CONFIRMING THE COVENANT
The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) is a collective agreement, initiated by the European Union (EU), involving many nations. It has been funded and implemented for a seven-year period (2007-2013). Indications and assurances of the pursuit of peace, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and in the Middle East as a whole, are included in the agreement.
THE PEACE TREATY
The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist negotiates a peace treaty with Israel, guaranteeing its security. Three and a half years after these negotiations, he stands in the Jewish Temple and declares himself a god. The Antichrist then lays siege to Jerusalem, and seeks to exterminate the Jews. Zechariah 13:8 tells us that two-thirds of the Jewish population dies due to his exploits. The verse affirms: “And it shall come to pass, in all the land, says the Lord, that two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die; but one-third shall be left in it.” The remaining third, God refines. They call upon His name and He hears them. There are 13.3 million Jews worldwide. This would amount to the deaths of over eight million Jewish people in a three-and-a- half-year time period!
Nearly all Bible prophecy centers on Israel, including the prophecies dealing with the Tribulation. Today the Middle East is a primary focus in international affairs. The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University concluded: “This very quick trip through history shows that, for several millennia, the Middle East was at the very center of the world stage. In the few hundred years between the sixteenth and the twentieth century’s, it drifted to the wings. Now it has once again been recalled, by a mysterious providence, to the center .”Bible scholars view the reestablishment of the Israeli nation as the most important sign of the end times, because so much of Bible prophecy centers on Israel.
Many commentators regard Ezekiel 37:1-22, which prophecies about God’s bringing the Jews back to their land from the valley of dry bones, as a reference to the restoration that took place in 1948. Ezekiel 37 predicted Israel’s rebirth as a nation, and in 1948 this prophecy saw fulfillment. The skeletons in the valley are a picture of the way many Jews appeared after the Holocaust. The bones cry, “our hope is lost.” At the moment of their great despair, God brings about this miracle, which is exactly what occurred. The passage discusses God’s bringing the Israelites from all of the nations where they lived, to their own land. During the Cold War, Communist nations did not allow Jews who desired to go to Israel to leave their countries. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, another prophecy saw fulfillment. Ezekiel 36:24 states: “For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.”
With the fall of communism, Jews who lived under the oppression of totalitarian regimes returned home. Restrictions on Jewish emigration lifted in the Soviet Union, and twenty thousand immigrants per month poured into Israel. The US, which had always provided open doors to immigrating Jews, decided to limit the number of Soviet Jews entering the country. Israel and some American Zionist organizations pressured the US not to admit them unless strong family links to current residents existed. Some 90 percent of refugees preferred the US to Israel as a destination, but this restriction forced them to go to Israel. Many remained there because of an Israeli requirement for a refund of fares and related costs should such refugees attempt to move to another country. Politics did not force Jews to return to Israel, but God’s divine hand brought them into their land.
Although Israel became a nation, it does not possess all the land God promised to Abraham. Under King Solomon, Israel came to possess most of it. The land promised was Palestine, stretching from the Sinai Desert north and east to the Euphrates River. This includes present day Israel, Lebanon, and the West Bank of Jordan, plus substantial portions of Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
ISRAEL’S HISTORY OF CONFLICT
In 1948, Israel became a nation.
- Five Arab countries-Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon-declared war and attacked the new nation.
- In 1949, Israel signed a series of truces with the Arab countries.
- In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser barred Israeli ships from using the Suez Canal. He launched guerrilla attacks against Israel. Israel attacked Egypt and occupied the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza strip.
- In 1957, Israel withdrew from these territories under strong pressure from the UN, US, and Soviet Union.
- In 1964, in Cairo, at an Arab League meeting, activists formed the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
- In 1967, after a marked rise in activities against Israel by the Arab countries, Israel launched a preemptive strike. The Israelis destroyed the Egyptian Air Force on the ground. Israeli troops swept to the banks of the Suez Canal, and fought the Syrians in the Golan Heights. Jordan entered the war. When the armies declared a cease-fire, the Israeli army occupied the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza strip, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. Israel absorbed East Jerusalem in 1967.
Theologian and author John Walvoord commented concerning Israel’s victories in this war: As a result of the war, Israel increased her territory from eight thousand to thirty-four thousand square miles and doubled her population. Most important from the prophetic point of view, Jerusalem was back in the hands of Israel. The prospect of another war averted for the time being. Israel had suffered less than a thousand battle fatalities in contrast to thirty thousand Arab dead. Israel had tremendously increased her stature as a nation among nations and left the military might of her enemies in shambles. The world had begun to notice the prophets’ predictions that the Jews will “never again…be uprooted from the land I have given them (Amos 9:15).
∙In 1970, PLO guerrillas from Jordan made raids on Jerusalem. President Nasser died, and Anwar el- Sadat succeeded him.
