Is Peace Possible?
One of Israel’s greatest prime ministers, Golda Meir, once said, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” Since Israel’s statehood in 1948, they have endured repeated wars and attacks. They have constantly faced the threat of a hostile Muslim world that wants them wiped off the map. Thousands of their young soldiers have been killed in this struggle for their survival and thousands more civilians have perished in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings.
Despite decades of negotiations and numerous accords and agreements, things have not changed all that much between Israel and the Palestinians over the last 40-plus years. In fact, the prospect of peace today seems further away than ever. Israel presently has no viable partner with whom they can seriously negotiate. A Hamas-led Palestinian government is certainly not an option. The Obama administration is clearly no longer able to play the role of “impartial” mediator in this conflict now that a demand to return to the pre-1967 borders has been announced, an option that is indefensible and places Israel in peril.
The rise to power of radical Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the instability in Syria, the growing anti-Israel position of Turkey, and, of course, the looming threat of Iran completing their development of nuclear weapons to launch against Israel have created the greatest threat to Israel’s continued existence since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In addition, long-time allies such as Great Britain and the United States have recently shifted position and taken a more adversarial role toward Israel.
Clearly, Europe is not going to intervene beyond their anemic sanctions imposed on Iran, and the Obama administration has sent a final warning to Israel that they are on their own if they attack Iran. The White House has refused missile backup—both operationally and to cover Israel defensively in the event of a counter strike. Still, Israel will be forced to strike to prevent Iran from completing a nuclear warhead if something doesn’t change. And time is running out!
Israel is a tiny nation—the entire country could fit inside the borders of Lake Michigan with room to spare. Surrounded by enemies on every side and greatly outnumbered by her Arab neighbors, the survival of Israel from 1948 to the present is surely a result of Divine Providence and staggering sacrifice on the part of generation after generation of Israelis.
As you hear and see Israel being pressed to make concessions of land for peace, keep in mind that all of the concessions made to date have only been met with demands for more, and have resulted not in peace but in continued hostility. If the Palestinians truly wanted to live in peaceful co-existence with Israel, then Gaza—turned over to them in 2005—would today be engaged in trade with Israel and living in friendship side by side. Instead, Gaza has become a staging ground for almost daily missile attacks launched against nearby Israeli towns. Why would we expect anything different if Israel gives over the entire West Bank?
The lessons of the last century should have taught us that appeasement never works, but it appears that our generation is intent on relearning that lesson at Israel’s expense. Truth be told, it is highly unlikely if not impossible that any plan for peace engineered or imposed by man will succeed. The only viable plan for peace that will succeed is God’s peace plan, and that plan is through the Prince of Peace, Yeshua—Jesus, the Messiah. Only when He is invited in and hearts are changed can Arab and Jew, Israeli and Palestinian live in true peace with one another.
How Should We Respond?
It is important as Bible Believers that we always remember that this is a spiritual issue, not a political issue. Our understanding of this conflict and how we should respond must be rooted in the Word of God. What God says matters far more than what man says or thinks. We must turn to the Scriptures and align ourselves with God’s perspectives on such issues. In Genesis 15:8, God promised the Land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession. “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.’” God confirmed that promise through Moses when the Children of Israel were ready to enter the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 1:8 says, “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
Support for Israel does not mean we believe God loves Jews more than Arabs or Israelis more than Palestinians. It is simply a recognition that God, in His sovereignty, chose to give this Land to the Children of Israel. It is their inheritance, regardless of their spiritual condition. That purpose has not changed; indeed, it cannot be abolished by the will or actions of men.
Psalm 122:6 in the KJV exhorts us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” We should pray for those who hate Israel and the Jewish People to be thwarted in their efforts to bring death and destruction. We should pray that God opens the eyes of world leaders to understand the Word of God and to stand with Israel. We should pray for Israel’s leaders, for wisdom and divine revelation. We should pray for their salvation and the salvation of all Israel—that the day will come when they cry out, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26).
Is peace possible in the Middle East? Yes, it is possible and will surely come. But only through God’s peace plan, Yeshua, the Prince of Peace. Only through Him will this troubled Land dwell in true peace and security.
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