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On August 23, 2005, the Israeli army, on orders from the Israeli government, under extreme pressure by the US administration, completed its evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip, and Gaza was turned over to the Palestinians (and hasn’t that proven to be a wise move).
"Jewish homes in the Gaza Strip will be destroyed when Israel pulls out its troops and settlers. … The view is that there are better land uses for the Palestinians to better address their housing needs … [the parties would] work towards a plan for destruction and clean-up."
"Everyone has compassion for what the Israelis are going through right now, but it can’t stop with the Gaza Strip."
— US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the Jewish evacuation of Gaza, August 2005.
On August 23, 2005, a small and insignificant tropical storm appeared on the weather radar – named Katrina. On August 29, 2005, Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed, and New Orleans was completely evacuated. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless.
The connecting theme: evacuation, destruction of homes, homelessness. Coincidence? Maybe.
Over the weekend, Tony Blair arrived in Jerusalem as the representative of the Quartet, a coalition consisting of the US, the UK, the EU, and Russia, whose mission is to implement the Saudi peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. What is the Saudi peace plan? The Saudis will recognize Israel as a state when Israel returns all the land it captured in victory in the 1967 war. Let us not forget that the "captured" land, the Lord God considers as belonging to Israel, which is why, I suppose, He helped the Israelis capture it in the first place, despite the Arab coalition’s superior numbers. Today we know this disputed land as the West Bank, but the Bible calls this same territory "the mountains of Samaria" and "the hill country of Ephraim."
Then this morning, I read in the Jerusalem Post: IDF clears out settlers from Homesh. Why? Because this territory is to be returned to the Palestinians — Homesh is in the West Bank — as it is among the disputed territory of the Saudi peace plan. Why, I ask myself, does the army begin evacuating settlers right when Tony Blair arrives to begin his negotiations? Let us hope there is not any extreme pressure being applied to the Israeli government.
Oh, and by the way, the breaking news out of the UK this morning is the devastating flooding, due to a weekend thunderstorm, in which the banks of the Thames rose 3 feet in 12 hours. The flooding is forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
The connecting theme: evacuation, destruction of homes, homelessness. Coincidence? I think the Creator of heaven and earth is trying to get someone’s attention. Let’s hope someone is listening.
07/25 Update: While Arab ministers from Jordan and Egypt arrive in Israel for historic "land for peace" negotiations, Oxford (UK) residents are evacuated as flood waters rise.