Israel: A Nation of
A Half–Century of
The new born state of Israel was 50 years old
in 1998. What a 50 years! To start with—the rebirth of the
state of Israel in 1948 was a miracle of history (Ezek.37:1-11;
Luke 21:29,30). Never before has a nation been destroyed, its
people dispersed to the ends of the earth, and then, nearly two
thousand years later, re-gathered to their homeland and
re-established as a nation.
When Israel declared itself an independent
state on May 14, 1948, still another miracle occurred. The
armies of seven Arab nations marched on the newborn State,
boasting that they would "push the Jews into the sea."
Outnumbered 100 to 1, Israel not only repelled the invaders but
acquired more of Palestine than was granted in the UN partition
plan. Yigael Yadin, Israel’s commander of operations in that
war, had a terse explanation of Israel’s victory. "It was
Five Examples of Miracles
A Syrian column of 200 armored
vehicles—including 45 tanks—attacked Degania, the oldest
kibbutz in Israel. What a psychological blow this defeat would
be! Without artillery, Jewish forces were helpless to block the
Syrian advance. Until then the only heavy weapons available in
all Israel were four howitzers of the type used by the French
army in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Two of these ancient
fieldpieces were promptly dismantled and rushed to Degania. The
local commander, Lieutenant Colonel Moshe Dayan, had them
reassembled at the very moment the first Syrian tanks rumbled
through the kibbutz perimeter, and they scored a hit on the
advance tank. Had the Syrians known that these two obsolete
weapons represented half the arsenal of fieldguns in all Israel,
they would have pressed the attack. Instead, the armored
vehicles swung around in their tracks and clattered back up the
At Safed, near the Sea of Galilee a small
unit of Israeli defenders were holding off thousand Arabs. A
sudden tropical storm broke loose. The Israelis in desperation
took their remaining gasoline, poured it over 50 empty drums,
set them afire and rolled them down the hill. The flaming
barrels flying down the slopes, the rumble of hollow barrels
striking rocks—together with the tropical storm—created such
an illusion that the bewildered Arabs imagining some sort of
secret weapon took to their heel and fled.
In December 1948, the Egyptians were
harassing Israeli settlements in the Negev while advanced
columns were moving north. Yadin used the Bible for strategy. It
mentioned an ancient road forgotten for centuries, which ran
almost directly to Mushrafa, the Egyptians’ central garrison.
Heavy boulders were pushed aside with bulldozers. Soldiers in
armored vehicles, jeeps and supply trucks sped under cover of
darkness along the ancient road and surprised the Egyptians.
Taking this garrison destroyed the Egyptian defense system and
ended the war 14 days later.
To liberate the airport at Lydda the tactics
of Gideon were employed. Seven thousand Arab troops were ready
to attack. Sixteen Israelis dressed as Arabs infiltrated into
the city of Lydda. Like Gideon’s band of 300 they made such a
commotion during the night that the Arabs, totally confused,
fired upon each other. Finally the majority fled back across the
The Syrian Army had regrouped east of the
Galilee. A Jewish column of 24 homemade armored trucks and cars,
on the way to relieve a besieged Kibbutz, took the wrong road
and crossed the border into Lebanon. Before they discovered
their mistake, they ran head-on into a column of supplies for
the Syrian Army in Galilee—dozens of trucks of ammunition, a
string of light artillery and 20 new armored cars. The Israelis
fired point blank at the first truck—a tanker loaded with
gasoline. It exploded and set on fire the following truckload of
hand grenades. Rapid repeating explosions were heard for miles
around. Terrified, the Syrians abandoned their cargo. The
Israelis scarcely had enough men to drive the captured supply
train back into Galilee. Finally they reached the beleaguered
Kibbutz, only to learn that the Arab besiegers heard rumors that
the Jewish army had invaded Lebanon, therefore, the Arabs fled
The victory of the 1948 War was a big miracle
composed of a series of little miracles. Why? Over 2500 years
ago the prophet Isaiah made a remarkable prophecy concerning
Israel regathered back in her land. "They that war
against thee shall be as nothing and as a thing of nought…for
I will help thee." (41:12,13).
The Bible Helped Build Israel
The miracles continued. Trees, fruits and
vegetables grow over what was once shifting sandy wastes or
malaria swamps. New industries fringe historic cities. Highways
and pipelines stretch across a energetic nation that had slept
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s dynamic first
Prime Minister, was an ardent student of the Bible as an
accurate history of Israel and its land. He dispatched
engineers, horticulturists, botanists, etc., with the Bible in
one hand and research tools in the other. Miracles happened!
