Negotiating With Terrorists

From the October 2007 Trumpet Print Edition

“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 Bill 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,” Avner said.

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.

Final Negotiations

The Trumpet staff was on hand for Mr. Avner’s press briefing 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. 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 is! And if 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,” 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.

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 catastrophe.

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!