As President Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa last month, few could have given thought to the power of prophecy being played out in the process.
What is most significant is that the U.S. administration and Barak have chosen to move this process forward with Syria first, ahead of the more pressing issue of negotiating final status arrangements with Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Authority (pla). That Arafat is feeling slighted at this pre-emption is no secret, particularly as the next crucial phase of the Israeli/Palestinian peace process falls due in February. This month Israel is set to agree on the outlines of a final peace settlement with the Palestinians.
The road to final-status negotiations in Palestine has been long and tortuous. A brief overview of its history is worthy of consideration if we are to fully comprehend the inherent dangers embodied by the process.
In 1921 when the British adopted a firm policy favoring the establishment of a state in Palestine for Jewish possession and settlement. This decision was first made known in a letter from Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild on November 2 of that year, in which he declared, “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object….”
This declaration culminated almost a century’s consistent effort by Jews to develop their toehold on the land of their forebears into a home for Jewish peoples.
Over 100 years before, as the 19th century dawned, the land once occupied by ancient Israel was deserted and desolate. Barely a quarter of a million people populated the area, including a Jewish community still clinging to the land of their heritage. By the middle of that century Jews had become the majority population in Israel.
At the turn of the century, modern nationalism, combined with an increase in anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, motivated the rise of the Zionist movement. The Zionist goal, supported by many nations, was the re-establishment of a Jewish national state in cooperation with the Arab national movement. At the end of World War I, that movement’s spokesman was Feisal, subsequently to become King of Iraq. He signed an agreement with Chaim Weizmann, who would later become Israel’s first president. This agreement established a framework for cooperation between the projected Arab and Jewish states. The Zionist movement then submitted proposals, deemed by Feisal as “moderate and proper” to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The intent was to have the proposals considered along with the conference’s reapportionment of the former Ottoman Empire following World War I.
Almost three years later, the supreme court of the League of Nations successfully concluded a mandate in May 1921 declaring recognition of the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” The mandate was approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1921, and brought into force in September of that year. However, the boundaries of the mandate over Palestine were very different to those originally proposed by the Zionist movement with the support of Feisal.
Great Britain undertook to exercise the mandate, as the supreme and dominant power of the time, on behalf of the League of Nations.
From the beginning, the mandate contained within it, like all similar documents and treaties, certain compromises. These compromises planted seeds of antagonism between the new Jewish state of Israel and its Arab neighbors—an antagonism which would lead to the fulfillment of God’s prophecy in Hosea 5:13—the prophecy of “Judah’s wound.”
The Paris Peace Conference had also apportioned parts of Palestine to Arab nations. Syria gained 10,000 square kilometers, Lebanon acquired 1000, and 3,000 went to Egypt. Then, one year after the mandate came into effect, Britain scythed off all of the mandated territory east of the Jordan River and gave it to the Emir Abdullah, a desert chieftain who had aided the British in World War I. (The emir had been left without a country following King Saud’s seizure of the original kingdom of his father, Sharif Hussein.) This area became known as Trans-Jordan. Thus, the Jews were left, by the partition of 1922, with a little over 20,000 square kilometers of Palestine to develop as their homeland.
Multiple thousands of Jewish pioneers flocked to this sliver of land. The nation prospered. The growing economic prosperity attracted many Arabs to Israel from surrounding, economically stagnant Arab countries.
However, in the age of appeasement prior to World War II, the British soon bowed to Arab extremists who were being fanned by Nazi support, and closed Israel to further immigration.
After the war, with pressure mounting from masses of Jewish refugees following the Nazi holocaust, Britain transferred the problem to the UN. In typical compromise fashion, yielding to the emerging strident voices of Arab extremism in 1947, the UN partitioned Israel into three parts, to be connected by economic union. This further reduced Israeli territory to only 14,400 square kilometers. To ease entry to the swarms of Jewish refugees from Europe, Israel capitulated and accepted the proposal. The Arabs, however, weren’t as pleased. The partition of 1947 became the excuse for an outbreak of violence against Israel by Arab groups. The following War of Independence cost Israel 6,000 sons and daughters.
