Why are western politicians so keen to get involved with the affairs of the Jewish State? Chuck and Karen Cohen follow the latest developments.
Whatever 2017 holds for us, let’s remain focused on the ultimate goal for God’s kingdom – that He would be glorified through the exaltation of His Son. “… every tongue should confess that Messiah Yeshua is Lord – to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:11; see also John 12:27-28)
Old Testament saints knew this, and often based their prayers on it. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name. Deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Your name’s sake.” (Ps. 79:9); “Not unto us, YHWH…but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and truth’s sake.” (Ps. 115:1)
This goal is explicit throughout Scripture, and today, it is God’s goal in restoring His people to His land. “I will cause the captivity of Judah and… Israel to return, and will build them as at the first… And it shall be to Me a name of joy, praise and honour before all nations who shall hear of all the good that I do to them.” (Jer. 33:7, 9a); “But I had pity for My holy name, which the exiled house of Israel profaned among the gentiles. Therefore …I am not doing this for your sakes, house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake…I will sanctify My great name …and the gentiles shall know that I am YHWH …when I shall be sanctified in you [Israel] before their eyes.” (Ezek. 36:2123)
God is never trumped…
Regardless of who is raised up to lead nations – our God reigns. King Nebuchadnezzar learned this the hard way. His authority was taken for a season “so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, even the basest [lowest] of men.” (Dan. 4:17; cp. vv. 25, 32)
Biblically, for US President Trump to be a blessing to America, he must bless Israel – God’s chosen nation (Psa. 33:12; 106:5), His special people (Deut. 7:6), the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). And for him to do that, he needs the prayers of American believers – focused prayers over this destiny-defining issue. Yet much of the American Church has no clue that their nation is deeply divided because for the past three decades, every administration has tried to divide God’s land (Lev. 25:23; Joel 3:1-2).
Very troubling is Trump’s desire to make the “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians. (“President Trump & the Art of the ‘Ultimate’… Peace Deal,” Elliot Abrams & Uri Sadot, FP , foreignpolicy.com, 4 Dec. 2016) While at this stage, he is wanting just what Israel can live with, we have seen this once too often not to be concerned. Also, what does this sound like to bible believers – a leader wanting to bring world peace by making a peace-pact with Israel? We’re not saying Trump is the anti-Christ, but there is an anti-Christ spirit (1 Jn. 2:18; “anti” in Gk. is both “against” and “instead of”) that has resided in the White House for decades.
To identify this spirit, recall how Satan deceived Eve: First will be a diminishing, questioning and invalidating of God’s Word. “Has God said?” (Gen. 3:1). Second is the exaltation of mankind. “You shall be as God.” (Gen. 3:5) These two are the basic themes for all anti-Christ, anti-God, and humanistic movements in history.
The American Church must pray for Trump, asking God to help him line up with God’s Word, and not to divide His land or hinder Israel from defending itself. Trump also must not exalt man or America. Church, do not pray for America’s greatness – but for God to be great again in America! This principle applies to all nations, and is prophesied to happen as God is openly glorified in Israel (Ezek. 36:23).
At IFI (Intercessors for Israel), we continue to pray that the global Church prays in line with God’s priorities for their leaders – in both government and the Body of Messiah (1 Tim. 2:1-3; 2 Thess. 3:1).
Netanyahu and Trump in Washington, DC
As we finished this WFJ issue, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister [PM] Bibi Netanyahu, just had their first official meeting in Washington. At a joint press conference Trump said many encouraging things. Yet will he walk his talk? Only God knows, but the atmosphere was so much brighter than with Obama that many in Israel and America who know God’s Word feel relieved. Yet some things he mentioned did not sit too well with us.
Concerning Netanyahu, it is a miracle for Israel to have a leader who is consistent in his plans and demands and who speaks truth. He said, “Israel has no better ally than the US. And I want to assure you, the US has no better ally than Israel.”
Trump opened by praising Israel: “Your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational.” Your security challenges “are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions…One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen…”
About the “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump said that while this was “very important” to him personally, yet “the parties themselves…must directly negotiate” an agreement.
Netanyahu recalled the “deep bond of common values” shared by our nations, adding that “increasingly, those values… are under attack by one malevolent force, radical Islamic terror…I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam, and in this … Israel stands with you…” Also by defeating “militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity because for the first time in my lifetime and… in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally.”
Questions and Answers
Responding to questions from reporters, Trump said to Bibi, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out.” While this is not a biblical stance, the fact that they will talk
about it makes a huge difference from Obama’s warnings. Trump added “we’re going to make a [peace] deal. It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.”
Asked if his goal is two states, Trump shocked people, saying. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one both parties like…I can live with either one.” Lord, hold him to this.
