Gaza Honeymoon is Over
Vol: 50 Issue: 25 Friday, November 25, 2005
Whatever good will Israel garnered among the Quartet following Sharon’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip was bound to be short-lived. And the signs suggest it is already over.
The European Union is preparing a report for the EU foreign ministers, who will meet on December 12 to discuss its contents. The report was prepared at the behest of the UK, which is currently doing its six-month stint as the EU’s rotating presidency.
It was prepared by British and EU representatives posted in Jerusalem and Ramallah. And, as with most EU reports, it reserved its harshest criticism for Israel. The report suggests that the Gaza withdrawal was an Israeli ruse to lull the Quartet to sleep while it quietly made preparations to eventually annex East Jerusalem, uniting the city as Israel’s eternal capital.
It said that Israeli policies aimed at that eventual goal risked “radicalizing the hitherto relatively quiescent Palestinian population of east Jerusalem
The EU report recommended that EU officials should immediately demand a change of venue for meeting with Palestinian officials. The EU has, up to the present, met with Palestinian officials in Ramallah. The EU report wants future PA/EU meetings held in Jerusalem.
It is worth noting that the ‘relatively quiescent’ East Jerusalem Palestinian population is ‘relatively quiet’ because most of its residents would prefer to live under Israeli rule to that of the Palestinian Authority.
Noted Daniel Pipes in a column this spring entitled “The Hell of Israel Is Better than the Paradise of Arafat”;
“In the view of Fadal Tahabub, a member of the Palestinian National Council, an estimated 70 percent of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred to remain under Israeli sovereignty. A social worker living in Ras al- Amud, one of the areas possibly falling under PA control, said: “If a secret poll was conducted, I am sure an overwhelming majority of Jerusalem Arabs would say they would prefer to stay in Israel.””
Recently, Sharon reiterated his commitment to develop Maale Adumim, the lynchpin of the settlement bloc adjacent to Jerusalem.
He refused to suspend the expansion of building based on natural growth or the ongoing development of a Jewish populated corridor to link the settlement with Jerusalem, without which the capital will almost certainly be divided.
Condi Rice reacted by telling a Senate committee that, “we told the Israelis in no uncertain terms that [this] would contravene American policy” and that Israeli activity in that area had already resulted in Washington deducting “some of the resources we provide to the Israelis as part of their loan guarantees”.
Despite the risk it poses to Jerusalem’s reunification, US resistance forced Sharon to back down.
When Sharon tried to prevent Hamas from participating in the Palestinian elections, the White House refused to support the move. The White House continues to pressure Israel to open its borders and allow the free movement of goods and people from the West Bank to Gaza through Israel.
They are also demanding that Israel allow Palestinian workers to return to their jobs inside the Green Line. President Bush even warned Israel would “held to account” for actions that negatively impacted on the quality of Palestinian lives.”
It is truly bizarre. Mind-numbingly so. It is no criticism of the Palestinian people to say they do not deserve any consideration at all.
The Road Map to Peace that the Quartet has its knickers in a knot over is clear and specific. Before Israel is obligated to do anything, the PA must first stop the terror attacks, and then disarm and dismantle the various terrorist groups.
It says so, in clear and unmistakable terms, under the heading, “Phase One: Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions.”
That agreement was signed by the Palestinians nearly three years ago, and obligated the Palestinians to meet the conditions of Phase One by May, 2003.
One of the most prolific terrorist groups after Hamas is the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, who was behind the October 28 targeting of an open air market attack that killed five Israeli civilians and wounded thirty.
Stop right there for a moment. The al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is the ‘militant wing’ of Fatah, the Palestinian political party HEADED by Mahmoud Abbas, the very man that the Quartet pins their hopes for peace on.
Abbas’ therefore not only heads his own openly terrorist organization, he has not yet disarmed a single terrorist or disbanded a single terrorist organization.
Instead, he absorbed them into the Palestinian security services, making them Palestinian policemen. Abbas told the Quartet he had disarmed and disbanded the terrorists and demanded Israel supply weapons to arm the new police ‘recruits.’
It is incomprehensible that the combined intelligence services of the EU, UN, US and Russia could be unaware of what is so obvious. It then follows that they are aware of the true facts on the ground, but prefer the official fiction that Israel is the obstacle to peace. Indeed, in the minds of many world leaders, that is the unvarnished truth.
It IS Israel, in a sense, that is the obstacle to peace. The only workable solution they see is to facilitate the Arab effort to remove the obstacle. No Israel, no Arab-Israeli conflict. It is devastatingly simple.
