The question becomes more pressing, as the words of Jesus of Nazareth are added to the mix. "…when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies…when you see the events taking place…the Kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:20, 30 The Living Bible Catholic edition)
So, it is not just an ancient Hebrew writer who spoke prophetically of armies moving against Jerusalem in the context of end times prophecies. Such predictions are not found exclusively in the Scriptures of the Jews. The Christian Messiah used similar words in a similar context.
But, how realistic is it to think of the nations uniting to deal with the problem of the status of Jerusalem, and to impose an international solution by military force? Although most people may not be generally aware of it, events have been moving in that direction for decades.
Back in 1947, when the future birth of the state of Israel was a topic for discussion and planning, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed its Resolution 181, which was voted on and approved on November 29 of that year. Section C of Part II of that Resolution was titled "The City of Jerusalem" and, in effect, claimed the authority of the United Nations to determine and establish "the boundaries of the City of Jerusalem." General Assembly Resolution 181, Part III, Section A went on to state that the city must not be part of the state of Israel, nor part of any Arab state. Rather, it must be an "international" city administered by the United Nations.
Representing the nations of the whole world, the General Assembly declared: "The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations."
And in Section B titled "Boundaries of the City" U. N. General Assembly Resolution 181 went on to specify that "The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns."
More recently, the "Quartet" composed of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations drew up a "roadmap for peace" toward the end of the year 2002 and presented it formally to the government of Israel and to the Palestinian Authority in May, 2003. That roadmap envisions, in its final phase of implementation, an international conference to achieve "resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians and Muslims worldwide."
Later chapters of this book will look more closely at this and subsequent resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem passed by both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations, and at the Quartet's roadmap for peace. But this much is mentioned here to prove that "all the nations of the earth" have already started to "unite in an attempt" to impose their solution for the problem posed by Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:3 The Living Bible Catholic edition)
Besides simply drawing up resolutions on Jerusalem and voting to make them official, the international community seems to be moving in the direction of enforcing those resolutions. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said, "the West has been guilty of double standards -- on the one hand saying the UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq must be implemented, on the other hand, sometimes appearing rather quixotic over the implementation of resolutions about Israel and Palestine." (From the article titled, "Foreign Ministry slams British PM's linkage of Iraq, Intifada," by Douglas Davis, March 26, 2003)
The same article quoted British Prime Minister Tony Blair as saying that the American President George W. Bush "believes, like me, that this is a vital interest to resolve because it is probably the issue, more than anything else, that keeps the Arab and Muslim worlds and the Western world apart." Prime Minister Blair spoke those words less than a week after the British armed forces had entered active combat, alongside American forces, with the stated