Palestinian Refugee... or Arab Pawn?

 

Biblical history is the history of Israel. It is different from all other histories. It is remarkable, but the Bible alone views history from the vantage point of Israel, especially from Genesis 12 through Acts 8. The prophet Isaiah, for instance, envisioned Israel as occupying ‘the centre of the earth:’ “In that day shall Israel be … a blessing in the midst of the earth.” (Isaiah 19:24.) From Acts 9 through Revelations 3, the focus of the Bible is more on the church, local and world-wide. With Revelations 4, however, Israel resumes the centre stage position and continues as such until the end of the Scriptures. Thus, the vast bulk of the Word of God revolves around Israel, the Chosen nation of God.

Once again the focus of history is back on Israel. If we are to look at the world the way the Scriptures do, we must now view all actions of all peoples from the vantage point of modern Israel. If the Scriptures are the Word of God, and that we constantly affirm, then we must conclude that this is precisely how God views the world. We must understand that much of what God will accomplish on the earth between now and the Lord’s Second Coming is going to be done in and through Israel.

How did Israel become a nation? How did the world get this way? How did Israel get back into the Land? It didn’t just happen overnight. It has been a process, a lengthy one stretching back over 100 years. From this point on we must begin to view all modern history from the biblical perspective. We have to realize that all things are happening in the divine plan to bring about the restoration of Israel and the Second Coming of Christ. Everything else must be considered secondary.

Nearly a hundred years have passed since the Balfour Declaration was announced by the British Government in 1917, and its significance is fading into dim history. However, it was a turning point in the development of Israel. There is no question that God used the Balfour Declaration in the modern restoration of Israel, much the same way as He used the Declaration by the Persian King Cyrus in the restoration of Israel after the Babylonian Captivity. Compare the two documents:

Cyrus… “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying; Thus said Cyrus, king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1 - 4)

Balfour… His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the right and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. November 2, 1917.

In both cases, the governments involved held political control over Jerusalem and the Promised Land, and were favourably inclined to see the Jewish people return to their homeland. In both cases also, there was considerable opposition from local governments in the Promised Land and in the countries surrounding it to the return of the Jews.

In Cyrus’ time, the opposition was led by the Samaritans; in our time the opposition is being led by the Arab Palestinians.

While we are comparing Balfour to King Cyrus, we might also compare Jewish chemist, Chaim Weizmann to the prophet Daniel… It is clear from Scripture that Daniel prophesied the sudden capture of Babylon when he interpreted the mysterious “handwriting on the wall” to the shaken King Balthazar and his guests at the blasphemous party described in Daniel 5. That night the army of the Persian King Cyrus captured mighty Babylon in an almost bloodless takeover through the famous under-the-wall strategy described by the Greek historian Herodotus. The Bible does not say, but it may well be that King Cyrus heard of this remarkable prophecy afterward, and credited Daniel with at least part of the reason for the success of his strategy.

Furthermore, Jewish history informs us that the Jewish leaders in Babylon approached King Cyrus after his victory and showed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, which mentioned Cyrus by name (Isaiah 44:28 – 45 -1). Isaiah had written the prophecy over 150 years before, so the Jewish leaders and King Cyrus were amazed that the venerable prophecy had been fulfilled so literally. All of this would explain why King Cyrus was so willing, indeed eager, to issue the proclamation urging the restoration of Israel and funding the rebuilding of the Temple. His appreciation to the prophets Daniel and Isaiah for his victory may well have played a major role in his favourable attitude toward Israel.

Prior to WW I, Palestine had been ruled by Turkey for many years… During the war, Turkey was aligned with Germany, so Britain attacked Turkey from Egypt through Palestine. It was a dramatic time when the British General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Turks. As the war concluded, Palestine was designated as a British territory. Thus, England had to decide how it was to administer the region, and the Balfour Declaration promising a homeland to the Jewish people in Palestine was the apparent solution to the problem.

A very serious problem, however, was that not only was there a pro-Jewish faction in England led by Foreign Minister Balfour, there was also a pro-Arab faction heavily influenced by “Lawrence of Arabia,” which was making contrary covert promises to the Arabs.

This double-standard in the British government led to much confusion and ultimately bloodshed in later years… Nevertheless, the impact of the Balfour Declaration on the restoration of the Jewish people to the Land cannot be overestimated. It was brought about, in no small measure, by the convergence of Jewish Zionism and British Christian in the persons of Chaim Weizmann and Balfour.

