It’s a dark world we live in. And it’s getting darker.
“Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth…” (Isaiah 60:2).
Darkness caused by sin has plagued humanity from time immemorial; sins of pride, greed, immorality, lawlessness, tyranny, terrorism, unjust wars, murder, and derivative ills like famine, disease, and millions of displaced refugees.
However, the prophet Isaiah is referring to an intense (black as night) darkness on a truly global scale during the last days that will generationally precede the return of Messiah (Jesus)—the light of the world (John 8:12).
This darkness began to envelope the planet in the First World War. A war supposedly to end all wars. Only for another world war of far greater magnitude to explode twenty-one years later; World War II dwarfed the unthinkable (at the time) casualties of World War I. A second world war that, in turn, will be exponentially exceeded in destruction and death during the seven-year Great Tribulation.
Since World War II there has been relentless regional and sectarian violence in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, and the Middle East … with millions killed. Ruthless dictators like Stalin (Soviet Union) and Mao (China) killing tens of millions of their own people. As you are reading this article, there are 10 official wars and 64 tactical conflicts involving over 500 militia-type groups taking place world-wide.
We’ve witnessed an Arab Spring in many countries deteriorate into an Arab winter. Muslim nations fighting other Muslim nations and Muslim sects fighting each other within those countries. With radical and even so-called moderate Islamists still intent on eliminating Israel as a Jewish nation. And militant Muslims persecuting and killing Christians by the thousands.
The entire planet is undergoing an unprecedented political and social polarization. A divergence that has torn the very fabric of national and international societies. A volatile separation of ideas and people (no longer agreeing to disagree) that has split and even toppled governments. Right verses left; populism vs globalism; democracy vs despotism.
The primary reason that dozens of national and regional conflicts haven’t erupted into another World War is because of the double-edge sword of nuclear deterrence.
The as black as night darkness foretold in Isaiah 60 also has produced a helplessness and hopelessness that paradoxically defies the reality of many nations enjoying the highest standard of living ever experienced on Planet Earth. Apprehension and unrest that belie the remarkable technological advancements of construction, transportation, and communication that should (otherwise) make our world a better place in which to live.
It is a darkness that has generated an unparalleled 20th & 21st century denial of the absolute truths of salvation and morality given to us by the true and living God and his Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. A darkness that has undermined the Biblical Judaic/Christian values upon which the democratic principles of life and liberty birthed the United States of America and a few other western democracies. Dark shadows that, in the name of tolerance and political correctness, have triggered an intolerant hatred and abuse of both Jews and Christians.
But there is a beacon from Israel’s past that penetrates the darkness. Messiah Jesus came into the world 2,000 years ago to bring the light of salvation. A spiritual redemption in the hearts of believing Jews and Gentiles that will in due course dispel the darkness altogether and bring about the final (national) restoration of Israel and rescue the planet from self-destruction.
“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali (representing Israel and the Jews), beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined” (Matthew 4:15-16, quoting Isaiah 9:1-2, parenthesis mine).
Isaiah’s Prophecy of Darkness and Light Pertains to the End Times
Many of Isaiah’s prophecies apply to the last days, as do several other Biblical prophets. We know that darkness blanketing the entire earth is one of those prophecies of the final (Omega) generation—in which we are living. Read with me the greater context of the earlier quote from Isaiah Chapter 60 and note the return of God’s people to Israel (by the millions in the 20th & 21st centuries) is a significant sign that we are in those days.
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your hearts will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands” (Isaiah 60:1-5).
In the very next chapter Messiah himself is speaking, the One who is the source of this shining light:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor (spiritually and physically). He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives (within themselves by sin and from without by their enemies) will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come…” (Isaiah 61:1-2a, parenthesis mine).
Jesus cited this passage while teaching in a synagogue. He suddenly stopped reading after the words just quoted.
“He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. ‘The Scriptures you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!’” (Luke 4:20-21).
Some three years later, Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead to seal God’s New Covenant with Israel. His sacrificial atonement for sin would bring peace between God and all those who would believe and receive him as personal Savior, Jew and Gentile alike.
