"When I bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations. . .I will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." Joel 3:1,2

With the ending of God's "double" of disfavor and punishment, God takes issue with the nations responsible for hounding and scattering "my people." Now during God's regathering of the Jews by Divine Providence since 1878 to "my Land," He also takes issue with the nations who have "parted My Land"—His Land. How have the nations "partitioned" His Land?

World War I was the second significant event in end-time prophecy regarding the regathering of Israel. Turkey, with an expansive empire that compassed the Middle East (including Palestine) and North Africa, fought with Germany and the Central Powers against the Allies. At the breaking up of the Turkish Empire by the victorious Allies, both Jews and Arabs requested independent states. The world powers were generous in the extreme to the Arabs by granting them twenty-two independent Arabs states—encompassing 5,414,000 square miles. The Jews asked for less than one percent of that vast territory. The Allies agreed to this request (which included both sides of the Jordan) in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 San Remo Conference of World Powers (See Map I).

For imperialistic interests, however, in 1921 Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration, lopped off 77 percent of the Land promised in the Balfour Declaration and set up the Arab Emirate of Transjordan (See Map II). Then in 1922 the League of Nations gave Great Britain a Mandate to prepare the remaining 23 percent of Palestine (including Samaria, Judea, Gaza, Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem) for a Jewish National Home. But under French pressure, in 1923 the Golan Heights was ceded by the British to the French mandate of Syria.[58] They partitioned His Land and the Lord was angry.

Oil was then discovered in the Arab countries. Consequently, "oil diplomacy" was instituted. British foreign policy simply appeased the Arabs. In 1939 the British White Paper banned further immigration to Palestine. Also, with brutal callousness, the United Sates and most nations refused to accept the beleaguered Jews of Europe. Consequently, 6 million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.

How many millions of these hapless victims would have found a haven in Palestine if Britain had not reneged—with the silent consent of the other nations of the world—on its own mandate obligations by banning Jewish immigration? What a heinous, collective crime of history! Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of Great Britain when the Balfour Declaration was issued, went on national radio to call the British 1939 White Paper, "an act of national perfidy which will dishonor the name of Britain."[59]

This time the nations actually denied the Jews any of God's Land and the Lord was angry. Finally, the gentile nations, guilt-ridden after defaulting on their promise since 1922, felt a moral obligation to grant the Jews an independent state. But, unfortunately, the UN Partition Plan of 1947 further reduced the size of the new Israeli State (See Map III). They partitioned "My Land" and the Lord was angry. . .

When Israel became an independent State in 1948, armies from six Arab nations invaded the newborn State. Outnumbered 100 to one, Israel's ragtag army pushed back the invaders and took more of its rightful Land. Divine Providence was telling the world something about whose Land it is.

However, the Arab State of Transjordan captured East Jerusalem, expelled all Jews and destroyed or desecrated all Jewish holy sites. This is the time when Jerusalem became "occupied territory." In addition to defying the U.N. Mandate, Transjordan also occupied the west bank of the River Jordan. No longer limited to being "Trans" (across) Jordan (the east bank), Transjordan reduced its name to simply Jordan, now ruling over both the occupied west bank and the original east bank of Jordan (See Map IV).

But this annexation of the "West Bank" by Jordan was not recognized by any nation of the world—except Great Britain and Pakistan. Jordan was even denounced by its Arab allies, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who wanted to expel Jordan from the Arab League![60] It is claimed that 600,000 Arabs fled "temporarily," but temporarily became permanently when the Arab invaders failed to destroy the new State of Israel. David Ben-Gurion adamantly argued that the 600,000 figure was a lie. "The refugee issue is one of the biggest lies, even among our own people...I have all the figures. From the area of the State of Israel, only 180,000 Arabs left in 1948. There were 300,000 Arabs altogether in Israel and 120,000 remain."[61]

In the 1967 Six Day War, under the threat of being "pushed into the sea" by Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Israel actually liberated the "occupied territory" of Jerusalem and granted free access to Jews, Christians and Moslems to worship at their respective holy sites. Israel also liberated the "West Bank" and Gaza. How easily recent history is forgotten. By comparison, Israel's administration, despite its faults, has been much more humane. The realities of the Jordanian and Egyptian occupation are conveyed in the following quote from HARSH REALITIES:[62]

For 19 years, until 1967, Jordan brutally occupied the renamed "West Bank" with its 20 UNWRA refugee camps.... And when western Palestinians rioted in December '55, April '57, April '63, Nov. '66 and April '67, King Hussein sent in tanks which shelled city streets and machine gunned people at random, killing hundreds of men, women and children.

The Gaza Strip, as it was known for the 19 years of harsh Egyptian occupation, had 8 UNWRA refugee camps in which the Palestinians were forced to live in overcrowded squalor. Egypt refused to absorb any refugees; kept them stateless, denied passports, and forbade them to travel or work in Egypt. [On the other hand, Palestinians were permitted to work in Israel after 1967.]

For 19 years of brutal occupation of their fellow Arabs, Jordan and Egypt kept these areas in a deliberate state of economic stagnation and severe unemployment. Average unemployment in the early Sixties ran between 35-45%, and refugee unemployment hit a high of 83%. Yet during this entire period, the world was silent. Only after Israel's seizure of these territories in a defensive war in 1967, did anyone discover the "legitimate rights and national aspirations" of the Palestinian Arabs.

From a humanitarian viewpoint, their situation improved immeasurably under Israeli administration. Unemployment hovers around a mere 1% (1989) and per capita gross income tripled in less than 20 years; infant mortality rates dropped from the pre-1967 140 per 1,000 to only 30 per 1,000 today—at a time when the rest of the Arab world is still at 80 per 1,000; 7 Arab colleges and universities were established under Israel "occupation," where none existed before 1967. Yet it is Israel that is now being attacked.

