ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: ISRAEL OR PALESTINE, OR BOTH?
May 20, '11 2:33 AM
By Regner Capener
Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning!
Please accept my apologies in advance if you were expecting the continuation of our series on Heaven today. We will continue with that series shortly, but because of the fact that Israel is so much in the news today, and Israel plays such an important in America’s existence, and defense in the Middle East, I wanted to take a break and do a piece or two on this nation. Obama’s speech yesterday has really triggered a huge outcry internationally, as well as among the overwhelming majority of Americans.
Back in February of 2005, I published an article (not a part of the Coffee Break series) with the same name as this Coffee Break article in response to a note from one of my readers questioning why the U.S. has continually supported Israel since its reemergence as a state in May 1948.Following is an updated and amplified version of that response.
One reason our nation has been such a strong supporter of Israel is because of scriptures like Psalm 122:6: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."David later sang (Psalm 137:5-6), “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”
There are a multitude of other scriptures that are similar to this, but the theme is the same: those who bless, who pray for, who support Israel will likewise prosper and receive the blessings of God.
Our nation has long recognized that it has a responsibility to be an undergirding for Israel. America was founded upon the fundamental freedom to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, to honor Him, and to be obedient to His word and will. Because the support of Israel is such a recurring theme throughout Scripture, God's people have long recognized their responsibilities. Our nation's leaders have historically supported Israel.
I know there are those who believe that our support of Israel and our generous financial assistance is a violation of our Constitution, but this is a case where a higher law prevails than that of the Constitution. I am – by just about every rule one can muster – a Constitutionalist. I genuinely believe our nation needs to return to its Constitutional foundations.
There is a higher law, however, that our forefathers all recognized when this nation was founded: God's Law. That Law will and must always be the ultimate force that guides this nation's policies, and if some believe that it conflicts with our nation's Constitution, then the higher law must prevail. I'm not talking about religion or the mythical separation of church and state. I'm talking about the universal laws that God has set in place that no nation can disregard without consequences. That said, let me get on with this discussion.
As far as the Palestinians are concerned, they have always had a land of their own. (Note: I use the term, “Palestinians,” really only for reference’s sake in this article since they’ve never been known that way historically.)They simply chose to abandon it and lay claim to Israel. Look at the history of the Palestinians. They have for centuries lived in Jordan, occupying a majority of that country. Never has there been a mandate from God to take the land of Israel away from the Jews and give it to the Palestinians. The fact that the Jews were carried away into captivity because of their disobedience to God did not somehow change God's mind concerning the land. In fact, through His prophets, He promised the Jews that He would return them to their homeland and restore all of it to them.
If you study the history of many of the Palestinians, they are descended from the Philistines, the Amorites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, etc.: nations who lost their birthright and land because of God's judgment upon them. They have no spiritual, moral, ethical or legal right to claim lands and territories in this present day under the premise that they lived there before Israel was once again declared a nation. They were interlopers, squatters who seized and occupied lands and territories they were never entitled to. They got away with it for a long time, too, because there was no one to challenge their occupancy.
For the sake of a little current history, let me take a minute to quote a portion of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint-session of both houses of Congress, scheduled for next Monday. (I am pleased to have an advance copy of that speech as it has appeared in Arutz Sheva, the Israeli National News.)
On November 2, 1917, Lord Arthur
James Balfour, Foreign Secretary and past Prime Minister of Great Britain,
issued the famous Balfour Declaration, that posits the founding of a national
home for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Its authors were referring to
the Biblical borders of Israel, with whose boundaries the English people were
familiar from studying the Holy Book, that land which lay on both sides of the
Jordan River, extending from the northernmost Golan Heights to Aqaba in the
south, close to 116 thousand square kilometers.
In 1920, the San Remo International Conference confirmed the Balfour Declaration and gave Britain the mandate over both sides of the Jordan River. King Feisal of Iraq, in the name of the Arab delegation to the 1919 peace conference after WWI, wrote: “Our delegation here in Paris are fully aware of the suggestions the Zionist Federation made to the peace conference. In our eyes they are modest and fitting, and we will do our best to have them accepted. We will welcome the Jews warmly when they come home.
