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Israel needs to challenge the word

Israeli home on a mountain on the Lolan Heights

Boris Shusteff
December 10, 2001

"We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 War as occupied Palestinian territory."

(Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the UN, March 1994)

The aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa on the 1st and 2nd of December made it absolutely clear that Israel has still not made a strategic decision to achieve peace. This became obvious during an interview with Dr. Dore Gold conducted by a CNN correspondent a few minutes before Ariel Sharon emerged from his meeting with President George W. Bush.

Dr. Gold, one of Sharon's advisors, was asked something about the "occupation of the West Bank" and the "expansion of settlements." Actually it does not matter much what the question was. What matters is the response, in which Dr. Gold sidestepped the issue of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) and Jewish settlement in it altogether, and limited his answer to a general declaration about Arafat not fighting terror. And it is that response that made it obvious that Israel is not ready for peace. It is important to note that Dore Gold is extremely well-versed in the topic he was asked about. He has written abundantly on the subject of the legitimacy of Jewish settlement in Yesha. He obviously knows that from a legal standpoint the term "occupied territories" pertaining to these areas of Israel is inapplicable when used to describe those primordial Jewish lands. Therefore one could have expected a lesson in history and jurisprudence from him in response to the "loaded" question. However, he preferred to be politically correct and did not even try to challenge the ignorance of the CNN correspondent.

It is time to stop pretending that we do not know what the quarrel is between the Jews and the Arabs. It is about The Land. Certainly it is about Israel's existence and security too. But if Israel does not have the Land, there is no reason to talk about her existence at all. Without the Land the Jewish state vanishes, disappears. This is why the Arab world is putting so much pressure on the issue of another Palestinian state. If it succeeds in creating it, it takes away more land from the Jewish state. The smaller the Jewish state is, the more easily it can be destroyed.

The Arab world does not care about the so called "Palestinian people." To the leaders of the Arab world, Yasser Arafat, Hamas, Hizbullah, the "Palestinian people," etc. are nothing more than a weapon that they use in their war against the Jewish state. They do not need and do not want the presence of the Jewish state in the Middle East. Perhaps they are ready to tolerate the presence of some Jews as dhimmi (the term for a second-class "nonbeliever"), but not the state itself. They see the Jewish state as a "dagger in the heart of the Arab nation." In their minds Israel has stolen a piece of Arab property. Therefore not even a thousand "peace processes" will change their perception.

This is precisely the reason why all Arab leaders or spokesmen during the course of any interview, meeting, or conversation use the words "occupation," "occupied lands" and their derivatives in conjunction with Israel as much as possible. They are not afraid to abuse these words. On the contrary, they know very well that the more frequently such terms are repeated, the more permanently they become engraved in people's minds. The leaders of the Palestinian Arabs had a ready answer to any questions asked by interviewers in the wake of the Jerusalem/Haifa massacres. It was all Israel's fault because of the Israeli "occupation," because of construction in the "occupied territories," and because the Palestinian Arabs are "people living under occupation." True, Benjamin Netanyahu, in the course of the 50 (!) interviews that he gave in those two days, did state several times that it is a lie to say that the Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are living "under occupation" since 99% of them live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. However, even he did not cringe and did not demand from the interviewer that the word "occupation" not be used.

The efforts of the Jewish state to win the hearts of the world community are completely in vain as long as it allows itself to be tagged with the word "occupier." Arafat's spokesmen will always have the sympathetic ear of civilized mankind, as long as Israel does not challenge the word "occupation." Thus far Israel's shyness on the matter makes her an accomplice in her own demise. Just look at the absolutely disastrous performance (from this standpoint) of Alon Pinkas, Israeli consul general in New York, talking with Larry King on November 10, when his opponent was Hanan Ashrawi, one of the most virulently Jew-hating Arab spokespeople.

