Recent events unfolding in the Middle East have been welcomed all over the
world, though with some uneasiness. The revolution in Egypt was especially
inspiring, as young people demanded a true democratic form of government with
all the freedoms that entails. Having lived for 30 years under dictatorial rule,
they deserve it as do all the other peoples of the region.
However, it is
not a given that Egypt is headed toward a true democracy. The younger
generation lacks organization and proven leadership. Meanwhile, waiting
in the wings are the members of the Muslim Brotherhood, with their dream of
imposing a new Caliphate over the entire region. They are shrewd and will not
immediately seize power. Rather, they will seek to put forward a “moderate”
front while working by stealth and intrigue to usurp power and steer the nation
toward Shari’a law. All the while, they will pursue a wider confrontation with
This has emboldened similar groups in surrounding Arab countries.
The younger generation in countries like Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and the
Gulf states want democratic freedoms. But the local chapters of the
Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist groups want to exploit the political
turmoil to impose strict Islamic law and renew hostilities with Israel. Given
the deeper roots and determination of the Islamist movements, the Middle East
has truly entered treacherous waters! It is madness to expect Israel to
vigorously pursue a peace process aimed at a two-state solution anytime soon.
Yet I hear even Israelis and her committed friends abroad expressing support for
a fresh push towards birthing a Palestinian state.
Besides the threat of
hostile regimes arising in neighboring countries, Palestinian Authority chairman
Mahmoud Abbas is a weak, ineffectual leader, as well as an unwilling partner for
peace. His tentative hold on the West Bank could easily fall to Hamas,
especially if it is bolstered by fellow radical Islamists who rise to positions
of power in nearby capitals.
With Hezbollah gaining ascendance in
Lebanon, Iran sending warships to Syria, the Jordanian monarchy under siege, and
Egypt’s future clouded by uncertainty, the noose is tightening around Israel.
Yet she is expected to concede more territory strategically vital to her defense
to a feeble Abbas, who is losing ground to his radical Islamist
Under these conditions, it is irresponsible for the so-called
“friends of Israel” to express support for a twostate solution to the conflict.
This politically correct game has to end! Maybe a few years ago it had a glimmer
of hope, but today it is not feasible by any stretch of the imagination, and
those who desire Israel’s best interests had better reassess their
In the Middle East, so far, the notion of democratic elections
consists of one man, one vote, one time – as we witnessed in Gaza in 2006. Hamas
is biding its time, as all the events around it are serving its interests. A new
government in Egypt will likely lift the blockade on Gaza – for humanitarian
reasons, of course – and arms from Iran will flow anew to Hamas.
Middle East is changing rapidly, and until the “fog has cleared,” the oft quoted
cliché of two democratic states living side-by-side in peace and security should
It is also high time that the fear of God should take hold of
us. Israel’s modern-day restoration has happened against the tide of history
because it enjoys God’s favor. He watches over Israel day and night. Indeed, He
warns the world not to divide the land He bequeathed to Israel. To disregard
this great purpose and warning of God is foolishness.
Israel is the
vehicle of world redemption and has given birth to a moral code that has
enlightened much of the world. She has given to the world the greatest and most
beloved Man that ever lived. We who claim to love her and stand by her should be
careful, lest we, too, find ourselves in conflict with the God of Heaven!
Hedding is Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem;
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