What Percentage of Israel Should Israel Keep?

I know US news is claiming your attention right now. From riots, protests, lockdowns, COVID-19, and more, the daily news and social media feeds are enough to make one’s head spin. However, I’ve been encouraged to see stories of revival, prayer, and unity interspersed within the daily negativity. Calls for revival from pastors and leaders and stories of salvation are popping up amidst the chaos all across the United States. 

Without a doubt, I’m convinced that the events in the United States are directly tied to our treatment and attitude towards Israel. I believe that amidst the calls for revival in America’s Christianity, we need to pay attention to God’s call from Scripture to look towards Jerusalem. The “Deal of the Century” has the potential to be one of the best demonstrations of US support in American history, or one of the worst. It’s on our watch. For a comprehensive overview of past US peace plans and their direct repercussions, read Don’t Touch the Apple of God’s Eye, published on the Heartland Report. 

When the peace plan was first released, it received near unanimous support across the pro-Israel and Jewish communities worldwide. Now, however, more and more leaders are voicing their concerns over the implications of the plan. Now, most conservative leaders in Israel are against the implementation of sovereignty under the current plan’s conditions. 

The YESHA Council this week released their own map for sovereignty, one which does not allow for the creation of a Palestinian state. The map prevents any settlements from being isolated, and ensures that the roads in Judea and Samaria are included in the sovereignty plan. Basically, the YESHA Council’s plan is 100% pro-settlements in Israel’s heartland. While the “Deal of the Century” is in favor of some settlements, it also isolates some fifteen Jewish communities. They would exist only as enclaves, and be connected to the rest of Israel by roads that would travel through a potential Palestinian terrorist state. There are also another 25 settlements that are considered “outposts”. Many of these have been left out of the conceptual map under the “Deal of the Century”. It’s possible that these communities would be destroyed and their residents uprooted under the application of the plan.

YESHA Council chairman David Elhayani said it best: “We demand that the Prime Minister listen to the needs of the settlements and bring a better and more correct map of sovereignty, and not a map of a Palestinian state. It should have a continuum of Israeli settlements which will prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. Sovereignty must be done right.”

In a new report, Netanyahu is considering breaking up the application of sovereignty into two stages. The first stage would involve applying sovereignty to 10% of Judea and Samaria, starting with the more obscure settlements. After this first step, Israel would give the Palestinian Authority several months to return to the negotiating table. If they do not enter into negotiations with Israel (as most believe they won’t), Israel would then finish applying sovereignty to the remaining 20% of the heartland. This would include the Jordan Valley and the major settlement blocs.

By this approach, Israel would hope to win more favor with the US Administration, showing that they are taking negotiations with the Palestinians seriously. They would be demonstrating that if the Palestinians return to negotiations, they would be willing to accept the creation of a Palestinian state. While perhaps a smart political move, this is also a dangerous one as it leaves the door open for the establishment of a terrorist entity in the midst of Israel’s heartland. 

Another report shows yet another real danger to the current version of the mapping under the “Deal of the Century”. Judea and Samaria contain 365 major antiquities sites which provide proof of Israel’s national heritage. According to the conceptual map under Trump’s plan, 135 of these sites would fall under Palestinian control. There is little doubt as to what would happen to the sites if placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. If they decide to destroy these heritage sites, the “biblical heartland” of Israel would lose its proof of identity. The heartland would no longer be the heartland. 

In the midst of all of the crazy sovereignty news, a recent survey conducted in Israel shows that the right wing bloc would win 65 seats if elections were held today. There has been speculation here in Israel as to whether Netanyahu will dissolve the current government and hold new elections in order to strengthen his coalition. As of right now, this seems unlikely. In the midst of so much uncertainty however, anything is possible. 

As Americans, it is our duty to share with others, especially our elected leaders, the truth of what God has to say about sovereignty in Israel. The only peace plan that will work in the long term, and align itself with God’s word, is sovereignty over the entire land of Israel. 

While praying for the chaos in the United States, make sure you’re also praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Remember, the light will go forth from Zion (Isaiah 51:4). Peace in Jerusalem will emanate to the rest of the world.

For Zion’s sake, do not keep silent at this time (Isaiah 62:1).

About the author

Luke Hilton is the Director of Marketing for HaYovel, an organization that brings Christians to Judea and Samaria, the Biblical Heartland of Israel, to serve the land and people in volunteer service. Luke has been speaking about Israel since 2011, and has traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia speaking about Israel. He currently co-hosts The Israel Guys Youtube channel and podcast. Luke is based in Israel with his lovely wife Olivia and their five beautiful children.

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