Can God use the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership for His kingdom plan? Since the Bible explicitly shows that God is in control of all things, including the decisions of the leaders of nations (cf. Proverbs 21:1), then the answer must be an unequivocal yes! God can use that bid; in fact, He IS using it to align with His end-times prophetic plan.
The drama toward this bid began building back Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced he would go to the U.N. for a resolution calling for a new Palestinian state. It appeared to culminate in his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas submitted the statehood bid to the U.N. In formally asking the United Nations for full U.N. membership (for his undefined state), Abbas defied U.S. and Israeli opposition. In fact, in calling for this vote, Abbas publicly rebuffed President Obama who had been working furiously to prevent the Palestinian leader from making this move.
On Wednesday of last week, the president publicly rejected the Palestinians' U.N. bid. In doing so, it appears that President Obama punished Palestinian leader Abbas for rejecting the White House's request to shelve the Palestinian U.N. bid. How so? Instead of delivering a U.N. speech that favored the Palestinian narrative in some way, including a discussion of Israeli "settlement" activity, or that served as an impartial mediator, the president presented a one-sided talk to the General Assembly as Israel's ally. This is the first time the president has done this in any public speech since stepping into office.
It may have taken more than two and a half years, but President Obama finally spoke up for Israel. This out-of-character move for the president suggests a work of God going on. This is highlighted by the fact that less than a week after making that impassioned speech for the Jewish nation, the Obama administration returned to its pattern of, once again, publicly condemning Israel. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly criticized the Jewish building in Gilo, a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.) That this one-time very positive alignment with Israel is an anomaly suggests God at work in a special way.
Another factor that indicates God's special working is the fact that if the U.N. votes in favor of the Palestinian bid for membership, it will violate its own charter. (This is because U.N. membership is only open to states, and there is no Palestinian state. In fact, the Palestinians do not match the definition of statehood in any form or function. This includes controlling a particular land area with defined borders, having an economic system that supports itself as a state, and possessing a political system that can legally function in legislation and by carrying out the laws it legislates.) That Abbas would propose this bid—and that the U.N. would hear this proposal—in light of this, not only adds some flair to the building drama, it also signals the insanity of this proposal and God's work to accomplish His kingdom plan.
Abbas' statehood bid depends on the U.S., Israel, and, to some extent, on Europe. However, Washington and Europe agree that the PA U.N. bid is unwise. In fact, the Quartet issued a new proposal for Middle East talks which the Palestinians have rejected.
Thus, Abbas' approach on this U.N. bid has annoyed all parties involved, pushing them away from a willingness to extend themselves for his cause. In fact, it has been the generosity of the U.S. and European that has kept the Palestinians afloat these many years, and it has been Israel that has made all of the concessions (and the Palestinians none) to keep peace alive in a possible two-state solution. Yet, for Abbas, it is not enough; so he chooses to ignore the pleadings of the three parties that could really help him and turns away.
This adds one more indication of the insanity of Abbas' move. It will isolate him from the U.S. and from Europe; but, more importantly for him, it could cost the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars—money that is desperately needed by them at this time. So why make this move now?
It appears that countries are beginning to realize that approving the U.N. membership of the Palestinians sets a dangerous precedent. This is true of not just the Palestinians, but of any state in which negotiated solutions are best or even necessary. Could Abbas not have foreseen the precedent for which he is asking?
Finally, while the possibility of a Middle East treaty between Israel and the Palestinians has been dead for some time, the Palestinians seemed to seal the deal by running to the U.N. for a declaration on Palestinian statehood. By doing this, they not only announced their disinterest in negotiating a treaty with Israel, they also freed the Jewish nation from any of its obligations toward the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords. (This is because for the Palestinians to achieve U.N. membership, which is what they are seeking, the Palestinian status would need to change from Palestinian authority. But it was as an "authority" that the Oslo Accords were negotiated with Israel; so to change from that status is to negate those obligations.)
Why would he risk so much on such a tenuous proposal? There appears to be only one viable explanation to this and other legitimate questions on Abbas' approach; God wants it to happen as part of the alignment with His end-times prophetic plan. Nothing else makes much sense.
It appears God is using this U.N. bid to permanently move the Palestinians away from any possibility of negotiating a Middle East treaty with Israel. Since Israel is at the center of His prophetic plan, and since the Palestinians are absent from the prophetic picture given in Scripture, it appears that God is using this U.N. bid to move the Palestinians out of the prophetic picture.
In addition, the U.S. is absent from that same prophetic picture. Since the U.S. has been tied to a possible Middle East treaty with Israel through the Palestinians, the removal of the Palestinians from this treaty possibility also removes the U.S. from the prophetic picture of God.
Moreover, the removal of Israel's obligations to the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords frees Israeli leadership to entertain other participants in a regional treaty. This, too, seems to align with God's prophetic plan, as the Bible indicates that the co-signatories of the end-times treaty with Israel will be ten national leaders (five from Europe and five from the Middle East). Thus, the door is finally opening for this fulfillment.
The U.N. is presently the center of a fascinating event. On the surface, this U.N. bid makes no sense; in fact, it smacks of insanity on the part of Mahmoud Abbas. However, it is just that appearance which signals that a significant work of God is occurring behind the scenes. God is turning the hearts of the leaders of nations toward fulfilling the Bible's predicted, end-times treaty. So, keep looking 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.]