Tribulation Times Special Report
October 11, 2000
ISRAEL IN CRISIS- TODAY, YESTERDAY, AND TOMORROW
The Middle East: Who Is In Control?
A STRATFOR ANALYSIS
The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is rooted in a dangerous reality: The center has collapsed on both sides. The centrists, Barak and Arafat, in their efforts to make peace, have been discredited and marginalized. Hard-line factions, including Likud and Hamas, have gained influence. Unless an outside player, such as Egypt, can intervene no government in the region can keep the conflict in check.
The only regional player that may be able to help resolve the crisis is Egypt. Israeli, Syrian and Palestinian leaders are in marginalized and difficult positions. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been around for years and has been an integral part of the peace process from the beginning.
Washington is frantically trying to figure out what happened to its peace process and is pressuring Cairo to take a leadership role in the current crisis. If the Egyptians are unable or unwilling to cooperate, the situation may be hopeless.
During the reign of King Hezekiah, the King of Assyria, sent a messenger to taunt Israel with the following words:
(Isa 36:6) Look now, you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man's hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.
Rather than depending on the Egyptians, Hezekiah covered himself with sackcloth and ashes and put Judah in the Lord's hands. As a result, the Lord sent his destroying angel who put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. (Isa 37:36). The Assyrian king returned home utterly defeated, only to himself be murdered by his sons while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch.
Years later, however, Judah found itself once again beseiged, this time by the Babylonians. The Lord sent the prophet Jeremiah with these words:
(Jer 37:6-8) Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of me, 'Pharaoh's army, which has marched out to support you, will go back to its own land, to Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.'
Rather than turn to the Lord, King Zedekiah trusted in the ability of the Egyptians to deter the Babylonian forces. Subsequently, the Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar did in fact return and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, burning Solomon's Temple to the ground.
A news report quotes U.S Secretary of Defense Cohen: "There is a danger that if this goes unchecked we could see a much wider conflict with many more nations involved, and that would be devastating for all concerned".
The prophet Zechariah predicts such a future conflict involving Jerusalem:
(Zec 12:1-2) This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.
How will Israel respond if this present crisis in fact escalates? Will it turn to the Lord? Or will the secular movement championed by Prime Minister Barak instead turn to Egypt or the U.S.?
Will the God of Israel once again miraculously intervene in the history of the chosen people?
The prophet Zechariah tells us that in fact He will:
(Zec 12:10) "And I will pour out on the house
of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.
They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for
him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one
grieves for a firstborn son.
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