Israeli Occupation (of the West Bank)?
“Don’t bother them with the facts,” is a cynical but nevertheless accurate assessment of and accusation against those who pursue a seemingly worthy cause that is simply not based on history, reality, or the obvious evidence in front of them. For the most part, we can overlook and even excuse the average person’s opinion of this or that issue when they sidestep the truth of the matter, as long as they are willing to (eventually) listen objectively to the facts and consider the possibility that they could be wrong, in light of those facts.
But when the President of the United States persistently disregards the true story (history) of Israel, we can rightfully question his real agenda for Israel. Does President Obama truly believe what he said during an interview with a London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat?
Listen to this statement from the President: “As I said when I visited Ramallah two years ago, Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it; they deserve to live in an independent sovereign state, where they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity.”
Apparently, that is exactly what he believes, as he hasn’t changed his viewpoint.
The implication of his words is all too clear: The occupation pertains to the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and a small area of the rest of the West Bank; which is, in reality, Judea and Samaria—part of Israel proper. The daily indignities are clearly meant by the President to originate from and by the Israelis against the Palestinians. That they deserve to live in an independent state so their children can live in dignity and opportunity, supposes that the Jews have stripped the Palestinians of all dignity and denied them opportunities they otherwise would have.
Really? So, simply create another state within a state and, presto, you have instant peace between Jew and Arab. Palestinians will immediately possess dignity and seize opportunity that ceased to exist after Israel became a State in 1948?!
What about the dignity and opportunity for peace and security of millions of displaced Syrians and Iraqis not to mention hundreds of thousands of Arabs killed in civil war between Muslim Sunnis and Shi’ites? What about the slaughter of Christians throughout the Middle East and Africa by terrorist groups and governments alike? What is the United States and the European Union doing about that? I mean really doing?
This occupation mindset of the White House and of several European nations was once again (recently) vented against Israel when they denounced Israeli settlement construction plans in Jerusalem for 900 homes/apartments. Actually, this housing development was first announced in 2010 during Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel, which created a diplomatic clash between Washington and Israel. According to US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke, this plan of additional housing was “damaging and inconsistent” … harmful to resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Jewish “Settlement” in the West Bank (Judea/Samaria)
Never mind that both Israelis and Palestinians fully realize that a few more Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem will not bring a screeching halt to peace negotiations. Because, the fact of the matter is: there are no negotiations for peace or anything else. Moreover, all past negotiations have been broken off by the Palestinians through terrorist attacks, intifada uprisings, missile launchings, or outright rejection of Israeli land offers in exchange for peace.
For example: When the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon years ago, the terrorist organization Hezbollah grew stronger and instigated a war against Israel. When former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon closed down all Jewish settlements in Gaza and forcibly relocated all Israelis from Gaza, what did the Palestinians under the newly elected terrorist group Hamas do? They began to launch unprecedented missile and mortar attacks (thousands) against southern Israel. Not until Israel built a security fence through the West Bank did Palestinian suicide (homicide) attacks against innocent Israelis virtually cease overnight. Israel has been (time and time again) sanctioned and criticized for this wall, which is no different than the fence erected by the United States along the Mexican border, to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. At least these illegals didn’t cross the border to kill Americans, like the Palestinians did to the Israelis.
Back to Rathke who went on to say: “…Moving forward with construction of housing units in east Jerusalem is damaging. We continue to engage with the highest levels of the Israeli Government, and we continue to make our position clear that we view this as illegitimate.”
Followed by an official European Union statement on May 9th, “Israel’s determination to continue its settlement policy despite the urging of the international community not only threatens the viability of the two state solution but also seriously calls into question its commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.”
With the EU’s clear connotation that the Palestinians ARE committed to negotiations.
Really? As is said: Give me a break!
It’s obvious that Rathke, along with the entire White House staff and the EU, has no clue what is legitimate and illegitimate when it comes to Israel and its borders. More on that shortly.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the US and EU chastisement over the settlements was realistic, rational, and reasonable. “I don’t understand this criticism, and I don’t accept this position. Arabs in Jerusalem freely buy apartments, and nobody says that is forbidden. I will also not say that Jews cannot buy property in Jerusalem. There cannot be discrimination between Jews and Arabs. This is a normal process, and I see no reason to discriminate.”
Insistence on a Two-State Solution … No Matter That It Won’t Work and is forbidden by God
Despite the fact that neither the majority of Palestinians nor Israelis believe a Palestinian state is a feasible solution to the problem, President Obama continued his relentless rhetoric with the following statement: “We look to the new Israeli government and the Palestinians to demonstrate—through policies and actions—a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.”
