Monday’s statement by U. S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, changed the face of American policy in the Middle East. He declared that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not illegal per se (in or by itself).
WHOA! The world-wide consensus since the time of Moses—well, at least since the end of the Six-Day War of 1967—has been that the “settlements” are illegal. After all, many top flight lawyers have declared such.
(The world consensus has so often been contrary to reality when it comes to the Jewish people.)
The best arguments present a different view.
Pompeo himself has the courage to contradict the consensus. His statement: “After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate,” the Trump Administration has concluded that “The establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
The consensus has insisted that Israel is an “occupying power.” But that’s not true. Under international law, you have an “occupation” when one country takes over the territory of another. But Israel did NOT do that.
The so-called “West Bank” (named as such by the Arabs) when Israel took it had been under the control of not the Palestinian, but the nation of JORDAN! Jordan appropriated it during the Israeli War of Independence.
Then, they expelled all Jews from that West Bank territory—that is…from Judea and Samaria (and I mean ALL). They destroyed the synagogues and made latrines out of the gravestones.
And….those Jordanians did NOT let the Palestinians have any part in the governance of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). And…they did NOT give the Palestinians citizenship.
It was NOT Jordan’s land to keep. But they KEPT it until the Israelis took it 19 years later.
So Jordan performed an inhumane operation.
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So, Israel has patrolled the area since they defeated the Jordanians in 1967. But the Israeli governments have had a terrible time figuring out what to do with it. At first, they made it unlawful for Jewish people to live there. Then, the authorities began to look the other way. That led to planned settlements in designated areas.
But now, with this new American policy, Israel will get bolder and is already thinking about annexations of some of Judea and Samaria. Annexations? (More about this in a later blog.)
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QUESTION: Who is behind this decision? Let me, in a few words, take a leap at this question.
ULTIMATE ANSWER: It is God, Lord of Heaven and earth. Isn’t it just the Trump administration who is doing this for political reasons? No. It is God who brought Trump to the fore. It is God who brought the Secretary of State Pompeo to the fore.
How do I know that? you ask. From reflecting on His Word. From the assurance that these are His Chosen People. From reading their history of faithfulness and unfaithfulness. From reflecting upon God’s promise to this People and His ways of dealing with them in their history. God used world leaders in the 20th century to bring about His will for His People; and now in this 21st century it is the same.
Secretary of State Pompeo is a man of faith. He believes in the God Who saves and Who is faithful to His people. He acted in faith, love and wisdom with ratification by President Trump.
QUESTION: Why didn’t the Lord act before…and through some other person and administration?
ANSWER: Because of timing—His timing. He has punished His People by having them drink the wine of His wrath, sternly humiliating and disciplining them. But now, even with their enemies all around them, He is exalting them. They are successful…growing…increasing in influence, power and productivity.
And those who have blamed them for the strife in their Middle Eastern neighborhood are seen to be wrong. Clearly in the wrong. The Jews of 20th century Palestine are not to blame; for there was strife and terror in Palestine—indeed in all the Middle East, but especially in Palestine—prior to the Jewish people’s return in the early 20th century.
Who will rejoice in this decision, and who will not? The read can consider this.
“Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and the quarry from which you were dug….
For the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.”
-- Isaiah 51:1, 3
More on this subject in a later blog.
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