Following Bible clues, copper and iron mines
were established. One mining engineer, Abraham Dor observed that
at the richest veins of copper —"we come upon the slag
and furnaces of ancient Israel. We often get the feeling that
someone has just left." Deuteronomy 8:7-9 was often framed
on the walls of mining offices:
For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into
a good land; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose
hills thou mayest dig copper.
Reclaiming the Wasteland
Barren land transformed to the fertility of
ancient Israel is a miracle predicted in Scripture (Amos
9:14-15; Ezek. 36:34-35). It was long assumed that most of
Palestine was wasteland, irreclaimable for agriculture. But
archaeologists discovered the presence of more than 70 ancient
settlement sites in one 65-mile stretch of the Jordan Valley
alone, each with its own well for water. Lot, over 3,000 years
ago, was not exaggerating when he "lifted up his eyes, and
he saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered
everywhere, even as the garden of the Lord" (Gen.13:10).
New agricultural settlements—from Dan to
Beersheba—have risen beside ancient sites reidentified by
Biblical archaeologists. Concrete pumping stations were set over
ancient springs or wells. A well from Abraham’s day, now
supplies water for residents on the outskirts of Beersheba.
One of the basic necessities in that arid
country is reforestation. Ever since Jews began returning, they
have been planting forests, naming them in honor of such leaders
and friends of Israel as Chaim Weizmann, Lord Balfour, George V
and scores of others.
The Bible has helped them decide what kind of
trees to plant and where to plant them. Debating whether a
certain barren hillside would be a suitable location for
Israel’s immense "Forest of Martyrs," Israelis found
the answer in Joshua, which proved that a forest had existed
there. "Knowing that trees grow more easily where trees
have flourished before," explained Professor Zohary of
Hebrew University, "we rely on the Good Book."
"The first tree Abraham put in the soil
of Beersheba was a tamarisk," said Israel’s outstanding
authority on reforestation, Dr. Joseph Weitz. "Following
his lead, we put out two million in the same area. Abraham was
right. The tamarisk is one of the few trees we have found that
thrives in the south where yearly rainfall is less than six
The writer personally knew the Boyko Family
who pioneered in developing Biblical principles of agriculture
that helped the Aravah and the Negev blossom as a rose. The
Bible made Israel the agricultural giant it is today exporting
its products worldwide. It took another miracle to make this
possible. In Bible times there were two copious rainy seasons in
Palestine—the "early and the latter rain." But for
the past many centuries the "early rain" has been
minimal while the "latter rain" and dew have
disappeared completely. Since 1878, the "latter rain"
is falling again. The precipitation of both has spiraled over
the decades just as predicted in Joel 2:23,24.
The Miracle of Immigration
Jews from the four points of the compass
heard the call to come home (Isa. 43:5,6). Israel’s
Declaration of Independence stated that Israel "will be
open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their
Even as war still raged and the little State
faced possible destruction or bankruptcy, the newcomers poured
in. During the first three years of statehood, the average
reached 18,000 a month and in some months the figure exceeded
30,000. Between May 15, 1948, and June 30, 1953, the Jewish
population of the country doubled. By the end of 1956,
Israel’s population had nearly tripled, reaching 1,667,000.
Imagine the economic shock of absorption!
Jews kept pouring into Israel over the
decades. In 1984 - 1985 and again in 1991 harrowing airlifts
brought Ethiopian Jews from utter despair to a Land of hope.
Finally, the long-expected prophetic fulfillment of Jews from
Russia began in 1991. By 1998 over 800,000 have returned from
the former Soviet Republics (CIS) and they are still coming.
Over a million are expected. Israel’s population increased
from 650,000 in 1948 to nearly 6,000,000 in 1998. The miracle of
The Miracle of the ’67 War
The Arabs boasted that they would destroy
Israel. However, in six days Israel overran the combined forces
of Syria, Jordan, Egypt and took the Golan Heights, East
Jerusalem, the West Bank (Samaria and Judea), and the
Sinai—one of the greatest military feats in history. To many
Orthodox Jews worldwide, especially in the United States, it was
a wake-up call from God. Thousands poured into Israel and
settled in Samaria and Judea to stake Israel’s eternal claim
to the so-called West Bank—the heartland of Israel. They are
certain the Messianic Age is near at hand. As Biblical Zionists,
they oppose any give-away of land in the peace process.
