How can the European Neighbourhood Policy be the Daniel 9:27 covenant, if the latter is a "peace treaty"?

Email Received:

I've always understood that the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 would be a peace treaty involving Israel, and also that it would give Israel the go-ahead to build its next temple. You seem to indicate that the European Neighbourhood Policy might qualify as that covenant. Is there something in that policy indicating that some type of peace negotiations with Israel have taken place?

Tedís Response:

Those who have studied prophetic passages in the Bible, in particular Daniel 9:27, often have speculated that the referenced covenant would be specifically or primarily a "peace treaty," involving Israelóeven though the word "peace" appears nowhere in that prophecy. I feel that the words "peace treaty" boil down to an oversimplified supposition of Daniel 9:27. In eleven renderings of Daniel 9:27, from eleven Bible versions, the word "peace" is not mentioned, nor even indirectly implied.

Furthermore, many have assumed that, as part of the so-called "peace treaty," permission would be granted to Israel to build the Third Temple. Again, there is nothing in the Daniel 9:27 prophecy indicating that this must be the case, nor that the temple has to be in place at or near the beginning of the 70th Week, just that sacrifice and offering must cease in the middle of that seven-year period.

Most likely, the sacrifice and offering will have been taking place on an altar constructed for that purpose. Presumably, the altar will be located within a structure that is referred to, either literally or figuratively, as a "temple."

In the past, I have surmised that the seven-year agreement might be, primarily, some type of "peace treaty" (for instance, one involving "land for peace"). However, I also have acknowledged that this is mere conjecture, since there is nothing in Daniel 9:27 (nor anywhere else, unless I am overlooking some verse or passage) explicitly stating that the covenant (which simply is a "formal and binding agreement") will be, primarily, a treaty of "peace." The most I feel that can be conceded is that some portion of the covenant or agreement may contain language promoting or advancing the cause of peace in Israel and the Middle East, thus helping to persuade Israel to sign onto the covenant.

In fact, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) does delineate a seven-year time span (2007-13), during which the advancement of peace in the Middle East (including between Israel and the Palestinian Authority) is a vital ingredient. (Incidentally, Israel was the first non-European nation to sign onto the ENP.) For example, look at the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for Israel, one of numerous documents that are part of the ENP portfolio, which clearly denotes the 2007-13 (seven-year) period on the title page of the document. A paragraph in that document reads this way:

Relations between the EU and Israel are also part of the Union's wider efforts to contribute to a resolution of the Middle East conflict. The achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East is a central aim of the EU, whose main objective is a two-State solution leading to a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on implementation of the Road Map, with Israel and a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace within secure and recognised borders and enjoying normal relations with their neighbours.
Here are passages contained contained in another document, The European Neighbourhood Policy Fiches on Partners:
How does the ENP deepen the EU-Israel relationship? The EU-Israel ENP Action Plan opened up new possibilities for developing EU-Israel relations by setting out a wide range of areas for greater cooperation including: promoting peace in the Middle East; tackling racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia; stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; tackling human-trafficking, organised crime and migration issues; upgrading political cooperation; encouraging the approximation of Israeli legislation to that of the EU as a means of opening the EU internal market to Israel; and pursuing greater liberalisation of trade, services and agriculture.

The Action Plan deepens political dialogue inter alia working together with the EU, bilaterally and as a member of the Quartet, with the objective to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict....
Also, the following passages are taken from the EU/Israel Action Plan, a document in the procession of many documents along the way to the formalization of the ENP. They also appear to promote peace-related objectives:
The EU and Israel are now closer together than ever before and, as near neighbours, will reinforce their political and economic interdependence. Enlargement offers the opportunity for the EU and Israel to develop an increasingly close relationship, going beyond co-operation, to involve a significant measure of economic integration and a deepening of political co-operation. The European Union and Israel are determined to make use of this occasion to enhance their relations and to promote stability, security and well-being. ... The European Neighbourhood Policy of the European Union sets ambitious objectives based on commitments to shared values and effective implementation of the political, economic, social and institutional actions agreed to in this Action Plan. Israel and the EU will strive to intensify political, security, economic, scientific and cultural relations, and shared responsibility in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
Clearly, one of the EU's stated goals in the Middle East is peace between Israel and a sovereign Palestinian State. It does not need to be written on a piece of paper entitled Seven-Year Peace Treaty Between Israel and the Palestinian State, nor containing the signatures of the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers at the bottom. Such a depiction is naÔve, unrealistic, and unscriptural. Furthermore, the period 2007-10 also is designated in the title of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for Israel document. Interestingly, 2010 is midway between 2007 and 2013, and sacrifice and offering do not have to be taking place until just prior to the middle of the seven-year period.

I feel that all of the documents I have referrenced, and more that I have not shown, involve wording which, essentially, has "enticed" Israel into signing onto the European Neighbourhood Policy, which is scheduled to run for exactly seven years. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EuroMed or Barcelona Process) was unsuccessful in bringing about a two-state solution in Israel. Thus, the European Neighbourhood Policy was developed to force this to take place within a seven-year time frame. As such, this, potentially, has begun the 70th Week.

Israel always has hoped for a lasting peace in their nation, along with the guarantee of being able to participate in world affairs with the respect afforded any other nation. As such, it is plausible to suppose that Israel would engage in an agreement containing the stated objective of Israeli-Palestinian peace, as well as peace with others in the region, many of which have been its sworn enemies for as long as Israel has existed. The seven-year European Neighbourhood Policy appears to qualify as such an agreement.

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