One reaction to the title of this week’s article might be: Is that a trick question?
Because many have allowed themselves to be tricked (misled) into thinking that certain disputed regions of Israel do not belong to the Israelis. Or there is a legal; or, if non-legal, then at least an acceptable argument to challenge Israeli sovereignty over and Jewish communities within Palestinian territories … also the Golan Heights.
There are three groupings of people world-wide that to some extent or another participate in this debate—whether all of Israel’s borders, annexed or not, include sovereign Israeli ground within what the Israeli government recently affirmed as the Jewish nation-state. (Refer to Eye of Prophecy article, Israel’s Controversial Nation-State Law, posted 8-11-18; which explains what this law means, what it does not mean, and the repercussions thereof).
The three groups are:
(1) Those who deliberately distort contemporary facts on the ground (reality) and intentionally dismiss or flippantly falsify (rewrite) history to promote the agenda that Jews are occupying land that does not belong to them. For the most part they are Palestinians, Islamic nations, and other national leaders and their people—most notably many western nations within the European Union.
Although non-Muslim nations occasionally express their support for the Jew’s right of self-determination and security, they (even the United States, particularly under the Obama administration) accuse the Israeli government of allowing “illegal Jewish settlements” and even of apartheid. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? Posted 5-16-15. Also, Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount Part I & II … August 2017).
(2) Those ignorant of or indifferent to Israel’s true history and the Middle East chronicle in general. Without bothering to become familiar with at least the basics, they blindly support the anti-Israeli rhetoric accompanied by an intersectional bandwagon approach that includes the Palestinian narrative along with other causes on their eclectic bucket list, e.g. LGBT, racial discrimination, women’s rights.
Ironically, the extremists (of group #1 above) like political activist Linda Sarsour, a “leader” of the women’s rights movement, don’t like or want other women who support Israel in any fashion as part of these intersectional movements. Even more paradoxical is that Sarsour’s strenuous support of Islam includes toleration for Islamic subjugation of women as 2nd class citizens, who have nowhere near the rights of Muslim men; nor anything resembling the liberties of western women. As is said, “Go figure.”
On the other hand, it’s easy to figure out. Everything that campaigners like Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib promote (literally for Omar and Tlaib, as each is a U.S. Congresswoman) is fueled by and couched in their innate (antisemitic) hostility toward Israel and the right of Jews to a sovereign state. Which is the ONLY Jewish nation on the planet. And the ONLY democratic nation in the entire Middle East. Yet, they and most Muslims want Israel replaced with yet another Arab nation (currently there are 22 of them) or at least an Islamic dominated nation, of which there are 57 in the world, including the 22 Arab countries.
(One Muslim nation missing, didn’t have time to figure out which one!)
(3) Those who have studied Israel’s national and spiritual heritage (Biblical and secular), keeping abreast of historical and contemporary cause and effect developments in the Middle East. I put myself in this category.
Though several Eye of Prophecy articles have dealt at length with the Palestinian/Israeli conflict generally and the disputed territories as understood (or not) by the world community specifically; it’s time to revisit this issue that has captivated global attention in an exponential fashion since Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign-state in 1948. (Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! Published 1-6-18)
From north to south in Israel those contested regions: the Golan Heights, Judea & Samaria (in the last 50 years or so-called the West Bank), and the Gaza Strip.
In this week’s post, we’ll focus our looking-glass on the Golan Heights. Next week’s article will concentrate on Judea/Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Let’s begin with a comparative overview of:
Israel / A Small Island in the Middle of an Arab Sea
Literally, Israel is to the vast land-mass of surrounding Muslim nations as the island of Cyprus is to the Mediterranean Sea … you could throw in the Black Sea, too. Actually, Israel is a smaller comparison than Cyprus, even though I’m limiting these countries to Israel’s immediate Arabic neighbors: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. If extended adjacent nations like Turkey, Iraq, and Iran are included, the analogy is inadequate. I would need to pick a much smaller island in the Mediterranean.
