Wednesday, U.S. President Barak Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Do read the transcript, if you have the time.
Obama was very clear in what he wants: a secure Israel next to an unoccupied Palestine based on the pre-1967 lines (which are the 1949 Armistice Lines) agreed upon through talks, not UN political maneuvers. Obama did not say “pre-1967 lines” like in May. That rang too many bells last time. But he was clear:
“Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It’s well known to all of us here.”
Obama did not shy away from what he said a year ago. He called for a Palestine to be a UN member during his UN address, and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas cited that as the reason for pushing for statehood now. Is it any wonder that the Palestinians are calling Obama a hypocrite?
Obama spoke some truth, that impressed me, and made his audience of fellow world leaders from uncomfortable to quite angry:
Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.
The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.
Wow. Obama acknowledged:
- militarily aggressive neighbors
- terrorist attacks
- culture of hate in neighbors
- Israel is Jews’ historic homeland
- Israel deserves recognition
I applaud you, Mr. President, for speaking truth, very unpopular truths, in front of the nations.
So how do we pray?
Abbas has been clear that he will not back down to U.S. pressure and will still present his bid for Palestinian statehood Friday.
So, we still have the spiritual scenarios we’ve been discussing. The nations eager to divide the Land do so at their peril, the Bible warns.
While Obama’s firmness to not being party to dividing Jerusalem at this time may be politically motivated — as evidence mounts that he is losing Jewish voters and their donations — we intercessors believe we are seeing God turn the king’s heart (Prov. 21:1). We have been trying to pray God’s will and that if this is not the time for the nations to gang up on Israel, then that God would slow things.
Obama is certainly slowing things by promising to veto the Palestinian bid in the Security Council. Some reports say the UN Security may mull over the Palestine statehood bid for weeks or months and that there is even uncertainty that there are nine ‘yea’ votes that would force the U.S. to use its veto. France is suggesting the drafting of a one year schedule for Palestinian statehood.
We’ve gone over all this background, but I sat down to write a prayer request. Please pray for us in the Land. The Palestinians feel betrayed by Obama and are already burning him in effigy in the West Bank. There are many American aid workers in Palestinian areas. Pray for their safety from retaliatory attacks.
Continue to pray for all the intercessors in the Land, international and native. We know God keeps us. It encourages us to know that you stand with us in the spirit.