By Amy Zewe
Genesis 12:3 tells us God’s promise, “I will bless those who bless you,” referring here to Israel and its people.
Isaiah Chapter 40 tells us, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed….”
Last week I relayed a tiny portion of the persecution and torment that Jews worldwide and the state of Israel endure at the hands of antisemitism.
This week, I’d like to highlight not whose pointing figures at the Jews, but rather who is standing up to the Jews and Israel, and who may benefit from God’s promises.
On September 15, at the White House, a historic moment occurred. President Trump hosted the leaders of Israel, The UAE, and Bahrain to sign a peace agreement.
So, who are the players standing up?
The UAE, of course, was the first of the Arab nations in several decades to reach out formally and enthusiastically to normalize relations with Israel—diplomatic, political, economic, and cultural. Including direct airline flights, tourism, business, and scientific partnerships, and more.
Bahrain is following suit. They started with first allowing Israeli flights to use its airspace, and now they are formalizing a signed peace deal!
Abu Dhabi directed all hotels to offer Kosher foods—clearly a gesture of welcome to Jewish patrons.
Kosovo and Serbia will recognize Israel and move an embassy to Jerusalem, as announced in early September. The reaction from the European Union (EU) was to economically threaten them and Turkey is issuing “concerns”; but President Trump is working hard to counteract that EU threat. The agreement that Trump brokered eased tensions between Serbia and Kosovo—something the EU has been trying to do unsuccessfully for at least two decades. And with that deal, the recognition of Israel and the move of the embassy. This deal doesn’t solve everyone’s problems instantly, but it is a clear and decisive move forward to peace and prosperity. The EU is hung up on the Israel-component, which is a telling sign in and of itself.
More subtle but still profound outcomes so far are as follows:
Hungary is the only EU member state to send a representative to the White House signing ceremony.
Oman openly praised the agreement “welcoming” it.
Morocco announced direct flights established between it and Israel.
Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace to Israeli flights (saving time, money, fuel as practical measures but also revealing an ease in tensions).
The Arab League refused to condemn the peace agreements even at the behest of the PA’s demand for it to do so. The PA is also claiming they will remove their delegates from Arab states recognizing and normalizing relations with Israel.
As the UAE-Israeli peace agreement announced about a month ago has a foothold being solidified as these other nations are following the UAE’s lead. I believe the forward-thinking leaders of these nations and their people will receive the blessing of Genesis 12:3; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And when God commands us to “Comfort His People,” we can do that in many ways. Our organization does this though Operation Life and The Moses Project whose efforts in Israel to save unborn Israelis receives our prayers and support. The Aliyah programs we support help Jews realize a generational dream of returning to the land of Israel, and Shelley Neese’s archeology endeavors reveal the land’s empirical evidences supporting historical and Biblical texts–there are so many ways to comfort the Jewish people.
The safety and security of Israel and its people are, of course, a pivotal avenue on which to comfort Israel and her people. The UAE peace agreement brokered by President Trump is not just about ending hostile tensions between Arab nations and Israel—it has far more reaching influences.
So why is the Arab Leagues’ silence so important? The Arab League was founded in 1945 to organize Arab nations and specifically oppose the nation-state of Israel. Its formation’s purpose was to unite faction Arab nations and groups against Israel. This unity was to be militarily, economically, and politically. It was the Arab League’s initiatives that first started the boycott measures against Israel since its founding in 1948. The boycott is administered by the Damascus-based Central Boycott Office, a specialized bureau of the Arab League. In the 1970s the US Government made it illegal for US companies to participate in these boycotts—but the current BDS movement is founded in this mindset. Because of inter-Arab rivalries, the League has generally been unable to pursue a consistent agenda beyond general opposition to Israel.
Therefore, the current silence from the Arab League is angering the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its supporters who blame Israel for all the regions problems.
By 2016, the PA was getting frustrated with the Arab League noting that the issue of the Palestinians was no longer of concern or a priority to them. And according to the Council on Foreign relations, In February 2020, the league officially denounced the Middle East peace plan put forth by U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s administration, saying it “does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.” Yet, several league members appeared to tacitly support the plan: ambassadors from Bahrain, Oman, and leaders from Egypt and Saudi Arabia commended Trump’s efforts. And now we see more than a commending, we see participation.
To the dismay of the PA Leadership, the UAE and influential leaders in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are thinking for themselves and with a new integrity. Shaking off the blind hate of the generations of Arafat followers, Arabs and their leaders are seeing that Israel is a light in their region, a powerhouse of innovation and a potential economic partner as well as a strategic security partner.
So, as the Arab nation peace-seekers move forward, they bless Israel by
- Recognizing Israel.
- Refusing to fold into the demands of the PA
- Calling out the lies against Israel that have been drummed for so long and identifying the true culprit of Palestinian suffering—their own leadership
- Normalizing relations from political to economic, to cultural and artistic and educational,
These enumerated blessings are also comforting to Israel.
The result that I have seen is social media being flooded with photos of collaboration between Jews and Arabs—Israeli models on photoshoots in Arab lands with Arab models. Israeli musicians performing in Arab lands. Arab musician performing Hebrew and Israel melodies. Collaboration between businesses, security organizations, scientists, educational organizations, tourism outlets, artists, the list goes on….
And, not to mention that President Trump has been nominated several times now for the Nobel peace prize for his efforts in these monumental happenings.
I have heard for a few months from close contacts who work and associate with various Arab officials that the mood is they want peace. They want progress. They want the standards of their people and Israelis to be raised: standards including safety, security, and economic and cultural collaboration. Let me not fail to mention that for over a decade, evangelical leaders have met with Arab leaders on outings of good will and relationship building. I believe these actions have had influence on today’s happenings. Many have worked hard for decades fostering back channel diplomacy and relationships to bring what we see in the light of day today to fruition.
We shall continue to bless and comfort for the benefit of all!
Shavua Tov. Have a great week.