This is the Bible in the News, and this is Paul Billington speaking about it.
In Israel today, 600 French Jews arrived as new immigrants to the country. They are mainly religious Zionists who see the Hand of God at work in the restoration of Israel. At the same time the Olmert Government is hosting representatives of Arab Governments with the purpose of talking about giving away land in exchange for peace. In short, this means pulling out of the West Bank and handing it over to Palestinians, just as was done with the Gaza Strip--and we all know how that ended up. Hamas is now the ruling terror in that land!
So many in Israel are concerned about the future of their country. It seems as though we are approaching a watershed--a line in the sand--which could affect the future of Israel.
Perhaps the time has come when Israel’s place in the Holy Land must be confirmed and accepted. It is time to face up to the real issue that lies at the root of Israel’s existence, and initiate public discussion about it.
Who does not know that the ancient prophets saw visions of the restoration of Israel? Are world leaders such as George Bush, Tony Blair, George Brown, Ehud Olmert and the pope, ignorant of what the prophets have spoken? Do the Arab leaders not know of it? Can these people be unaware of what was written over 2,000 years ago and is yet still in print? "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock." (Jeremiah 31:10. King James Version of 1611; it has been around for a long time!). For over a century the world has watched Jews returning to their ancient homeland in the Middle East, often in the face of hostile opposition; yet the words are before us and declare:
"I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 34:13,14).
Believe it or not, these "mountains of Israel" happen to be Judea and Samaria, the Biblical heartland; the so-called West Bank. Due to the circumstances that arose in 1967 when many nations decided to wipe Israel off the map, the Jewish people found themselves in control of these "mountains of Israel" and of "Judah and Jerusalem," and so began to settle there. The prophets, no doubt, would be highly delighted to see their words coming to pass! Now it is obvious that God has brought these Jews back to their land (and for the second time, Isaiah 11:11), So why do we witness a senseless and squalid war against religious Jewish settlers today? Why try to resist His will? If they want to live in this Land why seek to prevent them from doing so?
The debatable argument is that this is Palestinian land; that Jewish settlement is neither practical or legal. Are we to understand then, that the Promises of the Almighty are of no account? That although these Promises have inspired hope for centuries, they must now be discounted? If people want to live in those lands due to their religious convictions why not let them?
Palestinian land? Impractical? This is sheer hypocrisy and falsehood! It is surely time to cut out the perfidious spins and face the situation honestly. Put it to the test! Scrub the spurious label "Palestinian land"—let’s just call it "God’s Land" (which is only a minor shift from "Holy Land"). Can you take God’s Land and apply a "two-state solution"? Give half to God and half to the devil?? Ever since the British partition of 1922, the "two state solution" has been no solution at all. It has proved to be a "no-go." It has never worked. What is the real objective here? Is it to find a real solution, or is it to appease some Arabs and Christians by clearing Jews out of the Biblical lands? The pope never wanted them there to start with!
Now, if generously inclined nations wish to give billions of dollars to the Palestinians; let them do so. But instead of giving the cash to a corrupt and incapable Palestinian leadership, divide up those billions as personal payments (compensation) to anyone (Jew or Arab) who is willing to leave the area. Let us find out who really wants to live in these Bible lands, and who does not. There is no need to "divide the Land;" just over-ride any religious Fatwa preventing emigration and provide the cash and removal expenses; and we shall soon discover the truth. The real believers will stay there and the others will leave for a prosperous life elsewhere. Any resort to violence by those who stay would, of course, be punished by permanent and everlasting expulsion.
Evil men, hypocrites and the anti-Bible squad would not like this peaceful solution of course. There are those who would look with horror upon the prospect of a Torah observant Jewish community developing and prospering upon the mountains of Israel. Well, the prophets place before us the alternative to that, which is a continuance of "the controversy of Zion" and the consequent day of the Lord’s vengeance. The world’s leaders must make their choice, but the certainty is "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit."—Isaiah 27:6.
That is the day we wait for; that is the day we watch and pray for. You can watch with us by visiting our site every Thursday. www.bibleinthenews.com or www.biblemagazine.com.