The European Union (EU), along with the UN, generally takes an aggressive stance against Israel. This appears for example through economic sanctions, political bias, and drives to divide the land and divide Jerusalem. The prophetic scriptures reveal why. According to a common interpretation of Bible prophecy, it appears that the EU will lead the prophesied end-time world government. This godless, humanistic system will oppose the fundamental purpose of Israel in the world – to be God’s witness and bring hope and salvation through the Jewish Messiah – Yeshua (Jesus). So today’s EU opposition to Israel has deep spiritual roots, and will intensify as the end of the age approaches.
There a Deep and Mysterious Issue Concerning Israel and the EU
Time is running out for Israel as the nations rage against her. And the European Union (EU) is certainly no exception. The EU is one of the prime commercial partners of Israel and has a trade-surplus with Israel in goods and services, link. So why should the EU hurt Israel? Occasionally, the EU even appears to support Israel on the world scene. But the truth is that, in reality, the EU usually opposes Israel:
“On many occasions I feel that both in the UN and the EU that there are biased positions against Israel” [Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Foreign Minister, 2017]
So what are the contentious issues between Israel and the EU? Consider the following EU actions against Israel:
EU Economic Sanctions Against Israel
The EU pursues economic sanctions on Israel because Israel does not agree to unilaterally withdraw behind the 1949 Armistice lines (which never were permanent legal borders anyway). The plan is to punish Israel economically. So, in November 2015, the EU decided to impose a label on goods originating from the so-called ‘Israeli-occupied territories’. Israel’s Economy Ministry estimates the impact will be about $50 million a year (but still only a small sum compared to the $30 billion of goods and services Israel exports to the EU each year, link).
The EU also requires any private Israeli entity that wants to receive funding from the EU to demonstrate that it has no links to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights. Any new agreements between Israel and the EU should include a provision stating that Jewish communities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are not part of Israel (since the EU deems these areas as “occupied territories”), link, link. The effect is to limit finance for new Israeli settlements in these areas.
Some argue that EU sanctions against Israel make no sense whatsoever. Israel’s imports from the EU exceed its exports to the region by several billion euros, link. So why try to cripple Israel?
EU Political Bias against Israel
One strong gauge of Europe’s negative political attitude towards Israel is its voting record in the United Nations (UN). Europe’s voting at the UN is influenced by the EU and shows a longstanding anti-Israeli bias. Every year the UN General Assembly passes between 18 and 22 anti-Israeli resolutions, and generally speaking the Europeans support these resolutions, link. How many UN resolutions have been passed against Syria or North Korea?
Another example of EU political bias is seen in the frequent condemnations of Israel from Brussels. And sometimes these statements are hypercritical. For example, the EU has called for the investigation of Israel for war crimes, whilst the European court has removed Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations, link, link.
EU wants to Divide Israel
Following the rise of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem in 2015, the EU said that the heart of the matter was the Israeli occupation since 1967, link. The EU does not recognize Israel’s so-called ‘occupation’ of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and favours a Palestinian State embracing these areas. The problem here is that the EU ignores the legal borders of Israel, as defined in Article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter. According to Article 80, even the UN itself is barred from recognizing the “Palestinian Authority” as a new member state! Despite this, the EU insists on ignoring Article 80 in order to make land available for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem:
What we want to achieve is the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State living side by side, in peace and security, with the State of Israel and other neighbours. [European Commission, 2016]
But, besides ignoring the legal situation regarding Israel’s borders, is the EU also being naive? In a recent Stanley Greenberg poll of Palestinians, 62% said their real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state, link. In other words – eliminate the State of Israel! Also, the Bible has stern warnings to all who would divide the land of Israel (Joel 3.2).
EU Separates Jerusalem from Israel
The 1947 UN Resolution 181 called for Jerusalem to be an international city (‘corpus separatum’) – inferring a ‘separate city’ with special legal and political status due to its shared religious importance. The 1947 plan failed and today the international community generally prefers a two-state solution, with Jerusalem the capital of both Israel and Palestine. That said, the EU continues to support the internationalisation of Jerusalem in accordance with the 1947 UN Partition Plan and regards Jerusalem as having the status of corpus separatum, link.
