If people are running around you with their hair on fire, you need to know two things. First, where can I get some water to put out the hair on fire, and second, where is the fire coming from so we can stop it at its source.
President Trump is set to announce today that the United States of America recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel, and that we will accordingly move our embassy to that location. As that news broke across the nation this week, many of us saw the smoke start to rise from the heads of most liberal progressives, and more than a few “moderates.” The accompanying rhetorical panic is continuing to fan the flames like brush fires in the Santa Ana winds. Before addressing that analogy and relating it to the actual cause of the current follicular conflagration, let’s get some water to our friends and neighbors, and if necessary to our own golden locks.
The proclamation that Jerusalem is the Capital of the State of Israel is not new with the current president. No less than three of his predecessors have made the same statement. FACT: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all said that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. The difference is that they said it during their campaign for office as did candidate Donald Trump. The three previous presidents all completely ignored their campaign promises once they got into office. Donald Trump is actually doing in office what he promised while campaigning. That is what has changed, that and nothing more.
Please note whose hair is blazing higher. I submit that there is a direct correlation between the degree of flame and that individual’s pre-existing opposition to this president. Usually, water on, fire out. Not this time. No amount of factual evidence quells the fire. I learned from my firefighter dad a long time ago that there are some fires that cannot be put out with water. In fact, fires from chemical and electrical sources should never be dowsed with water. So, if your neighbor’s hair is flaming after he heard about today’s pending proclamation by POTUS, be sure it is his own hair that is fueling the flame before you add the cooling effects of factual evidence.
As promised, my analogy of California brush fires and the Santa Ana winds. For the second time in a matter of weeks, thousands of been forced to flee their homes, and many have lost everything as the result of raging wind-swept wild fires. Our hearts, prayers, and if possible our finances should all be employed to relieve as much of the hurt as we can. The fact is however that many land management experts agree that brush fires in California are often much more destructive for two reasons. One reason is the wind. The so-called Santa Ana winds sweep in from the coast and up the mountainsides causing any fires present to burn faster and hotter. That force of nature is not within our ability to control. What could be controlled however is the massive amounts of fuel provided by environmental regulations that prevent homeowners from clearing most of the brush from their own land, even within feet of their homes. If lands were allowed to be responsibly managed, much of the wildfire problem could be eliminated. What does this have to do with the Jerusalem controversy? Put simply, the idea that it is controversial to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel is due entirely to uncontrolled, regulated prejudice against the Jewish people. When the United Nations declared in 1948 that Israel was a nation, and portioned out its territory, they deliberately neglected to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital, and left that city under “international control” (uncontrolled underbrush). The fact is, that for more than four thousand years, the city of Jerusalem has existed, and it has NEVER (emphasis deliberate) been the capital of any other people than the Jewish people.
After Jews were expelled and scattered by the Romans in AD 70, and then the Empire fell two centuries later, there was no government established in Palestine, and no one claimed Jerusalem as a capital for the next 1500 years. There has never been a Palestine government or nation. Until 1963, all the inhabitants of the region (even Israel) were known the world as “Palestinians.” Well known terrorist and PLO founder Yasser Arafat proclaimed himself the leader of the Palestinian people and set in motion a still continuing effort to expel the Jews and install Arabs as the owners of all that area known as Palestine.
The tiny nation of Israel was granted the right to reside as a nation in the only place they had ever called home by the 1948 UN declaration. That move was in response to common sense, as means to give Jews a place of their own once again, where they could defend themselves against hateful despots like Adolf Hitler. They have done that quite effectively now for almost 70 years. (70 years, now there is something that deserves looking closely at—but I digress).
In 1967, the shortest war in history was fought. After Egypt mobilized its military on the border with Israel, Jordan sent in troops to help Egypt, and Iraq joined that same alliance. Nine other Arab nations supported Egypt’s move to attack Israel. On June 5, in the face of certain attack by a thirteen nation confederacy, Israel struck first and destroyed 90% of Egypt’s Air Force on the ground, and also crippled Jordan’s air attack capability. Within days, the Israeli army routed Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian forces from the Sinai, West Bank, and Golan Heights, and all nations involved agreed to a cease fire, ending the six day war.
Since then, Arab nations have steadfastly refused to recognize that Israel took territory from its sworn enemies in order to secure its own borders and provide a stronger national defense. That policy, believe it or not, normal procedure. When the colonists defeated England in 1781, the captured territories (colonies) were not then returned to England. We kept them. (By the way, in case you are wondering, England attacked us to start that war (siege of Baltimore, shots at Lexington/Concord, capture and appropriation of American sailors and ships). Likewise when Texas defeated Mexico, they did not return Texas to them.
Bottom line here is this. The land known as Palestine belongs governmentally to only one people. The descendants of Abraham through Isaac- the Jewish people. There is no evidence in history (Biblical or secular) that offers any credence to Arab, Muslim, or “Palestinian” claims to that territory. Muslim claims that Mohammed visited and claimed the city, while religiously significant to Islam, are historically undocumented, and reasonably implausible. At the time that Mohammed was allegedly transported to Jerusalem, that city was already there, and had been the capital of Israel for more than a millennium. Even the name of the city tells you that. Jerusalem is Hebrew for “The Peace of Jehovah.” The Prophet Mohammed understood that when he recognized that name for the city, and so should we.
The non-Jewish people of Palestine deserve all the basic human rights afforded to all men. They should not be mistreated or enslaved. They deserve to live on land occupied by their ancestors if they choose to. The inalienable rights of humanity declared by our own Declaration of Independence demand no less recognition of rights for those people than they did for us. This does not mean however that they should be given the right to control the government of that land while they espouse fidelity to forces bent on the destruction of that government. If the Palestinians want a seat at the table of government, they need to turn away from open warfare upon said government. So far, that has not happened.
The source of conflict in Palestine is older than Donald Trump. It is actually older than all the nations now in existence on earth. The Book of Genesis details everything about the people of Palestine, and all its neighbors as well. The Jewish progenitor Abraham had a son by his servant Hagar named Ishmael (Gen. 16). When God told Abraham he was going to have a son, Abraham argued with God and asked that the son he already had should fulfill God’s promise of creating a nation as his legacy. God rejected that alternate solution, but promised that Ishmael would be the father of twelve princes, or nation groups. Genesis 25:12-18 names all twelve of Ishmael’s sons and the territory they occupied. This is significant because many Arabs today claim a right to the land of Palestine because they are descended from Abraham (original owner of the land) through Ishmael. Since the Lord saw fit to record their lineage, we know that the descendants of Ishmael did not occupy Palestine, but Arabia. That is where they all lived when Ishmael died and it is where they buried him. Why would we call this people group “Arabs” if they had come from Palestine?
Of all the people groups who occupied Palestine at the time of the Exodus, none of them were descendants of Ishmael. They came from Canaan (grandson of the cursed son of Noah- Ham). They also came from Esau, Jacob’s twin brother who gave away the birthright to the younger twin Jacob. They also came from Lot, through is incestuous relations with his own daughters after the destruction of Sodom. While today’s conflictive situation is directly traceable to multiple disobedient relatives and ancestors of Abraham, it is also true that none of the historical peoples in that region have ever instituted any government there, and all of them are recorded to be descendants of someone other than the line of promise through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob according to the oldest records available, the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament.
The city of Jerusalem has been a known, and legally recognized capital for only one people. That is the people of Israel. As far back as one thousand years before Christ, there was a government, a temple, and a sitting kingdom in Jerusalem. That site was known then, and should be recognized now as the nation of Israel. Donald Trump will recognize that three thousand year reality today when he announces this nation’s relocation of our embassy to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.