Signs of the Times: Israel Under Siege

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel is gearing up for what could be massive Palestinian protests in September, when the United Nations may move forward with the recognition of a Palestinian state.

"The most immediate one is the decision of the Palestinian Authority to reject negotiations with Israel," former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold told CBN News.

Palestinians want the United Nations to accept them as a member state in September. Gold said they want to use mass demonstrations in the West Bank to challenge Israel.

Visit the CBN Special Page: Sign of the Times - How Will it All End?

Turning World Opinion

"There's a strategy in the field to create an atmosphere of violence that leads TV networks to give it special coverage and forces public opinion, as well as Western governments to shift their position from one of questions about what the Palestinians are doing to strong support for what they're trying to accomplish," Gold explained.

Chuck Cohen, one of the directors of Intercessors for Israel, said any such action would be dividing God's land to make an Islamic state in the territory promised to the Jewish people.

"The Palestinians never had it in the first place, and yet here we are facing this threat," Cohen said.

And they want to divide Jerusalem.

"God is saying, I'm testing your hearts with Jerusalem that I'm giving back to my people," he added.

If Israel defies the U.N., author Joel Rosenberg warned that the international community could team up to cut off Israel diplomatically and even economically.

"Think of what we did with Iraq for example. We built a coalition to cut her off economically and then eventually we sent a military to overthrow the regime," Rosenberg said.

Weapons of War

And what if Israel agrees to divide its land with the Palestinians?

"That will go badly for Israel as it did the last time they divided the land, giving Gaza away. They ended up getting more than 8,000 rockets and missiles, not peace," Rosenberg said.

"When they divided the land and gave back a sliver of the north to Lebanon, they ended up with 4,000 rockets and missiles as thank you presents from the Lebanese," he continued.

Cohen said Palestinians have other tools at their disposal.

"The latest thing they're trying is called lawfare - instead of warfare - lawfare. They trying to legally destroy us," he said.

Lawfare means exploiting courts in democratic countries to harass Israelis, accusing them of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It's part of a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, which ranges from accusing Israel of being an apartheid state to rewriting history that denies any Jewish connection to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount.

Threats All Around

Then there is the direct threat to the land and all its people.

"Iran hasn't gone away…anyone who reads the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency is aware that the amount of low-enriched uranium, which can later be converted to weapons' grade, is still growing," Gold said.

Rosenberg said there's no doubt Iran is pursuing nuclear arms.

"Iran clearly is working on nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad is even starting to speculate publicly over whether they should just come out and say they're going to build nuclear weapons," Rosenberg said.

And Iran's allies already threaten Israel. To the north, Hezbollah has some 50,000 rockets and missiles pointed its way.

Syria could move from cracking down on its own pro-democracy demonstrators to picking a fight with Israel.

To the south, Hamas rules Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood may soon rule Egypt, Israel's first Arab peace partner.

And don't forget Turkey, a one-time ally that's shifting allegiances.

"With all the threats Israel is a very strong country. It's a country which has economically been stable…It's a country where there's a huge amount of creativity," Gold said.

"And as much as it faces these difficult challenges, it will learn to live with them and to solve them over time," he said.

Time for Ezekiel Prophecies?

Still Rosenberg said wars can happen suddenly.

"The place is a tinderbox, one spark and the whole thing can go up in flames so it's hard to say," he said.

"One thing we know prophetically is that Ezekiel 38 and 39, the war of Gog and Magog  comes after a period of security for the Israeli people and prosperity. Now you'd have to say that right now Israel is experiencing both," he explained.

Rosenberg said Israelis are feeling more secure than at any time in their 63-year history.

"In fact they're feeling more secure as Jews here then any time in the last 2,000 years, maybe 2,500 years," Rosenberg said.

"But the greatest risk for Israel right now is that Israel isn't focused on the Lord," he said.

That, Rosenberg said, is crucial so the Lord can help Israel deal with the challenging times ahead.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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