The problem in the Middle east started with Abraham. God chose to have his special blessings pass through the lineage of Isaac instead of Ishmael. Semitic law indicates that the first born shall inherit the bulk of his fathers estate. However, provisions are usually made for the other sons. Isaac was the first born of Abraham and Sarah, but he was the second born of Abraham. But God considered Isaac as the only son of Abraham thus making him the rightful heir. 1 God promised Abraham that Ishmael would be the father of many nations 2 and that promise was fulfilled through the Arab nations. Jacob the second born of Isaac was the one God chose 3 for the continued blessing. Jacob tricked Esau out of his inheritance 4 and this is the root of todays middle East problems. The Arab nations look upon Israel as a usurper of their inheritance. If one considers the size of the land promised Abraham's decedents and compare it to the land Israel now occupies (See Land of Promise ) you find that Israel has less than five percent of the total promised land, which is consistent with what a second son would inherit under Semitic Law. It was the lineage of the special blessing that God dictated not the Land. So the Arab claim is not valid. Some claim that the God that promised the land to Israel was not Allah, but this is not correct. Islam has its roots in the same Patriarchs as Israel. They claim Abraham, Ishmael and Esau as their forefathers and the Qur'an (Koran), the Islam holy book, carries many of the same Bible stories as the Old Testament. In fact the Qur'an states that Jesus was "the Spirit of God" sixty-four times. However; they deny Jesus' claim that He was the Son of God, as do the Jews. So the Arab claim for the land is not just, but it is the root of todays problems in the Middle East.
Arno Froese 5 pointed out that
"the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians was indeed a struggle between the Bible and the Qur'an, the Islamic "holy" book. Each group claims the land and the city of Jerusalem based upon the teachings of their respective Scriptures. In other words, religion is at the heart of the conflict."
Ramon Bennett 6 states: "
It is a grave mistake, indeed, to think that religion has the same meaning for the Muslims as it has for those in the Western World. Westerners are generally lukewarm at best in their attitude to religion. Only for the zealous few does religion regulate their lives. Not so for the Arab and Iranian. Religion, for the traditional majority in every Arab country and Iran (ancient Persia), remains the central normative of life. Islam permeates the Middle Eastern Muslim's life. It is the hub from which all else radiates. Every activity, every thought, feeling or custom is regulated by the laws of Islam, which are unquestioningly believed by minds that give unpledged allegiance. In this, the Muslims are in 'sharp' contrast with those who profess other religions (including Judaism)."'
The teachings of Islam are behind the radical militants who are trying to evict the Jews from Israel. Bennett explains why:
"The Middle East is the homeland of Islam. It is where Islam was born. It is, to the Arab mind, Allah's land. And in 1948, the Jews dispossessed Allah from a portion of his land. Not only did these 'vile' dews dispossess Allah and establish a sovereign Jewish state on his land, but they established it in the very heart of the Islamic homeland. The Qur'an, implicitly believed by Muslims to be the final and true revelation of God, vilifies Jews as an insidious people worthy only of contempt, punishment and death. The Hadith (written Muslim tradition viewed as equal to the Qur'an) continues the hatred: 'The one sent by Allah (Muhammad) has already said the great hour will not come until the Muslims make war upon the Jews and kill so many of them that when a Jew would hide behind a tree or a stone these objects will speak and say: O Muslim, servant of God, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.' Other Muslim writings are also carried along with the momentum: 'Allah's messenger may peace be upon Hamas commanded: Fight against the Jews and kill them. Pursue them until even a stone would say: Come here Muslim, there is a Jew hiding himself under me. Kill him. Kill him quickly.' The Jewish victory in 1948, therefore, created the ultimate challenge to the Islamic world, it struck at the very heart of Islamic theology and belief and undermined it."
In summarizing the situation, Bennett states:
"For this reason, 1948 became 'the day of the greatest shame in the modern history of the Arabs.' The 'face' of the Arab nation was 'blackened' with shame, as was the face of its god. The continuous call for Israel's annihilation comes not for the Arab world per se, but from Islam and for the honor of Allah."
But how do we obtain
Peace - NOW?
