ISIS leader al-Baghdadi seen in new video for first time in five years


Independent: The group’s media arm released a speech by the elusive leader on Monday, in which he addresses the territorial defeat of Isis in Syria and praises recent terror attacks around the world. It is the first time he has been pictured since July 2014, when he announced the creation of the Isis caliphate from the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul.

Although Isis has released several audio recordings from Baghdadi over the past few years, his fate has been the subject of intense speculation.

Following the capture of the last of the group’s territory, western intelligence agencies have speculated that he had gone into hiding somewhere in the desert regions of Iraq or Syria.

Although Isis no longer holds land, it remains a potent threat. US intelligence estimates that it still has around 15,000 fighters still at its disposal in Iraq and Syria. Sleeper cells have already begun launching attacks in both countries. more …

Opinion: “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:16

The rabbis and religious Jews know of Amalek, an illegitimate grandson of Esau who inherited his grandfather’s intense hatred of Jacob (Genesis 27:41). Amalek was the first to draw Israelite blood (Exodus 17:8) and will be the last (Numbers 24:20).

A Google search of Amalek/Amalekites found this in the Jewish Virtual library:

Excerpts: “According to the Bible, Amalek was the first enemy that Israel encountered after the crossing of the Sea of Reeds. Inasmuch as contemporary archaeology has convinced most biblicists that the biblical traditions of enslavement in Egypt, wilderness wandering, and conquest of the land are unhistorical, traditions about Amalek and Israel in the pre-settlement period probably reflect later realities. In effect, by setting encounters with Amalek in the days of Moses and Joshua, the writers of the Bible were saying that hostilities existed from time immemorial.

Moses appointed Joshua to lead the Israelite army not because of his own weakness or advanced years but because he wished “to train Joshua in warfare” (Mekhilta, 179; Ex. R. 26:3). After he defeated the Amalekites, Joshua refrained from the common practice of abusing the bodies of the slain and instead “treated them with mercy” (Mekhilta, 181)

The war with Amalek did not end with their defeat, and the Israelites were commanded always to remember the deeds of Amalek (Deut. 25:17). In rabbinic literature, the reasons for the unusual eternal remembrance of Amalek are the following:

(1) Amalek is the irreconcilable enemy and it is forbidden to show mercy foolishly to one wholly dedicated to the destruction of Israel (PR 12:47). Moreover, the attack of the Amalekites upon the Israelites encouraged others. All the tragedies which Israel suffered are considered the direct outcome of Amalek’s hostile act (PdRK 27).

(2) The injunction “Remember” does not enjoin us to recall the evil actions of others but rather our own. For “the enemy comes only on account of sin and transgression” (ibid.).

(3) The verse “Remember…” is meant to remind all men of “the rule which holds good for all generations, namely, that the scourge [the staff of God’s indignation] with which Israel is smitten will itself finally be smitten” (Mekhilta, 181). In the course of time this biblical injunction became so deeply rooted in Jewish thought that many important enemies of Israel were identified as direct descendants of Amalek.

Thus the tannaitic aggadah of the first century B.C.E. identifies Amalek with Rome“. And Rome is identified by Daniel 9:26 as the place from which the final Antichrist will come.