But these views ignore Israel’s right as a state to declare her own capital, Knesset, 1950. Moreover, they ignore, or are not even aware, that Jerusalem is the future location of the King of Israel – Christ.
EU Leads a Future Invasion of Israel
According to a common interpretation of Bible prophecy, the EU will lead the final severe aggression against Israel. This view sees the EU as a ‘Revived Roman Empire’ and its future political and secular leader as the coordinator of an “all nation” invasion of Israel at the end of this age.
Why is the EU so opposed to Israel? Is it more than politics and economics?
Is there a spiritual reason?
Going Deeper: The Spiritual Connection
Is there a mysterious connection between Israel and the EU? Will the EU be a serious threat to Israel in the foreseeable future? To answer these questions we need to look deeper into the EU.
Discussions about the European Union (EU) often reduce to economics, immigration or politics (as in democracy, or the lack of it). But is there a deeper issue here? The Bible claims there is a spiritual world operating largely unseen in parallel with the observed world. It says there is an on-going spiritual battle between good and evil, between truth and error. So does this spiritual world (as in the biblical text) have anything to say about today’s governments, particularly the move to world government? In fact – it does!
It turns out that what we observe on the world political scene today is a visible manifestation of this battle and that politicians and governments can be seen as pawns in a very powerful game. Like pawns in chess, governments are often unaware that they are a visible means to a spiritual end. This applies particularly to the EU which, according to the Bible, appears to be spear-heading one side of this spiritual battle.
Israel is the Key to Understanding the European Union
The key to understanding the real issues behind the EU and moves to a world government lies with the tiny nation of Israel. Surprised? Then let’s look at prophecy found in Daniel chapters 2 and 7. In a vision, the prophet Daniel saw four great empires (or governments) symbolized in a great statue, Fig.1. His vision occurred at the start of the first of these governments (Babylon). It was not concerned with most of the nations or empires of history, but only with those nations that would have a direct and serious impact upon the nation, Israel. Specifically, it concerns those empires that severely weakened or effectively destroyed Jewish rule from Jerusalem, starting from the time of Daniel c600 BC.
Historically, in chronological order, these empires were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires, link. The Roman Empire was symbolized by the statue’s legs of iron (symbolizing the eastern and western empires of ancient Rome). Although this empire granted the Jews some measure of autonomy in Jerusalem, Judea was in reality ruled from Rome.
Here’s a crucial point: The last of these ruling empires is the Roman Empire. We know this because Daniel chapter 2 verses 34,35 state quite clearly that all forms of secular world government cease when Christ returns:
“A stone (Christ) was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay (the fourth and last empire), and crushed them (removing all remnants of the four empires)” (Dan 2.34)
So the last of the empires or governments listed in Daniel 2 and 7 is the last empire or government that hurts Israel. But how can Christ strike the Roman Empire when it no longer exists? The answer lies in a revived form of Roman Empire!
Israel and the EU: A Revived Roman Empire
As shown in the statue, the last of these governments is the Roman Empire! History shows this came and went. Or did it? The strong prophetic implication is that the Roman Empire exists in some form at the time of the return of Christ since it is Christ who destroys it (Dan 2.34). But wait a minute – didn’t tyrannical Roman rule over Israel end around 313 AD with the creation of the Byzantine form of the Roman Empire? Yes … and no. The point here is that Daniel’s prophecies strongly imply that a form of the ancient Roman Empire will emerge in its historical crushing and controlling form at the end of this age.
