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This past week Jerusalem has been the centre of World news once again. President Donald Trump’s decision to move America’s Embassy to Jerusalem has triggered a diplomatic crisis across the planet. A special emergency session was called of the Security Council which attempted to condemn the USA for its recent move, which was vetoed by the United States. The president of the Security Council stated the following:
“The results of the voting is as follows, 14 votes in favour, 1 vote against. The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the council. I now give the floor to… representative of the United States.”
“Thank you, Mr. President. I have been the proud representative of the United States at the United Nations for nearly a year now. This is the first time I have exercised the American right to veto a resolution it the Security Council. The exercise of the veto is not something the United States does often. We have not done it in more than six years. We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance…
What is troublesome to some people is not that the United States has harmed the peace process, we have in fact done no such thing. Rather what is troublesome to some people is that the United States had the courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality: Jerusalem has been, the political, cultural and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for 1000’s of years. They have had no other capital city. But the United States’ recognition of the obvious, that Jerusalem is the capital and seat of the modern Israeli governments, is too much for some…
The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy….
A peace process that is damaged by the simple recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, is not a peace process, it is a justification for an endless stalemate. ….
The United States has done more than any other country to assist the Palestinian people, by far. Since 1994 we have given over 5 billion dollars to the Palestinians in bilateral economic assistance, security assistance, and humanitarian assistance. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees operates schools and medical facilities throughout the region. It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. Last year the United States voluntarily funded almost 30% of UNRWA’s budget, that’s more than the next two largest governments combined. And it is vastly more than some of the members of this council, that have considerable financial resources of their own. I’ll be blunt. When the American people see a group of countries whose total contributions to the Palestinian peoples is less than 1% of UNWRA’s budget, when they see these countries accuse the United States of being insufficiently committed to peace, the American people loose their patience….
What we witnessed here today, in the Security Council is an insult. It will not be forgotten. It is one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Today for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did so proudly.
Today for acknowledging a basic truth about the capital city of Israel, we are accused of harming peace. The record will reflect that we reject that outrageous claim.
For these reasons, and with the best interests of both the Israeli and Palestinian people firmly in mind, the United States votes no on this Resolution.
And so the words of the prophet come true in our day an age. A city that was desolate for so long has become the tinderbox of world politics:
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
Emergency Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations
The world was up in arms that the USA vetoed the Security Council Resolution, so the Palestinians and several Arab States called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
President Trump stated the following ahead of that meeting:
“For all these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the Assembly, they take 100’s of millions of dollars, and even billions of dollars, and they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care! This isn’t like it used to be where they vote against you, and then you pay them 100’s of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they are doing, so Niki that was the right message that you and I agreed should be sent yesterday, and I’ve had a lot of good comment on that, believe me. People are tired of the United States, people that live here, our great citizens, that love this country, they are tired of this country being taken advantage of, and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”
When the General Assembly Gathered together, several nations make statements ahead of the vote.
Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the UN , reiterated much of what she stated at the Security Council, but added the following:
I’ve often wondered why, in the face of such hostility, Israel has chosen to remain a member of this body. And then I remember that Israel has chosen to remain in this institution because it’s important to stand up for yourself. Israel must stand up for its own survival as a nation; but it also stands up for the ideals of freedom and human dignity that the United Nations is supposed to be about….
She ended her speech by stating:
America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.
But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN. And this vote will be remembered.
What we are seeing is a seismic shift in US foreign policy as it aligns itself with Israel, and moves away from those who do not share its values. Canada abstained from the vote, and sooner or later will have to get off the fence. Britain, Australia and New Zealand will have to be humbled to make a shift in their policy too, as the prophets require them to fall inline as the ‘Merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof”(Ezekiel 38:13).
Israel’s Connection with Jerusalem
The Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, clearly identified Israel’s connection to the city of Jerusalem in the defense that he made:
It is shameful for the United Nations that I must stand before you today. It is shameful that this meeting is even taking place. Jerusalem is the holiest place on earth, for the Jewish people. It is the capital of the state of Israel. PERIOD.
It is a fact that simply cannot be disputed. King David declared Jerusalem to the be the capital of the Jewish People 3000 years ago. The Jewish bible mentions Jerusalem 660 times. Our prayers recalled Jerusalem’s holy name over and over again. As our first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion said,
“Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the history of Israel, of the faith of Israel.”
I am holding an original coin. It is from 67 AD. It says in Hebrew, “Freedom of Zion”. Look in the envelope in front of you, you will see you have a replica of the coin. It is clear evidence from the time of our second temple. It proves the ancient connection of Jews to Jerusalem. Our bond to Jerusalem is unbreakable.
