In yesterday’s post I gave the most important reason Israel belongs to the Jews. Reason #1: God gave it to them in His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Referring to this Paul says, “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom. 11:29) That is to say, nothing will ever cause the Holy One to break His promises to Israel. Today several more reasons why I support Israel’s right to the Land.
Reason #2: Palestine has never been a homeland of the Arab people. You’d think, for example, if anyone is native to Palestine, it would be King Abdullah of Jordan. But that is not the case. Abdullah’s family is from Saudi Arabia and came to Palestine in the 1920s. The reason his grandfather, Abdullah I, was made king of Jordan is because of the help he gave Lawrence of Arabia, the British colonel, in driving the Turks from Palestine in WWI. At that time the land was virtually uninhabitable. On his trip to the Holy Land in 1869, Mark Twain described it as a vast wasteland with no sign of life from Haifa in the north to Eilat in the south.
Reason #3: Israel earned the right to possess the Land. According to the U.S. Homestead Act of 1862, Americans were given land by the government on two conditions: they live on it for 5 years and make improvements on it. By those standards, only the Jews qualify to own the land. Before their return to the Holy Land in the 1930s and 1940s, it was mostly desert and malaria-infested swamps. So the Jews drained the swamps, planted forests, and irrigated the deserts, and suddenly the land nobody wanted was very attractive to their Arab neighbors who rioted and demanded that the Jews divide the land with them. So the British took the land promised to the Jews (1917 Balfour Declaration) and gave it to the Arabs. That land is known today as Jordan. So to those who say the Palestinians ought to have their own homeland, the fact is: They already have it!
Reason #4: The International Community has recognized Israel’s right to the Land. Tired of dealing with the Palestinian problem, the British turned it over to the U.N. in 1947 which parceled out a portion of Palestine to the Jews. It did not give them Jerusalem or many other sacred sites. So it wasn’t until Israel’s defeat of the Arab armies which attacked them in the 6-Day War that Jewish feet were allowed to enter the Holy City again and worship at the Wailing Wall.
Reason #5: Israel has worked hard to make peace with the Arabs. For example, when David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, declared independence on May 14, 1948, he invited the Arabs, “Stay and help us build a new nation.” Many did. Today one million Arabs are citizens of Israel (20% of the population) with democratic rights – the only Arabs in the Middle East living in freedom! Despite Ben-Gurion’s offer, 600,000 Arabs fled into Jordan warned by the Arab nations that they would soon destroy Israel, and then they could return to their homes. But Israel was not defeated. So the grandchildren of those refugees continue to live in exile. The Arab nations with 662 times more land than Israel could easily absorb them into their countries, as Israel has with the million Jews expelled by the Arabs. But the goal of the Arabs is not peace; it is the destruction of Israel.
Reason #6: The land Israel occupies was won in wars of which Israel was not the aggressor. For example, the 6-Day War of 1967 broke out when the Mossad learned that Egypt and Jordan were about to attack them. So they sent their war planes to destroy the Egyptian Air Force while it was on the ground. The Israeli army then turned to fight the Jordanians and was so successful that they quickly drove them out of the Holy City and back into Jordan. The victory was so great that the Israeli army was positioned to march on Cairo, Damascus, and Amman, but agreed to peace at the request of the United States. Since then, as an act of good will, Israel has returned the Sinai to Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the Arabs. What other nation does that? Have we returned the land we won in our wars–Texas to Mexico, Puerto Rico to Spain, the Dakotas to the Dakota Indians?
Reason #7: Israel’s 1967 borders are indefensible and would cripple our only real ally in the Middle East. If Israel gave back the West Bank to Jordan, that would put the enemy right back in the Holy City and within 11 miles of Tel Aviv. Watch the clip above as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, politely but firmly explains to President Obama why Israel cannot give back that land.
Reason #8: If Israel gave back the land it won in 1967, neither Jews nor Christians would have free access to the holy places in Jerusalem such as the Wailing Wall or the Temple Mount. Today it is dangerous to visit Jericho and sometimes Bethlehem because both are now in Muslim hands.
Reason #9: God has future plans for Israel. More on that in coming studies. Next time the topic will be…“Keep Your Eyes on Israel!”