The Christian churches have built
many churches in Israel on the traditional sites that commemorate
the events in Jesus life and ministry, but the Catholic church
has not recognized Israel as a nation until just lately. The Catholic
church has proposed that Jerusalem be made an International City
under their jurisdiction. The Vatican proposed agreement would
have the Vatican and the Pope take the over-sight of the Old City
of Jerusalem and the temple mount. The government of Israel and
the Palestinian Authority would not have the final authority on
the city. It would be the Vatican that would solve the age old
conflict. The Vatican proposal was acceptable to Peres, Arafat
and the Pope.
For centuries the Vatican has attempted to obtain control of Jerusalem, which started with the Crusades. Under the Vatican agreement the Israelis would give over control the Old City to the Vatican before the year 2000. Arafat agreed to the plan just before the famous "handshake" in 1993, but when he realized that the Vatican was also going to let Israel share in the temple mount, he rejected the plan. Israel acceptance was an attempt to avoid future war, and Rabin and Peres followed the path of appeasement.
Shimon Peres, the Foreign Minister in 1993, is a socialist and not a religious Jew, he considered religion an impediment to peace. He thought if Israel and the Arab nations were brought together economically, there would be no need to fight. This idea would have some merit, except he is dealing not with business men but religious fanatics in the Hezbolah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas movements, who have continually tried to scuttle the peace process. Arafat cannot afford to have peace because his entire position and goal has been to destroy Israel. If peace came to the Middle East he would be replaced very quickly with a moderate business man. However, if he can keep these militant organizations believing that he can gain the land and concessions with out going to war, they will let him remain in power.
The Vatican agreement was put on hold until issues like, Israeli security, decisions on occupied lands, PLO recognition, interim Palestinian government, control of holy sites and other issues were considered and the problems with these issues solved. Once these problems were solved then the final agreement on Jerusalem would be undertaken. These issues were not as easily solved as anticipated and the first agreement, the Oslo agreement trading land for peace was one year late. The Palestinians gained a police force, general officers and local police from the appeasement. The total armed persons was to be 12,000. It ended up being nine different types of units with 30,000 plus armed Palestinians. Current estimates are the totals have risen to 70,000. The Palestinians were to abandon terrorism and renounce their original charter calling for the destruction of Israel. Instead more bombs went off and the amendments to the charter were window dressing only. Two more bombings in Jerusalem within the past few months have killed and maimed scores of innocent civilians as well as killing three young Palestinian bombers. It is indeed ironic that since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords and the famous Washington, D.C. handshakes five years ago, over 260 Israeli Jews have been killed and close to 1,000 wounded by these kinds of terrorist attacks.
A result of these attacks has been Israel began slowing the process of compliance on their part. Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister who signed the OSLO II agreement, began to draw back from the peace process in the hopes of forcing Arafat into compliance but an assassin's bullets changed all that. Just before Rabin's death, the Vatican leaked the story of the agreement trying to motivate Rabin to hurry. The subject of Jerusalem and the OSLO II agreement had not been connected before that time. Arafat pushed the issue; Rabin ignored it; and the Vatican was trying to speed things up. When Rabin died, the Vatican agreement story died as well, because the Likud party had not agreed to it. The agreement didn't die, just the story. Yitzhak Rabin died with the bitter knowledge that he had been betrayed. At Oslo, Yasser Arafat had given him a commitment: "You give us territory, and we'll fight terrorism from that territory." Rabin asked General Amnon Shahak, as chief of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF); and General Moshe Ya'alon, head of military intelligence to report on Arafat's fulfillment of the promise:
In September 1995, Ya'alon reported that instead of fighting the armed fundamentalist terrorists Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Arafat was permitting their military strength to grow in the territories turned over by Israel. But Arafat was using proxy terror to push Israel for more concessions. When Rabin confronted Arafat with the allegation Arafat simply denied it. It was, Rabin judged, a brazen deception. Armed with more damning intelligence in his hands, Rabin forced a showdown with Arafat but waited until after the Palestinian election on Jan. 20, 1996. Four days after the Palestinian election, the new prime minister, Shimon Peres, visited Arafat. Israeli intelligence had learned that a terrorist group was planning five major bombings. Arafat was given that information and did nothing. In February and March, four bombs exploded in buses, cafes, and shopping areas, killing dozens of Israelis and wounding hundreds. The impact on Israeli politics was devastating, leading to the election of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as the expression of Israel's security concerns. The rise of Netanyahu did not bring about the paralysis of Oslo. It was the paralysis of Oslo and the terrorist action resulting from the paralysis, that brought about the rise of Netanyahu.
