The Middle East, the War on Terrorism and the Hope for Peace in the Middle East – Program 4
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2002|
|Will there be peace in the Middle East? How will your answer differ if you are coming from a biblical or a political viewpoint?|
Peace in the Middle East – Biblical and Political Perspectives
Today, Dr. John Ankerberg examines The War on Terrorism and the Hope for Peace in the Middle East. John’s guest is news correspondent Jimmy DeYoung, who lives in Israel. Today, he reports on what has been taking place in the last two months. Will a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs last? Will Yasser Arafat and other Arab leaders be willing to publicly denounce those involved in terrorist activities? Will Israel be willing to stop settlement activity in occupied territories, and be willing to give up land for peace? Who will govern the city of Jerusalem in the future, and what will happen in the Middle East if the peace plan fails? We invite you to join us for this special report.
- Ankerberg: Welcome. My guest today is Middle East news correspondent Jimmy DeYoung. Jimmy lives in Jerusalem where he holds full credentials as a journalist in the second-most populated journalistic city in the world; that’s Jerusalem.
- Today, he’s going to give us a personal report on the peace plans that are underway. What are the chances for a lasting peace in the Middle East? And we’re going to look at it from two perspectives. First, from a political perspective, and then, second, from a biblical perspective. What does the Bible teach about the ultimate peace plan that will be imposed on Israel in the future, and are we anywhere close to that?
- Jimmy, I’m glad you’re here today.
- DeYoung: Thank you.
- Ankerberg: And you have a unique perspective, having lived in Jerusalem since 1991. You got there just in time for Saddam Hussein’s SCUDs to fall all around you, and you experienced that. But you also have attended, as a journalist, covering these news events. You have covered some of the peace treaties that have been signed. Take us back in history to the peace treaties that have been attempted; that have actually been accomplished; and then tell us why it is that they are not working.
- DeYoung: Well, the first peace treaty that Israel ever signed with one of its Arab neighbors, or one of its enemies, basically, was the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Because of the efforts of President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Saddat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David there just outside Washington, DC, in Maryland, they came up with what they referred to as the Camp David Peace Agreement, Peace Accord. That was in 1979 that peace treaty was signed the first time. The Egyptians and the Israelis were supposedly at peace.
- The next peace treaty signed was September 13, 1993. I was in Jerusalem at the time. I was not able to go back to Washington, DC, to the White House where that peace treaty was signed, but I was in the government press office and they had a large screen television there for all of us foreign journalists who were in Jerusalem. We were all sitting there watching very carefully as Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, and Bill Clinton stepped out of the White House and went to the lawn. After they signed that agreement, it was amazing to watch as Bill Clinton put his hand in the small of the back of Yitzhak Rabin and literally pushed him to shake hands with Yasser Arafat. Now, when that happened, there was astonishment in the whole room. “Ah!” Almost everybody could not believe what they had seen, these two sworn enemies shaking hands. That was the Oslo Accords signed.
- On October 25, our son Jim was visiting in Jerusalem with us, and so Judy and I and Jim got in our car. We drove down to the Red Sea resort there in the Dead Sea of Eilat. We had a peace conference, pre-press conference meeting, and about a thousand journalists—all the famous journalists of the world: Peter Jennings of ABC, Tom Brokaw of NBC, Connie Chung was with CBS at that time, Jimmy DeYoung—all the famous journalists were there! (Laughter) Excuse me, I’m sorry. But they were all there to cover this. I’d never seen that many journalists for one event.
- Next morning they put us in air-conditioned buses. We went out to the desert in the Arabah. It’s the extension of the Jordan Valley. And there was a Bedouin tent set up because it was going to be a peace treaty signing between the state of Jordan and the Jewish state. All the entourage, political activists of all of the Israeli body politick were there with Yitzhak Rabin. King Hussein, at that time the king of Jordan, had all of his entourage. Bill Clinton, Warren Christopher, Secretary of State, all of his entourage. All came center stage. And I was about as close as from here to your cameraman over there from the stage where they signed this agreement right here: “Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 26 October, 1994.” I witnessed the signing of this particular peace treaty.
- Then, since that time they’ve not had another peace treaty signing. They’ve had some meetings: the Wye River Memorandum that took place on the Wye River Plantation in Maryland there where they discussed some of the ramifications of previous peace treaties, etc.
- There is a “peace plan” proposed, on the table right now. A New York Times journalist was visiting in Saudi Arabia there in Mecca in the office of the Crown Prince, Abdullah, and this journalist, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, said, “Why don’t you put together a coalition of Arab states who would recognize Israel”…da-da-da-da.
- And the Crown Prince said, “You’ve been reading my mind. In my desk drawer I have exactly that proposal which I’m going to propose at the Arab Summit in Lebanon in the near future, and see if we can get a vote confirming this is what we ought to do.”
- Well, that took off like a rocket! Everybody jumped on the bandwagon for this Saudi peace proposal. The only caveat to that is, it was introduced by Crown Prince Abdullah’s brother 20 years ago. It was floated among the Arab world. They all turned it down. But now, even President Bush, Tony Blair of Great Britain, everybody, Shimon Peres, the foreign minister of Israel: “Hey, this is a great idea. At least it’s a beginning point to talk about peace in the Middle East.”
- So, basically that’s how the peace process has worked its way through the years there in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Why hasn’t it worked?
- DeYoung: Because these peace agreements have never been normalized. Let me go back to, for example, the Camp David Accords. The President of Egypt now is Hosni Mubarak. 1979 is when they signed that agreement. That’s 23 years ago, and Hosni Mubarak has never, never made a trip to Israel—with one exception. He was there for the funeral for the late Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. But he said, “This is not an official visit.” So they have not normalized the peace agreement. There has not been exchange of intelligentsia; there’s not been exchange of technology, etc., and in fact, almost every time a Jewish group goes down to Egypt, somehow there’s a terrorist attack against them.
- You go to the Oslo Accords. Now, if you’ve been reading the newspaper the last couple of months, in the last couple of years, you know the conflict is going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis. That peace agreement is not working. All the peace agreements on the table—not working.
- This peace treaty right here, this peace treaty between Israel and Jordan—not working. This agreement—and by the way, I can probably preach from this for about three hours there are so many exciting things in here—but one thing in here says that Israel will supply Jordan with water from the Sea of Galilee. Well, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest it has been in probably 50 years. They don’t have the water to supply Jordan with; thus, they are “breaking” the peace agreement, thus the Jordanians are saying, “Well, this peace agreement is not working.” So you have all of these peace agreements on the table, but they’re not working, they have not been normalized, and really, they are not abiding by the agreements they came together with.
- Ankerberg: Okay. So the President now says, “We’ve got to have peace.” I mean, everybody says we’ve got to have peace because you can’t have war. You can’t have suicide bombings and you’re messing up the war on terrorism all over the world and this could mess up oil for Europe. This could mess up oil for America if things really get bad. In fact, we could have a war in the Middle East if things really get out of hand. So, we’ve got to have peace. So that’s the foregone conclusion. In order to have it, he’s assigned the “Quartet,” as he calls it, okay, it’s the United Nations, it’s the European Union, Russia, and the United States, are supposed to meet sometime this summer. And the question is, what are those four going to cook up? What are they supposed to do that’s going to bring peace?
- Well, I want you to comment on one of the Quartet and we’ll get to the other member of the Quartet next week. But what I want to talk about is, what in the world is the European Union doing in talks about the Middle East? Talk to me about that, and how does that relate to what the Bible says is going to happen in the future?
- DeYoung: The European Union has continually wanted to have input and impact in the peace process in the Middle East. You might remember the Madrid Conference, I think it was 1992, when the United States and Russia were basically the co-sponsors of this Madrid Conference, and all the Arab leadership came; Israeli leadership came; and thus, they started the peace process, at least moving. Out of that came the Oslo Accords in 1993. But the European Union was excluded from that particular meeting, and they have never had the influence they would like to have in the Middle East.
- Now, there is an underlying factor that must be understood as it relates to the European Union and that is, politically they are very, very conscious of the Islamic influence they have within their own countries. Not that the leadership is Islamic. I didn’t say that. But the body politick is made up of a large population of Islamic people from all over the world, and particularly the Middle East, who have come to live in their countries. And the potential for terrorism because of that is very prevalent in these European nations as well.
- So, when you look at the European Union, they basically come down on the side of the Palestinians of the Arab world. You look at the United States, and most everybody says and observes that, correctly so, they come down on the side of the Jewish people because they are the only democracy and because of the long-term relationship that we’ve had with the Jewish people, etc. But the European Union is going to be a key player in the end times, John. The Bible talks about a revived Roman Empire. Daniel 7 talks about the Roman Empire, who had ten horns. Those ten horns explain—I’m not a great, great prophecy teacher or expert; I simply am a reader of the Word of God because the Bible explains what that prophecy is talking about—the ten horns will become a “unit” of ten states, ten nations, ten units of some type that will come together and form this revived Roman Empire from which the Antichrist will come, who will then confirm the peace agreements we’ve been talking about.
- And I was just in Europe. I’ve just returned from visiting Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. By the way, let me show you one of the greatest evidences I think we’re moving close to the time of the revived Roman Empire. You see that right there? See what that is?
- Ankerberg: Goodness!
- DeYoung: A 20 Euro; a common currency. As of the first of this year, the European Union now has a common currency. There’s never been a common currency in that geographical location of the world since the Roman Empire when the denarius was the common currency. One of the indicators that we have an infrastructure, at least, for the revived Roman Empire is the fact that they have a common currency; they have a common financial economic system; they have a parliamentary system that’s operating—the European Parliament. I met a Parliamentarian from Belgium, I think it was, on the Mount of Olives not too long ago in Jerusalem. They are putting together a military operation. We’re seeing the infrastructure of the revived Roman Empire come together in what we know today as the European Union and thus we’re going to continue to see its influence grow because prophecy says they will be a major player in the end times.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We’re going to talk more about that when we come right back, so stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re talking with journalist Jimmy DeYoung. And Jimmy, talk more about the Quartet. You’ve got the United Nations, you’ve got America, you’ve got Russia, and the European Union. And the Bible talks about Israel being in need of assistance to bring peace to their area. They’re not strong enough to do it themselves, apparently, because the neighbors around them are so powerful. We already see that America is the one that Israel seems to be depending on. In fact, we do supply the arms and a lot of the supplies that Israel has. If it wasn’t for America, even our newscasters right now are saying, Israel couldn’t survive.
- But just the fact that they are in that position right now, and you’ve got the Quartet meeting to try to come to some plan for peace, opens up the door for in the future, that an outside power is going to enforce or provide the peace, the security for the peace.
- Now, you’ve got a lot to say about that—even with the Jordanian peace plan that you witnessed, talk about what the Bible has to say in terms of enforcing this peace or guaranteeing this peace that Daniel talks about for Israel. And then, talk about what is the need that Europe has for getting involved with Israel.
- DeYoung: You know, let me go back and talk about the fact that Israel needs the Quartet. The United Nations, a one-world government, which will be a plan of Satan in the end times. The European Union—we’ve already referred to it as the “revived Roman Empire,” or at least the infrastructure for it. Russia, who will be key in that coalition of nations who comes against Israel. The United States—I don’t see them in prophecy. But three of the four members of the Quartet are key players in the end times who are saying, “We have to implement this peace plan! Israel, you’re not capable of protecting yourself.”
- Well, I’m not so sure about that. Now, I know the United States does have a key role in that area—protection of Israel. I do know that the United States does supply some of the armament, some of the aircraft, for example. But I want to tell you this: when the Israeli Air Force receives those F-16s from America, they refurbish those things. They put electronics in it that’s top secret, and even the United States doesn’t have the electronics that those Israeli Defense Force pilots have in those F-16s that they use to protect themselves. The unspoken reality of nuclear power within Israel—I think that is a great restrainer as far as Arab countries are concerned in going after Israel.
- But I think the mind-set of the Jewish people is being prepared for that world leader, the Antichrist, as you referred to just a moment ago, to come on the scene.
- For example, during the Gulf Crisis—let me give you a perfect example of this. During the Gulf Crisis, the Secretary of State, James Baker, then the Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger came in. I was covering their trips into Israel, when they were telling the Jewish nation, “Don’t get involved in this Gulf Crisis.”
- Somebody asked me, “How long would the Gulf Crisis have lasted had Israel been involved?”
- I said, “About 15 minutes. An F-16 flies to Baghdad. The commando goes in and rips the head off Saddam Hussein and it’s over!” They did not. In fact, they did not retaliate. Their two-pronged strategy is: fight where their enemy is, not in their own homeland. And number two: go for the jugular.
- But they stood there. Saddam Hussein said, “I will gas half of Israel.” Now, think about that phrase. Almost every family was touched by the Holocaust when their family members were gassed. And yet they would put on a gas mask—I put it on 39 times when those SCUDs were coming in—they would put on a gas mask: the psyche of that; and yet they did not retaliate because America said, “We will protect you!” which is what the Antichrist is going to do. Their mind-set was being prepared for that. And I think that’s why the Quartet has got to come on the scene to implement the peace for the Jewish people. “Poor little Israel! Can’t take care of itself.” Well, God’s going to take care of them, but all of this is in the prophetic scenario laid out in God’s Word.
- Let me just talk just a moment about those peace agreements that I rehearsed for you earlier on the program. I talked about the Camp David Accords—not working. I talked about the Oslo Accord, the Palestinian/Israeli agreement—not working. I talked about this peace treaty between Jordan and Israel—not working.
- You know, the Bible says that in the last days the Antichrist, that world ruler, will come on the scene. It says in Daniel 9:27, “And he shall confirm a peace”—a covenant, really—“with many” —the Jewish people—“for one week” or seven years. Well, I always used to say, when the Antichrist signs a peace agreement with Israel, we know we’re in that time. That’s not what the Word of God says. In fact, right after the Camp David Accords somebody called me and said, “Hey, Jimmy, is this the peace agreement of Daniel 9:27?” No, it’s not.
- Then, after the Oslo Accords I went home to my apartment from the government press office, got a phone call: “Jimmy, is this the peace agreement?” “No. It’s not.”
- After we returned from the area of Aqaba and Eilat down at the Red Sea, after this peace treaty was signed, I was going into my apartment and the phone was ringing. I picked it up. “Is this the peace treaty?” I said, “It is not, and don’t call me anymore!”
- Then I got to thinking about it. I went back to that verse, “And he shall confirm….” That word “confirm” is gabar in Hebrew. It doesn’t mean “sign.” It means “strengthen, make stronger, confirm.” These peace agreements on are the table. They are not being normalized. They are not working and they are waiting for a super power to come on the scene that says, “I can confirm that.”
- I would suggest, John, this is the peace agreement, or at least one portion of the peace agreement, of Daniel 9:27—on the table, not working—waiting for the Antichrist to confirm. Thus, all that we see is playing into this end-time scenario laid out in God’s Word.
- Ankerberg: Talk about the food, the flowers, that Israel supplies Europe and also talk about Europe’s need of oil.
- DeYoung: Many of the food stuffs consumed on a daily basis in Europe come from Israel. Talk about the flowers! Holland. They are the number one exporter of flowers to the world. I think something like 65-70 percent of the flowers bought any place in the world, exported out of Holland to the rest of the world. Do you know that Holland imports 65 percent of all their flowers from Israel! And so, Israel is key in the European economy. It’s key in the Russian economy. They need the food stuffs up there. Relationships have been developed between the Israelis and the Russians. All of these things happening.
- Oil. You talk about oil! The world is supplied by oil from these Arab countries and energy policies by world leaders have not been thought through to the extent: How do we take care of our own needs and not rely upon Saudi Arabia, who has 33 percent of the oil deposits of the world? Kuwait, with some 23 percent of the oil deposits of the world. Iran. All these other countries who are key players in the end times, key players today politically, and they can use that as leverage on these national leaders and on these different nations to do what they want them to do as it relates to Israel. That’s part of this whole picture as well.
- Ankerberg: Summarize what we’ve talked about today in terms of Europe being a key player in the Quartet, what the Bible says, where history is going, and then leave us with a word about the Lord Jesus.
- DeYoung: You know what the Bible says in Daniel 2. Daniel was 18 years old. He had been taken into Babylonian captivity. Nebuchadnezzar, who was the empire ruler at that time—the world was ruled by Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon—had a dream and he wanted to have somebody interpret the dream. But he said, “You’ve got to give me the dream first.” Well, Daniel gave him the dream and interpreted the dream. He talked about, in Daniel 2, ten toes of iron and clay, and that being the Revived Roman Empire, similarly to the ten horns of Daniel 7. It says in Daniel 2, I believe it’s verse 44, when these kings come to power, Jesus Christ, the stone who becomes a mountain, Jesus Christ will set up His Kingdom. In the days of those kings, look for the coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ. That’s where we are. Are you prepared? We need to be prepared and you do that by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, admitting you need a Savior because you’re a sinner, and calling upon Him to save you. He’s our blessed hope, His glorious appearing. It could be soon. You’d better be prepared for it.
- Ankerberg: Yes. The greatest message ever told is, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” He gave Him for you. If you haven’t put your faith in Christ, do it right now.
- Now, we’re looking at world events. We’re looking at what’s happening in the Middle East, what’s happening in Israel. Next week we’re going to look at another one of the Quartet. We’re going to look at what the Bible has to say about Russia and also, what is the place that Russia is playing in the Quartet, and we’re going to talk with Jimmy about that. I hope you’ll join me next week.