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 # 3

Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a Two-State solution.

Simon Wiesenthal Centre Response

The Palestinians themselves are the only stumbling block to achieving a Two–State solution. With whom should Israel negotiate? With President Abbas, who, for four years [now seven years – editor] has been barred from visiting 1.5 million constituents in Gaza? With his Palestinian Authority, which continues to glorify terrorists and preaches hate in its educational system and the media? With Hamas, whose Iranianbacked leaders deny the Holocaust and use fanatical Jihadist rhetoric to call for Israel’s destruction? Today, it is a simple fact that while the State of Israel is prepared to recognise all Arab States, secular or Muslim, these States adamantly refuse to recognise Israel as a Jewish State and demand “the right of return” of 5 million so-called Palestinian ‘refugees’ – a sure guarantee for Israel’s demise.

Recent developments

Since the Simon Wiesenthal document was published there have been some significant changes to the political situation in the Middle East. The new government in Egypt, backed by the Egyptian military, has taken a tough line against Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and has disrupted the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Hamas in the past received substantial income from taxing the smugglers operating the tunnels. As a consequence of the reduced smuggling, Hamas is now facing the most severe economic crisis in its history. In the last two years, Hamas has loosened ties with its former sponsors Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, hoping instead to gain from its association with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The declining fortunes of Hamas have encouraged Fatah leaders to hope that they will soon be able to return to Gaza. Fatah representatives would be encouraged by the recent emergence of the anti-Hamas group, Tamarod (meaning ‘rebellion’), which plans to organise a protest on 11 November to oust Hamas. The Palestinian Tamarod is a youth movement fashioned on the Egyptian Tamarod. This organisation was instrumental in toppling the Egyptian government of Islamic President Morsi through the 30 June protests.

Of further interest are the peace talks that have resumed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the strong encouragement and intervention from U.S. President Barak Obama.

Biblical perspective

The continual shifting alliances, corruption and the political intrigue in the Middle East has made it difficult for Israel to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. Israel too has sometimes been a reluctant partner for peace. The recent difficulties of Hamas, however, may mean that there is an increased opportunity for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to conclude a peace agreement. We read in Ezekiel 38:11 that at the time of the Gogian invasion, Israel is at rest and dwelling securely within her borders. This could imply that there will be a future peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Ezekiel 38:8 refers to Gog coming against the mountains of Israel, suggesting that the mountainous West Bank is at that time still in the hands of the Israelis. This could mean one of two possibilities:

  • The abandonment of the idea of a separate Palestinian State; or
  • An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that entails a staged withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank which is not fully implemented at the time of the invasion of Israel. A staged withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank was originally envisioned in the Oslo Accords, but progress has been stalled for years with the breakdown of talks.