Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand?/Program 3
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2004
|If a Palestinian state is founded, side by side with Israel—which is what everybody is asking for—will this bring peace? What do Americans believe about the importance of Israel? The Bible has a whole lot to say about this.
Announcer: In the last few months, terrorist bombings are increasing. How far will they reach? Is America at risk?
- Dr. Jimmy DeYoung: Well, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. And we see a non-tangible nation, a group of peoples—militant Islam, basically—rising up, involved in a war against those who are opposed to their philosophy of life, opposed to an Islamic rule that would control the entire world.
Announcer: One year has passed since the war in Iraq began. Is the Middle East a safer place?
- Dr. Renald Showers: I think what a lot of people don’t realize, at least in the Western World, is what Islamic theology teaches—that once an area of the world has been ruled over by Muslim rulers, if some non-Muslim power drives out those Muslim rulers and confiscates that land, that’s a smack in the face, that’s a dishonor to their Muslim god, Allah, and so for the sake of their Muslim god and his honor, they’ve got to eliminate that non-Muslim power that’s occupying that land.
- DeYoung: I live in that part of the world. Before this program is over, everything could start to happen. I mean, the stage is set. Every nation we’ve talked about—Syria, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Libya, Turkey—they’re all in position to make their moves.
Announcer: Clashes also continue to erupt in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. World leaders understand this conflict must be solved or it could pull the whole world into war. Will a new Palestinian state bring peace, or set the basis for an even greater conflict?
- Showers: If there is a separate, sovereign Palestinian state there, side by side with Israel, once that becomes a sovereign state, then Israel is going to have another problem. If the Palestinians are developing weapons to use against Israel, the world will say it’s a sovereign state; Israel has no right to invade a sovereign state to try to put a stop to what they’re doing or take those weapons away from them.
Announcer: Today on The John Ankerberg Show, my guests are news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Jerusalem, Israel since 1991, and has personally met and interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and many other international leaders; and respected Bible scholar, Dr. Renald Showers, who has taught at Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of Bible. We will examine worldwide terrorism, Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in light of the Bible, and answer the question, “Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand? Is America at Risk?”
- Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re glad you’re with us. We’re talking about world events and biblical prophecy, and our guests are Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers. And today, we want to talk about, if a Palestinian state is founded, side by side with Israel—which is what everybody is asking for—will this bring peace? You’ve got George Bush; you’ve got Tony Blair; you’ve got the United Nations; you’ve got Russia; all calling for a Palestinian state. And right along with that, now we’ve got an added ingredient, which is that there is a ticking time bomb in terms of the population inside of Israel that is even driving the Israelis toward the fact we’ve got to have some kind of solution here. Because here’s the problem: statistics show that in Israel, the Palestinian Arab mothers, their fertility rate is 6.5 children per mother; whereas, the Israeli mothers, the fertility rate is only 2.5 children per mother.
- In 2003, the Jewish folks make up 55 percent of the population of Israel. But the statistics show that by 2020, the Palestinians will be in the majority; and that by 2050, only 35 percent of the people in Israel will be Jewish. The former speaker of Israel’s Parliament says, if nothing is done, the Jewish state could be finished.
- Now, Jimmy, you’ve been there. You know about this. Is this one of the things that is driving the fact that we’ve got to have a separate Palestinian state, get all of these Palestinian Arabs out of Israel over into that territory so that the Jews can hold onto their state in the future and they can do their own thing over there?
- DeYoung: The numbers right now, about 5.5 million Jewish people in Israel and about 900,000 Israeli Arabs. Now, that’s different than the Palestinians we’re talking about. These are actual citizens of Israel. They’re not required to serve in the military but they have a right to vote. If, indeed, there are not two states—a Palestinian state and an Israeli state—the only other result…
- And in fact, this caveat, when in Ramallah recently, I met with some of the legislators, the Palestinian legislative council, some of those legislators, the legislative body for the Palestinian Authority, they are looking possibly toward the option of having one state, a one-state solution, and the demographics that you have just quoted to us would be exactly what they’re looking forward to happen. And then vote out a Jewish state. That’s exactly what they could do.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. One of the Palestinian intellectuals wrote an article in one of the political magazines and he was saying, “All we want to do is lay down our arms and all we want is one thing. We don’t want money, we don’t want food, we don’t want any hospital care, we want one thing: one vote for one person.”
