Vol: 23 Issue: 25 Saturday, June 25, 2016
You wake up one morning and find a guy camping out in your back yard. You go out and ask him what the heck he thinks he’s doing there and he says he used to live in your house before he lost it to back taxes.
You bought the house from a realtor at fair market value and didn’t know about the tax foreclosure, but now this is your house and he’ll have to go find somewhere else to set up camp.
The next morning, you get up to find the guy has moved his whole family into your backyard and refuses to leave. But you’re a compassionate sort — you’ve gone through hard times yourself, and you find yourself in empathy with the guy.
You don’t need the whole backyard, but you don’t want to get locked into anything, either. So you just go about your daily business and let the people in your backyard go about theirs.
Until one day you come home and find them sitting in your living room watching TV. Well, it’s raining out, and they are watching your favorite TV show, so you don’t throw them out, but you don’t necessarily welcome them, either. Maybe they’ll get the idea on their own.
Next morning, you get up and find yourself standing in a line to get to your bathroom. “Enough is enough,” you bellow. “Everybody out!”
Later, the head of the family in the back yard comes to you and says, “As far as we are concerned, this is our house. Our family lived here for generations before you bought it, and we want it back. We’ll let you have the master bedroom and part of the living room, but the kitchen is ours.”
Well, until they came, you lived alone, and you find you kind of like the company. But you draw the line at giving up the kitchen — as a professional chef, (it’s a parable, I can make up anything I want) the kitchen is the center of your home.
So you strike a bargain in which you have access to the kitchen, under supervision, for certain agreed-upon periods during the day.
However, they insist, you must pay all the bills for maintaining the house and pay for all the food. You finally hammer out an equitable agreement in which they agree to keep up the property in exchange for your footing the bills.
It isn’t a perfect agreement, but you can afford it, they are dirt-poor, and you don’t have time to do all the work yourself anyway.
So you pay the bills, the squatters take over your house, but they trash every room they take over. While you agreed to share the living room, its such a pig-sty that you just give it over to them and start spending most of your time in your bedroom.
The last straw comes when you go to the kitchen as per your agreed-upon hours and are forbidden entry. This is the very last of the last straws. You toss everybody out of the house and lock all the doors.
In response, they go on a rampage in your back yard, burning your toolshed, digging up all your flowers, and chanting threats that your house is next. Exasperated, you call in the law.
Turns out the policeman is the squatter’s brother-in-law so he refuses to evict them from your yard. So you take it to court.
The judge, (who turns out to be the squatter’s cousin) rules that since you let them squat in your yard, they have a proprietary interest so, they can stay in your backyard, but not in your house.
You don’t think the verdict is fair, but you are a law-abiding sort, so you surrender your backyard and try to negotiate an agreement whereby you can cross ‘their’ territory to get to your lawn mower and garden tools.
You finally work out a deal where you can go get your lawn tools, but in exchange, you have to cut their grass, too. The first time you try to go get it, they won’t let you through unless you give them bathroom privileges.
It seems reasonable; you aren’t in the bathroom all the time anyway, and they have to go somewhere, so you agree and they let you pass. You finish cutting the grass and there they are back in the living room watching TV.
You throw them back out and they start throwing rocks through your window. You call the police and the same brother-in-law shows up and begins making excuses for them. Exasperated again, you take them to court.
The (judge who is a cousin) rules that since you agreed to the bathroom deal, what’s so bad about them watching a little TV once in awhile?
He refuses to evict them from your yard, and includes the bathroom sharing arrangement as part of the formal deal.
When you ask for damages for the broken windows, they are refused on the grounds it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t locked them out.
Now, you can’t get to your lawn tools without making a new concession every time you go there, so you decide to just close off the back yard and let them wade through the field of their own making.
You put up a privacy fence to separate ‘their’ part of the yard from yours, leaving a little gate they can come through to use the shared bathroom. Next thing you know, they start lobbing paint filled balloons over the fence at your house. From the bathroom, they toss paint balloons down the hall and into your living room.
You call the police, get the same brother-in-law who again sides with the squatters in the back yard. So you go to court, where the judge orders you to take down the fence. Convinced you are getting a raw deal, you refuse. The judge says, “Then don’t come complaining to me if they retaliate because of your fence.”
“But,” you protest, “the only reason for putting up the fence is to prevent them from attacking my house.”
“Not my problem,” says the judge. “You should have thought of that when you threw them out of their own house that they’ve lived in for generations.”
“But I bought it from a realtor. I have a deed,” you protest.
“It’s because of that deed that I let you live in the house instead of the backyard,” the judge says.
