Since 1948 the Jews once again have a nation of their own in Palestine, after 2,615 years! What does it all mean? What’s behind this world-shaking event? Is this the prophesied regathering of Israel back to the Holy Land?
The new nation was born in turmoil, and war between it and surrounding Arab nations flared out immediately. The new nation is a Republic, its president was in America, and it calls itself, officially, “Israel”!
Look at the paradox of contradictions! The Jewish nation, “Israel,” a fact in Palestine today! And yet it isn’t a fact at all but a colossal illusion!
On May 15th, the British relinquished authority and moved out of Palestine, the nation “Israel” moved into power. And yet, this didn’t happen at all but what did happen is that “Israel” moved out and another nation set up rule!
This is not the prophesied great coming exodus of Israel back to Palestine, but man-made blundering and confusion! This is not the restoration of Israel and the peace of the Holy Land, but strife, misunderstanding and bloodshed in open battle!
But why? Why do the Arabs so desperately fight against this new “Israel”? Why do the Jews with such fanatical fervor sacrifice lives and money for it? What is prophesied, and what does this have to do with you?
In 1945 Hebert W. Armstrong (founder of the old Worldwide Church of God) was at the San Francisco Conference to have an interview with Prince Feisal, the leader of the Arab delegation, and the man in charge of Palestine relations for the Saudi-Arabian government.
“Why do the Arabs oppose the presence of Jews in Palestine”? Mr. Armstrong asked. “We do not oppose the presence of Jews in Palestine; we only oppose further and unlimited immigration of Jews into Palestine.”
“But the Jews claim Palestine as their Holy Land,” Mr. Armstrong said. “They believe Almighty God promised that land to Abraham, and that they are the children of Abraham, and therefore that Palestine belongs to them by divine right. Now I understand the Arabs are also the children of Abraham, descended through Ishmael. Do you believe that, and claim the right to possess Palestine on those grounds?”
“We are the children of Abram,” he replied, pronouncing it “Uh-brahm,” with accent on the last syllable, “and we are descended through Ishmael, yes, and Ishmael was the first-born son of Abram and therefore the rightful birthright holder and heir to the land promised Abram. But,” and he emphasized the point, “we do not present our claim to Palestine, or oppose further and unlimited Jewish immigration on those grounds.”
Then he explained the Arab position and he gave Mr. Armstrong an unanswerable argument yet the Zionist director in New York later gave him a sizzling answer to the unanswerable argument!
“Let me put it this way,” the Sheik continued. “How long have you Americans been in California when did your first white men come here?”
“Only some three or four hundred years ago,” Mr. Armstrong replied.
“Exactly! And you have only been established as a government here a much shorter time than that. Now you are still at war against Japan.” (This was in the Spring of 1945) “A considerable number of Japanese had immigrated into California before the war, and established homes there. You did not object or fight against this limited Japanese immigration and residence there, just as we did not, for a long time, against the Jews into Palestine. But now suppose the Japanese wanted to increase their immigration into California, until there would be more Japanese than Americans there, and then they also demanded that you let them set up a new Japanese nation there on your soil. Tell me, would you oppose that? Would you call out your armed forces to fight against it?”
There was only one answer to that! Of course the United States would fight to prevent it, with all the power and resources of the nation; if need be! “Would you think you were right in doing so?” he asked. We would!
“Well,” he explained, “the Arabs have lived in, and had possession of Palestine for thousands of years. Our homes are there. We didn’t object to a few Jews coming into our land. We know they have brought us many benefits. They have brought with them money, energy, industry. Our people have benefited by the additional prosperity and other benefits they have brought us. That we welcomed, as long as they were a beneficial minority in our midst. But now Jewish immigration has been increasing at such a rate that soon there will be more Jews and than Arabs. Now the Jews want to take our land away from us and make it their own nation! That land has belonged to us many times longer than California has belonged to Americans. You say you would oppose and fight against Japanese immigration flooding California with more Japanese than Americans, and taking your fair state away from you and turning it into a new Japanese nation. Well, that is exactly why we oppose further Jewish immigration, and will fight to the last man against the Jews setting up a nation on our land!”