- In 1973, Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel on Yom Kippur. A Soviet- and American- sponsored cease-fire resolution ended the fighting and led to an international peace conference at Geneva.
- In 1974, Israel and Egypt signed a disengagement agreement, and Israel signed a similar one for the withdrawal of its forces from Syria and from part of the Golan Heights.
- In 1975, Israel signed a second disengagement treaty with Egypt. In that year the General Assembly adopted a resolution denouncing Zionism “as a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The move outraged Israel and its supporters.
- Menachem Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. President Sadat of Egypt went to Jerusalem. This marked the first visit by an Arab head of state to Israel.
- In 1978, the top leaders of Israel, Egypt, and the US met at Camp David for twelve days and agreed on two bases for Middle East peace. In 1979, these leaders signed the Camp David Peace Treaty.
- In 1982, Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon with the goal of ousting the PLO. They besieged Beirut for ten weeks, and sent in American troops. The next year, Ronald Reagan sent Secretary of State George Shultz to the Middle East to conclude an accord on the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. Israel and Lebanon signed the agreement. King Hussein of Jordan and Yasir Arafat of the PLO agreed on an initiative that called for an international peace conference under United Nations auspices. The initiative foundered because the two sides could not agree on how to include the Palestinians, and because Mr. Arafat refused to accept United States participation.
THE PEACE PROCESS
In 1991, after the Gulf War, former President Bush sent Secretary of State James Baker on a series of trips to the region to explore compromises that would begin the Arab/Israeli peace process. Israel and Lebanon would discuss the future of Israel’s declared “security zone” in southern Lebanon, which Israel had held since 1982. Syria would promise peace in exchange for the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel and Jordan would find a solution to the twenty-four-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River, territory that Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war. Former King Hussein formally renounced his claim to the territory in 1988, clearing the way for a Palestinian state there. Sixty percent of Jordan’s population is Palestinian.
The major dispute is between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip seek autonomy over their affairs, in the form of Arab elections in the occupied territories, independent Palestinian municipal governments, and Palestinian administration of police forces, schools, and health care centers. Palestinians say the Arab eastern half of the city should be their capital. Israelis adamantly oppose negotiations over Jerusalem.
THE OSLO ACCORDS
In 1993, Israeli and Palestinian delegations secretly negotiated in Oslo, Norway. They signed the Oslo accords at a Washington ceremony on September 13, 1993, during which former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands, ending decades as sworn enemies. The Israelis and Palestinians recognized each other’s mutual political rights, and agreed to strive to live in peaceful coexistence. They set up a time table in which Israeli troops would withdraw from Gaza and Jericho, and for Palestinians would set up their own government. They looked to 1999 for the finalization of a permanent settlement.
Despite Israel’s special thirty-year relationship with the US, Israel met secretly in Oslo, Norway, for this historic conference with Palestine. They notified the US barely a few days before its finalization. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher first viewed the “Declaration of Principles” in an Israeli newspaper. Israeli Political commentator Daniel Ben-Simon stated that “the Oslo agreement put Israel’s patron to shame.”
On September 28, 1995, at a White House ceremony, Israelis and Palestinians signed another deal known as the “Interim Agreement,” or “Oslo 2.” The four-hundred-page pact allowed for a second stage of autonomy for the Palestinians, giving them self-rule in various Arab cities and villages while allowing guarded settlements to remain. The Oslo Accords have not gone according to plan. The continual conflicts that have arisen between the Israelis and Palestinians have caused the peace process to reach many impasses. Former President Clinton sent former Secretary of State Warren Christopher to the region for talks. Madeline Albright followed in his footsteps. The European Union has sent several delegations to the area. Still the peace process has barely moved along.
On September 28, 2000, Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon led a delegation on a visit to the Temple Mount for a message of peace. After his visit, crowds of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank attacked Israeli security forces with guns and rocks. Palestinians blamed Sharon’s visit to the Muslim holy site for sparking the conflict, which continued into 2001 with each side blaming the other.
In July of 2000, Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, and Yasser Arafat met at Camp David to work out the final arrangements for a Palestinian state. Barak made concessions above and beyond the framework of Oslo. He offered the Palestinians control over a large portion of Jerusalem, but Arafat walked away without making any counter-proposals. Both sides did not demonstrate flexibility during the summit to negotiate a settlement. When it became clear to the Palestinian authority that Israel could not fulfill every demand of the necessary reciprocal compromises, the Palestinian Authority chose to break off negotiations without offering any of its own proposals. Clinton placed the blame for the failure of the talks squarely at Arafat’s feet.