Although President Obama is certainly not the only head of state to push for a Palestinian State, it’s becoming all too evident that our President is adopting a far more aggressive approach. To the extent of doing something unthinkable: supporting, if not actually introducing, a unilateral resolution in the United Nations to form a Palestinian State. Which would circumvent and negate any input from Israel, or any viable dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis. In other words, if Israel doesn’t at least negotiate for a two-state solution, then the United States will, through the United Nations, create a Palestinian State of its own making, boundaries and all.
This is exactly what (lame duck … his 9th year in office having been elected for a four-year term!) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations in his September 26, 2014 speech; “The hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived.”
You may recall that the PA’s petition to the UN to be recognized as a sovereign state (even though there still is no such thing as a Palestinian State) fell short of approval in 2012. However, the United Nations granted, “nonmember observer status,” for the Palestinians, which is normally the final step before full membership is approved. In the past such nations as Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Monaco and Vietnam were granted full membership status in the United Nations. Currently and curiously, the only other entity that has observer status is the Holy See (Vatican).
Ostensibly, the justification for Abbas’ declaration that the time has arrived for an independent Palestinian State correlates with the unity agreement between the Palestinian Authority (which rules the West Bank in Israel) and the terrorist organization Hamas (which rules in the Gaza Strip) that was signed in June of 2014. However, as the entire world knows, this unity agreement is a sham, producing more disunity than existed even before such an agreement. Neither of these corrupt organizations will concede any degree of authority to the other, as to who should govern a future Palestinian State. Furthermore, if such a state was created, there would undoubtedly be civil between these two groups just as there is between rival Muslim factions in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
*Note: As this article was in progress, another amazing story crashed the headlines: The Vatican, directly through Pope Francis, has drawn up a document that would recognize The Palestinian State … a state that doesn’t even exist! The Vatican is evidently calling it a treaty that would affirm the UN General Assembly’s recognition of (a potential—the idea of) a Palestinian State. Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis on Saturday (May 16th), the day that this Eye of Prophecy article will be published.
Italian Prime Minister Renzi Greets Mahmoud Abbas in Rome (5-15-15) Just Before Abbas Meets with Pope Francis (Pope Francis calls Abbas, “An Angel of Peace”)
It’s one thing for the White House to pull out all the stops in this misguided and uniformed effort to create a Palestinian State. It’s quite another to base this objective on the absolutely groundless and erroneous (false) premise that Israelis are “occupying” the West Bank which includes East Jerusalem. I repeat for emphasis: Jewish settlements in the West Bank are not occupation of land that doesn’t belong to them. In fact, it’s just the opposite: the land does belong to them, thus, if anyone is (wrongfully) occupying the land, it’s the Palestinians.
The term “occupation” has been grammatically and politically reversed in its meaning, because that is the only way for those opposed to Israel’s historically rightful claim to the land to justify their assertion that the Palestinian Arabs have exclusive ownership rights.
The Israeli government continues to recognize the right of Palestinian Arabs to build houses and apartments in East Jerusalem which, in fact, have been legally purchased by and deeded to them. But the Palestinians do not acknowledge, whatsoever, the same right for Jews to build on land that they have purchased; simply because this land is within the parameters of the so-called West Bank. In fact, there is no such thing as a national or state boundary without a nation or state to set those boundaries and neighboring nations to agree on where those boundaries are set. The only TRUE and LEGAL boundaries of Israel are between Israel and surrounding nations (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt), not the West Bank or Gaza.
But as periodically mentioned in past Eye of Prophecy articles, it’s not just all of East Jerusalem (there is no legal distinction between West and East Jerusalem) that the Arabs want; it’s all of Jerusalem, all of Israel that they lay claim to. Which is why on two notable occasions in the past, the Palestinian Authority (when Yasser Arafat was in control) rejected generous offers from former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to relinquish East Jerusalem and over 93% of the West Bank to the Palestinians. In exchange for virtually nothing else than recognition of Israel as a sovereign state. That was too much to ask of Arafat and is still too much to ask of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas—neither of which has backed down from their sinister scheme to drive the Jews out of Israel.
The Real (rest of the) Story of Occupation
Here is a quote from Louis Rene Beres in an October, 2014 article posted in the on-line editorial news source of Gatestone Institute: “At its core, President Obama’s, Sweden’s and Britain’s policy toward Israel and ‘Palestine’ reveals dangerous and hard-to-correct bewitchments of language. However unique, the ritualistic canard (false rumor that becomes a myth) of an Israeli ‘occupation’ has now been repeated so often, and so authoritatively, that it is generally taken prima facie as irrefutable ‘fact.’”
