In this issue we continue to look at the lies collated by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre that are commonly  presented by Israel’s opponents in the Israel-Palestine debate.

Lie # 2

Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago.

Simon Wiesenthal Centre response

Since 1967, Israel has repeatedly conceded,  ‘land for peace’. Following Egyptian President  Sadat’s historic 1977 visit to Jerusalem and the Camp David Peace Accords, Israel withdrew from  the vast Sinai Peninsula and has been at peace with  Egypt ever since.

In 1995, Jordan signed a peace treaty with  Israel but neither the Palestinians nor 21 other  Arab states have done so. In 1993, Israel signed the  Oslo Accords ceding administrative control of the  West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (formerly  the PLO). The PA never fulfilled its promise to  end propaganda attacks and drop the Palestinian  National Charter’s call for Israel’s destruction.

2010

In 2000, Prime Minister Barak offered Yasser Arafat full sovereignty over 97% of the West Bank,  a corridor to Gaza, and a capital in the Arab section of Jerusalem. Arafat said NO. In 2008, PA  President Abbas nixed virtually the same offer from  Prime Minister Olmert. In 2005, Prime Minister Sharon unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. Taken over by terrorist Hamas, they turned dismantled  Jewish communities into launching sites for suicide bombers and 8,000+ rockets into Israel proper. In  2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu renewed offers of unconditional negotiations leading to a Palestinian  State, but Palestinians refused, demanding more  unilateral Israeli concessions, including a total  freeze of all Israeli construction in East Jerusalem  and the West Bank.

Biblical perspective

The 1967 borders

From June 5th to 10th 1967, Israeli forces took  control of the Gaza strip, Sinai Peninsula, the West  Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan heights. This  expanded territory aligned the borders of Israel  more closely with historic biblical borders and has  prophetic significance.

In Luke 21:24 we read “… and Jerusalem shall  be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of  the Gentiles be fulfilled”. This portion of the Olivet  prophecy implies that Jerusalem would have a period  of Gentile rulership commencing with the Romans  in 70 AD and it would then return to Jewish control.  Verse 28 of the same chapter reads “And when these  things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift  up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”.  It seems likely that Jerusalem will be under Jewish  control at the coming of Christ. This may include  Jewish control of East Jerusalem which began in 1967.

Ezekiel also prophesies about the time of the  end and speaks of Gog invading “the mountains  of Israel” (Ezek 38:8). This passage may refer to  Israel controlling the West Bank at the time of  Armageddon. Perhaps the phrase “mountains of  Israel” includes the territory of the West Bank  with its rugged mountainous terrain west of the  Jordan.

Jerusalem

It is no surprise that the control of Jerusalem is  accompanied by controversy. Zechariah says “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”  (12:3). This prophecy has proved true throughout  time and has special significance in the lead up  to Armageddon.

Peace

Obtaining true peace out of the controversy surrounding  Jerusalem and the borders of Israel is  not humanly achievable. True peace is much more  than nations living side-by-side without conflict –  true peace is given by God (Lev 26:6) as a blessing  to those who keep His commandments. Peace is  described as the end product of righteousness (Isa  32:17), bringing quietness and assurance forever. We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psa  122:6) and we can be assured that the peace of God  will come to this city, but only when His son rules  in righteousness (Psa 72:7).