Some of my friends find
Israel's policy very confusing. What does the current Israeli
government really want? Further complicating the matter is the lack of
unity among those who form the ruling government coalition. (Cabinet
members regularly speak out for their preferred policies even when it is
not the policy of the Prime Minister.)
In light of this hard-to-understand, yet vital subject matter, I want to
share some of my thoughts about the Israeli approach regarding the West
Bank and the idea of a separate Palestinian State.
What Israelis Really Think about Palestinian
Israelis generally believe that the Palestinians have no intention of
negotiating a real agreement that would safeguard the security and the
Jewishness of Israel as a state while making room for a Palestinian
state. This is their conclusion after the Palestinian rejection of the
last two big Israeli offers - the first in the year 2000 by Ehud Barak
to Yassir Arafat; the other in 2008 by Ehud Olmert to Mahmoud Abbas. Most
Israelis currently believe any language of peace coming from Palestinians
is a ruse to deceive a naïve world and destroy Israel.
So while the Israeli government gives lip service to a two state
solution, they no longer think that it could really work. Most Israeli
Jews believe the Palestinians are not a genuine or credible partner. Two
issues clarify this.
Firstly, the major Jewish settlement blocks in the "West Bank" are cities
with 20,000 to 50,000 citizens each. Altogether 750,000 Israelis live on
the "other" side of the "green line". The Abbas position to accept none
of these existing settlement blocks spelled the end of negotiations with
him, even though all previous plans kept the major blocks as part of
Israel with land swaps for the Palestinians.
Secondly, the idea of the return of Arab refugee in large numbers is
another condition that is impossible for Israel to approve. Netanyahu can
say he is in favor of a two state solution, and maybe theoretically he is
if Israel's red lines are not crossed. But this hardly seems
possible now. The recent UN resolution declaring all communities on the
other side of the green line to be illegal, may have made it impossible
So the Israeli approach is to call for negotiations, but basically
just to wait. For what then might Israel be waiting? One thought is
that the day could come when the world would realize that Jordan is
really a Palestinian state, and that Palestinian areas should be part of
Jordan and the Jewish areas part of Israel. West Bank Palestinians would
have Jordanian citizenship and Gaza would either be independent or go
back to Egypt. In fact Jordan was originally part of the Palestine
Mandate for Jewish settlement. Today, the great majority of the
Jordanian population is Palestinian. So the logical Palestinian state is
Jordan. But King Hussein is not Palestinian and rules through a minority
tribe. He does not want any more Palestinian citizens and hence wants a
second Palestinian State.
The Palestinian Tactic and Israel's Response
Abbas is seeking to establish a state without solving the security issues
for Israel, nor compromising on the large settlement blocks. This makes
Israel's waiting game difficult. Hence the push by some to see
Israel annex the large settlements and additional West Bank areas. Such
unilateral moves by Israel would match the recent unilateral moves of
Abbas and the UN. On the other hand, some are urging the government
coalition to be quiet and stop calling for annexations. They want to act
in close cooperation with President Trump, including pushing back the
disastrous UN resolution that declared even the Jewish Quarter of the
Old City in Jerusalem, to be illegal.
It's quite a mess, and we have no choice but to wait and see what
will happen. In the meantime we should be praying fervently for
Here are some prayer points:
1. Pray that Christians will not be deceived by Palestinian propaganda.
2. Pray that the government of Israel will receive supernatural wisdom
to navigate the great difficulties of the present situation.
Pray that the Messianic Jewish community and the Arab Christian Community
in Israel will join together as a witness to truth.