From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
What are the spiritual roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict? Can the conflict be solved politically?
The Jewish Position
With Arab intentions so clear, why has Israel staked its future on a hope that it can secure peace by trading land? There are at least three key reasons.
1) Humanistic Leadership — Menachem Begin is the only Prime Minister of Israel who has been an observant Jew. All others have been marginal believers, if not atheists or agnostics. Accordingly, the prevailing philosophy among Israeli leaders has been humanism, with its faith in the goodness of Man. This philosophy has entrapped the leaders in self-deception, convincing them that if they will only be kind and gracious toward their enemy, then their enemy will reciprocate. It was this type of muddle-headed thinking that prompted Yitzak Rabin and Shimon Peres to believe they could charm and placate the Arabs through a policy of appeasement.
2) Desire for Acceptance — Throughout their long history, the Jewish people have had a desire for acceptance. When they demanded that Samuel provide them with a king, he warned them that a king would abuse and exploit them. But they refused to listen to Samuel’s warnings because, as they put it, “we want to be like all the other nations” (1 Samuel 8:20). God set the Jewish people apart to be a witness of Him (Isaiah 43:10-12), and they have never liked that role. Again, the Jewish leadership has deceived itself into believing
that if it will only give in to world pressure regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, then the world will accept Israel. The truth is that no matter what Israel does, the world will continue to hate the Jews and their state.
3) American Pressure — Because the United States is Israel’s only ally in the world, they are particularly responsive to pressure from us. We may be their only ally, but we have been unwilling to come down decisively on their side because of our interest in procuring Arab oil and our desire to build an Arab coalition against terrorism. We are the ones, in fact, who forced them to the negotiating table to trade land for peace. It all occurred in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and a flood of Jewish refugees began to return to Israel. For over a year, 2,000 to 3,000 refugees arrived each day! The Israeli government was swamped by the demands for food and housing and jobs. They appealed to the world bank for a $5 billion loan. The bank responded by saying they would provide the loan only if it were guaranteed by the United States. The Bush Administration dug in its heels and demanded that the Israelis start trading land for peace in order to get the loan guarantee. That is how the Israelis got started down the self-destructive road of appeasement.
The Folly of Appeasement
History makes it clear that a policy of appeasement always leads to war because it merely whets the appetite of the aggressor. But from 1991 to 2000, the Israeli leadership ignored the lessons of history and fervently pursued its policy of trading land for peace.
The turning point came in the summer of 2000 when Ehud Barak caved in to Palestinian terror and offered Arafat everything except the keys to the Knesset. When Arafat refused even to consider the offer, the eyes of the Israeli people were opened to the truth that Arafat was not interested in peace. They finally realized that he was determined to take all of Israel.
That realization produced an earthquake in Israeli public opinion. The voters decided to wash their hands of Barak and his party of equivocators. They turned to Ariel Sharon, a strong leader who had never been deceived by Arab intentions. Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February of 2001, and his determination to draw the line on what Israel is willing to surrender for peace has resulted in all the world coming together against Israel over the issue of Jerusalem, just as prophesied by Zechariah.
Next: Part 7 – Crucial Questions
Published on Friday, October 27, 2023 @ 9:56 PM CDT