|Costa Rica recognizes the state of 'Palestine'|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2008 05:42|
Costa Rica has formally recognized the 'state of Palestine', in an effort to inject fresh impetus into the stalled Middle East peace process. The central American nation has traditionally held good relations with Israel, and until 2006 was one of the last nations in the world to have its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Liberation Organization declared independence in 1988, some 90 countries have officially recognized the state of Palestine. The Israeli government protested Costa Rica's decision to normalize relations with the state of 'Palestine', for the PLO officially lays claim to east Jerusalem for its state capital and its member parties claim all of Israel as their sovereign territory.
Quote: "Costa Rica, a small Central American country, decided to open official ties with the 'State of Palestine' through an official document signed on February 5 by Costa Rica's ambassador to the United Nations and Riyad Mansour, who told the Forward that discussions for a similar opening of diplomatic relations were in advanced stages with Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Mansour underscored the use of the word 'state' by Costa Rica as an important symbol. Mansour explained that Costa Rica's shift was important symbolically, since the country had voted in favor of the 1947 partition plan and, as such, was historically committed to a two-state solution. In addition, it is currently a rotating member of the U.N. Security Council, which often deals with Israeli-Palestinian issues.
Riyad Mansour, the PLO's UN mission chief, had said that US President Bush's decision to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state before the end of his term in office had no doubt influenced Costa Rica's decision to recognize 'Palestine'. As we can see, the status of Jerusalem is at the very heart of this issue. Recently a Canadian lawyer claimed that Israel has the legal right to east Jerusalem. Under the original partition plan, Jerusalem was to be declared an international city and administrated by the UN. After a ten year period residents of the city were to be given the choice whether they wanted Jerusalem to become part of the state of Israel or not. But the resolution was never implemented. Following Israel's declaration of independence, Arab nations threatened to drive the new Jewish state into the sea, and Jordan took control of Judea and the eastern half of the city. Israel later gained control of these territories during the Six Day War of 1967, but Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem was never internationally recognized. Following the Six Day War, the United Nations had ruled that Israel was to remain in control of the land until it possessed "secure and recognized boundaries". Nothing was ever mentioned about re-dividing the city of Jerusalem.
The Bible states in Zechariah that prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the Lord will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people (Zechariah 12:2-3). Today there is no other city that is more hotly contested than Jerusalem. It seems that the status of Jerusalem will be the catalyst that will eventually bring all the nations of the world together to do battle (Revelation 11:2, Zechariah 14:2). And as the international community presses for a resolution to this conflict, it is clear to see that this prophecy must soon come to pass.
I was at a ministry meeting with my friend Helen a few weeks ago. The topic under consideration happened to be about the time period from godly King Josiah, the captivity in Babylon and the subsequent return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. It was fascinating. The speaker mentioned Jeremiah's prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar's conquering of Jerusalem. In chapter 32, after he had been imprisoned by King Zedekiah for prophesying of the destruction of Jerusalem, the Lord tells Jeremiah that his cousin would come to him and ask him to buy his plot of land. It mustn't have made much sense to Jeremiah why he should be buying property in Israel when the Lord had said the nation was to be carried off into Babylon. But when his cousin Hanameel came and asked him to redeem the land, he did according to what the Lord had commanded. He bought the land in Anathoth, and buried the purchase deeds there in an earthen vessel. It was to be a sign that the Lord would surely keep His promise to His people, that He would bring the nation back again to the land of Israel.
There is no mention in the Bible of what ever became of Jeremiah's title deeds. The ancient town of Anathoth lies close to the modern town of Anata, in what is now termed the 'West Bank'. Half of the modern town lies within the east Jerusalem municipality. The speaker noted that it is possible that the title deeds were never recovered following the Babylonian captivity, and that they may still lie buried within east Jerusalem. In the event that they were recovered, this would provide incontrovertible proof that the whole of Jerusalem legally belongs to the Jewish people. All this goes to show that the Lord keeps His Word. What He has promised will come to pass, just as it did in Jeremiah's day. Jesus Christ is coming back for all those who have trusted in Him for salvation (John 14:3). And like Jeremiah, when this happens, many will realize then "that this [was] the word of the LORD", Jeremiah 32:8. Sadly for many it will be too late to do anything about it. The Bible is God's Word and it can be trusted 100%. Don't leave it until it is too late. Recognize that you are a sinner. Repent of your sins. And receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord.