Following the Trump-Netanyahu press conference on Wednesday, there has been media frenzy about whether or not a two-state solution is still the primary objective in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I commented on it briefly yesterday, but want to share some additional thoughts today.
First, news feeds have been abuzz since the press conference with Trump administration officials (including US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Israeli ambassador nominee, David Friedman) indicating that the US is committed to a two-state solution. That, of course, comes on the heels of Trump’s comment during the press conference that “I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like. I can live with either one.” Meanwhile, Trump has asked Netanyahu to “hold off” on settlement building, and warned that there must be compromise on both sides.
We’ll see how it all plays out when actual negotiations begin to overshadow political rhetoric.
I made reference yesterday to why I don’t believe a two-state solution is Biblical. Thus, in honesty, I don’t think it will happen. But let’s shift focus slightly. If a two-state solution does not come about, what does that mean for Palestinians? That is the question that must be carefully navigated, and for which I am hopeful the US-Israeli coalition will consider wisely and prudently.
On more than one occasion, I have been asked, “What about the Palestinians? They are people, too, and they need a place to live.” I agree.
As Christians, our holy book, the Bible, teaches us to love our neighbors and our enemies, as well as our friends. We must take into consideration how to treat the Palestinians with love and respect. Honestly, I would love to see the Palestinian people set free from the oppression of terroristic leadership. The Palestinian Authority (primarily in the West Bank) and Hamas (primarily in the Gaza Strip) very actively and aggressively promote terrorism and the ultimate goal of pushing Israel into the sea. For example:
- Palestinian and Hamas leadership refuse to recognize a Jewish state. It is not about “two states living peacefully,” it is about one group (Palestinians) wanting the other group (Jews) to disappear.
- They do not want peace. Article 13 of their charter explicitly states, “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
- One of the stated purposes of Hamas, according to their own charter, is the destruction of Israel. (Read Articles 7 and 8 of their charter.)
- Palestinians schools actively teach and train young children to hate Israel and to desire jihad against them. (See “How to Stab a Jew” taught to Palestinian children.)
- Palestinian terrorists who kill Jews are paid through a “martyrs fund,” which is actually higher pay than many other hard-working Palestinians.
It is Palestinian leadership who propagates hatred toward the Jews. True, Palestinian citizens who “should know better” buy into the push of their leaders. However, for many, they have been brainwashed, and it is all they know. Remember, the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the evil forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) It is a spiritual battle, and many are deceived by the evil that surrounds them.
That’s why I believe this is a SPIRITUAL battle, not a political or a social battle. This is a battle that must take place on our knees…and Christians are best-suited to fight that battle.
Now, one other thing. Though Palestinians would like to drive Jews from the land (in essence, creating a “one-state solution”), no Israeli official that I am aware of has ever stated they want to drive the Palestinians out of the land. Fact of the matter is: Arabs…even Muslim Arabs…living in Israel live better and are treated better than those who live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They have representatives in the Knesset, they hold high-ranking positions (such as federal judges), and they serve in many governmental capacities. In addition, Israel trucks in incredible amounts of building materials into the Gaza Strip, for the express purpose of making life better for the Palestinian people. Those shipments are intended for use in building schools, hospitals, government buildings, etc, but instead are often used to build terror tunnels through which to attack Israel.
Yes, the Palestinians must be cared for. As Christians, it is our obligation to pray for them and to assist them in whatever ways possible. But we are also admonished to pray for, bless and support Israel. Thus, you can see why the situation in Israel is so difficult. We must pray, dear friends. We are living in the last days and how we stand, and how our nation stands, is important business. Let’s go fight the battle…on our knees!