The Balfour Declaration was not just drafted in one day by the Foreign Minister. It was carefully crafted with many revisions over a period of several weeks. It went back and forth between the British Cabinet and various Jewish groups. Some Jewish leaders were concerned that British recognition of a Jewish homeland in Palestine might negatively affect their status as citizens in England and other countries. When they had the wording they considered acceptable, it was sent to President Woodrow Wilson for approval. He was the son of a Presbyterian minister, had been president of Princeton University, and it might be assumed that he had been exposed to the ‘replacement theology’ teaching that was moving across America. At any rate, President Wilson readily agreed to the proposal, and indicated to the British government that it met with the approval of the American government. Thus, at the close of WW I it appears that a minority of Christians influenced the British government… and to a lesser extent the American government, to accelerate the restoration of Israel during the 20th century in cooperation with the Zionist cause.

In ancient times God used political events in the transition of power from Babylon to Persia in the time of Daniel to restore Israel to the Land. Biblical prophecies state that Israel must return to the Land in the last days. Can it be that He used similar political events at the end of WW I to further the present restoration?

At any rate, the Balfour Declaration set in motion an exploding increase from a small trickle to a strong stream as Jewish people began their serious return to the Promised Land. And, many Christians believed that this was the beginning… of the fulfilment of biblical prophecies, and this meant that the time for the judgment of Satan and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth was coming ever closer. It soon became clear that Satan and his willing accomplices were not going to stand by and watch the restoration of Israel and the ultimate Second Coming of Christ to occur without determined opposition.

God’s Hand of restoration begins…the Lord began the long process of fulfilling Ezekiel 37 prophecy of the Dry Bones in the 19th century.

By the end of WW I, Britain gained control of the ancient Promised Land, which they called Palestine, and affirmed the Balfour Declaration. This gave official sanction to the migration of Jews back to Israel, which had already begun. The previous small trickle of migration then became a steady stream of thousands of Jewish people returning to the Land. By the 1920s, a sizeable Jewish presence in Palestine had become an accomplished fact. The long divine process of returning the Dry Bones to the Land was actually under way.

The Holocaust in many ways defies explanation…. There have been many cruel purges and persecutions among human beings throughout the violent history of our planet. Nevertheless, how do you account for the diabolical and intensely systematic murder of almost three generations of Jews in Nazi Germany? Hitler determined to destroy as many Jews as possible, even when the Allied army had crushed the Nazi war machine. To the very end Hitler ordered the death camp personnel to keep on exterminating and cremating Jews. Such fanaticism is irrational and un-imaginable from the purely human perspective!

When you realize, though, that Satan was terrified by the realities of the early stages of a restored Israel, it makes some sense. With his supernatural powers, Satan could mobilize an elite corps of fanatics to gain political control. Once in power, they could proceed with their enormous effort to stop Israel from being created at all costs!

Arabic Islam is the NEW satanic enemy of revived Israel…!

The infant nation’s immediate attention first had to be given to the Arab neighbours, and Arabic Islam became the next tool in the hands of Satan to keep Israel from prospering, now that it had survived the Holocaust to become a nation. The Arab nations did not recognize or accept the U.N. partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections.

BUT, as soon as Israel declared independence… surrounding Arab neighbours declared war on Israel, and in the first months of its existence the Jewish people had to defend themselves with the ’meagre weapons’ they had against an onslaught of the combined armies arrayed against them. The primary motivation behind the Arab objection to the young nation of Israel was religious. This was not just a political matter; it was, in fact, a” holy war” or “jihad.” The Jewish state was ‘an offence’ to the sanctity of the holy sites in Jerusalem and throughout the land, according to their viewpoint.

The only way this could be rectified was by forcibly removing the Jews from the land and pushing them out into the Mediterranean Sea… This was the battle cry in the Arab nations, and a recurring theme ever since!

The fanatical Muslims could not tolerate the idea of an official Jewish presence in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem…. Their Prophet Muhammad’s statement, that ‘two religions may not live together on the Arabian Peninsula’ and this command was carried out by Abu Bakr and Omar 1, his successors; and, entire Jewish communities were systematically slaughtered. The slaughter of Arabian Jews and the confiscating of their properties became Allah’s will.

