Meltdown in the Middle East/Program 1
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2007|
|What affect have recent events in the Middle East had on the efforts toward peace? Can there ever be a peaceful resolution to the Palestine-Israel conflict?|
Today on the John Ankerberg Show, people look at events in the Middle East and say, it’s a real mess! But they don’t know the reasons why it’s a mess. To help you understand why a meltdown is taking place in the Middle East, today we will look at the internal conflicts are taking place in each country, those among the Palestinians, those in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Second, how these internal struggles are drawing people from other nations into joining these conflicts? And third, the underlying religious beliefs motivating government leaders to enter into armed conflict, even nuclear warfare, that could pull the entire world into war? My guest today, is news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1993. He has interviewed many of the political leaders in the Middle East. Including every Israeli prime minister over the last 15 years, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah, and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Learn why a meltdown is occurring in the Middle East and the dangers this causes the world, on this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. My guest is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung who has lived in Israel since 1991, and has interviewed every Prime Minister since that time of Israel, as well as King Abdullah of Jordan, and the former Yasser Arafat. He has got a wealth of information, and we want to talk about the current events that are taking place right now.
- And Jimmy, people look at the Middle East, they look at the different countries, from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, down to the Palestinian problem, Hezbollah trying to take over the government in Lebanon, the problem between the Wahabis and the Saudis in terms of power control there. And they look at the Middle East, and they say it’s a real mess. They just look at it and it’s a mess. But they don’t know why it’s a mess and we want to try to help them understand what the underlying reasons are for what is going on.
- And one of the biggest things that happened in the last few weeks, that a lot of people don’t know, is a Saudi initiative that was accepted by the Palestinians. And all of a sudden, because they accepted it, the hopes for peace between the Palestinians and Israel went completely down the drain. People don’t understand what happened. Tell us where we were about Christmas time, and then take us through the events that have happened just in the last few days.
- DeYoung: Well, at Christmas time Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, was working very closely with Mahmoud Abbas, who is the president of the Palestinian Authority. There was development towards the peace process being put back on tract. Everything was going well; they were watching very closely how Hamas was playing a key role in all that was unfolding in the Palestinian authority. You might remember back in January 2006, Hamas came to power in the Palestinian Authority. They had the majority of the members of the Palestinian parliament, thus that gave them the right to form the government, to appoint the cabinet members, to appoint the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Haniyeh.
- And Hamas then, because of their position in the Palestinian Authority, was somewhat sanctioned by the leaders of the world, The United States, the European Union. The United Nations, even Russia, who has a close relationship with Hamas in the past. Everybody started to apply sanctions to this new Hamas-led Palestinian authority, because Hamas failed to recognize the right for Israel to be a state among the states in the Middle East.
- In addition to that, they had been involved in the armed struggle against what they call the, “Israeli occupation”. They were also very much involved, as they said, in pushing out the Jewish settlers in the area of the Gaza strip. And that was in 2005, the summer when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon put in operation the disengagement program. He removed some 25 different settlements; over 9,000 Jewish settlers were disengaged from their homes. And it was a very divisive act that took place by the Israeli government. Families were separated. I can remember even back during that time the number two man in the Israeli defense force, his son and his grandson were members of those Jewish settlements; he had to give them orders to forcibly go in and take his son and his grandson from that particular location.
- Well, by doing that the signal was given to Hamas, “we have won”. They had not been elected to that majority role as far as the Palestinian Authority was concerned, but they came immediately to the media and said, and claimed in fact, that it was because of our armed struggle against this Israeli occupation you had to move those Jewish settlers out of there. The Israeli government has made this concession to us. They then moved in, they established in homes and in the synagogues that remained – the Israeli government tore down most of the homes but they did not tear down the synagogues – well the Palestinians came in, these terrorists, these Hamas members came in, put up their headquarters in the synagogues and established training centers. This gave a leg up as far as Hamas was concerned for the 2006 election with Fatah. Now Fatah is the Palestinian organization that is all part of the PLO, Palestinian Liberation Organization….
- Ankerberg: Yeah, you believe that there are two parties that are fighting it out for control of Palestinian government. A lot of people say that the Fatah are the good guys; but let’s go back in history. What was Fatah at the beginning?