There is his unanswerable argument! Can you answer it? Mr. Armstrong couldn’t! Not during this present world where men set up institutions and ways and customs without regard to the decrees of God. Of course, in due time, when God Himself steps in to take rule away from men and to rule the earth by divine fiat through Christ as King of kings, it will be different. But, from the standpoint of the present time and the present world, Mr. Armstrong had no answer!
“But,” Mr. Armstrong questioned “His Excellency” further, “what about the pitiful condition of hundreds of thousands of persecuted homeless Jews, driven out of Europe by Hitler? Can you deny these poor refugees a home in what they consider as their own ancient homeland?”
“Why should the Arabs be called upon to bear all the burden of sheltering homeless Jews?” he asked in reply. “Why does America and Britain expect us to accept them when you yourselves refuse them? You could absorb them and they would only be a small and unnoticed addition to your famous ‘melting pot.’ But every other nation on earth turns the homeless Jews away from its borders, and then expects the Arabs to take them all into Palestine, where they would then outnumber Arabs and take our country away from us! Is that right? Is that international justice?”
“If only Great Britain, America and all the other nations would quit interfering, and stirring up all this emotional feeling in favor of more and more Jews going to Palestine until they drive our people out, we would have no troubles at all in Palestine. The fires of trouble are being fanned by the interference of other nations and their sentimental and unthinking emotion about Jews becoming a nation in Palestine. Stop all this propaganda and interference by so many nations not directly concerned, and the Arabs and the Jews will get along all right together in Palestine.”
And there, again, he put his finger directly on the source of the trouble so many nations not personally concerned burdening themselves with Palestine!
Do you know the prophesied fate of these nations who interfere in a quarrel not their own? Listen! “The burden of the word of the Eternal for Israel, saith the Eternal. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah (the Jews) and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people (all nations): all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech. 12:1-3).
But what is the Jewish view of this unanswerable argument? Have they an answer to Sheik Hafiz Wabba’s unanswerable argument?
In New York, returning from Europe, Mr. Armstrong spent nearly an entire afternoon in conference at the American office of the World Confederation of General Zionists with Itzhak (Isaac) J. Karpman, Executive Director of the Eorld Confederation.
A young Jewish Palestine labor leader, Hapoel Hatzair, had just arrived in New York from Palestine, and sat in on Mr. Armstrong’s chat with Karpman. He had come to the U.S. on the ship “State of Oregon,” a French ship.
This was an interesting point: Mr. Karman’s father was named Abraham, and he was rather proud to be called “Isaac, the son of Abraham.”
Mr. Armstrong told Mr. Karpman what the Arabian Minister had told him the Arab’s unanswerable argument. And did he have an answer? He had a sizzling answer!
“First, let me state a few census figures,” he said, “so you’ll have the exact relative populations in mind. According to the 1944 official Palestine census, there was a total population of 1,750,000 in Palestine. Of these, 1,100,000 are Moslems, mostly Arabs; 530,000 Jews; 140,000 are Christians; 15,000 miscellaneous.”
(Actually, today 2013, there are about 1,658,000 Moslems; Bedouin Arabs 250,000; Christian Arab 123,000; Druze 122,000 and Circassians 4,000. In the new Jewish nation called “Israel,” there are 6,042,000 Jews and 5,139,000 Arabs
“All right,” said Isaac Karpman, “let’s take the Arabian Minister’s example California-- and see if the circumstances are the same. “Conditions are altogether different. Today the real life in Palestine is Jewish! The real life in California is American, not Japanese. In Palestine today industry, banking, insurance, commerce is 90% Jewish! Only 10% Arab! Agriculture in Palestine more than 50% Jewish! Jews pay 87% of the income tax in Palestine. How much do the Japanese pay in California?
“If a Jew feels he is a Jew,” continued the Zionist executive director, “If he is connected with Jewish people, he feels a connection with Palestine. All Jewish life, through all the history of the Jewish people, has centered around Jerusalem and Palestine.
