|How did it all come about?|
| Probably everyone in the developed world - and a good many in other lands - are well aware that there is an ongoing conflict in the Middle East involving the Arabs and the Jews. For decades, news organizations have been blanketing the globe with reports from our part of the world. Most the coverage has been, and is, prejudiced against Israel. With it, journalists have successfully generated a universal wave of support for the "Palestinian cause," a cause that cannot be realized except at terrible expense to the Jewish state.|
The question is: How many of the millions who believe they support the creation of a state called Palestine in the Land of Israel really know the history behind this story? How many are simply being swept along ignorantly on a popular tide of opinion that has little foundation in fact?
To confront this question, veteran Christian Zionist Jan Willem van der Hoeven presents the following overview. While far from exhaustive, it nonetheless provides a succinct and sound historical basis, which anyone wanting a real peace built on truth and justice should include in their considerations.
Jews lived down the centuries, since more than 3000 years ago, all over the land of Israel, especially in Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. Since the Muslim invasion of the holy land in the 7th century, Arabs also lived all over the land.
During the last 2000 years the Land of Israel was also known as 'Palestine' - the name given to the Roman Province of Judea by the emperor Hadrian. However, no part of this land was ever part of a Palestinian state; no such entity catered to the Arabs who lived here with the Jews from AD 635 on.
The last century opened with the land still occupied - as it had been for the previous 400 years - by the Ottoman Turks as part of their empire. This occupation ended after the Turks' defeat at the hands of British General Edmund Allenby.
Thereafter the British took control, in 1923 occupying and governing the land under a mandate given them by the League of Nations.
Earlier, in 1917, British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour had issued the famous Balfour Declaration, which sanctioned the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their ancient national home in this land. The declaration stipulated that the Jews would have the legal right to establish their homeland in what was once their country and, by divine decree, their inheritance.
On learning of the improved conditions in the land, many Arabs from Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon etc. began to immigrate. They were thus not part of the Arab population that had earlier occupied the land, but were "new immigrants" from other Arab states. This Arab influx was well documented by Joan Peters in her book "From Time Immemorial" (Re-Published by JKAP Publications in 2001).
The same period saw a parallel wave of Jewish immigration out of European and Arab lands. This the British first permitted, but then restricted out of fear of offending the Arabs. The British White Paper (1939) sought to limit this Jewish influx in a cruel and unrighteous way. Even as Hitler's death camps were accelerating their murderous work, Europe's Jews were forcibly held back, or re-deported; put in concentration camps in Cyprus or sent back to Europe from where they had come.
Finally the United Nations, seeking a fair solution, proposed and in 1947 voted in favor of the famed Partition Plan. It stipulated that one half of Palestine - an indefensible strip of land plus the inhospitable Negev Desert - would be allotted to the Jews. The other part would be allotted to the Arabs living in Palestine - specifically in that part of Palestine that included the ancient biblical, Jewish land of Samaria and Judea.
The Arab nations rejected the UN offer. The Jews accepted and, in May 1948, proclaimed the rebirth of their national home on the part allotted to them. Five Arab states attacked, calling on the Arabs inside Israel to flee so that they could finish off the newborn state in its indefensible borders. Thereafter they, the Arab refugees, were to return and take possession of all Palestine.
This has always been the goal of the Muslim Arab leaders, and the poor Palestinian Arabs have repeatedly allowed themselves to be used as pawns in the hands of their Arab brothers and masters, to their own detriment and disaster.
Miraculously, as we now know, little Israel overcame this Arab onslaught despite being massively outgunned. The resulting ceasefire established the armistice lines, which became the de facto borders from 1949 until June 1967. In an act deemed illegal by the entire international community except for Britain and Pakistan, Jordan moved swiftly to annex Samaria and Judea, including the eastern part of Jerusalem with its Old City. Jordan renamed these areas the "West Bank," a name the rest of the world subsequently embraced.
It must be noted that Jordan never sought to solve "the Palestinian problem" by handing that territory over to Ahmed Shukairy, the leader then of the Palestinian Arabs, predecessor of Yasser Arafat. On the contrary, those Palestinian Arabs who were actively struggling for independence were arrested by the Jordanians, who beat and otherwise tortured them in an attempt to terminate their efforts.
Nor must we forget that, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed and instituted under Shukairy in 1964 - three years before the Six Day War - the so-called West Bank was in Arab, that is to say Jordanian, hands! The Palestine they sought to liberate - and this was the PLO's declared main goal and purpose - was not the "West Bank" but all of Israel!!
The P.L.O. was not named the H.P.L.O. - half of Palestine needs to be liberated, no. All of Palestine!
During the 19 years of the Hashemite kingdom's illegal occupation, the world's nations never pressed Jordan to solve the Palestinian Arab problem. King Hussein was never pushed to make room for the Palestinian Arabs to have a state of their own in the West Bank. Only after Israel liberated these parts of the Jews' ancient homeland in a war of self-defense did the world come to the rescue of the "poor Palestinians".
When Israel was threatened and then attacked in the 1967 war - with battles poised to erupt on the northern front with Syria and with Egypt in the south - the Israelis sent as envoy to Amman a top United Nations official to plead with King Hussein not to join in the hostilities. The Jordanian refused and launched his attack in Jerusalem. Thus did Israel, in that Six Day War of self-defense, take hold of all the territory that Jordan had illegally occupied from 1948.
It was, after all, the Jews' historic and biblical land, the cradle of their nationhood. Hence it was that many Israelis saw this as an act of liberation! The mountains of Judea and Samaria, where the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had walked; the Old City, where Israel's two temples had stood; where the prophets had made their proclamations and sounded their warnings; where Jesus had His bar mitzvah; where the Jewish Apostles taught and performed miracles - Jerusalem was back in the hands of the people God had called His people; the people to whom He had given THIS land as an everlasting possession!
Never, then, did the Palestinian Arabs ever own a country or territory that was taken from them by force of war and then occupied by a foreign power. Never.
For there has never been a Palestinian Arab state!
The historical FACT is that the Muslim Arab world, in collusion with the Palestinian Arab leadership, has concocted the fable about Israel occupying "Palestinian" land. It is an easily refutable lie. But it has been so frequently and persistently repeated that it is today believed by the whole world, even by many duped Israelis.
But then, people say, you cannot turn back the clock. In other words, we are now forced to live with this deception which, rather than resolving the conflict, is prolonging it.
The Arabs, having produced this Palestinian problem in order "to solve the Jewish problem" in their Muslim midst - by obtaining Israel's withdrawal, first from Judea and Samaria, and then its ejection from the rest of "their land" - do not believe that Israel has any historic or legal right to this territory, not even to the Jews' most holy piece of it: the Temple Mount.
It is for this very reason that even PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) refused to make peace with a democratic Jewish State of Israel. Because a democratic Jewish state has no right to exist in a "purified" Muslim Middle East!
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua