Crisis in the Middle East/Program 5
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2006|
|Will there be peace in the Middle East in our lifetime? What about control of Jerusalem?|
My guests today are journalist Dr. Jimmy D. Young, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1991 and has personally interviewed many of the international leaders in the Middle East including every Prime Minister of Israel since 1991, as well as the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the late King Hussein of Jordan, his son King Abdullah II, and many others. And second, author and professor of biblical prophecy, Dr. Renald Showers.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We are talking about the crisis in the Middle East, and we are talking today about the topic, will there ever be peace in the Middle East in our lifetime? Condoleezza Rice, as you know, is trying to form a UN peacekeeping force that will go in and be a buffer between Hezbollah and Israel and provide safety. The question is, will she be able to pull it off? Will the United Nations be able to pull it off? And, Jimmy, we want to talk about this thing of, will we ever see peace in the Middle East? Do you think that this is going to be accomplished by some kind of UN peacekeeping force?
- DeYoung: True peace, John, according to the Bible, is only when the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, comes back and establishes His theocracy located, headquartered, in the city of Jerusalem. In fact, the exhortation in the Psalms to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, what we are really praying for there is for Jesus Christ to come back and establish that peace. It’s only going to be pseudo-peace, short-lived peace, if indeed it is short-lived at all. And that is evident by the fact that that has been the case over the years. And in fact it will be the case even in the future, according to Bible prophecy, because even though the Antichrist will confirm a peace treaty with the Jewish people, it will be short-lived as well, and wars and rumors of wars and nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom is going to be prevalent.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last night, “The Middle East is littered with cease fires and resolutions that have failed. We don’t want that to happen again.” She is saying if we don’t get it right this time we are going to be back here in just a few months. You, since you have lived there since 1991, you have watched all of these different ceasefires. You have attended a lot of the peace treaties that have been signed. Take us through a little of the history of all of the times this has been attempted and failed.
- DeYoung: Well, in 1979 the former President Jimmy Carter brought together Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. Menachem Begin was the Prime Minister of Israel; Anwar Sadat the President of Egypt. They met at a place called Camp David, the Presidential retreat in Maryland, and there they hashed out a peace treaty. Basically the first peace treaty between modern day state of Israel and one of their Arab neighbors, one of the enemies of the Jewish state for many, many years. That peace treaty was referred to as the “Camp David Accords” and they signed that in 1979.
- Soon after that, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by those who are players right now in al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. And at that point in time then his number two man, Hosni Mubarak, became President of Egypt. Quite interesting to note that since that Camp David Accord that peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed, Hosni Mubarak has never been to Israel on an official visit. He came one time for a visit and that was to attend the funeral of what was his friend Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel, who was assassinated several years ago. But officially he has never come into the country of Israel on a state visit.
- And then you go to September 13, 1993. My wife Judy and I are both credentialed journalists in Jerusalem as you have referred to me, and we were at the government press office, had a big screen television there with a live satellite feed from the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. There Bill Clinton had brought, again Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel and at the time Chairman Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. They came out of the White House, walked to a table set up there on the White House lawn, they signed an agreement called the “Oslo Accord,” saying that was a peace treaty supposedly between the Palestinian people and the state of Israel.
- I noticed, all of us, there were some very weathered journalists, I mean they had been covering the Middle East for many, many years. We were all seated in the government press office, this live feed coming in, and we watched as Bill Clinton literally put his hand in the small of the back of Yitzhak Rabin and pushed him to shake hands with Yasser Arafat. When those two sworn enemies shook hands, every one of us, we [gasped]. We could not believe what we had seen.
- We left that evening after viewing this on this satellite feed, we drove back to our apartment there in Jerusalem. And on the way back we saw all types of vehicles with Palestinian flags hanging out the windows and being waved as they drove through the streets of Jerusalem and said, “it’s time now for our state to come into existence.” Well, that was in 1993 and I believe the record shows there’s not been true peace of any type between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In fact, almost everybody would say that the Oslo Accord was a failed document from the very outset.
- And then in 1994, October in 1994 the 26th , in fact over in my brief case I have a copy of the peace treaty which was signed between the Israelis and the Jordanians. Again Bill Clinton brought his entourage including the Secretary of State at that time, Warren Christopher. They gathered together there with all the politicos from Jordan and King Hussein, the late King Hussein. The late Yitzhak Rabin had all the Israeli politicos. They were there in the desert in the Arabah, the southern area of the Jordan valley just above the Red Sea. There were 1000 journalists. I had never seen that many journalists.