Now, it’s just a matter of (a short) time before Jesus Christ will return to once and for all establish peace between peoples and nations. This will be achieved only after the darkness that covers the nations is removed by Messiah’s direct confrontation with the Satanic evil that brings that darkness and victory over Satan’s Antichrist who will attempt to spread that darkness even more.
Isaiah 61:2 concludes with: “and with it, the day of God’s anger against their (Israel’s) enemies.”
When that day ends, “Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed” (Isaiah 61:9).
And then: “The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere” (Verse 11).
Earlier this week much of the world celebrated Christmas, and earlier this month Jews rejoiced over Hanukkah. The title of last week’s Eye of Prophecy article posed this question: Hanukkah & Christmas / Do They Have Anything in Common?
In addition to being observed at about the same time of the year, both Holy Days focus on Light.
Hanukkah’s Menorah lights that, for a time, rededicated the Tempe and restored the Jews to God, their source of atonement. Followed by an even greater salvation offered first to the Jews; then to the Gentiles through Messiah Jesus … the Light of the World who was born of a Virgin on Christmas Day. Both Christmas and Hanukkah are special seasonal times to light up the world with the truth of God’s redemptive rescue for Jew and Gentile alike.
Israelis have experienced freedom, prosperity, and security unequaled since before they were conquered by Assyria and Babylon over 2,500 years ago. Although the time is near when Messiah Jesus returns to fill the earth with God’s righteousness, justice, and peace; it is not quite here yet.
With one resolution after another, the United Nations persists in its demonization of Israel. Although these resolutions are drafted by Muslim countries, many nations of the world eagerly jump on this Antisemitic band-wagon, voting to delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East. A democracy that offers more freedoms to its Arab citizens and privileges to its Palestinian non-citizens than do Muslim nations that surround Israel.
(You’ll find these same kind of numbers/percentages in many other years since the UN began bashing Israel)
Hanukkah’s light was darkened earlier this month by a succession of events in two arenas: (1) Anti-Israel UN Resolutions; (2) Deadly Palestinian attacks against Israeli Jews.
(1) United Nations Reprehensible Resolutions
Let’s begin with some good news (sort of), in the form of an unheard-of event in the United Nations.
The UN backed a joint Israeli / United States sponsored resolution. Not that long ago, neither Israel nor the United States would have bothered to draft a proposal promoting Israel’s position in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Or for that matter anything which supported Israel’s posture in the family of nations. It would have been an exercise in futility.
On December 6th, in the middle of the eight-day Jewish observance of Hanukkah, the General Assembly voted in favor of condemning Palestinian Hamas of Gaza for its terror campaign against Israel.
Well, almost in favor … we’ll get to that in a moment.
With 87 nations voting to pass the resolution, 57 against, and 33 abstentions, the United Nations condemned Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns, in addition to the use of civilians as human shields to protect Hamas’ military sites in Gaza’s infrastructure. Effectively, 85 nations agreed with Israel and the United States: Hamas is a terror organization disguised (not so subtlety) as a government in the Gaza Strip.
This strong majority was a signal for U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, to praise the 87 countries as a sign of, “a new day at the U.N.”
Yes, it was a new-day but only a partial day … say (symbolically) from sunrise to noon. It was still a dark day with nightfall coming much earlier than usual.
Because technically the resolution didn’t pass after all; this clear majority was not enough.
A short time before the resolution was put to a vote, a few Muslim nations persuaded the General Assembly to cast a “pre-vote” that would require a two-thirds majority of nations to endorse the sanctions against Hamas, rather than a simple majority. Some nations who subsequently voted to approve the resolution also voted in favor of a two-thirds, versus a 50+% majority. Go figure!
Thus, the United Nations resolution did not actually pass; there was no censure of Hamas whatsoever. As I’ve said before, the UN should change its name to: Nations United Against Israel.
