- Jim Fletcher
conference, being held in the U.S.
by another president eager to broker a peace agreement between the Israelis and
Palestinians, is bound to fail. Of course, proponents of Bible prophecy are
usually criticized for being “gloomy” and intentionally looking for doomsday
events that correlate with their own biblical interpretations.
However, I think plain old common sense tells
us that the Annapolis conference will go the way of Camp David, Wye, and the Maginot Line. It will
fail not because peace-loving people want it to fail, but because it is based on
a flawed premise — that both parties want peace. In fact, one party wants peace.
The other party wants war. Yet we hear the same platitudes from our elected
officials as those spoken 15 years ago.
Everything we can see and hear tells us that
the Palestinians are intent on destroying Israel.
The duplicitous leaders, the radicalized population. In another arena, this
would not blind American political leaders trying to broker peace. But when it
comes to Israelis and the Palestinians, the diplomatic community is tone-deaf.
We live in a strange world in which Arab
aggressiveness is given a free pass. Journalists gloss over it. Diplomats ignore
it. Religionists justify it.
The juicy question, though, is why President
Bush and his advisors would once again put American prestige on the line by
trying to bring together Israelis and Palestinians. For two decades, we’ve
watched this song-and-dance.
By the way, as Bible prophecy teachers are
routinely criticized for a depressing outlook, I have to take up for my old
friend and mentor, David Lewis. Dr. Dave passed away this year, but I always
remember what he said of the Camp David Accords of 1977, which brought a cold
peace between Egypt and Israel. David would say, “Any peace is a good peace.
It’s good that there hasn’t been war between
all these years.”
True. Any sane person should acknowledge that
and be happy about it.
however, is a different animal. For 25 years after the Six Day War, the Arabs
maintained a brilliant propaganda campaign. They came up with a “Palestinian
narrative,” fed by apologists like Edward Said and Hanan Ashrawi. In this
narrative, Arab terrorism was sanitized from the story, while the illegitimacy
of Zionism was highlighted.
An ancient Palestinian culture was created.
Poor, peace-loving Arabs were placed next to aggressive and violent Israelis.
Slowly, this narrative took hold. It is why today few find Arab suicide bombers
shocking. After all, it is said, extreme repression breeds extreme expression.
I saw a bombed-out bus in Jerusalem
once, one with several school children murdered. It remains an unacceptable,
grotesque outrage. And that’s the way the international community should view
the Palestinians. But they don’t. Instead, they repeat the Narrative.
This narrative has been embraced by many
Westerners, including the mainline church denominations. In fact, that explains
why President Bush and his advisors think it’s okay to impose a Palestinian
state on Israel.
Bush, a member of the United Methodist Church,
evidently doesn’t put much emphasis on the Old Testament promises to the Jews.
When he was governor of Texas
(and planning a run for the White House), Bush took a helicopter ride with Ariel
Sharon. During the tour, the wily old general showed Bush the Land of Israel.
No doubt it was moving. But we can say with some directness that the trip was
disconnected from the Bible.
officially, is one of the most anti-Israel denominations in the U.S.
The UMC agencies and boards constantly issue press releases condemning alleged
Israeli abuse of the Palestinians. For the UMC and others, the Old Testament
promises to the Jews are allegory, symbolism, myth.
This and the coldly political atmosphere of Washington
is where Bush lives. It explains why Annapolis
makes sense to him. It is a human solution to a spiritual problem.
God promised the Land of
to the Jews. The myriad verses in the Bible attesting to the fact are very
obvious to anyone who can read. It’s that basic. But it is a worldview that is
at odds with the international community today.
That is why Annapolis makes sense
to the politicians, and doesn’t make sense to Bible believers.