Middle East - The Quest for Peace
Telecast Date: June 25, 1981
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   The following is a special presentation of the World Tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong.

   We can see now that we shall have no walls again. We shall sit together around the table to negotiate and settle no more wars, peace, real peace, and forever. It is in this human spirit that I say to you with all my heart, Shalom.

   The Middle East, a land of centuries-old conflict. But also, the land in which President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel have recently together lit the torch of peace. Will the rest of the Mideast see the light as well, or will the flame be summarily snuffed out? And this area becomes the very land that finally plunges mankind into World War III.

   Mideast, the quest for peace. The Middle East, long a land of great importance as the home of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, has today attained even more crucial significance with the current world energy crisis. One man who has become well acquainted with the problems in this part of the world is Herbert W. Armstrong. His firsthand knowledge of this area has kept him ahead of events there for over 30 years. A familiar face in the Mideast. He's had personal meetings with President Suleiman Franji of Lebanon, Prime Minister Hedi Nouira of Tunisia, King Hussein of Jordan, Prime Ministers Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Menachem Begin of Israel, and President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt. With all, Mr. Armstrong discusses the cause of war and the only sure way to peace.

   In order to better comprehend the current situation, we need to understand the events that have created the centuries-old Jew-Arab conflict and current OPEC problems. Why has there been such long-standing animosity between Arabs and Jews? Believe it or not? The whole thing started in a family squabble about 4000 years ago. A common ancestry for both the Arab and Jewish peoples. Yes, surprisingly, both trace their roots to one father, Abraham of the Bible, but to different mothers. Abraham's wife, Sarah, being childless, offered her handmaid, Hagar, to provide him an heir. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, the progenitor of the Arab peoples. However, Sarah finally did have a son, Isaac, and the Jewish people looked to him as their father. Herein lies the beginning of the centuries-old struggle between Arabs and Jews, two half-brothers fighting over an inheritance.

   After the Exodus from Egypt, the people of Israel of Old Testament Times, as descendants of Isaac, inherited and possessed the promised land under the successive reigns of David and Solomon. The area flourished in the hands of Isaac's descendants. But after the death of Solomon, Israel split into the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah, respectively. Both were eventually conquered and taken away into captivity, succeeding world-ruling empires, Babylonian, Persian, Greco-Macedonian, and Roman. Each in its turn conquered the area. Under the Persian reign, a contingency of Jews returned to Jerusalem to once again possess the promised land.

   It was the Roman Emperor Hadrian who was to hang the label "Palestine" on the area now occupied by modern-day Israel. In 70 A.D., the Romans destroyed the temple, and once again, the Jews were expelled from Palestine. The Arabs conquered the area in 640 A.D., passing it down as an inheritance from generation to generation. The descendants of Ishmael, the other half-brother, possessed the promised land. But then Zionism, the ideology that the Jewish people should have their homeland in Palestine, arose as a strong force in the early 20th century. With Jewish immigration from Europe beginning around 1870, Zionism played a major role in the development and formation of what is now the nation of Israel. Upon acquiring Palestine and Transjordan as mandates in 1920, the British designated Palestine for the establishment of a Jewish state. Then in 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to abolish the 1920 British mandate and partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, despite Arab rejection of the plan.

   On May 14th, 1948, the British withdrew their forces, and the new state of Israel was then proclaimed. With this background, we can understand why the very next day, troops from seven Arab states invaded Palestine in an effort to reclaim what had been their homeland for almost 2000 years.

   The ensuing war between Arab League nations and the fledgling state of Israel lasts for over a year and a half. Finally, on January 7th, 1949, the Jewish War of Independence ends by UN mediation. The war increases Israel's holdings by almost half. Most of the territory designated for a new Arab state is annexed by Egypt and Jordan, and over half a million displaced Arabs are confined to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. But the tension remains, and with the continual animosity exists the ever-present threat that war will break out again, and it does on July 26th, 1956, under the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal. An agreement with the Soviet Union has already provided Egypt with large quantities of arms.

