Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The very first verse of the Bible starts with a story.
God exists out of time and space. God is love, and God was lonely. Yes, He had the hosts of angels revering him. But He wanted to be loved by His own likeness. So He created time, and he created adam (man) to love Him.
The story of the Jewish people is the story of God’s love for mankind. The story of a God who knew that man would forsake Him and still chose to create him anyway. The story of the blood sacrifice making atonement for sins and the story of an agape love that never gives up on men.
It’s also the story of supernatural favor and unconditional love. God’s love for man. God’s love for those that were grafted in. Romans 11:17 tells of how Christians are the branches that have grafted into the original olive tree. Remember, grafted in to make one body, not to replace, but to grow together. Replacement theory is absolute rubbish. An unchanging God will never change His love for His chosen people Israel.
So where do the Palestinians come in? To answer that question, let’s start at the very beginning. Bereshis…
God’s Covenant with Abraham
5784 years ago, God created the world in 7 days. As difficult as that may seem to believe for a scientific mind, it’s really simple. Our Creator, an infinite being living outside of time and space, created the universe with its zillions of galaxies and countless stars and everything that there was and there is and there will be. And while He was doing all that, He took a fleck of dust and turned it into man, a creature that was only created for one purpose, to love God.
Of course, you know what the serpent did, tempted Eve and got man cast out of the Garden of Eden, and left us longing for our real home, a place where we can commune with Abba and simply look upon His face. (PS. This may also be the reason why we invest in gold, but that’s a story for another day.)
Anyway, Adam and Eve did their job of being fruitful and mulitplying, and just under 6000 years later we’ve gone from one lonely couple to 8 billion crowded souls. But while some of their progeny loved and served God, the rest were corrupted by the Nephilim.
Cue earth’s destruction by water and only Noah’s family gets saved. Ten descendants down the line, the world has again forgotten who the real God is. But God calls Abraham, a descendent of Shem, Abraham answers Abba’s call and is set apart, him and all his descendants after him. (Gen 12:1-3)
God also shows him the land he will give him (Gen 12:7). Which land? Modern-day Israel which includes all of Israel, and major parts of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. But who occupied the land at that time? Canaanites. Who were the Canaanites? The descendants of Ham.
Why did God decide to take away their land and give it to Abraham and his descendants? Long story short, because Ham was cursed to be the servant of his brothers because he did not cover Noah’s sin, but gossiped about it. Noah could not curse that which God had blessed (Gen 9:1), so he cursed his offspring.
Notice something in all this? The land of Canaan or Israel was inhabited by the Canaanites, the descendants of Shem. There were no Palestinians at the time. They didn’t exist.
God marries the Israelites
Generations pass, Israel’s children are enslaved in Egpyt and Abba sets them free.
After Moses freed the Israelites from slavery, they journeyed through the wilderness to the Promised Land aka Caanan aka Israel, but when they got there they didn’t believe they were strong enough to take the giants in the land (Numbers 14) and ended up spending 40 years till God brought them back to the Promised Land (Joshua 1:4).
While they’re wandering through the wilderness Abba provides them with manna and quail and their clothes never withered. And He did numerous other miracles that you can read in the book of Exodus (Shemot). But the most important thing He did was this. God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Beginning and the End, chose to enter into relationship with one people, to take them as His Bride, He entered into a Covenant relationship with Israel, and only Israel.
No other nation is as blessed as the chosen ones. God literally married Israel. (Exodus 24:7-8, Isaiah 54:5-8, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hosea 2:14-23)
The Children of Israel come back to the Promised Land
God through Joshua brings them across the Jordan on dry land, and they fight occupying tribes for the land. Note here again, there were Canaanites, Amorites, a lot of other ites that were local idolatorous tribes, but see, no Palestinians.
The Judges of Israel and even King Saul had clashes with the Philistines numerous times. It was only King David who managed to subdue the Philistines.
These Philistines had nothing to do with Palestinians. The Philistines were a sea people who migrated from the Aegean Sea and occupied parts of Canaan. These people fought with the Israelites as often as seasons change, but they were not Palestinians who claim to worship Allah, they were Philistines who worshipped Ashtoreth, Dagon, and Baal-Zebub.
