|Former ministers urge EU to enact Israeli 'settlement' ban|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:15|
A group of fifteen high-ranking European officials have called on European Union foreign policy chief Baroness Catherine Ashton to press ahead with controversial legislation that would prohibit EU funding being passed to Israeli organizations operating beyond the 'Green Line'. The legislation, passed by the European Commission in July, will require all future agreements between Israel and the EU to include a clause explicitly stating their exclusion to the Palestinian territories (including east Jerusalem). The politicians, calling themselves the group of 'European Eminent Persons', is comprised of former EU leaders including Javier Solana, former High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, responisble for drafting the US 'Roadmap to Peace' document, and also former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, who spearheaded the 'Alliance of Civilizations' project and who is currently EU Special Representative to the Middle East. In their letter the group appear to hold Israel solely responsible for the failure of a future peace agreement by continuing its 'settlement activity'...
Quote: ““We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020,” the letter stated, according to Haaretz. “Their strict application serves to reiterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground…. It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.”
This also follows a similar letter sent to the Baroness last week by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, co-signed by around five hundred academics from across the EU. In that letter, BRICUP expressed 'shock' that the EU was even considering watering down the proposals, and urged Baroness Ashton not to cave in to diplomatic pressure from Israel or the United States.
While EU leaders believe that failure to apply the strictest interpretation of the legislation will cause distrust in the Palestinian Authority for the peace process and make an agreement impossible, many Israeli leaders believe that its application will actually undermine a future peace agreement with the Palestinians, by giving them the impression that the EU is prepared to grant them a state without the need for a peace agreement. It will also serve to embolden the Palestinian idea that Israelis should have no right to live in any area of land now claimed for a future Palestinian state.
I don't even like using the word 'Palestinian' in this context because it assumes that all Palestinians are Arab Muslims. They are not. Before Israel became a nation again in 1948, Jewish people living in the region of Palestine were known as Palestinian Jews. Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion held a Palestinian driving license. So there is no ethnic 'Palestinian people'. There are also many people living in the Palestinian territories that are not Muslim. Bethlehem once had a thriving Christian population. Unfortunately the international community has bought into this idea that there needs to be a 'Palestinian state' in order to satisfy a few Islamic terrorist organizations whose only goal is the destruction of the Jewish people. Even Hamas officials claim that there is no Palestinian national identity. Half of Palestinians are Egyptians, like Yasser Arafat, and the other half are Saudi in origin.
Quote: “Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.
That's not to say that God does not care about the Arab people living now in the Palestinian territories and in Israel. He does very much. I believe the Palestinian Arabs are mentioned in the book of Zephaniah, which talks about the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel in the last days...
There is a future for the Palestinian Arabs, but it is not in their own state. Their future is secure living in the land of Israel and trusting in the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. God did not promise this land to the Arabs. He promised them other lands to the east. But the land from the Euphrates river in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, from the river of Egypt in the south to Hamath in the north, was given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an eternal possession (Genesis 15:18). At no time has this land ever been an independent Arab state, despite being occupied by various empires throughout history. And at no time has Jerusalem ever been the capital of a people other than the Jewish people.
As the European Jewish Congress remarked concerning this ruling, of all the territorial disputes in the world, and there are many, Israel alone is singled out for criticism. Why? Because of Jerusalem. The Bible states that in the last days, God Himself would make the city of Jerusalem a burdensome stone and a cup of trembling for all people, and that all that burdened themselves with it would be cut in pieces (Zechariah 12:2-3). Today the Middle East peace process and the status of Jerusalem is at the very centre of world affairs. The Bible adds that in the last days, Israel's enemies will be in siege against Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2). Today the Palestinian Authority is claiming the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, for their capital city. The ancient territory of Judah, which once included Bethlehem and Hebron (Matthew 2:1, 5), encompassed all of the Gaza Strip and most of what is now termed the 'West Bank'. As you can see from this map, the battle lines are being drawn. Palestinian terrorist organizations are already effectively laying siege to Judah and Jerusalem. But things will get worse. For the Bible predicts that during the tribulation period, the nations of the world will be gathered together against Jerusalem to do battle. That day is not far off.
Praise God that Jesus Christ is coming back. As the Bible prophesies, He will return to defeat Israel's enemies, and set up an everlasting kingdom where peace and justice shall reign. What a day that will be! As the Scriptures state...
Do you know this Child who was born in the manger of Bethlehem so long ago? Do you know this Son who was given to the death of the cross that He might save His people from their sins? His name is Jesus Christ. Turn away from your sin, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).