Psalm 2 describes a dynamic in history that is coming to a high point in our day. The nations are in an uproar over the Jewish people and over their capital city Zion (2:1). They ‘rage against the machine’ – they gnash their teeth at God’s strategy in choosing Jerusalem (synonymous with Zion – Psalm 51:18; 102:21; 128:5; 135:21; 147:12; Isaiah 4:4; 10:12; 24:23; 31:9; 37:32; 40:9; 41:27; 52:1-2; 62:2; 64:10; Jeremiah 26:18).
Their fury moves them to actually hold meetings in council – to take counsel together, to take up positions, make decisions and plan actions – political, economic and military – against the restoration and survival of the Jewish people and their state (2:2): “The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders taking counsel together against YHVH and His Messiah. They cry, ‘Let’s tear their chains apart! Let’s throw off their binding ropes!’”
The Psalmist reveals that international hatred of the God of Israel manifests itself in hatred against the Jewish people and their land – anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. As one wag said years ago, “Anti-Christ is anti-Jew.”
“O God, do not remain quiet! Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still! For behold, Your enemies make an uproar and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For they have conspired together with one mind. Against You they make a covenant” (Psalm 83:1-5).
The need of the moment is clarity regarding international strategies against Jerusalem – the machinations which are moving the world into full-blown rebellion against the God of Israel and against His treasured Jewish people.
On Friday December 23, 2016, just before the onset of the Sabbath and the Feast of Hanukkah, a rushed vote was taken at the United Nations Security Council on Resolution 2334. The U.S. abstained from its habitual pro-Israel veto, allowing for an expedited passage of the motion. It passed 14-0 with the one American abstention.
Israel has been warning about such a political ambush for many months now. Prime Minister Netanyahu cautioned that a lame-duck American President with a chip on his shoulder against Israel might manipulate the passage of an anti-Israel UN Resolution. This would be a scenario similar to how the balrog acted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Though defeated and pushed into the abyss by Gandalf, at the last second the balrog struck out with his bullwhip and snare Gandalf’s ankle, bringing him down into the same pit.
Could the U.S. President be preparing a vengeful ‘ninth inning’ strike against the Jewish state in a world forum? An ominous silence regarding the Obama Administration’s strategies and plans on this matter hung over the U.S. State Department for the last months.
On the last day that the U.N Security Council could possibly meet in December 2016 (www.un.org/en/sc/inc/pages/pdf/pow/powmonthly.pdf), Egypt had been scheduled to bring an anti-Israel Resolution to the floor.
There was a legal and moral problem with Egypt’s proposal, however. It would run roughshod over another previous UN Resolution – #242.
Counterfeiting UN decisions
Resolution 242 was drawn up in November 1967 after the Six Day War of June. It raised the non-specific possibility of Israel withdrawing from some territories occupied in that defensive war – but that would only be in the context of a total and comprehensive peace involving all confrontation states. Specific borders were not mentioned in Resolution 242 because there actually were none! Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt were in a technical state of war with Israel since May 1948, and the only lines present were ceasefire lines (which later became Armistice lines – e.g., http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/arm03.asp).
Resolution 242 spoke hopefully about a peace process and the possibility of Israeli withdrawals. But in order not to box Israel in or issues diktats to the country that had survived and triumphed in a defensive war, specifics were left for face-to-face negotiations between the governments of the countries concerned. Those governments did not include ‘Palestine’ since there was then no state called ‘Palestine’ and neither is there such a state today.
Peace treaties – two down, three to go
Israel eventually signed peace treaties with Egypt (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/israel-egypt%20peace%20treaty.aspx) on March 26, 1979, and with Jordan (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/israel-jordan%20peace%20treaty.aspx) on October 26, 1994. Though Lebanon did sign a peace agreement with Israel on May 17, 1983, it was torpedoed by strong Syrian opposition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_17_Agreement).
Today Lebanon and Syria are still in a state of war with Israel.
The Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank had once all been Jordanian citizens, but on July 31, 1988 King Hussein stepped away from that involvement (www.kinghussein.gov.jo/88_july31.html), attributing his decision to PLO and Arab League pressures. But Palestinian Arabs actually are the majority of Jordan’s citizens. They also have much the same tribal origins and affiliations as do many Arabic-speaking citizens of the State of Israel.
- Two enemies of Israel (Egypt and Jordan) signed peace treaties with the Jewish state.
- Two enemies (Syria and Lebanon) are still at war with Israel.
- Popular PC wisdom considers the Palestinians to be victims of Israel and in need of a state
The world is pushing Israel to give up what it calls ‘East Jerusalem’ (the ancient Jewish capital including the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the City of David) and the Jewish people’s biblical heartland (Judea and Samaria, popularly known as ‘the West Bank’). These areas came under sovereign Israeli control as a result of the Six Day War in June 1967, a war initiated by nations actively calling for a second Jewish Holocaust.
Islamist and terrorist goals
According to Islamic theology, an area once conquered by the armies of Muhammad becomes waqf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waqf; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Islamic_Waqf). This means that it can never be surrendered to non-Muslims and must remain in Muslim hands for perpetuity. From this perspective, Israel’s recovery of the Temple Mount, of Jerusalem and of Judea and Samaria is ultimately a burp in Islamic history. Jewish control at the present does not and cannot invalidate prior and priority Muslim control.