Israel transferred virtually every Arab City and town in the territories to Arafat’s control, supplied the Arab militia with weapons, began paying Arafat a multi-million-dollar monthly allowance, and lobbied for additional financial support to permit the Palestinian authority to build an airport, operate radio and television networks, and deal with other countries as a sovereign power. But the terror and violence accelerated. The Israeli death toll soared, and captured documents proved that Arafat and his Palestinian authority schemed with terrorist states such as Iran and Syria to acquire armaments and fund terrorism. Their aim remains the same-the destruction of Israel. Again, at the Taba Talks in January 2001, Israel once again showed its willingness to make far-reaching political and strategic compromises in order to achieve peace.
In February 2001, Sharon defeated Ehud Barak for the position of Prime Minister. In December 2002, Sharon made a speech at the Herzliya Conference Institute of Policy and Strategy, and stated that the next phase cannot continue until there is a calm from terrorism and until the Palestinian government reforms, that peace cannot occur with Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority, nor without the dismantling of all existing security bodies, the majority of which are involved in terror. In 2004 Yasser Arafat died.
THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ISRAEL
For the Tribulation to begin, the European Union must sign a treaty with Israel, guaranteeing Israel’s peace. The US sponsors the current peace initiative. Henry Kissinger suggested in late November of 1990 that US leadership in the Middle East might be ending.
“We are in a transitional period…..I would think that over a period of ten years, many of the security responsibilities that the United States is now shouldering in the Gulf ought to be carried by the Europeans who receive a larger share of the oil from the region.”
For many years, the EU has followed developments in the Middle East closely, particularly the Arab- Israeli dispute. Only since the late 1970s has the EU taken a common West European stand on the Arab-Israeli conflict. They support a peaceful solution based on the 1980 Venice declaration. It affirms the right of all states in the region, including Israel, to exist within secure frontiers, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The Union believes an international peace conference on the Middle East would provide the most suitable framework for negotiations and provides aid and economic assistance to the territories. It is now an EU plan to become a leading player in the Middle East. Garret Fitzgerald stated in his report to the Trilateral Commission on the Israeli-Palestinian issue: “In some European capitals, where there has for a long time been a feeling that Europe’s interest in the Middle East is greater than that of the United States but where the United States’ much greater influence in the region is recognized albeit with some sense of frustration, this American approach has been criticized as too limited and narrow, and also as being too optimistic….If, however, the policy fails, many in Europe would wish to see their governments in the European Union taking up the torch, without, perhaps, having a very clear idea as to how they could succeed where the United States had failed”
In a statement by the EU Presidency to a joint meeting of members of the European Parliament and the Knesset on January 17, 1990, EU diplomats made it clear that if the Baker initiative failed: “The Twelve will be active in seeking an alternative to the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue as a means of advancing the kind of settlement advocated by the ED.” The EU feels qualified to play an important role in the advancement of peace, security and development in the Middle East, both by reason of its geographic proximity and its long-standing ties with the region. The Union regards itself as the most important economic group in the world today, with corresponding political influence. It also provides two of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The Mediterranean area is the Union’s third main market for Community products, and the source from which the Union obtains some of its basic needs. On the EU’s current agenda of foreign policy aims is “to play a very active part in efforts to achieve a lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.”
On the day the fighting ended in the Gulf, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jacques Poos declared that the EU must help to establish peace and security in the Middle East. EU foreign ministers discussed the challenge of promoting stability in the Middle East after the war, hoping to play an influential role in rebuilding the region. Poos said in an interview that “the Middle East needs a Marshall Plan-a Europe and, if possible, worldwide plan.” The foreign ministers have underlined their willingness to do everything possible to ensure lasting peace in the region.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU members pleaded with then US Secretary of State James Baker for a role in the peace process. The European request evoked a lukewarm response. He suggested that the EU have observer status. During an emergency meeting the EU expressed fears that Washington will sideline the Union. They issued a statement to the New York Times in 1992, in which they stated that they “hoped for a full role as cosponsor of any Middle East peace conference. Israel stated that it wants the EU to have only observer status at any peace talks. It has long been concerned over the EU’s contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. One EU aide, however, noted that [the EU] would have to live with the peace, and wants to be part of the creation of it.” He added that it firmly believed that “the more international the conference, the better its chances.” Israel fears that the EU, which has proclaimed the need for Palestinian self-determination, has a strong pro- Palestinian and pro-Arab bias.