- Now most of these journalists, or many of them, are either gone, they are dead or they are not in the positions. But at that particular gathering, Peter Jennings was covering it, Tom Brokaw, Connie Chung, all of them were there. And it was so interesting to witness as these sworn enemies again signed another peace treaty, this peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.
- Now that peace treaty had some very significant clauses in it about the transfer of tourists between the two countries; about building a highway out of Egypt all the way to Syria. Many things that have connections to Bible prophecy. But the truth, is there is no peace between Israel and Jordan.
- And so the three peace treaties that I have talked about that I have witnessed being signed or have been in attendance when they were signed, they are not working. They are on the table, but they are not working like they have been designed to work.
- Ankerberg: We have not talked about Jordan a whole lot. But when we were taking a break, I was looking at my notes and I said I have never heard the story about 1951, King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated right on top of the Temple Mount. Tell us the story.
- DeYoung: This is the great grandfather of the present King Abdullah, and of course his namesake. He was the King of Jordan and he had come out of the Hashemite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was not a Palestinian, but he had come to what was than Trans-Jordan and he had been basically given the gift of being the monarch of this new state in the Middle East.
- He was visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque, that is, the pewter dome building. The gold dome building is the Dome of the Rock, but it is not a mosque. The pewter dome building is the mosque. He had been there for services, he was coming out. A Palestinian assassin stepped up and at point blank range shot and killed King Abdullah.
- Interestingly his son and his grandson were in attendance with him; his grandson Hussein. He turned and he fired at the grandson; and the grandson had a military metal on his chest, pinned to his uniform. The bullet ricochet off and knocked him down, knocked him out, but didn’t kill him.
- Well, King Abdullah’s son came to power and within less than a year he was removed because of being mentally deranged. And King Hussein, at 18 years of age, was installed as the King until his death. In fact, at the time of his death, the longest reigning monarch in the world. Somewhat of a peace maker, howbeit still a Muslim, howbeit the leader of Jordan who had attacked, during the Six Day War, the Israeli people, but somewhat of a peace maker.
- Now his son, King Abdullah, named after his great grandfather, is heading up this country and playing an interesting role. He is walking a tightrope basically, because you have in Jordan 72%, I think the latest figures, of the entire population would be Palestinian. And remember again King Abdullah is not Palestinian. He comes from the Hashemite Kingdom, so he is very concerned about what happens between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and in fact what happens across the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: I had forgotten the fact that the King of Jordan had kicked out Arafat in Black September. Tell us that story.
- DeYoung: That was 1970. Yasser Arafat took up headquarters in Jordan, and the truth is, he tried to overrun King Hussein. King Hussein gave the orders and the Jordanian military went in, killing thousands of Palestinians, running Yasser Arafat out. Yasser Arafat then went north and somewhat west over into Lebanon and there he stayed until 1982 when the Israelis ran him out and tried to give the Lebanese their country back as well. And that’s been the case.
- I will never forget, when Yasser Arafat came back into Israel for the first time in 27 years he came into the little community of Jericho, right there at the Jordanian/Israeli border at the Allenby Crossing. My wife and I were there as journalists to cover the situation. He flew in, in an Egyptian helicopter, landed in Jericho, got in a Mercedes and he drove right to the entrance of the Allenby Bridge. On the opposite side is the King Hussein Bridge, named of course after their beloved king. And he stood right there and he made this statement, “I am the sole leader of the Palestinian people.” In other words in response to Black September in 1970, “In your face King Hussein, I am the leader of 70% of your population and you don’t forget that.” And so this has set the pace as far as the leaders of Jordan are concerned and what does happen.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we got a lot more; we want to tie this to what the Bible says is going to happen in the days ahead concerning peace in the Middle East between Israel and all these nations and what it is going to take to get that done. We will talk about it when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright we are back, we are talking to news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung who has lived in Israel since 1991 and Professor Dr. Renald Showers. And, Jimmy, I want you to tell one more story. And that is, the fact is that you were there when Bill Clinton visited Jerusalem and you overhead a conversation that he had asking to go up to the Temple Mount and Arafat’s response to all of this. Talk about that.
