The First Overlooked Sign: The 1992 Israeli Election
The Presidential Snub
What first caught my attention was the way President George Bush, Sr., treated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir when he visited Washington early in 1992.
Bush refused to meet with the man. Imagine how Shamir must have felt. He was being snubbed by the most powerful man in the world. Bush was the one person able to pull the bickering nations of the world together to liberate Kuwait. His popularity was so high from the Gulf War victory that none of the major names in the Democratic Party dared to risk challenging him in the coming election. And now he was publicly snubbing the Prime Minister of Israel. Why?
America’s Bottom Line
I should have known. It was over oil. The bottom line of the Bush administration’s foreign policy toward the Middle East was the free flow of Arab oil. Bush was from Texas and had spent many years in the oil business. Yet the oil business was not his only concern in the Middle East. The free flow of Arab oil was also seen as a legitimate concern to America’s security.
A few years later, in August 1995, a scientist named Joseph P. Riva, Jr., submitted a report to Congress supporting President Bush’s concern about America’s need for the free flow of Arab oil. He concluded that, if the world oil demand were not to increase too much, and political stability were to continue in the Middle East so as not to interrupt the production of oil, it would be business as usual into much of the 21st century. But if not – if anything were to disturb the free flow of Arab oil, such as a war in the Middle East – America would be in for a real economic crisis.1
So, fearing another war in the Middle East, the Bush administration told Israel they had to negotiate peace with their Arab neighbors or lose America’s support. Congress backed up the threat by not granting Israel the loan guarantees they needed to buy new jet fighters.
Thanks to the Gulf War victory, Secretary of State James Baker was making real progress with the Arabs in the renewed peace process. One man, however, was standing in the way. That man was Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
Shamir became a problem for Washington because of his party’s Greater Israel policy. The Greater Israel policy meant the Israeli government had no intention of giving back any of the land the Israeli army had captured from the Arabs in the Six Day War of 1967. In fact, the Shamir government was encouraging Jewish settlers to build communities in the territories the Israeli army had captured.
The problem with Shamir’s Greater Israel policy was that these Jewish settlements were interpreted by some to be in violation of international law. And, many in the international community even wanted Israel to give back the rest of the land they had captured in the war in exchange for peace.
Yet, the Shamir’s Likud Party leaders held, in their Jewish mind, a biblical view. They saw the lands they had captured in the Six Day War as God-given and rightfully theirs. And they considered the outside world hostile to the Jewish people and saw any negotiations with the Arabs as a “slippery slope” that would ultimately lead to Israel’s destruction. In other words, Shamir’s government didn’t think peace was possible.2
Since the heart of Baker’s negotiations with the Arabs was implementation of UN Resolution 242, Shamir’s Greater Israel policy was making any final peace agreement impossible. The Bush administration decided that the solution to their problem was to get rid of Shamir. And they saw an opportunity to do this in the approaching 1992 Israeli election. Although Shamir’s conservative Likud party had managed to hold on to power for the last 15 years, the Israeli people were becoming increasingly desperate for peace. This meant the Labor Party had a good chance to win.
Shamir’s challenger in the election was Yitzhak Rabin, a member of the liberal Labor Party. They agreed with the Lukid Party about the importance of security, but they rejected the Likud party’s biblical view against pursuing peace with the Arabs. Their platform envisioned “a new Middle East, in which there will be no wars or terrorism.”3 So Rabin was willing to take more risks for peace than Shamir was, even if it meant giving back some of the land Israel had captured in the Six Day War.
Yet what made Rabin’s challenge so serious was the fact that Rabin was a war hero. He had commanded the Israeli army that had been so successful in the Six Day War. In fact, Rabin was given much credit for the victories that led to the liberation and unification of Jerusalem and the expanded new territories. Yet there were other reasons Rabin was respected.
Besides his military experience, Rabin had already served once as a Prime Minister. And in June 1976, Rabin ordered the very successful raid that rescued a group of Air France hostages being held at an airport in Idi Amin’s Uganda. The operation was so spectacular it was made into the movie, Raid at Entebbe.
So, now in this election, a national war hero was challenging Shamir’s Greater Israel policy. Unlike Shamir, Rabin thought peace with the Arabs was possible. In fact, the territories Rabin’s troops captured during the Six Day War were the same territories the UN was asking Israel to give back to the Arabs in exchange for peace. Many Israelis trusted Rabin, so when the time came when he decided to trade land for peace, most were willing to go along with him. Not even Rabin’s political rivals in the Likud Party, who didn’t want to trade land for peace, ever questioned Rabin’s motives or his courage.
