One of the most significant events in human history occurred on May 15, 1948. That day marked the rebirth of the nation of Israel in the Land of their forefathers. As a people who had been scattered to the four corners of the earth for over 2,000 years, their return was nothing short of a mind-boggling miracle.
Beginning with the Balfour Declaration of 1917, events culminated in Israel’s declaration of independence on May 15, 1948.
Today, more than seven and a half million Jews live in Israel and the Arabs in the area are working day and night to destroy the Israeli nation and every Jew therein.
WHO OWNS THE PROMISED LAND?
The entire world continues to pressure Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem so that the so-called Palestinians can create their own state. The fact is, a true Palestinian State already exists on the Eastern side of the Jordan River.
At the end of World War I Britain had conquered the Turkish Ottoman Empire and at that time the Brits gave five million square miles of Ottoman territory to the people in that area. More than 99% of that land went to the Arabs. Only one-fifth of one-percent was set aside for a Jewish National home. They were told to establish a sovereign Jewish State with an Arab minority. On July 24, 1922 the League of Nations solidly endorsed this arrangement.
But because of intense Arab lobbying and global anti-semitism Britain went back on their commitment to the Jews and gave 80% of the land that was to have gone to Israel to a Saudi prince name Abdullah. All of that land that was initially designated to the Jews was given to create a Palestinian State that was called Trans-Jordan.
It was only after the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel won much of the territory back that the Arabs and the PLO demanded Israel give back the conquered territories so they could start a second Palestinian State. More than 80% of those claiming the new state were already citizens of Jordan . The other 20% were rushed into the area by the surrounding Arab nations and claimed they had been there for centuries.
Today, the Arab nations who are so vociferous in their demand for a Palestinian State on Israel’s West Bank know full well that such a state would provide them a launching point from which they could destroy Israel and take over the entire area.
Since 1948 the Arabs and Israelis have negotiated to resolve their differences except during the time when they were engaged in one of the five wars they’ve fought since Israel became a nation. Israel repeatedly and against overwhelming odds won each war. After each conflict, the peace talks often brokered by the United States would begin again. However, the Arabs have yet to deal honestly in these talks.
In repeated speeches by Arab leaders they have claimed they long for Middle East peace they call, “The Peace of Saladin.” During the Crusades, the great Muslim leader Saladin offered a “peace” treaty to Richard the Lion Hearted, an English general. However, the offer was not for a real peace. It was simply an armed truce which the Muslim armies used to re-arm for a final attack on the English. Today, in all of their talks about peace the Arabs use the word for “armed truce,” not a true peace. The Arabs long to have the West Bank from which they can begin a new campaign to destroy the State of Israel.
It is not insignificant that most Jews and millions of people around the world believe the Bible clearly states that all that land was deeded by God to the Jews as part of the Abrahamic Covenant. Thusly, no other people can honestly claim such an unbroken history with this territory. The vast majority of secular and religious historians in Europe and the West agree that the area settled by Jews thousands of years ago and then ruled by Israel’s kings for fifteen centuries gives a right of possession to the Jews. Since Rome in A.D. 70 destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jewish people, the area has been ruled by the Persians, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Turks. But none of these groups ever established a separate country or state in the area, nor did they ever make Jerusalem a capital. It is equally significant that during these two thousand years, in spite of non-stop oppression, a Jewish remnant continued to live in the land and in Jerusalem. In fact, for the last three to four centuries the majority population of the area has been Jewish.
Israel, in order to militarily survive, cannot fully surrender the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza to their sworn enemies. Military genius, Sir Basil Liddell Hart, a renowned strategic authority, recommended Israel retain every square inch of these territories they re-conquered in the Six Day War.
Additionally, in 1968 President Johnson ordered the American Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine the minimum territory Israel needed to survive an invasion by the vastly larger Arab armies. The unanimous decision of these officers was that Israel must retain virtually all of the land it captured after the Arabs invaded Israel in 1967.
It bears remembering that tiny Israel, with a Jewish population of seven and a half million, is surrounded by forty-four Arab States with a combined population of over half a billion. Syria, Israel’s bitter enemy to the northeast, has repeatedly assaulted Israel and is controlled by one of the most brutal regimes on earth.
Prior to 1974 Syria bombarded Israelis towns and villages from the Golan, killing hundreds of Jewish citizens. Today, Israel is in possession of this region and they realize that to surrender it, along with the rest of the West Bank, would make Israel less than nine miles wide on the strategic vital center of the country where over 80% of her population lives. To surrender these areas to their enemies, Israel would hardly be securing a peace. They would be guaranteeing war and inviting destruction.
American policy has been that Israel should surrender all these territories, even though our own military realizes the dangers of such a move. In fact, in 1988 the US Military completed yet another study conducted by more than seven hundred retired generals and admirals who concluded the same thing as another US Army College of 1974 study concluded. It reads in part, “Defensible borders are not impregnable borders…they are borders that give early warnings and that give some strategic depth. Israel having repelled continued attacks on its territory and population from the areas in question has no legal, political or moral obligation to relinquish it…giving up these territories would open Israel up to annihilation.”
The State of Israel’s existence today is proof again that miracles indeed do happen in contemporary times. Could it be that the ancient prophets were right in stating that once the nation of Israel is reborn, (as it was in 1948) nothing and no one will ever dislodge her again?
Thus, it is of great import that America chooses wisely in where they place their support in the volatile Middle East, for as these same prophets once made clear, it’s very possible that those who fight against Israel will, indeed, suffer some dire consequences.
**Phil Arms has spent 35 years in the ministry and has authored seven nationally distributed books. Several of his books were best-sellers that he co-authored with men like Tim LaHaye. He has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs across the country to discuss his books and ministry. You can find more resources or contact him at www.LifeReachMinistries.com.