EU Middle East experts say the Union can make a “positive contribution” to the peace talks through its close historical, political, and economic links with the Arab world. The EU used political and economic pressure to persuade Israel to invite the Union to the negotiating table. Several EU ministers insisted that Union aid for Israel-and the Arab countries-depended on a heightened EU role in the Middle East. EU diplomats admitted that in Israel’s case, the trade and economic argument was probably more effective. The EU is Israel’s leading trading partner; the EU is Israel’s largest market for exports and its second largest source of imports after the US. EU ministers promised Israel a closer economic relationship with the EU. They offered it on the condition that Israel recognizes the Union’s hopes of playing a “special role” in the Middle East. Of all the EU states, the Netherlands is an especially keen defender of Israel’s political and economic interests. According to former Italian Prime Minister Gianni de Michelis:
“We insisted on being among the countries promoting the conference, on equal footing with the United States and the Soviet Union. We would find it difficult, if not unfathomable, to accept a lesser role, considering the contribution the Twelve can make to the peace process and to subsequent developments. We wish to be present not because we are seeking prestige, but because of the clear advantages our presence would bring to everyone. We have explained this several times to our Israeli friends who up until now have been those most reluctant to accept the Europeans, whom they consider as favoring the Arabs and thus wanting to transform the future conference into a court against Israel… However, vital its tie to the United States may be, the one to Europe is perhaps even more so in the long term. Israel is the daughter of Europe’s history, and not only of the holocaust that was a tragedy not only for the Jews, but also for Europe.…Anchoring Israel to Europe means eliminating one of Israel’s motives for insecurity, that of having to rely on an ally that is geographically distant, not only in terms of military assistance but also in terms of development”
The EU believes it can play an important role in the peace process by providing Israelis and Arabs with economic incentives to reach a diplomatic solution. They have begun work on a regional Arab-Israeli economic cooperation program. The EU will aim at the creation of new and binding trade, industrial, and environmental links between Israel, the Palestinians, and all Arab countries in the region. The EU’s Middle East experts underline that “a precise program for cooperation, the economic advantages clearly spelt out, would be an added incentive to finding a solution to all political problems.”
Former Italian Prime Minister Gianni de Michelis and Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas met in Sicily along with the Middle East ambassadors. They called for “a renewed, dynamic role” for Europe, including a seat at the negotiating table. At a press conference, Dumas said Europe must take on the role the Soviet Union could no longer play. It was no good asking Europe to make a major economic contribution while virtually excluding it from the key questions of disarmament and regional security.
CONFERENCE ON SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The EU bases its Middle East proposals on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East. This proposal, issued in 1990 by the foreign ministries of Italy and Spain, is a regional arrangement for the Middle East. It takes in the Arab world, Israel, and Iran. The CSCE’s global approach promotes peace in the Middle East. It acts as a multilateral forum covering the entire region. Agreed on will be guidelines on several issues: security, economic development, water and other natural resources, environmental issues, and human rights.
The Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East reserves a special role for the UN. Participants include the US, Soviet Union, the EU and some of its member countries, and other states from Morocco to Iran. The euro-Mediterranean conference met for the first time in Barcelona in 1995. It marked the first time foreign ministers from Syria and Israel attended the same conference.
The EU took a lead role by pledging more aid to Gaza and the West Bank than the US. It is at work creating a free trade zone with Israel. The conference launched the euro-Mediterranean Partnership and established the euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area.
MEDIA INSIGHT (GLOBAL WATCH 16TH DECEMBER 2011
THE BARCELONA PROCESS (EUROMED)
Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) previously known as Euromed was a multilateral partnership that encompassed 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. It was created in July 2008 as a re-launched Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process), when a plan to create an autonomous Mediterranean Union was dropped. The Union had the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, its 2009 and 2010 Summits could not be held due to the stalemate of the Arab-Israeli peace process after the Gaza war. It has now been superseded by the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN UNION
The Union for the Mediterranean introduced new institutions into the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the aim of increasing its visibility such as the creation of a Secretariat.
The commercial connections between the European countries and the African ones are very important. They have created the premises for a future economic union between the Mediterranean non-European states and the communitarian countries.
The Mediterranean Union reunites countries from Europe, Middle East. and North Africa countries that have access to the Mediterranean Sea, forming an economic community by taking the model of the early European Union.
As it would be formed by the E.U. states and the Mediterranean countries, the Mediterranean Union would have a State President Council, an executive council, ministerial councils, a Permanent Commission that would act like a Secretary Department, a consolidated Parliament reunion and its own bank. Such an organization could have a big role in the area in solving diverse problems, form ecological issues to immigration
From the European Union side: the 27 European Union member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.)
From the side of the Mediterranean Partner countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria (self-suspended on 22 June 2011), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya as an observer state.
MEDIA INSIGHT (GLOBAL WATCH 16TH DECEMBER 2011)
THE BARCELONA PROCESS (EUROMED)
Even though the Antichrist is not called the King of the West we can make the assumption that the empire from which he will come to prominence will be from the west of Israel since the power blocks which come against him in Israel will be from the north, south and east.
An interesting perspective to be observed is that if the ten toes of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s (Daniel 2) are in reference to the emergence of a Revival of the Roman Empire …which many believe that the European Union will fulfill, then it is interesting here that Daniel states in Daniel 11:43 that the Antichrist will conquer the northern and Egyptian attack and then extend his military rule beyond Egypt into Africa.
