Israel: Whose land is it and why is it important to God?
You never see "the Jews" out there starting wars, engaging in terrorist acts or trying to force people to convert to their religion. But yet, the whole world hates them. Why is that? Why is it that whenever Israel tries to protect itself, "the world" condemns her?
Most of the time, when Israel does something good, you never hear about it. You don't hear about the fact that "the Jews" have done more good for the world than any other people in the history of the world; or how the Land began to flourish after Israel was returned to "the Jews" in 1948. But let her try to retaliate against her attackers, and the whole world screams and hollers and supports the Muslims - those who were merely squatters in the Land, back in 1948 when "the world" briefly felt sorry for the Jews and returned Israel to them, the RIGHTFUL OWNERS! Yes, all human beings make mistakes - "the Jews" included. But the fact is, they are being persecuted for trying to protect themselves and their Land from fiendish enemies.
If you are among those who hate Israel and "the Jews" then SHAME ON YOU, because you are going against God Himself! Please read this article which provides a history of Israel and serves to remind the world that Israel belongs to YHWH/God, and how He has warned anyone of the dire consequences that will befall them if they try to interfere with HIS Will.
First, a little history lesson: If it hadn't been for Elohim's CHOSEN being scattered into the nations (Ezekiel 36:19) who were ultimately and collectively referred to as "Jews," YHWH (Yahweh) and His Son Yeshua would have remained the best-kept secret of tiny, little Israel, and the rest of the world would still be writhing in Paganism. (Check out this website containing awesome, historical pictures of Israel.)
The Muslims certainly are not His "chosen" as revealed in Scripture which shows they are the direct descendants of Ishmael whom, we are told, was "a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen" (Genesis 16:12). Muslims have proven time and time again that they will not and cannot get along with anybody, unless they bow down to their god.... (Check out our article about the history of Isaac and Ishmael.)
Spawned from the mind of a polygamist murderer named Mohammed who borrowed scriptures from the Torah and then promptly twisted them to suit his agenda, Islam became a religion 600-700 years after the death of Messiah Y'shua. Adherents to Islam quickly spread the word that it was the REAL religion of God and Mohammed was "the final prophet." The thing is, Islam perpetuates mayhem and hatred (not to mention, it promotes the debasing, denigration and of abuse of women!) yet "the world" keeps catering to their demands.
Now, to the "other" religion that has become a thorn in the side of Jews and Judaism: Christianity. While Christianity is a lot closer to YHWH and His Torah than Islam, it too, includes many falsehoods - beginning with the idea that "Torah is just for the Jews." Obedience to YHWH's Divine Instructions has no value to Christians because Christianity is based upon the misunderstood writings of Paul, whom they believe to have negated Torah and suggested that Jesus came to bring a new religion with new ideas, and no one has any responsibility except to simply "believe in Jesus". And in the meantime, many Christians are busy bashing "the Jews" for not believing in their Jesus - who wants to take them away from Torah and cause them to ignore the commanded Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts/Appointed Times and begin keeping the pagan, man-made "holy days" of Christmas and Easter....
So, now we have the dilemma of "the Jews" and their religion (based on YHWH's Torah/Divine Instructions in Righteousness) being sandwiched in between the world's other "major religions" - Islam and Christianity; with both sides insisting "the Jews" aren't doing it right. You can read it in the history books: Both of those religions have done their level best to annihilate "the Jews" - or at the very least, force them to accept their respective "religions" - which severely veer from YHWH's Torah....
Harsh words? Yes, but we are living in the end times as outlined in the Bible, and time is short. Jew-bashing is NOT the way to please God! The Bible tells us that anyone who goes up against them in any way will suffer His wrath:
Genesis 12: - 3 I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
Note that YHWH wasn't talking to "the Jews" at that point; but, rather, to the first Patriarch, Abraham who "crossed over" (which is what the term "hebrew" means) both physically and spiritually when he accepted YHWH as his Elohim. There were no "Jews" until the third Patriarch, Ya'akov (Jacob) had a son named Yehudah (Judah) whose offspring became one of the 12 Tribes of Israel....
Deuteronomy 7:6-8: For you are a people set apart as holy for ADONAI your God. ADONAI your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure. 7 ADONAI didn't set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people - on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 Rather, it was because ADONAI loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that ADONAI brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt.
Again, note that YHWH wasn't talking to "the Jews" at that point; but, rather, to the 12 Tribes of Israel AND those Gentiles who had come out of Egypt with Moshe and accepted YHWH as their God and were absorbed into one of the tribes....He didn't give the Land to just "the Jews"; He gave it to the descendants of Abraham. That is who the Land belongs to.
