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America Flexes her Political Muscles

By Rev. Dr. John Tweedie.
The big push for a Palestinian State, with its capital in East Jerusalem, has begun in earnest. US President, Barack Obama, anxious to succeed where all of his predecessors have failed, has turned the attention of America’s biggest diplomatic guns, Hilary Clinton and George Mitchell, toward the Middle East,

It was Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, who announced the resumption of face to face discussions between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators by saying the talks were being held informally, a euphemism for guarding against unrealized expectations.  The Middle East peace train has been derailed far too many times over the years to expect too much too soon.  At the epicentre of America’s on-site diplomacy at the talks will be none other than George Mitchell, the US Middle East Envoy.
It was Mitchell who pulled off what many thought impossible - a quasi peace between the warring factions in Northern Ireland - known historically as the Good Friday Peace Accord.

Mitchell was already hard at work before Clinton made her announcement testing, presumably, the temperature of
Israeli and Palestinian political will while no doubt doing a little back door arm-twisting at the same time.  As natural
enemies, the Israelis and Palestinians are unwilling suitors. Both needed to be coaxed, or coerced, back to the bargaining table, hence Mitchell’s recent shuttle diplomacy between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Enter Barack Obama and his train of change approach to the world’s problems. Obama’s latest peace initiative calls for the Middle East to become a nuclear-free zone. What a noble idea! The problem is that rumour has it that Israel, as a means of deterrent self-preservation, is the only nuclear power in the region, although not for long, given Iran’s sprint to acquire weapons of mass destruction. One can imagine that Obama’s latest proposal was not well received in Israel. Indeed, Israeli columnist, Caroline Glick, writing in The Jerusalem Post on May 7th, under the unsettling headline, “Time to plan for War” observed:

“So much for US President Barack Obama’s famed powers of persuasion. At the UN’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference which opened this week, the Obama administration managed to lose control of the agenda before the conference even started.

Obama administration officials said they intended to use the conference as a platform to mount international pressure on Iran to stop its illicit nuclear proliferation activities. But even before the conference began, with a little prodding from Egypt, the administration agreed that instead of focusing on Iran, the conference should adopt Iran’s chosen agenda: attacking Israel for its alleged nuclear arsenal.”

This came in the wake of Iran’s President Mahmoud Admadinejad’s latest rant from the ignoble podium at the
U.N. Never one to shy away from an opportunity to bash America, Ahmadinejad, used his latest messianic moment
on America’s home turf – albeit the contaminated and compromised soil of the U.N. – to insult America up close
and personal.

John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN under the Bush presidency, speaking in response to Ahmadinejad’s poisonous rhetoric, called the UN an organization “empty of all content” that “lost its legitimacy a long time ago.”  Bolton went on to suggest the establishment of an alternative body comprised only of those countries that are democratic.  Amen! How our world has changed – and is changing – when leaders with Hitler-like aspirations and openly stated goals of “wiping Israel off the map” are allowed to address nations who say they stand united against genocide and war.  What value has the UN when there are those in its membership who willingly turn a blind eye to the lessons of history, even as they adopt the agendas of new dictators planning genocide?

The tree is known by its fruit. The UN‘s consistent failure to bear good fruit means that it has outlived its usefulness. Far from being a force for preventing war and easing human suffering, it has become, instead, a venue for vested interests where enemies become fast friends when they can support motions censoring Israel.  In this regard, the UN’s record speaks for itself.

Whatever the outcome of this latest round of peace talks, we can be sure they will not take into consideration the
opinions of the God of history, the Almighty God, who calls Himself the God of Israel.  His views will not be represented at the table when Israel’s future is being discussed or negotiated away.  Nevertheless, He will still have the last word, especially if the outcome of this latest round of so-called peace talks leads to the further carving up of Israel, or Jerusalem for that matter.  His position on these matters is crystal clear:

“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (judgment); And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land” (Joel 3:1, 2 NKJV).