Question from a friend: “What do you think of Palestine? Should Palestine also be a nation? What does the bible say about others inheriting as well as Israel or not inheriting? From my political point of view. In 1948 Israel and Palestine should have both become independent nations.”
To answer this excellent question, we must first understand the history of Israel/Palestine.
When the world was divided among Noah’s grandchildren, Canaan didn’t like western Africa, so they occupied the Levant. This was just the beginning of their evil, which I detail in https://bretanark.com/Books/end/WhyDidGodDemandTheGenocideOfCanaan.
After the exodus, Israel conquered much of Canaan under God’s direction.
During the judges, they lost some of this territory. The Philistines, who came from Crete, occupied the area allocated to Dan.
King Solomon reigned over a territory from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. He built the first temple in Jerusalem.
After Solomon, Israel split into two kingdoms – Judea and Israel in the north
The Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, and later, the Babylonians conquered Judah and destroyed the temple. After 35 years, the Persians took over and allowed the temple to be rebuilt. Israel existed as a vassal state until exiled by the Romans around 70AD. When the Romans conquered Israel around 63BC, they renamed the region “Palestina”, after their ancient enemy, the Philistines, who had long been wiped out. This is where the name Palestine comes from.
Over the past 2000 years, both Jews and Arabs have lived in Palestine. I’ve hosted Israelis who claim to have lived around the sea of Galilee for at least seven generations. Both Jews and Arabs have historic roots to this land, and both have massive immigration beyond this, which one could call an occupancy – either way.
Palestine is a geographic designation for this area, like the Levant. It was never a governance in its own right. It’s since been ruled over by Romans, Muslims, “Christians”, Ottomans, and, in 1917, was captured by the British.
In return for Jewish assistance to the war effort, Lord Balfour declared:
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may 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.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
As I understand it, the Balfour declaration established the entire Transjordan as a Jewish state, but this was later split with the Palestinians with Jordan taking the eastern half. This fulfils the idea of a separate Palestinian state. This is similar to the split between Pakistan and India, which enforced the national separation of Hindus and Muslims, with forced migrations either way.
In 1948, Britain withdrew from Israel, at which time David Ben Gurion declared Israel to be a nation. Immediately, the surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel, but were miraculously repelled.
In 1967, Arab forces amassed on Israel’s borders preparing to wipe them out. Israel, seeing the inevitable, struck first, repelled the invasion, and captured Jerusalem in the six-day war. They subsequently released control of the Temple mount to Jordan as a gesture of good will.
During these events, Arab inhabitants took refuge in surrounding nations awaiting the destruction of the Jewish nation, and they could return to their homes. They lost their bet and remain as refugees because their recipient lands refuse to grant them citizenship, favouring to use them in their anti-Jewish propaganda. Nowhere else in the world are children of refugees classed as refugees.
Today, Palestinian hatred for the Jews persists, with chants like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Palestine. This demonstrates a rhetoric that every Jew is to be purged from between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Since 1948, Jews have been driven from Arab lands where they’ve lived for centuries. In 2005, Israel forcibly withdrew Jewish citizens from Gaza, where no Jew is allowed to live https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_disengagement_from_Gaza. Palestinians decry the Israeli occupation, demanding 1967 borders, but this seems to be a ruse for their intention to be completely rid of them. Hamas, who govern the Gaza strip, have in their charter, the complete obliteration of the Jewish state https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas_Covenant. Some of our Israeli guests have expressed their horror from seeing in Palestinian kindergartens, posters about how to kill Jews.
While Palestinians accuse Israel of apartheid, Jews are no longer allowed to live in Gaza. However, Arabs have full rights in Israel, including their own political parties. Gaza regularly fire thousands of rockets at Jewish civilians, which is met by precise retaliation to destroy launching facilities. Unfortunately, this impacts the civilian infrastructure they hide behind.
It’s probably just a vocal minority that attack the Jews, and likewise some Jews are militant nationalists. While most people just want to get on with their lives, this conflict stirs up animosity from either side. Typically, when Jews attack Arabs, they’re convicted by their government. When Palestinians attack Jews, their families are paid compensation for their righteous martyrs.
Biblically, Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jews. They’ve been exiled twice because of their rejection of God. Today, they’re returning according to numerous prophecies that precede Jesus’ return.
Daniel prophesies the date of Jesus’ crucifixion and the ensuing exile, but then a restoration.
Daniel 9:26 After sixty-two weeks [of years], the Messiah will be executed, but not for his own crimes. The people of that empire will destroy the city and the holy temple. Its end will be with a flood, and until the end of the war, there’ll be desolations. 27He’ll confirm the treaty with many for one week. In the middle of that week, he’ll stop the sacrifices and offerings. He’ll lay out disgusting things to desecrate it, until his evil is complete, and his fate will be poured out on him.
For there to be sacrifices, there must be a Jewish nation and a Jewish temple. This isn’t a right, but a statement of fact yet future.
Ezekiel 36 is a promise of Israel’s return – a bit like the Belfour declaration.
Ezekiel 37’s valley of dry bones describes the survivors of the holocaust who became a mighty army. From verse 21 describes Israel being reborn as a single nation, under a leader called David. Their first prime minister was David Ben Gurion.
Ezekiel 38 predicts the restoration of Israel after a great war, with Jews returning from all over the world and the perpetual wasteland becoming prosperous again. I expect this war to happen in a few years’ time.
Ezekiel 38:8 After a long time, you [Magog] will be conscripted. In the latter years, you’ll come into the land that has been rebuilt after a war and has been gathered from many countries. You’ll come against the mountains of Israel, which was a perpetual wasteland. But its people have been brought there from the nations of the world, and all of them will live in safety.
Some claim there are prophecies that describe non-Jewish settlement in ancient Philistia (Gaza) and the west bank, two areas where ancient Israel failed to drive out the inhabitants, so they remain a thorn in their side today.
While I’m strongly biased towards the Jews, I believe others have legitimate right to live in the land, but not if they’re going to cause trouble. This has always been the case. King David’s great grandmother, Ruth Ruth 4:17, was a Moabite, he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah the Hittite 2 Sa 11 – from around Turkey. When he fled his son Absalom’s coup, Ittai from Gath (a Philistine) and his troops accompanied him 2 Sa 15:22.
Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. Through you all families of the Earth will be blessed.
This is reflected in the parable of the sheep and the goats Matthew 25:31-46 when God judges the nations according to how they treated Israel.
God is restoring his people to the land as he promised, and he’ll defend his people as he promised. Others who live in the land must respect Israel’s legal and spiritual rights to be there or face God’s judgement.