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The Israelis are reeling from the body blow delivered them by President Bush following his meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. In one pronouncement, Bush totally scuttled all the hard-fought, blood-bought gains Israel has made in the three wars forced upon her.
All peace negotiations and concessions by Israel in the pursuit of peace with the Muslim Nations and Palestinians since 1949 have been rendered null and void.
President Bush’s astonishing and unexpected statement reversed long standing American policy. In his joint statement with Abbas, he declared that any final status changes in the peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must be mutually agreed to on the basis of the 1949 armistice lines.
To my horror, this statement is the greatest betrayal of Israel committed by any American president in history.
It nearly knocked me out of my chair when I considered the implications of Bush’s statement. After considering them, I waited for a clarification. I thought, “Surely this president could not have meant what he said. It has to be a mistake.”
I am still waiting, slack-jawed, for a retraction that evidently isn’t forthcoming.
Imposing the condition of mutual agreement and setting the benchmark at the 1949 armistice lines starts the whole process at the beginning. This in effect gives all of the advantages to the Muslims without even sitting down at the bargaining table. Palestinians hold every casual word made by an American president that is to their advantage as the “Law of the Medes and Persians which changeth not.”
It is a dead certainty that the Palestinian side isn’t going to agree to a united Jerusalem with Israel. East Jerusalem was in Arab hands in 1949. A return to the 1949 armistice lines puts it in Arab hands again.
The Western Wall was in Arab hands in 1949. So was the Temple Mount. Making the 1949 armistice lines the basis for mutual agreement means Israel must negotiate with the Palestinians until they agree to give up their claim to the Dome of the Rock or until Israel agrees to give up its claim to the Temple Mount and all of Biblical Jerusalem.
Neither will happen. What is Bush thinking?
Based on this new equation, there is nothing left for Israel to negotiate. Victory: Palestinians. Method: Terrorism. Is it possible that President Bush didn’t consider the implications?
President Bush gave his support to all key Palestinian demands without Abbas having to do a single thing to get it.
After resetting the negotiations to the 1949 lines, Bush added salt to the cuts:
A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity of the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today, it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.
Connecting the West Bank and Gaza effectively cuts Israel in half, making Israel a “state of scattered territories” instead. Such a border arrangement renders Israel totally indefensible. Could the president have misspoken? How could he do such a thing? Especially since it is not Israel that threatens to destroy Palestine, but the Palestinians who – along with the Muslim world – vow to destroy Israel.
Everything about the Israeli-Arab conflict is unique, just as the Hebrew prophets said it would be. When it comes to Israel, the world becomes irrational.
For example, it is the only instance in modern history in which ethnic cleansing is a precondition to peaceful negotiations.
Israeli Foreign Service official and writer Yossi Ben-Aharond noted, “Every time an Arab or Palestinian leader arrives in the United States, his emphasis is on criticism of Israel – Israel’s conquest, their arrests, demolition of houses, et al. But when an Israeli leader arrives, what does he have to say? “We offer our hand in peace, the Palestinians are suffering, we have done so much for them, we ask the administration to provide them with aid, etc. – and he barely says anything about the PA’s violations, the terrorism, the incitement, etc.”
Only hours after President Bush gave Abbas the green light to claim most of Israel as Palestinian territory, Abbas was warning that if PA demands were not met, “despair and loss of hope will come back and a return to the old ideas” – of “armed resistance.”
The message, “Terrorism pays, negotiation doesn’t” was delivered personally to the Palestinians and the rest of the Islamic world by George W. Bush. President Bush did all of this when he uttered those three little words, “1949 Armistice Lines.” It might be time for Israel to start looking around for a new peace broker. This one appears to have taken on a new client.
But there is an even graver consequence for the USA. I have believed for decades that God has protected America despite our growing sin. He has done so because the USA has been a base for world evangelism and we have supported Israel’s right to exist in the land God promised them. This betrayal, if followed through, will effectively remove God’s protective shield. May God help us.