Dear Friends of Israel,
The 64th anniversary of the UN resolution to partition Palestine and the agreement to found a Jewish state was celebrated in Jerusalem on November 29, 2011. The present generation shared the joyful passion of that time in a heartfelt ceremony. One fact that is often overlooked and forgotten amidst all the pleasure associated with that historic event is that in accepting the UN resolution, the Jewish leadership, under the chairmanship of Ben-Gurion, also approved of the division of the country into Jewish and Arab parts. At that time, they saw it as the only way to establish a Jewish state.
Today there are those who feel it was a mistake to consent to partitioning the country, but they fail to offer an alternate solution as to how a single state might have been established. The problem is the fundamental difference between the Jewish and Arab cultures.
From the beginning, one fundamental difference between the Jewish and Arab leadership of Palestine was that the Jews expended everything to make the barren land fertile. Institutions and facilities were created that later served as the basis for a sovereign nation.
By contrast, from its inception, the Palestinian national movement was not concerned with establishing any state institutions for self-government, only the destruction of the Zionist enterprise. While the Palestinian leadership was investing all their energy into hatred and destruction, they failed to build the foundations for state autonomy. The Palestinians showed the same self-destructive behavior the after the creation of the State of Israel.
Only in recent years has the Palestinian Authority, under the leadership of Prime Minister Salim Fayyad, slowly but surely begun to build up the necessary institutions and infrastructure for self-government. Therefore, he is often described as the "David Ben-Gurion" of the Palestinians. Anxious to achieve visible progress, he encouraged economic development and improvement of the tax system. Transparency was brought into an administration that was well-known for its corruption, while U.S. trained and financed police and security organs were established.
Now the most important, unanswered question for the future is whether the Palestinians can overcome their self-destructive hatred of Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian authority, recently admitted, "Our people made a mistake when they rejected UN Resolution 181 on the partitioning of Palestine." He stated further, "We want to be a state where there is no discrimination against anyone’s origin or religion.” A reporter said, "The time has come for the Palestinians to learn from Israel and put an end to what Abba Eban, former Israeli foreign minister, said about the Palestinians in 1973, ‘They never miss an opportunity, to miss an opportunity.’”
The conflict over the Promised Land will also in this new year inevitably be the focus of world events. God has set very strict criteria for possession of this small country at the center of the earth. For example, we read in Deuteronomy 11 that God commanded Moses to offer the people a blessing and a curse when they took possession of the land. Only obedience to the commands of God would ultimately guarantee ownership of the land and thus the blessing.
At the beginning of a new year it should be important to us to stand clearly on the Lord’s side, just as Joshua gave his people a choice and said, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
We must serve and obey Him whole-heartedly, so that we don’t seek a temporary refuge, but rather an eternal one. In this sense, I pray that God will bless you richly in the new year and at the same time I’d like to thank everyone for their support in the past year.
Bound together in our Lord, Jesus Christ, Shalom.