The two links below describe a shooting conflict which took place at the border of Gaza and Egypt. An Egyptian border guard was shot dead by Palestinian forces, presumably acting under orders from Hamas. The first link says ten Palestinians were injured by the Egyptians while the second link puts the total at “at least two.” The Egyptian forces also used water cannons against the Palestinians. Recent events indicate that the Egyptians are coming to share Israel’s concerns about the Palestinians. Hamas forces in Gaza are allies of the radical Muslim brotherhood which is trying to overthrow the moderate Islamic government of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt has nothing to gain by cooperating with Hamas in Gaza, and Egypt’s justifiable fears of the Muslim Brotherhood are, I suspect, leading to increased cooperation between the intelligence services of Israel and Egypt.

In previous blogs I’ve commented that the traditional alliances in the Mideast are breaking down and new alignments are forming. It is not clear yet how these new alliances will eventually take shape, but this process will have a major effect on world geopolitics. Recent blogs have noted that Israeli fears of Iran are gradually pushing the Sunni Arab governments into a common position with the Israelis as the Sunni Arab states are also threatened by Iran. As the USA weakens its military with endless wars, the Sunni Arab states naturally see the USA as a less reliable and less-capable ally. They need a new nuclear-armed ally, and an alliance with the Israelis would now serve both their interests in spite of their hostile histories. Ezekiel 38’s prophecy allows for this possibility as the “Ishmaelites” (the Sunni Arab states) and “Egypt” are not mentioned as allies of Russia, China and Iran in verses 1-6.

The Israelis have been cultivating new allies as well. A recent blog detailed the strong new military ties that are developing between Greece and Israel, and previous blogs have documented that the Israelis and India have been developing a closer alliance on military matters. The establishment media have largely ignored this development but an alliance between India and Israel would unite two sizeable nuclear powers on either side of Pakistan and Iran (the current and soon-to-be Islamic nuclear powers). Iran (“Persia” in Ezekiel 38:5) will definitely be part of the Gog-Magog alliance and both Pakistan and Afghanistan are leaning in that direction as well. “Cush” is mentioned in verse 5 (the KJV translates “Cush” as “Ethiopia” which is misleading) and that identifies the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan as the Hindu “Kush” mountains straddle those two nations.

Recent blogs have discussed Turkey’s drift away from Israel as it seeks to reconstitute its former Ottoman Empire by trying to draw Syria, Lebanon and Hezbollah into its orbit and away from Iran. Iran is highly displeased with this Turkish effort and has dispatched high-level military delegations to Syria to make sure it stays allied with Iran and fights the Israelis when Iran does as a recent blog documented. Iran also has a firm ally in China which has supplied cruise missiles and weapons technology to Iran. Russia is an ally of Iran but it would actually benefit from a war that damaged oil facilities in the Mideast as it would skyrocket the price of oil and Russia would benefit immensely from that as it is a premier oil and energy exporter.

Many of these above developments are happening because the USA is growing steadily weaker and less-engaged in the region. The USA has alienated its chief ally, Israel, several times and its military forces on the ground are exhausted. The more the U.S. ground forces are exhausted, the less influence the USA will have in the Mideast region because all the nations know the USA has no new troops to send anywhere else. The USA has cultivated a new strategic alliance with India (a welcome development), but you will have to give credit for that to the former Bush administration. President Obama came to office with no foreign policy experience and his popularity (and that of the Democrats) is slipping fast in U.S. domestic politics. Many nations are in doubt about what America’s future policies will be, and that creates much uncertainty in a dangerous and important region of the earth. Mideast alliances are in a state of transition and all would do well to watch this process very carefully. Some major surprised might occur in the future.