In 1992, the government of Norway offered to act as an intermediary between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in an effort to bring lasting peace to the region. They were hoping to follow up on the Madrid Conference from the previous year, which had not produced any concrete results. A series of increasingly high-level secret meetings were held both in Oslo and in London. At the conclusion of those meetings, a Declaration of Principles was prepared, which came to be known as the Oslo Accords.
In September of 1993, Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington. At a ceremony hosted by President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat officially signed the agreements. Clinton held a celebration on the White House lawn for what he called “a brave gamble for peace,” where he forced—actually standing with his thumb pressed into the prime minister’s back—Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin to shake hands with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat over a blank sheet of paper that represented the Declaration of Principles, or Oslo Accords. The paper lay on the same table over which President Jimmy Carter had presided, as Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat signed the earlier peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979.
President Clinton later described it as one of “the highest moments” of his presidency as the two “shook hands for the first time in front of a billion people on television, it was an unbelievable day.” One of Clinton’s greatest hopes was to go down in history as the man who finally resolved the Arab–Israeli conflict in the Middle East. In order to do this, he used his tremendous aptitude at image transformation to turn the terrorist and murderer Yasser Arafat into a diplomat. Arafat became the most-welcomed foreign leader to the White House during the Clinton years. It also seems likely that Arafat received some coaching from Clinton and his advisers on what to say, how to speak, and what to do to help in this metamorphosis.
The Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Rabin, Arafat, and Israel’s foreign minister (later prime minister and president) Shimon Peres. But the hope of peace again proved to be empty. The late Jewish actor and spokesman Theodore Bikel said: “Arafat turned out to be no partner for peace…he had never intended to be such a partner in the first place. Oslo and the handshake gave him the cachet of peacemaker; it also gave him half of a Nobel Peace Prize, which, if he had had any sense of shame, he would have returned. In truth, for him Oslo was nothing more than an opportunity to obfuscate and spin wheels.”
For all of the concessions Israel made, the PLO and Yasser Arafat took no steps toward peace. Instead, they continued to incite attacks against Israel and to pay terrorists (or their families) an annual salary for killing innocent Jewish people. Israel lost far more than it gained from the Oslo Accords.
At the end of World War II with all its horrors of the Holocaust, devastated Jewish survivors in Europe longed for a return to their homeland. Their dreams were to be delayed when Great Britain remained in control of Palestine, as they had since their defeat of the Turks in World War I, by mandate of the United Nations, and with a growing dilemma: How to walk the tightrope between world opinion and the Arab nations.
After the shock and revulsion of the Holocaust, much of the world increasingly demanded that the Jews be allowed to return to their homeland in Palestine—arguably thought to be a place of safety for them. Arabs in the region were adamantly opposed to the move. Greatly frustrated by the situation, the British announced in February 1947 that control of Palestine would be ceded to the United Nations, even then a hotbed of anti-Semitism.
In November 1947, the UN offered a plan for partition that would divide the region into an Arab state and a Jewish state, calling for British troops to leave Palestine by August 1948. The Jews welcomed the proposal; the Arabs scorned it. Some British leaders felt it would be impossible for a Jewish state to flourish in the face of such hostility from the Arabs. But on May 14, as Egyptian fighter-bombers roared overhead and British troops readied for departure, Ben-Gurion and his political partners gathered at the museum in Tel Aviv. At 16:00 [4:00 PM], Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by banging his gavel on the table, prompting a spontaneous rendition of Hatikvah, soon to be Israel’s national anthem, from the 250 guests.
For 2,000 years, Israel had been a nation in exile; overnight it had astonishingly become an autonomous state on the world stage. But, the following day, Israel was attacked by the five Arab nations that ringed her borders: Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. There was no peace in the beginning, despite the world’s efforts to bring Israel to life in a negotiated manner.
Ben-Gurion’s announcement of Israel’s rebirth was the initial step in a war that would last one year, three months, and ten days; it would test Israel’s very resolve and preparedness. At the outset of the confrontation, it was obvious that Israeli forces were greatly outnumbered. One army, alone—the Egyptians—boasted 40,000 ground troops armed with approximately 135 armored fighting vehicles, heavy artillery, and 60 planes in its arsenal—including bombers and single-seat fighter planes. Forces in Egypt and Jordan had been trained and led by British army officers. The Israelis were faced with those daunting figures, yet marched forward determined and unbowed.