The first Arabian use of the word ‘Arab’ occurs in the ancient southern Arabian writings… dating from the late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries. In these, ‘Arab’ means ‘Bedouin’ often ‘Raider’ so Muhammad and his contemporaries, the Arabs, were the ‘Bedouins of the desert’ and in their Koran the term is used exclusively in this sense and never of the people living in Mecca, Medina and other cities! This was Muhammad’s new empire and Islam was the national religion and war cry. Muhammad who formed Islam had quickly determined that to gain followers, plunder must be bountiful. So little was the first wave of the Arab conquest… an exclusive product of religious Fanatism, offering the conquered people… either Islam or the sword! Because the ‘Arabian Muslims’ subscribed widely to the Koranic call to ‘make war’… “Upon such of those to whom ‘the Book’ has been given until they pay tribute offered on the back of their hands, in a ‘state of humiliation’ (Sura 9:29).

We must remember at this time of history, most of the Arabian Peninsula, including Mecca and Medina were occupied by JEWS who had fled from Persia to avoid persecution! So there was never such a theory that Arab and Jew dwelt together in harmony. It was mostly Jews and Christians that suffered the blunt of Muhammad’s Islam… and this hatred continued and still continues to this day, and now its Palestinians used as Arab pawns!

Palestinian refugee or Arab pawn…?

Although a politically based mythology has grown up around and smothered the documented land known as ‘Palestine.’ The claim that Arab Muslims “Palestinians” were emotionally tied to “their own plot of land in Palestine” – is an important part of this recent mythology and is an appeal to the emotions that would counter Zionism and will serve as a tactical purpose as a new TOOL in a continual battle against Israel.

But, long before their ‘so-called’ Arab conquest of Palestine, a British Member of Parliament in 1939, pointed out; a thousand years before the prophet Muhammad was born, the Jew, already exiled, sitting by the waters of Babylon, was singing… “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget. If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth; if I do not prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy. (Psalm 137:5 – 6)



 

The Reverend Dr. James Parkes said; that the theme that “gives the Jewish history characteristics which begin by being unusual and end by being unique” is that “the religion that was developing into a universal one- God religion (monotheism) never lost its root in the Land… The Jewry has nowhere established another independent national centre; and, as in natural, the land of Israel is intertwined far more intimately into the religious and historic memories of the people. Their connection with the country has been much longer duration – in fact it has been continuous from the second millennium BC up to modern times… the land therefore has provided an emotional centre which has endured through the whole of their period of ‘exile,’ and has lead to constant returns of attempted returns.

Israel has already become a nation around 1220 BC, nearly two thousand years before the first Arab invasion began... The Jews persistent presence on the land survived periodic attempts to extinguish them throughout their history.

The Palestinians that were in Israel in 1947- 48 … left their homes for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders' calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN Resolution, not a single Palestinian would have become a refugee and an independent Arab state would now exist beside Israel. The beginning of the Arab exodus can be traced to the weeks immediately following the announcement of the UN partition resolution. The first to leave were roughly 30,000 wealthy Arabs who anticipated the upcoming war and fled to neighbouring Arab countries to await its end. Less affluent Arabs from the mixed cities of Palestine moved to all-Arab towns to stay with relatives or friends.

All of those who left fully anticipated being able to return to their homes after an early Arab victory, as Palestinian nationalist Aref el-Aref explained in his history of the 1948 war: The Arabs thought they would win “in less than the twinkling of an eye” and that it would take “no more than a day or two” from the time the Arab armies crossed the border until all the colonies were conquered and the enemy would throw down his arms and cast himself on their mercy.

By the end of January1948, the exodus was so alarming that the Palestine Arab Higher Committee asked that the neighbouring Arab countries refuse visas to these refugees and to seal the borders against them. Meanwhile, Jewish leaders urged the Arabs to remain in Palestine and become citizens of Israel. The Assembly of Palestine Jewry issued this appeal on October 2, 1947: We will do everything in our power to maintain peace, and establish cooperation gainful to both (Jews and Arabs). It is now, here and now, from Jerusalem itself, which a call must go out to the Arab nations to join forces with Jewry and the destined Jewish State and work shoulder to shoulder for our common good, for the peace and progress of sovereign equals.

