Who Has Legal Right to The Land of Israel?
Our minds are being perniciously manipulated by Television, radio and written media with images and insinuations that are based on lies. One such lie refers to Judea and Samaria as the “illegally occupied West Bank.” All that one need do to establish whether or not Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank is to open the Bible.1
A fundamental principle in the word of G-d is that as Creator and King of the world, He alone has the authority to determine national territories. It is G-d who established the nations at the Tower of Babel and set their boundaries. “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.” ( Deut 32: 8,9). G-d has given the Land of Israel to the Jews, and only to the Jews. He has not given them any other land. He has given the Arabs 21 countries covering the Middle East and North Africa, but they do not include the land of Israel. 2,3
He made a blood covenant with Abraham in which He swore with upraised hand by His own Almighty name that the Land of Israel would be the eternal homeland of the Jewish people. It is called “The Promised Land” because G-d Himself promised this land as an inheritance to Israel. It is He Who stands behind that promise, and to challenge the right of Israel to that tract of land, is to challenge G-d. There are at least 170 references in the Bible to G-d’s promises of the land to Israel.4
The Lord G-d warned that if the Jewish people were disobedient or disloyal to Him that He would punish them, and if they refused to repent He would send them into exile5, which He did twice in history. However, He also declared through His prophets that in His time He would gather the Jews out of all the nations of the world, draw them back and replant them in the Land of Israel, never again to be removed6. Further, He declared that when He replanted them in the land of their inheritance He would take away their stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh, and He would pour out His Spirit upon them all7. The effect of the reoccupation of Israel by its rightful inhabitants, and their spiritual transformation would precipitate the return of the Lord, the redemption of the Jews as well as the redemption of all mankind and even of Nature itself8. These are the stakes against which Satan is striving with all his resources, all his minions, and all of his mastery of deception to delay or derail. He is currently using the Muslims as he had used the Nazis before, to try to annihilate the Jewish people; and the world media and powers, to deceive the Western world into supporting this effort. Without a Jewish people sovereignly living in the land of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital there will be no one to say “baruch haba b’shem Adonai” – blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord8,9
We are told that the Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants, descending back to the Philistines or the Jebusites, one of the 7 Canaanite nations, and that the Jews are only a religion, or are Europeans descended from the Turkic Kazars. The truth we can glean from the pages of the Bible which narrate the conquest of Canaan under the command of Joshua, about 3,250 years ago. Two and a half of the Israelite tribes settled in modern day Jordan and the rest crossed over and settled in the territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and as far north as southern Lebanon. This is the Land of milk and honey, among the most fruitful and amiable regions on earth, which G-d gave the Jewish people. It is here that they flourished until Samaria (northern Israel) was exiled by Assyria, and then Judea (southern Israel) by Babylon. The Judeans returned 70 years later to find that foreign people had settled in their land, which created ongoing conflict. Never-the-less, the Judeans rebuilt the country, and it thrived until the Jewish-Roman wars of 70 CE and 134 CE.
The Great Jewish Revolt against Roman oppression, which lasted from 66-70 CE was one of the bloodiest wars that Rome ever fought. The war ended with the destruction of the Holy Temple, the death of as much as 1,100,000 Jews and another 96,000 sold into slavery. Sixty years later the Second Jewish Revolt broke out, and this time Rome not only massacred about 500,000 Jews, but plowed Jerusalem, the perpetual capital of Israel, with salt, so that nothing could be grown there, renamed it Aelia Capitolina, after a pagan goddess, and drove the Jew into exile, forbidding them from ever returning to Israel, now pejoratively dubbed “Palestina.” Over the next 18 hundred years the Jews wandered the face of the earth, a pariah and outcast people, while “Palestine” sunk into a state of abuse and neglect at the hands of the succession of empires that occupied the land: Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks and British. By the 19th century “Palestine”, which was considered not a country, but a district of Syria within the Ottoman Empire, boasted a population of merely 200-300,000, many of whom were wandering nomads or peasants living on land owned by absentee land lords. This at a time when, e.g. France had 30 million, England 16 million , Turkey about 7 million, and Syria 2.5 million. There are several accounts describing the condition of the land, and they uniformly speak of deserts and malaria-infested swamps.
At the conclusion of WWI the European powers carved up the defunct Ottoman Empire, and created two Arab states, an Arab Christian enclave, and a Jewish state, which they named “Palestine.” The original boundaries of the Jewish homeland included present day Israel, Judea and Samaria (now called the “West Bank”), Gaza, and Jordan. This territory was delegated to Great Britain to prepare for independence under the “Mandate for Palestine.” This document was unanimously adopted by the International Community, as represented in the League of Nations, predecessor of the United Nations, and has never been rescinded. It stands as the binding legal document concerning the Jewish homeland.
