The modern Middle East – a century old mess

The Middle East, known as the cradle of civilization, is the birthplace and spiritual centre of religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Manichaeism, Yezidi, Druze, Yarsan, and Mandeanism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Manicheanism, and the Baháʼí Faith. Throughout its long history it has been a major center of world affairs, a melting pot economically, politically, culturally and militarily.

 In the 20th Century there was a significant shift with the collapse of the 600 year long Ottoman Empire.

Potted history to follow. I apologise for the length but it helps to lay it out in some detail.

At the end of World War One, the superpowers of the day – the British and French with the agreement of Russia – on the basis of a secret 1916 agreement (Sykes-Picot) – carved up the remnants of the defeated Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. Cartographers drew country borders “initially defined by imperial tastes and trade rather than logic”. Promises made to the Arabs who had helped T.E.Lawrence in defeating the Turks were broken.  

  In 1917 the then British Foreign Secretary issued what was known as the Balfour Declaration (2 November 1917). It stated that the British government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the understanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The declaration had no force in international law being only an indication of support for the possibility, probably written in order to rally support during the war.

 After World War One the British took Palestine which was set up under a League of Nations mandate in 1920/23, along with Iraq and Jordan. With the rise of fascism in Europe there was an influx of Jewish immigrants into Palestine which led to violent resistance from the indigenous Arabs. The Arab Revolt for independence and against open-ended Jewish immigration (1936 – 1939) ended with the Arabs defeated and de-weaponised.

  Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization, was active in the years after 1930 and ultimately was responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem in 1946, the administrative HQ for the British Mandate authority, killing 91. The Jewish insurgency continued with a series of widespread guerrilla raids including one in which the Irgun took two British sergeants hostage as attempted leverage against the planned execution of three Irgun operatives. After the executions were carried out, the Irgun killed the two British soldiers, hanged their bodies from trees, and left a booby trap at the scene which injured a British soldier. The incident caused widespread outrage in the UK.  The British then withdrew from Palestine in haste leaving a shambles behind.

On April 9, 1948, just weeks before the creation of the State of Israel, members of the Israeli Irgun and Stern Gang militias attacked the village of Deir Yassin, killing at least 107 Palestinians. According to testimonies from the perpetrators and surviving victims, many of the people slaughtered – from those who were tied to trees and burned to death to those lined up against a wall and shot by submachine guns – were women, children and the elderly. As news of the atrocities spread, thousands fled their villages in fear. Eventually, some 700,000 Palestinians would flee or be forcibly displaced at the outset of Israel’s creation, making  the massacre a decisive moment in Palestinian history.

  “Depopulating Palestine was not a consequential war event, but a carefully planned strategy, authorised by [Israeli leader David] Ben-Gurion in March 1948,” historian Ilan Pappé wrote.

 The massacre unleashed a cycle of violence and counterviolence that has been the pattern since. One politician of the time Meir Ya’ari noted “how easily” Israel’s leaders spoke of how it was “possible and permissible to take women, children and old men and to fill the road with them because such is the imperative of strategy. And this we say . . . who remember who used this means against our people during the [Second World] War . . . I am appalled.” The order to expel Palestinians  “without attention to age” was signed by Yitzhak Rabin, a future prime minister promoted as a peacemaker.

  Israel was declared a state in 1948 with no agreement as to borders or the partition with the Palestinians. Europe reeling from the effects of World War 11 and with the USA heavily involved in setting up international organisations and the Marshall Plan paid little attention. In general there was sympathy for Israel and guilt over the Holocaust with little knowledge of the state of play on the ground.

  The 1948 Arab–Israeli War followed with soldiers from Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq entering Palestine. The later Six Day 1967 War and the Yom Kippur 1973 War kept the familiar Arab versus Israel violent narrative rolling.

 In 1982 in retaliation for attacks being launched by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Israeli army in association with Lebanese right-wing militia killed between 2,000 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees and Lebanese civilians in two days in the Sabra Shatila Camp massacre. Shatila was a Palestinian refugee camp, housing victims of the 1948 Nakba, or violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 

  The PLO formed for armed struggle had been responsible for the massacre of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and other atrocities.