If one was to see the boundaries of ancient Rome at the time of Christ and 100 years after, one would see that the Roman Empire’s geographical power had fully extended across past Egypt across the whole of North Africa capturing the whole of the Mediterranean basin. It would seem according to scripture that the latter day Roman Empire will seek to duplicate a geographical stranglehold that will mirror exactly that as over 2000 years ago.
Furthermore it is of great significance that Europe is now using France to spearhead the Mediterranean initiative to bring the nations of the Middle East and North Africa into a close economic relationship with the European Union. Could this all be embryonic steps of Europe’s attempts dominate the nerve center of the world before deciding to fully conquer these territories through military subjugation when they begin to rebel against the Antichrist rule.
The EU took a leading role in the first Palestinian elections. They coordinated an international observation operation to ensure their success. The Union voiced anger at Washington shutting it out of an emergency summit held in Washington in 1996. The French foreign minister’s spokesman stated that “the European Union has its place in the peace process. It is bound to be part of a peace settlement because it finances 75 percent of aid to the Palestinian territories.” To establish its role, the Union invited Arafat to meet its foreign ministries before he went to Washington. Italy’s foreign minister stated: “Tonight’s meeting of the European troika with President Arafat in Luxembourg underlines the role of Europe in the Middle East peace process, especially since it is being held before the Washington Summit.” The EU several occasions voiced its anger over giving its dollars without having any say in the region. They desired a role alongside the United States. Shireen Hunter, visiting research fellow at the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies, stated: “If Europe is going to have any reality whatsoever, Europe has to act in one of the most important strategic areas otherwise Europe can’t be taken seriously as a global actor.” Europe continues to press for a greater role in the region, voicing its desire to have a political role as strong as its economic one.
The Palestinians and Arab countries have been pushing for a greater European role to counter what they see as Washington’s pro-Israeli stance. The Union is convinced that peace in the Middle East depends on the full implementation of the existing agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. They also believe in a final solution based on international law as set by the United Nations and the principle of land-for-peace. The Union calls for “total withdrawal for total security.”
The European Parliament stated that the Union “cannot nor should not, accept East Jerusalem to be considered part of the territory and sovereignty of Israel.” The Union urges the option of a Palestinian state and they refer to east Jerusalem as a Palestinian city. The Union wrote former President Clinton to propose a joint American-European initiative to revive the Middle East peace negotiations. The United States politely brushed off the European proposal. Although the US welcomed European efforts and said they had a productive role to play, the US reaffirmed its position as having the central role in the Middle East peace negotiations.
Europe essentially put its foot in the door of Middle East diplomacy. At a meeting of European and Mediterranean foreign ministers, the Dutch foreign minister brought together Vasser Arafat and Israel’s foreign minister on the sidelines of the conference. The EU president exclaimed, “it’s indispensable, the political role of Europe here.” He was speaking of the euro-Mediterranean forum. In the Amsterdam Treaty negotiated in the Summer of 1997, the Union called for and committed itself to peace in the Middle East. European diplomats hoped to get the two men together again at the next Euro-Med meeting, to win a greater role in the Mideast Peace Process.
In early 1998, the EU Commission urged the European Union to review its aid program to the Middle East peace process, demanding concessions from Israel and a bigger say in the US led negotiations. In the policy paper, the Commission said that the EU should insist that Israel stop sealing off Palestinian territories from the outside world. It noted that living conditions deteriorated despite the mounds of money the EU dumped into the region. The paper said the EU should insist on participating alongside the United States in all talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and should take the lead in coordinating international economic aid. The Commissioner responsible for Middle East policy stated: “We think it is perfectly logical, as may happen in a private company if you are the main shareholder. It wouldn’t be normal for you not to be included on the board.”
Since 1998, the EU’s aggressive determination to be part of the peace process helped to evolve its role as a “key player in the political and economic process.” The EU’s recent stated position on the Middle East peace process is that of a “promoter of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and of prosperity for the region.”
The EU also acts as a “facilitator in the peace process.” It holds regular meetings with the main actors involved. The EU Troika (present and incoming Presidency, the High Representative for CFSP, and the Commission) make routine visits to the Near East. The activities of the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process, the political talks with all parties, aimed at promoting the EU’s positions, contribute to strengthen the role of the Union in the negotiations for the final settlement of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The EU presidency issues frequent statements concerning the various stalemates that have occurred in the peace process. They also have partaken in monitoring the early Palestinian elections of 1996 and the training of Palestinian policeman. The EU has also teamed up with the US, as agreed in the Trans- Atlantic Declaration, to work together in the peace process. At the US-EU summit in Washington on December 18, 1998, the EU stated in their Declaration on the Middle East Peace Process: We will work together, including through our respective envoys, in the political and economic area, to build on this achievement and to help the parties move the peace process forward to a successful conclusion. We will use our partnership to support the implementation of seek ways to help the parties in the Lebanese and Syrian tracks to restart negotiations with the aim of reaching a comprehensive settlement.
