This week’s article begins with a personal confession.
I was once a Jeopardy junkie! Having watched the program often in the late 1970s and through the 1980s.
And, yes, I played the home version with family for years; clicker in hand ready to beat everyone else to the click (answer). Which must be in the form of a question, as the answer (clue) is already given in the six categories that constitute each of the first two rounds—Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy.
Straight from Wikipedia: “Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin…. The original daytime version debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964 and aired until January 3, 1975…. The current version … produced by Sony Pictures Television, premiered on September 10, 1984.
“…The daily syndicated version has featured Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer … Jeopardy! has also gained a worldwide following with regional adaptations in many other countries.”
Though I no longer follow the T.V. game show or play the home version, two recent Jeopardy events grabbed my attention … big time.
First, the (fairly) recent announcement that Alex Trebek’s 36-year stint as host may be over soon. Sadly, he has Stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Then, an even more recent occurrence; one that made global headlines regarding one of the questions on the January 10th, 2020 episode of Jeopardy.
I want to give credit to my wonderful wife for bringing the second (now controversial) incident to my attention … having seen it on her Android phone. Thus, the lead-in to this week’s Eye of Prophecy post.
The Jeopardy category was: “Where’s that Church?” The $200.00 clue: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.”
First to buzz in was returning contestant Katie Needle. Her response: “What is Palestine?”
To which Alex replied, “Nope.”
Another contestant, Jack McGuire, answered correctly, “What is Israel?”
I recall telling my wife, “Good for Alex Trebek and Jeopardy. Israel is the correct answer … there has never been a state or country of Palestine, nor are there actual Palestinian territories within Israel.”
(Jeopardy Host, Alex Trebek)
Israel or Palestine? It’s been the subject of several Eye of Prophecy articles.
It’s time to talk about it again. If for no other reason than recent and sudden world flashpoint focus on this contentious issue … on a T.V. game show no less. One that need not be debated at all, if you know the facts of real history—rather than rewritten history by/of the Arabs (in and outside of Israel) who now call themselves Palestinians.
Consequently, it’s no surprise whatsoever that one of the dissenting tweets posted the very day of the show condemned Jeopardy’s original decision that Israel was the correct answer. Said Omar Baddar: “Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed). Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel’s universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.”
Omar Baddar is the deputy director of the Arab American Institute, which is one of many virulent anti-Israel, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic organizations that incessantly distort the Biblical and even the secular historical evidence of Israel and the “Palestinians.” What should be (but isn’t) startling is that his blatantly false narrative about “Palestinian territories and lands” is believed by much of the world, including many in the United States and particularly Europe. And (obviously) includes Jeopardy contestant Katie Needle.
(Note: Even if there were such a thing as Palestinian lands there has been no illegal takeover of said land by the Israelis. That will be made clear by the end of this week’s article)
Alas, my compliment to Jeopardy for not only identifying (Bethlehem in) Israel as the correct answer but also incorporating such an answer/question in the first place, was premature. After researching the rest of the story, I discovered that Jeopardy (after a commercial break) had rescinded their decision; thereby, restoring points/dollars to Katie Needle and withdrawing points awarded to Jack McGuire for that question. With an explanation that the outcome of the contest was not influenced by that one question alone. I’m sure it wasn’t but that’s not the point.
In response to scathing criticism from the likes of Omar Baddar (and others), Jeopardy issued an apology: “In the process of taping this clue, ‘BUILT IN THE 300s A.D., THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY’ we became aware that the clue was flawed as written and that determining an acceptable response would be problematic. In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out… Unfortunately, through human error in post-production, the uncorrected version of the game was broadcast. We regret the error, and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.”
What was it that made the clue flawed?
Was it because the more direct question (answer) should have been, “What is Bethlehem?” Instead of Israel (or Palestine) … an indirect or secondary response. Which, however, were the responses of the contestants. Or was the flaw that of (as suggested by Jeopardy) failing to recognize—because they had not invested a little time in researching the fact that there has never been a Palestinian state or sovereign Palestinian territory—that nothing should/would be “problematic” about Israel as the sovereign location of Bethlehem from before the time of King David over 3,000 years ago and it’s Church of the Nativity (built in the 300s A.D.).
(Exterior complex of Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel)
(Interior of Nativity Church, showing designated site of Jesus’ birth)
Moreover, the only reason there are “Palestinians” in Israel is because the Arab non-citizens living there have identified themselves as such. For the express purpose of trying to convince (mislead) the watching world that the Israeli Jews—but also 1.9 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel—are “illegal occupiers” of land that belongs to Palestinians.
