|Swedish ministers foresee peace for Israel in EU|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 21 October 2013 23:05|
Two Swedish parliamentarians have voiced their support for Israel to become a member of the European Union. Erik Scheller of the Swedish Liberal Party, and Arba Kokalari of the Moderate Party, both candidates for the European Parliament, believe that Israeli membership of the EU could pave the way for a future peace agreement in the Middle East. Citing Israel's existing Association Agreement with the European Union, common cultural ties and economic interests, the two believe the entrance of Israel into the EU is a natural choice. They argue that Europe should look beyond its geographical borders and expand to 'the west, the south and the east'. They believe that the EU stands to gain financially from new markets and that the region as a whole will benefit from the EU's political stability.
Quote: “Moving from a well developed partnership to a road map towards EU membership would be a powerful statement as new peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are continuing. It would also, through demands on the Israeli ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights, offer a platform for a future peace treaty in the Middle East. In extension, a candidate process from the future Palestinian state should also be welcomed.
Despite the economic downturn in the EuroZone, enlargement of the European Union has continued at a steady pace. In recent days the EU accepted Croatia as its 28th member state. Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro have been granted Candidate status. And talks have also recommenced again over the possibility of Turkey joining the union.
EU policy states that only countries belonging to the Council of Europe may become full members. Israel only has Observer status in this group, and only then because the Arab League refused Israel a seat in their organization. Strictly speaking this rules out full Israeli membership of the EU. I don't know if an exception could be made. But having said that, Israel already enjoys strong relations with the European Union through an Association Agreement, and the EU already extends its sphere of influence over the Middle East through its Union for the Mediterranean project. Israel and a future 'Palestinian state' may not become full members of the European Union, but I do believe that EU's influence in the Middle East will be a determining factor in regards to the drafting of a peace agreement.
The Bible indicates in Daniel 9:26-27 that a world leader will soon arise who will strengthen a covenant of peace between Israel and many people for a period of seven years. Who is this world leader? Three times the book of Daniel firmly identifies this world leader with the old Roman Empire. The first time is in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue (Daniel 2:33). This statue represented five successive world empires that were to rule over the nation of Israel. They were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and a revived form of the Roman Empire. The two legs of iron represented the old Roman Empire. The two feet, divided into ten toes, were made of part iron and part clay. They retained the strength of the previous empire (the iron), but did not cleave one to another (the clay). That describes the state of the European Union today. Daniel's vision of the four beasts in chapter seven represents those same world empires, and shows us that a revived form of the Roman Empire will exist at the time of Christ's return. This end-time leader, the Antichrist, is seen as the 'little horn' that arises out of a ten-horned kingdom (Daniel 7:8). And finally, in Daniel 9:27, we have this world leader identified for us as the ruler of the people who would destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD. That was the Romans under Titus.
Today the nation of Israel is seeking a covenant of peace with their neighbours. During the Second Lebanese War in 2006, Israeli President Ehud Olmert called for an eternal “covenant of peace” with their enemies. The day is fast approaching when Satan's man will give them what they want. But at what cost!
This news shows us that the return of Christ is drawing near. He is coming back again, first of all to take those who have trusted in Him for salvation, to be with Him where He is (John 14:3). And then He will return in judgement upon this world, to save Israel from their enemies, and to set up His everlasting kingdom which shall never be destroyed. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. Have your sins been forgiven? Have you trusted in Him for salvation? He died for you. He bore God's punishment for your sins upon the cross of Calvary (Isaiah 53:10). And all who believe on Him for salvation shall receive the forgiveness of sins. Turn away from your sins. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.