By Jim Fletcher
Being in Israel for a week was a blessing in so many ways. Seeing friends, showing my son the sites for the first time, observing the political situation…
For the first time, I spent some time looking at the physical dimensions of Jerusalem, that great city that is a focus of end-times prophecy.
One morning, we drove to the Dead Sea, to see Masada. On the way, leaving Jerusalem, we found ourselves in the suburb of Ma’ale Adumim. I dislike saying “settlement,” since this term is one of the battle axes used against the Jewish state by Barack Obama’s international friends.
In reality, Ma’ale Adumim is a gleaming, thriving home to almost 40,000 people, just east of Jerusalem. It seems to be just blocks from the Old City.
When one sees its placement, along with other Israeli communities and Arab communities, one gets an obvious sense that “1967 borders” is ludicrous. Any borders of any Palestinian state would look like a white piece of paper with squiggly lines on it.
Can’t be done.
Ma’ale Adumim began 35 years ago, and is a hot-button issue for all talks between Israel and Washington. Bill Clinton in particular knows all too well the implications of this site.
Driving through the area is a stunning education, for one can see clearly that within a few blocks, it is possible to pass through Arab suburbs, Israeli suburbs, and back again. Continuously. They are so close to each other that I had to pay careful attention not to turn left and end up in Jericho or Ramallah. You don’t want to go there, believe me.
The whole area serves as a sane contrast to the inane idea that Israel can withdraw to the “1967 borders” and remain safe. It is a chore doing so as it is.
And in reality, the ’67 borders — so named for the temporary boundaries in place on the morning of June 4, 1967, the beginning of the Six Day War — are in fact the 1949 armistice lines.
When Israel was attacked by five invading Arab armies on the morning of May 15, 1948, the new country fought for months for survival. When it was over, armistice lines were put in place.
For 19 years, the Israelis were not allowed into east Jerusalem, they saw Jewish cemeteries on the Mount of Olives desecrated by the Jordanians, and the country was nightmarishly small.
A further indication of how fluid and tense the situation can be came when I wanted to go up to the Mount of Olives. I had rented a car for the week, for the independence, and yet I was told by hotel staff and friends that it wouldn’t be a good idea to drive up there alone.
And why? Because Arab villages dot the area. Think about that.
As a Christian pilgrim, I cannot be reasonably sure that I’m safe simply driving through an Arab neighborhood. This, however, is not outrageous to the international community. It is, after all, Israel’s fault.
I had picked the week of the 44th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem by Israeli forces to see the country again. The Palestinians were offended. They have been offended for 63 years, because they do not accept the Jewish state in their midst.
To quote Bob Dole, where is the outrage?
One evening, we were sitting on a patio at the hotel and heard gunfire from the south, in the direction of Bethlehem. That afternoon, walking through the Muslim quarter of the Old City, I looked at several t-shirts with the “Free Palestine” concept. Most popular were those with an image of Cuban Communist and murderer, Che Guevara. Why?
The Palestinians, through the direct line of Dear Leader Yasser Arafat, are following their Marxist roots. They identify with “revolutionaries.”
The t-shirt I picked up and carried home says “Free Palestine” and shows a map of the entire land. It is a political statement and a very chilling one at that, for the Palestinians are becoming emboldened every time a Western leader bashes Israel. They feel they are winning.
I have much more to report in the coming weeks, including a special report on the Temple Mount, and a description of the situation with Turkey.
For now, it is enough to know that the beautiful and lively Jewish community of Ma’ale Adumim sits on the pivot point of world history.
Fasten your seat belts.
Reports: Obama pressuring Netanyahu on negotiations based on '67 borders - American Thinker
Dead Sea threatened both by shrinking and flooding - AP
Cruise Travel To Israel Up - The Jewish Week
Israel Through The Eyes Of Scripture: The Promised Land - SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Increasing Arab Violence in Mt. of Olives Area - Arutz Sheva