A Hi-Tech Leader
Ezekiel 38:12, 13 predicts that Israel will
become an economic envy of the nations. The immigration of
Russian Jews is literally paying off. This year has witnessed an
explosion in both hi-tech developments and the number of
contracts Israeli hi-tech companies have signed with
manufacturers worldwide. Prime Minister Netanyahu said,
"The failure of Soviet communism to capitalize on the
outstanding R & D skills of the Russian Jews was a stroke of
good fortune for Israel. We now have the highest per capita of
scientists in the world. This has put Israel on the cutting edge
of technology." The New York Stock Exchange lists more
hi-tech companies from Israel than any other nation… Ezekiel
also predicts the sanctification of God’s name when Israel’s
enemies would threaten His people (38:16-23).
50 Year Anniversary
Actually Israel’s miracles began in 1878
with the regathering of the Jewish people to their Land.
Ironically the PLO also celebrated its own 50-year anniversary
from 1948. The Palestinians have several names for their
anniversary. One is "50 years of catastrophe!" Two
people claim the one land is theirs. Who is right? Who are the
The Biblical Claim
The prophet Jeremiah 16:14-18 speaks of
Israel receiving a "double of punishment" before they
are regathered to their Land (16:14-18). This double would be a
period equal to their prior period of favor with God. Jeremiah
also observed that during this double of punishment the Land of
Israel would become relatively desolate of man and beast
The Palestinian Claim
PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat in his speech
before the UN in 1974 declared, "The Jewish invasion began
in 1881 . . . Palestine was then a verdant area, inhabited
mainly by an Arab people in the course of building its life and
dynamically enriching its indigenous culture."
Financed by the oil rich Arab States, Arafat
has conducted a worldwide propaganda campaign to convince the
world community that the Holy Land has for centuries sustained a
thriving Palestinian culture.
What happens when this claim is compared with
the personal observations of the following recognized
authorities? In 1738 Thomas Shaw observed a land of
"barrenness . . . from want of inhabitants." (1)
In 1785 Constantine Francois de Volney recorded the population
of the three main cities. Jerusalem had a population of 12,000
to 14,000. Bethlehem had about 600 able-bodied men. Hebron had
800 to 900 men.(2) In 1835 Alphonse de
Lamartine wrote, "Outside the city of Jerusalem, we saw no
living object, heard no living sound…a complete eternal
silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in the country….
The tomb of a whole people."(3)
In 1857, the British consul in
Palestine, James Finn, reported, "The country is in a
considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its
greatest need is that of a body of population." This
historic observation is a remarkable confirmation of the
Biblical predictions that during Israel’s "double"
period of time of punishment and dispersion, the Lord would
cause the Land to become desolate of man and beast (Jeremiah
33:10; Zechariah 10:12; Jeremiah 16:14-18). No wonder by 1857 it
was just waiting for "a body of population!"(4) In the Lord’s providence this needed body of
population-the Jewish people-began to return after 1878 at the
end of their Scriptural period of His disfavor.
The most popular quote on the desolation
of the Land is from Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (1867),
"Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the
spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its
energies….Palestine is desolate and unlovely…. It is a
hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land."
The records of history confirm the
Biblical predictions that during the Jewish dispersion and
"double" of God’s disfavor, the Land of Israel would
become desolate awaiting the return of the Jewish people when
its period of disfavor ended in 1878. The records of history
simply do not confirm today’s Palestinian claim of Palestinian
roots and culture in a "verdant area" since the Arab
rule of the land (A.D. 640-1099).
Southern Syria Vs. "Palestine"
The Romans had changed the name of the
Land of Israel to "Palestine." From A.D. 640 until the
1960s, Arabs referred to this same Land as "Southern
Syria." Arabs only started calling the Land
"Palestine" in the 1960s. Until about the eighteenth
century, the Christian world called this same Land, "The
Holy Land." Thereafter, they used two names: "The Holy
Land" and "Palestine." When the League of Nations
in 1922 gave Great Britain the mandate to prepare Palestine as a
national home for the Jewish people, the official name of the
Land became "Palestine"—and remained so until the
rebirth of the Israeli State in 1948. During this very period,
the leaders of the Arabs in the Land, however, called themselves
Southern Syrians and clamored that the Land become a part of a
"Greater Syria." This "Arab Nation" would
include Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan as well as Palestine.