“All Jewish education has instilled in Jewish people a definite connection with Palestine. From childhood all Jewish boys and girls have been taught of the glory of Jewish people. Palestine is the center of Jewish education, of Jewish religion, of Jewish culture, of Jewish family life, it is the very heart of the Jew! It means his life! To separate our people from Palestine would be to tear our hearts out!
“The basic Jewish law, of family life, of social relationships, of religious life, is laid down by the Sanhedrin, inseparably connected with Palestine. For many centuries our people have been scattered, driven from nation to nation, scattered all over the world, with no national home or nation of our own. But through all these centuries the Jews have felt they were exiled and driven cruelly from their home Palestine! All these centuries Palestine has been, in their hearts, their home from which they were temporarily driven. It is the only national home and center of the Jews! But Palestine has never been the national home, or center, of the Arabs, but just a small part of their territory, just a place where a small part of them have settled and lived.”
“Mr. Wabba’s California illustration is not a fair comparison at all!” “The Japanese have their ancient home in Japan. If such an absurd event should happen as for them to ask for California for a new Japanese nation, such demand would have no basis whatsoever. But we have every basis for demanding Palestine for our home! Or, I suppose he might say the Indians might demand California back as their national home. The Indians were there before the white man. But the Indians had never developed California; the Jews did, and are now, developing Palestine! But the Arabs never did, and are not now, developing Palestine. California never was the center of Indian life, religion, and industry, or any semblance of national life. There is no comparison whatsoever!”
“Now, do the Jews have any real right to be in Palestine today? The Arabian Sheik doesn’t want to base his claims on the Bible, because he must know God rejected Ishmael and gave the land to the descendants of Isaac. But aside from the Bible claim, let us look at our rights in Palestine based only on authority of modern nations, and conditions as of today. Palestine was opened to Jews after 52 nations decided (League of Nations) they had a right to go there and create a Jewish national home in Palestine. And these nations based this right on the Bible, on Jewish history, Jewish life, etc. Fifty-two nations give us that right!”
“We have brought prosperity and progressive life into Palestine ample employment, highest standard of living, good health, and removal of swamps and malaria which killed so many Arabs before we went back there. We brought all these benefits and blessings to Arabs as well as to Jews.”
“Prior to World War I, there was no independent Arab nation! All Arab peoples were under Turkey! After World War I the Arabs got independence Egypt, Saudi-Arabs, Yemen, etc. They are still just deserts, and just backward, undeveloped people, but they were made independent! They didn’t contribute anything to the war, but they got independence!”
“The Jews participated in the war in the U.S., British and other armies played an important part. There was a special Jewish Legion in World War I and yet all our people got out of it was the right, by 52 nations, to have a national home in Palestine!”
“Now look at World War II. A million and a half Jews participated in Allied armies. The Palestine Jewish Brigade fought in the desert, and in Italy against Rommel. It was help supplied by Palestine Jews which actually turned the tide of the entire war in the Allies’ favor at El Alemein. One of our greatest war correspondents wrote a book about Jewish participation, called ‘Our Forgotten Ally.’ Yes, America and Britain seem to have forgotten their Jewish ally! But now what did the Arabs do? Arab leaders brought the Nazis into Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. The British had to force Egypt to change its government from pro-Nazis to King Faruk. No Arab country declared war, or entered the war, against the Nazis, until three months before V-E Day and then only to get a place in the United Nations!”
“Arab leaders from Palestine, Iraq and Syria flew to the side of Hitler in 1941-42, and worked with him and helped him slaughter Jews! The British have brought back to Cairo the Arab Nazi leaders who worked with Hitler in Berlin through the war.”
“After this last World War, the Arabs got additional new independent nations out of it Iraq (from Britain), Syria (France) Lebanon (France) and Trans-Jordan (under British and French rule) all given independence and what for? As a reward for helping the Nazis during the war!”
“But what do the Jews get out of it for helping the Allies defeat Germany? When we have these homeless survivors from Hitler’s race-hating slaughter in their present pitiful plight, we get the door to our homeland slammed in our faces! After 25 years of the mandate from 52 nations which said it is the Jew’s right to go back to Palestine, that mandate is exercised by the British fighting against any Jews who try to go there sending these Jews to Cypress and detention camps, placing them as prisoners behind barbed wires!”
