So history repeats itself. For the 50 years I have lived in Israel, every single new U.S. president has made one of his top-priorities the goal of solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and bringing peace to the Middle East. And who doesn’t want peace? The Israeli people are desperate for peace. And I’m sure many Arab citizens also yearn for peace.
As President Donald Trump tries his hand at this ultimate peace deal, hopefully his advisors are supplying him with accurate briefs on the subject of “whose land is this?” Certainly, for every Bible believer, it is worth spending a few minutes to review the historical facts.
Yes facts, not fiction. Genuine historic documents—instead of the fake history that was first propagated by terrorist Yasser Arafat and now disseminated by all Palestinian leaders. Their rewriting of history has been phenomenally successful. Today the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims and almost all world leaders have accepted the “Palestinian narrative.”
Perhaps the only group of people who are currently open to the real facts will be Christians who are truth-seekers and their understanding is based first of all on God’s word. So here goes: Mohammed never visited Jerusalem and did not consider it important enough to mention in the Quran even once. Mecca is mentioned, but not Jerusalem. The Quran does refer to the children of Israel and states that the Promised Land belongs to them.
Quran, 17:104 : “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: Dwell securely in the Promised Land.” Quran, 5:20-21: “Moses said to his people … O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you.”
Some twenty-five hundred years before Mohammed was born, Abraham talked with his God who promised him the Holy Land long before any other current world religion was conceived. The Jewish Holy Temple stood on Mount Moriah 1500 years before Islamic warriors spread across the Middle East ultimately conquering great swaths of the earth and forcing Islamic conversion on its citizens.
BEFORE THERE WERE MOSQUES
But when Yeshua walked on the streets of ancient Jerusalem there were no mosques nor churches there—only the Jewish Temple and nothing else. King David himself purchased the land on which the first Temple was built in the 10th century BC. The Bible records the deed, the name of the previous owner, and the purchase price:
Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price … So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.
Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
The Temple Mount was purchased by a Jewish King for the Jewish people.
THE YEAR 1517AD
But allow me to skip over hundreds of years for the sake of brevity, to the year 1517 when the Ottoman Turks conquered the Holy Land and ruled for exactly 400 years.
The land was so barren and unimportant that it didn’t begin to approach the concept of a nation state with borders. One traveler, Charles Thompson in 1744 wrote, “I shall henceforwards, without Regard to geographical Niceties and Criticisms, consider myself as in the Holy Land, Palestine or Judea; which Names I find used indifferently, though perhaps with some Impropriety, to signify the same Country.”
When the Allies defeated the Turks in 1917, the British and French carved up the Middle East between themselves: France agreed to administer a mandate over Lebanon and Syria. Britain governed Iraq and the Holy Land—the latter they referred to as “Mandatory Palestine” (although rich Syrian absentee landlords and rulers saw the land as Southern Syria). Palestine then became the area’s common name.
THE MANDATE DID NOT GIVE BRITAIN SOVEREIGN RIGHTS
It must be understood that the British Mandate which was validated by the League of Nations (forerunner to the UN) did not give the British sovereign rights over the Holy Land. In fact, the Mandate specifically and only appointed Britain to support the creation of a Jewish state! Yes! Read the Mandate.
While all non-Jews living in Palestine were assured civil and religious rights, the Mandate did not mention the word “Arab,” much less “Palestinian.”
Indeed, the Mandate stated that Britain would be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 21, 1917, [i.e. The Balfour Declaration] which declared Britain’s intention to help the Jewish people establish a homeland for the Jews. As for the former owners of the Holy Land’s “state lands,” the Ottoman Turks showed no interest in repossessing their lost lands in Palestine. So to whom did the land belong?
The rest of the Mandate’s story is all down hill. Britain decided to ask the League of Nations to detach [separate] the land east of the Jordan River from the very Mandate which was supposed to create a Jewish nation. In other words, it asked the League to exempt three-quarters of the land mandated for the Jewish people in order to give it to the Arabs. This in spite of Article 5 of the Mandate which specifically stated: “The Mandatory [Britain] shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.”
TWO STATES FOR TWO PEOPLE
Bending to Britain’s request, The League of Nations (which became the UN) did create an Arab state, called it Jordan and then handed it over to a Saudi emir. Now look closely! The British high commissioner in Palestine explained they were simply creating two states for two peoples “a Jewish National Home in Palestine west of the Jordan [River] and a separate Arab entity in Palestine east of the Jordan.”