- DeYoung: Absolutely.
- Ankerberg: And the Jewish leaders, realizing this, say, Man, we’ve got to do something here.
- DeYoung: And that’s what’s driving Prime Minister Sharon to finally agree. He’s the head of the Likud party. Every Likud prime minister in the history of the state of Israel has said there’s going to be no Palestinian state. Even the Likud leadership today: We do not want to have a Palestinian state. But realism has set in as far as Prime Minister Sharon is concerned and he said, “Look, if we don’t have two states—a Palestinian state and a Jewish state—we’re not going to have a Jewish state. They’ll vote us out of existence.” And so that demographic is very key to understanding why some of these decisions are being made by the present leadership.
- Ankerberg: Go to the next step. Let’s say that you do have a Palestinian state. You’ve got the Israeli Arabs. Are they going to want to go into that Palestinian state?
- DeYoung: That’s a great question.
- Ankerberg: I mean, are you going to have ethnic cleansing? How do you do this?
- DeYoung: It’s a great question. They don’t know which way they’re going to choose to go. I can tell you now, some of those Israeli Arabs are now involved in terroristic activities. They are working for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, some of these other organizations. Some of them even agents for Hezbollah, which is stationed in southern Lebanon just north of the Israeli border. And they’re doing things that would position them to be in a place that they would most likely go with the Palestinian state, or that leadership that is now moving towards a Palestinian state. Because in reality, if they have a Palestinian state, that’s part of this whole peace process: give us a piece of real estate that we can launch our next battle from; we’ll have a cease-fire temporarily or a peace agreement with somebody temporarily so we can regroup, rearm and then return to the battlefield. And so that’s part of that whole scenario as well.
- But it’s a great question and a lot of Israeli leaders are starting to say…in fact, Benjamin Netanyahu at the Herzliya conference which is a major conference in Herzliya made a statement—this is a conference where they talk about security for the Jewish state. He made the statement, “The real ticking time bomb is the Israeli Arab. What are we going to do? How are we going to deal with these people?” Exactly the question you’ve asked us, and they’re asking the same question.
- Ankerberg: One more question and that is, the right of return. That is, all the people before 1967 that were driven out, going all the way back to 1948, okay, how many people, by the way, were Arab or Palestinian Arabs in the Holy Land when the Jews came in?
- DeYoung: In Israel itself?
- Ankerberg: Yeah.
- DeYoung: That number probably around 500,000, as I understand it, and it has swollen now to somewhere—and the estimates vary—between four million and six million refugees that are out there or that are asking for a right of return back into the land.
- Ankerberg:And that’s one of the sticking points in any kind of an agreement, and the Israeli leaders have always just nixed that one because if you have that many people all of a sudden coming back, now they’re going to be given a choice, if you have two states. Whether it be the Palestinian state or the Israeli state, and if you’re one of those folks that migrated up to Europe and you’re looking at a spot that’s got no schools, no infrastructure, no water, no electricity, [nothing] in terms of how the government’s run. The fact is, and you could go into Israel, then you’ve got this population problem again. So, are you hearing anything in terms of that?
- DeYoung: We certainly are and that’s why, as you said, the Israeli leadership is, every single opportunity they can, they will make a statement that we’re going to deal with this right of return later on down the line. They’re just putting it off. They know one day they’re going to have to face it. Interesting note. When Yossi Beilin put together this Geneva Initiative, he was willing to give up the old city of Jerusalem, give up the Temple Mount, sacred to the Jewish people, in return for doing away with the right of return. Now, the Palestinians looked at the Geneva Initiative and said, “Well, agree with the Geneva Initiative except for that article. We’re not going to agree with that at all.” But he was making an effort, albeit I think an ill-fated effort, to try to bring a peace agreement onto the table that really could have a chance of coming to some type of a signing someday—an agreement from both sides. But that was part of the process. They were concerned about this right of return and the problem it’s going to cause.