 Ariel Sharon, the Israeli former army commander and then Minister of Defense  was held personally responsible for the Sabra Shatila Camp massacres and resigned. He had previous form for a similar massacre at  Qibya in 1953 when Israeli forces under his command massacred more than sixty-nine Palestinian villagers of whom two-thirds, were women and children. He later championed construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; triggered the Second Intifada by visiting the Al-Aqsa complex on the Temple Mount; and was Israel’s prime minister from 2001 to 2006.

  The Middle East Mandate which handed Palestine to the British was signed on 25 April 1920 at 11.22am San Remo, Italy. Astrologer Michael Baigent argued it could be regarded as a chart for the 20th Century Middle East. Though it left various regions out.

  There is a high-risk, brutal Grand Trine of Pluto trine Uranus trine Mars in late Libra, formed into a Kite by an unstable and can-be-autocratic Uranus opposition Saturn. Not a chart that suggests peace and harmony. There is a 4 degree Taurus Sun which will be triggered by the Lunar Eclipse this month.

  When Israel was declared a state in 1948, the Solar Arc Uranus opposition Saturn had moved to have SA Uranus exactly conjunct the Midheaven and SA Saturn conjunct the IC; with SA Pluto conjunct the Moon.

  When the 1973 Yom Kippur War broke out on 6 October 1973 tr Saturn was conjunct the Pluto; with tr Pluto inconjunct the Uranus and inconjunct the Sun.

  It does seem to be a good chart for Palestine and what followed through I am not sure about the Middle East.

  To add a personal note – I read a good many books about the Holocaust in my late teens and was immensely moved and sympathetic. Like many, I was supportive of the idea of Israel as a Jewish homeland after so many centuries of persecution. Only after the Sabra Shatila Camp Massacre report came out did I start to stand back and research what had been going on. The December 2008 Israeli attack on Gaza appalled and outraged me.

  Pulling it together in a potted history poses huge ethical questions and makes it clear there are no good guys. Violence breeds violence. International policing should have been put in from square one but the west was otherwise distracted.

  There probably at this late stage is no solution. Not everything can be fixed.

53 thoughts on “The modern Middle East – a century old mess

  1. According to this BBC article, the PLO had retreated and left Beirut and IDF had full control over the camps when the Lebanese Front gained entry to massacre thousands:

    Here’s another report from AFP:

    Is there any astrological indicators of when peace might arrive again (and if it’ll be long-term)?

    I don’t remember about Evangelical support behind the Balfour Declaration. There is definitely documented support from U.S. Southern Evangelicals for the establishment and recognition of Israel to pave way for the 2nd coming, which requires the annihilation of many on all sides (makes one wonder how “Christians” these supporters can claim to be, if one is willing to sacrifice people’s lives simply for a chance to see the return of a celebrity–religious icon in this case?) (behind paywall).

  2. Reports on X/Twitter in the last 10 minutes of attacks on Damascus and Aleppo airports.

    This seems to be much wider than Israel and Gaza.

    And Aleppo is close to Turkish/NATO territory.

    Oh, this is getting into WWIII territory.

  3. Just focussing on the early period, Ms Orr omits saying that Jewish immigration to Palestine was entirely legal with land being bought in the ordinary way; there was no expropriation. Jews would have been content to live side by side with the Arab population. It was the Arab population that used violence against the Jewish settlers with those settlers of course having to defend themselves. The upshot of increasing violence from the Arabs was that the British Government capitulated to it and in the late thirties hugely limited fresh Jewish immigration, with the tragic result that so many Jews were trapped in Germany and Austria

  4. Sabra and Shatila were perpetrated by Lebanese Philangists, Maronite Christians who–of course–were settling scores for massacres perpetrated on their own people by the PLO and those aligned by them, as well as the bombing attack that had killed Gamayel, the Lebanese president, a few weeks before. While under Israeli “oversight,” the Philangists were the ones who carried out the massacre. That their goals aligned with Israel’s desire to root out the PLO, who then as now hid behind civilian noncombatants to save their own skins, is another example of the incredible moral murkiness of the Middle East. It was another horrific example of sectarian hatred, but to say it was directly Israel’s “fault” and to move from that point to suggesting that Sabra and Shatila was somehow a justification for the subsequent actions of Hamas and their compatriots is to create a false equivalence, to put it kindly. Furthermore, Sharon was held accountable for the behavior of those under his command–something that does not happen with the other side. If the roles were reversed, the Palestinians would no doubt have erected a statue in his honor, elected him president, and sung his praises.