The only accurate and fair feature of that retraction was to leave the “A.D.” part of the clue intact. For that I give Jeopardy’s staff some credit. Until the 19th century, A.D. (along with B.C.) was the correct time-honored designation that separated time itself by the birth of Jesus Christ.
B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Latin anno domini for “in the year of our Lord”) has been secularly replaced in virtually all academic circles and daily print to B.C.E. (before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era). For the propagandized purpose and misguided motive of not offending anyone of another religion or the diehard secular among us.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t until after the turn of the 21st century that the secular designations began to replace the Messianic designations on a large scale. For example, the World Almanac edition of 2007 officially commissioned B.C.E. and C.E.
People can B.C.E and C.E. all they want. However, the birth, life, death, burial, and (especially) resurrection of Messiah Jesus was so pivotal in human history that virtually the entire world understood the reason for subsequently marking time itself by his arrival on this earth. It doesn’t matter that Jesus may have been born a couple of years before 1 A.D. What counts is that the entire world eventually recognized the monumental impact and magnificent influence that Jesus Christ has had on both the ancient and modern world.
The Apostle Paul who was miraculously changed (by a direct encounter with the risen Christ) from an uncompromising Pharisee out to arrest, imprison, and even kill the early Christians, to one who is considered the greatest apologist for the Christian faith (Biblical salvation) wrote about this enormous event in human history. For example:
“For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom (from sin and its eternal penalty) for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth” (I Timothy 2:5-7, emphasis added, parenthesis mine).
So, kudos to Jeopardy for at least using the more definitive designation of A.D.
Still, they made an unnecessary apology on the alleged basis that it was “…in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out.”
Fairness to whom? I’m not referring to the contestants; rather I’m deferring to the larger context of Israel vs. Palestine. Meaning the very existence of Israel. Is Israel, Israel? Or is it Palestine?
The answer will determine the legitimacy of all Israeli “settlements” no matter where they are located. The answer will determine whether Israeli Jews legally reside (occupying in the positive connotation of the concept) in Judea/Samaria—also called the West Bank for political purposes.
What is Palestine? And Who Is a Palestinian?
That heading is the title of an Eye of Prophecy article, posted 12-2-17. Before citing some of that article’s material, let’s do a brief review of Bethlehem, itself. In which the Church of the Nativity was built to commemorate the birthplace of (the Jewish) Jesus, prophesied by Micah over 700 years earlier.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf” (Micah 5:2).
Where was Bethlehem (Ephrathah) located back then and where would it be when Messiah was born?
Easy answer: Judah.
Even after the ten northern tribes (called Israel) withdrew from the Davidic dynasty based in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem (two southern tribes known as Judah), Judah is synonymous and used interchangeably with Israel throughout the Bible and secular history. Or, even more specifically, in the region known as Judea/Samaria, which is central/southern Israel. Bethlehem is just a few miles south of Jerusalem, Israel. NOT PALESTINE.
(The “City of David” is Bethlehem, which was in Israel when Micah made his prophecy, in Israel when Jesus was born there, and is still in ISRAEL to this day!)
Bethlehem (Beit Lechem in Hebrew, meaning “house of bread”) is first mentioned in the Bible as the burial site of Jacob’s wife Rachel. “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave…” (Genesis 35:19-20a, parenthesis in the text).
Bethlehem is one of the oldest towns in Israel and is also referenced in the Hebrew Old Testament books of Ruth, I Samuel, the Psalms, and in Micah as quoted earlier. And, of course, in the New Testament as the birthplace of Messiah Jesus.
Just because Bethlehem is currently under the jurisdictional supervision of the Palestinian Authority since the Oslo Accords of 1993, doesn’t mean that it (or any other city in Israel) is in Palestine. Nor is Bethlehem (or any other Israeli city) in Palestinian territories, which is a term that the Arabs (Palestinians) use in a geopolitical context to give the impression that the region of Judea/Samaria legally belongs in and to an entity called Palestine. Which doesn’t exist in the first place.
Nor, technically, is there such a person as a Palestinian. They are Arab non-citizens who live in Israel. Moreover, Israel has granted a large measure of self-governing authority to these non-citizens, i.e. the Palestinian Authority of Judea/Samara and Hamas of the Gaza Strip—who themselves are bitter rivals.
The Palestinians and those who support the Palestinian narrative want the world to believe that the demarcation lines between Israel proper and Areas A, B, & C (established in the 1993 Oslo Accords) of Judea/Samaria are actual borders. They are not. Meaning the kind of national borders established and recognized by neighboring nations. The true geographical boundaries of the Jewish State of Israel are with other sovereign countries—Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
Repeating for emphasis: There are no internal borders within Israel.
