by Bill Salus
Presently there are two conflicting ideologies competing for sovereignty of the Holy Land. They are Zionism and Palestinianism. Recognizing their powerful affects upon the geo-politics of the Promised Land is prerequisite for achieving a comprehensive understanding of what’s driving today’s Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
On the surface this conflict appears as a resolvable territorial dispute of strategic soil inside the Fertile Crescent, but at the core it involves the complexities of the angelic conflict, Arab hatred of the Jew, and ultimately, the epic battle between good and evil. God’s covenant making character is held in contest by Satan and it’s acting out in its final stages through this Mideast conflict.
The world wants to broker a two state solution forcing Israel to forfeit land to the Palestinians assuming this will enable the two ethnicities to live side by side in lasting peace. However, genocide of the Jew, not peace with the Jew, is the end game of Israel’s enemies. It always has been and always will be until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to punish Satan and subsequently set up the millennial kingdom bringing peace on earth and goodwill to men.
Satan determined long ago that his best course of action to discredit God’s character was to destroy the “apple of God’s eye”, the Jewish people. A careful review of Hebrew history dating back to the time of Moses’ conflict with Pharaoh, on to Haman’s Persian genocidal plot of the Jews, followed by Herod’s “Babes of Bethlehem”, and more recently Adolph Hitler’s holocaust attempt, offers sufficient historical precedent attesting to this truth.
The International Community wants Israel to give back lands captured by the Israeli Defense Forces in the aftermath of the six day war of 1967. According to Genesis 15:18 these territories belong to today’s Israeli descendants of Abraham. This Holy Land standoff between Satan and God, played out through the Arabs and Jews, is what the world witnesses almost daily on the 6 o’clock news.
The underpinnings of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict are indelibly rooted in their contemporaneous struggle for religious and geo-political autonomy in the Biblical Promised Land. It is an ideological war between Zionism and Palestinianism.
The term Zionism was coined by Nathan Birnbaum and later popularized by Theodor Herzl in his 1896 book entitled Der Judenstaat (the Jewish State in German). Zionism, as it was originally understood, advocated the best way to avoid the Anti-Semitism spreading rampantly throughout Europe at the time was to create an independent Jewish State in Palestine.
The word was derived from Mount Zion in Jerusalem, which was the historic symbol of the Jewish homeland since 6th Century BC. Today Zionism banners the Israeli government’s view that it is Israel’s God given right to possess their fair portion of the Holy Land and to declare a Jewish State therein.
Conversely, Palestinianism is a term the Egyptian born British scholar, Bat Yeor, alludes to in her 2005 book “Eurabia”. Palestinianism condenses jihadist values, by promoting the destruction of Israel and the denial of Hebrew biblical history and hence Christianity. It preaches Islamic replacement theology and the Arabization and Islamization of the Holy Land’s biblical archeology.
In a nutshell, Zionism promotes the rightful existence of a Jewish State in the Holy Land and Palestinianism adamantly opposes any such State! This is why the Palestinians and the preponderance of their Arab and Persian supporters today refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist. In fact, it is almost impossible to find a Palestinian school text book that includes a Middle East map with Israel located upon it.
Additionally, Palestinianism is at the center of Arab Nationalism. The Palestinian refugee plight ignites the Arabs to unite and will ultimately cause many of them to collectively fight against Israel. With each passing conventional Arab – Israeli war or conflict the Palestinianism rally call gains more momentum among Israel’s predominately Islamic enemies. Ultimately it seemingly escalates into the climactic concluding Arab – Israeli war foretold to come in Psalm 83.
Secular world leaders can’t fix the Middle East problem because it is a deeply rooted in the supernatural. In the center of the geo-political equation are the three major religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, listed in the order of their advent upon the world scene. Many Jews and Christians believe God gave the disputed Mideast territories to the Jews for their eternal homeland called “Israel”. Conversely, the pro-Palestinian Arabs and Persians seek the creation of one final Arab State instead called “Palestine”. They perform Islamic Jihad to accomplish this end.