The EU lends a good deal of economic support to the Middle East region. They are the largest donor of non-military aid to the peace process. The EU is the first donor of financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian authority. They are the first trading partner and a major economic, scientific and research partner of Israel, and are also a major partner of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. In 2000, they signed the EU-Israel Association Agreement and committed themselves to establishing a partnership which provides for close political and mutually beneficial trade and investment relations together with economic, social, financial, civil scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.
In the Laeken Declaration, which resulted from the European Council’s meeting in Laeken on December 14 and 15, 2001, EU leaders issued a “Declaration on the Situation in the Middle East,” stating that “it is imperative to put an end to violence.” The EU reaffirms Israel’s right to live in peace and security, and supports the establishment of a Palestinian State. The EU appeals to the Palestinian authority to end terrorism, and demands that they dismantle the Hamas’ and Islamic Jilhad’s terrorist networks, “including the arrest and prosecution of all suspects: a public appeal in Arabic for an end to the armed intifada.” The EU demands that the Israeli government withdraw all military forces, and lift all closures and restrictions-including freezes on settlements and operations-directed against Palestinian infrastructures.
A key statement of interest to students of prophecy reads: “The European Union remains convinced that setting up a third party monitoring mechanism would serve the interests of both parties. It is prepared to play an active role in such a mechanism.” Could this lead to the guarantee of peace in the region and the Covenant of Death?
In May of 2002, when President George Bush, Jr. met with Commission President Prodi during a summit, he affirmed the EU’s importance in the Middle East Peace process by stating: “The United States and the EU share a common vision of two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security. This vision offers the Palestinian people a new opportunity to choose how they live. We should take this opportunity to help build institutions that will serve the Palestinian people, a Palestinian state and its neighbors, as well….The EU, as well and the United States has an important role to play. When the EU and the United States work together we multiply our effectiveness”
In the July 2002 issue of The Federalist, Guido Montani, the Secretary General of the UEF in Italy, stated: “Presently the European Union does not have the means necessary for intervening adequately in the Middle East. The Federalists therefore are calling on the Union’s governments to convene urgently a meeting of the European Council and to declare a State of Emergency, granting the European Commission all the military and budgetary powers for solving the crisis in the Middle East” He adds that the European Commission will act as a “provincial European government,” which should call for an international conference. He refers to “The European Peace Plan,” which must call for “the immediate creation of a Palestinian State.” Mr. Montani also adds that “the European Union, unlike the USA and Russia, has an interest in proposing to all of the Middle East countries (and not just to Palestine) a Marshall plan for development and peace.”
In August 2002, the Danish presidency of the European Union announced that it was working on a three- stage Middle East peace plan, which envisioned the creation of an independent Palestinian state in 2005. The Danish plan hoped to signal to the Arab world that Europe is still a major player in the Middle East region. Former Danish president Per Stig Moeller stated: “We must make progress on security, political and economic issues to strengthen the belief among Palestinians in a state that will be theirs and that is within reach, and reassure Israelis that they will at last have security within their own borders.”
Thus the groundwork for the treaty spoken of in Scriptures exists and only awaits the arrival of the Antichrist to formalize and sign it, yet the events still continue to evolve. In December 2002, the EU, US, UN, and Russia held a Quartet meeting to discuss Middle East peace, and put forth a road map that envisions two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
On Apr. 30, 2003, the Roadmap for Peace took place based upon a speech by President Bush and the principles of the Oslo Accords. This plan is supervised by the Quartet: the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations. It called for serious alterations in the Palestinian government and resulted in the appointment of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. Afterward a summit took place with Sharon and Abbas reaffirming their commitment to the Roadmap. Sharon promised withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian areas, and Abbas pledged an end to the Intifada and the Palestinian culture of hate against Israel. Despite the agreement, Palestinian terrorists carried out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and the Israeli Cabinet waged war against Hamas and other terrorist groups, and halted the diplomatic process.
Later that year at the Fourth Herzliya Conference, Prime Minister Sharon presented a plan for Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria in exchange for peace. The disengagement plan, called for evacuating nearly 9,000 Israeli residents living in Gaza and the West Bank.
In 2005, at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit I, Sharon met with PA President Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan to announce the implementation of Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Abbas and Sharon agreed upon a Ceasefire. Later in August Israel pulled all of its citizens out of the Gaza Strip and the Northern West Bank.
In 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s accepted the revised Arab Peace Initiative. In response to the March 28, 2007 Arab League Summit at Riyadh, Olmert invited the Arab heads of state to a meeting in Israel to further discuss the initiative and collaborate on improving it. Olmert met with Abbas, Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. They discussed containment of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and to strengthen Abbas’ Fatah party in the West Bank. Later that year, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed a joint statement in Annapolis, Md. to lay the groundwork for peace talks.
