ASK Commentary
May 29, 2003 

The Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East

Commentary for May 29, 2003 — Hidden Threat of Imposed Settlement

A proposed solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict has been formulated and worked on for many months by various governmental and non-governmental agencies around the world. This document made its public appearance in a release by the United States State Department on April 30, 2003. It is titled “A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” which is to be found at the U.S. State Department website. It is a surprisingly short but comprehensive document and I will quote important passages from it.

The Roadmap discusses three phases:

“Phase 1 – Ending Terror and Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions — Present to May 2003”
“Phase 2 – Transition — June 2003–December 2003”
“Phase 3 – Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict — 2004–2005”

As of today President Bush is traveling to the Middle East to hold summit meetings and to broker a deal with the parties involved and other countries in the region. This is an event with worldwide significance and should not be underestimated. The full prestige, influence, and power of the United States is behind this initiative for peace. Great pressure will be put on the parties to accept this peace proposal.

Roadmap Phrasing

There are some interesting things to note about the Roadmap. As its name shows it is an event driven, performance-based plan which in terms of time is already a bit behind schedule. It is a plain-speaking document that uses simple, clear words and not ambiguous, interpretive or diplomatic language. Its words are not subject to difficulties in translation. This signifies that this is a document intended to get results for its stated purpose.

The Roadmap’s careful wording is done so that both parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians, have obligations and duties. When one party is given a task, the other party is given a task also. The goal of the Roadmap “is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2006.” This is an ambitious goal.

Roadmap Contents

The first steps are for the Palestinian leadership to issue an “unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist” and for a ceasefire. The Israeli leadership must commit to “an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state.” Note the statements asserting that,

“All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”
“All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.”

The requirement is for an end of violence and terrorism at a future time when,

(a) The Palestinians “have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy.”
(b) Israel’s obligation is to be ready to “do what is necessary for a Palestinian state to be established.”
(c) Both parties are expected to accept “the goal of a negotiated settlement.”

The negotiations will be monitored, assisted and facilitated by four major powers: the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. This monitoring will be “informal” at first and “formal” later. These world powers,

“will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties performance on implementation of the plan. In each phase, the parties are expected to perform their obligations in parallel …”

Roadmap Threat

The implied threat is that if Israel and the Palestinian Authority do not come to a negotiated settlement, the world powers will impose a settlement upon them. This threat reads all the way through this document. This is a threat backed by the will of the major national and international powers in the world today. This threat cannot be ignored.

Roadmap Recognition of Past Wrongdoing

The Roadmap indicates that several parties are guilty of past wrongs. It calls upon the Palestinians to “arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.” It also calls upon “Arab states to cut off public and private funding … for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.” Besides calling for an Israeli withdrawal from certain territories, it subtly but clearly warns the government of Israel to take,

“no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attacks on civilians, confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures …”

Roadmap Status of Jerusalem

Not surprisingly the most difficult issues are dealt with last. One short sentence deals with an important issue that is central to the religious beliefs of literally billions of people on earth today. Although this issue has not yet come to the front of the news in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is the central issue to the entire situation. It is the status of Jerusalem. In Phase 3, the Roadmap desires that the parties reach,

“a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.”

These are good words, but the reality could be very different. The religious differences simmer below the surface, even below the immediate causes of violence and bloodshed today.

Roadmap Flaw

A peace settlement such as the Roadmap to Peace ultimately will be impossible without the recognition and acceptance of all parties that the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem were built above and west of the Gihon Spring, and not on Al-Haram al-Sharif. Even if there is short-term agreement, any settlement will break down over the important issue of sovereignty over the Haram. However, the evidence is clear that the Haram is not the site of the Jerusalem Temples. The support for the truth of the evidence is growing steadily around the world. The numbers of those who know, understand and acknowledge the truth of Dr. Martin’s Temple evidence is growing steadily.

The evidence can be viewed in several articles on this website at the “Temple Update” page. Review them if you have not read them recently. Of course the most complete presentation is in Dr. Martin’s book, The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot. This information shows that the structure of Al-Haram al-Sharif is not built on any religiously significant artifacts or site. The Wailing Wall is not an original wall of the Temple outer sanctuary. Real reconciliation among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Israel and Palestine and neighboring states will only begin with recognition of the Jerusalem Temples’ true location.

