Eye on the Middle East Oct/Nov 1997

According to a recent news report, the Palestinian Authority has drafted a plan creating a belt of Palestinian communities circling Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The announcement was made by Faisal Husseini, who is in charge of affairs in Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians have been enlisting the aid of Arab international business leaders to implement a plan to buy land in Jerusalem for the encirclement program.

There are two things about the announcement worth mentioning. First, this is the same Palestinian Authority, led by Chairman Yasser Arafat, that issued the execution order affecting Arab landowners charged with selling land to Jews. A number already have been killed, while others deemed to be offenders are missing. Apparently it is fine for Arabs to buy up Jewish land, but Arabs who sell to Jews are treated to a hanging party, or its equivalent.

Second, in the days of the judges—one of the lowest points in Israel’s national history—the people were in a terrible state of spiritual and moral decay. This condition existed because they had not vanquished and expelled their enemies from the land, as God had commanded. Consequently, Jebusites dwelled in Jerusalem, Canaanites lived in Gezer, Asher failed to drive out the inhabitants of Acco, and on and on the story goes. As a result, belts of heathen communities separated the Jewish people from one another. Not only was this true, but, as in the case of Jerusalem, the enemy often held the high ground. It was a calculated plan to divide, weaken, and discourage the Jewish people in preparation for a push to drive them from the land.

Do you suppose the cagey Chairman Arafat and his Palestinian cohorts have been peeking into the Old Testament? Whether or not this is true, they have put together a plan that worked before. Let’s hope Israel and its friends abroad will see to it that it doesn’t happen again.

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