Part 3 of 3: The Reality. Why God is laughing
Parts 1 and 2 of this series reviewed how and why Western powers obsess over “managing” Israeli-Arab relations. Colonial attitudes tend to resurface with frustration, and after the Jewish return to Zion, Middle East events became exceedingly frustrating. Even secret British promises to divide Israel’s land among all Arab neighbors who agreed to attack in 1948 (a fool-proof plan, considering the U.S.-led ban against arming the Jews), inexplicably failed when those blasted Jews won.
Still, that was 70 years ago. How can colonialists still exist today? Simple: in 1960 the UN narrowed the definition of colonialism to withholding self-governance. Once territories received political independence, global players returned to “develop” them, controlling the inhabitants through other forms of dependence (a strategy called neo-colonialism, practiced by capitalists and communists alike).
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon hit a nerve in his remark last summer about this Paris Peace Conference resurrecting “ghosts of a colonial European past”. The EU reacted with self-righteous outrage. After all, they spluttered, the conference is offering “an unprecedented package of political, economic and security support” to deepen the dependence of both sides.
The game is both lucrative and addicting. For decades “friendship” has allowed the U.S. to give Israel generous military aid that brings big American profits, while “state-building” has allowed the EU to fund Palestinian violence that keeps Israel needing more military aid. British intelligence warned that Israel is a “threat to the region“, while its government earned billions from military sales to Israel. And when Israel gets weapons, so do the Arab neighbors.
But despite this careful cultivation, Western control is faltering. Middle Eastern nations have discovered common interests in fighting the newest White-House allies, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS-affiliated Hamas and nuclear-fixated Iran. That makes Israel a worthwhile friend, the West (particularly America) a dubious friend, and Palestinian statehood a side-issue dwarfed by the real regional problems. This three-fold reversal of 20th-century perceptions is reshaping the Middle East in ways that worry the West.
Jordan’s treaty with Israel was always characterized as “a truly warm peace [because] they have no need for international peacekeepers.” In 2014, Al Jazeera enviously commented that “this realpolitik has paid off.” Now Jordanians are working to bring that message to their streets, highlighting friendship with Israel minus “Palestine”. The largest Arab nation, Egypt, has been similarly warming up to Israel while growing correspondingly cold toward America. President al-Sissi’s public rejection of Obama’s legacy was no surprise to those who remember his warning to Obama in 2013: “You turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.”
The Arab world’s condemnation of Hamas for starting the Gaza War showed that already in 2014, Arab anti-Zionist rhetoric was being eroded by reality. The subsequent cooperation of Israel, Jordan and Egypt in military and intelligence efforts started a trend among other Arab leaders to form practical alliances with a Jewish state that was no longer embarrassed about winning wars. Outspoken Arab Zionism became a media phenomenon, not just in Israel but in several Middle Eastern countries.
Even Palestinians, despite constant indoctrination for war against the Jews by Western-financed education, are showing signs of mutiny. East Jerusalem residents are quietly requesting Israeli citizenship. Palestinians are buying homes in Jewish “settlements“, not to displace Jews but to coexist with them. Several years ago a one-state solution under Israeli sovereignty was seriously discussed by Israelis and Palestinians.
The weak link in that chain of defiance is the Israeli government, with a history of sacrificing its own interests in attempts to make friends. “[They] have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’ You have even made your back like the ground, and like the street, for those who walk over it.” (Isa. 51:23) The recent American-British-French “friend” song, accompanied by UN Israel-bashing background vocals, was orchestrated to arouse the traditional Jewish dread of isolation, making Israel more receptive to its pre-assigned “Auschwitz borders“. (Those who think “Auschwitz” is melodramatic can survey the reality here.)
But the arm-twisting backfired. Instead of groveling before the global decision to outlaw Jewish settlements, Israel hit back with diplomatic reprisals against the UN and the promoters of Resolution 2334 (which notably did not include even one Middle East sponsor). What’s worse, America’s public elected someone who has resolved to let Israel steer its own future. President Trump, supported by a sensible Congress, might actually demote Israeli settlement projects from global threats to administrative decisions already proven to be lawful.
All this is bad news for the benevolent plan to squeeze Israel back into the 1949 ceasefire lines (conveniently misidentified as “the June 4, 1967 borders“) as the starting point for further Palestinian demands and attacks. Any day now, the unwelcome geopolitical changes could produce another Emir Faisal, eager to lead an Arab-Jewish coalition in rebuilding the Middle East… with full U.S. backing in a partnership that respects national sovereignty.
It’s a neo-colonialist’s nightmare.
Driven by this Faisal-phobia, the 2017 Paris Peace Conference was convened for no other purpose than to keep Mahmoud Abbas in power. The PA president whose term expired in 2009, the worshipful fan of terror “pioneer” Haj Amin, the statesman who shows no interest in building anything besides his personal fortune, is the only Arab leader who survives completely on Western support. His dependency guarantees his submission. It would never do to let him be replaced by real Palestinian state-builders who want to forge a real peace deal, the kind Jordan and Egypt enjoy. Thus the conference’s only discernible achievement was making Abbas personally available for “meetings with foreign ministers“.