   On October 26th, operating under a secret agreement with both England and France, Israel seizes the Sinai Peninsula, and Franco-British troops take over the Suez Canal, ostensibly to protect it. Pressured by the United States and the Soviet Union, Britain and France withdraw, but it is almost a year later before Israel pulls out.

   Following the Israeli withdrawal, a UN peacekeeping force is installed to guard the Egypt-Israeli border. But, this is yet another short-lived peace. In 1967, Egypt persuades the UN to withdraw its force from the Sinai, after which it immediately blockades the Gulf of Aqaba, shutting off a key Israeli shipping route. Then, Egypt deploys troops on the Israeli border. But this time, Israel strikes first in what came to be known as the Six-Day War.

   Israel seizes the Sinai Peninsula, Syria's Golan Heights, and all of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The victory is swift and decisive, and although the UN Security Council asks Israel to withdraw its troops from the occupied territory, Israel refuses.

   Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day, a day of fasting, a day of prayer, and suddenly a day of war. On October 6th, 1973. Egypt, in conjunction with Syria, invades Israeli-held territory. Egypt crosses the Suez Canal and pours into the Sinai Peninsula, while Syria attacks the Golan Heights. But initial success by Egypt and Syria is met by an overwhelming retaliation by Israel. The counter-attack carries Israeli troops to within 20 miles of Damascus and over the Suez Canal deep inside the Egyptian border.

   A cease-fire is finally negotiated on November 11th by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This war, the fourth since the establishment of Israel as a nation, was again one of heavy casualties on both sides, both militarily and economically. Only this time, the economic repercussions reached out to the rest of the world. Within the Arab League, the OPEC nations retaliated and announced a temporary oil embargo for nations supporting Israel, for the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. Oil prices soared upward to unprecedented new highs as shortages appeared.

   In the last 30 years, we've seen a quickening tempo of animosity in this part of the world. This acceleration of aggression is even more disturbing when viewed in light of man's new means of mass destruction. Today, with the current nuclear proliferation, only the ostrich light would say mankind's survival is not threatening. Does Israel have the bomb? What about the PLO? While many speculate that Israel already has nuclear weapons, most agree that supporters of the PLO would willingly provide the financial and technological support for them to attain nuclear capability. Such possibilities become even more frightening in this environment of ever-escalating tension. The world may well have viewed with alarm the election in May of 1977, a former Israeli guerrilla leader, Menachem Begin, to the post of Prime Minister, a devout orthodox Jew.

   He displays a clear sense of his nation's purpose and identity, but those immediate fears proved to be unfounded as 1977 provided a ray of hope for peace. For it is to this government that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat not only makes an unprecedented peace overture but also is the first Arab head of state to visit modern-day Israel on that historical moment recorded by newsmen around the world. Sadat risks not only his political future but quite possibly his very life.

   The rest of the Arab world is thrown into uncontrollable frenzy as reaction to this unheard-of move ranges from neutral silence to labeling the visit as treason. After this initial move, Egypt and Israel commence follow-up talks in mid-December. This culminates in Menachem Begin's visit to Egypt, another historic but equally risky venture. Witnessing the Sadat-Begin approach on the pathway to peace Herbert W. Armstrong recognized the importance of their efforts. No stranger to the Mideast, Mr. Armstrong has through Ambassador College and the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation supported numerous programs in the area such as archaeological excavations, children's playground, and cultural exchange programs between Arab and Israeli youth, called a builder of bridges between nations. Herbert W. Armstrong continues his efforts for world peace.

   Listen to Dr. Mohammed Hateem, close personal adviser of President Sadat.

   "It is a pleasure to me personally to receive you, Mr. Armstrong, here because I know you for a long time, and I know what you are doing for the humanity in all the world. Ambassador Foundation is promoting better understanding between all peoples in all the world. They had about 26 projects in 26 countries in the world.

   In recognition of Mr. Armstrong's heartfelt efforts at promoting human understanding, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek hosted a banquet in his honor. The ambassadors of ambassadors, the people who are here, are fulfilling a tremendous role for peace in the world. They are here today. They are going to South Africa and to Russia and to China and to many of the countries of Europe, all in the mission of more human understanding. And I want to thank you for your good relationship to us, for your friendship, for us, for your efforts that you are making here.