No UNESCO declaration, no empty speeches, no General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem….
Yet over and over again those who took the podium talked about a return to the 1967 borders. Speaker after speaker remarked on this, for example the delegate from Pakistan:
A viable, independent and contiguous state of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) al-Sharif (the temple mount) as its capital, remains the only sustainable guarantee for securing an enduring peace in the Middle East.
Really? A contiguous state of Palestine, meaning it is connected – how is that going to happen?
This idea has been around for a while. In fact, the same idea was put to Golda Meir in a 1970 interview on British Television. This was her response:
People say to us, go back to the borders of 1967, and then there will be peace. We were at the borders of ’67 in June ’67 and in May ’67, why was there war? And immediately after the war we said let us sit down and negotiate peace. They didn’t do it. And we say now, and we’ve been saying it over and over again, ‘let us sit down and negotiate peace which we say will be with an attempt to have agreed boarders.’
That was in 1970, 47 years ago. Things haven’t changed much. Israel’s Ambassador asked the UN Assembly to consider its attempts to make peace over the past 20 years:
How many times has Israel reached its hand in peace since 1997? How many times have we offered the Palestinians to join us in dialogue? How many times have these calls been rejected? All of us have lost count.
When Prime Minister Barak offered the Palestinians a state in 2000 we were met with suicide bombers on our busses, and shootings in our streets.
In 2005 Prime Minister Sharon disengaged from Gaza. He removed every single Israeli home. You will not find any settlement, any occupation in Gaza any more. Since then we have been attacked again and again by rockets and missiles aimed at our civilians. Yet this body was silent.
The United States simply stated a fact. They officially declared what has always been true. Jerusalem is, and always will be the capital of the state of Israel.
The fact is the United Nations is simply a court of man. This was made evident by the representative from Pakistan when she stated:
“This parliament of man, this parliament of the world is the right and appropriate forum…”
They are a parliament of man, a parliament of the world. They believe they have the right to decide the fate of the Jewish people. They could not be further from the truth. It is God that has brought the Jews back to Jerusalem as he foretold in the prophets almost 3000 years ago:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,” (Joel 3:1)
Israel’s existence, it’s presence Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank, or the Occupied Territories), its recapturing of Jerusalem has come at the hand of Almighty God. No “parliament of the world, or parliament of man” has any prerogative to change his decrees. He is the one that sets up kingdoms, and puts men into power:
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
The setting up of Donald Trump as President of the United States seemed to go against all conventional wisdom. Yet it happened, in spite of the rabid attempts of the world’s media to have it otherwise. It is this man and his cabinet that have done what American Presidents have feared to do for the past 20 years. Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy. God put him in place to do such a thing…. And enrage the nations in so doing.
Enmity to Israel
All efforts to make peace have been empty since Israel’s conception. The real reason isn’t land, it is a hatred of the Jewish people as Prime Minister Meir stated 47 years ago:
Interviewer: Has there been a single moment since 1967 when you thought the Arabs were ready to talk?
Golda Meir: No. Because, this is something that must be realized by people in the world, and less they realize that, there is no understanding of the entire situation. Our quarrel with the Arabs is not a quarrel for a piece of land, it is not for territory, it is not for anything concrete; they just refuse to believe that we have the right to exist at all!
That is the core of the issue. A hatred of God’s chosen people. At the core of this is the enmity that began at the birth of mankind between the people God chooses as his own, whom he calls “the seed of the woman,” and those who oppose his plan, whom he terms “the seed of the serpent:”
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The fact is that there will never be true peace until the Messiah comes, because man, left to his own devices can never achieve it. True peace will be unattainable until this time, as he states:
“The wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:20–21)
The Vatican against Israel
Even the Vatican’s Monsignor Tomasz Grysa took the podium at the General Assembly. He zeroed in on the real area of interest for the Vatican, and it isn’t the plight of the Palestinians, (they are just a political pawn to be played when necessary):
The Delegation of the Holy See wishes to express its appreciation to the Member States for their commitment to averting new rounds of violence and to promoting dialogue and negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians on the peace process and the question of Jerusalem. At the same time, it wishes to recall the obligation of all Nations to respect the historical status quo of the Holy City, in accordance with the relevant UN Resolutions.
The unique identity of Jerusalem, which is of universal interest, consists in its particular nature as a Holy City, most sacred to the three monotheistic religions and a symbol for millions of believers worldwide who consider it their “spiritual capital”. Its significance goes beyond the question of borders and this reality should be considered a priority in every negotiation for a political solution.
The Holy See calls for a peaceful resolution that respects the nature of Jerusalem, its sacredness and universal value, and reiterates that only an internationally guaranteed status can preserve its unique character and be an assurance of dialogue and reconciliation for peace in the region.