These same Philistines were referred to as ‘uncircumcised’ in the Bible. (Judges 15:18; 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Samuel 1:20) But Muslims circumcise their boys just like the Jews do. So nope, the Philistines couldn’t be Muslims (read Palestinians).
Solomon’s First Temple, the Second Temple, and the Temple Mount
King David conquered the city of Jebus from the Jebusites (descendants of Ham’s son Canaan) and renamed it Jerusalem. He chose Mount Moriah, where Abraham built the altar to sacrifice Isaac as the site for the most holy place in the land of Israel.
His son, King Solomon started building the First Temple in Jerusalem around 957 BC and finished in 7 years (Hebrew year 2928 to 2935). This temple was the spiritual center for the Jewish people for over 400 years until it’s destruction and their exile in Babylon (586 BCE – Hebrew Year 3338).
Even the Muslim Holy Book, the Quran talks about how King Solomon who is considered a prophet called jinn (spirits) for the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem. (Surah Saba ayat 12). There is no mention of the Al Aqsa mosque.
After the Jews returned from their Babylonian exile, they rebuilt the temple (Hebrew years 3391 to 3408 – circa 515 BC).
This is the same temple that our Savior Jesus preached, the same place where He performed miracles, and the very same temple where He cleaned out the tables of the moneylenders (circa 27 to 29 AD – Hebrew year 3787 to 3789). Jesus was not a Palestinian, He was and is a Jew.
This Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD (Hebrew Year 3828) by the Romans. All that remained of it was a portion of the Western Wall called the Wailing Wall. Still the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount where the Third Temple will be built for the return of the Messiah. The heifers are getting ready, so it’s going to be really soon.
Anyways, when the “Romans conquered Jerusalem and crushed the revolt of Shimon Bar Kokhba (132 AD), they attempted to minimize Jewish identification with Eretz Israel by renaming Judea to Palaestina” or Syria Palaestina. (The word Palestine was a derivative of the word Philistia, and marked the land on both sides of the Jordan river, present day Jordan and Israel.)
In the Quran, in the Surah Al-Isra 17:7, the Muslim prophet Muhammed also refers to the destruction of the Jewish temples as punishment by God for the people’s sins.
For anyone of the Abrahamic fates (Jews, Muslims, or Christians) to believe that these first two temples didn’t exist, is to not accept their holy books or believe in their religions at all.
Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad to Al Aqsa
In the Surah Al-Isra 17:1, it is said that Prophet Muhammed travelled from the “sacred place of worship” (al-masjid al-ḥarām) to the “further place of worship” (al-masjid al-aqṣā). It is said he made the journey to the Farthest Mosque by night (in the spirit) or atop a winged creature assisted by the archangel Jibrīl (Gabriel). He saw the glory there was there and spent time there in Jerusalem praying with Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
And while most modern-day Muslims have been groomed to believe that the place he went to was the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, it actually wasn’t. In most earlier logical explanations of this verse, Muhammed made the journey to the Al-masjid al-aqṣā Mosque in their holy city of Mecca.
The Prophet Muhammed was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia around 570 AD and died on June 8, 632 AD in Medina, Arabia. And since the Al Aqsa mosque was not built till 685 AD, there’s no way he could have been there. Unless he time-traveled to the future when the fifth Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ( 685–705 AD) or his successor al-Walid I (705–715 AD) had built the Mosque of Jerusalem.
Huh, what are you talking about? History of course. Here it is.
What happened to displace the Jews
While there were many tribes and peoples who fought against the Jews since the beginning, none of them were able to do much damage. Exiles, murders, killings, nothing could kill the Jewish spirit. But when the Arabs came in the 7th century, everything changed.
Was Abba angry with the Jews to allow this to happen as some scholars say? We don’t know. What we do know is that when the Arabs came in, they didn’t just lord over the Jews and make them slaves or carry them away captive, they did much worse.
What they did was bring in military colonies that took over Jewish land and displaced the people. By the time the 9th century came about, the Jews were a minority in their own homeland. Dispossessed, but never giving up the dream of returning home. ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ is a phrase you’ll hear often. The hope of returning home to the City of David next Passover.