Presently this ideological controversy has pushed the Middle East to the brink of war. Decade old political attempts to resolve the matter through land for peace deals have served to salt the wound. The Promised Land in question is the central issue and threatening to take it from Israel and dangling it like a carrot on a stick in front of the Palestinians is like playing Robin Hood for all the wrong reasons. It portrays Israel as the wealthy villain and the Palestinians as the unjustly impoverished.
Israel in political moves of conciliation has attempted to appease the Arabs and Palestinians by withdrawing from portions of the disputed territories. In May of 2000 Israel unilaterally withdrew from the security zone in Southern Lebanon only to be punished by a 34 day conflict in the summer of 2006 with Hezbollah. Four thousand rockets struck Israeli soil during that conflict. Today, less than four years later, Hezbollah has 15 times as many rockets (60,000) inclusive of scud missiles recently obtained from Syria.
However, the fateful pivotal episode that should lead to the soon coming Mother of all Mideast wars occurred in the summer of 2005. That dreadful August Israel’s government experienced enormous pressure from the George W. Bush American administration to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza. Gush Katif was a bloc of 17 Israeli settlements inside of Gaza at the time. At the risk of provoking an Israeli civil war, these Gush Katif settlers were forced to vacate their homes. Some of them still seek proper assimilation back into Israeli society today.
On the day the last settler was removed for Gush Katif the storm clouds of Hurricane Katrina were forming over the Atlantic. In probable fulfillment of the curse for curse in kind clause contained in Genesis 12:3, America was forced into its own Katrina refugee crisis much like was created in Israel as result of Gush Katif.
That following January 2006 the Palestinians elected the Hamas of the Gaza territory, a vowed enemy of Israel, as their representative government. George Bush did nothing to prevent this from occurring. In fact, he had previously publicly discounted the potential for a Hamas election victory over the Fatah party. Shortly thereafter, Hamas began to indiscriminately lob Katusha rockets into neighboring Israeli cities.
This led to the 22 day Operation Cast Lead war between Israel and Hamas in December 2008. This conflict, in my prophetic estimation, is the straw that may end up breaking the camel’s back. This conflict caught Hamas’ allies with their tales between their legs. None of them were able to do anything but rattle their sabers from the sidelines. This infuriated them as it mocked the fabric of their supposed Arab Nationalism in support of Palestinianism.
However, this is not the case today. Hamas’ friends are boldly showing their disdain toward Israel. Turkey, for instance, has severed most of their political ties with Israel. By Turkey’s own admission, this is a direct result of Israel’s decisive victory in Operation Cast Lead. Additionally, bonafide war pacts were confirmed in December 2009 between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. This means that should Hamas be attacked by Israel in the future, which holds a high degree of probability, Israel runs the risk of provoking a major Mideast war.
Furthermore, Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman has pledged his support to Hezbollah in the likely event Israel and Hezbollah go toe to toe again. Even Israel’s moderate peace partner Jordan’s King Abdullah is warning of a summer time 2010 war if a Palestinian – Israeli peace is not achieved immediately.
Jeremiah 12:14-17 informs us that the Arabs of Palestine, i.e. today’s Palestinian Refugees, were to be assimilated into their ancient surrounding Arab homelands. The Arab nations that were to assimilate these refugees have chosen to banner their refugee plight rather than bear the burden of their resettlement. Historically many of these Arab nations warred against each other, however today they are unified in their support for Palestinianism and opposition of Zionism.
Palestinianism and Zionism have no common ground. They represent opposing ideologies. Allowing them to coexist is a recipe for disaster. The scripturally supported solution is for the Arabs to support Zionism, abandon Palestinianism, and resettle the Palestinian refugees back into their historical homelands. According to the forthcoming foretold prophetic episodes described in Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38, and elsewhere, this is not the course Israel’s modern day enemies apparently take.
by Bill Salus