On November 29, 2012 a grand total of 138 nations of the world passed Resolution 67/19 on “The Question of Palestine” (www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/67/L.28) at the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
What does this resolution say?
What does this resolution mean for the Middle East?
What does this resolution mean in light of Scripture?
What does this resolution say?
The authors (including outstanding examples of democracy and human rights such as Algeria, China, Cuba, North Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Yemen and Zimbabwe) declare in their own words that:
- they are being guided by the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights, and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force
- any Palestinian prisoners jailed for terror activities would be subject to the legal protection of the Geneva Convention, including those in East Jerusalem
- the Palestinian people have a right to their independent State of Palestine
- Israel must withdraw from military occupation of Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem
- Palestinian refugees have the right of return to territories within Israel
- Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and all “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” must completely cease
- The term “Palestine” should now be used instead of the designation PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), which is the representative of the Palestinian people
- The authors of this resolution are committed to a democratic and contiguous State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of pre-1967 borders
- The authors of this resolution hope that the Security Council will admit the State of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations
- The General Assembly hereby accords to Palestine non-member observer State status
- There is an urgent need to resume and accelerate peace process negotiations, referring to the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, the Arab peace Initiative, and the Quartet road map
- What does this resolution mean for the Middle East?
A brief survey of the United Nations’ Resolutions concerning Israel shows that the overwhelming majority of these Resolutions are negatively biased, one-sided and jaundiced (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel).
Of the many points worthy of comment, space permits that only eight will be discussed here.
- This Palestinian Resolution is a basic breach of the Oslo Accords. As a result, this would allow Israel to declare the so-called peace process null and void.
When Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), presented this resolution to the U.N. he carried out a basic breach of the Oslo Accords (signed in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993, and then supported by the European Union, the United States, the U.N. and Russia). These Accords require Jerusalem and Ramallah to engage only in direct negotiations. By appealing directly to the U.N., the Palestinian Authority has technically violated and potentially forfeited the entire Oslo process.
Israel could take the following steps, should it choose to:
Stop supplying electricity, communications services and land access to Gaza from Israeli territory. Israel currently supplies 70% of Gaza’s electricity, as well as telephone services, fresh water etc (www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=353702; www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3496729,00.html)
- Cease all security coordination with the PA US-trained security forces
- Incrementally retake territory every time that territory is used by Hamas or other jihadi terror groups to attack Israeli citizens and communities (by rocket, missile or mortar attack, or by suicide bombers, etc)
- Annex part or all of the territories in question
- The U.N. is collaborating with the Palestinians in violating peace process agreements it has previously validated
Though Resolution 67/19 urges the parties involved to resume and accelerate peace negotiations, there is no longer much Israeli interest to do that. Why should Israel hammer out agreements which involve handing over territory to its enemies and allowing those Palestinian forces to carry arms and train forces – all with international help – and then to discover that the U.N. comes along and actually undermines the foundations of these agreements?
- There is no apparatus in this Resolution which will safeguard Israeli security needs. Therefore it cannot be acceptable to any Israeli government.
Indeed, Abu Mazen expressed common ground with the jihadi Hamas organization in his UN address, accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing, colonial occupation, “excavations which threaten our holy places”, “besieging our Holy City of Jerusalem,” targeting Palestinian citizens with assassinations, massive destruction of mosques, killings at military checkpoints, etc. (http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/2/8/22286/World/Region/-Mahmoud-Abbas-speech-at-the-UN–The-full-text.aspx). He nowhere admits to the use of terror against Israel, and says that Palestinian resistance is only non-violent and peaceful. His only reference to terrorism, amazingly, is to “state terrorism,” by which he means Israeli counter-terrorism activities.
- There is no declaration on the part of the Palestinians that in the two-state solution, one of those states (Israel) is Jewish
By not recognizing Israel as the national State of the Jewish people, the PLO’s “program of stages” is still very much in force (see points 2,4,8, 10 of the Political Program Adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestine National Council, Cairo, June 8, 1974 –www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/cache/offonce/pid/12354;jsessionid=ED2AC7E70A82F5C7CCB42BC6357FCDEC).
This staged program allows for acquisition of territory, along with armed struggle, as a way to gain possession of the entire land of Israel (for more information, see The Palestinian Covenant and Its Meaning, Yehoshafat Harkabi, 1979, Valentine Mitchell).
- The Resolution opens the doors to Palestinian “lawfare” – taking Israeli parliamentarians, military and intelligence officials to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face supposedly criminal charges.
The PA plans to do this, as the language of the resolution makes clear. It is assumed that the PA would declare its commitment to peace and dialogue while trying to arrest and imprison Israel’s leaders. Though this could become a two-way street (Israel arresting various echelons of the PA, Hamas or Islamic Jihad), such a turn of events would in no terms be described as a peace process.
