There’s Small … And There’s Small!
If you’re not fully awake yet, then drink some more coffee, because we’re going to begin the first Eye of Prophecy article of 2017 with a geographical math quiz. Oh come on, you’ll like it!
Question #1: In terms of square miles, what is the 4th smallest state in the United States?
My guess is that no more than 7% would know the answer to this question without a United States map in front of them, and maybe not even then. So, let’s increase the odds to give all of us at least a 14% (one in seven) chance of getting the right answer. The seven smallest are East Coast New England states. In alphabetical order they are: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Now what’s your answer? No maps allowed!
Okay, I’m feeling generous today. Let’s narrow it down to 50-50. The 4th smallest state in America begins with “New” (so does the 5th smallest state).
Is your final answer, New Hampshire?
Sorry, that’s wrong!
Answer: New Jersey.
If you got it right from the beginning, then you are in the top 7% of geographic statisticians in the world!
Question #2 (Multiple Choice): The size of New Jersey in square miles is: (A) 12,722 sq. miles; (B) 10,722 sq. miles; (C) 8,722 sq. miles; (D) 6,722 sq. miles?
See (C) that wasn’t so hard, even if you didn’t get it right!
Question #3: Which of these seven states is closest in square miles size to the State of Israel?
Hint: Would we have gone to all that trouble to get to New Jersey, if one of the other states would be nearest in size to Israel?!
Answer: New Jersey.
You’re doing fine, so stay with us no matter how tough the next question may be.
Question #4: In square miles, what is Israel’s size?
If you get this right on the first try, then your name and photograph belong alongside Albert Einstein in Wikipedia.
Answer: 8,020 square miles.
If you rounded off your answer to 8,000, then you get a footnote on Einstein’s Wikipedia page.
Question #5: What is the combined square mileage of the Gaza Strip and the Judea/Samaria region of Israel known as the West Bank, including so-called East Jerusalem?
If you know the outright answer to this question, then your name and picture will take the place of Albert Einstein!
So, we’d better make it multiple choice: (A) 3,324 sq. miles; (B) 2,324 sq. miles; (C) 1,324 sq. miles.
“B” as is, “Boy,” aren’t you glad you didn’t quit on this quiz!
Because you’ve been a geographic groupie up to this point, you may use a calculator for the last two questions, six and seven.
Question #6A: Subtracting the combined size (2,324 sq. miles) of the Palestinian occupied territories (Gaza/West Bank) of Israel from her total size (8,020 sq. miles) what is the left over size of Israel, where the vast majority of the Jewish population resides?
Answer: 5,696 square miles.
Question 6B: Would, therefore, the remaining 5,696 square miles of Israel be closer in size to the 3rd smallest American state? (A) Yes. (B) No.
Answer: Yes. The third smallest state is Connecticut … 5,543 square miles.
Question #7: Given that my home state of Arizona is 113,990 square miles, how many times could you put the State of Israel (8,020 sq. miles) into Arizona … rounded off?
Or if we use the size of Israel minus the West Bank and Gaza Strip, then the answer would be: 20.
A United Nations Resolution: Shrink Israel Down To Manageable Size!
Thank you for participating in this quiz; I trust it was interesting. Though some of the questions were hard, requiring some guessing at the answers, I’m sure the point of the exercise was crystal clear to you: Israel is an exceptionally small country.
We’re talking tiny. And it is the only Jewish nation on this planet … the only sovereign state that Jews can call their own, their home. Yet, the United Nations wants to make it even smaller for the Israelis.
On December 23rd (the beginning of Sabbath day for Jews) of last year, the Security Council passed UN Resolution #2334. It was yet another motion condemning Jewish settlements in the so-called West Bank, which includes all of what the Palestinians (and much of the world) classify as East Jerusalem.
(Security Council Vote on Resolution 2334)
Although the resolution included a token denunciation of violence, terrorism, and incitement against Israel, the following excerpts convey the underlying anti-Israel bias behind this reprehensible resolution:
- According to the resolution itself, it, “…expresses the consensus international view on Israeli settlement activity.”
- It calls for a, “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.”
- It condemns the Jews for, “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity.”
