Sleeping With the Enemy

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Sleeping With the Enemy

Israel’s self-destructing policy of negotiating for peace.

JERUSALEM—“The reason why I shook that man’s hand,” Yitzhak Rabin told his speechwriter the night before his assassination, “was to strengthen the credibility and to empower the secular Palestinian national movement”—as opposed to radical Islam. Of course, Rabin was talking about his uncomfortable handshake with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn with President Clinton in September 1993. According to Yehuda Avner, one of Rabin’s closest advisers at the time, Rabin consented to the agreement because he foresaw the Islamic radicalization of the Middle East.

In one discussion with Avner, Rabin took a sheet of paper and drew a circle around the State of Israel. “These are our neighbors,” he said. “Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.” Around that, he drew another circle, saying, “And these are their neighbors: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya”—all of them rogue states under the heavy influence of radical Islam.

According to Avner, who served on the staffs of five Israeli prime ministers during his political career, the secret negotiations at Oslo in the months leading up to the White House handshake were Rabin’s way of establishing common ground between Israel and the inner circle—nations he believed were equally threatened by that outer circle. He was trying to “find some kind of dialogue with the secular, nationalist movement, as opposed to those who are doing their level best to theologize the conflict.”

And that might sound reasonable, but Mr. Avner completely misses the point! The real story from 1993 is not that Rabin identified the outer circle as Israel’s greatest security threat. It’s that he turned to the inner circle for help—to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in particular.

Judah’s Wound

Now let’s highlight the pinpoint accuracy of a Trumpet forecast from 1993. A few weeks after the Oslo Accords were agreed upon at the White House, my father wrote this in his “Personal”: “Yitzhak Rabin has stated publicly that Israel must come to terms with the Palestinians sooner rather than later. Why? Because Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise! Surely we must see a certain desperation in this treaty” (November 1993, emphasis mine). Rabin and Arafat came together, he wrote later, “because of the same radical Islamic movement.” Commenting further on the impact this radicalization was having on the Middle East, my father wrote, “Today the radical Islamic movement is causing other nations to fear—even motivating peace treaties. But these treaties are destined to fail. … The deadly delusion that ‘all problems can be solved by negotiation’ is going to lead Israel and the U.S. to disaster!”

The spread of fundamentalist Islam would indeed become a force to be reckoned with, we predicted. But the deadliest delusion of all, the Trumpet warned 14 years ago, was in trying to negotiate peace with terrorists like Yasser Arafat!

“Why would the Israelis trust the greatest terrorist in the Middle East, Yasser Arafat, to protect them from terrorism?” my father asked in April 1996. “They have more than enough power to protect themselves. But they lack the will to use it! That is because God has broken their will” (see Leviticus 26:17-19).

Now meditate on what has happened since the Trumpet made those predictions, based on the sure word of Bible prophecy. Look at what negotiating with Yasser Arafat has brought upon Israel. Giving the Palestinian Authority self-governing powers in the West Bank led to the second intifada, forcing Israel to begin constructing a 465-mile security barrier. The Lebanon withdrawal triggered the second Lebanon war and Israel’s embarrassing retreat last summer. And pulling out of Gaza cleared the way for the violent emergence of “Hamastan.”

Is it any wonder that God refers to the “peace” process as Israel’s deadly “wound” in Hosea 5:13? “The Middle East has gotten itself tied into such an impossible knot,” Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times, “that biblical references or Shakespearian quotations simply don’t suffice anymore to describe how impossibly tangled politics has become here” (June 6).

The collapse of Oslo has left Israel in a position far more dangerous than it ever was before 1993. Through negotiation, Israel has willingly retreated from strategic territories even as radical Islam has begun its rapid advance into the inner circle, ramming up against Israel’s shrinking borders!

Final Negotiations

The Trumpet staff was on hand for Mr. Avner’s press briefing here in Jerusalem on July 5. After his concluding remarks, we asked him to comment on the radicalization of Israel’s closest neighbors. “The problem on our agenda is Iran,” he said. “We have been threatened with destruction by a nihilistic dictator with a will to conquer the world. This is reality. And there is a time frame. The countdown has begun—whether it is two years, three years, four years—these will always be debated. … But the enrichment program is on. And who can deny that we are living in a totally new and threatening period of history?”

Of course, the Trumpet has been sounding the alarm about the rise of this biblically prophesied “king of the south” for many years now. Mr. Avner believes this threat will not be eliminated until there is “some kind of military solution.” But he questions the will of American and Israeli leadership in confronting such a dangerous threat. “I don’t know if there exists on this Earth today anybody in power, whether it be in Washington or Jerusalem, who has what it takes to make such a Kennedy-like decision” (referring to Kennedy’s response to the Cuban missile crisis).

How shamefully accurate that assessment really is! And if Mr. Avner can see this, surely the outer circle, led by Iran, has taken note. Iran has been intensely observing Israel’s approach to the peace process—as well as America’s weakening resolve in the war on terror. The king of the south interprets our penchant for negotiating with enemies as a sign of weakness. The peace process has weakened our position—and made our enemies much stronger!

“I think that in many ways we are back into the 1930s,” Mr. Avner noted. “We have a Europe pretty complacent … a Europe that didn’t take Hitler seriously enough in the 1930s.”

In effect, he was saying that America and Israel are aware of the looming threat, but lack the will to confront the problem. Europe, on the other hand, has the will to fight, but hasn’t taken the threat seriously enough—not yet anyway. Bible prophecy tells us exactly what will happen once the European Union, led by Germany, fully awakens to the threat of radical Islam. (See “Iran’s Strategy in Gaza: What It Is and Why It Will Fail.”)

But before Europe unleashes its blitzkrieg whirlwind against the king of the south (Daniel 11:40), Bible prophecy says it will first be invited into the Middle East by Israeli negotiators! “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah [the Israeli people] saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian [modern-day Germany], and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13). The wound, as we have noted, is the peace process. And the final stage of those negotiations will culminate in Europe’s “peaceful” entry into the Holy Land.

Notice what my father wrote in his booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy: “Already the European Union has stepped up its efforts to help the Middle East peace process as the U.S. pulls out of the region and grows weaker. German-led Europe has been publicly mentioned as being a protector to Israel.” My father then asks, “Can anyone miss the cruel irony of this situation?”

To a student of history, it seems unthinkable—Jews inviting Germans into Jerusalem to keep the peace? Could a Holocaust survivor even imagine such a scenario?

But your Bible says that is precisely what will happen. Yes, in the same way it drove Yitzhak Rabin to the negotiating table with an infamous terrorist, the spread of Islamic fundamentalism into its inner circle will prompt Israel to make one last desperate attempt to negotiate its way out of the danger—this time reaching out to its most notoriously ruthless and unforgiving enemy.

This time, though, the stakes will be much, much higher. Negotiating with the inner circle in the early 1990s has resulted in the destruction of Israel’s security.

Shaking hands with the Assyrians will result in catastrophic destruction.

Hosea’s prophecy continues, “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (verse 15). God says He will continue punishing the people of Judah (as well as America and Britain) until we acknowledge our offenses. All God wants is for His people to repent of their evil ways. So He sends this warning message to you first—before the destruction—offering you the unparalleled opportunity to repent NOW so that you might be protected from the coming explosion!