This past Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was given a hero’s welcome as he returned home from Washington.
Hundreds of Palestinian Authority employees and schoolchildren gathered at his presidential office in Ramallah, thanking him for resisting United States President Barack Obama’s pressure to extend the US-brokered peace talks with Israel, which are set to end April 29, 2014.
On Monday, before he left for Washington, similar rallies chanted slogans in his support, urging him not to yield to US pressure to make concessions with Israel for the sake of creating a two-state solution.
Of course, the notion of a two-state solution is nothing new, and the Arabs have rejected it in the past, as well as a Jewish state.
A Pattern of Rejected Two-State Solutions
“I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to My inheritance, My people Israel, because they scattered My people among the nations and divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2)
The idea of a modern-day Jewish state goes back to 19th century Zionism and the writings and efforts of Theodore Herzl, who envisioned the founding of a modern Jewish state in the 20th century.
These efforts are enshrined in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The 1947 UN resolution called for the formation of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State” in the former British Mandate territory, a mandate granted to Britain by the League of Nations following World War I.
That Partition Plan was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs who reasoned that it violated the principles of national self-determination.
Had the Arabs accepted the plan, all of the territory that is now being suggested for an Arab state, including Judea and Samaria, would have been included in the Arab state, and much more.
Instead of accepting an Arab State, the Arab leaders chose to wage war against the fledgling Jewish State, with the goal of taking all of the land for themselves. They lost.
During that war, as many as 100,000 Palestinian Arabs fled to neighboring Arab countries as directed by the Arab leadership of the time. They fled with the understanding that they would return to occupy a defeated Jewish nation. This did not happen as the Arab leaders had promised, resulting in an Arab refugee problem.
Today, the US is attempting to barter an agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis to form an Arab state in this area once known as the British Mandate.
The British Mandate encompassed only one area of the dissolved Turkish or Ottoman Empire. That empire had been large, successful and long-lasting. Before its decline and collapse, it included what are today called Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.
Almost 80 percent of the British Mandate territory has already been turned over to form Arab states. The territory lying east of the Jordan River was handed over to Abdullah I to form the state of Trans-Jordan (Jordan).
With this, the Palestinian Arabs had an Arab homeland, which left the remaining 20 percent of the original Mandate west of the Jordan River for the creation of a Jewish homeland.
The 1917 Balfour Declaration committed the British government to the formation of such a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This declaration was incorporated into the British Mandate.
The Arab leaders, however, wanted all of the land including the remaining 20 percent that lay to the west of the Jordan River, just as they do now.
To achieve this, they launched incessant murderous attacks, the most terrifying of which was the Hebron slaughter of 1929 that killed 67 and forced the relocation of the entire Jewish community and later the 1936–39 “Arab Revolt.”
At first, the British lent support to the Jews, but as greater oil deposits were located throughout the Middle East, they ignored the attacks by the Arabs. The Jews were left with the job of both fighting the Arabs for their very survival.
Once again, the world powers are working to create yet another Arab state in what had once been British Mandate territory.
In order to bring about an agreement, the Israeli side has given in to many Arab demands, the most devastating of which has been the freeing of 87 Palestinian prisoners who have shed the blood of innocent Israeli civilians.
A total of 104 prisoners were scheduled to be released by March 29, but Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said the remaining 17 will remain in prison unless talks are extended beyond the April 29th deadline. (AFP)
In response, Abbas threatened that the PA will bypass negotiations and resume its efforts to achieve statehood unilaterally at the United Nations, in direct contravention of the Oslo peace agreements.
The release of the prisoners is not the only concessions Israel has made to bring about a workable peace: Israel has often stopped construction in the disputed territories, including in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
As a core necessity of a peace agreement, Israel has insisted that Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This they have adamantly refused to do.
And as peace talks approach the deadline, this month the Arab League endorsed Abbas’s rejection of Israel as a Jewish state.
“The council of the Arab League confirms its support for the Palestinian leadership in its effort to end the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, and emphasizes its rejection of recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish state,'” Arab foreign ministers said in a statement in Cairo. They claimed that this demand is designed to “annul the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees.” (Times of Israel)
The Canaanite Connection: Fact or Fantasy?
“Command the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter Canaan, the land that will be allotted to you as an inheritance is to have these boundaries.” (Numbers 34:2)
For political purposes, the Palestinians have gone to great lengths to manipulate the history of the Land of Israel, denying any historic connection of the Jewish People to the Land despite the fact that their history there is well-documented.
They have, instead, manufactured a claim that their own roots go back to periods preceding the entrance of the Children of Israel into ancient Canaan, before Joshua.
Recently, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief peace negotiator, claimed that his family has a greater claim to the land than do the Jews.
“I am the proud son of the Canaanites who were there 5,500 years before Joshua bin Nun burned down the town of Jericho!” said Erekat.
Erekat, however, who was born in Abu Dis, a village near Jerusalem, is part of a family of Arabs who migrated to the area from Saudi Arabia.
But the Canaanite narrative is not the only falsified claim designed to oust the Jewish People from their historical homeland.
In their ongoing effort to produce ancient ties to the Holy Land that precede those of the Jews, Khamal Khatib, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Islamic Movement, once said that the Palestinians are descended from the Jebusites, while Yasser Arafat said that they were descendants of the Philistines.
Middle East expert Rafi Israeli, author of To Whom Does This Land Belong?, said the Palestinians do not actually have roots in Israel.
