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Israel & Christians Today
Biblical understanding about Israel
Yesterday, Friday 23 December 2016, the United Nations Security Council convening in New York passed a resolution condemning Israel's establishment of "settlements" in Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria since 1967 as "flagrant violation of international law". Fourteen of the fifteen Security Council members voted for the resolution. It is the first time the U.S., which abstained, has not used its veto right to block such a resolution.
A "settlement" is nothing more and nothing less than a living, breathing man, woman or child. Although the resolution only condemns Israel's role in enabling settlements to be built (it does not apply to the settlers themselves), in effect, the resolution brands all Jews who have gone to live in the old city of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria since June 1967 as outlaws, beyond the pale, criminals. The resolution is in line with the recent tsunami of Resolutions adopted by UNESCO and the UN General Assembly denying any Jewish connection with Jerusalem and the mountains of Israel.
Yet again the West, by calling these territories "Palestinian", conveniently forgets that it was Arab aggression that evicted the Jews from these territories in the first place in 1948. It is just another example of the preparedness of Western leaders to accept Islamic historical revisionism and to exonerate Israel's neighbours and the Arab Palestinian leadership of any responsibility in the conflict.
This is because it takes the "1967" lines as the boundary of the Palestinian state that the UN is so determined to create. Those lines were created because Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and the Arab Palestinian leaders, rejected the UN Partition Plan of November 1947, and on 15th May 1948 launched a full-on war against the fledgling state of Israel that was intended to drive the Jews into the sea. Had they accepted that plan (as the Jewish leaders did), there would already be an Arab Palestinian state. Instead, they rejected any right of the Jewish people to national self-determination. Just as they had done ever since the Mandate for Palestine was set up in 1920 to enable the establishment of a Jewish national home. That rejection, repeated in 1956, 1967 and 1973, has resulted in almost 70 years of conflict costing thousands of lives. And it is the same basic rejection of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination that underlies this resolution.
By effectively accepting Palestinian claims to exclusive sovereignty over the old city of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and all of Judea and Samaria, the Security Council is undermining the sovereign right of the State of Israel to determine its own borders. There is no other dispute in the world where the UN purports to be entitled to determine the outcome. Yet the nations of the world feel they have the responsibility to resolve this dispute, and the right to determine Israel's foreign policy.
For the people of Israel, the question of borders is not just a question of legal rights, but a matter of life and death. Israel's enemies know that the 1949 Armistice lines are indefensible. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban referred to them as the "Auschwitz lines". If an Arab Palestinian state is created based on those lines, and that state is controlled by Hamas, Hizbollah or any other fundamentalist Islamic regime, the Jewish state of Israel will face certain destruction. Given all that is happening on Israel's doorstep, this is not an unlikely scenario.
By passing this resolution, our nations have again abandoned the Jewish people and sided with their enemies. It is a continuation of 2000 years of arrogance and pride that has resulted in pogroms, persecution and attempted genocide.
As Christians, we are alarmed and appalled but not surprised. We know Jerusalem will be "trampled on by the Gentiles" until the Lord Himself appears (Luke 21 / Romans 11). We know the nations will try to divide the land (Joel 2/3) and come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12-14). And we know we can trust the Lord G'd of Israel to protect His people.
But we refuse to be silent. We must, as Christians, stand up for the right of the Jewish people to determine their own future, and defend the right of the people of Israel to live within secure borders. We also respect the dignity of the Arab Palestinians. But not at the cost of the existence of the Jewish people.
It is our conviction that neither the Arab Palestinians nor the other Arab nations in the region will prosper until there is real peace in the region. Real peace and security will not come through UN-imposed conditions. It will only come when the nations of the world accept the right of the Jewish people, like any other people, to determine their own destiny in the land with which they are so uniquely and deeply connected.