Anyway, history tells us that the Arabs who took over the land did a lot to displace the Jews. Their 5th and 6th Umayyads even took on the job of searching for where David had specified Mount Moriah to be, and building the present-day Al Aqsa mosque in that location to make it align with Muhammed’s night dream.
When the Arabs left a few centuries later, they’d built a mosque, but they left a desolate lonely barren land that was occupied by a few bedouin tribes and a few remaining Jews, but the Arabs never claimed it or marked it as their own.
When the Crusades were initiated by the Latin Church (an arm of the Roman Church) in the 11th to 13th century, these men blinded by religion massacred not only Jews and Muslims, but local Christians who opposed papal rule as well. Anyone who chose to differ in their beliefs was considered a pagan or a heretic and killed. The atrocious things that men have done in the name of religion, they will one day give an account of before God. Only His mercy can stop them from hell’s flames.
But, before we digress here, the point is that during these times, from Roman rule through Ottoman rule till the Crusades and even into the 20th century, when references were made to the land of Palestine, it always denoted the Holy Land, Israel, the stage for all the events of the Bible, the homeland of Jesus, and the homeland of the Jews.
When the Greeks wrote about Israel in the 12th century, they used a derivative of the name that the Romans had used as a derogatory term for the region – Syria Palaestina.
Mark Twain and other Authors/Dignitaries visit Jerusalem
In 1867, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the infamous writer that everyone loves and knows as Mark Twain visited Jerusalem, King David’s Capital. If you’re a book lover, you might have read his book, The Innocents Abroad. In this, he describes his visit to Israel, which was then referred to as Palestine. At that time, the term Palestine was thought to refer to the land of Israel and Jordan, a home of the few handful of Jews and Arabs that still lived there.
“Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince… Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and the glory of Israel, is gone… Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise?… Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition — it is dream-land”.
In fact, back in the late 19th century when scientific developments made it difficult to believe that the world was only 6000 years old and that the events of the Bible had occurred, the famous Anglican priest Arthur Penrins Stanley who was Dean of Westminster, started the Palestine Exploration Fund on 22 June 1865 under the Patronage of Queen Victoria. The fund was to provide scientific evidence for the events of the Bible, and it has done quite a bit of that. Along with the support of other noblemen, Jews and Christians, it was to be a “research into the archaeology and history, manners and customs and culture, topography, geology and natural sciences of biblical Palestine and the Levant”.
Twain and Stanley weren’t the only visitors to the Holy Land during the 19th century. There were other writers and surveyors, American Reverends Edward Robinson and Eli Smith, Naval Commander William Francis Lynch, ‘Moby Dick’ writer Herman Melville, George Curtis, President Theodore Roosevelt, King Edward VII, and many more.
None of their accounts of the then-called land of Palestine talk about a Palestinian people. They talk about the Palestinian Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and the Christians who lived in this wasteland, but there are no others.
Christian Zionism Supports God’s people coming back
But Christian Zionism had been growing since the 17th century and many notable names advocated for the establishment of a Jewish state. Popular figures from history include Theodor Herzl, Martin Luther King Jr, Billy Graham, William Henry Hechler, Major General Orde Charles Wingate, Lord Balfour, Baron Walter Rothschild, John Frank Norris, and many more.
The Jews started coming back to the Holy Land from different parts of the world in the 1870s and 80s. They started buying back their lands from the Ottomans, and took a barren wasteland and again turned it into the green gardens of Solomon’s days.
When the Arabs saw that the Jews were returning to land and it was coming back to life, they saw opportunities here, for life, for work, and more, and many of them migrated and lived peaceably with the Jews.
By the 1930s, there were over 60 Jewish settlements in the land of Palestine (aka Israel). After the horrors of the Second World War, these numbers doubled.
The Nation Is Reborn – But It Has Always Been
In the years following, a lot of history happened.
The Balfour Declaration was established in 1917 during the First World War. It supported the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in what was then called Palestine.
The Mandate of Palestine and Transjordan was issued by the League of Nations in 1923, and more of Abba’s children returned to their land. As the growth rate and numbers of Palestinian Jews started to surpass that of their Arab counterparts, resentment among the Palestinian Arabs grew. The Great Revolt demanding Arab independence took place from 1936 to 1939 under the leadership of Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
Although the British crushed it, it was in fact the precursor to what would later become the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964.