There’s more: Shortly after the (technical) failure of this sanction against Hamas, the United Nations passed yet another resolution condemning Jewish “settlement” by a vote of 156-5, with a few abstentions. Only the United States, Israel, Australia, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands voted against this reprehensible resolution. Even more repugnant because it was voted on during Hanukkah. Yet another dark chapter in the UN’s narrative to extinguish the light (true history) of Israel’s God-given legacy to possess, occupy, and settle the Promised Land.
As expected, the Palestinians—Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah (Palestinian Authority) in the West Bank—regarded the outcome of both resolutions as a resounding victory. Hamas official Khalil al-Haya spoke for other Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives, claiming that it was a: “big boost for the Palestinian resistance.”
(2) Palestinian Attacks on Israeli Jews During & Shortly After Hanukkah
On December 9th (the day before Hanukkah ended), a Hamas sponsored West Bank Palestinian drive-by shooter opened fire on Jews at a bus stop near the West Bank community of Ofra. Seven people were wounded, including a 7 ½ -month pregnant Israeli woman who sustained serious abdominal gunshot wounds; her husband was also wounded in this brutal attack. Her premature baby was delivered by emergency C-section, but (sadly) the child lived only three days.
(Amachai Ish-Han and wife Shira wedding photo from earlier this year)
(Shira and her husband a few days after the attack; blood transfusions helped save her life)
Four days later, two Israeli soldiers were gunned down in another drive-by shooting. Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef (age 20) and Cpl. Yosef Cohen (19) died from their wounds. A third soldier was severely wounded. During that same period, there were also stabbing and car-ramming assaults against Israelis.
These attacks proved the predictive premise voiced by Israeli officials, journalists, most Jews, and anyone who knows what’s really going on in Israel: the outcome of these recent UN resolutions would further inflame and embolden Palestinian terrorism. With its sinister short-term goal of terrorizing Israeli Jews and the loathsome long-term objective of eliminating all Jews from Israel. The Palestinians don’t want a state alongside Israel; rather one in place of Israel.
That dark and gruesome goal is written in the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Charter (1964) and regurgitated even more menacingly in Arab Palestinian ideology as contained in the Hamas Charter.
For example, Article 6: “The Islamic Resistance Movement strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine (Israel)…”
And Article 13: “There is no solution for the Palestinian issue except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Not only Israeli Jews and those of us who support Israel; even a few Arabs grasp the true issues of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Such as well-known author and columnist, Bassam Tawil, who is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East. Someone who (like a fellow Muslim writer Khaled Abu Toameh) recognizes Israel’s sovereign right to statehood and consistently exposes the real Arab agenda.
Concerning the failed UN Resolution against Hamas, Bassam wrote in an article posted by online media source Gatestone Institute on 12-10-18:
“What Hamas is telling the UN and the rest of the world is: ‘Now that you have refused to brand us terrorists, we have the right to launch all forms of terrorist attacks and kill as many Jews as possible….’ When Hamas and its supporters celebrate (which they did upon the death of the Jewish baby … parenthesis mine), the few Palestinians who are described as moderates and pragmatists and who are opposed to violence and terrorism, will have to hide.”
Bassam Tawil concluded his column by stating:
“Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah (of the Palestinian Authority) have boasted that what happened at the UN was a ‘slap in the face of the US and Israel.’ In fact, what happened at the UN is a severe blow to the ‘moderates’ among the Palestinians and to any chance of reaching a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Thus, with this move, the UN has expertly torpedoed even the remotest possibility of peace talks. Thanks to the ‘peace-loving UN,’ December 2018 may well go down in history as the day the UN gave the green light to Palestinian terrorists to continue perpetrating violence on Israel and Jews. The blood of the next Jewish victim will be on the hands of the UN…”
As contained contemptibly in both the Hamas Charter (which avows destruction of Israel via armed struggle) and recent rhetoric of “renewed resistance” (which means more intensive, as such resistance has been ongoing for years), the Palestinians consider themselves to be “resistance fighters.”
