THE SHOCKING DOCUMENT THAT SHAPED THE MIDDLE EAST: The secret agreement that shaped the Middle East set the stage for lethal instability.

The Sykes-Picot accord that has shaped and distorted the modern Middle East was signed over 100 years ago, on May 16, 1916. In the deal, Mark Sykes for the British and François Georges-Picot for the French, with the Russians participating too, allocated much of the region, pending the minor detail of their defeating the Central Powers in World War I.

Sykes-Picot (official name: the Asia Minor Agreement) bears recalling because its profound two mistakes are in danger of being repeated: one concerned form and the other substance.

FORM: Negotiated in secret by three European imperial powers, it became the great symbol of European perfidy. Not surprisingly, the Allied Powers secretly carving up the central Middle East without consulting its inhabitants prompted an outraged response (George Antonius, writing in 1938: "a shocking document ... the product of greed at its worst ... a startling piece of double-dealing" ). Sykes-Picot set the stage for the proliferation of a deeply consequential conspiracy-mentality that ever since has afflicted the region.

Sykes-Picot created a miasma of fear about foreign intervention that explains the still widespread preference for discerning supposed hidden causes over overt ones. What in 1916 appeared to be a clever division of territory among allies turned out to set the stage for a century of mistrust, fear, extremism, violence, and instability. Sykes-Picot contributed substantially to making the Middle East the sick region it is today.
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SUBSTANCE: In simple terms, France got Syria and Lebanon, Britain got Palestine and Iraq. But it was operationally not so simple, as borders, administrations, and competing claims needed to be worked out. For example, French forces destroyed the putative kingdom of Syria. Winston Churchill one fine afternoon conjured up the country now known as Jordan. Under pressure from Lebanese Catholics, the French government increased the size of Lebanon at the expense of Syria.

But the largest issue, of course, was the issue of control over the area the Holy Land, or Palestine, a problem complicated by London's having promised roughly this area to both the Arabs (in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence of January 1916) and the Zionists (in the Balfour declaration of November 1917). It appeared that London had not just sold the same territory twice but also double-crossed Arabs and Jews by arranging (in Sykes-Picot) itself to retain control over it.

From the vantage point of a century later, Sykes-Picot has an almost purely malign influence without redeeming qualities. It laid the basis for the future rogue states of Syria and Iraq, the Lebanese civil war, as well as exacerbating the Arab-Israeli conflict.

On its centenary, Sykes-Picot's central achievement, the creation of the Syrian and Iraqi states, appears to be in tatters. In a surprising parallel, each has rapidly devolved from the all-powerful totalitarianisms of Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein into three micro-states. Both have an Iranian-backed, Shi'ite-oriented central government; a Turkish- and Saudi-backed Sunni opposition; and a U.S.- and Russian-backed Kurdish force.

The Islamic State (or ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) proclaimed "the end of Sykes-Picot" when it eliminated border posts along the Syria-Iraq border; nevertheless, many observers, including myself, see the fracturing of these two rogue states into six mini-states on balance as a good thing because the small states are more homogeneous and less powerful than the prior regimes.

SYKES-PICOT has a LESSON for the PRESENT DAY; a SIMPLE and IMPORTANT ONE: foreign powers must not attempt unilaterally to decide the fate of distant regions, and especially not in a clandestine manner. This may sound like outdated or obvious advice but, at a time of failed states and anarchy, the powers again find it tempting to take matters in their own hands, as they did in Libya in 2011, where their intervention failed dismally. Similar efforts could lie ahead in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Beyond those conflicts, Michael Bernstam of the Hoover Institution has argued for a broader redrawing of the region's "antiquated, artificial map."

No. Rather than seek to impose their will on a weak, anarchic region, the powers should hold back and remind locals of their own need to take responsibility. Rather than treat Middle Easterners as perpetual children, outsiders should recognize them as adults and help them succeed. Only in this way, over time, will the volatile, brutal, failed Middle East evolve into something better. Only in this way will it overcome the foul legacy of Sykes-Picot.
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-- by Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum

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STRANGERS BECOME LIFELONG FRIENDS -- I still have seats open for Nov 3-14, 2019 tour of Israel -- www.freemaninstitute.com/israeloct2019.htm

TAKE A LOOK at the picture below. Notice the Diversity? See the smiles? Feel the camaraderie? This indeed is a Freeman Institute Tour.

