We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Speaking for God, the prophet Ezekiel condemns the leaders of Israel who "have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace...which prophesy concerning Jerusalem...visions of peace for her, and there is no peace" (13:10,16). Ezekiel's prophecy surely describes Israel today. While Israel's leaders negotiate "peace" with Syria, Katyusha rockets rain down upon Galilee fired by Hizbullah terrorists backed and protected by Syria. Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass recently called Israel "a burden unto...the world."
The so-called "peace" with the PLO is a mockery. Arafat promised to remove from the PLO charter the call for Israel's destruction, but has not. He doesn't even try to conceal his evil intentions. The day he signed the Declaration of Principles more than two years ago, Arafat assured the Palestinians over Jordanian TV that he was simply implementing the 10-step 1974 PLO Plan of Phases for Israel's destruction. The first step, now successfully accomplished, calls for obtaining territory within Israel as a launching pad for her final holocaust! Again on Jordanian TV last fall just before the Washington Summit, Arafat reconfirmed that the PLO Plan of Phases is on track.
Yet Israel continues turning over territory to the PLO, literally staging its own destruction, as Hosea foretold. The manner in which Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) depart and the Palestinians take over unmasks the delusion of "peace." Consider the recent transfer of Nablus into the hands of Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA):
The scenes on television showed [departing] Israeli soldiers cowering in their vehicles, being stoned, spat upon, and cursed....The raging mob, gleeful and power-intoxicated, burnt Israeli flags....It is difficult to imagine a more humiliating sight [for the Israelis]....
The Nablus evacuation scenes reinforce the impression that it was only Arab force [not Israeli good will]...which has compelled Israel to withdraw.Fatah [Arafat's own terrorist group] leaflets in Nablus hailed the Palestinian victory over "the Nazi occupation army," boasting that it was the Palestinian fire "which scorched the ground under the feet of the monkeys and pigs." The obvious conclusion is that the same fire can make Israel flee from the rest of Palestine.1
This is the setting for "peaceful coexistence"? Arafat has never lived up to one provision in the peace accords. He flaunts his violations in the faces of Israeli officials, who then make excuses for him and continue to rationalize his bad faith. The Cairo agreement signed nearly two years ago explicitly requires PA extradition of wanted criminals, yet Arafat ignores that provision. Instead of demanding compliance, Israel accepts the fact that the PA will never extradite terrorists. Arafat's own Fatah is one of the terrorist groups operating out of the PA territories with impunity, infiltrating Israel, then escaping back to PA hideouts. This is peace?
Arafat has placed his right-hand man, Jibril Rajoub, at the head of the PA's Preventive Security Apparatus (secret police) over the West Bank and Gaza. Rajoub, who directed the Intifada uprising, organized terrorist cells and planned attacks for years, brought in 20,000 of Arafat's terrorist thugs as "police" to keep law and order.2 Referring to the new "police," a local Palestinian youth whispers, "Usually you could talk to an Israeli soldier. If you were right, he would shut his mouth. With these guys, nothing. He beats you and nothing matters...!"3
Assistant Head of Military Intelligence for Research Brigadier-General Ya'acov Amidror claims that "the entire subject of arrests and trials [by the PA] is one big farce." Among the examples he cited: "One of the Palestinians involved in the recent kidnapping of two Israeli border policemen in Kabatiya [who was allegedly sentenced to nine years at hard labor] has been freed and is acting as an investigator for the Palestinian Police...[there are] prisoners in Gaza who have been freed and continue to be involved in terror activities...."4
Horrifying tales reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia are coming out of the so-called "liberated" areas now under the control of the PLO. Even Gideon Levy, "one of the most ardent advocates of Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the establishment of a Palestinian state,"5 now admits the terror which reigns over the Palestinian peoples themselves in territories governed by the PA. Fatah Hawks gunmen, doing Rajoub's dirty work for him, keep Palestinians terrorized by brazenly executing, in public, suspected "Israeli sympathizers."6
Levy has documented unbelievable stories told by terrified Palestinian victims who are impeccably anti-Israel. The widespread corruption involving "bribery, exploitation, extortion, incarceration without trial, drug dealings, car thefts, prostitution and anything imaginable" is only part of the story. Typical is the case of a 27-year-old engineer taken for "five minutes" by Arafat's security officials. He has now been in prison for nine months with no known charges against him, forbidden contact either with a lawyer or his family. His father says, "In my life I have seen the Turks, the British, the Egyptians and the Israelis. But I have never experienced this kind of situation...."7 This is the "liberation of Palestine" that was dreamed of for years and to which the United States, the UN and Western Europe are parties?
Or consider the experience of the loyal Palestinian family that gladly rented an apartment to a PA security officer. They gave him $15,000 to renovate the flat. After living in it for 14 months without paying any rent, the officer had the husband arrested and demanded, and received, $30,000 from the family for his release. The wife, who testified in secret, says that the officer, who still lives in the apartment without paying rent, has threatened to liquidate her and her family if they make any complaint. She laments, "We were happy, thinking we were being liberated from the occupation. Now God should chop off our hands which threw stones at the Jews. We brought this disaster on ourselves. Now there is no law and no justice."8
It is even worse for Christian Arabs, who are snatched off the streets or out of their homes, imprisoned, tortured, some to the death. Others are threatened with death if they don't renounce Christ. One Christian Arab, falsely imprisoned and badly beaten, was released only after swearing in writing that he was not a Christian. He was told that he was released because of pressure from human rights organizations aware of his situation, but that he and his family would be eliminated at the right time.
