Thursday, June 21, 2007

Israel: A few points of history

I have learned a bit more about Israel's short history since my last post on the subject. Some of the main revelations to me were:

  • Palestine is the West Bank
  • Palestine belonged to Jordan for several decades after the creation of Israel
  • the Palestinian territory was offered to the Arabs by the UN (who didn't own it) after World War II and before the birth of Israel
  • the Arabs declined the offer because it included a coexisting state of Israel
  • the UN never liked Israel, and has consistently (with the help of the US and Russia) persuaded the Jewish homeland to surrender strategic land (even land taken from their enemies because the enemies were using it to deploy attacks and missiles) in exchange for nothing. The UN willingly installed its own forces on several occasions in "buffer zones," but these forces ultimately did nothing
  • since an agreement called the Oslo Accords, Israel has been slowly transferring first civil and then complete power over the Palestinian cities and territories to something called the Palestinian Authority. The first Palestinian Authority was led by Yasser Arafat, who prior to this agreement had been in exile for terrorism (exiled by the King of Jordan for causing trouble). While the Authority was supposed to be freely elected, Yasser Arafat made a rule that only men he approved could run for office. If anyone tried to run independently, they were violently intimidated from running. After Yasser Arafat was (surprise) elected, he put off elections indefinitely. The next elections were for his replacement after his death.
  • Egypt and Syria have frequently been the gateway for enemies of Israel to attack. They usually lost a bit of land in the process which they negotiated back in a few decades or less.
  • in all but name, Palestine is a country of its own, at the pleasure of Israel and the world. For a long time Israel controlled all the land surrounding Gaza and other populated areas of Palestine. Now more and more they are withdrawing.

For more very interesting information and maps about Israel, go to or and Wikipedia's articles on the recent elections in Palestine. (The last is because though the first two websites are extensive, they are not completely up-to-date. Even daily the situation is changing, as Hamas has declared martial law in Gaza and President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the government of Palestine due to a violent coup attempt by the Hamas.

This is all inexplicable to me. Coups and revolutions happen all over the world (alright, none have happened in certain places like the United States for a relatively long time). But how many nations do you know who regularly surrender land and power to those who surrender to them after the losers picked the fight in the first place? And why do we, the United States, continue to aid the Palestinian Authority and encourage Israel to give more land to the bullies, leaving their position less and less defensible?

Finally, what do all these things have to do with God's Word? Israel is certainly a central piece past and present.

To God be all glory.

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