Bibi redirected the focus from labels to substance, something he has “hoped to do for years in a world that’s absolutely fixated on labels…” The substance is the two prerequisites for peace he has repeatedly emphasized. “First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state. They have to stop calling for [and] …educating their people for Israel’s destruction. Second… Israel must retain overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River” because if not, “we’ll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in Palestinian areas exploding the peace…
Jews are from Judea
“Unfortunately, the Palestinians vehemently reject both,” as they continuously call for Israel’s death in “their schools, their mosques,” and their media. They also deny “our historical connection to our homeland.” Yet why are Jews called Jews? “It’s because we come from Judea. This is our ancestral homeland. Jews are not foreign colonialists in Judea.”
Regrettably, the Palestinian Authority [PA] not only denies the past, they also poison the present, by naming “public squares in honour of mass murderers” and paying “monthly salaries to the families of murderers…”
The conflict’s core is “a Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state” in any borders. Today, these two prerequisites are even more important, “because of the rising tide of fanaticism” sweeping the Middle East [ME] and increasing the fanaticism in Palestinian society.
When asked what compromises Trump expects from both sides, his reply shows how clueless he still is about Israel’s desire for peace, and its need for security. “…Israelis are gonna have to show some flexibility, which is hard,” yet which Israel has been doing ever since Oslo. “They’re gonna have to show the fact that they really want to make a deal.” That is so frustrating. The only reason more Israelis are not interested in “making a deal” is because of all the murdered Jews, those “sacrifices for peace,” which showed the real aim of the Palestinian side.
And, says Trump, the Palestinians, “have to get rid of some of that hate that they are taught from a very young age.” Wait. “Some”? How many understand that Islam’s “holy” book teaches Jew-hatred and Islamic dominion theology? Asking Muslim Palestinians to accept a Jewish state is the same as asking them to deny the Islam that controls their lives and worldview.
Yet if Trump sticks to his next statement, Israel will not be pressured to divide its land under his administration, as the hardheartedness of our enemies will once again help us. “There’s no way a deal can be made if [the Palestinians] are not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country [Israel]. And I think they’re going to be willing to do that.” Seriously? Over 100 years of attempts to destroy the Jewish State says you are wrong. (“Trump, Netanyahu talk of regional approach to peace at White House press conference,” TOI, 15 Feb. 2017)
The next day two top Trump officials let all concerned parties know the US still backs “the two-state solution.” America’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley told a group of reporters, “We absolutely support the two-state solution, but we are thinking out of the box as well.” David Friedman, Trump’s controversial choice to be the next Israeli ambassador affirmed this also. (“US officials reinforce Trump support for two-state solution,” JP , Feb. 16 2017)
Britain should apologize for Balfour
The Palestinians are pressing Britain to apologize for issuing the Balfour Declaration (Nov. 1917), in which UK Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour wrote a letter saying his government views “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Balfour’s letter was later approved by the League of Nations and became part of the Palestinian Mandate given by the League to Britain in Sept. 1922. Yet Britain reneged on its duties, divided Palestine and gave about 75% of it to create the Kingdom of Jordan. Then when faced with Arab riots in the remaining 25%, they reneged on their commitment to create a Jewish homeland – even actively blocking Jews trying to escape the Nazis from finding refuge in their ancient homeland.
So Britain needs to apologize – not for issuing the Declaration – but for not fulfilling its commitment. “But let your speech be, Yes, yes, or No, no – for whatever is more than these comes from evil [alt: “the Evil One”].” (Matt. 5:37)
Warnings, peace and security
What will happen to nations who resist what God is doing? As per His warning in Isaiah 60:12, “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you [Israel, at the time of your restoration] shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) wants to use 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, to change “the false paradigm” of the world seeing Israel as an illegal occupier. That false view was promoted by the losers after the ’67 war, as Israel legally remained in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea, the Golan, and, until 2005, Gaza.
The idea that “everything starts and ends with ‘the occupation’ ,” is not legally or logically correct. “We can’t be occupiers in our own land…You can’t say we belong in Tel Aviv, but not in Judea and Samaria…People say we’re barely 70 years old, but we have a 3,000-year-old connection to this land.”
When diplomats try to convince Hotovely that the two-state solution is the only way, she asks them what would replace Israel’s presence in the West Bank – Hamas or ISIS? “I haven’t met one” that, when alone, “doesn’t admit that there is no chance of a democratic entity on our border.” (“Deputy FM hopes to break the int’l West Bank paradigm,” JP , 22 Nov. 2016)
Sorbonne University Prof. Shmuel Trigano, a leading scholar on anti-Semitism, noted that in all “attempts by global powers to forge a diplomatic arrangement,” there is not a single plan which “strategically assures Israel’s existence. All of Israel’s resounding victories in all the wars forced on it by the enemy are discounted … despite the accepted norm that after a war the victor dictates the new order and determines conditions for peace. However, what has pertained to every other country throughout history does not apply when it comes to Israel and its history.” (“The many faces of anti-Semitism,” Prof. S. Trigano, Israel Hayom Op-ed, 16 Jan. 2017)