(Israeli “Settlements” are cited as the predominate reason for Palestinian “resistance” after the Six-Day War of 1967. WRONG! Palestinian terrorism began before that, as did ethnic cleansing of the Jews. No Jews were permitted to live in Jordanian controlled east part of Jerusalem and most of the West Bank or to step foot on Temple Mount, prior to 1967)
To demonstrate just how warped the Palestinian logic has become (always was but increasingly so): Soon after the IDF and Shin Bet launched searches of the West Bank to capture those terrorists who (temporarily) escaped the crime scenes, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ staff accused Israel of “acts of terrorism and aggression.”
In fact, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erakat claimed that the Israeli “intrusion into Ramallah was carried out with the backing of US President Donald Trump.” He summoned the global community to hold Israel accountable for its “crimes” and to provide international protection for Palestinians.
In other words, the Palestinian Authority is absurdly asserting that Israel is committing crimes and acts of terrorism by hunting for the Palestinian murderers of Israelis in “occupied Palestinian territory.”
As columnist Bassam Tawil said in another article (12-13-18): “According to the logic of Abbas’s ministry, Israeli soldiers searching for terrorists is an ‘act of terrorism,’ but not the shooting of a pregnant woman and six other Israeli civilians at a bus stop.”
Are Palestinian terror cells and lone-wolf assassins resistance fighters? Do they have a legitimate cause? Or is the Palestinian narrative of resistance a license for random aggression and premeditated murder?
Although the questions are rhetorical, it’s imperative that we objectively define and thoroughly understand the terms. Otherwise, a terrorist is someone else’s freedom fighter. Which, unfortunately, is much of the world’s impression … borne of confusion, ignorance, or deliberate distortion of the cause and effect of Palestinian violence in Israel.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Can A Murderer Be a Martyr? (Posted on 1-30-16… not long after the Palestinian Knife Intifada began in October 2015). In italics:
Thus, it is incomprehensible that an unrepentant murderer could ever be a martyr for any cause whatsoever … because the concept of martyrdom cannot exist in a vacuum. Meaning that for one to be a martyr or be martyred, there must first exist a condition that is inherent in the concept and understood within any rationale, reasonable, logical, and most of all moral framework. Which is that the person killed for their belief must first be innocent of murder, not only by actual commission of the crime, but also by intent. By simple definition and common-sense morality, a martyr must be innocent of shedding human blood of otherwise innocent victims.
Unless, that is, you are a Palestinian. Or, in the broader scope of this wicked world in which we live, you are a militant Muslim who indiscriminately murders innocent people (mostly Jews and Christians). This includes less aggressive adherents to Islam, who nevertheless condone and even celebrate the death of innocent Jews and Christians and sometimes other Muslims.
After noting the difference between “ordinary” murderers all over the world and people’s reaction to those crimes, contrasted to the mindset of terrorists and those who support them including entire populations like the Palestinians, I went on to say:
…Surely the parents, families, national leaders, and fellow citizens don’t glorify the (ordinary) murderer in these kinds of killings. Conversely, they are appalled.
Not so with the Palestinians. If they, in turn, are killed in the commission of their hideous crimes, their own people (including parents and leaders) and religion can call them martyrs to their heart’s content. But by all the universal laws of morality, of right and wrong, of good and evil, there’s no way that a murderer or would-be murderer (in case they don’t succeed) can be considered a martyr for a cause that is anything but righteous or a religion that is anything but peaceful.
Which is another compelling argument that there must be (and is) a universal standard of law and truth that can objectively define right and wrong. Moreover, these universal truths have, in fact, been given to us by the true and living God through the Bible.
Otherwise, we are left with the moral and spiritual dilemma that a murderer is someone’s martyr. That a terrorist is another one’s activist. If that were true, then all Nazis (participating in Jewish genocide) who were killed during the Second World War or who were tried and executed for war crimes after the war could be designated as martyrs “for their cause.”