- And the resolution demands that, “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”
No matter that Israel’s land mass (including the West Bank and Gaza Strip) is equivalent to 1/6 of 1 percent (1/640 or .0016) of the surrounding 22 Arab/Islamic countries. No matter that none of the Arab or Muslim nations have granted citizenship to hundreds of thousands of “Palestinian” Arabs who fled Israel mostly because the five Arab nations—Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt—that attacked Israel the day after she declared Statehood on May 14, 1948 (via a UN Resolution that granted Israel national sovereignty in 1947) ordered Arabs to vacate Israel so they wouldn’t get in the way of Arab armed forces that would supposedly (easily) defeat the Jews. Instead, those refugees and others from the 1967 Six-Day War were placed in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan where they and their descendants remain to this very day. Refugee camps that the Israelis had no part in establishing.
As a reminder: Before the Palestinian Authority (which began as the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964) was created, the Arabs were not called Palestinians. In fact, it was the Jews that were referred to as Palestinians before the Six-Day War of 1967. A war in which the Jews were forced to fight for their very survival, as they also did in the Independence War of 1948, the Suez War of 1956, and again in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. By coercion of the United Nations, mostly through the United States, the Jews relinquished jurisdiction of the Temple Mount back to the Jordanians, and occupancy control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the (Palestinian) Arabs.
Alongside the 6.5 million Jews in Israel, there are approximately 1.8 million Arab Israelis who have full citizenship rights in Israel. They can travel through Israel unrestricted, buy and sell property, start and run their own businesses, vote in Israeli elections, and even serve in Israel’s government. However, unlike compulsory military service for Jewish men and women, Arab Israelis are not required to serve in the IDF. There are approximately 4 million Arab Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who refuse Israeli citizenship because they simply will not recognize Israel as a sovereign nation.
Sponsorship of the Resolution
Technically, four members of the United Nations introduced the resolution for vote in the Security Council. Allegedly, they drafted the decree without any input or direct assistance from the United States or any of the other nations that voted 14-0 in favor of the resolution, with the United States abstaining. As Washington D.C. based columnist, Charles Krauthammer wrote in an article published this past Tuesday:
“The Security Council just declared the territories legally Palestinian—without the Palestinians having to concede anything, let alone peace. The (US) administration claims a kind of passive innocence on the text of the resolution, as if it had come upon it at the last moment. We are to believe that the ostensible sponsors—New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia, and a Venezuela that cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food—had for months been sweating the details of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.”
Many United States Congressmen and Senators, including some Democrats, harshly criticized President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry (based on his feeble speech attempting to justify the resolution) for “stabbing Israel in the back.” It was the first US Administration ever that had not vetoed an anti-Israel Security Council resolution. And this, no less, in the context of President Obama’s purported support of Israel when he addressed the AI-PAC conference composed mostly of Jews on March 4, 2012, not long after he was sworn in to his second presidential term. President Obama boasted at that conference to thunderous applause: “When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
(*Note: The Security Council should be renamed the “Insecurity Council” as this resolution and many others like it against Israel would create insecure, even indefensible borders for Israelis … not the least of which is the Golan Heights).
Said former Arkansas Governor (and Republican Presidential Candidate) Mike Huckabee:
“Even more, I’d say that the resolution showed that the United Nations is a farce, not a force. Last year, the United Nations passed one resolution about Syria and its genocide, one about North Korea where they are eating grass because they don’t have any food, one resolution about Russia, a country that has decided it’s okay to move into Crimea and Ukraine, and one about Iran that oppresses its people, tramples their human rights and is probably developing a nuclear bomb. But there were 20 resolutions condemning Israel! How could Israel, a tiny dot on the overall map of the Middle East, be that consequential to the United Nations while the other countries get scant attention? It makes the United Nations a bigger joke than the last episode of Seinfeld.”
In an Israeli Cabinet meeting on Christmas Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to what he firmly believed was overwhelming evidence of Obama’s covert support of Resolution 2334 that declared all Jewish communities within areas won by Israel from Jordan and Syria in the Six-Day War, to be illegal.
He said: “From the information we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed. This, of course, in complete contradiction of the traditional American policy that was committed to not trying to dictate terms for a permanent agreement, like any issue related to them in the Security Council, and, of course, the explicit commitment of President Obama himself, in 2011, to refrain from such steps.”
(Benjamin Netanyahu’s Expressive Reaction To UN Resolution 2334)
Prime Minister Netanyahu was referring to a similar Security Council Resolution in February, 2011, which also censured all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, especially the Eastern part of Jerusalem.
Notice, this time I said, “the Eastern part of Jerusalem.”
