of Israel the voters vote for the party, not the leader or individual candidate. After the vote who gets to lead is in the legislators' hands and power does not necessarily go to the party with the most votes. For instance, in the 2009 election Likud got 21.61% of the vote and were actually second behind the Kadima Party led by Tzipi Livni which got 22.47%. But unlike today Likud had more allies back then so they gained power anyway.

Now the reason the PCG leadership pays so much attention to the State of Israel is because they think political acts in connection with that industrialized nation state will somehow herald the beginning of the end of the world as we know it to be destroyed in a future World War III. In this supposed war the State of Israel, America and Britain will be militarily conquered by a future European Empire. Some "friends" the Armstrongites are for the State of Israel: They watch news about it to detect if the end is near.
Israel faces a historic moment right now. Several important biblical prophecies are in play, and political upheaval—particularly one that emboldens Israel’s enemies and makes the Jewish state more vulnerable—could rapidly advance the fulfillment of these prophecies. Still, although Netanyahu may be gone, the warning will continue. 
Unlike Herbert Armstrong, Gerald Flurry and their imitators I make no claim to see the future. But no matter who happens to be Prime Minister of the State of Israel we can rest assured that the false prophecies of Armstrongism will never be fulfilled. Since 1989 PCG have made numerous predictions that have not happened. We can take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens in this current political drama the scary predictions of Armstrongism will never happen.