The book of Revelation fills in the prophetic picture by adding more detail to Daniel’s vision. It speaks about seven empires (or kings):
They are also seven kings: five dead, one living, the other not yet here — and when he does come his time will be brief (Rev 17.10)
These empires can be identified as the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires, with one to come. The “one living” was the Roman Empire. But what about the one to come?. Taken with Dan 2 and Dan 7, this suggests that the one to come must be a revived form of the historic Roman Empire. How else can Christ strike it and destroy it? Revelation 13 endorses this view and refers to the final empire as ‘the beast’, an empire born out of previous empires:
The beast I saw resembled a leopard (Greek Empire), but had feet like those of a bear (Medo-Persian Empire) and a mouth like that of a lion (Babylonian Empire) (Rev 13.2)
Revelation 13 goes on to describe a crushing world government with complete control over individuals. So let’s take a look at Europe today and see if the EU is a close fit with Bible prophecy. In particular we ask: “Is the EU the kernel of the final form of Daniel’s fourth and last empire?” In other words “Is the EU strongly connected to ancient Rome?” We also ask: “Will the EU head up an end-time invasion of Israel (as implied in Daniel’s vision of a ‘crushing Rome’)?”
Connections of the EU to ancient Rome
The Treaty Connection
Historically, the city of Rome was the center of the ancient Roman Empire (the fourth empire of Daniel’s vision). At its peak Rome was declared “caput Mundi i.e. the capital of the world, and that meant total rule over the people of Israel. Recall that the Jewish Temple and the rest of Jerusalem were reduced to rubble by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD.
Coming to modern times, the Treaty of Rome was signed in March 1957 and its purpose was to set up the European Economic Community (EEC). Recalling that day, an aide to the Belgian Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak recalled the mood after the signing of the treaty:
“Spaak turned to us and said ‘Do you think we have today been putting the first stone of a new Roman Empire, and this time without firing a shot?” [TIME June 13, 2005]
Even after the advent of the EU in 1993, the Treaty of Rome still remained one of the EU’s core documents, and so many see the Treaty of Rome as the seedling of the EU.
It is interesting that the seed of the EU was signed in Rome, the seat of historic Rome! But the exact location of the signing is even more intriguing. The location suggests the EU has sinister roots. It was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (Palazzi di Campidoglio) on Capitoline Hill in Rome. Capitoline Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome and was the citadel of the earliest Romans, link. So this hill once housed the offices of the Roman Senator and of the Conservatori (his assistants). It also housed the Temple to Jupiter, link and every year the Roman Senate held their first meeting in the Temple. Jupiter was the protector, the ‘Conservator’ of Rome. Moreover, Jupiter was the Roman successor to the Zeus and the altar to Zeus in Pergamos is described as Satan’s Throne (Rev 2.13).
The Religious Connection
Charlemagne (c800 AD) envisaged a unified Christian Empire – a Holy Roman Empire, link. Other leaders had that vision after him and today the EU works very closely with the Vatican (Rev 17.3-9). We note that the strange ‘Europa and the bull’ symbol – a woman riding a beast (Rev 17.3) – is common throughout the EU. Some believe it symbolizes an ecclesiastical system riding (and by implication, controlling) a secular governmental system. And rather than believe the official explanation, some believe that the EU flag (12 golden stars on a blue background) actually reflects a Roman Catholic interpretation of Rev 12.1.
The Strong & the Weak: the ‘Iron & Clay’ Connection
Here the resemblance of the EU to Daniel’s fourth empire (Rome) is astounding. In one sense the EU is strong. Its constitution claims ‘absolute power’ over member states. In other words, EU law has supremacy over the law of member states, just like the devouring uncontrollable beast seen by Daniel (Dan 7.19). Like ancient Rome, this system seems ‘strong as iron’ (Dan 2.41), dominating member states. Just as ancient Rome granted full citizenship to provincials en masse to secure their loyalty, the 1992 EU Maastricht Treaty forced all citizens of member states to become citizens of the EU.
On the other hand, the EU has a fundamental weakness in that member states tend not to adhere to each other. Generally speaking they do not cooperate. The Bible implies exactly that when referring to Daniel’s fourth empire:
Just as the toes of the feet were part ceramic and part iron, it will end up a mixed bag of the breakable and unbreakable. That kingdom won’t bond, won’t hold together any more than iron and clay hold together (Dan 2.43)
The ‘Defiance of God’ Connection
Old EU poster
Babylon originated as the city of Babel and quickly degenerated into idolatry. Babel is well known for its (unfinished) tower, Nimrod’s monument to the greatness of man rather than God. Today, the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg is modeled on this biblical structure, with a clear ‘unfinished’ appearance.
An old EU poster, known as ‘the construction site poster’, showed a painting of the partly constructed tower of Babel, with a crane in the background. It showed inverted stars above the tower (an inverted star is a witchcraft symbol) and the logo was ‘EUROPE: MANY TONGUES ONE VOICE’. This glorification of man and unification against God is precisely why God destroyed man’s efforts in Gen 11. A repeat performance is prophesied at the end of the age.
Also, the pagan Pergamon Altar now resides in restored form in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. In Roman times, Pergamum (Pergamon) was the center of the imperial pagan religion and Christ saw it as the place of Satan’s throne (Rev 2.13). So a pagan altar from Satan’s throne is now on show in the EU!
Finally, the EU Constitution omits the word ‘God’, and prophecy indicates that the EU will be led by one who exalts himself above God (Dan 11.37). This same despicable person disrupts life in Israel by removing Jewish sacrifices (Dan 11.31) and places his palace in the land of Israel:
He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him (Dan 11.45)
In this sense, end-time Israel will indeed be ruled by a successor to ancient Rome, albeit for a short time only (see below).
The World Government Connection
A common prophetic interpretation of the feet and toes of ‘iron and clay’ in Dan 2.33,42 is that they symbolize the revived Roman Empire and the heart of a world government. Elsewhere this is described as a ‘ten-horned beast’ born out of the historical Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires (Dan 7.19,20, Rev 13.2). We note that the Club of Rome and the UN see the world divided into ten political-economic regions, link. See a map of these regions.
Thankfully, as already mentioned, this crushing world government will be short-lived (Rev 13.5, Rev 17.10) as the feet of iron and clay are struck and broken at the Second Coming of Christ (Dan 2.34). The EU and all remnants of godless world government will be removed forever (Dan 2.35, Dan 7.11,26, Rev 19.20).
This YouTube video explains much of what we have discussed and clearly shows the deep and sinister roots of a world government centered on the EU:
Bible prophecy reveals the true nature of the European Union.
The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation describe the emergence of a short-lived “world empire” just prior to the return of Christ. They describe a governmental system rooted in the ancient Roman Empire but eventually “devouring the whole earth”, crushing and undemocratic (like Rome) and culminating in a dictatorship, strong as iron (like Rome) – yet influenced by a powerful religious system (symbolized by a “woman on a beast”), proud and humanistic like the biblical Babel, yet a coalition of peoples who will never adhere to one another (symbolized by “iron and clay”).
Isn’t this a good description of the EU? Don’t we see a European elite with aspirations of a ‘holy Roman Empire? Doesn’t the EU already rule nations by dictating their humanistic laws against their will? Don’t we see a powerful and influential church in Europe (the Vatican)? Don’t we see the “woman on the beast” symbol in major European cities? Don’t we see in the EU a proud humanistic system without even a mention of God in its Constitution? Don’t we see the EU nation states frequently sparring with each other?
These prophecies also say that this flawed governmental system will embrace all nations and even attempt to destroy Israel. At the very close of this age its secular political/military leader (link) will invade Israel and, like historic Rome, disrupt Jewish life. The good news is that this will be short-lived and this leader and his collaborators will be completely destroyed at the return of Christ. Prophecies also imply that, despite the 2016 UK EU Referendum outcome (Brexit), eventually even the UK will be absorbed by this end-time system. So this transcendent prophetic wisdom says quite clearly that the EU is bad news and our only real hope is to individually trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.