Israel proper where about 91 % if Jews reside (8,020 square miles, excluding West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights) most closely approximates the American state of New Jersey in geographical size. New Jersey’s population is 8.9 million. Oddly, so is the Israeli populace at 8.9 million; composed of 6.7 million Jews, 1.9 million Arab citizens of Israel, and other ethnic citizens like the Druze. Ten states the size of all Israel—including Judea/Samaria (the West Bank), Gaza, and Golan—would fit in my home state of Arizona. And Arizona is less than 1/3 the size of just one of these Muslim countries listed above … Egypt.
However, if we compare the entire sovereign State of Israel’s total square miles that includes the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights to the aggregate square miles of the Muslim nations (mostly Arab) of the Middle East that are in proximity to Israel, we end up with a comparison almost to miniscule to measure … about 1/6 of one percent.
Yet, according to the United Nations Security Council in a resolution endorsed (surreptitiously) by outgoing U.S. President Obama at the time, that’s still too much land for the Jews. See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel (Resolution 2334), posted 1-7-17.
For most Palestinians and Islamic nations, any acre of land possessed by Jews in Israel is one acre too many. However, it’s not one square mile or foot of Israel that her enemies really contest; it’s whether the (Jewish) State of Israel has the right to exist at all. Why else would the Arabs, then later the Palestinian Arabs have flatly rejected offers for their own state alongside Israel; not once, twice, or thrice … but four times.
Those four occasions: Balfour Declaration of 1917 followed by the British Mandate of 1922; UN Two-State Partition Plan of 1947; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s (ill-advised) offer in 2000; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s (equally ill-advised) offer in 2008.
Which makes the question posed in the title of this week’s article not at all strange or illogical.
From the vantage point of those who understand that the Jews were given the Promised Land of Israel by God himself and were there about 2,400 years before the Arabs—with the Jews in today’s Israel once again outnumbering Arabs—the article title’s question is rhetorical. Of course, all the land belongs to the Jewish nation-state called Israel, including the Golan Heights.
Israel’s Sovereignty Compared to United States’ Sovereignty (Or Any Democratic Nation)
To challenge Israel’s right to the entirety of its land is no different than someone saying that a certain area of the United States doesn’t belong to the Republic of the United States of America; including two non-contiguous states. One state (Alaska) separated by the country of Canada; another state (Hawaii) by the Pacific Ocean.
Or that some American citizens are inhabiting land that doesn’t belong to them. Citing reasons that would be just as ludicrous as the Palestinian narrative contending that part of Israel (legally) belongs to the Arabs who keep referring to Israel as Palestine. Never mind that there has never been a state of Palestine or a Palestinian language. The more militant Palestinians (like Hamas and Fatah), make no pretense in their claims that all of Israel belongs to them, a mindset harbored by many “moderate” Palestinians, though they may not voice it as loudly.
Israel legally occupies (in the original positive meaning of occupy) land that she was bequeathed by the United Nations and has purchased, developed, annexed, or won in justified wars of independence and survival. Still, a comparison with America doesn’t tell the whole story. In that regard, Israel has a distinct and superior advantage over the United States in terms of sovereign rights of ownership and possession currently and in antiquity.
America was birthed as a nation, decades after immigrants came to a virgin land that was neither titled (legally parceled) nor adequately (at first) developed politically or economically to support a free democratic society. Then we fought a bloody civil war to end slavery but also to prevent succession of several southern states from the union. Not until the Union’s victory in the American Civil War did this country truly become The United States of America.
The United States acquired much of its land through expansion, albeit with a practical geopolitical and demographic dynamic that included bordering on two sides by oceans. In all due respect to Native Americans (still rich in heritage, of whom several I’ve met and appreciate), they constantly fought among themselves for various reasons, particularly over land; with minimal resolution as to what territory belonged to which tribe.
