THE WORDS had barely been uttered by Mahmoud Abbas, when a chill went up and down my spine. "We need East Jerusalem to be our capital," said the Palestinian leader, who has sometimes been referred to as "Yasser Arafat in a better-fitting suit."
As a former Middle East bureau chief for a major news-gathering organization, based in Jerusalem, when Abbas mouthed those words, it brought the message home, loud and clear to me of his fractured government's intentions. Then he followed it up with a caveat of "and to establish open relations with West Jerusalem."
While the rhetoric, which involved not only the Palestinians, but Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, and the "orchestra conductor" U.S. President George Bush, seemed innocent enough during the opening of the Annapolis "peace" summit, the Palestinians have already marked out the Jewish homeland for their use.
In the past, as historians will tell you, Arafat and his henchmen, which included Abbas, had the objective of driving Israel into the sea, but apparently now have taken a different tact and are trying the diplomatic route to achieve their objective.
However, the dangers of such rhetoric could take on Biblical proportions.
On Nov. 4, 1995, former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo agreements at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv. And then there's another PM, Ariel Sharon, who has been comatose since Jan. 4, 2006, following a massive stroke. Sharon had endorsed the Road Map for Peace, and had opened a dialogue with Abbas.
Whether there is a connection between Rabin's death and Sharon's present condition is still a matter of conjecture, but countless Biblical scholars and even politicians agree that Bush, Olmert and Abbas are confronting the All-Mighty.
Since a multitude believe Jerusalem (both East and West) to be God's Holy City and belongs to the Jewish people, and not the Muslims, there will always be war over it.
Bill Wilson, a senior analyst based in Washington, D.C., was quoted prior to the summit, as saying, "Spiritually, President Bush and his administration are at cross-purposes to prophetic passages in the Bible that pertain to Israel. Bush is insistent on Israel giving up its traditional Biblical lands for a peace agreement with so-called Palestinians."
The use of the words, "so-called Palestinians," seems to be quite contentious for some say there's no such place as Palestine, which has become a catch word within the Bush contingent. Some claim those in Gaza, including the terrorists such as Hamas, and from the West Bank are just displaced peoples from Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Wilson also pointed out Gaza had deteriorated into a "lawless base of terror" and would never be able to co-exist in harmony with Israel. In addition, the analyst believed Bush had only moved a "spiritual stronghold" from the Middle East to Annapolis.
The Bush-Olmert-Abbas summit, which also involved more than 40 nations, has all the elements for disaster.
Bill Koenig, a respected Washington newsman and a possible U.S. presidential candidate in 2008, in his newsletter outlined major "Acts of God" that coincided with the timing of U.S. pressure on Israel to give up The Land.
Briefly here are three of them:
* Oct. 30, 1991: U.S. President Bush (the father) opens the Madrid Conference concerning a "peace plan involving Israel's land." On the same day, "the Perfect Storm," including 100-foot waves hit the New England coast, causing heavy damage to Bush's Kennebunkport home;
* August 23, 1992: The Madrid Conference moves to Washington, D.C. and talks resume. On that day, one of the worst natural disasters, Hurricane Andrew, lashed Florida, leaving 180,000 homeless and causing $30 billion in damage;
* May 3, 1999: This is the same day in Israel that Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital. That same day, winds clocked at 316 mph sweeps across Oklahoma and Kansas.
As the Annapolis summit opened, two Israeli quake experts, Shmuel Marko and Oded Katz, said: "We know that the area between the Kinneret and the Dead Sea was subject to several large quakes, in 31 BC, 362 BC, 549 BC and 1033 AD. Another major one is coming soon."
Another 'Act of God'?