A Dangerous Precedent

From the May 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

There may be mixed support among nato nations for its action in Yugoslavia, but consider the dilemma it poses for Middle Eastern Muslims. Typically opposed to Western military action, Iran, the Palestinians and other Muslims have at least two reasons to think twice over this one.

The first is that the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are predominantly Muslim. Iran has always condemned Serbia’s oppression of the Muslim Kosovars—even more vehemently than nato. Iranian-backed terrorist

organizations have strongly supported the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army’s war on the Serbs. (Indeed, nato throwing its weight behind the k.l.a. lends further credence to the observation of some analysts that the U.S., since the Second World War, has had pro-Muslim policies.)

The second reason the Islamic world finds itself siding with nato is more complex. It bears heavily on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and what the map of the Middle East will look like in the months and years to come.

Consider this statement from PA Cabinet Secretary Ahmed Abdul Rahman: “We must make it clear that what is happening in Yugoslavia must serve as a lesson to Israel to withdraw from its current policies before something similar happens to it as what is now taking place in Yugoslavia.”

The way Rahman and many other Muslims see it, Serbia, a sovereign nation attacking a non-sovereign minority within its borders, has done nothing worse than what Israel has done to the Palestinians. If nato sees fit to intervene in the one situation, it ought to intervene in the other.

Even Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prickly Foreign Minister, admitted that should Israel’s Arab minority call for autonomy in the future, the West might consider Yugoslavia a precedent to intervene in the Middle East.

One could argue that the U.S. could never be persuaded to take such strong action against Israel, a long-time ally. That is probably a correct assessment.

But what about Europe?

PA leader Yasser Arafat has lobbied for European support for some time—with good success. One of the latest episodes came March 11 when, much to Arafat’s glee, the EU stated that they do not recognize the Jewish state’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. Israeli leadership bristled, convinced that Europe was trying to lay the groundwork for Jerusalem to be the capital of a new Palestinian state.

The fact is that Europe is not expressly pro-Muslim, but that present steps toward their ultimate aims happen to bring them in conflict with traditional Muslim enemies. Your Bible prophesies that Yugoslavia is indeed a precursor to what will happen in the Middle East, but not in the way Palestinians think.

As this issue points out (p. 6), it is Europe—specifically, Germany—that is leading the “peace seeking” nato charge against the Serbs. And it will be a German-led Europe, again, ultimately volunteering itself to arbitrate a solution to the Israeli conflict. But an independent Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital will certainly not be part of its plan.

“And the king of the north [a German-led Europe] shall come against him [the Middle Eastern Islamic power] like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land [Jerusalem], and many countries shall be overthrown” (Dan. 11:40-41).

That is when the lesson from the present Yugoslav crisis will come: when that European combine finally reveals its true power-hungry, war-mongering nature. Seizing control of Jerusalem for itself will be merely the first of many bloody conquests.