Middle East Peace Plan: Israel's Normalization with its Neighbours
We're living in extraordinary and unprecedented times, we now have the Arab League, consisting of 22 nations, refused a motion, put forward by the Palestinian Authority, to condemn the UAE-Israel normalisation. That's right. Muslim nations have sided with Israel instead of their Muslim brothers, the Palestinians. Extraordinary. We also have Serbia and Kosovo to open Jerusalem embassies, however it is subject to whether Israel recognises Kosovo. Malawi is also planning to launch a diplomatic office in Israel. Kosovo and Malawi are Muslim-majority nations. Interestingly, Malawi has an MP who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, David Bisnowaty.
Although, there are no news of normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the latter has agreed to open its airspace to flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and to all eastward travel, according to Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser. This new relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel is a reminder that Saudi Arabia will not join the Gog and Magog attack on Israel (Ezek. 38:13).
Addressing the decision of Saudi Arabia to open its airspace, Kushner said:
It’s a tremendous barrier that’s been taken away,” Kushner said. You’re seeing every day new announcements of airlines that are looking to fly from Israel to different Arab cities that traditionally they weren’t allowed to go to and back.
You have a lot of excitement building in the Arab and Muslim world, with people wanting to go to Israel to visit the tourist sites and to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque. You’re seeing kosher restaurants opening up now in Dubai.
Another nation, Bahrain, is allowing Israeli flights to UAE over its airspace and are the 4th nation to sign a peace deal with Israel. The signing ceremony of the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE will take place on September 15 in Washington, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will represent Israel, the Foreign Affairs Minister and the crown prince’s brother, Abdullah bin Zayed will represent the UAE.
The Sultanate of Omar on Sunday hailed the announcement of normalization between Bahrain and Israel, saying the development reflects the hopes of all countries that want peace in the Middle East.
“The Sultanate welcomes the initiative taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain within the framework of its sovereign rights and the Tripartite Joint Declaration on Relations with Israel,” said a statement published by Oman state television. Oman’s support for the Bahrain-Israel deal is not entirely surprising since the Gulf nation that was the original trial balloon in 2018 welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is truly historic and prophetic. We have to acknowledge that all these events are prophetic, and the election of Trump has been the catalyst for the events which we are seeing in Israel and the Middle East.
On Sept. 1, 2020, Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to Pres. Trump, said, “Obviously anything could happen, but the reality is that a lot of people are envious of the move that the United Arab Emirates has made.” “A lot of people want access to the technology, economy and the advancements that Israel has. Israel is like another Silicon Valley for the Middle East.”
On Sept. 2, 2020, Kushner boarded a plane for a flight to the UAE and the beginning of a “new era of peace in the Middle East.” The word “peace” was written in three languages over the cockpit of the plane. On Sept. 5, 2020, it was reported that Israel and the UAE anticipate signing their agreement in Washington, D.C. during the week of Sept. 14, and they will call their agreement a “treaty of peace.” Calling it a “treaty of peace” gives it the same status as the peace treaties that Egypt and Jordan have signed with Israel.
Though many are celebrating these announcements, a word of caution is need. We must not forget that the Arab nations have always hated Israel and history has shown just how much with various wars, and unfortunately, they pose a serious threat both internally and externally. Israel, in terms of geography, are surrounded by these nations and the danger of Israel launching trade deals that includes tourism, tech opportunities and even the sharing of defence capabilities will make Israel vulnerable. Psalm 83 comes to mind.
This then is the empirical backdrop to the Israel-UAE normalization agreement, the price, of which Israel was asked to pay, was the forgoing the extension of its sovereignty of important areas of Judea-Samaria.
The cardinal question that must be addressed, therefore, is this: Is the “quid” worth the “quo”.
In an ideal world, devoid of political constraints and international pressures, the answer is clear. Even without broaching the topic of whether the deal was contingent on the supply of ultra-modern F-35 combat planes to the UAE, and how significant this would be relative to the modernization of the Egyptian military in the wake of the 1979 peace agreement: Sovereignty is significantly more important than a possibly ephemeral deal with the Emirates.
One of the most important national imperatives for Israel is to ensure that the highlands overlooking the heavily populated coastal plain and the Jordan Valley never fall in to potentially hostile hands. Clearly, extending Israel sovereignty over additional areas of Judea-Samaria is an important step in achieving this goal.
What is unknown is what pressures were exerted on Netanyahu to yield—only temporarily, according to him—on the issue of sovereignty. There are, however, several factors that militate against delay. The Israel-UAE pact: Sacrificing substance for ceremony? - Dr. Martin Sherman
…perhaps a sobering example is the chilling case of the 1929 Hebron massacre, in which the Jewish residents of the town were viciously attacked and brutally murdered by Arabs, who had long been their friendly neighbors but at the call of their leaders, mercilessly turned on them.
