by Victor Sharpe
I was asked by a friend recently to assist a Christian Zionist lady who had received some anti-Israel propaganda at her church and was perplexed and swayed by the opposing points of view she was reading. I have taken the liberty of using as my title the same one used in the great work of Moses Maimonides who clarified Jewish law during medieval times. I have used only the first letter of the lady’s name and replied to her as follows:
Dear C, Israel is the ancestral and biblical homeland of the Jewish people. Not only is it their spiritual homeland but they are the indiginous, native people of the land. Simply read the Bible. It is not only the word of Almighty God but a remarkable and accurate history book. Though Arab propagandists attempt to accuse Israel of rejecting peace, the facts are that the reborn Jewish state has offered repeatedly to make the enormous sacrifice of sharing its tiny land – no larger than Wales or New Jersey – with its Arab neigbors, but this has been rejected time and time again.
The tragedy is that those Arabs, who call themselves Palestinians, do not want to live in a state side by side with Israel – they want a state instead of Israel. The ultimate tragedy for the world is that wherever the Muslim foot has trod triumphal – as in the 7th century Arab invasion of the Jewish homeland – that land is forever considered in Islam as part of the Umma, the Muslim community, and, if lost, must be recovered through endless war. Thus, while it remains free of Muslim occupation it is considered in the Dar al-Harb, the House of War.
This means that Islam will not permit any non-Muslim state to exist in land the Muslims consider was once theirs. The same applies to Spain and Portugal, which once were conquered by Muslim armies, along with vast areas of France, Italy, Sicily, the Balkans, Southern Russia, Greece – even up to the very gates of Vienna in Austria. All these territories were once invaded and conquered by Muslim armies and must be returned to Islam according to Islamic teaching.
I merely write the above so that you will see that whatever Israel offers the Arab and Muslim world in a heartfelt plea for peace it will always be rebuffed and rejected. The terrible proof of this is the breathtaking concession that Israel made in 2005. It took the immense risk for peace and left the Gaza Strip for the Arabs to begin creating a nascent and peaceful nation, which would hopefully build schools, libraries and hospitals and all the trappings of a civilized and democratic state.
Israel’s government at the time even forcibly removed the 10,000 Jewish villagers from their productive farms throughout the Gaza Strip and left the greenhouses and agricultural infrastructure behind for the Arabs to use. Instead, the farms were trashed and the remaining synagogues desecrated. Meanwhile the exiled Jews still live as refugees inside Israel. Shortly after, the Islamist Hamas organization, which calls in its charter for the slaughter of the Jews in Israel and the destruction of the reborn Jewish homeland, launched a bloody civil war against the Fatah organization and occupied the Gaza territory.
Immediately, Hamas began to fire missiles into Israeli scholls, kindergartens and civilian homes. To date, Hamas has launched over 12,000 rockets into Israeli villages and towns and continues to smuggle in ever lethal and advanced weapons to kill and maim Israeli civilians. Israel’s amazingly risky decision to leave Gaza and help the Arabs to create the beginnings of a viable and peaceful state were torn to shreds by the Hamas and Islamic jihad terror machine, which now has given the world empirical proof that the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians want NO peace with Israel ever.
One vital matter you must also understand is that there has never, in all of recorded history, been an independent – let alone Arab independent – state of Palestine. That word was created and employed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who destroyed the Jewish homeland in 135 AD, and who renamed it Philistia, which morphed into Palestina and Palestine, because he knew that the ancient and hated enemies of the Jewish people were the Philistines and he chose to insult the surviving Jews by changing the name of their homeland thus.
The land remained merely a geographical territory in name only, just as Siberia and Patagonia for example are not independent nations but merely geographical regions. Despite an endless succession of alien occupiers, Jews always remained in the land in whatever numbers they could sustain. Wherever Jews lived throughout the long years of dispersion, Israel was and is always a focal point in the synagogue service. The very agricultural cycles of Israel are celebrated in various Jewish harvest festivals.
No other people has such an inextricable religious and national relationship with the Promised Land; a special place that the first Jew, Abraham, was led to by God and through Isaac and Jacob – not Ishmael – became a special people unto the Lord. In time, Moses, the Lawgiver, led the Jews from Egyptian bondage back to the Promised Land and the biblical narrative proceeds from there.
C, please do not be swayed by emotional claims from the Arab world, and from those in your church who would deceve you as they have themselves been deceived, unless you can find the truth and the proof to back up their statements. Feel free to run them by me at any time if it helps. I will certainly be willing to answer your questions.
Best wishes, and because you want to understand and learn, let me write in Hebrew this honorific:
Kol HaKavod (All honor to you).
by Victor Sharpe