In the course of the short debate, she mentioned the "O" word and its derivatives not less than 9 times, repeating non-stop that "occupation is the problem." She talked about Jewish settlements on the "Palestinian territories" and the "Palestinian land." And Pinkas was not only unable to challenge her, but what is far worse, added legitimacy to her words when he said, "One hundred percent justice is unattainable. Not for us, not for the Palestinians. This has nothing do with occupation, Larry. We think that occupation is wrong. That is why we seek to end it." Later in the debate he said that "until 1967 there was no occupation," thus obviously implying that since 1967, "there is occupation."

When the Israeli consul general announces to everyone watching CNN that the "occupation is wrong" and this is why Israel "seeks to end it" why should anybody be surprised that the whole world blames Israel? After Pinkas's acceptance of Israel's "occupation guilt" nobody will question Ashrawi's statement: "The real issue is that if you want peace, you have to give back that which does not belong to you. The land that Israel has to give back to the Palestinians is 22 percent of historical Palestine, and on that basis, this is a major historical compromise." Let us pause for a moment. Ashrawi said "compromise" a favorite word of the western world. She asks "only" for "22% of historical Palestine."

Especially impressive is the way she chooses the words. She is not saying that another Palestinian state must be built on 22% of "historical Palestine." She says that Israel must "give back" this land to the Arabs, well aware that virtually no one will notice that her declaration calls for Israel's destruction. Because what she really means is that after Israel succumbs to the establishment of another Palestinian Arab state in the complete territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which constitute approximately 5% of historical Palestine, the Jews will still "owe" to the Palestinian Arabs the remainder of "22% of historical Palestine" - i.e. all of the territory of the state of Israel.

The Jewish state made a terrible blunder by allowing politicians and journalists all over the world, including the representatives of the Jewish state itself, to use the term "occupied territories" in conjunction with Yesha. Putting aside dozens of valid arguments proving that this term is inappropriate, it is enough only to mention that Stephen Schwebel, former head of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, wrote in the American Journal of International Law in May 1970,

" between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand and her Arab neighbors acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967 on the other, Israel has better title to the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."

If even Jordan and Egypt have less right than Israel to ownership of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in this dispute with Israel has no chances at all. The PA existed neither in 1948 nor in 1967. It cannot be considered "a legitimate sovereign that was ousted" from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Under international law, it is exactly this condition of "legitimate sovereignty" that defines the applicability of the term "occupied" to a certain land.

The Israeli architects of Oslo framed their agreements with the PA based on the Camp David autonomy provisions. It appears that they completely misconstrued not only the spirit but the letter of Israeli policy at that time. It was more than unambiguously presented in the Israeli Government Fundamental Guidelines, unveiled on August 5 1981 and, which stated,

"The autonomy agreed upon at Camp David means neither sovereignty nor self-determination [for the Palestinian Arabs]. The autonomy agreements set down at Camp David are GUARANTEES that under no conditions will a Palestinian state emerge in the territory of western "Eretz Yisrael. At the end of transition period, set down in the Camp David agreements, Israel will raise it claim, and act to realize its right of sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Gaza strip."

The time is long overdue for the Jewish state to realize its inalienable right of sovereignty over Yesha. It must make the strategic decision to achieve peace, and the first step in this direction is to vehemently oppose anybody's attempts to label the lands of Yesha as "occupied" territories. The Israeli government must unequivocally declare that it will see as provocative any usage by any official representative of any country of the adjective "occupied" or its derivatives in relation to Yesha. Israel must make it absolutely clear that she will view such incidents as contributing toward the deterioration of relations between that country and the Jewish state.

The second step in Israel's strategy for peace will follow naturally. It must annex the lands of Yesha. And after the declaration of annexation, a third step must be carried out. The Israeli forces should return to Yesha and mercilessly destroy Arafat's regime. As Michael Ledeen put it in the "National Review" on December 7, "If you win, they will always judge your means to have been appropriate. Once we've won, they will sing our praises. But if we start to show kindness, generosity and compassion too soon, they will interpret it as weakness, and strike again."

