The Illusion of Peace in Jerusalem
Mar 18, 2010
Coming to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in my opinion, is impossible. It used to be the Palestinians alone who were seen as the obstacle to peace, though in reality both sides were determined to destroy the other.
But since the 1993 peace accord between Rabin and Arafat, agreeing to a two-state solution in 7 years, it is the Israeli side that has proven to be insincere. Actually, Rabin was assassinated in 1995 largely because of this agreement, and the succeeding prime ministers have tried to stall and dismantle Rabin's agreement.
This has left the Palestinians "holding the bag," so to speak, because now they face opposition from Hamas for even trying to deal with the Israelis, while at the same time the Israelis make peace totally impossible by continuing to grab more land from Palestinians.
This land grab is nearly always framed in sterile terms like: "The Israeli government is building settlements in East Jerusalem which the Palestinians hope to make as their capital."
This language is framed in political generalities and in terms of national sovereignty over the land. Never do we hear of the more personal side to the question. No one is told how that same land is usually confiscated (stolen legally by Israeli laws) from individual Palestinian people whose ancestors have lived there for a very long time.
The Great Wall of Israel was designed not only to increase the size of the Israeli state, but also to grab land from individual Palestinians--sometimes by separating a Palestinian's home from his own pasture or olive trees.
In the past month, the Israeli government may have made its greatest mistake by insulting Vice President Biden in his recent visit to Jerusalem. While he was there, they announced the building of even more settlements in East Jerusalem, showing clearly their intent to scuttle any peace process before it could even get off the ground.
Prime Minister Netanyahu later apologized--only because he had to--but he did not try to stop the new housing project. This is like a thief apologizing for stealing land while refusing to return what was stolen. He only apologized for the deliberate diplomatic snub--the timing of the announcement.
At the root of this issue is the question, "Whose land is it?"
Both Israelis and Christian Zionist groups claim that the God gave the land to the Jews, and this is sufficient evidence for them to do everything in their power to displace Palestinians or to kill them for refusing to accept displacement. The argument is largely framed in terms of Joshua's conquest of Canaan under the Old Covenant. Somehow, Christians have been led to accept the dual-covenant theology that God saves Jews by the Old Covenant, but "gentiles" by the New Covenant.
The extension to this view is that God expects and condones Old Covenant actions when done by Jews, even if Christians have to abide by a more loving approach via the New Covenant. This double standard of morality has become acceptable in many Christian circles today, regardless of the book of Hebrews. They seem to forget that the book of Hebrews is NOT the "Book of Gentiles." It was written to Hebrew people to show them how to immigrate from the Old Covenant to a "better" covenant called the New Covenant.
But this has more to do with methodology--the means by which land is claimed--rather than with the original question of "Whose land is it?"
My book, The Struggle for the Birthright, deals with this question more thoroughly. There are, however, two primary approaches to this question. The longer explanation involves the history of Esau-Edom. The shorter approach is to understand that the Old Jerusalem, which remains under the dominion of Old Covenant religion, is "Hagar," and its "children" are Ishmaelites. See Galatians 4:25-31,
(25) Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present (old) Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (26) But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. . . (28) And you, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
When the religious leaders in Jerusalem rejected the Mediator of the New Covenant, they chose to remain under the jurisdiction of Mount Sinai in Arabia. Arabia is the inheritance of Ishmael. Hence, they legally placed Jerusalem under the dominion of Ishmael, and this is why God saw to it that the Jews were displaced and ultimately replaced by other Ishmaelites.
Did God give the land to the Jews? It does not matter, ultimately, because the Jews gave it to Ishmael when they rejected Jesus Christ and His New Covenant. The physical Ishmaelites have a greater claim to the land than do the spiritual Ishmaelites (adherents of Judaism). This is proven by God's verdict and subsequent history.
The present dispute over land is an internal dispute between Ishmaelite brothers, with the younger brother (Judaism) trying to displace his older brother after God had ruled in favor of the older brother many centuries ago.
The only biblical solution is through the New Covenant, but the New Covenant gives people citizenship in the New Jerusalem, not the old one. New Jerusalem is "Sarah," and its citizens are the children of Isaac. So says the Apostle Paul--and with good reason. Only Isaac is the true inheritor of the promises of God. Ishmael does not like this, and so Ishmael persecutes Isaac (Gal. 4:29).
Paul was referring to his own past, where he had persecuted Christians while a zealous follower of the Old Covenant (Gal. 1:13). And even after his conversion, the Jewish leadership continued to persecute the Christians. (Read the book of Acts.)
The modern Zionist Jews cannot lawfully claim Jerusalem or any part of the land of Palestine. Not on biblical grounds. The real inheritors are the Christians, including Christian Jews--but even then, their claim is not based upon the Old Covenant, nor is their inheritance in Hagar-Jerusalem. Their inheritance is in the New Jerusalem (Sarah). If they choose to renounce their citizenship in the New Jerusalem, or if they try to retain dual citizenship between the two Jerusalems, they may find themselves inheriting NEITHER when the time comes for God to judge the matter.
In the first century, the spiritual Ishmaelites persecuted the true inheritors of "Isaac" and expelled them from Jerusalem. Acts 8:1 says, "and on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered. . ."
This was, of course, part of the divine plan, because God intended to give the Isaac company a greater inheritance while giving the Old Jerusalem to Ishmael. God used the spiritual Ishmaelites of the temple to persecute Isaac and expel the true inheritors of God's promises. After that was accomplished, then God used the Romans to expel the spiritual Ishmaelites in 70 A.D. and again in 135 A.D. Eventually, God brought in the primary inheritors of Ishmael and gave them the entire land.
God's verdict was first disputed by the Roman Church by its crusades, which ultimately failed, because the Church's inheritance was supposed to be the New Jerusalem, not the Old one. Today the dispute is between two groups of Ishmaelites, biblically speaking.
To know which side will win ultimately, one must learn the story of Esau-Edom and overlay this theme upon that of Ishmael. I have written extensively about this in the past. The Zionists represent Edom in this case, and are currently fulfilling those prophecies.
Dr. Stephen Jones