    • I’ll add a paragraph onto the Israel conflict post – he was not exactly pilloried for his part in facilitating the massacre. After his dismissal from the Defense Ministry post, he remained in successive governments as a minister without portfolio (1983–1984), Minister for Trade and Industry (1984–1990), and Minister of Housing Construction (1990–1992). In 2001 he was voted in as prime minister.

    • Yes! Although I think Pluto’s exact station is later today. I also noticed Mars the planet of war was within one degree of Netanyahu’s Sun when the attacks commenced and it was exactly conjunct his Sun late Sunday afternoon while the transiting Sun was exactly conjunct his natal Neptune (panic? disorientation?). So he was hit hard by the transiting Pluto-Mars square.

  5. To the people blaming Britain as “coloniser” for this…

    Yes the Governor of British Mandate Palastine was guilty of giving asylum to thousands of Jews from 1933 onwards. But what was he supposed to do? Jews in Germany were being made to wear stars, sell their businesses for peanuts and generally encouraged to leave.

    He thought he was saving lives. He DID save lives.

    It just never occured to him that the people he was being helpful to would turn on him, seize land, kill brits and palestinians and cause this mess nearly a hundred years later.

    He thought they’d settle down quietly in the way various groups did in the rest of the empire eg Singapore, Hong Kong, Trinidad etc where multiple ethnicities and religions lived side by side.

    It never occurs to any host giving asylum that the people you are helping might turn on you.

    If you want to assign blame, it should go squarely to Germany and Central Europe for their appalling behaviour which caused the migration of jews in the first place.

  6. There is an interesting article in IndianExpress on the reasons why Hamas attacked Israel now.

    “Hamas may have hit — or killed — a brewing Israel-Saudi agreement: here’s how”

    Here’s an extract: “Experts say one reason could be to disrupt or destroy ongoing negotiations, mediated by the United States, for the normalisation of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The two countries are on the cusp of signing an agreement that could potentially mark a tectonic shift in the political landscape of the Middle East. But this deal, if it comes through, will also show that the support for an independent Palestinian state is no longer a priority for the Arab world, of which Saudi Arabia is the leader.”

    • The Saudi-Israeli peace deal was also to be at the heart of an alternate shipping route from India to Europe (via rail and road through UAE-Saudi-Jordan-Israel, thus bypassing the congested Suez Canal) that had been negotiated just a few weeks ago at the G20 summit in India.

  7. Like Israel or not, there’s no question that this is one of the most violent and barbaric acts of terrorism to be perpetrated on innocent civilians in recent times. The massacre and kidnappings, and parading of dead bodies in the streets of Gaza, are a perfect manifestation of Mars squaring Pluto. However, the “why” is not quite as simple as it may appear. The Times (U.K.) has an article by William Hague that is definitely worth reading.
    Hamas has set a trap that Israel must avoid.
    Also, following a weekend of such profound loss, it is somewhat surprising to read so many negative comments about Israel. Perhaps wait a few days before diving in?
    (Lynne’s reference to Israel as this “Jewish problem” is particularly inappropriate …)

  8. It seems like the stage is being set for a repeat of Gulf War 2: this time, the felon Netanyahu will use this event as the pretext he has been waiting (?) for to attack Iran, just like crooked GW Bush used global sympathy for the US over 9-11 to finish off his old enemy Saddam Hussein. The Wall Street Journal was the first Western media outlet to drum up war hysteria by publishing a completely unverified story about how Iran allegedly helped Hamas plan the attack. I would be keen to know if anyone here sees a similar astrological signature for Gulf War 2 repeating here, especially with regard to truth being the first casualty of war?