Instead they were simply armistice lines agreed to by the Israelis, even though Israel was victorious over her enemies in her 1948 War of Independence, and even more emphatically in the Six-Day War of 1967. Having reclaimed ALL Israel, including ALL of Jerusalem.
Because of international pressure, Israel agreed to these truce lines.
The following (in italics) is an excerpt from What is Palestine? And Who Is a Palestinian? One of several Eye of Prophecy articles written about Israel’s sovereignty as a nation in contrast to a Palestine that simply doesn’t exist—as a nation or even a so-called territory.
If we’re going to grasp the essence of the Middle East conflict between Jew and Arab and who actually has Biblical (which is really the only authority needed) but also man-made national rights to the land of Israel, then it is crucial that we define Palestine and Palestinian.
Who is a Palestinian?
Answer: No one, not really. There is no such thing as a Palestinian. I realize that practically the whole world (including me) uses that designation to refer to the Arabs living in (occupying) the West Bank—a term invented not so long ago to identify that part of Israel called Judea/Samaria—or to Arabs living in the Gaza. But we use the term only out of necessity; to distinguish between citizens of Israel (Jews and Israeli Arabs) and non-citizens of Israel. If someone did use the term Palestinian (before 1948), they were invariably identifying the Jews, not the Arabs.
What is Palestine?
Answer: there is no such thing as Palestine, not really. Certainly not after May 14, 1948 when Israel became a Sovereign State, less than six months after the United Nations Resolution granted statehood rights to the Jews; also, to the Arabs who flatly rejected any idea of a state alongside a Jewish state. Instead, five Arab nations attacked Israel the very next day, confident that they would kill infant Israel in its national crib.
…Nor was there or has there ever been a Palestinian language. Hebrew, yes. Arabic, yes. But no one speaks Palestinian. Along with established borders, it is language that most plainly defines nations and ethnic groups (such as Arabs in Israel) within nations.
Though not surprising (considering the source), it’s still incredulous that the director for the Arab American Institute, Omar Baddar, blatantly and wrongly asserts that “Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies.” And perplexing that many throughout the world simply accept that statement and others like it as fact … refusing to learn or even consider the authentic history of Israel.
Yet, that small slice of land on this planet is far too much for the Arabs to concede to the Jews; even though Arab/Muslim nations adjacent to and surrounding Israel far exceed Israel in land mass and population.
Next, is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? Posted 5-16-16 (in italics):
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….
Then later in that article:
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!
Next are a couple of excerpts from a recent article (11-20-17) written by Jean Patrick Grumberg, posted in the online op-ed source of Gatestone Institute. The reason that this author (and a few others like him) and I are on the same page is because we’ve studied extensively the real definable history of the Middle East. The main difference is that my articles are in the context of Scripture, as the Bible is the definitive God-breathed source of humanity’s history pertaining to God’s plans for Israel and Gentile nations.
Wrote Grumberg: “All people born in the British Mandatory Palestine between 1923-1948 had “Palestine” stamped on their passports at the time. (Thereafter and to this date the majority of “Palestinians” have Jordanian passports). But when they were called Palestinians, the Arabs were offended. They complained: ‘We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews’” (parenthesis mine).
Grumberg quotes Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Zuheir Mohsen who articulated in 1977: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”
*Note: I couldn’t have said it better myself, let alone relay this information from a prominent Muslim Arab (“Palestinian”) leader. Since this leader spoke those words in 1977, that definitive statement on Palestine and Palestinians was subsequently suppressed by PLO founder Yasser Arafat and now by the Palestinian Authority (name change from the PLO) President Mahmoud Abbas. They and other leaders of the PA and the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza conspicuously refer to themselves as Palestinians. This to give the impression that their “cause” is all about Palestine and Palestinians who allegedly are the only lawful residents of a nation that should never have been called Israel, and the Jews who are illegitimate “settlers.”
Jean Patrick Grumberg goes on to say: “Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there were no ‘Palestinians.’”
Actually, Arabs didn’t begin to refer to themselves as Palestinians on a regular basis and for ulterior motives until the PLO was established in 1964; even more so after the Six-Day War of 1967 and the following cease-fire orchestrated primarily by the United States and western nations.