This document states that “the Mandatory (Britain) should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, (the Balfour Declaration) by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; …recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;
The League of Nations was implementing steps to restore the Jewish people to their ancestral home. Palestine, as Israel was called at the time, was to approximate the borders of ancient Israel. The Golan Heights and parts of Lebanon were ceded to the Syrian mandate, so in exchange eastern Palestine was extended to the convergence of Iraq and Syria. Whereas the civil and religious rights of Muslim Arabs and Christians living in Palestine were to be safe guarded, the only ethnic group granted political rights to a state were the Jews. There has never been an Arab nation called Palestine and until 1967 there was never a people group called Palestinians. The Arabs who lived in this area considered themselves to be citizens of the Ottoman Empire. It was by and large the Jews who referred to themselves as Palestinians until the name was changed at the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions’
Britain was to assist the Jewish community to put in place all the institutions associated with an autonomous nation.
An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the country. The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps … to secure the co-operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
In other words, the Zionists were recognized by the League of Nations to be the public organization to facilitate the establishment of Palestine as the Jewish Homeland. There is nothing in the entire document that recognizes any other ethnic group within “Palestine Mandate” with rights to establish a nation, other than the Jews.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.
Ironically, in 1922 England, which was looking for a territory in the Middle East with which to reward Abdullah the son of the sheik of Mecca for Arab support in WWI, ceded three-fourths of the land area designated for the “Palestine Mandate” to create yet another Arab state, called Transjordan, with Abdullah as the emir. This was approved by the League of Nations and essentially became the Arab portion of Palestine. In violation of article 5, the majority of the Mandate was withheld from the Jews, and placed under the control of a foreign government. Jews were prohibited from living there. As a result, the Jewish homeland was reduced to what is now called Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. When seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948 to “drive the Jews into the sea”, Israel survived, but the West Bank and East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Transjordan, which now called itself Jordan, and Egypt illegally occupied the Gaza strip. When Israel fought for its survival again in 1967, with G-d’s help it was able to gain back the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The Arabs who had been living under Jordanian and Egyptian rule for 2 decades never claimed that they were a sovereign people, never tried to establish a nation called Palestine, and the Arab countries never encouraged the formation of such a state. It was not until these territories came back into Jewish hands that the Arabs in Gaza and the West bank began to claim that they were a sovereign nation, and one that dates back to the Canaanites.
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
For two millenia, while the Jewish people recited, “if I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not esteem Jerusalem as my highest joy,” Jewish immigration to the Land was restricted or forbidden by the ruling occupiers. Even during the British Mandate over Palestine, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were trying to escape Nazi occupied Europe, they were restricted from entering the country to which Britain was sworn to facilitate Jewish citizenship. As a result, 6 million Jews were murdered who might have been citizens of Palestine. Despite
The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.
The Palestinian Arabs have been made by the Media into a David battling the Goliath Israel. In truth, if we just look at a map of the middle East we can immediately see that it is that sliver of land, Israel, which is the David surrounded by an ocean of hostile Arab countries bent on its eradication. The size of Israel is 1/650th the combined size of the Arabs, and its population is 1/50th. Both the charters of the PLO and Hamas call, not for an Arab state in Gaza and the West Bank, but for all of Palestine/Israel. There is to be no Jewish presence in the Middle East, and by Hamas’ standards no Jewish presence in the world. It has been the Arabs at every turn who have initiated the aggression against the Jews from the 1800s on, never the opposite. Israel wants nothing but peace with its neighbors and to turn Israel and, with Arab cooperation, the Middle East, into a Garden of Eden.
In G-d’s view it is the Arabs who are usurping the legitimate inheritance of the Jews, and are directly challenging His will. He commands the prophet Ezekiel concerning the West Bank (the mountains of Israel) “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD. ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because the enemy has spoken against you, ‘Aha!’ and, ‘The everlasting heights have become our possession,’ therefore prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “For good reason they have made you desolate and crushed you from every side, that you would become a possession of the rest of the nations and you have been taken up in the talk and the whispering of the people. Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD. Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the forsaken cities which have become a prey and a derision to the rest of the nations which are round about, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My wrath because you have endured the insults of the nations. … I have sworn that surely the nations which are around you will themselves endure their insults. But you, O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel; for they will soon come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown. I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities will be inhabited and the waste places will be rebuilt. I will multiply on you man and beast; and they will increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as you were formerly and will treat you better than at the first. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ez 36)
Ps 83:1 O God…Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant…, Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves The pastures of God.” O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind. Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O LORD. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish, That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth”.
In a world in which Satan is marshalling his forces for the day when all the nations of the world will come to war against Israel and against G-d’s anointed, it should be followers of Jesus and Bible believers who should be first in the vanguard of those who stand with Israel – first to Bless, Defend and Serve Israel.
1. Num 34:1-12; Deut ; Josh 15:1-12
2. Gen 17,20
3. Gen 21:21
5. Deut 28:15-68
6. Deut 30:1-14
7. Ezek 36:26
8. Rom 11:15
9. Matt 23:29
**Correction** It was originally written: At the conclusion of WWI the European powers carved up the defunct Ottoman Empire, and created “four Arab states, a Persian state, and a Jewish state.” It now reads, “two Arab states, an Arab Christian enclave, and a Jewish state.”