Monday, June 20, 2011

So where are we going here?

President Obama is being described as the most anti-Israel president in US history.

Hamas has been listed by the US as a terrorist organisation. It refuses to accept Israel's right to exist and is sworn to Israel's destruction.

Just a month ago, President Obama said Israel could not be expected to negotiate with Hamas until Hamas gave up its goal to destroy Israel. He told the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: "We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognising Israel's right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements."

Despite the fact that Hamas has not changed its position, Obama now says that Israel must start peace negotiations with Hamas, now a partner with Fatah in Palestinian government, based on Israel's pre-1967 borders. This, it is suggested, would prevent the Palestinians' unilaterial declaration of a Palestinian state in September - a move which the US could prevent anyway if it had a mind.

Israel says it will not negotiate with Hamas so long as Hamas refuses to accept Israel's right to exist.

Iran, whose fanatical leadership has promised to wipe Israel off the map, has stockpiles of enriched uranium and is now said to be able to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb in about two months.

Hezbollah and Hamas are still backed by Iran. In Egypt, the radical Muslim Brotherhood is consolidating its position ahead of elections in September. The hand of al Qaeda is becoming increasingly evident in countries like Yemen. Muslims are talking about a Muslim caliphate with the former land of Israel at its centre.

When we talk about Israel, we are dealing not only with a geopolitical issue, but with an intensely theological and spiritual issue. The Bible speaks a great deal about Israel's history, Israel's present and Israel's future. There is not room here to quote large portions of the Bible, but consider, for instance, Ezek 28:25, 26:

"'Thus says the Lord God: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Jacob.

"'And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God."'"

And Amos 9:14, 15:

"'I will bring back the captives of my people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

"I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,'
Says the Lord your God."