Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  



 

Nov 29

The Annapolis Conference

Dateline Jerusalem - Jim Fletcher

The Annapolis 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 Egypt and Israel all these years.”

 True. Any sane person should acknowledge that and be happy about it.

 Annapolis, 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.

 The United Methodist Church, 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 Israel 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.