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When you call, ask for the 3 reasons why our tours are different from the rest...

#holyland #israel #israeltours #jerusalem #freemaninstitutetours

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JEZEBEL SEAL (see this artifact at the Israel Museum this Fall) -- www.freemaninstitute.com/israeloct2019.htm

Jezebel was no doubt the wickedest woman in the Bible. In the book of Revelation her name was invoked in condemning a false prophetess in Thyatira who promoted sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols ( Rev 2:20 ). Even today the name is emblematic of a sinful, shameless woman. Jezebel means "where is his highness (=Baal)?". Baal was the great Canaanite storm and fertility god.

Jezebel's father Ethbaal, whose name means "with Baal" or "man of Baal," was king of the Phoenicians (I Kgs 16:31). The Jewish historian Josephus tells us that Ethbaal was formerly a priest of Ashtoreth, consort of Baal, who usurped the throne and reigned over Tyre and Sidon for 32 years.

In order to form a political alliance with the Phoenicians, Ahab, king of Israel (874-853 BC), married Baal-worshipping Jezebel (1 Kgs 16:31). "Urged on by Jezebel his wife" (1 Kgs 21:25), Ahab became a follower of Baal, and even erected a temple and altar to the pagan deity in Samaria (1 Kgs 16:32). He had the distinction of being the king who "did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of lsrael before him" (1 Kgs 16:33).

Jezebel bore Ahab a son, Joram, who ruled Israel for 12 years from 852 to 841 BC,n and she herself became a strong political figure bearing the title "Queen Mother" ( 2 Kgs 10:13 ).

Jezebel was zealous in her efforts to stamp out Yahwism and promote the worship of Baal. She mounted a campaign to kill the Lord's prophets (1 Kgs 18:4, 13), while at the same time feeding 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, the Canaanite mother goddess and consort of El, at the royal table (I Kgs 18:19). This led to a confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, resulting in the extermination of the prophets of Baal ( I Kgs 18:16-40 ).

Jezebel also figures prominently in the account of the appropriation of Naboth 's vineyard. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to greedy Ahab. Conniving Jezebel arranged to have false charges brought against Naboth, which resulted in his death (1 Kgs 21).

When Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, Elijah was there with a message from God: "I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in lsrael --- slave or free ... because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin." And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: "Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel" (1 Kgs 21:21-23).

Shortly thereafter Ahab was killed in a battle against the Arameans ( 1 Kgs 22:29-40 ). Twelve years later a prophet of the Lord anointed Jehu, a general in the Israelite army, king with the following charge: You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants shed by Jezebel ( 2 Kgs 9:6 ).

Jehu went on to wipe out Ahab's descendants, including Jezebel's son Joram. As the Lord had predicted through Elijah, Jezebel met a grisly end. Jehu went to the royal residence at Jezreel and found the Queen Mother, with her eyes painted and hair arranged, looking out a palace window. Jehu ordered her eunuchs to throw her out the window: So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot. Jehu went in and ate and drank. "Take care of that cursed woman," he said, "and bury her, for she was a king's daughter." But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel 's flesh" ( 2 Kgs 9:33- 36 ).

JEZEBEL'S SEAL (see photo...more info in the comments section):
In the early 1960s a seal was purchased on the antiquities market and donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Little attention was paid to the seal and it languished in the Museum for decades. The top of the seal has been damaged and it is in this area that Old Testament scholar and Dutch researcher, Marjo Korpel, suggests that there were originally two letters: a lamed, meaning "(belonging) to" and an aleph, the first letter of Jezebel's name. The restored inscription would then read "(belonging) to Jezebel." The seal is on display in the Israel Museum...
JEZEBEL SEAL (see it at the Israel Museum this Fall): Jezebel was arguably the most evil woman in Biblical history. In the book of the Apocalypse her name is invoked in condemning a false prophetess in Thyatira ( Rev 2:20 ).

Baal was the great Canaanite storm and fertility god. Jezebel's father Ethbaal, whose name means "with Baal" or "man of Baal," was king of the Phoenicians (I Kgs 16:31). The Jewish historian Josephus tells us that Ethbaal was formerly a priest of Ashtoreth, consort of Baal, who usurped the throne and reigned over Tyre and Sidon for 32 years.

