Obama Calls for Israel to Withdrawal to the 67 Borders
Is American Foreign Policy Going Against God?
May 23, 2011 - Audio, 8.25 MIN
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Obama's recent policy speech on the Israeli Palestinian Arab conflict and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's subsequent comments, after their private meeting in the Whitehouse, have highlighted a growing rift between the two administrations. Welcome to the Bible in the News, this is David Billington with you. Obama has been moving closer to the European viewpoint, while Netanyahu appears to be more or less standing his ground. Obama's call for Israel to withdrawal to the 67 borders are those borders which the well known Israel diplomat, Abba Eban called the "Auschwitz lines", because they left Israel in such a strategically vulnerable position.. Israel is in a tough position. They are surrounded by counties that have been traditionally hostile; their peace treaties with Egypt and possibly Jordan, could be jeopardized by the current turmoil in the Arab world. The Economist magazine, which would have a similar worldview as Obama and his Democratic party, summarized Obama's speech as follows:
"For would-be Palestinian negotiators, there was much in Barack Obama's speech on the Middle East to applaud. For the first time an American president has articulated his country's commitment to two states based on the 1967 borders. He also called for a "full and phased withdrawal of military forces"—ruling out a permanent military presence, though leaving open the possibility of a long-term interim one. He said a Palestinian state would border Jordan, thereby quashing any lingering Israeli demands that Israel retain a buffer in the Jordan Valley. To Israel's chagrin he also proposed that the parties first resolve their security arrangements and define their borders, before tackling what he called "wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees". Israeli officials have long preferred that nothing should be resolved until everything was resolved. "We're pleased," says a Palestinian negotiator, who had days earlier been told that Mr Obama's speech would make only scant reference to Israel."
Interestingly from a Biblical point of view, Jerusalem is also an emotional and wrenching issue and an intractable problem. Consider Zechariah 12:2,3:
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 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."
After their private meeting, Netanyahu proceeded to give Obama a little bit of a Jewish history lesson in front of the cameras.
"It's the ancient nation of Israel," Benjamin Netanyahu told Mr Obama. "We've been around for almost 4,000 years. We have experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We've gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions."
Netanyahu is basing his dating of the nation of Israel, back to the time of Abraham. His source is the Bible.
The positions of the leaders could be summed up by the following short quotations.
Obama: "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."
Netanyahu: "Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide, it was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive."
What does the God of Israel have to say to his nation however: "And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border." (Jeremiah 31:17)
Obama may have his vision of two states living side by side in peace. Netanyahu the Israeli prime-minister has his goal of a secure peace; but the God of Abraham has his purpose that supersedes all others. To this end he has been bringing back the Jewish people to their homeland - to their border - for over 100 years now.
"Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he." (Jeremiah 31:10-11)
It is the God of Israel, the creator of heaven and earth that has brought the Jewish people back to their land again. It is His work.
"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel..." (Jeremiah 31:3,4)
Are we then going to turn to the Almighty and allege that their is an injustice in his great work? That they are "occupiers" as they live upon the mountains of their ancient homeland?
This return of the Jews is a fulfillment of prophecy. Yet, it is not just this. It is a fulfillment of the purpose of God.
"Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." (Jeremiah 32:37-40)
God did not gather his people from the four corners of the earth simply to fulfill his word; although it certainly did this. He regathered them so that they would be his people and He would be their God. His purpose as expressed in His word, is that they would have a new heart and walk in His way and fear Him, within the love of a new and everlasting covenant.
"He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." (Isaiah 27:6)
America has chosen a path that is leading the into a position trying to hinder and fight against the work of God and his purpose with Israel. This is a dangerous position to be in!
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:7)
Obama is now on a State visit to Britain. The UK Telegraph website reported:
"Barack Obama's state visit to Britain hit by splits over Libya
"Tensions over the military campaign against Libya have cast a cloud over President Barack Obama’s state visit to Britain this week, The Sunday Telegraph has learned."
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