Monday, July 11, 2011

Israel's Renewed Fascination with the EU

A survey conducted by Ben Gurion University found that 81% of Israelis would support Israel joining the European Union, and 64% would support the deployment of NATO forces to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of a peace treaty with the Palestinians. A recent Jerusalem Post article reported on the survey and quoted one of the researchers who conducted it. "Israelis are really into strengthening and deepening the cooperation between Israel and the EU. Israelis understand the importance of the EU for the future of Israel and they want to strengthen the relations."

What significance, if any, could this information have in God's prophetic program? I see two possible points of connection. First, Israel's growing interest in Europe could be connected, at least in part, to its realization that the United States might not always be the reliable partner and friend it has been for the past 30 years. Israel's fascination with Europe could reflect a growing belief that Europe might prove to be the more reliable economic and political partner in the future. Second, the Bible describes the last days as a time characterized by interaction between the revived Roman Empire and a restored nation of Israel. The period begins as a time of cooperation and peace, though eventually the European ruler will turn against Israel. This is described in some detail in Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 12–13.

Pay close attention to Israel's growing desire for rapprochement with Europe. It could eventually prove to be another piece of God's end-time puzzle clicking into place.

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