Does Israel Care About Peace?

While the White House hosts a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Jews enjoy the beach.  When it comes to peace, Israel is apathetic according to Karl Vick in his article, “The Good Life and Its Dangers” which appears in the 9/13 edition of TIME Magazine.  Vick’s article and its accompanying illustrations of families in the park, conversations in coffee shops, and lazy days at the beach, paint the picture of an Israel that is economically booming, secure, and happy.  “In a 2007 survey, 95% of Israeli Jews described themselves as happy, and a third said they were “very happy.”  I interpret Vick’s point to be that Israel is too happy to care about peace.  The cover of Time reads in reference to the article, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”  For Vick, a prosperous and happy but otherwise apathetic Israel is detrimental to peace.  “Deep down (you can almost hear the outside world ask), don’t Israelis know that finding peace with the Palestinians is the only way to guarantee their happiness and prosperity?”  The article insinuates that without a sense of urgency Israel has no reason to negotiate for her security. 
If you read that first paragraph correctly, you should now chuckle at the irony!  If you do not find this somewhat humorous allow me a moment to dissect the joke.
It has become as routine, over the last 35 years, for U.S. Presidents to call for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians as it is for high school students to annually attend the Junior/Senior prom.  This is what they always do.  This is how it always goes.  Israel concedes land, makes political concessions for prisoners or trade routes, and/or makes civil concessions such as housing or water rights, and a few months later their concessions become launch pads for rockets and they get bombed.  Israel concedes, but it is never enough for the controlling militant factions who use the Palestinians as incendiary devices to kill Jews.  For the Islamic controlled nations that surround Israel, most of which also fund terror, land is not enough.  They want Israel dead.  For Iran, who sees the Palestinian state as a launch pad behind enemy lines, conceding land will never satisfy their thirst to see Israel obliterated.  For Iran, who funds Hezbullah and Hamas, there is only one end that will bring peace, a nuclear sized hole in the map where Jews once lived. 
It may not be so much that Israel is too happy to care as much as it is they have no good reason to believe the Palestinians will do as they say.  The result is that Israel has moved on with life.  Vick quotes Teddy Minashi, “We’re not really that into the peace process, we are really, really into the water sports.”  “People here now concentrate on improving their lives, in the sense that they don’t think too far ahead.”  “Me, myself, I don’t believe in this era we’ll achieve peace with our neighbors.  So now we concentrate on what we can do, how we can improve our lives.”
For Jews these talks may also be off the radar simply because of the insignia on the invitations.  Vick points out that Israel has not had a suicide bombing in 2 ½ years and that their economy is booming.  The reason for this is because Israel knows what to do with her borders and she knows what to do with her money.  There has not been a White House administration in quite some time, especially the current regime, that has demonstrated it knows what to do with either.  As America’s borders crumble, her states become warzones, and the economy dies a slow death, why would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu look across the table at President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton and possibly want to do it their way?  Neither Obama nor the Clintons have demonstrated that they have Israel’s best interest in mind.  Why should Israel trust either of them?  Yet, don’t forget that according to Karl Vick 95% of Israelis are happy with Israel.  If you follow the approval ratings of most things America, there is a growing sense of disapproval amongst the electorate.  Why would Israel want to join in the misery?  Furthermore, why would Netanyahu want to look at any of his Islamic neighbors who rule over states where the crowns hold the cash, the people are in poverty, there is growing sense of unrest, and epidemic human rights violations, and want to do it their way?  I am not sure Israel is as apathetic as they are laughingly entertained by the thoughts that somehow surrendering sovereignty to the less than successful will assure them of a better future. 
My purpose for writing these responses to TIME Magazine is not necessarily to wax political.  My purpose is to shed Biblical light on current issues.  The impact of the peace process with Israel, from a Biblical perspective, is not difficult to discern.  This process is a key component to prophecy.  Where will this round fit in, I’m not sure, but it is somehow a precursor to a raw deal, a false sense of peace, and the loss of Israel’s national security and sovereignty.  It is a lens that clarifies for the discerning reader that politically this peace process is fundamentally flawed and prophetically what the Bible says is to come is entirely possible.  Somewhere along the line Israel will no longer be apathetic.  She will be betrayed.  From a cursory scan of Biblical texts like Daniel, Jesus’ teaching on the Mount of Olives, or the Revelation, one will find that this peace process will be the mechanism that ushers in the end.  Vick’s article should only help to reinforce the believer’s faith that the Bible is not the fictitious story of a fantasy land, it is the unfolding story of this one, our reality – our current issue of TIME Magazine.  We live between the covers of Scripture, the beginning and the end.  This is our story.  We should read it, believe it, and seek to end it faithfully.  May we pray for Israel and Jerusalem.      
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Ken McKibben said…
I don't think I would have ever made the connection between Israel's lack of appreciation for our politicians' suggestions regarding border security and economic policy and our government's recent, complete lack of success in those areas.

Good work. Very insightful.
Brian Branam said…
Let me share with you two other issues Israel does not wrestle with:

1) Airport security - because they are not politically correct, nor do they care to be.

2) Wars that last too long - because they fight to win decisively.

We could take some lessons from them on these issues as well.

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