The Palestinians and Israelis are scheduled to meet at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., this November. This major “peace summit” is the brainchild of the Bush administration and is under the supervision of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Though most of the world – especially the Arab world – seems dubious about the summit’s prospects for success, the United States appears bent on forcing some sort of “peace” upon that troubled region. To do so, Secretary Rice is pressuring Israel to drop all of its redline demands. Redlines are the points that cannot be conceded.
Both sides have redlines. Both sides have points they will not give up, boundaries they will not cross. But the State Department is pressuring Israel to drop all of its redline conditions. For the first time, the division of Jerusalem is on the table. Since 1967, Israel had steadfastly claimed a united Jerusalem as “its eternal capital, never to be divided again.”
I will never forget when Gen. Moshe Dayan first stood before the Western Wall after the amazing six-day victory in June of 1967. He dramatically declared, “We have returned to all that is holy in our land. We have returned never to be parted from it again.”
Evidently, to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, “eternal” and “never” means about 40 years. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Palestinians are pressuring Secretary Rice to guarantee that Israel will relinquish sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
What’s more, they’re making this guarantee a pre-condition before they’ll even show up at the conference! According to a senior Palestinian official quoted by Haaretz, “No Arab country would agree for a final-status arrangement in which the Temple Mount was not in Muslim hands, particularly not Saudi Arabia.”
So, while Israel is not permitted any redline issues, the Palestinian redlines are not only permitted, but Secretary Rice is seeking guarantees of Israeli acceptance of them. And their No. 1 redline demand is that Israel must surrender the very heart and soul of Judaism as the price of admission to even start discussing peace.
Just suppose for a moment that Israel and the Muslims were in reverse circumstances. Can you imagine the reaction to Israel demanding that the Muslims guarantee the surrender of Mecca as a precondition to “discussing” peace? The world would consider such a demand unthinkable.
Yet, according to a report in WorldNetDaily, Secretary Rice singled out areas of Jerusalem that will become part of a future Palestinian state. She reportedly told Palestinian negotiators that she would publicly blame Israel for the failure of next month’s summit if the Jewish state didn’t agree to evacuate east Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Rice traveled to the Middle East this week to help the Israelis and Palestinians formulate a joint statement ahead of November’s conference. The Palestinians want the statement to outline specifically a Palestinian state including the Gaza Strip, West Bank and essentially all of east Jerusalem, which includes not only the Muslim holy places, but those of the Jews and Christians as well. They are ostensibly to be put under Jordanian supervision.
But I remember what that was like before June 1967. There were walls and barbed wire separating East Jerusalem from Israel. Christian pilgrims had to carry their own luggage across an intimidating no man’s land of about 40 meters while unfriendly Jordanian soldiers looked on.
I am stunned the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to agree to all of the Palestinian demands in advance, with the threat that they’ll be blamed for the summit’s failure if they don’t.
In view of this, my question is, “What’s the point of the conference?” “What’s left to negotiate?” President Bush and Secretary Rice have already done the Palestinians’ negotiating for them. And all of this despite the fact that the Palestinians have not lived up to one prerequisite condition outlined in Bush’s own “Road Map for Peace.”
You know, I fear for both President Bush and Secretary Rice. I also fear for my beloved country. They must be ignorant of a prophecy God made 2,500 years ago through the Hebrew prophet Zechariah. It applies to this precise time and situation in history. God said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples. …” The people surrounding Jerusalem are all the current Muslim nations.
As predicted, they have become intoxicated over possessing Jerusalem. Like drunken people, their emotions, inflamed with religious zeal, are causing them to do unwise, reckless and violent things.
The truth is hardly any Muslims traveled to visit Jerusalem before the Jews returned to it. Now you would think there is no other holy place on earth as important to them.
These are the exact conditions Zechariah predicted would be part of the last stages of this age. He continues, “And it shall happen in that day that I WILL make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for ALL PEOPLES. …” – meaning the entire world. Now here’s the punch line: “ALL who would seek to heave it away will surely be cut in pieces.” The original Hebrew makes the meaning of this even clearer. It reveals that everyone who tries to remove the heavy burden of the Jerusalem crisis will be utterly destroyed for getting involved with it. Isaac and Ishmael’s fight over possession of Jerusalem has drawn the whole world into it – just as the prophets predicted. It is the culmination of Ishmael’s 4,000-year-old hatred of his half-brother Isaac, the forefather of the Israelites.
I pray that somehow this message will get through to President Bush and Secretary Rice. This prophecy applies to this very moment in which we live. And in light of what they are forcing on Israel, it applies to them personally.
While Bush and Rice strive to create legacies for themselves – just as most presidents have tried to do with the Middle East conflict for the last 40 years – they not only endanger themselves, but also endanger this nation with the divine curse promised above. Mr. President, there is nothing on this earth worth what you are doing. In the power of God’s Spirit, I warn them both, “Stop, before it’s too late!”
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