Last year, some 463 terrorist attacks were mounted; an additional 100 were foiled. Recently, Israel discovered a Hamas cell that planned the takeover of a major building; the planting of mines; a suicide bombing in a major residential area; car bombings in Haifa, Beit El, and Ariel; and implantation of explosives into videotapes. Only intense Israeli pressure induced the Palestinian Authority (PA) to raid this group: 1,500 pounds of explosives were found. Meanwhile evidence of Arafat's betrayal multiplied. Arafat has twice as many police under arms as agreed at Oslo but will not use them against terrorist havens that are just minutes from major Israeli cities. He has freed Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for the January 1995 Beit Lid bombing that killed a score of Israelis, as well as those who attacked the Jerusalem mall in September 1997. He retains the chief of the 12,000-strong police force in Gaza and the West Bank, General. Ghazi Jabali, who is known to be involved in terrorism. He allows PLO leaders to exhort their people to violence against Israelis. He has recruited 150 police officers from known terrorist groups, including at least 25 wanted for terrorist attacks on Israelis.
Peres and Arafat have met with the Pope at least six times to keep the Jerusalem negotiations going. Jerusalem has become the most important issue in the Middle East Peace negotiations. Shimon Peres began quietly trying to get another agreement as soon as he could, especially on Jerusalem. Arafat took a hard line because he believed Peres would win the election. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party barely won the election and the Peres' plan on Jerusalem died. Arafat was visibly shaken; he had made a very bad call and now Netanyahu was taking the hard line, the appeasement policy of the former government was negated.
Netanyahu was adamant that the Palestinians abide by the letter of the agreement before Israel did anything further. "Reciprocity" not "Appeasement" was the keyword in the negotiations. Arafat's game of "what's mine is mine and what is yours we will negotiate for" was over.
The OSLO II agreement had several interesting clauses. One was a "blow out" clause. If the parties did not complete the final agreements (Jerusalem) by May 4, 1999, then the whole deal was off. Arafat figured that he could build international support for Palestinian statehood, have the agreement annulled, and accomplish what he really wanted. With regard to the agreement, the idea was to negotiate hard and get any concessions he could. Since Peres lost the election, Arafat's strategy has been to somehow isolate Israel from American support and rally International opinion and support for the Palestinian cause.
Madeline Albright in an effort to bolster the President of the United States image, decided to solve the entire Middle East problem before Gore can take office. Albright made a bold proposal. Let's have one more interim agreement. Israel will give up 13.1 percent more land, for a total return of 40 percent The only things Israel gets in exchange is just the satisfaction that they moved forward with the peace process and a picture with the President shaking their hands at the White House. The United States also agreed to commence the final status talks on Jerusalem and initiate the earlier Jerusalem agreements.
Arafat loved the agreement. He figured that Israel will never agree to it and this will split the United States and Israel. Besides, he would get more land and still declare a Palestinian state in 1999. With regard to the release of more land, Israel had serious defensive security questions. The Jerusalem final status talks were extremely bothersome because they knew about the deadline and Arafat's intentions. As Israel attempted to negotiate, Albright presented a harsh tone and an ultimatum of "take it or leave it." Congress didn't like her attitude and Israel waited for internal forces to cool Albright's rhetoric. The President's patience grew thin and He directed the CIA to find any way possible to undermine and drive Netanyahu from office. The latest agreement has the CIA as the main US participant, this must be reassuring to the Israeli :-). But there was one principle fact that is missing in all these negotiations. It is God who decides who the Prime Minister of Israel is and who will ultimately get the land and Jerusalem, not the President of the United States. On the day the President was to chastise Netanyahu, the news broke. A certain White House intern by the name of Monica Lewinsky became uppermost in the news and Ken Starr began investigating. It is the President that was concerned about his job and not Benjamin Netanyahu.