Frankly, that should be the cultural, political, social, legal, and moral way to accurately identify that part of Jerusalem inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. There is no such city or territory of “East Jerusalem.” However, the Palestinians and Muslim nations have successfully duped the United Nations, including the United States, into believing that there is a separate East Jerusalem, much like there was West Berlin and East Berlin before the Communist Soviet Union imploded and Germany was reunited.
In an immediate reply to John Kerry’s speech, Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The entire Middle East is going up in flames, entire countries are toppling, terrorism is raging, and for an entire hour the Secretary of State attacks the only democracy in the Middle East. Maybe Kerry did not notice that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christmas can be celebrated in peace and security.”
He went on to say: “Over decades, American administrations and Israel governments have disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue. And as I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”
Then alluding to the facet of the resolution which audaciously claimed that even the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem including the Jewish Quarter was occupied Palestinian territory, Prime Minister Netanyahu concluded with, “I’m encouraged by the statements of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike. They understand how reckless and destructive the UN resolution was, they understand that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.”
How Can A “Territory” Be Occupied?
In gleeful reaction to Resolution 2334, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presumptuously said, “We are calling for 2017 to be the year of international recognition of the State of Palestine because more recognitions will strengthen the possibility of achieving a two-state solution and real peace.”
As though Palestine was already a state, Abbas continued, “I say to you that settlements on the land of the occupied State of Palestine are on their way out. We secured a historic UN Security Council resolution, which said that any changes since 1967 to the demographic composition or land of the State of Palestine including East Jerusalem are unacceptable.”
By prematurely referring to Palestine as a state, which has never legally or legislatively or nationally existed in the first place (it has always been Israel no matter that a Roman Emperor arbitrarily and spitefully changed Israel’s name to Palestine nearly 2,000 years ago); an impression is made on both the informed and uninformed that Jews don’t belong anywhere in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. When, in fact, much of the land in Judea and Samaria on which some 600,000 Jews reside was purchased by the Jews … even land won from the Arabs in the Six-Day War.
Does the United States and the United Nations actually believe that any portion of land within the sovereign borders of any nation on earth could be (illegally) “occupied” by citizens of that country? With the resulting conclusion that no citizen of that country has any right to purchase and own land in select areas of their nation that are indwelt mostly by a certain ethnic group of people. Although several countries consist of ethnic groups (like the Kurds in Iraq) that have “settled” in certain portions of the country, that doesn’t give them the right to deny residency or claim “occupation” if citizens from another ethnic group want to build or buy houses on land within the recognized geographical borders of that nation.
A slight exception to what I just said would be Native American Reservations or Tribal Lands in the United States. But in that case, the United States intentionally set aside certain areas of land just for the Indians. Even so, some 1.5 of the 2.5 million Native Americans in this country live outside of the Reservations … just like Israel has permitted Arabs (some 1.8 million to date) to become citizens of Israel. But that doesn’t give the Palestinian Arabs who don’t want to be citizens of Israel the right to deny living quarters to Jews in “Palestinian territory” that is not an official state or nation.
I (in a few previous Eye of Prophecy articles) and several others have said it before, but it needs to be said again and again, else the world at large will never grasp the true hidden agenda of the Palestinians in particular and Islam in general.
That is: The so-called Jewish “settlement occupation” is neither (1) illegal, nor, (2) the main obstacle to peace in Israel. Nor is a Palestinian State the solution. Certainly not one that is unilaterally imposed on Israelis with little or no input from them, especially relating to their national security and survival. Which means that imposition of the pre-1967 truce boundaries (lines) cannot be accepted by Israel. Some concessions could be made (through negotiation), but at least two demands cannot be met: (1) Jerusalem as a divided capital, or (2) Israeli departure from the Golan Heights.
Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article, Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? Published 5-16-15.
The Actual Palestinian Narrative
Here is an excerpt from an Eye of Prophecy article entitled, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda, posted 9-17-16, mostly to explain Benjamin Netanyahu’s riveting, but controversial televised speech regarding the real intentions of the Palestinians (in italics).
The Palestinians have imposed several “pre-conditions” on Israel. They go back and forth as to which of these are pre-conditions Israel must meet before the Palestinians agree to sit down at the negotiating table with the Israelis. At one time or another all of the Palestinian demands have been “pre-conditions.” At other times only some of these are pre-conditions, with other demands open for negotiation. It pretty much depends upon Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ (who is now in the 11th year of a four-year election term!) mood at the time.
Here are the primary Palestinian demands:
- The so-called “right of return” of the so-called Palestinian refugees—now mostly 2nd generation descendants—from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. (They now number in the millions and even if half of this number were to return it would, for all practical purposes, spell the end of a Jewish nation).