He continues: “One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war … Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be … free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law.”
The international law referenced by Beres was expressly validated by the United Nations vote to recognize Israel as a sovereign state in November, 1947; followed by the rebirth of Israel as a nation in May, 1948. But the Palestinian Mandate cited by Beres goes back much further. On June 30, 1922, the U.S. Congress in a joint resolution unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine” which affirmed the irrevocable right of Jews to resettle in the area of Palestine … anywhere they chose, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Beres is saying the same thing that I am saying and others who recognize Israel’s right of perpetuity possession and prerogative to occupy ALL of Israel’s boundaries, should they choose. But the Jews have both politely and pragmatically afforded Arabs in Israel the privilege to “occupy” two fairly large portions (relative to the total land space of Israel) of Israel … West Bank including east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
You read that right: In essence, Israel has extended permission for non-citizens of Israel (Palestinians who have refused to apply for Israeli citizenship unlike hundreds of thousands of their Arab brothers who are called Israeli Arabs—citizens) to occupy the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. (Through United States tradition, we would call this homesteading). But that doesn’t mean that Israelis are, therefore, illegally occupying a “foreign land” when they build subdivisions in East Jerusalem. It is already their land! Do you understand the difference here?
But it’s more, much more, than international recognition of Israel’s rights to what was once called Palestine, which was long before that called Israel. Had not one country on earth, including the United States of America, acknowledged the right of Jews already living in Israel and the right of Jews all over the world to return to Israel, the fact remains that the true and living God promised the land of Israel (borders of which were much broader than currently exists) to the Jews—the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is reason enough!
If someone doesn’t think so, they are free to take up the case with God, himself. If so, I would encourage them to do so with an open heart and mind that really seek to know the truth. I’m referring to the universal truth of salvation, and that salvation comes through the Jews. To include the divine covenant between God and Abraham; that he and his descendants through Isaac (the Jews) were given a very small section of this planet to pursue life, liberty, and the happiness of knowing and serving the God of the Universe. The adversarial alternative of ranting and raving against God and God’s chosen people … well, let’s see what God has to say about that.
“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’ For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness—should raise a defiant fist. It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall” (Psalms 75:4-7).
And, “The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on you own heads. Just as you swallowed up my people on my holy mountain, so you and the surrounding nations will swallow the punishment I pour out on you … And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance” (Obadiah 1:15-17). The rest of this passage describes how Israel will be restored to its original borders decreed by God, as originally found in Joshua Chapters 13 through 19.
God continues to speak through Obadiah: “Then my people … will occupy the mountains of Edom … will possess the Philistine plains … take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria … occupy the land of Gilead … occupy the Phoenician coast … return home and resettle the towns of the Negev … And the Lord himself will be king!” (Verses 19-21, italics for emphasis).
Think about it: The Sovereign God who created the earth, indeed, the entire universe, picked a tiny portion of this planet for a chosen people to live. He could have selected all of the earth (except the land given to Israel) for the Jews and given only this small portion to the rest of the world. Had he done that, then the vast majority of the world’s population would be “occupying” land that doesn’t belong to us!
What would you think (historically) if the colonies had subsequently given all of Washington D.C. (or even some of it, say the eastern half) back to England to govern and control? The analogy is all too clear: That would have been absurdly impractical and intolerable to Americans; it would have negated the entire reason for revolting against England’s unfair reign over the colonies in the first place. Later, we fought a civil war to deny southern secessionists from establishing a separate capital (confederate nation) in this country. If either one of these events had taken place, we could no longer call ourselves the United States of America.
Why, then the double standard with Israel and its sovereign capital of Jerusalem? Why the incessant rhetoric against Israel accusing her of increasing tensions with the Palestinians by doing this or not doing that? With little to no sanctions against the Palestinians who fire mortars and missiles into Israel killing Israelis. Instead, we heap criticism upon criticism against Israel for (legally and rightfully) building more homes for their people. But now the criticism has turned to threats: How dare the Jews increase Middle East tension and jeopardize a peace process invented by the United States to solve a problem we have totally misdiagnosed with a solution that will cause more problems than it will solve. Here is an excerpt from a previous Eye of Prophecy article entitled, Jerusalem City of Peace, published 12-27-14.