Let us replace the word "Americans" with the word "Israelis" and declare loudly together with Ledeen:

"We need to sustain our game face, we must keep our fangs bared, we must remind them daily that we Israelis are in a rage, and we will not rest until we have avenged our dead, we will not be sated until we have had the blood of every miserable little tyrant in the Middle East, until every leader of every cell of the terror network is dead or locked securely away."

Only then it will become clear that Israel made a strategic decision to achieve peace, since there can be no peace without total victory over the enemy.

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The way of King David  (King David-Temple-Messiah)

Jan Willem van der Hoeven
Monday 09 December 2002

[Jan Willem van der Hoeven pin points the Jew and gentile's responsibility to Israel spot-on in God's program in our day. Zionsake Editor]

It maybe not without reason that one of the names of the coming Messiah is the ‘Son of David’.  As the prophet Micah foretells, both David and the Messiah were meant to come forth from Bethlehem, and David indeed was born there:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The ONE to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” Micah 5:2

But not only is there a similarity between David’s birthplace and that of the Messiah, the Son of David. In fact, the spirit and longing of David as seen in his many psalms reveals a clear and strong Messianic identification with the Messiah Himself.

Bethlehem is also the biblical focal point of the wonderful, lovely and highly significant marriage of the Gentile Moabites Ruth to the Jew Boaz. That marriage was preceded by the amazing choice of this Gentile woman, a woman who is symbolic of so many Christian men and women who today choose for and identify fully with the God of Israel and His people so as to bring about in the end time a coming together of Jew and (believing) Gentile for the sake of God’s holy purposes in Zion.

The Bible tells us that finally, after a long journey, Ruth the Gentile believer, and Naomi the Jewess, “came together” when they arrived in the birthplace of the coming Messiah “Ben Yoseph” (Ruth 1:19). So too, Gentile believer and Jew will again in the end stand together when the Messiah comes, this time to Jerusalem, as Isaiah so magnificently foretells:

Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord brings back Zion. The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:8,10

Now we have come full circle, as Zechariah already foresaw, that in the days to come when God would gather His own people back in His land, which He had promised them, there would be (like Ruth) ten Gentiles from each nation who would lay hold of a Jew and say to him: “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (see Zech 8:23)

Now, as there is such a parallel between David and the Messiah, Son of David, let us go to the Psalms and learn to be worshippers and warriors like David was, the shepherd king who set the stage, by his great love for His Lord and Shepherd, for Him to come and make Jerusalem His dwelling place. For the Lord’s presence was first close to the king’s palace in David’s City, where he pitched a tent for the holy ark near the Gihon spring, and then later, under his son Solomon, a house and temple were built for the Lord to dwell in Zion!

Look at how the Psalmist expresses this:
Lord, remember David and all his afflictions; how he swore to the a Lord, and vowed to the Mighty God of Jacob: “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, or go up to the comfort of my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty God of Jacob.”        Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of the woods (Kiryat Jearim). Let us go into His tabernacle; let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Psalm 132:1-8

How did David do it? That is a very important and crucial question. He was not only a poet and a writer of songs. He was also an activist, a warrior to bring God’s purposes to pass in as much as he could do anything about them. He brought the Ark of God to Jerusalem from the house of Obed Edom, with sacrifices and songs of ascent. He pitched a tabernacle for the sacred vessel, and by his many prayers and efforts, he acquired the threshing floor of Arauna the Jebusite, thereby laying the foundation for his son Solomon to build the holy temple on that spot.

Let us, therefore, who in spirit and in truth have joined ourselves to the house of Jacob, go in the way of David, following in his footsteps so that, in our time and day, the Lord and His presence will return to His city even as He came in the days of David and his son.

There are other parallels between our time and the time of David. Although David was king over all Jerusalem, after seven-and-a-half years in Hebron he could not yet gain a foothold on the Jebusite stronghold that contained what later became the holiest spot for the Jewish people: the Temple Mount.