Had the Arab countries any true intentions of helping their beleaguered brethren from western Palestine, they would and could have absorbed them easily 4 decades ago, as the Israelites did of an even greater number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. The Palestinian Arabs share the same language, religion and culture, and for 70% of them, the same countries of origin just 3 generations before when their grandfathers emigrated for economic reasons to Palestine from surrounding Arab lands. But the 22 Arab countries, uninterested in aiding in Palestinian brothers, preferred to use them as a political weapon to wield against Israel, and the U.N. supported this heartless human manipulation.

In the mid-1970's Israel attempted to give the Palestinian Arab refugees in Gaza new and better housing. The U.N. General Assembly, at the urging of the Arab states, passed Resolution 32/90 condemning Israel for trying to relocate these refugees and demanded they be returned "to the camps in which they were removed." And yet, a senior U.N. official came to Gaza in January 1988 accompanied by 10 TV crews on a fact-finding visit and laid the entire blame for the situation at Israel's feet. As if the U.N.'s own complicity in the matter didn't exist!

When the six Arab nations invaded Israel at Israel's birth, many claim 600,000 Arabs were displaced in that war. What is not well known is that approximately 800,000 Jews, who were living in those six Arab nations, had to flee for their lives because of Arab hatred. The solution to this refugee problem was simple—a fair exchange.

Israel, at a terrible economic cost, absorbed the 800,000 Jewish refugees But the Arab nations refused to accept these Arab refugees—their Arab brethren. Rather, they placed them in refugee camps, which became dark holes of hate and misery, models for propaganda to turn world opinion against Israel. They succeeded. How well they succeeded....

When Israel inherited Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") and Gaza in the 1967 War, Israel also inherited the Palestinian refugee camps that were administered by a United Nations agency. Israel wanted to negotiate both the refugee problem and a peace settlement, but the Arabs refused. One cannot help but agonize for the poor refugee pawns in this ploy. The deplorable condition of the Palestinian refugees is especially pitiful because the situation was designed and perpetuated by their own Arab brothers. No wonder the "intifada" erupted. Many claim the Arab nations refused to alleviate the refugee problem both in 1948 and in 1967.

Among many who have made this observation is Col. Richard Henry Meinertzhagen, a British Middle East expert. He asked a fellow dinner guest at the home of a British diplomat, "Why do not you Arabs, with all your resources from oil, do something for those wretched refugees from Palestine?" The Lebanese replied, "Good God, do you really think we are going to destroy the finest propaganda we possess? It's a gold mine!" When Meinertzhagen observed that this view was unkind and immoral, the Lebanese replied, "They are just human rubbish, but a political gold mine!" In slightly different language referring to the same attitude about the usefulness of Palestinian refugee camps, Meinertzhagen notes in his book, "I received identical views from other Arabs."[63]

The Palestinians who have taken to the streets, spoiling for trouble, are the new generation-spawned in the refugee camps. From earliest childhood, they have been taught hate.

The U.N. has now had the audacity to call Jerusalem and the "West Bank" "occupied territories" only after Israel regained them in the 1967 War. In 1922 the League of Nations had recognized the legal, moral and historic right of the Jewish people to a national homeland in Palestine—including Jerusalem. If the Jews had a right to Jerusalem recognized by the world community in 1922, that right is still valid today. But since then, the vast oil reserves were discovered in Arab lands. The nations are compromising Israel's rights for their own oil interests! Consequently, today the U.S. administration and the U.N. define East Jerusalem as "occupied territory." But when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem, it became "occupied territory." Now, in fact, no part of Jerusalem is "occupied territory."

Jerusalem—indivisible—belongs to Israel. The same logic applies to the "West Bank." Unfortunately, Israel's government presently is too intimidated by tremendous pressure from the U.S. and other world powers to insist on its historic right to Judea-Samaria, the so-called "West Bank."

What is the Lord's perspective of all of these events? He is angry at the nations. Whose Land is it that the world powers are now pressuring Israel to give to the Arabs? During the current regathering of the Jews to Israel, even before God's Kingdom is set up in Jerusalem, God refers to Israel as "My people" and their Land as "My Land" (Ezekiel 38:16; Isaiah 11:11). Because the LORD is angry with the nations during Israel's regathering, He will bring them down to the "Valley of Jehoshaphat" (symbolic of the great time of trouble in Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21), to be punished because of their sins against Israel (Joel 3:1-2). The first sin is "they have scattered" "My people" among the nations and then during the regathering, "they parted [partitioned] My land." To whom does the Land belong? The Arabs? No! The Land belongs to God and He gave it to the children of Israel. But the nations have the arrogance to partition God's Land. They took 77 percent of it away from Israel, "My people," and gave it to the Arabs, and now the United States and the nations of the world are pressuring Israel to surrender even more of their God-given Land to the Arabs (See Map inside front cover).

What is God's evaluation of the actions of Israel in contrast to the actions of all other governments including the Arabs? What is His respective judgment of each? His intentions are revealed by the Prophet Jeremiah (30:11):

For I am with thee (Israel) saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

After the destruction of their governments, the people of these nations will "seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem" which will become the capital of God's Kingdom (Zechariah 8:20-23). Instead of converging on Israel and Jerusalem to partition the Land or take it, the nations will come to Jerusalem to learn of the God of Israel so that they may walk in His ways. Instead of coming to dissect Israel, they will come to be taught (Isaiah 2:1-4).

Introduction * Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 *
Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Endnotes