“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.” (Genesis 12:3)
Unmistakable divine messages can be tracked through history accompanying major world events. As US lawmakers deliberate the future of the nuclear agreement with Iran, American leaders should take a hint from history and understand the divine implications of their decisions.
We have already seen that natural phenomenon can often be seen as divinely guided. Is it a coincidence that after announcing the nuclear deal Iran was hit with an apocalyptic-like heat wave and, in a separate incident, a meteor?
While the heavenly warning are clearer to some than others, a quick look at the timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the accompanying natural disasters makes claims of coincidence lose their credibility.
October 30, 1991: US President George Bush, Sr. opened the Madrid Conference with an expectation that Israel would trade “Land for Peace”. As the conference progressed, what was later called the “Perfect Storm” develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm traveled 1,000 miles from east to west, defying the more natural west to east pattern. One day later, on October 31, the storm struck the New England coast with 35 foot waves crashing into the Walker’s Point home of President Bush in Kennebunkport, South Maine. His home was extensively damaged.
August 23, 1992: The Madrid Conference moved to Washington DC and the peace talks resumed. One day later, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster recorded in American history, hit Florida, causing an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 180,000 homeless across the state.
January 21, 1998: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Bill Clinton at the White House and was greeted in an unwelcoming manner. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to have lunch with him. It was later that same day that the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out.
January 16, 1994: President Clinton met with Syria’s President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva . They discussed a peace agreement with Israel that included giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, the powerful Northridge earthquake, which registered a 6.9 on the Richter scale, hit Southern California. The earthquake caused an estimated $20 billion in damage, leaving 57 people killed and over 5,000 injured. The earthquake became the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States.
September 28, 1998: US Secretary of State Madeline Albright gave a press briefing describing the final details of an American brokered agreement between PLO Head Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu. According to the deal, Israel would have been required to give up 13 percent of Judea and Samaria. The same day, Georges, a category 4 hurricane, hit the United States Gulf Coast with winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 175 mph. In terms of damage, it was the costliest hurricane since Hurricane Andrew, causing $10 billion of damage and killing 604 people.
October 15-22, 1998: Arafat and Netanyahu met at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland for five days of intensive talks as part of a continuation of Albright’s plan that would force Israel to give up major areas of Judea and Samaria . On October 17, Hurricane Madeline boiled over. Though it never made landfall, the resulting rains and tornados that hit southern Texas caused over $750 million in damage and killed 31 people, affecting a quarter of the state. The storm dissipated as the meeting ended in Maryland. On October 21, Clinton declared the hard-hit areas of Texas a major disaster area.
November 30, 1998: Arafat arrived in Washington again to meet with Clinton. He proposed a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital and began efforts to raise money. A total of 42 nations agreed to give Arafat $3 billion, with Clinton pledging $400 million and European nations pledging $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average plunged 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of dollars of market capitalization were wiped out in the US and Europe.
December 12, 1998: Clinton landed in the Palestinian-controlled section of Israel to discuss the “land for peace” process. The House of Representatives votes four articles of impeachment against him.
May 3, 1999: Arafat was scheduled to declare an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. For two days, tornadoes ravaged the center of America, concentrated in Oklahoma and Kansas. 152 tornadoes touched down, causing $1.4 billion in damage, killing 50 and injuring almost 900 people. Arafat’s declaration was postponed to December 1999 at the request of Clinton.
October 11, 1999: Jewish settlers in 15 West Bank settlements are evicted from their homes. The Dow Jones financial averages loses 5.7 percent, in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15, the Dow lost 266 points. A hurricane hits North Carolina. The next morning, October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the southwest US in the fifth most powerful earthquake in the 20th century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but was felt in three states.
August 13, 2005: The day before the 9th of Av, commemorating the day on which both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, over 10,000 Jews were evicted from their homes in Gush Katif as part of the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “Disengagement” plan. This disengagement was due to US pressure. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, leaving thousands of Americans homeless and killing at least 1,833. Damage was estimated at over $108 billion.