If reports of what is to transpire at the Annapolis Mideast summit are correct, not only is Israel prepared to give up the Temple Mount, divide Jerusalem and hand over Judea and Samaria to terrorists, the Jewish state is also ready to concede the so-called “right of return” to untold numbers of Arabs – many of whom have no actual connection with the land.
I could tell you such a notion is a strategic error. I could tell you it is a result of twisted history. I could tell you it threatens the national security of the Jewish state.
But I’ve said all that before.
Instead, I prefer to tell you what happened the last time the Jews left large sections of their biblical homeland, turning it over to non-Jewish foreigners.
It happened in the first century, beginning in A.D. 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and continuing for decades afterward as the global empire wiped out most of the Jewish presence in Israel.
It’s not a threat. It’s not a promise. It’s not a prophecy. It’s just a fact.
Have you ever wondered why the Holy Land was a wasteland during the 1,800-year dispersion of the Jews that lasted until they returned in significant numbers beginning in the early 20th century?
Have you ever wondered why Mark Twain was so disappointed at what he found in his travels through the area in the 19th century?
Have you ever wondered why, during that period of nearly two millennia, no other people successfully and permanently settled this land that is so much in dispute today?
Rabbi Kohen points out the land suffered an unprecedented, severe and inexplicable (by anything other than supernatural explanations) drought that lasted from the first century until the 20th – a period of 1,800 years coinciding with the forced dispersion of the Jews.
Kohen sees this as a miraculous fulfillment of prophecy found in the book of Deuteronomy – especially chapter 28:23-24.
“And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
“The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
The climate in Israel dramatically changed during this 1,800-period – way before Al Gore discovered “global warming.”
Before the Jews entered Canaan, it was described in the Bible as a land flowing with milk and honey. If you read what Israel’s climate and natural landscape was like from the time Joshua crossed the Jordan right up until the time of Jesus, it sounds like a heavily forested land. There were amazing crops raised by the people who inhabited the land when the Jews arrived.
Sometimes I’ve wondered what happened to Israel to turn it into the dusty, arid land it was when the Jews came back in the 20th century. Until I read that prophecy in Deuteronomy, brought to my attention by Rabbi Kohen, I had no clue.
For 1,800 years, it hardly ever rained in Israel. This was the barren land discovered by Mark Twain. So-called “Palestine” was a wasteland – nobody lived there. There was no indigenous Arab population to speak of. It only came after the Jews came back.
Beginning in A.D. 70 and lasting until the early 1900s – about 660,000 days – no rain.
I decided to check this out as best I could and examined the rainfall data for 150 years in Israel beginning in the early 1800s and leading up to the 1960s. What I found was astonishing – increasing rainfall almost every single year – with the heaviest rainfall coming in and around 1948 and 1967.
Is this just a coincidence?
I’ll be quite honest with you: I don’t think so.
Nor do I think Israel can continue today to make bad stewardship decisions regarding the land bequeathed the Jews by God without consequences – serious consequences.