The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
Zechariah 12:1-3 NKJV
Once again the headlines this week inform us of yet another attempt at forging a "mideast peace agreement" ending in failure. If you are a student of Bible prophecy this should certainly come as no surprise. As this passage from Zechariah makes clear, any effort to bring peace between Israel and it's enemies is doomed to failure. Why is that? Because what we are seeing is the groundwork laid for the fulfillment of yet another well known prophecy in the Bible, this one from the book of Daniel.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
Daniel 9:27 NKJV
As most know, this verse refers to the coming world leader referred to most often as the "antichrist". When he appears on the scene he will "confirm", (a word meaning "enforce"), a peace agreement between Israel and it's enemies. Why "enforce"? Simply because what we are being told is that it proves impossible for the parties to agree to any sort of peace on their own. As the passage from Zechariah tells us, anyone (other than the coming antichrist) who makes an attempt at forging a peace agreement will fail. The phrase translated to "be cut in pieces" also can be translated "tattooed", which I actually find very interesting. If you think about it, every president in recent memory who has tried to involve himself with the "peace process" comes away "tattooed" with his failure.
If you have never taken the time to read and study the book of Zechariah, I invite you to start today. Often overlooked, the book is one of the "Minor Prophets" of the Old Testament, a name given to twelve books because of their small size, not their importance. In fact, next to Isaiah, there are more prophecies concerning the coming Messiah in it than any other book in the Old Testament. There are also plenty of prophecies concerning the time in history in which we find ourselves today. Oftentimes this book is referred to as the "Apocalypse of the Old Testament" because of the prophecies it contains concerning the future of Israel.
The stage is being set for the appearance of the antichrist. No one has had any success at forging any type of peace between Israel and her enemies, and according to the Bible, no one will. Until of course, the "man of sin" enforces a treaty which ushers in the seven year period of time we know as the Tribulation. How close is it?
US drops Palestinian-Israeli track, formulates new Turkey-Iran deal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 11, 2010, 12:21 PM (GMT+02:00)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the thankless task of writing finis on the Obama administration's intense two-year effort to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to discuss peace. Her speech to the Saban Forum early Saturday, Dec. 11 was much awaited as Washington's first comment on the deadlock caused by Israel's refusal to meet the Palestinian demand for a second freeze on new settlement construction as their precondition for direct talks. The Secretary took care not to blame either side for the breakdown. "Palestinians must appreciate Israel's legitimate security concerns. And Israelis must accept the legitimate territorial aspirations of the Palestinians," she said, the closest she came to complaining about the obstacles which had defeated her government's efforts.
"We will not lose hope," she said. "Mr Obama has identified continued US engagement in peace talks as a key political goal." But she omitted the oft-repeated statement of the president's determination to achieve an accord within a year. Without setting out time tables or modes of action, she stressed it was time to "grapple with the core issues of this conflict" which she listed as borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem. "The land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea was finite," she said "and the people who live there need a clear border to map out their futures."
Clinton did not wait for analysts to define the scale of Washington's setback. She admitted frankly: "Like many of you, I am frustrated that we have not gotten farther, faster."
Obama clearly appreciates that like the presidents before him - Bill Clinton, who failed dramatically, and George W. Bush, who soon dropped out of US Middle East peacemaking - he had bitten off more than he can chew. It was time to pack up and abandon his ambitious bid to crack the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by direct action.
But Hillary Clinton's most intriguing comments was this: "The status quo is untenable. And we will redouble our regional diplomacy. When one way is blocked, we will seek another. "
debkafile's Washington sources disclose that what she had in mind was an alternative path which still remains to be marked out: It would move Middle East peacemaking out of the deadlocked US-Palestinian-Israeli track and introduce a new set of prime movers with the long-term goal of a regional peace settlement.
Washington has taken the first step of trying to resolve the Turkish-Israeli dispute over Ankara's maritime bid to bust the Gaza blockade in order to open the door to restoring the old dialogue and strategic relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem.
In a parallel step, the US has acted to bring Turkey into active mediation on the Iranian nuclear controversy. Washington will approve the talks with Iran the Six Powers (US, Russia, France, China, UK and Germany) embarked on this week ending in a deal for an enriched uranium swap to take place on Turkish soil under international supervision. Tehran has in the past demanded that this swap take place in Turkey. The Americans want to make sure that at no time, Iran holds enough enriched uranium for producing a nuclear bomb.
Once that accord goes through, the Erdogan government will be free to return to its interrupted role of 2007-2008 under the Olmert government as peace broker between Israel and Syria. An accommodation on that track, if achieved, would pave the way for Ankara taking over revived Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
Encouraged by Washington, Israeli diplomat Yosef Ciechanover and Turkey's deputy foreign minister Feridun Sinirlioglu held their first fence-mending talks in Geneva on Dec. 5. The ice was not broken.
Indeed, Friday, Dec. 10, Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said in Ankara: "There has been no change in Turkey's expectations from Israel. Israel has behaved unjustly against Turkey regarding aid ship Mavi Marmara and we are still expecting compensation and an apology."
debkafile: Israel regards the commandos who prevented the Turkish ship from reaching Gaza as having performed their duty to defend the blockade in the face of attacks by armed "peace activists" aboard the vessel.
At the same time, this week, the Israeli security cabinet approved the start of farm produce exports from Gaza to Europe, notwithstanding the rising level of Palestinian missile and mortar attacks from the territory on neighboring Israeli villages. The concession was intended to show Ankara that Jerusalem was willing to partially meet Turkey's demand to lift the Gaza blockade.