And now what has happened? On May 15th the British mandate ended. After 25 hopeless years of trying to keep peace in the Holy Land, the British gave up. The same day the Jews in Palestine declared themselves a nation! They set up a republic. They called “Israel.”
By dawn, May 15th, just a few hours after the “Jewish state of Israel” had been proclaimed, Arab air forces began dropping bombs on Tel Aviv, and the armies of Arab nations began marching on Jerusalem. Thus while Jews in America prayed for the peace of Palestine, the proclamation of “the Jewish nation Israel” was the signal for war between that nation and surrounding Arab nations. There was no ushering in of Peace!
And the Almighty says, prophetically: “all nations that burden themselves with Jerusalem” in that day when “they shall be in siege against Jerusalem” as the Arab nations are now “shall be cut to pieces.”
In God’s own due time the Jews are to be released from their persecutions, their harrowing trials, and re-established within Palestine in peace! But this is not that prophesied regathering of Israel! This is merely a blundering human effort to do for themselves, before the time, what they will have to wait for God to do for them.
The setting up a nation of Jews, and calling it “Israel,” can and will only lead to more bloodshed and more troubles.
In the first place, the new nation that has declared itself in Palestine is not Israel at all it is only a part of Judah!
When the great prophesied Exodus occurs, it will be Israel and Judah together. And they will not do it in their own defiant, embittered power and strength they will be taken back, by Christ after His coming, from a condition of slavery and from the land of their enemies (Ezk. 39:25-27). At that time they will take captive their captors, and rule over those who had been ruling over them (Isa. 14:1-3; Jere. 30:16; 31:11). It will be a greater Exodus than the typical one under Moses; this one will be under Jesus Christ at His return (Jere. 23:7-8)! They will go back to Palestine weeping, confessing their sins, lothing themselves for having ignored and transgressed against God, seeking the Messiah whom they have rejected (Jere. 50:4-5; Ezk. 20:34-43). They will then be converted, changed from sinners into Spirit-filled people living by God’s laws (Jere. 50:19-20; Ezk.36:24-28).
The Jews in Palestine, and this new nation, fulfill none of those prophecies!
Most people today do not seem to know that the Jews are not Israel but only a part of “Judah.” The first place in the Bible where the word “Jews” occurs, the Jews are at war against Israel (II Kings 16:6).
Four whole books of the Bible are devoted to showing the historic difference between the two nations; Israel and Judah There were 12 tribes of Israel, originally. But after Solomon died, the nation Israel rejected her king, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and made Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, king. Then the one tribe of Judah split off from the nation Israel, and formed a new nation of their own in order to retain Rehoboam as king. This new nation was called the Kingdom of Judah. The tribe of Benjamin, and the large portion of Levi, then joined Judah, leaving the Ten Tribes in the nation of Israel.
Palestine belongs, by divine grant, to Abraham and his descendants. But God rejected Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, from the promise. It passed on, instead, through Isaac. God also rejected Isaac’s eldest son Esau, after he had under valued the birthright, and sold it to Jacob for a bowl of red soup. The Turks are the children of Esau, and so they too, have always felt Palestine belonged to them. But it was given to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. But then how was it passed on down? The dying Jacob passed the birthright and possession of Palestine on through the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph (Gen. 48:4-5, 15-16). Jacob named his name (Israel) on them Ephraim and Manasseh. It is their descendants today, the American and British people, therefore, who are truly the national Israel. The Jews come from Judah, and belonged to the nation Judah, not the nation Israel!
But what a muddle! The Arabs believe Palestine should be theirs because they are descended from Ishmael. The Turks want it because they come from Esau. The Jews want it because they come from Jacob, through Judah.
Yet it belongs to none of them by divine right! It belongs to Great Britain and America, into whose hands God placed it, but who have been so valiantly trying to get rid of it! What a hot fire brand it is! It may yet set the whole world on fire!