Not so the Jews. They already had a border-bound, parceled-out heritage in the Promised Land of Israel. Now it was time to reclaim that inheritance.
In great numbers they returned to the land that had belonged to them far longer than the United States has even been a nation. Thus, Israel was reborn (reinstated) as a nation, and in one day! Israel is Israel again. Moreover, Israel’s status as a sovereign nation had been approved by the United Nations itself—back in the days when the UN was functioning the way it was intended. And before that by the League of Nations when the Balfour Declaration of 1917 materialized into the British Mandate of 1922.
Why did the Arabs decline statehood then and now? Is Israel responsible for that? Not even close. Not one iota.
Easy answer: The Arabs simply cannot abide the thought of a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state.
Intellectually and emotionally, they are in complete denial that Israel has decisively won four major wars started by Muslim Arab nations. For that reason alone, Israeli Jews—legally, morally, geopolitically, and demographically—have the right to claim every inch of land within Israel’s borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Including the Golan Heights, annexed by Israel.
Plus, 1.9 million Arabs in Israel have chosen Israeli citizenship in contrast to the 4.7 million Arabs (Palestinians … the 4.7 million is probably inflated because Palestinians still include those who have moved out of Israel) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip who have rejected citizenship. The privilege of which has been a standing offer from Israeli Jews since they won their War of Independence in 1948-1949.
The following is an excerpt from the earlier referenced article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel … (in italics):
On December 23rd (the beginning of Sabbath day for Jews) of last year (2016) 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.
Then later in that article:
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.”
(Comment: “Unacceptable only to Palestinians and those who support the Palestinian narrative. But certainly not illegal. Not only that: Abbas’s statement smacks hypocritically of the very ethnic cleansing and apartheid of which he falsely accuses Israel. In fact, Abbas has said on more than one occasion: No Jew will ever be allowed citizenship in a Palestinian State. Such a fair and balanced view (yes, I’m being sarcastic) considering that Israel has 1.9 million Arab citizens, many of whom (via polls) prefer living in an Israeli state than they would in a Palestinian state.
Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda published 9-17-16. Also: A Palestinian State (No Say Many Arabs!) Posted 1-11-14.
Continuing with the excerpt:
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 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….
(Comment: That would be no different than denying land ownership to anyone else other than the French for land lawfully purchased from France in 1803, called the Louisiana Territory … now consisting of parts or all of several states. Or, territory in Texas plus what is now the entire state of California won in wars with Mexico, as off-limits to Americans. Or, only ethnic Hawaiians living on land in Hawaii which was annexed by the United States before it became a state. That is exactly what the UN Security Council is saying about the “Palestinian territories” within Israel. I repeat for emphasis: exactly).
(Louisiana Purchase: Nearly 1/3 of the Continental United States)
Concluding that excerpt:
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.
Which leads us to:
The Golan Heights
On March 21, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump announced: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
Then on March 25th, President Trump signed a resolution to affirm this declaration: the Golan Heights belong to Israel. This was a long overdue recognition that Israel’s annexation of (most of) the Golan Heights in 1981 was both practical and legal, contrary to those who claim Israel has no right to the Golan Heights.
This bold, but controversial decision was the latest of President Trump’s solidarity support for Israel as a Jewish State. Beginning with Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, then relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. And a substantial reduction of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its insidious “pay for slay” financial support of tried, convicted, imprisoned Palestinians who have maimed and killed Israelis Jews. Or to the immediate relatives of those terrorists if their family member was killed during his/her depraved act or in a manhunt (shootout) later. Also, Trump’s recension of the horrendous Iran Nuclear Deal, that will benefit Israel’s security enormously.
Similar resolutions have been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, but President Trump’s signed pledge makes U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights belonging to Israel as official policy.