  9. This is a very interesting discussion from multiple perspectives. Thank you.

    Regarding the Balfour Resolution, while the primary motivation was doubtless geopolitical, Balfour himself has been historically considered as somewhat of a proto-“Christian Zionist,” or at any rate as being at least partially motivated by humanitarian impulses towards the Jewish people, who had been viciously persecuted throughout European history. Further, the context was the Britain of over a century ago, when religion was regarded much more positively than it is today.

    Regarding the U.S.: the assertion that the Declaration was somehow designed to lure America into WWI by appealing to its Jewish population is a truly odd bit of revisionist history. The U.S. at the time was dominated culturally by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants and people of German descent, and the dominant culture was deeply anti-Semitic; Jews were largely a marginalized group. The Jewish lobby only became organized and politically powerful in America in the aftermath of WWII, with the rise of the state of Israel.

    The sinking of the Lusitania, German submarine attacks on U.S. ships, and the Zimmermann telegram were what finally pushed the U.S. into WWI.

  10. Thankyou Marjorie, as usual I look forward to reading your articles. With a different Israeli government in place I doubt the situation would have reached this stage. Anyone wishing to read any further ‘The Palestine – Israeli conflict’ gives an essential guide. Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and Dr Dawoud El-Alami allow both sides to be heard. In this bloody conflict
    Israel stopping supplies to Palestinian civilians surely is not the way forward. In the
    UK we are seeing how this conflict is affecting our Jewish communities. Hopefully the situation here is not going to escalate. The present conflict is so fragile no-one can predict how far this conflict will travel.

  11. This month’s eclipses, and Mars/Pluto square seem to be everywhere I look. Perhaps worth noting that Turkey has offered help with brokering peace in this new war. Turkey’s ‘birthday’ is 29 October 1923. Sun 5 Scorpio, the Lunar Eclipse is just before Turkey’s 100th anniversary. I hope this is hopeful, particularly since there’ve been people in Turkey burning Israel’s flag and the USA flag in the streets. There are realistic concerns that this conflict may spread.

    There is also a chart for the Egyptian Republic, 18 June 1953. It has Neptune 21 Libra, conjunct Saturn 20 Libra, square Uranus 17 Cancer and Mercury 20 Cancer. The ascendant is 29 Aries, so would have had the spring Aries eclipse there.

    I increasingly think that planetary line-up for Pope Urban II’s proclamation of the First Crusade in 1095 remains sensitive, as I’ve posted elsewhere on here. The Uranus at 21 Aries, square Jupiter 22 Capricorn, plus Neptune 29 Cancer really do stand out. The Israel/Hamas composite Marjorie posted has Nodes 21 Aries, Saturn 19 Libra.

    I hope for a swift, peaceful resolution, without much optimism.

  12. Thank you Marjorie, for a well researched article and a lot of history! Why did England get so many things wrong after
    the war ie.India Israel and many more. Am I right in thinking they share the same chart Leo sun, so they will both will
    want same things. I feel so sorry for the Palestinians we have let them down very badly.

    • Several of the world’s unfixable hot spots can be put down to the end of empire – the partition of India/Pakistan for one and Kashmir. Plus Africa tho’ the French and Belgians can take part responsibility for that. Northern Ireland – not an empire problem but a historical screw up centuries old.
      After the Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century AD Europe fell into the dark ages of decline – so it may be feature of all superpower collapses and retreats. Maybe Hugh has a thought.

  13. Al Jazeera Documentaries have one called ‘The Pain Inside’ on YT which was about young Israelis who had left Israel for good. Many went to India for the peace after conscription and never returned. Some went to America. And most, ironically, went to Berlin to live. Many cited feudal and social systems making it difficult to do business in Israel. Others just were tired of the inflation and expense. Most were just tired of not being able to speak out about the whole situation that as young people they didn’t want to be part of. At the end of the documentary the young people are taken to a one popular once Palestinian seaside town which they found was now abandoned. One Israeli boy sat sadly on a rock in the sea remembering the fishing village as it was when he was a child. He ends the documentary with, “Israel has been an experiment. I cannot see there being an Israel in the future”. This disturbance now plus the expense of living there may make more young people leave.