Anyone who knows Middle East geography would understand that the commissioner was saying that there would be two states for two peoples: the area where the nation of Jordan was created would be the state for Arabs. The area on the west side of the Jordan would include all of modern Israel and all of what is called today “occupied Palestinian territory.”
So the British did create a “separate” Arab entity called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But Allah demanded the entire Holy Land. The Arabs’ rioting continued for years, killing both Jews and British soldiers, while insisting that there would be no Jewish state. Finally an exhausted Britain gave up and turned the whole mess over to the United Nations.
THREE STATES FOR TWO PEOPLES?
The UN divided up what was left of the Holy Land into a second Arab state (which would be in Judea and Samaria) and a Jewish state. The Jewish leadership accepted the UN plan for the establishment of two states. The Arabs rejected it out of hand.
Indeed, the area allotted for a second Arab state (west of the Jordan) was rejected by all surrounding Arab states. A day after Israel announced their new state in 1948, the Arab nations launched a war of annihilation against the Jews. Miraculously, newborn Israel survived and even expanded its UN designated borders.
In this war to destroy Israel, Jordan’s army overran and occupied Judea and Samaria (where a second Arab state was to have been planned) plus East Jerusalem. The only two countries that ever recognized Jordanian sovereignty were Britain and Pakistan! Though Jordan annexed what is called the West Bank in 1950, it was never recognized by the international community. So, again, to whom did the land belong? Remember, at that time there were no “Palestinian people.”
Sixteen years later, when Jordan, Egypt and Syria stood ready to attack Israel again, Israeli forces executed a preemptive strike and conquered Judea and Samaria and ancient Jerusalem in what is known as the Six Day War. (Israel also pushed Egypt out of Sinai and Gaza, and Syria out of the Golan Heights, but that’s for another story.) But here is the question again. To whom did Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem belong? Jordan? Britain? The Turks?
One thing is for sure, the land didn’t belong to any Palestinians because, as we know, at that time there were no Palestinian people. Notice that in the UN-proposed division of the land, and all the documents up to the Six Day War, there was mention only of Arabs; not a Palestinian was to be found!
Today, this newly created people-group is determine to conquer the entire Holy Land including East Jerusalem, but they really have no justified legal claim to it, having never ruled it. In fact, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any nation throughout history, except Israel. Furthermore, how can Israel be occupying another nation’s land since there has been no recognized sovereign entity in the Holy Land west of the Jordan River since the Ottoman Empire? And as we have seen, the Turks now for a hundred years have shown no interest in reclaiming it.
JORDAN ABDICATES RIGHTS
When Israel signed a peace agreement with Jordan in 1994, King Hussein, the former occupier of land mandated for a Jewish state, asked of Israel two conditions: the first was a promise that the Jordan River would continue supplying water to the people of Jordan. No problem. Israel agreed.
The second condition was that the Jordanian army would continue guarding the east bank of the Jordan River (Jordan’s border) but that Israel, not Jordan, would guard the west bank of the Jordan including Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. Therefore, the king of Jordan waived any legal rights his country might have claimed.
Even when the Jordanians did occupy Jerusalem, from 1948 to 1967, they never considered making it their capital. I myself visited Jerusalem in 1959 and 1965, and the Jordanians had left it a backwater, poverty-stricken village, while the Jordanian King ruled in his capital of Amman.
What will it take for the nations to acknowledge that no other nation has ever made Jerusalem their capital? Believe it or not, the one and only source for the Muslim’s claim to Jerusalem and the site of the Temple Mount, is a mention in the Quran of a dream that Mohammed had about an unknown “far distant place.” As one author asked, “Can any Muslim in the world produce any credible evidence for Islamic connection to Israel’s Temple site, other than in Mohammed’s dream?”
The best reference for understanding the Muslim-Arab mentality and its politically-motivated falsification of history is Mohammed’s own advice to his followers: “War is deception.” In the feckless mandate, Britain and then the UN “solved” the problem of Jerusalem by declaring it an “international city.” But the Arabs would hear none of it. The idea was a dead letter from the start. Israel captured its ancient capital back from Jordan in a war with Arabs who fought to eradicate the Jewish state. In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, declaring it to be the undivided capital of the Jewish state forever. Zachariah saw it all: And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
Not a good deal for anyone. We must pray earnestly for President Donald Trump as he looks to make the ultimate deal to bring peace to the Israel-Palestinian conflict by dividing up His Land in order to create an Islamic State. At this writing, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has announced he’s ready to negotiate for peace with Israel.
Yeshua the Messiah said: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down by nations, till the times of nations be fulfilled.”
Not a good deal for anyone.
This article originally appeared in Maoz Israel Report, June 2017, and reposted with permission.