Annapolis: Will It Be a Success or Failure? — What Holly Thinks

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, over 40 world leaders will gather in Annapolis, Maryland, for a historic event: the launching of formal peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Skeptics say the conference will be a huge failure, like previous ones. But others think the time for peace is ripe — that it may be possible in as little as eight months.

The reason some experts think peace is possible is because, right now, all the parties involved desperately need it — and may be willing to make huge concessions to get it. Olmert has been weakened by scandal and his costly military operation in Lebanon. Abbas is threatened by Hamas’ takeover of Gaza. Bush — whose administration called the conference — has only one more year to leave a legacy. Plus, the whole world — especially Israel, the Palestinians and surrounding nations — fear a nuclear Iran, which will likely happen if a peace deal isn’t made soon.

In other words, the Israelis and Palestinians may fear something else more than they fear each other.

Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian politician, sums up the urgency in an article he wrote called “A Peace of the Weak and Exhausted” when he said: “Shared strategic weakness and a shared threat are concentrating the minds of Palestinians, Israelis and Americans alike and forcing all of them to agree that failure at Annapolis is not an option.” Read his full article here.

So, will the conference succeed or fail? All I know is that if we’ve entered the 70th week of Daniel, then according to Bible prophecies a time of peace will dawn over the Middle East very soon, allowing Israel to resume the Jewish sacrificial system. (For reasons why we believe the 70th week may have begun Jan. 1, read here.) It’s worth noting that EU High Representative Javier Solana — whose foreign policy may have led to the 70th week of Daniel — has also said that failure at Annapolis isn’t an option. Read about it here.

Perhaps this conference will be viewed as a success. Perhaps it will be viewed as a failure. But the real test will come not on that day, but in the months following the conference — during negotiations between Olmert and Abbas. It does seem to be more than coincidence that this conference — the first real sign of hope since the Camp David peace talks failed over seven years ago — is being held immediately after the 70th week may have begun. This makes me strongly suspect that the current peace efforts could succeed.

What also seems to be more than just coincidence is that Annapolis is being held almost 60 years to the day — by the Jewish calendar — after the nations first voted to divide the land into Israeli and Palestinian states, on Nov. 29, 1947, with U.N. Resolution 181. The Annapolis date was likely chosen for this reason.

But while the world will view a peace deal as a success, it will be seen as a failure in God’s eyes. He warned of judgment against those who will eventually succeed in dividing the land He gave Israel. And, to the dismay of Christians in America, their Christian president is the one who may “succeed” in this division.

Back in 2003, my dad — Herb Peters, founder of this Web site — wrote about the possibility that a U.S. president may be the one to finally “succeed” in dividing the land. It looks like he may have been correct. Here’s what he said.

— Holly Pivec


Dividing God’s Land

Isn’t it amazing the words we’re hearing today? Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon didn’t just use that word “occupation,” he also used the word “divide.”

This is the first time an Israeli leader has described Israel’s control over the disputed territories as an occupation. And, in so doing, Sharon has agreed with the international community that Israel must return to those hard-to-defend borders that existed between Israel and her unfriendly neighbors before the 1967 Six-Day War.

However, occupation isn’t the only bad word Sharon used. He also used an even worse word — divide. He said the time had come for Israel to divide the land. The problem is, according to the Bible, the land isn’t ours to divide — it belongs to God.

In fact, dividing up His land is the reason God gives for the coming battle of Armageddon. Through the prophet Joel God said:

“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshapht, then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:2, New American Standard Bible).

Unfortunately, Sharon isn’t the only one who is using that word “divide” regarding God’s land. Referring to God’s land as the “Holy Land,” U.S. president George W. Bush has been using it, too (Read about it here). With Bush, however, he started using it early last year when he sponsored a UN Resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. A few days later he went further and backed another UN resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the territories.

As I’ve said before, it may be time for God’s people in America to be concerned. Although we may agree with Bush attempting to bring peace to Israel, we need to remember that God has lines He doesn’t want crossed. And, I’m afraid dividing up His land may be one of those lines.

We students of prophecy have long known the day was coming when the international community would force Israel into dividing up her land for peace. But, we never dreamed it would be under the leadership of a U.S. president — and a professing Christian at that.

And this brings us to a sobering question: Instead of the Antichrist, will it be a U.S. president who brings Israel her foretold short time of peace just before her destruction (Ezekiel 38:8)?

I hope to be posting more regularly again.

Stay tuned!

— Herb Peters