Hello again: this is Paul Billington with another week's Bible in the News. While I was in Britain last week, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was visiting Israel and became the first British Prime Minister ever to address the Knesset, Israel's parliament. He claimed that Britain today "shares an unbreakable partnership" with Israel, "based on shared values of liberty, democracy and justice."
The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, also had some fine words about Israel's relationship with Britain. In The Daily Telegraph (July 18) he wrote:
"Mr. Brown's visit underscores the deep and warm connections between Israel and Britain. The PM will be welcomed in Jerusalem established by King David 3,000 years ago. Gordon Brown is no stranger to this connection: his father was a Church of Scotland minister who led pilgrims to the Holy Land for 20 years."
Whilst acknowledging "darker episodes" in the relationship, the ambassador pointed out that:
"Britain was the first great power to recognise that the Jews had national rights, helping to facilitate the creation of a Jewish state."
As many of our readers and listeners will know, this recognition of the need for a Jewish National Home by Britain was a remarkable fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Today however, Britain follows the policy that has been instigated by the United States and which calls for a "two-state solution." Both U.S. and British leaders--as well as Europeans--are pushing this idea with all their political muscle. But there are Biblical reasons for the conclusion that this policy will not work.
Firstly, there is no suggestion in Bible prophecy of two states--one Israeli, and one Palestinian. It is Israel who dwells upon the mountains of Israel prior to the great invasion of Ezekiel 38 (see verses 8, 12 etc.). Palestinians are not mentioned. Ezekiel sees no Palestinian state on the Mountains of Israel (the West Bank), and Zechariah does not see a divided city of Jerusalem until AFTER all nations come against it. The political leaders may mean well in seeking a peaceful separation line between Israelis and Palestinians, but we suspect that the problems are far too deep for so simple a solution.
The separation fence (wall) that has been built in order to keep Palestinian terrorists out of Israel is severely criticized and has achieved little success. Britain has tried the same solution in Belfast (Norther Ireland) to separate Catholics from Protestants. Success is limited, and it does seem hypocritical as well as unjust to criticize Israel for doing the same thing as Britain has!
The wall is not the solution for Israel, and at some point this will be realized, for as Ezekiel sees it, Israel will be "dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (verse 11).
Whatever may be the shortcomings in current British policy towards Israel, and however shortsighted Mr Gordon Brown may be about the Israeli-Palestinian issue, he did make clear that Britain supported Israel against Iran. As The Jerusalem Post reported it:
"Brown expressed fierce solidarity with Israel in its struggle to survive, outraged rejection for "those who question Israel's right to exist," abhorrence at the Iranian president's calls "for Israel to be wiped off the map" and a robust "determination to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons program." Indeed, he upped the ante on Iran, declaring that the British now stood 'ready to lead in taking further sanctions and ask the whole international community to join us.'"
Prophecy tells us that Britain will oppose not only Iran, but Russia as well, when the time comes. Are we not seeing this position begin to appear?
"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" (Ezekiel 38:13)
So once again we continue to watch the bible in the News, and see prophecy fulfilling in our time. Visit us again next week God willing at www.bibleinthenews.com.