|ASA forces UK Palestinian Mission retreat on erasing Israel|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 23 March 2012 18:53|
Well, nearly... Some of you may remember the crisis at the United Nations last year, when the Palestinian Authority formally submitted its request to be recognized as a fully fledged member of the UN General Assembly.
A string of South American countries had already formally recognized the state of 'Palestine' within the 1967 armistice lines, and European countries were lining up to enhance the status of their Palestinian delegations to that of 'diplomatic mission'. Even before they were afforded General Delegation status by the British government, the Palestinian delegation to the UK had already set up a website called 'Palestinian Embassy UK'. The front page of their website advocated the establishment of “a peaceful Palestinian state with secure and internationally recognised borders encompassing the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as the Capital of Palestine”. A noble aspiration, as I noted at the time, but no mention of Israel's existence. And on another page of their website you could find a map of the state of 'Palestine', encompassing all of Israel, Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Jewish state was nowhere to be seen. Towns such as Jaffa and Haifa were described as 'Palestinian cities' that were militarily occupied by Israel in 1948. The entire region was coloured in black, red and green, the colours of the Palestinian Authority flag, as if to reinforce the idea that Israel has no claim to the land whatsoever.
I sent an email to the British Foreign Office to complain about it at the time, as did I am sure many others also, but I didn't receive any response. No surprise there. But today I discovered that we have actually gained a minor victory. The Advertising Standards Authority, which was recently granted powers by the government to regulate advertisements on the internet, has ruled against the Palestinian delegation regarding the information that was presented on their website. The site has been renamed, 'Palestinian Mission UK', in keeping with their actual status in the United Kingdom. The black, red and green colours no longer obscure the entire area of Israel. Jaffa and Haifa are no longer described as being Palestinian cities militarily occupied by Israel in 1948.
Quote: “The ASA noted that the website featured a map that included all of Israel, in addition to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We noted that the map was coloured red, green and black, the colours of the Palestinian flag. We noted that clicking on particular areas of the map linked to tourist information. We noted that these links provided historical, cultural and commercial information aimed at tourists. We also noted that neither the information provided via these links nor the information surrounding the map itself referred to the State of Israel. We considered that the average consumer would infer from the map and the linked information that the total area represented by the map was the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Because this was not the case we concluded that the website was misleading.
But as I said at the beginning, it's only a partial victory... There is still no recognition of Israel's existence, never mind its right to exist. Israel is not named on the map, nor in the accompanying articles. And the title of the map is 'Palestine in 1948', a vague reference to the territories occupied by Egypt and Trans-Jordan during Israel's War of Independence. Note that recognition of the 1967 armistice lines as borders of a future Palestinian state does not automatically imply recognition of Israel's right to exist. 'Palestine in 1948' may only comprise part of this map, but presumably the Palestinian Authority still hopes that 'Palestine in 2012' will include all of Israel proper - 'from the river to the sea'. So much for all this talk about a 'two-state solution'.
We know that according to Biblical prophecy, this conflict will not be resolved in the immediate future. In fact the Bible says that it will continue to grow worse and worse until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord says in Zechariah 12:2-3, “in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it”. Again, in Zechariah 14:2 the Lord declares, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city”. Why does the Lord being all nations together against Jerusalem to do battle? Why will He make the city a burdensome stone to all that burned themselves with it? For two reasons. The first reason is to cause the unbelieving nation of Israel to turn back to their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). And the second reason is to bring judgement upon the nations for scattering His people and parting His land (Joel 3:2). As Christians, when we think about the end times and all that is to take place, sometimes we do miss the bigger picture. We get so caught up with fighting our battles that we forget God is still in complete control of world events and that He is bringing all these things to pass so that He might receive the glory. And that glory will be found ultimately in the revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ, as the only Saviour and Redeemer of mankind (Psalm 2). World events prove that Christ's return is drawing near. Time is short. Is Christ coming for you? Turn away from your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.