When the British mandate ended in 1948, the partition plan was in tatters. Trans-Jordan troops swept across Jordan and took possession of Jerusalem. The Egyptians overran the Gaza Strip. Typically, the UN failed to uphold its own resolution of partition. Only when it became clear that Arab incursion was not succeeding in wiping out the fledgling state of Israel did the war come to an end, with armistice agreements concluded between Israel and the aggressor Arabic nations. These agreements only reflected the temporary military position as it obtained in early 1949. The Arab nations refused to negotiate a final settlement, avowing that they would not rest till achieving their declared aim of “throwing Israel into the sea.”
Israel gained formal recognition as a UN member in May 1949. Flying in the face of an express security council resolution, the Arab states continued to claim the existence of a “state of war” between them and Israel. This Arabic mindset found its outlet in Egypt’s closure of the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping, effectively blockading the straits of Tiran.
In the early ’50s, Arab nations lent their support to Islamic paramilitary terrorist operations against Israelis. By 1956 Egypt concluded a military alliance with the Arab states bordering Israel, and with their armies under its command, launched a powerful offensive military buildup in Sinai. Exercising its right of self-defense, Israel struck back in 1956 and broke the Suez blockade. Then, without allowing a final peace settlement, the two superpowers, Russia and the U.S., pressured Israel into withdrawing from Suez. Israel did gain right of passage via the gulf and the Suez, and a UN force was established to patrol the Gaza Strip, the Sinai and the gulf entrance.
In 1967 Egypt summarily dismissed the UN force, reimposed the gulf blockade and amassed a powerful force in the Sinai desert. All previous international agreements went out the door and the world left tiny Israel to its fate. The result was the Six Day War. The little nation of Israel proved that it was not numbers which would prevail in this fight. It was raw courage, extreme strategic skill, discipline and the quality of its well-honed manpower fighting for the survival of a nation that prevailed. In less than a week the Egyptian-led Arabic forces were in tatters. Judah had triumphed in battle.
Over the next six years, Israel attempted to sue for peace with its Arab neighbors, but to no avail. In 1973 Egypt and Syria mounted a surprise attack on the hapless country when Israel least expected it, on Yom Kippur, the Jews’ annual day of fasting. Caught largely unawares, Israel proved vulnerable on this occasion and lost some of its hard-won territory, occupied following the Six Day War. Israel repulsed a Syrian attack on the Golan Heights and successfully established a bridgehead on the Egyptian side of Suez. Once again the two superpowers, the U.S. and USSR, brokered a deal which was formalized into a cease-fire resolution by the UN Security Council, on October 22, 1973.
From Terrorist to Diplomat
The enterprise which was to become the greatest thorn in Israel’s flesh was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (plo). Formed in 1964, this best-known of all terrorist organizations gave rise to terrorism’s most widely known personality—Yasser Arafat.
Having as their principal goal the destruction of the state of Israel, the plo modified their bloody terrorist behavior following the Yom Kippur War and began honing a tactic of political negotiation, playing the superpowers against each other in an effort to apply pressure to Israel to give up territory to establish an official home state for refugee Palestinians. The UN soon gave official recognition to this terrorist group as the representative voice of refugee Palestinians.
Arafat proved the arch modern-day political strategist, being expert in speaking with a forked tongue. To his terrorist followers he cried “jihad, jihad” (“holy war”) and vowed to thrust the Israelis into the sea. To the world he declared his willingness to renounce terrorist acts and recognize the state of Israel. Weak, inept Western leaders took Arafat at his half-word, and he curried favor with the rich, powerful and sanctimonious, being a frequent visitor to the Vatican. Due largely to insistent pressure from U.S. and British governments, Israel, under leftist leader Yitzhak Rabin, joined hands with the Palestinian terrorist to sign the Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles in Washington on September 13, 1993. This was the eventual outcome of the Madrid Conference, convened at the invitation of and co-hosted by the U.S. and the USSR in Madrid, Spain, on October 30, 1991, following the Gulf War of 1991. Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the plo and the UN were invited to attend.