- DeYoung: That was the group headed up by Yasser Arafat, of course the most militant terrorist in all of Palestinian history. And he, as his number one assistant for 40 years, had Mahmoud Abbas, who then came to power with the death of Yasser Arafat. And many people in Israel and around the world that observe what’s going on there would have to say that Mahmoud Abbas was simple Yasser Arafat in a business suit. Because you might remember all the time, every time you saw Yasser Arafat he had a military uniform on, talking about his militant approach to governing the Palestinian people. Anyway Fatah and Hamas were the two factions in the body politic of the Palestinian people.
- Ankerberg: How bad is Hamas? Because all of the world looks at Hamas as a terrorist group. I mean there are no countries that were supporting Hamas at all. Why?
- DeYoung: Because of the fact that they are totally Islamic fundamentally terroristic in their approach to governing, in their approach to administering the Palestinian areas, and everything else. They came from a religious Islamic fundamentalist background. Sheikh Yassin, who was their founder, assassinated, targeted for assassination by the Israeli government, because of what he was doing and all the problems he was causing both the Palestinian people and the idea of bringing some kind of peaceful existence together. But that’s where they were coming from. Now Fatah, though it was headed up by Yasser Arafat, was more corrupt in its approach to leading the Palestinian people. They were power hungry, politically oriented, and motivated to do what they were doing. And so you have, here comes a mosque and they had been reaching out to the people. They established orphanages, they had established medical centers for the people. They come off of the fact that they were the ones responsible for running the Israelis out of the Gaza strip, and disengaging in those Jewish settlements. And so they won the election in 2006.
- Ankerberg: They also got support from Iran.
- DeYoung: They have the support from Iran because of the fact that all the rest of the world leaders decided to shut off all of the funding going in, because they were a terrorist organization, so recognized by the United States, European Union. Everybody said they were a terrorist organization.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, well their one leader in Damascus whose holed up there, he just made a statement last week calling again for the irradiation, for the absolute annihilation of the Israeli state.
- DeYoung: Well, this is Khaled Mashaal, who is the leader of Hamas in exile. Notice where he is headquartered: in Damascus, Syria, along with 11 other different Palestinian terrorist organization headquarters. Anyway, he went into Tehran and met with Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, the radical Islamic fundamentalist there. He made this statement standing in the president’s presence, right there in his office, said that Israel is going to disappear and the Palestinian must be prepared.
- Now this is the background for this unity government, supposedly, that has come together. If I had to use one word for this unity government, I would use the word subterfuge. They went to Mecca, the Saudi Arabian king, King Abdullah, offered them 1 billion dollars of funding, which they needed very desperately at that point in time. He brought the two parties together, Fatah and Hamas. They did tentatively agree to a unity government. When they went back into the territories, when they went back into the Gaza strip and the area of Ramallah, the civil war that had ensued because of Fatah’s realization that, hey they had lost power, and Hamas was getting stronger and stronger by the moment.
- How were they going to come back to power? They wanted that political power. They wanted that monetary motivation to lead the Palestinian people was very much present in the Fatah organization as it was with Yasser Arafat. Remember Arafat when he died was worth 6 billion dollars, again with a b, six billion dollars, because of all the funding that had come in from all these other countries, and had gone into his bank account and then he would allocate it out to the terrorist that he wanted to do what he wanted to do. And he was accomplishing, by controlling the monies; remember the golden rule, “He who has the gold rules,” and that’s very applicable as it relates to the Palestinian authority.
- But this is the background of this unity government that has come into existence. And really it’s simply a reshuffling of the old Hamas-led government that has been in operation for the last year and a half. It is front dressing for the people, for the leadership of the world to consider. The United States has already sent one of its envoys in to meet with one of the non-Hamas cabinet members in this new unity government. So there is conversation going on between the Hamas-led government and the United States. The European Union, some of the members, Norway, has already accepted this new unity government. It’s a bad situation and its total subterfuge upon which it is built.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we are going to take a break and when we come back we are going to learn about why Mort Zuckerman, at the “US News and World Report”, just made this statement. This agreement that we are talking about that is accepted, “This agreement drove a stake through the heart of the two state dream, because it left no one with whom the Israelis could make a peaceful settlement.” When we come back we are going to talk about why, when Condoleezza Rice came out of the meeting with Olmert and Abbas, her chin was hanging on the floor, okay? And we are going to tell the people why, and why the dream for peace just went down the tubes; and why this could boil over into a world war. We will talk about that when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright we are back, we are talking with Jimmy DeYoung who has lived in Israel since 1991, has interviewed all the key players politically in Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian side of the fence. And, Jimmy, I want to know why it is that people like Mort Zuckerman at “US News and World Report” has said that this dashes the dream for a two state option for peace between the Palestinians and Israel; why this hurt Condoleezza Rice when she came out of the meeting when this initiative had been agreed to; why does this dash the hopes for peace in the Middle East?
- DeYoung: The problem is that this new agreement, this unity government that has come together out of the discussions between Fatah and Hamas, and the two leaders for those different factions, Prime Minister Haniyeh who, by the way, retained his position as the Prime Minister in this new Unity Government; and Mahmoud Abbas, who is the President of the Palestinian authority.
- Now the President, let me just remind everybody, is elected by the body politic. The Palestinian people vote for the president separately, and on a different year than, they do for the Parliament. So he can stand for election himself and not have to worry about the sweeping into office effect that may come about by Hamas being so popular when they run for their positions in the Parliament.
- But the reason that there is a problem, as I mentioned in the previous segment, a reshuffling of the cabinet members has taken place. Hamas comes out with nine cabinet members; Fatah comes out with six cabinet members. There are neutral members on the cabinet, most of them would be Hamas leaning supporters.
- But the documented itself does not contain the three benchmarks that the European Union, the United States, the United Nations called for in order for them to start the flow of funds coming back into the Palestinian authority, and to come to a position of accepting this new Palestinian Unity government.
- Those three benchmarks would be, number one, and most important of all, the recognition that Israel has the right to exist as a state in the Middle East. They have not done that, they said they never will do that; this new document does not even allow for that to happen. Secondly, the second benchmark would have to be that they would renounce violence, and they would say, look, we are going to stop this armed struggle against Israel.
- And the third benchmark, which is as important as the other but not quite as intense as it relates to the Israeli people, because if you are not recognized with the right to stay in that part of the world as a sovereign state, you are going to be open for any enemy to come and attack. And if in fact indeed the government that you are supposed to be negotiating with says we are going to continue our armed struggle and possibly intensify it to get rid of your occupation, you are not really talking with anybody who wants to make peace, anyway there is no use going to the table. But that last one is, what about all of those documents that had already been signed, agreed to, by the Palestinian authority, by even Yasser Arafat himself? I mean he signed the Oslo Accord back in 1993. Hamas is not even willing to accept that document. No agreements in the past would be accepted. They said we will respect these documents. That’s a matter of semantics; they are just using words there. They are not going to accept them, simply respect them.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, the testimony presented to the house subcommittee on the Middle East just a few days ago, alright? Representative Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana said, “Fifty nine years after the birth of the modern State of Israel and thirty years after the beginning of the first Camp David Accords, the very existence of Israel still goes unrecognized by the Palestinian leadership and most of the Islamic world.” He went on to say that “the absurdity of Israel enduring years, approaching decades of negotiations on an entity, namely the Palestinians, that does not recognize its right to exist, is historically striking. The fact that this is still a subject of negotiation is outrageous.” In other words now they have to start from zero to say, listen, will you accept the fact that we are going to exist? And even that’s off the table now.
- DeYoung: What’s so ironic about the whole situation there was never a Palestinian state on that piece of real estate known as Israel today. Prior to what happened when the Brits defeated the Ottoman Empire, the Turks, there in the Jesrael valley; for the 400 years preceding that the Turks controlled that piece of real estate. There wasn’t a Palestinian state. And then General Allenby defeated the Turkish Empire in 1917. They established that part of the world as basically part of the Kingdom of Great Britain. And you know they used to say that the sun never went down on Great Britain’s occupation of land across the world. And they kept that until 1948 when the United Nations approved a partition plan. And they gave the Palestinians an opportunity to take a section of the real estate, and the Jews would have the other section of this particular piece of real estate which is Israel today.