Concerning Jewish settlements in Israel, the following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel (Resolution 2334). Posted 1-7-17. This reprehensible resolution was drafted by several Arab/Muslim nations hostile toward Israel and silently endorsed (if not instigated) by outgoing U.S. President Obama at the time, as a parting shot to Israel and particularly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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 … an impression is made on both the informed and uninformed that Jews don’t belong anywhere in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (or Bethlehem per today’s article). 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 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….
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….
Bethlehem and Areas A, B, & C of Judea/Samaria (so-called West Bank)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ has repetitively announced his intention to evict all Jewish residents from the entire expanse of any future Palestinian State. If that’s not ethnic cleansing, then what is?
And, of course, he’s demanding that all of Judea/Samaria be included in that state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Jerusalem (any major city) with two capitals? No way would that work, any more than and certainly not as long as East Berlin & West Berlin lasted.
In stark contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his pledge in a statement earlier this month that the Israeli government, “…will not allow the uprooting of any community, Jewish or Arab, under any peace plan. The principles are simple. Israel has and will continue to have security control west of Jordan, Jerusalem will never be divided, and settlements will not be uprooted.”
In another statement, Netanyahu said that Israel has always had the right of sovereignty over Judea Samaria. It’s just that they haven’t exercised that full right. But it’s time to do so.
(Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Still actively leading Israel, doing what needs to be done concerning both domestic and foreign policy, despite lack of a majority coalition government from the past two Israeli elections)
(Note: Sovereignty doesn’t mean suppression. Rather, it’s a democratic due-process geopolitical, socioeconomic, and military guaranteed security and sanctuary of a nation’s inhabitants.)
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had earlier stated: “the Pompeo Doctrine does not resolve the conflict over Judea and Samaria, but it does move the goalposts back onto the field. It does not obfuscate the very real issue that two million or more Palestinians reside in Judea and Samaria … The Pompeo Doctrine says clearly that Israelis have a right to live in Judea and Samaria. But it doesn’t say Palestinians don’t. Rather, it calls for a practical negotiated resolution of the conflict that improves lives on both sides.”
Mike Pompeo had previously said (what is now termed the Pompeo Doctrine): “We’re recognizing that these settlements don’t inherently violate international law. That’s important. We’re disavowing the deeply flawed 1978 Hansell memo, and we’re returning to a balanced and sober Reagan-era approach.”
(Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Jewish Settlements in Judea/Samaria … Are They Illegal? Posted 11-23-19)
Here is an excerpt from another Eye of Prophecy article, Judea/Samaria & Gaza Strip / Who Has Sovereignty? Published 5-11-19. In italics:
Though I consider myself informed about Israel and what’s happening there and in the Middle East, when it comes to some of the “land logistics” (especially in Judea/Samaria), I’m no expert. However, the experts have already said that it would be a logistical nightmare to realign the already apportioned areas in the West Bank designated as A, B, & C. This is especially the case for the eastern part of Jerusalem.
But I know enough to with a great deal of certainty present the following facts on the ground obstacles to anything approaching a practical two-state option. It would be an unworkable solution to an already misunderstood problem (the root thereof) that would create a problem far greater and more dangerous than the existing status quo.
I then presented four reasons why a Two-State Solution won’t work.
Then later in that article:
Once again, national sovereign rights belong to citizens of the nation in question. The existence of a Palestinian State was not then nor is now. With, as being discussed, the creation of which would be calamitous for both the Jews and Arabs. Instead, all the Palestinians need do is apply for Israeli citizenship just as 1.9 million of their fellow-Arabs have that citizenship.
IT’S REALLY THAT SIMPLE … unlike a thorny two-state option. But inevitably, it’s a matter of the heart. Of seriously and sincerely wanting to live in peace with the Jews, not to eradicate them or eliminate the State of Israel.
Another reason for Netanyahu’s proposal to officially exercise (administrative) sovereignty over Area C is in the event (albeit remote) a Palestinian state is created, which would include the portion of this area crucial to Israeli security, especially the Jordan Valley. Nor will Israel consider dismantling Jewish communities in Area C, causing massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jews. It just isn’t going to happen. Netanyahu’s sovereignty promise was a public statement of that fact.
…As author Victor Rosenthal recently wrote in an article posted by the online news source Jewish News Syndicate: “Netanyahu’s decision to extend Israeli law to the settlements in Area C would not have any effect whatever on Palestinians living under the control of the PA, and it does not change the status of the territories in which they are located.”
It occurred to me while writing this week’s article: In prior Eye of Prophecy posts pertaining to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I don’t recall identifying the three areas into which Judea/Samaria (West Bank) was apportioned by the Oslo Accords that began in 1993.