Genesis 15: 18 On that day YHWH made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates...."
Now, check out these facts:
Ezekiel 37: 21 Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: 'I will take the people of Isra'el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land.
No tribe or race in history has remained a distinct people group outside of a national homeland for thousands of years like the Jewish people. No people on earth have ever been repatriated after dozens of generations had forgotten their distinct language. No people, that is, except for Yahweh's people.
As shown on this meme, no matter what anyone says (including people like Condeleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton, or any of the U.S. Presidents, all the way back to Jimmy Carter - none of whom know their Bibles), the Land belongs to Yahweh's Chosen People. God gave the Land to Abraham and his descendants (not "the Jews" per se) in Genesis 15:18-19. Abraham bought a large burial site at Hebron (Genesis 23:1-20); David bought the Temple Mount (1 Chronicles 21:25).
And who was the Land ever sold to? NOBODY! Only in recent years has anyone even been able to TAKE it from the Jews forcefully, thanks to "the world" (including the United States which sticks its collective nose into everything) insisting on dividing Israel! But, unless the Muslims are willing to buy the Land (which, as it happens, is not for sale!) then NOBODY has a right to it except for "the Jews"!
Genesis 15: 18 That day ADONAI made a covenant with Avram: "I have given this land to your descendants - from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River - 19 the territory of the Keni, the K'nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P'rizi, the Refa'im, 21 the Emori, the Kena'ani, the Girgashi and the Y'vusi."
Leviticus 25: 23 "The land is not to be sold in perpetuity, because the land belongs to me -you are only foreigners and temporary residents with me."
Let's add a couple of very important details that show exactly what YHWH told the Israelites when He gave them the Land. Please pay close attention because it shows that YHWH did not want any pagans/Gentiles in Israel - HIS LAND - at all!
Numbers 33: 50 ADONAI spoke to Moshe in the plains of Mo'av by the Yarden, across from Yericho. He said 51 to tell the people of Isra'el, "When you cross the Yarden into the land of Kena'an, 52 you are to expel all the people living in the land from in front of you. Destroy all their stone figures, destroy all their metal statues and demolish all their high places. 53 Drive out the inhabitants of the land, and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess. 54 You will inherit the land by lot according to your families. You are to give more land to the larger families and less to the smaller ones. Wherever the lot falls to any particular person, that will be his property. You will inherit according to the tribes of your ancestors. 55 But if you don't drive out the inhabitants of the land from in front of you, then those you allow to remain will become like thorns in your eyes and stings in your sides - they will harass you in the land where you are living. 56 And in this event, I will do to you what I intended to do to them."
What strong statements! Here we can see that Israel is suffering BECAUSE they allowed the Arabs and other settlers (who did not accept YHWH as their God) to remain in THEIR Land back in 1948 when Israel was returned to them! The Jews are being harassed and killed still today because they didn't obey YHWH to force ALL foreigners out of Israel....
Numbers 34: 1 ADONAI told Moshe 2 to give this order to the people of Isra'el: "When you enter the land of Kena'an, it will become your land to pass on as an inheritance, the land of Kena'an as defined by these borders. 3 "Your southern portion will extend from the Tzin Desert close to the border of Edom. The eastern terminus of your southern border is at the end of the Dead Sea. 4 From there your border turns, goes south of the 'Akrabbim Ascent and passes on to Tzin. From there it goes south of Kadesh-Barnea, on to Hatzar-Adar, and on to 'Atzmon. 5 Then the border turns and goes from 'Atzmon to the Vadi of Egypt and along it to the Sea.
6 "Your western border will be the Great Sea. 7 "Your northern border will be as follows: from the Great Sea mark a line to Mount Hor, 8 and from Mount Hor mark a line to the entrance of Hamat. The border goes out to Tz'dad. 9 Then the border goes to Zifron and finally to Hatzar-'Einan; this is your northern border. 10 "For the eastern border mark your line from Hatzar-'Enan to Sh'fam. 11 Then the border goes down from Sh'fam to Rivlah, on the east side of 'Ayin, then down until it hits the slope east of Lake Kinneret. 12 From there it goes down the Yarden River till it flows into the Dead Sea. These will be the borders of your land." 13 Moshe gave this order to the people of Isra'el: "This is the land in which you will receive inheritances by lot, which ADONAI has ordered to give to the nine tribes and the half-tribe. 14 The tribe of the descendants of Re'uven have already received their land for inheritance according to their clans, and so have the descendants of Gad and the half-tribe of M'nasheh. 15 These two-and-a-half tribes have received their inheritance on this side of the Yarden, across from Yericho and eastward, toward the sunrise."