  14. Deidré

    Israelophobia, just published, by Jake Wallis Simons is really worth reading and so timely too:

    ‘This is an important and necessary book by a superb and subtle writer. There’s no one more qualified to write it than Jake Wallis Simons, both as ground-breaking Middle East security correspondent and Editor of the Jewish Chronicle. It analyses the often prejudiced coverage and intense scrutiny of Israel that so often veers into obsession and outright demonisation; and traces its origins from Medieval European and Stalinist antisemitism to the present day. It discusses why this nation is judged so differently from others in a supposedly rational and progressive era. A companion in some ways to David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count, it is a book that fascinatingly analyses the dark sides of our world today -political, national, cultural and digital – and exposes uncomfortable truths’ SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE

    ‘”I can’t be anti-Semitic: I have nothing against Jews individually, I only hate them by the country.” Such is the delusion that Jake Wallis Simons sets out to discredit in this excellent and fearless book, dismantling its mendacities with a scholarly and logical thoroughness that makes you wonder if there will ever be an Israelophobe left standing again. Buy copies to distribute to your kindergarten groups and universities, anyway, just in case. And then buy another copy for yourself. It does the heart good to see one of the greatest expressions of collective animus exposed for the sanctimonious posturing it is. Israelophobia is a book we all need’ HOWARD JACOBSON

    ‘Timely and important’ TELEGRAPH

    ‘Fascinating’ SPECTATOR

    In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated for their religion. In the twentieth century, they were hated because of their race. Today, Jews are hated for something else entirely, their nation-state of Israel. Antisemitism has morphed into something both ancient and modern: Israelophobia. But how did this transformation occur? And why?

    Award-winning journalist Jake Wallis Simons answers these questions, clarifying the line between criticism and hatred, exploring game-changing facts and exposing dangerous discourse.

    Urgent, incisive and deeply necessary, Israelophobia reveals why the Middle East’s only democracy, which uniquely respects the rights of women and sexual and religious minorities, attracts such disproportionate levels of slander. Rather than defending Israel against all criticism, it argues for reasonable disagreement based on reality instead of bigotry.

    Through charting the history of Israelophobia – starting in Nazi Germany, travelling via the Kremlin to Tehran and along fibre optic cables to billions of screens – and using it to understand contemporary prejudice, this timely book will restore much-needed sanity to the debate, creating the space for mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.

    • Thank you, Deirdre, for sharing this. It sounds like a really great book. I just read the review at which makes some very good points about both historical and the new anti-semiticism. I will ask our local library to stock it. Israeli-Palestinian relations had an oversized role in the Canadian Green Party a couple of years ago when they elected the first Black and Jewish woman Annamie Paul as its leader. A feud soon developed over the party’s policy on Palestine and Israel because it was felt Paul’s condemnations of Israel were not strong enough. The ensuing internal conflict led to Paul’s resignation and to another MP leaving the party to (ironically) join the Liberals. At the time I thought, how crazy this all is when there are more important issues that matter to Canadians including the environmental ones that we count on the Green Party to spearhead. Other Canadians must have agreed because the party lost a lot of its support going from three MPs to two and 6.5% support to 2.3%. Anyway, I include this story because it reflects how the left has become seized with this issue in the past few years.

    • Deirdre, I have not read the book so can’t comment. While there is undoubtedly and always has been for mystifying reasons a hostility to Jewish people who have been persecuted and blamed for everything under the sun – plagues etc over the centuries. It is naïve (at best and manipulative at worst) to assume that criticism of successive Israeli government policies can be equated to anti-Semitism. Some may be but for a good many like myself who were idealistic about the creation of the state of Israel the sense of betrayal and outrage about the way the indigenous Arabs were treated has zero to do with the ethnicity/religious beliefs of the incomers.