An observation in Time magazine well articulated how the
Palestinian identity was born so belatedly in the 1960s: (5)
Golda Meir once argued that there was
no such thing as a Palestinian; at the time, she wasn’t
entirely wrong. Before Arafat began his proselytizing, most of
the Arabs from the territory of Palestine thought of
themselves as members of an all-embracing Arab nation. It was
Arafat who made the intellectual leap to a definition of the
Palestinians as a distinct people; he articulated the cause,
organized for it, fought for it and brought it to the
If there was an Arab Palestinian
culture, a normal population increase over the centuries would
have been expected. But with the exception of a relatively few
families, the Arabs had no attachment to the Land. If Arabs from
southern Syria drifted into Palestine for economic reasons,
within a generation or so the cultural tug of Syria or other
Arab lands would pull them back. This factor is why the Arab
population average remained low until the influx of Jewish
financial investments and Jewish people in the late 1800s made
the Land economically attractive. Then sometime between 1850 and
1918, the Arab population shot up to 560,000. Not to absolve the
Jews but to defend British policy, the not overfriendly British
secretary of state for the colonies Malcolm MacDonald, declared
in the House of Commons (November 24, 1938), "The Arabs
cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of the country. If
not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe the
Arab population of Palestine would still have been around
Jewish contributions and Jewish immigration
continued to flow into the Land. The Jews created industry,
agriculture, hospitals—a complete socioeconomic
infrastructure. As job opportunities increased, so did Arab
immigration. In fact, in 1939 President Roosevelt observed that
"Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly
exceeded the total Jewish immigration during this whole
period." (7) For one specific
example, in 1934 between 30,000 and 36,000 Arabs from the Hauran
Province in Syria left for "the better life" in
On the other hand, Great Britain’s White
Paper of 1939 closed the doors of Jewish immigration to their
Land. Simultaneously, there was a large-scale Arab immigration
to the new Land of opportunity during World War II. In 1946
Bartley C. Crum, a United States Government observer, noted that
tens of thousands of Arabs had entered Palestine because of this
better life–and they were still coming.(10)
The Testimony of Arabs and Christians
Because Arabs until the 1960s spoke of
Palestine as Southern Syria or part of Greater Syria, in 1919
the General Syrian Congress stated, "We ask that there
should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as
In 1939 George Antonius noted the Arab view of Palestine in
Faisal’s views about the future of
Palestine did not differ from those of his father and were
identical with those held then by the great majority of
politically-minded Arabs. The representative Arab view was
substantially that which King Husain [Grand Sherif of Mecca,
the great grandfather of the current King Hussein of Jordan]
had expressed to the British Government…in January 1918. In
the Arab view, Palestine was an Arab territory forming an
integral part of Syria.
Referring to the same Arab view of Palestine
in 1939, George Antonius spoke of "the whole of the country
of that name [Syria] which is now split up into mandated
territories..."(13) His lament was
that France's mandate over Syria did not include Palestine which
was under Britain's mandate.
As late as May 1947, Arab
representatives reminded the United Nations in a formal
statement, "Palestine is a… part of the Province of
Syria…. Politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not
independent in the sense of forming a separate political
On May 31, 1956, Ahmed Shukairy had no
hesitation, as current head of the Palestine Liberation
Organization, in announcing to the Security Council the
observation, "It is common knowledge that Palestine is
nothing but southern Syria." (15)
Syrian President Hafez Assad once told PLO
leader Yassir Arafat: (16)
You do not represent Palestine as much as
we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as
a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is
only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people,
Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we,
the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of
the Palestinian people.
Assad stated on March 8, 1974,
"Palestine is a principal part of Southern Syria, and we
consider that it is our right and duty to insist that it be a
liberated partner of our Arab homeland and of Syria." (17)
In the words of the late military
commander of the PLO as well as member of the PLO Executive
Council, Zuhair Muhsin: (18)
There are no differences between
Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all
part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we
carefully underline our Palestinian identity.…yes, the
existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only
tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a
new tool in the continuing battle against Israel
The following are significant observations by
Christians of the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s: (19)
The Arabs themselves, who are its
inhabitants, cannot be considered but temporary residents.
They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their
places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in
it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became
its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could
one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any
sign of their passage through it.
Stephen Olin, D.D., L.L.D., called one of the
most noted of American theologians-after his extensive travels
in the Middle East-wrote of the Arabs in Palestine "…with
slight exceptions they are probably all descendants of the old
inhabitants of Syria." (20)
The most authoritative Arab statement,
however, as to whom the Holy Land belongs is found in the Koran,
the Islamic Scriptures: (21)
The fact is that the Koran agrees with the
Bible that God (Allah) made a covenant with the Sons of Israel
and assigned the Holy Land to the Jews (See the Koran, Sura V,
"The Table"). The Koran also describes the land
given to the Jews as "blessed" and foresees a return
of Israel to their land at the end of days.
