Focusing the Big Picture
Vol: 48 Issue: 26 Monday, September 26, 2005
Despite twenty-five years of icy diplomatic relations and a cold ‘peace’ Egypt has scrupulously followed the military terms of its peace treaty with Israel, particularly in regard to the demilitarized zones in the Sinai Peninsula.
But over the past week, all that has changed as a consequence of the Gaza handover.
The Israeli military turned security for the Egypt/Gaza border over to the Palestinians and the Egyptians. The result has been massive weapons infiltration from the Sinai to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian terrorists have been entering Sinai from the Gaza Strip in an attempt to infiltrate Israel and attack cities in the south. This time, the terrorists could be armed with Katyusha rockets, surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank rockets.
Only two weeks ago, Israeli leaders were touting the agreement to deploy 750 Egyptian police commandos along the nine-mile Egypt-Gaza border as heralding new security relations with Israel.
They envisioned strategic cooperation in the Middle East between Egypt and Israel as well as tactical cooperation that would ensure security along their border. Instead, Israel, after its pullout, has been virtually ignored by Egypt. Israel has no remaining influence over the Egypt-Gaza border.
Over the past week the PA has obtained weapons that could change the balance of power with Israel, not via smuggling tunnels, but carried openly across the Egyptian border into Gaza. They include extended-range Katyusha rockets, SA-7 surface-to-air missiles and RPG-7 anti-tank rockets.
It is nothing short of astonishing what the world is willing to overlook, provided it lends itself to the unspoken global desire to see Israel quietly evaporate into the Arab Middle East.
Everywhere that one finds Israeli Jews in Israel; one also finds peace and stability, despite the best efforts of Palestinian terror. But the moment Israel withdraws its influence; the newly Jew-free areas descend into chaos and madness.
In 1992, I visited Jericho, at the time, under Israeli administration. The streets were orderly and clean and the town was packed with Western tourists.
Jericho was the first city to be turned over to Palestinian control after Oslo. Within weeks, it became a terrorist staging ground. Trash started to accumulate on the streets.
Without the tourist industry, (which collapsed because it wasn’t safe to visit without Israel’s presence) and with Palestinians more interested in seizing more of Israel than administering what they already had, the standard of living in the Palestinian-administered areas collapsed almost immediately.
Rather than taking the billions international aid that was poured into the PA’s treasury to create a civil infrastructure, develop home-grown industry and build a stable economy, the PA leadership stole most of it, and squandered the rest on terrorism.
As Israel continued to withdraw from areas of the West Bank, each newly-withdrawn from area followed the Jericho model until the entire West Bank became an armed terrorist camp masquerading as a ‘democratic government’.
The more autonomy the world pressured Israel to grant to the Palestinians, the worse the chaos and poverty became.
The world sent the Palestinians advisors. They were rejected. It sent the Palestinians money. It was stolen. The advisors were soon replaced with negotiators as internal frustration exploded into the 2000 Oslo War.
Israel withdrew from each city and town in the vain hope that withdrawing would lead to peace. It had no other incentive, apart from the promise of peace.
That is the key issue here. If Israel was not seeking peace, why would it turn over anything to the Palestinians? What would be their motive, apart from peace?
A look at the statistics tells the story. The more land Israel traded for peace, the less peace it got. This is not a selective reading of the situation — it is the ONLY reading.
Within hours of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinians looted the Israeli settlements, destroying greenhouses and farms that could have provided work for thousands. They rampaged through each settlement, desecrating and burning synagogues. What little there was in Gaza worth having was soon like the rest of the territory.
Everything Israel has touched during its brief existence has flowered. In less than sixty years, despite constant war, global boycotts and every obstacle imaginable, Israel has built a vibrant and wealthy economy. Where Israelis labor, the land blossoms.
I remember riding a bus along the road that divided the Israeli West Bank from the border with Jordan in 1992, before Oslo. To my left, on the Israeli side, was row after row of fruit trees, surrounded by lush green vegetation.
To my right was a chain link fence plastered with signs warning of hidden landmines. Beyond the fence was the land as Israel found it in 1967, miles and miles of arid, unclaimed desert.
Everything touched by the Palestinian Authority has withered and died. That lush greenery along the border with Jordan has been reclaimed by the desert. Every city is a wasteland of uncollected trash and miserable poverty.
Gaza is just the most recent example of what a Palestinian state would look like.
None of this is a secret. UN officials are as aware of the history of the region as you or I. They are aware of the descent into chaos that follows each Israeli handover.
There is no exception to the rule. There is no Palestinian ‘showcase’ city one can turn to as cause for hope that the Palestinians are capable of statehood.
The State of Israel is everything the world wants the Palestinians to be. So when the Palestinians disappoint global expectations, the world blames Israel.
Alvaro de Soto, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, gave the Security Council his evaluation of the Gaza withdrawal.
He said the chaos is a consequence of Palestinian frustration with Israel.
According to de Soto’s report, if the average Palestinian doesn’t see his life improve now that Israel has withdrawn, then it will Israel’s fault.