To protect their land and its inhabitants cost the Israelis over $500 million and approximately one percent of its population at that time—6,373 men, women and children. How many lives might have been saved had the United States and its Western Allies sufficiently armed the Jews so that they were able to protect their land and people!
The Trump administration announced on Sunday the first stages of the peace plan roll-out, confirming that it will host a workshop in Bahrain in late June to focus on more direct economic investments of the West Bank and Gaza.
The gathering, formally dubbed the “Peace to Prosperity Workshop,” will take place on June 25-26 and will be attended by several Gulf Arab States, as well as Arab partners for peace all over the region. The goal of the conference is to build alliances for peace and relationships for major economic investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with backing by the United States and the Arab world.
In recent weeks, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, announced that the peace plan would begin unveiling in June, after Ramadan. This is the first indication that the Trump team will release the first portion of this ambitious and highly anticipated proposal to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
By holding this barrier-breaking conference, President Trump and his administration have “trumped” the Islamic Mafia. The expression “Islamic Mafia” refers to the Islamic entities that have held back the Arab world and peace in the Middle East for decades, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
I myself have seen the righteous work President Trump is doing. Earlier this year, I met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, as well as with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the United Arab Emirates. These two princes have been part of the catalyst for bringing about a new future and a stronger Middle East. Their fight has been quiet, but powerful…reforming institutions at home and building bridges for peace in the region.
In the span of a year and a half, I have met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi three times. President Sisi has broken through the barriers, giving statements of support to the State of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. President Sisi’s closer relations with Israel, his fight against terrorism and extremism in North Africa, and Egypt’s overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are just a few examples of changing ties in the Muslim world.
Thank you, President Donald Trump and the Trump administration. While there are many who are blind to the virtue and moral clarity this president has shown in the Middle East, there are some of us who have seen it up close and honor him for it. While the chances for peace have always been touted as unlikely, President Trump has overcome the ultimate challenges and will set the Middle East on the path to peace with his ultimate deal.
Is America in prophecy? While skeptical of attempts by many to link the United States to prophetic interpretations, after many hours of research, I am totally convinced that the U.S. can be found in prophetic Scriptures, though not mentioned directly by name. The thread began in the Old Testament with Abraham and his offspring, Isaac and Ishmael. All too often, the U.S. has tried to join hands both with Israel, a descendant of Isaac, and Arab countries, descendants of Ishmael.
The United States has endeavored to employ Israel, the tiny democratic state in the midst of a sea of instability in the Middle East, as a firewall in deterring communism, fascism, and terrorism. At the same time, we have established liaisons with Arab countries of convenience and economics. The mortal enemy of Israel brought a dowry of black gold (oil) to the marriage and uses it still today to intimidate the United States.
Israel is surrounded by enemies and must be allowed to root out the terrorist organizations that threaten. The war on terrorism will never be won as long as Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and the Palestinian territories remain points of exportation for suicide bombers. The dissemination of media propaganda that enrages the masses from adjoining Arab countries must also be stopped. True hope for peace lies in discerning truth and acting on it, not in believing myths propagated by liberal power brokers that incite Jew-hatred. There is, I believe, a direct correlation between current events in the Middle East and prophecy.
The United States is still the mightiest nation on earth and has long been a partaker of God’s blessings. During the past few decades, America has seen her culture polluted, attempted to dethrone God, and defiled her heroes. Bible-believing Americans have been demonized as bigots and extremists. God has been taken out of schools, courts, and town squares, and some have even tried to remove Him from the Pledge of Allegiance—“one nation, under God.” The same moral compromise infecting our domestic policy has also tainted our foreign policy: the U.S. sends foreign aid annually to such terrorist-harboring countries as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, West Bank/Gaza, Indonesia, and Somalia.
If Americans do not wake up to the truth, the U.S. political machine will continue on a collision course with prophecy. Many believe there is nothing we can do about it—that if it is foretold, it must come to pass. However, we could be missing the true point of prophecy. The Bible doesn’t tell us what the future holds so that we can sit back and let disaster strike, but rather so that we can take any necessary actions to make sure we are on the prophetic side of blessing.