   It is in this spirit that Mr. Armstrong begins his current Middle East tour in the changing land of modern-day Egypt. Cairo, a city in a land of contrasts, steeped in tradition, yet longing for progress, tied to the past, but looking to the future. It is ironic that Egypt, the land of the Pyramids, physical symbols of permanence, is a land faced with an indefinite future due to the ever-present possibility that war could break out with its Israeli neighbors. Aware of the uneasiness here, of the pervading tension, Herbert W. Armstrong, speaking to some 300 government officials and educators at the Nile Hilton, acknowledged the dangers facing humanity.

   I'm not going to speak to you very long tonight, but I'm going to speak plainly because the time has come for very plain speaking, and I've come a long way to bring you this message. And today we stand, if you pardon my giving you the bad news, first, we stand on the very brink of human extinction. Conditions in the world are constantly growing worse, and the weapons now exist of mass destruction that can annihilate all human life from this planet. Now, in all human history, they have never invented a new weapon of mass destruction that has not been used. There is a cause for every effect, and we're in a very bad effect today. And in this world, we've been accustomed to treating with effects and ignoring the causes, and you can never get rid of an effect until you cure the cause. And it's time we learn why, what brought us to this kind of position in the world.

   Knowledge doubled in the decade of the sixties. But also, world's troubles doubled. Troubles that man has been unable to solve or to cure. In the seventies, knowledge doubled again. But again, our troubles doubled. Now, the increased knowledge didn't cause the increased trouble. But, on the other hand, the increased knowledge did not solve our troubles, and we still have our troubles, such things as peace, which we don't have. We work for peace. We fight for peace.

   Yes, and there are wars constantly going on. There's one in the Middle East right now. But peace and happiness, contentment and joy, and abundant well-being, that is universal for all of us. Those are spiritual qualities. They're not physical qualities. They're spiritual. And we don't seem to realize that. There is a basic spiritual law, and it is in motion. That law could be stated as the principle of outgoing love toward others. I simplify it by calling it the way of give. Now, that is the way of cooperation instead of competition. It is the way of helping, of serving. I simplify it by calling that the way of give because people don't understand that word so well. But the opposite, the transgression of that way, is the way of get. And that's the way this world is living. This world is living the way of get. I love me, and I don't care about you, except what I can get from you or take away from you. So, the getaway is the way of vanity, trying to exalt ourselves, the way of coveting, of lust and greed, the way of envy and jealousy toward others. The way of competition and strife that leads to violence and war.

   Having delivered the message of the root cause of humanity's problems to an audience of leading Egyptians, Mr. Armstrong then departed for Israel to continue his Middle East trip. When the Gulfstream touched down, this flight became the first since the Six-Day War to go directly from Cairo to Jerusalem.

   Jerusalem, the home of virtually all holy sites of the three major faiths. The Muslim Dome of the Rock, the Jewish Western Wall, commonly known as the Wailing Wall, and the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulcher are all located within Jerusalem's wall. The city was divided prior to the Six-Day War, and Arab passions were inflamed when Israel took control. Since then, there has been Arab talk of a holy war to regain possession of that part of Jerusalem known as the Old City. Therefore, the present peace is an unstable one.

   Into this center of age-old animosity, Herbert W. Armstrong brought a message of peace. Speaking to a banquet at the King David Hotel that overlooks the Western Wall of the Old City, Mr. Armstrong again contrasted the two philosophies of life.

   Mr. Armstrong concluded his Jerusalem visit with a private meeting with Prime Minister Menachem Begin. During their discussion, Prime Minister Begin gave Mr. Armstrong a personal message to carry to President Sadat of Egypt, with whom Mr. Armstrong was to meet, eight days later. The meeting began with a rather frank appraisal of President Sadat's unprecedented approach to peace.

