NOTE: on 3 October I gave a public lecture on the above topic. Many of my blog readers do not live in Melbourne or Australia so, for their sakes, I am providing a summary of the public lecture in three parts. This is Part 03, the final part.
PALESTINE @ THE UNITED NATIONS
Many are wondering what is going to happen between Israel and Palestine since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked for Palestinian statehood recognition from the United Nations, even in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel (which includes, among other things, recognized borders). The short answer: not much.
The international community is mostly in agreement that the way to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict is by a ‘two-state solution.’ Two state means:
1. Israel and Palestine will share the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean; this land measures 420 kilometers north to south and 100 kilometers east to west.
2. The city of Jerusalem must be shared by the two nations as their respective capital cities.
However, when it comes to ‘recognizing Palestine’ by the United Nations at this time, there are four very powerful foes:
ISRAEL: It does not want to be left out of the process and insists that peace negotiations are the only way to go. They want Abbas to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ and to renounced the 1948 UN Resolution demanding the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees to their original homes in Israel. Until now, Abbas has refused.
UNITED STATES: Though President Obama has gone further than any other American leader in advocating a two-state solution, he has threatened a Security Council veto if this UN recognition goes to the floor. With the 2012 elections only a year away, with a strong pro-Israel stance in the US Congress and among the American population, this is considered a major factor on his decision making.
EGYPT: SCAF is against UN statehood recognition because it would unsettle its already restive population. The Egyptians greatly dislike Israel, attacked the Sinai gas pipeline 5 times in 6 months, and also mobbed the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
HAMAS: Surprisingly, Hamas is opposed to UN state recognition of Palestine. But the reason is simple: they don’t want their rival, Fatah, to get all the glory.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ISRAEL
Though Israel is not part of the ‘Arab Spring,’ it is greatly influenced by both simply because of its location as the land-bridge between Africa and Eurasia. It literally sits in the centre of the Arab world.
Remember that one year ago, of its four neighbors: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, only the latter had a troubled border with the Jewish state. Now, 3 out of 4 borders are restive (Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria) and even Jordan is not immune, either.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said at the United Nations:
‘...the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned many Arab minds agains Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.’
Israel is being pressurized to make generous land concessions to the Palestinians for the sake of peace. But as it sees Egypt distancing itself from the 1979 peace treaty and its other neighbors, near and far, in an uproar, it will be less, not more, likely to give land away. Hezbollah, which has 10,000s of missiles, allegedly made this recent threat: ‘If the Israelis come near Tehran, we will destroy Tel Aviv.’ An insecure Israel is an uncompromising Israel.
Then what? Remember that the UN made an unprecedented and dangerous move regarding Libya: it authorised military force against a nation for its internal troubles. Since its birth in 1945, the UN only authorised military action for provocations happening between nations, like North Korea against South Korea in 1950 and Saddam’s Iraq against Kuwait in 1990. The rationale is that if the international community interferes in a sovereign nation’s domestic affairs, then no nation will be safe from outside interference. In addition, such meddling could lead to greater conflict, even a world war. Now that Libya has been attacked by UN-authorised action for its civil war, who will be next? China for Tibet and Xinjiang? Russia for Chechnya? Israel for the West Bank?
Three Prophecies to Watch:
Psalm 83: an invasion of Israel by its near neighbours. It is believed that this psalm has not yet come to pass. The current instability among Israel’s near neighbours makes the fulfillment of this psalm more plausible.
Ezekiel 38-39: This is Gog and Magog, a massive unprovoked invasion of Israel by powers further afield, like Gog in the North, Put in the West, Cush in the South, and Persia in the East. Israel’s near neighbors are not mentioned at all. Could it be that they were knocked out or ‘decommissioned’ during a Psalm 83 invasion?
Ezekiel 12, 14: The prophet speaks of Jerusalem becoming a ‘cup of trembling’ for the ‘people round about’ (Israel’s near neighbors?) and then ‘all the people of the earth be gathered together against it (12:3). When the nations come to battle against Jerusalem, God will come and fight against them and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem’s status as the number one foreign policy issue makes this prophecy were likely.
As we ponder the ‘Arab Spring’ and the potential prophetic ramifications, Bible believing Christians can take comfort from the following promise of Jesus:
‘And when these things come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh’ Luke 21:28 (KJV)
(The DVD of this 75 minute lecture, which is far more expansive than the blog and includes powerpoint, will be available early in November for $18 [Australia] or $25 [elsewhere]. You can safely order from the Teach All Nations website www.tan.org.au)