Israel’s recently reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heartily thanked President Trump for this decision and later indicated that Israel would name an Israeli community in the Golan after Trump. Will the town be called, Trumpville? Probably not, as there are no other Israeli towns ending in ville! At least none that I know of. (I couldn’t resist a little fun here).
Seriously, this latest demonstration of United States support for Israel is huge, both symbolically and practically. I sometimes cringe at President Trump’s unpredictable style (idiosyncrasies). And it remains to be seen what his Deal of Century (supposed to be introduced in June) will entail. But no matter what anyone thinks of Trump—good, bad, indifferent—his consistent and active promotion, as opposed to merely lip service, of Israel’s sovereignty and security exceeds all U.S. Presidents before him. Even that of President Harry Truman who was the first head of state to congratulate and recognize Israel’s Statehood in May 1948.
For the reason of unreserved (thus far) support of Israel, God may withhold judgment (or greater judgment) on the United States, which is no longer one nation under God, nor one that even comes close now days to:
(Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: America the Beautiful is Getting Ugly … 7-19-16)
As expected, there was an international uproar that (almost) equaled President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and subsequent move of the U.S. embassy. I’ll reference only one of these responses, which is from Syria itself—the country that claims the Golan as theirs (Note: about 1/3 of the Golan Heights still belongs to Syria, called the Syrian Golan).
From the Syrian Foreign Ministry Department came a statement that Trump’s decision was a “blatant aggression” against what they considered the territorial integrity of Syria. That classifying the Golan Heights as within Israel’s borders was the, “…highest level of contempt for international legitimacy…” So on and so forth.
Are they right?
Not even close. Which is why neither Syria nor any other nation or head of state who agrees with Syria care to discuss in-depth the true history of the Golan Heights. Such things that I (and others) have written about before but bear repeating. Not the least of which is: The Syrians constantly and conveniently forget that they lost the Golan Heights to Israel twice (1967 & 1973) after attacking Israel from that very region.
Moreover, the so-called borders of the Golan Heights that separated Syria from the newborn State of Israel were only armistice (truce) lines agreed to by the Israelis when they defended themselves against five Arab armies (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and of course, Syria) that attacked the Jews the day after Israel declared in May 1948 its (1947) UN-voted right for statehood.
For the next 18 years, Syrian armed forces rained down bombs from the Golan Heights on Jewish farms and communities in the valley regions of the Galilee. Though terrifying for the Jews who lived there, Israel elected not to engage in another “all-out war” with Syria. However, that all changed when once again Arab armies massed for war against Israel in 1967. Though Israel struck first, it was crystal clear to the entire world that Egypt and Syria were about to attack Israel again.
Politicians, military experts, and historians—whether religious or not—consider the Israeli Six-Day War victory as the most stunning achievement in the annals of military history. The word miracle is entirely appropriate. Not only was an Israeli victory considered unlikely (impossible by many), to accomplish it in six-days was mind-boggling. Plus, it was a decisive victory—not just one narrowly achieved.
As is said, “the rest is history.” Then more history when Israel again defeated the Syrians and Egyptians in an even bloodier war, when Israel was attacked on her High Holy Day of Yom Kippur in 1973.
The Israeli portion of the Golan Heights comprises about 500 square miles … roughly the size of Phoenix, Arizona, a suburb of which I reside. That is not my comparison, although I should have thought of it and looked it up! Instead, I found it in an article written by well-known columnist for The Washington Times, Clifford D. May. Entitled: Trump’s clear view of the Golan Heights (April 16, 2019).
Whoever controls the Golan Heights has a vastly superior high ground advantage over the Galilee region and the Jordan Valley.
(Portion of the Golan Heights)
In the Six-Day War, Israel defeated Syria in the north. In the south the Israelis were victorious over Egypt, but eventually relinquished control of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip back to Egypt. In the center of Israel (Judea/Samaria), the Israelis defeated Jordan which entered the war despite Israel’s warnings for them not to. As a result, the IDF won a vicious battle for Jerusalem itself, thereby liberating the Holy City from Jordan’s illegal occupation that began after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Because of international pressure, Israel returned administrative jurisdiction of the eastern part of Jerusalem, including Temple Mount, back to Jordan and (eventually) the Palestinians. However, for purpose of ultimate national sovereignty, Israel annexed Eastern Jerusalem in 1967.