It couldn't be any more clear....
Archaeologists have confirmed Israel's settlement in Biblical times The Bible teaches us that YHWH (Yahweh) promised the land to the "Jewish people" (used as a generic term to denote all physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as an "everlasting possession" (Genesis 15:18). He also promised that he would never again remove them from the land (Amos 9:15).
The Children of Israel took possession of the land about 2,000 years before the birth of Islam. Every part of the land yields distinctly Judaic archaeological findings. The very name "Judea" reflects the authenticity of its Jewish history. Arab villages still bear the Hebrew names of Biblical sites. No other state has ever been sovereign over this territory. Jordan, which illegally took over the so-called West Bank during Israel's War of Independence, claimed sovereignty over this land. This was rejected by virtually all nations, including even the Arab states, except for Great Britain and Pakistan. The last recognized legal document attributing sovereignty over the "West Bank" was the League of Nations Mandate - which mandated the land to the Jewish people.
Israel is the only free country in a region dominated by Arab monarchies, theocracies and dictatorships. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has been the victim of a battle - a battle not of "flesh and blood" but of principalities - a battle that can only be won when Messiah Yeshua returns to begin His thousand year reign.
Since its founding in 1948, Israel has had to fight five wars - all in self-defense - against 22 hostile Arab dictatorships, and has been repeatedly attacked by Palestinian terrorists.
The land Israel is supposedly "occupying" (according to the Muslim terrorists who are waging war against the "infidels" of this world) was captured in a war initiated by its Arab neighbors. Like any victim of aggression, Israel has a moral right to control as much land as is necessary to safeguard itself against attack. Only Israel has a moral right to establish a government in that area in Israel on the grounds, not just of an ethnic or religious heritage, but also of a secular, rational principle. Only a state based on political and economic freedom has moral legitimacy.
As to the rightful owners of particular pieces of property, Israel's founders - like the homesteaders in the American West - earned ownership to the land by developing it. They arrived in a desolate, sparsely populated region and drained the swamps, irrigated the desert, grew crops and built cities. They worked unclaimed land or purchased it from the owners. They introduced industry, libraries, hospitals, art galleries, universities - and the concept of individual rights. Those Arabs who abandoned their land in order to join the military crusade against Israel forfeited all right to their property. And if there are any peaceful Arabs who were forcibly evicted from their property, they may press their claims in the courts of Israel, which, unlike the Arab autocracies, has an independent, objective judiciary - a judiciary that recognizes the principle of property rights.
A Brief History
- The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was preceded by more than 50 years of efforts by Zionist leaders to establish a sovereign nation as a homeland for Jews. The desire of Jews to return to what they consider their rightful homeland was first expressed during the Babylonian exile and became a universal Jewish theme after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. and the dispersal that followed.
- It was not until the founding of the Zionist movement by Theodore Herzl at the end of the 19th century that practical steps were taken toward securing international sanction for large-scale Jewish settlement in Palestine--then a part of the Ottoman Empire.
- The Balfour declaration in 1917 asserted the British Government's support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This declaration was supported by a number of other countries, including the United States, and became more important following World War I, when the United Kingdom was assigned the Palestine mandate by the League of Nations.
- Jewish immigration grew slowly in the 1920s; it increased substantially in the 1930s, due to political turmoil in Europe and Nazi persecution, until restrictions were imposed by the United Kingdom in 1939. After the end of World War II, and the near-extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis, international support for Jews seeking to settle in Palestine overcame British efforts to restrict immigration.
- International support for establishing a Jewish state led to the adoption in November 1947 of the UN partition plan, which called for dividing the Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state and for establishing Jerusalem separately as an international city under UN administration.
- Violence between Arab and Jewish communities erupted almost immediately. Toward the end of the British mandate, the Jews planned to declare a separate state, a development the Arabs were determined to prevent. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed. The following day, armies from neighboring Arab nations entered the former Mandate of Palestine to engage Israeli military forces.
- In 1949, under UN auspices, four armistice agreements were negotiated and signed at Rhodes, Greece, between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The 1948-49 war of independence resulted in a 50% increase in Israeli territory, including western Jerusalem. No general peace settlement was achieved at Rhodes, however, and violence along the borders continued for many years.
- In October 1956, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula at the same time that operations by French and British forces against Egypt were taking place in the Suez Canal area. Israeli forces withdrew in March 1957, after the United Nations established the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Gaza Strip and Sinai. In 1966-67, terrorist incidents and retaliatory acts across the armistice demarcation lines increased.
