After more than two and a half years of pushing and condemning Israeli leadership, the president, who has been "openly antagonistic to Israel's leadership," sided with Israel in a U.N. speech on September 21. At first glance, the purpose of the speech was, seemingly, to persuade the U.N. General Assembly not to vote for a resolution on a Palestinian state. However, there were like two other reasons for the content of this speech.
First, since the campaign for U.S. president has begun, President Obama needs to keep in mind that opinion polls show that Americans strongly side with Israel. By going to the U.N. for a resolution on U.N. membership for the Palestinians (which essentially means a Palestinian state, since only legitimate states can have U.N. membership), Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas set up a showdown with Israel, which forced President Obama to take sides. While Abbas may have thought that when it came down to it, Obama would support the Palestinians (as has been his habit since he stepped into office); yet, the overwhelming American support for Israel forced the president to choose Israel this time.
Second, both the U.S. House and the Senate overwhelmingly support Israel, which is why Congress has blocked $200 million in aid to the Palestinians for Abbas' stunt at the U.N., and it will remain blocked until the issue of Palestinian statehood is sorted out. Both the U.S. House and the Senate had threatened to do this if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas went through with his bid of U.N. membership, which he did on September 23. Abbas ignored U.S. threats and reneged on Oslo Accord obligations in pursuing a U.N. resolution. As Charles Krauthammer stated, Abbas is pursuing land without peace (and "land without peace is nothing but an invitation to national suicide").
Third, in forsaking negotiations for a Palestinian state—by going to the U.N.—Abbas turned against the Obama administration, which had been pleading with him not to do it. Abbas' stab-in-the-back move brought a "revenge" speech from Obama, in which he did not once "balance" his speech with kudos to the Palestinian leadership or with a condemnation of Israel, as has been his modus operandi.
However, the Obama administration's alignment with Israel did not last long. Less than a week after singing "kumbaya" with Israel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton renewed the war against Jewish building in Jerusalem when she publicly condemned planned construction in Gilo.
What is odd about this recent attack is that Gilo is not a settlement but a Jewish neighborhood. It is an integral part of Jerusalem, as Gilo is only a five-minute drive from the center of the city. This indicates almost an incessant need to pick a fight with Israeli leadership. After all, Israel has already shown that putting a moratorium on building in Jerusalem, which it did for ten months at Obama's "request," provided absolutely no movement from the Palestinians toward the bargaining table. Thus, it makes no sense to publicly condemn Israeli leadership for this building, even less sense when one realizes that Israeli national leadership does not control building in Jerusalem, and no sense when it focuses on a neighborhood that is Jewish, not Arab.
But the turn on Israel becomes even stranger when the next incident is added to the equation; then we see that, unfortunately, the Obama "war" on Israel is not just about building in Jerusalem. In a sharp turnaround from when she was a senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seeking to prevent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as part of Israel. In fact, she filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that a law, for which she voted while serving as a Senator, is unconstitutional. (The law mandates the U.S. government to give papers to an American citizen born in Jerusalem, showing the birthplace as Israel.) This is a direct affront to Israel, as well as to its capital city.
One might be able to explain some of this in a political sense, but even that does not fully explain this new "war" with Israel—at least, not the suddenness of the turn against Israel, nor the minutiae which appear to be the cause of the change in posture. However, the details can be explained by seeing they are all part of God's kingdom plan. In fact, the quick swings by the Obama administration appear to demonstrate the truth of Proverbs 21:1: Leaders are in the hands of God, and He turns their hearts to align with His plan.
Obama's short-lived alliance with the Jewish state served to push the Palestinians and the U.S. farther apart; then the swing back to the "new" war with Israel moved the U.S. leadership away from Israel once again. This is all part of alignment for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, as neither the U.S. nor the Palestinians found in Bible prophecy.
However, Israel is at the very center of the prophetic picture. Furthermore, a treaty with Israel, producing what will appear to the world as "peace and security," does appear in end-times prophecy. Thus, we would expect that neither the U.S. nor the Palestinians would be involved in that treaty with Israel, nor will they even be aligned with Israel when that treaty is enacted. That is exactly how things are shaping up.
[John Claeys serves with John Claeys Ministries through writing, speaking, and radio ministries and is the author of Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?, a riveting look of the events leading up to the return of Christ. See www.JohnClaeys.com for more information.]