These testimonies confirm the Christian
Scriptures that God gave the Land to the Jewish people as an
everlasting possession. The relatively few Arabs who wandered
into the Land between A.D. 670-1878 were but temporary dwellers.
The truer perspective of history reveals that the large recent
influx of Arabs that paralleled the regathering of Jews has no
historic rootage in the Land.
The Verdict of History: Land Rights
Before Jewish immigration and Jewish
investments spawned massive Arab immigration, Arabs were
actually leaving Palestine. Then the flow of traffic reversed.
"…Palestine changed from a country of Arab emigration to
one of Arab immigration. Arabs from the Hauran in Syria as well
as other neighboring lands poured into Palestine to profit from
the higher standard of living and fresh opportunities provided
by the Zionist pioneers." (22)
This phenomenon is confirmed by the
Palestine Royal Commission Report which observed that in the
period between the Balfour Declaration and the United Nations
Partition Resolution of 1947, Palestine became a land of Arab
immigration.(23) As further documented by Ernst Frankenstein,
substantial Arab immigration was a recent phenomenon: (24)
The early "lovers of Zion" began
the stimulation of Arab immigration. Some writers have come
out with the conclusion that in 1942, 75 percent of the Arab
population were either immigrants or descendants of immigrants
into Palestine during the preceding one hundred years, mainly
Indeed, the verdict of history does more than
confirm the Prophets that the population of the Land of Israel
would be minimal until the "double" of Israel’s
disfavor ended in 1878 when the regathering of the Jewish exiles
began (Jeremiah 33:10; Zechariah 10:12 and Jeremiah 16:14-18).
The record of history testifies that the great influx of Arabs
also began after that date.
These facts of history explain why the United
Nations needed to develop a definition that a "Palestinian
Refugee" is any Arab who had been in "Palestine"
for only two years. (25)
U.N. definition, in fact, is incompatible with the assumption
that the Arab Palestinian roots go back one or two thousand
years. The Jews themselves have dominated the Land called
"Palestine" for the past two millennia. The Jews
themselves are as much "Palestinian" as the Arabs who
claim to be Palestinians. If any population has a right to the
name Palestinian (if they wanted it), it would be the Jews whose
ancestors had their Land renamed "Palestine."
The Nations Partitioned
"When I bring again the captivity of Judah and
Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations…I will plead with
them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they
have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." Joel
With the ending of God’s "double"
of disfavor and punishment, God takes issue with the nations
responsible for hounding and scattering "my people."
Now during God’s regathering of the Jews by Divine Providence
since 1878 to "my Land," He also takes issue with the
fact that the nations have "parted My Land"—His
Land. How have the nations "partitioned" His Land?
World War I was the second significant event
in end-time prophecy regarding the regathering of Israel.
Turkey, with an expansive empire that compassed the Middle East
(including Palestine) and North Africa, fought with Germany and
the Central Powers against the Allies. At the breaking up of the
Turkish Empire by the victorious Allies, both Jews and Arabs
requested independent states. The world powers were generous in
the extreme to the Arabs by granting them twenty-two independent
Arabs states—encompassing 5,414,000 square miles. The Jews
asked for less than one percent of that vast territory. The
Allies agreed to this request (which included both sides of the
Jordan) in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 San Remo
Conference of World Powers.
For imperialistic interests, however, in 1921
Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration, lopped off 77
percent of the Land promised in the Balfour Declaration and set
up the Arab Emirate of Transjordan. Then in 1922 the League of
Nations gave Great Britain a Mandate to prepare the remaining 23
percent of Palestine (including Samaria, Judea, Gaza, Golan
Heights and Eastern Jerusalem) for a Jewish National Home. But
under French pressure, in 1923 the Golan Heights was ceded by
the British to the French mandate of Syria.26 They
partitioned His Land and the Lord was angry.
Oil was then discovered in the Arab
countries. Consequently, "oil diplomacy" was
instituted. British foreign policy simply bowed to Arab
appeasement. In 1939 the British White Paper banned further
immigration to Palestine. Also, with brutal callousness, the
United States and most nations refused to accept the beleaguered
Jews of Europe. Consequently, six million Jews were slaughtered
in the Holocaust.
How many millions of these hapless
victims would have found a haven in Palestine if Britain had not
reneged—with the silent consent of the other nations of the
world—on its own mandate obligations by banning Jewish
immigration? What a heinous collective crime of history! Lloyd
George, who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, when he
issued the Balfour Declaration went on national radio to call
the 1939 British White paper, "an act of national perfidy
which will dishonor the name of Britain."27
This time the nations actually denied
the Jews any of God’s Land and the Lord was angry.