- Ankerberg: In the last ten years even while we’ve been taping programs with you guys, the fact is, we started out thinking that it would never happen that there would be a Palestinian state. Give me your prediction now: do you think that we’re going to have a Palestinian state in our lifetime?
- DeYoung: I happen to believe we’re going to have a Palestinian state, albeit, let’s all never forget—there has never, ever been a Palestinian state in the history of the world. There was never a state called Palestine. Prior to 1967, all of those Palestinian Arabs had passports that were Jordanian. I met, when I was in Jerusalem, at Bethel—remember that biblical city? It’s where Abraham built an altar—with the minister of tourism, Benny Elon, and he has a very interesting peace proposal that he has put on the table. He said, let’s have the Palestinian people go into the Palestinian state that is already in existence. It’s on the eastern shore of the Jordan River. It’s called Jordan.
- And in fact, 70 percent plus of the residents of Jordan are Palestinians. The queen, King Abdullah’s wife, is Palestinian, born in Israel. The Palestinian state is in place. Let’s have them go over there. We’ll pay them for their property here. Let’s transfer them over. “But wait a minute, we don’t believe in transfer.” Oh? Well, what about those Jewish settlers? You want to transfer them out of what you’re calling a Palestinian state. I mean, who should be transferred?
- And if there is a Palestinian state and you’ve got ten times as much property over there in Jordan—maybe that figure is not quite correct—but you’ve got a lot more property in Jordan and a lot more potential resources in Jordan, and most of your families are over there—why not go over there and in that state that’s established, move ahead and we can live side by side: a Jordanian Palestinian state and an Israeli Jewish state?
- Ankerberg: I’m going to come to you in a minute, Rennie, but I’ve got Jimmy on a roll here, so let me finish up one more. You have lived there since the Scuds were coming down in the first Gulf War. You have interviewed Arafat and Sharon and all of the leaders and mayor of Jerusalem, and you have covered it—and the peace arrangements and you’ve been over to Jordan and so on and so, I want to ask you the question: Is there such a thing as occupied territory?
- DeYoung: That is an absolute misnomer. No occupied territory. On a previous program I said that the Israeli military strategy is two-pronged. You don’t fight in your own homeland, you go to the homeland of the attacking enemy. Let me illustrate. In 1967, from the north Syria attacks Israel. So where does Israel send its Israeli defense force? Into the Golan Heights, which was at that time controlled by Syria. Push them back; set up a buffer zone. Jordan attacked from the east—they come into the Jordan Valley. Israeli defense force moves in, pushes them back and sets up a buffer zone. Egypt, the same thing—they move into the Sinai and push them back.
- And as you think about that, then, when you understand that this is all coming together and these people are living out here like that, they are in territory that is simply a buffer zone to protect them from attacking enemies who have sworn that they are going to try to destroy the Jewish state.
- I think there’s a principle that we have here in America and that principle is, if you talk about captured territory when you’re in a defensive mode against attacking enemies and you take over this piece of real estate and put a buffer zone in there, put a military might to keep your attacking enemy from coming at us, you’d have to give away probably Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California—well, maybe not too bad for California—but those other states we want to keep. And so there’s a precedent that was set here in America. It’s the same precedent in the Middle East. We’ve got to be consistent with what our philosophy is in this type of an area.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to bring this into a biblical context if we can in a moment, but we’ve got to take a break. When we come back, I want to talk about a poll taken by the Program on International Policies of what Americans believe about the importance of Israel. And you’re going to find that 77 percent found that the potential consequences of the conflict in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, unless this thing is resolved, 77 percent, Rennie, believe that violence between the Israelis and Palestinians might lead to a wider war involving all of the other countries in the Middle East. I found that fascinating. That’s what’s going on right now in our American heads when we look at the situation. The Bible has a whole lot to say about this thing and we’re going to talk about it when we come right back. So stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back, and we’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers. We’re talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and our question this week is, if we have two states side by side—if we have a Palestinian state and an Israeli state side by side, it actually happens—are we going to have peace?
