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Reader comment on item: Business as Usual in the Palestinian Authority [after Arafat's Death]
in response to reader comment: Military force - not appeasement - will bring peace to Israel and safety to its citizens

Submitted by Cliff Kelly, Ph.D. (United States), Jul 1, 2006 at 13:05

I have thought long and hard for many years about the perplexing question of peace in the Middle East, especially as it involves Israel. It is intriguing and vexing all at once that the news each day seems to center on this tiny nation. Why is this the case? Why of all the nations in the world is this particular patch of land such a burden to our world? One possible answer is found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Of the hundreds of references to Jerusalem found there, one stands out as especially prescient ...

"Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah" (Zechariah 12:2; NAS trans.).

With this in mind, my sense is that no human plan for peace for the region is viable. While this is fatalistic on its face, it points us to another possibility for the resolution of Middle Eastern violence: the supernatural. It is my considered opinion that only divine intervention can end the turmoil surrounding Israel. This does not mean that we should not indeed work toward and even pray for the peace of Jerusalem (cf. Psalm 122:6). There is always the possibility of a relative peace, an hiatus of sorts, pockets of calm at which we should always aim. And yet, it is clear to me after decades of study that only God can bring a lasting peace to this part of the world. And that may be achieved in only one of two ways.

First, through a devastating defeat of Islamic terrorism, Israel's primary enemy. Recognizing that the Western powers are not likely to bring about such a defeat, Ezekiel 38-39 outlines the supernatural destruction of a coalesced military force which includes the Islamicists. It is my belief that at this point the world takes serious notice that there are in fact divine powers at work on behalf of Israel, and for a time this achieves for Israel a respot from her woes. Second, however, there is also Biblical evidence that such a peace is only temporary (e.g., Dan. 9:25) and that the catastrophic, sudden and all encompassing return of Israel's Messiah will put a final end to the misery (cf. Rev. 19:20-21 etc.). This is a somewhat oblique reference to what Biblical scholars call The Eschaton, or that period of history that ends history as we currently know it, and begins a new age of Messianic rule and an extended peace throughout the world (cf. Rev. 20 etc.).

So there you have it. The implications of such a view are found in the wisdom of: (1) working toward and praying for the peace of Jerusalem on a daily basis; (2) being found on the side of Israel rather than against Israel, if in fact supernatural forces protect her day and night; and (3) standing firmly against radical Islam that constantly threatens not only the peace of Jerusalem, but that of the entire planet. We must recognize that in geopolitical reality, Isreal is the center of the universe for all intents and purposes, for both the better and the worse. Let us labor for the better at all times, all the while recognizing that it will take enormous courage and perseverance to oppose the worse.


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