In 2008, President Bush embarked on a tour of a number of Middle East countries, starting with Israel. The purpose of the visit was to advance peace negotiations initiated at the Annapolis conference in Nov. 2007. Bush urged the Palestinian side to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and also called on Israel to halt settlement construction and remove unauthorized settler outposts.
The Peace Valley plan is an effort personally supported by Israeli President Shimon Peres, which seeks to promote a new approach based on economic cooperation, and promotion of joint economic and business projects. In May 2008, Tony Blair, the special envoy for the Quartet announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the Peace Valley plan.
In December 2008, the EU expressed the hope that Lebanon – Israel peace talks would be possible. The EU has praised the Arab Peace Initiative, as a major step forward for the Middle East Peace Process, since it offers a basis for peaceful and normalized relations between Israel and all 22 members of the Arab League.
In 2013 the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is now a strategic priority for Europe. They believe that without this peace, there will be little chance of dealing with other problems in the Middle East. The EU’s objective is a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state living side-by- side with Israel and its other neighbors.
The Bible tells us that the Antichrist confirms the covenant with Israel, and guarantees Israel’s peace. In 1993, the Federalist Trust, a European think-tank organization that aids in formulating EU policy, and is ahead of its time usually suggesting policy that the EU adopts a few decades later, published a report on the Middle East. They wrote up a proposed treaty that guarantees Israel’s peace. The proposal offers the security that the US initiative fails to offer. The report proposes the establishment of a “regional security community” as the basis for the Arab-Israeli peace settlement. The proposed treaty states that the guarantor states would protect the community against external attacks. The Union would secure Israel’s peace with its army. The Scriptures state that the Antichrist confirms the covenant with many. The proposed treaty includes the world’s great powers and reads:
Moreover, the incorporation of the great powers into the security package as both the guarantors and supervisors of this arrangement raises the costs of violation dramatically. Should a certain state decide to defy the superpowers (and the other co-signatories to the agreement) and to embark on a belligerent/irredentist course, it will clearly identify itself as an aggressor and will run the risk of losing the political goodwill as well as the economic and military support of the international community, thereby dooming such a move. Hence, a security community consisting of a militarily constrained Palestinian state and a demilitarized Golan, guaranteed and strictly supervised by the great powers may satisfy Israel’s security concerns and ally its apprehensions of the adverse implications of loosening of the US- Israeli strategic relationship, caused by such a proposed arrangement.
It is likely that this proposed treaty is “the covenant of death” spoken of in Scripture. According to Amos Perlmutter: “People who live in a constant state of war naturally yearn for peace; for a nation, security is the equivalent of sanity for an individual. The Israelis search for security is an obsession, a quest for an almost metaphysical security, even if they know that such protection is beyond their political and military capabilities.”
When the Antichrist signs the peace treaty with Israel, this covenant assures Israel total peace. The Israelis will feel safe from the threats of their neighbors. The CSCM is the skeletal form of the proposals yet to come. The EU will guarantee Israel’s peace in the region and will act as her protector. The world will view it as one more event in history, no cause for concern. This covenant marks the beginning of the Tribulation and ends the dispensation of grace. With events occurring at unprecedented speed, anything is possible and leaders can sign a treaty almost overnight. According to The European Journal of Internal Affairs:
“Disarmament creates a fourth paradox. Never before has history seen such acceleration. There was a time when governments determined their security priorities on a long-term basis and when diplomats negotiated for many years the finer details of acts, verification, ceilings and the like. Those items seem well and truly passed. Today, diplomats are called upon to establish treaties within six months or a year (as was said by President Bush at the Brussels summit last May), whereas the negotiating process, though working at maximum speed, will nevertheless still be unable to keep pace with the political changes which are speedily occurring both East as in the West”
In Israel’s ancient past the nation became part of the empire that took it over. Thus, Israel was Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Rome. Israel will also be part of the EU. Coincidentally Israel voiced a desire to join the European Union and the Union considers Israel a possible candidate country. If the country joined it will have the security of the EU and its territory will belong to the empire. According to Michael Sctender- Auerbach from the think-tank the Century Foundation:
“For Israel, ED membership would not only provide a strong security guarantee, but would afford them all of the economic advantages of the vast ED market. For the security establishment, it could possibly mean even opening the door to membership in NATO. The ED and Israel already have a formal Cooperation Agreement-ratified five years ago by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament-and this relationship has influenced economic, political and cultural exchanged”
Auerbach pointed out that Israel joined the Euro-Mediterranean zone, which will boost Israel’s financial gains in the textile industry. For Israel to gain entry into the EU it will need to negotiate a peace settlement with the Palestinians consistent with Security Council resolution 242 and to settle its border disputes with Syria and the Golan. He also added that “as an EU member at peace with its neighbors, Israel would bolster Europe’s status as a world leader and international power broker. This will also provide Israel with the security and membership in a community of nations that accept and protect them.” He added that “the ED can currently guarantee peace without Israel becoming a member of the ED, but Israel as a member will no doubt solidify any peace agreed by providing the same protection as it would for the rest of the Member States.” For the first time in history, geopolitical speak now matches what the Scriptures predicted.