Months went by and Israel continued to demand reciprocity on the Palestinian part. But the US's arm twisting paid off and the final interim agreement was signed on October 23, 1998.
Israel is asking that 3 percent of the 13 percent be used as a nature preserve and that Arafat agree to change the charter within four months upon signature of the agreement (which he had agreed to do in 1993 Oslo agreement) and reduce the number of armed Palestinian police. The US agreed to pay for IDF relocations and to rebuild the infrastructure in the Palestinian lands. We are in effect buying the agreement to make the President look good. The final status talks concerning Jerusalem will begin with seven months left before the annulment date.
When the final status talks for Jerusalem begin, the Vatican plans to step forward with its own plan for the Old City of Jerusalem to become an International City under their control. The Vatican in turn will allow the Jews to get a piece of the temple mount and world opinion may shift to Israel calling Jerusalem their eternal capital. Arafat begrudges the Jews getting anything. Arafat will be in deep trouble if Israel gets some of the temple mount. This is why Arafat is begging other Arab nations to come to his aid. He has taken a picture of Solomon's temple out of an old Bible and he shows it to other Arab leaders announcing, "This is what the Jews are after! " Actually, the Jews are after a piece of the temple mount to set a cornerstone and build an altar. They believe that the Messiah will return before the temple is built.
Arafat has a tough decision to make. He can get another chunk of land, hold off for May 4, 1999 and declare the Palestinian state or he can lose the land and still declare the Palestinian state. On the down side the Vatican gets involved and gives some of the temple mount to Israel. The Vatican is pushing for the deal. They want to hold the first of many new millennium celebrations in Jerusalem on the temple mount in January 2000. Israel wants the deal to fulfill promises made to the religious parties. But maybe it is the American President who wants the deal more than anyone. He desperately needs to have something happen at the White House that makes him look "Presidential". The signing of the Interim Agreement in October, 1998, helps, but no one believes it will have any effect on the final outcome.
Recently, Steve Rodan 7
The Palestinian Authority has intensified its effort to control Christian churches in Israel as part I of its campaign to acquire their I extensive land holdings in the I country and gain influence in the West, a government report says. The report, drafted by security officials for Cabinet review, says the PA effort began with its, takeover of churches in Bethlehem, including the Church of Nativity, and has now extended! to churches and Christian sites in | Jerusalem. These include the I Church of the Holy Sepulcher and I the Church of Mary Magdalene. The PA effort is focused on gaining control over the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem and the Greek Catholic Bishopric in the Galilee. The drive to dominate the Greek Patriarchate is regarded as most alarming because of the church's vast holdings in the western part of Jerusalem, including land on which the Knesset and many government buildings are located. The Greek Catholics control considerable property in the north of Israel "The PA's efforts to take control of the Patriarchate consist of a three-pronged approach encompassing the public, legal and political spheres," the report said. The report says the PA is also trying to gain control of the I Armenian Patriarchate and the Franciscan Order, which controls I sites on behalf of the Vatican. "The PA has used its indirect control beer the Church of the Nativity as a means of influencing the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchs, through which it impacts [on] the political positions of the Greek government and the European Unionism the report says."
This is part of Arafat's attempt to pressure the west for international support for his plans to take over Jerusalem and make all Israel and the west bank a Palestinian State.
The Western media is lending a helping
hand by devising all kinds of rationalizations to excuse Arafat's
neglect of security commitments, which were underwritten in the
Oslo "Note for the Record" by the United States itself.
All sorts of pressures are brought on Israel to reward Arafat's
campaign by making further concessions. Israel knows full well
that this would not buy peace. Withdrawal from Hebron has been
followed by suicide bombings, more violent intifada and demands
for more withdrawals, more retreat from Oslo.
However, Eighty-one senators who cannot be dismissed as partisan have sent a letter to President Clinton containing the following truths:
"The fact is that many Palestinians continue to use terror and violence as a political tool against Israel. Chairman Arafat, himself, repeatedly threatens renewals of widespread violence and continues to withhold full security cooperation with Israel."
