Peace Takes Two

by Hal Lindsey
A massive international scandal sits in the middle of one of the most watched conflict-zones in the world.  But in the United States and Europe, no one seems to notice.  Led by the French, the world is about to make a major push for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
But here’s the scandal.  The Palestinian Authority is not a government.  It’s little more than a badly organized street gang.  It has neither the authority nor the ability to make or keep a peace deal with Israel.  It is a complete sham — as I’m about to show you.
We can expect a fight over Palestinian sovereignty at the United Nations this fall.  This summer, the French hosted a meeting of several nations to prepare a plan for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  The United States was there, but Israel was not invited.  Though Brexit took the Europeans’ peace initiative off the front burner, they still plan to push it.
The United States will also be trying hard to broker a peace agreement.  The Administration desperately wants a foreign policy win before the end of President Obama’s term early next year.
At the end of July, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  At that meeting, Abbas said he fully supports the French initiative.  According to U.S. State Department spokesman, John Kirby, “The Secretary and President Abbas discussed regional challenges and constructive ideas for the way forward to support our shared goal of a two-state solution.”
Kirby added, “Secretary Kerry stressed the United States’ commitment to this issue, and they agreed on the importance of continuing to work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal.”
What you will not hear from the State Department or the mainstream press is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is an illegitimate leader.  He was elected to a four-year term as President in January 2005.  That was eleven and a half years ago.  They haven’t had a presidential election since.
The Palestinian National Authority (in other words the “Ruling Elite”) voted to extend Abbas’s term — for one year to 2010.  Later, the Palestinian Central Council (more elites) voted Abbas into office “indefinitely.”
If you regularly watch “The Hal Lindsey Report,” you have probably heard me say that real Islam is not compatible with real democracy.  Abbas and his “indefinite” term is just one more example.
Another example is the terrorist organization which is also a political party — Hamas.  In the Palestinian parliamentary election of 2006, Hamas won handily.  But it didn’t really matter.  Until that election, the Palestinian Legislative Council served as the Palestinian legislature.  But after that election, it ceased to exist!  Abbas didn’t want to deal with a Hamas-led legislature, so they stopped functioning.  Shouldn’t that register as a major scandal?
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization runs Palestinian affairs internally, and represents the Palestinian people to the rest of the world.  But they do so unlawfully.  Their members are not elected by the Palestinian people.  They choose themselves.  Again, this is more like a street gang than a legitimate government.
The Palestinian Authority is utterly corrupt from top to bottom.  Money earmarked for schools, hospitals, and public relief go straight into the pockets of the ruling elite.  There are dozens of examples.
Earlier this year, Najat Abu Bakr, a member of Abbas’s party, accused him of using public funds to invest in a private water project.  His cronies issued a warrant for Bakr’s arrest.  But she was a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.  Even though that legislative body has not been functioning since 2006, she was still immune from arrest.  That’s because in a culture of corruption, leaders put themselves above the law.  In this case, it worked against them.
The rest of the world puts up with these shenanigans because they fear that real elections would result in Hamas coming to power throughout the Palestinian territories.  The United States and the United Nations believe Abbas is the best they’re going to get from these people.  For that reason, they have chosen to hold their collective noses, ignore his corruption, ignore the fact that he holds his office illegally, and try to make a deal with him.
But even if they broker a deal with Abbas, he won’t stay in power long.  The people’s loyalty still belongs to Hamas.  When national elections are held again, expect to see Hamas come to power.  And Hamas promises that when it does, it will nullify every peace deal on the books.
Israel is being pushed hard by the U.N., the U.S., the E.U., and others to make peace with the Palestinians.  But what entity actually represents the Palestinians?  Who is Israel supposed to make peace with?  The Palestinian Authority has no elections.  It has an unelected, illegitimate leader.  It has no real legislative body.  It is utterly corrupt and dysfunctional, and seems doomed to fall to Hamas.  Meanwhile, Hamas is a terrorist group unabashedly calling for the utter destruction of Israel.  
Israel longs for peace with its neighbors, but it can’t make a unilateral peace agreement.  Peace takes two sides.  
In the midst of all this confusion among the Palestinian and Muslim people, God has predicted his unbreakable plan for Israel’s soon salvation, 
“For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the (gentile) world, what will be their acceptance but life from the dead?  And if their first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if their root be holy, the branches are too … for I do not want you, brethren, to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel UNTIL the full number of Gentiles have been saved;  just as it is written: 
‘The DELIVERER will come from Zion, HE will remove ungodliness from Jacob.  And this is MY Covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’
“From the standpoint of the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of GOD’S choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of GOD are irrevocable.”  (Romans 11:15-16; 11:25-29)
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