The Land of Israel is the biblical, historic and exclusive homeland of the Jewish people. It is Israel’s country. Although swallowed and made part of other empires through the ages, it has never been the national homeland of any other people.
At the heart of the Land of Israel lie the mountains of Israel, known since ancient days as Samaria and Judea. Today all who reject Jewish ownership of, and sovereignty over, these lands call them the “West Bank” or, more particularly, the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
In all of history the land has only been known as “the West Bank” for 19 brief years. But the name has stuck - and has been successfully employed to deaden awareness and resistance from Bible-believing people.
This land constitutes the bulk of what the world wants to give to the Arabs for the creation of a Palestinian state. For decades, the small nation of Israel has been under relentless international pressure to surrender it. Today, as 2008 and the second Bush administration are coming to a close, it increasingly looks like this land will indeed be taken from the Jews to appease the Arabs. And this as Jews and Christians look largely disinterestedly on.
Jewish and Christian readers, let me tell you a little about this “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
The “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” is the very cradle of Jewish civilization.
In the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” Israel’s founding fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, lie buried.
Their wives lie with them or, as in the case of Jacob’s wife Rachel, in Bethlehem - in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Rachel’s Joseph is also buried in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” - in Shechem.
It was on the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” that Abraham stood when God told him to look to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west, promising that all the land he could see would be given to his descendants, “forever.”
Jacob was traveling through the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” when he lay down to sleep, and dreamed of a staircase reaching into heaven, with angels descending and ascending as God spoke from on high saying: Jacob, the land on which you are lying is the land I am giving to you and your descendants after you as an everlasting possession. That place is called Bethel, or Beit El. It is in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Joshua, Moses’ successor and that great Israeli conqueror is buried in the Mountains of Ephraim, in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
For close on 400 years the nation of Israel worshiped God in the Tabernacle at Shiloh, in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Gideon was threshing wheat in Ophrah, in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” when the Angel of the Lord called him to judge the Israelites. Other judges, including the famous Deborah, lived in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Ruth met Boaz, who wooed and married her in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Their grandson, the Shepherd King David, was born in Bethlehem, in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.” For the first seven-and-a-half years of his reign he ruled in Hevron - or Hebron - in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
Ancient Jerusalem, which David then established as the capital of his kingdom, is in the heart of the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
The heart of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount. Site of Solomon’s splendid first Temple and the Exiles-rebuilt second Temple, it is in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.”
And here, in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank” God’s shekinah glory rested visibly on the only place the Almighty calls “holy.”
Is it clear yet? Can it possibly be any more so?
Indeed it is clear. Those who do not see it simply don’t want to.
I want to tell you something, dear Christians and Jews. The roots of Am Yisrael (the nation of Israel) are planted deeply and irremovably in the “Israeli-occupied Arab West Bank.” Judea and Samaria is the cradle of Jewish nationhood. Permitting these territories to be given to another people (who, as every historian must testify, have never had a national homeland there or anywhere else) is to allow the Jews’ roots to be cut off. This nation - which has survived two millennia of dispersion precisely because its roots have been in these lands, and because their hope never died of one day returning to that land as their ancient prophets repeatedly reminded them they would - will not survive the severing of those roots.
Cut the Jewish people off from the place where they began and they will be left withering, then rendered extinct. No nation can live without its roots.
Neither can any faith. Christianity cannot survive without Israel.
The gentiles nations have rejected the Jews’ claim to these lands; have rejected their historic ties and and insist on treating Israel as a modern-day, 60-year-old democracy, and nothing more.
In so doing, they have rejected Israel’s God.
All who worship the God of Israel must oppose them, or join them in opposing Him.