Thanks a lot, Arafat . . .

Ever wonder why once upon a time we at least got to have actual negotiations with the Palestinian leader (even if he never upheld his end of the bargain), but these days we can’t even seem to get talks off the ground? The Jerusalem Post explains:

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are doomed to hit a brick wall because no Palestinian leader will accept anything less than what Yasser Arafat rejected at Camp David 10 years ago, and no Jewish prime minister will offer anything more, Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom said Thursday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

“No matter what we do, I do not see a Palestinian leader who is willing to accept what Arafat rejected, and I don’t see a Jewish prime minister who can give more than what [Ehud] Barak offered. Therefore, I see it as a dead end,” he said. . .

According to Shalom, at Camp David and then at Taba in 2001, then-prime minister Barak offered 97 percent of the territory to the Palestinians, with a one-on-one swap for the rest; Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and Israeli sovereignty under it; Palestinian control of three of the four quarters in Jerusalem’s Old City; and an intake of some 100,000 Palestinian refugees.

As Dr. Chuck Missler has noted, the issue has never been the size of Israel, but the very existence of Israel. As long as that is the case (and it always will be until Israel’s King returns), the Palestinians have no reason to negotiate for anything. Israel is playing Go; they’re playing Risk.

Of course, there will arise one day a person of sufficient charisma and power to enforce a covenant for a period of seven years. Scripture gives us very few clues about the details of this covenant, other than the leaders of Israel will be fully aware that it is based on a lie (Isa. 28:15) and that it will remove the walls that currently protect Israel (Ezk. 38:11). While the Temple will be rebuilt, the outer court will still be trampled by the Gentiles (Rev. 11:2), suggesting that part of this covenant will be the houses of other religions alongside the Third Temple. Based on the historical precedent of Antiochus Epiphanes, we can safely assume that the covenant will be aimed at least in part at drawing Jews into the new paganism. And Israel, even more weary of war than she was in the days when Antiochus came in building gymnasiums and bath-houses, will accept this chance at peace.

Shalom.

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