|Olmert: Notion of 'greater Israel' no longer exists|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 14 September 2008 10:39|
Sorry there have been no updates to the website over the past few days. I was attending an archery leaders course in Moira, so I hadn't much time to work on the computer. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, met with King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday for the final leg of his latest tour of the Middle East. In a press statement, King Abdullah reaffirmed Jordan's support for the role of the European Union in the Middle East peace process, underlining "the importance of the EU role in the maintenance of security and stability in the Middle East and the establishment of peace between the Palestinians and Israel, particularly in the coming months". Solana also made stops in Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. His tour of the region follows a recent visit to Damascus, where he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Syrian President Bashar Assad to discuss the peace negotiations with Israel. The purpose of this latest trip was to gauge the prospects of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before the end of the year. Solana said that progress had been slow since the Annapolis peace conference, but added that a peace agreement would be much more complicated to negotiate in 2009, presumably alluding to the threat of war with Iran.
Quote: "Solana said in an interview on Friday that "it is true that in this process of negotiations, the more determined one is, the better chances of getting an agreement in the [stipulated] time frame .... I think that it has been done too slowly at the beginning and that probably this is the mistake that has been made." Solana arrived in Israel Friday morning and had meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Solana said he has doubts over whether a deal can be completed by the end of the year, saying that the longer the sides wait to go forward with talks, the less they are likely to succeed. "Because time is shorter, it will more difficult to do," Solana said. "I think we have to maintain the momentum and we will have to see some results before the end of the year". He added that in 2009 "it will be much more complicated to do."
And on what may be his final address to his cabinet, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that he now believes the idea of a Greater Israel no longer exists. He made the comments during a second cabinet meeting to discuss Vice Premier Haim Ramon's evacuation-compensation bill, which promises monetary incentives for Israelis wanting to voluntarily relocate prior to a second disengagement from Judea and Samaria. He warned that unless Israel was prepared to disengage from these regions, that the international community may conclude that the peace process is doomed, and call for the establishment of a bi-national state.
Quote: ""Forty years after the Six Day War ended, we keep finding excuses not to act. This isn't doing Israel any good. The international community in starting to view Israel as a future bi-national state. We can prove that we have been more creative than the other side through the years, and that they have been more obstinate, but as usual, we will win the debate by loosing sight of what's really important. "We can always find very good reasons for not doing things now, and for why we would be better off postponing everything to a later date," continued Olmert. "We refuse to face reality. Time is not on Israel's side, not because our cause isn't just, but because time has its own repercussions. "I admit – this hasn't always been my position. In the past I've said – and I said it to (Labor Chairman Ehud) Barak at the time – that what he agreed to in Camp David was wrong. "I used to believe that everything from the Jordan Riverbank to the Mediterranean Sea was ours. After all, dig anywhere and you'll find Jewish history. But eventually, after great internal conflict, I've realized we have to share this land with the people who dwell here – that is if we don't want to be a bi-national state," said Olmert.
Olmert actually misquotes this Scripture. God promised to give Abraham and his descendants all of the territory from the Euphrates river to the Mediterranean sea, from the Nile in the south to Damascus in the North. (Genesis 15:18). That land not only encompasses Gaza, Judea and Samaria, but also Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the half of Iraq. This territory is referred to as 'Greater Israel'. For although Israel may not presently occupy this land, they will do so in a coming day when the Messiah returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom. During the Six Day War the Jewish state captured the entire Sinai peninsula within the space of just a few days. They also captured Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem from the Jordanians, and the Golan Heights from the Syrians. But rather than believing in the God who promised to give this land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendents, Israel handed back most of this territory in exchange for peace with their enemies, something they were instructed never to do (Deuteronomy 23:6). And rather than trusting in the Mighty God of Jacob for their deliverance, they are once again seeking to placate their enemies by handing over territory that was never theirs to give in the first place (Leviticus 25:23). But the day is coming when the Jewish people will fully possess the land given to them by God (Psalm 72:8). There will be no Palestinian state, but the foreigners will live in peace in Israel, and they will trust in the name of the Lord (Zephaniah 3:12). What a prospect that will be! A perfect Man ruling in righteousness and peace (Isaiah 32:1) and God dwelling amongst His people (Revelation 21:3). But Jesus Christ said that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:20). In other words, we need a righteousness that exceeds even that which is attained through the keeping the law of God. An impossibility, you say! There is only one way for us to achieve that kind of righteousness, and that is through the Person of Jesus Christ. He took God's punishment for your sins when He died upon the cross of Calvary. And all who believe on Him for salvation can have this righteousness that exceeds what the law can offer us (Acts 13:39). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.