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A Variety of News

Dec 13, 2006

Last week, the incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates mentioned Israel as being a nuclear nation. The other day, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert did the same, though it was later loudly denied by those who were appalled that he would make such a slip of the tongue. Their policy of nuclear ambiguity is apparently over, and this does represent quite a significant turn in the diplomatic world. It was reported in the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/12/uisrael112.xml

Also, former President Jimmy Carter has written a "controversial" book called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

I first heard about it, believe it or not, when Jay Leno interviewed Jimmy Carter the other night. So I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the book and spent most of yesterday reading it. I'm not surprised that he has a good grasp of the Palestinian situation. I am more surprised that he has the courage to actually speak the truth about it. Not many people of his public stature can do that and get away with it. Fortunately for him, he is not running for office any more.

Carter makes it very clear that the Camp David Peace Accord that he hosted between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat back in the late 1970's included a promise from Begin that he would stop the West Bank settlements. That was one of the conditions for peace, as he writes on page 50,

"Everyone knew that if Israel began building new settlements, the promise to grant the Palestinians 'full autonomy' with an equal or final voice in determining the ultimate status of the occupied territories, would be violated. Perhaps the most serious omission of the Camp David talks was the failure to clarify in writing Begin's verbal promise concerning the settlement freeze during subsequent peace talks."

These basic terms were violated with a vengeance, because the settlement program began in earnest in 1979. Carter writes on page 48,

"It is to be remembered that the Camp David Accords, signed by Sadat and Begin and officially ratified by both governments, reconfirmed a specific commitment to honor U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force and call for Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories."

Most of you know that the Israeli state is the one nation in the United Nations that consistently violates U.N. resolutions or spurns them outright. Yet we fight wars against other nations for not abiding by U.N. resolutions. The Israelis have rejected at least 30 U.N. resolutions, showing the hypocrisy of America's foreign policy.

On page 91 and 92, Carter writes,

"A final decision by Israeli leaders to retain the occupied land and a nullification of the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty of 1979 would be a fatal blow to sustained peace in the region."

One of the top Israeli negotiators of this Peace Treaty was Abba Eban, who at one time had been one of Begin's Irgun Gang of terrorists back in 1940's. (Jimmy Carter mentions this fact.) But Carter tells us that Eban was transformed at Camp David and began to push for peace. He was eventually expelled from Begin's Likud Party, which he helped establish earlier. Page 110 says,

"He had been expelled from the Likud Party because of his unrestrained condemnation of the party's violations of the peace accords that he had helped to negotiate and was contemplating the formation of a new party to be led by him, Moshe Dayan, and others who had participated with us at Camp David."

Carter gives us an interesting quote from Eban about this on page 109:

"Unfortunately it is clear that Israeli governmental policy is so distant from Camp David that when Likud spokesmen invoke the agreement, they are rather like Casanova invoking the Seventh Commandment."

Years later, during the first Bush administration. . .

"Secretary of State James Baker understood the need to ease tension in the Middle East and in May 1990 stated to the annual convention of the powerful pro-Israeli lobbying organization AIPAC the basic requirement for peace: 'Now is the time to lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel. . . . Forswear annexation. Stop settlement activity. Reach out to the Palestinians as neighbors who deserve political rights."

So if any of you have doubted my contention that the Israeli vision is for a "Greater Israel," here it is from Jimmy Carter's book, quoting former Secretary of State James Baker. This is the same James Baker who was one of the leaders of the Iraq Study Group, which released its report on Dec. 6. He obviously knows that the roots of the Middle East problem are not in Iraq but in the Israeli-Palestinian area. Iraq is part of a long string of consequences. The problem did not start with Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

When Bush adopts Jimmy Carter's view, it will be a major step toward the repentance necessary to turn America back to God. Clinton had to repent on behalf of the "sexual freedom" non-Christian sector, and Bush has to repent on behalf of the Christians in their support of Israeli injustice toward the Palestinians (and all who get in their way).

In recent years we have been seeing President Bush absorb one blow after another, the first major one being the prison abuses at Abu Graib. Then came the revelation of other torture policies, reminiscent of the "good old days" of Middle-Ages Church practice. It seems to me that Jimmy Carter's book could prove to be another serious blow that finally brings the President to his knees in repentance.

The irony of it is that both Jimmy Carter and George Bush claim in public to be evangelical Christians. So they represent two opposing views among Christians. I do hope that Christians will read this book and come to realize that their sin against the Palestinian people cannot be justified by their support of "God's chosen people." They cannot think of God as being partial toward any man, as Peter learned in Acts 10:34.

Some of us were called many years ago to intercede for America. My calling came in late 1981. The most difficult phase of my time of intercession lasted 12 years until late 1993. Then God partially lifted that burden from me and placed it upon a friend, who has carried it for the past 13 years. We have come to understand the meaning of Isaiah 15:1, "The burden of Moab."

We have come to understand the meaning of Isaiah 17:1, "The burden of Damascus." And Isaiah 19:1, "The burden of Egypt." Likewise, Isaiah 22:1, "The burden of the valley of vision."

This term "burden" refers to a time of intercession for various nations that Isaiah experienced. Intercession is not easy. It is a burden that can crush a person. Most people have no idea how such a burden affects one's personal life or the hardships that such a called one must endure. It is hard enough to carry a burden for an individual or for a small group like a Church. But the burden of a whole nation is not something that most can understand.

It is true that we should cast our cares (burdens) upon Christ. Nonetheless, we also share in His sufferings and drink from His cup. So it is His good will that we often experience a portion of His burden, according as we are called.

On Dec. 18 we will be having another prayer campaign called "Bear One Another's Burden." Gideon's Army is asked to stand with my friend who is currently carrying the burden for America in this work of bringing the nation and president to repentance. God has promised Mercy, and indeed, Mercy is on the way. But God has asked us to share this burden as we finish this intercessory work. I will give specific instructions next Monday.


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Dr. Stephen Jones


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