The senators point out the injustice of pressuring Israel. It would be
"particularly unfair and counterproductive since Israel has kept the promises it made at Oslo, and today is prepared to withdraw from even more territory of the West Bank before final status negotiations."
Then they assert: "On the other hand, the Palestinians have not provided Israel with adequate security."
"Presenting an American plan especially one that includes a specific redeployment figure beyond what Israel believes to be in its national-security interest before final status arrangements runs counter to [former Secretary of State Warren] Christopher's commitment and can only undermine Israel's confidence."
Unfortunately, the State Department
has become Arafat's de facto advocate, and Hillary announced they
are in favor of a Palestinian state, and the US is continuing
to pressure Israel to pull out from more of the West Bank. This
is unwise as well as unfair. In the light of the broken promises
Israel has been remarkably forthcoming, especially since those
same Rabin-appointed, nonpolitical military advisers still make
the same assessment of Arafat's failure on security policy that
they did in 1995. Israel has offered more land, but the Clinton
administration seems to miss the point, as it tries to increase
the percentage yielded. The argument should not be about how
much extra land Israel yields but how every bit of land given
up undermines Israel's fundamental security. Israel is constrained
by the imperative of survival against not just the treacherous
Arafat but also the radical Islamic government that might well
If Israel gave up the mountain ridges on the West Bank it would lose early warning sites that could detect an Iraqi or Syrian attack. It cannot give up the vital underground aquifers that provide a huge share of Israel's fresh water. It cannot do without a buffer zone on the Green Line, Israel's pre-1967 border because of possible Arab terrorist infiltration. It must have a means of swiftly deploying into the Jordan Valley by means of four east-west roads that enable the IDF to bypass Palestinian communities and local traffic. It must have control of the land near the Ben Gurion Airport because the Palestinians have been trying to acquire shoulder-to-air missiles.
The biggest problem between Washington and Jerusalem is antipathy toward Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the perception between what Israel knows it needs for its security and what America thinks it needs to appease Arafat. This has allowed the United States to convince itself it needs to push only on Netanyahu, who rejects American pressure. The US should be leaning on Arafat to tighten security, the key to the whole confrontation.
The record shows the Israelis are right in their judgment that a progressive turnover of territory to the PA would be no more than a series of unilateral concessions. They would whet the appetites of the Palestinians and raise their expectations without bringing about any genuine PLO acceptance of the Jewish state, any elimination of terrorism.
But Israel can never be expected to give up what is essential to its very survival, and every blow to its sense of trust makes it more likely that those final talks will end in deadlock and more violence. This is what the Israelis cannot forget. It should not be what the Clinton administration cannot remember.
So where do we stand? In my opinion, the most probable scenario would be as follows:
1) The terrorism in Israel will continue after the Israeli forces (IDF) withdraw from the addition 13 percent of the land dictated by the October Interim agreement.
2) Arafat will not keep his commitments in the October agreement. He will stumble and delay just as he has done since 1993 on these same issues.
3) Israel will become more adamant about its demands for compliance.
4) Neither Israel or Arafat will give an inch on their plans for the future of Jerusalem.
5) The push by the Vatican for an international status for Jerusalem will tend to bring positive world opinion to their plan. The dominate catholic counties in South America and southern Europe will agree with the Vatican and turn against Israel. They are now somewhat neutral this will change.
6) The Arab nations and Iran will show much stronger support for Arafat because they now see a new enemy - the Christians trying to take control of Jerusalem under the guise of an International City. The Russians will back the Arab movement.
7) This fractionation brings the world to the alignment of countries called for in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 (See Ezekiel's War). The world is now divided into these camps by religions, by economics and by mutual cooperation between these governments and mutual defense pacts. (Map on world religions Figure 1)
8) All of these issues and national positions should climax at a time determined by the results of the final negotiations on Jerusalem. Scheduled for completion in May 1999.
9) The conflict between the Arabs and the Jews will probably result in a war and with the Vatican getting involved it brings up a number of interesting insights.
