The Land and People of Israel are now in great peril. Day after day, hour after hour – almost minute by minute – Jewish men, women and children are fiendishly murdered by Arab terrorists.
And again, not all that many years after the Holocaust, the people of Israel are widely abandoned to villainous slaughterers – this time in a land wherein they were promised safety.
In a large scientific poll undertaken for the European Community last year, the nations of that continent proudly identified Israel – together with the United States – as the world’s two most dangerous and evil countries. Syria, Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, North Korea barely even made the list.
So much for judgment in civilized Europe. Arab terror in Israel has only one overriding purpose: annihilation of the Jewish people in their own land, and the transformation of G-d’s land into “Palestine.” This purpose is openly genocidal – even by the codified standards of contemporary international law – and it is not kept hidden from anyone.
The prevention of a second Holocaust, however, is not only a Jewish responsibility, it is a Christian responsibility as well – an absolutely sacred responsibility.
I refer to G-d’s Covenant with Israel and to the indisputable Christian view that Israel will be G-d’s people forever.
I am a Jew, and I am also a university professor. As a professor, I could simply ask you to understand that the uniquely barbarous terror of Palestinians against Jewish civilians is morally and legally unforgivable, and that – merely as compassionate human beings – we must oppose such barbarism.
After all, there is no other single insurgency on the face of the earth where so-called “suicide bombers” intentionally direct their murderous violence against nursery schools, ice-cream parlors, and municipal buses.
Nor is there any other insurgency on the face of this bleeding planet where the “martyrs” fill their explosive containers with nails and screws dipped in rat poison, to maximize the pain and suffering of, primarily, children.
Nor is there any other terror movement that is so filled with cowardice, as the plainest motive of the suicide-bomber is not to die, but rather to murder, and thus gain an imagined immortality.
It is only by killing Jews that this monstrous coward is able to convince himself that he shall, in fact, live forever. For him, the act of dying is merely a momentary inconvenience on his fiery way to heaven and the explicit promise of 72 virgins.
But I wish to speak to you this morning not as a professor – not about the various authoritative codifications against terror-violence under binding international law – but as a Jew. I speak as the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors who fled their native Austria to Switzerland on their wedding night in July 1938.
The promise of the continuation of the people of Israel and their ingathering to the Land of Israel is revealed to all of you in Genesis (15:18): “On that day the L-rd made a covenant with Abraham, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the Euphrates River.'”
At the heart of G-d’s covenant with Israel is the promise to the Jewish people – His People – of the land of Israel. For Christians, this promise is the only “Road Map” of value. No secular authority, not the Secretary General of the United Nations, not even the President of the United States, can revoke G-d’s covenant with Israel.
Israel is not “Palestine.” Israel, if we are to take G-d’s word seriously, is the place for ingathering of the Jews. Period!
Whenever the Jews are in their own land, the deserts bloom and water springs forth, exactly as foretold in G-d’s promise in Isaiah (43:18-21) and elsewhere.
As for the Palestinian Arab populations who wish to eject G-d’s people from their own land, their presence in the Land of Israel has surely not brought waters to the wilderness or rivers in the desert. There are no gardens in Gaza or edens in Ramallah, only feverish preparations for bringing still more murderous violence to the Jews in their own land.
Biblical Prophecy makes it all very clear: The Lord G-d of Israel has regathered His people from the four corners of the earth. Since June 1967, His holy city of Jerusalem is back in the hands of His people. Sometime, perhaps sooner than we think, the great Jewish Temple will also be rebuilt – in Jerusalem.
“I will bless those who bless thee, and curse those who curse thee” (Genesis 12:3). G-d’s plan for those who stand against His land and His people is clear.
In the matter of Israel, our religious obligations – as Christians and Jews – are entirely consistent with our patriotic obligations. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the United States.
Make no mistake about it, all of the Palestinian terror groups are closely intertwined with Al Qaeda; all the Palestinian terror groups wept at the capture of Saddam Hussein, with whom they collaborated during the 1990-91 rape of Kuwait; and all the Palestinian terror groups celebrated wildly on 9/11. Palestinian hatred of America is passionate and undisguised. Israel’s love of America, on the other hand, is evident in every corner of the Jewish state.
