Jul 3, 2009

Britain Jumps on 'Settlement' Bandwagon

Chris Perver
By Chris Perver

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has joined the international chorus of criticism which has been directed at Israel regarding its settlement building in east Jerusalem. 'Deploring' the construction of apartment blocks in the Israeli capital, Miliband echoed recent statements made by both the German Chancellor, the Quartet for Middle East peace, and the US President, in calling for a complete freeze of settlement building in territory captured by Israel during the Six Day War.

Miliband remarked that the Israeli decision to proceed with settlement expansion in east Jerusalem could not have come at a worse time for the peace process, which he claims is is now at a pivotal point as the US President decides how to fulfil its commitment to the two-state solution.

The chorus of criticism of Israel began following Obama's presidential address in Cairo, in which he broke previous oral and written agreements with the Jewish state by calling for a complete freeze on settlement construction in the territories.
"Settlements are illegal under international law and they are a major blockage to peace in the Middle East on the basis of a two-state solution," Miliband told parliament. "There are reports coming through of the Israeli Ministry of Defence yesterday granting permission for 50 new housing units at the Adam settlement which is something that we completely deplore," he said. "This is the worst possible time for new settlements to be initiated or for construction to be started," he said. "We are at an absolutely vital moment as the new American administration comes to a decision about how it will prosecute its commitment to a two-state solution."
Not only is the new American administration demanding that Israel cease all construction work in its own capital city, but they are now proposing to ask Israel to cede control of the Old City area of Jerusalem to a third party until an agreement regarding the division of the city is forthcoming. That's according to the Center for American Progress (CAP), an influential political organization in Washington, which claims to have spearheaded the Democratic election campaign in 2008.

Former Canadian Ambassador to the Middle East Michael Bell has drafted a proposal which would see an international body being given permission to administer the Old City until the status of Jerusalem can be resolved. The proposal follows along the lines of a plan drafted by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last year, which would have seen Israel hand over control of the 'holy basin' area to an international authority.
"Bell explained that the plan calls for an administration or regime that would govern the Old City of Jerusalem for an interim period, without either Israel or the PA giving up their demands for sovereignty: "Frankly, I don’t think there’s going to be any agreement on sovereignty. I think that the two sides need not cede their demands for sovereignty; these claims can remain exactly as they are today. The sides would simply agree to delay the implementation or assertion of these claims until after an agreement is reached. Until then, a special administration would be set up, with the two sides agreeing to set this up, at least on an interim basis. And what this would do … would be to ensure dignity, human rights and equity for all living in the Old City, all visitors, and all pilgrims."

I have sent a letter to my MP regarding Miliband's statement. I think it is horrendous that the Foreign Secretary should describe the construction of houses in east Jerusalem as a "major obstacle" to the implementation of a two-state solution, as if this is somehow responsible for the repeated rejection of every peace agreement presented to the Palestinians since 1947. And describing news of settlement expansion at Adam as "deplorable" is a very poor choice of words, as if Israeli settlement construction deserves the same moral repugnance as Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately I am anticipating that I will get the standard response from the British Foreign Office.

As you can see, what the Bible said would happen during the last days is now beginning to come to pass. Discussion on the status of Jerusalem is a clear sign that we are now living in the end times. Zechariah prophesied of a time when the status of Jerusalem would become such a contested issue, that it would be like a burdensome stone and a cup of trembling for the entire world (Zechariah 12:2-3). These are the times we are living in.

The Bible predicts that in the not too distant future, the city of David will be re-divided, and half of the city shall go into captivity. For a three and a half year period, the eastern half of the city of Jerusalem will come under Gentile control (Revelation 11:2). Thus will begin the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), the days in which the Lord prophesied the nation would desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and would not (Luke 17:22).

For just as the Lord dwelled among His people during His three and a half year ministry on this earth, so the Antichrist will persecute the Jewish people for three and a half years until the return of the Messiah (Revelation 19).

But the Lord Jesus Christ will come back, and the nation of Israel will look upon the One whom they pierced (Zechariah 12:10). That will be a day of revelations. But what about you? Have you looked to the One who was pierced for you? Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins? If not, then what are you waiting for? The Lord says,

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).

Source Links

Britian says Jewish settlements illegal on occupied Palestine - World Bulletin
'Saudis block US push for normalization' - Jerusalem Post
Quartet asks Israel to stop settlement activity - China View