Why South Africa should not recognise an Arab state in the land of Israel

Issue article www.Christianview.org

by Philip Rosenthal

August 2000; Updated 1 June 2001

Contents
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................................................................1 REASONS NOT TO RECOGNISE THE STATE.......................................................................................................1 WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND .....................................................................................................1 REPEATING A FAILED ' APARTHEID' POLITICAL SYSTEM .................................................................................................2 ARAFAT BREAKS HIS NEGOTIATED PROMISES ...............................................................................................................2 THREAT TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY ...................................................................................................................................2 INTOLERANCE OF CHRISTIANS ....................................................................................................................................2 LESSONS FROM HISTORY .............................................................................................................................................3 WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? .......................................................................................................................3 OBJECTIONS..............................................................................................................................................................4 DOES NOT ISRAEL ALSO SIN? ......................................................................................................................................4 DON'T THE ARABS ALSO HAVE POLITICAL RIGHTS TO THE LAND BECAUSE THEY ARE DESCENDED FROM ISHMAEL?.........4 HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE ISRAEL TODAY IS THE ISRAEL OF THE BIBLES PROMISES?.................................................4

Introduction
Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organisation visited South Africa in August, 2000, and asked for support for his proposed 'Palestinian state' (Cape Argus, 3 August 200). He is demanding parts of the land of Israel including Gaza, East Jerusalem and the hills of Judea and Samaria (often referred to as the West Bank). Initially, he had promised to unilaterally declare independence on 13 September 2000. With international pressure to negotiate a solution, he did not do this. Nevertheless, he continues to demand independence within this land. This document outlines briefly why South Africa should not recognise his proposed state:

Reasons not to recognise the state
What God says about ownership of the land According the Bible the land on which Arafat hopes to declare his state (West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza) was allocated to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (or Israel). This promise is made repeatedly from the time of Abraham's initial call onwards. eg. Gen 13:15 "All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever." If one looks at the places where the promises were made to Abraham - almost all of them fall within the territory which Arafat is claiming for his state (eg. the plain of the Jordan; Hebron; Shechem (now Nabulus) etc. Abraham also visited other places (Egypt, Mesopotania - but God promised him nothing about these places). Likewise all the places in the Bible where the boundaries of Israel are described (about fifty separate definitions) include the land that Arafat wants for his state.

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Now this does not imply that Jews have the right to steal land from Arabs, but they do have the right to live there and buy it on a free and open market. The Bible speaks about the need to treat other nations living in the land fairly and justly (Exodus 22:21 "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt"). This is only to the benefit of Arabs who stand to profit greatly from the sale of previously cheap land at comparatively high prices. Arafat has declared the death penalty for any Arab who sells land to Jews and has repeatedly made threatening statements against Jews already living in the area he is controlling. Some Arab real estate agents have already been murdered by his police. Thus Arafat is trying to obstruct the fulfilment of a promise of scripture. Repeating a failed 'apartheid' political system The political system that is being negotiated via the so-called 'middle east peace process' has been tried before and failed. In South Africa it was called 'apartheid'. Basically, the country is to be split up into 'Arab' and 'Jewish' areas, with all facilities, whether medical, educational, housing, government etc. separate. Now this might work for two countries that are completely separate, but as in Apartheid South Africa, the Arab and Jewish economies are indivisible. A major proportion of Arabs live in the West Bank and Gaza (the proposed state) and work in Israel. Splitting the country in half is only going to make it oppressive for these and other people who need to cross the border daily to get to work (i.e. like South Africa's homeland system and pass laws). The border post between Israel and Egypt now has two parallel checkpoints - one for Jews and Europeans - the other for Arabs. This was demanded by the Palestinian authority as a concession as part of the 'peace process'. Arafat breaks his negotiated promises Arafat has broken almost all the promises that he made in the previous negotiations with Israel. For example, he promised to combat radical Islamic terror by arresting terrorists and jailing them. This he did only when specifically requested by Israeli police who pointed out the terrorists and then usually releasing them after only a month in jail - often drafting them into his police force. Thus they avoided years in Israeli jails by light sentences in his jails. He also continued to incite Islamic 'holy war' through his speeches. He was limited by agreements to a small police force with light weapons. He has instead has turned his police force into a heavily armed military, employing a major proportion of his population. He has also consistently ignored the constitution of the Palestinian authority area and his own legislature (using his police against dissident MPs). About half the money he has received in aid he has been unable to account for. As with many similar dictators, it seems to have disappeared into the pockets of his political party, family and friends. The lesson: Arafat cannot be trusted. Threat to Israel's security A proposed state (unlike the present situation) would give Arafat the right to own weapons such as tanks, air fighters, missiles etc. within a stones throw of the Israeli capital Jerusalem. Knowing his lifetime record as a terrorist - he is highly likely to use whatever weapons he has if he feels it would be to his benefit. The remainder of Israel would not be easily defensible (only about an hours drive across with no natural border). Intolerance of Christians
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Although Arafat has been trying hard to get Christian support for his claim to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, his police force have been extremely intolerant of evangelical Christian Arabs especially those who have contact with Jewish Christians. No Arab state in the Middle East has real freedom of religion for Christians. Lessons from history In view of Arafat's behaviour in the so called 'peace process' thus far that he is not acting in good faith and that he rather has long term intentions of trying to take the whole of Israel. Like Adolph Hitler, before World War Two, he is just trying to see how much he can get without fighting. And the West is pressuring Israel into a foolish policy of appeasement. Note how Hitler initially demanded the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia - saying it had a German majority - having removed the natural borders of the country - he moved on to take the rest. Arafat is trying to take away Israel's natural border of the Jordan River in the east, while Syria is trying to take away the Golan heights in the north. Before WW2, Britain and France pressured the Czech prime minister to compromise. 'Peace in our time' the famous phrase. American presidents, however well intentioned seem to take this role today in trying to push Israel into giving up more and more 'land for peace'. Like Hitler however, Syria and the Palestinian authority have not given any indication of true intention to move towards peace. Rather trying to strengthen their position and weaken Israel. By arming themselves to the teeth, harbouring terrorists and trying to get more land. In both cases, when Israel did offer to give in to their initial demands, they simply demanded more land - which they knew Israel would not give. [Jordan and Turkey on the other hand, have proved faithful to their peace agreements]. Will there be another war? A continued cold war (fought via terrorists such as Hizbollah and Hamas) as at present is more likely than an overt war - which Israel would probably win (with serious losses on both sides). Peace is not likely to come out of the present process.