- Interesting: in that Program on International Policy poll, an overwhelming majority, 88 percent, of Americans see the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an important foreign policy goal for the United States. I mean, I don’t think we’ve ever agreed on anything like that—88 percent. And 77 percent said, if we don’t get it resolved, it will probably cause us war with all the other nations in the Middle East. In light of that, Rennie, do you think we’re going to have a Palestinian state soon? And do you think this is going to bring us peace if we do?
- Showers: John, I can’t say from a biblical perspective that there will be a Palestinian state. I think it’s very possible, but I can’t think of anything in the Bible that clearly indicates that.
- However, I would say this: if there is one established, I’m convinced it will not bring peace. The only way it can is if the Palestinian Muslim people change their thinking, again, that Israel has no right to exist there and that their ultimate goal is the total elimination of Israel from that part of the world. And unless they’re also willing, in light of that, to stop their terrorist attacks.
- And to my way of thinking, if there is a separate, sovereign Palestinian state there, side by side with Israel, once that becomes a sovereign state, then Israel is going to have another problem. If the Palestinians are developing weapons to use against Israel, the world will say it’s a sovereign state; Israel has no right to invade a sovereign state to try to put a stop to what they’re doing or take those weapons away from them. Right now, you know, like a couple of years or so ago with that shipload of weapons that were coming down to the Gaza area and everything, Israel was able to get in there and confiscate that before the Palestinians could get their hands on that and use it against Israelis. But Israel could do that because the Palestinians do not have a sovereign state.
- So, in a sense, it’s a Catch 22 situation, that on the one hand, if it becomes sovereign Israel is going to have problems; on the other hand, if it doesn’t become sovereign and we talk about this population explosion and things like that of the Palestinian people, Israel is going to have problems.
- Ankerberg: You’ve got a pressure cooker going here. Jimmy, let’s talk about the Israeli leadership at that point. I mean, you’ve got people like Daniel Pipes showing up on Nightline and on the news networks, and he’s writing and he’s saying that, Look, the mistake the Israeli leaders are making with the Palestinians is they are assuming that the Palestinians actually mean that they will allow Israel to coexist with them peacefully. They shouldn’t.
- Mortimer Zuckerman, the chief editor of U.S. News & World Report, says that, again, Israel has made a mistake and that Oslo and these different accords, Camp David, and the latest one up at Geneva and so on, that these are almost ploys, a Trojan Horse, to get their foot in the door.
- What are the Israeli leaders thinking? Let’s say you have a Palestinian state and you’ve got your neighbor 50 feet off of you. They can lob the rockets in, as Rennie says, how are you going to go if that’s a sovereign state now. You’ve got the United Nations that would back up the fact you can’t invade. So now how do you protect yourself? What’s the thinking?
- DeYoung: The thinking is, according to Israeli intelligence, September of 1993, right after—on the White House lawn in Washington, DC—Arafat signed a peace agreement with Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, cosigner and witness to that agreement President Bill Clinton of the United States, Arafat got on an airplane, flew into Tunis, flew back into the Middle East making speeches in Arabic and said exactly what Zuckerman and Daniel Pipes and what you’ve been talking about: “We’ve only done this for the purpose of getting us into a position so we can take all of the Jewish land away from them and make it our state of Palestine, a Palestinian state.” And the Israeli leadership knows that.
- I think some of the reasons that in particular Ariel Sharon is making statements and making decisions like he is, is to show the world, position the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian leadership, Yasser Arafat, position them that the only way they can go is terrorism and to show the world that “We don’t really mean business about peace. We don’t want peace; we want all of this.” I think that’s part of the whole scenario that is going on.
- Ankerberg: Okay, Rennie, put this into a biblical perspective for us. The fact is, where does the Bible say it’s going and what might be happening because of these events right now?