How amazing, then, is the U.S. State Department's report that "the PA and the PLO elements under Arafat's control have abided by the[ir] commitments...resulting [in] the good faith implementation of the [agreement signed at Oslo]"! Even more incredible, the Israeli State Department recently gave the PA a clean bill of health! No less astonishing is the determination of the Clinton administration to support the PA with hundreds of millions of dollars.
As early as July 1995, The Jerusalem Post criticized the U.S. State Department's semiannual status reports for failing to mention that Arafat's police "kidnap, torture and kill Palestinians both in the self-rule areas and in areas under Israeli jurisdiction...shut down opposition [news]papers, arrest and torture political opponents." The situation continues to worsen as the "peace process" moves forward. Ominous was the recent arrest of Dr. Iyad Sarraj, high commissioner of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Citizens' Rights, who dared to condemn the PA's appalling abuse of human rights.9
There is little doubt that Yitzhak Rabin won the 1992 Knesset election by promising never to give back any of the territories that had been taken for strategic reasons in hard-fought battles against an enemy which has sworn Israel's destruction. Speaking to settlers in that area, Rabin said it would be suicide to give back the Golan Heights to Syria and he pledged never to do so.
Syria made it a habit in the past to lob shells from the Golan onto Israeli settlements in the valley below. It was down from the Golan that hundreds of Syrian tanks came pouring into Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur sneak attack that almost succeeded. Israel pushed the Syrians back far enough to place radar installations on top of the Golan and to create a buffer zone to give advance warning of any future Syrian attacks. It would be insane to return these strategic heights to the enemy which used them for attack, is still determined to destroy Israel, and provides shelter and support for anti-Israel terrorists!
After he was voted in as Prime Minister, however, Yitzhak Rabin proceeded to do exactly what he had sworn not to do. He began to negotiate with the PLO for the return of so-called "occupied territories" to their control, and with Syria for the return of the Golan. A short time before his assassination, Rabin declared, "The Bible is not a geography map...it teaches us values." Yet he would not follow those values and rejected Israel's only claim to its land: God's promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. And the Arab view of biblical geography? Not one Arab state issues a map (including maps sold in Jerusalem) showing a place called "Israel"! Their ultimate intention is all too clear!
Since his death, a secret memorandum was uncovered in which Rabin promised President Clinton to return the Golan to the Syrians in exchange for firm assurances of "peace." Yet Syria's determination to destroy Israel (like that of all the other Arab nations) is based upon the teachings of Islam and is thus unchangeable. "Peace agreements" are mere steps toward Israel's destruction.
Only the strength and superior performance of the IDF, together with the fact that Israel now holds strategic high ground, has kept the surrounding Arab nations from attacking again since the 1973 war. To give up that territory in exchange for insincere promises of "peace," and thereby to place Israel at the mercy of an enemy which has sworn her destruction, is the utmost folly. That fact was recognized by all Israel, and before his death Rabin was being loudly booed wherever he went. His assassination made him a martyr and turned the sentiment of Israel around to accept Rabin's policies and thus its own suicide.
Perhaps it was assumed that even the Golan could be safely given up because Israel possesses an estimated 200 nuclear bombs. Then, suddenly, the headlines of the last issue of The Jerusalem Post International Edition for 1995 read, "Peres ready to 'give up atom' after peace." For Israel to surrender its nuclear deterrent would be to present an irresistible invitation for her enemies to attack her. Obviously, Israel is talking itself into the false sense of security which is described in Ezekiel 38 as the prelude to Armageddon.
The rest of the world must bear its share of the blame for the pressure which has caused Israel's leaders to pursue the present madness. There have been, for example, 321 UN General Assembly resolutions and 49 UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel. How many times have Arab nations been condemned for their vows to exterminate Israel, for their military attacks and terrorism against Israel? Not once! Arafat, wearing a pistol on his hip, addressed the UN General Assembly and called for the destruction of Israel. Was he condemned? No! Look at the record again: 370 to 0! Is that a bit unbalanced? Something is radically wrong! God will surely judge the nations for this travesty!
Tragically, Israel's leaders neither believe nor obey the God who promised that land to the descendants of Jacob (Israel) and Who said, "The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine" (Lv 25:23)! Indeed, last December, Religious Affairs Minister Shimon Shetreet promised Michel Sabbah, the Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, that he would "oblige rabbis paid by the state to remove their names from a statement...in which they noted that it is forbidden [by God] to give up parts of Eretz Yisrael." As a Catholic leader, Sabbah rejects Israeli administration of Jerusalem. Amazingly, after Saddam Hussein's rape of Kuwait, Sabbah, during a meeting at the Vatican, commended that mass murderer for "truly carry[ing] in his heart the Palestinian cause" and refused to concede that Saddam was "more dangerous" than President Bush.
Israel's leaders look to her enemies for help instead of to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They become partners in Israel's destruction by returning, to those who have sworn her extermination, the very land she needs for self-defense and which they will utilize in the long-prophesied final attack upon her at Armageddon.
God will have the last word. The greatest punishment for Israel because of her continued rebellion lies yet ahead: "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but [a remnant] shall be saved out of it" (Jer:30:7). The nations, too, will be punished for their mistreatment of God's chosen people: "I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken....Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations,...his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives...and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced" (Zec:14:1-4; 12:10).
We are told to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Ps:122:6). Pray, too, that God will open the blind eyes of the Israelis, that with David, Israel's mightiest warrior ever, they will say, "Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield" (Ps:33:20), and they will turn fully to Him, their Messiah. TBC