Once the invasion of the Arab armies began in May 1948, most Arabs remaining in Palestine left for neighbouring countries… Palestinians chose to flee to the safety of the other Arab states, still confident of being able to return. A leading Palestinian nationalist of the time, Musa Alami, revealed the attitude of the fleeing Arabs: “The Arabs of Palestine left their homes, were scattered, and lost everything. But there remained one solid hope: The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea… On May 14, 1948, crowds of Arabs stood by the roads leading to the frontiers of Palestine, enthusiastically welcoming the advancing armies. Days and weeks passed, sufficient to accomplish the sacred mission… but the Arab armies did not save the country. They did nothing but let slip from their hands Acre, Sarafand, Lydda, Ramleh, and Nazareth, most of the south and the rest of the north. Then hope fled.” (Middle East Journal, October 1949) As the fighting spread into areas that had previously remained quiet, the Arabs began to see the possibility of defeat. As the possibility turned into reality, the flight of the Arabs increased-more than 300,000 departed after May 15, 1948 — leaving approximately 160,000 Arabs in the State of Israel!

The Arabs rejected all the Israeli compromises… They were unwilling to take any action that might be construed as recognition of Israel. They made repatriation a precondition for negotiations, something Israel rejected. The result was… the confinement of the refugees in camps! The treatment of the Palestinian refugees in the decade following their displacement was best summed up by a former UNRWA official, Sir Alexander Galloway, in April 1952: “The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the Palestinian refugees live or die.”

Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, little is said about the Jews who had to flee from Arab states… During the 1947 UN debates, Arab leaders threatened them. For example, Egypt's delegate told the General Assembly: “The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries would be jeopardized by partition.”

The number of Jews fleeing Arab countries for Israel in the years following Israel's independence was roughly equal to the number of Arabs leaving Palestine. Many Jews were allowed to take little more than the shirts on their backs. These refugees had no desire to be repatriated. Little is heard about them because they did not remain refugees for long. Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees, 586,000 were resettled in Israel at great expense, and without any offer of compensation from the Arab governments who confiscated their possessions. Israel has consequently maintained that any agreement to compensate the Palestinian refugees must also include Arab compensation for Jewish refugees… To this day, the Arab states have refused to pay any compensation to the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to abandon their property before fleeing those countries.

Ever since Israel’s Independence in 1948, sadly, every Palestinian child is taught at school that Israel never existed… Their school books, maps and teachers, teach them that the Jewish people have taken their land and to hate them for it!

In summary:

Prior to Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jews urged local Arabs to remain in the area, but despite these pleas the majority fled, many heading their own leader' promises that they would return after the Jews were driven into the sea.

Israel's declaration of independence explicitly called on the Palestinian Arabs to participate in building the state and pledged equal rights for all. This promise was fulfilled for the 150,000 Arabs who remained and became Israeli citizens…The rest of the Arab population left Israel and settled as refugees in the lands of their birth, surrounding Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan (including the so-called West Bank) and Egypt (Gaza Strip). Despite billions of dollars in international aid and an entire UN Organization created solely to oversee the Palestinian refugees, their numbers continue to swell even to this day… These neighbouring Arab countries, for their part, made a tactical decision long ago to not build the refugee’s permanent housing or allow them to integrate into society, preferring instead to keep them in camps as political pawns and as symbols of Arab suffering. Today, there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees in these areas?? In the interest of peace, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed a willingness to accept some refugees and the state has already absorbed nearly 200,000 of them; however, the Arabs refuse to negotiate this issue and made clear they consider the refugees a weapon in their continued war against Israel. Israeli acceptance of a “right of return” would amount to national suicide…! The Arab’s couldn’t beat Israel in war so they used the “plight of the Palestinians” solely to flood Israel and thus become the majority and force the Jewish people and Israel into the sea!

The church is meant to be a blessing to Israel! It is when the Church recognizes Israel that the true uniqueness and glory of the Body of Christ become evident. This called-out Body; composed of believing Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:15) during the Church Age, is the highest thing the Lord has created, superior to the universe, all the angels, the nations, and Israel.

We shall reign with Yeshua (Jesus) when He rules the earth (Daniel 7:22, 27).  The angels themselves will study us (1 Peter 1:10 – 12; 1 Cor. 4:9) forever as the greatest exhibit of God’s grace, and we will actually judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). This is our destiny and we, for one, would not trade our position in the Body of Christ! Why, then, should Christians be troubled over what God has promised the Jewish people? Why be jealous over the future destiny of Israel? How short-sighted of us! Indeed, the Church’s finest and most amazing hour will be when Israel is restored nationally and spiritually to the Lord at the Second Coming of Christ.

What more could we ask? So if we are not to suffer from spiritual blindness, we must recognize what the Lord is doing with Israel, not shrinking from it as though our own interests will be overshadowed. Rather, we rejoice in these developments, with full assurance that our own redemption draws ever closer.

We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,

Alf & Julie Saunders 

15th June, 2012



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