- In May 1967, after tension had developed between Syria and Israel, Egyptian President Nasser moved armaments and about 80,000 troops into the Sinai and ordered a withdrawal of UNEF troops from the armistice line and Sharm El Sheikh. Nasser then closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli ships, blockading the Israeli port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. On May 30, Jordan and Egypt signed a mutual defense treaty.
- In response to these events, Israeli forces struck targets in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria on June 5. After 6 days of fighting, by the time all parties had accepted the cease-fire called for by UN Security Council Resolutions 235 and 236, Israel controlled the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank of the Jordan River, including East Jerusalem. On November 22, 1967, the Security Council adopted Resolution 242, the "land for peace" formula, which called for the establishment of a just and lasting peace based on Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 in return for the end of all states of belligerency, respect for the sovereignty of all states in the area, and the right to live in peace within secure, recognized boundaries.
- In the 1969-70 war of attrition, Israeli planes made deep strikes into Egypt in retaliation for repeated Egyptian shelling of Israeli positions along the Suez Canal. In early 1969, fighting broke out between Egypt and Israel along the Suez Canal. The United States helped end these hostilities in August 1970, but subsequent U.S. efforts to negotiate an interim agreement to open the Suez Canal and achieve disengagement of forces were unsuccessful.
- On October 6, 1973--Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement)--Syrian and Egyptian forces attacked Israeli positions in Golan and along the Suez Canal. Initially, Syria and Egypt made significant advances against Israeli forces. However, Israel recovered on both fronts, pushed the Syrians back beyond the 1967 cease-fire lines, and recrossed the Suez Canal to take a salient on its west bank, isolating Egyptian troops, who eventually surrendered.
- The United States and the Soviet Union helped bring about a cease-fire between the combatants. In the UN Security Council, the United States supported Resolution 338, which reaffirmed Resolution 242 as the framework for peace and called for peace negotiations between the parties.
- The cease-fire did not end the sporadic clashes along the cease-fire lines nor did it dissipate military tensions. The United States tried to help the parties reach agreement on cease-fire stabilization and military disengagement. On March 5, 1974, Israeli forces withdrew from the canal, and Egypt assumed control. Syria and Israel signed a disengagement agreement on May 31, 1974, and the UN Disengagement and Observer Force (UNDOF) was established as a peacekeeping force in the Golan.
- Further U.S. efforts resulted in an interim agreement between Egypt and Israel in September 1975, which provided for another Israeli withdrawal in the Sinai, a limitation of forces, and three observation stations staffed by U.S. civilians in a UN-maintained buffer zone between Egyptian and Israeli forces.
- In November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat broke 30 years of hostility with Israel by visiting Jerusalem at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. During a 2-day visit, which included a speech before the Knesset, the Egyptian leader created a new psychological climate in the Middle East in which peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors seemed a realistic possibility. Sadat recognized Israel's right to exist and established the basis for direct negotiations between Egypt and Israel.
- In September 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter invited President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin to meet with him at Camp David, where they agreed on a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. It set out broad principles to guide negotiations between Israel and the Arab states. It also established guidelines for a West Bank-Gaza transitional regime of full autonomy for the Palestinians residing in the occupied territories and for a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
- The treaty was signed on March 26, 1979, by Begin and Sadat, with President Carter signing as witness. Under the treaty, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in April 1982. In 1989, the Governments of Israel and Egypt concluded an agreement that resolved the status of Taba, a resort area on the Gulf of Aqaba.
- In the years following the 1948 war, Israel's border with Lebanon was quiet, compared to its borders with other neighbors. After the expulsion of the Palestinian fedayeen (fighters) from Jordan in 1970--and their influx into southern Lebanon, however, hostilities on Israel's northern border increased. In March 1978, after a series of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon, Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon. After passage of Security Council Resolution 425, calling for Israeli withdrawal and the creation of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon peace-keeping force (UNIFIL), Israel withdrew its troops.
- In July 1981, after additional fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Lebanon, President Reagan's special envoy, Philip C. Habib, helped secure a cease-fire between the parties. However, in June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon to fight the forces of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
- In August 1982, the PLO withdrew its forces from Lebanon. With U.S. assistance, Israel and Lebanon reached an accord in May 1983 that set the stage to withdraw Israeli forces from Lebanon. The instruments of ratification were never exchanged, however, and in March 1984, under pressure from Syria, Lebanon canceled the agreement. In June 1985, Israel withdrew most of its troops from Lebanon, leaving a small residual Israeli force and an Israeli-supported militia in southern Lebanon in a "security zone," which Israel considers a necessary buffer against attacks on its northern territory.