“But this court can’t totally ignore the fact they lived there for generations before you took possession,” noting, “when you moved in, you agreed to let them stay. Now it is up to the two sides to work out an equitable sharing arrangement.”
The judge bangs his gavel, then says to you, “Oh, and cut the grass. Your yard is an eyesore.”
You leave the courtroom, understandably stunned. You bought the house fair and square — and nobody is disputing it. You’ve got the documents to prove it. But despite that, neither the squatters, the police nor the judge recognize your right to sole occupation. And every effort to explain the sharing arrangement puts them in a stronger legal position.
You should have just tossed the guy out on his ear the day he set up camp in your yard.
Now, you’re stuck with the situation as it has evolved; outnumbered in your own house; the police and courts are openly hostile to your claims.
And no matter what the terms of the original agreement was, you know they are only going to uphold one side’s obligations under any agreement — and it isn’t your side.
So one day, having had enough, you pick up a club (because you are outnumbered) and charge over there to have it out with them. This time, the police blame you for an unprovoked attack.
The court awards them damages in the form of full legal title to your back yard.
The war goes on, back and forth, between you and the squatters who now own your backyard up to the fence, with the squatters claiming the entire back yard and still complaining that the gate makes it too hard for them to exercise their right to the shared bathroom.
You finally lock them out of the bathroom. Your neighbors, sick of the commotion (and all former neighbors of the squatters in the back yard) band together into a neighborhood association aimed at driving you out of the neighborhood.
They sign petitions demanding you move away. They complain your privacy fence is an eyesore. Your house is ugly and paint-spattered, your back yard is a mess and there are people living in tents when they should be living inside a house and they blame YOU for their pitiful situation.
A few pretend to be your friends, but at the same time, you know that they are sneaking paint and balloons into your back yard for the squatters to throw at you.
But at least they are not at the moment openly attacking the front of your house from their side of the street, so you pretend back and try not to antagonize them.
It has all the makings of a plot line for a Stephen King novel or a nightmare of the sort brought on by a late night snack of double anchovy pizza washed down by a cold glass of milk.
Instead it is a thinly disguised parable about Israel and the Palestinians. The Arab ‘Palestinians’ had lived in the region for four hundred years as subjects of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Title passed from the Ottoman Empire to the British when the British captured Jerusalem during the First World War.
Britain was granted legal title under the British Mandate, and Israel came into legal possession of that title to its’ ‘house’ in 1948 when it was recognized as an independent state by the United Nations in 1948.
The new title holder, Israel, did not take the title away from the Arab occupants. The British did that. Israel took possession of the land from the British. Israel’s Arab neighbors attacked openly five times, were defeated five times, and now quietly arm the Palestinians for war while claiming to be negotiators for peace.
The UN has ruled in favor of the Palestinians in every dispute that has come before it, including many as ridiculously one-sided as those in my parable.
The Arab-controlled UN General Assembly has never passed a resolution condemning a single Arab action, but has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than all the rest of the world’s serial human rights abusers combined.
The Palestinian claim to Israel is as thin as the squatter’s claim in the parable, and the behavior of the squatters in the back yard is instantly recognizable as mirroring the various Palestinian intifadas over issues like sharing Jerusalem and refusing Jewish access to the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is the heart of Israel’s religious existence. Without it, it would be like the home of a professional chef without a kitchen.
And Jerusalem is Israel’s ancient, God-given and Divinely restored capital. For the Jews, demanding a share of Jerusalem would be like demanding a share of one’s living room.
(Neat how I worked those in, no?)
In 2007, The Palestinians announced a tentative date for their meeting with Ehud Olmert in Annapolis, Maryland. PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement, adding a warning that, “unless ALL the issues at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are solved, violence will break out anew,” reported the Jerusalem Post.
As in our parable, the police and judge in this case are all related, so there was no outcry from them when the squatters threatened to attack, even though they had no claim to the shared living room (Jerusalem) and reneged on the deal to share the kitchen (Temple Mount).
And like the bewildered homeowner, Israel reacted to the threats with a statement from Ehud Olmert promising to try harder, only to be met with a demand for even more from the other side.
According to the Jerusalem Post there was the promise. . .
“Israel Radio later quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that he would make a “great effort” to ensure that the conference becomes a first step towards peace. Olmert said it was imperative to avoid making excuses and to venture forward in negotiations despite the risks involved. . .
. . . followed by the new demand:
Meanwhile, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei, said Tuesday there would be no talks with Israel unless a deadline was set for establishing a Palestinian state.