This is very much the way the situation is today. After the Six Day War, Israel conquered all of Jerusalem and, like David, made it their city, the undivided eternal capital of their state. Nevertheless, as with David, Israel cannot lay hold of the Muslim stronghold (they built there 4 mosques!) that the ancient place of God’s Temple has now become.

Like David, we need to see that sacred place again become the dwelling place of God on this planet earth. And for that to happen we need to do more than just easily and cheaply pray for the peace of this Jerusalem. Although David himself did not build the house or temple of the Lord, he made “abundant preparations” for its construction before his death (see 1 Chron. 22). He also bought the Temple Mount from Ornan (or Arama) for “the full price,” and before that took the stronghold of Zion (the city of David)out of the hands of the Jebusites.

So too, in our day, the Islamic stronghold that prevents Jews or Gentile believers from coming up to worship on God’s holy hill needs to be broken before the third holy Temple of God can ever be built there.

All these 3 things therefore need to be done and in fact are already being done in some measure by different groups and organizations in Israel and Gentile believers supporting them from outside Israel.

Buying property in and outside the old city
Making preparations for the new Temple by carefully manufacturing the different implements for the Temple service like the trumpets, priestly garments, golden vessels etc.

We ourselves have made a replica of the Holy Ark.

All these implements and symbols are steps towards seeing God’s holy ‘Shekina’ presence come back to His city, as it was in the time of David! It is thus highly significant that, at the end of the beautiful description by the prophet Ezekiel about the third and final Temple, it says: “And the name of the city from that day shall be: ‘The Lord is there’” (Ezek. 48:35).

But before we arrive at this glorious moment, we need to first follow in David’s footsteps. The first step is the establishment of true prayer and worship on God’s holy hill or, in preparation for that time, as near as we can.

It is significant therefore that those “who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (see Rev. 14:4) are seen standing during the end time ON Mount Zion!! (see Rev. 14:1-5)

It is also made clear, in Ezekiel’s glorious description, that the Lord Messiah will only come back to this earth after the temple has been built for Him and not before, as some have been taught. If this is so, then it is impossible that the Messiah Himself will build His house! It will be built for Him, for David’s seed, the King who will reign in the very place that David already had so much on his heart for that purpose.

This is how Ezekiel describes it: “Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east and behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east.” (It was from this very way that Jerusalem was recaptured via Stephen’s Gate during the awesome Six Day War in 1967.) His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory… and the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east… and behold the glory of the Lord filled the temple… and He said to me, “Son of man this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I WILL DWELL IN THE MIDST OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FOR EVER.” (see Ezek. 43: 1,2,4,5,7)

On this point there is, as usual, agreement between the Tanach (Old Testament) and the New Testament, that only after the temple has been built is there even the possibility for the Messiah to suddenly come to His temple. If we want Him, therefore, we had better both prepare ourselves and on top of that build, Him a house to welcome Him to.

They shall come from afar, those who will help in the building of this Temple, as the prophet sees:

“Even those who are far away shall come and build the temple of the Lord.” (Zech 6:15)

And in Midrash Shis HaShirim Rabbah 8:4 we find these words: “The Holy One, Blessed be He, made the Gentiles vow to help in the construction, so that the Jews will understand for themselves and say: ‘If the Nations perform the will of God out of fear [and help to build the Third Temple], then we who perform the commandments on account of love, how much more so [must we exert ourselves to build the Temple]’?

In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians he writes that the day of the coming of the Lord will not happen except after the temple of God has been built in which first, before His coming to it, the man of sin will try to sit. (See 2 Thess. 2:1-4)

This is all very important, because in the light of this it makes sense there is a battle inspired and conducted by the Evil One whose aim is to prevent the worship of God by Jews and Gentile believers on this hill. The Enemy is literally preventing at all costs and what costs! that God’s hill will come under complete and full Israeli sovereignty, so that the Jewish people will be prevented from building this Welcome House to the Lord of history!

Director: Jan Willem van der Hoeven

Israel My Beloved

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