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Can you believe it is DECEMBER, the last month of 2023? Have you finished your Christmas shopping – or even started it? Is your house decorated? If not, you better get going! Or, if you are like me and don’t decorate anymore, start driving around to see what others are doing. There are several Christmas light shows in our area – particularly in Weogufka!
Most people are wrapped up in the holiday spirit and are probably not paying attention to politics or world events. It saddens me no end to watch the pro-Palestine/anti-Israeli demonstrations that are going on in our country – particularly on high school and college campuses. These protests just show the lack of true knowledge and understanding of the Middle East that has been going on since the beginning of time.
What people are claiming should be the country of Palestine has never been a Palestinian country. You cannot find it in the Bible or in most history books. I’m going to share a description I found that makes the most sense to me. It is from the book “What the Bible is all About; Appendix C: A Glossary of Bible Words.”
“Palestine: The land of Israel that was earlier called the land of Canaan during the time of the biblical patriarchs. The land of Israel occupied territory along the southeastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. These terms gradually came to refer to all of the land between Egypt and Syria. The name ‘Palestine’ was used by the classical Greek historian Herodorus (440BC) to refer to the land of Israel that the Babylonian empire (612-539BC) and the subsequent Persian Empire (539-334BC) referred to as the provinces of ‘Judea’ and ‘Samaria.’ The name ‘Palestine’ was derived from the word ‘Philistia’ and referred to the ENEMIES (my highlight) of Israel, the Philistines. The Romans attempted to wipe out the association of Jewish people with the land of Israel by changing the name of the Roman province of ‘Judea’ (‘Provincia Judaea’) to ‘Syria Palaestina,’ because of the Jewish revolts against Roman rule in the first and second centuries AD.”
After World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire, the area was mandated to Great Britain and fell within their governance. Most of this area included the historical sites of the Biblical times. The area that was called Palestine as a general term does not imply any precise boundaries.
In 1947, after World War II, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (the Partition Resolution) that would separate the land in Great Britain’s mandate into two states by religion – Jewish and Arab.
The Palestinian Arabs did not agree with this arrangement, and the resolution started conflicts between the two groups. The Arab Liberation Army – a group of volunteers from Palestine and other Arab countries in the area – launched attacks on the Jewish cities, settlements and military. The goal of the Arabs was to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state.
When Israel declared its independence in May 1948, the fighting grew stronger and lasted into 1949. At that time Egypt and Jordan retained control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, respectively. From that time until 1967, the area continued to be strained by the continual disagreements between the Arab nations and Israel with the Soviet Union becoming involved on the side of the Arabs.
Cross-border attacks by the Palestinians into Israel grew more intense while peace negotiations were being held. But on June 5, 1967, Israel retaliated and by June 10 had defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria and had occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.
In further negotiations to remove Israeli troops from the defeated areas, there was never a resolution reached, and Israel continued to establish settlements in the occupied areas. The Arabs remained too inflexible to reach any agreements.
There was another UN Security Council Resolution, number 242, that was adopted on November 22, 1967, that called on Israel to withdraw from the “territories occupied in the recent conflict” in return for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state n the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” The Israelis and Arabs each interpreted this differently, and the Arab-Israeli disputes continue.
This conflict is not necessarily still between Palestinians and Israelis – it is now between the terrorist groups from Iran and the other Arab nations. Hamas and Hezbollah are the instigators of this round of attacks with the backing of the enemies of both Israel and America. We don’t need to be anti-Palestine or pro-Israel or vice versa. We need to be ANTI-HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH.
When Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Israel on October 7, the worst thing that happened was the killing and capture of the Israeli civilians and some Americans. We are just now getting SOME of them back – but Israel is releasing three convicted prisoners for every one hostage. These hostages are from every age group – from a newborn baby to elderly men and women. War should not be waged against civilians, but should be limited to military establishments. The Israelis have been doing all they can to limit civilian losses while trying to get to the terrorists who hide behind them.
Please keep these people – Palestinians and Israelis – in your prayers for their safety and return to their families. And be prepared for the aftermath that will eventually wipe out the terrorists who are responsible for all of this. God bless you all!