Last evening (6/12/17)
President Trump declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
Should he be scolded or applauded?
For a truthful answer we have to examine what Almighty God has said/written and some history.
In order to bring salvation to sinful men, God chose a man, Abraham, and gave
to him an area of the world he had created. It was about the size of Wales.
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." Gen 177,8
This covenant is both unconditional and eternal. It was not broken when God had to punish Israel when he sent them to Babylon, nor in AD 70 under the Romans. After both exiles they have returned to their God-given land, as promised. They still celebrate Passover and even speak the same ancient Hebrew language.
The earliest Jewish connection with Jerusalem was when Abraham was instructed by God to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah (now the Temple Mount). When about to kill him on the altar, God showed him a ram as a substitute. On the journey there Isaac asked his father where is the sacrifice. Abraham answered prophetically, "God himself will provide the lamb." Gen 228 2,000 years later the Son of God was indeed 'provided'. There was no possible substitute for him; he alone could be the propitiation for our sin.
1,000 years after Abraham, King David's son, Solomon, built a magnificent
Temple at the same place, in Jerusalem. But it only lasted 400 years until it was
destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Under the direction of the
Persian king Cyrus, the returned Jews built another Temple which they completed
in 516 BC. This one lasted a little longer till it was destroyed by Rome in 70AD.
Such is the ancient history of the Jews and Jerusalem. Jesus Christ declared that "Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." Luke 2124 Of course he was right; Jerusalem has been fought over by various Muslims, Crusaders, Mamluk, Mongols, Turks and even the British for 31 years. Over the last 2 millennia it has changed hands 21 times! See article Jerusalem - the History of the City of God (Use back arrow to return)
Strange that the root of the name is 'Salem' = peace. One day the city will be at peace, but only when Jesus returns, not through any human peace treaty. For the last 3,000 years Jerusalem has only ever been the capital of the Jewish homeland.
During their last exile, many Jews had emigrated to Russia where much injustice by the Tzar's led to unrest and rebellion. Jews were also hated and programs increased in frequency. Many found their way back to their ancient land which was then under the Turkish Ottoman empire.
Jerusalem Population (Wikipedia.org)
The returning Jews in the late 1800's bought land wherever they could. They drained the Judean malarial swampland and cleared the rock strew hillsides to make productive farmland.
In late 1917 General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman army and the British government revealed its new policy for the ME in the Balfour Declaration. "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people ..." In 1922 the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the mandate for Palestine, and approved the formation of Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine. No Jews could enter Iraq or Transjordan, and Palestine had strict articles regarding rights of Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs. (There were no indigenous 'Palestinians' at that time. In 1948 when Israel was formed, the Palestinian Jews started to call themselves Israelis. It was not until 1964 that Arafat formed the PLO and started calling the Palestinian Arabs 'Palestinians'. And since then the world has believed his big lie that they were the indigenous inhabitants and all the area of Palestine belonged to them. The Palestinian Jews (now Israelis) were all illegal immigrants. It was a clever, but totally untrue ploy.
The British Mandate continued until after WW2 when the League of nations handed over its responsibility to the United Nations. During this time the British Army had the awesome responsibility of governing the region, during which the Arab hatred of all things Jews grew quickly and violently. After WW2 the British were broke and wisely passed the intractable problem to the UN. In 1947 they passed a resolution that further divided the British Mandate land of Palestine into the West Bank + Gaza for the Arabs, about half the remainder for the Jews and the Jerusalem area to be under International control. (Throughout the Resolution there was no mention of 'Palestinians', only Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews). The Jews approved of the resolution, but the Arabs saw it as a very black day and resisted it. It was not until the British army left the area in May 1948 that they and all the surrounding Arab countries launched a full scale war against the fledgling state of Israel.