- DeYoung: Well, it was the day after that signing of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in the Arava, the southern portion of the modern day state of Israel. He came to Jerusalem, he was going to spend another day there; and he was holding a press conference at the King David Hotel.
- I’m one of these journalists, in fact, when I am listening to somebody I want to be on the front row to hear what’s going on, you know. So, as a journalist, I was there on the front row and I was listening to President Clinton talk to the then mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, who is now the Prime Minister. I was trying to get a scoop you know to report.
- All of a sudden I heard Bill Clinton say to Ehud Olmert, “Now, Mr. Mayor, I would love to go on the Temple Mount in the old city. I’ve never been in the old city, never been on the Temple Mount.” And the mayor said, “Mr. President I’d be honored to be your personal guide.” And so that was announced early afternoon.
- Well, that word got out. Yasser Arafat heard about it, he went livid. There are seven gates that lead up to the Temple Mount. He locked every one of those gates, shut them up and chained them, locked them so that nobody could get in. He put two or three Palestinian radicals behind each one of those gates. They were armed with grenades and kalashnikov rifles. And Yasser Arafat gave the order, “If anybody tries to come onto this Temple Mount without my permission you kill them on the spot.”
- Here, a man intoxicated with power, shut down — I’m not concerned about what you may think of Bill Clinton politically or what other way, but he was the most powerful man in the world at that point in time — and a back water terrorist shut him down and would not allow him to come onto the Temple Mount.
- Ankerberg: And how does that relate to Scripture?
- DeYoung: That relates to Scripture, by the Bible talking about in the book of Zechariah 12:2, “There will be in the last days those who will be intoxicated with power.” Zechariah said 2500 years ago, “Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling.” Now that is apocalyptic literature basically referring to the cup when it has the juice of the vine in it starts to tremble; it is intoxicated.
- Well, Jerusalem becomes that way and it intoxicates those who have control of it. Arafat says he had control at the time, of the Temple Mount. And basically he did because he instituted the Islamic Trust who were the custodians, the guardians, of the Temple Mount. And it is just another evidence… that’s been passed onto another leader today, but at that point Yasser Arafat was intoxicated with power over the Temple Mount over the city of Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Okay, Dr. Showers, let’s get to the bottom line on peace, okay? Because I am going to ask you a question and it’s crucial to our time now and it also corresponds to what Bible prophecy says. Have we now arrived at a time that the nations outside of Israel are going to have to guarantee the peace in the Middle East or there’s not going to be any so-called peace at all? And how does that relate to Bible prophecy?
- Showers: Well, it is going to have to be that time, John, if there is going to be lasting peace. And again the reason is, there can’t be lasting peace unless the Arab and Muslim nations over there accept Israel’s existence there in the Middle East and don’t feel driven by their religion to drive it out of there.
- And in talking here about Jerusalem, too, I mentioned in one of our earlier sessions that “US News and World Report,” in an editorial a number of years ago said, “The issue of Jerusalem cannot remain unresolved.” If all the other issues that we need for peace in the Middle East were resolved except who is going to control that city, that issue by itself could blow up in the face of the whole world with an all out religious war between worldwide Islam on the one hand and Jewish people on the other hand.
- Ankerberg: What did Benjamin Netanyahu just say on the news the other day?
- Showers: Well, I heard him, right after 9/11, he was interviewed and as a result of Muslims attacking America. And he said that a lot of people are going to say is the reason the Muslims have attacked America with the World Trade Center Towers is because of America’s relationship with Israel and support of Israel. And he said that’s not the ultimate reason.
- He said you have to understand the Muslim people of the world. Israel they call the little Satan, but they call America the great Satan. And he said they are driven with the belief that their God requires them to conquer the entire world and subject the entire world to Sharia law rule. And he said they believe there is only one human power upon the face of the earth today that can maybe prevent them from doing that, and that is America. And, therefore, if they are going to conquer the world they must bring down America. If they can bring down America, than it can be like a domino effect, they can pick off the rest of the nations around the world.
- But again, even if they could settle all the other issues, if they can’t settle who is going to control Jerusalem, that could create a tremendous problem. Now the UN in 1947 when it issued a mandate for Jews to be given an area in the Middle East there for the new State of Israel said that Jerusalem was to be totally internationalized. The world would determine what’s to be done with that city.