- Gaza and West Bank checkpoints to be turned over by the Israelis to the Palestinians.
- Many more Palestinians prisoners to be released, including convicted murderers.
- For Israel’s “borders” to shrink back to pre-1967 Six-Day War truce lines. (This would leave Israel highly vulnerable, if not defenseless, especially in the Golan Heights).
- A Palestinian State with what is known as “East Jerusalem” as its capital. (Which would include complete possession of and sovereignty over Temple Mount).
- Complete expulsion of all Jews from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
The last condition listed above is one that the Palestinians have attempted to keep relatively low-key. Why? Because they don’t want to be viewed in the same fashion that they want the world to see Israel (which Israel is not), i.e. a bigoted apartheid type nation that seeks to be rid of an ethnic group they despise.
That is why Benjamin Netanyahu limited his speech to this one Palestinian demand before they will enter into negotiations with the Israelis. It represents the ultimate objective of Palestinians (and all Muslim nations): To get rid of all Jews in Israel, beginning with the so-called West Bank territory.
Since UNESCO passed its resolution last October and particularly since the farcical Security Council Resolution #2334 in December, Abbas has been emboldened like never before to appeal to the court of world opinion.
(Please see Eye of Prophecy article, UNESCO … A Theatre of the Absurd Against Israel, posted 10-29-16.)
The incessant Palestinian rhetoric against Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem and others a few miles deeper into the West Bank and Muslim tirades against Jewish “occupation” of Palestine, is a smoke screen to conceal the real Palestinian agenda. The actual objective of Israel’s sworn enemies, especially their “neighbors” the Palestinians but also entire nations like Iran is one prophesied in Scripture long ago:
Appealing to the Lord God, the Psalmist cries out: “Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies? Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up? They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence’” (Psalm 83:2-4).
When written, this Psalm was contemporarily relevant but also prophetic. And, oh how it has come to pass. The Palestinian schemes backed by the anti-Semitic mindset and decisions of the United Nations (now supported by our lame-duck President) are insidiously clever and crafty. They have resorted to the rewriting of Israel’s true history and distorting reality with fabrications that even a child could see through.
If the Palestinians were so desperate to get rid of all Jewish housing developments in the West Bank which, according to most Middle East experts would be a precursor to a Palestinian State, then pray tell why did Palestinian Authority Presidents Yasser Arafat in 2000 and Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 bluntly refuse generous proposals by two Israeli Prime Ministers. Respectively, Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered well more than 90% of the West Bank (including the eastern half of Jerusalem) to the Palestinians in a purported attempt to appease them and the international community. The obvious reason, both stated and implied, for this out-of-hand rejection was the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Sovereign (Jewish) State.
(Shows How Much of Israel is Comprised of the West Bank and Gaza, With the Southern Portion of Israel Mostly the Negev Desert)
So why should Abbas agree to sit down at the negotiating table with Israel, when he can get what he wants through UN unilateral demands? Although not binding, this latest UN declaration has set the stage for a constraining resolution that very well could take place after the January 15th meeting of some 70 nations, planned and hosted by France to reach a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
As much as I admire and respect the Israeli government and love the Jewish people, since the Six-Day War Israeli leaders have made four ill-advised decisions. The two rejected proposals mentioned above (massive land give away for a peace that would never have materialized) narrowly averted what could have been debilitating consequences, including displacement of hundreds of thousands of Israelis from Judea/Samaria and the permanent restriction of all Jews from Temple Mount. The other two did result in an extremely adverse aftermath for the Israelis.
They were: (1) Relinquishing of Temple Mount back to Jordanian and (now) Palestinian jurisdictional authority, after defeating the Jordanians, Egyptians, and Syrians in the Six-Day War of June, 1967. Also giving back the Gaza Strip (taken from Egyptian illegal control) to the Palestinian Authority, later taken over by the terrorist cell Hamas.
(2) In 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered eviction of some 10,000 Jewish residents of the Gaza. What kind of peace and the (misguided) notion that the Israelis would be better protected if removed from Gaza did that result in? I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that led to war with Hamas because they launched thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel that killed and injured more Israelis.
Whose Rights Are Right?
For maximum comprehension I need to emphasize again: The fundamental fantasy of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, the Muslim nations surrounding Israel, and the religion of Islam is a Palestinian State to replace Israel, not one that exists alongside of Israel. By default, this means that the Jews must be eliminated from Israel altogether. The Arabs failed to eradicate the Israelis through four conventional wars. Now the twisted tactic is to alter the true history of Israel by claiming the land, including Jewish Holy Sites and Structures, belongs to the Arabs based on arguments that are historically inaccurate and fly in the face of reality, both past and present.
