By Terry James
Bible prophecy’s most profound current issue simmers on the Jerusalem horizon, but there seems little notice even by the usually observant prophecy ministries. It is the peace process to which I refer.
Israeli leadership at the very top is as in conflict internally, as it is with the Palestinian leadership. Controversy rages over exactly how to formulate a process that might have a chance at securing peace between Israel and its enemy-laden neighbors.
The following frames the internal Israeli struggle.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday presented the United Nations with his draft for a population and territory swap, as part of an eventual peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered Lieberman’s stated preference for the way peace should be pursued. The prime minister rejected the foreign minister’s idea of a land swap and asserted that he felt peace might be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians within one year through talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Under Lieberman's controversial scheme, part of Israel's Arab population would be moved to a newly created Palestinians state, in return for evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
… But his decision to place them before the General Assembly in his role as foreign minister will raise speculation over whether they are his private plan, or the official policy of the Israeli government, and Netanyahu is likely to face international calls for clarification. ("Lieberman Presents Plans for Population Exchange at UN," http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/lieberman-presents-plans-for-population-exchange-at-un-1.316197).
Netanyahu reportedly said, "It is vital, and I wholeheartedly believe that it is within our power to reach a framework agreement within a year and change Middle East history."
I have noted with great interest that the current Israeli prime minister seems to be an adherent of the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” This, based on the way he conducted his first stint as the Jewish state’s top post, versus his present modus operandi.
Netanyahu, in the first go-around as prime minister, held firm at most every juncture in dealing with Israel’s enemies. At the same time, I believe he observed and took to heart a number of critically valuable lessons: 1)He saw that the international community as a whole turned ever more anti-Israel with each of his own hard-line stands; 2) He came to understand how the Arab-Islamist mind works; and 3) He formulated from his first run-in with his enemies’ intransigence how to deal with them when his next opportunities presented themselves. He had opportunity to analyze his predecessor prime ministers during his second ascension to that post. He is a quick learner, I’ve come to observe. This is what I mean.
The Palestinian thugs, from Yasser Arafat to present – as well as every Arab leader who has dealt with Israeli leaders — will agree to any number of proposals, so far as the process of agreement is concerned. That is, once they enter a negotiations process, they always present a surface reasonableness – a willingness to be part of the process, so long as they don’t have to make the iron-clad agreement that can be confirmed or ratified by the international powers that be. When this point is reached, they will find reasons to break off the negotiations. One such glaring instance of this was when Arafat broke off negotiations after achieving 98 percent or so of what the Palestinians wanted during the Oslo talks.
When Israel wouldn’t turn all control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem over to Arafat, he got up and stormed out of the talks in a rage, despite the fact that he had been given everything else he had demanded - i.e., he didn’t want peace. He wanted the complete eradication of the Jewish nation, as do the leadership of Israel’s Islamist enemies today.
The process of feigned peacemaking is the weapon of choice of Israel’s Arab enemies when military action isn’t an option. They are masters at stringing out that process interminably.
Again, Benjamin Netanyahu is, if anything, a fast-track learner. I sense that he is playing the process of peace-making the same way the surreptitious Arabs have always played and now the Palestinian leaders play the process. While his own foreign minister is willing to give territory for the hope of peace, the prime minister just promises that he wants to negotiate peace. He is simply dragging out the process, thereby giving the international community Israel haters nothing in the way of negative diplomatic ammunition to hurl at him. He is holding out on any land swap for a peace he knows is not likely ever to be established with those blood-vowed to murder every Jew on the planet.
Tragically, however, Bible prophecy indicates that it is methodology akin to that of Foreign Minister Lieberman, not Mr. Netanyahu’s, that will be utilized by the Israeli leadership at the beginning of the Tribulation era (Daniel’s seventieth week).
God’s Word says that an end-times Israeli leadership will make a covenant with “the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26-27).
That covenant will almost certainly involve Israel’s leadership giving up land, based upon Joel 3:2:
"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”God will himself bring all nations to Armageddon, in part because they have divided the land He promised His chosen people. The land-for-peace deal that end-times Israeli leadership consummates with Antichrist and the nations of the world will make them liable for judgment. The peace will be a lethal transaction to be sure.
Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves…" And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (Isa. 28: 14-15, 18)I’m convinced we are witnessing the prophesied lethal peace process in the making.
Clinton, Netanyahu speak amid efforts to save peace process - AFP
Netanyahu says he's working to save talks - UPI
Direct talks likely to resume after US raft of unprecedented support measures to Israel - Gulf News
Netanyahu trying to convince top ministers to extend settlement freeze - Ha'aretz
The Departure: God's Next Catastrophic Intervention Into Earth's History - Terry James (Book)