We know from Scripture that the false church and the false economic system (Revelation Chapters 17 and 18) are in a city built on seven hills, 8 so is Rome. We also know that the Antichrist goes to the south and to the east and puts down Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia. 9 This would require that he comes from Italy or points west, would it be Rome? The false prophet (See False Prophet) is a recognized world religious leader (See Next and Last Pope) and at this point in time the Pope is the foremost religious leader. He is also placing the Vatican directly in the middle of the conflict that is brewing over Jerusalem. This may be the shadow of the Antichrist. Remember that I think all the believers will be raptured before these trials and tribulations start. 10
These events could lead to this war foretold by Ezekiel. When? We do not know - there are too many variables. But Scripture is plain.
1) The Jews will have the land Promised to their forefathers. (See Land of Promise )
2) They will never be uprooted from the land. 11
3) Ezekiel's War will instigate the end time functions and the Rapture of the Believers. (See Time Line) See Figure 2.
4) The Antichrist will rise in power, 12 probably from the world wide chaos caused by the above war. This series of events will restore the Old Roman Empire. (See Restoration of Roman Empire ) If the Vatican is successful in getting Jerusalem we will have the mechanism in place for the Antichrist to come into power.
5) The Antichrist will usher in the Great Tribulation. 13
6) Christ will stand on Zion at the end of the Great Tribulation 14 and will put down His enemies and establish the Millennial Kingdom. 15
These events of the end times are discussed in detail on the web sites www.aaronc.com and www.jpdawson.com and a summary of the events are given in Figure 2 along with the Scripture references for each event.
These things will happen because the Scriptures are inerrant. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior the above is no problem. We will be gone as 3) above begins. 16
If you don't know Jesus, it is urgent that you come to Him, NOW.
Figure 2 Time Line for the End Times
The following article appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 25 February 2000. It indicates that the Vatican Agreement discussed above is no longer just a discussion, but is an actual agreement between the Vatican and the Palestinean Authority to turn Jerusalem into a Free International City with the Vatican as the Protectorate. This will undoubtedly bring great pressure on Israel from the world community, because there will be a war if Israel does no conform to the agreement.
PLO-Vatican pact riles Israel
Officials in Jerusalem deplore the Vatican's interference in the peace process, only weeks before the pope's visit to the region
The Barak government has accused the Vatican of interfering in the peace talks with the Palestinians by signing an accord with the PLO that cautions Israel to refrain from unilateral decisions affecting Jerusalem, which it called "morally and legally unacceptable."
"The agreement... is an interference in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and we regret this," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The representative of the Holy See in Israel, Papal Nuncio Monsignor Pietro Sambi, was called for an "urgent meeting" with Director-General Eytan Bentsur to discuss the matter.
Criticism in the agreement of a lack of freedom in the Old City was rejected by Bentsur. At no point in history has there been as I much freedom as today, he told | Sambi. Not only is the content of I the document disturbing, but Bentsur described its timing as "deplorable," just before the papal visit.
Bentsur said Israel welcomes the pope on his visit but hopes he will not bring preconceived notions about the outcome of talks between Israel and the PA.
Following their meeting, Sambi told reporters that the agreement -was not fully understood in Israel. It is not a political statement, hut one about the religious nature of Jerusalem and its importance to three major religions, he said.
The agreement was the most significant development in the PLO's relations with the Vatican since official ties were established in 1994. It came ahead of next month's historic visit to Israel by the pope.
The two sides also signed an agreement that called for an internationally guaranteed statute to preserve "the proper identity and sacred character" of the city. The text did not mention Israel, which considers Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has ignored previous Vatican calls for such a statute.
The Vatican's stance underscored the difficulties Pope John Paul II may face on his March 20-26 tour of Jordan, Israel and the: Palestinian territories
Minister Mi:chael Melehior said Israel should welcome the visit despite the agreement, but it should be made absolutely clear that Israel is very unhappy with the denouncement of unilateral decisions on Jerusalem as "morally and legally unacceptable."
