The major news outlets in the US would have you think that the only thing that is of concern during this time is COVID-19 and the economic fallout from the pandemic. To be sure, this is a serious global issue that will define the age going forward, but that doesn’t mean that governments and countries aren’t still fighting for their agenda. Israel for example has pushed forward with their annexation of the West Bank in spite of coronavirus. Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, has long wanted to take full control of the West Bank. For years Israel has allowed Israeli’s to capture lands in the West Bank without reprisal from the Israeli armed forces.
The settlers are typically looked at similar to early American homesteaders looking for lands out west. The US offered those lands to newly arrived immigrants and those of the lower class even though they were well aware that the lands were controlled by the native tribes in the area. But it worked to their advantage because when settlers would be attacked out west it would justify using military action against the tribes that raided the greenhorn families that came out west seeking a new life.
Palastinians who lose their homes from Israeli settlers have no legal recourse that they can take up to keep their lands and when they decide to take matters into their own hands, the Israeli military is given cause to retaliate on the Palastinian people. This all comes after much of the international community agree that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under the Geneva Convention which bars settling on land captured by war.
Israel and the “coalition” government put together between Netanyahu and his centrist challenger Benny Gantz are using the US Government as the muscle behind the annexation move. They have agreed to get Washington’s approval before moving forward, but PM Netanyahu won’t have to work very hard for it, the US State Department on Monday made it abundantly clear, “As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognise Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel.” At this point it would seem that the US is basically saying, “let’s get it moving already.” Which really doesn’t bode well for the Palastinians and their chances at a two state solution.
The annexation would claim all lands in the West Bank up to Jordan. There are the obvious fears of what this could cause between two groups of people that already have a very bloody history, however, if Palestinians were given the right to vote under this new Israel, it could prove to actually be a chance at control of their own destiny. This of course hinges on the fact that the state of Israel would do things fairly and not corrupt the voting process (highly unlikely considering Netanyahu has been under investigation for corruption), but in that rare instance that fairness was applied to Palestinian voting rights in Israel, there could be the potential for growth and could lay the foundation for a brighter future for both Israeli’s and Palestinians.
It’s understandable why Palestinians would laugh at the idea of being given voting rights considering they have plenty of reasons not to believe that the expansion of the Israeli state will do anything but put them further under the boot of Israel.
In truth the Palestinian and Israeli situation is a complicated one. On the one hand you have a people in the Palestinians who have seen their lands be taken by force and experience a constant state of oppression. On the Israeli side you have a people who didn’t have a home after experiencing almost complete extinction at the hands of the Nazi’s. It’s a nightmare scenario where one historically oppressed group has become the oppressor to another historically oppressed group.
One hopes that the two groups after killing each other and fighting with one another for so long would come to realize their common history and the similarities between the two, but Israeli’s and Palestinian’s if they recognize the commonality, it isn’t shown on the world stage. And let’s be honest, it’s more imperative that the oppressor comes to this realization than the oppressed if things are ever to get better.
If the Evangelical’s and Conservatives of the US get what they want out of this situation, they will see Israel as one whole state and the bringers of end times. That may sound insane, but there is a biblical reason for Christians standing so firmly behind the state of Israel, many Christians in the US call themselves Christian Zionists. Christian Zionists often view Israel as ‘God’s timepiece’ because of the biblical implication where it mentions that the second coming of Jesus brings forth the apocalypse as a result of the Jewish people rule over the holy land.
In 2003 a story circulated that then President George W. Bush spoke with French President Chirac of the bibles prophecy coming to fruition and reportedly used this biblical theory to justify America’s invasion of Iraq. He was attempting to assemble a “coalition of the willing”. The story of Gog and Magog was what Bush was referring to. According to the theologian who the French President consulted explained that Gog is the leader of Magog and Magog means enemy. This could mean anything, but leave it to an American Christian to think it’s about him and his enemies. Bush supposedly thought Saddam Hussein was Gog and the end times were playing out now in the Middle East. Former French President Jacques Chirac confirmed the meeting in a 2009 statement.
The ideology of Christian Zionists has seen a renewed strength in the Trump Administration and the continued rule of PM Netanyahu of Israel. With all of this playing out in foreign policy and back door dealings, it is difficult to have faith that the Palestinian people will see any justice in the years to come…it’s more likely they will see all their lands taken from them with the muscle of the US State Department firmly behind their oppressors.