Two years later, the eastern bank of the Jordan, an area of about 90,000 square kilometers, was separated and closed to Jewish immigration. What remained for the Jews was the west bank of the Jordan, an area of only 26,000 square kilometers. The decision to hand over the land east of the Jordan to the head of the Saudi royal family was decided on by Great Britain for political ends.
The plan to partition the land of Israel west of the Jordan River, as suggested by the Peel Committee in 1936, was called “a midget-sized Jewish country”, by revisionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky, in his 1937 speech before Parliament. The heads of Jewish settlement in Israel declared that even if the Jews are forced to accept the partition against their will, they see it as a temporary solution. Chaim Weizmann, later Israel’s first president, said: “This is an arrangement that can last 25-30 years”, and David Ben Gurion, later to be Israel’s first Prime Minister, reacted: “I see our future as cancelling the partition, once we have become secure in our state”.
In 1947, the United Nations Assembly ratified the Partition Plan, a decision that led to the declaration of the state of Israel on the tiny bit of land left for the Jewish homeland. Our capital, Jerusalem, was divided in two, and her heart, the site of our Holy Temples, was outside our borders. All the parts of Israel that had been clearly promised to us by God were also outside these borders.
The Arabs never accepted the Partition Plan and, led by Amin El Huseini continued their terror attacks against the Jewish people. Huseini met with Hitler in Berlin at the height of WWII in order to plan the extermination of the Jews in Israel and the east.
Immediately after the declaration of Israel’s independence on May 15, 1948, the armies of 7 Arab states invaded the fledgling country to attempt to murder all its Jewish residents. For the next 19 years, we lived while paying for our existence in unending bloodshed. In the War of Independence alone, 6000 soldiers and civilians were killed, that was 1% of the population at the time. God helped us defeat our enemies and we succeeded in building a wonderful country despite its narrow borders and their limitations.
Then began the infamous announcements of President Nasser of Egypt in 1967, who, together with Syria’s ruler Hafez el Assad, and Jordan’s King Hussein, decided to invade tiny Israel and wipe it off the map. Israel’s boundaries were the indefensible Green Line, called “Auschwitz Borders” by then-Foreign Minister Abba Eban. In the June 1967 war that ensued, the state of Israel and its heroic soldiers, defeated Egypt in six days and freed the remaining sections of Israel on the west of the Jordan River.
Prime Minister Netanyahu very clearly enunciates a fair portion of Israel’s modern history in his speech as he lays the groundwork for explaining why Israel cannot, must not and will not ever return to its pre-1967 borders.
There are emotional human issues here, of course. Palestinian squatters who had occupied the land prior to Israel’s statehood in 1948 (I’ll discuss this issue in our next Coffee Break) fled to Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia under false promises by Arab leaders that they would one day be given “the right of return” to their previous homes “when the Zionists are eradicated.”Those leaders had no legal mandate for such promises and created an unrealistic expectancy among the “refugees.”
So what do you do with the families who left? From a political standpoint one cannot simply displace the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have continued to live in Israel and those who scattered throughout the region. That doesn't mean they need to be granted separate statehood. They can choose to live under the democratic rule of Israel, prosper and live in peace, or they can choose to return to Jordan where their forebears have lived in throughout many past generations – a very real option. Jordan’s King Abdullah said in a recent speech, “We are Palestine!”During the uprisings of the last couple of months, he extended an offer to PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas to join him in a shared government. Abbas refused, sticking to his demand for a separate Palestinian state at the cost of Israel’s existence.
Historically, the present-day Palestinians are an amalgamation of many tribes once scattered throughout the region. There never has been a political entity –a state, if you will – recognized by the world as the nation of Palestine. Israel and much of the region was called Palestine for a time under British occupation, but there was no nation or state of Palestine as such. Click on the following link to take a look at the modern history of the area as it appeared under British Occupation from 1882 - 1914):
Palestine was so called under a British mandate in or around 1900 and consisted of most of the historical land of Israel. In 1922, changes were implemented by the League of Nations which declared a “land of Israel” encompassing all of the land west of the Jordan River, the Negev, all of the Golan and southern portions of what have since become Syria. A UN resolution took more land in 1947, and in 1948 -- less than 50 years after the British mandate, the United Nations agreed that Israel should once again become a sovereign nation.
