Are the Palestinians going to unilaterally declare independence and ask the UN to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders this September? That is what many in the Israeli government now fear. At this point the Palestinians have pretty much given up on negotiations with Israel and they have initiated an all-out effort to get the international community behind their effort to achieve statehood in 2011. The Scriptures warn over and over again about dividing the land of Israel, and many believe that those warnings were put into the Bible for the last days. So could we actually see the UN establish a formal Palestinian state without the approval of Israel by the end of 2011? Unfortunately, a whole lot of signs are pointing in that direction.
A recent article in The New York Times noted the intense pressure that Israel is under right now. Basically the global community is telling them to give away the farm to the Palestinians or else the UN is just going to go ahead and do it anyway....
With revolutionary fervor sweeping the Middle East, Israel is under mounting pressure to make a far-reaching offer to the Palestinians or face a United Nations vote welcoming the State of Palestine as a member whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
So where is the incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate in all of this? If the Israelis don't give them a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital they will just wait for the UN to hand it to them.
Yes, it could really happen.
The following are 10 alarming signs that momentum is building for the UN to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state in 2011....
#1 The World Bank has publicly endorsed the formation of an independent Palestinian state.
#2 The IMF is formally backing the establishment of a Palestinian state in the near future.
#3 A recent United Nations report made the following statement about the Palestinian Authority: "In six areas where the UN is most engaged, governmental functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state."
#4 The Ad-hoc Liaison Committee on Palestine, composed of the EU, the United States, Canada, Norway, Russia, four Arab countries, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF, has endorsed the UN report and says that the Palestinians are ready for an independent state.
#5 U.S. and EU officials are warning that if Israel does not agree to a Palestinian state within the next few months, "the Quartet may be compelled to recognize a Palestinian State in the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital".
#6 It is being reported in the international media that the following 4 points form the core of Obama's strategy for bringing about a Palestinian state: "Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders; Palestinian acceptance that there would be no right to return to Israeli land; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; and the protection of Israel's security needs."
#7 Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the following statement about the situation in Israel: "The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months."
#8 New Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi is now asking the United States to formally recognize a Palestinian state.
#9 The Palestinian Authority has set September 2011 as the deadline to be ready for statehood.
#10 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sounds convinced that Barack Obama is going to make good on his promise to deliver an independent state into the hands of the Palestinians by the end of the year: "We are counting on the words of U.S. President Barack Obama who said his vision is to see a Palestinian state this coming September according to a deadline set by the Quartet."
Sadly, an independent Palestinian state would probably only make war more likely.
The following is how author Joel C. Rosenberg recently explained it....
If the Palestinians make a unilateral declaration of what they want, what will stop Israel from unilaterally declaring what they want? What if the Palestinians try to forcibly evict the Jews living in the West Bank? Those Jews would certainly fight back. Would the Israeli military move to defend the Jewish settlers? Would Palestinian security forces then fire upon the Israeli forces? Would the U.N. move into to condemn and isolate Israel, and even impose draconian economic sanctions on the Jewish state? Events could spiral out of control. Indeed, the likelihood is that far more violence — not peace — would result by such a Palestinian declaration of statehood outside the context of negotiations with Israel.
Unfortunately, even if the Palestinians get a state, there is going to be a massive war in the Middle East.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah is arming to the teeth and they are absolutely obsessed with driving Israel into the sea.
Syria had been getting ready for war for decades, and it is almost certainly just a matter of time before Israel and Syria go head to head.
Iran continues to develop their nuclear program and it is seemingly inevitable that at some point the Israelis will strike them in order to stop that.
Egypt has just taken a hard turn towards radical Islam and a recent poll found that the majority of the Egyptian people are in favor of ending the peace treaty with Israel.
So, no, the Middle East is not getting closer to peace.
In fact, it is getting much closer to war.
We live in very unstable times. Please pray for peace in the Middle East.