To legally and morally qualify as a legitimate resistance, those whom you are resisting must be consciously and consistently oppressing your rights and suppressing your freedom. They must have unjustly deprived you of property, safety, livelihood, and constitutional rights. In short, a tyrannical government. Just like the one that American colonists revolted against in 1776.
None of these conditions even remotely apply to Palestinians in Israel, as I have written about in several prior articles. The only thing that Palestinians are resisting is simply the existence of the Jewish nation of Israel; of the Jewish people living in Israel. Hence, their oft-repeated mantra:
Which is another way of saying that all Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Arabs of Palestine. No matter that “Palestine” has never existed except as a morphed substitute name given by a 2nd century Roman Emperor for the ancient land of Israel.
Moreover, genuine resistance against tyranny (real or perceived) doesn’t target innocent civilians like Palestinians do with Israelis Jews. Their resistance (defiance) is expressed through mayhem and murder: via shootings, stabbings, car-ramming, rocket and mortar launchings, stone-throwing, fire bombs, and burning kites. That’s the very definition of terrorism: random violence against innocent people to get a political or religious point across. Stooping to such a low-level invariably demonstrates that these causes are unjustified and not based on historical facts on the ground.
The Palestinians (as do many national leaders who are uninformed or turn a blind eye to the real history of Israel) often use the word, “occupation” when referring to the Jews and the Palestinian “right” to “resist” this occupation. In today’s world, occupation and settlements (settlers) are viewed almost exclusively in the negative connotation of what are otherwise legitimate terms (concepts) that apply to rightful indigenous ownership and possession of land within the geographical boundaries of a sovereign nation. In Israel’s case, a nation that has exited for over 3,000 years.
Jewish Right to Occupy the Entire Land of Israel’s Borders
As indicated, I have written extensively about modern Israel’s justified existence and the Jews God-given historical right to all of Israel, even though the Israelis have permitted Palestinian jurisdiction over sizeable swaths of the Promised Land. The West Bank (properly called Judea/Samaria) is some of the choicest land in Israel … its very heartland. The Gaza Strip is an idyllic topography of southwestern Israel along the Mediterranean Sea. By every international principle of what constitutes an autonomous nation defined by recognized borders, it is the Palestinians who are the occupiers (negative connotation).
The following is a partial (there are more reasons than presented) power-point sketch of why Israel is the Jewish Promised Land. Surrounded by Arab/Muslim countries that enormously exceed Israel in land mass, resources, and population. Yet Islamic nations and Palestinians cannot abide the thought of a Jewish state—the size of New Jersey … smaller if the West Bank and Gaza are (illegitimately) excluded from Israel—existing on Planet Earth. Nor Jews living in that land.
(1) God Himself Gave Israel to the Jews
Nearly 4,000 years ago, the true and living God chose Abraham as the progenitor of a people who would possess a relatively small but special place on earth; from which God would reveal himself and his plan for Abraham’s descendants, and for the whole world.
“Then the Lord told him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you out of the Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.’” (Genesis 15:7).
This everlasting promise continued through the miraculous birth of Isaac, not the jumping ahead of God’s plan via the birth of Ishmael, from whom the Arab race descended. Although hundreds of years later the Lord disciplined his people for their disobedience and exiled them (twice), this unconditional promise was not nullified. God’s Covenant with Abraham would be kept. In fact, the interrupted fulfillment of that Covenant has resumed before our 20th & 21st century eyes.
However, the Arabs would not face the truth of God’s plan for His people and for all humanity. As a result: some 2,500 years after Abraham and 600 years after Abraham’s ultimate Child of Promise (Jesus), the Arabs invented their own religion and their own god—Allah (moon-god); who was one of many pagan gods worshipped by the Arabs. This was nothing more than Muhammed’s counterfeit copy to rival and replace the (only true) Judaic/Christian God and His Word, the Bible.
The Arabs have been envious of the Jews because God chose Isaac, not Ishmael, as the promised child of the covenant, and all the blessings that come with it (Genesis 17:17-22). This jealous hatred is the underlying (racial and religious) reason why Muslims deplore Jews; denying and defying the right of Israel to even exist.