What does the future hold?
We must not be pessimistic about the conflict in the Middle East. God will continue his process in the region for the re-establishment of the state of Israel on all of the land promised to Abraham and the evangelisation of both the Arab and the Jewish people. The Bible puts Israel at the end of the queue for evangelisation - so the conversion of the Arabs must come first. Romans 11:25-26 "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." Someone may ask - why then are things such a mess now? Answer: As with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, God hardens the hearts of the wicked in order to fulfil his purposes. Satan was behind the crucifixion of Jesus, but God used the situation to bring about the salvation of the world. Likewise, Arafat intends all this for evil, but God will frustrate him and use it for good. We are called to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem' (Ps 122:6), but the Bible does not promise a long-term peace (Daniel 9:26, Mathew 24:6). It is more important to pray for the fulfilment of God's long-term purposes expressed in his promises for the region - given in the Bible. Nevertheless, we in South Africa should be careful to be found on the side of Gods purposes and not trying to obstruct them. Otherwise, along with the wicked, we invite God's wrath. We should therefore not recognise Arafat's proposed state.
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Objections
Does not Israel also sin? Someone may argue that Israel has also done bad things and therefore we should not support them. Both modern and ancient Israel do sin frequently. The Hebrew Prophets of the Bible have more condemnation of Israel than Arafat himself (look examples Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah etc). Apart from any charge of mistreatment of Arabs, the modern Israeli state is murdering over 100 000 Jewish unborn babies a year. We can't support Israel on the basis of Israel's righteousness, but rather on the basis of the grace of Gods promises in the Bible. Remember that most Israelis did not go to Israel voluntarily - they went as refugees when it became unsafe for them to live in Europe, North Africa, Russia and other Arab countries. God did this for Abraham's sake - not for theirs. Isn't God being a bit biased here? Yes, he is. He keeps his promises to his friends (e.g. Abraham) not the demands of the majority or the United Nations or anyone else. Don't the Arabs also have political rights to the land because they are descended from Ishmael? No, the Arabs living in Israel do not have a right to an independent state within the land of Israel, but they do have the right to own and sell property in the land. Firstly, the descendants of Ishmael were never promised the land. Secondly, there is no proof that those Arabs living in Israel are really descendants of Ishmael or Abraham. They were taught the Arab language by Arabs, but are not all of the same race as Saudi Arabian Arabs. But, yes, just like anyone else of any race, they do have legal rights to own property they have legally bought etc. Every state including South Africa includes minority groups who do not hold much political power - but their rights should be respected. How do we know that the Israel today is the Israel of the Bibles promises? In many places in the Bible (e.g. Deuteronomy 28, Lev 26), God promises to scatter the Jewish people among all nations if they disobey him and then bring them back again later. This dispersal was never fulfilled by the Babylonian exile - but rather only after the 70 AD exile. Today's state is made up of the same race and the same land and fulfils numerous detailed biblical prophecies.

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by Philip Rosenthal Contact Christianview.org at (021) 6854500 or mail@christianview.org Postnet 114, P/Bag X18, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa Please send us a copy of any article quoting from this and acknowledge <www.Christianview.org>. More articles and pamphlets on issues can be found at www.Christianview.org

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