(Honest! He said that!)
He explained to the 15-nation U.N. Security Council that residents in Gaza would “wonder what has changed” if they could not link up with Palestinians in the West Bank or have contact with the outside world.
Evidently, the barrier that Israel put up to keep out terrorists is to blame for the terrorism that Israel put up the fence to keep out.
The UN is evidently baffled by the puzzling question, ‘Which came first? The terrorism or the fence?’ and until all their distinguished diplomats can solve the riddle, the UN has decided the fence is the problem.
de Soto told the Security Council, “The barrier and the closures and the travails of traversing them are a source of humiliation and a constant check on their aspiration to run their own affairs. . . I speak here of the millions who have no connection with, or sympathy for those who resort to violence, and who merely wish to move about to earn their living or visit their separated love ones,” he said.
If there are millions who have no sympathy with terror in the Palestinian ‘terror’tories they have eluded the pollsters who consistently find a majority of Palestinians who are in complete support of terror against Israel.
But assuming there ARE millions of Palestinians who have no connection or sympathy with terror, why don’t they put a stop to it themselves? That is what civilized societies do.
In America, terrorists hide in tiny cells because if they lived openly, their neighbors would call in the FBI. They can’t gain a solid foothold because there is no popular support for terrorism among the American population.
The reason terrorists have nothing to fear among the Palestinians is because the millions of whom de Soto spoke are willing to tolerate them in their midst.
Last Sunday, Hamas held a ‘military parade’ to display its weapons arsenal when a truck filled with homemade explosives killed sixteen Palestinians. Hamas promptly blamed Israel and launched the series of rocket attacks.
There was no outcry against Hamas, although there was no possible way to legitimately hold Israel at fault for a Hamas parade blowing up. There was no outcry from anyone . . . until Israel retaliated.
Once the Israelis retaliated, Hamas announced it was ending its attacks on Israel. A Reuters report noted, an Israeli missile hit the northern Gaza Strip, hours after Hamas militants said they would halt rocket attacks on Israel” — suggesting that since Hamas called a halt, Israel was now the aggressor.
This is the global mindset where Israel is concerned. Although it is business as usual, and nothing particularly new, it is still staggering if one sits down and examines the Big Picture fairly.
Terrorists strike Israel and it is Israel’s fault. Terrorists blow up one of their own trucks during a terrorist parade and it becomes justification for more terror against Israel.
The fence built by Israel to prevent terrorists from infiltrating and conducting terrorist attacks has become a justification for terrorist attacks.
The chaos that follows each Israeli withdrawal is somehow evidence of Israeli perfidy, whereas the law and order that previously existed was the result of Israeli ‘occupation’. No blame is ever assigned to the Palestinians.
Every city is a hotbed of terrorism, every poll shows the terrorists would win election to public offices, every act of terrorism is defended by the Palestinian leadership, and it is the fondest dream of the global community that the terrorists be granted statehood, side by side with Israel, terrorism notwithstanding.
It is madness squared. There is no logical explanation that works. All logic collapses with the notion that the fence designed to keep out terror is the cause of the terror it was designed to keep out in the first place.
Imagine a similar situation somewhere else on the planet, where the global community essentially sides with terrorism against a legitimate state? It’s as if the Israeli conflict is not quite of this world.
It isn’t. Nothing makes sense because it is a spiritual conflict conducted on an earthly battlefield. If that sounds strong, try and make some other sense of it.
The Bible says that in the last days, there will come upon the earth a strong delusion that will facilitate the rise of the antichrist; “for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” [2 Thessalonians 2:10].
Need evidence of global deception? A legitimate, democratic, pro-western state is under constant terrorist attack by a dictatorial, anti-western, pro-terrorist regime.
The dictatorial, anti-western, pro-terrorist regime uses terrorism to enforce a territorial claim that dates back to 1967. The legitimate, democratic, pro-western state has a deed dated 3000 BC signed by God, recorded in Scripture and, until it was exercised by Israel in 1948, universally accepted as valid.
But which side is favored by the global community?
Scripture identifies two separate ‘gods’ in the last day s conflict. There is the God of Creation, the Creator God of Scripture — the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews. Christians call Him ‘Father’ or ‘Lord’ and Jews call Him ‘Adonai’ and ‘Lord’ — both call Him by His revealed Name, ‘Jehovah’.
“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by My Name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (Exodus 6:3)
The other god identified in Scripture is “the god of this world” that Scripture says “hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” (2nd Corinthians 4:4)
Scripture says that, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Scripture says that the ‘god of this world’ is “the prince of the power of the air” further identifying him as “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”
Pulling it all together, a picture begins to emerge of the spiritual battlefield. On one side are those who follow the god of this world, and on the other, those who follow the God of Creation.
There are no borders in the asymmetrical, spiritual war of the last days. And not all of our enemies follow Islam, but they follow the same god.
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Proverbs 8:36 says that “all they that hate Me love death.”
Following the same theme, Jesus told us how to identify the enemy.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)