- Showers: Well, let me deal with another aspect of this, John, because I think it sheds light on what you’re asking. As you know, there is what is now being called the new anti-Semitism that is sweeping across Europe and even here in America. It’s on university campuses here in America and all the rest. And the reason they call it the “new” anti-Semitism is because it is now addressed specifically against Israel and its existence there in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, and one step further. There’s a report that the European Union published, they did a survey—I think they took a whole month and went right straight across Europe and cataloged all of the attacks against Jewish people. The report was so hot that they had to quash it when it was coming out. And then somebody leaked it to somebody else and so it finally did come out. But what it showed was, is there were four countries, I think France, Belgium, Germany, and the U.K., where this was really heightened and the reason was is that there were militant Islamic young people that lived in those countries that were attacking Jewish people.
- The essence of the report finally said that if this continues and the EU does not do anything to address it—which they were speculating that that was probably not going to happen because they even quashed the report—is that as a result of this there is going to be an exodus, a mass exodus of Jews out of Europe. Now the question is, where are they going to go? But just the fact that this kind of anti-Semitism is happening in Europe to that extent is mind-blowing right now.
- DeYoung: And that report also brought in the Palestinian issue: that the Palestinian peoples were very much responsible for this rise in anti-Semitism that you’re talking about.
- Showers: Yes. Now, from a biblical perspective, the Scriptures indicate that by the end of the future seven-year Tribulation Period, every nation upon the face of the earth is going to send its military forces against the state of Israel in the Middle East. And you know, with this rising tide of anti-Semitism, it may be laying some of the foundation for that to happen in the future. And again, I come back to what I stated earlier, according to Revelation 16, almost at the end of the Tribulation Period when the sixth bowl judgments are poured out, which is the next to last judgment of that seven-year period of time, Satan, his Antichrist, his False Prophet use evil angelic/demonic influence to persuade the rulers of all the Gentile nations of the world to bring all their armed forces together to one location. And Zechariah 12-14 makes it very clear that location is the land of Israel.
- And so, you know, if things continue this way and the world increasingly becomes convinced Israel is the problem, we can’t have world peace as long as Israel is in existence. And so to solve the problem without going to a huge war of Gentile nations against each other, we’ve got to band together and get rid of this source of the problem, get rid of Israel from the face of the earth—and Satan is behind that, again, and his Antichrist is going to be supporter of that, the False Prophet is and they’re going to use some powerful influence to bring those armies there.
- DeYoung: John, let me just throw in a couple of sections of prophetic Scripture to think about. Look at Ezekiel 35. It talks about a people rising up against the Jewish people, killing them, endeavoring to take their land. Chapter 36, verse 5 says they do it with “spiteful minds and a joyful heart.”
- Look at Malachi 1 where it says the Edomites will rise up in the last days. He will call their borders the borders of wickedness as they rebuild.
- The book of Jeremiah chapter 49 talks about a people coming. I think the prophetic Scriptures are talking about these Palestinian people. Obadiah says ultimately the Jews will defeat them, but until that time there is going to be a lot of bloodshed.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. If we see these events that are going to really be full-blown in the Tribulation Time Period, the seven-year period of time, Daniel’s Seventieth Week, we as Christians believe that before that takes place the Rapture—Christ could come back, snatch all the Christians off the earth.
- We’ve got about 35 seconds left. Talk about the fact of the hope for Christians and the nearness of these events. These events are kind of laying the groundwork of where we’re actually heading that the Bible says is the wrap-up point. And if the wrap-up point can be kind of seen down the road here, the Rapture is in front of that. Talk about that.
- DeYoung: Jesus spent time with His disciples telling them the signs of the end-times. Then He departed. Two men in white apparel said, “Why stand ye here gazing? As He has gone, He is going to come again one day.” He’s coming to take us to be with Him, to take us out of that, take those of us who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, who have called upon Him to come into their heart and give them eternal life. Then He talks about prophecy. In fact, He talked about that Rapture that you just mentioned, the catching up of us, to the Apostle Paul who said, “Therefore, comfort one another with these truths.” That’s the comfort. We can talk about the stage being set, but the comfort is that He’s coming to take us to be with Him.
- Ankerberg: Alright, next week we’re going to talk about something that is really interesting. Are America, Europe and Russia mentioned in future prophetic events? And I hope that you’ll join us.