What must be noted in this speech is the identification of the Church with Jerusalem. The Vatican uses the term UNIVERSAL several times – this is the meaning of the word Catholic. It sees Jerusalem as a Catholic city – its own. They have long stated their goal for Jerusalem to be an “international” city, outside of the auspices of either Arab or Jew, but under its own control. This is what the Vatican means by Status Quo. The idea goes back to the Resolution on Palestine adopted by the General Assembly December 11, 1948, where the commission recommended “a permeant international regime for the territory of Jerusalem” and suggested Jerusalem be a “corpus separatum” or separate body – associated with neither a Jewish nor Palestinian state. The whole Partition Plan went out the window when the Arabs rejected it and attacked the infant nation of Israel in 1948.
Since then the Vatican has held onto this idea of a ‘corpus separatum’ for Jerusalem. The historian Baron Avro Manhattan in his 1982 book The Vatican Washington Moscow Alliance identified the underlying issue with the Vatican’s rejection of Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel:
…. A powerful Israel… as a visible expression of Zionism in territorial, political and military matters, in the long run was bound to antagonise the Vatican. The interests of each would clash, religiously and politically. The result of the forthcoming hostility between the Vatican and Israel would mean the Vatican would be compelled to diminish its opposition to Soviet Russia. Indeed, the Church would seek a form of cooperation with her, the better to contain Israel’s ambitions. (p219)
This has in fact happened, not with Soviet Russia, but Putin’s rebuilt Russia, which together with the Vatican stands as an opponent of Israel. The writer continued:
In Vatican thinking, the stronger Israel became, the stronger would be the ambition of world Zionism. And vice-versa. Apart from the geographical presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East, the most controversial characteristic of an Israeli establishment, with Jerusalem as a territory and mystical omphalos (center), was its messianic nature, the central focus of Hebrew teleological (doctrinal) dream.
Because of this, the Vatican could not and would not tolerate the establishment of an Israel which claimed messianic privileges, or rather, messianic uniqueness and which, therefore would compete with the Roman Catholic Church as the centre of a future spiritual Kingdom. (p220)
Israel has become exactly that, a unique fulfillment of prophecy which validates the notion of Messiah coming to Jerusalem and establishing a Kingdom. The prophets that foretold the return of the Jew to Judah and Jerusalem, and the restoration of the nation:
“In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, And I will gather her that is driven out, And her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, And her that was cast far off a strong nation: And the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion From henceforth, even for ever.” (Micah 4:6–7)
The same prophet told of the future centre of world religion being in Jerusalem and not Rome:
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, That the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, And it shall be exalted above the hills; And people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, And to the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths: For the law shall go forth of Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:1–2)
This will be the true impetus for world peace, not the United Nations, or the Vatican that is only trying to maintain its influence and power in the world. Manhattan summed up the issue:
In Vatican eyes, therefore, the millenarian yearning for a global Hebrew theocracy represents a deadly threat to the eschatological teachings of the Catholic Church. When translated into concrete political terms, such a view spells not only rivalry, but implacable enmity. (p220)
That enmity will translate into war, as Manhattan predicts:
The dawning of such a day would herald the coming together of Russia and the Vatican. The two, although remaining basically hostile, nevertheless would cooperate in their joint opposition to the other two imperialisms – namely, that of Zionism as opposed to the Vatican, and that of capitalist America, as opposed to Communist Russia.
While Russia has dropped its Communist mantle, its opposition to America remains. The Bible predicts that it will be this will lead to a last crusade into the Middle East, as the prophet Joel continues:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, And will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1–2)
God challenges the nations come to a general assembly – not at the United Nations headquarters, but in Jerusalem, where he will preside as judge:
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruninghooks into spears: Let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, And gather yourselves together round about: Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: For there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.” (Joel 3:9–12)
This will be the point of divine intervention when the “mighty ones will come down” and God will judge all the nations who assemble themselves against Israel, and against Jerusalem to battle.
We are seeing the justification of that future General Assembly of nations beginning now. They will come, and they will fall upon the mountains of Israel. God will be victorious over the arrogant who go against his will.
The end result will truly be peace on earth as Micah continues:
And he shall judge among many people, And rebuke strong nations afar off; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:1–3)
That is the true “peace on earth” that we pray for. A peace which is the result of the righteous rule of Messiah, in Jerusalem, on David’s throne.
As 2017 draws to a close, we know we are in a Jubilee period. We know the Messiah is soon to come… so let us look up and lift up our heads, and gird up our loins… for our redemption, and the redemption of the nation of Israel draws near!
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.
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