In the Old Testament, God often warned His people of impending disaster—not just so they would know it was coming, but to give an opportunity for repentance and restoration. It is up to God-fearing Americans willing to step out and make a difference to keep our country headed in the right direction in both domestic and foreign policy.
We are celebrating the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because Jerusalem matters. It is vital to God’s plan for the past, present, and future of our world. All of the land, including Jerusalem, was a gift from Jehovah, and the ownership of Israel’s land is non-negotiable. In March 2002, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) addressed the issue of Israel’s right to her land: “Every new archaeological dig supports the fact that the Jews have had a presence in Israel for 3,000 years—coins, cities, pottery, other cultural artifacts. The Jews’ claim predates the claim of any other people in the region. The ancient Philistines are extinct as are other ancient peoples. They do not have the unbroken line the Israelis have. Ownership is and will be in the hands of God’s Chosen People—forever.”
When you sign your name to a check, you represent that you possess the amount indicated on that check. God wrote His Name in Jerusalem, and He has the power and authority over that which His name represents. Several arguments have been offered as to why Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, continues to reject any and all offers of a Palestinian State. Chiefly, formal statehood would limit the ability of the PA (and of Hamas in Gaza) to commit acts of terrorism. It would rob them of the cover they now enjoy when it comes to terrorist acts against the Jewish people in Israel. It is obvious when at some point in each round of negotiations, the Palestinians cry foul, pick up their marbles, and go home.
To this day, the same countries trying to foist a Palestinian state off on Israel do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Holy City is the symbol of all that Israel represents in our world. Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem’s first mayor, wrote: “Jerusalem, this beautiful, golden city, is the heart and soul of the Jewish people. One cannot live without a heart and soul. If you want one single word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word is Jerusalem.”
The very name of the Holy City evokes a stirring in the heart and soul of both Jew and Christian. It has been called by many names: City of God, City of David, Zion, the City of the Great King, Ariel (Lion of God), Moriah (chosen of the Lord). But only one name resonates down through the centuries—Jerusalem! David’s city!
A world map drawn in 1581 features Jerusalem at its very center with the then-known continents of the world surrounding it. It resembles a ship’s propeller with the shaft in the center being Jerusalem. Jerusalem belongs to God despite the detractors who wish to offer the city up as an appeasement to her avowed enemies. Satan would dance gleefully should Israel be forced to make that move. When the Messiah returns, it will be to the City of David, not to al Quds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem.) This is why we are the Jerusalem Prayer Team—the largest prayer movement in history—dedicated to fighting the spirit war for the future of the Holy City, the Jewish people, and the nation of Israel.
The elite special forces unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, specifically tasked with operating outside Iran’s borders, is known as the Quds Force. This secretive organization is officially designated as a sponsor of terror by the United States, and they are known to have either directly carried out or to have authorized and funded terror attacks around the world. According to U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, the Quds Force was directly responsible for at least 20% of the casualties suffered by American forces in the Iraq war.
It is important to note that Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. Each year on the final Friday of Ramadan, Iran observes Quds Day, calling on Muslims around the world to take the Holy City away from Jewish control. Iran has become an implacable enemy of Israel, and they are willing to go to any length to harm and destroy the Jewish people.
There is no secret about Iran’s designs for the city of Jerusalem. Recently a high-ranking official, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said Jerusalem was the “unchangeable” capital of the Muslim world. Speaking in Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said the city would remain the Palestinian capital forever, according to a report from Iran’s Fars News Agency (the official government media company).
“Jerusalem is the unchangeable capital of the Muslim world and of Palestine,” Araghchi said, adding Iran will “confront any attempt to change this reality”. The comments came shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from the Israeli city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following through on a long-held pledge to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
Though previous U.S. leaders, including former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, had spoken of doing the same during their tenures, Trump was the one who actually made the move. The decision has attracted strong criticism from Muslim states, including opponents of the U.S., such as Iran, but also its traditional allies, such as Turkey, but received great praise and gratitude from friends of Israel.
Araghchi was voicing sentiments widely expressed by Iranian leaders, most notably by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a speech published on his personal website, Khamenei said all Muslims had a duty to oppose Israeli and U.S. attempts to wrestle Jerusalem from the Palestinians.
“We must by no means think that it is too late, even if decades have passed,” he said. The radical Muslims who hate Israel will never be satisfied with anything less than the total destruction of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.