Since Victor Rosenthal has done it for me, here is another excerpt from his article:
“When Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords in 1993-95, they agreed to divide Judea and Samaria into Areas A, B, and C. Area A was under Palestinian security control and civil control, Area B (much smaller) under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control, and Area C under full Israeli control. Area C contains all Jewish communities. More than 95% of the Palestinian population lives in area A and B, where they are governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). While it is true that Israel’s security forces reserve the right to enter area A to arrest wanted terrorists, Palestinians have civil and political rights granted by the PA to vote and hold political office (such as it is … my comment). There are Palestinian courts and Palestinian police, Palestinian ministries of health, finance, labor, etc. It’s hardly fair to blame Israel for the fact that the PA is corrupt and dictatorial and hasn’t held an election for years.”
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what city of Israel is in what area (A, B, or C or the rest of Israel).
Because ALL Israel belongs to the State of Israel, which has the nation-state right of sovereign control.
The following includes but is not limited to the pivotal points and primary principles why ALL Israel inherently, historically, morally, geopolitically, and legally belongs to Israelis:
Balfour Declaration of 1917: An internationally recognized doctrine that gave Diaspora Jews the right and opportunity to return from exile to the Promised Land of Israel. In fact, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has periodically ranted against the legitimacy of this declaration, even though it was officially endorsed by the League of Nations in July 1922 which established the British Mandate.
UN Resolution of 1947: By a convincing margin, the United Nations passed a resolution granting the Jews (and Arabs) the dual right to form a state when the British Mandate expired for the region referred to as Palestine. The Arabs refused to consider a state west of (Trans)Jordan alongside a Jewish state and out-of-hand rejected this (at the time) two-state solution.
Israel’s Statehood Declared May 14, 1948: The very next day, large armies from five Arab countries attacked the newborn state of Israel with the avowed goal of annihilating the Jewish State. Against all odds, Israel won her War of Independence.
Six-Day War & Yom Kippur War: Although Israel preemptively struck first in June 1967, it was crystal clear to the entire world that Syria and Egypt (later joined by Jordan) were about to attack Israel again. Israel won this war in incredible fashion, considered to be one of the greatest military victories of all time … in only six days! In doing so, Israel reclaimed (liberated) the entire land mass of Israel, including Judea/Samaria, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. And yes, Bethlehem! It is an internationally accepted principle that any country that is victorious in a war of self-defense (at the cost of the blood and lives of both soldiers and civilians) has the right to possess and develop the land occupied and/or used by its enemies who had launched or were preparing to launch an attack.
Again in 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. Again, they were defeated in an even bloodier war than 1967.
Oslo Accords of 1993: Israel agreed to extend in varying measures Palestinian control of certain areas of Judea/Samaria, as previously explained in today’s article. It was at that time that the Palestinian Authority was created. But on condition that the Palestinians negotiate with Israel the actual land area further; that they also cease and desist from terrorist attacks against Israelis. The Palestinians have done neither. For all intents and purposes, the Oslo Accords are now a relic of history … an agreement that should never have been made in the first place. One that then Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat never intended to honor. Nor have the Palestinians officially recognized the right for the sovereign state of Israel to even exist … as a Jewish nation-state.
(The now iconic photo of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Leader Yasser Arafat)
United States Action to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty: Through President Trump’s initiative, the U.S. Embassy has been relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; Israel’s prior annexation of the Golan Heights officially recognized; the Deal of the Century partially announced with the rest of this peace plan still pending release; and most recently America declaring that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria are legal. Because that region is an integral part (the very heartland) of Israel. Not in Palestine. Why: Because the state of Palestine doesn’t exist. And unless/until it does, nothing in Bethlehem or any part of Israel is in Palestine or Palestinian territory.
Things to Ponder
The greatest reason of all for Israel’s sovereignty over the entire breadth of the Promised Land comes first and foremost from the only true and living God. Listen to Him:
“Then another message came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: ‘My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem! And now the Lord says: I am returning to Mount Zion and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain … Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play” (Zechariah 8:1-5).
Jerusalem (and Bethlehem) are the heart and soul of Israel and the Christian faith, respectively. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel. As Israel goes, so goes the world. That has been God’s plan from the beginning—choosing Abraham to father the Jewish nation through the promised child Isaac … not Ishmael.
The final stages of this Divine promise are being fulfilled in our generation and will be experienced fully upon Messiah’s return to Israel. He will step foot on the Mount of Olives directly across the Kidron Valley from Temple Mount in Jerusalem!
Soon, thereafter, he will occupy Jerusalem!
And after that: “People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:3-4).