We appear to be approaching yet more choppy waters in Israel’s turbulent history.
The Jewish state’s proposed ‘annexation’ of the Jordan Valley, along with parts of Judea and Samaria – otherwise known as the West Bank despite being the heart of ancient Israel – is causing hackles to rise once again among the nations.
This includes Britain who insist on sticking to their longstanding Foreign Office mantra of pushing for a ‘two-state solution’ – even though there is no evidence whatsoever that it will work, or indeed that it is justifiable.
It won’t work because the Palestinians refuse to recognise the existence of Israel, so how are they going to peacefully co-exist alongside a nation they wish to drive into the sea (as their officials have oft been quoted as saying)?
They will undoubtedly soon be firing rockets at their neighbours, just as Hamas have been doing ever since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 in a supposed ‘land for peace’ deal.
Having said that, a recent survey suggested ordinary Palestinian Authority residents would much prefer to live under Israeli rule. The problem is with the leadership and the anti-Semitic fanatics they stir up.
In any case, the Palestinians have no legal right to the land in question despite the claims of Boris Johnson and others that annexation plans “amount to a breach of international law”.
A hundred years ago, at San Remo in Italy, the allied powers of World War I agreed to grant all the land from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan (including the now disputed territories) to the Jewish people, thus incorporating Britain’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 into international law.
That is how the situation remains; no subsequent resolution has altered that political reality. What muddied the waters was Jordan’s illegal annexation of these territories in 1948 which was duly reversed by Israel in 1967, leaving the impression among some that once in Arab hands, they should remain so. But Israel won back the territory in a defensive war which threatened their very existence.
For those who question Jewish connection to the land promised to Abraham 4,000 years ago (Gen 17.8), new archaeological evidence has emerged of a Jewish settlement in the Elah Valley around the time David faced off Goliath and his Philistine army some three millennia ago. And massive excavations in Jerusalem itself are revealing the grandeur of the city founded by King David during the same period.
The current hostility being displayed towards the Jewish state – especially the belligerence of surrounding nations – makes me wonder if we are not rapidly approaching what theologians refer to as ‘Daniel’s 70th week’.
Following passionate intercessory prayer for his people while exiled in Babylon, the prophet Daniel predicted, with pinpoint accuracy, the rise and fall of empires over the next 500 years, leading up to the Messiah’s death (Dan 9.26) and the subsequent desecration of Jerusalem – a total of 69 weeks of years, each ‘week’ representing seven years.
The 70th week is yet to come, but it will lead to a time of great tribulation, ironically initiated by a significant peace treaty with Israel (Dan 9.27). But the treaty will be broken mid-term by an Antichrist figure who will spread worldwide terror (see Dan 9 & 11; also Rev 13).