- There is a Palestinian denial of any Jewish historical connection to the land of Israel. In language of this Resolution, even the Jewish Jesus is coopted into the Islamic Replacement Theology, while any mention of Jews is left out
Abu Mazen declared in his U.N. address. “I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough. It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.”
- The Palestinian Authority has demonstrated a poisonous mix of corruption, thuggery, nepotism, underground support for terror, blatant suppression of freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.
However, in this regard, based on the countries advocating for its inclusion in the U.N., the Palestinian Authority is in good company.
- The Palestinian Authority actually only represents one faction of the Arabs in that region. The strongest power is held by the PA’s mortal enemies the jihadi Muslim Brotherhood Hamas, who systematically have jailed, tortured and murdered PA representatives since their own election victory in January 2006.
By recognizing Abu Mazen as the sole leader of the Palestinian people, the U.N. has stepped into the wrestling ring to crown one of two wrestling partners who at present are locked in mortal combat. This fact alone undermines the accuracy, wisdom, legality, ethical nature and efficacy of Resolution 67/19 on “The Question of Palestine.”
Right now there are four territories where Palestinian Arabs live – Gaza, Israel, the Palestinian Authority (in Judea and Samaria) and Jordan. The PA has a hold on only one of these four areas, and that hold is curtailed and limited by Israel. The U.N.’s hesitant crowning of Abu Mazen is an international attempt to break the internal Palestinian logjam between Hamas and the PA, an internal Palestinian jockeying for power.
One of the main questions which needs to be asked here is simple yet telling: “What are the long term intentions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades?” Are they ultimately peaceful – an acceptable risk? Or is their ultimate strategy the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, and its substitution by an Islamic/ Islamist entity?
When is a state not a “State”?
The United Nations’ granting of non-member state observer status (given in this case to the PA/ Palestine Liberation Organization/ PLO/ Palestine) has happened in other dissimilar cases (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_observers). Sixteen countries have been granted this status, and later were recognized by the U.N. as full members. The Cook Islands and Taiwan have non-member status today, as does the Vatican. In light of this, it is worth noting the Vatican’s response to the Palestine Resolution 67/19:
“The Holy See welcomes with favour the decision of the General Assembly by which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the United Nations. It is a propitious occasion to recall also the common position that the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation expressed in the Basic Agreement of 15 February 2000, intended to support the recognition of a internationally guaranteed special statute for the City of Jerusalem” (http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=36067).
What does this resolution mean in light of Scripture?
If one approaches the Israel/Palestine divide from the following presuppositions, certain matters will become more clear.
- YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, exists and has communicated His values, heart and strategies in the Bible, which are the basis and authority for those who follow Him
- Yeshua the Messiah of Israel has granted gifts and calling to the Jewish people which are irrevocable (Romans 11:28-29). These include the calling as a chosen people, the land of Israel and its biblically mandated borders, and the protective covenant of Genesis 12:3 (Romans 9:3-5)
- The regathering of the Jewish people is an extrordinary divine strategy of the Last Days (Ezekiel 37), one which is being opposed by the nations of the world (Joel 3:1-2)
- This international opposition will be the basis for the judgment of all nations at Yeshua’s return (Zechariah 14:3; Isaiah 24; 31:9; 34:8; Jeremiah 51; Joel 3:16-21, etc.)
The nations are girding up their loins to divide Jerusalem, to declare what her borders will be, to insist that Israel must consent to handing over its biblical patrimony to terrorist enemies. We are all eyewitnesses of these events (see “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot vain things” September 7, 2011; “The world has entered into the time of dividing up the Land of Israel” August 23, 2005;“Something is happening here, Mister Jones,” April 11, 2011, www.davidstent.org).
As the nations rage over YHVH’s plans, over His Messiah and over His Jewish people (Psalm 2; Psalm 83), let’s be encouraged in our prayers:
- God is even more zealous to establish His purposes on this earth, than the enemy could ever be to establish his own diabolical plans (Psalm 69:9; Isaiah 9:7; 26:11; 42:13; 59:17; Ezekiel 36:5; 39:25)
- God’s kingdom centered in Jerusalem will last forever, riding out the tsunamis and earthquakes of the nations (Psalm 93; 107:25-29; Jeremiah 5:22; Habakkuk 3; Matthew 8:27)
- Pray that a clear revelation of God’s heart, opinions and strategies on these matters be given to the political and religious leaders in your nation and throughout the Middle East
- Pray especially for the leaders of Israel to know God’s purposes, and to be given the gift of courage to follow His leading in responding to these challenges
- Pray for a revelation of Yeshua as Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world, to be imparted to all in this process
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!
In Messiah Yeshua,
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