Dividing Jerusalem, surrendering Judea and Samaria
Needless to say, this has not gone down too well, with either religious or secular Jews. When the Prime Minister, a former mayor of Jerusalem, told parliament that Israelis would have to ‘forego some of their national dreams and aspirations’, one heckler shouted: ‘Is Jerusalem a dream?’ Likud Chairman and former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded that the strategy ‘would eventually lead to an Iranian terrorist presence in Jerusalem and the rest of Israel’. With Iran bombing Israel via Lebanon in the north, and a second front from the west through Gaza, Mr Netanyahu says that Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria ‘will lead to a third Iranian outpost’. Starkly, he warns: ‘Olmert will place Hamas men on the walls of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will fast become a pilgrimage site for terrorists from all over the world… The government's policy is afflicted with total blindness…a vision must be rooted in the ground- not suspended in the clouds.’
The most contentious part of the proposals would relate to the Old City, which includes the holy sites. Although no details have yet been outlined, the inference is that there would be less than full Israeli sovereignty. It is mooted that there might be some impartial international presence, which will doubtless satisfy no-one, and may thereby be deemed the most equitable solution.
But neither Prime Minister Olmert nor President Bush will have the last word on this issue, if only because YHWH himself has an interest. There are indeed many difficult issues to resolve, yet Cranmer doubts that the United Nations is capable of acting impartially on this matter. Ultimately, the land of Israel belongs to God: ‘The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof’ (Ps 24:1). However, God promised this land to the descendants of Jacob, and he allotted to Israel more land than is contained in her present borders. God said to Joshua: ‘Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the Great River, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory’ (Josh 1:3f). The land was bequeathed to the twelve tribes of Israel, and it includes land east of the river Jordan, as well as all the land west of it until the Mediterranean Sea.
It is not Cranmer’s view that Israel should be waging military campaigns to conquer and subdue, or to enlarge her borders. But neither is it his belief that Israel should compromise one inch of territory which could imperil her security and lead to her destruction.
And God forbid that the Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Bob Geldof or the Pope should become the UN’s High Representative for Jerusalem.