The Gaza Withdrawal
One of the most chaotic events in the modern history of Israel was the forced withdrawal of all Jews from Gaza in the summer of 2005. It began on August 7th and continued through the 22nd, as nearly 9,000 Israelis were uprooted from their land and homes.
Many had been in the area for as long as 35 years. Their withdrawal was made at the insistence of the U.S. government as part of the appeasement policy of “trading land for peace.”
It was a heart-wrenching event to watch women and children manhandled, synagogues violated, Torah scrolls desecrated, houses bulldozed, graves dug up and farms destroyed. Entire Jewish communities were forcibly removed from land which God had given to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession (Psalm 105:8-11).
The economic impact on the Israeli economy was overwhelming. The farms in Gaza represented 70% of Israel’s organic produce, 60% of the nation’s exported herbs, 15% of its total agricultural exports, 60% of its exported cherry tomato crop and $120 million of its flower exports.
And while this travesty was taking place, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began applying more pressure with the following statement: “Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing… but it cannot be Gaza only.”3
The Supernatural Response
The withdrawal from Gaza ended on August 22, 2005, and on the very next day, the government of Bermuda announced that a tropical depression had formed off its coast. Dubbed “Katrina,” the storm quickly developed into the most powerful hurricane in modern history. It slammed into New Orleans and the Mississippi coast four days later on the 27th. The hurricane disrupted 25% of our crude oil production and destroyed our nation’s largest port (the fifth largest in the world in terms of tonnage).
I think it is interesting to note that the hurricane hit just three days before New Orleans, a city which often refers to itself proudly as “Sin City USA,” was scheduled to host an ungodly event that had come to be called “The Gay Mardi Gras.” The theme that year was to be “Jazz and Jezebels.” The previous year the event had drawn 125,000 revelers who proudly flaunted their perversion publicly in a parade that featured the bizarre. Incredibly, this event was sponsored by a group that called itself “Southern Decadence.”
Nonetheless, I do not believe the storm was meant primarily as a judgment upon the city of New Orleans. Rather, I consider it to have been a judgment on our entire nation for our mistreatment of Israel.
The consequences of the storm were national in scope. It resulted in higher fuel prices which led to higher prices for all goods. It disrupted indefinitely the flow of goods into and out of our country. It resulted in a significant increase in our national debt. It shamed us before the world as we mishandled the aftermath. And it deeply scarred the Bush Administration.
During the Obama Administration, Israel was treated with contempt. Obama launched his presidency by traveling to the Middle East where he apologized to the Arab world for our support of Israel and made it plain that our nation’s policies regarding the Middle East would be changed. And he wasted no time in following up on that promise as he began to manhandle the Israelis and their leader, Prime Minister Netanyahu.
By the time Obama left office, he was treating Israel like some Third World banana republic. He expressed open contempt for the nation’s leaders and condemned their possession of the highlands of Judea and Samaria (what the world calls “The West Bank”). One of his last efforts in office was to engineer a United Nations resolution of condemnation of Israel. Is it any wonder that his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, lost the election?
The Trump Reversal
President Trump put a halt to our mistreatment of Israel. He reversed all of Obama’s negative Middle East policies, and he stopped the land-for-peace appeasement policy that had been forced upon Israel by the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Most significantly, he recognized Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel.
But he has since started peddling a “peace plan” that would result in the creation of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel.4 He does not understand that the problem is not a political one that can be solved by a “deal.” It is a spiritual problem that will be resolved only when the Prince of Peace returns.
Further, the president does not seem to understand that the Palestinians will never agree to a “two-state” solution, unless they view it as giving them a better launching pad for their final assault against the Jewish state. The bottom line is that the Arabs really do not want another Palestinian state (the first being the nation of Jordan). What they want is the annihilation of the Jewish state.
President Trump also needs to proceed very cautiously because the Bible says in Joel 3:1-2 that any nations involved in the end times in dividing up the land of Israel will suffer the wrath of God.
Another thing end time prophecy makes very clear is that the favorable policies of Trump toward Israel will not last, because the Bible says point blank that all the nations of the world will come against Israel (Zechariah 12:3). As it stands now, there is no doubt that our nation will flip in its support of Israel the moment that the Democrats regain the White House. The New York Post recently asserted that mainline Democrats have “rolled over” so far to the left, so quickly, on Israel “that it’s hard to imagine them returning to a sane place.” The Post added, “Jews, who vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, need to finally wake up to the reality that their party despises the world’s sole Jewish state.”5
In the third and final part of this series looking at the new factor, we will embrace God’s message through Hurrican Katrina.