- Well the Palestinians immediately rejected that. They said, “Look, give us a couple of days and we are going to drive these 500 million Jews into the Mediterranean.” All the other Arab worlds came along side them and said, “We will assist in doing that.” Independence war of 1948 did not accomplish that. The Israeli state was established. And from that point on we have been perpetrated in our world by a lie that we have the right to have our Palestinian state back again. When did you ever have a Palestinian state?
- Now, having said that, though, the Israelis are willing to say, “Look, we are willing to live, to co-exist, to have a two state situation here.” I mean Ehud Olmert, he is probably, if you would have to call him centered to right maybe politically you could probably successfully make that statement; but he has himself said, “They have a right to have a state; we would be willing to give them a state. All we want to do is be a partner with them in the Middle East as a sovereign state ourselves, and say, well we have a right to exist in this land. Please make that statement, and we will proceed from here to co-exist in the land.”
- Ankerberg: People, I recommend this book. It is written by the former Ambassador of the United Nations from Israel, Dore Gold, “The Fight for Jerusalem”. And in the back of this book he has put the founding documents of ‘48 and ‘67 and the Oslo Accords so that you can read them. And it is absolutely fascinating to see what has actually been agreed to. And this is what Israel, as well as the United Nations, wants to stay in place. This is now going by the boards. It is disappearing. But tie this, before we end this program, tie this to biblical prophecy. How in the world does the Bible talk about this conflict, and where is history headed according to the prophets in the Old Testament?
- DeYoung: If you go back to the book of Genesis 36, when Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, had twin boys, Jacob and Esau. God approached Rebekah, because she was wondering why there was a struggle going on within her womb between these twins that were coming forth. And God said this to her, “There will be two nations in thy womb that will come forth, two manner of people.” Those two nations, and you can trace it throughout the entire Word of God starting in Genesis 36 all the way over to the book of Revelation, that these two peoples have become the two nations that we know today as Israel and the Palestinians. Now, though they may not be a nation because they do not have a piece of real estate, they consider themselves to be a nation. These two nations are going to have a continual struggle.
- When the children of Israel left the bondage of Egypt, in the book of Exodus chapter 17, they had a battle with the Amalekites. The Amalekites are descendents of Esau’s grandson Amalek. At that point in time God told Moses to write this information down. He said, because I am going to have a continual struggle with these Amalekites throughout all of your generations.
- As you trace the descendents of Esau, Amalek. Agag was the head, the king of the Amalekites when God told Samuel, the prophet, to tell the first King of Israel, King Saul, destroy all of these Amalekites, plus get rid of their King Agag. In fact, a very high ranking general in the Israeli defense force said recently the problem that Israel is facing today is because King Saul was not obedient and did not destroy those Amalekites.
- Well, the Amalekites they have a relationship with Haman in the book of Esther. He was an Agagite, a son or a grandson of Agag, the King of the Amalekites. Herod the Great was an Edomite. He was a descendent of Esau. All of these people, all of these personalities wanted to rid the world of the Jewish people. And that has been exactly what has been taking place.
- There is more judgment pronounced in the Word of God against the Edomites, the descendents of Esau, the Palestinian people today, than any other people in the world. In the book of Obadiah, it’s the smallest book in the Old Testament, it’s talking about how at the end of seven years of tribulation, the rapture is the next event, the seven year tribulation period, terrible time of Judgment upon the Jews, and then the return of Jesus Christ. When He comes back, the Jewish people will be the flame, the Edomites, the descendents of Esau the Palestinians today will be the stubble, the wood, they will be completely burned up. It will be as if they have never been. There is going to be a continual struggle. There is not going to be a resolution to this until the return of Jesus Christ, according to the ancient Jewish prophets.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we have got one struggle going on, Palestinians and Israel, which is key in the Middle East right now. And this going down the tubes. But some people think that’s not the main threat to Israel. In fact the cabinet, some of the cabinet members in Israel, just said, “The main threat to Israel and world peace right now, is Iran.” And some new things have happened; we are going to take that up next week. I hope that you will join us.