Rumors of War
Vol: 77 Issue: 29 Friday, February 29, 2008
If you were challenged to give a complete summary of the political history of Israel from 1948 to the present in as few words as possible, how would you meet it?
What words would you choose? Since I am the one who made up the parlor game, I’ll go first.
Of all the countries in the world, Israel is unique in that it is still fighting its War of Independence sixty years after recognition.
The modern state of Israel is the product of war, arising out of the ashes of the Holocaust. It was founded by survivors for survivors.
Israel has been in a fight for its continued survival since the day David ben-Gurion petitioned the United Nations for international recognition on May 14, 1948.
The next day, the Arabs attacked. Israel’s short history is divided by its wars; the War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai War, the 1967 Six Days War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, etc.
“Israel” has a different definition geopolitically, depending on which of its wars one uses to define it. The UN defines Israel according to the 1947 Partition Plan. The Bush administration defines it by the borders as they existed following the War of Independence, the so-called “Green Line”.
The 1993 Oslo Agreement, as signed, defined Israel’s borders according to the Six Days War Armistice lines, which include the Golan, Gaza and West Bank, excluding Jericho.
Since Oslo, a mainly one-sided war against Israel by the Palestinians has effectively pushed Israel back within the 1947 Partition lines where it began.
I am sure that there are those that take exception to my characterizing the Arab-Israeli War as “mainly one-sided.” Think it through.
The Palestinians are throwing everything they have against Israel. If packing women and children with explosives and throwing them against the enemy doesn’t qualify as total war, what would?
But if the Israelis were to throw everything they had at the Palestinians, there wouldn’t be a Palestinian ‘problem’.
(I’m not advocating that Israel commit genocide against the Palestinians. I’m simply pointing out that as wars go, this one is remarkably one-sided.)
“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)
Let’s step back first and look at the bigger picture behind the question.
His questioners were Jews who’d lived their entire lives within a day’s journey of Jerusalem. Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came unto Him ‘privately’.
He replied to them ‘privately’, which infers that He spoke from the perspective of Jews living near the Mount of Olives.
In verse 6 He said, “And YE shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:7)
We began with my effort to summarize Israel’s geopolitical history in as few words as possible. My summary ran 202 words.
Jesus needed five: “Wars and rumours of wars.”
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert termed its conflict in Gaza a “war”. The same day, his peace ‘partner’ the allegedly ‘moderate’ PA leader Mahmoud Abbas told a Jordanian newspaper:
“I do not rule out a return to the way of armed struggle against Israel.”
Abbas specifically rejected any recognition of Israel as ‘a Jewish state’ and categorically stated he would not disarm Hamas or demand Hamas recognize Israel.
Abbas pointedly told his Arab audience that “the only “recognition” of Israel he demands of a Palestinian unity government is to recognize Israel as its adversary.”
Insofar as his being Israel’s only hope for peace, Abbas admitted that he is really only “against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future stages, things may be different… ”
In the interview, Abbas bragged that he personally fired the first shot in the PLO’s terror war with Israel.
“I was honored to be the one to shoot the first bullet in 1965,” he told the Jordanian paper. He also bragged that, together with Yasser Arafat, they:
“[T]aught resistance to many in this area and around the world, defining it and when it is beneficial and when it is not… we had the honor of leading the resistance.We taught everyone what resistance is, including the Hezbollah, who were trained in our camps.”
Note that this remarkable confession of responsibility for virtually every Islamic-inspired terror death linked to Israel’s existence since 1965 is being made by the West’s last, best hope for peace between Israel and the Arab world.
Is this war? Or just a rumor of war? (Were it any place other than Israel, as seen from the perspective of the Mount of Olives, nobody would have to ask.)
What else is the “Mount of Olives Gazette” reporting?
A Kuwait newspaper reported that Hezbollah is making plans for a large-scale attack against Israel in March.
According to the report, the attack is being planned in coordination with Syria and Iran, and is to take place before the Arab summit next month.
The paper also said the coordinated assault against Israel would include attacks from Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza and the West Bank.
In preparation, arms, munitions and fighters are flowing into Gaza through Egypt, signaling a possible direct Egyptian involvement in a new pan-Arab war against Israel.
Gaza, which until 1967 had been part of Egypt, is being converted into a military staging area via an Egyptian pipeline.
And now, Jordan has joined Egypt in breaking the Israeli embargo and supplying electricity to cities in the West Bank.
Indeed, the AP report detailing the electricity-supply deal under the headline, “Jordan Denies Wanting West Bank Back.”
Under that headline, the AP noted:
“In the past few years, speculation has ebbed and flowed on whether Jordan harbors ambitions to regain control of the West Bank. With Jordan now training a Palestinian security force, which the kingdom also insists is meant to assist Abbas, the question is rising again.”
Today, February 29, a date that occurs only once every four years, this is the overall Middle East sit rep.
To the north, Hezbollah, backed by Syria and supported through Iran, are preparing for a March assault aimed at triggering a ‘disproportionate’ Israeli response that will justify wider Arab involvement.
To the east, Jordan’s King Abdullah finds it necessary to deny reports Jordan wants to recover its lost West Bank territory, while Egypt issues similar denials from Israel’s southern flank.
Abbas is assuring the Arab world that he has not abandoned the ‘armed struggle’ as Islamic Jihad and Hamas prepare for simultaneous assaults on Israel’s east and southwest flanks.
Yesterday’s Jerusalem Post reported that Israel foiled a plot to blow up its nuclear reactor at Dimona.
While all this is going on, the United States is accelerating efforts to force the creation of what now appears to be two separate terrorist states before war breaks out, claiming that peace is just around the next corner.
You just can’t make this stuff up. If somebody were to make a movie about it, it would flop because the plot line was too unbelievable.
But that’s what the critics say about Bible prophecy, too. Even as it unfolds before them.