We know from the prophet Zechariah that almost everything going on in the Middle East today boils down to the fate of Jerusalem:
1 This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.
Now to today's article:
East Jerusalem lies at core of conflict"
This article wasn't written by a prophecy scholar, but a associated press article dated Wed March 10, 2010. This article is brief, so here it is in its entirety:
East Jerusalem lies at core of conflict
"Israel's plan to build 1,600 new apartments in contested east Jerusalem has thrown a spotlight on the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
_What's the bottom line? Israel wants to retain control of an undivided Jerusalem. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as capital of a future state.
_Why is it so important? Important Jewish and Muslim holy sites are located in east Jerusalem's Old City. Christian shrines also stand there.
The hilltop compound known to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest shrine.
Jews call the site Temple Mount because the biblical Jewish temples stood there, making it Judaism's holiest site. Directly below is the Western Wall, the only remnant of that temple complex.
_Why is the new construction so controversial? Palestinians say any settlement construction in east Jerusalem and the adjacent West Bank cements Israel's presence on lands they want for a future state.
_How did the conflict over east Jerusalem begin? Israel captured the city's eastern sector from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war and immediately annexed it. The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty.
_Who lives there? About 250,000 Palestinians and 180,000 Jews, who live in neighborhoods built since 1967. Few of east Jerusalem's Palestinian residents accepted Israeli citizenship.
Thats the setting in a nutshell. Jerusalem sits in the center position of this entire Middle East conflict and any peace plan must pass through Jerusalem. Until "ownership" of Jerusalem is settled to everyone's satisfaction, there will be no peace in the Middle East.
That is, until the antichrist arrives. At that point there will only be a temporary peace - as we know from biblical prophecy the world will erupt into war (see Revelation 6) - that will be so extreme that 1/4 of the world population will be lost. Even then, the antichrist will proclaim that he is god - where? Jerusalem.
Where will the two witnesses of Revelation 11 perform miracles and proclaim the gospel? Jerusalem.
Where will Jesus set up His Millennial Reign? Jerusalem.
I could go on and on, but the point is made.
After all, it is the epicenter.