These unassailable facts notwithstanding, we give annually – from our hard-earned American tax dollars – several hundred million dollars to Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority – money which is converted directly into weapons for the mass murder of Jews in Israel and is also distributed meticulously to loyal Arafat henchmen involved in organized crime and narcotics trafficking. In this way, our very own American government – seeking a politically correct way to straddle the slippery fence of Middle Eastern politics – has now become directly complicit in serving the enemies of Israel.
“I will bless those who bless thee; and curse those who curse thee.”
Yasir Arafat, whose hands are soaked in the blood of thousands of Jewish women and children (in some cases by his actual participation in killings and torture), was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is what we can expect from a world that places politics above G-d’s promise.
Yasir Arafat is a billionaire; one of the richest men in the world. His family lives in unimaginable splendor as he doles out $10,000.00 rewards to the impoverished families of Arab suicide bombers. This is the man whom Israel is pressured by our leaders in Washington to keep alive. Even for this president – although somewhat less than for his predecessor (President Clinton’s influence on Israel’s security was entirely nefarious) – the promise of Genesis has become less important than the promise of power.
Israel has been asked, again and again, to depend upon the hollow promise of international treaties and agreements. But international law is not a suicide pact. As even Thomas Jefferson once noted, in a scholarly essay on the French Treaties, no nation is obliged to comply with international agreements that would bring about its own destruction.
But whether one refers to the Oslo Agreements, or to the “Road Map,” or even to the privately-negotiated (and especially repulsive) “Geneva Initiative,” these human compacts have had only one purpose for the Arab side – that is, to remove G-d’s people from G-d’s land.
There is ample and revealing evidence in Scripture for the kind of agreements still being extracted from a tiny and beleaguered Israel:
“We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we are at agreement…. We have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves” (Isaiah 28, 15).
How big is Israel – G-d’s land? It is half the size of Lake Michigan, or – for those who prefer less watery references – half the size of San Bernardino County in California.
The people of Israel – who include, of course, thousands of deeply committed Christian Zionists – live under not only hourly threats of extermination, but also under one of the most frenetic barrages of insidious propaganda in human history. Every day the news media – in this country including The New York Times: Los Angeles Times; Chicago Tribune, CNN, etc – transforms the Jewish victims into victimizers, David into Goliath.
When, in desperation, the people of Israel build a fence to keep their children from being burned and disemboweled by Arab terrorists (disembowelment was prominently featured and secretly filmed in the Palestinian “police” lynchings of two Russian Jews who had lost their way in Ramallah), the World Court does not put Arab terrorism on trial – it puts the fence on trial.
Again and again, the world is reminded that the life of a Jewish child is substantially less valuable than the olive tree of a Palestinian farmer; that the Israeli fence crosses illegally into “Arab land.”
Even if we should discard the Scriptural “Road Map” – and we surely should never do that ? there is ample evidence in international law, including the terms of the League of Nations Mandate and the results of repeated Arab aggressions from 1948 onward, that Israel and the so-called “territories” are Jewish land.
Indeed, if we can recall that Transjordan (later Jordan, in 1949) was illegally created by Great Britain from Mandatory lands in 1922, there is even good jurisprudential argument that Jordan is an integral part of Israel.
The Arab world is comprised of 22 states of almost five million square miles and 144 million people. The Islamic World contains 44 states with one billion people. The Islamic states comprise an area 672 times the size of Israel. Israel, with a population of about 5 million Jews, is – together with Judea/Samaria and Gaza – so small that its name on maps must be printed off its own land mass, far out in the Mediterranean Sea.
Speaking of maps, there are no official maps anywhere in the Arab world that include Israel. The official Palestinian Authority (PA) map of “Palestine” includes ALL OF ISRAEL. For the PA, the PLO “Phased Plan” of 1974 is still fully-operational.
There is no “Two-State” plan for the Palestinians; no Israel living side-by- side with “Palestine.” There is only “Palestine.”
(To be continued)
Copyright © The Jewish Press, 2004. All Rights Reserved.
Louis Rene Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on
international relations and international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press. Special To The Jewish Press, March 26, 2004.