Middle East confusion first hand
During the month of June, it was my privilege along with 17
other folk from New Zealand and Australia, to visit the Middle East for our
This trip took us through Egypt, Jordan, then into Israel,
and during that time we were able to watch first hand, events in that area.
The world's newspapers have headlines continuously on the
subject of the Middle East, and we quote herewith some of them:
Waikato Times, 30 May 2001, "Middle East talks go
nowhere fast -– Israelis and Palestinians failed at their first security talks
in a month to negotiate an end to eight months of bloodshed.
Instead, violence raged anew with killings on both sides and
a Palestinian group's brief capture of two foreign journalists..."
Waikato Times, 21 May 2001, "No shortage of suicide
bombers prepared for martyrdom -– Palestinian suicide bombers evoke
incomprehension as well as fear among many Israelis who find it hard to grasp
the desperation and fervour that motivates them.
But for Palestinians in the teeming slums and refugee camps
of Gaza, the question of why one of their compatriots would sacrifice his life
to kill Israelis needs little soul-searching.
"Why note?" would be a common response.
Islam forbids suicide, but rewards 'martyrdom' as an
instant ticket to glory in this world and paradise in the next.
Muslim militant groups have no difficulty in convincing
aspiring suicide bombers that they are guaranteed martyr status..."
Waikato Times, 2 June 2001, Big death toll predicted as
explosion rocks Tel Aviv -– An explosion rocked Tel Aviv today, killing at
least 15 people and wounding more than 30, Israeli police said.
'A man with explosives on him blew himself up at the
entrance to the club and caused many casualties,' Tel Aviv police chief Yossi
Setbon told Army Radio...
Israel Radio reported that more than 30 people had been
hospitalised and that many were in a serious condition. A radio reporter on the
scene described puddles of blood along the sidewalk...
Former South African President Nelson Mandela said today ...
'It is completely wrong that the United States must be the mediator in this
conflict. Everybody knows the United States is a friend of Israel'..."
Just two days after this explosion, my friend James Bigbee
and I were able to walk across the road from our hotel to the area where it took
place. Seated on the footpath were masses of young people with little candles in
pots, weeping as they sat in a vigil to dead friends. Blood stains up the wall
and marks where screws and ball bearings had been blown in many directions,
through the full force of the blast.
Jerusalem Post, 31 May 2001, "If Arafat doesn't stop
violence, we'll go to war -– The current unilateral cease-fire cannot
continue indefinitely, and if Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat does
not take this opportunity to stop the violence, Israel's next step will likely
be to go to war to wipe out the military and terror infrastructure in the PA,
Housing Minister Natan Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post yesterday.
'I think that for many years we have made great efforts to
turn Arafat into a partner,' Sharansky said. 'I think now we are at the end
of the road; it is the last chance for Arafat to prove that he can still be a
partner. I don't have a lot of hope...'..."
And then of course, this very important article taken from The
Jerusalem Post, 29 May 2001, makes it quite clear that the aim of the
Palestinians is not what the majority of people think. It is not equality that
they want, it is the whole land of Israel back under their control: "Faisal
Husseini denies Palestinians claiming all of Israel -– The PLO's Jerusalem
representative Faisal Husseini denied yesterday that he told a forum of lawyers
in Beirut a month ago that the Palestinians' strategic goal was state 'from
the (Jordan) River to the sea,' saying the Palestinians are politically
committed to the implementation of a two-state solution.
Hussein told The Jerusalem Post that his comments at
the forum were taken out of context when they were translated...
'Our dreams are still to go to Jaffa and Haifa, just like
the Israelis' dream is (Eretz Israel) 'til the East Bank,' he added...
'We may lose or win (tactically) but our eyes will continue
to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the river to the sea.
Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth.'
Husseini said yesterday that he meant that both peoples'
identities are based on their religious history in the entire land (from the
river to the sea), but that in order to live together they must limit their
national aspirations -– Israel to the State of Israel, and the Palestinians to
the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem...
Husseini also urged the Arab states to refrain from relations
with Israel and said the intifada must continue till the 'end of the
Moshe Amirav, an expert on Jerusalem who has worked for years
with Husseini, said such ambiguous statements creat suspicion among Israelis
committed to peace."
Once more in The Jerusalem Post, 29 May 2001, "Report:
Sharon warns Assad against attack -– Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has warned
Syrian President Bashar Assad that Israel will mount a 'devastating response'
against Syrian targets if Hizbullah attacks Israel, according to the
London-based Sunday Telegraph....
Israeli farmers close to the northern border have reportedly
been warned that Hizbullah is monitoring all movements, possibly in anticipation
of an attempt to snatch hostages in Israel.
The Sunday Telegraph also reported that a Hizbullah
commander boasted that its extended-range rockets could target all urban centres
in 'northern Palestine,' which he described as 'sitting ducks.'..."
I feel a prophecy from the book of Isaiah 17:1, is applicable
at this point, and it would be important for young Assad to read the prophecy
before he tries attacking Israel:
"The Burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away
from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."
Any committed born-again believer in Jesus Christ and the
Word of God will admit that Israel belongs in its entirety to the people of
Israel and not to the Arab folk who have made their homes there.
There is also clear evidence in scripture that God has plans
for the Arabs as well as for the Israelis, which is clearly set out for us in
"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to
Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria,
and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be
the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of
the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my
people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."
Our Lord Jesus Christ will come back as King very shortly,
but in the meantime, the scriptures make it clear from Daniel 9:27, that another
will come before Him in his own name, and that name is biblically described as
Antichrist. This man will bring in a seven year peace treaty between Jew and
Arab and break it after three and a half years.
However, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back at the end of
a period called Great Tribulation, He Himself will bring peace to the area, will
gather all the nations of Israel into His hand, and they shall become one nation
under His benificent rule.
Ezekiel 37:21-22: "And say unto them, Thus said the Lord
GOD: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither
they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own
land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel;
and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations,
neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:"