To be sure, many of the Palestinians who occupied the land saw their homes and properties taken away from them and destroyed by the incoming Jews who were Holocaust survivors. It isn't hard to feel compassion for them and to want to do something to redress their grievances. That said, however, it still remains that they were the interlopers, occupying land that they would one day have to leave. That day has come.
Palestinians have the opportunity to live within an Israeli state (my opinion), vote and become democratic citizens of that nation and enjoy the benefits of democracy, or they can continue to shout their spurious claims of their rights to the land, continue to commit murder and ultimately be destroyed as a people. The creation of a Palestinian state is a political decision, but it is one that cannot last. The so-called Palestinian people have been at war with the Jews for 3500 years, and to think they will suddenly live in peace and harmony as neighbors in the 21st century simply by having their own state is a demonic fantasy.
It isn't hard to applaud those who want to try and make it work, but unless there is radical change in the spirit of the people and the spirit of the land, we will ultimately see a battle to the finish and the extinction of the Palestinians. Psalm 83 is a perfect picture of the end of this conflict. I won’t take the time today to fully explore the prophecy contained in this Psalm; but briefly, you have a description of ten neighboring nations or tribes who make a decision against Israel saying, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”
The prayer of Asaph ends like this: “Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that Thou, whose Name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.”
We know from the prophetic utterances of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah (and many others) that the promise of God is the elevation of Israel in the earth and the restoration of its entire homeland – that same homeland that God promised to Abraham!
Consider the portion of the covenant that God made with Abraham concerning the land He would give to the covenant-seed of Abraham:
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”(Genesis 15:18-21)
See that?“From the river of Egypt (the Nile River) unto the great river, the river Euphrates!” Wow!! Stop and think about what that encompasses. That takes in a good chunk of what today is eastern Egypt, the entire Sinai Peninsula, all (of course) of modern Israel (including all of the “West Bank”), the Gaza, the southern portion of Lebanon, much of eastern Syria, and a large portion of western Jordan (which is 70% occupied by people who call themselves “Palestinians.”)
Not since the days of David and Solomon has Israel occupied the majority of the land God promised to them “for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8).Their sin against God caused them to be carried away into captivity, and they never have fully occupied their promised possession. However, God’s promises don’t go away, and the promise of this land to Abraham’s seed still stands. Furthermore, with Israel going in captivity, the Lord sent Jeremiah to them to say:
“They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.”
Prophecies abound throughout the O.T. in which the Lord promises to restore Israel to her inheritance. Even before Israel first entered into the Promised Land, the Lord warned them what would happen to them as a nation if they departed from His commandments. Yet in the warning also came the mercy of God as He promised that He would return them to their promised heritage.(See Deuteronomy 30:4-8)
“If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.And the LORD thy God will put all these curses (See Deuteronomy 28:15-68) upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.”
That, folks, is the future of Israel and the future of all their enemies. Israel will – whether it happens this year, next year or even a few years from now – most certainly occupy the whole land of its inheritance. Those nations which have determined the eradication of Israel from the map already have a curse upon them, and their doom has already been prepared by the Lord as a part of the justice and judgment under His covenant with Abraham. If the Palestinians continue to choose a path of destruction against Israel, they as a nation and a people (if we can call them that) will be obliterated from the face of the earth.
A word of caution, however! There are folks classified as “Palestinian” who absolutely love the Lord. There are Palestinians – a huge number, in fact – who prefer to live as Israelis and Israeli citizens in the peace and prosperity Israel has granted. They have chosen to bless Israel rather than curse it, and for that reason, they are exempt from the destruction and curses to come upon those who have set themselves against God’s covenant.
There’s a lot more to say on this topic; and I can’t really do justice to this in a single Coffee Break. In our next discussion, let’s take up ISRAEL’S LEGAL STATUS, granted to it under the 1922 League of Nations charter.
See you in a few days.
As Christians we have a mandate from the Lord to bless Israel.More than that, the cry of the Lord through Isaiah is to “give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth!”
Blessings on you!
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