Significance of Dr. Martin’s Evidence

The peace talks between President Clinton, Chairman Arafat of Palestine and Prime Minister Barak of Israel at Camp David in the year 2000 broke down over the specific issue of control over the so-called Temple Mount, the Haram. Public recognition and acknowledgment by the interested political and religious parties that the Temples were south of the Haram would be a major step toward making a fair accommodation possible, indeed likely for all parties. The obvious benefits far outweigh any negatives that can result. No one loses actual or perceived power.

Benefits to Muslims (spiritual and secular)

Full religious sovereignty over al-Haram al-Sharif is important to Muslims to the extent that they shall look favorably upon those individuals, groups and governments who assist gaining what they feel is their rightful and true traditional religious ownership.

The Dome of the Rock was constructed by Abd al-Malik in 692 C.E. (on top of an older Christian Church) as a place of prayer for all “Peoples of the Book.” It was an ecumenical structure. All Peoples of the Book are to be honored, so says the inscription in Arabic on the inside of the Dome of the Rock. In addition, it was the likely historical site for the trial of Jesus before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Thus, the Rock and site would be of interest to Christian tourists. This structure could regain its intended purpose for peace. Muslims who pray to Mecca at the Dome of the Rock would pray through the correct site of the Temple to the south of the Dome.

Muslim feeling on this issue is so strong that they would likely assist Jews in the archeological discovery and even assist in the rebuilding of their Temple, whether at the correct site to the south of the Haram, on the Mount of Olives, or anywhere other than the Haram. Al-Haram al-Sharif could be further renovated and its great beauty even enhanced according to Muslim wishes without protests. Muslims would look favorably on a quick resolution of political tensions once the historical evidence is acknowledged. It is expected that Muslim pilgrims, even millions, would go to Jerusalem to see the Dome of the Rock, and the Temple sites. Prosperity, trade, economic growth and cooperation between Jews and Palestinians would expand to quickly make the region a formidable economic power.

Benefits to Jews (spiritual and secular)

An acceptance of the correct site of the Temples would allow Jews (both within and outside of Israel) to come to terms with Muslims as mutual descendants of Abraham, both heirs to the promises and blessings made by God to Abraham. The Jews could rebuild their Temple immediately (again, whether on the original site, on the Mount of Olives or elsewhere within the city, but not on the Haram), unencumbered by religious tensions, and possibly with Muslim and Arab approval and assistance. With Israeli technical skills, cooperation and accommodation, the entire region would see an economic miracle take place. That economic success could be the catalyst for prosperity around the world for all of Abraham’s descendants,

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Genesis 12:3

Benefits to Christians (spiritual and secular)

A direct result from peace in Jerusalem would see Christians benefit by increased tourism and pilgrimage. Tourism would expand explosively. Nations with major Christian populations will look favorably at a peaceful settlement to the problems of the Temple and Jerusalem as a basis for a larger settlement framework for other political accommodations.

Benefits to the Western World

If Western powers were to advance full religious sovereignty over Al-Haram al-Sharif, recognition of the true site of their Temples, and the formation of a Palestinian state, the Western world would not only receive appreciation from a thankful Palestinian people, but from the Muslim and Jewish people around the world. The West would strengthen alliances in the war on terrorism. The United States and other Western nations would be recognized as honest brokers giving gifts to all parties and being mediators for peace in the seemingly unsolvable problems of Jerusalem and Israel. Israel and Palestine would become the top tourist destination in the world. Investment in the Middle East, Israel, Palestine and Jerusalem would be massive with prosperity having effects around the world for decades to come.

The Sure Future

Israel will see times in the future of prosperity and peace, and will be known as,

“the land of unwalled villages; … that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.”

Ezekiel 38:10

This is certainly not the situation at present. It has never been the situation since the creation of Israel in 1947. Extremely powerful military formations and defenses are to be found at all of Israel’s borders and surrounding her villages, towns and her cities. This prophecy of Ezekiel has never been fulfilled in the past, but it will be fulfilled in the future. You can be assured that some time in the near future “peace” and “safety” and “unwalled villages” without bars or gates will exist in the land of Israel as an essential condition for other prophetic events to take place.

David Sielaff

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