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The Bible in the News
The Nations United Against Israel
The gathering storm.
Sunday, December 25, 2016  Audio & Print versions

The United Nations resolution against the Israeli settlements, made possible by the abstention of the United States from the vote, claims that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under International law. This includes East Jerusalem, the Jewish Quarter in the Old City and the Western Wall. The passing of the resolution caused outrage throughout much of the Israeli government and public. What this resolution in effect says is that it is illegal for Jews to live in Judah. It in effect says that Jews who live there must be deported. Hitler would have supported it too.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have no doubt that the Obama Administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the texts, and made sure it passed.”

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett said, ""We have already tried the Left's path, now the time has come to try the path that we're offering- sovereignty. Take the maximum amount of territory with the minimal amount of Palestinians. We'll hand in a a bill regarding Ma'ale Adumim first”.

This claim of illegality is based on the "Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”. Israel would have to be defined as an occupying power and based on that definition, according to the convention, Israel would not be able to deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

In order for Israel to be an occupier, the question is, whose land are they occupying? The other question that arises, is whether Israel has historical claims to the territory under question?

The Jewish Settlement of Eli in the West Bank Area of Benjamin

The Jewish Settlement of Eli in the West Bank Area of Benjamin, just south of Shiloh.

Whose land is Israel occupying?

The first thought would probably be that the territory belongs to Jordan. However, Jordan has no legal claim to the territory. Jordan occupied the land from 1948 until 1967. They annexed it in 1950, but this was never recognized as legitimate. In the historian Martin Gilbert’s book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, he wrote,

“Transjordan itself had been transformed, with the annexation of the West Bank, into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But Abdullah’s occupation of the West Bank of the river Jordan, and the high ground of Judaea and Samaria, including Nablus and Hebron, was not recognized by the United Nations; only by Britain and Pakistan. The name ‘Jordan’ became, however, within a short time, the accepted name of the enlarged State.”

If Britain still had the authority granted it by the League of Nations, when the land was under the British Mandate, their recognition of Jordan’s annexation may have held some weight, but the fact is they didn’t and Jordan’s annexation was not recognized.

Before the State of Israel, the land was under the British Mandate and no one would entertain the idea that the British had any sovereign rights to the land today. Before the British Mandate the land was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. The fact is that, no sovereign nation besides Israel has any greater claim to the land of Judaea and Samaria, the area that has come to be known as the West Bank.

1967 - A War of Aggression

In the June 1967 war, it was Jordan who attacked Israel, not the other way around. So Israel took the area of Judaea and Samaria in a defensive war. This, combined with the fact that Jordan’s annexation of the area was not recognized and that no other sovereign nation exists which has a claim to the territory, makes it impossible to claim that Israel is an occupier. Unless, it could be proven that Israel has no historical or other claims to the area of Judaea and Samaria.

Historical Ties

This should hardly need to be established, to claim that Israel has no historical roots in the area of Judaea and Samaria would be absurd. Yet, today this is claimed! On April 15 of this year, UNESCO adopted a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. The Jerusalem Post reported:

"UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris on Friday adopted a resolution whose language ignores Jewish ties to its holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City.”

The report stated that, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the move as another “absurd” UN resolution.” Netanyahu said,

“UNESCO ignores the unique Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, the site of two temples for 1,000 years, and the place to which Jews prayed for thousands of years, The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and proving that there is no low to which it will not reach.”

Constantly archeological discoveries are brought to light proving again and again the Israeli Jewish connection to the land. The Dead Sea scrolls, which contain the founding documents of the Jewish nation, written in Hebrew were discovered in the area known as the West Bank. To deny the Jewish, Israeli connection to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Hebron, Bethlehem, Bethel, Shilo, Shechem and many other places in Judaea and Samaria is a complete denial of history.

In modern history, before the state of Israel was established, there were a number of Jewish communities in the area now known as the West Bank. There was an old Jewish community in Hebron that had been massacred by the Arabs in 1929, any survivors were expelled by the British. The Gush Etzion Settlement Block just south of Jerusalem near Bethlehem, were destroyed in the war of independence, most of the inhabitants were massacred by the Arabs. Of course Jews had been living in Jerusalem for centuries and praying at the Western Wall.

What does the Bible Say?

The prophecy of Joel chapter 3 talks about the time when Jerusalem will be holy and no strangers will pass through her anymore. In Joel 3:17 God says through the prophet,

"So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”

This passage and a number of others in set the context of Joel chapter 3 as a prophecy of the future, when the promised Kingdom of God will be established upon the earth.

This makes Joel 3 a very pertinent chapter for our time, when we read the first verse.

"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”

The great event leading to the bringing again of the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem took place in June 1967, when Israel regained this Biblical heartland in the 6-day war.

In this United Nations Security Council declaration against the settlements, we see the nations of the world coming together against Jewish Jerusalem - against Jews living in Jerusalem and denying their historical ties to the city. This is a complete denial of the Bible and it will ultimately fail. So God will bring the nations down to the mountains of Israel and judge them there for how they have treated his people and for dividing his land.

What does this mean for Israel?

This resolution is was adopted under the United Nations Charter's Chapter 6, and is non-binding and only shows intent and a recommendation.

However, it could cause problems for Israel in the future, with the International Criminal Court in the Hague. This could force Israel to take unilateral actions to change the status of the West Bank territories.

When Israel signed the OSLO accords it recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism, violence, and its desire for the destruction of Israel. On the basis of these accords it could be claimed that the PLO Arabs have the right to sovereignty over Judaea and Samaria. However, they haven’t keep to their statements in the OSLO accords and Israel could easily terminate them. There is also talk of Israel annexing a large portion of the ‘West Bank’ and placing it under Israeli law, the same as the rest of the state.

A Basis for War Against Israel?

Could this United Nations resolution bring the nations against Israel in war? This is in fact exactly what Joel 3 said would happen, as we saw in the first two verses. The prophecy goes on later to say in verses 10 - 12,

"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.”

In this passage, the proclamation to “prepare war”, is from the root to be holy, the idea is to make holy war or consecrate war. So this passage is speaking of a holy war against the Jewish state, no doubt on account of the "holy places" in Jerusalem.

In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, the prophet speaks of a great host invading Israel from the north. They will come down upon the “mountains of Israel” and those that dwell in the "midst of the land”. The “mountains of Israel” in the "midst of the land”, is a clear description of the part of the land known today as the West Bank. The area of the land that is so controversial.

Shortly after the passing of the UN anti-settlement resolution, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, "As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.” We certainly see a very anti-Israel administration on the way out and what appears to be a very pro-Israel administration on the way in.

It seems that stage is being set for some great events to take place in Israel, as we inch very close to the Jubilee celebrations in Jerusalem, commemorating 50 years of the reunification of the Jewish city. The gathering storm sends a powerful message that the time of the Gentiles are drawing to a rapid close!

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be troddendown of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

This has been David Billington with you, for this week’s Bible in the News, on

Printed:  Sunday, December 25, 2016


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