Israel will celebrate her Independence Day on the Fourth of Iyar, which is May 4th on our calendar (May 1995). (The modern state of Israel was born on May 14, 1948 on our calendar, but it was the Fourth of Iyar on hers.) The celebrations this year, however, are likely to be a bit muted with an atmosphere of "sell-out," which has resulted from the so-called "Peace Negotiations."
A Decade of Deceit
Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made the following promises before and after his election in June 1992:
- He said he would never negotiate with the PLO. Yet he began secret talks with them within weeks of being elected.
- He said he would never allow the creation of a Palestinian state. Yet in fact he has agreed to turn over vast portions of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to the PLO.
- He said he would protect 136,000 Jewish residents of the settlements of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and not uproot their communities--ever. But in fact, since 1992 He has instituted a housing freeze and cut off all government funding to these communities, and he is now insisting they leave and turn their lands and homes over to the PLO.
- He said he would never surrender the Golan Heights to Syria. Anyone who has been there will confirm the untenable nature of defending the area without this essential high ground. Denying Israel a conventional response when their very survival is at stake is forcing a pre-emptive nuclear response. (NATO believes it's inevitable.)
- He promised he would preserve a united Jerusalem under Israel's sovereignty as Israel's capital. But in fact he has agreed to negotiations over Jerusalem (to begin in 1996). His deputy foreign minister has recently announced a willingness to turn over east Jerusalem--including the Western Wall--to the PLO.
We have a tendency to bemoan the disgraceful gap between commitments and performance in our own country. It is important to realize that a similar disillusionment is virtually global. A similar disgust is prevalent in Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, and other countries, with a widespread despair over leadership. The gulf between promises and performance is not unique to America. We are not the only country that has disconnected character and destiny.
One of the biggest lies of the 20th century is "Terrorism does not pay." Wrong. It does pay. Handsomely. And recent episodes in Japan and the Philippines have underscored the fact that terrorism is not confined to the Middle East.
Nelson Mandela, who for years headed a terrorist organization, is now head of state in South Africa and feted the world over. He has now received the prestigious Order of Merit from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
A few days earlier, Gerry Adams of Ireland's Sinn Fein/IRA was celebrated by the Clinton administration in the White House. In a 25-year terror campaign, the IRA has killed around 2,000 blameless people. Although nothing in the condition or treatment of the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland justified the taking of one life, the IRA has now been rewarded with a capitulation by the government of Great Britain.
Yassar Arafat, of course, is but another example. Kill enough innocents and you might also win a peace prize. Now even the notorious Hamas are being invited to participate in the "peace negotiations."
Terrorism is not only effective, it's cheap. The entry costs are low for anyone with the ruthlessness to pursue his cause by killing innocent people.
Experts have calculated that over the past century, fewer than a dozen terrorist attacks have resulted in more than one hundred deaths. This ratio is destined to change dramatically as the chemical, biological, and nuclear armed terrorist becomes a shadow over the coming decade. With modern technology and education, and for a modest capital outlay, even the smallest group of determined people can hold for ransom any of the world's most powerful nations.
Willingness to compromise with terrorists offers the ultimate encouragement to all those fanatics with causes they deem more important than an innocent individual's life. From now on, however, it will not just be bombs and bullets these fanatics employ in their dubious causes.
A Year of Destiny?
Next year is shaping up to be a very exciting year, indeed! In 1996, there will be:
- A watershed election in the United States
- Major elections in the European Superstate
- A very important election in Russia (see our audio book The Magog Invasion)
- A major election in Israel
- The negotiations over Jerusalem will also begin. This should all prove very illuminating from a prophetic viewpoint.
This is one of our Ten Strategic Trends. Architects of the Middle East "peace process," recognizing that Jerusalem was the most difficult of the issues between Islam and the Jews, postponed this issue until the final settlement negotiations, which are due to begin in 1996.
The difficulties are compounded by the fact that a building project, which could become the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, is scheduled to be completed in July of 1996. With both Israel and the U.S. having an election year, this could become very tense.
What is also ignored is that East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount, is even more important to the Jews than West Jerusalem due to the religious context (and what other context is there when it comes to Jerusalem?). Isn't it interesting that Zechariah anticipated this when he noted:
"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
Will Israel Survive?
The integrity of God Himself is at stake. He has openly committed Himself to Israel's preservation. Not because they deserve it (nor do they any less than others), but because He has committed Himself to do so before the nations (as He says in Ezekiel 36:22ff ):
22] Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine Holy Name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23] And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24] For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
This is the "second time"--the first was the regathering after Babylon--and Isaiah specifically designates it:
"And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathos, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
"And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
The cry of "peace" will, of course, be premature:
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
1 Thessalonians 5:3-4
There will be no real peace until the Prince of Peace arrives. But that may not be very long off; the next few years will be exciting, indeed! Be ready! Do your homework.