Finally, the Gentile nations, guilt-ridden after defaulting on
their promise since 1922, felt a moral obligation to grant the
Jews an independent state. But, unfortunately, the UN Partition
Plan of 1947 further reduced the size of the new Israeli State.
partitioned "My Land" and the Lord was angry…
When Israel became an independent State
in 1948, armies from six Arab nations invaded the newborn State.
Outnumbered 100 to one, Israel’s ragtag army pushed back the
invaders and took more of its rightful Land. Divine Providence
was telling the world something about whose Land it is. The only
failure in Israel’s rightful victory at that time was not
succeeding in recapturing East Jerusalem.
Jordan Occupied East Jerusalem
Instead, the Arab State of Transjordan
captured East Jerusalem, expelled all Jews and destroyed or
desecrated all Jewish holy sites. That is actually when
Jerusalem became "occupied territory." Defying the
U.N. Mandate, Transjordan also occupied the west bank of the
River Jordan. No longer limited to being "Trans"
(across) Jordan (the east bank), Transjordan reduced its name to
simply Jordan, now ruling over both the occupied west bank and
the original east bank of Jordan.
But this annexation of the "West
Bank" by Jordan was not recognized by any nation of the
world—except Great Britain and Pakistan. Jordan was even
denounced by its Arab allies, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, who wanted to expel Jordan from the Arab League!28
It is claimed that 600,000 Arabs fled "temporarily,"
but temporarily became permanently when the Arab invaders failed
to destroy the new State of Israel. David Ben-Gurion adamantly
argued that the 600,000 figure was a lie. "The refugee
issue is one of the biggest lies, even among our own people… I
have all the figures. From the area of the State of Israel, only
180,000 Arabs left in 1948. There were 300,000 Arabs altogether
in Israel and 120,000 remain."29
In the 1967 Six Day War, under the threat of
being "pushed into the sea" by Egypt, Syria and
Jordan, Israel actually liberated the "occupied
territory" of Jerusalem and granted free access to Jews,
Christians and Moslems to worship at their respective Holy
sites. Israel also liberated the "West Bank" and Gaza.
How easily recent history is forgotten. By comparison,
Israel’s administration, despite its faults, has been much
more humane. The realities of the Jordanian and Egyptian
occupation are conveyed in the following quote from HARSH
For 19 years, until 1967, Jordan brutally
occupied the renamed "West Bank" with its 20 UNWRA
refugee camps…. And when western Palestinians rioted in
December ’55, April ’57, April ’63, Nov. ’66 and April
’67, King Hussein sent in tanks which shelled city streets and
machine gunned people at random, killing hundreds of men, women
The Gaza Strip, as it was known for the 19
years of harsh Egyptian occupation, had 8 UNWRA refugee camps in
which the Palestinians were forced to live in overcrowded
squalor. Egypt refused to absorb any refugees; kept them
stateless, denied passports, and forbade them to travel or work
in Egypt. [On the other hand, Palestinians were permitted to
work in Israel after 1967.]
For 19 years of brutal occupation of their
fellow Arabs, Jordan and Egypt kept these areas in a deliberate
state of economic stagnation and severe unemployment. Average
unemployment in the early Sixties ran between 35-45%, and
refugee unemployment hit a high of 83%. Yet during this entire
period, the world was silent…. Only after Israel’s seizure
of these territories in a defensive war in 1967, did anyone
discover the "legitimate rights and national
aspirations" of the Palestinian Arabs.
From a humanitarian viewpoint, their
situation improved immeasurably under Israeli administration.
Unemployment hovers around a mere 1% (1989) and per capita gross
income tripled in less than 20 years; infant mortality rates
dropped from the pre-1967 140 per 1,000 to only 30 per 1,000
today—at a time when the rest of the Arab world is still at 80
per 1,000; 7 Arab colleges and universities were established
under Israel "occupation," where none existed before
1967. Yet it is Israel that is now being attacked.
Had the Arab countries any true intentions of
helping their beleaguered brethren from western Palestine, they
would and could have absorbed them easily 4 decades ago, as the
Israelites did of an even greater number of Jewish refugees from
Arab lands. The Palestinian Arabs share the same language,
religion and culture, and for 70% of them, the same countries of
origin just 3 generations before when their grandfathers
emigrated for economic reasons to Palestine from surrounding
Arab lands. But the 22 Arab countries, uninterested in aiding
their Palestinian brothers, preferred to use them as a political
weapon to wield against Israel, and the U.N. supported this
heartless human manipulation.
In the mid-1970’s Israel attempted to give
the Palestinian Arab refugees in Gaza new and better housing.