For example: In spite of archeological evidence and historically correct chronicles of the existence of the Jewish Temples on Temple Mount, the Palestinians contend they never existed. If history is going to be rewritten, then why not claim that the Roman Empire was a figment of someone’s overactive imagination. Or that Mecca and Medina are Hindu holy sites, not Muslim!
Another argument is that the Arabs were in Israel before the Jews. Simply not true. Biblical and secular history clearly refute that allegation. Or, the presumption that Arabs outnumbered Jews in Israel and, therefore, assert rights to the land for that reason alone. That depends on how far back you want to go or how contemporary you want to be to validate such a claim. In the case of the Jews, they win on both ends of this chronological continuum. They outnumbered the Arabs until the Great Dispersion of 70 A.D., and again in today’s modern Israel.
What about sovereign seniority based on conquest … to the victor belong the spoils principle. Yes, Muhammad (Muslims) conquered Israel and Jerusalem in the 7th century. Eventually, however, they, too, were displaced by the Ottoman Turk Empire; which, in turn, was ousted by the British in World War I. Which led to the Balfour Declaration that gave the Jews right of return to Israel and right of statehood that would eventually be realized at the end of World War II. But, tragically, only after six millions Jews were slaughtered by the Third Reich.
Why is it so hard to understand that the Jews must have a sovereign land of their own?! Otherwise, Never Again could happen all over again.
If the Arabs argue that their right to the land of Israel was established by conquest (long ago), Israelis have an equal, if not greater claim to all of Israel by virtue of their more recent victories in all four wars—especially the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Actually, Israel’s triumph in their 1948 War of Independence (no different than America’s victory in our Revolutionary War) gave them the legal and moral prerogative to develop and inhabit every square mile of Israel. For the clear reason that the Arabs not only rejected the UN Resolution of 1947 allowing for the creation of two states, but they attacked the newborn State of Israel with the declared intention of driving the Jews into the sea. Yet, the Jews did not invoke the right of eminent domain nor did they expel the Arabs, even though the Jews fought these wars in self-defense. They were not offensive wars of aggression designed to take land away from the Arabs.
(Israel Regained Control of the Jordanian West Bank and Egyptian Gaza Strip in 1967, But Allowed Palestinian Governing of These Two Regions. Fact Remains, Both Territories Are Still in Israel)
Thinking that they could still defeat the Jews and drive them completely out of Israel, Arabs attacked again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In that conflict the Jews soundly defeated them and reinforced the universally recognized right of people/nations to claim land won in a justified war of defense and survival—as opposed to an unprovoked offensive assault for the purpose of land acquisition or ethnic suppression of enemies. Once again, the Jews allowed the Palestinians autonomous occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Moreover, it’s not like the Palestinians have been relegated to an undesirable part of Israel (or relegated at all). The West Bank (Judea/Samaria) is some of the most beautiful land in Israel, the very heart of the country. In fact, a large part of Israel that, absent the amazing irrigation accomplishments of the Jews, would still be inhospitable if not uninhabitable, is the Negev Desert.
I’ve used the following analogy (and others) before, but it bears repeating: For Israelis to concede every inch of the West Bank, especially the eastern half of Jerusalem (meaning complete withdrawal and dismantling of Jewish housing) would be no different that Americans giving back the eastern half of Washington D.C. to the British. Then for the British to deny ownership and dwelling rights of any of that land to Americans. Also to forbid any American from visiting the Washington or Jefferson or Lincoln Memorials, just as Temple Mount is highly restricted to the Jews themselves.
If you’re an American reading this article, would you agree to such terms? Could you methodically marginalize or irresponsibly ignore the blood of our ancestors shed to give them and their descendants (you and me) the right of living on the very land for which they died? That is a rhetorical question, if ever there was one.
Both Arabs and Jews claim perpetuity to the entire land of Israel. So, who is right?
The Beautiful Land of Israel … A Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy
I believe that question has already been answered, but let’s set aside for a moment the issue of territorial rights.