   Mister President, I want to say one thing right, straight from the heart. I respect and admire you more than I can tell you because you have risked everything in an effort for peace, and your heart has to be in it, and it has to be genuine, and not many would do that. I meet heads of state all over the world, but I have not known one that would risk what you did of acquiring the enmity of the Arab world in order to have peace. Now, that takes courage.

   Thank you very much.

   President Sadat's spirit of self-sacrifice, already demonstrated in the peace initiative, is clearly reflected in his response to Mr. Armstrong's message.

   There are two philosophies of life. There are only two ways of life. The one, everything in general will fall into one or the other category, and they go in opposite directions. And the one I term in simple language, give. The other is get. Now, give merely means out-flowing love toward others. But I put it in just simple language of give and get. The world is geared to get. Everything is get. It's in business. It's in athletics. And it's in politics. And it's in society. And, it's, it's just in every segment of life.

   Well, I learned this philosophy of give and get, and I tell you what it is just my way of stating the law of God. And I think the personage, I mean by God is the same person as you mean by Allah. Is that correct? And that is His law? And you can express it in a more religious language of love, which is outflowing. But I just take it in the more secular word of give, give and get. And I think that makes it plain to people in all walks of life, whether they are of whatever religion or no religion. And it expresses the principle of a way of life. It's just a general attitude in mind, an attitude we have toward one another and to other people.

   It was at this meeting that President Sadat unveiled a bold new undertaking for the cause of world peace. A proposed $70 million World Peace Center to be built at the base of Mount Sinai. Impressed by the significance of such a monument, Mr. Armstrong offered both moral and financial support for the venture.

   Even with the vision and personal sacrifice manifested by President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin in their efforts to diffuse the many centuries of animosity, a great number of problems remain to be solved before real peace in the Middle East can be a reality. The Palestine problem continues to be stalled in the on-again, off-again autonomy talks. The Arab world also demands that East Jerusalem be returned to Arab sovereignty. The Jewish reply, never.

   What about the continuing brushfire wars among the Arab nations themselves, such as the Iraq-Iran conflict? Could they not erupt into a major conflagration? And now the superpowers of Russia and the United States are looking over their shoulders as Europe makes overtures to the Middle East. Is the situation about to be more strongly complicated by a third power play? Quite possibly Europe obtains about 80% of her oil from the Middle East. 80%. Will she stand idly by if, for some reason, the lifeblood of her economy is about to be cut off? What about Russia? Will she cool her heels in Afghanistan while European influence in the Sinai continues to develop?

   Will the peoples of this troubled part of the world finally live at peace with one another? Or will their centuries-old animosity ultimately engulf the rest of the world in the flames of war? Geographically, politically, and theologically, the Middle East will continue as a focal point of world events. Indeed, world peace hinges on a tranquil Middle East. Unless the world learns the lessons of the past, we face the most cataclysmic events of history. But if it doesn't, will humanity survive?

   The answer is in the message proclaimed by Herbert W. Armstrong, Ambassador for World Peace.

   Every trouble, every bit of woe and unhappiness and suffering in this world has come from living the way of get. Now, we're not going to have a better world until we get off of that way of get and get on to the way of give. We're not going to do that ourselves. Human nature is a little too strong. It isn't going to let us. It's going to have to be done to us. And then that all-powerful, unseen strong hand from someplace is going to intervene in this world's affairs and is going to save humanity from itself.

   The program you have just seen covered but one of the important topics explored by The Plain Truth, read by millions. This monthly magazine of Understanding squarely faces the issues that shape your future, whether it's a crisis in the Middle East or crime in our streets. The Plain Truth reveals the real solutions for today's problems for your free subscription call, toll-free. 800-423-4444. That's 800-423-4444, in California, Alaska and Hawaii call collect 213-577-5225. That's 213-577-5225.

   For the free literature offered on this program. Write Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123, in Canada Box 44. Vancouver BC or in the Continental United States. You may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444, in California, Alaska and Hawaii call collect 213-577-5225. If the lines are busy, please try again. The preceding program and all literature were produced by the Worldwide Church of God.

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Telecast Date: June 25, 1981
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