June 14, 2024

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June 14, 2024

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Gog Coalition Building: Protests Erupt In Libya After FM Meets With Israel To Discuss Normalization

Mark Hitchcock

In a previous article, I addressed Israel’s efforts to build upon the historic Abraham Accords. During the Trump administration, agreements were forged and finalized, normalizing Israel’s relations with Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan. As I discussed earlier this month, Israel is very anxious to expand this list to include Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, massive protests erupted in Libya this last week after the country’s foreign minister, Najla al-Mangoush, met with Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen, seemingly to begin talks about brokering peace. This created a massive uproar in Libya.

What’s fascinating to me is considering this in light of Ezekiel chapter 38. The passage examines the nations that will attempt a future invasion of Israel, and also mentions several countries that will be on the sidelines that are not going to get involved. This includes the young lions of Tarshish, which I take to be the nations in Europe today, and Sheba and Dedan, these are more moderate Arab states with which Israel is now gaining normalized relations.

Libya is being rocked by protests because they don’t want peace with Israel. The reason that is significant is due to the fact that Libya is one of the nations mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38 as joining the coalition of nations, which includes Russia, Iran, and Turkey, to invade Israel.

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The passage reads, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog…” Gog is the leader of the invasion. The land of Magog is the underbelly of the old Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakstan. It could even include other nations, like Afghanistan, and some believe it could include Ukraine.

The chapter continues, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia [modern-day Iran], [Kush, which is the modern nation of Sudan—the name was just changed in 1935], and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer [part of modern day Turkey], and all his bands; the house of Togarmah [also in the modern day nation of Turkey] of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

The BBC reported that “Libya’s [Prime Minister] has suspended his foreign minister after she met with her Israeli counterpart.”

“Libya – a strong backer of the Palestinian cause – does not recognise Israel, and the meeting has sparked protests in the majority Arab state,” the article explained.

The brief meeting between the Israeli Foreign Minister and the Libyan Foreign Minister happened last week in Italy.

“Israeli FM Eli Cohen said the ‘historic’ meeting was ‘the first step’ in establishing relations with Libya,” the article continued. “Israel is working to build closer ties with Arab and Muslim-majority countries which do not officially recognise it. However Libya’s presidential council, which represents its three provinces, said it was illegal to normalise relations with Israel. The Speaker’s Office in parliament accused Najla Mangoush of grand treason…”

Due to this accusation, the Libyan Foreign Minister has had to flee the country. Where did she flee to? She fled to Turkey, another of the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pledged that after his re-election, he would continue to deepen ties with Libya. Libya’s leaders were among the first nations to congratulate Erdoğan upon his re-election. Najla al-Mangoush’s escape to Turkey again shows the close connection between these nations.

“In his statement on Sunday, Mr Cohen said he met Ms Mangoush last week on the sidelines of a summit, and that they discussed ‘the great potential for the relations’ between Israel and Libya,” the BBC detailed. “Protests broke out in the capital Tripoli and some other cities following news of the meeting. Roads were blocked, [tires] burnt and demonstrators waved the Palestinian flag…”

Libya has been a country in chaos since Muammar Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown 12 years ago, during a period known as the Arab Spring. Since that time, Libya has been a nation in a civil war between two parties; however, they seem to be united in not wanting to normalize relations with Israel. In fact, they said this week that it’s considered a violation of Libyan laws, which criminalize normalization with the Zion entity.

While this is taking place, the country has a great deal of Russian mercenaries within its borders. Remember Yevgeny Prigozhin? He was the head of the Wagner group. Several weeks ago, I discussed the Wagner group’s very short-lived coup attempt. Following that event, Prigozhin traveled about for a while, and just this last week, he appears to have been assassinated on an airplane that was sabotaged and bombed.

The Russian Wagner group has had troops in Libya since 2019. There are two thousand Mercenaries within the country today.

A fascinating article came out a few weeks ago in Foreign Policy magazine that said, “Libya Could Be Putin’s Trump Card.”  The Wagner group, which works under the auspices and the authority of the Russians, has overtaken the oil facilities in Libya.

Libya has 40% of Africa’s total oil reserves, with 48 billion barrels of reserves—53 trillion cubic feet of gas. The Wagner group can obstruct output to the EU.

The EU, of course, is protesting what Russia is doing in Ukraine and is trying to get away from Russian oil. One of their sources of oil is Libya, but now that the Wagner group has taken this over and can cut off the spigot, they’re now in NATO’s backyard.

As the winter comes up, concern is mounting in Europe about where they are going to get enough gas. The winter gas supply could end up being a great crisis.

The Foreign Policy article says, “Wagner’s dug-in posture in Libya is consistent with Russia’s broader resolve: to pressure European NATO member states into different political outcomes by controlling proximate energy sources…”

They are able to impose a lot of pressure on Europe, especially this winter, if they cut off this gas from Libya.

We have two things moving in this Gog Magog invasion on parallel tracks. When the Gog Magog Invasion occurs, Israel will be living in security. With the Abraham Accords, Israel has normalization agreements with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan. Additionally, Israel already has peace with Jordan and Egypt. At the same time, you have the Gog coalition building.

The one outlier in all of this is Sudan. Sudan is mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as an ally of Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Libya, but Sudan is one of the nations that’s normalized relations with Israel. Sudan is still very enmeshed with Russia. They want to give Russia a port on the Red Sea. When the dust settles, Sudan will be a part of this coalition as well.

The nations are shaking out just as we would expect them to be shaking out. These events in Ezekiel 38 are imminent and will happen soon. We need to keep our eyes on what’s happening.

Mark Hitchcock is an author, associate professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, Senior Pastor of Faith Bible Church in Oklahoma, and hosts the weekly program “Marking The End Times.”

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