- By the late 1980s, the spread of non-conventional weaponry--including missile technology--in the Middle East began to pose security problems for Israel from further afield. This was evident during the Gulf crisis that began with Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
- When allied coalition forces moved to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in January 1991, Iraq launched a series of missile attacks against Israel. Despite the provocation, Israel refrained from entering the Gulf war directly, accepting U.S. assistance to deflect continued Iraqi missile attacks.
- The coalition's victory in the Gulf war opened new possibilities for regional peace, and in October 1991, the Presidents of the United States and the Soviet Union jointly convened an historic meeting in Madrid of Israeli, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Palestinian leaders which became the foundation for ongoing bilateral and multilateral negotiations designed to bring lasting peace and economic development to the region.
- On September 13, 1993, Israel and the PLO signed a Declaration of Principles (DOP) on the South Lawn of the White House. The declaration was a major conceptual breakthrough achieved under the Madrid framework. It established an ambitious set of objectives relating to a transfer of authority from Israel to an interim Palestinian authority. The DOP established May 1999 as the date by which a permanent status agreement for the West Bank and Gaza Strip would take effect. Israel and the PLO subsequently signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement on May 4, 1994, and the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities on August 29, 1994, which began the process of transferring authority from Israel to the Palestinians.
- Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat signed the historic Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on September 28, 1995, in Washington. The agreement, witnessed by the President on behalf of the United States and by Russia, Egypt, Norway, and the European Union, incorporates and supersedes the previous agreements and marked the conclusion of the first stage of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
- The accord broadens Palestinian self-government by means of a popularly elected legislative council. It provides for election and establishment of that body, transfer of civil authority, Israeli redeployment from major population centers in the West Bank, security arrangements, and cooperation in a variety of areas. Negotiations on permanent status began on May 5, 1996 in Taba, Egypt. As agreed in the 1993 DOP, those talks will address the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, final security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with neighboring states, and other issues of common interest.
- Israel signed a non-belligerency agreement with Jordan (the Washington Declaration) in Washington, DC, on July 25, 1994. Jordan and Israel signed a historic peace treaty at a border post between the two countries on October 26, 1994, witnessed by President Clinton, accompanied by Secretary Christopher.
- The assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by a right-wing Jewish radical on November 4, 1995 climaxed an increasingly bitter national debate over where the peace process was leading. Rabin's death left Israel profoundly shaken, ushered in a period of national self-examination, and produced a new level of national consensus favoring the peace process. In February 1996 Rabin's successor, Shimon Peres, called early elections. Those elections, held in May 1996 and the first featuring direct election of the prime minister, resulted in a narrow election victory for Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu and his center-right National Coalition and the defeat of Peres and his left-of-center Labor/Meretz government. Despite his stated differences with the Oslo Accords, Prime Minister Netanyahu continued its implementation, signing the Hebron Protocol with the Palestinians on January 15, 1997.
The Protocol resulted in the redeployment of Israeli forces in Hebron and the turnover of civilian authority in much of the area to the Palestinian Authority. Since that agreement, there has been little progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. A crisis of confidence developed between the parties as the parties had difficulty responding to each other and addressing each other's concerns. Israel and the Palestinians did agree, however, in September 1997, to a four-part agenda to guide further negotiations: security cooperation in the fight against terror; further redeployments of Israeli forces; a "time-out" on unilateral actions that may prejudge the outcome of the permanent status talks; and acceleration of these talks.
The U.S. sought to marry continued implementation of the 1995 Interim Agreement with the start of the accelerated permanent status talks. In order to overcome the crisis of confidence and break the negotiating impasse, President Clinton presented U.S. ideas for getting the peace process back on track to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat in Washington in January 1998. Those ideas included all aspects of the September 1997 four-part agenda and would allow for the start of accelerated permanent status negotiations. The Palestinians agreed in principle to the U.S. ideas.
- The U.S. continued working intensively with the parties to reach agreement on the basis of U.S. ideas. After a 9-day session at the Wye River Conference Center in Maryland, agreement was reached on October 23, 1998. The Wye agreement is based on the principle of reciprocity and meets the essential requirements of both the parties, including unprecedented security measures on the part of the Palestinians and the further redeployment of Israeli troops in the West Bank. The agreement also permits the launching of the permanent status negotiations as the May 4, 1999 expiration of the period of the Interim Agreement.
Source for the above history: U.S. State Department Background Notes 1998.