However, the most intriguing phrase in the invitation to the Madrid talks was the one which linked another emerging power bloc with the U.S. and USSR at the negotiating table—the European Union (EU). The phrase read, “The European Community will be a participant in the conference, alongside the United States and the Soviet Union….” Judah’s wound was about to be deepened.
Enter the EU
At the 1993 Madrid Conference, with the pride of their power breaking (Lev. 26:19), Israel gave ground under the combined U.S., USSR, EU pressure and recognized the Arab terrorist organization, the plo, as the representative of the Palestinian people. Speaking with the left prong of his two-forked tongue, plo leader Arafat stated that the Palestinians recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. He neglected to mention that they were still working to see that existence thrust into the sea! Since then, the “peace process” has staggered on, like a drunken man, reeling from one fiasco to another; yet, each time an agreement is made, the Israelis inch towards more territorial concessions.
With U.S. efforts to hasten the process going nowhere, suddenly the European Union is weighing in more heavily. Since the Sharm el-Sheikh memorandum signed on resumption of the peace talks under Prime Minister Barak on September 4, 1999, the EU has been most prominent in their representations to the Palestinians and Israelis.
It should be understood that the EU interest in Middle Eastern affairs is largely strategic. The EU, as is its habit, may use trade as the mask to cover its true strategic intentions, but, as we now see in Poland and most recently in the Balkans, German-led EU trade and development initiatives soon lead to defense and security cooperation agreements.
In 1995 Ehud Barak, then Israel’s foreign minister, was one of the signatories to a joint European-Mediterranean declaration. The EU and the Mediterranean countries have since been working towards establishing a free trading zone between Europe and South Mediterranean basin nations. In this context, remember that Malta is slated for early entry into the EU, and Cyprus is also a front-runner. Drawing Israel into this Mediterranean link would give the German-led Euro combine its stepping stones to secure Middle East oil. Part of this equation involves an escalation of EU involvement in the Middle East peace process. To this end the EU approved, on November 16, 1999, a 21.73 million euro package of Middle East “peace projects.”
In October, EU President Ahtisaari visited Israel and the plo to further cement the Union’s relationship with both parties to the peace process. At the same time, Chris Patten, EU commissioner for external relations, in a speech to the European parliament on the “peace process,” confirmed the EU’s intention to “work hard to maximize the European Union’s contribution in the coming months.” Following up on the EU president’s visit to the Middle East, European envoy to the peace process Miguel Moratinos, after a meeting with the plo representatives in Jericho, underlined the EU’s support for Palestinian demands on Israel. In a statement indicating that Palestinians are tiring of U.S. efforts at brokering a “peace” agreement, Dr. Sa’ib Urayqat, Palestinian Liberation Authority minister for local government, declared, “We look forward to an effective European role and seek a powerful European role in the peace process, because it is this role that creates the required balance” (BBC News, Nov. 25, 1999). Ambassador Moratinos went on to meet Arafat for further talks on cementing the EU role in the peace process. Then on November 26, while visiting Syria, the EU envoy “made a statement in which he said that Syria…demands the return of the Golan Heights. He said the world community and the EU support this demand” (BBC News, Nov. 26, 1999).
A senior Jordanian diplomat waded into the effort to endorse EU involvement in the peace process on December 6 using a somewhat interesting turn of phrase. Calling on Europe to assist in the peace process, Abu Jaber, speaking at a closed session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, “described Muslims and Jews as linked in a ‘Catholic marriage’” (Agence France Presse, Dec. 7, 1999).