If anyone carefully examines the wars that Israel has fought since her national birth, the incidents of intifada terror that has killed and maimed thousands of Israelis, or just the daily stream of hate-filled verbiage from the mouths of Muslim leaders and much of the Palestinian people, they would realize that the level of tension really can’t get any higher. Meaning that when Muslim armies, terror groups, and lone wolf assassins decide it’s time to strike, that’s exactly what they do. They may cite a particular incident or problem, but it’s always just an excuse to do what they were going to do anyway. The balloon is always full of enough air to burst. The string is always tight enough to break.
Technically, legally, and historically there is no such thing as a Palestinian … not really. Because there is no such thing as Palestine … nor the State of Palestine. The very name of the nation of Israel was changed to Palestine by an ancient Roman emperor who hated the Jews, and so named the land to mock the Jews with a name that sounded like and reminded them of an ancient enemy, the Philistines. From that time until 1948, Palestine has been nothing more than a region or territory all the time inhabited by at least a remnant of Jews, who subsequently outnumbered the Arabs in population. In fact, before 1964, if anyone used the label Palestinian, they were referring to the Jews (of Palestine)! Nor has there ever been a Palestinian language. Only Hebrew and Arabic.
Silwan, an Arab Community (Settlement) Near the Old City of Jerusalem
More Evidence to refute the “Occupation Theory” of Israel’s Critics
Another excerpt from Louis Beres article: “A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs—a Muslim land occupied by ‘Palestinian’ Arabs—has never existed—not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, the UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, ‘Palestine’ ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.”
He goes on to say; “During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized—those were the lands that were ‘occupied’—by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel…
“These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of ‘Palestine.’ Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of ‘Palestine.’ From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states—not Israel—that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states’ non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, has given its full approval.”
I fully concur with Beres’s summary when he states: “President Obama’s still-proposed ‘Two-State Solution’ derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance—legal, historical and conceptual—of Israel and ‘Palestine.’”
Throughout history, the right of victors in war (among other things) is to control land they have conquered; this is especially true of just wars, such as the American Revolutionary War and certainly the Six-Day War or Israel’s War of Independence in 1948 or the Yom Kippur War of 1973. However, when Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, and recaptured the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, they relinquished much of the West Bank and nearly all of East Jerusalem including Temple Mount back to the Palestinian Arabs and Jordan; and Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula back to the Egyptians. (Israel did this under extreme pressure from the United Nations and the United States). Moreover, neither Jordan nor Egypt (as indicated by Louis Beres) had any legal right to these territories in the first place.
Actually, the more I hear what our President has said and is saying and study closely his real agenda, I believe it’s more than just ignorance of the facts. Indeed, the United States (President) is treading on dangerous ground by claiming that the Jews are “occupying” land that doesn’t belong to them. To make such an allegation is a deliberate distortion of the facts. More than that; it is a blatant disregard of Scriptural truth and international law. The charting of such a course by seeking to divide Israel is tantamount to raising a defiant fist in God’s face.
This is not merely my opinion or the opinion of others who also keep their thumb on the pulse of Israel and the Middle East. It is the sovereign truth and opinion of God, himself.
For example: “At the time of those events, says the Lord, when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land” (Joel 3:1-2, italics for emphasis).
How can we know that the God of the Bible IS God? Conversely, that the god of the Koran or the gods of other so-called sacred texts is not God? I’ve written much on this subject in some prior Eye of Prophecy articles. For purpose of this article, I will simply summarize by pointing out two amazing proofs found in the historical record of the Bible. (1) God’s own statement that only he can predict the future with 100% accuracy. Hundreds of these prophecies have come to pass; dozens more are awaiting fulfillment. (2) The many miracles of Jesus to prove that he is who he said he is: The Son of God and God the Son. No other man has ever restored the sight of a man born blind, or turned water into wine, or walked on water, or fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish, or … on and on it goes. Culminating with resurrection from the dead! Will you be able to do that on your own when you pass from this earth?
For anyone to reject the indisputable historical proof of fulfilled prophecy and divine miracles is to say what was said to begin this article: “Don’t bother me with the facts.” In other words it is a matter of the heart, not of the head. It’s, “I refuse to believe, no matter what the evidence shows.” It’s what Paul said about much of mankind to the Romans: “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them … Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks…” (Romans 1:19-21).
Then Verse 25: “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.”
Things to Ponder
Not only powerful (fulfilled) prophecies and marvelous miracles attest to the fact that the God of the Bible is God; but also the miracle of changed hearts in people the world over. Former Muslim terrorists, Jewish rabbis, heads of state, religious and atheists alike, addicts, convicted criminals, and every-day people like you and me—transformed from the inside out when we place our trust in the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua haMashiach. (Jesus the Christ)
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ … For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them … For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:17-21).