|Abbas proposes deal on Jerusalem|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 04 July 2010 08:50|
While direct negotiations have yet to recommence following the breakdown of talks in the wake of Operation Cast Lead last December, indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority began in May of this year, with a hope to reviving the Annapolis peace process. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US President George W. Bush both became the first leaders of their respective countries to publicly call for the establishment of a Palestinian state. And originally it was hoped that this plan could be realized by the end of Bush's term in office. But since then the process has been fraught with difficulties. The corruption scandal that engulfed Ehud Olmert left him a politic incumbent and unable to broker a deal with the Palestinians. And the ongoing conflict between Hamas and the ruling Fatah party also left President Abbas powerless to deliver the Palestinian people. Then the Hamas 'temporary calm' expired at the end of 2008, which culminated with the launch of Operation Cast Lead. Israel had hoped to neutralize Hamas before a more pro-Arab government took control of the White House. And although the conflict did eventually bring a measure of peace to Israel's southern border, it dashed hopes of any peace deal being secured. Then came the change of administrations in the United States and Israel. There was the promise of a tougher US line on Israel, with the aim of improving America's image in the Arab world. But Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's unjust criticism of the settlements and her call for the cessation of all natural growth, including in east Jerusalem, proved to be the death knell of the peace process. Her comments gave the Palestinians sufficient reason to believe that if they just sit tight and keep quiet, Palestine will be handed to them on a silver platter, without them ever having to make peace with the Jews. And today the Palestinian leadership is still making settlement cessation a precondition to direct talks, while aiming to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state by the end of next year.
Meanwhile, US Senator George Mitchell is left to ferry between the two leaders in the hope of reaching some common ground. The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is calling for the resumption of direct talks. But Abbas seems either unwilling or unable to agree to that, knowing that any deal that could be agreed would not be acceptable to Hamas, who's charter still calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. It seems that the 'obstacle to peace', as the Israeli construction work has recently been described by the EU and other nations, is actually working in Abbas' favour. So long as Abbas has an 'excuse' not to renew negotiations with the Israelis, he can mollify the Hamas opposition to his leadership through sharing a common bond in their hatred of Israel. And as long as he is seen by the international community to be making some sort of effort to make peace, even if he knows they will be rejected by Israel, he can keep the pressure off himself while maintaining control over the Palestinian Authority.
That is the background to yesterday's announcement that President Abbas made concerning the plan to divide Jerusalem.
Quote: "According to the report, Abbas proposes that a Palestinian state be established on the entire territory of the West Bank, but with a 2.3% land swap. This territory would include Gush Etzion, Givat Ze'ev and Modi'in Illit, as well as a strip of land near Ben Gurion International Airport. In exchange, the Palestinians demand a similar area of land south of Hebron. The report made no mention of the Palestinian stance on Maale Adumim and Ariel. As for security issues, Abbas reportedly proposed that the two parties commit to refraining from all acts of violence and establish a three-way committee, under American supervision, to serve as a guarantee. In addition, Abbas proposed that NATO troops be stationed along the borders and at crossings in order to ensure that the security agreements are being upheld.
The Palestinian Authority has previously rejected deal after deal offered by Israel to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. Ehud Olmert once offered Abbas 98.1% of the territory in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria for the creation of a Palestinian state, with a land swap that would allow Israel to keep Jewish sections of east Jerusalem while linking Gaza with the 'West Bank' through a land corridor. The deal was rejected over the 'right of return' for Palestinian 'refugees' to Israel-proper and the issue of the division of Jerusalem. And I see there is no mention of the Palestinian 'right of return' in this news article. So I find it very unlikely that Abbas would suddenly be interested in making peace with Israel now, and think rather that he is pandering to his international audience.
Of course the Bible predicted all this would happen. The prophet Zechariah foretold a day in which Israel's enemies would be in siege against Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3). And as you can see in this map, the territory that is now being contested by the Palestinians and indeed the international community, closely matches these areas mentioned in Biblical prophecy. The Bible also mentions that during the time of the end, all nations will be gathered together to do battle against the city of Jerusalem. The international community has never recognized Jewish control over east Jerusalem, and the Bible predicts that shortly before the return of Christ, the city will again be divided (Zechariah 14:2).
If this is the case, then we can expect the situation in the Middle East to grow worse rather than better. It is true that a measure of peace will come. But it will be short-lived (1st Thessalonians 5:3). The Bible seems to indicate that it will be halfway through Daniel's 70th week, the time known as Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), when the land will be forcibly divided (Revelation 11:2) and the nation of Israel will experience a time of great trouble the likes of which has never been known before (Daniel 12:1, Matthew 24:21). The tiny nation of Israel is presently surrounded by enemies, and one can only guess at what might be in store for the future, if a regional war were to break out. The question you may be asking is, why would God allow all of this to happen? The answer is, to bring men back to Himself.
The leaders of the nation of Israel had rejected the Lord at His first coming (Isaiah 53:3). They did not want this Man to rule over them (Luke 19:14). But He is the only one whose right it is to rule (Ezekiel 21:27). He has the right as the Creator of the world and of Israel (Isaiah 43:15, John 1:10). He is the King that God has set upon His holy hill (Psalm 2:6), and so has the right as promised Messiah (Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2). He is of the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14), and so has the right as Son of Man and descendant of Adam (Daniel 7:13-14). He is of the royal line, and so has the right as Son of David (Luke 1:32). But not only is the Lord legally entitled to reign over the earth, but He is the only one who has the moral qualifications to do so. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7), and in righteousness does He judge and make war (Revelation 19:11). "In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth", Psalm 72:2. Not only is He legally entitled, not only is He morally qualified, but He is also worthy of bearing rule. Some men, like Prince Charles, may have a legal right to the throne. Others, like Sir Winston Churchill, may have shown great ability in bearing office. But few if any are worthy of it. Christ is the only one of whom it is said, He is worthy to reign. And that, because of what He has done for us, in redeeming us to God by His own blood (Revelation 5:9, 12). He paid the ultimate sacrifice, in the giving of His own life for His people (Hebrews 13:12). No other world leader has or would even dare to pay such a price.
Only when the nations of the world finally come to an end of themselves, when they have literally nowhere else and no-one else to turn to, will men call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (Luke 13:35, Zechariah 12:10). And only then will Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and save them from their enemies (Revelation 19:16). But Jesus Christ can be your Saviour today. He gave His life upon the cross for you. He died for you so that your sins might be forgiven (Isaiah 53:11), and that you may have everlasting life in heaven (John 10:28). Why don't you receive Him as your Lord and Saviour 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:
Source YNet News