The Islamist agenda is quite simple. All areas formerly controlled by Muslim rulers must be returned to full Islamic control – even if those areas once belonged to Christians, Yazidis, followers of Baha’i or Jews.
- World pressure on Israel is actually pushing for the same goals as is Islamist pressure on Israel. Modern ‘politically correct’ pressure opposing Jewish settlement in the land of Israel is the same as Islamic pressure opposing Jewish settlement in the same territories
Counsel of darkness
Whereas Resolution 242 did not specify borders and regions, Egypt’s December 2016 draft of Resolution 2334 did. This would be a radical and ground-breaking change. The UN would determine by itself the depth of Israel’s withdrawal. Jerusalem pleaded with the Obama Administration to exercise its veto power on this one. When his appeal was greeted with deaf ears, it seems that Israel contacted President-elect Trump’s people. Trump, seeing the danger and the huge lack of wisdom in the State Department’s approach, contacted Egypt who agreed to withdraw the Resolution.
But now a secret contingency plan swung into action. New Zealand (backed up by Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela) submitted the Resolution within hours of Egypt’s reversal. The Resolution was voted on and ratified within half a day.
The passing of this Resolution fundamentally changes the whole peace process, profoundly altering previously signed agreements achieved through American mediatorship (like the Oslo Accords).
- When a legally binding Resolution insists that Israel withdraw from specific territories, then as far as Israel is concerned there is no more point in further negotiations with the Palestinians. This is simply because such a Resolution has predicated that an Israeli withdrawal must happen in any case. This is an illegal fait accompli. It is a political mugging. Israel will now find it difficult if not impossible to trust prior American-brokered agreements. One can forget about the possibility of any meaningful progress toward a peace agreement regarding the Palestinians.
The U.S. State Department has vociferously insisted over the past few days that it had nothing to do with the Resolution. Yet the truth is somewhat different.
Intelligence sources in the Arab world and elsewhere have been following this American administration’s birthing of an unholy child. On Tuesday evening Egyptian newspaper Al Youm al Sabea leaked transcripts of various secret meetings on December 12, 2016 between (on one hand) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and on the other side Saeb Erekat (top Palestinian negotiator) and Majed Faraj (Director of Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service).
The article quotes Kerry at one of those meetings expressing distrust of Netanyahu, saying that Bibi wanted to destroy the peace process and only preserve the status quo. The American diplomats called Donald Trump ‘dangerous,’ and gave the Palestinians advice on how to deal with the U.S. President-elect. Kerry told them that the U.S. was prepared to cooperate with the Palestinians on the upcoming Security Council measure (www.timesofisrael.com/transcript-claims-to-show-us-worked-with-palestinians-on-un-resolution/).
State Department Spokesman Mark Toner recently made a nuanced denial, saying that the US had not discussed the language of the upcoming resolution with Erekat or in a meeting with officials from New Zealand. But the left-wing Ha’aretz Israeli newspaper released a report on Tuesday December 27, 2016 that confirms that British legal figures and diplomats drew up the text, working directly with the Palestinians on the wording of the resolution even before it was distributed by Egypt. The British then had New Zealand bring the Resolution to the UN Security Council (www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.761706). American involvement occasionally has a measure of deniability to it.
On November 12, 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry met privately with the Prime Minister of New Zealand where he spoke privately to him about these matters. The U.S. State Department briefing even announced the upcoming meeting: “Secretary Kerry will then travel to Wellington, New Zealand, from November 12-13, where he will meet with Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully for consultations on a range of bilateral and global issues” (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/11/264108.htm).
In the hours before the resolution went forward, Prime Minister Netanyahu called New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and warned him that going ahead with the resolution “will be a declaration of war,” according to Ha’aretz.
For those who have an interest in intelligence matters, the interlocking web of cooperation shown in the above activities is part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes), comprising New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
The machinations behind Resolution 2334 are indeed shadowy. The Apostle Paul says that “it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). Yeshua added, “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops” (Luke 12:3). In this case the shadows are cast on the viability of Jewish control over the Jewish homeland.
Fixating on the daughter of Zion
In spite of nearly 500,000 fatalities in Syria, raging war in Iraq and Yemen, violent Islamist terror in Nigeria, Libya, etc., the UN and the State Department seem to be myopically focusing on Israel’s restoration to its national homeland after more than 2,000 years of Exile, and its rebuilding of roads and apartments in times of war and opposition.
But it needs to emphasized: what Ben-Gurion and the original Zionist pioneers did (draining swamps, clearing land, establishing settlements and kibbutzim in the 1900’s) is exactly the same as the modern construction of Jewish houses in today’s Jerusalem, in Judea and in Samaria.
Years ago, Isaiah commented on the rage that superpowers demonstrated toward little Israel. Mighty Assyria “shakes his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 10:32). Yet YHVH of Armies responded to Assyria, “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel… I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in and your rage against Me” (Isaiah 37:22-28).
