Two Myths in the Case for a Palestinian State
Now that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will meet with President Barak Obama, the push for a Palestinian state is volleyed up to the front again. Every US president quests for the holy grail of lasting peace in the Middle East so they can be remembered for generations as the one who changed the world, and perhaps with that accolade, their image might be carved into Mount Rushmore to forever remind our children and our children’s children of the world impact they had to last eternity. You can’t blame them for trying, but it ain’t happening; for the Bible tells me so.
Myth 1, Israel took land from the Palestinians. This is far from true. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 promised a Jewish homeland carved out of the desolate Palestinian territory. At that time, and for almost two thousand years since the time Israel ceased to be a nation, the land remained desolate governed by such groups as Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I.
Jewish communities and villages continued to exist throughout all that time, but there was no such entity as a nation of Palestinians. In fact, in all that time, Ramah was the only Arab town built, and Arabs continued to use Hebrew place names never even changing the name of the territory.
The word “Palestine” came from the Romans in 70 A.D. as a put-down after they ransacked, plundered, and wiped out whole Jewish villages in a huge wave of anti-semitism. Palestine comes from the word Philistine, a group of people who had conquered the Jews.
Previous to the Six-Day War in 1967, there was no serious movement toward a separate Palestinian homeland. In fact, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, Arabs welcomed the advent of a Jewish homeland calling on all Arabs to “welcome the Jews as brothers and to cooperate with them for the common good (Katz 126).”
Myth 2, Jerusalem contains Islam’s holiest sites. This will shock you; there are no Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem of any importance or significance. We are familiar with Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but the Koran says nothing about Jerusalem and never indicates it’s a location of any importance. It mentions Mecca hundreds of times and it mentions Medina many times, but it never mentions Jerusalem. There is no historical evidence anywhere to suggest Mohammed ever visited Jerusalem. If Jerusalem were of any religious importance to Islam and the Palestinians, as they would like for the world to believe, then definitely it would be mentioned.
Jerusalem is often called “home” to the world’s three great religions, and there is Biblical evidence for Judaism and Christianity for this, but Islam has no claim to this. This concept of an Islamic-Jerusalem connection has been contrived to develop sympathy in an attempt to place Palestinian claims on equal footing with those of Judaism.
To what do we attribute the current conflict if it doesn’t have its origins in land or religion? Definitely land and religion perpetuate the conflict, but the origins, according to legendary Mid East historian Samuel Katz, go back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and some British manipulation for imperialistic desires.
Even though Great Britain initiated the declaration with the authority to mandate it, and the League of Nations approved it, Great Britain saw an opportunity to form the Fertile Crescent into a League of Arab nations that would be under her control bringing economic favor as oil deposits became available, but their mandate would end when Israel became a formal nation. The Balfour declaration indicated that Israel could declare itself a nation when a majority of its inhabitants were Jewish. So, Great Britain began to usurp the Israeli dream by restricting immigration of Jews and increasing the immigration of Arabs into the designated territory and inciting the Arabs against the Jews in order to maintain British presence.
They had also reduced the size of the territory originally designated to Israel and created the Transjordan (Jordan) in a political effort to edge France out of any control in the area. When Israel finally declared its independence, Arabs, with indirect guidance from Great Britain, encouraged Arabs living in Israel to temporarily move out so they could come in and take Israel thus extending Great Britain’s “control” in the area. They promised the Arabs that left they would be able to plunder the lands of the Jews when they took the land. So it is, we all know, modern Israel was birthed in war, and the few Arabs who left never got the promised Israeli land, and since that time they have been called Palestinian “refugees.”
The modern spin on this myth is that they are “refugees” from their homeland fighting to get it back. If you look at the facts, Jordan was carved out of Israeli land for Arabs, so they really already have their state. Already, Arabs control 99.9% of Middle Eastern lands, and Israel is struggling to keep 1/10 of 1%. What’s fair? If we look at Genesis 15:18 and Joshua 1:4, God spells out clearly what He expected to be Israel’s territory, "Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Great Sea on the west." The land God gave to Israel included everything from the Nile river in Egypt to Lebanon (North to South) and everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (West to East which includes all of the land that modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land of the Palestinians, including the West bank and Gaza, plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised.
Netanyahu, Bibi, is not going to yield up any more land, if he stays true to the course he has previously assumed. Now, before we all get bent out of shape, keep in mind—this is all part of the plan, the divine plan and God has it all under control. Don’t be angry at Great Britain, or even of some of the concessions the United States has made in regard to Israel—it’s all part of the plan. Tensions will escalate until a cry for peace demands a covenant that Israel will sign designed to last seven years. Breathtaking peace will be the order for three and a half years, then the wrath of God will befall Israel and they and the world will suffer a tribulation such as has never befallen the world nor ever will again!
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Psalm 122:6
Katz, Samuel. Battleground: Fact and Fantasy. 1973, Bantam Books.