  15. “That is not a British obsession – more US evangelical.” Currently that is the case, but in the lead-up to the creation of the modern state of Israel, the British had the starring role, beginning with the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which was at least somewhat informed by the traditional Christianity that officially prevailed at the time. Great Britain, not the U.S., was the global hegemon then, and like most westerners, the British people were a lot more religious than they are today.

    The U.S. evangelicals are undoubtedly inspired by their particular brand of religious prophecy and they make a lot of noise, but historically, they were not an important factor in the creation of modern Israel; and U.S. interests today revolve more around the Israel lobby and support for Israel among American Jews, plus the desire to have an ally in the region that is at least nominally democratic and mostly pro-American.

      • Thanks Marjorie, I read this and then a bit more on the displaced persons crisis following WWII when so many people, many of them Jews, were unable to return to their homelands for fear of further persecution (which often proved justified). Many ended up stuck in displaced person camps where conditions were poor and Jews were forced to mingle with Nazi collaborators. I can see this would put enormous pressure on the powers that be to approve an Israeli state that could provide refuge for so many of them. Once again, nothing good ever comes of war, just more war.

      • The Balfour Declaration was in part designed to convince American Jews to support the USA coming into the First World War on the side of Britain and France. The reason is set out in a British cabinet minute from 3rd September 1917. There may have been British evangelicals who supported Zionism but that is not the driving reason for the government’s decision. At the time it was issued things were not going well for the Entente powers in the First World War. The 1917 offensives on the western front had failed and Russia was in the process of dropping out the war. The US had entered the war on the Entente side but many Americans of German descent were hostile to war including many Jews. The Kaiser’s government had also been actively wooing Zionists in an attempt to get them to support the Central Powers. The British government wanted to get the USA fully committed to the Entente as soon as possible. The Balfour Declaration was a means to that end.

        • I read some years ago – and history does change with the narrator – that Balfour was influenced by a Jewish Zionist bio-chemist Chaim Weizmann who was helping the war effort with cordite which was in short supply.

          At that juncture in 1917 the Jewish immigrants in Palestine were in a minority and it may be he did not expect it to have quite the effect of an imprimatur which it later became. And it was completely swept aside and ignored for two decades after.

          • Hah, a miracle I found James Cameron’s book on the lead up to and creation of Israel – a wonderfully lucid old Scottish journalist. When I have time (aah) I will precis, much useful stuff.

          • People tend to look backwards and see subsequent history as inevitable. Much of the current problems of Middle East tend to get blamed on the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 though the reality is hardly any of it ended up being implemented and it was just part of a wider set of secret discussions between Britain, France and Russia about the Ottoman Empire going on during that period including the Constantinople Agreement of 1915. The reality is that the carefully laid plans of the Entente powers were largely scuppered by the Russian and Turkish Revolutions. Instead of getting colonial control of the region they ended up being lumbered with a nation building mandates under the League of Nations which inevitably failed when confronted with the competing aims of Jewish and Arab nationalists.

            With regard to the Balfour Declaration it tends to get seen in isolation as a stand alone decision by the British government when the reality is that Zionists had been lobbying all the powers involved in the First World War. Chaim Weizmann was actually less important in that process than the now largely forgotten Nakum Sokolow who got tacit French support for a Jewish homeland via the Cambon letter in June 1917 as well as getting papal endorsement from Pope Benedict XV. It should be noted neither all members of western governments or all Jews in places such as the USA were by any means convinced of the Zionist agenda. It took Hitler, the Nazis and another World War to change that situation.

        • Hugh I was thinking about your comment that most people think of history as inevitable vis a vis Hamas being surprised at how little resistance there was to them running amok. Had the Israelis been prepared they would have done a good deal less damage and what followed might have been very different – as it is an Israeli intelligence failure may lead to cataclysmic maybe even history changing events.