- The restless fixation on the part of the nations of the world on the Jewish people’s return to their Promised Land is at its root a spiritual perversion energized by a spiritual enemy.
The Hebrew prophets declare that at the End of Days “it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3).
Rose Gardens and Lebanon
On December 17, 1975 then Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger met S’adun Hammadi, Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Iraqi Ambassador’s residence on Rue d’Andigne, Paris. In that meeting Kissinger volunteered, “We can’t negotiate about the existence of Israel but we can reduce its size to historical proportions … So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like Lebanon, struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world” (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB107/iraq04.pdf). This State Department realpolitik position still informs the thinking of many American politicians today.
There was a time when a U.S. President decided to abandon traditional American diplomatic positions vis-à-vis Israel due to Saudi Arabian pressure. President George W. Bush drew up a declaration unilaterally pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Bush’s declaration was fine-tuned and completed on September 10, 2001 in consultation with Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan. It was to be announced by Colin Powell at the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2001 (www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=1293&q=1).
One day later came the 9/11 al Qa’eda attacks. Fifteen of the 19 jihadi terrorists were actually Saudi nationals. Bush’s declaration was understandably postponed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1646921.stm). Eventually the President unveiled it himself at a Rose Garden address on June 24, 2002 (http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020624-3.html).
A history of America’s State Department policies and actions toward Israel can be studied at http://davidstent.com/shakings-weighings-and-divisions-syria-annapolis-and-the-return-of-yhvh-part-three-of-three-cutting-israel-down-to-size/. The State Department never wanted to recognize the Jewish state, never recognized Jewish control over even part of Jerusalem, and usually tried to make a moral equivalence between ‘arsonists’ and ‘firefighters’ – between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli security forces thwarting such terror.
“He who touches you, touches the apple of His eye,” says the prophet Zechariah (2:8).
“For behold, in those days and at that time when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:1-2).
Kerry’s televised address
Just a few minutes ago (December 28, 2016) Secretary of State Kerry spoke for over an hour on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. His main points were that dividing the land of Israel (the ‘two-state solution’) is the only way to go, and that there is no other viable alternative to establishing a Palestinian state. He said that there would never be a peace agreement without Jerusalem becoming an internationally recognized capital for all three monotheistic faiths (or conversely for both Israel and Palestine). He drew a moral equivalence between Jewish victims of terror and collateral damage in Gaza (where Hamas rockets were being fired at Israeli civilians). He insisted that Jews have no right to build in Palestine and that Israel must entirely vacate Judea and Samaria (with cosmetic changes).
There are a few points worth noting here. The lack of trust Kerry referred to in the area is real. This is because the Palestinian Authority (PA) took advantage of the Oslo Accords, arming and training its security forces – and then had them turn their guns on the IDF and Israeli civilians. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, the IDF’s place was taken by the Islamist terror group Hamas which then rained over 14,000 rockets onto Israeli farms, towns and cities.
A non-militarized Palestinian state is an impossibility even now. The only reason Palestinian terror is held in check is because of IDF and Israeli security services activities in ‘mowing the grass.’ Every night Israeli soldiers raid and capture active terrorists throughout Judea and Samaria. This is the real reason that a two-state solution is in jeopardy, and it has nothing to do with Jewish settlements.
The reason Israelis do not trust the Palestinian leadership is because that leadership is verifiably and murderously not worthy of trust. Without a spiritual change of heart on the Palestinian side, there can be no peace, and any two-state solution is a pipe dream.
Regarding the matter of calling for equal rights and civil rights between Palestinians and Israelis as raised by Kerry: the PA is and has always been criminally shot through with corruption and gross travesties of justice. Most West Bank Palestinians consider it a Mafia-like organization, while Hamas has Gaza under an Islamist dictatorship of great cruelty and bloodthirstiness. To talk about “full equal rights” as a real possibility in Palestinian areas blithely ignores the ‘evil empire’ nature of all of the Palestinian governmental options. There is deception at work here, even as Chamberlain once spoke positive words about Mr. Hitler being ‘a man with whom we can do business.’
The only time Kerry made reference to anything spiritual was at the close of his speech when he referred to the fact that local people have prayed for peace for generations. These secularized ‘spiritual words’ totally side-step the Bible’s clear teaching about the irrevocable calling on and gifts to Israel (Romans 11:28-29) – gifts which include the Promised Jewish homeland and the prophetic promises of Isaiah 2:1-4.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for repentance and clear revelation for the leaders of all countries who have voted for this Resolution.
- Pray for the point man for the Western world, the United States of America, whose leadership refused to veto this Resolution
- Pray for the believers around the world, that they might understand what is happening to Israel and what judgment is coming on the nations of the world as a result
- Pray for the leadership of Israel to receive divine wisdom and strategies on how to defend the Jewish state and respond pro-actively
- Pray for the protection, strengthening, revelation and salvation of the Jewish people, and that they may lean on Him who can keep them from all evil and all destruction
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
Donations can be sent to:
FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES
BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212-1971 USA
Donations can also be made on-line (by PayPal) through: www.davidstent.org