If he wants us to listen to him and respect him, he must act likewise towards us," said Melchior
The strong wording in the Vatican-PA
agreement took Israel by surprise. "We express our dismay,"
said Zvi Tal, spokesman of the Israeli Embassy to the Holy See.
Tal said that while the Vatican's stance as known, last week's
action amounted to interferance in ongoing peace negotiations.
He also said the Palestinians appeared to breach a pact with Israel
limiting the types of further agreements they could make.
The accord covers the Vatican's relations with tile PLO, the Status of churches and the freedom of worship in the PA territories.
It was signed on the same day that PA Chairman Yasser Arafat met with Pope John Paul II and sprang a last- minute invitation accepted by the pope - to add Jericho to his itinerary. He is also scheduled to visit Bethlehem and a Palestinian refugee camp.
The preamble of the agreement declares that an "equitable solution" for Jerusalem based on international resolutions is "fundamental for a just and lasting peace." It says that "unilateral decisions and actions altering the specific character and status of Jerusalem are morally and legally unacceptable."
The Vatican, like many states, has never recognized Israel's occupation of the eastern section of the city. The final status of Jerusalem is to be decided in talks between Israelis and the Palestinians, acknowledged as one of the most difficult points in the peace process.
During a 1998 visit to Israel, the Vatican's foreign minister caused a stir when he called the Israeli presence in east Jerusalem an "illegal occupation."
Pope Paul VI visited Jerusalem, but that was in 1964 when the eastern side, containing the major Christian, Moslem and Jewish shrines, was in Jordanian hands.
Meanwhile, Seymour Reich, head of the International Jewish Council on Inter-Religious Consultations, described the language used in the agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinians as "offensive," especially since it came while prepare lions were being made for the papal visit.
But, he said, he wasn't surprised. "Every time they move forward in Vatican-Jewish or Vatican-Israel relations, they manage to take a step backwards in relations between us," Reich. In a similar reaction, the AntiDefamation League expressed concern about the agreement, saying the Vatican was engaged in unhelpful interference in the bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on issues such as the peace process and the status of Jerusalem.
"We would hope that the Vatican would attempt to play a role supportive of the peace process. Instead, this document deElonstFates unhelpful interfere ence into the ongoing bilateral negotiations," ~ said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director.
Foxman added that the agreement gave no indication that Israel and the Palestinians had been engaged in intensive bilateral negotiations since 1993, it made no mention of Israel, of security, or of the need for normalized relations between Israelis and Palestinians. He pointed out that in calling for "international guarantees" on Jerusalem, the document ignored the final-status renegotiations between Israel and the Palestinians which are to include the status of Jerusalem.
Lamia Lahoud adds:
The agreement signed between Arafat and the Vatican signals to the world that the Vatican is dealing with the PA as a de facto state, Arafat's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said last week.
"The agreement will help the peace process... because it signals that Jerusalem is not only a Jewish city and cannot be ruled by Israel alone," he explained.
I would appreciate your comments. Email to JPDawson
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countries and history and how He reveals Himself through prophecy
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1 Genesis 22:2 [KJV] And he said, Take now thy son, thine
only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of
Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the
mountains which I will tell thee of. Return
2 Genesis 17:20 [KJV] And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.Return
3 Genesis 22:2 [KJV And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.] Return
4 Genesis 27:18-23 [KJV] And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. Return
5 Arno Froese , The Struggle For Jerusalem The Struggle Of The Books, Midnight Call, Inc. Return
6 Ramon Bennett , Philistine, The Great Deception Return
7 Steve Rodan , Jerusalem Post International Edition, 18 October, 1998. Return
8 Revelation 17:9 [KJV] And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.Return
9 Daniel 11:42-43 [KJV] He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. Return
10 Revelation 3:10 [KJV] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Return
11 Ezekiel 37:25 [KJV] And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Return
12 Daniel 11:40-45 [KJV] And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. Return
13 Daniel 9:24-27 [KJV] Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Return
14 Revelation 14:1 [KJV] And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Matthew 24:30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Return
15 Revelation 16:17 [KJV] And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Revelation 20:4-7 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, Return
16 Revelation 3:10 [KJV] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.Return
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