Posted 21st April 2006
The first month after the Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority has produced disturbing indications of rising tensions in the Middle East. Various experts refer to these events as the early beginning of the Third World War
Hamas is a radical movement for the liberation of Palestine which, according to them, includes the entire Israel. They still refuse to recognise Israel as a state and stubbornly reject the two-state solution advanced by the US, the EU and the UN. They also refuse to renounce violence as a method of liberating Palestine.
The struggle between the Jews and Palestinians has become completely internationalised, being waged in the arena of global politics. The large political power-blocks in the West and East, as well as the UN, are all directly involved with the situation in the Middle East – particularly with events in Israel, Iraq and Iran.
As far as Israel is concerned, the country’s new prime minister, Ehud Olmert, committed himself to 90% of the withdrawal from all Jewish settlements in the West Bank by November 2008 when Pres. Bush’s term ends, and a complete withdrawal by 2010 when Mr. Olmert’s term as prime minister ends. By that time, Jerusalem will also have been divided. The process of withdrawal from important parts of their God-given land, including East Jerusalem, amounts to protracted political suicide by Israel. On the other hand, Israel shows their determination to survive by attacking terrorist bases in Gaza from where they have already withdrawn. They concurrently pursue policies of political compromise and that of a determined and violent survival struggle.
As far as the Palestinians are concerned, strong pressure is exerted from two sides on them. America and the European Union have withdrawn financial aid to the PA until they recognise Israel and renounce terrorism as a method of liberation. Because of this, they are on the brink of bankruptcy and are unable to pay the salaries of thousands of officials and policemen this moth.
On the other hand, the revolutionary struggle in which Hamas engaged with Israel and the West is fanned by Syria and Iran. It is Iran’s stated policy to wipe Israel off the map of the Middle East, and they see the Hamas government as an ally to achieve this objective. Iran is also mobilising large-scale financial assistance for the Palestinians in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, Russia and China have strengthened the position of Hamas by recognising them and promising aid to them. A Hamas delegation visited Moscow, after which the Russian minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, reconfirmed his country’s decision to assist Palestine. But he requested them to recognise Israel and to enter into negotiations with them. Thus far, Hamas has not accepted this condition.
Hamas now has to decide, on the short term, if they will follow the moderate way of recognising Israel and renouncing violence, thereby ensuring extensive financial assistance from the West, or to follow Iran’s policy of warfare and the extermination of Israel. During the past week, various important events occurred, which all greatly aggravated the difficult situation in Israel:
· On the fifth day of Israel’s Passover holiday a suicide bomber attacked a fast-food restaurant in Tel Aviv, killing 9 Israeli’s and wounding more than 60 – ten of them seriously. It was the deadliest bombing of this nature in more than a year.
· On Monday 17th April there was a sharp exchange of words between Jewish and Palestinian envoys at an open session of the UN’s Security Council. Israel warned that a new axis of terror – Iran, Syria and the Hamas-led Palestinian government – is sowing the seeds of the first world war of the 21st century. Hamas justified the blast by stating that it was a legitimate act of self-defence by Palestinians who increasingly suffer under Israeli attacks. It is difficult to understand how Hamas can justify the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians.
· During the Passover weekend, Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, said: “Jerusalem will soon be the capital of a Muslim Arab Caliphate, and all efforts by Israel to Judaize the city will come to nothing.” He said the Jewish state was planning to replace the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount with a Third Temple as part of a plot hatched in coordination with the US. The envisaged Caliphate will be an Arab super-state which will unite all the Arab Muslim states and will be ruled by a successor of Muhammad.
In the light of all these events it is obvious that Hamas should not be viewed in isolation but as the henchmen of their revolutionary supporters, abettors and financiers in other countries. They are not only a Palestinian government but also a front for the international Islamic Jihad against Israel and the West. A big confrontation between these power-blocks is looming large.
Meir Amit, a former director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, said that global civilisation is on the verge of World War III, a massive conflict in which the Islamic world will attempt to impose its ideology on Western nations. He regards the terrorist attacks on the US, England, Spain, France and other countries as the early beginnings of World War III. He says that Islamic nations, as well as international Islamic groups, will continue to launch attacks on Western targets. Amit urged the international community to immediately unite and coordinate a strategy to offer effective resistance to the escalating Islamic revolution.
Unfortunately, however, the world is not uniting to face this serious threat. China and Russia are the major problems in this regard as they are not willing to cooperate with other nations. They even assist Iran to further develop its nuclear capability. Nuclear power will soon enable Iran to wage its intended war of genocide against Israel, and also to launch devastating attacks against America and other Western countries that support Israel. The relationship between Iran and the US is at present very tense.
The opposing, fighting and undermining of Israel have serious Biblical implications to nations, among them also South Africa, that recognise and support Israel’s enemies. In Genesis 12:3 the Lord says to Abraham, with specific reference to his descendants through Isaac and Jacob: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” Jeremiah 31:10 says: “He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him.” The Lord who never slumbers or sleeps is keeping Israel (Ps. 121:4), and will sternly deal with its enemies. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
The Lord will also chastise Israel and allow them to experience times of great trouble until they accept Jesus as their Messiah (Jer. 30:7; Hos. 5:15–6:2). Only then, the millennial reign of the Messiah will be instituted with Jerusalem as the capital of the world (Acts 15:16-17; Isa. 2:2-4; Jer. 3:17). Before that time, a great confrontation between the forces of light and darkness will occur in the Middle East. In Zechariah 12 and 14, the Lord says that He will gather all nations against Jerusalem to enter into judgement with them because of their hostility against the kingdom of God and also against God’s covenant people, Israel. It is a matter of great importance that we do not reject or persecute Israel, but rather bless them and proclaim the salvation of the Messiah, Yeshua, to them – and also to the Arabs who are in desperate need of salvation.