It should be noted that during the preceding years the British did all they could to prevent the sale of arms to the Jews, and in spite of the German holocaust they forbade Jewish immigration from Europe. The Arab intention of war was well known before the UN vote. Field Marshall Montgomery publicly estimated that the relatively well armed Arabs would annihilate the Jews in just 2 weeks. This probably why Russia and some others voted for the resolution. Let the Arabs do the dirty work of disposing of the Jews! But Almighty God ensured that the Jews were not destroyed and even made considerable gains; although importantly Jordan did gain control of the Old City of Jerusalem and all the West Bank. The 'green armistice line' redrew the UN division line and scuppered the hope of an International Jerusalem. The Arabs only agreed a cease-fire because they were losing!
Just one of the results of this Arab violence was that any Jews living in the West
Bank or the Eastern half of Jerusalem either left with what could carry or were
killed. The Arabs instructed all their people to leave their homes so as to make the
destruction of the Jews easier! The land and houses belonging to Jews who left
was 'given' to Palestinian Arabs, and similarly that of the vacated Arabs became
Israeli state land. There are three major resulting problems:
1. All the Arabs who left their homes instead of being absorbed into the Arab areas were transported into refugee camps, where they and their offspring still remain. They rightly resent it; but Israel is not to blame for the Arab lack of compassion for their own people.
2. 19 years later in1967 the surrounding Arab nations again attacked Israel. And again they lost. This time all the West Bank including the Eastern part of Jerusalem and the Old City. Since then there has been endless conflict as to the ownership of property that the Jews had to leave in 1948 and which had been given to Arab families. To whom did these homes belong?
3. The area usually referred to as the West Bank was called Judea and Samaria. I wonder why?! Could it be that it was the ancient land of the Jews? The Israelis who wish to live there are not 'settlers' or 'occupiers', they are returning to their old homeland, which they were forced to leave in 1948.
Concerning Jerusalem, both the League of Nations and then the UN decreed that the city, which has important Jewish, Islamic and Christian holy places should be under International control. But no one agrees; and I suspect that even the UN does not relish the idea / expense. Just 2 weeks ago the UNGA agreed by 151 to 6 votes that the Jews had not historical connection with Jerusalem!! So Israel is not likely to give up control any time soon. The Muslims have no reputation for religious equality or justice. The Orthodox Christians who own considerable real estate there are generally open to the highest bidder and would be unacceptable to both Muslim or Jewish agreement. Currently the Israeli Government does a very good job relating to religious freedom.
Due to the Arab War of Independence, the 1947 UN Resolution 181 that called for International control of Jerusalem was never obeyed. When Jordan attacked Israel they over-ran all eastern Jerusalem including the Old City. But not a single country said they were 'Occupiers'. Come 1967 when they attacked again and this time were defeated and driven back to being only east of the Jordan river, the world declared that Israel were 'Occupiers'. Under the Geneva Convention, when an attacking country is defeated, any land that it loses becomes the legal possession of the attacked country. Why does the world continue to call the legal control of the West Bank by Israel 'Illegal Occupation'? Clearly on this issue world leaders and the media are willful liars. They are also determined to support the Palestinian cause though it is well proven to be one of the most corrupt organisations on the planet and supporters of terrorist activities.
Making Jerusalem the capital of Israel does not alter any boundaries; nor will moving an embassy from Tel Aviv to the western part of the city.
On 6th April 2017 Russia officially recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Neither the world media nor even the Palestinians took much notice. Why?
The greatest problem is very simple, but insoluble. Jerusalem under Jewish control is considered by Muslims to be a gross insult to Allah, especially because it was under Islamic dominion for over 500 years. They refuse to even consider Israel to be a Jewish nation, so having the al-Aqsa mosque under Jewish control will always be unacceptable to Muslims. It is not surprising that Daniel correctly prophesied that to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. Dan 926
Moreover at the end, in the last days, Zechariah prophesies:
"Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. ...
On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." Zech 122,3, 8,9
Mr Trump, you are to be congratulated for declaring the truth and having courage to at last take power from the anti-Israel State Department. No doubt there will be some violence in Israel and the US. Temporarily the cost may even be high and the criticism loud in the long term it will not be regretted.