Israeli Pullback Continues

From the May 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

True to the Trumpet’s prediction, the Mideast peace process is in shambles. Several sources predict a possible Mideast war in 1998.

The November 1993 Trumpet revealed, via Gerald Flurry’s feature article, Yasser Arafat’s public speeches as being replete with references to the ultimate goal of “an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.” Arafat went on to say, as we reported, “We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a Palestinian state.”

Our feature article in the January 1996 Trumpet blared, “Here is what to watch for in the months ahead: Look for Israel to continue in their complete retreat from territories gained in past wars. This will make them more vulnerable to attack…. Tensions between Israel and her neighbors will increase. There will not be peace—regardless of how many treaties are signed. As the threat of war looms for Israel, look for them to turn to the European Union for help and support instead of America.”

Two years later, the peace process is all but over, violence in the region has not stopped, and Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories continues.

Though unwilling to pull back from more than 10 percent of the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to halt all military action in Lebanon and withdraw Israeli troops from the 340-square-mile buffer zone to the international border.

Lebanese President Elias Hraw, however, rejected the Israeli cabinet’s decision as a “trial balloon,” while Damascus continues in rhetorical mode its demand for the return of the Golan Heights—an area located in northern Israel, secured during the 1967 war and crucial to Israeli security.

Sources within both the U.S. and Israeli administrations claim that America is intent on seeing Netanyahu removed from office so that he might be the scapegoat for the failed peace process. Meanwhile, the man whom Arafat has called his friend, Shimon Peres, waits in the wings, biding his time.