  16. Thanks, Marjorie. It’s difficult to condense so much history into a short, cohesive narrative but you’ve done a great job. I was intrigued by the statement that the Deir Yassin massacre was a decisive moment in Palestinian history so I ran an (untimed) chart for it. Some interesting connections with influences now but what really jumped out at me was a New Moon that day at 19°35′ Aries which will be triggered by next April’s Solar Eclipse at 19°24′ Aries which is also a Super Moon. Maybe that period will be significant for the Palestinian cause. You put it so well when you said there are no good guys in this and violence breeds violence. It just goes on and on while innocents suffer and new generations learn to hate.

    • Thanks Laurien. You prompted me to look at the Deir Yassin chart. The Pluto/Mars/Saturn conjunction much closer together than the Israel chart a few weeks later. As you say, maybe the eclipse next April will be significant for the Palestinian cause – Chiron will also be at 19 degrees Aries.

      • Yes, very good point, Xhane, mustn’t forget Chiron which I am sure will play a starring role in next spring’s eclipse. I saw the Pluto-Mars-Saturn lineup in Leo all within about 6 degrees at the time of the massacre too and thought, no wonder the anger and desire for revenge never goes away.

  17. Thank you Marjorie. On anti Israel marches in London in the past (2008 comes to mind) I was surpised to encounter many Orthodox Jews, and got to talking with them. They maintain firmly that the state of Israel cannot come into being until the Messiah has returned which he has not, to Jews. From a theological standpoint the entity in the ME is therefore not valid according to scripture, as told to me.

    Im unsettled at the thought that Hamas and it’s enablers would have predicted the obviouslly brutal response of the Israelis – as we see on the news now. Is there something else to come, perhaps a state actor(s) involvement? The eclipses to come have grave potenialties I think.

    • Know what you mean about setting Gaza up to be ?? destroyed. Seems odd and worrisome as you say as if something else has been planned.

    • Yes, a perfect pretext for an attack on Iran. It’s the only reason the US took the extraordinary step of sending aircraft carriers to the region, something it had not done before after so many previous incidents.

    • According to a report in the Guardian:
      Hamas surprised by extent of ‘gains’ in Israel. A Hamas spokesman said even Hamas was shocked by the extent of the operation, saying it had expected Israel to prevent or limit the attack. “We were surprised by this great collapse,” Barakeh said. “We were planning to make some gains and take prisoners to exchange them. This army was a paper tiger.”

      So not planned quite the way it turned out. Though Hamas, who are a nasty bunch of thugs, are careless of the poor Gazan inhabitants who have nowhere to run to.

  18. Thank you Marjorie. Like you wrote in your previous post on Israel, it is an extremely stubborn country and sadly it is pretty clear by the way that they carry on that they have learned very little from their past.

  19. At 16 I was a nanny and the parents were Jews. One day he gave me a book complete with gruesome pictures of Belsen and other camps in Ww2. Like Marjorie I was totally horrified and sympathetic. However now I am 50 years older I am totally against the occupation of Palestine or anyone elses lands and I feel if the USA kept their nose out of Middle Eastern business perhaps life could be better in that region. Maybe not ? The USA, Europe and UK response to this Jewish problem today are absolutely disproportionate when compared in the response to Syria for example or Libya. Religion like money is the curse of us all.
    Chiron more or less in exact degree as 1973. I feel extremely upset by it all and that Jupiter Uranus on Sunaks Sun next year is now looking ominous. I hope I’m totally wrong but the Tories do love war.

  20. The west probably left it ambiguous because they need to keep the pot boiling in the ME after the creation of Israel to provide conditions necessary for the return of Christ. Invariably a lot of evil is done in following religious prophecy.

  21. Thank you, Marjorie. The only time I ever saw my father in a state of emotional despair was in the aftermath of the Sabra Shatila massacre. I remember very well because he simply wasn’t a man who displayed emotion. He was in tears and very angry. I feel for anyone caught up in this conflict and hope against hope for peace and resolution. The whole situation is heartbreaking – a tragic impasse.

  22. Like Marjorie I had immence. sympathy for Israel and was both frightened and appaled by PLO atrocities in the 70s my children were very younge and every time children suffering atrocities were on the news I could see my son in everyone. I also was not aware of the true background so I thank you.
    Msg is get educated.

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