Although Israel did not return the Golan Heights to Syria, the IDF presence in/near the Golan was not that substantial after the Six-Day War. The Israelis came perilously close to losing the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (especially against Syria in the north); thus, they knew beyond all doubt that they must never leave the Golan and must strengthen their military there.
Consequently, in 1981 Israel officially annexed the Golan Heights.
Was that illegal?
Absolutely not. From time immemorial (including our post-modern world) the “rule of international law” is that a nation that captures territory from which they are attacked has the right to maintain control of that territory, including annexation if they choose. Conversely, land that is captured by a nation that launches an unprovoked (unjust) war against another nation is not recognized as legitimate. Whether other nations can do anything about it depends on several variables, not the least of which is their ability to, by force, counter and correct such acquisitions. Which, of course, the allies did in World War II when Germany, Italy, and Japan attacked not only the allies, but also seized control of other territories or entire nations for no other reason that unilateral conquest.
If Egypt in 1956 (Suez Canal War); Syria, Egypt, Jordan in 1967; and Egypt/Syria in 1973 had defeated Israel, would the United States or any other nation(s) have commenced a campaign against the Arabs to return the sovereign state of Israel back to the Jews? Highly unlikely. Except for military material aid given by President Richard Nixon to Israel in the Yom Kippur War, there was no direct military assistance (boots on the ground) provided to Israel in 1967 or 1973. (Some Americans and Europeans did fight for Israel in their 1948 War of Independence).
Further commenting on international law: The whole idea is not to allow nations who unjustly attack other nations (just because the attacking nation doesn’t think the nation attacked should exist or for land-grab purposes) to reclaim “disputed” land that the aggressor used to launch its assault, but subsequently lost to the nation attacked.
That would be a blatantly unwarranted “win” for the aggressor that lost. And a “lose” for the nation that won.
With a dramatically distorted application of national and international integrity or “legitimacy” as the Syrians put it, the Golan still belongs to them. No matter that Israel defeated her enemies via a just (defensive for her very survival) response to an unprovoked attack, Israel must return the Golan Heights to Syria. So, it doesn’t matter if Syria loses (which they did) the wars. All the Golan still belongs to them. That’s convoluted logic at its best … or worst.
As well-known Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz (an ardent apologist for Israel, albeit I don’t agree with his support for a two-state solution in Israel) so aptly stated: “No country in history has ever given back to a sworn enemy, militarily essential territory that has been captured in a defensive war.”
*Note: Dershowitz participated in a peaceful public gathering outside the New York Times building earlier this week. Purpose was to strenuously protest the deplorable cartoon of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu published in this virulently anti-Israeli newspaper that for years has denigrated (through propaganda style reporting that even makes otherwise objective news reports into op-ed articles) the nation of Israel.
Comparison of West Point to the Golan Heights!
For purpose of today’s article which focuses on the Golan Heights, consider this parallel during America’s Revolutionary War which, like Israel, was fought to preserve the birth of a nation. In 1776, England obviously didn’t acknowledge the American colonies Declaration of Independence of The United States of America. Neither did Muslim Arab countries even remotely recognize Israel’s existence when she declared statehood in 1948.
With one huge difference: All Islamic nations except two (Egypt and Jordan) and other Muslim non-Arab nations still do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign country in the global family of nations. Almost all those nations also have refused any diplomatic relations with Israel. Whereas, England, later called Great Britain, has been for well over a hundred years and still is one of America’s closest allies.
Do you remember Benedict Arnold? Even if some aren’t familiar with the details, most Americans and many people in the world know him as perhaps the worst traitor in American history.