The polls showed that the voters in Israel were deeply split. On the one side, they wanted the peace the Labor Party was promising; on the other, they wanted the security the Likud Party had been providing them for the past 15 years. Rabin’s Labor party correctly gauged the feelings of the Israeli voters. Their platform held out the possibility that the Israeli people could have both – peace with security. And their peace with security policies were more in line with what Washington wanted.
So this was the reason
Shamir got the presidential snub when he visited Washington. And this was
the reason Congress refused Israel the loan guarantees. I wasn’t the only
one who noticed the snub. The Israeli people noticed it, too. And it frightened
them. But that’s exactly what the Bush administration had been hoping for.
The Overlooked Sign
While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!,’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.4
Apostle Paul, A.D. 50Remember, I said an important overlooked sign about the coming Antichrist may have occurred in 1992? I believe the sign occurred during this 1992 Israeli election. The reason I believe this is because of something the Apostle Paul said:
as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything
In order for me to show you the sign, I need to first provide you with some background. In the verse mentioned above, we must remember that Paul was writing this to first-century Christians. By saying, “you yourselves know full well,” we can infer that Paul was reminding his readers about some commonly accepted view the early church had about prophecy.
At this time, the book of Revelation had not yet been written. The main book for the study of prophecy in Paul’s day was the Old Testament book of Daniel. And the fact that Jesus quoted much from the book of Daniel caused the early Christians to take the book and its prophecies seriously.
I believe Paul was
reminding his readers of a passage from Daniel about the Antichrist coming
and making a security agreement with Israel. Daniel said:
he (the Antichrist) will make a firm covenant with the many for one week,
As we have learned from our keys, the prophecies in Daniel are mainly concerned with Israel, the surrounding nations and the Messiah. So when Paul said, “While they are saying ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction will come upon them,” Paul was talking about unbelieving Israel and the coming of the one who will cause the destruction. In other words, while Israel is saying “Peace and safety,” then the Antichrist will come with his false security agreement.
Now coming back to the sign that may have begun occurring in the 1992 Israeli election. Paul’s words, “Peace and safety” can also correctly be translated from the Greek as “Peace with security.” 6 And this was what was being offered to the Israeli people in the 1992 election. When the Israeli people voted for Rabin, they were rejecting Shamir’s old policies of security without peace and accepting the Labor Party’s new polices of pursuing peace – peace with security.
You see, in that election the Israeli people actually began saying “Peace and safety!” by voting for Yitzhak Rabin’s peace with security policies. And, if you listen, you’ll notice that every following administration has been saying it to this day. This 1992 election marked the turning point in the Middle East peace process. The Israeli people began accepting the implementation of UN Resolution 242 – trading land for peace. It started Israel down the dangerous road of trading land for peace, leading them to the precarious situation in which they find themselves today. This has set the stage for the coming seven-year security agreement with the Antichrist.
Rabin’s victory secured Israel’s acceptance of the American-sponsored peace process that had its beginning at the Madrid Conference. That following year, in 1993, Rabin signed the Oslo Accords that started Israel down that “slippery slope” that the Shamir government so feared – the road of trading land for peace. In October 1994, Rabin signed a treaty with Jordan and, in December, he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize. Then, at a peace rally in November 1995, Yizhak Rabin was assassinated.
I was touched as I studied the life of Rabin. Although he is gone, his cries for peace in the Middle East refuse to die. Unfortunately, many in modern Israel no longer even believe in prayer. Yet, as a Christian, I can’t help but cry out to God for the peace of Jerusalem.
And the more I think about it, the more I believe a prophetic road sign in history occurred in that Israeli election in 1992. In that election, the majority of the Israeli people actually began saying, “Peace and safety!” And, as I have said, this election marked a daring turn in the Middle East peace process – trading land for peace. Yet, if I’m right, and this was a prophetic road sign in history, then the implications for Israel and our world are frightening. According to the Apostle Paul, instead of the peace the Israeli people so desperately cry out for, “sudden destruction” is on its way.
In other words, the beast of Revelation is soon to rise from the sea.
Chapter 6 Notes
1. United States
Government (1995, August 18) “World Oil Production After Year 2000: Business
As Usual or Crises?” [Report for Congress] Joseph P. Riva, Jr., #35-925
SPR, Washington D. C.: The National Council for Science and the Environment,