“I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.” (Joel 3:2)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ intentions to make Jerusalem the Palestinian capital was highlighted again last week when he threatened to file criminal charges with the United Nations International Criminal Court against Israel because of the plan to build 3,000 housing units in a Jerusalem suburb.
Abbas claimed that the housing project was designed to punish Palestinians for obtaining a status upgrade at the UN to non-member observer state.
And while he claimed that Israel’s plan to build housing was an “act of aggression and a red line” that violated “international conventions, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he made no mention that he violated the Oslo Accords by going directly to the UN for state status and bypassing negotiations with Israel.
“Israel wants a two-state solution, but it can only be achieved through direct negotiations,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently.
But Abbas isn’t satisfied with just a two-state solution. He also wants Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
When he returned from the United Nations after the status upgrade, he made it clear to Palestinians that he will continue to work toward full United Nations membership and that he will not be happy until the PA flag is flying over Jerusalem, which he called the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”
Abbas’ true intentions are to divide Jerusalem and make it the future capital of the Palestinians; however, the Jewish People’s roots in that city go back over three millennia and dividing Jerusalem is not on the negotiating table.
“Jerusalem has been and forever will be the heart and soul of the Jewish people. It is also the united and undivided capital of the state of Israel,” Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Barkat emphasized that Jerusalem was never divided by the Jewish People, even though there were 12 tribes.
When the people of Israel left Egypt and came to this region 3,500 years ago, each of the 12 tribes received a piece of land on which they built their cities and developed their ways of life. The exception to the rule was the holy city of Jerusalem, which wasn’t divided or given to any of the tribes.
“Jerusalem served all 12 Jewish tribes equally, as it did the people of other faiths who came to worship here,” he said.
In Psalm 122:3-5 it says: “Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord—to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. There stand the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.”
Jerusalem in the Bible
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” (Isaiah 62:1)
The PA has been carrying out a campaign to wipe away any historical evidence of Jewish settlement within the Holy City or on the Temple Mount, claiming that the Palestinians are the original Jerusalemites and not the Jews.
However, the Hebrew Scriptures mention Jerusalem a total of 783 times.
Jerusalem is found 643 times in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and 140 times in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).
In addition to the hundreds of times that Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible, the Holy City is also referred to many more times by other names such as the City of David, the City of the Great King, and Zion.
Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
Although Arab invaders arrived in the Land of Israel around 700 AD, the Jewish claim to Israel as a homeland goes back over 3,000 years.
As well, the Arab religion of Islam, which combines theology of Judaism and Christianity, was created only 1300 years ago.
That’s a full 1700 years after the Jewish people had already made Jerusalem their capital with the Jewish Temple being their place of worship in their Holy City of the Great King.
Furthermore, no descendant of Ishmael ever claimed any part of the Holy Land for themselves.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 125:2)
For most of its history, the capital of Israel has been undivided.
Jerusalem was only divided for a brief period from 1948 to 1967 when Jordan held East Jerusalem and forced the expulsion of 25,000 Jewish residents from the Jewish quarter of the Old City.
This of course, was all recaptured in 1967 during the “Six Day War” after the Arab nations of Egypt, Jordan and Syria once again invaded Israel on three sides.
God miraculously protected Israel from this overwhelming force. Judea and Samaria (“The West Bank”) and all of the city of Jerusalem were won back, and the capital was reunited.
E1: The Present Controversy over Jerusalem
The controversy involves the area marked as “E1” by the 1993 Oslo Accords, which was signed by Yasser Arafat’s PLO and the Israeli government.
E1, also named “Mevaseret Adumim” (מְבַשֶּׂרֶת אֲדֻמִּים), is a mostly empty area of 12 square kilometers (4.6 square miles) near the Jewish neighborhood of Ma’ale Adumim.
Construction has become an international controversy since it would result in a continuous Jewish population stretching from Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim.
However, E1 is important for the Jewish population because it serves as a link between that suburb and the capital itself.
The area, which likely will remain part of Israel in any future final-status peace agreement, is for the most part uninhabited, although some Bedouin are present.
Previous Israeli plans for construction in the area were frozen in 2009 under international pressure.
Within the heated political environment created by Abbas’ ongoing drive to unilaterally achieve Palestinian statehood, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to move forward with development of the E1 corridor.
Addressing his cabinet, he quoted former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s response to the detrimental UN vote in 1975 that equated Zionism with racism:
“The response to the attack on Zionism and the State of Israel must reinforce and underscore the implementation of the settlement plan in all areas in which the government decides regarding settlement.”
“Today we are building and we will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all areas that are on the map of the strategic interests of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu explained.
Only zoning and planning for the area will be proceeding for now, and actual construction is years away.
The Palestinians are erroneously claiming that building in E1 would cut the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem off from the remainder of the West Bank.
They claim this plan is intended to end a two-state solution and interferes with the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian State, though any look at a map reveals that this is simply not so.
“If Israel begins construction, we will not be patient,” Abbas said. (YNet)
The Messiah Will Return to Jerusalem
“I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.” (Ezekiel 34:13)
In these end times, we should not be surprised by international pressure mounting against Jerusalem as they condemn Israel for plans to build in E1.
The world has witnessed the prophetic return of the Jewish People to the Promised Land in fulfillment of Scripture; however, because governments, along with many Christians, do not understand the Bible and Prophecy, they lament the return of the Jewish People, rather than rejoice in their Prophetic fulfillment of the Scriptures.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5–6)
“‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” (Jeremiah 29:14)
“I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 8:7–8)
And though it may well be possible that the United Nations will vote to divide Jerusalem and the Jewish land of Israel, we can be quite certain that in the last days the Third Temple will be built and Yeshua (Jesus) will return to the Mount of Olives and rule as the Jewish Messiah from Jerusalem.
“On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south…. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him.” (Zechariah 14:4–5)
And on that day, which may be very close at hand, the world will come to Jerusalem and submit to Yeshua, the Shepherd King and Light of the World.
“Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)