The U.N. General Assembly, at the urging of the Arab states,
passed Resolution 32/90 condemning Israel for trying to relocate
these refugees and demanded they be returned "to the camps
in which they were removed." And yet, a senior U.N.
official came to Gaza in January 1988 accompanied by 10 TV crews
on a fact-finding visit and laid the entire blame for the
situation at Israel’s feet. As if the U.N.’s own complicity
in the matter didn’t exist!
The Refugee Problem
When the six Arab nations invaded Israel at
Israel’s birth, many claim 600,000 Arabs were displaced in
that war. What is not well known is that approximately 800,000
Jews, who were living in those six Arab nations, had to flee for
their lives because of Arab hatred. The solution to this refugee
problem was simple—a fair exchange.
Israel, at a terrible economic cost, absorbed
the 800,000 Jewish refugees. But the Arab nations refused to
accept these Arab refugees, their Arab brethren. Rather, they
placed them in refugee camps, which became dark holes of hate
and misery, models for propaganda to turn world opinion against
Israel. They succeeded.
"They Partitioned My Land"
The UN has now had the audacity to call
Jerusalem and the "West Bank" "occupied
territories" only after Israel regained them in the 1967
War. In 1922 the League of Nations had recognized the legal,
moral and historic right of the Jewish people to a national
homeland in Palestine—including Jerusalem. If the Jews had a
right to Jerusalem recognized by the world community in 1922,
that right is still valid today. But since then, the vast oil
reserves were discovered in Arab lands. The nations are
compromising Israel’s rights for their own oil interests.
Consequently, the U.S. administration and the UN define East
Jerusalem as "occupied territory." When Jordan
occupied East Jerusalem, it was "occupied territory."
But now, in fact, no part of Jerusalem is "occupied
Jerusalem—indivisible—belongs to Israel.
The same logic applies to the "West Bank."
Unfortunately, Israel’s government presently is too
intimidated by tremendous pressure from the U.S. and other world
powers to insist on its historic right to Judea-Samaria, the
so-called "West Bank."
What is the Lord’s perspective of all of
these events? He is angry at the nations. Whose Land is it that
the world powers are now pressuring Israel to give to the Arabs?
During the current regathering of the Jews to Israel, even
before God’s Kingdom is set up in Jerusalem, God refers to
Israel as "MY people" and their Land as "MY
Land" (Ezekiel 38:16; Isaiah 11:11). "they parted
[partitioned] MY land." To whom does the Land belong? The
Arabs? No! The Land belongs to God and He gave it to the
children of Israel. But the nations have the arrogance to
partition God’s Land. They took 77 percent of it away from
Israel, "MY people," and gave it to the Arabs—and
now the United States and the nations of the world are
pressuring Israel to surrender more of their God-given Land to
the Arabs. But the Lord has His own land plans for Israel.
A six-year study by over 250
scientists and experts predicts that by the year 2020 the
population of Israel will exceed 8,100,000, making Israel by far
the most densely populated developed country in the world.
Israel will be more than 2.5 times more densely populated than
Japan and the Netherlands, and there will be a serious shortage
of land for residential construction. In Micah 7:11 the prophet
speaks of our time as "the day for extending your
[Israel’s] boundaries" (NAS).
Actually, the Scriptures (Isa.
11 & Zech. 10) indicate another large immigration of Jews
from the CIS and a massive exodus from the U.S. even before
2020. But there will be no land shortage. A final Arab-Israeli
war will precede this massive immigration. Israel’s borders
will be expanded to include all of the Golan Heights, much or
all of the sparsely inhabited nation of Jordan and Southern
Lebanon (Isa. 11:14; Zeph. 2:8-9; Micah 7:11, 14; Obad.18-20).
All of this territory was promised Israel in the Balfour
Declaration back in 1917. But God will finally give to Israel
even more than the nations promised (Genesis 15:18-21).
The God of Israel is a God of
miracles—and He has only begun His miracles in achieving
Israel’s ultimate destiny. God will even work miracles to
bring all nations into harmony with Israel. His intentions are
revealed by the Prophet Jeremiah (31:11):
For I am with thee (Israel)
saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all
nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a
full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure and will
not leave thee altogether unpunished.
After the destruction of their
governments, the people of these nations will "seek the
Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem" which will become the capital
of God’s Kingdom (Zechariah 8:20-23). Instead of converging on
Israel and Jerusalem to partition the Land or take it, the
nations will come to Jerusalem to learn of the God of Israel so
that they may walk in His ways. Instead of coming to dissect
Israel, they will come to be taught (Isaiah 2:1-4). Yes, the
Messianic Era will come.
And it shall come to pass in the last days,
that the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord’s house
shall be established in the top of the mountains,
and shall be exalted above the hills;
and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say,
Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk in his paths;
for out of Zion [the spiritual seed of blessing]
shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem
[the natural seed of blessing].
The whole world—the Arab
peoples too—will come up to worship the God of Jacob in
Jerusalem. Peoples of all national tongues will come to pray to
the LORD God of Israel because they will understand God is
blessing Israel (Zechariah 8:3, 21-23):
…Jerusalem shall be called
a city of truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the
holy mountain… O house of Judah and house of Israel; so will
I save you, and ye shall be a blessing; fear not, but let your
hands be strong…. It shall yet come to pass that there shall
come people and the inhabitants of many cities,… saying, Let
us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD
of hosts… ten men shall take hold out of all the languages
of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that
is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that
God is with you.
Israel's jubilee—fifty years
of nationhood—is only the tumultuous beginning. Beyond all the
tears and trouble lies Israel as a beacon light to the Gentiles.
"There shall not be heard any more violence in thy land,
wasting and destruction within thy boundaries; but thou shalt
call, Salvation, thy walls, and thy gates, Praise" (Isaiah
60:3, 18 Isaac Leeser). God's comprehensive peace settlement for
Israel will only signal the beginning of an eternity of blessing
all the families of the earth. Then the promise to Father
Abraham—passed down to Isaac then Jacob—will be fulfilled:
"In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth
be blessed" (Genesis 28:14). The God of Israel is a God of
miracles. He has only begun His miracles in achieving Israel's
ultimate destiny when the wonderful promises of Israel's Prophet
Isaiah (35:5-10) will be fulfilled for all mankind:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame [man] leap as an hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing:
for in the wilderness shall waters break out,
and streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a
and the thirsty land springs of water:
in the habitation of dragons, where each lay,
[shall be] grass with reeds and rushes.
And an highway shall be there, and a way,
and it shall be called The way of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men,
though fools, shall not err [therein].
No lion shall be there,
nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon,
it shall not be found there;
but the redeemed shall walk [there]:
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with songs
and everlasting joy upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Thomas Shaw, travels and observations (Oxford:
Printed at the Theatre, 1738).
Volney, travels through syria and egypt.
Alphonse De Lamartine, RECOLLECTIONS OF THE
EAST (Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1838).
British Foreign Office Documents 78/1294, Pol.
TIME, January 3, 1994.
Irving Howe and Carl Gershman, Ed., ISRAEL,
THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST (New York: Quadrangle Press,
1972), p. 178.
"Foreign Relations of the United States:
LEAGUE OF NATIONS PUBLICATIONS, V.I.A.MANDATES,
1935, 27th Session.
UNRWA Reviews, Infor. Paper No. 6.
Anny Latour, THE RESURRECTION OF ISRAEL
(Cleveland: World, 1968), p. 318.
Michael Curtis, Ed. THE PALESTINIANS: PEOPLE,
HISTORY, POLITICS (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1975).
George Antonius, THE ARAB AWAKENING: THE STORY
OF THE ARAB NATIONAL MOVEMENT (Philadelphia: 1939).
Howe and Gershman, Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND
THE MIDDLE EAST.
Ibid., p. 178.
Kamal Jumblatt, I SPEAK FOR LEBANON (London:
Zed Press, 1982).
TROUW [Daily Newspaper, Netherlands], March
Felix Bovet, Egypt, Palestine, Phoenecia: A
Visit To Sacred Lands (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1882).
Stephen Olin, TRAVELS THROUGH SYRIA AND EGYPT
(New York: Harper & Bros., 1851).
Elliot Green, Jerusalem Post, June 11, 1994,
Howe and Gershman, Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND
THE MIDDLE EAST, p. 178.
"London: His Majesty's Stationary
Office," Chapter 10, 1937.
Ernst Frankenstein, JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE
(London: Nicholson & Watson, ), p. 130.
Joan Peters, TIME IMMEMORIAL (New York: Harper
& Rowe, 1984), p. 4.
Martin Gilbert, ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT,
(London: Weidenfeld & Nocolson, 1992), p. 8.
Latour, THE RESURRECTION OF ISRAEL, p. 203.
Yedelya Atland, HARSH REALITIES (Jerusalem: C.
M. Israel Group Ltd., 1989), p. 19.
Howe and Gershman, ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE
MIDDLE EAST, p. 207.
Atland, HARSH REALITIES, pp. 19, 20.