In order to form a political alliance with the Phoenicians, Ahab, king of Israel (874-853 BC), married Baal-worshipping Jezebel (1 Kgs 16:31). "Urged on by Jezebel his wife" (1 Kgs 21:25), Ahab became a follower of Baal, and even erected a temple and altar to the pagan deity in Samaria (1 Kgs 16:32). He had the distinction of being the king who "did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of lsrael before him" (1 Kgs 16:33).

Jezebel bore Ahab a son, Joram, who ruled Israel for 12 years from 852 to 841 BC,n and she herself became a strong political figure bearing the title "Queen Mother" ( 2 Kgs 10:13 ).

Jezebel was zealous in her efforts to stamp out Yahwism and promote the worship of Baal. She mounted a campaign to kill the Lord's prophets (1 Kgs 18:4, 13), while at the same time feeding 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, the Canaanite mother goddess and consort of El, at the royal table (I Kgs 18:19). This led to a confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, resulting in the extermination of the prophets of Baal ( I Kgs 18:16-40 ).

Jezebel also figures prominently in the account of the appropriation of Naboth 's vineyard. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to greedy Ahab. Conniving Jezebel arranged to have false charges brought against Naboth, which resulted in his death (1 Kgs 21).

When Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, Elijah was there with a message from God: "I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in lsrael --- slave or free ... because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin." And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: "Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel" (1 Kgs 21:21-23).

Shortly thereafter Ahab was killed in a battle against the Arameans ( 1 Kgs 22:29-40 ). Twelve years later a prophet of the Lord anointed Jehu, a general in the Israelite army, king with the following charge: You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants shed by Jezebel ( 2 Kgs 9:6 ).

Jehu went on to wipe out Ahab's descendants, including Jezebel's son Joram. As the Lord had predicted through Elijah, Jezebel met a grisly end. Jehu went to the royal residence at Jezreel and found the Queen Mother, with her eyes painted and hair arranged, looking out a palace window. Jehu ordered her eunuchs to throw her out the window: So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.

Jehu went in and ate and drank. "Take care of that cursed woman," he said, "and bury her, for she was a king's daughter." But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel 's flesh" ( 2 Kgs 9:33- 36 ).

JEZEBEL'S SEAL (see photo):

In the early 1960s a seal was purchased on the antiquities market and donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Little attention was paid to the seal and it languished in the Museum for decades.

Dutch researcher Marjo Korpel was first drawn to the seal because of its imagery, but then became intrigued with the inscription...

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1 month ago - Translate

War Crime!: Placing a Note in the Western Wall

Alan Dershowitz is a Left-Winger. Or at least I’ve always believed so. Recent support for President Trump’s legal situation contrary to Dems & his Pro-Israel stand could mean a Center-Left perspective. Dershowitz condemns UNSC Resolution 2334 trying to steal Israel’s sovereignty over Temple Mount: http://bit.ly/2JjwW5F
#WesternWall #IsraeliSovereignty #UNTheft

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ISRAEL FOOD (90 sec...turn up audio) — Just Bring Your Appetite...mmmm

Experience the next adventure:

FALL 2019 (Nov 3-14) — Still space (call me) — www.freemaninstitute.com/israeloct2019.htm

SPRING 2020 (Mar 2-13) — www.IsraelCrazy.com

When you call, ask for the 3 reasons why our tours are different from the rest (410-991-9718).

2 months ago - Translate

Unwitting Embrace of Leftist Utopianism due to Jew-Hatred

It is disturbing and extremely sad that there exists people in America who claim patriotism yet express racist statements indicating Jew-Hatred. Lumping all Jews monolithically because a few abandon their heritage for Communism is heinous. Might as well do the same for abandoning Christian heritage for Communism. Then there are idiot Leftists who join Islamic Supremacist Jew-Haters. The Canary Mission exposes all these Jew-Haters. READ ABOUT IT: http://bit.ly/2GC3q8w

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  • Understanding the history, geography, topography, archaeology and spiritual significance of Israel, the land of the Bible...and also some related aspects of the surrounding region.