*Note: As I (and others) have said before: God’s sovereign purpose for his special possession Israel is reason enough to acknowledge the Jews right to possess, occupy, and inherit Israel in perpetuity. But for those (and there are many) who have a problem with anything old, let alone ancient, there’s more than enough contemporary proof of Israel’s right to exist.
Jews have inhabited Israel from the time of Abraham, and as a nation from the time of Moses.
In today’s world, Jews once again outnumber Arabs living in Israel. All because of another miracle, which leads to the next reason why Israel was and always will be a Jewish State. One that allows citizenship for Arabs (1.8 million in Israel) and self-governing autonomy for non-citizen (by choice) Palestinians. See Eye of Prophecy article: Israel’s Controversial Nation-State Law, posted 8-11-18.
(2) Israel’s Rebirth (Revival) as a Nation
No other nation or people on earth have been and are still being restored like Israel and the Jews … unprecedented in human history. Not only the fact that Israel was reborn in a single day (May 14, 1948), as predicted in Scripture (Isaiah Chapter 66); but the against all odds Jewish victory in their War of Independence against five Arab armies that attacked Israel the day after statehood was declared.
Many conveniently forget that just six months earlier (November 1947), the United Nations approved a partition plan for the British controlled territory of Palestine in which both the Jews and Arabs would be allowed to create their own states within the boundaries of what is now Israel and Jordan. In fact, Jordan, originally called Trans Jordan, comprises 70% of that land mass. The Arabs (not called Palestinians until the 1960s) flatly refused a state of their own if it meant any territory (west of Jordan) that existed alongside a Jewish state.
One of several current Palestinian demands is that Israel’s (internal) borders revert to the pre-1967 Six Day War configuration. No matter that these borders were nothing more than cease-fire lines pending further negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
However, Palestinians more often consider the 1947 UN partition plan as the core of their (perceived) problem, demanding that it be rendered null and void. In fact, they go all the way back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which they also label as a “crime.” The League of Nations and later the United Nations endorsed these plans (respectively) which could have created two states, had the Arabs consented.
(3) Israel’s Reclamation and Liberation of Jerusalem and All the Land
Like the 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Suez Canal conflict, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel’s stunning victory in the 1967 Six-Day War (unheard of in the annals of military history) was a defensive war fought by Israel against primarily Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. In just six days Israel reclaimed all Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. Effectively, comprising today’s Israel as defined by her borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
Despite their demoralizing defeat, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and nine other non-combatant Muslim countries that formed the Arab League (at the time), met in Khartoum in August-September of 1967. They signed a pact which includes the now famous three “No’s.” No peace with Israel; no negotiations with Israel; no recognition of Israel. Had any other country or group of nations done this, the victorious nation(s) would have cancelled the cease-fire agreement and resumed their military campaign to preempt the foregone conclusion of more attacks from their hostile foes. Which is exactly what Egypt and Syria did again in 1973, when they brazenly attacked Israel on its most holy day of the year … Yom Kippur.
After another devastating defeat in the Yom Kippur War, Egypt relented and signed a peace treaty in 1979 with Israel, which cost Egypt it’s membership in the (at that time) 20-member Arab League. In 1983, Jordan followed suit. To this day, they are the only two (of nearly 60) Muslim countries that recognize Israel’s state sovereignty.
Under more international pressure following the Six-Day War, Israel relinquished administrative control of the West Bank (to include part of what is referred to as east Jerusalem, including Temple Mount) back to Jordan and the Gaza Strip back to Egypt. Later, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Most people forget or don’t want to know (be bothered with the facts) that it was Jordan and Egypt that (illegally) seized control of the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. It was NOT the Palestinians, many of whom refused to be called Palestinians back then, because the label Palestinian was mostly applied to the Jews.
Either way, Israel had and still has every right to maintain autonomy over these regions which are part and parcel of all Israel by virtue of victory in war(s). Which leads us to another valid reason that Israel’s current borders (found on any map) legally represent and define Israel’s geopolitical sovereignty.