Benedict Arnold was a General in the Continental Army who, in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, fought valiantly for the newborn nation of America. For reasons that time/space do not permit in this article, he defected to the British in 1780.
Arnold’s objective was first to be made commander of the fort of West Point on the west bank of the Hudson River, which he persuaded General George Washington to do. His scheme was to weaken the ability of the Continental army stationed there to the point where the West Point garrison would have no choice but surrender to the British General Sir Henry Clinton. On a high plateau overlooking the crucial terrain of the Hudson River in New York State, both the Americans and the British were fully aware of West Point’s strategic advantage. In fact, General Washington made it his main headquarters in 1779, although he spent much of his time on other battle fronts.
Short version: Arnold’s plot was exposed, and he escaped capture during the ensuing fight for West Point. The colonists barely won that battle when a contingency of Washington’s army arrived just in time. Arnold eventually fled to England and died in London in 1801.
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed an order creating West Point Academy which is still world-famous for its training of American officers in the Army branch of the U.S. Military.
In terms of logistical location, West Point and its surrounding topography was as vital to the Americans as the Golan Heights is to Israel in today’s world.
Now then, the analogy: Can you imagine if the newly elected 1st United States President George Washington and/or Congress decided after the war to give West Point along with 500 square miles of land surrounding it to the British? Say as a token of their appreciation for England not continuing the war against the colonists any longer than they did. Or, perhaps a gesture of good will toward those colonists (called Loyalists) who preferred what they considered as more stability under British rule over the uncertain risk of American independence. After all, the original 13 states were called New England. Plus, some of the colonists had fought for the British against the French in the French-Indian Wars just a few decades earlier. Good reasons?
What’s the first thing that would/should come to mind?
If you said, “Absurd” or something like it, you would be 100% correct. Suicidal also fits.
Would it make any difference if, for example, the main ally of America at the time (France, of all countries!) would have said something to the effect that return of West Point wasn’t just a nice gesture, but that it also followed international law? Or that some otherwise neutral nations would have backed this proposal, with the thought that perhaps the British would appreciate the offer and it would discourage them from starting another war with America. (Land for peace!)
Would your response be the same? “Ridiculous!” I would think so.
England did go to war with America again in 1812. Though not as long, a war every bit as fierce as the Revolutionary War, including the British burning our Capital and the White House. Had the British already held a foothold in the West Point area, the war might have lasted six years instead of three. I’m just saying…
This is fundamentally no different than Israel relinquishing the Golan Heights and control thereof to Syria. For that matter Syria’s President and regime are far less honorable and much more vicious than were the British in the 18th & early 19th century. Plus, Syria is now indebted to Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah for their assistance in crushing the (Arab-Spring) uprising of many Syrians who want at least some form of democracy in Syria.
Yet, this is precisely what nearly all Muslin countries and Western nations critical of Israel’s right to the Golan Heights are demanding. Western European nations like France, Germany, Great Britain have recognized Israel’s right to exist as a nation but are adamantly opposed to Israel’s prerogative position in and on the Golan—despite all the reasons discussed in this article and acknowledged for years by those who really know and care about what’s (really) happening in the Middle East.
The Jews continuous presence in the Promised Land of Israel for some 3,800 years; United Nations Resolution of November 1947 leading to the rebirth of Israel’s sovereign state; Jewish purchase of land throughout Israel; victory in four defensive wars of survival; amazing agricultural and hi-tech economic development of Israel; annexation (2/3 of the Golan Heights)—each one provides extraordinary evidence and undeniable reasons why Israeli Jews have both national and international rights (by definition) to live ANYWHERE in Israel.
Combining them together yields an overwhelmingly convincing conclusion that: All of Israel’s land is within and belongs to the Jewish nation of Israel.
However, as detailed in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles, it bears repeating that there is one top of the line truth and irrefutable reality that eclipses all these reasons:
God’s Sovereign Determination of Israel’s Borders and Destiny
If anyone wants to dispute this historical and contemporary truth, they are welcome to take it up with God himself.
