Weekly Update: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict – what’s the problem?

editor - 18 November 2021

The mainstream media, the United Nations and the EU would have us believe that the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Israel’s refusal to comply with international law. The reality is far more complex – and shocking.

In 1920, after the collapse of the Ottoman-Turkish Empire, the international community unanimously voted for the re-constitution of the homeland of the Jewish people “in Palestine”. This was a recognition of their unique connection to the land, and the dangers of antisemitism in Europe threatening the lives of Jews. Many in the Arab world opposed this idea.

In 1948, the Jewish State of Israel was established, in the midst of an internal, violent Jewish-Arab conflict, that immediately expanded into a regional Israeli-Arab conflict when six Arab states attacked it intending to annihilate the Zionist entity.

Since then, many actors in the Arab/Islamic world have continued to advocate and activate for destruction of the Jewish State.

The State of Israel has survived several existential wars, and is now a multi-cultural centre of creativity with a thriving economy – the world’s number One Start-Up nation, and a major contributor to global welfare.

Arab citizens of Israel (20% of the population) enjoy a standard of living far exceeding that of their fellow Arabs in other countries in the Middle East.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was created in 1964 as a vehicle for the Arab League to “liberate Palestine” – ie. all of Mandate Palestine. The PLO continues to fight – using terror, diplomacy and any strategy they can think of – to advance that goal of destroying the Jewish State of Israel.

Israel entered into the Oslo Accords with the PLO in the 1990’s, an attempt to start negotiations intended to lead to Palestinian independence. The Palestinian Authority was established, which now has control of the major Arab cities in the West Bank: Jenin, Ramalla, Bethlehem, Jericho and Hebron.

But these agreements turned out not to provide the basis for lasting peace. The PLO leadership has refused to give up its goals of destroying Israel, and walked away (in 2000 and 2008) from offers of a Palestinian State. Instead, around 2010 they turned to the UN to achieve their maximalist goals, in a clear breach of the agreements.

While, back in the 1970’s, the PLO was arguably the sole representative of the Palestinian people, today there are many other organizations vying to represent the Palestinian people, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad – all radical Jihadist movements devoted to the use of violence to destroy Israel. The PLO/PA (led by Mahmoud Abbas) has lost all credibility within the Palestinian territories, as shown by the fact that no elections have been held since 2006.

And yet, the international community continues to pressure Israel to give up land and enter into a peace treaty with the PLO.

In the meantime, the original 750,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars have ballooned to 5 million. Some are located in refugee camps in the West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon, others live normal lives in the USA, Australia or Canada. All are promised the fictitious “right of return” – a “right” no other refugees has or claims, and whose exercise would result in destruction of the Jewish State.

Israel has concluded peace treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), and more recently “normalization” agreements (2020) with UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. Business and trade with many countries in the region is flourishing.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, in the sense that the Palestinian political elite has not received what it demands. Many in Israel and beyond work hard to find a permanent solution for the West Bank. The State of Israel is willing to make concessions. But it will not abandon its obligation to ensure its citizens (Jews, Arabs and others) are safe and secure. It will not commit national suicide.

The ordinary Palestinians themselves are the victims of this tragedy. If their leadership could prove they are both able and willing to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish State, a peace agreement could be possible. But not before then.

The intransigence of the conflict suggests there are deeper, spiritual causes. Johannes Gerloff’s teaching this week about Jacob and Esau provides insight into the real roots of the conflict – as well as the sublime majesty of God’s love and purposes for all – Jews and Gentiles, Israelis and Palestinians. His ways are not our ways. Peace will come one day, when Messiah comes.

The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today

The Palestinians must acknowledge their role in the Holocaust – opinion

Mark Regev argues in JPost that the Palestinian political leadership needs to acknowledge and repudiate the role played by Palestinian leaders during the holocaust. “Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1921, president of the Supreme Muslim Council from 1922 and president of the Arab Higher Committee from 1936, was the pivotal figure in the Palestinian national movement and his views were no secret. He was a hardcore antisemite and an infamous Nazi collaborator.” Regev argues that “without such an unequivocal official repudiation of Amin al-Husseini’s legacy, doubts will endure as to the current Palestinian leadership’s character, doubts that affect present-day Israeli deliberations.”

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Why ‘shrinking the conflict’ is doomed to failure

Alex Nachumson argues in JNS: The only way this conflict ends is with the reversal of vicious, violent Palestinian rejectionism, which has to be dealt with as the foundational pillar that ensures the endurance of the conflict.

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New ideas for achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace are long overdue

Amir Avivi And Elie Kirshenbaum argue in JNS: “It’s tragic how little conversation there has been on the various models of autonomy and self-governance for the Palestinian Arabs that can be employed to achieve peace and prosperity.”

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UNRWA – the worst thing that ever happened to Palestinians – opinion

Itamar Markus (Palestinian Media Watch) writes in JPost: “UNRWA still remains possibly the most human rights abusing institution funded by the international community.”

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Building a PLO real estate empire while simultaneously begging for aid

Maurice Hirsch (Director Legal Strategies, Palestinian Media Watch) writes: “While the PA, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, is begging for aid, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), also headed by Abbas and funded by the PA, is building a multi-million dollar international real estate portfolio.”

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Jacob & Esau & Pharaoh | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #20

We understand that God loves Jacob. But, why does He have to hate Esau? And why raise the Egyptian ruler just to destroy him?


Scripture for the week: 

Romans 9:10-14

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.
11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:
12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!