(4) International Law & Precedent Regarding Land Rights
Which recognize that a nation’s victory in a defensive war fought for security and survival—as opposed to unprovoked aggression by that nation—entitles that country to keep (even to annex) all disputed territories for and from which the war is waged. For which Israel paid dearly in blood and tears.
Just because Israel agreed to temporarily (until further negotiations could be undertaken) return administrative jurisdiction of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Arabs doesn’t mean that the Palestinians have the right to claim those territories as legally theirs. They forfeited these alleged privileges when they rejected two opportunities to form their own state, i.e. Balfour Declaration of 1917 and UN Resolution or 1947. Five chances when you throw in two generous but ill-advised offers in 2000 and 2008 by Israeli Prime Ministers to cede virtually all the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. Plus, the equally ill-advised withdrawal of all Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip in 2005.
Thus, Palestinians have neither the legal nor moral right to say that the Israelis have no right to occupy, settle, or otherwise exercise whatever measure of governmental control Israel chooses within ALL of Israel’s borders.
As indicated, Israel voluntarily vacated her settlements in the Gaza Strip. Which was an error (all governments make mistakes) of swapping land for peace; for which Gaza Palestinians thanked the Israelis by lobbing thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel, year after year. And, Israel has far fewer settlements in the West Bank than do the Palestinians. Does that mean that either of these areas are off-limits for the Jews? Absolutely not. But don’t tell the Palestinians that. You just may be handed a kite to play with, one ablaze with fire! Or worse: stabbed in the back … literally.
Things to Ponder
As a reminder, it was the Palestinians who created the contemporary terrorism model of killing Jews, including but not limited to suicide (homicide) bombings. Subsequently emulated by world-wide copycat terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and most recently ISIS … extending terrorism globally to both Jews and Gentiles.
Beginning with the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of 11 Israeli athletes (including one trainer) by Palestinian terrorists. As well as the spate of airline hijackings that targeted mainly Israelis. Such as the airplane commandeered by several Palestinians (and two virulent antisemitic German terrorists) in 1976 that prompted the astonishing Israeli raid on the Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
The brilliant plan and extraordinary execution of that plan by the IDF and Mossad resulted in the stunning rescue of 106 Israeli hostages, with only four Israeli civilians killed in the crossfire between the IDF, Ugandan soldiers, and the terrorists. Equally remarkable: only one IDF soldier was killed. Do you know or remember who he was? He was the commander of the operation called Thunderbolt: Lt. Col. Yonatan (Jonathan) Netanyahu—the older brother of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Americans (Jews and Gentiles) should also be proud of this heroic mission, as it took place on July 4, 1976—our nation’s 200th anniversary (My daughter was born that year, on November 11th. She is my Bicentennial Baby!)
The incredible Entebbe Mission and other Israeli operations in and outside Israel have proven that the living God was with his people. Not the least of which are Israel’s astonishing victories in four conventional wars against larger and more well-equipped enemies. Each one could be considered a miraculous Hanukkah victory of its time.
The Jews and Israel will continue to face turbulent times, right up to Messiah Jesus’s return to save them from a massive coalition of armies’ intent on their annihilation near the end of the Great Tribulation.
Yet, Israel will never again be disgraced, demoralized, or defeated on anything approaching a national level. The indomitable spirit of the Jews will prevail.
After the Holocaust, the Jews vowed: NEVER AGAIN.
God will see to it.
Concerning the Lord’s discipline of Israel through Gentile exile (ending in 1948), and Gentile domination (“times of the Gentiles” ending in 1967), the Lord says:
“Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again … And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 39:28-29, italics for emphasis).
Never again will they be led like sheep to slaughter (Babylonian and Roman conquests, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Crusades, Inquisitions, Pogroms, Holocaust).
No matter what nations or terrorists say or attempt to do about Israel, God will have the final word. You, me, Israel’s friends and her enemies … everyone can count on that!
Says the Lord God about his special possession Israel: “…Never again will my people be disgraced” (Joel 2:26).