Anyways, on 14 May 1948, the British Mandate ended and Israel became independent. Isaiah’s prophecy came true.
7 Before she was in labor, she gave birth. Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. 8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:7-8 - Tree of Life Version)
A year later, on 11 May 1949, Israel became a part of the United Nations. Since then, Israel has prospered. Just visit Jerusalem or Silicon Wadi or the vineyards in the Judean Hills or for that matter just any part of the country.
Skirmishes and wars rear their ugly heads, but they will be quelled. The PLO demands the dissolution of the Jewish state. They have attempted to recreate history, they’ve changed maps, narratives, and much more. They’ve brainwashed people into believing that they were there first; and that Israel is a colonial power occupying their land.
Many ignorant people have fallen prey and believe them. They forget that these so-called modern-day Palestinians are simply the descendants of Arabs who migrated here from neighboring regions over the centuries and do not belong to the land. If the activists actually cared about the people who call themselves, they would help them rehabilitate to other lands or teach them to live more peaceably with the native Jews.
Why don’t they try to do this? Why don’t they see what is really happening? Why are they blind? Why don’t they understand? In Matthew 13:11-12, Jesus said,
“Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
Everyone wants peace, and some Israeli Prime Ministers tried to make peace by agreeing to a Two-State Solution, but God removed them from power. As the prophets have pointed out, the only Prime Ministers that stay in power are the ones that will not surrender Jewish territory.
But what is more important is this, even if the United Nations were to reject Israel, and even if half the nations on earth rejected Israel, it wouldn’t matter. The land of Canaan/Palestine/Israel was given to Jewish people by God, and He always keeps His covenant. No one can take this land away from them again.
Allah is a Zionist
As Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Secretary General of the Italian Muslim Assembly and the Khalifah for Europe pointed out, Allah is a zionist. When the Quran was orally revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad, it included assertions that Israel belongs to the Jewish people. The Quran has these verses.
“And ‘remember’ when Moses said to his people, “O my people! Remember Allah’s favours upon you when He raised prophets from among you, made you sovereign, and gave you what He had never given anyone in the world. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has destined for you ˹to enter˺. And do not turn back or else you will become losers.”Surah Al-Ma-idah (Quran 5:20-21)
So it was. And We awarded it ‘all’ to the Children of Israel.Surah Ash-Shu’ara (Quran 26:59)
Indeed, We settled the Children of Israel in a blessed land, and granted them good, lawful provisions. They did not differ until knowledge came to them. Surely your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgment regarding their differences.Surah of Jonah (Quran 10:93)
And so, We made the oppressed people successors of the eastern and western lands, which We had showered with blessings. ‘In this way’ the noble Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel for what they had endured. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people constructed and what they established.Surah al-Ahraf (Quran 7:137)
And thereafter We [God] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.’Surah of the Children of Israel / Surah Al-Isra (Quran 17:104)
As Sheikh Palazzi says,
“From an Islamic point of view, Israel is the legitimate owner of the land God deeded to her and whose borders were defined by Abraham in Genesis.”
Have you noticed that educated Arab nations who know their Quran support Israel? Because they believe what Allah and their prophet Muhammed have said to be true. The PLO, Hamas, and others who are fighting for the so-called Liberation of Palestine have been deceived into believing something they shouldn’t. They will go to Jahannam (Muslim version of hell) for disobeying Allah.
The Amalekites are gone, the Philistines are gone, the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites are gone, the Babylonian Empire is gone, the Seleucid Empire is gone, the Roman Empire ended, the Ottoman Empire disintegrated, the Crusaders are burning in Hell, the Spanish Empire was lost, Yemen is struck by Civil war, Hitler and his Nazis are in the lake of fire, South Africa is falling apart, Russia’s future is gloomy. There were more that should be added to this list, but you get the gist. Every nation or culture that has come against His people, God has punished.
One day, long after the PLO and Hamas and ISIS and every anti-semitic agency is gone, Israel will still exist. It’s the apple of God’s eye and He covers her land and people with His wings.
The Christian view of Israel that differs from this needs to go back to the Bible and relearn and understand what it teaches us. As Christian believers who love Abba, it is only right that we love and support His people Israel.
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