On the same day, a joint Israeli-Palestinian delegation met, by invitation, with Johannes Swoboda, member of the European Parliament (mep). Asked about Israel’s suspicion of the EU drive for involvement in the peace process, the mep signaled that this approach by Israel was no longer acceptable to the German-led EU. In arbitrary fashion, Swoboda emphasized, “Europe will simply have to become more engaged in the serious issues of the final-status agreement” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 1999).
The belligerent note in this Austrian democratic socialist’s message ought to have sounded warning bells for the Israeli representatives.
The original Hebrew in Hosea 5:13 indicates that when “Judah [the Jews, modern Israel] saw his wound,” he went to Assyria (Germany—write for our free booklet The History and Prophecy of Germany to prove this). As Gesenius’ Lexicon points out, the term in this context is “used figuratively of a remedy applied to the wounds of a state.” Further, in Obadiah 1:7 we read, “All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” The term wound here comes from the same root word as that in Hosea 5:13, but in this particular context it is defined as “falsehood; hence fraud, insidious dealing…net, or snare” (Gesenius). Judah’s wound in Hosea’s prophecy directly relates to false dealing to treat a wound of state—a peace pact!
In this vein I quote from Gerald Flurry’s booklet Hosea and God’s Adulterous Wife: “Why would the Israelis trust the greatest terrorist in the Middle East, Yasser Arafat, to protect them from terrorism? They have more than enough power to protect themselves. But they lack the will to use it! (Lev. 26:17-19)…. The peace process is a deadly delusion!… America and Britain have put enormous pressure on the Jews to accept the peace process.”
Israel is succumbing to this pressure and to the war-weariness of its population. The plo is tiring of the slow pace of progress in the sham peace process. The German-dominated EU is starting to make inroads into the process. Already Arafat has called for the EU to contribute to a multi-national force to protect and enforce the “peace” in Palestine once an agreement is reached. The Jews state they will never give up Jerusalem. Arafat states to his followers that the plo will not rest till the Palestinian flag flies from every building in Jerusalem. The pope and the EU both declare that Jerusalem is an international city. The EU met in Helsinki in December to commence moves to develop a European army. The scene is almost set for the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s prophecy in Luke 21:20. We are soon to see a “peace keeping” force, led by the Euro combine, surround Jerusalem, with the endorsement of the Vatican, ostensibly to keep the peace in that strife-torn center of the world.
A German-led “peace-keeping” force, k-for, controls Kosovo at this moment. It is highly likely, with the U.S. tiring of Balkan involvement, that the EU will soon take on the leadership of the Bosnian “peace-keeping” force, s-for. These “peace-keeping” roles of the German-dominated federation of Europe are but a forerunner of “j-for,” the coming Jerusalem “peace-keeping” force which will take over the hard-won territory of the tiny nation Israel in a final great betrayal. The people of the land of Israel are quickly losing the vision which led them back to their ancient homeland.
“We are a generation that is betraying its forefathers, their faith, and their sacrifice. We are now engaged in tearing out the heart of the land from ourselves, undercutting everything which we nurtured.
“An entirely new Jewish people is being created before our very eyes. A nation which doesn’t continue the past, which will inherit nothing, and is promised nothing. The Bible is no longer our calling card. It’s a mere historical curiosity” (Shmuel Schnitzer, Maariv, Sept. 15, 1994).
As our editor in chief points out in our booklet on the prophecy of Hosea, the EU will be willing to sacrifice Israel to Palestinian gains to secure access to Middle Eastern oil. Mr. Flurry continues, “So this is not just a serious slap at Israel. It’s also a strong move against the Israel-American axis. It’s a power move to take over the peace process for Europe’s great benefit. The European Union is moving to be the heavyweight in the Middle East.
“Europe is moving not only to be a co-sponsor in the peace process—they want to gain control of it! And they are also investing many millions of dollars to do so.
“God prophesies that they will be a smashing success in the short run.”
In the process of that smashing success, the EU is slated to wound Israel (Judah) deeply by brokering a peace deal which will only work to the extreme hurt of the entire population of that troubled land.