- But that didn’t work. Israel, in the war of independence, gained control of the western half of that city, which is the newer city. Jordan maintained control of the eastern half of the old city, the Temple Mount. Then in December of 1949 the UN again said, “We want to take Jerusalem totally away from both Jordan and Israel and internationalize the city. But both Israel and Jordan resisted that, so the UN backed off.
- Then around 1994 the UN began talking about, they didn’t pass a resolution, they began talking about taking the city of Jerusalem totally away from Israel because Israel gained control of the whole city as a result of the Six Day War in ‘67, and internationalize that city. And it still hasn’t happened.
- But remember when the NATO was bombing the Serbs in Kosovo? There was a NATO government leader that talked with an Israeli government leader and said, “Do you see what we are doing to the Serbs in Kosovo when they don’t do what we think they must do to have peace in that part of the world? If Israel doesn’t do what we think it must do to have peace in the Middle East, we may start doing to Israel what we are doing to the Serbs right now.”
- That was a verbal threat, the recognizing we have to settle that issue of Jerusalem. And you can count on it, if the world decides that the only way we can have peace there is to take Jerusalem totally away from Israel. If Israel resists that, the whole world is going to come against Israel.
- And that’s exactly what Zechariah is saying. When the whole world bothers itself with Jerusalem, God’s going to make that city a crushing stone that will crush them; and even though all the nations of the world come against it, that God says in verse 9 of Zechariah 12, when that happens God says, “I am going to war against those nations when they come against Jerusalem,” there in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, we are up against a brick wall here because, correct me if I am wrong here, but the Israeli government has said that Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people. And at the same time the leaders of the Palestinians have said that they are not going to rest until Jerusalem is totally theirs. They are not talking about a part of it, they are talking about the whole thing. So you’ve got this impasse going here. Where do you see this headed in terms of the peace?
- DeYoung: Well, there has to be a negotiation. And even the President of the Israeli government says, “We are willing to talk about this issue of Jerusalem,” for example, “in ultimate negotiations after we decide it is going to be a Palestinian state.” Now, that’s what the present government is saying. The opposition government is says we will never talk about Jerusalem.
- Ben Gurion named Jerusalem as the eternal capital, political capital of the Jewish people. And the truth is King David set that in motion over 3000 years ago in 2 Samuel 5 when he captured the Jebusite stronghold and indeed set it as the capital of the Jewish people.
- Little side note here, in June of 1967 on the 7th day of that month, General Uzi Narkiss, leading the Israeli Defense Force, came across the Kidron valley from the Mt. of Olives, broke through the Lion Gate, made a left turn and went to the Temple Mount. And for the first time in 2000 years took control of the most sacred piece of real estate in all of creation for the Jewish people.
- But nine days later leaders in the Israeli government, including the late Moshe Dayan, the late Yitzhak Rabin, who was the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, and many others, said we will give custodial responsibilities back to the Muslim. And so that has only fostered this continual control of the Temple Mount.
- As it relates to peace, if there is going to be a pseudo peace, a temporary peace, there has to be a negotiation over the city of Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that the Antichrist will come on the scene, he will come in. What is so interesting to me, John, is it doesn’t say he’s going to sign a peace treaty. The word there in Daniel 9:27 is “gabar” — Hebrew — and that means confirm, it never means sign. He will confirm a peace treaty.
- You’ve got the Camp David Accords on the table, you’ve got the Oslo Accords on the table, and you’ve got the Israeli Jordanian peace treaty on the table. They are not working. Waiting for a world leader to come in and confirm, strengthen, make stronger these peace agreements. That has to include some conversation, some discussion, about the city of Jerusalem. And the Palestinians are not going to sit still until they do have a portion.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we are out of time this week. We want to talk next week, a question a lot of people ask: Is the United States mentioned anywhere in prophecy? Is the United Nations mentioned anywhere in prophecy? Is Russia mentioned anywhere in prophecy? Is the European Union mentioned anywhere in prophecy? And, oh by the way, how close are we to the return of Jesus Christ when you look at world events? Do any of them suggest that the return of Christ is near? How can we talk about that, how can we think? That’s what we are going to talk about next week.