US President Joe Biden is coming to Israel, after all. He is set to be in the Middle East from July 13 to 16. Following the earlier postponement of his visit, this week’s news trajectory told the tale:
- On Sunday, June 12, “a fuming” Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman messaged Washington that he was poised to downgrade ties with Israel; Biden’s visit had better sort Israel out.
- On Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett conceded that his toppling government might be about to collapse.
- On Tuesday, the White House announced that Biden had settled on the dates for his visit.
- On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed his view that Biden will come even if Israel’s coalition collapses. The Israel-US relationship surpasses politics, was his view.
- News media reported that the president’s trip will include visits to the PA and to Saudi Arabia.
- Then we heard that Washington is pressuring Israel to not take any unilateral steps that will anger the Palestinian Arabs before Biden comes.
In the face of all this, The Jerusalem Post nonetheless opined that there was no need to overstate the relevance of the first leg of the trip. “Biden’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority is just a sideshow. Saudi Arabia is the main event…”
Hardly. Israel is no sideshow. Biden’s visit is no stopover. It is without question tightly tied to what for decades has been the main event on the global agenda for the Middle East: Creating Palestine.
This is not to suggest that the visit to Saudi Arabia is just window dressing. The unparalleled (and for Americans, frightening) $5.00 per gallon of gas charge at the pump thanks to the Russian-Ukrainian war; Iran’s mockery of the failed US-led effort to prevent it crossing the nuclear threshold, which has heightened the need to bring Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords; and not forgetting America’s desire to restore something of its depleted influence in the Middle East — all this is hardly insignificant.
But the road to Riyadh passes through Jerusalem. The currency for securing Saudi Arabia’s cooperation and participation is not only the prospect of improved US-Saudi relations with all the goodies that brings; it is the visibly intensified American push for the creation of a Palestinian state in “the West Bank” with “East Jerusalem” as its capital. Or, more accurately — the establishment of a Muslim-Arab country in Israel’s biblical and ancestral heartland — Samaria and Judea — with half of Israel’s united capital appropriated as well.
This could quite practicably play out too by running interference in Israeli politics – bolstering Bennett in the eyes of the electorate, or beating back Bibi (Netanyahu).
Which is why Washington is already turning the screws on Bennett’s coalition.
Reported the Times of Israel Wednesday, quoting Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials:
“The US administration has been pushing Israel to avoid taking unilateral steps that would further damage ties with the Palestinians in the lead-up to President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and the West Bank next month … The US is particularly concerned about an Israeli effort to advance what critics call a ‘doomsday’ settlement construction plan in the E1 area of [Judea].”
A visiting official from Washington urged Israel to scrap the plan but was reportedly told that, given the fragility of the Bennett government, which includes E1 supporters who are on the verge of bolting, this was not immediately doable.
Nor, as noted above, has the PA been caught napping. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (aka the terrorist in a tie) clamoured all through Ramadan at the IDF’s response to a wave of Arab terrorism that left murdered Jews scattered in its wake, and he is now screaming for Washington to renew relations with the blood-soaked Palestine Liberation Organisation (which Abbas also heads) and to re-open the US consulate for the Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem.
Delisting the PLO — whose founding charter remains unchanged despite its commitment under the Oslo Agreement to erase its Israel-hating clauses — would be akin to approving its ongoing goal of Israel’s destruction. Re-opening that consular office would constitute a flagrant slap-down of Israel’s claim to Jerusalem — the whole city — as its capital and be in breach of international law. It would, in effect, reverse Donald Trump’s recognition of all Jerusalem as Israel’s. Nonetheless, indications are that Biden plans to go ahead with this.
Regarding the Abraham Accords themselves: As promising as a “people-to-people peace” appears, with words of gracious goodwill passing between the Jewish and Arab states; Israel’s glittering and popular pavilion at the Expo in Abu Dhabi, the Israel-UAE Business Forum, and Jewish tourists in the tens of thousands flocking to the Emirates, these accords — as we have already seen — have been and will be used as leverage against Israel to buttress and promote the “Palestinian cause.”
The Palestinian cause for a Palestinian state. This is the one constant, from the UN Partition Plan of 1947, through every war and terrorist action since Israel was reborn, to every peace promotion after 1967 — Camp David in 1978 through the Oslo Agreement in 1993, to the “Road Map to Peace” and into the “Two State Solution.” It is the decided-upon purpose of the nations that the Jews’ presence be removed from the Mountains of Israel — an act of internationally-sanctioned ethnic cleansing — and that Palestine be born there.
It is the central thing — and we cannot get away from it. Count the number of nations opposing this Two State Solution — there are none — and it is clear that the entire international community is out to rob the Jews of half of what they have of their ancestral homeland, and hand it to the Arabs who already have 22 states of their own.
In Christendom, almost every denomination agrees that the “land-for-peace” process is the right way to go, exhorting members to support it and to pray to this end.
In Judaism, the majority of Jews appear resigned to the “inevitability” of this division of the land of their fathers; their separation forever from the cradle of their nationhood, from Shechem, Bethel, Shiloh, Bethlehem, Hebron and half of Jerusalem, including its holy of holiest site — the Temple Mount.
Yes — the conflict over the geographical Land of Israel outweighs all Israel’s other battles. But while it gets fierce and unrelenting attention from the Enemy, many Christians who say they want to move with God’s purposes for Israel seem to have forgotten the central significance of the geographical territory or, at least, to have downgraded the Land’s importance in relation to their commitment to “love the Jews.”
But concerning the very territory which has been earmarked for a Palestinian state, this is what the God of Israel says:
“I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.” (Leviticus 26:42 — Emphasis added.)
Three times in this single sentence, God spells it out, saying: “I will remember.”
And three times He uses the word “covenant,” emphasizing that He made it with Abraham and with Isaac and with Jacob (and not with Ishmael or Esau).
Which covenant will He remember? He will remember the covenant of the Land, and who He gave it to.
Which Land? All the Land where Abraham put his feet as he made his way along what is known as The Way of the Patriarchs through Samaria and Judea — the high ground of Eretz Yisrael; and Jerusalem — 3000-year-old capital of the Jewish people (never the capital of any other people) where the House of the LORD once stood and will stand again; where God has put His name.
Without the Land there is no covenant. The Land has always been at the heart of the matter: It is the stage on which God’s redemption plan for all mankind is played out:
From the institution of the covenant; through the forging into a nation of the children of Israel; through the founding in David of the dynasty of the Messiah; through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; through the millennia-long yearning of the Jews to return home; through their physical restoration over the last 130 years; through the foretold coming alongside Israel of gentile believers; through the alliance of all the nations against the Jews; through the deliverance of Israel and her restoration as a nation to her God; to the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom on earth, in the Holy Land, in Jerusalem: From beginning to end, the little Land of Israel is front and center in the purposes of God.
Yes, God is sharp-focused on the Land of Israel; the Bible is top-heavy with references to it, and everything in its pages revolves around it.
As evidenced daily for decades, nothing diverts the attention of God’s enemy from this same Land. He is out to get it. He is obsessed by it.
Why, on earth, aren’t we?