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Israel, there is still hope

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Author: Marty Martorella 

   I wanted to add my two cents to the whole Israel/Lebanon situation. In my life I have had the pleasure of knowing people from all over the world. In college I was able to make friends Lebanese; Egyptians and Saudi Arabians. I could never understand why there is a hatred of Israel in the Middle East. On one occasion at the health club when I was talking to an Israeli friend another friend who happened to be Iranian joined in the conversation. The only problem was that the Iranian did not know the Israeli or that he was from Israel. OOPS the Iranian made the mistake to say that Israel wanted to rule the world. Here were two good friends, good guys who could have been friends under other conditions, but not now. I found myself in the middle of my own Middle East conflict. I just do not see why there is so much hatred of the Jews.

   There seems to be some confusion about many things to do with Israel and why Christians support it. The world is saying that Israel has lost the conflict, but that presumption is based on the assumption that Israel did not want to bring the UN into southern Lebanon. In fact that might have been their goal all along to have the UN to get a control on the Hezbollah problem. Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker said:

Hezbollah is armed to the teeth and trained in the most advanced technology of guerrilla warfare. It was just a matter of time. We had to address it.

Hezbollah is seen by Israelis as a profound threat—a terrorist organization, operating on their border, with a military arsenal that, with help from Iran and Syria, has grown stronger since the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon ended, in 2000. Hezbollah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has said he does not believe that Israel is a “legal state.”

   Ever since the Israel became a nation again those around her have sought to obliterate her. For the life of me I cannot see why there is such an attitude. Joseph Farah, an Arab-American journalist said;

Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass. 

But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today. Greed. Pride. Envy. Covetousness. No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough. 

Joseph Farah is the editor and chief executive officer of

   Do all Arab people hate the Jews or is it a case of the ruling elite? One of the myths used to inflame people is that the Israelis confiscated the Arab land but actually the Jews bought land from Ottoman and individual Arab landholders. The following is a brief history of how the State of Israel came to be.

Following the Ottoman conquest in 1517, the Land was divided into four districts, attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul. At the outset of the Ottoman era, some 1,000 Jewish families lived in the country, mainly in Jerusalem, Nablus (Shehem), Hebron, Gaza, Safed (Tzfat) and the villages of Galilee. The community was comprised of descendants of Jews who had always lived in the Land, as well as immigrants from North Africa and Europe. …

Consequently, the situation of the country's Jews slowly improved, and their numbers increased substantially. By mid-century, overcrowded conditions within the walled city of Jerusalem motivated the Jews to build the first neighborhood outside the walls (1860) and, in the next quarter century, to add seven more, forming the nucleus of the New City. By 1870, Jerusalem had an overall Jewish majority. Land for farming was purchased throughout the country; new rural settlements were established; and the Hebrew language, long restricted to liturgy and literature, was revived. The stage was set for the founding of the Zionist movement.  (History of Israel)

Following World War II, the British announced their intention to withdraw from the British mandate of Palestine. The United Nations General Assembly proposed the partition of Palestine into two states, an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem to be under United Nations administration. Most Jews in Palestine accepted the proposal, while most of the Arabs in Palestine rejected it.

Violence between Arab and Jewish communities erupted almost immediately. Toward the end of the British mandate, the Jews planned to declare a separate state, a development the Arabs were determined to prevent. On May 14, 1948, the last British forces withdrew from Palestine, and the Jews, led by David Ben-Gurion, declared the creation of the State of Israel, in accordance with the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

Immediately following the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian, and Lebanese forces invaded the newly formed state on all fronts. In a desperate and costly war characterized by use of makeshift armaments and resourceful tactics, Israel eventually repelled the attacking armies, and then advanced its forces to occupy some of the territory set aside under the Partition Plan for the Arabs and for the City of Jerusalem. A cease fire agreement was signed between the two sides, with the current front line becoming the boundary between Israel and the Arab territories. As a result of the 1948 war, Israel controlled all the territory allotted to them under the Partition Plan, much of the territory allotted to the Arabs under the Plan, and half of what was to be the UN-administered City of Jerusalem. The remaining Arab territories were the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; the West Bank was administered by Jordan, while the Gaza Strip was administered by Egypt.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – History of Israel

   What I have learned from this research is that 1) there has always been a Jewish presence in Palestine. 2) That the Jews bought the land from the Arab people. 3) Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian, and Lebanese forces invaded the new State of Israel with aim of pushing them into the sea. From that and other wars started by these same people Israel has gained more land. Why are these people so quick to start a fight and then demand their land back? Does anyone think that had Israel lost that these nations would have given her land back? It would seem to me that before there is any land concessions by the Israelis that all other nations recognize Israel’s right to exist. Whether it is Hezbollah or Al-Qaida using terrorism to wage war on the people of Israel the only just and American thing to do is to stand with Israel.  If there is to be peace it will take all sides to agree to let the others live in it. 

   What should be obviously is the need for diplomacy. Years of blood shed has produced nothing but sorrow. What we need is a delegation made up of American leaders like George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney. Yes, I said Dick Cheney. When dealing with ruthless men you need someone like them to get them to negotiate. If all parties were brought to the negotiating table peace might be able to be worked out. Keep in mind that the big fear of these people is that the United States is about to declare World War Three in the Middle East. They maybe more ready to talk than we realize.

   This could be the one thing to save Mr. Bush’s legacy. He could be seen as the one who brought stability and peace to the region. As it looks now the opposite will be his legacy and that is sad for everyone.

   A misconception by many is that we Christians only support Israel because we think we have to for the second coming to occur. That might be true of a small number of people, but for the most of us it is because we believe that God gave them that land. Keep in mind that Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East. This is based on Deuteronomy 11:22-11:25.

If, then, you faithfully keep all this Instruction that I command you, loving the Lord your God, walking in all His ways, and holding fast to Him, the Lord will dislodge before you all these nations: you will dispossess nations greater and more numerous than you. Every spot on which your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River–the Euphrates–to the Western Sea. No man shall stand up to you: the Lord your God will put the dread and the fear of you over the whole land in which you set foot, as He promised you.

From Parshat Ekev. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.

   No matter what your opinion is on this subject, please pray for peace.