On Thursday, August 13, 2020, history was made and pretty much down played or ignored. President Trump of the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and Mohamed bin Zayed crown prince of Abu Dhabi and current head of the United Arab Emirates announced that Israel and the UAE would be normalizing relationships.
Why does this matter? At least two primary reasons: one short term and one a possibility down the road.
This agreement breaks the Palestinian’s stranglehold on Arab nations’ relations with Israel. Beginning in 1947 with the United Nations’ Palestine Partition Plan followed in 1948 with the Arab League’s attack on Israel the day after it declared itself a country, the Arabs have vowed not to recognize the State of Israel. In 2003 the Arab countries signed the Arab Peace Initiative, an agreement stating that none of the member nations would have anything to do with Israel until after the Palestinians got everything they wanted in a two-state solution to the Palestine/Israel land questions.
Every President from Truman forward has made at least some effort to facilitate a two-state solution without success. No matter what was proposed, the Palestinians said, “No; all or nothing,” even more so as the Palestinians became ruled by terrorist organizations such as Fatah and Hamas.
Maybe the Israeli/UAE agreement, at least in part, is the recognition that, as the saying goes, “The Palestinians never pass up a good opportunity to pass up a good opportunity.” The Palestinians believed that continued denial of Arab relations with Israel would keep it an isolated country. But in the past decade a softening has been unofficially occurring in the mid-east. Now an out-in-the-open breach in the wall of Arab/Palestinian solidarity has been opened and other Arab countries are sure to follow. Maybe this serves as notice to the Palestinians that it’s time to come up with a realistic two-state solution.
Interestingly, two days after this announcement, I read on Google an interview with a 22 year old mid-eastern college student who said, “It was a game; the Palestinians lost.” Hmmm.
Today Israel is very prosperous as God had promised it would be; (Ez 36:8-12; Jer 32:44) They have found and are exporting gas, have discovered significant quantities of oil, maybe gold (rumored). They have advanced technologies desired by many countries including water de-salinization and alternative energy development. Israel has the world’s 2nd highest number of start-up companies and the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita. They hold a very high number of patents especially in the areas of medical devices, communication and software. All desirable by other countries including Arab nations.
Perhaps, in addition to the realization that Arab countries have never won any of the eight wars against Israel and are not likely to, another reason for normalization of relations is the common enemy, Iran with its nuclear ambitions and terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah. Sunni Arab countries, of which the UAE is one, are feeling increasingly threatened by Shiite Arab countries which Iran is. For years Israel has been warning the world about the dangers posed by Iran.
In the longer perspective, this agreement presents a few other scenarios. As soon as I read the announcement, an intriguing possibility popped into my head. In Daniel 9:23-27 we are told of a future dictator who will confirm an Israeli treaty with “many” that he will then eventually break. I, along with most Bible prophecy scholars, assumed this treaty guaranteeing Israel’s safety and security would be negotiated with Western countries or organizations such as NATO, the EU or the UN. But what if, in fact, the deal is made with “many” Arab countries, who will guarantee Israel’s protection from terrorists following what is referred to as the Psalm 83 war? This is a war in which Israel defends itself against simultaneous attacks by annihilating that surrounding ring of countries. (we’ll look at this soon.)
It’s interesting to me that in the two weeks since this deal was announced, highly respected Watchmen on the Wall are all pretty sure this is significant Biblically, but not at all sure just exactly why it’s significant. Some people point to the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39 where no nations intervene in an attack against Israel by an apparent invasion from the Russia, Turkey, Iran alliance. Nations merely stand by and whisper, “why have you come? To take plunder?” I’m not sure how that fits, but I’ve read it more than once, so maybe time will clarify it.
What is clear now is that the status quo is broken. The times they are a changin’. God is moving. Jesus is coming back soon.
Next time, we will look at Jesus’ end times’ warning signs regarding the planet.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.