What would they talk about? Among other things, their agreement to eject Israel from one specific “settlement“. Palestinian violence has long focused on Jerusalem, repeating the incitement several times a day. Now Western obsession is also locked onto Jerusalem, mentioned four times in UNSC-2334, and the focus of a private “meeting of senior officials” before the conference even started.
The shift from 100-plus towns to one city is not random, nor is the U.S. response to that shift. Obama’s abstention on UNSC-2334 gave a silent nod to global rejection of Israel’s ownership rights anywhere in its 3000-year-old capital. How do we know that’s the end-goal? Think: If Jerusalem is really to be shared in the two-state solution, relocating the U.S. Embassy to western Jerusalem cannot possibly be a “danger” or “threat” to that plan.
But nobody explains the contradiction, or cares. The Daily Beast columnist Maajid Nawaz (a Pakistani Muslim) gave this wall-to-wall denial a spiritual dimension, calling it “The One Ring that binds us all. It is the sacred god that must not be questioned.” All doubt regarding the god’s identity was removed when the PA warned that Trump’s non-conformity would “open the gates of hell“.
Indeed, Scripture predicts that the world will gather against Jerusalem under spiritual provocation. But that attack won’t be controlled by the UN, the EU or Israel’s great friend in Washington. Satan himself cannot give the order. It will follow God’s timetable, period.
Yet in order to understand what’s coming, we must revisit the prophecies. God through Zechariah promises two such confrontations, which are sometimes mistaken for one. Chapter 12:3 describes a global gathering against Jerusalem as though to move an impossibly “heavy stone“, while Zechariah 14:2 foretells another gathering for “battle“. In between those two incidents (Zech. 12:4-14:1) God will work vital changes in Israel: territorial restoration, newfound boldness, military valor, and most importantly a national awakening and repentance: “They will look to Me whom they pierced, and they will mourn for Him.” (12:10) After this “a fountain will be opened for cleansing” in Jerusalem, and all idols and false prophets will be removed throughout Israel (13:1-6). The survivors of a huge worldwide persecution of God’s flock will also be purified and confirmed as His people (13:7-9).
Only then does the international war against Jerusalem take place, which God Himself initiates. In the first global gang-up, although God provokes the world with the issue of Jerusalem, He allows the nations to decide whether to injure themselves by tackling it. The second gang-up is beyond their control altogether: “For I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle” (14:2). That war will end abruptly with YHVH descending bodily on the Mount of Olives with His saints (v.3-5), ushering in the great “Day of YHVH” (v.6-9).
This raises a concern for believers like the New Zealanders, who are already asking: Will entire nations suffer for their leaders’ anti-Israel actions? Can the righteous in those countries make a difference?
God is just. He does not “sweep away the righteous with the wicked” (Gen. 18:23). Although Western leaders are elected by their people, once in office they might disregard the people’s will. This was clearly seen when American grassroot support for Israel was overridden by Obama’s personal decisions. Even during the 2014 Israel-Hamas War, for which Israel was widely condemned by Europe, British and French citizens took to the streets to support Israel. Nor are all the Arab peoples blind Israel-hating sheep as portrayed in their government-controlled media. This especially applies to news coming from Palestinian territory, where violent censorship dates back to pre-Oslo days.
In fact, the Israeli Body of Messiah is aware of many ex-Muslim Arab Christians who support Israel, as well as Palestinian believers who reach out with love to Israelis. This is part of a wider revival engulfing the Muslim world, often driven by direct revelation from Yeshua. Its impact on Muslim leaders is unknown, but the spiritual influence of untold millions embracing Israel’s God and His Messiah – an estimated 3 million in Iran alone – could realign their countries with God’s plans for the Middle East. Such changes, when they do happen, are routinely kept quiet until years later.
If the recent unforeseen shift in Arab sentiments toward Israel is a result of Arab prayers, then there is hope for the saints in post-Christian nations. It’s God’s way: “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” (Matt. 19:30)
That’s what the future holds. For now the two Paris Peace Conferences, separated by almost a century, produce a sense of Déjà Vu both in goals and futility. In 1919 Paris, Jewish claims to Jerusalem were met with silence; the British and then the UN sneakily reassigned it to international control. But they have been unable to take possession for over 90 years. What’s stopping them?
Jerusalem is the only city on earth that God repeatedly chose for Himself by name (1 Kings 11:13, 32, 36; 14:21; 2 Kings 21:7; Zech. 1:17, 2:12, 3:2; Matt. 5:35). He designated it as Israel’s territory. He restored His Mandate in 1967, mocking the global resolutions. “The kings of the earth [led by America] take their stand…” (Ps. 2:2), declaring in 1962 that even western Jerusalem was not Israel’s capital… and poof! – in 1967 the entire city drops into the hands of the Jews… who (in the words of the late Yitzhak Rabin) were themselves “truly shaken” by the turnaround.
Fifty years later, world leaders still don’t get it!
The Paris Conference has now come and gone, dragging failures behind it like a string of clattering tin cans, and causing some of its backers to back away. God has ensured that this latest effort to rewrite His plan for Jerusalem will be remembered as an exercise in futility – either embarrassing or entertaining, depending on the viewpoint of earth or Heaven.