For many reasons the West risks World War III. We are in danger mostly from surprise events. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne, kicked off World War I. Tensions can flare up unexpectedly.
We are watching pro-Hamas demonstrations and riots around the world. Historical ignorance has been simmering for a century. The "wait and see-ers" have avoided the disputes, hoping they will just go away – but even today more information and more historical understanding might actually help.
If you believed that the indigenous people of a Roman province called Palestine were having their land stolen by European colonialists, how would you feel? What violent resistance might be justified to oppose Jews stealing the ancestral land of Palestinians? If you thought that today's "Palestinians" lived in that land for centuries or millennia, wouldn't you understand people paying any cost to defend their land?
On the other hand, what if you believed that a) the Roman Empire – a brutal, colonizing, conquering empire – invaded Israel and fought with the Jews, ultimately renaming Judea "Palestine" for purely political reasons to advance genocide of the Jews and wipe Jews out from memory; b) no Palestine people ever existed, because Palestine was a politically motivated province of the Roman Empire, not named for any people group; c) another colonizing power of conquest, the Ottoman Empire, took over; d) travelers, historians, journalists, and explorers visiting the Middle East in the 1800s published dispatches reporting that almost nobody lived in the Holy Land, shattering romanticized expectations of Westerners; e) whoever lived in the Roman province, today's "Palestinians" are not their descendants; and f) most of today's "Palestinians" would be unable to point to their great-grandparents' grave sites (legal documents being unavailable) and confirm their ancestry with DNA testing.
TRENDING: Not WWJD, but 'What Will God Do?'
So, it matters. It matters a hell of a lot. What someone thinks about the hotly disputed alternate realities of irreconcilable histories may decide whether simmering anger boils over into a hot war.
Either the Jews are robbing the ancestral land of the Palestinians like Spanish Conquistadors, or the Palestinians are the colonizers attempting to steal Jewish land through fraud and violence. If the "Palestinians" are a ploy hatched after the 1917 Balfour Declaration to block a Jewish homeland, the conflict will look very different.
Which side would you march on after learning that Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Zahir Muhsein, admitted in a 1977 interview with an Amsterdam-based newspaper ("Wij zijn alleen Palestijn om politieke reden," March 31, 1977): "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."
The world's diplomatic agreements from the U.K.'s conquest of the Ottoman Empire to the League of Nations, to the British Mandate, to the United Nations, all agreed that the newly created massive country of TransJordan was to include a homeland for the people claiming to be Palestinians. If Palestinians already have a homeland, why do they demand even more land while destroying Israel?
The most famous, but far from only, observer was Mark Twain, whose dispatches were published in the 1800s by a San Francisco newspaper from a five-and-half month expedition with a church group. They were republished in his book "Innocents Abroad." Twain found that: "Jerusalem seemed 'So small! Why, it was no larger than an American village of four thousand inhabitants.'"
In "Innocents Abroad," Twain records that the area was devoid of inhabitants. He observed:
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent – not for 30 miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride 10 miles, hereabouts, and not see 10 human beings."
Many, many observers reported the same. Yet suddenly, after the 1917 Balfour Declaration floated the idea of a renewed Israel as a home for the Jews, Arabs start appearing everywhere claiming to be Palestinians.
And yet the "wait and see-ers" have spent a century dodging the historical questions and unaddressed disputes. Are modern so-called "Palestinians" the same peoples who lived centuries ago in that Roman province, or are they simply Arabs who swooped in?
Let us start with a powerful but simple issue. Muslims and sympathetic Christians admit that God gave the Levant (four times larger than modern Israel) to the Jews.
The Quran says and so commands Muslims in Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:20-21:
"And mention, O Muhammad, when Moses said to his people, 'O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back and become losers.'"
Therefore, Muslims are actually in sin and defiance against Allah when attacking the Jews in the Israelite homeland.
However, Muslims and Christian sympathizers argue that because the Israelites sinned, God exiled them from Israel and canceled His covenant. First, this would apply to Muslims as well. Why would national sin apply only to the Jews and not to others?
Second, if God wants to punish anyone, God does that. You don't. "For we know Him who said,'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,'says the Lord. And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.'" (Hebrew 10:30) The Bible is explicit that God's covenants are eternal.
Deuteronomy 29:3-5: ... the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it.
Genesis 13:15 states, "for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever."
No one but God can judge His covenant with the Jews. If any group is in sin, better to back away, very far.
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