And they need to get serious too, because one day (soon) there will come a reckoning when all nations will need to give an account of their treatment of Israel. We’ll cover that more next week.
In several passages of the Bible’s Old Testament, the Lord presented to his people both a panoramic picture; then later, more precise parameters of Israel’s borders and division of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Land that was given by God to the Jews in perpetuity. The word forever applies.
Beginning with the entire land of Canaan given by the Lord to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, that encompassed much more than present day Israel (Genesis Chapters 12, 15, & 17). Followed by Moses’ limited description of Israel’s land inheritance to Jacob’s sons (Numbers 34-35, which didn’t include the allotment for the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh in what is mostly present-day Jordan).
Then an expanded meticulous map-like depiction of the land that comprises seven entire chapters in the book of Joshua (Chapters 13-19). Plus, Chapter 21 for the Levites. Followed by a condensed summary of the land found in Ezekiel Chapters 47-48.
Things to Ponder
Since our focus today is on the Golan Heights, I’ll cite another passage (somewhat obscure for some) in the book of Obadiah. Prefaced by an earlier verse that is similar in nature to dozens of other prophecies that foretell the final return of the Jews to Israel.
“…And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance” (Obadiah 1:17b).
The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? In italics:
The last three verses of Obadiah describe much (but not all) of Israel’s original land mass. In parenthesis, the modern-day portion of Israel will be inserted to match the Biblical names, some of which are still the same. Notice that the passage uses the word “occupy.” And does so with a matter-of-fact positive connotation. Not the negative occupation accusation by Israel’s enemies (and even some of her “friends”) that is patently false … Biblically, historically, and currently.
“Then my people living in the Negev (still called the Negev … southern part of Israel next to the Sinai Peninsula which is part of ancient Israel that bordered Egypt and Arabia) will occupy the mountains of Edom (southern Jordan and western part of Saudi Arabia). Those living in the foothills of Judah (land and cities south of Jerusalem, including Hebron) will possess the Philistine plains (Gaza Strip) and take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria (the West Bank). And the people of Benjamin will occupy the land of Gilead (portion of northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria).
“The exiles of Israel will return to their land and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath (ancient Tyre and Sidon … the coast of Lebanon). The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the north will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev. Those who have been rescued will go up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Temple Mount which has belonged to the Jews in perpetuity but currently under administrative control of Jordan and the Palestinians) to rule over the mountains of Edom” (Obadiah 1:19-21a).
The land of Gilead as mentioned by Obadiah overlaps with the modern Golan Heights.
Another prophet also referenced Gilead, plus Lebanon: “Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, they will still remember me in distant lands. They and their children will survive and return again to Israel … I will resettle them in Gilead and Lebanon, until there is no more room for them all” (Zechariah 10:9-10, italics for emphasis).
*Note: The “return again” isn’t grammatically redundant. It’s referring to the second (more massive) return of Jewish exiles to Israel, the first long ago from Babylon.
When consolidating all the Biblical passages in which God outlines the expansive borders of Israel, they constitute not only modern-day Israel; but also, all of Lebanon and Jordan and some or much of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. As delineated in the following pictorial, which I believe is somewhat more than the original Biblical boundaries, especially to the south.
Through a Divine promise that is being fulfilled before our 20th and 21st century eyes; after 2,000 years of Jewish exile to the four corners of the earth, the Jews have returned to Israel in great numbers, beginning primarily in 1948.
It is unprecedented … never done before by any other nation or peoples.
It is incomprehensible … many including most Jews said it couldn’t be done.
It is nothing short of miraculous.
No longer is it, “Next year in Jerusalem.” For millions of Israeli Jews, it is, “This year in Jerusalem. We’re home!”
It is a God-thing.
“…Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!” (Psalm 48:2).