Let’s look instead at what the Jews have done for the land of Israel given to them by the true and living God. The God of the Bible who says there are no other gods. The God who backs up his Word with majestic miracles and powerful (fulfilled) prophecies. The God who selected the Jewish people as a light to the Gentiles, through the Messiah who would bring salvation to all who believe and receive Yeshua as personal Savior. And, yes, the same God who loves all people equally, including the Arabs. Yet the God who, nevertheless, is sovereign over his design for the human race, which includes choosing a special people through whom His plans would be achieved and a Promised Land where His purpose will be accomplished.
The following is an excerpt (in italics) from Eye of Prophecy article, Look Up, Redemption is Near, Part I, posted 7-11-15. Part II posted on 7-18-15 then provides the second set of twelve “flash-point prophecies” that are part and parcel of the last days of the end times.
Number Five: Israel’s Phenomenal Agricultural Accomplishments
Through the ages, the fulfillment of so many Biblical prophecies about Israel and her (our) Messiah has become a matter of historical record. But what we sometimes overlook or minimize is the astonishing details of so many of those prophecies … big ones and little ones. People, places, events, all prophesied and fulfilled with meticulous minutiae. One that many scholars have not paid much attention to (including me) is the transformation of Israel from an empty wasteland to a virtual Garden of Eden. The rebirth of Israel has led to the abundant blossoming and growth of trees, vineyards, gardens, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, as Scripture said it would.
“The time will come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and garden; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never be uprooted from the land I have given them says the Lord your God” (Amos 9:13-15).
Once again, that’s exactly what has occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries. God has providentially planted the Jews in the land he gave to their ancestors. And the people have responded with a planting and harvesting not seen since before they were exiled to Babylon in 586 BC. It is absolutely extraordinary. Such as:
- Trees & Bushes: About 150 years ago, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once took a trip to Israel. Several things impressed him including the scarcity of people, the very small size of Jerusalem, and the barrenness of the land. I can tell you from my personal visit to Israel in 2006, all that has changed. The Israeli organization Jewish National Fund alone has sponsored the planting of 250 million trees in the last one hundred years. In a land that has mostly a desert or arid climate, this is a staggering accomplishment.
- Vineyards: In that same trip to Israel, my sister and I drove past several of dozens of vineyards throughout Israel. With hundreds of wineries, Israel produces over ten million bottles of wine a year, much of which is exported. Israelis invented and perfected drip irrigation which is essential for vineyards but also for other agricultural products. Major counties of the world, including the United States, have implemented water irrigation strategies conceived and practiced in Israel.
- Fruits & Vegetables: With a land mass equivalent to the State of New Jersey, the Jews produce 95% of its own food requirements. What makes that so amazing? Only 20% of that land is arable! They need to import only a handful of food items, such as coffee and sugar. Conversely, they export billions of dollars’ worth of fresh produce to many nations of the world, including the United States. Their citrus fruits demand a high price on the world market because of the near perfect texture and taste. Israelis have invented many high-tech methods of growing and improving produce. For example, one Israeli developed a slow-maturing very delicious strain of tomatoes that increases its shelf-life dramatically. This reduces the spoilage which is a huge problem for growers and wholesale and retail outlets.
- Flowers: Israel is one of the largest growers of all kinds of flowers, with a large export base. They even export flowers to Holland!
Said God to Israel through his prophet: “The fields that used to lie empty and desolate (insert here Arab “control” of Israel for hundreds of years) in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ Then the surrounding nations that survive (survive the Great Tribulation soon to come) will know that, I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I say” (Ezekiel 36:34-36, parenthesis mine).
(Botanical Garden in Eilat, Israel)
(One of Many Vineyards in Israel)
As is often said: Facts don’t lie.
Fact: In one generation after returning, the Jews did for their Promised Land what the Arabs wouldn’t and couldn’t do for that same land they occupied for hundreds of years.
Things to Ponder
Resolution 2334 was yet another contemporary expression of what Scripture said would happen in the last days. Which is the incredible, irrational global focus on Israel by practically every nation on earth to solve the Jewish problem.
Says the God of Israel: “On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves’ (Zechariah 12:3).
The United Nations and its Security Council (with the United States supporting an anti-Israel resolution for the first time) want to move the Jews out of Judea/Samaria. They want to downsize a people and a nation that has precious little land in the first place.
The Palestinians and Muslim countries want to remove Israel from all global maps, by eliminating all Jews from Israel … the land given to them by Almighty God. A small piece of land on an earth created by that same God.
For the near future, they will make life dramatically difficult for Israel. But they will not succeed in defeating the Jews. Israel is here to stay … forever. The Lord God himself has made Jerusalem an immovable rock.
“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).