Accordingly, Israeli policy-makers would do well to heed the dour words of Tzipi Schissel, curator of the Hebron History museum: “…it’s impossible to understand the reality we face today, without knowing the history of Hebron.” Israel’s national imperative: ‘Keep your powder dry’- Dr. Martin Sherman
Jared Kushner has been reported as saying “What we did with our plan was we were trying to save the two-state solution, because… if we kept going with the status quo… ultimately, Israel would have eaten up all the land in the West Bank,” Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser specified. The comments mark some of the most specific the Trump administration has made at odds with Israel’s expanding settlement enterprise. This rhetoric is disturbing because the land belongs to Israel and they still need more land, for more Jews to return as prophesied. It is shocking to hear that Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, who is reportedly a Zionist, will make such comments, especially when the Arab world is rich with resources and land, so "Israel eating up land" is a disgusting remark to me.
Interestingly, Trump’s supporters, the evangelical and conservative Christians, are now debating whether Kushner could be the Antichrist, because of his prominent role in the peace initiative and the perceived bias of the Peace to Prosperity document that sets out the agenda for the peace process. They can’t seem to reconcile that Trump will permit the land to be divided and create a Palestinian estate, effectively enforcing a two-station solution. And for them, Kushner’s remarks prove that it is him, not Trump, that is pushing the strings. This is wrong in so many ways because neither Trump nor Kushner are the Antichrist. On Aug. 31, 2020, it was reported that U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien travelled to the UAE where he said, the U.S. is “committed to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.” The U.S. is trying to appease the Arabs and Palestinians. Christian leaders or members of Trump’s evangelical/conservative Christian team, should be voicing their concern internally and publicly by encouraging the administration to appease God, but regrettably they appear to be praising the deal and Trump, blinded by their devotion or loyalty to a political party. Unfortunately, they are also ignoring the fact that as well as creating a “Palestinian State”, Trump’s peace plan puts hundreds of biblical sites under Palestinian rule. A large number of archaeological sites in the West Bank, including many that are part of Jewish history and tradition, will be placed or remain under Palestinian control according to US President Donald Trump’s peace plan. That is over 6,000 sites.
It seems that for Trump supporters he can do no wrong, its beyond praying for your leaders, instead he has become a religious cult. The reality is that four out of five evangelicals voted for him. But during the 2016 campaign, some commentators expressed surprise at Trump’s support from white evangelicals, and suggested that his evangelical support might have come disproportionately from those who are not particularly religious – namely, those voters who described themselves as “born-again” or “evangelical” Christians but who, in practice, rarely attended religious services. Some commentators argued that parts of Trump’s rhetoric as well as his life story made him an unsuitable electoral choice for evangelicals.
It isn’t just Kushner’s offensive comments but Trump’s repeated comments that Jews are somehow disloyal, bit like Biden telling a black radio host 'If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black'. The latest controversial remarks refers to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. He said: "We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. That's for the evangelicals," Trump said at a campaign rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. "You know, it's amazing with that: the evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people."
At the time, Trump said that the decision was made to advance US interests and peace in the region, and out of respect for Israel’s sovereignty.
“I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement,” he said in a video message played at the 2018 inauguration of the embassy.
“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace,” he added.
It is easy to combine prophetic with good but not all things prophesied are good, for example the 3rd Temple would be bad because this is where the Antichrist will be seated. Jesus is the true Temple and yes, the 3rd Temple would be built because Jerusalem’s third temple fulfils Biblical prophecy of the end times. I want Israel to have peace and I want their neighbours to have peace but the bible says that this peace will be a false peace, however prophecies must be fulfilled.
Lastly, President Trump has been nominated twice this week for the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping to broker a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and the historic peace deal between Serbia and breakaway republic Kosovo. And no, I don’t think, as Christians, we should condone Trump's nomination because it is his administration that has divided the land. I think that the record-crushing heat, fire tornadoes, freak thunderstorms and the wildfires in three US states namely Washington state, Oregon and California; the political unrest and the lawlessness in the streets could be because of the decision by the US to divide Jerusalem. It could be that Trump will lose the election or face even more erratic weather, violence and mayhem, and political upheavals. Many prophetic teachers and leading Christian leaders have raised their concern and have compared the aftermath of what happened in Gaza and previous “Peace Deals” to what is happening in the US now. On the Gaza Blunder, one Christian leader said the following: “My concern was for the coming judgment I felt would befall America for forcing Israel into a deal like this. The Scriptures warn against Man’s efforts to try to force a settlement on that region (Zechariah 12:2-3).
I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. Joel 3:2