THE EUROPEAN NEIGBHOURHOOD POLICY
The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) is a collective agreement, initiated by the European Union (EU), involving many nations. It has been funded and implemented for a seven-year period (2007-2013). The ENP framework is proposed to the 16 of EU’s closest neighbors – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
The ENP is chiefly a bilateral policy between the EU and each partner country. It is further enriched and complemented by regional and multilateral co-operation initiatives: the Eastern Partnership (launched in Prague in May 2009), the Union for the Mediterranean (the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, re-launched in Paris in July 2008), and the Black Sea Synergy (launched in Kiev in February 2008). Indications and assurances of the pursuit of peace, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and in the Middle East as a whole, are included in the agreement.
“For Israel and the Palestinian authority, the Neighborhood Policy is a concrete sign of the EU’s engagement. … Israel has never been willing to make such commitments in writing to any other partner” (Brussels, 9 December 2004).
“The EU-Israel ENP Action Plan opened up new possibilities for developing EU-Israel relations by setting out a wide range of areas for greater cooperation including: promoting peace in the Middle East” (The European Neighborhood Policy Fiches on Partners, December 2006).
Officially, the ENP went into effect on 1 January 2007. Technically, though, the European Neighborhood Policy was finalized in October 2006. Following years of planning, on 17 October 2006, more than €11 billion was allocated to fund the ENP. This was achieved via the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), specifically for a span of seven years: 2007-2013. A week later, on 24 October 2006, “general provisions establishing a European Neighborhood and Partnership Interest” were laid down for the same (seven-year) period: 2007 through 2013.
In spite of its good intentions, the Barcelona Process (EuroMed) largely was unsuccessful in its efforts to attain solidarity and peace for all involved. The European Neighborhood Policy was considered to be a confirmation or strengthening of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The ENP fully complements EuroMed and is a manifest fulfillment of its long-term goals, in a seven-year time frame.
In a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the European Neighborhood Policy website, the following is stated: “The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the so-called “Barcelona Process”) share the same basis, i.e. bilateral Association Agreements with countries in the region. Both policies make use of the institutions established under those Agreements, allowing for a formal dialogue at various levels. With many goals in common, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership pursues a multilateral track whereas the ENP provides additional focus and impact through a bilateral approach of mutual commitments to implement reforms and modernization conducive to closer economic integration and political cooperation. … It [the ENP] is therefore a valuable complement to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership as it allows each country to develop closer links with the EU, based on its particular needs and capacities.
The Lisbon Treaty commits the EU to the “development of a special relationship with neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and the South shore of the Mediterranean aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighborliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterized by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation”.
ISRAEL’S COVENANT OF DEATH
Because the EU holds strong relations with the Arab world, the Antichrist will also use these relations to guarantee Israeli peace. He will campaign for peace in Israel and the region as a whole. Israel will trust him and feel secured by his promises. With him they will sign what the Bible calls their covenant with death. Concerning Israel’s signing this agreement, in several places in Scripture the Bible elaborates on the deceit behind this promise. In the book of Isaiah, God reveals the truth of this covenant. Isaiah 28:15, 18 reads: “Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement: when the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves. Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it”
God is telling the Jewish nation that “with hell they are in agreement” because the man they are dealing with is none other than the Devil in a man’s body. The phrase “we have made lies our refuge” exposes that the guarantees of the treaty are false, for this leader who promises to guard Israel will seek to destroy it. He tells them that “when the overflowing scourge passes through, you will be trampled down by it.” Other words, when this man wages war against Israel, the nation will be destroyed by it. God elaborates on the Antichrist’s deception and intention as he signed this agreement. In Psalm 55: 20-21 it says: “He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him: He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords”
Scripture provides a view to the emotional and physical picture of Israel once the Antichrist breaks the treaty and lays siege to the nation. Isaiah 33:7-9 states: “Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside: the ambassadors of peace shall week bitterly. The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases. He has broken the covenant, he has despised the cities, he regards no man. The earth mourns and languishes; Lebanon is ashamed and shriveled: Sharon is like a wilderness: and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits”
Daniel 11:37 emphasizes the Antichrist’s regard for no man. It states: “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above them all.”
Genesis 3:16 teaches that Eve represented all of womanhood. Her “desire shall be for your husband.” The desire of women is man. Thus, the Antichrist will regard no man.