Dear Friends of Israel,
With an overwhelming majority, the United Nations General Assembly voted on November 29th to raise the status of Palestine to a Non-member Observer State. The action did little to change the current state of affairs, but it has deep symbolic meaning. For example, the date of the vote is noteworthy, for it was exactly 65 years ago to the day that the UN voted to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arabic nations. In contrast to the Jews, the Arabs have rejected that plan since the beginning and answered with war. Now, the question is, “Will this bring about any change in the attitude of the Palestinians?” If so, it really wasn’t apparent in the speech that was given by Mahmoud Abbas to the full assembly. However, on a previous occasion, he has admitted that the greatest mistake that the Palestinians made was not accepting the original plan of division. The unasked, and therefore unanswered question however, is, “Has anything really changed deep down inside the Palestinians?”
Only nine countries voted against raising the status of the Palestinians, one of which, of course, was the United States, which traditionally stands by Israel. President Obama recently declared that peace cannot be forced, but must be reached through bilateral negotiations. Mahmoud Abbas declared in his speech that the Palestinians believe in peace and seek peace. He did not explain how the endless streams of rockets that were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the recent outbreak of aggression could be considered seeking peace.
In spite of that, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated that Israel is prepared for peace, as long as Israel’s security is guaranteed. Once again, it remains to be seen how the so-called peace process will move forward. For one thing, Israel’s elections are scheduled for January 22nd, but it’s unlikely that any significant change in the composition of Israel’s government will occur. Good or bad, that means that the Palestinians must negotiate with a right-leaning Israeli government. A great deal will depend on the mediation process that will be led by the United States, who will also play an important role in enforcing any peace agreement, as it did after the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan were reached. The primary initiative however must come from the Palestinians themselves. Israel has accused them of indecisiveness, particularly Abbas. That is not something that was ever said of the former Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, who came to Jerusalem offering peace 35 years ago in November. He of course, paid for his courage with his life. For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin agreed to that peace treaty with Egypt in spite of strong opposition at home. It remains to be seen whether the historic symbolism of the month of November will inspire bold actions at this time.
As people who are familiar with the prophetic Word, we can be thankful that we are able to see the events of this world, particularly the events that pertain to Israel, in light of God’s eternal Word. Thus we can know and understand the signs of the times and recognize that the return of the Lord Jesus is becoming ever more imminent.
We wish to thank all our associates and supporters for their assistance in proclaiming the prophetic word of God during the past year, and we wish all our readers rich blessings in 2014.
Bound together in trust of the Lord, who has everything in His hands,