Are the Settlements Illegal?
Most criticism of Israel’s settlements revolves around the idea that the settlements are illegal. But there are several reasons why the settlements cannot be viewed as illegal. For one thing, the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917 said nothing about any part of “Palestine” that could not become part of the Jewish home, which the British government “viewed with favor.” Some point to the Fourth Geneva convention which says that an occupying power cannot transfer some of its own population into the occupied territory. But that rule was specifically aimed at the Nazis who were transferring large populations into concentration camps. The special wording of the article makes it clear that it cannot be applied to Israel today. It refers only to territory that is occupied by a “High Contracting Party”, whatever that is. Moreover, Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not threaten the native population and therefore do not violate the Geneva Convention, as others have pointed out.
In addition, these so-called “settlements” have often been the source of help for Palestinians living in the area. When medical help is needed, they go to the Jewish people, to request (and get) help. This is in spite of numerous attacks on these same communities by terrorists. Saving lives is an important part of Jewish culture, and if humanly possible, they never turn away people seeking help. Today no state has laid claim to the West Bank. Jordan annexed it at one time, but later withdrew that annexation and does not claim it today, although they do wish to keep some control over the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, after investing large sums of money to renovate the latter.
There is a biblical mandate for returning to the land, and predictions that the Jewish people will do so. No part of the land is exempted in these predictions. The Trump administration has recently said the settlements “may not be helpful” to peace negotiations, but so far it is just a mild suggestion. President Trump has sent Nicky Haley to the UN as United States ambassador, and she has made a point of declaring that “the days of Israel bashing are over.” God bless her, and all those of like sentiment. “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses… No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:3,5).
Lonnie C. Mings
Christian Friends of Israel -
Jerusalem email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Jerusalem the City of the Great King
Is Jerusalem ever to be Divided or Undivided?
David conquered this city from the Jebusites [1 Chronicles 11:4-9] and reigned there for 33 years followed by Solomon. Solomon built the First Temple in 957BC, which stood for 400 years before being destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Then the Second Temple was built in 535 BC and was completed in 515 BC. This Temple stood until the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. Finally, after once more rising against the Romans in 135AD most of the Jewish people were removed from Jerusalem but some were allowed to stay. Down through the ages there has always been a remnant of Jewish people in this much fought over city. It has been destroyed approximately 20 times and every time rebuilt; rebuilt like no other city on Earth ready for the coming King. The late Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kolech, said, “We have to beautify the City if the Messiah is going to come to it.” It was then dirty and run down, today it is a place to behold. So how did it get in such a shape? In a word, neglect, because if a population has no connection to a place they take no interest and the result is that it becomes run down, as it was in 1967. None of the controlling powers over the centuries saw anything special in this city.
When Israel was declared a State in 1948, in line with the Partition voted for in the U.N., the new state of Israel was attacked from all sides by 7 Arab nations involving 5 Arab armies, [Revelation 12] At this stage Jerusalem was not divided with both Jewish and Arab residents living within the walls in their own areas. At the end of the 1948 war, a ceasefire was called by the U.N. between the fledgling Jewish Nation and the Arab armies. The result was that a line was drawn on the map separating what became the West Bank (of Jordan) and Israel. This line split off the Eastern part of the city of Jerusalem and for the first time in history, the city was divided between East and West.
So for the first time in nearly 3000 years of Jewish history, since the time of King David, Jerusalem became a divided city. Jordan took this land and annexed it as part of Jordan; only two countries agreed with this annexation, Britain and Pakistan.
An illegal barrier was created that is now being called legal. So began 19 years of total control of the local people and a destruction of any Jewish connection with Jerusalem and the area. There was no freedom of religion, as all religions came under the control of Jordan. They destroyed 58 Synagogues, including the Hurva Synagogue, which has recently been rebuilt in the Old City. Jordan destroyed hundreds of Jewish graves on the Temple mount and many of the stones were used to build toilet blocks. They used Jordanian money and they stopped Jews going to the Jewish sites contra to what was agreed upon at the ceasefire and they prevented the local Arabs from going to the Mosques on the Temple Mount. In fact all freedom of Religion ceased. Only under Israeli rule has there ever been full freedom of religion.
Jerusalem is the city where the prophet Zechariah, in a dark and lonely cave, prophesied, "I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves." [Zechariah 12:3]
For two thousand years the Jewish people cried out to God, in their exile, to be able to return to their Holy City and in 1967 God miraculously restored them to the Holy City of Jerusalem in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Israel asked King Hussein of Jordan to stay out of the 1967 war and if he did he could keep the West Bank and the Old City. However, his Arab counterparts convinced him that Israel was being destroyed so he attacked and in 6 days he lost all the land Jordan had claimed. In six days God made the heavens and the earth and then he rested. In six days God restored the Jewish people to their land and His Holy City and then He rested.
Jerusalem the City of our Great King, fought over and destroyed so many times throughout history, is once more the centre of Jewish life. Israeli soldiers who lost their sight in the fighting for the restoration of Jerusalem in 1967, said, "We gave our eyes to gain our soul. Jerusalem is our soul."
The prophetic end of the age is described in the Book of Revelation and centres around a small piece of land in Jerusalem called the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock was not built for some 600 years after the destruction of the second Temple. The rock that lies under the Dome of the Rock is called the rock of Abraham because it was believed to be where Abraham offered up Isaac. Even the Muslims acknowledge it with an inscription in Arabic on the Dome of the Rock, which says: "The Rock of the Temple in the Garden of Eden." As the “peace” process continues thousands of Arabs living in what is known as East Jerusalem are taking out Israeli citizenship. This started as a trickle but has grown over the years so that they can continue to obtain the benefits of living in a Jewish State, the only true democracy in the Middle East.
Jerusalem is mentioned 782 times in the Bible but never mentioned in the Koran. The Jewish people are the only people to pray towards the Temple Mount. The Arabs may pray on the Temple mount but they pray towards Mecca and not Jerusalem as Jews all over the world do. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob put His name there, (1 Kings 9:3) and ever since the world has been trying to remove it. Many empires have tried to place their gods there, from the Greeks, Romans, Moslems and Turks Even the Christians of the city claim it has to be in their hands for the Messiah to return. The True Messiah will return to this place to take up His throne as the King of the Jews. (Acts 1:)So from this we can see it is a Spiritual battle to prevent the return of Jesus, because with the Jews once more in control of the City the Messiah could come at any time. To attempt to remove the Jewish People from Jerusalem is nothing more than an attempt to disprove the Word of God and to prevent the return of Jesus, the King of the Jews returning to this place. (Acts 1:10-11)
The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the Holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 2:12)
Jerusalem is the only city where God has promised to prosper those who love it. (Psalm 122:6) The Lord has placed “Watchmen upon the walls that will give Him no rest, ’till He establishes and ’till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6-7)
We are commanded by God to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, not its division. To go against Jerusalem is to go against God Himself. For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye— (Zechariah 2:8).
The greatest miracle in the world in our time is the re-establishment of the State of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital. A city that remained undivided for nearly 3000 years and now, because of just 19 years of division, Israel is being told to give it up; Jerusalem the Holiest City in the World to the Jewish people, the City they have longed to return to since the days of the Romans. At each Passover during all of that time the cry has been “Next Year in Jerusalem.” God has heard their cry and answered their call and today as you walk the streets of Jerusalem you can experience that miracle as prophesied in Zechariah 8:4-5.
[Isaiah 40:8] We give thanks that the Word of God is forever true. [1 Peter 1:23]
Contact: Dennis McLeod
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