“They know this very well,” he stated. “And that’s the reason they are trying to invent new roots in the Land. But, as soon as you confront this historical nonsense, Western intellectuals demand acceptance of the Palestinian narrative. They probably do not even care what is right historically. I am warning against any recognition of these so-called ‘historical facts.’ If a lie gets repeated often enough, it becomes truth. We must not remain silent!”
In the words of historian Gershon Nerel, “The West doesn’t understand history and it knows even less about the Bible. The Palestinians first have to decide if they want to be Arabs or Canaanites. They deliberately falsify history and that is an insult to one’s intelligence.” (Israel Today)
The fact is that most Palestinians immigrated to the Holy Land in waves that began in the 19th century.
“The Palestinians are not the farmers who have lived in Palestine for generations, but rather immigrants who only arrived recently. It was only toward the latter stages of the nineteenth century that the country began to blossom thanks to the emergence of a new presence–Zionism–and the amazing results. In 1878, the population of the country numbered 141,000 Muslims who lived here permanently, with at least 25 percent of them considered to be newly arrived immigrants who came mostly from Egypt,” Dr. Shaul Bartal, a Middle Eastern scholar from Bar-Ilan University said. (Israel Hayom)
Around the world, Arab voices dismiss Palestinian land claims in Israel.
Jordanian Sheikh Ahmad Adwan recently stated that the Koran clearly spells out the Jewish claim to the Land.
“Jordan is, in fact, Palestine, but Allah has promised the Land to the Children of Israel until the final Day of Judgment,” the Sheikh said. (Israel Today)
Still, despite these Muslim critics, the Palestinians will continue to lay claim to the Land of the Bible and to refute Jewish rights in order to justify their grand plan for the total destruction of the Jewish state. The real plan is to replace it with a single Arab state.
This goal is in line with the prophecy of Psalm 83, which says, “With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.’” (v. 3–4)
And even though all religions are treated well in Israel, Mahmoud Abbas says he will not honor that good treatment in a Palestinian state:
“We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.” (JPost)
In Defense of Arab Human Rights
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:34)
Palestinian leaders claim that identification of Israel as a Jewish state would endanger the rights of the many Israeli Arabs living there.
This is a baseless accusation since Israeli government protects the rights of all of its citizens regardless of race, creed, or religion.
It is true that demographically Israel is not solely a Jewish state; it is also home to other population groups, including Christians, Muslims, and Druze, among others.
Despite the fact that, or maybe because, the majority of the population is Jewish, the rights of these groups are protected, and they have their own representatives in the Knesset (parliament).
Israel is being called an apartheid state due to its treatment of its minorities, but this is also baseless. In truth, Israel treats its minorities well. Arabs as well as Druze (a monotheistic religious sect) and others serve in all levels of its society with the same opportunities available for all.
Many of those Arabs and Druze support Israel as a Jewish state, understanding that the Jewish nature of the state does not negatively impact their rights to fully participate and benefit as citizens.
In 2010, when the Arab organization, Adalah, proposed a “multi-cultural” Israeli constitution, Nabiah Nasser A-Din, chairman of the Forum of the Druze and Circassian Authority Heads responded: “The state of Israel is a Jewish state as well as a democratic state that espouses equality and elections. We invalidate and reject everything that the Adalah organization is requesting.” (HaAretz)
A-Din said that the fate of Druze and Circassians (an Israeli Arab community that emigrated in the 19th century from Russia to escape persecution) is intertwined with that of the state.
“This is a blood pact, and a pact of the living. We are unwilling to support a substantial alteration to the nature of this state, to which we tied our destinies prior to its establishment,” he added. (HaAretz)
In February of 2007, a Druze politician, Majalli Wahabi, served as the acting President of Israel.
In addition, during the 18th Knesset (2009–2013), five Druze served as parliament members, a disproportionate number for the size of their community—about 125, 000 living in Israel.
Druze is the only non-Jewish ethnic group in Israel that is drafted into the military where they serve in high positions.
In the present Knesset (19th), 12 Arabs serve, one of which is Druze.
As well, many of the doctors throughout Israel’s health system, especially in the Galilee, are Arabs. An Israeli Arab physician, Dr. Aziz Darawshe, heads the emergency medicine department at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital.
There are also Israeli Muslim Arabs serving in the Israeli military, many of whom are women.
Shirin Shlian, an Israeli female Arab soldier said, “Many Arabs and Jews ask me why I joined the IDF. It must be the good education I received at home.” (unitedwithisrael)
Within the IDF, there are entire units made up of Arab citizens. The highest ranking Muslim serving in the military is presently Ala Wahib. He is an operations officer at a key training base.
Wahib sees himself as being an Israeli Arab and a Zionist, saying, “I believe in the Muslim faith, and I will never abandon it, but I think that Zionism is more than a religion. It is something that fully represents my sense of belonging to the State of Israel and to Israeli society, and the immense commitment I have to protecting and guarding the country of which I am part.”
Although many who do not believe God’s Word deny that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish People and insist that the land be divided into two states, God is the ultimate Zionist. It is He who is calling His people home.
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain…. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore He would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” (Deuteronomy 1:6–8)
The modern-day state of Israel is proof that God never changes and that He loves the His people. It is also an indication of the soon return of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land…. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” (Ezekiel 36:24, 26)