Standing With Israel

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Kerry and Abbas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Picture of the Mosque of Omar symbolizes the Palestinian goal of decreeing the ancient city of Jerusalem the Muslim Arab capital of a Palestinian state. (Reuters)

The world’s most prestigious newspaper, The New York Times, recently produced an article predicting Israel’s soon-coming demise.

Written by an illustrious University of Pennsylvania professor, Ian S. Lustick, it carefully outlined the reasons Lustick believes Israel will disappear.

Lustick's logic is impeccable. From man’s perspective, there is no way Israel will be able to forever fight off those who want to destroy her. In fact, in the 46 years I have lived in Israel, I have watched almost the entire world turn against Israel.

Yes, there are still a few friends. Very few. The U.S., Canada, Australia with its new prime minister. Then there are a few fair-weather friends—off and on as the wind blows.

But how can a nation of 7 million Jews continue to fight off the whole world?

Professor Lustick ticks off his reasons with brilliant insight. On second thought, you don’t have to be a genius to see the insurmountable obstacles to peace facing little Israel surrounded by 23 Arab states filled with jihadists.

Yet most democratic nations are in denial as to Israel’s genuine vulnerability. On the other hand, the Islamic and autocratic regimes like Iran simply believe Israel’s destruction is on its way. Time is on Islam’s side.

As Lustick sees it, for 30 years every American president has enthusiastically brought his entire might and influence to the Middle East in order to “solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Only one time was there a tiny window for a possible breakthrough—in 1993, with the Oslo agreements.

That accord provided for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). But the “insurmountable obstacles” were left for later. Nothing ever came of it.

Palestinian Demands

The obstacles are well known. Palestinians demand:

  1. Israel must hand over the Old City of Jerusalem to Muslim control, including the Western Wall—and including the surrounding “settlements” suburbs of Jerusalem.
     
  2. The 5 million Arab “refugees,” including children and grandchildren who have never been near Israel, must be allowed to move into Israel proper (and thus overwhelm the democratic state with several million new Muslim voters).
     
  3. The 500,000 Jews who live in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria must vacate their homes for a new Arab population to take occupancy.

Will this happen? Of course not. If only one of these hurdles existed, there would never be a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel's Demands

I must quickly admit that Israel does have some non-negotiable demands also:

  1. The Palestinians must officially agree to recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.
  2. The Palestinians must officially agree to cease all violence and terrorist attacks against Israel and to stop pressing the U.N. to take steps to destroy Israel’s economy.

Practically speaking, the Palestinians would have to agree to allow the Israel Defense Forces to be stationed along the borders of a Palestinian state to keep terrorists from crossing into a new Palestinian state in order to infiltrate Israel.

Secondly, the Palestinians would have to pledge to make peace with the Jewish state once and for all and renounce all further demands in the future.

The Injustice of It All

But that’s not all. There are numerous other issues that are equally impossible to solve to the satisfaction of both sides. Here is an incomplete list:

  1. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab state since the city’s existence of 4,000 years. It has been the capital of the Jewish people whenever they were allowed to live in the Holy Land.

    Arabs never thought about Jerusalem being their capital until the Jewish people began returning in droves to the city in the early 1900s. Now the Palestinians claim their incontrovertible right to make the entire eastern part of Jerusalem their capital.

  2. There has never been an Arab democratic state. Ever! The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is, as expected, a dictatorship under President Mahmoud Abbas. His elected term was over in January 2009, but he still rules. An Islamic dictatorial regime on Israel’s borders would not produce “two states for two peoples living in peace and security.”
  3. The other half of the so-called future Palestinian state was supposed to be Gaza, but when Hamas leadership was democratically elected, it quickly seized absolute control of the Gaza Strip and now rules it with a rod of iron. PA officials in Gaza were either killed, jailed or are living very quietly so as not to rouse the anger of their Hamas rulers. Today there are two “Palestines” with two rulers.
  4. Every place from which Israel has withdrawn—Gaza, Southern Lebanon, the Sinai Desert—is now jam-packed with terrorists looking to attack and destroy Israel.
  5. Israel learned a very strong lesson: When Israel’s military troops and civilian settlers cleared out of Gaza, to the last Israeli, it did nothing to help Israel gain favor with the U.N., the European Union or the rest of the world. Israel gained only one thing: terrorists.
  6. The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, claiming that Zionism is racism. (Zionism is the movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in Israel.) Arab arrogance is astonishing. There are 23 Arab Islamic states, and no one anywhere in the world labels them as racist states.
  7. The Palestinians and other Arab states continue to educate their citizens—claiming Israel illegally occupies Islamic land—through their school textbooks, music, TV and movies and through idolizing suicide bombers by naming streets and squares after them. They brainwash children from kindergarten on up to believe all of the land now occupied by Israel belongs to the Arab people and will one day be conquered and returned to the people of the Quran.
  8. A large percentage of the funding from Western states that is given to the PA goes into the pockets of its leaders. Everybody knows it. No one does a thing about it. Corruption in the PA is over the top. Predictably, it leaves the common Palestinians in poverty. 
  9. The U.N. has cooperated closely with the Palestinians, the General Assembly giving them status in a first step as a nonmember observer, while other U.N. branches have embraced them wholeheartedly into their various agencies. Therefore, there is little motivation for Palestinians to make any concessions toward Israel’s security needs or to stop the fierce hostilities against Israel in the U.N.
  10. For example, from its beginning in 2006 to 2010, the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed 48 percent of all its resolutions against Israel, the only country it has ever specifically condemned. (The UNHRC, of course, is dominated by Islamic states.) The council makes a yearly review of alleged human rights abuses of only one country in the world: Israel. Therefore, there is no motivation for Palestinians to negotiate a peace treaty with Israel; they are convinced that over time, the world will destroy Israel.
  11. The U.N. has created a special agency for Palestinians only (called UNRWA), giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year to them and hiring tens of thousands of Palestinians to work there. Why would the Palestinians give up the world’s bankrolling in exchange for renouncing its goal of destroying Israel?
  12. The world regularly blames Israel alone for the lack of progress in making peace with the Palestinians. Why would the Palestinians change their successful tactics one millimeter?
  13. Arabs have much larger families than Jews. One day they believe the Palestinians will take over Israel just through sheer demographics. (Popular saying: The Palestinians will destroy Israel through the Palestinian womb.) Why not just wait?

Conclusion: No Peace Treaty

For just some of these reasons, the professor whose article appeared in the New York Times has come to a reasonable conclusion: The time for a peace treaty creating “two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security is past.”

He lays the responsibility for this calamity, unsurprisingly, at the feet of Israel, which because of its government’s obstinancy is producing “isolation, emigration and hopelessness.” Lustick suggests that Israel will have to give up its “Zionism dream” of being a Jewish state and just melt into the Middle East. He writes, “Israelis whose families came from Arab countries might find new reasons to think of themselves not as ‘Eastern,’ but as Arab.”

Lustick then drifts into La La Land, suggesting “masses of downtrodden and exploited Muslim and Arab refugees, in Gaza, the West Bank and in Israel itself could see democracy, not Islam, as the solution.”

Lustick forgot that earlier in his article he had explained that one of the reasons for the inability to create two peace-loving states is that “strong Islamist trends make a fundamentalist [under Shariah law] Palestine more likely than a small state under a secular [i.e., democratic] government.”

Hence the question remains: Why would both Israel and the Palestinians agree to another round of emotionally draining talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when both sides know there is absolutely no chance of a peace agreement?

The answer is so very simple. Both Israelis and Palestinians fear the loss of financial help from the U.S. and the EU, not to speak of the world’s disapproval if they don’t enthusiastically and vigorously engage in peace talks.

But back to Professor Lustick’s warning that the Jewish state at some not-too-distant future is about to disappear.

Human Wisdom Says Israel Is Fated to Disappear

Lustick is right! According to human reasoning, Israel is on its way out. It’s one thing to have 42 million armed Arabs working toward your demise. It’s still another to have 1.6 billion Muslims whose Quran says to kill the Jews. It’s even a greater threat when the entire United Nations continuously bashes Israel by passing resolution after resolution against Israel’s “apartheid state,” designed to brand her a parasite nation.

But when almost all of the Western democratic states—Europe, Scandinavia and sadly even Great Britain—stand against Israel and launch serious sanctions to choke off her economy, the peril is undeniable.

But alas, that is not all. When Israelis watch the United States, the No. 1 world power and Israel’s most faithful ally, weakening as a nation before their very eyes, reality says hope seems lost. But God!

Why Did God Repeat Himself So Often?

I used to wonder years ago why God repeated Himself so many times through His prophets, saying in the last days He was going to bring the Jewish people back to their homeland, declaring He would save, heal and deliver them. He would open their eyes. He would forgive their sins. He would heal their backsliding. He would make them strong against their enemies.

There are literally hundreds of such Scriptures. As I heard an amazing Orthodox rabbi say last night at the Eagles Wings’ Day of Prayer in Jerusalem, “The Bible is more powerful than the New York Times!”

The reason for this repetition is obvious. God did not want us to miss His intentions for Israel. Without God’s miraculous intervention, without His protection, without His promise to preserve Israel from her enemies, there is absolutely no hope at all.

What About Israel's Salvation?

Here in Israel we see a nation of Jewish people who are yet far away from their God and His Word. In the midst of this spiritual wasteland, the Messianic Jewish believers are giving their lives to see our people come to salvation. We don’t see it yet. Well, perhaps we see a cloud the size of a man’s hand. But you can be sure that it is entirely a walk of faith. Strong faith.

So we are greatly encouraged when we see how year after year, God protects this nation against all odds. It's just as it was when Yeshua the Messiah told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. The Pharisees didn’t believe He had authority to do that. But then Yeshua said, “Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?"

If God has been displaying His amazing power by preserving the modern state of Israel through countless wars, physical and verbal attacks from every side, and the determination of the world body to sanction her out of existence, then we know He will forgive Israel’s sins and the day will surely come when “all Israel shall be saved.”

This article was originally posted on the Maoz Israel Report.

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