By Ray DiLorenzo
“For those who believe no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.” Joseph Dunninger
There is much disinformation, misinformation, and outright lies going around about the conflict in the Middle East—who took who’s land, who the aggressor is, and why the hatred? Much of this ignorance comes from the universities and the media. A short history is warranted to set the record straight.
For those who are familiar with Scripture, it will be easier to understand. For those who do not understand or believe, it will be difficult at best. I will speak about Scripture because it is so central to what the Middle East crisis is all about. For lack of a legitimate reason for the Arabs’ hatred, one can only turn to the Book of Genesis and Isaiah for an answer. It is a spiritual answer where all truth can be found.
It is no mystery that thousands of years ago, the Jewish people occupied a small region in the Middle East known as Canaan (remember Moses?), then named Israel, a land given to them by God Himself (1250 BC). I could add Judah to the list, but that would involve getting into a Jewish family argument…oy vey!
The land was taken away from the Jewish people by the Romans in 70 AD, during the Siege of Jerusalem. The Romans renamed Israel (or Judah) Palestine. Palestine, from the Greek Palaistinē from the Hebrew Pelesheth, “Philistia, land of the Philistines.” This name was chosen by Rome as an insult, naming Israel after the old enemy of Israel—the Philistines.
Since the Jewish diaspora (dispersal), Israel, or Palestine, has been occupied by both Arabs and Jews. By the 19th century, less than 100,000 people lived in Israel (or Palestine), a third of them Jews. The land was desolate and abandoned for over 1,000 years. It was part of the Ottoman Empire, but that is about all you could say. Mark Twain visited the Holy Land in 1867. His comments: “A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action.” Another one: “I would not desire to live here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.” On the approach to Jerusalem, “There was hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
But God said in his Holy Scriptures that the Israelites would return (Isaiah 11:11), that God would gather the children of Israel back to their homeland.
The Ottoman Empire’s hold on Palestine was weak. The peril of invasion was ever-present. Napoleon in 1799, Egyptian Muslims in 1832-1840, and the Russians during the Crimean War (1853–1856) had all repeatedly threatened to invade. By 1917, when the British took control of Jerusalem, the Ottoman Empire was all but gone. The Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917 by the British government, promised a homeland for the Jews. It guaranteed a Jewish homeland as well as the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish peoples. Israel has done so.
In 1947, UN Resolution 181 divided the land, making provision to offer the local Arabs their own state called Transjordan, about three times the size of what was to be Israel. The Arabs refused the plan and rejected the formation of a new state of Israel. They now demanded the whole region be given to them.
Finally, in 1948, Israel became a nation. The British are never in a rush to do anything. Many Arabs live in Israel today, are Israeli citizens, and hold important positions.
Understand, there was never a Palestinian nation—no Palestinian government, no Palestinian economy or currency, no Palestinian language—nothing. There weren’t any Palestinian people unless you wanted to include the Jews as well as the nomadic Arabs. In all that time, the so-called Palestinian people never demanded a Palestinian state or self-rule. They had been ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Crusaders, the Ottomans, and then the British.
The new state of Israel took 0.2% (2 tenths of 1%) of the Middle East’s land mass, as deserted and desolate as it was. When the Arab world invaded the newly created state, the Arab community was asked to stay and offered Israeli citizenship to help build a nation. Most refused. Instead, the Arab nations offered the Arab refugees refuge and proceeded to invade the newly created state of Israel.
No one ever thought the little nation of Israel was going to win any war with the Arab world. But they did.
When Israel won the war, the Arab nations refused to assimilate the Arab refugees into their countries and then began calling them ‘Palestinians.’ Israel refused to take them back, as they showed themselves to be enemies. Thus, in essence, the Arab world began using the ‘Palestinians’ as a political weapon, the useful idiots of the Arab world, a tool to show the world how ‘inhumane’ Israel is allowing these poor Arabs to wander aimlessly in the desert (my words, but you get the idea). Even now, Egypt has closed its borders, not wanting to take in any Palestinian Arabs. No other Arab country has raised their hands as well. Close brotherhood, huh?
Many Palestinians lived in refuge camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza where the Arab world made them an example of ‘Israeli brutality.’
So, the Middle East conflict is not about the land or the dispossession of a ‘Palestinian’ people. It’s not about refugees, apartheid, or a Palestinian state.
It is only about destroying Israel. But why?
Try to follow this ‘All In The Family’ episode. According to Genesis, God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation and that his descendants would be more than he could count (Gen.15). Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could not give him a child, even though God had promised Abraham many descendants. Thinking she was too old to have children (approx. 75), Sarah chose to give Hagar, her Egyptian servant, to Abraham, believing she could have a family through her in accordance with the custom of the day (Gen. 16:2). Hagar began to treat Sarah with contempt after she conceived. When Sarah complained, Abraham told her to do what she wanted with her. Sarah began to treat Hagar so harshly that she ran away into the desert (Gen. 16:6).
Hagar fled to the wilderness, where God spoke to her about her child:
“...you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Genesis 16:11-12
As commanded by God, Hagar went back to Sarah and bore a son, Ishmael. Fourteen years later, God fulfilled his promise to Abraham, and Sarah (about 90 years old) did give birth to a son, Isaac.
One day, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking the much younger Isaac and demanded that Abraham send the slave girl and her son away and then declare Isaac as his sole heir. Abraham did not want to do it but relented when God told him to do what she said. God had previously chosen to make His covenant with Abraham and He honored it.
Anyone can see that this prophecy has come to pass. Arab nations have fought each other and everyone else. They rely on violence and aggression to subdue their enemies including each other. Their hand is against everyone. The children of Hamas and other Muslim groups are taught from an early age to hate the Jews. They are taught as young as 3 to kill Jews and Zionists—those who support a Jewish state—to shoot them and cut their heads off.
Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, said it so well…“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” The Arabs have become notorious for hiding behind children, using them as shields. As I write this, Israel is asking all non-combatants in Gaza to leave, while Hamas is telling its citizens to stay, knowing that Israeli troops are on the way. When women and children are killed, they mourn in front of the cameras to show the world the evil of the Israelis. Their mission in life is to kill Jews and Christians, and they call Israel an apartheid state.
Their constant call of Allahu Akbar is meant to be confrontational. Almost everyone who has heard it believes it means God is great. It does not. It means Allah is greater.
So, how do we all, as a world community, see the end of the Middle East conflict when the Palestinian Charter calls for the eradication of Israel through armed struggle and the mobilization of Arabs? Please let me know; I’ll submit the plan and put your name in for the Nobel Peace Prize and commission a statue, or would a bust be sufficient?