Try and imagine a scenario in which Mexicans started blowing up Safeway stores in Dallas as part of an effort to reclaim Texas for Mexico. Now, picture the United Nations and EU demanding that Washington display “greater restraint and flexibility” in dealing with illegal Mexican immigrants in response.
Not crazy enough? Add the demands from the Mexican separatists that Washington supply them with arms with which to fight off any American attempt to put a stop to the separatist terror attacks. But wait! There’s more!
If the Mexicans PROMISE to stop attacking, then Washington is obligated to cut Texas in half and let the Mexican separatists have their own state, dividing Dallas in half and taking South Dallas for its capital?
Not finished with the analogy yet. The terrorists promise to stop attacking, but the attacks not only continue, they increase in frequency as they grow more deadly.
Washington is then pressured to ignore the increase in attacks, agree that it is the fault of Washington’s failed policy in the Southwest, accelerate the timetable for statehood, and is forbidden to close its borders to those terrorists who want to return unimpeded to their illegal immigrant jobs in Oklahoma.
All in the name of keeping the proposed new enemy state on the North Texas border ‘viable’.
Not only that, but Washington is required to turn a blind eye to the new state’s decision to allow al-Qaeda to field candidates in the new state’s national elections.
If not, Washington would be “held to account” for actions that negatively impacted on the quality of living of the enemy terrorist state’s citizenry.
That is a rough equivalent to situation Israel finds itself in.
There is little doubt that, in the coldest and most unblinking assessment possible, most of the countries of the world believe they would be better off if Israel ceased to exist. Israel is the root and branch of Islamic terror by its very existence.
The Islamic war against America is fueled by American support for Israel. US support for Israel is cited in every fatwa, at every mosque, and at every opportunity. Remove Israel from the equation, turn over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the Arabs, and the principle rallying cry of the jihadist falls silent.
Israel finds itself being eyed as an involuntary sacrificial lamb on the altar of world peace. The world would welcome being rid of what one French diplomat described as “that sh–ty little country” but has not yet figured out how to do so without openly showing its hand.
It is an amazing scene, made all the more amazing by its exact conformance to the prophecies of Scripture concerning Israel and Jerusalem during the Tribulation Period.
Daniel prophesied a seven year covenant, brokered by a European leader, but says the treaty will collapse half-way through its term.
Daniel looked forward 2500 years to that event. We need look back only 12 years to the litany of broken deals that make any genuine agreement between the two sides seem unlikely to the point of unimaginable.
Zechariah said that in the last days, Jerusalem, despite its tiny size and unlikely location, would again become the focus of global attention.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
The precision with which this prophecy is already being fulfilled is breath-taking. Tiny, out-of-the-way Jerusalem is the central prize in a global struggle between the forces of Islam and ‘the people of the Book’ — Christians and Jews.
The burden of Jerusalem weighs so heavily on the shoulders of the United States that it is slowly reversing pro-Israeli policies dating back to the Kennedy administration.
The terror war is becoming the ‘death of a thousand cuts’ for the West, and as a consequence, global patience with Israel is running to the end of its tether.
At the present time, the whole world is, figuratively speaking, already gathered together against it. Zechariah’s prophecy that it will become a literal reality in the not-too-distant future is a growing likelihood, as the world’s patience with the peace process is finally exhausted.
The Bush administration’s prestige and influence in the region is collapsing and the European ‘Barcelona Agreement’ literally brings Israel within the EU’s sphere of influence through its ‘Mediterranean Neighborhood’ policy.
EU Chief Javier Solana has been a strong advocate of imposing a solution, warning Ariel Sharon last year that the “EU will be part of the peace process, whether Israel likes it or not.”
The story of Israel vs the whole world is so bizarre, so other-worldly, that it defies rational, natural explanation. If there was ever a comparable situation in human history, I’ve been unable to find it.
Israel has never had any expansionist desires beyond its Biblical borders of Judea and Samaria. Israel’s land claim amounts to 1/6th of one percent of the Arab’s Middle East holdings.
Its population is a fraction of a percent of the total population of the region. The Arabs have controlled the Middle East for centuries. It is one of the least developed regions in the world.
Israel took its 1/6th of 1 percent of the Middle East and transformed it into an economic and agricultural powerhouse capable of supplying 90% of Europe’s citrus fruit market. (Israeli greenhouses export tulips to Holland!)
More Jews have won Nobel Prizes since its inception than any other identifiable ethnic group.
It is the only genuine democracy in the entire Middle East, and its respect for human rights and individual freedoms is on a par with that of the United States. And it is the most hated nation on earth.
In the natural, it is baffling. But taken from the hindsight perspective of Bible prophecy, it makes perfect sense.
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives . . .” (Zechariah 14:2-4)
“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)