Our parable has a nightmarish-like relentless quality to it — like running down a long hallway and the faster you run, the longer it gets. You go to the cops, its the enemy’s brother-in-law. The only judge is a first cousin. All the rules seem to work in reverse, and always against you, even when it is patently obvious — like in a bad dream.
What used to be your back yard, bought and paid for (in Israel’s case, in blood during the Six-Days War) is now behind a fence erected to protect what is left of Israel’s homeland. The judge [the UN] sides with the Palestinian demands that the fence come down ‘as a condition of peace’ when the only reason FOR the fence is to KEEP the peace — by keeping out Palestinian terrorists.
In the real world, you just couldn’t make something like this up from scratch. If you did, it would have that same surreal, dreamlike quality to it that our parable does.
It is hard to imagine an institution as corrupt as the one represented by the police and judge of the parable, and even harder to imagine rulings that one-sided being handed down by any legal authority.
Yet the UN and General Assembly’s record is so one-sided and biased against Israel that you probably suspected the parable was about Israel and the UN long before I told you.
The point is, you couldn’t make this up — in any other context, it is too unbelievable to make sense. I hope that I am telegraphing my next point — it means you’re seeing the Big Picture — if you can’t make stuff like this up, how hard is it to accurately predict it, in detail, thousands of years in advance?
Look how many predictions we’re talking about, all coming together at the same time, to paint an otherwise impossible Big Picture:
First, the Bible predicted the restoration of Israel — the exact same piece of geography to the same ethnic group, to be called by the prophesied name of “Israel.” This is an event unparalleled in the history of human civilization.
At the time in which the prophets spoke of a restored nation of Israel, that nation had already been destroyed by the Assyrians a generation before. It would not exist again for 2500 years.
But when it was restored, the Bible said, it would be restored geographically, ethnically and religiously, and its scattered citizens would return with their ancient customs, traditions, language and religion intact.
By itself, that is an amazing prophecy, made even more amazing by its fulfillment in our generation.
Second, the Bible predicted Jerusalem would return to Israeli possession. That was even considered an impossible prophecy during the modern era.
The UN Partition Plan called for making Jerusalem an ‘international city.’
From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount part of Jordan. But in 1967, both fell under Israeli sovereignty for the first time in twenty-five hundred years, precisely as prophesied.
Third, the Bible predicted that Israeli possession of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem would become the central flashpoint of global politics, with the Prophet Zechariah predicting the whole world would become obsessed, as if drunken, over the question of who owns Jerusalem.
Fourth, all the prophets predict that Israel will, in the end, stand alone and friendless against the entire world in their claim for both the city and the Temple Mount.
Israel is the only genuine representative Western-style democracy amid a sea of radical Islamic dictatorships in the midst of what amounts to a war between radical Islam and Western society. Israel’s enemies are equally the enemies of the Western world.
But the Western world consistently (and, given the whole ‘war’ thingy, inexplicably) sidesagainst Israel and with its shared radical Islamic enemy.
When asked, most can’t quite explain why. It just seems like the right thing to do.
Western government spokesmen mumble something about ‘Palestinian victimization’ by the Israeli ‘occupation’ == but when pressed, can’t identify the actual victimizer nor explain what Palestinian territory Israel is actually ‘occupying’.
And they know that any Palestinian state created out of the current population will be a terrorist state and whatever weapons they send them to ‘defeat’ the Zionist occupiers will later be turned on them.
But they don’t seem able to help themselves. It doesn’t make any sense, even when you try to explain it logically.
But the Bible PREDICTED it. Look at the layers of predictions that all depended upon one another in order to project the Big Picture we see before us. The picture we see is the one the Bible prophets foresaw and foretold.
Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition plan, the Bible’s predictions would have failed. Had the Israelis not recaptured the Old City and Temple in ’67, the Bible’s predictions would have failed.
If the Western world sided with Israel as its natural, Western democratic natural ally, (which is also the most logical scenario) the Big Picture would be unrecognizably altered and Bible prophecy would fail.
These are all predictions recorded thousands of years in advance, and puzzled over by every generation to study them in the centuries since. Had any of them failed, the Big Picture we see would not be the one that they, or we, expected.
But here it is, in all its splendiforus gloriousness — undeniable evidence of both the accuracy of Bible prophecy and reality of a Creator God Whose foretold Plan of the Ages is coming together before our very eyes!
But the top-rated television program on cable last Sunday night wasn’t, “The King Is Coming,” or, “Prepare to Meet Thy God.”
The top-rated show on cable last Lord’s Day was the History Channel’s, “The Lost Book of Nostradamus.” Which is the fulfillment of yet another Bible prophecy:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2nd Timothy 3:7)